Born in County Cork and raised primarily in Limerick, Ireland, Fitz-James O'Brien moved to New York City in 1852. Descending from an Anglo-Irish landholding family, O'Brien received his inheritance (estimated at £8000) at about the age of 21. Between 1849 and 1851, it is believed that O'Brien edited a failed literary magazine called The Parlour Magazine of the Literature of All Nations and squandered his inheritance (Wolle 21). Leaving England almost penniless, O'Brien immigrated to America and made the U.S.
Theta Delta Chi was an American college fraternity that was located in a house on Fourth Street. Its members included Pfaffians Fitz-James O’Brien, John Brougham, Ned Wilkins, and Mark Smith along with "six others" (T. Miller 44). The men were initiated into the graduate chapter, known as the Lambda Graduate Association, in January of 1857, but the chapter was discontinued in the summer of that year.
Remembered as "a man of brilliant talent and singular charm," Edward Wilkins' career included the roles of editorial writer, musical and dramatic critic, and playwright. He was raised in Boston where he began his journalism career.