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Deland, Anne


Very little is know about Anne Deland’s early life. We do know that she was originally from Georgia and eventually made her way to New York to begin her career on stage (Lause 57). We also know that in 1857 she starred as Desdemona during a production of Othello in Newark and that Laura Kenne recruited Deland into New York City’s dramatic scene (57). Supporting this migration, Odell speculates that Laura Keene's company's performance of House and Home was the first appearance of Anne Deland (218). After New York, Anne apparently traveled the states on theatrical tour and later married in 1860, ending her stage career (Lause 57).

Various sources identify Anne Deland as one of several women who frequented Pfaff’s, but little else about her is known. Mark Lause labels Deland as “a regular at Pffaf’s” grouping her with fellow thespians, Joseph Jefferson, William H. Reynolds, Thomas Blades De Walden, Larry Brannigan, Ada Clifton, Mary Fox, Adah Issacs Menken, and Dora Shaw “before she continued her tours acting in Cincinnati and New Orleans (57, 60). She was hailed by a contemporary as a "very handsome and good-hearted actress of respectable talent, who held receptions in her home Saturday evenings" (Rawson 105). Junius Henri Browne noted that by 1869, her name was “still on the boards” at local theaters (157), which suggests that her career extended beyond the heyday of the bohemian scene at Pfaff’s. She appeared in King Lear in 1868-1869 and she performed with John Brougham in The Red Light, or, The Signal of Danger (Odell 8:442, 557).

Deland’s working and personal friendship with John Brougham was indeed strong. Upon the reading of Brougham’s last will and testament, Deland was found to be bequeathed the following: “all the rest and residue of my property, both real and personal, together with all my right, title, and interest in, and to my plays and the copyright pertaining thereto, to Annie Deland Finegan, whose maiden name was Annie Deland, and I declare that said property shall be for her sole and separate use and benefit, and that her receipt, nothing standing her present or any future marriage, shall be valid and effectual discharge of the same” (“John Brougham’s Will”). Deland, along with Laura Phillips, were named executrixes of the will (“John Brougham’s Will”). In another New York Times article concerning Brougham’s heirs, Deland was described “as a soubrette,” but “prior to 1869, however her triumphs were many in other lines” (“John Brougham’s Heirs”). The same article also alludes to her aloofness after Brougham’s death. The article maintains that Deland’s whereabouts in 1889 were "a matter of conjecture" and she was described as "a constant traveler" (“Brougham’s Heirs”).