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Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour (AC 1911) Letters to Albert J. and Susie S. Holcomb Delatour

Identifier: MA.00320

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of approximately two hundred letters written by Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour to his parents Albert and Susie Delatour during his undergraduate, graduate, and war service years, from 1907-1919. There are postcards, telegrams, and a few letters from others to either Delatour or his parents. The latter are relevant to something discussed in the text of Delatour's letters (such as a letter of reference for a boy Delatour helped educate). The letters document the growth of an individual from his relatively carefree undergraduate years to focused graduate work, and then to work overseas during wartime.


  • Creation: circa 1907-1920


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour (AC 1911) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes. This collection is housed in off-site storage and requires advance notice before use. Please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour (AC 1911) Letters should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 13, 1889 to Albert J. and Susie S. (Holcomb) Delatour. Delatour went to Stevens Prepatory School (founded by the trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology) in Hoboken, N.J. and Polytechnic Preparatory Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., before attending Amherst College. He received his B.S. from Amherst in 1911 and then attended Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, M.D., from which he received his M.D. in 1915. Delatour served a residency in medicine and pathology at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City in 1916 and 1917.

In October, 1917, Delatour began a training program in the Army Medical Corps at Kelly Field, Texas. He then served in France with the 82nd Division 325th Ambulance Company and 325th Infantry, during which time he promoted the idea of "ambulance flying ships" (form letter to Claude M. Fuess, Nov., 1925). Delatour was decorated with the Chevalier Legion d'Honneur for his service.

After the war Delatour was appointed to the medical clinic at St. Luke's. He was director of the clinic from 1925 to 1929. Delatour had appointments to the medical staffs of St. John's Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital in N.Y.C., and Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, N.Y., and to the medical faculties in N.Y.C. at Columbia University (1921-22) and New York University (1944-49).

On April 19, 1927, Delatour married Elisabeth Worthington Bull of New York City. The couple had two daughters, Sussanne Holcomb Delatour (b. 1929) and Elisabeth Worthington Delatour (b. 1932).

In 1950 Delatour returned to France to become the director of medical services at the American Hospital in Paris. After two years, he became a consultant to the hospital and continued in that capacity into his retirement in 1955.

Delatour was a founder of the American Diabetes Association and an official of the Grenfill Association, which supports medical and social services in Labrador and Newfoundland. He became interested in the latter association during his work in Newfoundland during his graduate school years. Some of the most interesting letters in the collection are from this period.

Delatour was a member of the Shakespeare Association of America and wrote a book "Hamlet within the Limits of Normal Behavior" in 1962. He was also a book collector, and many of the rare books in his collection were given to the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.

Delatour died at his Worcester, N.Y. home on March 21, 1975, at the age of 85.


1.0 Linear feet (1 records box)

Language of Materials



The Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour (AC 1911) papers contain letters from Beeckman Delatour to his parents, Albert J. and Susie S. Holcomb Delatour, during his undergraduate years at Amherst College (1907-1911), his medical school years at Johns Hopkins University (1911-1915), and his service in France during World War I (1917-1919). There is a small amount of associated ephemera, but the bulk of the papers document the maturation of a youth of the early twentieth century.


The Beeckman Jousseaum Delatour (AC 1911) Letters are organized in one series.

Margaret R. Dakin
2016 April
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299