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Daniel Whitehead Hicky papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1146

Scope and Content

This collection primarily consists of scrapbooks containing photos, letters, and poems written by Daniel Whitehead Hicky. Most of the letters in the scrapbooks are addressed to his friend Emily Alexander Coart (1922-1996). In his letters, Hicky wrote about his eating habits and his physical weight, the difficulties he faced in publishing his work, and the 1960 presidential election. He wrote often that he did not expect Southerners to be “so bigoted” that they wouldn't vote for John F. Kennedy because of his Catholicism. Regarding Kennedy’s inauguration, Hicky wrote that Robert Frost’s poetic recitation was “pathetic.” The scrapbooks also include newspaper clippings featuring Hicky and his work. Collection materials also include clippings about him and from his Atlanta Constitution column "As I was Saying," correspondence, poems, and a manuscript of his book of poetry Wild Heron. Much of the poetry that Hicky sent to Coart, as well as the poetry in White Heron, deal with the themes of nature and youth.


  • 1929-1983, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Daniel Whitehead Hicky (1900-1976) was an Atlanta poet born in Social Circle, Georgia, to Daniel Hiriart Hicky (1864-1927) and Elizabeth Alleen Whitehead Hicky (1876-1924). Hicky's nickname amongst his friends and family was Jack. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended St. Paul School, a private Catholic high school. From 1919 until 1934, Hicky worked at a cotton firm in Atlanta, writing poetry during his breaks. He also served as the president of the Atlanta Writer’s Club from 1926 to 1927 and wrote a column called “As I Was Saying” for the Atlanta Constitution from 1939 to 1947. His book of poetry, Wild Heron, was shortlisted for the 1941 Pulitzer Prize. To financially supplement his writing, Hicky worked for many years at the United States Department of Agriculture. While there his coworkers accused him of homosexuality. Investigators tapped both his phone and the phone of his supervisor, but found no evidence of the allegations. Despite being cleared, Hicky transferred from Atlanta to Washington D.C. His published work includes Bright Harbor (1932), Thirteen Sonnets for Georgia (1933), Call Back the Spring (1935), Wild Heron (1940), and Never the Nightingale (1951).


0.834 linear ft. (two document cases)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1961, with subsequent additions


This collection contains what was MSS 62f and MSS 152f.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2018.

Daniel Whitehead Hicky papers
Karissa Kang
June 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305