Text: E. H. N. Patterson, “Death of Poe,” Oquawka Spectator, vol. II, no. 38 (whole no. 90), October 24, 1849, p. 2, col. 1


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EDGAR A. POE is dead! He died at Baltimore on the 7th inst., after a few days illness. We at first hoped that this was a mistake, but the announcement of the fact in the papers of that city deprives us of the solace of such a hope.

Although yet young, being but 38 years old, Mr. Poe had attained an enviable position among our Literati, and was justly distinguished for his great learning, his excellence as a Poet, and his acuteness and analytical power as a Critic. Some of his productions have never been surpassed for originality of the thought, and singularity yet beauty of style. Although his “Raven” has been pronounced the best, as well as the most remarkable poem ever written in American, yet it is most probable that we have never had anything from his pen, which has displayed the great intellectual powers that he possessed, to their full extent; at least this was his own conviction. He has had to struggle, nearly all his life, with poverty, and has not had those advantages which more leisure, and a comfortable living, would have afforded him for displaying his powers. In the Department of Criticism he has obtained his greatest celebrity, yet even in this he has been cramped — never having had a periodical under his exclusive control.

The doings of the Supreme One are incomprehensible, and it is not for frail man to impugn His motives, else we might wonder why the lamented poet was removed from our midst so soon — and when he was upon the eve of realizing the cherished hope of his life!

Had he lived, arrangements had been completed by which he was, next year, to have been placed at the head of a large Magazine, which would have entirely under his control. This statement may surprise even many of his friends, but it is nevertheless true. We are personally knowing to the whole arrangement. But death has removed him from us, and we can only lament the sad event which has deprived us of a noble and an eminent man. His life was a sad succession of trials and disappointments, but death has released his soul from its thraldom to live forever with its Creator above.





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