Unveiling of the Poe Monument, 1875


Woodcut engraving of unveiling of the Poe monument

Woodcut engraving of the unveiling of the Poe Monument. (From Frank Leslie’s Popular Magazine, December 1875.)

This woodcut engraving from Frank Leslie’s Popular Magazine (December 1875), shows the unveiling of the Poe Monument on November 15, 1875. The woman leaning against the monument, and placing a wreath with a raven on the top, is Miss Sara Sigourney Rice. It may be noted that Miss Rice is standing on a specially constructed set of steps, presumably of wood, which are not part of the monument and were apparently used only for the ceremony. No other figures in the image can be identified with any certainty.

A similar, but somewhat larger version of this engraving appeared as the cover of Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly for December 4, 1875. It shows the same scene, but inserts a small portrait of Poe in the upper left corner. Curiously, the larger engraving spells Poe’s middle name correctly on the base of the monument, while this smaller woodcut misspells it as “Edgar Allen Poe.”

The people at the very back of the image are standing on the brick wall that runs behind the monument. The edge of the building seen at the left corner is the Female Primary and Grammar School No. 1, which was opened earlier in 1875, but was torn down in the 1980s to make way for the Veterans Hospital. Other buildings seen in the background are no longer standing.

It may be noted that the large and imposing gates which may be seen today to the right of the monument are not present in this image because, in spite of their appearance, they were added only in 1910. Also added at that time is the brick walkway which now surrounds the momument. At the time of the ceremony, the monument sat on a grassy plot.


[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Baltimore - Poe's Memorial Grave - Unveiling of the Poe Monument, 1875