Text: John Pendleton Kennedy to Edgar Allan Poe — February 9, 1836


My Dear Poe, — I deferred answering your letter of the 22nd ult. immediately in order that I might see McCulloh who has been absent for a month past from Baltimore. Finding that I am not likely to see him here for a month to come-he is busy at Annapolis — I wait no longer to acknowledge the receipt of yours. As to the business matter in it I will write to you when I have something to say.

I am greatly rejoiced at your success not only in Richmond, but every where. My predictions have been more than fulfilled in regard to the public favour for your literary enterprises. Let me beg you to set down this praise at its value, as nothing, but an incentive to the utmost care and labour for improvement. You are strong enough now to be criticized. Your fault is your love of the extravagant. Pray beware of it. You find a hundred intense writers for one natural one. Some of your bizarreries have been mistaken for satire — and admired too in that character. They deserved it, but you did not, for you did not intend them so. I like your grotesque — it is of the very best stamp, and I am sure you will do wonders for yourself in the comic, I mean the serio tragi comic. Do you easily keep pace with the demands of the magazine? Avoid, by all means, the appearance of flagging. I like the critical notices very well. By the by, I wish you would tell White that he never sent me the Novr, number.

Your letter assures me that you have entirely conquered your late despondency. I am rejoiced at this. You have a pleasant and prosperous career before you, if you subdue this brooding and boding inclination of your mind. Be cheerful, rise early, work methodically — I mean, at appointed hours. Take regular recreation every day. Frequent the best company only. Be rigidly temperate both in body and mind — and I will ensure you at a moderate premium all the success and comfort you covet.

Will you do me a piece of business?

There is a little scapegrace in Richmond, or its vicinity, to whom I have heretofore shown favour. I mean Hubard the painter. He carried away from me four years ago nearly, a painting of myself & Mrs. K. and her sister, which I paid him $225 for, and which he never delivered to me. This he took to Richmond, upon a promise to send it back in a month. It has never come. I have written for it, and application has been over and over made for it. Mr. — has treated me not only ungratefully but most dishonestly. Now, I beg you, if you see this picture any where, claim it from the fellow in my name, or write to me where it is, and I will take steps at law to get it from him. My friend Mr. Hunter from Berkley in the Legislature will bring it up to me if it can be found.

Pray write to me — if you can give me any information of Hubard or the picture.

Yours truly
John P. Kennedy.

Balt. Feby 9, 1836.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - J. P. Kennedy to Poe (RCL118)