Text: Thomas R. Dew to Edgar Allan Poe — October 17, 1836


William & Mary College, Oct. 17, 1836,

Dear Sir, — I have just received your kind letter & hasten to answer it by an opportunity which presents itself. If you will read over my address you will be enabled to draw up a few editorial remarks of the character you desire. Our College is the oldest in the Union save one and older than that, if we might date back to the establishment of an Academy in this city of some note prior to the erection of the College. The numbers at Wm & Mary have rarely been great, & yet she has turned out more useful men, more great statesmen than any other college in the world in proportion to her alumni. The high political character of old Va. is due to this college. Some colleges may have equalled ours in Physics and Mathematics, but few have in Morals and Politics, & it is these last subjects that give the highest finish to the mind, and raise it to its greatest elevation. The scenery here, the hospitable population, the political atmosphere all conspire to give a utilitarian character to the mind of the student. Hence the alumni of this college have always been characterized by business minds & great efficiency of character. In conclusion I will say, that we never had more brilliant prospects than now, & I have no doubt that our numbers this year will be as great as have ever been known in this college. An editorial of the kind you mention would be highly gratifying to the friends of the college, & would be of great service. I beg you to hasten the publication of my address, as it is important that it should get before the public — as soon as possible. Be sure you let me have the proof sheets as early as possible by steam boat or mail.

With high respect,

I am Dr Sir, Yr obt svt,
T. R. Dew.  

Mr. E. A. Poe.

N. B. My address will give you all the information you desire in relation to our course of studies, & discipline.



The address (originally delivered on the occasion of the opening of William and Mary, October 10, 1836) which Dew was so eager to have appear in print was published in the SLM for November 1836. In printing this letter in 1902, Harrison erroneously gave the name as “W. R. Dew,” although he correctly identified the person and his association with William and Mary College.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - T. R. Dew to Poe (RCL163)