Text: William E. Burton to Edgar Allan Poe — May 11, 1839


Phila. May 10 [[11]], 1839

Edgar A. Poe, Esq.

My Dear Sir, — I have given your proposals a fair consideration. I wish to form some such engagement as that which you have proposed, and know of no one more likely to suit my views than yourself. The expenses of the Magazine are already wofully heavy; more so than my circulation warrants. I am certain that my expenditure exceeds that of any publication now extant, including the monthlies which are double in price. Competition is high, — new claimants are daily rising. I am therefore compelled to give expensive plates, thicker paper, and better printing than my antagonists, or allow them to win the goal. My contributors cost me something handsome, and the losses upon credit, exchange, etc. are becoming frequent and serious. I mentioned this list of difficulties as some slight reason why I do not close with your offer, which is indubitably liberal, without any delay.

Shall we say ten dollars per week for the remaining portion of this year? — Should we remain together, which I see no reason to negative, your proposition shall be in force for 1840. A month’s notice to be given on either side previous to a separation.

Two hours a day, except occasionally, will, I believe, be sufficient for all required, except in the production of any article of your own. At all events, you could easily find time for any other light avocation — supposing that you did not exercise your talents in behalf of any publication interfering with the prospects of the G. M.

I shall dine at home to-day at 3. If you will cut your mutton with me, good. If not, write or see me at your leisure.

I am, my dear Sir,
Your obdr Servt.,
W. E. Burton.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - W. E. Burton to Poe (RCL183)