Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — March 7, 1841


Washington City, March 7, 1841.

My Dear Poe, — Your humble servant hails for the present from this land of excitement and rascality. I am here scribbling about matters and things. I have been in Washington this week past. Dow, whom I see frequently, told me that you had given up the idea of the Penn and was engaged with Graham. I regret that you have been prevented from carrying out that glorious enterprise at present, but you’ll do it yet.

Poe, I want to make a bargain of this nature. I wish for value received to write for some periodical a novel in numbers, say two or three chapters per month, as Marryat and Boz write their novels. I have received a proposition of this nature from a certain periodical publisher, but I doubt if he is good pay. His proposition however stated the thought in my mind and I should like to write a novel in this way. What do you think of it, and what terms &c would your “Graham” give? Dow, to whom I mentioned the matter, suggested the magazine of which you are to be the editor. Let me hear from you on the subject. Write me, if you please, if Mr. Graham likes the proposition what he would give — all about it. Of course a continuous story is worth more per page than a mere sketch, as it would create a desire in the reader to see the conclusion of it and consequently make him the purchaser of the subsequent numbers of the Magazine.

The novel will contain a greater variety than any of my others. I shall take my hero, through various adventures in the south east and west, and give a touch of matters and things about Washington, where I have seen much “character “ after a sort, I assure you.

For the interest of your publisher I had better mention to you that Fowzer and Woodward, agents, of St. Louis have had a falling out. Of Woodward I know nothing. Fowzer called on me, hearing that I was on the eve of starting eastward, and requested that I would procure the agency for him of your publications referring me to gentlemen who would bear testimony to his character. I made the inquiries and find his character good. This I promised to say to you for him.

I hope, my dear Poe, that you are well and doing well; before long, that is in a month or so, I hope to take you by the hand. My respects to your mother and lady. Dow is well — and I hope in spite of his Locofocoism will retain his office. Write me, if you please, soon as convenient, as I must answer the proposition I have spoken of above.

Truly your friend,
F. W. Thomas.

Please to direct to me to Washington and not St. Louis.

F. W. T.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL271)