Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — June 14, 1841


Washington City   June 14, 1841.

My dear friend:

Owing to indisposition, which prevented my going abroad, I did not receive your letter, containing the proof sheet of the lost copy until yesterday, too late for the mail.

To require me to furnish that lost copy would be like requiring me without the aid of astronomy or telescope to discover the lost Pleiad.

I have added two or three lines which I think have damned little application to the subject — but I do not recollect a single thought in the lost page — so it must go for what it is worth — The order of R. Houghton (at least the last ten dollars of it) the other ten having been paid before, was paid just four days since. My not answering your letter, proceeded from my indisposition.

Now for a reply to your letter inclosing the order: I should like to join you very much: I believe that we would beat the “diggins”! Don’t you think so? — Let me hear from you again on the subject — I have friends throughout the broad west, would be glad to advance my literary interest in the west — and who have a high regard for your literary reputation —

Send me your number — I will promise to have it puffed in the Intelligencer — Any thing of that kind I can do for you I need not tell you I will do with the greatest pleasure in the world. —

Yes I have now read your “Descent into the Maelstrom”: I did not like it as much as several of your other articles; but I must say to you that a friend of mine, whose ability I respect, as the highest of any thinks it is one of your best papers — and he has the “tallest” kind of opinion of you.

I have your challenge about decyphering — I feel satisfied that you can fullfil it — so do it and excite the wonder of the people. Several friends to whom I mentioned your faculty in that regard denied this power in anyone outrightly.

You must get afloat by yourself Poe — or some friend with you — who would contribute not by intellectuality, but by popularity to your joint publication as much as in him is, to your work.

I believe such a publication with your acknowledged talent in it, would contribute greatly not only to your popularity but to that of the literature of the west —

I doubt whether you can read this or not but I have been unwell for these four days past with something like bilious fever & I feel that to write the simplest line is a labor to which pages, at other times, are a pleasure —

My regards to Mrs. Clemm and your lady,

Your friend —
F. W. Thomas.

Let me hear from you, as you say, upon matters and things in general — Dow is well — and sends regards — is soon to have a third (3d) no mistake, he is —

F. W. Thomas.



The reference to Dow having “a third” is to he and his wife having their third child.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL292)