Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — September 22, 1841


Washington   Septr 22, 1841.

My dear friend —

Yours postmarked the 20th I received yesterday. I do not wonder that you have been annoyed by cryptographic connoisseurs. Your astonishing power of decyphering secret writing is to me a puzzle which I can’t solve. Thats’ a curious head-piece of yours, and I should like to know what phrenologists say about it. Did you ever have your head examined? And what said the examiner? I would, Poe, for more sakes than cryptography’s that you were a man of “wealth and leisure”, but the “glory” even of such a demonstration as you speak of would not satisfy your friends.

I saw in a St Louis paper of a few weeks since that “Graham’s” was going a head — The punctuality of its arrival was eulogised, and its extending circulation noticed with high praise upon its editor —

“Amen and all hail” said I — I should think that you and Graham would go ahead finely — I have often had myself an itching to be in such a mess of literary catering and glorification.

I remember well your autographic articles in the Southern Literary Messenger — They were very interesting — No, I have not either Prentice’s or Drake’s autographs here — but I could get them for you — The President’s, Mr Webster’s and others of the eminent politicians and statesmen here I can easily obtain for you — if you embrace them in your plans. —

About my song — (do n’t put yourself to any trouble in the matter) — I should like to have it published in a sheet, by some publisher or other — I do n’t ask anything for it — and only want a few copies to give to a fair friend or so — which I am willing to buy — If you cannot get any publisher to publish it as I here propose, will you ascertain for me what it will cost to publish it on my own account — It is a song of four verses of four lines each — There is no music publisher here or I would not trouble you in the matter — My only objection to publishing it in the Magazine is that I could not present copies of it — and if it should be popular it, it could not be obtained in a form likely to give it extraneous aid in its circulation. Dow is well, and certainly cannot allude to me with regard to “cats called Thomas” as he knows (we board together) that I have not been “gadding about lately” being one of those cats that is not addicted to strange garrets: by the way cats like authors frequent garrets rather I think from necessity than choice. I received through the Post office Wilmer’s Poem, and liked it — Did you send it to me — or did he — Nothing accompanied it that indicated from whom it came. Robert Tyler and I speak frequently of you; and I trust to see you in “these diggin’s” some of these days — At present every thing is excitement about the break up in the cabinet — Yes, I am somewhat affected personally by the resignation of Mr Ewing — He had desired me to make out a catalogue of a library and would I suppose have made me librarian. The present secretary (with whom I have had an interview) is disposed favourably towards myself as I have been informed, but he did not instantly carry out Mr Ewing’s plan. He has invited me however to his house where I am to have the honor of “talking it over” with him — I think that the President and family have a kind feeling towards me, and I shall put my trust there if any thing happens — I have just received an invitation to dinner there today.

F. W. Thomas

<Write oftener, Poe, nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear from you.>



This letter is addressed to: “Edgar A. Poe, Esqr [[/]] Editor of Graham’s Mag: [[/]] Philadelphia [[/]] Pa,” marked: “Single” and “F W Thomas” and postmarked “Washington City D. C. Sep. 22.”


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL332)