Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — January 13 and 14, 1842


Washington January 13, 1842.

My dear friend —

I trust, for the sake of the regard, which, I believe, you entertain for me, that you have been wondering why long ere this I have not answered your last letter. I had hoped to wish you a happy new year in Philadelphia, but the fates ordained it otherwise — And instead of the cordial greeting I had expected to give and receive hand in hand I must be content with the colder one of a letter —

I thought I had made arrangements whereby about the middle of last month I might visit Philadelphia, and spend a week or two — but I was prevented by being compelled to attend to my duties here, for the meeting of Congress has accumulated the papers upon my desk faster than I expected —

I have felt the truth of your advice about the study of French — My teacher thinks that I can easily acquire the pronunciation, but I fear it will tax my industry fearfully to master the language grammatically. — I believe that if I were thrown among the French that I could learn it orally, much sooner than one who by book would beat me by all odds. —

January 14th.

My dear Poe, just as I had finished the word “odds” above I was taken off to “schedule” some fellows’ claims to office — Think of it in comparison to the “primrose path of dalliance” in literature — but that “primrose path of dalliance” how beset with thorns of poverty — and there’s the consolation.

Many thanks to you for your kind notice of me among your autographs — I owe you one —

I see that Ingraham is accused of having stolen his novel of Lafitte in the Knickerbocker, which charge Prentice copies and blows a blast upon against Ingraham. There must be some mistake about this — for Ingraham wrote Lafitte in Cincinnati to my certain knowledge for he read to me every evening what he had written through the day — However some one may have given him the hint. — I remember distinctly his requesting me to introduce him to a gentleman who knew Lafitte and who could give him some information concerning that redoubted pirate. Poe how do you get on with Graham? Let me know how the world thrives with you —

Dow is well and cheerful. I saw him yesterday, but somehow I don’t think he gets on well as when in office — He is a violent politician as you see by his paper —

My Sister was well when I last heard from her and she spoke of you and your family to whom you must present my and her regards — Write me soon — For nothing but the expectation of seeing you face to face would have delayed my writing to you so long — but disappointment is the lot “of all of us” as the chap says in the play —

God bless you —
F W Thomas

My Sister’s and my regards to your family — Do you read the political articles in the “New World”? Savage — ain’t they? I wonder if Benjamin writes them?

Write soon —
F W Thomas





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL355)