Text: Daniel Bryan to Edgar Allan Poe — July 11, 1842


My dear Sir

I am very much gratified to learn that you are determined to “resume your project of the Penn Magazine,” and I am highly pleased with the independence and elevated ground on which you are resolved that it shall be conducted. — We stand in need of a literary journal of the character which you propose to give to yours; a character based on principles uninfluenced by selfish monoploising cliques, and stamped with the impress of justice and truth regardless of sectional partialities and the indiscriminate puffery and exclusiveness of a combination of self-constituted critics. — m Prudence, however, will require that you shall not rouse the hostility of this combination by intimations which may alarm their selfishness, and array their batteries against you before your arrangements are matured, and a substantial patronage obtained. — I am convinced that you occupy a very favourable position as an editor in the estimation of the public; and when you get your journal fully established, I believe that its independence and the spirit and genius which you will be able to infuse into its columns, will insure it success.

If my humble efforts can be in any wise conducive to its interest they shall be at your service. —

You shall have one name in Alexa. [[Alexandria]] among your patrons at all events, and I will try very hard to procure you some more [[names]]. When your prospectus is out, please send me a few copies of it. —

Your failure to receive my communication accompanied by the poems to which I alluded in my last, appears to me inexplicable, if you were in Philadelphia at the time it reached the P. O. there, — which, I think was on the 15th day of May. My record shows that there were mailed here on the 14th of May four free letters for Philada. two of which were doubtless packages addressed to you — not as editor, or to the care of any body — but simply to “Edgar A. Poe, Esq Philada.” If, therefore, they were taken from the P. O. and opened by any other person, without your authority, the person opening them, was guilty of an act of baseness, for which he deserves to have his ears cut off, of a brand of infamy stamped on his front. If by possibility they went out from the Phila. P. O. with the letters of any other individual and were opened by him through mistake, a very improbable occurrence, — he would forthwith, on discovering his mistake, which the first sentence of my long letter to you wd [[would]] have made palpable, have returned them to you with a proper explanation & apology. —

But I trust that there is no man in Philada. wearing the semblance of a gentleman, so villainously base as to be guilty of such a violation of principle and honour, as to open, and withhold from you, communications thus transmitted to you under the sanctity of a seal. — Hence I venture to indulge a hope that they may have been advertised in the Philada. office during your absence and that on inquiry you will find them among the advertised letters now on hand there; — or that they were taken to your boarding house and mislaid among your papers. —

I suggest, that, if you have not already done so you make special inquiry on the subject at the Philada. office, and in the event of no satisfactory development being made, that a reference be had to the record of mails rec‘d there, to ascertain if the Alexa. mail for that city of the 14th of May — wh[[ich]] called for 4 free letters — was regularly rec‘d there, & I will expect to hear further from you on the subject soon, in the mean time I beg you to be assured of my high respect,

And friendly regards,
Danl Bryan

P. S. Seek at your Reading Rooms for a file of the Washington “Independent” — and in that paper of the 17th of June you will see in an article signed “Flash” — dated Philada. June 11th, the allusion to “attacks” upon your “literary character” to which I referred. Flash alleges that they appeared recently in “Graham’s Mag.” I have not seen them, & presume there is some mistake about the matter.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - D. Bryan to Poe (RCL380)