Text: Daniel Bryan to Edgar Allan Poe — July 26, 1842


Alexandria D. C.
July 26, 1842

My dear Sir

Did you receive my reply to your letter is relation to the lost verses?

I trust you did, and that your investigation of the mystery about the missing coms. has resulted in the dispersion of your apprehensions with regard to them — I don‘t care much about the loss of the M. S. as I have the rough originals, and am not sure, any how, that they merit preservation. — But the violation of your sealed packages and the detention of their contents wd [[would]] be a very different matter. I venture to hope, however, that I shall learn from you that the parties to whom suspicion pointed as being guilty of the presumed offence are innocent thereof. —

Did you find the No of the Independent in which the article to which I referred imputing to G’s Mag. [[Graham’s Magazine]] an attack upon you, appeared? — If you did not, I can send it to you. — I repeat my conviction that the writer of that article had some how or other fallen into a mistake on the subject, as on further scrutiny of the Mag. I have not been able to find any thing which I cd [[could]] construe into animadversion of either yourself of your productions. —

How proceed your arrangements with a view to the establishment of the “Penn Magazine”? — If you had a well skilled trustworthy agent to travel about & procure subs. [[subscribers]] I think a liberal patronage might be obtained for it. — A reliance upon stationary agents for the procurement of subs. at the commencement of a literary work, no matter how distinguished the editor may be, is less judicious, according to my observation, than a dependence upon the active exertions of traveling agents of proper qualifications. — The combined efforts of both classes in your case, could not it appears to me fail to success. — But I am volunteering suggestions in a matter which you understand better, probably, than I do. — And, then, I am aware that there may be difficulty in the employment of suitable agents, and that the expenses connected with this mode of getting subs. may prove a formidable obstacle to its adoption. —

Ah curse that cruel peace destroying hag poverty! How she casts her withering blight upon the fairest hopes of the sons of Genius!

“It’s hardly in a body’s power
To keep at times from being sour,
To see how things are shared;
How best o‘chiels [[?]] are whiles in want,
While coofs [[?]] on countless thousand rant
And ken na how to wais‘t.”

But then, My dear Sir, I trust that we have some of the consolations which the high souled bard pictured to his friend as an offset to the ills which poverty threw in their path. —

I see it represented in the Phila Evning Jour. that Griswold’s “Poets & Poetry” has succeeded well — and that a new edition is issuing from the press. — Is there not some of the “trickery of trade” in this? — What was the amt. Of the 1st edition and may not the 2nd ed. have been printed at the same time as the 1st was? By the bye have you read any of Griswold’s own verses? The only sample I have seen of them is mere doggerel in my humble estimation. I allude to “Sights from my window — Alice” — printed in the May of June No. of Graham. — I have at my disposal a MS critique on this production, wh[[ich]] I wd [[would]] be pleased to see printed in some respectable newspaper, or periodical, published in one of the large cities. — Would it comport with your views & feelings to take charge of it, and, if you deemed it just and worthy of publication, have it transferred to the columns of some journal over which you have influence? Just favor me with an answer to this inquiry. — If it shd [[should]] be in the affirmative, the critique shall be at your disposal as soon as the mail can convey it to you.

My agency, as well as your own, in the matter wd [[would]] of course be kept entirely to ourselves — unless you might be willing to confide your part in it to the editor, or publisher, of the Jour. to wh[[ich]] you might send it. —

You may please the most implicit reliance in the inviolability of any confidence which you may repose in me, — and I feel assured that my secrets will be safe in your keeping. — Pardon the hurry in wh[[ich]] I write. With the highest respect very faithfully yr obt sert

Dan Bryan

Edgar A. Poe, Esq.






[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - D. Bryan to Poe (RCL383)