Text: Abijah M. Ide, Jr. to Edgar Allan Poe — March 22, 1844


South Attleboro’, Mass., March 22d.

My Dear Sir, — Since I wrote you last, (in the month of November, ‘43, I believe,) my employment and whereabouts have been such, that I have not been able to write you such a letter as I wish to. I am now at my old home again and, in the coming Spring and Summer, I shall plough the same old fields, and make hay on the greensward, that first gave me lessons in labor. I have had the good fortune, this winter, to make such acquisition of wealth as places me now before the world: and with such advantages, as I have from that source, I promise myself a pleasant life to come.

Among books which I have bought me, are Longfellow’s, and Lowell’s poems 5 Whittier’s & Lunt’s [[sic]]: The New-Mirror Library, and some odd nos. of Reviews. — I wish you would mention to me, such volumes as you think would do me most profit to read — You can help me much, if you will do so —

Notwithstanding the wearisome tasks I have performed this winter, I have written more, in a few months pass’d, than all before. These poems have been written in the small hours of dark and stormy nights — often when I could hear & feel the wind and rain and snow, against the roof and window of my room. — I have published little. A total lack of acquaintance with gentlemen connected with the literary Magazines & newspapers, has withheld me from offering but few lines for publication. — I sent a brief poem to John Inman, (for the Columbian), which was immediately published; (in the March no.). You will find it on page 139 — “Strife.”

The first lines of mine that ever were printed, I rather think you have never seen & and I will send them you, at the time I send this letter. They were first printed in the “Ploughman “ at Boston; & were copied by John Neal, (with whom I have no acquaintance) into the Bro. Jonathan, of No. 10, vol Six, with the name, and whereabouts and occupation of your present correspondent, and advice (public) to “Stick to my farm and reverence [[sic]] myself I ever get a no. of the paper to spare, I’ll send it you. The lines have since been copied into several papers in Mass. and R. I.

I sent you a magazine in January with a Poem I wrote at a week’s notice, for some girls who know more of me now than before; to tell you the curious way in which I was selected to write the poem, would be a long story of itself. —

And now, to thank you for so many friendly expressions, in your former letter to me, I will ask you for some items of advice as to future things. What publication would you advise me to send my poetry to & and ought I to send it anonymously, or not? You know better about those things than I do, and can speak freely. I have thought some of sending a poem to Graham but the uncertainty has as yet led me to wait.

Which of the Philadelphia Magazines would you tell me to subscribe for? Do you now conduct the Reviews for Graham’s?

Will you give me any knowledge of the plan and character of a new publication called the “Critic,” which the papers said was to be started about this time, in New York?

I will finish this letter by copying a few lines from a poem, written some weeks since “I toil where rude, unlettered men Are laboring around; Their voices are not low and sweet And yet of welcome sound; For, from their tongues come words of truth, Their hands are brown and hard, Our country’s sinew and her strength, Her glory and her guard!”

I hope you will write me, as soon as you can do so, and not encroach upon your occupations.

Yours very faithfully,
A. M. Ide, Jr.  

Edgar A. Poe, Esq.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - A. M. Ide, Jr. to Poe (RCL474)