Text: George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe — January 11, 1848


About a year and a half ago I wrote to Mr. Colton requesting a specimen number of his Review, that having the notice of your tales, if he had it to spare. He forwarded me that and another (no. for July/46) at the same time asking my influence in the circulation of his work in Maine. I made some little effort but without accomplishing anything, then let the matter drop. Last July he wrote to me again, still soliciting aid, I didn’t think proper to go into the agency business for him myself, but procured him an agent, wishing to see the Review patronized among us, as I considered it worthy. I also said to him that I would take it myself if I were not expecting before long to have the privilege of subscribing for a Magazine conducted by you. —

From his reply of July 24./47. — “As to Poe’s Journal — supposing you take my Review at $4, a year, till his appears; — candidly I do not at all believe you will see a Magazine from him this (my italics) four years — a mere literary Maga. cannot live — I understand the matter perfectly — on account of your efforts, and to show you what my work usually is, I shall send you the Rev. this (his) year, gratis — at the same time, if you choose to send me $3. in return, you may do so” (I did choose to send the money under the circumstances, of course — my year commenced with the last July no.) “Mr. Poe’s MS was so long I could not publish it.” (I had asked him why the “Rationale of Verse” did not make its appearance) — In answer to him I asked if it was because the article was too long, putting him in mind also, of the length of “Washington and his Generals,” given in one of his preceding nos — which” article contained 17 pages, the principal part extract — I mistrust what was the reason of the non-appearance of your contribution. — From a letter of Godey of Aug. 6 — “You complain of my “soon” (he had said that “Hawthorne” would soon appear — and in reminding him of his promise afterward, I told him I thought the “soon” embraced quite a long period of time) — “I assure you that “Hawthorne” has been in the printer’s hands for three months — your letter acted as a hint, and I have sent to the office, commanding its insertion in either the Oct. or Nov. number — Mr. Poe has been on here — but it were better for his fame to have staid away. I don’t like to say much about him — he called on me quite sober — but I have heard from him elsewhere, when he was not so.” This was the first positive intimation I had that you drank, although I had suspected something long before — was afraid, from the wild imaginations manifested in your writings, that you were an opium-eater — had some chance for hope that this might not be the case, as the same wildness was evident in your childhood productions — supposed that you could not have acquired the habit when so young, and therefore hoped. — From a letter by Williamson & Burns of the “Weekly Universe,” Aug. 17/47 — “Edgar A. Poe, in the estimation of the editors of the “Universe,” holds a high rank. regarded either as an elegant tale-writer, a poet, or a critic. He will be more fairly judged after his death than during his life. His habits have been shockingly irregular, but what amendment they have undergone within the past six months we cannot say, for Mr. Poe, during that time, has been in the country — we know him personally — he is a gentleman — a man of fine taste and of warm impulses, with a generous heart. The little eccentricities of his character are never offensive except when he is drunk. We do not hear that he has any enterprise of the description intimated by you, in hand. A Magazine conducted as he is capable of conducting a Magazine, could hardly fail of success.” — They confided to me the names of the editors and contributors of the “Universe” — Do you know them? —

From a letter by Mr. Colton of Oct. 15. — “I hope Mr. Poe has done drinking — I don’t think he has drank any thing this long time. He is living in a quiet way out in the beautiful county of Westchester”. — I thanked Heaven for this news, and was glad in beholding the new prospect — for before, I had become fearful that matters were going wrong with you, as I heard nothing from you, neither by letter nor per the newspapers which have always been so regardful of your welfare — Your “Marginalia” in the Jan number of “Graham” was my next comforter — Your letter etc. is my last and best. I thank you for it truly — Well, I haven’t time now to reply succinctly to all the points in it — a notice of a part must suffice. I like “Hawthorne” generally — don’t think it is the best critical article you have ever written. “Ulalume” is the only piece of poetry I have read for some time -’tis a beauty — Before I had read two verses of it in the Am. Rev. I stopped, went back again, read it over, and vowed that Edgar A. Poe was its author — I rejoice that your health is so good — “best” — may it continue so! — $2000. per annum, for hammering, is a pretty good price to pay — there is some reason in your idea of profiting by abuse, I must confess — there isn’t much difference between praise and abuse, to a man of genius, as you intimate in your “Marginalia” — I will re-enclose the slips in my next — I have not seen the article on the Am. Library in “Blackwood.” And now, a word about The Stylus. I intended, when I commenced my letter, to have more than a word to say — intended to suggest to you a plan for the circulation of it in my vicinity; but I can’t write any more now — there has a dizziness come upon me, a dazzling of the eyes, the precursor of a sick-headache to which I am subject, so that I can scarcely see where and what I am penning — I’m a poor devil student of Medicine, and cannot do much in a pecuniary way for your enterprise — I shall forward you my subscription in advance, if you wish for it (suppose you don’t want it just yet, or I would enclose it now) — and shall do what I can in acting for you, be assured — but I must tell “you next time what. I shall try to accomplish, and what I think would be well for you to do — when will you probably start upon your Western tour? — when will you probably issue your first number? Who is the “most distinguished Am. scholar” engaged to superintend your classical department?

Yours Cordially — G. W. Eveleth

Jan. 11 —

E. A. Poe Esq.



Endorsed, Postmarked Phillips etc. & 10

Edgar A. Poe Esq. New York City N: Y.

The Paper has in corner Embossed seal, Sanborn & Carter Portland, (scroll & spray)    


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - G. W. Eveleth to Poe (RCL695)