Text: Alexander T. Crane, “[Reminiscence of Poe],” New York Tribune, January 30, 1880



To the Editor of the Tribune.

SIR: I see in my SEMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE that you ask the name of the author of “Tired Out.” I read it first in the exchanges of The Broadway Journal abut thirty-five years ago while I was mail and office boy for that paper. It was said to be the last composition of Elliott, the author of “Corn Lay Rhymes.” The extreme beauty of the lines led me to commit them to memory, and they have been a favorite quotation with me ever since.

I see that Edgar A. Poe is being roughly handled, and called a drunkard by various carping critics. Poe was the idol of my boyhood, and now at fifty years of age my love and reverence for the memory of the man are outraged by those who seek to destroy a fame they can never hope to equal. I never saw Poe drunk but once. He had given a lecture on “The Poets and Poetry of America,” which was well attended and much applauded, and was induced to repeat it. Poe gave me a ticket. The night for the lecture proved one of the worst of the Winter, Sleet, rain and wind combined to drive people from the streets and make them prisoners at home. About a dozen persons appeared to hear the lecture. Poe came forward and said the lecture would have to be postponed, and that the money would be paid back at the door. The next day Poe came to the office helpless from drink and supported by a friend. His temperament was such that he could not bear up under such a disappointment, but he was not a drunkard. If he had been his face would have “hung out the sign.” On the contrary, his complexion was fair and his features were as delicate as a woman’s


Little Sioux, Iowa, Jan. 23, 1880.



The present article survives as a clipping in the Ingram Collection, item #760.


[S:0 - NYH 1880] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - A Poe Bookshelf - Reminiscence of Poe (Alexander T. Crane, 1880)