Text: Mary E. Phillips, “Section 02,” Edgar Allan Poe: The Man (1926), pp. 111-231


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[page 111, unnumbered:]

SECTION II

BOYHOOD, 1811-1826

FROM various sources — including the Ellis & Allan MSS., owned by the Library of Congress, from which much of personal touch in letters, bills, etc., will appear in these pages — Mr. Allan is of record as a man of strong political and other opinions. His keen appreciation of scholarship, early conditions placed beyond his grasp, is indicated by book bills for “Ancient and Modern Europe,” 8 vols., Encyclopedias, etc., during the years 1811 and 1812; that a flute was bought for $21, tells something of his love for music. Other bills for Wedgwood dishes, wine glasses, candy, oranges, “ice-cream at $1.50 per qt.,” speak of his wife’s and his own natural, refined and literal good taste in the enjoyments of life. Such temperamental touches in common bridged over many chasms of differences between little Edgar and his foster-father for a number of years. That Mr. Allan was generous — in his way — not only to Edgar but to others, is in evidence by many years of receipted bills in this MSS. collection. One of April 3, 1812, was $4 for repairs of his English silver watch, and in late May following was another bill, receipted by Philip Thornton, “for three visits and medicine to child $4. inclusive.” Much of close family touch comes from Mr. Allan’s own letters; many were to [page 112:] his partner, Mr. Charles Ellis. That of May 27, 1812, noted, “Edgar has got quite well.” A later bill for “cape on coat of velvet” suggests that Mrs. Allan had her boy, in fine attire, out and about.

It is pleasing to know that in the meantime little Edgar’s welfare was near to the hearts of his Baltimore grandparents, as is in point not only by a Baltimore, Feb. 8, 1813, letter from his Aunt Eliza Poe, but also from another of prior July, 1812. Condensed reading of the letter is

’T is the Aunt of Edgar that addresses Mrs. Allen for the second time, impressed . . . that A letter, if received, could not remain unacknowledged . . . from . . . July. She is induced to write again to inquire after the health of the Child of her Brother, as well as that of his adopted Parents I cannot suppose . . . my dear Mrs.. Allen that a heart possessed of such original humanity as yours must be, could so long keep in suspense the anxious inquiries made through . . . my letter by the Grand Parents of the Orphan of an unfortunate son, . . . allowing you did not wish to commence a correspondence with one . . . unknown to you, had you received it, Mr. Allen would have written to my Father or Brother if . . . only to let them know how he was . . . but I am confident you never received it, for . . . not . . . knowing your christian name I merely addressed it to Mrs. Allen of Richmond, . . . as near as I can recollect you were . . . at the springs where Mr. Douglas saw you, permit me dear madam to thank you for your kindness to the little Edgar — he is truly the Child of fortune to be placed under the fostering care of the amiable Mr. and Mrs. Allen, . . . the Almighty Father of the Universe grant . . . he may never abuse the kindness he has received . . . from those . . . not bound by any ties except those that the feeling and humane heart dictates — I fear I have too long intruded on your patience . . . have the goodness to forgive me [page 113:] and dare I venture . . . the hope that this will be received with any degree of pleasure or that you will . . . answer it . . . give my love to dear little Edgar and tell him tis his Aunt Eliza who writes . . . you. My Mother and family desire to be affectionately remembered to Mr. Allen and yourself . . . Henry frequently speaks of his little Brother and expresses a great desire to see him, . . . he sends his very best love to him and is greatly pleased to hear . . . he is so good as also so pretty a Boy as Mr. Douglas represented him to be . . . I . . . can scarcely prevail . . . upon myself to lay aside my pen — with hope of your indulgence . . . I remain my Dear Mrs. Allen yours with greatest respect

ELIZA POE.

Mrs. Allen the kind Benefactress of the infant Orphan Edgar, Allan, Poe.

Whatever of letters that were said to have passed between Mr. Allan and little Edgar’s Baltimore relatives at this time, his Aunt Eliza’s letter would strongly suggest that Mrs. Allan had no intention of even sharing her “pretty Boy” with any of the child’s relatives.

May 14th, Mr. Allan wrote Mr. Ellis, “Edgar has caught the whooping cough,” also that “a swelled face” was disturbing his pretty mother. May 17th, Mr. Allan deplored “poor Frances has not recovered. All the rest with the exception of Edgar & Hooping cough are well.” May 18th was written, ” Frances and Edgar are getting better.” At Elizabeth, May loth, Mr. Ellis answered: “I am proud to know that Edgar has got the hooping cough. This may appear strange — but it wishes him well.” From New York, May 22nd, he wrote: ” Sorry to hear of Mrs. Allan’s [page 114:] illness, Tell her to keep up her spirits, its better than all the doctors in town.” May 22nd, from Mr. Allan came that all were well, but June 1st found him overtaken by “billiousness.” June 5th, he told of a powder explosion, and gave an attractive home picture of Mrs. Allan, with her short apron on for making, Bounce; and perhaps discussing the near marriage of her cousin Miss Margaret K. Nemmo with Mr. Allan’s friend and partner Mr. Charles Ellis. Norfolk, September, 1813, dated a spirited letter from this bride to be, to Mr. Allan, which ended in — “Remember me to the two Nancys, little Edgar and all inquiring friends.” Oct. 13th dated a bill of a “Tailor charged 75¢ for cutting Edgar’s new suit”; and March 28, 1814, the tailor cut another suit for Edgar, and for the same price.

From Mrs. William G. Stanard and others it comes, that an old-time Ayrshire play-mate of Mr. Allan’s father presided over “an infant’s school” in Richmond. Little Edgar found Mistress Elizabeth Miller in the slenderness of her late spinster years — 73 — of frosted side-curls, stiff caps, mild manners and big spectacles that could not disguise the bonnie blue of her kindly eyes. Mr. Whitty writes, that Elizabeth Miller’s Richmond School was a small two-story frame building on Main Street near Seventh, and her garden of thriving vegetables lay along the north side of the street to the corner; he recalled this building as the domicile of Adams, a London tailor and noted character. But there little Edgar as her “ain wee laddie” was said to have learned from Mistress Miller more than his letters, for she drilled him in making [page 115:] “pot hooks and hangers,” with which he “covered his slate in neat rows daily.” She taught him to cipher, and to read in her own broad Scottish accent, to the great delight and amusement of Mr. Allan. The tradition is that she “inordinately and unblushingly” spoiled her “am wee laddie,” whose devotion to her was shown by frequent offerings of choice smoking tobacco turned out of his pockets into her lap.

It must have been a little later(1) that Mr. Whitty calls attention to Poe’s January, 1836, Southern Literary Messenger retrospective record in: “How fondle do we recur in memory to those enchanted days of our boyhood when we first learned to grow serious over Robinson Crusoe! — when we first found the spirit of wild adventure enkindling within us: as by the dim firelight, we labored out, line by line, the marvelous import of those pages, and hung breathless and trembling with eagerness over their absorbing — over their enchanting interest! Alas! the days of the desolate islands are no more!”

Condensed, another old Richmond record(2) was: “The proud, nervous irritability of Poe’s nature was fostered in early life, by the well-meant, but ill-judged indulgence of Mr. Allan. Nothing was allowed to be done, as the phrase goes, ‘to break his spirit.’ When 6 or 7 [about four] years old, he was sent to a widow [maiden Scotswoman] of excellent character, to whom those days committed the culture of young scions or shoots of many families in Richmond. Besides on these, the old lady bestowed no small pains upon certain natural vegetables in her little garden; invasions of that spot were strictly forbidden to the [page 116:] school. When these orders were violated, the offender was made to wear, during school-hours, a badge of disgrace in shape of a carrot or parsnip, or some such emblem. On one occasion Poe had trespassed and was decorated accordingly. But, unlike the patriotic Irish, he was both mortified and indignant at the enforced ‘wearing of the green,’ and submitted with as ill a grace as ancient Pistol to the mastication of the leek. Determined that his wrongs should be known to his kind patron, sure of his paternal sympathy, he eluded notice of the school mistress when school was dismissed and made his way home with the offensive esculent dangling about his neck. The perfervidum ingenium Scotorum was instantly aroused. Mr. Allan proceeded at once to the schoolhouse, and after lecturing the astonished dame upon the enormity of such an insult to his son and himself, straightway withdrew him from the school. Who can calculate the effect of this childish triumph upon the growth of that morbid self-esteem which characterized the author in afterlife.” ‘Nor, upon the hypersensitively nervous child, especially if his badge of disgrace was an onion, which ilie narrator suggested. However, this incident covers the only known school punishment Edgar Poe ever endured, and aptly its lesson once learned he never forgot.

Of Elizabeth Miller Mr. Hogg writes: “I found Elizabeth Miller, daughter of John Miller, shipmaster, and Giels Bolton, of Saltcoats, Scot., was born Oct. 5, 1738, the same year as John Allan’s father. She was a sister of John ‘Miller, Irvine school-master, The name figures in Kirk Session [page 117:] Records 1784, as receiving payment for the instruction of poor scholars. His son John, born 1784, through John Allan’s father — Wm. Allan — obtained a post at the Custom House in 1805. John Miller was highly recommended 1807, and promoted to be Collector’s Clerk at Ayr, and later to Perth Customs, at which place he died, and there his daughter still lives. June 26, 1817, he married John Allan’s sister Elizabeth. — Mr. and Mrs. Allan with little Edgar were at this wedding.” Mr. Hogg adds that the “Millers were, mainly, sea-going folk and one of them Elizabeth — Betty Miller — was entered in the Custom Book, at Irvine, as owner and Captain of the Clytus, plying between Saltcoats, Irvine and Dublin. At passing of the Merchant Shipping Act, Lord Eglinton mentioned her remarkable history in Parliament. She fitted up her deck-house, wore the old Scotch, white wimple, a man’s coat — a quaint figure she made. On stormy nights she drew a shutter window to bespeak the crew, — ‘How’s she daein lads?’ and, not infrequently, was handed out a dram. The Clytus was once wrecked at Irvine. When her Captain saw there was no hope she retired to the deck-house and was heard to say, — ‘I‘ll awa to fit on some clean things as I want to be thrown up Dacent!’ ” Without doubt little Edgar was an eager listener to all these stories and placed many an incident from them into his own tales of the sea.

Edgar’s first real schooling seems of definite record, by Mr. Whitty, dating the boy from 1813 to 1814 With Mr. William Ewing, whose school was located on Seventh Street, between Franklin and Main; [page 118:] and in the Library of Congress, Ellis & Allan MSS., is a letter dated Richmond, Va., by William Swing himself, to Mr. Allan, then in London, England. It concerned a claim for tuition of Master Edward Collin, of Richmond, thus befriended by Mr. Allan; the letter concluded: ” I trust Edgar continues to be well and to like his school as much as he used to do when in Richmond. He is a charming boy, and it will give me pleasure to hear how he is, where you sent him to school, also what he is reading. . . . Let me now beg of you to remember me respectfully to your lady Mrs. Allan and her sister . . . also do not forget to mention me to their august attendant Edgar.”

Of his early school-master and his school Mr. Whitty writes: ” In one of his early autobiographical outbursts in fiction, ‘Arthur Gordon Pym,’ Swing was recalled by Poe’s reference to Pym’s father: — ‘He sent me at six years of age to the school of old Mr. Ricketts, a gentleman with only one arm and of eccentric manners,’ — Poe added, — ‘at sixteen — he left this school for Mr. E. Ronald’s Academy on the hill,’ which was Clarke’s.” Mr. Whitty found that there was a Mr. Ricketts with one arm in Richmond of that time who supplied Poe’s fancy on scores of his teacher and his story, which latter added a year or more to Poe’s age when lie entered Swing’s school. Out of the narrative date order is Mr. Allan’s — March 21, 1818, London answer to Mr. Swing’s letter, in which was: “Accept my thanks for the solicitation you have so kindly expressed about Edgar and the family. Edgar is a fine Boy and I have no reason to complain of his progress. [page 119:] From several sources it comes that Mr. Allan took much pride in Edgar’s high standing at school.

Of narrative date, an April 18, 1814, bill tells of “3 qts. of ice-cream” and a fine “fruit cake,” of which Edgar’s share barred his being the dull boy with all work and no play.

Mr. Whitty writes that Mr. Allan and family spent some time of 1814 at their summer-resort home, “The Grove,” by Buffalo Creek, Va. From both Mr. Whitty and Mr. William F. Gill it comes that one summer — when Edgar was six — Mr. and Mrs. Allan on returning from a lesser Virginia spring, visited a Mr. Valentine’s home near Staunton. He was devoted to their bright boy and took him when driving thereabouts, often seated before or behind him on horseback when going to the country post office. After obtaining his mail and giving “Good morning,” on their return, to inquiring mountain rustics, Mr. Valentine would turn over the newspaper to Edgar, who, like a veteran, would read to them the topics of the day, to which they eagerly listened and with no little astonishment at the small scholar’s learning. Both Mr. Valentine and Mr. Allan took pride in the stripling’s turn for manly sports of the day. “When a negro boy was met who offered to hold the championship of the world for sparring, Edgar was at him at once, and was never known to come out loser; he was said to have a record for winning a prize for over-throwing a leading, hard-headed black champion in a sparring match.”

“Staunton, Va., Sept. 11, 1814,” dated a letter from Mrs. Allan to her husband — which noted her [page 120:] fears at the landing made by the British, also the trembling of her hands. A later letter told of the joyful tidings of Peace that was made Dec. 28, 1814.

About this time the Ellis & Allan business grew so prosperous that they began to think of opening a branch house in London. Dr. Jas. A. Harrison stated, that aside from their dealing in the famous Virginia leaf, “Mr. Allan went abroad to settle an estate,(3) etc.” Of this, no local public Ayrshire, Scotland, record has been found.

Jan. 27, 1815, dated a tailor bill of $5 for “making suit for son”; also another bill of $7 for “duty” on a “4 wheeled carriage — a coacher.” Later dated bills noted suit and lace shoes for Edgar, tuning piano, etc.

Early in May Mr. Allan disposed of his gun, a slave, and household effects in vies — of near departure.

A letter(4) — Sept. 11, 1872 — of Mary I. Dixon, sister of Poe’s childhood love Catherine Elizabeth Poitiaux — noted of Poe in 1815: “We had been playmates” — and she remembered “the farewell dinner” given by her parents to the Allan family. Of Poe she added: “. . . In the nursery we played at marrying him to my little sister whom he called his ‘sweetheart.’ He was sensitive and when his self-esteem led him to fancy an affront — when none was intended — he had recourse to his pen in doggerel lines, spiced with a tinge of sarcasm. I recollect hearing him repeat Cassius’ famous speech, and how powerfully his flashing eyes and mobile month expressed the, various passions of scorn, contempt and anger. I have his face before my mind’s eye now.” [page 121:]

From various purchases and personal notes it appears that Mr. Allan furnished his own provisions for this voyage. Listed among the bills were two Murray’s Spelling-books, a Reader(5) and one “Olive Branch,” for Edgar’s special use. From the Ellis & Allan Letter Books is a bill, dated June 15, 1815, that noted: “Mr. Allan will leave us in a day or two for Norfolk, where he will embark on board The Lothaire (Stone) for Liverpool, to sail next week.” It is said that Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Miss Valentine and Edgar left Richmond by boat for Norfolk; whence Thursday, June 22nd, Mr. Allan wrote: “Tomorrow at 9 A.M. we‘ll all go clown to the Roads to take our Departure. — Frances & Nancy evince much fortitude, it has been a severe trial to them. Their spirits is good. Ned cares little about it poor fellow.” 3.30 P.M., Friday, Mr. Allan added, they were: “Off the Horse Shoe-Frances & Nancy rather squalish, Edgar and myself well.” At 5.30 P.M. he concluded: “We are now abreast of the Light House & are off. F. and Nancy sick Ed. and myself well.” So began their long voyage for over a month, and some of it rough enough to find Mr. Allan, careless of comfort, occupying his stateroom floor. Mr R. M. Hogg notes from listed “Arrivals at Liverpool, 1815, 28th & 29th July ‘The Lothaire’ (Capt. Stone from Norfolk).”

From Liverpool, July 29th, Mr. Allan wrote Mr. Ellis: “I am now on English ground after an absence of 20 years. After a passage of 34 days all well. F. & N. very sick but now perfectly Hearty. Edgar was a little sick but now recovered. Capt. good seaman but too close; . . . We got here yesterday 5 P.M. [page 122:] Went to Lillyman’s Hotel. Been getting the baggage through the Custom House; I have now finished. Bonaparte is now at Torkay on the Bellerophen — Bordeaux has surrendered & France, submitted to Louis except a few towns.” Aug. 5th, Mr. Allan added, ” Still at Liverpool.”

Between Aug. 5th and Sept. 21st, 1815, Mr. Allan and family visited his native heath in Scotland. From special kindness of Hon. R. M. Hogg of Irvine, Ayrshire, come many varied glimpses of intense interest of the Allan family’s visit to the “ancient and Royal Burgh of Irvine.” It was so “chartered and richly revenued to present day to the town’s ‘common good’ from 1297, when Bruce capitulated to the English.” Irvine is older than the “Auld toun o’ Air” and resounds the fame of such names as Burns; John Galt, the novelist; Montgomery, the Christian poet whom Poe cauterized as “Hell-fire Montgomery”; Dr. Robertson, [page 123:] the poet-preacher; Earl of Eglinton; Henry Eckford, of U. S. Navy renown, and others. “Irvine,” said Burns, was noted for “honest men and bonnie lassies,” and after his 1781 flax-dressing experience and Hogmany carousal — not a stone’s throw from the Allan home — to bring in the New Year, “Burns left, like a true poet, without a sixpence.” The Allan family made their Irvine visit with his eldest sister Mary, in the old two-story Bridgegate house, his birthplace. It stood at the foot of Kirkgate, almost opposite [page 124:] to and commanded by the quaint old Town House and Tolbooth; also facing cobbled-paved High Street, ending at and commanded by the “Big Kirk.” Next door to the Allan house once lived the famous poet-preacher Dr. Robertson. When his close friend

Dr. De Quincey, of whom Poe wrote — looking like a broken-down book-canvasser with stock in trade beneath his arm — called to see Dr. Robertson, his landlady would not let this caller in to rest or write a note, so “Dr. De Quincy left in high dudgeon” and, adds Mr. Hogg, “it pleases me to say, passing on his way to the station, the Bridgegate house where Poe visited in Irvine.” Opposite was the birthplace of Henry Eckford, the 1812 constructor of the United States Navy; also Templeton’s book shop where Burns [page 125:] delighted to read sheaves of old song sheets displayed on its counters; and a few doors from the Allan’s home was the book and printing shop of Daniel Macmillan, where the founder of that New York and London house had early training with “erratic and clever Maxwell Dick.” It appears that John Galt the novelist and John Allan, both born in 1779, and Henry Eckford were school-mates at the “Old Grammar School founded by James VI. from revenues of the White Friars dispossessed by the Reformation. The old school entire, stood to the left of the Old Kirk at the head of picturesque Kirk Gate which novelist Galt likened to ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ because of its many old maids there, in his time. Fascinating glimpses of Old Irvine, Galt gave in ‘Annals of the Parish‘; and ‘the Provost’ . . . ‘Pawkie,’ of the book but in life, deputy Bailie Fullerton, years later presented Galt, to his surprise, the freedom of the town; noting Galt not at all, but said his father — well-known to Fullerton — was ‘a very docent man.’ ” Mr. Whitty writes that Edgar was entered at the Old Grammar School “but balked and his stay was brief.” Why the child “balked” will be referred to in due time. No doubt Mr. Allan and his sister Mary bad much to talk about concerning near family affairs; and little Edgar’s personality claimed their attention with intermarriages — two being known — between the Scotland Poe and Allan families. Mr. Hogg writes that some Scotland Poes were descended from a brother of David Poe of Dring, County Cavan, Ireland, whence occurred the 1740 famine exodus of many, — John Poe to America; his cousins, Captain [page 126:] James Poe to Irvine and David to Saltcoats, Ayrshire. For definite points Mr. Hogg verified some items from the Parochial Register.(6)

Mr. Hogg gives rare glimpses of conservative Old Irvine; noting that the present-day visitor would see many ceremonial customs that Allan as a lad and Poe the later “wee laddie ” must have seen in their times “The Marymass Fair of Aug., held from the 14th Century, when the Provost, Magistres, Carter’s Society and Trade’s representatives all march in procession to the Moor, where sports are held. High Street is closed to traffic, and filled tip for days with booths, shows, stands, etc., when all the town comes out for its high holiday. And still to be seen, on Sunday, are the Magistrates and Councillors marching from the Town Hall to the Parish Church led by the Town’s Officers resplendent in their red coats, and carrying battle axes, their forerunners in Office had borne on Flodden’s fatal field. After Church service is over, comes the quaint ceremony of the minister ‘bowing to the Council’ who sit in state in the — ‘loft’ — gallery, each man comfortable in his old-fashioned arm-chair, and ‘ponderous family Bible a front of him.’ ” All this, and the beautiful Eglinton policies in terraces; commanding Castle of ivied towers, turrets, walls, and its Hall of Old Armor within this home of the Montgomeries for six hundred years, must have claimed little Edgar’s attention, as it did of his ancestors’ blood, by a far-away drop, through Jane McBride his great-grandmother’s and Peggy Montgomerie’s cousinship. In 1830 the living, moving, picturesque splendor in the pageantry of old tournament days there. attracted the [page 127:] attendance of later Napoleon III. and some of more eminence at that time. And of Irvine Harbour Mr. Hogg writes: ” The old town was full of sailor folk in Poe’s day. He breathed in their atmosphere of ships, the sea and its lore with his familiars, the old returned seamen; on Saturdays and holidays, and listed much in his retentive mind he later translated into his sea-faring tales.” The laddie was said to have centered a special delight in the old red riding carts with creaking wheels of Ayrshire. Mr. Whitty notes, Edgar “most happy in one of them sitting beside the driver in his coarse woolen ‘green duffle apron’ and thick nap, ‘red Kilmarnock cap.’ ” Also, on the many trips Allan made between Irvine and Kilmarnock little Edgar invariably went with him.

When William Allan lost his wife, in 1782, and later failed in health and substance, it appears that his children [page 128:] were aided by their uncle William Galt of Richmond, Va. He set up his niece Nancy Allan, when quite young, in a small shop. Not meeting success she asked her uncle to tide her over with $50. This he did not forget to deduct from the marriage portion he gave her when she married Allan Fowlds, seedsman of Kilmarnock, who was congratulated on the occasion in an 18oi letter from William Galt.

As a born book lover and keen observer, the many attractions of Irvine, that “Auld toun o’ Air,” in 1815, did make due impressions on little Edgar, as appeared in his later writings. But with Mr. Allan and family the boy was soon to leave by the old Irvine road of seven miles, which ended in Nelson Street, Kilmarnock, most unlike its Nelson Street of today. In [page 129:] Poe’s time, the well-wooded grounds of Kilmarnock House closed up to the rear of Nelson Street, and were open to Kilmarnock River, The Lord of Kilmarnock House was executed for his part in the “Rebellion of ‘45.” Its avenue of old trees called “The Lady’s Walk” — where at times his widow spent her grief after his death — still exists. Mr. Allan and family with Edgar made a two weeks’ visit with his younger sister, Mrs. Allan Fowlds, whose modest home was next door to Bailie Brown’s on Nelson Street, in that town. Opposite the Fowlds’ home ,vas Townsend House, where lived their friends the Gregorys, “who had vivid recollections of Poe.” Nelson Street led by a crooked lane to Laigh Kirk where the great [page 130:] McKinley of Burns’ day preached to the Cross. In its corner stands the famous book shop “Wee Johnnie’s,” whence came the noted First Edition of Burns’ “Poems,” then costing less than a dollar and now valued at $5000; setting a pace for Poe’s thin, 1827 issue of “Tamerlane,” which reached, in February, 1819, Anderson Gallery sale, New York, the high tide point of $11,600. However, another near neighbor of the Fowlds’ family was a Mr. William Anderson, worthy Session-Clerk of Kilmarnock, whose son James — who (lied in 1887, aged eighty-four — perfectly remembered, when thirteen, meeting and playing with Edgar Allan Poe, who, at six, was said to be “quick-witted, precocious, much made of by his friends and lilted his own way.” Much has been written of “Poe’s weak will”; but from earliest [page 131:] years strong will was one of the dominating forces of a character which was pitted against a hypersensitive nervous organism, depleted by various merciless causes that produced in time effects beyond the power of mortal “will” to combat. It was this malady that with unconscious accuracy Mrs. Clemm called Poe’s “spells,” and that be himself never understood, but keenly realized the truth that their visitations transformed his entire nature into exactly what it was not. It was this inherited nerve exhaustion, not a toper’s taste of liquor, that Edgar Allan Poe — child, youth and man — fought with an heroic strength of will wholly unknown to most of his harshest critics, until, with sharp adversity and stimulants that did not help, they won their ghastly day against his pitilessly [page 132:] drugged brain, Oct. 7, 1849. God alone knows the cost of such torment, struggle and — to the worldly wise — failure! But the soul’s sovereignty can no otherwise be judged than by Him whose breath is the life of man!

The Fowlds’ home of that day exists now only in pictures, for on its site stands Kilmarnock Standard Printing Building.

Mr. Hogg writes that there are many traditions as to Poe being a pupil of the Old Grammar School, Irvine. Mr. Whitty finds these stories have basic fact through the reminiscences of James Galt, adopted son of William Galt of Richmond. It seems Mr. Allan intended to leave little Edgar with his sister, whom the child called “Aunt Mary,” for this purpose; but when finally leaving the old town for Loudon, Mrs. Allan, Aunt Nancy and their boy refused to be parted, so it was arranged he should be with them through this pleasure trip to end at London; and thence to return with young Galt — to be of their party — to Irvine and its Old Grammar School. After their two weeks’ visit at Kilmarnock, Mr. Allan and family were off to Greenock, Scotland. Thence to the Richmond, Va., folk he wrote : “Arrived about 1 1/2 hours ago. On ac‘t of France and Allies not much about business, — Frances says she would like the ‘Land o’ Cakes’ better if it were warmer & less rain — at present she is bewildered with wonder. Edgar says, ‘Pa, say something for me, say I was not afraid coming across the sea.’ Kept Thomas for him. Edgar’s love to Rosa and Mrs. Mackenzie.” Poe’s critics said he lacked courage and resolution. That [page 133:] Edgar Poe from earliest childhood was fearless, this message from across the sea and other records affirm; also that his delight in constant change of scene and people as strongly attest made no change in his young heart for home and home folk. “Thomas” must have been a colored servitor in the Allan family.

At Blake’s Hotel, London, Oct. 10, 1815, Mr. Allan wrote Mr. Ellis: “Arrived here the 7th, froth Kilmarnock by sway of Greenock, Glasgow, Edinboro‘, New Castle & Sheffield.” The 17th he added that Mrs. Allan “kept her room with a bad cold and the rest are well.” Oct. 30th, 1815, Mr. Allan gave a charming pen-picture of a cozy, comfortable family evening. It portrays Mr. Allan at his happy best by “a snug fire in a wee little sitting-room in 47 Southampton Row, west side 7 doors south of Russell Square, I have lodgings for the present. Frances and Nancy are sewing, Edgar is reading a little story book. I feel in quite comfortable mood for writing. Have no acquaintances yet. 6 guineas a week furnished. I have agreed to six months. I have no counting-room. Everything high — it alarms Frances. She has a lively appetite. I think London will agree with her.” His own weak knee was noted as “disagreeable in Gvet weather.” Mr. Allan was then doing well financially; one business transaction alone brought him about $18,000 profit and he felt justified before very long in renting 47 Southampton Row, Russell Square, London, from Miss Martha Hows, at $125 per quarter, until mid-summer, 1817, then he moved his family to No. 39 in the same street. Mr. Allan’s search for his “counting house” resulted in locating [page 134:] his business office at No. 18 Basinghall Street ” in the rear of Guildhall,” writes Mr. Hogg. The firm ,vas first noted as Allan & Ellis in the 1817 Post Office Directory and so continued until the 1820 Directory gave it as “Allan” only. Dr. Lewis Chase gives definite items, and musings on Mr. Allan’s business being so near Guildhall, and Edgar — at six years of age — an intensely interested spectator of the Lord Mayor’s procession with its Gog and Magog giants and other brilliant attractions in its train fascinating to the child’s eyes. Also the curious, artistic and rare treasures of the British Museum in fine old Montague House — not far from the Allan’s Southampton Row home — then claimed the boy’s enraptured attention of many visits. That these glimpses were utilized [page 135:] for the youthful poet’s drastic 1827 research work there, for his scholarly notings in “Tamerlane” and “Al Aaraaf” are of later records concerning this probable great-grandson of Lord Montague’s daughter who was said to have married the actor, William Smith. On page 99 of Mr. Lewis M. Thompson’s 1820 reprint of Quarles Quickens’ 1842 written “English Notes,” appears Poe’s double (late recollection of the British Museum. He noted it “a very large old fashioned structure, formerly a private mansion house.” And he made special mention of its “fine reading room, and an immense library of printed books”; Poe’s 1827 “scholarly notings” there obtained most Poesque expression in Blackwood’s in 1847. Poe later referred to these notings as being refused in America with the crudest of rudest negatives.

Poe also made “English Notes” mention of other London sights, including his Westminster Abbey visit in connection with his own “single copy” of “The British Poets” there, by Dr. John Aikin, whose personality was very familiar to little Edgar during his Manor House school-days spent close by Dr. Aikin’s Stoke Newington home — according to the Hon. R. M. Hogg. Certainly the bright boy saw England’s Old Westminster Abbey where not far from the royal tombs there rested — all unconscious to the child“famous Dr. Saml. Arnold,” one of his own mother’s family. From Arnold’s North Aisle honored home to her own, “close to the Eastern wall” of Old St. John’s burial ground, Richmond, Va., there was a far flood span to an ebb-tide cry! Little Edgar’s eager interest in the Tower of London no doubt added much to Mr. [page 136:] Allan’s pleasure, as did all these visitations. Perhaps too many at once caused him, Nov. 7th, 1815, to write: “We are all sick with colds. Doctor says we must all have a seasoning. Nancy, also poor Frances, confined to her room.” Nov. 20th, Mr. Allan added: “I told you I would stay here 3 years, this to remove Mrs. A’s reluctance. You may count on 5, without accident. Expense of establishment too heavy for a shorter period.” Through Mr. Edward V. Valentine comes a letter from Mary Fowlds, Mr. Allan’s niece, to him, dated “Greenock, Nov. 11, 1815.” It noted his wish that she “should have a sweetheart.” At her writing time sweethearts ” would be lumber” to her, but she had no intention of being ” an old maid.” She hoped “Miss Valentine” had “a beau to make a husband of by this time,” and trusted, “when she is served, she will send down a gross or two as they are a scarce commodity here.” With more pleasantry were recorded family affairs — her school and her mother’s puddings — and she concluded with: “All the family join me in love to you, Mrs. Allan, Miss Valentine and little Edgar. I am my clear uncle your affectionate niece ‘Mary Fowlds.” This letter’s “love,” sent to “little Edgar,” Nov. 11, 1815, localized him then in London.

As to Edgar’s return to Irvine for its Old Grammar School, Mr. Whitty notes,(7) from James Galt, that in vain were the pleadings “not to go” made by the boy, his foster-mother and Aunt Nancy. Yet Mr. Allan knew the school was excellent and thought the child would settle down and be satisfied when once away from home fold:. But from the start. Edgar [page 137:] was most unwilling and, said Galt, “kept up an unceasing fussing all the way over.” It must have been late in 1815 when they reached Irvine. Mr. Whitty adds of Poe: “His Aunt Mary, as he called Miss Allan, sent him to school, but there he sulked and no planner of coaxing or threats could induce him to attempt any studies.”

In 1840, Poe wrote: “Since the sad experience of my school-boy days to this present writing, I have seen little to sustain the notion held by some folks, that school boys are the happiest of all mortals.”(8) A very definite and good reason for the child’s unhappiness when at the Old Grammar School, Irvine, has been supplied by Mr. Hogg’s traditional notes by, — in those bygone days that knew not modern toilet conveniences, very necessary bed-room vessels went by Poe’s name with the French pronunciation of the silent “t” in pˆt. Added to this disagreeable fact was its local Scotch cognomen of “chantie,” also probably from the French “chanter,” Most schoolboys delight in tormenting their fellows. The quick-witted Ayrshire lads were no exception to this rule; and from alert association of ideas throughout that district, all boys named Poe invariably suffered real persecution in being hailed, on their appearance, as “Chantie Poe! Chantie Poe!!” To a child of little Edgar’s acute nervous temperament and refined sensibilities such a nick-name was daily torture, which branded in his brain for “William Wilson” these words: “The fair page before me need not be sullied with my real appellation.” Farther on Poe added: ” I always felt aversion to my uncourtly patronymic [page 138:] and its very common if not plebeian praenomen. The words were venom to my ears.” And as his own name so proved with the youthful Scotch treatment noted, it was quite enough to make any nervous child “irritable.” Under such conditions little Edgar was most unhappy in his school-life and in his Aunt Mary’s home at Irvine. It is said that “he sulked, and no manner of coaxing or threats could induce him to attempt any studies.” Concerning failure to give the foregoing facts assailing a child’s hypersensitive nature, or stating the irritable effects and omitting their valid cause, appears to be defenceless [page 139:] injustice to one of the little ones of earth, and “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” The “not fit to print” dicta seems sure of no hearing before the Almighty’s Bar of His Last Judgment Day. Edgar soon began to talk bravely about returning to London alone. Mr. Whitty writes that Edgar’s “Aunt Mary feared he might carry out this threat and she had young Galt remain at her home on guard. He slept in the same room with Edgar in the old Bridgegate House; and Galt was impressed with the little fellow’s old-fashioned talk, self-reliance and total absence of fear then, and up to the time he left John Allan’s home.” [page 140:]

From 1811 and during Edgar’s attendance, James Lockart Brown, LL.D., was Rector of the Old Grammar School and, like Carlyle and Irving, taught at Kirkcaldy. He lectured on Astronomy, and when — in 1823 — he left Irvine, where he was popular, for Greenock, he was presented with a handsome Latin-inscribed silver snuff-box.(9) The snuff-taking habit and his portrait — a rare Poe tribute from Mr. R. M. Hogg — suggest that Dr. Brown, with Rector Bransby and Dr. George Gaskirn, Pastor of St. Mary’s, Stoke Newington, all in real life shared, by flittings between facts and fiction, in Poe’s whimsical pen-picture of “Dr. Bransby,” the Rector of Stoke Newington [page 141:] Manor House School, as given in “William Wilson.” Certainly Poe’s description of that school, in some points, calling it “cottage built,” and — “It was very long, narrow and dismally low, . . . crossing and recrossing in endless irregularity were innumerable benches and desks, black, ancient and time-worn, piled desperately with bethumbed books,” etc., — all this seems more like the Old Grammar School of Irvine than the Manor House School of Stoke Newington. Of Dr. Brown, Mr. Hogg writes: “When he fell in with a clever boy, he was sure to say: ‘I should like to see his mother.“’ Mr. Hogg adds: “He was in some respects a terror to the boys and should he pass them playing in the street, there was a hurried whisper, — ‘There’s Broon!’ And Scottish lads, so prone to nick-names, from the master’s excited manner of walking in the street, with the school key in his hand, and breaking the air with his clenched fist, obtained their nick-naming him, ‘Peter box the Wind,’ varied at times by ‘Peter Punch the Wind.’ However, Mr. Whitty notes, “Poe shoved no inclination to become satisfied” with his Irvine school life, and no doubt transferred his troubles to his Aunt Mary and made life as unpleasant for her as for himself, to the extent that “she finally packed up his ‘duds,’ said Galt, and sent him back to London.”

Concerning Miss Mary Allan, Mr. Hogg writes, that when Irvine bought Bridgegate house and removed it for town improvement, she went to Seagate house, where had dwelt Dr. Mackenzie, physician of Burns and of the Richmond family of Mackenzies. Miss Allan was a great favorite with Dr. Robertson [page 142:] the poet-preacher, who was very fond of reciting long passages from Poe. The Old Grammar School attendance steadily outgrew its limitations until July 3rd, 1816; then the pupils marched with due ceremony to the new school, on Irvine Moor, styled Irvine Royal Academy, where traditions strongly credit Poe as attending in 1820 for a brief time.

Jan. 19, 1816, Mr. Allan wrote: “All well”; but the 23rd he noted Mrs. Allan as “complaining.” Her frail health may have decided Mr. and Mrs. Allan to place little Edgar, probably at home or coming home, at some near boarding school; for Professor Killis Campbell, of the University of Texas, in his exhaustive Poe research in various directions, discovered among Ellis & Allan MSS., Library of Congress, a six months’ bill for [£] 12. 2. 0., on the reverse of which appeared “Masr. Allan’s School Acct. School recommences Monday, 22nd July.” With the bill, on a slip of paper is the receipt dated July 6, 1816, signed by George Dubourg. On the Allan & Ellis Cashbook of the same date is entered, “pd Miss Dubourgs a/c for Edgar [£] 12. 2. 0.” Several letters in Ellis & Allan MSS., Library of Congress, noted Geo. Dubourg was book-keeper and copyist for Allan & Ellis, 18 Basing-hall Street, London; also, a brother of the Misses Dubourg who kept this boarding school, 146 Sloane Street, near the South Kensington Museum and just off Sloane Square, Chelsea.

“Dec. 28, 1816,”(10) entry in Allan & Ellis Cashbook was, “pd Miss Dubourgs [£] 23. 16. 0”; also noted Edgar as their pupil the following six months; another entry; “18. Dec., 1817,” for “Edgar’s school [page 143:] a/c — [£] 24. 16. 0.,” does not name this school, but Professor Campbell thinks the near, same amount Would indicate that Edgar continued his studies in Sloane Street down to the middle of 1817. Several items of the bill, such as “separate Bed” and “Servants,” suggest that little Edgar enjoyed special privileges. From exhaustive research made by Dr. Lewis Chase — given access to the poor — rate books — it appears that the 1816 school of the Misses Dubourg, 146 Sloane Street, Chelsea, was a small ordinary-type of private house built in the early 1800’s, and removed in 1883. Courteously aided by the town clerk of Chelsea, Dr. Chase located Francis Dubourg at 146 Sloane Street, from 1816 to 1822. Beneath his name appeared “Mary A. Brooke,” indicating there were two tenants of this house. Very likely Francis Dubourg’s son George, clerking for Allan & Ellis, commended [page 144:] his sister’s school to Mr. Allan for Edgar. Because Poe with equal freedom blended facts and fancies in his writings, it seems one, at least, of these two sister-teachers had her full name “Pauline Dubourg,” the laundress, written into his fiction of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” in Graham’s Magazine for April, 1841; it is not unlikely such characters, although abstractions, were more or less true to life.

Returning to the order of narrative time: From a February, 1816, letter of Josiah Ellis to Mr. Allan’s Richmond partner, it is learned that Mrs. Allan was not over-pleased with London; also, that she fell upstairs. [page 145:] An April 2, 1816, letter from Mr, William Galt at Richmond concluded with, “Please remember me to Mrs. A., Miss Nancy and Edgar.” May 18th, one of the boy’s Richmond playmates, C. E. Poitiaux, wrote: “Give my love to Edgar and tell him I want to see him very much. . . . I expect Edgar does not know what to make of such a large City as London tell him Josephine and all the children want to see him.”

Now and then letters passed between Mr. Allan and his Scotland family. One, of June 1st, from Mr. Fowlds, sent “love to Mrs. Allan, Miss Nancy and little Edgar.” June 1st, Mr. Allan wrote Mr. Ellis a long business letter which concluded with — “I really ought to say a good deal of my family but I really cannot.” A July 7th letter from Mr. Galt at Richmond [page 146:] noted Mr. Allan’s business affairs, gave advice and sent ” respects to Mrs. A., Miss N. and Edgar.” Dr. Neil Arnott — later physician to Queen Victoria and the Spanish Embassy, who lived at No. 38 Bedford Square, not far from the Southampton Row home of Mr. Allan — suggested he was proud of Edgar and took pleasure in showing him the sights of London and relating local traditions, all of which the boy’s busy brain absorbed with eager interest. Dr. Lewis Chase noted that fine old Montague House, then the British Museum, was but three minutes’ walk back of the Allan home. Dr. Chase adds: “I like to think of Poe in the British Museum gazing rapturously on ‘many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,’ as he took the greatest vow of his life, devotion to letters.” And with its art attractions added, perhaps this shrine of mental equipments did claim more of Edgar’s attention than the tower of London and its palaces.

July 17, 1816, Mr. Allan wrote his uncle William Galt that Mrs. Allan “complains a little but Nancy and Edgar enjoy excellent health and desire their united respects to you.” August letters of Mr. Allan noted his wife’s frail health and her desire to return. One, of Aug. 31st, told Mr. Ellis: “Nancy weighs 146, Frances 104, myself 157 — Edgar, as thin as a razor.” Mr. Allan added his promise to take “Mrs. Allan to Cheltenham a few weeks for country air.” Sept. 9th, Mr. Galt wrote he was sorry as to country Allan’s frail health; glad that Miss Nancy, Edgar and the Scotland family were well, and sent “Best wishes for all three.”

With equal frequency and concern for others did [page 147:] Mr. Galt inquire for little Edgar, notwithstanding his known desire for an Allan grand-nephew named for himself. In this connection, suggestions made by some Poe biographers as to probable objections Mr. Galt might have to the possibility of his fortune going, through adoption, to Poe, known letters of William Galt fail to affirm any such feeling on his part. Mr. Allan’s answer to the Richmond, March, 1818, letter of Poe’s first school-master, William Ewing, which noted “Edgar is a fine Boy,” etc., clears the family atmosphere as to their estimate of the child: and it seemed to remain clear until clouded by Mr. Allan himself about 1824. To Mr. Galt, Oct. 2, 1816, Mr. Allan wrote the cheering news: “Frances is beginning to enjoy much better health and better reconciled to Eng. Nancy is quite fat — Edgar is growing and of course thin and your H‘ble Servant as hard as a light-wood knot — we get fine Table Beer, now and then a good glass of Port.” Nov. Za was added: “F. N. & E. are all well and desire their love to you. Nancy says she‘ll be delighted to hear from you and will soon trouble you with a scrawl.” Dec. 7th, Mr. Allan noted “Frances complaining as usual. Nancy, Edgar and myself quite well.” Jan. 13th, 1817, he wrote to Mr. Galt and closed with: “Mrs. A. Miss N. and Edgar send their kindest regards.”

Jan. 14, 1817, Mr. Allan wrote Mr. Ellis this good news: “Our property should now be worth 140,000 Dollars.” It appears that mid-summer, 1817,(11) Mr. Allan and family moved from what now numbers 83, to 99 Southampton Row, but then numbered 47 to 30 of that street. Old 39 still exists under the roofage [page 148:] of The Bedford and West Central Hotel, owned by the Duke of Bedford. In Poe’s day Southampton Row fringed localities of fashion and fortune in Bedford and Russell Squares, and in itself was teeming with fascinating traditions, some of which Poe translated into his later brilliant pages. Dr. Chase notes quarterly rental of No. 39, five doors south of Russell Square, £25. 4. 0., or about $100, + rate taxes, etc., $150, paid by Mr. Allan as sub-tenant of Misses M. C. and M. A. Hows, they also being sub-tenants of Charles Bleeks from 1817 to 1820; and that the house was empty some years after it was vacated by Mr. Allan. [page 149:]

By courtesy of Mr. E. V. Valentine is noted a letter dated Aug. 22, 1817, to Mr. Allan at his 18 Basinghall Street business address, from his sister Mary. In it was: “I hope Mrs. Allan’s health is improved by the change of air, and a few clips in the sea will completely restore it.” Sept. 17th found Mrs. Allan “better but not hearty” from the “sea air” at Cheltenham, where she must have taken Edgar, as a bill of that place included a dinner “order for child,” and as she there wrote Mr. Allan: ” I thank you my dear husband to procure today 19 yds of bombazine and two pairs of black silk stockings,” indicated Mr. Allan had left his family at this sea resort for a while. Certainly Mr. Allan’s devotion to his frail wife at this time, his generous care of his Richmond charge, Edwin Collier, as well as little Edgar, together with other demands then on his mind, time and purse, show him to have been a kind-hearted, well-meaning man. More evidence on this score is covered by Record Rolls dated June 20, 1818 — found by Mr. Hogg — in which John Allan, Merchant, Basinghall Street, London, with others, became guardian for the estate, £3000, and persons of John Frederick, John Christian, Esther, William and Sophie Hüber — infants.

Cheltenham air must have helped Mrs. Allan, for no trouble is recorded of her until June 23, 1818.

Entry of “Aug. 28, 1817, — By John Allan, for Edgar’s School a/c £24. 16.,” was made in the London office-book of Allan & Ellis; but to whom paid does not appear, yet the near amount to the Misses Dubourg for school-bill of prior date, indicates it was paid to them. It is of comment that Poe the man never by [page 150:] name referred to his schooldays with the Misses Dubourg, Sloane Street, Chelsea, London. Perhaps it was of these days that Mr. Whitty notes: “F. W. Thomas stated that Poe told him that his schooldays in London were sad, lonely and unhappy.” This may have caused ‘Mr, and Mrs. Allan to place Edgar at the Manor House School, Stoke Newington. Its Rector, Rev. John Bransby, seemed to have no very high estimate of the child’s prior instruction. It is Mr. Allan’s due to say no better selection could have been made than the Manor House School of Stoke Newington. This attractive old town echoed with memories, both royal and noble, of Henry VIII., Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth and the Farl of Leicester. Its literary claims were such names as Daniel Defoe, the friend of boys the world over; Poe’s friend, Dr. John Aikin; Isaac Watts, painter and writer of hymns, also [page 151:] of “Let clogs delight to hark and bite, Rogers, the banker-poet and others.

From statistical tributes of high authorities come records of rare interest cunceriung Stoke Newington,(12) [page 152:] four miles north of Bloomsbury, the Manor House School, its Rector, Rev. John Bransby, and Poe the boy, who, for obvious reasons of prior mention, went by the name of Edgar Allan there. Dr. Bransby by courtesy — including Poe’s “William Wilson” pen-Rector of the Manor House School and cousin of the eminent surgeon, Sir Astley Cooper — was born in Suffolk, 1784. Young Bransby began his residence at St. John’s College, Cambridge, England, Oct. 15,1801 ; received B.A. degree in 1805, in which year he married, and was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Lincoln, and priest in 1807. In July, 1808, he obtained [page 153:] M.A. degree from St. Johns. The Rev. John Bransby is of first record in Stoke Newington Vestry Minutes, April 7, 1806. His resignation, July 3, 1825, dated his last record in that “rare old town.” Of it he always spoke with affectionate warmth, as if “looking back upon a bright spot in the ever changing drama of life.” He was a portly gentleman, a respected scholar; apt at quoting Shakespeare and Horace. A scientist in botany, he was fond of nature, fowers and field sports; the cleaning of his gun was a signal to the boys that he was off for the day. More seriously, he was “ardently attached to the Church and Constitution,” and a “prolific political writer”; and, as a fact, was only in the thirty-fourth year of his age when his Manor House School included [page 154:] Poe. Therefore the “Dr. Bransby” of “William Wilson” — as of prior noting — seems a composite pen-picture of a triad of scholars in Rector Bransby, Dr. Brown, of Irvine Grammar School, and Rev. George Gaskin, D.D., Secretary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Rector of St. Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington, which Poe attended while there. This personal description from “William Wilson” — “With how deep a spirit of wonder and perplexity was I wont to regard him from our remote pew in the gallery, as with step solemn and slow he ascended the pulpit! This reverend man, with countenance so demurely benign, with robes so glossy and so clerically flowing, with wig so minutely powdered, so rigid and so vast” — up to this [page 155:] point seems a literal picture of Rev. Dr. Gaskin. His Old Parish Church — St. Mary’s — has been restored almost beyond recognition of its Poe period-time. [page 155:] A small square stone over the door nearest the tower bears date “1563”; its words, “Ab Alto,” for years puzzled archaeologists. Gifts of 1806 were the stucco porch over the main door and a stained-glass [page 156:] window; 1813, the wall and palisading were paid for by Dr. Gaskin; 1816, an organ was introduced with a lady organist of limited musical ability. The old Rectory — a picturesque house mostly of wood-stood with its gardens on the site of the New Church, close to the road and opposite the Old Church tower. The Parish Beadle in his livery of grey with green facings and gold-laced hat, also the old parish pump that stood on the triangle space fronting Park Crescent, have passed away. The charity school workhouse, the lovely gardens and lordly pleasure grounds of that long ago, have passed on and left no sign. Of Stoke Newington Manor House School is found: that the real Manor House with its court succeeded the mano rial buildings destroyed in 1695. It stood on the eastern corner of Edward’s Lane and Church Street, and was built for special use of the Manor; courts leet and [page 157:] baron were held many years within its walls. In 1732 its lease, of house, garden and little stable, was bought for the use of the dissenting ministers — until 1793. Later, it was let to various tenants, among whom was the Rev. John Bransby, lecturer at the Parish Church. Where Poe’s “William Wilson” describes the “rambling Elizabethan house” of “the venerable old town — a dream like and soothing old place” — it is thought he had in mind Fleetwood House, and not the “modest unpretentious stucco cottage” of Rev. John Bransby — “in the misty looking village of England where were a vast number of gigantic gnarled trees, and where all the houses were exceedingly ancient,” including the home of Dr. John Aikin, now St. Mary’s Mission, of which Mr. R, M. Hogg writes: “Dr. [page 158:] Aikin’s Stoke Newington home, now St. Mary’s Mission, stood opposite Marton Road on the N. side of Church Street, as did also the Manor House School, at the corner of Edward’s Lane, with only two hundred yards distance between them.” No doubt “The Juvenile Budget” written by Dr. Aikin and his sister, Mrs. Barbauld, claimed interested reading attention from Dr. Bransby’s Manor House School boys, and his home and himself were familiarly known to them. In the side rear wall of Manor House School Court stood an old Tudor Gateway which tradition claims is all that was left of the pause that sheltered Queen Elizabeth in her youth, which — fact or fancy — seems borne out by Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, once an avenue of great trees from which time, in decay, has shorn much of their olden glory. Poe noted the rear grounds of Manor House School as, — “irregular in form, and a high solid brick wall, topped with a bed of mortar and broken glass, encompassed the whole”; this [page 159:] area was “level, covered with fine gravel, had no trees, benches nor anything similar in it. At an angle of the ponderous wall, frowned a more ponderous gate. This prisonlike rampart formed the limit of our domain: beyond it we saw” — but — “in brief walks in neighboring fields Saturday afternoon — and twice Sunday paraded in formal manner to morning and evening service in the one village Church.” Of the Manor House Garden Poe added: “In front lay a small parterre, planted with box and other shrubs; but through this sacred division we passed only upon rare occasions indeed — such as a first advent to school or final departure thence, or perhaps, when a parent or [page 160:] friend having called for us, we joyfully took our way home for the Christmas or Midsummer holydays.” By courtesy of Dr. Lewis Chase a picture of this garden drawn by the owner, Miss M. Annie Dodd, appears herein, with her permission. It gives the garden of Poe’s day, and at the extreme left is the dormitory of “William Wilson.” The “Sketch” was made prior to the destruction of the Old Manor House wherein her father had a girls’ school.

When Poe was in Rector Bransby’s home, his wife, kind and motherly, and their children made up a family in which Edgar would meet with much consideration. When he entered the school he was very backward with his studies, not having had regular instruction; when he left, he was able to speak the French language and construe any easy Latin author, and was far better acquainted with history and literature than many older boys of better opportunities. Of [page 161:] Poe then, Mr. Hogg notes that his Arnold family research reveals a Mr. Bransby as “Dervish” in “T‘atneriane” at Drury Lane, adding: “May not he have come across ‘Tamerlane’ in the library of Dr. Bransby if this actor was his relative?” From the age of six, when Poe must have heard of William Allan’s ship Tamerlane, that name seemed moored in the boy’s mind until launched by “Tamerlane and Other Poems” in Boston port of 1827 print issue. Of Poe, Rector Bransby said: “Edgar Allan was a quick and clever boy and would have been a very good boy if lie had not been spoilt by his parents, but they spoilt him and allowed him an extravagant amount of pocket money which enabled him to get into all manner of mischief — still I liked the boy — poor fellow, his parents spoilt [page 162:] him!” Later was added: “Allan was intelligent, wayward and wilful.” Evidence from such a source, as to Poe’s strong mind and as strong will, cannot be set aside. It is of record that the bright, mentally endowed boy soon became a leader of his Stoke Newington school-mates and so continued to the close of his student days there. No doubt Edgar — about nine — absorbed all the beauty and historic interests of that venerable attractive town, also its horror of tragedy, as the Manor House School was the one where Eugene Aram was usher ix — hen arrested for the murder of Daniel Clark. While much of “William Wilson“which Poe wrote in 1439 or prior, and he is said to have thought it one of his best tales — is a true reflex of [page 163:] his student days in the Manor House School, this description of the school-room, — “the largest house in the world” it seemed to him, — so “long, narrow and dismally low,” with a huge bucket of water at one end and a clock of stupendous proportions at the other, sharply indicates that the Old Grammar School at Irvine, Scotland, dwelt in Poe’s mind. Yet no doubt the morning’s awakening; the connings, recitations, periodical half-holidays, perambulations; the playground with its pastimes, broils and intrigues, and nightly summons to bed, seem to belong to the Manor House School at Stoke Newington. But some incidents of these days were enacted or repeated in Poe’s later, more disturbing school life at Richmond, Va. On the whole, this tale of Poe’s literary force in truth and imagination is primarily and essentially a story. It follows his similar records in freedom from close facts in descriptions of persons, places and events. The Pegasus of his fancy was an unbridled steed, and by intention browsed in truth and fiction fields alike in his flight through Poe’s literary “Valley of llany Colored Grass.” Aside from the unfortunate — to himself — bald realisms of his critical works, Poe frankly not only made clear his intentional flittings between facts and fancies, but has expressed surprise that any readers of some of his works had taken him at all seriously. However, in “William Wilson” Poe stated one fact, at least, concerning himself as to his inherited “easily excitable” temperament, that advancing years for many reasons made it “a cause of serious disquietude” to his friends and a “positive injury” to himself. The strong dual personality, depicted in [page 164:] “William Wilson” claimed Poe’s close attention through many another of his character studies with general psychological and finished literary effects, and at times with special references to individuals that here seemed forcefully to include, amongst others, himself and Mr. Allan. It is of deep significance that both had strenuous conflicts between their better selves and the “Imp of the Perverse”; both had better selves and both were on their way to their separate battlegrounds.

Concerning the Rev. John Bransby — Poe’s Stoke Newington school-master — of its Manor House School — he was later appointed head of the King’s Lynn Grammar School. He also passed by some semblance into Poe’s “William Wilson” about 1839, out of real life about 1856, and henceforth from these pages; but never from Poes!

Returning to the date of narrative: June 28, 1818, Mr. Allan noted, “Edgar is a fine Boy and reads Latin pretty sharply” — at the age of nine. June 23rd, Mr. Allan wrote of his wife, “She had an attack of catarrh” but, at writing, was “better.” June 25th, Mr. Allan noted: “First frolic for a long time, was a grand dinner on board the Philip Tabb. Mrs. A. in high spirits received the ladies up and down the decks. She is much better and the rest of us all — knell.” No doubt Mrs. Allan had her boy on deck as well as the “ladies.” There were several bills near this date for “yellow silk gowns” and “sprigged muslin frocks” which must have delighted the child’s beauty-loving eyes as they fell upon his fair foster-mother and her sister thus arrayed there and elsewhere. This “frolic” [page 165:] seemed not overtaxing for Mrs. Allan as June 29th she was reported “much better.”

“July 24, 1818 — pd Bransby £16. 14. 3., on Edgar’s school a/c” was of that date record in Allan & Ellis London office books.

Aug. 17th, Mr. Allan wrote, “Frances and I go to the Isle of Wight for a few days to see what effect sea air will have on her.” It seems certain that Edgar must have gone on this trip and the boy’s big eyes beheld with surprised wonder “the pile called Stonehenge,” of which he wrote as “an assemblage of upright and prostrate stones on Salisbury Plain,” of “A Druidical Ruin in England” — for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, June, 1840. From Ride, of this trip, Mr. Allan wrote of Mrs. Allan that she “is improving.” [page 166:] Sept. 10th he was back in London. Oct. Loth he noted her as having “gone to Devonshire friends,” and “caught cold,” but Nov. 23rd he reported her “certainly improved.” Oct. 24th his Aunt Elizabeth Galt wrote: “Tell Mrs. Allan her attention and great kindness to my children can never be forgotten as in every letter they are extolling her goodness.” This letter concluded with “best compliments to Mrs. A., Miss V., little Edgar and Jane.”

About this time “shadows that go before” were creeping over, and with disheartening effect on Mr. Allan’s business affairs. Oct. 24, 1818, he and his family were at No. 39 Southampton Row, Russell Square, London, where his sister Mary was visiting him. Mrs. Allan was with Jane Galt, who, Oct. 24th, wrote, at Damlish, whence they were soon to leave for London, “Mrs. Allan dreads Nov. return to London“. and for her comfort was suggested a “Cottage in Devonshire” — with “two beaux” to care for her. Their meeting Charles Robt. Leslie the artist, when taking tea with friends, was also noted in this letter. Its glimpse of Leslie comes from the courtesy of 1Ir. Edward V. Valentine, and is of possible connection with a child portrait of Poe. There was, “with other things,” undoubtedly a portrait of Edgar left — and of later mention — with Dr, Neil Arnott of Bedford Square, London, by Mr. Allan prior to the return of himself and family to America in 1820.

In narrative order the November and December, 1818, records noted Mrs. Allan in better health and her growing boy as one of Dr. Bransby’s family, at Manor House School, Stoke Newington. On Allan [page 167:] & Ellis office books appeared: “Jan. 15, 18tq. Fry and Bransby £69. 16. 11. 4. for Edgar’s School a/c.” Mr. Whitty writes that the Richmond business house of Ellis & Allan changed its location — just prior to 1819 — from the northeast corner of 14th and Cary Streets to Fifteenth Street, near Main, adjoining the Southern Literary Messenger office, from 1834 to 1843, where Poe the man for a while so ably edited that issue.

During the early months of 1819 the sometime brewing disturbances of the Allan & Ellis business became serious enough for Mr. Allan to think of returning to home shores. It is said their London branch was forced to suspend payments the summer of 1819. A dim record notes hwart Taylor & Company as the firm who sold Allan & Ellis out at London, dating the deed of trust May 4, 1819. Mr. Hog-’s London research failed to find any bankruptcy record of Allan & Ellis there, and he believes some out-of-court arrangement was made with their creditors. Among Ellis & Allan MSS., Library of Congress, are two or more very definite letters from William Galt, Richmond, Va., who was said to have financed this London venture, indicating he was not satisfied with Mr. Allan’s methods concerning it. Mr. Whitty suggests that Mr. Galt seems to have had his grand-nephew, young James Galt, on London watch and guard for reporting business and other occurrences to Richmond headquarters. This tall, slender Scotsman — of prior mention — came back with Mr. Allan and family to America, in 1820, and was well cared for by William Galt, who settled [page 168:] the young man above Richmond on the James River. He lived to a generous measure of years, and his son, Major John Allan Galt, named for Mr. Allan, left interesting records of his father, James Galt, named executor in Mr. Allan’s will. From Mr. Hogg it also comes, ” . . . things were not going well with Allan then, and June found him and family at Irvine.” Prior May 22nd, concerning Mrs. Allan and their probable return voyage, Mr. Allan wrote, “Frances begins to think she will never he able to cross the Atlantic.” Some days later he added, “she is certainly improved in her general health.” Mr. Hogg writes, that June 26, i8ig, Mr. Allan and family were at the Irvine marriage of his sister Elizabeth to John Miller, also that Edgar was left at Irvine until later, September of 1819. This accounts for Mr. Hogg’s noting that Rev. W. B. R. Wilson, of Dollar, and 1840 pupil of Irvine Academy, saying he heard over and over again Poe had been a pupil of that school, and recent records from Mr. Hogg affirm this fact, also that Mr. Allan left his sister Elizabeth Miller 1300 sterling in his will.

Through Secretary Peter Baxter of Gaelic Society, Perth, and friend of Mrs. Miller’s granddaughter — Miss Livingston — Mr. Hogg learned that Mrs. Miller seemed to the very end of her days to take an immense pride in Poe’s work. Her grandchildren were taught at home by a governess, and often their grandmother would gather them about her to test their progress; and she generally ended by reciting, herself, some of Poe’s poems — “The Raven” and “Tamerlane.” But the children especially delighted in “The Bells,” [page 169:] which “they had by heart.” Mrs. Miller had an early edition of Poe’s “Poems,” perhaps from Poe himself. She had much to tell of his spending his holidays with the Allans and the Millers and said he was a bright, attractive boy, a favorite with them all. Up to the issue of Griswold’s “Memoir” of Poe the Millers seemed to have taken pride in him; but that print was followed by a reticence which the visit of the second 1Irs. Allan did not help. During her last three years Mrs. Miller was blind; she had her granddaughters read to her, and Poe was one of her favorites next to the Bible. Aside from 1lrs. Miller’s pleasing memories of the bright boy, so much in his verses en “The Lake,” “Valley of Unrest,” “City in the Sea” and others indicated a master’s touch of the mystical atmosphere charm in folk-lore and localisms of the western mainland and islands of Scotland that she was captivated by the poet’s power as well as by the wee Laddie of her earlier, kindly pleasing memories.

Sept. 28, 1819, Mr. Allan wrote: “Edgar is growing wonderfully & enjoys a good reputation and is both able & willing to receive instruction.” Nov. 20th was added: “Edgar is in the Country at school lie is a very fine Boy & a good Scholar.” Dec. 4th, Mr. Allan wrote that his wife had “the greatest aversion to the sea — but the prospect of reunion with old and dear friends could induce her to attempt it. Ann submits with her wonted good nature and patience.” Edgar seemed definitely located at Manor House School until early 1820, for in Allan & Ellis office books appeared: “Feb. 1, 1820, to Stephenson & Co. paid Mr, Bransby £70. 9. 6;” this [page 170:] not only notes Edgar at his studies and pastimes at the Manor House School, but indicates in connection with various letters Mr. Allan’s pride in the boy’s scholarship, to keep him there when under heavy financial pressure of disturbing business conditions. Feb. 1st also dated a letter in which Mr. Allan noted to Mr. Ellis the death of Geo. III., and immense crowds when Geo. IV. was proclaimed. To this was added, “he will never allow his Queen Consort to be crowned.” Feb. 19th, Mr. Allan wrote of the assassination of the Duc de Berri, to which was added: “France appears in a terrible state.”

Whatever of causes, in conditions or faults, as to the business failure, Mr. Allan, March 27, 1820, wrote Mr. Ellis : “The truth is Charles we have erred through pride and ambition. I hope we shall yet have an opportunity to conduct our business like sensible and reflecting men. I shall leave the house and furniture standing, live it out for 12 or 18 months ready, should we be in condition, to prosecute our business. If impossible — it is easy getting rid of the furniture, home and all, . . . Rather than the old way — I would turn farmer or planter. This is a private letter. We must support and encourage each other. F. is getting better. She has to learn what a pleasing sensation is experienced on returning Home — even in Hot weather.” This letter is a fine, strong, manly expression of one’s failures on lines existing where conscience did not approve and a change of methods for future following. With its writer, of that day, this document stands in glowing contrast to another “MS. Copy” of a later letter and this writer’s other self. [page 171:]

Allan & Ellis office books noted, — “May 26, 1820 — paid Bransby Edgar’s Board & tuition 135. 4. 10.” This entry seems to locate, up to its date, Edgar at the Manor House School and later at Irvine.

Early in June Mr. and Mrs. Allan and Miss Nancy — Edgar left earlier, it is said, — started from London to make a brief farewell visit to his Scotland sisters prior to the long return voyage — shared by young James Galt.

Of this voyage Mr. Allan, at Richmond, Va., Aug. 22nd, wrote Dr. Neil Arnott, a valued London friend “I arrived at New York July 21st, after a passage of 36 days. The ocean was very rough — Mrs. Allan and Miss Valentine suffered from sea sickness.” All complained of extreme heat in New York; and July 27th Mr. Ellis was advised by Mr. Allan that the doctor’s attendance on Mrs. Allan delayed their departure for home until the next day. It is of other record, they reached Richmond, via Norfolk, Aug. 2, 1820. Because Mr. Allan’s own house was leased, by invitation he shared the home of Mr. Ellis, on the southwest corner of 2nd and Franklin Streets, and opposite their beautiful rose-garden of Linden Square that Poe’s early love and later pen “enchanted.” As Aug. 2nd found Mrs. Ellis away from home her husband wrote to her: “Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Nancy & Edgar arrived, and you would be surprised to see what health and color Mrs. A. has. They are quite well satisfied at our home, and I make out — not as well as you do. They are a little Englishized but it will soon wear off. Talk of spending part of this month in the country — going to Staunton.” Aug. 14th, Mr. [page 172:] Ellis added: “Mr. and Mrs. A. continue at our home. All well but complain of warm weather.” Mr. Allan’s letters of Aug. ai and Sept. 2 to Mr. Ellis noted his absence from Richmond; also, “Mrs. A. is chilly & feverish, Edgar and myself well.”

Of Edgar, at about this time, the late Mr. Edward M. Alfriend(13) I wrote: “Mr. Allan took the deepest interest in Edgar’s literary efforts and ambitions. Old citizens of Richmond say he loved Poe most tenderly, treated him as his son. One friend of Mr. Allan’s told Mr. Alfriend, he often witnessed the association between Poe, when a boy, and Mr. Allan and it was most admirable in its affection. — Mr. Allan made Edgar his companion, walked with him, read with him and took him with him wherever lie went, and once said to a friend, — ‘Edgar is wayward and impulsive, but that is to be expected from genius. He will some day fill the world with his fame.’ ” Certainly Mr, Allan was a prophet — and for his own name unconsciously; also, in ways then unknown to him.

The Late Col. Thos. H. Ellis, son of Mr. Allan’s partner, wrote, “Poe as a Playmate,”(14) in which appears: “He was very beautiful, yet brave and manly for one so young. . . . He was, indeed a leader among his playmates; but my admiration for him scarcely knew bounds. The consequence was he led me to do many a forbidden thing, for which I was duly punished. The only whipping I ever knew Mr. Allan to give him was for carrying me into the fields and woods . . . one Saturday, and keeping me there all day until after dark, without anybody at home knowing Where we were; and for shooting, a lot of domestic [page 173:] fowls belonging to the proprietor of ‘Belridere,’ who was at that time, I think, Judge Bushrod Washington.” For the good of all concerned both ventures needed discipline, and serious enough to prevent repetitions. But Poe, boy and man, was a dreamer, and such as he was feared not the dark nor marked the passing of time. The shooting prank shows him — like many another bright boy-driven by ” The Imp of the Perverse‘‘: it no doubt created for Edgar various adverse and some dusky critics. When Mr. E. V. Valentine’s younger sister, Miss Sarah, inquired of the son of Mrs. Allan’s coachman — James Smith — as to Edgar, she was answered: He was a maunstous baid boy but he hade an extry haid on him.” However, Colonel Ellis noted that Edgar taught him to shoot, swim, skate and play bandy — once, saved him from drowning. After throwing him headlong into the falls to “strike out for himself,” Edgar found it necessary to go to ]its aid or it would be too late. “Mr & Mrs. Allan having no children of their own lavished upon him their whole affection: he was sent to the best schools, he was taught every accomplishment . . . lie was trained to all habits of the most polished society. There was not a brighter, more graceful or more. attractive boy in the city than Edgar Allan Poe. Talent for declamation was one of his gifts.” Colonel Ellis recalled a public exhibition at the close of elocution instruction which Edgar attended and noted his own delight when in the presence of a large and distinguished company Edgar bore off the prize in competition with Channing Moore, — Nat Howard and others regarded anion; the most promising Richmond boys. — Mr. and Mrs. Allan [page 174:] desired to adopt a daughter, and were begging for the Colonel’s sister, later Mrs. Beverly Tucker . . . the intimacy between the two families was a close one. The largest Christmas and other gifts to the Ellis children came from the Allans. It appears “Edgar was once guilty of a meanness” for which the Colonel never forgave him. When the Ellis family spent Christmas evening with the Allans, among the toys provided was (unwisely) a sectional-wired snake; taken by the tail it would wiggle and dart in the most life-like way. “Edgar took it in his hand, and kept poking it at my sister Jane until it almost ran her crazy.” Fearless himself, Edgar, like most boys, goodhearted ones too, with crawfish and other live, hideous teasings, could not realize what such fear meant to others; but in some wise way boys should be taught that they should avoid — in their fun — possible, serious, nervous results.

As of prior mention, from 1811 to 1815 marked a very prosperous period with the firm of Ellis & Allan.(15) Personally, Allan owned three slaves and Ellis two. They made money in their business, and invested wisely in property. From 1815 to 1820 Ellis & Allan MSS., in Library of Congress, show things gradually went wrong on commercial, and perchance personal scores with Mr. Allan. In 1821 Mr. Allan and his family went to their own home on 5th Street, between Marshall and Clay Streets. Colonel Ellis’ memory sketch was that, “it was a long, low, frame cottage; five rooms on the first floor; story, and half a story with its dormer windows above; and stood facing west in its one and a half acres garden.” [page 175:]

Besides Edgar’s required presence at social functions of his elders, when a friend — or two — of his own age was asked for his special pleasure, it seems he was now and then the small host of little folk parties, at which, despite the strict etiquette exacted, Old Cy — the black fiddler — made merry in moving music and calling of figures to form and follow by the patter of little feet in the dance. Rythmical poetry of motion it always was to Poe; and then a never-failing delight to little Edgar, Rosalie and others. Rosalie was said to be a pretty, sweet little girl with rosy cheeks and bright blue eyes, until after her sixteenth year, when she fell under the blighting malady of inherited nervous exhaustion. She was devoted to her brilliant brother, and later on was rather pathetically conscious of the contrast between their mental abilities. She was ever a dutiful, grateful, affectionate child to Mrs. Mackenzie, who, very wisely wishing to provide for Rosalie’s future as a teacher, placed her in Miss Jane Mackenzie’s fine Richmond school for that purpose. Mrs. Mackenzie — warm of heart and ever just — well understood both Rosalie and Edgar: both called her “Ma,” and when allowed to come, he was happily as much at home in her house as in his own. Because of the rigid Allan code of “elegant and graceful manners,” tradition whispers that Poe’s life-long friend, youthful Mackenzie, could seldom be coaxed to visit Edgar or attend his parties. But to these parties did come Sarah Elmira, the young daughter of James H. Royster, the good Presbyterian friend of William Galt, Mr. Allan and Rev. John Rice, notes Mr. Whitty; also, that the Royster family, from [page 176:] North Carolina, and Mr. Allan came to Richmond about the same time. Mr. Whitty adds: “When the Allans were living with Mr. Ellis, during 1820-1821, at 2nd and Franklin Sts., they were near neighbors of the Royster home on 2nd; near Main St.: as Poe in later years seemed to have the lover’s instinct of [page 177:] window signals he surely had inviting opportunities for such sweet service at this time, for there were no houses to obstruct the view from Elmira’s upper window to that of her young Romeo, but a block away.” Mr. Whitty notes a memory picture related to him of Mrs. Allan and Aunt Nancy walking to Monumental Church while Edgar and Elmira came straggling on behind, notwithstanding her parents were good Presbyterians. And with surprise comes of Elmira, — neither “in her youth nor in her later years was she ever an [page 178:] enthusiastic church attendant, although her later interview with Poe gives a different idea.” Across the way — from Mr. Ellis’ house-northwest corner 2nd and Franklin Streets, Mr. Whitty’s research has located the site of the “Garden Enchanted,” to which — in 1848 — Poe’s pen-memory went harking backward over many a sad year when writing his lines to Mrs. Whitman. Mr. Whitty writes, the Richmond business of Ellis & Allan included that of seedsmen; and in demonstration of such growths — as agents of Mills’ Nursery, Philadelphia — the lower half of this square was utilized for floral culture, wall enclosed and entirely surrounded by beautiful linden trees, — not only to make it private but to ward off high winds from the [page 179:] rose beds, for which gardens of wealthy French residents of Richmond were noted in that day. Truly the winds had to “tip-toe” to touch those roses that claimed from Poe these lines:

“There fell a silvery — silken veil of light, — . . .

Upon the upturned faces of a thousand

Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,

Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tip-toe

That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted

By thee and by the poetry of thy presence.”

Mr. Whitty continues: “This is an unusual faithful description, and this garden site is nowknown as ‘Linden Square,’ also a few of the old lindens still survive. It is said a friend of Mr. Ellis bought this garden at the sale — 1822 — of Ellis & Allan properties. Mr. Ellis’ son — Col. Thomas Ellis — stated that Edgar and Elmira with other boys and girls made this garden a trysting place: it was spacious, a most beautiful garden, especially for roses,” — and young lovers. Under several names and printings Poe’s retrospective devotion to the beauty of this scene and its diva moved him to write of them in, — “To One in Paradise.” From out the pure joy of the young poet’s heart floated, over sad years between, this ecstasy :

“And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy grey eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams —

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.” [page 180:]

In 1821, when Mr. Allan and family lived in their 5th Street Cottage, diagonally opposite, southward — 5th and — Marshall Streets — was the corner vacant lot playground for the boys of Master Clarke’s School on Broad Street, and in its rear. And Elmira was still in roaming touch with her young admirer as a pupil of a near-by girls’ school. Traditions say, they still went loitering hand in hand through the garden enchanted, which ever claimed a generous share of their love’s young dream; and this too, a later record runs,(16) with full approval of Mr. Allan for quite a while.

May 15, 1821, dated the answer to Mr. Allan’s letter to Dr. Neil Arnott — physician, philosopher, writer, and inventor of a smokeless stove of No. 38, Bedford Square, London. He noted his pleasure that Mrs. Allan was better; Mr. Allan’s description of their “nice little cottage home,” and concluded: “You know that I have Master Edgar [portrait?] still inhabiting one of [page 181:] my rooms. Your not asking for him with other things makes me hope you mean to come back again. . . . You suppose I dare say — all this letter is to you. but you are much mistaken for at least every word that means kindness & friendship is occurred to me when the whole of your family was in my mind & eye and I think Mrs. Allan was the inspiring muse. Had I looked much at Miss V. I should have fallen into tender things but these I will preserve for the first love letter I write to her.” Concerning delightful and delighting [page 182:] Dr. Neil Arnott (1788-1874), native of Arbroath, Scotland, a good friend and probable physician of Mr. Allan and family during their residence in London, the Hon. R. M. Hogg has recently obtained some rare research values. These were obtained from the 1911 Reminiscences of Mrs. J. L. Story when eighty-three years of age. Mrs. Story was Dr. Arnott’s cousin, daughter of his father’s sister and widow of Professor Story, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. As a student at official ceremonies Mr. Hogg often saw Mrs. Story. Dr. Arnott’s family, of Edinburgh, had relatives in London and Bath. His venerable, clever mother, to whom he was a most kind and dutiful son, was a Maclean of a good Highland race; and hospitality was inherent in her character and home, wherein lived her two younger sons and two daughters. There Dr. Arnott often spent his holidays and frequently met his cousin Mrs. Story. She noted: “Many a pleasant evening I have spent there: some music, sometimes dancing for the young people, or a round game of whist for the seniors” — when the family saw their friends occasionally at small evening parties, where, “if the fare was not sumptuous the welcome was of the amplest, and all was over and every one gone at half-past eleven, at the latest.” The daughters of the house were recorded as, “long past their youth — indeed they looked as if they never had any youth at all. Miss Arnott — Miss Anne — had considerable talent as a miniature painter,” whereby, with moderate charges, she increased their modest income by such paintings of her family and friends. Her works were “on the whole fairly good [page 183:] reproductions — though they bore a rather appreciative likeness to each other in the simpering mouths of the young ladies and the same parting of the ways in the thick to glory hair of the gentlemen. We were all taken from our earliest years onwards.” Dr. Arnott’s noting in 1821 to Mr. Allan, “Master Edgar still inhabiting one of my rooms,” strongly indicates in this connection that the child did so, as his portrait was painted by Miss Anne Arnott, for the boy was then in America. In turn this suggests that the laddie was a favorite in the Arnott family. Dr. Arnott wrote his father: “I love in a greater or less degree every person whom I know, and also all I do not know; and this is one grand source of my happiness.”

Of Dr. Arnott himself appears, that after he passed his medical examination, obtained his diploma and began to practice his profession in Scotland, his plans were changed by an unexpected call to sea. It seems the Captain of an East Indiaman, suffering from a dangerous disease, had been under special surgical treatment; but before his cure was secure he was compelled to resume sea duty and sought an able surgeon for such ship service. Young Arnott was recommended, and before he was nineteen he was appointed surgeon to the Surat Castle. She carried Government troops, of whom the commanding officer was indignant that his men should be “under the care of a boy.” But the “boy” soon proved himself to be the man, notes Mr. Hogg. “He delivered lectures on board the ship on natural philosophy and political economy, played the fiddle to the dancing of the Jack Tars and became most popular with all aboard, from [page 185:] the captain to the cabin boy.” That Dr. Arnott received honors from the Loyal Society, Legion of Honor, Universities of London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, bespeaks his quality and charm of character as gentleman and scholar without other comment.

According to June 11, 1821, first dated of five bills of about $12.50 quarterly for Edgar’s tuition at the “English and Classical School” of Professor Joseph H. Clarke, of Trinity College, Dublin, — Edgar, then twelve years old, had returned to his studies. By Colonel Jno. T. Preston — another of his pupils — Professor Clarke was voted “a hot-tempered, pedantic bachelor Irishman; but a Latinist of the first order.” [page 186:]

From Mrs. Mary Newton Stanard it comes, that until then Edgar was known as Edgar Allan; but when Mr. Allan took him to the “Academy on the Hill,” Master Clarke suggested the boy should put his own name upon the “School Register,” and he, pleased that Mr. Allan approved, wrote in his small, clear hand, “Edgar Allan Poe.” It is of record that the lad soon won a place in Master Clarke’s warm Irish heart; and from him was learned that in questioning Edgar as to his Latin, that he had studied the grammar as far as irregular verbs, and he declined penna, domus, fructus and res. Professor Clarke asked if he could define the adjective bonus. “I was struck by the way he did it,” said Master Clarke “bonus, a good man; bona, a good woman; bonum, a good thing.” This “Academy on the Hill” which Poe mentioned in “Arthur Gordon Pym,” was on Broad Street, near 5th, and from the rear vacant lot, corner Marshall and 5th Streets — used by the boys for a ball and drill ground, with later tent venture of theatrical show — could be seen the back of Professor Clarke’s school. Of this view a photographic picture appears in these pages by the kindness of Mr. Whitty.

One of Poe’s boy friends, Dr. Creed Thomas, said it was noticeable that Edgar never asked any of his school-mates to go home with him after school, as other boys did, to take Friday dinner and spend the night. This was owing to no failure of his foster-mother, for by her Edgar’s room was ever made most attractive to the young writer of rhymes, and to him it was a veritable sanctum. She was so proud of his gifts, and ever defended his pleasure in them when [page 187:] such indulgence was later forbidden by Mr. Allan as “a waste of time.” But this period was an ever-afterward remembrance to him as among “the enchanted days of our boyhood”; and they portray Poe as a normal, happy boy prior to the tragedy incidents of his sixteenth year. Of the Allan home, on 5th Street, between Marshall and Clay Streets, Mr. Whitty writes “This house, with all the property, was sold and somehow passed into the hands of Wm. Galt; and after May, 1822, the Allan family moved back into their former home on 14th St. and Tobacco Alley. This Mr. Galt had purchased from one, Miller — whose [page 188:] wife was Elizabeth Miller, which suggested they were kinfolk holding the property for Galt.”

The June 11th to September, 1822, bill — $17.50 — of Master Clarke included “Horace, $3.50, Cicero de Offi., 62 1/2, Copy-hook, Paper, Pens & Ink.” From Master Clarke comes: ” During these Academy years Edgar read Ovid, Cæsar, Virgil, Cicero and Horace in Latin and Xenophon and Homer in Greek, but he showed stronger taste for classic poetry than for classic prose. [Fair showing for a boy of thirteen; and this seems to place Mr. Charles F. Briggs’ 1845 noting of Poe’s “superficial learning” in curious reflex on this point, which included a later one of his critics.] As a born scholar Edgar was ambitious to excel. Though not over-studious he always stood high in his classes. In associations with his playmates he was strictly just; enthusiastic in all his undertakings; very strong in his views and would not yield until convinced. He had a sensitive, tender heart — would do anything to serve a friend — and his nature was entirely free from the dominating selfishness of boyhood.” One of these friends was Robert Matthew Sully, the frail, slender son of the actor Matthew Sully and nephew of Thomas Sully the artist. There were several strong reasons for the sympathetic, life-long friendship between Edgar Poe and Robert Sully. It is not generally known that Sally’s father was one of the Charleston Comedians which Mrs. Arnold, her daughter — later Poe’s mother — and Mr. Tubbs joined in New York, prior to their departure for Charleston, S. Car., in 1797. Matthew Sully, doubly gifted as a draughtsman and actor, several different times played [page 189:] with Poe’s mother. At Norfolk, Va., April, 1803, he played “Selby” to her “Maggie McGilpin,” when she was Mrs. Hopkins. Sully’s son, Robert Matthew, born at Petersburg, Va., July of that year and some six years Poe’s senior, leas frail of health and artistic in temperament, which made mathematics difficult and dead tongues a task. After his father’s death Robert Sully, at nine, evinced a great desire for drawing. When about sixteen lie definitely decided to become a [page 190:] painter, despite obstacles and friendly warnings. When eighteen he went to Philadelphia, where he studied hard for nine months, directed by his Uncle Thomas; made good progress and returned to art work in Richmond, where he was encouraged only by J. L. Strobia, Esq. After several art work trips to North Carolina, Robert’s Uncle Thomas urged London study, for which this nephew landed in London, Sept. 28, 1824. There he came in touch with Lawrence, Reynolds, Leslie and Northcote, and painted portraits of Northcote and Secretary C. Beloe of the British Institute. Both portraits were publicly credited by Art exhibitions. Robert Sully returned to home shores September, 1828. His portrait of Chief Justice Marshall is in the Corcoran Gallery, Washington City, and a canvas of his friend Junius Brutus Booth, wrongly credited to Thomas Sully, Jr., is owned by The Players, New York City. When working on art commission work for the Wisconsin Historical Society at Madison, Wis., Robert Sully died in 1853, not long after his friend Edgar Poe — Oct. 7, 1849. To poet and painter, both artists, the world was young when they were together from 1821 to 1824. Robert, older than Edgar, confessed himself “a dull boy at school.” And there are various records of clever Edgar helping “Rob” through many a hard lesson, and a hint from Mrs. Stanard that “Rob’s” Latin was at times missed on purpose for Eddie to stay and help him — which Eddie did, also many a time defended him against tantalizing teasings that big boys take special pleasure in visiting on the smaller and weaker ones of their kind. From several sources(17) it comes, that one fine [page 191:] bracing Saturday morning the delicate lad, at his home window, was hailed by friend Eddie with,” Come along, Rob, we are going to the Hermitage tivoods for chinquapins and you must come too. Uncle Billy is going for a load of pine-tags, we can ride in his wagon so it won’t tire you!” So off they went with the happy Saturday freedom of late autumn in their blood; Eddie dividing his time and attentions fairly between frail pale “Rob” and his husky, dusky counterpart Uncle Billy, who equally adored “Eddie.”

From Colonel John T. Preston — a man of various distinctions and whose poet wife was Margaret J. Preston — as one of Edgar’s several desk-mates at Master Clarke’s Academy, comes: “Not a little of Poe’s time, in school and out, was occupied with writing verses. As we sat together he would show them to me, even ask my opinion, and now and then my assistance. My admiration . . . for my schoolfellow’s genius was so great that I requested his permission to carry his portfolio home for the inspection of my mother.” (She was the scholarly daughter of the cultured statentan Edmund Randolph.) As Poe’s first critic, “her warm appreciation of the boy’s genius and work was proof of her own critical taste.” It also appears that Master Clarke discovered germs of a rich imagination in those school-day verses — “written with love and not as a task” — that later placed Edgar Poe among the elect of the world’s poets. Even practical Mr. Allan was caught by the charm of Norse Gaelic imagery floating over Edgar’s lines on “The Lake,” describing the Scotch tarn of Arran — and other idealisms of old Ayrshire atmosphere. Mr. [page 192:] Allan was enough impressed to take Edgar’s MS. verses to Master Clarke one day for his advice as to their publication, but, perhaps unfortunately, was told that the excitable temperament and self-esteem of their young writer would render it injurious for him to be flattered and talked about as the author of a printed book at his age. Master Clarke could not realize that praise brought out the best in Poe, boy and man, and made him all the more studiously careful in his work; also praise of print, at this time and hence, might have turned the tide for both Edgar and his then admirable foster-father into happier channels than either later found in separate ports. That of print being closed for him this time, did not discourage the young poet, for traditions say that many of Edgar’s small Romeo effusions fluttered over the garden wall of Miss Jane Mackenzie’s aristocratic school for girls, 506 West Franklin Street, between 5th and 6th Streets. In contrast to her brother — Mr. William Mackenzie — and family several authorities describe Miss Jane as stately, tall, )roving in the dignity of black silk gowns, elegant caps with frizette, and most exacting as to the manners and deportment of her pupils. Mrs. Stanard hints of Miss Jane cherishing — even to her lavender ribbons — a natural abhorrence to the genus Boy; and his invasion of her walled garden of girls meant depravity in such culprits, with special reference to “John Allan’s adopted son,” who was aided by his sister Rosalie within; and she was there by special bestowal of Miss Jane’s regal grace. It is said that Edgar’s rhymes at this shrine of various small Juliets were at times adorned [page 193:] by a drawing of the one adored at the date of his writing, and comparisons of the verses found many alike with names only changed to fit the occasion’s divinity. This fervent and moving devotion — aside from his first love, and affection for his wife — marked later and not less impartial tributes — to the good, beautiful and true, in those of mature years — written by Edgar Allan Poe, the man. The soul of Poe’s genius worshipped only at the shrine of Poesy transfigured by beauty evanescent — after the blighting loss of his first love. Nor was he the apostle of beauty in form and color only, as is in evidence by the years of ideal [page 194:] devotion to his “more than mother” Mrs. Clemm. But in his meaning of beauty, its flight, for any reasons, from personal characters, rendered such individuals, were they houris, of no existence for Poe. Whatever of this young Romeo’s invasions of Miss Jane’s domain, they did not prevent her later writing of lines on this delinquent invader — is learned from Mr. Whitty. But aside from this rhyming, Edgar’s school records seemed of continuous progress. It is said “he was especially distinguished in French and Latin, very fond of the Odes of Horace and,” says Colonel Preston: “repeated them so often in any hearing that I learned by sound the words of many, before I understood their meaning. In the lilting rhythm of the Sapphics and lambics he took special delight. Two odes in particular have been humming in my ear, all my life since, set to the tune of his recitation: Horace, i. Ode 2, lines 2-3.

Tam satis terris, nevis atque dirae

Grandinis misit Pater et nubente.’

Translates, — ‘Enough of snow and dreadful hail has the Sire now sent upon earth.’ And Horace, 2. Ode 18, lines 1-2.

Non ebur neque aureaum

Mea renidet in domo lacunar,’ etc.

Translates, — ‘Not ivory, nor a fretted ceiling adorned with gold, glitters in my house.’ When I think of his boyhood, his career, his fate, the poet whose lines I first learned from his musical lips, supplies me with his epitaph: — Horace, 4. Ode 6, lines 12-16. [page 195:]

Ille mordaei velut icta ferro

Pinus, aut impulsa cupressus Euro,

Procidit late, posuitque cullum in

Pulvere Teucro.’

Translates, — ‘He, as it were a pine smitten with the biting axe, or a cypress prostrated by the east wind, fell extended far, and reclined his neck in the Trojan dust.’ [The foregoing translations were supplied by Mr. Frank H. Chase, Boston Public Library.] I remember that Poe was also a very fine French scholar.”

Capping verses was a favorite exercise with Poe. Before school closed all Latinists were in a line, at the head of which stood the best scholar for capping verses. From memory he gave some Latin verse and asked all to give another, beginning with the same letter. Whoever could do this took his place. “Double capping was more difficult, as the answering verse must begin and end in same letters as the calling verse.” Colonel Preston noted that once ” Nat Howard stood at the head of the line and gave out for a double capping a verse beginning with d, and ending with m.” He added: “It passed Edgar Poe and other good scholars . . . until it reached me, ‘a tyro’ away clown the line. To the surprise of everybody there popped into my mind the line of Virgil: ‘Ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina ducite Daphnim.’ And with pride and amazement I saw myself where I never was before and never afterwards, — above Nat Howard and Edgar Poe.” The records run that in Latin, Poe was not first without dispute and — “If Howard was less brilliant than Poe, he was far more studious. . . . But if I put Howard as a Latinist [page 196:] on a level with Poe, I do him full justice.” Besides Colonel — ” Jack ” — Preston, among Edgar’s Academy school-mates were Robert Mayo, later an able Virginia lawyer; Charming Moore, son of Bishop Moore; Nathaniel and William Howard; John, son of Judge Brockenborough; Robert M. Sully; Richard C. Ambler; Joseph and Miles Selden; Creed Thomas; Andrew Johnston; Robert C., son of Judge Stanard; and others.

From Professor Geo. E. Woodberry’s able “Life of Poe” comes: “Mr. Allan’s ventures in extending his trade had not prospered; he made an assignment in 1822, but by an arrangement with his creditors he held possession of the property.” And during this period family expenses were ruled accordingly. Professor Killis Campbell notes: “Between June 3, 1821, and October 31, 1825, John Allan is charged . . . eleven times,” in Ellis & Allan office books, ” with postage for Edgar,” from eighteen cents to a dollar and a half, and several times, likewise, appears the name of Rosalie for less amounts. Edgar’s presence in Ellis & Allan’s office Nov. 13, 1823, is in evidence as witness to a power of attorney given by that firm to Joseph W. Dickenson at that time and place. Mr. Whitty notes that this autograph and one in a schoolbook now owned by him are the earliest known autographs of Poe.

Dec.17, 1822, dated one of several semi-annual receipted bills for vestry assessments “for $20. on ac‘t of Pew, No. 8o, in Monumental Church:” Also a tailor bill in the same month and year for “coats pantaloons & trimmings for Edgar,” amounts to $11,50. [page 197:] Both point to spiritual and material care for his ttelfare from ;VIr. Allan’s and general points of view; but alas, for frail mortality! that henceforth the strongest of all human leading powers — the force of example — was waning in the personality of Edgar’s foster-father. An April 23, 1823, letter of Mr. Allan noted of his frail wife, “though up and about she is never clear of complaint,” and that Miss Valentine, Edgar and himself were well. On Ellis & Allan office book were April, May and June shoe bills for Mr. Allan and Edgar. A July, 1823, letter stated, “all are well John, Frances, Ann, Edgar.”

Sept. 15, 1823, Mr. Allan wrote his partner that “Mr. Galt arrived Sunday, well, much pleased that we have a prospect of escape.” It appears from letters — some of prior noting — that Galt did not fully approve his nephew’s business methods when in Europe and then wrote him that they must be changed to meet his views on the score of, and by his — Mr Galt’s — name. It is of indefinite record that Mr. Allan complied, and thereby made “escape” noted.

It seems that Poe was one of the oldest boys of Master Clarke’s Academy when “Jack” Preston (afterwards Colonel) was one of the youngest, and as such recalled of Edgar: “His power and accomplishments captivated me, and something in me, or in him, made him take a fancy to me. In . . . athletics of those days . . . he was facile princeps. He was a swift runnner [[runner]], a wonderful leaper.” Once “on a dead level with a twenty yd. run he was known to leap a distance of 21 1/2 feet.” Colonel Preston added: “and what was more rare,” Poe was “a boxer with some [page 198:] slight training . . . he would allow the strongest boy in school to strike him with full force on the chest“the secret was, to inflate the lungs to the utmost and exhale the air the moment the blow was struck. ” I imitated him after my measure.” As a fact, Dr. Creed Thomas — Poe’s deskmate — related of his fellowship with the Stanards, Cabells and Seldens that ” Selden told somebody that Poe was a liar or a rascal.” Poe heard of it — “and soon the boys were engaged in a fight.” Selden was heavier and “pummelled [Poe] vigorously for some time. The delicate boy appeared to submit with little resistance,” but ” Finally . . . turned the tables on Selden, and much to the surprise of the spectators, administered a sound whipping. When asked why he permitted Selden to pummel his head so long, Poe replied that he was waiting for his adversary to get out of breath before showing him a few things in the art of fighting.” Dr. “Thomas added, — “Poe was a quiet, peaceful youngster with seldom a difficulty” with his mates “but plucky; . . . When it came to a question of looking after his individual rights, . . . the young classic asserted himself.” A’ singular fact was, “Poe never got a whipping at school,” said Dr. Thomas, who remembered “other boys used to come in for a flogging quite frequently” and that he got his share. Of later date he added: “Mr. Burke believed in the moral power of the birch,” and “whippings were so frequent” they “created no sensation among the scholars who witnessed them.” From Colonel Preston comes, that on occasion of a footrace challenge being passed between the two classical schools of the city, Edgar was named champion [page 199:] for his. “The race came off one bright May morning in Capitol Square,” and, added Colonel Preston, ” truth compels me to add . . . our school was beaten and we had to pay up our small debts. Poe ran well, but his competitor was a long-legged Indian-looking fellow who would have out-stripped Atalanta without the help of golden apples.” Mr. Edward V. Valentine calls attention to another foot-race of Capitol Square, between Jack Preston and his friend Edgar Poe. With fair weather and fitting attendance this time the start was on the sidewalk, corner of 9th and Capitol Streets; but the notes of that goal, finish and victor, had not been ascertained.

Through Mr. E. V. Valentine comes from Dr. R. C. Ambler:(18) “I recollect my old playmate Edgar Allan Poe. No one had better opportunities of becoming acquainted with his physique, as for two summers we stripped together for a bath daily and learned to swim in the same pool.” Mr. Valentine located “Poe’s Swimming Hole” down the hill from Clay Street, “White House of the Confederacy, near Victor’s Mill,” for a photograph by Mr. H. P. Cook. Of this date, Poe’s school-mate, Andrew Johnston, stated: “At that time Poe was slight in person but well made, active, sinewy and graceful,” but Dr. Ambler added: “Poe was not apt at learning to swim — though he became famous for swimming from Mayo’s Bridge to Warwick.” Of this “famous” feat Poe’s school friend, Colonel Robert Mayo, Jr., wrote: “I started with Poe in his celebrated swim from Richmond to Warwick Bar, six miles down the James River. The day was oppressively hot. I concluded to stop at Tree [page 200:] Hill, three miles from town; Poe, however, braved the sun and kept on, reaching the goal, but emerging from the water with neck, face and back blistered.” The truth of this incident being questioned, Dr. Robert G. Cabell wrote: “I was one of several who witnessed this swimming feat. He accompanied Mr. Poe in boats. . . . [Robert Stanard was one of the party.] Mr. Poe did not seem at all fatigued, and walked back to Richmond.” Among Poe’s own comments on the event was: “I swam from Ludlam’s wharf to Warwick (six miles) in a hot June sun against one of the strongest tides ever known in the river. It would have been a feat comparatively easy to swim twenty miles in still water.” But Colonel Mayo noted a far more dangerous exploit of Poe’s daring — nothing less. On [page 201:] one mid-winter day when standing on the banks of the James, he bantered Mayo into jumping in, to swim to a certain point with him; after foundering about in the freezing water a while they reached the piles of Mayo’s Bridge glad enough to gain the shore, but to their dismay they found ascent impossible and naught remained but to retrace their way. Poe reached land in an exhausted state to part with his prior meal, whilst Mayo was fished out by a friendly boat as he was about to succumb. Both boys were ill for several weeks. Certainly Poe’s poor nerves later on paid a heavy toll for this frolic. His friend Andrew Johnston noted of Poe, “he was the best, most daring swimmer I ever saw in the water.”

There are various records of the Thespian Society formed by Poe, William Ritchie, R. C. Ambler, Creed Thomas, Robert Sully and other Richmond boys. By one authority it was located in an old wooden building on the northeast corner of 6th and Marshall Streets; another said it was “under a tent” on their vacant lot playground, corner of 5th and Marshall Streets, just back of the Academy on Broad Street. The audience usually numbered forty or fifty at one cent admittance, this money being divided among the actors. Poe was credited with “undoubted talent”; and once when asked “by the did not go on the stage he said he had considered it and felt he could succeed as an actor, but the publicity and bustling life were unsuited to his tastes. However, the boy following of his own father’s early career and that-time prejudice against the dramatic profession naturally alarmed Mr. Allan, who seriously objected to [page 202:] Edgar’s sharing such demonstrations, even as pastime. Because such and other reasons adverse to the boy, became growing ones with Mr. Allan, also because that prejudice noted — with which our country was cloaked — filtered through Virginia parents’ minds, perhaps to the unconscious expression by their children, these facts created conditions which Edgar for some time did not understand. As years went on, these restrictions — including those on her boy’s versifying, choice of friends, etc. — increased to such an extent, writes Mrs. Stanard, that with Mrs. Allan’s connivance and the negro servants who adored Edgar, such commands were disregarded whenever it was possible.” Mr. Whitty names two of these servants as “Dabney Dandridge” and “Old Jim,” and “both kept Poe informed as to the Allan household” during his later years at Baltimore.

Whilst shadows of Poe’s future were gathering near, he was also on the threshold of what lie voted as the “one idolatrous and purely ideal love” of his life. From “The Dreamer” — by Mary Newton Stanard — and other records it appears that Robert C., son of Judge and Mrs. Robert Stanard, had interested his lovely mother in the welfare of his orphan friend Edgar Poe. Mrs. Stanard was the daughter of Adam Craig, clerk of the Court of Appeals, who removed with the State Government from Williamsburg, Va., to Richmond. Mrs. Stanard with quickening sympathy advised her son to bring Edgar home with hint some day. Knowing Edgar’s pleasure in pets, Robert’s rabbits and pigeons made his invitation to see them accepted at once. Passing through the side gateway of [page 203:] the walled garden, the boys found not only flowers, Robert’s rabbits and pigeons, but Edgar obtained the first near vision of his “Helen.” The author of “The Dreamer” describes a lost portrait of Robert Stanard’s mother as a beautiful woman not yet thirty standing against a sombre arbor-vitæ background; her slight figure, clad in clinging white, seemed airy and sylph-like. Her (lark curling hair, bound with a girlish ribbon snood, and large brown eyes were in strong contrast to the pallor of the delicately flushed and daintily modelled face. She held in her slender hands a deep blue willow-ware plate about which pigeons white, grey and bronze were fluttering and feeding. This lady fair gave her boy’s friend Edgar a warmth of welcome that later made her rare personality — as “To Helen” — one of imperishable memory. Because Mrs. Stanard’s first name “Jane” did not lend itself to Poe’s musical numbers for rhythm, he christened his verses to her by virtue of what her presence meant to him, “Helen,” that is, light to his soul. The boy had seen Mrs. Jane Stith Stanard at a distance before, and knew her as one of the lovely women of Richmond City; but the Stanard family tradition holds, and firmly beyond question, that this gentle lady’s words to the boy-poet meant, — “So this is my Rob’s friend. Rob’s mother is delighted to see you for his sake, and for your own too, Edgar, for I greatly admired your gifted mother. I saw her once only, when I was a young girl, but I can never forget her lovely face and sweet voice.” So traditions go that this lady of grace talked in her “gentle understanding way” that thrilled the lonely-hearted lad — whom [page 204:] others had called the “child of strolling players”; and moved Edgar, usually so ready of speech, into the utterance of only a few broken words of thanks. Entranced by the beauty of her presence and manner, the boy is said to have finished his visit and left her home as if in a dream. Tradition also affirms that Mrs. Stanard became Edgar’s confidante; and hers was ” the one redeeming influence” that saved and guided him in the earlier days of his ” turbulent and passionate youth.” Her husband, a learned and distinguished Judge of the Supreme Court of Virginia, as well as her son, remained true friends of Poe throughout his life. But Mrs. Stanard made the world a paradise that one summer to the gifted boy. She urged him to be true to his talents as a sacred trust; to his duty to Mr. Allan, to whom he owed so much; and to him self, in never departing from truth with any one. The frosts of that autumn of 1823 blighted not only the flowers of his “Helen’s” garden, but with the passing on of her baby girl went the glory and beauty of her mother’s mental force. To her stricken family, and the orphan boy who adored her and never saw her but once afterwards, henceforth the Stanard home became a living tomb — until her release, at thirty-one years of age, April 28, 1824. It is said Mrs. Stanard has no descendants. Stories are told of a heart-broken lad who followed in the wake of her mourners when they took her to sleep beneath the turf of Shockoe Hill Cemetery. There, tradition upon tradition holds that the youthful poet found his way to grieve upon “Helen’s” grave in the soft, sweet silence of many a night of “stars” or storm, calling on this angel of [page 205:] light to his shadowed soul and striving to share and solace her loneliness there. In “The Poetic Principle” of Shelley’s lines.

“I arise from dreams of thee

In the first sweet sleep of night

When the winds are breathing low

And the stars are shining bright.”

Poe wrote: ” Their warm yet delicate and ethereal imagination will be appreciated by none so thoroughly as by him who has himself arisen from sweet dreams of one beloved to bathe in the aromatic air of a Southern summer night.” Of Poe’s own lines “To Helen,” Edwin Markham writes: “Poe never surpassed the serene exaltation and divine poise of this poem. In its wandering music and flower-like freshness of form, it stands with the deathless lyrics.”

Very little is left of “Helen’s” home, once so attractive in situation — as in all else — on 9th Street, opposite Capitol Square. Business demands have changed the house beyond all recognition by her young poet-knight and herself; neither of them could find her walled garden, now burdened with buildings that traffic in dollars and cents. William G. Stanard, Esq., her husband’s great grand-nephew, heard from his grandfather, Mr. John C. Stanard, his youthful experience in connection with Edgar Poe, Robert C. Stanard and this home. Mr. J. C. Stanard — born in 1805 — did not live in Richmond but frequently went there to visit his uncle, Judge Stanard ; once when he rang the bell it was some time before it was answered, and then by two boys, Robert Stanard and Edgar Poe, who both seemed to be confused; and their visitor [page 207:] thought they had taken advantage of Judge Stanard’s absence to have a forbidden game of cards. Mr. J. C. Stanard was also at his uncle’s house one night when young Robert came home very muddy and tired and his excuse was, that he had been following along, on the river, Poe’s swim to Warwick. These very personal touches, and a call with Mrs. William G. Stanard on the late Miss Jane Stith Stanard, of Richmond, a niece-in-law named for Poe’s “Helen,” and after her death was reared in her home, seem to give convincing evidence that Poe’s ideal association with and his devotion to the memory of Mrs. Jane Stith Stanard was dream-like perhaps, but founded on many facts, for Miss Stanard’s sweet, saintly soul seemed overtaken — ,with startled surprise that such an association could ever be doubted when so advised.

At the close of the summer session of 1823, Professor Clarke left Richmond for Baltimore; and as farewell tributes Nathaniel Howard wrote a Latin Ode in the style of “O jam satis,” of Horace; but Edgar, with less of state and more of heart, addressed his retiring teacher in original English verse. Many years later Professor Clarke said, that whenever Poe came to Baltimore he would come to see him, and added: “I think, as boy and man, Edgar loved me dearly; I am sure I loved him, — he was a dear, openhearted, cheerful and good boy; and as a man he was a loving & affectionate friend to me. I went to his funeral.”

Mr. William Burke, whose classical domain was in the Old Athenæum building, Marshall and 10th Streets, — in 1823, — obtained Professor Clarke’s [page 208:] Academy and many of his pupils. An entry of Jan. 26, 1824, of $10 paid “Mr. Burke,” which appears in Ellis & Allan cash books, seems definite as to Edgar’s continued studies under Master Burke. A later journal entry gives, for spring and summer of that year, this item: “John Allan paid Mr. Burke for Edgar’s tuition for five months from 1st of April [1824] last — $30.00.”

From Mr. Andrew Johnston comes: “Poe was a much more advanced scholar than any of its: but there was no other class for him, that being the highest — and he had nothing to do . . . but keep his headship . . . he liked it well, for he was fond of desultory reading and even then wrote verses, very clever for a boy . . . and sometimes satirical. We all recognized and admired his great and varied talents and were proud of him as the most distinguished school-boy of the town. . . . In dress he was neat but not foppish, slight in person and graceful. His disposition was amiable, his manners pleasant and courteous.”

Mr. and Mrs. Allan were essentially social and took pleasure in entertaining their friends, who were of the most distinguished residents of Richmond. At these events where, as was customary, wine flowed freely, Edgar’s presence, with one or more of his own friends, was exacted.

Mr. Whitty notes that James Galt recalled Poe(19) “as a lad of uncommon good appearance who attracted attention wherever he went, his manners were cheerful and gay. — although reserved at times, nothing of a morose character was observed in him, until after his return from college. He was known to drink wine [page 209:] and toddies at home, but no excessive appetite for liquor was noticed.” All this with other like records affirm the fact that Poe’s later indulgence was, as he stated, to stimulate his nervous energies, shocked and shattered by well-known causes.

Colonel Ellis relates of Poe’s boyhood this frolic: One evening there ,vas a meeting of the Gentleman’s Whist Club at my father’s house. The members and a few invited guests had assembled and were seated at . . . tables . . . all over the large parlor and things were as quiet as they were on a certain ‘night before Christmas’ . . . when a ghost appeared! The ghost, no doubt, expected and intended to frighten the whole body of whist players who were in truth stirred to a commotion. General Winfield Scott, . . . with the resolution and promptness of an old soldier, sprang forward as if . . . leading a charge in Lundy’s Lane. Dr. Philip Thornton, of Rappahannock, . . . was, however, nearer . . . and quicker. . . . Presently the ghost, finding himself closely pressed, began to retreat, backing around the room, yet keeping his face to the foe, and as the Doctor was reaching out . . . to seize the ghost’s nose with a view to twitch it off, the ghost was ‘larruping’ him over the shoulder with a long cane which he carried in one hand, while with the other hand he was struggling to keep from being tripped by the sheet which enveloped his body. When finally forced to surrender and the mask was taken from his face Edgar laughed as heartily as ever a ghost did before.”

At fifteen, Poe began his military career as Lieutenant of the Richmond Junior Volunteers, as appears from communications signed with his name, [page 210:] rank, etc., from them to the Governor and Council; which papers are in the Executive Archives of Virginia. As one of Edgar’s younger admirers, Colonel Ellis noted: “But never was I prouder of him than when dressed, in the uniform of the junior Morgan Riflemen (a volunteer company of boys which General Lafayette, in his memorable visit to Richmond, selected as his body-guard) he walked up and down in front of the marquee erected on Capitol Square, under which the General held a reception Oct. 28th, 1824.”

Of Poe, Dr. R. C. Ambler wrote: “I remember to have heard some verses of his in the shape of a satire upon the members of a debating society to which he belonged. . . . I cannot recall a line of those verses, but do remember . . . I envied him his ability to write them.” This society held its meetings in a house known as Harris Building, corner Main and iith Streets. Dr. Ambler added of Poe’s verses, that they ‘were never printed but went among the boys in MS. form and were said to be the first known outside of his family; they also mark the first known of his satirical writings.

Mr. Whitty notes(20) Poe’s “Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” as the earliest existing known lines of his satirical rhyme indulgences, and probably a counter-stroke on the luckless “Pitts” who possibly joined the faction that held his gifted antagonist as the child of “strolling players.” Certainly Poe’s estimate of counter servitors seems very definite in:

“For at a ball what fair one can escape

The pretty little hand that sold her tape.

Or who so cold, so callous to refuse

The youth who cut the ribbon for her shoes!” [page 211:]

So Pitts, the clerk in a leading Richmond dry-goods store, was made to appear in the eyes of members of the Virginia Legislature then boarding in the same house with him, as explained by Editor John R. Thompson. Mr. Whitty believes “Oh, Tempora ! Oh, Mores!” to be the basis of Dr. Carter’s “Don Pompioso” story of Poe’s satirical verses.(21) It appears the young girls at Miss Nlackenzie’s Franklin Street School got hold of this rhyme, were laughing over it and wondering as to its author. During the dusk of that evening Edgar Poe dropped in, being privileged to see his sister Rosalie. One of several young girls, then in the parlor, asked him to read the lines aloud. This he did, in the dim light, too readily not to have come from memory, and at once they all cried, ‘You wrote it!” He did not deny it, and it is said the young man who inspired the effusion was so tormented by its allusions that he finally left town.

February, March and May, 1824, noted bills on Ellis and Allan office books of $1.5o for “Boy’s” fine shoes. By note, March 5th, Mr. Allan told Mr. Ellis: “If you have looked over the papers send them to me by Edgar — I have been looking over Bonds.” March 16th dated a $to charge on Mr. Allan, — “sent him by Edgar.” May 12th dated a receipt for a barrel of whiskey, $20, and Dec. 2nd, 1824, appeared, — “Master Edgar Allan, making and trimming Blue Cloth Coat $8.50, Rec. payment, Bradley M. McCrery & Co.”

It is of definite and indefinite records that Mr. Allan during the early 1820’s was becoming far more unjust to himself than to others and in other than business ventures. So far as is known, up to his return from [page 212:] Europe, however contracted his views of life may have been, it seems he conscientiously did his duty by his family, which, against his judgment but for the pleasure of his wife, included little Edgar as his fosterson. That he never allowed the boy to lose sight of his dependence on such bounty, was not a winning but was a natural characteristic of this man in touch with a child not of his own blood. For whatever was his pride in the brilliant boy, never for a moment could Mr. Allan forget this fact, or his own part in Edgar’s accomplishments, which were never attained to the same degree by Mr. Allan’s later and greatly desired own sons. But not for long was the hypersensitive child to retain even the interest of his foster-father’s pride. For causes in himself and most disturbing to a man of conscience — as Mr. Allan truly was — any kindly feeling he ever cherished for the orphan boy was steadily undergoing a change, until a most unfortunate climax for Edgar was reached by his growing knowledge that more than social and repeated marital delinquencies of Mr. Allan made occasions for ’serious unhappiness of his wife, struggling as she was with frail health. These increasing differences of their marital disturbances were not mended, for any concerned, by Edgar siding with his devoted foster-mother.

In the light of the high order of scholarship, personal accomplishments and kindly favor of his foster-parents, Edgar was both the student and social leader at his English schools; but from Colonel Preston comes, that Poe, with all his superiorities, was not the master spirit nor even favorite in his Richmond school “because [page 213:] it was known [why now, more than before?] that his parents were ‘strolling players’ and ‘he was dependent upon the bounty’ ” of Mr. Allan. So was followed that luminous precedent that nothing good could come out of Nazareth. The school leadership, that Edgar deserved to share at least, it appears was enjoyed by Nathaniel Howard, then of brilliant parts but not a genius, yet later was one of Virginia’s most distinguished lawyers and of whom no recognition of his school-mate’s poetic genius has been found. However, Edgar’s cruel awakening to these hard, cold facts of a situation — true or false — for which he was in no way responsible, without a doubt would give one of his hypersensitive temperament henceforth the “fierceness he, otherwise, never weltld have had.” Truly to one well born as he was, but then not knowing how well, such allusions to his parents, made amongst his associates, must have been gall and wormwood to the proud-spirited lad; and it proved the death thrust to his light-hearted boyhood. Existing documents seem a subtle sheathing of this weird stroke, in the pen-hand of Edgar’s foster-father John Allan, who, in a literal, serious sense, was a good man gone wrong. As to Edgar’s school opponents, and growing change of heart toward him in so many, excepting Mrs. Allan, the lad stood somewhat alone; but he was far from friendless. Being of the aggrieved party, his devoted foster-mother could have no in fluence for her boy’s welfare in this crisis. But while nearing it, in 1823, the glory of Mrs. Stanard’s motherhood came to Edgar’s rescue, when she urged this “turbulent and stricken youth” to be “true to his talents, [page 214:] true to his duty to Mr. Allan to whom he owed so much, and true to himself in never departing from truth with any one.” Surely this “purely ideal love” of his life must have been the angel of light that led his soul through the valley of heavy shadows that were lifted — “nevermore” on earth for him. No wonder he worshipped her transcendental beauty and immortalized her memory in his lines “To Helen.” Her husband, her son, Robert Sully, and the Mackenzie [page 215:] family continued friends of Poe, firm, noble, and true to the end of his days and theirs. This devotion was intensely demonstrated by his frail foster-mother Frances Keeling Allan. Her family disturbances frequently caused Edgar’s absence from home; and perhaps some coolness of several school-mates moved the boy into association with Ebenezer Burling, who then lived with his widowed mother in their cottage home on 11th Street, near Broad. Mr. Whitty located it for a photograph by Mr. H. P. Cook, in which print appears the side window in the peak where, as “boys will he boys,” they climbed out for “good times” as boys count them. From Mr. Witty it comes, that against home approval Edgar spent some nights with Burling, who had taught him to swim and shared with him other manly sports. Burling was also credited with over-fondness for light reading and instability of character. The cottage window is still to be seen through which he and Edgar found their way for night-larks that usually are unrecorded events in that impressionable period — between fourteen and twenty-one — of most normal boys. Whether or not Mr. Allan’s youth escaped their lure is not likely to become known; but that he failed to sustain his supposed ideal of manhood became known accidentally, in a most disturbing way, to a mere child in years with whom the man had been conscientiously over-strict. Perhaps no more irritating situation could have been faced than that confronting Mr. Allan, who truly seemed “a good man gone wrong.” Such a crisis also required the moral courage of a great man — which Mr. Allan certainly was not — for fairly meeting it with heroic [page 216:] measures for himself. With this wreckage of Mrs. Allan’s happiness added to Edgar’s shock of disrupted trust and respect, the breach widened between her husband and their foster-son, until with a false sense of self-protection — needless, time has proved, as against Poe, boy and man — not only was Edgar now duly impressed with his dependence on and by Mr. Allan, but with cruel deliberation this boy of fourteen — more or less — was made to face what appears to be a false slur on the honor of his dead mother, which slur included the birth of his sister Rosalie. Without doubt this heartless act was calculated to silence forever the boy’s knowledge of the man’s misdoings. Gratitude — that was never recognized — nothing less, for benefits received, guaranteed that silence from Edgar Allan Poe to the end of his days. But the shock that Allan’s slur upon the boy’s mother made upon his overstrung nerves at that time, about turned the child’s soul wrong side out; and its far-reaching effects ended only with his life. The strain made him moody, silent, desperate; and then perhaps not so grateful as he otherwise might have been to Mr. Allan, who by this act only added heavily to other burdens on his own conscience. A child’s mind is “wax to receive, and a man’s mind is marble to retain” such impressions. Poe the man never forgot, but he forgave the creator of these blighting injuries. However, some visit to Edgar must have been made by his brother Henry prior to this distracting time; otherwise this boy of seventeen could never have been addressed by the original — if it ever existed — of Mr. Allan’s MS. “copy” of a letter now to be found [page 217:] amongst Ellis & Allan MSS. in the Library of Congress. This curious document has been referred to, printed, and placed on public exhibition at various times. Not only in itself, but in its preservation as involving the honor of a dead, defenseless woman with all her connections, this letter — “MS. copy” — found among business papers tells its own story; and in its own way casts most unfortunate reflections on its writer. It dates and reads:

RICHMOND, NOV. 21, 1824.

DEAR HENRY I have just seen your letter of the 25th ult. to Edgar and am much afflicted, that he has not written you. He has little else to do for me he does nothing & seems quite miserable, sulky, & ill-tempered to all the Family. How we have acted to produce this is beyond my conception why I have put up so long with his conduct is little less wonderful. The boy possesses not a Spark of affection for us not a particle of gratitude for all my care and kindness towards him. I have given [words are left out of original script] a much superior Education than ever I received myself. If Rosalie has to rely on any affection from him God in his mercy preserve her. . . .

I fear his associates have led him to adopt a line of thinking & acting very contrary to what he possessed in England. I feel proudly the difference between your principles & his & hence my desire to Stand as I ought to do in your Estimation. [Mr. Allan keenly realized Edgar’s high standard of principles, and was not likely to care where he stood with Henry.] Had I done my duty as faithfully to my God as I have to Edgar, then had Death come when he will had no terrors for me, but I end this with a devout wish that God may yet bless him & you & that Success may crown your endeavors & between you your poor sister Rosalie may not suffer. At least site is half your Sister & God forbid [page 218:] dear Henry that we should visit upon the living the Errors & Frailties of the dead. Believe me Dear Henry we take an affectionate interest in your destinies and our United Prayers will be that the God of Heaven will bless & protect you, rely on him my Brave & excellent Boy who is willing & ready to save to the uttermost. May he keep you in Danger preserve you always is the prayer of your Friend & Servant

JOHN ALLAN.

Amongst a number of strong denials as to knowledge of cause for the slur this “MS. copy letter” casts on the honor of Mrs. David Poe, Jr., and the birth of her daughter Rosalie, a few follow from the highest possible of Richmond, Baltimore and other authorities.

We, the undersigned, have read the letter from John Allan to Henry Poe, and state emphatically that we never heard any suggestion injurious to Mrs. Poe’s good name and we do not believe there has ever been any such intimation or rumor in circulation in Richmond. (signed) ‘MARY NEWTOM STANARD.

W. G. STANARD,

Curator of Vir. Hist. Society.

RICHMOND, VA., DEC. 19, 1915.

Excerpt from a letter dated “Richmond, Va., July 28, 1915,” from Mr. James H. Whitty:

“I spent the afternoon of last — Monday with Mrs. Mack, of Danville, — a step-daughter of J, H. Mackenzie. She takes little stock in the Allan letter written about Rosalie Poe. It is her opinion that if anything of the sort existed, the Mackenzie family who adopted Rosalie surely would have had an inkling. That there was none she is positive. And besides, she herself roomed with Rosalie for months; [page 219:] was in her confidence and nothing of the kind ever came up. This is good circumstantial evidence against the Allan strictures.”

In Mrs. George K. McGaw’s letter dated Baltimore, Nov. 16, 1915, appears from Miss Herring — daughter of Henry and Eliza Poe Herring — concerning Rosalie Poe: “Miss Herring said she was a very small child when Edgar was there but Rosalie always stayed with them a part of the time she spent in Baltimore, as she did at my father’s house,” added Mrs. McGaw. “Miss Herring asserted that there could not be a word of truth in the calumny against Rosalie; that they would surely have heard of it, as they knew everything concerning her life. She was well educated, — through the kindness of Mrs. Mackenzie: . . . Rosalie was kind-hearted, generous, simpleminded and very much like her brother in the shape of her face.” Mrs. McGaw, through a second marriage of her father, Mr. James Warden, to Mary Estelle Herring, half-sister of Poe’s “Cousin Elizabeth” Herring, was connected but not related to the family of the poet’s “Aunt Eliza” Poe Herring deceased.

In a Richmond, Oct. 9, 1872, letter(22) of Mary I. Dixon — among Mr. Stoddard’s papers — appears, of Mrs. Charles Ellis, wife of Mr. Allan’s partner: “As one of the few old ladies living who were grown up when Edgar was a child . . . she says Mrs. Poe’s husband had deserted her so long before her death, as to cast doubt upon Rosalie’s birth who was an infant in arms when her mother died” (Dec. 8, 1811). Rosalie was one year old Dec. 20th, that year. “There exists a letter locating David Poe, Jr., in New York [page 220:] City July 10, 1810” — according to a press-print. His wife played there until July 4th closed the season of that year. Some one credited Mrs. Ellis with saying that Mr. Mackenzie “was wrongfully accused” in connection with the coming of Rosalie. Mrs. Ellis was not married, nor living in Richmond until after September, 1813. The truth seems to be that this unfortunate unreliable hearsay, all in all, was of much later fabrication and in line with and purpose of Mr. Allan’s MS. “Letter Copy” to Henry Poe, dated Nov. 1, 1824. The known facts are, that David Poe, Jr., died of consumption, which was induced by extreme cold, over-work and the damp Boston Theatre, during the winter of 1809. The only known, definite print record of his death is a press-clipping, owned by Robert B. Kegeries, Esq.. New York City. Shorn of name and date it noted, “David Poe Jr. died Oct. 19, 1810, at Norfolk, Va.” There are various surmises of this occurrence; one, autumn, 1811, prior to the death of his wife, Dec. 8th of that year. The New York press of 1809 noted David Poe, Jr., and wife playing at Park Theatre with Thomas Apthorpe Cooper. Oct. loth, 1809, dated David Poe’s last appearance. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Poe appeared from Dec. 6, 1809, to Feb. 28, 1810. Undoubtedly David Poe’s malady was placing him under bonds unpleasing to public appearance, and demanding attention from his wife. Their slender resources as certainly demanded her reappearance on the Park Theatre stage Feb. 28, 1810, where she continued to play to the close of the season, July 4th. Above press-noted letter-locating “David Poe Jr. in N. Y. City July 10th, 1810” — seems definitely [page 221:] to point, that after that date his wife, with or without him, would have had time enough to go by boat, via Norfolk, leaving him there, to Richmond, Va., where she appeared Aug. 17th, in “Of Age Tomorrow.” This date would not have been many days astray from her first meeting Mr. Mackenzie that year, if she ever met him at all for any purpose. Four months and three days later, Dec. 20, 1810, Rosalie was born in the old Forest home on Brewer Street, Norfolk, Va. Mrs. Poe’s benefit night, Sept. 21st, 1810, dated her last Richmond record that year. She, after Sept. 21st, must have gone at once to her dying husband at .Norfolk, and was there Oct. 20, 1810, the press-clipping date — noting of his death. Her company did not leave Richmond until Nov. 14, 1810.

Returning to the narrative date, Professor Woodberry’s able “Life of E. A. Poe” notes his leaving Master Burke’s Academy in March, 1825. The causes stated in hereditary nervous temperament, disturbances in the Allan family with “MS. letter copy” reflections on his own family, added to the unrest usual to most boys of sixteen, made a combination far from helpful, when Edgar was in critical need of diplomatic treatment, or such as he had received from Mrs. Jane Stith Stanard. What a father’s wisdom and affection might have obtained for the boy’s welfare and growing mental force is idle speculation. But Edgar’s stand against Mr. Allan in favor of his devoted foster-mother made the lad one too many in his family — for Mr. Allan — and perhaps made one of various reasons for Edgar then being prepared to enter the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Not unlikely this move [page 222:] was suggested, at least, by Mr. Allan’s fine old uncle, William Galt, whose passing on dated Saturday, March 16, 1825, and whose funeral undoubtedly claimed Edgar’s attendance at the Allan home, 14th Street and Tobacco Alley. Mr. Galt’s will was probated March, 1825, and, writes Mr. Whitty, devises the home now in the occupancy of said John Allan ” to him. This, with other legacies to Mr. Allan, eased his business straits, and enabled him to buy at auction the ” Old Moldavia Mansion,” or Gallego home, corner 5th and Main Streets, Richmond, for $14,950. Conveyance, dated June 25, 1825, was made by Peter J. Chevallie, executor of Joseph Gallego and Mary Richard, relative of Mrs. Allan, widow executrix of John Richard, who failed to meet the payment on their prior $19,100 venture. From ‘Mr. R. M. Hogg comes some interesting notings of Mr. Galt’s will. As to his estates: the “Byrd” plantation being left to Mr. Allan; the Fluvanna — above Richmond, on the James — was left to “Wm. Jr. and James Galt as children of my adoption and nurture.” He especially asked, that should any diversion of his estates be made the men slaves were not to be parted from their wives. He noted his own slaves, whom he “sets free giving each a small sum.” Mr. Hogg adds: “I recently noted in Irvine Churchyard a Jane Galt Walsh — a niece of old Wm. Galt — legatee under his Will — who died in Baltimore. She and John Allan had a big quarrel over Galt’s Will.” Three months after it was probated Mr. Allan bought his last and attractive Richmond home; and his inherited wealth allowed his wife and himself to indulge themselves with rich furniture, [page 223:] draperies, etc. ; also to begin a library and buy works of art. Among the last were busts of Pallas and Canova’s “Mary Magdelen,” also “one of Dante,” writes Mr. Whitty. Dr. Theo. F. Wolfe describes this Allan home as a stately two-story structure of brick; the projecting gable of its long sloping roof was supported by lofty pillars which formed an imposing front portico. Its rooms were of generous proportions and decorated in the florid style of that time. To the left of the great hall were the drawing-rooms; to the right, the reception-room; and back of that, the noted eight-sided dining-room. A wide mahogany stairway wound up to the parlor above with its mirrors and high hand-carved mantel. Mr. Allan’s bedroom opened upon the broad upper balcony, [page 224:] and Poe’s was in the rear of the house overlooking the rushing river with its islets green, slopes and wooded hills beyond; one window opened to the morning sun, and gave a clear view of the Capitol. The other window opened on a northwestern glimpse of Elmira’s home and “the garden enchanted,” some three or more blocks away. Mrs. Allan saw to it that Edgar’s room was generously supplied with every comfort, books and all else attractive that her boy’s heart could desire in their grand new home. Great trees shaded its terraced gardens sloping towards the James. There was a near-by grove, and a spring Poe knew, beneath the house porch. But not a long time was any luxury to give Mrs. Allan, or the child of her heart, happiness. For reasons given, their earlier, more modest homes held most that was precious in the mutual devotion of this foster-mother of grace and her gifted son. But Edgar’s studies for the University of Virginia, his verse-making recreations, his passing pleasures, including the pursuit of his first-love dream, and perhaps most of all — it must have beenhis struggles for Mrs. Allan, marked the passing time until his mere presence in the household became a menace to her peace and comfort; then both realized that her welfare, as well as his, was best served in his speedy preparation for the University of Virginia, Poe’s Alma Mater for all time. Yet neither work nor worry hindered Edgar’s restlessness from seeking and finding consolation, during this private tutoring, at Cupid’s shrine. An early friend of Poe is credited with: “I never knew the time Edgar was not in love with some one.” This “some one” of all times was Poesy; [page 225:] but at this time, also earlier and later, her honors were shared by Sarah Elmira Royster, “a lovely young girl” whose “father was a long-time, Presbyterian friend of Wm. Galt and Mr. Allan,” writes Mr. Whitty. Mr. Edward M. Alfriend noted that Edgar “grew up loving Miss Royster.” Her father opposed the marriage, but she told Mr. Alfriend “more than once, — ‘I married another man, but the love of my life was Edgar Poe, I never loved any one else.’ ” Mr. Alfriend added: “She never wearied of talking of him. When Poe left Richmond — before her marriage to Mr. Shelton — she and Poe were engaged to be married; her father intercepted their letters, and both she and Poe became convinced that each had forgotten the other; and she, urged by her father and in a spirit of pique, determined to marry Mr. Shelton.” Of her true lover of her early days, Mrs. Shelton wrote that he was “a beautiful boy” whose general manner “was sad — not talkative, but when he did talk, was truly pleasant. Of his own parents he never spoke,” but “he was devoted to the first Mrs. Allan and she, to him.” It seems, at that time, he had few associates. “Many vanished with the sunlight of Mr. Allan’s favor,” according to Poe’s devoted friend, Robert TAI. Sully, who was in London when Edgar was intimate with Ebenezer Burling — about the same age, interesting, intelligent, but inclined to dissipation. Together, Elmira said they visited “her home” frequently. Edgar was very generous, enthusiastic, impulsive; warm and zealous in causes claiming his interest. He had strong prejudices. adored beauty and detested everything coarse and [page 226:] lacking in refinement. He was passionately fond of music; could draw beautifully and drew a pencil likeness of me in a few minutes. One souvenir of the light and blight of this bitter-sweet time has floated ghost-like down the years to these days, in a white, mother-of-pearl purse, on one side of which is a tastefully designed silver shield, and engraved on this shield are the letters S. P. R. [[/]] E. A. P. Thus it tells its own pathetic story. The second initial should have been “E.” Of Mr, James Royster and family Mr. Whitty writes, that they had slaves, kept cows, vehicles and must have been in comfortable circumstances for that day; but at times they had their financial troubles eased by North Carolina relatives. Tradition held their daughter to have been “a very beautiful girl,” bright, prepossessing, and sweet in her manner to every one. She was also ” fond of poetry,” writes Mr. Whitty, who saw “records mentioning the piano the young lovers leaned over,” adding, ” they met without restraint; sang the same songs and roamed hand in hand through the spacious Ellis & Allan rose gardens, truly enchanted by these lovers’ young dream. It was located nearer her home — built in the 1700’s on 2d Street, near Main Street — than his, of 1825.

“She was fond of all the boys, but liked Edgar best, while he was interested in all the girls but lingered longest with Elmira.” All records show that they had set their hearts on each other; and one record, at least, reveals with the full, early approval of Mr. Allan. But financial troubles — in 182 were looming ahead for Mr. Royster: clannish was the Presbyterian [page 227:] tie between them: and Mr. Allan’s newly acquired prosperity — from his uncle William Galt’s will — undoubtedly led him, in his growing disregard for Edgar, to make very plain to Mr. Royster that Poe would have no portion whatever of these properties. Results seem to point to some mutual compact between them to disrupt any engagement, formed by the young lovers, after Edgar left for the University of Virginia. Mr. Whitty notes that a deed vs. Royster is among the Ellis & Allan MSS. in the Library of Congress. Mr. Whitty continues: “In the meantime young Alexander B. Shelton — in comfortable circumstances — was laying siege to Elmira’s heart; and Royster, under existing conditions, as a fond father can hardly be blamed for doing all he could to put Poe out of her sight and reach; and in this endeavor he succeeded but too well. Elmira was just the girl for Edgar, and had they married I dare say there would have been a more favorable life of Poe written. This turn blighted both their lives; — and when Royster realized this, and saw he had ‘earned only wealth instead of happiness’ for his child, it hastened his death.” It is only fair to his daughter to assert, all records agree that she made no secret of her affairs with Edgar so far as Mr. Shelton was concerned.

Mr. Whitty notes(23) that the old colored servitor of the Allan home said that both Mrs. Allan and Edgar were sad at heart the day he started for the University, and on the way Edgar hinted his wish to break away from Mr. Allan and seek his own living. It appears that his servant was entrusted with a letter to be given to his sweetheart Elmira and it seemed to be the [page 228:] last — but one — she received from her young lover — for many a year. It seems certain that Edgar at this time and with this letter sent, as a souvenir of their mutual devotion to Elmira the mother-of-pearl purse he never could have kept full. Upon its delicate silver shield center were his initials “E. A. P.” and above them were “S. P. R.” The center letter should have been E for Sarah Elmira Royster. Undoubtedly there was then no time to remedy this mistake in his parting gift as it proved to be. (This purse through various transits from Mrs. Shelton’s [page 229:] niece, Mrs. J. W. Norris, is now owned by Mr. Oliver R. Barrett, Chicago, Ills., whose courtesy allows its picture to the poet’s memory.) So was the bloom of his young love-dream blighted forever. Nor could one of Poe’s temperamental force ever banish this blight from the verse or prose idealisms of all his later life. However, Mr. Royster, deeming his daughter “O‘er young to marry Poe” destroyed further letters but “one” from Edgar, until Elmira’s marriage, at seventeen, to Mr. Alexander B. Shelton. This “one” letter she found too late, excepting to make her mind on the subject unpleasantly clear to those most concerned in her loss of the others. This action at that time seems definitely to include her father and Mr. Shelton. Perhaps Poe’s treasured “Farewell Letter” picture, of later noting, was a reflex of a real or a dream one he wrote her in this connection. That the misgiving harbored in the heart of his beloved must have been in fact, or dreams, imparted to Edgar seems certain, as it is enshrined in his “Bridal Ballad.” From its several prints most fitting this thought are these lines:

“And thus they said I plighted

An irrevocable vow —

And my friends are all delighted

That his love I have requited —

And my mind is much benighted

If I am not happy now!

. . . . . .

“And thus the words were spoken;

And this the plighted vow;

And, though my faith be broken,

And, though my heart be broken, [page 230:]

Here is a ring, as token

. . . . .

That I am happy now!

“Would God I could awaken!

For I dream I know not how,

And my soul is sorely shaken

Lest an evil step be taken, —

Lest the dead who is forsaken

May not be happy now.”

In connection with the dominating sentiment these verses Mr. Whitty calls attention to Poe’s Richmond, August, 1835. Southern, Literary Messenger noting of the old Scotch Ballad of which four lines are:

“They have giv‘n her to another —

They have severed every vow;

They have giv‘n her to another

And my heart is lonely now;”

Henceforth, with this sorrow, Poe was keenly “Alone,” as his “finely characteristic” lines, notes Thomas O. Mabbott, expressed it, — and “in 1829,” states Mr. Whitty. So much too in “Tamerlane,” of Poe’s near-time writing, followed out this phase of his early love idealisms. The “alone” markings flutter “here and there” throughout one MS., at least, of “Tamerlane.” “Four times Poe wrote the word ‘alone’ on one leaf of the MS.,” writes Mr. Mabbott, who saw it in Mr. J. P. Morgan’s Library.

Then Rosalie was too young to understand Edgar’s environment; and their brother was many water-miles away from them both. Of him, at that time, and [page 231:] Edgar, Elmira later wrote: “I have seen his brother Henry, who was in the navy.”

With no answer to letters that Edgar’s first love Elmira never saw; the frail health and marital disturbances of his foster-mother; the displeasure of Mr. Allan; with no home to look back upon, nor forward to, — all these troubles, added to his “rather meagre” money allowances, then in force, formed a coalition of adverse causes with which Poe’s sensitive, nervous temperament was unable to combat. But the boy’s brief, rosy dream of “one loved and lost before what passion was could be known,” tinged not only his mind, but also bore its reflex into his fictions of prose and verse early and late with a loneliness and sadness indelible and of which he could make no other expression. For him, his beloved was translated to another world. Some lines from “To One in Paradise” vividly bear out the burden of the young lover’s heart at this time

“Ah, dream too bright to last!

Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise

But to be overcast!

A voice from out the Future cries,

‘On! on!’ — but o‘er the Past

(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies —

Mute, motionless, aghast!”

Thus was the “gulf” of resignation spanned with a prophecy!

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - EAPTM, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. Poe: The Man (M. E. Phillips) (Section 02)