Text: Dwight R. Thomas, “Chapter 07: [Part II: July-Dec] 1843,” Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (1978), pp. 582-659


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


­ [page 582, continued:]

CHAPTER VII: 1843

 

July, l843

JULY 1: In reviewing the July number of Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, the Saturday Evening Post, p. 3, col. 1, comments on Henry B. Hirst’s poem “Eegeria”: “The poetry by H. B. Hirst, is in the ‘ideal’ style of that young gentleman, and we must say in passing, that we know of no one who excels in that line, the distinguished author of ‘Eegeria ‘ — except, perhaps, Master George Lippard.”

NOTE: Hirst seems to have forgiven Lippard for satirizing him in “The Bread Crust Papers”: he was now a contributor to The Citizen Soldier. The editors of the Saturday Evening Post had ample reason for hostility toward the author of “The Spermaceti Papers.”

JULY 1: The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 3, carries Francis H. Duffee’s retraction of his statement published in the Daily Forum on June 27:

COMMUNICATION.

Mr. Du Solle — Dear Sir: — You say in your paper of yesterday, that an action for damages has been brought against Mr. F. H. Duffee, for publishing a communication in the Forum, in which it was insinuated that the publishers of the Dollar Newspaper, had defrauded the public by paying that talented writer, Edgar A. Poe, Esq., $15 for his admirable tale of the “Gold Bug,” instead of paying the price of $100,&c.&c.

In justice to myself, whatever may be the result of this unpleasant business, will you give place to the following extract from the publication in question? The language used by me is as follows: —”That one hundred dollars was paid for this signal abortion, we believe to be an arrant falsehood,”&c.&c. “We incline to think that ten or fifteen dollars satisfied the talented,”&c.&c. My position, you will perceive, is qualified by a doubt, and is stated merely as an opinion, the contradiction of which publicly given by the publishers, sets the matter at rest, and merely goes ­[page 583:] to show that I, in my criticism, have committed an error.

F. H. DUFFEE.

JULY 1: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 3, John S. Du Solle initiates a second controversy involving Poe’s story:

The Prize Tale of the “Gold Bug” —

Suspected Plagiarism.

Having read this tale, written by Mr. Poe for the prize of $100 offered by the publishers of the Dollar newspaper, two things struck us — First, that the reader of it could readily recognize its author, whether his name were appended to it or not, on account of the conspicuous and frequent allusion to the modes of “secret writing,” which Mr. Poe has so ably proved himself in Graham’s Magazine capable of decyphering: and second, that nearly all the machinery of the tale, and most of its stirring incidents were familiar to our memory — that we had read them before.

After some reflection, we turned to a volume of Tales published about two years ago, by Miss Sherburne, of Washington City, and in the tale of “Imogine, or the Pirate’s Treasure,” we discovered the substance in fact of “the Gold Bug!”

In Miss Sherburne’s “Imogine,” the “treasure” found on Long Island Sound, as once belonging to the noted “Kidd,” [is] buried under an “old oak.” Figures are traced on the tree — 1, 7, 1, 2 — with a hand pointing to the ground near the tree. At some distance from the tree, is the figure of another hand pointing to an old stone wall; while under the tree a “dead limb falls and stands upright in the ground,” to the surprise of the hero,&c. page 57. Again the treasure is found under the old tree. A skeleton also lies buried on the treasure, which is removed. Then a few pieces of gold are seen. On digging, the men find the treasure, which is all taken away. Spades and mattacks are used. A “damp piece of leather” (not parchment) is also found, tied with tarred twine, which on being opened is discovered to be the “journal of the Pirate,” — pages 102, 104, 105,&c.&c.

We need say no more. Mr. Poe is a good-hearted, clever man, a most able and talented writer, and we ­[page 584:] would not for the world accuse him of plagiarism, but we cannot help thinking how curious a thing it is that two such persons should hit on such exactly corresponding ideas, within two years of the same time.

NOTE: Although some Philadelphia editors were to refer to Miss Sherburne’s tale as “Imogene,” the correct title was “Imogine.” Poe was not guilty of plagiarism; for additional information, see the chronology for July 12, 15, 18, 25, 27, 29, 1843. Du Solle’s accusation may have been intended as a jeu d’esprit, comparable to Thomas Dunn English’s “Stealing from Abroad” (see the chronology for February 3, 10, 1844) .

JULY 2: John Tomlin, in Jackson, Tennessee, writes Poe:

I had seen, before I received your letter of the 20 ult, Mr. Clark[e]’s announcement in the “Museum,” of his withdrawal from the Stylus projet [sic ]; — and even before then, from your long and protracted silence, and in the absence of all evidence, save this, had the belief that the devilish machinations of a certain clique in Philadelphia, had completely baulked your laudable designs. But I had not supposed that Morton C. Michael had joined in, with this minnow tribe of littérateurs, in their persecutions against you. I had supposed that between you, there existed an association, that was with him, as unselfish, as it was generous on your part. Your final triumph over this clique, will give me more pleasure than anything I wot of now.

Tomlin discusses his activities in behalf of Poe’s magazine project: “I had caused to be noticed in various newspapers of the South and West, your project; and did see thro’ these sources, the high admiration in which my friends in those places, held your Endowments.” The favorable review of

The Stylus in the June number of The Magnolia was the result of Tomlin’s endeavor: he asked his friend and correspondent William Gilmore Simms to notice this forthcoming journal. The Charleston editor, in his “private letters” ­[page 585:] to Tomlin, speaks highly of Poe’s “Endowments as an artist.” Simms will visit Philadelphia this summer: “While there any attentions sewn him, will be reciprocated by me.” Tomlin discusses a letter he received from one of Poe’s Philadelphia associates: “Have you not in your City, some, that thro’ a friendship which they feel not, are doing you much evil? I have had a letter quite lately, from one professing all friendship for you, in which some allusions are made to you in a manner greatly astonishing me.”

NOTE: Works, XVII, 149-51. The clique of Philadelphians who opposed Poe’s “laudable designs” may have existed only in Tomlin’s imagination. The Tennessee postmaster had no firsthand knowledge of literary affairs in Philadelphia; his impressions were based on piecemeal information provided by newspapers and magazines, and by the letters of such correspondents as Poe, Charles J. Peterson, and Lambert A. Wilmer. In the present letter Tomlin seems to be drawing unwarranted conclusions from Wilmer’s May 20 letter to him, which mentions a “Philadelphia Clique,” but does not state that it was hostile to Poe. The “Morton C. Michael” Tomlin discusses was almost certainly Morton McMichael, a prominent Philadelphia journalist and politician. McMichael was later to serve as the city’s mayor; in 1843 he was one of the editors of Godly’s Lady’s Book. Poe may have mentioned McMichael in his June 20 letter to Tomlin. None of the Tennessee postmaster’s letters to William Gilmore Simms have been located. Apparently, the only extant Simms letter to him is an uninformative epistle dated May 19, 1846; it is included in The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, ed. Mary C. Simms Elephant, Alfred Taylor Odell, and T. C. Duncan, II (Columbia, S. C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1953), 166. Simms spent two days in Philadelphia in July, 1840; and during the summer of 1843, he again paid a ­[page 586:] brief visit to the city, this time in the company of James Fenimore Cooper and John P. Kennedy. For documentation, see The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, I (1952), 174-79, 359-67. There is no evidence that the Charleston editor saw Poe on either occasion.

POST JULY 2: Poe writes John Tomlin, asking his correspondent to send him the letter from his Philadelphia associate who, although professing friendship, seems intent on harming his reputation.

NOTE: This letter is mentioned in Poe’s August 28, 1843, letter to Tomlin. In his second letter Poe repeated his request and correctly surmised that Lambert A. Wilmer was Tomlin’s correspondent. This identification would not have taxed his powers of analysis: Wilmer had dedicated his poem “Recantation” to the Tennessee postmaster as a “testimonial of respect and friendship.” Francis H. Duffee’s second communication to the Daily Forum, entered in the chronology for July 6, provides some evidence that Wilmer was then attacking Poe in print.

JULY 3: The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 4, reports: “We are authorized to state that Mr. Robert Tyler, son of the President of the United States, will be present this evening at the [Irish] Repeal Association, and will address the meeting, which will be held at the Assembly Building, Tenth and Chestnut streets.”

NOTE: The Tyler administration hoped to secure the votes of the many Irish immigrants who had recently settled in New York, Philadelphia, and other large cities. Thomas Dunn English served both the President and the cause of Irish Repeal (see the chronology for July 10, 1843). ­[page 587:]

JULY 4: The Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 1, cols. 7-9, publishes the first installment of “The Gold-Bug: A Prize Story,” from the Dollar Newspaper.

NOTE: Two additional installments appeared in the Inquirer, July 6, p. 1, cols. 7-9, and July 7, p. 1, cols. 6-9. Poe’s story was reproduced without Felix O. C. Darley’s illustrations.

JULY 4: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 4, reports Poe’s libel suit:

THE PRIZE STORY OF THE “GOLD-BUG.” — We are informed that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., author of the prize story entitled the “Gold-Bug,” published in the Dollar Newspaper, has commenced a suit for libel against one Francis H. Duffee, a person formerly connected in

some official capacity, we understand, with several of the small savings institutions of our city now no more, and at present in some capacity in connection with a broker’s office, No. 3 S. Third st. The alleged libel consisted in the publication of an anonymous communication in the Forum of the 27th of June, reflecting upon the character for integrity of Mr. P., as well as upon the committee of decision appointed to award the premiums lately offered by the publishers of the Dollar Newspaper, and also upon the publishers. The article in question charges the parties, if not directly, at least by implication, with collusion and positive fraud.

Mr. P. will, of course, allow the gentleman every opportunity he may desire to substantiate his charges, or any portion of them, and as he will necessarily fail in every particular to do so, or to show the least shadow or particle of the appearance of anything to justify the charges he has made, he will hold himself ready to bear the consequences of an act which must have been prompted solely and entirely by his own

mere suspicions, and without possessing the least knowledge of the subject upon which he would pretend to enlighten the public.

The individual will probably be taught a lesson which may do him good hereafter, for he will find other parties connected with this matter, who will not consent to have their business integrity publicly and ­[page 588:] gratuitously impeached by an anonymous scribbler. We conceive it not impossible that, as there could have been no foundation for the suspicions of the individual, and as the article in question exhibits a degree of hostility towards the publishers of the Dollar Newspaper not to be misunderstood, the parties may be indebted for the attack by which their reputation is assailed, to the known opposition of some of them to the several shinplaster shops, such as the Franklin Loan Company, the Pennsylvania Savings Institution, et id omne genus, which a few years since infested our city. Whatever may have been the cause, however, so far as the writer is concerned, we conceive that the publishers of the paper in which the libellous article appeared, are in a moral point of view at least, quite as awkwardly situate, for while confessing their belief that perfect fairness had been used in relation to the matter alluded to, and therefore that the communication was a foul slander, they lend their aid gratuitously to give it currency to the extent of their means.

The card purporting to be an apology, over the signature of the gentleman himself, in the Spirit of the Times of Saturday last, amounts to nothing more than an exposure of his own attempted injustice to the parties concerned.

JULY 5: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. l, p. 148) George Lippard describes “The Meeting of the Spermaceti Club.” The members of this association include Spermaceti Sam, Professor Peter Sun, Blow Nakre, and Rumpus Grizzel; they decide to start a new magazine which will appeal to all classes of readers. Spermaceti Sam describes it:

“A magazine! A national magazine — a family magazine — a baby’s magazine — a — a —” he grew very red in the face —”a universal magazine!”

“A literary refrigerator!” cried Professor Sun . . . . “An intellectual butter-cooler! A spiritual victuals safe!”

The club members agree on a title for their periodical: “‘The Ladies’ American Magazine — edited by Rev. Rumpus Grizzel — published by S. Spermaceti, Esq. Professor P. Sun, ­[page 589:] Original Contributor. Blow Nakre, Esq., General Agent.”

NOTE: Graham’s Magazine seems to be the subject of Lippard’s satire in this fourth installment of “The Spermaceti Papers.”

JULY 6: The editors of the Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 2, reply to the editors of the Public Ledger:

The Ledger, Edgar A. Poe and ourselves.

The Independent Ledger on Tuesday, in an article referring to the commencement of a libel suit by Mr. Poe against a correspondent of the Forum, has the following paragraph:

“Whatever may have been the cause, however, so far as the writer is concerned, we conceive that the publishers of the paper in which the libellous article appeared, are in a moral point of view at least, quite as awkwardly situate, for while confessing their belief that perfect fairness had been used in relation to the matter alluded to, and therefore that the communication was a foul slander, they lend their aid gratuitously to give it currency to the extent of their means.”

We stated that the character of the gentlemen composing the committe[e] to award the premiums, precluded the possibility of any collusion between the editors of the Dollar Weekly [sic ] and Mr. Poe, and as we were of this opinion, we rejected one communication from the same source, and even cut out sentences from the published one. The correspondent spoke with certainty, and having a responsible name, we felt it a duty to lend our colemns [sic ] to expose what was characterized as a humbug. Upon the first application made to us, we gave the name of our correspondent. [Query? Before the Ledger speaks of morality, would it not be as well to tell us who caused the insertion in its columns of the article, ascerting [sic ] as a fact beyond dispute, that Gov. Porter would sign the bill for the sale of the public works?]

No person living has been more caustic in his criticisms than Mr. Poe — he has not used the dissecting knife, but the tomahawk and scalping knife, and his ­[page 590:] victims have writhed under his savage inflections. Why is it that he does not meet our correspondent on his own ground, (for we have tendered our columns to him,) and resort to the pen rather than the courts?

Is he coming Cooper over the corps editorial? We have ever professed ourselves an admirer of his literary productions — the Southern Literary Messenger under his editorial charge won a high and deserved reputation, but he will essentially detract from his standing if he fly to the law whenever he is attacked with his own weapons.

We can see nothing in the publication that has aroused all this din, which a plain denial would not set straight. If our correspondent was in error, it is easy to put the world right and quiet the pulses of the mundane sphere, which have been beating at fever heat from the agitation of the all important question, whether a gold bug is a hum bug or a hum bug a gold bug.

JULY 6: The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 4, publishes a second communication from Francis H. Duffee:

THE “GOLD BUG” AND THE LEDGER.

To the Editors of the Forum.

Gentlemen — An article appeared in the Ledger of the 4th instant, purporting to be written by the editors, which is as base a libel as ever was uttered, and if I were disposed to resort to the cowardly mode of obtaining satisfaction for supposed injuries through the medium of the law, as “some folks” are, a better cause for one could not be found than the publication in question. Their remarks, penned in a moment of irritation, accompanied with allusions to monied institutions, are so apparent as the emanation of malice, that I pass them by. Thanks to my position in society, the name which I bear is not tainted with fraud or forgery, else would they have scathed me with their abuse, and made indeed truth a libel; but such not being the case, their ill-timed remarks fall harmless at my feet. But as regards the allusion to the matter at issue between the author of the “Gold Bug” and myself, I have a few words to say. In the first place, I pronounce the whole statement in the Ledger as an unqualified falsehood. Suit has not been commenced against me, nor am I aware that any legal ­[page 591:] process has been issued. If there has, I am ready to meet it, and trust to an intelligent and enlightened jury to sustain me in exposing humbug and protecting the liberty of the press, the right of thought, and the law of criticism. Have we gone back to the old feudal time, when speech was not permitted, nor words uttered, unless by special license? Are the cliques of our city, the monarchs of literature, determined to suppress truth and not to allow the uninitiated to speak of their faults or criticise their doings? Is this a land of liberty or not? Are free institutions, the open expression of sentiment to be subject to this mental rack, established for the few, to silence the many? The idea is preposterous!

I have yet received no intimation that a suit has been commenced. If, however, to receive a polite note from a highly talented and amiable member of the bar-if to be waited upon by Mr. Edgar A. Poe, accompanied by two gentlemen with big sticks — if to meet them boldly and candidly acknowledge myself the author of the critique — if to be again waited on by the said Poe, accompanied by another gentleman with a big stick, and presented with a paper for me to sign calculated to make me acknowledge myself a liar and a scoundrel in the face of the public — if this is the commencement of legal proceedings, it is a way so outre, so “grotesque and arabesque,” that it could only emanate from the clique, and not from the proper tribunal, the law!

What I said of Poe’s story of the Gold Bug is the opinion expressed by two thirds of the community. The silence of the press is the best authority for its mediocre claim to popularity. I have spoken of it in a manner justified by the rules of criticism, and doubted at the time the well known gaggery of distributing prizes, which subsequently the editor of the “Citizen Soldier” has also boldly denounced. Be this as it may, the issue will evince whether the publishers have all the right and all the power.

If Poe is so excrutiating [sic ] sensitive, how is it that he passes over the in [n ]uendoes so delicately aimed at him by his caustic friend, the author of a poem entitled Recantation? Is not this Poe notorious for his severe and scorching criticisms? Has he not driven from the field of poetry the timid and aspiring son of genius? and that too with a withering scorn, which has paled the cheek of many a poor wight! Has he ever shown mercy to others? Then why so “demm’d “ sensitive now? Will not the young lady, (scarcely sixteen,) the accomplished Miss Sherburne, the ­[page 592:] talented authoress of “Imogene, or the Pirate’s Treasure,” feel aggrieved to find that the Gold Bug is partly built upon the beautiful materials her imagination collected together; and has he (Poe!) had any compunctions of conscience, or acknowledged his indebtedness — nor has he contradicted [contradicted] Du Solle’s exposition of the same in the “Spirit of the Times,” of the 30th ult. [July 1] My course has been open and plain — I have written nothing — said nothing that the ingenuity of counsel can construe into libel. I have exposed humbug and charlatanism-it is now to be seen if the right of speech and the right of criticism are to be suppressed. Let the question be decided at once by the people — let us know from the proper tribunal whether the standard of criticism and the freedom of expression is [are] to be confined altogether to the few who fortunately have the control of types, and an extensive circulation for their “penny” publication.

If the people dare not speak, then indeed has a portion, a material portion of our liberty passed away. The early insertion of this hurried communication will much oblige one who, while he has nerve and brain, will never submit to be victimized into vassalage, by either the Gold Bug or its “scar [a ]baei,” the Public Ledger.

Faithfully, I remain,

F. H. DUFFEE.

Philadelphia, July 4, 1843.

NOTE: Poe’s “caustic friend” was Lambert A. Wilmer. Duffee’s allusion to “the in [n ]uendoes so delicately aimed” suggests that Wilmer was publicly attacking his friend of long standing. Since Poe is not mentioned in “Recantation,” Duffee must have seen these innuendoes in some other

source, possibly in the Evening Mercury, a newspaper with which Wilmer was then associated (see the chronology for December 10, 1842). No copies of the Mercury for the summer of 1843 seem to be available.

JULY 8: In the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 3, col. Joseph Evans Snodgrass reports: “E. A. POE has carried a ­[page 593:] prize of $100 from the proprietors of the ‘Dollar Newspaper,’ with a story entitled the ‘Gold Bug.’ It has had a tremendous run.”

JULY 8: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. l, Thomas C. Clarke discusses a popular story:

THE GOLD BUG.

This is the title of the story written by our friend Edgar A. Poe, Esq., which has been very justly designated as the most remarkable “American work of fiction that has been published within the last fifteen years.” The period might very safely have been extended back to a period much more remote[,] for so singular a concatenation of incongruous and improbable, nay, impossible absurdities, were never before interwoven in any single or half dozen works of fancy, fact or fiction; and never before, we venture to say, were such mysterious materials so adroitly managed, or a train of incongruities dovetailed together with such masterly ingenuity. Indeed the intense interest which the fiction awakens arises from the skillful management of the several improbabilities, which are so presented as to wear all the semblance of sober reality. It is the unique work of a singularly constituted, but indubitably great intellect, and we give, in another part of our paper, the substance of the “Gold Bug,” omitting the ab[s]truse and elaborate details in which the plot is involved. We may add that the train of reasoning is throughout of a clear, strong, and highly ingenious character, such in fact as would do credit to the highest order of talent that ever puzzled a judge or mystified a jury.

NOTE: This issue of the Museum, p. 2, cols. 2-4, contained an abridgment of “The Gold-Bug”; Clarke offered his readers a plot summary about one-fourth the length of the original tale. The Saturday Museum and the Dollar Newspaper were both “family newspapers” and therefore in competition with each other; the publishers of the latter weekly apparently did not grant Clarke permission to reprint the story, which they had copyrighted. The rivalry between these two papers ­[page 594:] is suggested by the fact that Clarke, in discussing “The Gold-Bug,” does not bother to mention the Dollar Newspaper. For additional information on this rivalry, see the chronology for December 29, 1843, and January 6, 1844.

JULY 10: Thomas Dunn English speaks at the “regular weekly meeting” of the Irish Repeal Association.

NOTE: An extended account of the meeting was carried by the Public Ledger, July 12, p. 1, cols. 3-4. The Ledger noted: “Dr. Thomas Dunn English, upon being loudly called, arose and said: —’I don’t know of any English who belongs to this Irish Association (laughter) but myself, and, therefore, I suppose that call means me.[’] (Cries of ‘yes, it does.’) . . . . .” The fact that English’s lengthy speech was repeatedly interrupted by cheering and applause indicates that he had achieved some prominence in Irish affairs in Philadelphia. For additional information, see the chronology for May 10, 31, 1841, July 3, 1843, and January 10, March 20, 1844.

JULY 12: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 156) publishes the fifth installment of “The Spermaceti Papers”; George Lippard introduces a new character who is easily recognizable as the head of George R. Graham &Co.:

A man of tolerably slim figure, and yet not too slim; a man with a smilin’ face, a man with his hands in his pockets, jingling the cash. D’ye see the picture?

The Grey Ham, middle height, easy figure, dressed in black . . . . .

The Grey Ham smiles, jingles the cash, and turns to the Peter Sun — that little fellow with the foot-rule face, looking from beneath that umbrella of a Panama ­[page 595:] hat. The Peter Sun with the long body and short legs The Grey Ham turns from one to [the] other. — He is the man of cash — a clever man — a good-hearted fellow. But he has fallen among thieves — literal and literary thieves.

And this is the gallant Grey. This man in the black coat, with the amiable face, is the Autocrat of American Literature! He dispenses immortality in monthly doses. He gives out — fame. He is the Grey Ham, the man of men, the publisher of publishers. . . .

JULY 12: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 4, notices the third edition of Poe’s tale: “‘THE GOLD-BUG’ AND ‘THE BANKER’s DAUGHTER.’ — The second edition of this first prize story, and the first edition of the second, having been exhausted, an additional supply has been printed in extra sheets, and are now for sale at the Office of the Public Ledger. Price, three cents each, with or without wrappers.”

JULY 12: The Dollar Newspaper refutes John S. Du Solle’s charge that “The Gold-Bug” is based upon Miss Sherburne’s “Imogine.”

NOTE: This entry is provided by Heartman and Canny, p. 181. These bibliographers apparently consulted the file of the Dollar Newspaper once held by the Maryland Historical Society. They are, of course, in error when they assert that “The United States Saturday Post (The Saturday Evening Post) charged that the tale was plagiarized from Miss Sherburne’s Imogene, or the Pirate’s Treasure, which had appeared in the Spirit of the Times.” The Post, a “family newspaper,” was in competition with the Dollar Newspaper; it did not mention this weekly or “The Gold-Bug.” There is no evidence that Miss Sherburne’s tale appeared in The Spirit ­[page 596:] of the Times. Woodberry, Life, II, 38, states that the Dollar Newspaper attempted to refute Du Solle’s charge of plagiarism in its July 19 issue: this dating is almost certainly incorrect, because the editor of The Spirit of the Times retracted his charge on July 15.

JULY 13-14: The Daily Forum, July 13, p. 2, col. 1, comments: “The third prize tale of the Dollar Weekly, [sic ] ‘Marrying for Money,’ is delightfully written. It is worth a whole library of such entomological productions as the Gold Bug. We have not seen Mr. Morris’ production, which took the second prize.” On July 14 the Forum, p. 2, col. 3, adds: “We have read the second prize tale . . . . . Having now read the three productions, with all deference to the Committee who adjudged the prizes, we think they were exactly reversed in the order of merit; the last should have been first, and the first last . . . . .”

JULY 14: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 6, reports: “ALL THE PRIZE STORIES TOGETHER. — The publishers of ‘The Dollar Newspaper,’ in order to supply the demand for the three prize stories, for which they recently paid two hundred dollars, have issued them together, on a large sheet, as a’supplement’ to their regular paper, which will be for sale at the Ledger Office to-day. This sheet . . . . is sold at SIX CENTS . . . . . this is the fourth edition of ‘The Gold-Bug’ . . . . .”

JULY 14: The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 2, reports: “THE LEDGER ‘LIBELLED’ AGAIN. — We learn that Mr. F. H. Duffee has instituted proceedings for libel against the ‘Public Ledger’ for maliciously dragging his business relations before the public and throwing out intimations that he was ­[page 597:] connected with fraudulent institutions. The libel is to be found in the Ledger of the 4th inst.”

JULY 14: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 2, John S. Du Solle reports: “ELECTED A MAGISTRATE. — Our friend Jesse E. Dow, of Washington. Pleasant, talented man.”

JULY 15: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 1, John S. Du Solle retracts his July 1 accusation of plagiarism:

THE GOLD BUG. — We have read this prize tale by Mr. Poe carefully, and also the “Pirate’s Treasure” by Miss Sherburne, and while we confess that the Gold Bug pleases us much, is exceedingly well-written and ingenious, we are constrained to add that it bears no further resemblance to Miss Sherburne’s tale, than it must necessarily bear from the fact of touching upon the same general grounds. Mr. Poe well deserved the prize of 100.

JULY 18: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 3, reports that the New York Herald is guilty “of one of the most barefaced plagiarisms which has ever been attempted to be foisted on a credulous public. The leading editorial of the Herald for July 16th, on the decline of the drama, is word for word with an article upon the same subject in Blackwood’s Magazine for June.” The Ledger has another complaint against the Herald: “This same paper charged Mr. Poe with having committed plagiarism in writing the prize story for the Dollar Newspaper, the Gold-Bug, by stealing the plot from a tale by Miss Sherbourne [sic ]. Even this idea of the Herald was stolen from another paper, which has since retracted the charge in a handsome manner; but the Herald holds on to the stolen idea as if it was its own and honestly come by, even after the owner himself has ­[page 598:] repudiated it as unjust to Mr. Poe. For shame!”

CIRCA JULY 18: William H. Graham, No. 98 Chestnut Street, issues The Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe. This brief pamphlet is identified on the outside front wrapper as the first number in a .”Uniform Serial Edition” of Poe’s tales, “Each Number Complete in Itself.” It contains “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Man That Was Used Up”; it is priced at “12 1/1 cents.”

NOTE: The first number of the Prose Romances was favorably noticed by many newspapers and several magazines; these reviews indicate that Poe’s contemporaries now recognized him as an important author of fiction, as well as a perceptive and severe critic. For additional information, see the chronology for July 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29, August 5, September, and September 9, 1843.

JULY 19: In the morning two Philadelphia newspapers report the publication of a new work. The Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 2, col. l, comments:

The Romances of Edgar A. Poe, Esq.

Mr. W. H. Graham, No. 98 Chesnut street, has just commenced the publication in a series of numbers, of the Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe, Esq. We bespeak

for this work more than ordinary attention. Mr. Poe is an able and a popular writer, and we notice with sincere pleasure, an undertaking which will collect his admirable stories together, and afford the public an opportunity of possessing them in a convenient form. The first number, which is sold at 12 ½ cents, contains two articles entitled “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and the “Man that was used up” — both of them excellent.

The Daily Chronicle, p. 2, col. 2, comments: ­[page 599:]

THE PROSE ROMANCES OF MR. POE. — William H. Graham, No. 98 Chesnut street, is publishing in numbers, the prose romances of Edgar A. Poe, Esq. We have received the first number containing the “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and the “Man that was used Up.” The stories are very interesting, and writen [sic] in the peculiar graphic and forcible style of the distinguished author. The numbers may be had as above; price 122 cents.

JULY 19: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 165) publishes the sixth installment of “The Spermaceti Papers,” which is entitled “PETER SUN AT HOME.” George Lippard takes his

readers into the study of Professor Peter Sun, who is a follower of “the Bombazine School of Literature.” The Professor explains his literary philosophy:

“The bombazine school of literature is a school by itself. It is fragrant of the petticoat. It deals in the soft, and occasionally diverges into the silly. It writes under the names of Mrs. So-and-so, and Miss This-and-that. It speaks much of female influence, and plunges neck-and-heels into the sentimental. I am,” continued Peter Sun, glancing round the sanctum with an ominous look, “I am the father of the bombazine school of literature.”

NOTE: Lippard was thinking of Charles J. Peterson and his Lady’s World of Fashion.

JULY 19 [?]: Poe registers in the District Court of Philadelphia to study law under Henry B. Hirst.

NOTE: This entry has not been verified; it is based on an 1892 account of “Poe in Philadelphia” which has been attributed to Alexander Harvey. The author of this account claimed to have seen a court record in which Poe registered to study law “with H. B. Hirst for legal preceptor.” This record cannot presently be found in the files of the Philadelphia District Court; conceivably, the author of the 1892 account may have seen a document related to Poe’s litigation ­[page 600:] with Francis H. Duffee, in which Hirst seems to have acted as his attorney. For additional information, see the chronology for July 27, 1843, and see the directory entry for Alexander Harvey.

JULY 20: The Daily Forum, p. 3, col. 6, praises an author it had previously criticized:

Prose Romances of E. A. Poe. — Mr. Graham[,] No. 98 Chesnut street, has commenced a uniform serial edition of Edgar A. Poe’s Prose Romances, the first number of which is now before the public. We are pleased to have this opportunity of expressing our general admiration of Mr. P’s writings, and although we cannot see the merit of the “Gold Bug,” and esteem it entirely unworthy of his name and reputation, still every oyster we know does not contain a pearl. The tales in the present number are the “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and the “Man that was used up;” — differing as they do most essentially in style, they evince the varied powers of the author, and the facility with which he travels “from grave to gay.”

JULY 21: Three Philadelphia daily newspapers carry brief reviews of Poe’s Prose Romances. The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 6, opines that the two stories contained in the first number “will repay anybody by entertainment for their perusal.” The Pennsylvanian, p. 2, col. 5, praises the author: “Mr. Poe is a man of remarkable and peculiar ability, and his prose romances are not only original in style and conception, but, in the main, possess singular merit. They will be found well worth reading, and this edition gives them in a neat and agreeable form.” The United States Gazette, p. 2, col. 2, comments: “Whether Mr. Poe has been too much occupied, or too indifferent to his own fame, we do not know; but we have often, in our own mind, doubted which was the cause that prevented him from issuing a uniform edition of his interesting and vigorous writings. ­[page 601:] The number before us shows that the work has been well commenced, and we cannot doubt that it will be well received, and amply rewarded.”

JULY 22: Two weekly newspapers notice the Prose Romances. The Saturday Evening Post, p. 3, col. 1, carries a brief but laudatory review:

NEW SERIAL. We find upon our table a new serial, than which, in the way of Belles Lettres, nothing could better please us.- It is the commencement of a re publication of the Stories and Sketches of E. A. Poe, Esq[.], in a neat form, such as will make, when completed, a very handsome volume. W. H. Graham, 98 Chesnut street, is the publisher. To the readers of the Saturday Post, or indeed to any one acquainted with the periodical literature of our country, Mr. Poe requires no introduction.

In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 2, Thomas C. Clarke finds that Poe’s latest publication reveals his “legal lore”:

The PROSE ROMANCES of Edgar A. Poe, author of the “Gold Bug,” “Arthur Gordon Pym,” “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque,” etc. etc. Uniform serial edition. Each number complete in itself. No. 1. containing the “MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE,” and “The Man that was Used Up.” Philadelphia: published by Wm. H. Graham, 98 Chesnut street, at 12 ½ cts.

Those who have a relish for the wild and wonderful — who would “sup their full of horrors,” revel in mysteries and riot in the deep, dark, recesses which an iron intellect is capable of investing with intense interest, have a full feast spread for them in the pages of the Prose Romances. But above all has the man of legal lore an opportunity of acquiring an insight into his profession, more thorough than his long days and studious nights could ever glean from all the records of criminal practices in the courts, or the pages of Blackstone or Coke. Mr. Poe has the power, more than any other writer within our knowledge, not only of creating the most intricate mysteries, but [also of] unravelling them too; and had the Banks, in the great case of Eldrige, set the wits of Edgar A. Poe to work, they might have dispensed with the half ­[page 602:] dozen lawyers of eminence and distinction, whose names we do not now remember. The Banks, who were so awfully chisselled [sic], to use a classical phrase, on that eventful occasion, might have dispensed with all that vast array of “Philadelphia Lawyers,” had they but placed their victim under the inquisitorial scrutiny of the author of the “Prose Romances.”

JULY 22: In the Saturday Museum, p. 4, col. 2, Thomas C. Clarke informs his readers that George Lippard’s novel Randulph the Prince is concluded “for the present” with the installment in this issue: “Its continuation is suspended in order to make room for a series of stories of great interest, which we are desirous of giving place to previous to the commencement of the great Temperance Novel which the artists, Messrs. Darley &Gilbert, are now engaged in illustrating in a manner surpassing any thing of the kind that has ever yet graced the columns of a newspaper in the United States.”

NOTE: The “great Temperance Novel” was, of course, Thomas Dunn English’s The Doom of the Drinker.

JULY 24: In the morning Poe meets Francis H. Duffee. They sign an agreement ending their dispute. Later in the day, Duffee sends a letter describing their meeting to the New York Cynosure.

NOTE: For documentation, see the chronology for July 25 and July 27, 1843.

JULY 25: The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 3, publishes a card:

We are pleased to learn from the following “Card,” that a very foolish quarrel has been amicably arranged. We do not believe in a resort to libel suits — the reputation that requires the law to mend it, is hardly ­[page 603:] worth tinkering, and we must all expect knocks and bruises in this world of politics and literature. Flying into a passion, because a person does not like your last prize story, is not philosophical — it may be fun to the lawyers, but it is death to the frogs, who[,] like great wits, jump about the head waters of Helicon, with pockets to let!

A CARD. — The undersigned avail themselves of this opportunity to announce to their friends and the literary public, that all differences between them have been amicably and satisfactorily arranged. In regard to the article on the “Gold Bug,” published in the “Forum,” Mr. Duff ee sincerely regrets that it should have been misconstrued into a collusion between Mr. Poe and the publishers of the “Dollar Newspaper,” as well as the committee appointed to award the premiums lately offered by that paper, in which Mr. Poe was the successful competitor, and consequently retracts any alleged construction on his part to that effect.

With this admission, they conjointly waive all matter of dispute heretofore in existence, by Mr. Poe withdrawing his libel suit, which was instituted in consequence of the above misunderstanding. (Signed)

F. H. DUFFEE, EDGAR A. POE.

Philadelphia, July 24th, 1843.

JULY 25: Several Philadelphia newspapers notice the republication of a small volume of fiction. The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 5, comments: “Tales by Miss Sherburne. — Colon has a volume of Miss Sherburne’s tales, containing ‘Imogine, or the Pirate’s Treasure,’ and ‘The Demon’s Cave.’ The first is the story from which Mr. Poe, it was said, got the idea of his excellent prize tale of ‘The Gold-Bug,’ written for the Dollar Newspaper. The public can judge of the resemblance between the two.” The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 5, also discusses the work: “Miss Sherburne’s Tales. -Colon has for sale at 203 ½ Chesnut street, Imogine, or the ­[page 604:] Pirate’s Treasure and the Demon’s Cave. A neat little volume, which every one can read and see, if they like the Gold Bug.” In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. l, John S. Du Solle, whose July 1 editorial had called attention to the productions of this authoress, publishes only a brief notice: “MISS SHERBURNE’s volume of Tales, is for sale by Colon.”

NOTE: Du Solle’s unfounded charge of plagiarism seems at least to have benefited [[benefitted]] Miss Sherburne and J. R. Colon, the bookseller. Two Philadelphia editors who had the opportunity to read “Imogine” testified unequivocally that it was not a source for “The Gold-Bug” (see the chronology for July 27, 29, 1843).

JULY 26: The Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 2, col. 2, reports the success of a recent publication:

Poe’s Prose Romances.

We learn that the first number of the Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe, Esq., has met with a ready sale. This was to be expected. Mr. Poe has distinguished himself in every walk of literature; and it may be doubted whether the country boasts a writer of greater favor and more varied and finished accomplishments. As an editor of the Southern Literary Messenger he acquired and deserved a reputation, [of] which any living writer might be proud. In the field of romance, he has the rare merit of originality. Most of the tales of the day are copies of copies, — a reiteration of incidents a hundred times recited, and a repetition of sentiments, which, however commendable, are as well known as the Lord’s Prayer. Mr. Poe’s Romances are of a character entirely dissimilar. There is no apparent effort; no straining after sentiment; no daubing of red and white antithesis; no copied descriptions, a thousand times repeated, and weakened like circles in the water, with every repetition. In the present number, The Murders in the Rue Morgue is the better of the two tales. Of itself it proves Mr. Poe to be a man of genius. The inventive power exhibited is truly ­[page 605:] wonderful[.] At every step it whets the curiosity of the reader, until the interest is heightened to a point from which the mind shrinks with something like incredul[i]ty; when with an inventive power and skill, of which we know no parallel, he reconciles every difficulty, and, with the most winning vraisemblance brings the mind to admit the truth of every marvel related. The reader is disposed to believe that this must be the actual observation of some experienced criminal lawyer, the chain of evidence is so wonderfully maintained through so many intricacies, and the connexion of cause and effect so irresistibly demonstrated. The story told by any ordinary man would seem improbable; as given by Mr. Poe, the reader arises with a sense of mortification at having, for the time, so confidently believed that which is avowed to be fiction. The Murders in the Rue Morgue is one of the most enchaining, finished, and powerful fictions that we have for a long time read. The second tale, The Man that was used up, is an excellent sketch, full of point and humour, but does not equal its predecessor. We may anticipate a rich treat in this series of tales. We trust that the publisher will so enlarge the edition as to meet the increasing demand.

NOTE: The author of this notice was presumably the Inquirer’s editor, Robert Morris. This lengthy article and a similar one published by the Saturday Courier on July 29 indicate the wide reputation Poe had achieved by the summer of 1843.

JULY 26: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. l, p. 174) George Lippard briefly comments on “the Serial edition” of Poe’s Prose Romances: “The number before us, containing ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue,’ and ‘The man that was used up,’ strikingly develope [sic ] the analytic talent of the gifted author, as well as his powers of cutting and sarcastic humor. The first story is, like the ‘Gold Bug,’ unique, original and impressive in its style and character.” ­[page 606:]

JULY 26: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 173) publishes the seventh installment of “The Spermaceti Papers,” in which the “Grey Ham” (George R. Graham) discusses the contributors to his magazine with a “Mr. Phelix Phillegrim”:

“And then with regard to the Contributors to my Babe —”

“Yer Babe? Och, Whalaloo! — what’s that?” [asks Phelix Phillegrim]

“A familiar name for my magazine published away out here at Cairo. With regard to my contributors-’Pay the rich, insult the poor’ is my motto; it[’]s a safe one. There’s Ex-Secretary Paulding, there’s Hoffman, there’s Herbert, there’s Fay — I pay ‘em all. There’s some dozens of poor devils whom I treat with proper scorn — the poor devils!”

“The saints presarve me — here’s the August number of your Babe. All rich authors — gilded geniuses, seven of the Riverend Clergy — Grizzee, noble, ‘Bethune the Beautiful’ — etcetera. Yet here’s one poor author — I’ll be split if there isn’t! Edgar A. Poe — isn’t he one o’ th’ poor devils?”

“Aye, aye, but my dear Mr. Phillegrim, this same Edgar A. Poe is — is — rather a bitter fellow, and has a way of his own of using up all humbugs. He carries a Tomahawk — does Poe. A very bad Tomahawk, a very nasty Tomahawk. Poe is poor — but we have to get him to write for the Babe.

“It isn’t meself as is much of a judge of caracter, but it seems to me, ye fear the man? By the big bull-frog of Athlone! ye’ve a wholesome fear of this same poor author — Misther Poe?”

“He doesn’t think I’m a great man,” quoth Rumpus. “I suspect he thinks I steal the gems of my stories,” cries little Peter.

“I did hear it stated,” observed Spermaceti Sam, “that he said my cheeks gave him the idea of a perambulating beeksteak, going about in search of a spit!”

“But I’ll fix him” — said the Grey —”I’ll get my picture engraved for the next number of the Babe.

I will. I say, Phillegrim, can you sketch?” “Faix can I — like a ganius.”

NOTE: Rumpus Grizzel, Spermaceti Sam, and Peter Sun were Graham’s associates Rufus W. Griswold, Samuel D. Patterson, and Charles J. Peterson. When George Lippard created ­[page 607:] “Phelix Phillegrim,” the engraver, he may have been thinking of John Sartain or of Felix O. C. Darley. In the August number of Graham’s Magazine, Poe had applied his “Tomahawk” to the poetry of William Ellery Channing, the younger (see the chronology).

JULY 27: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 2, John S. Du Solle publishes still another communication written by Francis H. Duffee:

THE GOLD BUG DIFFICULTY. — The difficulty between Mr. Poe and Mr. F. H. Duffee, we are pleased to learn, has been settled. The Philadelphia correspondent of the New York Cynosure, (who is Mr. F. H. Duffee himself,) says in his letter of Monday —

It appears that the Petty-fogger about whom I wrote you in my last, has been at the bottom of all the mischief which existed between the belligerents in the matter of the “Gold Bug.” This morning Edgar A. Poe, Esqr[.], waited upon Mr. F. H. Duffee, and in the most honorable manner waived all matter of dispute, by attaching his name to a card, dictated by the other, which will appear in the Forum of tomorrow, when you will have an opportunity of perusing the termination of this critical squabble. Duffee, you know, handles a literary dissecting knife as well as Poe, and when “diamond cuts diamond” there is sure to be sharp work, and as I promised to acquaint you with the progress of this interesting case, this will be the end of the affairs for the present. Should any “dander “ arise in consequence of my last epistle, between the parties, and induce them to “set to” again, be assured that I will give each of them such a castigation as will make all the “Quacks in Hell-icon” tremble for their misdeeds.

I have several “rods in pickle” for the creature who rejoices in the soubriquet of “golden locks,” which were I once to flourish around his insignificant person it would produce a strain of music sufficient to affright even the veritable pegas-asses, that browse upon nothing else but “spondee and dactyls.” ­[page 608:]

NOTE: The “Petty-fogger” whom Duffee mentioned in his first paragraph may have been Henry B. Hirst, who had been admitted to the Philadelphia bar on February 4, 1843, and who had opened a law office by March 4, 1843 (see the chronology). The second paragraph of Duffee’s communication clearly refers to Hirst, whose red hair and pride in versification were frequently subjects for satire; see, for example, the chronology for January 5, 20, March 22, July 4, 1842, and January 28, December 16, 1843. This communication leaves the impression that Hirst may have acted as Poe’s attorney in his libel suit against Duffee.

JULY 27: The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 4, comments on “Miss Sherburne’s Tales. — We have re-perused the story of ‘Imogene, or the Pirate’s Treasure,[’] with a view to detect whether Mr. Poe had borrowed any of its incidents for his Gold Bug. There are men and women, pirates and a concealed treasure in each, and there the resemblance ends. They are no more alike than the Gold Bug is like the ‘Man that was used up.’”

JULY 28: The Daily Forum, p. 2, col. 3, reports that Benjamin Blake Minor has purchased the Southern Literary Messenger.

JULY 29: The Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 2, notices the republication of Miss Sherburne’s Tales: “Colon has this work for sale — containing ‘Imogine,’ the ‘Demon’s Cave,’ and other stories, by a lady of no inconsiderable ability. One of these stories has derived some additional interest from its supposed resemblance to a recent Prize Tale, which resemblance will at once strike the reader as altogether imaginary.” ­[page 609:]

JULY 29: The Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 1, cols. 3-6, publishes an abridgment of the Saturday Museum biography of Poe. Joseph Evans Snodgrass provides a brief preface to this reprint:

The extraordinary “run” which the “Gold Bug” has enjoyed, has naturally attracted general attention to its author, and caused many to desire to learn some thing of his parentage, character, and career — as well as personal appearance. Inasmuch as we have, for years, enjoyed the acquaintance of the subject of this sketch, we might speak of our own knowledge; but finding the facts to our hands, in the “Philadelphia Saturday Museum,” we merely assume to the office of an editor on the present occasion — not having room nor leisure for enlarging upon his unquestioned abilities and characteristics as a writer of pure fiction, and as a critic — in which latter capacity he is unequalled in this country, be his faults what they may.

JULY 29: The Saturday Courier, p. 2, col. 4, publishes a lengthy article on Poe and on his most recent publication:

THE PROSE ROMANCES OF EDGAR A. POE, Author of “The Gold-Bug,” “Arthur Gordon Pym,” “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque,” etc. etc. Uniform Serial Edition. Each number complete in itself. No. 1: Containing “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and “The Man that was used up.” Philad: Published by Wm. H. Graham, No. 98 Chesnut street.

Is there a man, woman, or child, “read up,” as they phrase it in American Literature, who is unacquainted with Edgar A. Poe? We take it for granted that there is not: and consequently shall not, in the brief notice we are now to take of his productions, say a word of enlightenment in regard to him. Our purpose here is simply, to announce to the numerous readers of the Saturday Courier, that Mr. W. H. Graham has just commenced a uniform serial edition of Mr. Poe’s Prose Romances, at the very low price of 122 cents for each number. Besides, we learn each work may be purchased separately, should any reader wish so to do.

Had we space and time, we should delight to enter into an extended critique of Mr. Poe’s productions: and yet, should we do so, some might — perhaps justly — ­[page 610:] charge us with egotism, even in such an attempt. But we do not now say — we shall not, at some future day, forego that suspicion, notwithstanding — mayhap, in connection with notices of some other singular, original, and extraordinary writers of American Literature. That Edgar A. Poe, has a peculiar mind, everybody admits. That he is original, all know. That he is learned — very learned — is equally well established. That he is one of the severest of critics, none deny — but many have felt. That he is one of the very best of the American Critics, we think only a few would undertake to deny. Yet, it is very certain that he sometimes wields a broad-axe, where a hatchet might have been equally efficacious. Besides, we have sometimes inclined to the opinion, that some of his book criticisms were infused with a little too much of worm-wood, with a sprinkling of gall, in doses far from being Homeopathic. That is a fault which mind — original mind — educated mind — in all ages of Literary and Scientific criticism — has been exceedingly liable to run into. Seeing literary grubs, occupying too often the places, which should be filled only by men of talent, ripe scholarship, and unmistaken and unmistakable genius — the real critics have sometimes lost their temper, and amused themselves by breaking gnats upon a wheel. That Mr. Poe has sometimes played at this sport — we fully believe — but we doubt exceedingly whether the “candle is worth the snuff.”

We leave this branch of the subject, however, for to-day — designing to resume it hereafter — and content ourselves at present, with remarking that whoever buys the “Prose Romances of Poe,” will find that they have been romancing to some purpose. They are peculiar-an original kind of Romances — but even in that very originality, we think men of mind will find gratification in revelling. Contrasted with that excellent and plain — yet eloquent and pathetic story teller,

T. S. ARTHUR — Mr. Poe loses in comparison, so far as the applicability of his Tales is concerned, for the very general reading of the extended multitude. But for learning, uniqueness and originality — we unhesitatingly say that Edgar A. Poe, in his own country, stands entirely alone.

We shall resume the subject.

NOTE: The Courier was then “edited, printed and published” by Andrew McMakin and Ezra Holden. The weekly’s masthead ­[page 611:] also lists T. S. Arthur as “Associate Editor.”

August, 1843

AUGUST: In Graham’s Magazine Poe publishes “Our Amateur Poets, No. III: William Ellery Channing”:

In speaking of Mr. William Ellery Channing, who has just published a very neat little volume of poems, we feel the necessity of employing the indefinite rather than the definite article. He is a, and by no means the, William Ellery Channing. He is only the son of the great essayist deceased. He is just such a person, in spite of his clarum et venerabile nomen . . . . It may be said in his favor that nobody ever heard of him. Like an honest woman, he has always succeeded in keeping himself from being made the subject of gossip. His book contains about sixty-three things, which he calls poems, and which he no doubt seriously supposes so to be. They are full of all kinds of mistakes, of which the most important is that of their having been printed at all. They are not precisely English — nor will we insult a great nation by calling them Kickapoo; perhaps they are Channingese. . . . .

NOTE: Poe’s contemptuous review of Channing was the second and final installment of his “Our Amateur Poets” series, the first having appeared in the March, 1843, issue of Graham’s Magazine; “No. III” may have been a misprint for “No. II.” In reviewing the August number of Graham’s, the editors of the Daily Forum, July 28, p. 2, col. 5, passed an unfavorable but perceptive judgment on his method:

Mr. Poe, the most hyper-critical writer of this meridian, cuts the poetry of William Ellery Channing, Junior, if not into inches, at least into feet. Mr. C.’s poetry is very trashy, and we should as soon expect to hear Bryant writing sonnets on a lollypop as to see Mr. Poe gravely attempt to criticise the volume. But there is method in it — it is not so absurd as one might suppose — Mr. Channing’s weakness gives ­[page 612:] Mr. Poe an excellent opportunity of showing his strength! Your critical Olivers — your wrestlers in the rough and tumble of the quasi -chair editorial of a magazine, are never afraid to knock a chip off the shoulder of any pigmy of them all! . . . .

Mr. Poe is the critic, beyond dispute, of the age. Mr. Channing is the greatest po-etaster, Mr. Poe the greatest small po-tatoe! Bah! How this humbug pretension sickens us! Such nonsensical stuff to be dignified as a criticism upon “Our Amateur Poets” as antithetical to the professional merits of the cutter up, we presume!

Altogether the number [of Graham’s ] is an excellent one, and even if disposed to find fault, we could hardly find occasion, when we allow ourselves to suppose that Mr. Poe’s contribution was intended as a jeu d’esprit and not a grave criticism.

Neither Poe nor the editors of the Daily Forum seem to have known that the younger William Ellery Channing (1818-1901), a minor poet then living in Concord, Massachusetts, was not the son but the nephew of the distinguished Boston essayist of the same name who had died in 1842. At least one of George R. Graham’s correspondents complained about Poe’s error (see the chronology for August 18, 1843).

AUGUST 2: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 180) publishes the eighth installment of “The Spermaceti Papers.” George Lippard describes a member of the clergy who has become an editor: “I wish to paint to you Rumpus Grizzle in his literary pontificals, his periodical vestments. Arrayed in a shiny black coat, with the knotted joints of his long bony hands protruding from the cuffs . . . . Rumpus gives you the idea of a respectable jackal, in deep mourning . . . . . ­[page 613:]

AUGUST 5: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 1, Thomas C. Clarke comments on The Cold Water Magazine: “This efficient aid in the great and good Temperance Cause, has passed into the hands of Messrs. Moore &Fritz, 43 Chesnut street, by whom it will in future be published.”

NOTE: For additional evidence of Clarke’s support for this temperance periodical, see the chronology for October, December 22, 25, 29, 1843, and January 6, 1844.

AUGUST 5: In the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 3, col. 3, Joseph Evans Snodgrass briefly notices “number one of a neat serial issue of the prose romances of Edgar Allan Poe, author of the ‘Gold-bug’&c., containing the ‘Murders of the Rue Morgue’ complete — certainly one of his greatest efforts . . . . .”

AUGUST 5: The Public Ledger, p. 3, col. 3, carries an advertisement: “WALNUT STREET THEATRE. AUTHOR’s LAST APPEAL. S. S. STEELE’s FAREWELL BENEFIT, Prior to his departure for England. TUESDAY EVENING, August 8th.” Steele’s benefit will feature a performance of his drama Clandare. The evening’s entertainment will “conclude with an entire new piece, entitled THE GOLD-BUG, Or, The Pirate’s Treasure. Dramatized from the Prize Story of Edgar A. Poe, Esq., published in the DOLLAR NEWSPAPER, which for several weeks has had an unprecedented run. BLACK JUPITER by the celebrated COAL WHITE.”

NOTE: This advertisement was repeated in the Ledger, August 7, p. 3, col. 3. On August 8 a slightly different advertisement appeared in both the Ledger, p. 3, col. 4, and The Pennsylvanian, p. 3, col. 3; it listed the actors for The Gold-Bug and their roles. Silas S. Steele, a ­[page 614:] popular Philadelphia actor and playwright, presumably prepared this dramatization of Poe’s story, although none of these advertisements specifically identified him as its author. The “celebrated COAL WHITE” who was to play Jupiter was J. H. White; on November 9, 1843, The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, Col. 5, described him as “the best negro dandy on the boards.”

AUGUST 8: The Public Ledger, p. 3, col. 4, carries an advertisement:

WALNUT ST. THEATRE. — FAREWELL BENEFIT OF SILAS S. STEELE. — THIS EVENING, Aug. 8th, the beautiful Drama of CLANDARE — Clandare, Mr. J. Proctor; Blackliffe, Mr. Henkins; Alviss, Miss Fisher; Lady Lomond, Mrs. Knight; Jean, Mrs. Laforest.

After which, SINGING and DANCING.

To conclude with an entirely new Drama, founded on Edgar A. Poe’s beautiful Prize Tale, entitled THE GOLD-BUG. — Friendling, Mr. Charles; Legrand, Mr. Thompson; Jupiter, Mr. J. H. White; Old Martha of the Isle, Mrs. Knight.

NOTE: The first performance of the “entirely new Drama” of The Gold-Bug was apparently the sole performance. In reviewing Steele’s farewell benefit for The Spirit of the Times, August 10, p. 2, col. 5, John S. Du Solle provided a probable reason for the drama’s failure to be included in the repertoire: “MR. STEELE had a good house at his benefit on Tuesday night, and the performances were generally good. The Gold Bug, however, dragged, and was rather tedious. The frame work was well enough, but wanted filling up.”

AUGUST 9: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. l, p. 189) publishes the ninth installment of “The Spermaceti Papers,” which is entitled “THE GREY HAM’s TRIP TO SARATOGA.” George ­[page 615:] Lippard describes a visit by the “Grey Ham” to the summer resort at Saratoga Springs, New York. The prominent publisher is accompanied by the other members of the Spermaceti Club — Spermaceti Sam, Rumpus Grizzel, Professor Peter Sun, and Blow Nakre.

AUGUST 9: John Tomlin writes Poe:

Jackson, Tennessee,

Aug. 9. 1843.

Dear Sir,

I have received from the Honl. Alex. B[.] Meek, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a letter, which I herewith enclose, that is as mystical to me, as is any character left by the ancient Egyptians on their monuments, to puzzle the future Ages.

Believing that many things are possible with you, that is not believed in the World’s Phylosophy [sic ], I have taken the liberty, which you will excuse, of sending the letter to you, with the belief that you will make some thing out of it. In conclusion allow me to say, that very many of our learned Citizens, have endeavored, but in vain to solve it.

With sincere regard,

Yours Faithfully, Jno. Tomlin.

Edgar A. Poe. Esquire.

NOTE: MS, Boston Public Library. Alexander Beaufort Meek (1814-1865), an Alabama poet, had formerly edited The Southron, a Tuscaloosa monthly which numbered Tomlin among its contributors. Poe translated Meek’s cipher in his August 28 reply to the Tennessee postmaster.

ANTE AUGUST 16: Rufus W. Griswold resigns from the editorship of Graham’s Magazine. ­[page 616:]

NOTE: In the August 16 issue of The Citizen Soldier, George Lippard reported that Griswold had been “discharged” from Graham’s Magazine during the preceding week. There is no evidence to support Lippard’s insinuation that the literary clergyman was fired from his position, but the dating given in The Citizen Soldier is credible. Griswold’s departure was officially announced in the October, 1843, Graham’s; this number would have gone to press during the month of August.

AUGUST 16: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 197) George Lippard concludes “The Spermaceti Papers” with a “manifesto” and a report of an editorial departure:

A manifesto to all whom it may concern.

I’m tired of talking about our friends in Cairo. I never heard of a man yet, who didn’t get tired of hunting that peculiar species of cat that frequents woods — and so on. But I’ve engaged in the hunt, and it[’]s not my intention to stop in the middle of the swamp. For three weeks the Spermaceti Papers will remain in a state of suspended animation, but in the meanwhile, a mass of select matter, shall be selected, relating to the lives of the Spermaceti gentleman [sick, their origin, peculiar anecdotes in their history, as well as certain researches into the mystery of coffin making.

——————

The Rev. Rufus W. Griswold is no longer editor of Graham’s Magazine. He was discharged last week.

NOTE: On September 20, 1843, Lippard resumed his satiric attack on George R. Graham &Co. in the first installment of “The Walnut Coffin Papers.”

AUGUST 18: Catharine Maria Sedgwick writes George R. Graham, enclosing “a third article” for Graham’s Magazine. In a postscript Miss Sedgwick asks: “Will you be kind enough ­[page 617:] through your magazine to inform Mr Poe &those who may have fallen into the error he has committed in his review of the Poems of William Ellery Channing that this young gentleman is not the son but the nephew of the illustrious Dr Channing?” She hopes that Graham will correct “the mistake made by Mr Poe in his sarcasms” in the magazine’s next number.

NOTE: MS, Boston Public Library. Miss Sedgwick was a popular New England novelist.

AUGUST 19: The Saturday Evening Post, p. 1, cols. 1-3, publishes “The Black Cat.”

NOTE: The United States Gazette, August 18, p. 2, col. 2, reported that “A thrilling original tale, from the pen of Edgar A. Poe Esq, leads off this week in the Post . . . . .” The editors of the Saturday Evening Post, August 19, p. 2, col. 2, provided a longer commentary on the story featured on their front page:

“The Black Cat,” by Mr. Poe, is written in that vein of his which no other American writer can imitate, or has, successfully. The accompaniment of probable events with improbable circumstances, so blended with the real that all seems plausible; and the investiture of the whole with a shadowy mythic atmosphere, leaving a strong and ineffaceable impression upon the reader’s mind, is an effort of imagination to which few are equal. For our own part, we are bound to give the as to all black cats, henceforth and forever; and to treat them with most obsequeous [sic] consideration. Cruelty to animals is a sin which deserves a punishment as severe as Mr. Poe has inflicted upon his hero. . . . .

AUGUST 26: Poe writes Ezra Holden, one of the two proprietors of the Saturday Courier: ­[page 618:]

Philadelphia

Saturday Morning Aug. 26.

My Dr Holden,

I am obliged to go to Richmond for a few weeks, on pressing business, and all the money I can raise I am forced to take with me. I leave this note, however, with my mother-in-law, Mrs Clemm, who will hand it to you. If you can spare the amount for the article I left with you, please to do so &oblige,

Yours most truly

Edgar A Poe

Patterson, of The “Post,” gave me, some weeks ago, for “The Black Cat”, 20$. I presume the article you have is worth as much — being longer &, I think, better.

NOTE: MS, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. The letter bears no postmark; it is addressed to “Ezra Holden Esqre or Andrew McMakin Esqre.” It was first published in Ostrom’s “Fourth Supplement,” 521-22. There is no evidence that Poe visited Richmond during his residence in Philadelphia. In several letters to his Richmond acquaintances written shortly after the death of Thomas Willis White, Poe indicated his desire to unite the subscription list of the Southern Literary Messenger to that of his forthcoming Stylus: possibly his “pressing business” may have been connected in some way with the Messenger, which had recently been sold by White’s heirs. For documentation, see the chronology for March 24, April, April 22, and July 28, 1843. The “Patterson” who purchased “The Black Cat” was Samuel D. Patterson, one of the proprietors of the Saturday Evening Post. The article in Ezra Holden’s possession may have been “Raising the Wind; or, Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences,” which ­[page 619:] appeared in the Saturday Courier on October 14, 1843.

AUGUST 28: Poe replies to John Tomlin’s August 9 letter:

I have just recd your letter, enclosing one in hieroglyphical writing from Mr. Meek, and hasten to reply, since you desire it; although, some months ago, I was obliged to make a vow that I would engage in the solution of no more cryptographs. The reason of my making this vow will be readily understood. Much curiosity was excited throughout the country by my solutions of these cyphers, and a great number of persons felt a desire to test my powers individually-so that I was at one time absolutely overwhelmed; and this placed me in a dilemma; for I had either to devote my whole time to the solutions, or the correspondents would suppose me a mere boaster, incapable of fulfilling my promises. I had no alternative but to solve all; but to each correspondent I made known my intentions to solve no more. You will hardly believe me when I tell you that I have lost, in time, which to me is money, more than a thousand dollars, in solving ciphers, with no other object in view than that just mentioned.

Although the solution of a difficult cipher “requires vast labor and the most patient thought,” Poe finds Alexander B. Meek’s letter “very simple indeed”; and he provides Tomlin with a translation. In the cryptogram Meek had apparently stated that Poe prides himself upon his ability to solve secret writing. Poe corrects this impression: “I feel little pride about anything.” Meek knows nothing about secret writing. Poe encloses a cryptogram based upon a “few words” taken from a well-known source; Tomlin can send these phrases to his friend to test his knowledge: “I will answer for it, he cannot decipher them for his life.” Poe reminds his correspondent of a request he had made in a previous letter:

And now, my dear friend, have you forgotten that I asked you, some time since, to render me an important ­[page 620:] favor? You can surely have no scruples in a case of this kind. I have reason to believe that I have been maligned by some envious scoundrel in this city, who has written you a letter respecting myself. I believe I know the villain’s name. It is Wilmer. In Philadelphia no one speaks to him. He is avoided by all as a reprobate of the lowest class. Feeling a deep pity for him, I endeavoured to befriend him, and you remember that I rendered myself liable to some censure by writing a review of his filthy pamphlet called the “Quacks of Helicon.” He has returned my good offices by slander behind my back. All here are anxious to have him convicted — for there is scarcely a gentleman in Phila whom he has not libelled, through the gross malignity of his nature. Now, I ask you, as a friend and as a man of noble feelings, to send me his letter to you. It is your duty to do this — and I am sure, upon reflection, you will so regard it.

NOTE: Letters, I, 235-37. Poe cannot be accused of paranoia because of his fear that he had been “maligned by some envious scoundrel in this city”; slanderous reflections on his character had recently been published in the Philadelphia newspapers by Francis H. Duffee and John S. Du Solle (see the chronology for June 27 and July 1, 1843). For evidence that Lambert A. Wilmer had also attacked him in print, see the chronology for July 6, 1843. Poe had no scruples about violating private correspondence which he believed contained derogatory remarks directed against him. On June 17, 1840, he made a similar request of Joseph Evans Snodgrass: “If you would enclose me [William E.] Burton’s letter to yourself, I will take it as an especial favor.” Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas and Jesse E. Dow contains still another example: “[Thomas C.] Clarke, it appears, wrote to Dow, who must have received the letter this morning. Please re-inclose the letter to me, here — so that I may know how to guide myself.” ­[page 621:]

AUGUST 29: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 4, John S. Du Solle comments on a well-known Philadelphia poet: “IN THE LADIES[’] COMPANION we find some verses by Anna Maria Hirst. They strike us as being the property of Henry B. Hirst. What is the alias wanted for? Is he ashamed of them?”

September, 1843

SEPTEMBER: Poe favorably reviews the life and works of an American poet for Graham’s Magazine in “Our Contributors, No. VIII: Fitz-Greene Halleck.”

SEPTEMBER: Godly’s Lady’s Book (Vol. 27, p. 143) reviews Poe’s Prose Romances: “Mr. William H. Graham, of this city, has commenced, in the serial form, the publication of the ‘Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe.’ The reputation of this author is deservedly high for originality, independence, a perfect command of the English language, and a certain easy and assured mastery of every subject which he handles. The first number contains the ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue,’ and the ‘Man that was Used Up,’ stories in totally different styles, showing versatility of power, but affording only a glimpse of the rich resources of his invention.”

SEPTEMBER 2: The New York New Mirror (Vol. 1, p. 347) publishes Thomas Dunn English’s poem “Ben Bolt.”

NOTE: This sentimental lyric became one of the most popular poems of nineteenth-century America. Even John S. Du Solle, who was English’s Philadelphia nemesis, found “Ben Bolt” ­[page 622:] worthy of praise. On September 20, 1843, The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 3, reported: “WE PERCEIVE that the natural and beautiful verses, ‘Ben Bolt,’ by T. D. English, are travelling the rounds of the press. They are a credit to their author. We like to be candid.” For additional information on the extraordinary success of “Ben Bolt,” see Gravely, “Thomas Dunn English,” pp. 373-81.

SEPTEMBER 9: The New York New Mirror (Vol. 1, pp. 362-65) notices a new serial: “WE greet heartily the publication in numbers of ‘The Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe;’ but

few writers of fiction are at all comparable with this fine author for clearness of plot and individuality of character.” The editors report that the first number contains “a most thrilling story, entitled, ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue,’” as well as “a laughable sketch”; they reprint the humorous story, “The Man that was Used Up,” to demonstrate the truth of their “commendatory remarks.”

NOTE: The Mirror was edited by George P. Morris and Nathaniel P. Willis. “The Man that was Used Up” also appealed to John S. Du Solle, who reprinted it several days later in The Spirit of the Times, September 12, p. 1, cols. 46, and September 13, p. 1, cols. 3-5.

SEPTEMBER 9: Charles J. Peterson replies to a letter from James Russell Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

You ask me how I am and what I am doing. To the first I answer, I have just returned from the shore where I have been gunning &fishing for a fortnight, and that, in consequence, I am even better than usual in health and spirits. What am I doing? Editing and publishing my magazine, which has now grown to a respectable edition, and which accordingly occupies my time. Griswold is no longer connected with Graham, who edits &publishes his book himself. So things ­[page 623:] stay here.

Now what are you doing? You tell me you have given up the law, and retired to Cambridge, where you raise chickens and write poetry — a profession,

I should think, infinitely better suited to your feelings than that of the law. Success attend you! I hope, some of these days, to see a great poem from your hands — and let it come just as soon as you think yourself strong enough for it.

Peterson hopes that Lowell has been able to extricate himself from the financial difficulties occasioned by the failure of The Pioneer.

NOTE: MS, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Peterson was in Philadelphia; he had just returned from the Atlantic shore of New Jersey. His magazine was the Lady’s World of Fashion.

SEPTEMBER 10: John Tomlin replies to Poe’s August 28 letter. The Tennessee postmaster encloses Lambert A. Wilmer’s May 20 letter to him. Although Tomlin fears that he has violated the rules which govern correspondence, he believes that Poe’s “great good sense” will protect his honor in this matter. In a postscript he adds: “Return Wilmer’s letter.”

NOTE: Works, XVII, 152. Poe did not return Wilmer’s letter.

SEPTEMBER 13: Poe writes James Russell Lowell:

Since I last wrote you I have suffered much from domestic and pecuniary troubles, and, at one period, had nearly succumbed. I mention this by way of apology to the request I am forced to make — that you would send me, if possible, $10 — which, I believe, is the amount you owe me for contribution. You cannot imagine how sincerely I grieve that any necessity can urge me to ask this of you — but I ask it in the hope that you are now in much better position than myself, and can spare me the sum without inconvenience. ­[page 624:]

I hope ere long to have the pleasure of conversing with you personally. There is no man living with whom I have so much desire to become acquainted.

NOTE: Letters, I, 237. Poe had previously written Lowell on June 20, 1843 .

SEPTEMBER 20: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 237) George Lippard publishes the first installment of “The Walnut Coffin Papers,” which describes “The remarkable dream of the Coffin Maker’sPrentice.” The Reverend Rumpus Grizzle has appeared to the Coffin Maker’s Apprentice in a dream and promised him literary fame.

NOTE: Lippard intended “The Walnut Coffin Papers” as a sequel to “The Spermaceti Papers.” This series of satires appears to have been less successful than its predecessor. The Citizen Soldier carried only two additional installments (see the chronology for September 27 and October 11, 1843).

SEPTEMBER 25: The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 5, reports: “Rev. Rufus W. Griswold has left Graham’s Magazine, and is now employed on his ‘Curiosities of Literature.’ He is an indefatigable writer.”

SEPTEMBER 27: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, pp. 245-46) publishes the second installment of “The Walnut Coffin Papers,” in which George Lippard describes “The great meeting of the Grand Lodge of the Walnut Coffin.” The members of the Walnut Coffin lodge have previously belonged to the Spermaceti Club; the lodge chairman is a prominent publisher, the Grey Ham. At this meeting the members promptly proceed to get drunk.

SEPTEMBER 30: The Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 1, ­[page 625:] publishes two cards dated “Philadelphia, September 23, 1843.” The first announces that the partnership between Thomas C. Clarke and George W. Fairman “in the publication and proprietorship of the Saturday Museum, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. Mr. T. C. Clarke is alone authorized to settle the past business.” The second card announces that Clarke and A. Van Wyck “have this day formed a limited Copartnership, for the purpose of editing and publishing the Newspaper called the Saturday Museum, at 101 Chesnut street.” In a brief editorial beneath the two cards, Clarke comments on the new arrangement: “We announce this week a change in the business management of this establishment, made by the introduction into the concern of Mr. A. Van Wyck, in the place of our old friend and copartner, Mr. G. W. Fairman . . . . .”

NOTE: Clarke’s comments provide evidence that he continued to edit the Museum and that Van Wyck was concerned only with “the business management” of the paper. During the first ten months of the Museum’s existence, Clarke had no less than three business partners (see the chronology for March 18, 1843).

SEPTEMBER 30: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, cols. 2-3, Thomas C. Clarke addresses his readers, subscribers, and agents. In a notice addressed “TO THE FRIENDS OF THE

MUSEUM,” he discusses the paper’s prospects for the second year of its existence:

As our new volume approaches, we have prepared, in pursuance of custom, a Prospectus, for the purpose of setting forth some of the reasons which lead us to hope for an extension of the patronage with which we have been so liberally encouraged during the past year.

We have not done so well either in the arrangement of the matter or in the matter itself, as we have ­[page 626:] desired, owing in some measure to the extra trouble and difficulty which all new papers are doomed to experience during the first year of their existence. We have had many difficulties to contend with, and have encountered all sorts of opposition, both from professed friends and open enemies. But we have triumphed handsomely over all, and are enabled to approach our new year with an amount of patronage and a degree of success, which under all circumstances may be pronounced unparalleled in the history of newspapers.

We solicit the aid of our friends in promoting the circulation of the Museum. If each subscriber would procure an additional name, or aid in forming a club, . . . . we should speedily attain our grand object of securing a list of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND readers for the Museum.

In another notice addressed “TO AGENTS AND SUBSCRIBERS!” Clarke makes an urgent request:

The change which has been occasioned by the accession of a new partner into the business of this establishment, renders it necessary that a settlement should be made of all outstanding accounts. Our Agents will therefore oblige us by sending at once the amounts due for the Saturday Museum. The few subscribers who know themselves to be indebted, will confer an obligation by remitting the amount of their subscriptions to us through that always-to-be-relied-on and entirely trustworthy medium[,] the mail.

NOTE: Evidence that the Museum was not financially successful is provided by the change in the paper’s “business management,” by Clarke’s own admission of the “many difficulties” he had encountered, and by his urgent requests for new subscribers and for the immediate payment of “all outstanding accounts.” The Museum was engaged in a rigorous competition for subscribers with Philadelphia’s other weekly newspapers — Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, the Dollar Newspaper, the Saturday Courier, and the Saturday Evening Post. ­[page 627:] Clarke may be alluding to this rivalry when he cites “all sorts of opposition, both from professed friends and open enemies.”

SEPTEMBER 30: The Saturday Museum, p. 2, cols. 3-4, carries a prospectus for its second volume. The heading of the prospectus calls attention to Thomas C. Clarke’s expenditures:

NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

HAVE BEEN EXPENDED IN ESTABLISHING THE GREAT

FAMILY NEWSPAPER,

BY THE FORMER EDITOR OF THE “SATURDAY EVENING POST,” AND “SATURDAY COURIER.”

PHILADELPHIA SATURDAY MUSEUM

NOTE: The second volume of the Museum commenced with the December 9, 1843, issue. The fact that Clarke had invested a large sum of money in this unprofitable newspaper would almost certainly have caused him to have second thoughts about financing The Stylus. As the heading of the Museum prospectus suggests, Clarke’s ambitions as a publisher were related to the inexpensive weekly intended for “family” reading and circulating many thousands of copies, not to the “five-dollar” monthly designed for the few readers of literary sophistication.

October, 1843

OCTOBER: Graham’s Magazine (Vol. 23, p. 216) carries an announcement:

Mr. GRISWOLD, who during the publication of the last three volumes of Graham’s Magazine has been united [page 628:] with the proprietor in its management, withdraws after the present number from his editorial connection, but will continue to be an occasional contributor to its pages. Mr. Griswold devotes hereafter, until its completion, his exclusive attention to the Biographia Americana, mentioned elsewhere in this number as in the press.

OCTOBER: In the “Editor’s Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine (Vol. 22, p. 392), Lewis Gaylord Clark quotes George D. Prentice, the editor of the Louisville, Kentucky, Daily Journal:

MR. PRENTICE, the well-known Louisville Journalist, is “down upon” a “gentleman of some smartness who rejoices in the euphonious name of POE,” (a correspondent of ours spells it “Poh!”) for terming CARLYLE, in one of his thousand-and-one MAC-CRAWLER critiques, “an ass.” The Kentucky poet and politician thus rejoins: “We have no more doubt that Mr. EDGAR A. POE is a very good judge of an ass, than we have that he is a very poor judge of such a man as THOMAS CARLYLE. He has no sympathies with the great and wonderful operations of CARLYLE’s mind, and is therefore unable to appreciate him. A blind man can describe a rainbow as accurately as Mr. POE can CARLYLE’s mind. What Mr. POE lacks in Carlyleism he makes up in jackassism. It is very likely that Mr. CARLYLE’s disciples are as poor judges of an ass as Mr. POE is of CARLYLE. Let them not abuse each other, or strive to overcome obstacles which are utterly irremovable. That Mr. POE has all the native tendencies necessary to qualify him to be a judge of asses, he has given repeated evidences to the public.” “Nervous, but inelegant!” as Mr. ASPEN remarks in “The Nervous Man.” . . . .

NOTE: Clark, the editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine, was Poe’s inveterate enemy, and he often attacked him in this New York monthly. Poe had described the English author Thomas Carlyle as “an ass” in his scathing review of William Ellery Channing, which appeared in the August number of Graham’s Magazine. In mentioning Poe’s “MAC-CRAWLER critiques,” Clark was alluding to Peter MacGrawler, who ­[page 629:] edited the fictional periodical Asinæum in Bulwer-Lytton’s novel Paul Clifford (1830).

OCTOBER: The Cold Water Magazine (Vol. 3, pp. 101-32) publishes the first installment of “THE DOOM OF THE DRINKERS; OR, REVEL AND RETRIBUTION. / BY THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH. / ILLUSTRATED BY ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD, AFTER ORIGINAL DESIGNS, BY FELIX O. C. DARLEY.”

NOTE: English’s temperance novel is noteworthy because it contains an unkind caricature of Poe under the influence of alcohol. Around the beginning of 1843, Thomas C. Clarke had commissioned the novel for his Saturday Museum, but its publication was delayed until the November 25 issue of this weekly newspaper; in the meantime, Clarke, an ardent temperance advocate, permitted its publication in The Cold Water Magazine, a Philadelphia temperance organ of limited circulation which was not in competition with the Saturday Museum. For documentation, see the chronology for ante June 10, June 10, November 25, December 22, 25, 29, 1843, and January 6, 1844. English’s novel occupied three entire numbers of The Cold Water Magazine (October, November, and December, 1843; Vol. 3, pp. 101-84); his portrait of Poe, which appeared in the October installment (p. 118), is reprinted in the chronology for December 9, 1843. The first page of each number gave the novel’s title as The Doom of the Drinkers and named English as its author. The Saturday Museum published the novel under the title of The Doom of the Drinker and neglected to identify its author.

OCTOBER 1: Abijah M. Ide, Jr., a young poet living in South Attleborough, Massachusetts, sends an unsolicited letter to Poe. Ide explains that by occupation he is a tiller of the soil and that he has received only a limited ­[page 630:] education: “I have not studied the art of Poetry, and all the education that others have given me, I have received from the’schoolmasters and Schoolma’ams’ of our District School. I write because I cannot help it. I am poor, but am not foolish enough to expect wealth for my words, or vain enough to be in a hurry to get into print, and get for myself the name and fame of the Poet. I can wait.” He gives his reason for presuming to address the famous critic of Graham’s Magazine:

I want but one thing: — an acquaintance and fellowship with other Poets. Men are brothers, and man must, if he be a Poet, have some to cherish and love. Now there are not in the regions around about Old Attleboro’ ten men who know Poetry from prose. — Not one who has any sympathy with the hopes and dreams of the poet’s heart. This utter loneliness and complete want of some in whom to confide such secrets as a Poet has, has driven me to seek friends among strangers.

You now understand my position, and why I have written to you; and if you will give me your hand in friendship, you will make one heart glad. Upon the next page I copy a few lines from some poems, that I have lately written and, I shall value your opinion of their merit, higher than that of others.

He transcribes several stanzas of his unpublished poetry. If his correspondent approves of these verses, Ide will “at some future time” forward copies of some of his poems: “Meanwhile, I have work to do, that makes the hand hard and the face brown.”

NOTE: Works, XVII, 153-55. Abijah M. Ide (1825-1873) was later to contribute to Poe’s Broadway Journal and to Thomas Dunn English’s Aristidean. Poe sent Ide an encouraging reply on October 19; as a young man he himself had addressed a letter very similar in tone to the prominent critic John Neal (see the Letters, I, 32-33). ­[page 631:]

OCTOBER 7: Thomas Dunn English is “admitted to practice as an Attorney at Law, in the District Court and in the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Philadelphia.”

NOTE: United States Gazette, October 9, p. 2, col. 6. This date is also given by Martin’s Bench and Bar, p. 266.

OCTOBER 10: Poe writes John B. Morris, a Baltimore lawyer:

In a lot of ground, owned by yourself, and lying upon Clemm’s Lot, fronting upon Park Lane, Baltimore, Mrs Maria Clemm, now of this city, retains her right of dower, as the widow of the late William Clemm. The object of this letter is to ascertain if you will be willing to purchase the right.

Mrs Clemm is in excellent health, and may live forty years. At the same time she is in indigent circumstances, and would regard your purchase of the Right as a favor for which she would be grateful. May I ask you, on her behalf, what would be the value of the Right to yourself?

NOTE: Letters, II, 703-04. This letter, like Poe’s September 13 letter to James Russell Lowell, suggests that his family was “in indigent circumstances” during the autumn of 1843. There is no evidence that Morris purchased Mrs. Clemm’s right of dower.

OCTOBER 11: The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1. pp. 261-62) publishes the concluding installment of “The Walnut Coffin Papers,” in which George Lippard describes “The beauties of the ‘Prize System,’ illustrated in the doings of the Walnut Coffin Lodge.” The members of the lodge — Professor Peter Sun, the Grey Ham, Phelix Phillegrim, and the Coffin Maker’s Apprentice — debate whether to offer a prize story contest. Professor Peter Sun is describing one of his compositions to Phelix Phillegrim when the conversation turns to a critic known for his severity: ­[page 632:]

“I turn out a first rate, Original American Novel —’Marion and his Sweet Potato’ — illustrative of the ‘Domestic Life of the Revolution.’ — Grey Ham here says I’m a genius —”

“And Misther Edgar Allan Poe — what does he say of you, Pather?” [asks Phillegrim.]

“Why — why — in fact — Poe — is — a — a — great reader of Bulwer, and — he looks at me — as if — he thought, you know — oh, d — n the thing, he knows I steal my stories — that’s all!”

“Is that all! What an inconsiderate crathur that Poe is to be shure!”

ANTE OCTOBER 13: Robert Carter writes Poe, enclosing five dollars as partial payment of the ten dollars owed his correspondent for a contribution to The Pioneer. Carter adds that James Russell Lowell has fully recovered the use of his eyes.

NOTE: The contents of this letter are surmised from Poe’s October 19 letter to Lowell. Apparently, Carter wrote in response to Poe’s September 13 letter to Lowell.

OCTOBER 13: James Russell Lowell writes Poe, enclosing the remaining five dollars owed his correspondent. Lowell mentions that he plans to publish another volume of poetry in the near future.

NOTE: This letter is mentioned in Poe’s October 19 reply. According to Martin Duberman, James Russell Lowell, pp. 54, 402, Lowell’s Poems appeared in December, 1843.

OCTOBER 14: The Saturday Courier publishes Poe’s extravaganza “Raising the Wind; or, Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences.”

NOTE: Poe seemingly alluded to this story in his August 26, 1843, letter to Ezra Holden. ­[page 633:]

OCTOBER 19: Poe replies to James Russell Lowell: “I was upon the point of fulfilling a long neglected duty and replying to Mr Carter’s letter, enclosing $5, when I received yours of the 13th, remitting 5 more. Believe me I am sincerely grateful to you both for your uniform kindness and consideration.” Robert Carter has written that Lowell has fully recovered his health, and Poe finds evidence in his correspondent’s handwriting that his vision has returned: “I need not say that I am rejoiced at this — for you must know and feel that I am. When I thought of the possible loss of your eye-sight, I grieved as if some dreadful misfortune were about happening to myself.” Poe will await “with much anxiety” the appearance of Lowell’s forthcoming volume of poetry: “I am seeking an opportunity to do you justice in a review, and may find it, in ‘Graham,’ when your book appears. No poet in America has done so much.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has genius, but he does not equal Lowell “in the true spirit.” Moreover, Longfellow is “prone to imitation”; he even appears to be “an arrant plagiarist.” Poe has written “quite a long notice” of Longfellow’s Spanish Student for the December number of Graham’s Magazine: “The play is a poor composition, with some fine poetical passages.” In his October 13 letter Lowell has stated that he is “unfit” for narrative poetry; Poe assures his correspondent that this genre is not suited for any poet: “Poetry must eschew narrative . . . . . The connecting links of a narration — the frequent passages which have to serve the purpose of binding together the parts of the story, are necessarily prose, from their very explanatory nature.” Poe forwards a copy of the Saturday Museum for March 4, 1843:

I send you the paper with my life and portrait. The former is true in general — the latter particularly ­[page 634:] false. It does not convey the faintest idea of my person. No one of my family recognised it. But this is a point of little importance. You will see, upon the back of the biography, an announcement that I was to assume the editorship of the “Museum”. This was unauthorized. I never did edit it. The review of “Graham’s Magazine” was written by H. B. Hirst — a young poet of this city.

Poe asks Lowell who is to write his biography for the series on “Our Contributors” now being published by Graham’s Magazine: “It is a pity that so many of these biographies were entrusted to Mr Griswold. He certainly lacks independence, or judgment, or both.”

NOTE: Letters, I, 238-40. Poe’s unfavorable review of The Spanish Student never appeared in Graham’s Magazine; for additional information, see the chronology for December 26, 1843, and February 9, 1844. The paper forwarded to Lowell was unquestionably the Saturday Museum for March 4, 1843: this issue contained Thomas C. Clarke’s announcement, “upon the back of the biography,” that Poe had joined the Museum’s editorial staff. Poe’s comments in the present letter provide reasonably conclusive evidence that Henry B. Hirst wrote the Museum’s unsigned review of Graham’s Magazine for March, 1843, in which Rufus W. Griswold is satirized as “Mr. Driswold” (see the chronology for March 4, 1843).

OCTOBER 19: Poe replies to Abijah M. Ide’s October 1 letter. He gives this young poet words of “friendship, approval and encouragement.” Apparently, Poe discusses his plan to start a new magazine which will initiate “a Revolution in American Literature.”

NOTE: The contents of this letter are surmised from Ide’s November 2 reply. ­[page 635:]

OCTOBER 21: The Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 1, col. 7, p. 2, col. 1, publishes a lengthy article on “THE SLAVERY QUESTION.” The author, who signs himself “Benezet,” uses arguments drawn from the Bible to support an abolitionist position.

NOTE: In subsequent issues of the Visiter, Joseph Evans Snodgrass published a series of articles on slavery. The Visiter never became an abolitionist organ comparable to the Pennsylvania Freeman, a Philadelphia weekly which existed solely to promote this cause; Snodgrass published articles by supporters of the institution of slavery, as well as by its opponents. Nevertheless, by allowing the Visiter to be used as a forum for discussing this sensitive question, he had removed it from the ranks of the “family newspapers,” which scrupulously maintained silence on slavery and other vital issues. Contemporary citizens of Baltimore seem to have regarded Snodgrass as a dangerous radical. In Shadows on the Wall, p. 58, John H. Hewitt recalled that the editor of the Visiter was “an ultra Abolitionist.”

OCTOBER 23: The Philadelphia Democratic Argus commences publication. The first number of the Argus, p. 3, col. 2, carries an advertisement announcing the “WILLIAM WIRT

INSTITUTE LECTURES AND DEBATES” for the 1843-44 season: “there will be a Course of Eight Lectures and Two Debates, commencing on Tuesday Evening, October 24, and to continue alternately thereafter every two weeks.” The advertisement lists the different speakers and their topics; the lecturers include such prominent Philadelphians as David Paul Brown and Morton McMichael. The third lecture in the series will be given on Tuesday, November 21,.1843: “Lecture, by Edgar A. Poe, Esq. Subject — American Poetry.” The William Wirt ­[page 636:] Institute Lectures are “to be held in the usual place, viz., in the Juliana Street Church, between Fifth and Sixth, and Vine and Callowhill streets.” Admission fees are as follows:

Tickets to the Course, for a Gentleman and two Ladies ————— $1.00.

Single Evening tickets, for a Gentlemen and two Ladies, ————— 25 cents.

Do. do. to admit one person, 12 ½ [cents.]

NOTE: The advertisement is repeated in subsequent issues of the Democratic Argus, a daily newspaper which supported the Democratic party.

OCTOBER 24: In The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, Col. 3, John S. Du Solle comments: WIRT INSTITUTE. — The lectures and debates of this Institute commence for the season on to-morrow evening, when Ovid F. Johnson, Esq. will deliver the Introductory. They will be continued alternately every two weeks thereafter. Several powerful names are on the list. We notice Edgar A. Poe, J. M. Porter, P. A. Browne, D. P. Brown, G. W. Barton, M. McMichael and others among them.”

OCTOBER 28: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. l, Thomas C. Clarke describes a forthcoming temperance novel: “The extensive narrative which we promised our readers some time since, under the title of ‘The Drunkard’s Doom, or Revel and Retribution,’ is in a state of such forwardness as to enable us to commence it with the commencement of our next volume. The extent of the work, and the number of the engravings, which will altogether create an expense of about $300, has [have] rendered it inexpedient to introduce it at an earlier period, as we are desirous that, when once undertaken, there shall be no interruption in the regular ­[page 637:] progress of this deeply interesting story.”

NOTE: The Museum began to serialize Thomas Dunn English’s The Doom of the Drinker on November 25, 1843.

November, 1843

NOVEMBER: Poe reviews James Fenimore Cooper’s novel Wyandotté for Graham’s Magazine: “It will be at once seen that there is nothing original in this story. On the contrary, it is even excessively commonplace.”

NOVEMBER 2: Abijah M. Ide, Jr., replies to Poe’s October 19 letter: “I need not tell you that I am grateful for your willing friendship, approval and encouragement. You have given me some confidence in myself which I think may be a very good matter for a Poet.” Ide expresses his ardent desire to see “a Revolution” in the nation’s literature: “Our country supports too many of these Dish-water Magazines: — &reads too much blank paper! The ‘pen and the press have begun almost every reformation: they must begin another. Ours has become a mighty nation; but if its institutions are to be perpetuated, if it is to live long and peacefully — the minds of the many must be somewhat enlightened; men are to be led to think while they act: and act wisely. The head and the heart of man are wonderful things.” In his October 19 letter Poe has evidently discussed his plan to start a monthly magazine of high literary quality; Ide is glad to learn that his correspondent will “attempt the overthrow of Humbug!” Although Ide’s circumstances are such that he fears he shall soon be forced to leave home and earn his own living, he promises to assist ­[page 638:] Poe’s project: “If my hand can aid in the deed, it shall labor willingly. And God bless you in the work, when the time come. I wish to learn something more of your plans whenever it pleases you to communicate them.”

NOTE: Works, XVII, 156-57.

NOVEMBER 4: The Saturday Museum, p. 4, cols. 2-4, 6-8, publishes “Cerité the Brotherless: A Tale of the Crescent City,” an original fiction written for this paper by “The Poor Scholar.”

NOTE: “The Poor Scholar” was a pseudonym used by Mayne Reid, an Irish adventurer and novelist who frequently visited Poe’s Spring Garden home (see the directory). Reid seems to have also been a friend of Thomas C. Clarke; he was hereafter a frequent contributor to the Saturday Museum.

NOVEMBER 11: Rufus W. Griswold, in Philadelphia, writes his friend James T. Fields, a Boston publisher: “I am not well, and I am nearly blind. My letter must therefore be brief. I shall soon be in Boston — probably on Thursday of next week — to meet and bid a last adieu to a few dear friends — whose generous kindness has been the solace of so many of my weary hours — before leaving the country for a foreign tomb.”

NOTE: MS, Huntington Library. Griswold did not leave the country.

NOVEMBER 13: The Reading [Pennsylvania] Gazette reports: “A series of six lectures by eminent and distinguished gentlemen will be delivered before the Mechanics’ Institute this winter in the hall of the Academy, and subscriptions have been opened for subscribers to the ­[page 639:] course at fifty cents per ticket. . . . . Should a sufficient number of subscribers be obtained, the first lecture shall be delivered on the first Tuesday of January next . . . . .”

NOTE: The Gazette’s report is reprinted by J. Bennett Nolan, Israfel in Berkshire: Edgar Allan Poe’s Visit to Reading (Reading, Pa.: Pennsylvania Optical Company, 1948), pp. 8-9. On December 29, 1843, several members of the Mechanics’ Institute wrote Poe, inviting him to deliver his lecture on “American Poetry” in Reading, Pennsylvania.

NOVEMBER 14: Joseph H. Hedges writes Poe, requesting an autograph of his grandfather David Poe.

NOTE: The contents of this letter are surmised from Poe’s November 16 reply.

NOVEMBER 15: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. l, p. 301) George Lippard discusses a forthcoming lecture:

. . . . it gives us pleasure to announce a “Lecture on American Poetry” by Edgar A. Poe, Esq., on Tuesday next. Poe was born a poet, his mind is stamped with the impress of genius. He is, perhaps, the most original writer that ever existed in America. Delighting in the wild and visionary, his mind penetrates the inmost recesses of the human soul, creating vast and magnificent dreams, eloquent fancies and terrible mysteries. Again, he indulges in a felicitous vein of humor, that copies no writer in the language, and yet strikes the reader with the genuine impression of refined wit; and yet again, he constructs such works as “Arthur Gordon Pym,” which disclose perceptive and descriptive powers that rival De roe, combined with an analytical depth of reasoning in no manner inferior to Godwin or Brockden Brown.

It was Mr. Poe that made Graham’s Magazine what it was a year ago; it was his intellect that gave this now weak and flimsy periodical a tone of refinement and mental vigor, which all the imbecility of its conductors for a year past, could not entirely erase or utterly annihilate. ­[page 640:]

We can promise the audience a refined intellectual repast in the lecture of Edgar Allan Poe.

NOVEMBER 16: Poe writes Joseph H. Hedges: “I presume the request you make, in your note of the 14th, has reference to my grandfather Gen. David Poe, and not to my father David Poe, Jr. I regret to say, however, that, owing to peculiar circumstances, I have in my possession no autograph of either. . . . .”

NOTE: Letters, I, 240.

NOVEMBER 18: The United States Gazette, p. 2, col. 2, comments on George R. Graham and his periodical: “The December number of ‘Graham’ — we think it well to identify the man with the work — we never see Graham’s smiling face, but we think of his Magazine, and we never look at his Magazine, but we think of Graham — why, then, in noticing either, should we be particular about the term? We call the Magazine ‘Graham,’ naturally, because the book reminds us of the man, and we are thankful to the book for the reminiscence. . . . .”

NOVEMBER 18: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, cols. 1-2, Thomas C. Clarke. discusses Felix O. C. Darley’s illustration of an organ grinder and his monkey, and Thomas Dunn English’s long-awaited temperance novel:

THE ORGAN-GRINDER.

DOOM OF THE DRINKER — FRIENDLY HINTS.

The great feature of this week’s issue, is the capital design by Darley. This almost everyday street scene, in any of our large cities, is well delineated Mr. Darley is now in Washington, occupying the post of draughtsman to the Exploring Expedition, to which office he has recently been appointed. . . . . ­[page 641:]

The design and engraving of this single embellishment has cost us FORTY DOLLARS; and when we say that we are about commencing the powerfully-written ORIGINAL STORY, with the beautiful and appropriate

ORIGINAL DESIGNS, BY FELIX O. C. DARLEY, ESQ.

made expressly for the Saturday Museum, and which have altogether cost us three hundred dollars, we think we may with some degree of confidence, appeal to our friends to aid us in increasing the number of readers to the Museum. . . . .

The great work which has been so long in preparation, will be commenced in our next, and will furnish the right time for those to commence their subscriptions who have any desire to receive, what we hope to make, the best paper in the Union . . . . .

NOVEMBER 18: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 4, carries an advertisement:

WM. WIRT INSTITUTE LECTURES. — The Third Lecture of the Course will be delivered in the JULIANNA STREET CHURCH, on TUESDAY EVENING NEXT, Nov. 21st, by EDGAR A. POE, Esq., author of the Gold-Bug,&c.; Subject, American Poetry. “To commence at 7 ½ o’clock. Tickets to the Course, to admit a Gentleman and two Ladies, $1; single Evening Tickets, to admit a Gentleman and two Ladies, 25 cents; single Evening Tickets, to admit one person, 12 ½ cents. To be had of S. SNYDER LEIDY, No. 199 NORTH SIXTH Street, above Vine, and at the door on the evening of the Lecture.

NOTE: On November 21 this advertisement again appeared in the Ledger, p. 2, Col. 6. On this day the Ledger, p. 2, col. 4, also provided a brief editorial notice of Poe’s lecture. The same advertisement similarly appeared twice in the Pennsylvania Inquirer, November 18, p. 2, Col. 8, and November 21, p. 2, col. 9.

NOVEMBER 21: Poe delivers a lecture on “American ­[page 642:] Poetry” before the William Wirt Institute.

NOTE: He delivered at least six lectures on this subject during late 1843 and early 1844. The second lecture was given in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 28; the third, at the Newark Academy in Newark, Delaware, on December 23; the fourth, in Philadelphia on January 10; the fifth, in Baltimore on January 31; and the sixth, in Reading, Pennsylvania, on March 12. The Philadelphia newspapers gave adequate coverage to Poe’s first lecture in_ the city; several advance notices are entered in the chronology for October 23, 24, November 15, 18, 1843. On November 21 the Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 2, col. 1, prophesied that this lecture would attract many Philadelphians: “Edgar A. Poe, Esq. will lecture this evening before the William Wirt Institute, and upon a subject of more than ordinary interest — American Poetry. A large and intellectual audience will no doubt be in attendance.” In announcing Poe’s second Philadelphia lecture, the United States Gazette, January 8, 1844, p. 2, col. 3, recorded the fulfillment of the Inquirer’s prophecy: “His first lecture was attended by one of the largest and most fashionable audiences of the season; and . . . . hundreds . . . . were then unable to gain admission.” The November 21 lecture before the William Wirt Institute was favorably reviewed by at least three newspapers; for the reactions of the editors of the Saturday Courier, the Saturday Museum, and The Citizen Soldier, see the chronology for November 25, 29, 1843.

NOVEMBER 23: The Public Ledger, p. 3, col. 1, carries an advertisement:

THE DOOM OF THE DRINKER, or Revel and Retribution — An original Tale, of thrilling interest, with 15 splendid engravings, will be published in weekly numbers, in the ­[page 643:] PHILADELPHIA SATURDAY MUSEUM. The first number will be issued on the 25th inst. To be sold at 101 CHESNUT Street, and at the principal Literary Depots. Price, for the Paper, 6 cents, or $2 per annum, in advance. Agents supplied on liberal terms.

NOTE: Thomas C. Clarke also inserted this advertisement announcing the publication of Thomas Dunn English’s temperance novel in the November 23 issues of the North American, p. 2, col. 7, the Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 2, col. 9, and the United States Gazette, p. 2, col. 6. The advertisement reappeared in several subsequent issues of each of these four papers.

NOVEMBER 24: The Delaware Gazette, p. 3, col. 1, carries an announcement:

For the Delaware Gazette. COURSE OF LECTURES IN NEWARK ACADEMY.

MESSRS. EDITORS: We are making arrangements to have a course of Literary and Scientific Lectures delivered to the Students of the Academy, and such of the friends of the Institution as may wish to attend, during the present winter term. The assistance of the members of the Faculty and other prominent literary men in our own and neighboring States is expected. The first Lecture, introductory to the course[,] will be delivered by the President of the College on Friday evening next. We hope soon to be able to announce a list of the names of the Lecturers and of the subject[s] of which they may be expected to treat.

WM. S. GRAHAM, Principal.

Nov. 21, 1843.

NOTE: This announcement also appeared in the Delaware State Journal, November 24, p. 3, col. 4; both the Gazette and the Journal were published in Wilmington. Poe was to deliver his lecture on “American Poetry” to the faculty and students ­[page 644:] of Newark Academy in Newark, Delaware, on December 23, 1843; the present announcement suggests that he may have been in communication with a representative of the Academy during late November or early December. According to Lyman P. Powell, The History of Education in Delaware (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893),p. 79, eighty-two students had been enrolled at the Academy during the year 1842-43; William S. Graham, A.M., was its “principal and teacher of languages.” Poe’s lecture at this institution was first documented by Ernest John Moyne, “Did Edgar Allan Poe Lecture at Newark Academy?” Delaware Notes, 26th Series (1953), 1-19.

NOVEMBER 25: The editors of the Saturday Courier, p. 3, col. 1, report Poe’s November 21 lecture: “On Tuesday evening Edgar A. Poe, Esq., delivered a regular lecture of the course, in the Julianna street Church, before the William Wirt Institute. We regret that we could not attend, but we are told it was a very learned critique, marked by the severity of illustration for which the author is so ably known. — We hope hereafter to give a full report of it.”

NOTE: The Courier did not publish a second report.

NOVEMBER 25: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 4, Thomas C. Clarke describes the first Philadelphia lecture:

MR. POE’s LECTURE.

Quite a large, and certainly highly intelligent audience, attended the Lecture on American Poetry, delivered by Edgar A. Poe, Esq., on Tuesday evening, before the William Wirt Literary Institute. We have not leisure this week to give even a brief outline of the lecture, the character of which may be inferred from the reputation which Mr. Poe has so extensively ­[page 645:] enjoyed, as a severe and impartial critic. Added to this important qualification, the fact of the Lecturer himself possessing talents, as a poet, of a high order, and therefore capable of more truly appreciating his subject, with great analytical power, and that command of language and strength of voice which enables a speaker to give full expression to whatever he may desire to say, it will readily be perceived that the Lecturer on Tuesday evening, combined qualities which are rarely associated in a public speaker. — With the exception of some occasional severity, which however merited, may have appeared somewhat too personal, the lecture gave general satisfaction, especially the portions in which the eloquent Sonnets of Judge Conrad, on “The Lord’s Prayer,” were introduced. The judicious reading of these created a marked sensation.

We hear it suggested that an attempt will be made to prevail on Mr. Poe to re-deliver this Lecture in a more central place in the city. With some modification, it would bear repetition, and we dare say the press will unite in forwarding these views, notwithstanding the cool manner in which Mr. P. laid bare its system of almost universal and indiscrim[in]ate eulogy, bestowed alike upon anything and everything —”from the most elaborate quarto of Noah Webster, down to a penny edition of Tom Thumb.”

NOTE: Judge Robert T. Conrad’s deeply religious cycle of ten “Sonnets on the Lord’s Prayer” had been published in Graham’s Magazine, 22 (June, 1843), 322-23. On February 28, 1845, when Poe delivered his lecture in New York City “before an audience made up chiefly of editors and their connexions,” he again condemned the press for its “system of indiscriminate laudation of American books — a system which, more than any other one thing in the world, had tended to the depression of that ‘American Literature’ whose elevation it was designed to effect” (see the Letters, I, 280-81).

NOVEMBER 25: The Saturday Museum, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9, publishes the first installment of The Doom of the Drinker; Or, Revel and Retribution. The Museum’s heading, ­[page 646:] p. 4, col. 1, describes the novel as an “ORIGINAL TALE, Written expressly for the ‘Philadelphia Saturday Museum”’; it does not identify the author.

NOTE:. There were ten additional installments; see the Museum, December 2, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; December 9, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; December 16, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; December 23, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; December 30, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; January 6, 1844, p. 4, cols 1-4, 6-9; January 13,

p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; January 20, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9; January 27, P. 1, cols. 48; and February 3,’p. 1, cols. 3-6. The Doom of the Drinker was being published simultaneously in The Cold Water Magazine, which identified Thomas Dunn English as its author (see the chronology for October, 1843). English’s own account of the novel’s composition is reprinted in the chronology for ante June 10, 1843; Thomas C. Clarke’s explanation of its appearance in The Cold Water Magazine is reprinted in the chronology for January 6, 1844. English’s unkind caricature of an intoxicated Poe appeared in the December 9 issue of the Saturday Museum; the December 16 issue contained his characterizations of himself and Henry B. Hirst. In an editorial published in the Museum for December 23, Thomas C. Clarke revealed his awareness that many of English’s “characters” and “scenes” were “drawn from life.”

NOVEMBER 25: In the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 2, col. l, Joseph Evans Snodgrass describes a lecture which Poe’s friend Frederick William Thomas delivered in Baltimore on November 20:

LECTURES OF THE WEEK.

The lecture for the week before the Institute of Education, was delivered by F. W. Thomas, of Washington, on Monday evening — theme “eloquence.” He spoke from ­[page 647:] notes, and hence proved more interesting than he would probably have been with a written lecture. There is much in the delivery — more indeed depending on it than the matter, so far as both entertainment and instruction are concerned. An earnest delivery impresses the facts and opinions of the lecturer, upon the minds of the auditors. We wonder more attention is not paid to this fact, by popular lecturers.

Mr. Thomas made a very sprightly effort. He is a rather pleasing speaker. His illustrative facts were numerous and skilfully applied. His view of “eloquence” is that it is always natural like the poetic gift, though befitting circumstances may be necessary to develope [sic ] it. A great deal was said about what may be termed naturalness of delivery — a something with which we do not think Mr. Thomas himself is gifted. There is something theatrical — in other words, forced — in his manner. And here we would remark that we think it probable his illustrations would have been more forceful to the most of the audience, had he made fewer references to actions and actings. His audience was, by no means, composed of theatre-going people. However, his lecture was upon the whole, pleasing — his recitations from Shakspeare, specially so.

NOVEMBER 28: The Delaware State Journal, p. 3, col. l, reports that Poe will lecture in Wilmington, Delaware, this evening:

LECTURE BEFORE THE FRANKLIN LYCEUM. — The first lecture of the course which the members of the Franklin Lyceum have procured to be delivered before them this winter, will take place this evening at Temperance Hall. Edgar A. Poe, the lecturer, is well and favorably known in the literary world as a poet and magazine writer of high standing, whose powers in describing the thrilling and adventurous scenes of life are perhaps unrivalled. The subject is “American Poetry,” upon which, we understand, Mr. Poe has very peculiar notions, he will therefore probably be the more entertaining, as he will travel out of the usual track.

The Journal, p. 3, col. 3, carries an advertisement: ­[page 648:]

EDGAR A. POE, Esq., of Philadelphia,

Will deliver a Lecture on “American Poetry,” at the Temperance Hall, this (Tuesday) evening Nov. 28th, commencing at ½ past 7 o’clock.

Single evening tickets 12 1/2 — 2 tickets will admit a gentleman and two ladies.

NOTE: The only known review of Poe’s lecture occurred in a letter to The Spirit of the Times by its Wilmington correspondent. On January 6, 1844, The Spirit, p. 1, col. 4, published a report on “Things in Wilmington,” dated January 4, and signed by “Delaware,” which briefly mentioned this event: “Edgar A. Poe, Esq., delivered a lecture here several weeks since, on ‘American Poetry.’ Good, but rather severe.”

NOVEMBER 29: In The Citizen Soldier (Vol. 1, p. 316) George Lippard comments on Poe’s November 21 lecture in Philadelphia:

MR. POE’s LECTURE. — It was our desire, and we confidently expected, to lay before our readers the excellent Lecture of Edgar Allan Poe, Esq., delivered before the Wirt Institute, on Tuesday evening week. Other arrangements of the Author prevented us from the accomplishment of the design. But we must say a few brief words, concerning the subject of the lecture, how it was managed, and how received by the audience. The subject, “American Poetry,” was handled in a manner, that placed all the pseudo-critics, the Rev. Mr. Rufus Griswold, Esq. among others, to the blush, and showed the audience, how a man born a poet, could describe the true nature and object, [a]s well as the principles of poetry. The sentences of the Lecturer were vigorous, energetic and impassioned, his criticisms scathingly severe in some cases, and des[e]rvedly eulogistic in others. Ex-Judge Conrad, received a merited compliment from Mr. Poe, who recited the whole of his version of the Lord’s Prayer, and Mr. Morris of the Inquirer, was noticed with cordial approbation. As a general thing, the Lecture was received with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of applause, and it was agreed by all, that it ­[page 649:] was second to none, if not superior to all lectures ever delivered before the Wirt Institute.

NOTE: In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 211, 232-33), Poe had placed Robert T. Conrad and Robert Morris, the editor of the Pennsylvania Inquirer, among Philadelphia’s foremost literati. Additional evidence that Poe criticized Rufus W. Griswold and his anthology The Poets and Poetry of America in his lecture series may be found in newspaper reports reprinted in the chronology for January 2 and February 3, 1844. Reasonably conclusive evidence that Griswold was offended by the series is provided by Poe’s April 19, 1845, letter to him: “I presume you understand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets (in N. Y.) I left out all that was offensive to yourself?” See the Letters, I, 284-86. In his “Memoir,” p. xxi, Griswold alluded to Poe’s lecture on “American Poetry”: “In this period [post June 11, 1843 — ante January, 1845] he [Poe] delivered a lecture upon ‘The Poets and Poetry of America,’ in which my book under that title was, I believe, very sharply reviewed.” In his defense of “The Late Edgar Allan Poe,” Graham’s Magazine, 36 (March, 1850), 224, George R. Graham confirmed Griswold’s impression: “They [Poe and Griswold] were for years totally uncongenial, if not enemies, and during that period Mr. Poe, in a scathing lecture upon The Poets of America, gave Mr. Griswold some raps over the knuckles of force sufficient to be remembered.”

December, 1843

DECEMBER 9: The Saturday Museum, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9, ­[page 650:] publishes the third installment of The Doom of the Drinker. The novel’s sixth chapter, entitled “The Revellers,” deals with a drinking party at the mansion of John Purdon. Thomas Dunn English introduces a new character, in the description of whom contemporary literati would have recognized an unkind caricature of Edgar Allan Poe:

At the head of the table sat the master of the mansion. John Purdon was a rosy, burly man, apparently the very personification of good health. . . . . The wine bottle never rested a moment in his hands, and he urged the tardy drinkers by voice and example.

Next to him sat a pale, gentlemanly looking personage, with a quick, piercing, restless eye, and a very broad and peculiarly shaped forehead. He would occasionally, under the excitement of the wine, utter some brilliant jests, which fell all unheeded on the ears of the majority of the drinkers, for they could appreciate no witticisms that were not coarse and open. This man seemed hardly in his element, and no doubt wished himself away at least a dozen times during the evening. He was an extraordinary being, one of the few who arise among us with a -power to steal judiciously. He was a writer of tact, which is of a higher order than ordinary genius. But he was better known as a critic than as any thing else. His fine analytical powers, together with his bitter and apparently candid style, made him the terror of dunces and the evil spirit of wealthy blockheads, who create books without possessing brains. He made no ceremony though, in appropriating the ideas of others when it suited his turn, and, as a man, was the very incarnation of treachery and falsehood. [p. 4, col. 4]

NOTE: In Poe’s Major Crisis, p. 101,’sidney P. Moss expressed doubts that English intended this caricature as a criticism of Poe. Moss suggested that “no single detail in the sketch nor the sketch as a whole points infallibly to Poe” and that “critics other than Poe . . . . might have sat for that portrait.” There were other contemporary critics, but none so well known as Poe, and none so repeatedly praised for “fine analytical powers” while being repeatedly condemned for a “bitter . . . . style.” On ­[page 651:] July 30, 1842, for example, the New York Mirror (Vol. 20, p. 247) reported: “Edgar A. Poe, whose capabilities as an analytical critic are so generally acknowledged, is about to have a new field for their display in his proposed ‘Penn Magazine.’” Only two weeks before English’s caricature appeared in the Saturday Museum, Thomas C. Clarke had praised Poe for “great analytical power” while criticizing him for “occasional severity” which “appeared somewhat too personal” (see the chronology for November 25). In the March, 1843, number of Graham’s Magazine, Poe had also revealed himself as “the evil spirit of wealthy blockheads” by his devastating critique of Thomas Ward, the well-to-do poetaster known as “Flaccus”; English would have been mindful of this controversial review when he was writing The Doom of the Drinker, which seems to have been completed shortly before June 10, 1843. The single detail which establishes that English intended this sketch as a portrait of Poe is anatomical: the critic at the fictional drinking party is said to have “a very broad and peculiarly shaped forehead.” Poe’s massive forehead was his most distinctive physical characteristic and the one which anyone who saw him could not help remembering. For example, John H. B. Latrobe (1803-1891), a Baltimore lawyer, knew Poe slightly in the early 1830’s. Some forty years later, on November 17, 1875, Latrobe attempted to describe Poe’s appearance: “His features I am unable to describe in detail. His forehead was high and remarkable for the great development at the temple. This was the characteristic of his head, which You noticed at once, and which I have never forgotten.” Latrobe’s reminiscence was published by Sara Sigourney Rice, Edgar Allan Poe: A Memorial Volume (1877; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1973), pp. 57-62. James Russell Lowell saw Poe only on a single occasion in 1845. ­[page 652:] On May 12, 1879, Lowell recorded his recollections of Poe’s physiognomy in a letter to John Henry Ingram, which has been published by Irby B. Cauthen, Jr., “Lowell on Poe,” American Literature, 24 (1952), 230-33. Lowell wrote: “I have a clear recollection of my first sight of him . . . . . The shape of his head was peculiar, broad at the temples, &the forehead sloping backward almost sharply. I cannot describe it better than by giving the impression which I took then &which has remained ever since — that there was something snakelike about it. I do not intend to convey any moral but only a physical suggestion.” Thomas Dunn English himself was impressed by Poe’s forehead. In The Aristidean, 1 (April, 1845), 153, English gave a phrenological description of Poe: “Ideality, with the power of analysis, is shown in his very broad, high and massive forehead — a forehead which would have delighted GALL beyond measure.”

DECEMBER 16: The Saturday Museum, p. 4, cols. 1-4, 6-9, publishes the fourth installment of The Doom of the Drinker. Walter Woolfe, the novel’s protagonist, describes a drunken dinner party held in Philadelphia. His descriptions of two of the guests are recognizable as portraits of Thomas Dunn English and his associate Henry B. Hirst. English is the only guest who practices temperance:

. . . . there reclined lazily in his chair, playing with the smoke from his cigar, a young man about twenty-five years of age, with dark hazel eyes, small nose and mouth, a projecting upper lip, and long, silky, straight hair, almost black, which fell on his shoulders in a flaky mass. In truth, he might be called a very ugly looking man. His mouth had a cynical expression, as though he thought the world beneath his contempt, and himself the only individual fit to dwell in it. His profession was that of a physician, and he appeared to be quite vain of the ­[page 653:] title; but he relinquished its practice, after a trial of two years, to dabble in politics, and earn a precarious living by his pen. — His manners, which were very ungracious, had won him a host of enemies, who spoke ill of him on every occasion, both publicly and privately, but of whose attacks he took no further notice than by a curl of his upper lip, and a shrug of his slightly-stooping shoulders. I remarked also that he was the only one of the company who drank no wine, and contented himself with a glass of cold water, enduring the sneers of his friends with a philosophical calmness. To sum up his character, as I read it, he seemed to be a curious compound of conceit, ill-nature, talents, vanity, honor and firmness — a mixture in which it was difficult to say which ingredient the most predominated. [p. 4, col. 4]

Henry B. Hirst can be identified by his red hair, his literary imitativeness, and his craving for publicity:

At my right hand sat a curious little fellow, who had often attracted my attention before in the streets of Philadelphia, from the peculiarity of his dress and his walk, the latter consisting of a succession of jerks, like the flight of a wounded bird. He was under the middle size, with a well-proportioned figure, and features regular in their shape, but repulsive in their appearance. He had long, flowing red hair, ferocious whiskers, bushy, and of the color of a yellow dog’s tail, after it had rubbed its way [t]hrough a pile of wet sawdust; eyebrows and eyelashes of a

milky whiteness, and eyes of a very light, grayish blue. His voice was thin, shrill, and wiry, grating unpleasantly on the auditory nerves, like the creaking of a wheelbarrow’s ungreased spindle. He kept up a continual stream of talk — sometimes dropping a very shrewd or sensible remark, at other times brilliant, but often silly and vapid. He was a lawyer, and was very intimate with the doctor on the opposite side. His writings, like himself, were a strange compound. Prone to imitation, as all young writers are, he mimicked the style of every author who might please his fancy, but, mingled much with the imitation that was original and striking. The chief foible in his character was a thirsting for public wonder, which amounted to a monomania, and showed itself in almost every action. [p. 4, col. 4] ­[page 654:]

NOTE: English’s sketch of Hirst has not been previously reprinted. The Museum text of his own self-portrait differs only slightly in punctuation from The Cold Water Magazine text, which is reprinted by Gravely, “Thomas Dunn English,” ‘p. 360, and “Poe and Thomas Dunn English,” Papers on Poe, p. 183.

DECEMBER 22: The New York correspondent of the Washington Daily National Intelligencer, p. 3, col. 1, comments on The Doom of the Drinker and its author: “I see that THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH is publishing a Temperance novel of great power of description in the successive numbers of the Cold Water Magazine, issued in Philadelphia. It is illustrated with cuts by DARLEY.”

NOTE: Three Philadelphia papers discussed this report, identifying Nathaniel P. Willis as the Intelligencer’s correspondent (see the chronology for December 25, 29, 30).

DECEMBER 23: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, cols. 1-2, Thomas C. Clarke comments on a temperance novel and its author:

THE DOOM OF THE DRINKER, OR REVEL AND RETRIBUTION.

This Tale, now in the course of publication on our Fourth Page, increases in interest as it progresses. The chapters given this week show great power in the author, whose name we do not feel at liberty to blazon to the world. The unpretending modesty, retiring diffidence, and quiet manners — all indications of merit — of this unobtrusive author, cannot always be concealed. Of a truth we may say of him, that he is one of the most remarkable men in the country, destined, at no distant period, to create a sensation.

The effect of this narrative would be materially enhanced were we permitted to designate the different characters, and point out the particular scenes which ­[page 655:] are drawn from life. Among the daring adventures and exciting passages, there are more real, actual occurrences than we dare specify — far more, in fact, of painful, instructive reality, than is [are] to be found in the host of ordinary novels of the day.

Our object in noticing the “Doom of the Drinker” at this time, is to inform new subscribers that the portions already published have been printed on a separate sheet, in order that all may be supplied from the commencement of the story, without the necessity of being encumbered with back numbers of the Museum.

NOTE: Clarke’s editorial provides evidence of his admiration for Thomas Dunn English; it also establishes that he was aware that this young author’s temperance novel contained many “characters . . . . drawn from life.” Clarke almost certainly would have known that the December 9 installment of The Doom of the Drinker contained a caricature of Poe, his former partner on The Stylus, under the influence of alcohol.

DECEMBER 23: In the evening Poe delivers his lecture on “American Poetry” to the students and faculty of Newark Academy in Newark, Delaware.

NOTE: An extensive review of Poe’s lecture published by the Delaware State Journal is reprinted in the chronology for January 2, 1844. Two members of the audience — William H. Purnell and Epher Whitaker — left reminiscences of his address; these were reprinted by Ernest John Moyne, “Did Edgar Allan Poe Lecture at Newark Academy?”

DECEMBER 25: The Pennsylvania Inquirer, p. 2, col. 1, reports: “Mr. N. P. Willis, in a letter to the National Intelligencer, speaks of a story by Thomas Dunn English, now in [the] course of publication in the Saturday Museum and the Cold Water Magazine of this city, as a novel of great power of description.” ­[page 656:]

NOTE: Nathaniel P. Willis’ letter to the Washington Daily National Intelligencer is quoted in the chronology for December 22. Willis had stated that The Doom of the Drinker was being published in The Cold Water Magazine, but Robert Morris, the editor of the Inquirer, and other Philadelphians knew that the novel’s principal publication was occurring in the Saturday Museum. Its appearance in this weekly had been widely advertised (see the chronology for November 23).

DECEMBER 26: Rufus W. Griswold, in Philadelphia, writes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Mr Graham has requested me to write to you on the subject of contributing to the current, volume of his magazine. It is a long time since

the public have heard from you, and doubtless you have more than one finished poem in your portfolio. It is needless to say that anything you may send will be gladly received and promptly paid for by Mr Graham.

You may remember some conversation we once held at Cambridge in regard to Poe. He has recently written an elaborate review of your “Student,” in his customary vein, but if anything a little more personal and malignant than usual. This was offered to Graham before I left, and has since been given to him — so anxious is the poor critic for its appearance; but of course Mr Graham refused it. I mention the circumstance because it would be very like Poe, since he cannot find a publisher for his “criticism,” to attempt again to win your friendship with his praise. . . . .

NOTE: MS, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Griswold had resigned from the staff of Graham’s Magazine shortly before August 16 (see the chronology); the present letter establishes that the monthly’s publisher was still able to command his services. At this time Griswold had reason for hostility toward Poe, who was discussing The Poets and Poetry of America “in his customary vein” in his lectures on “American Poetry” (see the chronology for November 29, 1843). ­[page 657:] In his October 19, 1843, letter to James Russell Lowell, Poe stated that he had prepared “quite a long notice” of The Spanish Student for the December number of Graham’s Magazine. Longfellow was George R. Graham’s most prized contributor, and his Spanish Student, a long dramatic poem, had originally appeared in the September, October, and November, 1842, numbers of Graham’s Magazine. Graham almost certainly would not have published an unfavorable criticism of Longfellow or his poem; in his February 9, 1844, letter to the New England poet, he stated that he had purchased Poe’s “savage review” for “$30,” implying that he acquired the manuscript only to prevent its publication. Both Griswold’s December 26 letter and Graham’s February 9 letter leave the impression that the publisher of Graham’s Magazine hoped that the mention of Poe’s unpublished criticism would encourage Longfellow to contribute on a more regular basis.

DECEMBER 29: The Public Ledger, p. 2, col. 2, comments on a temperance novel written by a contributor to the Dollar Newspaper: “THE ‘DOOM OF THE DRINKER,’ a story by Thos.

Dunn English, of this city, is described by Willis (a pretty good judge in such matters) as a ‘powerfully descriptive novel.’ It is published in the Cold Water Magazine, a temperance publication. Mr. English has also written, recently, some very good pieces for The Dollar Newspaper, which have been widely copied.”

NOTE: The Ledger and the Dollar Newspaper were published by the same firm, A. H. Simmons &Co. Although the Ledger continually praised the Dollar Newspaper in its columns, it never mentioned the Saturday Museum, another “family newspaper” which was, of course, in competition with the weekly issued by A. H. Simmons &Co. Thomas C. Clarke ­[page 658:] believed that the Ledger had revealed malicious intent by calling attention to the appearance of The Doom of the Drinker in The Cold Water Magazine, while neglecting to mention that the novel’s principal publication was occurring in the Saturday Museum (see the chronology for January 6, 1844) .

DECEMBER 29: John C. Myers, Samuel Williams, and William Greaff, Jr., write Poe, inviting him to deliver his lecture on “American Poetry” before the Mechanics’ Institute in Reading, Pennsylvania.

NOTE: The contents of this letter are surmised from Poe’s March 1, 1844, reply. In Israfel in Berkshire, p. 10, J. Bennett Nolan identified the Committee of Invitation: John C. Myers was “an obscure printer’s devil”; Samuel Williams was “a slater”; William Graeff, Jr., was “a butcher and a minor officer in the local militia.”

DECEMBER 30: In the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 1, Thomas C. Clarke comments on a popular fiction:

THE DOOM OF THE DRINKER.

By a notice of the gentlemanly editor of the Pennsylvania Inquirer, we learn that the New York correspondent of the Washington National Intelligencer — (N. P. Willis, capital authority, by the way,) — has introduced the story, which we are now publishing, to the readers of that journal. He very justly speaks of it as a “powerfully descriptive Temperance novel.” As to Mr. Willis’ surmise about the author, he is of course at liberty to think what he pleases. We beg leave to suggest, however, that notwithstanding the mysterious hints which we perceive thrown out in various quarters, the name is, of course, known to us, and we shall take care that it shall be announced to our readers in due time. — Until that time does arrive, however, we choose to let all queries, suggestions and hints, on this subject, pass for precisely what they are worth. ­[page 659:]

The Museum’s editor adds that he is glad that this novel is causing a sensation and that it promises to aid the cause of temperance.

NOTE: Clarke never named the author of The Doom of the Drinker, but few Philadelphians would have needed his identification. Thomas Dunn English had been cited as its author in three successive numbers of The Cold Water Magazine, in the influential Washington Daily National Intelligencer, and in at least two Philadelphia newspapers (see the chronology for October, December 22, 25, 29, 1843).


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - PIP, 1978] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (D. R. Thomas) (Chapter 07)