Text: Dwight R. Thomas, “Directory: M-S,” Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (1978), pp. 844-910


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JOHN COLLINS McCABE (1810-1875). This Richmond clergyman and author was a frequent contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship. Evidence that these two men were “personal friends” is provided by Poe’s March 3, 1836, letter to McCabe (Letters, I, 87; II, 674-75). Poe favorably noticed his writings in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 231). Sketches of McCabe may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown; a characterization, in John H. Hewitt’s Shadows on the Wall, pp. 61-62

JAMES McHENRY (1785-1845). This poet and physician was born in Ireland, but he emigrated to the United States in 1817. McHenry resided in Philadelphia from 1824 until 1843; he became one of the city’s leading citizens. The February, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine contained a scathing critique of his epic poem The Antediluvians, which James A. Harrison wrongly attributed to Poe. In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 258), Poe complained that The Antediluvians had been “the victim of a most shameful cabal”; and he added: “The writer of a ­[page 845:] just review of the ‘Antediluvians’ — the only tolerable American epic — would render an important service to the literature of his country.” Sketches of McHenry may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN NELSON McJILTON (1805-1875). Poe probably knew this Baltimore editor, author, and clergyman when he resided in that city during the early 1830’s. In his July 12, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass, he commented: “McJilton I like much better [than T. S. Arthur]. He has written one or two very good things. As a man, also, I like him better.” Poe and McJilton corresponded during the Philadelphia period. Only Poe’s August 11, 1841, and March 13, 1842, letters and McJilton’s August 13, 1841, letter have been located; but the Baltimore author is known to have sent Poe another letter on February 14, 1842. The review of McJilton’s poem The Sovereignty of Mind in the May, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine reveals Poe’s hand: “Mr. McJilton is a gentleman for whose talents we have much respect — far more than for his performances. Indeed, while there is indication of genius in almost every thing he writes, he has yet written very little worth reading. . . . . There are always fine imaginative passages: — but their merit is scarcely discernible through the clouds of verbiage, false imagery, bad grammar, and worse versification in which they are enveloped.” A similar appraisal appeared in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 223). A sketch of McJilton may be found in George C. Perine’s Poets of Maryland, pp. 66-67; a characterization, in John H. Hewitt’s Shadows on the Wall, pp. 48-49, 57. ­[page 846:]

DR. JOHN MacKENZIE. This Richmond physician was the eldest son of William MacKenzie, who adopted Poe’s sister Rosalie (q.v.). Dr. John MacKenzie was Rosalie’s foster brother, and he later became her guardian. He was as well a lifelong friend of her famous brother. Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Thomas Wyatt establishes that MacKenzie visited him in Philadelphia: “We have had Rose (my sister) on to spend a week with us, since I saw you. John McK. came with her, and left her with us while he went to Boston.” Additional information on John MacKenzie may be found in the biographies of Quinn and Phillips; his memories of Poe’s boyhood in Richmond were preserved by Susan Archer Weiss, Home Life of Poe, pp. 21-22, 29-30. In the spring of 1843 Poe wrote his younger brothers Thomas and William MacKenzie to inquire whether the heirs of Thomas Willis White intended to sell the subscription list of the Southern Literary Messenger (see the chronology for April, April 22, 1843). Socrates Maupin’s September 30, 1840, letter to Poe suggests that he may have also been in communication with Miss Jane MacKenzie, John’s aunt, who operated a fashionable school for girls in Richmond. Information on Miss MacKenzie and her school is provided by Phillips, Poe, I, 175, 192-94, 211, by Weiss, pp. 36-38, 41, and by Mary Wingfield Scott, Houses of Old Richmond, pp. 165, 215, 249.

ANDREW McMAKIN. This Philadelphian almost certainly knew Poe during his residence in the city. McMakin was co-editor of the Saturday Courier; his partner was Ezra Holden (q.v.). After Holden’s death in 1846, McMakin became sole proprietor of this weekly newspaper; he ­[page 847:] changed its name to the Model American Courier. In the October 20, 1849, issue he published Henry B. Hirst’s defense of Poe (see the directory entry for Hirst). On November 3, 1849, the Courier, p. 2, col. 4, reprinted “The Raven.” McMakin explained that the weekly was publishing Poe’s poem “for the fourth time” to comply with the requests of its readers: “The copy [of “The Raven”] we give was revised and handed to us by the author himself, when we gave it on a previous occasion.” McMakin contributed to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine during Poe’s association with these journals. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 229), Poe praised him for “several excellent specimens of his poetical ability.” His editorship of the Courier is discussed by Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 1997.

MORTON McMICHAEL (1807-1879). According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), this Philadelphia editor attended a supper party held in Poe’s honor at the home of the playwright Richard Penn Smith. McMichael would have been a likely guest on this occasion: he wrote the laudatory “Biography of Richard Penn Smith” which appeared in the September, 1839, number of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (see the directory entry for Smith). Evidence that McMichael also recognized Poe’s merits is provided by his favorable review of the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in Godey’s Lady’s Book (see the chronology for January, 1840). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 224), Poe praised McMichael for the “force of his prose compositions” and “some remarkably vigorous” poetry. Although John Tomlin ­[page 848:] expressed a fear that McMichael had joined “a certain clique in Philadelphia” who opposed Poe, both this clique and McMichael’s association with it probably existed only in the Tennessee postmaster’s imagination (see Tomlin’s July 2, 1843, letter to Poe). Sketches of McMichael may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, and Albert Mordell’s In Re Morton McMichael (Philadelphia: Privately printed, 1921). His son Charles B. McMichael transmitted his remarks praising Poe to Phillips, who quoted them in her Poe, I, 771-72.

DR. HENRY McMURTRIE (1793-1865). Poe had the opportunity to meet this Philadelphia scientist, physician, and educator at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. Poe and McMurtrie were later to collaborate on The Conchologist’s First Book (see the directory entry for Thomas Wyatt). From 1839 until 1861 Dr. McMurtrie was Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the Philadelphia High School. Sketches may be found in Appleton’s and Franklin Spencer Edmonds’ History of the Central High School of Philadelphia, p. 337. On May 28, 1865, the New York Times, p. l, cols. 1-2, published his obituary.

JAMES MCMURTRIE. This wealthy Philadelphian is said to have furnished a cloak which Poe wore when posing “in the Byron attitude” for a portrait by Thomas Sully; for additional information, see the directory entry for Isaac W. Heysinger. McMurtrie, a merchant, appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1843, 1844, and 1845. The 1841 edition contains an entry for “James M’cMurtree, gent.,” which may possibly represent this Poe ­[page 849:] acquaintance. In their Dictionary of Artists in America, p. 417, Groce and Wallace list a James McMurtrie, Jr., a portrait painter who exhibited works in Philadelphia between 1843 and 1864: he may have been the son of the James McMurtrie who knew Poe.

JOHN MARSHALL (1755-1835). This eminent Richmond jurist was Chief Justice of the United States from March, 1801, until his death on July 6, 1835. As a young man Poe probably made Marshall’s acquaintance. He commented on the Chief Justice’s chirography in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 156-57). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

CORNELIUS MATHEWS (1817-1889). This New York City novelist and poet was one of the editors of Arcturus, a monthly magazine of high quality. Mathews was a staunch advocate of an international copyright and of literary nationalism; he believed that American writers should free themselves from European traditions and seek their subject matter in their own country. Poe found Mathews’ patriotism to be simpleminded. In “Exordium,” published in Graham’s Magazine for January, 1842, he objected to Mathews’ philosophy; and he criticized the watchword of “‘A national literature!’ — as if any true literature could be ‘national’ — as if the world at large were not the only proper stage for the literary histrio.” To the February, 1842, number of Graham’s, Poe contributed a devastating critique of Mathews’ Wakondah, an attempt at an American epic poem. Mathews bore Poe no grudge, because in the May, 1842, Arcturus he praised him for the ­[page 850:] pains he took “in the full examination of a book” (see the chronology). In his March 15, 1844, letter to Mathews, Poe thanked his correspondent for “many little attentions”; and he apologized for “a certain impudent and flippant critique” — presumably his review of Wakondah. These two authors became allies after Poe moved to flew York. Mathews was favorably noticed in the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 249); sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. His career is discussed by Perry Miller, The Raven and the Whale, passim. His principal publications are listed in the LHUS Bibliography; additional sources are cited by Allen F. Stein, Cornelius Mathews (New York: Twayne, 1974), pp. 168-70.

BENJAMIN MATTHIAS. He edited the Saturday Chronicle, a Philadelphia weekly newspaper which commenced publication in 1836, and which was absorbed by the Saturday Evening Post on October 8, 1842. Poe published his tale “The Devil in the Belfry” in the May 18, 1839, issue of the Chronicle; Matthias contributed to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine during Poe’s editorship. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 212), Poe found that Matthias had written “much entertaining and instructive matter” for the Chronicle. His editorial career is discussed by Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 1988, 2011; he was the author of a manual for the conduct of public meetings and of several guidebooks for travellers.

SOCRATES MAUPIN (1808-1871). This Virginia educator and physician was principal of the Richmond Academy from 1835 until 1838; he subsequently founded his own boys’ ­[page 851:] school in Richmond. On September 30, 1840, Maupin wrote Poe, asking him whether C. Auguste Du Bouchet would accept a position as a French teacher in Richmond. Sketches may be found in Brown and Mary Wingfield Scott’s Houses of Old Richmond, pp. 245-47.

GRENVILLE MELLEN (1799-1841). Poe had the opportunity to meet this New England author at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. Poe discussed Mellen in both the August, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 167-68, 186). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN MILLINGTON (1779-1868). This English scientist and educator emigrated to the United States in the early 1830’s. John Millington may be tentatively identified as the “Professor Millington” mentioned in Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Thomas Wyatt. According to the DAB, he accepted “the chair of chemistry, natural philosophy, and engineering” at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1835. Evidence that he may have been living in Philadelphia shortly thereafter is provided by an entry in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1837: “Millington John, philosoph. instr. mr. [philosophical instrument maker], 187 S 3rd.” The DAB states that Millington once operated a shop in Philadelphia manufacturing instruments for “mechanical, philosophical, mathematical, optical and chemical purposes.” Another sketch may be found in the DNB.

LUCIAN MINOR (1802-1858). This Virginia lawyer was a ­[page 852:] close friend and frequent correspondent of Thomas Willis White (q.v.), the proprietor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Minor contributed to the Messenger during Poe’s editorship, and the two men were correspondents at this time (see the Letters, I, 83, 87-88, 145). On August 18, 1840, Poe wrote Minor, enclosing a Prospectus of the Penn Magazine and requesting his correspondent to enlist subscribers. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

DR. JOHN KEARSLEY MITCHELL (1793-1858). This Philadelphia scientist was both friend and physician to Poe and his family. The earliest evidence of an acquaintance between these two men is provided by Poe’s February 29, 1840, letter to Dr. Mitchell, accepting his invitation to dinner. Evidence that Mitchell was Poe’s physician during the Philadelphia period is provided by the reminiscences of his son Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914), a noted Philadelphia novelist, and of Thomas Holley Chivers. Silas Weir Mitchell once met Poe in his father’s office, and Chivers recalled that Virginia Poe was still following Dr. Mitchell’s instructions when the family was living in New York in 1845. For documentation, see Anna Robeson Burr’s Weir Mitchell: His Life and Letters (New York: Duffield &Company, 1929), pp. 21, 298; and see Chivers’ Life of Poe, pp. 43-44. In all probability, Dr. Mitchell was one of the physicians who attended Virginia when she became seriously ill around January 20, 1842; according to Chivers, p. 43, he euphemistically diagnosed her condition as “the Bronchitis.” Dr. Mitchell was a minor poet and a popular songwriter. The notice Poe accorded him in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, ­[page 853:] 220-21) suggests that he was not particularly impressed by his friend’s poetry, but the two men had other interests in common. To the April, 1836, number of the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe contributed a lengthy article in which he claimed to have solved the mystery of Maelzel’s famous Chess Player; on September 15, 1840, the Philadelphia Daily Chronicle, p. 2, col. 5, reported that “Dr. J. K. Mitchell, of this city, has discovered and is about to reveal the secret of Maelzel’s Automaton Chess Player.” According to William K. Wimsatt, Jr., “Poe and the Chess Automaton,” American Literature, II (1939), 140, Dr. Mitchell purchased the celebrated automaton shortly after Maelzel’s death in 1838 and “together with a group of friends rehabilitated it, operated it till the novelty was gone, then deposited it in the Chinese Museum in Philadelphia, where it was destroyed by fire on July 5, 1854.” Dr. Mitchell also shared Poe’s interest in balloon navigation. The physician was a friend of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, balloonist John Wise (q.v.), whose plan to cross the Atlantic in a balloon is a probable source for Poe’s “Balloon-Hoax.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. In an October 26, 1917, letter to Mary E. Phillips (MS, Boston Public Library), the Philadelphia playwright Langdon Mitchell (1862-1935) remarked: “I have frequently heard my father [Silas Weir Mitchell] say that Poe came around semi-occasionally to borrow something from my grandfather, Dr. [John] Kearsley Mitchell — which borrowings, naturally, were never returned.” Evidence that Dr. Mitchell was in a position to aid Poe financially is provided by the Wealth and Biography of Philadelphia (1845), p. 16, and by the Memoirs of the Wealthy Citizens of Philadelphia (1846), ­[page 854:] p. 42. Both these sources credited him with assets of fifty thousand dollars.

CHARLES R. MORRELL. He was the clerk of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Morrell apparently had the responsibility of dispensing Poe’s weekly salary. In his June 1, 1840, letter to William E. Burton, Poe discussed a reduction in his wages: “Within the last 3 weeks, 3$ each week have been retained from my salary . . . . . You state the sum retained as $8, but this I believe is through a mistake of Mr Morrell.” In his April 1, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass, Poe expressed the opinion that “Burton’s own clerk, Morrell,” would vindicate him from his former employer’s accusations of intemperate drinking. Poe did not mention Morrell’s first name, but Burton identified him as “C. Morrell” in his July 4, 1839, letter to an unnamed employee. Charles R. Morrell is described as an accountant by McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1839, 1840, and 1841, and as a clerk by McElroy’s for 1845.

GEORGE POPE MORRIS (1802-1864). Poe had the opportunity to meet this New York City editor and poet at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. Morris was one of the editors of the influential New York Mirror, and there is some evidence that he may have been responsible for the Mirror’s lengthy review of the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (see the chronology for December 28, 1839). Poe favorably noticed Morris in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 221). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. ­[page 855:]

JOHN B. MORRIS (1785-1884). Poe wrote this Baltimore lawyer and banker on October 10, 1843, requesting him to purchase Mrs. Clemm’s “right of dower” on “a lot of ground” in that city. Some evidence that these two men may have been acquaintances is provided by the reminiscence preserved by William J. High (q.v.). A sketch of Morris may be found in Clayton Colman Hall’s Baltimore: Its History and its People (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912), III, 812-14.

ROBERT MORRIS (ca. 1809-1874). The editor of the Pennsylvania Inquirer, an important Philadelphia daily newspaper, probably knew Poe. When Morris reviewed Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine for July, 1839, in the Inquirer, July 3, p. 2, col. 2, he reprinted Poe’s “To Ianthe in Heaven” as an example of the “excellent poetry” in this number. Poe held a similarly high opinion of Morris’ poetry. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 211), he found the editor of the Inquirer to be “the first of our Philadelphia poets since the death of Willis Gaylord Clark.” Two years later he praised Morris’ compositions in his lecture on “American Poetry” (see the chronology for November 29, 1843, and January 2, 1844). Morris also wrote fiction: his story “The Banker’s Daughter” was awarded the second prize in the Dollar Newspaper contest won by “The Gold-Bug” (see the chronology for June 19, 1843). He is briefly noticed in Scharf and Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, II, 1163, and in Ellis P. Oberholtzer’s Literary History of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs, 1906), pp. 26869, 300-02. The New York Times, May 4, 1874, p. 1, col. 7, carried an obituary: “Robert Morris, aged sixty-five ­[page 856:] years, who for a number of years edited the old Pennsylvania Inquirer, of Philadelphia, and was for eight years President of the Commonwealth Bank, died in that city last evening. Of late years he lived a retired life.”

ISAAC MUNROE (ca. 1784-1859). He edited the Baltimore Patriot, a daily newspaper issued in the afternoon. In the morning of January 31, 1844, Poe wrote Munroe, asking him to notice his lecture on “American Poetry” scheduled for that evening. Munroe died on December 22, 1859, at the age of seventy-five; an obituary appeared in the Baltimore Sun, December 23, p. 1, cols. 2, 5-6.

E. M. MURDOCK. This Cincinnati, Ohio, abolitionist related his memories of Poe to Peter Pindar Pease, an Oberlin, Ohio, deacon and prohibitionist; his reminiscence was published by Pease’s nephew, Theodore Pease Stearns, in “A Prohibitionist Shakes Dice With Poe,” The Outlook, 126 (September 1, 1920), 25-26. Murdock claimed that he was introduced to Poe in Philadelphia during the “winter of 1840-41,” when this author was one of the editors of Graham’s Magazine. He stated that Poe was suffering from heart failure at this time, but that he nevertheless inquired about the prospects of literature in the West and expressed an interest in moving to “the Western Reserve.” Murdock also asserted that Poe visited Saratoga Springs, New York:

In the summer of 1843 Poe visited Saratoga in an effort to recuperate his own health, but more especially to arrange for treatment for his wife, Virginia, whose health was rapidly failing.

“In order to make this trip,” said Murdock to my great-uncle [Peter Pindar Pease], “Poe cast about him ­[page 857:] for means by which the expense of the journey might be met without crippling his already straitened circumstances. He was so far fortunate as to secure a small loan and the acceptance by a New York magazine of one of his stories submitted many months before, the fate of which he had long given up as hopeless but which now came into port unexpectedly and at a most opportune moment.

“His trip resulted in nothing satisfactory. At Saratoga he discovered that his means would not begin to warrant the moving of Virginia, if, indeed, she could weather the trip at all. His own health was not benefited, and after only a few days of discouraging inquiry he returned to Philadelphia utterly cast down in spirit over this additional disappointment, from which he was long in rallying,” concluded the informant.

Murdock’s account of Poe’s trip to Saratoga seems plausible, and it tends to corroborate the reminiscences of James and Mary Barhyte (q.q.v.). Conclusive evidence that Poe visited the resort is lacking.

JAMES EDWARD MURDOCH (1811-1893). Evidence that Poe knew this actor and elocutionist during his later residence in New York City is provided by the reminiscence of Alexander Crane, the office boy of the Broadway Journal, which has been reprinted by Mukhtar Ali Isani, “Reminiscences of Poe By an Employee of the Broadway Journal,” Poe Studies, 6 (1973), 33-34. Murdoch often appeared on the Philadelphia stage during the years Poe lived in the city; McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory listed him in its 1839, 1840, and 1841 editions. In 1843 he delivered a series of lectures on oratory in Philadelphia (see The Spirit of the Times, October 14, p. 2, col. 2). Poe and Murdoch had several mutual acquaintances who could have introduced them. In The Stage; or, Recollections of Actors and Acting (Philadelphia: J. M. Stoddart &Co., 1880), pp. 223-26, 230-31, 370-73, Murdoch revealed an intimate knowledge of ­[page 858:] William E. Burton’s temperament; and he discussed his close association with William B. Wood (q.v.), a Philadelphia stage manager who is a probable Poe acquaintance and correspondent. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.


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JOHN NEAL (1793-1876). This notable American author published a favorable criticism of Poe’s poem “Fairyland” in the September, 1829, number of The Yankee; the two men subsequently became correspondents. On June 3, 1840, Poe sent Neal a Prospectus of the Penn Magazine: “As you gave me the first jog in my literary career, you are in a measure bound to protect me &keep me rolling.” Neal replied on June 8, stating that he had “abandoned the journals” and had not “the face to ask any person to subscribe for anything on earth.” Poe noticed Neal in both the February, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 154, 204). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. The best sources are Benjamin Lease’s That Wild Fellow John Neal and the American Literary Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972) and his “John Neal and Edgar Allan Poe,” Poe Studies, 7 (1974), 38-41.

JOSEPH CLAY NEAL (1807-1847). Poe was almost certainly acquainted with this Philadelphia author and editor. According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), Neal attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into Philadelphia society. Neal edited The Pennsylvanian, a daily newspaper, in which he favorably reviewed “The Fall of the House of Usher” and the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (see the chronology for September 3 and December ­[page 859:] 6, 1839). In the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 199-200), Poe complained that Neal’s popular Charcoal Sketches (1838) were characterized by “a tedious repetition of slang and incident” and “a woful poverty of invention”; but he praised his political writings and his editorial conduct of The Pennsylvanian. In an essay on “Puffing” published in the Columbia Spy on November 23, 1844, Poe described Neal as “unquestionably small potatoes “ (see Doings of Gotham, pp. 103-09). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia.

REBECCA S. REED NICHOLS (1820-1903). This Cincinnati, Ohio, poetess was a frequent contributor to Graham’s Magazine during Poe’s editorship. In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 258-59), he praised Mrs. Nichols for her “excellent contributions to the Magazines and Annuals.” Sketches may be found in Appleton’s, Rufus W. Griswold’s Female Poets of America, p. 316, William T. Coggeshall’s Poets of the West, pp. 290-92, and William Coyle’s Ohio Authors and Their Books (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1962).

MORDECAI MANUEL NOAH (1785-1851). Poe had the opportunity to meet this editor and playwright at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. He favorably noticed Noah in both the August, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 171-72, 207). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Isaac Goldberg’s Major Noah, American-Jewish Pioneer (New York: ­[page 860:] Alfred A. Knopf, 1937) is a book-length study.


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ELLIS PARSON OBERHOLTZER (1868-1936). This Philadelphia historian received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1893; he produced many books on American history. Oberholtzer recorded the reminiscences of five Philadelphians who had known Poe in his unpublished manuscript “Poe’s Philadelphia Homes,” which he placed at the disposal of Hervey Allen and Mary E. Phillips. For additional information, see the directory entries for Margaret and Mary Alburger, Katharine Rex Burgin, John S. Detwiler, and Miss Lydia Hart Garrigues; and see Phillips’ Poe, I, 701-04, 747-49, 825-28. Oberholtzer’s “Poe’s Philadelphia Homes” is not included in the collection of Miss Phillips’ papers held by the Boston Public Library, and it does not seem to be present in the large uncatalogued collection of his papers held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Sketches may be found in the DAB Supplement Two (1958) and Joshua L. Chamberlain’s Universities and Their Sons: University of Pennsylvania, II, 371-72.

JOHN LOUIS O’SULLIVAN (1813-1895). In 1837 this American editor founded the United States Magazine and Democratic Review with his brother-in-law Samuel Daly Langtree (q.v.). The Democratic Review began publication in Washington; but after Langtree disposed of his interest at the end of 1840, O’sullivan transferred it to New York City, where it was published by J. and H. G. Langley. O’sullivan was its sole editor from 1841 until 1846. According to Thomas Dunn English, Poe originally submitted his poem “The Haunted Palace” to O’sullivan for the Democratic Review (see the chronology for ante April, ­[page 861:] 1839). Additional evidence that Poe could have known O’sullivan or corresponded with him is provided by his July 18, 1842, letter to J. and H. G. Langley. Sketches may be found in the DAB and Brown.

JAMES FREDERICK OTIS (1808-1867). This New England journalist was a frequent contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship, and the two men were correspondents at this time. For additional information, see Dwight Thomas, “James F. Otis and ‘Autography’: A New Poe Correspondent,” Poe Studies, 8 (1975), 12-15. It is unlikely that Poe corresponded with Otis during the Philadelphia period, but he discussed him in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 243). According to William A. Otis, A Genealogical and Historical Memoir of the Otis Family in America (Chicago: Privately printed, 1924), p. 206, Otis was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on August 18, 1808. The New York Times, February 10, 1867, p. 6, col. 2, carried an obituary.


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JOHN GORHAM PALFREY (1796-1881). This New England clergyman and historian edited the North American Review, a Boston quarterly; Poe briefly noticed him in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 147-48). In the November, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 208), he recorded his opinion that Palfrey’s chirography revealed “great pretension” and “great straining after effect,” and that it was “altogether one of the most miserable MSS. in the world — forceless, graceless, tawdry, vacillating and unpicturesque.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the ­[page 862:] American Congress.

WILLIAM T. PARKER. Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.) recalled that around the year 1840 he frequently visited “Parker’s restaurant” in the company of Poe and Henry B. Hirst. Smith was probably referring to a restaurant operated by William T. Parker at the corner of Sixth and Carpenter Streets, a few feet above Chestnut Street. On November 27, 1843, The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 3, described Parker’s establishment as “an elegant and an excellent refectory,” adding that “The oysters are superb.” It is listed in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1839 and 1845.

DR. HENRY STUART PATTERSON (1815-1854). This Philadelphia physician and author was one of the three judges who selected “The Gold-Bug” as the prize story of the Dollar Newspaper (see the chronology for June 19, 1843). Patterson received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1836. A sketch may be found in Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians; a characterization, in Thomas Dunn English’s “Down Among the Dead Men,” The Old Guard, 8 (1870), 708-09.

COLONEL SAMUEL DEVIEES PATTERSON (?-1860). This publisher aided Poe during his July, 1849, visit to Philadelphia (see Quinn, pp. 618-22, and see the Letters, II, 452-56). The two men were almost certainly acquainted during Poe’s residence in the city. Early in 1843 Colonel Patterson became one of the publishers of the Saturday Evening Post (see the chronology for March 3, 1843). ­[page 863:] Poe’s August 26, 1843, letter to Ezra Holden establishes that Patterson paid him twenty dollars for “The Black Cat,” which appeared in the Post on August 19, 1843. Patterson was one of Poe’s Spring Garden neighbors. On December 7, 1842, The Spirit of the Times, p. 2, col. 4, reported that he had been elected Treasurer of the Spring Garden district. In its 1841, 1844, and 1845 editions, McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory gives his address as 84 Marshall Street. His home was in close proximity to that of William M. Alburger (q.v.), Poe’s landlord and next-door neighbor, who lived at 64 Marshall Street. Patterson died in Philadelphia on February 9, 1860. A sketch may be found in Theodore W. Bean’s History of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Everts &Peck, 1884), I, 470; his career is also discussed in Oberholtzer’s Literary History of Philadelphia, pp. 227, 277, 377, 379.

HOWARD PAUL (1835-1905). According to Appleton’s, this actor and author was born in Philadelphia on November 16, 1835; and he emigrated to England in 1850. Paul published his “Recollections of Edgar Allen [sic] Poe” in Munsey’s Magazine, 7 (1892), 554-58. Although this account is largely — if not entirely — a fabrication, it has been used by many Poe biographers. In his “Recollections” Paul identified himself as the nephew of Thomas C. Clarke (q.v.), the publisher of the Philadelphia Saturday Museum; and he gave the text of a lengthy dialogue between Poe and Mayne Reid (q.v.) which he claimed to have overheard one evening at his uncle’s house. Reid was both a close associate of Poe and a contributor to Clarke’s Saturday Museum (see the chronology for November 4, 1843). While Paul may have seen Poe and Reid together at his ­[page 864:] uncle’s house, it is unlikely that he would have remembered the precise details of their discussion of current literature; he was not yet ten years old. Paul’s assertions that Poe collaborated on a play with Robert Montgomery Bird (q.v.) and engaged in a drunken frolic with Junius Brutus Booth (q.v.) are not corroborated by other documents. His conscious intention to deceive is established by the fact that he reproduced a portion of Poe’s February, 1842, review of Barnaby Rudge as a previously unpublished letter which Poe had sent to John Howard Payne, the American actor who wrote “Home, Sweet Home!”

JAMES KIRKE PAULDING (1778-1860). This American author and statesman was an early supporter of the Southern Literary Messenger, and he took an especial interest in Poe’s career. The two men were correspondents in 1836. It is not unlikely that Poe introduced himself to Paulding at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. In the following year Paulding became Secretary of the Navy; and on July 19, 1838, Poe wrote him to request an appointment to even “the most unimportant Clerkship.” Poe sent at least one other letter to Paulding during the Philadelphia period: around June 21, 1841, he invited him to contribute to the monthly magazine he planned to begin with George R. Graham’s financial backing. Perfunctory notices of Paulding’s chirography appeared in the February, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 146-47, 186). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. For information on Paulding’s reaction to Poe’s career, see Ralph M. Aderman’s edition of The Letters of James Kirke Paulding (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1962). Additional references ­[page 865:] are provided by the LHUS Bibliography.

WILLIAM BOURN OLIVER PEABODY (1799-1847). This Massachusetts poet and clergyman was included in the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 252). Poe’s verdict on Peabody’s chirography was not favorable: “We hold it as undeniable that no man of genius ever wrote such a hand.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck’s Cyclopaedia of American Literature (1866), II, 282-83.

ANNA and BESSIE PEDDER. They were the daughters of James Pedder (q.v.). According to the reminiscence left by their father, Anna and Bessie Pedder “aided the family of Poe when he was literally suffering for want of food, and Poe himself had not clothes enough to keep him warm.” The fact that Poe gave the Pedder sisters a presentation copy of his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, which was issued around December 4, 1839, suggests that they may have aided his family in 1838 or 1839. Bessie Pedder fails to appear in any edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845; Anna Pedder appears in McElroy’s for 1841, 1842, and 1843.

JAMES PEDDER (1775-1859). This English author of children’s books and agricultural texts emigrated to the United States in 1832. Pedder left a written reminiscence in which he claimed that he and his daughters Anna and Bessie Pedder (q.q.v.) were intimate with the Poe family during the Philadelphia period. His account was quoted by Abraham S. W. Rosenbach, A Catalogue of the Books and ­[page 866:] Manuscripts of Harry Elkins Widener (Philadelphia: Privately printed, 1918), II, 56. Rosenbach also described a presentation copy of Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque bearing the inscription “For Miss Anna and Miss Bessie Pedder, / from their most sincere friend, / The Author.” Additional evidence of Poe’s friendship with this author’s family is provided by his defense of Pedder in the December 18, 1839, issue of Alexander’s Weekly Messenger and by his favorable review of one of his agricultural books in the May, 1840, number of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. For documentation, see Brigham’s Poe’s Contributions, pp. 18-19, and Burton’s, 6 (May, 1840), 250. James Pedder appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1839 and 1842. Sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s.

CHARLES JACOBS PETERSON (1819-1887). This young Philadelphian was a member of the class of 1838 at the University of Pennsylvania, but he left the University before receiving his degree. Peterson gained admission to the Philadelphia bar on September 21, 1839; but instead of practicing law, he embarked on a long and successful career in publishing. According to Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 2012, Peterson’s first venture was the Daily Focus, a shortlived Philadelphia newspaper which he issued with George R. Graham (q.v.). In 1839 Graham purchased The Casket, a monthly magazine; and he associated Peterson with him in the firm of “GEORGE R. GRAHAM &CO.” (see the chronology for April 13, 1839). On March 28, 1840, the Saturday Evening Post, p. 2, col. 2, announced that Peterson had become Graham’s partner in publishing this weekly. After ­[page 867:] Graham united Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and The Casket to form Graham’s Magazine, Peterson became one of the editors of the new periodical, although he had no proprietary interest in it (see the chronology for October 24, 1840). Peterson bore much of the responsibility for selecting the manuscripts to be published in both the Post and Graham’s Magazine; and using a variety of pseudonyms, he himself contributed many articles and stories to these journals. Poe, who joined the staff of Graham’s Magazine in February, 1841, controlled only its book review department; and he privately resented Peterson (see the chronology for September 18, October, 1841). Poe furnished a noncommittal notice of Peterson for the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 235); in his February 3, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas, he placed this author among the “ninnies” of American literature. In January, 1842, Peterson issued the first number of his own magazine, the Lady’s World of Fashion. This periodical occupied an increasing amount of his time; and in the following year he disposed of his interest in the Saturday Evening Post and withdrew from the staff of Graham’s Magazine (see the chronology for March 3 and September 9, 1843). In his Reminiscences, p. 200, John Sartain asserted that Poe “had to withdraw” from Graham’s Magazine “on account of a quarrel with Graham’s old friend and associate, Charles J. Peterson, from whom Graham could not part.” Sartain’s version of Poe’s departure is not supported by other documents. In his May 25, 1842, letter to Thomas, Poe stated that he left Graham’s Magazine of his own volition because he was disgusted with its “contemptible pictures, fashion-plates, music and love tales.” Additional evidence to support Poe’s account is provided by his September 12, 1842, letter to Thomas, in ­[page 868:] which he stated that Graham had made him “a good offer to return.” Sketches of Peterson may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. An obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer, March 7, 1887, was reprinted by Albert H. Smyth, Philadelphia Magazines, pp. 226-29. The best source is Ann Prestwich’s “Charles Jacobs Peterson, Editor, and Friend of Lowell and Poe,” a master’s essay prepared at Columbia University in 1938. His career has also been examined by Barrie Hayne, “Standing on Neutral Ground: Charles Jacobs Peterson of Peterson’s,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 93 (1969), 510-26. A number of Peterson’s letters are extant. The Houghton Library of Harvard University holds eighteen letters which he sent to James Russell Lowell between February 18, 1841, and January 6, 1848. Fifteen of these are excerpted in the chronology for February 18, March 29, August 18, October 26, November 26, 1841; January 10, February 8, 17, April 1, 25, May 31, December 15, 1842; April 12, September 9, 1843; and January 10, 1844. Peterson also corresponded with John Tomlin (q.v.), who published his November 11, 1842, letter in the “Autobiography of a Monomaniac,” Holden’s Dollar Magazine, 4 (August, 1849), 460-61. Peterson reveals no animosity toward Poe in his letters to Lowell and Tomlin. In his March 3, 1880, letter to John Henry Ingram (IngramPoe Collection, University of Virginia), he defended Poe’s memory against the characterization contained in Rufus W. Griswold’s “Memoir.”

JOHN PIERPONT (1785-1866). This New England clergyman, poet, and reformer was a close friend of John Neal (q.v.). In the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, ­[page 869:] XV, 192-93), Poe described Pierpont as “one of the most accomplished poets in America.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

ALBERT PIKE (1809-1891). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 257-58), Poe favorably noticed this Arkansas poet: “Mr. Pike has unquestionably merit, and that of a high order. His ideality is rich and well-disciplined.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

E. J. PINKERTON. In his April 1, 1841, letter to Thomas Wyatt, Poe discusses a “shockingly botched” drawing by a “Mr Pinkerton.” He was almost certainly referring to E. J. Pinkerton, a lithographer who appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1843, 1844, and 1845. According to Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America, Pinkerton was active in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1846. Additional information may be found in Harry T. Peters’ America on Stone.

GEORGE W. POE. He was Poe’s second cousin, being the grandson of George Poe (1744-1823), a younger brother of his grandfather General David Poe (1743?-1816). George Poe, Jr. (1778-1864), the father of George W. Poe, was the first cousin of Poe’s father David Poe, Jr. (1784-?) and his aunt Maria Clemm (1790-1871). On January 12, 1836, Poe wrote George Poe, Jr., asking him to loan Mrs. Clemm one hundred dollars to open a boarding house in Richmond (see the Letters, I, 79-80). George W. Poe sent Poe a letter addressed to Richmond, which he did not receive ­[page 870:] until after his arrival in Philadelphia. The only letter extant in their correspondence is Poe’s July 14, 1839, reply, in which he discusses the history of the Poe family in America. George Poe, Jr., was apparently a man of means. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1840, p. 302, identifies him as the director of the Mobile, Alabama, branch of Nicholas Biddle’s United States Bank. Biddle’s letterbooks in the Library of Congress reveal that he frequently corresponded with George Poe, Jr., during the years 1838 and 1839. In addition to Poe’s July 14, 1839, letter to George W. Poe, genealogical information on the Poe family may be found in his August 20, 1835, letter to William Poe (Letters, I, 66-69) and in Mrs. Clemm’s October 7, 1835, letter to William Poe (Works, XVII, 379-81). Family trees appear in Quinn, pp. 16-17, and Phillips, Poe, I, 32. The most detailed source is Pauline Mae Brannan’s The Poe Family Line (Bel Air, Md.: Privately printed, 1974), pp. 18-34.

NEILSON POE (1809-1884). This Baltimore journalist and lawyer was Poe’s second cousin, being the grandson of George Poe (17441823), a younger brother of his grand father General David Poe (1743?-1816), and the son of Jacob Poe (1775-1860), who was the first cousin of his father David Poe, Jr. (1784?). Poe seems never to have been on especially good terms with Neilson. In 1835 he strenuously objected to a proposal that his future wife Virginia Clemm be placed under Neilson’s protection (see the Letters, I, 69-71, and see Quinn, pp. 218-24). Poe’s September 4, 1838, letter to Nathan C. Brooks provides reasonably conclusive evidence that he approached Neilson for financial aid during the summer of 1838 and ­[page 871:] that his cousin failed to assist him. In 1834 Neilson had become the proprietor of the Baltimore Chronicle; and in the autumn of 1839, Poe was incensed at his refusal to publish a notice of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in this Baltimore daily (see the chronology for September 11 and October 7, 1839). At the end of this year, Neilson was forced to sell the Chronicle, which had been losing money; in the following year he played a highly visible role in the Whig campaign for the Presidency. For documentation, see the chronology for December 2, 1839, and May 5, 6, 1840. After 1840 he devoted most of his energies to the practice of law. A brief obituary appeared in the New York Times, January 4, 1884, p. 5, col. 2. The Baltimore Sun, January 4, p. 1, col. 4, published a detailed obituary under the heading “Death of Ex-Judge Poe: The Career of a Distinguished Citizen as Journalist, Lawyer and Judge.” Several of Neilson’s statements concerning his famous cousin were quoted by Eugene L. Didier, The Poe Cult, pp. 58-59, 80, 225-26. Quinn, pp. 642-43, printed his October 11, 1849, letter to Mrs. Clemm, in which he described Poe’s death and burial. His remarks at the dedication of the Poe monument in Baltimore were published by Sara Sigourney Rice, Edgar Allan Poe, pp. 62-63.

ROBERT FORSYTH, WASHINGTON, and WILLIAM POE. These Georgians were the first cousins of Poe’s father David Poe, Jr. (1784-?) and his aunt Maria Clemm (1790-1871). Their father was William Poe (1755-1804), a younger brother of Poe’s grandfather General David Poe (1743?-1816). William Poe, their father, was a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who settled in Augusta, Georgia, around 1789 or 1790. He had seven children by his wife Frances Winslow. The ­[page 872:] Augusta Directory for 1841, pp. 27-28, 69, identifies their oldest child Robert Forsyth (1775-1854) as the cashier of the Bank of Augusta, and their youngest William (1802-?) as an assistant cashier of the Augusta Insurance and Banking Company. Washington Poe (1800-1876) became a prominent attorney and civic leader in Macon, Georgia. In 1840 Washington was serving as the city’s mayor; in 1844 he was elected to the House of Representatives on the Whig ticket, but he never took possession of his seat in Congress because his business affairs required his presence in Macon. During his editorship of the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe corresponded with Washington and William Poe, who were then giving financial assistance to his aunt Mrs. Clemm; for additional information, see the Letters, I, 66-69, 79-80, 88, and the Works, XVII, 379-81. During the Philadelphia period he sent his Georgia cousins copies of the Prospectus of the Penn Magazine and asked them to serve as agents for this forthcoming journal. His August 14, 1840, letter to William and his August 15, 1840, letter to Washington are extant; his letter to Robert is cited in his letter to William. In his January 6, 1841, letter to Nicholas Biddle, Poe commented on the Penn Magazine: “My cousins in Augusta, who had led me to hope that they would aid me materially, have been unable to do so, and could not even obtain me a few subscribers in that place.” Shortly before May 15, 1843, Poe wrote William describing his financial difficulties and Virginia’s illness; William sent him a letter from Baltimore on June 16, congratulating him on winning a prize of one hundred dollars for “The Gold-Bug,” but cautioning him against “A too free use of the Bottle.” Genealogical information on Poe’s Georgia cousins may be found in Paulline Mae Brannan’s The Poe Family Line, pp. 20-21, and in G. O. Seilhamer’s The ­[page 873:] Bard Family (Chambersburg, Pa.: Kittochtinny Press, 1908), pp. 365-66. A sketch of Washington Poe is provided by Ida Young, Julius Gholson, and Clara Nell Hargrove in their History of Macon, Georgia (Macon, Ga.: Macon Woman’s Club, 1950), pp. 206-08. Additional sources are cited in the directory entry for George W. Poe.

ROSALIE POE (1810-1874). She was Poe’s sister. After the death of their mother Elizabeth Arnold Poe on December 8, 1811, Rosalie was adopted by William MacKenzie, a Richmond merchant, and his wife Jane (see Quinn, pp. 45-46, and see Mary Wingfield Scott’s Houses of Old Richmond, p. 215). Rosalie was dependent on the charity of others throughout her life. She received only a limited education, and she had none of her brother’s intellectual gifts, but she was closer to him than previous biographers have recognized. Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Thomas Wyatt establishes that Rosalie visited him in the company of John MacKenzie (q.v.), her foster brother, sometime prior to this date. Evidence that Poe may have corresponded with her during the Philadelphia period is provided by his April, 1843, letter to William MacKenzie, by his April 22, 1843, letter to Thomas MacKenzie, and by his June 20, 1843, letter to Miss Lucy D. Henry. A sketch of Rosalie may be found in Mabbott’s Poems, pp. 520-22. Susan Archer Weiss recorded her firsthand knowledge of Rosalie in The Home Life of Poe, pp. 41-43, 213-16, and in “The Sister of Edgar A. Poe,” The Continent, 3 (June 27, 1883), 816-19. Additional sources are cited by John C. Miller, “Poe’s Sister Rosalie,” Tennessee Studies in Literature, 8 (1963), 107-17. ­[page 874:]

VIRGINIA CLEMM POE (1822-1847). She was Poe’s first cousin, the daughter of his aunt Maria Clemm (q.v.). During the early 1830’s, when Poe was living at his aunt’s residence in Baltimore, he became Virginia’s tutor. Evidence that Poe came to love his cousin deeply is provided by his August 29, 1835, letter to Mrs. Clemm (Letters, I, 69-71). Poe and Virginia were married in Richmond on May 16, 1836, some three months before her fourteenth birthday (see Quinn, pp. 252-54). Their marriage was a harmonious one- until Virginia became seriously ill around January 20, 1842. She was suffering from tuberculosis, a disease which was to end her life five years later, on January 30, 1847. During the last two years Poe lived in Philadelphia, his anxieties over his wife’s health increasingly led him to seek solace in excessive drinking. A sketch of Virginia may be found in Mabbott’s Poems, pp. 522-25. In his “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe,” Lambert A. Wilmer (q.v.) remembered that during his residence in Baltimore Poe was “engaged . . . . in giving Virginia lessons in Algebra”; he bore witness to the mutual love which existed between them. George R. Graham described Poe’s relationship with Virginia during the Philadelphia period in Graham’s Magazine, 36 (March, 1850), 224-26:

I shall never forget how solicitous of the happiness of his wife and mother-in-law he [Poe] was, whilst one of the editors of Graham’s Magazine — his whole efforts seemed to be to procure the comfort and welfare of his home. Except for their happiness-and the natural ambition of having a magazine of his own — I never heard him deplore the want of wealth. . . . . His love for his wife was a sort of rapturous worship of the spirit of beauty which he felt was fading before his eyes. I have seen him hovering around her when she was ill, with all the fond fear and tender anxiety of a mother for her first-born — her slightest cough causing in him a shudder, a heart-chill ­[page 875:] that was visible. I rode out one summer evening with them, and the remembrance of his watchful eyes eagerly bent upon the slightest change of hue in that loved face, haunts me yet as the memory of a sad strain. It was this hourly anticipation of her loss, that made him a sad and thoughtful man, and lent a mournful melody to his undying song.

Virginia Poe is also discussed in reminiscences reproduced in the directory entries for Thomas Dunn English, Amanda B. Harris, Mayne Reid, and Susan Archer Weiss, and in the reminiscence of Frederick William Thomas, which is excerpted in the chronology for September 17, 1842.

WILLIAM HENRY PURNELL (1826-1902). On the evening of December 23, 1843, this schoolboy attended Poe’s lecture on “American Poetry” delivered before the faculty and students of Newark Academy in Newark, Delaware. His reminiscence has been reprinted by Ernest John Moyne, “Did Edgar Allan Poe Lecture at Newark Academy?” 5-8. In later life Purnell became a successful lawyer and teacher; a sketch may be found in the DAB.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


MAYNE REID (1818-1883). This soldier of fortune and author of adventure novels was born in Ireland. Reid arrived in New Orleans in January, 1840; for the next three years he travelled widely in the wilderness areas of the American West while working at a variety of occupations. In the spring of 1843, he settled in Philadelphia, where he contributed to Godey’s Lady’s Book, the Saturday Museum, and other journals under the pseudonym of “The Poor Scholar.” Reid became a frequent visitor to the Poe home at 234 North Seventh Street, in the Spring Garden ­[page 876:] district. He published his reminiscence of Poe in Onward: A Magazine for the Young Manhood of America, 1 (April, 1869), 305-08. Onward was a short-lived adventure magazine for boys which Reid edited; since it is not available in most libraries, his account is reproduced from a copy of the first volume held by the Boston Public Library:

A DEAD MAN DEFENDED.

Being some reminiscences of the poet Poe.

NEARLY a quarter of a century ago I knew a man named Edgar Allan Poe. I knew him as well as one man may know another, after an intimate and almost daily association extending over a period of two years. He was then a reputed poet; I, only an humble admirer of the Muses.

But it is not of his poetic talent I here intend to speak; I never myself had a very exalted opinion of it, more especially as I knew, that the poem upon which rests the head corner-stone of his fame is not the creation of Edgar Allan Poe, but of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship” you will find the original of “The Raven;” I mean the tune, the softly flowing measure, the imagery, and a good many of the words, even to the “rustling of the soft and silken curtain.”

This does not seem like defending the dead poet, nor, as a poet, is his defence intended. I could do it better, were I to speak of his prose; which for classic diction and keen analytic power has not been surpassed in the republic of letters. Neither to speak of his poetry, or his prose, have I taken up the pen; but of what is, in my opinion, of much more importance than either — his moral character. Contrary to my estimate, the world believes him to have been a great poet; and- there are few who will question his transcendent talents as a writer of prose. But the world also believes him to have been a blackguard; and there are but few who seem to dissent from this doctrine.

I am one of this few; and I shall give my reasons, drawing them partly from my own knowledge ­[page 877:] of the man, and partly from facts furnished me by a gentleman who knew Edgar Allan Poe perhaps better than any other individual ever honored with the poet’s acquaintance. [In a footnote Reid identifies this gentleman as “Thomas Cottrell Clarke, Esq., of Philadelphia.”] This gentleman, of pure, blameless life and noble instincts, through “good report and evil report” has remained faithful to the trust of friendship, and now, after the lapse of a quarter of a century, calls upon me to step forward in defence of our mutual but unfortunate friend — grossly libelled during his life — basely slandered when death stepped in to hinder him from speaking his own defence.

I respond to the appeal with the fervor man should feel, in rescuing a maligned memory from the clutch of calumniators. And in attempting to do this, I have no design to represent Edgar Allan Poe as a model of what man ought to be, either morally or socially. I desire to obtain for him only strict justice; and if this be accorded, I have no fear that those according

it will continue to regard him as the monster he has been hitherto depicted. Rather may it be that the hideous garment will be transferred, from his, to the shoulders of his hostile biographer.

When I first became acquainted with Poe he was living in a suburban district of Philadelphia, called “Spring Garden.” I have not been there for twenty years, and, for aught I know, it may now be in the centre of that progressive city. It was then a quiet residential neighborhood, noted as the chosen quarter of the Quakers.

Poe was no Quaker; but, I remember well, he was next-door neighbor to one. And in this wise: that while the wealthy co-religionist of William Penn dwelt in a splendid four-story house, built of the beautiful coral-colored bricks for which Philadelphia is celebrated, the poet lived in a lean-to of three rooms, (there may have been a garret with a closet,) of painted plank construction, supported against the gable of the more pretentious dwelling.

If I remember aright, the Quaker was a dealer in cereals. He was also Poe’s landlord; and, I think, rather looked down upon the poet- though not from any question of character, but ­[page 878:] simply from his being fool enough to figure as a scribbler and a poet.

In this humble domicile I can say, that I have spent some of the pleasantest hours of my life — certainly some of the most intellectual. They were passed in the company of the poet himself, and his wife — a lady angelically beautiful in person and not less beautiful in spirit. No one who remembers that dark-eyed, dark-haired daughter of Virginia [Maryland] — her own name, if I rightly remember — her grace, her facial beauty, her demeanor, so modest as to be remarkable — no one who has ever spent an hour in her company but will endorse what I

have above said. I remember how we, the friends of the poet, used to talk of her high qualities. And when we talked of her beauty, I well knew that the rose-tint upon her cheek was too bright, too pure to be of Earth. It was consumption’s color — that sadly beautiful light that beckons to an early tomb.

In the little lean-to, besides the poet and his interesting wife, there was but one other dweller. This was a woman of middle age, and almost masculine aspect. She had the size and figure of a man, with a countenance that, at first sight, seemed scarce feminine. A stranger would have been incredulous — surprised, as I was, when introduced to her as the mother of that angelic creature who had accepted Edgar Poe as the partner of her life.

Such was the relationship; and when you came to know this woman better, the masculinity of her person disappeared before the truly feminine nature of her mind; and you saw before you a type of those grand American mothers — such as existed in the days when block-houses had to be defended, bullets run in red-hot saucepans, and guns loaded for sons and husbands to fire them. Just such a woman was the mother-in-law of the poet Poe. If not called upon to defend her home and family against the assaults of the Indian savage, she was against that as ruthless, as implacable, and almost as difficult to repel-poverty. She was the ever-vigilant guardian of the house, watching it against the silent but continuous sap of necessity, that appeared every day to be approaching closer and nearer. She was the sole servant, keeping every thing clean; ­[page 879:] the sole messenger, doing the errands, making pilgrimages between the poet and his publishers, frequently bringing back such chilling responses as “The article not accepted,” or, “The check not to be given until such and such a day” — often too late for his necessities.

And she was also the messenger to the market; from it bringing back, not the “delicacies of

the season,” but only such commodities as were called for by the dire exigencies of hunger.

And yet, were there some delicacies. I shall never forget how, when peaches were in season and cheap, a pottle of these, the choicest gifts of Pomona, were divested of their skins

by the delicate fingers of the poet’s wife, and left to the “melting mood,” to be amalgamated with Spring Garden cream and crystallized sugar, and then set before such guests as came in by chance.

Reader! I know you will acknowledge this to be a picture of tranquil domestic happiness; and I think you will believe me, when I tell you it is truthful. But I know also you will ask, “What has it to do with the poet?” since it seems to reflect all the credit on his wife, and the woman who called him her son-in-law. For all yet said it may seem so; but I am now to say that which may give it a different aspect.

During two years of intimate personal association with Edgar Poe I found in him the following phases of character, accomplishment, and disposition:

Firstly: I discovered rare genius; not at all of the poetic order, not even of the fanciful, but far more of a practical kind, shown in a power of analytic reasoning such as few men possess, and which would have made him the finest detective policeman in the world. Vidocq would have been a simpleton beside him.

Secondly: I encountered a scholar of rare accomplishments — especially skilled in the lore of Northern Europe, and more imbued with it than with the Southern and strictly classic. How he had drifted into this specialty I never knew. But he had it in a high degree, as is apparent throughout all his writings; some of which read like an echo of the Scandinavian “Sagas,”

Thirdly: I felt myself in communication ­[page 880:] with a man of original character, disputing many of the received doctrines and dogmas of the day; but only original, in so far as to dispute them, altogether regardless of consequences to himself or the umbrage he gave to his adversaries.

Fourthly: I saw before me a man to whom vulgar rumor had attributed those personal graces supposed to attract the admiration of women. This is the usual description given of him in biographical sketches. And why, I cannot tell, unless it has been done to round off a piquant paragraph. His was a face purely intellectual. Women might admire it, thinking of this; but it is doubtful if many of them ever fell, or could have fallen, in love with the man to whom it belonged. I don’t think many ever did. It was enough for one man to be beloved by one such woman as he had for his wife.

Fifthly: I feel satisfied that Edgar A. Poe was not, what his slanderers have represented him, a rake. I know he was not; but in truth the very opposite. I have been his companion in one or two of his wildest frolics, and can certify that they never went beyond the innocent mirth in which we all indulge when Bacchus gets the better of us. With him the jolly god sometimes played fantastic tricks — to the stealing away his brain, and sometimes, too, his hat — leaving him to walk bareheaded through the streets at an hour when the sun shone too clearly on his crown, then prematurely bald.

While acknowledging this as one of Poe’s failings, I can speak truly of its not being habitual; only occasional, and drawn out by some accidental circumstance — now disappointment; now the concurrence of a social crowd, whose flattering fellowship might lead to champagne; a single glass of which used to affect him so much that he was hardly any longer responsible for his actions, or the disposal of his hat.

I have chronicled the poet’s crimes, all that I ever knew him to be guilty of, and, indeed, all that can honestly be alleged against him; though many call him a monster. It is time to say a word of his virtues. I could expatiate upon these far beyond the space left me; or I might sum them up in a single sentence; by saying, that he was no worse and no better than most other men.

I have known him to be for a whole month ­[page 881:] closeted in his own house — the little “shanty” supported against the gable of the rich Quaker-all the time hard at work with his pen, poorly paid, and hard driven to keep the wolf from his slightly-fastened door; intruded on only by a few select friends, who always found him, what they knew him to be, a generous host, an affectionate son-in-law and husband, — in short, a respectable gentleman.

In conclusion, I have to say that he is not a gentleman who has slandered Edgar Allan Poe.

At starting I had intended to prove it, by the words of one who, better than I, knew both the poet and his traducer. But, allured by my own old memories, I have miscalculated the space at my disposal, and must leave for a future issue a defence of the maligned man, more elaborate and much better substantiated by facts.

When these come before the public, they will elicit the sure verdict: that, in the list of literary men, there has been no such spiteful biographer as Dr. Rufus Griswold, and never such a victim of posthumous spite as poor Edgar Allan Poe.

Reid’s reminiscence provides evidence of his friendship with both Poe and Thomas C. Clarke (q.v.), and it tends to corroborate the statement by Howard Paul (q.v.) that Poe and Reid were visitors to Clarke’s home. The “rich Quaker” mentioned by Reid was William M. Alburger (q.v.); Poe’s Spring Garden landlord was not “a dealer in cereals” but a plumber. Sketches of Reid may be found in the DAB, the DNB, and Appleton’s. He does not appear in any edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory issued between 1837 and 1845. In her Mayne Reid: A Memoir of His Life (London: Ward and Downey, 1890), pp. 9, 22, Elizabeth Reid, his widow, stated that he arrived in Philadelphia in “the spring of 1843” and that he left the city in “the spring of 1846.” A list of his publications has been compiled by Joan Steele, “Mayne Reid: A Revised Bibliography,” Bulletin of Bibliography, 29 (1972), 95-100. ­[page 882:]

JEREMIAH N. REYNOLDS (1799-1858). This explorer and scientist is remembered as the author of Mocha Dick (1839), an account of a legendary white whale which was an important source for Melville’s Moby-Dick, and as the man whose name Poe reputedly called on his deathbed (see Quinn, p. 640). Reynolds advocated sending an American naval expedition to explore the South Seas; in the January, 1837, issue of the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe favorably reviewed his Address on the Subject of a Surveying and Exploring Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas (1836). Reynolds’ Address and his Voyage of the Potomac (1835) provided source material for The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Poe noticed him in the February, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 159, 243-44). Information on Reynolds and his influence on Poe’s writings may be found in three articles: Robert F. Almy, “J. N. Reynolds: A Brief Biography with Particular Reference to Poe and Symmes,” The Colophon, NS 2 (1937), 227-45; Aubrey Starke, “Poe’s Friend Reynolds,” American Literature, 11 (1939) 152-59; and Daniel J. Tynan, “J. N. Reynolds’ Voyage of the Potomac: Another Source for The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym,” Poe Studies, 4 (1971), 35-37.

W. D. RIEBSAM. He was one of the two witnesses signing the contract in which Felix O. C. Darley bound himself to provide illustrations for Poe’s forthcoming magazine, The Stylus (see the chronology for January 31, 1843). This Poe acquaintance may be tentatively identified as William D. Riebsam, a dealer in dry goods who appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1839. ­[page 883:] McElroy’s locates his store at the northeast corner of Mulberry (Arch) and Third Streets; it would have been little more than two blocks away from Poe’s first Philadelphia residence, a boarding house located at 202 Mulberry (Arch) Street, to the west of Fifth Street (see the directory entry for Mrs. C. Jones).


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


JOSEPH SAILER (ca. 1809-1883). This Philadelphian was the financial editor of the Public Ledger from July 1, 1840, until shortly before his death on January 15, 1883, at the age of seventy-four. In 1843 Sailer became the editor of the Dollar Newspaper, which was issued by the same firm that published the Ledger. The Dollar Newspaper is remembered as the weekly which awarded Poe a prize of one hundred dollars for “The Gold-Bug”; Sailer is mentioned by Woodberry, Life, II, 37, and other biographers. Information on his career may be found in an obituary in the New York Times, January 16, 1883, p. 5, col. 5, and in Scharf and Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, III, 2001, 2014.

JOHN SANDERSON (1783-1844). This author and teacher was Professor of Greek and Latin in the Philadelphia High School. Poe praised Sanderson for “ease and vivacity of style” in the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 196). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, Franklin Spencer Edmonds’ History of the Central High School of Philadelphia, p. 342, and Rufus W. Griswold’s The Prose Writers of America, 2nd ed., rev. (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1847), pp. 239-40. ­[page 884:]

EPES SARGENT (1813-1880). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 252-53), Poe praised this author and editor as “a gentleman of taste and high talent.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN SARTAIN (1808-1897). This famous engraver emigrated to the United States from England in 1830. Following the advice of Thomas Sully (q.v.), Sartain settled in Philadelphia, where he remained for the rest of his life. In this city he developed the art of mezzotint engraving to an unprecedented excellence; the numerous engravings he contributed to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine were a principal reason for the success of these two Philadelphia monthlies. His engraving of “The Pets,” a saccharine frontispiece in the May, 1839, number of Burton’s, firmly established his reputation as a leading magazine illustrator. On October 20, 1840, William E. Burton sold the Gentleman’s Magazine to George R. Graham, who then engaged Sartain to prepare a new plate for every number of his forthcoming Graham’s Magazine. For additional information, see Sartain’s Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, 1808-1897 (1899; rpt. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1969), pp. 197-98, and see the chronology for April 13, 1839, November, December 19, 1840, and December, 1841. Sartain almost certainly made Poe’s acquaintance early in the Philadelphia period. According to the reminiscence preserved by Isaac W. Heysinger (q.v.), these two men attended social gatherings of artists, actors, and authors at the city’s Falstaff Hotel. In his Reminiscences, p. 199, Sartain stated that he first met Poe “in connection with ­[page 885:] Graham’s enterprise.” They collaborated on the June, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine, in which Poe’s tale “The Island of the Fay” served as a prose illustration for a Sartain engraving with the same title. In January, 1849, Sartain issued the first number of Sartain’s Union Magazine, a Philadelphia monthly to which Poe contributed several different versions of his poem “The Bells.” In July of this year, Sartain came to Poe’s rescue during his final visit to the city (see Quinn, pp. 616-22, and see the Letters, II, 452-56). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Joseph Jackson’s Encyclopedia of Philadelphia and his Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Sartain’s Reminiscences contains his memories of Poe, Graham, Burton, and other Philadelphia literati, as well as a useful reminiscence left by Anne E. C. Clarke (see pp. 196-227). His “Reminiscences of Edgar Allan Poe” appeared in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, 43 (1889), 411-15. His account of “Poe’s Last Days,” which appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript in 1893, has been reprinted by Richard Tuerk, “John Sartain and E. A. Poe,” Poe Studies, 4 (1971), 21-23. In these three publications Sartain largely restricted his comments on Poe to the composition of “The Bells” and to the 1849 visit to Philadelphia. His description of Poe’s final visit seems to be somewhat exaggerated. Sartain also transmitted information to Alexander Harvey and to William Sartain (q.q.v.), who published articles in 1892 and 1917 respectively.

WILLIAM SARTAIN (1843-1924). This Philadelphia painter was the son of John Sartain (q.v.). Some twenty years after his father’s death, William Sartain published ­[page 886:] “Edgar Allan Poe — Some Facts Recalled” in The Art World, 2 (1917), 321-23. Sartain claimed: “I have a vague recollection of a visit that Poe made to my father’s house only one month [three months] before his death — but more particularly of the many discussions of the latter event.” His account of Poe’s July, 1849, visit to Philadelphia is simply an abridgment of his father’s testimony in Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, pp. 205-12. Sartain gave a brief reminiscence of Henry B. Hirst (q.v.), whom he described as “having some resemblance to the portraits of Shakespeare”; and he suggested that the inspiration for “The Raven” may have come from “a pet raven” owned by Hirst, “which Poe was quite familiar with.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

ANDREW SCOTT (?-1855). Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.) remembered that “Andy Scott” was a companion of Poe during his editorship of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Andrew Scott was Charles W. Alexander’s partner on the Daily Chronicle, which commenced publication on May 4, 1840. Between December 18, 1839, and May 6, 1840, Poe contributed a series of short articles to Alexander’s other publication, the Weekly Messenger (see Brigham, Poe’s Contributions) . Evidence that he also contributed to the Daily Chronicle may be found in the chronology for May 19 and September 11, 1840. Scott appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1841 and 1845. In 1849 he began his own paper, Scott’s Weekly, which he published until his death in 1855 (see Scharf and Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, III, 2013, 2021).

JOHN RUDOLPH SCOTT (1809-1856). Horace Wemyss Smith ­[page 887:] (q.v.) remembered that this Philadelphia actor attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into the city’s society. Scott appears in the 1839 and 1840 editions of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory; a sketch may be found in Appleton’s.

CATHARINE MARIA SEDGWICK (1789-1867). Poe noticed this New England novelist in the February, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 149-50, 204-05). On both occasions he praised Miss Sedgwick for her excellent penmanship and the “strong common sense” of her literary style. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional sources are cited in the LHUS Bibliography.

LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY (1791-1865). This Hartford, Connecticut, poetess was probably the most popular American writer of the female sex. Mrs. Sigourney contributed poems and articles to many periodicals, and she was a contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship. Several of Mrs. Sigourney’s friends believed that his review of her Zinzendorff, and Other Poems in the January, 1836, number of the Messenger was somewhat too severe. On April 12, 1836, Poe wrote her to assure her that these friends had “misconceived the spirit of the criticism.” For documentation, see the Letters, I, 89-90, and see the Works, XVII, 33-35, 37-38. During his editorship of Graham’s Magazine, Poe sent Mrs. Sigourney two letters to invite her to become a contributor (see the chronology for November 10, 13, 16, 1841). After Poe’s departure from the magazine’s staff, she indicated her willingness to become a regular contributor in a December 20, 1842, letter to ­[page 888:] George R. Graham. Poe discussed Mrs. Sigourney’s chirography in both the February, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 145-46, 187). In the latter installment he commented that she possessed “fine taste, without genius.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. The best source is Gordon S. Haight’s Mrs. Sigourney, The Sweet Singer of Hartford (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1930).

WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS (1806-1870). Poe included this Charleston, South Carolina, editor and novelist in both the August, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 168, 193). Acting on the request of his friend John Tomlin (q.v.), Simms published a favorable notice of Poe’s forthcoming journal The Stylus in The Magnolia, a Charleston monthly (see the chronology for June and July 2, 1843). Sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s. An important source is the five-volume edition of The Letters of William Gilmore Simms prepared by Mary C. Simms Oliphant, Alfred Taylor Odell, and T. C. Duncan Eaves (Columbia, S. C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1952-1956). His editorship of The Magnolia is discussed by John C. Guilds, Jr., “Simms as a Magazine Editor, 1825-1845,” Diss. Duke 1954. Arlin Turner contributed “Poe and Simms: Friendly Critics, Sometimes Friends” to Papers on Poe, ed. Richard P. Veler, pp. 140-60. Additional references are provided by the LHUS Bibliography.

LIEUTENANT ALEXANDER SLIDELL (1803-1848). This naval officer and author contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship. Lieutenant Slidell was included in both the August, 1836, and the November, 1841, ­[page 889:] installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 169, 201-02). In 1838 he assumed the surname of Mackenzie out of regard for a maternal uncle. Sketches of Lieutenant Alexander Slidell may be found under the name Mackenzie in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

A. C. SMITH. This Philadelphia artist furnished the portrait of Poe which accompanied James Russell Lowell’s article “Our Contributors. — No. XVII: Edgar Allan Poe” in the February, 1845, number of Graham’s Magazine. Reasonably conclusive evidence that Poe had occasion to make Smith’s acquaintance during the Philadelphia period is provided by his March 30, 1844, letter to Lowell, in which he stated that his portrait for Graham’s Magazine had been finished “for some time.” Between the years 1837 and 1845, McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory lists this Poe acquaintance only in its 1844 edition: “Smith A. C., artist, 86 Chestnut.” A brief notice of Smith may be found in Groce and Wallace’s Dictionary of Artists in America; his portrait of Poe is reproduced by Phillips, Poe, I, 860.

HORACE WEMYSS SMITH (1825-1891). This Philadelphia author was the son of the playwright and lawyer Richard Penn Smith (q.v.). In his Life and Correspondence of the Rev. William Smith, II (Philadelphia: Ferguson Bros., 1880), 529, Horace Wemyss Smith implied that he and his father were acquainted with Poe: “Well do I remember how proud I was of him [Richard Penn Smith]; he took me with him wherever he went, and his associates and companions (child as I was) became mine. James N. Barker, Robert M. Bird, Joseph C. Neal, Edwin Forrest, James Goodman, Edgar A. Poe, Louis A. Godey, William E. Burton, Robert T. Conrad, ­[page 890:] Joseph R. Chandler and Morton McMichael were the literary magnates of Philadelphia, and of all that intellectual coterie my father’s star was the brightest, his wit the gayest, and his sarcasm the most cutting . . . . .” Several years after he mentioned Poe in this biography of William Smith, his great-grandfather, Horace Wemyss Smith related a reminiscence of Poe in Philadelphia to Hyman Polock Rosenbach (1858-1892), a journalist who published it in The American, 13 (February 26, 1887), 296. Smith’s “Reminiscences of Edgar A. Poe” are a blend of possible fact and known fiction. He claimed to have remembered a supper party held in his father’s house at which Poe was “introduced into Philadelphia society by the well-known comedian, William E. Burton, who had lately employed him as assistant editor upon his magazine”:

At this supper party were present Louis A. Godey, then owner and editor of Godey’s Magazine, which had been started about five years previously; Robert M. Bird; Robert T. Conrad, editor of the Daily Intelliencer; Joseph R. Chandler, editor of the United States Gazette; Joseph C. Neal; Morton McMichael, then an alderman in Spring Garden; Adam Waldie, publisher of Waldie’s Circulating Library, and a few others. Owing to the engagements of Mr. Burton at the Chestnut Street Theatre, the supper was not placed upon the table until midnight, at which time Mr. Burton, Mr. Wemyss, Mr. Wood and Mr. John R. Scott made their appearance. Edwin Forrest — who had but lately returned from England with his wife — was also present.

My father’s house was on Sixth above Willow Street. The guests who had first assembled were entertained on the first floor, where they awaited the coming of the theatrical people, before ascending to the dining-room on the second floor. When the time came to go up, Poe had so often visited the side-board placed in the lower room that it was with great difficulty he was assisted up stairs, and when he was seated was in no condition either to entertain or be entertained.

Although this episode is not mentioned in other documents, it is quite plausible. Smith stated that the supper party ­[page 891:] occurred “about 1837”; it would have occurred shortly after May 11, 1839, when Burton wrote Poe to offer him a position on the Gentleman’s Magazine. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1839 locates the residence of Richard Penn Smith at 243 North Sixth Street; the site is presently numbered 419 North Sixth (see Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, p. 276). Evidence to support Horace Wemyss Smith’s account of his father’s friendship with William E. Burton is provided by the laudatory “Biography of Richard Penn Smith” which appeared in the September, 1839, number of the Gentleman’s Magazine. All the guests whom Smith placed at this supper party were prominent actors, editors, and publishers who were living in Philadelphia in 1839, and who were likely associates of his father and Burton. “Mr. Wemyss” and “Mr. Wood” were Francis C. Wemyss and William B. Wood (q.q.v.), both well-known theatre managers. Of course, in his April l, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass, Poe claimed that he abstained from alcohol while in Burton’s employ, but Smith is not alone in accusing him of excessive drinking during his editorship of the Gentleman’s Magazine. This accusation was also made by Burton and Thomas Dunn English (see the directory entry for English). Horace Wemyss Smith further claimed that after meeting Poe at this supper party he renewed his acquaintance with him “in the following year” (presumably 1840):

I was much about town [Philadelphia], and frequently fell in with Poe, who seemed to cultivate my acquaintance. He was still in the employ of Burton, and as the latter was giving his attention, at that time, to the magazine, making his theatrical engagements only for Philadelphia and cities within very easy reach, Poe had much leisure time, which he spent for the most part in a drinking place on Dock below Pear Street. His companions were Henry B. Hirst, Andy Scott and myself. Our evenings were generally spent about the ­[page 892:] lobbies of the theatres, from whence we would adjourn to Parker’s restaurant or Davy Gibbs’s eating-saloon.

There is nothing implausible in this portion of Smith’s reminiscence. Henry B. Hirst (q.v.) was an intimate companion of Poe. “Andy Scott” was Andrew Scott (q.v.), one of the publishers of the Daily Chronicle; several of Poe’s contributions to this Philadelphia newspaper are entered in the chronology for May 19 and September 11, 1840. The restaurants and drinking establishments which Smith claimed to have visited in Poe’s company were located within several blocks of the office of the Gentleman’s Magazine on Dock Street, near the southeast corner of Walnut and Second Streets; for additional information, see the directory entries for Davy Gibbs, William T. Parker, and John Upton. Smith also claimed to have had firsthand knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Poe’s departure from the Gentleman’s Magazine:

The break between Burton and Poe was caused in the following way: Burton had been called upon to play an engagement of two or three weeks duration in the Park Theatre, in New York, under Pratt and Simpson, and left directions for Poe to bring out the number of his magazine, which instruction Poe ignored or forgot. After the termination of Burton’s engagement he returned to Philadelphia on a Sunday, and on going to his office found that nothing had been done tending to the production of the magazine. Burton immediately sought my father at his house, and it was about midnight when he found him. He came in a carriage with a large bundle of manuscript, from which they made some selections. They worked until morning, when they sent me with copy to the printer, Charles Alexander, in Franklin Place, Chestnut Street. Alexander hunted up some extra compositors, and by dint of hard work and hurried proof-reading the Gentleman’s Magazine appeared as usual. Poe was discharged for his negligence.

This portion of Smith’s reminiscence is a fabrication which seems to be partially based on Griswold’s “Memoir,” ­[page 893:] p. xxxiii. Poe’s departure from the Gentleman’s Magazine was announced on the wrappers of the June, 1840, number; Burton did not have an acting engagement “of two or three weeks duration in the Park Theatre, in New York,” earlier in this year (see Johnson’s “William E. Burton,” pp. 130-34). Smith’s statement that Poe was guilty of “negligence” in preparing the Gentleman’s Magazine is convincingly refuted by Charles W. Alexander in his October 20, 1850, letter to Thomas C. Clarke (see Quinn, p.p. 296-97). The most memorable portion of his reminiscence deals with “The Raven”

. . . . After Poe left Burton, I went South and did not see him until 1843, when he already showed signs of his continued dissipation.

I read the “Raven” long before it was published, and was in Mr. George R. Graham’s office when the poem was offered to him. Poe said that his wife and Mrs. Clemm were starving, and that he was in very pressing need of money. I carried him fifteen dollars, contributed by Mr. Graham, Mr. Godey, Mr. McMichael and others, who condemned the poem, but gave the money as a charity. An hour afterward he was found in a state of intoxication in Decatur street, where now is the alley running from the rear of Charles Joly’s, No. 9 South Seventh Street, then occupied as a tavern and kept by a man named Dicky Harbut, an Irish shoemaker. Shortly after this Poe left Philadelphia, and our communication was broken off.

Smith’s account could well be a fabrication, but it cannot be discounted. Poe was in great financial need during the year 1843, as his September 13 letter to James Russell Lowell clearly indicates. Lambert A. Wilmer’s May 20 letter to John Tomlin and William Poe’s June 16 letter to Poe both suggest that he was again drinking to excess. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1843 lists a “Richard Harbord” as the proprietor of the “Decatur coffee house, 6 Decatur [street].” Decatur Street was only half a block in length; it ran south from High (or Market) Street towards ­[page 894:] Chestnut Street, between Sixth and Seventh Streets. Harbord’s establishment was some four blocks away from the office of Graham’s Magazine at the southwest corner of Chestnut and Third Streets. In this “coffee house” any Philadelphian could have become intoxicated; the Daily Chronicle, May 22, 1840, p. 4, Col. 5, carried an enticing advertisement: “HARBORD’s DECATUR COFFEE HOUSE, No. 6 DECATUR STREET, REAR OF THE ARCADE. The choicest Liquors of the market can always be found at the bar. . . . . Mint Juleps, Cobblers, Egg Noggs,&c, served in a superior style.” Smith was not the only Philadelphian who claimed to have seen Poe offer “The Raven” to George R. Graham; another account of this episode is reproduced in the directory entry for William Johnston. A sketch of Smith may be found in Appleton’s; a sketch of Hyman Polock Rosenbach, the journalist who published his reminiscence in The American, is included in Henry Samuel Morais’ Jews of Philadelphia, pp. 342-43. This 1887 account has been reprinted with useful annotations by Edwin Wolf, 2nd, “Horace Wemyss Smith’s Recollections of Poe,” Library Chronicle (University of Pennsylvania), 17 (Spring-Summer, 1951), 90-103.

RICHARD PENN SMITH (1799-1854). Substantial evidence that this Philadelphia dramatist and lawyer was acquainted with Poe is provided by two reminiscences left by his son Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 255-56), Poe stated that he was “not sufficiently cognisant” with Richard Penn Smith’s writings “to speak with decision respecting their merits.” Instead of passing his own critical judgment, he quoted several sentences from the “Biography of Richard Penn ­[page 895:] Smith” which was the lead article in the September, 1839, number of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Poe attributed this sketch to Morton McMichael, adding that he had “the highest respect for the judgment of Mr. McMichael.” Sketches of Smith may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, and Horace Wemyss Smith’s Life of the Rev. William Smith, II, 525-34.

SEBA SMITH (1792-1868). This Portland, Maine, editor became famous for a series of political satires which he published in the Portland Courier under the pseudonym of “Jack Downing.” Poe discussed “Jack Downing” in both the August, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV,172, 239). In the December, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 200), he noticed Smith himself, criticizing his Powhatan, a metrical romance, while praising the “Letters of Jack Downing” as “very clever productions; coarse, but full of fun, wit, sarcasm, and sense.” Sketches of Seba Smith may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. His wife was Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1806-1893), a Maine author who knew Poe during his later residence in New York City. Her informative recollections of Poe and his contemporaries are preserved in her “Autobiographic Notes: Edgar Allan Poe,” Beadle’s Monthly, 3 (1867), 147-56, and in Mary Alice Wyman’s edition of Selections from the Autobiography of Elizabeth Oakes Smith (Lewiston, Me.: Lewiston Journal Co., 1924). Sketches of her career may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Passages from the Correspondence of Rufus W. Griswold, pp. 130-32. ­[page 896:]

THOMAS S. SMITH (ca. 1798-1873). On September 10, 1842, President John Tyler appointed this Philadelphia lawyer to be Collector of Customs in the city. Smith, a Whig who became a supporter of the Tyler administration, was expected to fill the lesser offices of the Custom House with the President’s political allies. For additional information, see the chronology for February 22, April 27, May 5, July 12, August 18, September 10, 12, 13, 1842. In October and November, 1842, Poe paid no fewer than four visits to Smith in an unsuccessful attempt to secure a position (see the chronology for post October 11 and November 19, 1842). Evidence that Poe believed Smith himself to be an obstacle is provided by his February 25, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas: “Smith not rejected yet! — Ah, if I could only get the Inspectorship, or something similar, now — how completely it would put me out of all difficulty.” On March 3, 1843, the United States Senate rejected Smith’s appointment as Collector of the Port of Philadelphia and confirmed in his place Calvin Blythe (q.v.). The Senate’s action may well have prompted Poe’s March, 1843, trip to Washington (see the chronology for March 3, 6, 7, 1843). Smith appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. According to Martin’s Bench and Bar, p. 313, he gained admission to the city’s legal profession on November 13, 1820; and he died on October 22, 1873, at the age of seventy-five.

DR. JOSEPH EVANS SNODGRASS (1813-1880). This Baltimore physician and editor was a native of Virginia. During the early 1830’s Snodgrass seems to have been a medical student at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and it is likely ­[page 897:] that he made Poe’s acquaintance at this time. Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Snodgrass suggests that the two men may have often seen each other: “You are a physician, and I presume no physician can have difficulty in detecting the drunkard at a glance.” In the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, July 29, 1843, p. 1, col. 3, Snodgrass mentioned that he had known Poe “for years.” Shortly after Poe arrived in Philadelphia from New York City, he contributed “Ligeia” and other compositions to the American Museum, a Baltimore monthly edited by Snodgrass and Nathan C. Brooks (q.v.); his contributions are entered in the chronology for September, November, 1838, and January, February, April, 1839. The Museum ceased publication with its June, 1839, number; Snodgrass may have blamed Brooks for the magazine’s failure, because the two men were subsequently antagonistic (see the chronology for January 20, 1840, April 22, 1843, and February 3, 1844). Poe and Snodgrass were frequent correspondents during the Philadelphia period. The extant Poe letters are entered in the chronology for September 11, October 7, November 11, December 12, 19, 1839; January 20, June 17, 1840; January 17, April 1, July 12, September 19, 1841; and June 4, 1842. None of Snodgrass’ letters has been located; but the Baltimore editor frequently discussed Poe in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, a weekly newspaper whose editorship he assumed on November 8, 1841. Snodgrass’ comments are reproduced in the chronology for November 27, 1841; January 1, February 5, April 2, May, July 30, October, 1842; February, March 11, July 29, August 5, 1843; and January 27, February 3, 1844. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 222), Poe complained that Snodgrass’ chirography was “stiff, sprawling and illegible”; but he found that his writings “possessed ­[page 898:] the merit of precision of style, and a metaphysical cast of thought.” In his September 19, 1841, and June 4, 1842, letters to Snodgrass, Poe tactfully suggested that his correspondent become his partner in establishing a literary monthly in Baltimore. Nothing came of this proposal: Snodgrass was a staunch temperance advocate, and he may have been disturbed by rumors of Poe’s drinking (see the chronology for March 8, April 1, 1841, and August 30, 1842). In the October 21, 1843, issue of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, Snodgrass revealed his sympathy with the abolitionist cause; his journal afterwards declined in circulation and influence. For documentation, see the chronology for this date, John H. Hewitt’s Shadows on the Wall, p. 58, and J. Thomas Scharf’s Baltimore City and County, II, 617. Reasonably conclusive evidence that Snodgrass attended Poe’s Baltimore lecture on “American Poetry” is provided by his favorable notice of this event in the Visiter (see the chronology for January 31 and February 3, 1844) . In her February 28, 1930, letter to Louis H. Dielman of the Peabody Institute in Baltimore (MS, Genealogy File, Maryland Historical Society), Miss Frances L. Henshaw identified Snodgrass as her great uncle. Miss Henshaw wrote that he was born on August 8, 1813, and that he died on May 2, 1880. She added that his wife was Hannah Chandler, a Quakeress, and that he and his wife were survived by one son, Stanley. In his Historical Sketch of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1807-1890 (Baltimore: Isaac Friedenwald, 1891), p. 198, Eugene F. Cordell identified Snodgrass as a Virginian who received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1836. Cordell repeated this information in his Medical Annals of Maryland, 1799-1899 (Baltimore: Privately printed, 1903), p. 576, adding ­[page 899:] that Snodgrass gained admission to the Medical Faculty of Maryland in 1840, and that he lived first in Baltimore and later in the District of Columbia. Snodgrass attended Poe during his final illness in October, 1849; but his account of “The Facts of Poe’s Death and Burial,” published in Beadle’s Monthly, 3 (1867), 283-87, is somewhat exaggerated, possibly as a result of the author’s desire to use his subject as an example of the dire effects of intemperance.

WILLIAM W. SNOWDEN (?-1845). This New York City publisher issued Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, a monthly designed for a feminine audience and characterized by colored fashion plates and sentimental fiction and poetry. The Ladies’ Companion was a less expensive rival of Godey’s Lady’s Book. Two of Poe’s closest Philadelphia associates — Henry B. Hirst and Thomas Dunn English — were frequent contributors to Snowden’s publication (see the chronology for November 27, 1841; January 13, June 3, July 29, September 3, 1842; and August 29, 1843). In 1842 Poe published “The Landscape-Garden” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget” in the Ladies’ Companion, but he was nevertheless contemptuous of it. In the June 1, 1844, issue of the Columbia Spy, he described this magazine as “the ne plus ultra of ill-taste, impudence, and vulgar humbuggery” (see Doings of Gotham, pp. 41-42). A brief obituary of Snowden appeared in the New York Evening Mirror, January 14, 1845, p. 2, col. 3.

CHARLES SORAN (1807-1857). This Baltimore poet was apparently a friend of Joseph Evans Snodgrass (q.v.). In his April 1, 1841, letter to Snodgrass, Poe stated that ­[page 900:] he would be pleased to receive “a brief notice of Soran’s poems” for the June, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine. He was almost certainly referring to Soran’s The Patapsco and Other Poems (1841). Snodgrass forwarded a review, but Poe returned it in his July 12, 1841, letter: “I re-enclose the notice of Soran. It was unavoidably crowded from the July no: and we thought it out of date, for the August[.] I have not read the book — but I would have been willing to take his merits upon your word.” Snodgrass may have been annoyed by Poe’s failure to publish his review, because in the April 2, 1842, issue of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, p. 2, col. 4, he criticized his friend for “his expression of opinion, upon the second edition of Soran’s poems. Any man who had read the volume, would conclude that the editor lies — under a mistake.” In the October 8, 1842, issue of the Visiter, p. 2, col. 7, Snodgrass reported that Soran, “a clever fellow,” had been appointed “Inspector of Customs for the port of Baltimore.” J. Thomas Scharf, Baltimore City and County, II, 651, identifies Soran as a Baltimore journalist and politician who was “afterwards a clerk in one of the government departments at Washington,” and who “died in the latter city May 2, 1857.”

JARED SPARKS (1789-1866). Poe had occasion to correspond with this New England historian during his editorship of the Southern Literary Messenger (see the Letters, I, 91); and he noticed him in both the August, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 16465, 214). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. ­[page 901:]

THOMAS G. SPEAR. This minor Philadelphia poet was a frequent contributor to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, The Casket, and Graham’s Magazine. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 210-11), Poe stated that Spear’s poetry was “distinguished for pathos and grace”; but in his February 3, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas, he complained that George R. Graham had urged him into speaking well of Spear, whom he placed among the “ninnies” of American literature. Spear’s only volume of verse, Sylvan Scenes, was published in Philadelphia in 1838. A reviewer in the November, 1838, number of Burton’s noted that the opening poem “Sylvan Scenes” contained “recollections of the author’s early youth, which was passed in Loudon County, Va.” Spear is briefly mentioned by Roger Butterfield and Joseph Jackson, “Poe’s Obscure Contemporaries,” 29.

CHARLES SPRAGUE (1791-1875). Poe was unimpressed by the merits of this Boston poet. His review of the Writings of Charles Sprague in the May, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine was largely unfavorable. In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 248-49), Poe recorded his opinion that although Sprague’s versification had not been equalled by any American poet, he provided few examples of “the loftier ideality,” and he was surpassed in “the essentials of poetry . . . . by twenty of our countrymen.” Sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s.

MARY STARR (ca. 1816-1887). Some biographers refer to her as “Mary Devereaux” or “Baltimore Mary.” Poe first made her acquaintance when he was living in Baltimore ­[page 902:] during the early 1830’s, and at this time he apparently published a poem dedicated to her in one of the city’s newspapers. Evidence that Poe saw Mary Starr again during the Philadelphia period is provided by Augustus Van Cleef’s “Poe’s Mary,” Harper’s Magazine, 78 (1889), 634-40. Van Cleef published recollections which Mary Starr, his aunt, had told him when she was seventy-one years of age. Her reminiscence reveals exaggerations and inaccuracies, but it is not a total fabrication. Mary related that after Poe left Baltimore in 1835, she did not see him again until “several years after.” At this time she was married and living in New York City:

When on a visit to Philadelphia, . . . . I met Mr. Poe on the street with his wife and Mrs. Clemm. I stopped and talked with them. They asked me to come to see them. I went, with a young lady cousin of mine. They lived in Seventh Street, in the back part of a little house. Eddie asked me to sing one of my old songs. I asked him what song. He said, “Come rest in this bosom.” I sang it, and he thanked me. We spent a pleasant evening, and Mr. Poe accompanied my cousin and myself back to her house.

Mary’s encounter with Poe probably occurred around 1839 or 1840, because she added that she did not see him again until “A few years afterward,” when he visited her in “the spring of 1842.” Her description of the Poe family’s residence during the early part of the Philadelphia period seems to be corroborated by the reminiscences left by Thomas Dunn English and Anne E. C. Clarke (q.q.v.). She described their dwelling as “the back part of a little house” located on Seventh Street. In his 1896 reminiscence English gave a similar, but more detailed, description of the residence Poe lived in during his editorship of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine: “The house stood back, and was only a part of a house. They had a habit at that time in Philadelphia of ­[page 903:] building houses so that there was a stairway between dining room and kitchen back, and the parlor in front. The owner of this house had only built the rear portion, and the ground where the front was to stand in future had been turned into a grassplot, with a flower border against the adjoining brick wall.” Of course, the Poe family did not move to the house at 234 North Seventh Street until late 1842 or early 1843 (see the chronology for ante September 12, 1842, and June 20, 1843); but Mary Starr could nonetheless be referring to the “small house” to which they moved in late 1838, and which Poe calls “the old place” in several letters. Miss Clarke’s reminiscence provides some evidence that this dwelling was located “near Locust Street on Sixteenth”; and in the 1840’s Sixteenth Street was known as “Schuylkill Seventh Street.” For additional information on the dwelling, see the chronology for post September 4, 1838. Mary Starr claimed that she renewed her acquaintance with Poe in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1842:

. . . . when living in Jersey City, I saw Mr. Poe again. He was still living in Philadelphia. He came to New York, and went to my husband’s place of business to find out where we lived. He was on a spree, however, and forgot the address before he got across the river. He made several trips backward and forward on the ferry-boat. . . . .

When Mr. Poe reached our house I was out with my sister, and he opened the door for us when we got back. We saw he was on one of his sprees, and he had been away from home for several days. . . . .

Mr. Poe staid to tea with us, but ate nothing; only drank a cup of tea. . . . . He then went away.

A few days afterward Mrs. Clemm came to see me, much worried about “Eddie dear,” as she always addressed him., She did not know where he was, and his wife was almost crazy with anxiety. I told Mrs. Clemm that he had been to see me. A search was made, and he was finally found in the woods on the outskirts of Jersey City, wandering about like a crazy man. Mrs. Clemm ­[page 904:] took him back with her to Philadelphia. This was in the spring of 1842.

Poe is known to have been drinking excessively during his trip to New York City around June 25, 184.2 (see the chronology). If Mary Starr’s dating of “the spring of 1842” is changed to “early summer,” she could be referring to Poe’s June, 1842, trip. In his Poe the Detective, pp. 63-65, John Walsh suggests a plausible reason why Poe would be “found in the woods on the outskirts of Jersey City”: he might have wanted to visit the locale where Mary Rogers was murdered. Shortly before June 4, 1842, he had completed “The Mystery of Marie RĂ´get,” a lengthy tale based on this crime. A sketch of Mary Starr may be found in Mabbott’s Poems, pp. 232-33; additional information is provided in Phillips’ Poe (see the index for “Mary Devereaux”). According to Mabbott, when Poe knew Mary in Baltimore, she was living at the home of her uncle James Devereaux, “whose surname she used socially.” In his “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe,” quoted by Whitty, Poems, p. xxxiv, Frederick William Thomas stated that Poe once proposed marriage to “Miss Dever[e]aux, a dark-eyed beauty,” of Baltimore.

ELIZABETH CLEMENTINE STEDMAN (1810-1889). This poetess contributed to Graham’s Magazine during Poe’s editorship; and in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 245), he praised her for “the delicacy and grace of her poetical compositions” and “the piquancy and spirit of her prose”; and he ranked her “among the best of the contributors to ‘Graham’s Magazine.’” Sketches of Mrs. Stedman may be found under the surname of her second husband, William Burnet ­[page 905:] Kinney, in the DAB and Appleton’s.

SILAS SEXTON STEELE. This Philadelphia actor and playwright was apparently the author of a dramatization of “The Gold-Bug” which was performed at the Walnut Street Theatre (see the chronology for August 5, 8, 1843). Steele appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1843, 1844, and 1845. The Spirit of the Times, June 6, 1842, p. 2, col. 4, characterized him as a “talented and modest young author” who “has done more than any other man in Philadelphia, to keep up the interest of the drama, by producing numerous popular pieces.” Steele’s acting engagements and the performances of his plays are listed in Arthur H. Wilson’s Philadelphia Theatre.

ANN SOPHIA STEPHENS (1813-1886). This Connecticut author and editor contributed poems, stories, and novels to many American magazines. The December, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine (Vol. 19, p. 308) carried a notice that Mrs. Stephens had joined its staff, but she never played an active role in its editorship. In “The Literati” (Works, XV, 57), Poe recalled that she “had nothing to do with the editorial control” of Graham’s. Mrs. Stephens disliked Rufus W. Griswold, Poe’s successor on Graham’s; and she attempted to have him dismissed from his position (see the chronology for September 10, 1842, January 5, April 27, 1843). On February 11, 1843, the Saturday Evening Post, p. 2, col. 5, announced that she had become the editor of the Lady’s World of Fashion, a Philadelphia monthly published by Charles J. Peterson (q.v.). Mrs. Stephens remained a regular contributor to Peterson’s Magazine ­[page 906:] (as this journal was later known) until her death in 1886. Poe probably knew her during his later residence in New York City. In “Poe’s Mary,” 639, Augustus Van Cleef quoted Mary Starr’s statement that she met Mrs. Stephens at the Poe cottage in Fordham on the day of Virginia Poe’s funeral. Mrs. Stephens was favorably noticed in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 246); sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

THOMAS HEWLINGS STOCKTON (1808-1868). This clergyman and poet moved to Philadelphia from Baltimore in 1838. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 225-26), Poe stated that Stockton had distinguished himself as the editor of the Christian World and as the author of “many pieces of fine poetry.” Stockton appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845, except those for 1837 and 1842. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Apleton’s, and Brown.

RICHARD HENRY STODDARD (1825-1903). On October 10, 1840, when he was a fifteen-year-old errand boy in New York City, Stoddard wrote Poe to request a manuscript copy of one of his poems. Poe’s November 6, 1840, reply contained a transcription of his sonnet “To Zante.” Stoddard was to become a prominent critic, editor, and poet in later life. In his Recollections, Personal and Literary (1903; rpt. New York: AMS Press, 1971), pp. 145-60, he left a reminiscence of Poe during the New York period. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional references are provided by the LHUS Bibliography. ­[page 907:]

WILLIAM LEETE STONE (1792-1844). The editor of the New York Commercial Advertiser, a daily newspaper, was offended by Poe’s scathing reviews in the Southern Literary Messenger. In 1836 Poe and Stone harshly criticized each other in their respective journals. The two men attended the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837, but there is no evidence that they took this opportunity to become acquainted. Poe satirized the frequent tautologies in Stone’s prose in the August, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 173). The notice in the December, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 213-14) does not reveal any improvement in their relationship: “Colonel STONE, the editor of the New York ‘Commercial Advertiser,’ is remarkable for the great difference which exists between the apparent public opinion respecting his abilities, and the real estimation in which he is privately held. . . . . His MS. is heavy and sprawling, resembling his mental character in a species of utter unmeaningness, which lies like the nightmare, upon his autograph.” Sketches of Stone may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. His editorial warfare with Poe has been discussed by Sidney P. Moss, Poe’s Literary Battles, pp. 45-62.

JOSEPH STORY (1779-1845). Poe noticed this Massachusetts jurist and statesman in both the February, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 158-59, 242). In the latter installment he found that Story’s chirography was “a noble one — bold, clear, massive, and deliberate, betokening in the most unequivocal manner all the characteristics of his intellect.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, ­[page 908:] Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

ALFRED BILLINGS STREET (1811-1881). This poet was a native of New York State and a frequent contributor to Graham’s Magazine. In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 25455), Poe praised Street for his “fine taste, and keen sense of the beautiful”; but he found this author’s “sad and too perceptible stain” of imitation “sufficient warranty for placing him among the men of talent rather than among the men of genius.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN STURDIVANT. He was the proprietor of the fashionable Congress Hall Hotel, located at the corner of Chestnut and Third Streets. In his Memoirs, pp. 100-01, Charles Godfrey Leland remembered that “Edgar A. Poe was often . . . . at Congress Hall.” Poe’s November 23, 1840, letter to Frederick William Thomas establishes that these two men engaged in “literary and other disquisitions” at Sturdivant’s hotel earlier in the year. Thomas probably stayed at Congress Hall when he visited Philadelphia around September 17, 1842. In his September 21, 1842, letter to Thomas, Poe apologized for his failure to make a promised “appearance at Congress Hall.” John Sturdivant appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. In the 1837 edition he is mentioned only in the list of “Principal Hotels”; in the subsequent editions he appears in the alphabetical list of residents. A description of his hotel may be found in Oberholtzer’s Philadelphia, A History, II, 255-57. ­[page 909:]

THOMAS SULLY (1783-1872). He was Philadelphia’s leading painter during the years Poe lived in the city. According to the reminiscence ‘preserved by Isaac W. Heysinger (q.v), Sully and Poe attended social gatherings of artists, actors, and authors at the Falstaff Hotel. Reasonably conclusive evidence that the two men were acquainted is provided by the existence of a small portrait of Poe by Sully. It is described by Amanda Pogue Schulte, Facts About Poe: Portraits &Daguerreotypes, p. 42, and by Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully (Philadelphia: Privately printed, 1921), p. 249. Sully appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOEL BARLOW SUTHERLAND (1792-1861). On January 13, 1844, Poe sent this Philadelphia lawyer and politician a letter introducing his friend Robert Travers, “an applicant for a post in the Revenue Service.” He asked his correspondent to use his influence in Travers, behalf. Sutherland had previously served five terms in the House of Representatives, and he almost certainly had some influence with the Tyler administration. On November 18, 1842, The Pennsylvanian, p. 2, col. 3, reported that the President had appointed him as “Naval Officer for the District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.” In its 1843, 1844, and 1845 editions, McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory identifies him as the naval officer of the city’s Custom House (see the list of government officials at the back of each directory). Possibly Poe made Sutherland’s acquaintance during his own attempt to obtain a position in the Custom House. Sketches may be ­[page 910:] found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.


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Notes:

Although the contents of this directory directly reflect what appeared in the original printing, changes have been made for the sake of the reader and due to formatting for hypertext. The entry titles in the original, for example, have been rendered in bold here. (There is no such distinction in the original printing.) Entries have also been broken into sections by the initial letter, which is not done in the origianl.


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