Text: Dwight R. Thomas and David K. Jackson, “Chapter 08 [Part 02],” The Poe Log (1987), pp. 545-608


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[page 545, continued:]

[1845] JULY. The American Review publishes Poe’s poem “Eulalie.”

[1845] JULY. PHILADELPHIA. Graham’s Magazine publishes Poe’s tale “The Imp of the Perverse.”

[1845] EARLY JULY? NEW YORK. Richard Henry Stoddard, an aspirant poet aged nineteen, writes Poe, submitting his “Ode on a Grecian Flute” for the Broadway Journal (Stoddard [1872], pp. 564-65; [1884], 1:127-28; [1889], p. 107; [1903], p. 146).

[1845] 1 JULY. The Daily Tribune reports: “The Philomathean and Eucleian Societies will meet this evening at half-past 7 o’clock in Dr. Potts’s Church to hear an Oration from Hon. D. D. BARNARD and a Poem from EDGAR A. POE, Esq.”

[1845] 1? JULY. On the second day after he encountered Poe in Nassau Street, Chivers visits his residence and finds him “in bed pretending to be sick, but with nothing in the world the matter with him — his sole object for lying there being to avoid the delivering of the Poem which he had promised — for he was reading Macaul[a]y’s Miscellanies “ (Chivers [1952], p. 61).

[1845] 2 JULY. The New York Herald describes the meeting of the Philomathean and Eucleian Societies last night, which was attended by “all the beauty and fashion of the city, also all the students of the University.” After the “most excellent discourse” by the Hon. Daniel D. Barnard, “Professor MASON . . . announced . . . that through indisposition, Mr. Poe would be unable to deliver the poem that had been set down in the programme. Mr. Poe had been severely ill for a week past, and it had not been judged prudent for him to exert himself.” The Daily Tribune and the Evening [page 546:] Mirror carry brief accounts of the meeting which state that the scheduled poem was omitted “owing to the sickness of Mr. Poe.”

[1845] 2? JULY. On the day after finding Poe in bed, Chivers meets him “about half past three o’clock . . . drest in his finest clothes, going down towards the Broadway Journal Office.” Poe shows Chivers “an advertisement” which he plans to insert in the Journal, announcing the dissolution of his partnership with Briggs; Chivers persuades him not to publish it. “He [Poe] was then on his way to Providence — had not a dollar in the world — borrowed ten from me — requesting me at the same time not to let his wife or Mrs Clemm know anything about his going — and left me. Some body [Mrs. Osgood], he said, had written to him to come on there” (Chivers [1952], pp. 61-62).

[In “Mr. Poe’s Reply to Mr. English,” 10 July 1846, Poe stated that he “left town to procure evidence” for use in his anticipated libel suit against Edward J. Thomas. Presumably, the evidence he wanted was the testimony of Mrs. Osgood, then in Providence.]

[1845] 2 JULY OR LATER. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Poe sees Sarah Helen Whitman, a poetess who has strongly aroused his curiosity, as she is walking outside her home at 76 Benefit Street.

[Poe alluded to this first unplanned encounter with Mrs. Whitman in his second “To Helen,” a poem he sent her around 1 June 1848. Mrs. Whitman, aged forty-two in 1845, was widowed; but Poe then believed her to be happily married. “For this reason,” he explained to her in his 1 October 1848 letter, “when I passed through Providence with Mrs Osgood [in July 1845], I positively refused to accompany her to your house, and even provoked her into a quarrel by the obstinacy and seeming unreasonableness of my refusal.” On 27 February 1865 Mrs. Whitman wrote George W. Eveleth:

Mrs. Osgood . . . was at the hotel in Providence, where Mr. Poe stopped on that “July midnight.” Her account of the incident, given me in the autumn of 1848, agreed with what Mr. Poe had himself told me. Mrs. Osgood informed me that the night was exceedingly hot and sultry; that Mr. Poe told her, in the morning, he had passed the greater part of the night in rambling over the hills that command a fine view of the City from the east; that, at a late hour, he passed the house where I then lived, whose situation he had previously ascertained from her, and saw me walking up and down the lime-shaded side-walk in the neighborhood of my home. He told her that I wore a white dress, with a thin white shawl or scarf thrown over my head, and that he knew me through her description of me. The moon was at, or near, the full. I knew nothing of his having seen me at that time, till the summer of 1848, when he sent me, anonymously, the poem (in Ms) beginning: — “I saw thee once, once only —” (Miller [1977], pp. 217-19).] [page 547:]

[1845] 2 JULY OR LATER. BOSTON. Poe visits Boston, where he is impressed by “the number of intrinsically valuable works” offered for sale by the city’s booksellers (Poe in “Editorial Miscellany,” Broadway Journal, 23 August; Boston visit also mentioned in Whitman to Eveleth, 27 February 1865).

[1845] 3 JULY. NEW YORK. Intending to gain sole control of the Broadway Journal, Charles F. Briggs prepares a “memorandum of agreement” for Bisco to sign. “John Bisco agrees to dispose of his entire interest in . . . the Broadway Journal . . . for the consideration of Fifty Dollars.” Bisco is to retain “all back numbers” and the office furniture, but he must “furnish the said Briggs with fifty complete sets of the paper . . . at one cent per single number.” Briggs will “assume all debts incurred and now due by the said Bisco as publisher” (two drafts of agreement, ViRPM).

[1845] 3 JULY OR LATER. Bisco declines to sign Briggs’s agreement; he wants more money for his share of the Journal (Briggs to Lowell, 16 July).

[1845] 5 JULY. The Journal is not issued this Saturday.

[1845] 5 JULY. Edward J. Thomas writes Poe. He has traced the rumor that Poe has been guilty of forgery: “I saw the person on Friday evening last [27 June], from whom the report originated. . . . He denies it in toto — says he does not know it and never said so — and it undoubtedly arose from the misunderstanding of some word used. It gives me pleasure thus to trace it, and still more to find it destitute of foundation in truth . . . . I have told Mr. [Park] Benjamin the result of my inquiries, and shall do so to [Mrs. Osgood] by a very early opportunity — the only two persons who know anything of the matter” (W, 17:251; also in Moss [1970], p. 58).

[1845] 5 JULY. The Town comments: “POH! The audience at the Eucleian Society celebration were very much delighted with the oration of Mr. Barnard; but they were thrown into perfect exstacies [sic] at the poem of the critic of the Broadway Journal, which was not delivered — the distinguished author being indisposed. We understand that the receipts of the Journal are now so large that it takes both editors and publishers all the week to get rid of them.” This squib is accompanied by an illustration of a humanized raven with a peacock’s tail feathers.

[1845] 5 JULY OR LATER. Poe returns to New York and finds the 5 July letter from Edward J. Thomas awaiting him at his boardinghouse. He is satisfied with Thomas’ explanation and decides not to bring suit against him (“Mr. Poe’s Reply to Mr. English,” 10 July 1846). [page 548:]

[1845] 8 JULY. Evert A. Duyckinck writes Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “There’s trouble in the camp of the Broadway Journal — no number Saturday. Briggs I believe has fallen in love with a new publisher and finds it difficult to be off with the old. I suppose it will work itself clear & that we shall live (at least I hope so) to see another Journal soon” (Ehrlich, p. 83).

[1845] 8 JULY. BOSTON. The Morning Post notices Poe’s Tales, praising his curious learning and the ingenuity of his detective stories (Pollin [1980], p. 26).

[1845] 9 JULY. NEW YORK. The Evening Post notices Poe’s Tales, praising his powers of analysis (Pollin [1980], p. 26).

[1845] 10 JULY. Henry T. Tuckerman writes Rufus W. Griswold in Philadelphia: “This P.M. I have promised to take yr place on the Rutgers Institute Com[mittee]. What a fellow you are to shift responsibilities!” (MB-G).

[1845] 10 JULY. In the evening Poe and Tuckerman meet each other for the first time at the Rutgers Female Institute, 240 Madison Avenue, where they judge student compositions (C. F. Hoffman to Griswold, 11 July).

[1845] 10 JULY. WASHINGTON. Frederick William Thomas writes Poe, thanking him for the translation of the cipher forwarded on 14 May: “It [the translation] comports with the facts in the case — It made you quite the talk among the officials — I have obtained your book [Tales] published by Wiley and Putnam and have been delighted with it — I have just loaned it to a lady friend of mine who is an admirer of yours.” Thomas submitted a series of biographical sketches to Wiley and Putnam for their “Library of American Books,” but this firm has written him that they find the sketches too fragmentary: “A polite way of saying, you know, that they dont think the sketches will sell. . . . Poe, if I do not give you too much trouble I should be glad if you would obtain the MS, from Wiley & Putnam, and put it in a safe place for me — If any of the sketches suit your journal they are very much at your service.” Thomas asks Poe whether he knows the last editor of the New World: “Do you know a Gentleman formerly of New York, who is now here in office, named [Charles] Eames? He was a fellow boarder of mine . . . . Mr [George] Bancroft has given him a Fourteen hundred dollar situation” (MB-G).

[1845] BEFORE 11 JULY. NEW YORK. Briggs is unable to come to terms with John Bisco, who has raised the price for his interest in the Broadway Journal still higher. Briggs withdraws from the Journal; Bisco and Poe decide to continue its publication without him (C. F. Hoffman to Griswold, 11 July; Briggs to Lowell, 16 July). [page 549:]

[1845] 11 JULY. The Daily Tribune carries a first-page review of Poe’s Tales by Margaret Fuller:

No form of literary activity has so terribly degenerated among us as the tale. Now that every body who wants a new hat or bonnet takes this way to earn one from the magazines or annuals, we are inundated with the very flimsiest fabrics ever spun by mortal brain. . . .

In such a state of things, the writings of Mr. Poe are a refreshment, for they are the fruit of genuine observations and experience, combined with an invention, which is not “making up,” as children call their way of contriving stories, but a penetration into the causes of things which leads to original but credible results. His narrative proceeds with vigor, his colors are applied with discrimination, and where the effects are fantastic they are not unmeaningly so.

The “Murders of the Rue Morgue” especially made a great impression upon those who did not know its author and were not familiar with his mode of treatment. Several of his stories make us wish he would enter the higher walk of the metaphysical novel, and, taking a mind of the self-possessed and deeply marked sort that suits him, give us a deeper and longer acquaintance with its life and the springs of its life than is possible in the compass of these tales.

The review appears in the Weekly Tribune for 19 July.

[1845] 11 JULY. Charles Fenno Hoffman writes Griswold in Philadelphia: “The Broadway Journal stopped for a week to let Briggs step ashore with his luggage and they are now getting up steam to drive it ahead under captains Poe & [Henry C.] Watson — I think it will soon stop again to land one of these. Let me tell you a good joke. Poe & Tuckerman met for the first time last night — & how? They each upon invitation repaired to the Rutgers Institute where they sat alone together as a committee upon young Ladies compositions — Odd isnt it that the women who divide so many should bring these two together!” (H. F. Barnes, pp. 263-64).

[1845] 11 JULY. The “Sixth Anniversary Commencement” of the Rutgers Female Institute is held “in that commodious edifice, the Rutgers Street Church,” which is filled to capacity in spite of the intense heat. The ceremony begins “about the hour of three” with the procession of the distinguished guests and of “the pupils of the Institution, in number between four and five hundred.” Henry T. Tuckerman reads the report of “the Committee on Compositions of the 1st Department,” which consisted of himself, Poe, and W. D. Snodgrass, D.D. Poe recites the “Prize Composition” selected by the committee, a poem by Miss Louise O. Hunter beginning “Deep in a glade by trees o’erhung” (long report in the Weekly Mirror, 19 July).

[1845] 12 JULY. The Broadway Journal resumes publication, beginning its second volume. On the first page John Bisco announces the new arrangements: [page 550:]

“The editorial conduct . . . is under the sole charge of EDGAR A. POE — Mr. H. C. WATSON, as heretofore, controlling the Musical Department:” The number contains Poe’s revised tale containing a tale, “How to Write a Blackwood Article” containing “A Predicament” (formerly entitled “The Psyche Zenobia” and “The Scythe of Time”), his poem “The Coliseum” (reprint), and his critique of Henry B. Hirst’s The Coming of the Mammoth. He briefly reviews his own Tales, complaining that this “mere selection of twelve” does not adequately represent the “variety of subject and manner” revealed in the series of “about seventy tales, of similar length, written by Mr. Poe.” In noticing the Knickerbocker Magazine for July, he reacts to Lewis Gaylord Clark’s attack on his “Magazine-Writing — Peter Snook.” Clark’s “Editor’s Table” is “a monthly farrago of type so small as to be nearly invisible, and so stupid as to make us wish it were quite so. . . . he talks about a nil admirari critic [Poe]; some person, we presume, having quizzed him with the information that the meaning of nil admirari is ‘to admire nothing.’ We certainly do not admire Mr. Clarke [sic] — nor his wig — but the true English of the Latin phrase is ‘to wonder at nothing.’ ”

[1845] 12 JULY. The Evening Mirror reports that the Broadway Journal “has reappeared after the suspension of a week.” It “comes forth ‘like a giant refreshed.’ ”

[1845] 12 JULY. J. Smith Homans, the bookseller whom Briggs selected as his new publisher, writes Bisco: “I am willing to take your interest in the Broadway Journal and pay you for the same One Hundred Fifty Dollars, in my note at 60 days” (ViRPM; cf. Briggs to Lowell, 16 July).

[1845] 12 JULY. WEST ROXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS. The Harbinger, the organ of the Brook Farm Transcendentalists, contains a review of Poe’s Tales by Charles A. Dana, who wonders about the “strange means” by which “the present volume finds its way into a library of American Books.” These tales exhibit “a peculiar order of genius,” which might be called “the intense order”: “They remind us of the blue lights, the blood and thunder, and corked eyebrows of that boast of modern dramatic achievements, the melodrama.” Dana quotes the conclusion of “The Fall of the House of Usher” to illustrate Poe’s style: “If our readers can get through this passage unmoved they have a most remarkable degree of insensibility.” As a specimen of several “Philosophic Sketches” found in the Tales, Dana quotes a passage from “Mesmeric Revelation,” which he has previously “seen in the newspapers.” He believes that he has spent “too much time upon this book. Its tales are clumsily contrived, unnatural, and every way in bad taste. There is still a kind of power in them; it is the power of disease; there is no health about them; they are like the vagaries of an opium eater.” [page 551:]

[1845] 14 JULY. NEW YORK. Poe and John Bisco sign a new contract: “Edgar A. Poe is to be the sole editor of the said ‘Broadway Journal,’ furnishing the matter therefor, from week to week, uninterfered with by any party whatever, and to receive, for said editorial conduct, one half of the entire profits.” Bisco is to publish the Journal and pay its expenses, receiving the other half of the profits. The contract, written in Poe’s hand, is witnessed by Cornelius Mathews (Quinn, pp. 751-52).

[1845] 16 JULY. Briggs writes Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

The non-appearance of the Broadway Journal [on 5 July] has probably surprised you. I had made arrangements with a new publisher, a very good business man, and had agreed upon terms with Bisco to buy his interest, but when I came to close with him he exacted more than I had stipulated for, and finding that he was determined to give me trouble I refused to do anything more with the Journal. I had the first number of the new volume already to be issued with a handsomely engraved title &c, but as I could not put the new publisher’s name upon it without Bisco’s consent, I let it go a week, meaning to issue a double number, not doubting that I could agree with him upon some terms, but he had fallen into the hands of evil advisers, and became more extortionate than ever. Poe in the mean time got into a drunken spree, and conceived an idea that I had not treated him well, for which he had no other grounds than my having loaned him money, and persuaded Bisco to carry on the Journal himself. . . .

Mr Homans[,] the publisher with whom I had agreed to undertake the publication of the Journal[,] is an educated man and a thorough good fellow with a very extensive book-selling connexion. He is still desirous of taking hold of the Journal, and has made me a very liberal offer to go on with him if he can purchase Bisco’s share. . . .

Poe’s mother in law told me that he was quite tipsy the day that you called upon him, and that he acted very strangely, but I perceived nothing of it when I saw him in the morning. He was to have delivered a poem before the societies of the New York University, a few weeks since, but drunkenness prevented him. I believe that he had not drunk anything for more than 18 months until within the past 3 months, but in this time he has been very frequently carried home in a wretched condition. I am sorry for him. He has some good points, but taken altogether he is badly made up (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 17 JULY. Anne C. Lynch writes Poe:

I was very sorry not to find you at home when I called on Mrs Poe the other day — I wanted to ask you what I am now going to write — that is, if you will not come here on Saturday evening & read your poem [presumably “The Raven”] or some passages from it. Of course you will say “it is too warm” — but I do not believe it will ever be any cooler so if that is all your objection you must not refuse me. Let me hear your decision so that I may ask a few friends if you consent. Do you know Mr William Wallace? I should be happy to make his acquaintance. [page 552:]

Miss Lynch derived “much pleasure” from Poe’s Tales: “They are unsurpassed by any stories I have ever read in poetry of language & force of imagination” (NNPM).

[1845] 18 JULY. ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. John S. Clackner writes the Regenerator of Fruit Hills, Ohio, which had reprinted Poe’s “Mesmeric Revelation” on 14 May. Clackner regards the tale as a factual account of a mesmeric experiment, but doubts the truth of the revelation said to be given while the subject was under hypnosis: “I am not yet so great a novice, or so credulous, as to believe that Deity condescended to reveal such astounding mysteries to a clairvoyant [the subject of the experiment], which have hitherto been withheld from the intelligent mass of mankind.” Clackner argues that these “revelations” could have resulted from the subject’s illness and imagination (Mabbott [1978], 3:1026-27).

[1845] 19 JULY NEW YORK. The Town comments:

POE’S PREDICAMENT. — In Poe’s last effort in the Broadway Journal, speaking of sensations, he contrives to get a lady to a considerable height into the tower of a church, where she discovers a small aperture in the wall, through which she feels an irresistible desire of forcing her head; but the hole is so high that she cannot reach it without assistance. To obviate this difficulty she mounts astride the head of her black attendant, Pompey; with her feet upon his shoulders, projects her head through the opening, which proves to be a small door in the dial of the church-clock, and remains there till the approaching minute hand arrives and severs it from her shoulders.

On another page the Town notices Poe’s attack on Lewis Gaylord Clark: “BROADWAY JOURNAL AND KNICKERBOCKER. — There is the beginning of a Kilkenny-cat business between the editorial critics of these two redoubtable journals. The last Broadway contains a very severe rap at old Knick.”

[1845] 19 JULY. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Masque of the Red Death” and his sonnet “To Zante” (reprint). In an article headed “The Drama,” he reviews Mrs. Mowatt’s engagement at Niblo’s Gardens. The Journal prints a long excerpt from Cornelius Mathews’ lecture on American literature, preceded by Poe’s editorial endorsement.

[1845] 19 JULY? Poe reads “The Raven” at Miss Lynch’s home, 116 Waverley Place (implied by Lynch to Poe, 17 July).

[Thomas Dunn English described Poe at one of Miss Lynch’s soirees, possibly the present occasion:

I remember one evening in particular at the house of Mrs. Botta, then Miss Lynch, when he [Poe] and I were the only gentlemen present. I let him as much as [page 553:] possible monopolize the male share of the talk, and finally he gave quite a lecture on literary matters, to which we all listened attentively. To my surprise and delight he did not attempt to pick flaws anywhere, but confined himself to commendation of such poems as the “Florence Vane” of Philip E Cook[e], and a number of others written by men of lesser note, on whose beauties he expatiated at length. . . .

So strongly was the scene impressed upon my memory that I can at any time close my eyes and, by a species of retinism, behold it in all its colors. In the plainly furnished room at one corner stands Miss Lynch with her round, cheery face, and Mrs. Eller, decorous and ladylike, who had ceased their conversation when Poe broke into his lecture. On a sofa on the side of the room I sit with Miss Fuller, afterward the Countess Ossoli, on my right side, and Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith on my left. At my feet little Mrs. Osgood, doing the infantile act, is seated on a footstool, her face upturned to Poe, as it had been previously to Miss Fuller and myself. In the center stands Poe, giving his opinions in a judicial tone and occasionally reciting passages with telling effect (English, p. 1448).]

[1845] AFTER 19 JULY? Miss Lynch writes Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman in Providence, describing the “electrifying” effect that Poe’s recitation of “The Raven” had upon her guests (Whitman, pp. 21-22; Whitman to J. H. Ingram, 17 April 1874, Miller [1979], p. 123).

[1845] AFTER 19? JULY. Having waited several weeks for his “Ode on a Grecian Flute” to appear in the Broadway Journal, Richard Henry Stoddard decides to see its editor:

When I could bear my disappointment no longer I made time to take a long walk to the office of the Broadway Journal, in Clinton Hall, and asked for Mr. Poe. He was not in. Might I inquire where he lived? I was directed to a street and a number that I have forgotten, but it was in the eastern part of the city, I think in East Broadway, near Clinton Street . . . . I knocked at the street-door, and was presently shown up to Poe’s apartments on the second or third floor. He received me kindly. I told my errand, and he promised that my ode should be printed next week. I was struck with his polite manner toward me, and with the elegance of his appearance. He was slight and pale, I saw, with large, luminous eyes, and was dressed in black. When I quitted the room I could not but see Mrs. Poe, who was lying on a bed, apparently asleep. She too was dressed in black, and was pale and wasted. “Poor lady,” I thought; “she is dying of consumption.” I was sad on her account, but glad on my own; for had I not seen a real live author, the great Edgar Allan Poe, and was not my ode to be published at once in his paper? (Stoddard [1872], p. 565).

[1845] 22-23 JULY. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints Poe’s tale “Bon-Bon” from the Broadway Journal of 19 April (Mabbott [1978], 2:85).

[1845] 24 JULY. NEW YORK. In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck notices the [page 554:] Broadway Journal: “We regret that any circumstances should have deprived it of the valuable services of Mr. Briggs (Harry Franco) . . . . A journal, however, from the hands of Mr. Poe, is right welcome. His subtle powers of analysis have been displayed in the work from the appearance of the first number, which opened with an elaborate criticism on Miss Barrett, perhaps the minutest, closest survey of her volumes which has been written, and which we have reason to know, though anything but a mere eulogy, called forth an expression of pleasure from the authoress for the evident faithfulness and ability with which it was written.” The notice appears in the Weekly News for 26 July.

[1845] 26 JULY. BOSTON. Littell’s Living Age reprints “The Raven” and the accompanying introduction from the London Critic of 14 June.

[1845] 26 JULY. NEW YORK. The Town carries an illustration of a humanized raven, said to be the “portrait of a distinguished poet, critic and writer of tales.” With tongue in cheek the Town characterizes this author: “He [Poe] is remarkable for his great powers of originality which have been evinced in his great work, the ‘Raven,’ showing no resemblance to an old English ballad or to the ‘Ancient Mariner’ in its construction. His tales are equally original; his ‘Pit and Pendulum’ has no resemblance to an old tale of an Italian place of torment, or to the accounts of the tortures of the Inquisition. As a critic, he is mild, judicious, and rigidly just, and never allows personal predilections or prejudices to interfere with his examination of the productions of others.”

[1845] 26 JULY. The Broadway Journal publishes Poe’s revised poems “Israfel” and “Sonnet — Silence,” as well as his revised tale “The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.,” which now contains several sarcastic references to Lewis Gaylord Clark. Poe favorably reviews Ralph Hoyt’s A Chaunt of Life and Other Poems; he continues his notice of Mrs. Mowatt’s engagement at Niblo’s, begun in the 19 July issue. The Journal carries this message for Stoddard: “TO THE AUTHOR OF THE ‘LINES ON THE GRECIAN FLUTE. We fear that we have mislaid the poem.”

[1845] 26 JULY. Briggs writes William Page in Albany, New York:

You over estimate my losses by the Broadway Journal, although they are pretty large; for instance: I lost my temper, I lost my good opinion of the public, and what was infinitely greater, my good opinion of myself. . . . I have nothing to regret but that I did not start with a different kind of a publisher, for with a suitable partner the paper would have been profitable and pleasant. I am indebted to Lowell for my connexion with Poe. I should never have dreamed of him but for James’ extravagant praise of him; and when I first became intimate with him I [page 555:] liked him exceedingly well, but I soon discovered that he was the merest shell of a man, but I could not, then, easily get rid of him. In addition to his other unpleasant qualities he is a drunken sot, and the most purely selfish of human beings (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 30 JULY. CINCINNATI, OHIO. The Daily Cincinnati Gazette publishes a dispatch, dated 19 July, from its New York correspondent:

There has been a flare up in the Broadway Journal, which prevented the appearance of one number a week or two since, and may break up the paper. It originated in some difference between one of the Editors and the Publisher. The Editor [Briggs] undertook to get a new publisher on the paper, and so the publisher turned round and put the name of the other editor [Poe] on his sheet. Where the merits or demerits of the case lie we do not pretend to determine. The Journal has force — some good criticism and a good deal of bad. It needs more catholicity — more liberality and a little less attempt at severity. With its flashy name exchanged for something more dignified, and its main plan retained, it would soon be the most able and entertaining weekly in the country (Ehrlich, pp. 85-86).

[1845] 30 JULY. RICHMOND. The Richmond Compiler reviews Poe’s Tales:

For our part, we think these tales manifest unusual talent, and indeed genius — but of a morbid, unpoised character; they resemble the strange outpourings of an opium eater, while under the influence of that stimulating drug, and we may properly adopt a part of the language of a critic, who, when speaking of Poe, says his book “appears to us a collection of visions of some one to whom Fancy only comes in a fit of the nightmare. The man has mounted the wrong peak of Parnassus. We were never there; but they tell us that there were two: they who clim[b]ed the one became poets, and they who scaled the other, madmen” (Pollin [1985a], p. 6).

[1845] LATE JULY? NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT. The Morning Courier reviews Poe’s Tales: “These Tales . . . will be hailed as a rare treat by all lovers of the exciting and the marvellous. Full of more than German mysticism, grotesque, strange, improbable, but intensely interesting, they will be read and remembered when better things are forgotten” (Gimbel, p. 162).

[1845] LATE JULY. LONDON. Wiley and Putnam, 6 Waterloo Place, issue the Tales in England. The English edition is identical to the American, except that the title page names London as the place of publication (Spectator, 2 August).

[1845] AUGUST. NEW YORK. Freeman Hunt reviews the Tales in his Merchants’ Magazine. The volume contains “fine specimens of the genius of that author, who takes so high a stand among our American fiction writers and [page 556:] poets. A glance at some of the tales convinces us that Mr. Poe’s exuberance of fancy displays itself in these, as in his previous writings.”

[1845] AUGUST. The Democratic Review notices the Tales, listing the twelve stories collected.

[1845] AUGUST. The American Review contains Poe’s essay “The American Drama,” in which he analyzes two recent plays, Willis’ Tortesa, the Usurer and Longfellow’s The Spanish Student.

[His discussion of Longfellow could be either the 1843 review which George R. Graham would not publish or a reconstruction of it (cf. Poe to Lowell, 19 October 1843, and to Graham, 10 March 1845).]

[1845] AUGUST. PHILADELPHIA. Godey’s Lady’s Book contains Poe’s “Marginal Notes — No. 1: A Sequel to the ‘Marginalia’ of the ‘Democratic Review.’ ” He observes: “The Swedenborgians inform me that they have discovered all that I said in a magazine article, entitled ‘Mesmeric Revelation,’ to be absolutely true, although at first they were very strongly inclined to doubt my veracity.”

[1845] AUGUST. Graham’s Magazine contains Mrs. Osgood’s “Ida Grey,” which seems to be loosely based on her relationship with Poe. The story describes the unfulfilled love of a young coquette for a married man.

[1845] AUGUST. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. In his Southern and Western Magazine William Gilmore Simms discusses Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books,” mentioning Poe’s Tales: “This volume has not yet reached us; — but, from a previous knowledge of the writings of this gentleman [Poe] we venture to assert that his book possesses more sterling genius, more genuine imaginative power, more art, and more analysis, than can be found in five-eighths of the tale writers of Great Britain put together. He is too original, perhaps, to be a highly successful writer. The people are not prepared for him yet.”

[1845] AUGUST. PARIS. The Magasin pittoresque publishes a French adaptation of “The Purloined Letter” under the title “Une Lettee volée.” Neither Poe’s name nor the translator’s is given (Mabbott [1978], 3:973-74; Heartman and Canny, p. 277).

[1845] CA. AUGUST. NEW YORK. Alexander T. Crane faints in the office of the Broadway Journal: [page 557:]

Not a great while after I had gone to work on the paper, on a hot August afternoon while wrapping and addressing Journals, I was overcome with the heat and fainted dead away. Poe was writing at his desk. When I recovered consciousness I was stretched out on the long table at which I had been at work and Poe was bending over me bathing my wrists and temples in cold water. He ministered to me until I was able to stand up, and then he sent me home in a carriage.

This act of kindness, coupled with his uniform gentle greetings, when he entered the office of a morning, together with frequent personal inquiries and words of encouragement, made me love and trust my editor (Crane, p. 33).

[1845] 1 AUGUST. Briggs writes Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

I did not give you sufficient particulars to enable you to understand my difficulties with Bisco and Poe. Neither has done anything without my full consent, and I have nothing to complain of but their meanness . . . . I had told P. a month before that I should drop his name from the “Journal.” He said I might keep it there if I wanted to, although he intended to go into the country and devote his time to getting up books . . . . I had also told Bisco that I would have nothing more to do with him after the close of the first volume, and that I would not carry it on unless I could find a publisher to my mind. I did find such a publisher, and Bisco, thinking that I was very anxious to go on with it, was more exacting in his demands for his share of the “Journal” than I thought just, so I told him I would not take it; and he, thinking to spite me, and Poe, thinking to glorify himself in having overmastered me, agreed to go on with it. . . . I still hold the same right that I ever did, and could displace them both if I wished to do so. But seeing so much poltroonery and littleness in the business gave me a disgust to it (Woodberry, 2:143-44).

[1845] 2 AUGUST. LONDON. The Spectator reviews Poe’s Tales, a publication it received during the period “From July 25th to July 31st”:

This volume contains a dozen tales, mostly tinged with a spirit of diablerie or mystery, not always of a supernatural character, but such as caterers for news delight to head “mysterious occurrence.” To unfold the wonderful, to show that what seems miraculous is amenable to almost mathematical reasoning, is a real delight of Mr. Poe: and though he may probably contrive the mystery he is about to unravel, this is not always the case — as in the tale of the murder of Marie Roger; and in all cases he exhibits great analytical skill in seizing upon the points of circumstantial evidence and connecting them together. He has also the faculty essential to the story-teller by “the winters fire,” who would send the hearers trembling to their beds — despite a profusion of minute circumstances if not of mere words, he holds the attention of the reader and sometimes thrills him. As a novelist, Mr. Poe has little art; depending for his effects chiefly upon the character of his subject, and his skill in working out the chain of proofs to solve the mystery. Both art and effects are of a magazinish kind; and in an American periodical some if not all of the tales appear to have been published. The volume is an importation, though issued in London. [page 558:]

[1845] 2 AUGUST. NEW ORLEANS. The Daily Picayune notices Poe’s Tales (Pollin [1980], p. 25).

[1845] 2 AUGUST. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Business Man” and his poems “Sonnet — To Science” and “Bridal Ballad” (reprints). He favorably reviews Thomas Holley Chivers’ The Lost Pleiad; in an article on “The Drama” he describes Mrs. Mowatt’s concluding performance at Niblo’s Gardens “on the 26th ult.” In the “Editorial Miscellany” he quotes a favorable review of Cornelius Mathews’ Poems on Man from Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine; and he praises Frederick William Thomas’ sketch of William Wirt, reprinted in this number of the Journal. In a notice “To Correspondents” Poe addresses Richard Henry Stoddard: “We doubt the originality of the ‘Grecian Flute,’ for the reason that it is too good at some points to be so bad at others. Unless the author can re-assure us, we decline it.”

[1845] AFTER 2 AUGUST. Stoddard visits the office of the Broadway Journal:

Poe was in his sanctum. He was awakened either by myself or his publisher, and was in a very stormy mood. When summoned back to earth he was slumbering uneasily in a very easy chair. He was irascible, surly, and in his cups.

“Mr. Poe,” I ventured to remark, meekly, “I saw you two or three weeks ago, and I read in your paper that you doubted my ability to write ——”

I know,” he answered, starting up wildly. “You never wrote the Ode to which I lately referred. You never ——” But the reader may imagine the rest of this unfortunate sentence. I was comminated, and threatened with condign personal chastisement. I left quickly, but was not, as I remember, downcast. On the contrary, I was complimented, flattered. The great American Critic had declared that I could not write what I had written (Stoddard [1889], p. 108).

[1845] AFTER 2 AUGUST. Chivers, who is departing New York for his plantation in Georgia, writes Poe: “I leave with you a M.s. Play in Five Acts, which I wish you to read carefully — not to run over — and notice all those passages which you think praiseworthy — if any there be — in your Paper, and send the Numbers on to me in which you notice it . . . . The article entitled ‘Luciferian Revelation,’ was suggested by reading your ‘Mesmeric Revelation.’ This, I wish you to publish in your paper the very first thing. . . . I send you also some poems, which you can publish in your paper also. But I wish you not to forget to read my printed poems [The Lost Pleiad] carefully, and review them as you ought to do — for there are many good ones you have not noticed” (Chivers [1957], pp. 38-39).

[1845] BEFORE 8 AUGUST. Evert A. Duyckinck writes Simms in Charleston, South Carolina, describing Poe’s intemperance (Simms’s reply, 8 August). [page 559:]

[Duyckinck left this undated entry in a notebook: “There is Poe with coolness, immaculate personal cleanliness, sensitiveness, the gentleman, continually putting himself on a level with the lowest blackguard through a combination of moral, mental and physical drunkenness” (Reece [1954], p. 95).]

[1845] 8 AUGUST. Poe writes his second cousin Neilson Poe in Baltimore: “It gave me sincere pleasure to receive a letter from you — but I fear you will think me very discourteous in not sooner replying. I have deferred my answer, however, from day to day, in hope of procuring some papers relating to my grandfather [David Poe, Sr.]. In this I have failed. Mrs C. has no memoranda of the kind you mention, and all of which I have any knowledge are on file at Annapolis.” Poe discusses his family: “Virginia . . . has been, and is still, in precarious health. About four years ago she ruptured a bloodvessel, in singing, and has never recovered from the accident. I fear that she never will. Mrs Clemm is quite well: — both beg to be kindly remembered” (L, 1:291-92).

[1845] 8 AUGUST. The Evening Gazette notices the American Review for August, discussing Poe’s analysis of The Spanish Student: “Mr. Longfellow does not seem to please Mr. Poe in anything that he writes” (Moss [1963], p. 155).

[1845] 8 AUGUST. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. Lowell replies to Briggs’s letter of 1 August: “I am glad to hear that the conduct of Poe and Bisco about the B.J. was not so bad as I had feared” (Woodberry, 2:369; also in Ehrlich, p. 87).

[1845] 8 AUGUST. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. Simms replies to Duyckinck, whose letter he received today: “What you tell me of Poe distresses me. But, in his circumstances, & for such a man, it is difficult to devise anything, — unless it be to control his infirmities with a moral countenance which coerces while it soothes & seems to solicit. This should be the care of the circle in which he moves” (Simms, 2:97-99).

[1845] BEFORE 9 AUGUST. BOSTON. Robert Hamilton sends Poe proof sheets of his tale “The Imp of the Perverse,” which is to be reprinted in the May-Flower for 1846 (implied in the Broadway Journal, 9 August; cf. Poe to Hamilton, 3 October 1842).

[1845] 9 AUGUST. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Man that was Used Up” and his poem “Eulalie” (reprint). He favorably reviews Hunt’s Merchants Magazine for August, as well as two [page 560:] books issued by Wiley and Putnam, Joel T. Headley’s Letters from Italy and Thomas Hood’s Prose and Verse, Part I. In his “Editorial Miscellany” he praises several forthcoming annuals: “Mr. Robert Hamilton, is getting ready ‘The May-Flower,’ of which we have seen some specimen sheets which promise remarkably well. . . . Saxton and Kelt, of Boston, are the publishers.” Poe takes issue with the New York correspondence in the Daily Cincinnati Gazette of 30 July: “What does he [the correspondent] mean by calling ‘The Broadway Journal’ ‘a flashy name’? What does he mean by ‘putting the name of the other editor [Poe] on the paper’? The name of the ‘other editor was never off the paper.”

[1845] 9 AUGUST. Poe writes Thomas W. Field, a poet: “It is nearly a month since I received a note from you, requesting an interview — but, by some inadvertence, I placed it (your note) among my pile of ‘answered letters’. This will account to you for my seeming discourtesy in not sooner giving you an answer.” He invites Field to call upon him at 195 East Broadway: “You will generally find me at home in the morning before 10” (L, 1:292).

[1845] 9 AUGUST. A correspondent who signs herself “X,” possibly Margaret Fuller, sends a letter “To the Editors of The Broadway Journal,” enclosing a satiric poem: “The object of the present communication [the poem] speaks for itself. It is to ridicule a style of writing very common in your sex, when discoursing of ours, but which deserves no better epithet than ineffable silliness. I am aware that Longfellow is a popular poet & deservedly so, but I am sure he will not be offended at such a mere piece of pleasantry, coming as it does from one of the party to whom such soft nonsense is addressed” (MB-G).

[The letter is not in Fuller’s hand, but docketed “Miss Fuller” by Poe. The poem, entitled “The Whole Duty of Woman,” appeared in the Broadway Journal for 23 August; it satirizes Longfellow’s lines “What most I prize in woman / Is her affection, not her intellect.”]

[1845] 9 AUGUST. BALTIMORE. Snodgrass’ Saturday Visiter publishes an article by Edward H. Docwra, a Baltimore law student who is a frequent contributor: “ ‘The Haunted Palace’ by Edgar A. Poe is a gem of the most brilliant and beautiful caste . . . . Its beauty has enchanted me, and has led me to attempt, in the same measure, a sort of ‘companion-piece.’ I know not, if Mr. P. intended to have it inferred that the wreck of the mind alluded to in ‘The Haunted Palace,’ had been caused by intemperance; but it certainly will bear such a construction. And, whether or not that was the writer’s idea, my construction will afford a good opportunity for the teaching of a lesson.” Docwra quotes Poe’s poem in its entirety; he then appends his own [page 561:] sententious poem “The Restoration,” which depicts “that palace, once so ruin’d,” being restored by “Temperance with her heaven-like care.”

[1845] 9 AUGUST. LONDON. The Critic lists Poe’s Tales, price “3s. 6d.,” in its “Register of New Publications.” The Literary Gazette carries this review:

There is considerable interest in these Tales, the plots of most of them partaking of mysterious ingredients, and, where the ground is laid in America, the local descriptions being ably written. The style is not disfigured by any gross Yankeeisms, but blemished by some common instances. For example, we are told that the chief amusements of a person were “gunning and fishing.” Now we cannot see why it should not be shooting and fishing; or, if they will say gunning, why, it should be all of a piece, and “gunning and rodding” the expression. In spite of such trifling defects, the volume will be read with satisfaction to amuse the vacant hour.

[1845] 9 AUGUST. The Atlas notices the Tales, quoting a long passage from “A Descent into the Maelström” (Pollin [1980], p. 24).

[1845] BEFORE 11 AUGUST. PHILADELPHIA. Thomas Holley Chivers, returning to Georgia, writes Poe, who fails to receive the letter (Poe to Chivers, 29 August; Chivers to Poe, 9 September).

[1845] 11 AUGUST. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA. Chivers writes Poe again (Poe to Chivers, 29 August).

[1845] 11 AUGUST. NEW YORK. Poe writes Chivers at Oaky Grove: “Mr Bisco says to me that, with the loan of $50, for a couple of months, he would be put out of all difficulty in respect to the publication of the ‘Broadway Journal’. Its success is decided, and will eventually make us a fortune. . . . You know that I have no money at command myself, and therefore I venture to ask you for the loan required. . . . In 2 months certainly the money will be repaid” (L, 1:292-93).

[1845] 13 AUGUST. SOUTH ATTLEBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS. Abijah M. Ide, Jr., writes John Bisco, enclosing one dollar to begin his subscription to the Broadway Journal: “I beg pardon for not sending the whole subscription price [three dollars per annum] at once; but you shall receive all — free of postage, and in good time, and be thrice thanked.” Ide asks to be sent “the no. [8 February] that contains Mr. Poe’s ‘Raven’ ” (ViRPM).

[1845] 14 AUGUST. NEW YORK. Laughton Osborn, an eccentric author, writes Poe. In the Broadway Journal for 15 March, Osborn has chanced upon an unsigned article condemning The Vision of Rubeta, his satiric poem aimed at malicious literary critics: “Whoever of yr. associates was the writer (for I [page 562:] will not do you the injustice to suppose that you were more than cognizant of the matter) I shall never take any public notice of it though I should now be able to complete the Vision, but I can no more forget it than I can any other act of wilful injustice.” Osborn regrets to find Poe allied with his foes: “Our former positions towards each other must now be restored: as I sought yr acquaintance under the impress[io]n that you were one of my truest defenders, I cannot of course profit by what was so mere a mistake. With what sadness this is said you may conceive, when I assure you, without the least reluctance, that had I had the choice, of all the literary men of my country there is none, with the exception of the author of Ferdinand & Isab[ell]a [William H. Prescott], whose friendship I should have preferred to yours.” Osborn has been reading the copy of the Tales Poe gave him “with unalloyed satisfaction”; he has the highest opinion of Poe’s abilities (PP-G).

Charles F. Briggs [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 562, bottom]
 
Charles F. Briggs

[1845] 15 AUGUST. Poe replies to Osborn: “I am neither disposed, nor can I afford, to give up your friendship so easily.” During the first volume of the Broadway Journal, Poe was only a contributor: “With the making up of the journal — with the reception or rejection of communications — I had no more to do than yourself. The article to which you refer had never been seen by me until you pointed it out. . . . It is quite a coincidence that, [page 563:] although Halleck is the only poet of whom we both spoke cordially in approbation, on the night when I saw you, I should in his case, also, have been subjected to just such misconception as arose in your own.” Because Poe “had been known to write previous criticisms on poetical works, for the Journal,” the attack on Halleck’s Alnwick Castle in the 3 May issue was “universally attributed” to him: “I endured the loss of Mr Halleck’s good will, until, by mere accident, he discovered that the offensive article had been written by a brother poet, Lowell, at the malicious instigation of my former associate, Mr Briggs” (L, 1:293-94; Ostrom [1974], pp. 527-28).

[Notwithstanding his denial, Poe wrote the article which offended Osborn (Hull, pp. 562-63). On 31 March Briggs sent “Halleck’s poems” to Lowell, giving him this license: “Please abuse them to your hearts contents” (MiDAAA-P).]

[1845] 16 AUGUST. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “Never Bet the Devil Your Head” and his poems “Lenore,” “A Dream,” and “Catholic Hymn” (reprints). He favorably reviews William Hazlitt’s The Characters of Shakspeare, published in Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of Choice Reading.” In noticing Graham’s Magazine for August, he praises Lowell’s poem “To the Future” as “a noble composition,” but points out that the last stanza is “a palpable plagiarism” from Wordsworth. He copies four lines from this stanza and then quotes, “altogether from memory,” a parallel passage by the English poet. In his “Editorial Miscellany” Poe replies to the Evening Gazette of 8 August: “because we are not so childish as to suppose that every book is thoroughly good or thoroughly bad . . . because upon several occasions we have thought proper to demonstrate the sins, while displaying the virtues of Professor Longfellow, is it just, or proper, or even courteous on the part of ‘The Gazette’ to accuse us, in round terms, of uncompromising hostility to this poet?”

[1845] 18 AUGUST. Evert A. Duyckinck writes Charles Eames in Washington: “Poe’s Tales are worthy of your comment. It is only to the first class of critics that he can look for any notice at all, for, like a man of genius he spins his thread too fine for common readers” (Reece [1954], p. 92).

[1845] 21 AUGUST. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. Lowell writes Briggs: “Poe, I am afraid, is wholly lacking in that element of manhood which, for want of a better name, we call character. It is something quite distinct from genius, — though all great geniuses are endowed with it. . . . As I prognosticated, I have made Poe my enemy by doing him a service. In the last B.J. he has accused me of plagiarism, and misquoted Wordsworth to sustain his charge. . . . My metaphor was drawn from some old Greek or Roman [page 564:] story which was in my mind, and which Poe, who makes such a scholar of himself, ought to have known. . . . Any one who had ever read the whole of Wordsworth’s poem would see that there was no resemblance between the two passages. Poe wishes to kick down the ladder by which he rose” (Woodberry, 2:369-70; also in Lowell, 1:99-102).

[1845] 21 AUGUST. NEW YORK. Briggs replies to Lowell:

You have formed a correct estimate of Poe’s characterless character. I have never met a person so utterly deficient of high motive. He cannot conceive of anybody’s doing anything, except for his own personal advantage; and he says, with perfect sincerity, and entire unconsciousness of the exposition which it makes of his own mind and heart, that he looks upon all reformers as madmen . . . . His presumption is beyond the liveliest imagination. He has no reverence for Homer, Shakespeare, or Milton, but thinks that [Horne’s] “Orion” is the greatest poem in the language. . . . The Bible, he says, is all rigmarole. As to his Greek, — you might see very well if it were put in your eye. He does not read Wordsworth (Woodberry, 2:145-46).

[1845] 23 AUGUST. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” He favorably reviews The Poetical Writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Thomas Hood’s Prose and Verse, Part II, and Nathaniel P. Willis’ Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil. In his “Editorial Miscellany” he praises the booksellers of Boston, whose stores he inspected during “a recent visit” to that city: “Among other booksellers in Boston, whose publications deserve to be better known here, are James Munroe & Co. The inimitable ‘Twice Told Tales’ of Hawthorne, were published by this house. . . . Hawthorne, it appears to us, has fulfilled all the conditions which should insure success, and yet he has reaped but a scanty harvest. He is a prose poet, full of originality, beauty and refinement of style and conception, while many of his subjects are thoroughly American. He is frugal and industrious, but the profit[s] of his writings are inadequate to his support.”

[1845] 23 AUGUST. PHILADELPHIA. The Saturday Courier reprints Poe’s “Bridal Ballad” (Heartman and Canny, p. 244).

[1845] 25 AUGUST. PARIS. L’Echo de la Presse reprints “Une Lettre volée,” an adaptation of “The Purloined Letter,” from the Magasin pittoresque for August (Mabbott [1978], 3:974).

[1845] 25 AUGUST. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA. Chivers writes Poe, complaining that he has received no reply to the letter he sent him from Philadelphia before 11 August. Chivers promises to send Poe the $50 he requested in [page 565:] his 11 August letter (Poe to Chivers, 29 August; Chivers to Poe, 9 September).

[1845] 27 AUGUST. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints “The Tell-Tale Heart,” presumably from the Broadway Journal of 23 August (Mabbott [1978], 3:792).

[1845] 29 AUGUST. NEW YORK. Poe replies to Chivers’ 25 August letter: “What can you be thinking about? You complain of me for not doing things which I had no idea that you wanted done. Do you not see that my short letter [of 11 August] to you was written on the very day in which yours was addressed to me? How, then, could you expect mine to be a reply to yours?” Poe is puzzled by Chivers’ reference to the $50: “You write — ‘Well I suppose you must have it’ — but it does not come.” He asks Chivers to forward the money immediately, because “almost everything” with regard to the Broadway Journal “depends upon it.” As soon as Poe can complete “Wiley & Putnam’s book” [The Raven and Other Poems], he will have “plenty of money — $500 at least”; and he will then repay Chivers. “I have not touched a drop of the ‘ashes’ [alcohol] since you left N. Y — & I am resolved not to touch a drop as long as I live” (L, 1:295-97).

[1845] 30 AUGUST. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “William Wilson” and his revised poem “The City in the Sea.” He concludes his review of Thomas Hood’s Prose and Verse, Part II, begun in last week’s issue; and he favorably notices William Gilmore Simms’s Southern and Western Magazine. The Journal prints Mrs. Osgood’s poem “Slander,” which may possibly allude to rumors occasioned by her open affection for Poe.

[1845] 30 AUGUST. WASHINGTON. The Daily National Intelligencer contains Rufus W. Griswold’s essay “Tale Writers.” He identifies the leading American story writers as Washington Irving, Richard Henry Dana, Sr., Hawthorne, Willis, Charles Fenno Hoffman, and Poe:

The reader of Mr. POE’s tales is compelled, almost at the outset, to surrender his mind to his author’s control. . . . Unlike that of the greater number of suggestive authors, his narrative is most minute; and, unlike most who attend so carefully to detail, he has nothing superfluous — nothing which does not tend to the common centre — nothing which is not absolutely necessary to the production of the desired result. His stories seem to be written currente calamo, but, if examined, will be found to be the results of consummate art. . . . Mr. POE resembles BROCKDEN BROWN in his intimacy with mental pathology, but surpasses that author in delineation. No one ever delighted more, or was more successful, in oppressing the brain with anxiety, or startling it with images of horror. GEORGE WALKER, ANN RADCLIFFE, MARIA ROCHE, could alarm with dire [page 566:] chimeras, could lead their characters into difficulties and perils — but they extricated them so clumsily as to destroy every impression of reality. Mr. POE’S scenes all seem to be actual.

[1845] 30 AUGUST, 6 SEPTEMBER. MONTPELIER, VERMONT. The Universalist Watchman, a religious weekly, reprints Poe’s “Mesmeric Revelation” in two installments, with an introduction by its editor Eli Ballou: “We do not take the following article as an historical account, nor, as a burlesque on mesmerism; but, as a presentation of the writer’s philosophical theory which he wished to commend to the attention of his readers” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1027).

[1845] SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. The American Review contains a four-page critique of Poe’s Tales by its editor George H. Colton. Although Poe has made many enemies with his criticisms, “even an enemy would be found to acknowledge, that the present volume is one of the most original and peculiar ever published in the United States, and eminently worthy of an extensive circulation, and a cordial recognition.” The “peculiarity” of Poe’s stories “consists in developing new sources of interest. Addressed to the intellect, or the more recondite sympathies and emotions of our nature, they fix attention by the force and refinement of reasoning employed in elucidating some mystery which sets the curiosity of the reader on an edge, or in representing, with the utmost exactness, and in the sharpest outlines, the inward life of beings, under the control of perverse and morbid passions. As specimens of subtile dialectics, and the anatomy of the heart, they are no less valuable and interesting, than as tales.”

[1845] SEPTEMBER. The Columbian Magazine briefly notices the first three volumes in Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books,” including Poe’s Tales: “These books are all worthy of a place in the best selected library.”

[1845] SEPTEMBER. The Democratic Review contains an essay on “American Humor” by William A. Jones, a close friend of Evert A. Duyckinck. Jones praises the humorous writings of Cornelius Mathews, “Felix Merry” (Duyckinck), “Harry Franco” (Briggs), and other Americans. In passing he describes Poe as “one of the most ingenious critics, and a prose poet of much force, imagination, invention and versatility.”

[1845] SEPTEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The American Phrenological Journal reprints “Mesmeric Revelation” with an introduction by the editor Orson Squire Fowler: “As chroniclers of magnetic occurrences, we cannot well refuse admission to our pages of an article as important as the subject matter of the following ‘MAGNETIC REVELATION,’ as it is headed, claims to be. In copying [page 567:] it, however, we must not be understood as endorsing it, nor yet as repudiating it. We simply lay it before our readers, soliciting that they do by it as we have done, think it over fully, and form their own conclusions.” It is “written by Edgar A. Poe, a man favorably known in the literary world; so that it may be relied upon as authentic. Its mere literary merit, the reader will perceive, is by no means inconsiderable. Read and re-read.”

[1845] SEPTEMBER. Godey’s Lady’s Book publishes Poe’s “Marginal Notes — No. 2.”

[1845] SEPTEMBER. Graham’s Magazine reviews Poe’s Tales:

These tales are among the most original and characteristic compositions in American letters. . . . “The Gold Bug” attracted great attention at the time it appeared, and is quite remarkable as an instance of intellectual acuteness and subtlety of reasoning. “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a story of horror and gloom, in which the feeling of supernatural fear is represented with great power. The pertinacity with which Mr. Poe probes a terror to its depths, and spreads it out to the reader, so that it can be seen as well as felt, is a peculiarity of his tales. He is an anatomist of the horrible and ghastly, and trusts for effect, not so much in exciting a vague feeling of fear and terror, as in leading the mind through the whole framework of crime and perversity, and enabling the intellect to comprehend their laws and relations. . . . “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” are fine instances of the interest which may be given to subtle speculations and reasonings, when they are exercised to penetrate mysteries which the mind aches to know.

[1845] SEPTEMBER. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND. Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine reviews the Tales:

We take for granted that Edgar A. Poe is an American. His tales are of a peculiar, we had almost said, of an original character; and though monstrosities, often revolting, nay, disgusting, and chargeable with all kinds of bad taste, there is a rude power and a subtlety about them which is not without a fascination of the hideous or disagreeable sort. Some of the Tales, or Sketches, are attempts at philosophizing, in the safe way of making imaginary personages broach wild hypotheses, and conjectural systems, as supernatural revelations. The records of every court of criminal justice furnish, in doubtful and perplexing cases, or conflicting testimony and contradictions, much more curious tales than those which Mr. Poe has invented, and the type of which is [Voltaire’s] Zadig.

[1845] CA. SEPTEMBER. WASHINGTON, GEORGIA. Chivers writes the editor of the Southern Courant, a Washington, Georgia, newspaper, objecting to a review of The Lost Pleiad published in the Bee, another Washington newspaper. In noticing Chivers’ volume Thomas W. Lane, the editor of the Bee, has foolishly criticized Poe’s favorable review of it in the Broadway Journal of 2 [page 568:] August: “Not satisfied with misquoting me, he [Lane] must libel Mr Poe, than whom a more perfect gentleman never existed. He is not only one of the best Critics, but one of the most versatile and accomplished scholars in the world. . . . He [Lane] talks about Mr Poe’s ‘puffing,’ and would, no doubt, make the People believe it; but no man ever was farther from it. His greatest fault is, that he is too severe. This has become proverbial” (Chivers [1957], pp. 44-51).

[1845] 1 SEPTEMBER. FRUIT HILLS, OHIO. The Regenerator publishes John S. Clackner’s 18 July letter discussing Poe’s “Mesmeric Revelation” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1026-27).

[1845] 5, 6, 8 SEPTEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints Poe’s “William Wilson” in three installments, from the Broadway Journal of 30 August (Mabbott [1978], 2:426).

[1845] 6 SEPTEMBER. LONDON. The Critic reviews the Tales:

Mr. POE is familiar to us as a poet of considerable power. We remember the fine conception and the musical execution of some of his stanzas, and, with these fresh in our mind, we confess ourselves disappointed by the present volume of Tales. The first story, “The Gold Bug,” is only interesting from its strangeness. It tells of the discovery of some hidden treasure, by the solving of certain enigmatical figures. Viewed with the moral, the tale may be useful, as showing what a patient, earnest mind may accomplish. . . .

Of a piece with “The Gold Bug” are the “Mystery of Marie Roget,” and the “Murders of the Rue Morgue.” The author seems here to have amused himself by following the plan of those philosophers who trace a series of references between every minute act, and so upward to the making and dethroning of kings. Mr. POE has been as assiduous in this scheme as an Indian who follows the trail of a foe. . . .

Perhaps of even less utility is Mr. POE’s tale of the “Black Cat.” The Black Cat would have been a proper inmate for the “Castle of Otranto,” and a most valuable counterpart to the mysterious plume and helmet. . . .

We object, for the most part, to the tales we have instanced, because they uncurtain horrors and cruelties. It is enough, and perhaps too much, for public benefit, that minute details of murders and other horrors find their way into newspapers. . . .

Mr. POE could not possibly send forth a book without some marks of his genius, and mixed up with the dross we find much sterling ore.

To demonstrate that Poe is “a deep thinker,” the Critic reprints his “Mesmeric Revelation” in its entirety.

[1845] 6 SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal reprints Poe’s tales “Why [page 569:] the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling” and “Silence — A Fable” (formerly entitled “Siope”), and his poems “To the River” and “The Valley of Unrest.” He reviews the American editions of two English books, Philip James Bailey’s Festus and John Wilson’s Genius and Character of Burns. On its first page the Journal carries Mrs. Osgood’s poem “Echo-Song,” addressed to Poe and quoting his poem “Israfel”:

I know a noble heart that beats

For one it loves how “wildly well!”

I only know for whom it beats;

But I must never tell!

Never tell!

Hush! hark! how Echo soft repeats, —

Ah! never tell! . . .

[1845] 9 SEPTEMBER. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA. Chivers replies to Poe’s 29 August letter: “What can you be thinking about to ask me what I could have been thinking about, when I referred to the letter I wrote from Philadelphia [before 11 August], and also from this place [on 11 August], immediately after my return home?” He regrets that he has not been able to send Poe the $50 for the Broadway Journal: “I will send it to you as soon as possible, but to you alone. You are always talking to me about the ‘paper’ [the Journal]. ‘Cuss’ the paper! what do I care for the ‘paper?’ The ‘paper’ will do me no more good than it will any body else. I have no interest in it — it is in your individual welfare and happiness that I have an interest — an abiding, disinterested, heartborn interest.” Chivers, a temperance advocate, endorses Poe’s decision to abstain from drinking: “For God’s sake, but more for your own, never touch another drop. Why should a Man whom God, by nature, has endowed with such transcendent abilities, so degrade himself into the verriest automaton as to be moved only by the poisonous stream of Hell-fire?” He encloses five dollars for Poe “to swear by” (Chivers [1957], pp. 51-56).

[1845] 10 SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. Poe writes Evert A. Duyckinck, Wiley and Putnam’s editor, forwarding “the best” of his poems for his forthcoming The Raven and Other Poems: “They [the poems] are very few — including those only which have not been published in volume form. If they can be made to fill a book, it will be better to publish them alone — but if not, I can hand you some ‘Dramatic Scenes’ [Politian] from the S.L. Messenger (2d Vol) and ‘Al Aaraaf’ and ‘Tamerlane,’ two juvenile poems of some length” (L, 1:297).

[1845] 11 SEPTEMBER? Poe writes Duyckinck: “Your note of yesterday was not [page 570:] received until this morning.” He will call at Duyckinck’s home tonight, “about 8” (L, 1:297).

[1845] 13 SEPTEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences.” He replies to Mrs. Osgood’s “Echo-Song” in the 6 September issue by printing, under the heading “To F——,” the first four lines of his eight-line poem “To Elizabeth,” originally written for his cousin Elizabeth Rebecca Herring:

Thou wouldst be loved? — then let thy heart

From its present pathway part not!

Being everything which now thou art,

Be nothing which thou art not!

In his “Editorial Miscellany” Poe criticizes a Pennsylvania newspaper, the Chambersburg Times, which made up “the whole of its first page from a single number of ‘The Broadway Journal.’ This would be all very well, had it not forgotten to give us credit for our articles, contributed and editorial — and had it not forgotten not to make certain improvements in our compositions to suit its own fancy. Copying, for example, a little poem of our own called ‘Lenore’ [from the 16 August Journal], the Chambersburg editor alters ‘the damned earth’ into ‘the cursed earth.’ Now, we prefer it damned, and will have it so.”

[1845] 20 SEPTEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tales “The Landscape Garden” and “A Tale of Jerusalem,” and his poems “To ——” (“The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see”) and “Song” (“I saw thee on thy bridal day”), both reprints. In noticing the Democratic Review for September, Poe condemns William A. Jones’s essay on “American Humor,” which “is insufferable: nor do we think it the less a nuisance because it inflicts upon ourselves individually a passage of maudlin compliment.” He especially objects to Jones’s praise of Charles F. Briggs: “A vulgar driveller, . . . (Harry Franco), . . . our essayist places ‘on a par with Paulding and much above Miss Leslie and Joseph Neal.’ ” In the “Editorial Miscellany” Poe observes: “The Mesmeric journals, and some others, are still making a to-do about the tenability of Mr. Vankirk’s doctrines as broached in a late Magazine paper of our own, entitled ‘Mesmeric Revelation.’ ” He quotes John S. Clackner’s “very curious comments” on the story from the Regenerator of 1 September.

[1845] 24 SEPTEMBER. SAINT LOUIS. The Daily Reveille quotes with approval Poe’s rebuke to the Chambersburg Times from the 13 September Journal (Moss [1968], p. 18).

[1845] 25 SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. Duyckinck writes Joel T. Headley: Poe’s [page 571:] remarks on Jones in the last Journal constitute “so bad a specimen of the ‘onslaught’ in criticism . . . that I cry out more than ever for the man who is not passion’s or whim’s or prejudice’s man — for arguments before adjectives” (Reece [1954], p. 95).

[1845] BEFORE 27 SEPTEMBER. BOSTON. Saxton and Kelt issue the May-Flower for 1846, containing Poe’s revised tale “The Imp of the Perverse,” originally published in Graham’s Magazine for July.

[1845] 27 SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “Ligeia” as well as his favorable reviews of Rufus W. Griswold’s edition of The Prose Works of John Milton and Cornelius Mathews’ novel Big Abel and the Little Manhattan, the fifth volume in Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books.” Poe briefly notices the May-Flower, the “first published Annual . . . of the season.” In his “Editorial Miscellany” he prints a defense of William A. Jones he received from “a warm personal friend of Mr. Jones” [presumably Duyckinck] in the past week.

[1845] 28 SEPTEMBER. Poe writes Griswold. He wishes to borrow the second volume of the Southern Literary Messenger, presumably to obtain his “Scenes from an Unpublished Drama” (Politian) for The Raven and Other Poems (L, 1:298; cf. Poe to Duyckinck, 10 September).

[1845] 29 SEPTEMBER. WASHINGTON. Frederick William Thomas writes Poe: “I received your journal regularly — Thank you for it. — I see you have published two of my sketches (Randolph-Wirt).” He also receives a copy of the Broadway Journal intended for his friend Dr. Lacy of the Post Office Department: “I am not now boarding at Fuller’s [Hotel] with Lacy, having taken private lodging in another part of the town; so that I seldom see him — I therefore have to redirect the ‘Journal’ and drop it in the post office, for him — You had better tell your ‘folks’ to send it direct to the doctor.” Although Thomas had hoped to see Poe during the summer, circumstances compelled him “to remain in Washington, in these stressing times for officials.” He praises Poe’s Tales: “I have made myself popular with several few ladies by reading portions of them to the persons in question” (MB-G).

[1845] 29 SEPTEMBER. William Fairman, a traveling representative for the Broadway Journal, writes John Bisco, describing his efforts to enlist magazine agents and individual subscribers in Baltimore and Washington:

The general impression in Balto and this city was that your paper had stopped. In Balto when I arrived there had been no papers for three weeks. In this city there have been none for some months. The agent says he has had several calls for it [page 572:] lately. The complaint in Ba[l]to and this city has been that it came too late and very irregularly, seldom getting in Saturday and sometimes a week behind. . . . I hope to be able in Richmond to make out my expenses and to make up the amount of my defalcations in your half [of the Journal’s profits]. . . . Mr Poe has a great many friends and is held in the highest estimation both by those who know him as a man and as a writer. My only hopes is [sic] among his friends. The prospects of the Journal I think are good. But the day of canvassing for periodicals is over. . . . The truth is many of those disposed to take [subscribe] either have not the money to pay in advance or are afraid to do so. . . .

I am convinced that if in every considerable place there was an agent who would advertise the Journal weekly, if every considerable newspaper in the Union should recieve [sic] the Journal and notice it editorially, that it would eventually become extensively circulated. I do not think any person can make it for his interest to travel and solicit subscribers (ViRPM).

[1845] BEFORE 30 SEPTEMBER. NEW YORK. Poe accepts an invitation to deliver an original poem before the Boston Lyceum, for an honorarium of $50 (Phillips, 2:1050-51).

[1845] 30 SEPTEMBER. BOSTON. The Evening Transcript carries an advertisement, which is repeated in subsequent issues: “BOSTON LYCEUM. The Anniversary of this Institution will occur on THURSDAY, the 16th of October, on which occasion an Address will be pronounced by HON CALEB CUSHING, and a Poem by EDGAR A. POE Esq, of New York; to be followed by Lectures on each succeeding Thursday evening. . . . The introductory exercises will take place at the Odeon, . . . at 7 1/2 P.M. Doors open at 6 1/2.”

[1845] BEFORE OCTOBER. NEW YORK. The Poe family moves from 195 East Broadway to a three-story house at 85 Amity Street, near Washington Square (L, 1:301; Quinn, p. 475).

[1845] OCTOBER. In the “Editor’s Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine, Lewis Gaylord Clark condemns William A. Jones’s essay on “American Humor,” quoting Poe’s opinion from the 20 September Journal that it is “contemptible, both in a moral and literary sense.”

[1845] OCTOBER. The Biblical Repository notices Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books”: “Poe’s Tales are much praised by some, as indicating superior genius; for ourselves, while a portion of them are well-wrought and fascinating, others of them are extravagant, and one, at least, of hurtful tendency.”

[1845] OCTOBER. PHILADELPHIA. The American Phrenological Journal carries a retraction by its editor Orson Squire Fowler, who has discovered that “Mesmeric Revelation” is a fiction: [page 573:]

Retraction, when convinced of error, is due on its own account, and evinces a highminded love of truth. The Editor intends to be so cautious as seldom to have occasion to make an apology now due to his readers. The article in his last [September] number, quoted from Mr. Poe, proves not to be that “magnetic revelation” it claims for itself, but simply the production of its author’s own brain.

The Editor was first led into the error of supposing it a veritable magnetic disclosure, by a verbal account given of it by a magnetizer; which was such as to induce him to procure and peruse it; and secondly, by knowing that the literary clique to which Poe belongs, Joseph C. Neal included, had given much attention to magnetism [mesmerism]. Without the least suspicion, therefore, that it was not genuine — he did not examine it in this respect, but being obligated by his prospectus to lay before his readers whatever appeared to be particularly interesting or important — he gave it the insertion it really merited, provided it had been genuine.

[1845] OCTOBER. Graham’s Magazine publishes “The Divine Right of Kings,” a twelve-line poem signed with the initial “P.”

[The December Graham’s contained another brief poem signed with “P.” Both were collected by Mabbott, who believed that they may have been Poe’s response to Mrs. Osgood’s “Ida Grey” in the August Graham’s; but the evidence supporting this attribution is not conclusive. See Campbell (1933), pp. 208-09, and Mabbott (1969), 1:382-86.]

[1845] CA. OCTOBER? Uriah Hunt & Son issue The Poetry of the Sentiments, which contains Poe’s poem “The Coliseum,” a reprint (Heartman and Canny, p. 112).

[1845] EARLY OCTOBER. NEW YORK. Poe borrows $30 from Thomas Dunn English as “a part of the money necessary” to purchase John Bisco’s share of the Broadway Journal. In return he promises English an interest in the Journal, assuring him that the paper “would be profitable to those concerned in it” (English’s 11 February 1847 deposition).

[1845] EARLY OCTOBER? Poe finds himself unable to write an original poem to read before the Boston Lyceum, as required by the rules of that institution; and he asks Mrs. Osgood for help in composing one. Because of illness she is unable to assist him (assertion by Griswold [1850], p. xxii).

[1845] 1 OCTOBER. Laughton Osborn writes Poe, alluding to Poe’s new address, 85 Amity Street (L, 1:301).

[1845] CA. 1 OCTOBER. Copy for The Raven and Other Poems is sent to the printer (Mabbott [1942], p. ix). [page 574:]

[1845] BEFORE 4 OCTOBER. The Aristidean for September contains English’s devastating ten-page critique of Henry B. Hirst’s The Coming of the Mammoth. “Our Book-Shelves,” the review section proper, reveals Poe’s influence. English echoes Poe’s opinions when noticing his Tales: “Mr. P. should never have consented to so brief a selection — unless, indeed, he proposes to continue it in a series of similar volumes. . . . Most of the pieces in the present volume, too, are of one kind — analytical. Of his (serious) imaginative tales a class may be said to be represented by ‘The House of Usher,’ but his numerous extravaganzas and nondescripts (his most characteristic compositions,) are left quite unrepresented.”

[1845] 4 OCTOBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Island of the Fay” and his revised poem “Fairy-Land.” He favorably reviews William Gilmore Simms’s The Wigwam and the Cabin, a collection of stories, and Nathan C. Brooks’s edition of James Ross’s Latin Grammar. In noticing the Aristidean he observes that English’s “scorching review of Hirst’s Poems” is “a good thing for everybody but Mr. Hirst,” ambiguously pronouncing it “a very laughable article.” In his “Editorial Miscellany” he reports that the composer Joseph P. Webster has perpetrated “a most vile fraud” by setting English’s popular ballad “Ben Bolt” to music and then attempting “to claim the authorship of the words as well as the music.” Poe defends Lowell, “one of the noblest of our poets,” from an attack by the “ignorant and egotistical” British critic John Wilson in Blackwood’s Magazine for September. He is delighted that Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books” has proven successful: “Even of our own book, [Tales,] more than fifteen hundred copies have been sold here.”

[1845] 4 OCTOBER. BUFFALO, NEW YORK. The Western Literary Messenger comments: “THE BROADWAY JOURNAL . . . is the most valuable weekly paper which we receive. Why is there no agent in this city?”

[1845] 4 OCTOBER. LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. The Star of Bethlehem reprints Poe’s “Mesmeric Revelation” with this introduction: “The following extraordinary article was, we believe, originally published in the ‘Columbian Magazine.’ Whether it is a statement of facts, or merely a development of the writer’s system of mental philosophy we know not. Be that as it may it is worthy of a careful perusal. The reader can draw his own conclusions” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1028).

[1845] 6 OCTOBER. NEW YORK. The Evening Mirror carries an editorial headed “POE-LEMICAL” and signed with an asterisk, indicating its author to be Hiram Fuller, the paper’s junior editor. Fuller quotes Poe’s statement in the last Broadway Journal that Simms is “the best novelist which this country [page 575:] has, upon the whole, produced”; and he then gives his own dissenting opinion:

. . . we are inclined to believe that it is above the power of any single critic — or of all the critics in the country combined, to convince the world that William Gilmore Simms is a better novelist than Cooper, or Brockden Brown. He is certainly less known and read, at home and abroad. We doubt if the copy-right of all Mr. Simms’s collected works would bring as good a price in America or England, as the “Norman Leslie” of Fay, or the “Sketch Book” of Irving. But our surprise at Mr. Poe’s estimate is somewhat diminished, when, on turning to another article, we find him speaking of our old friend, “Christopher North,” as “the ignorant and egotistical Wilson”! And adding, that, “with the exception of Macaulay and Dilke, and one or two others, there is not in Great Britain a critic who can be fairly considered worthy the name!” This is indeed, “bearding the lion in his den”; and as Mr. Poe is preparing to publish an edition of his “Tales” in England, (omitting the story of the Gold Bug, we suppose,) he can expect but little mercy from the back-biting reviews of the Lockharts and Fonblanques, those bulldogs of the English press.

The article is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 11 October (asterisk identified as Fuller’s signature in the Evening Mirror, 31 October).

[1845] 11 OCTOBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tales “MS. Found in a Bottle” and “The Duc de L’Omelette.” He reviews Amanda M. Edmond’s The Broken Vow and Other Poems, Caroline Gilman’s Oracles from the Poets, and William Hazlitt’s Table-Talk. In his “Editorial Miscellany” he replies to the Evening Mirror of 6 October:

Mr. Simms is “better known” than Brockden Brown.

Putting the author of “Norman Leslie” by the side of the author of the “Sketch-Book,” is like speaking of “The King and I” — of Pop Emmons and Homer — of a Mastodon and a mouse. If we were asked which was the most ridiculous book ever written upon the face of the earth — we should answer at once, “Norman Leslie.”

We are not “preparing to publish” our Tales in England; we leave such manoeuvres to those who are in the habit of bowing down to the Golden Calf of the British opinion. Our book, to be sure, has been re-published in England — long ago — but we had nothing to do with its re-publication. Should we ever think of such a thing, however, we should undoubtedly give The “Bug” a more prominent position than it even occupies at present. We should call the book “The Gold-Bug and Other Tales” — instead of “Tales,” as its title stands.

Poe is curious about the identity of the Mirror’s columnist, hidden behind the asterisk.

[1845] 11 OCTOBER. In the Evening Mirror Hiram Fuller replies to Poe:

THE BROADWAY JOURNAL of to-day is down upon us. But we *s are above being troubled at such things; and only wink at the arrows of criticism however sharp or [page 576:] well aimed. . . . The Journal ridicules the idea of our naming the author of “Norman Leslie” on the same page with the author of the “Sketch Book.” We did not make any comparison between them; but merely ventured a doubt, if the collected works of Mr. Simms . . . would bring as much money as the publishers in this city paid to the author of “Norman Leslie,” as his proportion of the profits of the book — viz: $1500 — and inferred that Mr. Fay is at least as well known, and as extensively read as Mr. Simms; and estimating books by the common standard, taking success as the measure of men, we come to the very natural conclusion that the author of “Norman Leslie,” is as good a novelist as the author of “The Wigwam and the Cabin” — the latter being in our opinion a very excellent book.

[1845] 11 OCTOBER. The New York Illustrated Magazine, edited by Lawrence Labree, endorses Poe’s rebuke to John Wilson in the Broadway Journal of 4 October: “In the September number of Blackwood, we have another ferocious growl from its Editor [Wilson] toward a young American Author [Lowell], which we are happy to see is meeting with a just response. Among others, Mr. Poe, has taken up the gauntlet, and reciprocates his savageisms with proper severity.”

[1845] 11 OCTOBER. DERBY, CONNECTICUT. A correspondent who signs himself “E. S.” writes Poe, exonerating Joseph P. Webster from the charge of plagiarism made in the 4 October Journal: “The song [English’s ‘Ben Bolt’] was in a New-Haven paper . . . . It was without signature or reference of any kind, to the author. I was pleased with the poetry, and gave it to Mr. Webster, as he said he would compose some music for it. . . . As Mr. W. did not know the author’s name, he could not of course give it. . . . I am certain that no thoughts of claiming the authorship ever crossed his mind; and what may so appear in the publication, is the result of carelessness” (letter published in 25 October Journal).

[1845] 13 OCTOBER. NEW YORK. Briggs writes Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts, discussing Poe’s criticism of William A. Jones in the 20 September Journal:

You take Poe’s niaiseries too seriously. I only cared for his unhandsome allusion to me in the B.J. because it proved him a baser man than I thought him before. . . . The truth is that I have not given him the shadow of a cause for ill-feeling; on the contrary he owes me now for money that I lent him to pay his board and keep him from being turned into the street. . . . I did not much blame him for the matter of his remarks about Jones, although the manner of them was exceeding[ly] improper and unjust; the real cause of his ire was Jones’ neglecting to enumerate him among the humorous writers of the country, for he has an inconceivably extravagant idea of his capacities as a humorist (Woodberry, 2:146-47).

[1845] 13 OCTOBER. The Evening Mirror reports that Poe is to deliver a poem before the Boston Lyceum on “Thursday evening” [16 October]. [page 577:]

[1845] 15 OCTOBER. On the evening before his Lyceum appearance, Poe reads “the last proofs” of The Raven and Other Poems (“Editorial Miscellany,” 13 December Journal).

[1845] BEFORE 16 OCTOBER. Poe makes several attempts to see John P. Kennedy, his early benefactor, who is visiting New York. Failing to see Kennedy, Poe leaves his card. On the day Kennedy receives the card, he calls at the Broadway Journal office, where he is informed that Poe is just leaving the city (Poe to Kennedy, 26 October; Kennedy to Poe, 1 December).

[1845] 16 OCTOBER. BOSTON. The Daily Times comments:

BOSTON LYCEUM. — Our readers will not forget that the series of lectures before the Boston Lyceum is to commence this evening. A lecture by Caleb Cushing, and a poem by Edgar A. Poe, will form the introductory exercises; and a full house will testify the public appreciation of these distinguish-ed writers.

We learn that the sale of tickets by the Lyceum has been most encouraging and satisfactory.

Similar editorials appear in the Boston Courier, Daily Atlas, and Evening Transcript.

[1845] 16 OCTOBER. At 7:30 PM the Lyceum commences its new season of lectures at the Odeon Theatre. Caleb Cushing, a Massachusetts politician and diplomat, delivers a long address on Great Britain. After Cushing’s lecture Poe is introduced to the large audience. He occupies “some fifteen minutes with an apology for not ‘delivering,’ as is usual in such cases, a didactic poem,” explaining his belief that poetry cannot be primarily didactic. He then reads his early poem “Al Aaraaf,” renamed “The Messenger Star” for this occasion. After the reading, as some members of the audience are beginning to leave, N. W. Coffin, the corresponding secretary of the Lyceum, announces that Poe has been requested to recite “The Raven.” Poe concludes the evening’s entertainment by reciting this poem. Afterwards he attends a social gathering of the Boston literati. “Over a bottle of champagne” he reveals to Cushing, Edwin P. Whipple, Henry Norman Hudson, James T. Fields, “and a few other natives” that his poem “The Messenger Star” was not a new composition prepared especially for the Lyceum, but a “juvenile poem” (Poe’s own account in the Broadway Journal, 1 November).

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Harvard student in 1845, recalls Poe’s poetry reading before the Lyceum:

There was much curiosity to see him [Poe], for his prose-writings had been eagerly read, at least among college students, and his poems were just beginning to excite still greater attention. . . . I distinctly recall his face, with its ample forehead, brilliant eyes, and narrowness of nose and chin; an essentially ideal face, not noble, [page 578:] yet anything but coarse; with the look of oversensitiveness which when uncontrolled may prove more debasing than coarseness. It was a face to rivet one’s attention in any crowd; yet a face that no one would feel safe in loving. . . .

I remember that when introduced he stood with a sort of shrinking before the audience and then began in a thin, tremulous, hardly musical voice, an apology for his poem, and a deprecation of the expected criticism of a Boston audience; reiterating this in a sort of persistent, querulous way, which did not seem like satire, but impressed me at the time as nauseous flattery. . . . When, at the end, he abruptly began the recitation of his rather perplexing poem, the audience looked thoroughly mystified. The verses had long since been printed in his youthful volume [Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems (1829)], and had reappeared within a few days [on 19 November], if I mistake not, in Wiley & Putnam’s edition of his poems; and they produced no very distinct impression on the audience until Poe began to read the maiden’s song in the second part. Already his tones had been softening to a finer melody than at first, and when he came to the verse:

Ligeia! Ligeia!

My beautiful one!

Whose harshest idea

Will to melody run,

O! is it thy will

On the breezes to toss?

Or, capriciously still,

Like the lone Albatross,

Incumbent on night

(As she on the air)

To keep watch with delight

On the harmony there?

his voice seemed attenuated to the finest golden thread; the audience became hushed, and, as it were, breathless; there seemed no life in the hall but his; and every syllable was accentuated with such delicacy, and sustained with such sweetness as I never heard equaled by other lips. . . . I remember nothing more, except that in walking back to Cambridge my comrades and I felt that we had been under the spell of some wizard (Higginson, p. 89).

[1845] 17 OCTOBER. The Daily Evening Traveller reports that last night’s Lyceum exercises were “densely crowded”; it describes Cushing’s lecture at length. “After the lecture was concluded, Mr. Poe rose and made a long and prosy preface to an imaginative poem, which, however beautiful in itself, was hardly adapted to the occasion.” Poe’s poem was, “Tarpeia like, literally crushed with ornaments”; and “the greater portion of the audience, being rather fatigued at its close, . . . could not be detained,” even by the promise that he would recite “The Raven.” The audience “seemed to have had poetry enough for one night.” [page 579:]

In the Evening Transcript the editor Cornelia Wells Walter condemns the Lyceum exercises as “heavy and uninteresting.” Cushing’s lecture was “one long laudation upon America at the expense of Great Britain.” At its conclusion “an officer of the society” introduced Poe:

The poet immediately arose; but, if he uttered poesy in the first instance, it was certainly of a most prosaic order. The audience listened in amazement to a singularly didactic exordium, and finally commenced the noisy expedient of removing from the hall, and this long before they had discovered the style of the measure, or whether it was rhythm or blank verse. We believe, however, it was a prose introductory to a poem on the “Star discovered by Tycho Brahe,” considered figuratively as the “Messenger of the Deity,” out of which idea Edgar A. Poe had constructed a sentimental and imaginative poem. The audience now thinned so rapidly and made so much commotion in their departure that we lost the beauties of the composition.

[1845] 18 OCTOBER. In the Boston Courier the editor Joseph T. Buckingham comments:

On Thursday evening, Mr. Poe delivered his poem before the Boston Lyceum, to (what we should have conceived, from first appearances) a highly intelligent and respectable audience. He prefaced it with twenty minutes of introductory prose, showing that there existed no such thing as didactic poetry, and that all real poetry must proceed and emanate directly from truth, dictated by a pure taste. The poem, called the “Messenger Star,” was an elegant and classic production, based on the right principles, containing the essence of true poetry, mingled with a gorgeous imagination, exquisite painting, every charm of metre, and a graceful delivery. It strongly reminded us of Mr. Horne’s “Orion,” and resembled it in the majesty of its design, the nobleness of its incidents, and its freedom from the trammels of productions usual on these occasions. The delicious word-painting of some of its scenes brought vividly to our recollection, Keats’ “Eve of St. Agnes,” and parts of “Paradise Lost.”

That it was not appreciated by the audience, was very evident, by their uneasiness and continual exits in numbers at a time. Common courtesy, we should think, would have suggested to them the politeness of hearing it through, though it should have proved “Heathen Greek” to them; after, too, the author had expressed his doubts of his ability, in preparing a poem for a Boston audience.

In the Evening Transcript Miss Walter comments:

A PRODIGY. It has been said by “those who know,” that the poem delivered by EDGAR A. POE before the Lyceum, on Thursday evening, was written before its author was twelve years old. If the poet felt “doubts of his ability in preparing a poem for a Boston audience” at that early age, it is not to be wondered at that they were openly expressed (as a correspondent of a morning paper states) on Thursday evening. A poem delivered before a literary association of adults, as written by a boy! Only think of it! Poh! Poh! [page 580:]

The Transcript also prints an attack on Poe by a correspondent who signs himself “P,” possibly Henry Norman Hudson. Poe’s theory that poetry “has nothing to do with truth, and is concerned only with beauty,” is applicable to his verses alone: “Whether his theory be devised to explain his poetry, or his poetry be written to exemplify his theory, certainly no one will question the intimate correspondence between them. His poetry, accordingly, has neither truth nor falsehood in it; is not chargeable, indeed, with having any ideas whatever; but is simply beautiful. His poem of Thursday evening, at whatever age it may have been written, and for what purpose soever he may have given it in Boston, was fully equal to anything we have ever seen from him” (Hudson attribution suggested by Hudson to E. A. Duyckinck, 24 November).

[1845] 18 OCTOBER. NEW YORK. In the Evening Mirror Hiram Fuller reviews Graham’s Magazine for November, which contains Poe’s tale “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether.” “The leading article . . . belongs to . . . the new school of Poe-lite literature. The scene is laid in a French mad-house, and the characters, of course, are very odd, and very funny. One of them ‘thinks himself a pinch of snuff, and is truly distressed because he cannot take himself between his own thumb and finger.’ ” The review appears in the Weekly Mirror for 25 October.

[1845] 18 OCTOBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “King Pest,” signed with the pseudonym “Littleton Barry.” He excerpts a long passage from Cornelius Mathews’ Big Abel and the Little Manhattan “by way of instancing the author’s very peculiar style and tone.”

[1845] BEFORE 19 OCTOBER. PHILADELPHIA. Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, the literary editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, writes Poe, apparently enclosing her verse romance Alice Ray for him to review in the Broadway Journal. She asks him whether she should approach the New York publishers Clark and Austin with a collection of her poems she is now preparing (Poe’s 26 October reply; 1 November Journal).

[1845] 20 OCTOBER. NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS. William W. Caldwell, Jr., writes Poe: “Enclosed are three dollars, entitling me to the honor of being, with your sovereign permission, a subscriber to your very excellent journal! . . . Will you gratify your friends at the East, by publishing the ‘Messenger Star’ in the Journal? — The silly abuse of the Boston Press, would then need no other champion — opponent — Like ‘Hesper in the glowing west’, let it rise pure and clear from out their ‘muddy impurities’ ” (ViRPM). [page 581:]

[1845] 22 OCTOBER. WASHINGTON. The United State Journal, a daily newspaper edited by Theophilus Fisk and Poe’s friend Jesse E. Dow, quotes a writer in the Boston Mercantile Journal, who gave this unfavorable report on Poe’s Lyceum appearance: “The poet, an utter stranger to me, was a phenomena [sic] in his way. He delivered a dissertation which he was not invited to deliver before he commenced his poem. The principles of his preliminary discourse were his own, and will never belong to anyone else; and his poem was a tangled tissue of bright words and confused imagery. It seems to me that this production must have been an infantile effort of his, and that he brought it to Boston to see how far the patience of our citizens could be tried” (Chivers [1957], p. 60).

[1845] BEFORE 24 OCTOBER? NEW YORK. Horace Greeley, editor of the Daily Tribune, loans Poe $50 in cash, apparently to be applied toward the purchase of the Broadway Journal. Poe gives Greeley his “note of hand” for this sum (Greeley, pp. 196-97).

[1845] 24 OCTOBER. Poe acquires John Bisco’s share of the Broadway Journal. The two men sign a contract: “Edgar A. Poe agrees to pay the said Bisco Fifty Dollars in cash on Signing agreement, to give the said Bisco his note at three months for the full amount of debts due the paper” (Quinn, pp. 752-53).

Poe signs a promissory note for $100, payable to Bisco three months from this date (Moldenhauer [1973], p. 80).

Horace Greeley signs a promissory note: “Sixty days after date I promise to pay Edgar A. Poe, or his order, Fifty dollars for value received” (Phillips, 2:1063-64).

[1845] 25 OCTOBER. The masthead of the Broadway Journal identifies Poe as “EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.” This issue contains his stories “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade” and “The Power of Words” (reprints), as well as his favorable review of Mary E. Hewitt’s The Songs of Our Land, and Other Poems. In his “Editorial Miscellany” he announces that he has assumed “sole control” of the Journal: “May we hope for the support of our friends?” He alludes to his Lyceum appearance: “We have been quizzing the Bostonians, and one or two of the more stupid of their editors and editresses have taken it in high dudgeon. We will attend to them all in good time.”

[1845] 26 OCTOBER. In the Sunday Time and Messenger Mordecai M. Noah reports Poe’s Lyceum appearance, quoting the favorable description of his poem from the Boston Courier of 18 October. “And yet the papers abused him, [page 582:] and the audience were fidgety — made their exit one by one, and did not at all appreciate the efforts of a man of admitted ability, whom they had invited to deliver a poem before them. . . . We presume Mr. Poe will not accept another invitation to recite poetry, original or selected, in that section of the Union.”

[1845] 26 OCTOBER. Poe writes Mrs. Hale in Philadelphia, replying to a letter written before 19 October: “I have been a week absent from the city, and have been overwhelmed with business since my return — may I beg you, therefore, to pardon my seeming discourtesy in not sooner thanking you for your sweet poem, and for the high honor you confer on me in the matter of your proposed volume? . . . I have some acquaintance with Mess. Clark and Austin, and believe that you will find them, as publishers, every thing that you could wish” (L, 1:298-99).

[1845] 26 OCTOBER. Poe writes Rufus W. Griswold in Philadelphia: “After a prodigious deal of manoeuvring, I have succeeded in getting the ‘Broadway Journal’ entirely within my own control. It will be a fortune to me if I can hold it — and I can do it easily with a very trifling aid from my friends. May I count you as one? Lend me $50 and you shall never have cause to regret it” (L, 1:298).

[1845] 26 OCTOBER. Poe writes John P. Kennedy in Baltimore: “When you were in New-York I made frequent endeavours to meet you — but in vain — as I was forced to go to Boston.” Recalling that Kennedy assisted him at the outset of his career, Poe again asks for help: “I have succeeded in getting rid, one by one, of all my associates in ‘The Broadway Journal’ . . . . I have exhausted all my immediate resources in the purchase — and I now write to ask you for a small loan — say $50” (L, 1:299-300).

[1845] 28 OCTOBER. BOSTON. In the Evening Transcript Cornelia Wells Walter scoffs at Poe’s remarks in the last Broadway Journal. Quoting his promise to “attend to” the Boston “editors and editresses,” she observes: “The promise . . . is certainly very poe-tential. We thought the poet might possibly be poe-dagrical, but it seems he is intending to take time enough to become a poe-ser!” Noticing his call for “the support” of his friends, she obliquely alludes to his drinking: “What a question to ask! Edgar A. Poe to be in a condition to require support! It is indeed remarkable.”

[1845] 29 OCTOBER. Miss Walter again mocks Poe: “We showed our readers yesterday that the editor of the Broadway Journal called his childish effort for the amusement of the members of the Lyceum a ‘quizz’ upon the Bostonians. If it were so, we say like honest Sancho — God bless the giver [page 583:] nor look the gift horse in the mouth. We would gently hint, however, to the editor of the Broadway Journal, that while he is perfectly at liberty to think he has quizzed the Bostonians, the quizzer sometimes turns out to be the quizzee.”

[1845] 29 OCTOBER. SAINT LOUIS. The Daily Reveille reports: “The Boston papers are rather down upon Poe — a little bit of retaliation, perhaps.” The Reveille quotes the Boston Courier of 18 October, which had observed that the Lyceum audience should have been polite enough to hear Poe’s poem to its end, even if they found it “Heathen Greek” (Moss [1968], p. 19).

[1845] 30 OCTOBER. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA. Thomas Holley Chivers writes Poe, complaining that his correspondent has not written him: “You are in arrears two or three letters at least.” The United States Journal of 22 October contains “a mean notice” of the poem Poe delivered in Boston; Chivers wonders about Poe’s friendship with this Washington paper’s coeditor, Jesse E. Dow: “No man can be the friend of another who would give publicity to any such foul slander.” If Poe will forward a copy of his poem, Chivers “will give it a handsome notice here in the South.” Having sent Poe, on 9 September, $5 of the $50 he requested in his 11 August letter, Chivers now promises him: “I will send the money you spoke of soon — $45.00” (Chivers [1957], pp. 58-61).

[1845] 30 OCTOBER. BOSTON. In the Evening Transcript Miss Walter comments: “In ‘E. A. Poe’s Poems, second edition, published in New York in 1831, is the entire poem recently delivered before the Lyceum of this city, and for the attempt of speaking before which association, the author made an apology as regards his capacity. This capacity, it seems, has been deteriorating since Mr Poe was ten years of age, his best poems having been written before that period.”

Thomas Holley Chivers [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 584]
 
Thomas Holley Chivers

[1845] 31 OCTOBER. Miss Walter publishes a letter she has received:

MR EDITOR: It seems that Mr Edgar A. Poe is claiming for his poetical soul, the flattering unction that a Gotham Editor has at last succeeded in “quizzing the Bostonians.” It must be confessed that he did out-Yankee the managers of the Lyceum since he not only emptied their pockets but emptied the house. Still the thing was worth all its cost, since several “jeu d’esprits” were founded upon the results of his antic gallopings around Mount Parnassus. So curious a Pegasus as his, disturbed even the equilibrium of one of our grave jurists who relieved himself in this wise. The departing audience was fast making manifest a beggarly display of empty boxes when “His Honor” turning to a professional brother sitting near, remarked, that he “could not judge of the merit of the speaker’s poetry as it was above his comprehension, but it must be confessed that his numbers were [page 585:] flowing.” How soon may we hope that the whole scene will be dramatized for the Olympic? A QUIZZEE.

[1845] LATE OCTOBER? NEW YORK. Poe writes Mrs. Osgood, thanking her for her “kind and altogether delightful note” and for her poem: “Business, of late, has made of me so great a slave that I shall not be able to spend an evening with you until Thursday next” (L, 1:300).

[1845] NOVEMBER OR BEFORE. Walker & Co. issue the Missionary Memorial for 1846, containing Poe’s revised poem “The Lake” (annual noticed in the Broadway Journal, 15 November).

[1845] NOVEMBER OR BEFORE. LONDON? George P. Putnam, a partner in Wiley and Putnam, gives a copy of Poe’s Tales to Martin Farquhar Tupper, whose popular Proverbial Philosophy has been selected for this firm’s “Library of Choice Reading.” Tupper writes Putnam, proposing to review the Tales: “Shall we make Edgar Poe famous by a notice in the Literary Gazette?” (Putnam, pp. 470-71; cf. Tupper’s 25 November and 23 December letters).

[1845] NOVEMBER. PARIS. The Revue britannique publishes “Le Scarabée d’or” [“The Gold-Bug”], the first literal translation of a Poe story into a foreign language. Poe is identified as the original author; the French text is signed with the initials “A. B.,” standing for “Alphonse Borghers,” apparently a pseudonym used by Amedée Pichot, the Revue’s editor (Bandy [1964], pp. 277-80).

[1845] NOVEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. Godey’s Lady’s Book contains Poe’s favorable review of Cornelius Mathews’ novel Big Abel and the Little Manhattan, an expansion of his notice in the 27 September Broadway Journal.

[1845] NOVEMBER. In its “Monthly Literary Bulletin” the Democratic Review reports: “Messrs. Wiley and Putnam’s Series of American Books will shortly include . . . Mr. Poe’s volume, ‘The Raven and other Poems,’ including ‘Poems of Youth, No. VIII.”

[1845] CA. NOVEMBER [1845?]. Richard Henry Stoddard passes Poe in the streets: “The last time that I remember to have seen him [Poe] was in the afternoon of a dreary autumn day. A heavy shower had come up suddenly, and he was standing under an awning. I had an umbrella, and my impulse was to share it with him on his way home, but something — certainly not unkindness — withheld me. I went on and left him there in the rain, pale, shivering, miserable . . . . There I still see him, and always shall, — poor, penniless, but proud, reliant, dominant” (Stoddard [1903], p. 151). [[Earlier cited by Stoddard (1872), p. 565, but not quite so forcefully.]] [page 586:]

[1845] 1 NOVEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s tale “Some Words with a Mummy” (reprint) and his favorable review of Mrs. Sarah J. Hale’s Alice Ray. In the “Editorial Miscellany” he reprints the account of his Lyceum appearance from Noah’s Sunday Times and Messenger of 26 October. He complains: “Our excellent friend Major Noah has suffered himself to be cajoled by that most beguiling of all beguiling little divinities, Miss Walters [Walter], of ‘The Transcript.’ . . . The adorable creature has been telling a parcel of fibs about us, by way of revenge for something that we did to Mr. Longfellow (who admires her very much) and for calling her ‘a pretty little witch’ into the bargain.” Poe gives his version of events, stressing that his appearance was actually a success. He was “most cordially received” when introduced to the audience, and his reading of “Al Aaraaf” was punctuated “with many interruptions of applause.” “When we had made an end, the audience, of course, arose to depart — and about one-tenth of them, probably, had really departed, when Mr. Coffin, one of the managing committee, arrested those who remained, by the announcement that we had been requested to deliver ‘The Raven.’ ” Poe’s recitation of this poem was “very cordially applauded again — and this was the end of it.”

[1845] 1 NOVEMBER. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA. Chivers writes his friend Herschel V. Johnson in Milledgeville, Georgia. He has submitted a manuscript play in five acts to “Mr Poe, one of the greatest men that ever lived.” Two poems collected in his volume The Lost Pleiad, “To Isa Singing” and “The Heavenly Vision,” have been “selected by Mr Poe in his recitations, while lecturing on Poetry” (Chivers [1957], pp. 61-65; cf. Chivers to Poe, after 2 August).

[1845] 4 NOVEMBER. BOSTON. The Evening Transcript reprints Poe’s account of his Lyceum appearance from Saturday’s Broadway Journal, preceded by Miss Walter’s rejoinder: “The editor of the Journal probably found himself in a po-kerish po-sition when he took his pen to commence the annexed article. He determined to do the thing magnanimously however, and if he had but sent a copy of the following to the managers of the Lyceum enclosing the fifty dollars which he poked out of them for his childish effort in versification, he would have exhibited the only proof now wanting of his excessive po-liteness.”

[1845] 5 NOVEMBER. The Daily Star reprints Poe’s “Al Aaraaf’ from the 1831 edition of his Poems (Mabbott [1969], 1:559).

[1845] BEFORE 8 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. The Aristidean for October contains a long critique of Poe’s Tales by the editor Thomas Dunn English, who repeats some things Poe has told him. “The Gold-Bug,” the first story in [page 587:] the volume, was “circulated to a greater extent than any American tale, before or since. . . . Perhaps it is the most ingenious story Mr. POE has written; but in the higher attributes — a great invention — an invention proper — it is not at all comparable to the ‘Tell-Tale Heart’ — and more especially to ‘Ligeia,’ the most extraordinary, of its kind, of his productions.” The third story, “Mesmeric Revelation,” has “excited much discussion. A large number of the mesmerists, queerly enough, take it all for gospel. Some of the Swedenborgians, at PHILADELPHIA, wrote word to POE, that at first they doubted, but in the end became convinced, of its truth. . . . It is evidently meant to be nothing more than the vehicle of the author’s views concerning the DEITY, immateriality, spirit, &c., which he apparently believes to be true, in which belief he is joined by Professor [George] BUSH.” Among “literary people” the most popular tale seems to be “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which depicts “the revulsion of feeling consequent upon discovering that for a long period of time we have been mistaking sounds of agony, for those of mirth or indifference.” The poem introduced in this story, “The Haunted Palace,” was “originally sent to [John L.] O’SULLIVAN, of the ‘Democratic Review,’ and by him rejected, because ‘he found it impossible to comprehend it. “

The Aristidean also carries English’s hoax “The American Poets.” He explains that he “addressed notes to various of our poets,” requesting them to furnish poems, “without charge,” for the magazine; he then prints farcical letters of reply and absurd poems said to have been written by Bryant, Longfellow, and others. Poe’s “contribution” is entitled “The Mammoth Squash.”

[1845] 8 NOVEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Devil in the Belfry.” He favorably reviews Freeman Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine for November; he briefly notices the publication of the October Aristidean. He complains: “The Knickerbocker Magazine, for November, is really beneath notice and beneath contempt. . . . We should regret, for the sake of New York literature, that a journal of this kind should perish, and through sheer imbecility on the part of its conductors.”

[In the November Knickerbocker Lewis Gaylord Clark had condemned Cornelius Mathews’ Big Abel and the Little Manhattan, published in Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books.” Privately Poe also held a low opinion of Mathews’ writings; but since he was indebted to Mathews’ friend and admirer Evert A. Duyckinck, he was obliged to reply to Clark’s attack. Duyckinck published his own protests against Clark in the 7 November Evening Mirror (reprinted 15 November Weekly Mirror) and in the 8 November Morning News. See W. G. Simms to Duyckinck, 13 November, and the 15 November Broadway Journal.] [page 588:]

[1845] 9 NOVEMBER. SAINT LOUIS. The Daily Reveille reprints this report from another paper: “ ‘The Broadway Journal is edited and owned solely by Mr. Edgar A. Poe. If he had as much tact as talent, he would make success for half a dozen papers.’ ” The Reveille observes: “Poe, reliant upon his talent, has too much contempt for tact; he is wrong, but his error makes his career the more remarkable. He is full of eccentricity.” Quoting Poe’s statement that he has been “quizzing the Bostonians” from the 25 October Journal, the Reveille asks: “Does he mean . . . that his late Boston poem, was intended by him as a hoax?” (Moss [1968], p. 19).

[1845] 10 NOVEMBER. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. In the Southern Patriot William Gilmore Simms comments on Poe’s Lyceum appearance:

As a Poet, Mr. Poe’s imagination becomes remarkably conspicuous . . . . He seems to dislike the merely practical, and to shrink from the concrete. His fancy takes the ascendant in his Poetry, and wings his thoughts to such superior elevations, as to render it too intensely spiritual for the ordinary reader. With a genius thus endowed and constituted, it was a blunder with Mr. Poe to accept the appointment, which called him to deliver himself in poetry before the Boston Lyceum. Highly imaginative men can scarcely succeed in such exhibitions. The sort of poetry called for on such occasions, is the very reverse of the spiritual, the fanciful or the metaphysical. To win the ears of a mixed audience, nothing more is required than moral or patriotic commonplaces in rhyming heroics. . . . In obeying this call, to Boston, Mr. Poe committed another mistake. He had been mercilessly exercising himself as a critic at the expense of some of their favorite writers. The swans of New-England, under his delineation, had been described as mere geese, and those too of none of the whitest. He had been exposing the shortcomings and the plagiarisms of Mr. Longfellow, who is supposed, along the banks of the Penobscot, to be about the comeliest bird that ever dipped his bill in Pieria. . . . It is positively amusing to see how eagerly all the little witlings of the press, in the old purlieus of the Puritan, flourish the critical tomahawk about the head of their critic. In their eagerness for retribution, one of the newspapers before us actually congratulates itself and readers, on the (asserted) failure of the poet. The good Editor himself was not present, but he hammers away not the less lustily at the victim, because his objections are to be made at second hand.

[1845] 10 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. Mary E. Hewitt writes Poe, thanking him for his “very, very kind and encouraging notice” of her Songs of Our Land in his paper for 25 October: “The Broadway Journal was the Scylla and Charybdis of my fear, and its editor’s criticism more to be dreaded than that of fifty Blackwoods. Judge then of the measure and quality of my delight on finding that I had passed the strait in safety!” Mrs. Hewitt encloses “a little song” for possible publication in the Journal (Mabbott [1937], p. 119).

[1845] 12 NOVEMBER. Wiley and Putnam deposit a complete copy of The Raven [page 589:] and Other Poems, for copyright, in the Clerk’s Office of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York State (Mabbott [1942], p. xi).

[1845] 12 NOVEMBER. Laughton Osborn writes Poe at 85 Amity Street: “The copy of translated sonnets from certain old & little known Ital. poets which I did myself the honor to send you some time since in accordance with my promise, were intended, by their publication in yr. ‘Journal’, not to benefit myself, (quite the contrary,) but to be of service to you in the irksome part of yr. labors as an editor. As several weeks have elapsed without my rec[eivin]g. any intimation of their being in type, I am forced to conclude that they are not so important as my vanity had led me to believe, & I must therefore be permitted to solicit their return” (copy by T. O. Mabbott, MB-G).

[1845] 13 NOVEMBER. Poe writes Evert A. Duyckinck: “I seem to have just awakened from some horrible dream, in which all was confusion, and suffering — relieved only by the constant sense of your kindness, and that of one or two other considerate friends.” Most of Poe’s troubles will disappear once the Broadway Journal is firmly established. As Wiley and Putnam’s editor, Duyckinck can help him: “Of course I need not say to you that my most urgent trouble is the want of ready money. . . . I have already drawn from Mr [John] Wiley, first $30 — then 10 (from yourself) — then 50 (on account of the ‘Parnassus’) — then 20 (when I went to Boston) — and finally 25 — in all 135. Mr Wiley owes me, for the Poems, 75, and admitting that 1500 of the Tales have been sold, and that I am to receive 8 cts a copy — the amount which you named, if I remember — admitting this, he will owe me $120 on them: — in all 195. Deducting what I have received there is a balance of 60 in my favor.” Although Poe understands that Wiley had planned to settle with him in February, he urges Duyckinck to obtain an immediate payment: “So dreadfully am I pressed, that I would willingly take even the $60 actually due, (in lieu of all farther demand) than wait” (L, 1:300-301).

[1845] 13 NOVEMBER. WOODLANDS, SOUTH CAROLINA. William Gilmore Simms writes Duyckinck in New York. He has read the protests against Lewis Gaylord Clark’s review of Cornelius Mathews that Duyckinck inserted in the 7 November Evening Mirror and the 8 November Morning News: “No doubt you should long ago have silenced or crushed the miserable reptile in question [Clark]. . . . But you have erred in making his assault upon Mathews the particular text. You should have anticipated that assault, and had you all turned in & hammered him when Poe began the game, you would have timed it rightly” (Simms, 2:116-19; cf. Poe’s initial attack on Clark in the Broadway Journal, 12 July). [page 590:]

[1845] 13 NOVEMBER. BOSTON. In the Evening Transcript Cornelia Wells Walter quotes George D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville, Kentucky, Daily Journal:

“HOW HE IS CATCHING IT.” The Louisville Journal says: “Mr Edgar A. Poe, of the New York Broadway Journal, recently delivered a poem by invitation, before the Boston Lyceum. The Boston papers spoke of it as a miserable production, and Poe tries to take his revenge by saying that he meant it as a hoax on the people of Boston. We think there is precious little of Poe’s rhyme or prose that wouldn’t pass better as a hoax, than as anything else.”

[1845] 14 NOVEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. Mrs. Sarah J. Hale writes Poe, apparently forwarding copies of her drama “Ormond Grosvenor” and her verse romance “Harry Guy.” She asks his advice about finding a publisher for these works (Poe’s reply, 16 January 1846).

[1845] BEFORE 15 NOVEMBER. BOSTON. In the New England Washingtonian, a temperance journal, the editor Edmund Burke condemns Poe’s Lyceum appearance, wrongfully intimating that he was drunk on stage: “he [Poe] should bow down his head with shame at the thought that he, in this day of light, presented himself before a moral and intelligent audience intoxicated! and that he made himself afterwards, in another public place, a living testimony to the fact that the man of talents, when drunk, is no more than a fool.”

[1845] 15 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. The Crystal Fount and Rechabite Recorder quotes Burke’s remarks, observing: “That lets the cat out of the bag, and if Mr. Poe says any thing about Boston after that, we shall put him down as a little more than green” (Pollin [1972c], pp. 124-26).

[1845] 15 NOVEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s favorable reviews of C. Edwards Lester’s The Artist, the Merchant, and the Statesman and Charles Lamb’s Specimens of English Dramatic Poets. In a front-page editorial headed “A New Mode of Collecting a Library,” Poe attacks Lewis Gaylord Clark: “The Knickerbocker Magazine has received a severe rebuke from the city press, during the last week, for some peculiarities in its general conduct, and especially for the spirit and letter of an article in the last number, upon MR. MATHEWS. . . . Of what literary or social offences has he been guilty, that he should be pilloried in the small print and pelted with the pleasant missives of the ‘Editor’s Table’?” Poe relates an anecdote about a subscriber to the Knickerbocker who builds “one of the best libraries in town” by buying the books Clark condemns.

[1845] 15 NOVEMBER. Poe writes Thomas Holley Chivers in Oaky Grove, Georgia, [page 591:] replying to his 30 October letter. He apologizes for his failure to correspond: “The Broadway Journals I now send, will give you some idea of the reason. I have been buying out the paper, and of course you must be aware that I have had a tough time of it — making all kind of maneuvres . . . . I have succeeded, however, as you see — bought it out entirely, and paid for it all, with the exception of 140$ which will fall due on the 1rst of January next. . . . If you can send me the $45, for Heaven’s sake do it, by return of mail — or if not all, a part.” Poe wishes he could explain his “hopes & prospects,” but he has not time: “I have to do everything myself edit the paper — get it to press — and attend to the multitudinous business besides. . . . the moments I now spend in penning these words are gold themselves — & more.” He is sending Chivers an advance copy of The Raven and Other Poems (L, 1:302-03).

[1845] 15 NOVEMBER. BOSTON. Littell’s Living Age reprints the review of Poe’s Tales from the London Critic of 6 September.

[1845] AFTER 15? NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. Poe visits Thomas Dunn English’s chambers and asks his advice on the Broadway Journal, which is “fast decreasing in circulation.” English suggests that Poe go into partnership with Thomas H. Lane, the publisher of the Aristidean. Poe and Lane agree to an arrangement which allows Poe to remain the Journal’s sole editor while Lane assumes responsibility for its financial management. The office is moved from 135 Nassau Street to 304 Broadway, corner of Duane Street, in the building housing English’s chambers and the Aristidean (English, p. 1382).

[The removal of the Journal office was mentioned in its 22 November issue and formally announced in its 29 November issue.]

[1845] 19 NOVEMBER. Wiley and Putnam issue The Raven and Other Poems, a small volume with stiff paper covers. It contains this dedication: “TO THE NOBLEST OF HER SEX — / TO THE AUTHOR OF / ‘THE DRAMA OF EXILE’ — / TO MISS ELIZABETH BARRETT BARRETT, / OF ENGLAND, / I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME, / WITH THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC ADMIRATION / AND WITH THE MOST SINCERE ESTEEM. / E. A. P.” Poe’s preface is self-deprecatory:

These trifles are collected and republished chiefly with a view to their redemption from the many improvements to which they have been subjected while going at random “the rounds of the press.” If what I have written is to circulate at all, I am naturally anxious that it should circulate as I wrote it. In defence of my own taste, nevertheless, it is incumbent upon me to say, that I think nothing in this volume of much value to the public, or very creditable to myself. Events not to be controlled have prevented me from making, at any time, any serious effort in [page 592:] what, under happier circumstances, would have been the field of my choice. With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence; they must not — they cannot at will be excited with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.

[1845] 19 NOVEMBER. The Daily Tribune carries an advertisement for Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books,” with the heading “THIS DAY IS PUBLISHED”:

No. 8 — The Raven, and other Poems: By Edgar A. Poe. 1 vol. Beautifully printed. 31 cents.

Contents — The Raven; The Valley of Unrest; Bridal Ballad; The Sleeper; The Coliseum; Lenore; Catholic Hymn; Israfel; Dream Land; Sonnet to Zante; The City in the Sea; To One in Paradise; Eulalie, A Song; The Conqueror Worm; The Haunted Palace; Scenes from Politian; Poems written in Youth. Published and for sale by WILEY & PUTNAM, 161 Broadway.

[1845] AFTER 19 NOVEMBER? Poe gives a presentation copy of The Raven and Other Poems to John Bisco (copy in NN-B).

[1845] 21 NOVEMBER. In the Evening Mirror George P. Morris reviews The Raven and Other Poems: “In spite of Mr. Poe’s majestic disclaimer of any great interest in this book, we must venture to think it contains a good deal of that which we call poetry — an element too rare in these days of frigid verse-making to be treated with disregard.” He describes the effect of Poe’s poems on the reader:

Tall shadows and a sighing silence seem to close around us as we read. We feel dream land to be more real and more touching than the actual life we have left . . . . The Raven, for instance, which we have been surprised to hear called, in spite of its exquisite versification, somewhat aimless and unsatisfactory, leaves with us no such impression; but on the contrary, the shadowy and indistinct implied resemblance of the material and immaterial throughout, gives an indescribable charm to the poem . . . . The reader who cannot feel some of the poet’s “fantastic terrors,” hear the “whisper’d word, LENORE,” perceive the air grow denser “perfum’d from an unseen censer,” and at least catch some dim vanishing glimpse of the deathly beauty of “The rare and radiant maiden” mourned so agonizingly, can have pondered but little over those “quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore” which so well introduce this “stately raven of the saintly days of yore.” We recommend to him a year’s regimen of monkish legends, and chronicles with which Warton and Scott fed the poetic fire . . . .

The ballad of Lenore is in the same tone — a wild wail, melancholy, as the sound of the clarion to the captive knight who knew that its departing tones bore with them his last earthly hope. “Mariana” [by Tennyson] is not more intensely mournful. The “peccavimus,” the passing bell, the hair natural and life-like above closed eyes hollow with the death-change — leave pictures and echoes within the heart, which allows no doubt as to the power of the poet. [page 593:]

The review is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 29 November.

[1845] 22 NOVEMBER. The Anglo-American and the Morning Courier review The Raven and Other Poems. The Anglo-American complains that the juvenile poems of an established author should not be circulated; the Courier praises Poe’s imagination and versification (Pollin [1980], p. 26).

[1845] 22 NOVEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “The Spectacles” and Mrs. Osgood’s poem “To ——,” apparently addressed to him (“Oh! they never can know that heart of thine, / Who dare accuse thee of flirtation!”). Because of “the bustle consequent upon removing our office,” this issue has no reviews, only “a mere announcement of the books on hand,” one of which is The Raven and Other Poems. In the “Editorial Miscellany” Poe reprints Simms’s account of his Lyceum appearance from the Charleston Southern Patriot of 10 November, observing that “our friends in the Southern and Western country (true friends, and tried, ) are taking up arms in our cause.” He quotes the Saint Louis Daily Reveille of 9 November, which had inquired whether his Lyceum poem was intended as a hoax. He explains: “We knew very well that, among a certain clique of the Frogpondians [Bostonians], there existed a predetermination to abuse us under any circumstances. . . . It would have been very weak in us, then, to put ourselves to the trouble of attempting to please these people. . . . We read before them a ‘juvenile’ — a very ‘juvenile’ poem — and thus the Frogpondians were had — were delivered up to the enemy bound hand and foot.” Poe has been told “that as many as three or four of the personal friends of the little old lady entitled Miss Walters [Walter], did actually leave the hall during the recitation”; but he did not see them depart: “they belong to a class of people that we make it a point never to see.” Miss Walter “defends our poem on the ground of its being ‘juvenile,’ and we think the more of her defence because she herself has been juvenile so long as to be a judge of juvenility. Well, upon the whole we must forgive her — and do. Say no more about it, you little darling!”

[1845] 22 NOVEMBER. In the Evening Mirror Hiram Fuller comments: “The Broadway Journal of to-day contains a long tale, by the editor, a long attack by the editor, and a long defence of the editor — each excellent of its kind!” The Weekly Mirror reprints English’s hoax “The American Poets” from the Aristidean for October.

[1845] 22 NOVEMBER. BALTIMORE. In the Saturday Visiter Joseph Evans Snodgrass reports that The Raven and Other Poems is available from “TAYLOR, WILDE & CO. . . . at their new establishment, next door, . . . for thirty one cts.” The first poem, “The Raven,” is by itself “worth the cost of the book.” [page 594:]

[1845] 24 NOVEMBER. BOSTON. Henry Norman Hudson writes Evert A. Duyckinck in New York:

I write you this at the suggestion of some of Mr. Poe’s friends in this city, who are shocked and alarmed at his late remarks on Miss Walter. I do not recollect ever to have seen anything so mean, and dirty, and wicked, as his last paper. Miss Walter is one of the most respectable young ladies in Boston; and her paper circulates among the very best people of the place; is, indeed, the family newspaper of the city. Said one of the best friends Mr. Poe has in Boston, “the course he is taking is perfectly damnable, and, if persisted in, will inevitably damn him and everybody that has any connection with him. He may call the rest of us what he pleases; fools, frogpondians, hypocrites, or anything; but such grossly brutal treatment of a lady, there is not a man in the United States but had better be in his grave, than be guilty of it.” Such are substantially the remarks Mr. [Edwin P.] Whipple made to me; and I trust I need not say, I entirely agree with him. Can you not, Mr. Poe’s friend and adviser, dissuade him from this vile blackguardism? . . . So far as the remarks on Mr. Poe in the Transcript, the most offensive of them were not written by Miss Walter but by myself. The truth is, I did think, and still think, that Mr. Poe’s conduct here, whatever may have been its merit as a hoax, was utterly beneath the dignity of a gentleman; a disgrace to the name of literature (NN-D).

[1845] 25 NOVEMBER. ALBURY, GUILDFORD, ENGLAND. Martin Farquhar Tupper writes William Jerdan, editor of the London Literary Gazette, enclosing a review of Poe’s Tales: “I volunteer a critique for your Gazette: the book is worth all I say of it: if you find the extracts too long, you can shorten them; but perhaps you will find room for all. I have no other cause to serve in this bit of ‘offered service’ (you know the adage) except to give a foreign genius some encouragement amongst us Britishers . . . . How say you? shall we, or shall we not, make Edgar A. Poe, famous?” (PP-G).

[1845] 25 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. The Evening Mirror reprints the review of Poe’s Tales from the London Critic of 6 September. The review appears in the Weekly Mirror for 6 December.

[1845] 26 NOVEMBER. The Daily Tribune contains Margaret Fuller’s long critique of The Raven and Other Poems. She quotes from Poe’s preface his assertion that he has no high regard for these poems; she is inclined to believe him, because “the productions in this volume indicate a power to do something far better. With the exception of The Raven, which seems intended chiefly to show the writer’s artistic skill, and is in its way a rare and finished specimen, they are all fragments — fyttes upon the lyre, almost all of which leave us something to desire or demand.” Fuller reprints “To One in Paradise,” observing that Poe’s poems “breathe a passionate sadness, relieved sometimes by touches very lovely and tender . . . . This kind of [page 595:] beauty is especially conspicuous, then rising into dignity, in the poem called ‘The Haunted Palace.” His imagination expresses itself “in a sweep of images, thronging and distant like a procession of moonlight clouds on the horizon, but like them characteristic and harmonious one with another, according to their office. The descriptive power is greatest when it takes a shape not unlike an incantation, as in the first part of ‘The Sleeper.’ ” Fuller understands that the “Poems Written in Youth” were composed “before the author was ten years old”; as such they represent “a great psychological curiosity. Is it the delirium of a prematurely excited brain that causes such a rapture of words?” She concludes by reprinting “Israfel.” Her review appears in the Weekly Tribune for 29 November.

[1845] 26 NOVEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The North American reviews The Raven and Other Poems, welcoming a collection of Poe’s poetry, but objecting to the inclusion of his juvenilia. “The Raven,” “Lenore,” and a few other poems will endure (Pollin [1980], p. 27).

[1845] BEFORE 27 NOVEMBER. Godey’s Lady’s Book for December contains Poe’s expanded critique of The Poetical Writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, which he had initially reviewed in the Broadway Journal for 23 August. In its “Editors’ Book Table” Godey’s notices “Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5” of Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books”:

No. 2 is a collection of “Tales,” by Edgar A. Poe. Our readers know him to be one of the most accomplished authors in America. In England he is ranked among the classic writers of the mother tongue. In his narrative pieces he exhibits qualities of mind deemed incompatible with each other — such as a talent for profound analysis, and a most brilliant fancy — a power of rigidly minute and exact detail in description, like testimony on oath; and, contrasted with this, a skill in the “building” of marvelous and grotesque stories, which make the Arabian Tales seem tame and prosaic in comparison. We like a writer of this character and calibre. We are tired of being merely satisfied; and we like occasionally to be astonished. Talent and learning can satisfy. It takes genius to astonish. This Poe possesses, and he has exhibited some of its most decisive proofs in the volume before us.

[1845] 27 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. In the Evening Mirror Hiram Fuller reprints the notice of Poe’s Tales from Godey’s, appending a squib aimed at the reviewer: “We are astonished that the Arabian Tales should seem ‘tame and prosaic in comparison’ with Poe’s ‘grotesque and arabesque’ — therefore, the writer of the above paragraph must be a genius. ‘It takes genius to astonish.’ ”

[1845] 27 NOVEMBER. The New-York Evangelist, a religious newspaper, reviews The Raven and Other Poems: “There is great diversity of opinion respecting [page 596:] Mr. Poe’s poetry — more so than respecting his talents as a prose writer, or temper as a critic. But the reader of the Raven will never deny him originality and great power both of thought and versification. It is an extraordinary performance, and of itself is enough to establish the author’s reputation as a poet. The other poems are various in subject and merit; but usually evince great skill in versification. And if obscurity is the test, uncommon originality. The collection of these poems is a public favor and we doubt not it will be popular” (Mabbott [1942], p. xv).

[1845] 28 NOVEMBER. In the Evening Mirror George P. Morris quotes Poe’s statement in the preface to The Raven and Other Poems that for him “poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion.” For Morris this assertion represents the “sentiments of a true poet. . . . We like the spirit that dictated it.”

[1845] 28 NOVEMBER. LONDON. Elizabeth Barrett Barrett writes Robert Browning at New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey: “And think of Mr. Poe, with that great Roman justice of his, (if not rather American!), dedicating a book to one & abusing one in the preface of the same. He wrote a review of me in just that spirit — the two extremes of laudation & reprehension, folded in on one another — You would have thought that it had been written by a friend & foe, each stark mad with love & hate, & writing the alternate paragraphs — a most curious production indeed” (Browning [1969], 1:296-99).

[Miss Barrett is not mentioned in Poe’s preface to The Raven and Other Poems: conceivably, she may have seen an earlier version of the preface which was not published; but it seems more likely that she was misinformed.]

[1845] 29 NOVEMBER. The Popular Record of Modern Science reprints “Mesmeric Revelation” under the heading “The Last Conversation of a Somnambule.” The editor of this London weekly prefaces the tale with his verification: “The following is an article communicated to the Columbian Magazine, a journal of respectability and influence in the United States, by Mr. Edgar A. Poe. It bears internal evidence of authenticity” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1028; Record quoted by Poe in “Marginalia,” Graham’s Magazine, March 1848).

[1845] 29 NOVEMBER. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised story “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains.” He favorably reviews Caroline M. Kirkland’s Western Clearings, the seventh volume in Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books,” and the Aristidean for October, whose reception he had acknowledged in the 8 November issue. In noticing a translation of Frederick von Raumer’s America and the American People, he objects [page 597:] to this German writer’s opinion of The Poets and Poetry of America: “If Dr. Griswold’s book is really to be received as a fair representation of our poetical literature, then are we in a very lamentable — or rather in a very ridiculous condition indeed.” Poe welcomes William D. Ticknor’s new edition of Poems by Alfred Tennyson, “a poet, who (in our own humble, but sincere opinion,) is the greatest that ever lived.”

The Journal carries Mrs. Osgood’s salutation to Poe:

To ——

“In Heaven a spirit doth dwell,

Whose heart — strings are a lute.”

I cannot tell the world how thrills my heart

To every touch that flies thy lyre along;

How the wild Nature and the wondrous Art,

Blend into Beauty in thy passionate song —

But this I know —— in thine enchanted slumbers,

Heaven’s poet, Israfel, — with minstrel fire —

Taught thee the music of his own sweet numbers,

And tuned — to chord with his — thy glorious lyre!

This issue contains Walt Whitman’s essay on music, “Art-Singing and Heart-Singing,” accompanied by Poe’s footnote: “The author desires us to say, for him, that he pretends to no scientific knowledge of music. He merely claims to appreciate so much of it (a sadly disdained department, just now) as affects, in the language of the deacons, ‘the natural heart of man.’ It is scarcely necessary to add that we agree with our correspondent throughout.”

[1845] AFTER 29 NOVEMBER. Whitman visits 304 Broadway: “I also remember seeing Edgar A. Poe, and having a short interview with him, (it must have been in 1845 or ’6,) in his office, second story of a corner building, (Duane or Pearl street.) . . . The visit was about a piece of mine he had publish’d. Poe was very cordial, in a quiet way, appear’d well in person, dress, &c. I have a distinct and pleasing remembrance of his looks, voice, manner and matter; very kindly and human, but subdued, perhaps a little jaded” (“Broadway Sights” in Specimen Days, Walt Whitman, 1:17).

[1845] 30 NOVEMBER. Poe writes George Poe, Jr., his father’s first cousin and a well-to-do banker, formerly of Mobile, Alabama, but now resident in Georgetown in the District of Columbia: “Since the period when (no doubt for good reasons) you declined aiding me with the loan of $50, I have perseveringly struggled, against a thousand difficulties, and have succeeded, although not in making money, still in attaining a position in the world of Letters.” Because Poe believes that his correspondent will appreciate [page 598:] his “efforts to elevate the family name,” he ventures to request assistance “once more.” He has become the proprietor of the Broadway Journal: “if I can retain it, it will be a fortune to me in a short time: — but I have exhausted all my resources in the purchase. . . . The loan of $200 would put me above all difficulty” (L, 1:303-04).

[1845] DECEMBER. In the “Editor’s Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine, Lewis Gaylord Clark replies to Duyckinck, Poe, and other friends of Cornelius Mathews: “What a pudder our last number has created among two or three inferior members of the small ‘Mutual Admiration Society,’ who for ‘mutual’ ends swear just now by the author [Mathews] of ‘Puffer Hopkins’ and ‘Great Abel,’ but usually by each other reciprocally!” Clark scoffs at “the Forcible-Feeble [Poe] of a weekly sheet” who “in one number [8 November] deems the KNICKERBOCKER ‘utterly beneath notice and beneath contempt,’ and in a succeeding issue [15 November] . . . contends that the censure of this Magazine has been and is of the greatest service.” Mathews’ Big Abel and the Little Manhattan “is an utterly incomprehensible farrago.” To prove his point, Clark quotes and italicizes a sentence from Poe’s review of the novel in the November Godey’s: “ ‘Out of ten readers, nine will be totally at a loss to comprehend the meaning of the author!’ ”

[1845] DECEMBER. The American Review contains Poe’s tale “The Facts of M. Valdemar’s Case.” The Review lists The Raven and Other Poems among the “Publications of the Month,” making a promise, never fulfilled, to discuss the volume “at another time.”

[1845] DECEMBER. The Democratic Review notices Wiley and Putnam’s “Library of American Books”: “Mr. Poe’s Poems appear in this series; and we doubt not the popularity of ‘The Raven,’ will give them a large sale, as we hear copies of that spirited and ingenious poem continually demanded.”

[1845] DECEMBER. The Literary Emporium, a religious magazine, reprints “The Raven.”

[1845] DECEMBER. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. In his Southern and Western Magazine William Gilmore Simms reviews Poe’s Tales:

Mr. Poe is a mystic, and rises constantly into an atmosphere which as continually loses him the sympathy of the unimaginative reader. But, with those who can go with him without scruple to the elevation to which his visions are summoned, and from which they may all be beheld, he is an acknowledged master, — a Prospero, whose wand is one of wonderful properties. . . . At a period of greater space and leisure, we propose to subject the writings of Mr. Poe, with which we have been more or less familiar for several years, to a close and searching criticism. . . . We [page 599:] must content ourselves here, with simply regretting that, in the first tale in this collection [“The Gold-Bug”], he has been so grievously regardless of the geographical peculiarities of his locale. It is fatal to the success of the tale, in the mind of him who reads only for the story’s sake, to offend his experience in any thing that concerns the scene of action. Every Charlestonian, for example, who does not see that the writer is aiming at nothing more than an ingenious solution of what might be held as a strange cryptographical difficulty, will be revolted when required to believe in the rocks and highlands in and about Sullivan’s Island.

[1845] CA. DECEMBER. NEW YORK. The Aristidean for November contains Poe’s long essay “American Poetry,” which is largely composed of excerpts from his reviews of Lambert A. Wilmer s The Quacks of Helicon (August 1841 Graham’s), Rufus W. Griswold’s The Poets and Poetry of America (November 1842 Boston Miscellany) , and Richard Henry Horne’s Orion (March 1844 Graham’s).

Thomas Dunn English reviews The Raven and Other Poems. In “The Raven” Poe has attempted “to evolve interest from a common-place incident, and by means of the mechanism of verse, to throw beauty around a simple narration, while the very borders of the ludicrous are visited. . . . That much of the effect depends upon the mode of construction, and the peculiar arrangement of words and incidents, there can be no doubt; but, the power to conceive and execute the effect, betokens the highest genius.” Although some of these poems seem to be included simply “to fill up the book,” others are more notable:

The commencement of “The Sleeper,” is one of the finest pictures of sleepy calm, in the language. . . .  “The Coliseum,” written at an early age, has force — and contains well — managed apostrophe and antithesis. The close is unsatisfactory and incomplete. “Lenore” is musical and melancholy — it tells a tale without seeming to attempt narration. “Israfel,” is a very pretty specimen of fiddle-de-dee. “Dreamland,” “The City in the sea,” “The Haunted Palace,” and “The Conqueror Worm,” are well-managed allegories — the first and last, especially fine. The scenes from “Politian,” are not of any great account. They are very well in their way — and their way, is not remarkable. The Sonnet to “Zante” is beautiful.

English “cannot help pronouncing Mr. POE, the first poet of his school . . . . As such we admire him, and look with wonder on his productions; yet they have little power over our spirit. The sensations we feel in reading his poems are more those of admiration than sympathy. . . . He is the poet of the idler, the scholar and dreamer. He has nothing to do with every day life.”

[1845] 1 DECEMBER. BOSTON. The Morning Post reviews The Raven and Other Poems. “The Raven” is ingenious, but most of these poems are mediocre or [page 600:] absurd. “Al Aaraaf,” Poe’s Lyceum poem, remains incomprehensible (Pollin [1980], p. 27).

[1845] 1 DECEMBER. BALTIMORE. John P. Kennedy writes Poe: “I was in Virginia when your letter [of 26 October] came to Baltimore and did not return until very recently, which will account for my delay in acknowledging it.” Kennedy is “an attentive reader” of Poe’s writings and takes “great pleasure” in hearing of his career: “When in New York . . . I called at your Broadway Journal establishment in the hope of meeting you, but was told you were just setting out for Providence [Boston?], and as I received your card the same day I took it for granted you had left it only in the moment of your departure and I therefore made no further effort to see you.” While Kennedy hopes that the Broadway Journal will prove successful, he is unable to support it financially: “Good wishes are pretty nearly all the capital I have for such speculations. . . . When it falls in your way to visit Baltimore both Mrs Kennedy and myself would be much pleased to receive you on our old terms of familiar acquaintance and regard” (W, 17:224-25).

[1845] 1 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. Poe writes Fitz-Greene Halleck: “On the part of one or two persons who are much imbittered against me, there is a deliberate attempt now being made to involve me in ruin, by destroying The Broadway Journal.” To resolve “this emergency” Poe needs $100: “If you could loan me for three months any portion of it, I will not be ungrateful” (L, 1:304-05).

[1845] AFTER 1 DECEMBER? Halleck loans Poe $100 (assertion by J. G. Wilson [1869], pp. 430-31).

[1845] 2 DECEMBER. BOSTON. In the Evening Transcript Cornelia Wells Walter reprints a letter from a Baltimore correspondent published in the Boston Daily Atlas on 29 November:

I remember, it is now near about fifteen years, when this poem [Poe’s “Al Aaraaf”] was first published, in this city [Baltimore], I believe. It was very handsomely printed, in a volume with another poem called Tamerlane, but did not sell — people could not understand it, or Tamerlane. A friend of mine, who felt it to be his duty to read what nobody else would, purchased a copy, read it, and recorded his opinion of it in this epigram, which I take leave to transcribe for the benefit of your readers:

“If Tamerlane and Al Aaraff

Were rendered subject to a tariff,

Of cent per centum ad valorem,

On every copy leaves the store-room, [page 601:]

How many centuries would roll

To their eternal cemetery,

Before the poor collector, fool,

Would in his purse find one obole,

To pay the passage of his soul

Across the infernal Stygean ferry?”

The question then propounded has never been answered here, and perhaps some of your calculating citizens may deem the problem worthy of their efforts to solve.

[1845] 2, 5, 8 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. Poe sends anastatic copies of a letter, dated “Nov. 1845,” to George Watterston in Washington, D. C., Charles Campbell in Petersburg, Virginia, and William Green in Culpeper, Virginia. In this letter Poe recalls that his correspondent was “one of the earliest subscribers to ‘The Southern Literary Messenger’ ” and supported this magazine during his editorship. “I venture now frankly to solicit your subscription and influence for ‘The Broadway Journal’, of which I send you a specimen number” (L, 1:304, 2:514-15; cf. Poe’s article on “Anastatic Printing,” Broadway Journal, 12 April).

[1845] 3 DECEMBER. Poe and Thomas H. Lane sign a contract, witnessed by Samuel Fleet and George H. Colton. Poe transfers to Lane one half of his “interest and property” in the Broadway Journal. Lane agrees to pay “all dues” contracted against the Journal since 17 November, provided “that the said debts do not amount to more than the sum of forty dollars”; he will supply the magazine’s “necessary expenses” and attend to its “business conduct.” The editorial conduct will remain “under the sole charge of the said Edgar A. Poe” (Rede, pp. 53-54).

[1845] 3 DECEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. Smith’s Weekly Volume notices The Raven and Other Poems, praising, with tongue in cheek, the unfavorable judgment on the book Poe gave in his preface (Pollin [1980], p. 27).

[1845] 3 DECEMBER. SAINT LOUIS. The Daily Reveille favorably notices The Raven and Other Poems (Pollin [1980], p. 27).

[1845] 4 DECEMBER. The Reveille reports that Poe has given “the history of the poem hoax.” It quotes from the 22 November Broadway Journal a portion of his reply to the Bostonians (Moss [1968], p. 19).

[1845] 6 DECEMBER. WEST ROXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS. In the Harbinger John S. Dwight reviews The Raven and Other Poems:

Mr. Poe has earned some fame by various tales and poems, which of late has [page 602:] become notoriety through a certain blackguard warfare which he has been waging against the poets and newspaper critics of New England, and which it would be most charitable to impute to insanity. Judging from the tone of his late articles in the Broadway Journal, he seems to think that the whole literary South and West are doing anxious battle in his person against the old time-honored tyrant of the North. . . .

The present volume is not entirely pure of this controversy, else we should ignore the late scandalous courses of the man, and speak only of the “Poems.” The motive of the publication is too apparent; it contains the famous Boston poem [“Al Aaraaf”], together with other juvenilities . . . .

In a sober attempt to get at the meaning and worth of these poems as poetry, we have been not a little puzzled. We must confess they have a great deal of power, a great deal of beauty, (of thought frequently, and always of rhythm and diction,) originality, and dramatic effect. But they have more of effect, than of expression, to adopt a distinction from musical criticism; and if they attract you to a certain length, it is only to repulse you the more coldly at last. There is a wild unearthliness, and unheavenliness, in the tone of all his pictures, a strange unreality in all his thoughts; they seem to stand shivering, begging admission to our hearts in vain, because they look not as if they came from the heart. That ill-boding “Raven,” which you meet at the threshold of his edifice, is a fit warning of the hospitality you will find inside. . . . Mr. Poe has made a critical study of the matter of versification, and succeeded in the art rather at the expense of nature. Indeed the impression of a very studied effect is always uppermost after reading him. . . . What is the fancy which is merely fancy, the beauty which springs from no feeling, which neither illustrates nor promotes the great truths and purposes of life, which glimmers strangely only because it is aside from the path of human destiny?

[1845] 6 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. Lawrence Labree reviews The Raven and Other Poems in his Illustrated Magazine: “We have but few poets whose works we care to see in ‘book form,” and Mr. Poe is one of these. His ‘Raven’ is more remarkable for its mechanical construction than for its spirit of poetry, though any one who has read it several times over, as we have, must confess it to have some merit.”

[1845] 6 DECEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “Four Beasts in One — The Homo-Cameleopard,” formerly entitled “Epimanes.” He favorably reviews two biographies, Thomas Carlyle’s Life of Frederick Schiller and Lord Mahon’s Life of Louis de Bourbon. In the “Editorial Miscellany” he facetiously complains of maltreatment by other periodicals: “Every body is at us — little dogs and all.” An example is provided by the Nassau Monthly of Princeton College, possibly the “littlest of all the dogs.” From it Poe quotes this criticism of his tale “The Imp of the Perverse”.

If asked to what species of the genus humbug this article properly attaches itself, we should reply to the humbug philosophical. We have not time to analyze, but [page 603:] would say that the author introduces himself as in pursuit of an idea; this he chases from the wilderness of phrenology into that of transcendentalism, then into that of metaphysics generally; then through many weary pages into the open field of inductive philosophy, where he at last corners the poor thing, and then most unmercifully pokes it to death with a long stick. This idea he calls the “Perverse:”

[1845] 6, 10 DECEMBER. NEW ORLEANS. The Daily Picayune notices The Raven and Other Poems (Pollin [1980], p. 27).

[1845] 10 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. In the Daily Tribune Horace Greeley comments: “The article in the American Review of this month entitled ‘The Facts of M. Valdemar’s Case, by EDGAR A. POE,’ is of course a romance — who could have supposed it otherwise? Those who have read Mr. Poe’s Visit to the Maelstrom, South Pole, &c. have not been puzzled by it, yet we learn that several good matter-of-fact citizens have been, sorely. It is a pretty good specimen of Poe’s style of giving an air of reality to fictions, and we utterly condemn the choice of a subject, but whoever thought it a veracious recital must have the bump of Faith large, very large indeed.”

[1845] 10 DECEMBER. Poe writes Evert A. Duyckinck, forwarding an article by Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet. He asks Duyckinck to have it published as an unsigned editorial in the Morning News (L, 1:305; cf. Ellet to Poe, ca. 15 December and 16 December).

[1845] 10 DECEMBER. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. Longfellow writes in his journal: “In Graham’s Magazine for January, received this morning, is a superb poem by Lowell . . . . If he goes on in this vein, Poe will soon begin to pound him” (Longfellow [1886], 2:26).

[1845] 13 DECEMBER. BOSTON. Littell’s Living Age lists The Raven and Other Poems among the “New Books:”

[1845] 13 DECEMBER. BROOKLYN. The Daily Eagle notices The Raven and Other Poems, objecting to Poe’s self-deprecatory preface. He is one of the best American writers, both in prose and verse (Pollin [1980], p. 26).

[1845] 13 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. The Golden Rule briefly reviews The Raven and Other Poems (Mabbott [1942], p. xv).

[1845] 13 DECEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s tale “The Oblong Box” (reprint) and his laudatory review of Mrs. Osgood’s Poems. In the “Editorial Miscellany” he reprints John S. Dwight’s review of The Raven and Other Poems from the 6 December Harbinger, identifying this Brook Farm weekly [page 604:] as “the most reputable organ of the Crazyites” and characterizing its opinion of his poetry as “all leather and prunella.” He corrects the reviewer’s impression that the book’s publication was related to his 16 October Lyceum appearance: “ ‘The Raven, etc.,’ was in the publishers’ hands a month or six weeks before we received the invitation from the Lyceum — and we read the last proofs on the evening before that on which we ‘insulted the Boston audience.’ ” Poe condemns Henry Norman Hudson’s lecture on Shakespeare’s King Lear, which he heard delivered at the Society Library “on Tuesday evening last”; the lecturers defects include “an elocution that would disgrace a pig, and an odd species of gesticulation of which a baboon would have excellent reason to be ashamed.” He notices Margaret Fuller’s “very just review” of Longfellow’s Poems, published in the Daily Tribune on 10 December. From it he quotes several passages in which she argues that Longfellow is not a creative genius but a derivative writer largely indebted to the works of others. This issue of the Broadway Journal also contains Mrs. Ellet’s “Coquette’s Song” and Mrs. Osgood’s “A Shipwreck”: both poems seem to express the affection these poetesses feel for Poe.

[1845] 13 DECEMBER. John Bisco transfers Poe’s promissory note for $100, dated 24 October, to W. H. Starr (Moldenhauer [1973], p. 81).

[1845] CA. 15 DECEMBER. Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet writes Poe to describe an editorial she wishes him to publish in the Broadway Journal, condemning the dismissal of the former President of the South Carolina College in Columbia:

It might be well to mention the fact admitted in all the southern papers — that Revd Dr [Robert] Henry was removed simply on the ground that he was “unpopular” without a single charge being alleged against his character, qualifications or scholarship. In the latter he has no equal in the state. To be “unpopular” in South Carolina is as fatal as the cry of “mad dog” or the accusation of “pricer” at the west. . . . It might do also to mention how much the Trustees are fettered by their fear of not pleasing the Legislature. . . . I would write the article, but am afraid of displeasing Dr E. [her husband Dr. William H. Ellet, a professor at the College] as the Broadway Journal goes to Columbia — & I should be discovered at once.

The verso of the manuscript carries a postscript written in German, in which Mrs. Ellet tells Poe that she has a letter for him (“einen Brief für Sie”) and asks him to send for it, or to call for it at her residence this evening (MB-G).

[In the “Editorial Miscellany” of the 13 December Journal, Poe had congratulated the College on the accession of William C. Preston to its [page 605:] presidency, but indicated that “the late President” had been the victim of “some injustice,” which he promised to discuss “more fully in our next.” The Journal did not publish a second report.]

[1845] 16 DECEMBER. Mrs. Ellet sends an unsigned note via “Dispatch Post” to Poe, who has not complied with the request made in her postscript: “Do not use in any way the memorandum about the So. Ca. College. Excuse the repeated injunction — but as you would not decipher my German manuscript — I am fearful of some other mistake” (MB-G).

[1845] 16 DECEMBER. BOSTON. Robert H. Collyer writes Poe:

Your account of M. Valdemar’s Case has been universally copied in this city, and has created a very great sensation. It requires from me no apology, in stating, that I have not the least doubt of the possibility of such a phenomenon; for, I did actually restore to active animation a person who died from excessive drinking of ardent spirits. He was placed in his coffin ready for interment. . . .

I will give you the detailed account on your reply to this, which I require for publication, in order to put at rest the growing impression that your account is merely a splendid creation of your own brain, not having any truth in fact. My dear sir, I have battled the storm of public derision too long on the subject of Mesmerism, to be now found in the rear ranks (printed in 27 December Broadway Journal).

[1845] 19 DECEMBER. UTICA, NEW YORK. Charles G. Percival writes Poe, enclosing a cypher for him to translate (Poe to Percival, 3 January 1846; see also L, 2:610).

[1845] 20 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal reprints Poe’s most recent tale, its title altered to “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” In a prefatory note Poe comments that the story “has given rise to some discussion — especially in regard to the truth or falsity of the statements made. It does not become us, of course, to offer one word on the point at issue. . . . We may observe, however, that there are a certain class of people who pride themselves upon Doubt, as a profession.” He favorably reviews William H. Prescott’s Biographical and Critical Miscellanies, Lewis J. Cist’s Trifles in Verse, and the Diadem for 1846, quoting from this annual Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “A Fable,” a poem “exceedingly piquant and naive.” The Journal contains Mrs. Osgood’s poem “To ‘The Lady Geraldine,’ ” possibly intended as a reproach to Mrs. Ellet, her rival for Poe’s affection: “Was it so blest — my life’s estate — / That you with envy viewed me?”

[1845] 20 DECEMBER. BALTIMORE. On its first page the Saturday Visiter reprints Poe’s tale under the heading “Valdemar’s Case,” from the American Review [page 606:] for December. In noticing the Review Joseph Evans Snodgrass comments: “That there is something more and better than mere party politics in this journal, our first page will show. Its literary contents are of a high standard.”

[1845] AFTER 20 DECEMBER? NEW YORK. Poe goes “Off on one of his fits of drunkenness,” leaving the next issue of the Broadway Journal only “partly finished,” with “about a column or a column and a half of matter lacking.” After vainly attempting “for several days to get Poe into sobriety,” Thomas H. Lane decides “to close the publication entirely” with the 3 January 1846 issue (assertions by English, p. 1382).

[1845] 21 DECEMBER. PHILLIPS, MAINE. George W. Eveleth, a young medical student, writes Poe. He explains that he became a subscriber to Graham’s Magazine early in 1842. At that time he was puzzled by the writings of Poe, then its editor:

His criticisms, I thought, were sheer pedantries, and his tales very perplexities, very enigmas which I could not unravel. His “Mask of the Red Death,” in particular, seemed a complete mystery. I could find neither beginning, middle, nor end to it — neither design nor meaning. But I was only a boy, and unused to much thinking, or to analyzing . . . . I am but little better fitted for the station of judge of literary merit than I was three years ago . . . . I merely give my feeling. I have gone back to that old volume of the magazine, and read over and over again the reviews there, and have read, as carefully, those that have appeared in all the later volumes. But it has appeared to my mind that there was less of real, sound, philosophical criticism in the whole of these latter, than even in the one little notice of Hawthorne’s “Twice-told Tales” among the former. And I should find more pleasure in perusing now, for the twentieth time, the fantasy condemned above, than in reading a story by Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Embury, Mr. Peterson, or any of the host of fanciful news-paper contributors, for the first time.

To be short and direct, Mr. Poe is the one I have selected from all the writers of whom I know any thing, for my especial favorite. I am passionately fond of reading his productions of all kinds.

Eveleth appreciatively discusses those stories and poems he has read. He owns the Wiley and Putnam edition of Poe’s Tales; he wants to obtain all his other publications, especially “The Raven” and the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque: “I wish Mr. Poe would ‘stoop so low’ as to address by letter a rustic youngster of the backwoods of Maine, and tell him where he can get those things which he covets so much.” Eveleth would like to subscribe to the Broadway Journal, “if the expence is not too much”; he asks to be sent “a specimen-number or two” (Eveleth, pp. 4-6).

[1845] 22 DECEMBER. NEW YORK. Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt writes Poe, submitting a sonnet for the Broadway Journal (Mabbott [1937], p. 119). [page 607:]

[1845] 22 DECEMBER. WOODLANDS, SOUTH CAROLINA. William Gilmore Simms writes Evert A. Duyckinck in New York: “Will you see Poe & ask him what became of a little poem that was left with an elderly gentleman at his desk (the Bookkeeper) I believe, just before I left New York.” Simms is disappointed that Poe has not published his poem. “Request Poe to send the Broadway Journal to me hereafter at this place, & discontinue it at Charleston, except to the ‘[Southern] Patriot’ ” (Simms, 2:124-26).

[Simms was in New York from late August to early October.]

[1845] 23 DECEMBER. ALBURY, GUILDFORD, ENGLAND. Martin Farquhar Tupper writes William Jerdan, editor of the London Literary Gazette, inquiring why his review of Poe’s Tales has not been published. “What on earth’s become of Poe?” (PP-G).

[1845] 23, 24 DECEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” in two installments, from the Broadway Journal of 20 December (Mabbott [1978], 3:1232).

[1845] CA. 25 DECEMBER [1845?]. The health reformer Mrs. Mary Gove, later Mrs. Nichols, hears Poe recite “The Raven” at a Christmas party (Nichols [1855], p. 340).

[1845] 27 DECEMBER. The Broadway Journal contains Poe’s revised tale “Mystification,” formerly entitled “Von Jung, the Mystific.” He favorably reviews the Opal for 1846, The Poems of Alfred B. Street, Joel T. Headley’s The Alps and the Rhine, and J. S. Reffield’s [[Redfield’s]] edition of Shelley’s Poetical Works. Although he praises the second edition of Longfellow’s Hyperion as “tastefully printed,” he condemns the romance for its lack of suggestiveness: “Mr. Longfellow’s works seem to some minds greater than they are, on account of their perfection of finish — on account of the thoroughness with which their designs are carried out. They exhaust limited subjects. His books are books and no more. Those of men of genius are books and a dream to boot.” In the “Editorial Miscellany” Poe prints the 16 December letter from “Dr. Collyer, the eminent Mesmerist,” appending an ambiguous corroboration: “We have no doubt that Mr. Collyer is perfectly correct in all that he says — and all that he desires us to say — but the truth is, there was a very small modicum of truth in the case of M. Valdemar.”

[1845] 27 DECEMBER. Hiram Fuller becomes the editor of the Evening Mirror and Weekly Mirror, his former partners George P. Morris and Nathaniel P. Willis “retiring from the concern” (announcement in the Evening Mirror for this date). [page 608:]

[1845] 31 DECEMBER. The Evening Mirror reports that Poe has withdrawn from the Broadway Journal.

[1845] CA. 31 DECEMBER [1845?]. Mrs. Mary Gove attends a New Year’s party: “Poor Poe was there, and his image rises in memory, with those of common men, like a marble shaft among wooden pillars. He was very beautiful, though it was a pale, cold beauty . . . . His life was not the life of a man, but an artist” (Nichols [1855], pp. 341-42).

[1845] 1845? Poe frequents Bartlett and Welford’s bookstore in the Astor House. John R. Bartlett observes that Poe is “very fond” of strong coffee (Miller [1979], pp. 232-33; cf. Haskell, p. 47).

[1845] 1845? Parke Godwin, William Cullen Bryant’s son-in-law, recalls seeing Poe and Bryant “together at an evening party, given by Mrs. C. M. Kirkland, when they talked with each other for a long time. Poe was slim in person, neatly dressed, clean shaven, with a large head, dark hair, and the most wonderfully luminous eyes. Mr. Bryant was not so slight, but his head was also large, and he wore a venerable white beard. Poe approached him as some Grecian youth might be imagined to approach an image of Plato — with a look and attitude full of the profoundest reverence” (Godwin, 2:22).

[1845] 1845? Samuel S. Osgood paints a portrait of Poe (Schulte, p. 43).

[1845] LATE 1845? Poe gives Mrs. Gove a copy of his Tales, inscribing it “from her most sincere friend” (presentation copy in InU-L).

[1845] LATE 1845? PHILADELPHIA. Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell publish the third edition of The Conchologist’s First Book, dated 1845. Poe’s name is removed from the cover and the title page, although his initials are retained at the end of the preface.

[1845] LATE 1845? LONDON. Churton’s Literary Register for 1845, an annual, favorably reviews Poe’s Tales, summarizing “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (Pollin [1980], p. 25).

[1845] LATE 1845? George P. Putnam writes Wiley and Putnam’s home office in New York, stating that Tupper will notice the Tales in the Literary Gazette. Poe is subsequently informed of the forthcoming review (implied by Poe to E. A. Duyckinck, 30 January 1846).

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - TPL, 1987] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Poe Log (D. R. Thomas and D. K. Jackson) (Chapter 08 [Part 02])