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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (?), "Pennington's Steam Balloon" (A), from The Evening Mirror (New York), February 12, 1845, p. 2, col. 3.]

PENNINGTON'S STEAM BALLOON. -- We have received a letter (which we have failed in attempting to decipher as accurately as we could wish) accompanied with a lithograph of Mr. Pennington's "Steam-balloon." The machine has a singular resemblance to that of Mr. Monck Mason -- the one, we mean, which not long ago brought over from Wales, in triumph, Mr. H. Ainsworth, and a party of friends. The only material difference consists in something that looks like a two story brick house with six windows, and windmill sails, upon which the body of the balloon is at rest; and a rudder of the butter-paddle species, labelled with the words "Oregon and Texas." The note enclosing the drawing is literally as follows: --
 

City of Washington February the 10th 1845.
 

MR EDITOR OF THE MIRROR
 

(With a splendid airy-gram of the machine under way for Texas)
 

Dear Sir I take this oppertunity [[opportunity]] of sending you one of my Wood Cuts of the Steam Balloon or Aerastor. I have sent 23 or thirty of those to Different partes of the united [[sic]] States I have Lataelly Come [[lately come]] to a conclusion to Visit Europe Via, Norfolk and N York city If you se praper [[see proper]] to make any Remarks on the present subject you may also state that the object of my Visit to Europe Will be to procure friends for the purpose of putting the Aerostat into opperation [[operation]] it is No Differente by What means a sufficient patronage can be obtained Whether Public or private but the principle objeect [[object]] at present is to offer it to some of the Europeean Governments I have offered it 3 diffrent times to this Goverment to be Used in War to Reconoitre the Enemy there Answer Was that the Country has no Potent Enemy: I offered it to theme for the purpose of Carrying Government Dispatches thare Answer Was that Proffesor morses magnetic Telegraph Would be Sufficient for all purpose of that Kind I have spent 4 Sessions of Congress Exhausted my means a Waiting on them; It is Very probable that I shall Lecture and Exhibit the model for A few Days in your city and it might happen so, that I should Go to Boston but I am Not Possitive: that Would Depend a good deal on How it takes in N York I hope that you will excuse this Hurryed Epistle Bad Writing and bad Gramer
 

most Respectfully I H. PENNINGTON.


[This item was attributed to Poe by Mabbott. Mabbott's notes at the University of Iowa comment, "Refers intimately to Poe's Balloon hoax, almost sure," with "almost" crossed out. This item is not mentioned in Mabbott's notes to "The Balloon Hoax" in his edition of Poe's Tales & Sketches (1978), perhaps because it appeared nearly a year after "The Balloon Hoax." The text of the letter from Pennington is full of errors. Rather than typographical problems, these are apparently an attempt to imitate the original letter in a way that conveys Pennington's less than scrupulous writing. A few errors are corrected here in brackets, but by no means all. Along with particularly poor spelling, the letter seems to use almost no punctuation.]

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[S:0 - EM, 1845]