Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah J. Hale — October 20, 1836 (LTR-075)


Richmond Oct: 20. 1837. [[1836]]

Dear Madam,

I was somewhat astonished to day at receiving a letter addressed to “W. G. Simms Esqr, Editor of the S. L. Messenger”, and hesitated about my right to open it, until I reflected that, in forwarding it to Mr S., I should place him in a similar dilemma. I therefore broke the seal — but the address, even within, was “W. G. Simms.” I could arrive, therefore, at no other conclusion than that, by some missapprehension, you have imagined Mr S. to be actually Editor of the Messenger, altho’ I wrote you, but lately, in that capacity myself.

Of course, under the circumstances, it is difficult to reply to one portion of your letter — that touching the prose article desired. If however, it was your wish that I should furnish it, I am grieved to say that it will be impossible for me to make a definite promise just now, as I am unfortunately overwhelmed with business, having been sadly thrown back by late illness. I regret this the more sincerely as I would be proud to find my name in any publication you edit, and as you have been so kind as to aid the Messenger so effectually in a similar manner yourself. To send you a crude or hastily written article would be injurious to me, and an insult to yourself — and I fear that I could, at present, do little more.

As Editor of the Messenger I can however say that it will afford me sincere pleasure to do you any service in my power. I shall look anxiously for the “Ladies’ Wreath.”

I am surprised and grieved to learn that your son (with whom I had a slight acquaintance at W. Point) should have been vexed about the autographs. So mere nonsense it was hardly worth while to find fault with. Most assuredly as regards yourself, Madam, I had no intention of giving offence — in respect to the “Mirror” I am somewhat less scrupulous.

With the highest regard

I am Yr Ob St
Edgar A Poe

Mrs Sarah J. Hale





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to S. J. Hale (LTR075/RCL164)