Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Robert T. Conrad — January 22, 1841 (LTR-108)


Philadelphia January 22. 1841.

Dear Sir,

On the other leaf of this sheet you will find a Prospectus of a new monthly journal which I am about to establish in this city, somewhat on the plan of the Richmond “Southern Literary Messenger”. In this latter I had no proprietary right; but “The Penn Magazine” will be my own. I have been led to make the attempt of establishing it through an earnest yet natural desire of rendering myself independent — I mean not so much as regards money, as in respect to my literary opinions and conduct. So far I have not only labored solely for the benefit of others (receiving for myself a miserable pittance) but have been forced to model my thoughts at the will of men whose imbecility was evident to all but themselves.

As a man of the world you will at once understand that what I most need for my work in its commencement (since I am comparatively a stranger in Philadelphia) is caste. I need the countenance of those who stand well not less in the social than in the literary world. I, certainly, have no claim whatever upon your attention, and have scarcely the honor of your personal acquaintance — but if I could obtain the influence of your name in an article (however brief) for my opening number, I feel that it would assist me beyond measure — and, without knowing definitely why, I have been induced to hope that you would not be altogether unwilling to aid me. I am the more anxious that you would do me this great favor, as there are two subjects which strike me as exceedingly proper for discussion, at this moment, in a magazine such as I propose — two subjects which could scarcely be so well treated by any one as by yourself. I mean the topics of the International Copy-Right Law, and The Laws of Libel in their relation to Literary Criticism. I am rash, however, in making any suggestions; and should be only too much delighted if you could afford me an article upon any question whatever.

The first number will be put to press on the first of February.

Looking anxiously for your reply,

I am, with high respect
Yr Ob. St
Edgar A Poe

Judge R. T. Conrad





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to R. T. Conrad (LTR108/RCL268)