Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W.Thomas — November 19, 1842 (LTR-148)


Philadelphia Nov. 19. 42

My Dear Friend

Your letter of the 14th gave me new hope — only to be dashed to the ground. On the day of its receipt some of the papers announced four removals and appointments. Among the latter I observed the name — Pogue. Upon inquiry among those behind the curtain, I soon found that no such person as — Pogue has any expectation of an appt and that the name was a misprint or rather a misunderstanding of the reporters, who had heard my own name spoken of at the Custom-House. I waited 2 days, without calling on Mr Smith, as he had twice told me that “he would send for me, when he wished to swear me in.” To-day, however, hearing nothing from him, I called. I asked him if he had no good news for me yet. He replied —”No, I am instructed to make no more removals.” At this, being much astonished, I mentioned that I had heard, through a friend, from Mr. Rob. Tyler, that he was requested to appoint me. At these words he said [page 2:] roughly, —”From whom did you say?” I replied from Mr Robert Tyler. I wish you could have seen the scoundrel — for scoundrel, my dear Thomas in your private ear, he is —”From Robert Tyler!” says he —”hem! I have received orders from President Tyler to make no more appts and shall make none.” Immediately afterward, he acknowledged that he had made one appt since these instructions.

Mr. Smith has excited the thorough disgust of every Tyler man here. He is a Whig of the worst stamp and will appoint none but Whigs if he can possibly avoid it. People here laugh at the idea of his being a Tyler man. He is notoriously not such[.]

As for me, he has trialed me most shamefully. In my case, there was no need of any political shuffling or lying. I proffered my willingness to postpone my claims to those of political claimants, but he told me, upon my first interview after the Election, that if I would call on the fourth day he would swear me in. I called & he was not at home. On the next day I called again & saw him, when he told me that he would send a Messenger for me when ready: — this [page 3:] without even inquiring my place of residence — showing that he had, from the first, no design of appointing me. Well, I waited nearly a month, when, finding nearly all the appts made, I again called. He did not even ask me to be seated — scarcely spoke — muttered the words “I will send for you Mr Poe” — and that was all. My next and last interview was to-day — as I have just described.

The whole manner of the man, from the first, convinced me that he would not appoint me if he could help it. Hence the uneasiness I expressed to you when here.

Now, my dear Thomas, this insult is not to me, so much as to your friend Mr. Robert Tyler, who was so kind as to promise, and who requested my appointment.

It seems to me that the only way to serve me now, is to lay the matter once again before Mr. T. and, if possible through him, to procure a few lines from the President, directing Mr. Smith to give me the place. With these credentials he would scarcely again refuse — But I leave all to your better judgment[.]

You can have no idea of the low ruffians and boobies — men, two, without a shadow of political [page 4:] influence or caste — who have received office over my head. If Smith had the feelings of a gentleman, he would have perceived that from the very character of my claim — by which I mean my want of claim — he should have made my appt. an early one. It was a gratuitous favor intended me by Mr Rob Tyler — and he (Smith) has done his best to deprive this favor of all its grace, by delay[.] I could have forgiven all but the innumerable and altogether unnecessary falsehoods with which he insulted my common sense day after day —

I would write more, my dear Thomas, but my heart is too heavy. You have felt the misery of hope deferred & will feel for me.

Believe me ever your true friend
Edgar A Poe

Write soon & if possible relieve my suspense. You cannot imagine the trouble I am in, & have been in for the past 2 months — unable to enter into any literary arrangements — or in fact to do anything — being in hourly expectation of getting the place —





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W.Thomas (LTR148/RCL399)