Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W. Thomas — February 25, 1843 (LTR-153)


Philadelphia, Feb. 25, 1843.

My Dear Thomas,

Herewith I forward a “Saturday Museum” containing a Biography and caricature, both of myself. I am ugly enough God knows, but not quite so bad as that. The biographer is H. W. Hirst, of this city. I put into his hands your package, as returned, and he has taken the liberty of stating his indebtedness for memoranda to yourself — a slight extension of the truth for which I pray you to excuse him. He is a warm friend of yours by the bye — and a warm friend is a matter of moment at all times >>,<< but especially in this age of lukewarmness. I have also been guilty of an indiscretion in quoting from a private letter of yours to myself — I could not forego the temptation of letting the world know how well you thought of me.

On the outside of the paper you will see a Prospectus of “The Stylus” — my old “Penn” revived & remodelled under better auspices. I am anxious to hear your opinion of it. I have managed, at last, to secure, I think, the great object — a partner possessing ample capital, and, at the same time, so little self-esteem, as to allow me entire control of the editorial conduct. He gives me, also, a half interest, and is to furnish funds for all the business operations — I agreeing to supply, for the first year, the literary matter. This will puzzle me no little, but I must do my best — write as much as possible myself, under my own name and pseudonyms, and hope for the casual aid of my friends, until the first stage of infancy is surpassed.

The articles of copartnership have been signed & sealed for some weeks, and I should have written you before, informing you of my good luck, but that I was in hope of sending you, at the same time, a specimen-sheet. Some little delay has occurred in getting it out, on account of paper. In the meantime all arrangements are progressing with spirit. We shall make the most magnificent Magazine as regards externals, ever seen. The finest paper, bold type, in single column, and superb wood-engravings (in the manner of the French illustrated [page 2:] edition of “Gil Blas” by Gigoux, or “Robinson Crusoe” by Grandville.

There are 3 objects I would give a great deal to accomplish. Of the first I have some hope — but of the 2 last exceedingly little, unless you aid me. In the first place, I wish an article from yourself for my opening number — in the second, one from Mr Rob. Tyler — in the 3d one from Judge Upshur. If I could get all this, I should be made — but I despair. Judge Upshur wrote some things for “The Messenger” during my editorship, and if I could get him interested in the scheme he might, by good management, be induced to give me an article, I care not how brief, or on what subject, with his name. It would be worth to me at least $500, and give me caste at once. I think him >>both<< as a reasoner, as a speaker, and as a writer, absolutely unsurpassed. I have the very highest opinion of his abilities. There is no man in America from whom I so strongly covet an article. Is it procurable?

In a few weeks, at farthest, I hope to take you by the hand. In the meantime write & let me know how you come on.

About a week since I enclosed an introductory letter to yourself in one to a friend of mine (Professor Wyatt) now in Washington. I presume you have seen him. He is much of a gentleman & I think you will be pleased with him. Virginia & Mrs Clemm beg to be remembered.

Truly your friend,
Edgar A Poe

F. W. Thomas Esqre

P.S. Smith not rejected yet! — Ah, if I could only get the Inspectorship, or something similar, now — how completely it would put me out of all difficulty.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W. Thomas (LTR153/RCL418)