Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Mrs. Maria Clemm — April 7, 1844 (LTR-174)


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New-York, Sunday Morning April 7. just after breakfast.

My dear Muddy,

We have just this minute done breakfast, and I now sit down to write you about everything. I can‘t pay for the letter, because the P.O. won‘t be open to-day. —— In the first place, we arrived safe at Walnut St wharf. The driver wanted to make me pay a dollar, but I wouldn‘t. Then I had to pay a boy a levy to put the trunks in the baggage car. In the meantime I took Sis in the Depot Hotel. It was only a quarter past 6, and we had to wait till 7. We saw the Ledger & Times — nothing in either — a few words of no account in the Chronicle. — We started in good spirits, but did not get here until nearly 3 o‘clock. We went in the cars to Amboy about 40 miles from N. York, and then took the steamboat the rest of the way. — Sissy coughed none at all. When we got to the wharf it was raining hard. I left her on board the boat, after putting the trunks in the Ladies’ Cabin, and set off to buy an umbrella and look for a boarding-house. I met a man selling umbrellas and bought [o] ne for 62 <56> cents. Then I went up Greenwich St and soon found a boarding-house. It is just before you get to Cedar St on the West side going up — the left hand side. It has brown stone steps, with a porch with brown pillars. “Morrison” is the name on the door. I made a bargain in a few minutes and then got a hack and went for Sis. I was not gone more than 1/2 an hour, and she was quite astonished to see me back so soon. She didn‘t expect me for an hour. There were 2 other ladies waiting on board — so she was‘nt very lonely. — When we got to the house we had to wait about 1/2 an hour before the room [was ready]. The house is old & looks buggy, b [(excision of about 6 words ) T] he landlady is a nice chatty ol [d (excision of about 6 words ) g] ave us the back room on th [e (excision of about 6 words ) ] night & day & attendance, f [or 7 $ — (excision of the top of these words) the cheapest board I] ever knew, taking into consideration the central situation and the living. I wish Kate could see it — she would faint. Last night, for supper, we had the nicest tea you ever drank, strong & hot — wheat bread & rye bread — cheese — tea-cakes (elegant) [next page] a great dish (2 dishes) of elegant ham, and 2 of cold veal piled up like a mountain and large slices — 3 dishes of the cakes and, and every thing in the greatest profusion. No fear of starving here. The landlady seemed as if she could‘nt press us enough, and we were at home directly. Her husband is living with her — a fat good-natured old soul. There are 8 or 10 boarders — 2 or 3 of them ladies — 2 servants. — For breakfast we had excellent-flavored coffe [coffee], hot & strong — not very clear & no great deal of cream — veal cutlets, elegant ham & eggs & nice bread and butter. I never sat down to a more plentiful or a nicer breakfast. I wish you could have seen the eggs — and the great dishes of meat. I ate the first hearty breakfast I have eaten since I left our little home. Sis is delighted, and we are both in excellent spirits. She has coughed hardly any and had no night sweat. She is now busy mending my pants which I tore against a nail. I went out last night and bought a skein of silk, a skein of thread, & 2 buttons [,] a pair of slippers & a tin pan for the stove. The fire kept in all night. — We have now got 4 $ and a half left. Tomorrow I am going to try & borrow 3 $ — so that I may have a fortnight to go upon. I feel in excellent spirits & have‘nt drank a drop — so that I hope so [on] to get out of trouble. The very instant I scrape together enough money I will sent it on. You ca‘nt imagine how much we both to miss you. Sissy had a hearty cry last night, because you and Catterina weren‘t here. We are resolved to get 2 rooms the first moment we can. In the meantime it is impossible we court be more comfortable or more at home than we are. — It looks as if it was going to clear up now. — Be sure and go to the P.O. & have my letters forwarded. As soon as I write Lowell’s article, I will send it to you, & get you to get the money from Graham. Give our best loves to Catter [ina.]

[(excision, including Poe’s autograph )]

Be sure & take home the Messenger, [to Henry B. Hirst]. We hope to send for you very soon.


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Notes:

The full text of this letter was published by Arthur Hobson Quinn and Richard Hart in Edgar Allan Poe: Letters and Documents in the Enoch Pratt Free Library , New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1941, pp. 20-21 (with a photographic facsimile). It is printed here with permission of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Poe drew a large gull bracket to the left of both lines of the address and date lines.


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[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to Mrs. M. Clemm (LTR174/RCL477)