Text: John Ward Ostrom, “Letters: Chapter VII,” The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: 1824-1845 (1966), pp. 277-306 (This material is protected by copyright)


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February 1845 - December 1845

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192 ⇒ TO J. AUGUSTUS SHEA [February 3, 1845] [CL 521]

[New York, February 3, 1845]

Dear Shea,

Lest I should have made some mistake in the hurry I transcribe the whole alteration.

Instead of the whole stanza commencing “Wondering at the stillness broken &c - substitute this

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless”, said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —

Till the dirges of his Hope the melancholy burden bore,

‘Nevermore — ah, nevermore!”’

At the close of the stanza preceding this, instead of “Quoth the raven Nevermore”, substitute “Then the bird said “Nevermore”.

Truly yours


Shea was connected with the Tribune (see Campbell, Poems, p. 248). [CL 521]


New-York, Feb. 24, 1845.

My Dear Griswold,

Soon after seeing you I sent you, through Zeiber, all my poems worth re-publishing, & I presume they reached you. With this I send you another package, also through Zeiber, by Burgess & Stringer. It contains in the way of Essay “Mesmeric Revelation” which I would like to go in, even if something else is omitted. I send also a portion of the “Marginalia”, in which I have marked some of the most pointed passages. In the matter of criticism I cannot put my hand upon anything that suits me — but I believe that in “funny” criticism (if you wish any such) Flaccus will convey a tolerable idea of my style, and of [page 280:] my serious manner Barnaby Rudge is a good specimen. In “Graham” you will find these. In the tale line I send you “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Man that was used up” — far more than enough, you will say — but you can select to suit yourself. I would prefer having in the “Gold Bug” to the “Murders in the R.M”, but have not a copy just now. If there is no immediate hurry for it, however, I will get one & send it you corrected. Please write & let me know if you get this. — I have taken a 3d interest in the “Broadway journal” & will be glad if you could send me anything, at any time, in the way of “Literary Intelligence”.

Truly yours,


Early in 1845 Griswold was preparing the sixth edition of his Poets and Poetry of America, published later in the year (see Jacob L. Neu, “Rufus Wilmot Griswold,” p. 133) and Poe had probably been asked at a meeting with Griswold prior to this letter to contribute not only to the Poets and Poetry of America, but also to the Prose Writers of America (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, March 3, 1847). The meeting undoubtedly followed Griswold’s letter of January 14, in which he requested Poe to submit certain data, and Poe’s reply of January 16, in which Poe suggested a meeting. “Zieber” was George B. Zieber and Co., booksellers, according to P, II, 1685. Burgess and Stringer were carriers in competition with the United States mails. Poe found such carriers more economical than the government mails; for example, he sent packages to Lowell by Harnden’s Express. Despite Poe’s suggested inclusions, Griswold published only “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which first appeared in Burton’s, V (September 1839), 145-152, and which Poe did not mention in his letter, though Griswold’s version of the letter (see Note 193) did; furthermore, Griswold’s version omitted any reference to “Marginalia.” Poe’s “3d interest in the ‘Broadway journal’ “ dated from February 2 when the contract with Bisco, the publisher, was signed (see Quinn, Poe, P. 751). Griswold’s reply to this letter, if made, as Poe requested, is not known. [CL 524]

194 ⇒ TO EDITOR OF THE BROADWAY JOURNAL [March 8, 1845] [CL 527]

[New York] March 8,1845

In a late lecture on the “Poets and Poetry of America,” delivered before an audience made up chiefly of editors and their connexions, I took occasion to speak what I know to be the truth, and I endeavoured [page 281:] so to speak it that there should be no chance of misunderstanding what it was I intended to say. I told these gentlemen to their teeth that, with a very few noble exceptions, they had been engaged for many years in a system of indiscriminate laudation of American books — a system which, more than any other one thing in the world, had tended to the depression of that “American Literature” whose elevation it was designed to effect. I said this, and very much more of a similar tendency, with as thorough a directness as I could command. Could I, at the moment, have invented any terms more explicit, wherewith to express my contempt of our general editorial course of corruption and puffery, I should have employed them beyond the shadow of a doubt; — and should I think of anything more expressive hereafter, I will endeavour either to find or to make an opportunity for its introduction to the public.

And what, for all this, had I to anticipate? In a very few cases, the open, and, in several, the silent approval of the more chivalrous portion of the press; — but in a majority of instances, I should have been weak indeed to look for anything but abuse. To the Willises — the O’Sullivans — the Duyckincks — to the choice and magnanimous few who spoke promptly in my praise, and who have since taken my hand with a more cordial and more impressive grasp than ever — to these I return, of course, my acknowledgements, for that they have rendered me my due. To my villifiers I return also such thanks as they deserve, inasmuch as without what they have done me the honor to say, there would have been much of point wanting in the compliments of my friends. Had I, indeed, from the former, received any less equivocal tokens of disapprobation, I should at this moment have been looking about me to discover what sad blunder I had committed.

I am most sincere in what I say. I thank these, my opponents, for their good will, — manifested, of course, after their own fashion. No doubt they mean me well — if they could only be brought to believe it; and I shall expect more reasonable things from them hereafter. In the mean time, I await patiently the period when they shall have fairly made an end of what they have to say — when they shall have sufficiently exalted themselves in their own opinion — and when, especially, they shall have brought me over to that precise view of the question which it is their endeavor to have me adopt.

E. A. P. [page 282:]

Concerning the lecture, see Letter 195, especially the postscript and note. N. P. Willis reviewed the lecture favorably in the Weekly Mirror, I (March 8, 1845), 347 (see Quinn, Poe, pp. 457-458). John L. O’Sullivan was editor of the Democratic Review (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 677 ff.). For Evert A. Duyckinck, see the note to Letter 201. At the time of the present letter Poe was an editor of the Broadway Journal, though his name did not appear on the title page until the following week, March 15, when for the first time the names of the editors were given. [CL 527]

195 ⇒ TO J. HUNT, JR. [March 17, 1845] [CL 529]

New-York March 17. 45

Dear Sir,

There is something in the tone of your article on “The Broadway journal” (contained in the “Archives” of the 13 th.) which induces me to trouble you with this letter.

I recognize in you an educated, an honest, a chivalrous, but, I fear, a somewhat over-hasty man. I feel that you can appreciate what I do — and that you will not fail to give me credit for what I do well: — at the same time I am not quite sure that, through sheer hurry, you might not do me an injustice which you yourself would regret even more sincerely than I. I am anxious to secure you as a friend if you can be so with a clear conscience — and it is to enable you to be so with a clear conscience that I write what I am now writing.

Let me put it to you as to a frank man of honor — Can you suppose it possible that any human being could pursue a strictly impartial course of criticism for 10 years (as I have done in the S. L. Messenger and in Graham’s Magazine) without offending irreparably a host of authors and their connexions? — but because these were offended, and gave vent at every opportunity to their spleen, would you consider my course an iota the less honorable on that account? Would you consider it just to measure my deserts by the yelpings of my foes, indepently of your own judgment in the premises, based upon an actual knowledge of what I have done?

You reply — “Certainly not,” and, because I feel that this must be your reply, I acknowledge that I am grieved to see any thing (however slight) in your paper [page 2] that has the appearance of joi[n]ing in with the outcry so very sure to be made by the ‘less[‘] honorable portion of the press under circumstances such as are my own.

I thank you sincerely for your expressions of good will — and I [page 283:] thank you for the reason that I value your opinion — when that opinion is fairly attained. But there are points at which you do me injustice.

For example, you say that I am sensitive (peculiarly so) to the strictures of others. There is no instance on record in which I have ever replied, directly or indirectly, to any strictures, personal or literary, with the single exception of my answer to Outis. You say, too, that I use a quarter of the paper in smoothing over his charges — but four-fifths of the whole space occupied is by the letter of Outis itself, to which I wish to give all the publicity in my power, with a view of giving it the more thorough refutation. The charges of which you speak — the charge of plagiarism &c — are not made at all. These are mistakes into which you have fallen, through want of time to peruse the whole of what I said, and by happening upon unlucky passages. It is, of course, improper to decide upon my reply until you have heard it, and as yet I have only commenced it by giving Outis’ letter with a few comments at random. There will be four chapters in all. My excuse for treating it at length is that it demanded an answer & no proper answer could be given in less compass — that the subject of imitation, plagiarism, &c is one in which the <subject> public has lately taken much interest & is admirably adapted to the character of a literary journal — and that I have some important developments to make, which the commonest princi- [page 3] ples of self-defence demand imperatively at my hands.

I know that you will now do me justice — that you will read what I have said & may say — and that you will absolve me, at once, of the charge of squirmishness or ill nature. If ever man had cause to be in good humor with Outis and all the world, it is precisely myself, at this moment — as hereafter you shall see.

At some future day we shall be friends, or I am much mistaken, and I will then put into your hands ample means of judging me upon my own merits.

In the meantime I ask of you, justice.

Very truly yours

Edgar A Poe.

To J. Hunt Jr.

P.S. I perceive that you have permitted some of our papers an[d t]he Boston journals to give you a wrong impression of my Lecture & its reception. It was better attended than any Lecture of Mr Hudson’s — [page 284:] by the most intellectual & refined portion of the city — and was complimented in terms which I should be ashamed to repeat, by the leading journalists of the City. See Mirror, Morning News, Inquirer New World &c. The only respectable N. Y. papers which did not praise it <w> throughout, was the Tribune whose transcendental editors or their doctrines, I attacked. My objection to the burlesque philosophy, which the Bostonians have adopted, supposing it to be Transcendentalism, is the key to the abuse of the Atlas & Transcript. So well was the Lecture received that I am about to repeat it.

Poe is replying to a criticism of his Outis paper, “Imitation,” in the Broadway Journal, March 8, 1845, pp. 147-150, by J. Hunt, Jr., in his National Archives (Ithaca, New York), March 13, 1845. (Hunt’s Archives ran from February 6 to March 13, 1845, and was dead when Poe wrote his letter, according to Quinn, Poe, p. 456.) Poe’s “four chapters” in the Broadway Journal series were: (in addition to the first, already cited) “Plagiarism” (March 15, pp. 161-163) ; “Mr. Poe’s Reply to the Letter of Outis” (March 22, pp. 178-182); “A Large Account of a Small Matter” (March 29, pp. 194-198); and “A Voluminous History of the Little Longfellow War” (April 5, pp. 211-212; Quinn, Poe, p. 454). There is no evidence of a letter from Hunt in reply to Poe’s. Poe lectured on “Poets and Poetry of America,” announced in the Evening Mirror (February 27, 1845) for the evening of February 28 (Quinn, Poe, p. 457); it was delivered in the library of the New York Historical Society (see Alexander Crane in the Omaha Sunday World Herald, July 13, 1902, p. 24, reprinted in part by Quinn, Poe, p. 458; also Allen, Israfel, p. 508. Also, an unpublished letter from W. M. Gillespie to Poe, Saturday morning [March 1, 1845] in the Boston Public Library, asks permission to copy the characterization of Mrs. Osgood, given by Poe in his lecture “last night.” Crane also states, in the Sunday World Herald, that the lecture was repeated, but does not give the date. [CL 529]

196 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [April 19, 1845] [CL 534]

[New York] Apr. 19 [1845]

Dear Griswold,

I return the proof, with many thanks for your attentions. The poems look quite as well in the short metre as in the long, and I am quite content as it is. You will perceive, however, that some of the lines have been divided at the wrong place. I have marked them right [page 285:] in the proof; but lest there should be any misapprehension, I copy them as they should be:

Stanza II.

Till the dirges of his Hope the

Melancholy burden bore

Stanza 12.

Straight I wheel’d a cushion’d seat in

Front of bird and bust and door;

Stanza 12 — again

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly

Gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Stanza 13.

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now

Burn’d into my bosom’s core;

Near the beginning of the poem you have “nodded” spelt “nooded”. In the “Sleeper” the line

Forever with uncloséd eye

should read

Forever with unopen’d eye

Is it possible to make the alteration?

Very sincerely yours


PS) I presume you understand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets (in N. Y.) I left out all that was offensive to yourself?

This is the only letter Poe is known to have written between March 21 and May 4. He was in New York, as the postal cancellation indicates; and Griswold was in Philadelphia, as the address shows. In its first published form (New York Evening Mirror, January 29, 1845), “The [page 286:] Raven” was printed in long lines, as it was in The Raven and Other Poems (New York: Wiley and Putnam, November 19, 1845 — see T. O. Mabbott, “Introduction” to his edition of The Raven and Other Poems). [CL 534]

197 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [May 4, 1845] [CL 535]

[New York, May 4, 1845]

My Dear Thomas,

In the hope that you have not yet quite given me up, as gone to Texas, or elsewhere, I sit down to write you a few words. I have been intending to do the same thing ever since I received your letter before the last — but for my life and soul I could not find, or make, an opportunity. The fact is, that being seized, of late, with a fit of industry, I put so many irons in the fire all at once, that I have been quite unable to get them out. For the last three or four months I have been working 14 or 15 hours a day — hard at it all the time — and so, whenever I took pen in hand to write, I found that I was neglecting something that would be attended to. I never knew what it was to be a slave before.

And yet, Thomas, I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life — except in hope, which is by no means bankable. I have taken a 3d pecuniary interest in the “Broadway Journal”, and for every thing I have written for it have been, of course, so much out of pocket. In the end, however, it will pay me well — at least the prospects are good. Say to Dow for me that there never has been a chance for my repaying him, without putting myself to greater inconvenience than he himself would have wished [page 2] to subject me to, had he known the state of the case. Nor am I able to pay him now. The Devil himself was never so poor. Say to Dow, also, that I am sorry he has taken to dunning in his old age — it is a diabolical practice, altogether unworthy “a gentleman & a scholar” — to say nothing of the Editor of the “Madisonian.” I wonder how he would like me to write him a series of letters — say one a week — giving him the literary gossip of New-York — or something of more general character. I would furnish him such a series for whatever he could afford to give me. If he agrees to this arrangement, ask him to state the length & character of the letters — how often — and how much [page 287:] he can give me. Remember me kindly to him & tell him I believe that dunning is his one sin — although at the same time, I do think it is the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost spoken of in the Scriptures. I am going to mail him the “Broadway journal” regularly, & hope he will honor me with an exchange.

My dear Thomas, I hope you will never imagine from any seeming neglect of mine, that I have forgotten our old friendship. There is no one in the world I would rather see at this moment than yourself; and many are the long talks we have about you and yours. Virginia & Mrs Clemm beg to be remembered to you in the kindest [page 3] terms. Do write me fully when you get this, and let me know particularly what you are about.

I send you an early number of the “B. Journal” containing my “Raven”. It was copied by Briggs, my associate, before I joined the paper. “The Raven” has had a great “run”, Thomas — but I wrote it for the express purpose of running — just as I did the “Gold-Bug”, you know. The bird beat the bug, though, all hollow.

Do not forget to write immediately, & believe me

Most sincerely your friend,


On February 11, 1845, Poe entered into a contract with John Bisco, publisher of the Broadway Journal, in which Poe agreed to assist Charles F. Briggs in editing the magazine, to lend his name as one of the editors, to furnish at least one page of original matter each week, and to “give his faithful superintendence to the general conduct” of the Journal, for which Bisco agreed to give Poe one third of the profit and to settle with him “as often as every four weeks.” The agreement was to last for one year (see a printing of the contract in Quinn, Poe, p. 751). Nothing came of Poe’s suggested contributions to the Madisonian. “The Raven” was reprinted in the Broadway Journal, February 8, 1845, the sixth number of the magazine. “The Gold Bug” had appeared in the Dollar Newspaper, June 21 and 28, 1843.

On page 3 Thomas wrote concerning Jesse E. Dow, author of “many beautiful fugitive poems.” He explained Poe’s reference to “dunning” as due to Dow’s “pressing need of the money which he had lent to Poe.” He then added, as if the note had been made at a date later than that of the letter, “Dow is now dead . . . It was delightful to hear the two talk togeather, and to see haw Poe would start at some of Dow’s STRANGE notions as Poe called them.” (The full note is given in H, XVII, 205, with some inaccuracies.) [CL 535] [page 288:]

198 ⇒ To FREDERICK W. THOMAS [May 14, 1845] [CL 537]

New-York-May. 14. 45

My Dear Thomas,

Yours of the 12 th has just reached me & I hasten to send you a translation of the cipher as desired — although I fancy it will turn out to be of no particular importance. It runs thus:

“In September 1843, our respected friend Colonel T. C. Gardner, auditor of the Post Office Department, applied at the Land Office with his warrant. His patent did not render it necessary to reside at the place.

Richard Douglas.

Lieutenant Brewster (or Shrewstead)

Brooklyn Long Island

25 September 1843.”

This cryptograph has been written by some barbarously ignorant person who spells “necessary” <for> [“]neseserri” “post office” “puwst ofis” “to” “tuw” [Marginal addition: “Brooklyn” “Bruklin”] etc. His name is signed “Richard Duglas.” You will perceive, therefore, that absolute accuracy, in decyphering the cryptograph, is impossible — but I have made it as clear as such a letter would have been out of cypher. The words which follow “Lieutenant Brewster” I have not made out & although they may be “United States Marine”. If more accuracy is required, please forward the original. In copying, abundant errors seem to have been made.

I was delighted to hear from you. Do write soon again. (I have not seen Dow yet. Willis is well & going to England next month.) I will write you more fully in a day or two. Yours truly but in haste.


On the verso of this letter Thomas wrote: “A gentleman in the land office in Washington inspecting a [illegible] in some papers in which he found a letter in cipher, and having heard me speak of my knowledge of Poe’s skill in cryptography, asked me to get him to decipher it which I did. T.”

Thomas’ letter of May 12, r845 (see Note 198) said that Dow had gone to New York for a visit, and asked if Poe ever saw Willis. Though Poe promises to write in a “day or two,” no letter is known until his last to Thomas, February 14, 1849. In connection with Poe’s cryptanalysis of “Brewster’s” item, see W. K. Wimsatt, Jr., Publications of [page 289:] the Modern Language Association, LVIII (September 1943), 765-766, in which he says Poe was hasty in his solution and made errors, the original cypher not being done by an ignorant person. [CL 537]

199 ⇒ TO JOHN KEESE [ May 26, 1845] [CL 540]

[New York]

Mr John Keese,

Dr Sir,

Permit me to thank you for the many expressions of good will in your letter of the 24th — also for the books you were so kind as to send me a few days before — very especially for Mrs Smith’s beautiful Poems.

It will give me great pleasure to hand you, in the course of this week, a brief article for “The Opal”.

With respect & esteem,

Yr Ob. St.

Edgar A Poe

May 26.th. [1845]

The 1846 Opal: a pure gift for the holy days, was edited by John Keese, who also edited the one for 1847; neither one, however, has any contribution by Poe (in this connection, see Letter 200). The 1846 Opal was reviewed in the Broadway Journal, December 27, 1845, p. 386. For Poe’s review of the poetry of Elizabeth Oakes Smith, see the Broadway Journal, August 23, 1845 (reprinted in H, XII, 228-233); Keese was her editor. [CL 540]

200 ⇒ TO JOHN KEESE [June 9, 1845] [CL 544]

[New York]

My Dear Sir,

With this note I have the honor to send you a brief sketch for “The Opal” — and hope that I am not too late.

Whatever you yourself think the value of the article, please remit to the Office of the “Broadway Journal”.

With sincere esteem

Yr Ob. St

Edgar A Poe

Mr John Keese.

June 9.th [1845]

Apparently, Poe’s article was too late; at least it was not published in the 1846 Opal, edited by Keese, either in the New York printing or [page 290:] in the Greenfield [Massachusetts] printing (copy in the Newberry Library, Chicago). [CL 544]

201 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [June 26, 1845] [CL 545]

[New York, June 26, 1845]

Thursday Morning.

My Dear Mr Duyckinck,

I am still dreadfully unwell, and fear that I shall be very seriously ill. Some matters of domestic affliction have also happened which deprive me of what little energy I have left — and I have resolved to give up the B. Journal and retire to the country for six months, or perhaps a year, as the sole means of recruiting my health and spirits. Is it not possible that yourself or Mr Matthews might give me a trifle for my interest in the paper? Or, if this cannot be effected, might I venture to ask you for an advance of $50 on the faith of the “American Parnassus”? — which I will finish as soon as possible. If you could oblige me in this manner I would feel myself under the deepest obligation. Will you be so kind as to reply by the bearer?

Most sincerely yours

Edgar A Poe

E. A. Dyckinck Esqr

Evert A. Duyckinck and Cornelius Mathews had edited Arcturus, December 1840-May 1842, in New York (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 711); later, Duyckinck became the editor of the Literary World, February-April 1847, which he and his brother George edited and published from October 1848, until December 185; (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, p. 766). Duyckinck, a frequent contributor to various periodicals of the day, also selected and edited Poe’s Tales, which Wiley and Putnam had just published (see the note to Letter 237). The advance of $50 on the “American Parnassus” (Literary America, see the note to Letter 240) was apparently made (see Letter 215). The bearer was probably Mrs. Clemm, but no written reply is known. [CL 545]

202 ⇒ TO EDWARD J. THOMAS [ante July 5, 1845] [CL 548]

Office of the Broadway Journal

[New York ante July 5, 1845]

Edward J. Thomas, Esq.

Sir, —

As I have not had the pleasure of hearing from you since our interview at your office, may I ask of you to state to me distinctly, whether [page 291:] I am to consider the charge of forgery urged by you against myself, in the presence of a common friend, as originating with yourself or Mr. Benjamin?

Your ob. Serv’t.,

Edgar A. Poe

In Godey’s for July 1846, Poe belittled the abilities of Thomas Dunn English, poet and editor of the Aristidean (1845). In his reply in the New York Evening Mirror, June 23, English attacked Poe’s character, stating that “a merchant of this city had accused him [Poe] of committing forgery.” Poe’s rejoinder identified the “merchant” as “a gentleman of high respectability — Mr. Edward J. Thomas, of Broad Street.” But Thomas’ letter (cited in Note 202) makes clear that Thomas merely repeated the rumor of forgery, that he traced it to the originator, who is unidentified, and found it without basis. Apparently, Park Benjamin was in no way responsible for making the charge, and the “common friend” is identified as Mrs. Frances S. Osgood (see Thomas’ letter to her, in Quinn, Poe, p. 505; see also, Ingram, II, 85, n.). [CL 548]

203 ⇒ TO NEILSON POE [August 8, 1845] [CL 553]

New-York: August 8/ 45.

My Dear Sir,

It gave me sincere pleasure to receive a letter from you — but I fear you will think me very discourteous in not sooner replying. I have deferred my answer, however, from day to day, in hope of procuring some papers relating to my grandfather. In this I have failed. Mrs C. has no memoranda of the kind you mention, and all of which I have any knowledge are on file at Annapolis.

I thank you for the kind interest you take in my welfare. We all speak very frequently of yourself and family, and regret that, hitherto, we have seen and known so little of each other. Virginia, in especial, is much pained at the total separation from her sisters. She has been, and is still, in precarious health. About four years ago she ruptured a blood-vessel, in singing, and has never recovered from the accident. I fear that she never will. Mrs Clemm is quite well: — both beg to be kindly remembered.

I regret that I had no opportunity of seeing you during my last visit to Baltimore. Virginia and myself, however, will very probably spend a few weeks in your city during the fall, when we hope to be with you frequently. When you see any of Mr Herring’s family, will you say that we are anxious to hear from them? [page 292:]

I rejoice to learn that you prosper at all points. I hear of you often. “The B. Journal” flourishes — but in January I shall establish a Magazine.

Very cordially Yours,

Edgar A Poe

Neilson Poe, son of Jacob Poe, was Maria Clemm’s cousin, and Poe’s second cousin. Virginia’s “sisters” would be her half-sisters, daughters of her father by a former marriage; Josephine Poe, Neilson’s wife, was one of them (see Quinn, Poe, p. 726). Mrs. Clemm’s sister, Elisabeth, had married Henry Herring (see Quinn, Poe, p. 17). [CL 553]

204 ⇒ TO THOMAS W. FIELD [August 9, 1845] [CL 554]

New-York: Aug. 9. 45

Dear Sir,

It is nearly a month since I received a note from you, requesting an interview — but, by some inadvertence, I placed it (your note) among my pile of “answered letters”. This will account to you for my seeming discourtesy in not sooner giving you an answer.

I have now to say that I shall be happy to see you at any time, at my residence 195 East Broadway. You will generally find me at home in the morning before 10.

Very Respy

Yr. Ob. St

Edgar A Poe

Mr Thomas W. Field.

Thomas W. Field was probably the florist, schoolteacher, and poet who lived in Brooklyn and who is mentioned in the Dictionary of American Biography (VI, 376). The present letter shows Poe’s address on August 9, 1845; he moved to 85 Amity Street before October 1 (see the note to Letter 215). [CL 554]

205 ⇒ TO DR. THOMAS H. CHIVERS [August 11, 1845] [CL 558]

New-York: Aug. 11th / 45.

My Dear Friend,

Mr Bisco says to me that, with the loan of $50, for a couple of months, he would be put out of all difficulty in respect to the publication [page 293:] of the “Broadway Journal”. Its success is decided, and will eventually make us a fortune. It would be, therefore, a great pity that anything of a trifling nature (such as a want of $5 o) should interfere with our prospects. You know that I have no money at command myself, and therefore I venture to ask <for> you for the loan required. If you can aid us, I know you [will]. In 2 months certainly the money will be repaid.

My prospects about “Maga” are glorious. I will be with you in <ten weeks> 6 weeks from [this] date.

Cordially your friend

Edgar A Poe

Please reply as soon as possible. [There is] a [long review] of your Poems in the Southern Patriot. [I presume] you have seen [it]!

In connection with the plea for $ 50, see the note to Letter 211. Poe’s proposed visit with Chivers in Georgia apparently was not made. For the review of Chivers’ The Lost Pleiad, see the note to Letter 140. [CL 558]

206 ⇒ TO LAUGHTON OSBORN [August 15, 1845] [CL 560]

New York August 15, ‘45

My Dear Mr. Osborn:

I am neither disposed, nor can I afford, to give up your friendship so easily; and, to preserve it, have no hesitation in overstepping the boundary-line of what is usually called editorial decorum.

In view of the public I am responsible for all that has appeared in “The Broadway Journal,” since the period when my name, as one of its editors, was placed upon its title-page. But, in fact, my connextion with the paper during the first six months of its existence, was simply that of contributor. With the making up of the journal — with the reception or rejection of communications — I had no more to do than yourself. The article to which you refer had never been seen by me until you pointed it out. It has the air of having been written by Mr. Benjamin himself.

I am happy in being able to re-assure you that whenever I have had occasion to speak of “The Vision of Rubeta,” I have borne testimony [page 294:] to its high merits. Your “Confessions of a Poet” I read many years ago, with a very profound sentiment of admiration for its author, and sympathy with what I supposed his real rather than his fictitious experiences-although until the receipt of your letter, I had been attributing the work to John Neal. In one or two instances I have written warmly in its defence-. I cannot understand how you can fail to perceive, intuitively, that I should appreciate your works. I did not doubt, for an instant, that you would place a proper estimate upon mine. You will at least see that I am frank.

It is quite a coincidence that, although Halleck is the only poet of whom we both spoke cordially in approbation, on the night when I saw you, I should in his case also have been subjected to just such misconception as arose in your own. Some months ago there appeared in the “Broadway Journal” a very malevolent and flippant attack on “Alnwick Castle,” and this attack (since I had been known to write previous criticisms on poetical works, for the journal) was universally attributed to me — and even Halleck himself was misled — although in two biographies, and at least half a dozen long critiques — to say nothing of a public lecture -I had uniformly treated him with respect. Never[the]less — for the sake of that “editorial courtesy” which I now violate, and by which I shall never consent to be bound again, I endured the loss of Mr. Halleck’s good will, until by mere accident, he discovered that the offensive article had been written by a brother poet, Lowell, at the malicious instigation of my former associate, Mr. Briggs — Mr. Lowell especially requesting of Mr. B. that the critique should not have the name of its author appended (as was usual with us in all cases of communication) but appear editorially — although he well knew that the odium would inevitably fall upon myself. — I hope you will see that you have been hasty. I hope this, because I am sincerely anxious that we shall continue friends.

With high respect and esteem,

Edgar A. Poe.

The Broadway Journal for March 8, 1845 (vol. I, no. 10) carried for the first time the names of its editors: C. F. Briggs, Edgar A. Poe, and H. C. Watson. Poe certainly was the author of the article that Osborn refers to and that Poe disclaims having seen. Osborn’s letter reads in part: “With the copy of ‘Arthur C[arryl]’ (1841) which you had permitted me to present you, I took the liberty of enclosing, [page 295:] otherwise, ‘The Confessions of a Poet’ . . . I was under the delusion that Mrs. Poe would take an interest in them . . . You may judge my surprise when the first thing that struck my eyes on opening the nos. of the journal was that delightable and very dainty passage ‘What is the Vision of [Rubeta] . . . gilded swill trough overflowing with Dunciad and water,’ above which stands with its associates’ names, the name of ‘Edgar A. Poe’ as editor. Who was the writer of this squill . . .” Osborn’s The Confessions o f a Poet (1835) was noticed by Poe in the SLM, April 1835 (reprinted in H, VIII, 2-3; see also “The Literati,” Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1846, which is reprinted in H, XV, 44-49) ; for Poe’s reference to Arthur Carryl, see H, XV, 48. The “Vision of Rubeta” was first published in 1838. Though Poe disclaimed authorship of the “squill” against “The Vision of Rubeta,” evidence points to a contrary conclusion. A comparison of the opening paragraph of Poe’s review of Wilmer’s The Quacks of Helicon (Graham’s, August 1841; reprinted in H, X, 182), of the first paragraph of the anonymous review of Park Benjamin’s “Infatuation” under the title of “Satirical Poems” in the Broadway Journal, March 15, 1845 (reprinted in H, XII, 107), of the fifth paragraph in “The Literati,” Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1846 (H, XV, 47), where Poe is treating Laughton Osborn, and of the first paragraph of Poe’s review of Lowell’s A Fable for Critics, in the SLM, March 1849, will point to the same author for all the articles. The general tone, point of view, and phraseology are all Poe’s. Thus the “anonymous” author of the Broadway Journal article, which contains the “squill,” is Poe. The squill in the Broadway Journal reads: “ — and what is the ‘Vision of Rubeta’ but an illimitable gilded swill-trough overflowing with Dunciad and water?” and in the SLM: “ — and what is ‘The Vision of Rubeta’ more than a vast gilded swill-trough overflowing with Dunciad and water?” The “attack on ‘Alnwick Castle’” appeared in the Broadway Journal, May 3, 1845. [CL 560]

207 ⇒ TO DR. THOMAS H. CHIVERS [August 29, 1845] [CL 563]

New-York: Aug. 29. [1845]

My Dear Friend,

I sit down, in the midst of all the hurry of getting out the paper, to reply to your letter, dated 25th. What can you be thinking about? You complain of me for not doing things which I had no idea that you wanted done. Do you not see that my short letter to you was written on the very day in which yours was addressed to me? How, then, could you expect mine to be a reply to yours? You must have been making a voyage to “Dreamland”. [page 296:]

What you say about the $ 50, too, puzzles me. You write — “Well I suppose you must have it” — but it does not come. Is it possible that you mailed it in the letter? I presume not; but that you merely refer to your intention of sending it. For Heaven’s sake do — as soon as you get this-for almost everything (as concerns the paper) depends upon it. It would be a thousand pities to give up just as every thing flourishes. As soon as, by hook or by crook, I can get Wiley & Putnam’s book done, I shall have plenty of money — $ 500 at least — & will punctually repay you.

I have been making all kinds of inquiries about the “broken” money — but as yet have not found it. To day I am on a new scent & may possibly succeed. The “Southern Patriot” is published in Charleston. I have no copy — but you can see it anywhere on file [page 2] I presume, at Washington. The “Morning News” of this city had, also, a handsome notice, digested from mine in the B. J. Colton’s Magazine will also have a favorable one. You may depend upon it that I will take good care of you interest & fame, but let me do it in my own way.

Thank you for the play — poems — and Luciferian Revelation — as soon as I get a chance I will use them. The L. R. is great — & your last poem is a noble one. I send on to day, the books you mention.

Virginia and Mrs Clemm send their warmest love to you & your wife & children. We all feel as if we knew your family.

God bless you, my friend.

Truly yours,


I have not touched a drop of the “ashes” since you left N. Y. — & I am resolved not to touch a drop as long as I live. I will be with you as soon as it is in any manner possible. I depend on you for the $50.

At this time Poe was preparing his The Raven and Other Poems, which was published by Wiley and Putnam, November 19, 1845 (see Mabbott, The Raven and Other Poems, p. xi). Concerning Poe’s expectation of $500, see Letter 215. The reference to “broken” money concerns Chivers’ request that Poe find the Commercial Bank of Florida, in Wall Street, and obtain certain securities so that Chivers will not lose $210 on October 1 (see Chivers to Poe, September 9, 1845, in H, XVII, 210-215). The Southern Patriot reviewed Chivers’ The Lost Pleiad (see Letter 140). Washington, Georgia, was near Oaky Grove, Chivers’ home. Chivers placed a cross after the “L. R.” on page 2, and noted at the end of the letter: “Alluding to a M.S. on Poetry, entitled [page 297:] Lyes Regalio, then in his possession”; he also placed a cross after “ashes” in the postscript, and noted at the end of the letter: “This was written in allusion to my having asked him in one of my letters touching his intemperance — ‘What would God think of that Angel who should condescend to dust his feet in the ashes of Hell?’ “ [CL 563 ]

208 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [September 10, 1845] [CL 565]

My Dear Duyckinck,

I leave for you what I think the best of my Poems. They are very few — including those only which have not been published in volume form. If they can be made to fill a book, it will be better to publish them alone — but if not, I can hand you some “Dramatic Scenes” from the S. L. Messenger (2d Vol) and “Al Aaraaf” and “Tamerlane,” two juvenile poems of some length.

Truly yours


Wednesday 10 th [September, 1845]

[New York]

The moderate success of Poe’s Tales (New York: Wiley and Putnam, June 1845; see also Letter 237) encouraged the same publishers to bring out Poe’s poems as No. VIII in their series, Library of American Books (see The Raven and Other Poems, ed. Mabbott, opposite p. xiv). “Dramatic Scenes” were five scenes from “Politian,” SLM, December 1835January 1836. [CL 565]

209 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [September 11, 1845] [CL 567]

[New York, September 11, 1845]

Thursday morning

My dear Sir

Your note of yesterday was not received until this morning.

I will call at your home to-night, about 8, in the hope of finding you disengaged.

Very truly yours,

Edgar A. Poe.

E. A. Duyckinck Esq.

Poe is replying to Duyckinck’s note of [September 10, 1845] (unlocated), which is the only letter Duyckinck is known to have written to Poe, though other notes or letters were certainly sent. [CL 567] [page 298:]

210 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [September 28, 1845] [CL 568]

New-York: Sep. 28. [1845]

My Dear Griswold,

Please do not forget to send the S. L. Messenger — Vol 2. I will take especial care of it.

Truly yours


Since the dramatic scenes from “Politian” were included in The Raven volume (pp. 31-51), Griswold must have sent the volume of the SLM as Poe requested; if there was any correspondence in consequence, — it is unknown. [CL 568]

211 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [October 26, 1845] [CL 574]

New-York : Oct. 26. 45,

My Dear Griswold,

Will you aid me at a pinch — at one of the greatest pinches conceivable? If you will, I will be indebted to you, for life. After a prodigious deal of manoeuvring, I have succeeded in getting the “Broadway journal” entirely within my own control. It will be a fortune to me if I can hold it — and I can do it easily with a very trifling aid from my friends. May I count you as one? Lend me $50 and you shall never have cause to regret it.

Truly yours,

Edgar A Poe

Reply by return of mail, if possible.

This is but one of the letters to various correspondents (Chivers, Kennedy, Duyckinck, George Poe, Halleck) in which Poe sought to borrow money with which to keep alive the Broadway Journal, into full possession of which he came on October 24, 1845 (see Quinn, Poe, pp. 752-753). Only Greeley, Halleck, and perhaps Chivers are known to have loaned him money. [CL 574]

212 ⇒ TO SARAH J. HALE [October 26, 1845] [CL 575]

My Dear Madam,

I have been a week absent from the city, and have been overwhelmed with business since my return — may I beg you, therefore, to [page 299:] pardon my seeming discourtesy in not sooner thanking you for your sweet poem, and for the high honor you confer on me in the matter of your proposed volume? Undoubtedly, it would give me great pleasure to hear from you farther on the subject, or to be of any service to you in any manner that you may suggest. — I have some acquaintance with Mess. Clark and Austin, and believe that you will find them, as publishers, every thing that you could wish.

Command me, my Dear Madam, in all things, and believe me

Very Respectfully & Truly Yours

Edgar A Poe.

Mrs S. J. Hale.

New-York : Octo. 26 — 45.

Poe lectured before the Boston Lyceum, October 16. His “business” was raising money to buy the Broadway Journal. Mrs. Hale’s “sweet poem” may have been her Alice Ray, which he reviewed in the Broadway Journal, November 1, 1845, pp. 256-257, praising it generously for “delicacy and fancy,” “truthful simplicity and grace of manner,” and “point and force of expression.” Regarding the “proposed volume,” see Letter 225. [CL 575]

213 ⇒ TO JOHN P. KENNEDY [October 26, 1845] [CL 576]

New-York: Octo. 26. 45.

My Dear Mr Kennedy,

When you were in New-York I made frequent endeavours to meet you — but in vain — as I was forced to go to Boston.

I stand much in need of your aid, and beg you to afford it me, if possible — for the sake of the position which you already have enabled me to obtain. By a series of manoeuvres almost incomprehensible to myself, I have succeeded in getting rid, one by one, of all my associates in “The Broadway Journal”, and (as you will see by last week’s paper) have now become sole editor and owner. It will be a fortune to me if I can hold it — and if I can hold it for one month I am quite safe — as you shall see. I have exhausted all my immediate resources in the purchase — and I now write to ask you for a small loan — say $ 50. I will punctually return it in 3 months.

Most truly yours,

Edgar A. Poe

Hon. J. P. Kennedy. [page 300:]

At the time of Kennedy’s October visit to New York, Poe made at least one attempt to see his old friend, but finding him absent, left a card (see Kennedy’s letter cited in Note 213). For Poe’s lecture in Boston, see the note to Letter 185. Poe asked loans of various friends at this time, with only partial success. For the failure of the Broadway Journal, see Letter 225, and note. Kennedy did not send the money, saying, “Good wishes are pretty nearly all the capital I have for such speculations” (Kennedy’s letter, cited in Note 213 ). However, he closed his letter with a warm invitation to Poe to visit him at any time he came to Baltimore. [CL 576]

214 ⇒ TO [FRANCES SARGENT OSGOOD] [late October 1845] [CL 580]

[New York, late October, 1845]

My Dear Madam,

Through some inadvertence at the Office of the B. Journal, I failed to receive your kind and altogether delightful note until this morning. Thank you a thousand times for your sweet poem, and for the valued words of flattery which accompanied it.

Business, of late, has made of me so great a slave that I shall not be able to spend an evening with you until Thursday next.

[Signature missing]

A floral design appears just above the salutation. Someone, perhaps Griswold, has written at the head of page 1, “Poe to Mrs Osgood,” an identification that is not denied by the content of the letter. Mrs. Osgood’s (?) note, cited by Poe, is otherwise unknown, its date being merely ante late October, 1845. [CL 580]

215 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [November 13, 1845] [CL 583]

Thursday Morning-13th. [November, 1845]

85 Amity St. [New York]

My Dear Mr Duyckinck,

For the first time during two months I find myself entirely myself — dreadfully sick and depressed, but still myself. I seem to have just awakened from some horrible dream, in which all was confusion, and suffering — relieved only by the constant sense of your kindness, and that of one or two other considerate friends. I really believe that I have been mad -but indeed I have had abundant reason to be so. [page 301:] I have made up my mind to a step which will preserve me, for the future, from at least the greater portion of the troubles which have beset me. In the meantime, I have need of the most active exertion to extricate myself from the embarrassments into which I have already fallen — and my object in writing you this note is, (once again) to beg your aid. Of course I need not say to you that my most urgent trouble is the want of ready money. I find that what I said to you about the prospects of the B. J. is strictly correct. The most trifling immediate relief would put it on an excellent footing. All that I want is time in which to look about me; and I think that it is your power to afford me this.

I have already drawn from Mr Wiley, first $30 — then 10 (from yourself) — then 50 (on account of the “Parnassus”) — then 20 (when I went to Boston) — and finally 25 — in all 135. Mr Wiley owes me, for the Poems, 75, and admitting that 1500 of the Tales have been sold, and that I am to receive 8 cts a copy — the amount which you named, if I remember — [page 2] admitting this, he will owe me $120 on them: — in all 195. Deducting what I have received there is a balance of 60 in my favor. If I understood you, a few days ago, Mr W. was to settle with me in February. Now, you will already have anticipated my request. It is that you would ask Mr W. to give me, to-day, in lieu of all farther claim, a certain sum whatever he may think advisable. So dreadfully am I pressed, that I would willingly take even the $60 actually due, (in lieu of all farther demand) than wait until February: — but I am sure that you will do the best for me that you can.

Please send your answer to 85 Amity St. and believe me — with the most sincere friendship and ardent gratitude


Edgar A Poe.

Poe’s “embarrassments” probably had to do, in part at least, with his securing loans for the purchase of the Broadway Journal (see the note to Letter 211 and Letter 216). Poe lectured in Boston, October 16, 1845 (see the note to Letter 185). Concerning the “Parnassus” (Poe’s projected Literary America), see Letter 201; also Letter 240 and note). For the publication of the “Poems,” see the note to Letter 208. This is Poe’s first reference to his Amity Street address (see the note to Letter 239), but in a letter from Laughton Osborn to Poe, October 1, 1845, Osborn speaks of Poe as living at 85 Amity Street. [CL 583] [page 302:]

216 ⇒ TO DR. THOMAS H. CHIVERS [November 15, 1845]

New-York: Nov. 15- 45

My Dear Friend —

Beyond doubt you must think that I treat you ill in not answering your letters — but it is utterly impossible to conceive how busy I have been. The Broadway Journals I now send, will give you some idea of the reason. I have been buying out the paper, and of course you must be aware that I have had a tough time of it — making all kind of maneuvres — and editing the paper, without aid from any one, all the time. I have succeeded, however, as you see — bought it out entirely, and paid for it all, with the exception of 140 $ which will fall due on the lrst of January next. I will make a fortune of it yet. You see yourself what a host of advertising I have. For Heaven’s sake, my dear friend, help me now if you can — at once — for now is my time of peril. If I live until next month I shall be beyond the need of aid. If you can send me the $45, for Heaven’s sake do it, by return of mail — or if not all, a part. Time with me now, is money & money more than time. I wish you were here that I might explain to you my hopes & prospects — but in a letter it is impossible — for remember that I have to do everything myself edit the paper — get it to press — and attend to [page 2] the multitudinous business besides.

Believe me — will you not? — my dear friend — that it is through no want of disposition to write you that I have failed to do so: — the moments I now spend in penning these words are gold themselves — & more. By & bye I shall have time to breathe — and then I will write you fully.

You are wrong (as usual) about Archtas & Orīon — both are as I accent them. Look in any phonographic Dictionary — say Bolles. Besides, wherever the words occur in <poe> ancient poetry, they are as I give them. What is the use of disputing an obvious point? You are wrong too, throughout, in what you say about the poem “Orion” -there is not the shadow of an error, in its rhythm, from α to ω.

Never dreamed that you did not get the paper regularly until Bisco told me it was not sent. You must have thought it very strange.

So help me Heaven, I have sent and gone personally in all the nooks & corners of Broker-Land & such a thing as the money you speak of — is not to be obtained. [page 303:]

[page 3] Write soon — soon — & help me if you can. I send you my Poems.

God bless you —

E. A. P.

We all send our warmest love to yourself, your wife & family.

For Poe’s purchase of the Broadway Journal, see the note to Letter 211; for his loss of it, see Quinn, Poe, p. 494. In the postscript to Chivers’ letter of October 30 is a promise of $45, to be sent “soon”; whether it ever came is unknown. “Orion” was a poem by the Englishman R. H. Horne, and was lengthily reviewed by Poe in Graham’s, March 1844 (see H, XI, 249-275). Poe’s “Poems” refers to The Raven and Other Poems (see the note to Letter 207); what he sent Chivers was apparently an advance copy. [CL 585]

217 ⇒ TO GEORGE POE [November 30, 1845] [CL 586]

New-York : Nov. 30. 45.

Dear Sir,

Since the period when (no doubt for good reasons) you declined aiding me with the loan of $50, I have perseveringly struggled, against a thousand difficulties, and have succeeded, although not in making money, still in attaining a position in the world of Letters, of which, under the circumstances, I have no reason to be ashamed.

For these reasons — because I feel that I have exerted myself to the utmost — and because I believe that you will appreciate my efforts to elevate the family name — I now appeal to you once more for aid.

With this letter I send you a number of “The Broadway Journal” of which, hitherto, I have been merely editor and one third proprietor. I have lately purchased the whole paper — and, if I can retain it, it will be a fortune to me in a short time: — but I have exhausted all my resources in the purchase. In this emergency I have thought that you might not be indisposed to assist me. The loan of $200 would put me above all difficulty.

I refrain from saying any more — for I feel that if your heart is kindly disposed towards me, I have already [. . .]

[MS. cut off] [page 304:]

No letter is known from Poe to George Poe requesting a loan of $50; however, the request may have been in the letter of July 14, 1839, cited in Sir Edmund T. Bewley’s article, “The True Ancestry of Edgar Allan Poe” (New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, XXXVIII (1907), pp. 55-69); two short passages of genealogy are quoted from the letter, which has never been published in full, and is unlocated. If the July 14 letter contained the request, George Poe’s reply is unlocated. Concerning Poe’s purchase of the Broadway Journal, see Letter 211. For more about George Poe and his previous financial assistance to Mrs. Clemm, see Letter 53. [CL 586]

218 ⇒ TO GEORGE WATTERSTON [November 1845] [CL 588]

Dr Sir,

If I am not mistaken, you were one of the earliest subscribers to “The Southern Literary Messenger”, and aided me very materially while it remained under my control. For this reason, and because I am naturally anxious for the support of those whose good opinion I value — because, too, I believe that my objects, as regards our National Literature, are such as your judgment approves — I venture now frankly to solicit your subscription and influence for “The Broadway Journal”, of which I send you a specimen number.

With high respect

Yr. Mo. Ob. St.

Edgar A: Poe.

New-York. Nov. 1845.

George Watterston, novelist and critic, contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger (see David K. Jackson, Poe and the Southern Literary Messenger, pp. 52-54), and was the first librarian of Congress (see Jackson, p. 97). [CL 587] **[[CL 588]]**

219 ⇒ TO FITZ-GREENE HALLECK [December 1, 1845] [CL 592]

New York, Dec. 1, 1845

My Dear Mr. Halleck:

On the part of one or two persons who are much imbittered against me, there is a deliberate attempt now being made to involve me in ruin, by destroying The Broadway Journal. I could easily frustrate them, but for my total want of money, and of the necessary time in [page 305:] which to procure it: the knowledge of this has given my enemies the opportunities desired.

In this emergency — without leisure to think whether I am acting improperly — I venture to appeal to you. The sum I need is $100. If you could loan me for three months any portion of it, I will not be ungrateful.

Truly yours,

Edgar A. Poe.

According to James Grant Wilson (Life and Letters of Fitz-Greene Halleck, pp. 430-431), Halleck sent the money, but it was never repaid. No letter enclosing the loan is known. For Poe’s various attempts to borrow money to save the Broadway Journal, see his letters for the closing months of 1845. However, the magazine died in January 1846 (see Letter 225, and note). [CL 592]

220 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [December 10, 1845] [CL 594]

[New York] Dec. 10 [1845]

[. . . . .]

If you could get the enclosed article (by Mrs. Ellett) in the Morning News, editorially, I would take it as a great favor. . . .


Though the present item is but a fragment, it seems genuine. The request is similar to others made of Duyckinck; also there seems to be some connection between the present letter and the letters from Mrs. Ellett to Poe of the same period (see the note to Letter 290). [CL 594]

220a ⇒ TO [EVERT A. DUYCKINCK?] [1845] [CL 602a]

[New York 1845]

Do you know anything of a work on Oil Painting lately published and sent (if I am not mistaken) by Mess. W & P. to the office of the B. J. ?

Yours &c

Edgar A. Poe

Saturday Morning.

The 1rst vol of “The Wandering Jew” you can get from Mr English.

This note seems to refer to a recent publication by Wiley and Putnam, sent for review by Poe in the Broadway Journal. Though the correspondent [page 306:] is not identified, he may well have been Evert A. Duyckinck, friend of Poe and reader for the Wiley and Putnam firm. “Mr English” refers to Thomas Dunn English, who at this time was on friendly terms with Poe. [CL 602a]

220b ⇒ TO WILLIAM M. GILLESPIE [1845] [CL 602b]

[New York] [1845]

My Dear Gillespie,

An unlucky contretemps, connected with the getting out of the “Journal” will, I fear, detain me until after 10 to night — too late for the appointment.

If you can (this evening) see Mrs 0. & make any decent apology for me, I will be greatly obliged. Any evening (except to-morrow) I shall be disengaged, and will be happy to accompany you.

In haste Yours truly


Thursday Evening

8. O’clock.

William M. Gillespie, according to Poe in Literati (Godey’s, May 1846; reprinted in H, XV, 19-20), apparently aided Park Benjamin in editing the New World. In 1845 Gillespie became Professor of Civil Engineering at Union College, Schenectady, New York (see Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 288-289). Gillespie seems to have given the present letter to “Mrs O” (Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood), who in turn gave it to her grand niece, Miss Helen Tetlow. [CL 602b]

221 ⇒ TO ———— [1845-1846] [CL 603]


I am exceedingly anxious. If you would be so kind as to look me up, I will consider it a great favor. You understand the whole story is purely fiction. —

Your opinion is of great consideration. —

Yr Ob. St

Edgar A. Poe

Poe may be referring to “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” published in December 1845; or to “Mesmeric Revelation,” published in August 1844. [CL 603]




In the original printing, an unusal special character is used between the number of the letter and the text describing the correspondents. In the current presentation, this special character has been rendered as a double right-pointing arrow. For the sake of the reader, the line that identifies a letter is given in a larger font, and in bold. The date of the letter, the letter number and check list number have also been added.


[S:0 - OLT66, 1966] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (J. W. Ostrom) (Letters: Chapter VII)