Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W. Thomas — September 12, 1842 (LTR-143)


Philadelphia, Sep. 12 1842

My Dear Thomas

I did not receive yours of the 2d until yesterday — why God only knows, as I either went or sent every-day to the P. Office. Neither have I seen Mr Beard, who, I presume, had some difficulty in finding my residence: since you were here I have moved out in the neighborhood of Fairmount. I have often heard of Beard, from friends who knew him personally, and should have been glad to make his acquaintance.

A thousand sincere thanks for your kind offices in the matter of the appointment. So far, nothing has been done here in the way of reform. Thos. S. Smith is to have the Collectorship, but it appears has not yet received his commission — a fact which occasions much surprise among the quid-nuncs.

Should I obtain the office — and of course I can no longer doubt that I shall obtain it — I shall feel that to you alone I am indebted. You have shown yourself a true friend, and I am not likely to forget it, however impotent I may be, now or hereafter, to reciprocate your many kindnesses. I would give the world to clasp you by the hand & assure you, personally, of my gratitude. I hope it will not be long before we meet.

In the event of getting the place, I am undetermined what literary, course to pursue. Much will depend upon the salary. Graham has made me a good offer to return. He is not [page 2:] especially pleased with Griswold — nor is any one else, with the exception of the Rev. gentleman himself, who has gotten himself into quite a hornet’s nest, by his “Poets & Poetry”. It appears you gave him personal offence by delay in replying to his demand for information touching Mrs Welby, I believe, or somebody else. Hence his omission of you in the body of the book; for he had prepared quite a long article from my MS. and had selected several pages for quotation. He is a pretty fellow to set himself up as an honest judge, or even as a capable one. — About two months since, we were talking about the book, when I said that I had thought of reviewing it in full for the “Democratic Review”, but found my design anticipated by an article from that ass O’sullivan, and that I knew no other work in which a notice would be readily admissible. Griswold said, in reply —”You need not trouble yourself about the publication of the review, should you decide upon writing it; for I will attend to all that. I will get it in some reputable work, and look to it for the usual pay; in the meantime handing you whatever your charge would be”. This, you see, was an ingenious insinuation of a bribe to puff his book. I accepted his offer forthwith, wrote the review, handed it to him and received from him the compensation: — he never daring to look over the M.S. in my presence, and taking it for granted that all was right. But that review has not yet appeared, and I am doubtful if it ever will. I wrote it precisely as I would have written under ordinary circumstances; and be sure there was no predominance of praise.

Should I go back to Graham I will endeavor to bring about [page 3:] some improvements in the general appearance of the Magazine, & above all, to get rid of the quackery which now infects it.

If I do not get the appt I should not be surprised if I joined Foster in the establishment of a Mag: in New-York. He has made me an offer to join him. I suppose you know that he now edits the “Aurora”.

Touching your poem. Should you publish it, Boston offers the best facilities — but I feel sure that you will get no publisher to print it, except on your own account. Reason — Copy-Right Laws. However, were I in your place, and could contrive it in any way, I would print it at my own expense — of course without reference to emolument, which is not to be hoped. It would make only a small volume, & the cost of publishing it even in such style as Hoffman’s last poems, could not be much, absolutely. It should be handsomely printed or not at all.

When is Rob. Tyler to issue his promised poem?

Have you seen how Benjamin & Tasistro have been playing Kilkenny cats with each other? I have always told Graham that Tasistro stole every thing, worth reading, which he offered for sale.

What is it about Ingraham? He has done for himself, in the opinion of all honest men, by his chicaneries.

I am happy to say that Virginia’s health has slightly improved My spirits are proportionately good. Perhaps all will yet go well. Write soon & believe me ever your true friend

Edgar A Poe





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W. Thomas (LTR143/RCL388)