Text: Edgar Allan Poe to James Russell Lowell — March 27, 1843 (LTR-158)


Philadelphia March 27. 43.

My Dear Friend,

I have just received yours of the 24th and am deeply grieved, first that you should have been so unfortunate, and, secondly, that you should have thought it necessary to offer me any apology for your misfortunes. As for the few dollars you owe me — give yourself not one moment’s concern about them. I am poor, but must be very much poorer, indeed, when I even think of demanding them.

But I sincerely hope all is not as bad as you suppose it, and that, when you come to look about you, you will be able to continue “The Pioneer”. Its decease, just now, would be a most severe blow to the good cause — the cause of a Pure Taste. I have looked upon your Magazine, from its outset, as the best in America, and have lost no opportunity of expressing the opinion. Herewith I send a paper, “The Phil: Sat. Museum”, in which I have said a few words on the topic.

I am not editing this paper, although an announcement was prematurely made to that effect; but have the privilege of inserting what I please editorially. On the first of July next I hope to issue the first number of “The Stylus” a new monthly, with some novel features. I send you, also, a paper containing the Prospectus. In a few weeks I hope to forward you a specimen sheet. I [page 2:] am anxious to get a poem from yourself for the opening number, but, until you recover your health, I fear that I should be wrong in making the request.

Believe me, my dear friend, that I sympathise with you truly in your affliction. When I heard that you had returned to Boston, I hoped you were entirely well, and your letter disappoints and grieves me.

When you find yourself in condition to write, I would be indebted to you if you could put me in the way of procuring a brief article (also for my opening number) from Mr Hawthorne — whom I believe you know personally. Whatever you gave him, we should be happy to give. A part of my design is to illustrate, whatever is fairly susceptible of illustration, with finely executed wood-engravings — after the fashion of Gigoux’s “Gil Blas” or “Grandville’s Gulliver” — and I wish to get a tale from Mr Hawthorne as early as possible (if I am so fortunate as to get one at all) that I may put the illustration in the hands of the artist.

You will see by the Prospectus that we intend to give a series of portraits of the American literati, with critical sketches. I would be glad if I could so arrange matters as to have you first — provided you yourself have no serious objection. Instead of the “full-length portraits” promised in the Prospectus (which will be modified in the specimen-sheet) we shall have medallions, about 3 inches in diameter. Could you put me in possession of any likeness of yourself? — or could you do me the same favor in regard to Mr Hawthorne? — You perceive [page 3:] I proceed upon the ground that you are intimate with Mr H, and that making these inquiries would not subject you to trouble or inconvenience.

I confess that I am by no means so conversant with your own compositions (especially in prose) as I should be. Could you furnish me with some biographical & critical data, and tell me where or how I could be put in possession of your writings generally? — but I fear I am asking altogether too much.

If the 4th number of “The Pioneer” is printed, I would be obliged if you would send me an early copy through the P.O.

Please remember me to Mr Carter & believe me

Most sincerely Your friend,
Edgar A Poe

J. Russell Lowell Esqre





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. R. Lowell (LTR158/RCL427)