Miss Sara Sigourney Rice


Photograph of Miss S. S. Rice

Miss Sara Sigourney Rice, from a photograph taken about 1870, courtesy of her great-niece.

(Born: September 29, 1831 - Died: October 30, 1909)

Miss Rice was a Baltimore school teacher (Western Female High School) and elocutionist. Under the authority of the Public School Teacher’s Association, she organized and led the effort to provide for a memorial to mark Poe’s burial place in the Westminster Burying grounds. To raise funds, she and other teachers encouraged students to contribute “pennies for Poe” and held a variety of special events. Early in the 1870s, she also arranged an evening of music and elocution to benefit Poe’s aging and destitute sister, Rosalie.

Following the dedication of the monument on November 25, 1875, Miss Rice published Edgar Allan Poe: A Memorial Volume, Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers, 1877. This book includes substantial extracts from the presentations and testimonial letters from Tennyson, Longfellow, Stephen Mallarme and others. The originals of these letters were donated to the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

In 1890, she prepared the first of three small volumes of readings and recitations published by Edgar S. Werner, who was the director of a school for stutterers and specialized in books on elocution.


[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Baltimore - Poe’s Memorial Grave - Miss Sara Sigourney Rice