Text: William E. Burton to Edgar Allan Poe — July 4, 1839


My dear Sir,

Will you please see Parmelee, and get him to do the enclosed directly, for this next number. I hope you have another chapter of the Miami Valley in, for August. Desire Morrell to obtain Mr. R. P. Smith’s life from Mr. Goodman, if he has not got it yet, but it must be done directly, because we want the matter to begin the September number, and consequently to end the next sheet. If the “life” will not be ready, we must put in something else, with another plate, for I want the next number out immediately.

The whole city of New York is in perfect confusion; the President’s visit and the celebration of the Fourth of July have turned the people’s brains. I never heard such an incessant popping and squibbing in my life before. The whole place appears under arms.

I shall endeavor to send you an article (a short one) for this number, if you have three pages to spare. You will receive it by Monday, or not at all. I have so long been absent from the pages of the Maga. that if I do not make my appearance soon my readers will imagine a total absquatulation.

Mention to C. Morrell my wish to have this next number out with all speed — ask him to see Mr. Jervis of the Chestnut St. He lives in Filbert Avenue. I wish to possess my MS. copy of the Scapegoat. He has it. Tell Charles to forward it to me, with the price charged extra to Post, of the Bowery, for the binding of the first volumes lately sent to him.

I am happy to say that my family are in good health. I shall see you in the course of a few days, though I cannot say when, exactly.

I am, my dear Sir, Yours, truly, W E Burton

Please show the other side to Morrell.

New York, July 4th 1839.



Nothing in the MS indicates that this letter was addressed to Poe, but its presence among the Griswold MSS indicates that it was received by him. Burton was at this date on an acting engagement in New York City. However, he continued to keep direct editorial control over his Gentleman’s Mauazine, giving Poe petty assignments, a practice that annoyed his assistant editor.

Charles N. Parmelee was a wood-engraver, whose illustrations appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine. Since the verve of the MS is blank, the “enclosed” must have been a separate sheet, now lost.

The Miami Valley, “By a Pioneer of Ohio,” appeared serially in the Gentleman’s Magazine in eleven installments, beginning with the December 1838 issue. The author was J. Milton Sanders, of Dayton, Ohio; see Gentleman’s Magazine, August 1840, p. 95.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - W. E. Burton to Poe (RCL188)