Text: E. Burke Fisher to Edgar Allan Poe — July 9, 1839


Pittsburgh, July 9, 1839
Examiner Office

My dear Sir,

Your favor of the 5th inst came duly to hand and contents noted. I am truly obliged by the receipt of your criticism and find it admirable — scarcely severe enough but still Willis is a kind of national pet, and we must regard his faults as we do those of a spoiled stripling, in the hope he will amend. He is certainly a brilliant fellow — with conceit enough to shock Sans Souci, but to be admired notwithstanding.

I regret that you did not sooner receive the Examiner. I ordered and thought it was sent to you, but the clerk neglected to send it — I now repair the omission. It is hardly fair to judge by what it is. I was going uphill, and had a thousand things to worry and retard me, but I am fairly afloat, and with your friendly cooperation, as well as others I shall be enabled to make the Examiner all I could wish. With you to assist me in the department of reviews, that portion of the Magazine shall become what the Messenger was before you quitted. By the way, the Messenger degenerates. It is shackled to twaddleism with lemonade stories and vile rhymes — with here and there a valuable paper —

You make the terms of compensation too low, but in my experimental stage I cannot do otherwise that accept the favor — for so I deem it — of obliging myself to pay $3 per page — I will in part requite it, by being punctual in remitting as currently due.

In regard to the sponsorship of articles, I am, as before, satisfied that whatever censure the articles create, shall rest upon my shoulders. An author’s “bark is worse than his bite,” and even if he maintains himself in the one position assailed, there is always some other weak point to which you may shift the question. I am anxious to bring down upon the Examiner some of their bite, provided that the grounds we take are tenable. We will, therefore, if you so please, sail on without a flag, or, at least, under the black one, until you may wish to join the regular navy, when I, of course, shall rest satisfied to abide by any suggestion you may feel it advisable to make as my guides in the premises.

That you may know how much manuscript makes a page of the Ex, I mention that the article sent forms between four and five if not more. It may possibly run to six. I care not how long you make your regular series. — Say 10 pages per month. The subject demands room —

Is there any chance of your ever visiting our smoky city? We are not without some points, although limited in number, and I should be well pleased to have you spend a short or long time with me, just as you might please. I am a bachelor, with a household of women in the shape of mother and sisters, and your wife might pass her time very agreeably. I make the offer in a spirit of selfishness, for I long to have some chat on matters more to my taste than discussions relative to the realm of pig iron, and the probabilities of a dull demand for manufactured articles — You understand me.

But I must close, for your time is valuable, and I have a thousand things demanding attention.

Truly Your Friend
E Burke Fisher

Edgar A Poe Esq.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - E. B. Fisher to Poe (RCL190)