Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — December 7, 1840


St. Louis, December 7, 1840.

My Dear Poe, — Yours of the 23 of last month I received yesterday. I thought if I sat down to weave a tale for you that procrastination or a better apology might keep me from finishing the MS. till it was too late for your first number, for which you seemed to wish the communication. I therefore, as you like my “adventures of a Poet “ — you remember I read it to you — thought I would give you extracts from it. Inclosed I send them. The “steamboat story” which I gave you is, you know, an extract from the same MS.

I am obliged to you for your good opinion of “Howard Pinckney “ but more particularly for that of myself, I regret you do not like H. P. [[Howard Pinckney]] as much as C B [[Clinton Bradshaw]], but I am not certain that I do myself — our first book like our first love ever has the warmest place in our affections. About your magazine: I rejoice to know that you will have it out on the first. I look to its appearance with great pleasure, for I believe the principles expressed in your prospectus will be carried out in your practice. I went today to have an editorial notice &c taken of it and you, but found my friend out; to-morrow on my way to the office with this letter I will see to it and duly send you a paper.

There is a magazine agent here who to all appearances is honest; he is a one-legged man on a crutch and I would fain therefore believe so. I called on him today. He does a good business I should judge. He tells me that he receives two hundred copies of the “Ladies Companion” for instance, fifty of the “Knickerbocker” &c. He wrote his “terms” off for me at my request, which I herewith copy from his MS. lying before me. By the bye it seems there are two of these — agents.

“Terms of Agency. — So much per cent on yearly subscribers procured by the agents. The exclusive agency for this city to be given to them. If the publication can be put low enough by the publishers they will order so many copies on their own account each month: payment for which to be made monthly or quarterly — It would be necessary to have written or printed authority to act as agents. The work to be put up very securely 6th strong envelopes secured well with twine, to prevent its being damaged by the mail; and to be mailed with as much punctuality as possible at the earliest possible moment after it comes from the press.

Fowzer & Woodward, 39 Chestnut St St Louis.”

There, Poe, I give you Mr. Fowzer’s bulletin of terms as I received them. I truly think that he will do well for the “Penn” here. I hope that with Harrison’s election better times will come unto us who like the spider weave the web from our own brains to catch the flies. Let me hear from you. I will negotiate “terms” for you if you say so with the aforesaid Fowzer and Woodward.

The leading editor of the Bulletin is named Churchill. Lately he has been elected to the legislature and a Mr Cady has charge in C’s absence at Jefferson City the capital of this state. C is a good fellow — so I believe is Cady. Perhaps the most influential paper here is the “Republican.” I had the honor of being a guest at a public dinner given him (the editor) the other day, or rather the other night here, on which occasion I read the toast and made a speech &c. I will get him also to notice you. I write this in my sister’s room; she is indeed gratified at the kind manner in which Mrs. Clemm and your Lady mention her. She sends her regards while I look up from the paper to say that your letter is just as you talk.

In the spring I hope to take you by the hand — speaking of “taking “ can you tell me how Howard Pinckney took in the “Penn” City. My kindest remembrances to your mother and lady.

F. W. Thomas.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL262)