Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — November 6, 1841


Washington   November 6.  1841.

My Dear Friend —

The above will explain itself — The Judge, who is the author of the views of Louisiana, and other works which have great merit, and who is a distinguished lawyer, &c, was speaking to me of his father’s biography which he said he had written and which he handed me for perusal — I thought it would be the thing for your work, and advised him to send it to you — He said that he had promised to send it to Mr. Colton, the editor of the North American — Since he told me he thought I was right and he would like to have the biography published in your Magazine, or the Southern Literary Messenger — I advised that of which you were the editor — I think it an excellent bit of biography — Write me frankly about it — (get it forthwith). If it does not suit your Magazine, let me know frankly and I will send it to the Southern Literary Messenger.

I have not got my song yet — though I got your letter — and have been wondering for a long time why I had not gotten one from you before — I began to get provoked with you for not writing.

My dear fellow I don’t believe that Phrenology can make much of an “extravaganza” (as you say) account of your head, or Physiology of your heart either — There, sir, beat that by way of a downright phrase to draw a blush from a modest man — “merit is always modest.”

I write this in great haste — Let me hear from you as soon as convenient with regard to the Judge’s MS: You can just show Colton this letter and the MS will of course be handed to you by him — The Judge is anxious to hear about it and as he is a friend of mine I am anxious to put his mind to rest — He can and I have no doubt will furnish you many interesting articles for your Magazine. I wish indeed that you had a friend here who had “both brains and funds”, as you say, to embark in the Penn. It will all come right some day. I believe you can make the best Magazine extant; and your friends, if you were embarking in your own boat, would feel much deeper interest, and give more aid to your exclusive work than to any other — Write me —

In haste your friend,
F. W. Thomas

You have read “Modern Chiv[[alry”]] of course — What do you think of it — The biography is true [[and]] very good — Is it too long for your Magazine —



The end note is written on the side of a page.

The “enclosure” is a letter from H. M Brackenridge to F. W. Thomas:

Washington Novr. 6: 1841 —

Dear Sir: —

About ten days ago I gave to our friend W. Colton, Esqr. a MSS biography of my late father, H. H. Brackenridge, with a view of having it published in the N. American, or some other journal of Philadelphia. This publication was intended as a precursor to the publication of a new and improved edition of “Modern Chivalry” now about to be put to press by: Messrs. Kay, brothers & Co. I have since been convinced that some well known periodical would be preferable to a dayly [[daily]] print, because the length of the article would be too great for one paper, and it would not do so well to break it up into numbers, or parts. You mentioned to me Graham’s Magazine, as well adapted to my purpose, and were so good as to say that you would interest yourself in procuring its insertion in that paper. The article is intended to be reprinted in the new edition of Modern Chivalry, provided it can be conveniently comprised in the first vol. of the work, which will depend on the quantity of matter; perhaps an abridgement may be all that can be admitted. With this understanding, I shall be thankful if you can procure its publication in Mr Graham’s paper. Mr. Colton on seeing this letter will hand over the MSS. to Mr E. A. Poe, the editor of the Magazine, unless the publication shall have been commenced in the N. American —

I am respectfully
H. M. Brackenridge

F. W. Thomas, Esqr.

This enclosure still accompanies the manuscript letter from Thomas to Poe.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL339)