Text: Frederick W. Thomas to Edgar Allan Poe — November 10, 1841


Washington   November 10,  1841.

My dear Friend —

This morning I received yours with regard to Judge Breckenridge’s MS: Thanks for your punctuality and promptness. I read the Judge what you said (of course leaving out what Graham said about its “heaviness”) at which he seemed much pleased.

The Judge wishes it sent to the Messenger. Please therefore, by return of mail, if convenient, to send the MS: to the Judge under cover directly: —

To Walter Forward Secretary of Treasury Washington

The Judge will then hand it to me and I will send it to White.

I am sorry that your lady likes not the music to which my song is married — discord must be the result — the opposite of what was anticipated. Lea has sent me no copies. I think I wrote you that I liked your autographic article very much. It is very pointed and shrewd. Everything is dull here as death in the political line.

You, my dear Poe, have a very high reputation here among the literatti and more than once in “dining out” I have discussed you and made conversational capital out of you  — If I were permanently fixed in office, I could get leave of absence, without stoppage of pay, and then I could slip on to the city of brotherly love and shake you by the hand.

God bless you. I was at a wedding last night, among beautiful women. Can’t you see it by my hand, for it is “Byronic” like the hands when he wrote about “The dark eye in women.” I wish I had his chances — it’s damned little I’d write about any thing except to subscribe myself ever your friend.

[[F. W. Thomas]]



Judge Breckenridge was Henry Marie Breckenridge (1786-1871). The manuscript was almost certainly a biographical notice of his father, Hugh Henry Breckenridge (1748-1816), which was printed in the Southern Literary Messenger for January 1842 (8:1-19).

Walter Forward (1786-1852) was the US Secretary of the Treasury 1841-1843 and a supporter of President John Tyler.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - F. W. Thomas to Poe (RCL343)