Text: W. A. Chandos Fulton, “Edgar Allan Poe,” New York Weekly Review, March 16, 1867


Edgar Allan Poe.

March 11, 1867.


DEAR SIR: In an exceedingly interesting and graphic, though rather highly-colored account of “Poe’s Death and Burial,” which appeared in the March number of Beadle’s Monthly, as a sort of addendum to Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s able and valuable paper on his life, character, and genius, Dr. Snodgrass says he “was one of only three, or perhaps four, persons — not counting the undertaker and the drivers of the hearse and a single carriage, which made the entire funeral train of the author of ‘The Raven’ — who followed the body to the grave.”

Poe’s biographers have little to say on the subject of his death and burial. What have they much to say about, save that which might well have been left unmentioned? It is quite probable, therefore, that Mr. Snodgrass’s account will be accepted by future biographers; and, if report be true, there are no less than half a dozen gentlemen engaged, at the present time, upon the life of Edgar Poe.

[Accept, dear readers, Mrs. Oakes Smith’s suggestion, and hereafter drop the name Allan. The late Mr. Willis never mentioned it. Why, I fancy, is obvious.]

There is another account of Poe’s burial, from which it would appear that Mr. Snodgrass took no part in the obsequies at all. This account is furnished by Mr. Henry Herring, in a letter to the editor of the Baltimore American. Mr. Herring (undoubtedly the “Mr. H——” alluded to by Dr. Snodgrass, in the first part of his letter) was an uncle of Poe; he married Eliza Poe, the sister of David Poe, Jr., father of the author of “The Raven.” Mr. Herring says: “I furnished a neat mahogany coffin, and Mr. Nelson Poe the hack and hearse. Mr. Nelson Poe, Judge Nelson, and myself, together with Mr. Charles Suter, the undertaker, were the only persons attending his furneral [[funeral]].”

Clearly one of these gentlemen is cursed with a treacherous memory. Or is there some ill-will between Messrs. Herring and Snodgrass — that causes the former to ignore the latter, and the latter to merely indicate the former by his initial?

Any information on the subject — calculated, I mean, to disclose the true facts of the case — would be very acceptable to the reading public.

Respecting this Mr. Herring allow me to say a few words. His letter appeared in the Baltimore American, some time last fall. It was, evidently, written for the purpose of informing the public that Miss Rosalie Poe, a sister of the deceased poet, was — owing to the ravages of the war — in very destitute circumstances. After stating that Miss Poe was coming from Richmond to Baltimore, “among her relations,” Mr. Herring says, in conclusion: “I have been thus particular in stating Rosalie’s situation, in order that those ladies and gentlemen may not forget the sister of the great poet, by contributing to her necessities at this time. Any information with respect to Rosalie Poe, only sister of Edgar Allan Poe, will be furnished by Henry Herring, No. 128 East Pratt street, Baltimore.”

Thus invited, several literary gentlemen have communicated with Mr. Herring; but, although a red stamp was enclosed in each letter, neither has, as yet, received an answer. What are we to think of Mr. Herring? Yours, etc.,








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