Text: John H. Ingram, “A Disclaimer,” Athenaeum (London, UK), series for 1876, whole no. 2516, January 15, 1876, p. 89, cols. 1-2


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[page 89, column 1, continued:]

A DISCLAIMER.

THE “Memorial Volume” of Edgar Poe’s Poems, recently alluded to in the Athenceum, has now appeared in New York. It includes my vindicatory sketch of the poet, but, introduced by the unwarrantable remark that “a considerable portion of Mr. Ingram’s memoir is gathered from material previously used by Mr. W. F. Gill, in his lecture, ‘The Romance of Edgar A. Poe,’ written in September, 1873.” That I have never received a single item of information from Mr. Gill respecting Edgar Poe, or made use of anything written by him on the same subject, and that the publisher of the “memorial volume” knew this, the following extracts will clearly prove. Last August, Mr. Widdleton, the publisher of the above book, wrote to me, with reference to the proposed republication in America of my sketch, — “ Mr. Gill, of Boston, asks us not to use your Memoir, as it covers material taken from his paper on Poe inLotos Leaves.’” In reply, I not only must emphatically denied ever having made use of any information derived from Mr. Gill, but also pointed out that my sketch was published in October, 1874, whereas ‘Lotos Leaves’ did not appear until January, 1875. Mr. Widdleton, in acknowledgement, admitted that Mr. Gill was “evidently strangely at fault,” and yet he now publishes, without previously referring to me, the above statement respecting an alleged work of September, 1873, the utter unreliability of which I can prove from Mr. Gill’s own letters to me. Hearing, early in 1874, that Mr. Gill was collecting material for a lecture on Poe, I wrote and asked him whether he had any reliable information about the poet; if so, whether he was willing to dispose of copies of the same to me, and whether he had any intention of writing the poet’s memoir. “I do intend to write the life of Poe,” he replied, “ unless you should much prefer to buy out my material, which I would sell if your preference was for that. As I have not written any minor articles, I cannot send any portion of my materials.” Responding that I was willing to purchase any reliable information about Poe other than that I already possessed, and requesting further particulars, Mr. Gill answered, but without naming any price for his collection, “Much of my material is of a peculiarly personal nature, in the form of notes taken down when conversing with Mr. G. R. Graham and others, and before I could transmit it I should be obliged to put it carefully into shape, before it could be understood by another. With all willingness to forward any material possible, I cannot, as yet, find opportunity for the necessary preliminary of arranging material.” These letters from Mr. Gill are dated June 6th and August 27th, 1874, respectively; they contained requests for copies of what I had written about Poe, requests which I complied with, and, in consequence, subsequently, had the pleasure of seeing my discoveries partially reproduced, even to the extent of an uncorrected error, but without any acknowledgment, in ‘Lotos Leaves.’

This is my case: let Mr. Gill new state where his aptly styled ‘Romance of Edgar A. Poe’ was published, and what portion of it he claims to have been reproduced in my Memoir of Edgar Poe, a work which several friends in England and [column 2:] America know to be the result of twelve years’ research.

JOHN H. INGRAM.

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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[S:0 - ATH, 1876] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - A Poe Bookshelf - A Disclaimer (J. H. Ingram, 1876)