Text: John H. Ingram, “Appendix C,” Edgar Allan Poe: Life, Letters, and Opinions (1886), p. 444


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OF Edgar Poe’s sister, Rosalie M. Poe, little need be said. Left by her mother’s death a mere baby she was adopted by a Richmond merchant, a native of Scotland, named McKenzie, and brought up in his family. Mr. McKenzie having been ruined by the sudden peace that followed the battle of Waterloo, his sister, described as a most accomplished lady, opened a school in Richmond. This seminary was attended by members of the best families in Virginia, and thither Rosalie Poe was sent, but, although she is averred to have had similar advantages to the other young ladies, she was so hopelessly dull, that she could never attain proficiency in anything, even her handwriting, which is said to have been her strongest point, having been but indifferent. After leaving school Miss Poe continued to reside with various members of the McKenzie family till, at the conclusion of the Civil War, they became unable, or unwilling, to further befriend the unfortunate lady. Miss Poe was utterly incapable of procuring her own maintenance, and, during the last five or six years of her life, was a confirmed invalid. After having endured for some years a precarious existence, dependent upon the assistance of friends, a shelter was ultimately obtained for her in Washington, D. C., where she was admitted into the Epiphany Church Home, an Episcopalian charitable institution. She appears to have been very fond of her brother Edgar, and proud of his reputation, although, as she stated to us, in a correspondence we had with her a short time previous to her decease, it was not until she “was a good sized girl” that she “knew she had a brother or brothers;” and it was only during the last years of his life that she had any real personal knowledge of Edgar. Some slight record of her eccentricities are contained in Mrs. Weiss’s paper on “The Last Days of Edgar A. Poe.” Miss Poe died July 1874, aged sixty-four.




Mrs. Weiss’s article cited by Ingram says almost nothing about Rosalie. She provides a little more information in a short chapter in her Home Life of Poe.


[S:0 - EAP:HLLO, 1886] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. P.: His Life, Letters and Opinions (J. H. Ingram) (Appendix C)