Text: Anonymous, “Edgar Allan Poe: Unveiling and Dedication of the Monument,” New York Herald (New York, NY), November 18, 1875, p. 6, col. 5


[page 3, column 1:]



Tardy Justice to the Memory of One of America's Greatest Poets.


Unveiling and Dedication of the Monument in Westminster Church.


Pleasant Letters from the Dead Poet's Living Brothers.


Dust and Mire Swept from the Name of the Author of The Raven.”



BALTIMORE, Nov. 17, 1875.

The ceremonies attending the unveiling and dedication of the monument in memory of the poet, Edgar Allan Poe, In Westminster churchyard, took place this afternoon, the exercises preliminary to the unveiling taking place In the Western Female High School, in which building, adjoining the churchyard, the initial movement was taken in October, 1865, to devise some means beat adapted to perpetuate the memory of one who has contributed so largely to American literature. The day was bright aud In every respect propitious to a happy completion of the exercises. Before two o’clock, the hour of commencing, the vast hall of the school house was crowded, many unable to obtain seats standing in the aisles. The platform was occupied by invited guests, nearly all of whom were citizens of Baltimore, with the exception of Walt Whitman, who was the only poet present. At a quarter past two o’clock the exercises commenced, with the singing of Verdi's “Pilgrims’ Chorus,” by the Philharmonic Society, which was rendered with fine effect, after which Professor William Elliott rose and delivered a historical sketch of the monument.


from poets, in reply to invitatiuns to be present, by Miss Sarah [[Sara]] S. Rice, then took place, as follows: —


CUMMINGTON, Mass. Sept. 18, 1875.

I return my thanks for the obliging invitation contained in your letter of the 14th. For various reasons, however, among which Im my advanced age. it is not in my power to be present at the ceremonial of which you speak, and I nave only to make my best acknowledgments to those who have done me the honor to think of me in connection with them. I am truly yours.


Miss S. S. RICE


BOSTON, Sept. 18, 1875.

I regret that I cannot be present at the ceremony of placing a monument over the grave of your poet. Your city has already honored valor and patriotism by the erection of stately columns. Republics are said to be ungrateful, perhaps because they have short memories, forgetting wrongs as quickly as benefits, but your city has shown that it can remember and has taught us all the lesson of gratitude.

No one, surely, needs a mausoleum less than the poet.

His monument shall be his gentle verse,

Which eyes not yet created shall o’er read

And tongues to be, his being shall rehearse.

When all the breathers of this world are dead.

Yet we would not leave him without stone to mark the spot where the hands that waked to ecstacy the living lyre were laid in the dust He who can confer an immortality which will outlast bronze and granite deserves this poor tribute, not so much for his sake as for ours. The hearts of all who reverence the inspiration of genius, who can look tenderly upon the infirmities attending it too often, who can feel for its (misfortunes, will sympathize with you as you gather around the resting place of all that was mortal of Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe, and raise the stone inscribed with one of the few names which will outlive the graven record raised to perpetuate its remembrance. Believe me, very truly yours,



AMESBURG, 9th month, 21st, 1875.

The extraordinary genius of Edgar A. Poe is now acknowledged the world over, and the proposed tribute to his memory indicates a full appreciation of his rare intellectual gifts on the part of the city of his birth. As a matter of principle I do not favor ostentatious monuments for the dead, but sometimes it seems the only way to express the appreciation which circumstances in some measure may have denied to the living man.

I am not able to be present at the inauguration of the monument. Pray express my thanks to the ladies and gentlemen, for whom thy loiter speaks, for the invitation, acknowledging the kind terms in which that invitation was conveyed on thy part. I am very truly thy friend,



LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 8, 1875.

I thank you for the good opinion which led you to propose the writing of a poem on my part for the prospective inauguration of the Poe memorial. While it is not in my power to comply with the Haltering request, or to be present at the ceremonial, I tender to the committee my thanks, nevertheless, for the honor conferred on me. There would seem to be a slight appropriateness in the proposal made to me inasmuch as my husband (Colonel Preston, of the Virginia Military College) was a boyish friend of Poe's when they went to school together in Richmond, who used to sit on the same bench with him, aud together with him pore over the same pages of Horace. To him as his earliest literary critic — a boy of fourteen — Poe was accustomed to bring his first verses. Even then, youth as he was, he was distinguished by many of the characteristics which marked his after life.

With every good wish for the entire success of your memorial services, and with renewed thanks to your committee for this mark of regard, believe me sincerely yours,



BROOKLYN, N. Y., Oct. 10, 1875.

Of all my letters received during in long confinement by sickness yours of the 16th ult. is the first I have attempted to answer. I thank you for the kind invitation to assist at the Poe monument ceremonies. As I cannot hope to be present on that occasion I avail myself of your friendly note to express my interest in the event and my admiration of the noble-hearted men and a women of Baltimore, who, by the erection of a beautiful and appropriate monument to the memory of Edgar A. Poe, perform a patriotic office which was primarily and peculiarly the duty, as it should have been the pride, of the American literati toward one whose original genius has done so much to adorn and distinguish American literature. Yours truly,



NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 1875.

DEAR MADAM — On the 15th of this month I am to be in Wilmington, Ohio, for a lecture; aud on the eve of a long Western trip I find myself so crowded with important duties that I cannot even write the letter I have in my heart. I am very glad the genius of Poe is to be formally recognized by ceremony and monument, as it has been long appreciated by untold thousands of people wherever the English language is spoken. I am sorry I cannot be present at the inaugural ceremonies; but you will not miss me. I shall only miss you and the loyal throng who will gather to bring the dead poet their honors. Thanking you kindly for your invitation

I am, yours truly,



CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 18, 1875.

I regret very much that it will be quite impossible for me to be present at the very interesting ceremony of unveiling the monument to Poe. I need not assure you that I sympathize heartily with the sentiment which led to its erection. I remain very truly yours,




ISLE OF WIGHT, Jan. 21, 1875.

I have long been acquainted with Poe's works and am an admirer of them. I am obliged to you for your expressions about myself and your promise of sending me the design for the poet's monument, and beg you to believe me yours, very truly,



CAMBRIDGE, August 20, 1575.

DEAR MADAM — The only lines of Mr. Poe that I now recall as in any way appropriate to the purpose you mention are from a poem entitled “For Annie.” They are: —

The fever colled living

Is conquered at last.

But I dare say you will be able to find something better. In great haste, yours truly,


Letters were also read from Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Sarah Helen Whitman and L. D. Lewis, of Brooklyn. At the conclusion of the letters Mrs. Rice read the following


Cold is the pæan honor sings,

And chill is glory's icy breath,

And pale the garland memory firings

To grace the iron doors of death.

Fame's echoing thunders, long and lone.

The pomp of pride that decks the pall,

The plaudits of the vacant crowd —

One word of love is worth them all.

With dews of grief our eyes are dim;

Ah! let the tear of sorrow start,

And honor, in ourselves and him,

The great end lender human heart.

Through many a night of want and woe

His frenzied spirit wandered wild —

Till kind disaster laid him low,

And Heaven reclaimed its wayward child.

Through many a year his fame has grown,

Like midnight vast, like starlight sweet.

Till now his genius fills a throne,

And nations marvel at its feet.

One meed of justice long delayed,

One crowning grace Ma virtues crave;

Ah! take, thou great aud Injured shade,

The love that sanctifies the grave. [column 2:]

God's mercy guard, in peaceful sleep.

The sacred dust that slumbers here,

And while around his tomb we weep,

God bless for us the mourner's tear.

And may his spirit, hovering nigh,

Pierce the dense cloud of darkness through.

And know with fame that cannot die,

He had the world's affection, too.


The chorus, “He watches over Israel,” from the oratorio of Elijah, was sung. Professor Elliott read a letter from G. W. Childs, of Philadelphia, regretting that he could not be present.

Professor H. E. Shepherd then delivered an address on the literary character of Edgar Allan Poe. After a solo by Miss Ella Gordon, W. F. Gill, of Boston, recited with line effect the poem, “The Raven.” J. H. B. Latrobe, then read the following paper, giving personal


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN — It has been announced that I am to give to this meeting “my personal recollections” of the great poet whose name has attracted the crowd before me. The inference from such an announcement would he that my acquaintance was such us to enable me to describe him as one friend or close acquaintance has it in his power to describe another. You may be surprised, then, when I say that I never saw Edgar Allan Poe but once, and that our interview did not last an hour. Those, therefore, who invited me to be present here to day gave to my assent a scope which was not justified by what I said or by what it was in my power to do. The opportunity is afforded, however, of narrating the circumstances that led to our brief interview and of correcting misstatements in regard, as it turned oat, to a not unimportant event of his life. In adding an account of what occurred when we met I shall have excused myself for taking the liberty, under the circumstances, of appearing before you at all.


About the year 1832 there was a newspaper in Baltimore called The Saturday Visitor [[Visiter]], an ephemeral publication, that aimed at amusing its readers with light literary productions rather than the news of the day. One of its efforts was to procure original tales, and to this end it offered on this occasion two prizes, one for the best story and the other for the best short poem — $100 for the first and $50 for the last. The judges appointed by the editor of the Visitor were the late John P. Kennedy, Dr. James H. Miller, now deceased, and myself, und accordingly we met one pleasant afternoon in the back parlor of my house, in Mulberry street, and, seated around a table garnished with some old wine and some good cigars, commenced our critical labors. As I happened then to be the youngest of the three, I was required to open the packages of prose and poetry respectively and read the contents. Alongside of me was a basket to hold what we might reject. I remember well that the first production taken from the top of the prose pile was in a woman's hand, written very distinctly, as indeed were all the articles submitted, and so neatly that it seemed a pity not to award to it it prize. It was ruthlessly criticised, however, for it was ridiculously bad, namby-pamby in the extreme, full of sentiment and of the school then known as the Laura Matilda school. The first page would have consigned it to the basket as our critical guillotine beheaded it. Gallantry, however, caused it to be read through, when it went, along with the envelope containing the name of the writer, which, of course, remained unknown. The next piece I have no recollection or except that a dozen lines consigned it to the basket. I remember that the third, perhaps the fourth, production was recognized as a translation from the French, with a terrific denouement. It was a poor translation, too; for falling into literary accuracy, the writer had, in many places, followed the French idioms. The story was not without merit; but the Sir Fretful Plagiary of a translator described the charge of Sheridan in the Critic, of being like a beggar who had stolen another man's child and clothed it in his own rags. Of the remaining productions I have no recollection. Some were condemned after a few sentences had been read. Some were laid aside for reconsideration — not many. These last failed to pass muster afterward, and the committee had about made up their minds that there was nothing before them to which they would award a prize when I noticed a small


that had until then accidentally escaped attention, possibly because so unlike, externally, the bundles of manuscript that it was to compete with. Opening it, an envelope, with a motto corresponding with one in the book, appeared, and we found that our prose examination was still incomplete. Instead of the common cursive manuscript the writing was in Roman characters — an imitation of printing. I remember that while reading the first page to myself, Mr. Kennedy and the Doctor had filled their glasses and lit their cigars, and when I said that we seemed at last to have a prospect of awarding the prize they laughed as though they doubted it and settled themselves in their comfortable chairs as I began to read. I had not proceeded far before my colleagues became as much interested as myself. The first tale finished, I went to the second, then to the next, and did not stop until I had gone through the volume, interrupted only by such exclamations as “Capital!” “Excellent!” “How odd!” and the like from my companions. There was


tliey listened to; there was no uncertain grammar, no futile phraseology, no ill-placed punctuation, no worn out truisms, no strong thought elaborated into weakness. Logic and imagination were combined in rare consistency. Sometimes the writer created in his mind a world of his own and then described it — a world so weird, so strange

Far down by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid-region of Wier,

Far down by the dark tarn of Auber.

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Wier —

and withal go fascinating, so wonderfully graphic, that it seemed for the moment to have ail the truth of a reality. There was an analysis of complicated facts; an unravelling of circumstantial evidence, that won the lawyer judges; an amount of accurate scientific knowledge that charmed their accomplished colleague, a pure classic diction that delighted all three.

When the reading was completed there was a difficulty of choice. Portions of the isles were read again, and finally the committee selected


One of the scenes was called “A Descent into the Maelstrom,” and this was at one time preferred. I cannot now recall the names of all the tales. There must have been six or eight. But all the circumstances of the selection ultimately made have been so often since referred to in conversation that my memory has been kept fresh, and I see my fellow judges over their wine and cigars in their easy chairs — both genial, hearty men, in pleasant mood — as distinctly now as though I were describing an event of yesterday.


Having made the selection, and awarded the $100 prize, not, as has been said most unjustly and ill-naturedly, because the manuscript was legible, but because of the unquestionable genius and great originality of the writer, we were at liberty to open the envelope that identified him, and there we found in the note whose motto corresponded with that of the little volume, the name which I see you anticipate, of Edgar Allan Poe. The statement in Dr. Griswold's life, prefixed to the common edition of Poe's works, that “it was unanimously decided by the committee that the prize should be given to the first genius who had written legibly — not another MS. was unfolded,” is absolutely untrue.


Refreshed by this most unexpected change in the character of the contributions, the committee refilled their glasses and relit their cigars, and the reader began upon the poetry. This, although better in the main than the prose, was bad enough, and when we had gone, more or less, thoroughly over the pile of manuscript, two pieces only were deemed worthy of consideration. The title of one win “The Coliseum,” the written printing of which told that it was Poe's. The title of the other I have forgotten, but upon opening the accompanying envelope we found that the author was Mr. John H. Hewitt, still living in Baltimore, and well known, I believe, in the musical world, both as a poet and composer. I am not prepared to say that the committee may not have been biased in awarding the prize to Mr. Hewitt by the fact that they had already given the $100 prize to Mr. Poe. I recollect, however, that we agreed that under any circumstances the excellence of Mr. Hewitt's poem deserved a reward, and we gave the smaller prize to him with clear consciences.

I believe that up to this time, not one of the committee had ever seen Mr. Poe, and it is my impression that I was the only one that had ever heard of him. When his name was read I remembered that on one occasion Mr. William Gwynn. a prominent member of the Bar of Baltimore, had shown me the very neat manuscript of a poem called “Al Aaraaf,” which he spoke of as indicative of a tendency to anything but the business of matter of fact life. Those of my hearers who are familiar with the poet's works will recall it us one of his earlier productions. Although Mr. Gwynn, besides being an admirable lawyer, was noted as the author of wise and witty epigrams in verse. “Al Aaraaf was not in his vein, and what ho raid of the writer had not prepared me for the productions before the committee. His name, I am sure, was not at the lime a familiar one.


The next number of the Saturday Visitor [[Visiter]] contained the “MS. found in a Bottle,” and announced the author. My office, in those days, was in the building still occupied by the Mechanics’ Bank, and I was seated at my desk on the Monday following the publication of the tale, when a gentleman entered and introduced himself as the writer, saying that ho came to thank me, as one of the committee, for the award in his favor. Of this interview, the only one I ever had with Mr. Poe, my recollection is very distinct indeed, and it requires but a small effort of imagination to place him before me now, as plainly almost as I see anyone of my audience. He was, if anything, below the middle size, and yet could not be described as a small man. His figure was remarkably good, and he carried himself erect and well, as one who had been trained to it. He was dressed in black and his frock coat was buttoned to the throat, where it met the black stock, then almost universally worn. Not a particle of while was visible. Coat, hat, boots and gloves had very evidently seen their best days, but so far as brushing and mending could go everything had been done, apparently, to make them presentable. On most men his clothes would have looked shabby and seedy, but there was something about this man that prevented one from criticising his garments, and the details I have mentioned were only recalled afterward.


however, was that the award in Mr. Poe's favor was not inopportune. Gentleman was written all over him. His manner was easy and quiet, and although he came to return thanks for what he regarded as deserving them, there was nothing obsequious in what he said or did. His features I am unable to describe in detail. His forehead was high and remarkable for the great development at the temple. This was the characteristic of his head, which you noticed at once, and which I have never forgotten. The expression of his face was grave, almost sad, except when he was engaged in conversation, when it became animated and changeable. His voice, I remember, was very pleasing in its tone [column 3:] and well modulated, almost mythical, and his words were wall chosen and unhesitating. Taking a seat, we conversed a while on ordinary topics, and he informed me that Mr. Kennedy, my colleague in the committee, on whom he had already called, had either given or had promised to give him a letter to the Southern Literary Messenger, which he hoped would procure him employment. I asked whether he was then occupied with any literary labor. He replied that he was engaged in


and at once went into a somewhat learned disquisition upon the laws of gravity, the height of the earth's atmosphere and the capacities of the balloons, warming in his speech as he proceeded. Presently, speaking in the first person, he began the voyage, after describing the preliminary arrangements, as you will and then set forth in one of his tales, called “The Adventure of One Hans Pfaal,” and, leaving the earth and becoming more and more animated, he described his sensations as he ascended higher and higher, until at last he reached the point in space where the moon's attraction overcame that of the earth, when there was a sudden bouleversement of the car and a great confusion among its tenants. By this time the speaker had become so excited, spoke so rapidly, gesticulating much, that when the turn up side down took place, and he clapped his hands and stamped with his foot by way of emphasis, I was carried along with him, and, for aught to the contrary that I now remember, may have fancied myself the companion of his aerial journey. The climax of the tale was the reversal I have mentioned. When he had finished his description he apologized for his excitability, which he laughed at himself. The conversation then turned upon other subjects, and soon afterward he look his leave.


I never saw him more. Mr. Griswold's statement that Mr. Kennedy accompanied him (Poe) to a clothing store and purchased for him a respectable suit, with a change of linen, and sent him to a bath, is a sheer fabrication. What I heard of him again and again, year after year, in common with all English speaking people, more and more, it is unnecessary to say; heard of him in terms of praise sometimes, sometimes in terms of censure, as we all have done, until now, that he has passed away, leaving his fame behind him to last while our language lasts. I have grown to think of him only as the author who gave to the world the “Raven” and the “Bells,” and many a gem besides of noble verse; who illustrated the power of the English tongue in prose compositions not less logical than imaginative, and I forget the above, whether with or without foundation, that ignorance, prejudice or envy has heaped upon his memory. Unfortunate in the first biography following his death, when the author, with a temper difficult to understand, actually seemed to enjoy his depreciation of the poet's life, Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe was


and his story was told by an unkindly tongue, and the efforts since made by friends to do him justice are slowly succeeding In demonstrating that there was in him an amount of good which, in all fairness, should be set off against that which we must regret while we attempt to palliate.

To Poe there may well he applied the verse of one of the most gifted of our poetesses, addressed to a great name in a very different sphere: —

The moss upon thy memory, no!

Not while one note is rung

Of those divine immortal lays

Milton and Shakespeare sung,

Not till the gloom of night suspends

The Anglo Saxon tongue.


When the paper was concluded the assemblage repaired to the churchyard and streets adjacent, and Professor Elliott unveiled the monument, placing upon it a chaplet of evergreens.

The following dirge, by Mrs. Eleanor Fullerton, adapted to the music of Barnby's “Sweet and Low,” was then sung:


Softly sleep, softly sleep.

Sleep in thy lowly bed

Sleep, sleep in slumbers deep.

Waked not by earthy tread.

Over thy grave let the wild winds moan,

Under this fair memorial stone,

Poet, thou slumberest well.

All thy sorrows o’er, sleep forevermore, sleep!

Peace and rest, peace and rest.

O! weary soul, be thine,

Rest, rest in earth's cool breast.

Sheltered from storm and shine.

Darkness no more obscures thy way.

Out of the night eternal day divine.

Reams forth with power

All thy sorrows o’er, sleep forevermore, sleep!

Mr. Gill, of Boston, recited “Annabel Lee,” and the proceedings were ended.


Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in 1800, or, as others believe, in Baltimore in 1813. His parents belonged to the stage; but, both dying when he was young, a kind-hearted merchant of Richmond, Mr. John Allan, adopted the orphan boy and did much for him. He took him to England and put him to school there at Stoke Newington. On returning to America Poe entered the University of Virginia. It is not true, as most of his biographers assert, with the exception of Mr. R. H. Stoddard, — whose memoir of the poet is correct and painstaking, that Poe, after leaving the university, started on a visionary mission to Europe to help the Greeks to win their freedom; but he had a brother who did, William Henry Leonard Poe. Edgar, thirsting for military glory, was sent to West Point. He was as much a failure there as at the university, and was only a member of the Cadet corps for six months when he was court martialled and discharged. Mr. Allan, who adopted him, bore many of Ins eccentric and extravagant habits with extreme patience, until finally he was driven to give him up. After that Poe was lost sight of for a time, until ho appeared in Baltimore writing fugitive pieces for the magazines. From the day he embraced a literary life in Baltimore until he died there, some twenty years later, his struggles and misfortunes make the most pitiable and harrowing history in the literary annals of America. Of undoubted genius, and with a wonderful fertility of production, he could at least have lived a life of competence, and even luxury, by his pen alone, but he had some fatal flaw that frequently attends on genius, and all the glory of his achievements was darkened in the gloomy misery of the man.


Poe was an indifferent editor. He lacked catholicity of taste and sweetness of temper. He was dogmatic, impracticable. During his residence in Richmond he married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, who was as poor as himself, and whose chief qualifications for being his wife consisted in a sweet face, a gentle temper and unlimited love for him. The young couple flitted from Richmond to Baltimore, and soon after to Philadelphia and New York. The longest of his Actions, ‘’The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket,” was published in 1838. After this Poe and his wife went back to Philadelphia from New York. There he took the editorship of The Gentleman's Magazine which was started by Burton, the actor. During his connection with this publication one of his finest stones, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” appeared. It was in 1841 he became acquainted with Dr. Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who was afterward to become his remorseless executor and biographer. Dr. Griswold succeeded him as the editor of Graham's Magazine. Griswold wrote of Poe in after years, “His manner, except during his fits of intoxication, was very quiet and gentlemanly. He was usually dressed with simplicity and elegance and when once he sent for me to visit him during a period of Illness, caused by protracted and anxious watching at the side of his sick wife, I was impressed by tho singular neatness and the air of refinement in his home. It was a small house in one of the pleasant und silent neighborhoods fur from the centre of the town, and though slightly and cheaply furnished, everything in it was so tasteful and so fitly disposed that It seemed altogether suitable for a man of genius. For this and for most of the comforts he enjoyed, in his brightest as in his darkest years, he was chiefly indebted to his mother-in-law who loved him with morn than maternal devotion and constancy.”


Poe came back to New York in the autumn of 1844. Since his previous residence here his reputation had largely increased. He became assistant editor to N. P. Willis in the conduct of the Mirror and remained with that periodical for some time. Subsequently be connected himself with the Broadway Journal, which was commenced in 1845, and edited by Mr. Henry C. Watson, a young Journalist from Philadelphia, and Mr. Charles F. Briggs, author of “Harry France” and other stories. Immediately prior to this event the most celebrated of Poe's compositions, “The Raven,” appeared in the February number of the America Review. The sensation it created was great, and, though his name was not attached to it, those skilled in literary matters detected him as the author. For this unique poem he received the sum of $l0! At a later period Poe, in a paper entitled “The Philosophy of Composition,’‘ explained how it was written, and seemed disposed to destroy the strange fascination that haunted the public mind in regard to the author. He explained in effect that it was a mere mechanical work, and owed nothing to inspiration or feeling. But no one ever accepted the explanation.


The house where Poe wrote “The Raven” stands on a rocky and commanding eminence a few hundred fret from the intersection of Eighty-fourth street and the St. Nicholas Boulevard, formerly the Bloomingdale road. It is a plain, old fashioned double frame dwelling, two stories high, with eight windows on each side and one at either gable. It has a pointed root flanked by two tall brick chimneys. Old and weather beaten it arrests the attention of the passerby in a neighborhood where most of the houses are of modern construction and of clean appearance. No date can be found for the erection of this remarkable dwelling, which almost a hundred years back gave shelter to Washington and his officers. Mrs. Mary Brennan, who lived there for forty-seven years, knew it as having a reputation for antiquity when she first went into it. It was to this lady that Poe, in the early part of the spring of 1844, applied for lodgings during the season At that time the houses were few and far between, while too primeval forest covered much of the land around, and the beauty of the scenery was unmarred by rock blasting and street cutting. Poe brought his wife, Virginia, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Maria Clemm, to board with him. and Mrs. Brennan relates an incident that happened the night of Poe's arrival, who it was well calculated to make her remember the man Poe and his family occupied the room on the upper floor. In a room down stairs Mrs. Brennan sat on waiting for her [column 4:] husband to come home. In the meantime the house was attacked by burglars, in alarm she rushed up to the apartment of her new visitor for assistance. Poe rallied promptly at the call, and rushing out on the stairway, stationed himself at a window overlooking a low, sloping root, by which it was thought the burglars would ascend. The dogs, however, proved more than a match for them, and they took to flight soon after being discovered; but Poe was disappointed. He was enthusiastic for the attack, and was armed with a poker and an old sword, resolved to meet the foe with a stern resistance. He was accustomed to relate this adventure with a good deal of relish. Poe, wife and mother-in-law were devotedly attached. They lived together in the one room up mother in law retired to a small chamber down stairs. Mrs. Clemm was accustomed to address him affectionately as “Eddie,” the wife as “Darling,” and he called the latter “Diddy.” Mrs. Poe was of delicate build and complexion. She burst a blood vessel at one time, but while able to walk about it was always necessary to carry her up stairs. To Poe this was a labor of love. They had no visitors and they took their meals all alone in their room. His landlady remembers Poe as a shy, solitary, taciturn person, fond of rambling alone through the woods or of sitting on a favorite stump of a tree down near the bank of the Hudson River. There she was often observed him gesticulating wildly und loudly soliloquizing. She concluded he was eccentric, but yet very quiet and gentlemanly in his manners. He was pale and delicately featured, and wore a small mustache, which he had a habit of nervously twirling.


The room he occupied had two windows in front, facing the river, and two at the back, facing the woods. When not sealed by the river's edge he would place himself at one of the front windows, and with his wife by his side, watch for hours the dying glories of the summer evening skies. At this time he was contributing to several magazines, but the outlook of his fortunes was of the dreariest possible cast, lie could afford to pay for fits board, but for little else. Yet he worked hard, and the floor of his only chamber was constantly littered with paper and books. Here it was he slowly brought forth the finished draft of “The Raven.” The room is little altered since the time Poe occupied it. It has a wooden mantelpiece, painted black and most elaborately carved. Poe's name may be found out in fine letters on one side of it. His writing table stood by one of the front windows, and when seated before it he could look down on the ever rolling Hudson and over at the dark outline of the Palisades. The landscape between the house and the river was most picturesque in those days. The woods were still standing and the winding lanes had not yet been tortured into straight lines of streets. It was a suitable dwelling for a poet, and though not far from the city's busy hum the sense of solitude and remoteness was as great as if it were in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Between writing in his room and sitting by the river Poe spent most of the summer and autumn of 1844. In the winter of that year he finished “The Raven,” and in the following summer returned to Mrs. Brennan's again. His second stay in Bloomingdale was brief. After two months of the early summer he went back to New York, and the only thing his former landlady recollects hearing of him subsequently was an escapade of the kind which was so unhappy a characteristic of his life. While in Bloomingdale, however, he carried himself with exemplary correctness, the chamber where Poe composed his greatest poem is not the one the fancy conjures up in the reading. Silk purple curtains, a bust of Pallas and a cushioned seat of velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er” would look out of place in the dingy room with the low ceiling where Poe imagined his “Raven.” There was no room for the “pallid bust of Pallas” above the chamber door, and silk purple curtains on the wretched little windows would he entirely inappropriate.


In January, 1846, the Broadway Journal ceased to exist, Poe devoted himself to writing a series of articles for the Lady's Book, a Philadelphia magazine. One of them, “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” was in Poe's most sensational vein. His wife, Virginia, died in January, 1848, and her remains were interred in a cemetery at Fordham. In the same year he brought out a work called “Eureka: a Prose Poem.” He also resumed his connection with the Southern Literary Messenger. In 1849 that wonderful piece of verbal melody, “The Bells,” appeared in Sartain's Magazine. When he first sent it to the editor it consisted of only eighteen lines; a few months later he furnished another copy, altered and enlarged, and finally he sent the poem as it is now printed. The stanzas, “For Anne [[Annie]]” and “Annabel Lee,” were afterward published in the Messenger. Going to Richmond in the summer of this year he fell in with some boon companions, and his ‘health suffered much. Finally he reached Richmond, renewed acquaintance with a lady he had known in his youth, and became engaged to her. He had two things to do before they were married. One was to go to Philadelphia and write a preface for a volume of poetry; the other was to go to Fordham and fetch Mrs. Clemm to the wedding. He started from Richmond October 3, 1849, reached Baltimore safely, but there he relapsed into his old habits in the course of a very brief stay, of and less than a week after he had bid his intended goodby for a temporary separation he was lying cold in death in a Baltimore hospital, the doctor of which at the time gave the thrilling particulars of his death in yesterday's HERALD. Poe was buried in the cemetery of Westminster church, Baltimore, and there, twenty-six years after the end of his strange excited life, a monument was yesterday erected over his grave.



Poe called Mrs. Clemm “Muddy” not “Diddy.”


[S:0 - NYH, 1875] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Edgar Allan Poe: Unveiling and Dedication of the Monument (Anonymous, 1875)