Text: George E. Woodberry, “Appendix A-04,” The Life of Edgar Allan Poe: Personal and Literary (1909), vol. II, pp. 370-376


[page 370, continued:]



RICHMOND, February 5, 1836.

DEAR SIR, — At Mr. White's request I enclose you the sheets of the “Messenger.” In your article on “The Necessity [page 371:] of Selection in Reading,” you will perceive that the original heading is abbreviated to “Selection in Reading.” This was necessary in order to preserve uniformity in the captions throughout it being impossible to get in what you intended, and what, indeed, would have been most proper, except by making use of smaller type than what is used in other articles.

Very resp y. and truly yours,


It was thought better upon consideration to omit all in “Liberian Literature” at which offense could, by any possibility, be taken. We availed ourselves of your consent to do so.

Address: LUCIAN MINOR, Esq., Charlotteville, Va.

Endorsed: EDGAR A. POE. Recd. 16th Feb. 1836.


RICHMOND, July 30, 1836.

DR SIR, — Your article on the “Study of the Learned Languages” was duly received, and is already “set up.” I am much in hope that it will please the public generally as much as it had done myself. My object in writing you at present is to beg that you will allow us to alter the heading which you have affixed to it, from the words “A Looker-on in Venice, No. 2,” to the words “On the Study of the Learned Languages, “or some similar caption. I have many reasons for requesting this favor. First, it would accord with all the other captions made use of in our magazine; secondly, it would prevent the necessity of making any explanation in regard to the heading of your last article, — and explanations are always inconvenient; thirdly, your article would then stand by itself unconnected [page 372:] with anything going before or to come; fourthly, it would prevent our having a series of continued articles, which you must know by experience are the cause of some trouble; and fifthly, the “Looker-on in Venice” is a caption which has been very frequently been [sic] made use of before by essayists. I submit all, however, to your better judgment, merely saying that Mr. White would take it as a personal favor if you would allow us to make the alteration proposed.

I am extremely sorry that the error should have occurred in relation to your “Anthologia” and “The Science of Life.” We did not, however, suppose it necessary to put the “Anthologia” as a selection — supposinging the word Anthologia itself sufficiently significant.

With high respect,

Yr. ob. st.


I perceive that your article, “National Ingratitude,” has attracted great attention and approbation. The “Charlottesville Jeffersonian “among other papers pay it a merited compliment.

[Addressed] MATHEW CAREY, EsqE.

Philadelphia, Pa.


RICHMOND, January 9, 1837.

MY DEAR SIR, — Your kind letter of Christmas eve was duly received — with the Essay.

I have read it with great pleasure and, I confess, some degree of surprise — never having suspected you of any literary designs. It shall certainly appear, entire, in the [page 373:] February number of the “Messenger.” Any supervision on my part, I perceive, would be altogether superfluous. I must apologize for not having made you a reply before. Ill health and a weight of various and harassing business will prove, I trust, a sufficient excuse. With sincere friendship and esteem, I am yours,&c.,




NEW YORK, August 8, 45.

MY DEAR SIR, — gave me sincere pleasure to receive a letter from you — t I fear you will think me very discourteous in not sooner replying. I have deferred my answer, however, from day to day, in hope of procuring some papers relating to my grandfather. In this I have failed. Mrs. C. has no memoranda of the kind you mention, and all of which I have any knowledge are on file at Annapolis.

I thank you for the kind interest you take in my welfare. We all speak very frequently of yourself and family, and regret that hitherto we have seen and known so little of each other. Virginia, in especial, is much pained at the total separation from her sisters. She has been, and is still, in precarious health. About four years ago she ruptured a blood vessel, in singing, and has never recovered from the accident. I fear that she never will. Mrs. Clemm is quite well: — both beg to be kindly remembered.

I regret that I had no opportunity of seeing you during my last visit to Baltimore. Virginia and myself, however, will very probably spend a few weeks in your city during [page 374:] the fall, when we hope to be with you frequently. When you see any of Mr. Herring's family, will you say that we are anxious to hear from them?

I rejoice to learn that you prosper at all points. I hear of you often. “The B. Journal” flourishes — but in January I shall establish a Magazine.

Very cordially yours,


Addressed NEILSON POE, Esqr .



Postmarked New York, Aug. 8.


NEW YORK, January 3, 46.

85 Amity St.


Dr. Sir, — A few moments of leisure leave me at liberty to look at the cypher which you have done me the honor of submitting to my inspection. It is an illegitimate cryptograph — that is to say, the chances are, that, even with the key, it would be insoluble by the authorized correspondent. Upon analysis, however, independent of the key-solution, I find the translation to be the 3 first verses of the 2d chapter of St John.

Very Respy

Yr Ob. ST


I should be happy to hear from you in reply.


June 15, 1848.

I would feel greatly indebted to you if you could spare time to look over the lines [To Helen] enclosed and [page 375:] let me know whether they will be accepted for “the Union” — if so what you can afford to pay for them and when they can appear.

Truly yours,


P. S. I feel that I have been guilty of discourtesy in not sooner thanking you for your picturesque and vigorous “Views A-Foot,” but when they reached me and long afterwards I was too ill to write, and lately I have been every day hoping to have an opportunity of making your acquaintance and thanking you in person.


February 20, 1836.

EDGAR A. POE, Esq., Richmond, Va., — I received your letter this morning, having no knowledge of the MS. mentioned. I applied to Mess. Carey & Hart, who handed over the enclosed which I transmit agreeably to your directions and wish it safe to hand.

November 29, 1836.

MR. EDGAR A. POE, — I have called on Mess. E. L. Carey & A. Hart, who are the publishers of “The Gift,” and they have examined among all the MS. and can not find the story to which you allude. They think it very probable that Miss L. returned it with others but it cannot now be found. Should it be hereafter they will return it.(2)

September 28, 1839.

EDGAR A. POE, ESQR, — As your wish in having your tales printed is not immediately pecuniary we will at our [page 376:] own risk & expense print a small edition, say 750 copies. This number if sold will pay but a small profit, which if realized is to be ours. The copyright will remain with you, and when ready a few copies for distribution among your friends will be at your service.

If this is agreeable will you have them prepared and Mr. Haswell will be ready to go in say by Thursday.

They should make 2 vols. of a page like “Isabel,” say 240 pages each.

October 30, 1839.

EDGAR A. POE, ESQR, — The printing of a few extra copies of your tales on fine paper would be very trouble some to the printer. But if he is willing we have no objection to six copies being printed at your cost.

We designed sending 20 copies of the edition to you on publication for private distribution.


[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 371:]

1 Poe to Minor. MS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 372:]

1 Poe to Carey. MS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 373:]

1 Poe to Magruder. MS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 374:]

1 Poe to Neilson Poe. MS.

2 Poe to Percival. MS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 375:]

1 Poe to Bayard Taylor. MS.

2 Letter Book of Carey & Lea.





[S:0 - LEAPPL, 1909] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Life of EAP (G. E. Woodberry) (Appendix A-04)