Text: Hervey Allen, “Chapter 18,” Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (1926), volume 2, pp. 409-424


[page 409, unnumbered:]





Carmine Street


THE journey from Richmond to New York occupied several weeks. Poe was accompanied by his little family through Baltimore and Philadelphia, where, in both cities, various relatives, friends, and literary acquaintances were called upon. In Baltimore there can be little doubt that Poe conferred with Kennedy, who was thoroughly acquainted with the reasons for the move. The severance of the connection with Mr. White of the Messenger was a serious matter, in point of salary and influence. There must have been personal complications between the older man and his brilliant young assistant which induced Mr. White to part with Poe more readily than might otherwise have been the case. From a purely business standpoint, there was every reason why Mr. White should desire him to remain. The “other reasons” were afterward referred to vaguely by both Mr. Kennedy and Poe himself. Kennedy says that “He (Poe) was irregular, eccentric, and querulous, and soon gave up his place,” and this statement is largely borne out by Poe himself some years later:

For a brief period while I resided in Richmond and edited the Messenger, I certainly did give way, at long intervals, to the temptation held out on all sides by the spirit of Southern conviviality. My sensitive temperament could not stand an excitement which was an everyday matter to my companions. In short, it sometimes happened that I was completely intoxicated. For some days after each excess I was invariably confined to bed.(496)

The last glimpse that we have of Poe in Richmond shows him thus “confined to bed.” Kennedy undoubtedly heard about such occasions from White later on. We can be sure that Poe [page 410:] himself, in talking the move over with Kennedy and others, would enlarge on the prospects of the wider field offered in the North, and on the pet project of the great national magazine. Mrs. Clemm and Virginia must have seen the Baltimore relatives, with whom, since Virginia’s marriage with the rising young editor, they would now be on a more satisfactory basis. From Baltimore, the journey was continued to Philadelphia after a brief sojourn.

There were considerable inducements for Poe to remain in the Quaker City, where, indeed, we find him two years later. He already had acquaintances among publishers and editors there, and Philadelphia was at that time the great publishing center. These, however, were not sufficient to detain him. He was then, through correspondence from Richmond, in touch with Dr. Francis Lister Hawks, a North Carolinian, at that time rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and editor of the New York Review, to which he had already asked Poe to contribute. It is quite possible that Poe hoped to be able occupy on that magazine much the same position he had held with Mr. White on the Messenger, and, with the aid of his friends, Professor Charles Anthon, and John K. Paulding,(497) and others to build up for himself rapidly a national reputation in the field of literature and journalism. In this hope, he was soon to be disappointed.

Poe, Mrs. Clemm, and Virginia arrived in New York about the end of February, 1837. Passers-by in the street must have turned to notice the three, evidently Southerners by their clothes. The distinguished air of the Byronic-looking man, the modest but appealing beauty of the young girl, and Mrs. Clemm’s matronally expansiveness, as they went about looking for lodgings, attracted attention.

To Poe and his family, New York was an utterly new experience. There were no old acquaintances to stop them in the streets for a village chat, no friends or kin, as in Richmond and Baltimore. They were uncannily alone with no one to whom to turn. What little money they had saved for the move, must have [page 411:] been nearly exhausted. Poe had resigned from the Messenger on January 3, 1837, and it was now more than six weeks since the last payment by Mr. White.(498) In the meantime installments of Arthur Gordon Pym had been appearing in the Messenger, and there may have been some return due from that and other items Poe was to send to Richmond. The connection there was by no means severed and relatives were still friendly. But, at best, the resources of the three were small. What goods, if any, Mrs. Clemm brought to New York must remain unknown.

The Poes first took up residence in Manhattan in a rather dilapidated old brick building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Waverley Place where they shared a floor with a Scotchman by the name of William Gowans, who was then, and for many years later, a well-known bookseller about New York.(499) At that time he conducted business at 169 Broadway in quarters that were known as the “Long Room.” Mr. Gowans soon became a firm friend of Poe and his family, and later on followed Mrs. Clemm as one of her boarders when she moved elsewhere. He, more than anyone else, seems to have afforded Poe an important point of literary contact. Poe was much in his bookstore browsing among the volumes, and the early experiences of the young poet in Scotland, plus a knowledge of the Scotch temperament which he possessed from the long association with the clans in Richmond, now stood him in good stead. A warm bookstore and the personalities it attracted were not to be despised.

Literary progress, however, was unexpectedly difficult and disappointingly slow. There were several contributory causes. Poe had arrived in New York during the height of the financial [page 412:] panic of 1837. Since the latter part of 1835, the country had been experiencing the painful results of Jackson’s fast and loose fiscal policy, and the mercurial phenomena of the tariff under the alternate heat and cold of sectional attacks. The dying convulsions of the Bank of the United States left the nation at the mercy of petty financiers and the mad fluctuations of credit expansion due to western land speculation made possible by the “wild cat” paper issues of state banks. An added impetus was given to the western boom by the distribution of funds from the federal treasury to the several states, and from them to local banks.(500) Consequent easy credit permitted immense sums to be borrowed and invested in worthless public lands purchased with equally worthless “wild cat” money. The federal treasury then suddenly required that payments be made in specie, and the bubble burst. Thousands of people were ruined and the failure of long-established firms became the chief item of news. April 6, 1837, was long remembered in New York as a day of terror and gloom. Flour and other necessities rose to preposterous heights. The rich trembled and the poor starved.

A natural repercussion of this state of affairs was the suspension of numerous magazines and newspapers, and the reluctance of publishers to take risks on any but the best known English authors. The New York Review, which Poe had so much counted on, suspended until October, 1837. It was all but impossible to get cash for articles or stories of any kind. Poe haunted the sanctums of various editors. His work on the Messenger was [page 413:] so well known as to get him a courteous reception, but the interviews all ended in an exchange of amenities and no promise of work. Poe’s attacks on various contemporaries, especially Leslie, were now quietly remembered against him; Paulding was preparing to leave New York for Washington; and Anthon, although he remained cordial, was, at best, only a minor prop. The sledding was undoubtedly hard and might have ended in a smash had it not been for the maintaining strength of Mrs. Clemm, who, despite the high cost of living, now once more undertook to provide food and shelter by the expedient of taking in boarders. Sometime during the Spring of 1837(501) the family moved to an old frame house at 13 1/2 Carmine Street, situated near St. John’s Church on the west side of the street above Varrick. The house was a dingy structure with a high-pitched roof topped by a single brick chimney. There were seven shuttered windows that stared uncompromisingly at the front, and a flat Georgian doorway at one end, approached by a front stoop with wrought-iron railings. The rooms were more than ample for the little family circle to which Mrs. Clemm perforce added two or three boarders. William Gowans now accompanied the Poes from Sixth Avenue to the new residence. He boarded with them for a long time and has left us an intimate picture of his friends at this period:

For eight months or more one house contained us, as one table fed! During that time I saw much of him (Poe), and had an opportunity of conversing with him often, and I must say, that I never saw him the least affected by liquor, nor even descend to any known vice, while he was one of the most courteous, gentlemanly, and intelligent companions I have met with during my journeyings and baitings through divers divisions of the globe; besides, he had an extra inducement to be a good man as well as a good husband, for he had a wife of matchless beauty and loveliness; her eye could match that of any houri, and her face defy the genius of a Canova to imitate; a temper and disposition of surpassing sweetness; besides, she seemed as much devoted to him as a young mother is to her first-born. . . . Poe had a remarkably pleasing and prepossessing countenance, which the ladies would call decidedly handsome. [page 416:]

Mr. Gowans has been called “the wealthy and eccentric bibliopolist” who lived with the Poes, so some allowance must be made for the contemporary exuberance of his style. Undoubtedly, though, the family circle was pleasing and Virginia unusual The description of her “houri eyes” brings up the liquid and glittering glances of one already afflicted with tuberculosis. Evidently she was more womanly and mature by now, and very fond of Poe. There still remains the tradition of the girl calling to her husband from the upstairs windows of the Carmine Street house, and of their walks together at twilight among the tombs in St. John’s graveyard near-by.

Certainly, Mr. Gowans was a good friend. On March 30, 1837, the booksellers of New York gave a dinner at the City Hotel to which various literary figures and some well-known artists were invited. Among them were Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, John K. Paulding, Fitz-Greene Halleck, and Chancellor Kent; the artists were Henry Inman and Trumbull. Gowans invited Poe. The affair was rather a brilliant one and marked the first appearance of the young Southern critic and poet among the Knickerbockers. No doubt he took care to improve the opportunities of the occasion.(502)

The only other record of Poe about this time, aside from his personal correspondence with Professor Anthon and others, shows that during the Winter of 1837, which was a peculiarly severe one, Poe called at the Northern Dispensary, then located at Waverley Place and Christopher Streets, to obtain medicine for a severe cold. This was probably when on his way home to lodgings at Sixth Avenue and Waverley Place. An interesting fact about this isolated record is that Dr. Valentine Mott and Mrs. Shew were both on duty at the Northern Dispensary in 1837, and that Poe may then have met, for the first time, the two persons with whom he was to be closely associated some years later. [page 417:]

From an artistic standpoint, the young critic’s release from the Southern Literary Messenger was fortunate. As usual, when all his time and energy was not consumed by journalism and correspondence, his creative capacity came to the fore. Poe found almost no work in New York and so turned his attention again to his stories.

The year 1837-38 marks the beginning of a second creative period; the first having come to an end two years before in Baltimore. At Carmine Street he finished Arthur Gordon Pym and probably composed the first draft of Siope or Silence — A Fable, taken all in all, as a pure work of art, his most majestic contribution to prose. Here, more than ever, he now began to realize the truth of the lines he had written seven years before in Al Aaraaf:

Ours is a world of words: Quiet we call

Silence — which is the merest word of all.

Siope was not published until 1839 in the Baltimore Book, edited by W. H. Carpenter and T. S. Arthur, Poe’s old friend of the Baltimore Saturday Visitor, but it bears the marks of having been under way for some time before the move to Philadelphia. In June, 1837, the American Monthly Magazine published a tale by Poe called Von Jung, The Mystic, that belongs to his stories of the grotesque. It, and Siope, mark the continuation of his interest in the psychological and the morbidly mystical. Siope was presented, “in the manner of the psychological autobiographists.” There is a trace of Coleridgean and German metaphysics in its manner, and a morbid “spiritualism” in both the new stories which suited the trend of the times. Transcendentalism and spiritualism were already in the air. To these Poe added his own gruesome touch.

About the young dreamer who, perforce, whiled away most of his idle time on his manuscripts at 113 1/2 Carmine Street in the Summer of 1837, there was certainly something morbid. It was true that since the publication of the Gothic Romances the public’s thirst for horror had always been acute. Such tales as Frankenstein and the like, and some of the German offerings, althougjh they contained spinal thrills, were, when all is considered, at [page 418:] best simply shivers à la mode, and at worst purely literary. Their wax-work characters never came to life, and their corpses were only conveniently dead. But in the stories which Poe had now begun to write, the atmosphere was, in reality, charged. Both his physical and psychic horrors seemed to be the transcripts of actual suffering, terror and torment. The breeze which blew through his pages carried the awful reek of charnels. His fears were grisly, and his corpses seethed. It was a new and a genuine note. No one, not even Coleridge, had so successfully exploited the psychology of fear. Coleridge always left off where beauty refused to follow; with Poe in the realm of prose, there were no confines to horror whatsoever, and he was artistically successful in overstepping the former frontiers. Only some of the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci approach the delineation of the emotions and the details which he describes. With Leonardo the sketches were records made with an almost divine curiosity; they were to him simply part of the data of life, which had a horrible side. With Poe it was different. He seemed at times to be almost in love with the fearsome, and to have taken a strange pleasure in its delineation. The very fact that he was so successful iii portraying it, implies a satisfaction in imagining the causes of the emotion of fear, which only a morbid cast in his character could account for, Poe was not generally Sadistic, but he was at times curiously close to the edge of the gulf into which the genial Marquis so notably plunged. After a day spent in piling up horrors and cannibal feastings in the chapters of A. Gordon Pym, one can easily imagine him going for a walk with the pallid Virginia amid the graves of old St. John’s. There was, to him, an inevitable attraction ia such places. His mind must have traveled back frequently to Shockoe Cemetery, or to the ancient epitaphs copied over and wer upon the slates of the school boy at Irvine. There, on the graves of the Allan relatives, a carven ship bellied its stone sails to an eternal breeze from the realms of nowhere. In such spiritual monsoons, while he sensed the odor of corpses and asphodels, he widened his sensitive nostrils. The emblem of his time, whose sentiments were lugubrious, was a weeping willow tree. To his own and other generations it was left to him to whisper the hair [page 419:] lifting secrets underneath the roots. Here he was dealing, as most great artists do, with an eternal theme.

Amid Poe’s various orchestral fugues and lyric songs composed upon the theme of fear, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym may be regarded as a somewhat fumbling prelude to the masterpieces which were to follow. Both Captain Marryat and Cooper had set the pace for sea stories. The public at that time was greatly interested in an expedition, under government auspices, that was then fitting out for the Antarctic, chiefly fathered by one J. N. Reynolds, with whom Poe was probably personally acquainted,(503) This was the sea of mystery of the Ancient Mariner, and Poe was strangely fascinated by what might lie beyond its wall of ice. He was also well acquainted with Morell’s Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Sea and the Pacific, and with The Mutiny of the Bounty, lately issued by Harpers, which may have raised his hopes of being able to sell to them his own story along somewhat the same lines. Irving’s Astoria was also familiar to Poe, and he was reviewing Stephens’ Travels in Arabia Petraea, These, together with his own avidity for horrors, amply satisfied by reading which reeked with blood-curdling murders, mutiny, and shipwreck, constituted his sources for his fourth book and first volume of prose that was announced in May and issued by Harper and Brothers in July, 1838. It was described by the publisher as follows:

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket; comprising the Details of a Mutiny and Atrocious Butchery on board the American Brig Grampus, on her Way to the South Seas — with an Account of the Recapture of the Vessel by the Survivors; their Shipwreck, and subsequent Horrible Sufferings from Famine; their Deliverance by means of the British Schooner Jane Gray; the brief Cruise of this latter Vessel in the Antarctic Ocean, her Capture, and the Massacre of her Crew among a Group of Islands in the 84th Parallel of Southern Latitude; together with the incredible Adventures and Discoveries still further [page 420:] South, to which that distressing Calamity gave rise. 12 mo., pp. 198. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1838.

In this story, the author is at his best at the first and last of the narrative. The scene is supposed to open in Nantucket, but, as in reality Poe knew little about the locality which Melville so vividly presents in Moby Dick, he gives us some autobiographical details from his early life in Richmond.(504) The yacht which the two friends own, at tie commencement of the story, goes back to the boat in which Poe and Ebenezer Burling early adventured together upon the James. Even the name of an early Richmond schoolmaster, Ricketts, is recalled, together with some reference to school days “on the hill” as part of Richmond was called in Poe’s day. The final escape of the two friends on shipboard is an imaginative rendering of Poe’s flight with Burling from Richmond in March, 1827. “Pym’s” testy old grandfather with the umbrella is too close a portrait of John Allan to be mistaken. The main and central part of the story is largely a compilation of the mutinies, murders, and the sufferings of shipwrecked mariners taken sometimes almost verbatim from the literary sources mentioned. The curious emphasis upon cannibalism is perhaps psychic. Towards the last of the story, as the hero moves into the Antarctic realms of mystery, the author’s better imagination again takes full sway, and the effects are at times sublime, recalling some of the descriptions in The Ancient Mariner. The Island of Tsalal is especially well imagined. Poe took the strange characters, which he describes upon the walls of the caves, from the descriptions of the hieroglyphs in the caverns of Mt. Sinai found in Stephens’ Arabia Petraea. The note on the hieroglyphs, at the end of the story, is the first instance of Poe’s interest in cipher, and the device of the brief preface, which purports to be written by “Pym” — who, however, mentions Poe — has about it all the machinery [page 421:] of the hoax in which the real author so delighted. J. K. Paulding was instrumental in getting Harpers to accept the story, which had a very small success. It was reviewed rather extensively in the United States and was republished by Wiley & Putnam in England,(505) in which country the rural readers are said to have been taken in. From Harpers, Poe received very little, and from the English publishers, as the custom then was, nothing at all.

One of the few pieces of work which have definitely been traced as Poe’s, during this first New York sojourn, is a review of Stephens’ Arabia Petraea which appeared in Dr. Hawks’ New York Review for October, 1837. As Poe’s procedure in this review was peculiarly characteristic, it is worth while to consider it here as a type of his method in such work. Poe has been accused of making a parade of classical and scientific learning which he did not possess. In certain respects the accusation is true, on the other hand it should be said that he was unusually conscientious about his reviews and went to no little trouble to look up authorities and to correspond with living scholars who might aid him in throwing light on the matter in hand. Arabia Petraea was a peculiarly erudite work, a record of travels in a land upon which, even now, modern archeology is only beginning to lift a doubtful curtain. It took the reader into the waste and desert places of a vanished civilization amid the doubtful shadows of pedantic classical, and Biblical learning. Poe’s own argument from a religious standpoint was orthodox enough to satisfy the clergyman in whose magazine the review appeared. The rest of his material was made up by extract and paraphrase from the book itself, aided by some comments culled from a work on prophecy then recently published by a Dr. Keith. The main attempt at criticism turned on the exact meaning of two verses from the Bible, Isaiah 34.10, and Ezekial 35.7, for an interpretation of which Poe wrote to his friend Professor Anthon who replied(506) giving a careful rendering from the original Hebrew that Poe printed verbatim. No credit was given to Anthon, and Poe used the material as his own on several subsequent [page 422:] occasions. The impression given was that Poe knew Hebrew; the result was a rather erudite review. As it was unsigned, and was later attributed to Secretary Case, much of the criticism leveled against Poe in this instance is without force. His re-use of Anthon’s material was, however, typical.

Of the intimacies of the inhabitants of 113 1/2 Carmine Street between the Spring of 1837 and Midsummer, 1838, less is known than of almost any other epoch in their careers. For Poe, owing to the financial stress of the day, it was largely an era of marking time. The grand magazine scheme had to be postponed, but it was still carefully cherished. Gowans had introduced the Poes to James Pedder and his family. Pedder was an Englishman, a writer of juvenile stories, and a man of some charm. In 1838, he went to Philadelphia to edit the Farmer’s Cabinet which he continued successfully until 1850. PedderJs removal to Philadelphia undoubtedly influenced Poe to turn his eyes in that direction. New York seemed to offer nothing. The Winter of 1838 was a bitter and terrible one. Combined with the money stringency, the suffering had been intense. Despite the efforts of Mrs. Clemm, the young author once more found himself in debt. He appears to have written to his friend Kennedy to obtain help in his always “temporary difficulties,” but Mr. Kennedy was in straits himself and this time could do nothing.(507) It is probable that, by the Summer of 1838, Poe and Mrs. Clemm were no longer able to meet the rent. A move was imperative.

During the eighteen months or so which the family had passed in New York in 1837-38, it is likely that Poe and Virginia, with Mrs. Clemm, were sometimes seen at old St. Stephen’s where the Reverend Doctor Hawks of North Carolina held forth, or perhaps St. John’s, near the Carmine Street house, occasionally received more than graveyard visits. There must also have been Sunday walks on the Battery and the promenade of old Castle Garden where the band played. Bowling Green, past the genteel boarding houses opposite the Adelphi House, then in all its regal splendors, was a favorite place for a stroll. On the roof of the [page 423:] New York Exchange fronting Wall Street — “built of white Westchester marble with four classic columns on the front” — one could watch the semaphore telegraph signaling to the vessels at Sandy Hook. For one shilling, the round trip on the Jersey City Ferry could be made on summer evenings from the foot of Cedar and Cortlandt Streets, and, from the Fulton Street slip, one could take the boat up the East River past Hell Gate to Prince’s Linnsean Garden at Flushing —

The proprietor exerts himself to obtain all native productions as well as interesting exotics. The village is small but pleasant. The garden of Mr. Prince will supply strangers of taste and science with rare seeds, flowers and trees, and has done much to introduce beautiful varieties into this country . . . the 4 hot-houses contain about 20,000 plants in pots; and the garden covers at (least) 30 acres.

From passages in The Landscape Garden it seems highly probable that a certain traveler of decided taste, and a considerable pretension to science, visited Mr. Prince’s Linnsean Gardens with a pale little girl on his arm.

Perhaps the good Mr. Gowans or other friends sometimes supplied theater tickets. These were the days when Edwin Forrest had just returned from his first English tour, and was going about playing Bulwer Lytton’s Lady of Lyons to ecstatic audiences. He was later on to supply America with its first great divorce trial. Joseph Burke, a young Irish lad of twelve years, was appearing in Norval, a Scottish pastoral drama, in which for a reason impenetrable to this generation, the appearance of an adolescent Highland shepherd in kilts, strutting and mouthing the lines:

My name is Norval —

On the Grampian hills I watched

My father’s flocks. . . .

caused old gentlemen in black stocks to clear their throats and delicate young ladies to weep. Maria Tree was singing Home Sweet Home from John Howard Payne’s opera of Clari, and making the song immortal. The Old Oaken Bucket was roared stridently by all the good fellows in beaver hats who could crowd [page 424:] themselves into the bar of the old Broadway National House, G. P. Morris had just written Woodman, Spare that Tree, and Zophiel, or The Bride of Seven, was being memorized in the schools. Progress was just getting under way; the godless, scandalous, candle-lit Eighteenth Century was patronizingly referred to as “the former age”; while the new gas footlights were soon to be turned up for Thackeray, Longfellow, “purety,” gentility — and the ruthless assault upon Mexico. Tables and telegraph instruments were both about to rap messages.

In the Summer of 1838, when hoop-skirts were beginning to drive out flounced petticoats, and some gentlemen were commencing to be circumspect about after-dinner drinking, Poe somehow or other borrowed enough money to join his friend Pedder in the Quaker City. Mrs. Clemm closed the house on Carmine Street and followed with Virginia. Before the end of August, the whole family were boarding in Philadelphia, Prospects were again beginning to brighten. It even looked for a time as if the great national magazine might soon be gotten under way. The field was ripe, and a prospectus of it was forever running in the head of “Israfel.”



[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 410:]

496.  See the Baltimore American for 1881 — Poe to Dr. Snodgrass, April 1, 1841.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 410:]

497.  Considerable correspondence with Hawks, Anthon, Paulding, and others, had been carried on by Poe from Richmond in 1836.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 411:]

498.  Thos. W. White to Poe in Richmond, January 17, 1837. “. . . You are certainly as well aware as I am, that the last $20 I advanced to you was in consideration of what you were to write for me by the piece. I also made you a promise on Saturday that I would do something for you today . . . and though it is entirely out of my power to send you up anything this morning, yet I win do something more sure, before night or early tomorrow if I have to borrow it from my friends. T. W. W.” — Poe was evidently gathering funds for the move at that time.

499.  William Gowans (1803-1870). In 1842, Mr. Gowans removed his business to 204 Broadway, and later in 1846, to 63 Liberty Street. At both of these places Poe was a visitor to the Scotch bookseller who remained his friend to the last.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 412:]

500.  Under the Act of Congress of June 23, 1836, relating to the distribution of the surplus federal revenue, the money in the federal treasury on January 1, 1837, with the exception of $5,000,000, was to be deposited with the several states in proportion to their representation in Congress. The western land boom was thus accelerated by three successive installments of $38,000,000 in all, paid to the states and never returned. Most of this was wastefully squandered. A fourth installment on account of the crisis of 1837 was postponed and never paid. It is safe to say that, had John Marshall lived, this policy could not have been carried out. His death had permitted Jackson to appoint Roger B. Taney as Chief Justice, wd four other Supreme Court judges were also appointed by Jackson. The policy of the Court now changed towards upholding states rights and state banking laws. See Brisco vs. the Bank of Kentucky on the question of the issue of bills on state credit conflicting with Craig vs. the State of Missouri, an earlier decision.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 415:]

501.  Poe wrote to Anthon from Carmine Street on May 27, 1837.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 416:]

502.  This dinner, in a certain way, marked the end of the ascendancy of the “Knickerbocker Writers.” The newer literati and the stars of the new journalism were about to appear. Lowell, Longfellow and others were just on the horizon. The men at the dinner were members of a literary generation that preceded Poe in reputation.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 419:]

503.  Although Poe’s association with J. N. Reynolds is obscure, the personality of the man and the episodes which he related to Poe must have made an undying impression, for, sixteen years later, Poe cried out to him continually during the night he was dying. This tends to strengthen the idea that the material and associations of A. Gordon Pym go much deeper in Poe’s nature than has hitherto been suggested. See the latter part of Chapter XXVII.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 420:]

504.  Poe’s description, however, was not superficial as this letter shows: Carter to Poe, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 19, 1843. “. . . Within a week I have read for the first time, Pym’s Narrative. I lent it to a friend, . . . a brother of Dr. O. W. Holmes, yet he is so completely deceived by the minute accuracy of some of the details, the remarks about the statements of the press, the names of people at New Bedford, etc., that though an intelligent and shrewd man he will not be persuaded that it is a fictitious work,” etc.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 421:]

505.  Wiley & Putnam, London, two printings, 1838, 1841. These editions were presumably authorized. A pirated edition appeared, London, 1844.

506.  Anthon to Poe, New York, June 1, 1837.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 422:]

507.  See Poe to Brooks, Philadelphia, September 4, 1838. The name of the “friend” is left blank but understood between them.






[S:0 - HVA26, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (H. Allen) (Chapter 18)