Text: Mary E. Phillips, “Section 03,” Edgar Allan Poe: The Man (1926), pp. 232-413


[page 232, unnumbered:]



BY letter permission from the late Professor James A. Harrison, oral permission of the late Dr. Chas. W. Kent, Dr. C. Alphonso Smith, Librarian John S. Patton and many more in close touch, active print and other associations with Jefferson's noble University of Virginia, comes from their various writings, in the following condensed form, the story of Edgar Allan Poe's ten months with his Alma Mater. Before all others stands Thomas Jefferson's self-appointed first librarian of that institution, William Wertenbaker, who was also young Poe's class-mate in French, Italian and Spanish. From Librarian Wertenbaker's “Edgar Allan Poe,” written in 1869 by request of and affirmed by Dr. Socrates Maupin, chairman of the Faculty, and revised by Schuyler Poitevent's “Some Facts about Poe's University Career,”(1) much will appear.

As to the University Poe knew! Instead of placing the college funds into one large building, Jefferson's plan for his scholarly square — 700 to 800 feet — was to head the five-terraced lawn — 100 feet wide — with a commanding structure of the Pantheon type at Rome. From its entrance was a sweep of 1000 feet to “Lovers’ Walk” of Poe's time. On either side of the centre Rotunda were five separate pavilions — 36 [page 234:] by 24 feet — after different classic styles, from drawings of Palladio and others, as Jefferson never saw Greece or Rome. Each pavilion had its school-room below and two rooms above it, for its professor.

Between these pavilions was a range of one-story dormitory rooms — each 10 by 14 feet — for Students. Pavilions and dormitories were united by a front, one [page 236:] story colonnade of brick pilasters. To preserve the strong architectural features, Jefferson's design excluded the presence of shade trees. To east and west of these lawn structures was a line of low, one-room dormitory buildings called East Range and West Range. Jefferson, as an apostle of free religious thought, intended his Rotunda — Pantheon of all the gods — as a fitting place for non-sectarian religious worship and the College Library. Before its completion the citizens of Albemarle County, Va., gave a dinner there, Friday, Nov. 5, 1824, to General Lafayette, which event made one of many rich college records. With not a few of manly worth and might between, perhaps the names of Jefferson, Lafayette and Edgar Allan Poe will remain distinctions imperishable within unique University of Virginia's classic haunts, where indeed distinctions are neither easily won nor few. [page 237:] This institution's attraction peculiar to itself — in repeated old-world structures and colonnades — hedged within its plan what, with simple grace, Virginians were pleased to call their “Lawn,” which perhaps, when Poe first saw it, was but lately sodded, and the air above it was freighted with fumes of fresh paint from unfinished buildings about it; yet all captivating in prospect and promise from its founder's Monticello Parnassus, high on the hill-side, three miles away. Although young Poe had seen much of old, interesting structural Great Britain, well might Jefferson's sum of intellectual delight in simple antique beauty have impressed this Alma Mater's most brilliant alumnus to write

... Naiad airs have brought me home

To the glory that was Greece,

And the grandeur that was Rome.”

Of the last couplet Edwin Markham writes: “Two mighty lines that compress into a brief space all the rich, high magnificence of dead centuries. Poe never surpassed the serene exaltation and divine poise of this poem. It shows his passion for crystalline perfection.” However, issues of national as well as educational import were worked out on this “Lawn” by three Presidents of our country. Jefferson. Madison and Monroe found themselves at home there in such pursuits. The University's thin, yellow “Record Book of Visitors” stands firm in evidence of some such events when Jefferson was Rector, and many of its pages were written by his hand, cramped with constant, selfless service and his eighty years. Both Madison [page 238:] and Monroe were fellow-members of that honorable Board.” Of the 1826 University Faculty were:

GEORGE LONG, Professor of Ancient Languages.

GEORGE BLAETTERMANN, Professor of Modern Languages.

THOMAS HEWITT KEY, Professor of Mathematics.

CHARLES BONNYCASTLE, Professor of ‘Natural Philosophy.

JOHN PATTON EMMET, Professor of Chemistry.

GEORGE TUCKER, Professor of Moral Philosophy.

ROBLEY DUNGLISON, Professor of Anatomy and Medicine.

JOHN TAYLOR LOMAX, Professor of Law.

As to Professor George Long, famous Roman historian, translator and geographer, Mr. Jefferson outlined University duties of this Oxford graduate thus: In the school of Antient Languages are to be taught the higher grade of the Latin and the Greek Languages, the Hebrew, rhetoric, belle-lettres, antient history and antient geography,” and described Professor Long as “a small, delicate looking blond man.” To this dicta, others of these academic porticoes added: “His masterly knowledge of his subject inspired his [107] students with the highest conception of true scholarship,” and his “insistence of studying history and geography together” had special influence on Poe.

Of Professor George Blaettermann, of 33 Castle Street, London, Jefferson noted, — “a German who was acquainted with our countrymen Ticknor and Preston and was highly recommended by them.” Of this scholar's University field was added: “In the School of Modern Languages are to be taught French, Spanish, Italian, German, and English Language in the Anglo-Saxon form; also modern history and modern geography.” Thomas Hewitt Key, a Latin scholar, [page 239:] brilliantly filled the chair of Mathematics; Charles Bonnycastle, “shy and conservative,” that of Natural Philosophy; delightful Dr. John Patton Emmet, nephew of the Irish orator Robert Emmet of thrilling memories, claimed his own in the Chair of Chemistry; and that of Dr. Robley Dumglison, in the Chair of Anatomy and Medicine, completed this transplanted Faculty, of which George Tucker only — its first chairman and Professor of Moral Science — could be credited with Virginia parentage, although Bermuda born.

Perhaps the nearly four months’ rough voyage of The Competitor, beating about the English Channel six weeks of that time, fittingly prepared scholarly Professors Long and Blaettermann for meeting the no less stormy inauguration of the “Honor System,” which in spirit dated from 1825 and in fact from 1842; and time has transformed it into Jefferson's ideal intention of bonded chivalry held sacred by this no less ideal institution fathered by himself. While within that magic circle — The Honor System — no spying is tolerated and each member's word is of oath value, woe betide offenders against its code; for by such acts they become Pariahs — outcasts forever. Mr. Jefferson's extreme ideas of human rights, however, were carried to such excess of lawlessness by the students of 1825 in affronting their “damned foreign professors,” also because neither their persuasion nor Jefferson's entreaties could induce a single student to accept the office of censor, on the score that spying was “hateful to Southern character,” these conditions caused a crisis in the outraged professors sending in [page 240:] their resignations to the Board of Visitors. They enabled the Faculty to use rigid discipline for controlling the students, also for their punishment when needed. Until June 14, 1904, the chairman of the Faculty was chief executive of the University. Then Dr. James M. Page, the last incumbent of this office, was succeeded by Dr. Edwin Anderson Alderman, formally installed as president, April 13, 1905, the anniversary of Jefferson's birth. While the days of 1825 were of peach and honey, apple toddies, mint slings, gambling and the hilarious living of that aristocratic period — and of most colleges, as Old Oxford of England gives example — these excesses ‘were no more for open indulgence at the University of Virginia. “Students’ expenses were limited by University regulation.” Clothing, during session, was not to exceed $100, and pocket-money, $40. Books, incidentals — what ever parents allowed. Money was deposited with the bureau, and paid out on warrant of the proctor, when an itemized bill was presented by the student's order. Debts of honor could not be paid by orders on patron. Servants’ cost was $100. On all accounts there were some eight printed pages on discipline. Students, too, had their trials when Jefferson was rector. One was the existence of a single text-book in mathematics for a class of ten, from which to prepare for lectures. So, “some studied ‘til 1 A.M., when others followed its use ‘til daylight.” But in early 1826, when seventeen — year-old Edgar Poe found himself a student there, the Faculty held their young men under the most rigid surveillance that Jefferson's University had vet known. From William Wertenbaker's “Edgar Allan Poe,” revised, [page 241:] is learned that he was a student of the second session, which began Feb. 1, 1826, and ended Dec. loth of that year. He was the 136th of the 177 who matriculated. He entered Feb. 14th; gave his name as” Edgar A. Poe”; date of birth, “19th of January, 1809”; parent or guardian, “John Allen” — the “e” later was changed to “a” in “lead pencil”; place of residence, “Richmond.” None of this record is in Poe's handwriting. The professors he attended were: “Long, professor of Greek, Latin,” etc., “Blaettermann, professor of French, German,” etc. Under the head of “Remarks,” a blank stands after Poe's name. In such blanks the proctor wrote the final disposition of the student. In the events of withdrawal, suspension or expulsion, the facts were duly registered, otherwise the blank remained. Hence, from the proctor's point of view young Poe's record was a clean one from all college dishonor. The late Dr. Charles W. Kent wrote, that “of the 177 students of Poe's time, six withdrew, three were suspended and three were expelled, but no one of these records stood against Poe.” Dr. Kent thought that because the 14th name, prior to Poe's, was Sidney A. Perry, this was a possible reason for suggesting “Perry” for Poe's use in his May, 1827, U. S, Army enlistment at Boston, Mass. Librarian John S. Patton writes: “While a great number of students were hailed before the Faculty — for drinking, gambling and social abuses — during Poe's time he was never summoned excepting once, and then only as a witness” — of which more appears later on. Because the Allan home conditions made uncertain the [page 242:] length of Edgar's college career, also his own steadfast devotion to literature, seemed the reasons that induced him to choose studies of languages and the classics. By Jefferson himself were written the schedules of lectures which note those on “Ancient Languages” coming from 7.30 to 9.30 A.M., Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays; and those on “Modern Languages” at the same hours on Tuesdays. Thursdays and Saturdays. The rising bell rang at 6.30 A.M. As Poe's class-mate, Mr. Wertenbaker wrote that Edgar was “tolerably regular” in his attendance at lectures — and a successful student; having obtained distinction (Faculty minutes read “excelled”) at the final examination in Latin and French, and this was, at that time, the highest honor a student could obtain. It is of college record that final examinations were oral and sometimes held at 5.30 A.M., in the Rotunda's Elliptical Room. Examinations of 1826 began Monday, Dec. 4th; that in Modern Languages was on Tuesday, Dec. 5th. It is a reasonable conjecture that they were under James Madison, James Monroe, Joseph Cabell and General John H. Cocke, and lasted one and a half to two and a half hours each. Professor Long's report to the Dec. 15, 1826, Faculty meeting noted the honorable mention of names “in alphabetical order” as to the Senior Latin Class thus (a partial list):

GESSNER HARRISON, of Rockingham.

ALBERT H. HOLLADAY, of Spottsylvania.


EDGAR A. POE, of Richmond City.

In Professor Blaettermann's report of the Senior French Class appeared the following order of names: [page 243:]


JOHN CARY, of Campbell.

GESSNER HARRISON, of Rockingham.


CONWAY NUTT, of Culpepper.

EDGAR A. POE, of Richmond City.

These reports appeared in the Richmond Enquirer and other newspapers of near dates. Present regulations as to degrees had not been adopted. Under these, Poe would have graduated in the two languages and have been entitled to a diploma. From Mr. Wertenbaker is learned that Poe attended lectures in Greek, Spanish and Italian. On one occasion Professor Blaettermann requested his Italian class — of 90 — to render into English verse a portion of the lesson in Tasso — assigned for the next lecture. He did not require but recommended this exercise, from which the students would derive benefit. At the next lecture on Italian the Professor stated, before his class, that Mr. Poe was the only member who had responded — and “paid a very high compliment to his performance.” Of Poe Mr. Wertenbaker added: “He certainly was not habitually intemperate, but he may occasionally have entered into a frolic. I often saw him in the lecture room and in the Library, but never in the slightest degree tinder the influence of intoxicating liquors. Among the Professors he had the reputation of being a sober, quiet and orderly young man; and to them and the officers, his deportment was uniformly that of an intelligent and polished gentleman.” It is interesting to note that from the age of six Poe's masterful mind obtained the respect and admiration of his [page 244:] teachers. It is said that one of these suggested, in part, “Julius Rodman” to Poe, also that Professor Long's insistence that history and geography must be studied together, bore marked influence on Poe's stories having such connection and this with special reference to “Arthur Gordon Pym.” It is of record that young Poe was an active member and temporary secretary of the Jefferson Society — housed a few doors from his own room, No. 13 West Range. He was known to have addressed that association once at least; then his subject was “Heat and Cold.” No doubt “Edgar A. Poe, Secretary of the Jefferson Society” — as of record on its minutes — spent effectively and with pleasure in declamation and various debates some time there, placed to other accounts by many of his over-harsh [page 245:] critics. Poe's platform appearance must leave been pleasing, as it is said, “he dressed well and neatly,” and by his personal charm in a varied life proved “a very genial, attractive companion with the provincial youths amongst whom he was thrown.” Yet it is not strange another impression of Poe — the thinker and one given to pride of silence as to the blight on his home life — was, that “no one could say, he knew him.” Untouched with the irons that seared Poe's soul, his college-mates could not have understood the “melancholly face” and the “smile” that “seemed to be forced” even in recreations. Thomas Bolling, who was “acquainted,” as a fellow-student, noted, that when engaged in exercise of high or long jumping Poe, tivith the “ever sad face” and “more as a task than a sport, excelled all the rest.” Once, “upon a slight declivity, he ran and jumped twenty feet, although some attained nineteen.” It appears Poe's chief competitor was one LaBranche, of Louisiana, and of several inches less height — who had gymnastic instruction in France. Thomas Goode Tucker, Poe's firm friend and college-mate, wrote of Edgar as “rather short, compactly set but active, an expert in athletic and gymnastic arts.”

The late Douglas Sherley's(2) “Valley of Unrest,” etc., a dream sketch of Poe, blends actual records, traditional facts and fancies of which the story of the “nameless grave” is pure fiction; for that grave of Poe's “Valley of Unrest” seems definitely located far overseas in Ayrshire, Scotland. However, as Sherley shadows forth an actuality of Poe's life in“A glance, a handclasp and a word. Three potent [page 246:] factors that won my homesick heart,” — this expression seems difficult to divorce from Thomas Goode Tucker's first meeting with Edgar Allan Poe, as it is too like youthful Poe for mere fancy, and is as follows: “He came forward, offered his hand and said, — ‘I like you, I want to know you.’ I had stood aloof, a sixteen-year-old boy on the outer edge of an unsympathetic crowd. From that day I was recognized as his most intimate friend at the University.” This, as a fact, related to Poe and Tucker, both born the same year, 18o9, and matriculated in 1826, writes Librarian John Shelton Patton. A some fifty-eight years’ later noting of the poet, by William M. Burwell, as “bandy legged,” is not affirmed by those now living who saw Poe, nor by Dr. R. C. Ambler who, as a boy, learned to swim with Edgar, as mentioned in prior pages.

William Matthews, the military drill-master of the University Gymnasium, was from West Point. He was responsible to the Faculty for all disturbances of the peace during the students’ attendance of his classes. His success gained from the Faculty for such use one of the elliptical rooms of the Rotunda. This touch of West Point may have influenced Poe's later Boston enlistment as a private in the U. S. Army in 1827, and in 183o his entrance into the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. No doubt Poe's troubles and nerve strain of 1826 made his disposition “mercurial” or uneven; also he may have shared his comrades’ “fondness for peach and honey” described by Professor Woodberry as that “delectable, old-time Southern punch”; but Tucker's involved statement [page 247:] as to Poe's “passion for strong drink” is “of marked and peculiar character” in that he would “seize the glass, unmixed with sugar or water, [and note this] without the least apparent pleasure, [not the tippler's habit] and send it home at a single gulp. This frequently used him up; but, if not, he rarely returned to the charge, — one glass at a time “seemed his full measure. This was enough to rouse him to a state of nervous excitement that resulted “in a continuous flow of fascinating talk” which “enthralled every listener within its hearing.” More from Mr. Wertenbaker of Poe appears: “Although his practice of gaming did escape detection, the hardihood, intemperance and reckless wildness imputed to him by his biographers, had he been guilty — must inevitably have come to the knowledge of the Faculty. At no period during the past history of the University were the Faculty more vigilant in ferreting out offenders and more severe in punishing them than during the session of 1826. The records of which I was then, and am still custodian, attest that at no time did he fall under the censure of the Faculty.” The 1897 Poe — research print of S. Poitevent affirms above statements. Poe's only summons — and as a witness — occurred when “The Faculty met Dec. 20, 1826. There were present, Chairman John T. Lomax, Doctors Dunglison and Blaettermann, Messrs. Bonnycastle, Turner and Key.” The chairman presented to the Faculty a letter from the Proctor giving information that certain “Hotel keepers during the last session had been in the habit of playing at games of chance with the students in their Dormitories”; he also gave the names [page 248:] of the following persons who, he had been informed, had some knowledge of the facts: “Edgar Mason, Turner Dixon, William Seawell, E. Lahranch, Edgar Poe, Edmund E. Drummond, Emanuell. Miller, Hugh Pleasants & E. G. Grump — who having been summoned to appear before the Faculty were examined.” In the above order the students were examined and Poe's name figures in the Faculty books(3) as, — “Edgar Allan Poe never heard until now of any hotel keepers playing cards or drinking with the students.”

The College Library began in Pavilion VII, — now Colonnade Club. Excepting Saturdays and Sundays it was open daily from 3.30 to 5 P.M. Its readingroom, then in the basement, was probably dark. October, 1826, Madison, then Rector, noted: “The Library room in the Rotunda has been nearly completed and [page 249:] the books put in it.” So Poe must have borrowed books and browsed there amongst the “old and odd volumes.” Its after-fire rebuilding still owns Poe's intellectual sway in his bronze bust, by George Julian Zolnay, unveiled with appropriate ceremonies Oct. 7, 1891. In library Poe-connection Mr. Wertenbaker wrote: “As Librarian I had frequent intercourse with Mr. Poe”; further on is: “To gratify curiosity, I copy from the Register a list of books which Mr. Poe borrowed while he was a student: Rollin's ‘Histoire Ancienne,’ ‘Histoire Romaine‘; Robertson's ‘America‘; Marshall's ‘Washington‘; Voltaire's ‘Histoire Particulaire’ and Dufief's ‘Nature Displayed.’ ” Librarian John S. Patton wrote, April 5, 1918: “A list of Library fines ‘imposed since the 14th day of June, 1826,’ has been unearthed and Poe's name appears on this list as having borrowed ‘4th Rollin 8vo’ on the 18th of June to be returned in three weeks. He returned same on the 25th of July, having had the book six weeks, for which he was charged sixty cents. He is credited with paying fifty-eight cents. Only one other of the twenty-two men fined, paid anything, while four refused to pay, leaving sixteen undistinguished. Out of a total of $19.20 due, $1.38 was collected. In merit Poe stood second in a class of 22.” His shortage of 2 cents indicates a strong reason for his money appeals to Mr. Allan. From Thomas Goode Tucker it comes, that he and Edgar read together their favorite historians Lingurd and Hume; many of the English poets from Chaucer to Scott; and they would copy for each other favorite passages from these poets. Interesting tradition [page 250:] has it, they held readings aloud, from the French, in the Library, which, upon Edgar's part, were so rapid and much, he was charged with interweaving French of his own with that of their text-books; and they were silenced at times by the appearance of the Librarian with a finger on his lips. All this indicates Poe's trend of mind along literary lines and marked his life-pleasure in French belle-1ettres; also how and where he spent some of his time aside from preparation for lectures: his study, however easy, claimed some hours after 9.30 A.M. No doubt many a fractional day he dreamed away in solitary exploration of God's everlasting hills — those spurs of the Blue Ridge, whereof he wrote: “The scenery ... had about it an indescribable and, to me, a delicious aspect of dreary desolation.” He noted “the secluded, in fact inaccessible” entrance of the ravine, where he quietly absorbed [page 251:] from its enchanting nooks and vistas the ideas of re-incarnation — at seventeen — that he later translated into his fascinating pages of “The Tale of the Ragged Mountains ”; also, ponderings for “The Domain of Arnheim,” which he said “contains much of my soul.” With his dog, and away from the wild blades of Rowdy Row, Poe — the young thinker — was at work here as was Poe, the child, away from his Richmond City playmates — there working out his crude wonders in that little room his foster-mother made a [page 252:] young writer's sanctuary for her gifted boy. So again was Poe “alone,” within the solemn tree-clad hills, but then with nature which “never failed to rest” him, However, With all Poe's dreams and fancies, the lad was very human, as it comes from his firm friend Tucker: “It is delightful to know Poe was not exempt from that college weakness — a good healthy quarrel with one's room-mate. When he first came to the University, he roomed on the Lawn with Miles George, son of Bird George of Richmond. Young George, some two years Poe's senior, matriculated Feb. 3,1826;was in the classes of Professors Long and Key. He obtained no special distinctions nor shared in like disturbances, but later graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. George and Poe had been together but a short time when something arose to snap their intercourse. Perhaps Miles refused to answer the 6.30 A.M. knock of the janitor who, in those good old days, made the rounds to see if the students were up, dressed and ready for work — or, ‘Edgar Allan’ may have been unwilling to count the clothes on 1lfonday.” In 188o there were seven ancient colored dames who claimed to have washed for “Marse Ed. Poe!” But, Edgar and Miles had a falling out and a genuine, good, old-fashioned fight, retiring to a field near the University; and after one or two rounds they agreed they were satisfied, shook hands and returned as warm friends, but not as room-mates.” After this little affair Edgar moved into No. 13 West Range, of which that section's odd numbers from 5 to 17 were known as “Rowdy Row.” As no mention of any room-mate [page 253:] is found — probably to dream there “alone” may have been its appeal to Poe, whose fearless soul held to no superstition as to the No. 13. From several sources comes how lie covered the walls of this room with crayon sketches and, writes Mr. Whitty, “there lurked Within the lot some caricatures of the august Faculty according to Hirst's ‘Life Sketch of Poe’ in [page 254:] Phila. Sat. Museum, March 4, 1843.” But Poe and his friend, Thomas Bolling, together invested in an English edition of Byron's “Poems,” in which appeared some fine steel engravings, and these plates so interested Poe that some days later young Bolling found Edgar copying one of them on his dormitory ceiling. During free intervals he continued these drawings of “extremely ornamental and attractive life-size figures until he had filled all the space in his room.” Mr. Tucker's statement that No. 13 was Poe's room, also the existence therein of his charcoal sketches, from Byron's “Poems,” are facts affirmed by Mr. Jesse Maury in 1892. His memory was strong as to some years prior to 1826. While not a student, he was then in charge of his father's teamsters hauling wood to Conway's boarding-house, and its wood-pile was back of West Range rooms from 5 to 15. Mr. Maury vividly remembered those charcoal pictures on Poe's walls, and his marvelous penmanship, of which he was then proud. Maury noted that “Poe entertained himself and friends by writing on a certain size of paper the largest possible number of words.”

Through three generations comes a dim remembrance of Poe's love for art prints, from the prohibition-abolitionist Peter Pindar Pease,(4) He, as a determined pillar of his church, relegated to perdition all poetry, and its writers, outside of his hymn-book. As a boy, Pease was an apprentice in the Charlottesville, Va., harness-maker's shop of Herman Tucker. In time it became a curio-store of debtor's lost values in pictures, books, etc. Among these, a rare copy of Hogarth's prints moved young Pease to buy it on [page 255:] time payment. Two had been made about May, 1826, when youthful Poe happened to come into the shop and noticed this book. He was told by Tucker that his clerk was saving its cost from his small pay. Poe obtained an introduction, and invited Pease to bring the Hogarth to his room that they might look it over together. During this call Poe suggested to throw dice for the book; and if lie lost he was to pay Tucker's full price for it to Pease. If Pease lost 11e was to continue his Tucker payments, and turn over the Hogarth to Poe. As usual, Poe lost, but he promptly paid the money. Pease twice met Poe again — both times to be noted in this narrative's order of dates 1827 and 1831. In his Byron charcoal sketches Edgar seemed to seek solace for his own lost sweet-heart in the boy-poet love of Byron for Mary Chaworth, but Poe realized that was “born of an hour” and “youthful necessity to lone,” and was different from his own; yet through Byron's first-love dream was drawn that poet's influence felt in Poe's verses for several years hence. Mr. Bolling added, that when talking with Poe, he would “scratch away with his pencil,” until Bolling would in fun criticise Edgar's lack of a host's courtesy; but he answered that he had been “all attention,” and proved that he had by suitable comment, and giving as a reason for his seeming distraction that he was trying to “divide his mind — carry on a conversation, and, at the same time, write sense on a totally different subject!” It seems, this mental division had not been of infrequent occurrence with Poe for some years prior: in this instance, Bolling added, that the verses handed to him as co-results of [page 256:] dual efforts “certainly rhymed well.” As to Poe's mental equipment, was continued, — “just reading ahead” with his active brain and marvelous memory would fit him for “making the best recitation in his classes.” In these he gained and maintained a high standing, to the admiration, also the envy, of some of his college-mates. Special regard for his friend Tucker led Poe to read to him many of his early productions which their writer's later judgment destroyed. Yet, when one was strongly approved, that little room No. 13 West Range was filled with a small, select audience of chosen friends who listened spell-bound to some strange, wild story just finished, which was read with its writer's soul in his voice-toned from the mad rush of action to the scarcely audible whisper of incantation, or slow, shivering curse. Once it happened that Edgar read a story of some length to these comrades around his hearthstone, when some, in the spirit of fun, spoke sparingly of its merit and noted the hero's name — “Gaffy” — as of over-frequent occurrence: the hypersensitive author was touched to the quick with such open comments, and, before his critics could prevent, like a flash he threw every page of “Gaffy” into the blazing fire; and thins was lost to literary posterity perhaps one of Poe's best humorous stories. Consigning this story to the flames did not prevent its chosen few hearers, for some time to come, from afflicting Poe's ears with the name of “Gaffy,“naturally not altogether relished by him more than was the earlier hated nick-name visited upon little Edgar — of six — at the old Grammar School at Irvine, Scotland. However, his college mate — and later Virginia [page 257:] statesman — John Willis, noted Poe as “one of many noble qualities,” and “with more genius and diversity of talent than any other known” to him; “but his disposition was rather retiring, and he had few intimate associates.” Tucker added: “Whatever Poe may have been in after years, he was, at the University, as true and perfect a friend as the waywardness of his nature would allow. There was never the least trace of insincerity and never the least inclination of fickleness of disposition with which he was afterwards so often — in the main — so unjustly charged.”

From traditions, some records and fugitive facts, it appears(5) the students divided themselves into two factions: studious, quiet young men, such as Gessner Harrison, Henry Tutwiler and Philip Cooke, who strictly obeyed the Faculty; while the Brunswick County crowd — a gay, rollicking set — were Poe's card-table companions with their never-empty glasses of peach and honey. These were: Thomas S. Gholson, most reckless of all, who became a pious judge of distinction and integrity; Upton Beal, who always held the winning card, became an Episcopal minister, for years at Norfolk, Va.; Philip Slaughter, Poe's most intimate card-friend, was also later a minister of the Gospel; Wm. M., or Billie Burwell, noted editor of De Bow's Review, and a rare genius of that old set, never finished sowing his wild oats; Z. Collins Lee, able lawyer of Washington, D. C., who attended Poe's funeral; and Thomas Goole Tucker, of North Carolina, great-hearted, bold, reckless, a warm friend, bitter enemy, a great fox-hunter, who was passionately devoted to Poe. [page 258:] Beyond this group was another of confirmed gamblers, who met over Jones’ book-store to play loo, etc., from one to ten dollars a game. The Faculty Minutes that year were full of students’ trials for visits to local confectioners, where all sorts of ardent and vinous liquors were sold and served there, and also at dormitory larks. But the late Dr. Kent definitely stated that “in all these records we nowhere find any mention of the name of Edgar Allan Poe. When that long list of students summoned to appear before the Albemarle County Grand jury was made out Poe was not included, although many of his companions were. At one of these many trials by the Faculty, — 6a certain witness deposed that there were not fifty students at the University who did not play cards.’ With as much readiness and no less accuracy he might have affirmed that not fifty of the fathers of those students were free from the same vice.”

Poe — as boy and man — had strongly marked peculiarities. These led him into trouble, and, unconsciously to himself, made enemies of those who should have been his friends. Douglas Sherley wrote that “Poe's University enemies were of the most dangerous and contemptible order — secret enemies — fellows ready to give you the stab from behind under cover of darkness. A band of envious cowards.” This new-research phase of Poe's University career seems to throw a flashlight of understanding upon affairs: that, unknown to Poe, all his card-table losses were not the results of fair play; and, as a fact, — Mr. Allan's shrewd Scotch judgment suspected as much when he refused to settle these losses. And time probably convinced [page 259:] Poe that Mr. Allan was right on this score. But in 1826 gaming did have its hidden sway among these gay young Virginia blades. It was openly the way of their fathers and their fathers before them. These were bred in the open ideas; and their earliest recollections were associated with horses, guns, full decanters of social duties, and cards as among usual drawing-room topics and diversions. Nor did these indulgences, there or elsewhere, prevent the issue from such adolescence of youth, noble men of noble callings in our country's annals of noble deeds. Yet for the permanent welfare of his University Mr. Jefferson and its Board of Visitors arranged “with the civil authorities to ferret out the most noted ‘of the young gamesters,’ have them indited and brought before the Grand Jury.” Therefore on a certain day the very good sheriff and his posse made their appearance at the entrance of a lecture-room as the morning roll-call was in order, to serve their writs on the gay gamboliers as each answered to his name. But these young knight-owls were far too wise birds to be thus trapped; and by just a glimpse of the Law's majesty and minions through an obliging doorway, gave to Edgar Poe, for his friends, lee-way through the opposite door and kindly windows for what is called “bolting” into various intricate, pathless ways well known to Poe in his lone rambles within the Ragged Mountains. A wary one or more, mindful of halting time in such retreats, caught up an idle pack or so of cards with which were beguiled some tedious parts of that three days’ seclusion; which no doubt effected the University's purpose, as no further like record exists. It is said, [page 260:] the delinquents’ hiding nook was a beautiful dell, way up in the mountains and far from the beaten path — the favored haunt of Poe. When almost overcome by those strange spells of depression verging on unconsciousness, he would go to this haven of restful quiet alone, and there linger for hours, buried in melancholy, beneath those dark, low sweeping pines. But after the young outlaws’ sleeping and card-playing days they gathered around a fire of pine faggots to keep off the chill of the night air and told ghost stories in turn till midnight; then, in single file and silence they passed down a pathless maze to meet anxious friends with provisions, including peach and honey. With supplies the upward climb was made to reach the rest and sleep of their retreat by dawn. On the third afternoon the glad tidings came that they were forgiven; so the fugitives left the Ragged Mountains that darkest of dark nights and, it is said, it was a mystery, with [page 261:] their souls filled with grim terrors, how they reached their deserted rooms. That such college pranks of youthful aristocrats in our own country were also played in the old world colleges overseas, are in evidence from Lowell, Fielding, Richardson, Thackeray and continental scholars. It is of home record that Edgar Poe's indulgence was only to a degree that had little or no effect on the high standing in his classes. This fact, with Poe's continuous writing during these University days, led the late Dr. Kent to believe that they covered, in chrysalis state, many a later finely developed literary effort. Mr, G. A. Montgomery, of New York City, owns a “Collection of English Poems” with “Preface by a Gentleman of Philadelphia,” issued in 1826, which the owner believes to be edited by Poe. But all in all, his writing, preparing for lectures, the lad's reading and some social duties, could not have left Edgar time for the “continuous and riotous college life” with which the poet has been over-generously credited by some of his biographers. At cards here — as in his first-love — Poe was not a ‘sinner, and probably on both scores by reasons of subterfuge methods of others. By nature he was no gambler; but knowing home troubles and the peril of loss, the desperation to retrieve it is a possible explanation for his further ventures to lessen a disaster thereby increased. Well he knew that loss would prove a serious menace to his welfare in the mind of one not unwilling to grasp this issue to free himself, for many reasons, from further responsibility as to this youthful offender.

Social advantages offered his young collegians [page 262:] came first from Jefferson's own dream-home Monticello, three miles away, sequestered within the shaded spurs of Southwest Mountains. It was the master's habit to invite twelve or more of the young men at a time to dinner, until all had had that privilege once or twice a year. Their scholarly host of courteous,

simple manners was of such magnetic charm as to win the most diffident of his youthful guests to ease by the forgetting of self in absorbing attention to subjects under his rule of discussion. No doubt these feasts of reason and material delights, the attractions of classic Monticello — in its Library, stairways disliked and niche hidden, as were other ways underground, by design of Jefferson himself — were incentives for high endeavor that he intended they should be for his voting students. In June, 1826, the Faculty passed this resolution: “That the [page 263:] students be permitted to celebrate the Fourth of July next, by an oration within the Gymnasium.” But Fourth of July demonstrations of the University of Virginia in 1826 were abruptly changed to mourning notes by the death of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. His physician, Dr. Dunglison, — also Chairman of the Faculty, — had prolonged his illustrious patient's life until that date, for which he anxiously enquired. Resolutions were drafted to wear mourning on the left arm for two months. The Faculty, with their students, were in full attendance with many others, July 6th, at the burial services of Jefferson — scholar, statesman and master-mind of their Alma Mater.

In social sequence, it appears that families of various ancestral homes in the surrounding country frequently came into personal touch with the students on such public occasions as the Fourth of July and Washington's Birthday, both always celebrated with loyal enthusiasm. Although Jefferson provided the upper part of the pavilions for bachelor instructors only, it is of record that two, Professors Key and Dunglison, had mated prior to leaving England. Professor George Long soon surrendered single blessedness, December, 1826, to irresistible Mrs. Harriet Selden, nee Gray; Professor Blaettermann capitulated to another lady fair of rare Virginia. By some subtle grace these charmers of men cast their spell over the powers that were, from whom were obtained their husbands’ pavilions entire for their homes. These drawing-rooms made another attractive feature in the college social life. From Dr. Philip A. Bruce and others is learned [page 264:] that the students themselves were allowed, under restrictions, to give entertainments to which ladies were invited. Added to these were several balls and evening parties at Fische's, Midway, or University hotels throughout the year, where the Professors, their ladies, the students and families of the county gentry all joined in the social sway of dancing, with reasonable quantities of mint sling and apple toddies so pleasing alike to the gaiety of youth and the dignity of years. Perhaps no more fitting close to Poe's University of Virginia career could be given than by quoting from Mr. Wertenbaker's “Edgar Allan Poe‘’ revised. “As Librarian I had frequent official intercourse with Mr. Poe, but it was at or near the close of the session before I met him in the social circle. After spending an evening together at a private house lie invited me, on our return, into his room. It was a cold night in December, and his fire having gone nearly out, by the aid of some tallow candles and fragments of a small table which he broke up for that purpose, he re-kindled it, and by its comfortable blaze I spent a very pleasant hour with him. On this occasion lie spoke with regret of the large amount of money he had wasted and of the debts lie had contracted during the session. If my memory is not at fault, he estimated his indebtedness at $2000, and though they were gaming debts, he was earnest and emphatic in the declaration he was bound by honor to pay, at the earliest opportunity, every cent of them. Were lie now living, his age on the 19th of this month (January, 1869) would be sixty. He never returned to the. University of Virginia, and [page 265:] I think it probable that night I visited him was the last he spent there. I draw this inference from the fact that having no farther use for his candles and table he made fuel of them.” As Mr. Wertenbaker dated the end of the 1826 Session Dec. 15th, and college records note Poe's presence there Dec. loth, he must have had “no fuel,” or money to get it, and have gone rather cold for five or more December days of his stay to make cheering by fire-light and warmth, if not by talk, his guest of the “pleasant hour” that night. He continued: “Foe's works are more in demand and more read than those of any other author, American or foreign, in the Library.” Dr. Charles W. Kent made this emphatic noting: “Edgar Allan Poe was not expelled, nor dismissed, nor required to withdraw, nor forbidden to return, nor disciplined in any wise nvhatsoever at the University of Virginia.” Dr. Kent added, that more than are known of Poe's poems were written, or at least revised, during his student days at his Alma Mater. By several authorities it has been stated that Poe never afterwards visited the University of Virginia, nor left any record of recognition of its influence on his literary welfare. Mr. Whitty writes that the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843, issue of Poe “Life Sketch” mentions the University of Virginia; as certainly does “The Tale of the Ragged Mountains” — in Godey's for April, 1844 — give picturesque expression of its environment. It was there that Poe found many of his ideals for “Landscape Gardening,” “Landor's Cottage” and “Domain of Arnheim”; all were budding in his brain as “he rambled over those Delectable Mountains and [page 266:] drank in their delicious beauty.” Poe had no gold to give, other than that minted from his brain; and as to paying dues, Mr. Whitty says, “this was Poe's way.” Had the University of Virginia paid the recognition to Poe, her living son, but by a tithe [page 267:] of what she has so generously given to the glory of his memory, it is likely no more interesting record in her annals than his would have existed. Poe was grateful and quick to respond! Grim facts show grinding poverty of Poe's after-life prevented his indulgence in visits of mere pleasure; also the non-payment of what he considered his “debts of honor,” and some college incidental dues there, barred him out, when University recognition would have meant a world of real comfort to him. Humiliation of debts, with other trials and heart-aches no cups could vanquish, and invincible devotion to highest literary aims, [page 268:] caused expression reticence of a gratitude inborn, and in later years immortalized by “To Helen,” “To My Mother,” his verses to Mrs. Shew, and more than all else his grace of silence significant, never broken in consequence of what Edgar Allan Poe owed to his foster-father, John Allan. Instinctively Poe was a gentleman, and the Honor System of the University of Virginia made its hall-mark impress upon him there, and for all his later normal life. Over the doorway of No. 13 West Range — now the Poe sanctum home of “The Raven Society” at his Alma Mater — appears a memorial tablet which bears these words:

Domus parva magni poetae.”

It was presented by the Misses Lois A. Bangs and Mary B. Whiton of New York.

The Raven Society, organized in 1904, has its Badge which marks and confers honors only on those distinguished for literary attainments. The Poe Memorial Association of the University of Virginia presented to the poet's Alma Mater a bronze bust by George Julian Zolnay, of which has been fittingly said: “It is Poe — poor, struggling, suffering, longing“and misunderstood. It claims conspicuous attention within the University Rotunda Library. Thus, on the immortality of Jefferson's University rests another and unique glory, for no other college in our country can claim an alumnus who has founded schools of literature in so many foreign lands as has Edgar Allan Poe, true son of this Alma Mater. Therefore may it not seem that honors are even? [page 269:] From Professor Woodberry it comes, that prior to Poe's departure, in 1826, Mr, Allan thought it well personally to investigate the young man's affairs, and [page 270:] went to Charlottesville, Va., for this purpose. There he found “this youth of seventeen with a mind and resolution of his own [no indication of “weak will” in those words] and with qualities and. impulses so blended” that they required the finesse treatment of a sage or diplomat for proper adjustments. The $2000 losses at play Mr. Allan peremptorily refused to recognize as “debts of honor,” and never paid, as is affirmed by lawyers’ letters concerning this subject, now in Richmond. Also were never paid, as of record by other letters, all other bills usual to students’ incidental expenses. From Mr. James H. Whitty's early and many years of various Poe-research, including that of Ellis & Allan MSS., now in the Library of Congress, come his prints of these “later letters” mentioned. It appears that the first came after Poe had left the Allan home and, later on, Mr. Allan's endorsement upon its back becomes of special importance. From Mr. Whitty's print, it reads:

(MS. Letter from EDWARD G. CRUMP to E. A. POE, indorsed — Edward G. Crump to E. A. Poe alias Henri Le Rennet)

Dear Sir: — When I saw you last in Richmond a few days ago I should have mentioned the difference between us if there had not been so many persons present. I must, of course, as you did not mention it to me inquire if you intend to pay it. If you have not the money write me word that you have not, but do not be perfectly silent. I should be glad if you would write to me even as a friend. There can certainly be no harm in your avowing candidly that you have no money if you have none, but you can say when you can pay me if you cannot now. I heard [page 271:] when I was in Richmond that Mr. Allan would probably discharge all your debts. If mine was a gambling debt I should not think much of it. But under the present circumstances I think very strangely of it. Write to me upon receipt of this letter and tell me candidly what is the matter.

Your friend


(MS. letters from G. W. SPOTSWOOD to J. ALLAN)

Dear Sir: My situation requires me again to request you will send the trifling sum I wrote for due by Mr. Poe — for servants hire — every young man who comes to the Institution has a servant — this of course is a sweeping charge. Mr. Poe did not live with me but hired my servant the justice of this small claim Sir I hope will cause you not to hesitate sending me a check for it directly. The am‘t is $6.25




2d April 1827.

1st May 1827,

Dear Sir: I presume when you sent Mr. Poe to the University of Virginia you felt yourself bound to pay all his necessary expenses — one is that each young man is expected to have a servant to attend his room Mr. Poe did not board with me but as I hired a first rate Servant who cost me a high price — I consider him under greater obligations to pay me for the service of my ServantI have written you two letters & have never rec‘d an Answer to either — I beg again Sir that you will send me the small am‘t due. I am distressed for money — & I am informed you are both rich in purse & Honour

Yrs respectfully


See Notes, Section III, for copy of “MS. Bill of Leitch against E. A. Poe.”(6) [page 272:] Mr. Whitty states that correspondence shows Leitch was writing the firm of Ellis & Allan in June, 1828, to know when Mr. Allan intended to pay his bill against Poe; and that this fact with the Crump and Spotswood letters “will be of interest and value” when Poe letters — with Mr. Allan's comments on them — in the Valentine ‘Museum, Richmond, are printed. These comments, also the claim that “debts of Poe that Mr. Allan refused to pay were gambling debts,” are not affirmed by the Crump, Spotswood and Leitch MS. documents requesting, repeatedly, payment for student's incidental needs then, and therein mentioned. Because Mr. Allan never before could so well afford to meet such bills, and he was generous, as he understood generosity, it is only logical to conclude that his own misdeeds — of prior noting, and unforgivable knowledge to Poe — moved Mr. Allan to grasp at and make known far and wide these college “gambling debts” as an excuse gradually to free himself, with public approval, from further connection with Poe. John Allan, the man, lost the best in himself when he thus transferred with sinister intention — of self-preservation of reputation — a stigma for life and death, that at least should have been shared, to the already over-burdened shoulders of this gifted, wayward youth; and such action might well make one, knowingly bearing this doubled burden alone, “irritable.” In the fact of Poe's silence — as to Mr. Allan's errors — share of causing their separation — lies the glory of an unconscious and measureless gratitude which, to any degree, has seldom been credited by adverse critics to Edgar Allan Poe. However, with the [page 273:] December, 1826, Richmond press-noted high standing in his classes, the much troubled young man left his Alma Mater under a financial cloud with lawyers trying to force Allan to pay the gambling debts. Mr. Whitty writes that “the attorney's letters are still preserved in Richmond.” Poe is said to have frankly expressed his penitence to Mr. Allan and offered to repay him the amount of these debts by “services in his counting house.” Mr. Whitty continues: “Upon Poe's return to Richmond [Christmas Eve, 1826, notes Professor Woodberry] Mrs. Allan greeted him with the old-time endearments which her husband resented.” Her boy is said to have confided to his foster-mother his keen regrets and sincere sorrow for his college losses at play. This repentance, however, failed to move Mr. Allan, as did also Mrs. Allan's intercession in the lad's behalf. Yet, it appears that her motherlove had “killed the fatted calf” for her prodigal's return, in a company to greet and congratulate him upon his fresh, college honors, of which — some two years later — Mr. Allan's uncanny letter, May 6, 1829, to the Honorable Secretary of War, John H. Eaton, noted of Poe: “He left me in consequence of some gambling debts at the University at Charlottesville, because (I presume) I refused to sanction a rude that the shopkeepers and others had adopted there making Debts of Honour of all indiscretions. [This rule was not in force during Poe's session of 1826.] I have much pleasure in asserting that he stood his examinations at the close of the year with great credit ... ” These last words show Mr. Allan had a conscience keenly alive — for his purpose [page 274:] yet self-seared, as this letter will tell in its order of date and place. But as no gambling records of Poe seem to have been found prior to or after this college period it is reasonable to conclude that gambling was not a “passion “with him; that he must have been a crude gamester, and in this instance his “meagre allowance” was the probable temptation; also his early losses’ retrieval incited further play with like consequences; these may partly have lurked in the dregs of that “single glass” repeated, but in which Poe took “no apparent pleasure” — yet it may have made him unconscious of being victimized by unfair play.

As to Poe's first love! Alas, Sarah Elmira Royster was to become Mrs. Alexander B. Shelton.(7) Mr. Edward M, Alfriend was told that Edgar returned to Richmond the very day of her marriage night; went to her home while the wedding party was going on, and, knowing nothing of the event, approached and asked her to dance with him. She then told him of her marriage. Poe remained long enough for each to tell the other the story of their intercepted letters and for each to learn the other's love and loyalty. After explanations, Edgar, “grief-stricken, left the house at once and Elmira danced no more that night.” When known to Mr. Alfriend, — Mrs. Shelton was beyond middle life, but many who had known her in her youth described her as “a very beautiful girl.” She said over and over again Poe told her that she was the “Lost Lenore” of The Raven.” Mr. Alfriend's father was Mrs. Shelton's intimate friend and constant visitor at her home. From Mr. James H. Whitty's later, special, copyrighted research on this subject is revealed that “the [page 275:] personal meeting of Elmira and Edgar” — after his return from the University of Virginia — “did not occur until 183, and then no words passed between them. Poe was unable to communicate with or find the whereabouts of Elmira upon his return to Richmond in 1826. She had been sent to relatives in North Carolina; and her parents gave Poe to understand that when Elmira was older, and he was in a position to provide for her, opposition to the marriage would cease. His pleadings for a personal interview and understanding with Elmira herself were in vain. With a belief that Elmira was aware of the demands of her parents, and would await his return for their betrothal, he determined to seek his fortune, and departed upon his eventful sea trip of 1827. His leaving his Ada asleep in a bower, fearing to awake her, and going forth to win her a crown, as told in the early version of ’ Tamerlane,’ clearly in dicates Poe's frame of mind at this epoch. Upon his return to Richmond in 1829 to attend the funeral of his foster-mother, Mrs. Allan, he learned for the first time of Elmira's marriage: both affairs left a deep and sad impression upon his mind. The early version of ‘Tamerlane’ was then considerably revised for the edition of 1829. While in Richmond on this trip Poe visited the Royster home, and created a scene by denouncing her parents. He ‘wished to expose them in the presence of Elmira, but she was discreetly kept out of sight. She heard of the matter afterwards, however, and also managed to lay her hands upon a letter — written to her by Poe — hitherto secreted from her.

“Poe went to West Point Academy without fully understanding how Elmira herself had also been imposed [page 276:] upon in their love affair, and only realized the full truth when told by an old, mutual friend, early in 183. Poe took the matter much to heart and seemed anxious to meet Elmira and clear away old misunderstandings. His letter of June 22, 1835, to T. W. White, stated that he ‘had been desirous for some time past of paying a visit to Richmond, and would be glad of any reasonable excuse for so doing.’ In the August number of the Southern Literary Messenger were printed his Anonymous lines called ‘Ballad,’ also ‘To Sarah,’ both evidently published with a view of reaching the eyes of Elmira. Poe's, had never been a love grown cold for Elmira, and with that impetuosity shown in his later day love affairs he yearned, at least, for a meeting with his first love to explain his true attitude. Once in Richmond he was not long in finding an opportunity for a meeting with Elmira. It occurred at a large reception there, proving rather a dramatic as well as a Poesque affair. Poe, knowing that Elmira was to be at the reception, stood at the end of a large reception room eagerly watching the arrival of all new comers. Elmira was not aware that Poe had been invited. She entered and stood in the hallway with flushed cheeks, taking off and handing her outer cloak to an attendant; when suddenly, she glanced down towards the farther end of the crowded reception room, and there she met the gaze of two dark eyes. Poe never, for a single moment, relaxed his gaze. Elmira afterwards stated that she could not, for the life of her, do aught but return his gaze, — becoming riveted to the spot. Their old love affair was well understood by many of those present; and Elmira only [page 277:] realized the dramatic situation in which she stood when her husband approached and hurried her to the dressing room, secured her wrap, hurried her into a carriage, and drove home, where there was another scene.

“After this, Poe indulged more freely in drink, and his melancholy moods became worse. T. W. White was writing, September 21, 1833, — ‘Poe is in addition a victim of melancholy. I should not be astonished to hear that he had been guilty of suicide.’ Poe himself in a letter of September 11th, had just written Kennedy — ‘Urge me to do what is right!’

“This entire matter was unknown to Poe's biographers; and these letters have been hitherto used to place Poe in rather a false position as an inveterate drunkard. The true situation was, that Poe had only just then begun fully to realize that Elmira was a wife and mother. He finally determined, instead of any further pursuit of Elmira to do what was right. His further journey in life vas to be with his little Cousin Virginia, whom he married a short while afterwards. Poe and Elmira never met again until 1849, when their youthful betrothal was renewed.”

Yet, strangely, every prose and poetical allusion Poe ever made to his first, lost love seems to suggest that, in some mysterious manner, their mutual loyalty was known to each other. But, well might that all-eloquent, wordless meeting have inspired Poe's 1827 “song,” of which the second verse is

“And in thine eye a kindling light

(Whatever it may be)

Was all on Earth my aching sight

Of Loveliness could see.” [page 278:]

Mr. Whitty notes of Poe's mentions of “lost soul” which so many writers on the poet do not understand: “I believe he thought, from the moment he fully realized Elmira might be lost to him, that he was ‘damned‘; shut out of all heavenly as well as earthly happiness. She was the ‘light of his life,’ his soul as it were. Mark his early wail of anguish in ‘The Vital Stream’ — ’ See — see — my soul, her agony!‘that is the way I am now viewing it. Elmira could not help liking Poe nor could he do else than likewise in respect to her. Neither could help showing it, which naturally caused the green-eyed monster to wrangle in Shelton's bosom.” Poe clearly delineated what Elmira was to him in “To One in Paradise”; its first verse tells truly:

“Thou wast that all to me, love,

For which my soul did pine —

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrine,

All wreathes! with fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine.”

A side-noting on, “To One in Paradise” — Thomas O. Mabbott(8) — gives is that “its imagery may be best understood by remembering a quatrain of the poet Politian, translated by Poe in ‘Pinakidia,’ —

‘To teach me that in hapless suit

I do not waste my hours,

Cold maid, whene‘er I ask for fruit

Thou givest me nought but flowers.“’

But this blight of his life, Poe placed in that poem's third verse: [page 279:]

“For, alas! alas! with me

The light of Life is o‘er!

No more — no more — no more —

(Such language holds the solemn sea

To the sands upon the shore)

Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree,

Or the stricken eagle soar!”

Another tribute to this lost love seems conclusive in a seeming Poe-copy — somewhat varied, perhaps for his purpose — of Gilbert Stuart Newton's oil painting, “Forsaken,” of which Poe's copy was entitled, with some strong significance, “The Farewell Letter.” This copy, with another, was found among effects of Poe's devoted friend Robert M. Sully by his granddaughter, Miss Julia Sully, who gives the grace of its reprint. On the reverse of Poe's copy, in his dimpencil hand, appears, — “Edgar A. Poe”; and in Robert Sully's faint pencil hand is, — “From Edgar A. Poe.” No other clue to this gift-picture is known; but it follows the drawn conclusions mentioned. It seems a drop-curtain on one of his young life's tragedies. The original painting Miss Sully found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. There are various records of Poe's drawings and among them were several sketches of Hiss Royster. Newton's picture may have presented her as Poe saw her in his visions as given by his copy and new title.

Tenaciously Poe held to his first troth in idealisms of prose and verse. Undoubtedly the poet pictured in the December, 1844, Columbian Magazine print of “Byron and Miss Chaworth” his own experience. This subject is headed by “Les Auges ne sont plus [page 281:] pure que le cœur d‘un jeune homme qui aime en vérité.” Madame Dudevant's words translate the universal thought that “The angels are not more pure than the heart of a young man who loves truly.” Between the English and French fervor of these two gifted souls Poe sustains his “spiritual” balance thus: “In every allusion made by the author of ‘Childe Harold’ to his passion for Mary Chaworth there runs a vein of almost spiritual tenderness and purity ... strongly in contrast with the gross earthliness pervading [his later] and disfiguring his ordinary love-poems. ‘The Dream,’ in which incidents of his parting with her when about to travel, are said to be delineated, ... has never been excelled ... in the blended fervor, delicacy, truthfulness and ethereality which sublimate and adorn it. ... That his attachment ... was earnest and long abiding, we have every reason to believe. There are a hundred evidences of this fact scattered through his own poems and letters. ... It was born ... of the youthful necessity to love, while it was nurtured by the waters and the hills, and the flowers and the stars. ... They met without restraint and without reserve. As mere children they sported together; in boyhood and girlhood they read from the same books, sang the same songs, or roamed, hand in hand, through the grounds of ... [that garden enchanted Poe guarded from the winds but on “tip-toe” — by those grand old lindens of that Richmond City Square.] He to her ... was a not unhandsome, and not ignoble but ... portionless ... young man. She to him was the Egeria of his dreams — the Venus Aphrodite that sprang in full supernal loveliness, from the [page 283:] bright foam upon the storm-tormented ocean of his thoughts.” Full of glittering identities this seems Poe's own story, told in his own way, of his first, lost love — perhaps on the parting of their ways of this poet and his beloved. Therefore struggle as they might — this situation, with self-created marital unhappiness in the Allans’ home, turned Edgar to some strong thinking as to leaving Richmond; seemingly made purposely impossible for his living there.

Mr. Whitty(9) writes that Edgar paid some passing attention, after his return home from college, to a fair damsel — name unknown — visiting Mrs. Juliet Drew, “for a colored servant remembered carrying notes to her there.” And there are hints of a short stay at the “Lower Byrd Plantation” Mr. Allan's Goochland County place where Poe made a brief study of law.

In the Allan Richmond home Poe was made to feel he was in the way. Early in January, 1827, he was relegated to clerk's — service, under close scrutiny, in the counting house of Ellis & Allan, and likely with results that Mr. Allan's astuteness had foreseen. For over-counter sales-duties Poe's disgust was definitely delineated in his earliest known satirical verses, “Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!” Alas, from those days of consideration as son of the house for Edgar, to no consideration of this 1827 menial treatment, “Oh, Times! Oh, ‘Manners!” had indeed changed for Poe, and to far worse effects than he levied on “the luckless Pitts.” As no research of Ellis & Allan MSS. in the Library of Congress or other sources has revealed any pay records to Poe, perhaps his word for repayment of his gambling debts to Mr. [page 284:] Allan held Poe's distasteful service until their nonpayment convinced him he felt himself properly released from this bondage. Therefore, not unlikely, time was filched from it for forbidden sweets in reading, and revisions of his own verses. Mr. Whitty(10) thinks some drafting of “Tamerlane” was then made, where. “by strange coincidence,” that “dingy old Ellis & Allan warehouse adjoined the Southern Literary Messenger building wherein Poe made his first, brilliant editorial success” — in the world of letters. However, traces of Poe then and there — in the “dingy old warehouse” — have been found in the Ellis & Allan MSS., in the Library of Congress, by copies of the old English ballad “Ally Crocker,” which Mr. Whitty believes has personal reference to Poe's first love affair; excerpts from Byron's “Dream” — to same effect; and to Byron was credited “The Burial of Sir John Moore,” written by Rev. Charles Wolfe, — Poe called his copy of these verses “The Soldier's Burial ”; and of his own “Introduction” to them, Mr. Whitty notes: “This may stand as Poe's earliest known criticism.” There also came to light a copy of a “Song,” from Goldsmith's “Captivity“then felt by Poe — and some nameless verses, Mr. Whitty's third edition of Poe's “Poems,” entitled “The Vital Stream,” of which two lines are:

“Flow softly — gently — vital stream;

Ye crimson lifedrops, stay.”

Mr. Whitty notes these verses of 1827 are the “earliest known, in Poe's own handwriting.” Professor Killis Campbell has a photostat copy of the [page 285:] original MS. recently lost, except by such copy, in the Library of Congress. “These verses were said to be written at one sitting,” notes Mr. Whitty. These strayings seem to be all found of Poe's tributes to the muses during that equally trying time to them and to him in the arid fields of commercial interest. Before long they became a veritable prison space to Poe's trend of mind in poetic fancies; therefore during these days of unrest he sent a letter to the Mills Nursery, Philadelphia, exploited by Ellis & Allan in Poe's garden “enchanted” under the lindens, asking for a situation. This letter, returned to Ellis & Allan, Richmond, resulted only in a heated discussion between its writer and Mr. Allan, of whom Poe asked some different employment. He was answered, that he was his own master (the Philadelphia episode does not affirm this statement) but henceforth he was not to look to Mr. Allan for money aid. Mr. Whitty thinks this Philadelphia idea of Poe was to reach a ‘eider literary center than Richmond, for following such a career, Poe also needed library research not to be found in his home city. Mr. Whitty writes that Ellis & Allan kept files of the public press of that day, and these files included the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, of which a few numbers had notations by Poe; also “An Enigma” by him “was in the May, 1827, Philadelphia Casket.” This Philadelphia-letter incident but more determined Poe to seek his own living away from Richmond, where conditions, mostly created by others, purposely or otherwise, made staying there impossible for him. Mr. Whitty believes that it was at this time Poe first thought of London as [page 286:] the “Eldorado” of his literary vistas, — and surely with British Museum Library research in mind, as many later events affirm. judge Robert W. Hughes, personally known to Poe, is quoted as “the best posted authority and from whom came the poet's own statements,” writes Mr. Whitty, who further notes, from F. W. Thomas’ 1860 “Life Sketch of Poe,” written when Thomas was with the Richmond press, that upon the death of Thomas his “Recollections of Poe” fell into the keeping of Judge Hughes, who finally placed this MS. for print issue in the hands of Mr. Whitty when he was connected with the Richmond, Va., Sunday Times. Mr. Whitty adds, he “was most fortunate” in having access “to these invaluable resources.” Results appear in his many editions of “Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.” From such authorities it comes that Poe had been talking with a vessel-owner, trading with Ellis & Allan, as to working his passage to London, where he hoped to obtain not only literary employment and recognition, but — as so forcefully appears to be from Poe in the “American Copyright “of November, 1847, Blackwood's Magazine — he had strongly in mind this “traversing the ocean for foreign libraries” research where he could get needed notes for his “Tamerlane” and “Al Aaraaf” then brewing in his brain. The result of this research gives Poe's Boston, North American, 1827 reflex of experience with startling truth in the use of that research, which “was one great object that deprived him of a popular reputation” in America, where his “overtures including it were replused with the rudeness of negative which [page 287:] would have shocked the sensibilities of a footman.” With their tough fibre Poe's London life made him well acquainted. But Poe's 1842 “English Notes” print, by Boston Daily Mail, described the British Museum's “fine reading room and immense library of reading books.” Only there or at Paris could Poe have pored —

“Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore” —

to obtain his unique notes and needs for “Tamerlane” and “Al Aaraaf.” These “Notes,” at that early time, should forever settle the controversy over Poe's 1827 voyage to Europe, for such results could not likely be obtained by Poe (under Allan's displeasure from the age of fifteen) in any American library of those days.

With the foregoing first mention of Poe — narrative connection dates with Blackwood's Magazine, which recognized no contributions from the poet, seems fitting the statement that with invincible force the strong individual effects of Poe's pen and personal experiences, like the ghost that “will not down,” hover over various prints of that periodical from at least 1842 to 1847 inclusive. Sustaining this opinion are here and now noted, with some later repetitions, the following briefed reasons which closely cover Poe's ardent desire for foreign literary recognition — which he generously gave from his early Literary Messenger days to British magazines — and his own ceaseless, intense struggle for International Copyright. “The Fall of the House of Usher” was printed in Burton's Gentleman's [page 288:] Magazine, September, 1839, and was promptly reprinted — without credit to Poe — by Bentley's Miscellany “as original.” In a “P. S.,” of Sept. 11, 1839, Poe wrote Dr, J. E. Snodgrass: “I have made a profitable engagement with Blackwood's Magazine, and my forthcoming tales are promised a very commendatory review in that journal from the pen of Professor Wilson — keep this a secret if you please for the present.” June 17, 1840, to Dr. Snodgrass Poe wrote that he had sent his “Tales” to Professor Wilson in a secure way “six weeks prior,” etc. Jan. 17, 1841, Poe made special inquiry of Dr. Snodgrass for articles on “International Copyright Laws,” “Laws of Libel in regard to Literary Criticism”; also, in this connection made an urgent request for the “promised aid” of his lawyer friend David Hoffman, Baltimore, for The Penn, Poe-projected magazine. March 29, 1841, Poe-data (sent Dr. R. W. Griswold) gives: “Lately I have written articles continuously for two British journals whose names I am not permitted to mention.” July 4, 1841, to F. W. Thomas, Poe wrote: “To coin one's brain into silver, at the nod of a master, is, to my way of thinking, the hardest work in the world.” Aug. 27, 1842, to Thomas, Poe wrote “Without international copyright law, American authors may as well cut their throats. A good magazine, of true stamp, could do wonders in the way of letters or the law.” In “The Copyright Question,” of the January, 1842, Blackwood's, are some startling Poesque expressions. In H. B. Hirst's “Life Sketch of Poe,” issued in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843, appeared that he wrote “two [page 289:] anonymous papers for a British periodical — and several such for an American Quarterly.” At Philadelphia, July 19, 1843, Poe registered in the District Court for Law studies, at the University of Pennsylvania, and his sponsor was lawyer H. B. Hirst. In a letter of March 30, 1844, to Lowell, Poe deplored “the present condition of International Copy Right Law.” May 17, 1845, the London Critic noted of the Broadway Journal, — “of international copyright the loftiest principles are avowed.” International copyright and placing his own best writings before British authorities were among Poe's main aims in the Broadway Journal. In the Preface to his 1845 “Poems” Poe wrote: “If what I write is to circulate at all, I am naturally anxious that it should circulate as I wrote it.” This idea apparently did not obtain observance in the Poesque prints of Blackwood's — undoubtedly paid for, to be used at the editor's discretion. Blackwood's Magazine is said to credit December, 1842, “American Notes” to Samuel Warren — 1807-1870 — author of “Ten Thousand a Year,” which was Poe's special abhorrence and noted by him in Graham's November, 1841, issue as “shamefully ill-written. Its mere English is disgraceful to an LL.D. ... would be ... to the simplest tyro in rhetoric ... the whole is the ... attempt to throw ridicule on the ministerial party by dubbing them with silly names.” Another's record of Warren reads that he had “colossal literary vanity. When it was not assailed he was the gentlest, best hearted and most reasonable of men.” Poe assailed the literary vanity of Samuel Warren, of whom no found record has ever placed him in America [page 290:] for its study of anything. Blackwood's Magazine is said to credit its November, 1847, “American Copyright” print to the Rev. Cleveland Coxe. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, 1818-1896, second Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Western New York; had no “traversing the ocean” (noted — rightly as to Poe in 1827 — in November, 1847, Blackwood's) until 1851 ; then the Rev. Mr. Coxe was a delegate to the Lambeth Conference at London. Among the various listed works of the Rev. Arthur Cleveland Coxe not one on “American Copyright” has been found. Poe gave a harsh critique of one of these, in the Sept. 6, 1845, Broadway Journal.

Returning to the Poe-narrative order of date in Edgar's 1827 voyage to London: he knew that his devoted school friend, Robert M. Sully, was studying Art there; but it was not then known that he was saving his pennies, by fractional dinners, to satisfy his heart's hunger for fine prints of Reynold's originals, and coming into personal touch with Lawrence. Leslie and Northcote. R. M. Sally's portrait of Northcote brought its painter commendation of the art critics and its public London exhibition. Robert M. Sully is credited with painting two portraits of Poe. A portrait, Philadelphia catalogued “by an unknown artist,” representing the youthful, “stout ” — Poe so described during his University of Virginia days in 1826 — is painted on copper, and is somewhere in existence. It seems of proper period to have claimed Sully's 1827 London brush for perpetuating the face of his poet friend when they were together at this time. A print of this picture is given in these pages. However, Poe [page 292:] frankly stated his transatlantic intentions to Mr. Allan, who made no objections; but when the lad, with tears in his eyes, went to take leave of his fostermother, she violently opposed the project to which she would not consent. Upon her entreaties her husband saw the vessel owner and no further mention of this plan was allowed. Judge Hughes had this statement from the “vessel owner who, on demands of Mr. Allan, refused to take young Poe.” Later, matters not mending, notes Mr. Whitty, Edgar talked over another plan with his friend Ebenezer Burling, who enthusiastically consented to join the venture. Fond of his cups, Burling's favorite resort was Mrs. E. C. Richardson's Inn, North Main Street, between 9th and loth Streets, where he and Poe “quietly arranged to wwork their way” on an outward bound vessel for England. It appears that an old colored servant knew the secret and told judge Hughes that he wanted to but did not dare to tell Mrs. Allan. He “carried a small bundle of Poe's personal effects from his room to Mrs. Richardson's,” where Poe and Burling went for the night, and left early the next morning to board the vessel in dock. Evidently Poe was determined to escape the snares and double burden of Allan-Royster troubles in Richmond. Perhaps “The Farewell Letter” of that picture was written at this time to his first love.

From a March 27, 1827, letter, Mr. Allan wrote his sister Mary, in Scotland, Mr. Whitty notes: “I am thinking that Edgar has gone to sea to seek his fortune.” Mr. Whitty adds: “At the same time was this indorsement on the Crump letter, [“Edw G. Crump, March 25, 1827, to E. A. Poe, alias Henri Le [page 293:] Rennet”] which indicates Poe had been away some time, long enough for particulars of his going — including the name, Henri Le Rennet, which he assumed, to be known to Mr. Allan and probably the one Poe used in signing one of the two letters received by his foster-mother from him, ‘written at some unknown seaport.’ ” Mr. Whitty thinks the name “Henri“came to Poe's mind from Henry Arnold, his maternal grandfather, and adds, that among the Ellis & Allan items destroyed by the late Colonel Thomas H. Ellis were Poe letters to Allan bitterly denouncing him for his treatment, and indicating he was about to leave home. Colonel Ellis thought the Poe letters were dated January to February, 1827. Poe's letter to Mills Nursery, returned to Allan, and prior Poe letters mentioned, referred to these strictures. With Mr. Whitty it is logical to believe that Mr. Allan knew at this time that Poe was well on his way to Europe; most probably supplied him with some money for this Richmond riddance to its donor, who, however, fearing Edgar might visit the Scotland scenes of his childhood and there make known the misdeeds of Mr. Allan to his sister, his letter noted was sent to her. She and others there were in due time posted, from Mr. Allan's point of view, as to Poe's “ingratitude,” and to some extent it became current belief there, where this record seems to have stood ever since its affirmation by Dr. R. W. Griswold's inaccurate “Memoir” of Poe, issued in T85o. This Allan, Scotland Poe-record came from the same quality of character that traced that 1824 MS. COPY letter to seventeen-year-old Henry Poe that involved [page 294:] the honor of his dead mother. In glowing contrast shines Edgar Allan Poe's life silence of gratitude as to Mr. Allan's irregularities on moral scores. His name is known to the world only by reason of incense swung to the memory, not of his generosity as he understood it, but of the God-given genius of a rejected fosterson.

It appears, Poe's courage was of another order than that of his friend Burling, which, on return to sober reflection, moved him to desert at the first port entry and make his way home. He may have brought Edgar's first letter to his foster-mother, of whom Mr. Whitty notes: “When she heard from Burling that Poe had gone abroad, she was inconsolable for weeks.” Failing to influence Mr. Allan — because for him Poe was no more — to obtain her boy's return, she wrote him two letters that freed him from all blame in the Allan family disturbing affairs. Throughout her life the poet's wife guarded these letters with jealous care, after he, who had so truly loved their writer, placed them in his Virginia's keeping. When very near to the better world she asked to have them read to her. Eliza White, daughter of Thomas W. White, founder of the Southern Literary Messenger, remembered this incident and thought these letters had been sent to Poe abroad. Miss White “had seen them, some years prior in Richmond, where they had been shown to her family by Virginia.” Mrs. Edmund Smith, Poe's Baltimore “Cousin Elizabeth,” was at Fordham Cottage when Virginia died, and had these letters, she later told Miss White.

By sailings and other 1827 notings Mr. Whitty [page 295:] seems secure in evidence that from late February to late May gave Poe time to make this to and fro London voyage. Mr. H. J. Moulton, Boston authority, states that Poe had forty days’ leeway from late January, or early February, to May 26, 1827, dating his Boston, U. S. Army enlistment. It is said that Burling, who started with Poe, told Dr. Rawlins their destination was England. Judge Hughes is credited with the knowledge that Burling also advised Mrs. Allan that Edgar had gone abroad. Miss Valentine said, Poe wrote his foster-mother when he was in Europe. From F. W. Thomas it comes, that Henry Poe visited Edgar twice in Richmond; the latter visit dated 1825. Henry said that after Edgar's return from college, discontented with the small allowance made him by Mr. Allan, Edgar left him and worked his own passage on a vessel, making a rough voyage to England. Failing to find employment there, his slender purse served his going to Paris, where he was relieved of what money was left excepting enough to pay his return to London. There, with no means, or influential friends, he took passage for a New England port. There are other, misty references in various records as to Poe's voyage aboard a “coaling vessel” and otherwise crossing the Atlantic. Mr. Whitty sums up the subject thus: “Wherever Poe sailed, he later wrought much nautical knowledge into his writings, and through all his perils by sea or land he held fast to his MS. verses and those letters from his foster-mother” he so truly loved.

Between April 4th and May 26th, 1827, four transatlantic vessels are found in press-noted Boston port [page 296:] arrivals. May 2nd, from Liverpool, and twenty-five days’ passage, Sapphire Calendar docked in that U. S. harbor. From Liverpool, April 10th, sailed The Mt. Vernon — thirty-two days en route — and reached Boston May 12th. Brig Ivory Lord, from Cowes, Isle of Wight, arrived in this port May 19th. The London Packet, from London, left Cowes March 10th, — forty-three days out from London — and docked at Central Wharf, high tide, at 11 A.m., Tuesday, April [page 297:] 24th, 1827, with Sir Francis Chantry's statue of Washington aboard for the Monument Association of Boston. Captain Mackay “reported very rough weather, three days surrounded by ice. Passengers, Dan‘1 H. Hunnewell, Adam Smith, Edward Gray and 9 in steerage.” On the landing of Chantry's Washington a salute was fired by Washington Artillery. This statue was exhibited at 141 Washington Street, almost opposite the Old South Church. On its side of this street, three doors from the corner of State Street, was No. 72, the book store of Bowles & Dearborn, importers of foreign issues and sellers of “new books, stationery, cutlery, etc.” They had “a printing office connected” with their store business, and advertised they would “execute all kinds of printing in the neatest manner.” On the floors above this store were offices of the United States Review and Literary Gazette, North American Review and Christian Examiner & Theological Review. If Poe — with Washington in marble — crossed the sea in this London Packet that docked April 24, 1827, or came into port aboard any other vessel, it is likely the lad of eighteen, rough — sea weary, slipped ashore on arrival and found his way to Washington Street, and in passing, the attractive book-store windows of Bowles & Dearborn claimed his instant attention; not only on book scores but in seeming promise for employment of his clerical services by some periodicals housed under the same roof. There is no doubt the lone, unknown youth applied to all occupants of this building for literary work, showing his treasured MS. verses for such effects; and as little doubt they were voted “the stuff that dreams were [page 298:] made of “and the dreamer unsuited for practical business needs. Poe's deep, ever after dislike of the North American Review seems rooted in 1827, and retrospectively pointed to twice, — once in “American Copyright” of Blackwood's November, 1847, print, by these words: “America nips young genius in the bud. ... traversing the ocean for foreign libraries — his overtures here [in Boston, Mass., 1827] were repulsed with a rudeness which would have shocked the sensibilities of a footman.” But haunting the heart of literary Boston of that day Poe probably came into personal touch with Edward Vernon Sparhawk — of poetic instincts — who understood Poe's work and whom Mr. Whitty believes was met by him at this time; and by Sparhawk's suggestion possibly, Poe was directed to the small printing shop of Calvin F. C. Thomas, No. 70 Washington Street (No. 216 of to-day), next door to, and perhaps in connection with No. 72 Bowles & Dearborn's book store. At No. 68, corner Washington and State — opposite the Old State House — Caleb Hartshorn's store retailed hats, gloves, hosiery etc., from 1826 to 1835. No. 70 was not a street store, but an entrance to a small elliptical hallway where a stairway — slender in banister and spindles — wound about the right, curved wall from its street floor to the roof, and gave access to rooms on all floors over Caleb Hartshorn's — No. 68corner store. As Boston Directories but once — in 1827 — noted Calvin F. S. Thomas, and then at “70 Washington St. only, it indicates his mother, sister and himself made their home under the same roofage as his printing shop. Its early line picture [page 299:] print was found by Mr. Walter G. Forsyth, Boston Public Library. Professor Woodberry notes that Thomas’ father was English; his mother, a native of Boston. That they had a daughter and a son — the printer, who was born at New York, August, 18o8; their father died soon afterwards. His widow took her two children to Norfolk, Va., where all lived with relatives, between whom and those of Poe there seems to have been some occurrences not wholly pleasing to young Thomas, are traditions noted by Mr. Whitty.

As to friends of Poe's parents in Boston — so pathetically noted by his mother on the back of her “Boston Harbour 1808” sketch given to him — no record of 1827 has been found; nor is it likely these friends could have been found by her son. But some closing touch between writers and printers brought Poe and Thomas together for near and far time — even if of uncertain, financial, that — day results, by Poe's MSS. poems’ advent in their first book print of forty small copies. Not a century later one of a few existing perfect copies of this first edition of “Tamerlane and Other Poems By A Bostonian, Boston: 1827, Calvin F. S. Thomas,” was sold at Anderson's Art Galleries, New York, February, 1919, for $11,600. Another copy is one of many treasures of Mr. Henry E. Huntington's Library. From Mr. Guido Bruno, New York City, it comes that Henry Stevens, bibliographer of Vermont, in 186o sent one copy with a lot of Boston prints to the British Museum, London, where, after a seven years’ sleep, this item was valued at one shilling paid for, and is now held as priceless there, where it was [page 301:] traced by collectors. One copy, incomplete, in Philadelphia, is valued at a price of $9000. This print of 1827 is described as the “tiniest of tomes” — 63/8 by 4 1/2 inches — and numbers only forty, in all its pages, which are counted among the rarest and most costly in print, book form. Mr. Whitty states that “even this book's reprint is now very scarce and expensive.” Its title-page motto, from Cowper, is:

“Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm,

And make, mistakes for manhood to reform.”

The Preface and poems pages give frequent and intimate reflex of the heart and mind of their writer within his eighteen years of life at that time. Glimpses are given of his own rooms, which lovely Mrs. Allan made a writer's sanctum for her boar in their several homes from 1821 to the end of her’ life. Therein he found his baby feat could move in lines of rhyme in sense and nonsense;‘there the child Edgar dreamed his dreams of literary consecration that brought to his memory an immortality they never then dared touch. From these seeding times, with irregular but constant study — that later hard conditions allowed between — came “Tamerlane,” with the flitting nine of other musings. The first, — “I saw thee on thy bridal day,“song, as of prior mention, is said to refer to Edgar's first and lost sweet-heart, Sarah Elmira Royster, who became Mrs. Shelton. With the little known history of Tamerlane, or Timur Pek as he was called, Poe admits lie took the full liberty of a poet concerning this probable descendant of Zinghis Khan, who died in 1405 — time of Pope Innocent VII, whence mystically [page 302:] came the friar, to whom through “Tamerlane” opens his own heart thus:

“I have no words — alas! to tell

The loveliness of loving well!

. ... . ...

O, she was worthy of all love!

Love — as in infancy was mine

‘T was such as angel minds above

Might envy; her young heart the shrine

On which my every hope and thought

Were incense — ...

. ... . ...

We grew in age — and love — together — ...

My breast her shield in wintry weather — ...

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven — but in her eyes.

I reach‘d my home — my home no more

For all had flown who made it so. ...

And, tho’ my tread was soft and low ...

O, I defy thee, Hell, to show

On beds of fire that burn below,

An humbler heart — a deeper woe!”

These lines seem a spirtualized tender touch of Poe's lost-love episode. Of “Dreams,” and their splendor of youth, this dreamer then wrote: “I have been happy, tho’ in a dream.” The third poem was “Visit of the Dead”; and, as the death most impressive on Poe's boyhood years was that of Mrs, Stanard, of prior mention as resting in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, perhaps memories of her loveliness to him inspired these lines: [page 303:]

“The breath of God will be still;

And the mist upon the hill

By that summer breeze unbroken

Shall charm thee — as a token,

And a symbol which shall be

Secrecy in thee.”

The fourth was “Evening Star,” of early-date halting expression for Poe, and concerned its writer's introspections. Of the fifth poem, “A Dream Within a Dream,” Mr. Whitty writes, “was eventually revised into 1849 lines ‘To — ,’ which were addressed to ‘Annie’ — Mrs. Chas. Richmond, Lowell, Mass.” Then most truly Poe wrote:

“I am standing ‘mid the roar

Of a weather — beaten shore,”

and with this query,

“Is all we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?”

From Thomas Ollive Mabbott comes: “Did I tell you, Longfellow quotes Poe's pet phrase, ‘a dream within a dream,’ in his poem on Hawthorne's death?” Sixth, seventh and eighth poems of 1827 “Tamerlane” print are nameless and seem introspective facts and fancies clamoring for rights of youthful utterance. The ninth was “The Lake” and depicts the loveliness of loneliness with depths, as affecting one,

“Whose solitary soul could make

An Eden of that dim lake.” [page 304:]

From Mr. R. M. Hogg, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, comes: “In prose and verse Poe often writes of ‘Tarns,’ as in ‘The House of Usher,’ and his verses, ‘The Lake: To — ,’ are descriptions of a‘Tarn’ in the Island of Arran; standing in the Clyde facing Irvine 20 miles distant, Nve have typical tarns. Doubtlessly Poe was a visitor with the Allan family, and there got his view of the most beautiful of all tarns, situated on the west coast of Arran not far from the cave where Bruce hid in 1306. This tarn is overshadowed by the mountain Ben Ghaoil — or Goatfell — and is called ‘Coire an Lochan’ — the ‘caldron of the geese’ or drakes. At sunset, it is a wonderful sight, calling up all the glow and mystery that would not fail to impress young Poe in his 1815 Irvine summer, with Arran off its shore. The scenery of this tarn fits into Poe's description. Arran was ever a summer holiday [page 305:] resort for Irvine folk to go and its ‘Goat's Whey’ was highly recommended for consumptives.”

In Poe's “Preface” of “Tamerlane” was noted, that most of its poems were written before he was fourteen — when he was “too young to have any knowledge of the world but from his own breast.” This seems borne out by the incident of Mr. Allan asking Professor Clarke's opinion of their MSS. merits some years prior. Of his poems Poe added that they were not intended for print issue, which act concerned no one but himself: and that in “Tamerlane” its writer had tried to expose “the folly of even risking the best feelings of the heart at the shrine of Ambition.” This seems pointing to Poe leaving, and losing [page 306:] his first love for advantages of the University of Virginia. This Preface owns to many faults “that might have been corrected in these poems ”; that their writer “is not indifferent” to their success which might stimulate him to other efforts, but “failure will not influence him in a resolution already adopted.” With this challenge to criticism the “Preface” closed and with these words from Martial: “Nos haec novimus esse nihil,” — We know this work to be of no importance. Yet, not only a challenge rang out from this “Preface,” but a firm conviction — then almost prophetic — for its writer's future literary triumph — by pride of scholarship against countless adversities — in these lines from “Tamerlane”:

“There is a power in the high spirit

To know the fate it will inherit:

The soul, which knows such power, will still

Find Pride the ruler of its will.”

Many quote the latter two lines in mistaken evidence that Poe made it a point to cultivate “pride” as a quality of character. No more exacting critic of his own work existed than was the poet himself; for his “pride” of scholarship kept him correcting his literary labors up to the month of his death. Of Poe's methods Edwin Markham writes: “He willed to build his structure of verse upon poetic laws as exact as those that swing the planets in their orbits. ... He had a definite theory of poetry and rigorously followed it. Poe declares the orgin [[origin]] of poetry lies in a thirst for a wilder Beauty than Earth supplies — that poetry itself is the imperfect effort to quench this immortal [page 307:] thirst.” As to Poe — the normal man — though conscious of his genius and, in due time, family prestige, it is of too frequent record that his manners were as simple, retiring and courteous as were those of gentlemen of the old school of Virginia, amongst whom he was reared; and this world holds none anywhere of finer fiber or more unique grace.

Professor Woodberry thought “Tamerlane,” the only known book venture of Calvin F. S. Thomas, was of mid-summer date issue. Its receipt was advertised by the next door United States Review and Literary Gazette, August, 1827; and the North American Review, October of that year. Probably a copy or so — of the forty printed — strayed among the “new books” displayed in the street windows of Bowles & Dearborn; and this issue was noticed in Samuel Kettell's “Specimens of American Poetry,” Boston, 1829: “the first comprehensive work on American poetry,” notes Professor Woodberry. But whatever the merits or lack of them in this work, by a boy of eighteen, is it quite fair to say it “was justly condemned to oblivion“? Certainly its mere printing rescued therefrom the name of Calvin F. S. Thomas, who, the autumn after its issue, went to New York, later on to Buffalo, thence to Springfield, Mo., where he died in 1871. But certain must have been the supreme joy the first sight of those thin little volumes brought to the lonely heart of their young writer! How long and hard had he worked and struggled against endless obstacles for the triumph of this modest accomplishment; and that fact gave him courage for further efforts of higher aims! [page 308:]

From Theodore Pease Stearns(11) it comes that his great-uncle, as young Peter Pindar Pease, left the Charlottesville, Va., curio store — of prior mention — about July, 1826, for Boston. When at wharf-work there, unloading a dray of hides one blustering spring

afternoon of 1827, he recognized in a pale-faced, weary clerk in shabby gear but very neat emerging from a near mercantile house, the University of Virginia student whom Pease knew there as Edgar A, Poe. Pease was about to hail Poe when he wittingly and suddenly turned and disappeared around the corner. After Pease had finished his task and was starting home he found, some ways down the street, Poe awaiting him. On being hailed by Pease, Poe pushed him into an alleyway and begged him not to utter his name aloud to any one, because lie had left home to seek his fortune and until he “hit it hard he wished to remain incognito.” Poe seemed [page 309:] very tired from loss of sleep and said he had failed to obtain work on any large journal, but finally became a market reporter on an obscure paper of which its debts soon ended its issue. Ite later clerked, at a very small salary, in a wholesale house on the water front. His landlady had no patience with a boarder who sat up nights writing on paper what he could not sell, and soon turned him into the street. This dim memory picture of Poe at that time sustains the suggestion that he did make a money pittance as a “clerk” (of his U. S. Army registry), and probably thus went on fractional rations to save enough to pay Calvin F. S. Thomas the entire cost of the “Tamerlane and Other Poems” issue of forty copies. Later on Poe said this Boston experience made him desperate enough “to do anything but cut his throat.” But the boy's battle for bread was on — aside from some possible good stray meals with his probable acquaintance, poetic Edward V. Sparhawk, whose relatives (family of Oliver Sparhawk, merchant) lived at 60 State Street; and Poe failing to find, in literary but bewildering Boston, work for his pen, indicates it was a weary, disheartened and perhaps a hungry lad that, Saturday, May 26, 1827, enlisted as a private soldier in the U. S. Army, under the name of Edgar A. Perry. This fact is the exclusive discovery of Dr. George E. Woodberry(12) through Ex-Secretary of War Robert T. Lincoln and Adjutant-General Drum, and exhaustive examinations of records “at Washington, D. C., and elsewhere.”

These records give Perry grey eyes, brown hair, fair complexion and five feet, eight inches of the human [page 310:] unit in stature. Poe gave his birth as at Boston; his occupation as clerk, and his age twenty-two, when he was but eighteen. Perhaps shattered dreams of hopedfor literary recognition and occupation led Poe to assume — in name and age — an incognito until time enabled him to pursue literature as a consecrated life calling. Throughout all his driven years lie never relinquished this persistency of purpose, but his critics — with comforts of life — seem more concerned in the years Poe added to and subtracted from his age than to put themselves in his place for light on occasions that they, hungry, might have served less — ,yell. So far as known, normal Edgar A. Poe never uttered an untruth to the hurt of any one, but endless are the records of such utterances made, oblivious of harm to him ; yet misstatements lie intentionally made as to age, etc., strictly concerned himself. In fact Poe made no secret of misstating his age. Mr. Whitty notes that in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine is: “The infirmity of falsifying our age is at least as old as the time of Cicero, who, hearing one of his contemporaries attempting to make out he was ten years younger than he really was, very dryly remarked, ‘Then, at the time you and I were at school together, you were not born.“’ And, among many, it seems well known that Mrs. Browning was not always exact in stating her age. Also William E. Burton, actor-editor, in later touch with Poe, was very inexact in giving his birth-date. But because Poe — at eighteen — became Edgar A. Perry in the U. S. Army in May, T827, and “Tamerlane,” of mid-summer issue “By a Bostonian” bears not its writer's name, it is questioned if young [page 311:] Thomas, its printer, ever knew this book was written by the author of “The Raven,” Yet, Mr. Whitty thinks Poe and Thomas knew each other well enough, some prior time, to create reasons for later mutual non-recognition. However, Edgar A. Perry, that pleasant Saturday, May 26, 1827, was made sure of some sort of a Sunday dinner, rations, roofage, uniform, small pay — $5 per month — and the beauty of the island that claimed his military service. He was at once assigned to duty at Battery H of the First Artillery, stationed at Fort Independence, Castle Island, Boston Harbor. Retrospectively one can picture a lonely lad boarding the military transport — a [page 312:] simple row-boat of those days-plying between City Wharf and the island landing place; thence following the upward winding way about the fortress walls and entering the heavy, low-arched, stone gateway, within which then began the two years’ U. S. Army service of Edgar Allan Poe that defied biographical discovery until revealed in Edgar A. Perry by Dr. George E. 1Voodberry's able efforts. Those massive stone walls of the fortress inclosed a square about which opened various quarters — that meant to the new recruit at least present escape from the streets and hunger. Poe-period plans of Fort Independence, Boston Harbor, and of Ft. Moultrie, Charleston, South Carolina harbor, have been courteously supplied by William M. [page 313:] Black, Major General, War Department, Washington, D. C.

Doubtless many after-duty hours from late May to mid-August were spent by the young literary enthusiast on his MSS.; and many a leave of absence was used in following their evolution into the precious “tiny tome” print of “Tamerlane,” at the shop of Thomas, No. 70 Washington Street, Boston. There appears no evidence that Poe's persuasion of Thomas to print this book did not include at least its small cost expense in that day. For bare materials of the forty copies Poe could have saved from his meagre pay$5 per month — from May to autumn when Thomas left Boston; and a mutual venture of financial returns in sales, if none were made, became a mutual loss. A few copies were given for press-notices; and several Poe sent to Richmond; lie probably paid for keeping one or more for his revision use. He may have paid their small cost price for all; but unable to meet reprint cost from these plates then, probably made his reason given in the 1829 edition — that “Tamerlane” of 1827 print was “suppressed through circumstances of a private nature.” But in absence of facts, is it just to put “poor Thomas” in the balance with the assumption that Poe was more than a willing debtor? Thomas at least had family, friends and funds enough to set tip a printing shop in the center of literary and commercial Boston: while Poe, as Perry, what had he? Meagre pay, shelter, a soldier's kit, daily bread and the lordly sum of $S per month — for service rendered! Yet will and courage invincible and equal to his embryonic and unrecognized [page 314:] genius held that “balance” in the poet's favor — for Time paid Poe's debt, if one there was, in full to Calvin F. S. Thomas! It seems safe to believe his flight to New York City that autumn was not caused by the wreckage of his Boston shop by the forty tiny “Tamerlanes” printed for Poe, and rescued Thomas from oblivion.

Castle Island, with its deserted fort, is now, and must always have been, most picturesque, with its military [page 315:] service from the far Colonial days of its wooden-built Fort William, so called for the third of his name, to reign in Old England. This structure was British, destroyed in the birth of Our Nation, which wrought many changes in reconstructions by bricks and stone and name until 1797, when President Adams witnessed the christening of the American construction on Castle Island as Fort Independence. Its strength in five bastions — Winthrop, Sherley, Hancock, Adams and Dearborn — and its beauty of situation served the grim use of States Prison until 1805: “for 50 years” from 1812 it was voted “the quietest garrison on the U. S. coast line.” Barracks troops gave place to companies from the eastern coast Sierra forts. Without the walls exists a pathetic record of duelling days, when Lieut. Robert F. Massie fell there Christmas Day, 1817, “aged 21.” Now, the serenity of the old grey fort is defended only by an Ordnance Sergeant, who warns off interlopers, oils the guns and sees to repairs. But May 26, 1827, Colonel James House, Commandant of First U. S. Regiment of Artillery, was stationed at Fort Independence, Castle Island, “off shore from Boston town.” Under summer skies of these shores the days soon sped with the young poet until Oct. 31, 1827, when — with Battery H. of U. S. 1st Artillery and Colonel House, our soldier writer Perry was ordered to Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. He kept fast grasp upon his MSS. with his first treasured print of “Tamerlane.” Leaving Boston Harbor, before the full blast of winter's breath was frozen upon it, for the warmer waters of Charleston shores must have been most [page 316:] beneficial to Poe, as were also his wholesome out-of-doors life, regular habits and more than all else a comparative release from nervous strain that seemed his portion from various causes prior to and later than these two years in U. S. Army service.

In contour, Sullivan's Island has been described as “very like the beak of a spoon-bill duck.” It is separated from the mainland by a mile-wide marsh, crisscrossed by creeks. Its first fort-Sullivan by name — was a double square pen of palmetto logs: the sixteen — foot space between was filled in by sand to the log-bastioned corners. But the memorable battle of June 28, 1776, between the British and American Colonies [page 318:] began the birth of Fort Moultrie in the victory won by Colonel William Moultrie and others against the British Fleet under Admiral Sir Peter Parker and the land forces of Sir Henry Clinton. All schoolboys know one thrilling incident of that conflict was the heroic rescue of our shot-a-way flag by Sergeant jasper, who leaped over the breach and calmly replaced it under the enemy's heavy fire. This fort's gallant defence, one of the most brilliant actions of the Revolutionary forces, gained for it the name of its fearless defender; and its brick reconstruction presents ‘ its interior, in 1860,” as it was in the 1827 Poe-period, and appears in the plan furnished by General William Black, Chief of Engineers, War Department, 1917. Much of special local interest comes from Miss Mabel L. Webber, Librarian of the South Carolina Historical Society.

Because some descriptive details in “The Gold Bug” — Poe's Prize Story of the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, June 21 and 28, 1843 — have been questioned as to accuracy in connection with Sullivan's Island, it seems needful to repeat that Poe never posed as standing by literal facts in his creative works, which were more or less dominated intentonally [[intentionally]] by his imaginative faculties. Yet this sixteen years’ later remembrance of a place where he spent an entire year in military service shared something of personal interest in his study for “The Gold Bug.” When at Fort Moultrie, Poe paid(13) many a visit to the old books in the Charleston office of the Probate Judge, where were documents upon which his fancy constructed this story. These documents were dated Sept 5, 1745, and related to the South Carolina coast wreck, during the [page 319:] prior summer, of the Brigantine Cid Campeador, Julian di Viga, Commandant. These records were some of which judge Gleason was collecting for a volume. Poe noted Sullivan's Island as “singular,” of little else than sea sand; three miles long, with “breadth nowhere exceeding a quarter mile”; separation from the main land was made by a shallow creek “oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime,” — favored by the marsh hen; the vegetation was scant and dwarfish, and no large trees. Fort Moultrie was standing near the western point where were some poor frame buildings in which fugitives, from Charleston's dust and fever, found refuge within the bristly palmettos; and, excepting this point and the hard, white beach of the sea-coast, the island was covered with a dense undergrowth of sweet myrtle, which there attained a height of fifteen or twenty feet and formed an almost impenetrable coppice and ladened the air with fragrance. Within its utmost recesses, not “far from the island's eastern end,” Poe's hero, “Legrand, had built himself a small hut.” Always partial to solitary rambles Poe, perhaps after duty hours, made enough acquaintance with such a place and person to serve as basic facts for “The Gold Bug.” He continued, that “the island's winters” are seldom severe: fires are rarely needed; but he added that “the middle of October” (1828?) was a day “of remarkable chilliness.” He stated that Charleston was nine miles away, the going to and fro of primitive order and convenience; that Legrand's occupations were fishing, gunning, rambling, and he had many books. As a fact, books could well have lured [page 320:] Poe to a Legrand solitude of the poet's fancy — built but environment. But how he traversed those “nine miles” between the Fort and the city so often was not told. That Poe did go, Mr. Whitty discovered in: “A peculiar fact connected with his Army career was an appointment at Charleston, May 1, 1828, as artificer. This office called for military mechanics, of some kind, of which Poe was never known to possess the knowledge,” When off duty allowed time intervals at Charleston, Poe probably sought out localities connected with his grandmother Arnold and her “Betty,” of nine — and later, his mother — during the theatrical winter 1797-1798. His father's first stage record — December, 1803 — was made at Charleston, [page 321:] and his mother's last dates there were during 1810 and 1811.

In October, 1828, Battery H of 1st Artillery, under command of Colonel House, was transferred to Fortress Monroe, Va., which grimly shares with Old Point Comfort one of the divinest curves of the Atlantic Coast. This Fort was planned to be the most extensive in the United States, and its cost $2,500,000. Its thirty-five foot thick walls, faced with heavy granite block casements below the water and surrounded by a moat, were begun in 1819; and the Fort was named for President Monroe. It is said, President Andrew Jackson, when inspecting Fortress Monroe — about 1838 — called it “a pretty good card box.” But in the “Official Army Register, 1829,” Fortress Monroe appeared to be more than a mere fort in this noting, — “Artillery School for [page 322:] Practice,” — composed of ten companies, detached from several regiments of artillery there, of which Colonel House was then Commandant.

By the kindness of Librarian H. D. Todd, Jr., was found in “Post Order Book” — of Fortress Monroe, Dec. 20, 1828, — “Special Order No. 911 Private E. A. Perry of Company H, and Private Joseph Moore of Company ‘ E,’ are detailed for duty in the Adjutant's Office until further orders. By order of Colonel House — H. W. Griswold, Adj‘t Arty.” The Morning Report, for Jan. 2d, 1829, shows that Poe, as “Artificer Perry, [had been] promoted to Sergt. Major,” — “a promotion, which by the invariable custom of the army was made only for merit” — notes Professor Woodberry, — ,who adds of Poe that “he discharged his duties as company-clerk ... in the commissarial department so as to win the good will of his superiors and was in all respect a faithful and efficient soldier.” Then he was drawing from U. S. pay-roll $10 per month.(14)

Some Poe biographers hold that he here made known his identity to Assistant Post Surgeon Robert Archer, who had relatives at Richmond; that Dr. Archer told Poe's story to Colonel House, who, with other friends of the young soldier, suggested his asking Mr. Allan to provide a substitute, and that Poe should obtain a cadetship at West Point to enable him to follow a career in keeping with his family and education; also, that Poe followed this advice. But Mr. Whitty is very certain that relatives of Mrs. Allan, who lived about Fortress Monroe, “came into some recognition touch with Poe” — perhaps by his wish [page 323:] to send her a letter. That “he did not wish Mr. Allan to know anything about him.” Mr. Whitty believes that “neither Mr. nor Mrs. Allan did know of Edgar's whereabouts until she heard from this relative,” or by Poe's note inclosed to her; and “in this way came about his return to Richmond.” Whether by a direct letter from Poe to Mr. Allan, disclosing the army substitute and West Point proposition, or by such reaching him through Mrs. Allan, is uncertain; but it is clear that her rapidly failing health and importunities with her husband for her foster-son, whom she longed to see once more, prevailed to the extent of his applying to Colonel House for Poe's leave of absence — to go to Richmond. But Feb. 28, 1829, he answered the roll-call for duty at Fortress Monroe; and that same day, of momentous importance to him, the sweet soul who loved him as her own son, answered the last of all mortal roll-calls. Her long-suffering spirit was released from earthly struggles for her boy and also for herself, but not before she had wrung from her husband some sacred promise to better conditions for the absent child of her heart. It is of record that he reached Richmond too late to see her living.

In the Richmond Whig,(15) Monday, March 2, 1829, was: “Died on Saturday morning last, after a lingering and painful illness, Mrs. Frances K. Allan, consort of Mr. John Allan, aged 47 years. The friends and acquaintances of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral from the late residence.”

Mr. Whitty states that an official letter notes Poe's leave of absence granted, and of — ,which appears no [page 325:] other record. Mr. Whitty adds facts obtained from Mr. James Galt: that Edgar was at his foster-mother's funeral; that it was her dying wish to take her boy once again in her arms before she passed from earth, and if this could not be, “she would not be buried before he saw her.” It is said that Poe's home-coming to see her was most harrowing, as was also the keen sorrow he could not control at her grave in Shockoe Hill Cemetery. Another Richmond record is:(16) “Poe came to the city a few days after the death of the first Mrs. Allan, who, on her death-bed, expressed a great desire to see him.”

From Mr. Whitty's notings of Henry B. Hirst's “Poe Life Sketch” — in the March 4, 1843, Philadelphia Saturday Museum — of usual facts and some fancies, self-revised by Poe, it comes that “Mr. Allan treated his young protég´e with as much kindness as his gross nature admitted.” These words “gross nature” seem the sole castigation of Mr. Allan that Poe ever allowed to come from himself for print. In striking contrast appears of Mrs. Allan: “She was one he ‘sincerely loved, for she, in character, was the reverse of her husband.’ ” Void of her presence the Allan house was filled with haunting memories of her for her foster-son, for whom “she in all ways tried to make it a happy home.” All this covers, her brave battle with marital disturbances as well as her battles for Poe; they caught him, tactlessly perhaps, but firmly standing for her and against Mr. Allan, with prior noted consequence to himself.

While no record appears in Mrs. Allan's name as [page 326:] aiding Poe, it is logically surmised that after her passing on, the financial assistance he did receive from Mr. Allan came, if not from her personal provision, at least from the solemn prior death promise she exacted from him in connection with Edgar's welfare. Among Ellis & Allan MSS. in the Library of Congress is this order of Mr. Allan: “Mr. Ellis please furnish Edgar A. Poe with a suit of clothes 3 pair socks or Half Hose — Mr. McCrery will make them also a pair of suspenders and Hat & knife pair of gloves John Allan March 4, 1828.” Mr. Whitty notes the year — ” 1828” — as a “palpable error,” as this entry in the Ellis journal appears “March 3, 1829, against John Allan Per. order to E A. Poe”: also a later entry that the clothes were made by McCrery. Because the price of this cloth was $12 per yard and the London Hat $10, etc., indicates truly that Mr. Allan's nature and habits were generous in touch with rearing Poe, and his drastic transfer from such consideration to a menial's servitude in Allan's store, naturally created serious consequences for one totally unfitted for bridging the chasms of life's practical issues, which fact was well known to Mr Allan. Mr. Whitty adds: “In one of those many sadly written letters in the Valentine Museum, Richmond, Poe refers to his foster-mother in most affectionate terms and intimates that ‘matters would have taken a different course if she had lived.’ Childhood memories of her, after tucking him in bed, and standing within his dormer-window niche of their early Richmond home, with lamp in hand and mother-love ‘Good Night’ on her lips, seem to make Mrs. [page 327:] Allan share with Mrs. Stanard — Poe's ‘Helen’ the inspiration of these exquisite lines:

‘Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche

How statue — like I see thee stand,

The agate lamp within thy hand!

Ah, Psyche, from the regions which

Are Holy — Land!’ ”

This surely is a mother's domain. It is said that the 1831 version of “A Pæan” was in memory of Mrs. Allan, and truly Poe never before more needed her saintly, motherly devotion. Surely her domestic unhappiness seems intertwined with these lines:

“From more than fiends on earth,

Thy life and love are riven,

To join the untainted mirth

Of more than thrones in heaven

“Therefore, to thee this night

I will no requiem raise,

But waft thee on thy flight

With a Pæan of old days.”

Poe's brief visit to Richmond — early in March, 1829 — resulted in a letter-request from Mr. Allan to Colonel House for “Perry's” discharge from the serv ice by providing a substitute — but with Mr. Allan making this action on his part very clear to Poe, as conditional on his entering West Point as a cadet, whereby he would have no further financial aid from Mr. Allan, whose letter to Colonel House appears in no found record up to (late. But one was found from Colonel House,(17) requesting permission “to discharge from the service Edgar A. Perry at present the Sergeant-Major [page 328:] of the 1st Reg t of Artillery, on his procuring a substitute.” This letter noted Poe's “enlistment at Fort Independence in 1827” — and of Mr. Allan was stated “that a letter I have received from him, requests that his son may be discharged on procuring a substitute.” That Mr. Allan called Poe his” son” in this letter to Colonel House, seems done to harmonize with Edgar's Army record. Colonel House concluded with, — “an experienced soldier and approved sergeant is ready to take the place of Perry so soon as his discharge can be obtained.” This letter was dated “March 30, ‘29.” Official reply from General Edmund P. Gaines commanding the Eastern Department, U. S. Army, New York, was an April 4, 1829, order by which Poe — as Perry — obtained his discharge April 15th. But prior to leaving Fortress Monroe Poe secured several commendatory documents from officers of that post with the view of use for West Point: Lieut. J. Howard's — 1st Artillery — dated “10th Apl. 1829,” in part was: “Edgar Poe late Serg‘t-Major in 1st Art‘y, served under my command ... from June 1827 to January, 1829, during which time his conduct was unexceptional. He at once performed the duties of company clerk and assistant in Subsistent Department, both of which duties were promptly and faithfully done.” From Battalion Captain and Adjutant 1st Artillery, H. W. Griswold, came: “In addition to above, I have to say that Edgar Poe” — first written “Perry,” but changed — “was appointed Sergeant-Major of the 1st Arty: on 1st of Jan‘y, 1829, and up to date has been exemplary in his deportment, prompt [page 329:] and faithful in the discharge of his duties — and highly worthy of confidence.” From Lieut. Col. W. J. Worth, Commanding Fortress Monroe, was: “I have known and had an opportunity of observing the conduct of above Serg‘t-Maj’ Poe some three months, during which his deportment has been highly praise-worthy and deserving of confidence. His education is of a very high order, and he appears to be free from bad habits; in fact the testimony of Lt. Howard and Adjt. Griswold is full to that point. Understanding he is, thro’ his friends, an applicant for a cadet's warrant, I unhesitatingly recommend him as promising to acquit himself of the obligations of that station studiously and faithfully.”

With other effective records these strong personal commendations in due time did, in the law courts, and should, shatter all later belief in the idle, cruel rumor that Poe spent the money sent — undoubtedly in a business-like way with Mr. Allan's letter to Colonel House — for the substitute at hand; also this rumor charged Poe with forging Mr. Allan's name to a note for meeting that purpose. However, with these Army records young Poe — now twenty — left Fortress Monroe, with his trunk full of books, his treasured MSS. and little else, late in April, 1829, for Richmond, Va. There he seemed welcomed by his “Aunt Nancy” — Miss Valentine; and in his room — that his foster-mother “always kept as he had left it“in the Allan home, her bereft son made a brief stay. While in Richmond, traditions say Edgar dropped many a tear over the newly made grave of her he held so dear, now resting across the way from, yet [page 330:] near to, that of his “Helen” — Mrs. Stanard — in this city's silence of Shockoe Hill. Here an idealism from Mr. Whitty is, — “The two mounds within near sight of each other and Poe standing there with but a single thought, the most melancholy — Death!”

Mr. Allan lost no time in his efforts to place Poe at West Point. For this purpose, May 6th, letters of commendation were — at Mr. Allan's request — written by several of his friends — a, request not likely made, nor so answered, for a forger of notes, which if a fact must have been known to Mr. Allan at that time and rendered him culpable as an accessory after the [page 331:] act — of equal impossibility to credit to him or Poe. In no uncertain terms was the letter of Congressman James P. Preston — father of Edgar's firm school friend Jack Preston — to Major John Eaton, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. This letter was dated Richmond, Va., May 13, 1829, and in it was written:

SIR: ... I know — Mr. Poe and am acquainted with his having been born under circumstances of great adversity. I also know from his own productions, [“Tamerlane”] and other undoubted proofs that he is a young gentleman of genius and talents. I believe he is destined to be distinguished, since he has already gained reputation for ... attainments at the University of Virginia. I think him possessed of feeling and character peculiarly entitling him to public patronage. I am entirely satisfied ... the salutary system of military discipline will soon develop his honorable feelings and elevated spirit, and prove him worthy of confidence. I would not write his recommendation if I did not believe he ... would remunerate the Government ... by his services and talents, for whatever may be done for him.

Of a strikingly different manner was Mr. Allan's own letter, to the Hon. Secretary of War, John H. Eaton. It was dated Richmond, May 6, 1829, and follows:

DR. SIR, — The youth who presents this, is the same alluded to by Lt. Howard, Capt. Griswold, Colo. Worth, our representative and the speaker, the Hon‘ble Andrew Stevenson, and my friend Major Jno. Campbell.

He left me in consequence of some gambling debts at the University at Charlottesville, because (I presume) I refused to sanction a rule that the shopkeepers and others had adopted there, making Debts of Honour of all indiscretions. [This “rule” was not in force Poe's [page 332:] session 1826]. I have much pleasure in asserting that he stood his examinations at the close of the year with great credit to himself. His history is short. He is the grandson of Quartermaster-General Poe of Maryland, whose widow as I understand still receives a pension for services or disabilities of her husband.

Frankly, Sir, do I declare that he is no relation to me whatever; [If living today this letter-writer might wish to recall Poe-Allan marriages of Ayrshire, Scotland. See Note 6, Section II] that I have many [in] whom I have taken an active interest to promote theirs; with no other feeling than that, every man is my care, if he be in distress. For myself I ask nothing, but I do request your kindness to aid this youth in the promotion of his future prospects. And it will afford me great pleasure to reciprocate any kindness you can show him.

Pardon my frankness; but I address a soldier. Your ob‘d‘t Se‘v‘t


The marked contrast between several preceding letters and Mr. Allan's needs no comment beyond noting the fact of his determination to rid himself of Poe, with apparent honor, at any cost. Consecutive reading of these letters probably made such impression on the Hon. Secretary of War for finally favoring Poe when later on he had conquered his pride enough to present Mr. Allan's with the others to that U. S. Official.

In connection with the intervening time between Poe's leaving Fortress Monroe, April, 1829, to his entering West Point, July 1, 1830, the following incidents are interesting. Dr. James A. Harrison(18) noted the years of 1829-30 as “stirring ones” in the “famous Convention to revise the Constitution,” meeting at [page 333:] Richmond, where the project brought amongst the most distinguished men of our country, ex-Presidents Madison and Monroe and John Randolph of Roanoke, to the home city and active presence of Chief Justice Marshall, personally known to Poe, and a friend of special consequence to his foster-mother. Her Edgar was no doubt not only a frequent listener to the thrilling eloquence of these several masters of American oratory gathered there, but also a keen observer, in their passing day, of those old-school gentlemen of “tie-wigs, knee-buckles, and black stocks,” then seen everywhere in Richmond City. According to Mr. Whitty it also appears that Poe, while waiting there for his commission, spent some of his time “in investigating as to, — ‘the many’ in whom Allan had taken ‘active interest,’ mentioned in his letter of Poe to the Hon. Secretary of War; and with some definite results as to what not Poe — but the Court records afterwards disclosed.”

Before long the young man was on his way to Washington and, perhaps by boat, later to Baltimore, where he was said to have passed some six months with different relatives. But all records agree that Poe gave close attention to studious revisions of his MSS. and print verses at all times, also like usual young aspirants for literary favor, he had the habit of seeking advise of successful writers of his day. One such quest, as to “Al Aaraaf,” of William Wirtauthor of “Letters of a British Spy,” etc. — Professor Woodberry notes, brought Poe about this time the advice to consult “some less old-fashioned writer” than himself on the poem sent. In a fragment of [page 334:] a May 11, 1829, William Wirt letter(19) to Poe was written:

DEAR SIR, — It occurred to me, after you left this evening, that I was probably losing you a day on your journey to Philadelphia by proposing to detain your poem until tomorrow, as I understand the Day boat has commenced her Spring trips between the two cities. I ... therefore send the poem ... tonight. I am sensible of the compliments you pay ... my judgment and only regret that you have not a better counsellor. ... The notes contain ... curious and useful information but ... I doubt if the poem would take with old-fashioned readers like myself. [Poe, in 1827, “traversed the ocean” for these “notes,” then not to be found by him in either Richmond or Boston.] ... I would advise you, therefore, as a friend, to get an introduction to ... some critic in Philadelphia — versed in modern —

Here the writing is cut off; but this fragment places Poe in Baltimore, May 11, 1829, and on the evening of this Philadelphia trip, during which he probably met Agnes Pye Usher of later mention.

At this time these lines of the poem — “Al Aaraaf” — referred to strongly apply to Poe, young poet:

“Dim was its little disk, and angel eyes

Alone could see the phanton [[phantom]] in the skies,

When first Al Aaraaf knew her course to be

Headlong thitherward o‘er the starry sea — ”

Poe ever dreamed in “Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty.” Of that date writing Dr. James A. Harrison thought that the poet's precision of style, growing with his “intense feeling for rhythm,” was “energized by the measured tread of [page 335:] soldiers’ feet” and the martial regularity of their movements. Of this Philadelphia trip Poe — wrote, on his return to “Baltimore, July 28, 1829,” which dated his letter to Messrs. Carey, Lea & Carey at Philadelphia; and it was indorsed “Rec‘d July 30th.” This recently found letter, noting rare, new Poe items, is quoted by courtesy of the owner, Mr. Charles Bromback, Philadelphia. It reads:

GENTLEMEN, — Having made a better disposition of my poems than I had any right to expect, (inducing me to decline publication on my own account) I would thank you to return me the MSS. by — mail, I should have been proud of having your firm for my publishers & would have preferred publishing, with your name, even at a disadvantage had my circumstances admitted of so doing. Perhaps, at some future day, I may have the honor of your press, which I most sincerely desire. Mr. Lea, during our short interview, at your store, mentioned “The Atlantic Souvenir” and spoke of my attempting something for that work. I know of nothing which would give me greater pleasure than to see any of my productions, in so becoming a dress & in such good society as “the Souvenir” would insure them — notwithstanding the assertions of Mr. Jno Neal to the contrary who now & then hitting, thro’ sheer impudence, upon a correct judgment in matters of authorship, is most uncommonly ridiculous whenever he touches the fine arts.

As I am unacquainted with the method of proceedings in offering any piece for acceptance (having been some time absent from this country) would you, Gentlemen — have the kindness to set me in the right way.

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than any communication from Messrs Carey Lea & Carey.

With greatest respect & best wishes I am Gentlemen, Your most obt servt

EDGAR A. POE. [page 336:]

Mr. Bromback's fac-simile of this original Poe letter is faithful to tone, quality of paper — of irregular edge — “torn from” a blankbook showing the stitching — also in color of ink. Its important items cover Poe's personal meeting with Carey, Lea & Carey in 1829, prior to the heretofore accepted idea that he was first introduced to them by Mr. Kennedy in 1833 or 1834; that, in 1829, Poe first offered to them “Al Aaraaf” poems, in MS., previous to the Baltimore acceptance of same by Hatch & Dunning; that Poe wished to write for the Atlantic Souvenir; that his criticism of John Neal was suggested by that of Neal's on Carey, Lea & Carey's productions on Art scores, — an unknown field to Neal, and before Poe appealed, in his own behalf on literary scores, to Neal. In Poe's Southern Literary Messenger, May, 1849, “Marginalia” he held: “It was no reproach to an editorial writer to be ignorant of the fine arts unless he referred to them.” Neal, not knowing, “referred” to them. Poe ranked him, in 1849, second “among our men of indisputable genius.” This estimate, all in all, seems justice to John Neal. But most important of all new items, in Poe's July 28, 1829, letter, was his own statement of his “(having been sometime absent from this country).” This self-noting appears most convincing proof that Mr. Whitty is right in his various records of this fact as to its occurrence — about two years prior to 1829 — and no time so favors this absence as the interval between late January or early February to May 26, 1827.

Concerning Poe in Baltimore, during 1829 the records are, that his grandmother — widow of General [page 337:] David Poe — was then a helpless invalid and claimed the devoted attention of her widowed daughter, Mrs. Maria Clemm, who, with her two children, was living in Mechanics Row, Wilkes Street, Baltimore. The younger, Virginia Eliza, later Poe's wife, was then but a tiny girl of seven. It is said Edgar passed some time at this modest home of his aunt. Her husband's daughter, Josephine, was then also a member of her household, but later married Neilson Poe — Edgar's cousin three times removed. He was then employed by William Gwynn, Esq., from 1812 to 1837 editor-owner of Federal Gazette and Baltimore Daily Advertiser; its office was on the corner of St. Paul Street and Bank Lane.(20)

From Mr. William J. McClellan's “Poe Notings” comes, that the home of William Gwynn — brilliant lawyer, editor, author, of Irish birth, wit and genial [page 338:] manners — was across the way from his office, on St. Paul Street, and was the resort of Bohemian literati from 1815 to 1830. Mr. Gwynn was the presiding genius of the Delphian Club, on Bank Lane, in the rear of his office and back of Barnum's Hotel. This aristocratic Old Delphian Club — all portico and stucco, yet dignified by its stately elms — was called by Baltimore literati “The Tusculum,” and by the rabble “Gwynn's Folly.” Its description in the 1819 “Red Book” was: “Two most lordly pillars sustain the outspreading roof, a balustrade, architrave, frieze-cornice and areostyle. On either side of the majestic glass [page 339:] door — which opened on an adytum of the templewas a small room, a study and a hall of audience — it was a little palace.” Among its members were John Neal, Francis Scott Key, Jared Sparks, Samuel Woodworth, William Wirt and John P. Kennedy: and of its guests were John Howard Payne and Rembrandt Peale. Few were the artists, writers, actors, critics, of scholarly strangers, who found not their way to this Baltimore shrine of letters of that day. No doubt young Edgar Poe with his cousin Neilson followed in their leading.

Mr. McClellan notes, William Gwynn died in August, 1854, aged seventy-nine years. That from his law office David Poe, Jr., fled from his legal studies, was an incident perhaps unfortunately borne in mind when his second son — probably introduced by his cousin Neilson — showed to Editor Gwynn the MS. of “Al Aaraaf,” which, he said, was “indicative of a tendency to anything but the business of matter of fact life.” Undaunted by this dictum the young author with slender purse and high resolutions found roofage, at least, with his various cousins, among whom were the five children of his Aunt Eliza (she died in 1823) in the home of their father, Mr. Henry Herring, who then lived on Exeter Street, near Stiles. Cadet to be, Cousin Edgar seemed a welcome visitor with them all. He interested his Cousin George Poe enough in the MS. of “Al Aaraaf” for him to suggest that its writer should obtain the critical opinion of John Neal, who, at Portland, Me., Jan. 1, 1828, began editing The Yankee. Because some spice of his life seems sympathetic with Poe's, brief notings of it are: [page 340:] John Neal, or Jehu O‘Cataract (his occasional penname), “was born Aug. 25, 1793, at Falmouth — Portland — Me., of Quaker parents; he left school at twelve; failing in various pursuits, he reached Balt., 1816; earned his living by his pen; was read out of Meeting by the Society of Friends for writing a tragedy, and knocking a man head over heels down stairs.” Neal studied law and was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1819; he became the first American correspondent to foreign magazines; wrote “Five American Presidents” for Blackwood's — that so long withheld open recognition from Poe. Neal was a member of the Delphian Club, famous for its wits. Its later — day picture appears in these pages by courtesy of the owner, Mr, Richard M, Duvall, and was obtained [page 341:] by Mr. William J. McClellan. Its anreola of literary glory, in those old yesterdays, crowned John Neal, New Year's Day of 1828, a fair critic, as Editor of The Yankee, at Portland, Me. Eighteen months later The Yankee and its editor migrated to Boston. There, under the name of The Yankee and Literary Gazette it absorbed several local periodicals. With such equipment for judgment of literary values perhaps no better mentor — of thirty-five — could have been chosen than Editor Neal for giving a fair estimate of MSS. of any literary aspirant of twenty, and the out-of-joint belles-letters times upon which this writer and his work fell. Poe's letter — appeal enclosed MSS. of his poems to this arch-critic of The Yankee. Condensed from its September, 1829, correspondence column comes: “If E. A. P., of Baltimore — whose lines about ‘Heaven,’ [Poe's later “Fairy-Land”] though he professes to regard them as altogether superior to anything in the range of American poetry, ... are, though nonsense, rather exquisite nonsense — would but do himself justice, might make a beautiful and perhaps a magnificent poem. There is a good deal here to justify such a hope, — in [“Fairy-Land”] lines, —

‘The moonlight . .

. ... . ... falls

Over hamlets, over halls,

.....  .

Over spirits on the wing —

Over every drowsy thing —

And buries them up quite

In a labyrinth of light —

And then, how deep! — Oh, deep!

Is the passion of their sleep.’ ” [page 342:]

The Yankee comments continued: “He should have signed it Bah! We have no room for others.” Poe's letter-reply, preceded by editorial notings, was in the December, 1829, issue of The Yankee. Excerpts from both read: “The following passages are from the manuscript ... of a young author in Baltimore ... entirely a stranger to us, but with all their faults, if the remainder of ‘Al Aaraaf’ and ‘Tamerlane’ are as good as the ... extracts given, to say nothing of more extraordinary parts, he will deserve to stand high — very high — in the estimation of the shining brotherhood. Whether he will do so, however, must depend, not so much upon his worth now in poetry as upon his worth hereafter ... in stronger properties of mind, ... the ... determination that enables youth to endure the present, whatever the present may be, in the ... fixed ... belief that in the future he will find his reward.”

From Poe's letter appeared: “I am young — not yet twenty — [he was nearly twenty-one — but these poems were written prior to that age] am, a poet, if deep worship of all beauty can make me one. I would give the world to embody one half of the ideas afloat in my imagination. ... I appeal to you as a man that loves the same beauty which I adore, the beauty of the ... blue sky and the sunshiny earth. ... I ... have been, from my childhood, an idler. It cannot be said

‘I left a calling for this idle trade,

A duty broke — a father disobeyed’ —

for I have no father — nor mother. I am ... to publish a volume of ‘Poems’ the greater part written before [page 343:] I was fifteen. Speaking about ‘Heaven’ the editor of ‘The Yankee’ says, ‘He might write a beautiful if not a magnificent poem’ — (the very first words of encouragement I ever remember to have heard).” And as such, from one who knew of what he wrote, they burnt their bearing into the young poet's brain; and there became the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day that led him through the wilderness of his many miseries, into the Promised Land of literary conquest upon which shines the light of intellectual immortality. Poe's letter added: “I am very certain that as yet I have not written either — but that I can, I will take oath — if they will give me time.” Poe then noted of his poems to be issued that “Al Aaraaf” was “a tale of another world — the star discovered by Tycho Brahe which appeared and disappeared so suddenly — or rather is no tale at all.” Editor Neal concluded with: “Having allowed our youthful writer to be heard in his own behalf, — what more can we do for lovers of genuine poetry? ... They who are judges will not need more; they who are not — why waste time on them?” Alas, for Bostonians! who forgot The Yankee 1829 noting of “Al Aaraaf” when Poe read this poem of his youth October 16, 1845, before that Boston Lyceum audience — to his much, and later, distress. No suasion of John Neal that his own unpopularity in the U. S. might injure the sale of Poe's “Poems” could change his grateful determination to dedicate this 1829 edition of them to his first literary mentor. From Professor Woodberry's “Notes” comes that in the print copy sent to Editor Neal, Poe wrote in substance: [page 344:]

I thank you, Sir, for the kind interest you express for my wordly as well as poetical welfare. — You will see I have made the alterations you suggest. — I wait consciously for your notice of the book. “It is well to think well of one's self ” — so says somebody. You will do me justice however.

Most truly yours


Dec. 29, 1829.

Mr. Whitty writes of changes noted: “My recollections are, Poe did not make the alterations for some cause, or Neal changed his opinions.” But Editor Neal's words of grace and Poe's “Dedication” sealed their life-friendship. In John Neal's regrets, to sponsors of Poe's Baltimore Memorial, Nov. 17, 1875, appears: “Edgar A. Poe was a wonderful man — he has never had justice done him. He says in one of his letters — I gave him the first push in his upward career, and for that reason was bound to keep him moving.” Mr. Whitty suggests that Poe must have sent a copy of his 1829 print of “Poems” to Mrs. S. J. Hale, Boston Editor of The Ladies’ Magazine, for in its January, 1830, issue appeared of Poe and these verses: “It is difficult to speak of these poems as they deserve. A part are exceedingly boyish ... but we have parts ... of considerable length which remind us of Shelley. The author, who appears to be very young, is evidently a fine genius; but wants judgment, experience and tact.” During 1830 and ‘31, Mrs. Hale wrote a letter quest of Poe to her son when both were at West Point.

“Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and ‘Minor Poems,” by “Edgar A. Poe, Baltimore; Hatch & Dunning, 1829: [page 346:] pp. 71” — was a slender 8 3/4 by 5 1/4 inches — volume bound in crimson, sprinkled with yellow, linen back and well printed by Matchett & Woods, Baltimore City Directory printers. From 1829 to 1831, publishers Hatch & Dunning were located at 205 Baltimore Street, in that city. Edgar must have spent much time between the printers and the publishers, the latter being but two doors from Mr. Didier's home and with whom Henry Poe — then at sea — had considerable of personal touch. Some fair margin leaves of this 1829 edition of Edgar's “Poems” bore mottoes from Spanish and English poets. On 7, the Dedication page, appears :

“Who drinks the deepest? — here's to him.” — Cleaveland.

The Poems began with an untitled sonnet, later issued as “To Science,” and of some six printings. The early writing of these untitled lines was not far from that of little Edgar's close touch with the fairy legends of Scotland — the spell of which was never broken throughout the poet's life. Mr. R. M. Hogg, of Irvine, writes: “I have learned that in Scandinavian Folk Lore, Brownies — i.e. Scotch fairieswere called Nisses. I take the singular to be Nis — hence ‘Valley of Nis’ [of later date order of mention] would mean Valley of the Brownie or Fairy. Brownies seem to have been the original inhabitants of Western Scotland, whom foreign invaders forced to seek shelter in caves and under-dwellings. The Nisses existed in great numbers in olden days. They were the special property of Denmark, but were [page 347:] found in Norway and Sweden. They lived in barns, church ceilings, church steeples, as in Poe's ‘Devil in the Belfry,’ and they were good-natured, helpful creatures. They were no larger than children; were dressed in grey and wore red peaked caps [of which “the red Kilmarnock cap” may seem a legitimate descendant.]

“Joseph Train — excise officer of the Isle of Man — who devilled, or acted as literary jackal to Scott, supplying him with the Scotch traditions he worked up in his romances — published, when Poe was in Ayrshire, a volume of poems, one of which was ‘ Banishment of the Fairies.’ Poe must have been thinking of these verses when writing these quoted lines from his —


Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?

And driven the Hamadryad from the wood

To seek a shelter in some happier star?

Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,

The Elfin from the green grass, and from me

The summer dreams beneath the tamarind tree? ’ ”

So many, many times Poe answered the near and far call of his happy childhood days when idolized by his foster-mother, and then in close touch with the pride of his foster-father's heart. While Thomas O. Mabbott writes that Dr. Killis Campbell points to Keats’ “Lamia” as Poe's inspiration for his “Sonnet — To Science,” it seems fitting to repeat that Poe seldom tied his Pegasus (a star ranger of the universe) to any one post, person or idea. It may be well taken [page 348:] that Poe was influenced by Dr. Campbell's quotation (on page 170 of his “Poe-Poems”) from Keats’ “Lamia.” Some of these lines are:

Upon a time, before the faery broods

Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods,

Before King Oberon's bright diadem,

Sceptre, and mantle clasp‘d with dewy gem,

Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns

From rushes green, and brakes, and cowslip‘d lawns;

Do not all charms fly

At the mere touch of philosophy?

In the dull catalogue of common things, Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings. ”

Poe's “Sonnet — To Science” lines seem not to suffer by comparison with “Lamia” of Keats or inspirations of Moore or Milton. However, this untitled “Sonnet,” of the 1829 poems, was followed by “Al Aaraaf,” that probationary star-world that fits disembodied spirits for heavenly existence and over which domain presides “Nesace” — beauty, or perfection on all scores, Poe's meaning of beauty. Of her hand-maid, “Ligeia” — harmony of nature — appears:

“Ligeia ! Ligeia

My beautiful one!

Whose harshest idea

Will to melody run,

O! is it thy will

On the breezes to toss?

Or, capriciously still,

Like the lone Albatross, [page 349:]

Incumbent on night

(As she on the air)

To keep watch with delight

On the harmony there?”

With Poe, beauty — or rather perfection of objects, persons, character and ideas — was deemed religion, or divine revelation! An over-seas critic notes of the poet's verses: “[Poe's] poems always have the universe as their background. His kingdom is not of this world. His verse at times alarms and puzzles by fainting with its own beauty — never of the flesh. [page 350:] Great writers like Poe begin where the world, the flesh and the devil leave off.”(22) Besides “Al Aaraaf” and “Tamerlane” of the 1829 poems, there were nine others; some of Boston, 1827, print revised. Of these, “Fairy-Land” was “Heaven” in The Yankee. From Professor Killis Campbell, University of Texas, it comes that “Fairy-Land“(22) was publicly rejected, October, 1829, in the American Monthly Magazine, by N. P. Willis, with comments that he found pleasure in destroying MSS. of bad verse — watching them as they burned, — ” ‘within the fender.’ — It is quite exciting to lean over eagerly as the flame eats in on the letters, make out imperfect sentences, trace faint strokes in the tinder as it trembles in ascending the chimney. There it goes — a gilt-edged sheet which was covered with some sickly rhymes on Fairy-Land. The flame creeps along the edge of the first leaf, taking a compliment to bygone nonsense verses of our own — in brackets — by the author to conciliate our good will. Now it flashes up in a broad blaze and now reaches a marked verse — let us see — the fire devoured as we read:

‘They use that moon no more

For the same end as before —

Videlicet, a tent

Which I think extravagant.’

Burn on, good fire!” These “sickly rhymes” were from lines 35 to 38 inclusive in Poe's “Fairy-Land.” But Willis’ May 7, 1831, New Mirror gave Poe's verses one of the earliest and fairest reviews of that time. One page of this poem's 1829 print bears Poe's [page 351:] self-comment, “Plagiarism — see works of Thomas Moore — passim.” This refers to the 33d line of “Fairy-Land.” Yet one scholarly critic thinks this poem “the most original” of this edition, but gives the others scant praise. On like lines this 1829 print was scored by the Baltimore weekly Minerva and Emerald, edited by J. H. H. Hewitt and Rufus Dawes. Hewitt, the son of a musician, entered West Point, 1818 class, with John H. B. Latrobe, Baltimore. Hewitt resigned after completing his course in 1821; then taught music in the South; gained popularity by his song “The Minstrel's Return from the War”; went to Baltimore. In 1829 he made a connection with the editorial staff of the Minerva and Emerald and later with the Baltimore Saturday Visiter. During the Civil War he wrote songs in Richmond, Va.: one was “Rock me to sleep, Mother; Rock me to sleep.” Hewitt stated he was assailed in the street for an adverse review of Poe's 1829 “Poems ” — Poe and Hewitt were not friends when the latter was editor of The Visiter but, writes Mr. Whitty, “they afterward met in Washington on good terms.” Mr. Whitty(23) states that the charge of Poe's scathing review of Rufus Dawes’ October, 1842, verses as “retaliation for his 1829 Minerva scoring of ‘Al Aaraaf’ loses force, by Poe's favorable review given Dawes’ ‘Nix's Mate “’ in the December, 1839, issue of Burton's Magazine. Yet Poe's riper judgment grew into regretting what he deemed crudities in some of his early printings. But to far less promising verses of Poe's brother Henry — then at sea — the Minerva and Emerald editors were far more kind. Many records show that [page 352:] William Henry Leonard Poe's childhood was under the charge of his grandfather General David Poe, Baltimore City. After his death — in 1816 — Henry, then nine, was cared for and his education was continued by Mr. Henry Didier. From “Poe-Notings” of Mr. William J. McClellan comes: “For a time General David Poe's store and residence and Didier's were nearly opposite each other on Baltimore St., west of Charles.” But Mr. McClellan found no record of legal adoption of Henry Poe by Mr. Didier, yet believes that Henry's “voyage to Greece had foundation in facts.” Prior to this, Mr. Didier's counting house claimed the services of young Henry Poe. He was said to be of attractive appearance, having a fine head, prepossessing face and was very clever. Being of frail health and erratic temperament he had differences with his patron, and losing his lady-love, to whom he addressed many lines and some verses, — “To Minnie” was among them, — he decided to enter the U. S. Navy and to go to Greece to aid a cause that, by Byron's death, had attracted world-wide attention. Of Henry Poe's verses “To Minnie,” two stanzas are:

“The rose that gloried on your breast,

And drew life from your glowing heart,

Has oft to mine been closely pressed,

Too close, too fondly e‘er to part.

. ... . ...

“Although its perfume still remains,

Yet every leaf conceals a thorn;

Just like the heart in Sorrow's chains

When every ray of hope is gone.” [page 353:]

These lines in no way sustain the statement that Henry's abilities equalled those of his brother. Henry, it appears, reached the classic land of Greece only in time to share in the last battle of that war; for in September, 1829, England, France and Russia forced the Sultan to acknowledge the freedom of Greece. Then young Poe went with Russian troops to St. Petersburg, and the tradition is, there soon found himself in prison trouble, all too trivial for public record; but, aided by the American Minister, Hon. Arthur Middleton, Henry Poe was soon released, sent to Riga and placed on a home-bound vessel for Baltimore, which docked there in February, 1831. Some six months later, at the age of twenty-four, Henry Poe died.

Mr. Whitty — from the “Recollections of Poe”(24) by F. W. Thomas — notes that he was intimate with Henry Poe during 1828 in Baltimore. That Henry was a frail, slender young man with dark eyes, but his forehead had nothing like the expansion of Edgar's. Henry had fastidious manners: he and Thomas together visited lady acquaintances; Henry wrote à la Byron verses in their albums and in private recited these poems with pride. He lamented the death of his youthful mother but intimated ignorance as to that of his father. Both had visited Baltimore when he was a child, and from Boston sent money aid for his support. An intimate lawyer friend of the family told Thomas that David Poe, Jr., deserted his wife in New York City. Progress of his consumption illness, of which he died prior to his wife in 1811, may have made leaving her in New York — July it was [page 354:] said — during 1810, a merciful necessity. But the prior-noted statement, that had Henry Poe lived his great but wasted talents would have gained him more than his brother's fame, is open to serious doubts. One record is, that his chivalry of soul caused Edgar to accept the failure of this errant foreign trip and prison episode as his own to shield his dead brother's name. However, in those days of 1829 these two brothers were thousands of water-miles apart.

A copy of Edgar's 1829 edition of “Poems,” enriched with. his notes, brought in the 1893 sale, $1825. Another copy, Librarian John Parker, of Peabody Institute, Baltimore, counts among that Institution's rarest treasures. Some years ago, a personal touch of Poe came from John F. Loomis, a Washington, D. C., dealer in old books. He was called by the Misses Wolfe to look over their small library of little value. When leaving, his eyes fell upon a card-bound book serving as a bureau caster. Asking about it he was told: “That's nothing. It's by Mr. Poe : he used to call in Baltimore — it was his gift. It fell very flat when published.” This book — 1829 edition of Poe's “Poems” — brought $2000. Of Poe's work, Professor Barrett Wendell states: “You may dispute ... as long and fruitlessly as you please concerning its positive significance or the magnitude of its greatness. The one thing for which the moment is forever past, is to neglect it. His name is eminent throughout the civilized world.”

Professor Harrison noted two “Poe-poems”(25) — “Fairy-Land” and “Al Aaraaf” — quoted in John Neal's Yankee of 1829. “The Magician” therein Mr. [page 355:] Whitty places with those “Attributed to Poe”; it was signed “P.”

Poe's lines “Alone,” so christened by E. L. Didier,(26) Baltimore, written in an album about 1829, seem so pathetically, keenly personal of the state of mind he expressed at this time in, —

Then — in my childhood — in the dawn

Of a most stormy life — was drawn

From ev‘ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still —

. ... . ...

From the thunder, and the storm

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view — ”

Thomas Ollive Mabbott writes: “Poe's poem ‘Alone’ — which some authorities doubt — seems to me finely characteristic. The words are important in connection with the random markings of that one word ‘Alone’ throughout an early MS. of ‘Tamerlane.“’

But with Editor Neal's words, promising better things, ringing in Poe's ears and no doubt made more imperative by the adverse scoring of the Minerva and Emerald, the young poet again began revisions of these early printings during this 1829 stay with Baltimore relatives. When at the Herring home he presented his much admired “Cousin Elizabeth” with his “Poems” of this (late, which copy, Mr. Whitty writes, “Poe used to make revisions for his 1845 edition.”

Undoubtedly during this 1829 Baltimore visit Poe paid more than passing attention to the picturesque [page 356:] old Shot Tower, still standing on the corner of Fayette and Front Streets, also to investigating the relatively new Lighthouse, near 12th Street and Canton Avenue, and opposite Fort McHenry's shore. Both claimed, by dim records, his April Fool flying hoax, of seeming later date, between these two points and, it is said, was so well advertised as to bring a crowd of witnesses of the event, whose hours of weariness awakened them finally to the fact that April 1st dated this hoax, and also to a state of fury that would have made [page 357:] short work of its perpetrator had he been found. This Lighthouse — for reasons later given — also seems to have moved Poe to write his never-finished story “The Lighthouse.”

To just what extent Edgar advised his Baltimore family — if at all — as to the real cause of disturbed relations between Mr. Allan and himself is not known as yet, but the fact that West Point was in waiting for Poe, through the efforts of Mr. Allan and others, was well known. Therefore with the prestige of the U. S. Military Academy in view for Edgar, his grandmother, aunt and cousins felt free to feed his pride, on the score of his print-issues, and they, with friends, were [page 358:] pleased possessors of copies of his 1829 “Poems.” Its summer and autumn had flown, and Christmas holidays were on the wane when Poe returned to Richmond, and, needless to say, took quite a few copies of his new issue to be disposed of at Sanxey's bookstore, 120 Main Street of that city. There, meeting his college-mate, Thomas Bolling, the second night after his return, Poe related his hardships in the effort to make a living and found his only resource was that of his pen, — thence, otherwise, Poe never made a dollar; he mentioned his late print of “Al Aaraaf” as one result, adding, it was on sale at Sanxey's store and he wished Bolling “to go there and obtain as many copies as he wished”; also should he “meet any of their college-mates who might care to see the volume” the author “would like copies presented, as coming from Bolling.” The next day he was taken by Poe to Sanxey's store, given a copy, and its writer left instructions that “Mr. Bolling was to have as many as he might require.” All of this comes from Mr. Whitty. No doubt Robert M. Sully too, home from England since September, 1828, had his copy from Edgar. Mr. Edward V. Valentine notes: “In the Richmond Whig, Jan. 19, 1830, was, — ‘Just received, “Al Aaraaf,” “Tamerlane and Minor Poems,” by Edgar Allan Poe. The following passages are from the MS. work of a young author about to be published in Baltimore. If the remainder of “Al Aaraaf” and “Tamerlane” are as good as the body of the extracts here given (to say nothing of the more extraordinary parts) he will deserve to stand high in the estimation of the brotherhood, from “The [page 359:] Yankee.” For sale at Book and Stationery store of R. D. Sanxey's.’ ” Certainly this press notice, dated on Edgar's 21st birthday, must have claimed enough reading attention from ,Mr. Allan to advise him of Poe's promise of a brilliant literary future, and no doubt gave real pleasure to Edgar's Aunt Nancy. But whatever of the records as to its exciting “the private merriment of the young wits” of Baltimore's literary shallows, and including “public jibes” given it by the oracle, Minerva and Emerald, of that city — also “puzzling” the budding intellects of Richmond City, as “a kind of Christmas gift belated,” — it is safe to assert no one of them all to-day could claim a tithe of the distinction for their efforts at any age that posterity accords to Edgar Allan Poe's crude, but brilliant in promise, efforts — at twenty — in the “Al Aaraaf” print of 1829. And it seems passing strange that no record as yet has been found charging Poe with taking advantage of Hatch & Dunning! On this score Poe settled with these two young Baltimore publishers from New York, for the issue — cost at least, for his July 28, 1829, letter to Carey, Lea & Carey notes he declined publishing on his own account.

Two Poe entries on Ellis & Allan books dated January 28 and May 12, 1830, indicate Edgar was in Richmond or vicinity during this interval. In the second charge for “E. A. Poe” were four blankets, etc., undoubtedly for his West Point needs. While at Richmond, Poe had the room in the Allan home made “Edgar's room” by his foster-mother, “but he lived apart from Mr. Allan,” according to Professor Woodberry. Edgar must have had much pleasure in [page 360:] being at times with his “Aunt Nancy,” Miss Valentine. From several sources it comes that, after his wife's death, Mr. Allan,(27) wishing to marry again, offered his hand to her sister, Miss Anne Moore Valentine. She was — unfortunately for Edgar, to whom she was devotedly attached — strongly sustained by him in her refusal. For “Edgar's room,” in her home, would ever have been a refuge, at least, for him: he, however, knew too well the heartaches of the foster-mother who made it his, to wish her sister to chance happiness as her successor.

But passing time brought Poe to his twenty-first birthday, the West Point age limit for a cadet's commission. Notwithstanding Mr. Allan knew this, he asked of his partner's brother — U. S. Senator Powhatan Ellis of Mississippi — the weight of his name and influence with Secretary of War J. H. Eaton in Poe's behalf. March 13, 1830, Senator Ellis wrote recommending Poe, “not from personal acquaintance but on information of others.” This letter was honored with immediate attention and, March 31st of that year, Poe was appointed a cadet. Mr. Allan gave his formal consent for his ward binding himself to serve the United States for five years. Special aspersion — on all occasions it touched — seems visited on Poe for making his age a movable-feast event; but in this episode, the most important of all, not a word is whispered of Mr. Allan's or Mr. Ellis’ even better knowledge of Poe's age going astray. As their future comfort was secure, and Poe's uncertain at least, it is not easily understood why the youth should be censured and his seniors should escape adverse comments. [page 361:] But the issue settled, Mr. Allan seemed quite willing to provide blankets, etc., of prior mention, for West Point use; an expense probably covered by his foster-mother's thought of his welfare, and, as probably, many a comfort was tucked in by Edgar's Aunt Nancy in preparation for his final start North for West Point. Professor Woodberry notes, Poe stopped at Baltimore, en route, and there called on Dr. N. C. Brooks, a young littérateur, to whom Poe read a poem and promised to send it to him, but it failed to reach him in time for his annual.

All records show that on Thursday, July 1, 1830, Edgar Allan Poe entered the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, and drew $16 per month-cadet's pay — which, with two rations, was counted as $28. There he was located at No. 28 South Barracks. It was said [page 362:] he appeared older than his given age — “19 and five months” — to the cadets, who, much to Poe's annoyance, reported that he obtained an appointment for his son, who died, and the father took his place. This maturity of looks record of Poe then, seems to appear in Inman's miniature of the poet, painted the following spring at New York City, and of its date's mention. It appears singular that “Poe's connection with the Arnold family was known at West Point, and that some cadets bantered him as a grandson of the traitor Benedict Arnold, which Poe did not refute,” notes Mr. Whitty. Poe's heritage of shattered nerves, under his irritation of Allan home troubles and his first-love tragedy, made themselves felt during his University of Virginia days. The after two years of open-air, regular service in the U. S. Army seemed to reinforce the young man's physique, which during [page 363:] the fifteen months’ waiting interval for West Point was probably strained anew by self-imposed strictures of economy to indulge himself in his Baltimore, 1829, issue of “Poems.” The pathos of this theory is, that light-hearted cadets could neither know nor understand that nerve strain caused the “weary, worn and discontented” expression they found on Poe's face. Aside from such strain needing special care, Editor Neal's strong words — as to possible inclusion of Poe among the shining lights of literature — were stimulating him to strive for such a goal, and to the extent that it became in the young aspirant's brain of ever-increasing radiance but bedimmed by every day's dull, practical routine of what he thought were lesser calls of mere mortal duties. Yet from Mr. Allan's practical viewpoints a cadet's commission at West Point was most desirable as an opening for a young man of limited means to make an honorable if not a. rapid rise in the world; and no doubt in this venture he sincerely believed — aside from his wish to be free from Poethat he had accomplished his full duty concerning him. But, unfortunately, genius is rarely practical, and neither Poe nor James McNeil Whistler proved exceptions to this rule in their West Point careers.

The United States Military Academy, founded in 1804, was constructed on the site of a British ruined fortress during the Revolutionary War, and situated some two hundred feet above the Hudson's lordly flow through a landscape of varied and majestic beauty. From many sources it comes that the Academy proper,(28) of Poe's day, had its center-room Chapel, with the Library above, which no doubt served Poe. The Mess [page 364:] Hall was 104 by 30 feet, with a kitchen in the rear. The fare — grumbled at by the cadets — was beef, boiled, baked or roasted, for dinner; cold, sliced or smoked, for breakfast and supper; beef soup twice a week and bread pudding Nvith molasses on soup days.

The bread was good, baked in huge batches and stored in a big room. But from no home now could come to Poe the usual Christmas and other occasional boxes of good things to reinforce this Mess Hall fare; perhaps [page 365:] a small matter to those not having experience in lacking such delights of youth! South Barracks, of Poe's time, was of stone and stucco, and measured 128 by 25 by 35 feet. This structure was roofage for [page 366:] fifty cadet-rooms 10 by 13 feet each. A cadet's uniform was of blue cloth: single-breasted coat with standing [page 367:] collar, single herring-bone cuffs with one button on each, eight buttons in front, six on rear, and one on each side of the collar. Chapeau had a cockade, gilt eagle and loop. Half boots and shoes. Swords, cut and thrust, were worn in frog belt under the coat. Buttons were 3/8-inch, gilt, with eagle impressment. In such gear no doubt Cadet Poe made a presentable appearance before the officials of the U. S. Military Academy, July, 1830, when its commandant was Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, Corps of Engineers. The assistant instructor was Joseph L. Locke. Mathematics was taught by Charles Davis; French, by Claudius Berard and Joseph Courmin. The sword master was Louis S. Simm. Among Poe's West Point cadet contemporaries were many who obtained eminence as divines, statesmen and military leaders. A few bear the distinguished names of generals: Allan B. Magruder, Virginia; George W. Cullum and Rufus King, New York; A. H. Humphreys, U. S. Army, and General Lucius B. Northrup, South Carolina — also later father-in-law of Poe's Baltimore biographer Eugene L, Dither, one of many writers on Poe.

With his $16 per month, cadet's pay of that time, and perhaps a “small annuity” later mentioned as corning from Mr. Allan or his foster-mother, the poet started on his brief eight months’ West Point career at 28 South Barracks, in which room were also quartered, in close company, cadets Henderson, Jones and Gibson. Not much space, nor atmosphere for poetic dreaming, with four in a 10 by 13 room; which fact probably started Poe's ideas for release from West Point. While there are several strong inferences that [page 368:] Poe began with neglect of studies, there stand some definite accounts that lie studied hard at first, and seemed ambitious to lead his class on all scores. Official records show, at examinations ending the half year, that Poe was third in French and seventeenth in mathematics, in his class of eighty-seven. General :Man B. Magruder wrote Professor Woodberry of Poe that he was “of kindly spirit and simple style,” also “was shy and reserved in his intercourse with his fellow cadets — his associates being confined almost exclusively to Virginians that he was an accomplished French scholar with wonderful aptitude for mathematics, so had “no difficulty in preparing his recitations in his class and obtaining the highest marks in these departments,” — that he was “a devourer of books,” and turned with delight from military tactics to peruse the tuneful pages of Virgil and the fascinating essays of ‘Macaulay, just then beginning to charm the world. General Magruder heard — perhaps from Poe — that he had been a seaman aboard a whaler, and concluded of him: “His wayward and capricious temper made him at times utterly oblivious ... of roll-call, drills and guard duties” which “subjected him to arrest and punishment. ... ” Poe probably did some good revision work when in the quiet of “under arrest” — when he desired quiet. But this (lid not happen, it seems, from July, 1830, to January, 1831. In the meantime Poe's literary devotions were of record in revision and the entitled print of his sonnet, “To Science,” which appeared in the October, 1830, Philadelphia Casket.

Oct. 5, 1830, Mr, Allan(29) was married to Miss Louisa Gabriella Patterson, daughter of John William [page 369:] and Louisa De Hart Patterson, a granddaughter of Catherine Livingston, of Livingston Manor, New York, and niece of Colonel John Mayo's wife. At their home — Belleville, near Richmond — Mr. Allan met Miss Patterson, who, at thirty, became his second wife. By one of her family she was described as “a lady of much stateliness and dignity ... “great firmness and decision of character, clannish in feeling, reserved in manner — a steadfast friend and profuse in unostentatious charities. Her three sons from this marriage were doubtlessly gratifying to Mr. Allan's great desire to found a family to inherit his name and wealth. But strangely does fate frustrate dynasties and men; for today John Allan has no male descendants bearing his name, and his wealth is scattered to the winds. This marriage Poe must have expected, and by it knew that all aid to him from Mr. Allan himself was ended. Yet this fact and others, with the routine of West Point life, and haying in constant view that dazzling quest presented by Editor Neal, all but unhinged Poe's poor strained nerves: but all brought to him the firm decision to follow literature as a life-calling. Because resignation without the consent of parents or guardians was not accepted from cadets at West Point, Poe wrote Mr. Alan for his consent. This was “flatly refused,” and so presented by Poe to Commandant Colonel Thayer, who declined to interfere Nvith the rules by accepting the young man's resignation. Thwarted in double directions in his desire for literary freedom, Poe steadied his wits with some serious thinking; and perchance his brother Henry's naval cruise to aid the Greeks brought Edgar the [page 370:] passing thought of aiding the struggle of Poland against Russia, Austria and Prussia; but his main object was freedom from military restraint to follow the trend of what he firmly believed to be his mental equipment for literature. To accomplish this purpose there was then but one escape. West Point obstacles in the way of his goal were removed, as described in Henry B. Hirst's “Life of Poe,” corrected by himself, and in which appears on this episode that as a last resource he refused to do duty of any kind, disobeyed orders, kept his quarters and “amused himself with his old tricks, caricaturing and pasquinading the professors.” Lieutenant Joseph L. Locke, assistant instructor, also performed the very unpleasant duties of inspector, whereby he naturally became especially obnoxious, through persistently reporting pranks of the cadets. A West Point report is a serious offence, as each one is charged to the account of the offender by a certain number; when the whole exceeds a stated sum he is liable to dismissal. With this in mind Poe — amongst other intentional infractions — wrote a long lampoon on the professors, with special attention paid to Lieutenant Locke. Of these verses the only known two are:

“As for Locke, he is all in my eye,

May the d — 1 right soon for his soul call.

He never was known to lie

In bed at a reveille ‘roll call,’

“John Locke was a notable name;

Joe Locke is a greater; in short,

The former was well known to fame,

Put the latter's well known to ‘report.’ [page 371:]

It is not generally known that the later Major Locke served at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, School of Practice in 1828 and 1829, when Poe — as Edgar A. Perry — was there tinder the favorable recognizance which obtained a Sergeant-Major commission for him. This record was well known to Lieutenant Locke, assistant instructor of infantry tactics at West Point, as was certainly known to him Poe's intentioned design for dismissal. This double, personal touch makes interesting that Joseph Lorenzo Locke,(30) third son of General Joseph and Mary Conway Locke, was born July 17, 1808, at Bloomfield, Maine. His father early moved to Canaan, Maine; filled various [page 372:] offices of state and company trust. Lieutenant Locke's West Point service dated from 1829 to 1831. He resigned from the L. S. Army in 1836; later edited the Savannah (Ga.) Republican; was chief engineer of Brunswick and Alatamneha Canal Company; honorary member of Chatham Artillery, to which Washington presented captured Revolutionary ordnance. Major Locke was in Europe in 1858; ranked as Major in Confederate Service and died Oct. 5, 1864. Major Locke's photograph shows the face of a fine disciplinarian and earnest worker. Its reprint appears in these pages by courtesy of the owner, Mrs. W. J. B. Adams, through the grace of Major C. S. Hardee, Savannah, Ga. Both benefactors, as to this picture and interesting items of its original, were discovered by Mr. Landon C. Bell, Columbus, Ohio, to whom are also due authentifications of statements made on this and some other accounts.

At last Poe's forceful, adverse — discipline tactics obtained his desired results and undoubtedly with full knowledge of Colonel Thayer, to whom Poe was commended by General Winfield Scott, for which reason much was overlooked. But finally reports became so serious that charges were entered against the delinquent for “Neglect of duty and disobedience of orders.” Naturally no mention was made of lampoons. Professor Woodberry(31) notes that Jan. 5, 1831, a courtmartial was convened at West Point, to try offenders against discipline, which after a short sitting adjourned until Jan. 28th. For two weeks prior to this meeting Poe neglected about all his cadet duties, therefore he was cited to appear before the court in answer [page 373:] to two charges, each of two specifications, in that he had absented himself from certain parades, roll-calls, guard and academical duties, and in course of this remissness had twice directly disobeyed orders of the officer of the day. His room-mate, Henderson, was detailed for Poe's defence, but he pleaded guilty to all counts excepting absence from parade, roll-call and guard duty, thus obviously and intentionally, “shut the gates of mercy on himself.” The court found him guilty, passed sentence of dismissal, but that his pay might meet his Academy debts, as was usual, the dismissal did not “take effect until March 6, 1831. Feb. 8, 1831, Secretary of War J. H. Eaton approved proceedings and ordered the sentence to be executed in accordance with the recommendation.” At page 76, Vol. I, Professor Woodberry's able 1909 “Life of Poe” starts two pages of pleasing, reasonable reading concerning the poet's leaving West Point. As one who knew him there noted: “Poe was out of place at West Point,” as was also James McNeil Whistler. The artistic temperament cannot long endure the bridle, saddle and spurs of military discipline, unless for a purpose; naturally both were dismissed.

D. E. Hale, son of editor-writer Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, was a cadet at this time. Feb. 10, 1831, he wrote his mother: “I have communicated what you wrote, to Mr. Poe, of whom perhaps you would like to know something. He ran away from his adopted father in Virginia, who was very rich, has been in South America, England. ... graduated at one of the colleges there. He returned to America. ... enlisted as a private soldier, but feeling ... a soldier's pride, obtained a cadet's [page 374:] appointment and entered this Academy last June. He is thought a fellow of talent here but he is too mad a poet to like mathematics.” This letter-mixture of facts and fancies — both, probably, to an extent, supplied by Poe, who seemed to let slip the truth of the London voyage prior to his Boston enlistment — indicates the fact already noted that he had sent his “Tamerlane,” etc., to Mrs. Hale, whose mature judgment discovered latent literary genius in this issue. As to items concerning himself in this letter, some seem very Poesque on hoax lines; and a hazy West Point reflex estimate, Poe, for some reason, purposely left of himself there. It never was any part of Poe's intentions to chain his works, or own personality to literalisms, and of these methods he made no secret.

There exists considerable convincing evidence that cadet's pranks(32) were not all of Poe's special West Point period; also he was not of his own, or other times, the only “raving” — probably hoaxed for dismissal — “inmate of the Academy guard house”; and, at other times, the puritanic North Barracks of Poe's time shared that of the unsteady South Barracks reputation then. Some two years later James E., son of Mr. Charles Ellis — of Ellis & Allan — found himself under arrest “for sleeping on guard,” probably for the reason noted to his family by: “We are to have a great kick-up on the 4th of July — a splendid dinner with as much champagne as we can drink.” So, in 1833 West Point was not, on all occasions, of total abstinence persuasion.

Cadets Henderson, Thomas W. Gibson and Timothy Pickering Jones, of 1830 and 1831, all seem to have [page 375:] been Poe's associates when in fateful No. 28 South Barracks.

Thomas W. Gibson has noted:(33) “In the last months of the year of Our Lord 1830, it was pretty generally regarded as a hard room. Cadets who aspired to high standing on the Merit Roll were not much given to visiting it, at least in the day-time.” Gibson added that compensation for this neglect was made by unusually punctual visits of inspecting officer Lieutenant Locke, who rarely failed to find some demerit for daily report.

Poe was said to be easily fretted by any jest at his expense but did not deny he was the grandson of Benedict Arnold. It appears the trend of Poe's mind was then bent on literary criticism or, as they termed it, “caviling.” “Shakespeare, Byron, Addison, Johnson,” all claimed his censures, and Campbell's “Poems,” lying on the table, — Poe tossed aside, curtly saying, “Campbell is a plagiarist”: and taking up the book he rapidly turned the leaves ‘til he found, “‘Like angels’ [page 376:] visits, few and far between,’ when he said: ‘There is a line more often quoted than any other passage of his, and he stole it bodily from Blair's “Grave.” Not satisfied with the theft, he has spoiled it in the effort to disguise it. Blair wrote: “Like angels’ visits SHORT and far between.” Campbell's” Few and far between is mere tautology.“’ ” This 1831 season of mental unrest seems to have had a quickening effect on Poe's awakening, keen critical abilities. Mr. Gibson continued that Poe's acquaintance with English literature was extensive, accurate, and his verbal memory wonderful. “He would repeat both prose and poetry by the hour and seldom or never repeated the same passage twice to the same audience.” Again, that on the whole, “the impression left by Poe at West Point was highly favorable to him,” but up to then he gave “no indication of the genius that later secured his worldfame,” From Colonel Timothy Pickering Jones, of Texas, comes through mists of many years, glimpses — more or less accurate — of his early boyhood association with Poe at West Point. Colonel Jones noted himself as class-mate, room-mate and tent-mate of Poe, who was said to have taken a fancy to his friend of triple claims, and who — on his part — thought Poe “the greatest fellow on earth,” owing to his being older “and his extraordinary literary merits.” From this unconscious witness — as to the subject — comes some insight upon Poe's heritage of woe in his slowly growing nervous — exhaustion malady by Jones’ noting of Poe that “he seemed to lose interest in his studies,” — they were his normal delight, — “and to be disheartened and discouraged”; at times “he became [page 377:] a victim to the blues, and for days he would hardly speak to any one,” then his disposition seemed suddenly changed from life, energy, congeniality, pleasure, to abruptness, spitefulness. This transition from normal temperament into exactly what the real Poe was not, might serve as an illuminating reason for such effects of his congestion — attacks reflex, on his mentality throughout his life. Yet in these moods at West Point Poe was “invariably pleasant” to young Jones, who was, at such times, usually persuaded to go with Poe down to Old Benny's, some distance from the Academy, and many times a rendezvous for the boys when they could escape the guards. Mr. Whitty notes: “Jones wrote me he had been misquoted, and denied some adverse item-prints credited to him concerning Poe.” Jones continued that Poe, during such depressions, would write some of his most forceful, impish doggerels and, the record runs, have young Jones disguise it by left-hand copy and post it about [page 378:] the buildings. It was said “Lieut. Locke disliked” Poe. Obviously, temperamental non-congenialities were mutual, for the Lieutenant was usually one of Poe's stinging-pen victims. “Once — in the dead of night” — when Jones and Poe, both subconscious perhaps, were returning from Old Benny's, Jones had to use strong persuasion to prevent his companion from throwing Assistant Inspector Locke, whom they espied, down “a sixty foot embankment into the Hudson River.” Yet non-noted liquid measures aboard young Jones might have moved his imagination, very likely fed by Poe, on this score; for — as was ever in marked evidence throughout his life — the poet enjoyed hoaxing to the utmost; also he was then intentionally creating records against himself for a purpose, and perhaps for himself, as he believed; for his Baltimore flying hoax, of prior mention, from the Old Shot Tower to the Lighthouse there, may well have been concocted at this time of safe distance and sent to his brother Henry to call some sort of public press attention to the coming literary advent of Edgar in Baltimore City.

But Old Benny, as dispenser of intoxicants, was a power to be reckoned with, and for many a day, in the sub-world of the U. S. Military Academy of West Point; and his liquid dispensations to Poe, of whatever measure, proved spirits of woe in depressing his own, at times to the rupture of consciousness and to the extent of securing his tenancy of guard-house quarters; while his hoaxing may have obtained, for his purpose, some share of such occupancy.

In “West Point Scrap Book”(34) it appears that one [page 379:] of stronger nerves than Poe, Assistant Surgeon Lieutenant O‘Brien, 8th Infantry, when visiting his West Point friend Major R A. Arnold, 32 Cockloft, of Old North Barracks, made with him many trips to Old Benny's and with the result of composing the song “Benny Haven's, Oh!” which was set movingly to the tune of “Wearing of the Green.” The last verse is:

“When this life's troubled sea is o‘er, and our own last battle through,

If God provides us mortals then His blessed domain to view,

Then shall we see with glory crowned, in proud celestial row,

The friends we‘ve known and loved so well at Benny Haven's, Oh!”

Concerning Poe's pleasure in a hoax, a stirring incident of this time, written nearly forty years later, [page 380:] by Thomas W. Gibson, is, that lie seemed quite sure that No. 28 South Barracks “was seldom without a bottle of Benny Haven's best brandy.” Of Poe was noted: “I don’t think he was ever intoxicated while at the Academy, but he had already acquired the more dangerous habit — of his time — of constant drinking. ... He was fearless at all times, and “Ten under the influence of liquor he was desperate; and the boys at West Point always had a high regard for him, both through respect for his extraordinary talents and through fear.” It appears that keeping up communication between 28 South Barracks and their base of supplies at Old Benny's was a problem that required some thinking at times; yet, on the whole, this branch of No. 28 commissary department “was a success; and many a thirsty soul, with not pluck enough to run the blockade himself, would steal into our room between tattoo and taps to try the merits of the last importation.” It is gratifying to know that hospitality prevented Poe from consuming more than his share of “Benny Haven's best” that reached 28 South Barracks. Results of one of its foraging expeditions created for a while “no little excitement. ... People had been burned and hung in effigy from time immemorial, but it was reserved for No. 28 to witness the eating of a Professor in effigy. It was a dark cold night“in late November — when the brandy bottle had been two days empty, that just at drizzling dusk Poe proposed drawing straws, and the one who drew the shortest should go down to Old Benny's to replenish stock, and this lot fell to young Gibson. Lacking cash, “four pounds of candles and [Poe paid his share] Poe's best [page 381:] blanket” were taken for traffic, and the start was made when bugles sounded to quarters. Over the rough decline, day and night equally well known, Gibson, drenched to the skin, found his way to Old Benny's. But Old Benny was not over-pleased with his surplus stock of candles, blankets, regulation shoes, etc., drugs on a dull market; for his chicken suppers and bottled brandy were lately disappearing in a too rapid ratio to their slow or no money returns. However, finally forager Gibson found himself possessed of the brandy and the “hardest-featured, loudest-voiced old gander” he ever encountered: and prior to delivery, as a silence necessity, the bird lost his head. It was admitted, that [page 382:] when the suburbs of the barracks were reached that brandy bottle was not so full as when it left Old Benny's; yet “not a drop was spilt,” noted the forager. He held the old bird first over one shoulder, then the other; both impartially shared the “contents of that old gander's veins and arteries,” with Gibson's hands, face and shirt front. His friend Poe was on the lookout, some distance from No. 28 — and, by the startling vision Gibson presented, the poet was at once inspired with the idea of a great hoax, for which their plans were made then and there. The gander was trussed up, beyond his life's recognition, by bloody feathers sticking out in all directions; and Poe, taking the bottle in charge, preceded Gibson to their rooms, where old P—— Henderson, in deep study, and a visitor from North Barracks were awaiting foraging results with eager expectation. Poe took his seat and was soon absorbed in Leçous Françaises. Gibson, laying the gander down, outside the door, staggered into the room, a spectacle in face and clothes rarely seen off the stage. “My God! what has happened? “exclaimed Poe, with well-acted horror. “Old K——, Old K ——!” Gibson repeated several times, with intentional savage gestures. “Well, what of him?” asked Poe. “He won’t stop me on the road anymore more! shouted Gibson, showing a large knife blood-stained with all that was left of the old bird's gore — and, was added — “I have killed him!” “Nonsense! you are trying one of your tricks on us,” said Poe. “I did n’t suppose you’d believe me, so I cut off his head and brought it into barracks. Here it is! “yelled Gibson, who reaching out of the door caught up the gander by both legs, [page 383:] and giving it one fearsome swing about his head, dashed it at the only candle in the room, which left “the inmates in total darkness” — with what two of them believed to be the gory head of one of the professors. Their visitor leaped through the window, alighted in a slop-tub, but made fast time for his own room in North Barracks, spreading, as he went, the report that Gibson had killed Old K——, and that his head was then in No. 28 South Barracks. The story gained credence, and “for a time,” wrote Gibson, excitement “ran high. When we lit the candle again, Old P—— was sitting in one corner, a ... picture of blank horror,” and it “was some time before we could restore him to reason. The gander was skinned — picking the feathers off was out of the question — and after taps we cut him up in small pieces, and cooked him in a tin wash-basin over our antharcite fire, without any seasoning of any kind. It was perhaps the hardest supper on record. ... We had started out to eat Old K—— in effigy, and we did it.” Whether Old K —— ever heard of the gory-gander honors paid him that night was not mentioned.

With mental forces on the alert for Poe — interests Mr. Landon C. Bell has definintely [[definitely]] identified “Old K —— ” of this episode as Professor Zebina J. D. Kinsley, and notes him: “Cadet of U. S. Military Academy from May 22, 1814, to July 1, 1819, when he graduated as a 2nd Lieut. of Artillery; served N. England Posts from 1819 to ‘20. At West Point he was Assistant Instructor of Infantry Tactics from 1820 to ‘35; resigned September, 1835. He was principal of a Classic and Mathematical School near West Point [page 384:] from 1838 to ‘49 and died Aug. 24, 1849, aged 48.” Mr. Bell adds: “It was the department of tactics that saw to West Point discipline. Locke, to whom Poe paid his respects in verse, was Assistant Instructor of Infantry Tactics. To this day, at West Point, it is only the ‘Tacks ’ — Tactical officers — that are feared in regard to matters of discipline.” Mr. Bell ventures the belief that Professor Kinsley had a temperament and predisposition such as are traditionally associated with schoolmasters of that severe period.

From Colonel Timothy P. Jones(35) comes: “On the morning of the 6th of March, 1831, when Poe was ready to leave West Point we were in our own room together, and he told me I was one of the few, true friends he had ever known, and as we talked the tears rolled down his cheeks. I had grown to love him, and I know he would have risked his life for me. He told me much of his past life; one part was — that for nearly two years he had let his kindred and friends believe he was fighting with the Greeks — while he was wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam's soldiers, leading a sober and moral life.” Colonel Jones noted elsewhere, that some statements found in print as coming from him and adverse to Poe “were misquoted.” This assertion as to the Greek conflict seems to cover Poe's U. S. Army service. Yet neither Poe himself, nor his cousin judge Neilson Poe, — who is credited with the statement, Poe never was in Europe but once; in his childhood days,” — ever definitely located the poet from late January to May 26, 1827.

Between academical duties, sharing frolics mentioned, and — after January, 1831 — guard-house discipline [page 385:] and further institutional delinquencies for freedom from West Point service, Poe appears to have made time for renewed attention to revision of his verses in and not in print, to the extent of having enough in form at this time for another book issue. On this score General George W. Cullum, U. S. Army, noted of their writer: “He was a heedless boy, very eccentric, and of course preferred writing verses to solving equations.” To this, a soldier's view of a poet, was added another, that Poe “escaped evening parade to wander along the romantic banks of the Hudson,” meditating on the unusual measures of “Romance, who loves to nod and sing,” and on “To Helen,” and radiant “Israfel.” To such strolls and evening patrol duties Poe's memory, loyal to Hudson's flow below West Point, fled backward thereto, in his 1849 “Marginalia” mention of General George P. Morris: [page 386:] “Morris is very decidedly our best writer of songs. ... For my part, I would much rather have written the best song of a nation than its noblest epic ... I know no poem which excels the following:

‘When Hudson's wave o‘er silvery sands

Winds through the hills afar,

Old Crow Nest like a monarch stands

Crowned with a single star.’ ”

This was the poetical vision that appealed to Poe when on night-patrol duties, and during his escape from evening parades, at practical West Point.

Honorable R. M. Hogg, of Irvine, Scotland, calls attention to Poe's mention of “a painted paroquet” in his “Romance,” first printed in the 1829 “Poems” Preface, thence in the Introduction of the 1831 edition. Lines including it are:

“Romance, who loves to nod and sing,

With drowsy head and folded wing,

Among the green leaves as they shake

Far down within some shadowy lake,

To me a painted paroquet

Hath been — a most familiar bird —

Taught me my alphabet to say —

To lisp my very earliest word

While in the wild — wood I did lie,

A child — with a most knowing eye.”

Mr. Hogg writes: “In Irvine and Kilwinning there was an ancient form of Archery called ‘Shooting at the Papingo.’ We have records of the sport from 1450 to 1868, when it became obsolete in Irvine district. It was practiced thus. A wooden bird was painted and dressed in gay plumes — after the style of [page 387:] a Paroquet — Parrot — furnished with movable livings inserted with pins. When complete it resembled a paroquet and was called the Papingo or Popinjay. It was finely poised, from the lower body at a point on an iron rod, that projected at right angle from the top of the church tower. The archer stood at the foot of the tower and shot right up at the bird. The wings were loose, and if struck, fell at once, and counted for one point in the contest. But the object of the victor was to bring down the entire bird. The successful [page 388:] man was crowned Captain of the Papingo for the year. The archers then paraded the streets and were entertained at each Inn-door, and the day ended up with a supper and open-air dancing at the Cross. This sport is mentioned by Walter Scott. Poe, in Irvine, must have known of the ancient sports, practiced by the Greeks of Homer's time, the bird being suspended from top-masts of ships. To a young boy there would be much romance in this ancient pastime as carried out here, the only place in Scotland it was ever produced. I could get you a correct drawing showing the Papingo as it was practiced. Every time I read the line I am impressed that in it we have a real remembrance of Irvine. The dictionary will show that ‘Papingo’ or ‘Papingo’ is the Paroquet.” Pictures of this classic sport as practised in Scotland appear in these pages by special courtesy of the owner of originals, Mr. R. M. Hogg.

Monday, March 7, 1831, found Edgar Allan Poe, at [page 390:] twenty-two, freed from West Point service, and at full liberty to follow literature as his life-calling. He had then rendered duties in time service covering the academical indebtedness against him, of some $34, which settlement left him a financial balance of twenty-four cents with which he was to begin his chosen vocation.

Through the late Assistant Librarian William L. Ostrander, West Point, come many local text and picture Poe-values. Among them is a photo-print of the poet's white marble Memorial Tablet there. It was designed by Henry Bacon of Boston, and has been placed over a doorway purposely cut for it between its corridor and the Library office. The Tablet bears this inscription, which includes a Poe motto from Bacon:



How dark a woe! Yet how sublime a hope!

How silently serene a sea of pride!

How daring an ambition! Yet how deep —

How fathomless a capacity for love!

There is no exquisite beauty without

Some strangeness in the proportion.


Thus the poet's pen has placed him for all time among the Laurel-crowned sword-heroes of West Point.

It is of record that Mr. Elam Bliss, a “reputable N. Y. City publisher,” went to West Point to arrange with Poe for the issue of his projected work. On its title-page appeared: “Poems | By | Edgar A. Poe | [page 392:] Tout le monde a raison — Rochefoucault. Second Edition. New York: Published by Elam Bliss, 1831.” The dedication of this little book of 124 pages read: “To The U. S. Corps of Cadets. This volume is Respectfully Dedicated.” And by grace “of Col. Thayer” who seemed to have understood the entire situation, is noted from General Magruder's letter to Professor Woodberry: “The cadets, especially from the South, generally subscribed at seventy-five cents a copy, which the superintendent allowed to be deducted from our pay.” The book, notwithstanding the “reputable” publisher, appeared “bound in green boards and printed on inferior paper, ... on cheapest scale.” Subscriptions were not fully paid until delivery some time after Poe had “left the Point.” But no doubt the publisher felt secure in making some small advance to reinforce that twenty-four cents balance due Poe, to the extent of paying his way to New York City. He probably visited Mr. Bliss during correction of galley prints. Possibly, failure to obtain literary employment there, proved that city, to Poe's mental unrest, a valley of indecision, for he soon wrote to Colonel Thayer of some misty plan for serving Poland. This letter — preserved under glass at West Point — is dated “New York, March 20, 1831”; in it Poe wrote:

SIR: — Having no longer any ties which can bind me to my native country — no prospects — nor any friends — I intend ... to proceed to Paris with a view of obtaining thro’ ... Marquis de Lafayette an appointment ... in the Polish Army. In event ... of ... interference of France in behalf of Poland this may be effected. ...

The object of this letter is respectfully to request that you will give me such assistance as may lie in your power [page 393:] in furtherance of my views. A certificate of “’ standing” in my class is all I have any right to expect ... a letter to a friend in Paris — or to the Marquis — would be a kindness which I should never forget.

Most respectfully yr. obt. st.,


COL. S. THAYER, Supt. U. S. M. A.

Poe's West Point standing, as third in Trench and seventeenth in mathematics, in a class of eighty-seven, might have claimed such recognition. But Yorick's “Alas! how soon are we forgot,” seemed to hate shrouded remembrance of Poe from his West Point associates until their minds were jostled thereto by the arrival of his “Poems” for their subscribers. And they, perceiving only “Israfel” and “To Helen” among other “mere poems,” where were expected squibs, pasquinados, satires and jokes, at professors’ expense, were made indignant, disappointed. These embryonic warriors thought themselves defrauded by no values received for seventy-five cents’ outlay made on expectation of lines of rhyming after the pattern of verses on Lieutenant Locke written for Poe's purpose of leaving West Point. It is interesting to realize how he divided his mind at that time for such result, and the serious study these poems exacted for the 1831 issue. Tradition holds that the high-spirited cadets obtained full measure of their money's worth in many a joke at the poet's expense by distorting quotations from these “Poems.” It seems safe to believe they were approved by Colonel Thayer and his West Point aides. To this 1831 edition was prefixed a long letter dated “West Point 1831,” addressed to a “Mr. B.,” supposed by some to be Bulwer Lytton, and by others, [page 394:] Rev. John M. Bransby, Poe's Stoke Newington Manor House Schoolmaster. T. O. Mabbott, M.A., believes, with reason, that this “Mr. B.” was Poe's publisher, Elam Bliss. Yet, more truly lie seems a created character for the writer's purpose of literary comments. Time changed some of these estimates in Poe's July, 1836, Southern Literary Messenger reprint of this letter by an attached Editorial Note. Yet the “Letter to B —— ” stands for glowing comments on Coleridge and Shakespeare, corroding criticism of Wordsworth, and concluded with Poe's own definition of poetry as, — ” Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea,” — “music without the idea, is simply music” and the idea without music is prose.” This letter contains the seeding-ground of Poe's positive life-belief that the mission of poetry was, not earthly beauty entirely, but beauty evanescent in dissolution, or the transition of all possible perfection here, into the hereafter of the Soul's Domain. This embryonic thought later found more scholarly expression in Poe's thesis, “The Poetic Principle.” But intense with such interest the poet's “Introduction” gives little of earthly joys, or their mortal meaning, in his lines:

“I could not love except where Death

Was mingling his with Beauty's breath,

Or Hymen, Time and Destiny

Were stalking between her and me.”

All three were in active human evidence with winding-sheet effects on Poe's first love, then so near to his heart and mind. Yet, no passion's fire of Byronic fervor larks in any line Poe ever wrote; but in mysticisms [page 395:] and creative force his verse and prose are equally thrilling; also, about all — excepting editorial and critical works — are psychological studies, or, as Dr. Charles G. Davis, 1872 graduate of the University of Virginia, referring to Poe's Tales, calls them, “Conflicts of Conscience.” Undoubtedly his intense life — interest in “occult problems of the Soul's relation to the body” was laid in his cradle, wrestled with during a dreamer's childhood, found misty form in his solitary rambles, at seventeen, arnong the everlasting hills fringing the scenic locality of his Alma Mater and used during 1844 for mature scholarly expression in “Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” in Godey's Lady's Book for April of that year.

Of several quotations throughout this life of Poe are given all but the first of Poe's three peerless verses. This first verse is of earlier writing and this 1831 printing:


Helen, thy beauty is to me

Like those Nicean barks of yore,

That gently, o‘er a perfumed sea,

The weary, way-worn wanderer bore

To his own native shore.”

These lines written to Mrs. Stanard, of prior noting and Poe record, reveal the beauty of her character influence upon his passionate boyhood when assailed by sinister destructive forces. Thus her “beauty” anchored the poet for life in the victorious home-harborage of the “Honor System.”

Thomas O. Mabbott(36) writes: “‘Nicean barks,’ in ‘To Helen,’ I believe to mean victorious barks — the [page 396:] word being coined by Poe from the Greek [[Greek Text]], transliterated Nice.”

This 1831 issue also held the seedling of “Israfel,” “all tremulous with beauty of earth,” but which, in the full flower of its last revision, seems as complete and thrilling a definition of the word environment as could be made by mortal expression, in these lines:

” In Heaven a spirit doth dwell

‘Whose heart-strings are a lute‘; ...

And the giddy stars (so legends tell)

Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell

Of his voice, all mute.

“If I could dwell

Where Israfel

Hath dwelt, and he where I,

He might not sing so wildly well

A mortal melody,

While a bolder note than this might swell

From my lyre in the sky.”

Edwin Markham wrote of Poe's “Israfel” as “another of the lyrics descended from his youth, is full of the rush of silver phrases, the careless music of a young god. ... The soul is thrilled with a rush of raptures from a rift in the delicate sky of morning.” But neither in seed nor flower could such idealisms find an answering flutter of recognition in the hearts or minds of gay young cadet aspirants for military glory serv ing time in the U. S. Academy at West Point. There Poe and his poems soon became dim memories for later revitalization by his many biographers.

Because “The Pæan” of this issue is of record [page 397:] writing as between February, 1829 — dating the death of Poe's foster-mother — and the winter of 1831, she seemed then to be much in his mind. Its first draft keenly indicates it to be her memorial dirge in the following four lines:

“They loved her for her wealth —

And they hated her for her pride —

But she grew in feeble health,

And they love her — that she died.”

The third line has had caustic critical attention, but covers a hard, basic fact with which Poe was face to face. He then keenly felt “alone” by his loss of her motherhood. However, so wrote the stranded fosterson she left for a while in this “Valley of Unrest” which, in his “Poems” of 1831, was called “The Valley of Nis.”

While there has been much scholarly discussion concerning Poe's eight or more poems bearing on his creations of No Man's Land and its denizens, the Honorable R. 117. Hogg, Irvine, Scotland, gives some very definite statements for basic structures of several Poe works so characterized. “The Doomed City,” of 1831 print, became “The City of Sin” in the Southern Literary Messenger of August, 1836, and “The City in the Sea: A Prophecy,” in the American Whig Review of April, 1845. In like manner “The Valley of Nis“of 1831 became, through later revisions, “The Valley of Unrest.”

Mr. Hogg states that “Poe's Land of ‘Nis was undoubtedly around the Hebrides”; that the Western Islands of Scotland and part of the mainland were [page 398:] overrun by the Norse. Their names and traditions are inseparable from the Gaelic. Sophus Bugge's theory(37) is, that certain Norse myths are transformations of Christian legends caught up by Viking marauders in Christian lands. That “final defeat of the Norse was at Largs, ten miles from Irvine. In the opposite Island of Arran, Gaelic is still spoken and was in South Ayrshire within one hundred years. Ayrshire is not understood without remembering its early Brytons, Gaels and Norse elements. The whole atmosphere breathes their spirit upon our literature, place names and folk-lore.” Mr. Hogg adds: “Poe did not have to study Norse; it was imbedded in the Gaelic traditions of old sailors’ and old wives’ stories told him when a boy in Ayrshire and Arran. In ‘The East of Arran,’ just published, A. Boyd Scott tells, as gathered from Arran traditions, this version of the land beneath the sea. That if lucky enough to find the four-leaved clover you will be enabled to see the land of the Fay Folk under the sea-between the Arran and Irvine coast — known as Innis Eabhra. As usual it proceeds: ‘Once upon a time a South Arran crofter crossing the rocks on the seashore came on a lady of surpassing beauty from Innis Eabhra, lying asleep between the rocks. Beneath her was a mantle of white swan feathers. Falling in love with her he took her home, and she became his wife. He took precaution, however, to hide this mantle, as without it she could not return to her home beneath the waves. Some seven years later the crofter event one fine Sunday morning to the Kirk, leaving his wife at home to mind the house. Two of the children playing in the barn [page 399:] found this magical mantle and called to their mother to come and see the lovely thing they had discovered beyond the chaff in the barn. She soon left the children, slipped away to the shore, into the mantle of white feathers, and dropped gently into the deep sea opposite the Iron Rock of Corriecravie and so went back to Innis Eabhra.’ Notice Innis and Nis; the latter possibly a child's pronunciation of Innis.” Few laddies from six to eleven could resist drinking in this draught of fairy folk-lore; it would strongly appeal to Poe's romantic temperament, and some of its magic floated over the many later years’ writing of “The Island of the Fay.” Mr. Hogg continues: “John Allan's father was first a sailor, then a Custom House officer. The Irvine Custom House records tell how his ship was captured off the Orkneys by a French privateer and burned. Allan was carried a prisoner to France and kept there till peace was signed. As results of barbarous French prison treatment he was ever aftern=arils a cripple, and his health was so impaired that he had to give up following the sea. He and his family must have been familiar with Gaelic traditions, borrowed from the Norse, of a submerged city. The same idea is in Swinburne's ’ Tristram of Lyonesse, The Unswallowed of the Tide.’ And concerning American literature, it is well to remember Swinburne wrote: ‘ ... once only, was there sounded out of it all one pure note of original song ... the short, exquisite music, subtle and simple and sombre and sweet of Edgar Poe.’ But Irvine harbor was crowded with smacks sailing to the Highlands country, coast and islands. The Galts and Allans owned [page 400:] such smacks. Without doubt Poe had been on one of them as far as Skye and then caught the charm and magic of the Hebrides. In some note, I think he made for a Biographical sketch, Poe said he had been to Ben-Nevis.” Thomas O. Mabbott states that in “King Pest” — September, 1835, Southern Literary Messenger — Poe familiarly notes, “the red setting sun stares up at the crags of Ben-Nevis.” Mr. Hogg continued of Poe: “From Irvine he would sail round Kintyre, the Sound of Jura, Firth of Lorne and Loch Linnhe to reach Fort William and Ben-Nevis. In 1815 there was no other way to get there than by sailing. In ‘The Doomed City’ Poe gives a new setting to a mystic element known here of a city somewhere around these islands off the western mainland of Scotland. Belief and ritual of the Gaidheal — Highland Gaels of Scotland — have many references to Rocabi, the city Gaelic legend locates beneath the naves. Rocabi comes from the Norse rökr = twilight + N. byr = town; this gives ‘the twilight city.’ Legend says a ship's crew once called there and were hospitably welcomed. When departing, the sailors were accompanied to the shore and made to leave their shoes. If they had kept anything — even a particle of dust — belonging to the island, Rocca Barra would still be visible! but by leaving their shoes the island vanished as they left its shores. Rocca Barra is another name for Eilean Vaine, or Green Isle of West Highland tradition, and corresponds to the buried City of Is in Brittany. Norse Rocabi and Brittany's Is seem to make Poe's ‘Nis,’ of the tradition he calls a ‘Syriac tale’ in the lines: [page 401:]

‘It is called the valley of Nis,

And a Syriac tale there is ...

Something about Satan's dart —

Something about angel wings — ...

But the “valley of Nis” at best

Means “the valley of unrest.”

Once it smil‘d a silent dell

Where the people did not dwell;

They had gone unto the wars,

Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,

Nightly from their azure towers

To keep watch above the flowers.’

Of the origin of Scandinavian Elves — Fairie,(38) Dr. Henderson wrote: ‘When the devil raised rebellion in Heaven he and all who fought with him were driven into outer darkness. Some rebels reached Hell; some, Earth, — possibly the submerged city beneath the Hebrides. Those who joined neither party were cast down to Earth and doomed to live in knolls, fells and stones. The Folk-lore of Skye and Arran has belief in trees being the abode of spirits. Rows of trees are grown near cots to guard them; the bog-violet held occult powers and the lily belonged to the Blessed Virgin.’ [In “Silence — A Fable,” of 1839 print, Poe wrote of the Hebrides and their folk-lore.] Some notes by a Skye bard refer to human beings under enchantment in the shape of seals around these islands. The seals retained the human soul and, at times, the human form. The MacCodrums of the legend were metamorphosed into seals. I quote from a translation of the Gaelic of a sea-maiden in the shadowy other world of waters: [page 402:]

But me and my loved one ever roam ‘neath the breakers

Deathless and ageless until the awakening day

. ... . ... .

Without day, without darkness, without night, without brightness

Far vexed on the billows we are tossed on the sea.’ ”

“In looking over Boswell's ‘Johnson,’(39) Friday, Sept. 17, 1773, ‘Journal of a Tour,’ ” Mr. Hogg writes, “I was surprised to find a Syriac tale associated with the Isle of Skye, Eilean a Cheo, or Isle of Mist. It refers to a temple — a ruin of a few stones — of Anaitis, and worship of this Syrian goddess in Skye. Scholarly Dr. Macqueen connected the temple with this goddess. Some critics agree with Dr. Johnson, that ‘ MacQueen's theory is learned nonsense.’ But Poe knew his [page 403:] Boswell, and a probable visit would impress this discussion on his memory. Loch Scavaig, a remarkable inlet of the sea, on the southwest coast of Skye, is the dwelling-place of clouds and solitude; fit haunts for the poetical demons of the storms. The stormy waters of the Hebrides washed the shores of Skye and Arran not far away. Both were subject to marauding Horsemen. Haco's fleet was off Arran shores at the Battle of Largs. When Fūiday, of the Hebrides, was Norse, a natural son of MacNeil, of Bara, fell in love with a Fūiday Island maiden who told him, Norsemen were invincible by daylight, but powerless after sunset. MacNeil invaded that island at night and exterminated [page 404:] the Norse. This seems to explain Poe's ‘Valley of Unrest’ twice trusting to the ‘mild-eyed stars,’ to keep watch from their azure towers’ — which did not prevent a night massacre of their glen-men who had not gone to the Irish wars. Hence ‘the unrest,’ the ‘magic solitude’ noted by visiters.” In the prefatory “Letter to B —— ” of Poe's 1831 “Poems,” he mentions “Ossian's and McPherson's poems in connection with those of Wordsworth and Coleridge.” In all this Mr. Hogg anchors his belief that Poe harkened back to the Scotland days of his childhood for his “Valley of Unrest”; that he also was influenced, perhaps by Macpherson's “Ossian” with its two heroes “lying in the deserted glens of Sannox of Arran, with its Highlands, tarns and caves wherein lurked men of Wallace; and Bruce himself was in hiding, perhaps from the ‘wars’ of Poe's pen.” It threw magical veils of interest over his mystical lines, spiritualized by the soul's unrest of those unrecognized by Earth; but they were of ghostly force in their emotional swaying of trees, floating of clouds and heaving of the waters, as are thrillingly pictured by the poet's “Silence — A Fable,” of 1839 print, in which appears: “ ... a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies. They sigh one unto another ... there is a boundary to their realm, the boundary of the dark, horrible, lofty forest. There, like the waves about the Hebrides, the low underwood is agitated continually. But there is no wind throughout the heaven. And the tall primeval trees rock eternally hither and thither with a crashing and mighty sound ... overhead, with ... rustling ... noise, the gray clouds rush westerly forever, until they roll, a cataract, [page 405:] over the fiery wall of the horizon. But there was no wind throughout the heaven.” Also, in 1845, “Valley of Unrest,” Poe's mysticism finds this local, folklore expression of the Hebrides:

“Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees

That palpitate like the chill seas

Around the misty Hebrides

Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven

That rustle through the unquiet Heaven.”

Mr. Hogg seems deeply impressed with Poe's idea that only the recognized, remembered and beloved of earth slept quietly therein ‘til the “Resurrection Morn” awakening. Certainly some lines of 1831 “Irene,” or “The Sleeper” of later dates, affirm this view by:

“The lady sleeps: the dead all sleep —

At least as long as Love cloth weep

Entranc‘d, the spirit loves to lie

As long as — tears on — Memory's eye.”

And touched too, Mr. Hogg believes Poe's thought to be, by a rare Scotch song of which the former writes “It is held here that the Earl of Eglintine, at Irvine, wrote ‘The Canadian Boat Song’ with its perfect verse [the second and third are]

‘From the lone shieling of the misty island

Mountains divide us, and wastes of seas —

Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland

And we in dreams behold the Hebrides:

‘And we ne‘er shall tread the fancy haunted valley

Where ‘tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream,

In arms around the patriarch's banner rally,

Nor see the moon on royal tomb-stones gleam.’ [page 406:]

With its refrain of two lines the entire song's first print was in September, 1829, Blackwood's, but written years prior, with its authorship claimed by John Galt and Professor Wilson, i.e. Sir Christopher North, who noted that Canadian boatmen were ‘strapping fellows who sung heaps of old Highland oar-songs capitally well in true Hebridian fashion!“’

Concerning Poe's couplet on the “nameless grave,” in “The Valley of Unrest,” Mr. Hogg writes that these lines:

“‘Over the lilies, there that wave

And weep above a nameless grave!’

suggest a story of the Pentland Rising — in which an unknown Ayrshire man was mortally wounded. He fled west; and in sore plight, at mid-night, tapped at a shepherd's window, who, as he could not harbor the stranger, tried to take him to Oaken Bush up the Glen, but he died in his arms without giving his name; and his last words were: ‘Bury me in sight of the Ayrshire Hills.’ He ,vas carried to Black Hill and buried within a gap whence the Ayrshire Hills — 18 miles away, as the crow flies — can be seen. Until 1841 this grave was marked by a cairn, then the present stone was erected. Its inscription is: ’Sacred To the memory of A Covenanter, Who fought and was wounded at Rullion Green Nov. 28, 1666, Who died at Oken Bush the Day after the Battle, & was buried here By Adam Sanderson of Black Hill.’ ”

From “The Breezy Pentlands,” by Rev. G. M, Ruth, Mr. Hogg gleanes this Note: “I take the liberty of printing some extracts from an article in [page 407:] The Weekly Scotsman (1907) by P. F. Dunlop of Dolphinton, who is well informed on local antiquities.” From the book's body text Mr. Hogg writes: “On a farm of Easton, in the parish of Dunsyer, a tradition has been handed down in a family of shepherds for many generations that a certain rude stone set up in an adjoining moor marked the grave of a covenanter. The tradition ran thus: At the dead of night, 28 Nov., 1666, Adam Sanderson, tenant of a Black-hill farm, was awakened by a tapping at his window. He arose to find a poor fugitive covered with mud and bloodstains, who begged his assistance. [page 408:] He had taken part in the desperate fight at Rullion Green that day and had fled wounded from the scene, — the man — would not accept hospitality dangerous to a host, for harbouring a Wild Whig. The two went up the Valley of the Westwater, but soon the fugitive sank exhausted, and expired in Sanderson's arms, his last words being, ‘Bury me in sight of the Ayrshire hills.’ The farmer carried him to the top of Black Hill and buried him there, and marked the spot with a small cairn. The erection of the present slab was occasioned by an unexpected confirmation of the legend, by a farmer's enterprising son, in the Eastern district, who — with a view to discovering if the tradition was correct — began to dig with his spade and speedily found what he was after. He came home with a skull, some pieces of cloth and a few brass buttons; but his father, a true blue Presbyterian, indignant at the desecration of a hallowed spot, administered a thrashing to his son, then went with him to re-enter the sacred relics, where Adam Sanderson had laid the poor fugitive long before. It was then resolved to mark the spot with a permanent monument. No one should leave Black Hill without paying a visit to the Covenanter's grave. Little Edgar was undoubtedly strongly impressed by this story and the nameless grave as he saw it in 1815 marked only by the ‘small cairn.’

“The spot is in an opening in the hills from which the blue uplands of Muir Kirk in Ayrshire are visible.” Because Poe was very definite in his mention of one, — “a nameless grave” — seems strongly convincing that this one — marked but “nameless” — must have [page 410:] been in his mind, and mentioned in “The Valley of Unrest.” Mr. Hogg adds that “a minor poet sang of it:

‘Bury me in sight of the Ayrshire hills

That look on the western sea

Where all I love are living now

And all that once loved me.’ ”

Mr. Hogg continues: “‘The nameless grave’ is slightly off the Old Coach Road from Glasgow to Lanark and Edinburgh; and a halting stage was Boston Cottage, in direct line with this ‘grave.’ Near at hand is Kirknewton Manse and its former lady — Mrs. Cameron, widowed resident of the parish — was an Irvine lady of Allan's time. The Allan family with Poe visited Glasgow in 1815, and thence coached by the old Road to Edinburgh. The chattering coachman and Boston Cottage Folk would not have failed to relate this story and point out the ‘nameless grave’ just across the woodland from the Inn door. This evidently deeply impressed Poe, the child, all unconscious that his ancestors had been in this Pentland Rising and thereby out-lawed. In Blackwood's Magazine appeared an account of this grave being opened, which account Poe must have seen. From Edinburgh the Allans coached to London.” The shrouded mystery and all its atmosphere of this “nameless grave” would strongly appeal to Poe. But as almost all his literary constructions were composite in character as to persons, places and incidents, all Scottish localities and their traditions mentioned, with which he came into personal touch, seem to share in some manner “The Valley of Unrest” and “The City in the Sea.” [page 411:]

Thomas Ollive Mabbott(40)) seems certain that “The City in the Sea” was no other than the Biblical Gomorrah. Mr. Witty states that the poem is an expansion of a passage in “Al Aaraaf,” to which a Poe Note points keen interest in the legend that one could see ruins of “the cities of the plain by gazing into the depths of the Dead Sea.”

One scholarly critic found in this 1831 edition of Poe's “Poems,” only “occasional sparkles of a true poetic expression.” However, with West Point definitely in his past and a depleted purse persistently present, Poe was more than likely abiding with his New York City publisher, Elam Bliss, who, secured in this edition's printing expenses by enough cadet's subscriptions in advance, felt justified perhaps in asking the young poet to visit him while correcting galley proofs in New York. Mr. Victor H. Paltsits locates the home of publisher Bliss, by New York City 1831 Directory, at 28 Dev Street, and his business, No. 111 Broadway. Only two blocks away was the 49 Vesey Street Studio of Henry Inman, the portrait artist, “who seldom failed in likeness, animated expression, excelled in heads, and no one ever painted a better eye.”(41)

Henry Inman,(42) born at Utica, N. Y., 1801, passed his examination for West Point. But when brought by his father to New York City, and seeing there, in Jarvis’ Studio, Westmuller's “Dana of exquisite flesh tones,” this picture won young Inman from war to art life service. His head, Jarvis said, was just the head for a painter, and Inman served that master from 1814 to 1821. In the 1820's Inman almost entirely [page 412:] painted miniatures. In 1825 he joined the Association of Artists and was elected vice-president of the New York Academy of Design. Inman's personal sympathies with men of letters and taste for literature were strong and individual; his love of poetry was genuine; his discrimination as a critic, wise and genial; and in those days he had, in common with Poe, no high regard for Wordsworth. In those good old times congenial people knew each other. As Inman was also an author, he undoubtedly knew Bliss — of the book-making world — well; and both probably talked over the young cadet-poet before he appeared upon this New York issue scene of action. On passing out of West Point range, by reason of their artistic temperaments, both Poe and Inman were in harmony enough of personal touch, it seemed, for the artist to sketch, in oil colors from life, a miniature of the rising young poet, which portrait is presented in these pages, reprinted by courtesy of owners R. C. and N. M. Vose, Boston, Mass. Both poet and artist met again several times in life, until Inman's death at Philadelphia, January, 1846.

Mr. Theodore Pease Stearns(43) states that his great uncle, Peter Pindar Pease, did not see Poe again — after their 1827 Boston meeting — until the spring of 1831 in New York City. He said he came there for print issue of his poems, the West Point edition of that date. He claimed that he had “hit it hard,” meaning that he had met success; that he lived not far from Madison Square, loved to walk under the elm trees there, and invited Pease to join him for refreshments. This, the limited time of Pease prevented. [page 413:] He noted a peculiar characteristic of Poe — continued through life — which was, while walking he held one hand behind his back, slowly rubbing the thumb back and forth over his index finger. Poe mentioned that his prior four years’ Boston experiences made him feel desperate enough to “do anything except cut his throat.”






[S:0 - EAPTM, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. Poe: The Man (M. E. Phillips) (Section 03)