Text: Mary E. Phillips, “Section 05, Part 1,” Edgar Allan Poe: The Man (1926), pp. 543-862


[page 543, unnumbered:]



CRITICAL notes mere many that went from Poe's pen to the Southern Literary Messenger, October, 1836. And his unique estimate of “Peter Snook,” or the able English editor James F. Dalton, found print in that issue. The November number stated that “press of business,” as to contents of Vol. III, prevented the usual attention to its critical department; that there were “many books lying by us which we propose to notice fully in our next.” Christmastide of 1836 brought no Messenger issue. During these past few months Poe was not only occupied by editorial duties but had also on his mind and time “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.” This tale gave details of a mutiny at sea and an “Atrocious Butchery aboard the American Brig ‘Grampus’ on her way to the South Seas.” Captures, shipwrecks, famine, adventures in plenty made up her log of calamities.

The January, 1837, Messenger began with a review of Paulding's “A Visit to my Native Village,” followed by Poe's “Bridal Ballad.” Mr. Whitty suggests reading it in connection with Poe's printing and noting the old Scotch song, “They have given her to another,” in the August Messenger, for both bore the burden of the poet's early lost love. This January, 1837, number also [page 544:] gave the first section of “Arthur Gordon Pym,” from which, it is said, Jules Verne took his shipwreck of “The Chancellor”; and that Poe put some personalities of his childhood teacher — Mr. Ewing — into “old Mr. Ricketts with only one arm and eccentric manners,” of this sea story. This date Messenger also gave Poe's sonnet “To Zante,” evolved by the classic hyacinth, —

“Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,

Thy gentlest of all gentle names lost take!”

Of these lines Mr. Whitty writes that R. H. Stoddard requested Poe's autograph, and was answered at Philadelphia, November, 1840, by a letter expressing himself much gratified, and he hastened to reply by “transcribing a sonnet of my own composition.” Mr. Whitty adds: “This letter and sonnet ‘To Zante’ failed to claim any found mention by Mr. Stoddard, but they were noted in the sale of his books by his literary executor, the banker poet E. Clarence Stedman.” But far down on page seventy-two of this January, 1837, Messenger appeared: Poe's attention being called in another direction, he will decline, with the present number, the editorial duties of the Messenger. His critical notices for this month end with Professor Charles Anthon's ‘Cicero’ — what follows is from another hand. With best wishes to the Magazine and to its few foes as well as many friends he is now desirous of bidding all parties a peaceable farewell.” In the closing paragraphs Mr. White noted: “Mr. Poe who has filled the editorial chair for the last twelve months with so much ability retired from [page 545:] that station on the 3rd instant, — Mr. Poe, however, will continue to furnish its columns from time to time with effusions of his vigorous pen.”

Mr. White later itemized Poe's work — which made up most of that issue's ninety-seven pages — as “stuff.” It seems significant that the following February, 1837, Messenger, managed by Mr. White “alone,” fell to sixty-four pages, including part of Poe's “Arthur Gordon Pym.” The March Messenger marked forty-eight pages and was the first that bore the name of T. W. White as both editor and proprietor. Of him and Poe it is of record that the parting of their ways was neither sudden nor violent. Mr. Whitty notes Poe as ambitious, thought he was entitled to more salary, or to share proprietary interest in the magazine. Perhaps Poe's discovery of his editorial ability at that time gave birth to the desire he ever afterwards cherished to own as well as edit a periodical, by virtue of which he could have perfect freedom in critical expression as a high priest serving at the shrine of letters. This desire Poe stated in his June 1, 1844, letter to Dr. Charles Antlion by: “Before quitting the’ Messenger’ I saw ... through a long dim vista the brilliant field. for ambition which a Magazine of bold and noble aims presented to him who should successfully establish it in America.” Mr. Whitty believes Poe was also becoming anxious as to the issue of his tales, and therefore wished to be near large publication centers. For this reason, on Harpers’ return of MS. of his tales, some letters concerning them passed between Poe and Saunders & Otley, New York City. Action was delayed, because even then Poe considered [page 546:] the MS. far from finished. It also appears he was having letters from Dr. F. L. Hawks, who thought Poe might find an opening on the New York Review. To it, October, 1837, he gave one critique on Stephens’ “Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia and the Holy Land.”

On January 17, 1837, two weeks after Poe retired from the Messenger, its owner wrote to “Mr. Poe” that efforts would be made to get “more than 1st portion of ‘Pym’ in — ” that, if ten lines of the “Magruder” MS. had been read it would have saved putting it into type, and only gratitude for pecuniary assistance from Carey allowed the issue of his MS. Mr. White told Poe that he was aware the last $20 advanced was for what he was to write by the piece; that the promise of Saturday for more would be met before night or in the early morning; and the letter closed with, “if I have to borrow it from my friends.”

In Poe's Jan. 9, 1837, letter to his West Point friend, Allan B. Magruder, as to his MS. mentioned by Mr. White was: “Your kind letter of Christmas eve was duly received — with the Essay. I have read it with great pleasure and, ... surprise — never having suspected you of literary designs. It shall certainly appear, entire, in the February number ... Any supervision on my part, I perceive would be ... superfluous ... ” Poe noted that illness and harassing business delayed his reply, which closed with “sincere friendship and esteem.” Concerning the Magruder item and others, Mr. White's foregoing letter would indicate he did not find the entire “management” of his Messenger without Poe smoother sailing than with [page 547:] him. Yet it is of record that Poe's “failing service” — not in evidence by full January and many other Messenger numbers — was Mr. White's given reason for his willingness to let his editor go; also, that Poe besought reinstatement in March, when the Messenger issue counted but forty-eight pages, but Mr. White, in “terms firm but kindly, refused” to do this. Mr. Whitty states: “I don’t believe Poe asked White for reinstatement; Minor must be wrong and gives no date to establish mere hearsay.” Aside from this belief, Mr. Whitty and others locate Poe with his little family in New York City in late February, 1837. Then, with a stop at Baltimore, it took some time for this trip. Of prior Richmond days some notings by Mr. White on Poe are: “He is continually after me for money. I am sick of his writings as I am of him, and I am inclined to send him up another dozen dollars and with them all his MS., most of which are denominated ‘stuff.’ For ‘A. Gordon Pym’ he demanded three dollars a page.” In 1847 Blackwood's review of Poe's “Tales” appeared: “They are strange, powerful, rivet the attention.” So much for what Mr. White called, or quoted as, “stuff,” but he added, selfishly enough, “Highly as I think of Mr. Poe's talents I shall be forced to give him notice that I can no longer recognize him as editor of the Messenger.” Mr. Whitty states of Mr. White: “He never seemed to want any one known as editor while he was publisher.” This may account for Poe's predecessor — Mr. Sparhawk — taking “the field against” Mr. White, as he noted to Mr. Minor, October, 1835. Mr. Whitty thinks Poe likely met Sparhawk in Boston in his 1827 pursuit [page 548:] of literary work and “Tamerlane” issue. That year the Directory located a probable relative, Oliver Sparhawk, merchant, 60 State Street. Of Editor Sparhawk is added: “His stay on the Messenger was brief, and it looks as if he could not get along with White, who was exacting and knew things; this shows up Poe better, who put up with White's exacting ways, learning something; and things Poe knew were used discreetly for the Messenger and brought White dollars during Poe's stay of over a year. With just a little turn of the wheel, Poe himself might have been easier.” Yet 1837 was a trying year for Mr. White, in the slow, painful illness of his wife, who died therein Dec. 11th. But his brilliant young editor had found the “master-current of his own life” and seemed to have obtained enough of such success to receive an invitation from Dr. Francis Lister Hawks, of North Carolina, then settled as Rector of St. Stephen's Church, New York City, to contribute to his new venture in the New York Review. Taking his cue from the “Norman Leslie” — by Theodore S. Fay — critique by Poe, Dr. Hawks wrote him: “I wish you to fall in with your broad-axe amidst this miserable, literary trash which surrounds us. I believe you have the will and I know you have the ability.” With such expression from such a source, also thinking his other letter — friends, Paulding and Dr. Anthon, could aid him by hack work until he could stand alone financially, gradually to materialize his dream of becoming a great editor, Poe could scarcely be thought of as going astray in leaving Richmond for what he believed to be larger literary opportunities to be found in New York City. However, he and Mr. [page 549:] White parted good friends; the latter ever spoke of Poe with “great kindness and cordial good will,” notwithstanding the much quoted record that “White called Poe an unmitigated rascal.” Mr. White's daughter Eliza was always a true friend to Poe and Virginia. But having no conception of Poe's heritage of nervous exhaustion and its increasing effects, caused even kindly disposed Mr. Kennedy sincerely to believe of its victim that Poe “‘was irregular, eccentric and quarrelsome, and soon gave up his place.” It would seem that disturbances between Mr. White and Editor Sparhawk were unknown to Mr. Kennedy; and Poe's entire editorial experiences were mild compared with some others of that time, with special reference to L. A. Wilmer's stormy ones as he gave them in “Our Press Gang.” When Poe decided to leave the Messenger, he wrote this friend of his Baltimore days — some of whose works were placed in the Messenger and others kindly noticed by Poe — that its editorial chair would be vacated for Wilmer's application for its filling. But Wilmer was otherwise interested; yet in this act Poe stands firm in his loyalty, gratitude and friendship.

It was February, 1837, when Poe and family began their leisurely way from Richmond, through Baltimore and Philadelphia, to New York City, where Mr. Whitty notes their arrival late in that month. There they found modest roofage for a while in a dingy brick building on Sixth Avenue near Waverley Place, where they shared a floor with William Gowans, a canny, eccentric, scholarly Scotsman, as his works“The Phœnix,” a collection of “old and rare fragments,” [page 550:] N. Y., 183, his catalogues, etc., etc. — clearly prove this dealer “in old and precious prints” to be.

William,(1) fifth son of James and Marion Patterson Gowans, was born March 29, 1803, at Hawksland Farm, Parish of Lismallagon, Scotland. Of their nine sons he was chosen for the ministry, and therefore kept close at school until his fourteenth year. He was then withdrawn to help with the farm work until June, 1821, when the family sailed for Philadelphia, arriving in July. Thence they went to Fredonia, Indiana. William became a hand on a flat-boat service to Yew Orleans; he made a second trip, with a boatload [page 551:] of lime, on his own account; but the third, with flour, was a financial failure, and thence he shipped to New York City, arriving May 16, 1825. With no money he turned gardener, stonecutter, stevedore, newsboy and store clerk, losing his last place by the smallpox. The next winter he bought books at evening sales and sold them on the street by day. Gowans stated that he turned to book ventures, mainly through the influence of “the father of Thomas Cole the artist, a book-seller in a small way.” In 1828 Gowans set up a street book stall at 121 Chatham Street. Rebuilding sent him to 26 Arcade; but on his September return he took the entire premises for book business, which increasing, found him, January, 1837, in the auction and commission book trade at Long Room, 169 Broadway, when first known to Poe and family. In 1842 Gowans was upstairs at 204 Broadway, opposite St. Paul's Chapel; in 1846 he was upstairs at 63 Liberty Street, and undoubtedly in some aid touch with Poe's miseries of that date. Records show that “freedom of Gowans’ book store was not presented to every passer-by.” But certainly Poe Went browsing in this bookman's paradise persona grata by Gowans’ grace, and it is said that “few men were then better known throughout the land.” Of him his Scotch friend Thomas C. Latto stated: “Gowans was known to be one of the most truthful and uncompromising of men.”

Various records locate Poe in these Sixth Avenue rooms shared by William Gowans, and working on pathetic, erratic “Ligeia — A Reminiscence,” credited with including Virginia and Mrs. Clemm; he also was [page 552:] giving attention to “The Fall of the House of Usher,” into which he wrought the mists and tarns of Scotland, of mutual familiar childhood interest to William Gowans. Of Poe and family Mr. Gowans’ records were in counter-stroke to an ugly, after-death article by Dr. George Gilfillan, in Fraser's Magazine; yet Gilfillan noted Poe's passions as “controlled by the presence of art until they resembled sculptured flame.” Gowans began with his own opinion: “It may be estimated as worth little, but it has this merit — it comes from an eye and ear witness: and this, it must be remembered, is the very highest legal evidence.” Of Fraser's Poe-sketch Gowans stated: “The foregoing has a certain amount of truth in it; but if stripped of exuberant trimmings, it would much resemble a certain old woman's story, who with staring eyes and uplifted hands told her credulous neighbors she saw fifty foxes cross the bridge in herd. It is known this animal is a solitary wanderer in lonely retreats; a skeptical neighbor concluded to sift the story, and the result revealed, not fifty foxes, but one only, crossed the bridge, pursued by a dog and witnessed by a large Tom cat who sat upon the bulwark. The characters drawn of Poe by his various biographers and critics may with safety be pronounced excess of exaggeration. This is not to be wondered at, when it is taken into consideration that these men were rivals either as poets or prose writers. It is an old-time truism — and as true as old — ‘that in the midst of counsel there is safety.’ Therefore I will also show you my opinion of this gifted but unfortunate genius. For more than eight [page 554:] months one house contained its, one table fed its. During that time I saw much of him, had the opportunity of conversing with him often, and I must say I never saw him the least affected by liquor, nor ever descend to any known vice; he was one of the most courteous, gentlemanly and intelligent companions I have met with during my journeyings and haltings through (livers divisions of the globe. — Poe had a remarkably pleasing and prepossessing countenance, what ladies would call decidedly handsome; besides, he had an extra inducement to be a good man as well as a good husband, for he had a wife of matchless beauty and loveliness. Her eyes could match those of any houri, and her face defy the genius of a Canova to imitate; a temper and disposition of surpassing sweetness; besides, she seemed as devoted to him and his every interest as a young mother is to her first-born.” William Gowans further noted Virginia as “fragile in constitution”; that “Poe kept good hours”; and that “all his little wants were seen to by Mrs. Clemm and her daughter as sedulously as if he had been a child.” It was said that, tinder Poe's long-time instruction, Virginia had become a good lingust [[linguist]], and under instruction of others, a good musician. While small, and notwithstanding her frail health, she was credited with a frill, round figure and face; that her eyes were (lark, but bright yet soft beneath a broad fair forehead of marked contrast to her heavy (lark hair; that her lips were full and pouting and she spoke “with a decided lisp that added to her childlike personality.” All this affirms what Poe repeatedly said: “I see no one so beautiful as my sweet little [page 556:] wife.” Of Poe, Mrs. Clemrn later wrote: “Eddie was domestic in all his habits, seldom leaving home for an hour unless his darling Virginia or I was with him. He was truly an affectionate husband, and a devoted son to me. He was impulsive, generous, affectionate and noble. His tastes very simple and his admiration for all that was good and beautiful, very great. ... We three lived only for each other.”(2) This was written of Poe the man after his earthly life was a closed record, and by one who knew him well. But on the late February, 1837, arrival of Poe and family there, New York City was already stricken with the panic(3) of that year, which had been on its way some fourteen months from the fictitious prosperity of 1835. Whatever of causes in short crops of 1836, October fire in New York City, political intrigue, experiments in finance, or tampering with the national credit, which, suddenly sustained by Van Buren, may have precipitated but could not have prevented this fearsome calamity of which the effects in New York City, April 6, 1837, were press-noted as “Yesterday was a day that tried men's souls,” there and elsewhere merchants failed by whole blocks: flour ranged from $8 to $16 per barrel, which in time of peace of those days resulted in flour riots; fuel was high, and as the cold months crept on, many poor creatures died of starvation, and not a few were frozen to death. Thomas Ollive Mabbott calls attention to one incident of Poe's discomfort during this strenuous winter of 1837: “In Jno. R. Voorhis’ ‘Recollections’ — printed by the New York Evening World, Sept 22, 1920 — appeared that, at the Northern Dispensary, Waverley [page 557:] Place and Christopher Street, New York, ‘ in the 1837 hard winter, Edgar Allan Poe dropped in to get something for a cold.’ ” Mr. Mabbott adds, that Dr. Valentine Mott — whom Poe probably consulted, and who later diagnosed the poet's case in 1847 for Mrs. Shew — was connected with the Northern Dispensary in 1837. From out this financial crisis came the collapse of the New York Review, a religious quarterly, started March, 1837, by scholarly Dr. Charles Anthon, of Columbia College. These strenuous times seemed also to blight Poe's hoped — for literary prospects from Paulding and other New York letter-friends made during his editorial Messenger service at Richmond, Va. Perhaps Poe's definite estimate of “Norman Leslie” by the popular editor Theodore S. Fay, of the New York Mirror, was as “definite” a factor against his critic's receiving recognition by that city's press or its acceptance of even Poe's hack work. However, in those Sixth Avenue rooms shared with William Gowans, Poe divided his time between “Ligeia,” “Fall of the House of Usher” — which two their writer is credited as having considered the finest of his tales — and “Signora Psyche Zenobia,” or a satire on “How to Write a Blackwood Article,” which extravaganza was pronounced a “brilliant literary success.”

The evening of March 30, 1837, a complimentary dinner(4) was given at the City Hotel by the booksellers of New York to authors and other eminent men, including Chancellor Kent, Washington Irving, Paulding, Halleck, Poe and Bryant. Among other artists were Colonel Trumbull and Henry Inman. So it came about that Poe and Inman once more came into [page 558:] New York City personal touch after this painter had brushed into glowing tones his 1831 oil colors sketch of the young poet just emancipated from West Point. The toast of the evening was proposed by Irving, to Samuel Rogers, the banker-poet of England. Probably Poe's presence on that occasion was partly due to William Gowans, and as likely for many a future unknown favor. Gowans spent one year — 1840-1841 — in Europe; corresponded with noted authors there; and here, in 1856, was happily married; lost his wife ten years later; died a childless widower Nov. 27, 1870, and left over “300,000 rare and odd volumes.” But the hard times of 1837, with insistent force, had been knocking at Poe's door, until Mrs. Clemm found it wise to turn her attention to keeping a few boarders to meet the expenses of daily needs. Then it was that William Gowans, the well-to-do bookseller, became one of the poet's household. Of this Poe-period work Gowans’ record runs: “During this time he wrote [some of] his longest prose romance — ‘Arthur Cordon Pym’ — the most unsuccessful of his writings. Although published [July, 1838] by the influential Harper & Brothers — who have means of distributing a single edition of any book in one week — still it did not sell well.” Yet one critic thought “‘ Pym’ a wonder-narrative and after ‘Gulliver's Travels’ peerless of its kind — on the hoax order!”

It seems curious to observe how close and frequent were Poe's life associations with domains of death. From Hemstreet's “Literary New York” — G. P. Putnam's Sons — it comes, that in 1837 Poe lived in the modest frame house at 113 1/2 Carmine Street, [page 559:] on the west side above Varrick, and within a short walk of the quiet restfulness of Old St. John's graveyard, where later William Evans Burton, whom Poe was to know, went to his sleep that knows not earthly waking. Of the Poe record is, that frequently Virginia and her sombre — faced husband would be out, straying through St. John's green, solemn stillness with a special delight they found beneath the glancing shadows of the fine trees there. But more often “she sat at the upper window, from which she could watch him on his rambles.” From this house, May 27, 1837, Poe wrote Dr. Anthon; but insistent duties delayed until June 1st his answer, noting abstruse items of aid for Poe's able critique of Stephens’ “Travels in Arabia Petræa,” for the October number of the New [page 560:] York Quarterly Review. Poe's knowledge of Hebrew was questioned in connection with Stephens’ interpretation of verses in “Isaiah” and “Ezekiel” concerning Idumaea ; yet Poe's learned critic admitted of this review, that “the scholarship was sound whoever furnished it.” Poe was then also giving further attention to “Arthur Gordon Pym,” begun in prior date of Southern Literary Messenger. Professor Woodberry states(5) that aside from that day's interest in sea stories of Cooper and Marryat, the public was also interested in Antarctic explorations by a government expedition, which subject claimed Poe's editorial notice of Congressional reports in the Messenger; this service brought the editor the acquaintance of J. N. Reynolds, this expedition's chief projector. It is said that Poe found his South Seas’ account mainly in Captain [page 561:] Benjamin Morrell's “Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Seas and Pacific,” Harpers’ 1832 issue.

From Mr. Whitty comes, that Poe, during these bewildering winter months of 1837 and 1838, made the acquaintance — probably through Mr. Gowans — of James Pedder, an English writer of juvenile books, who interested himself in the poet's welfare to the extent of arranging for Poe and family going to Philadelphia, where Pedder edited The Farmer's Cabinet from 1838 to 1850. With the blight and bitter cold of the winter past, spring brought to Poe personal — if not financial — satisfaction in his efforts with Harpers, which induced them to bring “Arthur Gordon Pym” to July, 1838, print — a consummation no doubt strongly aided by William Gowans. Its “80 pp. Ills.” later obtained regular and pirated reprints in London.

The early summer of 1838 found Poe and family parting from their good friend William Gowans, closing their Carmine Street house where both Mrs. Clemm's and Poe's earnings were not enough to prevent the need to borrow more to take his family of three to Philadelphia. There, for a while, they were with the Pedder family, who lived on 12th Street above Mulberry, now Arch Street, comes from Mr. Whitty, who adds: “Poe felt grateful to these kind friends, which is evident from the fact that one of the first copies of his ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque’ from the press of Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1840, was given to the ‘Misses Pedder’ with his grateful compliments.“’ One record is that Poe issued these tales when living in a long-ago Mulberry Street boarding house in 1840, [page 562:] perhaps No. 127, northeast corner 4th and Arch, as the street now is called, then the home of kindly Quakers where Lowell brought his bride New Year's Day, 1845. Mr. Whitty continued: “Pedder arranged with Poe to get out The Conchologist's First Book; or a System of Testaceous Malacology,” which was issued by Haswell, Barrington & Haswell, Philadelphia, April, 1839. Undoubtedly [page 563:] Poe spent much time at work in this publishing house, a picture of which Mr. Joseph Jackson sends for reprint from his “History of Market Street, Philadelphia,” where, in Poe's time, it was No. 293. Poe's preface of this work credits to Mr. Isaac Lea and Mr. Thomas Wyatt valuable assistance given it, but this did not prevent Poe being charged, some time later, with pirating the text from Captain Thomas Brown's “Text Book of Conchology.” In part Poe's spirited denial was: “I wrote the Preface and Introduction and translated from Cuvier the accounts of animals, &c. All school-books are necessarily made in this way. This charge is infamous.” Concerning translations, Professor Woodberry credits Poe with translation and digest of Lemonnier's “Natural History” issued under Wyatt's name this 1839 spring; adding, that in Poe's review of this work he spoke “from personal knowledge. ... closest inspection and collation.” As to the Poe “pirating charge,” contributor “W. W.” to the Baltimore American of April 7, 1881, stated that from 1841 he knew Professor Wyatt, author of several books on natural history. He was absent from the country when Poe wrote “The Conchologist's First Book,” but after his death Professor Wyatt disproved this charge in the Home Journal, wherein he stated that while with Graham's Magazine Poe had assisted this vindicator in the compilation of several works on natural history. The Professor presented “W. W.” with a copy of “The Conchologist's First Book” and wrote on its flyleaf “From the Author.” Turning to the title-page, where Poe was so named, the Professor said that he had done the work but paid Poe $50 for the use of his [page 565:] name. “W. W.” added, “It is likely Poe and Wyatt wrote it as collaborateurs and Wyatt induced Poe to sign it as he had done most of the work.” This incident led the Professor to speak of Poe as his Philadelphia neighbor, of the sickness of his wife, of his money straits at times, with narrator's aid to bridge them over; but in no case did he mention Poe's alleged intemperate habits, which he would have done had he witnessed them, for he seemed to be on the most familiar footing with the family. Professor Woodberry notes, that Professor J. A. Anthony(6) of Harvard advised Wyatt that his prior work was too expensive for public demand, and as Harpers refused to issue a cheaper form, he was induced to bring out a new book different enough to avoid copyright suit for damages, and Poe was chosen to father this work. Later this levied against Poe's personal interests with Harpers.

On this score Mr. Whitty writes: “In his Messenger criticisms Poe shows early knowledge on this subject” — that he issued a second edition, with a new preface, additions and alterations in 1840, and a third, without his name, in 1845.

Dr. Ellis P. Oberholtzer, Philadelphia,(7) notes that in 1837 Poe left the Southern Literary Messenger office at Richmond, Va., for New York City, but the next year he came back as far as Philadelphia, then the principal publishing centre of our country. In its forceful periodical field were Godey's Lady's Book, The Casket, the Saturday Evening Post, and the Gentleman's Magazine, the last begun in July, 1837, by William E. Burton, the English comedian. While tc Joseph Jefferson the face of Burton seemed a huge map [page 566:] for the display of comical emotions, Poe's more serious trend of mind — mostly occasioned by acute nervous pressures — prevented permanent mutual enjoyment in their later associations. The Careys led the large book-publishing houses of that day, and the imprint of their successors, Lea & Blanchard, appeared on the first American issues of Scott and Dickens as well as on the works of many native writers. Such an arena of letters was inviting to editors, writers and engravers, and doubtless made one of several good reasons that induced Poe — with his cherished and unalterable ambition of editing a magazine of his own — to make Philadelphia his home. There, during the summer of 1838, he worked on “The Conchologist's First Book”; renewed friendly relations with his Baltimore friend Lambert A. Wilmer, who had in 1839-1840 some connections with the Philadelphia press, of which the Public Ledger, Daily Chronicle, Evening Express, Evening Mercury and Godey's Lady's Book duly figured in Wilmer's later work, “Our Press Gang.” This print also included interesting items of Poe. He also kept in touch with editors and bookmen of other cities. About this time his early Baltimore friend, Dr. N. C. Brooks, bought Fairfield's North American Quarterly Review and, as a monthly, rechristened it American Museum of Literature and Art. In its first number, September, 1838, appeared Poe's “Ligeia,” noted by some authorities as his favorite tale, and like many another, he said, “was suggested by a dream.” From “EDGAR POE AND HIS CRITICS” is learned that only to close friends did Poe speak of “the imageries and incidents of his inner life as more [page 567:] vivid and veritable than those of his outer experience.” We find in some pencilled notes appended to a manuscript copy of one of his later poems, the words: “All that I have here expressed was actually present to me. Remember the mental condition which gave rise to ‘Ligeia,’ ... I regard these visions ... with an awe which in some measure moderates or tranquilizes the ecstasy; ... this ecstasy in itself is ... supernal to human nature, — is a glimpse of the spirit's outer world.” So the poet later wrote for Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman. Ligeia's motto from Glanvill, in part, is: “Man doth not yield himself to the angels, [page 568:] nor to death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.” These words served as text to a fantasy sermon on a weird contest, wherein the human will and spiritual essence vanquish Death by a thrilling revelation of a first wife in the personality of the second. For the creative force in this unearthly transition of compelling attraction Poe quotes Bacon, Lord Verulam: “Speaking truly of all forms and genera of beauty, ‘there is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in its proportion.’ ”

An overseas noting is: “Poe's stories of mystery and imagination created a world record for the English language. The Lady Ligeia is unparalleled and unapproached.”(8) Concerning Poe's “Ligeia” Professor Woodberry states: “for much of its peculiar power he Went back to ... ‘Al Aaraaf’ he had framed out of the breath of the night-wind and the ... harmony of universal nature a fairy creature, — ‘Ligeia, Ligeia, my beautiful one!’ Now, by a finer touch, he incarnated the motions of the breeze and the musical voices of nature in the form of a woman ... of no human quality. ... She is, ... the air-woven divinity in which he believed.”

Dr. Brooks requested from Poe a critique on Washington Irving for the American Museum. Poe's Sept. 4, 1838, reply gave some insight as to his work of that time and home interests. It noted the receipt of letter favor and $10; and as to the review of Irving, Poe stated he could not then “execute such a task well, at so short a notice”; that “it would be necessary to give his entire works a perusal.” These words indicate Poe's careful methods as a critic. He continued, that he had [page 569:] “two other engagements which it would be ruinous to defer”; also, that he was “just leaving Arch Street for a small house” — possibly 16th and Locust Streets — and was, “of course somewhat in confusion.” He added that he was “nearly out “of his late embarrassments; asked for proofs of his articles and concluded: “After the 15th I shall be more at leisure and shall be happy to do you any literary service in my power. You have but to hint.” To Dr. Brooks’ December, 1838, number of the American Museum Poe found time to send “How to Write a Blackwood Article (The Signora Psyche Zenobia)” — a choice bit of satire. “In the name of the Prophet-figs.” This cry of a Turkish fig-peddler served Poe for this literary scoring. Its pendant, “A Predicament (The Scythe of Time)” was also of this date issue. His “Literary Small Talk,” seemingly nonsensical squibs, but of very direct aims for certain results, followed for January and February, 1839, numbers. In Miss Leslie's annual The Gift for that year appeared Poe's quasi-biographical tale “William Wilson,” of which the Encyclopedia Britannica noted: “‘William Wilson’ stands for outraged and retributive conscience,” and added of Poe: “The feelings to which he appeals are simple but universal and he appeals to them with a force that has never been surpassed.” To a rare scholar's statement, that “Poe never preached,” — Mary Newton Stanard answered: “Poe never wrote one sentence or one word without meaning something very definite by it. In ‘William Wilson,’ his double plainly personified conscience.” The late Professor Harrison noted that “In a faded, time-stained copy of the ‘Baltimore [page 570:] Book’ for 1839” — edited by W. H. Carpenter and Poe's Baltimore friend, Timothy Shay Arthur — was found “Siope — A Fable,” after the manner of psychological autobiography, by Edgar A. Poe. This print “was preceded by two lines from ‘Al Aaraaf,’

‘Ours is a world of words: Quiet we call

Silence — which is the merest word of all.’ ”

Dr. Harrison voted this “Fable,” “worthy of Jean Paul Richter in its music and magnificence.”

By double grace of Messrs. Pedder and Wyatt, Poe's “Conchologist's First Book” work was issued in April, 1839. But genius, of the highest order, marked “The Haunted Palace,” constructed by Poe's pen for Dr. Brook's American Museum for April, 1839. Two years later Poe wrote Dr. Griswold : “by ‘The Haunted Palace’ I mean to imply a mind haunted by phantoms, — a disordered brain.” So rich, so desolate are these lines of this poem, then without a title:

“Banners yellow, glorious, golden,

On its roof did float and flow,

(This — all this — was in the olden

Time long ago) —”

Edwin Markham notes that “The Haunted Palace,” as an “allegory of a mind in ruins, is terribly beautiful, whose words seem to come in stately battalions, with bugles blowing. The soul is enlarged not so much by mere knowledge or the bare skeleton of truth, as by dilation of the imagination. The poem ends with two powerful lines:

‘A hideous throng rush out forever

And laugh — but smile no more.’ ” [page 571:]

Of this “Haunted Palace” Dr. George Gilfillan wrote: “Dante has nothing superior in all those chilly yet fervent words of his where the ground burned f core, and cold performs the effect of fire. ”

Concerning the excitement caused by Poe charging Longfellow with plagiarism — as to motive only — in his “Beleaguered City,” it simply indicates, as records prove, a strange, strong, coincidental thought dominating the two poets about the same time. In answer to Mr. T. W. White's request for a contribution, Longfellow sent to him “The Beleaguered City,” Sept. 19, 1839. It appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger the next November. Of this poem, Sept. 28, 1850, Longfellow wrote Dr. Griswold: “I do not believe Mr. Poe saw it till published.” His untitled “Haunted Palace” verses in the April, 1839, American Museum, disposes of Dr. Griswold's implied inference.

It is said that L. A. Wilmer's assistance brought to the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Chronicle of May 8, 1839, Poe's story “The Devil in the Belfry.” “What o’clock is it? OLD SAYING,” starts the tale. Over Poe's definite description, in this farce on Old Irvine, Ayrshire, floats his hoax — mists in naming it “the Dutch borough of Vondervotteimittiss,” — wonder-what-timeit-is? These words, of translated name and locality, refer to the “great clock” sky-high in the tall tower of the Old Tolbooth, or “Town-Council House” at Irvine. Curious it is how its writer's mind went harking back to his childhood's stay in picturesque old Irvine, of Ayrshire, Scotland. Of its connection with this tale Honorable R. M. Hogg there writes, as to the “Auld [page 572:] Kirk,” — or Parish Church: “Vote the steeple, — the Irvine boys were fond of assisting the bell-verger to ring the bell. The passage to the Bell-tower was up a narrow, tortuous stairway to the Bell-chamber, a rather dark and gloomy place. In it are two sombre oaken chests containing ‘snort clothes’ which were spread over coffins on entering the gate of the churchyard. I think ‘The Devil in the Belfry’ is reminiscent, in some points, of a young boy's visit to this Bell-chamber, for Poe wrote of the Town-house, Burghers, cabbage gardens, Bell-ringer's grand livery — all are found at Irvine.” Also the tiny grey geared, red-capped creatures, or the Belfry Nisses.

Records show there was a later and less favorable turn Poe made toward an old contributor to the Southern [page 573:] Literary Messenger. From E. Burke Fischer — who with a hopeful Mr. Whiting made a May, 1839, venture at Pittsburg in the Literary Examiner and Western Monthly Review — Poe received the grandiloquent offer of $4 per page for critical reviews. One was sent, to which Fischer gave editorial place with special emendations by himself. Concerning Editor Fischer, Poe wrote Dr. J. Evans Snodgrass, July 12, 1841, ‘‘ no greater scamp” ever lived, and congratulated himself that this magazine died the next month. Thomas O. Mabbott notes that Poe wrote two other articles, that escaped “Fischer's revision,” for his paper which did not die so soon as Poe believed it did.

Perhaps flippant treatment given “Arthur Gordon Pym” — Harpers’ 1838 issue — by Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine, September following, made Poe rather shy as to coming into any personal touch with its editor-owner. Yet prior to May, 1839, there must have been some meeting, and with a suggestion of introduction by L, A. Wilmer. William Evans Burton was born in London, England, — not, as he stated elsewhere, in 1804, but — “‘Sept. 24, 1801,’ as he placed it on his book-plate, printed by himself in 1814, and in his school-book,” owned by Mr. Joseph Jackson, of Philadelphia Ledger staff. Burton's father, William George, was a printer, also author of “Biblical Researches.” His son, William E., attended St. Paul's School. When eighteen, ‘he lost his father, took charge of his printing shop to support his widowed mother, and tried to start a magazine. It failed in itself, but brought its promoter theatrical friends, through whom he drifted, via an amateur dramatic [page 574:] society, into a stage career. This began by low comedy in 1825. With his mind divided between tragedy and comedy, Burton first appeared professionally in 1831, at Pavilion Theatre, in “The Lottery Ticket,” which ran fifty times. In May, 1833, Burton wrote “Ellen Wareham,” a successful play. He came to the United States in 1834 and appeared at Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia, September 3rd. William L. Keese noted Burton's “Chambers’ Street Theatre,” New York, as “one of the brightest records of the American stage.” Of Burton himself was added: “Even Burton's friends admit he had his faults”; that “he was at times [page 575:] arbitrary, and could endure no opposition,” but “was a conscientious student, had exceptional energy and was a generous-hearted sympathizer with distress.” Mr. Whitty notes: “Burton's ’ Cyclopedia of Wit and Humor,’ a Vols., N. Y., 1858, is still read and has good circulation. I would not be surprised if Poe helped him in his early compilation of this work.” As an admirable host of those days, wines were found on Burton's table, but he, like Poe, had no natural love for liquor. During the July, 1837, whirlpool of financial disasters, William E. Burton launched the Gentleman's Magazine; first chartered, it is said, for “lightest of stories”(9) and “most sluggish of poems,” padded out with translations, clippings and scrappy reviews, hand-made by scissors and entitled “criticisms.” But 1839 began Vol. IV with fair promise of better things in printing, pictures and contributors foreign and native.

Among the latter were Poe's Baltimore friendsL. A. Wilmer, who joined Atkinson in the Saturday Evening Post and The Casket, in Philadelphia, and Dr. N. C. Brooks. Thus, pro and con, stood Burton then, as to Poe, whose parents, being of the dramatic profession, would add a touch of interest to his own editorial trend of mind, aside from his genius for literature. Perhaps, too, his wonderful energies, under adverse health and means, appealed then to Burton's sympathies; and in equal proportion was his Magazine's need of able editorial service. Both men were arbitrary on different scores, but each needed the other's aid, which dominating fact brought about their Gentleman's Magazine and American Monthly Review [page 576:] connection, when the July, 1839, number gave Poe's name as associate-editor with Burton's. His magazine's office was located corner of Dock and Moravian Streets, Philadelphia, opposite the stately Exchange Building frequented by Poe for press-perusals, etc., and of various notings later made by him. For their periodical connection Poe and Burton must have had some oral and letter conferences prior to Burton's letter dated May 10, 1839, in which was: [page 577:]

MY DEAR SIR, — I have given your proposal a fair consideration. I wish to form some such engagement as that which you proposed, and know of no one more likely to suit my views than yourself. The expenses of the Magazine are ... wofully heavy; more so than my circulation warrants, ... Competition is high. ... I am therefore compelled to give expensive plates, thicker paper and better printing than my antagonists, or allow them to win the goal. filly contributors cost me something handsome, and the losses upon credit, exchange, etc., are becoming frequent and serious. I mention ... difficulties as some slight reason why I do not close with your offer, which is indubitably liberal, without any delay.

Shall we say ten dollars per week for the remaining portion of this year? — Should we remain together ... your proposition shall be in force for 1840. A month's notice to be given on either side previous to a separation. Two hours a day ... will, I believe, be sufficient for all required, except in the production of any article of your own. ... you could easily find time for any other light avocation — supposing you did not exercise your talents in behalf of any publication interfering with the prospects of the G. M.

I shall dine at home to-day at 3. If you will cut your mutton with me, good. If not, write or see me at your leisure. I am, my dear Sir,

Your obed‘t Serv‘t,


Poe's “proposition” to “be in force for 1840,” mentioned in Burton's foregoing letter, seems certainly to cover some mutual financial, or proprietary, interest in the Magazine field.

From Mr. Joseph Jackson, Philadelphia, it comes, that Burton at his home number, 158 North 9th Street, gave Poe quite a few “good times” in the way of [page 578:] “good dinners,” good diners, etc., at this home of which a much later picture, also one of Burton's Dock Street magazine office, opposite Exchange, appear these pages by courtesy of Mr. Jackson.

This Poe-Burton editorial venture was noted by Mr. [page 579:] White in the October Southern Literary Messenger with: “We are pleased to find that our old assistant, Edgar A, Poe, is connected with Burton in the management of Gentleman's Magazine. Mr. Poe is favorably known as a gentleman of fine endowments; possessing a taste classical and refined, an imagination affluent and splendid, and a singular capacity for minute and mathematical detail. We predicted that Mr. Poe would reach a high grade in American literature; in the department of criticism, he is an able professor.” Mr. White found out all this after 1837, when he thought Poe's “Pym” “stuff,” Perhaps delay of Poe's quest for this notice, of mutual interest, caused to appear in his Sept. 5, 1839, letter to James E. Heath, first editor of the Messenger, a troubled reference to Mr. White. On this score, Mr. Heath's Sept. 12th answer noted: “I have had a conversation with White. ... and took the liberty to hint ... your convictions of an unfriendly spirit manifested ... toward you. I am happy to inform you that he ... professes your prosperity and happiness would yield him pleasure. ... He will, with pleasure, admit a notice of the ‘ Gentleman's Magazine’ in the ‘ Messenger’ October number. ... The cultivation of such high intellectual powers as you possess cannot fail to earn you a solid reputation in the literary world. In ... criticism ... especially, I know few who can claim to be your superior in this country. Your dissecting knife, if vigorously employed, would serve to rid us of much ... silly trash and sickly sentimentality with which puerile ... conceited authors and gain-seeking booksellers are ... poisoning our intellectual food. I [page 580:] hope in relation to all such you will continue to wield your mace without ‘ fear, favor or affection.’ ”

The July, 1839, number of Gentleman's Magazine was the first bearing Poe's name as associate editor. This number gave his poems “To Ianthe in Heaven” of other printings, as, “To One Departed” and “One in Paradise,” and “Spirits of the Dead”; also some book reviews. In the August number appeared from Poe's pen, “The Alan that tvas Used Up, A Tale of the Late Bugaboo and Kickapoo Campaign,” on the order of a political farce; “An Opinion on Dreams,” in which Poe noted: “I believe man to be in himself a Trinity, viz., Mind, Body and Soul.” Of this idea his later “Eureka” seems but an elaboration. Poe's “Fairyland,” prior written verse “To — ,” his cousin Elizabeth and Eliza White, and those “To the River,” were also in this August, 1839, issue of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. It is of significance that therein appeared “Friends of Our Childhood” by Dr. Thomas Dunn English, as the coincidence seems to mark some near previous meeting between Poe and the author of “Ben Bolt.” Concerning their meeting Dr. English wrote:(10) “Of Poe's doings after 1846 I know nothing personally, — previously, a great deal. In 1839, I was contributor to Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and prior, when under Alexander. I was in the office one clay when Burton introduced me to Poe. ... I was favorably impressed With the appearance and manners of the author ... in plain, rather worn suit of black, carefully brushed, and linen ... notable for its cleanliness. His eves were large, bright and piercing; ... manner easy and refined: his tone and conversation [page 581:] winning. We went out of the office together, and in conversation as we walked along Chestnut Street, and parted above Third, well pleased with each other. There was no bond of sympathy except the admiration I had for his undoubted genius; but our intimacy increased as months wore on. I became a frequent visitor to his [page 582:] family, Mrs. Poe was a delicate gentlewoman. Mrs. Clemm had more of the mother than the mother-in-law about her.”

Dr. English,(11) born June, 1819, at Philadelphia, was of Mount Pleasant, N. J., Quaker parentage. He attended the Friends’ School and private academies; wrote for the press at seventeen; graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839; studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He edited at New York The Aristidean — one Vol., 1845 — and later a humorous periodical, John Donkey, in 1848. He obtained late in life several political honors. Dr. English's song “Ben Bolt,” dedicated to his friend Charles Benjamin Bolt, was written by request of N. P. Willis, and printed in the New York Mirror, 1843. “Ben Bolt” named a ship, a steamboat and a race horse. “The ship was wrecked, the steamboat was blown up and the horse ... never won anything,” was recorded by Dr. English. Of the Poe-English later on duello, Dr. Oberholtzer notes of this exciting print episode, that Poe “was unnecessarily severe, called English ‘Thomas Dunn Brown,’ and ... in truth was done so ‘brown’ that he must have regretted ever having offered himself for a baking at the hands of such an artist in cookery. Poe sued for damages and got $225 and costs.” It was Dr. English who introduced Poe to Henry Beck Hirst, then twenty-two years old, and of later interesting, personal Poe connections.

In the September, 1839, issue of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine was “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Poe. Of this tale Professor Woodberry notes, that [page 583:] its intellectual theme is fear; its second virtue is unity in design; its artistic construction comes not short of absolute perfection; the adaptation of related parts and their union in total effect are a triumph of literary art. “Where every syllable tells, it is folly to attempt an analysis of the workmanship.” Mrs. Stanard claims this story is a sermon on “life cloaked m egoism, existing on itself [which] must come to desolation, despair and finally to destruction.” In his “House of Usher,” Poe undoubtedly depicted his own all but super-mortal struggle with his hereditary nervous exhaustion, by the “depression of soul,” and “an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of heart — an unredeemed dreariness of thought ... that unnerved me ... that acute bodily illness.” All this keenly reflects Poe; yet only for each time being was swayed his mental balance, as happens in the delirium of typhoid. In this tale Poe placed his inspired creation of “The Haunted Palace,” that rhapsody on reason dethroned and of prior April print in the Baltimore American Museum. But his nerve-dragon was even now within hissing range of Poe's poor overworked energies, and no wonder he wrote into “The House of Usher,” “Oh, whither shall I fly.” This story obtained “anonymous” English print in Bentley's Miscellany as “original with itself,” — in the September, 1839, issue on page 39 of Vol. XII. The original of Poe's “lady Madeline” seems found in Agnes Pye Usher, as mentioned in the Addenda, page 1611.

The October Gentleman's Magazine gave Poe's “William Wilson,” or struggle with one's other self in conscience. Its motto seems hoax-credited to [page 584:] Chamberlayne's “Pharronida,” as Thomas O. Mabbott writes: “I think the lines,

‘What say of it?

What say [of] conscience grim

That spectre in my path?’

are not in the poem. I read it through in vain to find them.” Poe credited this tale to Miss Leslie's 1840 annual The Gift, which, writes Mr. Whitty, “bears date of May 1, 1839.” As to “William Wilson” Thomas Ollive Mabbott writes: “Stoddard and Ingram are right in crediting T‘oe's idea to ‘Calderon.’ It was through Washington Irving's essay, An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron.”

“Morella,” of April, 1835, Messenger print, and credited to the coming issue of “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque,” was in the Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1839. In the December issue appeared “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion,” Poe's tragedy of the Earth's Destruction, which gave a conversation of creative fancy between two blessed souls (who had loved on earth) after the end of the world had been brought about by a comet coming in contact with the earth. In so many ways Poe's productions were the reflex of himself and various environments. No doubt the shining eyes of the impressionable child Edgar caught many an inspiration that Poe — the man — later translated into his pages from the starry heavens and flights of comets that the boy saw through the huge telescope at Greenwich, London, and another lesser one Mr. Allan brought from Europe and had placed upon the second-story portico [page 585:] of his last Richmond home. In this, as in all else he did for Poe, Mr. Allan built far better than he knew.

Poe, like most youthful literary aspirants, had the habit of sending his effusions to eminent men of letters in appeal for an expression of their opinion. Thus, Mr. Heath was moved to note “The Fall of the House of Usher” as “the best ... of that class,” but he could never experience plelsure in “tales of horror and mystery however ... dignified by genius.” As to Poe's critical power was added: “I know few ... superiors in this country.” In a Sept. 16, 1839, letter of Philip Pendleton Cooke, Charlestown, Va., was: “As to [page 586:]Ligeia,’ of which you ask my opinion, ... I think it very fine ... your intent ... is a tale of the ‘ mighty will’ contending with, & finally vanquishing, Death. The struggle is vigorously described.” Some criticisms follow and the writer concluded: “I will subscribe to the Gentleman's Mag. shortly & also contribute to it.” In Poe's reply, Philadelphia, Sept. 21st, was: “I am aware of no delight greater than that of feeling one's self appreciated ... in ... ‘Ligeia’ ... You read my most intimate spirit ‘like a book,’ and with the single exception of D‘Israeli I have had communication with no other person who does.” Again appears Poe's quest for open foreign recognition — not on Bentley's filching order. He added: “your ideas are the very echo of my own. ... I am flattered and honored. Beside me is now lying a letter from Washington Irving in which he speaks with enthusiasm of ... ‘The Pall of the House of Usher’ ... he promises to make his opinion public. ... I send the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ (July, August, September) ... The critiques, ... are all mine in the July number, and all mine in the August and September, with exception of the three first, in each, ... by Burton. As soon as Fate allows I will have a Magazine of my own,and will — endeavor to kick up a dust.” Poe states his autumn intention to issue two volumes of tales. This “Washington Irving” letter has been noted as “altered” and “garbled,” and thus afforded an “instance” of how Poe treated one such communication. Concerning this charge Mr. Whitty states: “Irving wrote Poe two letters; besides Poe wrote, ‘Irving gave authority to publish‘; and the publisher of the 1840 [page 587:] Tales urged Poe to use the letter,” etc. Mr. Whitty adds, “I have made a casual look into this matter and see no direct evidence where Poe ‘garbled’ or ‘altered,’ and you can quote me to such effect if you please to do so.” Condensed from the Nov. 1i, 1839, Philadelphia letter Poe wrote Dr. Snodgrass at Baltimore:

I was much pleased by two letters from you. I have succeeded in seeing your critique in a friend's office — thank you sincerely for your kindness — you say altogether too much in my favor.

I am sure you will be pleased to hear ... Washington Irving has addressed me 2 letters, abounding in high passages of compliment in regard to my Tales ... passages which he desires me to make public — if 1 think benefit may be derived. It is needless to say — I shall do so — it is a duty I owe myself — which it would be wilful folly to neglect through a false sense of modesty. L. & Blanchard also urge publication — so the passages referred to with others similar — from Paulding, Anthon, &c. — will be — in the Appendix of the Advertisement of the book. Irving's name will afford me complete triumph over little critics who endeavor to put me down by raising the hue and cry of exaggeration in style, of Germanism & such twaddle. You know Irving heads the school of quietness. I tell you these things in confidence because I think you will be pleased to hear of my well-doing, not in any spirit of vain-glory.

It grieves me — I cannot say a word touching compensation for articles in Maga. — intense pressure has obliged nearly every publisher to discontinue paying for contributions. Mr. B. pays for nothing — we are forced to fill up as we can — I appreciate your writings. Could we get them, for a while, gratis, how gladly would I use them! I never received Nos. of Museum since the one containing my “Small Talk.” I would be glad to make [page 588:] my set complete. I regret you have not received the Gent's Mag: with regularity — the fault is my own — I neglected to have your name put upon the free list; which I hasten to remedy. With high respect & sincere esteem.

Your friend,


The Irving letter referred to as “altered” and “garbled” was dated Newburg, Nov. 6, 1839, and mentioned delayed receipt of Magazine; also that he had “read ... ‘William Wilson’ with much pleasure. It is managed in a highly picturesque style and the singular and mysterious interest is well sustained throughout. ... I think the last tale much the best in ... style ... might be improved ... no danger of destroying its graphic effect, which is powerful. With best wishes for your success.”

Aside from the noting to Dr. Snodgrass — “2 letters” from Irving — this Nov. 11, 1839, Poe-letter plainly reveals Burton then paying “for nothing”; and difficulty in filling the columns on such a basis also foreshadowed his “fake” prize venture to obtain magazine material for nothing — which scheme Poe later denounced. Poe also seemed ready to own the fault was his, as to the failure of Gentleman's Magazine reaching Dr. Snodgrass. But as to the Irving letter doctored by Poe it might be added, while such altering did not occur, few letters could thus lose in literary value.

Dr. Joseph Evans Snodgrass, native Virginian, was owner of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, after its prize (late to Poe for “MS. Found in a Bottle”; and still later he was associated with Dr. N. C. Brooks’ American [page 589:] Museum, Baltimore. From the Visiter's prize day, Dr. Snodgrass had been interested in Poe's literary career; and this autumn, 1839, sent to him a copy of the St. Louis Bulletin containing a gratifying article concerning himself. In this connection, at Philadelphia, Sept. 11, 1839, Poe wrote Dr. Snodgrass thanks for the Bulletin, and noted himself more gratified by the thought that the sender had no share in the ill will towards the writer “prevalent (God only knows why) in Baltimore”: Poe asked for Baltimore news; then requested “a great favor,” which was “to write a notice (such as you think rigidly just, no more) of Sept. No. of Gentleman's Magazine, embodying in your article the passage concerning myself, from the St. Louis Bulletin, in any manner ... your good taste may suggest. The critique ... might be handed to Neilson Poe [then owner of Baltimore Commercial Chronicle and Daily Marylander, with office at 66 Liberty Street]. If you ask him to insert it editorially ... he may do it. ... If he refuses, then upon stating the fact to DIr. Darker of the ‘Republican’ you will se cure its insertion there.” Poe noted the near issue of his collected Tales: his intention to send an early copy; and appended the Bulletin excerpt. It gave a favorable notice of the Southern Literary Messenger, which ended with: “Let it never be forgotten, however, that the first impetus to the favor of literary men which it received was given by the glowing pen of Edgar A. Poe, now assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, and, although, since he left, it has well maintained its claims to respectability, yet there are few writers in this country ... who can compete [page 590:] ... with Poe. With an acuteness of observation, a vigorous and effective style, and an independence that defies control, he unites a fervid fancy and a most beautiful enthusiasm. His is a high destiny.” Poe requested “a line in reply” from Dr. Snodgrass, and asked if he had seen high press-comments of the “House of Usher” in Alexander's Weekly Messenger, Noah's Evening Star, the Pennsylvanian (of Philadelphia) and United States Gazette, all named in Poe's Postscript. In his second “P.S.” was: “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.” Of this “profitable engagement,” etc., no record as yet has been found over Poe's name; nor of the promised favorable review of “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” by Sir Christopher North. Undoubtedly very high esteem for his literary standards quickened Poe's desire for such mention; and his various illusions to, also repeated endeavors for, open British recognition, give Mr. Whitty and others the strong belief that its letter promise from some one of Blackwood's authority will be found. Ever since their 1839 issue, Poe had been sending his “Tales” to Professor Wilson; and to Dr. Griswold, March 29, 1841, Poe noted that he was writing over a pseudonym for foreign periodicals that he was not allowed to name. Nevertheless, at several later dates Poe's writings seemed to have obtained, and an obviously exacted, nameless print-favor from autocratic Professor Wilson. Poe's much doubted statement as to this “profitable [page 591:] engagement with Blackwood's “was to Dr. Snodgrass then, and elsewhere, insisted upon by Poe, that it must be kept “secret.” This caution of Poe, and his to others, was so strictly observed that research in this connection has been made most difficult. But the close following of various clues has revealed some startlingly Poesque, nameless — and one over a “pseudonym” — contributions to Blackwood's Magazine. In the “Memorandum” sent, March 29, 1841, to Dr. Griswold, Poe's exact words were: “Lately have written articles continuously for two British journals whose names I am not permitted to mention.”

From Poe's Southern Literary Messenger days he was intensely and personally interested in the national and international copyright question. In “American Copyright,” on page 534 of the November, 1847, Blackwood's issue, is a reference to its January, 1842, print on this subject, which print reveals some strongest possible points of Poe's pen style, also a like reflex of his personal introspections. Few know that Poe studied law with a special reference to copyright subjects; also to libels, for his literary critical use. There are no found records that Poe was ever sued for libel. In “The Copyright Question” — begun on page 107 of January, 1842, Blackwood's — occur such expressions as “the milk and water pages,” of which Poe wrote to Lowell and others near that time; and the most Poesque follows: “The fountains of original ideas are unlocked [by God] but to the few master-spirits at distant intervals among mankind. It is always by resisting, never yielding to public opinion, that these master-spirits exert their power. [This was essentially [page 592:] the vital force of Poe's literary tactics.] Some high-souled literary men, desirous rather of truth than fame, are actuated ... as the wisest orator who uttered only philosophy to a thin audience of sages. Mr. Burke's speeches in the House of Commons and his rising tip acted like a dinner-bell in thinning the benches. Bacon bequeathed his reputation to the generation after the next.” These are but few of many Poe-phrases found; and some seemed touched by the autocratic pen of his much admired Sir Christopher North, who thus wise, it is said, did not spare his own countrymen. On page 634 of May, 1842, Blackwood's was another article on “Copyright,” by which subject Poe seemed obsessed. Other Poesque features found in Blackwood's will appear in this narrative's order of their dates. These lead to Poe's second P. S. to Dr. Snodgrass’ letter, which concluded with: “All criticisms in the Mag: [Burton's Gentleman's Magazine] are mine with the exception of the 3 first”; Poe mentioned his review of Willis’ “Tortesa” in the Pittsburg Literary Examiner. Oct. 7, 1839, Poe wrote his thanks for Dr. Snodgrass’ kind letter, and personal active interest, which the writer hoped always to deserve; he noted the delay in sending the October “Gentleman's Magazine” — its criticisms and gymnastic article as his own; also that his book would be out in early November: Poe inquired the whereabouts of the Southern Literary Messenger from No. 7, Vol. I., to No. 6, Vol. II. Poe's Dec. 12, 1839, letter to Dr. Snodgrass noted as sent to him the two copies of Poe's “Tales” — recently issued in two volumes — with a request for the second copy to be presented with [page 593:] writer's name in full, with author's respects in the book, to Mr. Carey of The American, Poe thought that Lea & Blanchard had sent no copies to Baltimore, and closed with: “Will you be kind enough to forward me Bal. papers which may contain notices.”

Concerning the name of “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque,” Poe's “Omniana” — in Burton's Magazine, July, 1840 — noted: “Benvenuto Cellini says, that designs of foliage decorative effects on metals received the name of ‘Grotesque’ from curious moderns who found these designs of ancient days in certain subterranean caverns of baths, halls and chambers of Rome, that were commonly called grottos — whence was acquired the name of ‘Grotesque.“’ This indicates Poe's source of the title of these tales, which were issued early in December, 1839. Dr. George E. Woodberry thinks that their title was suggested by Sir Walter Scott's description of the castle in Hoffmann s “Das Marjorat.” Dr. Woodberry(12) denies the justice of the charge of Germanism often made against Poe; excepting as it describes one vein of that day magazine taste, which included universal terror — “not of Germany, but of the soul.” Also, that “phantasy pieces” indicate Poe's knowledge of German romance; and Carlyle, as a magazinist, is suggested as the source of this knowledge. Dr. Woodberry adds, that Poe stated his tales had all been written with a view to their final issue in collected form, and it was his intention “to preserve, as far as a certain point, a certain unity in design.”

Lea & Blanchard's 1839 issue. included all the [page 594:] twenty-four mentioned of Poe's tales with the grotesque addition of “Why the Little Frenchman wears his Hand in a Sling.”

Printing negotiations for Poe's tales began with Carey & Lea in 1834, hung in durance until 1837, and were continued with their successors Lea & Blanchard, Sept. 28th, 1839, when they wrote Poe, as his wish in having the tales printed was not for immediate returns, they would venture seven hundred and fifty copies, which, if sold, would pay a small profit to them, with the copyright for him and a few copies for his friends. The tales would make two volumes of 240 pages each. If agreeable, Mr. Haswell would be ready — by Thursday. Oct. 30th they wrote that a few copies on fine paper would be troublesome but the printer was willing, at Poe's cost, and the firm intended sending the author twenty copies for distribution.

When near their printing Poe struggled to obtain better terms, with the result of their publisher's letter Nov. 20, 1839, in which appeared: “We have your note of today. The copyright of Tales would be of no value to us: ... we undertook ... publication solely to oblige you and not with any view to profit, and on this ground it was urged by you. We should not therefore now be called upon or expected to purchase the copyright when we have no expectation of realizing Capital in the volumes. If the offer to publish was now before us we should certainly decline it, and would feel obliged if you knew ... some one to relieve us ... at cost, or even at a small abatement.” So fell the icy breath of this late November letter on Poe's best endeavors. It is of record that the December, [page 595:] 1839, issue of his tales was widely and favorably pressnoticed both in Philadelphia and New York. But for some time, chilled by their disheartening letter and limited sales, Poe's intercourse with his publishers was a broken one. See Section V in connection with “Ligeia”; also Addenda, page 1611, for “Fall of the House of Usher.” Professor Woodberry writes: “they are in Poe's prose what ‘The Raven’ and ‘ Ulalume’ are in his poetry, the richest of his imaginative work. On them he expended his spirit. There had been no such art before in America.” In Poe's own and certain conviction of this fact it seems a miracle that his finest energies were not frozen beyond the power of further action by the bleak and blank results obtained.

An English record of these Tales is, that they “surpass all other stories in economy of method and suggestion: Death, catalepsy, and the supernatural are the material of all. They knows neither time nor place; are enwrapped in an atmosphere only substantial enough to enclose phantoms; spectral castles frown upon sombre tarns destined to engulph them. ... Everything there, is ... forbidding magnificence ... Bedlam patterns of tufted gold. The names are of no country — no age. ... They are vague, fleeting, mystical — not one of the ladies whose ever — approaching death would not be hastened by a breath of reality.” But a wide margin of mentality exists between all this and the one new tale of that 1839 issue which strongly marks the versatility of Poe's genius in “Why the Little Frenchman wears his Hand in a Sling.” In the “Poe in London” lecture, by Dr. Louis Chase, is discovered how indelibly was impressed on the poet's mind, when [page 596:] a child, his few years’ stay in the world's metropolis. For this story is located where Poe the boy lived in that great city, No. 39 Southampton Row. And of this tale the Irish Baronet, a French dancing master, and an English widow, who sits between them, bear out the picturesque-humorous of Poe's intellectual forces, and to a degree with which he is rarely credited. It seems the widow's brace of swains squeezed each other's hands on a dim evening, one thinking that the other's was that of his buxom fair lady, and accordingly encouraging. Finding out their mistake, when their lady left the room and her footman kicked her admirers downstairs, the Baronet gave the Frenchman's hand a final squeeze, which accounts for his hand in a sling. Dr. Chase noted that “39 Southampton Row is now a temperance hotel” — the “West Central ” — also, that “in Poe's time there were some French refugees and many Irish in that Parish.” And, is added, “this house was of the usual English basement plan. Near by were scenes that Poe could well have placed in ‘The Man of the Crowd’ — scenes that time curiously brought back to its writer”; and that in his boyhood clays Southampton Row was only less fashionable than Russell Square itself, a residential center of fashion; also, of intellectual, medical and legal professions.

To Dr. Snodgrass’ inquiry concerning the prizes that Burton offered late in 1839 and, according to Poe, finally became the rock upon which their connection was wrecked, Dec. 19th Poe replied that, “Touching the premiums,” the advertisement concerning same had been written by Mr. Burton, and to Poe's mind [page 597:] was not so explicit as might be; that he, himself, knew no more than the advertisement showed, and in “truth” he objected to “the whole scheme” but followed Mr. B's lead “upon such matters of business.” Poe noted details as to Dr. Snodgrass’ contributions; asked that Baltimore press notices of the recent issue of his “Tales” might be sent their writer, of whom Philadelphians had given “the very highest possible praise”; he mentioned reviews as“capital” in the United States Gazette, the Pennsylvanian of Philadelphia, and those of the Star and Evening Post of New York. That he had as promise of one in the New World, Benjamin's paper, and much desired it, as the writer had a “high opinion of that man's ability.” Poe concluded, that none of his books had gone to Richmond. January 21, 1840, dated a Poe letter to Dr. Snodgrass, wherein is detected a rift in the lute connection between its writer and Burton, even if the prize episode had not produced such an effect. Poe noted that the “temporary lull in a storm of business” allowed him “to write ... a few hurried words” concerning Dr. Snodgrass’ interests; Poe noted Mr. Carey's book had not come, but his own had gone from the publishers; and he, under stress, was “obliged to decline saying anything of the ‘Museum’ in Gent's Mag:” however “anxious to oblige yourself and express my own views; you will understand me when I say ... I have no proprietary interest in the Magazine and that Mr. Burton is a warm friend of Brooks — verb. sap. sat.” Poe added, that he had heard indirectly of an attempt of some one with capital to get up a magazine in Baltimore, and asked to be obliged with all details “by [page 598:] return mail” — and to be excused “for the abruptness of this letter.”

The force of Professor Woodberry's graphic literary estimate of Burton's Magazine in — “lightest of stories ... most sluggish of poems,” paddings of clippings, translations and “scrappy reviews” from 1837 to 1839 — with certainty dawned on Burton himself the early spring of the latter year, when probably he had been called on by Poe for employment. And although not of found record, it is of equal certainly that one so obsessed as was Poe with his great desire to own and edit a periodical should have expressed this deeply rooted ambition to Burton, and in the hope that he might be led to offer some fractional proprietary interest for the near future to Poe. Burton's May 10,1839. letter mentioned not only better material and literary intentions for his magazine, but made such expense a, reason for not closing with Poe's “proposition” — which certainly was not “$10. per week” for “two hours a day” service, wrote Burton, to be “in force until 1840.” On that salary basis and 1840 promise — whatever that may have been — Poe at once wrote his former various editorial connections as to Burton's Magazine, and with resulting good effects in subscriptions and contributions. No doubt this tax and editorial duties on his time left him little for giving the magazine much of new writing from his own pen. For this, as one reason, he gave to the July, 1839, number only brief book reviews and prior printed poems. Yet new, or reprints, his rare literary qualities were of another order than prior contents of this periodical. Of recent efforts, he gave the August number “The Man that [page 599:] was Used Up.” In the September number was the “Fall of the House of Usher”; in the October and November numbers, “William Wilson” — credited to The Gift, 1840, and “Morella,” credited to the Southern Literary Messenger, April, 1835. In Burton's Magazine, December, 1839, was the first print of “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion.” With these contributions went various critical reviews to each number of the periodical. Burton's January, 1840, number began “Julius Rodman,” gave a critique on Moore's “Alciphron” with other “literary odds and ends” Poe placed under the title of “Omniana,” notes Mr. Whitty, with a motto from Dryden, which condensed is, “Everything by starts, but nothing long.” In the February, 1840, number appeared a review of “Voices of the Night,” whereby Poe first charged Longfellow with plagiarism, in that his “Midnight Mass for the Dying Year “owed its inspiration to “The Death of the Old Year,” by Tennyson. Yet of Longfellow's verses Poe wrote: “No poem ever opened with a beauty more august.” As early as September, 1839, Philip Pendleton Cooke heard from Poe: “As soon as Fate allows I mill have a Magazine of my own.” Poe made no secret of this intention; he served Burton's interests faithfully some time after their differences, which in September, 1839, were noted to Dr. Snodgrass by Poe; and with other incidents rapidly following, revealed to him what William L. Keese's “Life of Burton” declares, that “He was at times arbitrary and could endure no opposition”; but that he was also “generous” hearted is clear by at least two instances: one in an undated letter to Poe answering his, — no doubt written under [page 600:] nerve stricture of overwork of more than “two hours daily” and perhaps stimulants. In Burton's letter was “I am sorry you have thought it necessary to send me such a letter. Your troubles have given a morbid tone to your feelings, which it is our duty to discourage ... rouse your energies and if care assails you, conquer it.” It is not always easy for well-nourished mortals, much less so for the nerve-fagged of human kind. Burton continued: “I will gladly overlook the past. I hope you will as easily fulfill your pledges for the future.” Perhaps Poe's critique on Longfellow's “Voices of the Night,” but Poe's treatment of Dawes mostly moved Burton to add: “We shall agree very well, though I cannot permit the magazine to be made a vehicle for that sort of severity which you think ‘so sucessful with the mob.’ ” Facts proved this “severity” seldom astray, and was successful only with the literary elect, as voiced by Longfellow's nobility of soul later on. Burton continued: “You must, my dear sir, get rid of your avowed ill-feelings towards your brother authors. You see I speak plainly; I cannot do otherwise on such a subject ... you yourself would not have written the article on Dawes [of prior mention] in a more healthy state of mind. ... I regretted your word-catching spirit” — yet essential for literary estimates. “But,” added Burton, “I wander from my design. I accept your proposition to re-commence your interrupted avocations upon the Maga. Let us meet as if we had not exchanged letters. Use more exercise, write when feelings prompt, and be assured of my friendship. You will soon regain a healthy activity of mind and laugh at your past vagaries.” [page 601:] Records agree, as no doubt did mutual interests, that Poe returned to the editorial force of Burton's Magazine.

Because Poe claimed Nature always rested him, perhaps fatigue from hard work, as well as a remote chance inheritance quest, dimly dated him a little prior to this time in a flight to the peaceful heart of Pennsylvania woodlands where pioneer Alexander Poe — brother of the poet's great-grandfather, John Poe — and the Alexander family seemed to have bestowed their names(13) on Povalley, Alexander Mansion, Poe Mills, Poe Creek and “Alexander Stream, that Wonderful American Vaucluse,” as noted by Colonel Henry W. Shoemaker, of McElhattan, Pennsylvania. He writes: “Summarized briefly, I believe the facts of Fdgar Allan Poe's visit to Central Pennsylvania are, that he was hard up financially, and heard of the Poes there and visited them only to find them perhaps matter-of-fact plodding souls, descendants of Daniel Poe, the Pennsylvania Dutch frontiersman and Indian fighter mentioned in ‘German Element in the — United States,’ by A. B. Frost, and very different from his own romantic nature.” From the 1863 description of Povalley facts, by the Pennsylvania poet John H. Chatham, blended with a romantic folk-lore venture Colonel Shoemaker made in 1912, it comes, that along Penn's Creek, between Zerebe and Coburn, is a splendid forest of white pine and hemlock giant timber. From Spring Mills the highway on the north of the Creek gave to Poe and his later followers views of several clearings, log houses and far prospects. At the cross-roads, pointin; to the mountains, is a white signboard on which [page 602:] is “Povalley,” and directs the way to get there: across the bridge in June, mammoth evergreens arch the road, wax-like blossoms of rhododendrons some forty feet high perfume the way and tufts of Pennsylvania tea open feathery white flowers beloved by the bees; while streamlets gurgling with surplus tricklings keep the roads damp in dryest spells. In the shades of this jungle, crickets make music all clay. While forest fires and time have wrought many changes in this region, in the 1912 visit of Colonel Shoemaker, the life and scenery of Povalley seemed much as it must have been in the poet's time, with a stray panther or more about their old haunts, now and then a nightingale, [page 603:] and a black wolf barking at the moon. In Colonel Shoemaker's letters appear: “I will never forget Povallev one lowering autumn afternoon. There had [page 604:] been a storm. We had come to a vast open country. Out of a thicket flew two superb golden eagles so near that the whirring of their wings frightened our horses. The majestic birds shot upward with the velocity of biplanes to the near touch of the storm clouds, then began tremendous circles in their flights. Masters of high air, they triumphantly disappeared through its storm-tossed embattlements.” Mr. Chatham states that the golden eagles were plentiful there in Poe's time. It is interesting to think how their mighty flights must have enthralled his attention, while a pinion of their imperialism fluttered to his feet for his own, in “The Raven” and other pen-inspirations. Poe's fervent love of “Nature” he pictured in “Al Aaraaf,” and of which he wrote John Neal, “I think the best lines for sound are

‘There Nature speaks and even ideal things

Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings.’ ”

Also, mountain scenery moved the poet — when writing his early “stanzas” beginning “In Youth have I known One with whom the Earth” — to place above these verses Byron's lines, from “The Island ”; they must have obsessed Poe during this mountain holiday.

“How often we forget all time, when lone

Admiring Nature's universal throne;

Her woods — her wilds — her mountains — the intense

Reply of HERS to our intelligence! ”

These Pennsylvania mountain forests later claimed some significant, Poesque expression in Blackwood's Magazine. “Almost at the foot of the mountains, where the road descends into Povalley, it gives a first glimpse [page 605:] of its one stately old brick mansion shaded by apple trees. With tall chimneys and hip, New England roof, it was built by a Massachusetts man named Haskins” — the maiden name of Emerson's mother. “After his death it passed to the Liddell family for three generations. My comrade went to school with one of the boys and wished me to meet their aunt — Mrs. Jacob Weaver — who, as Helena Elizabeth Liddell, once knew Edgar Allan Poe. The famous writer when a young man made a trip from Philadelphia to this valley of his name in quest of a heritage; believing himself a grand-nephew of Daniel Poe or Poh [as he was of Alexander Poe, who was probably misunderstood for Daniel Poe]. During this trip the poet met Helena Liddell — later Mrs. Jacob Weaver — and he was credited with a romantic attachment for her.” The prospect of meeting a friend of Poe, whose writings had deeply impressed him, moved Colonel Shoemaker with his companion to tie their old horses to the rusty fence, enter the yard where, at a corner of the house, they were met by Ben Liddellthey were looking for — who greeted them warmly, brought them to a side porch with rocking chairs, and refreshing, home-made ice-cream. They inquired for Poe's friend, Mrs. Weaver, then seventy-eight, and at home. Before he was presented, Colonel Shoemaker asked her nephew to tell the story of Poe's visit to the valley. “It revealed that several old bachelor Poes had died, leaving hundreds of acres of timber and farming land to be divided among remote relatives. Edgar Allan Poe, then on the staff of a Philadelphia newspaper, heard of these events and started out to seek [page 606:] a possible inheritance. In Philadelphia his jealous colleagues gave it out, ‘that poor Poe had gone off on another of his sprees.’ ” However, by canal, stage and on foot, he reached Povalley and put up for the night at the Liddell Mansion. The family having come from Berks to Center County the prior year, everything about the place looked attractive to the poet, including fair Helena Liddell, who was slender, straight and eighteen. This interest was mutual, but not of the heart, for she was secretly betrothed to Jacob Weaver and the young stranger had married his cousin, May 16, 1836. Helena had no love for literature but was sympathetic and naive, characteristics which appealed to the poet. Tired as he must have been after a fifteen-mile walk from Hartley Hall, they talked until midnight on the porch. On the promise of Helena to follow, the old folks had gone to bed; but she wanted to listen to the young man's marvelous tales of the big world. He was different — a most engaging talker — even the full moon resting on the tree-tops stopped to listen, so pleasing were his bits of worldly wisdom. Next day in looking up the inheritance he did not get far from the Liddell home. That evening he expected to spend with Helena: complications arose by the appearance of her fiance. The poet tried to converse, but chilled by a third party (fatigue, congestion and quest-failure), he went upstairs at 9 o’clock. Next morning, when making his bed, they found some of the slats broken and knew that he had passed a restless night. During the morning he continued his family inquiries and after dinner asked Helena to go for a walk. She said [page 607:] they started up the mountain road; he confided to her that he loved her and urged her to go out into the big world, where she deserved to shine. Helena could see no reason why she should abandon stalwart Jacob Weaver. Even when the young stranger announced he was a poet, this meant little to her. He looked at her sadly, and took from his pocket a slender volume called “Tamerlane and Other Poems,” gave it to her and said, — “That is what I am; I can say no more.” She took the book, glanced through it hastily, but with “no gleam of understanding in her manner.” It was not her destiny “to shine.” The poet held out his hand for good-bye and said, “I will go now: I will not return for my valise. I have lost [the inheritance] all I came to the valley to find; but I will never forget you; my spirit will often be with you.” Helena looked at him blankly; she had never heard such talk from man before, and thought it a good idea he was going away; he was odd. He left her on the mountain road, then disappeared among the evergreens and laurels. A year later, when near her wedding with Jacob Weaver, there came to her by post a small package in which was a curiously carved silver locket enclosing a lock of ash-brown hair (not the color of Poe's). She showed it to her lover. Both laughed a little, then she placed it in a dresser, where it stayed over half a century. Several years later Helena's locket was followed, to contented Mrs. Weaver, by a small volume — “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.” She lost the first book given her, but laid this one on the parlor table. As the donor gave no address it was never acknowledged. About seven years after the [page 608:] mountain road parting, an envelope came by mail addressed in a hand as fine as copper plate. Helena found in it a piece of poetry The Raven in the same exquisite hand. She read the first verse, thought it heavy, tiresome, and placed it between pages of “The Grotesque and Arabesque,” there to sleep for many years. A few years later Jacob died. Still later, when poring over the Family Monitor, she read: “Death of the poet, Edgar A. Poe, author of ‘The Raven.’ ” That was the piece he sent her. Helena's younger brothers married and reared families. Their boys and girls went to academies and colleges and heard of Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote the dingy little book on the parlor table — its connection Aunt Helena would know. She told them willingly and they were amazed, they talked so often, of Poe, and their school friends wished to meet her because “she knew the poet”; then she began some serious thinking. Colonel Shoemaker shared their desire; and a quickly opened door gave him a chance study of Helena's face. Despite her years he found it almost free from wrinkles, a defiant curve to her aquiline nose, a far-away light in the pale blue eyes, and a certain archness in her lips. When he told her how glad he was to meet one who had knoNwn America's greatest literary genius, “she smiled with approval, not of the words, but at the reverential tones of my voice. I complimented her appearance and turned sadly away from a beautiful mask with a skeleton steel within.” Later, Colonel Shoemaker was tempted to Povalley and saw the Liddell mansion, “alas, deserted. Silent and empty, the old home had its charm; one fair occupant had been [page 609:] touched with infinity there, but in darkness had mistaken the rustle of an angel's wing.” Now, only its foundations disclose the locality of Poe's long ago fleeting stay at the home of Helena Liddell.

When the poet left Povalley, after the failure of his inheritance quest, he started for Lewiston to take the stage for Philadelphia. Absorbed in disappointment, he looked neither to right nor left. By what path he left that secluded valley is unknown, but he soon appeared at Potter's Bank Hotel, where he rested several days — he seemed to have money and hired a carrier to [page 610:] get his knapsack left at the Liddell's home. He left Potter's Bank suddenly and reached the Raven Hotel, at Melroy, a week later. There he told the landlord he would like to return to Povalley to press a claim for property. He learned of several Lewiston lawyers [page 611:] to engage to present the case. He left the hotel one fine morning, strolling towards Reedsville; met a German drover who told him about the tivonderful cave, with its petrified infant, on the old Naginey farm, that he had seen seven years before. Poe wished to see its interior, and a boy was found to watch the flock for a shilling, so poet and drover were free to explore. They found the cavern entrance choked up With growths, cleared these away, wriggled in, and the poet was thrilled enough to scratch on the bushhampered walls with his case-knife, — “Edgar A. Poe 1838.‘‘’ By some slip of his knife or break in the stone the “8” of date must have been so changed from “9,” for until July, 1839, Poe was not an editor in Philadelphia. Later Poe and the drover went to [page 612:] Winegardner's Cave, which they found filled with ice in August — which, of 1839, seemingly dated this Poe excursion: there he parted with the drover, and alone, went in search of Alexander Stream. The hotel landlord at Melroy told Poe of this wonderful fountain which gushed out of the rocks below the Old Manse like that of the famous fountain of Vaucluse in Provence. Out of a dark chasm in the limestone rocks swept a great jet of clear water that formed the torrent or river called Alexander, which empties into Honey Creek a quarter mile below. Above the 100-foot cliff stood a noble grove of primeval walnut, hickory and white oak trees. Farther north, on the crest of the hill commanding a superb view of The [page 613:] Seven Mountains, was the ancient Manse of the Alexanders — the earliest Scotch-Irish in Central Pennsylvania, noted owners of vast estates, and they occupied high social and political positions. Below the fountain, the stream shores bore ancient elms and willows; while beyond the banks were knolls of hickories and cedars. It was a classic spot, fitting abode for the gods, and thrilled the young poet. On a giant shellbark — stormed down in 1811 — he sat with his notebook, from his knapsack, and transferred to it some lines running in his head, while a slender, dark-eyed girl carrying a small tin pail passed within five feet of him. Perhaps this unseen spirit further inspired [page 614:] Poe's prior lines, but now “To Ianthe in Heaven,” coincidentally printed in Burton's July, 1839, Gentleman's Magazine, which affirms near date of the poet's Povalley venture. These verses were said to have been completed then, to the last syllable, and truly, as “To One in Paradise” form, told of its writer's first, lost love. However, some moments later the poet saw the fair young figure coming his way and was sure he had seen her before. Lonely-hearted, the youthful writer clambered to his feet and bowed to her. She spoke at once and recognition seemed mutual. He told of having come miles to see the wonderful fountain, and said his home was in Baltimore, but he was doing literary work in Philadelphia. He asked her to sit down, and mentioned she might care to read a poem he had just finished. He leaned against a near old white oak. As she read her smile grew less. When she laid it down she uttered not a word. Poe, hungry for praise, endured silence for a moment, then gently asked her opinion. Looking tip into his eyes she said, “I don’t like it at all.” He abruptly inquired, “Why not?” She replied, “You know very well, I am foolish to care; you are a stranger — may be a married man for aught I know.” The poet came over, seated himself by his critic, told her his troubles, his name, of his trip from Philadelphia, hopes of becoming a land-owner in The Seven Mountains, and mentioned meeting Helena Liddell. Hearing that name the voting girl's face paled, for she had been loved the prior year by Jacob Weaver, fiancé of Helena, and had been deserted by him for her. In mutual sympathy Poe inquired his listener's name, which she told [page 615:] him was Anne Savidge, and added, that her father was overseer for the Alexander estate and they lived in the little white cottage just below the mighty fountain. Her simple charm won the poet's heart. He would go his way with one more complex experience in his vivid career. When she finished her Jacob Weaver story there was a silence, lengthy and oppressive. Poe, taking one of her hands, found it colder than his own and said he believed she still loved Weaver. Quickly withdrawing her hand and tears streaming from her eyes she replied, “How could you say that? I thought you so different. I wish he was dead, — I was dead, — I hate him.” Poe insisted — , [page 616:] “No, you don’t. You told me of Weaver because you liked to hear his name.” She sobbed, “Why do I permit myself to be abused by a stranger? It is because I love you.” Poe answered, “But not as I want to be loved. I crave and require a woman heart-whole. If I had met you before, all would have been well. It is too late now.” Anne held out her grimy cold hand; the poet took it and kissed it. They climbed down the soft bank, where he bathed her eyes, helped her up, asked and received a farewell kiss. When she vanished down the little white cottage pathway, he started for the highroad, but paused long enough to tear out of his notebook the lines “To Ianthe,” and tore the page into four pieces. The next morning Anne found one, on which were the words — “never to forget, ... losing thee ... Yet will love thee always.” Mercifully she knew not that these words enshrined the poet's first, lost love, for all Anne's life and hopes were in those words. To the end of her days she wore them in a silver locket. They were buried with her as a respected spinster of sixty years. Thus has Colonel Henry W. Shoemaker caught as accurately as possible by timely and repeated efforts from folk-lore of Povalley and “The Seven Mountains” — so full of primeval and pioneer romance — these fascinating incidents of Edgar A. Poe's inheritance venture into the heart of the Keystone State for permanent records of the past. The Philadelphia mystery scandal, so frequently insinuated, but never specifically charged against Poe, may have been based partly on his own congestion vaporings as to this excursion; during most of which time undoubtedly he was under [page 617:] duress of nervous congestion, and thus unconsciously might have made ardent love to all the maids and nymphs of the streams and woodlands he met in The Seven Mountains. Certainly strong reasons deterred these scandal-monger critics from stating facts and dates, of a congestive delirium or having no existence.

Dec. 19, 1839, Poe heard from Philip Pendleton Cooke,(14) Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va.

I have read your “Fall of the House of Usher,” your “William Wilson” and “Conversation of Eiros and Charmion” ... I must tell you (what I firmly believe) that your ... style is the very best amongst the first of the living writers; ... I regard style as something more than the mere manner of communicating ideas ...

Of “William Wilson” ... your intention was to convey the ... idea that every mortal of us is attended with a shadow of himself — a duplicate of his own peculiar organization — differing ... only in a certain angelic taint of the compound ... Of “Eiros and Charmion,” I will only say that I consider ... the skill of one small part of it unapproachable. “Was I much mourned, my Eiros” — is one of the finest touches in the world.

“The Haunted Palace” . , . I instantly understood as a picture of an intellect, ... beautiful but grotesque. By the way you have selected an excellent title for your volume ... “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” ... expresses admirably the character of your wild stories ... they were certainly never equalled ...

Yrs. sincerely


In the Gentleman's Magazine, February, 1840, appeared Poe's satirical sketch, “Peter Pendulum, the Business Man.” The first of Poe's decorative code, [page 618:] “The Philosophy of Furniture,” was printed in the May, 1840, issue; besides mentioned contributions by him from January to June, that year there was in Burton's magazine “The Journal of Julius Rodman,” which the late John H. Ingram discovered to be Poe's work through a June 1, 1840, letter he wrote to Mr. Burton. It is said, Poe's long review of Irving's “Astoria,”(15) in Southern Literary Messenger for January, 1837, first claimed its reviewer's attention in several items of early Northwestern life incidents, for the “journal of Julius Rodman.” The sub-title of this story reads: “Being an Account of the First Passage across the Rocky Mountains ever achieved by Civilized Man”; and it graphically describes this work. Julius Rodman, son of an Englishman, settled in Kentucky, was left fatherless at twenty-six. Rodman then started on a trapping venture up the headwaters of Missouri River. Pioneer spirit led him across the Northern [page 619:] Rockies in 1792. As a three years’ wanderer Poe's hero returned to Virginia; maintained silence as to his absence; and suffering from “hereditary hypochondria” and delighting in a burning love of nature in her dreary, savage and placid moods — all of which came as self-reflex from Poe — Julius Rodman veiled his journal in obscurity, which was later lifted by time. Of the Sioux threatened attack on Rodman's party Poe noted in Burton's April number, page 181, that the savages presented “a very noble and picturesque appearance. Some chiefs had spears, with fanciful flags attached. The portrait here annexed is of the commander-in-chief of the party ... and was sketched by the late Andrew Thornton,” one of Rodman's comrades. Poe gave this story with odds and ends from January to June, 1840, inclusive, to Burton's periodical, with which Poe's connection ceased in June of that year. Mr. Whitty notes of prior work: “I believe Poe wrote athletic pages for Burton's, more labor than they look,

I think.” They numbered 27, and dated from July to December, 1839, inclusive. Thomas 0. Mabbott notes “Poe left at least one two-page ‘Omniana’ work with Burton, which appeared in the July, 184o, number of his magazine.”

Records differ as to parting of Poe and Burton. Temperamental differences doubtlessly created causes that grew with time into breaking results. From Mr. William Fearing Gill it comes, that Poe stated his reason for resignation was Burton's advertising of contribution prizes for which be had no intention of paying. “By a recently found Poe record, this reason is affirmed,” notes Mr. Whitty. Because many of [page 620:] Burton's best contributors were obtained by Poe, he had cause to feel his loyalty to them was involved. On Burton's part he was not slow to circulate sad stories as to Poe. In evidence of which, on the cover of the September, 1840, Gentleman's Magazine appeared such a slur. Condensed, it reads: “Our friend at Portland may rest assured we were ignorant of nontransmission of his numbers. His name was erased from our list by the person whose ‘infirmities’ have caused us much annoyance.” Nor was Poe less lenient when occasion served him as to Burton. Professor Woodberry aptly notes the cause of their troubles as “probably mixed.” But of whatever tenor a Saturday, May 30, ‘40, letter was written by Burton to Poe, whose answer of June 1st illuminated conditions as to services rendered and the mutual financial situation — barring a slight error of one-twelfth of a page less than given by Poe at each date, was an almost accurate account between the two at this time. Condensed, Poe's answer was

SIR, — I find myself at leisure this Monday morning, June I, to notice your very singular letter of Saturday. ... As I live, I am utterly unable to say why you are angry, or what true grounds of complaint you have against me. You are a man of impulse; ... You once wrote in your magazine a sharp critique upon a book of mine — a very silly book — Pym. Had I written a similar criticism upon a book of yours, you feel that you would have been my enemy for life. ... This has been a mainspring in your whole conduct towards me since our first acquaintance ... Your criticism was essentially correct, and therefore, although severe, it did not occasion in me ... anger or dislike ... You are, of [page 621:] course, only mistaken in asserting that I owe you a hundred dollars, and you will rectify the mistake ... when you come to look at your accounts. Soon after I joined you, you made me an offer of money, and I accepted $20. Upon another occasion, at my request, you sent me enclosed in a letter $30. ... I repaid $20. within the next fortnight ... I was thus still in your debt $30. ... I again asked a loan of $30., which you promptly handed to me at your own home. Within the last three weeks, three dollars each week have been retained from my salary, an indignity which I have felt deeply but did not resent. You state the sum retained as $8., but this I believe is through a mistake of Mr. Morrell. My postage bill, ... might be $9. or $10. — and I therefore am indebted to you ... about $60. More than this sum I shall not pay. You state that you can no longer afford to pay $50. per month for 2 or 3 pp. of MS. Your error can be shown by reference to the Magazine. During my year I have written ...

Poe noted, in July, 5 pp.; in August, 9; in Sept., 16; in Oct., 4; in Nov., 5; in Dec., 12; in Jan., 9; in Feb., 12; in March, I1 ; in April, 17; in flay, 14 plus 5 copied; in June, 9 plus 3 copied. Poe's total count was 132 pp., while the sum was 131 pp., only one page mis count by him. But 10 11/12 were certainly more than the “2 or 3 pp.” Burton bargained for as mentioned, and left over 7 pp. monthly that he did not pay for, and at $3 per page, magazine rates then, Burton was, on this score alone, literally indebted to Poe about $21 per month. Poe continued

And this estimate leaves out ... everything ... of extract or compilation ... proof-reading; general superintendence at the printing office. ... preparation of MSS., with compilation of ... Plate articles, Field [page 622:] sports, &c. ... my name upon your title-page, a small item — you will say — but still something. ... Snowden pays his editresses $a. per week each for their names solely ... I am not willing to admit that you have greatly overpaid me. That I did not do four times as much as I did for the Magazine was your own fault. At first I wrote long articles, which you deemed inadmissible, and never did I suggest any to which you had not some immediate and decided objection. Of course I grew discouraged and could feel no interest in the journal.

These details indicate no slack energies on Poe's part, and with continuous objections on Burton's part to work he knew was of high merit. And such tactics, with or without reason, were bound to dishearten any one with far better equipment of nervous force than Poe possessed. He added:

I am at a loss to know why you call me selfish ... I borrowed money of you ... you offered it, and you know that I am poor ... Was there selfishness in the affront I offered Benjamin (whom I respect and who spoke well of me) because I deemed it a duty not to receive ... commendation at your expense? ... You first “enforced” ... a deduction of salary: giving me to understand thereby that you thought of parting company. You next spoke disrespectfully of me behind my back . .  to those whom you supposed your friends, and who punctually retailed me ... every ill-natured word you uttered. Lastly, you advertised your magazine for sale without a word to me about it. I felt no anger at what you did. ... Had I not firmly believed it your design to give up your journal, with a view of attending to the Theatre, I should never have dreamed of attempting one of my own. The opportunity of doing something for myself seemed a good [page 623:] one — (and I was about to be thrown out of business) — and I embraced it. Now I ask you, as a man of honor and as a man of sense — what is there wrong in all this?

Poe's editorial records prove with convincing force that he always did “ten times as much work as he was paid for doing.”

On this scoring at $50 per month since January, 1840, Poe seems to have given a generous measure of quantity and quality service. With Burton's continuous opposition to Poe's literary suggestions, Burton's advertising sale of his magazine, wherein were Poe's own and his contributor friends’ values, without a word concerning the transaction to Poe, certainly indicated no consideration whatsoever of his proper rights by Burton, whose design was selfishly to use his editor for keeping up the magazine's standard for the purpose of sale: this plain intention, when realized by Poe, could well account for not only his later lax efforts but also for his winning support of those subscribers that his personal letters and literary name had turned from his own prior projected magazine to Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. Open, frank action would have been far better for Burton as well as Poe. He concluded, he could give “no definite answer respecting the continuance of ‘Rodman's Journal’ until I hear from you again”; that he could “not admit for an instant” the $100 charge and persistence would end “intercourse,” etc. It seems that Burton, as a comedian, and unable to brook opposition, also had quarrels with his managers; therefore he determined to have a theatre of his own, and needing funds for this venture [page 624:] he advertised the sale of Gentleman's Magazine without a word to Poe of this fact. And he — as determined for his own magazine as was Burton for his own theatre — only followed Burton's lead in keeping to himself his preparations of the prospectus of his intended new monthly — The Penn Magazine — an ambition he never ceased to cherish, as was well known to Burton, who realized Poe's prestige in his special field, also that his leaving the Gentleman's lessened its value; and on both accounts, no doubt, Burton felt doubly affronted at Poe's reasonable — as things stood — care for his own interests. Burton's side of this trouble is told by a Mr. Rosenbach — also known to Poe — who noted that Burton having to play in New York, left the magazine in Poe's hands, and on re turning found nothing clone. It was added, that Burton, in a carriage with a large bundle of MSS., went to the home of Rosenbach's father. Arriving at midnight they worked till morning, then sent Rosenbach, Jr., with the copy to printer Charles Alexander, Athenxum Building, Franklin Place and Chestnut Street. He hunted up extra compositors and by hard work with hurried proof — reading Gentleman's Magazine appeared. But scarcely “as usual,” as the comparison with Poe's editorial work will attest. ‘Mr. Rosenbach concluded: “Poe was discharged for his negligence.” Mr. Joseph Jackson, Philadelphia, notes, “As Burton was in New York Feb. 4, 1840, for one week, but not again until 1843, therefore this number of Gentleman's Magazine must have dated March, 1840.” Poe noted giving 11 pages to the ‘March, 1840, number. Burton's absence dated from Feb, 4th to 11th. From [page 625:] Feb. 12th to March 1st, sixteen days, should not have required this arduous night's work with Alexander, “who also printed The Lady's Book he sold to Godey.” From “Reminiscences of John Sartain” comes: “Burton often complained to me in doleful tones of repeated, studied annoyances and even humiliating insults which he was made to suffer” as “a member of the stock company of the old Chestnut Street Theatre. ... At last, exasperated beyond endurance, he determined to establish a theatre of his own, and accomplished his purpose by remodelling Cook's Olympic Circus,” on Chestnut between 8th and 9th Streets, and, in the meantime, vented his annoyances on Poe.

To the June 12, 1840, letter-inquiry of Dr. Snodgrass as to his contributions to Burton's Magazine, Poe's June 17th reply, condensed, was: “Touching your essay, Burton ... deliberately and wilfully lies; ... I called his attention to the MS. ... then at the top ... of other MSS. sent for premiums, in a drawer of the ... desk. ... I could not mistake it.” As to “Premiums,” Poe added: “I am firmly convinced that it was never his intention to pay $1. ... offered ... his plain intimations to that effect, made to me personally and directly, were the immediate reason of my cut ting the connection so abruptly as I did.” Mr. Whitty states, “I discovered Burton did publish this, as a fake offer.” Poe noted his reviews, including ‘Mr. Carey's book on slavery, were refused admittance to the June number after his resignation letter went to Burton. Poe mentioned his enclosed “Prospectus,” his wish for Mr. Carey to see it, — its being sent to a few editors and his hope for “Tales” notice by [page 626:] Professor Wilson. Concerning his Penn “Prospectus” Poe noted: “The world is fond of novelty, and, in being absolutely honest, I shall be utterly novel.” In relation to his “Tales” Poe added: “It was only six weeks since that I had the opportunity I wished of sending a copy to Professor Wilson, so as to be sure of its reaching him directly. Of course I must wait some time yet for a notice — if any there is to be.” By Editor B. B. Minor, editor of Southern Literary Messenger — Poe, about this time, was credited with its notices of Westminster Review, London Quarterly Review, English Annals and as far back as 1835. No wonder he hoped for trans-atlantic recognition, aside from his own literary merits! It appeared Dr. Snodgrass had heard a second-hand account of Burton's story of parting with Poe and about nine months later, March 8, 1841, wrote him concerning it. Poe's reply followed from Philadelphia, April 1st, and in it was:

“In regard to Burton I feel indebted to you for the kind interest you express ... if the truth ... of what the law terms a scandal could be admitted in justification, ... I would have matters all my own way. ... He would be unable to prove the truth of his allegations. I could prove their falsity ... by witnesses ... seeing me at all hours of every day. ... I mean Burton's own clerk, Morrell, and the compositors of the printing office. ... I should obtain damages. But, ... I have never been scrupulous in regard to what I have said of him. I have always told him to his face, and everybody else, that I looked upon him as a blackguard and a villain. This is notorious. He would meet me with a cross action. The truth of the allegation ... would not avail me. ...[page 627:]

Poe seemed alert as to knowledge of the law; Thomas O. Mabbott notes: “In 1843 Poe registered in the District Court of Philadelphia [for a course of Law at University of Pennsylvania] to become a lawyer. His sponsor was Henry B. Hirst.” The letter continues:

“If I sue, he sues; you see how it is. ... So far ... for Burton. I have now to thank you for your defence of myself, as stated. You are a physician, and I presume no physician can have difficulty in detecting the drunkard at a glance. You are, moreover, a literary man, well read in morals. You will never be brought to believe that I could write what I daily write, as I write it, were I as this villain would induce those who know me not, to believe.”

Would it not be well for those who even now “know not” Poe the man, to ponder over these last, significant words. He continued:

“In fine, I pledge you, before God, the solemn word of a gentleman, that I am temperate even to rigor. From the hour ... I first saw this basest of calumniators to the hour ... I retired from his office in uncontrollable disgust at his chicanery, ... nothing stronger than water ever passed my lips.

“It is, however, due to candor that I inform you upon what foundation he has erected his slanders. At no period of my life was I ever what men call intemperate. I never was in the habit of intoxication. I never drank drams, &c. But, for a brief period, while I resided in Richmond and edited the ‘Messenger’ I certainly did give way, at long intervals, to the temptation held out on all sides by the spirit of Southern conviviality. ‘My sensitive temperament could not stand an excitement which was an every-day matter to my companions.” [page 628:]

The foregoing sentence proves that Poe himself believed his inability to withstand the effects of stimulants was temperamental not physical; hence came the conflicts of conscience that made the inveterate trend of his imaginative creations. He continued:

“In short, it sometimes happened that I was completely intoxicated. For some days after each excess I was invariably confined to bed. But it is now quite four years since I have abandoned every kind of alcoholic drink — four years with exception of a single deviation which occurred shortly after my leaving Burton, and when I was induced to resort to the occasional use of cider, with the hopes of relieving a nervous attack.”

As to nervous attacks, their victim spoke better than he knew, for these, intensified With “temptation” thoughtlessly proffered by friends, made up the cause and suns of Poe's natal and growing miseries. He added:

“You will thus see, frankly stated, the whole amount of my sin. You will also see the blackness of that heart which could revive a slander of this nature. [Poe should have said “incidents of this nature.”] Neither can you fail to perceive ... how slight the grounds upon which he would build ... an accusation which can be disproved by each and every man with whom I am in ... daily intercourse. I have now only to repeat, ... in general, my solemn assurance that my habits are as far removed from intemperance as the day from the night. My sole drink is water. Will you do me the kindness to repeat this assurance to such of your friends as happen to speak of me in your hearing? I feel that nothing more is requisite, and you will agree with me on reflection.” [page 629:]

Poe's several nerve attacks of the next year, aggravated by stimulants, may have confused the memory of Poe-Burton separation date in a letter,(16) concerning this episode, written by Charles W. Alexander, publisher of Burton's Magazine and founder of the Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia. Dated ten years after this Poe-Burton parting, this letter answered an inquiry concerning it made by Thomas Cottrell Clarke, the owner of the Philadelphia Saturday Museum. In this letter was

“The absence of the principal editor on professional duties left the matter frequently in the hands of Mr. Poe, whose unfortunate failing may have occasioned some disappointment in the preparation of a particular article expected from hire, but [from prior word to the period, italics are not in the original script] never interfering with the regular publication of ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ as its monthly issue was never interrupted sport any occasion, either from Mr. Poe's deficiency, or from any other cause, during my publication of it, embracing the whole time of Mr. Poe's connection with it.”

The above statement seems of highest authority as personal evidence covering the entire period of Poe-Burton connection; and the Rosenbach incident, in marked contrast, curiously including Mr. Alexander, just quoted, must have occurred — if it did occur — according to Mr. Jackson, on Burton's return from his Feb. 4, 1840, week's theatre engagement in New York. He probably spent there more than that, as a “jolly good fellow” having a jolly good time, instead of returning to do his part of work, if left undone by Poe, so possibly it was Burton's part that made this “night [page 630:] work,” or it plainly occurred after Poe left Burton. Mr. Alexander continued:

“That Mr. Poe had faults seriously detrimental to his own interests, none, of course, will deny. ... But he alone was the sufferer, and not those who received the benefit of his preeminent talents, however irregular his habits or ... contributions ... may have been. I had a long and familiar intercourse with him, and very cheerfully embrace the opportunity which you now offer of bearing testimony to the uniform gentleness of disposition and kindness of heart which distinguished Mr. Poe in all my intercourse with him.”

Poe's mention of “four years’ freedom” from the use of stimulants seems to date from his 1837 Messenger duties at Richmond to near 1842 at Philadelphia, when, then and there, his wife was stricken with invalidism from which she never recovered health. Poe's abstinence statement was affirmed by William Gowans of New York. Mrs. Clemm wrote: “For years I know he did not taste even a glass of wine.” Also comes the Burton period of Poe-service noted by Mr. Alexander, then in constant personal touch with the poet. Prior to the Poe connection Burton noted: “I believe that for eight or more months previous to this time he had not drank.” However, in some way, the breach between the two was bridged to the extent that in his “Autography” papers Poe wrote in friendly terms of Mr. Burton being “better known as a comedian than as a literary man; but he has written many short prose articles of merit, and his quondam editorship of ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ would entitle him to a place in this collection.” And Burton, in his turn, commended [page 631:] his “young editor” to George R. Graham, October, 1840, when he bought Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. Poe's debts to Burton seem well covered by copy items left with him, also the 1840, December issue of “The Alan of the Crowd.” Therein Poe again penpictured his ever restless and insistent psychological study of struggling conscience. “Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burthen so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave.” An English writer — Ernest Rhys — voted this story “a simply perfect expression of suggestive fiction — that no one but Poe could have written.” Dr. Lewis Chase states: “Poe obtained this tale's environment by his wanderings in the vicinity of his London childhood home, number 39 Southampton Row, from 1817 to 1820.” It is said that Poe had the shade of Mr. Allan in mind during this story's writing. Mr. J. H. Whitty notes: “It is conjectured that Mr. Allan began the ‘Hyde and Jekyll’ life in London, that was continued on his return to Richmond. Poe elsewhere wrote that Mr. Allan treated him with ‘as much kindness as his gross nature permitted.“’ Mr. Whitty dates the print of this story in the December, 1840, issue of The Casket, and adds, that Poe announced in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Chronicle and Mirror of the Times, June, 1840, the appearance of The Penn Magazine for January, 1841. The prior August he had his prospectus in form, and was sending it to relatives, old friends and new ones; also to the press of the South and West. Amongst his more recent friends Were the poets, Dr. Thomas H. Chivers, Washington, Ga., John Tomlin, Jackson, Tenn., and F. W. Thomas [page 632:] — of prior mention and one of Poe's truest friends — who then lived at St. Louis, i1 lo. On the back of a Philadelphia, Jan. 17, 1841, letter of Poe to Dr. J. E. Snodgrass, Baltimore, was printed in full the aims and intentions the poet cherished and nourished, from his Southern Literary Messenger days, for proprietary freedom of his critical editorial pen. From this document come these excerpts”




To be edited and published in the City of Philadelphia


TO THE PUBLIC. — Since resigning the conduct of the “Southern Literary Messenger,” ... I have always had in view the establishment of a Magazine which should retain some of the chief features of that journal ... its main feature was a somewhat overdone causticity in its ... Critical Notices of new books. “The Penn Magazine” will retain this trait of severity insomuch only as the calmest yet sternest sense of justice will permit. ...

Poe elsewhere wrote: “In criticism I will be bold, and sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.” The editor, with special confidence in “those Southern friends” who sustained him in the Messenger, noted The Penn's aim “to please” through “versatility, Originality and pungency ... and that best aid from the highest and purest sources” was secured. The form would “resemble ‘Knickerbocker’ ; paper equal ‘North American Review’ ” [page 633:] and “pictorial embellishments are promised only in necessary illustration of text.” The “Penn Magazine” would be published in Philadelphia the first of each month and form a half-yearly volume of about 500 pages. Price $5 per annum, in advance, or on receipt of the 1st number, March, 1841. Letters were to be “addressed to the Editor and Proprietor Edgar A. Poe.” In condensed form such were Poe's ideas for the goal of his long-cherished, lofty and unalterable literary ambition as an Editor — critic on sovereign lines.

It comes from Professor Woodberry that Poe's personal acquaintance with Frederick William Thomas began when he came from St. Louis as a delegate to the presidential convention at Baltimore, May, 1841, — also, as author of “Howard Pinckney,” then being issued, and their mutual interest in magazine literature. It appears that Poe — as was usual with him — had extended hospitality to Thomas; had imparted to him given intentions for the Penn Magazine, and after his return to St. Louis Poe wrote him concerning his promised contribution. Thomas praised and encouraged Poe's periodical scheme; tried to aid him with press notices of it, as did Dr. Chivers of this later association, which included Mr. Tomlin, who sent Poe some nine subscribers’ names. But Thomas’ devotion was of constant and affectionate personal feeling, which cheered Poe's dreary soul through many a crisis of chronic misery.

After leaving Burton's service Poe's efforts for the Penn Magazine claimed much of his time and attention, therefore his fugitive print issues of the following [page 634:] three months were slight and obscure. Professor Woodberry thought Poe might have written for Alexander's Weekly Messenger, wherein his sensational cryptography articles found prior place; possibly, for the United States Military Magazine, and other papers to which no items of his at this date are as yet traced. But as to some of Poe's letters there is more of certainty. One,(17) in order of dates as to Penn Magazine, &c., was from Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 1840, to his relative, William Poe of Georgia, and noted its writer's short absence from town delayed the receipt of a July 28th Georgia letter “until this morning.” Poe mentioned with gratitude and affection services rendered to himself by William and his brothers; noted sending him The Penn “Prospectus”; also, writer being merely Editor of Southern Literary Messenger, with no proprietary interest, limited his freedom of expression, with like effect as to salary, and gave him unlimited drudgery with no promise other than a literary reputation in view; all of which induced his New York Review and later Gentleman's Magazine ventures until possible to possess a periodical of his own. The writer's ambition in this desire was to produce “lasting effects upon the growing literature of the country” and to establish individually a name which the country “will not willingly let die.” Poe otherwise succeeded beyond his knowing in the latter effort; but he then relied chiefly on the South for aid, and his prospects depended on his subscrip tion list previous to Dec. 1, 1840. If of “500 names,” he noted, “the work cannot fail”; also that the kind offer of the Augusta, Ga., letter warranted the hope [page 635:] that its writer will act as Penn Magazine agent in that city; letters and Prospectus would go to William's brothers, Robert and Washington, at Macon, Ga. Poe concluded, that Mrs. Clemm, his aunt, still living with him, was then on a six weeks’ visit to New Jersey; that she had recovered her health; he noted a letter, not understood, came from a “Mr. Bayard,” who might have written when New York troubles induced Mrs. Clemm “through delicacy” to conceal some circumstances from the writer. This August, 1840, Poeletter mentioned the third break in the health of hard-working Mrs. Clemm, also gave a glimpse of her tactics concerning Poe. One wonders if she could have been visiting Poe's Baltimore Mary, who, after her marriage, lived for a while in Jersey City.

By courtesy of Mr. Henry Goldsmith, New York City, condensed notings of Poe's Philadelphia, Aug. 18, 1840, letter-appeal to Thomas W. White's friend, Lucian Minor, Esq., of Charlottesville, Va., are given

My DEAR SIR, — I have the honor of sending ... you a Prospectus of the Penn Magazine. In the ... difficult and most ungracious task I have proposed to myself, it is natural I should look for friends among men of integrity and talent — and I call to mind, with pride, the many instances of good will towards myself, which you evinced while I edited the Southern Messenger.

I believe the objects set forth in my Prospectus are such as you approve; I am actuated by no ordinary nor dishonest ambition; I know the disadvantages under which I labor are exceedingly great — for these reasons I have no hesitation in earnestly soliciting your support. ... It is indeed in your power to aid me. ... I have every hope you ... will do so. The success depends on the number of subscriptions I obtain before December. [page 636:] If through any influence you will be kind enough to exert in my behalf, at Charlottesville, or elsewhere, you can procure me even one or two names, you will render me a service of the greatest importance and one for which I shall be very grateful. With the highest respect,

Yr. Ob. St.


Aside from quest of this letter it suggests Poe's desire for University of Virginia personal, literary touch, nowhere else of found record.

In connection with Poe's Penn Magazine venture and his superfine critical conscience — “gifted or accursed” — came a letter(18) from Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, dated No. 47 Canal St., N. Y., Aug. 27, 1840. Dr. Chivers mentioned, he was “much pleased with The Penn ‘Prospectus,’ ” hoped the editor would realize all anticipations, and writer pledged his sup port of Poe's venture. As to his criticisms, was added “In the Paradise of Literature, I do not know one better calculated than yourself to prune the young scions of their exuberant thoughts. In some instances, let me remark, you seemed ... to lay aside the pruning knife for the tomahawk, and not only lop off redundant limbs, but absolutely to eradicate the entire tree.” Writer added that a little sapling transplanted — had every appearance of dying until it had gentle pruning and watering, when to the surprise of the gardener it towered above all the grove — a living monument to his skill and kind attention. The same is true in the literary world. So much for the “fury of a whirlwind treatment,” where a “zephyr would have sufficed,” noted Dr. James A. Harrison; but he [page 637:] noted not that zephyr subjects might thus multiply in their fleeting worthlessness, as instanced by Dawes, Fay and like others, including Chivers, whose efforts were detrimental to our national literature, and self-relegated to obscurity in all save their discipline by Poe.

It is of record that from the late 1820's, Poe had been making his psychological transition through impulsive and critical Germanism concerning which he, himself, wrote: “For my own part, I admit the German [page 638:] vigor, the German directness, boldness, imagination and some other qualities of impulse, just as I am willing to admit and admire these qualities in the first (or impulsive) epochs of British and French letters.” Poe knew German and whereof he wrote.

With the summer of 1840 gone, Poe, after a few weeks’ absence from home, wrote September 16th, at Philadelphia, to the Tennessee poet, John Tomlin, concerning his kind letter with names of nine subscribers. Poe noted his gratitude and success on lines of such friends; also much pleasure in Tomlin's promise of “The True History of the Devil's Visit to St. Dunstan,” for the opening number of Penn Magazine Nov. 22, 1840. At Jackson, Tenn., Mr. Tomlin wrote Poe as to financial exchange in line of subscriptions; writer's eager waiting for “Devil's Visit” in the first number of The Penn and abiding interest at all times in its editor's success; that warm-hearted Southerners who knew of it would not let the Work die. “They are your friends ... and will sustain you.” Writer asked if William Gilmore Simms, of Charlestown, was interested; gave personal details of him, and stated his own intention to visit Nashville, with certainty there of more names for the Penn Magazine. But closer than all others to Poe, from this time on, was F. W. Thomas; and to him the poet, at Philadelphia, November, 1840, wrote that he had Thomas’ letter of the 6th, “an hour ago,” having been out of town for ten days; writer did not get the St. Louis Bulletin sent, but saw its notice at the Exchange — a press-haunt of Poe — and wished to know its editor, who had always been very kind; that Mr. Bateman had forgotten to [page 639:] leave “Howard Pinckney” at Congress Hall. Poe later contrasted “Clinton Bradshaw” as “natural” with “Howard Pinckney” as a “sustained effort”; noted that “abandon” was “wanting” in the latter, and added if its author would send “public opinion to the devil,” forget “a public existed and write from natural promptings,” he would “do wonders.” Poe noted an intention fully to review the work in the first number of Penn, which he was happy to say would appear “January,” 1841. A thousand thanks were sent for good wishes and kind offers of promised article, experienced and friendly service for the Penn Magazine with the St. Louis press. Poe asked “Have you heard that that illustrious graduate of St. John's College, Cambridge — (Billie Barlow) [W. E. Burton] has sold his magazine to Graham of ‘the Casket‘?” Poe closed with: “Mrs. Clemm and Virginia unite with me in kindest remembrance to yourself and sister — with whom your conversation (always turning upon the ‘one loved name‘) has already made us all so well acquainted. How long will it be before I see you again?’ ”

At St. Louis, Dec. 7, 1840, Thomas, after his cordial, interested manner, replied to Poe, that a Steamboat story from his Adventures of a Poet MS., read to Poe, would be sent for the first number of The Penn, to which the writer looked forward with pleasure; and in its interest follow St. Louis press items; agency service, its terms; and Thomas concluded that he was writing in his sister's room; that she was gratified with the remembrance of Mrs. Clemm and Virginia and sent her own regards, adding: [page 640:] “I. ... Say your letter is just as you talk. In the spring I hope to take you by the hand again.”

Artist William J. High, of Baltimore, states the original likeness of Mrs. John P. Poe's portrait of the poet “was taken in 1840, by Stanton and Butler, 79 Fayette St., one door from Charles St., Balt. ... Poe was in Balt. ... (at intervals in 1840) in connection with legal business for his wife. She having inherited a portion of the Wm. Clemm Sr. and his wife's estate of Mt. Prospect, Balto. County, Md. They were Virginia's grandparents. Her lawyer was located in old Barnum's Hotel cellar, at the corner of Calvert and ... Fayette Sts. Poe was then residing in Phila., engaged in literary work.” This duplicate original Poe picture “was given to the [High] family in 1840 — 840 ... as a token of the poet's appreciation of their many kindnesses to him”; and although Poe was then only thirty-one, this picture's face shows that the poet was well-acquainted with the various asperities that life so continuously presented to him. And these trips to Baltimore probably moved his adverse critics to report that “poor Poe was off again on one of his sprees.”

Under Poe's worry, work and ceasless efforts for daily bread, also for this Penn project, as usual, his nerves turned traitors when in sight of his goal; he was thus waylaid with illness, during December, 1840, that delayed The Penn issue to March, 1841, and that delay brought a new era into Poe's career.

George Rex Graham was born at Philadelphia Jan. 18, 1813. At nineteen, in 1832, he learned cabinetmaking; devoted after such service, six hours a day [page 642:] to literary pursuits. Later he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1839. Through his thrift and papers to the Philadelphia press-in 1839, at twenty-six — he began his editorial career by buying an interest in the Saturday Evening Post, and later acquired Atkinson's Casket, “that,” notes Dr. Ellis P. Oberholtzer, “for ten or more years had strewed flowers of literature, art and sentiment” among its American readers. The autumn of 1840, William Evans Burton — noted, [page 643:] comedian — requested Mr. Graham to buy Gentleman's Magazine, some four years owned by Burton, who, needing money for his new theatre, stated his magazine must be sold for that purpose; that it had 3500 subscribers — having but 700, it was said, when Poe became its editor — and it would be sold for that number of dollars, cash. At that time the list for The Casket, owned by Graham, scored 1500; and, closing with Burton's offer, The Gentleman's Magazine was transferred to Graham. Its late owner made manifest his natural kindness of heart — no doubt mixed with shrewd business tactics by suggestion of Poe's editorial ability as a financial assetby saying: “There is one thing more, I want you to take care of my young editor.” As this sale was of October, 1840, record, and — not mildly — Poe parted company with Burton prior June, the latter must have realized in this interval, aside from “his kindness of heart,” that his “discharged”(?) Editor's services were of value in this transfer. However, The Casket and Gentleman's Magazine were united in January, 1841, as Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine, — “embracing every department of literature, embellished with engravings, fashions and music arranged for the piano-forte, harp and guitar.” This glittering designation was dropped partially by Editor Poe en route to the better form he brought this periodical as Graham's Magazine, under roofage of the Philadelphia Ledger Building, 3rd and Chestnut Streets. It appears that in Graham's weekly, Saturday Evening Post, Poe's literary efforts had been warmly and frequently praised [page 644:] during 1840. This fact forged another link for their coming association. However, Dec. 31, 1840, found Poe ill, but with fixed intentions for his project of owning a periodical, and then writing to his beneficent friend ‘Mr. Kennedy concerning “a Monthly Magazine somewhat on the plan of ‘Southern Messenger’ ”; that he “may have seen” its “Prospectus” in the Baltimore papers: its leading feature was to be that of an absolutely independent criticism. Poe added: “Since you gave me my first start in the literary world, and ... I sincerely say ... without the timely kindness you once evinced towards me I should not at this moment be among the living, ... ” Mr. Whitty notes this trouble as a “hint of early suicide” caused by depression at Richmond, 1835, removal of first and lost — love environments, also threatened loss of Virginia. Poe added, “you will not feel surprise that I look anxiously to you for encouragement in this new enterprise — the first of any importance which I have undertaken on my own account. ... I need the countenance of those who stand well in the social not less than the literary world. I know that you have never yet written for Magazines ... a main reason for my now begging you to give me something for my own ... what I wish is the weight of your name. Any unused scrap ... will ... answer my purpose. The Magazine will be issued on the first of March. ... under the best auspices. May I ask your influence among your personal friends. I shall look With great anxiety for your reply.” The letter was signed “Yours ever gratefully & respectfully.” Even as late as Jan. 17, 1841, Poe, at Philadelphia, replied to the inquiry of Dr. [page 645:] Snodgrass in regard to The Penn's prospects: “They are glorious, notwithstanding the world of difficulties under which I labored and labor. My illness (from which I have now entirely recovered) has been, for various reasons, a benefit to my scheme rather than a disadvantage ... if I do not eminently succeed in this enterprise the fault will be ... mine own. Still I am using every exertion to insure success, ... I have cut down the bridges behind me. I must now do or die — I mean in a literary sense.” Poe thanked Dr. Snodgrass for his aid offer; stated that he would be “delighted” for “prose” articles but, as for poetry, he was “overstocked”: Poe was anxious for papers on “International Copyright Laws,” or “Laws of Libel in regard to Literary Criticism.” His request for immediate mention to David Hoffman, Esq. (of the firm of “Hoffman & Dobbins, Attorneys at Law,” writes Robert E. Hayes, Jun., of Baltimore), was in such connection of marked and wide significance on foreign and home scores as to Hoffman's promised “aid.” Poe noted details of The Penn's construction, made curt mention of Mr. Burton, and added that Mr. Graham was “a very gentlemanly personage,” and “I will see him tomorrow, and speak to him in regard to your essay; although to prevent detection Burton may have destroyed it.” Poe mentioned having heard of a new magazine to be started in Baltimore “by a Virginian & a practical printer”; he was “anxious to know all the details” and requested that its prospectus might be sent to him; also the gentleman's name, etc. He noted making this request of Hon. N. C. Brooks without reply. The Prospectus of the [page 646:] Penn Magazine was on the reverse of prior noted letter. This urgent inquiry as to the new Baltimore magazine seemed due to some intimation as to its writer's services being sought by Mr. Graham; and Poe claiming, with reason, nearly one thousand subscribers for The Penn — which item he later stated to Daniel Bryan, Esq., of Alexandria, Va. — he very properly desired a wider field for choice in these contributors’ service to his own welfare, for which these contributors gave it. Concerning his Penn Magazine venture at this time and his agreement with Mr. Graham, some clear statements were openly made in various Poe letters. In one, of July 6, 1842, to Mr. Bryan, was: “I was induced to abandon the project at that period by representations of Mr. Graham. He said that if I would join him as a salaried editor, giving up, for the time, nay own scheme, he himself would unite with me at the expiration of six months, or certainly at the end of a year. [Italics are not in the original Poe letter.] As Mr. G. was a man of capital and I had no money, I thought it most prudent to fall in with his views. The result has proved his want of faith and my own folly. ... Every exertion made by myself for the benefit of ‘Graham's’ by rendering that Mag. a greater source of profit, rendered its owner at the same time less willing to keep his word with me. At the time of our bargain (a verbal one) he had 6000 subscribers — when I left him he had more than 40,000. It is no wonder that he has been tempted to leave me in the lurch.” On above, with other like scorings, and because Poe's connection with Graham's Magazine ceased April 1, 1842, with [page 647:] Dr. R. W. Griswold in its editorial service (by prior written request front Mr. Graham) within a month, and $200 more salary per year than that paid Poe, it would seem he was properly within his rights to reclaim any contributors he had obtained for Graham under the agreement he failed to keep — and in the only way Poe possibly could “secretly”; also, in this way he only followed Graham's lead against his ablest editor, as will be seen later on. The obvious impossibility of advising a man who had broken faith with him is a sufficiently clear explanation of Poe's prior words: “I am making earnest although secret exertions to resume my project of The Penn Magazine and have every confidence that I shall succeed in issuing the first number the first of January.” (1843, this July 6, 1842, letter would have dated such print.) Poe left Graham's prior April 1st. Not only was Mr. Graham fully aware of Poe's dream, of The Penn periodical's freedom of criticism in ownership, but there seems no found record that it was not also well known to Burton. In fact Poe was so obsessed with this vital force of ownership, from Literary Messenger days, it would be difficult to believe he could talk an hour with any sort of a bookman and not impart this basic principle of this most cherished plan of his life. Poe certainly made no “secret” of the fact that he had not abandoned this project when both Burton's and Graham's magazines fell so far below Poe's ideal of a periodical.

Returning to the narrative date, Mr. Graham had his Saturday Evening Post, Feb. 20, 1841, announce [page 648:] that the “‘Penn Magazine’ had been suspended,” owing to financial disturbances which always first affected the welfare of periodicals; but its editor had the finest prospects of success; the press, and particularly the South and West, being warm in his cause and an “excellent list of subscribers having been already secured: this ‘stern, just and competent critic,“’ it concluded, “would now take the editorial chair of ‘Graham's.“’ So Graham's Saturday Evening Post admitted The Penn Magazine was only “suspended”; it had “an excellent list of subscribers”; that Poe turned over to Graham's these “fine prospects of success” in the “South and West,” also Graham's full knowledge of Poe's desired freedom in drastic criticism. In fact The Post strongly affirmed the points Poe made in his several letter statements of his own case. With the Public Ledger, Dollar Newspaper and other periodical prints, the offices of Graham's Magazine were in a new, six-story brick building then located on the corner of Chestnut and Third Streets, and owned by the Public Ledger. Its picture appears by kindness of its owner, Mr. Joseph Jackson, on that paper's editorial staff. Concerning Poe's transfer from Burton to Graham, Mr. John Sartain wrote: “It was in connection — ,with Graham's enterprise that I made the acquaintance of Edgar Allan Poe. Burton's time had been so much occupied by his duties at the theatre, that he associated Poe with himself as assistant editor, and when the transfer was made the editor naturally went with it. ... Poe continued with Graham ... about eighteen months, ... ” then withdrew on account of Graham's old [page 649:] “friend ... Charles J. Peterson, [the fashion editor whom Mr. Sartain confused with Poe's parting; instead of, as it was, with Dr. Griswold's break with Mr. Graham] from whom Graham could not part, but Poe continued to write for him occasionally.” White's, Burton's and Graham's Magazines’ make — up methods were equally foreign to Poe's periodical idealisms; the continuous contrast of what was to what might have been, irritated Poe into quite a few frank expressions, to his personal correspondents, of discontent with his [page 650:] editorial connections. While his pen was in force for critical items in Graham's as early as the February, 1841, issue, his editorial duties did not begin until April of that year.

At Washington, D. C., March 7th, F. W. Thomas wrote his friend, the editor:

MY DEAR POE, — Your humble servant hails . from this land of excitement and rascality. I am here scribbling ... this week past. Dow ... [editor of The Madisonian] told me that you had given up ... The Penn and was engaged with Graham. I regret that you have been prevented from carrying out that glorious enterprise ... but you‘ll do it yet ...

I wish for value received to write for some periodical a novel ... say two or three chapters per month ... what terms &c would your “Graham” give ... Write me ... all about it ... I hope, my dear Poe, that you are well and doing well ... in a month or so, I hope to take you by the hand ... Please direct to me at Washington and not St. Louis.

March 13th, Poe's Jackson, Tenn., friend, John

Tomlin, inquired

Have you indefinitely postponed ... the “Penn Magazine“? If so, your friends here are grievously disappointed. I know that ... the abandonment was caused by no ordinary circumstances. ... At any moment that you may deem any service of mine necessary in the aiding ... of any scheme or plan you may project, believe that a call from you, on me, will receive the best attention of

Your friend,


Rufus Wilmot Griswold, first post-mortem biographer of Edgar Allan Poe, was born in February, [page 651:] 1815, at Benson, Vt. In early life he traveled about the United States and Central Europe. As a youth he was apprenticed to press-publishers; he studied theology; obtained a D.D. degree, became a Baptist clergyman, but left the ministry to become a journalist and compiler of books. His “Poets and Poetry of America,” Philadelphia, 1842, issue, went through over twenty print editions. Dr. Griswold wrote(19): “My acquaintance with Mr. Poe commenced in the spring of 1841. He called at my hotel and not finding me at home, left two letters of introduction. The next morning I visited him, and we had a long conversation about literature and literary men, pertinent to the subject of ‘Poets and Poetry of America’ which I was then preparing for the press. ... a few days afterwards,” March 29, 1841, in connection with Dr. Griswold's work, Poe wrote that he was sending such poems as he thought best, from which selection could be made. He noted first print of “‘The Haunted Palace’ being in Brooks’ Museum, April, 1839, but “now dead”; its later print in “House of Usher,” in the September, 1839, Gentleman's Magazine, where writer supposed Professor Longfellow saw it, as six weeks later “The Beleaguered City” appeared in Southern Literary Messenger. Poe added: “The identity in title is striking; for by ‘The Haunted Palace’ I mean to imply a mind haunted with phantoms — a disordered brain — and by ‘The Beleaguered City’ Prof. L. means just the same. ... I understood ... you meant to preface each set of poems by some biographical notice. ... I ... send you above memoranda.” This episode of the two poems [page 652:] proved to be only a strange, strong coincidence of the same idea obsessing both poets nearly the same time. Later printings also proved that Poe highly esteemed both Longfellow and his works; for in 1846, Longfellow was scored by Poe as “the first of American poets.”

In March 29, 1841, Poe “Memo” he sent to Dr. R. W. Griswold appeared: “Lately [I] have written articles continuously for two British journals, whose names I am not permitted to mention.” About this time Poe was credited by the Southern Literary Messenger with notices of Westminster Review, London Quarterly Review, and English Annals as far prior as December, 1835. These notices seem to point at least to pseudonyn [[pseudonym]] articles by Poe in these periodicals, and surely indicate how keenly he desired British open, as well as home-land, literary recognition.

In Poe's “Life Sketch” data, given Henry B. Hirst, appeared that Poe used a pen-name for a fiction work of two volumes, two papers on American topics for a Paris critical journal; also he wrote two anonymous papers for a British periodical and several such for an American Quarterly. The Philadelphia Saturday Museum, March 4, 1843, printed this Poe “Life Sketch,” which prior noted Poe writings must antedate.

At Philadelphia, All Fools’ Day, 1841, Poe wrote Dr. Snodgrass concerning the parting from Burton; and in the second P. S. was: “The Penn, I hope, is only ‘scotched, not killed.’ It would have appeared under glorious auspices, and with capital at command, in March, but for unexpected bank suspensions. In the meantime Mr. Graham had made me a liberal [page 653:] offer, which I had great pleasure in accepting. The Penn will unquestionably be resumed hereafter.” This “P. S.” clearly marks the determination that Poe intended to hold himself at liberty to carry out this cherished project with the single idea of securing literary criticism free from every sordid consideration. should his confidence in the “verbal agreement” with Mr. Graham fail for such effect.

Poe's sensational articles on cryptography, of prior noting, as in the early 1840 issues of Alexander's Weekly Messenger, were no doubt good drill for that puzzle of detective stories which standardizes ingenious and progressive reasoning, — “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” issued in the April, 1841, number of Graham's Magazine.

W. E. Waller(20) noted that the employment of an orang-outang in these murders seemed the most original idea in fiction until he found an extract from the Shrewsbury Chronicle of July or August, 1834, when certain showmen visited that town with “a ribbed faced baboon,” which “was later suspected had been taught to commit robberies at night by climbing up places inaccessible to men, thereby gaining an entrance through bed-room windows,” precisely the method adopted by Poe's anthropoid. In her bedroom one night a Shrewsbury lady found the creature. She raised an alarm. The baboon “instantly attacked her with so much fury that the lady's husband, who went to the rescue, was glad to let it escape by the window.” The orang-outang of “Rue Morgue” made a similar but fatal attack when discovered there. It seems probable that Poe came across this press-print [page 654:] episode. The coincidence is singular. Seven years later “Murders in the Rue Morgue” was in Graham's April, 1841, issue. J. M. Johnston, of Lancaster, Penn., Intelligencer staff and admirer of Poe, wrote, that when he was a young printer he rescued the Poe MS. of “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” after it was put in type, from the waste basket. Johnston later went through the Civil War, married and settled at Lancaster; and during family house-cleaning a neighbor found this old MS. thrown on a rubbish-heap, and returned it to the owner, who sold it to Mr. Childs for $200. It is now worth thousands and owned by the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia.

Professor Brander Matthews(21) notes: “The true detective story as Poe conceived it is not in the mystery itself, but in the successive steps whereby the analytic observer is enabled to solve the problem that might be dismissed as beyond human elucidation. What Poe wrought is really unique: others failed, even after he had shown them how.”

Sir Conan Doyle writes: “Edgar Allan Poe was father of the detective tale, and covered its limits so completely I fail to see how his followers can find ground to call their own.”

In “Poe: How to Know Him,” Dr. C. Alphonso Smith states: “It was Russia not France that took the initiative in Europeanizing Poe's fame. Casual translations from Poe began to appear in Russian periodicals as early as the late thirties.” And from AbrahamYarmolinsky it comes that, in Russia, Poe was continuously called the “beloved Solitary One.” In 1842 Poe was called “an unknown writer” in London. [page 655:]

Of early French prints from Edgar Allan Poe, the following items are in order. Henry Beck Hirst wrote the first “Life-Sketch of Edgar Allan Poe.” It appeared in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum issue, March 4, 1843. In data given Hirst by Poe, it is stated that he used a pseudonym for two volumes of fiction, two papers on American topics for a Paris critical journal, etc. In Poe's 1846 “Marginalia”(22) is Some years ago the Paris ‘Charivari’ copied my story with complimentary comments; objecting, however, to the Rue Morgue on the ground that no such street ... existed in Paris.” In 1849, Poe noted,(23) justice was rendered him by Revue Française and Revue des Deux Mondes. Concerning Mrs. Clemm and his French prints Poe wrote Duyckinck, Dec. 30, 1846: “you had told her ‘The Murders in the R. M.’ was spoken of in the Paris ‘Charivari’ soon after its first issue in ‘Graham's,’ Mag., April, 1841.” Italics are important, but not in the original letter. In the “Baudelaire Legend,”(24) James Henneker indicates The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as the first French translation from Poe, and dating soon after its Graham's print, April, 1841. All scholars know E. D. Forgues’ Review of Poe's 1845 “Tales,” in Oct. 15, 1846, Revue des Deux Mondes, which seems to follow Henneker's above inference. And in close touch with this come several general statements(25) that this Poe-story was dressed up to suit the French taste by a Paris Bohemian for Le Commerce. Under the title of “Poe's Earliest French Sponsor,”(26) in the April, 1910, issue of Literary Digest, and in part quoted from the New York Evening [page 656:] Post, it appears that the man who probably first introduced Poe to Frenchmen had just died — Felix Tournachon — April 5, 1820 — March 20, 1910 — and best known by his assumed name, “Nadar.” He printed in nine columns, “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” in Le Commerce. Unless Nadar — in his “Memoirs,” not in print — tells the incident it will present a fertile French-press field to Poe students for research. Nadar was a life friend of Baudelaire and, about him, left a little book in press. Baudelaire in late life wrote: “Something singular and all but unbelievable” was “the effect” made upon him by Nadar's print of Edgar Poe. Baudelaire adds: “In 1846 or 1847 I became acquainted with a few writings of Edgar Poe; I experienced strange commotion. His works had not been gathered together, so I had patience to get into communication with Americans living in Paris and borrow from them collections of journals published by Poe. And I found, believe me, poems and stories of which I had thought vaguely, confusedly, without order, but which Poe had combined and brought to perfection.”(27) The Evening Post adds: “It was almost a case of possession of a soul by another's spirit.” In five thousand letters Nadar left, carefully classified, Baudelaire must be well represented and something of Poe appear as well. Nadar was intimate with the Victor Hugo circle, Alphonse Daudet, also that of Princess Mathilde. Early in 1850, Nadar suggested a heavier than air flying machine. In 1863 he took his wife and friends by balloon from Paris to Han over. During the siege he organized a balloon service and barely escaped being shot as a Communist, by [page 657:] authorities. He rebuilt his fallen fortunes in a photographic studio known to all notables of Paris. In later years he wrote his “Memoirs,” that were never issued. The foregoing items seem to identify the “Paris Bohemian” as Nadar, the translator of Poe's “Murders in the Rue Morgue” for Le Commerce, “soon after1841. Its sequel lies in the fact that it seemed — “to one ” — filched from this print and, under the title of “L‘Orang Outang,” for a later La Quotidielnae issue, which act caused throwing the affair into the French law courts. Thereby it was proved the story was by Monsieur Edgar Poe, an American writer, whose authorship was credited by neither French paper. The witty summary of the entire episode by the brilliant editor of L‘Entr‘acte, in condensed translation and close to Poe, is: “The other day, a great journal (Le Siècle) accused M. Old Nick — of La Quotidienne — of having stolen an orang-outang, which interesting animal had strayed through the story part of that paper. Elsewhere Old Nick saw it, found it to his taste, and took it. Knowing Old Nick as a person of spirit, honor and rich enough not to take orang-outangs belonging to others, this charge surprised me. It seems Old Nick, after having stolen the orang-outang for La Quotidienne, failed to give Le Commerce credit for its property. This charming story of fine intellectual force and style filled nine columns, yet was the same story in both papers; but Old Nick had borrowed it from an American writer, named Poe, whose works were reviewed in Oct. 15, 1846, Revue des Deux Mondes. Neither paper credited the original writer, but discovery of this truth forces [page 659:] the conclusion that Al. Poe is a fine, fresh and strong writer when translated by Old Nick.”(28) Too wise a bird was lawyer “Old Nick” to be ensnared by press, legal entanglements. Paul Emile Daurand Forgues was born at Paris, April 20, 1813. He began his classical studies elsewhere, but finished them in his native city. In early life he wrote for the provincial press and later for the Paris papers. He was destined for the legal profession and, at Paris, he was Secretary of the Lawyers’ Conference. For his brilliant translations from the English, he was called by them “Old Nick,” which Satanic pseudonym he was always pleased to retain. His critiques were instructive and judicious, often severe and always independent. “Old Nick” died at Cannes, Oct. 22, 1883, as found by Mr. S. A. Chevalier of the Boston Public Library.

With this vitalizing impulse, some of Poe's “Tales” were soon translated by — Mme. Isabelle Munnier for Démocratie Pacifique and other French issues. France was quickly followed by Germany in Poe cult. In 1853 several English editions of Poe were printed at Leipsic; others in 1859, at Stuttgart, Jena and Munich; also about twenty of “The Raven.” Moscow, Athens, Milan fell into line. In 1858 Dr. Lauda led at Madrid, and noted Poe as the “first story-teller to exploit science and the marvelous in morbid psychology with scientific art.” In France, Baudelaire was followed by Stéphane Mallarme and others. So it was that through the law courts Poe founded his school of literature in La Belle France. There he is regarded as “one of the immortals.” There forty or [page 660:] more editions of his works have been issued; Baudelaire's translations are favored wherever French is read. Of Poe he wrote: “No one has told with greater magic the exceptions of human life and nature which he analyzes where they are most fugitive.” On score of “exceptions” Poe himself wrote:(29) “Experience has shown, and Philosophy will always show, that a vast portion ... of truth arises from the apparently irrelevant. It is through the spirit of this principle that modern science has resolved to calculate upon the unforeseen. ... It is thus no longer philosophical to base upon what has been, a vision of what is to be. Accident is admitted as a portion of the substructure. We make chance a matter of absolute certainty.”

The controversy is wittily described in the following extract from a Parisian Journal, L’Entr’acte, of the twentieth of October, 1846:

“Un grand journal accusait 1‘autre jour M. Old — Nick d’avoir vole un orang-outang. Cet intéressant animal flânait dans le feuilleton de la Quotidienne, lorsque M. Old-Nick le vit, le trouva à son goût et s’en empara. Notre confrère avait sans doute besoin d‘un groom. On sait quo les Anglais ont depuis longtemps colonisé les orang-outangs, et les ont instruits Bans fart de porter les lettres sur tin plateau de vermeil, et de vernir les bottes. Il paraitrait, toujours suivant le memo grand journal, quo M. Old-Nick, armes avoir dérobé cet orang-outang à la Quotidienne, 1’aurait ensuite cédé au Commerce, comme propriete à lui appartenant. Je sais que M. Old-Nick est tin gargon plein d’esprit et plein d’honneur, assez riche de son propre fonds pour ne pas s’approprier les orangs-outangs des autres; cette accusation me surprit. Apres tout, me dis-je, il y a eu des monamanies plus extraordi [page 661:] naives clue cello-la; le grand Bacon ne pouvait voir un baton de cire A cacheter sans se 1‘approprier : dans une conference avec M. de Metternich aux Tuileries, 1’Empereur s’aper4ut quo le diplomate autrichien glissait des pains A cacheter dans sa poche. Al. Old-Nick a une autre manie, il fait les orangs-outangs. Je m’attendais toujours A ce quo la Quotidienne jetat feu et flammes et demandat a grands cris son homme des bois. Il faut vous dire quo j’avais lu son histoire dans le Commerce, elle etait charmante d‘esprit et de style, pleine de rapidite et de desinvolture; la Quotidienne favait egalement publiee, mais en trois feuilletons. L’orang-outang du Conznaerce n’avait quo neuf eolonnes. Il s’agissait done d’un autre quadrumane littéraire. Ma foi non! c‘etait le memo; seulement il n’appartenait ni à la Quotidienne, ni au Commerce. M. Old-Nick navait emprunte A un romancier Americain qu‘il est en train d’inventer dans la Revue des Deux-Mondes. Ce romancier s’appelle Poe; je ne dis pas le contraire. Voilà done un ecrivain qui use du droit legitime d’arranger les nouvelles d’un romancier Americain qu’il a invente, et on 1’accuse de plagiat, de vol an feuilleton; on alarme ses amis en leur faisant croire quo cot ecrivain est possede de la mono manie des orangs-outangs. Par la Courchamps! voilà qui me parait léger. M. Old-Nick a écrit au journal en question une reponse pour retablir sa moralite, attaquee à 1’endroit des orangs-outangs. Cet orang-outang a mis, ces jours derniers, doute la litterature en emoi; personne n’a cru un soul instant A l’accusation qu‘on a essayé de faire peser sur M. Old-Nick, d’autant plus qu’il avait pris soin d’indiquer lui memo la cage ou il avait pris son orang-outang. Ceci va fournir de nouvelles armes A la secte qui croit aux romanciers Américains. Le préjugé de 1’existence de Cooper en prendra de nouvelles forcés. En attendant quo la vérité se découvre, nous sommes forces de convenir que ce Poë est tin gaillard bien fin, bien spirituel, quand il est arrangé par M. Old-Nick.”(30) [page 662:]

Concerning his French prints Poe later wrote:(31) “I cannot say that I ever fairly comprehended the force of the term ‘insult,’ until I was given to understand, one day, by a member of the ‘North American Review’ clique, that this journal was not only willing but anxious to render me that justice which had been already rendered me by the ‘Revue Française’ and the ‘Revue des Deux Mondes’ — ‘but was restrained from so doing’ by my ‘invincible spirit of antagonism.’ I wish the ‘North American Review’ to express no opinion of me whatever — for I have none of it.” Poe noted that its title-page gave no motto, and suggested its supply, from Sterne's “Letter from France,” as follows: “As we rode along the valley we saw a herd of asses on the top of one of the mountains — how they viewed and reviewed us!” But Poe found France not wanting in the balance of his intellectual standards.

In Graham's for May, 1841, was Poe's tale, “A Descent into the Maelström,” of which a high British authority(32) states, “for quasi-scientific adventure we search English literature in vain for anything superior.” Maurice Hewlitt affirms of Poe : “So far as Europe is concerned he is sure of his immortality.” In May 1, 1841, date of Saturday Evening Post was Poe's startling prophetic review of Charles Dickens’ “Barnaby Rudge.” Poe wrote this review from reading initial chapters of “Part I” only, then in print. Mr. Maximus Lesser, New York City, in his “Poe and Barnaby Rudge” press-print notes: “Poe admits the gardener was murdered not ‘before’ but after his master; Rudge's wife seized him by the wrist, and not that he had thus seized her, but latter would [page 663:] have been of more power,” as Poe believed. In all else the accuracy of Poe's forecast called from Dickens flattering comment, with the inquiry if “Mr. Poe had dealings with the Devil.” Poe criticized Dickens’ lack of plot and his construction; also his lack of genius for adaptation, but nevertheless described him as “England's greatest novelist.” The attempt to prove Poe's “Barnaby Rudge Review” a myth, was ably frustrated by James H. Whitty, Richmond, Va., and the New York Times Review. Mr. Whitty notes this charge was first brought in the Feb. 5, 1913, British Weekly by Sir W. Robertson Nicoll, who closed with, “Poe strikes me as one of the most elusive and evasive creatures in literary history.” To the editor, Mr. Whitty wrote that The Post officials advised him, — “Search had been made of its files,” and it was “positively established that a contribution signed by Poe was printed in The Post, May 1, 1841, and was a review of ‘Barnaby Rudge’ by Chas. Dickens analyzing the murder at length.” This “Review” was obtained by the New York Times and printed entire May 25, 1913. Mr. Whitty believes it incredible that Poe could hoax both the author and the public at that time into definite astonishment expressed at his foresight of the story's incidents, unless their surprise was founded on those few chapters of Part I., Parts II. and III. being of those days’ delayed issue.

To the unconscious cause of these various distractions came a Washington, May 20, 1841, letter from his friend F. W. Thomas — which lamented his “monies” had been taken by a “fellow felonius” — therefore he had immediate need of a remittance from [page 664:] Mr. Graham. Thomas noted bank failures and Harrison's death, — “which. leaves the future operations of the Cabinet in the dark. I fear it will be some time before publishing resumes its former busy existence.” Thomas urged Poe to attack copyright law; stated Dow was turned out, seemed cheerful and “quit drinking even hard cider”; political mention was made of President Tyler. Kindly but unfortunately Thomas placed the pot of gold at rainbow's end for Poe's phantom seeking, for some time, by this query:

How would you like to be an office-holder here at $1500 per year payable monthly by Uncle Sam, who ... pays his officials with due punctuality? How would you like it? ... You stroll to your office a little after nine in the morning. ... you stroll ... a little after two in the afternoon, homeward to dinner and return no more that day. ... You have on your desk everything in the writing line in apple-pie order, ... to lubricate in a literary way. ... Come on and apply for a clerkship, you can follow literature here as well as where you are. ... write to me if you love me. ... Jog Graham.

My tenderest regards to your mother and wife. Your friend, F. W. Thomas.

With energetic endeavors Poe turned to serve Graham's interest in prospective letters for his Magazine to Irving, Cooper, Longfellow, Paulding, Halleck, Kennedy, Willis and others.(33)In Poe's first letter to Longfellow, dated Philadelphia, May 3, 1841, was:

DEAR SIR, — Mr. George R. Graham, proprietor of “Graham's Magazine,” a monthly journal published in this city and edited by myself, desires me to beg of you the honor of your contributions to its pages. Upon the [page 665:] principle that we seldom obtain what we very anxiously covet, I confess ... I have but little hope of inducing you to write for us — and to say the truth, I fear ... Mr. Graham would have opened negotiation much better in his own person, for I have no reason to think myself favorably known to you; but the attempt was to be made and I make it.

I should be overjoyed if I could get from you an article each month, — either poetry or prose, — length and subject à discrétion. In respect to terms, we would gladly offer you carte blanche; and periods of payment should be made to suit yourself.

In conclusion I cannot refrain from availing myself of this, the only opportunity I may ever have, to assure the author of “Hymn to the Night,” “The Beleaguered City” and “Skeleton in Armor,” of the fervent admiration with which his genius has inspired me; and yet I would scarcely hazard a declaration whose import might be so easily misconstrued, and which bears with it, at best, more or less of niaiserie, were I not convinced that Professor Longfellow, writing and thinking as he does, will be at no loss to feel and appreciate the honest sincerity of what I say. With highest respect,

Your Obedient Servant,


Cambridge, Mass., May 19, 1841, dated Longfellow's reply; in which was:

DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 3rd inst., with the two Nos. of the Magazine, reached me [only a] day or two ago; which will account [for my not sending you] a more speedy [reply.]

Paragraphs omitted from print of the original letter are:

I am much obliged to you for your kind expression of regard and to Mr. Graham for his very generous offer, of which I should gladly avail myself under other circumstances. [page 666:] But I am so much occupied at present that I could not do it with any satisfaction to you or myself. I must therefore respectfully decline his proposition.

You are mistaken in supposing that you are not “favorably known to me.” On the contrary, all that I have read from your pen has inspired me with a high idea of your power; and I think you are destined to stand among the first romance-writers of the country, if such be your aim. Very truly yours


[To Edgar A. Poe.]

Signature “cut out and the words supplied are enough to fill the spaces,” writes Thomas O. Mabbott, who copied the original MS. letter.

In Poe's second letter of June 22, 1841, to Longfellow appeared:

DEAR SIR, — Your letter of the 19th of May was received. I regret to find my anticipation confirmed, and that you cannot ... accept Mr. Graham's proposition. Will you pardon me for making another? . , . In this country , , . we have not any journal ... which ... can afford to offer pecuniary inducements to the highest talent. ... In the supply of this deficiency ... and in the hope of at least partially supplying it, Mr. Graham and myself propose to establish a :Monthly Magazine.

The Penn Magazine construction details were noted by 96 pages, type, paper, limited woodcuts of excellent quality; literary features, as coming from the most distinguished pens (of America), by one paper each month in prose, poetry, absolute or serial; leaving the “carte blanche” terms to contributor and payments made as he suggested. Pledge not to write for any other American magazine during this Graham's service was requested. Poe's letter to Longfellow closed [page 667:] with the Penn starting in January, 1842, the price noted as $5 per year, and “With highest respects.”

In his Philadelphia, June, 1841, letter-quest to Mr. Kennedy, Poe repeated many items of his Longfellow letter, but added several forceful, personal touches as follow:

My DEAR SIR, — Mr. George R. Graham (of this city), and myself desire to establish a Monthly Magazine upon certain conditions — one of which is the procuring your assistance in the enterprise. ... Mr. Graham is a lawyer ... His experience of the periodical business is extensive. He is a gentleman of high social standing, and possessed of ample pecuniary means. ... I sent you some time ago, [prior to May] a Prospectus of the “Penn Magazine,” the scheme of which was broken up by the breaking up of the banks. The name will be preserved — and the general intentions of that journal. A vigorous independence shall be my watchword still — truth, not so much for truth's sake, as for the novelty of the thing. ... I look most anxiously for your answer, for it is of vital importance to me, personally. ... Mr. Graham is to furnish all supplies, and will give me merely for editorial service and my list of subscribers [elsewhere stated as “nearly 1000”] to the oldPenna half interest in the proposed Magazine — [Italics are not in the original letter,] but he will only engage in the enterprise ... on conditions that I can obtain as contributors the gentlemen above named ... giving them carte blanche as to terms. Your name will enable me, I know, to get several of the others. You will not fail me at this crisis! If I get this Magazine fairly afloat, with money to back me as now, I will have everything my own way. ...

N.B. If you have a novel on the tapis, you could not dispose of it in any way so advantageously as by selling it to us. ... We will commence with an edition of 3000. The entire foregoing statement seems very definite [page 668:] as to Poe's “verbal” agreement, or understanding with Graham on uniting their forces for the Penn Magazine, also their mutual agreement as to “half interest” for Poe, conditional on his successful service for Graham's periodical venture. Poe's July 6, 1842, letter to Daniel Bryan, Alexandria, D. C., makes very definite reference to this “verbal” agreement between its writer and Mr. Graham: and the June, 1841, Poe-Kennedy letter, at that time, and other records then were certainly all well known to Mr. Graham, and too strongly indicate that there was a “verbal” agreement for some fractional financial, proprietary interest to be given to Poe, to doubt his various statements to such effect.

To John Neal, whence came Poe's first real literary encouragement, he wrote at Philadelphia, June 4, 1841:

MY DEAR SIR, — As you gave me the first jog in my literary career, you are m a manner bound to protect me and keep me rolling. I therefore now ask you to aid me ... in whatever manner your experience shall suggest. It strikes me that I never write to you except to ask a favor, but my friend Thomas will assure you that I bear you always in mind, holding you in the highest respect and esteem.

Most truly yours,


To F. W. Thomas’ May 20, 1841, letter-quest of Poe as to a government position at Washington, in his reply of June 26th was

“I have just heard through Graham, ... that you have stepped into an office at Washington, salary $1000. From the bottom of my heart I wish you joy. ... For my own [page 669:] part, notwithstanding Graham's unceasing civility and real kindness, I feel more and more disgusted with my situation. Would to God I could do as you have done. Do you seriously ... think an application on my part to Tyler would have a good result? My claims, to be sure, are few. I am a Virginian — at least I call myself one, for I have resided all my life, until within the last few years, in Richmond. My political principles have always been ... with the existing administration, and I battled with right good-will for Harrison, ... With Mr. Tyler I have some ... personal acquaintance ... which he has possibly forgotten. For the rest I am a literary man, and I see a disposition in Government to cherish letters. Have I any chance? ... if so, put me on the right track.”

July 1, 1841, Thomas wrote Poe his June 26th letter came the 30th — four days’ transit for it from Philadelphia to Washington, D. C. — and added: “I trust, my dear friend, that you can obtain an appointment.” Thomas had seen President Tyler passing in his carriage only, but called to see his sons, who also were out. Thomas asked Poe, “could n’t you slip on here and see the President yourself? Or ... I will see him for you ... your application had better be made through some one who has influence ... J. P. Kennedy ... is here a Congressman and would serve you. ... My employment is ... temporary. ... There are thousands of applicants. ... Let me hear from you in this matter of yours. ... The inclosed cryptograph is from ... (Dr. Frailey). ... If you decipher it then you are ‘a magician’ — for he has used ... much art in making it.” Poe deciphered it by return mail; his idea was, human ingenuity could not construct a cipher which human ingenuity could not resolve, but this special cryptograph and its solution were [page 670:] both relegated to Graham's October, 1841, issue, with Dr. C. E. Frailey's letter noting its difficulty and Poe's accuracy of solution. Dr. Frailey had heard Thomas speak of Poe's ability in this way when they, with Dow, were at Thomas’ Philadelphia lodgings in 1840, and all three were talking over Aaron Burr's correspondence in cipher which Poe termed “shallow artifice,” saying that he could easily decipher it. To test him, Dow withdrew and wrote a letter in cipher which was solved by Poe sooner than written by Dow. It appears that a letter from a Mr. Tyler — an expert on such hieroghyphics — in December Graham's noted: “Poe has exhibited a power of analytical and synthetical reasoning” which Tyler had “never seen equalled.” It is of record that Poe made “an unknown Visit”(34) to Harvard College Library to look up cryptographic authorities. “Trithemius, Blaise de Vigenere's ‘Traité des chiffres,’ Paris, 1587, and ‘Jean Frangois Niceron,’ as verified by S. A, Chevalier, Boston Public Library. This trip may account for some one of Poe's several distrait flights from Philadelphia. William Minto states(35) that the analytic faculty is so far from being incompatible with the imaginative, that neither, in highest development, can exist apart; and that any fool can construct, but the test of genius lies in the ability to adapt construction to definite ends.”

In Graham's July, 1841, issue, Poe gave “A Few Words on Secret Writing,” which article, likely aided by Jean F. Champollion, claimed wide attention.

In prior June number of Graham's was “The Island of the Fay” that Poe dated “Phila. May, 1841.” It was faced by Martin's original picture exquisitely [page 671:] engraved by Sartain. This seemed to touch the land of “Nis,” or the fairy, of little Edgar's childhood Scottish island memories. Poe's “Island of the Fay” was headed by lines from his anonymous Sonnet to “Science,” which was inspired, thinks Mr. R. M. Hogg, by “Banishment of the Fairies” by Joseph Train, and published at Irvine, Scotland, during Poe's boyhood days there. Poe's lines ask of Science “in-1829,” notes Mr. Whitty, these quests:

Hast thou not spoilt a story in each star?

Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood?

The elfin from the grass? the dainty fay

The witch, the sprite, the goblin — where are they? [page 672:]

Some of Poe's “dreamy” reflex of it all was: “About midway in the short vista, which my dreamy vision took in, one small circular island, fantastically verdured, reposed upon the bosom of the stream.

So blended bank and shadow there,

That each seemed pendulous in air —

... My position enabled me to include in a single view both the eastern and western extremities of the islet, ... The latter was all one radiant harem of garden beauties. It glowed and blushed beneath the eye of the slant sunlight, and fairly laughed with flowers. ... The other or eastern end ... was whelmed in blackest shade. A sombre, yet beautiful and peaceful gloom ... ‘If ever island were enchanted,’ — said I to myself — ‘this is it. This is the haunt of the few gentle Fays who remain from the wreck of the race.’ ... As I thus mused, ... the form of one of those very Fays ... made its way slowly into the darkness from out the light at the western end ... She stood erect in a singularly fragile canoe, ... urged it with the mere phantom of an oar. ... She floated again from out the light and into the gloom ... While within ... the lingering sunbeams her attitude seemed indicative of joy — but sorrow deformed it as she passed into the shade, ... her shadow fell from her into the ebony water ... again and again she made the circuit ... (while the sun rushed down to his slumbers), ... at length, ... darkness fell over all things, and I beheld her magical figure no more.” Professor Woodberry notes “The Island of the Fay” as the earliest of Poe's simple landscape pieces and the study for his [page 673:] “Eleonora.” In striking contrast to Graham's July number was given “A Few Words on Secret Writing,” which claims attention to Poe's force in mental range.

Concerning Thomas’ query of Poe, “to slip on” to Washington, he answered July 4, 1841: “I wish to God I could ... but the old story, you know — I have no money; not even enough to take me there, saying nothing of getting back. It's a hard thing to be poor — but as I am kept so by an honest motive, I dare not complain. ... Call upon Kennedy ... he is a perfect gentleman and will give you a cordial welcome. Speak to him of my wishes, and urge him to see the Secretary of War ... because I have been to W. Point, ... may stand me in some stead ... or President Tyler. ... I would be glad to get any appointment, even a $500 one — so that I may have something independent of letters for a subsistence. 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.” This indicates Poe's in tense longing for freedom to command, in the domain of his literary art, on lines of criticism. He continued “Nlr. Kennedy has been at all times a true friend to me — he was the first true friend I ever had. — I am indebted to him for life itself. He will be willing, ... but needs urging, for he is always head over ears in business.” To Poe, July 7th, Thomas wrote, that he would see Kennedy soon; that writer knew few “big bugs” but thought he had skill enough to commit Poe's merits to those who would be more skilful advocates of his claims, yet for himself wrote: “I must [page 674:] make the genius of Friendship my guide and trust its impulse to make all right in your behalf,”

July 12, 1841, Poe wrote Dr. Snodgrass, his “Reproof of a Bird” would be in September Graham's; that T. S. Arthur's merits were negative, but writer liked McJilton, who “has written one or two very good things.” W. G. Clark reproved writer in the Gazette for “speaking too favorably of McJilton.” Poe continued: “You flatter me about ‘The Maelstrom.“’ The Booklover, February, 1904, notes of this story: “nothing finer or fuller of genius than the description of the whirlpool and the weather.” Poe added: “It was finished in a hurry, and therefore its conclusion is imperfect, ... it is neither so good nor ... half so popular as The Murders in the Rue Morgue.’ ... a paper in the August no: which will please you. ... Among the Reviews, one ... will ... surprise you. It is a long notice of a satire by ... L. A. Wilmer. [Elsewhere Poe stated: “‘The Quacks of Helicon’ as a poem and otherwise has many defects, we shall have no scruple in pointing out, although Mr. Wilmer is a friend of our own we are happy and proud to say.”] ... You must get this Satire and read it — it is really good ... in the old-fashioned Dryden style. ... I have made it the text” for “a fire & fury sermon upon critical independence and the general literary humbuggery of the day.” Poe noted his fiasco venture of $4 per page with E. Burke Fisher, — “scamp” editor of “Pittsburg Examiner” and this venture's print-issue being the “last kick of the nag.”

Thomas O. Mabbott writes: “Fisher managed, after [page 675:] some delay, to complete the first volume by issuing two more numbers,” with Poe items not “altered” by Fisher.

In an Aug. 3 1841, letter to Poe, F. W. Thomas stated his autobiographic sketch, of prior noting, made no mention of his two brothers and five sisters, nor that when himself ill in bed he remarked to his sister Frances that he felt like trying to write a novel, and that her daily insistence with paper, pens, etc., was his inspiration for most of “Clinton Bradshaw.” It was dedicated to Thomas’ best friend, Charles Hammond, of Cincinnati Gazette, who introduced him to Matthew Carey, and General Harrison at latter's home, The Bend, near Cincinnati of 1831, where Thomas was a sometime guest. He added of Henry Poe: “Your brother and I were then intimate and rather rivals in a lore affair,” in which neither seemed the winner. But Thomas soon found himself at Philadelphia, and there stood as listener — when passing a Chestnut Street home — to a fair-voiced singer who thrilled him as he discovered that the song was his own — “‘Tis said that absence conquers Love.” In Philadelphia, he received great kindness from Mr. Carey, who was also “lame but a philosopher.” Thomas stated that most characters in “Clinton Bradshaw” were drawn from persons living in Baltimore. There, he was an 18.10 Presidential delegate, and afterwards met Poe in Philadelphia. He was told that Thomas’ present work was a word on events of the day with many scenes “laid in Washington” City.

Some wag, cloaked with John M. McJilton's pen-name, “Timotheus Whackemwell,” sent Poe, Aug. 11, [page 676:] 1841, a cryptographic puzzle. Its translation was “This specimen of secret writing is sent for your explanation. If you succeed in divining its meaning I will believe that you are some kin to Old Nick.” The solution and all pertaining to this episode appeared in Graham's October, 1841, issue.

Poe, thinking the first edition of “The Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” was exhausted, and wishing to issue another, to include his “eight later pieces” with “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” etc. — wrote Lea & Blanchard, Aug. 13, 1841, concerning a new venture of the entire collection of thirty-three tales to make “two thick volumes.” He stated, if they would bring out the book, he would be glad to accept the terms they allowed him before. They were to receive all profits, and allow author twenty copies for friends. To Poe's request for an early reply, it came as promptly as it was disheartening. Condensed, it was:

In answer we very much regret to say that the state of affairs is such as to give little encouragement to new undertakings. As yet we have not got through the edition of the other work & ... it has not returned to us the expense of its publication. We ... regret this on your account as well as our own, as it would give us great pleasure to promote your views in relation to publication. We are

Very Resp. Your Obt. St.,


Poe passed through this August chill until the 30th, when he was advised by Thomas that his being indisposed delayed his writing; that he found Kennedy willing to aid. Thomas had also spoken of Poe to [page 677:] the sons of the President. He was then much perplexed with conflicting parties; when quieted the President would be seen personally by writer, who added “Your crytography makes quite a talk here — quite a demand for ... August number containing it ... enclosed secret writing, in figures, is from [Mr. Young,] Chief Clerk of the Treasury ... handed ... to me with the remark, that you could not make the remotest guess of what it meant. Of that I am satisfied — for the idea is ... foreign to the plan you discuss, ... but ... you have no idea of the talk it makes here. ... Poe, I have a song ... set to a very pretty tune, by a gentleman here. I would like, ... it published, ... Can you manage it for me? My song of ‘Absence’ sold ... well and I think this would sell as well.”

Besides cryptographic interests August Graham's gave from Poe “The Colloquy of Monos and Una.” Its motto, from Sophocles’ “Antigone,” was “These things are in the near future.” It was one of many attempts dominating Poe to bridge over psychological issues to the vast unknown. But secrets of the spirit land escaped this master's touch for mortal problems’ clear reading. Professor Woodberry notes this article as Poe's first “expression of dissatisfaction with modern• institutions.” Among the reviews of this August issue was L. A. Wilmer's “Quacks of Helicon.” Simple justice to Poe suggests reading “Quacks of Helicon” prior to his “Review” of it. A few points from Thomas O. Mabbott's courtesy copy of Wilmer's effort turn light upon the true meanings of several much bequoted phrases from Poe's “Review.” Mr. [page 678:] Mabbott, with accuracy, notes that Wilmer paid very definite attention to Morris, Willis, Bryant and Longfellow among a lot of nonentities loosely anchored on the shoals of literature. Theodore S. Fay, of the New York Mirror, and his “Norman Leslie” followers were flayed by both Poe and Wilmer. But by the latter General George P. Morris is haled to book in, —

“Behold that charlatan of letters, crown’d

With double laurels, helmeted and gown’d.”

N. P. Willis’ blight is followed by, —

.....   ... mental impotence appear’d

In every stanza, sentence, line and word.”

Bryant escaped with, —

“Were thy ambition only to excel

in writing little and that little well, —

.....   ...

A glorious poet, first in rank to stand —

.....   ...

O sad superlative, Heaven help the rest!

What must THEY be if Bryant is the best?”

From Wilmer's attack on Longfellow comes, —

“In midnight shades the sons of Satan speed

To perpetuate each execrable deed,

Murder or theft, and he of whom we write

Doth both beneath the shadow of the Night” —

“which alluded to ‘Voices of the Night,’ ” noted Mr. Mabbott. Concerning Wilmer's “Preferment,” he warns “ladies not to look upon its pages.” Of “The Quacks,” Poe added: “We are ... sure ... the [page 679:] gross obscenity ... which disgraces ... ‘Quacks of Helicon’ cannot be ... innate impurity in the mind of the writer.” Poe was violently opposed to any form of vulgarity. Of this satire on writers of that day Poe noted further: “in the universal corruption and rigmarole amid which we gasp for breath it is really a pleasant thing to get even one accidental whiff of unadulterated air of truth. ... For this reason, ... it is the truth, do we say to him from the bottom of our hearts, God speed!” But Poe reminded Wilmer, there were exceptional editors and “a few poets” among us. With disciplinary force, Poe added: “Mr. Bryant is not all a fool, Mr. Willis is not quite an ass, Mr. Longfellow will steal, but perhaps he cannot help it ... and then it must not be denied that nil tetiget quod non ornarit.” He touched nothing without ornamenting it. Thus Poe placed a nimbus of golden light about Longfellow which spiritualized his various and admitted borrowings, and elsewhere noted him as “entitled to the first place among the poets of America.” Also came from Poe: “‘A Sonnet to Dante’ by Longfellow has the magnificent beginning, —

‘Tuscan that wanderest through the realms of gloom,

With thoughtful pace, and majestic eyes,

Stern thoughts and awful from thy soul arise,

Like Farinata from his fiery tomb.’ ”

A Poe touch was added, notes Thomas O. Mabbott.(36) in, “The ‘Like’ in fourth line should have been ‘As.’ ”

At Philadelphia, in September, 1841, Poe wrote Thomas(37) that further data of his life was asked for [page 680:] soon, by Dr. Griswold, whose volume was in press. Poe inquired how Dow succeeded with his Alexandria, Va., paper. Of himself Poe wrote: “I am jogging on in the same old way, and will probably remain with Graham, even if I start the ‘Penn’ in January. Our success (Graham's, I mean) is astonishing — we shall print 20,000 shortly. When he bought Burton out. ... joint circulation was only 5000. I have some excellent offers respecting the ‘Penn’ — it is more than probable ... it will go on.”

Poe's August work for September, 1841, Graham's appeared in “Never Bet the Devil your Head,” named a satire-skit on “Moral Mongers.” From Thomas Ollive Mabbott comes: “Some of Poe's humorous tales are unsurpassed, especially that gem ‘ Never Bet the Devil your Head!’ which has more of Poe in it than almost any other tale. His hatred of quackery, injustice and other evils is brought out with greatest skill.”

Graham's Magazine started in January, 1841, with Poe's estimate of Burton's 3500, and The Casket's 1500, which together made 5000 subscribers. Another record is, 8000. Poe's Penn list was said to be about 1000; and his ceaseless letter-quests may have made up the balance of that 8000 record. Poe's hand appeared in the February, 1841, issue; his editorial services began with Graham's for April. Subscriptions the following July rose to 1700 — in three months. With this fact in mind, and evidently no definite mention made by its owner of his verbal agreement to Poe or his fractional interest in Graham's Magazine nor their joint issue of Penn Magazine, no doubt led Poe, Sept. [page 681:] 19, 1841, to write Dr. Snodgrass, at Baltimore, such details as: writer had no quarrel with the Dial; Knickerbocker was bought by Otis Broaders & Company, of Boston, and edited by the brother of W. Gaylord Clark. Poe thanked Dr. Snodgrass for his attention to the Kennedy matter; noted something “may turn up” of special import, and added: “It is not impossible that Graham will join me in the ‘Penn.’ He has money.” Poe's prior statement strongly indicates Graham's knowledge of his editor still clinging to a magazine proprietary interest; and failing on scores of both Graham's and the Penn, Poe felt himself free — having done his part for Mr. Graham's interest — to follow his own satisfaction for proprietary interest elsewhere, therefore he added: “By the way, is it impossible to start a first-class Mag: in Baltimore? Is there no publisher or gentleman of moderate capital who would join me in this scheme? — publishing the work in the City of Monuments?”

Sept. 22nd, Thomas wrote Poe: “I saw in a St. Louis paper ... Graham's was going ahead ... and extending its circulation noticed with high praise upon its editor. ... Robert Tyler and I speak frequently of you. I think the President and family have kindly feeling for me ... I have ... an invitation to dinner there today.” Next day Thomas added: “By the way, Robert Tyler, one of the President's sons, is a poet — I have seen the MS. of ‘Ahasuerus’ — think he will make a hit.”

Oct. 19, 1841, Park Benjamin, of the New World, New York, wrote Graham: “I thank Mr. Poe heartily for his just notice as regards ‘Ansan.’ ” It appears [page 682:] of striking import that broad-minded writers on all scores, such as Longfellow, Holmes and Benjamin — however much criticised — bore glowing contrast to the smaller minded of Poe's critics at all times.

Thomas Ollive Mabbott believes that Benjamin's poor penmanship distorted his lines on “The Last Leap of Uncas” into briefed wrong reading as “Ansan,” for Benjamin's “Uncas” did not appear until the August, 1842, number of Graham's, after Editor-critic Poe's prior May resignation.

It appears that an answer to Poe's Prospectus letter, for Graham's, to N. P. Willis — who later proved so true a friend to its writer — concerning contributions, was not received until Nov. 30, 1841. At Glenmary, N. Y., Willis replied that a year's contract until 1842, with Mr. Godey for prose, prevented sending such to Graham's, but with former's consent the writer would be happy to send poetry, and presumed from the handsome notice of Graham's in The Lady's Book, that Godey and Graham were the best of friends. Willis noted Godey as very liberal, and added, that he was sorry enough to refuse so good a writer as Poe and to a magazine as good as Graham's, but stated: “I am in a tight place.” Willis closed with: “Did you ever send me the magazine containing my autographs?” Thus, on Willis’ part, began his later firm friendship for Poe.

August, 1845, Graham's brought to print J. C. Neal's sketch of Dr. John Kearsley Mitchell, father of the noted nerve specialist and writer, the late Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, Philadelphia. Dr. John K. Mitchell was born at Shepherdstown, Va., May, 1778; he was [page 683:] sent to Ayr, Scotland, 1807; thence to Edinburgh College. He returned to America in 1819; made three voyages to China. Besides scientific works, he wrote on China; also songs and a volume of poems. He was professionally associated with the Pennsylvania Hospital and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. Personally, Dr. Mitchell was tall, muscular, robust. His conversation was of unusual grace, fluency and brilliance; few men are gifted with more ready wit and [page 684:] pleasant repartee. Some records brought Dr. J. K. Mitchell into professional and friendly care of Poe and his invalid wife about this time. No doubt Poe caught his idea of China, of which the May 15, 1910 Pittburg Leader states: “It seems Poe's pet idea was that everything had been tried out in China centuries ago,” came from Brantz Mayer of Baltimore, and Dr. Mitchell, Poe may have heard from them of the Chinese poem “The Raven, or the Bird of Fate,” written over two thousand years ago, and translated in the early 1890's by Dr. Martin, and perhaps it suggested to Poe his title for “The Raven.” But to Dr. Mitchell Poe's case, nervous congestion and his personality were a double study of intense interest. Dr. Mitchell's grandson, Langdon Mitchell, Esq., author and playwright, writes of his father, S. Weir Mitchell, as having said that Poe came around occasionally to borrow something froth his physician, which “borrowings were never returned. Why should they have been? The poet who pays his debts — oh, well, all I can say is, God pity him! I hope you will say America of that time must have been one long hell for any man to live in ... excepting Andrew Jackson.” Poe's Dr. Mitchell then lived at 288 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The house was “on the southwest corner of 11th and Walnut Streets,” as located by Mr. Joseph Jackson. At Poe's more modest home and that of his physician these two gifted men doubtlessly had many a congenial talk on old Ayrshire, Scotland, that both knew so well — and many other topics, including the frail health of the poet, also his patient and still more frail young wife. [page 685:]

Because some of Poe's autography sketches were curtly caustic — more forceful in a wider field — they grew, for their writer, an uncomely crop of a few new enemies. Yet on Nov. 1o, 1841, Thomas wrote his friend: “You, my dear Poe, have a very high reputation here among the literati.” Graham's Nov. 27, 1841, Saturday Evening Post printed Poe's “Three Sundays in a Week (A succession of Sundays),” in which is related how a youthful genius wins his fine-hearted old curmudgeon uncle's consent to this grand-nephew's “marriage with Kate.” It is said the climax of “Around the World in Eighty Days,” by Jules Verne, came from Poe's “Three Sundays in a Week.” Graham's for December, 1841, gave the second section of Poe's“Autography” papers; also added Mrs. E. C. Embury and Mrs. Ann S. Stephens to its editorial phalanx of George R. Graham, Charles F. Peterson and Edgar Allan Poe. In this number Poe stated: “Our success has been almost incredible. ... We began the year almost unknown; ... we close it with 25,000 subscribers.” Few will dispute that the weight of this favor grew by virtue of Poe's genius, and for all this he had scarcely more than the bare comforts of life; but both items, added editors and financial success, probably snuffed out any lingering hopes cherished by Poe for proprietary interest in Graham's Magazine, or for its owner's aid to The Penn. But whatever of Poe's uncertain service — on any account — his returns from Graham's and through the many contributors he gained for it, were in pitiful contrast to its owner's fine Philadelphia home, “spanking team” of horses and carriage; also in all that he [page 686:] touched “turning to gold.” This was the popular belief of Graham at that time.

The January, 1842, Graham's gave Poe's last “Autograph” paper, and because his “Eleonora” appeared in The Gift annual for that year indicates, at least, Poe had been forced to some thinking of a change. “Eleonora,” all in all, seemed to give an exquisite reflex of the poet's personality in his earliest, happy wedded life at Richmond with the fair Eleonora of one of his fairest dreams.

Dec. 1,1841, Poe's Jackson, Tennessee, friend wrote:

I have a communication from “Boz ” — perfectly unique in construction — so full of beautiful thoughts. He sent it as a token of remembrance ... most sacredly I preserve it. As he is about visiting this country, I concluded to suffer some of his bright thoughts ... to meet him on its threshold. This original will be sent you in time for February Graham's. If you see Boz, give him my thanks, and for your notice of me in the last magazine reserve for yourself the warmest prayer of an honest heart for your happiness. Ever yours truly,


Preceded by Poe's editorial note of double courtesy to Mr. Tomlin and Charles Dickens, this “Boz” letter was located by Mrs. J. E. Fitzpatrick, Boston, in Graham's Magazine for February, 1842.

Poe's “Omniana,” in January, 1842, Graham's, included ideas on book illustration; notes on Heber, Walpole and Sir Christopher North with others; also a review of “The Vicar of Wakefield,” voted “one of the most admirable fictions in the language.” Of the author, Poe noted that Dr. John Aikin's “British [page 687:] Poets” supplied all that need be known of Oliver Goldsmith. Keen interests of Dr. Aikin occur in later narrative dates. Graham's for February gave Poe's new and most favorable review of “Barnably [[Barnaby]] Rudge,” and in striking contrast was the reviewer's caustic critique of Cornelius Mathew's poem “Wakondah The Master of Life.” Poe regretted to find it straying from the Arcturus’ editorial protection courteously observed by editors against critical attacks. But at this date — and Godey's November, 1845, issue — Poe “grieved” to “speak ill” of the poetical talent “of an editor of one of the very best journals in the country.” But “positive duty” goaded him into distinctly stating that “‘Wakondah,’ from beginning to end, is trash,” — with “trivial exceptions.” Poe continued with a lecture on literary anatomy with an expert's skill. It won gracious acceptance by Mr. Mathews, of this adverse review; and later fine, kindly attentions to his reviewer had their usual effect on Poe, resulting in a letter of apology — noted in later order of its date.

For some time Poe's shadows of woe had been creeping with a stealthy pace towards his household and in ways explained by his letter(38) of Feb. 3, 1842, to his friend F. W. Thomas. In it appeared: “My dear little wife has been dangerously ill ... a fortnight since, [about Jan. 20] in singing, she ruptured a blood-vessel ... only yesterday physicians gave me hope of her recovery.” Dr. John K. Mitchell attended Virginia. In prior November Graham's, Poe's “Autography noted Dr. Mitchell as writer of popular “songs ... set to music. He has ... given to the world a volume [page 688:] of poems, ... the longest was remarkable for an old-fashioned polish and vigor of versification.” Poe's letter continued: “ ... imagine the agony I suffered. You know how devotedly I love her, ... today the prospect brightens. I seize the first moment of hope and relief to reply to your kind words. You ask how I come on with Graham? Will you believe it, Thomas? One morning subsequent to the accident I called upon him, being entirely out of his debt, and asked an advance of two months’ salary — when he not only flatly but discourteously refused. Now that man knows I have rendered him most important services — the fact is rung in his ears by every second person who visits the office — and comments by the press are too obvious to be misunderstood.” That conscience did disturb Mr. Graham, on some scores, seems sure from a letter written to Mrs. Osgood, January, 1843, after he lost the editor whose mental force standardized his magazine. In this letter was: “I sometimes wish ... I had gone on quietly in my little law office, using my pen modestly as a writer for a few more years, instead of embarking on the stormy sea of publication, — heart and — I sometimes fear soul ... I do not think I would have made much more — as a lawyer or — writer — certainly not as both, for I had the happy faculty of shoving off responsibilities of the one on to the shoulders of the other.” It was this “shoving off” of responsibilities that duly wrecked Mr. Graham's fine prospects and health. Poe continued: “The project of the new Magazine still occupies my thoughts. If I live, I will accomplish it in triumph. ... If instead of a paltry salary, Graham had given me a tenth of [page 689:] his magazine, I should feel myself a rich man today. When he bought out Burton, the joint circulation was 4500 — We printed Feb. No. last, 40,000.” Godey's “absolute circulation is about 20,000. Godey has surpassed Graham in externals of a good magazine. ... I fear I am getting sadly egotistical. I would not speak so plainly to any other than yourself. The autograph articles have had a great run — have done wonders for the journal. I was weak enough ... to modify many in praise. In the case of Conrad — and he insisted on my speaking well of Holden and Peterson — it seems the error has been made to count against my critical impartiality. Let no man accuse me of leniency again. ... I do not believe Ingraham stole ‘Lafitte.’ Benjamin does not write the political papers in the ‘New World’ — I cannot like that man, although I wish to — he made some advances of late. Did you read my review of ‘Barnaby Rudge’ in Feb. No.? ... I was right about the plot — you believed I would find myself mistaken. You are personally acquainted with Robert Tyler, author of ’ Ahasuerus.’ In this poem are many evidences of power — might it not be possible that he might be induced to feel some interest in my scheme — open or secret? The Magazine might be made to play an important part in the politics of the day, like Blackwood. Remember me kindly to Dow.”

Feb. 6, 1842, Poe heard from Thomas, who made various suggestions as to his desire to serve Poe for a “magazine on your own hook”; urged fractional interest in any claiming his editorial energies, and deplored salary efforts for permanent success. Thomas noted that Robert Tyler would serve by his pen but [page 690:] could not otherwise; he was gratified with the opinion of his “Ahasuerus,” given by Poe, valued it “more than any other critic's in the country” (Poe's notice of Thomas was voted “a handsome one”); he mentioned Dickens’ works, and added: “It gave me sincere sorrow to hear of the illness of your ‘dear little wife’ ” — and hoped she had “entirely recovered.” Thomas sent his regards to her and her mother; noted Dow as “well,” and at the “theatre last night”; also that “White, of the ‘Messenger,’ is here, ... called ... yesterday. He has been very ill. What kind of a chap is he?” Thomas concluded: “Poe, I long to see you.” It seems Mr. White's health was seriously breaking, as in September, 1842, he was stricken with paralysis at the Astor House, New York, but lingered until Jan. 19, 1843, when he passed away at Richmond, Va., in the fifty-fifth year of his age.

To Graham's for March, 1842, Poe gave various analytical notices concerning Longfellow, Lever, Lord Broughton and others. In the April number Longfellow's “Ballads” came under Poe's technical treatment, which claimed “Beauty only, should be the theme of Art,” and the purpose of Poetry was the “Rhythmical creation of Beauty.” Through beauty of perfection on all lines was Poe's “most direct path of ascension to the Divine,” writes Edwin Markham. And from Mr. Whitty(39) comes: “John Mackinnon Robertson's ‘New Essay Toward a Critical Method’ charged Poe with filching ‘Rhythmical creation of Beauty,’ phrase defining ‘Poetry’ — from the Preface of Dr. Griswold's ‘Poets and Poetry of America.’ In the Saturday Museum — dated 1842 — Poe directly states, this [page 691:] 1842 criticism of Longfellow, in April Graham's, furnished this definition used by Dr. Griswold; also, that the 1842 Review of Tennyson (charged to Poe) was written by Dr. Griswold. His ‘Poets and Poetry of America’ was advertised, April, 1842; it was mentioned for review in May, and reviewed in June. Poe could not have seen its preface in time for his March writing of the Longfellow review for the April number of Graham's.”

In April Graham's appeared Poe's “Life in Death,” later entitled “The Oval Portrait,” which was noted as “after the manner of Hoffmann.” Miss Julia Sully, of Richmond, Va., writes: “Poe's inspiration for this story came from an oval portrait — two-thirds life size — of a young girl with a blue ribbon, on which was a locket, around her bare neck and the locket was held in her hand.” This painting was by Robert M. Sully, the devoted life-long friend of Poe and grandfather of Miss Julia Sully. Poe's psychological touch of this story's artist — hero appears in: “And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him.” An English record of Poe and this story is: “The opening of his stories is commonly perfect. Another writer would take five pages to explain what Poe has touched off in five lines of ‘The Oval Portrait.’ ” R. M. Sully's painting of this subject was seen in a New York City antique shop on Fourth Avenue, but disappeared from there three years ago.

By several scholarly critics, whose rich, private libraries would have proved a bookman's paradise to [page 692:] Poe, whose poverty shelved his books in his head, he has been charged with some loose use of excerpts from several authors, with special reference to Joseph Glanvill, for the motto of “A Descent into the Maelstrom.” On page 15 of “Essays on Several Important Subjects in Philosophy and Religion,” Joseph Glanvill, London, 1676, appears his original text. It reads: “The ways of God in Nature (as in Providence) are not as ours are: Nor are the Models that we frame anyway commensurate to the vastness and profundity of his Works; which have a Depth in them greater than the Well of Democritus.” Poe's form of this expression is: “The ways of God in Nature, as in Providence, are not our ways; nor are the models that we frame in any way commensurate to the vastness, profundity and unsearchableness of His works, which have a depth in them greater than the well of Democritus.” By comparison Poe's form seems no injustice to Glanvill's; perhaps dips the balance in Poe's favor. Graham's for May, 1842, gave the poet's extravaganza of scenic color effects in “The Mask of the Red Death, A Fantasy,” graphically so named by its writer, who compared his dancers to dreams; and truly he was master-craftsman of such cult. In this May Graham's also appeared Poe's review of highest praise for “Twice Told Tales” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, then a comparatively unknown writer. Poe noted: “The style of Mr. Hawthorne is purity itself. ... His originality ... is remarkable.” His “‘Tales’ belong to the highest region of Art ... subservient to genius of a very lofty order. ... As Americans, we should feel proud of the book,” Because [page 693:] Poe suggested that some ideas in his “William Wilson” could be found in “Howe's Masquerade,” by Hawthorne, Mr. T. Ollive Mabbott writes, “might be the reason for the Feb., 1843, Pioneer print — but in no other — of Hawthorne's ‘Hall of Fantasy’ record, that ‘ Mr, Poe had gained ready admittance for the sake of his imagination, but was threatened with ejectment, as belonging to the obnoxious class of critics.’ I think it was not meant to be unkindly to Poe, only that personal comments were stale. In revising this tale Hawthorne cut out this and other contemporary allusions.”

With March, 1842, date Graham's Magazine circulation had reached 40,000. But neither its owner's liberal consideration of contributors — including, to some measure, Poe as such — nor the vitalizing energies or intellectual force of its talented young editor, advanced his financial interest or literary freedom in Graham's, or for The Penn, which had been given up for promised but unobtained considerations already named. After so much hard work and lost time on both scores, a double failure was disheartening. To this weariness of mind and body was added the shock of his wife's sudden illness; which invalidism ended only with her life, January, 1847. Just where Poe, his wife and their mother were living in January, 1842, is not definitely known. As already stated, their earliest roofage in Philadelphia was with their friends Mr. James Pedder and sisters, who — in 1839 and prior — lived on 12th Street, above Mulberry, now Arch Street. Later Poe and family boarded on Arch Street, which place they left Sept. 4, [page 694:] 1838, “for a small house,” perhaps their 16th Street and Locust location. The next items of their family life were noted by Poe to his distant cousin William Poe, of Augusta, Ga., by “Mrs. Clemm being ill“prior to date August, 1840 — and leaving writer and Virginia to care for each other, while she went to New Jersey on a six weeks’ visit, but at the time of this writing she was well. Poe's extra — pay work, during his salary time from Graham's, must have kept his family of three in more comfort perhaps than they ever elsewhere enjoyed; for Miss Amanda B. Harris noted (Hearth and Home, Jan. 9, 1875), of their best Philadelphia era, that “Virginia hardly looked more than fourteen, fair, soft, graceful and girlish,” and that every one “was won by her.” Poe was “very proud and very fond of her” — delighted in the round childlike face and plump little figure, contrasted with himself, “so tall, thin and half melancholy looking; and she, in turn, idolized him. She had a voice of wonderful sweetness, and was an exquisite singer”; and, in some of their most prosperous days, “when living in a pretty rose-covered cottage on the outskirts of Philadelphia, she had her harp and piano.” Another record is that this name, “rose-covered cottage,” was given to Poe's Spring Garden, north 7th Street home, because Mrs. Clemm trained climbing rose-plants over all its porch-entrance. But wherever they lived, in their modest way they entertained their relatives and friends now and then. Henry Beck Hirst (introduced to Poe by Dr. Thomas Dunn English), who later wrote Poe's Life Sketch, would come, during these early Philadelphia clays, for Sunday morning [page 695:] breakfast with him and family; then the two men would spend the day in country strolls. Hirst knew and loved birds and was their poet-singer of his time; his work on them, “A Book of Cage Birds,” was in its writing, at this time, for 1842 printing. He and Poe being intense lovers of nature, no doubt made these woodland jaunts mutually delightful. Henry Beck Hirst, author of a “Poetical Dictionary,” “Endymion,” “The Penance of Roland,” “quite pretentious,” notes Mr. Joseph Jackson, — and other poems aside [page 696:] from his prose, “A Book of Cage Birds,” was born in Philadelphia, Aug. 23, 1813. He studied law from eight to eighteen; passed into mercantile life and incidentally contributed poems to Graham's, and other print issues. To brilliant, erratic Henry Hirst more fittingly applied the words Peterson wrote of Poe — that he “was a splendid fellow but as unstable as water.” Hirst's verse-writing has been dated from 1839, about the time Dr. Thomas Dunn English introduced him to Poe, in whom Hirst found a master of literary craft and friendly aid on such lines, while he, in turn, undoubtedly steered Poe safely through legal narrows in his later straits with Burton. It has been said Hirst seriously stated that he wrote “The Raven,” but his life data — up to 1849 inclusive — in his own handwriting, sent to Dr. R. W. Griswold, makes no mention whatever of this claim, yet calls attention to all his works; also to his romantic marriage in 1849 to Miss Cornelia Restey, whom he saved from drowning. Thomas Ollive Mabbott located a Philadelphia defense of Poe in the Oct. loth, 1849, Saturday Courier. This “Reminiscences of Edgar A. Poe,” signed “H. B. H” — by Hirst — was promptly written, and printed eleven days after Dr. Griswold's New York Tribune, Oct 9th, 1849, article on Poe signed “Ludwig.” In Mr. Mabbott's excerpts from Hirst's “Reminiscences” of Poe is: “We saw him thrice or twice a day for two years. We sat, night by night, a welcome guest at his often meagre table, but, when fortune smiled on him, his well-filled board. In all that time, in all our acquaintance, we never heard him express one single word of personal ill-feeling [page 697:] against any man, not even in his blackest hours of poverty. His criticisms of individuals, and they were nervous enough, referred only to their literary merits, and he was always right. Unamiable he was not; he was otherwise to a fault, and always ready to forget and forgive.” Mr. Mabbott concludes of Hirst's Poe-defense: “There was absolutely no claim to writing ‘The Raven.’ ” Probably the nearest Hirst's pen ever touched “The Raven” was in his ode “To a Ruined Fountain,” Mr. Mabbott notes, “in September, 1842, Snowden's Lady's Companion. The poem is, in great measure, ‘The Haunted Palace’ diluted. Stanza II, — italics are mine — reads:

‘On its basin's sides are graven

Forms of chiefs and maidens bright,

Whom the never dying raven

Hath forgotten, nameless even

In the poet's lay of might.

And wild groups of Bacchants glowing

Neath the waters o‘er them flowing.’ ”

Mr. Mabbott adds: “Hirst sometimes wrote poetry of a high grade.”

But aside from the strong Poe-glow over these lines — indicating Hirst “an apt pupil” — of much more importance seems this September, 1842, print reference to “the never dying raven ... In the poet's lay of might,” made then by Hirst when so close an associate of Poe. This knowing reference affirms the family Barhyte's statements that “The Raven” was in writing the prior summer of 1842, as of later noting. But to Hirst's presence in Poe's home were added Virginia's little parties, which at times included Eliza [page 698:] White, of Richmond, and their Baltimore cousin, Mrs. James (Mary Estelle Herring) Warden, daughter of Mr. Herring's second wife, as house guests. To the latter were given a tiny wine glass and a wee bit of a scent bottle that Mary Estelle — they called “Cousin” — ever treasured and left to her daughter, Miss Ella L. Warden. By her kindness, not only pictures of these gifts, but one of locks of hair of the poet and his Virginia, appear in these pages. From Professor Woodberry comes, that Mr. Herring and his daughter — then a widow — went to live in Philadelphia in 1840 or ‘41. She met Mrs. Clemm on Chestnut Street, when “for the first time she knew the Poe's were living in Philadelphia.” After that she went frequently to see them. Baltimore Mary was also a visitor of these few prosperous Philadelphia days when Virgina had her harp and piano, which luxuries later disappeared. Miss [page 699:] Harris added: “It was during” one of their little home parties, near mid-January, 1842, that one evening, while singing to her harp music, Virginia ruptured a blood-vessel, and “after that she suffered a hundred deaths.” She could not bear the slightest exposure, needed the utmost care; and all conveniences important to an invalid were almost a matter of life and death to her. And yet, the room where she lay for weeks, hardly able to breathe except as she was fanned, was a little place with its ceiling so low that her head almost touched it. “But no one dared to speak. — Mr. Poe was so sensitive and irritable‘ quick as steel and flint,’ said one who knew him in those days. And he would not allow a word about the danger of her dying; — the mention of it drove him wild. ... Still he was a perfect gentleman, as all [page 700:] those brought into relations with the family agree. No one could fail to see that, — considerate, delicate and courteous but lamentably wanting in self-control. A single glass of wine would affect him at once.” Keenly he felt privation with a double edge in touching those nearest and dearest on earth to him; and he, at times, half-distracted with worrying over it, would steal out of the house at night, “wander about the streets for hours; proud, heart-sick, despairing, not knowing which way to turn or what to do, while Mrs. Clemm would endure this anxiety at home as long as she could, then start off in search of him.” So lived the three, clinging to each other in the tender bonds of love and sorrow, when his Eleonora's couch of suffering became the center of Poe's secluded home. At times, during this period, they were reduced almost to starvation, having nothing but bread and molasses, and that in no great supply, for days at a time.

Truly his talented editor's diet of “bread and molasses,” in spare quantity, offered a glaring contrast to Graham's “open house, and well-spread table” of his Buttonwood Street home of this time, when he was moved to refuse Poe's request for two months’ salary in advance. Surely Poe's financial worth to Graham's Magazine should have secured investigation, at least, of conditions creating this request. It appears there was a society of Philadelphia ladies — of whom, perhaps, that sweet, long-suffering soul Mrs. Graham was one — for helping, in a delicate way by leaving things at their homes, those whom common charity could not reach. It is of record that Mrs. Clemm applied to these ladies. Yet so proud and sensitive was this little [page 701:] family that it was almost impossible to aid them, even when suffering for actual necessities of life. These were the conditions that bore down on Poe's already strained nervous force when that did most to lift Graham's circulation from the January 17,000, to March, 1842, 40,000 subscribers, The Magazine itself noted these figures and dates. That Graham was especially voted “a warm and useful friend of Poe,” is of curiously mixed meanings. But Graham had a conscience, and that fiery cross, remorse, makes some men wondrous kind at times, where they otherwise fail to be simply just. With moving persistency the query comes as to what Graham, or his coming invited editor, Dr. R W. Griswold, would have accomplished on the slender commons of scanty “bread and molasses”

Dr. Ellis P. Oberholtzer, Philadelphia, notes: “Poe's Philadelphia benefactors were principally Godey and Graham. Both were prosperous, amiable and generous.” The wish to know how Graham favored Poe, led Dr. Oberholtzer to seek Mrs. Katherine Burgin,a cousin of both Mr. and Mrs. Graham, and “a gentlewoman of 85 years,” whose face and form reminded her visitor of “some of the shapes in Sully's beautiful portraits. She moved as a girl among the people whom that artist bequeathed to us on canvas.” And, as a girl, Mrs. Burgin went to school near the Grahams’ Buttonwood Street, Spring Garden home. She went and came freely then, and when they moved, in 1843, to Arch Street, just above Sixth. Of Graham, Lowell in 1845 wrote: “Ile has grown fat, an evidence of success. He lives in one of the finest houses on Arch Street, and keeps his carriage.” This he no doubt [page 702:] kept when living on Buttonwood Street, as there are records of “Graham taking Poe and Virginia to drive behind his spanking team of horses.” Concerning [page 703:] Graham's Arch Street home Dr. Oberholtzer was told that their next-door neighbor, Elijah Van Syckel, was a Second Street wine merchant, and a doorway was broken in the second-story wall between the houses to give free passage to their inmates at all hours. There, and at the prior home, Graham's was an “open house.” A “well spread table with wine that flowed at command of the generous host” marked these homes. “Indeed its flow was too free” for the good of some of both houses, Poe's welfare included. Into Graham's home came Poe, as did Thomas Sully, the artist; Robt. M. Bird, author of “Nick of the Woods”; Judge Conrad, poet and playwright; R. W. Griswold; Willis; Godey; Fanny Fern; Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, editor of The Lady's Book; Grace Greenwood; Neal, the humorist, and others of that day's note. Henry Clay, dining one day at Graham's, voted Mrs. Graham “the most beautiful woman he had seen in Philadelphia.” And truly this opinion is fully sustained by Sully's portrait of this lady of rare charm, and of whose portrait by print appears by courtesy of her niece, wife of Dr. Lyman P. Powell, President of Hobart College, Geneva, N. Y. But Dr. Oberholtzer, recalling Mrs. Burgin to Poe, she continued: “Oh, yes, Poe tripped in airily with his mantle over his shoulder and he often remained overnight. Free with all he had, Graham gave the poor fellow ungrudgingly, especially when he was pressing him for a manuscript for an early number of the magazine.” (Italics are not in the original statements.) Thus Poe knowingly sold his birthright for the mess of potage, — but what else could he have done with only a “verbal agreement“! [page 704:] Mrs. Burgin added: “When Poe could not come, Mrs. Clemm would appear at the door to ask and receive. Mr. Graham's success, I think, was beyond his expectations. Sometimes he would bring his mail home. ‘ Come, Kathy,’ he would say to me, ‘come and see the money roll in.’ And together we would open the envelopes in which state bank notes were placed for subscriptions to the magazine. Sometimes he brought his manuscripts home too: I remember I read ‘The Gold-Bug’ while it was in Mr. Graham's hands” — for which he paid Poe $52, and later allowed its return (for other MS. to replace it) for the $100 prize it won from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, June 21-28, 1843, print issues. But it was written about the winter of 1842-43, when Poe's heart and mind were full of distracting troubles in his Spring Garden, North 7th Street, Philadelphia home.

When Dr. Oberholtzer said he never quite understood Mr. Graham's lock of success after his magazine failed in 1850, Mrs. Burgin replied: “But, it was intemperance. Mrs. Graham suffered in silence, like an old-fashioned woman. She was devotedly faithful, but we all knew why it was,” It seems curious that critics, so ready to score this as a failing, against Poe, never even whispered the fact as to Graham, whose money success perhaps guaranteed such escape. From Mr. Graham himself came: “Men were astonished at my success. A friend came in one day and said, ‘Graham, put your hand on that table.’ ‘What for?’ said I. ‘Why, because everything you touch turns to gold!’ ” Certainly to his contributors Graham was generous. He surprised Bayard Taylor by $25 for [page 705:] two single poems; gave Longfellow $150 for “The Spanish Student,” $50 for “the Village Blacksmith,” and, early in 1845, offered Lowell $150 for “The Legend of Brittany” — without copyright — and paid Poe $52 for “The Gold-Bug,” which won the Dollar Newspaper prize for $100, June, 1843. Charles Whibley(40) notes that Poe “was born out of time, out of place — bidden to live in an alien, hostile world, whence he recoiled in an impotent horror. His life was always a dream, often a nightmare; and, since he lived shut up in himself, he knew not envy, but merely contempt. How should he be envious of contemporaries whom he surpassed?” “On Graham's request to Cooper for ten naval stories, Cooper replied, ‘I can’t write for you — you can’t pay me enough.’ When Graham inquired how much was wanted for each story, Cooper's emphatic answer was: ‘One hundred dollars in advance.’ Instantly Graham wrote out a check for $1000, handed it to Cooper, and gave him $1800 for ‘Islets of the Gulf.’ ” This generosity to others, with Poe's forceful literary efficiency at $800 per year for from five to seven pages per month, and much editorial work, made Graham's Magazine a marvelous success in less than two years, and this was obtained when Poe left Graham, May, 1842. In Graham's Magazine of this issue was: “The connection of E. A. Poe, Esq., with this work, ceases with the May number. “Mr. Poe bears with him our warmest wishes for success in whatever he may undertake.” Edgar Allan Poe bore little else from his successful launching of Graham's Magazine upon the periodical waves of that time.


[[Section 5, part II]]






[S:0 - EAPTM, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. Poe: The Man (M. E. Phillips) (Section 05, Part 1)