To all to whom these presents shall come Know ye.
Whereas I the undersigned, Maria Clemm, am the sole owner and lawful possessor of the writings and Literary Remains of the late Edgar A. Poe.
And whereas it is desirable that his works both in prose & poetry should be published in connection in a uniform Edition. And whereas it was the express wish and injunction of the Author before his death that Dr. Rufus W. Griswold should compile and Edit the same in case of their publication.
Now therefore this Indenture witnesseth, that I have placed said Writings in the hands of the said Dr. R. W. Griswold for the purpose of such compilation, Editing and publication as aforesaid.
And I do hereby constitute and appoint him my true and lawful Attorney and agent to make such contract with a publisher or publishers and others, in my name, as may be necessary and as he may deem proper for the purpose of consummating in each and every particular the object aforesaid -- hereby ratifying all that he has done or may lawfully do in these premises.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of October one thousand eight hundred and forty nine.
Signed Sealed and delivered } Maria Clemm [[her signature]]
in presence of }
State of New York
City of Brooklyn Kings County Gr: On this 20th day of October 1849, personally appeared before me Mrs. Maria Clemm to me known to be the same individual described in and who executed the within Power of Attorney, and acknowledged the execution thereof by her for the uses and purposes therein expressed
S. D. Lewis
Commr. of Deeds
[A photographic facsimile of this handwritten contract is reproduced in "Quoth the Raven: An Exhibition of the Work of Edgar Allan Poe," The Yale University Library Gazette, vol. 33, no. 4, April 1959, facing p. 185. The text of the contract is printed by A. H. Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1941, p. 754.]
[Sylvanus D. Lewis was the husband of Poe's friend, Sarah [Estelle] Anna Lewis.]
[The chief problem with this document is the fact that Poe's legal heir should really have been his sister Rosalie, who was living in Richmond at the time. Mrs. Clemm was living with Edgar in Fordham, New York, at the time of his death on October 7, 1849. She had, therefore, many of his books and manuscripts in her possession, a fact of which she took full advantage.]
[S:0 - MS, fac, 1849 and Q]