Text: Edgar Allan Poe, promissory note to George P. Putnam - May 23, 1848


Received of George P. Putnam Fourteen Dollars money loaned, to be repaid out of the proceeds of the Copyright of my work entitled “Eureka, a Prose Poem”; and I hereby engage, in case the sales of said work do not cover the expenses, according to the account rendered by said Putnam in January 1849, to repay the said amount of Fourteen Dollars; and I also engage not to ask or apply for other loans or advances from said Putnam in any way, and to wait until January 1849 for the statement of account as above before making any demand whatever.

Edgar A. Poe.

New York May 23, 1848.


Maria Clemm

Marie Louis Shew



This original manuscript of this note is in the Koester Collection of the University of Texas at Austin. It was reproduced in facsimile in Roland W. Nelson, “Apparatus for a Definitive Edition of Poe's Eureka,” Studies in the American Renaissance: 1978, Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978, p. 168.

Although sales were clearly insufficient to warrant Poe's request for a much larger printing, it appears that Putnam made enough money to cover his expenses since there is no record of Poe having to repay this loan. In a letter of June 7, 1848 to Charles Astor Bristed, Poe adds a postscript: “Mr. Putnam has my book in press, but he could make no advance, beyond $14 — some weeks ago.”


[S:0 - MS, 1849 (photocopy)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - Mem for Philadelphia (manuscript notes)