Edgar Allan Poe — “Eldorado”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Eldorado” — 1849, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02) (Based on a letter of October 8, 1877 from Annie Richmond to John H. Ingram, John Carl Miller states that Mrs. Richmond had a manuscript for Eldorado, and sent a copy to Ingram, although Ingram never reproduced the manuscipt as he did for other items that she sent to him. See Building Poe Biography, 1977, pp. 175 and 193. If there was such a manuscript, it is currently unlocated. A more likely explanation is that Miller has confused Mrs. Richmond's reference to sending the printed copy of the poem from the Flag of Our Union, where it was first published. Clearly, Poe made a fair copy manuscript to send to the Flag of Our Union for publication. That manuscript was presumably discarded after the poem was set in type, and there is no record of it having been retained.)
  • Text-02 — “Eldorado” — before April 21, 1849
    • Text-02a — “Eldorado” — before April 21, 1849 — (Speculated fair copy manuscript, prepared for and sent to the Flag of Our Union for publication. This manuscript does not appear to have survived, and was probably destroyed as part of the typesetting process. The text is presumably reflected in Text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “Eldorado” — April 21, 1849 — Flag of Our Union — (Mabbott text A) (based on Mrs. Richmond's letter of October 8, 1877 to J. H. Ingram, mentioned in the note to Text-01, she mailed her copy of the full issue or at least a clipping of the poem, presumably sent to her by Poe. There is no reason, however, to suspect that this copy was modified by Poe. The original printing was not generally known, nor recorded in any bibliography of Poe's works until a file of the Flag of Our Union for 1849 was discovered in the Library of Congress by George Parsons in 1909. It was first noted in a collected edition by J. H. Whitty, in 1911, where it was used as the copy text.)



  • Eldorado” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text-02, with the unfortunate removal of a single comma  (Mabbott text B)  (This is Mabbott's copy-text) (Griswold's source was presumably a copy of the text as printed in the Flag of Our Union, probably from a copy from Poe's own files, but without any markings by Poe himself. The difference of a single comma is presumably editorial.)
  • “Eldorado” — February 23, 1850 — Hartford Times (Hartford, CT)
  • Eldorado” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:31)
  • “El Dorado” — January 27, 1887 — Eldorado Democrat (Eldorado, KS), vol. VII, no. 12, p. 4, col. 4 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Eldorado” — October 20, 1905 — Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), vol. CXXXVII, no. 157, p. 7, across cols. 4-5 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” in a section with the title “Gems From the Poets,” and with an introductory note: “Poe's song was a true expression of himself and his world. Such was his sincerity that all his poems reflect his personal experiences, though in an idealized form. As a boy he had brilliant prospects, being the protege and pet of a wealthy citizen of Richmond, Va., and reasonably looked forward to a life of cultured leisure, with literature for his chief interest. Disappointed in regard to this, he struggled manfully to earn a living with his pen, and was often on the point of securing an assured success when a fresh mishap broke up all his patiently formed plans. The illness and early death of his girl-wife intensified the struggle of his later years against repeated disasters. The following poem, “Eldorado,” was doubtless suggeted by the Poet's sad experience, showing as it does how the confidence and cheerfulness of youth and early manhood are succeeeded, as the disappointments of life multiply, by discouragement and despair.”)
  • “Eldorado” — August 2, 1907 — Lincoln County News (Lincolnton, NC), vol. I, no. 60, p. 1, col. 4 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Eldorado” — March 19, 1909 — East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR), vol. 22, whole no. 6,537, p. 4, col. 1 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe)
  • “Eldorado” — May 4, 1918 — News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), vol. CVII, no. 124, p. 4, col. 5 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” and with the general heading of “A Poem for the Day.”)
  • “Eldorado” — October 19, 1918 — Fort Wayne News and Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN), (no volume or issue number), p. 7, cols. 6-7 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Eldorado” — December 22, 1919 — Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, CT), vol. XXVII, no. 193, p. 16, cols. 5-6 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe,” and with the general heading of “Favorite Poems.”)
  • “Eldorado” — January 16, 1921 — Macon Daily Telegraph (p. 6) (this item is noted by George Monteiro, “Fugitive Reprints,” E. A. Poe Review, Fall 2010, p. 162.)
  • “Eldorado” — February 24, 1938 — Hammond Times (Hammond, IN), vol. XXXII, no. 213, p. 4, col. 7 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” and with the general heading of “Poems that Live.”)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Eldorado” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman (Chicago: Stone and Kimball), 10:35 and 10:182  (Woodberry and Stedman were aware of no printing earlier than Griswold's)
  • Eldorado” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison (New York: T. Y. Crowell), 10:123 and 10:224
  • Eldorado” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.), p. 79 and p. 242
  • Eldorado” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 128-129, and pp. 286-287)
  • “Eldorado” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia), p. 117 and pp. 282-283
  • Eldorado” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), 1:461-465 (Mabbott uses the Griswold text, but only in the sense of reproducing the conventional use of quotation marks. Mabbott also includes the comma omitted by Griswold's typesetters in line 10.)
  • “Eldorado” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), p. 101 (reprints Text-02)
  • “Eldorado” — 2004 — The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. G. R. Thompson (New York: W. W. Norton & Co.), p. 74
  • “Eldorado” — 2015 — The Annotated Poe, ed. Kevin J. Hayes (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), pp. 390-392


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • Eldorado” — Comparative Text (FOU and WORKS)
  • Eldorado” — Comparative Text (FOU and WORKS) (with the use of quotation marks normalized)


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Eldorado” — 1862 — Contes inedts d‘Edgar Poe, Paris: J. Hetzel, p. 292 (French translation by William L. Hughes)
  • “El Dorado” — January 5, 1884 — Douglas Independent (Rosenburg, OR), vol. 8, no. 39, p. 2, col. 2 (printed as part of an advertisement for Eldorado Mineral Water, reprinted in issues through October 11, 1884. Poe is not mentioned by name, and the last line quoted is modified so that the narrator asks the shadow where the Eldorado spring is. The advertisement includes what is clearly another indirect reference: “Quoth the shadow: ‘For the beneif of suffering humanity I will state that the Eldorado spring is situated three miles west from Rosengurg [[Rosenburg]], and a supply of the water is kept constantly on hand and for sale by Dr. S. Hamilton, agent, Rosenburg, Oregon.’ ”)
  • “Santa Clause Goes Modern” — December 24, 1939 — Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, NM), vol. 59, no. 228, p. 16, across cols. 3-4 (a parody, by Allice Wilbur, although the Poe reference is not made overtly, other than the similarity of the initial lines)
  • “Eldorado” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)



  • Caputi, Anthony, “The Refrain in Poe's Poetry,” American Literature, May 1953, 25:169-178
  • Carlson, Eric, “Poe's ‘Eldorado’,” Modern Language Notes, March 1961, 76:232-233
  • Coad, O. S., “The Meaning of Poe's ‘Eldorado’,” Modern Language Notes, January 1944, 59:59-61
  • Eddings, W. Dennis, “Shadow and Substance in ‘Eldorado’,Masques, Mysteries, and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany, ed. Benjamin F. Fisher, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2006, pp. 17-23
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “The Sources of Poe's ‘Eldorado’,” Modern Language Notes, May 1945, 60:312-314
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Poe's ‘Eldorado’ Viewed as a Song,” Prairie Schooner, 1972, 46:228-235
  • Sanderlin, W. Stephan, “Poe's ‘Eldorado’ Again,” Modern Language Notes, March 1956, 71:189-192
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “The Importance of One Comma in ‘Eldorado’,” Edgar Allan Poe Review, Fall 2020 (forthcoming)


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Eldorado