Text: Edgar Allan Poe to John Allan — May 25, 1826 (LTR-003)


University.   May 1826

Dear Sir,

I this morning received the clothes you sent me, viz an [[sic]] uniform coat, six yards of striped cloth for pantaloons & four pair of socks — The coat is a beautiful one & fits me exactly — I thought it best not to write ‘till I received the clothes — or I should have written before this — You have heard no doubt of the disturbances in College — Soon after you left here the Grand Jury met and put the Students in a terrible fright — so much so that the lectures were unattended — and those whose names were upon the Sheriff's list — travelled off into the woods & mountains — taking their beds & provisions along with them — there were about 50 on the list — so you may suppose the College was very well thinn‘d — this was the first day of the fright — the second day, “A proclamation” was issued by the faculty forbidding “any student under pain of a major punishment to leave his dormitory between the hours of 8 & 10 A M — (at which time the Sheriffs would be about) or in any way to resist the lawful authority of the Sheriffs” — This order however was very little attended to — as the fear of the Faculty could not counterbalance that of the Grand Jury — most of the “indicted” ran off a second time into the woods and upon an examination the next morning by the Faculty — Some were reprimanded — some suspended — [page 2:] and one expelled — James Albert Clarke from Manchester (I went to school with him at Burke's) was suspended for two months, Armstead Carter from this neighbourhood, for the remainder of the session — And Thomas Barclay for ever — There have >>been<< several fights since you were here — One between Turner Dixon, and Blow from Norfolk excited more interest than any I have seen — for a common fight is so trifling an occurrence that no notice is taken of it — Blow got much the advantage in the scuffle — but Dixon posted him in very indecent terms — upon which the whole Norfolk party rose in arms — & nothing was talked off for a week, but Dixon's charge, & Blow's explanation — every pillar in the University was white with scratched paper — Dixon made <an> a physical attack upon Arthur Smith one of Blow's Norfolk friends — and a “very fine fellow” — he struck him with a large stone on one side of his head — whereupon Smith drew a pistol (which are all the fashion here) and had it not miss d’ [[sic]] fire, would have put an end to the controversy — but so it was — it did miss fire — and the matter has since been more peaceably settled — as the Proctor engaged a Magistrate to bind the whole forces on both sides — over to the peace — Give my love to Ma & Miss Nancy — & all my friends <— &>

I remain
Your's affectiona[tely]

Will you be so good as to send me a copy of the Historiæ of Tacitus — it is a small volume — also some more soap —



This letter is printed here with permission from the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. A photographic facsimile of this letter was published in Mary Newton Stanard, Edgar Allan Poe Letters Till Now Unpublished in the Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1925.


[S:0 - MS, 1826] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. Allan (LTR003/RCL007)