Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Carey, Lea & Carey — July 28, 1829 (LTR-017)


Baltimore July 28th 1829.
Messrs Carey, Lea & Carey


Having made a better disposition of my poems than I had any right to expect, (inducing me to decline publication on my own account) I would thank you to return me the Mss: by >>the gentleman who hands you this<< — mail[.]

I should have been proud of having your firm for my publishers & would have preferred publishing, with your name, even at a disadvantage had my cicumstances [[circumstances]] admitted of so doing[.]

Perhaps, at some future day, I may have the honor of your press, which I most sincerely desire —

Mr Lea, during our short interview, at your store, mentioned “the Atlantic Souvenir” and spoke of my attempting something for that work[.] I know nothing which could give me greater pleasure than to see any of my productions in so becoming a dress & in such good society as “the Souvenir” would ensure them — notwithstanding the assertions of Mr Jno Neal to the contrary, who now & then hitting, thro’ sheer impudence, upon a correct judgement in matters of authorship, is most unenviably ridiculous whenever he touches [page 2] the fine arts —

As I am unacquainted with the method of proceeding in offering any piece for acceptance (having been sometime absent from this country) would you, Gentlemen, have the kindness to set me in the right way —

Nothing could give me greater pleasure than any communication from Messrs Carey Lea & Carey —

With the greatest respect & best wishes
I am Gentlemen Your most obt servt
Edgar A. Poe



According to a typed note, without date and of no clear origin (preserved in the J. H. Whitty papers at Duke University), the letter was owned until 1882 by Charles Megargee, who was involved in the Philadelphia printing trade as a manufacturer of paper. It was then inherited by a grandson who lived in just outside of Philadelphia in Germantown. The collection was kept as part of the contents of a trunk of letters, documents, old coins, etc. About 1912, the space occupied by the trunk became of greater interest than the trunk itself, or its contents, and most of them were burned in the furnance, except the Poe letter and two others by Washington Irving and John Marshall. The page giving this history is probably from a bookseller, and the story may be little more than a clever sales pitch. There was a Charles Megargee and he was a co-onwer of the Megargee Paper Mill, in Philadelphia.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to Carey, Lea & Carey (LTR017/RCL038)