Text: Edgar Allan Poe to John Allan — August 10, 1829 (LTR-019)


August 10th 1829.

Dear Pa,

I received yours this morning which releived [[sic]] me from more trouble than you can well imagine — I was afraid that you were offended & although I knew that I had done nothing to deserve your anger, I was in a most uncomfortable situation — without one cent of money — in a strange place & so quickly engaged in difficulties after the serious misfortunes which I have just escaped — My grandmother is extremely poor & ill (paralytic) [.] My aunt Maria if possible still worse & Henry entirely given up to drink & unable to help himself, much less me —

I am unwilling to appear obstinate as regards the substitute so will say nothing more concerning it — only remarking that they will no longer enlist men for the residue of anothers’ [[sic]] enlistment as formerly, consequently my substitute was enlisted for 5 years not 3 —

I stated in my last letter (to which I refer you) that Mr Eaton gave me strong hopes for Sepr at any <7> rate that the appt could be obtained for June next — I can obtain decent board [page 2:] lodging & washing with other expenses of mending &c for 5 & perhaps even for 4 1/2 $ per week —

If I obtain the appt by the last of Sepr the amt of expense would be at most $30 — If I should be unfortunate & not obtain it >>until June<< I will not desire you to allow as much as that per week because by engaging for a longer period at a cheap boarding house I can do with much less — say even 10 even 8$ pr month — any thing with which you think it possible to exist — I am <not> not <as> so anxious of obtaining money from your good nature as of preserving your good will —

I am extremely anxious that you should believe that I have not attempted to impose upon you — I will in the meantime (if you wish it) write you often, but pledge myself to apply for no other assistance than what you shall think proper to allow —

I left behind me in Richmond a small trunk containing books & some letters — will you forward it on to Baltimore to the care of H. W. Bool Jr & if you think I may ask so much perhaps you [page 3:] will put in it for me some few clothes as I am nearly without —

Give my love to Miss Valentine —

I remain
Dear Pa
Yours affectionately
Edgar A. Poe



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, 1829] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. Allan (LTR019/RCL042)