Text: Edgar Allan Poe to George Poe, Jr. — January 12, 1836 (LTR-053)


Richmond. Jan: 12, 1836.

Dear Sir

I take the liberty of addressing you in behalf of a mutual relation, Mrs. William Clemm, late of Baltimore — and at her earnest solicitation.

You are aware that for many years she has been suffering privations and difficulties of no ordinary kind. I know that you have assisted her at a former period, and she has occasionally received aid from her cousins, William and Robert Poe, of Augusta. What little has been heretofore in my own power I have also done.

Having lately established myself in Richmond, and undertaken the Editorship of the Southern Literary Messenger, and my circumstances having thus become better than formerly, I have ventured to offer my aunt a home. She is now therefore in Richmond, with her daughter Virginia, and is, for the present boarding at the house of Mrs. Yarrington. My salary is only at, present, about $800 per ann: and the charge per week for our board, (Mrs. Clemm's, her daughter's and my own,) is $9. I am thus particular in stating my precise situation that you may be the better enabled to judge in regard to the propriety of granting the request which I am now about to make for Mrs. Clemm.

It is ascertained that if Mrs. C. could obtain the means of opening, herself, a boarding-house in this city, she could support herself and her daughter comfortably with something to spare. But a small capital would be necessary for an undertaking of this nature, and many of the widows of our first people are engaged in it, and find it profitable. I am willing to advance, for my own part, $100, and I believe that Wm. & R. Poe will advance $100. If then you would so far aid her in her design as to loan her, Yourself, 100, she will have sufficient to commence with. I will be responsible for the repayment of the sum, in a year from this date, if you can make it convenient to comply with her request.

I beg you, my dear Sir, to take this subject into consideration. I feel deeply for the distresses of Mrs. Clemm, and I am sure you will feel interested in relieving them.

P.S) I am the son of David Poe Jr. Mrs Cs brother [[The rest of the letter is missing]]



This letter is printed here with permission of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.]

George Poe wrote on the letter “Sent check — $100.” Mrs. Clemm sent a brief reply, thanking him for the money. For whatever reason, Mrs. Clemm was never able to establish the boarding house.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to G. Poe, Jr. (LTR053/RCL112)