Text: Edgar Allan Poe to W. H. Carpenter, J. S. Norris, and James Burns — February 28, 1837 (LTR-077)


New York
Feb. 28, 1837.


Your letter of Janry 30 had but just reached me — having been forwarded from Richmond to this city.

It would give me the greatest pleasure to aid you in your design of a “Baltimore Book”, and I would be quite willing to forward an article by the 1rst April, if so late a period would answer. I am afraid my other engagements would not admit of my sending any thing at an earlier date.

I would like to be informed (by return of mail if possible) what number of pages will be open for me — also what will be the form &c of the book, and should like some hint of the nature of the article or articles desired, with any other particulars. In the meantime I will prepare something in case the theme should be left to my own choice.

Very resply
Yr. ob. st.
Edgar A. Poe.

Mess:                           {
     W. H. Carpenter     {
     J. S. Norris             {
     James Burns            {



On the manuscript, the list of names at the bottom left corner of the page are marked by a single, large gull bracket, pointing from the “Very resp . . . Poe,” and appearing on the same line as these.

As for the majority of Poe's letters, the page is folded to form its own envelope. The reverse of the page is addressed: “For. [/] Messrs . [/] W. Henry Carpenter [/] J. S. Norris [/] James Burns [/] care of Messrs . Bayly & Burns [/] Booksellers 132 Market St [/] Baltimore [/] Md “. The postmark appears over part of the address.

The version of this letter printed by Ostrom in 1948 was made without direct knowledge of the manuscript. The manuscript is now known, preserved in the Mabbott collection at the University of Iowa. The version of the text given here is based on that manuscript. Ostrom's version has a different saluation, omits the first sentence and contains minor variations in punctuation. Ostrom also incorrectly gives “Burns” as “Brown.”, following the printing in an undated newspaper clipping.

The Baltimore Book for 1838, published towards the end of 1837, includes Poe's tale “Siope — a Fable.”


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to W. H. Carpenter, J. S. Norris, and James Burns (LTR077/RCL173)