Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Joseph Evans Snodgrass — September 11, 1839 (LTR-081)


Philadel: Sep. 11

My Dear Sir,

I have to thank you for your friendly attention in forwarding the St Louis “Bulletin”. I was the more gratified, as the reception of the paper convinced me that you, of whom I have long thought highly, had no share in the feelings of ill will towards me, which are somewhat prevalent (God only knows why) in Balt:

I should be very much pleased if you would write, and let me know the Balt. news — especially about yourself and Mr Brooks, and the fate of the “Museum”.

I have now a great favor to ask — and think that I may depend upon your friendship. It is to write a notice (such as you think rigidly just — no more) of the Sep: no of the Gent's Mag: embodying in your article the passage concerning myself, from the St Louis Bulletin — in any manner which your good taste may suggest. The critique when written might be handed to Neilson Poe. If you ask him to insert it editorially, it is possible he may do it — but, in fact, I have no great faith in him. If he refuses — then upon your stating the fact to Mr Harker of the “Republican” — you will secure its insertion there. If you will do me this great favor, depend upon any similar good office from me, “upon demand”.

I am about to publish my tales collectively — and shall be happy to send you an early copy. I append the extract from the Bulletin.

“The general tone & character of this work (The S. L. Messenger) impart lustre to our periodical literature; and we really congratulate its publisher upon the sound and steadfast popularity which it has acquired. Let it never be forgotten, however, that the first impetus to the favor of literary men which it received was [page 2:] given by the glowing pen of Edgar A Poe now assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine; and, although, since he has left it, has well maintained its claims to respectability, yet there are few writers in this country — take Neal, Irving, & Willis away and we would say none — who can compete successfully, in many respects, with Poe. With an acuteness of observation, a vigorous and effective style, and an independence that defies control, he unites a fervid fancy and a most beautiful enthusiasm. His is a high destiny.”

Will you be kind enough to drop me a line in reply?

Yours sincerely
Edgar A Poe.

Did you see the “Weekly Messenger” (Alexander's) or Noah's Evening Star? They spoke highly of my tale — “The House of Usher”. — as also the Pennsylvanian & The U.S. Gazette of this city.

P.S. I have made a profitable engagement with Blackwood's Mag: and my forthcoming Tales are promised a very commendatory Review in that journal from the pen of Prof. Wilson. Keep this a secret, if you please, for the present.

Can you not send us something for the Gents’ Mag? Do you know anything of the Pittsburg Literary Examiner? I wrote for it a review of Tortesa in its 3d no — but have not yet recd. No 4.

All the criticisms in the Mag: are mine with the exception of the 3 first.

J. E. Snodgrass, Esqr



In reference to Poe's preceived “ill feelings” in the Baltimore literary scene, see Poe's letter to J. B. Jones, Aug. 8, 1839.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. E. Snodgrass (LTR081/RCL198)