Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W. Thomas and Jesse E. Dow — March 16, 1843 (LTR-156)


Philadelphia March 16, 1843.

My Dear Thomas, & Dow

I arrived here, in perfect safety, and sober, about half past four last evening — nothing occurring on the road of any consequence. I shaved and breakfasted in Baltimore and lunched on the Susquehannah, and by the time I got to Phila. felt quite decent. Mrs. Clemm was expecting me at the car-office. I went immediately home, took a warm bath & supper & then went to Clarke's. I never saw a man in my life more surprised to see another. He thought by Dow's epistle that I must not only be dead but buried & would as soon have thought of seeing his great-great-great grandmother. He received me, therefore, very cordially & made light of the matter. I told him what had been agreed upon — that I was a little sick & that Dow, knowing I had been, in times passed, given to spreeing upon an extensive scale, had become unduly alarmed &c&c. — that when I found he had written I thought it best to come home. He said my trip had improved me & that he had never seen me looking so well!!! — and I don’t believe I ever did.

This morning I took medicine, and, as it is a snowy day, will avail myself of the excuse to stay at home — so that by to-morrow I shall be really as well as ever. [page 2:] Virginia's health is about the same — but her distress of mind has been even more than I had anticipated. She desires her kindest remembrances to both of you — as also does Mrs. C. [Mrs. Clemm]

Clarke, it appears, wrote to Dow, who must have received the letter this morning. Please re-inclose the letter to me, here — so that I may know how to guide myself. — and, Thomas, do write immediately as proposed. If possible, enclose a line from Rob. Tyler — but I fear, under the circumstances, it is not so — I blame no one but myself.

The letter which I looked for & which I wished returned, is not on its way — reason, no money forthcoming — Lowell had not yet sent it — he is ill in N. York of opthalmia. Immediately upon receipt of it, or before, I will forward the money you were both so kind as to lend — which is 8 to Dow — and 3 1/2 to Thomas — What a confounded business I have got myself into, attempting to write a letter to two people at once! However — this is for Dow. My dear fellow — Thank you a thousand times for your kindness & great forbearance, and dont [don’t] say a word about the cloak turned inside out, or other peccadilloes of that nature. Also, express to your wife my deep regret for the vexation I must have occasioned her. Send me, also, if you can the letter to Blythe. Call also, at the barber's shop just above Fuller's and pay for me a levy which I believe I owe. And now God bless you — for a nobler fellow never lived. And this is for Thomas. My dear friend. Forgive me my petulance & don’t believe I think all I said. Believe me I am very grateful to you for your many attentions & forbearances [page 3] and the time will never come when I shall forget either them or you. Remember me most kindly to Dr Lacey — also to the Don, whose mustachios I do admire after all, and who has about the finest figure I ever beheld — also to Dr Frailey. Please express my regret to Mr Fuller for making such a fool of myself in his house, and say to him (if you think it necessary) that I should not have got half so drunk on his excellent Port wine but for the rummy coffee with which I was forced to wash it down. I would be glad, too, if you would take an opportunity of saying to Mr Rob. Tyler that if he can look over matters & get me the Inspectorship, I will join the Washingtonians forthwith. I am as serious as a judge — & much so than many. I think it would be a feather in Mr Tyler's cap to save from the perils of mint julep — & “Port wines” — a young man of whom all the world thinks so well & who thinks so remarkably well of himself.

And now, my dear friends, good bye & believe me

Most Truly Yours.
Edgar A. Poe

Mess Dow & Thomas.

Upon getting here I found numerous letters of subscribers to my Magazine — for which no canvas has yet been made. This was unexpected & cheering. Did you say Dow that Commodore Elliot had desired me to put down his name? Is it so or did I dream it? At all events, when you wee him present my respects and thanks. Thomas you will remember that Dr. Lacey wished me to put him down — but I dont [don’t] know his first name — please let me know it.



The full text of this letter was published by Arthur Hobson Quinn and Richard Hart in Edgar Allan Poe: Letters and Documents in the Enoch Pratt Free Library, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1941, pp. 17-18 (with a facsimile). It is printed here with permission of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Dr. Lacey's name does appear in Poe's list of subscribers, but only as “Dr. Lacey, Fuller's Hotel Washington, D.C.” The name of Commodore Elliot does not appear, although it may have been among those given on pages which are now lost.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W. Thomas and J. E. Dow (LTR156/RCL424)