Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Annie L. Richmond — March 23, 1849 (LTR-309)


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New York
March 23, 1849

[[. . . .]] Will not Annie confide [[....]] the secret[s] about W[estford]? Was it anything I did which caused you to “give up hope?” Dearest Annie, I am so happy in being able to afford Mr. R. proof of something in which he seems to doubt me. You remember that Mr. and Mrs. [L—] strenuously denied having spoken ill of you to me, and I said “then it must remain a simple question of veracity between us, as I had no witness” — but I observed afterward[s] — “Unfortunately I have returned Mrs. [L ] her letters (which were filled with abuse of you both), but, if I am not mistaken, my mother has some in her possession that will prove the truth of what I say.” Now, Annie, when we came to look over these last, I found, to my extreme sorrow, that they would not corroborate me. I say “to my extreme sorrow,” for oh, it is so painful to be doubted when we know our own integrity. Not that I fancied, even for one moment, that you doubted me — but then I saw that Mr. R. and Mr. C. did, and perhaps even your brother. Well! what do you think? Mrs. [L—] has again written my mother, and I enclose her letter. Read it! You will find it thoroughly corroborative of all I said. The verses to me which she alludes to I have not seen. You will see that she [admits having cautioned me against you, as I said, and] in fact admits all that I accused her of. Now, you distinctly remember that they both loudly denied having spoken against you! — this, in fact, was the sole point at issue. I have marked the passage alluded to. I wish that you would write to your relation in Providence and ascertain for me who slandered me as you say. I wish to prove the falsity of what has been said (for I find that it will not do to permit such reports to go unpunished), and, especially, obtain for me some details upon which I can act. [[....]] Will you do this? [....]I enclose also some other lines “For Annie” — and will you let me know in what manner they impress you? I have sent them to the [Flag of our Union.] By the way, did you get “Hop-Frog?” I sent it to you by mail, not knowing whether you ever see the paper in. I am sorry to say that the Metropolitan has stopped, and “Landor’s Cottage” is returned upon my hands unprinted. I think the lines “For Annie” (those I now send) much the best I have ever written — but an author can seldom depend on his own estimate of his own works — so I wish to know what my Annie truly thinks of them — also your dear sister and Mr. C.

Do not let these verses go out of your possession until you see them in print — as I have sold them to the publisher of the [Flag].

Remember me to all.


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Notes:

Because the text of this letter survives only in the form printed by J. H. Ingram, it reflects Ingram’s editorial selection and alterations. As Ingram apperas to have followed a transcript made by Mrs. Richmond, some of the omissions may have originated with her. Mr. and Mrs. L— are almost certainly John G. Locke and his wife, Jane E. Locke.


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[S:0 - JHI, 1849] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to A. L. Richmond (LTR309/RCL781)