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


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.



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.


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