Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Edward H. N. Patterson — May 23, 1849 (LTR-316)


New-York — May 23 — 49.

My Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 7th. came to hand in due course of mail; but I have delayed my reply for a week, that I might deliberate well upon your proposition. You will comprehend the caution with which I feel it necessary to act, when you refer to my former letter, in which I endeavored to explain to you the ambition of my views and the importance I assign to success in the Magazine enterprize. If we attempt it we must succeed — for, so far as concerns myself individually, all my prospects, pecuniary as well as literary, are involved in the project — but I shrink from making any attempt which may fail. For these reasons, I have thought long and carefully on what you propose; and I confess that some serious difficulties present themselves. They are not insuperable, however; and, if we bring a proper energy to the task, they may be even readily overcome. Your residence at Okquawka is certainly one of the most serious of these .difficulties; and I submit to you whether it be not possible to put on our title-page “Published simultaneously at New-York & St Louis” — or something equivalent.

However, these are points to be discussed when we meet — for, upon the whole, I say Yes to your proposition. Enclosed, you will find a title-page designed by myself about a year ago: — your joining me will, of course, necessitate some modifications — but the title &c should, for many reasons (to be explained hereafter) be adhered to.

We will find the 7 months between now and January brief enough for our preparations. It will be absolutely necessary that we begin at once. To-day I am going to Boston & Lowell, to remain a week; and immediately afterwards I will start for Richmond, where I will await your answer to this letter. Please direct to me there, under cover, or to the care of John R. Thompson, Edr of the “South. Lit. Messenger.” On receipt of your letter (should you still be in the mind you now are) I will proceed to se Louis & there meet you. We can then visit N. York together, or I can continue the tour, as may be agreed on. In the meantime [page 2:] I will do what I can in Boston & Virginia — without involving your name in the enterprise until I hear from you.

I fancy that I shall be able to meet the current expenses of the tour by lecturing as I proceed; but there is something required in the way of outfit; and as I am not overstocked with money (what poor-devil author is?) I must ask you to advance half of the sum I need to begin with — about $100. Please, therefore, enclose $50 in your reply, which I will get at Richmond.

If these arrangements suit you, you can announce the agreement &c to your friends & proceed as if all was signed & sealed.

I enclose a poem from Willis's “Home Journal” & would be obliged to you if you could have it copied (with Willis's editorial prefix) in some paper either in St Louis or Oquawka: — enclosing me the copy when you write.

Cordially yours,
Edgar A Poe.

E. H. N. Patterson Esqre.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to E. H. N. Patterson (LTR316/RCL794)