Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “The Bloodhound Story,” Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, vol. 4, no. 5, January 29, 1840, p. 2, cols. 3-4


[page 2, column 3:]


The bloodhounds have occasioned no little gossip, especially among the old women, and if they themselves could only be made to understand their own importance in the way of affording material for newspaper paragraphs, they would begin to hold up their heads with any of our Chesnut street mongrels. It is now said that the United States Government has nothing to do with their use or importation, and that they are employed by the inhabitants of Florida.

Among other raw-head-and-bloody-bone stories about these beasts, the most highly-colored is of recent invention, and has been pretty extensively copied, as truth, by the newspaper press. We allude to the “thrilling narrative” which stated that there being occasion to bleed a sailor in one of the vessels which had on board a pack of the hounds, the animals became infuriated, and devoured all the passengers, as well as all the passenger’s pointers. The origin of this bugaboo [column 4:] tale is probably to be found in the following paragraph from the Charleston Courier:

“We noticed, yesterday, the arrival at St. Marks, of 33 Cuba bloodhounds. While the vessel was at sea, the cook having slaughtered a pig, the dogs, excited by the smell of the blood, broke from their confinement, drove the crew into the rigging, and kept possession of the deck for several hours before they could be pacified.[[”]]




This notice was first attributed to Poe by Clarence S. Brigham in Edgar Allan Poe’s Contributions to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, 1943, p. 26.

Originals of this issue may be found in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society and the Koester Collection of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The present text has been verified against copies from both of these institutions. The closing quotation marks at the end appear to be lacking in both copies, and as there is no trace of the mark at all this punctuation was probably omitted in the original as a typographical error.



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