Text: J. W. Ostrom, B. R. Pollin, and J. A. Savoye, “Chapter 11,” The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: 1846-1849 (2008), pp. 763-842 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 763, unnumbered:]



The Vein Runs Out

Letter 302b-334: February 1849-October 1849

[page 765:]

Letter 302b — 1849, February 5 [CL-771] Poe (New York, NY) to Frederick Gleason (Boston, MA):

New York — Feb. 5 — ‘49

F. Gleason, Esq.

Dear Sir,

On returning home, after ten days’ absence, I find your letter of the 22nd. ult. What you say is satisfactory; and I shall be happy to contribute, as often as possible, to “The Flag”. In the course of next week, I will send you a tale or sketch; and in the meantime I leave with Mr. French a short poem which I hope will please you.

I am glad to hear that, among other contributors, you have made arrangements with Mrs. Osgood, and Mr. Benjamin. Their names can not fail to sustain the reputation of your paper and give it tone.

Very cordially yours,

Edgar A. Poe.

Note: Frederick Gleason (1816-1896) was the editor of the Flag of Our Union, a Boston weekly of the mammoth newspaper size. Despite Poe’s low opinion of the Flag he contributed a number of articles to it over the next few months. (See LTR-303, where Poe describes it as “not a very respectable journal,” and LTR-307b, where he calls it “vulgar and trashy.”) Poe had probably not been absent from New York since he returned from Providence or Lowell sometime between December 23-24 and December 28. (See the second and third sentences of LTR-303, LTR-294 and note, LTR-295, and LTR-302. LTR-302a is postmarked from New York on February 1.) The promised “tale or sketch” seems to have been “Hop-Frog,” first printed in the Flag for March 17, 1849 (see LTR-303 and TOM [T&S], 3:1344). The poem referred to was most likely “A Valentine,” which appeared in the Flag for March 3, 1849; it was addressed to Mrs. Osgood, and had been written three years earlier (see TOM [Poems], 1:386-388). Mr. French was probably Gleason’s agent in New York. Issues of the Flag for 1849 regularly list as among its “wholesale agents” the name of “S. French” at 293 Broadway, NY. (See also LTR-308, where Poe indicates that he is accustomed to sending Gleason material through “his [Gleason’s] agent here.”) Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood, a New York poetess, was a friend of the Poe family. [page 766:] Park Benjamin (1809-1864) was a New York writer and editor about whom Poe had conflicting opinions at various times. (See Poe’s November 1841 Graham’s article on “Autography,” including an entry on Mr. Benjamin, collected in H [Works], 15:183-184. Interestingly, the article was reprinted in full in Benjamin’s New World, November 6, 1841. For a less favorable assessment, see Poe’s review of Benjamin’s poem “Infatuation” in BJ, March 15, 1845; reprinted in Writings, 3:36-37.)

Source: transcript, noted as a “literal copy,” of the original MS (1 p.) loaned to the Columbia University library by Dodd, Mead & Company, which in 1897 cited the letter as an a.l.s. of 1 page (catalog 46, item 76). The original MS is unlocated. The verso of the copy bears the notation: “Copy of Letter of E. A Poe referring to P. B. [Park Benjamin (?)].” The present letter has been renumbered from LTR-302a to LTR-302b to allow for the correct placement of new LTR-302a, to J. R. Thompson.

Letter 303 — 1849, February 8 [CL-772] Poe (New York, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

[Thursday, — 8th —

Dear, dear Annie —

Our darling mother is just going to town, where, I hope, she will find a sweet letter from you, or from Sarah, but, as it is so long since I have written, I must send a few words to let you see and feel that your Eddy, even when silent, keeps you always in his mind and heart — in his inmost heart. I have been so busy, dear Annie, ever since I returned from Providence — six weeks ago. I have not suffered a day to pass without writing from a page to three pages. Yesterday, I wrote five, and the day before a poem considerably longer than “The Raven.” I call it “The Bells.”] How I wish my Annie could see it! Her opinion is so dear to me on such topics. On all it is everything to me — but on poetry in especial. And Sarah, too. — I told her, when we were at Westford, that I hardly ever knew any one with a keener discrimination in regard to what is really poetical. The 5 prose pages I finished yesterday are called — what do you think? — I am sure you will never guess — “Hop-Frog!” Only think of your Eddy writing a story with such a name as “Hop-Frog”! You would never guess the [page 767:] subject (which is a terrible one) from the title, I am sure. It will be published in a weekly paper, of Boston, called “The Flag of Our Union” — not a very respectable journal, perhaps, in a literary point of view, but one that pays as high prices as most of the Magazines. The proprietor wrote to me, offering about 5$ a “Graham page” and <as> I was anxious to get out of my pecuniary difficulties, I accepted the offer. He gives $5 for a Sonnet, also Mrs Osgood, Park Benjamin, & Mrs Sigourney are engaged. I think “The Bells” will appear in the “Am. Review”. — I have got no answer yet from Mrs W. who, I understand, has left Providence (for the first time in her life) and gone to New Bedford. My opinion is, that her mother (who is an old devil) has intercepted the [page 2] [letter and will never give it to her.... ]

Dear Muddy says she w[ill write you a long letter in a day] or two & tell you how good I am. She is in high spirits [at my] prospects and at our hopes of soon seeing Annie. We have told our landlord that we will not take the house next year. Do not let Mr. R., however, make any arrangements for us in Lowell, or Westford — for, being poor, we are so much the slaves of circumstances. At all events, we will both come & see you & spend a week with you in the early spring or before — but we will let you know some time before we come. Muddy sends her dearest — dearest love to you & Sarah & to all. And now good bye, my dear, darling, beautiful Annie.

Your own Eddy.

Note: The Flag of Our Union was established in 1846 by Frederick Gleason, and by 1850 it had an estimated circulation of 100,000, netting Gleason $25,000 yearly (see American Magazines, 1:10 and 35). Poe relied upon the low-class periodical as an outlet for four tales and five poems from March through July 1849, but always with great reluctance and some embarrassment (see LTR-302b, LTR-307b, LTR-308, and LTR-310). Concerning Poe’s letter to her, Mrs. Whitman wrote Griswold, December 12, 1849: “With a heavy heart, & after the most dispassionate reflection, I resolved, for his sake rather than my own, not to reply to this letter, but to defer all painful reminiscences & explanations to a future day” (Quinn, p. 650; see also the note to LTR-302). “The Bells” was not published in the American Review, but did eventually appear in Sartain’s Magazine, November 1849 (Quinn, p. 563). Poe’s suspicions about Mrs. [page 768:] Whitman’s mother were not unfounded (see LTR-302, and note). “Mr. R.” is Charles Richmond, Annie’s husband. “Sarah” is Sarah Heywood, Annie’s sister (see LTR-289). “Muddy,” of course, was Mrs. Clemm. In the last paragraph, Poe borrows a phrase from Byron’s Sardanapalus, 4, i, 330-331: “I am the very slave of circumstance / And impulse — borne away with every breath!”

Source: photocopy of fragment of the original MS (fragment of 2 pp.) in the Morgan Library. The missing portion of the letter, given in brackets, is taken from J. H. Ingram’s printing in Appleton’s Journal, May 1878, p. 426. (Although reprinted, somewhat more fully, in Ingram, 2:205-207, the Appleton text includes words not in the Life and appears to be more accurate in what it does print.) The letter is printed in its fullest known form, though a portion is still clearly lacking and probably lost. The original MS was certainly no longer than two pages, a recto and verso of one leaf. Although the salutation is missing, identification of the addressee is established by the last three lines of the letter. The publication of “Hop-Frog” in the Flag of Our Union, March 17, 1849 (Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, p. 327 and TOM [T&S], 3:1344) suggests the correct dating of the present letter as February 8, 1849, which, incidentally, was on Thursday. This dating is further supported by Poe’s statement that he “... returned from Providence — six weeks ago” (by December 28, 1848 — see LTR-296).

Letter 303a — 1849, February 9 [CL-772a] Poe (New York, NY) to John Sartain & Co. (Philadelphia, PA):

New-York : Feb. 9 — 49

Mess. J. Sartain & co.


I have the honor of sending you, with this note, a poem called “The Bells”, about the length of my “Raven” — in hope that it will meet your views for “The Union Magazine”. Should it not please you, will you be so kind as to re-enclose it; and if I do not hear from you respecting it within ten days, I will conclude that you accept it, and draw on you, at 3 days’ sight, for $15. [page 769:]

Very resp y.

Edgar A. Poe.

P. S. — Should you print the poem, it will be necessary, (on account of the length of some of the lines, & their peculiar arrangement) to run them entirely across the page, without the perpendicular rule.

Note: John Sartain (1808-1897) was an engraver, chiefly of popular and sentimental subjects, who became a publisher. Poe’s poem “The Bells” was published in Sartain’s Magazine for November 1849 (5:304, issued about October 15). In spite of Poe’s preferences, the poem was printed in two columns, with the perpendicular rule in the middle. The typesetters did take pains to follow Poe’s line breaks, though they did not precisely adhere to his pattern of indentation. A substantially shorter version of the poem was printed in the same magazine in December 1849, with a brief explanation of its history. Although the present letter suggests that Poe is offering the poem for the first time, he had apparently sold this earlier version to the Union Magazine, which became Sartain’s.

Source: original MS (1 p.) in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Southern Historical Collection, Maurice Family Papers. On the verso of the leaf, the letter is addressed to: “Mess. J. Sartain & co. / Phila.” The envelope bears no postmark.

Letter 304 — 1849, February 14 [CL-773] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Frederick W. Thomas (Louisville, KY, forwarded to Washington, DC):

Fordham, near New-York

Feb. 14 — 49

My dear friend Thomas,

Your letter, dated Nov. 27, has reached me at a little village of the Empire State, after having taken, at its leisure, a very considerable tour among the P. Offices — occasioned, I presume, by your endorsement “to forward” wherever I might be — and the fact is, where I might not have been, for the last three months, is the legitimate question. At all events, now that I have your well-known M.S. before me, it is most cordially welcome. Indeed, it seems an age since I heard from you and [page 770:] a decade of ages since I shook you by the hand — although I hear of you now and then. Right glad am I to find you once more in a true position — in the field of Letters.” Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path. I shall be a littérateur, at least, all my life; nor would I abandon the hopes which still lead me on for all the gold in California. Talking of gold, and of the temptations at present held out to “poor-devil authors”, did it ever strike you that all which is really valuable to a man of letters — to a poet in especial — is absolutely unpurchaseable? Love, fame, the dominion of intellect, the consciousness of power, the thrilling sense of beauty, the free air of Heaven, exercise of body & mind, with the physical and moral health which result — these and such as these are really all that a poet cares for: — then answer me this — why should he go to California? Like Brutus, “I pause for a reply” — which, like F. W. Thomas, I take it for granted you have no intention of giving me. — [I have read the Prospectus of the “Chronicle” and like it much especially the part where you talk about “letting go the finger” of that conceited body, the East — which is by no means the East out of which came the wise men mentioned in Scripture!] I wish you would come down on the Frogpondians. They are getting worse and worse, and pretend not to be aware that there are any literary people out of Boston. The worst and most disgusting part of the matter is, that the Bostonians are really, as a race, far inferior in point of anything beyond mere talent, to any other set upon the continent of N. A. They are decidedly the most servile imitators of the English it is possible to conceive. I always get into a passion when I think about. It would be the easiest thing in the world to use them up en masse. One really well-written satire would accomplish the business: — but it must not be such a dish of skimmed milk-and-water as Lowell’s.

[page 2] I suppose you have seen that affair — the “Fable for Critics” I mean. Miss Fuller, that detestable old maid — told him, once, that he was “so wretched a poet as to be disgusting even to his best friends”. This set him off at a tangent and he has never been quite right since: — so he took to writing satire against mankind in general, [page 770:] with Margaret Fuller and her protégé, Cornelius Matthews, in particular. It is miserably weak upon the whole, but has one or two good, but by no means original, things — Oh, there is “nothing new under the sun” & Solomon is right — for once. I sent a review of the “Fable” to the “S. L. Messenger” a day or two ago, and I only hope Thompson will print it. Lowell is a ranting abolitionist and deserves a good using up. It is a pity that he is a poet. — I have not seen your paper yet, and hope you will mail me one — regularly if you can spare it. I will send you something whenever I get a chance. — [With your co-editor, Mr Casseday I am not acquainted personally but he is well known to me by reputation. Eames, I think, was talking to me about him in Washington once, and spoke very highly of him in many respects — so upon the whole you are in luck] — The rock on which most new enterprizes, in the paper way, split, is namby-pamby-ism. It never did do & never will. No yea-nay journal ever succeeded. — but I know there is little danger of your making the Chronicle a yea-nay one. I have been quite out of the literary world for the last three years, and have said little or nothing, but, like the owl, I have “taken it out in thinking”. By and bye I mean to come out of the bush, and then I have some old scores to settle. I fancy I see some of my friends already stepping up to the Captain’s office. The fact is, Thomas, living buried in the country makes a man savage — wolfish. I am just in the humor for a fight. You will be pleased to hear that I am in better health than I ever knew myself to be — full of energy and bent upon success. You shall hear of me again shortly — and it is not improbable that I may soon pay you a visit in Louisville. — If I can do anything for you in New-York, let me know. — Mrs Clemm sends her best respects & begs to be remembered to your mother’s family, if they are with you. — You would oblige me very especially if you could squeeze in what follows, editorially. The lady spoken of is a most particular friend of mine, and deserves all I have said of her. I will reciprocate the favor I ask, whenever you say the word and show me how. Address me at N. York City, as usual and if you insert the following, please cut it out & enclose it in your letter.

Truly your friend,

Edgar A Poe. [page 772:]

Note: Poe seems to have moved to Fordham about May or June 1846 (see Quinn, p. 506). In the “last three months” Poe had been in and out of Providence, Lowell, and Boston. Thomas was apparently drawn to Louisville to organize as co-editor, with Benjamin Casseday (ca. 1824-1878), a new weekly magazine called the Chronicle of Western Literature (not to be confused with the Chronicle, a newspaper published in the same city beginning in January 1849). Poe calls it a “paper” in the present letter, but this was loose usage for Poe, who also speaks of its orientation as that of a magazine, having a unified viewpoint, engaging in satires, and avoiding the dangers of “namby-pamby-ism.” (Weekly journals were a popular genre beginning about 1830, although generally considered “cheap” and “ephemeral,” see American Magazines, 1:354-358.) Thomas’ journal, begun on December 2, 1848, continued only through no. 22, on April 4, 1849; his editorship ended February 17, 1849. The Poe Log (pp. 772, 792) speaks of its “write-up” in the New York Home Journal of January 20, 1849 (p. 2, col. 7), a mere three-sentence puff bearing the name of the journal and its primary editor as an “able man and a delightful writer” whose “paper” we “read with pleasure.” The January 20, 1849 Chronicle (on p. 2) cites Duyckinck’s Literary World’s praise of itself as a “spirited literary and miscellaneous newspaper ... wide awake to the movement of the day...  .” Neither this journal nor the Home Journal, however, mentions its demise in April. Only one library in the country, that of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, reports having a file (which is on microfilm). The journal’s variable width of five or six columns and long-column format resembled that of earlier weeklies, such as Horace Greeley’s New-Yorker of the 1830s and George Pope Morris’ New-York Mirror, but it was devoid of illustrations, originality, and managerial skill. The two columns at each side of the paper consist largely of advertisements for local booksellers and other merchants, or “filler” marginalia. The initiatory co-editor declares in the issue of February 17, 1849: “The ‘Chronicle ... ’ will hereafter be under the sole charge of Ben Casseday.” Each of the succeeding issues shows this new directorship. Apparently Poe had no inkling when writing and sending the present letter that Thomas had dissociated himself from the journal, closing with a request for editorial inclusion of an exaggerated bit of praise for Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis’ supposed literary accomplishments. The notice suggests commendations by several critics, including Poe, as though named by editor Thomas. A pencilled note on the MS, probably by Thomas, states: “This notice was never published.” The notice itself was first printed in H [Works], 13:225-226. For more on Mrs. Lewis, [page 773:] and Poe’s extended campaign on her behalf, see the note to LTR-257. Poe’s review of Lowell’s A Fable for Critics (1848) appeared in the SLM, March 1849, anonymously, under “Notices of New Works” (reprinted in H [Works], 13:165-175, and Writings, 5:-375-377). Poe refers to the plight of “poor-devil authors” in an 1840 review and three widely-spaced sketches and essays, the last two of which are reprinted in TOM [T&S], 3:1206-1209, n. 4 and also 3:1140, and 1148, n. 38, and 1379; see also LTR-316 for another instance. Striking is his contrast of the lives of “wealthy gentlemen of elegant leisure” and of these authors, the latter now aided by the advent of inexpensive, widespread “anastatic printing” discussed in his essay on the subject (see BJ, 1:231; Writings, 3:86). See also Bruce I. Weiner’s long article on this issue so central to Poe’s literary career: “The Most Noble of Professions: Poe and the Poverty of Authorship.” A few other income sources are given in the note to LTR-259. The theme of gold-hunting in California is major in Poe’s poem “Eldorado,” and the tale “Von Kempelen and His Discovery,” both being written about this time, and published respectively in the April 21 and April 14, 1849 issues of the Flag of Our Union (see TOM [T&S], 3:1357 and TOM [Poems], l:462-464). Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar makes nine appearances in Poe’s works, the phrase “like Brutus” also being used in “Loss of Breath” (all instances are listed in Pollin, “Shakespeare in the Works of EAP,” SAR 1985, pp. 157-182, specifically, p. 172). The phrase “Solomon is right” is from Ecclesiastes 1:9. Poe’s tirade against Margaret Fuller, “that old maid,” echoes similar comments in LTR-259. Charles Eames (1812-1867) had briefly edited the New World, reprinting several of Poe’s works. By the time of the present letter, Eames had moved to Washington, DC, where he accepted a position in the Department of the Navy and also met F. W. Thomas.

While retaining the mute “e” for a suffix today is discountenanced, the OED shows “unpurchaseable” as accepted in Poe’s period. See the word “namby-pamby-ism” in the note to LTR-185, discussed as a type of frivolous, popular magazine appeal (see also LTR-134 and LTR-329). Although the OED gives an 1847 instance of “yea-nay” as the first, Poe’s use in the 1844 “Thingum Bob” has actual priority (H [Works], 6:18, and TOM [T&S], 3:1139).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (2 pp.) in the Boston Public Library. The envelope is covered with addresses and postmarks, which seem to indicate: first, Poe directed the letter to F. W. Thomas, Louisville, KY, from which it was returned to New York, February 27; then Poe [page 774:] directed it to the Editor of “The Chronicle,” 47 Wall St.; next it was sent to Frankfort, KY, from which it was ultimately redirected, April 5, to Washington, DC, the last address having no line drawn through it. Thomas noted on the envelope: “Recd April 10, 1849.” Page 3 of the holograph contains the short review of Mrs. S. Anna Lewis’ Child of the Sea and Other Poems (see Thomas’ comment and reprint information as part of the note, above). The bracketed restorations on pages 1 and 2 of the present letter appear in the MS over Poe’s lines crossed out; the restorations were certainly not made by Thomas. Since Poe’s last letter, May 14, 1845, Thomas wrote at least five, but Poe does not seem to have replied until the present letter, though such a long silence toward Thomas seems incredible. Thomas’ letters were as follows: July 10, 1845 (CL-550), September 29, 1845 (CL-569), August 14, 1846 (CL-655), August 24, 1846 (CL-656), and November 27, 1848 (CL-748). This is Poe’s last known letter to Thomas, and no further letters from Thomas have been identified.

Letter 305 — 1849, February 16 [CL-774] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Evert A. Duyckinck (New York, NY):

Fordham — Feb. 16 — 49

Dear Duyckinck,

Perhaps, in the conversation I had with you, in your office, about “Ulalume”, I did not make you comprehend precisely what was the request I made: — so, to save trouble, I send now the enclosed from the “Providence Daily Journal”. If you will oblige me by copying the slip as it stands, prefacing it by the words “From the Providence Journal” it will make every thing straight.

Sincerely Yours

Edgar A Poe.

Note: “Ulalume,” first published in the American Review, December 1847 (6:599-600), was reprinted in the Providence Daily Journal, November 22, 1848, and in Duyckinck’s Literary World, March 3, 1849. Duyckinck did not follow the prefatory remarks of the Providence Journal, but supplied his own puff. The poem had originally appeared [page 775:] anonymously in the American Review, but seeing that Poe’s identity was already publically revealed as the author in the Daily Journal, Duyckinck did the same. For a publication history of the poem, see TOM [Poems], 1:412-415, and Savoye, “An Unnoticed Printing of ‘Ulalume’,” EAP Review, 1:34-44.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Division. The MS letter is an extra illustration in Duyckinck’s own copy of his Cyclopedia.

Letter 306 — 1849, February 18 [CL-777] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

Fordham Feb. 19. [18] Sunday 1849

Dear — dearest Annie — my sweet friend & sister —

I fear that in this letter, which I write with a heavy heart, you will find much to disappoint & grieve you — for I must abandon my proposed visit to Lowell & God only knows when I shall see & clasp you by the hand. I have come to this determination to-day, after looking over some of your letters to me & my mother, written since I left you. You have not said it to me, but I have been enabled to glean from what you have said, that Mr Richmond has permitted himself (perhaps without knowing it) to be influenced against me, by the malignant misrepresentations of Mr & Mrs Locke. Now I frankly own to you dear Annie, that I am proud, although I have never shown myself proud to you or yours & never will — You know that I quarrelled with the Lockes solely on your account & Mr R’s — It was obviously my interest to keep in with them, & moreover they had rendered me some services which entitled them to my gratitude up to the time when I discovered they had been blazoning their favors to the world — Gratitude then, as well as interest, would have led me not to offend them; and the insults offered to me individually by Mrs Locke were not sufficient to make me break with them. It was only when I heard them declare that through their patronage alone, you were admitted into society — that your husband was everything despicable — that it would ruin my mother even to enter your doors — it was [page 776:] only when such insults were offered to you, whom I sincerely & most purely loved, & to Mr R. whom I had every reason to like & respect, that I arose & left their house & incurred the unrelenting vengeance of that worst of all fiends, “a woman scorned” — Now feeling all this, I cannot help thinking it unkind in Mr R. when I am absent & unable to defend myself, that he will persist in listening to what these people say to my discredit — I cannot help thinking it, moreover, the most unaccountable instance of weakness — of obtuseness — that ever I knew a man to be guilty of: — women are more easily misled in such matters. In the name of God, what else had I to anticipate, in return for the offence which I offered to Mrs Locke’s insane vanity & self-esteem, than that she would spend the rest of her days in ransacking the world for scandal against me, (& the falser the better for her purpose,) & in fabricating accusations where she could not find them ready made? I certainly anticipated no other line of conduct on her part — but, on the other hand, I certainly did not anticipate that any man in his senses, would ever listen to accusations, from so suspicious a source. That any man could be really influenced by them surpasses my belief, & the fact is, Annie, to come at once to the point — I cannot & do not believe it — The obvious prejudices of Mr R. cannot be on this ground. I much fear that he has mistaken the nature — the purity of that affection which I feel for you, & have not scrupled to avow — an affection which first entered my heart I believe, through a natural revulsion of feeling, at discovering you — you, the subject of the debased Mrs L’s vile calumnies — to be not only purer than Mrs. L. but purer & nobler, at all points, than any woman I had ever known, or could have imagined to exist upon the earth. God knows dear dear Annie, with what horror I would have shrunk from insulting a nature so divine as yours, with any impure or earthly love — But since it is clear that Mr R. cannot enter into my feelings on this topic, & that he even suspects what is not, it only remains for me beloved Annie to consult your happiness — which under all circumstances, will be & must be mine — Not only must I not visit you [at] Lowell, but I must discontinue my letters & you yours — I cannot & will not have it on my conscience that I have interfered with the domestic happiness of the only being in the whole [page 777:] world, whom I have loved, at the same time with truth & with purity — I do not merely love you Annie — I admire & respect you even more — & Heaven knows there is no particle of selfishness in my devotion — I ask nothing for myself, but your own happiness — with a charitable interpretation of those calumnies which for your sake, I am now enduring from this vile woman — & which, for your dear dear sake, I would most willingly endure if multiplied a hundred fold — The calumnies indeed, Annie, do not materially wound me, except in depriving me of your society — for of your affection & respect, I feel that they never can. As for any injury the falsehoods of these people can do me, make your mind darling, easy about that — It is true, that “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned,” but I have encountered such vengeance before, on far lighter grounds — that is to say, for a far less holy purpose, than I feel the defence of your good name to be. I scorned Mrs Ellet, simply because she revolted me — & to this day, she has never ceased her anonymous persecutions. But in what have they resulted? She has not deprived me of one friend who ever knew me & once trusted me — nor has she lowered me one inch in the public opinion. When she ventured too far, I sued her at once (through her miserable tools) & recovered exemplary damages — as I will unquestionably do, forthwith, in the case of Mr L. if ever he shall muster courage to utter a single actionable word — It is true I shrink with a nameless horror from connecting my name in the public prints, with such unmentionable nobodies & blackguards as L. & his lady — but they may provoke me a little too far — You will now have seen dear Annie, how & why it is that my mother & myself cannot visit you as we proposed — In the first place my presence might injure you, in your husband’s opinion — & in the second, I could not feel at ease in his house, so long as he permits himself to be prejudiced against me, or so long as he associates with such persons as the Lockes. It had been my design to ask you & Mr R. (or perhaps your parents) to board my mother while I was absent at the South, & I intended to start after remaining with you a week — but my whole plans are now disarranged — I have taken the cottage at Fordham for another year — Time dear dear Annie, will show all things. Be of good heart, I shall never cease to think of you — & bear in mind the [page 778:] two solemn promises I have made you — The one I am now religiously keeping, — & the other (so help me Heaven!) shall sooner or later be kept —

Always your dear friend & brother

Edgar —

Note: For Poe’s comments concerning the Lockes, see LTR-309. See also Mrs. Richmond’s letter to Ingram, after March 13, 1877, where she states that after receiving the present letter, Mr. Richmond “wrote them (the Lockes) denouncing them in the strongest terms, & the acquaintance ended then & there ... ” (Miller, BPB, p. 168). For a month Mr. Richmond had remained “abused” in his suspicions (see LTR-301, end of the first paragraph), but as the patient, eventually understanding husband and financial mainstay, he entered Such Friends, as no. 104 (p. 35). For Poe’s earlier indebtedness to Mrs. Locke, see LTR-251. As for his statement about Mrs. Ellet, that “she revolted me,” see his numerous and apparently incongruous earlier affirmations of respect and even high praise for her learning and poetic gifts in the BJ, especially November 1845, where he says in a short notice about the Columbian Magazine for November: “‘The Maiden’s Leap’ by Mrs. Ellet, is in her best manner. Her style is noted for accuracy, purity, and freedom from superfluity. She is one of the most accomplished of our countrywomen” (BJ, 2:258; Writings, 3:296). See also DP, pp. 59-62, especially pp. 61-62. His subsequent shift of attitude was most evident in his diatribes against her in his letters to Mrs. Whitman (see LTR-280, pages 4-5, and LTR-290). His charge about Fuller, Clason, and English being used by Mrs. Ellet as “tools” in the “libel” may seem too strong, although Sidney Moss thinks otherwise (Poe’s Major Crisis, p. 155). For Poe’s “two solemn promises,” see LTR-298 and LTR-301, and notes. Although clearly unconventional, Poe’s personal views on religion are otherwise uncertain, and it is impossible to determine whether his occasional invocations of God, or in the present letter of Heaven, are genuine reflections or merely adaptations of common expressions. More correct than Poe’s reference, William Congreve’s Mourning Bride reads: “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, / Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d” (III, viii), although the form in which Poe gives it reflects popular usage of the idea.

Source: transcript by Mrs. Annie L. Richmond from the original MS, made for J. H. Ingram (Ingram Collection, University of Virginia). The [page 779:] location of the original MS is unknown. The accepted dating has been “February 19, 1849” despite the fact that the 19th fell on Monday, and the letter is headed “Sunday.” Poe seems more likely to have erred in the date than the day, and the correct dating of the letter, therefore, is probably “Feb. 18. Sunday 1849.” Though Poe is known to have written four letters to Mrs. Richmond between his of November 16, 1848, and the present one, the number of her letters to him is less certain (see APXA-Richmond).

Letter 307 — 1849, March 1 [CL-778] Poe (New York, NY) to Miss Sarah H. Heywood (Westford, MA):

For Sarah —

My dear sweet sister — why have you not kept your promise & written me. Do not you be influenced against me by anybody — at least in my absence when I have it not in my power either to deny or to explain. Present my warmest regards to your father, mother & brother — & kiss dear Carrie [Annie?] for me.

Your own friend & brother


March 1. — 1849

Note: Sarah Heywood was the sister of Annie Richmond (see the note to LTR-289). Carrie was the Richmonds’ daughter (see the note to LTR-298). In the present letter, Poe is concerned about the campaign by the Lockes to turn the Richmonds against him, a situation further detailed in LTR-306 and LTR-309. Though Sarah’s home was in Westford, MA, she frequently visited her sister in Lowell.

Source: original MS (1 p.), formerly in the collection of J. K. Lilly, Jr., and now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University. On the verso of the MS appears: “The handwriting of Edgar Allan Poe.” The letter carries neither postmark nor address, and its content, especially its salutation, suggests it may have been enclosed in a letter to Mrs. Annie Richmond (LTR-307a). Originally Poe seems to have written “kiss dear Annie for me”; but “Ca” appears written over “An” by someone in such a way that the second “n” of Annie would be read as the “rr” of Carrie. The change may or may not have been Poe’s. [page 780:]

Letter 307a — 1849, March 1 (?) [CL-778a] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (?) (Lowell, MA):

[.... ]

— Your letter (one of them) was dated the 18th: — how, then, did you ever see, or know anything about the Valentine from which you quote, when it was not published until the 3d March — that is, it was issued in the “Flag” dated 3d March, but which was issued the Saturday previous — Feb 24. How did you see it so early as Feb. 18.? — The Flag has 2 of my tales now — Hop-Frog & another called “X-ing a Paragrab”: — guess what that is about if you can! “The Bells” will appear in Sartain’s Mag. (The Union)....

May God forever bless you.


Note: The “Valentine,” an anagrammatic poem to Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood, was first published three years earlier, and reprinted in the Flag of Our Union for March 3, 1849. It is interesting to note that the present letter indicates that the issue was on the stands by February 24. Poe’s correspondent, however, has apparently seen the poem earlier than even this date, suggesting that the more likely source was Sartain’s, which printed the poem in the March issue (available on February 15, see TOM [Poems], 1:387). “Hop-Frog” was published in the Flag, March 17, 1849 (TOM [T&S], 3:1344). Poe’s “X-ing a Paragrab” appeared in the Flag, May 12, 1849 (TOM [T&S], 3:1368), and “The Bells” in Sartain’s, November, 1849 (TOM [Poems], 1:433).

Source: photocopy of the original MS fragment (1 p.) in the University of Virginia Library, Clifton Waller Barrett Collection. The fragment is composed of two parts: the first eight lines on a single cutting, and a ninth line (“May God forever bless you!/ E.A.P.”) on a cutting attached to it. The close, which seems to have been written with a finer pen point, may not belong with the larger section. Both the name of the addressee and the date of this fragment must remain conjectural on the basis of present evidence. The tone and content of the fragment suggest at least two possible correspondents: George W. Eveleth and Annie L. Richmond. Poe’s letter to Eveleth, June 26, 1849, speaks of answering his “last letter [page 781:] — the one from Brunswick,” February 17, 1849. In that letter, Poe makes no reference to the “Valentine” and merely answers topics brought up by Eveleth; Eveleth, therefore, would seem to be eliminated. Also, the final line “May God forever bless you” is more typical of Poe’s style when writing to close female friends. Assuming that this line and signature belong with the rest of the fragment, it seems highly likely that Poe was writing to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond. Since Poe’s note to Sarah (see LTR-307) appears to be an extra message included in another letter, that letter may have accompanied the text of the present fragment. Moreover, the date, March 1, 1849, at the end of the note to Sarah may be the dating for the combined items. This dating would fit the range of references in the fragment, between February 24 (the availability of “A Valentine” in the Flag) and March 10 (the probable availability of “Hop-Frog” in the Flag). Poe is apparently answering two or more letters from Mrs. Richmond, one of which may be dated as about February 18, 1849 (CL-776).

Letter 307b — 1849, ca. March 3-17 [CL-778b] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Frederick W. Thomas (?) (Louisville, KY) (?):

I have represented [Thomas Dunn English] to you as merely an ambitious simpleton, anxious to get into society with the reputation of conducting a magazine which somebody behind the curtain always prevents him from quite damning with his stupidity; he is a knave and a beast. I cannot write any more for the Milliner’s Book, where T[uckerman]n prints his feeble and very quietly made dilutions of other people’s reviews; and you know that [the Literary World] can afford to pay but little, though I am glad to do anything for a good fellow like [Evert A. Duyckinck]. In this emergency I sell articles to the vulgar and trashy [Flag of Our Union], for $5 a piece. I enclose my last, cut out, lest you should see by my sending the paper in what company I am forced to appear.

Note: Poe and Thomas Dunn English had been friends and associates in 1845, but by early 1846 were unusually bitter enemies over his role in the Ellet case and the “libel” published in the Mirror by Hiram Fuller. More recently, as an editor of the short-lived John-Donkey (January 1, 1848-July 15, 1848), English had printed many sallies against Poe as a [page 782:] ponderous, derivative, and easily imitated author. The Poe Log reprints two examples (pp. 736-737 and 752); see also B. F. Fisher’s thorough presentation in “Poe and the John-Donkey” (Essays in Arts and Sciences, 10:17-41). The title itself occasioned much by-play upon “stupidity” as its innate quality (American Magazines, 1:656). Poe commented on English’s “ignorance” and stated that he edited the Aristidean “with the aid of numerous collaborators” in “The Literati of New York City” in Godey’s Lady’s Book for July 1846. Poe was even harsher in the revised version of this article, which appeared in Griswold’s edition of Poe’s works in 1850, slyly noting English’s excuses for frequent faults, such as a poor “proof-reader” or “printer’s devil” (H [Works], 15:266-269). Implying “somebody behind the curtain,” Poe also echoes the pretentious phrase “conductor of a magazine” that English used to describe himself as editor of the short-lived Aristidean and John-Donkey. The “Milliner’s book” is probably Godey’s Lady’s Book, which was tailored to a largely female audience and featured fashion plates. The extremely popular, long-running magazine (1830-1898) was a strong rival of Graham’s and a model of the “namby-pamby” type, which Poe repeatedly ridiculed. Poe’s last contribution to that magazine was “Mellonta Tauta” (February 1849). Poe once referred to a similar publication, the Lady’s Companion, with the derogatory comment: “Who but a milliner’s apprentice would even let into the house such a thing ... ?” (the Columbia Spy, Letter IV, June 8, 1844; Doings of Gotham, p. 52). The Lady’s Companion, however, ceased after the issue for October 1844. Although it might be a suitable description for either periodical, Poe’s use of the phrase “Milliner’s book” cannot refer to Graham’s Magazine or Sartain’s Magazine since his April 28-May 23, 1849 letter to Annie Richmond notes, “I am reduced to Sartain and Graham.” Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813-1871) rejected the tale “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which Poe had submitted to the Boston Miscellany in 1842, a slight Poe seems never to have forgotten. As noted in the review of Poe’s Tales from the Aristidean (October 1845), Tuckerman commented that “If Mr. Poe would condescend to furnish more quiet articles, he would be a most desirable correspondent.” The article continues, “Poe rejoined, that Tuckerman was the King of the Quietists, and in three months would give a quietus to the ‘Miscellany.’ The author was mistaken in time — it only took two months to finish the work.” (For Poe’s general disparagement of Tuckerman see Pollin, “The Living Writers of America,” SAR 1991, pp. 172 and 193, n. 109; also Writings, 2:123; 4:171; and his “Enigma” [page 783:] sonnet, including “... a Naples bonnet / Trash of all trash! — how can a lady don it?” and “The general tuckermanities are arrant,” TOM [Poems], 1:424-426.) About the time of the present letter, Tuckerman was a prized writer for Godey’s (American Magazines, 1:587, n. 17). The Literary World and newly reinstalled co-editor Evert Duyckinck seem the most plausible names to fill in the remaining blanks. Duyckinck, an influential reader and adviser for Wiley & Putnam, had helped place into print Poe’s tales, poems, and finally Eureka. At Poe’s request he had reprinted “Ulalume” and identified its author. In LTR-308 Poe thanked him and offered his “Von Kempelen” hoax-satire, about lead-gold transmutation, on the current “Gold-Rush.” He admitted to having “prepared” it for “‘The Flag’ — where it will be quite thrown away,” and so it was, in the Flag of April 14. That lowly journal on March 4 called him a “regular contributor” (see note to LTR-303, and The Poe Log, p. 796). Poe is possibly echoing Lowell’s prospectus for the Pioneer, which had aimed at a “rational substitute for the ... thrice-diluted trash ... [of] popular magazines” (see LTR-147 and note). He made similar statements about the Flag of Our Union to N. P. Willis in a letter of April 20, 1849 (LTR-310), asking Willis to reprint “For Annie.” Although Poe, with some cause, denigrates the “vulgar and trashy” Boston weekly in several letters of about the same time, much of his income then came from works issued in the Flag (see the note to LTR-303).

Source: text of the fragment as printed by Griswold in his “Memoir” Works, 3:xxxix [1850]. Names given only as dashes by Griswold have been provided editorially in brackets. Griswold’s judicious use of blanks reveals his ulterior motives. He fully obscures the name of the “good fellow,” probably Duyckinck, but gives a suggestive first and final letter for the insulting slight directed toward Tuckerman. Griswold seems to be calculating to ensure adverse post-mortem commentaries on Poe, or at least to discourage any inconvenient defense of Poe which might call into question the veracity of Griswold’s account. This goal was one which Griswold was willing to promote by such extravagant means as forgery (see SPR-4, SPR-5, SPR-6, SPR-7, SPR-8, SPR-9, SPR-11, SPR-21, and SPR-23) and even blackmail. William J. Pabodie wrote a mild reply to Griswold’s comments about Poe’s engagement to Mrs. Whitman, and received a terse letter in response from Griswold: “... I cannot permit any statement in my memoir of Poe to be contradicted by a reputable person, unless it is shown to be wrong. The statement in question I can easily prove, on the most unquestionable authority, to be true; and unless you [page 784:] explain your letter to ‘The Tribune’ in another for publication there, you will compel me to place before the public such documents as will be infinitely painful to Mrs. Whitman and all others concerned” (H [Works], 17:411). (Pabodie’s letter was published in the New York Tribune, for June 7, 1852; reprinted in H [Works], 17:409-410.) TOM [Iowa] records his opinion of the present letter as “New; Oct. 9, 1962” but apparently never discussed it with Ostrom, who omitted it from The Letters. TOM dates it as follows: “Between March 17 and April 28, probably, or if ‘piece’ be right [,] Between March 3 & 17 [1849].” Griswold violates chronology in printing this paragraph, of 1849, before the directly sequential reference to the semi-engagement (of 1848) to Sarah Helen Whitman. Surely this item is temporally misplaced. The “friend” to whom Griswold alludes as the correspondent seems most plausibly assigned as F. W. Thomas, to whom Poe had written on February 14, 1849 (LTR-304), after an interim of four years. For Thomas’ determined but ultimately failed attempts to secure a government post for Poe, in 1842-1843, see LTR-134 and note. TOM correctly ascribes the letter to Poe; indeed, save for the omission of names, there is little reason for his supposition of “doctored” sentences. TOM’s dating of this letter, however, needs reconsideration. Each issue of the Flag appeared at least a week before the Saturday date. Poe’s earliest published “piece” was “A Valentine” of twenty-one lines in the March 3, 1849 issue, available in late February, followed by “A Dream Within a Dream” of March 31, “Eldorado” of April 21, the long poem “For Annie” of April 28, and “To My Mother” of July 7, 1849 (with four tales intervening). He received “$5 a piece” — a price that Ostrom assigns to a sonnet, for the Flag, and $7 for an equivalent “Graham’s page” of prose (see “EAP: His Income as Literary Entrepreneur,” PS, 15:7). A short poem may best qualify as an item on the page, the rest of which Poe was “cutting away” to prevent revealing “the company” in which he is “forced to appear” in this “mammoth” weekly of eight columns. The two short poems — “A Dream Within a Dream” or “Eldorado” — might both qualify. TOM probably proposed his dates of March 3-17 in terms of Poe’s need for more publicity, especially in this new “Western” territory, opening up through Thomas’ editorship; Poe was unaware of Thomas’ February 1849 dissociation from it (see the end of the note to LTR-304). For reprinting, his poem might be more acceptable than his laudation of Mrs. Lewis, suggested in his February 14, 1849 letter. This may reflect the ambiguity of TOM’s conjectural dating — throughout both March and April. In [page 785:] particular, Poe’s poem “Eldorado” appears in the Flag of Our Union surrounded by companion pieces which Poe might have considered inappropriate and therefore requiring excision: “The Negro Who Did Not Believe in Ghosts” by “Pete,” “Uncle Toby’s” sketch entitled “Wrong End Foremost,” and Horace Judson’s “The Wanderer’s Return.” In a missing letter of November 27, 1848 (CL-748), Thomas, editor of an inchoate Louisville weekly Chronicle of Western Literature (see LTR-304 and note), may have inquired about English and Poe’s present activities, and Poe’s letter may be a partial reply.

Letter 308 — 1849, March 8 [CL-779] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Evert A. Duyckinck (New York, NY):

Fordham March 8.

Dear Sir,

If you have looked over the Von Kempelen article which I left with your brother, you will have fully perceived its drift. I mean it as a kind of “exercise”, or experiment, in the plausible or verisimilar style. Of course, there is not one word of truth in it from beginning to end. I thought that such a style, applied to the gold-excitement, could not fail of effect. My sincere opinion is that nine persons out of ten (even among the best-informed) will believe the quiz (provided the design does not leak out before publication) and that thus, acting as a sudden, although of course a very temporary, check to the gold-fever, it will create a stir to some purpose.

I had prepared the hoax for a Boston weekly called “The Flag” — where it will be quite thrown away. The proprietor will give me $15 for it on presentation to his agent here; and [page 2] my object in referring the article to you is simply to see if you could not venture to take it for the “World”. If so, I am willing to take for it $10 — or, in fact, whatever you think you can afford.

I believe the quiz is the first deliberate literary attempt of the kind on record. In the story of Mrs Veal, we are permitted, now & then, to perceive a tone of banter. In “Robinson Crusoe” the design was far [page 786:] more to please, or excite, than to deceive by verisimilitude, in which particular merely, Sir Ed. Seaward’s narrative is the more skilful book. In my “Valdemar Case” (which was credited by many) I had not the slightest idea that any person should credit it as any thing more than a “Magazine-paper” — but here the whole strength is laid out in verisimilitude.

I am very much obliged to you for your reprint of “ Ulalume”.

Truly Yours,

Edgar A Poe.

[page 3] P.S. If you feel the least shy about the article, make no hesitation in returning it, of course: — for I willingly admit that it is not a paper which every editor would like to “take the responsibility” of printing — although merely as a contribution with a known name: — but if you decline the quiz, please do not let out the secret.

Evert A. Duyckinck Esqr

Note: Evert Augustus Duyckinck and his brother George Long Duyckinck edited the Literary World (see the note to LTR-201). The Duyckincks apparently did not wish to “take the responsibility” for printing Poe’s tale and refused it. In fulfillment of his concerns, “Von Kempelen and His Discovery” was ultimately published in the Flag of Our Union on April 14, 1849 (see Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, p. 337). The present letter is included, along with pertinent remarks by TOM [T&S], 3:1355-1357. (Another ample treatment of “Von Kempelen” is in Pollin, “Sources and Significance,” first in Etudes Anglaises, January 1967, revised for DP, pp. 166-189.) The agent for the Flag was probably the Mr. French mentioned in LTR-302b. The “story of Mrs Veal” is Daniel Defoe’s pamphlet A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal (1706). Poe admiringly reviewed Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in the SLM, January 1836 (2:127-128; reprinted in H [Works], 8:169-173, and Writings, 5:98-99). Sir Edward Seaward’s diary was “edited” by Jane Porter and published in London, 1831 (see Allibone’s Dictionary of Authors, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1890, 2:1646). In a later review of J. F. Cooper’s Ned Myers (Graham’s, January 1844), Poe mentions “The Narrative of Sir Edward Seaward” and discusses Mrs. Porter’s “editorship” of Seaward’s diary in relation to his own “editing” of Pym [page 787:] (see Pollin, “Poe and Defoe,” pp. 3-22, specifically, pp. 19-20, and DP, pp. 136-137). For the “Valdemar Case,” see LTR-245 and note. Poe’s poem “Ulalume” had been reprinted in the Literary World of April 3, 1849 (4:202), with a brief introductory comment of praise (see LTR-305 and note).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (3 pp.) in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Division. The year date is established by Duyckinck’s printing of “Ulalume” in the Literary World, March 3, 1849. On the envelope, which was not mailed, appears: “Evert A. Duyckinck Esqr.” In upper left corner of page 1 is the entry: “1849.” This is Poe’s last known letter to Duyckinck, and no subsequent letter from Duyckinck is known.

Letter 309 — 1849, March 23 [CL-781] Poe (New York, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

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[ichmond] proof of something in which he seems to doubt me. You remember that Mr. and Mrs. [Locke] 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. [Locke] 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[ichmond] and Mr. C[udworth] did, and perhaps even your brother. Well! what do you think? Mrs. [Locke] 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 [page 788:] 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 [Lowell]. 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[udworth].

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.]

[Signature missing]

Note: For Westford, see the note to LTR-282. “Mr. R[ichmond]” was Annie’s husband. “Mr. and Mrs. L[ocke]” were Jane Ermina Locke and her husband, John, who lived very near the Richmonds in Lowell. Mrs. Locke seems to have written several letters to Poe, but only one is even partially extant, a MS of her poem “Ermina’s Tale” (sometimes misread, amusingly, as “Ermina’s Gale”) in the Ingram Collection (University of Virginia). It was presumably sent by her to Poe, though there is no such identification other than its appearance in the Ingram Collection, and carrying, in part, the note: “I hope you will acknowledge the receipt of this immediately, tho’ more than this I shall not entreat of you .... ” and the signature, “Yours as ever, Jane E. Locke.” The only possible dating is that heading the poem: “August / 48.” “Mr. C[udworth]” was the Reverend Warren H. Cudworth, of Lowell. Perhaps the verses concerning Poe, alluded to by Mrs. Locke, were from Mrs. Osgood’s poem, “Love’s [page 789:] Reply” (see Phillips, 2:1410; see also LTR-319, for further identification). Annie’s brother was A. Bardwell Heywood (see LTR-298 and note). In connection with Poe’s remarks about Mrs. Locke, see LTR-306 (and also the note to LTR-251 for J. E. Reilly’s important article on Poe’s difficult admirer). See also Quinn, pp. 564-566, citing portions of this letter and declaring Poe’s unpleasant role here to be “a man parrying the sentimental advances of a woman and yet encouraging her by the expression of an assumed interest.” The “relation in Providence” is a reference to Mr. Richmond’s parents. “For Annie” appeared in the Flag of Our Union, April 28, 1849 (see LTR-310 and note). “Hop-Frog” appeared in the Flag of Our Union, March 17, 1849. According to Mrs. Whitman’s letters to Ingram, February 20, 1874 and April 2, 1874, Poe had a regular engagement with the Metropolitan, which ran for only two issues (see the note to LTR-292). “Landor’s Cottage” was first printed, with five typographical errors, in the Flag of Our Union, June 9, 1849 (Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, p. 329 and TOM [T&S], 3:1328). Several of these errors found their way into the text printed by Griswold in The Works of the Late EAP (1850, 1:404-416) and were repeated in derivative editions.

Source: The present text is a composite of that portion of the letter printed by Ingram in Appleton’s Journal, May 1878, pp. 427-428, and that printed in Ingram, 2:210-212. Neither printing is complete, with Ingram stating in Appleton’s (p. 427) that the letter is “too lengthy to quote in full.” A search of the items in the Ingram Collection (University of Virginia) failed to reveal Ingram’s source for these printings, though it was probably a transcript of the original MS made and sent to him by Mrs. Richmond. The Appleton’s fragment was used as the basic text. Brackets enclose readings supplemented from the Life text, in a few cases merely a single character. Brackets have also been used for ellipses, which obviously are not part of the original letter, and for the names of individuals, all of which are given with first initials and dashes in Life and in Appleton’s (except for the Lockes, who are given only with dashes in Appleton’s, and Westford, which is given in full in Life). The town of Lowell is presumed for the dashes that appear in both of Ingram’s printings. The Appleton’s printing gives “inclose” for “enclose,” with the later spelling from Life adopted here as more standard. Poe seems to be answering a letter from Mrs. Richmond (CL-780), for he apparently quotes portions of it and implies queries put by her. A conjectural date for her letter would be before March 23, 1849 (the same date as for LTR-306, Poe’s last to her). [page 790:]

Letter 309a — 1849, April 1 [CL-781b] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Anson Gleason Chester (Saratoga Springs, NY):

Fordham — Ap. 1 — 49.

My Dear Sir,

In reply to your very flattering request for an autograph poem, I have the honor of copying for you the subjoined lines just written. As they will be sold to one of our periodicals, may I beg of you not to let them pass out of your possession until published?

Very respectfully,

Yr. ob. St

Edgar A Poe

A. G. Chester, Esq.

[Here follows a full copy of “For Annie.”]

Note: Anson Gleason Chester was a young Presbyterian minister, living in Saratoga Springs in New York. Poe generously provided several full MS copies of poems as autographs in reply to requests from various people (see LTR-278a and LTR-331). A textual study of the poem, including this MS, was done by Robbins, “A New Manuscript of Poe’s ‘For Annie’,” Studies in Bibliography, pp. 261-265.

Source: photograph of the original MS (4 pp.) in the Lilly Library, University of Indiana. The address reads: “A. G. Chester Esqre / Saratoga Springs, N. Y.,” with Poe’s initials in the lower left corner. The postmark is “NEW YORK / 2 / APR / 5 cnts.”

Letter 310 — 1849, April 20 [CL-782] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Nathaniel P. Willis (New York, NY):

Fordham, April 20, 1849.

My dear Willis: —

The poem which I enclose, and which I am so vain as to hope you will like, in some respects, has been just published in a paper for which sheer necessity compels me to write, now and then. It pays well as [page 791:] times go — but unquestionably it ought to pay ten prices; for whatever I send it I feel I am consigning to the tomb of the Capulets. The verses accompanying this, may I beg you to take out of the tomb, and bring them to light in the Home Journal? If you can oblige me so far as to copy them, I do not think it will be necessary to say “From the [Flag]” that would be too bad; — and, perhaps, “From a late [Boston] paper,” would do.

I have not forgotten how a “good word in season” from you made “The Raven,” and made “Ulalume,” (which, by-the-way, people have done me the honor of attributing to you) — therefore I would ask you (if I dared,) to say something of these lines — if they please you.

Truly yours ever,

Edgar A. Poe.

Note: In accordance with Poe’s request, “For Annie” appeared in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849. It also appeared in the Flag of Our Union (Boston), April 28, 1849, vol. 4, no. 17, p. 2, col. 6, with the heading: “For Annie [Written for The Flag of Our Union].” As noted in LTR-307a, the Flag typically appeared in advance of the issue date, a procedure characteristic especially of weeklies of those days. In sending the poem to the Home Journal, Poe was essentially pirating his own work, concomitantly with its legal printing. To name the Flag of Our Union would draw attention not only to a possible awareness of the questionable printing but also to Poe’s involvement with the Flag, a low class journal which always embarrassed him. The self-exculpation in his next letter, to Annie (LTR-312a), about the poem’s being “misprinted,” is regarded as weak and probably untrue by TOM [Poems, 1:455], who does not point out that collating the two texts reveals only one minor variant: “Stars of the heaven” becoming “Stars of the sky” (see the variants noted by Floyd Stovall in his edition of the Poems, 1965, p. 285). The May 5 issue of the Flag apparently went to press too late for it to carry a comment rebuking the printing of the poem in the Home Journal, the complaint appearing in the May 12 issue (see Campbell, Poems, note on “For Annie,” pp. 288). For Willis’ remark concerning “The Raven,” see the note to LTR-317. For Willis’ prefatory comment on “Ulalume,” in the Home Journal of January 1, 1848 (“... a poem ... full of beauty and oddity in sentiment and versification, but a curiosity ... in philologic flavor. Who is the author?”), see Phillips, 2:1247 and The Poe Log, p. 715. Willis did indeed [page 792:] “say something” about “For Annie” in the Home Journal, calling it, in part, an “exquisite specimen of private property” (see Phillips, 2:1396, and The Poe Log, p. 800). Poe’s reference to the plot gone awry in the last act of Romeo and Juliet is a humorous token of his love of Shakespeare’s plays, with six citations from this popular tragedy in Poe’s works, and seven short excerpts in his list recorded during his 1829 army stay, one being “I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault” (V, 1, 20) (see Pollin, “Shakespeare in the Works of EAP,” SAR 1985, pp. 181 and 186).

Source: transcript of the letter as printed by Willis in his article, “Death of Edgar A. Poe,” first printed in the Home Journal, October 20, 1849 (p. 2). The original MS is probably lost.

Letter 311 — 1849, April 28 (?) - May 23 (?) [CL-785] Poe (New York, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

Note: Letter re-dated, and renumbered as LTR-312a.

Letter 312 — 1849, ca. April 30 [CL-786] Poe (New York, NY) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL):

New York: April 1849

Dear Sir,

No doubt you will be surpri[s]ed to learn that your letter dated Dec. 18. has only this moment reached me. I live at the village of Fordham; about 14 miles from New-York on the Harlam [sic] Rail-Road — but as there is no Post-Office at the place, I date always from New-York and get all my letters from the city Post-Office. When, by accident or misapprehension, letters are especially directed to me at Fordham, the clerks — some of them who do not know my arrangements — forward them to West-Farms, the nearest Post-Office town, and one which I rarely visit. Thus it happened with your letter — on account of the request which you made Mr. Putnam, I presume, “to forward it to my residence”. I have thought it proper to make you this explanation, lest you may have been all this time fancying me discourteous in not replying to your very flattering proposition. [page 793:]

I deeply regret that I did not sooner receive it; and had it reached me in due season, I would have agreed to it unhesitatingly. In assuming “originality” as the “keystone of success” in such enterprises, you are right; and not only right, but, in yourself, almost “original” — for there are none of our publishers who have the wit to perceive this vital truth. What the public seek in a Magazine is what they cannot elsewhere procure.

Should you not have changed your mind on the subject, I should be pleased to hear from you again. I do not think — (in fact I am perfectly sure of the contrary) — that a [page 2] Magazine could succeed, to any great extent, under the precise form, title, and general plan which (no doubt hurriedly) you have suggested; but your idea of the duplicate publication, East & West, strikes me forcibly.

Experience, not less than the most mature reflection on the topic, assures me that no cheap Magazine can ever again prosper in America. We must aim high — address the intellect — the higher classes — of the country (with reference, also, to a certain amount of foreign circulation) and put the work at $5: — giving about 112. pp. (or perhaps 128) with occasional wood-engravings in the first style of art, but only in obvious illustration of the text. Such a Mag. would begin to pay after 1000 subscribers; and with 5000 would be a fortune worth talking about: — but there is no earthly reason why, under proper management, and with energy and talent, the work might not be made to circulate, at the end of a few years — (say 5) 20,000 copies — in which case it would give a clear income of 70 or 80,000 dollars — even if conducted in the most expensive manner, paying the highest European prices for contributions & designs. I need not add that such a Mag. would exercise a literary and other influence never yet exercised in America. — I presume you know that during the second year of its existence, the “S. L. Messenger” rose from less than 1000 to 5000 subs., and that “Graham”, in 18 months after my joining it, went up from 5000 to 52,000. I do not imagine that a $5 Mag. could ever be forced into so great a circulation as this latter; but, under certain circumstances, I would answer for 20,000. The whole income from Graham’s 52,000 [page 3] never went beyond 15,000 $: — the [page 794:] proportional expenses of the $3 Mags. being so very much greater than those of the $5 ones.

My plan, in getting up such a work as I propose, would be to take a tour through the principal States — especially West & South — visiting the small towns more particularly than the large ones — lecturing as I went, to pay expenses — and staying sufficiently long in each place to interest my personal friends (old College & West Point acquaintances scattered all over the land) in the success of the enterprise. By these means, I would guarantee, in 3 months (or 4) to get 1000 subs. in advance, with their signatures — nearly all pledged to pay on the issue of the first number. Under such circumstances, success would be certain. I have now about 200 names pledged to support me whenever I venture on the undertaking — which perhaps you are aware I have long had in contemplation — only awaiting a secure opportunity.

If you will write me your views on the subject — as much in detail as possible — and if they accord in any degree with mine — I will endeavor to pay you a visit at Oquawka, or meet you at any place you suggest, where we can talk the matter over with deliberation. Please direct your reply simply to New-York City.

Very Respy

YrOb. St

Edgar A Poe.

E. H. N. Patterson Esq.

Note: E. H. N. Patterson (1828-1880) was the editor of the Oquawka Spectator (Oquawka, IL), having come of age on January 27, 1849 and inheriting control of the newspaper from his father. Patterson’s full name has been the cause of much confusion, with no certain resolution. In printing these letters in 1898, Field gives it as Edward Howard Norton Patterson (p. 10), as does the Library of Congress, while The Poe Log (p. xxxv) substitutes an improbable “Horton Norton” as the middle names. The obituary from the Oquawka Spectator prints his first name as Edwin, unhelpfully neglecting to expand the other initials. A passage from the extant memoranda of Patterson’s May 7 letter to Poe (CL-787) serves to show his reasons for writing Poe: “... my principal object being to enlist your sympathies and interests in a periodical (to be published by me), [page 795:] the literary contents of which should be exclusively under your control, believing that such an enterprise would prove successful, not doubting that even a cheap Magazine, under your editorial control, could be made to pay well, and at the same time exert a beneficial influence upon American Literature.” Poe’s comments on “originality” in the present letter should be compared with those in his review of Hawthorne (Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1847), where he says, “In one sense, and in great measure, to be peculiar is to be original, and than the true originality there is no higher literary virtue,” also “it is clear that the element of literary originality is novelty.” Poe’s difficulties with receiving letters addressed to Fordham, misdirected to West-Farms, is mentioned also on page 6 of LTR-278. As became a habit for Poe, his claims for the number of subscribers for various magazines on which he worked, and for the amount of profit that could be achieved by his own magazine, are often wildly inaccurate. For Poe’s estimates for the proposed Stylus, see his parallel figures in LTR-186. For similar exaggerations about subscribers, and Whalen’s observations on them, see the note to LTR-139. Certainly Poe’s “old College & West Point acquaintances” were not nearly as numerous nor as useful to his plans as he implies, although he did have various persons in mind who had signified their approval of his magazine goals and who had promised their aid. The list of names, as it now survives, slightly tops the number stated in the letter, but with various duplications. The “pledges” noted therein are surely “hopeful.” For Poe’s references to his carefully compiled lists (published as Such Friends, 1985) and his uses of them, see the texts and notes for the following: LTR-106a, LTR-146, LTR-222, and LTR-259. Poe was frequently supremely confident in the success of his magazine scheme, at least publically, but his plans were consistently frustrated.

There seems to be no local usage-warrant for Poe’s spelling of “Harlam” for Harlem which derives from the Dutch creation in 1658 of the village of New Haarlem, after the city in Holland. In the tale “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” Poe eccentrically spells the place name “Harlaem” (TOM [T&S], 3:1234).

Source: color photograph of the original MS (3 pp.) in the Chicago Historical Society. There is no address or postmark on the fourth page of the letter, a separate cover apparently having been used and since lost. Patterson’s May 7, 1849 (CL-787), letter to Poe was answered May 23 (LTR-316), after a week’s delay; thus up to a week or ten days can be allowed for the transit of a letter between New York and Oquawka. Since [page 796:] Patterson introduced his May 7 letter with “I hasten to reply ... ” Poe’s letter must have been written at least a week before, but in April.

Letter 312a — 1849, after May 5 [CL-786d] Poe (New York, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

[...] Annie, —

You will see by this note that I am nearly, if not quite, well — so be no longer uneasy on my account. I was not so ill as my mother supposed, and she is so anxious about me that she takes alarm often without cause. It is not so much ill that I have been as depressed in spirits — I cannot express to you how terribly I have been suffering from gloom. [...] I begin to have a secret terror lest I may never behold you again. [...] Abandon all hope of seeing me soon. [...] You know how cheerfully I wrote to you not long ago — about my prospects — hopes — how I anticipated being soon out of difficulty — well! all seems to be frustrated — at least for the present. As usual, misfortunes never come single, and I have met one disappointment after another. The Columbian Magazine, in the first place, failed — then Post’s Union (taking with it my principal dependence); then the Whig Review was forced to stop paying for contributions — then the Democratic — then (on account of his oppression and insolence) I was obliged to quarrel, finally, with [Godey]; and then, to crown all, the “[Gentleman’s Magazine]” (from which I anticipated so much and with which I had made a regular engagement for $10 a week throughout the year) has written a circular to correspondents, pleading poverty and declining to receive any more articles. More than this, the S. L. Messenger, which owes me a good deal, cannot pay just yet — and altogether, I am reduced to Sartain and Graham — both very precarious. No doubt, Annie, you attribute my “gloom” to these events — but you would be wrong. It is not in the power of any mere worldly consideration, such as these, to depress me. [...] No, my sadness is unaccountable, and this makes me the more sad. I am full of dark forebodings. Nothing cheers or comforts me. My life seems wasted — the future looks a dreary blank; but I will struggle on and “hope [page 797:] against hope.” [...] What do you think? I have received a letter from Mrs. [Locke], and such a letter! She says she is about to publish a detailed account of all that occurred between us, under guise of romance, with fictitious names, &c. — that she will make me appear noble, generous, &c., &c. — nothing bad — that she will “do justice to my motives,” &c., &c. She writes to know if “I have any suggestions to make.” If I do not answer it in a fortnight, the book will go to press as it is — and more than all this — she is coming on immediately to see me at Fordham. I have not replied — shall I? and what? The “friend” who sent the lines to the H. J. was the friend who loves you best — was myself. The [Flag] so misprinted them that I was resolved to have a true copy. The [Flag] has two of my articles yet — “A Sonnet to my Mother,” and “Landor’s Cottage.” [...] I have written a ballad called “Annabel Lee,” which I will send you soon. Why do you not send the tale of which you spoke?

Note: Concerning Poe’s illness, see Mrs. Clemm’s note appended to the present letter: “... he has been very ill ... I thought he would die several times. God knows I wish we were both in our graves — it would, I am sure, be far better” (Ingram, 2:215). The Columbian Magazine, more fully the Columbian Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine, was a monthly first issued in January 1844, and ceasing after its last of February 1849 (see American Magazines, 1:743-744). Post’s Union was first issued July 1847, and following the issue for December 1848 was bought by Sartain to become Sartain’s Union (American Magazines, 1:769). For the Whig Review, see the note to LTR-300. The United States Magazine and Democratic Review was first issued for October 1837, and was known by that title through 1851 (American Magazine, 1:677), after which followed a series of name changes which were variations of the original one. The person with whom Poe quarreled was probably Louis A. Godey. TOM [T&S], 3:1290 reasonably speculates that the basis for the disagreement concerned Poe’s reuse in Eureka of material from “Mellonta Tauta,” a tale Poe had sold to Godey but which had not yet been published in the Lady’s Book. (The two men were apparently reconciled by July 1849, when Godey was among those who gave Poe $5 at the request of George Lippard; see The Poe Log, p. 817.) The magazine with which Poe had made a “regular engagement” was most likely the Gentlemen’s Magazine of Cincinnati (see LTR-301 and note). The Poe Log (p. 801) suggests the [page 798:] Flag of Our Union for the missing name, but Ingram prints two dashes, with the number of dashes typically fitting the number of words omitted, and he specifically names the Flag in the final few sentences in the reprint of the letter in his two-volume Life of Poe (1880), while still omitting this other name. The SLM owed Poe money for several installments of his ongoing “Marginalia” series (appearing in the SLM April-September 1849, see Writings, 2:335-423). Mrs. Locke seems to have written her “romance” (see LTR-319), but whether she published it or visited Poe at Fordham is not known. The “lines” sent to the Home Journal by “the friend who loves you [Annie] best” were “For Annie,” a poem which was by no means so badly printed as Poe suggests (see the note to LTR-310). Poe’s sonnet “To My Mother” appeared in the Flag, July 7, 1849 (Quinn, p. 605), and “Landor’s Cottage” in the same magazine, June 9, 1849 (Quinn, p. 597). “Annabel Lee” appeared posthumously in the New York Tribune, October 9, 1849 (Quinn, p. 606). By invoking the phrase “Abandon all hope,” Poe may be penning a wry joke on Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno, iii, 9: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.” PD (p. 25) gives sixteen references or short allusions to Dante in Poe’s writings.

Source: text of the letter as printed by Ingram in Appleton’s Journal, May 1878, p. 428. Given in brackets are all ellipses, which obviously are not part of the original MS, as well as names omitted from the Appleton’s printing. Two names given only as dashes in Appleton’s are provided more directly in the Life (Ingram, 2:213-215), these being the Flag and Mrs. Locke (although still obscured as “Mrs. L — ”). The names of Godey and the Gentleman’s Magazine (Cincinnati) have been added editorially. A dash at the end of the final sentence has been omitted, as was done in the Life. No printing is complete, and both of Ingram’s versions neglect to provide a signature. A search of the items in the Ingram Collection (University of Virginia) failed to reveal Ingram’s source for his printings, though it was probably a transcript of the original MS made by Mrs. Richmond. Definite dating of the letter seems impossible. Ingram, Harrison, and Phillips leave it undated. Woodberry [1909, 2:417] dates it “May, 1849.” Allen (2:804-805 [1926], and pp. 640-641 [1934]) quotes part and dates it “March, 1849.” Quinn (pp. 603-605) suggests “the spring of 1849” and after April 21, 1849. Mabbott dates it both as not “earlier than May 5 or later than May 23, 1849” (Poems, 1:469 n 6) and “before June 9” (Poems, 1:466). The best point of reference is Poe’s comment that “the [Flag] has two of my articles,” naming them as “Sonnet to My Mother” and “Landor’s Cottage.” Since his tale “X-ing a Paragrab” is not [page 799:] mentioned, it must already have been published. That tale appeared in the Flag for May 12, 1849, but was apparently available a week early (see The Poe Log, p. 802). With Poe’s “Sonnet” appearing in the Flag for July 7, a date as late as the end of June is not impossible, but a date closer to the printing of “For Annie” in the Home Journal (April 28, 1849) seems preferable. Poe is answering a letter from Mrs. Richmond (CL-786b); for which a conjectural dating is before May 5, 1849.

Letter 313 — 1849, May 10 [CL-789] Poe (New York, NY) to John R. Thompson (Richmond, VA):

New-York: May 10. 49.

My Dear Sir —

I forward some more of the “Marginalia” — rather more piquant, I hope, and altogether more to my own liking, than what I sent before. I shall probably be in Richmond about the 1rst of June & will bring the MS “Raven”, in obedience to your flattering request.

Truly yours.

Edgar A Poe

John R. Thompson Esqr

Note: In January 1849, Poe arranged for the new series of “Marginalia” to be published in the SLM (see LTR-299 and LTR-302a), with the first installment appearing in the issue for April. The “eleven pages” of MS Poe sent in January would approximately match what was printed in the SLM for April and May, perhaps justifying the additional material at this point for June and July. (A long gap then occurs before the next and final installment, which did not appear until September.) The phrase “obedience to the flattering request” may seem much too deferential for their present relationship, but Poe repeatedly used this phrase — “flattering request” — for autograph requests, sometimes from total strangers (see LTR-89, LTR-103, LTR-141b, LTR-160, LTR-223b, LTR-227, and LTR-265a). In keeping with this description, the “Marginalia” items beginning in June are indeed shorter and more pointed. Poe did not visit Richmond until July, matching a similar intention and delay in 1848 (see LTR-263). In writing E. H. N. Patterson on May 23, 1849 (LTR-316), Poe states: “To-day I am going to Boston & Lowell, to remain a week; and immediately afterwards I will start for [page 800:] Richmond,” and asks Patterson to send money there. By June 9, however, Poe wrote to Thompson that his plans had changed: “It was my design to be in Richmond about the first of this month — but now it will be the 18th or 20th before I can leave New-York ... ” (LTR-318).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the Huntington Library. The letter, measuring 8 inches by 6 1/2 inches, bears no address, presumably because it was being sent as part of a larger package. There has been some question about the authenticity of the present letter. In The Letters [1948], it is printed as genuine, but in the 1974 supplement, Ostrom declares it a forgery, based on the assertion that it has been so identified by its owner, the Huntington Library. Indeed, the library does keep the MS in a folder marked “forgery,” but without any explanation. The attribution may be based on the authority of TOM, who had privately stated his own suspicion, repeated in TOM [Poems, 1:364], but also without giving supporting details. He was probably concerned about the eye-catching reference to a MS of “The Raven,” when Thompson is not known to have owned such a treasure. The Huntington purchased the present letter from the collection of John L. Clawson in 1920, along with LTR-299, LTR-177, and a MS of “Eulalie,” all of which are considered authentic. Clawson appears to have acquired the MS in 1914, inserted in an 1885 edition of The Raven (with an introduction by Ingram). One concern is the nature of the paper, which appears to be of the appropriate age but is off-white rather than the pale blue Poe seems to have preferred at this period. The MSS for LTR-299 and LTR-302a to Thompson, as well as the fragments of “Marginalia” M-253-255, are on the blue paper. Judging from Poe’s letters to Patterson of April-August 1849, however, Poe was using both blue and buff paper, in a variety of sizes. The handwriting closely matches authentic examples written about the same time, and its contents do not disqualify it. If it is a forgery, it is one made with extraordinary skill.

Letter 314 — 1849, May 17 [CL-791] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. Sarah A. Lewis (New York, NY):

Fordham — May 17 —

My dear friend,

I have not been well enough, lately, to copy the lines “For Annie” but will copy them to-day. In regard to the other matter, depend upon [page 801:] me — as in all respects you may, with implicit confidence. Please make a memorandum as explicit as possible — so that I may know precisely what you wish.

Believe me Yours ever,

Edgar A Poe.

Mrs Stella Anna Lewis

Note: The “other matter” suggests two interpretations. On May 18, 1849, Poe wrote to George Putnam (LTR-315), suggesting that he publish a new edition of Mrs. Lewis’ Child of the Sea and Other Poems. Later, on June 28, 1849, Poe wrote to Griswold (LTR-321) and suggested that he use for a second edition of Female Poets a longer critical notice of Mrs. Lewis to be prepared by Poe. If Mrs. Lewis replied to the present letter without delay, the first note may have concerned a second edition of her poems; if she answered after May 18, she probably sought a more flattering critical notice. For Poe’s services to Mrs. Lewis in such matters, see the note to LTR-321.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.), formerly in the collection of William H. Koester, and now in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. A presumed separate leaf for the address is lost. The year date of “49” is noted by Moldenhauer in his Descriptive Catalog as “erased but still legible” (p. 72). It is further established by the reference to “For Annie” (see LTR-309 and note). “Edgar Poe” is written in the upper left corner of the MS, perhaps by Mrs. Lewis. TOM [Iowa] says: “Probably a forgery”; likewise in his copy of The Letters [1948]. In his headnote to “For Annie,” TOM repeats his doubts about the authenticity of this letter, noting that it “has no history prior to 1935 ... It is hard to believe we should have no earlier trace of so important a manuscript if the Brooklyn poetess ever had it” (TOM [Poems], 1:455, n. 8). TOM’s concerns may be partially allayed by a record of an earlier sale of the present letter in 1904 (see CL-791), a sale which given his comment about its history was clearly unknown to him. The MS of “For Annie,” assuming that Poe eventually fulfilled his promise, has not been located. In spite of TOM’s concerns about such an important MS, one must also remember that Poe’s letter to A. G. Chester (LTR-309a) includes a full copy of the same poem, yet was entirely unknown until 1985. Poe is apparently replying to a letter from Mrs. Lewis, before May 17, 1849 (CL-790); and a further note is implied from Mrs. Lewis, after May 17, 1849 (CL-791a). [page 802:]

Letter 315 — 1849, May 18 [CL-792] Poe (Fordham, NY) to George P. Putnam (New York, NY):

Fordham — May 18 — 49

Geo. P. Putnam Esqre,

Dr Sir,

It has been suggested to Mrs. S. Anna Lewis, by several of her friends, that she should publish a new edition of her “Child of the Sea” &c including some compositions lately written — the whole in a handsome volume, with illustrations by Darley.

My object, in this note, is to submit the idea to your consideration. — Mrs Lewis has an unusually large circle of personal friends, has been highly praised by the critics, is very popular as an authoress and daily growing more so: — no doubt, therefore, she will exercise, before long, a very extensive literary influence.

If the volume suggested were prepared in season for the next Holidays, [page 2] I think you will agree with me that it could not fail of success.

Most Respy

Yr. Ob. St

Edgar A Poe.

Note: Mrs. Lewis’ Child of the Sea and Other Poems was first published in 1848. Poe reviewed the book in the SLM, September 1848, with a few biographical facts about the author (14:569-571; reprinted in H [Works], 13:155-165, and Writings, 5:371-374). His present attempt to have Putnam publish a second edition failed. Few readers in Poe’s day seem to have shared his public views on her writings, and even fewer modern readers are likely to do so. It is difficult, therefore, to accept at face value that Poe’s “object, in this note” was genuinely the result of a belief in Mrs. Lewis’ “very extensive literary influence.” More likely, his motivation was due to a sense of obligation in certain personal matters affecting him and Mrs. Clemm. For Poe’s long professional association with Felix O. C. Darley, a popular nineteenth century illustrator, see LTR-153 and note. [page 803:]

Source: photocopy of the original MS (2 pp.), formerly in the collection of William H. Koester, and now in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The address leaf is lost and the MS is torn along upper left margin, but no words are missing. TOM [Iowa] in his copy of The Letters [1948] writes: “Is this OK?,” possibly in conjunction with his concerns about LTR-314, both being sold in the spring of 1935 and related to Mrs. Lewis. There seems nothing in content to cause doubt, and a 1907 sale of the letter argues somewhat in its favor (see CL-792). In the upper left corner of the MS is the notation “ansd May 20,” which indicates that Putnam replied promptly to Poe’s letter (CL-793). In the original MS, Poe breaks “Holidays” across pages 1 and 2 as “Holi-days.”

Letter 316 — 1849, May 23 [CL-794] Poe (New York, NY) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL):

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 [sic] 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 [page 804:] 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 St Louis & there meet you. We can then visit N. York together, or I can continue the tour, as may be agreed on. In the mean- [page 2] time 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.

Note: Poe went to visit Annie Richmond, but just when he returned to New York is not certain (see LTR-317a). Concerning Poe’s plan to get the $50 “at Richmond,” see LTR-318. Patterson sent the money as promised (see LTR-329). Poe’s poem was “For Annie,” which Willis had printed in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849 (see LTR-310). Patterson reprinted the poem in the Oquawka Spectator (May 16, 1849). For other [page 805:] instances of Poe’s oft-repeated phrase “poor-devil author” see the note to LTR-304. The title page sent by Poe was his own contemplated design for the cover of the Stylus, made with black ink on pink paper, with a small piece of white paper bearing the image of a hand writing the Greek word for “truth.” The page is faithfully reproduced in facsimile in SLP, facing p. 16. The actual drawing of the hand has been the subject of some discussion, having been variously attributed to Poe himself (The Letters [1948], p. 444, and DP, frontispiece) and F. O. C. Darley (Pollin, Writings, notes for M-256, 2:394 and “The Living Writers of America,” SAR 1991, p. 154 n15), whose services Poe had secured in 1843 for the Stylus (see The Poe Log, pp. 395-396 for the contract between Poe and Darley). The drawing is more-or-less competently composed, so that it is not too far beneath the professional Darley, but also somewhat crude, so that it might not have been beyond Poe’s own artistic abilities. In any case, the hand is clearly based on, and perhaps traced from, one of several hands used in an advertisement for improved penmanship in “Writing Books” in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, issue of March 4, 1843. The resemblance is unmistakable. The idea for the image and the motto comes from an anecdote about Paulus Jovius and two pens, conveniently recorded in “Marginalia” M-256 (SLM, June 1849; see Writings, 2:394). Another confusion is whether or not the image of the hand appeared as part of a printed prospectus for the Stylus. This error may be laid at the door of William Fearing Gill, who in his biography of Poe printed a new woodcut version of the hand, without clear attribution, directly above the text of a Stylus Prospectus taken from the Saturday Museum of 1843 (Life of EAP, 1877 and 1878).This juxtaposition of material, and the scarcity of the periodical, has unintentionally misled some to suspect a missing issue of the Saturday Museum with a prospectus beginning with the image. An earlier article by Gill, however, clarifies the matter. In “Some New Facts about Edgar Allan Poe” (Laurel Leaves, pp. 359-388) Gill uses the identical woodcut of the “writing hand,” along with the Prospectus text, although not in proximity.

Poe’s misspelling of “Okquawka” is at odds with the repetition of the name further on in the present letter, and in LTR-312. One wonders if this is, perhaps, a deliberate error on Poe’s part to underscore the manifest difficulties in the name.

Source: color photograph of the original MS (2 pp.) in the Chicago Historical Society. The cover of the letter was postmarked May 25 at New York. Poe is answering Patterson’s letter of May 7, 1849 (CL-787). [page 806:]

Letter 317 — 1849, May (?) [CL-796] Poe (New York, NY) to Rufus W. Griswold (New York, NY):

Dear Griswold — I enclose perfect copies of the lines “For Annie” and “Annabel Lee” — in hope that you may make room for them. As regards “Lenore” (which you were kind enough to say you would insert) I would prefer the concluding stanza to run thus: —

Avaunt! avaunt! to friends from fiends the indignant ghost is riven —

From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven —

From grief and moan to a golden throne beside the King of Heaven: —

Let no bell toll, then, lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,

Should catch the note, as it doth float up from the damnèd Earth;

And I! — to-night my heart is light! — no dirge will I upraise

But waft the angel on her flight with a Pæan of old days.

It is a point of no great importance — but, in one of your editions, you have given my sister’s age instead of mine. I was born Dec. 1813 — my sister Jan 1811.

Willis (whose opinion I highly value & of whose good word I have a right to be proud) has done me the honor to speak very pointedly in praise of “The Raven” — I enclose what he said — & if you could contrive to introduce it, you would render me an essential favor & greatly further my literary interests at a point where I am most anxious they should be advanced: — but I fear I am asking too much.

Truly Yours

E A Poe

Note: Poe’s three poems (“For Annie,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Lenore”) were printed by Griswold in the tenth edition of his Poets and Poetry of America, which was noticed in the New York Tribune, December 15, 1849 (see J. L. Neu, “Rufus Wilmot Griswold,” p. 122). Griswold ignored Poe’s requested revision (see TOM [Poems], 1:334). Willis’ praise of “The Raven” was probably that prefacing the poem in the Evening Mirror, January 29, 1845: “... it is the most effective single example of ‘fugitive poetry’ ever published in this country, and unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification, and consistent sustaining of imaginative lift and ‘pokerishness.’.” Poe’s [page 807:] chief literary interests at this time were in establishing a magazine with the aid of E. H. N. Patterson (see Poe’s letters to him). Poe often misremembered dates, especially in published statements, as suited his purposes. He had previously misinformed Griswold, in a short “memorandum” (see LTR-112), that he was born in 1811, an error which remained prominent in biographical articles long after Poe’s death. The present statement that he was born in 1813 is especially egregious since Poe’s mother had died in December of 1811, as Poe certainly knew. The correct birth date of January 19, 1809 was first published by Gill, based on records at the University of Virginia. (Gill’s article appeared in Lotos Leaves, copyrighted in 1875, but available in late 1874. Ingram, in his 1874 memoir to Poe’s collected works, follows the same records, providing the correct year but erroneously giving the month as February; see J. H. Ingram to Mrs. S. H. Whitman, December 28, 1874; printed in Miller, Poe’s Helen Remembers, pp. 238-241 — in particular see p. 240.) Ironically coincident is the nativity of the title character of Poe’s “William Wilson” (see TOM [T&S], 2:432 and 2:450, n. 9).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The MS is undated, but has been assigned by various editors to March or June. The leaf is pasted to a sheet of cardboard, precluding examination for an address. The MS has been docketed “about ‘45,” in a strange hand, but this date is clearly wrong. In his letter to Annie Richmond, March 23, 1849 (LTR-309), Poe speaks of “For Annie” as of recent composition, and to her, after May 5, 1849 (LTR-312a), he mentions “Annabel Lee” for the first time. Since Poe sent “For Annie” to the Home Journal, where it was printed, April 28, 1849, and since Griswold says he knew of “Annabel Lee” in June 1849 (see Campbell, Poems, p. 293), the most probable date for the above letter to Griswold seems to be between April 28 and June, 1849; therefore, May (?), 1849 will serve as a satisfactory guess. For a forged postscript to the present letter, see SPR-23.

Letter 317a — 1849, June 4 [CL-797a] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

[...] I think it probable that I will not start for Richmond until next Monday’s packet. — Enclosed I send some notices of “Eureka” which you asked for. Please re-enclose them — as I wish to take them to R. [page 808:] Remember me to Sarah, Bardwell, Mr. C. Mr. R. Miss Cudworth & all. [...]

Notes: Poe further explained his travel plans, which would again be delayed, in LTR-318. He sent Mrs. Richmond more notices of Eureka in LTR-319. The familiar names of Sarah (Annie’s sister), Bardwell (Annie’s brother), Mr. Richmond (Annie’s husband), as well as Mr. Cudworth and his daughter appear regularly in Poe’s letters to Annie.

Source: text of fragment of the original MS (1 p.) as printed in the Collector, 1988, offered for sale by Walter R. Benjamin Autographs, Inc. as item V-843. The description gives the measurements as 2 inches by 7 1/2 inches, seven lines, unsigned. The date, written in another hand, is noted as “June 4, 1849,” presumably by Mrs. Richmond. The seller, misled by the reference to Eureka, disputes this date, erroneously stating that “it was almost certainly written in July of 1848.” The June dating on the letter is correct, however, as established by the context continued in LTR-319, clearly written in 1849. Accompanying material, bearing the initials “A. L. R.,” suggests that Mrs. Richmond cut the fragment and sent it to a friend to comply with a request for a sample of Poe’s handwriting.

Letter 318 — 1849, June 9 [CL-799] Poe (New York, NY) to John R. Thompson (Richmond, VA):

New-York — June 9 — 49.

My Dear Sir,

It was my design to be in Richmond about the first of this month — but now it will be the 18th or 20th before I can leave New-York — and I will wait until I hear from you. Please send me $10 if you can possibly spare it. The June Messenger has not yet come to hand — but I presume it is in the city by this time.

Most probably you will have received, ere this, a letter for me, addressed to your care at Richmond. In such case, may I ask you to forward it here under cover with your reply? — but if it has not reached you when this letter does, please retain it (when it arrives) until you see me in Richmond. [page 809:]

Very truly your Friend,

Edgar A Poe.

John R Thompson Esqr

Note: For Poe’s actual departure for Richmond, see the note to LTR-326. Another installment of Poe’s “Marginalia” was printed in the June 1849 issue of the SLM (reprinted in H [Works], 17:160-168, and Writings, 2:376-394); that contribution, however, was scarcely enough at $2 a page to support the sum requested in the present letter. Thompson may have owed him for previous installments of the “Marginalia,” which had been running since April 1849, and Poe was trying to collect the debt. Poe had suggested to E. H. N. Patterson (see LTR-316) to write him in Richmond care of Thompson.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the Morgan Library. If Thompson answered Poe, no MS or printing of his letter is known. This is the last known letter from Poe to John R. Thompson. Inexplicable is Poe’s minor inconsistency in raising the “th” of “18th” to a superscript, and underlining it, but not for the “20th.” In all other respects, the letter is very carefully and neatly written.

Letter 319 — 1849, June 16 [CL-802] Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond (Lowell, MA):

Fordham — June 16.

My own darling Annie — You must have been thinking all kinds of hard thoughts of your Eddie for the last week — for you asked me to write before I started for Richmond and I was to have started last Monday (the 11th) — so perhaps you thought me gone, and without having written to say “good bye” — but indeed, my Annie, I could not have done so. The truth is, I have been on the point of starting every day since I wrote — and so put off writing until the last moment — but I have been disappointed — and can no longer refrain from sending you at least a few lines to let you see why I have been so long silent. When I can go now, is uncertain — but perhaps I may be off to-morrow, or next day: — all depends upon circumstances beyond my control. Most probably, I will not go until I hear from Thompson (of the S. L. Messenger) to whom I wrote 5 days ago — telling him to [page 810:] forward the letter from Oquawka, instead of retaining it until he sees me. The reason of the return of my draft on Graham’s Magazine (which put me to such annoyance and mortification while I was with you) was, that the articles I sent (by mail) did not come to hand. No insult (as I had half anticipated) was meant — and I am sincerely glad of this; for I did not wish to give up writing for Graham’s Mag. just yet. — I enclose the publishers’ reply to my letter of enquiry. The Postmaster here is investigating the matter & in all probability the articles will be found & the draft paid by the time you get this: — so all this will be right, dear, dearest Annie.

You see I enclose you again quite a budget of papers — the letter of Mrs L to Muddy — Mrs L’s long MS. poem — the verses by the “Lynn Bard” which you said you wished to see, and also some lines to me (or rather about me) by Mrs. O — in which she imagines me writing to her. I send, too, another notice of “Eureka”, from Greeley’s Tribune. The letter of Mrs. L. you can retain if you wish it.

Have you seen The “Moral for Authors”, a new satire by J. E. Tuel? — who, in the name of Heaven is J. E. Tuel? The book is miserably [page 2] stupid. He has a long parody of the Raven — in fact nearly the whole thing seems to be aimed at me. If you have not seen it & wish to see it, I will send it.

Since I saw you, Annie, I have discovered your friend [Dr. Locke] to be a consummate scoundrel and no friend either to you or me. For my sake & your own, have as little to say to him as possible. If I were you I would not speak to him at all.

I will surely write to “Abby” before I go — or at all events immediately on getting to R. Give her my kindest love — for I have a right (have I not?) to send her my love — since she loves & is loved by my Annie. — I cannot tell you, darling, how sad I felt about parting with dear Sarah so coldly as I was forced to do. I did so long to kiss her and hold her to my heart — and I thought she, too, looked sad. Tell her I hope to see a great deal more of her when I return to Lowell.

No news of Mrs Locke yet. If she comes here I shall refuse to see her. [page 811:]

Remember me to your parents, Bardwell, dear Caddy, Mr & Miss C., and Mr R. How dared you send my love to Miss B.? Look over my letter and see if I even so much as mentioned her name. Dear Annie, my heart reproached me (after I parted with you) for having, even in jest, requested Bardwell to “remember me to Miss B.” I thought it might have pained you in some measure — but indeed, darling Annie, no one in this whole world except your sweet self, is more than a friend to me.

And now Heaven forever bless you, my darling —

Your own Eddie.

I enclose, also, an autograph of the Mr. Willis you are so much in love with. Tell Bardwell I will send him what I promised, very soon.

Write soon — soon — dear, dear Annie. Muddy sends you her dearest — most devoted love.

Note: Concerning Poe’s actual departure for Richmond, see the note to LTR-324. Poe had written John R. Thompson, June 9, 1849 (LTR-318). Concerning E. H. N. Patterson’s “letter from Oquawka,” see LTR-316. The reference to Graham’s indicates an exchange of letters (CL-800 and CL-801) between Poe and the Samuel D. Patterson & Company, publishers of the magazine after George R. Graham lost control of it in July 1848, and prior to his regaining control in April 1850 (see American Magazines, 1:544). Poe had contributed “Fifty Suggestions,” divided between the May and June issues of Graham’s. Although this is Poe’s last known contribution to that periodical, the MS of “A Reviewer Reviewed” shows that he planned at least one more. For the references to Mrs. Locke, see LTR-309 and LTR-312a. The “Lynn Bard” was Alonzo Lewis (Phillips, 2:1411); he wrote “To Edgar A. Poe,” which appeared in Godey’s (April 1847, 34:192). For Mrs. Osgood’s lines, see Phillips, 2:1410, or Mrs. Clemm’s letter to Mrs. Richmond, January 11, 1849 (Ingram, 2:202; reprinted in H [Works], 17:392-393, misleadingly indicated as from the Griswold Collection). “Mrs. L’s long MS. poem” was “Ermina’s Tale” (see LTR-309). John E. Tuel wrote, in verse, a 48-page book curiously titled: The Moral for Authors: as Contained in the Autobiography of Eureka; a Manuscript Novel, and discovered by J. E. Tuel, published by Stringer and Townsend, New York, 1849. It was also reviewed by the Literary World, June 2, 1849 (see The Poe Log, p. 809). [page 812:] For two stanzas of Tuel’s parody, “Plutonian Shore,” see The Poe Log, pp. 805, and 807. The identity of Dr. Locke is unknown. Since the name is scratched out, it could be Mr. Locke, but would make little sense as a reference to John Locke (Mrs. Jane E. Locke’s husband), with whom Poe already had a substantial history of bad dealings. “Abby” and “Caddy” refer to Mrs. Richmond’s daughter. As in other letters to Mrs. Richmond, “Mr. and Miss C” refers to the Rev. Warren H. Cudworth and his daughter, of Lowell (see the note to LTR-301). “Mr. R.” was Mr. Richmond; Sarah was Mrs. Richmond’s sister; and Bardwell was Mrs. Richmond’s brother. Nathaniel P. Willis was an author, poet, and editor of the Home Journal. “Muddy,” of course, was Mrs. Clemm. Miss Eliza Butterfield, aged 21, was “Miss B,” a teacher in Franklin Grammar School, Lowell, MA (see Fred B. Freeman, Jr., “A Note on Poe’s ‘Miss B,’ ” American Literature, 43:115). The item promised to Bardwell may have been a MS copy of “The Bells” (see F. W. Coburn, “Poe as Seen by the Brother of ‘Annie’,” New England Quarterly, 16:476). The phrase “she loves & is loved” is perhaps a trace of the first stanza of “Annabel Lee” (l. 6): “Than to love and be loved by me.” TOM [Poems], 1:475 (plus n. 19) notes that Caroline Ticknor proposed Mrs. Richmond as Poe’s original for Annabel Lee (Poe’s Helen, p. 133). There is some justification for this idea, based on the fantasy plan of their future together in Lowell and the “purity” of their love. Poe promised to show her the poem in his letter of after May 5, 1849 (LTR-312a, near the end), the earliest written reference to it. According to Annie Richmond’s letter of May 27, 1877 to J. H. Ingram, however, Mrs. Clemm was adamant that Annabel Lee was Virginia (Miller, BPB, p. 170). See also the note to LTR-333. The controversy demonstrates the impracticality of attempting to identify the title character of “Annabel Lee” with any real person.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (2 pp.), formerly in the collection of William H. Koester, and now in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The address leaf appears to have been removed, and is lost. References to Oquawka, IL, the home of E. H. N. Patterson, and to Tuel place the present letter in 1849. The first few lines of the present letter suggest an exchange of correspondence between Poe and Mrs. Richmond, following his visit with her during the last week in May (see the note to LTR-312a, probably including LTR-317a). In the second paragraph of page 2, the bracketed emendation restores a name heavily scratched out in the MS, probably by Annie. This is the last known letter from Poe to Annie Richmond. [page 813:]

Letter 320 — 1849, June 26 [CL-803] Poe (New York, NY) to George W. Eveleth (Brunswick, ME):

New-York — June 26. 49.

Dear Sir,

On the principle of “better late than never”, I avail myself of a few moments’ leisure to say a word or two in reply to your last letter — the one from Brunswick.

The essay you enclose, on the igneous liquidity of the Earth, embodies some truth, and evinces much sagacity — but no doubt ere this you have perceived that you have been groping in the dark as regards the general subject. Before theorizing ourselves on such topics, it is always wisest to make ourselves acquainted with the actually ascertained facts & established doctrines. You see I treat you unceremoniously — deal with me in the same manner. Let me know frankly how “Eureka” impresses you. It is accomplishing all that I prophecied [sic] — even more.

In respect to Draper: — By a singular coincidence, he is the chief of that very sect of Hog-ites to whom I refer as “the most intolerant & intolerable set of bigots & tyrants that ever existed on the face of the Earth”. I had him especially in view when I wrote the passage. A merely perceptive man with no intrinsic force — no power of generalization — in short a pompous nobody. He is aware (for there have been plenty to tell him) that I intend him in “Eureka”.

I do not exactly comprehend you about my being the “autobiographer of Holden’s Mag.” I occasionally hear of that work, but have never seen a number of it. (over[)]

[page 2] “The Rationale of Verse” appeared in the last November & December numbers of “The S. Lit. Messenger”. In the Feb. number (I think) I published (editorially) a review of “The Fable for Critics”: — it is not much. Lowell might have done better.

I have never written any poem called “Ullahannà”. What makes you suppose I did? [page 814:]

I enclose the last poem (of any length) which I have published. How do you like it? — you know I put much faith in your poetical judgments. It is from Willis’s “H. Journal”.

Do you ever see “The Literary World”?

Touching “The Stylus”: — Monk Lewis once was asked how he came, in one of his acted plays, to introduce black banditti, when, in the country where the scene was laid, black people were quite unknown. His answer was: — “I introduced them because I truly anticipated that blacks would have more effect on my audience than whites — and if I had taken it into my head that, by making them sky-blue, the effect would have been greater, why sky-blue they should have been”. To apply this idea to “The Stylus” — I am awaiting the best opportunity for its issue — and if by waiting until the day of judgment I perceive still increasing chances of ultimate success, why until the day of judgment I will patiently wait. I am now going to Richmond to “see about it” — & possibly I may get out the first number on next January.

Write soon & more frequently. I always receive your letters with interest.

Cordially your friend,

Edgar A Poe.

Please rëenclose the verses

Note: Most of Eveleth’s letters were sent from his home in Phillips, ME; Brunswick was the location of the Maine Medical School, where Eveleth was a student (see PE, p. 23). In his previous letter to Poe (CL-775), Eveleth had said: “I have just arisen from a somewhat hasty perusal of ‘Eureka.’ I will not be so impious as to offer an opinion of it, founded on such a perusal. I shall read it again, and with care.” Wilson (PE, p. 23) cites Mabbott’s identification of John W. Draper as a professor in New York University. Poe knew Draper’s work from pieces by him early in the SLM and later small items in the Mirror’s clipped “paragraphs.” In the SLM of August 1836, Poe praised briefly but highly the scientific fame and expertise of Professor Draper, possibly because the lecture item was published by T. W. White (see the review, chiefly a long quoted excerpt, in Writings, 5:262-263 and 271). Draper’s frank depreciation of Poe’s [page 815:] chances for a publishing success with his new magazine was divulged to Poe by Eveleth, who had responded to reading Eureka by sending his comments on the cosmology and also on the “forthcoming” Stylus magazine to the scientist Draper (see DP, pp. 180-184). For the “Hog-ites” on the “Baconian road” in Eureka see H [Works], 16:189-191. In Holden’s Dollar Magazine for December 1848 (2:714-720) appeared an installment of “The Autobiography of a Monomaniac; or the Veritable History and Surprising Adventures of James Toddlebar,” edited by “Joe Bottom, ESQ.” The real author was Poe’s friend John Tomlin. Among the letters reprinted in the article is one from Poe (2:718-719), dated October 5, 1842 (see LTR-146). In his letter of February 17, 1849 (CL-775), Eveleth wrote: “I think you are the Autobiographer of Holden’s Dollar Magazine — and I guess this same wobegone [sic] personage could now look in the glass and point out one Joe Bottom, Editor of his posthumous papers. Have not you some proprietary right in Holden’s?” The Holden’s series continues both the format and the hoaxing tone of Poe’s own “Autography” articles, with each letter bearing a facsimile signature, including Poe’s (which Eveleth surely recognized as authentic). Given these similarities, Eveleth’s all-too-ready presumption of Poe’s authorship of this recent article is understandable. The misprint of “Ullahannà” for “Ulalume” appears in an “editorial” note to the letter (2:719): “I should like to have seen his [James Toddlebar’s] opinions of the ‘Raven’ and ‘Ullahana,’ the two most remarkable poems ever published on this continent” (see TOM [Poems], 1:510-511). Poe’s failure to recollect this error might suggest that he had not actually seen the article, although it is difficult to believe that he was not aware of the public use of his 1842 correspondence with Tomlin several months after the fact. The review of A Fable for Critics was sent to Thompson for the SLM in time for the February issue, but appeared in the subsequent number. Poe’s expression to Eveleth that Lowell “might have done better” is considerably milder than his five full columns of thorough condemnation of all aspects of Lowell’s satire in the March 1849 SLM (see Writings, 5:375-377). Poe took great personal umbrage from the humorous jab at being “three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge,” but borrowed Lowell’s “Runic rhyme” phrase for his own “The Bells” (see Writings, 5:390, note q). Poe enclosed his poem “For Annie,” which had appeared in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849 (see LTR-310). In 1849, the Literary World was owned and edited by Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck; it was the “first important American weekly to be devoted chiefly to the discussion of [page 816:] current books” (see American Magazines, 1:766). Poe’s comment that he is waiting “patiently” even “until the day of judgment” for the ideal opportunity to launch the Stylus may reveal a latent resentment at Eveleth’s seeming goads about the incipient journal in all of his epistles. Poe left New York for Richmond, June 29 (see the note to LTR-326).

Poe’s verb “prophecied,” with a “c,” is not given in the numerous late instances for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the OED. Poe himself makes the modern distinction in his February 1842 article in Graham’s on Barnaby Rudge (20:124-129): “... if we did not rightly prophesy, yet, at least, our prophecy should have been right.” Therefore it is Poe’s mistake in the present letter.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (2 pp.) in the New York Public Library, Berg Collection. Poe is replying to Eveleth’s letter of February 17, 1849 (CL-775). Eveleth had written Poe on March 9 (CL-702) and July 9, 1848 (CL-717), but Poe had not answered. The present letter is Poe’s last to Eveleth, but Eveleth appears to have written one more to Poe (CL-807a), cited by Eveleth from an undated letter to him from Mrs. Clemm, while she was visiting Annie Richmond in Lowell. In that letter, Mrs. Clemm wrote, “Your last letter to him was sent to me from Richmond after he had gone to dwell with the angels” (see PE, p. 3).

Letter 321 — 1849, June 28 [CL-805] Poe (New York, NY) to Rufus W. Griswold (New York, NY):

New-York — June 28 — 49.

Dear Griswold,

Since I have more critically examined your “Female Poets” it occurs to me that you have not quite done justice to our common friend, Mrs. Lewis; and if you could oblige me so far as to substitute, for your no doubt hurried notice, a somewhat longer one prepared by myself (subject, of course, to your emendations) I would reciprocate the favor when, where, and as you please. If you could agree to this, give me a hint to that effect, and the MS. is ready. I will leave it sealed with Mrs. L. who is unaware of my design — for I would rather she should consider herself as indebted to you for the favor, at all points. [page 817:] By calling on Mrs. L., and asking for a package to your address, you can at any moment get it. I would not, of course, put you to any expense in this matter: — all cost shall be promptly defrayed.

Truly yours,

Edgar A Poe.

Note: Griswold’s Female Poets of America was “off the press” by December 30, 1848, according to a notice in the Literary World of that date, and the second edition appeared in 1854 (see J. L. Neu, “Rufus Wilmot Griswold,” Studies in English, pp. 144-145). Costs for furthering Mrs. Lewis’ literary reputation were customarily defrayed by the Lewises, directly or indirectly. Mrs. Louise Shew-Houghton wrote J. H. Ingram, April 3, 1875: “Mr. Poe was indebted to her [Mrs. Lewis], that is, she paid Mrs. Clemm in advance when they were needy and poor Poe had to notice her writings” (original MS in Ingram Collection, University of Virginia). For Poe’s detestation of her as a “literary bore,” expressed to Mrs. Shew, with references to other confirmations, see The Poe Log, p. 711. It has been suggested that Poe wrote the sketch of Mrs. Lewis in Griswold’s 1849 edition of Female Poets of America, but the present letter and the facts of publication of that edition argue against such a contention. The existence of several MS pages of selections from Mrs. Lewis’ poems (in the Huntington Library), with a few words to categorize each, has confused some commentators. The printed form of 1849 seems to incorporate these fragments, but Poe can hardly be responsible for the sarcastic reference to his praise of “The Forsaken” nor for casting the shadow of plagiarism on her poem by quoting a similar poem by William Motherwell. (According to a note by TOM [Iowa], Griswold edited an American edition of Motherwell’s poems sometime in the 1840s.) The most plausible explanation is that Poe initially assisted Mrs. Lewis in preparing some notes, submitted to Griswold much as he had his autobiographical “memorandum” in 1841. Griswold based his article on these items, but essentially wrote the text as it appeared, hence Poe’s appropriate designation of the notice as Griswold’s. Poe wrote the longer notice of Mrs. Lewis and Griswold called for it, as indicated by Mrs. Clemm’s letter to Griswold, September 4, 1849: “I understand from Mrs. Lewis you received the package Mr. Poe left at her house for you” (see H [Works], 17:395). Since the book was stereo-plated, however, it was impractical to make more than minor corrections, and Griswold did not use Poe’s subsequent package of material as intended. Instead, Griswold [page 818:] published what was most likely this suggested article in the Works, 3:242-249 [1850], as “Estelle Anna Lewis.”

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the Boston Public Library. For a forgery of the present letter, by Griswold, see SPR-21. The present letter is probably the last one between Poe and Griswold; certainly it is the last known to have been written, but see APXA-Griswold.

Letter 322 — 1849, June 28 [CL-806] Poe (New York, NY) to H. S. Root (Saratoga Springs, NY):

New-York —

June 28 — 49.

Dear Sir,

I regret to say that I am unable to answer your query. I have not seen a volume of Dr Earle’s very beautiful poetry for many years, and I fancy the edition — (one only was published) — is out of print. The Doctor himself, when I last heard of him, was Superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane, at Bloomingdale, near this city.

Very respectfully

Yr. Obt St

Edgar Allan Poe.

H. S. Root Esqre

Note: Poe included Dr. Pliny Earle (1809-1892) in “A Chapter on Autography” (Graham’s, December 1841; reprinted in H [Works], 15:230), stating that Dr. Earle “has become well known to the literary world, of late, by a volume of very fine poems ... ” (see LTR-102). The volume of “very beautiful poetry” to which Poe refers was Marathon, and Other Poems (Philadelphia: H. Perkins, 1841). Although Poe admires Pliny Earle as a poet, such a pursuit was merely a sideline for the famous alienist, who ran a well-known asylum in Frankford, PA. (Alienism was an early form of psychiatry which proposed the mind and body as separate and distinct entities.) See TOM [T&S], 3:1001, in the headnote to “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether,” for a brief mention of the present letter, and the assertion that Poe and Dr. Earle never actually met. For strong doubts expressed by Griswold and Whipple about Poe’s [page 819:] objectivity in his praise of Earle, see The Poe Log, pp. 327 and 355. H. S. Root is unidentified, except that he lived in Saratoga Springs, NY at the time of the present letter. See The Poe Log for a speculation that Poe might have visited this popular resort about 1843 (p. 435). The nature of the content of this letter and of that in LTR-228a is similar and the surnames of the correspondents, both unidentified, are the same, but unless Poe made a mistake in the initials of one of them, they do not seem to be the same person.

Source: original MS (1 p.) in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The address appears on a separate leaf. Poe is replying to Root’s letter of before June 28, 1849 (CL-804).

Letter 322a — 1849, before June 30 [CL-806a] Poe (New York, NY) to J. R. Thompson (Richmond, VA):

[...] Just when I most needed aid and sympathy from them, they turned upon me, some with a civil sneer, others with brutal, outspoken rudeness, and left me struggling in the mire, unpitied, lonely, desperate. But women do not argue logically as to one’s merits, or demerits: they follow certain heart instincts more profound sometimes than the deductions of philosophy, and so (God eternally bless them!) they have been angels of mercy to me, and have tenderly led me from the verge of ruin while men stood aloof and mocked. [...]

Note: According to Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830-1886), these comments were made in a section of a letter where Poe was speaking about his male friends. Poe’s emotional attachment to women is well documented, and for several examples see his letters to Mrs. Shew and especially to Annie Richmond. Not all of his women friends, however, turned out to be “angels of mercy” to him (particularly Mrs. Ellet). The reference to “heart instincts” suggests the same Poe who, as noted in his preface, wrote Eureka for “those who feel rather than to those who think” (1848).

Source: fragment of text as quoted by Esther B. Cheesborough (1826-1887) in her manuscript “Recollections of Paul H. Hayne.” Although undated, her document is thought to have been written in 1886, following Hayne’s death. It can certainly date no later than 1887. Miss [page 820:] Cheesborough is quoting from a letter written to her by Hayne which describes visiting “the office of my old friend John R. Thompson, of Richmond” at an unspecified period of “many years ago,” where he was shown “certain literary curiosities” including “a number of M.S.S. and some private letters of Edgar Poe.” Hayne had submitted “The Christian Martyr” to the SLM in 1848 (published in the November issue), and with Thompson’s encouragement became a reliable contributor of poetry. He and Thompson were still regular correspondents as late as 1870. Hayne’s visit to Richmond was presumably before 1860, after which time Thompson had left the SLM and moved to Augusta, GA, where he edited Southern Field and Fireside. Hayne published “Poe’s Method of Writing” in Appleton’s Journal (May 4, 1872, 7:490-491), in which he refers to Poe as a “wonderful genius” (7:490), although he criticizes Poe’s poem “The Valley of Nis” as being “full of verbal trickery rather than of genuine art” (7:491). The Ingram Collection at the University of Virginia contains a number of items which show that Hayne, beginning about 1873, was actively involved in raising money to erect a suitable monument over Poe’s remains in Baltimore. Hayne also contributed an interesting, if somewhat overwrought, poem on Poe to S. S. Rice’s EAP: A Memorial Volume (pp. 94-95). Being related third hand, there is no way to verify the text of Poe’s letter, nor is it clear whether Hayne is quoting from a transcript or memory.

Letter 323 — 1849, July 7 [CL-808] Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

New York [Philadelphia], July 7.

My dear, dear Mother, —

I have been so ill — have had the cholera, or spasms quite as bad, and can now hardly hold the pen [...]

The very instant you get this, come to me. The joy of seeing you will almost compensate for our sorrows. We can but die together. It is no use to reason with me now; I must die. I have no desire to live since I have done “Eureka.” I could accomplish nothing more. For your sake it would be sweet to live, but we must die together. You have been all in all to me, darling, ever beloved mother, and dearest, truest friend. [page 821:]

I was never really insane, except on occasions where my heart was touched [ ...]

I have been taken to prison once since I came here for getting drunk; but then I was not. It was about Virginia.

[No signature]

Note: Eureka had been published in the summer of 1848, probably about July 15 (see the note to LTR-269). For Poe’s reference to prison, see W [1909, 2:313], and John Sartain (Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, p. 206 ff.), the former (relying on LTR-327) suggesting that the “imprisonment” was a “lingering hallucination,” and the latter reconstructing the prison scene. Although a first hand witness to Poe’s distressed condition in Philadelphia, Sartain’s knowledge about Poe’s possible arrest is less reliable. About the prison experience, Sartain quotes Poe as saying: “I was confined in a cell ... and through my grated window was visible the battlemented granite tower. On the topmost stone of the parapet, between the embrasures, stood perched against the dark sky a young female brightly radiant, like silver dipped in light ... ” (p. 209). This female, “addressed to me a series of questions in words not loud but distinct, and I dared not fail to hear and make apt response” (p. 209). See also Quinn, p. 617, where a note indicates that a search of the records of Moyamensing Prison yielded no evidence that Poe had been detained there. Poe enclosed the above letter to Mrs. Clemm in a brief note to Estelle Anna Lewis, dated July 7, 1849 (LTR-324). The four sentences, beginning with “We can but die together” and ending with “nothing more,” should be compared with the last two of the “Preface” to Eureka (1848, p. 5): “What I here propound is true: — therefore it cannot die: — or if by any means it be now trodden down so that it die, it will ‘rise again to the Life Everlasting.’ Nevertheless it is as a Poem only that I wish this work to be judged after I am dead.”

Source: text of the letter as printed by C. Chauncey Burr in “Character of EAP,” the Nineteenth Century (February 1852), 5:29. Burr prints the extracts from the original MS, with Mrs. Clemm’s permission. He begins each paragraph with quotation marks; where he uses end quotation the present text uses ellipses to indicate an obvious omission from the MS. The letter was written in Philadelphia, not New York (see John Sartain, as noted above, and also LTR-326, LTR-327, and LTR-328), an error which may partially evince Poe’s distraught condition. [page 822:]

Letter 324 — 1849, July 7 [CL-809] Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to Mrs. Sarah A. Lewis (New York, NY):

Dearest Anna,

Give the enclosed speedily to my darling <Anna.> mother. It might get into wrong hands.


Note: Poe’s concerns about “wrong hands” is typical of his letters of this period. He is probably worried about the admission of being arrested. Poe left New York on June 29, 1849 (see the note to LTR-326). Phillips (2:1414) quotes from a letter Mrs. Clemm wrote on August 4, 1849 to a friend (probably Annie Richmond); in it Mrs. Clemm states that she heard nothing from Mrs. Lewis for a fortnight after leaving “Stella” (the day following Poe’s departure for Richmond — see Clemm to Annie Richmond, July 9, 1849, in H [Works], 17:393). When at last she went to see Mrs. Lewis, a letter from Poe awaited her. That letter (LTR-323) had been enclosed in the present “two” line note to Mrs. Lewis. “If I had received it,” said Mrs. Clemm, “I should have gone on to Philadelphia.” Poe’s July 7 letter had begged her to come to him at once. Thus the present three-line note to Mrs. Lewis is undoubtedly the two-line note referred to by Mrs. Clemm. Poe was under the incorrect impression that his “mother” was still a guest of Mrs. Lewis in New York.

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.), formerly in the collection of William H. Koester, and now in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The presumed address leaf is lost. Quinn, p. 633, prints the present letter without date, but implies that it was written about September of 1849, along with LTR-332 and LTR-333.

Letter 325 — 1849, July 14 [CL-810] Poe (en route to Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

Near Richmond

The weather is awfully hot, and, besides all this, I am so homesick I don’t know what to do. I never wanted to see any one half so bad as [page 823:] I want to see my own darling mother. It seems to me that I would make any sacrifice to hold you by the hand once more, and get you to cheer me up, for I am terribly depressed. I do not think that any circumstances will ever tempt me to leave you again. When I am with you I can bear anything, but when I am away from you I am too miserable to live.

Note: Many of Poe’s letters reveal his deep emotional dependence on Mrs. Clemm, but few do so as directly as here. Given the contents of LTR-326, it is curious that Poe does not mention the valise with his lectures in the present letter. It may have been checked along with his baggage and therefore not readily available for examination.

Source: text of the letter as by C. Chauncey Burr in “Character of EAP,” the Nineteenth Century (February 1852), 5:29. Burr printed the extracts with Mrs. Clemm’s permission, from the original MS, which is now lost. The present letter may be complete in itself, it may be a fragment of a letter dated “Near Richmond,” or it may be a portion of the Saturday night letter (LTR-326) but printed separately by Burr. Without the MSS, we must accept the internal evidence, dating the letter “Saturday, July 14,” since Poe left Philadelphia by train on Friday and probably caught the night boat from Baltimore to Richmond (see LTR-326 and LTR-327). Presuming that Poe would have had no opportunity to mail the present letter while travelling, he may have written one on the boat and another after arriving, ultimately mailing both together.

Letter 326 — 1849, July 14 [CL-811] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

Richmond, Saturday Night.

Oh, my darling Mother, it is now more than three weeks since I saw you, and in all that time your poor Eddy has scarcely drawn a breath except of intense agony. Perhaps you are sick or gone from Fordham in despair, or dead. If you are but alive, and if I but see you again, all the rest is nothing. I love you better than ten thousand lives — so much so that it is cruel in you to let me leave you; nothing but sorrow ever comes of it. [page 824:]

Oh, Mother, I am so ill while I write — but I resolved that come what would, I would not sleep again without easing your dear heart as far as I could.

My valise was lost for ten days. At last I found it at the depot in Philadelphia, but (you will scarcely credit it) they had opened it and stolen both lectures. Oh, Mother, think of the blow to me this evening, when on examining the valise, these lectures were gone. All my object here is over unless I can recover them or re-write one of them.

I am indebted for more than life itself to B[urr]. Never forget him, Mother, while you live. When all failed me, he stood my friend, got me money, and saw me off in the cars for Richmond.

I got here with two dollars over — of which I inclose you one. Oh God, my Mother, shall we ever again meet? If possible, oh COME! My clothes are so horrible, and I am so ill. Oh, if you could come to me, my mother. Write instantly — oh do not fail. God forever bless you.


Note: Poe’s “three weeks” is wrong; it should be “two weeks.” Poe left New York on Friday afternoon, June 29, 1849, at 5 o’clock. (See Mrs. Lewis’ letter to G. W. Eveleth, February 11, 1854, Ingram Collection, University of Virginia: “Edgar Poe dined with me at 3 o’clock, P.M. on the 29th of June, 1849, and left at 5, the same afternoon, for Richmond, Virginia. He never returned to New York again.” Mrs. Lewis’ testimony conflicts with that given by Ingram, 2:220-222, and subsequent biographers. The information she gave to Eveleth antedates that given to Ingram by some twenty years. Ingram, on the other hand, may have misconstrued the dating.) Poe was therefore in Philadelphia from late that night or early Saturday morning, June 30, until Friday, July 13. (LTR-324, of Saturday, July 7, was written in Philadelphia, and LTR-327, of July 19, speaks of having been put on the cars for Baltimore “Friday last,” indicating July 13.) His next letter (“Near Richmond,” LTR-325), together with the present one, places him in Richmond on Saturday, July 14, after an overnight passage from Baltimore. Though he is “so ill” as he writes the present letter, he is “much better in health and spirits” by the time of his next letter (Thursday, July 19, LTR-327). Moreover, the [page 825:] admonition to Mrs. Clemm to “write instantly” (in the final sentence of the present letter) was complied with by the time Poe wrote his letter of July 19. C. Chauncey Burr saw Poe off on the cars, not to Richmond but to Baltimore, although Richmond was his ultimate destination (see LTR-327). Burr bought Poe’s ticket from Philadelphia to Baltimore and the boat passage cost Poe seven dollars of the ten with which he set out from Philadelphia, leaving him the above-mentioned “two dollars,” after certain necessary expenses en route to Richmond. For Burr’s aid to Poe and, after his death, repeated articles defending his character, see D. Thomas, Poe in Philadelphia, pp. 723-724.

Source: text of the letter as printed by C. Chauncey Burr in “Character of EAP,” the Nineteenth Century (February 1852), 5:30. Burr printed the letter, with Mrs. Clemm’s permission, from the original MS, which is now lost. The absence of end quotation marks and the presence of the signature may suggest that the present letter is recorded in full. Though not fully dated, the letter certainly belongs to July 14, 1849, since its content generally and tone in particular belong prior to the letter of July 19. Enclosed in the present letter may have been that of “Near Richmond,” same date (LTR-325). With typical Victorian modesty, Burr gives his own name only as “B —,” expanded in the present printing in brackets.

Letter 327 — 1849, July 19 [CL-813] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

Richmond, Thursday, July 19.

My Own Beloved Mother —

You will see at once, by the handwriting of this letter, that I am better — much better in health and spirits. Oh, if you only knew how your dear letter comforted me! It acted like magic. Most of my suffering arose from that terrible idea which I could not get rid of — the idea that you were dead. For more than ten days I was totally deranged, although I was not drinking one drop; and during this interval I imagined the most horrible calamities....

All was hallucination, arising from an attack which I had never before experienced — an attack of mania-à-potu. May Heaven grant [page 826:] that it prove a warning to me for the rest of my days. If so, I shall not regret even the horrible unspeakable torments I have endured.

To L[ippard] and to C[hauncey] B[urr] (and in some measure, also, to Mr. S[artain]) I am indebted for more than life. They remained with me (L[ippard] and B[urr]) all day on Friday last, comforted me and aided me in coming to my senses. L[ippard] saw G[odey], who said everything kind of me, and sent me five dollars; and P[atterson] sent another five. B[urr] procured me a ticket as far as Baltimore, and the passage from there to Richmond was seven dollars. I have not drank anything since Friday morning, and then only a little Port wine. If possible, dearest Mother, I will extricate myself from this difficulty for your dear, dear sake. So keep up heart.

All is not lost yet, and “the darkest hour is just before daylight.” Keep up heart, my own beloved mother — all may yet go well. I will put forth all my energies. When I get my mind a little more composed, I will try to write something. Oh, give my dearest, fondest love to Mrs. L. Tell her that never, while I live, will I forget her kindness to my darling mother.

Note: Poe’s “more than ten days” is hardly exact, for he was able to write to Mrs. Clemm on July 7, that is, on the eighth day after leaving her in New York (see LTR-323 and the note to LTR-326). “Mania à potu” is a medical term for delirium tremens and is known to induce torments much like those Poe describes. (For a far more grisly hallucination about Mrs. Clemm, see Sartain, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, p. 210.) The individuals named are fully identified in Lippard to R. W. Griswold, November 22, 1849 (original MS in Boston Public Library) — they are George Lippard, Chauncey Burr, John Sartain, Louis A. Godey, and Samuel D. Patterson. The present letter is one of Poe’s most overt testimonials to his difficulty in abstaining from alcoholic drink, and its extreme effects upon his system. Much has been written about Poe as a drunkard. Evidence from his own letters and from those of his friends indicates that on occasion he did drink, but the evidence points consistently to wine and that in small quantities, with long periods of abstinence. LTR-109 should be read in this connection, but the present letter seems the more sincere explanation of his problem. Poe’s willingness to admit the use of Port wine suggests that he is claiming it as having medicinal value. (In 1832, Dr. J. E. DeKay recommended Port [page 827:] wine as remedy for Cholera.) Poe’s visit to Richmond was in the interest of establishing his own magazine with the aid of E. H. N. Patterson, of Oquawka, IL. Poe planned to solicit subscribers in certain cities and towns and to lecture as he went in order to pay his traveling expenses (see LTR-312). That Poe did “write something” is proved by his delivery of the lecture on “The Poetic Principle” on August 17 (see Quinn, p. 624), which was almost surely a rewritten version of the lecture of the same title given in Providence, December 20, 1848 (see Quinn, p. 583), and lost in the station in Philadelphia (see LTR-326). This later form was published after Poe’s death (Home Journal, August 31, 1850 and Sartain’s, October 1850, issued about September 16, 1850). “Mrs. L.” was Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis, who, according to a letter from Mrs. Clemm to a friend, had agreed to look after “Muddy” during Poe’s absence (see Phillips, 2:1414). The phrase “the darkest hour is just before daylight” is Poe’s free and probably “popular” redaction of Thomas Fuller’s 1650 adage, “It is always darkest just before the day dawneth” (Pisgah Sights, ii, 11).

The OED notes the past participle form of “not drank” as “intruded” from the past tense, from seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, and as used to avoid “the inebriate associations” with the word “drunk”; certainly the context of the present letter implies as much. See also LTR-174. However, lines 37-38 of “For Annie” read: “I have drank of a water / That quenches all thirst” with only a biblical implication. TOM [Poems], 1:460 merely remarks upon the participle’s “unusual form.”

Source: text of the letter as printed by C. Chauncey Burr in “Character of EAP,” the Nineteenth Century (February 1852), 5:30-31. Burr printed the extracts, with Mrs. Clemm’s permission, from the original MS, which is now lost. The letter belongs unquestionably to 1849 (see LTR-326 and note), and according to Burr’s pointing and omission of signature is certainly incomplete. The names given only by Burr as an initial letter and a dash have been supplied here, in brackets. Poe is answering Mrs. Clemm’s letter of July 14-19, 1849 (CL-812), which was in reply to his request of July 14, Saturday Night (LTR-326).

Letter 328 — 1849, July 19 [CL-815] Poe (Richmond, VA) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL):

Richmond July 19 —

My Dear Sir, [page 828:]

I left New-York six weeks ago on my way to this place, but was arrested in Philadelphia by the Cholera, from which I barely escaped with life. I have just arrived in Richmond and your letter is only this moment received — or rather your two letters with the enclosures ($50. etc.) I have not yet read them and write now merely to let you know that they are safe. In a few days — as soon as I gather a little strength — you shall hear from me in full.

Truly Yours ever,

Edgar A Poe.

E. H. N. Patterson Esq.

Note: For Poe’s departure from New York, visit in Philadelphia, and arrival in Richmond, see the note to LTR-326. For “the enclosures,” see Poe’s requests in LTR-316. Cholera began in the United States in 1832, and tended to hit the major coastal cities during the summer months. Poe’s own diagnosis of Cholera is unprovable, but the disease was not well understood and Poe may easily have mistaken symptoms of another illness. Poe’s comment about being “arrested in Philadelphia by the Cholera” serves as a surely unintended pun (see LTR-323).

Source: color photograph of the original MS (1 p.) in the Chicago Historical Society. The letter, postmarked July 21 from Richmond, belongs unquestionably to 1849 (see LTR-316). It is written on page 1 of a folded leaf, pages 2-3 are blank, and page 4 carries the address. Poe is replying to Patterson’s two letters, written between May 23-June 7 (CL-797 and CL-798).

Letter 329 — 1849, August 7 [CL-817] Poe (Richmond, VA) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL):

Richmond, Aug. 7. 49.

My Dear Sir,

The date of your last letter was June 7 — so that two months have elapsed since you wrote it, and I am only just now sitting down to reply. The fault, Heaven knows, has not been mine. I have suffered [page 829:] worse than death — not so much from the Cholera as from its long-continued consequences in debility and congestion of the brain — the latter, possibly, attributable to the calomel taken.

I have at length, however, been able to give your propositions full consideration — and I confess that I hesitate. “To fail” would be ruinous — at least to me; and a $3 Magazine (however well it might succeed (temporarily) under the guidance of another) would inevitably fail under mine. I could not undertake it con amore. My heart would not be in the work. So far as regards all my friends and supporters — so far as concerns all that class to whom I should look for sympathy and nearly all of whom I proposed to see personally — [page 2] the mere idea of a “$3 Magazine” would suggest namby-pamby-ism & frivolity. Moreover, even with a far more diminished circulation than you suggest, the profits of a $5 work would exceed those of a $3 one.

I most bitterly lament the event which has detained me from St Louis — for I cannot help thinking that, in a personal interview, I could have brought you over to my plans. I fear that now it is too late. But a Mag. might be issued in July very well — and if you think it possible that your views might be changed, I will still visit you at St L. As yet, I am too feeble to travel; but by the time your reply to this reaches me, I shall have gained sufficient strength to set out. It is not impossible, indeed, that, with energy, the first number might yet be issued in January. I will, therefore, await, in Richmond, your answer to this.

Very cordially yours,

Edgar A Poe.

Note: For a prior reference by Poe to Cholera, see LTR-328. Calomel, Mercurous Chloride [Hg2 Cl2], was considered a standard treatment, as recorded in medical texts of the period. Germ theory was not widely known at this time, and the cause of Cholera was erroneously thought to be tainted or poorly digested food. As a purgative, Calomel not only failed to combat Cholera, but actually accentuated the diarrhea and vomiting, the very characteristics that so often made the ailment fatal. In his reply (CL-819) to the present letter, Patterson agreed to publish “a $5 magazine, of 96 pp., monthly.” Patterson printed a note on Poe’s death [page 830:] in his Oquawka Spectator, October 24, 1849, and a defense, on November 7 (see SLP, pp. 28-29). Poe gives to F. W. Thomas the word “namby-pamby-ism” of the magazine as reason for resigning from Graham’s, May 25, 1842 (see LTR-134). See also his intended section of The Living Writers of America, against the “puff-advertisements — fashion-plates [, or —] anomalous character” of such popular journals, in his late (1848?) notes for a large work, first presented by Pollin in SAR 1991, pp. 151-211, specifically, pp. 169 and 190. Note also the same derogation of this superficial quality in the “Prospectus” by Lowell and Robert Carter for the Pioneer of early 1843 (see note to LTR-147). Poe probably wishes to adhere to the publication schedule of most monthly magazines, which were designed so that two volumes of six issues each ran January-June and July-December.

Source: color photograph of the original MS (2 pp.) in the Chicago Historical Society. The letter was written on a folded leaf, occupying pages 1-2, with page 3 blank and on page 4 the address. It is postmarked from Richmond, August 1[?]; thus it was mailed not before August 10 and perhaps as late as August 16, since Patterson’s reply is dated August 21 and states: “... I hasten to reply” (CL-819). As also for LTR-328, Poe is replying, more fully, to two unlocated letters from Patterson, written between May 23-June 7, 1849 (CL-797 and CL-798).

Letter 330 — 1849, ca. August 28-29 [CL-821] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

[page 3 (?) ... ] possible. Every body says that if I lecture again & put the tickets at 50 cts, I will clear $100. I never was received with so much enthusiasm. The papers have done nothing but praise me before the lecture & since. I enclose one of the notices — the only one in which the slightest word of disparagement appears. It is written by Daniel — the man whom I challenged when I was here last year. I have been invited out a great deal — but could seldom go, on account of not having a dress coat. To-night Rose & I are to spend the evening at Elmira’s. Last night I was at Poitiaux’s — the night before at Strobia’s, where I saw my dear friend Eliza Lambert (Gen. Lambert’s sister). She was ill in her bed-room, but insisted upon our coming up, & we stayed until nearly 1 o’clock. In a word, I have received nothing [page 831:] but kindness since I have been here, & could have been quite happy but for my dreadful anxiety about you. Since the report of my intended marriage, the McKenzies have overwhelmed me with attentions. Their house is so crowded that they could not ask me to stay. — And now, my own precious Muddy, the very moment I get a definite answer about everything, I will write again & tell you what to do. Elmira talks about visiting Fordham — but I do not know whether that would do. I think, perhaps, it would be best for you to give up everything there & come on here in the Packet. Write immediately & give me your advice about it — for you [page 4] know best. Could we be happier in Richmond or Lowell? — for I suppose we could never be happy at Fordham — and, Muddy, I must be somewhere where I can see Annie. — Did Mrs. L. get the Western Quarterly Review? Thompson is constantly urging me to write for the Messenger, but I am so anxious that I cannot. — Mr Loud, the husband of Mrs. St Leon Loud, the poetess of Philadelphia, called on me the other day and offered me $100 to edit his wife’s poems. Of course, I accepted the offer. The whole labor will not occupy me 3 days. I am to have them ready by Christmas. — I have seen Bernard often. Eliza is expected but has not come. — When I repeat my lecture here, I will then go to Petersburg & Norfolk. — A Mr. Taverner lectured here on Shakspeare, a few nights after me, and had 8 persons, including myself & the doorkeeper. — I think, upon the whole, dear Muddy, it will be better for you to say that I am ill, or something of that kind, and break up at Fordham, so that you may come on here. Let me know immediately what you think best. You know we could easily pay off what we owe at Fordham & the place is a beautiful one — but I want to live near Annie. — And now, dear Muddy, there is one thing I wish you to pay particular attention to. I told Elmira, [page 5] when I first came here, that I had one of the pencil-sketches of her, that I took a long while ago in Richmond; and I told her that I would write to you about it. So, when you write, just copy the following words in your letter:

I have looked again for the pencil-sketch of Mrs. S. but cannot find it anywhere. I took down all the books and shook them one by one, and unless Eliza White has it, I do not know what has become of it. She was looking at it the last time I saw it. The one you spoilt with [page 832:] Indian Ink ought to be somewhere about the house. I will do my best to [fin]d it.

I got a sneaking letter to-day from Chivers. — Do not tell me anything about Annie — I cannot bear to hear it now — unless you can tell me that Mr. R. is dead. — I have got the wedding ring. — and shall have no difficulty, I think, in getting a dress-coat.

Wednesday Night.

[T****11] n(m?)ight [**d *****o(w?) n *****] dear Muddy, [... Page 6 (?)] also the letter. Return the letter when you write.

[Signature missing]

Note: On August 17, 1849, Poe lectured in Richmond on “The Poetic Principle”; the price of admission was twenty-five cents (Quinn, p. 624). John Moncure Daniel (1825-1865), editor of the Richmond Examiner, in his August 21 report of the lecture disparaged especially Poe’s “recitations” (see Phillips, 2:1444-1445). Quinn (p. 571), after weighing certain evidence regarding Poe’s possible visit to Richmond in 1848, quotes Poe’s sentence in the present letter (“the man whom I challenged when I was here last year”) as “the only evidence ... that seems authentic”; but Poe wrote Chivers, July 14, 1848 (LTR-274), that he proposed going to Richmond on “Monday” (July 17); and wrote Mrs. Whitman (LTR-280, October 18, 1848) that her verses had reached him in Richmond. Rose was Poe’s sister. As a youth, Poe had been romantically interested in Elmira Royster, but her marriage in 1828 to Mr. Shelton ended any plans Poe may have had. Now in 1849, Elmira Royster Shelton, as a widow, was available again. The Poitiaux, Strobia, Lambert, and Mackenzie families had been acquaintances of Poe’s earlier Richmond days (see Phillips, 2:1478-1479, and Quinn, p. 627). Poe’s review of Mrs. Lewis’ poems (The Child of the Sea and Other Poems) appeared anonymously in the Western Quarterly Review (April 1849, 1:404-408), and was a recasting of his review in the SLM, September 1848, 14:569-571 (see Writings, 5:371-374). For the reminiscences of Catherine Poitiaux, see The Poe Log, pp. 829-830, and Whitty, pp. lxxxi-lxxxii. Peter D. Bernard was Thomas W. White’s son-in-law (see LTR-157); Eliza was White’s daughter. Poe repeated his lecture on “The Poetic Principle” in Richmond, September 24 (Quinn, p. 635), but it was after [page 833:] his lecture in Norfolk, September 14, not before (Quinn, p. 629 and The Poe Log, pp. 840-841). For information on Mrs. Loud, see LTR-334 and note. Mr. Taverner is probably Professor J. W. Taverner, a New York educator whose essay on “The Respective Styles of Shakespeare and Bacon, Judged by the Laws of Elocutionary Analysis and Melody of Speech,” for which the didactic title probably allows for a pretty fair estimate of the style of its contents, appeared in George Wilkes’ Shakespeare from an American Point of View (New York: D. Appleton and company, 1877). Amusingly, in searching for the pencil sketch, Poe has followed the custom of the Paris police in searching for the “purloined letter” (see TOM [T&S], 3:981, line 1). The Poe Foundation, in Richmond, VA, has what is purportedly a copy of this sketch, although a rather crude one. The letter from Thomas H. Chivers to Poe (CL-820) is lost. The references to Annie and Mr. R., of course, are to Annie Richmond and her husband.

Source: photocopy of the MS fragment (4 pp.) in the Boston Public Library. The missing portions of the manuscript are unlocated, and are undoubtedly lost. The MS fragment of four pages probably begins with the text of page 3, for the suggested pagination of the fragment is based on pages 3 and 4 being recto and verso of one leaf, and pages 5 and 6 being recto and verso of another leaf. Some eight lines are missing from the bottom portion of page 3, above; the tearing off of these lines destroyed most of the wording of the first line of the “Wednesday Night” message. Only “dear Muddy” is clear; suggested emendations are highly conjectural, and asterisks have been used, as accurately as possible, to represent missing letters. Biographers and editors have given various datings to the present letter, actuated partly by the docketing in a strange hand at the head of the MS.: “Sept. 1849.” (W [1909], 2:326, gives “Sept. [5]”; H [Works], 17:368, “Sept”; Phillips, 2:1462, “September early”; and Quinn, p. 626, n., points out that Wednesday, September 5, would be correct for the “Wednesday Night” portion of the letter, but that the first portion would have been earlier.) Poe seems to have written Mrs. Clemm a letter that can be dated only tentatively as August 2-14 (CL-816), and that arrived in New York after she mailed her letter to Annie Richmond, August 4 (MS in the Ingram Collection, University of Virginia; reprinted in Miller, BPB, pp. 27-30). Mrs. Clemm told Annie that she had received no word from Poe for two weeks, probably referring to Poe’s letter of July 19, 1849 (LTR-327); also, she is undoubtedly alluding to this July 19 letter in her communication to R. W. Griswold, August 27 (H [Works], [page 834:] 17:394-395) wherein she says that Poe “is getting better and hopes he will soon be able to attend to business.” Another letter from Poe to Mrs. Clemm, the present one, can be dated ca. August 28-29, 1849; either through Poe’s delay in mailing it or through Mrs. Clemm’s in calling for it at the post office, this letter must have reached her after she wrote to Mrs. Richmond, September 3 (MS in Ingram Collection; reprinted, in Miller, BPB, pp. 31-32), and before she wrote to Griswold, September 4 (H [Works], 17:395), for she told Annie that she had received no letter for three weeks, but told Griswold, “I have just heard from him, he writes in fine spirits and says his prospects are excellent.” In Mrs. Clemm’s letter to Mrs. Richmond, September 15 (MS in Ingram Collection; reprinted in Miller, BPB, pp. 32-33), she says she is enclosing “the only one I received for nearly four weeks”; that is, the only one since the letter of August 2-14. In the same letter to Mrs. Richmond, Mrs. Clemm mentions a “note” received “yesterday.” Thus, the letter enclosed would be the present letter, and the “note” would be still another communication from Poe, almost surely LTR-331a, dated September 10. The next letter in the series, and his final one to Mrs. Clemm, is that of Tuesday, September 18, 1849 (LTR-332), which mentions the only two letters known to have been written by Mrs. Clemm to Poe between July 19 and September 18 (both of her letters recorded as CL-824).

Letter 331 — 1849, September 10 [CL-822] Poe (Hygenia Hotel, Old Point Comfort, VA) to Miss Susan V. C. Ingram (Hygenia Hotel, Old Point Comfort, VA):

Monday Evening

I have transcribed “Ulalume” with much pleasure, dear Miss Ingram, — as I am sure I would do any thing else, at your bidding — but I fear that you will find the verses scarcely more intelligible to day in my [page 2] manuscript than last night in my recitation. I would endeavor to explain to you what I really meant — or what I really fancied I meant by the poem, if it were not that I remember Dr Johnson’s bitter and rather just remarks about [page 3] the folly of explaining what, if worth explanation, should explain itself. He has a happy witticism, too, about some book which he calls “as obscure as [page 835:] an explanatory note.” Leaving “Ulalume” to its fate, therefore, & in good hands, I am

Yours truly

Edgar A Poe.

Note: Poe delivered his lecture, “The Poetic Principle,” at the Academy in Norfolk, VA, on September 14, 1849 (see Quinn, p. 629); the lecture was well received by the audience, and enthusiastically reviewed in the local press. The American Beacon, for example, gave Poe a glowing stream of praise: “The main proposition of the lecture, which was discussed with great ingenuity, was that there could not be a long poem .... Mr. Poe concluded the lecture by reciting by request, his brilliant fantasy, ‘The Raven’ ” (see The Poe Log, p. 836). Prior to the lecture, Poe stayed at the Hygeia Hotel, in Old Point Comfort, VA. At the hotel, he met Miss Susan V. C. Ingram and a group of her friends, who asked him to recite some of his poems, a request which he graciously satisfied. For Miss Ingram’s recollections of this evening, see The Poe Log, pp. 832-833, and W [1909], 2:329-333. The two remarks attributed by Poe to Dr. Johnson are Poe’s own clever adaptation of one passage from Johnson’s “Plan to an English Dictionary” (see Pollin, “Letter to the Editor,” EAP Review, 1:95). There, Johnson discusses basic lexicography, or the presentation of meaningful and useful definitions: “It seems of no great use to set down the words horse, dog, cat, willow, alder, daisy, rose, and a thousand others, of which it will be hard to give an explanation, not more obscure than the word itself” (11:201; “Miscellaneous Pieces,” in the 1903 Lamb edition of Johnson’s Works). Poe had referred to Johnson’s “well-conceived” Plan many years before, in his review of Charles Richardson’s New Dictionary (SLM, August 1836, 2:583-584; see Writings, 5:249-250).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (3 pp.) in the Morgan Library. The envelope carries no postmark and is addressed merely “Miss Susan Ingram.” The dating of the letter seems established by Miss Ingram’s statement that Poe read “Ulalume” to a group of people at the Hygeia Hotel at Old Point Comfort on Sunday evening, September 9, 1849, and that she received a MS copy of the poem the next day, which would have been Monday, September 10 (see Quinn, pp. 629-631). Phillips states that “Miss Ingram told Miss Thurston, at Mr. Morgan’s Library, that Poe had this note with the autographed ‘Ulalume’ placed under her door”(2:1472). [page 836:]

Letter 331a — 1849, September 10 [CL-823] Poe (Hygenia Hotel, Old Point Comfort, VA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

Old Point Comfort, Va:

Sep. 10. Monday Evening.

My own darling Muddy,

I wrote you from Richmond more than 10 days ago, [approximately three words scratched out beyond readability] and telling you a great deal of news. I cannot tell you how anxious I have been at not getting an answer. If you have not written, for God’s sake write immediately and tell me what is the matter. Direct, as usual, to Richmond, where I will be in about a week or 10 days. Mr J. S. French, [rest of page cut off] [.... ] [page 2] [pro]poses for me to go, immediately after the marriage, to one of her houses — the one she is in now — and send for you to join us at once — there we will remain, only for the present, until we can make what other arrangements we please. So hold yourself in readiness as well as you can, my own darling mother — but do not sell off or anything of that kind yet, if you can avoid it — for “there is many a slip between the cup & the lip” — & I confess that my heart sinks at the idea of this marriage. I think, however, that it will certainly take place & that immediately.

[God bless you, my dear “Muddy” Your own Eddy.]

Note: The “great deal of news” to which Poe refers is detailed in his letter to Maria Clemm of ca. August 28-29, 1849 (LTR-330). James Strange French was a student at the University of Virginia in 1826 (Kent, p. 89) and afterwards remained in the area. Poe unfavorably reviewed his novel Elkswatawa in the SLM (August 1836, 2:589-592; Writings, 5:256-258). French is also mentioned in “A Chapter on Autography,” where Poe notes that this “denunciatory review ... deterred him from further literary attempts” (Graham’s, December 1841, 19:275). His name appears on Poe’s address list as no. 166: “Jas. S. French, Old Point Comfort, Va. See letter” (Such Friends, p. 25).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) in the Fales Library of the New York University, Robins Collection. The bracketed portion given here at the end of the letter is a separate fragment, noted from an auction [page 837:] in England, November 12, 1986, item 974. The fragment, quoted in ABC (1986), reasonably belongs with the present letter as the signature has been excised from the MS, and the close of Poe’s other letters to Mrs. Clemm about the same time are very similar. Mrs. Clemm is known to have cut and distributed Poe’s signature, often in exchange for personal or financial assistance.

Letter 332 — 1849, September 18 [CL-826] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Maria Clemm (New York, NY):

Richmond Va

Tuesday — Sep 18 — 49.

My own darling Muddy,

On arriving here last night from Norfolk I received both your letters, including Mrs Lewis’s. I cannot tell you the joy they gave me — to learn at least that you are well & hopeful. May God forever bless you, my dear dear Muddy — Elmira has just got home from the country. I spent last evening with her. I think she loves me more devotedly than any one I ever knew & I cannot help loving her in return. Nothing is yet definitely settled [The foregoing resembles the handwriting of Maria Clemm; the following is Poe’s] and it will not do to hurry matters. I [lec]tured at Norfolk on Monday & cleared enough to settle my bill here at the Madison House with $2 over. I had a highly fashionable audience, but Norfolk is a small place & there were 2 exhibitions the same night. Next Monday I lecture again here & expect to have a large audience. On Tuesday I start for Phila to attend to Mrs Loud’s Poems — & possibly on Thursday I may start for N. York. If I do I will go straight over to Mrs Lewis’s & send for you. It will be better for me not to go to Fordham — don’t you think so? Write immediately in reply & direct to Phila. For fear I should not get the letter, sign no name & address it to E. S. T. Grey Esqre

If possible I will get married before I start — but there is no telling. Give my dearest love to Mrs L. My poor poor Muddy I am still unable to send you even one dollar — but keep [The following resembles the [page 838:] handwriting of Maria Clemm] up heart — I hope that our troubles are nearly over. I saw John Beatty in Norfolk.

God bless <you> & protect you my own darling Muddy. I showed your letter to Elmira and she says “it is such a darling precious letter that she loves you for it already”

Your own Eddy.

Don’t forget to write immediately to Phila so that your letter will be there when I arrive.

The papers here are praising me to death — and I have been received everywhere with enthusiasm. Be sure & preserve all the printed scraps I have sent you & keep up my file of the Lit. World.

Note: For Mrs. Lewis’ letter, see LTR-333. When Elmira Shelton was asked, in 1875, about her arrangements with Poe, she stated that “I was not engaged to Poe when he left here, but there was a partial understanding, but I do not think I should have married him under any circumstances” (see Quinn, p. 629). This cautious and somewhat confusing reply may have been tempered by knowledge that her family strenuously disapproved of the idea of a marriage to Poe, and it is difficult to imagine a “partial understanding” which was not an official engagement. Yet, Mrs. Whitman wrote J. H. Ingram, January 4, 1874 (Ingram Collection): “Poe, in the last of the two letters ... to Mrs. Clemm in the month before his death, said his engagement to Mrs. Shelton was fixed.” Unless Mrs. Whitman is referring to the lost note of September 12-13, there is no evidence to corroborate her statement beyond the fact that Poe’s letters to Mrs. Clemm strongly imply that while he has some hesitation about the impending marriage, he is acting under the presumption that it will occur. The source of Mrs. Whitman’s information was undoubtedly Mrs. Clemm. Concerning Mrs. St. Leon Loud’s poems, see LTR-330. That Poe showed Muddy’s letter to Elmira is confirmed in Mrs. Shelton’s letter to Mrs. Clemm, September 22, 1849 (Quinn, p. 634). The identity of John Beatty is unknown, but he is listed as no. 181 in Such Friends (p. 19) with a note: “Balt. see let.” He is unlikely to be the man of some eminence listed in the DAB as being from Ohio, and too youthful then. The Literary World was a prominent New York weekly magazine started in 1847 by Charles Fenno Hoffman, and later edited by E. A. and G. L. Duyckinck. It reviewed Poe’s Eureka in the issue for July 29, 1848, [page 839:] but, later, those editors declined to publish Poe’s tale “Von Kempelen and His Discovery” (see LTR-308). The present letter is the last he is known to have written to Mrs. Clemm. “E. S. T. Grey” was used by Poe as a pseudonym on various occasions (see LTR-276 and note). The reasonable presumption that Mrs. Clemm would undoubtedly do as Poe requested and write to him at Philadelphia is confirmed by research kindly sent to the present editors by Matthew Pearl in advance of an article intended for publication in the EAP Review. Mr. Pearl solves the mystery of Poe’s request that Ms. Clemm send the letter using his pseudonym. Before the Civil War, letters were typically sent to individuals, often with little addressing information beyond the name and city. Poe had lived in Philadelphia prior to moving to New York in 1844, and a letter sent to him there under his own name stood a very good chance of being automatically forwarded back to New York. By not signing a name, the letter could not be returned, and would have to be held, at least long enough for Poe to reach Philadelphia. Searching through the lists of unclaimed letters publicized in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, Mr. Pearl also found proof that Mrs. Clemm did indeed write to her Eddy as requested. In the Public Ledger for October 3, 1849, under the “List of Letters Remaining in the Philadelphia Post Office” for gentlemen appears one for “Grey, E. S. F.” (the “F” being an obvious error for “T”). This list includes letters which were not picked up by September 29, and is repeated in the issue for October 4, 1849. Sadly, there would be no one to pick up Mrs. Clemm’s letter (CL-827e), and the MS is almost certainly lost.

Source: photocopy of the original MS fragment in Poe’s hand, and of a transcript of the whole letter in Maria Clemm’s hand (probably), both items being in the Enoch Pratt Free Library; the original Poe letter was undoubtedly two pages in length. The two letters from Mrs. Clemm that Poe is answering are probably her replies (CL-824) to his letter of ca. August 28-29 (LTR-330) and his note of September 10 (LTR-331a). Poe lectured on “The Poetic Principle” in Norfolk, not on “Monday” as he says, but on Friday, September 14 (see Quinn, p. 629). If Susan V. C. Ingram’s account of her being with Poe in Old Point Comfort, September 9, is true (see Quinn, pp. 629-631), and also her statement that Poe later called on her family near Norfolk, he may have left Richmond shortly after mailing LTR-330, probably wrote the “note” from Old Point Comfort or Norfolk, delivered his lecture, and returned to Richmond, as he says, “last night from Norfolk,” on September 17. [page 840:]

Letter 333 — 1849, September 18 [CL-827] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Sarah A. Lewis (New York, NY):

My dear, dear Mrs. Lewis —

My dear sister Anna (for so you have permitted me to call you) — never while I live shall I forget you or your kindness to my mother. If I have not written you in reply to your first cherished letter, think anything of my silence except that I am ungrateful or unmindful of you — or that I do not feel for you the purest and profoundest affection — ah, let me say love. I hope very soon to see you and clasp your dear hand. In the meantime, may God bless you, my sweet sister.

Your always,


Note: For data concerning Mrs. Lewis, see the note to LTR-257. Poe, in Richmond, was planning soon to leave for Philadelphia and New York (see LTR-332 and note). This is Poe’s last known letter to Mrs. Lewis, and among the very last letters he wrote to anyone. TOM [Poems, 1:473-474] recounts the present letter as the basis for Mrs. Clemm’s diplomatic suggestion to Mrs. Lewis, in Mary Hewitt’s presence, that she was the source or prototype of “Annabel Lee”; Mrs. Hewitt promptly reported it to Fanny Osgood, who tellingly and informatively responded that Annabel Lee had to be someone no longer living, and therefore Virginia Poe was the subject of the poem. She expresses this point directly in her “Reminiscences of EAP,” stating: “There seems a strange and almost profane disregard of the sacred purity and spiritual tenderness of this delicious ballad, in thus overlooking the allusion to the kindred angels and the heavenly Father of the lost and loved and unforgotten wife.” (See Pollin, “F. S. Osgood and Saroni’s Musical Times,” PS, 23:32. For a different identification of Annabel Lee, see the note to LTR-319.)

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.), formerly in the collection of William H. Koester, and now in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The address appears on the verso of the leaf. Someone, probably Mrs. Lewis, entered the date of “Tuesday 18th Sept. 1849” at the head of the letter. Although the date may indicate the day received, it may just as easily be the date written, for Poe wrote a letter to Mrs. Clemm on Tuesday, September 18, 1849 (LTR-332), in [page 841:] which he says he has just returned to Richmond and found letters from her (CL-824) and a letter from Mrs. Lewis (CL-825). Poe is replying to two letters from Mrs. Lewis, written sometime between June 30 and September 18, 1849 (CL-807 and CL-825).

Letter 334 — 1849, September 18 [CL-827a] Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. Marguerite St. Leon Loud (Philadelphia, PA):

Richmond —

Sep 18 — 49

Mrs. M. St. Leon Loud,

Dear Madam,

Not being quite sure whether a letter addressed simply to “Mr John Loud” would reach your husband — that is to say, not remembering whether he had a middle name or not — I have taken the liberty of writing directly to yourself, in regard to a proposition which he made me while here; having reference to your Poems.

It was my purpose and hope to have been in Philadelphia by the 7th of this month; but circumstances beyond my control have detained me; and I write now to say that I find it impossible to leave Richmond before Tuesday next — the 25 th. On the 26 th I hope to have the pleasure of calling on you at your residence in Philadelphia.

There will be quite time enough to have your book issued as proposed: — but should this unavoidable delay on my part have caused you to change your views in any respect, may I beg of you the favor to let me know, by return of mail, if convenient? Under any circumstances I should, of course, feel honored in receiving a letter from you.

Most Respy. Yr. Ob. St

Edgar A. Poe.

Note: Mrs. Marguerite St. Leon Loud (ca. 1800-1889) was a Philadelphia poetess who contributed to the local magazines of the period [page 842:] and in 1851 published a volume of poems titled Wayside Flowers (see Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 4:33). Her husband, John Loud, a piano manufacturer in Philadelphia, was impressed by Poe’s extravagant praise of his wife’s poetry in the “Autography” article in Graham’s, December 1841, where Poe had written: “Mrs. M. St. Leon Loud is one of the finest poets in this country” (see H [Works], 15:230). About the time of the present letter, Mr. Loud had offered Poe $100 to edit her collection of periodical poems, gathered for a projected volume. (See The Poe Log, pp. xxxii, 828-929, and 842.) Poe probably obtained the goodly space for four of her pieces in the new edition of Griswold’s Female Poets of America (1848-1849), pp. 141-142. The headnote there included some of Poe’s “Autography” laudation — she “has imagination of no common order” and while able in “decorous proprieties ... in fashion” she often “ventures ... into a more ethereal region.” Based on several of his final letters, Poe’s apparent plan was to stop by Philadelphia on his trip from Richmond to New York (see LTR-330 and LTR-332). That he did not make it to Philadelphia to see her is supported by a short notice of Wayside Flowers: “The late Mr. Poe was accustomed to praise her works very highly, and was to have edited this edition of them” (the International, A Miscellany of Literature, Science and Art, Boston, September 1, 1850, p. 265). The fact that he did not pick up the letter from Mrs. Clemm is further evidence (see the note to LTR-332).

Source: photocopy of the original MS (1 p.) on deposit in the collection of the Poe Foundation now in the Virginia State Library, Richmond. On the verso the letter is addressed to: “Mrs. M. St Leon Loud / Care of John Loud, / Philadelphia / Pa.” It is postmarked: “Richmond, Va., Sep 19.” Beneath the address appears, presumably by Mrs. Loud: “Marguerite St. Leon Loud / Philadelphia [some doodling] ‘I slept & dreamed that life was beauty — / I woke and found that life was duty’ [more doodling].” This short quotation is taken from a poem by the Transcendentalist Mrs. Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1812-1848), first printed in the Dial (July 1840, 1:123) as the first two of six lines. No reply from Mrs. Loud is known.




One page is accounted for in the pagination but not included in the text above because it is a blank back page. This is page 764.


[S:0 - CLT08, 2008] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (Ostrom, Pollin and Savoye) (Chapter 11)