Text: J. W. Ostrom, B. R. Pollin, and J. A. Savoye, “Check List,” The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: 1846-1849 (2008), pp. 1153-1160 (This material is protected by copyright)


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Spurious, Deleted, Fake, Misdated and Doubtful Letters

Date 1823 SP.
No.

1

May 4 Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to Messrs. Buckingham (Boston, MA). Misdated as 1823 by André Fontainas in EAP: Lettres à John Allan, son père adoptif, Paris: G. Crès, 1930, pp. 10-11 (probably a typographical error). See CL-72. (SP08-1.)

1827

1a

ca. March Spurious

Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mills Nursery (Philadelphia, PA). Whitty [1911], p. xxviii; Phillips, 1:285. Whitty claims: “He [Poe] first wrote a letter to The Mills Nursery of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with whom the Allan firm had dealings, asking for employment. That firm sent the letter to Allan, and the matter ended in a war of warm words.” Unfortunately, neither Whitty or Phillips offers a source for this story, and there appears to be no such letter among the Ellis & Allan papers at the Library of Congress. In CL48, Ostrom says “probably no letter.” (CL41-10; CL48-[15a]; SP08-1a.)

1b

after March Spurious

Poe (Boston, MA) to — ? (— ?). A recollection by Poe’s boyhood friend T. H. Ellis states, “the occasional letters which he [Poe] wrote home are dated ‘St. Petersburg,’ but were written while he was on the stage in Boston, or an enlisted soldier in the army” (RF-32). Ellis’ open acknowledgment, in the same document, that “the story of his [Poe’s] going to St. Petersburg, etc., was all an invention” bolsters his credibility, but the claim that Poe was “on the stage in Boston,” while intriguing, cannot be verified and justifies caution in accepting the statement in full. (SP08-1b.)

2

ca. 1827 Forgery

Poe (Boston, MA) to C. F. S. Thomas (Boston, MA). Hamilton, Great Forgers & Famous Fakes, 1980, p. 115 (F). This letter is undated, but supposedly 1827. It purports to be notes about the printing of Tamerlane and Other Poems, but Hamilton reveals the forger as Joseph Cosey. (SPR08-2 // SP08-2.)

1829

3

before May 1 (?) Spurious

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to Wm. Wirt (Baltimore, MD). This letter may be presumed, based on Wm. Wirt to Poe, 11 May 1829 (CL-22), but no letter from Poe is clearly suggested as Poe seems to have visited him in person to show the MSS of his poems. (CL41-[A1]; SP08-3.)

1830

4

Jan. 3 Misdated

Poe (West Point, NY) to J. Allan (Richmond, VA). Misdated by Poe. See CL-61. (SP08-4.)

1831

5

March (?) Literary

Poe to B——. This entry is “Letter to B——” from Poems (1831), cited in CL41, but omitted afterwards. As the introductory essay to Poe’s volume of poetry, it should be considered a literary item rather than a genuine letter. (CL41-52; SP08-5.)

1832

6

Jan 12 (?) Doubtful

J. Allan (Richmond, VA) to Poe (Baltimore, MD). In CL41, Ostrom apparently thought a letter was implied by J. Allan’s note on the letter of 15 Dec. 1831 (CL-69). On this occasion, Allan seems to have written John Walsh only, and not Poe. (CL41-58; SP08-6.)

7

[March] 15 Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to J. P. Kennedy (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in H [Works], 17:2. See CL-78. (SP08-7.)

1834

7a

Sept. 11 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to J. P. Kennedy (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in Heartman & Rede, 3:16. See CL-101. (SP08-7a.)

8

Nov. Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to J. P. Kennedy (Baltimore, MD). This is a follow up note to item CL-73, misdated in CL41. See CL-74. (CL41-62; SP08-8.)

1835

9

Jan. 21 Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to E. L. Carey & A. Hart (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated by Poe, repeated in Bangs sale, 16 Feb. 1898. See CL-113. (CL41-64; SP08-9.)

10

May 15-18 Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to E. L. Carey (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-81. (CL41-70; SP08-10.)

11

June 2 Misdated

Poe (Baltimore, MD) to T. W. White (Richmond, VA). Misdated in Allen 1:367. See CL-88. (CL48-[84b]; SP08-11.)

12

Oct. 6 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to R. M. Bird (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in Am. Art Assoc. sale (Hall), 20-21 April 1921, reported in ABC (1921), p. 997. See CL-106. (CL41-93; CL48-[105a]; SP08-12.)

1836

13

Jan. 21 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to E. L. Carey & A. Hart (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated by Poe. See CL-108. (SP08-13.)

14

Feb. 15 Misdated

G. Poe (Mobile, AL) to Poe (Richmond, VA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-121. (CL41-106; SP08-14.)

15

after June 7 (?) Misidentified

W. Irving (Newburg, NY) to Poe (Richmond, VA). The Poe Log, p. 210, attributes to Irving two sentences quoted in SLM (July 1836) 2:517. Part of this quotation was reprinted in the Philadelphia Sat. Museum (4 March 1843), where it is attributed to J. K. Paulding. Because Poe was directly involved with the writing of the article in the Museum, this identification of the correspondent has great credibility. In SLM, another excerpt is credited to Paulding, leaving the false impression that Poe is being praised by two different people. See CL-148a. (SP08-15.)

16

July Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to J. P. Kennedy (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in Allen 1:399. See CL-147. (CL48-[156a]; SP08-16.)

17

Sept. 30 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to Rev. G. Gilman (Charleston, SC). Misdated in ABC (1899), p. 525, item 8707. See CL-160a. (SP08-17.)

18

Oct. 2-4 (?) Misdated

Wm. Poe (Augusta, GA) to Poe (Richmond, VA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-105. (CL41-139; SP08-18.)

19

before Oct. 6 Misdated

Wm. Poe (Augusta, GA) to Poe (Richmond, VA). The letter by which this is implied is misdated in H [Works], 17:379. See CL-105. (CL41-139; SP08-19.)

20

Nov. 29 Misdated

E. L Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia, PA) to Poe (Richmond, VA). Misdated in W [1909], 2:375. See CL-108. (CL41-144; SP08-20.)

1837

21

Feb. 23 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to — ? [Carpenter, etc.] (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in ABC (1910), p. 860. See CL-173. (CL41-150; SP08-21.)

22

Oct. 20 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. S. J. Hale (Boston, MA). Misdated by Poe. See CL-164. (SP08-22.)

1838

23

June 26 (?) Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to N. C. Brooks (Baltimore, MD). Forgery attributed to Joseph Cosey. Offered for sale on eBay, 12 Dec. 1999, and several times subsequently, along with a forgery of 7 Feb. 1847 to N. C. Bennett (SP-102). An envelope page of the same date, addressed to Brooks at the Baltimore Museum, is shown in Hamilton, Great Forgers & Famous Fakes, 1980, p. 263 (F). This envelope was CL48-187, but appears no longer to be at NN. (SPR08-2 // SP08-23.)

24

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (New York, NY) to N. C. Brooks (Baltimore, MD). Another forgery by Joseph Cosey, with text closely matching that of SP-23. Offered for sale on eBay in March 2004. (SPR08-3 // SP08-24.)

1839

25

June 1 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to W. E. Burton (Philadelphia, PA). Incorrectly implied as 1839 in H [Works], 17:163-167. See CL-235. (SP08-25.)

26

July 19 Misdated

E. B. Fisher (Pittsburgh, PA) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in ABC, and Heartman & Rede, 3:25. See CL-190. (SP08-26.)

27

Sept. 13 Misdated

P. P. Cooke (Charlestown, VA) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in ABC, and Heartman & Rede, 3:25. See CL-200. (SP08-27.)

28

Sept. 16 Misidentified

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to P. P. Cooke (Charlestown, VA). Quinn, p. 271 n, seems to have confused Cooke’s letter to Poe (CL-200) with Poe’s letter to Cooke (CL-203). This conjecture is further supported by the fact that Quinn states that the MS is in the Griswold collection at MB, which would apply to Cooke’s letter but not to Poe’s, for which the MS is at Harvard. (SP08-28.)

1840

28a

May 10 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Thompson (Richmond, VA). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:35. See CL-789. (SP08-28a.)

29

July or Aug. Misdated

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in CL41. See CL-655. (CL41-196; SP08-29.)

30

Aug. 24 Misdated

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in CL41, and Heartman & Rede, 3:26. See CL-656. (CL41-196; SP08-30.)

1841

31

Jan. 21 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to J. E. Snodgrass (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in W [1909] and Phillips, 1:597. See CL-229. (SP08-31.)

32

Spring 1841 Spurious

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Boston, MA). Griswold states, in G [Memoir], 3:v (1850) and 1:xxi (1853), that he first made Poe’s acquaintance at this time, describing the initial missed opportunity: “He called at my hotel, and not finding me at home, left two letters of introduction.” Even if this story is true, these letters were probably written by third parties known to both Poe and Griswold. It is, of course, also possible that along with these letters Poe left a note of his own, but Griswold does not make any statement to directly support the speculation. The earliest known letter from Poe to Griswold, which can be assigned with any certainty, is ca. May 8, 1841 (CL-282). (SP08-32.)

32a

March 19 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Boston, MA). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:23. See CL-289. (SP08-32a.)

33

March 29 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Boston, MA). Misdated in G [Memoir], 3:v (1850) and 1:xxi (1853); repeated in Phillips, 1:590, following Griswold’s dating. See CL-289. (SP08-33.)

34

April 11 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC). Misdated in ABC, and Heartman & Rede, 3:26. See CL-283. (SP08-34.)

35

June 4 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to J. Neal (NY, NY, forwarded to Portland, ME). Misdated by Phillips, 1:668. See CL-237. (SP08-35.)

36

June 17 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to — ? [J. E. Snodgrass] (Baltimore, MD). Misdated in W [1909], 2:409. See CL-240. (SP08-36.)

37

Aug. 3 Misdated

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated by F. W. Thomas, and repeated in Phillips, 1:675, Allen, 2:885, and Heartman & Rede, 3:26. See CL-326. (SP08-37.)

37a

Aug. 11 Misdated

Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia, PA) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in H [Works] 17:101-102, and Heartman & Rede, 3:26. See CL-321. (SP08-37a.)

38

Aug. 26 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC). Misdated in Allen 2:476n. See CL-298. (SP08-38.)

39

Sept. 21 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to L. J. Cist (Cincinnati, OH). Misdated by Quinn, p. 342n. See CL-329. (SP08-39.)

39a

Dec. 31 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to J. P. Kennedy (Baltimore, MD). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:16. See CL-264. (SP08-39a.)

1842

40

Feb. 6 Misdated

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in H [Works], 17:105-106, W [1909], 1:318-321 and Phillips, 1:689-690. See CL-356. (SP08-40.)

41

March 13 Misdated

J. Tomlin (Jackson, TN) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated by Tomlin. See CL-274. (SP08-41.)

42

March 29 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Boston, MA). Misdated in G [Memoir], 3:v (1850) and 1:xxi (1853). See CL-289. (SP08-42.)

43

March 30 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. Tyler (Washington, DC). Misdated in Allen, 2:541 (and incorrectly noted as being at WU). See CL-429. (CL41-299; SP08-43.)

44

March 31 Misdated

R. Tyler (Washington, DC) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in W [1909], 1:321, and Heartman & Rede, 3:27. See CL-430. (CL41-300; CL48-[362b]; SP08-44.)

45

April 16 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to P. P. Cooke (Millwood, VA). Misdated by Poe. See CL-621. (CL48-[362c]; SP08-45.)

46

June 6 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to T. H. Chivers (Middletown, CT). Misdated in Century Mag. (Jan. 1902) ns 43:439 and H [Works], 17:113-115. See CL-378. (SP08-460.)

47

June 10 Misdated

R. Bolton (Pontotoc, MS) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in the Commercial Appeal, (Memphis, TN), 15 Nov. 1925, sec. 4, p. 7. See CL-354. (SP08-47.)

48

June 15 (?) Misdated

D. Bryan (Alexandria, VA) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). In Bryan to Poe, 27 June 1842 (CL 373), Bryan refers to having sent Poe a poem “some weeks ago.” In Poe to D. Bryan, 6 July 1842, Poe erroneously refers to the period as “three weeks” (see D. Thomas, pp. 401-402; see also CL-377). (CL48-372; SP08-48.)

49

July 6 Misidentified

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC). Misidentified in Allen 2:542. (Correspondent is actually D. Bryan.) See CL-377. (SP08-49.)

50

Aug. 3 Misdated

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated by F. W. Thomas. See CL-326. (SP08-50.)

51

Aug. 15 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to W. Poe (Macon, GA). Misdated by W [1909], 1:335; and Phillips, 1:756. See CL-246. (SP08-51.)

52

Sept. 21 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to L. J. Cist (Cincinnati, OH). Misdated by Quinn, p. 342n. See CL-329. (SP08-52.)

53

Oct. 5 Misidentified

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to C. W. Holden (NY, NY). Misidentified in CL41 as Charles W. Holden. See CL-396. (CL41-330 and CL41-[A30]; SP08-53.)

54

Nov. 16 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to Mrs. L. H. Sigourney (Hartford, CT). Misdated by Poe. See CL-345. (SP08-54.)

1843

55

Dec. 1842 - March 1843 (?) Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:v (1850) and 1:xxi (1853); H [Works], 17:129; W [1909], 1:354-355; Phillips, 1:781. G [Memoir] gives it as “without date.” H [Works] assigned a tentative date of 1843. No MS exists and Griswold’s text is considered a forgery. (SPR08-4 // CL41-340; CL48-[408b]; SP08-55.)

56

Feb. 8 Spurious

F. W. Thomas (Washington, DC) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). See Ostrom’s note to LTR48-153, where he mistakenly thinks that Thomas sent Poe a letter of introduction to President John Tyler. The date of Feb. 8 is an error for March 8, but in any case, Thomas probably gave Poe the letter in person. Thomas prepared the letter because he was too ill to take Poe to see Tyler, but still wanted the meeting to take place. (CL48-413; SP08-56.)

57

June 11 Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:v (1850) and 1:xxi (1853); W [1909], 2:34-35; H [Works], 17:145; L 2:491; Phillips, 1:837. No MS exists and Griswold’s text is considered a forgery. Ostrom describes it as “highly doubtful,” L [1948], 2:490, but gives the text in his notes, for reference. (SPR08-5 // CL41-363; CL48-438; SP08-57.)

58

June 20 Misidentified

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to J. T. Fields (Boston, MA). Misidentified in H [Works], 17:149. Poe’s correspondent is J. R. Lowell. See CL-443. (SP08-58.)

59

Dec. 15 Misdated

Wm. Poe (Baltimore, MD) to Poe (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-439, and the note to LTR-97. (CL41-381 // SP08-59.)

59a

Dec. 23 Misdated

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to J. R. Lowell (Boston, MA). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:19. See CL-405. (SP08-59a.)

1844

60

March 10 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Lowell (Boston, MA). Misdated in Phillips, 2:863. See CL-476. (SP08-60.)

61

March 20 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. E. Hewitt (NY, NY). Misdated in ABC (1972). See CL-530. (SP08-61.)

62

April 19 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in H [Works], 17:169-170. See CL-534. (SP08-62.)

63

May 14 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). This is an article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 18 May 1844. Called “Doings of Gotham,” the series consisted of 7 letters of the same light tone (see also SP-65, SP-66, SP-67, SP-69, SP-71, and SP-72). (SP08-63.)

64

May 15 Misdated

T. H. Chivers (Oaky Grove, Washington, GA) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated by T. H. Chivers. See CL-488. (SP08-64.)

65

May 21 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 25 May 1844. (SP08-65.)

66

May 27 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 1 June 1844. (SP08-66.)

67

June 4 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 8 June 1844. (SP08-67.)

68

June 9 (?) Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to J. Keese (NY, NY). Misdated in CL41, following Am. Art sale (Wakeman), 29 April 1924, item 944. See CL-544. (CL41-405; SP08-68.)

69

June 12 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 15 June 1844. (SP08-69.)

70

June 14 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. Bowen (Columbia, PA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-487. (CL41-406; SP08-70.)

71

June 18 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 29 June 1844. (SP08-71.)

72

June 28 Literary

Poe (NY, NY) to Columbia Spy (Columbia, PA). An article in the form of a letter. Published in the Columbia Spy, 6 July 1844. (This article is the final installment in the 7 part series (see SP-64). (SP08-72.)

73

June Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to C. Anthon (NY, NY). Misdated in Anderson sale (Joline), 15 Dec. 1914, item 831, and repeated in ABC (1915), p. 854. Also misdated in Anderson sale (Robinson), 29 April 1918, item 773, and repeated in ABC (1918). See CL-505.

73a

Oct. 21 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Lowell (Cambridge, MA). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:20. See CL-504. (SP08-73a.)

74

Nov. 12 Misdated

N. P. Willis (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in H [Works], 17:194; Phillips, 2:874 and 920. See CL-689b. (SP08-74.)

75

1844 (?) Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). H [Works], 169-170. See CL-534. (SP08-75.)

1845

76

Jan. 10 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:vi (1850) and 1:xxii (1853); H [Works], 17:196; Phillips, 2:932. No MS exists. Ostrom describes it as “certainly a forgery,” L [1948], 2:490. (SPR08-6 // CL41-438; SP08-76.)

77

Jan. 11 Spurious

R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA) to Poe (NY, NY). G [Memoir], 3:vi; H [Works], 17:197; Phillips, 2:932-933 (excerpts). Ostrom discards as a forgery the letter of Poe to Griswold, 10 Jan. 1845. The text of Griswold’s letter, purportedly a reply, is printed in G [Memoir], 3:vi (1850) and 1:xxii (1853). It actually appears to be an altered version of Griswold’s 14 Jan. 1845 letter to Poe (CL-516). (CL41-439; SP08-77.)

78

Feb. 24 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:vi; H [Works], 17:201-202; Phillips, 2:949 (but recognizes the forgery). A significantly altered version of Poe to Griswold, 24 Feb. 1845. (See CL-524.) (SPR08-7 // SP08-78.)

79

March 17 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to N. Hawthorne (Salem, MA). Misdated in CL41. See CL-639. (CL41-518; SP08-79).

80

[April 19] Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:vi (1850) and 1:xxii (1853) (as “without date”); H [Works], 17:169-170 (as “Without date, 1844 ?”). A significantly altered version of Poe’s authentic letter, 19 April 1845 (CL-534). (SPR08-8 // CL41-432; CL48-[533b]; SP08-80.)

80a

Aug. 9 Forged copy

Poe (NY, NY) to T. W. Field (NY, NY). A forged copy of CL-554. Forgery at TxU-Hu. (SP08-80a.)

81

[Sept. 11, 1845 (?)] Thursday afternoon Doubtful

Poe (NY, NY) to E. A. Duyckinck (NY, NY). Although CL81 notes this MS at CSmH, that institution states flatly that it does not own any MS letters from Poe to E. A. Duyckinck. This entry, therefore, is probably an error, confused with CL-567, noted as Thursday morning of the same date. (CL81-567a; SP08-81.)

81a

Sept. 9 Misdated

T. H. Chivers (Oaky Grove, GA) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Heartman & Rede, 3:24. See CL-564. (SP08-81a.)

82

Oct. 6 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to R. M. Bird (Philadelphia, PA). Misdated in Am. Art Assoc. sale (Hall), 20-21 April 1921, item 493. See CL-106. (SP08-82.)

83

Oct. 24 Promissory

Poe (NY, NY) to H. Greeley (NY, NY). Bruno’s Weekly, 4 March 1916, 2:526-528; Phillips, 2:1063-1064. This is actually a promissory note, written by Greeley, and merely signed by Poe. It is not, technically, a letter, and certainly not a letter by Poe. (SP08-83.)

84

Nov. 1 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). G [Memoir], 3:vi (1850) and 1:xxii (1853); H [Works], 17:220-221; Phillips, 2:1068-1069 (excerpts). Ostrom describes Griswold’s text as “undoubtedly forged,” L 2:490. No MS exists, but TOM [Iowa] considers it as “at least partly genuine. (SPR08-9 // CL41-492; SP08-84.)

85

Nov. 13 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. A. Duyckinck (NY, NY). Misdated in H [Works], 17:222-223, and Heartman & Rede, 3:17. There is also a letter correctly dated as Nov. 13, 1845 (CL-583). See CL-545. (SP08-85.)

86

ca. 1845-1846 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to — ? (— ?). A MS-fragment in ViU. L (1948) 1:306. Originally accepted by Ostrom, but validity suspected by TOM. A lack of history and a similarity to other items created by Cosey strongly imply forgery. (L48-221; SPR08-10 // CL48-603; SP08-86.)

86a

ca. 1845-1846 Spurious

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. F. S. Osgood (NY, NY). Whitty, “Poeana,” The Step Ladder, October 1927, 13:239-240. Whitty quotes a few sentences as if from a surviving MS fragment, but does not cite his source. (SPR08-10a // SP08-86a.)

1846

87

March 28 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. L. Fancher (NY, NY). Misdated by Poe. See CL-680a. (SP08-87.)

88

June 16 Misdated

G. W. Eveleth (Phillips, ME) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Phillips, 2:1189. See CL-634. (CL41-536; SP08-88.)

89

ca. July Misdated

Miss A. C. Lynch (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). H [Works], 17:258-259 mistakenly implies the 1846 date. See CL-547. (SP08-89.)

89a

Aug. 9 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to P. P. Cooke (Millwood, VA). Griswold prints the authentic Poe letter, but adds a forged phrase making a derogatory comment in regard to Duyckinck, Griswold’s intention was probably to discourage Duyckinck from acting as a potential defender of Poe. G [Memoir], 3:xxxi (1850) and 1:xlvii (1853). See CL-654. (SPR08-11 // SP-89a.)

90

Nov. 14 Spurious

Mrs. S. J. Hale (Philadelphia, PA) to Poe (NY, NY). No source is given in CL41. See CL-573. (CL41-556; SP08-90.)

91

Nov. - Dec. (?) Spurious

Poe (NY, NY) to J. T. Fields (Boston, MA). No source is given in CL41. (CL41-566; SP08-91.)

92

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to A. N. Howard (NY, NY). This forgery is another in the series Cosey composed as if from Poe to Howard. Several of these forgeries are nearly identical in phrasing, while others contain changes presumably intended to reduce the chance of revealing themselves. Fantasy Collectors Annual, de la Ree, 1974 (quoted, with facsimile of signature, dated Dec. 4). At one time, the owner was the famous magician Joseph Dunninger. (SPR08-12 // SP08-92.)

93

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to A. N. Howard (NY, NY). This entry has been declared a forgery by the owner, NNS. Am. Lit. (Nov. 1941) 13:283, cited. See B. R. Pollin, “A Spurious Poe Letter to A. N. Howard,” Poe Studies (June 1973) 6:27-28. At one time, the MS was apparently in the collection of J. H. Whitty. (SPR08-13 // CL48-659; CL74-659.)

94

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to A. N. Howard (NY, NY). This entry has been declared a forgery by the owner, InU (Lilly), and attributed to J. Cosey. (SPR08-14a // SP08-94a.)

94a

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to A. N. Howard (NY, NY). This entry has been declared a forgery by the owner, InU (Lilly), and attributed to J. Cosey. (SPR08-14b // SP08-94b.)

94b

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to A. N. Howard (NY, NY). This entry has been declared a forgery by the owner, PP (Gimbel). (SPR08-14 // SP08-94.)

95

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). Another forgery, almost surely by Joseph Cosey. Photocopy preserved by TOM [Iowa]. (SPR08-15 // SP08-95.)

96

Dec. 8 Forgery

N. P. Willis (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Forgery on the verso of SP-95. Photocopy preserved by TOM [Iowa]. (SP08-96.)

97

Dec. 10 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. A. Duyckinck (NY, NY). See CL-594. Misdated in ABC (1914), p. 779. (SP08-97.)

98

Dec. 20 Misidentified

Mrs. M. E. Hewitt (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Misidentified in CL41, and Heartman & Rede, 3:25. This letter is actually from Mrs. Hewitt to Mrs. F. S. Ogsood (see H [Works], 17:272-273, note 1). MS at MB. See CL-600. (CL41-559; SP08-98.)

99

Dec. 30 Misdated

N. P. Willis (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Phillips, 2:1194, probably confused with the date of Poe’s own letter. See CL-661. (SP08-99.)

100

[1846] (?) Misidentified

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, PA). Misidentified in H [Works], 17:228. Actually part of CL-654. (CL41-568; SP08-100.)

100a

Feb. 2 Misdated

T. H. Chivers (Washington, GA) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Heartman & Rede, 3:24. See CL-673. (SP08-100a.)

1847

101

Feb. 3 (or 10 or 17) (?) Misdated

N. P. Willis (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in CL41. See CL-661. (CL41-572; SP08-101.)

102

Feb. 7 Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to N. C. Bennett (Richmond, VA). Forgery attributed to Joseph Cosey. Sold on eBay on 12 Dec. 1999, along with SP-23. (SPR08-16 // SP08-102.)

103

Feb. 20 Misdated

Mrs. J. E. Locke (Lowell, MA) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Phillips, 2:1214. See CL-675. (SP08-103.)

104

March 28 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. L. Fancher (NY, NY). Misdated by Poe. See CL-680a. (SP08-104.)

105

Aug. 7 Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). This forgery was erroneously published as authentic in the new SLM, Aug. 1941, 3:390-391. Listed in ABC (1972) as a forgery. SH $40 (1972). (SPR08-17 // SP08-105.)

106

Aug. Spurious

Poe (NY, NY) to G. Godfrey (Kent, England). Erroneously attributed in Phillips, 2:1230 and 2:1232. This is the article on “Copyright in America,” from Blackwood’s, August 1847. The article is in the form of a letter from an unnamed correspondent in New York to Godfrey. The article is not by Poe. (SP08-106.)

106a

Nov. 7 Forgery

Poe (Philadelphia, PA) To N. P. Willis (NY, NY). This entry has been declared a forgery by the owner, InU (Lilly), and attributed to J. Cosey. (SPR08-17a // SP08-106a.)

107

before Dec. 7 Doubtful

A. H. Collins or Miss Ellsworth (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Based on Poe to A. H. Collins or Miss Ellsworth (SP-108), which is a doubtful entry. (CL41-[A46]; SP08-107.)

108

Dec. 7 Doubtful

Poe (NY) to A. H. Collins or Miss Ellsworth (NY, NY). Richmond Times Dispatch, 15 April 1935. In CL48, Ostrom describes it as “very doubtful authenticity [?]” (CL41-595 and CL41-[A46]; CL48-[692a]; SP08-108.)

109

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). Hamilton, Great Forgers & Famous Fakes, 1980, p. 116 (F). (SPR08-18 // SP08-109.)

1848

110

Jan. 16 (?) (or earlier) Spurious

H. D. Chapin (NY, NY) to Poe (Fordham, NY). An erroneous entry since Poe’s letter to H. D. Chapin (CL-696) does not indicate a letter from Chapin. (CL41-[A47]; SP08-110.)

111

Jan. (?) Literary

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. J. Hale or L. A. Godey (as editor of Godey’s) (Philadelphia, PA). Godey’s (Feb. 1849) 39:133; Ingram 2:201; H [Works], 6:295 and 17:329-330; Phillips, 2:1369. This is a humorous introduction for Poe’s tale “Mellonta Tauta” and not a real letter. (SPR08-19 // CL41-656 and CL41-665; SP08-111.)

112

April 1 Forgery/Hoax

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. J. Hale (Philadelphia, PA). Godey’s (Dec. 1849) 39:417. This is part of the famous “Lady Hubbard” hoax. Actually addressed to Langfred Landing Granbbrok, although the signature of this fictitious author is unclear in the facsimile and the precise spelling of the intended name uncertain. (SPR08-20 // CL41-605; SP08-112.)

113

May Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. L. Shew (NY, NY). Misdated by Ingram, Appleton’s Journal (May 1878) ns 4:422. See CL-683. (SP08-113.)

114

May 9 Misdated

G. W. Eveleth (Phillips, ME) to Poe (Fordham, NY). Misdated in Phillips, 2:1262. See CL-702. (SP08-114.)

115

ca. June 1 Spurious

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Poe sent the MS of “To Helen,” but without a signature or letter. Without an actual letter or note, this item cannot be considered correspondence. (SP08-115.)

116

June 19 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Miss A. Blackwell (Providence, RI). Misdated by Ingram, Woodberry, and Phillips. See CL-712. (SP08-116.)

117

June 21 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. S. A. Lewis (NY, NY). Misdated by H [Works], 17:359-360. See CL-714. (SP08-117.)

118

Sept. 8 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Misdated in Century Mag. (Jan. 1904) ns 55:445, and Phillips, 2:1312-1313. See CL-720. (SP08-118.)

119

Nov. 16 (?) Spurious

Mrs. M. Clemm (Fordham, NY) to Poe (Fordham, NY). This item was suggested by a letter from Mrs. M. Clemm to Mrs. A. L. Richmond, 16 Nov. 1848 (RF-15), but was probably a direct communication rather than a letter. Poe was already back in Fordham with Mrs. Clemm by this time, making the need to write a letter unnecessary. (CL41-633; SP08-119.)

120

Nov. 19 Spurious

Mrs. M. Clemm (Fordham, NY) to Poe (Fordham, NY). Poe was still in Fordham at this time, so such a letter seems unlikely. (CL41-636; SP08-120.)

120a

Nov. 20 Misdated

Miss S. A. Talley (Richmond, VA) to Poe (NY, NY). Misdated in Heartman & Rede, 3:26. See CL-749. (SP08-120a.)

120b

Nov. 20 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Misdated by Heartman & Rede, 3:34. See CL-746. (SP08-120b.)

121

Nov. 22 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Misdated by H [Works], 17:317-318, ignoring the actual letter of this date. See CL-746. (SP08-121.)

122

Nov. 25 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Misdated by H [Works], 17:320-322. See CL-745. (SP08-122.)

123

Nov. 27 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. L. Shew (NY, NY). Misdated by Ingram [Works], 1:lxxxii. See CL-691. (SP08-123.)

123a

Dec. 10 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to Mr. Blair (— ?). Forgery attributed to Joseph Cosey. Sold on eBay on 31 Jan. 2006. (SPR-20a // SP08-123a.)

1849

124

Jan. Spurious

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Lowell (Cambridge, MA). This is an error in reading W [1909], 2:294. The letter was written to a friend “in Lowell,” rather than to Lowell, and therefore to Mrs. A. L. Richmond. See CL-768. (CL41-666; SP08-124.)

125

Jan. 18 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Thompson (Richmond, VA). Misdated by Phillips, 2:1367-1368. See CL-764. (SP08-125.)

126

Jan. 23 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. A. L. Richmond (Lowell, MA). See CL-768. (CL48-[769a]; SP08-126.)

127

Jan. 25 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. A. L. Richmond (Lowell, MA). See CL-768. (CL48-[769b]; SP08-127.)

128

Jan. 25 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to Mrs. S. H. Whitman (Providence, RI). Misdated by Poe, perhaps in anticipation of the delay caused by sending it first to Mrs. A. L. Richmond (CL-768). See CL-769. (CL48-[769c]; SP08-128.)

129

early 1849 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (NY, NY). G [Memoir], 3:vi (1850) and 1:xii (1853); H [Works], 17:326-327; Phillips, 2:1379-1380. No MS exists and Griswold’s text is considered a forgery. This seems to be a forged version of LTR-321. If at least partially authentic, the reference to the forthcoming review of Female Poets of America would date the letter as Jan. 1849. Ostrom describes it as “undoubtedly a forgery,” L [1948], 2:542. (SPR08-21 // SP08-129.)

130

March 30 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. L. Shew (NY, NY). Misdated by H [Works], 17:344. See CL-703. (SP08-130.)

131

April 8 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL). Misdated by Allen, 2:809. See CL-786. (SP08-131.)

132

May 7 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL). Misdated by Allen, 2:811 and 815. See CL-794. (SP08-132.)

132a

before May 10 Restored

J. R. Thompson (Richmond, VA) to Poe (NY, NY). This entry, along with SP-133, has been restored to the main list; see CL-788. (SP08-132a // SP08-132a.)

133

May 10 Restored

Poe (NY, NY) to J. R. Thompson (Richmond, VA).This entry, along with SP-133, has been restored to the main list; see CL-789. (LTR-133 // SP08-133.)

134

ca. May Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (NY, NY). G [Memoir], 3:vi-vii (1850) and 1:xxii-xxiii (1853); H [Works], 17:346-347; Phillips, 2:1398-1399 and 1415 (postscript). The letter text itself is authentic, with minor changes plus addition of last phrase, before the signature (CL-796). The postscript is a forgery. (SPR08-23 // SP08-134.)

135

June 7 Misidentified

Poe (NY, NY) to E. H. N. Patterson (Oquawka, IL). Misidentified in CL41, based on a misreading of Phillips, 2:1432. See CL-798. (CL41-686; SP08-135.)

136

June 19 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. L. Shew (NY, NY). Misdated by Quinn, p. 609-611. See CL-716. (SP08-136.)

137

June 21 Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. S. A. Lewis (NY, NY). Misdated in H [Works], 17:359-360. See CL-714. (CL41-690; SP08-137.)

138

June 29 Spurious

Poe (NY, NY) to R. W. Griswold (NY, NY). This item is presumably based on Mrs. Clemm’s 8 Oct. 1849 letter to Griswold, in which she says that she has a “message” from Poe for Griswold. In CL48, Ostrom says “such a letter was probably never written.” (CL41-694; CL48-[806a]; SP08-138.)

139

June Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. M. L. Shew (NY, NY). Misdated by Mrs. Shew in her transcript for Ingram, reprinted in Appleton’s Journal (May 1878), ns 4:423-424. See CL-716. (SP08-139.)

140

July 23 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. M. Clemm (NY, NY). Misdated by Phillips, 2:1480. See CL-816. (SP08-140.)

141

June - July Spurious

R. W. Griswold (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Cited in Scribner’s Mag. (March 1878) 15:714; repeated by Phillips, 2:1409, 1484, and 1559; W [1909], 2:339. Mrs. Weiss claimed to have seen a letter in which Griswold accepted Poe’s offer to serve as Poe’s literary executor. Given the questionable motivation for such a request, and Mrs. Clemm’s and Griswold’s contradictory statements on the matter, such a correspondence must be deemed unlikely. (CL41-697; SP08-141.)

142

Aug. 5 Misdated

Poe (Richmond, VA) to Mrs. M. Clemm (Fordham, NY). Misdated in NYU Mag. (Spring 1987) II, no. 1. and PSA Newsletter (Fall 1987) 15:2. See CL-719c. (SP08-142.)

143

Aug. 17 Forgery

Poe (Richmond, VA) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). Union Art sale (Ford), 9 May 1934, item 181. ABC, 1935, describes this letter as “Closing Portion of a L. S. 1p., obl. 4to. Fordham, Aug. 17, 1849. To N. P. Willis, concerning a contribution to ‘The Home Journal.’ With ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ excerpted from a Mag.; together 2 pieces” (p. 638). The strong sense of “too good to be true” makes one suspicious about this item even without being able to examine it. This letter purports to be from the last few months of Poe’s life, to a prominent celebrity friend, mentioning two contributions, including one of Poe’s most famous stories. Poe’s friendship with N. P. Willis was routinely exploited by forgers such as J. Cosey, who was active about 1930. “The Cask of Amontillado” was printed in Godey’s Lady’s Book in November 1846 and never reprinted during Poe’s lifetime. No Poe contribution appeared in The Home Journal between “For Annie” (April 28, 1849) and Willis’ obituary of Poe (Oct. 20, 1849), which includes “Annabel Lee,” from Griswold’s “Ludwig” article of Oct. 9, 1849 in the NY Tribune, which Willis also quotes. Note the five forgeries from Poe to A. N. Howard (SP-92, SP-93, SP-94, SP-94a, and SP-94b) and another from Poe to Willis (SP-96), which also mention “The Cask of Amontillado.” MS unlocated, but almost certainly a forgery. SH $21 (1934) (CL41-708; CL48-818; SP08-143.)

144

Sept. 29 Spurious

Poe (Richmond, VA) to J. M. Daniel (Richmond, VA). Historical Mag. (Jan. 1871) 19:39-40 (excerpts); W [1909], 2:425 and 447-448, cited. In this letter, widely reported in various newspapers at the time, Poe supposedly admitted that Samuel Fenwick had written “The Raven.” The letter was publicized as found in a barn in New Jersey about July 1870. The story, of course, is wholly fabricated. (SPR08-24 // CL41-718; SP08-144.)

145

Nov. Misdated

Poe (NY, NY) to Mrs. S. A. Lewis (NY, NY). Misdated by Ingram, 2:219. See CL-689. (SP08-145.)

146

Dec. 7 Forgery

Poe (NY, NY) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). Noted as a Joseph Cosey forgery by Charles Hamilton. This is probably the same as SP-108, with the year misread. (SP08-146.)

147

Dec. 8 Misdated

Poe (Fordham, NY) to N. P. Willis (NY, NY). Misdated by H [Works], 17:324-325. See CL-693. (SP08-147.)

Not Dated

148

n. d. Misidentified

Mrs. S. A. Lewis (NY, NY) to Poe (NY, NY). Anderson sale (Meacham), 19 March 1917, item 1076, cited. This entry, concerning Politian, is an error. The ALS is actually from Mrs. S. A. Lewis to Mr. Ross, not Poe. MS at TxU-Hu. (CL41-732; CL48-829 and CL48-[830q]; SP08-148.)

149

n. d. Forgery

Poe (— ?) to J. H. Payne (— ?). Howard Paul, “Recollections of EAP,” Munsey’s Mag., Aug. 1892, 7:554-558 (reprinted in Lambert’s Monthly, Sept. 1892, pp. 22-25); Phillips, 1:832 (excerpts). This supposed letter is little more than an altered excerpt of the fourth paragraph from Poe’s review of Barnaby Rudge from Graham’s Mag. (Feb. 1842). (SPR08-25 // SP08-149.) 149

 


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Notes:

Readers should note that this version of the Check List has been considerably revised in the general online version. The present version is included only because it is an integral element of the 2008 edition of The Letters.


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[S:0 - CLT08, 2008] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (Ostrom, Pollin and Savoye) (Check List - Spurious, etc.)