Text: John Ward Ostrom, “Letters: Chapter XI,” The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: 1846-1849 (1966), pp. 423-462 (This material is protected by copyright)


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February 1849 - October 1849

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303 ⇒ TO ANNIE L. RICHMOND [February 8, 1849] [CL 772]

[New York]

Thursday, — 8th — [February, 1849]

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 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† (1) [page 2] letter and will never give it to her...  . [page 426:]

†Dear Muddy says she w[ill write you a long letter in a day] (2) 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.†

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 Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 10, 35 ). 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, Poe, p. 650; see also the note to Letter 302). “The Bells” was published in Sartain's Magazine, November 1849 (Quinn, Poe, p. 563). “Mr. R.” is Charles Richmond, Annie's husband; Sarah is Sarah Heywood, Annie's sister (see Letter 289); “Muddy,” of course, was Mrs. Clemm. [CL 772]

304 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [February 14, 1849] [CL 773]

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 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, [page 427:] 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, 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 [page 428:] 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 [illegible] 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.

Little is known of Poe's movements and activities between August 9 (letter to Cooke) and December 15, 1846 (letter to Eveleth), except that he told Eveleth he had been ill for “more than six months.” In this connection, Thomas’ letters of August 14 and 24, 1846 (cited in Note 304), are interesting. In the former, directed to New York, he tells Poe to give a manuscript to his friend Heape, who will bring it to Washington; and in the latter, addressed to Philadelphia, he says Heape has informed him that Poe is living in Philadelphia. Poe seems to have [page 429:] moved to Fordham about May or June 1846 (see Quinn, Poe, p. 506); Heape's information may have arisen from a visit Poe may have made to Philadelphia. In the “last three months” Poe had been in and out of Providence, Lowell, and Boston. Thomas seems to have left Washington and returned to Louisville to edit a newspaper. 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, XIII, 165-175). For Mrs. Lewis, see the note to Letter 257. [CL 773]

305 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [February 16, 1849] [CL 774]

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.

“Ulalume,” first published in the American Whig Review, December 1847, was printed in the Providence Daily Journal, November 22, 1848, and in Duyckinck's Literary World, March 3, 1849 (see Campbell, The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, p. 265). Duyckinck did not follow the prefatory remarks of the Providence Journal, but supplied his own puff, including, however, Poe's identity as the author of the poem, which in the Whig Review had appeared anonymously (see Campbell, Poems, pp. 268-269). [CL 774]

306 ⇒ TO ANNIE L. RICHMOND [February 18, 1849] [CL 777]

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 [page 430:] 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 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 [page 431:] 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 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 [page 432:] 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 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 —

For Poe's comments concerning the Lockes, see Letter 309. For Poe's indebtedness to Mrs. Locke, see Letter 251. Concerning Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, see Letter 280. For Poe's “two solemn promises,” see Letters 298 and 301, and notes. [CL 777]

307 ⇒ TO SARAH HEYWOOD [March 1, 1849] [CL 778]

[New York]

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

Sarah Heywood was the sister of Annie Richmond; Carrie was the Richmonds’ daughter (see the note to Letter 298). In connection with the injunction of this letter, see Letters 306 and 309. Though Sarah's home was in Westford, Massachusetts, she frequently visited her sister in Lowell. [CL 778] [page 433:]

308 ⇒ TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK [March 8, 1849] [CL 779]

Fordham March 8. [1849]

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 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. [page 434:]

Evert A. Duyckinck Esqr

Duyckinck and his brother George (see the note to Letter 201) edited the Literary World; Duyckinck apparently refused the tale, for it was published in the Flag of Our Union as “Von Kempelen and His Discovery,” April 14, 1849 (see Wyllie, Poe's Tales, p. 337). Poe is referring to Defoe's A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal and Robinson Crusoe, the latter of which he reviewed in the SLM, January 1836 (reprinted in H, VIII, 169-173). 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), II, 1646. For the “Valdemar Case,” see Letter 245 and note. [CL 779]

309 ⇒ TO ANNIE L. RICHMOND [March 23, 1849] [CL xx]

†New York † (1)

March 23, 1849

... † Will not Annie confide † ... † the secret[s] (2) about W[estford]? Was it anything I did which caused you to “give up hope?” Deartestt Annie, I am so happy in being able to afford Mr. R. proof of something in which he seems to doubt me. You remember that Mr. and Mrs. [L — ] strenuously denied having spoken ill of you to me, and I said “then it must remain a simple question of veracity between us, as I had no witness” — but I observed afterward[s] — “Unfortunately I have returned Mrs. [L——] her letters (which were filled with abuse of you both), but, if I am not mistaken, my mother has some in her possession that will prove the truth of what I say.” Now, Annie, when we came to look over these last, I found, to my extreme sorrow, that they would not corroborate me. I say “to my extreme sorrow,” for oh, it is so painful to be doubted when we know our own integrity. Not that I fancied, even for one moment, that you doubted me — but then I saw that Mr. R. and Mr. C. did, and perhaps even your brother. Well! what do you think? Mrs. [L——] has again written my mother, and I enclose her letter. Read it! You will find it thoroughly corroborative of all I said. The verses to me which she alludes to I have not seen. You will see that she [admits having cautioned me against you, as I said, and] in fact admits all that I accused her of. Now, you distinctly remember that they both loudly denied [page 435:] 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 “HopFrog?” I sent it to you by mail, not knowing whether you ever see the paper in ———. I am sorry to say that the Metropolitan has stopped, and “Landor's Cottage” is returned upon my hands unprinted. I think the lines “For Annie” (those I now send) much the best I have ever written — but an author can seldom depend on his own estimate of his own works — so I wish to know what my Annie truly thinks of them — also your dear sister and Mr. C.

Do not let these verses go out of your possession until you see them in print — as I have sold them to the publisher of the [Flag] ... [Remember me to all.]

[Signature missing]

For “Westford,” see the note to Letter 282. “Mr. R.” was Annie's husband. “Mr. and Mrs. L —— “ were Jane Ermina Locke and her husband, of Lowell. Though Mrs. Locke seems to have written several letters to Poe, none is extant, but there is in the Ingram collection (University of Virginia) a MS. of her poem, “Ermina's Gale,” sent by her presumably 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 ... ”; it is signed, “Yours as ever, Jane E. Locke.” The only possible dating is that heading the poem: “August/ 48.” “Mr. C.” 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 Reply” (see P, II, 1410; see also Letter 319, for further identification. Annie's brother was A. Bardwell Heywood. In connection with Poe's remarks about Mrs. Locke, see Letter 306. The “relation in Providence” were Mr. Richmond's parents. “For Annie” appeared in the Flag of Our Union, April 28, 1849 (see Letter 310 and note). “Hop-Frog” appeared in the Flag of Our Union, March 17, 1849, and Poe's reference to “the paper in —— “ concerns Mrs. Richmond's seeing the Flag in Westford or Lowell. According to Mrs. Whitman's letters to Ingram, February 20, [page 436:] 1874, and April 2, 1874, Poe had a regular engagement with the Metropolitan, which ran for only two issues (the magazine is not listed in Mott's History of American Magazines). “Landor's Cottage” was first printed in the Flag of Our Union, June 9, 1849 (Wyllie, Poe's Tales, p. 329). [C1, 781]

310 ⇒ TO NATHANIEL P. WILLIS April 20, 1849] [CL 782]

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 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 ——— “ that would be too bad; — and, perhaps, “From a late ——— 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.

Poe was sending “For Annie” to the Home Journal for a “true copy” (see Letters 309 and 311). “For Annie” appeared in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849. It had appeared in the Flag of Our Union (Boston), April 28, 1849, vol. 4, no. 17, p. 2, col. 6, as follows: For Annie [Written for The Flag of Our Union] (this datum was supplied through the courtesy of Clarence S. Brigham). Poe's letter is evidence that the Flag appeared in advance of date, a procedure characteristic especially of weeklies of those days; the printing of the poem in the Home Journal of the same date as the Flag shows that the Home Journal, for that issue at least, followed the Flag on the stands. Of course, the date of Poe's letter may have been misprinted in Willis’ article, or Poe's original “6” may have been read as a “o”; but an April “26” dating would probably have prevented the appearance of the poem in the issue of April 28, if the magazine emerged on time. Moreover, the May 5 [page 437:] issue of the Flag appeared or went to press too late for it to carry a complaint against the Home Journal's printing of the poem, the com plaint appearing in the May 12 issue (see Campbell, Poems, note on “For Annie”). Thus it would seem that the poem appeared first in the Flag of April 28, but in advance of date; Poe's letter to Willis, correctly dated, enclosed a corrected version; and the true copy was printed in the Home Journal of April 28, on schedule or somewhat in advance of date. There is one other matter that does not, however, change the dating of the letter but might lessen the number of days by which the Flag was issued in advance of date: Poe's statement “has just been published” might mean “will be published before the Home Journal can appear.” For Willis’ remark concerning “The Raven,” see the note to Letter 317. For Willis’ prefatory comment on “Ulalume,” in the January 1 number, 1848, “... a poem ... full of beauty and oddity in sentiment and versification, but a curiosity ... in philologic flavor. Who is the author?” see P, II, 1247. Willis did “say something” about “For Annie” in the Home Journal, calling it, in part, an “exquisite specimen of private property” (see P, II, 1396). [CL 782]

311 ⇒ TO ANNIE L. RICHMOND [April 28 (?) - May 23 (?), 1849] [CL 785]

[New York]

[April 28 (?)-May 23 (?), 1849]

...(1) 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 ——; and then, to crown all, the [page 438:] “ —— —— “ (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 considerations, 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 against hope.” ... What do you think? I have received a letter from Mrs. [L ——— ] (2), 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?

[Signature missing]

Concerning Poe's illness, see Mrs. Clemm's note appended to the above 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, II, 215). The Columbian [Lady's and Gentleman's] Magazine, a monthly, had its first issue, January 1844, and its last, February 1849 (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 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 (Mott, ibid., p. 769). For the Whig Review, see the note to Letter 300. The United States Magazine and Democratic Review was [page 439:] first issued, October 1837, and was known by that title through 1851 (Mott, ibid., p. 677). With whom Poe quarreled is not known. The magazine with which Poe had made a “regular engagement” may have been The Gentlemen's (see Letter 301). Whether Mrs, L[ocke] published her “romance,” though she seems to have written it (see Letter 319), or whether she visited Poe at Fordham is not known. The Flag of Our Union printed “For Annie,” April 28, 1849, and the Home Journal printed a revised version of the poem in its issue of the same date (see the note to Letter 310). Poe's sonnet “To My Mother” appeared in the Flag, July 7, 1849 (Quinn, Poe, p. 6o5), and “Landor's Cottage” in the same magazine, June 9, 1849 (Quinn, Poe, p. 597). “Annabel Lee” appeared posthumously in the New York Tribune, October 9, 1849 (Quinn, Poe, p. 606). [CL 785]

312 ⇒ TO EDWARD H. N. PATTERSON [April 30, 1849] [CL 786]

New York: April [30 (?) ] 1849

Dear Sir,

No doubt you will be surpri[sled 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 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.

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 [page 440:] 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 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 enterprize. 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. [page 441:]

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.

Edward Howard Norton Patterson came of age on January 27, 1849, and received from his father the Oquawka Spectator. A passage from the extant memoranda of Patterson's May 7 letter to Poe (see SLP, p. 16) will serve here better than later to show his reason for asking Putnam, the publisher, to forward the letter to Poe: “... my principal object [he writes Poe] being to enlist your sympathies and interests in a periodical (to be published by me), 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.” For Poe's estimates for the proposed Stylus, see his parallel figures in Letter 186. Certainly Poe's “old College & West Point acquaintances were not as legion as he implies; but he did have numerous persons in mind who had signified their approval of his magazine plans and who had promised their aid. [CL 786]

313 ⇒ TO JOHN R. THOMPSON [May 10, 1849] [CL 789]

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

Concerning “Marginalia,” see Letter 299. For the visit to Richmond, see Letters 316, 318, and 319. [CL 789] [page 442:]

314 ⇒ TO SARAH ANNA LEWIS [May 17, 1849] [CL 791]

Fordham — May 17 — [1849]

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 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

The “other matter” suggests two interpretations. On May 18, 1849, Poe wrote to George Putnam (Letter 315) and suggested that he publish a new edition of Mrs. Lewis’ Child of the Sea and Other Poems. Also, on June 28, 1849, Poe wrote to Griswold (Letter 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 Letter 321. [CL 791]

315 ⇒ TO GEORGE P. PUTNAM [May 18, 1849] [CL 792]

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. [page 443:]

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

Most Respy

Yr. Ob. St

Edgar A Poe.

Mrs. Lewis’ Child of the Sea and Other Poems was published first in 1848, and reviewed by Poe in the SLM, September 1848, with a few biographical facts about the author (reprinted in H, XIII, 155-165); Poe's present attempt to have Putnam publish a second edition failed. Poe's “object, in this note,” was the result, not of a belief in Mrs. Lewis's “very extensive literary influence,” but rather of a sense of obligation in certain personal matters affecting him and Mrs. Clemm. [CL 792]

316 ⇒ TO EDWARD H. N. PATTERSON [May 23, 1849] [CL 794]

New-York — May 23 — 49

My Dear Sir,

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

However, these are points to be discussed when we meet — for, upon the whole, I say Yes to your proposition. Enclosed, you will find a title-page designed by myself about a year ago: — your joining [page 444:] 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

The title page sent by Poe was his own hand-drawing of the contemplated design for the Stylus, made with black ink on pink paper; it is reproduced in facsimile in SLP, facing p. 16. Poe went to visit Annie Richmond, but just when he returned to New York is not certain (see Letter 319). Concerning Poe's plan to get the $50 “at Richmond,” see Letter 318. Patterson sent the money to Richmond (see Letter 329). Poe's poem was “For Annie,” which Willis had printed in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849 (see Letter 310). Apparently Patterson had the poem reprinted (see Letter 328). [CL 794] [page 445:]

317 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [May (?), 1849] [CL 796]

[New York, May (?), 1849]

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 Paean 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.

Poe's three poems (“For Annie,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Lenore”) were printed by Griswold in his 10th edition of Poets and Poetry of America, which was noticed in the New York Tribune, December 15, 1849 (See J. L. Neu, Studies in English, No. 5, University of Texas, 1925, p. 122). Regarding Poe's statement about his birth, see the notes to Letter 112. Willis's 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’ “ (Quinn, Poe, p. 438). Poe's chief literary interests [page 446:] at this time were in establishing a magazine with the aid of E. H. N. Patterson (see Poe's letters to him). [CL 796]

318 ⇒ TO JOHN R. THOMPSON [June 9, 1849] [CL 799]

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.

Very truly your Friend,

Edgar A Poe.

John R Thompson Esqr

For Poe's actual departure for Richmond, see the note to Letter 326. If Thompson answered Poe, no MS. or printing of his letter is known. Another installment of Poe's “Marginalia” was printed in the June issue of the SLM (reprinted in H, XVII, 160-168), scarcely enough at $2 a page to make the sum asked for in the present letter; perhaps Thompson 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 Letter 316) to write him in care of Thompson. This is the last known letter from Poe to John R. Thompson. [CL 799]

319 ⇒ TO ANNIE L. RICHMOND [June 16, 1849] [CL 802]

Fordham — June 16. [1849]

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) — [page 447:] 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 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 [page 448:] 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.

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.

Poe wrote John R. Thompson, June 9, 1849. Concerning the “letter from Oquawka,” see Letter 316. The reference to Graham's indicates an exchange of letters between Poe and the Samuel D. Patterson & Company, publishers of the magazine between George R. Graham's losing control of it in July 1848, and regaining control in April 1850 (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 544) ; both letters are presumably lost. For the references to Mrs. L[ocke], see Letters 309 and 311. The “Lynn Bard” was Alonzo Lewis (P, II, 1411); he wrote “To Edgar A. Poe,” which appeared in Godey's, April 1847, p. 192. For Mrs. O[sgood]'s lines, see P, II, 1410, or Mrs. Clemm's letter to Mrs. Richmond, January 11, 1849 (Ingram, II, 202). John E. Tuel wrote in verse The Moral for Authors (as contained in the autobiography of Eureka, a manuscript novel, discovered by J. E. Tuel), published by Stringer and Townsend, New York, 1849. “Abby” and “Caddy” refer to Mrs. Richmond's daughter; “Mr. and Miss C” may refer to the Rev. Warren H. Cudworth family of Lowell (see the note to Letter 301); “Mr. R.” to Mr. Richmond; Sarah was Mrs. Richmond's sister; Bardwell was Mrs. Richmond's brother. Nathaniel P. Willis was author, poet, and editor of the Home Journal. “Muddy,” of course, was Mrs. Clemm. [CL 802] [page 449:]

320 ⇒ TO GEORGE W. EVELETH [June 26, 1849] [CL 803]

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 — 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?

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, [page 450:] 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 reënclose the verses

Most of Eveleth's letters were sent from his home in Phillips, Maine; Brunswick was the location of the Maine Medical School, where Eveleth was a student (see PE (reprint), p. 23). Since Poe's last letter, Putnam had published Eureka (see Letter 269), to which Poe is obviously referring. According to Phillips (II, 1260), 750 copies were printed, a third of which were still on hand a year later. Wilson (PE (reprint), p. 23 ) cites Mabbott's identification of John W. Draper as a professor in New York University. For Poe's reference to Holden's Magazine, see Note 146. Poe enclosed his poem “For Annie,” which had appeared in the Home Journal, April 28, 1849 (but see Letter 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 current books” (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 766). Poe left New York for Richmond, June 29 (see the note to Letter 326). [CL 803]

321 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [June 28, 1849] [CL 805]

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, [page 451:] 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. 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.

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 (see J. L. Neu, Studies in English, No. 5, 1925, p. 144), and the second edition appeared in 1854 (ibid., p. 145). 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, XVII, 395) ; Griswold published the article in the Works (1850), I, 242-249, as “Estelle Anna Lewis.” 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). It has been suggested that Poe wrote the sketch of Mrs. Lewis in Griswold's 1849 edition of Female Poets of America, but the above letter and the facts of publication of that edition disprove such a contention. [CL 805]

**[[Works, 1850, prints the article in vol. III, not I]]**

322 ⇒ TO H. S. ROOT [June 28, 1849] [CL 806]

[New York] June 28, 1849

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.

[Edgar A. Poe]

Poe included Dr. Pliny Earle in “Autography,” in Graham's, December 1841 (reprinted in H, XV, 230, in which he said that Dr. Earle “has become well known to the literary world, of late, by a volume of very [page 452:] fine poems ... ”; see Letter 102). The identity of H. S. Root is unknown. [CL 806]

323 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [July 7, 1849] [CL 808]

New York [Philadelphia], July 7 — [1849]

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.

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]

Eureka had been published in the summer of 1848, probably in June (see Letter 269 ). For Poe's reference to prison, see Woodberry (II, 313 ), and John Sartain (Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, p. 206 ff.), the former suggesting that the “imprisonment” was a “lingering hallucination,” and the latter reconstructing the prison scene; see also Quinn, Poe, 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 (Letter 324). [CL 808]

324 ⇒ TO SARAH ANNA LEWIS [July 7, 1849] [CL 809]

[Philadelphia, July 7, 1849]

Dearest Anna,

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

[Unsigned] [page 453:]

Poe left New York, June 29, 1849 (see the note to Letter 326). Phillips (II, 1414) quotes from a letter Mrs. Clemm wrote on August 4, 1849, to a friend (probably Annie Richmond) ; in it Mrs. Clemm states that for a fortnight after leaving Mrs. Lewis (the day following Poe's departure for Richmond — see Clemm to Annie Richmond, July 9, 1849, in H, XVII, 393), Mrs. Clemm beard nothing from “Stella,” and when at last she went to see Mrs. Lewis, a letter from Poe awaited her; it had been enclosed in a “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 impression that his “mother” was still a guest of Mrs. Lewis in New York. [CL 809]

325 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [July 14, 1849] [CL 810]

Near Richmond

[Saturday, July 14, 1849]

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 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.

[Signature missing]

The above 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 but printed separately by Burr; without the MSS. there is no way of identifying the above letter positively. Accepting Burr's printing, which is the only available source, we must date the letter “Saturday, July 14,” since Poe left Philadelphia by train on Friday and probably caught the night boat from Baltimore to Richmond (see Letters 326 and 327). [CL 810]

326 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [July 14, 1849] [CL 811]

[July 14, 1849]

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 [page 454:] 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.

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 ———. 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.


Poe's “three weeks” is wrong; it should be “two.” Poe left New York Friday afternoon at 5 o’clock, June 29, 1849 (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 19th of June, 1849, and left at 5, the same afternoon, for Richmond, Virginia. He never returned to New York again.”; this testimony conflicts with that given by Ingram, II, 220-222, and subsequent biographers. Her information given Eveleth antedates that given Ingram by some twenty years; on the other hand, Ingram may have misconstrued the dating). Poe was therefore in Philadelphia from late that night or early Saturday morning, June 30, until Friday, July 13 (his letter of July 7, Saturday, was written in Philadelphia, and his letter of July 19 speaks of having been put on the cars for Baltimore “Friday last,” July 13). His next letter (“Near Richmond”), together with that of “Richmond, Saturday Night” (July 14) places him in Richmond on Saturday, July 14, after an overnight passage from Baltimore. Though he is “so ill” as he writes the letter of Saturday night, July 14, he is “much better in health and spirits” by the time of his Thursday, July 19, letter. Moreover, the admonition to Mrs. Clemm to “write instantly” (in Poe's [page 455:] July 14, Saturday Night, letter) was complied with by the time Poe wrote his letter of July 19. “B ——— “ refers to C. Chauncey Burr, who saw Poe off on the cars, not to Richmond, but to Baltimore (see Letter 317). 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. [CL 811]


Richmond, Thursday, July 19. [1849]

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 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 ——— and to C ——— B ——— (and in some measure, also, to Mr. S ——— ) I am indebted for more than life. They remained with me (L ——— and B ——— ) all day on Friday last, comforted me and aided me in coming to my senses. L ——— saw G ——— , who said everything kind of me, and sent me five dollars; and P ——— sent another five. B ——— 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.

[Signature missing] [page 456:]

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 Letter 323 and the note to Letter 326). “Mania à potu” is a medical term for delirium tremens and induces the torments Poe speaks of. “L ——— “ was George Lippard (see Lippard to R. W. Griswold, November 22, 1849, original in Boston Public Library, for this and the following name identifications; see also notes in Quinn, Poe, p. 621); “C ——— B ——— “ was C. Chauncey Burr; “Mr. S ——— “ was John Sartain; “G” was Louis A. Godey, and “P” was Samuel D. Patterson, who had taken over Graham's magazine in August 1848 (see the note to Letter 319). This letter is probably Poe's most overt testimonial 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. Letter 109 should be read in this connection, but the present letter seems the more sincere explanation of his problem. Poe's visit to Richmond was in the interest of establishing his own magazine with the aid of E. H. N. Patterson, of Oquawka, Illinois. Poe planned to solicit subscribers in certain cities and towns and to lecture as he went in order to pay his traveling expenses (see Letter 312). That Poe did “write something” is proved by his delivery of the lecture on “The Poetic Principle” on August 17 (see Quinn, Poe, p. 624), which may have been a rewritten version of the lecture of the same title given in Providence, December 20, 1848 (see Quinn, Poe, p. 583), and lost in the station in Philadelphia (see Letter 326). “Mrs. L.” was Estelle Anna Lewis, who, according to a letter from Mrs. Clemm to a friend, had agreed to look after “Muddy” during Poe's absence (see P, II, 1414). [CL 813]

328 ⇒ TO EDWARD H. N. PATTERSON [July 19, 1849] [CL 815]

Richmond July 19 — [1849]

My Dear Sir,

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. [page 457:]

For Poe's departure from New York, visit in Philadelphia, and arrival in Richmond, see the note to Letter 326. For “the enclosures,” see Poe's requests in Letter 316. [CL 815]

329 ⇒ TO EDWARD H. N. PATTERSON [August 7, 1849] ][CL 817]

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 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. [page 458:]

For Patterson's reply to this letter, see H, XVII, 365-366, in which he agrees to publish “a $5 magazine, of 96 pp., monthly.” Patterson published a note on Poe's death in his Oquawka Spectator, October 24, 1849, and a defense, on November 7 (see SLP, pp. 28-29). [CL 817]

330 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [August 28-29 (?), 1849] [CL 821]

[Richmond, August 28-29(?), 1849]

[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 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 [page 459:] 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 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]

On August 17, 1849, Poe lectured in Richmond on “The Poetic Principle”; the price of admission was twenty-five cents (Quinn, Poe, p. 624). John M. Daniel, editor of the Richmond Examiner, in his report of the lecture, August 21, disparaged especially Poe's “recitations” (see P, II, 1444-1445) Quinn (Poe, 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 [page 460:] Poe wrote Chivers, July 1;, 1848, that he proposed going to Richmond on “Monday” (July 17); and wrote Mrs. Whitman (October 18, 1848) that her verses had reached him in Richmond. Rose was Poe's sister. As a youth, Poe had been interested in Elmira Royster; now in 1849, Elmira Royster Shelton was a widow. The Poitiaux, Strobia, Lambert, and Mackenzie families had been acquaintances of Poe's earlier Richmond days (see P, II, 1478-1479, and Quinn, Poe, p. 627). According to Killis Campbell (Modern Language Notes, XXXII, 270), Poe's review of Estelle Anna Lewis’ poems (The Child of the Sea and Other Poems) appeared anonymously in the Western Quarterly Review, I (April 1849), 404-408, and was a recasting of his review in the SLM, September 1848, pp. 569-571. Peter D. Bernard was Thomas W. White's son-in-law; Eliza was White's daughter. Poe repeated his lecture on “The Poetic Principle” in Richmond, September 24 (Quinn, Poe, p. 635), but it was after his lecture in Norfolk, September 14, not before (Quinn, Poe, p. 629). The letter from Thomas H. Chivers to Poe is lost; concerning it, see Chivers’ letter to Griswold, March 28, 18 (H, XVII, 408). The references to Annie and R., of course, are to Annie Richmond and her husband. [CL 821]

331 ⇒ TO SUSAN V. C. INGRAM [September 10, 1849] [CL 822]

[Norfolk] Monday Evening

[September 10, 1849]

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 an explanatory note.” Leaving “Ulalume” to its fate, therefore, & in good hands, I am

Yours truly

Edgar A Poe.

Poe delivered his lecture, “The Poetic Principle,” at the Academy in Norfolk, Virginia, on September 14, 1849 (see Quinn, Poe, p. 629). [CL 822] [page 461:]

332 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [September 18, 1849] [CL 826]

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 Phil’. 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 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. [page 462:]

For Mrs. Lewis’ letter, see Letter 333. According to Elmira Shelton, when Poe left Richmond late in September 1849, there was a partial understanding between them, but no definite engagement (see Quinn, Poe, p. 629); 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”; but unless Mrs. Whitman is referring to the lost note of September 12-13, there is no evidence to corroborate her statement. Concerning Mrs. St. Leon Loud's poems, see Letter 330. “E. S. T. Grey” was used by Poe as a pseudonym on various occasions. That Poe showed Muddy's letter to Elmira is confirmed in Mrs. Shelton's letter to Mrs. Clemm, September 22, 1849 (Quinn, Poe, p. 634). Mrs. Clemm undoubtedly wrote to Poe at Philadelphia, but no MS. is known. The present letter is the last he is known to have written to Mrs. Clemm. [CL 826]

333 ⇒ TO SARAH ANNA LEWIS [September 18, 1849] [CL 827]


[Tuesday 18th Sept. 1849]

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,


For data concerning Mrs. Lewis, see the note to Letter 257. Poe, in Richmond, is planning soon to leave for New York (see Letter 332 and Note 332). This is Poe's last known letter to Mrs. Lewis; in fact, this or Poe's letter to Mrs. Clemm of the same date seems to be the last letter he ever wrote. [CL 827]



[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 425:]

1.  Matter between daggers comes from the Morgan Library fragment.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 426:]

2. Matter in brackets, except for the address, date, and pagination, comes from the Life text.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 434:]

1. Matter between daggers appears in Appleton's but not in Life.

2. Bracketed matter is inserted from Life.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 437:]

1. Matter between daggers is found in Appleton's but not in Life.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 438:]

2. Bracketed matter, except for the date, place, and note on the signature, is inserted from Life.



In the original printing, an unusal special character is used between the number of the letter and the text describing the correspondents. In the current presentation, this special character has been rendered as a double right-pointing arrow. For the sake of the reader, the line that identifies a letter is given in a larger font, and in bold. The date of the letter, the letter number and check list number have also been added.


[S:0 - OLT66, 1966] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (J. W. Ostrom) (Letters: Chapter XI)