Text: John Ward Ostrom, “Letters: Chapter II,” The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: 1846-1849 (1966), pp. 669-728 (This material is protected by copyright)


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Each entry in this Supplement is identified by a number corresponding to its number in the main body of the original edition of The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (1948), or, if preceded by CL, to the sequence followed in the Check List. A number followed by a letter indicates the proper sequence of that item with respect to the original entry (7a would come between the original entries 7 and 8). The critical procedure for letters printed herein is that of The Letters (see the “Preface,” especially pp. viii-ix). The present location of a manuscript letter is given in the notes accompanying a letter herein printed, or in the absence of a letter it is entered under N. (Such corrections should be made to the old Check List.)

Abbreviations used in this Supplement identify the location of emendations:

T text of letter as printed in The Letters

Tn note immediately following the original text

N bibliographical and critical note in The Letters, II, 465-545

CL Check List in The Letters, II, pp. 563-631


12. N. MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas.


14. Tn. Seventh line from end should read: not “Edward Mosher,” but Edward Mosher Poe.


** [[section II: May 1833 - January 1837]] **

38. Tn. Last three lines: Kennedy’s note is possibly on the versa of the single-page letter, which is now pasted, verso side down, in an album. Harrison may have seen the original MS. [page 672:]

N. Last sentence, first paragraph: Quinn apparently used a copy of this letter, now in the Boston Public Library, which does have the note, signed by Kennedy, on page 3.


39. N. MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas.


47. T. A notarized copy of this letter, made July 16, 1903 and authenticated by William T. Poe, grandson of William Poe, is now in the Virginia State Library. Although the copy itself contains inaccuracies, it does permit several restorations for the torn places in the MS: from end of second paragraph, eleventh line, read: “Mr Herring having married again, there is no communication with the”; ninth line, read: “General D. Poe, and the mother of Maria, died only about a year ago, at.” From the end of the last paragraph, fifth line, insert “now” before “writing”; fourth line, the bracketed portion should read: “and your friends.” Other restorations in the original printing are satisfactory.


52. N. MS. now owned by Charles W. Davison, Jr., Clark Hall, University of Virginia.


53a ⇒ TO EDWARD L. CAREY AND ABRAHAM HART [January 21, 1836] [CL-113]


Jany: 21 1835 [1836]

Messrs. Carey & Hart,


Could you oblige the Editor of the Southern Literary Messenger by sending him on a copy of Rienzi (Bulwer’s novel) by mail. We wish to review it in the next number of the Magazine, and otherwise will not obtain it in time. If you can oblige us so far as to send the volume, please envelop it carefully, and mark on it the number of printed sheets it contains.

Very respy.

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A. Poe [page 673:]

Poe reviewed Rienzi (published by Carey & Hart, Philadelphia) in the Southern Literary Messenger, February, 1836 (H, VIII, 222-229). Poe subsequently reviewed Bulwer novels in the Messenger and Graham’s. [CL 113]

Source: photostat of original MS, (1 p.). The photostat used is in the Princeton University Library; the MS. is in a private collection. First printed in the Princeton University Library Chronicle, X (February, 1949) 91-92. No address accompanies the letter unless it appears on the verso of the MS. which is pasted down flat in an album. The correct year date is established by the fact that Poe did not become editor of the Messenger until after July 20, 1835 (see note to Letter 46) and by the fact that he reviewed Bulwer-Lytton’s Rienzi for the February, 1836, number.


56 ⇒ TO STEPHEN G. BULFINCH [February 9, 1836] [CL-119]

Richmond Feb: 9, 1836,

Dr Sir,

It has been suggested to the Proprietor of the Southern Literary Messenger that an application in its behalf, individually, to one or two of your most influential citizens, would meet with a favourable result. I therefore take the liberty of addressing you this letter, and soliciting, in the name, and for the sake of Southern Literature, your interest and good offices for the Magazine.

The February number, as a specimen, is forwarded herewith.

Very respy.

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A. Poe.

Rev: S. G. Bulfinch

The Reverend Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch was a Unitarian clergyman in Augusta, Georgia. He was the brother of Thomas Bulfinch, author of The Age of Fable. He was born in Boston and went to Augusta in 1830. While there he wrote a book of poems and a number of religious works; he was also editor of a Unitarian hymnal (see Applelons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, I, 444, and Letter 69 and note). His letter to Poe, May 3, 1836 [not June 3 (see CL 138) ], in which he sent contributions for the Messenger, was apparently in response to Poe’s invitation (see Letter 69).

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXVIII (January, 1957) 507. The envelope is addressed: “Richmond, Va., Feb. 13.” On the envelope is the notation: “Edgar A. Poe, Esq./ Poe. Richmond/ Feb. 13. 1836.” [page 674:]


58 ⇒ TO JOHN COLLINS MC CABE [March 3, 1836] [CL-125]

My Dear Sir,

A press of other engagements has prevented me, hitherto, from replying to your letter of the 24th ult: — but I have not the less borne it in mind.

I need not speak to you of the difficulties I have to encounter, daily, in selecting from the mass of M.SS. handed in for The Messenger. Personal applications, from personal friends, of course embarrass me greatly. It is, indeed, almost impossible to refuse an article offered in this manner without giving mortal offence to the friend who offers it. This offence, however, is most frequently taken by those who have the fewest pretensions to merit. In the present instance I feel perfectly sure that I shall neither wound your feelings, nor cause you to think less of me as an acquaintance, by returning your Poem — which I now enclose.

My reasons for declining it, relate as much to yourself, individually, as to the Magazine. I feel exceedingly desirous that you should be even more favorably known to the public than you are at present, and that this object should be accomplished thro’ the medium of the Messenger. I have frequently seen pieces from your pen which I would have been happy to insert-one long poem, especially, whose title I cannot call to mind-and some lines lately printed in the Baltimore Athenaum — that great bowl of Editorial skimmed milk and water. [page 2] I think you will agree with me that “The Consumptive Girl” is not, by any means, a fair specimen of your talents. Like all I have seen of your composition, it breathes the true spirit of poetic sentiment and feeling — it has fine and original images-and has all the proper materiel of the Muse. But it is deficient in the outward habilements. The versification, in especial, is not what you can make it. The lines in most instances, are rough, awing to your frequent choice of words abounding in consonants. Thus in the beginning.

“Oon burning spot blush’d on her smooth fair cheek”.

In some cases the verses are more seriously defective, and cannot be scanned — or even read. For example.

“To the heart — Hope’s death, love’s blight, faded joys”

And again —

“Long hair unbound fell o’er her swan-like neck wildly” [page 675:]

I know you will reply, and with some appearance of justice, that much worse verses have appeared, in the Messenger, since my Editorship, and are still appearing. But these are poems which have been long on hand, and to the publication of which Mr. W. had bound himself, by promises to their respective authors, before my time. Such difficulties shall not occur again.

Suppose you were to try a series of brief poems — say sonnets — one to appear regularly in each number of the Magazine. Embodying multum in parvo — laboured out with scrupulous care in their metre — and signed with your initials — they will not fail (if done as well as I know you can do them) to gain you a high and permanent reputation.

Your sincere well wisher
Edgar A Poe

John C. M Cabe Esqr


March 3d. 1836

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 85-87 from a printed source, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. Notes for this letter accompany the original printing.]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the Clifton Waller Barrett collection, University of Virginia Library.


60. T. A notarized copy of this letter, made July 16, 1903 and authenticated by William T. Poe, grandson of William Poe, is now in the Virginia State Library. This copy varies slightly in the reading of a few words from Woodberry’s printing, but which is closer to the actual MS. text is difficult to tell. However, the notarized copy includes, below Poe’s signature, the following note to William Poe from Mrs. Clemm: “Dear Cousin: — /Edgar a few days since handed me a note for fifty dollars/ for which I learn I am indebted to your kindness — accept my sincere/ gratitude — will you have the goodness to present to your lady my re-/ spects, and believe me, yours sincerely,/ Maria Clemm.”


62. N. MS. now owned by Charles W. Davison, Jr., Clark Hall, University of Virginia. [page 676:]


CL. 137-138. For proper chronology these items should be transposed, Bulfinch, as item 137, to read: May 3; and Sparks, item 138.


66. N. MS. owned by Dr. Henry S. F. Cooper, and mounted on a folding screen, Cooperstown, N.Y.


67a ⇒ TO WASHINGTON IRVING [June 7, 1836] [CL-146a]


June 7. 1836

Dr. Sir,

At the request of Mr. T. W. White, I take the liberty of addressing you, and of soliciting, in the name and for the sake of Virginian Literature, some little contribution to our “Southern Literary Messenger”, I am aware that you are continually pestered with such applications, and am willing to believe that I have very little <hope> chance of success in this attempt to engage you in our interest. Yet it is right that the effort should be made.

One argument, or rather one reason, will, I think, have its influence with you. Our publication is the first literary attempt of Virginia, and has been, for eighteen months, forcing its way, unaided, and against a host of difficulties, into the public attention. We wish, if possible, to strike a bold stroke which may establish us on a securer footing than we now hold. We design to issue, as soon as possible, a number of the journal consisting altogether of articles from distinguished Americans, whose names will give weight and character to our work. To aid us in this attempt would cost you hardly an effort, as any spare scrap in your portfolio would answer our main purpose — and to us your aid would be invaluable.

With the highest respect
Yr. Ob. St.
Edgar A Poe

Washington Irving Esqr

This is one of several letters that Poe wrote to prospective contributors to the Southern Literary Messenger on the same date (see letters 65-68). Washington Irving’s name on the contributors’ page would have been at this time of great value to the Messenger, but Irving failed to contribute. However, on page one [page 677:] of the first issue of the magazine, August 1834, Irving, along with other well-wishers, had said: “Your new literary enterprise has my highest approbation and warmest good wishes.” That, apparently, was all Poe and the publisher, T. W. White, could hope for. For writers who sent contributions to the special August, 1836, number, see Letter 696, notes.

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Annmary Brown Memorial, Brown University. First printed in American Literature, XXVII (May, 1955), 250-251. A notation on the verso of the MS. reads: “Edw. a Poe [sic]/ June 7. 1836/ Behalf of Southe[rn]/ Messenger.” Below this notation in a larger hand is “1836.”


69 ⇒ TO STEPHEN G. BULFINCH [June 8, 1836] [CL-149]


June 8. 1836

My dear Sir,

Your kind letter of the 3d. ult: is received, and I beg you to accept my thanks for your beautiful translation, and equally beautiful original lines. It would, indeed, be a source of congratulation with me if, by any means within my power, I could secure your occasional aid in the way of contributions. I look, with much interest, for your promised Notice of Mr Perdicaris’ Lectures. You will send it on, I hope, as soon as possible. The 20 copies shall be attended to. Your verses are already in the printer’s hands, and shall appear, certainly, in the next number of the Messenger — of which a copy shall be also forwarded to M. Perdicaris.

Do you not think that, through your intercession, Perdicaris himself might be induced to send us something for our journal. I am well aware of his abilities, and especially of his critical acquaintance with the classical Greek. A Romaic song, in the original, by P. with a translation by yourself, would be an invaluable gem. We would be glad, indeed, to publish any thing either from him or from yourself.

Please give my best respects to my cousins, Robert F, Poe, and William, and believe me, dear Sir, that I fully reciprocate the many kind expressions of your letter.

With the highest respect

Yr. Mo. Ob. St.

Edgar A Poe

Rev. S. G. Bulfinch

(Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 96-97 from a printed source, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy.) For the identity of Stephen [page 678:] G. Bulfinch, see Letter 56 note and 69 note in The Letters. Bulfinch’s letter of “the 3d. ult would undoubtedly be that of May 3, 1836 [rather than the “June 3” reading of the Check List, No. 138], since Poe usually used “ult.” to refer to the month just past (see Letters 125, 133, 146, 253) and “inst.” to refer to the current month (see Letters 102, 145); furthermore, Bulfinch’s contribution is “in the printer’s hand” by June 8 and did appear in the “next” or June issue (SLM, II, 410-411). The contribution was headed “Perdicaris” and was addressed to the editor. The article consisted of two columns, two-thirds of the first one made up of a biographical comment on Perdicaris; the rest of the article being a twenty-eight line translation “From the Romaic of Christopoulos,” in which Bulfinch acknowledges assistance by Perdicaris, and a fifty-five line original poem by Bulfinch, entitled, “To G. A. Perdicaris.” Perdicaris was a native Macedonian who, after he came to the United States, taught Greek in schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The notice of Perdicaris’ Lectures did not appear in the Messenger while Poe was editor (though one was printed in the February number (see SLM, III, 159), and no further correspondence between Poe and Bulfinch is known.

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles. First printed in American Art Association catalogue, May 4-5, 1925, item 467. The envelope is addressed: “To./ Rev. S. G. Bulfinch/ Augusta/ Georgia.” It is postmarked: “Richmond/ Va/ Jun 9.” Two almost similar notations appear on the envelope: “Edgar A. Poe./ Richmond,/ June 8. 1836”; and “Edgar A. Poe Esq. June 8th,/ 1836.”


69a ⇒ To PETER S. DU PONCEAU [June 18, 1836] [CL-150a.]

Richmond — Va

June 18, 1836

Dear Sir,

At the request of Mr Thomas W. White, Proprietor of the “Southern Literary Messenger” I take the liberty of addressing you, with a view of requesting some little contribution to our Magazine.

It is our design to issue, as soon as possible, a number of the Messenger consisting altogether of contributions from our most distinguished literati, and we would consider it as the highest honor if you would allow us to publish upon this occasion, some little scrap from your pen. Any brief thesis — philological essay — historical reminiscence — scientific treatise — criticism — any thing, in short, with your name would sufficiently answer our purpose. By obliging us in this matter you would, at the same time, be rendering a service to the cause of Southern Literature.

With the highest respect
Yr Mo. Ob. St.
Edgar A Poe

Peter S. Duponceau. [page 679:]

Peter Stephen Du Ponceau, the American name of Pierre Étienne Du Ponceau, a Frenchman who came to America and served in the Continental Army, later settled in Philadelphia and became a citizen of Pennsylvania. He became a prominent lawyer, linguist, and literary figure with significant writings on philology and history (see the Dictionary of American Biography, ed. Johnson and Malone [New York, 1930], V, 525-526). There is no evidence that Du Ponceau answered Poe’s letter or sent a contribution to the Messenger. For similar solicitations, see Letters 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 69b.

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXIV (November, 1952), 358-359.


69b ⇒ TO LEWIS CASS [July 4, 1836] [CL-153a]


July 4. 1836

Dr. Sir,

With this letter, a bound volume of the “Southern Literary Messenger” (Vol I) is forwarded to your address, at the request of Mr T. W. White, the Proprietor, who begs you will accept it — learning that your own first volume is deficient in some numbers.

It is our design to issue on the 1rst August a number of the “Messenger” consisting altogether of articles from our most distinguished literati, and to this end we have received many excellent papers — from judge Hopkinson — Prof. Alexander of Princeton — Paulding — Dr. Bird — Mrs Sigourney — Lieut Slidell, Prof. Anthon &c —. Mr White has informed me that you had, in part, made him a promise of a contribution, and I have ventured, accordingly, to mention our design in relation to the August number, in hope that you would be able to send us something in season. If you could possibly do so, it would greatly advance the interests of our journal — especially in the South — and this must be my apology for troubling you upon this point,

Mr. White desires his best respects. With the highest respect

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A. Poe

Gov: Lewis Cass.

Address care of T. W. White.

This is one of numerous similar requests at this time (see Letters 65-68). In extant letters, names of prospective contributors are given only in Poe’s letters to J. P. Kennedy and to Governor Cass; in his letters to prominent writers like [page 680:] Irving, Cooper, Bird, and Halleck he omitted them. The fact that some letters to named contributors are extant suggests that Poe wrote letters to all (see also CL 141, 145, 151). Poe tells Kennedy (see Letter 68) that Cass has contributed, or promised to contribute, an article, even though Poe has not yet made the request. Cass did not send a contribution to the August, 1836, number of the Messenger, but those named in the letters to Kennedy and Cass who did comply were Mrs. Sigourney, Bird, Hopkinson, Paulding, and Slidell. Lewis Cass had been governor of the Territory of Michigan from 1813 to 1831 before becoming Secretary of War under President Jackson. He resigned his cabinet post in 1836 because of illness, but in October he was appointed Minister to France (see Dictionary of American Biography, III, 562-563.

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Clements Library of the University of Michigan. The letter was first printed by the Clements Library Associates in “The Quarto Extra” to accompany the Quarto, No. 19 (October, 1949) from the Lewis Cass Papers. The cover is addressed: “To/ Govr. Lewis Cass./ Washington./ D. C.” It is postmarked: “Richmond, Va., Jul 4.” The letter carries the following endorsement: Edgar A Poe/ July 4 1836.”


70. N. MS. now in the Lilly Library, University of Indiana.


76 ⇒ TO ALLAN B. MAGRUDER [January 9, 1837] [CL-168]


Jan 9.1837.

My Dear Sir,

Your kind letter of Christmas Eve was duly received — with the Essay. I have read it with great pleasure and, I confess, some degree of surprise — never having suspected you of any literary designs. It shall certainly appear, entire, in the February number of the Messenger. Any supervision on my part, I perceive, would be altogether superfluous.

I must apologize for not having made you a reply before. Ill health, and a weight of various and harassing business, will prove, I trust, a sufficient excuse.

With sincere friendship and esteem
I am
Yours &c
Edgar A Poe

Allan B. Magruder Esqr [page 681:]

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 106-107, from a typescript, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. For notes to this letter, see The Letters, I,107.]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.). The MS. is unlocated, but the Photostat is in the Emerson Society collection, Hartford, Connecticut. The letter is addressed to: “Allan B. Magruder Esqr/ Buchanan/ Botetourt Co/ Va:” It is cancelled: “Richmond, Va., Jan. 9.” The photostat shows the MS. letter and cover in a very bad state of deterioration. First printed in facsimile in Emerson Society Quarterly, No. 31 (2d Quarter, 1963), 31.


** [[section III: Feb. 1837 - June 1840]] **

77a ⇒ TO JAMES K. PAULDING [July 19, 1838] [CL 176a]


Could I obtain the most unimportant Clerkship in your gift — any thing, by sea or land — to relieve me from the miserable life of literary drudgery to which I, now, with a breaking heart, submit, and for which neither my temper nor my abilities have fitted me, I would never again repine at any dispensation of God. I feel that I could then, (having something beyond mere literature as a profession) quickly elevate myself to the station in society which is my due. It is needless to say how fervent, how unbounded would be my gratitude to the one who should thus rescue me from ruin, and put me in possession of happiness.

I leave my fate in your hands.

Most respy. & gratefully

Edgar A, Poe


July 19. 1838

James Kirke Paulding (1778-1860) was a prominent and voluminous writer of the early decades of the nineteenth century. He belongs to the New York group of which Washington Irving was the leader. In 1815 President Madison appointed him to the Board of Navy Commissioners. After eight years in Washington, he returned to New York as navy agent for that city, and on July 1, 1838 President Van Buren appointed him Secretary of the Navy. Poe’s need of a clerkship was apparent: he had been in New York from February, 1837, after leaving the Southern Literary Messenger, until about July, 1838. During this time Poe is not known to have written any new poems or tales for publication, and only one critical article on John L. Stephens’ Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia, and the Holy Land for the New York Review, October, 1837. The present letter is the only known letter by Poe between May 27, 1837 and September 4, 1838 (see Check List), and is important as evidence of the earliest known date for Poe’s being in Philadelphia. No reply by Paulding is known. [CL 176a] [page 682:]

Source: facsimile as printed in the Yale University Library Gazette, XXX (April, 1959), item 29, opposite p. 150, from the original MS. in the Richard Gimbel collection. In the unprinted portion of the letter Poe admits his past intemperance and promises to amend his life. The unpublished portion is unavailable at the present time. This is the only extant letter from Poe to Paulding.


79 ⇒ TO GEORGE W. POE [July 14, 1839] [CL 192]

Philadelphia, July 14, 1839

My Dear Sir: —

Owing to my absence from Richmond for some time, I did not receive your letter until a few days ago, it having followed me from place to place, and at last caught me here. I am truly glad that you have written, and hope that the correspondence thus commenced may lead to more intimate acquaintance hereafter, it affords me great pleasure moreover to recognize in one of my own name and family those very principles of stern independence which I trust have always actuated my own conduct through life, and which at all events have reduced me from high affluence to comparative poverty, or at least a reliance on my own resources — Our relationship is that of second cousins, my Father David Poe Jr. was a son of David Poe Sr. who was the brother of your paternal, Grand Father, George Poe Sr. Your Father and mine were own cousins, and playmates, my wife who is my own cousin, is also your second cousin, being the daughter of Maria Poe, my Father’s sister, — She is connected with you moreover, as being the daughter of the gentleman who married your Aunt Harriet, she, you will remember was the first Mrs. Wm. Clemm, my wife’s mother is the second. Neilson Poe of the Baltimore Chronicle is my second cousin, he is the son of your Father’s brother Jacob Poe. There can be no doubt I think that our family is originally German, as the name indicates, it is frequently met with in German works on Natural History, and a Mr. Poe is now living in Vienna who has much reputation as a naturalist, the name there is spelled with an accent thus Poe, and is pronounced in two syllables Po-a. As far back however as we can trace, our immediate progenitors are Irish. — John Poe about a century ago was a name of much note in the financial history of Ireland, he was of an ancient and noble family, and married a sister [page 683:] of the British Admiral, McBryde, himself of very illustrious descent, from this John Poe we date, (I give you a kind of table showing how we spring from him). He came to America in the 4th/ year of his marriage, with two children David and George, (your Grand Father and mine) and settled in Nottingham County Penn, there he had eight children making ten in all, (in the table I give all the names in order of age). By this table you will perceive that according to the rules of British descent I am the oldest or head of all the Poes in America, descendants of John Poe. There are a great many of the name living I understand in South Carolina, but these must be another family altogether as the original John Poe had no brother or sister. My own age is thirty, which I presume is very nearly your own, in regard to myself, my father and his wife were on a visit to a friend in Richmond, Va. when a violent illness carried both off within a few weeks of each other, I was then about a year old, and my Sister Rosa was an infant: A wealthy gentleman of Virginia, of Scotch descent, a Mr. John Allen had taken a fancy to me, and having no children of his own, adopted me at the same time persuading a friend of his a Mr. MacKenzie to adopt my sister. My Grand Father David Poe was living at this time in good circumstances and his consent to the double adoption was obtained with some difficulty. I lived with Mr. Allen who remained childless until my 17th year, when he inherited from an uncle a fortune of some $30.000 per annum. This vast income of wealth nearly turned his brain and worse, confirmed him in habits of habitual drunkenness in his frequent paroxysms of this he treated me with what I considered indignity, I accordingly left his house, was recalled with apologies, left a second time, and refused all offers of reconciliation until hearing of the extreme illness of his wife, whom I had always regarded as a mother I then returned but too late to find her alive, upon her death I again left the protection of Mr. Allen who gave loose to all the baseness of his nature, in a short time after this he married a second wife, had two or three children, and died of course without leaving me anything, this second marriage was in his sixty-second year, I was at West Point at the time, where by my own influence alone I had obtained a cadets appointment. For the last ten years have supported myself altogether by literary exertions. This is all of my private history which would interest you, and I fear that I have already occupied you too much with my private concerns.

I am indebted to you for your letter to General Houston, I will carefully [page 684:] preserve it and should I meet him at any time will present. Will you present my best regards and those of my wife to your Lady and hope you will write again. It will give me great pleasure to hear from you at any [page 2] time. I shall remain in Philadelphia perhaps for a year, but Richmond is my home, and a letter to that City will always reach me in whatever part of the world I may be.

Very truly your friend Edgar A. Poe.

P. S.

Should you again see any of my W. P. Acquaintances, will you remember me kindly to them.

[Although this letter is only a copy of a typescript, which is full of the copyist’s errors (see below), its content is important.]

Poe left Richmond in the latter part of January, 1837 (see Letter 76 note). He joined Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in June, 1839. Poe had last heard from George W. Poe in February, 1836 (see CL 121), so that the letter to which Poe is replying is a continuation, not a “commencement” of a correspondence. Throughout his life Poe was prone to vary the date of his birth; in the present letter he gave his age correctly. A number of Poe’s statements are inaccurate or misleading: for example, his parents were not visiting a friend in Richmond when they died (his mother, an actress, died while the company was playing in Richmond; and little or nothing is known of his father’s death or where it occurred) ; Poe’s grandfather, David Poe, Sr., was not well-to-do at the time Poe went to live with John Allan; Poe did not refuse “all offers of reconciliation,” for John Allan did not make them; and Allan remarried when he was fifty. (For a more accurate statement of these matters by Poe, see Poe’s letter to William Poe, August 20, 1835.) Poe’s “P. S.” refers to his West Point acquaintances. The present letter is also interesting, for Poe stresses the importance of social and economic status which he constantly echoes throughout his correspondence with relatives and friends. [CL 192]

With the letter Poe supplied a two-page genealogical table. The first portion dealing with his own descent and that of George W. Poe, to whom he is writing, is given below. (Poe omits the name of George Washington Poe, brother of his father, David Poe, Jr., who died in infancy.)

The Descendants of John Poe

Who was born in Ireland about 1720: came to America in 1745 or 1746: and married the sister of Admiral McBryde in 1742. (Mrs. John Poe died in Baltimore at the age of 106.) [page 685:]

[[Here appears the table, which I have redone from the MS]] [page 686:]

Source: photostat of only extant copy of original MS. (the copy is in the Virginia State Library in Richmond; the original MS. is presumed lost). Page 2 of the copy carries the following notation: “This letter and family tree, is a copy of an original one from Edgar A. Poe to my father Geo. W. Poe which is now in my possession, and was copied by me for J. T. Poe. (Signed) Geo. M. Poe, Mobile, Ala.” Here first printed in full. The note to Letter 217 suggests that the present letter might have made a request of George Poe for $50. Since no such request was made herein, there must have been another, so far unlisted exchange of letters between Poe and George Poe prior to November 30, 1845 and after the present letter; therefore these two letters should be added to the Check List as items 585a and 585b. The remaining portion of the genealogical table is in the Virginia State Library.


80. T. The text of page 2 is correct except for the ellipsis, which should be filled in with the following: “ — the South has not yet been so entirely heard from.”

N. The MS. is now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The letter is written on a double letter-size sheet, the contents of the postscript being on the verso of page 1. On the verso of page 3, which is blank, is the address: “J. Beauchamp Jones Esqr/ Baltimore/ Md”. The postal cancellation reads: “Philadelphia/ Pa/ Aug 9.”


82 ⇒ TO PHILIP P. COOKE [September 21, 1839] [CL 203]

Sep. 21rst. 1839.

My Dear Sir,

I recd. your letter this morning — and read it with more pleasure than I can well express. You wrong me, indeed, in supposing that I meant one word of mere flattery in what I said. I have an inveterate bad habit of speaking the truth — and had I not valued your opinion more highly than that of any man in America I should not have written you as I did.

I say that I read your letter with delight. In fact, I am aware of no delight greater than that of feeling one’s self appreciated (in such wild matters as Ligeia) by those in whose judgment one has faith. You read my most intimate spirit “like a book” — and, with the single exception of D’Israeli, I have had communication with no other person who does. Willis had a glimpse of it — Judge Tucker saw about 1/2 way through — but your ideas are the very echo of my own. I am very far from meaning [page 687:] to flatter — I am flattered, and honored. Beside me is now lying a letter from Washington Irving in which he speaks with enthusiasm of a late Tale of mine “The Fall of the House of Usher” — and in which he promises to make his opinion public upon the first good opportunity — but, from the bottom of my heart I assure you, I regard his best word as but dust in the balance, when weighed with those discriminating opinions of your own which teach me that you feel and perceive.

Touching Ligeia, you are right — all right — throughout. The gradual perception of the fact that Ligeia lives again in the person of Rowena, is a far loftier and more thrilling idea than the one I have embodied. It offers, in my opinion, the widest possible scope to the imagination — it might be rendered even sublime. And this idea was mine — had I never written before I should have adopted it — but then there is Morella. Do you remember, there, the gradual conviction on the part of the parent that the spirit of the first Morella tenants the person of the second? It was necessary, since Morella was written, to modify Ligeia. I was forced to be content with a sudden half-consciousness, on the part of the narrator, that Ligeia stood before him. One point I have not fully carried out — I should have intimated that the will did not perfect its intention — there shd have been a relapse — a final one — and Ligeia (who had only succeeded in so much as to convey an idea of the truth to the narrator) should be at length entombed as Rowena — the bodily alterations having gradually faded away.

But since Morella is upon record, I will suffer Ligeia to remain as it is. Your word that it is “intelligible” suffices — and your commentary sustains your word. As for the mob — let them talk on. I should be grieved if I [page 2] thought they comprehended me here.

The “saith Verulam” shall be put right — your “impertinence” is quite pertinent.

I send the Gent’s Mag: (July, Aug: Sep:) Do not think of subscribing. The criticisms are not worth your notice. Of course, I pay no attention to them — for there are 2 of us. It is not pleasant to be taxed with the twaddle of other people, or to let other people be taxed with ours. Therefore, for the present, I remain upon my oars — merely penning an occasional paragraph, without care. The critiques, such as they are, are all mine in the July No — & all mine in the Aug & Sep. with the exception of the 3 first in each — which are by Burton.

As soon as Fate allows I will have a Magazine of my own — and will endeavor to kick up a dust. [page 688:]

Do you ever see the Pittsburg Examiner (a New Monthly) ? I wrote a Review of “Tortesa”, at some length, in the July No.

In the Octo. No of the Gents Mag: I will have “William Wilson” from the Gift for 1840. This Tale I think you will like — it is perhaps the best — although not the last — I have done.

During the autumn I will publish all in 2 vols — and now I have done with my egotism.

It makes me laugh to hear you speaking about “romantic young persons” as of a race with whom, for the future, you have nothing to do. You need not attempt to shake off, or to banter off, Romance. It is an evil you will never get rid of to the end of your days. It is a part of your self — a portion of your soul. Age will only mellow it a little, and give it a holier tone.

I will give your contributions a hearty welcome, and the choisest position in Maga.

Sincerely Yours

Edgar A Poe

[Although this important letter appeared as No. 82 in The Letters, it is here reprinted from a photostat of the original MS. in order to provide a true copy.] Philip Pendleton Cooke, who was about seven years younger than Poe, was a minor Virginia writer and contributed to the SLM and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine during the periods of Poe’s editorship. Poe on several occasions expressed his high opinion of Cooke as a poet and critic (see “Autography,” in H. XV, 234; also The Letters, I, 77). Cooke’s letter of September 16, 1839, which Poe is answering, is in H. XVII, 49-51; for other letters from Cooke, see the Check List. Irving’s high praise of The Fall of the House of Usher is not borne out by Irving’s later letter to Poe (see letter 83a and note in the present “Supplement”); it may have been expressed in an earlier letter, not extant (see CL 201). For further comments on the present letter, see The Letters, p. 119. [CL 203]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. First printed with many errors in the Century Magazine, XLVIII (September 1894), 726-729. No envelope or address accompanies the MS. [For further bibliographical data, see The Letters, p. 482.]


83a ⇒ TO WASHINGTON IRVING [October 12, 1839] [CL 209a]

Philadelphia Octo. 12. 1839.

Dear Sir,

I duly received your kind letter, and entirely acquiesce in what you say — that it would be improper to force an opportunity of speaking of [page 689:] a detached Tale. I should be grieved, however, if you have supposed that I could make such a demand; my request you have fully promised to grant, in saying that you will bear me in mind, and “take the first unforced opportunity” of expressing your opinion” [sic].

I take the liberty of sending you the Octo: No: of the Gents’ Magazine, containing the Tale “William Wilson”. This is the tale of which I spoke in my former letter, and which is based upon a brief article of your own in the first “Gift” — that for 1836. Your article is called “An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron”. I have hoped that, having thus a right of ownership in my “William Wilson”, you will be induced to read it — and I also hope that, reading it, you will find in it something to approe [sic]. This brings me to another request, which I hardly know how to urge, and for urging which I am greatly afraid you will think me importunate. I trust, however, you will make allowance for the circumstances in which I am placed, for the difficulties I have to overcome, and for the anxiety which I feel.

Mess: Lea & Blanchard are about publishing a collection of my Tales, in 2 vols, to be issued early next month. As these Tales, in their course of original publication from time to time, have received many high praises from gentlemen whose opinions are of weight; and as these encomiums have already [page 2] been published in the papers of the day, (being comprised in notices of the Southern Lit: Messenger and other Magazines) Mess. L & B. think there would be nothing objectionable in their reprinting them, in the ordinary form of an advertisement appended to the various books which they may issue before mine. I do not speak altogether of editorial opinions, but of the personal opinions of some of our principal literary men, which have found their way into the papers. Among others, I may mention Mr Paulding, Mr Kennedy & Mr Willis. Now, if, to the very high encomiums which have been lavished upon some of my tales by these & others, I could be permitted to add even a word or two from yourself, in relation to the tale of “William Wilson” (which I consider my best effort) my fortune would be made. I do not say this unadvisedly — for I am deliberately convinced that your good opinion, thus permitted to be expressed, would ensure me that public attention which would carry me on to fortune hereafter, by ensuring me fame at once.

I feel, however, that I am, in regard to yourself an utter stranger — and that I have no claim whatever upon your good offices. Yet I could not feel that I had done all which could be justly done, towards ensuring success, until I had made this request of you, I have a strong hope that [page 690:] you will be inclined to grant it, for you will reflect that what will be an act of little moment in respect to yourself — will be life itself to me.

My request now, therefore, is that, if you approve of “William Wilson”, you will express so much in your own terms in a letter to myself and permit Mess L & B. to publish it, as I mentioned.

Submitting all to your kindness

I am

With highest respect

Edgar A Poe

Washington Irving Esqr

In connection with this letter one should read Letters 82 and 84 and note. In the light of the present letter Irving’s reply of Nov. 6, 1839 (see W, 1, 216-217), seems to carry milder encomiums of Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” and “William Wilson” than Poe’s correspondence warrants. Poe’s reference to Irving’s “An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron” as a source for “William Wilson” is significant. In 1825 Irving made notes from Calderon’s play El Embozado (person hooded or masked) for a dramatic work and even sketched a plot, and in his Journal for the same year entered memoranda for the story. Long ago Thomas 0. Mabbott discovered that this story was used by Irving for his article in The Gift (see Thomas 0. Mabbott’s introduction to An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1925; see, also, Stanley T. Williams, The Life of Washington Irving, New York, 1935, I, 466-467). Poe’s own “MS. Found in a Bottle” appeared in The Gift for 1836. It has been supposed by scholars that Poe therefore saw Irving’s article and borrowed from it for “William Wilson” (see Quinn, Poe, 286). In the present letter Poe admits his indebtedness. For the publication date of Poe’s Tales, see Letter 85 and note. [CL 209a (delete 204) ]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) deposited by The American Academy of Arts and Letters in the Library of Congress. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXIV (November, 1952), 360-362. The MS. is now in the Bradley Martin collection, New York. The third page of the letter paper is blank; on the fourth is the address: “Washington Irving Esqr/ New-York/ N.Y.” and the postmark: “Philadelphia, Oct. r3.” The letter is readdressed: “Tarrytown, Westchester County,” and in the lower left corner, where Poe had written “Paid,” someone has added, below, “to New York”; a second postmark reads: “New-York, Oct. 14.” In the upper left corner of one folded portion of the cover appears Irving’s notation: “Edgar A Poe/ Oct 12th 1839/ answd. Nov. 6th.” The present letter verifies Check List entries 196, 201.


84. N. The MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The envelope, posted at Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 12, is addressed to: “Dr J. Evans Snodgrass/ Baltimore/ Md.” [page 691:]


92a ⇒ TO ROLAND S, HOUGHTON [April 27, 1840] [CL 233b, not 233a]


April 27, 1840

...  .

We should be glad, of course, to publish the piece, but are grieved to say that the absurd condition of our present copyright laws will not permit us to offer any compensation.

[Edgar A. Poe]

This is the only known letter to the Reverend Roland S. Houghton who, in Nov. 1850, after Poe’s death, married Marie Louise Shew. Poe and Mrs. Shew corresponded during 1847-1848, and it was she who encouraged Poe to compose “The Bells” (see Letter 248 and note, Quinn, Poe, p. 563, and Letter 273 and note. Poe, as editor of Burton’s, is rejecting a contribution and referring to one of his favorite topics, the condition of copyright laws in the United States. [CL 233a]

Source: typescript fragment from the original MS. in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University. Here first printed. The rest of the letter is not available at the present time.


94. N. MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. John Neal’s notation below Poe’s signature should read: “... I have of poor Poe,” not “Hon Poe.” Also the letter is not written on a June prospectus.


97. T. A notarized copy of this letter, made July 16, 1903 and authenticated by William T. Poe, grandson of William Poe, is now in the Virginia State Library. This copy, like the others by the same notary public, is not wholly accurate, but it does permit restoration of certain portions missing in the MS. The most important consists of the last six lines of the second paragraph and the first three lines of the third paragraph: “occasionally for different journals; my object being merely to keep my head above water, as regards money, until a good opportunity should appear of establishing a Magazine of my own, in which I should be able to carry out my plans to full completion, and could in time have the satisfaction of feeling that my exertions be used to my own advantage. [Par.] I believe that the plans I here speak of, and some of which you will find detailed in the Prospectus, are well devised and suggested, and will meet with the hearty support of the most honorable...  .” [page 692:]


99. N. MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The MS. is a one-page, single foolscap size sheet, and is not written on a June Prospectus. On the verso is the address: “Lucian Minor, Esqr/ Charlottesville/ Va.” Minor also noted: “Edgar A. Poe/ recd. Aug. 20. 1840.”


102. N. Poe’s letter to Earle was first printed in Memoirs of Pliny Earle, M. D., edited by F. B. Sanborn (Boston, 1898), pp. 147-148.


CL. 256a. A new entry. Richard H. Stoddard [ — ?] to Poe [Philadelphia] October 10, 1840. Cited in Poe to Stoddard, November 6, 1840 (see below).


103 ⇒ TO RICHARD H. STODDARD [November 6, 1840] [CL 257]

Philadelphia November 6. 1840.

Dear Sir,

Having been absent from town for the last few days I have only this moment received your letter of the 10th ult, and now hasten to comply with the very flattering request it contains, by transcribing a Sonnet of my own composition.

To Zante.

Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers

Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take,

How many mem’ries of what radiant hours

At sight of thee and thine at once awake!

How many scenes of what departed bliss!

How many thoughts of what entombéd hopes!

How many visions of a maiden that is

No more — no more upon thy verdant slopes!

No more! alas, that magical sad sound

Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no more — [page 693:]

Thy memory no more! Accursed ground

Henceforth I hold thy flower-enamelled shore,

O, hyacinthine isle! O, purple Zante!

Isola d’oro! Fior di Levante!


This is Poe’s only known letter to Stoddard, who apparently wrote to Poe twice (see below and Check List 542). Richard Henry Stoddard (1825-1903) was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, and became a minor literary figure and editor in New York. In 1894, he edited The Works of Edgar Allan Poe. His Recollections (1903) are not very flattering to Poe. The present version of “To Zante” differs in punctuation from other printed versions of the poem. [CL 257]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Henry Bradley Martin collection, New York. No envelope accompanies the MS. First printed in the Yale University Library Gazette, XXX (April, 1959), item 41 (facsimile between pp. 164 and 165). Poe is answering Stoddard’s letter of October 10, 1840 (unlocated), a new item in the Check List (2562), For further bibliographical data, see The Letters, II, p. 486.


CL. 265a. A new entry. William B. Wood [ — ?] to Poe [Philadelphia], January 2, 1841. Original MS. (1 p.), presumably to Poe, is in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


106a ⇒ TO NICHOLAS BIDDLE [January 6, 1841] [CL 265b or c?]

Philadelphia, January 6. 1841.

Mr. N. Biddle,

Dear Sir,

On account of a world of difficulties which I have had to encounter, not the least of which has been a severe illness, confining me to bed for the last six weeks, I have been forced to postpone the issue of the first number of my proposed Magazine until the first of March. At this period, however, I hope to bring it out under the best auspices.

As usual in most undertakings like my own, I have met with success in the very quarters where I least expected it, and have failed altogether where I was confident of doing well. My cousins in Augusta, who had led me to hope that they would aid me materially, have been unable to do so, and could not even obtain me a few subscribers in that place. On [page 694:] the other hand I have received a great many names from villages, in the South and West, of whose existence even I was not aware. Upon the whole I have every reason to congratulate myself upon my good fortune.

The kind manner in which you received me when I called upon you at Andalusia — upon so very equivocal an errand — has emboldened me to ask of you a still greater favor than the one you then granted; but I frankly confess that my hope of obtaining it is but faint. I have no earthly claim upon your attention; and am not sure that either the struggles I am making for independence, or the obstacles in my path, or any thing I have yet accomplished in the world of literature, have excited the slightest interest in your bosom. Still, you may possibly be disposed to grant my request; and therefore I cannot feel that I have done all in my power until I make it.

The favor I would ask is that you would lend me the influence of your name in a brief article for my opening number.

I need not suggest to you, as a man of the world, the great benefit I would derive from your obliging me in this matter. Without friends in Philadelphia, except among literary men as uninfluential as myself, I would at once be put in a good position — I mean in respect to that all important point, caste — by having it known that you were not indifferent to my success. You will not accuse me of intending the meanness of flattery to serve as a selfish purpose, when I say that your name has an almost illimitable influence in the city, and a vast influence in all quarters of the country, and that, would you allow me its use as I propose, it would be of more actual value to me in my enterprise than perhaps a thousand dollars in money — this too more especially as the favor thus granted would be one you are not in the habit of granting.

I shall look for your reply to this letter with deep anxiety, yet not altogether without hope — for I have heard and do believe that you are generous.

With high respect and very gratefully

Yr Ob. St.

Edgar A Poe.

Nicholas Biddle, a former president of the Second Bank of the United States, lived at Seventh and Spruce Streets during the winter and at Andalusia, the family estate, in the summer. According to his great-grandson, Mr. Charles J. Biddle, Andalusia was located in Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on the bank of the Delaware River, about a mile and a half northeast of the Philadelphia City line. It took its name for the province of Andalusia, Spain. Concerning Poe’s illness, see Letter 105; concerning the postponement of the [page 695:] Penn, see note to Letter 106. The absence at this time of letters from Poe’s Southern cousins supports the contention that they provided no material aid for the magazine. Poe’s “equivocal errand” seems to have been to secure a subscription to the Penn. In Mr. Charles Biddle’s collection is an original Prospectus of the Penn for January 1, 1841, on which is written “N. Biddle subscribed four years in advance.” It may have been during his visit with Mr. Biddle at Andalusia, probably in the fall of 1840, or before, that Poe gave him a copy of his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, for the fly-leaf carries the inscription: “For Mr. N. Biddle, with the author’s respects.” [CL 265b]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Charles J. Biddle collection, Philadelphia. The letter is here first printed. The envelope is addressed: “N. Biddle, Esqr./ No. [sic] Spruce Street/ Philadelphia” and is postmarked at Philadelphia, Jan. 6. The street number is omitted. No reply to the present letter is known.


109. N. To reprints of this letter add Springfield (Mass.) Republican, April 18, 1841.


113. N. MS. now in the Clifton Waller Barrett collection, University of Virginia Library.


118. N, MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. Page 3, however, is still unlocated. The letter, excluding the sentence on page 3, was written on both sides of a single sheet; the last sentence and the address were probably on a second sheet.


122. N. MS. now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas.


124. N. MS. now in the Clifton Waller Barrett collection, University of Virginia Library. The letter is postmarked “Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 1,” and is addressed to: “F. W. Thomas Esqr/ Washington/ D. C.” Across the end Thomas wrote: “Received the 2d 1841.” [page 696:]


126a ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [September 24, 1841] [CL 332a]

Philadelphia — Sep. 24 — 41

My Dear Thomas,

I have just received your last; and now write in reply merely to say that I have succeeded in getting Willig of this city to publish the song. Please send it on as soon as possible. He says he cannot afford to give anything for it beyond a few copies — but will promise to get it up handsomely. I suppose you had better send it through me.

Best respects to Dow & believe me

Your sincere friend
Edgar A. Poe

P. S. If you can get me Drake’s autograph and Prentice’s, or “Amelia”’s [sic] of Ky pray do so. The signature is what I chiefly want. If you can get them soon I would be greatly obliged. Our design includes only literary people.

Thomas sent his song, Sept. 27 (see his endorsement on present address sheet), Poe took it to Willig (see Letter 127), and procured a copy presumably on Nov. 11, the day after Thomas’s letter of Nov. 10 (see Note 104) ; he then sent copies to Thomas (see Letter 131). Jesse E. Dow was a mutual friend, publisher of the Alexandria (Va.) Index (see Thomas to Poe, Oct. 14, 1841, original MS in the Boston Public Library; unpublished). Poe was working on his “Autograph” articles (see Graham’s Magazine, Nov., Dec., 1841, Jan., 1842) ; both Thomas and Dow were included in the Dec. chapter. Thomas was apparently unsuccessful in obtaining the desired signatures. [CL 332a]

Source: photostat of original MS (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXIV (November, 1952), 363-364. It is a double sheet of ruled paper. On the verso of page 3 is the address: “F. W. Thomas Esqr,/ Washington/ D. C.” and the postmark: “Philadelphia, Sep. 24.” Thomas’s endorsement reads: “Received 25 Sept/ and answered 27th.” Below the endorsement appears the following notation: “Bolingbroke/ Nelson/ Shafbury [sic]/ Peterborough/ Wrote to Shreve and/ Prentice — 12 October — “. The lower left corner of the cover carries the initials by Poe: “E A P.” Thomas’s letter to Poe, September 27, 1841, becomes a new item in the Poe correspondence.


**[[Begin section V]]**

CL. 332b. A new entry: F. W. Thomas (Washington) to Poe (Philadelphia), Sept. 27, 1841. Cited on address sheet of Poe to Thomas, Sept. 24, 1841. [page 697:]


136. N. MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


140 ⇒ TO DR. THOMAS HOLLEY CHIVERS [July 6, 1842] [CL 378]

Philadelphia July 6. 1842.

My Dear Sir,

I fear you will have accused me of disrespect in not replying to either of your three last letters — but if so, you will have wronged me. Among all my correspondents there is not one whose good opinion I am more anxious to retain than your own. A world of perplexing business has led me to postpone, from day to day, a duty which it is always a pleasure to perform.

Your two last letters I have not now before me. In the first, you spoke of my notice of yourself in the Autograph Article. The paper had scarcely gone to press before I saw and acknowledged to myself the injustice I had done you — an injustice which it is my full purpose to repair at the first opportunity. What I said of your grammatical errors arose from some imperfect recollections of one or two poems sent to the first volume of the S. L. Messenger. But in more important respects I now deeply feel that I have wronged you by a hasty opinion. You will not suppose me insincere in saying that I look upon some of your late pieces as the finest I have ever read. I allude especially to the poem about Shelley, and the one of which the refrain is — “She came from Heaven to tell me she was blest”. Upon reading these compositions I felt the necessity of our being friends. Will you accept my proffer of friendship?

Your last favor is dated June 11, and, in writing it, you were doubtless unaware of my having resigned the editorial charge of “Graham’s Magazine”. What disposition shall I make of the “Invocation to Spring”? The other [page 2] pieces are in the hands of my successor, Mr Griswold.

It is my intention now to resume the project of the “Penn Magazine”. I had made every preparation for the issue of the first number in January 1841, but relinquished the design at Mr Grahams representation of joining me in July, provided I would edit his Mag: in the meantime. In July he put me off until January, and in January until July again. He now finally declines, and I am resolved to push forward for myself. I believe that I have many warm friends, especially in the South and West, [page 698:] and were the journal fairly before the public, I have no doubt of ultimate success. Is it possible that you could afford me any aid, in the way of subscribers, among your friends in Middletown?

As I have no money myself, it will be absolutely necessary that I procure a partner who has some pecuniary means. I mention this to you — for it is not impossible that you yourself may have both the will & the ability to join me. The first number will not appear until January, so that I shall have time to look about me.

With sincere respect & esteem
Edgar A Poe

Dr Thos. H. Chivers

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 207-209, from a copy, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. Notes accompany The Letters printing.] In addition, on the second page of the MS. Chivers wrote: “In the letter, enclosing these Poems [referring to the last sentence in paragraph 3], I made some critical remarks on the ‘wishy-washy’ verses published by Mr Griswold in Graham’s Magazine which greatly offended him — for which I have reason to believe he [Griswold] never forgave me — although what was therein written was intend [sic] for the eyes only of Mr Poe. [CL 378] **[[add closing quote mark]]**

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the Clifton Waller Barrett collection, University of Virginia Library. The letter is addressed to: “Dr Thos. Holley Chivers,/ Middletown/ Conn:.” It is initialed “EAP.” in the lower left comer, and is postmarked: “Philadelphia, Pa./ Jul 7.”


141a ⇒ TO J. AND H. G. LANGLEY [July 18, 1842] [CL 382]


July 18, 1842]


Enclosed I have the honor to send you an article which I should be pleased if you would accept for the “Democratic Review.” I am desperately pushed for money; and, in the event of Mr O’Sullivan’s liking the “Landscape-Garden,” I would take it as an especial favor if you could mail me the amount due for it, so as to reach me here by the 21rst, on which day I shall need it. Can you possibly oblige me in this? If you accept the paper I presume you will allow me your usual sum, whatever that is for similar contributions — but I set no price — leaving all to your own liberality. The piece will make 8 of your pages and rather more.

Will you be kind enough to put the best possible interpretation upon [page 699:] my behavior while in N-York? You must have conceived a queer idea of me — but the simple truth is that Wallace would insist upon the juleps, and I knew not what I was either doing or saying, The Review of Dawes which I offered you was deficient in a 1/2 page of commencement, which I had written to supersede the old beginning, and which gave the article the character of a general & retrospective review. No wonder you did not take it — I should have been very much mortified if you ha<n>d. I hope to see you at some future time, under better auspices.

In the meantime I remain

Yours very truly

E A Poe

Should the M.S. not be accepted, please return it as soon as possible, by mail, enveloped as now.

From July, 1841, through 1843 the Democratic Review was published in New York instead of in Philadelphia by J. and H. G. Langley; later H. G. Langley published it alone. John L. O’Sullivan was sole editor from 1841-1846 (Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 677-678, 680). Poe’s article may not have been accepted because there had been an article entitled “Landscape Gardening and Rural Architecture” in the December, 1841, number. Poe lived in Philadelphia from probably sometime in the summer of 1838 (see Quinn, Poe, 268, and Letter 772) until April, 1844 (see Letter 174). He visited New York briefly in late June, 1842 (Letters 138, 139, 141, 142) ; he does not seem to have made such a visit in June or July of 1841 or 1843. The present letter, postmarked July 18, belongs to 1842. “The Landscape-Garden” must have been returned rather promptly, for it was published in Snowden’s Ladies Companion, XVII, 324-327 (October, 1842) and occupies three and one-quarter pages. For Wallace, see Letter 142 and note. The review of Rufus Dawes appeared in Graham’s October, 1842 (see H. XI, 131-147). [CL 3821

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) owned by Roger W. Barrett of Chicago. First printed in American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 80-81. The verso of the letter is postmarked “Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 18.” The address reads: “Mess.rs J. & H. G. Langley/ 57 Chatham St/ New-York/ N. Y.” In the lower left corner of the address page is Poe’s notation: “Double-paid.” The envelope is also docketed: “Edgar A. Poe/ July 18.” This item is probably the same as item 382 in the Check List, which is described by the Anderson Galleries sales catalogue as a one-page quarto letter with address.


148 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [November 19, 1842] [CL 399]

Philadelphia. Nov: 19. 42.

My Dear Friend,

Your letter of the 14th gave me new hope — only to be dashed to the ground. On the day of its receipt, some of the papers announced four [page 700:] removals and appointments. Among the latter I observed the name — Pogue. Upon inquiry among those behind the curtain, I soon found that no such person as — Pogue had any expectation of an appt and that the name was a misprint or rather a misunderstanding of the reporters, who had heard my own name spoken of at the Custom-House. I waited 2 days without calling upon Mr Smith, as he had twice told me that “he would send for me when he wished to swear me in.” To-day, however, hearing nothing from him, I called. I asked him if he had no good news for me yet. He replied — “No, I am instructed to make no more removals.” At this, being much astonished, I mentioned that I had heard, through a friend, from Mr Rob. Tyler, that he was requested to appoint me. At these words he said, roughly, — “From whom did you say?” I replied from Mr Robert Tyler. I wish you could have seen the scoundrel — for scoundrel, my Dear Thomas in your private ear, he is — “From Robert Tyler!” says he — “hem! I have received orders from President Tyler to make no more appts and shall make none.” Immediately afterwards he acknowledged that he had made one appt since these instructions.

Mr Smith has excited the thorough disgust of every Tyler man here. He is a Whig of the worst stamp and will appoint none but Whigs if he can possibly avoid it. People here laugh at the idea of his being a Tyler man. He is notoriously not such.

As for me, he has treated me most shamefully. In my case, there was no need of any political shuffling or lying. I professed my willingness to postpone my claims to those of political claimants; but he told me, upon my first interview after the election, that if I would call on the fourth day he would swear me in. I called & he was not at home. On the next day I called again & saw him, when he told me that he would send a Messenger for me when ready: — this without even inquiring my place of residence — showing that he had, from the first, no design of appointing me. Well, I waited nearly a month, when, finding nearly all the app” made, I again called. He did not even ask me to be seated — scarcely spoke — muttered the words “I will send for you Mr Poe” — and that was all. My next [page 2] and last interview was to-day — as I have just described.

The whole manner of the man, from the first, convinced me that he would not appoint me if he could help it. Hence the uneasiness I expressed to you when here.

Now, my dear Thomas, this insult is not to me, so much as to your friend Mr Robert Tyler, who was so kind as to promise, and who requested, my appointment. [page 701:]

It seems to me that the only way to serve me now, is to lay the matter once again before Mr T. and, if possible, through him, to procure a few lines from the President directing Mr Smith to give me the place. With these credentials he would scarcely again refuse. But I leave all to your better judgment.

You can have no idea of the low ruffians and boobies — men, too, without a shadow of political influence or caste — who have received office over my head. If Smith had the feelings of a gentleman, he would have perceived that from the very character of my claim — by which I mean my want of claim — he should have made my appt an early one. It was a gratuitous favor intended me by Mr Rob. Tyler — and he (Smith) has done his best to deprive this favor of all its grace by delay. I could have forgiven all but the innumerable and altogether unnecessary falsehoods with which he insulted my common-sense day after day.

I would write more, my dear Thomas; — but my heart is too heavy. You have felt the misery of hope deferred & will feel for me.

Believe me ever your true friend.

Edgar A Poe.

Write soon & if possible relieve my suspense. You cannot imagine the trouble I am in, & have been in for the last 2 months — unable to enter into any literary arrangements — or in fact to do anything — being in hourly expectation of getting the place.

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 218-219, from an inaccurate typescript, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. For notes to this letter, see The Letters, I, 219. See also letters 134, 135, 138. Poe never got the position in the custom house.] [CL 399]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the McCormick collection, Princeton University. The letter was first printed in the Century Magazine, XLVIII (September, 1894), 733-734 (See also The Letters, II, Note 148). The address leaf, initialed “EAP” by Poe in the lower left corner, is directed to “F. W. Thomas Esqre/ Treasury Departt./ Washington/ D. C.” It is postmarked: “Philadelphia, Nov. 20.” Across the end Thomas wrote: “Received Nov. 21.” Poe is replying to Thomas’ letter of November 14, 1842 (unlocated).


CL. 401. MS. is not in the Boston Public Library. [page 702:]


152. N. MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


153a. N. Envelope for this letter, addressed to: “R. Carter, Esq., Editor of the Pioneer,’ Boston, Mass.,” now in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University. The letter to which it belongs is in the Stark Library, University of Texas.


CL. 431a. A new item: Thomas Mackenzie (Richmond) to Poe (Philadelphia), ante April 22, 1843. Cited in Poe to Mackenzie, April 22, 1843 (see below).


158a ⇒ To THOMAS MACKENZIE [April 22, 1843] [CL 431b]


April 22. 1843

My Dear Thomas,

About a fortnight ago, I wrote to Peter D. Bernard, who married one of T. W. White’s daughters, and made inquiry about “The Southern Literary Messenger”, but have received no reply. I am very anxious to ascertain if it is for sale, and if it is, I wish to purchase it (through my friends here). You wrote me, some time ago, that the heirs had not made up their minds respecting it. Would you do me the favor, now, to call upon Bernard, or upon some one of the other heirs, and inquire about it? I can’t imagine why Bernard did not reply to my letter. If the list is for sale I would make arrangements for its immediate purchase upon terms which would be fully satisfactory to the heirs. But do not let them suppose I am too anxious. By the bye, there may be some prejudice, on the part of the heirs, against me individually, on account of my quitting White — suppose, then, you get some one of your friends to negotiate for you and don’t let me be known in the business at all. Merely ascertain if the list is for sale & upon what terms. Please oblige me in this matter as soon as possible, as I am exceedingly anxious about it. Tell Rose that Virginia is [page 2] much better, toe and all, & that she has been out lately, several times, taking long walks. She sends a great deal of love to all. Remember me kindly to the whole family & believe me

Yours most truly,
Edgar A Poe [page 703:]

For Poe’s letter to Bernard, see Letter 157. Thomas Mackenzie was the son of William Mackenzie (see Letter 159). Poe’s sister Rose was still living with the family. Thomas C. Clarke, publisher of the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, had agreed to finance Poe’s Stylus (see Letters 153 and note, 155 note, and 161); Poe hoped to combine the lists of the Stylus and the Southern Literary Messenger. Apparently Poe never received a reply from Bernard, who at the time of the present letter was helping to print the Messenger, nor from Thomas Mackenzie or from his father William (see Letter 159). The Messenger was bought by Benjamin B. Minor in July, 1843 (Mott, History of American Magazines; 1741-1850, p. 644) [CL 431b]

Source: photostat of the MS. (2 pages) in the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The letter was first printed correctly in American Literature, XXXV (November, 1963), 360. No envelope or address accompanies the MS. Thomas Mackenzie’s letter to Poe may be dated ante April 22, 1843 but is unlocated; it may be entered in the Check List as item 431a [actually it probably precedes Poe’s letter to Bernard, March 24, 1843]. The present letter probably antedates Poe’s letter to Thomas’s father (see Letter 159), since Thomas Mackenzie had written to Poe “some time ago” about the uncertain future of the Messenger, and Poe would be likely to write to him first when Bernard did not reply.


163a ⇒ TO JOHN B. MORRIS [October 10, 1843] [CL 453a]


Octo. 10./ 43

Dr Sir,

In a lot of ground, owned by yourself, and lying upon Clemm’s Lot, fronting upon Park Lane, Baltimore, Mrs Maria Clemm, now of this city, retains her right of dower, as the widow of the late William Clemm. The object of this letter is to ascertain if you will be willing to purchase the right.

Mrs Clemm is in excellent health, and may live forty years. At the same time she is in indigent circumstances, and would regard your purchase of the Right as a favor for which she would be grateful. May I ask you, on her behalf, what would be the value of the Right to yourself? With


Yr Ob St

Edgar A. Poe

John B. Morris Esqre

According to Bryllion Fagin, who published the letter, Mr. Morris “was a prominent Baltimore lawyer, president of the Mechanics Bank, and a director of [page 704:] the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.” The lot in question, according to Fagin, “was located north of Baltimore Street, between Republican and Greene Streets.” At the time of the letter Maria Clemm, Poe’s aunt, was 53. Mrs. Clemm’s “dower right” must have come to her when her husband, William Clemm, Jr., died in 1826. Whether Morris, who was interested in real estate, purchased the property is not known. [CL 453a]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Johns Hopkins University Library. The letter was first printed in Ex Libris, a leaflet issued by the Friends of the Library, XIV, No. 2, May, 1955. No cover address accompanied the letter when the library received the MS. in 1944.


168a ⇒ TO JOHN P. KENNEDY [February 1, 1844] [CL 464a]

[Baltimore, Feb. 1, 1844]

My Dear Sir,

Some matters which would not be put off, have taken me to Elkton — so that I shall not have the pleasure of dining with you to-day, as proposed. Before leaving Baltimore, however, I hope to give you another call. Most truly yours.

Edgar A Poe

John P. Kennedy Esqre

Thursday Morning.

7. A. M.

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 242, from a sales catalogue, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. Notes for this letter accompany the oiginal printing.] [CL 464a] **[[fix “oiginal”]]**

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Clement Dixon Johnston collection, University of Virginia Library.


**[[Begin section VI]]**

CL. 479a. A new item: Lewis J. Cist (Cincinnati) to Poe (Philadelphia), April 30, 1844. Cited in Poe to Cist, June 3, 1844. [page 705:]


176 ⇒ TO SARAH J. HALE [May 29, 1844] [CL 482]

New York May 29. 44.

Dr Madam,

A day or two ago, I handed an article, “The Oblong Box”, to Mr Willis, under the impression that he occasionally purchased original papers for “The New-Mirror”. This I found, however, not to be the case, Mr W. was pleased to express himself in very warm terms of the article, which he considers the best I have written, and urged me to offer it to Mr Riker, for The next “Opal”; promising to speak to Mr R. and engage him (if possible) to accept the Tale. I called upon Mr <W.> R., who expressed his perfect willingness to do so, but said that his arrangement with yourself, threw the whole business of selection, &c, into your hands, and that he could not, with propriety, interfere. Under these circumstances, I have thought it best to write you this letter, and to ask you if you could accept an article from me — whether you would wish to see the one in question — or whether you could be so kind as to take it, unseen, upon Mr Willis’ testimony in its favor. It cannot be improper to state, that I make the latter request to save time, because I am as usual, exceedingly in need of a little money.

With high respect

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A Poe

Mrs Sarah J. Hale

P. S. “The Oblong Box” will make about 4 pp of “Graham”

By “The New-Mirror” Poe means the newly revived New York Mirror, edited from April, 1843, by G. P. Morris and N. P. Willis. For Mrs. Hale as editor of the Opal and John C. Riker, its publisher, see Letter 176 note. [CL 482]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The letter was first printed in full in American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 82-83. The postscript appears along the left side of the page. The letter is addressed on the fourth page of a folded leaf: “Mrs Sarah J. Hale,/ Philadelphia,/ Pa.” The address page is postmarked: “New-York May 29”; and is initialed “EAP” in the lower left corner. It is also marked “paid,” and carries across the end in a strange hand: “1844/ Edgar A Poe.” [page 706:]


176a ⇒ TO EDWARD L. CAREY [May 31, 1844] [CL 483a]


May 31.rst 44.

My Dear Sir,

I would take it as a very great favor if you could let me see the proof of my tale, “The Purloined Letter”, which will be in the next “Gift”. I am not, usually, solicitous about proofs; but, in this instance, the MS. had many interlineations and erasures, which may render my seeing one, necessary. Please send it, per “Harnden’s Express” to care of “Wm - H Graham, Tribune Office, N. York.” I will return it promptly.

Yours very resply
Edgar A Poe

E. L. Carey Esqre

P. S.) Perhaps it would be better merely to send the proof to “Office of Graham’s Magazine” here in Phila: with directions to forward it to me, here.

“The Purloined Letter” appeared in the 1845 Gift, published by Carey and Hart. The firm of E[dward] L. Carey and A[braham] Hart was founded in 1829, and printed eight Gifts: 1836, 1837, 1839, 1840, 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845. Miss Eliza Leslie edited the first four, Carey edited the fifth alone and the remaining three with the aid of William H. Furness (see Ralph Thompson, American Literary Annuals and Gift Books, 1825-1865, New York, 1936, p. 74). Poe contributed to those of 1836, 1840, 1842, 1843 1845. Harnden’s was a mail carrier frequently used by Poe. William H. Graham, a Philadelphia publisher, had printed The Prose Romances of Edgar A. Poe in 1843, now one of the rarest of Poe’s works. [CL 483a]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXIV (November, 1952) 364-365.


177a.* TO LEWIS J. CIST [June 3, 1844] [CL 485]

New York.

June 3. 1844

My Dear Mr Cist,

Yours, dated April 30th, has only this moment reached me; having been lying, ever since, at Graham’s office. I have removed to New-York, [page 707:] where I intend residing for the next year or two — and this will account, in part, for my not receiving the package sooner.

I was deeply interested in the memoirs you gave me of Mrs Nichols. I have long admired her writings, and the proofs contain some of the finest passages I have ever perused. I am anxious to see the entire volume, and thank you for the promise to send it to me.

I shall write, to-day, to Graham, and ask him to do as you desire, touching “The Beaten Path”.

Truly Your Friend.

Edgar A Poe

L. J. Cist Esqre

P. S. If you forward the “Poems” to Graham, he will send them to me.

Lewis J. Cist, at the time of this letter, was an editor, publisher, and minor poet of Cincinnati, Ohio. Later, as an autograph collector, he owned one of the largest collections in the country (see Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography I, 617). Cist had sent Poe for his first number of the Penn scheduled to appear on January 1, 1841, a poem entitled “Bachelor Philosophy.” It was subsequently printed in The Saturday Evening Post (see Letters 105 and 125 and notes). The purport of Poe’s last paragraph is uncertain, for Cist’s letter of April 30, 1844, to Poe, and Poe’s letter of June 3, 1844, to Graham (if written; but see CL 486) are unlocated. “The Beaten Path” seems never to have been published in Graham’s, Mrs. Rebecca Shepard Nichols, of Cincinnati, contributed poems to Graham’s while Poe was editor. He noticed her in Autography (see H, XV, 258) and reviewed her New Year’s address in the Broadway Journal, March 22, 1845 (see H, XII, 110-111), calling her “one of our most imaginative and vigorous poets.” Poe’s postscript could easily refer to a forthcoming volume of poems by Mrs. Nichols, Bernice: The Curse of Minna and Other Poems, published in Cincinnati by Shepard and Company, 1844, or possibly by Cist, Trifles in verse, published in the same city in 1845. [CL 485]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Clifton Wallet Barrett collection, University of Virginia. First printed in American Literature, XXVI (January, 1955), 560-561. The letter is postmarked: “New-York, Jun 5”; it is addressed on page 4 of a folded leaf to “L. J. Cist Esqre/ Cincinnati/ O.” In the lower left corner appears: “Single/ EAP.” The notation “Edgar A. Poe/ Philadelphia/ June 3d 1844” also occurs. Poe’s present letter to Cist confirms CL 485, refers to a new Cist to Poe letter, April 30, 1844 [CL 479a], and suggests an unlocated Poe to Graham letter for June 3, 1844 [possibly same as CL 486].


CL. 486. This item may be the Poe to Graham letter cited in Poe to Cist, June 3, 1844 (see above). [page 708:]


182 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [September 8, 1844] [CL 496]

New-York — Sep. 8. 44

My Dear Thomas,

I received yours with sincere pleasure, and nearly as sincere surprise; for while you were wondering that I did not write to you, I was making up my mind that you had forgotten me altogether.

I have left Philadelphia, and am living, at present, about five miles out of New-York. For the last seven or eight months I have been playing hermit in earnest — nor have I seen a living soul out of my family — who are well, and desire to be kindly remembered. When I say “well”, I only mean, (as regards Virginia,) as well as usual. Her health remains excessively precarious.

Touching the “Beechen Tree”, I remember it well and pleasantly. I have not yet seen a published copy — but will get one forthwith, and notice it as it deserves — and it deserves much of high praise — at the very first opportunity I get. At present, I am so much out of the world that I may not be able to do anything immediately.

Thank God! Richard (whom you know) is himself again. Tell Dow so: — but he won’t believe it. I am working at a variety of things [page 2] (all of which you shall behold in the end) — and with an ardor of which I did not believe myself capable.

You said to me, hurriedly, when we last met on the wharf in Philadelphia, that you believed Robert Tyler really wished to give me the post in the Custom-House. This I also really think; and I am confirmed in the opinion that he could not, at all times, do as he wished in such matters, by seeing Dunn English at the head of the “Aurora” — a bullet-headed and malicious villain who has brought more odium upon the Administration than any fellow (of equal littleness) in its ranks — and who has been more indefatigably busy in both open and secret villification of Robert Tyler, than any individual, little or big, in America.

Let me hear from you again very soon, my dear Thomas, and believe me ever your friend.


[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 262, from an inaccurate copy, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. In the source used for the version printed in The Letters, the name of the head of the Aurora was deleted; the MS. shows “Dunn English.” For further notes to this letter see The Letters, I, 262-263.] [CL 496] [page 709:]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the private collection of Dr. O. O. Fisher of Detroit. The letter was first printed in the Century Magazine, XLVIII (October 1894), 863. The envelope is addressed: “F. W. Thomas Esqre./ Washington,/ D. C.”; it is postmarked “New-York, Sep 10.” Thomas noted on the envelope: “Answered Oct 10. 1844”. For additional notes see The Letters, II, 507.


188 ⇒ TO GEORGE BUSH [January 4, 1845] [CL 513]

New-York Jan. 4, 45.

To Professor Bush.

Dear Sir:

With this note I take the liberty of sending you a newspaper — “The Dollar Weekly” — in which there is an article, by myself, entitled “Mesmeric Revelation”. It has been copied into the paper from a Monthly Magazine — “The Columbian” — in which it originally appeared in July last.

I have ventured to send you the article because there are many points in it which bear upon the subject-matter of your late admirable work on the Future Condition of Man — and therefore I am induced to hope that you will do me the honor to look over what I have said.

You will, of course, understand that the article is purely a fiction; — but I have embodied in it some thoughts which are original with myself & I am exceedingly anxious to learn if they have claim to absolute originality, and also how far they will strike you as well based. If you would be so kind as to look over the paper and give me, in brief, your opinion, I will consider it a high favor.

Very Respy.

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A. Poe.

Please reply thro’ the P. Office.

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, I, 273, from a copy, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. For notes on this letter see The Letters, I, 274, and II, 508.] [CL 513]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The envelope is addressed: “For/ Professor Bush/ Present.” Just below this Poe wrote: “206 Allen St” and then crossed it out. The letter is postmarked: “City Despatch Post, U. S., Jan 4, 4 o’clock.” [page 710:]


189. Tn. See third sentence from end of note. Poe may have moved to 154 Greenwich Street prior to May, 1845, before moving to 195 East Broadway (see Letter 195a note). This appears to be a new Poe address.


**[[Begin section VII]]**

194a ⇒ TO GEORGE R. GRAHAM [March 10, 1845]


March 10. 45.

My Dear Graham,

I believe that you feel a delicacy in publishing my criticism on Longfellow’s “Spanish Student”; and, perhaps, upon the whole, it would be for your interest not to do it, as, in a Magazine such as yours, you could not well manage to fight out the battle with Longfellow’s coterie in Boston, which would be the result of your publishing it. But, with me, the case is very different, and if I can only get them all fairly down upon me, I shall know precisely what to do. I will, therefore, be very grateful to you if you will let me have the article back. I will write you, in place of it, any thing you may suggest — or I will advertise your Magazine conspicuously in the “Broadway journal” to the amount of the $30 — or I will refund you the money, as soon as I can place my hands upon it. If you agree (& I hope you will) please send me the article as soon as possible, through your brother.

It is my firm intention to do every thing in my power to serve you, in the B. J., by way of convincing you that you have been doing me injustice all along.

Truly yours


On October 19, 1843, Poe wrote Lowell: “I have written a long notice of [The Spanish Student] for Graham’s December [1843] number” (Letter 164). On July 2, 1844 (Letter 179), he tells Lowell that Graham has had the review for nine months. Graham may have returned the review rather promptly, unpublished, following the present request, or Poe may have incorporated its material in his critical paper, “The American Drama,” which was published in the American Whig Review, Aug. 1845 (see H, XIII, 33-73) The amount of Poe’s indebtedness seems inconsistent with the facts: Poe apparently received $4 per page for reviews in Graham’s (Letter 187). His article on “The American Drama” is almost equally divided between Longfellow’s Ballads and The Spanish Student, but neither runs seven and one-half Graham pages. Of course, Poe may have submitted more material to Graham than he used in his “American Drama” article. How Poe’s indebtedness to Graham was finally met is not [page 711:] known. Poe’s pique against such men as Graham, whether from real or imagined causes, was characteristic. [CL 527a]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. Here first printed from MS.; it was printed earlier from a copy in American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 83-84. The MS, is very fragile and is in two pieces held together by tape. Any reply from Graham is unknown; in fact, there are no known letters from Graham to Poe, and the present letter is the only extant one from Poe to Graham. It is very possible that Poe’s statement of accounts to Graham (Letter 187) was once a part of the present letter. In his defense of Poe, Graham’s, 1850, Graham in publishing the account says: “This, I find, was his uniform habit ... carefully recalling to mind his indebtedness with each fresh article sent.” In the Gribble sale, May 7-8, 1945, item 432, Parke-Bernet Galleries sold an autograph manuscript memoranda (1 leaf) from Poe’s personal account book. The leaf carried the following record of payments made by Graham to Poe: “Recd March 25th 1841 of Geo. R. Graham Sixty dollars on acct $60 Edgar A Poe/ Recd April 3d 1841 of Geo R- Graham Fifty Four Dollars on acct $54 Edgar A. Poe/ Recd April 24th 1841 of Geo. R. Graham Forty Dollars on acct $40 Edgar A Poe/ Recd July 2nd 1841 of Geo. R. Graham Fifty Five dolls on acct $55 Edgar A Poe/ Recd July 20th 1841 of Geo. R. Graham One Hundred & Five on acc $105 Edgar A Poe.” These entries seem to support Graham’s statement. In addition, the edges of the MS letter have been trimmed so that there is no physical evidence that the present letter had a second half of a folded leaf on which the material of Letter 187 could have been written. However, the following evidence suggests strongly that Letter 187 was originally part of the present letter: Graham’s statement that Poe often provided an account with an article submitted for the magazine; the memoranda in Letter 187 are like those m the Parke-Bernet catalogue; the account rendered in Letter 187 begins with a statement by Poe as if it is part of a letter; the present letter is dated March 10, 1845 and Graham stated that the memoranda in Letter 187 were sent him long after Poe left Philadelphia (April, 1844); and the last article cited by Poe in Letter 187 is his review of Longfellow (“Spanish Student,” undoubtedly, since it would have run about five Graham pages), and the same article is referred to in the present letter, Graham having held it since late 1843 (see Letter 164). Finally, the $30 cited in the present letter is accounted for by the following evidence: Poe sent Graham the “Spanish Student” (five pages worth $20 on his account) and got $10 in part payment; if Graham now returns the article, Poe owes him not only the $20 but also the $10 received. All the evidence seems to support the identification of Letter 187 as part of the present one.


195a ⇒ TO. [MARY E. HEWITT] [March 20, 1845] [CL 532 (?)]

...  . .

Very respectfully & admiringly


Edgar A Poe.

Please address 154 Greenwich St.

March 20 — 45. [page 712:]

The address given by Poe may well be a hitherto unidentified residence in New York. It is hardly to be confused with 130 Greenwich Street, where he lived when he came to New York in April, 1844 (see Letter 174 and Quinn, Poe, p. 407) Quinn suggests (ibid., pp. 414, 435) that Poe was living on the Brennan farm in January, 1845, and that he moved from there to 195 East Broadway about May, 1845 (ibid., pp. 461, 463). Poe seems to have moved to 85 Amity Street by October, 1845 (see Letter 215 note). He may have moved to 154 Greenwich Street from the Brennan farm sometime after January and before March 20, 1845, staying there until he went to 195 East Broadway. (Poe’s address is not listed in the 1844, 1845, 1846 New York City directories, and who or what occupied the building at the new Greenwich location cannot be determined. I am indebted to Mr. Rutherford D. Rogers, Chief of the Reference Department, The New York Public Library, for this information.) [CL 532 ( ?) ]

Source: photostat of original MS. fragment (probably from a one-page A.L.S.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. First printed in American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 84-85. There is no accompanying cover or address with the MS. The complimentary close and signature of a Poe letter was often cut off by his feminine correspondent and given to a friend (see Letter 214). Mrs. Hewitt may well have been the person addressed in the present letter, for she had written Poe, March 15, enclosing a poem, “The Tale of Luzon,” which he liked and printed in the Broadway Journal, March 22 (see CL 528). Mrs. Hewitt’s letter to Poe, March 21 (see CL 533), may be a prompt reply to the present one. The tone of Poe’s close fits that of his Literati article on Mrs. Hewitt in Godey’s for October, 1846 (1-I, XV, 123-126). If this fragment is properly identified, it is the only extant bit of correspondence from Poe to Mrs. Hewitt.


CL. 546-549. Miss A. C. Lynch, not “Mrs.”


CL. 555. Not in the Boston Public Library.


CL. 582. MS. now in the Princeton University Library.


CL. 585a. A new item: Poe (Philadelphia or New York) to George Poe (Mobile, Ala.), 1839, July 14-Nov. 30, 1845. Implied in Poe to George Poe, November 30, 1845. [page 713:]


CL. 585b. A new item: George Poe to Poe. See CL 585a.


218. Tn. Last line. CL 588 (not 587).


**[[Begin section VIII]]**

226. N. MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


CL. 622a. A new entry: J. E. Root (New York?) to Poe (New York), ante April 18, 1846. Implied in Poe to Root, April 18, 1846 (see below).


228a ⇒ TO JAMES E. ROOT [April 18, 1846] [CL 622b]

New-York: April 18, 46.

Dear Sir,

A complete copy of the B. J. can be obtained of Mr. Cornelius Mathews, 140 Nassau St. N.Y. up stairs — or, if you prefer it, enclose me the subscription price ($3.) and I will leave a copy for you at any place you shall designate in this city.

Respy. Yr. Ob St.

Edgar A Poe

Jas E. Root Esqr

P. S. I have none in my possession or would willingly spare you a copy, gratis.

James E. Root is unidentified (but see Letter 332 in this Supplement). The Broadway Journal, the only magazine that Poe ever actually owned, died January 3, 1846, less than three months after he took possession because he could not raise sufficient funds to carry it during the early period of his proprietorship (see Quinn, Poe, p. 752 and Letter 225, postscript and note). The “complete copy of the B. J.” that Poe is referring to must be volumes I and II [page 714:] (January 4, 1845-January 3, 1846). Why Mathews should have back copies of the defunct journal is not certain; perhaps he had agreed to store some of them in his office, which may have been “up stairs” over 14o Nassau Street and from which he may have edited Yankee Doodle in 1846-1847. [CL 622b]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Here first printed. No envelope or address accompanies the MS. The present letter strongly implies a letter from Root, ante April 18, 1846.



New-York April 28. 1846.


Will you be so kind as express to the Societies of the University of Vermont, my profound sense of the honor they have done me, and at the same time my deep regret that a multiplicity of engagements, with serious and, I fear, permanent ill health, will not permit me to avail myself of their flattering invitation?

Most respectfully, Gentlemen,

Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A Poe.

To George F. Barstow Esqr


Fayette Jewett Esqr.

This is one of several invitations from college societies (see Letters 229, 234, 253). Barstow, secretary of Phi Sigma Nu, and Jewett, secretary of the University Institute, extended the invitation to Poe to serve as the commencement poet, only after both Joel Headley and Henry Jarvis Raymond declined. The invitation was written after the April 15, 1846 meeting of the fraternity (see MS. Journal, Phi Sigma No Society, University of Vermont, in the Wilbur Library, University of Vermont). [CL 626]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University Library. First printed in American Literature, XXXII (January, 1961), 455. There is no address or postmark. Poe is answering a letter from Barstow and Jewett, c April 15, 1846, unlocated (see CL 625). **[[fix “c” to “ca.”]]** [page 715:]


234 ⇒ To —— [June 16, 1846] [CL 638]

[New York] June 16. 1846

My Dear Sir,

Can you oblige me by getting the following in “The Tribune” or some other daily?

Mr Poe has been invited by the Literary Societies of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. to deliver a poem at their approaching anniversary, but this <as> invitation, as well as that of the University of Vermont, he is forced to decline through continued illness and a pressure of other engagements.

Who is the “great writer of small things” in Ann St” referred to by Briggs in the article about me in the Mirror of the 26? Has anything concerning me appeared lately in Morris’ “National Press.?

Truly yours.


[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, II, 321, from a sales catalogue printing, it is here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy. For notes on this letter see The Letters, II, 321 and 519-520.] [CL 638]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The letter was first printed in the Anderson Galleries catalogue, May 1-3, 1916, item 642. No address or postmark accompanies the letter, which is written on a sheet of Virginia’s note paper and embossed “V E P.”


245. N. The MS. is now in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University.

246. N. The letter was printed on page 2 of the Home Journal, January 9, 1847. [page 716:]

**[[Begin section IX]]**

253a ⇒ TO E. L. FANCHER [March 28, 1847] [CL 679a]

Dr Sir,

Mrs. Maria Clemm is hereby authorized to receive the amount of damages lately awarded in my suit, conducted by yourself, against the proprietors of the New-York Evening Mirror, and to give a receipt for the same.

Respy. Yours
Edgar A Poe

Fordham. N.Y.

March 28th 1846. [1847]

Enoch L. Fancher was the lawyer Poe retained to try his libel case against Hiram Fuller and Augustus W. Clason, Jr., editor and publisher respectively of the Evening Mirror. The Mirror had printed an article by Thomas Dunn English, June 23, 1846, in which English accused Poe of forgery, and in his next article, July 13, dared Poe to sue him, as Poe had threatened. Poe did. The case was instituted in the Superior Court of New York, July 23, 1846, and since the defense could not produce witnesses to support English’s charges, Poe was awarded $225 damages on February 17, 1847 (Quinn, Poe, p. 505). The Poe-English controversy was of the violent, name-calling type, and Poe was as guilty of ungentlemanly action as was English, but Poe was not guilty of forgery, as charged (see the whole controversy in H, XVII, 233-258). Mrs. Clemm frequently was a messenger for Poe. [CL 679a]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Slack Collection, Marietta College Library, Marietta, Ohio. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXXVI (January, 1965), 514. Poe’s year-date is wrong; it should be “1847,” for the case was not settled until February, 1847.


254a ⇒ TO C. P. BRONSON [ca. October - November 1847] [CL 688a]

[Fordham, ca. Oct.-Nov., 1847]

I am anxious to see you for many reasons, not the least of which is I have not seen you for a long time. But among other things, I wish to ascertain if the poem which, at your suggestion, I have written, is of the length, character, etc., desired; if not, I will write another, and dispose of this one to Mrs. Kirtland [sic]. Cannot Miss — and yourself pay us a visit this afternoon, or tomorrow?

Truly your friend,
Poe [page 717:]

Bronson was an elocutionist in New York (see the Dodd, Mead catalogue cited below), and Poe was apparently on friendly terms with him and his daughter (see the unsigned reminiscence — presumably by Bronson’s daughter (?) — quoted in the American Literature article cited below). The author of the reminiscence alludes to the poem as “Ulalume.” When Bronson decided not to use the poem, Poe sent it to Mrs. Caroline Kirkland, editor of the Union Magazine. When she also rejected it (see P. II, 1246), Poe sent it to G. H. Colton, editor of the American Review, where it was published in December, 1847. Since the Dodd, Mead catalogue identifies Bronson as the addressee of the letter, and since the writer of the reminiscence refers to her father as the person for whom Poe wrote the poem, it is reasonable to assume that “Miss —— ‘ is Bronson’s daughter. If the poem is really “Ulalume,” the letter suggests that Poe wrote it later than has usually been supposed or that he offered Bronson an early or revised version. [CL 688a instead of 685a]

Source: American Literature, XX (May, 1948), 167. The text, which seems complete, was first printed in the Home Journal, Whole No. 754 (July 21, 1860), 3. Part of the second sentence (“... I wish ... another”) was printed in the Dodd, Mead and Company sales catalogue, No. 59, March, 1901, item 269, where the MS. is described as an a.l.s. of 1 page, duodecimo, addressed to Professor C. P. Bronson. In the reminiscence cited above the author says, “We [her father and she] left the city and did not return until September ... A few weeks afterward ... the following note [the letter] was received by [her father].” (See American Literature, ibid.) The author then adds that Poe brought the poem, “The Ballad of Ulalume,” to her house the next day. Based on the time references in this article, the receipt and rejection of the poem by Mrs. Kirkland, and the subsequent publication of the poem by Colton in December, 1847, a probable dating for the letter seems to be: Oct. Nov., 1847. Moreover, since Poe often wrote a letter to accompany a MS. he submitted to an editor, the text of the above letter and the history of “Ulalume,” suggest two hitherto unnoticed letters by Poe: one to Mrs. Kirkland, ca. October-November, 1847 [CL 688b]; the other to G. H. Colton, ca. October-November, 1847 [CL 688c]. Further, the closer dating of the present letter also suggests shifting its position in The Letters from 254a to 256a, and in the Check List from 689a to 688a. No reply to the present letter is known, and the MS. of the present letter is unlocated.


CL. 688b. A new item: Poe (Fordham) to Mrs. Caroline Kirkland (New York), Oct.-Nov. (?), 1847. Implied in Poe to Bronson, Letter 254a, above.


CL. 688c. A new item: Poe (Fordham) to George H. Colton (New York), Oct.-Nov. (?), 1847. Implied in the history of “Ulalume,” since Colton’s American Review published the poem (see Letter 254a, above). [page 718:]


258 ⇒ TO NATHANIEL P. WILLIS [Dec. 8, 1847] [CL 693]

Fordham — Dec. 8. [1847]

My Dear Mr Willis — Many thanks for the kind expressions in your note of three or four weeks ago.

I send you an “American Review” — the number just issued — in which is a ballad by myself, but published anonymously. It is called “Ulalume” — the page is turned down. I do not care to be known as its author just now; but I would take it as a great favor if you could copy it in the H. J. with a word of inquiry as to who wrote it: — provided always that you think the poem worth the room it would occupy in your paper — a matter about which I am by no means sure.

Always yours gratefully,

Edgar A Poe.

N. P. Willis Esqre

[Since this letter was included in The Letters, II, 353-354 from an inaccurate printed version, it here reprinted from MS. to provide a true copy.] Notes accompany The Letters version. See also Letter 254a in this Supplement. [CL 693]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Houghton Library, Harvard University.


259. N. The MS. of pp. 1 and 2 is now in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The MS. of the postscript is still unlocated.


261. N. The MS. is now in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University.


264. N. The MS. is in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


265. N. The MS. now in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University. [page 719:]


270. Tn. Last line, p. 370: in the parentheses change “her” to Anna Blackwell’s).


275. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


**[[begin section X]]**

276. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


278. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


280. Tn. Fourth line: delete “Elizabeth Blackwell, sister of.” Fifth line: change “Elizabeth” to Anna.

N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


282. N. The MS. now in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University.


284. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


285. T. Two new sentences should be inserted in this letter just before the last paragraph:

“After all the word happiness does not ex[press what] we feel. We need some more refined word which shall co[nvey] all ... of hope & fear, of sorrow & of h[appiness].”

N. The ellipsis [mine] represents at this point Mrs. Whitman’s own acknowledgment of a deletion: she inserted in parenthesis (“something omitted here”). The text of Letter 285 in The Letters came from Mrs. Whitman’s typescript (in the Lilly Library) for John H. Ingram, but [page 720:] obviously she did not send him the entire letter. Before she gave the original MS. letter to William J. Pabodie as a souvenir, she first copied a portion of the contents, including the above two sentences, on the envelope of Poe’s letter to her of November 24 (postmarked Nov. 25), now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University. In doing so, she wrote “Nov. 14” over the Nov. 25 cancellation date of the envelope, apparently meaning that the Nov. 25 envelope contained something of value to her from the November 14 letter. The two new sentences of the letter were first published in Notes and Queries, January, 1963, pp. 2o-2r, by J. Albert Robbins, who also made the emendations.


288. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University. 290. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


291. Tn. The reference to Dunnell should be Letter 279, not 293. Also change the CL reference to read: CL 746 to fit into sequence with the following letter (see below).


291a ⇒ TO T. L. DUNNELL [November 27, 1848] [CL 747]

New-York — Nov. 27 — 48.

Dear Sir — I fully perceive the force of what you say — that the chance of a good audience is better for the earlier day, and thank you for your suggestion — while I regret that other arrangements will not permit me to avail myself of it. I believe that I must adhere to the 13th, and hope that my decision will put you to no inconvenience.

Very Respectfully
Yr Ob. St.
Edgar A. Poe

T. L, Dunnell Esq. [page 721:]

For the lecture about which Poe is writing, see Letter 279 and note. The above date is confusing in the light of what Poe says in the sixth paragraph of his letter to Mrs. Whitman, November 26, 1848. In all probability, Poe had not yet written the present letter when he wrote to Mrs. Whitman, or, if he had, he postdated it for some reason. What his “other arrangements” were is not known. [CL 747]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.) in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas. The letter was first printed in American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 85-86. The address, “T. L. Dunnell Esq./ Providence/ R. I:”, is on the fourth page of a folded sheet, which is postmarked: “New-York 28 Nov., 5 cts” and which also carries the notation: “Edgar A Poe/ Nov 27. 1848.” The present letter is the same as item 746 in the Check List, before the change suggested in No. 291 of this Supplement.


CL. 750a. A new item: John R. Thompson (Richmond) to Poe (New York), ante Dec. 7, 1848. Cited in Poe to Thompson, Dec. 7, 1848.


292a ⇒ TO JOHN R. THOMPSON [December 7, 1848] [CL 751]

Dec. 7 — 48.

Dear Sir,

I have been out of town for some weeks, and your letter, in consequence, did not reach me as soon as it should. — Now, of course, it will be out of my power to send you anything in time for your January number — but as soon as I find time to write an article such as I think will suit you, you shall hear from me.

You know, I suppose, that I live at Fordham, Westchester Co. N. Y. — although, as we have no P. O. in the village, my letters are addressed “N. Y. City”. In our neighborhood are some ladies (the Whitings) who often speak (well) of you.

Can you spare me the number of the Messenger containing Miss Talley’s beautiful lines entitled “Genius”? If [page 2] I am not very much mistaken “Susan” will ere long, stand at the head of American poetesses. She has, in fact, more real genius than all of them put together. Not that she has accomplished so much — but she evinces a capacity to accomplish a very great deal. [page 722:]

If you have a spare sheet containing “Genius” please enclose it in an envelope. I hope to be in Richmond soon.

Truly your friend,

Edgar Allan Poe.

Jno. R. Thompson Esq.

John Reuben Thompson was a young lawyer, minor poet, and critic of Richmond. He became owner and editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in 1847, sold his interest in 1853, but continued as editor until 1860 (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 629). Thompson’s letter to Poe is the first known item in their correspondence. Poe’s statement that he had been out of town “for some weeks” is untrue, unless he meant in and out of the city on short trips (see CL items 737-750, Poe’s letters being mailed from New York). The “Whitings” are unidentified. For Susan Archer Talley [Weiss], see Letter 299 and note, and Quinn, Poe, pp. 622-624. Thompson sent Poe copies of the Messenger requested (see Letter 299). In Poe’s review of Griswold’s The Female Poets of America, published in the Southern Literary Messenger, February, 1849, Poe repeats his praise of Miss Talley, saying that “she ranks already with the best of American poetesses, and in time will surpass them all ... her merits are those of unmistakeable genius” (see H, XI, 158). This letter carries one of Poe’s rare uses of the full signature, “Edgar Allan Poe.” Poe did not go to Richmond until the following June. [CL 751]

Source: photostat of original MS. (2 pp.) in the Butler Library, Columbia University. There is no accompanying address or postmark. The letter was first printed in the Princeton University Library Chronicle, XII, No. 2 (Winter, 1950), 87. Poe is replying to Thompson’s letter, ante Dec. 7, 1848, a new entry for the Check List, as 750a. Thompson’s letter is unlocated.


293. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University. An envelope addressed by Poe to Mrs. Whitman, postmarked Dec. 18, 1848, is in the Lilly Library. On it Mrs. Whitman wrote: “Fragment of a note, portions of which had been cut out & given away for autographs.” The envelope undoubtedly belongs with the Dec. 16 letter.


294. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


295. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University. [page 723:]


296a ⇒ To [MARIA CLEMM] [late 1848 (?)] [CL 759a]

[Late 1848 (?)]

I do not think it would be advisable for you to write, unless there is some very great necessity. — for I might not get your letter.

Your own Eddy.

The present fragment appears to be part of a letter to Mrs. Clemm while Poe was in the Lowell-Providence area during the latter part of 1848. [CL 759a]

Source: photostat of original five-line fragment in the Richard Gimbel collection, Yale University Library. Here first printed. The verso shows a section of postmark: “... L Ms,” which may indicate Lowell, Mass. (the abbreviation “Ms” being first used in 1845 with the Lowell cancellation). Since Poe usually signed himself “Eddy,” or “Your own Eddy,” to both Annie Richmond and to Mrs. Clemm, and since this letter seems to have been posted at Lowell, where Mrs. Richmond lived, the addressee appears to be Mrs. Clemm.


CL. 768a. A new item: Frederick Gleason (Boston) to Poe (New York), January 22, 1849. Cited in Poe to Gleason, February 5, 1849. This entry is the same as item 770 in the Check List.


302. N. In the Lilly Library, Indiana University, is an 8-line fragment of the original MS. of this letter. Accompanying it is a note by Mrs. Whitman: “Fragment of a letter received from Edgar Poe in the beginning of January 1849. A letter to which I never replied.” David Randall, writing in The Indiana University Bookman, March, 1960, p. 49, item 24, after citing various datings for this letter, calls special attention to Mrs. Whitman’s “the beginning of January.” The present editor still prefers the January 21 (?) dating [see Note 302 in The Letters, II, 536, especially Poe’s reference to having sent John Priestly an article “yesterday,” which corresponds exactly with his known letter to Priestly of January 20, 1849 (Letter 300)]. [page 724:]


**[[begin section XI]]**

302a ⇒ TO FREDERICK GLEASON [February 5, 1849] [CL 771]

New York — Feb. 5 — ‘49

F. Gleason, Esq.

Dear Sir,

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

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

Very cordially yours,

Edgar A. Poe.

Frederick Gleason was the editor of The Flag of Our Union, a Boston weekly magazine (see Letter 303 and note). Poe had probably not been absent from New York since he returned from Providence or Lowell sometime between December 23-24 and December 28 (see second and third sentences of Letter 303 and Letters 294 note, 295, and 302). Mr. French was probably Gleason’s agent in New York (see Letter 308). Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood, a New York poetess, was a friend of the Poe family (see Quinn, Poe, passim) ; Park Benjamin was a New York writer and editor about whom Poe had conflicting opinions at various times (see H, XV, p. 183-184). Poe seems to have written Hop-Frog for the Flag, where it was first printed, March 17, 1849 (see Letter 303 and Quinn and O’Neill, The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, 11, p. 1084). The poem referred to was probably “A Valentine, which appeared in the Flag, March 3, 1849; it was addressed to Mrs. Osgood and had been written 3 years earlier (see ibid., p. 1070). Despite Poe’s low opinion of the Flag he contributed a number of articles to it in the next few months. [CL 771]

Source: a “literal copy” of the original MS. (r p.) loaned to the Columbia University library by Dodd, Mead and Company, who in 1897 cited the letter as an a.l.s. of 1 page (catalogue 46, item 76). The original MS. is unlocated. Here first printed. The verso of the copy bears the notation: “Copy of/ Letter of/ E. A Poe/ referring to/ P. B” [Park Benjamin (?)]. Gleason’s letter of January 22, 1849, gives a proper dating for item 770 in the Check List, which should now be entered as CL 768a. [page 725:]


307. N. The MS. now in the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


307a ⇒ TO ANNIE L, RICHMOND [?] [March 1 (?) 1849] [CL 778a]

[March 1 (?), 1849]

...  . .

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

May God forever bless you.


Both the name of the addressee and the date of this fragment must remain conjectural on the basis of present evidence. However, it may be a good guess that Poe was writing to Mrs. Annie L. Richmond on March r, 1849. The “Valentine,” an anagrammatic poem to Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood, although first published three years earlier, was reprinted in The Flag of Our Union for March 3, 1849, but was on the stands by February 24, or a day or two before that, according to the fragment. “Hop-Frog” was not published in the Flag until March 17, 1849, but was probably also issued in advance of date, by a week or so. Thus Poe’s letter seems to have been written between February 24 and March 10, and since he refers to the day of issuance, it seems that he was writing the letter after that date. The tone and content of the fragment suggest at least three possible correspondents: George W. Eveleth, Annie L. Richmond, and Sarah Heywood, Annie’s sister. Poe’s letter to Eveleth, June 26, 1849, speaks of answering his “last letter — the one from Brunswick,” February 17, 1849; in it Poe makes no reference to the “Valentine and merely answers topics brought up by Eveleth. Eveleth, therefore, would seem to be eliminated. Mrs. Richmond lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, and her sister Sarah in Westford, nearby. If they did not see the “Valentine” in the Flag by February 18, they might have seen it in Sartain’s Union Magazine, which was published on the same date, March 3, which also printed the “Valentine,” and which may have preceded the Flag on the stands. Since Poe’s note to Sarah (see Letter 307) appears to be an extra message included in another letter, that letter may have included the text of the present fragment. Moreover, the date, March 1, 1849, at the end of Sarah’s note may be the dating for the combined items. This dating would fit the end dates for the references in the fragment. Since a note such as the one to Sarah would most likely be included in a letter to her sister, Mrs. Richmond is possibly the person to whom Poe is writing, and the fragment becomes a new item in the Poe-Annie Richmond correspondence. Poe’s “X-ing a Paragrab” appeared in The Flag, May 12, 1849, and “The Bells” in Sartain’s, November, 1849. [CL 778a] [page 726:]

Source: photostat of original MS. fragment in the Clifton Waller Barrett collection, University of Virginia Library. Here first printed. The fragment is composed of two parts: the first eight lines on a single cutting, and a ninth line (“May God forever bless you!/ E.A.P.”) on a cutting attached to it. The close, which seems to have been written with a finer pen point, may not belong with the larger section. Poe is answering Mrs. Richmond’s letter, February 18, a new item in the Check List (CL 777a).


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

New-York —

June 28 — 49.

Dear Sir,

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

Very respectfully

Yr. Obt. St

Edgar Allan Poe.

H. S. Root Esqre

[Since this letter was printed in The Letters, II, 451, from an incomplete version in a sales catalogue, it is here reprinted from MS. facsimile in order to provide a true copy. Notes accompany the former printing.] In addition, this letter and one from Poe to John P. Kennedy, December 19, 1834 (two sentences in length but with full signature) were for a long time in the hands of a Paris dealer who was asking $10,000 for both items. In the early 30’s both sold for about $200. H. S. Root is unidentified, except that he lived in Saratoga Springs, N. Y. at the time of this letter. The nature of the content of this letter and of that in Letter 228a (see Supplement) is similar and the surnames of the correspondents, both unidentified, are the same, but unless Poe made a mistake in the initials of one of them, they do not seem to be the same person. [CL 806]

Source: facsimile of original MS. in the New York Times, September 18, 1957, Section L, p. 29, where the letter was first printed. The MS. is in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas.


CL. 807a. George W. Eveleth (Phillips, Me.) to Poe (New York City), July 3, 1849. This must be Eveleth’s last letter to Poe, mentioned by Mrs. Clemm in a letter to Eveleth, May 20, 1850 (MS. copy in the Ingram collection, University of Virginia) as the one “sent to me from Richmond [page 727:] after he had gone to dwell with the angels” (see The Letters of Edgar A. Poe to George W. Eveleth, edited by James Southall Wilson, Alumni Bulletin, University of Virginia, XVII, January 1924, 36). The MS. of this letter now in the University of Virginia Library. This item is undoubtedly the same as item 828 in the Check List.


328. N. The MS. now owned by Mr. J. N. McWhirter, Ft. Worth, Texas.


329. N. The MS. now owned by Mr. J. N. McWhirter, Ft. Worth, Texas.



Richmond —

Sep 18 — 49

Mrs. M. St. Leon Loud,

Dear Madam,

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

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

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

Most Respy. Yr. Ob. St

Edgar A. Poe. [page 728:]

Mrs. St. Leon Loud, born about 1800, was a Philadelphia poetess who contributed to the local magazines of the period and published a volume of poems in 1851, entitled Wayside Flowers (see Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, IV, 33). Her poetry was represented in Griswold’s Female Poets of America. In “Autography” in Graham’s, December, 1841, Poe had written: “Mrs. M. St. Leon Loud is one of the finest poets in this country.” Mr. Loud had offered Poe $100 to edit her poems, and Poe planned to stop in Philadelphia on his trip from Richmond to New York (see Letters 330 and 332). Whether he did or not remains uncertain (see Quinn, Poe, 637-638). The present letter is one of the last three he is known to have written, all on the same day (see Letters 332 and 333). [CL 827a]

Source: photostat of original MS. (1 p.). The MS. is on deposit in the collection of the Poe Foundation now in the Virginia State Library, Richmond. First printed in American Literature, XXXV, No. 1 (March, 1963), 80-81. On the verso the letter is addressed to: “Mrs. M. St Leon Loud/ Care of John Loud,/ Philadelphia/ Pa.” It is postmarked: “Richmond, Va., Sep 19.” Beneath the address appears, presumably by Mrs. Loud: “Marguerite St. Leon Loud/ Philadelphia/ [some doodling]/ I slept & dreamed that life was beauty — / I woke and found that life was duty’/ [more doodling].” No reply from Mrs. Loud is known.




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 II)