Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. James H. Whitty), “Letters Relating to Poe,” The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, pp. 177-179


[page 177, continued:]



A collection of eight autograph letters of Thomas W. White, proprietor of the Southern Literary Messenger, written to Lucian Minor (at one time associated with him on the Messenger), during Poe’s first year with the magazine, have never been published. They serve to throw new light [page 178:] on Poe’s connections with the Messenger during his early career in Richmond, Virginia.

(1) A. L. S., 1 p., 4to.

RICHMOND, August 18, 1835

I have, my dear sir, been compelled to part with Mr. Sparhawk as regular editor . . . . He will, however, continue to assist me. Mr. Poe is here also. He tarries one month and will aid me all that lies in his power.

(2) A. L. S., 2 pp., 4to.

RICHMOND, September 8, 1835

Poe is now in my employ — not as editor. He is unfortunately rather dissipated — and therefore I can place very little reliance upon him. His disposition is quite amiable. He will be some assistance to me in proof-reading — at least I hope so.

(3) A. L. S., 2 pp., 4to.

RICHMOND, September 21, 1835

Poe has flew the track already. His habits were not good. He is in addition a victim of melancholy. I should not be at all astonished to hear that he had been guilty of suicide.

(4) A. L. S., 3 pp., 4to.

RICHMOND, October 1, 1835

I have just seen Mr. Heath. He thinks he can manage the autography for me. He proposes striking out Cooper’s and Irving’s names. I will not put the article in till I hear from you. Give me your candid opinion of it. Poe is its author.

(5) A. L. S., 1 p. 4to.

RICHMOND, October 20, 1835

Mr. Poe, who is with me again, read (your address) over by copy with great care. He is very much pleased with it — [page 179:] in fact he passes great encomiums upon it to me, and intends noticing it under the head of Reviews.

(6) A. L. S., 1 p., small folio.

RICHMOND, October 24, 1835

Suppose you send me a modest paragraph, mentioning . . . the paper is now under my own editorial management, assisted by several gentlemen of distinguished literary attainments. You may introduce Mr. Poe’s name as amongst those engaged to contribute for its columns — taking care not to say as editor.

(7) A. L. S., 3 pp., 4to.

RICHMOND, November 23, 1835

You are altogether right about the Leslie critique. Poe has evidently shown himself no lawyer — whatever else he may be.

(8) A. L. S., 2 pp. 4to.

RICHMOND, December 25, 1835

All the critical notices are from the pen of Poe — who, I rejoice to tell you, still keeps from the Bottle.

There is also among the collection a letter addressed to Lucian Minor altogether in Poe’s autograph, but signed by Thomas W. White.







[S:0 - JHW11, 1911] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters Relating to Poe (ed. J. H. Whitty, 1911)