Poe’s Original Burial Place


Marker for Poe's Original Burial Place

Orin C. Painter erected this marker in 1913 to com­memorate Poe’s original burial place in the West­minster Burying Ground (Balti­more, Mary­land).

At Poe’s funeral in October 1849, he was laid to rest in lot 27, the family lot originally purchased by his grandfather, David Poe, Sr. Already buried there were his grandfather and grandmother, as well as his older brother, William Henry Leonard Poe. Tradition states that he was buried between his grandfather and the Reverend Patrick Allison (1740-1802). Although there is no evidence that there were originally any stones to mark the Poe family lot, it is bounded on one side by the marble slab of Rev. Allison, and a vault owned by William Buchanan (732-1804), but engraved with the name of Joseph Pearson.

On May 30, 1913, Orin C. Painter funded the preparation of a stone to mark the original place of Poe’s burial in 1849, behind the church. For unknown reasons, the stone was misplaced near the rear wall of the cemetery, entirely outside of the Poe family lot. In 1921, Miss May Garrettson Evans, later the president of the Poe Society of Baltimore, arranged for the stone to be moved to its current location. The stone measures 49 inches high, including the base. The main section is 10 inches wide and 28 inches across. The base (not shown in this photograph) is 18 inches wide and 36 inches across. Above the carved raven is the best-known line from Poe’s best-known poem: “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.” The rest of the inscription reads: “Original Burial Place of Edgar Allan Poe from October 9, 1849 until November 17, 1875. Mrs. Maria Clemm, his mother-in-law, lies upon his right and Virginia Poe, his wife, upon his left under the monument erected to him in this cemetery.”

Nearby is a similar stone, without the rounded top. It reads: “Burial place of David Poe, Sr., patriot and grandfather of Edgar Allan Poe. Born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1743. Died in Baltimore, Oct. 17, 1816.” David Poe’s grave is surrounded by four small corner stones, each marked with the letter “P.”



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