Text: George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe — February 17, 1849


I have just arisen from a somewhat hasty perusal of “Eureka.” I will not be so impious as to offer an opinion of it, founded on such a perusal. I shall read it again, and with care.

I was gratified at coming upon the idea with regard to the origin of the rotation of the heavenly bodies, because it coincided with the one which I had given upon the same point. I gave it on my own authority, never having seen, to my recollection, any thing of the like elsewhere. Nevertheless, it may have been advanced hundreds of times — It seemed to me one of the “self-evident truths,” like those upon which Aries Tottlel based his arguments. Do I understand you to give this idea as only your own way of accounting for the rotation or is it that also of Laplace?

I inclose you the bit in which is my expression of it. It is but a bit, I know, still I would like to have you notice it so far as to tell me what you think of it — that is, at your leisure. I wrote it some two or three months ago, and offered it for insertion in Silliman’s American Journal. It is not yet time for its appearance, if it does appear at all — probably it will not. I forwarded it to Prof. Draper, of your city, without an invitation to him for a comment upon it, making no mention at all of it. He did me the honor to say thus of it: —

“I have read with pleasure your enclosed on the igneous condition of the if Earth, and hope you will still continue to turn your thoughts to such interesting philosophical topics.”

From Prof. Draper I received this also: —

“I send you two Introductory Lectures” (one upon Phosphorus, the other upon Oxygen gas) — “the various fugitive pieces I have written have never been collected, nor indeed do they deserve it. — Mr. Poe was Editor of the Messenger (Southern Literary) a part of the time when I wrote those reviews for it. — I have not any personal acquaintance with him, and do not know what is his prospect with the magazine you refer to. From the circumstance that it is very rarely mentioned here, I should doubt its success.”

I have yet faith to believe that I shall see, and pass many a pleasant hour in perusing, something called “The Stylus” — What is your faith with respect to it.

I think you are the Autobiographer of Holden’s Dollar Magazine — And I guess this same wobegone personage could now look in the glass and point out one Joe Bottom, Editor of his posthumous papers.

Have not you some proprietary right in Holden’s?

I have not seen the “Fable for the Critics,” yet have read occasional extracts from it. These are very Poe — etical, so much so that I would not have been afraid to venture a trifle that they were the productions of said Poe, if I had not heard the work generally attributed to Lowell. I am half inclined now to question this verdict.

The “Rationale of Verse” bas not yet appeared, has it?

Have you written a poem entitled Ullahana which is to appear in an early number of the Stylus?

If you get the Stylus upon its route before the end of the next three months, send me a specimen of it hither to Brunswick,6 will you not? I expect to tarry here during that time. I am attending the Medical Lectures. .I may thereby have a chance to introduce a copy or two of the Maga. to the good people of this place — perhaps to the students or Professors of the College.

By the way, haven’t you an essay upon some topic, prepared for your Magazine, a proof-sheet of which you would do well to send me to deliver as a lecture before the College-students? Of course, I should give it as not mine.

Shall I not hear from you soon?

You may judge that this epistle has been written in a hurry not only by the blots discoverable, but from various other data.

Yours truly Geo. W. Eveleth. Brunswick, Maine, Feb. 17. — /49.

E. A. Poe Esqr.



Endorsed Edgar A. Poe. Esqr. New York City — G. W. E. N. Y.    


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - G. E. Eveleth to Poe (RCL775)