Text: John H. Ingram, “Chapter 21,” Edgar Allan Poe: Life, Letters, and Opinions (1880), pp. 222-243


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[page 222:]

CHAPTER XXI.

LAST DAYS.

EDGAR Poe parted from his mother-in-law on the 30th of June, and on the 9th of July the desolate woman wrote to a friend in these terms: —

“Eddy has been gone ten days, and I have not heard one word from him. Do you wonder that I am distracted? I fear everything. . . . Do you wonder that he has so little confidence in any one? Have we not suffered from the blackest treachery? . . . Eddy was obliged to go through Philadelphia, and how much I fear he has got into some trouble there; he promised me so sincerely to write thence. I ought to have heard last Monday, and now it is Monday again and not one word. . . . Oh, if any evil has befallen him, what can comfort me? The day after he left New York, I left Mrs. Lewis and started for home. I called on a rich friend who had made many promises, but never knew our situation. I frankly told her. . . . She proposed to me to leave Eddy, saying he might very well do for himself. . . . Any one to propose to me to leave my Eddy — what a cruel insult! No one to console and comfort him but me; no one to nurse him and take care of him when he is sick and helpless! Can I ever forget that dear sweet face, so tranquil, so pale, and those [page 223:] dear eyes looking at me so sadly, while she said, I Darling, darling Muddy, you will console and take care of my poor Eddy — you will never, never leave him I Promise me, my dear Muddy, and then I can die in peace.’ And I did promise. And when I meet her in heaven, I can say, ‘I have kept my promise, my darling.’ . . . If Eddy gets to Richmond safely and can succeed in what he intends doing, we will be relieved of part of our difficulties; but if he comes home in trouble and sick, I know not what is to become of us.”

The most reliable account of Poe’s deeds for some time after his leaving his Fordham home is that derived from Mrs. Clemm’s letters and papers. It was the poet’s misfortune that he had to visit Philadelphia on his journey south. There he was either beguiled into taking stimulants, or sought relief from pain in narcotics; whatever may have been the active agent, its influence upon his debilitated frame was most deplorable. For a few days he was utterly insane, and had he not fallen into the hands of friends, would, probably, have ended his days then and there. There is no need to repeat the details of this episode, as they were furnished to Mrs. Clemm; it suffices to repeat her assurance that during his frenzied wanderings, while he deemed himself pursued by some fearsome foes, — “while he was so deranged, he never did aught that was ungentlemanly, much less, that was disgraceful.” [page 224:]

The unfortunate man speedily recovered his reason, and resumed his journey to Richmond. . Mrs. Clemm states that she received a letter from him on the 23rd of July, and she remarks, “He writes he is better in health, and rather better in spirits. He is going from Richmond in a few days, to stay with a friend in the country for a short time. A very dear friend in Richmond, Mrs. Nye, wrote to me last week, and promised me to make him stay at her house, and says she will take every care of him; she is a dear kind-hearted creature. But I meet with so little sincerity in this world that I can scarcely trust any one.” When Poe reached Richmond he renewed his acquaintanceship with many old friends, by whom he was introduced to several new ones. He was generally the guest, it is stated, of Mrs. McKenzie, by whom and her husband his sister Rosalie had been adopted. Among the new acquaintances he made at this time was a Mrs. Weiss; who has published some interesting particulars of the “Last Days of Edgar Poe,“* but, in some instances, where not dependent upon her own personal knowledge for facts, she has been greatly misled by erroneous report.

‘“I was surprised,” writes Mrs. Weiss, “to find that the poet was not the melancholy person I had unconsciously [page 225:] pictured. On the contrary, he appeared, except on one occasion, invariably cheerful, and frequently playful in snood. He seemed quietly amused by the light-hearted chat of the young people about him, and often joined them in humorous repartee, sometimes tinged with a playful sarcasm. Yet he preferred to sit quietly and listen and observe. Nothing escaped his keen observation. . . . Though in the social evenings with us, or at Duncan’s Lodge, Poe would join in the light conversation or amusement of the hour, I observed that it had not power to interest him for any length of time. He preferred a seat on the portico, or a stroll about the lawn or garden, in company with a friend. . . .

“Among other things, Poe spoke to me freely of his future plans and prospects. He was at this time absorbed in his cherished scheme of establishing his projected journal, the Stylus. Nearly all his old friends in Virginia had promised to aid him with the necessary funds, and be was sanguine of success. He intended to spare no pains, no, effort, to establish this as the leading literary journal of the country. The plan of it, which be explained in detail, but of which I retain little recollection, was to be something entirely original; and the highest I genius, distinctive from talent,’ of the country was to be represented in its pages. To secure this result, he would offer a more liberal price for contributions than any other publisher. This would, of course, demand capital to begin with, which was all that he required; and of that he had the promise. To establish this journal had been, he said, the cherished dream of his life, and now at last he felt assured of success. And in thus speaking he held his head erect, and his eyes glowed with enthusiasm. ‘I must and will succeed!’ he said. . . . [page 226:]

Poe, among other plans for raising the funds so sorely needed, decided to give a series of lectures in Richmond. The first of these (‘The Poetic Principle‘) brought him at once into prominent notice with the Richmond Public. The press discussed him and the élite of society fêted him. With the attention and kindness thus shown him he was much gratified. Yet he did not appear to care for the formal parties, and declared that he found more enjoyment with his friends in the country.

“I can vividly recall him as he appeared on his visits to us. He always carried a cane, and upon entering the shade of the avenue would remove his hat, throw back his hair, and walk lingeringly, as if enjoying the coolness, carrying his hat in his hand, generally behind him. Sometimes he would pause to examine some rare flower, or to pluck a grape from the laden trellises He met us always with as expression of pleasure illuminating his countenance and lighting his fine eyes.

“Poe’s eyes, indeed, were his most striking feature, and it was to these that his fate owed its peculiar attraction. I have never seen other eyes at all resembling them. They were large, with long, jet-black lashes, — the iris dark steel grey, possessing a crystalline clearness and transparency, through which the jet-black pupil was seen to expand and contract with every shade of thought or emotion. I observed that the lids never contracted, as is so usual in most persons, especially when talking; bat his gaze was ever full, open, and unshrinking. His usual expression was dreamy and sad. He had a way of sometimes turning a slightly askance look upon some person who was not observing him, and, with a quiet, steady gaze, appear to be mentally taking the calibre of the unsuspecting subject. ‘What awful [page 227:] eyes Mr. Poe has!’ said a lady to me. ‘It makes my blood run cold to see him slowly turn and fix them upon me when I am talking.’

“Apart from the wonderful beauty of his eyes, I would not have called Poe a very handsome man. He was, in my opinion, rather distinguished-looking than handsome. What he had been when younger I had heard, but at the period of my acquaintance with him he had a pallid and careworn look, — somewhat haggard, indeed, — very apparent except in his moments of animation. He wore a dark moustache, scrupulously kept, but not entirely concealing a slightly-contracted expression of the mouth, and an occasional twitching of the upper lip, resembling a sneer. This sneer, indeed, was easily excited — a motion of the lip, scarcely perceptible, and yet intensely expressive. There was in it nothing of ill-nature, but much of sarcasm.”

Among the old friendships Poe now renewed was that with Mrs. Shelton, the Miss Royster of his boyhood’s love. He had not been long in Richmond on the occasion of this last visit, before he called upon Mrs. Shelton, now become a widow.

“I was ready to go to church,” says Mrs. Shelton, “when a servant entered and told me that a gentleman in the parlor wished to see me. I went down and was amazed at seeing Mr. Poe, but knew him instantly. He came up to me in the most enthusiastic manner and said, ‘O Elmira, is it you?’ . . . I then told him that I was going to church; I never let anything interfere with that, and [page 228:] that he must call again. . . . When he did call again he renewed his addresses. I laughed; he looked very serious, and said he was in earnest, and had been thinking about it for a long time. When I found out that he was quite serious, I became serious also, and told him that if he would not take a positive denial, he must give me time to consider. He answered, ‘A love that hesitated was not a love for him.’ . . . But he stayed a long time, and was very pleasant and cheerful. He came to visit me frequently, and I went with him to the Exchange Concert Room, and heard him read.”

Twice the poet appeared in public on thus final visit to Richmond, and delivered lectures on “The Poetic Principle,” to large and appreciative audiences. Professor Valentine, brother of the famous sculptor, well remembers the profound impression made by Poe’s recitations — especially of Hood’s “Bridge of Sighs,” — on these occasions, as well as by his personal appearance. He speaks of the pallor which overspread his face, as contrasted with the dark hair that fell on the summit of his forehead. “His brow,” he says, “was fine and expressive; his eye, dark and restless; in the mouth, firmness mingled with an element of scorn and discontent. His gait was firm and erect, but his manner nervous and emphatic. He was of fine address and cordial in his intercourse with his friends, but looked as though he rarely smiled from joy, to which he seemed to be a stranger: that might be partly attributed [page 229:] to the great struggle for self-control, in which he seemed to be constantly engaged. There was little variation and much sadness in the intonation of his voice, yet this very sadness was so completely in harmony with his history, as to excite on the part of this community a deep interest in him both as a lecturer and a reader.”

This lecture on “The Poetic Principle” was a worthy setting for the sun of Poe’s genius: in it he embodied the theories and dicta on Poetry that he had preached and practised ever since his boyhood, illustrating the one and demonstrating the other by recitation of some of the finest specimens of the verse of Shelley, Tennyson, Byron, Hood, Longfellow, Motherwell, and others. It is one of the best of his critical productions, containing the condensation of his most noteworthy remarks on Poesy, and those most worthy preservation.

Twice during this stay in Richmond the poet is said to have succumbed to the temptation which embittered the “lonesome latter years ” of his life. Upon each occasion, it is declared that he was tenderly watched over and waited upon, especially upon the second occasion, when, says Mrs. Weiss, “during some days his life was in imminent danger.” Assiduous attention saved him, but it was the opinion of the physicians that another such attack would prove [page 230:] fatal. This they told him, warning him seriously of the danger.

Dr. Carter relates how, on this occasion, he had a long conversation with him, in which Poe expressed the most earnest desire to break from the thraldom of his besetting sin, and told of his many unavailing struggles to do so. He was moved even to tears, and finally declared, in the most solemn manner, that this time he would restrain himself, — would withstand any temptation. He kept his word as long as he remained in Richmond.”

The unfortunate man did, indeed, strive to emancipate himself from the terrible thraldom in which he was held, even to the extent of subscribing to the rules of a local Temperance Society. He sent the printed slip which was given him on that occasion to Mrs. Clemm, and the poor desolate woman, on the day following its receipt, wrote to an ever-steadfast friend, ” The dark, dark clouds, I think, are beginning to break. . . . God of His great mercy grant he may keep this pledge.”

Bravely and earnestly the poor fellow strove to keep to his determination, spending his time chiefly among such friends of his childhood as were willing and happy to enjoy his society. “Especially did he enjoy his visits to the Sullys,” says Mrs. Weiss, “where, he remarked, ‘I always find pictures, flowers, delightful music and conversation, and a kindness more [page 231:] refreshing than all.‘” Robert Sully, the well-known American artist, and Edgar Poe had been schoolfellows, and the artist remarked of his old friend, that he “was one of the most warm-hearted and generous of men. In his youth and prosperity, when admired and looked up to by all his companions, he invariably stood by me and took my part. I was a dull boy at learning, and Edgar never grudged time or pains in assisting me. It was Mr. Allan’s cruelty in casting him upon the world, a beggar, which ruined Poe. Some who had envied him took advantage of his change of fortune to slight and insult him. He was sensitive and proud, and felt the change keenly. It was this which embittered him. By nature no person was less inclined to reserve or bitterness, and as a boy he was frank and generous to a fault.”

Amid old friends, who not only remembered the past, but who could think of him, and act towards him, so sympathetically in the present, Poe naturally felt happier than he had done for a long time, but that he, constituted as he was, should frequently suffer from recurring fits of melancholia, seemed unavoidable. His letters at this time were inexpressibly sorrowful in tone, but Mrs, Weiss, in her Recollections, says: —

“The only occasion on which I saw Poe really sad or depressed, was on a walk to the I Hermitage,’ the old [page 232:] deserted seat of the Mayo family, where he had, in his youth, been a frequent visitor. On reaching the place, our party separated, and Poe and myself strolled slowly about the grounds. I observed that he was unusually silent and preoccupied, and, attributing it to the influence of memories associated with the place, forbore to interrupt him. He passed slowly by the mossy bench called the ‘Lovers’ Seat,’ beneath two aged trees, and remarked, as we turned towards the garden, ‘There used to be white violets here.’ Searching amid the tangled wilderness of shrubs, we found a few late blossoms, some of which he placed carefully between the leaves of a note-book. Entering the deserted house, he passed from room to room with a grave, abstracted look, and removed his hat, as if involuntarily, on entering the saloon where in old times many a brilliant company had assembled. Seated in one of the deep windows, over which now grew masses of ivy, his memory must have borne him back to former scenes, for he repeated the familiar lines of Moore:

“‘I feel like one who treads alone,

Some banquet-hall deserted’ —

and paused, with the first expression of real sadness that I had ever seen on his face.”

Poe now having to visit New York, in connection with the editing and publication of a lady’s forthcoming volume of verse, wrote to Mrs. Clemm to inform her of his anticipated marriage to Mrs. Shelton, and also desired her to be prepared to return with him to Richmond, to reside there permanently. Notwithstanding [page 233:] his projected marriage, Poe’s two last letters to Mrs. Clemm were very, very sad, and seemed to have been written with a foreboding that they would be his last. They were replete with anxious expressions for his relative’s future happiness, and contained words of tender remembrance for “Annie.”

Although Mrs. Shelton does not appear to have definitely engaged herself to Poe, there was, undoubtedly, an understanding between them sufficient to warrant the poet in his belief that he was once more an accepted suitor of his boyhood’s love. Previous to leaving Virginia on his journey north, be called on the lady and told her that he was going to New York to wind up some business matters, but that he would return to Richmond as soon as he had accomplished i it, although, at the same time, says Mrs. Shelton, he said he had a presentiment he should never see me any more. And in this he was right, for they never met again.

“The evening of the day previous to that appointed for his departure from Richmond,” says Mrs. Weiss, “Poe spent at my mother’s. He declined to enter the parlours, where a number of visitors were assembled, saying he preferred the more quiet sitting-room; and here I had a long and almost uninterrupted conversation with him. He spoke of his future, seeming to anticipate it with an eager delight, like that of youth. He declared that the last few weeks [page 234:] in the society of his old and new friends had been the happiest that he had known for many years, and that when he again left New York he should there leave behind all the trouble and vexation of his past life. On no occasion had I seen him so cheerful and hopeful as on this evening. Do you know,’ he inquired, ‘how I spent most of this morning? In writing a critique of your poems, to be accompanied by a biographical sketch. I intend it to be one of my best, and that it shall appear in the second number of the Stylus,’ — so confident was he in regard to this magazine. Poe expressed great regret in being compelled to leave Richmond, on even so brief an absence. He would certainly, he acid, be back in two weeks,. He thanked my mother with graceful courtesy and warmth for her kindness and hospitality, and begged that we would write to him in New York, saying it would do him good.

“He was the last of the party to leave the house. We were standing on the portico, and after going a few steps he paused, turned, and again lifted his hat, in a last adieu. At the moment, a brilliant meteor appeared in the sky directly over his head, and vanished in the east. We commented laughingly upon the incident; but I remembered it sadly afterward.

“That night he spent at Duncan’s Lodge; and, as his friend said, sat late at his window, meditatively smoking, and seemingly disinclined for conversation. On the following morning he went into the city, accompanied by his friends, Dr. Gibbon Carter and Dr. Mackenzie. The day was passed with them and others of his intimate friends. Late in the evening he entered the office of Dr. John Carter, and spent an hour in looking over the day’s papers; [page 235:] then taking Dr. Carter’s cane he went out, remarking that he would step across to Saddler’s (a fashionable restaurant) and get supper. From the circumstance of his taking the cane, leaving his own in its place, it is probable that he had intended to return; but at the restaurant he met with some acquaintances who detained him until late, and then accompanied him to the Baltimore boat. According to their account he was quite sober and cheerful to the last, remarking, as he took leave of them, that he would soon be in Richmond again.”

Early in October, on the 2nd apparently, Poe left Richmond for New York. He proceeded by boat to Baltimore, which city he reached safely on the morning following his departure. Upon his arrival he gave his trunk to a porter to convey it, it is stated, to the cars which were timed to leave in an hour or so for Philadelphia, whilst he sought some refreshment. What now happened is still shrouded in mystery before leaving Richmond the poet had complained of indisposition; of chilliness, and of exhaustion, and it is just possible that the increase of these symptoms may have enticed him into breaking his pledge, or into resorting to some deleterious drug. Be the cause whatever it may, it now appears to have become the fixed belief of the Baltimoreans, that the unfortunate poet, while in a state of temporary mania or stupor, fell into the hands of a gang of ruffians who were scouring the streets in search of victims. Wednesday, the 3rd of [page 236:] October, was election day for Members of Congress, in the State of Maryland, and it is the general supposition that Poe was captured by an electioneering band, “cooped,” * drugged, dragged to the polls, and then, after having voted the ticket placed in his hand, was ruthlessly left in the street to die. For the truth of this terrible tale there appears to be too great a probability.

According to the account furnished by Dr. Moran, resident physician of the Washington University Hospital, Baltimore, the unfortunate poet was brought to that institution, on the 7th of October, in a state of insensibility. He had been discovered in that condition, lying on a bench by a wharf, and having been recognised by a passer-by, had been put into a conveyance and taken to the hospital.

“I had meantime learned from him,” says Dr. Moran, and afterward from the porter at the hotel on Pratt Street, then Bradshaw’s, now called the Maltby House, that he arrived there on the evening of the 5th; was seen to go to the depˆt to take the cars for Philadelphia, and that the conductor, on going through the care for tickets, found [page 237:] him lying in the baggage car insensible. He took him as far as Havre de Grace, where the cars then passed each other, or as far as Wilmington, I forget which, and placed him in the train coming to Baltimore. He had left his trunk at the hotel in Baltimore. Arriving on the evening train he was not seen by any person about the hotel when he returned to the city. The presumption is he wandered about during the night, and found a bench sometime before morning to sleep upon on Light Street Wharf, where he was seen and taken from about nine o‘clock the next morning.”

His cousin, Mr. (now Judge) Neilson Poe, was sent for, and had everything done for the patient’s comfort, but in vain. When he recovered his consciousness, the horror and misery of his condition, combined with the effects of exposure, produced such a shock to the nervous system that he never recovered, and about midnight, on the 7th of October 1849, his poor tortured spirit passed away.

On the 9th of the month — on the anniversary of “the lonesome October of his most immemorial year” — the earthly remains of Edgar Allan Poe were consigned to their resting-place in the grave of his ancestors in Westminster Churchyard, Baltimore, in the presence of a few relatives and friends.

Mr. Neilson Poe had a stone prepared to mark his unfortunate kinsman’s tomb, but, by a strange fatality, the monument was destroyed before it could be erected, and, in consequence, for upwards of a quarter of a [page 238:] century the spot remained unnoted and almost unknown.. At last, public attention having been strongly drawn to the neglected condition of the poet’s grave, a public committee was formed to collect subscriptions towards the erection of a suitable memorial, and, through the exertions of Miss Rice, Mr. Paul Hayne, and others, a marble monument was procured, and, on the 17th of November 1875, unveiled in the presence of a large concourse of people.*

Poe’s story, his faults and misfortunes, cannot be better summarised than in these words of Byron’s “Manfred“: —

“Look on me! there is an order

Of mortals on the earth, who do become

Old in their youth and die ere middle age,

Without the violence of warlike death;

Some perishing of pleasure — some of study —

Some worn with toil — some of mere weariness —

Some of disease — and some insanity —

And some of withered or of broken hearts;

For this last is a malady which slays

More than are numbered in the lists of Fate,

Taking all shapes, and bearing many names.

Look upon me! for even of all these things

Have I partaken — and of all these things

One were enough; then wonder not that I

Am what I am.” [page 239:]

It is impossible to conceive the horror and heartrending grief of Mrs. Clemm, when the intelligence of Poe’s death was conveyed to her. She was awaiting his arrival, to bear her away to her native South, and instead of welcoming an affectionate son — happy in the prospect of anticipated marriage and a prosperous future — she received the tidings of his terrible and mysterious death. In the first moments of her loneliness and anguish she wrote to her best friend, for sympathy, in these terms: —

Oct. 8. 1849.

“ANNIE, my Eddy is dead. He died in Baltimore yesterday. Annie! pray for me, your desolate friend. My senses will leave me. I will write the moment I hear the particulars. I have written to Baltimore. Write and advise me what to do. Your distracted friend,

“M. C.”

Writing again on the 13th of October to the same faithful friend, Mrs. Clemm says: —

“MY OWN DEAREST ANNIE, — I am not deceived in you, you still wish your poor desolate friend to come to you. . . . I have written to poor Eludra, and have to wait for her answer. They are already making arrangements to publish the works of my darling lost one. I have been waited on by several gentlemen, and have finally arranged with Mr. Griswold to arrange and bring them out, and he wishes it done immediately. Mr. Willis is to share with him this labour of love. They say I am to have the entire [page 240:] proceeds, so you see, Annie, I will not be entirely, destitute. I have had many letters of condolence, and one which has, indeed, comforted me. Neilson Poe, of Baltimore, has written to me, and says he died in the Washington Medical College, not the Hospital, and of congestion of the brain, and not of what the vile, vile papers accuse him. He had many hind friends with him, and was attended to the grave by the literati of Baltimore, and many friends. Severe excitement (and no doubt some imprudence) brought this on; he never had one interval of reason. I cannot tell you all now. . . . They now appreciate him and will do justice to his beloved memory. They propose to raise a monument to his memory. Some of the papers, indeed, nearly all, do him justice. I enclose this article from a Baltimore paper. But this, my dear Annie, will not restore him. Never, oh, never, will I see those dear lovely eyes. I feel so desolate, so wretched, friendless, and alone. . . . I have a beautiful letter from General Morris; he did, indeed, love him. He has many friends, but of what little consequence to him now. I have to go out home — to his home to-day, to arrange his papers. Oh, what will I not suffer.” . . .

On the 17th Mrs. Clemm writes to say that she has now heard all the particulars of Poe’s death, and that she has “been very much engaged with Mr. Griswold in looking over his (Poe’s) papers,” and that Mr. Griswold says, “he must have all until the work is published. He thinks I will realise from two to three thousand dollars from the sale of these books, there is so much sympathy and good feeling towards bun, except by a few low envious minds. . . . What do you think I must [page 241:] have suffered when in one of the letters I found some hair of my lost one! . . . His hair, taken from that dear head when cold and insensible. . . . I received a letter from poor dear Elmira: oh, how you will pity her when you read it.” Then, in alluding to the proffered services of Griswold, the poor befooled woman continues; “How nobly they have acted! all done gratis, and you know to literary people that is a great deal. . . . Those gentlemen who have so kindly under, taken the publication of his works, say that I will have a very comfortable income from them.”

Within a few days after these and many similar letters equally pathetic were written, Mrs. Clemm went on a lengthy’ visit to “Annie’s” hospitable home. Writing to her step-daughter’s husband, Mr. Neilson Poe, on the 1st of November, she acknowledges a kind letter from Willis, that had been forwarded to her; begs Neilson to forward her the trunk containing Foe’s papers, as in it were articles of “great importance to the publishers of his works;” inveighs bitterly against the poet’s sister, Rosalie, for her claim to share in the anticipated proceeds of the projected publication; furnishes instances of the friendly — attentions paid her by well-known literati, and — declares that she is “with the kindest friends, who do all in their power to comfort her.” Several months passed .on smoothly enough, and Mrs. Clemm was comforted [page 242:] and gratified by the kindly, attentions of friends and strangers, who all cried with each other in aiding the poet’s “more than mother.”

In September 1850, the third volume of Poe’s works when published was found to be prefaced by the anxiously looked-for “Memoir” — the “labour of love” of Rufue Griswold. The secret of the man’s disinterested aid was soon manifest; never before had so slanderous a collection of falsehoods and libels — so calumnious a product of envy, hatred, and malice — been offered to the public as this ” Memoir ” of an ill-fated child of genius. The distress and indignation of Mrs. Clemm were intense, and she continually, when alluding to Griswold, writes of him as ” that villain.” Poe’s literary friends gathered round her and promised to expose and refute the slanderous fabrications. “I have received a kind letter from that noble fellow, Graham,” she writes at this period, “telling me to remain quiet, that he had a host of ray Eddie’s friends prepared to do him justice, and that he intends to devote nearly half of the December number to the memory and defence of my injured Eddie.”

Mr. Graham, and many others who had been personally acquainted with Poe, took up cudgels in his defence, but, as Griswold’s “Memoir” prefaced the poet’s works, and all refutations and objections were published in the ephemeral pages of periodicals, until [page 243:] 1874 this veritable scandalum magnatum remained unexpunged.

Mrs. Clemm continued as a guest at “Annie’s ” house for some years, when she was invited to “Stella’s,” where she also spent several years, befriended and introduced to all notable persons. Among distinguished visitors to America who remembered and greeted the poet’s venerable mother-in-law, was Charles Dickens, and he generously entreated her acceptance of one hundred and fifty dollars, accompanying the gift with the assurance of has sympathy. Ultimately, the old lady found a retreat in a charitable institution of Baltimore, the “Church Home and Infirmary,” and expired there on the 16th of February 1871, having lived long beyond the allotted years of sorrow. In accordance with her own request, her papers and records were placed in the hands of Mr. Neilson Poe, whilst her poor worn-out body was interred beside her beloved Eddy’s, in the old ancestral grave of her father, General Poe.


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 224:]

* In Scribner’s Monthly for March 1878.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 236:]

* It was by no means unusual in those days for unprotected strangers to be seized by electioneering agents, confined in a cellar till wanted, or f’ cooped,” as it was termed, and then drugged and dragged about from poll to poll to vote, the superintending officials registering the votes, apparently quite regardless of the condition of the person personifying a voter.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 238:]

* Vide Appendix E.


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - EAP:HLLO, 1880] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. P.: His Life, Letters and Opinions (J. H. Ingram) (Chapter 21)