Text: Mary E. Phillips, “Section 01,” Edgar Allan Poe: The Man (1926), pp. 1-110


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[page 1:]

EDGAR ALLAN POE — THE MAN

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SECTION I

ANCESTRY AND EARLY CHILDHOOD, 1100-1811

JANARY 19, 1809, found Boston, Mass., bleak, cold and cheerless in the wake of Jefferson’s embargo of the 9th, and a violent storm, wind-swept up from the southern coast states, filling Boston harbor(1) with ice-drifts, and the glowering cloud-drifts and air with the chill of old death. Sullen Was Nature’s greeting that shivering Thursday gave little Edgar Poe when his new life of immortal craft, with its “spark of genius” aloft, was stranded on earthly shores.

Record of 1898, Showing Where Father of Edgar Allan Poe Lived [thumbnail]

Record of 1898, Showing Where Father of Edgar Allan Poe Lived
 
[Illustration on page 2]

No life or death of American literary fame has caused more of questioning in details than have those two events concerning this second son of David Poe, Jr., and his brilliant young wife Elizabeth Arnold Poe. The only known residence records of their Boston sojourn — from autumn of 1806 to late spring of 1809 — appear in two poll-tax(2) items dated May, 1808, and noted “David Poo — Actor,” as assessed $800 (which covered some fractional part of their worldly possessions), and indicated two chvellings, that are located and described by an “Official Map ” of 1814, owned by Samuel B. Doggett. The section concerned is given in these pages. Finding no [page 3:] picture of 62 Carver Street, a brick structure, one of 33 Hollis Street appears as drawn by Mr. Doggett from a minute description given by his father, the late Nathaniel R. Doggett, who was in familiar sight of this building in 1830, then just as it was in 1809.

Mr. Walter H. Watkins, Boston, claims Poe’s parents did not live in Hollis Street. (See Boston Herald, Jan, 14, 1909, and Boston Evening Transcript, Jan. 30,1924.)

Section of 1814 Official Map of Boston, owned by Samuel B. Doggett [thumbnail]

Section of 1814 “Official Map” of Boston, owned by Samuel B. Doggett
 
[Illustration on page 3]

From the “Family of Poe,” by Sir Edmund T. Bewley, and antedated by recent effective research made by Hon. R. Hogg, Head-master of Bank Street School, Irvine, Scotland; “Chronicle of the Bards,” by the late Geo. O. Seilllamer, Esq.; “Poe Family of Baltimore” (privately printed), by the late Miss Amelia Poe, and other records, the poet’s Poe-ancestry seems clearly traced hack through Ireland, Scotland, [page 4:] Wales, Germany and France to the classic country of North Italy’s wandering Po, and an inference of its earlier misty crossing when under its ancient name of Padus. Mr. Hogg’s preamble-notings of the Neighbors of the Poe family of Polkelly, Scotland, recede to 1178 A.D., and begin by: “Poe always held to some sort of Italian ancestry, and although he was often held up as a Romancer, research usually ends by confirming his truthfulness.” These Polkelly-Poe neighbors, by name Huie or Huet, are now the Howies of Polkelly. They fled from Italy to the province of Alby, South of France; and to escape the Roman Crusade massacre of Albigenses, when, “by curious coincidence of names, Arnold, Abbot of Citeaus, cried, — ‘Kill them all, God will know his own!’ — the Huets, three brothers, escaped and fled with others to Polkelly, Scotland.” Mr. Hogg continues, that the Howies of Lochgoin [page 5:] are among the best known in Covenanting literature through ‘‘ The Scot’s Worthies,” by one of them, John Howie. Mr. Hogg strongly concludes by way of this record — of the origin of the Howies of Fenwick, neighbors and fellow Covenanters of the Poes of Polkelly — that the Poes also were refugees from Italy and the south of France and settled at the same time in Polkelly, Scotland; that Polkelly, in Gaelic, meant the wood by the pool, stream or burn. Its situation was ideal for such settlers. Mr. Hogg notes it “one of the most moorland districts in Ayrshire, away from the great highway leading to Glasgow, secluded and difficult of access. It belonged to the Mures of Rowallan, of which family a daughter, Elizabeth, became [page 6:] Queen of Robert II. Later Polkelly was owned by the Earl of Glasgow, who sold it ten years ago to Mr. Robert Currie — a man of 83.” His maid-servant — of 18 — told Mr. Hogg that “the Master had been 80 years about Polkelly,” — but she “wu‘dna be 80 days.” Mr. Hogg adds: “a drearier solitude you could scarcely picture.” It reminded him of “The House of Usher.” The buildings were old — a little house, big barn in front and, in the distance, the ruin of an old mill. Most of 1666 Polkelly has disappeared, but the trees in front are very ancient and of later thrilling mention. “All this,” wrote Mr. Hogg, the old owner, Mr. Currie, related to me by his fireside. The farm serving-man was 73 and the whole place had the air of ‘Rip Van Winkle,’ but no parish in Scotland is richer in Covenanting memories; evidently its David Poe possessed the spirit of the Parish of Fenwick.” Mr. Hogg’s earliest found trace of Poes in Irvine was in a 1540 Latin Grant of land to the Church of Irvine, which Latin he translates: “In the first, to wit, an annual rent of 20/ — from Templar Land between the land of the deceased Thome Powa(3) . . .” Mr. Hogg believes that this Thomas Powa was of the family of refugees that came to Fenwiek with the Howies; the form of spelling is Trish, also of Ayrshire from 1540. It was Poa, Powa, Pole, Powell, Pooe, until after 1760 fixed it, in Ayrshire, as Poe.

33 Hollis Street, Boston, Mass. [thumbnail]

33 Hollis Street, Boston, Mass.
 
[Illustration on page 4]

By recent investigations concerning the Pentland Rising (Rullion Green), 1666, Mr. Hogg seems surely to have found Sir Edmund T. Bewley’s missing link, of that year, Irish Poe-data, in Dundonald records. [page 7:] They bear on that date David Poe’s connection with that Rising, and the 1667 escape to Ireland. “The Pentland Rising — a Covenanting affair originating in Dumfries — was led by Colonel Wallace of Auchans, four miles from Irvine. The insurgents marched to Ayr, thence towards Edinburgh, and were routed at Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills. Among the men of Cunningham, N. Ayrshire, who joined this standard was Alexander Peden, whom Justiciary Records called ‘The Prophet.’ These Records also show, — a David Poe in Polkelly, a farm bordering on Fenwick, and Steivarton, seven miles from Irvine. Nov. 21, 1666, he was, with others, first out-lawed, — proclaimed at the Cross of Edinburgh by the King’s Herald who blew a trumpet or horn before reading the Act, which was called, in legal Scotch phraseology, — being ‘put to the Horn.’ Dec. 4th, this proclamation was also read at Market Cross and during divine service in the Parish Church at Irvine. Therefore David Poe, of Polkelly, with Peden, the Prophet, and others became fugitives — or hunted Covenanters hiding in Ayrshire. Though they had not been — nor were Poe and Peden ever — arrested, the King caused them with others to be tried in absence on evidence of witnesses: an unusual, illegal proceeding advised by the law lords. The trial went on, witnesses were heard and the verdict was, — sentenced to be hanged, which could not be carried out until arrests were made; and this, David Poe escaped by final flight to Ireland. Oct. 1, 1667, the King’s pardon was granted to all who had taken part in ‘the late wicked Rebellion,’ but with special exception of David Poe and Peden [page 9:] the Prophet. Their sentence, of hanging, still remains to be carried out when hands can he laid upon them. But in Scottish law the trial in absence and sentence were illegal. Whilst in Ayrshire, hiding a year, Peden and Poe went about disguised, wearing wigs and masks. I send a print of Peden’s with kindly reprint permission of owner, Mr. James Borland of Kilmarnock. In Ayrshire, the mask was called ‘the Fause Face,’ and must have rendered its wearer an object of terror to simple folk and the superstitious; but as rewards were offered for capture, with spies and informers everywhere, disguise was imperative. The Covenanters hated the peewit, or green plover, for it hovered over moor and hill where the hunted men were in hiding, and guided soldiers in their search; as the superstitious, of that time, placed food in fields and elsewhere for the ‘little green men’ — i. e. — Scottish fairies who were believed to help the givers to a good harvest; the Covenanters. availed themselves of this food. They had special calls to recognize friends from foes.” Mr. Hogg definitely states: “I am convinced that this David Poe is the one Bewley could not find in Irish Records from 1664 to 1667, for this David Poe did not get to Ireland until 1667. Irvine, Ayrshire, Poes can be traced to present times with their connections of Irish and American Poes made out. It is interesting that the poet, as a boy in Irvine, passed the site of the old Market Cross where his Covenanting ancestor had been put ‘to the Horn.’ The marriage of John, great-grandson of this David Poe, to Jane McBride — daughter of Rev. Robert McBride — is clearly explained, [page 10:] as he was of the Presbyterian Covenanter’s type and the Poes were descended from the true-blueskin old Covenanter Dr. Poe, and so would have interests in common.” This fugitive incident probably accounts for later different spellings of the signature of “David Pooe” and “David Poe,” the poet’s great-great-grandfather; also the American Revolutionary instincts of his Baltimore grandfather General David Poe. That the atmosphere of their Scottish ancestral home Polkelly, seven miles from Irvine, seemed saturated with early years of hanging motives, most unlike those of the Gardens of Babylon, comes from a “guid wife’s story” told to Mr. Hogg, and is: When one King James, of Scotland, was passing Stewarton, near Polkelly, early one morning and demanded breakfast at a laborer’s cottage, he told the “guid wife” his mission was to try nineteen men accused of high treason, and his intention was to hang them all, of which her husband was one. Alarmed, she told his story and ended with, “Surely — after eating a guid breakfast in the guidman’s ain chair — ye wa‘dna hang him”; — no promise was given but, at Polkelly, the King sought out this husband, rated him soundly and sent him home. The eighteen others were tried and hanged on the trees in front of the farm of Polkelly. As an object lesson no wonder its David Poe took such tactics to heart, with a filial escape to Ireland, in disguise of person and name.

When David(4) great-great-grandfather of Edgar Allan Poe, was living in Dring, County Cavan, there were many Poes in Ireland. In the early 1600’s, William, Thomas and Anthony, of Popplewick, Northamptonshire, [page 12:] England, — and near kinsmen of eminent Dr. Leonard Poe, — settled in County Tyrone, Ireland, Anthony, retaining his Tyrone lands, acquired more of such interests on Sudborough Estate in County Fermanagh, which he named Manor Poe. In the 1640’s, William and Anthony served as Captains in the Parliamentary Army; William, in Cromwell’s regiment. With rank of Major, he returned to Ireland in 1673 and died, without sons, in 1675. For Anthony’s service in Ireland, he obtained grants of forfeited estates under Cromwell Settlement; founded Poe Court and family in County Louth. Thomas met losses in the 1641 Rebellion, served Cromwell forces in Ireland, received land grants in County Tipperary and founded several families of Irish Poes. Descent of David Poe, of Dring, County Cavan, son of John Poe, seems plausible and probable by intricacies of records from the 1641 Irish Rebellion and evolution of the name, — Powell, Poel, Pool, Pooe, to Poe. David and Jonathan Powell, of Dring and Corr, lived near each other; and of the brothers Powell, one signed his name Poe in the same parish. The poet’s great-great-grandfather’s name appears — in minutes of a vestry meeting April 12, 1726, — as “David Pooe,” and in his son’s marriage license bond, Aug. 31, 1741, his name appears as “David Poe.” It is all but certainty that the poet’s ancestors were a branch of the Powell familv of Countv Armagh, Ireland, amongst which were counted not only bards but princes, although genius does not depend on parentage or country. The foregoing notings are condensed from Sir Edmund T. Bewley’s ancestry of the poet. [page 14:]

Burke’s “Landed Gentry” notes that Dr. Poe of Donegal, Ireland, was of this family. On the funeral certificate of Dr. Leonard Poe, recorded in College of Arms, appears: “died March 27, 1631 — Physician, Feb. 28, 1591, of Robert, Earl of Essex — later, of James I. and Charles I.” An Oxford University, England, Latin record of Dr. Poe’s high regard for his Royal patron James I., deceased, dated 1625. In copy, it comes from Joseph Jackson, Esq., Philadelphia, and a free translation by Mr. Frank H. Chase, of Boston Public Library, is: “The gracious King is dead: his bounty shall remain to his foundation: may the great and gracious Charles preserve it! The King was very great, kind and beneficent — the witnesses (the University) are many: but his benefactions remain with us forever. Theophilus Poe, son and a Doctor of Medicine of Pembroke College.”(5)

But of later, definite, direct record is David Poe(6) — namesake-grandson of the Scotch Covenanter of 1667 Ireland advent, and Dring, County Cavan, as tenant farmer of fair circumstances on the estate of the Maxwell family, now represented by Lord Farnham. In the old Vestry book of Kildallon Parish this David Poe is noted from 1720 to 1726, and in 1731 as one of the overseers of Parish roads. Aug. 31, 1741, David Poe and his son John — named for his grandfather — entered into the customary bond to the Bishop of Clogher for issue of license to solemnize matrimony between this son, of their Parish and Diocese of Kilmore, and Jane, daughter of Rev. Robert Macbride — which Mr. Hogg states is Irish spelling of this Scotch name — of Drumully Parish, Colmty Fermanagh, [page 15:] Ireland. The original bond, amongst documents from the Consistorial Court of Clogher, is in the Public Records Office, Dublin. Reprints of originals of this bond and that of the overseer of Parish roads appear in these pages by permission of Miss Bewley.

From various records Mr. Hogg notes that the. Mclirides were descended from an ancient Galloway family in Scotland. The Rev. John McBride, for a time, being minister in Borgue, Galloway, Scotland, also resided in Stranraer. lie was son of John Macbride, Belfast merchant, who was a probable son of Alexander McBride, merchant of Stranraer, having near-by property in Portpatrick.(7)

The late Editor Geo. O. Seilhamer(8) noted that characteristics [page 16:] of Jane Macbride’s paternal grandfather have marked — even if far off — heredity bearing on Edgar Allan Poe’s caustic mental force; therefore some items concerning the career of Rev. John Macbride, of Belfast, have more than a passing interest. In 1666 he entered the University of Glasgow. Between 1670 and 1680 he was ordained at Clare, County Armagh, Ireland, by a meeting at Tyrone. In 1694 he became a minister of the Presbyterian congregation at Belfast. He was one of the earliest controversialist Irish writers; issuing in 1697 a first pamphlet on the right to perform the marriage ceremony by Presbyterian clergy. A second pamphlet went to print in 1702. As one of the Presbyterian ministers in Ireland, who refused to take the Abjuration Oath, he was compelled to seek refuge in Scotland. In 1713 he brought to print his third pamphlet of no uncertain sentiments tinder the startling title “A Sample of Jet-Black Prelatic Calumny.” Hon. R. M. Hogg writes that on its title-page appeared: “In Answer to a Pamphlet, called, | A Sample | of | True-Blue Presbyterian Loyalty or the Christian Loyalty of Presbyterians in } Britain, Ireland, in all changes of Government | since the Reformation, Asserted. | Glasgow | Printed by Robert Sanders, one of Her Majesties printers Anno Dom. M.DCCCXIII.” From Vicar of Belfast Tisdal’s 1709 issue of “Conduct of the Dissenters of Ireland with respect to both Church & State,” Mr. Hogg quotes: “The Dissenters of Ireland have erected a Seminary in the North of Ireland at a place called Killileah, where students are taught their course of philosophy & afterwards have been [page 17:] sent to be instructed in their Divinity Lectures by the Great Professor Mr. McBride at Belfast: This notorious fact has given great offense not only to the Bishop & Clergy of the Kingdom & to the University of Dublin, but even to the House of Commons.” Mr. Hogg notes that the Rev. John DIcBride’s “Answer” of [page 18:] 1713 is a “hit back” to this 1709 print of the Vicar of Belfast, Tisdal. These items “indicate heredity reasons for the poet’s use of vitriol ink” in connection with the exalted of earth. Mr. Hogg writes that there is a portrait in Belfast of the Rev. John AIacbride with a sword thrust through the clerical neck-bands made by an officer who was to have arrested its original, and was enraged to learn of his flight to Scotland.

Robert, son of Rev. John Macbride, was born at Clare, Ireland, 1687, and ordained in 1716. Of the inscription on Robert Macbride’s monument Mr. Hogg sent a copy, which reads:

“Here lies the body of Reverend Robert Macbride. Truly pious. Always cheerful.

He lived in friendship with good men of all persuasions.”

Robert Macbride’s son David — 1721-1788 — was surgeon in the Royal Navy and later practiced medicine in Dublin. He discovered an improved way to make gunpowder, and that lime juice was a remedy for the scurvy. His sister Jane married john Poe, and their younger brother, John McBride [[Macbride]], began his eminent career as Mr. Hogg writes it: “It is still remembered in Ballymony, Co. Antrim, Ire., that John Macbride (later Admiral) ran away from home to sea, because his father, riding to preach in the country on Sunday, found his boy at a Cockfight and bitterly upbraided him. The lad entered the Roval Navyperhaps with his brother’s assistance — but of himself rapidly rose to rank of Post-Captain, and for valiant action in cutting out the French man-of-war Artoise, lying under the guns of the fort in the Harbor [page 20:] of Brest, he was gazetted Admiral of the Blue.” Dates do not bear out statements that “he fought with Nelson at Copenhagen,” but in 1760 under Lord Anson, Admiral McBride had the distinction of bringing to England Princess Charlotte Sophia, of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, for her marriage with young King George III. Admiral McBride married Ursula, daughter of William Folkes, Hillington Hall, County Norfolk, England. The Admiral was member of Parliament for Plymouth, 1785; and full of honors and years he died Jan. 14, 1800. His son David obtained various distinctions and was noted for his wit.

Concerning the relationship of the poet’s greatgrandmother, Jane McBride, to Peggy Montgomerie,(9) wife of James Boswell, biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, Mr. Hogg writes : “In Boswell’s ‘Memoirs’ is this note: ‘The M. P. of Plymouth’ (Admiral Macbride) is cousin of his (Boswell’s) wife, and the friend of his heart. Among wearing rings left by Boswell’s will to friends, was one to Capt. John Macbride, R. N. James Boswell of Auchinleck, Ayrshire, married his cousin Margaret (Peggy) Montgomerie, of Lainshaw, Ayrshire, in 1769. She was daughter of David Laing who succeeded to Lainshaw on the death, without issue, in 1726 of his mother’s brother, James Montgomerie, whose sister Jean married Rev. Alexander Laing of Donaghadee, Co. Down, Ire. Her son David took the name of Montgomerie and married Veronica Boswell — aunt of James Boswell. If Admiral Macbride was cousin to Peggy Montgomerie, his father must have married a Laing — thus his sons, David, John, and their sister, Jane [page 21:] Macbride Poe, were cousins to Boswell’s wife Peggy Montgomerie.”

Mr. Hogg writes flint there is a reference made in Robert Burns’ “Remarks on Scottish Songs” to one “Gralnachree,” by Mr. Poe, counsellor at law, in Dublin.

Returning to the narrative order of David Poe, Dring, County Cavan, Ireland, documents date his death in 1742. Among Consistorial Court records of Kilmore is the original will of this great-great-grandfather of Edgar Allan Poe. It was dated Aug. 25, 1742, and proved the following September. Therein are mentioned Sarah, his wife, as co-executrix, etc.; his daughter Anna, wife of Archibald Scott. To his elder son Alexander, who came to America about 1739, settled and improved lands in the Manor of Maske, Marsh Creek, Penn., was left £5 sterling. To his son John was given about forty-two acres of arable land, sheep, farm and home effects. John Poe, after his marriage in 1741, came into some touch with the Presbyterian Congregation at Clogher, near Dring. Minus stray leaves, its old baptismal register still exists, and gives baptism notes of three of the ten children of John, and Jane Macbride Poe. Perhaps the missing leaves noted the baptism of David, later grandfather of the poet, who was said to have been born at Dring, Parish of Kildallon, Ireland, in 1742, Two authorities agree that John Poe, his wife and children, — David and George, — then two months old, sailed for the new world about 1748, landed at Newcastle, Del., and went at once to Lancaster County, Penn., where they spent some time with his [page 22:] brother at the Manor of Maske, Marsh Creek, which is said by various later transitions to have become the field of the Battle of Gettysburg. ‘Thence, John Poe took his family to Cecil County, Md., and finally to Baltimore City, where he died in 1756. The Baltimore 1796 Directory located his widow’s home on German Street, between Howard and Hanover. It is said that she died July 17, 1802, aged ninety-six, and rests in Lot 129 of Westminster Churchyard, Baltimore. Their son George, about 1775, married Catherine Damson in Cecil County, Penn., but soon went to Thomas Street, Baltimore, for a while, and then to a home of their own No. 183 Market Street. In Baltimore, George Poe became a private in Captain James Cox’s Company, Baltimore Battalion Militia. June, 1776, found him in the 34th Battalion Militia of Maryland. He died Aug. 20, 1823, aged eighty-two, at Elmwood, Md., leaving three children, — Jacob, George and Harriet. Jacob’s son Neilson,(10) born August, 1809, the same year as the poet, was devoted to him throughout his life and during his last illness in Baltimore, October, 1849. Judge Neilson Poe’s eldest son and namesake, the late Major Poe, with old-time courtesy, until recently represented the head of the Baltimore family of Poe. John Prentiss, Judge Poe’s third child, was a recognized authority on legal subjects and eminently fitted to prepare the “Maryland Code of Public, General and Local Laws” in 1886: this work, and being elected Attorney-General of Maryland in 1891, were two records of his various and able public services. His second son, doubly endowed with this mental force and the poet’s name, also won distinguished [page 23:] official recognition as Attorney-General of his native State.

From special, important and continuous research ably made by William J. McClellan, Esq., Baltimore, Md., come many various and invaluable items of Edgar Allan Poe interest in that city — and these include very definite references to his patriotic grandfather, whose selfless service to pathetic needs of the American Revolutionary forces won for him by courtesy — if not by rank — the title of General David Poe.

David Poe’s early life was spent in Pennsylvania. There he married the beautiful Miss Elizabeth Cairnes, of dark-eyed Irish ancestry and Lancaster County, Penn., birth; they soon went to Baltimore, Md. There the Court House record book, page 180, first noted “David Poe, 1. Aug., 1775,” as witness to a legal paper. From a prior Jan. 23rd, Baltimore press notice of finding a watch his brother George was then located as living at Fells Point, which section of the city included landing places for large vessels.

David Poe’s first Baltimore business, said to be(11) in a three-story and attic brick structure, was press noted by:

The Subscriber takes this method to acquaint friends in particular, and — public in general, he has set up in Market St., opposite Robt. Alexander, Esq., the business of SPINNING WHEEL making in all its branches, having supplied himself with a number of prime workmen for that purpose . . . he will engage to make Little Spinning or Great Wheels equal to any in this Country, which he hopes . . . trial will prove the fact. Any Lady or Gentleman who please to encourage me in said undertaking, [page 24:] may depend, they shall be punctually and faithfully served by, Ladies and Gentlemen

Your most humble Servant

DAVID POE.

During these young manhood years David Poe was an active factor in fomenting the Revolution, and until March, 1779, was a member of the Baltimore Town Battalion, which rendered home and field service. Dec. 10, 1775, he was one of the party leaders that forced the expulsion of Robert Christie, British Loyalist Sheriff of Baltimore.

Baltimore, May 8, 1776, David Poe press-advised the public he had “removed from upper part of Market St.,”(12) where he “lived,” to a house on the same street a few doors below Calvert. The word “lived” indicates his home and business being under the same roof. Mr. James H. Whitty, Richmond, Va., — whose copyright Poe prints in book, periodical and press forms, bring many rare values to this memorial of the poet — notes, “This locality as a most prominent business and residential section of that period — Patterson whose daughter wedded Jerome Bonaparte lived but a few squares away, and then — like all prosperous merchants — over his store.” There, David Poe continued his growing business, for which he expressed “Gratitude” and desire “to further serve the public on reasonable terms.” His third place of business was “two blocks West of the first place.” June 3, 1776, David Poe became a member of the Mechanical Fire Company. Mr. McClellan notes that “Records of First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, give Aug. 25th, and Sept. 13th, 1776, as birth and [page 25:] baptism dates of John Hancock, the eldest of David and Elizabeth Poe’s seven children.” Dec. 19th, of that year, David Poe became Sergeant in the “Co. of Capt. James Cox,” after whose death, at Germantown, 1777, under Capt. McClellan, Poe became a commissioned officer in this Company of which his two brothers George and William (the youngest, who later located at Augusta, Ga.) here members, “March. [page 26:] 1777, David Poe was concerned in the attack on the printing office of Wm. Goddard, libeller of Washington.” Oct. 14, 1777, General Smallwood placed high and definite estimate on this military Company in which these three brothers served their country.

In March 10, 1778, Dunlop’s Maryland Gazette was offered: “TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD for intelligence and conviction of parties who . . . on night of the 7th broke open one of Continental stables and stole horse, bridle and corn.” Finders were directed “to apply to DAVID POE, C. Q. M.” — Continental Quarter Master. April 8, 1778, David Poe was commissioned Assistant Deputy Quarter Master of U. S. Army in Baltimore County, Md. May 11th, he was sent from the seat of Government with $36,000 of the $100,000 granted by Congress to Maryland. Sept. 10, 1799, David Poe was one of listed Continental agents to purchase for the Army. Concerning delay of the license, Major Poe wrote to Governor Thos. Sim Lee, under date of Baltimore, Feb. 18, 1780: “I make bold — to let you know I bought grain and hay but may be troubled — as I have not received your Excellency’s license. . . . I have purchased what is clone with my own money until I have your license.” IIe added, the “camp’s needs . . . of supplies and cash”; relied on requested aid and closed by: ” I am, with due respect your Excellency’s most obedient and humble servant David Poe.”

March 2, 1780, William, second son of David and Elizabeth Poe, was born. But of public interest, when General Lafayette, in 1781, halted at Baltimore, on his way to join the army in the South, a ball was given in [page 27:] his honor. As he appeared there depressed, he answered inquiries of the cause by: “I cannot enjoy the gaiety of the scene while so many of the poor soldiers are in want of clothes.” The prompt reply was: ” We will supply them.” The ball-room of that evening became a work-room the next morning. From no less authority than General Lafayette came: “David Poe out of his own limited means supplied me with $aoo. to aid in clothino my troops, and his wife with her own hands cut out 5oo pairs of pantaloons and superintended making them for my men.” In his July 3, 1781, letter to the Committee of Observation at Baltimore, Lafayette wrote: “Permit me to request my respectful thanks may be presented to the ladies of Baltimore — I am proud of my obligations to them — because I know the accomplishment of those to whom I am indebted.”

In the Dec. 4, 1781, Maryland Journal appeared of U. S. property: “A number of broken down horses, old wagons &c — TO BE SOLD to highest bidder for ready money only, DAVID POE A. D. 0. M.” In the same press, January, 1782, was: “In order to estimate debts due from QUARTER-MASTER-General’s Dept. to individuals, each claimant is requested to bring his ACCOUMPT — by his humble Servant DAVID POE, A. D. Q. M.”

Mr. Wm. J. McClellan notes two David Poe Department Quarter-master letters(13) to General Smallwood, Commander Maryland Line. Some items in the first, dated Baltimore, March 20, 1782, were: “I am almost out of forage . . . rather than the public property should suffer, I will struggle hard . . . and [page 28:] once more try my credit — to preserve horses from perishing, — I am Sir, Your obd‘t Hu‘ble Serv‘t David Poe.”

In the April 17, 1782, letter from Captain Poe to General Smallwood was: “It is out of my power to provide for the Continental horses — I have neither forage nor money: . . . I have orders to break up this Quarter-Master & Commission Dept., I have sent provisions to Phila. — With regard and esteem — Sir, — David Poe D. Q. M.”

Aug. 21, 1782, George Washington, third child of David and Elizabeth Poe, was born. Two years later, July 18, 1784, their fourth son, David, Jr., later father of the poet, saw the light of this world. He was baptized Sept. 21st of that year, — as noted by Mr. McClellan from the First Presbyterian Church Records. Their fifth son, Samuel, came Dec. 21, 1787; and their sixth child, Mary or Maria — later Mrs. Wm. Clemm, Jr., was born March 17, 1790. Their daughter — Elizabeth, or Eliza, later Mrs. Henry Herring — came Sept. 26, 1792.

The first — 1790 — U. S. Census of Baltimore gave David Poe’s household by: “Free white males of 16 and over” as 5. “Free white males under 16 — 4. Free white females 2, and slaves 4.” First “Baltimore Directory” — 1796 — noted: “Poe, David, dry goods store and residence, 173 West Balt. St.” David Poe was a member of the First Branch of 1799-1800 City Council. “Baltimore Directory,” 1807, gave: ” Poe, David, inspector of fish, 17 Camden St.” There, it is said, David Poe, Jr., with his young wife and their infant son — Wm. Henry Leonard — were received [page 29:] and David, Jr., was forgiven by doughty old General Poe. “Baltimore Directory,” 1810, noted: “Poe, David, Gentleman, 19 Camden St.” In that of 1812 was: “Poe, David, Gentleman, Park Lane, Western precincts,” — now “Raborg St.,” notes Mr. McClellan.

When Baltimore was threatened by the British in September, 1814, General Poe, at seventy-one, took an active part in the Battle of North Point, where the invaders were defeated by the Maryland Militia.

In the Saturday, Oct. 19, 1816, American and Commercial Daily Advertiser and other Baltimore papers appeared: “Died on Thursday afternoon, in 74th year of his age, Mr. David Poe, a native of Ireland and for the last forty years a resident of Baltimore. Mr. Poe was an early and decided friend of American Liberty, and was actively engaged in promoting that cause during the Revolutionary War. He died as he lived, a zealous Republican, regretted by an extensive circle of relatives and friends.” No will or administration records of General Poe were found. Until recently his grave, in Westminster burying-ground, corner Fayette and Green Streets, was unmarked. The present head-stone marks a tribute of patriotic respect paid to his memory by the late Orin C. Painter, Esq., whose ardent devotion to the genius of this patriot’s poet grandson, Edgar Allan Poe, ended only with life itself, when Mr. Painter passed on Aug. 31, 1915,

At the brilliant ball, in Holliday Street Theatre, in honor of General Lafayette’s 1824 visit to Baltimore, he — upon being introduced to the surviving officers and soldiers of the Revolution — observed: “I have [page 30:] not seen among these, my friendly and patriotic Commissary, ‘Mr. David Poe.” When told he was dead but his widow was still living, the General expressed a strong wish to see her. This she heard with tears of joy. In a coach with escort he called on her the next day and gave her most affectionate greeting. He spoke in grateful terms of the assistance he had received from her husband and herself. He said: Your husband was my friend, and the aid I received from you both was greatly beneficial to me and my troops.” Affectionately embracing Mrs. Poe he, in tears, exclaimed: “The last time I embraced you Madame, you were younger and more blooming than [page 31:] now.” Before leaving Baltimore General Lafayette Avith his suite visited the grave of David Poe in Westminster Church-yard. Kliceling there, he wept and kissed the turf above this truest of friends and patriots and said: “Ici repose un cœur noble!” So much for General David Poe, who spent so much of his hardly earned substance to provide forage and clothing for our destitute Continental troops. For much of this, or services as U. S. officer, he never made a claim; but for actual outlays of his own money, on modest estimates, he asked $40,000. This he never obtained, because letters from Washington, Lafayette and others were not held to be vouchers of technical formalities. However, later on Maryland voted his widow a small pension. General Lafayette expressed surprise, and in no uncertain terms, at a government that allowed her so slender a recognition of her own and her husband’s heroic and selfless records for its crying needs. Mrs. Poe survived her husband about nineteen years, and passed on. July 7, 1835,(14) to her eternal rest beside him.

Concerning Edgar Allan Poe’s maternal ancestr genealogy records the family of Arnold as having its(15) origin amongst the ancient princes of Wales, trailed in from Latin landings.”

The late Mr. John H. Ingram wrote that the poet’s “maternal grandfather was a writer of the famous Dr. Arnold family,” The fame of that name in the day of Poe’s maternal grandmother — Elizabeth Smith Arnold — was due to one Samuel, born in London, Aug. 10, 1740. He was educated under Bernard Gates and Dr. Nares in Chapel Royal. When twenty-two [page 33:] young Arnold was engaged by Beard as composer to Covent Garden, Theatre Royal. Arnold produced fortythree operas; composed The Cure of Saul,” The Resurrection,” The Prodigal Son” and “The Shunammite Woman” among other oratorios. For his part in the Handel Celebration July 5, 1773, — Doctor of Music degree was conferred on Samuel Arnold by the University of Oxford; there the matriculation register describes him as “son of Thomas Arnold — Pleb,“indicating that his immediate family was neither of noble nor princely rank. In 1783 .Dr. Arnold was composer to, and organist of, Chapel Royal. He continued Boyce’s “Cathedral Music,” 4 Vols.; edited Handel’s Works to 40 Vols.; and in 1793 succeeded Dr. Cook as organist of Westminster Abbey. In 1771 Dr. Arnold married Mary Anne, daughter of Archibald Napier. They had one son and two daughters. The son, Samuel James — 1774-1852 — married, May, 1802, Matilda, younger daughter of James Pye, poet laureate. S. J. Arnold was a R. A. exhibitor, 1800-1806; he opened the Lyceum Theatre, 1809; and was manager of Drury Lane, 1812-1815. His elder sister Caroline died at seventeen, and was laid in Westminster Abbey’s West Cloister. The younger sister married William, 2nd son of Dr. Ayrton. Dr. Arnold’s London homes were: No. 480 Strand and 22 Duke Street, Westminster. In the latter he died Oct. 22, 1802, and was buried in the old Abbey’s North aisle, where his resting place was marked by a simple tablet. Mr. R. M. Hogg’s copy of its inscription is: [page 34:]

To

THE BELOVED

AND RESPECTED MEMORY

OF SAMUEL ARNOLD

DOCTOR OF MUSIC

BORN JULY 30TH O. S. 1740

DIED OCT. 22ND 1802

AGED 62 YEARS AND 2 MONTHS

AND IS INTERRED NEAR THIS SPOT.

This tablet is erected by his

afflicted widow.

Oh shade revered! Our

Nation’s loss and pride!

(For mute was harmony

When Arnold died!)

Oh let thy still loved son inscribe thy stone

And with a mother’s sorrow mix his own!

A probable younger brother of Dr. Samuel Arnold — and of their father’s name — Thomas, 1742-1816, physician and writer, was born at Leicester, England, educated at Edinburgh, where he took his degree, and practiced at Leicester, where he was deservedly popular. Mr. R. M. Hogg notes: “In the Register of Marriages at St. George’s Church, Hanover Sq., Lon., I found under date of May 18, 1784, — the proclaiming banns of Henry Arnold and Elizabeth Smith.” Mr. Hogg adds that while Smith was a difficult name to trace, he found there was a William Smith in the caste of “Tamerlane” as Bajazet at Drury Lane, 1774; and Smith made his last appearance there in 1788. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Vicount Montague. As late as “1806, a Miss Smith produced a Scottish play — ‘Edgar, or the Caledonian Feuds’ — based on Mrs. Radcliff’s novel, ‘The Castles of Athlane and [page 35:] Dunbyne.’ The scene is in Scotland — Marven. ‘Edgar’ was produced at Covent Garden, 1788, while Wm. Smith was playing at Drury Lane.” Mr. Hogg thinks William Smith must have been Poe’s maternal grandmother’s father; also Miss Smith, who played in “Edgar,” 1806, her probable sister.

Another record is that, “Popular William Smith” — of special distinction as Henry V. and the original “Charles Surface,” in 1777 — was born at London, in 1730. After snapping an unloaded pistol at his pursuer, a proctor of St. John’s College, Cambridge, who failed to make Smith a clergyman, he made his first appearance at Covent Garden, in 1753. William Smith was greatly esteemed for his upright and independent private life. He married the sister of the Earl of Sandwich and widow of Kelland Courtney, [page 37:] Esq. She died in 1762. His second wife was Miss Newson, of Leiston, Suffolk. Mr. Garrick engaged William Smith — after twenty-two years at Covent Garden — in the winter of 1774, to perform at Drury Lane. There he closed his professional career in 1778. Lord Chedwith bequeathed Smith a legacy of £200. In Churchill’s “Rosciad,” satire of 1761, William Smith won these two lines, —

“Smith, the genteel, the airy, and the smart,

Smith was just gone to school to say his part.”

William Smith died at Bury St. Edmund’s, Sept. 13, 1819, in his eighty-ninth year.

There was also another play, entitled “Edgar, or the | English Monarch; | An | Heroick Tragedy. By Thomas Rymer | of Gray’s — Inn Esq; Licensed Septemb. 13. 1677. Roger L‘Estrange, | London, | ” etc. “. . . MDCLXXVIII.” | Curiously, on the title-page of the Boston Public Library copy of this play appears in hand, ink-scrip “Cath Smith 1744.” Several pages farther on, beneath the caste, is: “The time of representation, from Twelve at Noon to Ten at Night,” It would logically follow that these several connections between Poe’s maternal grandmother’s family of Smith with the plays of “Edgar” had some bearing on that name being given to the poet.

Mr. James H. Whitty writes: “Among my Ellis & Allan books is a copy of a third edition of ‘Tamerlane,’ By N. Rowe, Lon. 1714. Among the listed players is [“A Turkish Dervish,” Mr. Arnold]. On the fly-leaf in dim pencil script is ‘Elizabeth Arnold,’ possibly Poe’s mother’s autograph.” It may have been [page 38:] his grandmother’s. Mr. Whitty thinks this book belonged to Poe. Henceforth the name of “Tamerlane” wandered like a shade through his life.

Mr. Hogg came upon a notice of a melodrama, “The Woodman’s Hut,” by William Henry Arnold, author of the “Devil’s Bridge” — performed at Drury Lane. This notice mentioned W. H. Arnold was related to Dr. Samuel Arnold, whose son Samuel James — Manager of Drury Lane, 1812-1815 — made some alterations in this play and issued it as his own. It seems William Henry Arnold died in the early 1790’s; and his widow married Charles Tubbs prior to sailing for America, November, 1795. However, the poet’s brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, seems to have fallen heir to at least two of his maternal grandfather’s names. Mr. Hogg’s research also reveals that the Church Records of St. George’s, Hanover Square, Regent Street, London, show five or more Arnold marriage-banns from 1784 to 1787; those of John Arnold and Miss Green, of June 30, 1785, one year later than Henry Arnold and Elizabeth Smith, are among them, and all indicate not only family connection intimacies but locate the parties in that parish at that time. It is said the lesser players lodged in and near Vinegar Yard, Little Russell Street, close to the theatre. “So they could all be mustered by the beat of a drum for rehearsals and save coach hire.”

W. Davenport Adams’ “Dictionary of the Drama” noted Mrs. Arnold as: “Vocalist, a great favorite” at Covent Garden Theatre Royal, London; afterwards “sang in America where she died.” Her name — as “Mrs. Arnold” — in singing parts has been [page 39:] found on Covent Garden play-bills, whereon also appeared that of Dr. Samuel Arnold as the only other one of this name — as early as 1789, when her, daughter Elizabeth was but two years old, according to Portland 1797 press mention of her age as “a miss of nine” when Poe’s future mother recited some farewell lines in public written for her by a gentleman of Portland, Maine, U. S. A. St. George’s Church, London, records show 1784 marriage banns of Henry Arnold and Elizabeth Smith — her parents. The late Mr. Jno. H. Ingrain affirms their daughter Elizabeth was born in the spring of 1787. The heritage of music from his mother, singing from childhood; also from her mother; and her father being one of the famous Dr. Samuel Arnold family, must have attuned the poetic soul of Edgar Allan Poe to such utterances as “Israfel,” —

“Ligeia! Ligeia

My beautiful one!

Whose harshest idea

Will to melody run,”

and “The City in the Sea.” For to Lowell, Poe wrote: “I am profoundly excited by music — the perfection of soul.” And, as it is whispered, the learned Dr. Samuel Arnold’s death was hastened bv an overstrong toddy which caused his fall from his Library stepladder; perhaps more than Arnold-family musical numbers became Poe’s heritage — in his physical disability to withstand the influence of stimulants — and from both sides of his house. Because the miniatures of the poet’s mother bear marked family resemblance [page 41:] to a portrait in crayon colors by John Russel, R.A., of Dr. Samuel Arnold, prints from both likenesses will appear on opposite panes of this Poe memorial.

From two of Mr. Harry MacNeil Bland’s Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, playbills, it comes that Mrs. Arnold appeared, “Friday, Oct. 3, 1794, as Catalina, in the Comic Opera THE CASTLE OF ANDALUSIA. In the after Comedy, THE FOLLIES OF A DAY, Miss SMITH [probable sister of Mrs. Arnold] acted the part of Agnes.” The second playbill was dated March [page 42:] 21, 1795, and noted “Mrs. Arnold as Jenny in the Comic Opera called THE HIGHLAND REEL.”

Vigorous London, early-press research made by Mr. R. M. Hog g, reveals in The Courier, Jan. 9, 1795, Mrs. Arnold as Catalina and Mr. Incledon as Alphonso, in “Castle of Andalusia”; music by Dr. Samuel Arnold. In the London Times, Jan. 14, 1795, was found on page 2, column 3, — “Covent Garden, Theatre Royal. This evening, ‘The Maid of the Mill’ by command of their Majesties.” Among the caste was, “‘Theodosia’ . . . Mrs. Arnold.” The Trade and Public Advertiser, April 25, 1795, gave “for benefit of Mr. Incledon, Covent Garden announces Comic Opera of ‘The Woodman,’ by Wm. Shield. Mr. Incledon as Welford and vocal parts by Miss Stuart, Miss Watt and Mrs. Arnold.”

From Tuesday, Jan. 5, 1796, Massachusetts Mercury, and other sources, it comes that on the prior Sunday, Jan. 3, of that year, arrived in the port of Boston the good ship Outram from London, fifty-six days out. Captain Edward Davis, in command, lay at Gravesend — Nov. 3, prior to a heavy gale of wind. Among her passengers were Mrs. Arnold and daughter, Miss Green, Mr. Pratt and Mr. Charles. Tubbs, a pianist and actor who — Maine State Historical Society officials state-married Mrs. Arnold before they left England. Of her was press-noted: “She came to make an honorable and successful career in America.” Mrs. Arnold and Miss Green were described as “tall and genteel,” having “expressive countenances” and moving with “symmetry unequaled.” Mrs. Arnold was “about in her four and [page 43:] twentieth year — and Miss Green, apparently twenty.” Both were engaged by Mr. Powell for the Boston Theatre, and press-noticed as “valuable acquisitions to our Theatre.” But followers of the dramatic profession obtained only slender returns in those early puritanical days; yet Mrs. Arnold seems to have won enough social as well as professional recognition to create disturbance later on.

In Massachusetts Mercury, Jan. 8, 1796, appeared: For Sale, the Ship Outram, 150 tons, built in Boston by Mr. Clark. She has made only one voyage.”

Mrs. Arnold located herself and daughter with Mrs. Baylis, 14 State Street, not far from Boston Theatre on Federal Street. The city papers noted Mrs. Arnold as being “prominent in comedy, farce and pantomime,” also her first appearance as Rosetta, in “Love in a Village,” Feb. 12th, and by a song “End of the Tragedy.” Feb. 17th, theatrical notice of her was: [page 44:] “We have had the pleasure of a complete fruition . . . a Boston audience would receive from the dramatic abilities of Mrs. Arnold. The Theatre never shook — with such bursts of applause, as at her first appearance Friday evening. Not a heart but was sensible of her merits; not a tongue but vibrated in her praise; not a hand but moved in approbation. Nor did these expressions of satisfaction die with the evening, her merits have since been the pleasing theme of every conversation.” Mrs. Arnold continued to delight her Boston public in plays and songs of that day some twenty-four times or more, until June 1st. But press [page 45:] issue of March 4th discovered “a rift in the lute” of stage harmonies by this item: “There is a scribbler who has twice pretended to compliment Mrs. Pick by abusing Mrs. Arnold. They are both ladies of vocal abilities — and we are happy to find that the spiteful violence of the first attack on Mrs. Arnold, made her very many more friends than perhaps site would otherwise have had in a much longer period.” April 15, 1796, brought Mrs. Arnold’s Benefit Night. She was Constantia in “Mysteries of Udolfo.” Of special significance is this date in marking the first stage appearance of little nearly nine-year-old Elizabeth Arnold by a song, “The Market Lass,” between the 2nd and 3rd acts. So began the career of Poe’s gifted mother. Press issue of June 1st noted: “Mrs. Arnold gratefully acknowledging the patronage and protection of inhabitants of the town of Boston, as well as by desire of friends and the hope of meriting their further indulgence, is induced to have a Concert of vocal and instrumental music at “Theatre Hall. She flatters herself on extreme exertion on her part, as well as voluntary assistance from the eminent in the instrumental department that the evening will be worthy of their attention. Vocal performers, Mrs. and Miss Arnold. Doors open 1/2 past 6. Performance to begin at precisely 1/2 past 7. Ball to begin immediately after the Concert. Tickets at 1 dollar — to be had — of Mrs. Arnold, at Mrs. Baylis, No. 14 State Street.” This address indicates that of Mrs. Arnold’s brief Boston ]ionic. For her play dates and names there, see Notes.(16)

During the summer and early autumn of 1796, Mrs, Arnold with her little daughter, assisted by [page 46:] Mr. Tubbs at the piano, gave concerts at Portsmouth, N. H., and other New England towns on their way to Portland, Maine. There, Miss Edith P. Hall’s(17) close research reveals reliable items of interest from the Eastern Herald Gazette — then the only paper of that city — and other sources. From one it came that Mrs. Arnold married Mr. Charles Tubbs prior to leaving England, which fact accounts for his continuous association with Mrs. Arnold and her daughter. Their two or more months’ stay in Portland was passed at the Alice Greele Tavern, which was of special historic interest, since in 1775 Mowatt bombarded the town and landed a hot shot in the back yard, and Alice Greele took it up in a pan and threw it over the fence into the lane. Until 1846 her Tavern stood on the corner of Hampshire and Congress Streets, where a tablet marks the site of its eventful life.

Portland, Maine, Eastern Herald Gazette, Nov, 17, 1796, noted a concert for the 21st, — “Mrs. Tubbs, [page 47:] late Mrs. Arnold of Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, Lon., arrived from England last Jan. — and now from Boston Theatre. After the concert Mr. Tubbs intends setting up a theatre.” Mrs. Arnold made her first Portland appearance at Assembly Hall, on India Street, Nov. 21, 1796. Little Miss Arnold played Biddy Billair in “Miss in her Teens.” Concerning all, in Nov. 28th press issue was: “Of the players . . . nothing ought to be said . . . they were so hurried as not to have a single rehearsal. But Miss Arnold, in Miss Biddy, exceeded all praise. Although a Miss of only nine years old her powers as an actress would do credit to any of her sex of maturer years.” Miss Arnold had two benefits during this Portland season: Dec. 19, 1796, and Jan. 12, 1797, Mrs. Tubbs’ benefit was Dec. 30, 1706; Mr. Tubbs‘, Jan. 13, 1797 It seems, his intention to make a permanent theatrical venture there (lid not promise success. However, on the closing date, Jan. 17, 1797, an “Epilogue,” written by the Hon. James Deering, of Portland, for her, was recited by Miss Arnold as her farewell to his home city. Such an attention indicated more than mere professional recognition of one so young. Its concluding lines were:

“Tho’ now I like a bird of passage fly

Where Phoebus’ rays with stronger ardor burn,

With still stronger ardor shall I seek return,

Then may I hope at a maturer age,

Indulged by you, to tread the Portland stage,”

Miss Hall adds: “You know they never returned.” She concludes with a charming coincidence of poetical forecast; in the presence, on that occasion, of Miss [page 48:] Zilpah Wadsworth — then eighteen and living in her father’s mansion, still on Congress Street, — and quite as unconscious of her destiny to be the mother of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as was the brilliant child before the footlights of later becoming the mother of Edgar Allan Poe. Miss Hall aptly closes with, — “Circumstances made such a difference in their gifted lives.”

From Geo. O. Seilhamer’s “History of the American Stage” and other sources it comes, that Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs and her daughter joined the Joseph Harper Company at Newport, R. L, in the spring of 1797. There Mrs. Tubbs had her benefit April 12th, ,vhen Miss Arnold, a child of nine, was in the caste of Little Pickle with songs. Xlay 5th she was on the play-bills as Solomon Smack in “Trick upon Trick.” From Newport the Tubbs family went to Providence, R. I., with Harper Company, and there separated. Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs with ‘,Miss Arnold gave a concert and a reading entitled “Oddities, after the Manner of Dublin,” at Mrs. Penrose’s Hall in Church Street, not far from the supposed “Garden Enchanted,” by Edgar Allan Poe’s pen, half a century later.

August, 1797, found Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs and her daughter members of Solee’s Company of Boston and Charleston, S. C., Comedians at New York City. There, Aug. iSth, Miss Arnold played Maria, in “The Spoiled Child ” on the boards of Old John Street Theatre. Mrs. Tubbs also appeared, in various first parts there, a number of times.

From effective research by Miss Mabel L. Webber, Librarian of South Carolina Historical Society, is [page 49:] found that Mrs. Tubbs and her daughter shipped with Solee Company — of which Matthew Sully, brother of Thomas Sully, was also a member — aboard the sloop Maria, Captain Morgan, which arrived in the port of Charleston, S. C., Saturday, Nov. 4, 1797. Mrs. Tubbs and daughter were said to have lived at Colonel Mayberry’s, corner Elliot Street and the Bav. The Nov. 6th City Gazette named Mrs. Tubbs and Miss Arnold among members of Solee Company “who are to perform in City Theatre the ensuing season.” Then, theatre doors ‘were opened at half-past five and performances began at half-past six. The Nov. 9th City Gazette noted, “end of 3rd act a celebrated song — ‘The Bonny Bold Soldier’ — by Mrs. Tubbs, late Mrs. Arnold from Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, being her first appearance.” Mrs. Tubbs was on the play-bills for songs and first parts [page 50:] in plays about every other night, and at times two parts in one night from November, 1797, to May 4 inclusive, 1798. Her benefit was dated April 23rd of latter year. The City Gazette, Nov. 20, 1797, noted in port the Brig Mercury on Saturday, the 18th, and arrival of Mr. Tubbs among other passengers. On and after November 27 he also played as continuously as his wife until May 4, 1798, when she appeared in her last known part — “Countess of Nottingham” — in the tragedy “Earl of Essex.”

Nov. 25th, Mrs. Tubbs was Kathleen in the opera of “The Poor Soldier,” and press criticism of that occasion was: “Mrs. Placide’s Nora and Mrs. Tubb’s Kathleen would be sufficient to make them favorites on any stage in America if not Europe.” Obviously Mr. Tubbs was arbitrary, for his wife was henceforth noted as Mrs. Tubbs (not the “late Mrs. Arnold”). Mr. Charles Tubbs made his Charleston debut Nov. 27th, appearing in “The Mountaineers.” Dec. 23rd and 26th, to his Harlequin, in “The Magic Chamber,” little Miss Arnold was the protecting Cupid of the caste. However, he became very unpopular in the John S. Solee Company, by which he was accused of leaving without paying for his Harlequin costume and those of Miss Arnold, and with or without reason was press-mentioned adversely. These items come from the Rev. Anson Titus, Somerville, Mass. Of this company, Feb. 6, 1798, press date gave: “Everybody will allow that the Company is the best ever brought to the City.” But owing to theatrical prejudices and jealousies, Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar, Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs, Miss Arnold and others [page 51:] withdrew from Solee’s Company, formed a company of their own and, as the Charleston Comedians, Feb. 12th moved from City Theatre to Broad Street, or Charleston Theatre. Between Feb. 24th and March 31st, 1798, Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs and Miss Arnold did not appear. Dim notings place them, with others, as touring small towns at this time. During April, Miss Arnold’s parts (at Charleston Theatre occupied about a month after close of regular season by Charleston Comedians), were Nancy, in “Three Weeks After Marriage”; Pink, in “The Young Quaker,” Dance and Song in “The Market Lass”; Anna, in “West Point Preserved”; Sophia, in “The Road to Ruin,” and Phoebe, in “Rosina, or the Reapers.”

Little Miss Arnold’s first Charleston appearance was on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1797, in her song “The Market Lass.” Her consequence rapidly grew from song, page and cupid to her Duke of York in “Richard III.” of the last, Dr. C. Alphonso Smith writes: “the pretty York . . . so winning, so young, so wonderful,” most fitting description of brilliant little Betty Arnold, of whom Dr. Smith adds, “. . . the press of that day spoke in no uncertain terms of the beauty, ‘grace and versatility of Miss Arnold who, notwithstanding, was always pitifully poor.” However, she soon passed her “Duke of York “to first parts in minor plays and frequent appearances, to her Farewell Address of April 30, 1798. No stage (late after May 4, 1798, being found of Mrs. Tubbs, one record is, that she died of yellow fever epidemic at Charleston; but the State Historical Society authority there states, “no such malady was then in that city, nor could any record of [page 52:] her death there, at any time, be found.” As no press mention of Charleston Comedians occurs there after May 4, 1798, they were supposed to have sailed for Philadelphia May 5th, abroad the Brig William, But Mr. Joseph Jackson, Philadelphia, records, that(18) yellow fever was an epidemic at Philadelphia in 1798, — 3645 dying of it at that time, — when the population of that city was about 60,000 souls. More than likely Mrs. Tubbs’ over-taxed energies of the prior winter disabled her to withstand the effects of this malady she met on landing in Philadelphia, and it caused her death, of which no record can be found, — there nor in “Virginia,” — as appears in Brown’s “History of the American Stage.” Not until nearly a year — the English period for mourning — March 18, 1799, is again found stage press-mention of Miss Arnold — not yet thirteen years old, and under the care of Mrs. Snowden — as Biddy Bellair, in a “Miss in her Teens,” at New Theatre, Philadelphia. Both items indicate at least the death of her mother. Concerning Mrs. Snowden, the Rev. Allson Titus of Boston notes her of British birth as Harriet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph L‘Estrange, who was said to have come from Haymarket Theatre, London. to Philadelphia the autumn of 1796. Mrs. Arnold (and daughter), who must have known Miss L‘Estrange at London, left Covent Garden, Theatre Royal, late in October, 1795, for Boston. lhfiss L‘Estrange married Mr. Snowden of Philadelphia, who died about 1799, As the good friend of Mrs. Arnold, undoubtedly her orphaned daughter was cared for by Mrs. Snowden, who the summer of 1804 married Luke Noble Usher. [page 53:] All this seems to explain the later close touches in benefits, etc., between Mrs. Usher and Elizabeth Arnold Poe; and perhaps much needed care for her little poet son was gladly given him by Mrs. Usher, who died at Lexington, Ky., during the 1832 cholera epidemic. Dim, haunting memories and some facts in association may have claimed Poe’s naming his finest [page 54:] prose tale, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” in Burton’s [[Gentleman’s]] Magazine, April, 1839. During March, 1799, the fine Comedian C. D. Hopkins also obtained his first Philadelphia audience and perhaps his first glimpse of brilliant Betty Arnold, who — when fifteen — in 1802 became his wife. From the age of twelve she rapidly advanced from first parts in minor plays to like parts in those of more importance, and shared several benefits with Mrs. Snowden and others during this short New Theatre season of 1709 in Philadelphia.

From Mr. William J. McClellan’s authentic Baltimore research — a selfless tribute to this Poe Memorial — much will be quoted. The Federal Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser, May 31, 1799, noted Miss Arnold’s initial performance on the Opening Night of the season in her favorite role Biddy Bellair and a song“The Bonny Bold Soldier.” It seems prophetically interesting to learn that one of her songs this first Baltimore season was, “All for a Poet.” Perhaps the fascinations of her precocious twelve years then first enthralled David Poe, junior, when a lad of fifteen, whose over-indulgence in the fixed punch-bowl hospitalities of those days was shared with his delight in theatrical diversions and stage divinities. This devotion led young Poe and some gay associates to form the Thespian Club to promote the interest of and taste for the drama. This Club met in a large attic room of his father’s house on Baltimore Street, near Charles — then a fashionable locality — once a week; and members recited parts from the old dramatists and gave popular plays of their day for the pleasure of their friends and themselves. It is of record that General [page 55:] Poe gave his son, David, Jr., the best education to be obtained in Baltimore, with the law in view for his life profession. Returning to Miss Arnold: June 7, 1799, noted her Baltimore benefit shared with others in the comedy, “He’s Much to Blame,” wherein appeared Mr. Tubbs as Master of Hotel. His presence indicates probable care for his orphaned stepdaughter. June 10th closed the season with Miss Arnold as Beda in “Bluebeard, or Female Curiosity.” As no stage record of her is found until Oct. 1, 1799, opening of Philadelphia New Theatre season noted her as [page 56:] Molly Maybush in the comic opera “The Farmer,” this fact — the interval from prior June — favors a possibility that David Poe, Jr., and bewitching Betty Arnold could have seen much of each other; but under the eyes, care and business supervision of Mr. Charles Tubbs, Mrs. Snowden and others. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 25, 1799 — close of that Baltimore season — Miss Arnold played twelve or more times.(19) The following spring, of 1800, she made some eight Baltimore appearances, dating from May 29th to June 6th, inclusive — and several times with Mr. C. D. Hopkins [page 57:] in the castes. There was no autumn Baltimore season. Of interval dates between Baltimore, Nov. 25, 1799, and May 29, 1800, comes from Richmond, Va., Examiner, Dec. 17, 1799: “Virginia Co. of Comedians have arrived in town. Mr. Green has been at considerable expense in preparing a temporary theatre which he has made convenient and comfortable.” Mr. Whitty notes it as ” Prior’s Gardens; about 180o the nicest resort in Richmond, a fine sloping garden with a small theatre building.” Mr. Hopkins was again on record with Miss Arnold as appearing Sept. 5th and 6th, at U. S. Theatre, Washington, D. C.; and both were at Philadelphia from early October to [page 58:] December, 1800. They were at New Theatre in that city from January, 1801, to April 6th, her recitation date of “Ode” to Mr. Hopkins. May found him at Norfolk, Va. Aug. 28 to Sept. 25, 1801, dated Miss Arnold at Old Southwark Theatre, Philadelphia, where gay young Major Andre and Captain de Lancer painted its drop curtain and British officers played their festive parts to aid widows and orphans, until General Washington’s time gave him its crimson draped box of State. March 22, 1802, dated Miss Arnold’s return to New Theatre, Philadelphia, where, April 7th, she shared a benefit with Mrs. Snowden and Mr. Usher. May 9th found both Miss Arnold and Mr. Hopkins at Norfolk, Va. June 4th, she made a flight to Baltimore, which ended June 11th and with scant comfort for her probable, youthful adorer, David Poe, Jr., for between March 1st and Aug. 11th, 1802, Miss Arnold — then some months past fifteen — married Mr. C. D. Hopkins and joined the Virginia comedians. They were at Alexandria from August to September, and at Petersburg from November to December, 1802. From Norfolk Herald and other sources, careful notes made by that city’s late librarian, Mr. William Henry Sargeant, comes: ” Performances of Mrs. Hopkins (late Miss Arnold) ” dated from March 3rd to July 11th, 1803; during which interval she appeared some twenty-four times. In the press of March 12th was: “Mrs. Hopkins’ figure and countenance are pretty . . . at the commencement of the play [“The Sighs”] she was abashed . . . she was badly supported . . . towards the conclusion she gave general satisfaction.” April 14, 1803, Matthew Sully, [page 59:] brother of Thomas Sully the artist, acted with Poe’s mother as Airs. Hopkins: their sons, Robt. M. Sully and Edgar A. Poe, later became school-mates and devoted life friends. However, April 14, 1803, the sharp criticism of the Norfolk press contained: “with solitary exception of Mrs. Hopkins in ‘Maggie McGilpin’ and Mr. Sully in ‘ Shelby,’ the rest were weary in the extreme.” July 23rd found Mrs. Hopkins at Richmond, Va., for a concert. Mr. Whitty writes: “Virginia Gazette shows The Comedians with Mr. Green at Richmond’s temporary theatre Dec. 24, 1803, and again there from Jan. 18th to — March 21st, 1804; on latter date occurred the benefit of Mrs. Hopkins, who played until the 30th inclusive.”

Whether as a law student of nineteen in the office of William Gwynn, Esq., — eminent lawyer of Baltimore bar; editor-owner of Federal Gazette; and to whom years later “Edgar A. Poe applied for employment when Gwynn’s Tusculum resort was a rendezvous of literati, artists and actors,” notes Mr. McClellan, David Poe, Jr., was sent South on legal business, or he was lured by the glitter of the footlights beyond his resistance there, Charleston City Gazette, Dec. 1, 1803, noted his first stave appearance as an officer in the pantomime of ” La Payrouse.” It is of record that his uncle William Poe, of Georgia, who saw this press item and in it the name of David Poe, Jr., went at once to Charleston, took him off the stage and placed him in the law office of Hon. John Forsyth — brother-in-law of William Poe, who died the following September. That this uncle’s rescue venture was to no purpose seems certain, from City Gazette issues dating from [page 60:] Dec. 5, 1803, to April 18, 1804, which noted David Poe, Jr., some thirty times in such parts as officers and noblemen from the “Noble Shepherd,” to Harry Thunder in “Wild Oats”: and the latter character perhaps with some truth to life. As Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins were not in this Charleston Company, her bright personality could have had no weight in David Poe, Jr.’s, choice of his career. May 30, 1804, found him in a stage dance at Richmond, Va., Theatre, on North Broad Street, between 12th and College Streets. June 30th he played Hewey in “Speed the Plow,” and July 25th he was Henry Moreland in “Heir at Law.” Mr. Edward V. Valentine, from whose scholarly, sculptor-artist’s grace come many rare Richmond tributes to this Poe memorial, notes from his store of facts: David Poe, Jr., at Richmond Theatre, Aug. 4, 1804, as Jacob, in the farce “Flitch of Bacon”; Aug. 25th, as Duke of Buckingham in “Jane Shore.” In Course of a Ballet, “The Scheming Millions,” Sept. 1st, was an Allemande by Mrs. Hopkins, Mr. Poe and Mr. Lynch. Dec. 5th, Mr. Poe was Inkle, in “Inkle and Yarico,” also Richard, in “Raising the Wind.” Dec. 19th, Mr. Poe was Frank, in ” John Bull,” and Charles, in ” The Village Lawyer ”; the 26th he was “George Barnwell,” in that play. In the pantomime, “Christmas Gambols,” Mr. Poe was Tom Tough. Mr. Whitty writes that David Poe, Jr., was with the ” Green Players,” including Mrs. Hopkins, in 1804. Mr. Whitty closes this Richmond noting with: ” I have a book — which I believe belonged to E. A. Poe. It shows he was interested in looking up early records of his parents’ careers. It dates about [page 61:] 1803-‘4, and records binding plays for Mr. Green; also purchase of pencil for Mr. Hopkins — it may have been Mr. Poe.”

David Poe, Jr.’s, Charleston stage record made him, from Nov. 3rd to loth, 1804, one of the Virginia Company at Petersburg, Va. Jan. 3, 1805, he was at Richmond Theatre as Sir Charles, in “The Poor Gentleman ”; Tom Tough, Le Sage, in “The Adopted Child”; Jan. 5th, he was Clairville, in “Notoriety,” also Richard, in “Raising the Wind.” Jan. 18th, 1805, there was an “Allemande” by Mr. Poe and others. From March 19th to June, David Poe, Jr., was at Norfolk, Va. There, April 5, 1805, Mr. Hopkins was Ardent, in “Hearts of Oak,” in which David Poe, Jr., played Jolly. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins were dated there to the end of the season of June 12, 1805. Mr. McClellan found David Poe, Jr., stage — dated June 7th, in his home city, where he made his first appearance at Baltimore Theatre as Young Norval, in the Tragedy of “Douglass.” Perhaps restless, after a month or more with his father and family, David Poe, Jr., returned to his Virginia Company at Washington, D. C., in September, 1805. From Mr. Whitty’s Virginia Gazette, Aug. 28, 1805, noting comes: “Mr. Hopkins played one night at Richmond on his way to the Federal Citv from Norfolk.” No other found stage mention from prior June indicates his failure in health. Sept. 9th dated Mrs. Hopkins on the stage at Washington. Mr. Poe appeared Sept. 25th and Oct. 2nd, 1805. The 4th and 7th of October were devoted to benefits of Mr. Hopkins, who died the 26th of that month. On Nov. 26th occurred the benefit of [page 62:] his widow. Mr. Green deplored the death of his comedy artist and closed his Theatre Christmas Day, 1805.

Some months later David Poe, Jr., then in his 23rd year, married the attractive young widow Hopkins — then 19 — possibly by wish of Mr. Hopkins for her protection, but certainly in direct opposition to his family, who so fully shared that day’s strong prejudice against the stage and its followers that General Poe promptly disowned his son. But with no love for the law, the gay young man had already chosen his life-work; and to be just, with energetic results; also as fearlessly his life-mate. From Jan. 1st to April 12th, 1806, Mr. Poe was of Richmond, Va., rec ord, where the February press noticed his wife. From Mr. Edward V. Valentine’s notings it comes: “Jan. 2, 1806, Mr. Poe was Sir Geo. Evelyn, in ‘Wives as they were and Maids as they are‘; Feb. 1st, ‘Mr. Poe was Mandeville in the ‘Sailor’s Daughter‘; Feb. 5th, he was Sir Larry M‘Manaugh, in ‘Who Wants a Guinea‘; Feb. 12th, he was Villas, in ‘Blind Bargain,’ and Woodby, in ‘Three Weeks after Marriage‘; Feb. 15th he played in ‘Heir at Law‘; Feb. 22nd, lie was Harry Hairbrain, in ‘Will for the Deed‘; March 8th, Conturlno, in ‘Abellino‘; the 19th, he was in ‘The Free Patriot‘; and an Allemande by Mr. and Mrs. Poe was of this date. April 12th, Mr. Poe was Le Gout, in ‘A New Way to Win Hearts.’ ” By stage press-notes of Mrs. Poe, they were at Petersburg, Va., April 19th to 27th, 1806. Thence they went to Philadelphia, where, at New Theatre, they were press mentioned by: “Mr. Poe from Virginia Theatre,” on June 20th, [page 63:] made his first appearance before the foot-lights in the Quaker City. And Mrs. Poe, her first for five years then being Miss Arnold. After playing eight or more times, in comedy, they left for New York City, where Mrs. Poe, July 16, 1806, played first part in “The Romp” at Vauxhall Garden, “in the Bowery near 3rd Ave., where Mr. Poe was Frank in ‘Fortune’s Frolic’ July 18th.” That “the lady was young and pretty, evinced talent as actress and singer; the gentleman was literally nothing,” was press noted of them both.

After their August rest, the New York Evening Post, Sept. 6th, 1806, noted “Opening of Park Theatre,” and dated Mrs. Poe in first parts of two — tragic and comic — plays. Matthew Sully, the “very popular comedian,” was also there. [page 64:]

In Polyanthos, of September, 1806, was noted the near opening of Boston Theatre and the addition of Mr. and Mrs. Poe to last season’s company; and of “Mrs. Poe — daughter of Mrs. Arnold, formerly of Boston Theatre — report speaks favorably. She lately married a Mr. Poe, also engaged.” John Barnard, author of “Retrospections of the Stage, 1797-1811,” was daily expected from London. He wrote of Mrs. Poe as “a clever little actress and singer.” She was on the Boston stage in songs and after-pieces from Oct. 13th, to November, 1806. Then no theatre dates are found of her until Jan. 16th, 1807, when she played Sophia Pendragon to Mr. Poe’s Beauchamp, in “Which is the Man?” This stage absence indicates that her first child was born during the interval from November, 1806, to January, 1807. Undoubtedly he was named for his maternal grandfather William Henry Arnold, and famous Dr. Leonard Poe’s name [page 65:] was probably added for balance; thenceforth this new mite of humanity was known as William Henry Leonard Poe. It is said that Henry Poe, as he was called, often deplored the death of his young mother. While the Thespian Mirror, 1806, motto aptly fits that print-issue — wherein appeared notings of Henry’s parents, and a general truth in,

“Plays are but Mirrors, — Made for men to see,

How bad they are — How, good they ought to be,” —

it is of definite press record that the child’s father, David Poe, Jr., daring this following six months or more, continuously answered stage calls, and no doubt [page 66:] as insistent family calls, until the close of the season, May 25th, 1807. Mrs. Poe, from March 2nd, when she played Cordelia to Fennell’s “Lear,” seemed to have well earned her place for first parts in important plays; for she was Blanch to “King John,” and [page 68:] Ophelia to Fennell’s “Hamlet” — before the end of the season, on April 10th of which was her benefit.

During this vacation, from early June to mid-September, it is of record that David Poe, Jr., took his young wife and their child to the home of his Baltimore family — 17 Camden Street of that city. It follows that the irresistible charm of his son’s talented wife and the delight in his first grandchild soon vanquished the indignation of General Poe and moved him to forgive his wayward son, to receive hiln and his into the paternal heart and home, and thereafter caring for his young grandson. Because with three children younger than his son David, and his purse depleted by patriotic service, fine old General Poe could do no more to aid the young husband and wife. It is said that from time to time they sent small sums to his grandparents to help in the support of their little son. September, 1807, David Poe, Jr., and wife started on their long journey back to Boston with Elizabeth Arnold Poe, knowing that she was “tenderly loved” by her husband’s family.

The Boston, 1807, Theatre Season opened Sept. 14th. Mrs. Poe’s stage date was the 18th, as Clorinda, in “Robinhood.” Mr. Poe’s followed the 21st. He was many times in first parts of minor plays; and she was often in like parts of those of first importance. January and February of 1808 found her repeatedly playing Ophelia to Thomas Apthorpe Cooper’s “Hamlet”; Cordelia to his “Lean” etc. Mr. and Mrs. Poe continuously appeared until June 6th, 1808, in “Embargo,” a military-naval spectacle, ending this season in which Mrs. Poe had two benefits, March [page 69:] 21st and April 18th. The Boston Gazette of March 21st noted of her: ” If industry can claim public favor or support, the talents of Mrs. Poe will not pass unrewarded. She has supported and maintained a course of characters more numerous and arduous than can be paralleled on our own boards during any one season. Often, she has been obliged to perform three characters in the same evening; and she has been perfect in text and well comprehended the intention of her author. In addition, however, Mrs. Poe has claims for other favors from the respectability of her talents. [The word “respectability” is of special, later significance in keeping Mrs. Poe poor all her life.] Her romps and sentimental characters have an individuality, which marked them peculiarly her own. But she has succeeded in tender personation of tragedy; her conceptions are marked with good sense and natural ability.” From Mr. Valentine’s notes it comes that July 8, 1808, Mr. and Mrs. Poe were in Richmond, at Hay Market Garden, near the present Union Railroad Station, at an entertainment where General Winfield Scott met his future wife Miss Maria Mayo. Mr. Whitty sends July 8, 1808, Virginia Gazette notings of “Mr. and Mrs. Poe in Richmond,” also the Nov. 7th appearance there of Mr. Poe in “Curfew.” This latter date probably caused their belated return to Boston long after the opening of the autumn season, Sept. 26th of that year.

Mrs. Poe began this season by singing and playing, but with ever decreasing active parts until January, 1809. Then she appeared as “a peasantamongst others in the “Pantomime of The Brazen Mask, or [page 70:] Alberto and Rosabello,” the 6th, 9th and 13th of that month. She was thus billed “a peasant” on January 19th; but naturally she did not appear before the footlights, for her little son Edgar first saw the light of this world before dawn of that day. However, there exists an uncanny, unreliable letter-record that Mrs. Poe’s “part” was so poorly played the night of January 18, 1809, as to cause her disturbing comments from the manager; and “three hours after she left the Theatre,” her second son was born. Evidently the writer of that letter was unacquainted with the fact that Mrs. Poe planed nopart” the night of January 18, 1809, and her first part, reappearance within three weeks (press-noted for “Feb. 10th, as Rosamunda, in ‘Aboelina, the Great Bandit‘”) strongly belies that Mrs. Poe had any trouble with the Manager or her audience of that time. Her husband, David Poe, Jr., too was in strenuous attention to stage duties throughout this entire winter of treacherous severity. And so it transpired, with both his parents tinder heavy pressure from overwork, blizzards and meagre pay, that this condition no doubt called for liquid fire to aid those of wood and feeble warmth — in those crude days of actors’ dressing-rooms and living rooms — to keep the shivering souls and bodies of their inmates together. On such a day, Thursday, Jan. 19, 1809, the second son of David Poe, Jr., and brave Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was ushered into this world of literal misery and storms for him. And so it continued most of his overwrought, brief but mentally brilliant life. Jan. 23rd, four nights after the birth of little “Edgar,” they named him [page 71:] his father was in a double theatre caste. No doubt he answered doubled duties in stage calls and those of his wife and their infant child; also as his name was dated when he did not appear, would indicate that this bitter Boston winter was adding its deadly ravages to these various demands on the vitality of the gay young Southerner by serious inroads on his own health, and to a degree that claimed his life within about two years’ time. Mrs. Poe was on the stage six nights prior to the birth of her poet-son; perhaps dire money needs, nearly three weeks afterwards, caused this, Feb. 9, 1809, Boston Gazette noting: “We congratulate the frequenters of the Theatre on the recovery of Mrs. Poe from her recent confinement. . . . This charming little actress will make her reappearance tomorrow evening as Rosamunda, in ‘Aboellino, the Great Bandit,’ a part peculiarly adapted to her figure and talents.” The New England Palladium, Feb. 10, 1809, also noted: “. . . the recovery of Mrs. Poe in the sweetly, interesting character of Rosamunda must certainly insure a fashionable house.” From this time to May 16, 1809, when she sang in a concert at Exchange Coffee House, Mrs. Poe was repeatedly on the Boston stage. In April she played six or more times — for a fraction of his returns — in first parts with John Howard Payne, the “Young Roscius,” then seventeen, and later writer of “Home, Sweet Home.” She was Palmyra to his Zaphna; Juliet to his Romeo; Ophelia to his Hamlet, etc. By press-note of April 19, 1809, Mrs. Poe informed the public “that Master Payne will play for her benefit in ’ Pizarro’ as Rollo to her Cora.” After editorial notice of Master Payne [page 73:] in the Wednesday, April 19, 1809, Columbian Centinel followed: “We understand he volunteers his services this evening for the benefit of Mrs. Poe — as Rollo, in ’ Pizarro.’ — This circumstance and her merit we hope will insure her a full house.” Of young Payne and Mrs. Poe, Dr. C. Alphonso Smith has written, — “he went to Boston to astonish the theatre public with the charm of his personality and the brilliancy of his powers”; and with true Southern grace Dr. Smith adds, — “Mrs. Poe was in the zenith of her powers. In different ways, both were marked for immortality.” Payne received $1400. [[sic]] for his six nights in Boston. However, the May 16th, 1809, Concert at Exchange Coffee House, — which “began promptly at half-past 7,” and in which ” Mrs. Poe sang three times,” noted the Boston Gazette of May 18, 1809, — closed the Boston theatrical careers of Mr. and Mrs. David Poe, Jr. It is of record that Mrs. Poe was also talented with brush and pencil, and on the back of her painting of ” Boston Harbour: Morning, 1808,” appeared in her [page 74:] neat, round script: “For my dear little son, Edgar, who should love Boston the place of his birth, and where his mother found her best and most sympathetic friends.” It is of prior mention that 1806, and earlier connection of her mother’s family of Smith with plays of “Edgar,” may have led Mrs. Poe to bestow that name on her second son.

Unadvisedly, it transpired, Mrs. Poe’s womanly attractions were praised to the supposed injury of her professional success, to the extent that her husband came near to caning the offender — “for his impertinence,” In “Personal Memoirs” (on page 57), by Joseph T. Buckingham, occurs: “Mr. Poe, — father of the late Edgar A. Poe — took offense at a remark on his wife’s acting, and called at my house to chastise my ‘impertinence, but went away without effecting his purpose. Both he and his wife were performers of considerable merit, but somewhat vain of their personal accomplishments.”

Surely David Poe, Jr., and his wife sadly needed their hardly earned rest between late May and early September, during which interval their journey with little Edgar was made from Boston to New York City, where, at Park Theatre — opened by Price and Cooper — Mrs. Poe played leading parts from Sept. 6, 1809, to early July, 1810. Here she was again in first-part castes with Thomas A. Cooper and John Howard Payne, and Mr. Poe was also — at times — in first-part castes with his wife. Oct. 13, 1809, New York Post noted, that to Cooper’s Michael Ducas, in “Adelgitha,” Mrs. Poe played Emma, and Mr. Poe, Julian. Mr, Whitty writes, that in the “Diary” of a well-known [page 75:] Englishman — Mr. Bridges — published in America, is: “New York, Nov. 1, 1809, — I saw Mrs. Poe and heard her sing two or three songs,” which Mr. Whitty adds, “shows she was prominent, and of special note in her day.”(20)

In Something, Boston issue Dec. 16, 1809, Editor Nemo Nobody wrote to the New York press concerning David Poe, Jr.: “We strongly recommend to your protection the talents of Mr, Poe. . . . He has talents . . . they may be improved or ruined by your just or incautious observations. . . . We are aware of errors. . . . If you are to do good, encourage. If they do not reform, censure freely. N. M.” Well equipped for just criticism was “Nemo Nobody esq.,” in the person of the actor-litterateur James Fennell, a “remarkably handsome man over six feet in height.” [page 76:] He was of British birth, in 1766; a Trinity College student at Cambridge; played at Covent Garden, Theatre Royal, London, when Poe’s grandmother Arnold appeared there. Fennel’s 1791 trip to France produced his “Picture of Paris” play; and his 1793 Philadelphia theatrical advent, also his later Boston Theatre appearance with Mr. and Mrs. Poe many times, made him well acquainted with the subject of Nemo Nobody’s editorial remarks on David Poe, Jr. ames Fennell died in 1816 at Philadelphia.

The above item, together with David Poe falling from accepted first parts of early autumn of 1809, to no parts whatever after Oct. 10th, strongly indicate rapid and serious failure of his health. It is of several records that David Poe, Jr., was of prepossessing personality; a fine figure; full, rich, distinct voice, but wholly untrained. Mrs. Poe was small, but charming in face, form and manner. Her voice, musical, sweet, well-trained but not strong. Condensed quoting from June 9, 1883, J. N. Ireland’s private letter to Professor Woodberry(21) is: “Mrs. Poe both in Boston and New York played leading tragic characters but her best efforts were in musical parts and light comedy.” Much significance seems needlessly placed on Mrs. Poe’s talents in ” hoyden parts, such as ‘The Romp.“’ The noted English actress, Mrs. Jordan, was artist enough in this part to claim one of Romney’s finest expressions of portraiture. Professor Woodbury himself writes of Mrs. P‘oe: “In New York, 1809-‘10, — she played the entire season as leading actress!”(22)

At Park Theatre, New York City, Oct. 20, 1809, is [page 77:] the last found stage press-noting of David Poe, Jr. He then played Captain Cyprus in “Grieving’s a Folly,” perhaps with much literal truth. Mrs. Poe was not press-noted from Dec. 6th, 1809, to Feb. 28th, 1810. Both items strongly indicate her husband’s malady, consumption, was seriously waylaying him under bonds not pleasing to public appearance and rendering him burdensome to himself in his disabilities, and becoming a heavy charge on his wife. Her duties seemed doubled in all directions and doubtlessly placed beyond her power those — ,wholesome attentions to her baby boy at a time when children need them so much. However, Feb. 28th, 1810, found the brave little woman again on the Park Theatre stage; and in May Mrs. Poe played in “Riches; or the Wife and Brother,” founded on Massenger’s comedy of “The City Madame.” Its Epilogue was by Samuel J. Arnold. On July 2nd occurred her benefit, and July 4, 1810, closed the New York season with Mrs. Poe in a double caste. While there are two hearsay records that David Poe, Jr., deserted his wife in New York City about this time, there exists in Mr. Robert B, Kegerries’ large Poe-prints Collection, a dateless, nameless press-clipping noting a letter which located “David Poe Jr., in, New York City July 10th, 1810.” Italics are of important significance but are not in this press-clipping. This press-item also definitely dates his “death at Norfolk, Va., Oct. 19, 1810.” As all authorities agree, he did not outlive his wife, who died Dec. 8, 1811; had her husband died in October of prior year, it would be literal truth that he had left her. In any case, July, 1810, David Poe, Jr., was a fatally ill man. From rare [page 78:] Poe-notes made by Mr. Edward V. Valentine, distinguished in old-time Virginia grace of speech, manner and person as in his art, comes an Aug. 17, 1810, Richmond Enquirer date of Mrs. Poe, from New York City, as playing Maria, in “Age of Tomorrow,” at Richmond. With or without her husband this journey from New York could have been made, leaving that city on or soon after July 10, 1810. At Richmond, Sept. 11th, Mrs. Poe appeared as Angela, in “The Castle Spectre.” Sept. 12th, she played in three roles, and Sept. 21st, her Benefit night, Mr. Valentine notes her in “‘The Bell’s Stratagem‘; a song, ‘While Strephon thus you teize one‘; and in masquerade, a Double Allemande by Mr. Placide and Mrs. Poe.” In a press notice was: “The feast is spread by the fair hand of Mrs. Poe, whose dramatic excellence as well as long exertions in the cause of the public will certainly ensure her that liberal compensation which she so justly deserves.

Nov. 10th, 1810, the houses occupied by Mr. Placide and Mr. Young, of their Company, were advertised. They were adjoining Washington Tavern, opposite Capitol Square, where now stands Hotel Richmond, in that city.

From Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 4th edition issue of “Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe with Memoir,” 1920, by James H. Whitty, Richmond, Va., who is recognized by consensus of opinion as the highest Poe authority of today, come many rare values to these pages on Edgar Allan Poe the man. Mr. Whitty notes, “Mrs. Poe sang and danced” Sept. 21, 1810, her benefit night, and “the Company left [page 79:] Richmond for Norfolk, Nov. 14th, where she did not appear in Dec., but Rosalie did; as the Mackenzie Bible records her birth, ‘Dec. 20, 1810.’ That clinches the birth of Rosalie.” Mr. Whitty’s belief of its occurrence in the old Forrest home in Brewer Street, Norfolk, rests on Mrs. Poe’s habit of staving in private houses and traditions; also, one of that family definitely asserted the birth of Mrs. Poe’s child there and, by mistake, noted the event as the birth of the poet. As that dateless, nameless press-clipping stated that David Poe, Jr., died Oct. 19, 1810, at Norfolk, it seems a [page 80:] logical conclusion that Mrs. Poe, also in frail condition, left Richmond with her husband and little Edgar shortly after her benefit night, Sept. 21st, and he passed out of this world at the old Forrest home at Norfolk, just two months prior to the coming into it, Dec. 20, 1810, of his only daughter, Rosalie.

From careful “Poe-Notes” made by Miss Mabel L. Webber, from the Charleston, S. C., press files at the Historical Society, comes: “The Courier, Jan. 29, 1811, dated Mrs. Poe [who some forty days after the birth of her daughter, with her two babies made the journey probably by sea from Norfolk] as on the Charleston stage in Little Pickle, of ‘The Spoiled Child,’ and songs for that night.” In single, double and triple castes and first parts she appeared three or four times a week from that time until May 20, 1811. Her benefit, April 29th, was in literal truth, and all senses as well, “A Woman who Keeps a Secret.” The comic ballet, ” Hurry Scurry, or The Devil Among the Mechanics,” was the after-play, to which was added “The Highland Reel.” Mr. Placide’s benefit was May 10th, and Mr. Twait’s, May 20th; on the latter date Mrs. Poe played in double caste.

Because the late Mr. William H. Sargeant’s Norfolk Herald’s notings claim that the Placide troupe began their Norfolk season June 11, 1811, Mrs. Poe probably made the sea-trip with it from Charleston to Norfolk, where the Company’s stay ended Aug. 5th. Mrs. Poe’s name appeared only in the July 24th Herald notice of her benefit, to be on Friday, July 26, 1811, with Miss Thomas. “The Wonder” and “The Padlock” were played. With other important items of [page 81:] Mrs. Poe, Norfolk Herald of that date noted: “Left alone, the only support of herself and . . . young children” — would indicate the death, rather than the desertion, of their father prior to July, 1811, probably the prior Oct. 19, 1810, at Norfolk, Va.; possibly at Charleston, S. C., or at sea, for no public record of this event has been found at Norfolk, Va., or elsewhere. But how, with or without her consumption-stricken husband, this frail little over-burdened woman contrived to make her way with two small children to Norfolk, Va., is only explained by the illuminating sweetness and nobility of soul ever made manifest by members of the dramatic profession for each other when one is overtaken by adversity. The writer — “Floretta” of Norfolk Herald, July 26, 1811 — further called “attention of the public to the benefit of Mrs. Poe . . . I remember her first appearance here, met with unbounded applause. She was one of the handsomest women in America . . . never came on the stage but murmurs ran through the house. What an enchanting creature! Heavens, what a form! Her voice, too! Sure, never was anything half so sweet! — she continued to extract these involuntary bursts of rapture from Norfolk audiences and to deserve them too; . . . But now the scene is changed. Misfortunes press heavy upon her. Left alone, . . . Friendless and unprotected she no longer commands the admiration she formerly did. . . . Yet she is as assiduous to please as ever . . . though grief [loss, in some way, of her husband was conceded at this time] may have stolen a few roses from her cheeks [perhaps she was too ill to paint them] she still retains the sweetness of expression, [page 82:] symmetry of form and features. She, this evening hazards a benefit in the pleasing hope that Norfolk will remember past services. And can they remember, and not requite them generously? . . .” This letter print is definite as to the serious break in Mrs. Poe’s frail physique, and as certainly caused by surplus of duties and adversities. And our day of rigid rules for wholesome care for the young might inquire,“What, of her little children?” — At Norfolk, Va., July 26th, 1811, Mrs. Poe repeated her Charleston, S. C., benefit role as Donna Violante in “The \Vonder” and sang a song. But for some strong reason Mr. Placide and his Company left Norfolk for Richmond without Mrs. Poe and her children. Because her place in this Company was of such importance in press-notings of her Richmond appearance, also that his frequent calls to her seemed beyond her strength to answer, Mr. Placide was said to have sent, in August, a special messenger to Norfolk to bring Mrs. Poe and her two children, at his own expense, to Richmond, where he had obtained for them, writes Mr. Whitty, accommodations at the Actor’s boarding-house, of a Mrs. Phillips on the North side of Main Street, midway between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

Mr, Valentine’s “Notes” place Mrs. Poe at Richmond City, Sept. loth, 1811, as one of the Graces with Miss Thomas and Miss Placide, in the pantomime of “Cinderella,” Thursday, Oct. 8th and NOV. 29th, dated “Alexander the Great” for her two benefits. In Mr. Whitty’s “Memoir of Poe,” — Richmond, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1811, dated his mother’s last stage appearance in this world. Oct. 20th, the public press [page 83:] noted: “In consequence of serious and long continued indisposition of Mrs. Poe, and in compliance with the advice and solicitation of many most respected families, the managers have been induced to appropriate another night for her benefit. Taking into consideration the state of her health, and the probability of this being the last time she will ever receive the patronage of the public, the appropriation of another night for her assistance, will certainly he grateful to their feelings, as it will give them an opportunity to display their benevolent remembrance.” In Nov. 29, 1811, issue of Richmond Enquirer appeared: [page 84:] “To the Humane: On this night Mrs. Poe, lingering on a bed of disease and surrounded by her children, asks your assistance; and asks it perhaps for the last time.” Thus was her desolation made known to some saintly souls of noble womanhood in that sweet South Land, and among those who called on Mrs. Poe were Mrs. William Mackenzie, her friend Mrs. John Allan and her relative Mrs. John Richard. They were impressed with “Mrs. Poe’s refined manner, and the exquisite neatness of everything about her.” One not partial to her poet son wrote of his mother: “She was a lady to the last.” Because Mrs. Poe and her mother, Mrs. Arnold, from their earliest touch of [page 85:] American shores, received Social as well as professional recognition, may explain — by jealousy, etc. — why, at times, they lacked favors from press critics upon whom none were bestowed by these ladies. The cruel, viciously started, disproved tale concerning Mrs. Poe and Mr. Mackenzie as to Rosalie falls into illogical chaos of more than idle talk, hearing in mind that Mr. and Mrs. Poe were in New York July 10, 1810; and whenever or wherever he died, she thereafter never commanded more means than the merest existence of herself and children exacted. Nov. 29th found Mrs. Poe weak, beyond the power of her marvelous will or aid of stimulants, for further stage duties. Just nine days later, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1811, this brave little woman (lied from acute pneumonia, against which her depleted strength could not combat. Whether for more quiet than an actor’s boarding-house allowed, or from lack of means, Mrs. Poe passed her last illness, and from earth, in a small building back and to one side of Mrs. Phillips’ main house. This small structure, located by Mr. Whitty, lately stood in the rear of No. 2220 Main Street; the street garden sloped tip to its small front door, as facts ascertained by Mr. Whitty shows it and the boarding house in their pictures.

In Tuesday, Dec. 10th, 1811, Enquirer appeared: “Died — on Sunday morning, Mrs. Poe, one of the actresses of the Company at present playing on Richmond Boards. By the death of this lady the stage has been deprived of one of its chief ornaments. . . . And to say the least of her, she was an interesting Actress and never failed to catch the applause and [page 86:] command the admiration of the beholder.” Mrs. Poe’s faithful, long-pleasing work of two seasons and over, merited more in Boston than the “Obituary” note of her death given by Boston Patriot, Dec. 13, 1811. Within her range of some fourteen cities, Elizabeth Arnold Poe knew by heart and played some sixty parts between the ages of nine and twenty-fire years of her short, brilliant life — and many of these intervening years were under the telling tolls that care exacts from births, family illness and deaths. The Virginia Patriot, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1811, noted: “Death of Mrs. Poe [page 87:] of the Richmond Theatre. Her friends are requested to attend her funeral today at ten o’clock.” By the united efforts of Mr. Mackenzie and Mr. John Allan, aided perhaps by Dr, John Buchanan, strong prejudices of that day against allowing actors to be buried in church-yard grounds was set aside to the extent of giving 1,Irs. Poe a nameless resting-place in an obscure ledge of Old St. John’s burial-ground. So up Church Hill they carried her, followed by true friends of her stage-life, and some few new ones whose hearty of divine ministrations eased the misery of her last days on earth. After the brief service they left all that was mortal of Elizabeth Arnold Poe “close against the Eastern Wall” of St. John’s church-yard. Her charm was as endless as her adversities and her gift of genius to God’s world was a poet! Mr. Whitty examined all records of Richmond, Va., city burials, and found but one interment made in 1811. No name appeared, but its absence was all too eloquent of her life-story and the unchristian feeling of those days for her life calling. With special value is Mr. Whitty’s view, upheld by Mr. William G. Stanard, of Virginia Historical Society, who truly states: “There is no mark whatever to remind the visitor that St. John’s is hallowed not only by its connection with the great pleader for LibertvPatrick Henry — but also by its associations with Edgar Allan Poe.” The chivalry of Samuel Pendleton Cowardin, Jr., chairman of Elizabeth Arnold Poe 1lemorial Committee, has linked this pathetic fact — as to Mrs. Poe — with strenuous energies fittingly to perpetuate a memory whose “spirit prevails here, in [page 89:] pride and gratitude.” A spirit “who loved much and suffered much,” echoes Dr. C. Alphonso Smith from Dr. Inazo Nitobe of far-off Japan’s Imperial College. In 184, Edgar Allan Poe, the man, wrote of his mother and her art: “The actor of talent is poor in heart, indeed, if he do not look with contempt upon the mediocrity of a king. The writer of this article [“The Drama”] is himself the son. of an actress — has invariably made it his boast — and no earl was ever prouder of his earldom than he of the descent from a woman who, although well-born” — how well Poe knew then — “hesitated not to consecrate to the drama her brief career.” The nobility of his mother’s profession found expression by those whose names reveal a glittering galaxy of stars in “The Actor’s Memorial” to her, poet son. The pathetic, sad beauty of this Angel of Sorrow — by Richard Henry Parkwas unveiled in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts with appropriate remarks by Edwin Booth, William Winter and others, May 4th, 188.

Just two weeks and two days from Mrs. Poe’s passing on, Richmond was visited by that appalling catastrophe of Christmas-tide, 1811, — the burning of the Richmond Theatre, wherein the Governor of Virginia and sixty others perished, and thus both state and city were plunged into deep mourning. On this theatre stage the poet’s parents often appeared. Happily their little Edgar, with Mr. and Mrs. John Allan, was spending those Christmas holidays at Mr. Bowler Cocke’s at Turkey Island, which prevented the theatre attendance of his elders that night. Richmond’s beloved Monumental Church soon marked the site of [page 90:] this desolation and sorrow. Pathetically fitting this calamity is Poe’s first verse (and January, 1843, Graham’s print) of

THE, CONQUEROR WORM

Lo! ’t is a gala night

Within the lonesome later years!

An angel throng, bewinged, years!

In veils and drowned in tears,

Sit in a theatre, to see

A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.

Of the three children left orphans by Mrs. Poe, William Henry Leonard, the eldest, was already cared for by his grandfather, General David Poe, at Baltimore, Md.(23) It was said that for a day or more Edgar, not yet three, and little Rosalie, lacking twelve days of being a year old, were cared for by the kindly hearted players at their Main Street boarding house. There, Dec. 9th, Mrs. William Mackenzie and Mrs. John Allan went to see the little tots and found them in high glee:(24) Edgar prancing about his small sister on the floor of the room. When its door opened, the handsome curly-headed boy fastened his big gray eyes on attractive Mrs. Allan, who was irresistibly drawn to grasp and clasp the child to her heart, saving, “He is mine! he is mine!!” As to Rosalie, the poor mite, [page 92:] she was of record, writes Mr. Whitty, as “the puniest, sickliest baby ever seen”; but the prior record added: “Mrs. Mackenzie was quoted as saying, ‘There was nothing else to do but for me to take her!’ ” And so it happened that little Edgar, from the moment of this meeting, reigned in the childless heart and home of lovely Mrs. John Allan to the end of her days. In 1811, she lived opposite the Old Exchange Hotel site, on 14th Street and Tobacco Alley. Because the Mackenzie and Allan families were close friends, and Mrs. Mackenzie lived then “on Grace, between 5th and 6th Streets, the two children saw much of each other,” writes Mr. Whitty, and adds: “When Poe’s mother died in Richmond John Allan took charge of the few family trinkets including a packet of old letters; some, were said to have held a Poe-family secret, . . . they were in the poet’s possession; and at his death passed to Mrs. Clemm who hinted of ‘dark family troubles that had worried Eddie,’ but she believed that destroying these letters before she died would blot out all records of these troubles. The custodian of Mr. Allan’s personal papers said there were other documents in his possession relating to Poe, but declined hunting for them, and after his death relatives delayed doing so.”(25)

“The Dreamer,” by Mary Newton Stanard, contains many facts “in picturesque form,” and of intense interest as unrecorded Richmond traditions of Poe’s personality from early childhood to the last year of his pathetic life. As a daughter of Dr. John Brockenborough Newton — Rector of Monumental Church some ten years and resigning in 1894 when elected [page 93:] Bishop-coadjutor of Virginia — and wife of William G. Stanard, Esq., in whose old Richmond family Poe the lad found his first “Helen,” the author of “The Dreamer” has had most unusual opportunities touching Poe traditions. These, as such, will be quoted in due times and places. As to little Edgar, Mrs. Allan found him a most attractive boy and her devotion did everything to make his childhood bright and happy. Traditions say she made it her first duty to have him, with his sister, baptized — Dec. 11th, it was said — by Dr. John Buchanan at the home of her relative, and [page 95:] friend of all concerned, Mrs, John Richard. Mrs. Allan gave her boy the name of “Edgar Allan Poe,” and his sister was named Rosalie Mackenzie Poe by Mrs. Mackenzie. Thus were both little ones endowed and blessed by “Parson Buchanan — Rector of St. John’s” — who, it appears, was a bachelor of means, firm friend of Chief Justice Marshall and “Parson Blair” of Presbyterian faith and large family, who were especially enriched with Dr. Buchanan’s wedding fees. No doubt little Edgar found and kept a place in the great heart of this benevolent divine.

Mrs. John Allan, born Frances Keeling Valentine in 1784, was about twenty-seven years of age when the joy of her foster-son came into her life. Mr, Edward V. Valentine noted from an old prior Wednesday Gazette the marriage of “‘Mr. John Allan, merchant, to the much admired Miss Fannie Valentine occurred Sat. Evening, Feb. 9, 1803.” Both ‘Mr. and Mrs. Allan were very fond of children, and eight years bringing none to their home no doubt set aglow the motherly heart of lovely Mrs. Allan for the handsome small orphan son of Mrs. Poe. His beauty-loving eyes could not help but dwell with unconscious delight — as is learned from Mrs. Stanard — “on the slight, girlish figure Sully placed on canvas in its low-necked, short-waisted Empire gown of filmy, pale yellow. Her face, a pure oval of fair, delicate, regular features. The red-brown hair, high on the small shapely head, with tiny ringlets falling either side of the middle part, gave softness to the brow, warm brown eyes and sweet lines of a lovely mouth.” Mr. Edward V. Valentine allows the first reprint of this, his rare [page 96:] Thomas Scully [[Sully]] canvas, as an unusual tribute of grace to these Poe memorial pages which claim so much from his special generosity.

Through studied, continuous kindness of Hon. R. M. Hogg, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, comes almost all of Poe’s Scotland associations. From Mr. Hogg it comes that William, father of John Allan, was a shipmaster of Irvine, trading mainly at Belfast, Dublin and the West Highlands. One of his ships was named The Tamerlane, which probably excited little Edgar’s inquiring mind as to “Why?” and its story’s name slept in his mind until awakened by literary labors that produced “Tamerlane and Other Poems,” of Boston 1827 print, Later in life William Allan, failing in health, left the sea for public shore-service as a tidesman or customs officer at Irvine, which once ranked as third port of Scotland, and for a time was the port of Glasgow; then goods were transferred by pack-horses. In the 18th center; it had much trade with America — chiefly tobacco — which left Irvine when it was listed “a creek,” and Greenock and Glasgow rose to ports; but Irvine later grew to port importance. A letter of Nov. 1, 1804, from Edinburgh Customs Board, deals with William Allan, tidesman — charged with irregularities; tearing leaves out of his book, scratching blue books, etc. William Allan married Elizabeth, sister of William Galt of Richmond, Va. Their folk ‘were farmers in the next parish of Dundonald, where go per cent indulged in smuggling, which flourished about 1760 to 1800. The Galts were of a syndicate operating on the Ayrshire and Galway coasts and were thought to be in collusion with [page 97:] Allan. Mr. Hogg states: “Of course this was not looked upon as any great offense.” William Galt’s father was an elder in his Parish Kirk, which has an old disused communion service said to be “gifted by Will. Galt of Richmond. The flagon bears the inscription, — ‘Let the United States of America flourish.’ ” Through Scotch mists, Galway shore landings, mountain clew, romance and moonlight, come dim reasons for John Allan’s fine-hearted uncle, William Galt, seeking his fortune in far-away America where, notes Mr. Edward V. Valentine, “he was admitted as citizen Aug. 13, 1793, as per Order Book Hustings Court, City of Richmond records.” William Galt never married; and as a fact lie was ever the fairy-godfather to his sister Elizabeth Allan’s children and many others to the end of his days.(26) Among the “others” were the orphan sons of his early love, Jean Malcolm, who preferred William, the son of William Galt’s brother Thomas. She died in 1807 and her boys — William, born 1801, with James and Robert, twins, 1805 — were school-mates of little Edgar at the old Grammar School at Irvine. The three Galt boys were brought up by the Allans there until October, 1817. Later William Galt started them over-seas — whereon Robert died October, 1819, during this voyage to America. Mr. Galt took William and James Galt into his Virginia business. His will refers to them as “children of my adoption and nurture,” and he left them with other holdings the Fork, on the Fluvanna or James River.

Edinburgh Register House records note that John, son of William and Elizabeth Galt Allan, was born [page 99:] Sept. 10, 1779, in Bridgegate House, Irvine. Sept. 12th he was christened in the Big Kirk. Of their daughters, Mary, the eldest, lived in the Allan Bridgegate home (where little Edgar visited with Mr. and Mrs. Allan when in Irvine) until 1850, when she died leaving a valuable estate. In 1799 Agnes Nancy married Allan Fowlds, a seedsman of Kilmarnock, where they had their home. Jane married, first, Captain Johnston, then Mr. Ferguson, writer and lawyer. They were both of Irvine and she left no children. Elizabeth Allan married John Miller of Irvine; later, they lived at Perth. William Allan, their father, shipmaster, customs officer and tidesman, Irvine, died in January, 1808. On the Allan family tombstone — near that of “Dainty Davie,” friend of Burns, in the Big Kirk grounds — are two stanzas; the first is: [page 100:]

Tho’ winds and waves and raging seas

Have tossed us to and fro,

Yet by the hand of Providence

We harbour here below.

By kindness of Mr. Hogg the reprint of its line drawing shows the Allan tombstone as Poe, the boy, saw it with its ship, storm-geared. This, no doubt, caught his grave-yard fancies; for the olden-time Grammar School pupils, of which he was one for a while, “had to write these curious epitaphs for their examinations,” writes Mr. Whitty. Notings from Mr. Hogg reveal that no doubt it Avas the visions of Glasgow Tobacco lords — resplendent in scarlet cloaks, silver-buckled shoes, cocked hats and gold-headed canes, walking the “plane stanes” in front of the Exchange and with strut and stare noted their pleasure for dealing with the crowds of humble-folk customers lined up on the pavement’s edge — that fired young John Allan’s ambition, when fifteen, to join his uncle, William Galt, in Virginia. Mr. Hogg adds, — “Many of the largest estates in Ayrshire had been acquired by these pompous Tobacco Lords noted by Burns in,

‘Ye see yon birkie ca’d a Lord,

Wha struts and stares and a’ that.’ ”

Mr. Hogg continues, that John Allan and John Galt — the novelist — were “striplings” when Irvine was excited by Luckie — Elspeth Simpson — Buchan, who ensnared the belief of many that they would never taste of death. In a red cloak, smoking a clay pipe and riding a white horse, she led her followers, who included such sober burghers as the hunchback, procurator-fiscal Humphrey Hunter. On the road to Dumfries, [page 101:] passing the home of the witty Laird of Logan, he, to ascertain the character of the motley crowd, sent out his serving-man, who upon inquiry reported them, — “a wheen o’ daft folk from Irvine on their way to the Kingdom of Heaven.” To this the Laird replied, “Very good, I am glad my home is on the road to it.” Mr. Hogg concluded, “The Buchanites were soon expelled.” Such were the happenings, fantastic and attractive, so soon to greet little Edgar as an eager listener as his foster-father talked of his birthplace.

Young John Allan and his firm friend, Charles Ellis, began their American commercial careers as clerks in [page 102:] William Galt’s commission house on Franklin Street, between 14th and 15th Streets, Richmond, Va.; there, it was said, he did an immense tobacco business. He also owned a lot on Main and 14th Streets, backing on Tobacco Alley, and had a lien on the house and lot opposite, with later ownership. There lived Mr. and Mrs. Allan, her sister Miss Anne Valentine; and for a while Mr. Galt lived with them, writes Mr. Whitty. Both young men met with a success that in 1800 united their efforts to make an active business venture on their own account under the firm name of Ellis & Allan, located in a store near 15th and Cary Streets, rented from Galligo. Mr. Whitty continues, that “from 1811 to ‘15 marked a very prosperous time with them; they accumulated money and invested [page 103:] it well in property; that records show that they did a growing business, that some time later required them to buy nearby property, increasing by two ware-houses their holdings. In 1814, they listed five good pieces of real estate, and Mr. Allan bought the corner of Fifth and Clay Sts., running back to :Marshall. Besides, the firm had money liens on lands at New Lou., Va. (by Buffalo Creek) on which was a female academy; and Mr. Allan had a summer-resort home, of 1200 acres, called ‘The Grove.’ ”s However, it was to the 14th Street and Tobacco Alley home of every comfort that Mrs. Allan brought her new-found, adorable boy. Its picture appears by special kindness of Mr. Whitty. From Mrs. Stanard it comes that the fond and admiring young mother at once became his devotee, whose object in life was to stand between hint and the discipline of a not intentionally harsh or unkind, but strict and uncompromising father. Notwithstanding his deeply rooted love for children Mr. Allan shared the general prejudice of that time against the dramatic profession, and from his practical point of view full adoption of little Edgar was too much of a venture; but for his wife’s sake he reluctantly agreed otherwise to care for her heart’s delight in this attractive child. From Mrs. Stanard and other sources — bills of Mr. Allan in Ellis & Allan MSS., Library of Congress, etc. — is revealed that the pretty new mother soon fashioned for her boy the daintiest of fine linen tuckers, rich velvet caps, and jackets lapping over bits of quaint trousers that but met his silken hose in the picturesque style of that day. In such guise of literal purple and fine linen the proud mother took [page 104:] her tiny prince charming to call on her many friends. They paid due court to his refined, thoughtful face, great grey eyes, sweet smile and the “frank pretty manner in which he gave his small hand in greeting.” Mrs. Allan soon taught the bright child to sing, recite rhymes and had him learn to dance. Mr. Allan also, in his way, grew fond, and proud of the graces and beauty of little Edgar. Of his foster-mother and this time Mrs. Stanard gives this pen-picture: Mrs. Allan gave a large dinner-party to show her friends the various accomplishments of her little son — actually standing him on the cleared table to sing and recite for her guests. Even her husband unbent — vigorously to applaud the modest, self-possessed grace with which the tiny toast-master drank the healths of the company in watered wine, making a neat little speech, appropriate to each guest, that his new mother had taught him. From Dr. Philip Alexander Bruce, author of a series of Poe Richmond-press articles, comes another interesting incident of little Edgar: ” He is recalled as a pretty figure with his curls, brilliant eyes and vivacious ways standing between the drawing-room doors and reciting ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel’ in a sweet voice, with clear enunciation, to a large company.” From Mrs. Stanard is learned that the Richmond parents held firm to the belief that sparing the rod spoilt the child, and at times small offenders were sent out to get this “rod” of correction in the long stems of leaves of the ailanthus, or Tree of Heaven, of which the city fathers later saw fit to denude it. In this connection comes from Mr. Whitty and Mr. William F. Gill the account of little Edgar’s [page 105:] alert mentality. When four, and with naughty persistence in daring a shower he was threatened with correction by Mr. Allan which Mrs. Allan’s pleadings failed to prevent, the boy went into the garden, gathered a bunch of selected switches, with which he returned and without a word presented them to Mr. Allan, who inquired, “What are these for?” Looking him fearlessly in the eyes the small man’s reply was, “Why, to whip me with!” His courage caused Mr. Allan to turn aside with a smile — noting selections were made with a purpose — which saved that day for the little delinquent by a caution instead of the whipping. It is said that the child never cherished resentment, and after being punished would put his little arms around his foster-father’s neck to caress and kiss him. It was added that the boy seldom received reproof deserved. But knowingly, it appears, the little fellow was at times decidedly wilful, needing tact to lead him past various disturbances that assail all children’s good cheer, of which he was credited with a generous share in being, “affectionate, sweet-tempered and quickly responsive to kindness.” This triad of good traits grew, by their unconscious, platonic expression, into the guise of the severest trials of the poet’s maturer years.

In Eugene L. Didier’s “Poe Memoir,” New York, 1877, one record runs, that Mr. Allan and family spent some summers at Virginia Sulphur Springs, and a gentleman who saw Edgar there described him as “a lovely little fellow with dark curls, brilliant eyes, and dressed like a young prince, charming everybody by his childish grace, vivacity and cleverness.” [page 106:]

In the November, 1915, Bookman appears from “Baily Millard” this: “When only six, Poe was noted for his precocity as well as his beauty. . . . He could repeat at that age the finest passages of English poetry with good effect. He began to rhyme before he was ten; of some of his youthful sonnets Poe himself wrote, their ‘date too remote to be judicially acknowledged.’ Many of these lie repeatedly re-wrote in later life. But just what effect so much of mental strain would have on a child of his hypersensitive temperament and prior close touch with stage-life excitement and adversities, would certainly be questionable in this age of wholesome living for children. One of Poe’s own records of his childhood was: “My voice was a household law when few children were not out of leading strings.” While records and traditions affirm that he treasured the love of his foster-mother to the end of his days, yet from earliest years there was a certain, and at times unusual, reserve about Edgar Allan Poe, beyond which no one was ever known to go — and perhaps lie himself did not understand it better than it seems aptly described in his lines “Alone,” some of which fittingly are:

“From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were — I leave not seen

As others saw — I could not bring

My passions from a common spring

. . . . . . . .

And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —

Then — in my childhood — in the dawn

Of a most stormy life — was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still.” [page 107:]

This elementary, romantic “mystery” phase of character, in child, youth and man, as to Edgar Allan Poe, practical Mr. Allan could not understand. He, in the child’s place, would probably have expressed gratitude to one who did not include deep love and sympathy in otherwise generous benefactions. When Mr, Allan told Mrs. Mackenzie that Edgar did not know the meaning of the word gratitude, her reply seemed to touch the heart of the issue in, — it could not be expected of children, who were not able to understand their obligations; that she did not expect it from Rosalie, but she did look for affection and obedience. In clue time Mrs. Mackenzie’s noble mind and heart were awarded both. Had Edgar been Mr. Allan’s own son — understood or not — he would have been idolized by his father, of whom it is justice to believe, if now living, lie would be grateful for the immortality shed upon his name by this cherished childhood and boyhood of his foster-son, after he had faced his forsaken youth and manhood. Poe had his own way of paying such debts! But in pure joy of her mother-love, devoted Mrs. Allan did by this child of her heart precisely what she would have clone by a like boy of her own blood. As a high-light of his early childhood happiness, Poe wrote in The Black Cat of 1843: “From infancy I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time and was never so happy as when feeding and caressing them.”

As a faithful member of the Episcopal Church, Mrs. Allan sought to teach her little son the love [page 108:] and fear of God. For this reason he was her constant attendant at church, and under the early religious instruction of its Sunday school. Mrs. Stanard’s grandmother — as Mary Brockenborough — about Poe’s age, remembered seeing him “often, as a solemn-faced boy, with big eyes and dark curls, sitting beside Mrs. Allan in her pew in Monumental Church.” No doubt to this training was due Poe’s marked familiarity with the Bible and its teachings, writes Mr. Whitty, who adds: “Mr. Allan was not a regular attendant, but something of a liberal thinker,” from which is suggested, “Poe may have been unconsciously influenced from boyhood.” But Edgar was a manly little fellow, and so refined that this fact, taken with his preference for playing with girls, led some to think the boy effeminate. One of his earliest playmates, writes Mr. Whitty, was Mrs. Allan’s god-child, Catherine Elizabeth Poitiaux. From Mr. William Fearing Gill comes of this mite of a Romeo, that he always had some fairy fancy, and during its spell her shrine would bloom in offerings of flowers and fruit by grace of the liberal supply of her admirer’s pocket-money. When at a dinner-party one day at her home, Edgar had a narrow escape from drowning by falling into the water from a near-by catalpa tree, into which he had climbed in order to be left by Mr. Allan longer to enjoy the light of her presence. When rescued, the doughty little lover’s secret was boldly disclosed.

An added attraction in the Allan home was Miss Anne Moore Valentine, Mrs. Allan’s elder sister by a year or more, who shared her love for and devotion to little Edgar, who always called Miss Valentine [page 109:] “Aunt Nancy.” As Mr. Allan’s Uncle William Galt also lived with them for a while, there is no doubt that his able directions greatly increased his nephew’s prosperity.

Like other small children of that attractive Southland, Edgar had his colored “Mammy” to care for [page 110:] him, and with a singular devotion that was shared by the other servants of the Allan household. When the spring days came of 1812, Mammy would take her charge to the dancing lights and shadows under the tall trees in the grounds of the “Old Church on the Hill” — not far away; where others, of her like and his, held their sunny holidays over the green turf, beneath which, “close to the Eastern Wall;’ slept little Edgar’s young mother. There he played about until her spirit in the twilight sent him to the other lovely mother awaiting his coming to her earthly home. No doubt back-stairs stories, of his Mammy’s domain many a time filled the child’s receptive mind with ghoulish superstitions of her race, and these, with his own weird fancies, were translated with startling original effects into the unique and often gruesome pages of Edgar Allan Poe the man.

“From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which bids me still ” — ALONE.

Mystery surely enshrouded the closing earthly days of the poet’s father. The only known, tangible touch of his mortal existence is traced in his signature, discovered by Mr. Whitty, upon the title-page of “The Boston 1807, printed play of ‘Cinderella,’ which also has the names of both Poe’s parents in the caste.” Mr. Whitty allows the reprint of this rare copyrighted autograph, to these pages.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - EAPTM, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. Poe: The Man (M. E. Phillips) (Section 01)