Text: Dwight R. Thomas, “Directory: A-F,” Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (1978), pp. 702-768


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­ [page 702:]

A PHILADELPHIA DIRECTORY


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JAMES ACKERMAN (1813?-?). This Philadelphia lithographer was responsible for coloring the plates used in The Conchologist’s First Book and A Synopsis of Natural History (see the chronology for July and September 11, 1839); he seems to have been an associate of Thomas Wyatt (q.v.), the principal author of these two books, and of Peter S. Duval (q.v.), who engraved the plates for them. Ackerman appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1840, which identifies him as a “map colourer” whose place of business was located at the northeast corner of Seventh and Market (or High) Streets. Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Wyatt provides reasonably conclusive evidence that he knew Ackerman. This lithographer is briefly noticed by George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957), and by Harry T. Peters, America on Stone (New York: Doubleday, 1931).

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1767-1848). Poe discussed the sixth President of the United States in both the February, 1836, and the December, 1841., installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 160, 233). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971 (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1971). ­[page 703:]

JOSEPH ALEXANDER ADAMS (ca. 1803-1880). In several letters written to James Fenimore Cooper and other leading American authors around June 21, 1841, Poe stated that the new monthly magazine he planned to issue with George R. Graham would feature “no engravings except occasional wood-cuts (by Adams) when demanded in obvious illustration of the text.” Joseph Alexander Adams was a well-known wood engraver living in New York City. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Groce and Wallace’s Dictionary of Artists in America, and Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers (1926; rpt. with a supplement, Greens Farms, Conn.: Modern Books and Crafts, 1974) p. 2.

MARGARET and MARY ALBURGER. They were the daughters of William Alburger (q.v.), the owner of a small house in the Spring Garden district to which the Poe family moved shortly before June 20, 1843. Ellis P. Oberholtzer (q.v.) preserved their reminiscence of Poe and transmitted it to Phillips, who published it in her Poe, I, 82427.

WILLIAM M. ALBURGER. Poe’s Spring Garden landlord is discussed in the reminiscences left by his daughters Margaret and Mary Alburger and by Mayne Reid (q.q.v.). Alburger appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845; his occupation is uniformly given as “plumber.” From 1842 until 1845 McElroy’s locates his residence at 64 Marshall Street. Reid described him as a “rich Quaker” who was Poe’s next-door neighbor. The Alburger residence would have been close to the Poe home at 234. North Seventh Street; Marshall Street ran north from Vine Street, between Sixth and Seventh. Alburger was ­[page 704:] unquestionably a wealthy man; his assets were estimated at sixty thousand dollars in the Wealth and Biography of the Wealth Citizens of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: G. B. Zieber, 1845), p. 1. This source contains a brief characterization of Poe’s landlord: “A plumber, — made his money by great industry, and invested it in real estate. A good whig. “

CHARLES W. ALEXANDER (1796-1866). This Poe associate is remembered as the publisher of several Philadelphia newspapers and magazines, including the Saturday Evening Post, the Daily Chronicle, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, and Alexander’s Weekly Messenger. Poe’s contributions to the weekly which bore Alexander’s name have been collected by Clarence S. Brigham; for evidence that he also contributed to the Daily Chronicle, see the chronology for May 19 and September 11, 1840. Alexander’s only known reminiscence of Poe is contained in his October 20, 1850, letter to Thomas C. Clarke, which is printed by Quinn, pp. 296-97. Some information on Alexander’s career may be found in J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1884), II, 993; III, 1987-88, 1992, 2011, 2013. An obituary in the New York Times, October 1, 1866, p. 2, col. 4, described his poverty-stricken latter years.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON (1779-1843). Poe included this American poet and painter in the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 253-54). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. ­[page 705:]

CHARLES ANTHON (1797-1867). On May 27, 1837, when he was living in New York: City, Poe addressed a query to this eminent Professor of Greek and Latin at Columbia University. Anthon replied on June 1, 1837. Poe briefly mentioned Anthon in the August, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 169-70); his growing appreciation of this classical scholar is indicated by the extensive discussion of his merits in the November, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 179-82). Sketches of Anthon may be found in the DAB and Brown.

TIMOTHY SHAY ARTHUR (1809-1885). Poe’s July 12, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass establishes that he was acquainted with Arthur; his contempt for this author’s sententious temperance fiction is expressed in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 240-41). Arthur moved to Philadelphia from Baltimore in 1841, but he does not appear in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory until 1843. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. His relations with Poe are discussed by Warren G. French, “T. S. Arthur: An Unexpected Champion of Poe,” Tennessee Studies in Literature, 5 (1960), 35-41, and by Donald A. Koch in the “Introduction” to his edition of Arthur’s Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, And What I Saw There (1854; rpt. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. v-lxxxiii.

ISAAC ASHMEAD (1790-1870). This Philadelphian was one of Poe’s Spring Garden neighbors in 1843 and 1844. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory, for these years locates his residence at 351 North Seventh Street; the Poe family lived at 234 ­[page 706:] North Seventh. Being a printer by profession, Ashmead may have had occasion to make Poe’s acquaintance. A sketch may be found in the DAB. In all probability, the Henry Graham Ashmead who, as a boy of eleven, met Poe in the printing office of Sartain’s Magazine, was the son of this Philadelphia printer. Henry’s reminiscence exists as a typescript in the Manuscript Department of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; it dates his encounter with Poe as 1849. A slightly different version has been published by Phillips, who incorrectly dates this encounter as July, 1848; see her Poe, II, 1296-97.

SAMUEL C. ATKINSON. Poe was almost certainly acquainted with this long-time Philadelphia publisher whose surname for many years appeared on the masthead of the Saturday Evening Post and on the title page of The Casket. In 1839 Atkinson disposed of both these journals to George R. Graham and his associates (see the chronology for April 13 and November 9, 1839) His retirement from publishing was not of long duration, because on September 30, 1843, the Saturday Museum, p. 2, col. 4, identified him as the publisher of the Daily Sun, and in 1844 McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory listed him as the publisher of the Temperance Advocate. The magazines Atkinson published are discussed by Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines, 1741-1850 (1930; rpt. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), PP. 343, 440, 544-45; his connections with the Philadelphia newspapers are mentioned by Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 1987-88, 2011. ­[page 707:]


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WILLIAM BAILY. This Philadelphia watchmaker was one of Poe’s Spring Garden neighbors. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1844 and 1845 locates Baily’s residence at “7th ab[ove] S[pring] Garden”; the 1844 edition gives an identical description of Poe’s location. In his popular, biography Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe, Rev. ed. (New York: Farrar &Rinehart, 1934), p. 432, Hervey Allen asserted that “the Baileys, good neighbors on Seventh Street, close by,” remembered Poe’s drinking bouts. William Baily is not known to have left a reminiscence of Poe.

ANN BARHYTE (?-1844). This resident of Saratoga Springs, New York, was the wife of John Barhyte and the mother of James and Mary Barhyte. According to the reminiscence left by her son James, Mrs. Barhyte was a poetess of some ability whose verses appeared pseudonymously in the New York Mirror; and she made Poe’s acquaintance when he visited Saratoga in 1842 and 1843. For additional information, see the directory entries for James, John, and Mary Barhyte, and William Elliot Griffis.

JAMES BARHYTE (ca. 1832-1905). He claimed that, as a boy of ten or eleven, he made Poe’s acquaintance at Saratoga Springs, New York, during the 1842 and 1843 summer seasons. Barhyte further asserted that during the summer of 1843 he and his mother, Mrs. Ann Barhyte (q.v.), assisted Poe in the composition of his unfinished poem “The Raven.” Barhyte related his memories to William Elliot Griffis (q.v.), who published them in “Behind the Mystery of Poe’s ‘Raven,’” New York Times Book Review, January 20, 1924, p. 2. Arthur ­[page 708:] S. Wright, who married Barhyte’s granddaughter, also listened to his recollections; and in a January 17, 1919, letter to Mary E. Phillips (MS, Boston Public Library), Wright confirmed that the account preserved by Griffis is an accurate representation of Barhyte’s reminiscence. Although there is no indisputable evidence that Poe visited Saratoga, it is possible that he was engaged in the composition of “The Raven” as early as 1843; and it is conceivable that he would have carried his unfinished manuscript with him if he did in fact travel to the resort in this year. That James Barhyte and his mother helped Poe in the fashion described by Griffis seems improbable:

During the Summer of 1843 Poe again visited the Barhytes [at Saratoga], and by this time he and the lad [James Barhyte] were fast friends — a circumstance that sheds some light on Poe’s real character. Still fond of his favorite seat under the hemlocks near the pond, the dark-eyed gentleman, as the boy well remembers, paced up and down, talking and reciting to

himself.

On one day, never to be forgotten, the little fellow had been out fishing for trout on the pond down in the direction of the old gristmill. Having caught his pailful, he was rowing back toward the house, oblivious of visitors and suspecting no one near, when suddenly the silence was broken by the deep echo of “Nevermore!” As he neared the house the sonorous polysyllable rolled over the pond and came back in echo at regular intervals.

The sound which issued from the grove seemed to be that of some one reading aloud, though only the one word “nevermore” could be distinguished. The boy, wondering to the verge of fright, knew not what to make of it, having never heard the strange word in such fashion.

As he neared. the landing place he began to hear whole lines and to catch a regular cadence of sound. He now made up his mind that some one was “speaking a piece” and that it was likely to be none other than Mr. Poe. Laughing to himself at the idea of having been so scared, he gave the oars a fresh pull, and the mystery was solved. There was Poe, in something of a fine frenzy, pacing up and down the space cleared ­[page 709:] among the trees, reciting to himself the poem, the refrain of which had so frightened the lad at a distance — the semi-croak, the demi-thunder of “Nevermore.”

His fears over, the boy now resolved to have some fun. Knowing the poet so well, he had by this time lost all fear of him. So, leaping ashore with his fish, he walked up to the man in long hair and slouch hat, and shouted, mockingly:

“Oh! What a name for a bird! Who ever heard of a bird named ‘Nevermore’?”

Instead of scowling or taking offense, Poe’s face brightened. He clapped his hands and seemed delighted with a new idea.

“I have it,” he cried. “Just the thing. That will make the very stanza I need to complete the poem.” Thereupon he sat down on the rustic seat and wrote the first draft of the stanza:

Much I marveled this ungainly

Fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning —

Little relevancy bore.

 

For we cannot help agreeing

That no living human being

Ever yet was blest with seeing

Bird above his chamber door —

 

Bird or beast above his sculptured

Bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

From this time forth a new tie of interest bound boy and poet together. Having now completed his first draft of the poem, Poe submitted the manuscript to his hostess, Mrs. Barhyte, for criticism, telling her that her son was the cause of “the stanza of the strange name,” and that he had simply put boyish prose into his own best poetry.

The lady conscientiously undertook the task of criticism, giving considerable time and thought to it. She suggested several changes and made some corrections, which Poe regarded as improvements. Unfortunately, we do not know just what these were. This was the last literary work of her life. She was taken ill soon after and died in the following April, 1844. Her sorrowing husband [John Barhyte], finding his chief joy in life gone, not long after sold his estate at Saratoga and moved to the West. He was accustomed to emphasize the fact, that his wife’s last work with the ­[page 710:] pen was the thorough examination and criticism of the manuscript of “The Raven,” submitted to her by Poe.

In his January 9, 1919, letter to Mary E. Phillips (MS, Boston Public Library), Griffis stated that James Barhyte died in May, 1905. Additional evidence that Poe may have visited Saratoga Springs is provided by the reminiscences of Mary Barhyte and E. M. Murdock (q.q.v.).

JOHN BARHYTE. This resident of Saratoga Springs, New York, was the husband of Ann Barhyte (q.v.), and the father of James and Mary Barhyte (q.q.v.). According to Griffis, “Behind the Mystery of Poe’s ‘Raven,’” Barhyte married his wife, the former Miss Ann Gillespie of Sullivan County, New York, around 1830. Information on John Barhyte’s ancestry may be found in Mary Cousins McCabe’s Some Earl Settlers (Saint Louis, Mo.: Privately printed, 1921), pp. 63-65. The Barhyte estate at Saratoga eventually became a haven for artists and authors called Yaddo; the estate’s history is discussed by Marjorie Peabody Waite, Yaddo Yesterday and Today (Saratoga Springs, N. Y.: Privately printed, 1933), PP. 3-26, and by George Waller, Saratoga: Saga of an Impious Era (1966; rpt. New York: Bonanza Books, n. d.), pp. 348-49, 352-58.

MARY BARHYTE (ca. 1833-?). She was the sister of James Barhyte (q.v.); her married name was Mrs. Mary Waddell. On January 27, 1919, she recorded her memories of seeing Poe at Saratoga Springs, New York, in a letter to Arthur S. Wright, who forwarded her account to Mary E. Phillips. There is little information in this letter (MS, Boston Public Library) which is not reproduced in Phillips’ Poe, I, 764-66. Mary Barhyte’s reminiscence states simply that Poe ­[page 711:] stayed at a hotel in Saratoga and that he wore a broad-brimmed hat resembling a sombrero. This article of apparel led the two Barhyte children, James and Mary, to call him “The Mexican.” No date is suggested for Poe’s visit to Saratoga. The approximate date of Mary Barhyte’s birth is established by Wright’s statement, contained in his February 4, 1919, letter to Phillips (MS, Boston Public Library), that she was “now some 86 years of age.”

JAMES NELSON BARKER (1784-1858). Poe may well have known this distinguished Philadelphia dramatist. Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.) recalled that both Poe and Barker were among the associates of his father, Richard Penn Smith. Barker appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1837. According to the DAB, he moved to Washington in 1838 to accept an appointment in the Treasury Department, where he remained an official until his death in 1858. Poe’s friend Frederick William Thomas also held an appointment in the Treasury Department (see the chronology for June 26, 1841); if Poe did not make Barker’s acquaintance in Philadelphia, he might have been introduced to him during his March, 1843, visit to Washington. Additional sketches of Barker may be found in Appleton’s, Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, and Henry Simpson’s The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians, Now Decreased (Philadelphia: William Brotherhead, 1859). His principal works are listed in the LHUS Bibliography.

W. J. BARNES. In his tale “Some Words with a Mummy,” Poe compared an Egyptian mummy, restored to life by an electric shock, to “Mr. Barnes in the pantomime” (Works, VI, 122). He was alluding to W. J. Barnes, a pantomimist ­[page 712:] and clown frequently seen on the Philadelphia stage. The Spirit of the Times, August 3, 1843, p. 2, col. 3, recorded its opinion that Barnes was “the drollest, wittiest and cleverest of all Comic Pantomimists.” During the years 1842 and 1843, possibly the most popular stage production in Philadelphia was a spectacular pantomime entitled The Black Raven of the Tombs; Barnes played the leading role of Noucum. The Black Raven does not seem to be a likely source for Poe’s poem “The Raven,” but it is a probable source for “Some Words with a Mummy.” The pantomime featured a dance by mummies. For documentation, see The Spirit of the Times, December 29, 1842, p. 2, col. 5, and August 11, 1843, p. 2, col. 4; and see Arthur Herman Wilson, A History of the Philadelphia Theatre, 1835 to 1855 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1935), pp. 72, 553, 678.

PARK BENJAMIN (1809-1864). Poe probably knew this New York City editor and poet. He contributed his tale “Von Jung, the Mystic” to the June, 1837, number of the American Monthly Magazine, of which Benjamin was co-editor; and he discussed him in several letters. On June 1, 1840, Poe wrote William E. Burton: “Was there selfishness in the affront I offered Benjamin (whom I respect, and who spoke well of me) because I deemed it a duty not to receive from any one commendation at your expense?” In the November, 18L~1, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 183-84), Poe Praised Benjamin for “his combined ability, activity, causticity, fearlessness, and independence”; but he retracted these comments in his February 3, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas: “I cannot bring myself to like that man [Benjamin] . . . . . He is too thorough-souled a ­[page 713:] time-server. I would not say again what I said of him in the ‘Autography.’” Benjamin edited the New World, a New York weekly newspaper of folio size which commenced publication on October 26, 1839. The New World proved sufficiently popular that on June 6, 1840, Benjamin began to issue it in a quarto edition as well. In Passages from the Correspondence of Rufus W. Griswold, pp. 118-20, William M. Griswold claimed that Poe wrote the controversial article on “Our Magazine Literature” which appeared in the March 11, 1843, issue of the New World (Vol. 6, pp. 302-04, of the quarto edition), and which was signed with only the initial “L.” Griswold’s attribution has been accepted by several Poe scholars, including Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Poems, p. 553, and Sidney P. Moss, Poe’s Literary Battles, pp. 93-94, n. 28. Poe would have agreed with many of the caustic criticisms of American periodicals and their editors expressed in “Our Magazine Literature,” but he probably did not write this article. Its anonymous author reserved his most severe strictures for Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, which he described as “a receptacle of nonsense from first to last, of picture nonsense, fashion nonsense, poetical nonsense, and prose nonsense.” The Ladies’ Companion, 18 (April, 1843), 308, replied in a brief editorial: “We noticed a flimsy tirade in the ‘New World’ of the 11th of March, upon ourselves and the magazine literature generally. Lest the potent ‘L.’ prefixed to the article, should impress the public that the writer is a person of more literary influence than even Mr. Park Benjamin, we beg to inform them . that it emanated from the sapient and erudite mind of Mr. Charles Lanman, formerly, if not at present, an under clerk in a jobbing house of this city.” The Companion’s attribution appears highly plausible in view of the facts that Lanman was announced as a contributor to the New World in ­[page 714:] its March 25, 1843, issue (Vol. 6, p. 366), and that he was both friend and cousin to Benjamin. According to the DAB, Charles Lanman (1819-1895) entered a mercantile house in New York at the age of sixteen; he was later to gain prominence as an author and artist. Information on Lanman’s relationship with Benjamin may be found in his Haphazard Personalities (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1886), pp. 140-55, and in Merle M. Hoover’s Park Benjamin, Poet &Editor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948), p. 132. Sketches of Benjamin may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s; the best sources are Hoover’s 1948 biography and his Genealogy of Park Benjamin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948). Columbia University holds an important collection of Benjamin’s correspondence as well as files of the periodicals he edited.

NICHOLAS BIDDLE (1786-1844). He was Philadelphia’s most influential citizen during the years Poe lived in the city. Biddle is remembered for the immense economic and political power he wielded as President of the United States Bank, but he was as well an author of taste and erudition. Poe’s January 6, 1841, letter to Biddle establishes that these two men were acquainted, and that the banker appreciated the poet’s merits. It suggests that he may have called on Biddle during; the latter part of 1840, probably to request his support for the Penn Magazine. Although Biddle was interested in assuring that Philadelphia remained the cultural center of America, reasonably conclusive evidence that he did not offer financial backing for the Penn is provided by the failure of this project. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of ­[page 715:] Philadelphia. A perceptive characterization of Biddle may be found in A Philadelphia Perspective: The Diary of Sidney George Fisher, Covering the Years 1834-1871, ed. Nicholas B. Wainwright (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1967), pp. 154-58. The banker’s letterbooks and papers, held by the Library of Congress, are now available on microfilm. For information on Andalusia, the palatial estate on the outskirts of Philadelphia where Biddle received Poe, see Nicholas B. Wainwright’s “Andalusia, Countryseat of the Craig Family and of Nicholas Biddle and His Descendants,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 101 (1977), 3-69.

ROBERT MONTGOMERY BIRD (1806-1854). Poe was almost certainly acquainted with this Philadelphia dramatist, novelist, and physician, although there are no documents to support the story circulated by Howard Paul (q.v.) that these two authors once collaborated on a play. During his editorship of the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe sent at least two letters to Bird (Letters, I, 75-76, 93). No correspondence from the Philadelphia period is known; but according to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), Bird attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe to the city’s leading authors, actors, and editors. Evidence that the dramatist would have been a likely guest on this occasion is provided by Burton’s reference to “my friend Bird” in his May 30, 1839, letter to Poe. This Philadelphian merited Poe’s praise in both the February, 1836, and November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 156, 203-04). Sketches of Bird may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. ­[page 716:] Additional references are given in the LHUS Bibliography.

WILLIAM A. BLANCHARD. Poe almost certainly knew this Philadelphia publisher, a partner in the firm of Lea &Blanchard, which issued his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. The two men may have become acquainted at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. Blanchard appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. According to David Kaser, Messrs. Carey &Lea of Philadelphia, pp. 35, 53, 63, he entered the service of Mathew Carey (q.v.) in 1812. On January 1, 1833, he became a partner in the firm of Carey, Lea &Blanchard. On October 1, 1838, the Philadelphia newspapers announced the retirement of Henry Charles Carey (q.v.) from this firm, which was subsequently called Lea &Blanchard.

CALVIN BLYTHE (?-1849). On March 3, 1843, the United States Senate appointed Calvin Blythe, a Democrat, to succeed Thomas S. Smith, a Whig, as Collector of Customs for the Port of Philadelphia. Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas and Jesse E. Dow strongly suggests that he may have called upon Blythe to apply for a position in the Custom House. Additional evidence to support this conjecture is provided by Robert Tyler’s March 31, 1843, letter to Poe. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1844 and 1845 lists Blythe as the Collector of Customs and locates his residence at 105 Chestnut Street. The Daily Chronicle, April 20, 1841, p. 2, cot. 2, described him as a man “who had distinguished himself, in early life, on the field of battle, and who had afterwards been elevated by the people and the executive to various official stations of honor and profit.” According to Martin’s Bench and Bar, ­[page 717:] p. 250, Blythe gained admission to the Philadelphia bar on November 4, 1845, and he died on June 20, 1849.

GEORGE R. BONFIELD (1802-1898). According to the reminiscence preserved by Dr. Isaac W. Heysinger (q.v.), Bonfield was one of the Philadelphia artists who attended social gatherings with Poe at the Falstaff Hotel. Brief sketches are given by Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America, and by Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters.

JUNIUS BRUTUS BOOTH (1796-1852). This tragedian is remembered as the father of two American actors who were to achieve an even greater fame: Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth. Their father Junius Brutus, who came to the United States from England in 1821, frequently appeared on the Philadelphia stage during the years Poe lived in the city. Booth and Poe may have been acquainted, but the only document which has been used to link their careers is untrustworthy. In the reminiscence he published in Munsey’s Magazine, 7 (1892), 554-58, Howard Paul (q.v.) described an incident which is said to have occurred when Booth and Poe were returning together from an evening of playgoing and drinking: “On returning home in the small hours of the morning they ran against a belated little Jew, and accidentally jostled him. The Hebrew turned on them, objurgated them copiously, and manifested a disposition to show fight. Thereupon Booth and Poe seized him and suspended him by his breeches on the spikes of a convenient area railing, where they left him kicking and howling while they pursued their tortuous way in gladsome mood. Poe frequently related with gusto his adventure of’spiking the Jew.”’ Although this ­[page 718:] anecdote has been repeated by a number of Poe biographers, it may be dismissed as a fiction. According to the DAB, Booth was proud of his Jewish ancestry. Other sketches may be found in Appleton’s and Brown; his appearances on the Philadelphia stage have been listed by Arthur H. Wilson, Philadelphia Theatre.

MICHAEL BOUVIER. According to the reminiscence left by John S. Detwiler (q.v), Bouvier, “the marble man,” owned the house in the Fairmount district to which the Poe family moved sometime before September 12, 1842. Detwiler’s account is quoted in Phillips’ Poe, I, 748-49. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1839 through 1845 identifies Bouvier as a dealer in “mahogany and marble” whose place of business was located at 91 and 93 South Second Street, and whose residence was located at 80 South Front Street. Although Michael Bouvier was not one of Poe’s neighbors, evidence that this landlord visited his tenant is provided by an undated letter discussing the Fairmount residence which Detwiler sent to Edwin C. Jellett (typescript copy, Joseph Jackson Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Detwiler wrote: “Michael Bouvier . . . . seemed to be [a] very warm friend of Mr. Poe, because both his wife and himself used to visit Mr. Poe and Mrs. Clem[m], and they came under my knowledge from having seen them there. . . . . Mr. Bouvier was a mahogany and marble merchant at 2d and Walnut streets, and in his latter days he lived on Broad street where the La Salle College is erected, and died there.”

MATHEW B. BRADY (ca. 1823-1896). This famous photographer has been a suspected, but not a proven, ­[page 719:] acquaintance of Poe during the Philadelphia period. In his unreliable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: F. Tennyson Neely Co., 1901), p. 78, Colonel John A. Joyce stated: “[Mathew] Brady, the noted photographer, told me in 1866 that he met Poe [in Washington] in March, 1843, at the house of a widow Barrett, where he [Brady?] was rooming on New York Avenue, south side, near the junction of H. and Thirteenth Streets adjoining ‘Halls of the Ancients.’” Brady does not appear in the Washington Directory for 1843, but there is one indication that he could have been in the capital city during; this year. In his Mathew Brady: Historian With a Camera (1955; rpt. New York: Bonanza Books, n.d.), Plate 15, James D. Horan reproduced an 1843 daguerreotype of Washington which seems to be Brady’s work. In her Poe, I, 804-05, Mary E. Phillips suggested that Poe stayed at the widow Barrett’s house during his visit to Washington. It is more reasonable to assume that he stayed at Fuller’s City Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, where his friend Frederick William Thomas had his lodgings. In his February 1, 1843, letter to Poe, Thomas advised him to “stop at ‘Fuller’s Hotel.’” Moreover, Poe’s March 9, 1843, letter to John Kirk Townsend and his March 16, 1843, letter to Thomas and Jesse E. Dow provide definite evidence of his presence — if not actually of his residence — at Fuller’s. The hotel would have been the logical place for him to stay, since he would have wanted to be close to Thomas, his mentor in Washington politics. No “widow Barrett” appears in the Washington Directory for 1843. Sketches of Brady may be found in the DAB and Brown; many of his daguerreotypes are reproduced in James D. Horan’s biography and in Roy Meredith’s Mr. Lincoln’s Camera Man: Mathew B. Brady, 2nd rev. ed. (1946; rpt. New York: Dover Publications, 1974). ­[page 720:]

JAMES BROOKS (1810-1873). Poe discussed this journalist and politician from Portland, Maine, in the February, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 159-60, 238). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

NATHAN COVINGTON BROOKS (1809-1898). This Baltimore clergyman, editor, and educator had known Poe before he moved to Philadelphia. The only surviving item from their correspondence is Poe’s September 4, 1838, letter to Brooks, which seems to indicate that they saw each other during the summer of 1838. Evidence that they were correspondents later in the Philadelphia period is provided by Poe’s January 17, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass. Brooks merited Poe’s praise both in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 225) and in a lecture on “American Poetry” delivered in Baltimore on January 31, 1844 (see the chronology for February 3, 1844). Brooks communicated brief reminiscences of Poe to several early biographers. Eugene L. Didier reproduced this Baltimore editor’s recollections in The Poe Cult and Other Poe Papers (1909; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1972), pp. 19, 226. In his Life, I, 67, Woodberry used two letters from Brooks, dated June 2 and 3, 1884, to reconstruct Poe’s movements during the Baltimore period. According to Brown, Brooks died in Philadelphia on October 6, 1898 His career is briefly discussed in Appleton’s and in John H. Hewitt’s Shadows on the Wall, pp. 47-49, 56-58; the most extensive sketch is provided by George C. Perine, The Poets and Verse-Writers of Maryland (Cincinnati, O.: Editor Publishing Co., 1898), pp. 84-86. ­[page 721:]

DAVID PAUL BROWN (1795-1872). Poe was probably acquainted with this Philadelphia lawyer and dramatist, who was favorably mentioned in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 24445). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia.

ORESTES AUGUSTUS BROWNSON (1803-1876). This New England Transcendentalist delivered a series of lectures in Philadelphia during January, 1842, which were favorably noticed by The Spirit of the Times, January 13, p. l, col. 5, and January 31, p. 1, col. 4, p. 2, col. 4. Poe had praised Brownson as “an extraordinary man” in the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 194); he may have possibly attended one of this author’s lectures. Sketches of Brownson may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional references are given by the LHUS Bibliography.

DANIEL BRYAN (ca. 1790?-1866). Bryan, the postmaster of Alexandria, Virginia, from 1820 to 1853, was a minor poet who is remembered as a Poe correspondent. Bryan’s May 13, 1842, letter is the earliest surviving letter in their correspondence: it establishes that the two men were not acquainted, although they had corresponded previously. The other surviving letters are entered in the chronology for June 27, July 6, 11, 26, and August 4, 1842. Poe praised Bryan for “some very excellent poetry . . . . of ‘the good old Goldsmith school’” in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 218). His career has been discussed by Elizabeth Binns, “Daniel Bryan, Poe’s Poet of ‘the good old Goldsmith school,’” William ­[page 722:] and Mary Quarterly, 23 (1943), 465-73, and by Jay B. Hubbell, The South in American Literature, 1607-1900 (Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1954), pp. 287-93, 918-19.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT (1794-1878). Poe could have met this American poet and editor at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. Around June 21, 1841, Poe sent Bryant a formal letter, soliciting his contributions for the new magazine he planned to issue with George R. Graham; but neither this letter nor a reply has been located. To the May, 1840, number of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, Poe contributed a long biographical and critical notice of Bryant; and he mentioned him again in the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 189). Additional references are given in Fifteen American Authors and the LHUS Bibliography.

KATHARINE REX BURGIN (1828-1917). Katharine Rex was a cousin of George Rex Graham; as a young girl, she lived in the same house with this publisher and his wife. As a Philadelphia matron Mrs. Burgin was fond of relating her memories of Poe and Graham. One of the persons with whom she talked was Ellis P. Oberholtzer (q.v.), whose unpublished manuscript “Poe’s Philadelphia Homes” was quoted by Phillips, Poe, I, 701-04. Mrs. Burgin provided biographers with an anecdote about Elijah Vansyckel (q.v.), a wine merchant who was George R. Graham’s next-door neighbor, and with a roster of the authors and statesmen who visited her cousin’s house. A sketch of Mrs. Burgin and several of her recollections may be found in her ­[page 723:] obituary in the Germantown Independent Gazette (Philadelphia), September 13, 1917, p. l, cols. 6-7. The Gazette reported that she often discussed “the primitive way” in which the business affairs of Graham’s Magazine were conducted: “Bank checks were not in use at that time and payment for subscriptions was made in cash. Mr. Graham would bring home large sums of money thus received by mail and she would sometimes help him count it.” According to the Gazette, “One of Mrs. Burgin’s interesting recollections was that; of hearing Mr. Graham read Poe’s ‘Gold Bug’ from the author’s manuscript when it was first submitted for publication.” In his Israfel, p. 432, Hervey Allen included a misleading reference to Mrs. Burgin: “We hear . . . . from Mrs. Catherine Bergin [sic ], of a Philadelphia charitable society, that Mrs. Clemm applied to her for aid in the Summer of 1842, when there was nothing in the [Poe] house but bread and molasses, and not very much of that.” In her later years Mrs. Burgin was active in various charitable organizations; Allen’s implication that she was connected with a “charitable society” in the summer of 1842 is almost certainly unwarranted, because she was only fourteen. Some evidence that Mrs. Clemm may have applied to a Philadelphia charity around the year 1842 is provided by the reminiscence preserved by Amanda B. Harris (q.v.).

CHARLES CHAUNCEY BURR (1815-1883). This editor and clergyman is remembered as one of the few Philadelphians who came to Poe’s assistance when he visited the city in July, 1849 (see Quinn, pp. 618-22, and see the Letters, II, 452-56). Burr’s own statement of his intimacy with Poe during the New York period is preserved in Francis G. ­[page 724:] Fairfield’s “A Mad Man of Letters,” Scribner’s Monthly, 10 (1875), 693. It is doubtful that Poe and Burr knew each other during the Philadelphia period. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory, does not identify Burr as a city resident until 1845, when his name appears in the “Churches” section (pp. 453-54) as the pastor of the Second Universalist Church. From 1848 until 1852 Burr edited the Nineteenth Century, a Philadelphia quarterly. In the February, 1852, number (Vol. 5, pp. 19-33), he published a lengthy defense of the “Character of Edgar A. Poe”; the Houghton Library of Harvard University apparently holds the sole copy of this number. Burr also mentioned Poe in three articles written for The Old Guard, a monthly magazine issued in New York City. These were entitled “Poe and Coleridge,” “Poe and his Biographer, Griswold,” and “Elements of the Art of Poetry”; and they appeared in The Old Guard, 4 (1866), 24-27, 353-58, 672-78. A sketch of Burr may be found in Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia; his relations with Poe are discussed by Jay B. Hubbell, “Charles Chauncey Burr: Friend of Poe,” PLA, 69 (1954), 833-40. The dates of his birth and death are provided by his obituary in the New York Times, May 3, 1883, p. 5, col. 2.

WILLIAM EVANS BURTON (1802-1860). This portly Englishman was probably the most popular comedian on the American stage during the 1840’s. Burton received his formal education at Saint Paul’s School in London, not at Cambridge University as he seems to have informed his American acquaintances: (see the chronology for November 23, 1840). He began his stage career at the age of nineteen; in the summer of 1834 he emigrated to the United States. ­[page 725:] His first appearance on the American stage occurred on September 3, 1834, when he played Dr. Ollapod in the farce of The Poor Gentleman at Philadelphia’s Arch Street Theatre. Burton was ambitious, energetic, and versatile; in July, 1837, he embarked upon an additional career as the editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, a Philadelphia monthly. Burton himself wrote many articles for the Gentleman’s Magazine; other contributions were furnished by such minor Philadelphia literati as Thomas Dunn English, Charles West Thomson, and Catherine H. Waterman. For the September, 1838, number Burton wrote a flippant critique of Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Poe seems to have retaliated by alluding sarcastically to Dr. Elapid, a fatuous character often portrayed by Burton, in his story “The Scythe of Time” (”A Predicament”), which appeared in the November, 1838, number of the American Museum. Poe’s financial difficulties were almost certainly the reason that he sought employment on the Gentleman’s Magazine. In a May 11, 1839, letter Burton offered him ten dollars a week to serve as his assistant editor. The two men promptly disagreed over the conduct of the critical department of the Gentleman’s Magazine. On May 30, 1839, Burton wrote Poe again, stressing that the monthly’s book reviews were not to be characterized by “undue severity.” Burton often accepted acting engagements outside of Philadelphia: during his absences he assigned Poe the task of readying the Gentleman’s Magazine for publication, but not the authority to determine its contents (see Burton’s July 4, 1839, letter to an unnamed employee, presumably Poe). Their relationship further deteriorated at the end of the year: Burton advertised a one-thousand-dollar premium contest to attract talented authors to the Gentleman’s Magazine, and Poe was ­[page 726:] noticeably lacking in enthusiasm for the project (see the chronology for November 20 and December 19, 1839). The cancellation of this contest was announced in the Gentleman’s Magazine for April, 1840. In the following month Burton turned his attention to the construction of his new National Theatre; and without telling Poe in advance, he advertised. the Gentleman’s Magazine for sale (see the chronology for May, May 21, 30, and June l, 1840). Poe then prepared a Prospectus for his own periodical, the Penn Magazine. Burton. must have been incensed at Poe’s action, because the announcement of the forthcoming Penn would lessen the market value of the Gentleman’s Magazine. On May 30, 1840, Burton sent Poe an angry letter, dismissing him from his position; the June, 1840, number of the Gentleman’s Magazine contained a curt notice of his departure. In the following months Burton and Poe exchanged accusations. Burton suggested that his former employee was intemperate (see the chronology for September, 1840, and April 1, 1841); and Poe claimed that Burton’s conduct of the premium contest was intentionally fraudulent (see the chronology for June 17, 1840). The famous comedian was briefly noticed in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 236). Sketches may be found in the DAB, the DNB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Although William L. Keese’s William E. Burton, Actor, Author and Manager (New York: Putnam, 1885) was written by a friend of Burton and his family, and was conceived as a memorial rather than an impartial biography, it, is useful if “read between the lines.” The best source is Rue Corbett Johnson’s “The Theatrical Career of William E. Burton,” Diss. Indiana 1967. Johnson, p. 1, establishes that the comedian was born on September 24, ­[page 727:] 1802, not in the year 1804, the date given in most sources. Evidence that Poe saw Burton perform in his very popular roles of Dr. Ollapod in the farce of The Poor Gentleman, and of Toby Tramp in the farce of The Mummy, has been produced by Burton R. Pollin in “Poets Dr. Ollapod,” American Literature, 42 (1970), 80-82, and in “Poe’s’some Words With a Mummy’ Reconsidered,” Emerson Society Quarterly, 60 (1970), “Poe Supplement,” pp. 60-67. Characterizations of Burton may be found in several reminiscences. Thomas Dunn English described him in “Down Among the Dead Men,” The Old Guard, 8 (1870), 25-30. Three of Burton’s fellow actors also recorded their impressions: Joseph Jefferson in The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson (New York: Century Co., 1889), pp. 96-110, 436-38; James E. Murdoch in The Stage (Philadelphia: J. M. Stoddart &Co., 1880), pp. 223-26, 230-31; and Francis C. Wemyss in his Theatrical Biography of Eminent Actors and Authors (New York: Estate of Wm. Taylor, n.d.) and in his Twenty-Six Years of the Life of an Actor and Manager (New York: Burgess, Stringer and Co., 1847), II, 334.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


GEORGE HENRY CALVERT (1803-1889). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 221-22), Poe noticed this Baltimore editor and author: “He is essentially a feeble and common-place writer of poetry, although his prose compositions have a certain degree of merit. His chirography indicates the ‘common-place’ upon which we have commented.” Sketches of Calvert may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and George C. Perine’s Poets of Maryland, pp. 59-60.

EDWARD L. CAREY (1806-1845). This Philadelphia ­[page 728:] publisher was one of the proprietors of Carey &Hart; his partner was Abraham Hart (1810-1885). Carey &Hart was a smaller firm than Carey &Lea (later Lea &Blanchard), the city’s principal publishing house. Although these two concerns operated independently, they were closely allied; and they shared the same building at the southeast corner of Chestnut and Fourth. Streets. Carey &Hart published anthologies, such as Rufus W. Griswold’s The Poets and Poetry of America, and literary annuals, such as The Gift. Poe probably was acquainted with the firm’s proprietors, because the first publication of his tales “William Wilson,” “Eleonora,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” occurred in The Gift (see the chronology for May, September 21, 1839, September 4, 1841, and September 24, 1842). Poe’s May 31, 1844, letter to Carey (Letters, II, 706) suggests that he may have sold “The Purloined Letter” to Carey &Hart before he left Philadelphia on April 6 of this year; the story appeared in The Gift for 1845. A sketch of Carey may be found in Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians; sketches of Hart are included in the DAB, Appleton’s, James C. Derby’s Fifty Years Among Authors, Books and Publishers (New York: G. W. Carleton, 1884), pp. 550-58, and Henry Samuel Morais’ The Jews of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Levytype Co., 1894), Pp. 53-58. The firm of Carey &Hart is frequently mentioned in David Kaser’s Messrs. Carey &Lea; The Gift is discussed in Ralph Thompson’s American Literary Annuals &Gift Books, 1825-1865 (1936; rpt. n.p., Archon Books, 1967), pp. 7478.

HENRY CHARLES CAREY (1793-1879). This son of Mathew Carey (q.v.) was one of the principals in the Philadelphia publishing house of Carey &Lea, which eventually bore the ­[page 729:] name of Lea &Blanchard. Poe may have known Carey, but there is no definite evidence that they were acquainted. Carey retired from publishing in 1838, the year before his firm undertook to publish Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN L. CAREY (?-1852). Poe’s December 12, 1839, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass establishes that he forwarded a copy of his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque to Carey, an associate editor of the Baltimore American. Carey’s favorable review of Poe’s stories is reproduced in the chronology from the American of December 14, 1839. According to J. Thomas Scharf’s History of Baltimore City and County (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), II, 610, Carey died in New Orleans from cholera on December 14, 1852, not long after he had entered on his duties as one of the editors of the New Orleans Crescent. He was the author of three books dealing with the slavery question: Some Thoughts Concerning Domestic Slavery (1838); Slavery in Maryland Briefly Considered (1845); and Slavery and the Wilmot Proviso (1847). The first edition of Domestic Slavery (1838) was issued anonymously; the second edition, which appeared in 1839, bore Carey’s name.

MATHEW CAREY (1760-1839). This publisher and bookseller came to Philadelphia from Ireland in 1784; he was the father of Edward L. Carey and Henry Charles Carey (q.q.v.), and the father-in-law of Isaac Lea (q.v.). After Mathew Carey retired from the booktrade in 1822, his bookstore at the southeast corner of Chestnut and Fourth Streets was purchased by his son Henry and Isaac Lea; it provided ­[page 730:] the basis for the publishing house of Carey &Lea. Mathew Carey contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship; and Poe had occasion to correspond with him in 1836 (see the Letters, I, 98-99). This bookseller was discussed in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 161). Mathew Carey appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1837 and 1839; sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Van Wyck Brooks discusses Carey’s career in The World of Washington Irving (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1944), passim. A book-length study is provided by Earl L. Bradsher, Mathew Carey, Editor, Author and Publisher (New York: Columbia University Press, 1912).

ROBERT CARTER (1819-1879). This Boston editor was James Russell Lowell’s partner on The Pioneer. Poe’s correspondence with Lowell began on November 16, 1842, when he wrote this New England poet and offered to contribute to the forthcoming Pioneer. Shortly after the January, 1843, number appeared, Lowell developed a serious eye ailment; and he was forced to spend several months in New York City undergoing treatment. With Lowell incapacitated, Carter assumed the editorial chair of The Pioneer; and he began to correspond with Poe. The extant items of their correspondence are entered in the chronology for February 16, March 7, and June 19, 1843. Sketches of Carter may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

LEWIS CASS (1782-1866). This American statesman and diplomat had been Secretary of War in the administration of Andrew Jackson. In the December, 1841, installment of ­[page 731:] “Autography” (Works, XV, 238), Poe described Cass as “one of the finest belles-lettres scholars of America,” and noted that “At one period he was a very regular contributor to the’southern Literary Messenger,’ and even lately he has furnished that journal with one or two very excellent papers.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

JOSEPH RIPLEY CHANDLER (1792-1880). Poe had the opportunity to meet this Philadelphia editor at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), Chandler attended a dinner party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into Philadelphia society. As editor of the United States Gazette, an important Whig newspaper, Chandler favorably noticed Poe on several occasions (see the chronology for September 4, December 5, 1839, June 11, 1840, July 21, 1843, and January 8, 9, 1844). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 216), Poe praised Chandler “as the editor of one of the best daily papers in the country, and as one of our finest belles lettres scholars.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING (1780-1842). Poe briefly mentioned this eminent New England clergyman and essayist in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 161-62). In the December, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 226-27), he discussed Channing at length, praising his style for its “purity, polish and modulation,” and placing him “at the head of our moral and didactic writers.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional ­[page 732:] references are given in the LHUS Bibliography.

THOMAS HOLLEY CHIVERS (1809-1858). This eccentric and grandiloquent Georgia poet corresponded with Poe during the Philadelphia period. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 241-42), Poe gave a frank assessment of his correspondent’s merits: “Dr. THOMAS HOLLEY CHIVERS . . . . is at the same time one of the best and one of the worst poets in America. His productions affect one as a wild dream — strange, incongruous, full of images of more than arabesque monstrosity, and snatches of sweet unsustained song. Even his worst nonsense (and some of it is horrible) has an indefinite charm of sentiment and melody.” S. Foster Damon contributed a sketch of Chivers to the DAB; he is also the author of the best biography available, Thomas Holley Chivers, Friend of Poe (1930; rpt. New York: Russell &Russell, 1973). A more recent examination is provided by Charles Henry Watts, II, Thomas Holley Chivers: His Literary Career and His Poetry (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1956). Letters written by Chivers and sent to him have been collected by Emma Lester Chase and Lois Ferry Parks in The Complete Works of Thomas Holley Chivers, Volume I: The Correspondence (Providence, R. I.: Brown University Press, 1957). Chivers’ reminiscences of Poe have been published by Richard Beale Davis, Chivers’ Life of Poe (New York: E. P. Dutton &Co., 1952). Additional references may be found in the LHUS Bibliography and in Jay B. Hubbell’s The South in American Literature, pp. 550-59, 924.

LEWIS JACOB CIST (1818-1885). This Cincinnati, Ohio, poet contributed a poem entitled “Bachelor Philosophy” to ­[page 733:] the Penn Magazine; for additional information, see Poe’s December 30, 1840, and September 18, 1841, letters to Cist. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 240), Poe recorded his opinion that Cist’s poems, although “very popular,” are “at times disfigured by false metaphor, and by a meretricious straining after effect.” Sketches may be found in Appleton’s, Brown, and William T. Coggeshall’s The Poets and Poetry of the West (Columbus, O.: Follett, Foster and Co., 1860), p. 337.

LEWIS GAYLORD CLARK (1808-1873). He was the editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine, one of New York City’s leading periodicals. When Poe edited the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835 and 1836, he offended Clark by his severe criticisms of writers associated with the Knickerbocker; and the two men remained bitter enemies. It is conceivable that Clark and Poe could have met each other at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837; it is doubtful that they became correspondents. Sketches of Clark may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. His letters have been collected by Leslie W. Dunlap, The Letters of Willis Gaylord Clark and Lewis Gaylord Clark (New York: New York Public Library, 1940). Additional information on Poe’s relations with Clark maybe found throughout such studies as Perry Miller’s The Raven and the Whale (1955; rpt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1973), and Sidney P. Moss’s Poe’s Literary Battles and Poe’s Major Crisis.

WILLIS GAYLORD CLARK (1808-1841). The editor of the Philadelphia Gazette, a daily newspaper, was the twin brother of Lewis Gaylord Clark (q.v.). Poe was probably acquainted with Willis Gaylord Clark, whose poetry he ­[page 734:] admired (see the Works, XV, 211). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. His letters have been collected by Leslie W. Dunlap.

ANNE E. C. CLARKE. She was the daughter of Thomas C. Clarke (q.v.), the Philadelphia publisher who was Poe’s partner on The Stylus. Evidence that she was a visitor to the Poe home as a child is provided by the reminiscence written by her father;and published by William F. Gill in his Life of Edgar Allan Poe, pp. 100-03. Miss Clarke left her own account of Poe, Thomas Dunn English, and Henry B. Hirst, which is excerpted in John Sartain’s Reminiscences, pp. 216-17, 224-26.

THOMAS COTTRELL CLARKE (1801-1874). This Philadelphia publisher was one of Poe’s closest associates. Clarke was born in Newport, Rhode Island, but he moved to Philadelphia in 1820. In the following year he became the first editor of the Saturday Evening Post; he withdrew from the Post in 1826 and founded the Album, a weekly miscellany. Clarke was later connected with the Saturday Courier and the Ladies’ Literary Port Folio. On December 10, 1842, he issued the first number, of a weekly newspaper of folio size, the Philadelphia Saturday Museum. By January, 1843, Clarke had reached an agreement with Poe to issue The Stylus; on January 31 they signed a contract with Felix O. C. Darley (q.v.), who was to provide illustrations for their forthcoming journal. Anne E. C. Clarke’s reminiscence suggests that Poe was a frequent visitor to her father’s house and that the two men were intimate acquaintances over a period ­[page 735:] of several years, but their January 31 contract with Darley is the earliest definite evidence of their association. In its February 25, 1843, issue the Saturday Museum published a long biographical sketch of Poe. The Museum reprinted the sketch on March 4; this issue also contained an announcement that Poe was to become an assistant editor, but he never formally joined the weekly’s staff. On March 8, 1843, Poe went to Washington in hopes of securing a position in the Philadelphia Custom House and of enlisting subscribers to The Stylus. Clarke was almost certainly disturbed by the letter which Jesse E. Dow (q.v.) sent him on March 12, describing Poe’s excessive drinking and asking him to escort his partner back to Philadelphia. Shortly before June 3, 1843, the Saturday Museum announced Clarke’s withdrawal from The Stylus (see the chronology for June 3). Clarke defended his former partner’s character in “The Late N. P. Willis, and Literary Men Forty Years Ago,” Northern Monthly Magazine, 2 (January, 1868), 234-42, and in his “Poe: What Those Say Who Knew Him Best” (MS, Butler Library, Columbia University). He also sent a reminiscence of the Poe family to William F. Gill, who published it in his Life of Edgar Allan Poe, pp. 100-03. Some information on his career is given by Mott, American Magazines, p. 354; Albert H. Smyth, Philadelphia Magazines, pp. 200-04; and Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 1987, 1992. Obituaries may be found in the New York Times, December 24, 1874, p. 5, col. 2; The Press (Philadelphia), December 24, 1874, p. 4, col. 6; the Philadelphia North American, December 24, 1874, p. 1, col. 5; and Potter’s American Monthly, 4 (1875) , 80.

MARIA CLEMM (1790-1871). She was Poe’s aunt, being ­[page 736:] the sister of his father David Poe, Jr. (1784?), and his mother-in-law, being the mother of his wife Virginia Clemm Poe (1822-1847). During the early 1830’s Poe resided with Mrs. Clemm and her daughter Virginia in Baltimore. In a letter which she sent her cousin William Poe from Richmond on October 7, 1835 (Works, XVII, 379-81), Mrs. Clemm wrote: “My daughter Virginia is with me here and we are entirely dependent on Edgar. He is, indeed a son to me &has always been so.” Mrs. Clemm was Poe’s companion and his mainstay during his residence in Philadelphia. She had little formal education, but she possessed much fortitude, industry, and ingenuity, and she was able to keep a comfortable household with limited funds. In his “Memoir,” p. xxxiv, Rufus W. Griswold described a visit he made to Poe’s home during the latter part of the Philadelphia period, and he bore witness to Mrs. Clemm’s domestic management: “I was impressed by the singular neatness and the air of refinement in his home. It was in a small house, in one of the pleasant and silent neighborhoods far from the centre of the town, and though slightly and cheaply furnished, everything in it was so tasteful and so fitly disposed that it seemed altogether suitable for a man of genius. For this and for most of the comforts he enjoyed in his brightest as in his darkest years, he was chiefly indebted to his mother-in-law, who loved him with more than maternal devotion and constancy.” In Graham’s Magazine, 36 (March, 1850), 224-26, George R. Graham recalled that the monthly salary Poe received while on the staff of this journal “went directly into the hands of his mother-in-law.” Mrs. Clemm is also discussed in reminiscences reproduced in the directory entries for Thomas Dunn English, Amanda B. Harris, Gabriel Harrison, Mayne Reid, and Susan Archer Weiss, and in the reminiscence of Frederick William Thomas, which is excerpted in the ­[page 737:] chronology for September 17, 1842. After Poe’s death Mrs. Clemm became dependent on the charity of others; she died at the Church Home, a charitable institution in Baltimore, on February 16, 1871. Information on her life may be found throughout the biographies of Quinn and Phillips. A number of letters written by Mrs. Clemm and sent to her have been printed by Arthur H. Quinn and Richard H. Hart, Poe Letters in the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Steven Allaback published fifteen letters which Mrs. Clemm sent to Longfellow between 1850 and 1866 in “Mrs. Clemm and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” Harvard Library Bulletin, 18 (1970), 32-42.

DR. REYNELL COATES (1802-1886). This Philadelphia physician and scientist was a contributor to Graham’s Magazine in 1842,’as Poe observed in his November 16, 1841, letter to Mrs. Lydia H:. Sigourney. Dr. Coates, who was later to have Walt Whitman for a patient, may have been one of the Philadelphia physicians who treated Virginia Poe in her serious illness (see the chronology for circa January 20, February 3, 1842). Sketches may be found in Brown and in Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia.

WALTER COLTON (1797-1851). This New England clergyman edited the Philadelphia North American, a daily newspaper. Henry Marie Brackenridge’s November 6, 1841, letter to Frederick William Thomas, and Thomas’ November 6, 1841, letter to Poe suggest that Poe and Colton would have been in communication with each other on or about November 8, 1841. Additional evidence of a probable acquaintanceship between these two editors is provided by Colton’s April 2, 1850, letter to Rufus W. Griswold (MS, Boston Public Library). ­[page 738:] Colton wrote Griswold: “I have read your criticism on E. A. Poe; it is terrific, but not more so than the moral aspects of your subject. In literary execution it rivals the best passages in Macaulay. I knew something of Poe — something of the unfathomed gulfs, of darkness out of which the lightning of his genius sent its scorching flashes.” Sketches of Colton may be found in the DAB, Brown, and Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians.

ROBERT TAYLOR CONRAD (1810-1858). Poe could have made the acquaintance of this Philadelphia playwright, lawyer, and editor at the supper party which is described by Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.). Conclusive evidence that these two authors knew each other is provided by Poe’s January 22, 1841,’letter to Conrad. The December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 232-33) contains a favorable evaluation of Conrad’s abilities: “Judge CONRAD occupies, perhaps, the first place among our Philadelphia literati. He has distinguished himself both as a prose writer and a poet — not to speak of his high legal reputation.” Poe’s admiration was sincere, because he recited Conrad’s “Sonnets on the Lord’s Prayer” when he lectured on “American Poetry” two years later (see the chronology for November 25, 29, 1843). Conrad seems to have been equally impressed by Poe’s merits: he was one of the three Philadelphia literati who selected “The Gold-Bug” as the prize story for the Dollar Newspaper (see the chronology for June 19, 1843). For evidence that Poe wrote the unsigned article on Conrad which appeared in the June, 1844, number of Graham’s Magazine, see Thomas Ollive Mabbott’s commentary in Doings of Gotham: Poe’s Contributions to The Columbia Spy, ed. Jacob E. Spannuth and Mabbott (Pottsville, ­[page 739:] Pa.: Jacob E. Spannuth, 1929), p. 101. Sketches of Conrad may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia.

PHILIP PENDLETON COOKE (1816-1850). This Virginia author contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine when Poe was associated with these periodicals. Poe had a high opinion of Cooke’s abilities as a poet and as a critic; Cooke held an even higher opinion of Poe’s merits. The two men corresponded during the Philadelphia period. The surviving letters are entered in the chronology for September 16, 21, December 19, 1839. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 234), Poe recorded his opinion that Cooke had written “some of the finest poetry of which America can boast.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. John D. Allen’s Philip Pendleton Cooke (Chapel Hill, N. C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1942) is a book-length study. A number of Cooke’s letters have been published by Edward L. Tucker, “Philip Pendleton Cooke and The Southern Literary Messenger: Selected Letters,” Mississippi Quarterly, 27 (Winter, 1973-1974), 79-99. Additional sources are cited by Jay B. Hubbell, The South in American Literature, pp. 502-11, 927.

JAMES FENIMORE COOPER (1789-1851). Poe sent at least one letter to Cooper during the Philadelphia period, which is reproduced in the chronology for circa June 21, 1841. Perfunctory notices of Cooper appear in the February, 1836, and the November 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 148-49, 205). Evidence that Poe was unimpressed by ­[page 740:] this author’s writings is provided by his unfavorable review of Cooper’s novel Wyandotte in the November, 1843, number of Graham’s Magazine. Additional sources are described in Fifteen American Authors and the LHUS Bibliography.

WILLIAM CUTTER (1801-1867). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 244), Poe commented that this Maine poet had written “numerous compositions which prove him to be possessed of the true fire.” A sketch of Cutter and several of his poems may be found in George Bancroft Griffith’s The Poets of Maine (Portland, Me.: Elwell, Pickard, &Co., 1888), pp. 66-68.


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RICHARD HENRY DANA (1787-1879). The December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 224) contains a perfunctory notice of this New England poet and essayist: “Mr. DANA ranks among our most eminent poets, and he has been the frequent subject of comment in our Reviews. He has high qualities, undoubtedly, but his defects are many and great.” Sketches of Dana may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. He was the father of Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-1882), the author of Two Years Before the Mast (1840).

EDWARD H. DARLEY. This Philadelphia portrait painter was an older brother of Felix O. C. Darley (q.v.). According to Groce and Wallace’s Dictionary of Artists in America and Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Edward H. Darley once painted a portrait of Poe. In her Facts About Poe: Portraits &Daguerreotypes (1926; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1972), pp. 1415, Amanda Pogue Schulte reproduced an oil portrait of Poe made about 1840 which she attributed (p. 42) to “Francis Darley, the brother of Felix O. C. Darley.” No Francis Darley appears in any edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory issued between 1837 and 1845. McElroy’s for 1840 contains the following entry: “Darley E. H., port. painter, 309 Walnut.”

FELIX O. C. DARLEY (1822-1888). This young Philadelphia engraver lived to become one of nineteenth-century America’s best-known illustrators. On January 31, 1843, Darley signed a contract with Poe and Thomas C. Clarke to furnish illustrations for The Stylus. Later in this year he provided illustrations for Poe’s story “The Gold-Bug” and Thomas Dunn English’s temperance novel The Doom of the Drinker (see the chronology for ante June 10, June 21, 1843). In his Life, II, 2-3, Woodberry quoted Darley’s February 26, 1884, letter to him, in which the engraver related his memories of hearing Poe read “The Gold-Bug” and “The Black Cat” from unpublished manuscripts. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, Groce and Wallace’s Dictionary of Artists in America, and Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters. Thomas Dunn English published a reminiscence of his dealings with this noted artist; see his “Felix O. C. Darley,” Sartain’s Magazine, 7 (November, 1850), 309-12.

RUFUS DAWES (1803-1859). Poe had a low opinion of this American poet. Apparently, he prepared a devastating critique of Dawes for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine; but William E. Burton, the monthly’s proprietor, refused to ­[page 742:] publish it. Several years later he submitted an article on Dawes to the editors of the Democratic Review, who did not accept it. For documentation, see the chronology for May 30, 1839, and July 18, 1842. The articles Poe submitted to Burton’s and the Democratic Review were probably early versions of his scathing commentary on “The Poetry of Rufus Dawes,” which appeared in the October, 1842, number of Graham’s Magazine. Another forerunner was the notice of Dawes in the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 190-91); Poe concluded that this author’s “apparent erudition” was “mere verbiage,” and that his style was “the most inflated, involved, and falsely-figurative of any of our more noted poets.” Sketches may be found in Appleton’s, Brown, and Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck’s Cyclopaedia of American Literature (New York: Scribner’s, 1866), II, 353-54; II (Supplement), 52. In his Shadows on the Wall, pp. 9-12, John H. Hewitt recorded his memories of Rufus Dawes.

JOHN S. DETWILER. He was the son of Benjamin Detwiler, Poe’s next-door neighbor in the Fairmount district. John S. Detwiler related his memories of Poe to Ellis P. Oberholtzer (q.v.); his reminiscence may be found in Oberholtzer’s Philadelphia: A History (Philadelphia: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., n.d.), II, 213-15, and Phillips’ Poe, I, 745-49. Benjamin Detwiler, a Pennsylvania German who owned a flour mill, appears in the 1843 and 1845 editions of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory; his address is given as “Coates n[ear] FM [Fairmount].” The 1843 edition gives the same address for Poe and Mrs. Clemm. In an undated letter to Edwin C. Jellett (typescript copy, Joseph Jackson Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania), John S. ­[page 743:] Detwiler identified the Poe residence, which bore no street number in 1843, as 2502 Fairmount Avenue; and he commented on Poe’s fondness for nature: “I have no doubt in my mind that Poe often visited the Wissahiccon because he was a great lover of nature and fond of roving about the country.” The Wissahiccon was a stream near the Fairmount district which Poe described in “Morning on the Wissahiccon” (”The Elk”).

THOMAS RODERICK DEW (1802-1846). This professor of economics at William and Mary College contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship, and the two men were correspondents in 1836 (see the Letters, II, 575-76). Poe briefly noticed Dew in both the August, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 166-67, 23L~-35). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870). Possibly the most highly publicized event; in American literary history was the visit Charles Dickens paid to the United States during the first six months of 1842. On or about March 7, 1842, Poe and Dickens had two interviews at Philadelphia’s United States Hotel. Dickens was so impressed by Poe that he undertook the mission of finding a British publisher for his stories. For documentation, see the chronology for ante March 6, March 6, circa March 7, ante June 7, November 17, 27, 1842. The relationship between these two authors has been discussed by Gerald G. Grubb, “The Personal and Literary Relationships of Dickens and Poe,” Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 5 (1950-1951), 1-22, 101-20, 209-21; by Ada B. Nisbet, “New Light on the Dickens-Poe Relationship,” Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 5 (1950-1951), 295-302, and by Howard W. Webb, Jr., “A Further Note on the Dickens-Poe Relationship,” Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 15 (1960-1961), 80-82. Poe’s review of Barnaby Rudge in the May 1, 1841, issue of the Saturday Evening Post has been reprinted by The Dickensian, 9 (1913), 174-78. Two accounts of Dickens’ reception in Philadelphia are Joseph Jackson’s monograph Dickens in Philadelphia (Philadelphia: William J. Campbell, 1912), and J. K. Thompson’s article “The Quaker City and its Association with Dickens,” The Dickensian, 26 (1930), 89-95. Two essential sources on Dicken’s 1842 visit are his American Notes for General Circulation and the Pilgrim Edition of The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume Three: 1842-1843, edited by Madeline House, Graham Storey, and Kathleen Tillotson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974).

GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE (1799-1859). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 256-57), Poe briefly recorded his opinion that although this Episcopal bishop was “somewhat more extensively known in his clerical than in a literary capacity,” he had accomplished “much more than sufficient in the world of books to entitle him to a place among the most noted of our living men of letters.” Sketches of Bishop Doane may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

ELIZA STETSON DOW. She was the wife of Jesse E. Dow (q.v.). Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas and Dow suggests that he saw Mrs. Dow during his March, 1843, visit to Washington; and it establishes that he deeply regretted “the vexation” he believed he had caused ­[page 745:] her. According to Robert Piercy Dow, The Book of Dow: Genealogical Memoirs (Claremont, N. H.: Privately printed, 1929), p. 461, she was the mother of at least three children. This source is corroborated by Frederick William Thomas’ May 11 and June 14, 1841, letters to Poe. Mrs. Dow seems to have been left in straitened circumstances by the death of her husband on October 23, 1850; shortly thereafter she turned her Washington residence into a boarding house. Her advertisement offering “three or four very pleasant and genteel rooms, neatly furnished, and suitable for single gentlemen or small families,” appeared in the Washington Daily Union, November 17, 1850, p. 3, col. 6.

JESSE ERSKINE DOW (1809-1850). This Washington journalist and poet was a well-known literary figure in the 1840’s; but he has been remembered as the resident of the capital city who, on March 12, 1843, sent an anxious letter to Thomas C. Clarke (q.v.), describing Poe’s drinking. Dow was born in Thompson, Connecticut, the son of Daniel Dow, a clergyman. He joined the United States Navy at an early age, and he later became private secretary to several high-ranking naval officers. From August, 1835, until April 4, 1836, Dow served on board the frigate Constitution, popularly known as “Old Ironsides,” as secretary to its commander, Commodore Jesse Duncan Elliott (q.v.). By 1837 Dow had settled in Washington, where for the next four years he held a clerkship in. the Post Office Department. In 1839 he began to make literary capital out of his experiences on board the Constitution; the April number of the Democratic Review contained his “Old Ironsides on a Lee Shore,” a nautical sketch which was reprinted by many newspapers. Dow later contributed his “Sketches from the Log ­[page 746:] of Old Ironsides” to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, the first of ten installments appearing in the July, 1839, number. It was probably as a major contributor to Burton’s that Dow had occasion to make Poe’s acquaintance. In May, 1840, Dow came to Philadelphia to testify in the court martial of his former commander, Commodore Elliott; and Poe welcomed him to the city in the Daily Chronicle. Poe seems to have introduced Dow to his new friend Frederick William Thomas (q.v.), who was also visiting Philadelphia at this time. For additional information, see the chronology for May 4, post May 7, May 19, June 3, 15, 1840. After Thomas settled in Washington around March 1, 1841, he and Dow became frequent companions. Being a liberal Democrat or “Loco-Foco,” Dow was dismissed from his clerkship in the Post Office Department not long after the March 4 inauguration of President Harrison, a Whig (see Thomas’ May 11, 1841, letter to Poe). On August 21, 1841, Dow assumed the editorship of The Index, a Democratic newspaper. In The Index he defended Commodore Elliott, praised his friends Poe and Thomas, and satirized the compositions of two young Whig literati, Thomas Dunn English and Rufus W. Griswold (q.q.v.). Some of Dow’s contributions are entered in the chronology for September 25, 28, November 2, 27, December 14, 1841, and May 5, 21, June 2, 3, 18, 23, 27, 1842. Ill health forced him to resign his editorship on July 4, 1842. Dow was subsequently employed in various official capacities. The Washington Directory for 1843, pp. 23, 129, 200, identifies him as a “general agent for Post Office business,” a police magistrate, and a justice of the peace. Thomas was bedridden when Poe arrived in Washington on March 8, 1843, and Dow seems to have served as his guide during his visit. In 1844 Dow was the doorkeeper of the House of Representatives (see Phillips’ Poe, ­[page 747:] I, 906). In 1845 he became editor of the Daily Madisonian, the Washington organ of the Democratic party (see the Madisonian, April 7, 1845, p. 2, cols. 1-2). His wife was Eliza Stetson Dow (q.v.), by whom he had at least three children (see Robert Piercy Dow’s Book of Dow, p. 461). Dow was favorably noticed in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 228). He died in Washington on October 23, 1850. Several of the city’s newspapers carried obituaries: the Daily Union, October 24, p. 2, col. 4; the Daily National Intelligencer, October 25, p. 3, col. 5; and The Republic, October 26, p. 3, col. 4.

JACK DOWNING.” This was the pseudonym under which Seba Smith (q.v.), a journalist of Portland, Maine, published a series of popular satires on American politics. Poe discussed “Jack Downing” in both the August, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 172, 239). In the December, 1841, installment he attributed these satires to Smith and to James Brooks (q.v.), another Portland journalist.

WILLIAM DRAYTON (1776-1846). Poe was presumably acquainted with this Philadelphia lawyer and banker, to whom he dedicated his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque with “respect, gratitude, and esteem.” Drayton rose to the rank of colonel in the United States Army during the War of 1812; he continued to be known by this title throughout his life, but the tradition repeated by several biographers that he was at one time Poe’s commanding officer is unfounded. During the years in which Poe served in the Army, Drayton was a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. In 1833 he settled in Philadelphia; in ­[page 748:] 1841 he became president of Nicholas Biddle’s United States Bank. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.

HENRY A. DREER. He was the junior partner in the firm of Hirst &Dreer, Nursery Seedsmen and Florists, located at 97 Chestnut Street, above Third. Dreer may well have been acquainted with Poe, who was a frequent companion of the firm’s senior partner, Henry B. Hirst (q.v.). In the March 18, 1840, issue of Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, Poe referred to the firm’s proprietors as “our friends Hirst and Dreer” (see Brigham, Poe’s Contributions, pp. 59-60). By December 24, 1840, Hirst had left the firm; and he was in the process of starting his own “horticultural warehouse” at 27 South Fourth Street (see the chronology for this date). Dreer continued to operate the seed store on Chestnut Street under his own name. He does not appear in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory: for 1837; but he is identified as a merchant or as a seedsman, 97 Chestnut Street, by every edition of McElroy’s issued between 1839 and 1845. McElroy’s for 1840 contains a full-page advertisement for the firm of Hirst &Dreer (”Advertisements,” p. 5).

WILLIAM JOHN DUANE (1780-1865). Poe was probably acquainted with this Philadelphia lawyer, who had been Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson. Approximately one month before he left Philadelphia, Poe borrowed an early volume of the Southern Literary Messenger from Duane’s private library through Henry B. Hirst (q.v.). He entrusted Mrs. Clemm with the chore of delivering the Messenger to Hirst; but instead of returning the volume, she sold it to William A. Leary, a Philadelphia bookseller. ­[page 749:] Her carelessness led to an exchange of angry letters between Duane and Poe. For additional information, see the chronology for circa March, 1844. Sketches of Duane may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

FRANCIS H. DUFFEE. He was a minor Philadelphia author who sought to gain celebrity by attacking Poe. On June 27, 1843, Duffee published an anonymous communication in the Daily Forum asserting that Poe had been in collusion with the committee which selected “The Gold-Bug” as the prize story of the Dollar Newspaper. For additional information, see the chronology for June 27, 29, July 1, 4, 6, 24, 25, 27, 1843. According to a report published in the Public Ledger, July 4, 1843, p. 2, col. 4, Duffee was “a person formerly connected in some official capacity . . . . with several of the small savings institutions of our city now no more, and at present in some capacity in connection with a broker’s office, No. 3 S. Third st.” Between the years 1837 and 1845, most editions of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory list a “Francis Duffee” or a “F. H. Duffee,” who is identified as a stock broker or as a commission merchant. McElroy’s for 1843 contains the following entry: “Duffee Francis, broker &com. mer., 3 Exchange pl &21 Walnut.” Presumably, this broker, whose office was located at Walnut and Third Streets, was the individual who accused Poe of collusion.

JOHN STEPHENSON DU SOLLE (1810?-1876). This Poe associate was one of Philadelphia’s most colorful journalists. As a young man Du Solle was placed in the countinghouse of a Philadelphia shipping merchant, but he soon turned his energies to literature. In November, 1837, ­[page 750:] he became the editor of The Spirit of the Times, a daily newspaper which supported the Democratic party. Under Du Solle’s guidance this journal acquired a large circulation as well as a reputation for controversy. The Spirit is an important source for students of Philadelphia’s literary history, because Du Solle, himself a minor poet and a spirited writer, believed the activities of the city’s literati — Poe, Lambert A. Wilmer, Rufus W. Griswold, Thomas Dunn English, and Henry B. Hirst, among others — to be newsworthy. The Spirit was published at the northwest corner of Chestnut and Third Streets, across from the office of Graham’s Magazine at the southwest corner. According to Charles Godfrey Leland and Thompson Westcott (q.q.v.), Poe was a frequent visitor to the office of The Spirit. Du Solle admired Poe and praised him editorially; for additional information on their relationship, see the chronology for June 12, 1840, January 10, August 17;, September 21, 1842, February 25, June 22, July 1, 15, 1843, and January 8, 10, March 12, 1844. Du Solle disposed of his interest in The Spirit on December 10, 1849; he subsequently moved to New York City, where he became private secretary to the showman P. T. Barnum. From 1851 until his death on January 7, 1876, Du Solle furnished the weekly New York correspondence for the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch over the signature of “Knickerbocker.” Poe praised Du Solle in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 219). Thompson Westcott discussed his career in “Philadelphia and the Philadelphians,” Sunday Dispatch, March 9, 1851, p. 1, cols. 3-5. The Dispatch, January 9, 1876, p. 2, cols. 1-2, carried an obituary. Additional sketches have been published by Joseph Jackson, Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, and by Roger Butterfield and Joseph Jackson, ­[page 751:] “Poe’s Obscure Contemporaries,” American Notes &Queries, 2 (1942), 27-29. Partial files of The Spirit of the Times are held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Library, and the Montgomery County Historical Society in Norristown, Pennsylvania; the newspaper is discussed by Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, III, 2012. Du Solle’s fanciful stories about the composition of “The Raven” were recorded by Francis G. Fairfield, “A Mad Man of Letters,” 694, and by Susan Archer Weiss, The Home Life of Poe (1907; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1974), p. 99.

PETER S. DUVAL. Poe was a familiar acquaintance of this Philadelphia lithographer, who prepared the plates for The Conchologist’s First Book and for Thomas Wyatt’s Synopsis of Natural History. In his “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe,” Lambert A. Wilmer (q.v.) claimed that Poe once studied “the art of lithography” under Duval. It is conceivable that Poe may have assisted Duval and Wyatt in preparing the plates for The Conchologist’s First Book or other publications, but there are two good reasons to reject the tradition that he was Duval’s student. Although Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Wyatt establishes that he was a visitor to Duval’s studio, it also establishes that he did not always admire this artist’s productions. Moreover, Duval himself denied Wilmer’s account in his August 4, 1884, letter to George E. Woodberry (see Woodberry’s Life, I, 265-66). Duval is briefly noticed by Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America, by Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters, by Joseph Jackson, Encyclopedia of Philadelphia, IV, 1228-30, and by Harry T. Peters, America on Stone. ­[page 752:]

ROBERT DYBALL. In her Poe, I, 786, Mary E. Phillips reproduced a reminiscence by a “Robert Dybale,” whom she described as “an ardent admirer of Poe” and as a former member of the editorial staff of the Philadelphia Press. This brief reminiscence is probably authentic: “Poe would come into the office and perch himself on the table, unroll his manuscript, and read his articles to the staff. These were never submitted for inspection before being sent to the printer, insomuch as they were written in a faultless manner. Poe always wrote on strips of paper about six inches wide, which as the MS. progressed were rolled up and another strip pasted on.” Although the Philadelphia Press did not commence publication until 1857, every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory issued between 1839 and 1845 lists a Robert Dyball, who is uniformly identified as a printer. Other witnesses have corroborated his testimony that Poe wrote on “strips of paper . . . . which . . . . were rolled up and another strip pasted on.” Felix O. C. Darley gave a similar description in his February 26, 1884, letter to George E. Woodberry: “The form of his manuscript was peculiar: he wrote on half sheets of note paper, which he pasted together at the ends, making one continuous piece, which he rolled up tightly. As he read he dropped-it upon the floor. It was very neatly written, and without corrections, apparently.” See Woodberry’s Life, II, 2-3. Robert Dyball was a poet as well as a printer. One of his poems may be found in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, July 29, 1843, p. 2, col. 3.


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PLINY EARLE (1809-1892). This Frankford, Pennsylvania, physician and poet was an early supporter of the Penn Magazine; he corresponded with Poe, and the two men may ­[page 753:] have been acquainted. The only extant item in their correspondence is Poe’s October 10, 1840, letter, which acknowledges the receipt of Earle’s poem “Soliloquy of an Octogenarian.” This poem, which was originally intended for the Penn Magazine, appeared in Graham’s Magazine, 18 (May, 1841), 241. Poe favorably reviewed Earle’s Marathon, and Other Poems in the June, 1841, number of Graham’s; his review earned him the censure of Rufus W. Griswold, then editor of the Boston Notion (see the chronology for May 22, 1841). Griswold’s objections to Earle’s poetry did not prevent Poe from again praising this physician in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 230). According to F. B. Sanborn in his edition of Pliny Earle’s Memoirs (Boston: Damrell &Upham,.1898), pp. 144-47, Earle opened “a general office in Philadelphia” in the year 1839; and he accepted a position at a small hospital in Frankford, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, “in the summer of 1840.” McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for 1840 contains an entry which presumably represents Poe’s correspondent: “Earle, M. D., 167 S 10th.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown,.

ELIZABETH F. ELLET (1818-1877). This poetess and translator was a frequent contributor to such magazines as the Southern Literary Messenger, Godey’s Lady’s Book, and Graham’s Magazine. Poe noticed Mrs. Ellet in the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 207), praising her abilities as a translator from the Italian while suggesting that she lacked “high originality or very eminent talent of any kind.” Mrs. Ellet was to play a significant role in Poe’s life during his later residence ­[page 754:] in New York. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

COMMODORE JESSE DUNCAN ELLIOTT (1782-1845). He was one of the most controversial American naval officers of the nineteenth century. Jesse E. Dow (q.v.), a close friend of Poe, served as private secretary to Commodore Elliott. When this officer was tried at a widely publicized court martial held in Philadelphia between May 4 and June 20, 1840, Dow became a major witness in his defense. For documentation, see the chronology for May 4, June 3, 15, 20, 1840. Conceivably, Dow could have introduced Poe and Commodore Elliott at this time. Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas and Dow provides evidence that he saw Commodore Elliott during his 1843 visit to Washington and that he enlisted him as a subscriber to The Stylus. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Allan Westcott’s “Commodore Jesse D. Elliott: A Stormy Petrel of the Navy,” U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 54 (1928), 773-78.

EMMA CATHERINE EMBURY (1806-1863). She contributed many poems, tales, and essays to Graham’s Magazine and other periodicals. In the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 197-98), Poe recorded his opinion that Mrs. Embury, “one of the most nervous of our female writers,” was “not destitute of originality — that rarest of all qualities in a woman, and especially in an American woman.” Although Mrs. Embury was welcomed to the editorial staff of Graham’s Magazine in the December, 1841, issue, it is very unlikely that she ever played an active role in editing this periodical. Sketches may be found in the DAB ­[page 755:] and Appleton’s; her contributions to periodicals have been studied by J. Albert Robbins, “Mrs. Emma C. Embury’s Account Book,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 51 (1947), 479-85.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 260), Poe placed this American author in “a class of gentlemen with whom we have no patience whatever — the mystics for mysticism’s sake”; and he only grudgingly admitted that Emerson’s “love of the obscure does not prevent him, nevertheless, from the composition of occasional poems in which beauty is apparent by flashes.” Between January 23 and February 1, 1843, Emerson delivered a series of five lectures in Philadelphia on the subject of “New England”; his lectures attracted large audiences, and they were favorably reviewed by the city’s newspapers. For documentation, see The Spirit of the Times, January 23, p. 2, col. 3; January 25, p. 2, col. 3; January 27, p. 2, col.. 5; January 28, p. 2, col. 1; and February l, 1843, p, 2, cols. 45. Poe could have attended one of Emerson’s lectures, but there is no evidence that he did. For additional references, see Eight American Authors and the LHUS Bibliography.

WILLIAM EMMONS (1792-?). Poe briefly mentioned this author in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 163), identifying him only as a resident of Washington and as “the orator.” During the 1820’s and 1830’s, Emmons published a large number of political or patriotic addresses, and poems celebrating events in American history, as brief pamphlets. Nearly all of these Works were printed at his expense and issued in. Boston. The title page ­[page 756:] of his Oration Pronounced at the Washington Garden (1829) identified him as a “native citizen of the city of Boston.” Emmons seems to have been a staunch Democrat and to have played a role in the Presidential election of 1836: he was the author of laudatory biographies of Martin Van Buren, the Democratic candidate for President, and of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, his running mate. Emmons’ Authentic Biography of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky was first published in New York in 1833; his Biography of Martin Van Buren appeared in Washington in 1835.

ROBERT S. ENGLISH (1796?-1847). He was the father of Thomas Dunn English (q.v.), Poe’s enemy. Like his son, Robert S. English was active in the Whig campaign for the Presidency in 1840; and after the death of President Harrison on April 4, 1841, he became a strong supporter of John Tyler. In 1842 English received an appointment as an inspector in the Philadelphia Custom House, presumably as a reward for his and his son’s activities in behalf of the Tyler administration. Additional information may be found in the chronology for June 15, 1840, February 22, October 18, and November 17, 1842. According to Gravely, “Thomas Dunn English,” pp. 5-6, Robert S. English was a carpenter by profession; and he “was in his fifty-first year when he died in 1847 from consumption of the lungs.”

THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH (1819-1902). He was a physician, a poet, a journalist, a politician, a novelist, a lawyer, and a temperance advocate. English was of Irish ancestry; he was born in Philadelphia on June 29, 1819, the son of ­[page 757:] Robert S. English (q.v.), a carpenter. Although his parents were of limited means and low social standing, he received a substantial formal education. He enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania on November 14, 1836; he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine on April 5, 1839. While still a student at the University, English began to contribute poems and articles to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, The Casket, the Saturday Courier, and other Philadelphia journals. He met Poe in the office of Burton’s shortly after May 11, 1839; he described their first encounter in the second installment of his “Reminiscences of Poe,” The Independent, 58 (1896), 1415-16:

In 1839 I was a contributor to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, as I had been previously when it was published by Alexander. I was in the office one day when Burton introduced me to Poe, and the two new acquaintances began to talk with each other. I was impressed favorably with the appearance and manner of the author. He was clad in a plain and rather worn suit of black which was carefully brushed, and his linen was especially notable for its cleanliness. His eyes at that time were large, bright and piercing, his manner easy and refined, and his tone and conversation winning. In a short while we went out of the office together and remained in conversation as we walked along the street. We parted in Chestnut Street some few blocks above Third, apparently well pleased with each other. There was no bond of sympathy between Poe and me, except the admiration I had for his undoubted genius; but our intimacy increased as months wore on, and I became a frequent visitor to his family. Mrs. Poe was a delicate gentlewoman, with an air of refinement and good breeding, and Mrs. Clemm had more of the mother than the mother-in-law about her. It was some time before I discovered anything about Poe’s habits that was not proper. But an incident occurred during the very time in which he declares “before God,” in a letter to Snodgrass, that he was temperate, which opened my eyes to a new phase in his character. I was passing along the street one night on my way homeward, when I saw some one struggling in a vain attempt to raise himself from the gutter. Supposing ­[page 758:] the person had tripped and fallen, I bent forward and assisted him to arise. To my utter astonishment I found it was Poe. He recognized me, and was very effusive in his recognition. I volunteered to see him home, but had some difficulty to prevent his apparent desire to survey the sidewalk by a series of triangles. I managed to get him through the front gate of his yard to the front door. The house stood back, and was only a part of a house. They had a habit at that time in Philadelphia of building houses so that there was a stairway between dining room and kitchen back, and the parlor in front. The owner of this house had only built the rear portion, and the ground where the front was to stand in future had been turned into a grassplot, with a flower border against the adjoining brick wall. I knocked at the door, and Mrs. Clemm opened it. Raising her voice, she cried: “You make Eddie drunk, and then you bring him home.” As I was turning away Poe grasped me by the shoulder and said: “Never mind the old ——; come in.”

I shook myself from his clutch and, merely telling Mrs. Clemm that if I found Eddie in the gutter again I’d leave him there, went on my way.

Three days after when I saw Poe — for if I remember rightly the next two days he was not at the office — he was heartily ashamed of the matter, and said that it was an unusual thing with him, and would never occur again.

For some weeks I saw Poe occasionally at the office and elsewhere, industrious as a beaver. I think it was several weeks before I observed any other aberration. Then I heard through two or three persons that Poe had been found gloriously drunk in the street after nightfall, and had been helped home. I did not see him, however, in that condition; for it was some time before I called at the office of the magazine, and then found Poe clothed and in his right mind.

English’s testimony that Poe repeatedly drank to intoxication while employed on the Gentleman’s Magazine cannot be accepted without reservations, but neither can it be dismissed as a fiction. His statement that he met Poe shortly after this author became employed on the Gentleman’s Magazine is corroborated by his own testimony given under oath almost fifty years earlier: “I know Edgar A. Poe; became acquainted with him shortly after he was first associated ­[page 759:] with Mr Wm E. Burton in the conduct of the Gentleman’s Magazine. This was sometime previous to the year 1840. . . . . Our acquaintanceship at portions of the time was very intimate.” English’s February 11, 1847, deposition is printed by Sidney P. Moss, Poe’s Major Crisis: His Libel Suit and New York’s Literary World (Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1970), pp. 165-70. In the second installment of his “Reminiscences,” English left a description of Poe’s drinking which parallels the accounts left by other observers, and which seems to indicate that he had firsthand knowledge of his contemporary’s weakness: “It has been said time and again that Poe was an habitual drunkard. This is not true. His offenses against sobriety were committed at irregular intervals. He had not that physical constitution which would permit him to be a regular drinker. A very slight amount of liquor would upset his reason. . . . . I know, so far as observation on two occasions went, that one glass of liquor would affect him visibly, and the second or third produce intoxication. He was always sick after these excesses — a sickness lasting from one to several days.” Frederick William Thomas, Poe’s closest friend, gave a similar analysis: “I have seen a great deal of Poe . . . . if he took but one glass of weak wine or beer or cider the Rubicon of the cup was passed with him, and it almost always ended in excess and sickness. . . . . His was one of those temperaments whose only safety is in total abstinence. He suffered terribly after any indiscretion.” See the Works, XVII, 137-38. English’s story of finding Poe intoxicated in the streets and of helping him home to Mrs. Clemm might appear fanciful or malicious, had not Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, one of Poe’s most devoted admirers, left a strikingly similar reminiscence of an encounter with him during the year 1845. It is unlikely that English borrowed ­[page 760:] details from Chivers’ reminiscence, which was not published until 1952 (see Chivers’ Life of Poe, pp. 57-61). Of course, in his April l, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass, Poe claimed that he abstained from alcohol during his editorship of the Gentleman’s Magazine; but this letter itself provides evidence that William E. Burton accused him of excessive drinking while on the monthly’s staff. An editorial notice carried by the Gentleman’s Magazine for September, 1840, also seems to indicate that Burton would have corroborated English’s testimony. Additional evidence of English’s intimacy with Poe early in the Philadelphia period is provided by the fact that Poe attended a Whig rally at which English was a principal speaker (see the chronology for May 19, 1840). During the years 1841 and 1842, English seems to have devoted more time to politics than to literature. He rose to prominence both in the “Corporal’s Guard,” as the Tyler organization in Philadelphia was called, and in the Irish Repeal Association, an organization of Irish emigrants which advocated home rule for their former country. Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas and Jesse E. Dow provides strong evidence that he encountered English during his visit to Washington and that he antagonized him by making fun of his “mustachios” (see the chronology for circa March 12, 1843). English retaliated by including a caricature of Poe under the influence of alcohol in his temperance novel The Doom of the Drinker. The novel was commissioned by Thomas C. Clarke (q.v.) for the Saturday Museum; because of his sympathy for the temperance cause, Clarke permitted The Cold Water Magazine to publish it before its appearance in the Museum. For additional information, see the chronology for ante June 10, June 10, October, November 25, December 9, 1843, and January 6, 1844. Sketches of English may be found in the DAB, ­[page 761:] Appleton’s, Brown, the Directory of the American Congress, and Universities and Their Sons: University of Pennsylvania, compiled by Joshua L. Chamberlain, Edward Potts Cheyney, and Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer (Boston: R. Herndon Co., 1901-02), II, 51-53. English’s relations with Poe during the Philadelphia period have been discussed in several articles: Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “Poe and the Philadelphia Irish Citizen,” Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, 29 (1930-31), 121-25; Willard Thorp, “A Minor Poe Mystery,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, (1943-44), 30-31; and Thomas Ollive Mabbott and William Henry Gravely, Jr., “Two Replies to ‘A Minor Poe Mystery,’” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 5 (1943-44), 106-14. The best source is William Henry Gravely’s authoritative study of “The Early Political and Literary Career of Thomas Dunn English,” Diss. Virginia 1953. Gravely’s most important discoveries are summarized in his “Poe and Thomas Dunn English: More Light on a Probable Reason for Poe’s Failure to Receive a Custom-House Appointment,” in Papers on Poe, edited by Richard P. Veler, pp. 165-93. In 1869 and 1870 English published a lengthy article entitled “Down Among the Dead Men,” in which he recorded his recollections of actors, artists, authors, and politicians. This account appeared in twelve installments in The Old Guard, 7 (1869), 827-33, 900-06; 8 (1870), 25-30, 118-23, 227-32, 301-05, 386-89, 466-69, 607-10, 708-11, 782-87, 925-29. Poe is the subject of English’s unsympathetic commentary in the eighth installment (Vol. 8, pp. 466-68). English published his “Reminiscences of Poe” in four installments in The Independent, 48 (1896), 1381-82, 1415-16, 1448, and 1480-81. English also mentioned Poe in “Between the Ebb and Flow: Reminiscences of American Authors From 1834 to 1844,” New York Times Saturday Review, January 21, 1899, p. 44, and ­[page 762:] March 25, 1899, p. 200.

EDWARD EVERETT (1794-1865). Poe discussed this American statesman and orator in both the February, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 152-53, 203). In the November, 1841, installment Poe found that Everett’s c:hirography revealed “an air of deliberate precision emblematic of the statesman, and a mingled grace and solidity betokening the scholar. Nothing can be more legible, and nothing need be more uniform. The man who writes thus will never grossly err in judgment, or otherwise; but we may also venture to say that he will never attain the loftiest pinnacle of renown.” Sketches of Everett may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.


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FRANCIS GERRY FAIRFIELD (1844-1887). This journalist published an article on Poe entitled “A Mad Man of Letters” in Scribner’s Monthly, 10 (1875), 690-99. There is no evidence to support Fairfield’s thesis that Poe suffered from epilepsy, but he did interview a number of persons who had known Poe, and he may have reproduced their testimony without too much distortion. “A Mad Man of Letters” contains statements which he attributes to Charles Chauncey Burr and to John S. Du Solle (q.q.v.). The “gentleman now resident in Brooklyn” whom he quotes (pp. 692-93) may have been Gabriel Harrison (q.v.). A sketch of Fairfield may be found in Appleton’s. The article in Scribner’s Monthly is attributed to him by Woodberry, Life, II, 114, n. 1.

SUMNER LINCOLN FAIRFIELD (1803-1844). This American ­[page 763:] poet edited the North American Quarterly, a magazine of high literary quality which commenced publication in Philadelphia in 1832. Fairfield’s literary career ended with the failure of this journal in 1838. During the years Poe lived in Philadelphia, Fairfield was a poverty-stricken alcoholic whose eccentricities were discussed in the city’s newspapers. Poe and Fairfield may have known each other; information on the reputation for dissipation which both authors acquired may be found in the chronology for May 17, 20, 1843. Sketches of Fairfield may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Jane Fairfield’s The Life of Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, Esq. (New York: Published by the Author, 1846) is a defense of the poet written by his wife.

THEODORE SEDGWICK FAY (1807-1898). Poe first attracted national attention to his literary criticism by publishing a blistering review of Fay’s novel Norman Leslie in the December, 1835, number of the Southern Literary Messenger. The notices which Poe accorded this New York City novelist and editor in the August, 1836, and the December, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 173-74, 220) were more modulated in tone, but still unfavorable. According to the DAB, Fay served as an American diplomat in Germany during the years Poe resided in Philadelphia. Other sketches may be found in Appleton’s and Brown.

E. BURKE FISHER (1799?-1859?). This American author contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship. Fisher later became one of the editors of the Pittsburgh Literary Examiner, a monthly magazine whose first number was dated May, 1839. On June 10, 1839, he ­[page 764:] wrote Foe to request his contributions for the Examiner. Poe sent two critical articles: his review of Nathaniel P. Willis’ play Tortesa, the Usurer appeared in the July, 1839, number, and his essay on “American Novel Writing” appeared in the August, 1839, number. It is unlikely that he continued to correspond with. Fisher. In his July 12, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass, Poe complained that the editor of the Literary Examiner had altered one of his contributions by inserting “all manner of bad English and ridiculous opinions of his own.” Fisher was the author of two mock epics published under the pseudonym of “Timothy Jenkins.”

TIMOTHY FLINT (1780-1840). This American author and missionary was an early editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine. Flint contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship; and Poe made unfavorable comments on his chirography in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 151). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

EDWIN FORREST (1806-1872). Poe was probably acquainted with this eminent Philadelphia actor. According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), Poe and Forrest attended a supper party at the home of Richard Penn Smith, one of the city’s leading playwrights. Forrest appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory issued between 1837 and 1841; his appearances on the city’s stage have been chronicled by Arthur H. Wilson, Philadelphia Theatre. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. ­[page 765:]

GEORGE G. FOSTER (1815?-1856). This journalist, popularly known as “Gaslight Foster,” was one of the most colorful American literati of the 1840’s and 1850’s. He unquestionably had dealings with Poe, either as an acquaintance or as a correspondent, during the Philadelphia period. Foster was in Saint Louis during the early years of Poe’s residence; there is some evidence that he favorably noticed Poe’s editorship of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in the Saint Louis Commercial Bulletin (see the chronology for ante September 11 and September 11, 1839). Foster apparently became a contributor to Graham’s Magazine not long after Poe joined the editorial staff; his poem “To an Old Rock” appeared in the May, 1841, number. On May 26, 1841, Poe wrote Frederick William Thomas, requesting information on Foster. Thomas had known Foster in Saint Louis during the preceding year, and he described this journalist in his May 28, 1841, reply. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 237), Poe commented: “G. G. FOSTER, Esq., has acquired much reputation, especially in the South and West, by his poetical contributions to the literature of the day. All his articles breathe the true spirit. At one period he edited a weekly paper in Alabama; more lately the ‘Bulletin’ at St. Louis; and, at present, he conducts the ‘Pennant,’ in that city, with distinguished ability. Not long ago he issued the prospectus of a monthly magazine. Should he succeed in getting the journal under way, there can be no doubt of his success.” Foster is identified as the editor of the Daily Pennant in The St. Louis Directory for the Years 1840-1, p. 67. His proposed magazine does not seem to have materialized. By the summer of 1842, he had moved to New York City, where he became the editor of the New York Aurora. Shortly before September 12, 1842, Foster was in communication with Poe: he suggested that they ­[page 766:] establish a magazine in New York. For documentation, see the chronology for July 22 and September 12, 1842. During the years 1846 and 1847, Foster was one of the editors of the Yankee Doodle, a humorous journal issued in New York; in 1848 he became co-editor with Thomas Dunn English of the John-Donkey, a satiric weekly published in Philadelphia. English included a reminiscence of Foster in “Down Among the Dead Men,” The Old Guard, 8 (1870), 782-84. In 1853 Foster passed four bad checks to which he had forged the signature of William E. Burton; in 1854 and 1855 he was confined in Moyamensing Prison, Philadelphia. Several letters discussing this episode are printed in Passages from the Correspondence of Rufus W. Griswold, pp. 292, 294, 298. Foster’s best known writings were his sensational vignettes of urban America: New York by Gas-Light, New York in Slices, and New York Naked. His “Philadelphia in Slices” appeared in the New York Tribune in 1848 and 1849; it has been reprinted by George Rogers Taylor, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 93 (1969), 23-72. Foster died in Philadelphia on April 16, 1856. Obituaries were published by several of the city’s newspapers: the Daily Evening Bulletin, April 16, p. 4, col. 2, and the North American, April 17, p. 1, col. 9. The New York Times, April 17, p. 4, col. 3, also reported his death.

JOHN PETER FRANKENSTEIN (ca. 1817-1881). This eccentric American artist is a suspected acquaintance of Poe. In 1864 Frankenstein published a long satirical poem entitled American Art: Its Awful Altitude, in which he condemned Poe as a “drunken mad-dog,” and he alluded to the fact that this critic “once . . . . picked and pecked” at his paintings. Frankenstein appears in McElroy’s ­[page 767:] Philadelphia Directory for the years 1841, 1842, and 1844. Poe is not known to have published a hostile criticism of this artist’s work, but he may have expressed his reservations in his conversation. Additional information is provided by “Olybrius” [Thomas Ollive Mabbott], “Poe and the Artist John P. Frankenstein,” Notes and Queries, 182 (January 17, 1942), 31-32, and by William Coyle, “An Attack on Poe in 1864,” in Papers on Poe, edited by Richard P. Veler, pp. 161-64. Brief notices of Frankenstein may be found in Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America, and Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters. According to Edna Maria Clark, Ohio Art and Artists (Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, 1932), p. 460, he was born in Germany around. 1817. His death occurred in New York City on April 16, 1881. The New York Times, April 17, p. 2, col. 4, carried an obituary.

JAMES STRANGE FRENCH (1807-1886). In the August, 1836, number of the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe unfavorably reviewed the anonymous novel Elkswatawa, which he attributed to “Mr. James S. French of Jerusalem, Virginia.” Poe discussed French again in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 219-20), noting that his review of Elkswatawa had “deterred him from further literary attempts,” but expressing the belief that this author was “unquestionably a man of talent.” French also published several brief pamphlets; he was the reputed author of The Life and Adventures of Colonel David Crockett (1833).

JOHN FROST (1800-1859). This Harvard graduate was the first professor of Literature and Belles-Lettres in ­[page 768:] the Philadelphia High School. Poe and Frost were almost certainly acquainted. Between December 18, 1839, and May 6, 1840, Poe contributed a series of articles to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, a Philadelphia weekly newspaper edited by Frost. His contributions have been collected by Clarence S. Brigham; Frost was identified as the Messenger’s editor in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, 6 (June, 1840), 275. During the autumn of 1839, Frost published perceptive criticisms of “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “William Wilson,” and the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in the Messenger; his commentaries are reproduced in the chronology for September 4, October 16, and December 19, 1839. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 242-43), Poe described Frost as “a gentleman of fine taste, sound scholarship, and great general ability.” Sketches may be found in Appleton’s, Brown, and Franklin Spencer Edmond’s History of the Central High School of Philadelphia, pp. 39-40, 326.


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Notes:

Although the contents of this directory directly reflect what appeared in the original printing, changes have been made for the sake of the reader and due to formatting for hypertext. The entry titles in the original, for example, have been rendered in bold here. (There is no such distinction in the original printing.) Entries have also been broken into sections by the initial letter, which is not done in the origianl.


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[S:0 - PIP, 1978] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (D. R. Thomas) (Directory: A-F)