Text: Dwight R. Thomas, “Directory: T-Z,” Poe in Philadelphia, 1838-1844 (1978), pp. 910-956


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LOUIS FITZGERALD TASISTRO (ca. 1808-ca. 1868). This journalist, actor, and lecturer was born in Ireland, but he emigrated to the United States as a young man. Poe had the opportunity to meet Tasistro at the New York Booksellers Dinner on March 30, 1837. There is some evidence that Tasistro may have written the laudatory review of Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque published by the New York Mirror (see the chronology for December 28, 1839). He later contributed to Graham’s Magazine. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 217), Poe commented that Tasistro had distinguished himself by his frequent contributions to periodicals and by his editorship of the Expositor, a critical journal. A sketch may be found in Appleton’s. On December 9, 1843, the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, p. 3, col. 2, reported that although “the title of Count” was Tasistro’s “by right of birth,” he renounced it “from the moment he became a candidate for . . . . Citizenship in this great and glorious Republic.”

EBENEZER SMITH THOMAS (1775-1845). He was the nephew of Isaiah Thomas, the New England printer who founded the American Antiquarian Society in 1812, and the father of Frederick William Thomas (q.v.), the novelist who became Poe’s close friend and frequent correspondent. Ebenezer Smith Thomas was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; in 1795 he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where for two decades he pursued a career as a bookseller and as the editor of the Charleston City ­[page 911:] Gazette. In 1816 he settled in Baltimore County, Maryland; he became a farmer, and he served as a member of the state legislature. In 1828, having lost a fortune of one hundred thousand dollars in -real estate transactions, he moved his family to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became the proprietor of the Commercial Daily Advertiser. He later sold this newspaper and established the Cincinnati Evening Post, which ceased publication in December, 1839. On April 10, 1840, the Philadelphia Gazette, p. 2, col. 2, reported that Thomas was in Washington on his way to Charleston, South Carolina. In the latter city he solicited subscriptions to his forthcoming Reminiscences of the Last Sixty-five Years (1840). By May 5, 1840, he was in Baltimore, where he addressed the Whig National Convention; and by May 21, 1840, he was in Philadelphia, where he placed advertisements for his Reminiscences in the local newspapers (see the chronology for these dates). Since Frederick William Thomas had arrived in the city and made Poe’s acquaintance sometime between May 7 and May 19, 1840, he probably introduced his father to his new friend. On May 22, 1840, the Philadelphia Daily Chronicle, p. 1, col. 6, reprinted a biographical sketch of Ebenezer Smith Thomas which had appeared in the Charleston Courier a few weeks earlier. Another sketch may be found in William Coyle’s Ohio Authors. His wife was Ann Fonerden Thomas. She apparently became a friend of Mrs. Clemm during the years the Thomas family resided in Baltimore (1816-1828). In his May 11, 1841, letter to Poe, Frederick William Thomas requested: “Tell Mrs Clemm that my mother and sisters often speak of her.” In his February 14, 1849, letter to Thomas (Letters, II, 428), Poe stated: “Mrs Clemm . . . . begs to be remembered to ­[page 912:] your mother’s family, if they are with you.” Ebenezer Smith Thomas and his wife had eight children. To at least four of them Thomas imparted his own penchant for literature; two sons and two daughters were listed by Oscar Fay Adams in his Dictionary of American Authors, 5th ed. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1905). Frances Ann Thomas was especially close to her brother Frederick, whom she encouraged to write his first novel Clinton Bradshaw (1835). In his November 23, 1840, letter to Thomas, Poe remarked: “Mrs Clemm and Virginia unite with me in the kindest remembrances to yourself and sister — with whom your conversation (always turning upon the ‘one-loved name’) has already made us all so well acquainted.” In his August 24, 1846, letter to Poe (MS, Boston Public Library), Thomas described the death of Frances Ann and her two children in a shipwreck on their way home from India as “the most awful affliction of my life.” Sketches of Lewis Foulk Thomas (1808-1868), a poet and playwright, may be found in William T. Coggeshall’s Poets of the West, p. 243, and in Coyle’s Ohio Authors. Mary Von Erden Thomas (1814-1897) published a novel Winning the Battle (1882). Martha McCannon Thomas (1818-1890) was a frequent contributor to magazines and the editor of several Cincinnati periodicals; she published a novel Life’s Lesson (1854). Brief notices of Mary and Martha Thomas may be found in Adams’ Dictionary of American Authors and in Coyle’s Ohio Authors. In his September 3, 1841, letter to Poe, Frederick William Thomas also mentioned his sisters Susan and Isabella (Belle), and his brother Calvin. Coggeshall, p. 186, identified Calvin W. Thomas as “a well known banker.” Other sources of information on the Thomas family include Will Farrand Felch’s “Pioneer Writers of the West,” Literary Life, 2 (1884), 40-45, and ­[page 913:] Ralph Leslie Rusk’s Literature of the Middle Western. Frontier, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1925), passim.

FREDERICK WILLIAM THOMAS (1806-1866). He was the oldest child of Ebenezer Smith Thomas (q.v). Frederick William Thomas became one of the most popular novelists and songwriters of the 1830’s and 1840’s, but he is remembered because of his close friendship with Poe. Thomas was born in Providence, Rhode Island; but his childhood and youth were passed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Baltimore, Maryland, and he considered himself a Southerner. A childhood accident lamed him for life; he could walk only with the aid of a cane. In 1828 Thomas began the practice of law in Baltimore. In the same year he became a friend of Poe’s brother Henry (1807-1831); and he may well have become acquainted with Mrs. Clemm and her daughter Virginia, with whom Henry seems to have been living (see the Letters, I, 29). Around 1831 or 1832 Thomas emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he assisted his father in editing the Commercial Daily Advertiser. He published his first novel Clinton Bradshaw, or the Adventures of a Lawyer in 1835. Poe reviewed the novel in the December, 1835, number of the Southern Literary Messenger: although he correctly predicted that Clinton Bradshaw would be “a favorite with many readers,” he criticized it as an imitation of Bulwer-Lytton’s Pelham, or the Adventures of a Gentleman (1828). Thomas’ second novel, East and West, appeared in 1836. While he was living in Cincinnati, Thomas became a personal friend of William Henry Harrison, the military hero who was to be the Whig candidate for the ­[page 914:] Presidency in 1840, and of Thomas Corwin, who as governor-elect of Ohio was to play an important role in the Harrison campaign. Thomas and his father Ebenezer Smith Thomas attended the Whig National Convention held in Baltimore between May 4 and May 7, 1840. Shortly after the close of this convention, Frederick William Thomas arrived in Philadelphia. He seems to have come to the city for the purpose of delivering the manuscript of his third novel, Howard Pinckney (1840), to his publishers Lea &Blanchard. Thomas would have been aware of Poe’s growing literary reputation and of his presence in Philadelphia: he probably called upon Poe and introduced himself as a former friend of Henry Poe. The two men had become acquainted prior to May 19, 1840. In the morning of May 19, Charles W. Alexander’s Daily Chronicle carried a favorable notice of Thomas written by Poe; and in the evening Poe attended a Whig rally at which Thomas was a principal speaker. In all probability, Poe introduced Thomas to Jesse E. Dow (q.v.), a journalist and poet who was a major contributor to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Dow was then employed as a clerk in the Post Office Department in Washington, but he was in Philadelphia to give testimony in the naval court martial of Commodore Jesse Duncan Elliott (q.v.). Poe, Thomas, and Dow became companions; they had lively discussions about politics, literature, and cryptograms. For documentation, see Poe’s November 23, 1840, and November 26, 1841, letters to Thomas, and Thomas’ December 7, 1840, and July 6, 1841, letters to Poe; and see the chronology for May 4, post May 7, and May 19, 1840. Thomas was presumably still in Philadelphia on June 3, 1840, when Poe referred to him as “my friend Thomas” in a letter to John Neal. The court martial of Commodore Elliott ended on June 20, 1840; and Dow returned ­[page 915:] to his clerkship in Washington shortly before July 16, 1840 (see the chronology for these dates). Thomas went to Saint Louis; on November 6, 1840, he wrote Poe from this city. Poe’s November 23, 1840, reply is the first letter extant in their correspondence. Around the first of March, 1841, Thomas arrived in Washington, probably to attend the inauguration of President Harrison (see the chronology for March 4, 7, 1841). The Whig victory in the Presidential election was expected to result in a complete change of federal officeholders, with the Democratic officials of the previous administration being replaced by the supporters of Harrison and his Vice-President John Tyler. In his May 20, 1841, letter to Poe, Thomas suggested that his friend come to Washington and apply for a clerkship. Thomas had a letter of introduction from Governor Thomas Corwin of Ohio to Thomas Ewing, the new Secretary of the Treasury; and he soon obtained a clerkship in the Treasury Department (see the chronology for June 26 and July 1, 1841). In his June 26, 1841, letter Poe expressed his willingness to accept a government appointment, and in the next few months Thomas attempted to produce a position for his friend. He found that he lacked the necessary influence for this task; but he was heartened by his growing intimacy with John Tyler (q.v.), who had succeeded to the Presidency after the death of Harrison on April 4, 1841, and with Robert Tyler (q.v.), the President’s son and private secretary. For documentation, see Thomas’ letters to Poe entered in the chronology for July 1, 7, 19, August 30, September 22, 1841. Early in 1842 the Tyler administration decided to fill the subordinate offices in the Philadelphia Custom House with its political allies. In his May 21, 1842, letter Thomas reported that Robert Tyler felt certain ­[page 916:] that Poe could be appointed to one of the anticipated vacancies. On September 10, 1842, Thomas S. Smith (q.v.), a Philadelphia Whig who had allied himself with President Tyler, became the new Collector of Customs in the city; his appointment signaled a round of appointments and removals in the Custom House. For documentation, see the chronology for April 27, May 5, 21, 25, September 10, 12, 1842. Thomas paid a brief visit to Philadelphia around September 17, apparently bringing Poe the assurances of Robert Tyler that he would receive a position in the Custom House. In October and November, 1842, Poe called on Smith four times, but he was not among those whom the new Collector appointed to office. For documentation, see the chronology for September 17, 27, post October 11, November 19, 1842. In the next few months Poe and Thomas rested their hopes of gaining the promised position upon the possibility that the United States Senate might replace Smith with a new Collector, and they decided that Poe’s presence in Washington might enhance his chances of being appointed (see the chronology for circa January 30-31, February 1, 25, 1843). On March 3, 1843, the Senate appointed Calvin Blythe to be the Collector of the Port of Philadelphia; the news of Smith’s rejection apparently prompted Poe to make an immediate trip to Washington. When he arrived in the capital city on March 8, he discovered that Thomas was ill and bedridden. Several days later he drank to excess, and he was placed under the care of Thomas’ physician. For documentation, see the chronology for March 3, 6, 7, 8, circa March 12, 1843. Poe’s March 16, 1843, letter to Thomas and Dow suggests that he may have had harsh words for Thomas during his visit to Washington, but the two men remained friends in spite of this unfortunate episode. In his March 27, 1843, letter Thomas ­[page 917:] assured Poe that President Tyler and his family were not deeply offended by reports of his drinking, and he expressed a hope that his friend would be “an official yet.” Poe did not receive the government appointment that Thomas sought for him; the two men did not correspond again until the New York period. A laudatory notice of Thomas opened the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 209-10). Sketches may be found in the DAB, William T. Coggeshall’s Poets of the West, pp. 18486, William Coyle’s Ohio Authors, and in the 1872 edition of Thomas’ poem The Emigrant (1833; rpt. Cincinnati, O.: J. Drake, 1872), pp. vii-viii. Thomas’ letters to Poe, now held by the Boston Public Library, are the best source. His September 3, 1841, letter contains his own account of his life (see the Works, XVII, 95-100). Thomas died in Washington on August 27, 1866; a brief obituary appeared in the Washington Daily National Intelligencer, August 30, 1866, p. 3, col. 3. At his death he left an unpublished manuscript containing his “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe.” The present location of this document seems to be unknown; but it was excerpted by James H. Whitty for the “Memoir” in his edition of The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1911), pp. xxi, xxiii, xxxixxxv, xxiii-xlix. A characterization of Thomas may be found in Joseph H. Ingraham’s “Francis [sic ] William Thomas, Esq.,” Southern Literary Messenger, 4 (May, 1838), 297-301. Ralph Leslie Rusk provides a critical estimate of his novels in The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier, I, 296-300.

CHARLES WEST THOMSON (1798-1879). This Philadelphia poet contributed to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and ­[page 918:] Graham’s Magazine during Poe’s editorship of these periodicals; the two men were both acquaintances and correspondents. On June 28, 1840, Poe wrote Thomson to inquire whether he would be willing to finance the forthcoming Penn Magazine. The only other extant item in their correspondence is Thomson’s May 1, 1841, letter to Poe, in which he asks to be paid for his contributions to Graham’s Magazine. It is doubtful that Thomson furnished financial backing for the Penn Magazine; the fact that he later requested payment for his contributions to Graham’s suggests that he may not have been in a position to aid Poe. In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 226), Poe recorded his opinion that Thomson’s “many short poems” were “characterised by tenderness and grace.” Thomson appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845; his residence is uniformly located at 70 North Tenth Street. Between 1837 and 1840 McElroy’s gives Thomson’s occupation as that of a clerk. The 1840 edition gives his place of employment as the United States Bank. Between 1843 and 1845 McElroy’s identifies him as a teacher. Sketches may be found in Appleton’s, Heartman and Canny, p. 56, and Scharf and Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, II, 1143.

JOHN TOMLIN (1806-1850). This Tennessee author was born in South Carolina, the son of a well-to-do planter. Tomlin’s youth was passed in his native state; during his residence there he formed a lasting friendship with the Charleston editor and novelist William Gilmore Simms (q.v.). Tomlin emigrated to Tennessee in 1829. Between 1834 and 1841 he operated a retail store in Jackson, Tennessee. On February 24, 1841, he was appointed the postmaster of ­[page 919:] Jackson by President Martin Van Buren; he remained in this office until December 23, 1847. Tomlin was a staunch advocate of Southern literature; and he contributed his prose and verse to The Southron, The Magnolia, the Southern Literary Messenger, and other periodicals of this region. He also wrote for such Philadelphia journals as The Casket, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, Graham’s Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. He is remembered because during his years as the postmaster of Jackson he used his franking privilege to correspond with some forty literary celebrities, including Dickens, Tennyson, Longfellow, and Poe. Tomlin initiated his correspondence with Poe on October 16, 1839, when he forwarded a contribution for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. In the following year he volunteered his services as an agent for the forth coming Penn Magazine. On September 16, 1840, Poe wrote the Tennessee postmaster to thank him for sending the names of nine subscribers. The other extant letters in their correspondence are entered in the chronology for November 22, 1840; March 12, April 30, October 29, December 1, 12, 1841; October 5, 1842; March l, July 2, August 9, 28, September 10, 1843; and February 23, 1844. Poe is mentioned in the correspondence which Tomlin conducted with two of his close Philadelphia associates, Charles J. Peterson and Lambert A. Wilmer (q.q.v.). The only surviving letter from Peterson to him is entered in the chronology for November 11, 1842. Three letters from Wilmer to Tomlin are entered in the chronology for March 9, October 5, 1842, and May 20, 1843. In his May 20, 1843, letter Wilmer stated that Poe was “not a teetotaller by any means” and seemed to be “going headlong to destruction, moral, physical and intellectual.” The Tennessee postmaster had reason to sympathize with Poe, because he was himself to acquire a reputation for ­[page 920:] dissipation. Tomlin died at the New Orleans Charity Hospital on July 4, 1850; the records of this institution list the cause of his death as “delirium tremens.” In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 231), Poe praised him for “the indefatigability of his disposition.” Other commentaries on Tomlin are few in number: he is not mentioned in the standard biographical dictionaries, the LHUS Bibliography, or in Jay B. Hubbell’s The South in American Literature. The source of the information given here is Elizabeth C. Phillips’ “The Literary Life of John Tomlin, Friend of Poe,” Diss. Tennessee 1953. Tomlin’s correspondence with contemporary notables has been discussed by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “Correspondence of John Tomlin,” Notes and Queries, 162 (June 18, 1932), 437; 164 (April 29, 1933), 293-94; and 166 (January 6, 1934), 6-7.

JOHN KIRK TOWNSEND (1809-1851). From 1842 until 1845 this Philadelphia scientist was engaged in ornithological research for the National Institute in Washing ton. On March 9, 1843, the day after Poe arrived in the nation’s capital in search of a government appointment, he sent Townsend a brief note, promising to call in “a day or two.” Although Poe’s letter to Townsend has been regarded as a possible forgery by some scholars, it is almost certainly authentic; for an explanation, see the chronology for March 9, 1843. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

BEVERLEY TUCKER (1784-1851). This Virginia author and lawyer was a close adviser and frequent correspondent of Thomas Willis White (q.v.), the proprietor of the ­[page 921:] Southern Literary Messenger; Poe and Tucker were correspondents in 1835 and 1836 (see the Letters, I, 76-79, 90-91, and see Quinn, pp. 23438). In the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 195-96), Poe discussed Tucker’s contributions to the Messenger; and he praised his George Balcombe (1836) as “one of the best novels ever published in America.” Sketches maybe found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional sources are cited in the LHUS Bibliography.

HENRY THEODORE TUCKERMAN (1813-1871). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 217), Poe noticed this Boston editor and poet: “He [Tuckerman] is a correct writer so far as mere English is concerned, but an insufferably tedious and dull one. He has contributed much of late days to the ‘Southern Literary Messenger,’ with which journal, perhaps, the legibility of his MS. has been an important, if not the principal recommendation.” Around the beginning of December, 1842, Poe submitted his story “The Tell-Tale Heart” to the Boston Miscellany; he was unaware that Tuckerman had recently become its editor. On December 17, 1842, James Russell Lowell wrote Poe that “The Tell-Tale Heart” would appear in the first number of The Pioneer: “Mr. Tuckerman (perhaps your chapter on Autographs is to blame) would not print it in the Miscellany, &I was very glad to get it for myself.” In his December 25, 1842, reply to Lowell, Poe gave an evaluation of Tuckerman’s abilities similar to the one in “Autography.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

PRESIDENT JOHN TYLER (1790-1862). This United States Senator from Virginia was a Southern Democrat who aligned ­[page 922:] himself with the Whig Party. During the campaign of 1840 Tyler was the Vice-Presidential candidate on the Whig ticket headed by William Henry Harrison. On April 4, 1841, within a month after assuming the Presidency, Harrison died unexpectedly; Tyler succeeded him on April 6, becoming the first man to hold the nation’s highest office without being elected to it. Tyler never obtained a broad base of support for his administration; many Americans believed that he was not entitled to the same prerogatives as an elected President, and both the Democratic and Whig parties regarded him with suspicion. Frederick William Thomas (q.v.), Poe’s friend, became intimate with Tyler and his son Robert (q.v.); and he tried to persuade the President to appoint Poe to a federal clerkship. On August 30, 1841, Thomas was forced to write Poe that it was “of no avail” to apply to President Tyler at the time, because he was embroiled in a political struggle with the members of his Cabinet and with the Congress. In the following year Thomas and Robert Tyler attempted to have Poe appointed to a subordinate office in the Philadelphia Custom House. Thomas’ March 27, 1843, letter to Poe establishes that President Tyler was interested in Poe’s literary career and kindly disposed toward him; the reason for his failure to receive a position in the Custom House is not clear. One possibility is that President Tyler, although sympathetic to Poe’s case, realized that his appointment would do little to broaden the administration’s political base and therefore did nothing to effect it. Another possibility is that Tyler wished to see Poe in office, but that he was not immediately responsible for filling the subordinate offices in the Custom House. The Collector of Customs in Philadelphia, not the President, seems to have had the authority to make these appointments. On May 5, 1842, ­[page 923:] for example, Jonathan Roberts refused to make a number of appointments which President Tyler had requested (see the chronology). Thomas S. Smith (q.v.), Roberts’ successor, was equally independent. In his November 19, 1842, letter to Thomas, Poe discussed the new Collector’s appointments: “Mr Smith has excited the thorough disgust of every Tyler man here. He is a Whig of the worst stamp and will appoint none but Whigs if he can possibly avoid it. People here laugh at the idea of his being a Tyler man. He is notoriously not such.” Robert Gray Gunderson evaluated Tyler’s role in the Presidential election of 1840 in The Log-Cabin Campaign. The best source is Oliver Perry Chitwood’s John Tyler, Champion of the Old South (1939; rpt. New York: Russell &Russell, 1964).

ROBERT TYLER (1816-1877). He was the oldest son of President John Tyler (q.v.), and he served as his father’s private secretary and adviser. Robert Tyler was also a minor poet; and he became a friend of Frederick William Thomas (q.v.), Poe’s frequent correspondent who settled in Washington at the beginning of March, 1841. Tyler admired Poe’s writings, and along with Thomas he attempted to produce a government appointment for him. On May 21, 1842, Thomas wrote Poe that Robert Tyler believed that he could be appointed to one of the anticipated vacancies in the Philadelphia Custom House. When Thomas visited Philadelphia around September 17, 1842, he apparently brought Poe further assurances from Tyler that he would receive a position. Poe’s November 19, 1842, letter to Thomas establishes that Thomas S. Smith (q.v.), the new Collector of Customs in Philadelphia, refused to honor Tyler’s pledges. In all probability, the President’s ­[page 924:] son did not have power to influence the selection of persons for the vacancies in the Custom House. On March 31, 1843, Tyler sent Poe a letter in which he repeated his “former recommendation”; but Poe never received a position. In his September 8, 1844, letter to Thomas (Letters, II, 708-09), he discussed Tyler’s promised appointment: “You said to me, hurriedly, when we last met on the wharf in Philadelphia, that you believed Robert Tyler really wished to give me the post in the Custom-House. This I also really think; and I am confirmed in the opinion that he could not, at all times, do as he wished in such matters . . . . .” Poe presumably became acquainted with Robert Tyler when he visited Washington: on March 8, 1843, Thomas gave him a letter of introduction to the President’s son. Sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s.

JOSEPH WASHINGTON TYSON (1812-1860). This Philadelphia lawyer played an active role in the Harrison campaign of 1840, and he afterwards became one of the city’s leading supporters of the Tyler administration. Poe’s August 27, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas establishes that he called upon Tyson during his attempt to obtain a position in the Philadelphia Custom House. A sketch may be found in Frank Willing Leach’s “Old Philadelphia Families,” Philadelphia North American, July 21, 1912, Section 6, P. 7, col. 4.


ABEL PARKER UPSHUR (1791-1844). This Virginia lawyer and statesman contributed to the Southern Literary Messenger during Poe’s editorship. Upshur was a close ­[page 925:] friend and a political ally of President John Tyler (q.v.), who appointed him Secretary of the Navy in September, 1841. In his October 14, 1841, letter to Poe, Frederick William Thomas inquired whether his correspondent knew Upshur, adding that the new Secretary might help him to obtain a clerkship in Washington. In his October 27, 1841, reply Poe stated that he did not know Upshur personally, but respected his talents: “He [Upshur] is not only the most graceful speaker I ever heard, but one of the most graceful &luminous writers.” On February 25, 1843, Poe wrote Thomas that he wished to have an article from Upshur in the opening number of The Stylus. His statement on this occasion that he considered Upshur unsurpassed “as a reasoner, as a speaker, and as a writer” was almost certainly motivated by his desire to obtain a government position. In 1843 Upshur succeeded Daniel Webster as Secretary of State; in the following year he was killed in an explosion aboard the warship Princeton. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

JOHN UPTON. In his “Reminiscences of Edgar A. Poe” which Hyman Polock Rosenbach published in The American, Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.) claimed that during his editorship of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine Poe spent much time “in a drinking place on Dock below Pear Street.” In his evaluation of “Horace Wemyss Smith’s Recollections of Poe,” 100, n. 13, Edwin Wolf, 2nd, found that Rosenbach’s manuscript transcript of Smith’s memories further described this “drinking place” as “kept by a man named Upton.” Every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory issued between 1837 and 1845 identifies John Upton as the proprietor of an ­[page 926:] “eating house,” 66 Dock Street below Pear. McElroy’s for 1840 locates the office of William E. Burton, the proprietor of the Gentleman’s Magazine, at the corner of Bank Alley and Dock Street. Bank Alley ran from South Second Street to 67 Dock Street. Upton’s “eating house” would have been within a few feet of the office of the Gentleman’s Magazine; both establishments were slightly below the intersection of Walnut and Second Streets. Scharf and Westcott briefly mention Upton’s restaurant in their History of Philadelphia, II, 988.


ELIJAH VANSYCKEL. Katharine Rex Burgin (q.v.) told Ellis P. Oberholtzer (q.v.) that when her uncle George Rex Graham moved to an Arch Street residence in 1843, his next-door neighbor was Elijah Vansyckel, and that “a doorway was broken in the second-story wall between the houses to give free passage to their inmates at all hours.” Her testimony is given by Phillips, Poe, I, 701-03. Elijah Vansyckel, a wine merchant, appears in every edition of McEllroy’s Philadelphia DirectorV between 1837 and 1845; his place of business is uniformly located at 136 North Second Street; his residence, at 189 Arch, or Mulberry, Street. The 1844 and 1845 editions of McElroy’s give Graham’s address as 191 Arch Street. The residences of Graham and Vansyckel were adjoining row houses; they were both located on the north side of Arch Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. A photograph of Graham’s house, subsequently numbered 521 Arch Street, may be found in Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia, after p. 148. In his Israfel, pp. 392-93, Hervey Allen suggested that the doorway between the two houses was made to “facilitate hospitality” in Graham’s dining room, and that wine ­[page 927:] bottles from the Vansyckel residence “appeared mysteriously through the so-convenient private door.” Phillips, who relied on Oberholtzer’s manuscript “Poe’s Philadelphia Homes,” states only that the private entrance was made to allow “free passage” to the occupants of the two dwellings.

GULIAN CROMMELIN VERPLANCK (1786-1870). In 1831 this congressman from New York City was instrumental in obtaining the passage of an improved copyright law for American writers. Poe praised Verplanck as a “cultivated belles-lettres scholar” in the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 261). Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory of the American Congress.


PHILIP WAGNER. This Philadelphian’s reminiscence of Poe during the Spring Garden period may be found in an unsigned article on “Poe in Philadelphia” published by the Philadelphia Press, June 19, 1892, p. 26, which has been attributed to Alexander Harvey (q.v.). The author of this 1892 account wrote: “Mr. William F. McCoy has his conveyancing office on Spring Garden Street, near the corner of Seventh, and he related, a few days ago, that his preceptor and predecessor, Philip Wagner, had often told him about Poe, and how the poet would make his way to his home, more or less impeded by the tipsy state he was in.” Philip Wagner does not appear in any edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845, but the 1846 edition locates his conveyancing office at the corner of Spring Garden and Ninth Streets. In its 1844, 1845, and 1846 editions McElroy’s ­[page 928:] lists a Charles M. Wagner, conveyancer, whose place of business at 207 North Sixth Street was approximately one block away from the Poe residence at 234 North Seventh Street. Conceivably, Charles and Philip Wagner may have been members of the same family.

ADAM WALDIE (1792?-1842). This long-time Philadelphia publisher issued Waldie’s Select Circulating Library, a weekly journal which serialized popular works of fiction, history, and biography. According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), Waldie attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into Philadelphia society. He died on April 8, 1842: a brief obituary appeared in The Spirit of the Times, April 9, p. 2, col. 2. Some information on the journals Waldie published may be found in Scharf and Westcott’s History of Philadelphia, III, 1999, 2011, and Albert H. Smyth’s Philadelphia Magazines, pp. 211-12, 215, 224.

HORACE BINNEY WALLACE (1817-1852). Using the pseudonym of “William Landor,” this well-to-do Philadelphian contributed articles and stories to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine. Wallace apparently used his pseudonym even in his correspondence with the editors of these Philadelphia monthlies. Poe’s July 7, 1841, letter to this author, replying to two letters from him, is addressed to “William Landor.” Poe may have possibly been acquainted with Wallace, but he probably did not realize that “William Landor” was a pseudonym. In the November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 198), Poe noted that “William Landor” was known as the author of Stanley, a novel which was ­[page 929:] “warmly commended by the press throughout the country,” and had written “many excellent papers for the Magazines.” In his March 30, 1844, letter to James Russell Lowell, Poe stated that the notice of Nathaniel P. Willis in the April, 1844, number of Graham’s was written “by a Mr Landor” and was “full of hyperbole.” Wallace appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1840 and 1845. From 1840 until 1844 his address is given as 7 Portico Sauare; he was a neighbor of Colonel William Drayton (q.v.), the wealthy Philadelphian to whom Poe dedicated his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Drayton’s residence was located at 13 Portico Square. Sketches of Wallace may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians. The best source is George Egon Hatvary’s “Horace Binney Wallace: A Critical Biography,” Diss. New York 1956. Hatvary gave a condensed biography in “Horace Binney Wallace: A Study in Self-Destruction,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 25 (1964), 137-49; and he recorded Poe’s indebtedness to Stanley and other writings in “Poe’s Borrowings from H. B. Wallace,” American Literature, 38 (1966), 365-72. Around the year 1845 Wallace became a friend of Rufus W. Griswold (q.v.). A number of letters from Wallace to Griswold are held by the Boston Public Library; these have been edited by Hatvary, “The Wallace-Griswold Correspondence,” Boston Public Library Quarterly, 8 (1956) 3-25.

WILLIAM ROSS WALLACE (1819-1881). This poet was a native of Kentucky, but he moved to New York City in 1841. Poe’s July 18, 1842, letter to J. and H. G. Langley, and his August 27, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas establish that he was in Wallace’s company during his ­[page 930:] visit to New York around June 25, 1842. Poe discussed this companion in the Columbia Spy on June 1, 1844: “Mr. William Wallace, ‘the Kentucky Poet,’ as he was fond of having himself entitled, . . . . was a frequent visiter at the office of ‘Graham’s Magazine,’ about two years ago. . . . . I myself know the young poet well — and a poet he truly is. He is also richly eloquent, and when age has somewhat sobered down his enthusiasm, he will make an orator of the highest order. As a man he is everything that is noble.” See Doings of Gotham, p. 42. Additional evidence that Wallace may have been a visitor to the office of Graham’s around the year 1842 is provided by Charles J. Peterson’s February 17, 1842, letter to James Russell Lowell. Poe continued his friendship with Wallace during his later residence in New York.In Mr. Lincoln’s Camera Man: Mathew B. Brady, pp. 30-31, Roy Meredith gave an account of a visit that Poe and Wallace paid to Mathew Brady’s portrait gallery in May, 1849. Wallace described a conversation he had with Poe about “The Raven” to Joel Benton, who published his remarks in “Poets Opinion of ‘The Raven,’” The Forum, 22 (1897), 731-33. Benton reprinted this article in his In the Poe Circle (1899; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1972), pp. 5460. Sketches of Wallace may be found in Appleton’s, Brown, and William T. Coggeshall’s Poets of the West, p. 227. An informative obituary appeared in the New York Times, May 7, 1881, p. 5, col. 3.

ROBERT WALSH (1784-1859). This Philadelphia author gained a national reputation as the editor of the American Quarterly Review, a learned journal issued in the city from 1827 until 1837. In May, 1829, Poe visited Philadelphia in ­[page 931:] search of a publisher for his poem “Al Aaraaf”; and he called upon Walsh, who encouraged him and promised to notice the poem, if published, in the American Quarterly Review (see the Letters, I, 18-21).When Poe reviewed Walsh’s Didactics in the May, 1836, number of the Southern Literary Messenger, he praised its author as “one of the finest writers, one of the most accomplished scholars, and when not in too great a hurry, one of the most accurate thinkers in the country.” Walsh was included in both the February, 1836, and November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 14445, 187-88). Poe’s commentary in the latter installment suggests that he did not retain his esteem for this author: “Mr. Walsh cannot be denied talent; but his reputation, which has been bolstered into being by a clique, is not a thing to live. A blustering self-conceit betrays itself in his chirography . . . . .” In 1837 Walsh left Philadelphia and settled in Paris, where he passed the remainder of his life. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Henry Simpson’s Eminent Philadelphians.

HENRY WARE, JR. (1794-1843). In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 251-52), Poe praised this professor in the Harvard Divinity School for “some very excellent poetry.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown.

CATHERINE HARBESON WATERMAN (1812-?). This Philadelphia poetess contributed scores of sentimental poems to Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, Graham’s Magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book, the Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines and newspapers in her native city. In the ­[page 932:] November, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 206), Poe graciously praised Miss Waterman for “the tenderness and melody of her short poems.” In 1840 Miss Waterman married Mr. Esling, a Philadelphia shipmaster; and in 1850 she published a volume of verse, The Broken Bracelet, and Other Poems. Miss Waterman, later Mrs. Esling, is briefly mentioned in Appleton’s, Rufus W. Griswold’s Female Poets of America, p. 217, Thomas Buchanan Read’s Female Poets of America, p. 259, and Roger Butterfield and Joseph Jackson’s “Poe’s Obscure Contemporaries,” 29.

SUSAN ARCHER TALLEY WEISS (1822-1917). This Virginia poetess became a frequent contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger when she was around seventeen years of age; in 1849 Rufus W. Griswold accorded her high praise in The Female Poets of America, p. 311.In this same year Mrs. Weiss made Poe’s acquaintance when he paid his last visit to Richmond; she published several reminiscences which contain her authentic recollections as well as numerous errors and distortions. Her account of the “Last Days of Edgar A. Poe” appeared in Scribner’s Monthly, 15 (1878), 707-16. She gave her memories of Rosalie Poe (q.v.) in “The Sister of Edgar A. Poe,” The Continent, 3 (June 27, 1883), 816-19; and she contributed her “Reminiscences of Edgar A. Poe” to The Independent, 56 (May 5, 1904), 1010-14; 57 (August 25, 1904), 443-48. Most of the material in these three articles is reproduced in The Home Life of Poe (1907; rpt. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1974). In this volume Mrs. Weiss recorded the testimony of John S. Du Solle (q.v.), who claimed that Poe recited “The Raven” to the members of the Philadelphia press ­[page 933:] before he moved to New York City, and of William Johnston (q.v.), the former office boy of Graham’s Magazine who claimed to have been present when George R. Graham decided that this poem was unsuitable for his ‘periodical. In her Home Life, pp. 95-97, Mrs. Weiss also published the reminiscence of an unnamed neighbor of the Poe family in the Spring Garden district:

To a lady who was . . . . a resident of Spring Garden we are indebted for a glimpse of the Poes in this their quiet and half-rural abode.

“Twice a day, on my way to and from school,” she said, “I had to pass their house, and in summer time often saw them. In the mornings Mrs. Clemm and her daughter would be generally watering the flowers, which they had in a bed under the windows. They seemed always cheerful and happy, and I could hear Mrs. Poe’s laugh before I turned the corner. Mrs. Clemm was always busy. I have seen her of mornings clearing the front yard, washing the windows and the stoop, and even white-washing the palings. You would notice how clean and orderly everything looked. She rented out her front room to lodgers, and used the middle room, next to the kitchen, for their own living room or parlor. They must have slept under the roof. We never heard that they were poor, and they kept pretty much to themselves in the two years we lived near them. I don’t think that in that time I saw Mr. Poe half a dozen times. We heard he was dissipated, but he always appeared like a gentleman, though thin and sickly looking. His wife was the picture of health. It was after we moved away that she became an invalid.”

Mrs. Clemm, she added, was a dress and cloak maker; and she thinks that Mrs. Poe assisted her, as she would sometimes see the latter seated on the stoop engaged in sewing. “She was pretty, but not noticeably so. She was too fleshy.”

This reminiscence is plausible. The author of the account of “Poe in Philadelphia” which appeared in the Philadelphia Press, June 19, 1892, p. 26, and which has been attributed to Alexander Harvey (q.v.), talked with several of Poe’s Spring Garden neighbors; and he stated that “There was a ­[page 934:] private school between Poe’s house and Spring Garden Street.” In 1836 Mrs. Clemm had planned to open a boarding house in Richmond (see the Letters, I, 79-80). Additional information on Mrs. Weiss may be found in Appleton’s and in John C. Miller’s “The True Birthdate and the Hitherto Unpublished Deathdate of Susan Archer Talley Weiss,” Poe Studies, 10 (1977), 29.

HORATIO HASTINGS WELD (1811-1888). This clergyman and author edited the Brother Jonathan, a weekly newspaper issued in New York City.On August 14, 1841, Poe wrote Weld, asking him to furnish a sample of his autograph and a sketch of his career for the forthcoming “Autography” series. A favorable notice of Weld appeared in the December, 1841, installment (Works, XV, 229). In the following year he became one of the editors of the Saturday Evening Post (see the chronology for November 11, 1842). A sketch may be found in Appleton’s.

FRANCIS COURTNEY WEMYSS (1797-1859). According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), this actor and theater manager attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into Philadelphia society. Wemyss appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. Sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s. Wemyss left characterizations of Burton in his autobiography, Twenty-Six Years of the Life of an Actor and Manager (New York: Burgess, Stringer and Co., 1847), II, 334, and in his Theatrical Biography of Eminent Actors and Authors (New York: Estate of Wm. Taylor, n.d.). ­[page 935:]

THOMPSON WESTCOTT (1820-1888). This Philadelphia journalist and historian entered the office of Charles M. Page, a conveyancer, at the age of twelve. Westcott became his employer’s partner before his twentieth birthday. On November 10, 1841, he gained admission to the Philadelphia bar (see Martin’s Bench and Bar, p. 322). In its 1840, 1841, and 1842 editions McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory identifies Westcott as a conveyancer; in its 1843, 1844, and 1845 editions he is listed as an attorney. Between 1840 and 1845 McElroy’s uniformly locates his residence at 23 North Sixth Street. Westcott’s earliest writings were humorous stories which he contributed to the New York Mirror, the Knickerbocker Magazine, and other periodicals under the pseudonym “Joe Miller, Jr.” In 1846 he entered Philadelphia journalism as the law reporter for the Public Ledger. Westcott later became the first editor of the Sunday Dispatch, a weekly which commenced publication on May 14, 1848. He remained its editor for some thirty-six years, resigning his position on April 20, 1884. During the early years of the Dispatch’s existence, Westcott constituted its entire editorial staff. For many years he contributed articles on the “History of Philadelphia” to the Dispatch; these formed the basis of the reliable three-volume History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1884) which he prepared with J. Thomas Scharf. Thompson Westcott is the probable author of a series entitled “Philadelphia and the Philadelphians in 1850 . . . . By a Member of the Philadelphia Bar,” which the Dispatch published in fifty-six installments between May 5, 1850, and July 13, 1851; the series is essentially a factual, but rather unflattering, history of Philadelphia newspapers and their editors during the 1840’s. In a number of installments the author humorously ­[page 936:] discusses Poe and his close associates John S. Du Solle, Thomas Dunn English, Rufus W. Griswold, Henry B. Hirst, and George Lippard (q.q.v.). Poe himself appears in three installments of “Philadelphia and the Philadelphians”: September 15, 1850, p. 1, cols. 1-3, October 20, p. 1, cols. 46, and October 27, p. 1, cols. 2-3. Although the author almost certainly had firsthand knowledge of Poe and his associates, his account of them is not intended as an authentic reminiscence but as a satiric fabrication. He uses comic sobriquets: “George Leap-hard” for Lippard, “Henry Bread Crust” for Hirst, and “Thomas Done Brown” for English. In the September 15 installment he refers to Du Solle’s newspaper The Spirit of the Times as the “Daily Seasons.” His statements that Poe was a regular reader of The Spirit and a frequent visitor to its editorial “sanctum” are corroborated by other documents (see the directory entry for Charles Godfrey Leland, and see Poe’s September 21, 1842, letter to Frederick William Thomas); but there is no evidence to support his further assertion that Poe “used to write a good deal for the Daily Seasons.” In the October 27 installment he recorded a purported reminiscence of Poe and Jesse E. Dow (q.v.):

We were with him [Poe] once, in company with Jesse E. Dow, then of the Madisonian, we think, who was here [in Philadelphia] on what he termed a “hard-cider” jubilee. Supper was ordered at the “Cornucopia,” then palmy in its flourishings, under the Harmer rĂ©gime. Poe, who had no relish for the nectar of Harrisonism, eschewed the cider, of course, and, of course, was in that state in which the adage tells us men are always ingenuous and manifest their natural idiosyncracies. At an opposite table three gentlemen had placed themselves, and were discussing a bottle of champagne with considerable vigor, and a serious determination to scrutinise the end of it. They drank and laughed, and laughed and drank, with a humor that was quite infectious. One of them rose from his chair, and retired for a moment, when Poe ­[page 937:] deliberately crossed the room and took possession of his vacant seat. The others stared. “Your health, gentlemen,” said he, pouring out a glass of wine and emptying it with a ha! that emphatically indicated its satisfactory quality. The others rose upon their feet. “You are Virginians, I perceive,” said Poe, refilling his glass with much care, and bowing to them as familiarly as if he had known them for a time but a little short of a century. “You are Virginians — so am I. Virginians should be brothers. I am — so here’s your health again-brothers,” and the contents of the tumbler vanished like a legitimate ghost at cock-crowing. Here the others could stand such refrigerant impudence no longer, and an immediate uproar was the consequence. We stepped up and explained. A hearty burst of laughter succeeded. But when we looked around, Poe, who was as indifferent to the treaty of peace as if he had not the remotest interest in it, had finished the bottle, and was earnestly squeezing it under his arm in the vain hope of extracting an additional drop of the liquid inspiration.

Although the description of Poe’s downing a bottle of champagne is fanciful, the author seems to have had firsthand knowledge of his friendship with Dow. This Washington journalist did not become the editor of the Daily Madisonian, one of the capital’s leading newspapers, until April 7, 1845, a year after Poe left Philadelphia; but the reference to “Harrisonism” suggests that the author of “Philadelphia and the Philadelphians” may have seen Poe and Dow together during the Whig campaign of 1840. Dow was a radical Democrat, or Loco-Foco, but he was in Philadelphia in May and June, 1840, to testify in the court martial of his former commander Commodore Jesse D. Elliott (q.v.), and he was in Poe’s company at this time. His visit coincided with the height of the Harrison campaign; the court martial of Commodore Elliott and the Whig National Convention in Baltimore both began on the same day, May 4, 1840. The fact that the author of the Dispatch series described Dow as being “on what he termed a ‘hard-cider’ jubilee” may ­[page 938:] very well indicate that he was personally acquainted with Poe’s friend. Frederick William Thomas alluded to Dow’s fondness for “hard cider” in his May 11 and 20, 1841, letters to Poe. The Cornucopia Restaurant, where Poe and Dow are said to have been drinking, was located at 44 North Third Street, only several blocks away from the office of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine on Dock Street near Walnut and Second, and from Thompson Westcott’s residence at 23 North Sixth Street; for additional information, see the directory entry for its proprietor, Robert Harmer. The portions of “Philadelphia and the Philadelphians in 1850” in which Poe is mentioned have been reprinted with useful annotations by J. Albert Robbins, “Edgar Poe and the Philadelphians: A Reminiscence by a Contemporary,” Poe Studies, 5 (1972), 45-48. Westcott’s editorship of the Sunday Dispatch was discussed by Eugene H. Munday, “The Press of Philadelphia in 1870: Sunday Dispatch,” The Proof-Sheet, 4 (1870), 37-42. Sketches of Westcott may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Joseph Jackson’s Encyclopedia of Philadelphia, and in an obituary in the Public Ledger, May 9, 1888, p. 6, Col. 3.

PROSPER MONTGOMERY WETMORE (1798-1876). This New York City author was a frequent contributor to magazines and annuals during the 1820’s. In the January, 1842, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 251), Poe noted that Wetmore’s name was “familiar to all readers of American light literature.” Sketches may be found in Appleton’s and Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck’s Cyclopaedia of American Literature, II, 279-80. An obituary appeared in the New York Times, March 19, 1876, p. 12, col. 2. ­[page 939:]

EPHER WHITAKER (1820-1916). On the evening of December 23, 1843, Whitaker attended Poe’s lecture on “American Poetry” delivered before the faculty and students of Newark Academy in Newark, Delaware. His reminiscence has been reprinted by Ernest John Moyne, “Did Edgar Allan Poe Lecture at Newark Academy?” 1-5. In later life Whitaker was a clergyman; a sketch may be found in Appleton’s.

SAMUEL ADAMS WHITAKER (?-1868). This Pennsylvania physician received the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1833.In her Poe, I, 769-71, Phillips records the fact that Whitaker once owned a manuscript copy of “The Raven” in Poe’s hand, and she repeats a tradition in the Whitaker family that this physician was one of Poe’s Philadelphia acauaintances and that the manuscript of “The Raven” was presented to him before its author departed from the city on April 6, 1844. Reasonably conclusive evidence that this tradition is a fabrication is provided by Eli Bowen’s September 25, 1848, letter to Whitaker, which is in the Gimbel Collection of the Philadelphia Free Library:

Pottsville, [Pa.] Sept. 25, 1848.

My Dear Doctor —

I have the pleasure of transmitting to you, a copy of The Raven in the handwriting of the author. I have crossed out] received it on Saturday, and having taken the liberty of showing it to several of my friends, the paper has become somewhat ruffled-nevertheless you can make it out.

I hope you are well, — and that is all I have to say at present.-

Very Respectfully.

Eli Bowen ­[page 940:]

Dr. S. A. Whittaker [sic ]

From November 30, 1843, until December 2, 1844, Eli Bowen (18241868) edited the Columbia Spy, a weekly newspaper issued in Columbia, Pennsylvania, to which Poe contributed a series of articles after he moved to New York City. Bowen obtained a copy of “The Raven” for Whitaker through his correspondence with Poe; for additional information, see Poe’s October 18, 1848, letter to Bowen, printed in Ostrom’s “Fourth Supplement,” 533-34. Neither Bowen nor Whitaker appears in any edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1845. According to W. J. Maxwell’s General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania (1922), p. 501, Whitaker died in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1868. Sketches of Bowen may be found in Appleton’s and Doings of Gotham: Poe’s Contributions to The Columbia Spy, pp. xi-xiv.

THOMAS WILLIS WHITE (1788-1843). In August, 1834, this Virginia printer issued the first number of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond; in the following year he hired Poe as his assistant. Poe’s brilliant, often vitriolic, book reviews attracted national attention to the Messenger, and he soon became its principal editor. White admired Poe’s talents and felt kindly toward him; but he disliked the fact that his own literary judgment was often overridden by an employee’s, and he was disturbed by his young editor’s drinking. Poe’s occasional lapses into intemperance were probably the major reason that White dismissed him on January 3, 1837 (see the chronology). It is doubtful that the two men either saw each other or corresponded after Poe left Richmond for New York City shortly before February 28, 1837. A sketch of White may be found ­[page 941:] in the DAB. A number of his letters to Lucian Minor and Beverley Tucker (q.q.v.) were published by David K. Jackson, Poe and The Messenger, pp. 93-117. Jackson collected other items in “Some Unpublished Letters of T. W. White to Lucian Minor,” Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 17 (1936), 22443; 18 (1936), 32-49.

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER (1807-1892). In the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 245), Poe commented on this New England poet: “Mr. Whittier is a fine versifier, so far as strength is regarded independently of modulation. His subjects, too, are usually chosen with the view of affording scope to a certain vivida vis of expression which seems to be his forte; but in taste, and especially in imagination, which Coleridge has justly styled the soul of all poetry, he is ever remarkably deficient. His themes are never to our liking.” Whittier came to Philadelphia in 1838, where for two years he edited the Pennsylvania Freeman, an abolitionist weekly newspaper; but there is no evidence that he knew Poe. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and Joseph Jackson’s Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia. Additional references are given in Fifteen American Authors and the LHUS Bibliography.

RICHARD HENRY WILDE (1789-1847). Poe discussed this Georgia poet in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 236-37). He found that the controversy over the originality of Wilde’s poem “My Life is like the Summer Rose” was unwarranted: “Far better verses are to be found in every second newspaper we take up.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, Brown, and the Directory ­[page 942:] of the American Congress. Jay B. Hubbell cites additional sources in The South in American Literature, pp. 30413, 970-72.

NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS (1806-1867). As the editor of Graham’s Magazine, Poe sent two letters to this popular author, inviting him to become a contributor. The contents of his unlocated letters may be surmised from Willis’ November 13 and 30, 1841, replies. Poe noticed Willis in both the August, 1836, and the November, 1841, installments of “Autography” (Works, XV, 165, 190). In the latter installment he praised Willis for “versatility of talent; that is to say, of high talent, often amounting to genius”; but in his March 30, 1844, letter to James Russell Lowell, he characterized him as “no genius — a graceful trifler — no more.” Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. The early biography by Henry A. Beers, Nathaniel Parker Willis (1885; rpt. New York: AMS Press, 1969), is still useful; a recent study is Cortland P. Auser’s Nathaniel P. Willis (New Haven, Conn.: College &University Press, 1969). Poe’s reactions to Willis’ career have beer: discussed by Kenneth L. Daughrity, “Poe’s ‘Quiz on Willis,” American Literature, 5 (1933) 55-62, and by Richard P. Benton, “The Works of N. P. Willis as a Catalyst of Poe’s Criticism,” American Literature, 39 (1967), 315-24. Additional sources are cited in the LHUS Bibliography.

LAMBERT A. WILMER (ca. 1805-1863). This journalist and poet was a native of Maryland; he began his literary career in Baltimore at the age of nineteen. In 1827 the Baltimore North American published Wilmer’s Merlin, a verse drama based on Poe’s unsuccessful romance with Elmira ­[page 943:] Royster, the daughter of a Richmond merchant; but it is unlikely that Poe and Wilmer were acquainted at this time. Wilmer probably obtained his knowledge of this episode in Poe’s life from his brother Henry (1807-1831), who was living in Baltimore. Wilmer later moved to Philadelphia and joined the editorial staffs of two journals published by Samuel C. Atkinson (q.v.), the Saturday Evening Post and The Casket. At the beginning of 1832, he returned to Baltimore to assume the editorship of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, a weekly newspaper which commenced publication on February 4. By this time Poe was resident in Baltimore, and he and Wilmer became frequent companions. Their intimacy was interrupted in 1835, when Poe went to Richmond to accept a position on the Southern Literary Messenger. In the February, 1836, number of the Messenger, he favorably reviewed Wilmer’s novel Emilia Harrington, noting that he was one of the author’s “private friends.” When he left the Messenger at the beginning of 1837, Poe wrote Wilmer, suggesting that he come to Richmond and assume the magazine’s editorship (see the chronology for post January 3, 1837). Wilmer revealed his esteem for his friend in his “Ode XXX — To Edgar A. Poe,” which appeared in the August 11, 1838, issue of the Saturday Evening Post (see the chronology). Around the year 1839 he settled in Philadelphia and renewed his acquaintance with Poe. In reviewing Wilmer’s satirical poem The Quacks of Helicon for the August, 1841, number of Graham’s Magazine, Poe commented that he was “happy and proud” to claim its author as “a personal friend”; in the December, 1841, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 228), he praised him for his “spirit of independence.” Evidence that the two men remained close associates in the latter part of the Philadelphia period is provided by Wilmer’s October 5, ­[page 944:] 1842, and May 20, 1843, letters to John Tomlin. In the second of these Wilmer discussed Poe’s excessive drinking: “He [Poe] and I are old friends, — have known each other from boyhood and it gives me inexpressible pain to notice the vagaries to which he has lately become subject.” Their relationship apparently deteriorated during the summer of 1843. In the July 6, 1843, issue of the Philadelphia Daily Forum, Francis H. Duffee alluded to “innuendoes” which Wilmer had aimed at Poe (see the chronology). In his August 28, 1843, letter to Tomlin, Poe characterized Wilmer as “a reprobate of the lowest class”; and he correctly surmised that Wilmer had criticized him in a letter to the Tennessee postmaster. Their association seems to have ended when Poe moved to New York City early in 1844. Wilmer appears in McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1843, 1844, and 1845; he is briefly noticed in Appleton’s. Wilmer discussed his career in Our Press Gang (1859; rpt. New York: Arno Press, 1970), pp. 17-49; Thomas Ollive Mabbott provided additional information in his edition of Merlin (1827; rpt. New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles &Reprints, 1941), pp. v-xiii. Wilmer mentioned Poe several times in Our Press Gang, pp. 35-36, 39-40, 284-85, 385. The May 23, 1866, issue of the Baltimore Daily Commercial contained his “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe,” which Mabbott reprinted in Merlin, pp. 29-34. Margaret E. Wilmer, his daughter, defended Poe’s character in “Another View of Edgar A. Poe,” Beadle’s Monthly, 3 (1867), 385-86. She based her defense upon her father’s testimony in Our Press Gang; her article contains no evidence that she knew Poe.

WILLIAM WIRT (1772-1834). Poe included this Maryland ­[page 945:] jurist and statesman in the February, 1836, installment of “Autography” (Works, XV, 157-58).In May, 1829, when Poe was living in Baltimore and seeking a publisher for “Al Aaraaf,” he introduced himself to Wirt and asked his opinion of this poem. In a May 11, 1829, letter to Poe, Wirt explained that he had never written poetry, “nor read much poetry for many years,” and that he therefore considered himself “by no means a competent judge.” He counseled Poe “to get an introduction to Mr. Walsh or Mr. Hopkinson or some other critic in Philadelphia.” Wirt’s advice may have prompted Poe’s first trip to Philadelphia later in the month. There is no evidence that Poe saw Joseph Hopkinson (q.v.) on this occasion, but he called upon Robert Walsh and Isaac Lea (q.q.v.). Both these Philadelphians offered encouragement to the young poet. For additional information, see the Letters, I, 16-28. Wirt’s May 11, 1829, letter is printed by Mary Newton Stanard, Edgar Allan Poe Letters Till Now Unpublished (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1925), pp. 131-32. Sketches of Wirt may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Additional sources are cited in the LHUS Bibliography and Jay B. Hubbell’s The South in American Literature, pp. 234-42, 972-74.

JOHN WISE (1808-1879). In June, 1843, this famous Lancaster, Pennsylvania, aeronaut announced his intention to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon during the summer of 1844; his proposal is a probable source for Poe’s “Balloon-Hoax” (see the chronology for June 15, 1843). Wise made several balloon ascensions in Philadelphia during Poe’s residence. In A System of Aeronautics (Philadelphia: Joseph A. Speel, 1850), pp. 195-98, 204-06, he discussed the ascensions he made on October 1, 1838, and July 4, 1840. ­[page 946:] The balloonist was a close friend of Dr. John K. Mitchell (q.v.), a Philadelphia scientist to whom he dedicated his Aeronautics. Mitchell was the Poe family physician; he may have introduced Wise and Poe. Sketches of Wise may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s.

WILLIAM BURKE WOOD (1779-1861). According to Horace Wemyss Smith (q.v.), this actor and theater manager attended a supper party at which William E. Burton introduced Poe into Philadelphia society. Wood’s January 2, 1841, letter to Poe provides further evidence that they were acquainted. Wood appears in every edition of McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory between 1837 and 1843; sketches may be found in the DAB and Appleton’s.

GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY (1855-1930). This scholar and poet published a one-volume biography of Poe in 1885 and a two-volume biography in 1909. Woodberry’s Life of Edgar Allan Poe (1909; rpt. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1965) remains useful. In it he quoted letters from a number of persons who had known Poe during the Philadelphia period; these letters cannot presently be located among the large collections of his papers held by Harvard and Columbia. For additional information on the reminiscences he preserved, see the directory entries for Felix O. C. Darley, Peter S. Duval, Mary E. Herring, and Dr. Matthew Woods. Sketches may be found in the DAB, Appleton’s, and Brown. Joseph Doyle compiled “A Finding List of Manuscript Materials Relating to George Edward Woodberry,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 46 (1952), 165-68, and “George Edward Woodberry: A Bibliography,” Bulletin of Bibliography, 21 (1955-1956), 136-39, 163-68, 176-81, 209-14. ­[page 947:]

DR. MATTHEW WOODS (1848-1916). This Philadelphia physician collected materials for a biography of Henry B. Hirst (q.v.), but he never completed this project. In his October 29, 1894, letter to George E. Woodberry, Woods stated: “Poe and Hirst became intimate in Philadelphia, so Thomas Dunn English, who told me he introduced them, says.” See Woodberry’s Life, II, 419.A sketch of Woods may be found in Joshua L. Chamberlain’s Universities and Their Sons: University of Pennsylvania, II, 418-19.

THOMAS WYATT. Less biographical information is available on Thomas Wyatt than any other of Poe’s close associates during the Philadelphia period. McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory for the years 1840, 1841, and 1842 lists a “Thomas Wyatt, bookbinder”; in 1844 and 1845 McElroy’s lists a “Thomas Wiatt, bookbinder”; but there is no evidence that this bookbinder was the man whom Poe knew. Thomas Wyatt came to the United States from Great Britain; he was a learned and kind man, and a loyal friend of Poe.He probably made his living as an author and a lecturer. He seems to have travelled widely, and he is known to have lectured on conchology. Although Wyatt published several books whose title pages identify him as “Thomas Wyatt, A. M.,” his name does not appear in the alumni registers of such universities as Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Notwithstanding this omission, the titles of his books suggest a breadth of intellectual interest: A Manual of Conchology (New York: Harper, 1838); A Synopsis of Natural History (Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1839); History of the Kings of France (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846); and Memoirs of the Generals, Commodores, and Other Commanders, Who Distinguished Themselves in the ­[page 948:] American Army and Nay During the Wars of the Revolution and 1812 (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1848). Wyatt is remembered because he chose Poe as his collaborator on still another work, The Conchologist’s First Book (Philadelphia: Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell, 1839). The two men were probably working together on this volume in late 1838 or early 1839, because the Saturday Courier noticed its publication on April 20, 1839 (see the chronology). The title page of the first edition named Poe as the author. A revised edition was issued in September, 1839, Poe again being identified as the author (see the chronology for September 11 and 14). His name was removed from the title page of the third edition, which appeared in 1845, but his initials were retained at the end of the preface. For additional information, see Heartman and Canny, pp. 41-44. In all probability, The Conchologist’s First Book would have remained an obscure, rather than a controversial, item in Poe bibliography, had not, some seven years after the appearance of the first edition, the Saturday Evening Post, March 14, 1846, p. 2, col. 2, discussed it in an editorial on “Plagiarisms,&c.”.

One of the most remarkable plagiarisms was perpetrated by Mr. Poe, late of the Broadway Journal, whose harshness as a critic and assumption of peculiar originality makes [sic ] the fault, in his case, more glaring. This gentleman, a few years ago, in Philadelphia, published a work on Conchology as original, when in reality it was a copy, nearly verbatim, of “The Text-Book of Conchology, by Capt. Thomas Brown,” printed in Glasgow in 1833, a duplicate of which we have in our library. Mr. Poe actually took out a copy-right for the American edition of Capt. Brown’s work, and, omitting all mention of the English original, pretended, in the preface, to have been under great obligations to several scientific gentlemen of this city. It is but justice to add, that in the second [third] edition of this book, published lately in Philadelphia, the name ­[page 949:] of Mr. Poe is withdrawn from the title-page, and his initials only affixed to the preface. But the affair is one of the most curious on record, and we recommend it to Mr. Griswold as a rare morsel for his forthcoming “Curiosities of American Literature.”

Several additional instances of plagiarism were exposed by the Post’s commentator, who may have been Samuel D. Patterson (q.v.), the weekly’s editor at the time. The Conchologist’s First Book was not, as the Post charged, a “nearly verbatim” copy of Captain Thomas Brown’s Conchologist’s Text-Book (Glasgow: Archibald Fullarton &Co., 1833), a popular introductory manual on conchology. The work which carried Poe’s name was compiled from various sources, including Wyatt’s own Manual of Conchology (1838) and De Blainville’s Manuel de Malacologie et de Conchyliologie (1825); but it identified a significant number of American species which are not mentioned in Wyatt’s book or in its European sources. The question of its originality has been investigated by Carroll D. Laverty, “Science and Pseudo-Science in the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe,” Diss. Duke 1951, pp. 23448. The subtitle of The Conchologist’s First Book further describes the work as “Arranged expressly for the use of Schools.” In drawing upon European sources, Poe and Wyatt were merely following a common practice, because in the 1830’s and 1840’s American textbooks and scientific manuals were “often practically literal ‘adaptations’ from British or Continental books”; for additional information, see E. Douglas Branch’s The Sentimental Years, 1836-1860 (New York: Appleton, 1934), pp. 109-10. The only obvious duplication of Brown’s Conchologist’s Text-Book that The Conchologist’s First Book reveals is its illustrations. The English work contained nineteen plates, each of which illustrated a number of shells. The American work has only twelve plates, but every illustration on them is an exact ­[page 950:] copy of an illustration found in Brown’s Text-Book. The plates are signed by Peter S. Duval (q.v.), a noted Philadelphia lithographer. In his February 16, 1847, letter to George W. Eveleth (Letters, II, 343), Poe responded to the Post’s editorial:

What you tell me about the accusation of plagiarism made by the “Phil. Sat. Ev. Post” surprises me. It is the first I heard of it — with the exception of a hint made in one of your previous letters . . . . . I assure you that it is totally false. In 1840 [1839] I published a book with this title —”The Conchologist’s First-Book — A System of Testaceous Malacology, arranged expressly for the use of Schools, in which the animals, according to Cuvier, are given with the shells, a great number of new species added, and the whole brought up, as accurately as possible, to the present condition of the science. By Edgar A. Poe. With Illustrations of 215 shells, presenting a correct type of each genus.” This, I presume, is the work referred to. I wrote it, in conjunction with Professor Thomas Wyatt, and Professor McMurtrie of Pha — my name being put to the work, as best known and most likely to aid its circulation. I wrote the Preface and Introduction, and translated from Cuvier, the accounts of the animals etc. All school-books are necessarily made in a similar way. The very title-page acknowledges that the animals are given “according to Cuvier”.

“Professor McMurtrie” was Dr. Henry McMurtrie (q.v.), the first physics teacher of the Philadelphia High School, who had published a four-volume translation of The Animal Kingdom by the French naturalist Cuvier (1769-1832) in 1831. In the preface to The Conchologist’s First Book, Poe also acknowledged the “private assistance” of Isaac Lea (q.v.), a Philadelphia scientist and publisher who was a leading authority on conchology. By Poe’s own admission this volume resulted from the collaboration of at least three, and possibly four, authors. There is no reason to attribute to him any portions of the work other than “the Preface and Introduction,” which he identified as his own compositions ­[page 951:] in his letter to Eveleth. In all probability, Thomas Wyatt was the principal author of The Conchologist’s First Book. He had published a substantial Manual of Conchology in 1838, and he is known to have lectured on conchology. Evidence that Poe had a significant interest in this science is lacking. Wyatt publicly claimed the authorship of The Conchologist’s First Book as early as 1846. On the title page of his History of the Kings of France (1846), he listed this book as one of his own publications. Wyatt explained his role in the composition of The Conchologist’s First Book to at least two persons who preserved his account by correspondence with individuals interested in Poe. Nathaniel Parker Willis, the editor of the New York Home Journal, frequently defended Poe’s character after his death. On February 6, 1858, Willis published in the Home Journal, p. 2, col. 7, a letter he had received from an unnamed correspondent in Baltimore:

Posthumous Vindication.

— That EDGAR POE, living and dead, has been more vilified than he deserved, we should have been certain, even without the direct subsequent disproval of many of the slanders and important modifications of others. The proud disdain, that was an unhappy and predominant quality of his nature, made him so reckless of wrong inferences and injurious opinions and impressions, that he often seemed to admit the truth of what he only scorned to notice. The following letter, which we have just received, (which we simply give to the reader without further comment,) shows how a new face may be put upon what has passed into biography as an indisputable fact: —

Baltimore, January 18, 1858.

“—, I noticed, some time since, in one of the biographies of EDGAR A. POE, a statement that he had taken a certain English work, altered the title and published it in the United States as his own work; and, with these facts for his text, the writer read a long homily on the injury done ­[page 952:] by such conduct, and the great damage, in particular, done to Poe’s reputation. Poe has sins enough to answer for, without this; and when his poverty and other extenuating circumstances are taken into account, any unprejudiced jury would probably bring in a verdict of not guilty’ on this count. Some years since, it was the writer’s fortune to meet, in one of the Southern States, Thomas W — , or Professor W — , as he loved to be called, the professed author of several works on Natural History. He gave the writer a copy of this work of Poe’s, inscribing on the flyleaf, ‘from the author.’ In reply to some expression of surprise, he stated that he was the author of the work and had paid Poe, (who needed money very sorely at the time,) fifty dollars to permit the use of his name on the title-page. W — , who was an Englishman, may have published the work in his native country before leaving, and thus had a right to use it as he pleased. Still, these are the facts. As you have proved yourself the true friend of a true poet, I have considered it but right to place you in possession of the above, to make what use of it you please. —.”

Some twenty-three years after the Home Journal published this account, the Baltimore American, April 7, 1881, p. 2, cols. 45, published a similar reminiscence contained in a letter to its editor:

More Light on Poe’s Habits.

Editor of The American — The very interesting letter from Poe published in The American of Monday seems to dispose of the theory of the poet’s alleged intemperate habits, and tempts me to restate an occurrence which, negatively at least, confirms the truth of what he therein states about his life in Philadelphia. About the date of his letter, I became acquainted with Professor W., of that city, the reputed author of several works on natural history, who presented me with a copy of one, writing upon the fly-leaf, “From the author.” Turning to the title page, where Poe was so named, the Professor informed me he had prepared the work, but paid Poe $50 for the use of his name. This naturally led him to speak of the poet, whose neighbor he was in Philadelphia — the sickness of his wife, his pecuniary ­[page 953:] straits at times, and his assistance in enabling him to bridge these over. He alluded to him in the kindest manner, and while conceding to the poet a brilliant genius, attributed his troubles to a want of thrift and prudence in his domestic affairs.In no case did he speak of these alleged intemperate habits, which he naturally would have done, had such existed, as he seemed to be upon the most familiar footing with the family, and could not but have known of them.

Whatever Poe’s failings may have been, I think no doubt can remain on the minds of his admirers that Griswold has done him great, and I fear irreparable, injustice, when speaking of the poet’s residence in Philadelphia, and I am gratified to find that at this late day the facts are likely to be brought to light.

I have seen an article in an English magazine charging Poe with plagiarism in the production of the work to which I allude; and while we may condemn him for thus selling his name, let us charitably suppose his “poverty, and not his will, consents.”

W. W.

On Monday, April 4, 1881, The American, p. 4, cols. 3-4, had published Poe’s April 1, 1841, letter to Joseph Evans Snodgrass. Since “W. W.” states that his meeting with “Professor W.” occurred “About the date of [Poe’s] letter,” his reminiscence suggests that Thomas Wyatt was openly circulating The Conchologist’s First Book as his own work within several years after its publication. The account published by The American resembles the Home Journal’s account in style and substance; both letters seem to have come from a resident of Baltimore, and they may well have been written by the same person. The American provided a clue to its correspondent’s identity by publishing his initials. Another clue appeared in 1971, when a presentation copy of the second edition of The Conchologist’s First Book was offered for sale by Bernard and Bruce Gimelson, Inc., of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania; see “Presentation Copy of the Second Edition of Poe’s Conchologist,” American Transcendental Quarterly ­[page 954:] No. 14, Pt. 2 (Spring, 1972), 87-88. The inscription on the book reads: “W. Whitelock Esq / With the Authors Compts.” This inscription, as given in facsimile by the American Transcendental Quarterly, does not seem to be in Poe’s handwriting. The initials “W. W.” could represent “W. Whitelock,” who may be tentatively identified as William Whitelock (1815-1893), a prominent Baltimore businessman. A sketch of Whitelock, who was “a man of strong and discriminating literary taste,” is given in Clayton Colman Hall’s Baltimore: Its History and its People, III, 535-37.He is also discussed by J. Thomas Scharf, Baltimore City and County, I, 399-400. At least one of the persons to whom Thomas Wyatt admitted his authorship of The Conchologist’s First Book can be definitely identified: Professor John Gould Anthony, who taught conchology at Harvard University. Anthony appears in the Historical Register of Harvard University, 1636-1936 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1937), p. 105. On May 31, 1875, John Henry Ingram, one of Poe’s early biographers, wrote to John Parker of the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, asking for information on The Conchologist’s First Book. In his July 7, 1875, reply (Ingram-Poe Collection, University of Virginia Library), John Parker copied a portion of a letter he had received from Professor Anthony:

I wrote to Prof. Anthony and received a letter from him containing his version of the conchology story which I will copy for you. It is as follows:

“Some time about 1850 I think, there was published in N. Y. a book called Wyatts Manual of Conchology, illustrated by figures of shells and sold at I believe $6. This price being somewhat above the means of beginners and too high also for a text-book it was soon apparent that a smaller and less costly work was needed and the author was beset to make an abridgement which ­[page 955:] could be sold for $1.50 and contain all that was actually needed, but no abridgement could be published without consent of the house that held the copy right of the larger work and they would not spoil the sale of their book by issuing a cheaper one so soon after its publication. So the only way was to get up the abridgement and have it published with the name of some irresponsible person whom it would be idle to sue for damages, and Poe was selected for the scape goat — A consideration of course was given for his assumption of paternity. The facts I had from Mr. Wyatt himself who was then lecturing on Conchology and using the abridgement as a help in that business — I think too he had them for sale at his lectures. Now, would an author use a rival’s book and recommend it to his hearers as he did, when the success of that book was completely killing his own work — human nature is not in general so generous as that. Mr. Wyatt was one of the most perfect gentlemen I ever became acquainted with, and his testimony was conclusive to my mind — of course the abridgement was made as much like an original work as possible, in order to avoid an injunction and it became the interest of the parties concerned to keep up the deception by every possible means and the outside world never questioned the authorship.”

Prof. Anthony is mistaken as to the date and price of Wyatt’s book. It was published in 1838 and was sold for $8.00. I trust that the few items I have gathered together may be of some interest to you.

In his February 16, 1847, letter to George W. Eveleth, Poe claimed that his name was “put to” The Conchologist’s First Book, “as best known and most likely to aid its circulation.” Anthony’s explanation is much more credible, because Poe’s name was removed from the title page of the third edition in 1845 — a year in which his name was far better known than in 1839. It should be noted that the phraseology of Professor Anthony’s letter, in which he refers to Poe as “some irresponsible person,” is his own, not Thomas Wyatt’s. Evidence of Poe’s continued friendship with Wyatt is ­[page 956:] provided by his April 1, 1841, letter to him and by his February 25, 1843, letter to Frederick William Thomas. Poe’s “Reply to Mr. English and Others” suggests that he saw Wyatt again during his later residence in New York City (see Moss, Poe’s Major Crisis, p. 52). The English author was loyal to his memory. In 1848 Poe proposed marriage to Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman (1803-1878), a poetess of Providence, Rhode Island. In her February 11, 1874, letter to John Henry Ingram (Ingram-Poe Collection, University of Virginia Library), Mrs. Whitman related her knowledge of Wyatt:

Some time after the publication of R. W. G.’s Memoir an Englishman by the name of Wyatt called on me in Providence.

I think he had seen the article by W. J. Pabodie in the Tribune & had called on me as a friend of Edgar Poe to express to me his indignation at the injustice done to his memory in the Memoir. It was this gentleman who told me what I have referred to on the 75th page of my book [Edgar Poe and his Critics ]. He assured me that having for years known Poe intimately &having often been near him in his states of utter mental delirium & desolation he had never heard from him a coarse or brutal word, never an expression that would have done discredit to his heart or brought reproach on his honor. He apparently felt for him . . . . a most affectionate & friendly sympathy & regard.

According to Quinn, pp. 679-81, W. J. Pabodie published “a restrained but effective protest” against Rufus W. Griswold’s “Memoir” of Poe in the New York Tribune on June 2, 1852. Mrs. Whitman offered her own protest in Edgar Poe and his Critics (1860; rpt. New York: AMS Press, 1966).



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.


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