Text: Dwight R. Thomas and David K. Jackson, “Chapter 11,” The Poe Log (1987), pp. 783-854


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[page 783:]

CHAPTER ELEVEN

“For Annie” and the Final Journey

Annie Richmond [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 782]
 
Annie Richmond

1849

In the early months of 1849 Poe expresses his aspirations in his letters to Annie Richmond of Lowell, Massachusetts, a young woman whom he met, and fell in love with, during his two visits to this city last year. As Annie is happily married, Poe realizes that his love for her must remain platonic. Her husband Charles B. Richmond, a wealthy paper manufacturer, is tolerant of her innocent affection for the famous poet. In February Poe begins to contribute to the Flag of Our Union, a widely circulated, cheaply printed Boston weekly which pays him well. Since he is privately contemptuous of this ephemeral newspaper, he arranges for a poem dedicated to Mrs. Richmond to be reprinted in a more prestigious journal: “For Annie,” published on 21 April in the Flag dated 28 April, appears several days later in the 28 April issue of the New York Home Journal, much to the annoyance of the Flag’s proprietor. At the end of April Poe’s dreams of his own magazine are rekindled when he receives a letter from Edward H. N. Patterson of Oquawka, Illinois. Though only twenty-one Patterson has considerable funds and the control of a printing office; he wishes to establish a national literary journal of which Poe would be sole editor and half owner. On 29 June Poe departs from New York on a trip to Richmond, intending to promote the proposed magazine by delivering lectures in this city and elsewhere in the South. When he stops in Philadelphia, however, he drinks to excess and suffers the agonizing hallucinations characteristic of “mania-à-potu” (delirium tremens). John Sartain, publisher of Sartain’s Union Magazine, cares for him until he recovers. To Sartain Poe sells his revised poem “The Bells” and his newest one, “Annabel Lee.” After he arrives in Richmond on 14 July, he proposes marriage to his early love Sarah Elmira Royster, now the well-to-do widow Mrs. Shelton. On 17 August he delivers his lecture on “The Poetic Principle” to a large audience at the Exchange Hotel; he repeats it in Norfolk, Virginia, on 14 September, and in Richmond on 24 September. Sometime during August Poe apparently has one or more drinking bouts, which leave him fearful of the possible effects of another indulgence. On 27 August he joins a Richmond chapter of the Sons of Temperance, whose members pledge themselves to abstain from alcohol. By late August most of Poe’s Richmond acquaintances believe that he is engaged to Mrs. Shelton; in fact, she hesitates to [page 784:] accept his proposal because the provisions of her late husband’s will make it financially disadvantageous for her to remarry. By 22 September she finally consents and writes a cordial letter to Mrs. Clemm. On 27 September Poe leaves Richmond for New York, intending to return in a few days with Mrs. Clemm; but when he stops in Baltimore, he begins drinking heavily. On 3 October, an election day, he is discovered in a comatose condition at the polling place for Baltimore’s Fourth Ward. He dies of delirium tremens at the Washington College Hospital on 7 October.

 


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~~ 1849 ~~

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[page 784, continued:]

[1849] JANUARY OR BEFORE. NEW YORK. Poe submits his sketch “Landor’s Cottage” to the American Metropolitan Magazine (Poe to Annie Richmond, ca. 21 January and 23 March; Mrs. Clemm to Annie, 11 January).

[1849] JANUARY. Holden’s Dollar Magazine, now edited by Charles F. Briggs, contains “A Mirror for Authors” by “Motley Manners, Esq.” These pseudonymous verses by Augustine J. H. Duganne satirize the leading American poets, who are also caricatured in accompanying illustrations by Felix O. C. Darley. Duganne devotes twenty-two lines to Poe, whom Darley represents as an Indian holding a tomahawk and a scalping knife:

With tomahawk upraised for deadly blow,

Behold our literary Mohawk, Poe!

Sworn tyrant he o’er all who sin in verse —

His own the standard, damns he all that’s worse;

And surely not for this shall he be blamed —

For worse than his deserves that it be damned!

 

Who can so well detect the plagiary’s flaw?

“Set thief to catch thief” is an ancient saw:

Who can so scourge a fool to shreds and slivers?

Promoted slaves oft make the best slave drivers!

Iambic Poe! of tyro bards the terror —

Ego is he — the world his pocket-mirror! (Reilly [1973], pp. 9-12).

[1849] JANUARY. The Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register discusses Poe’s Eureka, attacking his advocacy of pantheism (Laverty [1951], p. 346).

[1849] JANUARY AND LATER. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman writes Mrs. Frances S. Osgood in New York, “many times . . . during the winter & spring,” to request information on Poe’s “health & [page 785:] welfare.” She receives no reply (Whitman to R. W. Griswold, 12 December 1849, PHi).

[1849] BEFORE 5 JANUARY. NEW YORK. George P. Putnam publishes Mrs. Osgood’s poem A Letter About the Lions, which provides humorous gossip about many American authors, mostly New Yorkers. Only four lines are devoted to Poe:

But where’s the Raven, who could sing,

To thrill the rudest soul once,

Who higher soared, on wounded wing,

Than others, with their whole ones?

[1849] 5 JANUARY. The Daily Tribune briefly reviews Mrs. Osgood’s “neat, naive and tasteful pamphlet.”

[1849] 11 JANUARY. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell:

The match is entirely broken off between Eddy and Mrs. Whitman. He has been at home three weeks and has not written to her once. . . . Dear Eddy is writing most industriously, and I have every hope that we will, in a short time, surmount most of our difficulties. He writes from ten till four every day. . . . We have found out who wrote those verses that we attributed to Grace Greenwood: they were written by Mrs. Welby, of Kentucky. . . . Eddy wrote a tale [“Landor’s Cottage”] and sent it to the publisher, and in it was a description of you with the name of the lady, “Darling Annie.” . . . Did you see the lines to Eddy in a new magazine just come out, called the Metropolitan? They are by Mrs. Osgood, and very beautiful. . . . Have you seen Lowell’s satire [A Fable for Critics], and Mrs. Osgood’s letter about the lions? Something about Eddy in both (Ingram, pp. 399-400).

[1849] 11 JANUARY. Poe sends Annie a letter enclosed in Mrs. Clemm’s: “Oh, Annie, in spite of so many worldly sorrows — in spite of all the trouble and misrepresentation (so hard to bear) that Poverty has entailed on me for so long a time — in spite of all this I am so — so happy to think that you really love me. . . . there is nothing in this world worth living for except love — love not such as I once thought I felt for Mrs. [Whitman] but such as burns in my very soul for you — so pure — so unworldly — a love which would make all sacrifices for your sake.” Poe asks to be remembered to Annie’s sister Sarah, her brother Bardwell, her young daughter Caddy, her parents, and her husband Charles B. Richmond (L, 2:414-15; see also Ingram, pp. 400-01).

[1849] 13 JANUARY OR BEFORE. PHILADELPHIA. Godey’s Lady’s Book for February contains Poe’s tale “Mellonta Tauta.” [page 786:]

[1849] 13 JANUARY. NEW YORK. The Daily Tribune carries an advertisement for the February Godey’s, “this day published.”

[1849] 13 JANUARY. Poe writes John R. Thompson in Richmond, thanking him for forwarding the Southern Literary Messenger containing Susan Archer Talley’s poem “Genius.” Poe is enclosing his initial installment of “Marginalia,” excerpted from the Democratic Review for November 1844: “I send it that, by glancing it over — especially the prefatory remarks — you may perceive the general design — which I think well adapted to the purposes of such a Magazine as yours . . . . My object in writing you now, is to propose that I continue the papers in ‘The Messenger’ — running them through the year, at the rate of 5 pages each month . . . . You might afford me, as before, I presume, $2 per page. . . . If you think well of my proposal, I will send you the two first numbers (10 pp.) immediately on receipt of a letter from you” (L, 2:415-17).

[1849] 19 JANUARY. RICHMOND. In the Semi-Weekly Examiner John M. Daniel comments:

Mr. EDGAR A. POE, a gentleman with whom the citizens of Richmond have some acquaintance, and whom the public also know as an erratic, moon struck, and very disorderly poet — much given to “Ravens,” “Dreamland” and bar-rooms, is about to be married to Mrs. Sarah H. Whitman, of Providence, Rhode Island. Mrs. Whitman is a widow, and also a poetess. Her deceased husband was a poet too, and an extensive one. Mrs. Whitman was a Miss Sarah H. Powers [Power] before she married Mr. John Whitman, and has written many clever effusions. The paper from which we get the news, hopes that if Mr. Poe and Mrs. Whitman get married, they will be very happy, and have a house-full of very fat babies. We hope so too. We also hope he will leave off getting drunk in restoratives, and keep his money in his pockets, except when he takes it out to pay his bills.

[1849] 20 JANUARY. FORDHAM. Poe writes John Priestley of the American Review in New York, forwarding “About Critics and Criticism.” He asks Priestley to submit his article to the monthly’s editor, James D. Whelpley: “see if he can give me $10 for it” (L, 2:417).

[1849] BEFORE 21 JANUARY. LOWELL. Annie Richmond writes Poe. Her family and friends have heard that Mrs. Whitman has spoken harshly of Poe’s conduct during their recent engagement: “I will not repeat all her vile & slanderous words — you have doubtless heard them — but one thing she says that I cannot deny though I do not believe it — viz — that you had been published to her once, & that on the Sat. preceding the Sabbath on which you were to have been published for the second time, she went herself to the Rev Mr Crocker’s, & after stating her reasons for so doing, requested [page 787:] him to stop all further proceedings.” Annie hopes that Poe can refute these assertions (fragment quoted in Poe to Mrs. Whitman, ca. 21 January).

[The banns of matrimony were, of course, never published. Mrs. Whitman did not call on Reverend Crocker; she simply stopped the delivery of Poe’s note to him requesting the announcement of the marriage (see 23 DECEMBER 1848). Annie wrote Poe to satisfy her husband and his relatives, as she explained in her 14 January 1877 letter to J. H. Ingram: “Mr. Richmond’s family were at that time living in Providence & were continually sending him the gossip in circulation there, about this unhappy affair — In answer to their inquiries as to what ‘Mr. Poe said about it,’ I replied, that Mrs. W’s statement was a false one, but nothing would do — they must have something more definite — of course I had no other alternative, but to tell him [Poe] as briefly as I could, my reasons for troubling him, & ask some explanation” (Miller [1977], p. 159). Mrs. Whitman herself never criticized Poe, as she explained in her 12 December 1849 letter to R. W. Griswold: “Many of the circumstances attending my seperation [sic] from Mr Poe were (greatly to my regret) matters of public notoriety at the time, but no one has ever heard me allude to them or to Mr Poe’s reputed errors but in terms of extenuation & kindness” WHO.]

[1849] CA. 21 JANUARY. FORDHAM. Poe writes Mrs. Whitman in Providence, quoting the accusation contained in Annie’s letter to him: “That you Mrs W[hitman] have uttered, promulgated or in any way countenanced this pitiable falsehood, I do not & cannot believe — some person equally your enemy & mine has been its author — but what I beg of you is, to write me at once a few lines in explanation . . . . Your simple disavowal is all that I wish . . . . Heaven knows that I would shrink from wounding or grieving you! I blame no one but your Mother . . . . I bitterly lament my own weaknesses, & nothing is farther from my heart than to blame you for yours . . . . It has been my intention to say simply, that our marriage was postponed on account of your ill health” (L, 2:420-42).

[1849] CA. 21 JANUARY. Poe writes Annie in Lowell: “I felt deeply wounded by the cruel statements of your letter — and yet I had anticipated nearly all. . . . In fact, Annie, I am beginning to grow wiser, and do not care so much as I did for the opinions of a world in which I see, with my own eyes, that to act generously is to be considered as designing, and that to be poor is to be a villain. I must get rich — rich. . . . I deeply regret that Mr. R[ichmond] should think ill of me.” Poe encloses his letter to Mrs. Whitman, which he has dated 25 January, several days in advance: “Read it — show it only to those in whom you have faith, and then seal it with wax and mail it from Boston. . . . When her answer comes I will send it [page 788:] to you: that will convince you of the truth.” Yesterday Poe sent his “About Critics and Criticism” to the American Review; not long ago he gave the American Metropolitan Magazine his “Landor’s Cottage,” which “has something about Annie in it.” The Southern Literary Messenger will publish fifty pages of his “Marginalia,” five pages to appear in each monthly issue. “I have also made permanent engagements with every magazine in America (except Peterson’s National), including a Cincinnati magazine called The Gentlemen’s. So you see that I have only to keep up my spirits to get out of all my pecuniary troubles” (L, 2:417-20).

[1849] 21 JANUARY. WASHINGTON. Horace Greeley writes Rufus W. Griswold in New York: “Do you know Sarah Helen Whitman? Of course, you have heard it rumored that she is to marry Poe. Well, she has seemed to me a good girl, and — you know what Poe is. Now I know a widow of doubtful age will marry almost any sort of a white man, but this seems to me a terrible conjunction. Has Mrs. Whitman no friend within your knowledge that can faithfully explain Poe to her?” (MB-G).

[1849] 22 JANUARY. BOSTON. Frederick Gleason, publisher of the Flag of Our Union, writes Poe, inviting him to contribute regularly to this weekly newspaper. Park Benjamin, Mrs. Osgood, and Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney are already engaged as contributors; Gleason can pay Poe “about 5$ a ‘Graham page’ ” (Poe to Gleason, 5 February, and to Annie, 8 February).

[1849] CA. 23? JANUARY. LOWELL. Annie Richmond receives Poe’s letter of ca. 21 January. She makes her own copy of the letter to Mrs. Whitman Poe enclosed (Annie’s transcript in ViU-I).

[1849] 24 JANUARY. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. The Oquawka Spectator reports Poe’s engagement to Mrs. Whitman (McElroy, p. 264).

[1849] CA. 25? JANUARY. BOSTON. Annie (or someone appointed by her) mails Poe’s letter to Mrs. Whitman, as he requested (Boston postmark mentioned in Whitman to R. W. Griswold, 12 December 1849, PHi).

[1849] BEFORE 31 JANUARY. RICHMOND. John R. Thompson replies to Poe’s 13 January letter. He agrees to publish the new series of “Marginalia” in the Messenger (implied by Poe’s letters to him, 13 and 31 January).

[1849] 31 JANUARY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Thompson: “Accompanying this letter, by mail, are eleven pages of ‘Marginalia’, done up in a roll. Would it not be advisable to preface the series with the prefatory remarks I made use of originally — in the ‘Democratic Review’? They would serve to explain [page 789:] the character of the papers. You have the original preface in the printed pages I enclosed you. . . . Should there be any of these gossiping affairs which, for any reason, you disapprove, just cut them out (whole) & preserve them for me. Publish only those which suit you entirely. The order in which they appear is immaterial” (facsimile in Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 70-71).

[1849] FEBRUARY OR BEFORE. Poe writes Bayard Taylor, a contributing editor of Graham’s Magazine resident in New York. He encloses a favorable review of Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis’ The Child of the Sea and Other Poems, asking that it be published anonymously (Stoddard [1889], p. 113, and [1903], pp. 159-60; Mott, pp. 551-52; review printed in April Graham’s).

[1849] FEBRUARY? The American Review returns Poe’s “About Critics and Criticism”: this magazine can no longer pay for contributions (Poe to Priestley, 20 January, and to Annie, after 5? May; article published in Graham’s, January 1850).

[1849] FEBRUARY. The Columbian Magazine ceases publication (cf. Poe to Annie, after 5? May).

[1849] FEBRUARY. BUFFALO, NEW YORK. The Western Literary Messenger reviews the Southern Literary Messenger for January: “The ablest pens at the South are enlisted in its service, aside from the aid rendered by such northern writers as Poe, Tuckerman, etc.”

[1849] FEBRUARY. AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS. The Indicator, published at Amherst College, contains a long, hostile critique of Poe’s Eureka (Nelson, p. 180; Pollin [1980], p. 28).

[1849] FEBRUARY. BOSTON. The Boston Museum contains Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke’s “The Broken Charm,” a poem commemorating the end of her infatuation with Poe (Reilly [1976], pp. (10-111).

[1849] FEBRUARY RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains a favorable review of Rufus W. Griswold’s The Female Poets of America.

[For his 1850 “Memoir” of Poe, p. vi, Griswold fabricated a “Poe letter” which acknowledged this unsigned review. James A. Harrison reprinted Griswold’s forgery in his 1902 edition (W, 17:326-27); subsequent scholars have used it as a basis for attributing the review to Poe (cf. Heartman and Canny, p. 261, and Hull, p. 194). Other evidence to establish Poe’s authorship seems lacking. While the Messenger’s reviewer [page 790:] praised Susan Archer Talley (whom Poe admired), he also placed Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet (whom Poe detested) at the head of his list of the “most accomplished” poetesses. The review might have been written by the editor John R. Thompson, a friend of Griswold as well as an admirer of Miss Talley (cf. Thompson to Griswold, 31 August and 20 September 1848, PHi).]

[1849] EARLY FEBRUARY. PROVIDENCE. Mrs. Whitman returns home, “having passed the last four or five weeks in New Bedford & in Boston” (Whitman to Griswold, 13 February 1849, PHi).

She receives Poe’s letter to her, written ca. 21 January and mailed from Boston several days later: “I would not have hesitated for a moment to have complied with his request had I not have feared that by so doing we might both be involved in a recurrence of the unhappy scenes which had preceded & attended our seperation [sic] . . . . With a heavy heart, & after the most dispassionate reflection, I resolved, for his sake rather than my own, not to reply” (Whitman to Griswold, 12 December 1849, PHi).

[1849] EARLY FEBRUARY. Mrs. Whitman receives a letter from Israel Post, publisher of the American Metropolitan Magazine, who reminds her of her promise to contribute to the February number. She recalls: “I found in a hurried search among my MSS. and papers a copy of unpublished stanzas, written several years before as an accompaniment to an Italian air for the guitar. Here was an intimation of what Macbeth calls ‘fate and metaphysical aid.’ I felt that Poe would interpret the last verse as a response to the entreaty made to me in his letter — the letter which I had not dared to answer. The verses . . . were published in the February number of the magazine, which, I think, did not appear before the middle of March” (Whitman to R. H. Stoddard, 30 September 1872, Stoddard [1884], 1:159; cf. her 20 February 1874 letter to J. H. Ingram in Miller [1979], pp. 35-36).

[Mrs. Whitman’s “Stanzas for Music,” published under her name in the Metropolitan, bore the title “Our Island of Dreams” in the 1853 and 1879 collections of her poetry. The verses portray the plight of two lovers who “parted in anger, to meet never more.” Mrs. Whitman composed this fourth and final stanza only after receiving the letters from Poe and Post:

When the clouds that now veil from us Heaven’s fair light

Their soft, silver lining turn forth on the night,

When time shall the vapors of falsehood dispel,

He shall know if I loved him, but never how well

(Reilly [1965], pp. 191-92; Mabbott [1969], 1:472).] [page 791:]

[1849] 3 FEBRUARY. NEW YORK. Poe signs a promissory note for $67, payable at the end of sixty days to Isaac Cooper (NNPM).

[1849] 5? FEBRUARY. Poe gives “A Valentine,” a revision of his 1846 acrostic concealing Mrs. Osgood’s name, to Mr. French, the New York agent of the Flag of Our Union. He apparently receives five dollars for this brief poem (Poe to Annie, 8 February).

[1849] 5 FEBRUARY. Poe replies to the 22 January letter from Frederick Gleason, publisher of this Boston weekly: “I shall be happy to contribute, as often as possible, to ‘The Flag’. In the course of next week, I will send you a tale or sketch; and in the meantime I leave with Mr. French a short poem which I hope will please you” (L, 2:724).

[1849] 6 FEBRUARY. FORDHAM. Poe completes a second, greatly expanded version of “The Bells” (Poe to Annie, 8 February).

[1849] 7 FEBRUARY. Poe completes his tale “Hop-Frog” (Poe to Annie).

[1849] 8 FEBRUARY. Poe writes Annie Richmond in Lowell:

Our darling mother [Mrs. Clemm] is just going to town, where, I hope, she will find a sweet letter from you, or from Sarah [Heywood], but, as it is so long since I have written, I must send a few words . . . . I have been so busy, dear Annie, ever since I returned from Providence — six weeks ago. I have not suffered a day to pass without writing from a page to three pages. Yesterday, I wrote five, and the day before a poem considerably longer than “The Raven.” I call it “The Bells:” . . . The 5 prose pages I finished yesterday are called — what do you think? — I am sure you will never guess — “Hop-Frog!” Only think of your Eddy writing a story with such a name . . . . . It will be published in a weekly paper, of Boston, called “The Flag of Our Union” — not a very respectable journal, perhaps, in a literary point of view, but one that pays as high prices as most of the Magazines. The proprietor wrote to me, offering about 5$ a “Graham page” and as I was anxious to get out of my pecuniary difficulties, I accepted the offer. He gives $5 for a Sonnet, also. Mrs Osgood, Park Benjamin, & Mrs Sigourney are engaged (L, 2:425-26).

[1849] 9 FEBRUARY. LOWELL. The Daily Journal & Courier reprints Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke’s “The True Poet,” a poem addressed to Poe which originally appeared in the New York Evening Post of 3 August 1848 (Reilly [1972], pp. 209-10, 219).

[1849] CA. 12? FEBRUARY. FORDHAM. Poe forwards a review of James Russell Lowell’s A Fable for Critics to John R. Thompson in Richmond (Poe to Thomas, 14 February). [page 792:]

[1849] 14 FEBRUARY. Poe replies to the letter Frederick William Thomas sent him on 27 November 1848: it has finally reached him, “after having taken, at its leisure, a very considerable tour among the P. Offices.” Poe is glad to learn that his friend is returning to “the field of Letters” by starting a new periodical, the Chronicle of Western Literature:

Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path. I shall be a littérateur, at least, all my life; nor would I abandon the hopes which still lead me on for all the gold in California. . . . I have read the Prospectus of the “Chronicle” and like it much especially the part where you talk about “letting go the finger” of that conceited booby, the East . . . . I wish you would come down on the Frogpondians. They are getting worse and worse, and pretend not to be aware that there are any literary people out of Boston.

Just “a day or two ago” Poe sent a review of Lowell’s Fable to the Southern Literary Messenger: “I only hope Thompson will print it. Lowell is a ranting abolitionist and deserves a good using up.” Although Poe has never met Thomas’ co-editor on the Chronicle, he knows him by reputation: “Eames, I think, was talking to me about him in Washington once, and spoke very highly of him in many respects.” Poe appends a brief notice of Sarah Anna Lewis, asking Thomas to publish it “editorially” in the Chronicle: “The lady spoken of is a most particular friend of mine, and deserves all I have said of her” (L, 2:426-29; notice of Mrs. Lewis in W, 13:225-26).

[“Eames” was almost certainly Charles Eames, the editor who reprinted “Ligeia” and other Poe compositions in the New York New World early in 1845; he subsequently settled in Washington, where he became acquainted with Thomas. The discussion mentioned probably occurred when Poe visited the capital around late July, 1847.]

[1849] 16 FEBRUARY. Poe writes Evert A. Duyckinck, editor of the Literary World: “Perhaps, in the conversation I had with you, in your office, about ‘Ulalume’, I did not make you comprehend precisely what was the request I made.” By way of further explanation Poe encloses the editorial prefacing the poem’s republication in the Providence Daily Journal of 22 November 1848, which explains that he, not Nathaniel P. Willis, is the author. If Duyckinck will simply reprint this paper’s remarks along with the poem, “it will make every thing straight” (L, 2:429; Literary World of 3 March).

[1849] 17 FEBRUARY. BRUNSWICK, MAINE. George W. Eveleth writes Poe. He has just finished “a somewhat hasty perusal” of Eureka: “I was gratified at coming upon the idea with regard to the origin of the rotation of the heavenly bodies, because it coincided with the one which I had given upon the same point. I gave it on my own authority, never having seen, to my [page 793:] recollection, any thing of the like elsewhere. Nevertheless, it may have been advanced hundreds of times . . . . Do I understand you to give this idea as only your own way of accounting for the rotation or is it that also of Laplace?” Eveleth encloses his essay “The Nucleus of our Planet in a State of Igneous Liquefaction,” written “two or three months ago,” which outlines much the same theory that Poe advocates in Eureka. He submitted this article to Silliman’s American Journal of Science in New Haven, Connecticut, which has yet to print it; and he also sent a copy to Professor John W. Draper of New York University, requesting his opinion of it. Draper recently replied, enclosing two essays of his own. In response to Eveleth’s questions, Draper stated that he never met Poe and knew nothing of Poe’s proposed magazine, the Stylus, whose prospects for success he doubted. Eveleth still retains his faith in Poe’s plan: “If you get the Stylus upon its route before the end of the next three months, send me a specimen of it hither to Brunswick . . . . I am attending the Medical Lectures [at the Maine Medical School]. I may thereby have a chance to introduce a copy or two of the Maga. to the good people of this place — perhaps to the students or Professors of the College” (Eveleth, pp. 22-23).

[1849] 17 FEBRUARY. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 24 February contains this editorial announcement: “ ‘A Valentine,’ a very peculiar article, from our regular contributor, EDGAR A. POE. To appear in our next.”

[1849] BEFORE 18 FEBRUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Sartain’s Union Magazine for March contains Poe’s “A Valentine,” preceded by the dedication “To ——— ———.” In the “Editorial” section at the back of the issue, John Sartain calls attention to the poem: “The Valentine by EDGAR A. POE, will, we venture to predict, make as many guessers as readers of his most provoking riddle.”

[Early in 1848 Poe submitted “A Valentine” to James L. DeGraw, who published the Union Magazine in New York. The poem did not appear at that time; since DeGraw subsequently disposed of the magazine and left for California — without returning the manuscript — Poe felt free to offer a second copy to Frederick Gleason, proprietor of the Flag of Our Union. The publication in Sartain’s occurred at least a week before that in the Flag (see Poe to Annie, 1? March, and Gleason’s explanation to his readers, 10 March).]

[1849] 18 FEBRUARY. LOWELL. Annie Richmond writes Poe, quoting from “A Valentine,” which she has seen in Sartain’s (Poe’s reply, 1? March).

[1849] 18 FEBRUARY. FORDHAM. With “a heavy heart” Poe writes Annie: “I must abandon my proposed visit to Lowell & God only knows when I shall see & [page 794:] clasp you by the hand. I have come to this determination to-day, after looking over some of your letters to me & my mother [Mrs. Clemm], written since I left you. You have not said it to me, but I have been enabled to glean from what you have said, that Mr Richmond has permitted himself (perhaps without knowing it) to be influenced against me, by the malignant misrepresentations of Mr & Mrs Locke.” Poe explains that he quarreled with the Lockes during his second visit to Lowell, in late October 1848, only because they made insulting remarks about Annie and her husband. Considering the offense Poe offered to Mrs. Locke’s “insane vanity & self-esteem;” he is not surprised that she has been “ransacking the world for scandal” to use against him; but he “certainly did not anticipate that any man in his senses, would ever listen to accusations, from so suspicious a source.” Poe has regretfully come to the conclusion that Mr. Richmond must have some other reason for objecting to him:

I much fear that he has mistaken the nature — the purity of that affection which I feel for you, & have not scrupled to avow . . . . God knows dear dear Annie, with what horror I would have shrunk from insulting a nature so divine as yours, with any impure or earthly love — But since it is clear that Mr R. cannot enter into my feelings on this topic, & that he even suspects what is not, it only remains for me beloved Annie to consult your happiness . . . . Not only must I not visit you [at] Lowell, but I must discontinue my letters & you yours — I cannot & will not have it on my conscience that I have interfered with the domestic happiness of the only being in the whole world, whom I have loved, at the same time with truth & with purity (L, 2:429-32).

[1849] AFTER 18 FEBRUARY. LOWELL. Annie receives Poe’s letter and shows it to her husband. Mr. Richmond writes the Lockes, “denouncing them in the strongest terms.” He asks Annie “to urge Mrs. Clemm and Mr. Poe to come on” (Annie to J. H. Ingram, after 13 March 1877, Miller [1977], p. 168).

[1849] 24 FEBRUARY. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 3 March contains Poe’s “A Valentine.” preceded by this introduction: “At a ‘Valentine Soiree,’ in New York, the following enigmatical lines were received, among others, and read aloud to the company. The verses were enclosed in an envelope, addressed ‘To her whose name is written within.’ As no lady present could so read the riddle as to find her name written in it, the Valentine remained, and still remains, unclaimed. Can any of the readers of the FLAG discover for whom it is intended?”

[1849] LATE FEBRUARY? FORDHAM. Poe forwards the second version of “The Bells” to Sartain’s Union Magazine, which previously purchased the original eighteen-line version for $15. He apparently receives an additional $25 for the expanded poem (dating implied by Poe to Annie, 8 February and 1? March; Mabbott [1969], 1:431). [page 795:]

[1849] CA. MARCH. PROVIDENCE. Sarah Helen Whitman submits a five-stanza poem, dated “Isle of Rhodes, March 1849” and entitled simply “Lines,” to the Southern Literary Messenger. The verses seem to convey a reconciliatory message, presumably intended for Poe:

I bade thee stay. Too well I know

The fault was mine, mine only;

I dared not think upon the past

All desolate and lonely.

 

I know not if my soul could bear

In absence to regret thee,

To strive alone with its despair,

Still seeking to forget thee

(published in June Messenger).

[1849] MARCH. RICHMOND. The [[Southern Literary]] Messenger contains Poe’s unsigned review of A Fable for Critics: “Mr. Lowell has committed an irrevocable faux pas and lowered himself at least fifty per cent in the literary public opinion.”

[1849] 1? MARCH. FORDHAM. Poe writes Annie Richmond in Lowell: “Your letter (one of them) was dated the 18th: — how, then, did you ever see, or know anything about the Valentine from which you quote, when it was not published until the 3d March — that is, it was issued in the ‘Flag’ dated 3d March, but which was issued the Saturday previous — Feb 24. How did you see it so early as Feb. 18.?” The Flag of Our Union now has two unpublished tales by Poe, “Hop-Frog” and “X-ing a Paragrab.” Sartain’s Union Magazine will publish “The Bells” (L, 2:725).

[1849] 1 MARCH. Poe writes Annie’s sister Sarah H. Heywood: “My dear sweet sister — why have you not kept your promise & written me. Do not you be influenced against me by anybody — at least in my absence when I have it not in my power either to deny or to explain.” The brief note is apparently enclosed in Poe’s letter to Annie (L, 2:432).

[1849] AFTER 1 MARCH. BOSTON. Frederick Gleason, proprietor of the Flag of Our Union, writes Poe, asking him to explain the appearance of “A Valentine” in Sartain’s for March (Gleason’s explanation to his readers, 10 March).

[1849] AFTER 1 MARCH. FORDHAM. Poe replies to Gleason, stating that last year he submitted the poem to James L. DeGraw, former publisher of the Union Magazine. Without Poe’s knowledge or consent, DeGraw gave the manuscript to John Sartain, the new publisher (Gleason’s explanation, 10 March). [page 796:]

[1849] 3 MARCH. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 10 March contains the solution of Poe’s acrostic: “To translate the address of the Valentine which appeared in our last paper from the pen of Edgar A. Poe, read the first letter of the first line in connection with the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line, the fourth of the fourth, and so on to the end. The name of our contributor, Frances Sargent Osgood, will thus appear.” Next week the Flag will publish “Hop-Frog,” a new “prose sketch” by Poe, its “regular contributor.”

[1849] 3 MARCH. NEW YORK. The Literary World reprints “Ulalume: A Ballad,” preceded by Evert A. Duyckinck’s explanation: “The following fascinating poem, which is from the pen of EDGAR A. POE, has been drifting about in the Newspapers under anonymous or mistaken imputation of authorship, — having been attributed to N. P. WILLIS. We now restore it to its proper owner. It originally appeared without name in the American Review. In peculiarity of versification, and a certain cold moonlight witchery, it has much of the power of the author’s ‘Raven.’ ” This printing restores the final stanza, omitted in the 22 November 1848 republication in the Providence Daily Journal.

[1849] 8 MARCH. FORDHAM. Poe writes Duyckinck in New York. He left “Von Kempelen and his Discovery” with Duyckinck’s brother George. This tale is a hoax written “in the plausible or verisimilar style,” which announces that a European scientist has discovered a way to turn lead into gold: “I thought that such a style, applied to the gold-excitement, could not fail of effect. My sincere opinion is that nine persons out of ten (even among the best-informed) will believe the quiz (provided the design does not leak out before publication) and that thus, acting as a sudden, although of course a very temporary, check to the gold-fever, it will create a stir to some purpose.” Although the tale was prepared for the Flag of Our Union, Poe fears that “it will be quite thrown away” if published there: “The proprietor will give me $15 for it on presentation to his agent here; and my object in referring the article to you is simply to see if you could not venture to take it for the ‘World’. If so, I am willing to take for it $10 — or, in fact, whatever you think you can afford.” Poe thanks Duyckinck for reprinting “Ulalume” (L, 2:433-34).

[1849] 10 MARCH. BOSTON. The Flag for 17 March contains Poe’s “Hop-Frog: Or, The Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs.” The publisher Frederick Gleason comments:

That Valentine, by Poe.

Having received a poem from our regular contributor, Edgar A. Poe, Esq., and having paid for the same as original, we were not a little surprised to see the poem [page 797:] appear in Sartain’s Union Magazine for March, uncredited, and as original, though in the table of contents, on the cover, it is omitted. We at once addressed Mr. Poe, for an explanation, lest it should appear that we had taken the Valentine from the Magazine without credit. His answer to us is full and satisfactory. The said poem was written and handed to Mr. De Graw, a gentleman who proposed to start a Magazine in New York, but who gave up the project, and started himself for California. Mr. Poe, learning of this, thought, of course, his composition was his own again, and sent it to us as one of his regular contributions for the Flag; and was himself as much surprised as we could be, to see it, not long afterwards, in the Magazine, though the publisher does not say there that it was written for his pages. It was doubtless handed by Mr. De Graw to Sartain, and published thus without any intent to wrong any one. We make this statement, as in duty bound to Mr. Poe, and ourselves.

[1849] CA. 15 MARCH. NEW YORK. The American Metropolitan Magazine ceases publication. The second and final number, dated February, contains Mrs. Whitman’s “Stanzas for Music,” intended as a discreet reply to Poe. She recalls: “I was much blamed at the time for allowing them [these verses] to be published. They were supposed to be addressed to Mr. Poe and were copied into many of the papers” (Whitman to Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt, 10 October 1850, Williams, p. 769; cf. Stoddard [1884], 1:159, and Miller [1979], p. 35).

[1849] AFTER 15? MARCH. The Metropolitan returns to Poe his unpublished sketch “Landor’s Cottage” (Poe to Annie, 23 March).

[1849] 17 MARCH. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 24 March contains this announcement: “ ‘A Dream within a Dream, a poem, by our regular contributor, EDGAR A. POE, filed for next week.”

[1849] 20 MARCH. NEW YORK. The Evening Mirror reprints Poe’s “A Valentine” under the heading “A Riddle for Somebody to Unriddle” (Heartman and Canny, p. 235).

[1849] 23 MARCH. Poe writes Annie Richmond in Lowell: “I am so happy in being able to afford Mr. R. [Charles B. Richmond] proof of something in which he seems to doubt me. You remember that Mr. and Mrs. Locke strenuously denied having spoken ill of you to me.” Poe received several letters from Jane Ermina Locke which were “filled with abuse” of Annie and her husband; but since he returned them to the Lowell poetess, he could not produce them as evidence of her ill will toward the Richmonds. He looked over the letters Mrs. Locke sent Mrs. Clemm, but unfortunately found nothing in them that would corroborate his account of her slanders: “Well! what do you think? Mrs. Locke has again written my mother, and I enclose her letter. Read it! You will find it thoroughly [page 798:] corroborative of all I said. . . . You will see that she admits having cautioned me against you, as I said, and in fact admits all that I accused her of.” Poe is also enclosing “For Annie”; he solicits Annie’s opinion of this new poem, which he has sold to the Flag of Our Union: “By the way, did you get ‘Hop-Frog’? I sent it to you by mail, not knowing whether you ever see the paper . . . . I am sorry to say that the Metropolitan has stopped, and ‘Landor’s Cottage’ is returned upon my hands unprinted. I think the lines ‘For Annie’ (those I now send) much the best I have ever written — but an author can seldom depend on his own estimate of his own works . . . . Do not let these verses go out of your possession until you see them in print” (L, 2:434-36; Ingram, pp. 406-08).

[1849] 24 MARCH. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 31 March contains Poe’s “A Dream Within a Dream.”

[1849] APRIL? NEW YORK. Poe gives “Landor’s Cottage” to Mr. French, agent for the Flag (Poe to Annie, after 5? May).

[1849] APRIL? [1849?] Poe accompanies the poet William Ross Wallace to Mathew B. Brady’s “Daguerreian Gallery” at 205 Broadway, corner of Fulton Street. Brady makes a daguerreotype of Poe free of charge (Gimbel, pp. 169, 187; Horan, p. 10, plate 46; Meredith, pp. 30-31, plate 20).

[1849] APRIL. PHILADELPHIA. Graham’s Magazine contains Poe’s unsigned review of Sarah Anna Lewis’ The Child of the Sea and Other Poems (attribution in Stoddard [1889], p. 113, and [1903], pp. 159-60).

[1849] APRIL. CINCINNATI. The Western Quarterly Review contains an unsigned review of Mrs. Lewis’ volume by Poe, longer than that in the April Graham’s. This notice is a partial recast of his signed criticism in the Southern Literary Messenger for September 1848 (attribution also implied in Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August).

[1849] APRIL. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger publishes the first of five installments of “Marginalia.” The editor John R. Thompson furnishes this explanatory note: “Some years since Mr. Poe wrote for several of the Northern magazines a series of critical brevities under the title of ‘Marginalia.’ They attracted great attention at that time and since, as characteristic of the author, and we are sure that our readers will be gratified at his resuming them in the Messenger. By way of introduction, we republish the original preface from the Democratic Review.” [page 799:]

[1849] 1 APRIL. FORDHAM. Poe writes Anson Gleason Chester, a young Presbyterian minister in Saratoga Springs, New York: “In reply to your very flattering request for an autograph poem, I have the honor of copying for you the subjoined lines just written [‘For Annie’]. As they will be sold to one of our periodicals, may I beg of you not to let them pass out of your possession until published?” (InU-L).

[1849] 7 APRIL. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 14 April contains Poe’s tale “Von Kempelen and his Discovery.” His poem “Eldorado” is announced: “in our next number.”

[1849] 10 APRIL. WASHINGTON. Frederick William Thomas receives Poe’s 14 February letter, originally addressed to him in Louisville, Kentucky. It has been redirected several times (L, 2:537).

[1849] 14 APRIL. ATHENS, GEORGIA. The Southern Literary Gazette notices this month’s Southern Literary Messenger. From “Marginalia” the Gazette quotes the paragraph of “bitterest sarcasm” in which Poe recommends this quotation from Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (Book VI, Chapter 1) as a motto for the North American Review: “As we rode along the valley we saw a herd of asses on the top of one of the mountains — how they viewed and reviewed us!” Poe’s genius must be acknowledged, even by “those who most dislike his wild extravagancies and psychological transcendentalisms.”

[1849] 14 APRIL. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 21 April contains Poe’s “Eldorado.” The next issue will feature his “For Annie,” a poem “peculiar and characteristic.”

[1849] 20 APRIL. FORDHAM. Poe forwards a manuscript copy of “For Annie” to Nathaniel P. Willis, co-editor of the New York Home Journal: “The poem . . . has been just published in a paper for which sheer necessity compels me to write, now and then. It pays well as times go — but unquestionably it ought to pay ten prices; for whatever I send it I feel I am consigning to the tomb of the Capulets.” Poe asks Willis to reprint “For Annie” in the Home Journal. The poem’s source could be cited as “a late Boston paper”; there is no need to mention the Flag of Our Union by name. “I have not forgotten how a ‘good word in season’ from you made ‘The Raven,’ and made ‘Ulalume,’ (which, by-the-way, people have done me the honor of attributing to you) — therefore I would ask you (if I dared,) to say something of these lines — if they please you” (L, 2:436-37).

[1849] 20 APRIL OR LATER. NEW YORK. Willis sends “For Annie” to the printer, writing a note on Poe’s manuscript: “Will Mr. Babcock please put this on [page 800:] the second page this week, & leave me twenty lines room for an introduction” (Mabbott [1969], 1:455).

[1849] 21 APRIL. BOSTON. The Flag for 28 April contains “For Annie,” printed under the caption “Written for The Flag of Our Union.” The issue also contains “The Voices of the Night — A POE-UM” by “Professor Shortfellow,” a parody of “The Raven” reprinted from the Boston Courier.

[1849] AFTER 21 APRIL. NEW YORK. The Home Journal for 28 April contains “For Annie” without any acknowledgment of its prior publication. In a preface headed “ODD POEM,” Willis comments:

The following exquisite specimen of the private property in words has been sent us by a friend . . . . POE certainly has that gift of nature, which an abstract man should be most proud of — a type of mind different from all others without being less truthful in its perceptions for that difference; and though (to use two long words) this kind of idiosyncracy is necessarily idiopathic, and, from want of sympathy, cannot be largely popular, it is as valuable as rarity in any thing else, and to be admired by connoisseurs proportionately. Money (to tell a useless truth) could not be better laid out for the honor of this period of American literature — neither by the government, by a society, nor by an individual — than in giving EDGAR POE a competent annuity, on condition that he should never write except upon impulse, never dilute his thoughts for the magazines, and never publish any thing till it had been written a year. And this because the threatening dropsy of our country’s literature is its copying the GREGARIOUSNESS which prevails in every thing else, while Mr. POE is not only peculiar in himself, but unsusceptible of imitation. We have Bulwers by hundreds, Mrs. Hemanses by thousands, Byrons common as shirt-collars, every kind of writer “by the lot,” and less of individualesque genius than any other country in the world.

[1849] 28 APRIL. BOSTON. The Flag for 5 May announces that “X-ing a Paragrab,” a “capital prose sketch” by Poe, will appear in the next issue.

[1849] LATE APRIL. NEW YORK. Poe replies to an 18 December 1848 letter from Edward H. N. Patterson of Oquawka, Illinois, which he has “only this moment” received. He explains that he collects his mail at the post office in New York: “When, by accident or misapprehension, letters are especially directed to me at Fordham, the clerks — some of them who do not know my arrangements — forward them to West-Farms, the nearest Post-Office town, and one which I rarely visit. Thus it happened with your letter — on account of the request which you made Mr. [George P.] Putnam, I presume, ‘to forward it to my residence’.” Poe expresses his readiness to join Patterson in establishing a national magazine: “I do not think . . . that a Magazine could succeed, to any great extent, under the precise form, title, and general plan which (no doubt hurriedly) you have suggested; [page 801:] but your idea of the duplicate publication, East & West, strikes me forcibly.” He outlines his own concepts: “We must aim high — address the intellect — the higher classes — of the country (with reference, also, to a certain amount of foreign circulation) and put the work at $5 . . . . Such a Mag. would begin to pay after 1000 subscribers; and with 5000 would be a fortune worth talking about . . . . My plan, in getting up such a work as I propose, would be to take a tour through the principal States — especially West & South — visiting the small towns more particularly than the large ones — lecturing as I went, to pay expenses.” If Patterson’s own views are in accord with these, Poe will endeavor to visit him at Oquawka or to meet him at any place he suggests (L, 2:439-41).

[1849] LATE APRIL? BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union apparently sends a printed circular to Poe and other contributors, stating that it can no longer pay for articles (implied by Poe to Annie, after 5? May).

[1849] CA. MAY. NEW YORK. Rufus W. Griswold invites Poe to contribute several new poems to the forthcoming tenth edition of his anthology The Poets and Poetry of America (Poe’s reply).

[1849] CA. MAY. FORDHAM. Poe writes Griswold: “I enclose perfect copies of the lines ‘For Annie’ and ‘Annabel Lee’ — in hope that you may make room for them.” He copies his revised last stanza of “Lenore,” a poem Griswold has promised to insert. “Willis . . . has done me the honor to speak very pointedly in praise of ‘The Raven’ — I enclose what he said — & if you could contrive to introduce it, you would render me an essential favor” (L, 2:445-46).

[1849] MAY. PHILADELPHIA. Graham’s Magazine contains the first half of Poe’s “Fifty Suggestions,” brief observations in the style of “Marginalia.”

[1849] MAY. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains a second installment of “Marginalia.”

[1849] EARLY MAY? FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond at Lowell, stating that Poe is very ill (Poe to Annie, after 5? May).

[1849] EARLY MAY? LOWELL. Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke writes Poe, apparently assuring him of her continued affection and regard. She plans to publish a detailed account of her relations with him, thinly disguising it as a work of fiction (Poe to Annie, after 5? May). [page 802:]

[1849] EARLY MAY? Annie Richmond writes Poe, expressing concern over his health. She has seen “For Annie” in the Home Journal for 28 April; she asks if Poe can identify the “friend,” mentioned in Willis’ preface, who sent the poem to this paper (Poe to Annie, after 5? May).

[1849] 5 MAY. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 12 May contains Poe’s humorous sketch “X-ing a Paragrab.” The issue also carries this protest, written by the publisher Frederick Gleason or his editor Maturin M. Ballou:

CREDIT. — The Home Journal, after paying a deservedly high compliment to our regular contributor, Edgar A. Poe, copies a long poem written by him for the Flag, without a word of credit. This is a point on which we have learned to be somewhat sensitive, scrupulously giving credit in all instances, and as earnestly exacting the same.

[1849] AFTER 5? MAY. FORDHAM. Poe replies to Annie Richmond: “You will see by this note that I am nearly, if not quite, well — so be no longer uneasy on my account. I was not so ill as my mother [Mrs. Clemm] supposed, and she is so anxious about me that she takes alarm often without cause. It is not so much ill that I have been as depressed in spirits . . . . I have met one disappointment after another. The Columbian Magazine, in the first place, failed — then [Israel] Post’s Union (taking with it my principal dependence); then the Whig Review was forced to stop paying for contributions — then the Democratic.” Poe was “obliged to quarrel” with a publisher [possibly Louis A. Godey]; and a journal with which he “had made a regular engagement for $10 a week” [presumably the Flag of Our Union] has sent “a circular to correspondents, pleading poverty and declining to receive any more articles.” The Southern Literary Messenger, which owes him “a good deal,” has not been able to pay; he is thus dependent on Sartain’s and Graham’s, neither a reliable source of income. He describes a letter he recently received from Mrs. Locke: “She says she is about to publish a detailed account of all that occurred between us, under guise of romance, with fictitious names, &c., — that she will make me appear noble, generous, &c. &c. — nothing bad — that she will ‘do justice to my motives, &c. &c.” Poe himself sent “For Annie” to the Home Journal, because the Flag of Our Union “so misprinted” the poem: “I was resolved to have a true copy. The Flag has two of my articles yet — ‘A Sonnet to my Mother,’ and ‘Landor’s Cottage.’ . . . I have written a ballad called ‘Annabel Lee,’ which I will send you soon” (L, 2:437-39).

[1849] AFTER 5? MAY. Mrs. Clemm appends a message to Poe’s letter: “Thank you a thousand times for your letter, my dear ‘Annie.’ Do not believe Eddy; he has been very ill, but is now better. I thought he would die several times” (Ingram, pp. 410-11). [page 803:]

[1849] 7 MAY. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. Edward H. N. Patterson replies to Poe’s letter written in late April:

Your opinions, strengthened as they have been by experience, have had their weight in convincing me that it would probably be better to establish at the onset a high priced, and correspondingly high-toned periodical . . . . When I wrote you before, I had not given the subject that consideration which it deserved, — my principal object, at that time, being to enlist your sympathies and interests in a periodical, the literary contents of which should be exclusively under your control, believing that such an enterprize would prove successful, not doubting that even a cheap Magazine, under your editorial control, could be made to pay well, and at the same time exert a beneficial influence upon American Literature.

Patterson would publish their proposed magazine “in monthly numbers, at Oquawka, Illinois, containing, in every number, 96 pages . . . at the rate of $5 per annum.” To Poe, the editor, would fall “the task of selecting an appropriate name” for the journal: “Make out a list of contributors and write a prospectus, and forward to me as soon as you can so that I may at once commence operations.” They will divide the profits equally: “the books to be faithfully kept, in the publication office at Oquawka, and one half of all receipts from subscriptions, and private and agency sales, to be forwarded to you monthly.” If Poe agrees to these proposals, Patterson will visit him in New York “during the latter part of July or 1st of August” to complete their arrangements: “We ought to get out the first number early in January next” (draft of letter in InU-L; printed in W, 17:352-55, with canceled words italicized and placed in parentheses).

[1849] 16 MAY. The Oquawka Spectator reprints “For Annie” from the Home Journal of 28 April. Patterson, the junior editor, provides this preface:

A Remarkable Poem

We give below a most singularly conceived and oddly expressed poem. It is from the pen of the celebrated EDGAR A. POE — the only man who could have written it. There is no author who has a finer perception of the power of words than POE; and in addition to this delicate critical perception, he possesses a peculiarity of style which is Originality itself, and one which no one has yet been able successfully to imitate (McElroy, p. 259).

[1849] BEFORE 17 MAY. BROOKLYN? Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis asks Poe for a manuscript copy of “For Annie.” Apparently, she also requests two other favors of him: that he try to induce her publisher George P. Putnam to issue a second edition of her poetry, and that he write a favorable sketch of her and then persuade Rufus W. Griswold to insert it in the subsequent editions of The Female Poets of America (Poe to Mrs. Lewis, 17 May, to Putnam, 18 May, and to Griswold, 28 June). [page 804:]

[1849] CA. 17? MAY. LOWELL. Sarah Helen Whitman visits Jane Ermina Locke at her home, Wamesit Cottage. She recalls: “In the spring of 1849 1 recieved [sic] many letters from Mrs L. urging me to visit her at Lowell. She was at that time a stranger to me and I of course declined the invitation. She, however, would take no denial & renewed her entreaties so pressingly & with such earnest assurances of having important information to impart which could not be entrusted to a letter, that I at length consented to pass a week with her. . . . Her object in seeking my acquaintance was unquestionably to prevent any renewal of my correspondence with Mr Poe, by whom she concieved [sic] herself to have been deeply wronged” (Whitman to Mrs. Clemm, 24 November [1852], W, 17:419-21; facsimile in Quinn and Hart, pp. 36-39).

[1849] 17 MAY. FORDHAM. Poe writes Mrs. Lewis in Brooklyn: “I have not been well enough, lately, to copy the lines ‘For Annie’ but will copy them to-day. In regard to the other matter, depend upon me — as in all respects you may, with implicit confidence. Please make a memorandum as explicit as possible — so that I may know precisely what you wish” (L, 2:442; Moldenhauer [1973], p. 72).

[1849] 18 MAY. Poe writes George P. Putnam in New York. Several of Mrs. Lewis’ friends have suggested that she issue a second edition of The Child of the Sea and Other Poems, expanded to include the poetry she has recently written: “My object, in this note, is to submit the idea to your consideration. — Mrs Lewis has an unusually large circle of personal friends, has been highly praised by the critics, is very popular as an authoress and daily growing more so . . . . If the volume suggested were prepared in season for the next Holidays, I think you will agree with me that it could not fail of success” (L, 2:442-43; Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 72-73).

[1849] 20 MAY. NEW YORK. Putnam replies to Poe, presumably declining to issue a second edition (cited on Poe’s letter).

[1849] 23 MAY. Poe writes Edward H. N. Patterson in Oquawka, Illinois. Although Patterson’s 7 May letter arrived “in due course of mail,” Poe has delayed his answer for a week in order that he might thoroughly consider the proposed magazine: “I shrink from making any attempt which may fail. . . . I confess that some serious difficulties present themselves. . . . Your residence at Okquawka [sic] is certainly one of the most serious of these difficulties; and I submit to you whether it be not possible to put on our title-page ‘Published simultaneously at New-York & St Louis’ — or something equivalent.” Upon the whole Poe agrees to Patterson’s plan; he [page 805:] is enclosing a title page which he designed for his own proposed journal, the Stylus, “about a year ago.” As Poe’s project has already been announced, this name should be retained. “We will find the 7 months between now and January brief enough for our preparations. . . . To-day I am going to Boston & Lowell, to remain a week; and immediately afterwards I will start for Richmond, where I will await your answer to this letter. Please direct to me there, under cover, or to the care of John R. Thompson, Edr of the ‘South. Lit. Messenger.’ On receipt of your letter (should you still be in the mind you now are) I will proceed to St Louis & there meet you. . . . I must ask you to advance half of the sum I need to begin with — about $100. Please, therefore, enclose $50 in your reply, which I will get at Richmond” (L, 2:443-44).

Title page for the Stylus Poe sent to Edward H. N. Patterson on May 23, 1849 [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 806]
 
The title page Poe sent Edward H. N. Patterson on 23 May

[1849] 24? MAY. LOWELL. Mrs. Whitman ends her brief visit with Mrs. Locke; she leaves the city on the same day that Poe arrives.

[On 25 October 1875 Mrs. Whitman wrote J. H. Ingram: “I began to suspect that she [Mrs. Locke] had hoped to pique the Raven [Poe] by exhibiting me as her guest . . . . At all events, she told me as an inducement for me to prolong my stay a day or two after the time fixed for my departure, that she had taken care he should hear of my visit, & she had reason to think he would be in Lowell during the time fixed for my stay. My heart thrilled at the thought of seeing him again, but I could not accede to her request. We crossed each other on the road! I did not know it until a letter from Mrs. L[ocke] informed me of the fact; but if you were not such a sceptic as to spiritual or magnetic phenomena, I could tell you of a strange experience which happened to me as the two trains rushed past each other between Boston & Lowell” (Miller [1979], p. 349).]

[1849] 26 MAY. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 2 June announces that Poe’s “Landor’s Cottage” will appear in the next issue.

[1849] 26 MAY. The Boston Museum reprints Poe’s tale “A Descent into the Maelström” from Graham’s Magazine of May 1841 (Mabbott [1978], 2:577).

[1849] LATE MAY. NEW YORK. Stringer & Townsend, 222 Broadway, publish John E. Tuel’s The Moral for Authors, a verse satire aimed at British and American literati. In “Part II,” devoted to native writers, Tuel’s narrator recalls that he sought fame in literary endeavor but found instead a “dismal row / Of croaking authors dire, led on by POE, / All pecking at my lean and hungry book.” This introduction is followed by a long parody entitled “Plutonian Shore” and dated “Raven Creek, In the Year of Poetry”: [page 807:]

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I ponder’d weak and weary

Over many a weary volume of recent published lore —

While I nodded o’er “The Sleeper,” suddenly I heard a creeper,

As of some one peering deeper — deeper in my chamber door;

’Tis some author new, I mutter’d, or some other midnight bore;

Only this, and nothing more!

The nocturnal visitor proves to be a “young aspiring Author” delivering an unsolicited manuscript, which the narrator reluctantly reads:

“Author!” said I, “Imp of Evil — Author great, or God or Devil,

Whether PUTNAM sent or HARPER toss’d thee here ashore,

Dull and stupid yet undaunted — on this sheet romantic wasted —

On this floor by volumes haunted — tell me plainly, I implore,

Is there — is there sense in this? tell me, tell me, I implore.”

Quoth the Author, “Read it o’er!”

[1849] LATE MAY TO EARLY JUNE. LOWELL. Poe spends “something more than a week” with Annie Richmond and her family. He visits the Franklin Grammar School, of which her brother Bardwell Heywood has recently been elected principal; here he is attracted to a young teacher of twenty-one, Miss Eliza Jane Butterfield (Bardwell to Miss Sawyer, 16 June; Freeman [1967], pp. 389-91, and [1971], pp. 115-17).

Reverend Warren H. Cudworth, friend and pastor to the Richmond family, prepares a cryptogram to test Poe’s ability as a cryptographer. “Mr Poe solved this cipher, in one-fifth of the time it took me to write it” (Cudworth in Lowell Weekly Journal, 19 April 1850; clipping in ViU-I).

Poe gives Annie a manuscript copy of the third version of “The Bells,” containing his final revisions in ink and pencil (Annie’s letters to J. H. Ingram in Miller [1977], pp. 153-55, 160-61, 166, 182-84; partial facsimile of “Bells” manuscript in Gill, after p. 206; original in NNPM).

[1849] LATE MAY OR EARLY JUNE? At Annie’s request Poe sits for a Lowell daguerreotypist, possibly George C. Gilchrest, 82 Merrimack Street, or Samuel P. Howes, 112 Merrimack (information supplied by Michael J. Deas, from his forthcoming book on Poe portraiture; Uchida, pp. 1-4, 13).

[At least two plates were taken at this sitting. The most attractive has been called the “Stella” daguerreotype, from a copy that Sarah Anna Lewis gave John Henry Ingram and which came to the University of Virginia with the Ingram Collection. The other plate has been known variously as the “Annie” daguerreotype, from Mrs. Richmond’s own copy, or as the “Painter” daguerreotype, from a copy that Mrs. Clemm gave William Painter of Baltimore in 1868. The “Annie” is now at the J. Paul Getty [page 808:] Museum; the “Painter,” at the Maryland Historical Society. In her 3 October 1876 letter to Ingram, Annie Richmond criticized this likeness: “Mr. Poe’s [picture] does not do him justice . . . his face was thin, & . . . he looks very stout, & his features heavy” (Miller [1977], pp. 152-54).]

[1849] JUNE. PHILADELPHIA. Graham’s Magazine contains the conclusion of Poe’s “Fifty Suggestions.”

[1849] JUNE. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains a second installment of “Marginalia” as well as Mrs. Whitman’s “Lines” dated “March 1849,” a brief poem apparently intended as a reconciliatory message for Poe.

[1849] EARLY JUNE. FORDHAM. Having returned from Lowell, Poe writes Annie, apparently telling her that he will leave for Richmond on 11 June (Poe to Annie, 16 June).

[1849] EARLY JUNE. Poe writes Samuel D. Patterson, who became the publisher of Graham’s Magazine in 1848. He explains that he mailed several articles to Graham’s, but that his draft on the magazine, written in Lowell, was returned unpaid (Poe to Annie, 16 June).

[1849] EARLY JUNE. PHILADELPHIA. Samuel D. Patterson replies to Poe, stating that the articles were never received (Poe to Annie, 16 June).

[1849] SUMMER. PROVIDENCE. Mrs. Whitman receives “many letters” from Mrs. Locke, containing “frequent allusions to the subject [Poe] that so deeply engrossed her feelings.” She recalls: “I saw however that she [Mrs. Locke] was too much under the influence of wounded pride to exercise a calm judgement in the matter, and said but little in reply to her representations” (Whitman to Mrs. Clemm, 24 November [1852], W, 17:419-21; facsimile in Quinn and Hart, pp. 36-39).

[1849] CA. 1? JUNE. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. Edward H. N. Patterson promptly replies to Poe’s 23 May letter. As requested, he forwards $50 to Poe at Richmond, in care of John R. Thompson (Poe to Patterson, 19 July and 7 August).

[1849] 2 JUNE. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 9 June contains Poe’s “Landor’s Cottage,” described in the subheading as “A Pendant to ‘The Domain of Arnheim.’ ” [page 809:]

[1849] 2 JUNE. NEW YORK. The Literary World reviews John E. Tuel’s The Moral for Authors, mentioning Poe as one of the American writers satirized “in characteristic verses modelled on their own style.”

[1849] 7 JUNE. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. Edward H. N. Patterson sends Poe another letter addressed to Richmond. In it he apparently proposes that they publish a three-dollar magazine instead of a five-dollar one (Poe to Patterson, 19 July and 7 August).

[1849] 9 JUNE. NEW YORK. Poe writes John R. Thompson in Richmond: “It was my design to be in Richmond about the first of this month — but now it will be the 18th or 20th before I can leave New-York. . . . Please send me $10 if you can possibly spare it. . . . Most probably you will have received, ere this, a letter for me, addressed to your care at Richmond. In such case, may I ask you to forward it here under cover with your reply? — but if it has not reached you when this letter does, please retain it (when it arrives) until you see me in Richmond” (L, 2:446).

[1849] BEFORE 10 JUNE. LOWELL. Annie replies to the letter Poe sent her after his return to Fordham. She asks him to write her before he leaves for Richmond; she has sent his “love” to Miss Butterfield, the young teacher at the Franklin Grammar School (Poe to Annie, 16 June).

[1849] AFTER 10 JUNE. RICHMOND. Thompson receives Poe’s 9 June letter as well as the two letters Edward H. N. Patterson sent Poe in his care. Thompson decides not to forward Patterson’s letters to New York, since he expects to see Poe in several days (implied by Poe to Patterson, 19 July).

[1849] 16 JUNE. LOWELL? Bardwell Heywood writes Miss Annie Sawyer:

Mr. Poe has just spent something more than a week with us, and so anxious was I lest I should lose the benefit of his original thoughts, which were continually dripping from his lips, that I spent almost every moment out of school in his presence. . . . Would to God Mr. Poe could give me the thousandth part of his gigantic intellect. . . .

Some men, I now think, are great in spite of themselves. They can no more help being distinguished than I can help being otherwise. Mr. Poe seems to be of that class. He seems to be entirely unconscious of his extraordinary mental power, and yet cannot fail to discover it to everyone with whom he converses, if but for a moment.

He honored my school with two visits while in the city, though I suppose I should have seen him there but once had he not fallen in love with one of the assistants [Miss Eliza Jane Butterfield]. He confessed that he called on purpose to see her. So I took him into her room the moment he entered, and left them alone. [page 810:] Whether he proposed or not I have not ascertained. I only noticed an uncommon flush upon her cheek when they came out (Coburn, pp. 474-75).

[1849] 16 JUNE. FORDHAM. Poe replies to the letter Annie Richmond sent him before 10 June: “You must have been thinking all kinds of hard thoughts of your Eddie for the last week — for you asked me to write before I started for Richmond and I was to have started last Monday (the 11th) . . . . I have been on the point of starting every day since I wrote — and so put off writing . . . . When I can go now, is uncertain.” He has discovered the reason for the return of his draft on Graham’s Magazine, which caused him “such annoyance and mortification” during his visit to Lowell. The articles he mailed to Graham’s never arrived: “I enclose the publishers’ reply to my letter of enquiry. The Postmaster here is investigating the matter & in all probability the articles will be found & the draft paid by the time you get this.” Poe is also enclosing a letter Mrs. Locke recently sent Mrs. Clemm as well as the “long MS. poem” that she sent him last August, “Ermina’s Tale.” He asks whether Annie has seen Tuel’s new satire The Moral for Authors: “who, in the name of Heaven[,] is J. E. Tuel? The book is miserably stupid. He has a long parody of the Raven.” Poe regrets that he was forced to part “so coldly” from Annie’s sister Sarah H. Heywood; he asks to be remembered to her parents and husband, to her young daughter Caddy and her brother Bardwell Heywood. “How dared you send my love to Miss B[utterfield].? Look over my letter and see if I even so much as mentioned her name. Dear Annie, my heart reproached me (after I parted with you) for having, even in jest, requested Bardwell to ‘remember me to Miss B.’ I thought it might have pained you in some measure” (L, 2:446-48; Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 73-74).

[1849] 23 JUNE. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 30 June announces that Poe’s “Sonnet — To my Mother” will appear in the next issue.

[1849] 26 JUNE. NEW YORK. Poe writes George W. Eveleth in Brunswick, Maine: “On the principle of ‘better late than never’, I avail myself of a few moments’ leisure to say a word or two in reply to your last letter [of 17 February] . . . . The essay you enclose, on the igneous liquidity of the Earth, embodies some truth, and evinces much sagacity — but no doubt ere this you have perceived that you have been groping in the dark as regards the general subject. Before theorizing ourselves on such topics, it is always wisest to make ourselves acquainted with the actually ascertained facts & established doctrines. . . . Let me know frankly how ‘Eureka’ impresses you.” Professor John W. Draper belongs to the school of “Hogites,” those strict empirical thinkers satirized in Eureka: “A merely perceptive man with no intrinsic force — no power of generalization — in short a pompous nobody.” Poe encloses “For Annie;” taken from the Home Journal [page 811:] for 28 April: “How do you like it? — you know I put much faith in your poetical judgments. . . . Do you ever see ‘The Literary World’?” Poe has simply been “awaiting the best opportunity “before beginning his own journal, the Stylus: “I am now going to Richmond to ‘see about it’ — & possibly I may get out the first number on next January” (L, 2:449-50).

[1849] 28 JUNE. NEW YORK. Poe replies to a letter from H. S. Root, who wishes to locate a copy of Dr. Pliny Earle’s Marathon, and Other Poems: “I fancy the edition — (one only was published) — is out of print. The Doctor himself, when I last heard of him, was Superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane, at Bloomingdale, near this city” (L, 2:451-52).

[1849] 28 JUNE. Poe writes Rufus W. Griswold: “Since I have more critically examined your ‘Female Poets’ it occurs to me that you have not quite done justice to our common friend, Mrs. Lewis; and if you could oblige me so far as to substitute, for your no doubt hurried notice, a somewhat longer one prepared by myself (subject, of course, to your emendations) I would reciprocate the favor when, where, and as you please.” Poe will leave his sketch of Sarah Anna Lewis in a sealed package at her home in Brooklyn, but she is “unaware” of his intentions. “I would rather she should consider herself as indebted to you for the favor, at all points. By calling on Mrs. L., and asking for a package to your address, you can at any moment get it. I would not, of course, put you to any expense in this matter: — all cost shall be promptly defrayed” (L, 2:450-51).

[It is unlikely that Mrs. Lewis was unaware of Poe’s action: in his 17 May letter to her, he seems to be requesting a biographical “memorandum” to use in preparing this sketch. Sylvanus D. Lewis, her husband, was to defray the cost of having it set in type (cf. Lewis to Griswold, 3 September). Although Griswold never inserted the sketch in The Female Poets of America, he did include it in his edition of Poe’s works (rpt. W, 13:215-25).]

[1849] BEFORE 29 JUNE. Poe gives a manuscript copy of “Annabel Lee” to John W. Moore, a bookkeeper who has aided him in the past (Phillips, 2:1414; Mabbott [1969], 1:475).

[1849] BEFORE 29 JUNE. FORDHAM. Poe informs Mrs. Clemm that, in the event of his death, he would like Rufus W. Griswold to “act as his Literary Executor, and superintend the publication of his works,” and Nathaniel P. Willis to write “observations upon his life and character . . . in vindication of his memory” (Mrs. Clemm’s “Preface” to Griswold’s edition, rpt. W, 1:347-48).

[Mrs. Clemm claimed that Poe left written requests naming an executor and a biographer. These documents have never been located and may never [page 812:] have existed; but it is not unlikely that Poe expressed his wishes to Mrs. Clemm, even if only orally.]

[1849] 29 JUNE. BROOKLYN. On Friday afternoon Poe and Mrs. Clemm dine with Mrs. Lewis and her husband at their home, 125 Dean Street. At 5:00 PM Poe leaves for Richmond. Sylvanus D. Lewis recalls: “When he [Poe] finally departed on his last trip south, the kissing and handshaking were at my front-door. He was hopeful; we were sad: and tears gushed in torrents as he kissed his ‘dear Muddie’ and my wife, ‘good-bye’ ” (letter to S. S. Rice, 11 October 1875, Rice, pp. 86-87; see also Mrs. Lewis to G. W. Eveleth, 11 February and 6 November 1854, Miller [1977], pp. 198-200).

[1849] 30 JUNE. NEW YORK. After spending the night with Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Clemm returns to Fordham. At the post office in New York she receives a letter from Annie, with another letter for Poe enclosed (Clemm to Annie, 9 July and 4 August).

[1849] 30 JUNE. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 7 July contains Poe’s “Sonnet — To my Mother,” expressing his love for Mrs. Clemm.

[1849] 30 JUNE. PHILADELPHIA. Poe arrives in Philadelphia, where he begins drinking. His valise, containing two lectures he intends to deliver in Richmond, is misplaced at the railway station (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 7 and 14 July).

[1849] JULY. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains a fourth installment of Poe’s “Marginalia.”

[1849] 1? JULY. PHILADELPHIA. Poe is taken to prison “for getting drunk” (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 7 July).

[John Sartain stated that Poe was detained “for a few hours only” in Moyamensing, the Philadelphia County prison at Tenth and Reed Streets: “I learned later that when his turn came in the motley group before Mayor Gilpin, some one said, ‘Why, this is Poe, the poet,’ and he was dismissed without the customary fine” (Sartain, p. 210). Reports in the Pennsylvanian and other newspapers issued in early July establish that persons arrested for intoxication were indeed brought before the Mayor and fined; but Joel Jones held that office in 1849, Charles Gilpin not being elected until 1850.]

[1849] 2? JULY. On “Monday afternoon” Poe calls on John Sartain in his engraving studio, located in the first floor of his house at 28 Sansom Street (later numbered 728). Poe is “pale and haggard, with a wild and frightened expression in his eyes”; he asks Sartain for “a refuge and protection,” [page 813:] explaining that “some men” are trying to kill him. Sartain recalls: “I assured him that he was welcome, that in my house he would be perfectly safe, and he could stay as long as he liked . . . . From such fear of assassination his mind gradually veered round to an idea of self-destruction, and his words clearly indicated this tendency. After a long silence he said suddenly, ‘If this mustache of mine were removed I should not be so readily recognized; will you lend me a razor, that I may shave it off?’ I told him that as I never shaved I had no razor, but if he wanted it removed I could readily do it for him with scissors. Accordingly I took him to the bathroom and performed the operation successfully” (Sartain, pp. 206-07).

In the evening Sartain accompanies Poe to the Fairmount Waterworks, overlooking the Schuylkill River: “He [Poe] complained that his feet hurt him, being chafed by his shoes, which were worn down on the outer side of the heel. So for ease and comfort he wore my slippers . . . . After getting the omnibus we rode to its stopping-place, a little short of Fairmount . . . . I kept on his left side, [between him and the river,] and on approaching the foot of the bridge [over the river] guided him off to the right by a gentle pressure, until we reached the lofty flight of steep wooden steps which ascended almost to the top of the reservoir.” After they climb these stairs Poe describes the “weird and fantastic” visions which he experienced during his confinement in Moyamensing, including an hallucination in which he saw Mrs. Clemm being dismembered. Sartain recalls: “The horror of the imagined scene [involving Mrs. Clemm] threw him into a sort of convulsion. . . . It came into my mind that Poe might possibly in a sudden fit of frenzy leap freely forth with me in his arms into the black depth below . . . . I suggested at last that as it appeared we were not to have the moon we might as well go down again. He agreed, and we descended the steep stairway slowly and cautiously, holding well to the hand-rails. . . . I got him safe home, and gave him a bed on a sofa in the dining-room, while I slept alongside him on three chairs, without undressing” (Sartain, pp. 207-12; cf. George Lippard’s description of Poe’s shoes, 12 July, and Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 19 July).

[1849] 3 JULY. PHILLIPS, MAINE. George W. Eveleth writes Poe at New York, replying to his 26 June letter:

Really, I was glad to hear from you, though thus “late” — I had begun to think that you might have decided it to be trifling to notice your humble friend away back in Maine. . . .

Frankly, “Eureka” impresses me as every poem, rightly so called, impresses me — as a consistency, and therefore, as a truth. I am a full believer in dreams such as this. . . . there are points nevertheless which are not settled entirely to my satisfaction. For one example, “the stars of those times, from being fewer, will be larger, etc” — These bodies, these monstrous masses, you are going to have rush into [page 814:] an embrace to form a homogeneous mass — one particle — merely by the force of gravitation. Now, I can hardly conceive of such a union’s taking place without the aid of chemistry and cohesion — in order for the action of which, those masses must first be separated into atoms. . . .

I like your poem — “For Annie” — can’t tell what makes me like it — it is simple, almost childish; but it is beautiful in its simplicity. I saw it before you sent it to me, in the Flag of Our Union, published as original. How happens it that Willis gives it as sent by a friend? — I have seen also your other articles, prose and verse, in the “Flag” — Why do you write for that cheap-literature broad-sheet? — does the publisher pay you well?

Eveleth does not often see the Literary World; but he read the hostile review of Eureka in the 29 July 1848 issue, as well as Poe’s reply to it published in the New York Weekly Universe: “I can’t help thinking that both notice and reply were intended to pull wool over the eyes” (ViU).

[1849] 4? JULY. PHILADELPHIA. On the “second morning” Poe appears to be “so much like his old self” that John Sartain allows him to leave the house alone. After “an hour or two” Poe returns, convinced that his fears of persecution and unworldly visions were all hallucinations “created by his own excited imagination” (Sartain, p. 212).

[1849] 7 JULY. Poe writes Mrs. Clemm: “I have been so ill — have had the cholera, or spasms quite as bad, and can now hardly hold the pen . . . . The very instant you get this, come to me. The joy of seeing you will almost compensate for our sorrows. We can but die together. It is no use to reason with me now; I must die. I have no desire to live since I have done ‘Eureka.’ . . . You have been all in all to me, darling, ever beloved mother, and dearest, truest friend. . . . I have been taken to prison once since I came here for getting drunk; but then I was not” (L, 2:452).

[1849] 7 JULY. Poe writes Sarah Anna Lewis in Brooklyn, enclosing his letter to Mrs. Clemm: “Give the enclosed speedily to my darling mother. It might get into wrong hands” (L, 2:452-53; Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 74-75).

[1849] CA. 8? JULY. BROOKLYN. Mrs. Lewis receives Poe’s note, but she does not forward the enclosed letter to Mrs. Clemm (Clemm to Annie, 4 August).

John Sartain [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 815]
 
John Sartain

[1849] 9 JULY. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell:

Eddy has been gone ten days, and I have not heard one word from him. Do you wonder that I am distracted? I fear everything. . . . Eddy was obliged to go through Philadelphia, and how much I fear he has got into some trouble there; he promised me so sincerely to write thence. I ought to have heard last Monday, and now it is Monday again and not one word. . . . The day after he left New York, I left Mrs. Lewis and started for home. I called on a rich friend who had made many [page 816:] promises, but never knew our situation. I frankly told her. . . . If Eddy gets to Richmond safely and can succeed in what he intends doing, we will be relieved of part of our difficulties; but if he comes home in trouble and sick, I know not what is to become of us (Ingram, pp. 416-17; also in W, 17:393-94).

[1849] CA. 10 JULY. PHILADELPHIA. Poe completely recovers from the “attack of mania-à-potu” which has disabled him for “more than ten days.” He finds his missing valise at the train depot (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 14 and 19 July).

[1849] AFTER 10 JULY? Poe sells his new poem “Annabel Lee” and his final text of “The Bells” to Sartain’s Union Magazine. John Sartain apparently gives him another five dollars for this third version of “The Bells,” having previously paid fifteen for the first and twenty-five for the second. On the manuscript of “Annabel Lee,” John S. Hart, the literary editor of Sartain’s, writes “$5 . . . paid when it was accepted,” presumably to indicate a partial payment, the balance either having been paid in advance or to be paid after publication (editorials in Sartain’s, December 1849 and January 1850; Sartain, p. 220; Mabbott [1969], 1:431, 476).

[1849] AFTER 10? JULY. Henry Graham Ashmead, a boy of eleven, encounters Poe in the office of Sartain’s, northwest corner of Walnut and Third Streets. Ashmead is examining one of the “fine, imported steel prints” which are sometimes reproduced in the magazine:

. . . a gentleman of distinguished bearing but somewhat seedily attired, who had been talking with Prof. John S. Hart, approached me and noticing the print I held in my hand delightfully explained its story. I thanked him and told him I must be going. He asked me where I lived; when I told him, he replied, “I am going that way and will walk with you, my lad.” . . . I was charmed by the strangers delightful conversation and flattered, as a child would be, by his considerate attention. . . . That afternoon a lady, calling on my mother, chanced to remark she had seen me talking with a person evidently in needy circumstances from his attire. Mother inquired who I had been with; I could give no information, but that I had met him in the magazine office . . . . That very evening Mr. Sartain called and Mother asked him who the stranger was, and she was told that he was no less a personage than Edgar Allan Poe (quoted by Phillips, 2:1296-97).

[1849] AFTER 10? JULY. Poe gives a manuscript copy of “Annabel Lee” to his friend Henry B. Hirst (Mabbott [1969], 1:475-76).

[1849] AFTER 10? JULY. Poe contributes his “Sonnet — To my Mother,” slightly revised, to the forthcoming Leaflets of Memory for 1850, edited by the physician Reynell Coates and published by E. H. Butler & Co. (annual reviewed in December Sartain’s; Heartman and Canny, p. 128; Mabbott [1969], 1:466). [page 817:]

[1849] 12 JULY OR BEFORE. Hoping to borrow money for his trip to Richmond, Poe calls on several well-to-do Philadelphians whose writings he had previously praised: “these eminent persons” allow him “to wait in anterooms and offices” but decline to help him (George Lippard’s reminiscence in the Sunday Mercury, before 3 October 1853, rpt. Eaves, pp. 46-49).

[1849] 12 JULY. Poe, “poorly clad, and with but one shoe,” climbs “up four stairways” to the printing office of the Quaker City, a weekly newspaper edited by his young admirer George Lippard. Poe tells Lippard that he has “no bread to eat — no place to sleep.” Since Lippard has “just paid his last quarter’s rent,” he cannot give Poe any money; but he tries to locate someone who can: “he [Lippard] went from door to door, but everybody was out of town. It was a wretched day; cholera bulletins upon every newspaper door, and a hot sun pouring down over half deserted streets” (Lippard’s 1853 reminiscence, Eaves, pp. 46-47).

[1849] 13 JULY. Early in the morning Lippard returns to his office and finds Poe there, “sitting at the table in one corner, his head between his hands.” Lippard again goes out; “after some searching” he locates the magazine publishers Louis A. Godey and Samuel D. Patterson, each of whom gives him five dollars for Poe. John Sartain contributes a smaller sum; his clerk William F. Miskey gives “all he had — a dollar.” Lippard’s friend Charles Chauncey Burr, an editor and clergyman, persuades Poe to come to his home on Seventh Street, south of Poplar. Lippard and Burr stay with Poe throughout the day; in the evening they accompany him to the depot at Eleventh and Market Streets, where he boards the 10:00 PM train to Baltimore (Lippard’s 1853 reminiscence, Eaves, pp. 47-48; see also Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 19 July).

[On 22 November 1849 Lippard wrote Rufus W. Griswold: “C. C. Burr, John Sartain, L. A. Godey, S. D. Patterson, were the only persons in this city, whom (last summer), I could induce to give one cent to save Poe from Starvation. These gentlemen (and Mr. Miskey clerk of Sartain’s I may add) acted in the most honorable manner” (MB-G). Burr paid Poe’s fare to Baltimore; a ticket cost three dollars, “2nd class $2.50” (train schedules in Germantown Telegraph, 4 July). In the Quaker City for 20 October, Lippard recalled: “When we parted from him [Poe] in the cars, he held our [Lippard’s] hand for a long time, and seemed loth to leave us — there was in his voice, look and manner, something of a Presentiment that his strange and stormy life was near its close.”]

[1849] CA. 14? JULY BROOKLYN. Mrs. Clemm, worried by her failure to hear from Poe, goes to Sarah Anna Lewis’ home; here she is given the 7 July letter that he sent her in care of Mrs. Lewis. As Mrs. Clemm has no [page 818:] money, she cannot comply with Poe’s request that she come to Philadelphia; instead she writes “several gentlemen” there, urgently inquiring about him (Clemm to Annie, 30 July and 4 August).

[1849] 14 JULY. RICHMOND. Poe arrives in Richmond and takes a room in the new American Hotel, southwest corner of Eleventh and Main Streets. He later moves to less expensive quarters in the Swan Tavern, a frame lodging house built in the 1780’s, located on the north side of Broad Street between Eighth and Ninth (Weiss [1878], p. 708; see also W, 1:311-12, 315, 321, and Scott [1950], pp. 93, 97, 139).

[1849] 14 JULY. Before retiring for the night Poe writes Mrs. Clemm at Fordham: “I am so ill while I write — but I resolved that come what would, I would not sleep again without easing your dear heart . . . . My valise was lost for ten days. At last I found it at the depot in Philadelphia, but (you will scarcely credit it) they had opened it and stolen both lectures. Oh, Mother, think of the blow to me this evening, when on examining the valise, these lectures were gone. All my object here is over unless I can recover them or re-write one of them. . . . I got here with two dollars over — of which I inclose you one. Oh God, my Mother, shall we ever again meet? If possible, oh COME! My clothes are so horrible . . . . Write instantly” (L, 2:453-55).

[1849] CA. 16? JULY. A “day or two” after his arrival Poe and his sister Rosalie call on Susan Archer Talley, a poetess of twenty-seven, at her family’s residence “Talavera,” a farmhouse in the city’s western suburbs (later 2315 West Grace Street). Miss Talley recalls:

As I entered the parlor, Poe was seated near an open window, quietly conversing. His attitude was easy and graceful, with one arm lightly resting upon the back of his chair. His dark curling hair was thrown back from his broad forehead — a style in which he habitually wore it. At sight of him, the impression produced upon me was of a refined, high-bred, and chivalrous gentleman. . . . He rose on my entrance, and, other visitors being present, stood with one hand resting on the back of his chair, awaiting my greeting. So dignified was his manner, so reserved his expression, that I experienced an involuntary recoil, until I turned to him and saw his eyes suddenly brighten as I offered my hand; a barrier seemed to melt between us, and I felt that we were no longer strangers (Weiss [1878], p. 708; for “Talavera,” see Scott [1940], pp. 191-92, and [1950], p. 157).

[1849] CA. 17 JULY NEW YORK OR FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm answers Poe’s 14 July letter, complying with his request to write “instantly” (Poe’s reply; Clemm to Annie, 4 August).

[1849] 19 JULY. RICHMOND. Poe writes Mrs. Clemm: [page 819:]

Oh, if you only knew how your dear letter comforted me! It acted like magic. Most of my suffering arose from that terrible idea which I could not get rid of — the idea that you were dead. For more than ten days I was totally deranged, although I was not drinking one drop; and during this interval I imagined the most horrible calamities. . . .

All was hallucination, arising from an attack which I had never before experienced — an attack of mania-à-potu. May Heaven grant that it prove a warning to me for the rest of my days. . . .

To L[ippard] and to C[hauncey] B[urr] (and in some measure, also, to Mr. S[artain]) I am indebted for more than life. They remained with me (L[ippard] and B[urr]) all day on Friday last, comforted me and aided me in coming to my senses. L[ippard] saw G[odey], who said everything kind of me, and sent me five dollars; and [Samuel D.] P[atterson] sent another five. B[urr] procured me a ticket as far as Baltimore, and the passage from there to Richmond was seven dollars. I have not drank anything since Friday morning, and then only a little Port wine.

Poe apparently informs Mrs. Clemm that he will leave Richmond in a few days to visit a friend in the nearby countryside (partial text in Burr, pp. 30-31, rpt. L, 2:455-56; see also Clemm to Annie, 30 July).

[1849] 19 JULY. Poe writes George Lippard in Philadelphia. Upon his arrival in Richmond he discovered that the two lectures he planned to deliver here were missing from his valise. He believes that the manuscripts were lost or stolen during his stay in Philadelphia; he asks Lippard to try to locate them (Lippard to R. W. Griswold, 22 November 1849, MB-G; cf. Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 14 July).

[In his letter to Griswold, Lippard recalled: “Myself and C. C. Burr did our best to find them, at that time, but in vain.” The two lectures were probably “The Poets and Poetry of America” and “The Poetic Principle,” both of which Poe had successfully delivered in the past year (see 10 JULY and 20 DECEMBER 1848). He either found, or reconstructed, “The Poetic Principle,” because he was able to announce a lecture by the end of the month (see 31 JULY).]

[1849] 19 JULY. Poe writes Edward H. N. Patterson in Oquawka, Illinois: “I have just arrived in Richmond and your letter is only this moment received — or rather your two letters with the enclosures ($50. etc.) I have not yet read them and write now merely to let you know that they are safe” (L, 2:456-57).

[1849] BEFORE 21 JULY. Poe sees John R. Thompson, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. He gives his opinions on three poems that Thompson intends to contribute to the forthcoming tenth edition of Rufus W. Griswold’s The Poets and Poetry of America (implied by Thompson to Griswold, 21 July). [page 820:]

[1849] 21 JULY. Thompson writes Griswold in New York, submitting his three poems for the anthology: “Mr. Edgar Poe says ‘La Morgue’ is by far the best performance of the three and is worth republishing” (PHi).

[1849] BEFORE 23? JULY. Mrs. W. A. R. Nye, whose husband is a printer for the Richmond Whig, writes Mrs. Clemm in Fordham. She will invite Poe to stay at her home while he is in Richmond (Clemm to Annie, 30 July).

[1849] 23 JULY. NEW YORK? Mrs. Clemm receives Poe’s 19 July letter (Clemm to Annie, 30 July).

[1849] 24 JULY. RICHMOND. Under the heading “Edgar A. Poe,” the Richmond Whig reports that “this gentleman, who is a native of this city,” has acquired literary recognition in France. The Whig quotes a recent number of the London Literary Gazette, in which a “Paris correspondent” discusses the growing interest in American authors among the French: “Perhaps . . . the clever writer [E. D. Forgues] who signs himself ‘Old Nick,’ deserves a word of gratitude from the Americans, as he has both written about and translated from them. He it was who made the name of Edgar Poe familiar here.”

[1849] 30 JULY. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm replies to a 27 July letter from Annie Richmond in Lowell: “This day week received a letter from my own sweet Eddy. He writes he is better in health and rather better in spirits. He assures me he never did anything while he was so deranged that was in the least disgraceful. He fancied he was pursued by the police but it was not so. I have gained all the particulars from several gentlemen to whom I wrote when I found I could not go to him. . . . Dear Eddy wrote me in his last that he was going from Richmond in a few days, to stay with a friend in the country for a short time.” In the past week Mrs. Clemm has also received a letter from a “dear friend in Richmond, Mrs. Nye,” who plans to have Poe “stay at her house, and says she will take every care of him” (excerpts in Ingram, p. 417, and Miller [1977], p. 27).

[1849] 31 JULY RICHMOND. The Daily Republican reports:

We are gratified to state that EDGAR A. POE, Esq., who is now in Richmond, the place of his nativity, on a visit, is about to afford to our citizens an intellectual feast, in the way of a lecture; and such as all, who are familiar with the genius of the man, can readily imagine will be of a high order.

The Lecture which Mr. Poe proposes to deliver in Richmond, is that which he gave with such éclat a winter or two ago, [“The Poetic Principle,”] before the Lyceum Association of Providence, Rhode Island. [page 821:]

To introduce Poe to those readers who “may not already be familiar with his literary productions,” the Republican reprints “For Annie” (a “little gem of a poem”) and Nathaniel P. Willis’ preface to it from the New York Home Journal for 28 April.

[1849] LATE JULY? Poe proposes marriage to his early love Sarah Elmira Royster, now the widow Mrs. Shelton, whose acquaintance he had renewed when he visited Richmond a year ago. Mrs. Shelton recalls their conversations at her home on East Grace Street, between Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth, in the “Church Hill” section of the city:

That very morning I told him [Poe] I was going to church[,] that I never let any thing interfere with that, that he must call again[;] and when he did call again he renewed his addresses. I laughed at it, he looked very serious and said he was in earnest and had been thinking about it [marriage] for a long time. Then I found out that he was very serious and I became serious. I told him if he would not take a positive denial he must give me time to consider of it — and he said a love that hesitated was not a love for him. But he sat there a long time and was very pleasant and cheerful. He conceded to visit me frequently (Mrs. Shelton’s reminiscences transcribed by E. V. Valentine on 19 November 1875, ViRVal; for her house in “Church Hill,” see Weiss [1907], pp. 194, 196, and Scott [1950], p. 40).

[1849] END OF JULY OR EARLY AUGUST. NEAR RICHMOND. While visiting a friend in the countryside, Poe writes Mrs. Clemm at Fordham: “The weather is awfully hot, and, besides all this, I am so homesick I don’t know what to do. I never wanted to see any one half so bad as I want to see my own darling mother. . . . When I am with you I can bear anything, but when I am away from you I am too miserable to live” (fragment in Burr, p. 29, rpt. L, 2:453; dating suggested by Clemm to Annie, 30 July and 4 August).

[1849] CA. AUGUST. BROOKLYN. Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis writes Poe at Richmond (cited as “first letter” in Poe to Lewis, 18 September).

[1849] AUGUST. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains Poe’s laudatory notice of Mrs. Frances S. Osgood’s literary career and her poetry.

[1849] AUGUST? Young Oscar P. Fitzgerald, later a bishop, sees Poe:

A compact, well-set man about five feet six [eight] inches high, straight as an arrow, easy-gaited, with white linen coat and trousers, black velvet vest and broad Panama hat, features sad yet finely cut, shapely head, and eyes that were strangely magnetic as you looked into them — this is the image of Edgar Allan Poe most vivid to my mind as I saw him one warm day in Richmond in 1849. There was a [page 822:] fascination about him that everybody felt. Meeting him in the midst of thousands a stranger would stop to get a second look, and to ask, “Who is he?” He was distingué in a peculiar sense — a man bearing the stamp of genius and the charm of a melancholy that drew one toward him with a strange sympathy.

Young Basil L. Gildersleeve, later a professor of Greek, sees Poe: “He was lodging at some poor place in Broad street [the Swan Tavern] . . . I saw him repeatedly in that thoroughfare — a poetical figure, if there ever was one, clad in black as was the fashion then — slender — erect — the subtle lines of his face fixed in meditation. I thought him wonderfully handsome, the mouth being the only weak point. I was too shy to seek an introduction to the poet, but John R. Thompson procured for me Poe’s autograph, a possession of which I was naturally very proud” (reminiscences in Harrision [1900], pp. 2259-61; rpt. W, 1:315-20).

The future sculptor Edward V. Valentine, then a boy of eleven, sees Poe: “I remember . . . that he passed our house one day. ‘There goes Edgar Poe,’ cried my brother [William Winston Valentine], and I rushed out into the street, passed him and stood near the sidewalk as he went by. I then stared at him with all the eyes I had, for his name was so often mentioned by members of our family” (Valentine’s “Address at Opening of the Poe Shrine,” typescript in ViRVal).

[1849] AUGUST? Poe is again indisposed by drinking. The poetess Susan Archer Talley recalls:

All that I knew of the matter was when a friend informed me that “Mr. Poe was too unwell to see us that evening.” A day or two after this he sent a message by his sister [Rosalie Poe] requesting some flowers, in return for which came a dainty note of thanks, written in a tremulous hand. He again wrote, inclosing a little anonymous poem which he had found in some newspaper and admired; and on the day following he made his appearance among us, but so pale, tremulous and apparently subdued as to convince me that he had been seriously ill. On this occasion he had been at his rooms at the “Old Swan” where he was carefully tended by Mrs. Mackenzie’s family, but on a second and more serious relapse he was taken by Dr. Mackenzie and Dr. Gibbon Carter to Duncan’s Lodge [home of the Mackenzie family], where during some days his life was in imminent danger. Assiduous attention saved him, but it was the opinion of the physicians that another such attack would prove fatal. This they told him, warning him seriously of the danger. His reply was that if people would not tempt him, he would not fall. Dr. Carter relates how, on this occasion, he had a long conversation with him, in which Poe expressed the most earnest desire to break from the thralldom of his besetting sin, and told of his many unavailing struggles to do so. He was moved even to tears, and finally declared, in the most solemn manner, that this time he would restrain himself, — would withstand any temptation. He kept his word as long as he remained in Richmond (Weiss [1878], p. 712; see also reminiscences of [page 823:] Dr. George W. Rawlings, W, 1:311-12, and Whitty [1911], p. lxxiii, and entries for 27 and 31 AUGUST).

[1849] 4 AUGUST. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell:

It is nearly two weeks since I have heard from my poor Eddy. I fancy every thing in the world. . . . Yesterday was five weeks since he left, and the misery I have endured since I cannot tell you. When I parted with him aboard of the steam boat, he was so dejected but still tried to cheer me. . . . The day after he left I received yours with one to him enclosed. Oh! if it had only come one day sooner. He had waited a week in hopes to hear from you. . . . Mrs. Lewis promised him to see me often and see that I did not suffer. For a whole fortnight I heard nothing from her, at last I went there, and would you believe it? She had a letter from Eddy to me begging her for Gods sake to send it to me without a moment’s delay. It was enclosed in a one to her, of two lines . . . . I wrote to dear Eddy [at Richmond] and have told him that I have wanted for nothing, have told him that Mrs. L. has been very kind to me and did not breathe about the detention of the letter. It takes all I can get to take me in and out of New York. . . . I enclose to you the last letter [of 19 July] I got from our dear Eddy, take care of it for if I should lose him I would never forgive myself for parting with it for an instant. . . . If you write him, do not say that I told you the cause of his illness [in Philadelphia]. But oh Annie tell him your fears and intreat him for all our sakes to refrain altogether (Miller [1977], pp. 27-31).

[1849] 7 AUGUST. RICHMOND. Poe writes Edward H. N. Patterson in Oquawka, Illinois: “The date of your last letter was June 7 . . . I am only just now sitting down to reply. The fault, Heaven knows, has not been mine. I have suffered worse than death — not so much from the Cholera as from its long-continued consequences in debility and congestion of the brain.” Poe cannot agree to Patterson’s proposal that they issue a less expensive journal: “a $3 Magazine (however well it might succeed (temporarily) under the guidance of another) would inevitably fail under mine. . . . So far as regards all my friends and supporters — so far as concerns all that class to whom I should look for sympathy and nearly all of whom I proposed to see personally — the mere idea of a ‘$3 Magazine’ would suggest namby-pamby-ism & frivolity. Moreover, even with a far more diminished circulation than you suggest, the profits of a $5 work would exceed those of a $3 one.” It is probably too late for them to publish their first number in January: “But a Mag. might be issued in July very well — and if you think it possible that your views might be changed, I will still visit you at St L[ouis]” (L, 2:457-58).

[1849] 8 AUGUST. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. The Oquawka Spectator reprints Poe’s “Sonnet — To my Mother,” with this preface by Patterson:

BEAUTIFUL SONNET. — We copy below a sonnet which recently appeared in the [page 824:] Flag of Our Union. For beauty of versification, and touching simplicity of expression, we have rarely seen its equal. It most admirably combines beauty and appropriateness of language, originality of thought and expression, and delicately worded Eulogy. If any sonnet has ever appeared, which, taken as a whole, can surpass this in all that constitutes true poetry, we have yet to see it (McElroy, pp. 259-60).

The Swan Tavern [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 824, top]
 
The Swan Tavern

[1849] 10 AUGUST. RICHMOND. The Richmond Whig notices the Southern Literary Messenger for August, praising the “well written review of Mrs. Osgood’s poems, by Edgar A. Poe, Esq.”

[1849] CA. 13 AUGUST. NEW YORK OR FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm receives a letter from Poe enclosed in one from Mrs. W. A. R. Nye. Apparently, Mrs. Nye suggests that Mrs. Clemm come to Richmond (Clemm to Annie, 3 September).

[1849] CA. 13? AUGUST. BROOKLYN. Rufus W. Griswold calls at Mrs. Lewis’ home and receives the package Poe left there for him: it contains the laudatory sketch of this poetess Poe wrote to replace the unfavorable one Griswold put in the first edition of his Female Poets of America (Bayless, pp. 159, 282; cf. Poe to Griswold, 28 June, and Mrs. Clemm to Griswold, 4 September). [page 825:]

[1849] 14 AUGUST. RICHMOND. In the Semi-Weekly Examiner John M. Daniel notices this month’s Messenger: “Edgar A. Poe contributes a Review of Mrs. Frances S. Osgood — one of the insect authoresses who are Sapphos and Hemans combined, and of whom this soil is most surprisingly fertile. Mrs. Osgood is better than most of them. She has written some very pretty copies of verses. The best of them is that entitled ‘Caprice,’ — which seems to have escaped Mr. Poe’s notice.”

[1849] 15 AUGUST. Under the heading “Novel Lecture,” the Daily Republican comments: “Our readers will perceive, by a notice in another column, that EDGAR A. POE, Esq., is to deliver a Lecture . . . . The originality and beauty of Mr. Poe’s compositions, both in prose and poetry, warrant us in saying that the Lecture will be instructive and full of interest.” The accompanying advertisement is repeated on 16 August:

EDGAR A. POE will lecture on the Poetic Principle, (with various recitations,) at the Exchange Concert Room, on Friday evening next, the 17th, at eight o’clock. Tickets 25 cents — for sale at the various bookstores.

[1849] 17 AUGUST. In the Examiner Daniel briefly announces Poe’s lecture this evening. The Republican reminds its readers: “Those who desire to enjoy a rich treat, should hear this effort of Mr. Poe’s.” The Richmond Whig contains the same advertisement which had appeared in the Republican as well as a long editorial notice:

With the object of giving some idea of the nature and character of the entertainment offered our citizens, this evening, at the Exchange Hall, we would mention that, this Lecture, on the Poetic principle, is one of a course delivered before the Providence Lyceum last Fall — the other lecturers being Rufus Choate, Theodore Parker, Alonzo Potter, (Bishop of Pennsylvania,) Louis Agassiz, the French Savant, and Daniel Webster. Daniel Webster opened the course. Mr. Poe had the largest audience of the season — more than 1600 persons.

Observing that Poe will recite “The Raven” at the lecture’s conclusion, the Whig quotes the praises accorded this poem by Nathaniel P. Willis in the New York Evening Mirror of 29 January 1845 and by Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, “now Mrs Browning,” in her April 1846 letter to Poe.

[1849] 17 AUGUST. Poe apparently writes Willis in New York (unverified item cited in L, 2:629, and Ostrom [1981], p. 247).

[1849] 17 AUGUST. At 8:00 PM Poe lectures on “The Poetic Principle” in the Concert Room of the Exchange Hotel, corner of Franklin and Fourteenth Streets. The novelist John Esten Cooke recalls: “The lecturer stood in a graceful attitude, leaning one hand on a small table beside him, and his wonderfully clear and musical voice speedily brought the audience under [page 826:] its spell. Those who heard this strange voice once, never afterwards forgot it. It was certainly unlike any other that I have ever listened to: and the exquisite, if objectionable’sing-song,’ as he repeated ‘The Raven,’ Hood’s ‘Fair Inez’ and other verse, resembled music. . . . The lecture ended in the midst of applause” (Cooke, pp. 2-3; for the Exchange Hotel, see Scott [1950], pp. 127, 129-30).

[1849] 18 AUGUST. BOSTON. The Boston Museum reprints Poe’s tale “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” (Heartman and Canny, p. 159; Mabbott [1978], 3:1232).

[1849] 20 AUGUST. RICHMOND. The Daily Republican reports:

Edgar A. Poe’s Lecture.

The lecture of this talented gentleman, at the Exchange Concert Room on Friday evening, was one of the richest intellectual treats we have ever had the good fortune to hear, and it affords us pleasure to state, that, notwithstanding the absence of many of our citizens in the country and elsewhere, and the oppressive warmth of the weather on the occasion, Mr. Poe was honored with the presence of a large, respectable, and intelligent audience. After some interesting and gracefully spoken remarks on the “Poetic principle,” he entertained his audience with the recitation of several of the choicest poetic gems of standard authors. The clearness and melody of his voice, and the harmonious accentuation of his words, were soul inspiring, and invested with additional beauty the poems he recited. The effect on the audience was perceptible: at one time, the rehearsal of some pleasing composition would cause an enlivening sensation; and again, he would produce a sympathetic feeling of sadness, resembling sorrow, “as the mist resembles rain,” by the representation of a pathetic poem. His tribute to Woman was of the most exalted and glowing character. Mr. Poe, in conclusion, favored the audience with his own beautiful production, “The Raven.”

All present must have highly appreciated the entertainment, and we trust that Mr. Poe will give us another illustration of his fine literary acquirements.

[1849] 21 AUGUST. The Richmond Whig comments: “We attended the Lecture of Mr. Poe, on Friday night, with the expectation of hearing nothing more than the common dissertation upon the poetic faculty — a sort of second edition of the ars poetica of Horace . . . . We must say that we were never more delighted in our lives . . . . The lecture of Mr. Poe was full of strong, manly sense — manifesting an acquaintance with poets and their styles perfectly unique, we think, in this community. . . . We venture to ask Mr. Poe to make one more representation before us.”

In the Semi-Weekly Examiner John M. Daniel reviews Poe’s lecture at length:

We were glad to hear the lecturer explode what he very properly pronounced to be, the poetic “heresy of modern times,” to wit: that poetry should have a [page 827:] purpose, an end to accomplish beyond that of ministering to our sense of the beautiful. — We have in these days poets of humanity and poets of universal suffrage, poets whose mission it is to break down corn laws and poets to build up workhouses. . . .

The various pieces of criticism upon the popular poets of this country were, for the most part, just, and were all entertaining. But we were disappointed in Mr. Poe’s recitations. We had heard a great deal of his manner; but it does not answer our wants. His voice is soft and distinct, but neither clear nor sonorous. He does not make rhyme effective; he reads all verse like blank verse; and yet he gives it a sing song of his own more monotonous than any versification. . . . He did not make his own “Raven” an effective piece of reading. . . .

A large audience was in attendance. Indeed, the concert room was completely filled. Mr. Poe commenced his career in this city; and those who had not seen him since the days of [his] obscurity, of course felt no little curiosity to behold so famous a townsman. Mr. Poe is a small thin man, slightly formed, keen visaged, with dark complexion, dark hair, and we believe dark eyes. His face is not an ordinary one. The forehead is well developed, and the nose somewhat more prominent than usual. Mr. Poe is a man of very decided genius. Indeed we know of no other writer in the United States, who has half the chance to be remembered in the history of literature. But his reputation will rest on a very small minority of his compositions. Among all his poems there are only two pieces which are not execrably bad — “The Raven” and “Dreamland.” The majority of his prose compositions are the children of want and dyspepsia, of the printers devils and the blue devils. Had he possessed the power of applying his creative faculty — as have the Miltons, the Shakspeares, and all the other demiurgi, — he would have been a very great man. But there is not one trace of that power in any of his compositions that we have read; and if rumor is to be credited, his career has been that of the Marlowes, the Jonsons, the Dekkers and the Websters, the old dramatists and translunary rowdies of the Elizabethan age. Had Mr. Poe possessed talent in the place of genius, he might have been a popular and money making author. He would have written a great many more good things than he has; but his title to immortality would not and could not be surer than it is. — For the few things that this author has written which are at all tolerable, are coins stamped with the unmistakeable die. They are of themselves — sui generis — unlike any diagrams in Time’s Kaleidoscope, either past, present or to come — and gleam with the diamond hues of eternity.

The review is reprinted in the Weekly Examiner of 24 August.

[1849] 21 AUGUST. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. Edward H. N. Patterson replies to Poe’s 7 August letter: “In publishing a $5 magazine, of 96 pp., monthly, — page same size as Graham’s . . . it would be necessary for me to make an outlay of at least $1,100 (this amount including a supply of paper for three months for 2,000 copies). Now, if you are sure that, as you before thought, 1,000 subscribers can be obtained who will pay upon receipt of the first number, then you may consider me pledged to be with you in the [page 828:] undertaking.” If Poe agrees to this proposition, he should plan to meet Patterson on 15 October in Saint Louis, where they can “settle on arrangements” for their magazine: “You may associate my name with your own in the matter, the same as if I had met you in person. . . . The first number can be issued in July” (W, 17:365-66).

[1849] 22 AUGUST. RICHMOND. John Esten Cooke writes his brother Philip Pendleton Cooke:

I have left so little space as to be unable to speak of Poe’s lecture on the “Poetic Principle” at the Exchange. It was fine particularly the recitations. He repeated Pinckneys “Her health!” [Edward Coote Pinkney’s “A Health”] with electric affect [effect] and among others (Hoods Fair Inez “which always had a peculiar charm for him” and his “Take her up tenderly”) he gave us my gem of gems, my essence of the essence of poetry [Tennyson’s] “The Days that are no more” from the “Princess.” I never saw a person yet who read it without being maddened almost with its beauty.

I’ll tell you how Poe looks[,] what his lecture was like and all about him so you’ll only write at once (PP-G).

[1849] 24 AUGUST OR LATER? Poe attends a lecture by “Mr. Taverner, Principal Shaksperian Lecturer,” in the Concert Room of the Exchange Hotel (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August; advertisements for Taverner’s lectures in the Daily Republican, 24, 25, 27 August).

[1849] BEFORE 25? AUGUST. Reports that Poe will marry Mrs. Elmira Shelton begin to circulate in Richmond. Learning of the rumored engagement, the Mackenzie family, who had adopted Poe’s sister Rosalie, frequently entertain him at “Duncan Lodge,” their large home in the western suburbs (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August; for “Duncan Lodge,” see Scott [1941], pp. 215-17).

[Five days after Poe’s death, John M. Daniel recalled: “It was universally reported that he [Poe] was engaged to be married. The lady was a widow, of wealth and beauty, who was an old flame of his, and whom he declared to be the ideal and original of his Lenore” (Semi-Weekly Examiner, 12 October).]

[1849] 26? AUGUST. In the evening Poe visits the home of John H. Strobia, who had been a friend of his foster mother Frances Allan (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August; Whitty [1911], pp. xxiv, lxxxi; Scott [1950], pp. 75, 276).

[1849] BEFORE 27? AUGUST. John Loud, a piano manufacturer from Philadelphia, offers Poe $100 to edit a volume of poems by his wife, Mrs. Marguerite St. [page 829:] Leon Loud (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August and 18 September, and to Mrs. Loud, 18 September).

[1849] BEFORE 27? AUGUST. OAKY GROVE, GEORGIA? Thomas Holley Chivers writes Poe at Richmond (cited in Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 28?-29? August).

[1849] 27 AUGUST. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Rufus W. Griswold in New York:

Mr. Poe has been absent from home for some weeks; he is now in Richmond and has been very ill, and unable to send me any money since he left . . . . I have been without the necessaries of life for many days, and would not apply to any one, in hopes that I would soon receive some aid from my poor Eddy. . . . I confide in you, dear sir, and beg you to loan me a small sum until I can receive some from him. I have not the means to go to the city, but a note addressed to Mrs. Maria Clemm, care of E. A. Poe, New York, will reach me. A gentleman in the neighborhood asks every day for me at the post-office (Woodberry, 2:323-24; also in W, 17:394-95).

[1849] 27 AUGUST. RICHMOND. On Monday evening Poe is initiated into the Shockoe Hill Division, No. 54, of the Sons of Temperance, at the chapter’s meeting place on the south side of Broad Street “nearly opposite Brook Av[enue].” The presiding officer William J. Glenn, a young tailor, recalls: “Mr Poe . . . during his stay here made his home at the old Swann Tavern . . . there Mr Poe made the acquaintance of some member of the organization . . . was proposed for membership elected and ini[ti]ated . . . . I presided at the meeting and administered the obligation [oath] to the candidate. . . . There had been to us no intimation that Mr Poe had violated his pledge [to abstain from alcohol] before leaving Richmond” (Glenn to E. V. Valentine, 29 June 1899, ViRVal; see also W, 1:320-22, and 31 AUGUST).

[1849] 27? AUGUST. In the evening Poe calls on the family of Michael B. Poitiaux at their home on North Ninth Street, in the “French Garden” section. Miss Catherine Elizabeth Poitiaux, an unmarried daughter who had been Poe’s playmate in childhood, recalls his visit: “His unfortunate propensity [for drinking] had made us refuse to see him on a former occasion, but this time he unexpectedly entered the room in which I was sitting, saying as I rose to meet him: ‘Old friend, you see I would not be denied.’ He only stayed a few minutes, but in that short time left an impression on my memory which has never since been effaced. He was to be married in a few weeks to a lady of our city [Mrs. Shelton], and as he stood upon the steps bidding me farewell, I asked, alluding to his marriage, when I should see him again. It was no fancy, but a strange reality, that a gray shadow such [page 830:] as I had never seen before, save on the face of the dying, passed across his” (1852 reminiscence quoted in Whitty [1911], pp. lxxxi-lxxxii; Scott [1950], pp. 261-67).

[1849] 28?-29? AUGUST. Over the course of several days Poe writes a long letter to Mrs. Clemm at Fordham:

Every body says that if I lecture again & put the tickets at 50 cts, I will clear $100. I never was received with so much enthusiasm. The papers have done nothing but praise me before the lecture & since. I enclose one of the notices — the only one in which the slightest word of disparagement appears. It is written by [John M.] Daniel — the man whom I challenged when I was here last year. I have been invited out a great deal — but could seldom go, on account of not having a dress coat. To-night Rose [Rosalie Poe] & I are to spend the evening at Elmira’s [Mrs. Shelton’s]. Last night I was at [Michael B.] Poitiaux’s — the night before at [John H.] Strobia’s, where I saw my dear friend Eliza Lambert . . . . Since the report of my intended marriage, the McKenzies have overwhelmed me with attentions. Their house is so crowded that they could not ask me to stay. . . . Mr [John] Loud, the husband of Mrs. St Leon Loud, the poetess of Philadelphia, called on me the other day and offered me $100 to edit his wife’s poems. Of course, I accepted the offer.

Poe inquires whether Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis ever received the April number of the Western Quarterly Review, which contained his notice of her poetry. He suggests that Mrs. Clemm come to Richmond: “You know we could easily pay off what we owe at Fordham . . . but I want to live near Annie. . . . Do not tell me anything about Annie — I cannot bear to hear it now — unless you can tell me that Mr. R. [Annie’s husband] is dead. — I have got the wedding ring [for Mrs. Shelton]. — and shall have no difficulty, I think, in getting a dress-coat” (L, 2:458-60).

[1849] 28? AUGUST. Poe and his sister Rosalie spend the evening at Mrs. Shelton’s home (implied by Poe’s letter to Mrs. Clemm).

[1849] 31 AUGUST. The Banner of Temperance reports:

Edgar A. Poe, Esq.

This gentleman who has been in our city for some weeks past, and who has been ministering to the delight of our citizens in several highly interesting lectures, was initiated as a Son of Temperance in [the] Shockoe Hill Division, No. 54, on last Monday night. We mention the fact, conceiving that it will be gratifying to the friends of temperance to know that a gentleman of Mr. Poe’s fine talents and rare attainments has been enlisted in the cause. We trust his pen will sometimes be employed in its behalf. A vast amount of good might be accomplished by so pungent and forcible a writer. [page 831:]

[1849] SEPTEMBER. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman completes a six-stanza poem commemorating Poe’s marriage proposal to her, made a year ago in the Swan Point Cemetery overlooking the Seekonk River:

Dost thou remember that September day

When by the Seekonk’s lonely wave we stood,

And marked the langour of repose that lay,

Softer than sleep, on valley, wave, and wood?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I dared not listen to shy words, nor turn

To meet the pleading language of thine eyes,

I only felt their power, and in the urn

Of memory, treasured their sweet rhapsodies.

She submits the poem, headed “Lines,” to Graham’s Magazine (published in November number; subsequently entitled “The Last Flowers”; see Reilly [1965], pp. 193-94, 234, 266).

[1849] SEPTEMBER. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger contains a fifth and final installment of Poe’s “Marginalia.”

[1849] EARLY SEPTEMBER? Poe moves from the Swan Tavern to the Madison House at Tenth and Bank Streets, an inexpensive lodging establishment occupying two buildings which were originally used for other purposes (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, 18 September; Little, p. 104).

[1849] 1 SEPTEMBER. The Daily Republican reprints the announcement of Poe’s initiation into the Sons of Temperance from the 31 August Banner of Temperance.

[1849] CA. 1 SEPTEMBER? Poe mails his letter of 28?-29? August to Mrs. Clemm (suggested by Clemm to Annie, 3 September, and to R. W. Griswold, 4 September).

[1849] 3 SEPTEMBER. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell: “I have heard nothing from our poor dear Eddie since I last wrote you. It is three weeks since I have had one line from him — the letter I received from Mrs. Nye was the last I heard from him. I think perhaps she told him she had written for me, and he is constantly expecting me, this I think is the most likely reason. Or else he is entirely bereft of his senses. . . . I have written to Mr. R. [Annie’s husband] to ask him to loan me enough to go to him, if he does I will go the moment I get it” (Miller [1977], pp. 31-32). [page 832:]

[1849] 3 SEPTEMBER. BROOKLYN. The attorney Sylvanus D. Lewis writes Rufus W. Griswold in New York: “You said to me, when I saw you last, that you intended to rewrite the Sketch of Mrs. Lewis, for your new Edition of the ‘Female Poets.’ . . . It will incur, I think you said, an expense of about $2.60 per page. If you prepare the sketch, and do the proof-reading I think it no more than fair that I should be at the expense of the new Stereotyping. You will please, therefore, let me know, as soon as you can ascertain, the number of pages, and I will send you my check for the amount” (Griswold [1898], p. 252).

[Lewis and his wife almost certainly knew that Poe had already written a new sketch and that Griswold had received it, though they preferred to profess ignorance of the matter (cf. Mrs. Lewis to Griswold, 20 September [1850], W, 17:415-16). Griswold never altered his original notice.]

[1849] 4 SEPTEMBER. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Griswold: “I understand from Mrs. Lewis you received the package Mr. Poe left at her house for you. I wish you to publish it [Poe’s sketch of Mrs. Lewis] exactly as he has written it. If you will do so I will promise you a favorable review of your books as they appear. You know the influence I have with Mr. Poe . . . . I have just heard from him, he writes in fine spirits and says his prospects are excellent” (W, 17:395; cf. Poe to Griswold, 28 June).

[1849] 5 SEPTEMBER. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. In the Oquawka Spectator Edward H. N. Patterson comments: “Edgar A. Poe, the celebrated poet, is now lecturing in his native city, Richmond, Virginia. His great erudition, added to his giant intellect and a most felicitous command of language[,] cannot fail to render his lectures very popular” (McElroy, p. 263).

[1849] 7 SEPTEMBER. RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA. The Raleigh Times reports that Poe has joined the Sons of Temperance, quoting the Richmond Banner of Temperance of 31 August (Moore, p. 360).

[1849] 9 SEPTEMBER OR BEFORE. NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. Poe travels to Norfolk, where he intends to deliver his lecture on “The Poetic Principle.” He spends several days at Old Point Comfort, a nearby ocean resort, apparently as the guest of his friends, Mr. and Mrs. French (Phillips, 2:1469-72).

[1849] 9 SEPTEMBER. OLD POINT COMFORT, VIRGINIA. On “Sunday evening” Poe is the cynosure of a “little group” gathered on the veranda of the Hygeia Hotel. Miss Susan V. C. Ingram recalls:

There were several of us girls, all friends, and all of us knew Mr. Poe. I can see [page 833:] just how we looked sitting about there in our white dresses. There was a young collegian, too, who was my particular [boy] friend. . . .

Mr. Poe sat there in that quiet way of his which made you feel his presence. After a while my aunt [Mrs. French], who was nearer his age, said: — “This seems to be just the time and place for poetry, Mr. Poe.”

And it was. We all felt it. The old Hygeia stood some distance from the water, but with nothing between it and the ocean. It was moonlight and the light shone over everything with that undimmed light that it has in the South. There were many persons on the long verandas that surrounded the hotel, but they seemed remote and far away. Our little party was absolutely cut off from everything except that lovely view of the water shining in the moonlight and its gentle music borne to us on the soft breeze. Poe felt the influence. How could a poet help it? And when we seconded the request that he recite for us he agreed readily.

I do not remember all of the poems that he recited. There was “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee,” and last of all he gave us “Ulalume,” including the last stanza, of which he remarked that he feared that it might not be intelligible to us . . . .

I was not old enough or experienced enough to understand what the words [of “Ulalume”] really meant . . . . I did, however, feel their beauty, and I said to him when he had finished, “It is quite clear to me, and I admire the poem very much” (reminiscence in New York Herald, 19 February 1905, Third Section, p. 4; cf. Phillips, 2:1467-74; for the Hygeia Hotel, see T. J. Wertenbaker, p. 324).

[1849] 10 SEPTEMBER. Complying with Miss Ingram’s request, Poe transcribes “Ulalume” for her. In the evening he places the copy under her door at the Hygeia Hotel, accompanied by a brief note: “I fear that you will find the verses scarcely more intelligible to day in my manuscript than last night in my recitation. I would endeavor to explain to you what I really meant — or what I really fancied I meant by the poem, if it were not that I remember Dr Johnson’s bitter and rather just remarks about the folly of explaining what, if worth explanation, should explain itself” (L, 2:460).

[Miss Ingram recalled that Poe’s manuscript “made quite a scroll and must have taken him a long time to write out. The ten stanzas were written on five large sheets of paper pasted together in the neatest possible way, end to end. He wrote such a beautiful, fair hand it was a joy to look upon it” (New York Herald, 19 February 1905).]

[1849] BEFORE 11 SEPTEMBER. CINCINNATI. The Daily Atlas reports: “Edgar A. Poe is lecturing on Poets and Poetry, at Richmond, Va.”

[1849] BEFORE 11 SEPTEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Evening Bulletin reports: “Edgar A. Poe has joined the Sons of Temperance at Shockoe Hill, Virginia.”

[1849] 11 SEPTEMBER. RICHMOND. The Richmond Whig reprints the reports from the Cincinnati Atlas and Philadelphia Bulletin. The Whig comments: “Mr. [page 834:] Poe has only given our citizens the treat of one lecture; but as he is still among us, we trust he may be induced to repeat.” The report in the Bulletin “is correct; ‘at Shockoe Hill’ though is in Richmond.”

[1849] 12 SEPTEMBER. OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. The Oquawka Spectator reprints “The Raven.” In an editorial on the second page Edward H. N. Patterson comments: “We publish on our first page, this week, one of the most remarkable poems ever written. Mr. Poe has long held the rank of one of our very best poets, and The Raven is in his best style. We bespeak for it a careful perusal. There will be found running through it, clothed in a robe of euphonious rhymes and remarkably appropriate language, an Idea well worthy of the pen of its author — the never-dying existence of the memory” (McElroy, p. 260).

[1849] CA. 12? SEPTEMBER. NORFOLK. Poe is entertained by Mrs. Susan Maxwell at her fashionable home on Bermuda Street. Herbert M. Nash, a medical student who frequently visits Mrs. Maxwell’s sixteen-year-old daughter Helen, recalls: “I met . . . the distinguished visitor and had the privilege of listening to his interesting conversation and of hearing him recite some of his favorite poems, among them ‘The Raven,’ ‘The Bells,’ and ‘Annabel Lee’ ” (Dr. Nash’s 1909 reminiscence in Kent and Patton, pp. 26-31; see also Phillips, 2:1467, 1472).

[1849] CA. 12? SEPTEMBER. Poe visits Miss Susan V. C. Ingram at her family’s home on the outskirts of Norfolk. She recalls: “Although I was only a slip of a girl and he what seemed to me then quite an old man, and a great literary one at that, we got on together beautifully. . . . I was fond of orris root and always had the odor of it about my clothes. . . . ‘I like it, too, he said. ‘Do you know what it makes me think of? My adopted mother [Frances Allan]. Whenever the bureau drawers in her room were opened there came from them a whiff of orris root, and ever since when I smell it I go back to the time when I was a little boy’ ” (New York Herald, 19 February 1905).

[1849] CA. 12? SEPTEMBER. Poe writes Mrs. Clemm at Fordham, informing her that he has joined the Sons of Temperance and enclosing a copy of his pledge to abstain from alcohol (Clemm to Annie, 15 September).

[1849] 13 SEPTEMBER. The American Beacon and the Daily Southern Argus carry this advertisement:

EDGAR A. POE will lecture on “THE POETIC PRINCIPLE” (with various recitations) on Friday night, (the 14th) at 8 o’clock, in the Lecture Room of the Academy. — Tickets 50 cents, to be had at the door. [page 835:]

The editors of the Beacon call attention to the lecture, reprinting the report of Poe’s growing reputation in France from the Richmond Whig of 24 July. The Argus identifies Poe as “a gentleman of fine literary taste and one of the most successful authors in the country,” predicting that his lecture will be “a rare intellectual treat.” This paper reprints his poem “Lenore.”

[1849] 14 SEPTEMBER. The advertisement is repeated in both the Beacon and the Argus. The editors of the Beacon comment: “This is the evening for Mr. Poe’s lecture at the Academy. The subject selected for the occasion, ‘The Poetic Principle,’ is one affording a large field for the display of the genius, and fine literary acquirements for which this gentleman is so distinguished . . . . Mr. Poe delivered the same lecture a short time since in Richmond with marked success.” To give some idea of the lecture the Beacon reprints the laudatory account of it carried by the Richmond Whig on 17 August. The Argus also reminds its readers of Poe’s lecture tonight: “Norfolk has frequently been taunted for her want of literary taste — but we hope our citizens will, upon the present occasion, vindicate themselves against such an imputation.” In another column the Argus prints a letter from an unnamed subscriber: “As [Poe is] one who claims Virginia for his alma mater, his literary attainments are entitled to respect from us . . . . As a critic in the department of poetry, he has long held the first position . . . . To say nothing of the esteem in which he is held at the North, it is gratifying to know that he has been favorably received in Richmond, where the high character of his entertainments has been appreciated by large and fashionable audiences.”

[1849] 14 SEPTEMBER. At 8:00 PM Poe lectures before a small but enthusiastic audience at the Norfolk Academy (17 September reviews; illustration of Academy in Phillips, 2:1475).

[1849] 15 SEPTEMBER. FORDHAM. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell:

I have had a severe attack of nervous fever, and am now only able to be up long enough to write this — this will account to you for my not answering Mr. R[ichmond]’s kind letter and enclosure of 5 dollars — it found me ill, and if he had sent me sufficient to have gone to Eddy, I could not have done so until now. The anxiety I felt about him brought on my sickness. But my Annie the dark dark clouds I think are beginning to break. I send you his letter [written 28?-29? August], the only one I received for nearly four weeks. I yesterday received a very short one [written ca. 12? September] with the slip of paper I enclose. God of his great mercy grant he may keep this pledge. . . . Gen. [George P.] Morris — & Mr. [Evert A.] Duyckinck both say he only wanted that — I mean to be temperate — to be the greatest man living!! (Miller [1977], pp. 32-33). [page 836:]

[1849] 15 SEPTEMBER. BOSTON. The Boston Museum reports: “Edgar A. Poe, the poet and critic, has joined the Sons of Temperance.”

[1849] 17 SEPTEMBER. NORFOLK. The American Beacon reports:

Mr. Poe delivered a lecture on “The Poetic Principle,” with various recitations, at the Lecture Room of the Academy, on Friday evening. The main proposition of the lecture, which was discussed with great ingenuity, was that there could not be a long poem . . . . Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Iliad, were cited in illustration, which he said were but a succession of brilliant poetic scintillations — a collection of short poems. . . . In elucidation of his opinions, Mr. Poe recited with fine effect, extracts from the poetic effusions of Longfellow, Bryant, Willis, and Edward Pinkney, who he said was born too far South to be appreciated by the North American Quarterly Review — and from the works of Shell[e]y, Byron, Moore, Hood and others. . . . These recitations were received with rounds of applause from the intelligent audience.

Mr. Poe concluded the lecture by reciting by request, his brilliant fantasy, “The Raven.”

The Daily Southern Argus also praises Poe’s lecture: “Chaste and classic in its style of composition — smooth and graceful in its delivery, it had the happiest effect upon the fashionable audience, who manifested their appreciation by the profoundest attention. His recitations were exquisite, and elicited the warmest admiration. For about an hour, every one present seemed charmed and delighted with the rich intellectual entertainment afforded them by Mr. Poe’s disquisition on ‘The Poetic Principle’; and our only regret arose from the fact that there were so few to partake of it.”

[1849] 17 SEPTEMBER. RICHMOND. Arriving from Norfolk in the evening, Poe finds two letters from Mrs. Clemm awaiting him. Enclosed in one of them is a letter to him from Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis (Poe to Clemm, 18 September).

[1849] 18 SEPTEMBER. In the Semi-Weekly Examiner John M. Daniel reports: “Edgar Poe has been delivering his lecture with éclat in Norfolk.” The Richmond Whig reprints Poe’s poem “Lenore.”

John M. Daniel [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 837]
 
John M. Daniel

[1849] 18 SEPTEMBER. Poe replies to the two letters from Mrs. Clemm at Fordham: “I cannot tell you the joy they gave me . . . . Elmira [Shelton] has just got home from the country. I spent last evening with her. I think she loves me more devotedly than any one I ever knew & I cannot help loving her in return. Nothing is yet definitely settled and it will not do to hurry matters. I [lec]tured at Norfolk on Monday [Friday] & cleared enough to settle my bill here at the Madison House with $2 over. I had a highly fashionable audience, but Norfolk is a small place & there were 2 [page 838:] exhibitions the same night. Next Monday I lecture again here & expect to have a large audience.” On next Tuesday Poe hopes to leave for Philadelphia, where he will fulfill his commission to edit a volume of Mrs. Marguerite St. Leon Loud’s poetry: “If possible I will get married before I start . . . . My poor poor Muddy I am still unable to send you even one dollar — but keep up heart — I hope that our troubles are nearly over” (L, 2:461-62; facsimile in Quinn and Hart, pp. 24-25).

[1849] 18 SEPTEMBER. Poe writes a brief note to Mrs. Lewis, acknowledging the letter from her he received last night. “If I have not written you in reply to your first cherished letter [received some time before], think anything of my silence except that I am ungrateful or unmindful of you . . . I hope very soon to see you and clasp your dear hand.” He apparently encloses the note in his letter to Mrs. Clemm (L, 2:462; Moldenhauer [1973], p. 75).

[1849] 18 SEPTEMBER. Poe writes Mrs. Loud in Philadelphia: “Not being quite sure whether a letter addressed simply to ‘Mr John Loud’ would reach your husband — that is to say, not remembering whether he had a middle name or not — I have taken the liberty of writing directly to yourself . . . . I find it impossible to leave Richmond before Tuesday next — the 25 th. On the 26 th I hope to have the pleasure of calling on you . . . . There will be quite time enough to have your book issued as proposed” (L, 2:727-28).

[1849] 18 SEPTEMBER OR LATER? William A. Pratt takes Poe’s daguerreotype at his “Daguerreian Gallery,” 145 Main Street, south side, near Eleventh. Pratt recalls: “I knew him [Poe] well, and he had often promised me to sit for a picture . . . . I was standing at my street door when he came along and spoke to me. I reminded him of his unfulfilled promise . . . . He replied, ‘Why, I am not dressed for it.’ ‘Never mind that,’ said I; ‘I’ll gladly take you just as you are.’ . . . Three weeks later he was dead in Baltimore” (quoted by Dimmock, p. 315).

[1849] 19 SEPTEMBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Dollar Newspaper reports that Poe has joined the Sons of Temperance (Phillips, 2:1432).

[1849] 21 SEPTEMBER. RICHMOND. The Daily Republican and the Richmond Whig carry this advertisement: “EDGAR A. POE will repeat his late Lecture on ‘THE POETIC PRINCIPLE’ on Monday night, Sept. 24th, at 8 o’clock. TICKETS 50 cents — to be had at the door.”

[1849] CA. 22? SEPTEMBER. Elmira Shelton finally accepts Poe’s proposal of marriage [page 839:] (Poe to Mrs. Clemm, ca. 22? September; Mrs. Shelton to her, 22 September).

[Mrs. Shelton’s reasons for hesitating seem to have been primarily financial, because by marrying Poe she would move from affluence to insecurity. Her husband Alexander B. Shelton had died on 12 July 1844 at the age of thirty-seven. His will, probated on 5 August 1844, required a bond of “one hundred thousand dollars,” indicating a very substantial estate. In the will Shelton appointed his wife the sole executor of his estate and granted her all “the profits and income” from it, “so long as she lives and remains my widow.” Upon her death the estate was to be “equally divided” between their “three children Ann Elizabeth Shelton, Southall Bohannan Shelton and Alexander Barret Shelton.” The will contained two clauses which Shelton no doubt hoped would keep his fortune intact for his children and discourage impecunious suitors from pursuing his widow: “In the event of my wife’s marrying again, I then give her one fourth of the nett proceeds [of the estate] during her life. . . . If my wife shall marry again then immediately upon the happening of that event I do hereby revoke and annul the appointment aforesaid of her as my executrix and request that the Court will revoke her powers as such, and require her to deliver up my estate from her possession and management” (Will Book Eleven, pp. 493-95, Circuit Court of Henrico County). Two of Shelton’s children, Ann Elizabeth and Southall, were alive and living with their mother in 1849; they reputedly opposed Poe’s courtship of her (Dietz, pp. 38-47).]

[1849] CA. 22? SEPTEMBER. Poe writes Mrs. Clemm in Fordham, informing her that he and Mrs. Shelton are to be married. He describes the modest financial arrangements necessitated by the clauses in Alexander B. Shelton’s will. He plans to leave for New York in a few days; Mrs. Clemm is to return with him to Richmond.

[In April 1859 Mrs. Clemm loaned the last two letters she received from Poe to Sarah Helen Whitman, who was then preparing her Edgar Poe and his Critics and wished to learn whether Poe had actually been engaged to Mrs. Shelton (Whitman-Clemm correspondence in Harrison and Dailey, p. 448, and Quinn and Hart, pp. 43-47). One of these was probably Poe’s relatively brief 18 September letter; the other has almost certainly been lost, but Mrs. Whitman left a memorandum which indicates its contents:

In these [last two] letters he spoke as if the marriage [to Mrs. Shelton] would soon take place — spoke of the lady’s property as having been secured to her and her son [Southall], a boy of ten years of age, so that she could only use the income. Assured her [Mrs. Clemm] that she would at least always have with them a comfortable home secure from the anxiety and cares she had so long endured. It had been arranged that he was to undertake the boy’s education which would add [page 840:] to their resources and give him occupation. Sent a parting message to Mrs. Charles Richmond who had been so kind to himself and his mother during the preceding winter (Harrison and Dailey, p. 451).

Mrs. Whitman also mentioned the lost letter she saw to J. H. Ingram, strongly asserting “that Mrs. Shelton had accepted him [Poe], & that the affair was irrevocably fixed” (Whitman-Ingram correspondence in Miller [1979], pp. 42, 305, 339, 377, 383, 388). On 11 October 1849 Mrs. Shelton wrote Mrs. Clemm: “The pleasure I anticipated on his [Poe’s] return with you, dear friend! to Richmond, was too great, ever to have been realized, and should teach me the folly of expecting bliss on earth” (Chivers [1957], pp. 178-80).]

[1849] 22 SEPTEMBER. Mrs. Shelton writes Mrs. Clemm at Fordham:

You will no doubt be much surprised to receive a letter from one whom you have never seen. . . . Mr Poe has been very solicitous that I should write to you, and I do assure you, it is with emotions of pleasure that I now do so — I am fully prepared to love you, and I do sincerely hope that our spirits may be congenial . . . . I have just spent a very happy evening with your dear Edgar, and I know it will be gratifying to you, to know, that he is all that you could desire him to be, sober, temperate, moral, & much beloved — He shewed me a letter of yours, in which you spoke affectionately of me, and for which I feel very much gratified & complimented . . . . Edgar speaks frequently & very affectionately of your daughter & his Virginia, for which I love him but the more . . . . I remember seeing Edgar, & his lovely wife, very soon after they were married — I met them — I never shall forget my feelings at the time — They were indescribable, almost agonizing — “However in an instant,” I remembered that I was a married woman, and banished them from me, as I would a poisonous reptile (Quinn, pp. 634-35; Quinn and Hart, pp. 26-27).

[1849] 22 SEPTEMBER. BOSTON. The Flag of Our Union for 29 September reports: “Edgar A. Poe the poet and lecturer has lately joined the temperance society.”

[1849] 24 SEPTEMBER. RICHMOND. The Daily Republican comments: “We would remind our readers that Mr. Poe will repeat his lecture on the ‘Poetic Principle’ to-night, at the Exchange Concert Room. Although it is a repetition, we are sure that few, if any, who attended his first lecture, would be unwilling to hear it over again, and those who were not present on that occasion, will deprive themselves of a delightful entertainment by failing to attend to-night.”

[1849] 24 SEPTEMBER. At 8:00 PM Poe lectures in the Concert Room of the Exchange Hotel. Miss Susan Archer Talley recalls: [page 841:]

I was present at this lecture, with my mother and sister and Rose [Rosalie] Poe . . . . I noticed that Poe had no manuscript, and that, though he stood like a statue, he held his audience as motionless as himself — fascinated by his voice and expression. Rose pointed out to me Mrs. Shelton, seated conspicuously in front of the platform, facing the lecturer. This position gave me a good view of her, with her large, deep-set, light-blue eyes and sunken cheeks, her straight features, high forehead and cold expression of countenance. Doubtless she had been handsome in her youth, but the impression which she produced upon me was that of a sensible, practical woman, the reverse of a poet’s ideal (Weiss [1907], pp. 199-200).

[On 28 September 1874 Edward V. Valentine wrote J. H. Ingram, giving the reminiscences of his elder brother William Winston Valentine:

My brother who heard Poe lecture on the “Poetic Principle” . . . remembers his personal appearance — He speaks of the pallor which overspread his face contrasted with the dark hair which fell on the summit of his forehead with an inclination to curl. His brow was fine and expressive — his eyes dark and restless — in the mouth firmness mingled with an element of scorn and discontent. Firm and erect gait, but nervous and emphatic manner. Man of fine address and cordial in his intercourse with his friends, but looked as though he rarely smiled from joy, to which Poe seemed to be a stranger, and which might be partly attributable to the great struggle for self control in which he seemed to be constantly engaged. There was little variation and much sadness in the intonations of his voice — yet this very sadness was so completely in harmony with his history as to excite on the part of this community a deep interest in him both as a lecturer and reader (ViU-I).]

[1849] 25 SEPTEMBER. The Semi-Weekly Examiner reprints “The Raven.” The editor John M. Daniel explains:

MR. EDGAR A. POE lectured again last night on the “Poetic Principle,” and concluded his lecture, as before, with his now celebrated poem of the Raven. As the attention of many in this city is now directed to this singular performance, and as Mr. Poe’s poems, from which only is it to be obtained in the book stores, have been long out of print, we furnish our readers, to-day, with the only correct copy ever published — which we are enabled to do by the courtesy of Mr. Poe himself.

The “Raven” has taken rank over the whole world of literature, as the very first poem as yet produced on the American continent. . . . But while this poem maintains a rank so high among all persons of catholic and generally cultivated taste, we can conceive the wrath of many who will read it for the first time in the columns of this newspaper. Those who have formed their taste in the Pope and Dryden school, whose earliest poetical acquaintance is Milton, and whose latest Hammond and Cowper — with a small sprinkling of Moore and Byron — will not be apt to relish on first sight a poem tinged so deeply with the dyes of the nineteenth century. The poem will make an impression on them which they will not be able to explain — but that will irritate them. . . . Such will angrily pronounce the Raven flat nonsense. Another class will be disgusted therewith, because they can see no purpose, no allegory, no “meaning,” as they express it, in the [page 842:] poem. . . . The worth of the “Raven” is not in any “moral,” nor is its charm in the construction of its story. Its great and wonderful merits consist in the strange, beautiful and fantastic imagery and colors with which the simple subject is clothed — the grave and supernatural tone with which it rolls on the ear — the extraordinary vividness of the word painting, — and the powerful but altogether indefinable appeal which is made throughout to the organs of ideality and marvellousness. Added to these is a versification indescribably sweet and wonderfully difficult — winding and convoluted about like the mazes of some complicated overture by Beethoven. . . . It is stamped with the image of true genius — and genius in its happiest hour. It is one of those things an author never does but once.

[1849] 25? SEPTEMBER. Poe visits “Talavera,” home of the Talley family, in the “evening of the day previous to that appointed for his departure from Richmond.” Miss Talley recalls: “He spoke of his future, seeming to anticipate it with an eager delight, like that of youth. He declared that the last few weeks in the society of his old and new friends had been the happiest that he had known for many years, and that when he again left New York he should there leave behind all the trouble and vexation of his past life” (Weiss [1878], pp. 713-14).

[1849] 26 SEPTEMBER. The Daily Republican reports that Poe’s lecture on Monday was “less numerously attended” than expected: “there was, nevertheless, a large, attentive and appreciative audience present, whom Mr. Poe entertained during the evening by the recitation of several poetic morceaux.” The Daily Times also praises the lecture: “We have seldom heard a voice of such melodious modulations as Mr. Poe’s.”

[1849] 26? SEPTEMBER. Poe has his sister Rosalie deliver a manuscript copy of “For Annie” and an accompanying note to Miss Talley, who had expressed a desire to see this poem (Weiss [1878], p. 714).

[1849] 26? SEPTEMBER. Poe calls on John M. Daniel at the office of the Semi-Weekly Examiner, north side of Main Street between Eleventh and Twelfth (Examiner, 2 and 9 October).

[1849] 26 SEPTEMBER. Poe calls on John R. Thompson at the office of the Southern Literary Messenger, northeast corner of Capitol Square and Franklin Street. He explains that he is leaving for New York tomorrow morning and that he plans to stop in Philadelphia, where he will edit a volume of Mrs. Loud’s poetry. He borrows five dollars from Thompson to help with his travel expenses, giving him in return a manuscript of “Annabel Lee.” Thompson gives Poe a letter to deliver to Rufus W. Griswold in Philadelphia (Thompson to Griswold, 10 October; Thompson’s reminiscences quoted by Gill, p. 231). [page 843:]

[Poe had previously sold “Annabel Lee” to Sartain’s Union Magazine. He almost certainly gave the manuscript to Thompson as a keepsake, not as a contribution; but Thompson published the poem in the November Messenger, claiming that it was “designed for this magazine.” On 11 November he wrote Griswold that he had paid Poe “a high price” for the right to publish the poem: “I lost nearly as much by his death as yourself, as I had paid him for a prose article to be written, and he owed me something at that time” (PHi). Thompson’s statements about Poe, like those of Mrs. Weiss, are open to question when they are not corroborated by other documents.]

[1849] 26 SEPTEMBER. Mrs. Shelton recalls: “He [Poe] came up to my house on the evening of the 26th Sept. to take leave of me — He was very sad, and complained of being quite sick; I felt his pulse, and found he had considerable fever, and did not think it probable that he would be able to start the next morning, (Thursday) as he anticipated — I felt so wretched about him all of that night, that I went up early the next morning to enquire after him, when, much to my regret, he had left in the boat for Baltimore” (letter to Mrs. Clemm, 11 October, Chivers [1957], pp. 178-80).

[1849] 26 SEPTEMBER. Later in the evening, “about half-past nine,” Poe visits the office of young John F. Carter, M.D., at Broad and Seventeenth Streets, possibly in search of medication for his fever. Afterwards he has a late supper at Sadler’s Restaurant, south side of Main Street between Fifteenth and Sixteenth. Dr. Carter recalls: “Saddler [sic] . . . informed me that Poe had left his house at exactly twelve that night, starting for the Baltimore boat in company with several companions . . . the boat was to leave at four o’clock” (Carter, pp. 565-66; cf. Weiss [1878], p. 714, [1907], pp. 203-04, and Whitty [1911], p. lxxxiii).

[1849] 27 SEPTEMBER. Poe leaves Richmond on a steamer bound for Baltimore, possibly the Pocahontas under Captain Parrish (schedules in Quinn, pp. 755-56).

[1849] 28 SEPTEMBER. BALTIMORE. The Pocahontas arrives from Richmond (reports of ship arrivals in the American and the Sun, 29 September).

[1849] OCTOBER. ATHENS, GEORGIA. Wheler’s Southern Monthly Magazine reports: “Edgar A. Poe, the poet, has joined the Sons of Temperance.”

[1849] 2 OCTOBER. RICHMOND. In the Semi-Weekly Examiner Daniel reports: “Mr. Edgar Poe has left Richmond for New York. It is understood, however, that he will return, and perhaps settle here.” [page 844:]

[1849] BEFORE 3 OCTOBER. BALTIMORE. Poe begins drinking heavily, apparently after being persuaded to take a single glass of alcohol by old friends (Dr. J. J. Moran’s statements to W. T. D. Clemm on 7 October; J. P. Kennedy’s diary entry on 10 October).

[On 1 November 1849 Neilson Poe wrote Rufus W. Griswold: “The history of the last few days of his [Poe’s] life is known to no one so well as to myself, and is of touching & melancholy interest, as well [as] of the most admonitory import. I think I can demonstrate that he passed, by a single indulgence, from a condition of perfect sobriety to one bordering upon the madness usually occasioned only by long continued intoxication, and that he is entitled to a far more favourable judgment upon his last hours than he has received” (NN-B).]

[1849] 3 OCTOBER. WEDNESDAY. The Sun reports: “An election takes place throughout the State to-day for members of Congress and for members of the [Maryland] House of Delegates.” The paper lists the polling places in Baltimore, asking every qualified voter to exercise “the right of franchise.”

[1849] 3 OCTOBER. Joseph W. Walker, a printer, encounters Poe at “Gunner’s Hall,” a tavern operated by Cornelius Ryan at 44 East Lombard Street, being used today as the polling place for the Fourth Ward. Walker sends this urgent message to Poe’s old friend Joseph Evans Snodgrass: “There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan’s 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe, and who appears in great distress, & he says he is acquainted with you, and I assure you, he is in need of immediate assistance” (Miller [1977], pp. 85-86; cf. polls list in the Sun and Baltimore Directory for 1849).

[Walker had been employed as a typesetter for Snodgrass’ defunct weekly, the Saturday Visiter, and knew of this editor’s admiration for Poe (Snodgrass [1867], p. 283). William Hand Browne observed: “At that time the polls were usually held at public houses, and the candidates saw that every voter had all the whiskey he wanted” (letter to J. H. Ingram, 13 January 1909, ViU-I).]

[1849] 3 OCTOBER. In the afternoon Snodgrass goes to the polling place. He recalls:

When I entered the bar-room of the house, I instantly recognized the face of one whom I had often seen and knew well, although it wore an aspect of vacant stupidity which made me shudder. The intellectual flash of his eye had vanished, or rather had been quenched in the bowl; but the broad, capacious forehead of the author of “The Raven,” . . . was still there, with a width, in the region of ideality, such as few men have ever possessed. But perhaps I would not have so [page 845:] readily recognized him had I not been notified of his apparel. His hat — or rather the hat of somebody else, for he had evidently been robbed of his clothing, or cheated in an exchange — was a cheap palm-leaf one, without a band, and soiled; his coat, of commonest alpaca, and evidently “second hand”; and his pants of gray-mixed cassimere, dingy and badly fitting. He wore neither vest nor neckcloth, if I remember aright, while his shirt was sadly crumpled and soiled. He was so utterly stupefied with liquor that I thought it best not to seek recognition or conversation, especially as he was surrounded by a crowd of drinking men, actuated by idle curiosity rather than sympathy. I immediately ordered a room for him, where he could be comfortable until I got word to his relatives — for there were several in Baltimore. Just at that moment, one or two of the persons referred to, getting information of the case, arrived at the spot. They declined to take private care of him, assigning as a reason, that he had been very abusive and ungrateful on former occasions, when drunk, and advised that he be sent to a hospital. . . . So insensible was he, that we had to carry him to the carriage as if a corpse. The muscles of articulation seemed paralyzed to speechlessness, and mere incoherent mutterings were all that were heard (Snodgrass [1856], p. 24).

[In his 1867 account, p. 284, Snodgrass identified the person who suggested a hospital as “Mr. H——, a relative of Mr. Poe’s by marriage”: this would have been Henry Herring, who had married Poe’s aunt Eliza in 1814.]

[1849] 3 OCTOBER. Poe is admitted to the Washington College Hospital, corner of Broadway and Hampstead Street.

[On 15 November 1849 Dr. John J. Moran, the resident physician, replied to Mrs. Clemm’s letter of inquiry:

Presuming you are already aware of the malady of which Mr. Poe died [delirium tremens] I need only state concisely the particulars of his circumstances from his entrance until his decease —

When brought to the Hospital he was unconscious of his condition — who brought him or with whom he had been associating. He remained in this condition from 5. Ock in the afternoon — the hour of his admission — until 3 next morning. . . .

To this state succeeded tremor of of [sic] the limbs, and at first a busy, but not violent or active delirium — constant talking — and vacant converse with spectral and imaginary objects on the walls. His face was pale and his whole person drenched in perspiration — We were unable to induce tranquillity before the second day [5 October] after his admission (facsimile in Quinn and Hart, pp. 31-34).]

[1849] 4 OCTOBER. Neilson Poe learns that his second cousin Edgar is at the Washington College Hospital: “As soon as I heard that he was at the college, I went over, but his physicians did not think it advisable that I should see him, as he was very excitable — The next day [5 October] I [page 846:] called & sent him changes of linen &c. And was gratified to learn that he was much better” (letter to Mrs. Clemm, 11 October 1849, Quinn and Hart, pp. 29-31).

[1849] 5-7 OCTOBER. On Friday, 5 October, Dr. John J. Moran questions Poe:

Having left orders with the nurses to that effect, I was summoned to his bedside so soon as conscious[ness] supervened, and questioned him in reference to his family — place of residence — relatives &c. But his answers were incoherent & unsatisfactory. He told me, however, he had a wife in Richmond (which, I have since learned was not the fact) that he did not know when he left that city or what had become of his trunk of clothing. Wishing to rally and sustain his now fast sinking hopes I told him I hoped, that in a few days he would be able to enjoy the society of his friends here, and I would be most happy to contribute in every possible way to his ease & comfort. At this he broke out with much energy, and said the best thing his best friend could do would be to blow out his brains with a pistol — that when he beheld his degradation he was ready to [“]sink in the earth &c[.]” Shortly after giving expression to these words Mr. Poe seemed to dose & I left him for a short time. When I returned I found him in a violent delirium, resisting the efforts of two nurses to keep him in bed. This state continued until Saturday evening (he was admitted on Wednesday) when he commenced calling for one “Reynolds”, which he did through the night up to three on Sunday morning. At this time a very decided change began to affect him. Having become enfeebled from exertion he became quiet and seemed to rest for a short time, then gently moving his head he said “Lord help my poor Soul” and expired! (Moran to Mrs. Clemm, 15 November, Quinn and Hart, pp. 31-34).

[1849] 7 OCTOBER. SUNDAY. Neilson Poe learns of his cousin’s death: “He [Poe] died on Sunday morning, about 5 o’clock . . . . I was never so much shocked, in my life, as when, on Sunday morning, notice was sent to me that he was dead. Mr [Henry] Herring & myself immediately took the necessary steps for his funeral, which took place on Monday afternoon at four o clock” (Neilson to Mrs. Clemm, 11 October, Quinn and Hart, pp. 29-31).

[1849] 7 OCTOBER. Dr. Moran calls on Reverend William T. D. Clemm, a cousin of Poe’s wife Virginia, at the parsonage of the Caroline Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Moran asks Clemm to perform the services at Poe’s funeral tomorrow, explaining the circumstances of his death:

“Mr. Poe,” said the Doctor, “came to Baltimore on his way to Philadelphia. . . . Upon landing on the wharf from the Norfolk steamer, Mr. Poe was greeted by some of his old and former associates, who insisted that they should take a sociable glass of ardent spirits together for old acquaintance sake. To these persuasions the unfortunate poet yielded. This was the first drink he had taken for several months. Sad enough for Poe; it revived his latent appetite for drink, and [page 847:] the result was a terrible debauch which ended with his death. He lost all his wardrobe; was clad in tattered garments, and had on, when found, an old straw hat which no one would have picked up in the street. His appearance and condition were pitiable in the extreme, and in that drunken and stupefied state he was brought to my hospital. Everything that medical skill and faithful nursing could suggest was done for him, but all to no purpose. He was unconscious or delirious during the entire time — some sixteen [eighty-four] hours — with but one short interval” (Moran’s statements reconstructed in Reverend Clemm’s 20 February 1889 letter to E. R. Reynolds, ViU-I; cf. Snodgrass’ description of Poe’s hat in 3 October entry).

The Washington College Hospital [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 847, top]
 
Thw Washington College Hospital

[1849] 7-8 OCTOBER. Poe’s remains are “visited by some of the first individuals of the city, many of them anxious to have a lock of his hair” (Moran to Mrs. Clemm, 15 November, Quinn and Hart, pp. 31-34).

[1849] 8 OCTOBER. On Monday morning the Sun carries this report:

DEATH OF EDGAR A. POE. — We regret to learn that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., the distinguished American poet, scholar and critic, died in this city yesterday morning, after an illness of four or five days. — This announcement, coming so sudden and unexpected, will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius, and have sympathy for the frailties too often attending it. Mr. Poe, we believe, was a [page 848:] native of this State, though reared by a foster-father at Richmond, Va., where he lately spent some time on a visit. He was in the 38th year of his age.

[1849] 8 OCTOBER. At 4:00 PM Poe’s funeral procession leaves from the Washington College Hospital. Charles William Hubner, later a poet and editor, recalls:

While on my way to art school, when about fourteen years old, I passed a hospital, a plain coffin was being taken to a hearse standing at the curb, two gentlemen stood, with bared heads, while the attendants placed the casket into the hearse. With boyish curiosity I asked of one of the men:

“Please sir, who are they going to bury?”

He replied: “My son, that is the body of a great poet, Edgar Allan Poe, you will learn all about him some day.”

The two men entered the only carriage which followed the hearse. I watched them as long as they were in sight (G. P. Clark, p. 1).

[Reverend William T. D. Clemm stated: “The funeral was . . . utterly without ostentation. But one hack was employed, and four persons occupied it.” The carriage actually seems to have carried five persons: Clemm himself, Neilson Poe, Joseph Evans Snodgrass, Henry Herring, and Z. Collins Lee, a Baltimore lawyer who had been Poe’s classmate at the University of Virginia (Reverend Clemm to E. R. Reynolds, 20 February 1889, ViU-I; see also Neilson to Mrs. Clemm, 11 October 1849, Quinn and Hart, pp. 29-31).]

Poe is buried in the small Presbyterian cemetery at the southeast corner of Fayette and Greene Streets. J. Alden Weston, a young onlooker, recalls: “On arrival there [of the funeral procession] five or six gentlemen, including the officiating minister [Reverend Clemm], descended from the carriages [sic] and followed the coffin to the grave . . . . The burial ceremony, which did not occupy more than three minutes, was so cold-blooded and unchristianlike as to provoke on my part a sense of anger difficult to suppress. . . . In justice to the people of Baltimore I must say that if the funeral had been postponed for a single day, until the death was generally known, a far more imposing escort to the tomb and one more worthy of the many admirers of the poet in the city would have taken place” (G. P. Clark, pp. 1-2).

[Henry Herring recalled: “He [Poe] was buried in his grandfather’s (David Poe) lot near the centre of the graveyard, wherein were buried his grandmother and several others of the family. I furnished a neat mahogany coffin, and Mr. Ne[i]lson Poe the hack and hearse” (Woodberry, 2:448). Besides the occupants of the hack, at least five other persons attended the burial service: the church sexton George W. Spence, the undertaker Charles Suter, Poe’s early schoolmaster Joseph H. Clarke, and Poe’s first [page 849:] cousin, the former Elizabeth Rebecca Herring, and her husband Edmund Morton Smith (Mabbott [1969], 1:569; Phillips, 2:1510-11; Rice, pp. 44-45).]

[1849] 8 OCTOBER. NEW YORK. In the afternoon Horace Greeley, editor of the Daily Tribune, learns of Poe’s death “by telegraph.” Greeley asks his friend and protégé Rufus W. Griswold “to prepare some account of the deceased for the next morning’s paper” (Greeley’s reminiscence quoted by Woodberry, 2:450).

[1849] 8 OCTOBER. In the evening Griswold makes an entry in his diary: “Wrote, hastily, two or three colum[n]s about Poe, for the Tribune” (Griswold [1898], p. 252).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. The Daily Tribune contains Griswold’s long obituary of Poe, signed with the pseudonym “Ludwig.” The announcement of Poe’s death “will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was well known personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had readers in England, and in several of the states of Continental Europe; but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art lost one of its most brilliant, but erratic stars.” After giving a chronological account of Poe’s career, Griswold assesses his personal character, depicting him as an unbalanced misanthrope who dwelt “in ideal realms — in heaven or hell.” Griswold prints “Annabel Lee,” the poet’s last poem: “Mr. Poe presented it in MS. to the writer of these paragraphs, just before he left New York.” The obituary is reprinted in the Weekly Tribune for 20 October, the Richmond Enquirer for 13 October, and the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post for 20 October (full text in W, 1:348-59).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. The Journal of Commerce comments on Poe’s death: “For some years past he has been more or less ill, and the announcement of his death is not unexpected, though none the less melancholy on that account.” Poe had few equals: “He stands in a position among our poets and prose writers which has made him the envy of many and the admiration of all.” Although he was “better known as a severe critic than otherwise,” he had “a warm and noble heart, as those who best knew him can testify” (Quinn, p. 645).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. The New York Herald prints a dispatch from its Baltimore correspondent, dated 8 October:

Our city was yesterday shocked with the announcement of the death of Edgar A. Poe, Esq., who arrived in this city about a week since, after a successful tour [page 850:] through Virginia, where he delivered a series of able lectures. On last Wednesday, election day, he was found near the Fourth ward polls laboring under an attack of mania à potu, and in a most shocking condition. Being recognized by some of our citizens, he was placed in a carriage and conveyed to the Washington Hospital, where every attention has been bestowed on him. He lingered, however, until yesterday morning, when death put a period to his existence. He was a most eccentric genius, with many friends and many foes, but all, I feel satisfied, will view with regret the sad fate of the poet and critic. His last days were spent in the same institution where Dr. Lopland [John Lofland] the Milford Bard, spent so many of his latter years, laboring under the effects of the same sad disease.

[Whoever the Herald’s correspondent may have been, he provided authentic information not found in the other obituaries: the day and place Poe was discovered, the name of the hospital where he was taken, and the cause of his death.]

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. Mrs. Clemm writes Neilson Poe in Baltimore: “I have heard this moment of the death of my dear son Edgar — I cannot believe it, and have written to you, to try and ascertain the fact and particulars — he has been at the South for the last three months, and was on his way home — the paper states he died in Baltimore yesterday — If it is true God have mercy on me, for he was the last I had to cling to and love, will you write the instant you receive this and relieve this dreadful uncertainty — My mind is prepared to hear all — conceal nothing from me” (facsimile in Quinn and Hart, facing p. 28).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. Mrs. Clemm writes Nathaniel P. Willis, co-editor of the Home Journal: “I have this morning heard of the death of my darling Eddie. . . . Can you give me any circumstances or particulars. . . . I need not ask you to notice his death and to speak well of him. I know you will. But say what an affectionate son he was to me, his poor desolate mother” (quoted in Willis’ defense of Poe, Journal for 20 October).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. Mrs. Clemm writes Annie Richmond in Lowell: “Annie my Eddy is dead he died in Baltimore yesterday — Annie my Annie pray for me your desolate friend. My senses will leave me — I will write the moment I hear the particulars, I have written to Baltimore — write and advise me what to do” (Robbins [1960], p. 45).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. WASHINGTON. Under the heading “Telegraphic Reports” the Daily National Intelligencer prints an 8 October dispatch from Baltimore: “Edgar A. Poe, distinguished as a writer, . . . died in this city yesterday morning” (Bandy [1981], p. 32). [page 851:]

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Pennsylvanian and the Public Ledger reprint Poe’s obituary from yesterday’s Baltimore Sun. In the Spirit of the Times the editor John S. Du Solle briefly announces the death of his friend Poe.

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. RICHMOND. The Daily Republican and the Richmond Whig reprint the obituary from yesterday’s Baltimore Sun. The Whig comments: “The news of the death of Mr. Poe will fall with a heavy and crushing weight upon one in this city who is related to him by the tender tie of sister [Rosalie Poe]; and who can hardly have had any previous knowledge of his illness; whilst it will be read with profound regret by all who appreciate generous qualities, or admired genius.” The Semi-Weekly Examiner contains John M. Daniel’s reaction: “We were inexpressibly shocked by the receipt of a Baltimore paper, just as we were going to press, containing an editorial announcement of EDGAR A. POE’s death. . . . It seems but a few hours since he left the writer’s office in high spirits, full of hope and in better health than he had been for years. . . . We still hope the news is not true.”

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. BOSTON. The Evening Transcript comments on Poe’s death: “He had talents, with which he might have done great things, had he united to them stable principles, earnest purposes and self-denying habits. Some of his poems are marked with flashes of genius and originality. . . . As a critic he was intolerably conceited, undiscriminating and prejudiced” (Pollin [1972c], pp. 129-30).

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. The Daily Journal & Courier reports that Poe died “in Baltimore on Sunday.”

[1849] 9 OCTOBER. BALTIMORE. The Baltimore Clipper reports that Poe died on “the 8th [7th] instant of congestion of the brain . . . . Mr. Poe was well known as a writer of great ability.”

[1849] 9? OCTOBER. The Evening Patriot contains a long obituary:

We sincerely regret to hear of the melancholy death of EDGAR A. POE, who expired in this city on Sunday morning about five o’clock, at the early age of 38 years, after an illness of about a week. His disease was congestion of the brain.

Mr. Poe was equally remarkable for his genius and his acquirements. . . . He was acquainted, in a greater or less[er] degree, with the ancient languages, and with French, Spanish, Italian and German, and had an accurate knowledge of most branches of science and art. . . . Mr. Poe’s writings, both in prose and poetry, have for several years past had an established reputation. They were peculiar, and far from being without striking faults; but there is scarcely one of them that can [page 852:] be read by a person of judgment, without leading him to the conclusion that the author was a man of genius truly original; of a taste refined by diligent study and comparison; and of information, varied, comprehensive and minute. . . .

Mr. Poe is said to have been a man of polished manners, fine colloquial powers, warm and amiable impulses, and of a high and sometimes haughty spirit. It is deeply to be deplored that his great powers, which might have enabled him to soar so high and to have acquired for himself so much of fame and prosperity, were obscured and crippled by the frailties and weaknesses which have too often attended eminent genius in all ages.

The Patriot reprints “The Raven” as a memorial to Poe (obituary and poem reprinted in the Richmond Whig, 12 October).

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. Poe’s early benefactor John P. Kennedy writes in his diary:

On Sunday last Edgar A. Poe died in town here at the hospital from the effects of a debauch. He had been to Richmond, was returning to New York, where he lived, and, I understand, was soon to be married to a lady in Richmond of quite good fortune [Mrs. Shelton]. He fell in with some companion here who seduced him to the bottle, which it was said he had renounced some time ago. The consequence was fever, delirium, and madness, and in a few days a termination of his sad career in the hospital. Poor Poe! He was an original and exquisite poet, and one of the best prose writers in this country. His works are amongst the very best of their kind. His taste was replete with classical flavor, and he wrote in the spirit of an old Greek philosopher (MdBJ-P; Woodberry, 2:349-50).

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. PHILADELPHIA. The Dollar Newspaper and the Germantown Telegraph briefly report Poe’s death. In the Spirit of the Times John S. Du Solle reprints the Baltimore dispatch found in yesterday’s New York Herald, which attributed Poe’s death to delirium tremens. Du Solle comments: “poor Poe . . . with all his faults, we loved him for his transcendent genius.”

Elmira Shelton [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 853]
 
Elmira Shelton

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. NEW YORK. In the supplement to the Daily Tribune, Horace Greeley reprints Poe’s second “To Helen,” observing: “It was addressed to a woman of kindred genius, [Mrs. Whitman,] to whom, it is not a secret that sometime since the death of his first wife, he was for a short time engaged to be married. We know the scene, in a neighboring city; and we know that the incident of his seeing the person under such circumstances is literally true” (Bayless, p. 165).

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. The American Beacon reprints Poe’s obituary from the Baltimore Sun “of Monday.” The Daily Southern Argus cites the report in the Sun, praising Poe as “a distinguished poet, scholar and critic. Only a few weeks ago he delivered a literary lecture in this city, which was greatly applauded.” [page 854:]

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. RICHMOND. John R. Thompson writes Rufus W. Griswold: “When poor Poe left here, some three weeks since, I gave him a letter which he promised me to deliver into your hands; but as the papers state that he had been seven days in the hospital at Baltimore before his unhappy death, I make sure that he did not reach Philadelphia and by consequence that you did not receive the letter.” This undelivered letter contained Thompson’s biographical “memoranda,” which Griswold solicited in the letter he wrote from Philadelphia “about a month ago.” Thompson now repeats this information, to be published along with several of his poems in the next edition of Griswold’s Poets and Poetry of America. “Poor Poe! I cannot think of his fate without deep commiseration. The evening before his departure from Richmond he was with me and spoke in the highest spirits of his resolves and prospects for the future. He had become a Son of Temperance and was soon to be married to a lady here [Mrs. Shelton]. But his lack of stability, of fixed principles of character, frustrated all his plans and extinguished them in a dishonored grave” (PHi).

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. The Daily Journal & Courier contains a second notice of Poe’s death, quoting Griswold’s “Ludwig” obituary from yesterday’s New York Daily Tribune.

[1849] 10 OCTOBER. Annie Richmond writes Mrs. Clemm at Fordham:

Oh my mother, my darling darling mother oh what shall I say to you — how can I comfort you . . . . oh if I could only have laid down my life for his, that he might have been spared to you — but mother it is the will of God, and we must submit, and Heaven grant us strength, to bear it . . . . your letter [of yesterday] has this moment reached me, but I had seen a notice of his death, a few moments previous in the paper — oh mother, when I read it, I said, no, no it is not true my Eddie can’t be dead, no it is not so I could not believe it, until I got your letter . . . . my own heart is breaking, and I cannot offer you consolation that I would, now, but mother, I will pray for you, and for myself, that I may be able to comfort you — Mr R. [Annie’s husband] begs that you will come on here, soon as you can, and stay with us long as you please — Do dear mother, gather up all his papers and books, and take them and come to your own Annie (Quinn and Hart, pp. 53-54).

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - TPL, 1987] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Poe Log (D. R. Thomas and D. K. Jackson) (Chapter 11)