Text: Edgar Allan Poe to John Allan — June 25, 1829 (LTR-014)


June 25, 1829

Dear Pa,

I wrote you on the 10th of June in reply to yours of the 8th in which I urged my reasons in further support of my request to be allowed to publish a poem — & I did intend, but forgot to say, in conclusion, that as I had submitted the question of its being expedient to your decision — I should by no means publish it without your approbation — I say this now, because I fear from your silence that I have offended you in pressing my request any farther.

The poem is now in the hands of Carey, Lea & Carey and I am only waiting for your answer to withdraw it or not — It was my wish immediately upon receiving your letter to return home thro’ Washington & ascertain the fate of my application — <of> which I am induced to think has succeeded — as there were, I understand several rejected — This I will do immediately upon hearing [page 2:] from you. 

In whatever errors I may have been led into, I would beg you to judge me impartially & to believe that I have acted from the single motive of trying to do something for myself — & with your assistance I trust I may — I have left untried no efforts to enter at W. Point & if I fail I can give you evidence that it is no fault of mine — but I hope to succeed —

I am afraid you will think that I am trying to impose on your good nature & would not except under peculiar circumstances have applied to you for any more money — but it is only a little that I now want.

I will explain the matter clearly — A cousin of my own (Edward Mosher) robbed me at Beltzhoover’s Hotel while I was asleep in the same room with him of all the money I had with me (about 46$) [page 3:] of which I recovered $10 — by searching his pockets the ensuing night, when he acknowledged the theft — I have been endeavouring in vain to obtain the balance from him — he says he has not got it & begs me not to expose him — & for his wife’s sake I will not. I have a letter from him referring to the subject, which I will show you on arriving in Richmond.

I have been moderate in my expences & $50 of the money which you sent me I applied in paying a debt contracted a[t] Old Point for my substitute, for [which] I gave my note — the money necessary if Lt Howard had not gone on furlough would have been only 12$ as a bounty — but when he & Col: House left I had to scuffle for myself — I paid $25 — & gave my note for $50 — in all 75$.

Since I have been in Baltimore I have learnt something concerning my descent which would have, I am afraid, no very favourable effect if known to the War Dept : [page 4:] viz: that I am the grandson of General Benedict Arnold — but this there will be no necessity of telling —

[[space reserved for address]]

Give my best love to all my friends — I hope you will give me a favourable answer concerning my poem tho’ I will strictly abide by your decision.

I am Yours affecty
E A. Poe



This letter is printed here with permission from the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. A photographic facsimile of this letter was published in Mary Newton Stanard, Edgar Allan Poe Letters Till Now Unpublished in the Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1925.


[S:0 - MS, 1829] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. Allan (LTR014/RCL034)