Text: Edgar Allan Poe to John Allan — February 21, 1831 (LTR-029)


N. York   Feb 21, 1831

Dear Sir —

In spite of all my resolution to the contrary I am obliged once more to recur to you for assistance — It will however be the last time that I ever trouble any human being — I feel that I am on sick bed from which I never shall get up. I now make an appeal not to your affection because I have lost that but to your sense of justice. I wrote to you for permission to resign — because it was impossible that I could stay — my ear has been too shocking for any description — I am wearing away every day — even if my last sickness had not completed it. I wrote to you as I say for permission to resign because without your permission no resignation can be received — My reason for doing so was that I should obtain my mileage amounting to $30,35 — according to the rules of the institution. in my present circumstances a single dollar is of more importance >>to me<< than 10,000 are to you and you deliberately refused to answer my letter — I, as I told you, neglected my duty when I found it impossible to attend to it, and [page 2:] the consequences were inevitable — dismissal. I have been dismissed — when a single line from you would have saved it — The whole academy have interested themselves in my behalf because my only crime was being sick — but it was of no use — I refer you to Col Thayer to the public records, for my standing and reputation for talent — but it was all in vain if you had granted me permission to resign — all might have been avoided — I have not strength nor energy left to write half what I feel — You one day or other will feeel [[sic]] how you have treated me. I left [West] Point two days ago and travelling to N. York without a cloak or any other clothing of importance. I have caught a most violent cold and am confined to my bed — I have no money — no friends — I have written to my brother — but he cannot help me — I shall never rise from my bed — besides a most violent cold on my lungs my ear discharges blood and matter continuall[y] and my headache is distracting — I hardly know what I am writing — I will [page 3:] write no more — Please send me a little money — quickly — and forget what I said about you —

God bless you —
E A Poe

do [[sic]] not say a word to my sister.
I shall send to the P.O. every day.



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, 1831] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. Allan (LTR029/RCL063)