Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W. Thomas — May 4, 1845 (LTR-197)


My Dear Thomas,

In the hope that you have not yet quite given me up, as gone to Texas, or elsewhere, I sit down to write you a few words. I have been intending to do the same thing ever since I received your letter before the last — but for my life and soul I could not find, or make, an opportunity. The fact is, that being seized, of late, with a fit of industry, I put so many irons in the fire all at once, that I have been quite unable to get them out. For the last three or four months I have been working 14 or 15 hours a day — hard at it all the time — and so, whenever I took pen in hand to write, I found that I was neglecting something that would be attended to. I never knew what it was to be a slave before.

And yet, Thomas, I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life — except in hope, which is by no means bankable. I have taken a 3d pecuniary interest in the “Broadway Journal”, and for every thing I have written for it have been, of course, so much out of pocket. In the end, however, it will pay me well — at least the prospects are good. Say to Dow for me that there never has been a chance for my repaying him, without putting myself to greater inconvenience than he himself would have wished [page 2:] to subject me to, had he known the state of the case. Nor am I able to pay him now. The Devil himself was never so poor. Say to Dow, also, that I am sorry he has taken to dunning in his old age — it is a diabolical practice, altogether unworthy “a gentleman & a scholar” — to say nothing of the Editor of the “Madisonian.” I wonder how he would like me to write him a series of letters — say one a week — giving him the literary gossip of New-York — or something of more general character. I would furnish him such a series for whatever he could afford to give me. If he agrees to this arrangement, ask him to state the length & character of the letters — how often — and how much he can give me. Remember me kindly to him & tell him I believe that dunning is his one sin — although at the same time, I do think it is the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost spoken of in the Scriptures. I am going to mail him the “Broadway Journal” regularly, & hope he will honor me with an exchange.

My dear Thomas, I hope you will never imagine from any seeming neglect of mine, that I have forgotten our old friendship. There is no one in the world I would rather see at this moment than yourself; and many are the long talks we have about you and yours. Virginia & Mrs Clemm beg to be remembered to you in the kindest [page 3:] terms. Do write me fully when you get this, and let me know particularly what you are about.

I send you an early number of the “B. Journal” containing my “Raven”. It was copied by Briggs, my associate, before I joined the paper. “The Raven” has had a great “run”, Thomas — but I wrote it for the express purpose of running — just as I did the “Gold-Bug”, you know. The bird beat the bug, though, all hollow.

Do not forget to write immediately, & believe me

Most sincerely your friend,





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W. Thomas (LTR197/RCL535)