Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “Satire on the Junior Debating Society,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 6-7 (This material is protected by copyright)


­[page 6, continued:]


While Poe was at William Burke’s school in Richmond, he wrote a satire. All that is known of this poem comes from an extract from a manuscript letter signed “R. C. Ambler,” dated “ ‘The Dell’ Fauquier County, Va. Dec. 14th ’74,” mailed on May 18, 1875, by Edward V. Valentine, the sculptor, to John H. Ingram and now at the University of Virginia (Ingram List, number 228). Richard Carey Ambler, M. D., had been at school with Poe. He wrote:

I remember to have heard some verses of his, in the shape of a satire upon the members of a debating society to which he belonged. This society held its meetings in a house known as the Harris Building, situated at the corner of Main and 11th Streets, if I recollect it aright. I cannot recall a line of those verses.

Agnes M. Bondurant, in Poe’s Richmond (1942), p. 142, tells ­[page 7:] us that the societies that celebrated Benjamin Franklin’s centenary in 1827 were the Jefferson and Junior Debating societies. Poe must have belonged to the latter in 1825.






[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Satire on the Junior Debating Society)