Text: Dwight R. Thomas and David K. Jackson, “Chapter 08 [Part 01],” The Poe Log (1987), pp. 483-545


[page 483:]


New York: “The Raven” and the Broadway Journal

Frances Sargent Osgood [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 482]
Frances Sargent Osgood


During the opening months of 1845 Poe makes his presence felt in literary New York. The Evening Mirror for 29 January contains the first publication of “The Raven,” copied in advance from the American Review for February: the poem is an immediate sensation, reprinted by journals throughout the country and followed by numerous parodies. Graham's Magazine for February contains a laudatory biography of Poe by James Russell Lowell. With the appearance of “The Raven” and the Graham's biography, Poe becomes a popular celebrity. In late February he leaves the staff of Nathaniel P. Willis’ Evening Mirror and acquires a third interest in the Broadway Journal, a new weekly begun by Charles F. Briggs with John Bisco as publisher. In the Journal Poe continues the discussion of plagiarism begun in his unfavorable review of Longfellow's The Waif in the Mirror of 13-14 January. Some three hundred New Yorkers attend his biting lecture on the “Poets and Poetry of America,” delivered at the Society Library on 28 February. Throughout 1845 Poe makes frequent appearances at social gatherings held in the homes of Miss Anne C. Lynch and other minor literati; in March he is introduced to the poetess Mrs. Frances S. Osgood, wife of the painter Samuel S. Osgood. Poe and Mrs. Osgood conduct a flirtation by means of playfully romantic poems addressed to each other and published in the Broadway Journal. While Briggs, the Journal's founder, is initially impressed with Poe, he soon becomes disillusioned with his partner's obsession with plagiarism and his recurrent drinking bouts. By late June Briggs plans to acquire control of the magazine and remove Poe's name from its masthead; but he is unable to purchase the interest of its publisher John Bisco, and he consequently withdraws from the concern. The second volume of the Journal commences with the 12 July issue, with Poe as sole editor and Bisco as publisher. In 1845 Wiley and Putnam publish two volumes by Poe in their “Library of American Books”: his Tales on 25 June and The Raven and Other Poems on 19 November. On 16 October Poe reads his poem “Al Aaraaf” before the Boston Lyceum; since many Bostonians still resent his attacks on their native poet Longfellow, his Lyceum appearance is derisively reviewed by the city's newspapers. On 24 October he acquires Bisco's interest in the Broadway Journal and becomes its sole proprietor. Because the Journal is experiencing financial [page 484:] difficulties, he attempts to borrow money from his friends; but on 3 December he is forced to sell a half interest in the magazine to Thomas H. Lane, publisher of Thomas Dunn English's Aristidean. In spite of Poe's efforts the Journal perishes at the end of the year: the last issue, dated 3 January 1846, contains his “Valedictory.”



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~~ 1845 ~~

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[page 484, continued:]

[1845] EARLY 1845? NEW YORK. Miss Anne C. Lynch, a schoolteacher and poetess, begins to invite Poe to the literary soirees she conducts at her home, 116 Waverley Place: “During the time that he [Poe] habitually visited me, a period of two or three years, I saw him almost always on my reception evenings, when many other guests were present. ... In society, so far as my observation went, Poe had always the bearing and manners of a gentleman — interesting in conversation, but not monopolising; polite and engaging, and never, when I saw him, abstracted or dreamy. He was always elegant in his toilet, quiet and unaffected, unpretentious, in his manner; and he would not have attracted any particular attention from a stranger, except from his strikingly intellectual head and features, which bore the unmistakable character of genius” (Lynch to G. W. Eveleth, 8 and 19 March 1854, Miller [1977], pp. 202-05).

[1845] JANUARY OR BEFORE. Poe sells “The Raven” to the American Review.

[On 7 April the young editor George H. Colton wrote James Russell Lowell: “I paid Mr. Poe for the Raven not over $20” (Colton, p. 325). Donald Grant Mitchell remembered hearing Colton, a college friend at Yale, read the poem aloud “in his ramshackle Nassau Street office ... before yet it had gone into type; and as he closed with oratorical effect the last refrain, [he] declared with an emphasis that shook the whole mass of his flaxen locks — ‘that is amazing — amazing!’ ” (Mitchell, 2:387).]

[1845] JANUARY. The Columbian Magazine lists Poe's “Some Words with a Mummy” among the articles it has accepted for publication.

[The story did not appear in the Columbian, but in the American Review for April: Poe presumably retrieved it and sold it to the Review, which may have paid better.]

[1845] BEFORE MID-JANUARY. Poe and Rufus W. Griswold encounter each other in the office of the Daily Tribune (Poe to Griswold, 16 January). [page 485:]

[1845] CA. 1 JANUARY. James Russell Lowell and his wife Maria visit New York on their way to Philadelphia, where they intend to spend the winter. Charles F. Briggs is unable to see his friends (Briggs to Lowell, 6 January).

[1845] 4 JANUARY. SATURDAY. Briggs's Broadway Journal, 153 Broadway, issues its opening number, which contains the first half of Poe's lengthy review of Elizabeth Barrett Barrett's The Drama of Exile, and Other Poems. In a “Prospectus” the publisher John Bisco promises that the Journal “will be made up entirely of original matter”; it will be published every Saturday, “TERMS $3.00 per annum — Single numbers 6 1/4 cts.”

[1845] 4 JANUARY. Poe replies to Frederick William Thomas’ letters of 10 October and 10 December 1844. He has received Thomas’ poem The Beechen Tree, forwarded with the 10 October letter; but he has not reviewed it: “I could find no good opportunity of putting in a word anywhere that would have done you service. You know I do not live in town — very seldom visit it — and, of course, am not in the way of matters and things as I used to be. ... In about three weeks, I shall move into the City, and recommence a life of activity under better auspices, I hope, than ever before. Then I may be able to do something.” Virginia and Mrs. Clemm are “about as usual”; Poe is “truly glad to hear of Dow's well-doing” (L, 1:274-75).

[Poe's explanation of his failure to review The Beechen Tree is unconvincing. At the time he was connected with the Evening Mirror; he wrote the unsigned notice of Thomas’ poem in the 19 November 1844 issue.]

[1845] 4 JANUARY. Poe writes George Bush, Professor of Hebrew at the New York University. He encloses his tale “Mesmeric Revelation,” reprinted in the New York Dollar Weekly from its original publication in the Columbian Magazine for August 1844: “I have ventured to send you the article because there are many points in it which bear upon the subject matter of your late admirable work on the Future Condition of Man — and therefore I am induced to hope that you will do me the honor to look over what I have said.” Although “the article is purely a fiction,” Poe believes it contains “some thoughts which are original”; he is “exceedingly anxious to learn if they have claim to absolute originality” (L, 1:273-74, 2:709; Moldenhauer [1973], p. 59; Mabbott [1978], 3:1029).

[1845] 4 JANUARY. LONDON. Lloyd's Entertaining Journal, a penny publication, reprints Poe's “Raising the Wind; or, Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences” (Moldenhauer [1977], p. 188).

[1845] AFTER 4 JANUARY. NEW YORK. George Bush replies to Poe's 4 January [page 486:] letter, giving a favorable opinion of “Mesmeric Revelation” (implied in the Aristidean for October; see BEFORE 8 NOVEMBER).

[1845] 6 JANUARY. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia. He plans to feature a series on “American prose writers” in the Broadway Journal: “Cannot you give me a paper on Hawthorn[e], or Emerson, or somebody else whose writings you are familiar with? You have done up Poe so thoroughly in Graham [the forthcoming Graham's Magazine for February] that I suppose you do not feel like saying anything further on his style. ... Poe is going to assist Willis in the Mirror. I like Poe exceedingly well; Mr Griswold had told me shocking bad stories about him, which his whole demeanor contradicts” (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 9 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's “Does the Drama of the Day Deserve Support?”; the editorial is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 18 January.

[1845] 11 JANUARY. The Broadway Journal contains the conclusion of Poe's review of Miss Barrett.

[1845] 11 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's satiric notice of the Alphadelphia Tocsin, “the title of a new journal published at Alphadelphia, Michigan,” and his review of James Russell Lowell's Conversations on Some of the Old Poets. Although Poe praises Lowell's “fine taste and critical power,” he objects to his suggestion that the clever stratagems used by writers generally fail to capture the reader's heart: “In all cases, if the practice fail, it is because theory is imperfect. If Mr. Lowell's heart is not caught in the pitfall or trap, then the pitfall is ill-concealed, and the trap is not properly baited and set.” Both contributions are reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 18 January.

[1845] 13-14 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's unfavorable review of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Waif, an anthology of little-known poetry. In the 13 January installment Poe attributes the anonymous poems in The Waif to Longfellow himself, suggesting “that Mr. Longfellow's real design has been to make a book of his ‘waifs,’ and his own late compositions conjointly; since these late compositions are not enough in number to make a book of themselves.” Poe concludes the 14 January installment by observing that “this exquisite little volume” reveals “a very careful avoidance of all American poets who may be supposed especially to interfere with the claims of Mr. Longfellow. These men Mr. Longfellow can continuously imitate (is that the word?) and yet never even incidentally commend.” The review is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 25 January. [page 487:]

[1845] 14 JANUARY. In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck notices the Broadway Journal, which “holds out the promise of a very bright, spirited affair. ... Miss Barrett (rather painfully to us) is put to the question by Mr. Poe, with his usual critical acumen and force of style” (attribution in Duyckinck to Poe, 17 or 18 January).

[1845] 14 JANUARY. In the Evening Mirror Poe discusses his most recent story, published anonymously: “A broadly satirical article, oddly entitled ‘The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq., late Editor of the Goosetherumfoodle, and which appeared originally in the ‘Southern Literary Messenger’ for December, has been the subject of much comment, lately, in the Southern and Western papers, and the query is put to us especially, here in the North, — ‘who wrote it?’ Who did? — can any one tell?”

[1845] 14 JANUARY. Rufus W. Griswold writes Poe: “Although I have some cause of personal quarrel with you, which you will easily enough remember, I do not under any circumstances permit, as you have repeatedly charged, my private griefs to influence my judgment as a critic, or its expression.” Griswold therefore retains his “early formed and well founded favorable opinions” of Poe's writings; and he hopes to render Poe “very perfect justice” in his new anthology The Prose Writers of America, which will be published by Carey & Hart of Philadelphia. “I shall feel myself yr debtor if there being any writings of yours with wh. I may be unacquainted, you will advise of their titles, and where they may be purchased; and if, in the brief biography of you in my Poets &c. of America, there are any inaccuracies, you will point them out to me” (W, 17:197-98).

[1845] 15 JANUARY. BOSTON. A correspondent who signs himself “H.” [George S. Hillard] writes the Evening Mirror, protesting Poe's unsigned review of The Waif in the 13-14 January issues. The reviewer's assertion that Longfellow composed the anonymous poems in the collection is unwarranted:

Not one of them was written by him. But my principal concern, however, is with the sting in the tail of the second communication, in which Mr. Longfellow is charged with omitting, from discreditable motives, any extracts from American poets, though he continuously imitates some of them. ... Were Mr. Longfellow wholly unknown to me, my reply to such a charge would be, that the editor of such a compilation had a perfect right to select or reject, as he saw fit, and from no better reason than Corporal Nym's, that such was his humor .... But from long and intimate knowledge of Mr. Longfellow, I pronounce the charge wholly untrue. He is remarkable, among his friends, for his warm and generous commendation of the poetical efforts of his contemporaries. ... If it be asked, why has he not given public demonstration of this kindness of spirit towards his poetical [page 488:] brethren, the answer is obvious. He is a poet himself, and addresses the public in that capacity, and not as a critic (printed in the 20 January Mirror; attribution in Longfellow to Lowell, 15 March).

[1845] 15 JANUARY. NEW YORK. A commentator in the Daily Tribune, possibly Margaret Fuller, objects to Poe's review of Lowell in the 11 January Mirror: “Mr. Lowell's idea plainly is, that simplicity and nature are more successful than pit falls and traps. ... We do not believe that traps of any kind, bait them as you may, can ever succeed in the long run, or impose on the heart. Tricks in literature are no better than tricks in morals” (unverified attribution in Briggs to Lowell, 17 January).

[1845] 16 JANUARY. Poe replies to Griswold's 14 January letter, which gave him both pain and pleasure: “pain because it gave me to see that I had lost, through my own folly, an honorable friend: — pleasure, because I saw in it a hope of reconciliation.” Since Poe believed Griswold to have been “irreparably offended” by his strictures on The Poets and Poetry of America, he “could make no advances” when they “met at the Tribune Office.” Poe asks Griswold to accept his apologies: “If you can do this and forget the past, let me know where I shall call on you — or come and see me at the Mirror Office, any morning about 10. We can then talk over the other matters, which, to me at least, are far less important than your good will” (L, 1:275-76).

[1845] 16 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Lowell writes Briggs: “I received this morning the two numbers of your ‘Broadway Journal,’ & am in haste to tell you how much I like it. ... The article upon Miss Barrett is extremely well written, I suppose by Poe. It is a good telling article, though I do not agree with it in its conclusion. From a paragraph I saw yesterday in the ‘Tribune’ I find that Poe has been at me in the ‘Mirror.’ He has at least the chief element of a critic — a disregard of persons. He will be a very valuable contributor to you” (Woodberry, 2:368-69).

[1845] AFTER 16 JANUARY. NEW YORK. Poe and Griswold meet. Griswold invites Poe to furnish selections from his poetry for a revised edition of The Poets and Poetry of America, as well as excerpts from his prose for the forthcoming Prose Writers of America (Poe to Griswold, 16 January and 24 February; Briggs to Lowell, 6 February).

[1845] 17 JANUARY. Briggs replies to Lowell: “Poe's criticism about your Conversations was extremely laudatory and discriminating; it was the female ass of the Tribune [Margaret Fuller] that misunderstood him. ... Poe writes for me, at the rate of one dollar a column. If you will do so, I shall esteem it a capital barg[a]in” (MiDAAA-P). [page 489:]

[1845] 17 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's editorial “Nature and Art,” a reply to the Daily Tribune of 15 January:

We grant that “Mr. Lowell's idea plainly” is, that simplicity and Nature are more successful than Art; but we do not grant that this idea is set forth more plainly in the Tribune's repetition than in the English of Mr. Lowell himself. ...

There being then no dispute about Mr. L's meaning, we object that, in Letters, he improperly distinguishes Nature from Art. — The latter is — (or, lest the Tribune may have a difficulty in comprehending that we speak absolutely, and of the perfected Art) — the latter should be nothing more than the arranging, the methodizing, the rendering easily available so as to carry into successful application, the suggestions, the laws, and the general intentions of the former.

In a briefer article headed “Criticism,” Poe replies to Evert A. Duyckinck's notice of the Broadway Journal in “The Tribune” [Morning News] of 14 January: “Mr. D. ... speaks of a Review of Miss Barrett's Poems as if it were condemnatory. We should be sorry indeed, if any general disparagement were intended of the most extraordinary woman of her age — perhaps of any age. Our impression, however, is that the critic of the Broadway Journal meant only, by a few unimportant objections, to place her preeminent merits in the best light.” The Weekly Mirror for 25 January reprints “Nature and Art.”

[1845] 17 OR 18 JANUARY. Duyckinck writes Poe:

This is a world of presumption. I first presumed, mentally, that you were the author of the Barrett criticism in [the] Broadway Journal. I then presumed, morally, or rather immorally to say so in print. And I am pleasantly punished for my sins by a complimentary fillip — if I presume rightly again — from Mr Poe, in the Evening Mirror. But he has mistaken the Tribune for the Morning News which E A D regrets as there are excellent anonymous literary articles in the former paper (said to be written by Miss S M Fuller and W E Channing) which he may unjustly get the credit of. Will Mr Poe take the trouble to correct the matter by stating Morning News for Tribune (Reece [1954], p. 90).

[1845] BEFORE 18 JANUARY. BOSTON. Littell's Living Age for 18 January contains an abridgment of Poe's “The Purloined Letter,” reprinted from Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal of 30 November 1844 with this magazine's introduction.

[1845] 18 JANUARY. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's “American Prose Writers, No. 2: N. P Willis.”

[1845] 18 JANUARY. The Morning News comments: “LITTELL’S LIVING AGE, for this week, contains a story by Edgar A. Poe, copied from an English paper and accompanied by a complimentary criticism, English also, entitled ‘The Purloined Letter.’ It originally appeared in the Gift for 1845, and has [page 490:] attracted far less attention at home than abroad. We shall give our readers an early opportunity of reading it for themselves.”

[1845] 18 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror carries a paragraph headed “A Mistake,” in which Poe complies with Duyckinck's request: “Through inadvertence ... yesterday ... we wrote ‘Tribune,’ when we should have written ‘Morning News.’ ”

[1845] BEFORE 20 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Graham's Magazine for February contains Lowell's “Our Contributors, No. XVII. Edgar Allan Poe,” accompanied by a portrait of Poe by the Philadelphia artist A. C. Smith. Lowell observes:

Mr. Poe is at once the most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America. It may be that we should qualify our remark a little, and say that he might be, rather than that he always is, for he seems sometimes to mistake his phial of prussic-acid for his inkstand. If we do not always agree with him in his premises, we are, at least, satisfied that his deductions are logical, and that we are reading the thoughts of a man who thinks for himself, and says what he thinks, and knows well what he is talking about. His analytic power would furnish forth bravely some score of ordinary critics. ... Had Mr. Poe had the control of a magazine of his own, in which to display his critical abilities, he would have been as autocratic, ere this, in America, as Professor Wilson has been in England .... As it is, he has squared out blocks enough to build an enduring pyramid, but has left them lying carelessly and unclaimed in many different quarries.

Lowell outlines Poe's early life, following the inaccurate biography published in the Saturday Museum of 25 February and 4 March 1843. “Mr. Poe has that indescribable something which men have agreed to call genius. No man could ever tell us precisely what it is, and yet there is none who is not inevitably aware of its presence and its power.” Lowell reprints Poe's poems “To Helen,” “Ligeia” (from “Al Aaraaf,” lines 100-11), “The Haunted Palace,” and “Lenore”; the first of these was “written when the author was only fourteen!” In fiction the “analyzing tendency” of Poe's mind “balances the poetical, and, by giving him the patience to be minute, enables him to throw a wonderful reality into his most unreal fancies.” Lowell lists the thirty stories Poe has written since his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, identifying him as the author of the anonymously published “Balloon-Hoax” and “Literary Life of Thingum Bob.”

[1845] 20-21 JANUARY. NEW YORK. The Evening Mirror reprints Lowell's sketch in two installments, both on its front page. On the second page of the 20 January issue, Nathaniel P. Willis comments:

From Graham's Magazine ... we copy ... a biographical and critical sketch of [page 491:] the American Rhadamanthus, done with Lowell's broad and honest appreciation, and giving us a coup d’oeil, of the position and powers of Mr. Poe, which is of great interest to the public that feels him. We wonder, by the way, that, with so fine a critic at command for an editor, some New York publisher does not establish a Monthly Review, devoted exclusively to high critical purposes. Poe has genius and taste of his own, as well as the necessary science, and the finest discriminative powers; and such a wheel of literature should not be without axle and linch-pin. Mr. Poe is now residing in New York, and ready, we presume, for propositions.

[1845] 20 JANUARY. In the Evening Mirror Willis discusses the papers 13-14 January review of Longfellow's The Waif. “The criticisms ... were written in our office by an able though very critical hand [Poe] .... We judge the poet [Longfellow] by ourself when we presume that he prefers rubbing to rust — sure of being more brightened than fretted.” Willis prints the 15 January letter protesting the review from “H.” [George S. Hillard] in Boston. In “Post-Notes by the Critic,” appended to the letter, Poe replies to Hillard's objections, commenting: “If ever a man had cause to ejaculate, ‘Heaven preserve me from my friends!’ it is Mr. Longfellow.” Willis’ remarks, the letter, and Poe's reply are reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 25 January.

[1845] 20 JANUARY. Poe signs a receipt: “Recd of Mr John Bisco eighteen dollars, in full for two articles in Broadway Journal” (L, 2:520-21).

[1845] 20, 22 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints the abridgment of “The Purloined Letter” in two installments, from Littell's for 18 January (Mabbott [1978], 3:974).

[1845] 21, 24 JANUARY. NEW YORK. The Morning News reprints “The Purloined Letter” in two installments, “From Chambers’ Journal, via Littell's Living Age.” The abridgment appears in the Weekly News for 25 January.

[1845] 22 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's essay “American Diffuseness — Objectionable Concision.”

[1845] 24 JANUARY. In the Daily Tribune Margaret Fuller notices Lowell's sketch of Poe in Graham's Magazine for February: “This article is frank, earnest, and contains many just thoughts, expressed with force and point. ... Among the poems quoted from Mr. Poe, before unknown to ourselves, two please us so much, that they must be inserted here.” Fuller reprints “The Haunted Palace” and “To Helen”; the latter poem, “written at the age of fourteen,” is “of such distinguished beauty in thought, feeling, and expression, that we might expect the life unfolded from such a bud to have the sweetness and soft lustre of a rose.” She relates the portrait in Graham's to [page 492:] Poe's writings: “A person of fine perceptions, and unacquainted with the writings of Mr. Poe, observed, on looking at this head of him, that the lower part of the face is that of the critic, cold, hard, and self-sufficient; while the upper part, especially the brows, expresses great feeling, and tenderness of feeling. We wish the ‘Psyche’ had taken him far enough in that ‘Nicéan bark,’ to give the expression of the upper part of the face a larger preponderance than we find in his reviews of the poets.” The notice is reprinted in the Weekly Tribune for 1 February.

[1845] 24, 25, 27, 31 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror publishes Poe's “Pay of American Authors” in four installments. This editorial calling for an international copyright law is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for I and 8 February.

[1845] BEFORE 25 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Godey's Lady's Book for February contains Poe's “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade.”

[1845] 25 JANUARY. NEW YORK. In the Broadway Journal Briggs reviews the February numbers of Godey's and Graham's. Godey's features “ten ladies and six gentlemen, besides the editors,” as contributors:

But the great marvel is that so many writers should have been able to produce so small an amount of readable matter. The only article in the Magazine that will ever be read a second time, except by the writers of them, is the New Arabian Nights’ Tale by Mr. Poe. The idea of this tale is a very happy one, and it afforded the author a wide scope for displaying his exact knowledge and lively imagination; two qualities that we rarely find united in the same person. Scheherazade tells a new story, more wondrous than any that she had related before, a continuation of Sinbad's adventures, wherein are related some of the modern discoveries in science, which startle the king more than any of the doings of the Genii. At last, when the narrator tells of women who wear artificial humps on their backs [bustles], he grows impatient, and believing that his Queen is imposing upon his credulity, orders her to be bow-strung.

Graham's contains “a something which is called a portrait of Edgar A. Poe. ... It bears no more resemblance to that gentleman than to any other of Mr. Graham's contributors. But if it were much worse than it is, which is hardly conceivable, it would be amply compensated by the fine sketch of Mr. Poe's genius, by Lowell, which accompanies it.”

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe from Graham's Magazine, February 1845 [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 493]
Poe's portrait in the Fegruary Graham's

[1845] 25 JANUARY. In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck notices the portrait and sketch in Graham's:

We cordially give a welcome to this distinct recognition of Mr. Poe's merits. Whenever his name is mentioned it has been with the comment that he is a remarkable man, a man of genius. Few knew precisely what he had written, his [page 494:] name was not on Library catalogues or any of his books on the shelves. His influence has been felt while the man was unknown. Lowell's article removes the anonymous and exhibits the author of some of the most peculiar and characteristic productions in our literature. Metaphysical acuteness of perception, resting on imagination, might be no unapt description of the powers developed in the creation of tales remarkable for touching the extreme of mystery and the most faithful literalness of daily life, and criticisms, profoundly constructed and original in the mind of the critic, and calling forth the same faculties as the production of the best books themselves.

The notice is reprinted in the Weekly News for 1 February (attribution implied in W. G. Simms to Duyckinck, 15 March).

[1845] 25 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. The Saturday Courier reports that Graham's features “a striking likeness of Edgar A. Poe.”

[1845] 25 JANUARY. BALTIMORE. In the Saturday Visiter Joseph Evans Snodgrass evaluates the portrait in Graham's: “The likeness is good, though rather wanting in that nervousness of expression so peculiar to Mr. Poe.”

[1845] 25 JANUARY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Richard Henry Horne in London. He encloses the Broadway Journal for 4 and 11 January, containing his review of Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, and a copy of “The Raven.” He solicits Horne's opinion of this yet unpublished poem, also asking him to obtain opinions on it from Miss Barrett and Alfred Tennyson. Poe expresses his admiration for Miss Barrett: his review should be forwarded to her. Answering Horne's query in his 27 April 1844 letter, Poe states that an American publisher might be willing to reprint his correspondent's epic Orion (Horne to Poe, 17 May; Barrett to Horne, 12 May).

[1845] 25 JANUARY OR LATER? The Poe family leaves the farmhouse of Patrick Brennan in upper Manhattan and moves into New York City proper, taking lodgings at 154 Greenwich Street (Poe to Thomas, 4 January; Poe to Mrs. Mowatt, 20 March).

[1845] 27 JANUARY. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia:

Poe tells me that Graham refused to print his tale of the Gold Bug, and kept it in his possession nine months. I never read it before last week, and it strikes me as among the most ingenious pieces of Fiction, that I have ever seen. If you have not read it, it will repay you for the trouble when you do. He told me furthermore that the poem which you have quoted from the House of Usher,

“In a valley fair and shady

By good angels tenanted &c,” [page 495:]

He sent to O’Sullivan for the Democratic, and it was returned to him. You see by these what the judgments of magazine editors amount to ... I have always strangely misunderstood Poe, from thinking him one of the Graham and Godey species, but I find him as different as possible. I think that you will like him well when you come to know him personally (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] BEFORE 28 JANUARY. PHILADELPHIA. William Duane, Jr., writes Poe. He has recovered the volume of the Southern Literary Messenger he lent Poe last year; it was found in Richmond (Poe's reply).

[1845] 28 JANUARY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Duane:

Richmond is the last place in which I should have hoped to find a copy of either the lrst 2d or 3d volumes of the Messenger. For this reason I did not apply there. I have been putting myself, however, to some trouble in endeavouring to collect among my friends here the separate numbers of the missing volume. I am glad that your last letter relieves me from all such trouble in future. I do not choose to recognize you in this matter at all. To the person of whom I borrowed the book, or rather who insisted upon forcing it on me, I have sufficient reason to believe that it was returned. Settle your difficulties with him, and insult me with no more of your communications (L, 1:276).

[Duane wrote this explanation on Poe's letter: “The volume ... was lent by me to E. A. Poe, through Henry B. Hirst, Esq., and was sold by the said Poe [actually Mrs. Clemm] among a lot of books belonging to himself to William A. Leary, a bookseller on North Seventh Street [in Philadelphia]. Mr. Leary sold it to a bookseller in Richmond, Va., who sold it to the publishers of the ‘Messenger, who sold it to a friend of mine who was visiting Richmond, and whom I had commissioned to purchase me a copy. My name was on the title-page during all these sales” (Woodberry, 2:367-68).)

[1845] BEFORE 29 JANUARY. Poe encounters his friend William Ross Wallace, to whom he has been in the habit of reading his “not yet published poetical work.” He solicits Wallace's opinion of “The Raven”:

“Wallace,” said Poe, “I have just written the greatest poem that ever was written.”

“Have you?” said Wallace. “That is a fine achievement.”

“Would you like to hear it?” said Poe.

“Most certainly;” said Wallace.

Thereupon Poe began to read the soon to-be famous verses in his best way — which ... was always an impressive and captivating way. When he had finished it he turned to Wallace for his approval of them — when Wallace said:

“Poe — they are fine; uncommonly fine.” [page 496:]

“Fine?” said Poe, contemptuously. “Is that all you can say for this poem? I tell you it's the greatest poem that was ever written” (Benton, p. 733).

[1845] 29 JANUARY. The Evening Mirror publishes “The Raven” with this introduction by Nathaniel P. Willis:

We are permitted to copy (in advance of publication) from the 2d No. of the American Review, the following remarkable poem by EDGAR POE. In our opinion, it is the most effective single example of “fugitive poetry” ever published in this country; and unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification, and consistent, sustaining of imaginative lift and “pokerishness.” It is one of these “dainties bred in a book” which we feed on. It will stick to the memory of everybody who reads it.

Both poem and introduction are reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 8 February.

[1845] FEBRUARY. The American Review contains “THE RAVEN, BY —— QUARLES,” with this preface by George H. Colton:

The following lines from a correspondent — besides the deep quaint strain of the sentiment, and the curious introduction of some ludicrous touches amidst the serious and impressive, as was doubtless intended by the author — appear to us one of the most felicitous specimens of unique rhyming which has for some time met our eye. The resources of English rhythm for varieties of melody, measure, and sound, producing corresponding diversities of effect, have been thoroughly studied, much more perceived, by very few poets in the language. While the classic tongues, especially the Greek, possess, by power of accent, several advantages for versification over our own, chiefly through greater abundance of spondaic feet, we have other and very great advantages of sound by the modern usage of rhyme. Alliteration is nearly the only effect of that kind which the ancients had in common with us. It will be seen that much of the melody of “The Raven” arises from alliteration, and the studious use of similar sounds in unusual places. In regard to its measure, it may be noted that if all the verses were like the second, they might properly be placed merely in short lines, producing a not uncommon form; but the presence in all the others of one line — mostly the second in the verse — which flows continuously, with only an aspirate pause in the middle, like that before the short line in the Sapphic Adonic, while the fifth has at the middle pause no similarity of sound with any part beside, gives the versification an entirely different effect. We could wish the capacities of our noble language, in prosody, were better understood. — ED. AM. REV.

[The first publication of “The Raven” probably occurred in the Evening Mirror of 29 January, which seems to have appeared on the streets of New York a day or two before the American Review for February. The first printing almost certainly occurred in the Review: this number was set in type before the end of January, since it was published on or before 1 [page 497:] February (Daily Tribune, 1 February). Poe's use of the pseudonym “—— Quarles” was in keeping with the practice of the Review, which was “to publish poems either unsigned or with pseudonyms” (Colton, p. 324).]

[1845] FEBRUARY. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger favorably notices the Broadway Journal. As a sample of the new weekly's literary criticism, the Messenger quotes the reviews of Godey's and Graham's from the Journal for 25 January; the excerpts contain Briggs's praise of Poe's “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade” and his condemnation of the Poe portrait accompanying Lowell's biography.

[1845] EARLY FEBRUARY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Benjamin Blake Minor, editor and proprietor of the Southern Literary Messenger, enclosing a revised copy of “The Raven.” Poe asks Minor to relax his magazine's rule against reprints and to publish this poem “in the beautiful typography of the Messenger” (Minor, p. 138).

[1845] EARLY FEBRUARY. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, a popular poetess, recalls:

The Raven was first published in the New York Review [American Review]. I had not yet seen it, when one evening Charles Fenno Hoffman called with the Review, and read it to me. He was a fine reader, and read the poem with great feeling. His reading affected me so much I arose and walked the floor, and said to him, “It is Edgar Poe himself.” He had not told me who the author was; indeed, it was published anonymously. “Well,” said I, “every production of genius has an internal life as well as its external. Now, how do you interpret this, Mr. Hoffman?” The latter, who had had many disappointments and griefs in life, replied, “It is despair brooding over wisdom.”

The next evening who should call but Mr. Poe. I told him what Mr. Hoffman had said. Poe folded his arms and looked down, saying, “That is a recognition.” Soon the Raven became known everywhere, and everyone was saying ‘Nevermore.’

One afternoon Poe called on me and said, “I find my Raven is really being talked about a great deal. I was at the theatre last night, and the actor interpolated the word ‘Nevermore,’ and it did add force to the sentiment that was given, and the audience immediately (he looked so pleased when he said this), evidently took the allusion” (Mrs. Smith quoted by Derby, pp. 547-48).

[1845] EARLY? FEBRUARY. Poe makes “a most favorable impression” at a reception at the home of Mrs. Caroline M. Kirkland: “there were a good many of the New York literati [present], not one of whom had ever before seen him, and only a few had ever read anything of his writings except ‘The Raven,’ which had just been published .... there was great curiosity to see the writer of that wonderful poem” (Briggs, pp. 1-2).

[1845] FEBRUARY OR LATER. Henry T. Tuckerman recalls a social gathering at the home of Dr. John W. Francis, a prominent New York physician: [page 498:]

... a card was brought the Doctor, while we were all seated at the tea-table; the expression of his face, as he left the room, betokened the visit of a celebrity; in a few moments he ushered into the room a pale, thin, and most grave-looking man, whose dark dress and solemn air, with the Doctor's own look of ceremonious gravity, produced an ominous silence, where, a moment before, all was hilarity; slowly conducting his guest around the table, and turning to his wife, he waved his hand, and, with elaborate courtesy, made this unique announcement: “The Raven!” and certainly no human physiognomy more resembled that bird than the stranger's, who, without a smile or a word, bowed slightly and slowly; with a fixed, and, it almost seemed, a portentous gaze, as if complacently accepting the character thus thrust upon him. Instantly, the fancy of all present began to conjure up all the ravens they had ever heard of or seen, from those that fed Elijah to the one in “Barnaby Rudge”; and it was not for some minutes that Edgar A. Poe was recognized, in the “fearful guest,” to be “evermore” associated in the minds of all present, not with the “lost Lenore,” but with that extraordinary presentation of the Doctor's (Tuckerman, pp. lxxix-lxxx).

[1845] 1 FEBRUARY. The Daily Tribune comments: “THE AMERICAN JOURNAL AND WHIG REVIEW [American Review] for February is published. We shall notice its contents when we have had time to read them:”

[1845] 1 FEBRUARY. The New World reprints “The Haunted Palace” with this introduction by the editor Charles Eames: “The following exquisite Poem, from the pen of Edgar A. Poe, is new to us. We can hardly call to mind in the whole compass of American Poetry, a picture of more intense and glowing Ideality. It portrays with admirable power and pathos, a noble mind given over to wreck and desolation.”

[1845] 1 FEBRUARY. The Broadway Journal contains a passage from the French historian Froissart describing a fatal fire at a costume ball in the court of Charles VI; it prints a letter from the New York physician Dr. A. Sidney Doane, who describes a surgical operation performed while the patient was “in a magnetic sleep” (or mesmerized). The Froissart is a source for Poe's tale “Hop-Frog”; the letter, a source for his hoax “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.”

[1845] 3 FEBRUARY. A writer in the Daily Tribune, probably Horace Greeley, notices the American Review: “ ‘The Raven’ is a poem which would have enriched Blackwood.” The Morning News reprints the poem from the Evening Mirror, along with Willis’ introduction identifying Poe as its author. It appears in the Weekly News for 8 February.

[1845] 3 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's “Increase of the Poetical Heresy — Didacticism”; the article is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 8 February. [page 499:]

[1845] 3 FEBRUARY. Poe writes his friend J. Augustus Shea, a journalist and poet connected with the Daily Tribune, describing two alterations he wishes to make in “The Raven” (L, 1:279).

[1845] 4 FEBRUARY. The Daily Tribune reprints “The Raven” from the American Review. This printing omits George H. Colton's introduction, identifies “Edgar A. Poe” as the author, and incorporates the revisions Poe indicated to Shea. The poem appears in the Weekly Tribune for 8 February.

[1845] 5 FEBRUARY. In the Morning Express James Brooks notices the American Review: “There is a poem in this book which may well defy competition in its way from the whole circle of cotemporary verse writers; though Alfred Tennyson might, perhaps, enter for the prize, — but to be excelled out of measure. We allude to ‘The Raven,’ in which deep settled grief, bordering on sullen despair, is personified, in the chance visitor of the poet, perching over his door, to leave his presence ‘Nevermore.’ As a piece of versification it is as curious as it is, psychologically, a wonder. We think we are right in our guess that ‘Quarles’ means Edgar Poe.”

[1845] 5 FEBRUARY. In the Evening Mirror Willis defends his decision to publish Poe's unfavorable review of Longfellow's The Waif. He quotes Poe's closing paragraph from the 14 January Mirror, which questions Longfellow's motives for omitting extracts from other American poets; and he observes: “It was a literary charge, by a pen that never records an opinion without some supposed good reason, and only injurious to Longfellow, (to our belief) while circulating, un-replied-to, in conversation-dom.” Since the Boston newspapers have not replied to this accusation, Willis prints the following defense of The Waif from a letter “a friend” [Charles Sumner] has sent him:

It has been asked, perhaps, why Lowell was neglected in this collection? Might it not as well be asked why Bryant, Dana and Halleck were neglected? The answer is obvious to any one who candidly considers the character of the collection. It professed to be, according to the Proem, from the humbler poets; and it was intended to embrace pieces that were anonymous, or which were not easily accessible to the general reader — the waifs and estrays of literature. To put anything of Lowell's, for example, into a collection of waifs, would be a peculiar liberty with pieces which are all collected and christened.

Willis’ article is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 8 February (Sumner identified in Longfellow to Lowell, 15 March).

[1845] 6 FEBRUARY. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia: “You will see in this week's [Broadway] Journal a grand poem by Poe [‘The Raven’], which I think you will like. You will see that it is framed according to his notions of poetry. A mere beautiful something entirely free from didacticism and [page 500:] sentiment. ... Griswold is going to give a life and character of Poe in his prose writers with a portrait, which Poe is desirous that [William] Page should paint” (MIDAAA-P).

[1845] 6 FEBRUARY. Briggs writes the portrait painter William Page in Boston, discussing his correspondent's essay on the use of color in painting: “I have put the whole of it into my Journal. ... Edgar A. Poe, whom Lowell has glorified, and whose fine verses in my Journal [‘The Raven’] you will like better than anything in Tennyson, says it is exceedingly fine, and the only true piece of writing which he has ever seen upon the subject. He knows something about color, and his opinion is worth a vast deal more than mine. He had no sooner read it, than he said he wanted you to paint his portrait. ... He is as good a fellow as yourself but very different, and I know that you would like him highly” (MIDAAA-P).

[1845] 6 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's “Literary Intelligence.” He complains that Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales are out of print: “Why will no one give us a new impression, and the modest author a couple of thousands?”

[1845] 7 FEBRUARY. In the Mirror Poe favorably notices the American Review for February, praising Evert A. Duyckinck's article on the nation's “Literary Prospects.” He reports: “Mr. J. S. Redfield, of this city, has in press ... the Poetical Writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, (better known, perhaps, as Mrs. Seba Smith).”

[1845] BEFORE 8 FEBRUARY. Alexander T. Crane, the office boy of the Broadway Journal, hears James E. Murdoch recite “The Raven”:

It was one cold day in winter, when everybody in the Literary [Broadway] Journal office, from myself on up, was busily at work, that Poe came into the office, accompanied by the great actor named Murdock [sic]. ... Mr. Poe summoned the entire force, including myself, about him. There were less than a dozen of us, and I was the only boy.

When we were all together Poe drew the manuscript of “The Raven” from his pocket and handed it to Murdock. He had called us to hear the great elocutionist read his newly written poem. Murdock read, and what with the combined art of two masters, I was entranced. It is the most cherished memory of my life that I heard the immortal poem read by one whose voice was like a chime of silver bells. ... In the next issue of the Literary Journal “The Raven” appeared in the place of honor (Crane, p. 34).

[1845] 8 FEBRUARY. The Broadway Journal publishes a corrected version of “The Raven,” identifying Poe as its author. Briggs observes: “It will have been [page 501:] read by many of our city subscribers, we have no doubt, before it reaches them in our columns, but there are others to whom it will be as welcome as it is new.” The Journal contains Poe's unfavorable reviews of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Poems and Joseph Rocchietti's Why a National Literature Cannot Flourish in the United States.

[1845] 8 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's editorial “Why Not Try a Mineralized Pavement?” (cf. his discussion of street pavements in the Columbia Spy, 15 June 1844).

[1845] BEFORE 12 FEBRUARY. The Aristidean commences publication: this new monthly is edited by Thomas Dunn English and published by T. H. Lane & Co., 304 Broadway. The first number, dated March, contains Poe's satiric review of George Jones's Ancient America, a book which attempts “to demonstrate the identity of our Aborigines with the Tyrians and Israelites, and the introduction of Christianity into the Western Hemisphere by one of the twelve Apostles in person.”

[1845] 12 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Poe's “Magazine Literature,” in which he notices English's Aristidean. With tongue in cheek he lauds the contents of the opening number, which include an essay and a poem expressing opposition to capital punishment: “Much is done in small compass. ‘Whom shall we hang?’ is a vigorous paper of just the right length, on a topic of precisely the right kind. ‘The Ropemaker’ [by English] is in verse, just such a paper as ‘Whom shall we hang?’ is in prose, and by this we intend a compliment, beyond doubt.” Poe's editorial is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 15 February.

[1845] 13 FEBRUARY. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. Longfellow's wife, Fanny Appleton Longfellow, writes his brother Samuel Longfellow, alluding to Nathaniel P. Willis’ 5 February defense of Poe's review of The Waif: “If you see the Mirror, you know how shabbily Willis tries to excuse Poe's insolence. Have you seen a curious poem by the latter entitled ‘The Raven,’ most artistically rhythmical but ‘nothing more,’ to quote its burden?” (Mrs. Longfellow, p. 116).

[1845] 14 FEBRUARY OR BEFORE. NEW YORK. George R. Graham asks Willis to publish a retraction of Poe's criticisms of Longfellow (Graham to Longfellow, 11 March).

[1845] 14 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror contains Willis’ flippant retraction:

To gratify a friend [Graham] we say that if our playful notice of our assistant [page 502:] critic's notice of “Longfellow's Waif,” a few days since, did not give the impression that we (Willis) fully dissented from our assistant as to the charge against Longfellow for enviously leaving out of his book such poets as competed with himself — dissented from all the disparagement of Longfellow in this review, and only let it pass for good reasons given at length in this same article — if that impression was not given, it was not the fault of the fullest intention to that effect. We meant to do so, and we think it was so understood, — but for a friend for whom we would do a much more unreasonable thing, we thus draw the nail and drive it again.

In another column Willis notices Graham's presence “in town.” The retraction is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 22 February.

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's sketch “Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House,” which relates the history of a “poor-devil author” who starves to death while waiting for a magazine publisher to pay him for his contribution. In an editorial headed “Thefts of American Authors,” Briggs objects to an accusation of plagiarism Poe brought against the American poet James Aldrich when reviewing Longfellow's The Waif. There is no similarity “sufficient to warrant the charge” between Aldrich's “A Death-Bed” and Thomas Hood's “The Death-Bed,” except “the measure and the subject, which are certainly not peculiar to Hood; the thoughts are by no means identical.”

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. The Evening Mirror publishes Poe's “Imitation — Plagiarism.” He explains his abhorrence of plagiarism, a “sin” which “involves the quintessence of meanness,” especially if committed by an established author. The article is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 22 February.

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. The Town, a weekly magazine devoted to satirizing the New York literati, reports: “Mr. EDGAR A. POE, has it in contemplation to publish a new five dollar Magazine. If a wide celebrity, as the most interesting and original of Magazine writers, and a fearless critic be of any avail, it may succeed — unless prevented by the overshadowing popularity of the Aristidean, by ‘Doctor Thomas DUNN ENGLISH, M.D.’ as he whilom wrote his name.”

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. The New World publishes Poe's revised tale “Ligeia;” which now incorporates for the first time his poem “The Conqueror Worm.” The weekly's editor Charles Eames comments:

We call attention to the powerful tale in this number of our paper by Edgar A. Poe, entitled LIGEIA. The force and boldness of the conception and the high artistic skill, with which the writer's purpose is wrought out, are equally admirable. Mark the exquisite art, which keeps constantly before the reader the ruined [page 503:] and spectre-haunted mind of the narrator, and so suggests a possible explanation of the marvels of the story, without in the least weakening its vigor as an exposition of the mystical thesis which the tale is designed to illustrate and enforce.

The story will be, we presume, entirely new to most of our readers. ... In our copy of LIGEIA, the author has put the last hand to his work, and improved it by several important changes and additions.

In this issue Eames also notices the American Review for February: “Edgar A. Poe, we believe under the ‘nom de plume’ of Quarles, gives a wild and shivery poem, which he calls the Raven. It is written in a Stanza unknown before to gods, men, and booksellers, but it fills and delights the ear strangely with its wild and clashing music. Everybody reads the Poem and praises it — justly we think, for it seems to us full of originality and power.”

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Robert Morris’ Pennsylvania Inquirer reprints “The Raven” from the Broadway Journal of 8 February, under the heading “A BEAUTIFUL POEM.”

[1845] 15 FEBRUARY. ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND. The Howard District Press, a weekly newspaper, reprints “The Raven” and Willis’ introduction from the Evening Mirror.

[1845] BEFORE 16 FEBRUARY. SOUTH ATTLEBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS. The young poet Abijah M. Ide, Jr., sends his “Bunker's Hill” to Poe, soliciting his opinion (Ide to Poe, 16 February).

[1845] 16 FEBRUARY. Ide replies to a letter from Poe:

I am very thankful to you for the manner in which you wrote to me of my Poem; and feel flattered by your opinion of its general merits. I feel your suggestions to be most appropriate, but I wish you had given your reason to [for] thinking the last stanza should be omitted. ... I am glad to learn that you have established yourself in New York; because I have learned to regard it as producing a better order of literature, than Philadelphia, and also, that in the former city, I may the more likely have the good fortune to meet you at some future time. I learn by a friend that you are connected with a publication, called the “Broadway Journal” which I have never seen. Your new magazine I presume is to be of a similar character: — a fearless critical monthly.

Since Ide's last letter to Poe, he has seen Graham's Magazine for February: “tho’ my praise may be little worth to you, I cannot refrain from saying that I have been exceedingly pleased with the ‘Haunted Palace,’ quoted in Mr. Lowell's article” (MB-G).

[1845] 17 FEBRUARY. NEW YORK. The Evening Mirror publishes Poe's “Plagiarism,” [page 504:] a reply to Briggs's editorial in the Broadway Journal of 15 February. Poe prints both Aldrich's poem and Hood's, pointing out ten similarities between them. He repeats his accusation: “somebody is a thief.” The Mirror also contains “The Owl: A Capital Parody on Mr. Poe's Raven” by “Sarles.” In this eighteen-stanza poem the narrator is disturbed “upon a midnight dreary” by “a flapping, flapping, flapping, flapping, flapping” outside his chamber door. He opens his shutter: “In there stepped a staring owl, one of the saintly days of yore.” The owl perches “upon a bursted band-box” above the chamber door and utters a single word “nevermore”:

But the owl he looked so lonely, saying that word and that only,

That a thimble-full of whiskey I did speedily outpour

In a tea-cup on the table, which, as well as I was able,

I invited him to drink of, saying there was plenty more —

But the owl he shook his head, and threw the whiskey on the floor,

Plainly saying, “nevermore!”


“What? a temperance owl, by thunder! Well, indeed ’tis no great wonder;

He has doubtless just now come from out the ‘Tabernacle’ door,

Where he's heard a temperance lecture, and has seen a fearful picture

Of the consequences of running up a whiskey-toddy score —

Of the evils brought by sixpence worth inside the pothouse door —

That it is, and nothing more.


Or this word so full of meaning is perhaps his only gleaning

In the field of human lore — doubtless his only stock and store,

Taught him by some drunken master, who by bailiffs and disaster

Aye was followed fast and faster, while the friends him did adjure,

Friends and cash, and hope which now he did no longer dare adjure,

Left him, and forevermore.”

Poe's article and the parody are reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 22 February.

[1845] 19 FEBRUARY. PHILADELPHIA. The Sun protests that Poe's “Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House,” published in the Broadway Journal of 15 February, is unfair to magazine publishers, citing the liberal payments given authors by George R. Graham and Louis A. Godey (Mabbott [1978], 3:1205).

[1845] 21 FEBRUARY. NEW YORK. Poe and John Bisco sign a contract. “Edgar A. Poe agrees to assist C. F. Briggs in the editorship of the ‘Broadway Journal’ published by John Bisco, to allow his name to be published as one of the Editors of said paper, to furnish each and every week original matter to the amount of, at least, one page of said paper, and to give his faithful [page 505:] superintendence to the general conduct of the same.” Bisco agrees to pay Poe “one-third of the profits arising from the said ‘Broadway Journal’ and to allow him to inspect the Books of the same whenever he may wish to do so” (Quinn, p. 751; Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 79-80).

[1845] 22 FEBRUARY. The Broadway Journal announces “that hereafter, EDGAR A. POE and HENRY C. WATSON, will be associated with the Editorial department .... MR. WATSON will have entire control of the Musical department.” Poe replies to the Philadelphia Sun of 19 February: “We are extremely happy to learn that GRAHAM paid COOPER fifteen hundred dollars in seventeen months, and that GODEY keeps almost as many ladies in his pay as the Grand Turk; but we have heard of writers, whose articles are certainly equal to any thing of COOPER’S that we have seen in Graham, to whom that munificent publisher pays nothing.”

[1845] 22 FEBRUARY. The Town reports:

EDGAR A. POE. This gentleman has become one of the editors of the “Evening Mirror.” We rejoice at the fact. We hope to see the columns of that paper relieved of much of the Miss Nancyism of Willis, and a more manly vigor infused into them. Poe must starch up “Mi-boy and the Brigadier,” [N. P. Willis and “General” George P. Morris] but at the same time keep the Mirror clean of all “Gold Bugs.”

PS. EDGAR has since gone into the Broadway Journal.

On another page the Town scoffs at Poe's review of Bulwer-Lytton's Poems: “A YOUNG MAN in the Broadway Journal of last week [actually 8 February issue], solemnly declares that BULWER is not a man of genius, but rather a clever little fellow, as a general thing. This young man in the Broadway Journal ought to hurry express haste to Washington and get out a patent right for his Discovery.”

[1845] 22 FEBRUARY. The New World reprints “THE RAVEN: By Quarles” from the American Review. In an adjoining column it publishes “THE VETO: By Snarles” a satire on municipal politicians; each of the eighteen stanzas parodies the adjacent stanza in Poe's poem:

Once upon an evening dreary, the Council pondered weak and weary,

Over many a long petition which was voted down a bore.

While they nodded, mostly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping at the Corporation's door —

“ 'Tis some petition,” then they muttered, “come to ask for something more —

Only this and nothing more.”


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

When the Tenth's respected member had possession of the floor, [page 506:]

When the rest were mostly napping — 'twas the President was tapping,

And so stoutly he was rapping, to drown the sleepers’ snore —

And this was all the rapping that they fancied at the door, —

Only this and nothing more.

[1845] 22 FEBRUARY. BUFFALO, NEW YORK. The Western Literary Messenger reprints “The Raven” with this introduction: “The following remarkable and powerful poem, by EDGAR A. POE, is from the second number of the American Review. It is a bold and original conception, sustained and wrought out with most admirable skill. The versification is new and ‘fills the ear with a wild and delightful music.’ ”

[1845] 24 FEBRUARY NEW YORK. Poe writes Rufus W. Griswold in Philadelphia. Shortly after his meeting with Griswold, Poe sent him all his poems “worth re-publishing” for possible inclusion in a revised edition of The Poets and Poetry of America. He is forwarding with this letter his “Mesmeric Revelation” and an excerpt from “Marginalia” for Griswold's forthcoming Prose Writers of America. He does not have ready access to samples of his literary criticism, but Griswold will find his reviews of “Flaccus” (Thomas Ward) and of Dickens’ novel Barnaby Rudge in Graham's Magazine. “In the tale line I send you ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ and ‘The Man that was used up’ — far more than enough, you will say — but you can select to suit yourself. I would prefer having in the ‘Gold Bug’ ... but have not a copy just now. If there is no immediate hurry for it, however, I will get one & send it you corrected” (L, 1:279-80).

[1845] 25 FEBRUARY. PHILADELPHIA. Lowell writes Briggs, commenting on the announcement in the Broadway Journal for 22 February: “I do not know whether to be glad or sorry that you have associated Poe and [Henry C.] Watson with you as editors. I do not know the last; the first is certainly able, but I think that there should never be more than one editor with any proprietary control over the paper. Its individuality is not generally so well preserved” (Lowell, 1:85).

[1845] 27 FEBRUARY. NEW YORK. The Daily Tribune reports:

THE POETS AND POETRY OF AMERICA. — Mr. Edgar A. Poe, so favorably known in many quarters as a Critic, lectures to-morrow evening, at the Society Library. To Mr. Poe's numerous admirers this announcement will be sufficient, and to those who may not have come within the sphere of his influence we recommend an attendance upon the lecture of this evening. Mr. Poe has shown himself to be a poet of no mean order, and it may hence be concluded that he will freely sympathize with the “Poets and Poetry of America.”

In the Evening Mirror Willis observes: “The decapitation of the criminal [page 507:] who did not know his head was off till it fell into his hand ... conveys an idea of the Damascene slicing of the critical blade of Mr. Poe. On Friday night we are to have his ‘Lecture on the Poets of America,’ and those who would witness fine carving will probably be there.”

[1845] BEFORE 28 FEBRUARY. In the New World for 1 March Charles Eames announces Poe's lecture: “We shall listen with great pleasure, and, we doubt not, with profit to Mr. Poe's views of the efforts of his brethren in an art, the theory and practice of which he knows so well.”

Society Library, New York [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 507, bottom]
The Society Library

[1845] 28 FEBRUARY. In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck comments:

MR. POE’S LECTURE AT THE SOCIETY LIBRARY FOR THIS EVENING. — We learn with pleasure that we are to have an opportunity of listening to this celebrated author to-night, on a topic which will bring out his rare and peculiar merits — nothing less than the Poets and Poetry of America. There are enough of poets in this city alone to fill the lecture room, and allowing the proportion of three claquers to each male, and five to each female author (a reasonable allowance), the house will overflow. We remember a good deal of noise being made about this lecture, on its delivery some time since in Philadelphia — proof presumptive that the author spoke his own mind and was worth listening to. ... What mode of discussion Mr. Poe will adopt, we cannot pretend to say; but the lecture will differ from anything he has ever done before, if it do[es] not prove novel, ingenious, and a capital antidote to dullness. [page 508:]

The Daily Tribune reminds its readers: “Those who love to see the blade of criticism wielded by a competent hand, will go and hear Mr. POE's Lecture.” The New York Herald predicts that the lecture “will doubtless be a great literary treat.”

[1845] 28 FEBRUARY. In the evening “some three hundred” persons attend Poe's lecture at the Society Library, corner of Broadway and Leonard Street (Daily Tribune, 1 March).

[1845] MARCH. In the “Editor's Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine, Lewis Gaylord Clark notices the American Review for February: “The very best thing in its pages is an unique, singularly imaginative, and most musical effusion, entitled ‘The Raven.’ We have never before, to our knowledge, met the author, Mr. EDGAR A. POE, as a poet; but if the poem to which we allude be a specimen of his powers in this kind, we shall always be glad to welcome him in his new department.”

[1845] MARCH. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger reprints “The Raven” with an introduction by Benjamin Blake Minor: “The following poem first appeared, we think, in the Evening Mirror; though intended for the American Review. It has since been frequently republished with the highest approbation. Still we take pleasure in presenting it to our readers, who must remember with delight many of the contributions of Mr. Poe to the Messenger.” Minor quotes the praise James Brooks accorded “The Raven” in the New York Morning Express of 5 February.

[1845] CA. MARCH. Minor writes Poe, inviting him to contribute a critical article to the Messenger each month, at “$3 a printed page” (implied by Minor's announcement in the April Messenger and by his letter to J. A. Harrison, W, 1:220-21).

[1845] 1 MARCH. NEW YORK. A reviewer in the Daily Tribune, probably Horace Greeley, comments:

EDGAR A. POE delivered a remarkable Lecture on American Poets and Poetry last evening, at the Society Library. It embodied much acute and fearless criticism, with some that did not strike us so favorably. The worst portion of the Lecture was the introduction, wherein Mr. P. indulged in indiscriminate and often unjust censure on whatever has hitherto aspired to be criticism in this Country, whether in the shape of Reviews, Magazines or Newspapers. ... But what he said of American Poetry, his proper theme, was generally well said, and was very direct and hearty. We object to his intimation that Sprague, and his broad assertion that Longfellow is a plagiarist. Of all critical cant, this hunting after coincidence of idea or phrase, often unavoidable, between authors, is the least endurable. ... [page 509:] On Bryant, Halleck, Dana, and Mrs. Osgood, Mr. P. discoursed satisfactorily, but we do think his quarter of an hour employed in demolishing the Poetical reputation of the Misses Davidson might have been better bestowed. ...  .

Mr. Poe writes better than he reads. His Lecture gained nothing from the graces of his elocution, and in one or two instances we thought the Poets suffered more from his recitation of their verses than from his most savage criticism. “Florence Vane” [by Philip Pendleton Cooke] was especially ill done. And this reminds us that Mr. P. closed with three [re]citations — “Unseen Spirits” by Willis, “Florence Vane,” (two admirable poems) and a “Heavenly” something [“The Heavenly Vision”] by Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, which seemed to us very middling sing song. ...

We are rather ashamed to add that this Lecture by a Poet and critic of genius and established reputation, was listened to but by some three hundred of our four hundred thousand people. Any dancing dog or summerseting monkey would have drawn a larger house. Why is this? Have we no taste? Merely as a source of information with regard to our National Poetry, the bare announcement should have sufficed to crown the house. — Shall we not have a repetition?

The review is reprinted in the Weekly Tribune for 8 March.

In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck comments:

A notice of Poe's lecture ... cannot of necessity be coldly discriminating, for it is written while under the spell of his genius and eloquence. In the exordium he gave a great and cutting description of the arts which are practised, with the aid of the periodical press, in obtaining unmerited reputation for literary worth. His observations upon this division of his subject extended also to the pernicious influence of coteries, and he did not hesitate to point to the Capital of New England [Boston] as the chief habitation, in this country, of literary hucksters and phrase mongers. Mr. Poe's manner was that of a versed and resolute man, applying to a hideous sore a keen and serviceable knife.

In speaking of the sisters Lucretia and Margaret Davidson, two sentimental poetesses who died before reaching adulthood, Poe observed that the “remarkable mental powers” they displayed in childhood “afforded no promise of their maturing to such splendid genius,” because “precocity is more apt to be followed by mediocrity than otherwise.” He evaluated the several anthologies of American poetry, pronouncing “Griswold's to be the best” and selecting “some ten or twelve” poets from it for further discussion. Poe's recitations displayed “force and pathos” and gave “undissembled pleasure” to the audience. “It would be difficult to exaggerate the merit of his closing disquisition on the general purposes and construction of poetical composition. Competent persons who heard it, will perhaps not decline to rank the author with a Hazlitt or a Coleridge.”

In the Evening Mirror Nathaniel P. Willis reviews the lecture: [page 510:]

After some general remarks on poetry and the uses of impartial criticism, Mr. Poe gently waked up the American Poetesses. He began with Mrs. Sigourney, whom he considered the best known, and who, he seemed to think, owed her famousness to the same cause as “old Boss Richards” — the being “kept before the people.” He spoke well of her poetry abstractly, but intimated that it was strongly be-Hemans’d .... He next came to Mrs. Welby as No. 2, and gave her wholesome muse some very stiff laudation. Mrs. Osgood came next, and for her he prophesied a rosy future of increasing power and renown. He spoke well of Mrs. Seba Smith ....

Of the inspired males Mr. Poe only took up the Copperplate Five — BRYANT, HALLECK, LONGFELLOW, SPRAGUE and DANA. These, as having their portraits engraved in the frontispiece of Griswold's “Poets and Poetry of America,” were taken to represent the country's poetry, and dropped into the melting-pot accordingly. Mr. BRYANT came first as the allowed best poet; but Mr. Poe, after giving him high praise, expressed a contempt for “public opinion,” and for the opinion of all majorities, in matters of taste, and intimated that Mr. Bryant's universality of approval lay in his keeping within very narrow limits, where it was easy to have no faults. HALLECK, Mr. Poe praised exceedingly, repeating with great beauty of elocution his “Marco Bozzaris.” LONGFELLOW, Mr. Poe said, had more genius than any other of the five, but his fatal alacrity at imitation made him borrow, when he had better at home. SPRAGUE, but for one drop of genuine poetry in a fugitive piece, was described by Poe as Pope and water. DANA found very little favour. Mr. Poe thought his metre harsh and awkward, his narrative ill-managed, and his conceptions eggs from other people's nests. With the Copperplate Five, the criticisms abruptly broke off, Mr. Poe concluding his lecture with the recitation of three pieces of poetry which he thought had been mistakenly put away, by the housekeeper of the Temple of Fame, among the empty bottles. Two of them were by authors we did not know, and the third was by ... ourself!

Poe's audience numbered “between two and three hundred” and consisted “of critics and poets,” who heard him “with breathless attention.” Willis describes Poe's manner on the rostrum: “He becomes a desk, — his beautiful head showing like a statuary embodiment of Discrimination; his accent drops like a knife through water, and his style is so much purer and clearer than the pulpit commonly gets or requires, that the effect of what he says, besides other things, pampers the ear.” The review is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 8 March.

[1845] 1 MARCH. In the Evening Mirror Willis publishes a long letter from a correspondent who signs himself “Outis,” the Greek word for “Nobody.” Outis strenuously objects to Poe's efforts “to convict Longfellow of imitation, and Aldrich and others, of plagiarism. ... Did no two men ever think alike, without stealing one from the other? or, thinking alike, did no two men ever use the same, or similar words, to convey the thoughts, and that, without any communication with each other?” Outis sees no evidence of plagiarism either in James Aldrich's “A Death-Bed” or Thomas [page 511:] Hood's “The Death-Bed”; he disputes Poe's demonstration of similarities in the 17 February Mirror. Parodying the procedure in Poe's article, Outis quotes “The Bird of the Dream,” an anonymous poem written years before; and he then enumerates fifteen “identities” between it and “The Raven,” showing how Poe himself might be convicted of plagiarism. “Now I shall not charge Mr. Poe with plagiarism .... Such criticisms only make the author of them contemptible, without soiling a plume in the cap of his victim. I have selected this poem of Mr. Poe's, for illustrating my remarks, because it is recent, and must be familiar to all the lovers of true poetry hereabouts.” The letter is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 8 March.

[1845] 1 MARCH. The Rover notices the controversy about Aldrich's reputed plagiarism from Hood, as debated in Briggs's editorial in the 15 February Broadway Journal and in Poe's reply in the 17 February Evening Mirror. The Rover observes that Hood's poem was published in 1831, nine years before Aldrich's: “We do not put our fingers in the charge against Mr. Aldrich, further than to remove suspicion of stain from the reputation of Mr. Hood; and, furthermore, we do not approve the Mirror's standard of criticism, for it leaves not a foundation stone on which to rest the reputation of most modern poets.”

[1845] 1 MARCH. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's review of Graham's Magazine for March.

[1845] 1 MARCH. William M. Gillespie, a minor author, writes Poe, discussing his lecture on the “Poets and Poetry of America”:

I was one of your delighted hearers last night, but have to complain that you tempted me to load my memory with so many points of thought and expression, that I carried off very imperfectly one passage which I particularly desired to remember — your characterization of Mrs. Osgood.

I had left her in the Astor house with her hat on awaiting the friend with whom she was coming to the lecture; but she was disappointed, and lost the pleasure of hearing you, which she had so eagerly anticipated, though not knowing that she would be noticed. I fear that she was not sufficiently en rapport with me to share my thrill of pleasure at the passage, and the applause which followed it; and therefore I ask of you the favor of giving me an opportunity to copy it from your manuscript, as I should be unwilling to give you that trouble (MB-G).

[1845] AFTER 1 MARCH. Mrs. Frances S. Osgood, an attractive poetess of thirty-three, meets Poe. She recalls:

My first meeting with the poet was at the Astor House. A few days previous, Mr. Willis had handed me, at the table d’hôte, that strange and thrilling poem entitled “The Raven,” saying that the author wanted my opinion of it. Its effect [page 512:] upon me was so singular, so like that of “wierd, unearthly music,” that it was with a feeling almost of dread, I heard he desired an introduction. Yet I could not refuse without seeming ungrateful, because I had just heard of his enthusiastic and partial eulogy of my writings, in his lecture on American Literature. I shall never forget the morning when I was summoned to the drawing-room by Mr. Willis to receive him. With his proud and beautiful head erect, his dark eyes flashing with the elective light of feeling and of thought, a peculiar, an inimitable blending of sweetness and hauteur in his expression and manner, he greeted me, calmly, gravely, almost coldly; yet with so marked an earnestness that I could not help being deeply impressed by it. From that moment until his death we were friends; although we met only during the first year of our acquaintance. ...

During that year, while travelling for my health, I maintained a correspondence with Mr. Poe, in accordance with the earnest entreaties of his wife, who imagined that my influence over him had a restraining and beneficial effect. It had, as far as this — that having solemnly promised me to give up the use of stimulants, he so firmly respected his promise and me, as never once, during our whole acquaintance, to appear in my presence when in the slightest degree affected by them (letter to R. W. Griswold, early 1850, quoted in Griswold [1850], p. xxxvii).

[1845] 2 MARCH. The New York Herald comments:

POETS AND POETRY OF AMERICA. — There was a goodly muster of the literati and the would-bes of this city on Friday evening, at the Society Library, to hear Mr. E. A. Poe deliver a lecture on this subject. More than one of them appeared to wince under the severity of his remarks, which were not a few .... The newspaper press, the monthly magazines, and the quarterlies came in alike for a meed of his censure, as being venal, ignorant, and entirely unfit to form a judgment on the most humblest [sic] productions of the writers of this country — of course, his own included — and [he] was particularly severe on “the Dunderheaded critics of Boston,” as he termed certain writers of that city. He then proceeded to criticise several writers personally — the ladies having the preference — and certainly they came in for no small share of his bile — each and every one to whom the public had awarded their approbation (among whom were some of the ablest writers of the old and new world) he censured the most. Mrs. Sigourney had been placed on a pinnacle of fame she did not merit — she was but a poor imitator of Mrs. Hemans — the writings of Misses Davidson were not worthy of the character they had received. — After treating the principal of the female writers of the country in this style generally at some length, and giving extracts from their writings as specimens — but for every good passage pointing out what he deemed ten bad ones — he proceeded to attack the male portion, if possible, in stronger terms. Kettle, Morris, Bryant, Keese, Griswold, Gaynor, Taylor, &c., came in for a share of his lash. There was not one, in his judgment, that came up to the proper standard of a poet — their writings, more or less, abounded in faults to a much greater extent than in beauties. The lecture throughout was the severest piece of criticism that has come within our recollection for some time, but in a very many instances we have yet to learn how far it is just. What the lecturer lacked in dispassionate judgment and expression, was made up by Latin and French adages [page 513:] and extracts; and certainly, if we are to judge from what he advanced on this occasion, and take him at his own valuation, he is the only man in the country that is able to write a poem, or form a proper judgment of the writings of others.

[1845] 3 MARCH. BOSTON. The Daily Atlas reports:

A chap named Poe, has been engaged in delivering a lecture on American Poets and Poetry, in the city of New York. In the course of some remarks upon this lecture, the New York Tribune says: “We are rather ashamed to add, that this lecture, by a poet and critic of genius and established reputation, was listened to but by some three hundred of our four hundred thousand people. Any dancing dog or sommerseting monkey would have drawn a larger house.”

The Tribune may think as it pleases — but we commend the taste of the 399,700 people, as far preferable to that of the 300, in this case. We should much prefer the dancing dog, or sommerseting monkey, to the man who could utter such remarks as this Poe is said to have made, in reference to the poetry of Sprague and Longfellow. If he was [sic] to come before a Boston audience with such stuff, they would poh at him at once.

[1845] 5 MARCH. The Evening Transcript reprints the report of Poe's lecture from the “Atlas of Monday.” Miss Cornelia Wells Walter, the editor of the Transcript, adds:

Somebody sent us the other day, an epitaph on a man named POE, of which the above [report from the Atlas] has reminded us. We know not in what burial place the record is made, but it runs as follows:

There lies, by Death's relentless blow,

A would-be critic here below;

His name was Poe

His life was woe:

You ask, “What of this Mister Poe?”

Why nothing of him that I know;

But echo, answering, saith — “Poh!

[1845] 6 MARCH OR LATER. NEW YORK. Poe writes William M. Gillespie that he will be unable to keep his appointment with Mrs. Osgood:

An unlucky contretemps, connected with the getting out of the “Journal” will, I fear, detain me until after 10 to night — too late for the appointment.

If you can (this evening) see Mrs O. & make any decent apology for me, I will be greatly obliged. Any evening (except to-morrow) I shall be disengaged, and will be happy to accompany you (L, 1:306).

[1845] BEFORE 8 MARCH. The publishers Wiley and Putnam agree to issue a new edition of Poe's tales in their forthcoming “Library of American Books” (Briggs to Lowell, 8 March). [page 514:]

[1845] 8 MARCH. The Town evaluates Poe's lecture: “It was worthy of its author — keen, cutting and withering, when it touched on the mountebanks of American literature; and full of faith and hope, when it spoke of the future. Among the mountebanks, a man named GRISWOLD, who is a Reverend and who is not a Reverend, received his proper share of castigation.” In the New World Charles Eames comments: “We were unable to hear Mr. Poe's lecture ... but it has been universally spoken of as a strong and spirited performance. Mr. Poe has been urged to repeat it, and we trust he will comply with the request.”

[1845] 8 MARCH. The Broadway Journal now identifies its staff on its masthead: “C. F. BRIGGS, EDGAR A. POE, H. C. WATSON, EDITORS.” The journal publishes the first of five installments of “IMITATION — PLAGIARISM — MR. POE's REPLY TO THE LETTER OF OUTIS — A LARGE ACCOUNT OF A SMALL MATTER — A VOLUMINOUS HISTORY OF THE LITTLE LONGFELLOW WAR.” Poe reprints the letter of “Outis” from the Evening Mirror of 1 March, asking: “Is it altogether impossible that a critic be instigated to the exposure of a plagiarism, or still better, of plagiarism generally wherever he meets it, by a strictly honorable and even charitable motive?” The Journal also carries a letter “to the Editor” from Poe, who discusses his 28 February lecture. On this occasion he told “an audience made up chiefly of editors and their connexions” an unpleasant truth: “I told these gentlemen to their teeth that, with a very few noble exceptions, they had been engaged for many years in a system of indiscriminate laudation of American books — a system which, more than any other one thing in the world, had tended to the depression of that ‘American Literature’ whose elevation it was designed to effect. ... Could I, at the moment, have invented any terms more explicit, wherewith to express my contempt of our general editorial course of corruption and puffery, I should have employed them.”

[1845] 8 MARCH. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia:

Poe is only an assistant to me, and will in no manner interfere with my own way of doing things. It was requisite that I should have his or some other person's assistance on account of my liability to be taken off from the business of the paper, and as his name is of some authority I thought it advisable to announce him as an editor. ... Poe has left the Mirror. Willis was too Willisy for him. Unfortunately for him (Poe) he has mounted a very ticklish hobby just now, Plagiarism which he is bent on riding to death, and I think the better way is to let him run down as soon as possible by giving him no check. Wiley & Putnam are going to publish a new edition of his tales and sketches. Every body has been raven mad about his last poem, and his lecture, which W[illiam Wetmore] Story went with me to hear, has gained him a dozen or two of waspish foes who will do him more good than harm (MiDAAA-P). [page 515:]

[1845] 8 MARCH. PHILADELPHIA. Lowell writes Longfellow in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “Somebody has been mixing me up with the foolish controversy about the ‘Waif.’ “Lowell never dreamed of attributing his omission from Longfellow's anthology to the cause implied by Poe in his review for the Evening Mirror: “But as I had written a life of Mr. Poe I thought some of your friends might imagine I jogged Mr. Poe's elbow in the criticism. I have had no communication with him, ... since nearly two months before the appearance of the ‘Waif.’ I say frankly your copying any verse of mine into that pleasant little volume never occurred to me” (Phillips, 2:972-73).

[1845] 10 MARCH. NEW YORK. Poe writes George R. Graham in Philadelphia:

I believe that you feel a delicacy in publishing my criticism on Longfellow's “Spanish Student”; and, perhaps, upon the whole, it would be for your interest not to do it, as, in a Magazine such as yours, you could not well manage to fight out the battle with Longfellow's coterie in Boston, which would be the result of your publishing it. But, with me, the case is very different, and if I can only get them all fairly down upon me, I shall know precisely what to do. I will, therefore, be very grateful to you if you will let me have the article back. I will write you, in place of it, any thing you may suggest — or I will advertise your Magazine conspicuously in the “Broadway Journal” to the amount of the $30 — or I will refund you the money, as soon as I can place my hands upon it.

On a separate sheet Poe itemizes his financial dealings with Graham's Magazine:

“We were square when I sold you the ‘Versification’ article; for which you gave me first 25, and afterward 7 —

in all   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    $32.00

Then you bought “The Gold Bug” for   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    52.00


I got both these back, so that I owed   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    $84.00

You lent Mrs. Clemm   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    12.50


Making in all   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    $96.50

The Review of ‘Flaccus’ was 3 3/4 pp, which, at $4, is 15.00  

Lowell's poem is   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .      .   .   .   . 10.00  

The review of Channing, 4 pp is 16, of which I got 6, leaving   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    10.00  

The review of Halleck, 4 pp. is 16, of which I got 10, leaving   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    6.00  

The review of Reynolds, 2 pp.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .      .   .   .   .   .   . 8.00  

The review of Longfellow, 5 pp. is 20, of which I got 10, leaving   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    10.00  


So that I have paid in all   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .      .   .   .   .   .   .   . 59 00 


Which leaves still due by me   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .      .   .   .   .   .   . $37.50

(L, 1:272-73, 2:710-11). [page 516:]

[1845] 11 MARCH. PHILADELPHIA. Graham writes Longfellow in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “What has ‘broke loose’ in Poe? I see he is down on you in New York papers and has written demanding return of Review I mentioned he had written for me. If he sends money or another article I shall be obliged to let him have it. ... Mr. Willis made a disclaimer of being an endorser of Poe's views, at my request. I cannot see what Poe says now, can hurt you” (Phillips, 2:978).

[1845] 13 MARCH. ITHACA, NEW YORK. Jedediah Hunt, Jr., the editor of the National Archives, reviews the Broadway Journal for 8 March in his weekly newspaper. Hunt praises the Journal as “a prize” among periodicals:

As a critical tattler, we know of none other which seems to give a more candid review of the works of authors. We own, notwithstanding, that we have cherished rather of a sour feeling towards one of the editors — Mr. POE in times past, for his sarcastic, and what to us then appeared malicious criticism on others’ productions. All who have read “Graham” for the last two or three years — will corroborate our statement, and there breathes not a man, having any pretensions to authorship, who so flinchingly squirms at the strictures of others, than does Mr. POE. This may be seen in the No. now before us. (No. 10, vol. 1) One quarter of the paper is made use of by Mr. POE, endeavoring to smooth over and give diminutiveness to what a writer for the Mirror, calling himself “Outis,” and some of the other papers have said of him, respecting his late lecture on the “Poets and Poetry of America,” and his Plagiarisms. It is a very true remark, that a Joker will rarely ever receive one in return, good naturedly; and this is to a great extent true of Mr. POE. But we will “pass all his imperfections by” and to show that we are not blind to his good qualities, we will say that, as a writer, on general topics, Mr. POE, undoubtedly, stands on an equal with the best of his class.

[1845] 15 MARCH. NEW YORK. The Rover announces that it will publish “an original poem by the lamented and highly gifted Margaret Davidson” in its next number: “By-the-bye — was it not rather uncalled for — the manner in which Mr. Poe spoke of these talented girls [Lucretia and Margaret Davidson] in his late Lecture? We think so. They did not write for criticism — at least such criticism as his; and it is a pity that a lamb shall not stray beyond its fold without being pounced upon by an undiscriminating wolf. Mr. Poe must not be too ravenous, lest he provoke the judgment of the gods.”

[1845] 15 MARCH. The Broadway Journal contains the second installment of Poe's reply to “Outis.” He agrees with Outis’ position that two persons can “think alike” without one or the other being guilty of plagiarism. As an example, Poe observes that Outis no doubt considers him “a fool” and that this same idea is independently “entertained by Mr. Aldrich, and by Mr. Longfellow — and by Mrs. Outis and her seven children — and by Mrs. [page 517:] Aldrich and hers — and by Mrs. Longfellow and hers.” In an article on “Satirical Poems,” Poe condemns such crude American satires as John Trumbull's M’Fingal and Laughton Osborn's The Vision of Rubeta, which manifest the colonial tendency to imitate the mother country. The former is “a faint echo from ‘Hudibras’ ”; the latter, “an illimitable gilded swill-trough overflowing with Dunciad and water.” The Journal reprints Poe's revised tale “Lionizing” (under the heading “Some Passages in the Life of a Lion”) and Philip Pendleton Cooke's “Florence Vane,” a poem “recited by Mr. Poe in his late Lecture.”

[1845] 15 MARCH. The poetess Mary E. Hewitt writes Poe from her quarters at the Athenaeum Hotel: “Mr. [William M.] Gillespie tells me that he has mentioned to you the singular coincidence that I related to him, of the simultaneous appearance of your admirable poem, ‘The Raven,’ and the receipt of a letter by myself from a very dear brother resident in Manilla, containing a marvelous history of a ‘white bird,’ the which, although the very opposite of the ‘raven,’ struck me as being so singularly like it in groundwork as to constitute a ‘remarkable coincidence.’ ” Mrs. Hewitt has composed a verse “paraphrase” of this fable, entitled “A Tale of Luzon,” which she encloses. She is also forwarding her brother's letter, thinking that Poe might like “to see the story as told in the original prose” (Mabbott [1937], pp. 116-17).

[1845] 15 MARCH. WOODLANDS, SOUTH CAROLINA. William Gilmore Simms writes Evert A. Duyckinck in New York:

I am glad that you think and speak well of Poe, which [Cornelius] Mathews was not disposed to do though I tried to open his eyes to the singular merits of that person. Poe is no friend of mine, as I believe. He began by a very savage attack on one of my novels — the Partisan. ... I do not puff the man when I say I consider him a remarkable one. He has more real imaginative power than 99 in the 100 of our poets & tale writers. His style is clear & correct, his conceptions bold & fanciful, his fancies vivid, and his taste generally good. His bolder effects are impaired by his fondness for detail & this hurts his criticism which is too frequently given to the analysis of the inferior points of style, making him somewhat regardless of the more noble features of the work. But, I repeat, he is a man of remarkable power, to whom I shall strive one day to do that justice which a great portion of our public seems desirous to withhold (Simms, 2:42-43).

[1845] 15 MARCH. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. Longfellow replies to Lowell's 8 March letter:

I regret as much as you do, that your name should have been dragged into the “Waif Controversy.” Willis, and he alone, is to blame for this. He first connected you with the matter in a letter to [Charles] Sumner; and then published an extract [page 518:] from Sumner's answer, which was private, and not intended for any eye but Willis's. In fact, I have from the beginning, known as little about this whole affair, as you. [George S.] Hillard wrote the first letter, without my knowledge. Then Summer wrote three or four private letters of expostulation to Willis, partly without my knowledge and partly against my request to the contrary. Who wrote the long epistle copied into the “Broadway Journal” I do not know. I have had nothing to do with the discussion, and shall have nothing to do with it; as I consider, with you, life too precious to be wasted in street brawls (Shuman, pp. 155-56; also in Longfellow [1972], 3:57-58).

[1845] 16 MARCH. STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia:

Poe is a monomaniac on the subject of plagiarism, and I thought it best to allow him to ride his hobby to death in the outset and be done with it. It all commenced with myself. When he was in the Mirror office he made, what I thought, a very unjustifiable charge against my friend Aldrich, who is one of the best fellows in the world, and I replied to it as you saw. Somebody in Boston, “Outis,” whose name I forget, replied to P[oe] on behalf of Longfellow and Aldrich, and so the war began. It will end, as it began, in smoke. But it will do us some good by calling public attention to our paper. Poe is a much better fellow than you have an idea of. Wiley and Putnam have a new edition of his tales in press (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 16 MARCH. NEW YORK. Mrs. Frances S. Osgood writes a friend, possibly Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman of Providence, Rhode Island:

Did you see how beautifully Mr Edgar Poe spoke of me in his lecture on the Poets — the other night? — He recited a long poem of mine exquisitely, they said — & praised me very highly — He is called the severest critic of the day — so it was a real compliment — & he did not know me then — I was introduced to him afterwards — & like him very much — They say when mine was recited — the audience applauded for the first time. I had four invitations to go — but had company & couldn’t (RPB-W).

[1845] 17 MARCH. Poe writes Jedediah Hunt, Jr., in Ithaca, New York: “There is something in the tone of your article on ‘The Broadway Journal’ (contained in the ‘Archives’ of the 13th.) which induces me to trouble you with this letter.” Poe recognizes the author of this article as “an educated, an honest, a chivalrous, but ... a somewhat over-hasty man.” He explains his conduct as a critic in order that Hunt may be his friend without reservations: “Let me put it to you as to a frank man of honor — Can you suppose it possible that any human being could pursue a strictly impartial course of criticism for 10 years (as I have done in the S. L. Messenger and in Graham's Magazine) without offending irreparably a host of authors and their connexions? — but because these were offended, and gave vent at every [page 519:] opportunity to their spleen, would you consider my course an iota the less honorable on that account?” (L, 1:282-84).

[1845] 19 MARCH. STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK. Briggs replies to a letter from Lowell in Philadelphia, who has objected to Poe's reference to “Mrs. Longfellow” in the 15 March Broadway Journal:

I think that you are too sensitive in regard to Longfellow; I really do not see that he [Poe] has said anything offensive about him, I am sure not half as bad as I have heard you say, and the allusion to Mrs L[ongfellow], was only a playful allusion to an abstract Mrs L, for Poe did not know even that L was married; look at the thing again and you will see that it contains nothing offensive. Poe has, indeed, a very high admiration for Longfellow and so he will say before he is done. For my own part I did not use to think well of Poe, but my love for you, and implicit confidence in your judgment, led me to abandon all my prejudices against him, when I read your account of him. The Rev Mr Griswold of Phila told me some abominable lies about him, but a personal acquaintance with him has induced me to think highly of him (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 20 MARCH. NEW YORK. Poe acknowledges Mrs. Hewitt's letter and “little package” of 15 March:

The coincidence to which you call my attention is certainly remarkable, and the story as narrated by your brother is full of a rich interest, no particle of which, most assuredly, is lost in your truly admirable paraphrase. I fear, indeed, that my enthusiasm for all that I feel to be poetry, has hurried me into some indiscretion touching the “Tale of Luzon”. Immediately upon reading it, I took it to the printer, and it is now in type for the “Broadway Journal” of this week [22 March issue]. As I re-peruse your note, however, (before depositing it among my most valued autographs) I find no positive warrant for the act — I am by no means sure that you designed the poem for our paper (Ostrom [1974], p. 523).

[1845] 20 MARCH. Poe apparently writes the actress Anna Cora Mowatt, identifying himself as the drama critic of the Broadway Journal and asking to see the manuscript of her forthcoming comedy Fashion. Her reply should be addressed to 154 Greenwich Street (Ostrom [1974], pp. 524-25).

[1845] 20 MARCH. In the evening Mrs. Mowatt sends Poe a copy of Fashion: “I have not a more legible manuscript of the Comedy to submit to your perusal, or even one containing all the corrections made at the suggestion of critical advisers. The only fair copy is in the hands of the managers, and that I could not procure. Your criticisms will be prized — I am sorry that they could not have been made before preparations for the performance of the Comedy had progressed so far” (W, 17:207-08; also in E. W. Barnes, pp. 104-05). [page 520:]

[1845] 21 MARCH. PHILADELPHIA. Lowell replies to Briggs's letter of 19 March:

The Rev. Mr. Griswold is an ass & what's more a knave, & even if he had said anything against Poe, I should not have believed it. But neither he nor any one else ever did. I remain of my old opinion about the allusion to Mrs. Longfellow. I remain of my old opinion about Poe, & I have no doubt that Poe estimates L's poetical abilities more highly than I do, perhaps, but I nevertheless do not like his two last articles. I still think Poe an invaluable contributor, but I like such articles as his review of Miss Barrett better than these last (Hull, pp. 496-97).

[1845] 21 MARCH. NEW YORK. Mrs. Hewitt replies to Poe's letter of 20 March: “I certainly intended to place the ‘Tale of Luzon’ quite at your disposal — and beg you to believe that I appreciate highly the kindness that has prompted your favorable notice of my lines. After the ‘RAVEN,’ my verse seemed to me but a broken chime — and since sending it to you, I have wondered at my own temerity. I shall be proud to see it published in the columns of the ‘Broadway Journal’ ” (Mabbott [1937], pp. 117-18).

[1845] 22 MARCH. The Broadway Journal contains the third installment of Poe's reply to “Outis,” as well as his notice of the Southern Literary Messenger:

The Messenger has always been a favorite with the people of the South and West, who take a singular pride in its support. Its subscribers are almost without exception the élite, both as regards wealth and intellectual culture, of the Southern aristocracy, and its corps of contributors are generally men who control the public opinion of the Southerners on all topics. ...

Mr. [Benjamin Blake] Minor is about to make some important improvements in the work, with a view of extending the circulation among ourselves here in the North and East, and we shall not fail to do our part in this endeavour. The New-York agent is Mr. John Bisco, publisher of the “Broadway Journal,” 153 Broadway. Any communications or subscriptions for the Messenger, may be forwarded either to him or to Edgar A. Poe, at the same office.

On another page the Journal carries an advertisement for the Messenger.

[1845] 22 MARCH. The Weekly News reports: “Wiley & Putnam have in press a volume of ‘Tales by Edgar A. Poe’ ” (Tanselle [1962], p. 252).

[1845] 24 MARCH. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia: “Poe's Longfellow war, which, by the way, is all on one side, has annoyed a good deal, but since I allowed him to begin it, without any expectation of his making more than one article on it, I could not cut it off until he had made a finish of it in his own way. ... I presume it will in some quarters do us an injury, but I hope that Longfellow is too good a fellow to take it much to heart. ... I had supposed from what I have heard you say about the Longfellow clique that you were entirely out of the reach of its circles and cared not the snap of your finger about any of them” (MiDAAA-P). [page 521:]

[1845] 25 MARCH. The Evening Mirror contains “The Craven: BY POH!” — an advertisement:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while with toil and care quite weary,

I was pondering on man's proneness to deceitfulness and guile,

Soon I fell into a seeming state ’twixt wakefulness and dreaming,

When my mind's eye saw a scheming fellow counterfeiting Soap —

Yes! counterfeiting GOURAUD's matchless Medicated Soap;

Twisting sand into a rope! ....


I said — “thou man of evil (I will not call thee devil,)

Get thee back into the darkness and the night's Plutonian shore!

By my fame thou hast a token, that the spells which thou hast spoken,

Are scattered all, and broken! Craven, wilt thou now give o’er,

And never counterfeit my Soap or Poudres any more?”

Quoth the craven — “Never more!”

Dr. F. FELIX GOURAUD, of 67 Walker street, again deems it necessary to caution the public against purchasing any imitations of his matchless Italian Medicated Soap, incomparable Poudres Subtiles and marvellous Grecian Hair Dye.

[1845] 26 MARCH. Mrs. Mowatt's comedy Fashion opens at the Park Theatre; Poe attends the first performance as well as several successive repetitions (E. W. Barnes, pp. 96-115; Poe in Broadway Journal, 5 April).

[1845] 28 MARCH. BOSTON. The Liberator, a weekly newspaper devoted to the cause of abolition, publishes a letter from Robert Carter, Lowell's friend and former partner. Carter denounces the Broadway Journal for favorably noticing the Southern Literary Messenger in its 22 March issue:

The style and matter of the Messenger, are chiefly of the kind expressively denominated “sophomoric” .... Its principles are of the vilest sort, its aim being to uphold the “peculiar institution,” to decry the colored race, to libel the abolitionists .... This miserable magazine, the Broadway Journal not only puffs, but gratuitously solicits and offers to receive subscriptions for it, besides inserting a standing advertisement; and with contemptible cunning, to catch the aristocrats among its readers, it repeatedly makes the alluring statement, that the supporters of the Messenger are “the elite of the Southern aristocracy,” and that “it is the principal organ of Southern opinion”!! Precious inducements, truly, to Northern democratic freemen!

[1845] 28 MARCH. NEW YORK. Briggs writes the painter William Page in Boston:

I have received a letter from Carter, in which the gentle creature informs me that he has been abusing me in the Emancipator [the Liberator], or rather abusing the Journal, because the last number contained an advertisement of the South Lit. Messenger. I must confess that I never read the advertisement, and did not know [page 522:] that it was in the Journal until I got Carter's letter. He speaks of my course in regard to reform. In God's name I would like to know what he means. I have half a mind, indeed, I have a whole mind to turn reformer and try to reform the abolitionists of their wretched bad manners and worse principles. ...

The Southern Lit Messenger, as far as I know, is as innocent of meaning of any kind as a blank sheet of paper. I really believe, upon my soul, that the abolitionists care no more about slavery than the devil himself does. ... Don’t stay in Boston until the atmosphere of the place infects you (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 29 MARCH. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's lengthy review of Mrs. Mowatt's Fashion, as well as the fourth installment of his reply to “Outis.” Poe defends himself against Outis’ accusation that he has been given to the “wholesale mangling” of authors: “no man can point to a single critique, among the very numerous ones which I have written during the last ten years, which is either wholly fault-finding or wholly in approbation; nor is there an instance to be discovered, among all that I have published, of my having set forth, either in praise or censure, a single opinion upon any critical topic of moment, without attempting, at least, to give it authority by something that wore the semblance of a reason.” In a notice “To Correspondents,” the editors of the Journal acknowledge the poems contributed by “Kate Carol” and “Violet Vane” (pseudonyms used by Mrs. Osgood).

[1845] APRIL. The American Review contains Poe's tale “Some Words with a Mummy” and his two revised poems “The Valley of Unrest” and “The City in the Sea.”

[1845] APRIL. In the Democratic Review Evert A. Duyckinck comments: “There were some things in Mr. Poe's Lecture on the American Poets at the Society Library which appeared out of harmony with the general tone of his remarks, but they were slight, unworthy of being mentioned alongside of the devoted spirit in which he advocated the claims and urged the responsibilities of literature.” In another article Duyckinck notices the discussion of plagiarism Poe has been conducting “for some weeks past” in the Broadway Journal: “While it is necessary that something should be said on this point, there is also great danger that the thing may be carried too far. There is no literary question which requires more discrimination, greater nicety of apprehension and occasionally more courage. We appreciate the latter quality in Mr. Poe.”

[1845] APRIL. In his Merchants’ Magazine Freeman Hunt praises the Broadway Journal: “Its criticisms are discriminating and just, and impress the reader with the conviction that they are made in all fairness, sincerity, and [page 523:] candor. We admire its elevated tone, and independent and manly bearing, and are gratified to learn that it is in ‘the full tide of successful experiment.’ It is the nearest approach to our beau ideal of what a literary Journal should be.”

[1845] APRIL. In the “Editor's Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine, Lewis Gaylord Clark comments: “We have already encountered one or two parodies upon Mr. POE's ‘Raven,’ but have seen nothing so faithful to the original ... as one which has been sent us, entitled ‘The Black Cat.’ ” This parody features “a huge Black Cat, ... between ‘whom’ and the writer there ensues a colloquy, which is quite like the conversation carried on between Mr. POE and ‘The Raven.’ ” Clark excerpts six stanzas from “The Black Cat.”

[1845] APRIL. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger carries an announcement by its editor Benjamin Blake Minor: “we have engaged the services of Mr. Poe; who will contribute monthly a critique raisonnée of the most important forthcoming works in this Country and in Europe.”

[Poe did not become a regular contributor at this time, although he forwarded two reviews published in the May Messenger.]

[1845] 2 APRIL. NEW YORK. Duyckinck writes William Gilmore Simms in Woodlands, South Carolina. He has become the literary editor of the Democratic Review; Simms will see his “initial efforts” in the April number. “The articles on ... Poe's Lecture, Longfellow's Plagiarism &c are mine” (NNC).

[1845] 2 APRIL. Poe writes W. Dinneford, manager of Palmo's Theatre, requesting the customary free admission accorded representatives of the press. As the drama critic of the Broadway Journal, Poe is anxious “to do Justice” to Palmo's forthcoming production of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone (Dinneford to Poe, 15 April).

[1845] 5 APRIL. The Broadway Journal contains the fifth and final installment of Poe's reply to “Outis,” as well as his revised tale “Berenice” and his favorable review of W. Newnham's Human Magnetism, a treatise on mesmerism. He modifies the opinion he expressed of Mrs. Mowatt's Fashion in last week's Journal, based only on the manuscript of this comedy and its first performance. Having “been to see it every night since,” Poe now believes its thesis to be original: “We can call to mind no drama, just now, in which the design can be properly stated as the satirizing of fashion as fashion.” In “So Let It Be” by “Violet Vane,” Mrs. Osgood addresses Poe, alluding to his happy marriage with Virginia: [page 524:]

The fair, fond girl, who at your side,

Within your soul's dear light, doth live,

Could hardly have the heart to chide

The ray that Friendship well might give.


But if you deem it right and just,

Blessed as you are in your glad lot,

To greet me with that heartless tone,

So let it be! I blame you not!

[1845] 5 APRIL. BALTIMORE. In the Saturday Visiter Joseph Evans Snodgrass notices this month's Southern Literary Messenger: “We observe with approbation, that the powerful pen of Edgar A. Poe has been engaged for the critical department.”

[1845] 7 APRIL. NEW YORK. Poe signs a receipt: “Received of John Bisco ten dollars, on account of the Southern Literary Messenger” (L, 2:521).

[1845] 10 APRIL. Briggs writes William Page in Boston. He has just read Robert Carter's attack on the Broadway Journal in the Liberator of 28 March: “The poor fellow [Carter] is certainly crazy .... I never had the most remote idea of making the B.J. an abolition paper .... I cannot afford to publish a radical reform paper, for I could get no readers if I did. ... I engaged Poe's services almost entirely on the score of Lowell's and Carter's recommendations .... It was he who wrote the notice about the Southern Magazine which Carter objects to” (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] 11 APRIL. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints Poe's “Berenice” from the Broadway Journal of 5 April (Mabbott [1978], 2:208).

[1845] BEFORE 12 APRIL. NEW YORK. C. Shepard, Publisher, 191 Broadway, issues the second edition of George Vandenhoffs A Plain System of Elocution, which contains compositions in prose and verse suitable for “Practice in Oratorical, Poetical, and Dramatic Reading and Recitation.” Among the works selected is “The Raven,” now printed in a book for the first time.

[1845] 12 APRIL. The Morning News notices Vandenhoffs Elocution: “We are pleased to see Mr. Poe's ‘Raven’ thus early domesticated as a classic production in a work of this kind.” The review is reprinted in the Weekly News for 19 April.

[1845] 12 APRIL. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's essay “Anastatic Printing,” as well as his favorable reviews of Charles Anthon's A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Francis Fauvel-Gouraud's Phreno-Mnemotechny; Or, [page 525:] The Art of Memory, and Vandenhoffs Elocution. In noticing the Southern Literary Messenger for April, he objects to its unperceptive critique of Elizabeth Barrett Barrett: “The critic merely shows that her poetry is no poetry to him. She is unquestionably, in spite of her numerous faults, the most glorious woman of her age — the queen of all female poets.” Poe condemns the contemporary version of Sophocles’ Antigone being performed at Palmo's Theatre: “The idea of reproducing a Greek play before a modern audience is the idea of a pedant and nothing beyond .... Many persons will be curious to understand the mode in which the Greeks wrote dramas and performed them — but, alas! no person should go to Palmo's for such understanding.” The Journal prints two poems by Mrs. Osgood, “Love's Reply” under her own name and “Spring” under the pseudonym “Violet Vane.”

[1845] 12 APRIL. Briggs writes Lowell in Philadelphia:

Carter's strange letter in the Boston Liberator has annoyed me excessively. ... The [New York agency of the] Southern Literary Messenger was offered to Mr Bisco, and he asked me if he had better accept of the agency, I told him by all means .... Bisco asked Poe to write an advertisement for him and having once been the editor of the Messenger he glorified it, perhaps, a little too much. ... Poe's criticisms upon Longfellow I thought unjust, improper and in bad taste, but he thought otherwise, of course (MiDAAA-P).

[1845] AFTER 12? APRIL. Poe forwards reviews of Anthon's Dictionary and Fauvel-Gouraud's Phreno-Mnemotechny to the Southern Literary Messenger. In these notices he enlarges upon his favorable comments on the two books in the Broadway Journal of 12 and 19 April.

[Benjamin Blake Minor later wrote J. A. Harrison: “He [Poe] sent me two or three articles entirely unworthy of him, and the magazine. Still, they were published and paid for” (W, 1:220-21).]

[1845] 15 APRIL. W. Dinneford, the manager of Palmo's Theatre, writes Poe:

In your note of the 2d inst. you request of me the favor of being placed on the free list of this theatre, because (as your letter says) you were anxious “to do Justice to ‘Antigone’ on its representation.” Your name was accordingly placed on the free list. Your Critique has appeared, in the Broadway Journal, characterized, much more by ill nature and an illiberal spirit, than by fair and candid, or even just criticism. —

In justice therefore to MYSELF, I have withdrawn your name from the free list. I am always prepar’d to submit, as a catererer [sic] for public amusement, to any just remarks, though they may be severe, but I do not feel MYSELF called upon to offer facilities to any one, to do me injury by animadversions evidently marked by ill feeling (printed in the 19 April Journal). [page 526:]

[1845] 16 APRIL. Poe signs a receipt: “Received of John Bisco three dollars on a/c of Southern L. Messenger” (L, 2:521).

[1845] 16 APRIL. The Evening Mirror comments: “Those who would like to hear a fine specimen of unsparing critical analysis and good delivery, have the opportunity in Mr. Poe's repetition of his famous Lecture to-morrow evening at the Society Library.”

[1845] 17 APRIL. The Daily Tribune, the New York Herald, and the Evening Mirror carry this advertisement:

THE LECTURE ON AMERICAN POETRY, lately delivered by Edgar A. Poe, will be repeated by him This Evening (Thursday), at 7 1/2 o’clock, at the Society Library. Tickets 25 cents — to be had at the door.

In a brief editorial the Tribune describes the lecture as “pungent and amusing although perhaps not in all respects judicious.”

[1845] 17 APRIL. Alexander T. Crane, the office boy of the Broadway Journal, witnesses the cancellation of Poe's lecture:

The night set for the second lecture was a very bad one. It stormed incessantly, with mingled rain and hail and sleet. In consequence there were scarcely a dozen persons present when Poe came upon the platform and announced that, under the circumstances, the lecture could not be given, and those in the audience would receive their money back at the door. I was one of those present, as Poe had given me a complimentary ticket to the lecture, and badly as I was disappointed, I could see upon his face that my master was much more so. It was a little thing, it is true, but he was a man easily upset by little things. The next morning he came to the office, leaning on the arm of a friend, intoxicated with wine (Crane, p. 34).

[1845] 18 APRIL. The New York Herald reports: “POSTPONED. — Mr. Poe did not deliver his lecture on Shakspeare [sic] last night — there not being more than between thirty and forty persons present at the appointed hour, which was probably owing to the state of the weather.” The Evening Mirror comments: “Mr. Poe postponed his lecture ... in consequence of the inclemency of the weather.”

[The Daily Tribune, 19 April, complained that New Yorkers had been subjected to “sour, spitting North-East weather” for the past “two or three days.”]

[1845] 19 APRIL. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's essay “Street-Paving” and his revised tale “Bon-Bon.” He concludes his review of Fauvel-Gouraud's Phreno-Mnemotechny, begun in last week's issue. Under the heading “Achilles’ Wrath,” he prints W. Dinneford's 15 April letter with a pungent commentary: “We told him [Dinneford] that we meant to do him [page 527:] justice — and we did it.” Poe wishes to call public attention “to the peculiar character of the conditions which managers such as this have the impudence to avow, as attached to the privilege of the free list. No puff no privilege, is the contract.”

[1845] 19 APRIL. The New World publishes “A Vision” by “Snarles,” a parody of “The Raven” satirizing “all the City's Press,” in which “Each paper seemed personified, by goblins strange and tall.” The narrator's description of the Broadway Journal refers to Poe's fearless criticism:

Then with step sedate and stately, as if thrones had borne him lately,

Came a bold and daring warrior up the distant echoing floor;

As he passed the COURIERS Colonel, then I saw THE BROADWAY JOURNAL,

In a character supernal, on his gallant front he bore,

And with stately step and solemn marched he proudly through the door,

As if he pondered, evermore.


With his keen sardonic smiling, every other care beguiling,

Right and left he bravely wielded a double-edged and broad claymore,

And with gallant presence dashing, ’mid his confreres stoutly clashing,

He unpityingly went slashing, as he keenly scanned them o’er,

While with eye and mien undaunted, such a gallant presence bore,

As might awe them, evermore.


Neither rank nor station heeding, with his foes around him bleeding,

Sternly, singly, and alone, his course he kept upon that floor;

While the countless foes attacking, neither strength nor valor lacking,

On his goodly armor hacking, wrought no change his visage o’er,

As with high and honest aim, he still his falchion proudly bore,

Resisting error, evermore.

[1845] 19 APRIL. The Evening Mirror publishes an anonymous satire entitled “Criticism on Poe's ‘Raven,’ ” preceded by Nathaniel P. Willis’ note: “The following contemplative and droll criticism of this poem that has made a mark, will amuse our friend Poe quite as much as our other readers — perhaps more.” The satire is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 26 April.

[1845] 19 APRIL. Poe writes Rufus W. Griswold in Philadelphia, returning proof sheets: “The poems look quite as well in the short metre as in the long, and I am quite content as it is.” Four lines in “The Raven” have been divided “at the wrong place”; Poe copies them in the short metre, indicating the correct divisions. In “The Sleeper” the line “Forever with uncloséd eye” should be changed to read “Forever with unopen’d eye.” Poe adds a conciliatory postscript: “I presume you understand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets (in N. Y) I left out all that was offensive to yourself?” (L, 1:284-86). [page 528:]

[This letter seems to indicate that Griswold hoped to insert “The Raven” in the sixth edition of The Poets and Poetry of America (1845); but the poem was not included until the enlarged eighth edition, published shortly before 29 May 1847. The reviews of Poe's 28 February lecture in the New York Herald, 2 March, and the Town, 8 March, suggest that it still contained much that Griswold would have found “offensive.”]

[1845] 26 APRIL. The Broadway Journal carries Poe's revised tale “The Oval Portrait,’ formerly entitled “Life in Death.” Under the heading “A Gentle Puff,” Poe reprints the stanzas on the Journal from the New World of 19 April. He addresses Frances S. Osgood in a short poem “To F——,” originally published as “To Mary” in the Southern Literary Messenger for July 1835. The Journal's editorial “Miscellany” contains a new stanza by Poe, playfully addressing Mrs. Osgood by one of her pseudonyms:


When from your gems of thought I turn

To those pure orbs, your heart to learn,

I scarce know which to prize most high —

The bright i-dea, or bright dear-eye.

[1845] 26 APRIL. The Town obliquely alludes to Poe's drinking in a fictitious list of forthcoming books: “A treatise on ‘Aqua Pura,’ its uses and abuses, by Edgar A. Poe, is to be issued at the Broadway Journal office.”

[1845] 26 APRIL. BALTIMORE. In the Saturday Visiter Joseph Evans Snodgrass notices the Broadway Journal: “Its peculiar feature is the boldness of its book-criticisms, for which it is, doubtless, mainly indebted to Mr. Poe, who seems to revel in a work which he knows so well how to perform. It strikes us, that it would be more significant to call this ‘The Broad-axe Journal’!”

[1845] AFTER 26 APRIL. NEW YORK. Mrs. Osgood transcribes Poe's “Impromptu” from the Broadway Journal of 26 April; she later presents her manuscript copy to her friend Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, giving it the title “To the Sinless Child,” in allusion to Mrs. Smith's poem “The Sinless Child” (Mabbott [1969], 1:380n; Smith, pp. 87, 99-100, 124-26).

[1845] 29 APRIL. The Evening Mirror publishes “The Gazelle (After the Manner of Poe's ‘Raven’)” by C. C. Cooke. This parody is preceded by an editorial note identifying its author as a “new-found boy-poet of fifteen”; it is reprinted in the Weekly Mirror for 3 May. [page 529:]

[1845] 29 APRIL. BAINBRIDGE, NEW YORK. Jedediah Hunt, Jr., the former editor of the Ithaca, New York, National Archives, commences a new weekly paper, the Bainbridge Eagle. In the first number he publishes Poe's 17 March letter to him. Hunt rejects Poe's suggestion that he is “a somewhat over-hasty man”; he has been instead “a somewhat over-tardy man,” who is “still obliged to insist that Mr. POE is a too severe critic.” Hunt's objections to Poe's criticism have not been made out of malice or envy; on the contrary, he admires “his untiring energy; his discriminating genius; his well improved intellect.” Poe is “a star in the literary galaxy of our country, whose light no other ‘twinkling world’ in the least diminishes. There are those whose beam is more dazzling — but none which bids fairer to be ultimately, more lasting.”

[1845] 30 APRIL. Hunt writes Longfellow in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “I send you my paper this week in which I have answered Mr. Edgar A. Poe touching severity of his strictures on productions of others” (Phillips, 2:979).

[1845] 30 APRIL. NEW YORK. Poe signs a receipt: “Received of John Bisco five dollars account of the Southern Literary Messenger” (L, 2:521).

[1845] LATE APRIL. The Aristidean for April contains an abusive article on “Longfellow's Poems,” unsigned but written by the editor Thomas Dunn English, apparently after some consultation with Poe. English describes Poe in “Notes About Men of Note,” a sketch characterizing seven New York editors:

EDGAR A. POE, ONE OF THE EDITORS OF THE BROADWAY JOURNAL. He never rests. There is a small steam-engine in his brain, which not only sets the cerebral mass in motion, but keeps the owner in hot water. His face is a fine one, and well gifted with intellectual beauty. Ideality, with the power of analysis, is shown in his very broad, high and massive forehead — a forehead which would have delighted GALL beyond measure. He would have made a capital lawyer — not a very good advocate, perhaps, but a famous unraveller of all subtleties. He can thread his way through a labyrinth of absurdities, and pick out the sound thread of sense from the tangled skein with which it is connected. He means to be candid, and labours under the strange hallucination that he is so; but he has strong prejudices, and, without the least intention of irreverence, would wage war with the DEITY, if the divine canons militated against his notions. His sarcasm is subtle and searching. He can do nothing in the common way; and buttons his coat after a fashion peculiarly his own. If we ever caught him doing a thing like any body else, or found him reading a book any other way than upside down, we should implore his friends to send for a straitjacket, and a Bedlam doctor. He were mad, then, to a certainty. [page 530:]

[1845] CA. MAY. The Poe family moves to a boardinghouse at 195 East Broadway, renting several rooms on the second floor (Quinn, p. 463; Chivers [1952], pp. 58, 60, 108).

[1845] CA. MAY. Poe, who has abstained from alcohol for over eighteen months, resumes drinking and frequently becomes incapacitated. Briggs is dismayed by his partner's conduct (Briggs to Lowell, 27 June and 16 July).

[1845] MAY. RICHMOND. The Southern Literary Messenger publishes Poe's reviews of Anthon's Dictionary and Fauvel-Gouraud's Phreno-Mnemotechny.

[1845] 1 MAY. NEW YORK. The Morning News reprints “The Oval Portrait” from the Broadway Journal of 26 April. Poe's tale appears in the Weekly News for 10 May.

[1845] 1 MAY. Alexander T. Crane's “Water;” a poem revised by Poe, is published in the Youth's Cabinet (Mabbott [1969], 1:491-92).

[1845] 3 MAY. The Broadway Journal announces that its office “has been removed from 153 Broadway to 135 Nassau Street, Clinton Hall Buildings.” The Journal contains Poe's poem “The Sleeper” (reprint) and his revised sketch “House Furniture,” formerly entitled “The Philosophy of Furniture.” Poe favorably reviews the Aristidean for April, discussing the article on Longfellow: “It is, perhaps, a little coarse, but we are not disposed to call it unjust; although there are in it some opinions which, by implication, are attributed to ourselves individually, and with which we cannot altogether coincide.”

[1845] 3 MAY. LONDON. Lloyd's Entertaining Journal reprints Poe's tale “The Spectacles” from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper for 27 March 1844 (Moldenhauer [1977], p. 188).

[1845] 4 MAY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Frederick William Thomas in Washington, apologizing for his tardiness in answering Thomas’ last two letters: “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.” In spite of his industry, Poe has made no money: “I am as poor now as ever I was in my life — except in hope, which is by no means bankable.” Since he has “a 3d pecuniary interest” in the Broadway Journal, everything he has written for it has been “so much out of pocket.” He is forwarding “The Raven,” contained in the Journal for 8 February: “It was copied by Briggs, my associate, before I joined the paper. ‘The Raven’ has had a great ‘run, [page 531:] 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” (L, 1:286-87).

[1845] 7 MAY. The Evening Mirror reprints Poe's “House Furniture” with a preface: “The following Essay on a subject of that, in New York, at least, has more of May-day in it than dog-wood blossoms, birds or willow buds, is well worth copying entire from our excellent contemporary, the Broadway Journal.” The sketch appears in the Weekly Mirror for 17 May.

[1845] 10 MAY. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's poem “To One in Paradise,” formerly entitled “To Ianthe in Heaven,” and his revised tale “Three Sundays in a Week,” formerly entitled “A Succession of Sundays.” Poe notices “The Gazelle,” published in the Evening Mirror of 29 April: “It is the composition of a mere boy of fifteen, C. C. Cooke, and, although professedly an imitation of ‘The Raven,’ has a very great deal of original power.”

[1845] BEFORE 12 MAY. LONDON. Richard Henry Horne writes Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, enclosing “The Raven,” Poe's review of her poems in the Broadway Journal for 4 and 11 January, and Poe's 25 January letter to him (Barrett to Horne, 12 May; Horne to Poe, 17 May).

[1845] 12 MAY. Miss Barrett writes Horne:

Your friend, Mr. Poe, is a speaker of strong words “in both kinds.” But I hope you will assure him from me that I am grateful for his reviews, and in no complaining humour at all. As to the “Raven” tell me what you shall say about it! There is certainly a power — but it does not appear to me the natural expression of a sane intellect in whatever mood; and I think that this should be specified in the title of the poem. There is a fantasticalness about the “sir or madam,” and things of the sort, which is ludicrous, unless there is a specified insanity to justify the straws. Probably he — the author — intended it to be read in the poem, and he ought to have intended it. The rhythm acts excellently upon the imagination, and the “nevermore” has a solemn chime with it. ... And I am of opinion that there is an uncommon force and effect in the poem (W, 17:385-86).

Front page of the Broadway Journal, May 10, 1845 [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 532]
First page of the Broadway Journal, 10 May

[1845] 12 MAY. Later in the day Miss Barrett sends a second letter to Horne: “I am uncomfortable about my message to Mr. Poe, lest it should not be grateful enough in the sound of it. Will you tell him, what is quite the truth, — that, in my own opinion, he has dealt with me most generously, and that I thank him for his candour as for a part of his kindness. ... Also, the review is very ably written, — and the reviewer has so obviously & thoroughly read my poems, as to be a wonder among critics” (W, 17:387). [page 533:]

[1845] 12 MAY. WASHINGTON. Thomas writes Poe: “Your letter of May 4th gave me great pleasure. ... I am glad you have embarked in the editorial way again and I thank you for the journal and the ‘Raven.’ ... Do you ever see Willis? Make my kindest regards to him.” Thomas’ letter is written on a sheet of paper containing a cryptogram and this note by his friend Charles S. Frailey: “The subjoined piece of secret writing was received at the Genl Land Office in connection with a letter having relation to a claim for bounty land due a soldier, which letter was without address on its face, but from other evidence appeared designed for a person out of office.” Thomas explains that Frailey asked him to send the cipher to Poe for a translation: “At your earliest leisure (as it may be a matter of importance) will you do me the favor to let me know what it means” (MB-G).

[1845] 14 MAY. NEW YORK. Poe writes Thomas, giving this translation of Frailey's cryptogram: “In September 1843, our respected friend Colonel T. C. Gardner, auditor of the Post office Department, applied at the Land office with his warrant. His patent did not render it necessary to reside at the place. Richard Douglas.” Poe complains that the cipher was composed “by some barbarously ignorant person” who wrote “neseserri” for “necessary,” “puwst ofis” for “post office,” and “tuw” for “to.” Nathaniel P. Willis is “going to England next month” (L, 1:288-89; Moldenhauer [1973], pp. 59-60).

[1845] 14 MAY. PHILADELPHIA. The Spirit of the Times reprints Poe's “Three Sundays in a Week” from the Broadway Journal of 10 May (Mabbott [1978], 2:649).

[1845] 14 MAY. FRUIT HILLS, OHIO. The Regenerator reprints Poe's “Mesmeric Revelation” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1026).

[1845] 17 MAY. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's revised tale “The Pit and the Pendulum” and his revised criticism of S. C. Hall's The Book of Gems, an anthology of English poetry he reviewed in the Southern Literary Messenger for August 1836. Poe notices Graham's Magazine for June, criticizing its portrait of Rufus W. Griswold, who “has a much finer face in every respect. The biography attached is written, we fancy, by Mr. C. F. Hoffman, and does Mr. G. no more than justice, either in regard to his acquirements or character as a man.”

[1845] 17 MAY. The Town satirizes Poe's literary criticism in a mock review, “Astray from the office of the Broadway Journal,” of The Adventures, Life and Opinions of John Smith. The review describes this fictitious title as “a mass of insufferable trash, without one redeeming quality,” which is nonethless [page 534:] “one of the most delightful books ... printed in a beautiful arabesque style by Wiley & Putnam.”

[1845] 17 MAY. LONDON. The Critic notices the Broadway Journal, which exhibits “excellent taste and high principle.” The Journal is “the best procurable record of American literature and art”; its criticisms “are distinguished for the largeness and liberality of their views.”

[1845] 17 MAY. Richard Henry Horne replies to Poe's 25 January letter, which he did not receive until “the latter end of April.” He encloses a portion of the second letter that Miss Barrett sent him on 12 May, in order that Poe “may see in what a good and noble spirit she receives the critique.” She has said that “The Raven” has “a fine lyrical melody.” Horne believes that Poe “intends to represent a very painful condition of mind, as of an imagination that was liable to topple over into some delirium or an abyss of melancholy, from the continuity of one unvaried emotion.” He has not been able to obtain Tennyson's opinion of the poem: “It is curious that you should ask me for opinions of the only two poets with whom I am especially intimate. Most of the others I am acquainted with, but am not upon such terms of intellectual sympathy and friendship as with Miss Barrett and Tennyson. But I do not at this moment know where Tennyson is.” Since Poe has mentioned that an American publisher might be willing to reprint Orion, Horne is forwarding a copy of his epic for this purpose: “I also send a copy, in which I have written your name” (W, 17:208-10).

[1845] BEFORE 24 MAY. NEW YORK. John Keese, who has edited The Poetical Writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, sends this book and several others to Poe (Poe to Keese, 26 May).

[1845] BEFORE 24 MAY. D. Appleton & Co., 200 Broadway, publish the Poems of William Wilberforce Lord, a student at the Princeton Theological Seminary. The volume includes “The New Castalia,” which parodies “The Raven” and other poems by Poe.

[1845] 24 MAY. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's revised tale “Eleonora” and his poem “The Conqueror Worm” (reprint). Reviewing Lord's Poems, Poe objects to the publisher's description of the volume as “very remarkable.” He finds that “the only remarkable things about Mr. Lord's compositions, are their remarkable conceit, ignorance, impudence, platitude, stupidity and bombast.” The Journal prints a sixteen-line poem “To ——;” by “M.,” which may be Poe's reply to Mrs. Osgood's “So Let It Be” in the 5 April issue: [page 535:]

We both have found a life-long love

Wherein our weary souls may rest,

Yet may we not, my gentle friend

Be each to each the second best?

[The poem was attributed to Poe by Mabbott (1969), 1:380-82.)

[1845] 24 MAY. John Keese, who is editing the Opal for 1846, writes Poe, apparently to solicit a contribution for this forthcoming annual (Poe's reply).

[1845] 26 MAY. Poe writes Keese: “Permit me to thank you for the many expressions of good will in your letter of the 24th — also for the books you were so kind as to send me a few days before — very especially for Mrs Smith's beautiful Poems.” He will give Keese “a brief article” for the Opal “in the course of this week” (L, 1:289).

[1845] 29 MAY. Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt writes Poe, enclosing a translation “from the old French edition (1716) of Madame Dacier” for the Broadway Journal. She asks him to present her “compliments to Mrs. Poe,” whose acquaintance she is “happy to have made” (Mabbott [1937], p. 118).

[1845] 30 MAY. The Evening Mirror publishes “The Whippoorwill: A Parody on Mr. Poe's ‘Raven.’ ” The poem appears in the Weekly Mirror for 7 June.

[1845] 31 MAY. The Town notices Poe's review of Lord's Poems: “The last Broadway Journal contains one of Poe's most destructive attacks upon the poetical defences of a Mr. W. W. Lord, who, it seems, has been guilty of all sorts of enormities in rhyme. We pitied the man at first, and were disposed to defend him; but as a finishing stroke Mr. Poe proves that Mr. Lord has stolen from Edgar A. Poe. This is too much — and we abandon him to his fate!”

[1845] 31 MAY. The Alleghanian, a new weekly, objects to Poe's review of Lord in an article on “The Poe-dom of Poetry” (Lord, p. ix).

[1845] 31 MAY. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's revised tale “Shadow — A Parable,” formerly entitled “Shadow: A Fable,” and his revised criticism of Mrs. Lydia Maria Child's romance Philothea, originally reviewed in the Southern Literary Messenger for September 1836.

[1845] 31 MAY. CINCINNATI, OHIO. The Western Luminary reprints Poe's “Mesmeric Revelation” (Mabbott [1978], 3:1026). [page 536:]

[1845] LATE MAY. NEW YORK. James Russell Lowell and his wife Maria spend several days in New York, on their return from Philadelphia to Elmwood, the Lowell family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lowell has a single interview with Poe:

I have a clear recollection of my first sight of him [Poe] — in his own lodgings in New York. I went by appointment & found him a little tipsy, as if he were recovering from a fit of drunkenness, & with that over-solemnity with which men in such cases try to convince you of their sobriety. I well remember (for it pained me) the anxious expression of his wife. ... The shape of his head was peculiar, broad at the temples, & the forehead sloping backward almost sharply. I cannot describe it better than by giving the impression which I took then & which has remained ever since — that there was something snakelike about it. I do not intend to convey any moral but only a physical suggestion (Lowell to J. H. Ingram, 12 May 1879, Cauthen, pp. 231-32; cf. Lowell to G. W. Woodberry, 12 March 1884, Woodberry, 2:137, and Quinn, p. 461).

[On 9 March 1850 Mrs. Clemm wrote Lowell: “I wish ... I could remove your wrong impression of my darling Eddie. The day you saw him in New York he was not himself. Do you not remember that I never left the room. Oh if you only knew his bitter sorrow when I told him how unlike himself he was” (Quinn, pp. 461-62). See also Poe's remark to T. H. Chivers, after 15? June, and Briggs to Lowell, 16 July.)

[1845] JUNE OR BEFORE. Thomas Dunn English listens to Poe's remarks on the Broadway Journal: “It [the Journal] did not achieve success; and Poe, who had frequently given me glowing prophecies as to its future circulation, told me one day that its comparative failure was owing to the fact that he had it not all in his own hands. ‘Give me,’ said he, ‘the entire control, and it will be the great literary journal of the future.’ During this time he reiterated this expression of discontent on his visits to my rooms” (English, p. 1416).

[1845] JUNE OR BEFORE. Charles F. Briggs decides to obtain sole control of the Broadway Journal. He informs John Bisco of his intention to find a new publisher; he tells Poe that he “should drop his [Poe's] name from the journal’ ” (Briggs to Lowell, 1 August).

[1845] JUNE OR BEFORE. Anne C. Lynch describes the poetess Sarah Helen Whitman to Poe.

[On 1 October 1848 Poe wrote Mrs. Whitman: “some few casual words spoken of you — not very kindly — by Miss Lynch, were the first in which I had ever heard your name mentioned. ... She alluded to what she called your ‘eccentricities’ and hinted at your sorrows. Her description of the former strangely arrested — her half sneers at the latter enchained and [page 537:] riveted, my attention. She had referred to thoughts, sentiments, traits, moods which I knew to be my own, but which, until that moment, I had believed to be my own solely — unshared by any human being. A profound sympathy took immediate possession of my soul.” Cf. Poe to Anna Blackwell, 14 June 1848.]

[1845] JUNE. The Democratic Review publishes Poe's philosophic tale “The Power of Words.”

[1845] JUNE. Henry B. Hirst, the Philadelphia poet, gives Poe a presentation copy of The Coming of the Mammoth, his newly published volume of verse (Mabbott [1969], 1:348).

[1845] 1 JUNE. SOUTH ATTLEBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS. Abijah M. Ide, Jr., writes Poe, submitting a poem for the Broadway Journal (MB-G).

[1845] 7 JUNE. NEW YORK. The Town praises the article “The Poe-dom of Poetry” in the Alleghanian for 31 May as “a slashing affair — very much in Poe's way .... Let us be always understood, however, as yielding and recording our great admiration of Poe's genius — his great critical acumen, and the perfect aquafortis of his satire. We will say, however, that his censure is too indiscriminate and his egotism sometimes uncalled for.”

[1845] 7 JUNE. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's revised tale “The Assignation,” formerly entitled “The Visionary.” In his revised essay “Magazine-Writing — Peter Snook,” originally published in the Southern Literary Messenger for October 1836, he complains that the articles in American magazines are decidedly inferior to those in British and French periodicals; he gives a detailed summary of an English tale, “Peter Snook” by James Forbes Dalton, which presents “many striking points for the consideration of the Magazinist.”

[1845] 7 JUNE. LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. The Star of Bethlehem reprints Poe's “Three Sundays in a Week” from the Broadway Journal of 10 May (Mabbott [1978], 2:649).

[1845] 9 JUNE. NEW YORK. Poe writes John Keese: “With this note I have the honor to send you a brief sketch for ‘The Opal’ — and hope that I am not too late” (L, 1:289-90).

[Poe's article did not appear in the Opal for 1846.]

[1845] 13 JUNE. Wiley and Putnam register Poe's forthcoming Tales in the Clerk's [page 538:] Office of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York State (Heartman and Canny, p. 94).

[1845] 14 JUNE. LONDON. The Critic copies “The Raven” from the American Review, “on account of its unusual beauty.” This reprinting is prefaced by Willis’ introduction, from the Evening Mirror of 29 January.

[1845] 14 JUNE. NEW YORK. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's tale “The Premature Burial” (corrected reprint).

[1845] BEFORE 15? JUNE. The Georgia poet Thomas Holley Chivers arrives in New York to oversee the publication of his forthcoming volume of poetry, The Lost Pleiad. He writes Poe that he would like to make his acquaintance (Chivers [1952], p. 11, and [1957], pp. 37-38).

[1845] 15? JUNE. Poe writes Chivers: “I have just received your very polite letter informing me that you are in the city. How could you have remained here so long without calling to see me? Call upon me immediately .... You will find me at 195, East Broadway” (Chivers [1957], pp. 37-38).

[1845] AFTER 15? JUNE. Chivers visits Poe at home; they have an extensive conversation on current literature. Poe displays two copies of Horne's Orion, which the British poet recently sent him: “I have taken this book to every respectable Publisher in this City, and not one of them is willing to take upon himself the responsibility of the publication. Here is a work which is, at best, five hundred years in advance of the Age ... if it were a book of romance, full of absurd improbabilities, bad grammar, and wanting in every other thing necessary to make it a book at all, I could find a Publisher at every corner.” Turning to American poets, Poe observes that Lowell “has written some fine things,” especially the poem “Rosaline.” “He [Lowell] called to see me, the other day ... I was very much disappointed in his appearance as an intellectual man. He was not half the noble-looking person that I expected to see.” Poe introduces Chivers to his wife Virginia and Mrs. Clemm. Observing Virginia “attacked with a terrible paroxysm of coughing,” Chivers asks Mrs. Clemm whether she has “caught cold” or suffers from “a consumption.” Mrs. Clemm replies: “No — it is not a cold — Dr. [John Kearsley] Mitchell, of Philadelphia, says that she has the Bronchitis. She ruptured a blood vessel while singing, in Philadelphia, and has never been well since” (Chivers [1952], pp. 39-52).

[1845] BEFORE 20 JUNE. Charles E. West, Principal of the Rutgers Female Institute, sends two letters to Poe, asking him to serve on a committee to judge the literary compositions of the girls at this secondary school. The [page 539:] winning compositions are to be read at the Annual Commencement on 11 July (Poe to West, 20 June; see also 11 JULY).

[1845] 20 JUNE. Poe writes West:

The previous letter to which you allude did not reach me — I trust, therefore, that you will exonerate me from the charge of discourtesy.

I shall be happy to oblige you in any way — and it will give me very great pleasure to act as one of a Committee in which I shall be associated with two gentlemen whom I so highly respect as Drs [Rufus W.] Griswold and [W. D.] Snodgrass (Ostrom [1974], pp. 525-26).

[1845] 20 JUNE. The “University of the City of New-York” issues an engraved invitation: “The honor of your company is respectfully requested at the University-Place Church, (Dr. Potts’) on Tuesday Evening, July 1st, at half-past seven o’clock, when the Annual Oration before the Philomathean and Eucleian Societies, will be delivered by the Hon. Daniel D. Barnard, and the Annual Poem by Edgar A. Poe, Esq.” (PP-G).

[According to the New York Herald, 2 July, these Societies were “composed of the young students of the New York University” who wished to “promote their literary education.”]

[1845] 20 JUNE. Wiley and Putnam deposit a copy of the title page of Poe's Tales in the Clerk's Office of the United States District Court (Heartman and Canny, p. 94).

[1845] 20-21 JUNE. The Daily Tribune carries a Wiley and Putnam advertisement: “TALES BY EDGAR A. POE: Will appear on WEDNESDAY next.”

[1845] AFTER 20? JUNE. Edward J. Thomas, a New York merchant who is enamored of Frances S. Osgood, hears a rumor that Poe has been guilty of forgery. Apparently viewing Poe as a rival for Mrs. Osgood's affection and hoping to discredit him, Thomas repeats the rumor to her. She, in turn, repeats it to Poe, who calls upon Thomas at his business office in Broad Street, denies the rumor, and asks him to retract it. Thomas promises to trace the rumor to its source. Poe describes the situation to Thomas Dunn English, who counsels him to sue Thomas for libel. Poe writes Thomas: “As I have not had the pleasure of hearing from you since our interview at your office, may I ask of you to state to me distinctly, whether I am to consider the charge of forgery urged by you against myself, in the presence of a common friend [Mrs. Osgood], as originating with yourself or Mr. [Park] Benjamin?” Poe's letter is personally delivered by English, who brings him a “verbal and somewhat vague” reply. Poe now considers [page 540:] commencing a suit against Thomas (“Mr. Poe's Reply to Mr. English,” 10 July 1846; see documents in Moss [1970], pp. 36, 57-59, 167-68, 177, 181-82).

[1845] 21 JUNE. The Broadway Journal contains Poe's revised tale “Morella” and his review of Plato Contra Atheos — Plato Against the Atheists. The Journal reprints two poems by Miss Anne C. Lynch, preceded by Poe's note: “We have no excuse to offer for copying them ... except that we have been profoundly impressed with their excellence.” In a notice “To Correspondents” Poe expresses indebtedness “to J. T. of Jackson” (John Tomlin) and “to T. H. C.” (Thomas Holley Chivers).

[1845] CA. 24 JUNE. Thomas Dunn English recalls: “Mr. Poe accepted an invitation to deliver a poem before a society [Philomathean and Eucleian Societies] of the New York University. About a week before the time when this poem was to be pronounced, he called on me, appearing to be much troubled — said he could not write the poem, and begged me to help him out with some idea of the course to pursue. I suggested that he had better write a note to the society, and frankly state his inability to compose a poem on a stated subject. He did not do this, but — as he always does when troubled — drank until intoxicated; and remained in a state of intoxication during the week” (English in Morning Telegraph, 23 June 1846).

[1845] 25 JUNE. Wiley and Putnam publish Poe's Tales, the second volume in their “Library of American Books” (Daily Tribune, 20-21, 26 June).

[Twelve stories appear in the Tales, in this order: “The Gold-Bug,” “The Black Cat,” “Mesmeric Revelation,” “Lionizing,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “A Descent into the Maelström,” “The Colloquy of Monos and Una,” “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” “The Purloined Letter,” and “The Man of the Crowd.”]

[1845] 25 JUNE. PHILADELPHIA. Alexander's Weekly Messenger reprints “The Turkey,” a parody of “The Raven,” from the Boston Jester (Mabbott [1969], 1:352).

[1845] 25 JUNE OR LATER. NEW YORK. Poe gives a presentation copy of his Tales to John Bisco (copy in NN-B).

Front cover of Tales, 1845 [thumbnail]

[Illustration on page 541]
Front cover of Poe's Tales

[1845] 26 JUNE. The Daily Tribune carries an advertisement for Wm. Taylor, Bookseller, No. 2 Astor House, who offers for sale “Tales by Edgar A. Poe. 1 vol. beautifully printed in large clear type, on fine paper — 50 cents.” [page 542:]

[1845] 26 JUNE. Poe writes Evert A. Duyckinck, Wiley and Putnam's editor: “I am still dreadfully unwell, and fear that I shall be very seriously ill. ... I have resolved to give up the B. Journal and retire to the country for six months, or perhaps a year, as the sole means of recruiting my health and spirits. Is it not possible that yourself or Mr Matthews [Cornelius Mathews] might give me a trifle for my interest in the paper? Or, if this cannot be effected, might I venture to ask you for an advance of $50 on the faith of the ‘American Parnassus’? — which I will finish as soon as possible” (L, 1:290).

[“American Parnassus” was Poe's long-contemplated but never completed work on American authors, partially realized in “The Literati of New York City.” In his 13 November letter to Duyckinck, he acknowledged receipt of $50 “on account of the ‘Parnassus.’ ”]

[1845] 26 JUNE. The Evening Mirror reprints English's “Notes About Men of Note,” with its characterization of Poe, from the Aristidean for April. The article appears in the Weekly Mirror for 5 July.

[1845] BEFORE 27 JUNE. Poe sends Anne C. Lynch a copy of his Tales and a despondent letter (Lynch to Poe, 27 June).

[1845] 27 JUNE. Miss Lynch writes Poe, thanking him for his “very kind notice” of her poems in the Broadway Journal of 21 June, as well as for his “kind and friendly” letter: “But I am exceedingly pained at the despondeng tone in which you write. Life is too short & there is too much to be done in it, to give one time to despair. Exorcise that devil, I beg of you, as speedily as possible. ... At all events come over and see me to-morrow evening (Saturday) & we will talk the matter over.” Since Miss Lynch will not be in town to hear Poe's poem before the Philomathean and Eucleian Societies “on Tuesday evening,” she hopes he will bring it and “read a few passages.” She thanks him for his Tales (W, 17:258-59; dating established by Reece [1954], p. 19).

[1845] 27 JUNE. Briggs writes Lowell in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

I have arrangements on foot with a new publisher for the Journal who will enable me to give it a fresh start; and I trust very soon to be able to give you an earnest of its profits. I shall haul down Poe's name; he has lately got into his old habits and I fear will injure himself irretrievably. I was rather taken at first with a certain appearance of independence and learning in his criticisms, but they are so verbal, and so purely selfish that I can no longer have any sympathy with him. In all that he has ever written there is not benevolent thought. ... Poe is a good proof reader and a good scanner of verses, but his merits as a critic hardly reach further (MiDAAA-P). [page 543:]

[Briggs hoped to replace John Bisco, the original publisher, with J. Smith Homans, a bookseller who advertised in the Journal (cf. Homans to Bisco, 12 July; Briggs to Lowell, 16 July).]

[1845] 28 JUNE. The Broadway Journal reprints Poe's poem “Dream-Land.” His Tales are listed in a Wiley and Putnam advertisement: this “excellent collection” contains “the most characteristic of the peculiar series of Tales written by Mr. Poe.”

[1845] 28 JUNE. In the Morning News Evert A. Duyckinck reviews the Tales:

Mr. Poe's tales will be welcomed in this neat convenient form. They have hitherto been scattered over the newspapers and magazines of the country, chiefly of the South, and have been scarcely, if at all, known to Northern and Eastern readers. Singly, the most remarkable have been received with great favor. The Gold Bug received a prize of five [one] hundred dollars. The Fall of the House of Usher was pirated in Bentley's (London) Magazine, and the Murders of the Rue Morgue appeared translated in one of the Parisian journals. The Purloined Letter appeared in this year's Gift, and was not copied into any American paper, we believe, till it had been produced in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, and been republished here in Littell's Living Age of Foreign Literature! It is to be presumed that our American readers will not be ashamed of the volume after these circumstances. It is eminently original and characteristic of the peculiar idiosyncrasy of the author. The subtle ingenuity exhibited in the construction will strike every one; the analysis of this power is a subject worthy of the maturest critic. The Gold Bug is a tale of Captain Kid[d]'s treasure, the interest of which depends upon the solution of an intricate cypher. ...

The murders of the Rue Morgue, the History of Marie Roget and the Purloined Letter turn upon matters of police, and would do credit either to the sagacity of an Indian hunter or the civilized skill of a Fouché for their ingenuity and keenness of scent. Marie Roget is the story of Mary Rogers, the Cigar Girl, the scene being transferred from the banks of the Hudson to those of the Seine.

The review appears in the Weekly News for 5 July.

[Duyckinck was probably indebted to Poe himself for the information on European reprintings (cf. Poe to Duyckinck, 30 December 1846). The earliest known French translation of the “Rue Morgue” was not published until 11-13 June 1846.]

[1845] 28 JUNE. The Rover carries a review by its editor Lawrence Labree: “TALES ... Mr. Poe has acquired the reputation of a powerful and vigorous writer, though occasionally delighting in biting sarcasm and highly-strained and unreasonable criticism. But in this instance he has given the public a pleasant volume of tales rather above the medium of that style of writing, each one of which possesses the power of holding the reader to the end — tales of absorbing interest.” [page 544:]

[1845] 28 JUNE. BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND. The Birmingham Journal reprints “The Raven” (Phillips, 2:1079).

[1845] BEFORE 29? JUNE. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Mrs. Osgood, who is visiting Providence, writes Poe, asking him to come to this city (Poe's remark to Chivers, 29? June).

[1845] BEFORE 29? JUNE. NEW YORK. In the “Editor's Table” of the Knickerbocker Magazine for July, Lewis Gaylord Clark condemns Poe's essay “Magazine-Writing — Peter Snook,” published in the Broadway Journal of 7 June without the author's name. “Some sage correspondent of the ‘Broadway Journal’ has temporarily resuscitated from oblivion an article from an old English magazine, entitled ‘Mr. Peter Snook,’ which it [he] lauds without stint, but the very ‘plums’ of which we defy any person of taste to swallow with pleasure.” Had it not been for “an indiscrim[in]ate fling at American periodicals,” Clark would not have denounced “the nil-admirari critic” of the Journal. “Judging from the taste exhibited by the critic in his ‘foreign’ selection, we should say that the less he was struck with an American magazine article, the more credit would it reflect upon the periodical which contained it.”

[1845] 29? JUNE. Thomas Holley Chivers recalls:

I was once going down Nassau street ... when who should I meet but Edgar A. Poe coming along the pavement, tottering from side to side, as drunk as an Indian, while at the corner of Ann I saw a man standing on the steps of either a Whiskey-Shop, or a Restaurant, Spouting at the top of his voice in his praise — calling him the “Shakespeare of America.” As soon as he met me, he grasped me by the coat collar, exclaiming, “By G—d! here is my friend now! Where are you going? Come, you must go home with me!

Chivers takes Poe by the arm. As he is leading him home, they encounter Lewis Gaylord Clark in the street: “The moment Poe saw him — maddened by the remembrance of something that he had said in a recent Number of the [Knickerbocker] Magazine touching one of his own articles which had appeared in the Broadway Journal — he swore, while attempting to rush away from my hold, that he would attack him.” Chivers restrains Poe, who then introduces him to Clark. Poe asks Clark belligerently, “What business had you to abuse me in the last Number of your Magazine?” Clark protests, “how did I know the Article referred to, was yours? You had always attached your name to all your articles before, and how, in H—l, did I know it was yours?” After Clark departs Poe tells Chivers that he is involved “in the d—dst amour,” asking him not to mention it to Virginia Poe. Chivers asks, “where is the lady [Mrs. Osgood] with whom you are so [page 545:] in love?” Poe replies, “In Providence, by G—d! I have just received a letter from her, in which she requests me to come on there this afternoon on the four o’clock Boat. Her husband [Samuel S. Osgood] is a Painter — always from home” (Chivers [1952], pp. 57-61).

[1845] 30? JUNE. On the “next day” Chivers calls at Poe's boardinghouse, 195 East Broadway; but Poe is “not to be found” (Chivers [1952], p. 61).

[1845] 30? JUNE. Chivers writes Clark, apologizing for Poe's conduct on the day before, “while he was laboring under such an ‘excitement’ ” (letter quoted by Clark in October 1846 Knickerbocker) .






[S:1 - TPL, 1987] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Poe Log (D. R. Thomas and D. K. Jackson) (Chapter 08 [Part 01])