Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Maria Clemm — September 18, 1849 (LTR-332)


Richmond Va Tuesday — Sep 18 — 49.

My own darling Muddy,

On arriving here last night from Norfolk I received both your letters, including Mrs Lewis's. I cannot tell you the joy they gave me — to learn at least that you are well & hopeful. May God forever bless you, my dear dear Muddy — Elmira has just got home from the country. I spent last evening with her. I think she loves me more devotedly than any one I ever knew & I cannot help loving her in return. Nothing is yet definitely settled [(The beginning portion of the letter just quoted appears to be a copy by Maria Clemm. The next section is in Poe's own hand) ] and it will not do to hurry matters. I [lec] tured at Norfolk on Monday & cleared enough to settle my bill here at the Madison House with $2 over. I had a highly fashionable audience, but Norfolk is a small place & there were 2 exhibitions the same night. Next Monday I lecture again here & expect to have a large audience. On Tuesday I start for Phila [Philadelphia] to attend to Mrs Loud's Poems — & possibly on Thursday I may start for N. York. If I do I will go straight over to Mrs Lewis's & send for you. It will be better for me not to go to Fordham — don’t you think so? Write immediately in reply & direct to Phila. For fear I should not get the letter, sign no name & address it to E. S. T. Grey Esqre.

If possible I will get married before I start — but there is no telling. Give my dearest love to Mrs L. My poor poor Muddy[.] I am still unable to send you even one dollar — but keep [The following section again appears to be a copy by Mrs. Clemm ] up heart — I hope that our troubles are nearly over. I saw John Beatty in Norfolk.

God bless & protect you my own darling Muddy. I showed your letter to Elmira and she says “it is such a darling precious letter that she loves you for it already”

Your own Eddy.

Don’t forget to write immediately to Phila. so that your letter will be there when I arrive.

The papers here are praising me to death — and I have been received everywhere with enthusiasm. Be sure & preserve all the printed scraps I have sent you & keep up my file of the Lit. World.



The full text of this letter was published by Arthur Hobson Quinn and Richard Hart in Edgar Allan Poe: Letters and Documents in the Enoch Pratt Free Library, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1941, pp. 24-25 (with a photographic facsimile of the portion in Poe's hand). It is printed here with permission of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to M. Clemm (LTR332/RCL826)