Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “A Long Leap,” Alexander's Weekly Messenger, vol. 4, no. 17, April 22, 1840, p. 2, col. 4


[page 2, column 4, continued:]

A Long Leap.

Under this head we perceive chronicled in many of our papers a somewhat tough story in relation to Miss Kerr, the danseuse. This young lady, it is said, was a passenger on board the steamboat Selma, which was snagged in going up the Mississippi, and when the boat parted in the middle, found herself on the hurricane roof of the part sinking in deep water. With a desperate bound she sprang to the part falling towards the shore, and, at one leap cleared a space of twenty eight feet. We are sorry to spoil a good thing, or to deprive Miss K. in the slightest degree of her gymnastic honors, but then there is rather too much of the Munchausen in this story, and we happen to know something about leaping. We doubt very much if the quintessence of desperation would force any young or old lady in Christendom, with a run, into a leap of more than sixteen feet, or, without a run, into one of more than eight. The longest leap on record, by man, on firm ground, and with all the impetus of a previous run, does not exceed twenty-two feet. It is very possible that Miss Kerr, who is certainly an agile damsel, did go the entire animal, as described, to the extent of twenty-eight inches. Some wag has multiplied the matter by twelve.




This notice was first attributed to Poe by Clarence S. Brigham in Edgar Allan Poe's Contributions to Alexander's Weekly Messenger, 1943, pp. 73-74.



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