Edgar Allan Poe

Poe, Edgar Allan

American writer (1809-1849). Autograph letter signed „Edgar A Poe“. Richmond (Virginia). 4to. 1/2 p. With address.
$ 145,598 / 135.000 € (78402)

Rare letter as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. „Dear Sir, at the suggestion of your brother, the editor of The Natchez Courier, I take the liberty of addressing you, and of soliciting a contribution for the Southern Literary Messenger published in this city by Mr T. W. White. It would aff ord me the greatest pleasure if you could aid us in this way. Mr Peter G. Van Winkle of Parkersburg, V[irgini]a has written for our magazine, and your brother in Natchez promises his aid. He informs us that you have by you (most probably) a M.S.

on the Study of the Law in the U.S. — which it would give us pleasure to insert in the Messenger, if you have devoted it to no better purpose […]“. - Edgar Allan Poe was the editor of The Southern Literary Messenger from 1835 to 1837. There he published reviews, essays, short stories and poems, but he ended up being fi red for alcoholism, despite all the friendship the director Thomas W. White had for Poe. - There are three autograph lines added by Thomas Willis White (1788-1843, friend of Poe and Director of the Southern Literary Messenger)..

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Poe, Edgar Allan

American writer (1809-1849). Autograph letter signed ("Edgar A. Poe") to F.W. Thomas. New York. 1 page, 4to, tiny holes at four fold intersections (without loss), integral address leaf with panel in Poe's hand initialed "E.A.P." In very fine condition.
$ 210,308 / 195.000 € (78403)

Poe answers a 14 August letter from Thomas containing tragic news--the death at sea of Thomas's sister and her two children--and forwards a manuscript of Thomas's as well: "I send the MS. to the address you desire--all of it not published in the Broadway Journal . Should you wish copies of the portion published, I think I may be able to find them. You make no allusion in your letter to the subject of your last, and I have misgivings that you may not have received the reply which I promptly and cordially sent.

My reason for fearing this is first, that you say nothing, and, secondly that I trusted my letter to the driver of the stage which passed my door--I then lived out of town 5 miles on the Bloomingdale road. I am a neglectful correspondent, because I am often out of my wits through a press of business, but I should be grieved were you to think that in a matter of so much importance I had failed you. I dare not say one word, dear friend, on the final topic of your letter just received. For sorrows such as this there is no consolation but in unrestrained grief." Poe's own life is in a sorrowful state as he writes this. A failed effort to buy control of the dying Broadway Journal buried him even deeper in debt. Destitute, in poor health, isolated in his Bronx cottage from the downtown literary scene, and with his wife Virginia slowly dying from tuberculosis, Poe was also plaintiff in a libel suit that summer of 1846. T. D. English, whom Poe lampooned in The Literati of New York City , had retaliated in the New York Mirror , describing Poe as "thoroughly unprincipled, base and depraved, silly, vain and ignorant, not alone an assassin in morals, but a quack in literature." The $225 he won in damages in February 1847 was small consolation. Virginia died in January, and Poe then began his own long, miserable slide to the grave, a process punctuated by only brief periods of creativity and sobriety, and which ended in Baltimore in 1849. Apparently unpublished, not in J. Ostrom, Letters ..

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Poe, Edgar Allan

American writer (1809-1849). Autograph letter signed ("Edgar A. Poe"). New York. 4to. 1 p. on bifolium with address on verso of fol. 2. Includes F. T. Stuart's 1885 steel-engraved portrait of the author.
$ 145,598 / 135.000 € (78404)

Poe's final letter to the Philadelphia lawyer and playwright Robert Taylor Conrad (1810-58), of "Graham's Magazine": "It is now a month since I wrote you about the two articles I left with you - but, as I have heard nothing from you, I can only suppose that my letter has not reached you - or, at all events, that, in the press of other business, you have forgotten it and me. In it, after thanking you (as I do again most sincerely) for your late kindness to me in Phil[adelphi]a, I begged an answer in respect to the articles - mentioning $40 as the sum in which the Magazine would be indebted to me in case of their acceptance, and asking permission to draw for that amount.

- I owed Mr. Graham $50 (as nearly as I can remember) and the papers, at the old price, would come to 90. May I beg of you to reply, as soon as convenient [...]". Not quite a month previously, on August 10, Poe had written to Conrad about the two articles he had offered to "Graham's Magazine" during his last visit to Philadelphia, where he had travelled to reestablish his magazine contacts: "[...] I obtained an advance of $10 from Mr G[raham] in order that I might return home at once - and thinking it, also, more proper to leave you time in which to look over the articles. I would be deeply obliged if you could now give me an answer respecting them. Should you take both, it will render me, just now, the most important service. I owe Mr G. about $50. The articles, at the old price ($4 per page) will come to $90 - so that, if you write me that they are accepted, I propose to draw on Mr G. for $40 - thus squaring our account [...]". During this stay in Philadelphia, Poe had been taken seriously ill, and Conrad had provided assistance. In the same letter of August 10, Poe had thanked the lawyer for his "considerate kindness": "[...] Without your aid, at the precise moment and in the precise manner in which you rendered it, it is more than probable that I should not now be alive to write you this letter [...]". - Traces of original folds. Recipient's notes on address sheet: "Edgar A. Poe / Answered / Paid". - Provenance: formerly in the collection of Capt. Pleadwell and in the Doheny collection; donated to Saint John's Seminary, Camarillo, CA, by Countess E. Doheny (c. 1940), but sold at the 1988 Doheny auction at Christie's (lot 1546). - The portrait, originally published as the frontispiece to George E. Woodberry’s "Edgar Allan Poe" (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1885), was engraved by Frederick T. Stuart, active in Boston from 1857 until his death in 1913. Stuart based his engraving on a daguerreotype lent him by Woodberry’s occasional collaborator E. C. Stedman, apparently the one now owned by the Henry E. Huntington Library..

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