A Look At Edgar Allan Poe Quoth The Public: The Raven

August 27, 1993

Born: Jan. 19, 1808, in Boston, the third child of David Poe, a Baltimorean who quit law and became an actor, and Eliza Arnold Poe, a brilliant actress who in her brief career (she died when she was 24) played more than 300 roles.

Early years: Poe was orphaned at the age of 3. He was taken in (although never adopted) by John and Frances Allan, friends of xTC his mother's who lived in Richmond, Va.

According to his biographers, Poe and the Allans never were close. And Poe left home as a teen-ager to join the Army.

Baltimore connection: Poe was discharged from the Army in 1829 and came to live in Baltimore with his aunt, Marie Poe Clemm, on Baltimore Street. The house, which no longer is standing, was in Little Italy.

Poe left for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and after a short stint there, moved to New York and then returned to Baltimore. He returned to a life of poverty as he tried to earn his living as a writer in a tiny row house on North Amity Street.

In all, Poe lived in Baltimore from 1829 to 1836.

Married: In 1836, at the age of 27, Poe married Virginia Clemm, his 14-year-old first cousin, and the couple moved to Richmond. Eventually, they lived in Philadelphia and New York. Virginia died in 1847.

Death: Poe died in Baltimore in 1849 during a stopover on his way from his home in Richmond to New York, where he was planning his second marriage. While in Baltimore, he attended a birthday party, toasted his hostess with wine and went on a drinking binge.

He was found Oct. 3 lying in a city street, suffering from delirium. He died at a hospital four days later at the age of 40.

"Lord, help my poor soul," were reportedly Mr. Poe's last words.

Poe is buried at Westminster Hall, at Fayette and Greene streets.

Best-known works: "The Raven;" "The Pit and the Pendulum;" "Murders in the Rue Morgue;" "The Telltale Heart;" "The Purloined Letter."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.