The Museum Collection
Poe Letter to Marguerite St. Leon Loud, September 18, 1849
Description:This is one of the last letters Edgar Allan Poe wrote before his death on October 7, 1849. In the letter, sent to Philadelphia poet Marguerite St. Leon Loud (1800-1889), Poe details his plan to visit Philadelphia on September 26 in order to edit a volume of Loud's poetry. He states that he intends to leave Richmond on September 25, but, Poe would not actually leave Richmond until the early morning hours of September 27. Before reaching Philadelphia, Poe would die in Baltimore's Washington College Hospital from unknown causes.
In Poe's 1841 article "A Chapter on Autography," Poe describes Loud as "one of the finest poets of this country; possessing, we think, more of the true divine afflatus than any of her female contemporaries. She has, in especial, imagination of no common order, and unlike many of her sex whom we 3 could mention, is not content to dwell in decencies forever." Since Poe was unable to edit Loud's volume of poetry, Park Benjamin edited it instead, and the book, Wayside Flowers, was issued in 1851.
The letter came to the Poe Museum from Mrs. Loud's grandson, John H. Lucas, on behalf of his mother, Mrs. Clara Ellen Loud Lucas, and himself on January 23, 1965.