The Museum Collection

John Pendleton Kennedy Letter to Lt. Samuel Larkin

ID #: 637b
Creator: John Pendleton Kennedy
Date: October 25, 1852
Format: Letter, One Page
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) was a Baltimore novelist and senator who, after serving on the panel that awarded Poe's short story "Ms. Found in a Bottle" a prize in a contest sponsored by the Saturday Visiter, became a friend of Poe's and helped him find employment at the Southern Literary Messenger. Kennedy's best known works are Swallow Barn, or a Sojourn in the Old Dominion (1832) and Horse-Shoe Robinson (1835).

From July 26, 1852 until March 4, 1853 he served as United States Secretary of the Navy, and it was during this time that Kennedy wrote the letter reproduced here. In the letter, Kennedy answers a request made of him by Lt. Samuel Larkin of the USS Marion.