The Museum Collection

John Pendleton Kennedy Letter to Thomas W. White

ID #: 637a
Creator: John Pendleton Kennedy
Date: May 16, 1834
Format: Letter and envelope
Source: Gift of James H. Rindfleisch
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).

The recipient of the letter, Thomas Willlis White (1788-1843) was the owner of the Southern Literary Messenger, the publication at which Poe would begin his career in journalism in 1835. White founded the magazine in 1834, and, in this letter, Kennedy congratulates White on the founding but regrets that he will be unable to contribute any articles for the magazine. Kennedy would later introduce White to Edgar Allan Poe, who would begin contributing articles, poetry, and short stories to the magazine.

Collector James H. Rindfleisch gave this and other letters to the Poe Museum in 1935.