The Museum Collection

The Foundling of the Forest

ID #:
Creator: William Dimond
Date: 1809
Format: Script
Source: John W. Robertson
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Publisher: David Longworth
Place of Publication: New York
Publish Date: November 1809


This is the script for a play in which Poe's mother, Eliza Arnold Hopkins Poe (1787-1811), performed. Her name appears in the cast as on the second page of this script. The piece was published in New York in 1809, the year of Edgar Allan Poe's birth.

The Founding of the Forest was written by William Dimond. Eliza Poe played "Rosabelle" while the play was staged at the Park Theatre in New York between September 1809 and July 1810. The critic for The Rambler wrote Mrs. Poe's performance "Mrs. Poe was very clever in Rosabelle--there is a pertness and a volubility in her manner and delivery that is very appropriate." After her engagement at the Park Theatre, Mrs. Poe left New York for the last time, performing afterwards in Petersurg, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Richmond, Virginia during the last year of her life.

Poe's father, David Poe, Jr., also performed at the Park Theatre but stayed only six weeks before leaving the theatre and his acting career on October 18, 1809. David Poe would soon disappear from history, leaving Eliza Poe to care for three children.