The Museum Collection
Poe Letter to Hiram Haines, August 19, 1836
Description:While working as acting editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia, Edgar Allan Poe wrote this letter to Petersburg, Virginia editor Hiram Haines. In the letter, Poe asks Haines to look over the August 1836 issue of the Messenger and to comment on it in Haines's magazine, The American Constellation. Poe states that all the Messenger's contributions after the word "Editorial" are his own and that his review of N.P. Willis's "Inklings of Adventure" is his best contribution to the issue.
Hiram Haines (1802-1841) published a book of poetry, Mountain Birds and Blossoms, in 1825 and, with W.H. Davis, established the American Constellation in 1834, becoming the sole editor in 1837. In 1839, Haines edited Th' Time o' Day, and, in 1840, he launched the Virginia Star. He died the following year. The January 1836 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger quoted one of Haines's positive reviews of the magazine. The April 1836 issue of the Messenger commented that the Constellation had reprinted Poe's article "Autography." The following month, May 1836, Poe is said to have spent his honeymoon at Haines's coffee house, which is still standing in Petersburg, but the letter seen here, from August of that year, is the earliest surviving piece of correspondence between Poe and Haines.
This is one of two letters from Poe to Haines the Poe Foundation owns. The Museum purchased the set for $600.