The Museum Collection

Poe Letter to Hiram Haines, April 24, 1840

ID #: 1024.2
Creator: Edgar Allan Poe
Date: April 24, 1840
Format: letter
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


This is one of two surviving letters from Poe to magazine editor Hiram Haines.

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 earliest surviving piece of correspondence between Poe and Haines is a letter dated August 19 of that year. Poe and Haines maintained a friendship after Poe moved from Virginia to New York and Pennsylvania. In the March 18, 1840 issue of Alexander's Weekly Messenger, Poe printed a positive notice of Haines's newly founded Virginia Star and called Haines "a gentleman of education and of unusually fine talents." On March 24, Haines wrote Poe, offering to send his wife a pet fawn, and the letter seen here is Poe's reply. Poe politely declines the gift because he cannot think of a convenient way to transport the fawn from Petersburg to Philadelphia.

This is one of two letters from Poe to Haines the Poe Foundation owns. The Museum purchased the set for $600.