The Museum Collection

Edgar Allan Poe's Walking Stick

ID #: 1077
Creator:
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Format: wood, silver tip
Dimensions: 36" long, 1" diameter at silver tip
Source: Mrs. Charles Harnish
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
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Description:

On his last night in Richmond, two weeks before his death, Edgar Poe left this walking stick at the home of his friend and physician, Dr. John Carter, on his last night in Richmond. Poe departed Carter's house that evening carrying Carter's sword cane instead of his own. After Poe's death, Carter was able to retrieve his own cane, which Poe had left in his room at the Swan Tavern, but Carter also kept Poe's walking stick as a souvenir instead of returning it to Poe's relatives.

When, in his later years, Carter grew ill and needed a caretaker, he moved into the home of William Henry Booker, where he left Poe's cane after his death. Booker's daughter, Mrs. Charles Harnish, inherited it from him. When the Poe Museum opened in 1922, Mrs. Harnish loaned the walking stick to the new museum to exhibit, and she eventually sold the museum the piece for $250. Poe's walking stick is inscribed "Poe" on the silver tip, so be sure to look closely for this inscription when you visit the Poe Museum.

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