The Museum Collection
Letter from Richard Henry Stoddard Concerning Poe
Description:Poet and critic Richard Henry Stoddard (1825-1903) met Edgar Allan Poe in 1845 while trying unsuccessfully to submit poetry for publication in the Broadway Journal, which Poe was editing at the time. Stoddard later published accounts of his encounters with Poe. In this September 24, 1872 letter to Saul Henswaw of Boston, Stoddard thanks the recipient for information he has provided about Poe's mother's performances. Stoddard also incorrectly states that Poe was born on February 19 rather than on January 19. Stoddard also mentions Poe's essay "The Poetic Principal" and Poe's biographer Rufus Griswold. Stoddard writes that Griswold had no evidence that the essay about Poe's composition of "The Raven" was a hoax. Today many critics are unconvinced that Poe wrote "The Raven" in quite the methodical process described in the essay.
Attached to the back of the second page is a not from Poe collector James H. Whitty criticizing Stoddard for complaining about other biographers' sloppy research while, in the same letter, incorrectly stating the date of Poe's birth.