The Museum Collection

Poe's Essay on Frances S. Osgood

ID #: 465
Creator: Edgar Allan Poe
Date: 1849
Format: Manuscript
Dimensions: 10" x 8"
Source: Fayetta H. and Alberta W. Laighton
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


Edgar Allan Poe wrote this essay for the August 1849 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger. The subject, Frances Osgood (1811-1850) was a poetess and close friend of Poe and his wife. Poe and Osgood addressed love poems to each other in the Broadway Journal and other magazines in 1845, but their relationship ended after the 1846 scandal involving Elizabeth Ellet, who spread rumors she had seen an "indiscreet" letter from Osgood to Poe lying open on a table in his house. It was soon discovered that Ellet herself had been sending Poe letters and poems. In spite of the damage the scandal had done to her reputation, Osgood remained an admirer and defender of Poe's work and character.

This manuscript was once in the autograph album of Lucy Dorothea Henry Laighton, granddaughter of Patrick Henry. Laighton's daughters gave the album, which also included other Poe manuscripts in addition to the autographs of over 250 other celbrities, to the Poe Museum in 1928.