Poe's Life

Timeline

Poe's Life Current Events
1809

1809
Edgar Poe born in Boston to actors David and Eliza Poe, 19 January

1809
Abraham Lincoln born

Alfred Tennyson born

JAMES MADISON
President (1809–17)

1810
Frédéric Chopin born

P. T. Barnum born

1811
Eliza Poe, on theatrical tour, dies in Richmond, 8 December

Edgar is taken in by John and Frances Allan

1811
Richmond Theater burns; Gilbert Hunt, a slave, saves a dozen lives, 26 December

Harriet Beecher Stowe born

1812
War of 1812 (1812–15)
Charles Dickens born

1814
“The Star Spangled Banner” composed

1815

1815
In England with the Allans (1815–20)

Attends school in London and suburban Stoke-Newington

1815
Napoleon defeated at Waterloo

1817
Henry David Thoreau born

William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry

JAMES MONROE
President (1817–25)

1819
University of Virginia founded

Washington Irving, The Sketch Book (1819–20)

Walter Scott, Ivanhoe

Herman Melville born

Walt Whitman born

1821
Continues schooling in Richmond (1821–25)

Shows aptitude for Latin, poetry, acting and swimming

1822
Liberia established by the American Colonization Society

1823
Monroe Doctrine

1824
Lafayette tours the U.S.

Lord Byron dies

1825

1825
Secretly engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster

1825
Erie Canal opens

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
President (1825–29)

1826
Student at the University of Virginia

Excels in ancient and modern languages

Incurs gambling debts

1826
Thomas Jefferson dies

James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

1827
Quarrels with John Allan

Leaves for Boston

Enlists in U.S. Army as “Edgar A. Perry”

Publishes Tamerlane and Other Poems in Boston

1827
Ludwig van Beethoven dies

1828
Jules Verne born
Construction begins on Baltimore & Ohio,
first American railroad

1829

1829
Frances Allan dies, 28 February

Poe transferred to Fortress Monroe, Virginia

Promoted to Sergeant Major

Discharged from the army in March
Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems

1829
ANDREW JACKSON
President (1829–37)

1830
Godey’s Lady’s Book begins publication

Emily Dickinson born

1831
Expelled from West Point in February

Lives in Baltimore with aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia
Poems: Second Edition contains “To Helen”

1831
Nat Turner’s Insurrection

1832
Virginia General Assembly defeats abolition bill

John Pendleton Kennedy, Swallow Barn

1833
“MS. Found in a Bottle” (short story) wins literary prize; is published in Baltimore Saturday Visitor,
19 October

1833
Knickerbocker magazine begins publication

Edwin Booth born

1834

1834
John Allan dies, 27 March

1834
Southern Literary Messenger begins publication

Cyrus McCormick’s reaper

James Abbot McNeill Whistler born

1835
“Hans Pfaal” (first modern science fiction story) published in Richmond’s Southern Literary Messenger, March issue

Moves to Richmond in mid-summer to join Messenger editorial staff

Courts cousin, Virginia Clemm
Brings Virginia and her mother to Richmond

1835
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Georgia Scenes

William Gilmore Simms, The Yemassee

Samuel L. Clemens born

John Marshall dies

1836

1836
Marries Virginia Clemm (age 13) in Richmond, 16 May

Increases Messenger circulation

1836
Battle of the Alamo

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

William Holmes McGuffey, first Eclectic Reader

1837
Resigns from Messenger

Moves to New York, January

1837
Victoria becomes Queen of England

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Twice-Told Tales

Baltimore Sun begins publication

MARTIN VAN BUREN
President (1837–41)

1838
Moves to Philadelphia

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (novel)

1838
Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America translated into English

1839

1839
Becomes assistant editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in June

The Conchologist’s First Book
(scientific textbook)

1839
John D. Rockefeller born

Charles Darwin, Journal . . . of H.M.S. Beagle

1840
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (2 vols.) includes “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Quarrels with editor of Burton’s, leaves in May

 

1841
Becomes editor of Graham’s Magazine in February

“Murders in the Rue Morgue”
(first modern detective story)

1841
Brook Farm established

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON
President (March–April 1841)

JOHN TYLER
President (1841–45)

1842

1842
Publishes stories:
“The Pit and the Pendulum”
“The Masque of the Red Death”
“The Mystery of Marie Rogêt”

Interviews Charles Dickens in March

1842
Potato famine in Ireland

Rufus W. Griswold, Poets and Poetry of America

1843
Publishes stories:
“The Tell-Tale Heart”
“The Gold Bug”
“The Black Cat”

Publishes critical essay:
“The Rationale of Verse”

1843
First telegraph line

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Poems

Henry James born

Moses Ezekiel born

1844
Moves to New York City

Lectures on “The Poets and Poetry of America”

“The Balloon Hoax” (satirical story)

 
1845

1845
Publishes “The Raven” in the New York Evening Mirror, 29 January

Publishes Tales in July

Publishes The Raven and Other Poems in November

1845
Mexican War (1845–46)

Texas and Florida become U.S. states

U.S. Naval Academy opens

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

JAMES KNOX POLK
President (1845–49)

1846
Moves to Fordham, New York

“The Cask of Amontillado” (story)

“The Philosophy of Composition” (critical essay)

several Poe stories translated, critically acclaimed in France

1846
Smithsonian Institution founded

Herman Melville, Typee

1847
Virginia Clemm Poe dies, 30 January

Poe falls ill

Completes “Ulalume” (poem)

1847
Mormons establish Salt Lake City

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

1848

1848
Eureka (philosophical essay)

Reads “The Poetic Principle” (critical essay) to audience of 1,800

Writes “The Bells” (poem)

1848
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,
The Communist Manifesto

James Russell Lowell, A Fable for Critics

Seneca Falls, New York
Women’s Rights Convention

1849
In Richmond to lecture and see friends in mid-summer

Engaged to widow Sarah Elmira (Royster) Shelton, former fiancée

Leaves Richmond for New York, 27 September

Found delirious in Baltimore, 3 October

Dies, 7 October

Poems appear posthumously:
“The Bells”
“Annabel Lee”
“El Dorado”

1849
California Gold Rush

ZACHARY TAYLOR
President (1849–50)

Event Schedule

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