The Museum Collection
Rufus Dawes Engraving and Autograph
Description:Rufus Dawes (1803-1859) was a Baltimore writer Poe repeatedly ridiculed. In January 1840 in Alexander's Weekly Messenger, for example, Poe wrote a notice of the recent issue of the New York Mirror by noting that "the literary contents are, as usual, excellent, with the exception of a very silly 'theory of dreaming' by Rufus Dawes, a gentleman who had much better dismiss all hope of attaining eminence as a metaphysician, and stick to the Camen?. He has perpetrated more downright nonsense, in his attempts to look profound, than any man of the age. His 'Athenia of Damascus' did him credit, and his minor poems are mostly good. It is a pity that he should make a fool of himself in meddling with a science about which he knows absolutely nothing." In an 1842 review, Poe wrote that Dawes's "poems have not been condemned, only because they have never been read."
Dawes's autograph, cut from an unknown document, has been glued to this engraving.