The Museum Collection

Rufus Griswold Letter to P.S. Lyon

ID #: 637d
Creator: Rufus W. Griswold
Date: October 16, 1847
Format: Letter
Source: Gift of James H. Rindfleisch
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


In this letter, Edgar Allan Poe's rival, biographer, and literary executor Rufus Wilmot Griswold (1815-1857) answers a request from a Mr. Lyon. Griswold is best known today as Edgar Allan Poe's literary executor who was the first to collect and publish Poe's works after the author's death. Griswold's edition of the works of Poe contained a short biography which contained a negatively distorted image of Poe probably intended to permanently damage Poe's reputation. Griswold's obituary of Poe was so negative and potentially libelous he first published it anonymously.

The text of the letter reads:

New York University, 16th Oct. '47.

My Dear Sir

I have delayed acknowledging your obliging letter of the 22nd ult. In the hopes that a search among my MSS would enable me to send you some autographs of the class you refer to; but I find that I have nothing here worthy of your acceptance. My letters and other papers are chiefly in Philadelphia, and when I again visit that city I will make up a package for you.
I have read your address with much satisfaction, and shall be happy at any time to see you in my chambers.
Yours truly,
Rufus W. Griswold

To Mr. LS Lyon