Edgar Allan Poe and the Philadelphia Saturday Courier: Facsimile Reproductions of the First Texts of Poe's Earliest Tales and "Raising the Wind"

Edgar Allan Poe and the Philadelphia Saturday Courier: Facsimile Reproductions of the First Texts of Poe's Earliest Tales and "Raising the Wind"

Edgar Allan Poe and the Philadelphia Saturday Courier: Facsimile Reproductions of the First Texts of Poe's Earliest Tales and "Raising the Wind"

Edgar Allan Poe and the Philadelphia Saturday Courier: Facsimile Reproductions of the First Texts of Poe's Earliest Tales and "Raising the Wind"

Excerpt

On the twenty-eighth day of May, 1831, the Philadelphia Saturday Courier announced a contest in which a premium of one hundred dollars was to be given for the best American tale submitted; and on the thirtyfirst day of December, in the same year, an issue of the Courier carried the news that the committee of judges had decided in favor of Miss Delia Bacon of the State of New York for her story, "Love's Martyr". Miss Bacon was destined to receive later some literary renown, but for reasons far removed from her prize story; and indeed both "Love's Martyr" and the contest itself might long since have sunk into oblivion but for the fact that one of the less fortunate of those who had competed was probably Edgar Allan Poe, just returned from the United States Military Academy, and now struggling to support himself through the somewhat crude efforts of an immature pen.

Little is positively known concerning the activities of Poe during those years immediately subsequent to his dismissal from West Point, but from the reminiscences of Mary Devereaux, a Baltimore sweetheart, and of Lambert A. Wilmer, a journalist friend, Professor Killis Campbell concludes with some assurance that at the time of the Courier contest and as late as the autumn of 1832, Poe was living in Baltimore. Here, according to Hervey Alien , while sharing an attic room with his consumptive, and perhaps dissipated, brother Henry, in the overcrowded and poverty-stricken home of his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, on Wilks Street, the poet turned his attention to a more lucrative literary form in order to help replenish the meagre finances of Mrs. Clemm's household. Rumor would have it that during this first year Poe tried various types of work, apparently with little success, for on November 18, 1831, he again humbled himself by entreating his foster father, John Allan, for funds sufficient to save him from a debt which threatened imprisonment. On December 5, Mrs. Clemm added her entreaties to Edgar's, and John Allan took steps to aid Poe, but he neglected to send money until Jan-

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