Edgar Allan Poe

3225 Words13 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 In personal appearance, Poe was a quiet, shy-looking but handsome man; he was slightly built, and was five feet, eight inches in height. His mouth was considered beautiful. His eyes, with long dark lashes, were hazel-gray. Edgar Poe was born in 1809 in Boston. It was in Richmond that Poe grew up, married, and first gained a national literary reputation. Many of the places in Richmond associated with Poe have been lost, but several still remain. Family Father: David Poe, an actor Mother: Elizabeth Poe, an actress Foster parents: John Allan, Tobacco merchant and his wife, Frances Allan, cared for Poe while he was young, but never legally adopted him. Wife: Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm Occupations • Soldier • Editor and literary critic • Author Chronology Edgar Poe is the second of the three children of David Poe and Elizabeth (Arnold) Poe, both of whom were professional actors and members of a touring theatrical company. Mr. Placide’s Theatre Company in Boston employed Poe’s natural parents, David and Elizabeth Arnold Poe. They had been married in Richmond while on tour in 1806. Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts, but he considered Richmond his home, and called himself "a Virginian," where his mother had been employed as an actress. David Poe, unknown due to his more famous wife, his own promising career ruined by alcoholism, Edgar’s father, deserted the family when Edgar was still an infant; nothing conclusive is known of his life thereafter. While appearing professionally in Richmond, Virginia, Poe's mother became ill and died on December 8, 1811, in Richmond at the age of twenty-four. Poe's mother, Elizabeth, was buried in the churchyard of St. John's Episcopal Church where her memorial stone may be seen. St. John's is the oldest church in Richmond and is famous as the site of Patrick Henry's rousing "liberty or death" oration shortly before the Revolutionary War. The Richmond Theatre where Edgar Poe's mother had performed burned to the ground on December 26, 1811, only eighteen days after her death. The fire took the lives of many Richmonders including the Governor of Virginia, George Smith and his wife. At the site of the tragedy on East Broad Street, Monumental Episcopal Church was erected as a memorial to the victims. Her three children, who would maintain contact with one another throughout their lives, were sent to live with different foster families. Richmond families took in the other two children who were Rosalie, only eleven months old, by William and Jane Scott Mackenzie.

More about Edgar Allan Poe

Open Document