BOSTON – An Edgar Allan Poe letter in which he extends his condolences to a fellow writer sold for $154,958 at RR Auction on June 15.
The one-page handwritten letter is signed “Edgar A. Poe,” dated August 24, 1846 and addressed from New York to writer Frederick William Thomas, who, from 1841 until 1850, worked as a clerk in the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., for which he selected a library.
The letter reads: “I send the MS. to the address you desire — all of it not published in the ‘Broadway Journal.’ Should you wish copies of the portion published, I think I may be able to find them. You make no allusion in your letter to the subject of your last, and I have misgivings that you may not have received the reply which I promptly and cordially sent. My reason for fearing this is first, that you say nothing, and, secondly that I trusted my letter to the driver of the stage which passed my door — I then lived out of town 5 miles on the Bloomingdale road. I am a neglectful correspondent, because I am often out of my wits through a press of business, but I should be grieved were you to think that in a matter of so much importance I had failed you. I dare not say one word, dear friend, on the final topic of your letter just received. For sorrows such as this there is no consolation but in unrestrained grief. May God bless you.”
The “final topic” to which Poe refers is the deaths of Thomas’s sister and her two children, who were killed in an accident on their return home from India. In his letter, Thomas deemed the event “the most awful affliction of my life.” The reverse of the second integral page is hand-addressed by Poe, who adds his initials to the lower left: “E. A. P.” The Poe letter was accompanied by an export certificate from the French Ministry of Culture.
The Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction featuring Animation by RR Auction concluded June 15. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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