Rare, boldly penned ALS signed “Edgar A. Poe,” one page, 7.25 x 9.75, September 21, 1843. Poe writes from Philadelphia to Elwood Evans, in full: “I have been absent from the city for the last few weeks and your note of the 15th is only this moment received. I have the pleasure of informing you that Mr. Dana’s address is Chestnut Street, Boston.” Reverse of second integral page is addressed in Poe’s hand, “Elwood Evans Esq[ui]re, Philadelphia.” In fine condition, with light intersecting mailing folds, a block of mild toning from previous display, old reinforcement along inner hinge, and a strip of mounting residue along extreme right edge of the integral page affecting nothing. The exceptionally crisp letter displays beautifully, with all writing clear and bold.
Elwood Evans, a Philadelphian lawyer and later politician who governed the Washington Territory, was one of Poe’s acquaintances during his time living in Philadelphia between 1838 and 1844. While living there Poe was at his most prolific, publishing more than thirty short stories including some of his most famous, such as ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue,’ and ‘The Gold-Bug.’ He also began planning to publish a high quality literary journal to be called The Penn (later renamed The Sylus), a project that he put an enormous amount of effort into but never came to fruition. The cost was too great for him to finance personally and he never raised enough funds to establish it, despite having subscribers in place. Interestingly, Elwood Evans appears on a list of subscribers-to-be kept by Poe later on in the 1840s. Poe’s autograph is excessively rare in any form and among the most sought-after of all literary figures, with this especially desirable as a complete letter from an especially productive and creative period in his life.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.