Scarce and very desirable ALS signed “Very, resp’y, Edgar A. Poe,” one page, 5 x 8, September 26, 1836. Letter to Mr. Charles Ellis. In full: “Do you think you could oblige me so far as to let me have the amount of $50 in dry goods, upon a credit of 4 months? If so, I would be greatly indebted to you, and my aunt will call down to choose such articles as she may wish.” Reverse of second integral page bears an address in Poe’s hand to “Mr. Charles Ellis Sr., Present.” In fine condition, with two horizontal mailing folds, small spot of paper loss to second page from wax seal, and some scattered light toning.
After marrying his young cousin Virginia in late 1835, Poe returned to Richmond with his new bride and her mother (his aunt) to work as the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Regularly publishing his own writing, including criticism, poetry and short stories, he made himself a fixture in the literary world during his two-year tenure with the periodical, though he did not achieve measurable success until years later. Struggling to make a living as a writer, Poe hit additional financial stress when he suffered from an unknown illness in September of 1836, causing that month’s issue of the Messenger to be delayed and his employment temporarily dissolved. Turning to Charles Ellis, Sr., his adoptive father John Allan’s best friend and former business partner, who Poe had known since childhood, he requests $50 in goods to get by. A stunning letter from one of the most coveted names in American literature! Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.