Edgar Allan Poe Biography

Edgar Allan Poe

Born on January 19th 1809

Died on October 7th 1949

Born in Boston. Low family. Both parents were actors. When he was born, Dad left the family. His sister went insane. His brother died of horrible disease. His mother died when he was 4. (1813). of Tuberculosis.

Adopted to John and Francis Allan. Richmond, Virginia.John Allen – plantation owner, merchant. High Standard. Early Life – gain father’s respect

(Grades Outstanding, Athletics, was popular, good looking)

Bob Stanner – a school mate who idealized Poe

Spends Christmas with Bob because he couldn’t go to Scotland with adopted parents. Bob’s mom said nice things about his mom.

Fell in love with Helen Stanner(Bob’s mom)

When Poe was found in bed with Helen her husband became upset and shot at Poe as he kicked him out of the house.


Edgar Allan Poe

Kicked out of school and was forced to go to a public school.

As a senior he met a girl, Elmyra Royster.

Went to the University of Virginia for college

Becomes alcoholic

Put on probation, then kicked out of school.

Joins the army and at Westpoint he learns discipline

Tries to get thrown out and eventually succeeds

Now his father disowns him. Poe has lost everything by early 20’s

Moved to Baltimore, lived with aunt, Maria Clemm. She lets him live in a room in her attic.

Started developing writing reputation

He wrote alot and was getting published, but was paid very little.

1835 – Got a job as editor of a magazine, The Southern Literary Messenger

Publishes stories by Herman Melville and James Cooper

He was considered a good editor, and writes his own stuff

1836 – Marries his cousin, Virginia Clemm

She was able the make him happy

1837 – Poe was fired, he became to unreliable

Wide contracted Tuberculosis

Depression sets in and he turns tward alcohol

Took his wife’s medication

During this time he wrote “The Raven” it was published in 1845 for $10

1847 – wife died

Wrote hundreds of stories, poems to stay alive

Poe is suicidal

Goes back to Richmond in 1849

Meets Elmyra Downs, Dwight her exhusband, just died

They get engaged again

He said he had to go to New York

Found in Baltimore behind bar in critical condion so they took him to a room above the bar

Died – October 7, 1846 (still influential today)

Enlisted under Edgar Allan Perry

1829 – mom died

1834 – John Allan died

1842 – request government job with President Tyler, intoxicated, 2nd time, sober, tried to solicit magazines

needed order & logic in his life

lost mother, step mother, brother, wife(cousin) to tuberculosis

1845 – The Raven – New York Evening Mirror

nickname – Raven

$14.00 for Raven

1846 – moved to Ferdhan, NY

Hellen Whitman – rejected her too

Elmyra Shelton – engaged again

Poe disappeared for several days

found semi-conscious on Baltimore Street…carried in tavern

rushed in carriage to Washington Hospital

5 am, regained consciousness

last thing he said was “Can I help my poor soul?”

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