1. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston January 19, 1809 If every one lived forever, he would be 204 years old on Saturday.
2. He was orphaned young (3 years old), when his mother died shortly after his father had abandoned the family. He had two other siblings that were placed in separate homes, a brother in Baltimore and a sister in Richmond. He was raised by, but never adopted by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia.
3. He attended the University of Virginia for one year and may have met Thomas Jefferson during that time. Thomas Jefferson, the founder often invited some of the students to his home in Monticello and the time frame does fit. He attended West Point but it is said he purposefully failed out and this resulted in the Allan's (especially John Allan) no longer wanting to have anything to do with him. There seems to be some other underlying circumstances as well for the estrangement.
4. Poe secretly married his first cousin, Virginia Clemm in 1835. He found the comfort of a family with her and his Aunt Marie, who at first was not fond of their relationship. He was 26 and she was 13. He publicly married her in 1836. He was said to be truly in love and suffered greatly when she died of tuberculosis in her 20's. The same illness that his mother and brother had succumbed to.
5. Edgar Allan Poe lived in 5 different places in Philadelphia during the 6 years he lived here. One of those locations is now a National Historic Site in Pennsylvania that you can tour for free. The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is open Wed-Sun, 9am-5pm. The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site will be closed beginning March 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013 for restoration work. According to the website, on January 19 and 20th, in honor of Poe's 204th birthday there will be a one hour Ranger led tour that will include excerpts from his stores and poems. Make sure you step outside and look for the raven. Look closely, if you are lucky like I was, you may see the spirit of Poe peering back at you. He finally made it to the other side.
There is a bird inside the raven, you can see his beak in the center. I was told their is a nest inside.
7. I didn't know Poe personally, he is a tad older and traveled in different circles, but I am drawn to the pictures and illustrations I have seen of Edgar Allan Poe. I am inspired to have my photograph taken nevermore, not to write the dark and dreary for fear I will be mistaken for such and by all means never be caught in someones clothes other then my own and be forced to vote for someone not of your choosing over and over again. "Cooping" as has been suggested as the way Mr. Poe may have spent his last days. There are not many flattering stories about him in my opinion, but he was a brilliant writer and to this day has a tremendous following. They make him look dark, mysterious, troubled and macabre. He sure holds your attention though. His suspense draws you in as you feel along with him, what is going to happen next. I sure hope whoever wrote such nasty stuff about someone after their death felt the pounding and thumping and pounding and thumping of the guilty tell-tale heart.
8. He lived in Philadelphia at several locations for 6 years, during that time he published "The Gold Bug" and "The Black Cat" and it is said he also wrote his greatest work while living there, "The Raven". He received $14 for that work.
9. He never made a lot of money off his talents while he was alive, but he sure has caused a stir since his death. There has been a tale for years that someone goes to his grave and leaves a bottle and it is consumed overnight. The mysterious person has never been identified and it is believed it may have been a tradition that has carried through two generations and has since stopped, presuming the mystery person has passed away, leaving three roses in a distinctive arrangement and the unfinished bottle of cognac, yet another mystery in the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe.
10. The Poe Toaster's last appearance was on January 19, 2009, the day of Poe's bicentennial. Just in case no one shows up this year let us here in the burbs of Philadelphia salute you and may your spirit live " forever more" and may you be lifted from your darkest despair and your soul rest in peace.
Cause of death: Broken Heart
If you would like to know Poe and his works there are readings and songs on Youtube. I will share the links on Monday