Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
Edgar Allan Poe earned a living as an editor for Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and later for Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia.
Born in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first American literary figures to gain lasting acclaim in the wider world. He was a six-year resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he he created some of his greatest short stories, including “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842). Read more here.
"Biography." The Poe Museum. 7 November 2018.
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809. His parents were David Poe, a lawyer-turned-actor, and Elizabeth Poe, an English actress. In 1811, Poe was unofficially adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant, and Francis Allan, when both his parents died. Poe married one of his cousins, Virginia Clemm, on May 16, 1836.
Poe attended the Manor House School in Stoke Newington, England, from 1815 to 1820. He then attended the University of Virginia for one year in 1826, but a large gambling debt prevented Poe from returning to the university. During this time, John Allan intervened and broke off Poe’s engagement with Sarah Elmira Royster. Shortly after, Poe enlisted in the army. Poe published his first work, Tamerlane and Other Poems, with his own money in 1827. Allan arranged Poe’s release from the army and had him appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he studied from 1830 to 1831. Poe was dismissed from West Point for disobeying orders, but with funding from fellow cadets, he was able to make his second publication, Poems by Edgar A. Poe, Second Edition, in 1831. After moving in with Maria and Virginia Clemm, his aunt and cousin in Baltimore, Maryland, Poe began publishing to support himself. He moved to Richmond, Virginia, and in 1836, he married Virginia Clemm when she was almost fourteen years old. From 1835 to 1836 he undertook his first editing position on the staff of the Southern Literary Messenger, where he also published many criticisms and reviews. After withdrawing from this position because of friction with his employer, Poe desired fame as a journalist. He moved to New York City in 1837, to Philadelphia in 1838, and back to New York City in 1844, where he worked as an editor for various respected magazines, including Burton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine and Graham’s, while he published his own works.
During his lifetime, Poe did not receive much in the way of critical acclaim; however, he is often now considered the architect of the modern short story, creator of the modern detective story, and father of the horror genre. He is widely known for the brilliance of his poetry, prose, and critical theories. Poe is famous for his ability to explore the heart of darkness, yet represent the magic of love. Irish author and friend of Poe, Mayne Reid, felt that Poe’s six-year stay in Philadelphia was his most creative and prolific time. In Philadelphia, he published great works such as “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), “The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842), and “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842).
In September 1849, Poe arrived in Baltimore in a semi-conscious state. He never regained consciousness and died four days later, unable to explain what had happened to him in the last days of his life.
Tamerlane and Other Poems: By a Bostonian. Boston: Calvin F.S. Thomas, 1827.
Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. Baltimore: Hatch & Dunning, 1829.
Poems, by Edgar A. Poe. New York: Elam Bliss, 1831.
The Raven and Other Poems. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1845.
Eureka: A Prose Poem. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1848.
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1840.
The Prose Romances: The Murders in the Rue Morgue and the Man That Was Used Up. Philadelphia: W.H. Graham, 1843.
Tales, by Edgar Allen Poe. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1845.
“Edgar Allen Poe.” The Gale Literary Database: Contemporary Authors Online. 3 Mar. 2000. 21 Sept. 2011.