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Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father David Poe Jr. died in 1810 and his mother Elizabeth Hopkins Poe died in 1811, Edgar then went to live with a Richmond merchant John Allan. Poe was never legally adopted so he took Allan's name for his middle name (Wilson).Poe ended up attending the University of Virginia, but he was expelled for not paying his gambling debts, which led to a fight with Allan, who later disowned him. In 1827 Poe joined the U.S. Army as a common foot soldier under assumed name and age. In 1830 Poe entered West Point and was dishonorably discharged the next year, for intentional neglect of his duties. In 1836 Poe married his 13 year old cousin Virginia Clemm. In 1842, she burst a blood vessel and was a virtual invalid until she died of tuberculosis five years later. Poe wrote the poem "Annabel Lee" for her (Wilson).

Poe's death is a mystery, but there are three main theories. The alcohol theory which was possible but because Poe's drinking wasn't consistent or intense enough to cause sclerosis of the liver. Poor nutrition and a weakened condition brought on by other illnesses could have made it possible for delirium tremens to occur with fewer episodes of drinking than would normally be required, but still this doesn't completely explain his condition and the change of clothing (Savoye). Since Poe was not wearing his own clothes a lot of people go with the cooping theory. Poe's body was found on the street, on Election Day in Baltimore, and the place near where he was found was both a bar and a place for voting (Quinn). In those days, Baltimore elections were known for corruption and violence; Political gangs would kidnap innocent voters, get them drunk, beat them, and then they would then send them into poll after poll. This is why sometimes they would change their clothes, so they could go for another round. Poe's weak heart would never have withstood such abuse (Savoye). A flaw in theory is that Poe was reasonably well-known in Baltimore and was likely to be recognized. A third theory is that Poe contracted rabies, and died from the disease.

Although he lived a short and tragic life, Edgar Allan Poe remain today one of the most-beloved mystery writers in history. His contributions to literature



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