Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Edgar Allan Poe
Death Theories
Home
Timeline
Death Theories
Biography
Writing Style
Themes
Imagery
Poe's Influence on Lit
Selected Texts
Poe Psychological Analysis
Photo Gallery
Commentaries
Additional Commentaries
Links
Bibliography

Since there is an uncertainty to Edgar Allan Poe’s death, many theories have been developed. This note was the first clue to Poe’s location since leaving Richmond on September 27.

 On October 3, 1849, Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass received the following note:

Baltimore City, Oct. 3, 1849
Dear Sir,

There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan's 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe, and who appears in great distress, & he says he is acquainted with you, he is in need of immediate assistance.

Yours, in haste,
JOS. W. WALKER
To Dr. J.E. Snodgrass.

(www.poemuseum.org)

 Poe was on his way to Philadelphia, where he was to edit a volume of poetry for Mrs. St. Leon Loud, when Dr. Snodgrass found Poe semiconscious and dressed in cheap, ill-fitting clothes, not like Poe's usual attire leading many to believe that Poe's own clothing had been stolen. Poe was taken to Washington College Hospital on the afternoon of October 3 and did not regain consciousness until the next morning. For days he passed from delirium to unconsciousness, but never recovered well enough to tell how he had arrived in such a condition. For no known reason he started calling loudly for "Reynolds" on the fourth night.

On the morning of October 7, Poe exhaled, "Lord, help my poor soul," and died. His cause of death was ascribed to ‘congestion of the brain.’ No autopsy was performed, and the author was buried two days later. Because of Poe’s unknown death circumstances, the father of the detective story has left us with a real-life mystery which Poe scholars, medical professionals, and others have been trying to solve for over 150 years.

A Coral Gables High School Webquest Project