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The Town & the City: Lowell before and after The Civil War

Originally created to be a digital archive for Lowell documents from 1826 to 1861, this website has grown to cover many periods and events in Lowell's history.

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) in Lowell

"Could we be happier in Richmond or Lowell?"

- From Poe's letter to his mother-in-law and aunt, Mrs. Maria Clemm, August 29, 1849 (one month before his death in Baltimore)


Four cities have Poe museums and seven cities boast of their connections to Poe. Though not included with these cities, Lowell might have been one of the most meaningful places to him. It also might be one of the most meaningful to those who want to know more about him him. Unfortunately, Lowell only became important to Poe during the last year and a half of his life. Poe made three visits to Lowell between July 1848 and June 1849. His connections to the city continued between visits and extended beyond his last visit. Much uncertainty existed about the rest of his life and the Lowell visits are no exception. Some of what is known is presented here.


January 30, 1847

The death of Poe's wife Virginia Eliza (Clemm) Poe (1822 - 1847).

July 1848

Poe's first visit to Lowell to deliver a lecture on poetry titled “The Poets and Poetry of America”.

October and November 1848 (after October 20 to November 3 or 4)

In his second visit, Poe spends time in Lowell and three days in Westford.

May 23 to June 1, 1849

Poe's third and final visit to Lowell.

October 7, 1849
The death of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore at age 40.

Shortly after Poe's death

Mrs. Maria Clemm (aka “Muddy”) (1790 - 1871), Poe’s mother-in-law and aunt, moved to Lowell where she lived in the Richmond’s home for about two years.

Poe's first visit to Lowell - July 1848

The Invitation

Portrait of Poe in 1845 by Samuel Stillman Osgood

Frances Sargent (Locke) Osgood (1811 - 1850). Poet and wife of Samuel.
Place of burial - Mount Auburn Cemetery (Massachusetts).

. . . at a time when he was financially distressed after his wife's death, he was invited through the mediacy of Frances Sargent Osgood, wife of S. S. Osgood, the portrait painter, to lecture at Lowell. His hostess there was to be Mrs. Osgood's cousin by marriage, Mrs. John G. Locke, the former Ermina Starkweather, of a western Massachusetts family, one the female poets with whom, as Jane Ermina Locke, Poe had exchanged friendly letters. (Coburn, 1943)

Jane Ermina (Starkweather) Locke (1805 - 1859)

Links to some of her writings

Jane Ermina Locke and Her “Requiem for Edgar A. Poe” by Frederick W. Coburn (a page on this website)

“Jane Starkwheather Locke” by Rosalie Tutela Ryan. From American Women Writers : from Colonial Times to the Present : A Critical Reference Guide / editor: Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf. -- 2nd ed. (pdf download). [Note: "Ermina" is misspelled as "Erminia" in the text. Also note: Nothing Ever Happens (1938) was not written by Jane Ermina Locke.]

Place of burial - Lowell Cemetery (no headstone or marker; Lot 345 on Fenlon Ave., near Varnum Path)

. . . there were, as elsewhere noted, several writers of reputation living in the city at one time and another before 1860. One of the most prominent of these, socially, was Mrs. Jane Ermine Locke, for some years a corre­spondent of the "Boston Daily Journal" and "Daily Atlas" and author of many magazine poems and special articles. Mrs. Locke was friendly with most of the literary workers of what is now called the "golden age of American literature" - Whittier, Bryant, Poe, N. P. Willis, Mrs. Sigourney. Mrs. Osgood and many others. When Poe came to Lowell in 1848 to deliver his lecture on "Poetic Principle," he was entertained at Mrs. Locke's home and was introduced to many of her friends. . ." [Please note: Poe's lecture in Lowell was “The Poets and Poetry of America”]

- Fredrick C. Coburn, History of Lowell and Its People (1920)

You are aware that Mr. Poe is a widower. In a singular way (I wish I could tell you how) he got the impression that Mrs. L. was a widow. A correspondence was commenced and kept up which was “touching certainly,” neither party ever having seen the other. At length he came to Lowell called upon Mrs. L. at Wamesit Cottage. – ‘Nuf said! She has a husband and three or four children!!
- Bardwell Heywood, Nancy Locke ("Annie") Richmond’s younger brother, in a letter to Miss Annie Sawyer of Lowell. (Coburn, 1943)



The Boston & Lowell Railroad
(from The Boston and Lowell Railroad., by Francis B. C. Bradlee, The Essex Institute, 1918)

Merrimack Street Depot


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Wamesit Cottage and the Lockes

The Lockes lived in a picturesque, fantastic, wooden-Gothic house called Wamesit Cottage, on the Concord River, in the southerly part of town.(Coburn, 1943)

John G. Locke as Lowell's City Auditor in 1847, and his home was listed as being on Lawrence Street.

From The Lowell Directory for 1847

[Note: There is no doubt that the Wamesit Cottege existed; however, I have been unable to find it labeled on a map or find a picture of it.]

From Mill and Mansion: A Study of Architecture and Society in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1820 - 1865 by John Coolidge (1942, 1993) -

The Gothic Revival, like the Greek, came early into the repertory of the second phase of orthodox nineteenth-century architecture. For a few years it was universally popular, but it was soon found to be unsatisfactory except for two special building types, churches and castellated country mansions. After 1845 its use was increasingly limited to these two fields.

But an even more important reason for the scarcity of Gothic houses is the symbolic significance of these buildings. The men of the middle of the nineteenth century did not in the least believe in art for its own sake. They were greatly concerned about the fundamental meaning of forms and styles. Andrew Jackson Downing, at that time the arbiter of taste in domestic architecture, remarked that the Gothic house displayed a “poetic, aspiring, imaginative idea embodied in the upward lines of pointed architecture. The man of common-sense views only, if he is true to himself, will have nothing to do . . . with picturesque and irregular outlines. He was only expressing the common attitude. The Gothic house was abandoned to the intellectual left wing. It is noteworthy that the most prominent one in Lowell should have been built by a minister and called “the Manse.”


Left: The Manse - A stone Gothic House (c.1847). Right: A clapboard Gothic house in Lowell (c.1839). Coolidge does not mention the Wamesit Cottage in his book, as it likely did not exist in 1942.

Detail of 1850 map of Lowell

. . . an ancient cottage, which stood but a few rods from these falls, and immediatelly upon the brink of this beautiful river, which perfected a scenery the most picturesque and poetic imaginable.
- Jane Ermina Starkwheather Locke, The Recalled; In Voices of the Past, and Poems of the Ideal
The poem Wamesit Cottage by Jane Ermina Locke.

The mills explosion - 1847

First and last paragraphs of a February 25, 1847 Lowell Advertiser article

1 rod = 16.5 feet
60 rods = 990 feet (330 yards; approx. 0.2 miles)
15 rods = 247.5 feet (82.5 yards)

Whipple's Powder Mills

Whipple Powder Mill (pdf download) - Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust


John Goodwin Locke (1803 - 1869)

Place of burial - Lowell Cemetery (no headstone or marker; Lot 345 on Fenlon Ave., near Varnum Path)

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The Lecture

July 7. 1848 - The Daily Journal & Courier -

July 7. 1848 - The Daily Journal & Courier: also carried an advertisement that was repeated in the July 8 and 10 papers -

July 8, 1848 -The Lowell Advertiser -

 July 11, 1848 - The Lowell Advertiser -

"I saw him first in Lowell, and there heard him give a Lecture on Poetry, illustrated by readings and recitations. His manner of rendering some of the selections constituted my only remembrance of the evening: it fascinated me, although he gave no attempt at dramatic effect. Everything was rendered with pure intonation and perfect enunciation, marked attention being paid to the rhythm: he almost sang the more musical versifications." (Sarah Heywood, Annie’s younger sister, in Ingram, p. 389)

The Richmonds

ANNIE RICHMOND A photograph taken in Lowell c. 1878 (Lowell Historical Society Collection)

Nancy Locke (Heywood) Richmond - "Annie" (1820 - 1898)

Poe always called her Annie, “For Annie”. She changed the name legally after her husband's death in 1873.

Place of burial - Lowell Cemetery

Actually, she was a rather great lady in Lowell and a friend of foremost liberal men and women of New England, an active Unitarian layman and prominent in local charities, a widow after the early 1870's, greatly averse to newspaper publicity after her unpleasant experience with J. H. Ingram in the matter of publication of her letters from Poe (Coburn, 1943).

Perez O. Richmond House, 23 Ames Street

Charles Bradford Richmond and Nancy Locke Richmond ("Annie") lived here for many years, including the years of Poe's visits to Lowell and Maria Clemm's two-year stay in th city.

Google Maps


Detail of 1850 map of Lowell

The Richmond House is on the block between Ames Street and Richmond Ave.

From The Lowell Directory for 1849

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Poe's second visit to Lowell - after October 20 to November 3, or 4, 1848

Quarrel with the Lockes

After October. 20,  Poe arrives in Lowell and begins his stay at “Wamesit Cottage,” with Jane Ermina Locke and  John G. Locke. After a quarrel he soon moves to the Richmond’s house on Ames Street, then went on to spend three days with the Heywood family in Westford.

I quarrelled with the Lockes solely on your account & Mr R’s — It was obviously my interest to keep in with them, & moreover they had rendered me some services which entitled them to my gratitude . . . . It was only when I heard them declare that through their patronage alone, you were admitted into society — that your husband was everything despicable — that it would ruin my mother even to enter your doors — it was only when such insults were offered to you, whom I sincerely & most purely loved, & to Mr R. whom I had every reason to like & respect, that I arose & left their house & incurred the unrelenting vengeance of that worst of all fiends, ‘a woman scorned.’ February 18, 1849 - Poe to Mrs. Richmond

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The Heywood House in Westford Massachusetts (Lowell Historical Society Collection)

"Landor's Cottage"

Reverse of The Heywood House photograph (Lowell Historical Society Collection)

“The Amos Heywood House at 11 Graniteville Rd. was built in the 1700s by Thomas Blodgett and lived in for many years by the Amos Heywood (1791-1875) family. The house, which stood just north of the present house at this address, was taken down in 1900 and the present house was once the shed and barn of the old house. The American poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) visited this home several times in 1848 and 1849, where he gave readings at the Heywood’s Reading Circle, walked the hills and dales of Westford, and fell in love with the Heywood’s oldest (and married) daughter, Mrs. Charles (Nancy Heywood) Richmond. She is the “Annie” of Poe’s letters and the poem “For Annie,” one of the many women he idolized. A granite monument and marker to the north of the garage at 11 Graniteville Rd. commemorates Poe’s visits to Westford. It was installed by Brad Parker of Chelmsford, author of “The Saga of Eddie & Annie: Lowell's Greatest Romance,” (1984).”


When I read “Eureka” there were many things I could not comprehend, about which there was much mystery. This I expressed to the author whom I saw in Lowell, and he promised to come to Westford, read it aloud and explain it as he read. In October he spent three days with us, during which time the reading circle met at our house. I then had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Poe and Mr. Willard converse. It was a treat, I assure you . . .  Mr. Poe recited some of his best poems before the circle, among which were “The Raven,” “Eulalamme,” [Ulalume”] etc. . . . I said he promised to read “Eureka” aloud at Westford. So he did, but what with riding, walking and climbing rugged hills, we found no time to sit down and read (Bardwell Heywood’s December 24th letter to Annie Sawyer in Coburn, 1943).

Years later, Sarah H. Heywood, Annie’s younger sister, recalled to Ingram:

During the day he strolled off by himself, “to look at the hills,” he said. I remember standing in the low porch with my sister, as we saw him returning, and as soon as he stepped from the dusty street on to the green sward which sloped from our door, he removed his hat, and came to us with uncovered head, his eyes seeming larger and more luminous than ever with the exhilaration of his walk. . . .
My memory photographs him again, sitting before an open wood fire, in the early autumn evening, gazing intently into the glowing coal, holding the hand of a dear friend — “Annie” — while for a long time no one spoke, and the only sound was the ticking of the tall old clock in the corner of the room. . . .

The next morning I was to go to school, and before I returned he would be gone. I went to say “Good-bye” to him, when, with that ample gracious courtesy of his which included even the rustic school-girl, he said, “I will walk with you. (Ingram (1886) pgs. 390-91)

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Poe's third visit to Lowell - May 23 to June 1, 1849

We have told our landlord that we will not take the house next year. Do not let Mr. R., however, make any arrangements for us in Lowell, or Westford — for, being poor, we are so much the slaves of circumstances. At all events, we will both come & see you & spend a week with you in the early spring, or before — but we will let you know some time before we come.(Poe to Annie Richmond, February 8, 1849)

Miss B.

Poe visits the Franklin Grammar School where Annie's brother Amos Bardwell Heywood was principal. Poe was attracted to a young assistant who over a century later was identified as Eliza Jane Butterfield. Poe made a second visit to the school during this same trip.

Franklin Grammar School

31 Branch Street

Google Maps

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Mr. Poe as a Cryptographer


Rev. Warren H. Cudworth (1825 - 1883)

Place of burial - Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, Massachusetts

Warren H. Cudworth, friend and border at the Richmond family house created a cryptogram to test Poe’s ability as a cryptographer. “Mr Poe solved this cipher, in one-fifth of the time it took me to write it.”
 -Warren H. Cudworth, “Cryptography — Mr. Poe as a Cryptographer,” Lowell Weekly Journal, April 19, 1850, p. 2.

Also see -
Warren H. Cudworth, "Mr. Poe, as a Critic," Lowell Daily Journal and Courier, May 8, 1850. (pdf download below)

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It is stated in the Introduction above that much uncertainty existed about the rest of Poe’s life, and the Lowell visits are no exception. The daguerreotypes that he sat for in Lowell are no exception either.

Poe sat for daguerreotype portraits on six known occasions in his lifetime, which produced a total of eight known original plates. Two of the eight known plates were taken during one sitting during his third and last visit to Lowell; The “Annie” Daguerreotype and  The “Stella” Daguerreotype. Only three original plates can be located at present: the “Whitman” daguerreotype, the “Annie” daguerreotype, and the “Thompson” daguerreotype. The other five original plates have been either lost or stolen, or one might even have been discarded after being defaced in the 1890s (the “Traylor” daguerreotype). These other five exist only as copies of the original plates.

So, one of the only three originals that are extant was taken in Lowell, and two of the eight known daguerreotype portraits of Poe were taken in Lowell.

There is also one copy known as the “Painter” daguerreotype that is a copy of the "Annie" daguerreotype that Mrs. Clemm gave William Painter of Baltimore in 1868.

One of the uncertainties is the identity of the daguerreotypist who created the Annie and Stella daguerreotypes. Annie wrote two letters 27 years after the daguerreotypes were taken that give us some clues.

In an October 3, 1876 letter to John H. Ingram, Annie wrote:
I mailed you yesterday a valuable package (at least I considered it so) containing letters from Mrs. Clemm & from her gifted son, together with the photographs of them both — hers is very good, but Mr. Poe’s does not do him justice indeed, I have never seen a picture that did-his face was thin, & in the one I send, he looks very stout, & his features heavy, which makes it seem almost like a caricature — yet, he certainly sat for it, & the artist (if he deserves the title) is still living here, who had the privilege of taking it. (Miller (1977), pg. 153)

In a November 21, 1876 letter to Ingram, she wrote:

“The photo I sent you, was copied from a daguerreotype Mr. Poe had taken the last time he visited me & the artist who took it is still living in this city. It is a poor picture, I know, but it was the best I could do at the time — the art was then in its infancy, & this man was the only one here, who took them so I had no other alternative. Mr. Poe promised to send me a better one, as soon as he arrived in New York — but it never came.” (Miller (1977), pg. 154)

We can assume from Annie’s two letters that the daguerreotypist had a practice in Lowell in 1849, he was still living in Lowell in 1876, and he was referred to as an artist. Interestingly, Annie wrote that he was the only daguerreotypist in the city at the time. If that were true, it would be easy to determine who it was; however, there were others.

I used sources including three Lowell city directories (1847, 1849, 1851) to identify the daguerreotypists who might have been working in Lowell in 1849, and the 1875 – 1876 city directory to see which of these were living in Lowell in 1876.

Fourteen¹ people met my definition of “daguerreotypists who might have been working in Lowell in 1849.” Four² of them were living in Lowell in1876 and three³ of the four were referred to as artists at some point in their careers. Two of the four were still in the arts in 1876 - one as an artist (Howes) and one as a photographist (Gilchrist; also spelled Gilchrest)). Of the other two in 1876, one was a grocer (James M. Pearson) and one was listed as a dealer in music and musical instuments, and in looking glass and picture frames (Simpson).

Michael J. Deas wrote that George C. Gilchrest, Samuel P. Howes, James M. Pearson, or Andrew J. Simpson, are all possible creators of the portraits.  The Getty Museum, owner of the Annie daguerreotype, in Masterpieces of the Getty Museum: Photographs lists the creator as  “UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER,” states that the "list of photographers who may have made this portrait of Poe has grown to more than a dozen., and concludes that “it is most likely that it was made by George C. Gilchrist” who the author of the piece called “the most prominent of the Lowell, Massachusetts, daguerreotypists."

While Howes and Gilchrist were listed as daguerreotypists in 1847, Simpson was not listed as a daguerreotypist until the 1949 directory. While James M. Pearson was listed as a daguerreotypist in 1847, he worked in a fruit store in 1849 and a was a grocer in 1875-76.

"The introduction of the telegraph, the telephone, and the daguerreotype into Lowell" by Z.E. Stone, read November 18, 1892 (in Contributions of the Old Residents' Historical Association, Lowell, Mass., Volume V. No. 2, 1894) recounts the early history of daguerreotyping in Lowell in a meandering way that was more common at the time, but is not the current style. It is also not a comprehensive or detailed account of daguerreotyping in Lowell.This account, written over 40 years after the Poe daguerreotypes, does not address the them, but does offer some information worth noting.

Stone wrote that Andrew J. Simpson “indeed succeeded in making what he has the best of reasons for believing was the first daguerreotype picture ever produced in Lowell. It was far from perfect or even a good specimen of the art, but the likeness was there! . . .” He also wrote that

Mr. Simpson made no attempt to introduce the new art of picture-making to the Lowell public; for about that time business interests in another town took him away. He had, as we have mentioned, been associated with the late George C. Gilchrest [died January 12, 1888 in Lowell]. The new art came forward rapidly, and Mr. Gilchrest naturally engaged in it. How, where or under what circumstances he took it up we do not know; but it is more than probable that he did the first daguerrean work for the public that was done by a permanent resident of Lowell. A number of persons rushed into the business, as it was not difficult to acquire a knowledge of it and not a large amount of capital was required. Other miniature and portrait painters took it up, as a legitimate branch of their profession or a new development in their line. (Stone, 1892)

In Stone’s work, S. P. Howes is only mentioned in a list of miniature and portrait painters, Simpson and Gilchrist are mentioned in the most detail, Simpson as an innovator with other interests and Gilchrest as a practitioner, and James M. Pearson is not mentioned at all.

My conclusion is that it was either George C. Gilchrist, Samuel P. Howes, or Andrew J. Simpson who took the portraits in Lowell. While Gilchrist switched to photography when that technology supplanted daguerreotypes, Howes stayed with painting after daguerreotypes. His paintings, especially portraits, were very well known and can be seen today at the Pollard Memorial Library and City Hall. The Whistler House Museum also has a number of his paintings in its collection. As mentioned above, Simpson had other interests including later on music and musical instuments, and looking glass and picture frames.

Poe was very interested in the daguerreotypes, and even published commentaries and speculations on the future of the art and science of the process. So, though Annie was not pleased with the eponymous daguerreotype, was Poe's appearance deliberate on his part?

Save for the McKee daguerreotype, the surviving photographic images of Poe do not represent the way he was. They represent the way he wished to be seen, and remembered (Hayes, 2002).

Poe's appearance, like other aspects of his life, has been the subject of much dicussion and analysis.

The “Annie’’ daguerreotype in particular “invites introspection about the author’s personality and mental illnesses . . . disclosing a depressive mood and suffering.

So, while we know that these classic images were created in Lowell, the creator, like so many other aspects of Poe's life, remains a mystery.


¹Ephraim T. Brigham, E. B. Chase, Alvin D. Gale, George C. Gilchrist, William S. Gove, Benson C. Hazelton, Jotham. A. Hopkinson, Samuel P. Howes, James Huntoon, M. Morton Peake, James M. Pearson, Timothy Pearson, W. A. Perry & Co., and Andrew J. Simpson.

²George C. Gilchrist, Samuel P. Howes, James M. Pearson, and Andrew J. Simpson.

³George C. Gilchrist, Samuel P. Howes, and Andrew J. Simpson.

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The Bells

Poe gave Annie a manuscript copy of his third version of “The Bells” containing his final revisions in ink and pencil (Annie’s letters to John H. Ingram in Miller, p. 151, p. 155160-161, 166, 182-184.

Bardwell Heywood in a letter of November 8 to Annie Sawyer of Lowell wrote -
Did you ever tell me what you thought of "The Raven" and "The Bells"? If you have pray tell me again, for have forgotten. I have the original ms. of "The Bells" with his signature, which I consider invaluable. Willis has been selling his autographs at five dollars apiece. (Coburn, 1943, p. 476)

Coburn added, "Research at Keene [New Hampshire] and elsewhere has thus far failed to uncover the manuscript of "The Bells," which Poe gave Heywood in 1848-one of the most valuable scraps of paper in North America, if it anywhere exists."

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Mrs. Maria Clemm in Lowell

"Mr. R. begs that you will come on here, soon as you can, and stay with us long as you please —"
Annie to Mrs. Clemm, October 10, 1849  (Harrison, p. 399)

Mrs. Maria Clemm (aka "Muddy")

Daguerreotype taken in Lowell, Mass., circa 1849

Shortly after Poe's death, his mother-in-law and aunt "Muddy" moved to Lowell where she resided in Annie's home for about two years.

He died long before his sun had attained its zenith, though not without leaving abundant evidences of superior genius, genius of the highest and noblest quality. I wish I had time and space to tell you of his private character. 'Tis so unlike what the public have generally thought of him. His poor, heartbroken mother has been with us since the week after his death. From her we have gathered much in relation to his domestic nature which is quite interesting and often amusing. But I must wait and tell you. That he was highly esteemed by those who knew him best is evident from the many letters of condolence his "darling mother" is constantly receiving from the most distinguished writers of N.Y. and elsewhere. (Bardwell Heywood in Coburn. 1943, p. 475)

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Urban Legends

Along with the real stories of Poe's visits to Lowell, there are others that, while intriguing, are not true. I wanted to acknowedge and address these here, but not go into much detail. I wish they were true, but they are not.

#1 - Poe had a drink at the Old Worthen Tavern.

The Old Worthen Tavern (formerly Nicholas and Johnson's West Indies Goods Store) was not a tavern when Poe visited Lowell.

#2 - Poe wrote the poem "Lines on Ale"  to pay his drinking bill at the Washington Tavern.

This urban ledgend is believed by some, but has been discredited.

#3 - Poe delivered a second lecture in his second visit to Lowell.

This lecture may have been planned, but was never delivered. It was said that the city was too embroiled in the Presidential election at the time. It is important to note that an Illinois congressman, Abraham Lincoln, visted Lowell in September, 1848 to speak at a rally supporting Whig candidates.

#4 - Poe made a fourth vist to Lowell.

There is no evidence of a fourth visit.

#5 -  Poe wrote "The Bells" in Lowell

While Poe's time in Lowell involved work on and discussion of the Bells, he did not write the poem in Lowell. One manuscript of the poem was given to Annie Richmond, Bardwell Heywood wrote in letter that Poe gave him a manuscript, but it has never been located (Coburn, 1943).


As mentioned in the Introduction above, Lowell might have been one of the most meaningful places to Poe, and Lowell might be one of the most meaningful places to those who want to know more about him.

After Poe's mysterious death on October 7, 1849, Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote an obituary for Poe using the pseudonym “Ludwig”. Griswold, was a rival of Poe and later published a biographic Memoir of the Author. In the Notes section of the “Memoir” on, is the comment that “The memoir by Griswold is a singular example of betrayal and self-serving misrepresentation. It is a document of revenge unlike anything else in the literary record. Nothing Griswold states that cannot be verified by other sources is to be trusted" (Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - Memoir of the Author. R. W. Griswold, 1850)

The obituary and the memoir, though denounced and discredited, created an image of Poe that endured in the public mind. Poe suffered from depression, possibly bi-polar disorder, for which there was no cure or no humane treatment at the time. He self-medicated with alcohol, which further impacted his mental and physical health.

His visits to Lowell as memorialized by first-person accounts in the form of letters and articles of Lowell residents, both contemporaneous and later in their lives, give us crucial and compelling insight into the man and his writing.

What if Poe and Maria Clemm had moved to Lowell, started the literary magazine that was his dream, and lived years or decades longer?

“Could we be happier in Richmond or Lowell? – for I suppose we could never be happy at Fordham – and, Muddy, I must be somewhere where I can see Annie.”
 - From Poe's letter to Maria Clemm, August 29, 1849 (p. 5)



John H. Ingram,  Edgar Allan Poe: Life, Letters, and Opinions (1886), pp. 388-415. []

XX. A Memoir of Mrs. Jane Ermina Locke, by her daughter, Grace LeBaron (Locke) Upham. Contributions of the Old Residents' Historical Association, Lowell, Mass.1891, Volume IV.

Jane Ermina Locke and Her “Requiem for Edgar A. Poe” By Frederick W. Coburn (a page on this website)

“Jane Starkwheather Locke” by Rosalie Tutela Ryan. From American Women Writers : from Colonial Times to the Present : A Critical Reference Guide / editor: Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf. -- 2nd ed. (pdf download). [Note: "Ermina" is misspelled as "Erminia" in the text.]