POE, Edgar Allan (1809-1849). Autograph letter signed ("Edgar A. Poe") to F.W. Thomas, New York, 24 August 1846. 1 page, 4to, tiny holes at four fold intersections (without loss), integral address leaf with panel in Poe's hand initialed "E.A.P." In very fine condition.
"FOR SORROWS SUCH AS THIS THERE IS NO CONSOLATION BUT IN UNRESTRAINED GRIEF..."
Poe answers a 14 August letter from Thomas containing tragic news--the death at sea of Thomas's sister and her two children--and forwards a manuscript of Thomas's as well: "I send the MS. to the address you desire--all of it not published in the Broadway Journal. Should you wish copies of the portion published, I think I may be able to find them. You make no allusion in your letter to the subject of your last, and I have misgivings that you may not have received the reply which I promptly and cordially sent. My reason for fearing this is first, that you say nothing, and, secondly that I trusted my letter to the driver of the stage which passed my door--I then lived out of town 5 miles on the Bloomingdale road. I am a neglectful correspondent, because I am often out of my wits through a press of business, but I should be grieved were you to think that in a matter of so much importance I had failed you. I dare not say one word, dear friend, on the final topic of your letter just received. For sorrows such as this there is no consolation but in unrestrained grief."
Poe's own life is in a sorrowful state as he writes this. A failed effort to buy control of the dying Broadway Journal buried him even deeper in debt. Destitute, in poor health, isolated in his Bronx cottage from the downtown literary scene, and with his wife Virginia slowly dying from tuberculosis, Poe was also plaintiff in a libel suit that summer of 1846. T. D. English, whom Poe lampooned in The Literati of New York City, had retaliated in the New York Mirror, describing Poe as "thoroughly unprincipled, base and depraved, silly, vain and ignorant, not alone an assassin in morals, but a quack in literature." The $225 he won in damages in February 1847 was small consolation. Virginia died in January, and Poe then began his own long, miserable slide to the grave, a process punctuated by only brief periods of creativity and sobriety, and which ended in Baltimore in 1849.
Apparently unpublished, not in J. Ostrom, Letters.