Pil­grim­age for Poe


Where Baltimore - - Contents - BY BROOKE SABIN

Plot­ting a course to the haunts of revered mys­tery-hor­ror scribe—and one-time lo­cal res­i­dent— Edgar Allan Poe.

If ghosts ex­ist, then surely that of Edgar Allan Poe roams the streets of Bal­ti­more. The revered writer was born in Bos­ton and con­sid­ered Rich­mond home, but this is where he died. And fit­tingly, Poe’s demise on Oc­to­ber 7, 1849, at age 40 re­mains shrouded in mys­tery. He was found, di­sheveled and deliri­ous, at a bar turned tem­po­rary polling place in Fells Point. Af­ter four in­co­her­ent days in the hos­pi­tal, he awoke— nev­er­more! Spec­u­la­tion on the cause of death has run the gamut from al­co­holism to ra­bies.

Poe’s Bal­ti­more ex­pe­ri­ences, though, weren’t all tales of woe. In his 20s, he lived in a brick du­plex on N. Amity Street (above), where he fell in love with his cousin and fu­ture wife, Vir­ginia El­iza Clemm, and launched his lit­er­ary ca­reer af­ter claim­ing first prize in a short story con­test run by the Bal­ti­more Satur­day Visiter. Nearly two cen­turies later, the man cred­ited with cre­at­ing the de­tec­tive story still in­spires a de­voted fol­low­ing around the world and in the city where he wrote, loved and died.—

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