edgar allan poe’s grave

from edgar allan poe posted in literature


edgar allan poe's grave
509 west fayette street
baltimore, maryland 21201

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posted by tacopolis #

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After Poe's death in 1849, he was laid to rest in his family's plot in the Westminster Burying Grounds in Baltimore. E.A. Poe was originally placed in Lot 27, next to his grandfather David Poe, Sr. (from Londonderry, Ireland) and his older brother, William Henry Leonard Poe.

The day he was buried, an obituary appeared in the New York Tribune that depicted Poe as a deranged drunk and a drug-addled misanthrope. Signed by "Ludwig," the piece was actually written by one of Poe's chief literary rivals, Rufus Wilmot Griswold.

Not only did Wilmot's piece get reprinted in several national publications, it was contained in Poe's posthumous writing anthologies (oddly, Griswold had weaseled his way into the position of Poe's literary executor).

While many of Griswold's anonymous character assassinations have proven to be lies, forgeries, or half-truths- the damage had been done. For years, Poe was (and in many ways, is still) depicted as a mad genius.

Depiction of Poe's monument dedication, 1875

posted by tacopolis #

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In 1875, Poe was disinterred from the original burial location and moved to his present location. A larger, more ornate monument had been erected for the popular writer through donations, gifts, and fund-raising.

Among the dignitaries to attend the dedication of the monument on November 17, 1875 was Walt Whitman.

The monument is still within the Westminster Burying Grounds; the move placed Poe next to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Maria Clemm (on his right), and his wife, Virginia Poe (who had been originally buried in New York in 1847).

photo: Eixo

posted by tacopolis #

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From 1949 to 2009, a mysterious figure nicknamed "The Poe Toaster" would visit Poe's grave annually on January 19 (E.A. Poe's birthday).

The figure would slink into the graveyard under the cover of dark, dressed in black with a wide-brimmed hat and white scarf. He would pour himself a glass of cognac and raise a toast to Poe's memory, then vanish, leaving three roses in a distinctive arrangement and the unfinished bottle of cognac.

The tradition lasted for sixty years. Nobody knows who the Toaster was, but there is evidence that it was a father who passed the bizarre ritual to his son. The year 2009 marked the bicentennial of Poe's birth, and since then there has not been an appearance of The Poe Toaster (or the signature opened bottle of booze with roses).

photo: Midnightdreary