Grateful American® Foundation

Which beloved American author is found delirious in a gutter today?

October 3rd

440px-Edgar_Allan_Poe_by_Pratt,_1849October 3, 1849 — American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter near the Baltimore tavern, Ryan’s 4th Ward Polls, under mysterious circumstances. It is the last time he is seen in public. He died four days later. 

According to the Poe Society, we know that Poe left Richmond, Va., on Sept. 27, for Philadelphia. Six days later, he was found by Joseph. W. Walker, who wrote to Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass, an acquaintance of Poe’s, describing Poe as “rather the worse for wear.”

Though typically well-dressed, Poe was reportedly wearing cheap, tattered clothing. Dr. Snodgrass and Poe’s uncle, Henry Herring, knew something was odd and took him to Washington College Hospital.

For the next several days, Poe drifted in and out of consciousness, but never explained what had happened to him. On the evening of Oct. 6, he began calling out the name “Reynolds,” but those present were unsure who it was.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 7, Poe said “Lord help my poor soul” and died soon after. No autopsy was performed. His cause of death was determined to be “congestion of the brain” by Baltimore Commissioner of Health, Dr. J.F.C. Handel. So, how did Poe actually die? Click here to read more.

Words of Wisdom

Deep into that darkness peering,
long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams
no mortal ever dared to dream before ...

— Edgar Allan Poe, from "The Raven"

Today in History

Partners & Supporters