Poe's Timeline

  • Born

    He was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Edger was left with his mother

    His father ,David Poe, Jr., had left his family, leaving Elizabeth Poe alone with two-year-old Edgar, his elder brother Henry, and his infant sister Rosalie.
  • His mothers death

    Edger's mother ,Elizabeth Poe. died of tuberculosis in Richmond, Virginia. After days of Elizabeth' death, David Poe had also died of the same disease.
  • Edgar was adopted

    The three Poe children were split up.
    Henry went off to live with his grandparents.
    Rosalie was adopte by the Mackenzie family.
    And Edgar was taken in by the family of John and Frances Allan, a couple unable to have children of their own.
    He added his foster family's name to his own, becoming Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Edger's relationship with his foster parents

    John Allan was a successful merchant, and Edgar grew up fairly comfortably. He was close to his foster mother, Frances, but never with to foster father, who always thought Edgar was a punk, shamefully ungrateful for all the couple did for him
  • Edger's education

    From 1815 to 1820, the family lived in England, where young Edgar got a good education at a school outside of London.
  • When Poe was 15 years old

    In 1824, when he was fifteen and back in Richmond, Poe penned his first poem: "Last night, with many cares & toils oppres'd,/ Weary, I laid me on a couch to rest."
  • He went to the Jefferson University at Charlottesville

    In 1825 went to the Jefferson University at Charlottesville, Va. Poe later wrote, "where for 3 years I led a very dissipated life — the college at that period being shamefully dissolute."
  • Poe had run up a $2,000 debt

    Poe was a good student with a bad gambling problem.
    By the end of his first semester he had run up a $2,000 debt, which John Allan refused to pay.
    Poe ditched both the Allans and Virginia, and headed north to live with relatives in Baltimore.
  • Poe enrolled at the University of Virginia in 1826,

  • Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army

    Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army under the name "Edgar A. Perry." He did well as a soldier, rising to the rank of sergeant major.
    He also continued to write.
    A book of his poetry was published anonymously.
  • Edger continued in the military and published his secound book

    In April 1829, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A few months later, he published his second book of poetry, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems.
  • Poe soon realized that West Point wasn't for him.

    He decided to get himself kicked out of school, which he successfully accomplished by refusing to attend chapel or classes. He was court-martialed and dismissed.
  • Leaving West Point

    Poe published several anonymous short stories plus another book of poems. Almost immediately after he left West Point, his brother Henry died of tuberculosis.
  • Edger and his foster father

    Though John Allan had remarried a wealthy woman, he refused to support edger, who was constantly asking for money.
    "It has now been more than two years since you have assisted me, and more than three since you have spoken to me," Poe wrote in his final letter to his foster father in 1833, John didn't reply.
  • John Allan

    John Allan died on 27 March 1834, Allan omitted his adopted son from his will entirely.
  • Virginia Poe's love

    Poe fell in love with his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm.
  • Edgar at his new job

    In December 1835, Poe was hired as the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, staving off starvation.
  • Edgar became married

    The two cousins were married in Richmond, Virginia on 16 May 1836.
  • His first novel

    In 1837, Poe moved his family (which consisted of Virginia and her mother Maria Clemm, who lived with the couple) to Philadelphia. He soon published his first and only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.
  • Poe proved his theories and became the master of the short story form

    Poe proved his theories with the 1840 publication of Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, a collection of short stories that included macabre classics like "Berenice" and "The Fall of the House of Usher." The book established Poe as a master of the short story form, then a popular type of entertainment that appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines.
  • Poe published The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

    Poe then took a job at Graham's Magazine, which published his story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." The story of detective C. Auguste Dupin was the world's first detective story, predating Sherlock Holmes.
  • tuberculosis strikes again

    Though he still struggled with money, things seemed to be looking up for Edgar Allan Poe. Then in January 1842, while singing at the piano, his wife Virginia began to bleed from the mouth—a symptom of tuberculosis.
  • The Raven

    By 1845, Poe's family was living in New York City, where the writer was working at the New York Evening Mirror. The magazine published a long poem by Poe, entitled The Raven.
    The Raven was wildly successful and remains Poe's most famous work. Within months of publication, just about everyone had read The Raven or heard it performed. It brought Poe the fame (but not financial success) that had so long eluded him.
  • Poe's decline

    Poe had always wanted to own his own magazine so he wouldn't have to answer to a boss.
    The success of The Raven allowed Poe to realize his dream.
    He purchased the Broadway Journal, a publication already heavily indebted when Poe bought it.
    Though Poe solicited financial help with all the finesse of an e-mail scam artist, but the magazine failed in January 1846.
  • Virginia Clemm's death

    On 30 January 1847, Virginia Clemm died of tuberculosis at the couple's home in the Bronx. Poe was so distraught with grief that people thought he had gone insane. Poe denied it, but his wife's death sent him into a downward spiral of drinking and depression from which he would never recover.
  • Sarah Helen

    In the fall of 1848, Poe proposed marriage to the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who agreed to marry him on the condition that he quit drinking. Poe couldn't get sober, and Whitman called off the engagement a month later.
  • Poe's drinking issues and his childhoon's sweetheart

    The next summer, Poe traveled to Richmond to convince his childhood sweetheart Elmira Royster Shelton to marry him. She accepted. Poe joined the Sons of Temperance, a social organization that forbade drinking.
  • Poe traveled seeking money

    Then in September, he traveled from Richmond to New York to raise money for a new magazine, stopping in Baltimore along the way.
  • Poe arrived in Baltimore

    Poe arrived in Baltimore on 28 September 1849. No one knows how he spent the next few days.
  • His mysterious disappearance

    On 3 October 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was found in a Baltimore street, semi-conscious and wearing clothes that didn't fit him.
  • Edgar Allen Poe's death

    He was taken to a hospital, where he spent four delirious days before perishing on 7 October 1849. He was 40 years old.