The Life of Edgar Allen Poe

By abomb95
  • Edgar Allen Poe Born

    Edgar Allen Poe Born
    A bit of background on the history of Boston.Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Jan 19, 1809. He was the second son of an English-born actress, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, and actor David Poe Junior. David Poe Junior's father immigrated to America from Ireland at around 1750.

    This plaque marks the approximate location in Boston where Poe was born.
  • David Poe Jr. Leaves the Family

    In the early 1800s life was difficult for those in the mid to low class in America. David Poe Jr. left the family to seek his fortune, leaving his wife to care for their three children on her own. Poe's older brother: William Henry Leonard Poe, became the man of the house.
  • The Death of Elizabeth Poe

    The Death of Elizabeth Poe
    [A breif history of tuberculosis in 19th century America.]In 1811, Elizabeth Poe fell victim to tuberculosis, which was prominent in 19th century America. In Poe's time, tuberculosis was commonly known as "consumption" due to the way it seem to feed on its victim, slowly draining the life from them. Upon her death, the Poe children were sent to different foster homes.
  • A New Home

    At the age of three Poe was taken in by John Allan, a wealthy trader from Virginia. His foster father had him baptized that same year, christening him Edgar Allan Poe. Poe lived with the Allan family for much of his early years, during this time John Allan alternated between spoiling and harshly disciplining his foster son. The family sailed to England in 1815 where Poe attended three different boarding schools between 1815-1817.
  • Poe Joins the Army

    After the family's return to America, Poe was in enrolled in the University of Virginia in the year 1812. Poe gave up on the University after a year, much to his foster father's dissapointment, and returned to Boston in 1827, where he sustained himself by working as a clerk and newspaper writer. All articles he wrote during this time were published under the alias: Hennri Le Rennet. Poe soon found he was unable to support himself, and enlisted in the Army under the name Edgar A. Perry.
  • First Publication

    During his time in the Army, Poe published his first book entitled: "Tamerlane and Other Poems." Only fifty copies were made, and the book recieved virtually no attention.
  • The Death of Poe's Foster Mother

    After spending a year as a private in the Army and attaining the rank of Sergeant Major of Artillery,Poe sought to end his enlistment early. After coming clean and revealing his true name to the senior officer, Poe was told he could be discharged provided he could reconcile with his adoptive father. Poe wrote many letters to John Allan, all of which he ignored until the death of his wife in 1829 softened him.
  • Second Publication

    Poe spent several months living with his relatives in Baltimore before he enlisted in West Point academy. During this time he published his second volume: "Al Araaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems."
  • Career at West Point

    Poe entered as a cadet at West Point Academy in Virginia on July 1st, 1830. During this time, John Allan married his second wife, whose constant griefing led him to finally disown Poe.
    Angry and embittered, Poe decided to get court martialled by purposefully neglecting his duties and procedures, on one occassion showing up for drill practice clad in boots, belt, hat, sword, gloves, and nothing else.
  • Third Publication

    In February of 1831 Poe was finally court martialled and dishonorably discharged for gross neglect of duty and inappropriate conduct. Poe tactifully pleaded not guilty, knowing full well that he would be found guilty. He moved to New York, where he used financial backing from his fellow students at West Point to published a third volume titled "Poems". This volume included some of his better known works including: "To Helen," "Israfel," and "The City in the Sea."
  • The Death of Henry

    On August 1st, 1831 Poe's foster brother Henry Allen died; in part due to his alcoholism. Some believe this, as well as Poe's own drinking problems, mat have inspired stories such as "Hopfrog" and "The Black Cat" in which the main characters are burdened by alcoholism.
  • Marriage

    Poe secretly married his Cousin Virgina Clemm at the age of 26. Although Virginia was thirteen at the time, the marriage certificate lists her as being 21.
  • Death of Virginia

    Poe's Marriage lasted for eleven years, but in 1842, virginia began to show the first signs of consumption. Many believe that Poe's grief over the death of his wife inspired him to write his famous poem "The Raven." Similarly, his experience with tuberculosis and how it claimed the lives of many he loved, inspired him to write "The Red Death."
  • Broken Engagement

    Having grown increasingly unstable after his wife's death, Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Whitman. The engagement broke off due to Poe's drinking and erratic behavior.
  • Death

    On the eve of October 3, 1849 Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore dellirious, and wearing clothes that were not his own. He was taken to Washington Medical College where he died. There were no medical records kept, so the cause of his death remains undetermined.