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For this episode of Historically Yours, Curator of Science Fiction and Popular Culture, Peter Balestrieri takes us back into the publishing industry reading a handwritten letter from 1868 written on behalf of Miss Rosa Poe, sister of Edgar Allan Poe.
Thompson, John Reuben to Eugene Didier
28 January 1868
17 Lafayette Place:
New York City, 28 Jan. 1868
I am again compelled to remind you that you have returned no answer in the matter of the Juvenile Verses of Edgar Poe, which I submitted to you some time ago for “Southern Society” and to ask either that you will return me the Ms. or else authorize us to write to Miss Rosa Poe that she may draw upon you for $15 – the sum I named as compensation for them. I explained to you when I sent the Ms. that Miss Poe was in a very destitute situation, and that I had undertaken, purely as a work of charity, to find a purchaser for the verses. If you want them, write me to that effect at once, if you do not want them, send them back to me, for delay in a case of destitution is really really unreasonable.
I desire to get two copies of your paper containing my poem of “Music in Camp,” and one copy of the number which published Simms’ Sketch of [Timrod?]. If you will be good enough to send us these, and will let me know what I am to pay for them, I will send you the amount in postage stamps.
Very truly yours,
Eugene Didier Esq.