Tonight, the city my cousin Edgar called home, Baltimore, MD, will celebrate his 200th Anniversary of his birthday by holding the funeral he never had. Poe’s family, my relatives, his friends, his cousin, Neilson Poe did not release the information to the public that Edgar had died at age 40 in 1849. For that reason, cousin Edgar had modest attendance of about 10 people at a small memorial before his burial. I know I am only a distant cousin, but I feel somewhat responsible and guilty about that and indeed, have seen the tragic patterns of Poe’s life play out through the generations, including early deaths. My dear Grand Aunt Rosie was the last I knew to keep the family tree that has him listed as:
Poe, Edgar Allan: American author.
…though there are proud, rambling paragraphs written about land owners and soldiers. I asked my mother why they had only this to say of him? She looked embarrassed, turned her eyes down to her hands and said that no one wanted to talk about drinking and drugs and the other… They were ashamed. I could scarcely believe my ears and I was very young, just learning in school of Edgar Allan Poe as an author, though my big brother had already read all of his works and tried writing like him.
I asked my mother if she was ashamed of Edgar.
She said, “no, he was very troubled and his own parents didn’t take care of him.”
Really? What do you mean?
They adopted him to “The Allans”, they couldn’t care for him.
I’m not sure if they were dead or what happened, nobody is, but I think his father was dead and his mother went to England. They were stage actors.
(I wanted to be a stage actor. Gulp.)
There are lots of reasons, dear.
I did not have time to pursue. In keeping with family tradition, there were too many storms at the forefront to look at the aft. Cousin Edgar was a brilliant author. They could have at least injected an adjective besides American. One look at the Chronology of his life will show it is not an easy job to follow the life of the dearly departed Poe.
Baltimore is instead celebrating his birth with the wonderful gift of a proper funeral! The town is abuzz and it’s funny that Boston was supposed to be the warm home of his heart, when clearly it is Baltimore who loves and appreciates him, deserves him. And has all along. Regretfully and stereotypically of our family, I cannot be in attendance. I did have the decency to write, at least, and thank them for the wonderful events they have held and will hold this evening. I assured them that if cousin Edgar could attend, he will. I think he would like that I have conveyed that message. Hopefully, my brother will be able to attend with him. He was his biggest fan and followed in his footsteps to an early grave.
Please be there if you can – why would you miss this if you live nearby?
By Anita Nelson, blood relative.
Sources & Resources:
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=156&sid=8196816 <~ About tonight.
http://poebicentennial.com <- Visit for Poe’s Bicentennial~!
http://www.airtran.com <~ Official Airline of the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial Celebration.
More Articles from Anita Nelson at ModelSupplies
Help! I Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search!