Among Family: Poe's Original Burial Place

Among Family: Poe's Original Burial Place (HM3ZR)

Location: Baltimore, MD 21201
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 17.387', W 76° 37.388'

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He lies buried amongst his kindred ... and no stone or monument yet marks his resting-place."
J. Thomas Scharf's Chronicles of Baltimore, 1874

Edgar Allan Poe was buried here on October 8, 1849, a day after his lingering death in Baltimore's Washington College Hospital, some 20 blocks east on Broadway. A handful of friends and family gathered on a cold and camp overcast Monday afternoon for a brief graveside ceremony presided over by Rev. William T.D. Clemm, Poe's cousin: Neilson, nother cousin; Poe's uncle, Henry Herring, a lumber dealer who provided the mahogany coffin; Z. Collins Lee, an old friend and former University of Virginia classmante; and, Dr. J.E. Snodgrass, a former teacher. The church sexton, George W. Spence, would later install a stone marked "80" on Poe's unmarked grave.

Championing Poe Baltimore resident Orrin C. Painter got permission in the 1920s to install a stone marking Poe's original burial place. Painter was a lifelong Poe champion whose many efforts included the construction of the entrance adjacent to the Poe Monument.

Orrin C. Painter with the Poe marker, early 1920s
Copyright 1920s, reprinted with permission of the Baltimore Sun

My dear Madam:
I would to God I could console you with the information that your Dear son Edgar A. Poe is still among the living. The newspapers, in announcing his death, have only told a truth, which we may weep over & deplore, but cannot change. He died on Sunday morning, about 5 o'clock, at the Washingotn Medical College, where he had been since the Wedensday preceding. At what time he arrived in this City, hwere he spent the time he was here, or under what circumstances, I have been uable to ascertain.

...I shall not attempt the useless task of consoling you under such bereavement. Edgar had seen so much of sorrow - had so little reason to be satisfied with life that, to him, the change can scarcely be said to be a misfortune.

Neilson Poe writing to Maria Clemm, October 10, 1849
Enoch Pratt Free Library Special Collections, Baltimore, Maryland

From Life This photograph, the so-called Painter daguerrotype, was taken in June 1849, only months before Poe's death.

Daguerrotype of Edgar A. Poe by an unknown photographer, 1849
The Maryland Historicadl Society

Poe's of Baltimore

David Poe, Edgar's grandfather, was one of the original lot owners at Westminster. A native of Londonderry, Ireland, David came to the American colonies as an infant, and moved with his family to Baltimore around 1755.

David Poe served the revolutionary cause as a militia man, Continental Army soldier, and quartermaster, earning the gratitude and respect of his fellow citizens who later bestowed upon him the honorific title of "General." During Lafayette's celebrated American tour of 1824, the Marquis stopped by here to pay his respects at David's grave.

David and his wife, Elizabeth, had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. David Poe, Jr., Edgar's father, was their fourth child.

Revolutionary War Service David Poe and two younger brothers, George and John, served together during the Revolutionary War. They joined McClelland's Company after fighting at the Battle of Germantown in October 1777 as part of Cox's Company. John Poe was captured at Germantown and later died aboard the British prison ship Jersey.

Muster Roll of Cat. John McClellan Company, 1778-1779 (detail)
Courtesy of Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library / State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, Maryland
HM NumberHM3ZR
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 2:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 360021 N 4350190
Decimal Degrees39.28978333, -76.62313333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.387', W 76° 37.388'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 23.22" N, 76° 37' 23.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 509 W Fayette St, Baltimore MD 21201, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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