Media: Slideshow

The Southern Literary Messenger and Its Staff

Southern Literary Messenger Building

This undated photograph shows the building in Richmond that housed the Southern Literary Messenger, an influential literary journal published from 1834 until 1864. The magazine was edited for a time by Edgar Allan Poe, and this image is part of the Edgar Allan Poe Papers at the University of Virginia.

Citation:  Edgar Allan Poe Papers, 1836–1955, in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, Accession #3857, 3857-a, 3857-c, 3857-d, 3857-e, 4610. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Probably late nineteenth to early twentieth century

Medium: Printed photograph

Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

Thomas Willis White

Thomas Willis White, the founder of the Southern Literary Messenger, a literary journal in Richmond, is the subject of this oil painting.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Probably first half of nineteenth century

Medium: Oil on canvas

Courtesy of The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

This image of the author Edgar Allan Poe is a copy of a daguerreotype made by Edwin H. Manchester at the Masury & Hartshorn studio in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 9, 1848. Four days earlier, Poe had taken an overdose of laudanum in an attempted suicide after Sarah Helen Whitman, a local poet, had refused his marriage proposal. Whitman called this dark portrait Ultima Thule, from the Greek and Latin, meaning the most extreme reaches of the world and alluding to Poe's poem "Dream-Land." She later told a Poe biographer that the image "was taken after a wild distracted night … had left its sullen shadow on his brow." Michael Deas, an expert on Poe imagery, has described this portrait as "the image of the tragic romantic poet: solemn, detached, consumed by his own wildly self-destructive nature." The original daguerreotype disappeared in 1860, but in the 1850s Whitman had at least four copies of the image made—including this one, which measures only three inches in height.

Poe was fascinated by early photography and sat for at least eight daguerreotype portraits between 1842 and his death in 1849.

Original Author: Edwin H. Manchester of the Masury & Hartshorn studio

Created: November 9, 1848, original daguerreotype; 1850s, this copy

Medium: Photographic copy of a daguerreotype

Courtesy of The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe

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  • Southern Literary Messenger Building

    This undated photograph shows the building in Richmond that housed the Southern Literary Messenger, an influential literary journal published from 1834 until 1864. The magazine was edited for a time by Edgar Allan Poe, and this image is part of the Edgar Allan Poe Papers at the University of Virginia.

    Citation:  Edgar Allan Poe Papers, 1836–1955, in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, Accession #3857, 3857-a, 3857-c, 3857-d, 3857-e, 4610. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Probably late nineteenth to early twentieth century

    Medium: Printed photograph

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

  • Thomas Willis White

    Thomas Willis White, the founder of the Southern Literary Messenger, a literary journal in Richmond, is the subject of this oil painting.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Probably first half of nineteenth century

    Medium: Oil on canvas

    Courtesy of The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe

  • Edgar Allan Poe

    This image of the author Edgar Allan Poe is a copy of a daguerreotype made by Edwin H. Manchester at the Masury & Hartshorn studio in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 9, 1848. Four days earlier, Poe had taken an overdose of laudanum in an attempted suicide after Sarah Helen Whitman, a local poet, had refused his marriage proposal. Whitman called this dark portrait Ultima Thule, from the Greek and Latin, meaning the most extreme reaches of the world and alluding to Poe's poem "Dream-Land." She later told a Poe biographer that the image "was taken after a wild distracted night … had left its sullen shadow on his brow." Michael Deas, an expert on Poe imagery, has described this portrait as "the image of the tragic romantic poet: solemn, detached, consumed by his own wildly self-destructive nature." The original daguerreotype disappeared in 1860, but in the 1850s Whitman had at least four copies of the image made—including this one, which measures only three inches in height.

    Poe was fascinated by early photography and sat for at least eight daguerreotype portraits between 1842 and his death in 1849.

    Original Author: Edwin H. Manchester of the Masury & Hartshorn studio

    Created: November 9, 1848, original daguerreotype; 1850s, this copy

    Medium: Photographic copy of a daguerreotype

    Courtesy of The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe