Poe's parents parenthood

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What was his parents parenthood while they where growing up?

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2001



I presume you are speaking of Poe's grandparents. Poe's mother's name was Elizabeth Arnold. She was a stage actress who's first appearance on stage was at the age of nine on April 15, 1796 in Boston. The play was "The Mysteries of the Castle" and she sang a song called "The Market Lass." Her parents were Henry Arnold and Elizabeth Smith of England. In 1802, at the age of about 16, she married Charles Hopkins, also an actor. Charles Hopkins died on October 26, 1805.

David Poe, Jr., Poe's natural father was also with the same theater company at the time. David was born on July 18, 1784 and was the son of David Poe, Sr., a respected soldier in the Continental Army and was commissioned Assistant Deputy Quartermaster General of Baltimore with the rank of major in 1779. David Poe, Sr. married Elizabeth Cairnes, born 1756 in Lancaster County, Pa.

David Poe, Jr. was less well accepted by the critics than his wife, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe. While Elizabeth received glowing reviews, David never seemed to enjoy a positive word in the press. He and Elizabeth were married on March 14, 1806 in Richmond, Virginia.

David and Elizabeth had their first child, William Henry Leonard Poe, on January 30, 1807 and Edgar followed two years later on January 19, 1809 in Boston. They had a daughter, Rosalie, on December 20, 1810.

The following year, David abandoned the family and is thought to have gone to New York. Alone with three small chidren, Elizabeth became ill in December of 1811 and finally on December 10, her death was announced in the local newspaper. Edgar Poe was just under 3 years old. There is no known date of David's death but it is thought to have been within weeks of his wife.

Shortly after Edgar was taken in as the foster child of John and Frances Allan. A wealthy tobacco merchant, he and Frances raised Poe as a foster child. Poe was never formally adopted. William Henry went to live with David Poe, Sr. and Rosalie was taken in by the William Mackenzie family.



-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ