October 7th 1849: Edgar Allan Poe dies

this day in 1849, the American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809, the young Poe barely knew his parents, with
his father leaving the family and his mother passing away when he was
just three years old. He lived with another couple as foster-parents,
and was forced to gamble to pay for his tuition at the University of
Virginia, which he had to drop out of due to financial difficulties. Poe
soon joined the army and was even accepted into West Point, though he
was expelled a year into his studies. After leaving the academy, Poe turned his
full attention to his longstanding hobby of writing. He then traveled around Northern cities,
including New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; it was in Baltimore, in
that he married his young cousin Virginia. In
Richmond, Poe worked as a critic for various magazines, occasionally
publishing his original work which included short stories and poems. In
1841, Poe published his ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’, which many consider
the beginning of the genre of detective fiction. His most famous work,
the poem ‘The Raven’, was published in 1845 to critical praise. Sadly,
his wife died from tuberculosis two years later, leaving the writer
grief-stricken and nearly destitute, as he never had great financial
success.  On October 3rd, he was found ill in Baltimore and taken to
hospital, where he died on October 7th aged 40. It is still unknown what
his precise cause of death was, but alcoholism is widely believed to
have played a part. While not appreciated in his lifetime, Poe is now
considered one of the great American writers.

“Lord, help my poor soul”
– Poe’s last words