John Tyler

Poe's Washington Excursion

“Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe, known as the "Annie" Daguerreotype,” 1849,

The celebrated, yet ever tormented, writer Edgar Allan Poe, famously spent much of his life living in Baltimore and Richmond, but he surprisingly spent very little time in D.C. despite residing in such close proximity. He did however have one…interesting encounter in Washington. Frequent transitions through different literary critic jobs left him in a constant state of mental and financial instability; this led Poe to determine that he needed to find a job that could provide him with more financial security. His friend Frederick William Thomas was friends with President John Tyler's son, Robert, and offered to help get him a government job. Eventually, in 1843, Poe traveled down to Washington from his home in Philadelphia to meet with the President. The true account of how Poe conducted himself upon arriving is still contested today.