Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of two poor touring actors, Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe Jr. The Poes traveled around to many different theaters, playing many different roles. While his mother was a well-known actor, his father was not, and was usually drunk during performances. David Poe abandoned his family when Edgar was about two and the rest of the Poe family left for Richmond, Virginia. Edgar’s mother died of tuberculosis there in Richmond. Edgar was only three at the time but apparently he remembered the traumatizing event later in life.
After his mother’s death, John and Frances Allan took Edgar in. John Allan was a wealthy merchant. Allan changed Edgar Poe’s name to Edgar Allan Poe when he was baptized but never legally adopted him. John Allan sent Poe to all the best schools. John Allan’s company went bankrupt and he thought his family would have to live an austere lifestyle. Fortune found the Allan’s in 1825 when John’s uncle died and left the family $200,000. John Allan could now afford to send Edgar to the University of Virginia. While there, Edgar began drinking and gambling. This is also where he began writing poems.
In 1827, Poe left the University and went to Baltimore. He was hoping to publish the poems that he had written but nobody would buy them. Poe was without any income so he joined the Army. He gained the rank of sergeant major in just two years and wrote in his spare time. He soon learned that poetry was...