Timeline Description: Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most well known American poets and authors of the 19th century. He is remembered for his mysteries and stories of the macabre. The Mystery Writers of America's annual award, The Edgar, is named for him.
|January 19, 1809||Edgar Poe is born in Boston.
Edgar Poe is born in Boston to Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe, Jr. His parents are traveling actors. The couple has one son named Henry and their daughter, Rosalie is born a year after Edgar.
|December 8, 1811||Poe's parents die.
Both of Poe's parents die of tuberculosis within days of each other. Edgar goes to live with John and Frances Allan in Richmond, Virginia and he adopts his foster family's last name as his middle name.
|February 1826||Poe attends the University of Virginia.
Poe attends the University of Virginia and studies ancient and modern languages. He is expelled for not paying his gambling debts.
|May 26, 1827||Poe enlists in the U.S. Army and publishes his first book.
Poe enlists in the U.S. Army under the name "Edgar A. Perry." He claims he was 22 years old even though he was only 18. After enlisting, a collection of his poetry called Tamerlane and Other Poems is published but is not a success
|1829||Poe publishes his second book of poetry.
While at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Poe publishes his second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems. Poe claims he wrote the poem "Al Aaraaf" when he was just 15 years old.
|1831||Poe is dismissed from West Point.
Poe successfully gets himself kicked out of West Point. He is court-martialed and dismissed when he stops going to classes and chapel. He then publishes several anonymous short stories and another book of poems.
|December 1835||Poe becomes the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger magazine.
Poe takes a job as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger magazine. He publishes critical reviews of other writers' work as well as his own stories and poems. Poe's stories include "Berenice," "King Pest," and "Morella."
|May 16, 1836||Poe marries Virginia Clemm.
Poe, who is 27 years old marries his cousin, 13 year-old Virginia Clemm in Richmond, Virginia. They move to New York and later to Philadelphia.
|July 1838||Poe's first novel is published.
Poe's first novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, is published. It is his only complete novel. Critics responded negatively to the novel and Poe himself later called it "a very silly book."
|April 1841||Poe begins as an editor at Graham's Magazine.
Poe becomes an editor at Graham's Magazine. The magazine runs Poe's short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," the first short story published in a genre now known as the detective story.
|1845||Poe publishes the poem, The Raven, in the New York Evening Mirror.
Poe's poem, The Raven, is published in the New York Evening Mirror. It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It remains one of the most famous poems ever written.
|January 30, 1847||Poe's wife, Virginia, dies.
Poe's wife, Virginia, dies of tuberculosis at their home in the Bronx. Poe is despondent during the final months of her illness and he tries to mask the pain with alcohol.
|November 1848||Poe is engaged to Sarah Helen Whitman.
Poe proposes to a poet named Sarah Helen Whitman. She agrees to marry him on the condition that he quit drinking. When Poe can't live up to the promise, Whitman calls off the engagement.
|August 1849||Poe proposes to Elmira Royster Shelton
Poe becomes engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Elmira Royster Shelton. He also vows to quit drinking.
|October 7, 1849||Edgar Allan Poe dies.
After being found unconscious in a Baltimore gutter, Poe is taken to the hospital and pronounced dead of causes still unknown. He is buried at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.