Edgar Allan Poe's Richmond Tour
Born on January 19, 1809 the second child to David and Eliza Arnold Poe, Edgar Allan Poe and his siblings found themselves orphaned in less than two years. Poe was taken in by the successful Richmond tobacco merchant John Allan and his wife Frances and raised as their foster son, taking Allan as his middle name. Despite being born in Boston, Massachusetts, Edgar Allan Poe spent his formative years in Richmond and considered himself a Virginian first and foremost. The influence and inspiration of Poe’s youthful experiences and surroundings in Richmond are witnessed throughout his writings such as “To Elmira,” “To Helen,” and “Song.” By the time that Poe passed away suddenly at age 40 on October 7, 1849, he had permanently embedded himself as a central figure in American literature, pioneering the genres of Romanticism, Detective Fiction, and Science Fiction, and becoming one of the first masters of the short story. But Richmond did not come to appreciate its author until well into the 20th-Century. Now considered America’s Shakespeare, Poe’s works, such as “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Fall of the House of Usher,” remain cornerstones in American literature. The Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond Tour offers a glimpse of the remaining sites in Richmond associated with the author. The tour begins in the Church Hill neighborhood with stops at the Elmira Shelton House and St. John’s Church. Continuing west, the next stops on the tour are the Poe Museum in Shockoe Bottom, and the Monumental Church and the Statue of Edgar Allan Poe in the Capitol District. The tour then visits Linden Row in the Monroe Ward neighborhood before continuing onto the Shockoe Hill Cemetery in the Gilpin neighborhood. The tour ends at Talavera in Richmond’s famous Fan District.