Edgar Allan Poe USA Tour
Study Literature & the History of Edgar Allan Poe
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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?1 of 1
Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.1 of 1
Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.1 of 1
A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?1 of 1
Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!1 of 1
Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.1 of 1
As you arrive in Richmond, Virginia, the city that Poe considered home, you’ll get acquainted with your guide. Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets and wrought-iron architecture of Richmond’s historic Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom areas. This evening, you’ll take a walking ghost tour of some of Richmond’s most famous haunts.
You’ll start your tour with a visit to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Poe did not actually live in this house, known as The Old Stone House, but it is one of the oldest in the city and was around during his life in Richmond. It opened as a museum in 1922 and has the largest collection of Poe memorabilia in the world. You can browse through exhibits such manuscripts, photographs, the stairway from his house and even a piece of his hair.
Poe worked as an editor at the nearby Southern Literary Journal from 1835 to 1837. The building was demolished in 1915. Materials from it were used to construct parts of the garden memorial in the museum’s courtyard.
Next, you’ll visit St. John’s Church. This stately church is the oldest in Richmond and the site of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech before the Revolutionary War. Poe’s mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, is buried there.
This morning you’ll visit Richmond’s Charles-Louis Clerisseau and Thomas Jefferson-designed Virginia State Capitol Building. After visiting the impressive Roman Revival building, which has stood in for the White House in several movies, stroll around the Capitol Square grounds. There are several statues and works of art within the tree-lined area, including one of Edgar Allan Poe. First put in place in 1959, it’s located on the northwest corner.
Today, you’ll travel from Richmond to Baltimore, Maryland, about a 3.5-hour drive. While Poe was known to have called himself a “Virginia gentleman,” Baltimore was also a haven for him. He most likely transitioned from poet to writer in Baltimore. He found his future wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm, in Baltimore. He also had several family members living in the area. When asked for his birthplace, Poe said Baltimore, although he was actually born in Boston. He died in Baltimore in 1849.
This afternoon, you’ll visit Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Poe is buried at Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. His wife and her mother are also buried there.
Today you’ll visit Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, a National Historic Landmark. It relays the life and death of Poe in Baltimore. He lived there with his grandmother, his aunt and two cousins from 1833 to 1835. The house is largely unfurnished, but you’ll be walking on the same floors and stairways as Poe. Exhibits include his writing desk, a chair and a telescope. There’s also china and other dinnerware from when he lived with the Allans in Richmond.
Afterward, you’ll check out a statue of Poe by American sculptor Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel that was completed in 1916. It’s located on the plaza of the University of Baltimore Law School.
Today’s itinerary leads you on a tour of Baltimore’s bookstores, many of which specialize in rare and first-edition books. Royal Books, The Book Escape and Kelmscott Bookshop are just a few where you might find the book of a writer from or associated with, Baltimore, such as H.L. Mencken, Gertrude Stein or Ogden Nash.
Do a walk-by tour of buildings significant to Baltimore’s literary past. The John H.B. Latrobe House was the site of the Saturday Morning Visitor writing contest. In 1833, Latrobe, James H. Miller and John Pendleton Kennedy declared a submission titled “Ms. Found in a Bottle” as the winner. The writer was Edgar Allan Poe, and the contest gave him the references needed to start his career at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond.
The H.L. Mencken House, at 1524 Hollins Street, has a commemorative plaque near the door. Mencken, who wrote for the Baltimore Sun as well as many other publications, lived here from 1833 to 1956. Gertrude Stein’s house is at 215 E. Biddle Street. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s house is at 1307 Park Avenue. It’s not open to the public, but there is a historic marker on the outside.
This evening, you’ll visit the Owl Bar, in the historic Belvedere Hotel, where Fitzgerald and Mencken are rumored to have spent time.
On your last morning in Baltimore, enjoy a cup of coffee or splurge on a literary-themed ice cream cone at The Charmery.
From the cobblestones of Richmond to the brownstones of Baltimore, your study literature itinerary features a variety of museums, historic homes and literary-themed destinations.
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