Edgar Allen Poe's Honeymoon

AJ Belongia

Chester, VA, United States

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Artist's Description

The building located at 12 W Bank Street in Petersburg, VA, dates to 1814, when it was constructed by Richard Hannon, an Irish immigrant. In the 1820s and 1830s, the building’s inhabitant was a Hiram Haines, editor of a local newspaper. He operated Haines Coffee House downstairs, which was a hang-out for journalists, politicians, writers and intellectuals.

Edgar Allen Poe, who spent many years of his life in Richmond, was attracted to the Bohemian atmosphere of the coffee house. He frequently traveled to Petersburg and soon made friends with Haines.

At the time he was an obscure writer and far from fame and fortune.

In 1836, at age 27, the famous poet, thinker, actor and editor came to town after he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin, in Richmond.

Haines offered the quarters above his coffee house for the honeymoon.

Poe’s honeymoon in Petersburg lasted two weeks, and the couple was seen all over town, dining out, visiting friends, watching plays, becoming part of local history.

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