Monday, October 8, 2012
Edgar A. Poe's Funeral 1849
Poe's funeral was a simple one, held at 4 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 1849. Few people attended the ceremony. Poe's uncle, Henry Herring, provided a simple mahogany coffin, and a cousin, Neilson Poe, supplied the hearse. Moran's wife made his shroud. The funeral was presided over by the Reverend W. T. D. Clemm, cousin of Poe's wife, Virginia. Also in attendance were Dr. Snodgrass, Baltimore lawyer and former University of Virginia classmate Zaccheus Collins Lee, Poe's first cousin Elizabeth Herring and her husband, and former schoolmaster Joseph Clarke. The entire ceremony lasted only three minutes in the cold, damp weather. Reverend Clemm decided not to bother with a sermon because the crowd was too small. Sexton George W. Spence wrote of the weather: "It was a dark and gloomy day, not raining but just kind of raw and threatening." Poe was buried in a cheap coffin that lacked handles, a nameplate, cloth lining, or a cushion for his head.