Edgar Allan Poe Timeline
How It All Went Down
Jan 19, 1809
Edgar Poe is born in Boston to Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe, Jr., both traveling actors. The couple already has one son named Henry.
Dec 10, 1810
Poe's sister Rosalie is born. Shortly after her birth, or possibly even before it, David Poe deserts the family, leaving Poe's mother alone with three children. Making matters worse, Elizabeth Poe soon falls ill with tuberculosis.
Dec 8, 1811
Elizabeth Arnold Poe dies of tuberculosis in Richmond, Virginia. Within days, David Poe also dies of tuberculosis. With no parents to take care of them, the three children of the family are split up. Henry goes to live with his paternal grandparents. A Richmond couple, John and Frances Allan, take in Edgar as a foster child. Rosalie is taken in by another Richmond family named Mackenzie. Both Edgar and Rosalie adopt their foster families' names as their middle names.
Jun 22, 1815
The Allan family sails to London, where Edgar enrolls in school.
Jul 27, 1820
Back to the USA
Five years after leaving America for England, the Allans return to Richmond, Virginia.
A fifteen-year-old Edgar Allan Poe pens his first known poem: "Last night, with many cares & toils oppres'd,/ Weary, I laid me on a couch to rest."31
Feb 14, 1826
Poe enrolls midway through the academic year at the University of Virginia, which had opened less than a year before.
Splits With Allans
After running up a $2,000 gambling debt while at college, Poe gets into an argument with his foster father when John Allan refuses to give him money to settle the debt. Poe ditches college and the Allans. He moves to Baltimore to join relatives there.
May 26, 1827
Soldier and Published Author
Poe enlists in the U.S. Army under the name "Edgar A. Perry." Shortly after, his first book—a poetry collection entitled Tamerlane and Other Poems—is published. The...