Letter Number 2<br />
Edgar Allan Poe, University of Virginia, September 21, 1826<br />
to John Allan, Richmond, Virginia. 3 pp. ALS. Signed.

Letter Number 2 Edgar Allan Poe, University of Virginia, September 21, 1826 to John Allan, Richmond, Virginia. 3 pp. ALS. Signed.

Edgar Allan Poe at the University

Edgar Allan Poe entered the University of Virginia on February 14, 1826 and in accordance with the elective system inaugurated by Jefferson, made choice of the course of study which most appealed to him--the Schools of Ancient and Modern Languages--Professor Long, for the ancient, and Professor Blaettermann for the modern. Poe was one of 107 students to elect ancient languages, and one of 90 to elect modern. At a Faculty meeting at the end of the session-- December 15, 1826--he was reported by Professor Long among nineteen students who "excelled in senior Latin" and by Professor Blaettermann among eight who "excelled in senior French.

In the letter below, Poe writes from the University to his stepfather, John Allan. Of particular interest to this exhibit are his comments on the Rotunda, beginning on page two of the letter.

The letter on exhibit in "Arise and Build!" was graciously loaned by The Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia. The number is taken from Edgar Allan Poe Letters Till Now Unpublished, in the Valentine Museum Richmond, Virginia.

"University. Septembr. 21st 1826

Dear Sir,

The whole college has been put in great consternation by the prospect of an examination--There is to be a general on on the first of December, which will  occupy the time of the students till the fifteenth--the time for breaking up--It has not yet been determined whether there will be any diplomas, or doctor's degrees given--but I should hardly think there will be any such thing, as this is only the second year of the institution & in other colleges three and four years are required in order to take a degree--that is, that time is supposed to be necessary--altho [sic] they sometimes confer them before-- if the applicants are qualified--

Tho' [sic] it will hardly be fair to examine those who have only been here one session, with those who have been here two--and some of whom have come from other  colleges--still I suppose I shall have to stand my examination with the rest--

I have been studying a great deal in order to be prepared, and dare say I shall come off as well as the rest of them, that is--if I don't get frightened--Perhaps you will have some business up here about that time, and then you can judge for yourself--

They have nearly finished the Rotunda--The pillars of the Portico are completed and it greatly improves the appearance of the whole--The books are removed into the library--and we have a very fine collection. We have had a great many fights up here lately-- The faculty expelled Wickliffe last night for general bad conduct--but more especially for biting one of the  student's arms with whom he was fighting--I saw the whole affair--it took place before my door--Wickliffe was much the stronger but not content with that--after getting the other completely in his power, he began to bite--I saw the arm afterwards--and it was really a serious matter--It was bitten from the shoulder to the elbow--and it is likely that pieces of flesh as large as my hand will be obliged to be cut out--He is from Kentucky--the same one that was in suspension when you were up here some time ago--Give my love to Ma and Miss Nancy--I remain,

Yours affectionatly [sic]

Edgar A. Poe"