Poe survived his wife, Virginia, by only a couple of years. Poe’s drinking problem only grew worse. On October 3, 1849, Poe was found lying in the streets of Baltimore sick and in need of medical assistance. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital where he died on October 7th. Poe was delirious and incoherent until his death. What was known was that he was not wearing his own clothes and repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds.” He was supposed to have left Richmond the previous week to return to New York City. His suitcase, however, was discovered in Richmond. Where he was or how he died has never been explained. His death was called a “congestion of the brain,” a euphemism for alcoholism.
Poe was buried in a plain coffin the day after his death in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore. The weather was overcast and raining and the ceremony was poorly attended. The marble slab intended for his grave was destroyed in a train wreck. Until 1875, his grave was marked with a number on a piece of stone. In 1875, the citizens of Baltimore transferred his to the front of the cemetery and erected a large monument with a large ceremony. (See pic) End of story? Oh, no. The cemetery where Virginia was buried was closed and nobody claimed her. Eventually, an individual claimed her bones, kept them at his house for a few years, until he interred them with Poe.
Tomorrow, This Author’s Pen Rita Bay