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The image introducing this tour was not taken during Poe’s lifetime. It is an altered copy of one that was. This image is an 1877 albumen print of an 1849 daguerreotype taken by William Pratt at his studio down Capitol Square on Main Street shortly before Poe’s final exit from Richmond in September 1849. The print differs from the original daguerreotype. When Poe sat for his last portrait, he wasn’t holding a quill pen. That was the albumen artist’s touch. There’s a background change – the albumen print is lighter – and so he appears more melancholy than the daguerreotype. The image evokes the mysteriousness which has come to be associated with Poe. He had his demons; where they came from nobody knows for sure. He was ushered into the world and had a life as unique as the characters he wrote about. He married young, struggled, fought and romanticized it all. Most particular, his death was shrouded in mystery: disappearing, reappearing, dying after uttering fateful, ironic words. In the end, he couldn’t have written his own end any better. Though over the course of his life he tried. He wrote a lot of stuff – tales of horror and terror (for sure), but also criticism, poetry, short stories, a novel, and stuff that has no classification. He wrote letters, and, people wrote him back, and about him - peers, acquaintances, researchers, and historians. From it all, a chronicle of Poe’s life has emerged in books, studies, and projects. His is a life well documented. Today’s mobile technology can bring that documentation to the place where it happened. The internet is filled with information, covering vast swaths, but sparsely filled with knowledge. Knowledge is created when information intersects experience and then develops when reflection looks back not just at the information, but the way understanding is created around the information and experience. This tour weaves a story through information, connects it to the landscape, then engages with it by walking through the landscape in order to better experience it. Doing so will increase your knowledge about Poe’s last day. Beginning and ending with the image, the 1877 albumen print. The albumen print - and other artifacts on this tour – can be found at the Poe Museum (1914-16 East Main Street) in a building Poe would have passed by if he had made his way out of Richmond to catch a steamship.

Price: Free

Tour Content



ARAugmented Reality

Tour Details

Genre: Historical

Language: English

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Mode: Walking

Intended Audience: All

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