The Postal Service is paying tribute to Edgar Allan Poe — poet and father of the mystery novel — by dedicating a commemorative stamp in his honor.

The Postal Service paid tribute to Edgar Allan Poe — poet and father of the mystery novel — on the anniversary of his 200th birthday, Jan. 16, by dedicating a commemorative stamp in his honor. Ceremonies took place at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Getting to know Poe

Born January 19, 1809, in Boston, Poe initially struggled to get by and to get his writings into print. He found publishers for "Tamerlane and Other Poems" (1827), "Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems" (1829), and "Poems" (1831), yet made very little money.

In October 1833, Poe’s fortunes took a turn for the better when he won a short-story contest sponsored by a Baltimore newspaper. His "MS. Found in a Bottle" brought him $50 in prize money and greatly improved his job prospects.

He accepted a job as editor for the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond and soon after married his cousin Virginia Clemm.

Poe and his bride moved to Philadelphia in 1838 where they lived for six years.  There he was an editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and Graham's Magazine, and in 1844, Poe went to New York, where he found work on the New York Evening Mirror and continued writing reviews, poetry and fiction.

He published some of his most terrifying tales during this period including "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Black Cat," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Pit and the Pendulum."

In April 1841, Graham’s printed "Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue," which introduced the fictional character C. Auguste Dupin. Poe’s Dupin stories inspired a host of mystery writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. In the early 1900s, Doyle said that Poe was the originator of the detective story.

It was in 1845 that Poe became famous when he penned "The Raven."

The circumstances of Poe's death are a mystery. After a visit to Virginia for lectures, he was found unconscious in Baltimore and taken to a hospital, where he died Oct. 7, 1849.

He is buried in the yard of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.

Visiting Poe's haunts

The Poe Museum in Richmond, Va., chronicles Poe’s life and career by documenting his accomplishments including the world's finest collection of Poe's manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings.

The museum also features pictures and relics from 19th century Richmond.

The museum is located at 1914 - 16 E. Main St. in Richmond. For more information check the Web site at www.poemuseum.org or call 1-888-21E-APOE.

The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, located at 203 North Amilty Street in Baltimore, is where Poe lived with his Aunt Maria Clemm and his future wife Virginia Clemm in the 1830s.

For more information, check the Web site at www.eapoe.org/balt/poehse.htm or call 410-396-7932.

In Philadelphia, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is located in a home once rented by Poe. Poe lived at 532 N. 7th Street with his aunt/mother-in-law Maria Clemm and his wife Virginia.

The house was later purchased by Richard Gimbel, son of the founder of Gimbels Department Store. An avid fan of Poe, Gimbel refurbished the house and opened it as a museum. In his will, he left the house to the city of Philadelphia. Today the National Park Service oversees the property.

For more information check www.nps.gov/edal/index.htm or call 215-597-7130.

The last place the Poe family lived was a cottage in Bronx, N.Y.

Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse.

The cottage is restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings. A film presentation and guided tour help bring Poe Cottage to life. Visitors can see the bed in which Virginia died and the rocking chair Poe used.

For more information, visit www.bronxhistoricalsociety.org/poecottage.html or call 718-881-8900.

Westminster Burying Grounds and Catacombs in Baltimore is the final resting place for Edgar Allan Poe and his wife Virginia. The gravesites are in the southeast corner of Fayette and Greene Streets.

For more information on the Edgar Allan Poe commemorative stamp, visit usps.gov.

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