Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe

Deceased Person

1822 – 1847

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Who was Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe?

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 27. Some biographers have suggested that the couple's relationship was more like that between brother and sister than like husband and wife in that they may have never consummated their marriage. In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family's cottage outside New York City.

Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage. The couple often moved to accommodate Poe's employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband's part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her. After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband's in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.

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Aug 15, 1822
Also known as
  • Virginia Poe
  • Virginia Clemm
  • Virginia Eliza Clemm
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
Jan 30, 1847
Resting place
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground

on July 23, 2013


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