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Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston grew up in Richmond Virginia and in his many restless moves lived in half a dozen Eastern cities His true home was always in the misty mid region of Weir of his own fertile and troubled imagination His father was David Poe a Baltimore actor His actress mother Elizabeth born of English parents had come to the United States as a child The two were not notably talented they played minor roles in rather third-rate theatrical companies Between them they barely managed to make a living Edgar was the second of their three children About the time the third child was born the father died or disappeared and Mrs Poe came to Richmond with the two youngest children The older boy William Henry had already been left with relatives in Baltimore Mrs Poe was in the last stages of tuberculosis Ravaged by the disease and worn out with the struggle to support her children she died Edgar two years old and the infant Rosalie were orphaned It was on a visit of charity that Mrs Frances Allan the wife of a rising merchant in Richmond learned of the plight of the Poe babies She had no children of her own and so was the more attracted to handsome little Edgar She took him home with her and another family took Rosalie This was in 1811 long before Juvenile Courts and official custody of orphaned children Mrs Allan would have liked to adopt Edgar but her husband was unwilling to commit himself to a step of such permanence The acting profession was despised at that time and even considered immoral John Allan could not help regarding the little son of actor parents as a questionable person to inherit his name and the fortune he was busy accumulating He was willing however to support the child and in time came to be proud of Edgars good looks and intelligence England
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