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Edgar Allan Poe "Hires" Darley ... Almost

As detailed elsewhere in this site, F.O.C. Darley submitted work to Edgar Allan Poe in Philadelphia in 1842 when Poe was editor of THE SATURDAY MUSEUM and Darley was just beginning his career in illustration.

Poe liked Darley's work very much and saw a lot of potential in Darley (quotes elsewhere). Later, Poe had plans to start his own magazine to be called THE STYLUS and he wanted Darley to be a 'staff' illustrator. A contract was drawn up and signed by Darley, Poe, and a Mr. Clarke (the financial backer?). Unfortunately, THE STYLUS never was launched; we understand that the financial backing for the effort was withdrawn.

The Darley Society's Research & Historian, Ms. Carol Digel, was able to locate a facsimle of the contract; it is reproduced below. Immediately following is a typed version of the contract (for easier reading). Some of the words were not distinguishable.

Felix O.C. Darley and Thomas C. Clarke with Edgar A. Poe

This agreement, entered into on this thirty-first day of January, A.D. One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty-Three (1843) between Felix O. C. Darley, on the one hand and Thomas C. Clarke with Edgar A. Poe on the other, shows: first:

That this said F.O.C. Darley agrees to furnish original designs, or drawings (on wood or paper as required) of his own composition, in his best manner, and from subjects supplied him by Mess: Clarke and Poe; the said designs to be employed in illustrations of the Magazine entitled "The Stylus," or for other purposes. And the said F.O.C. Darley agrees to furnish not less than three of the said design per month, when required to furnish so many.

Secondly: That Mess: Clarke and Poe agree to demand of Mr. Darley not more than five of these designs in any one month, nor these of greater elaboration than the wood-engraving on the first page of this cover of the French edition of "Gib-Blas," (? spl) as illustrated by Gigouse And, (?) for each design so furnished, Mess: Clarke and Poe agree to pay the said Darley the sum of Seven Dollars ($7); the amounts to be paid quarterly, beginning from the date of this agreement.

Thirdly: That this agreement is to be valid until the First day of July 1844; and that the said Felix O. C. Darley is hereby required not to furnish, to any magazine-publisher, any designs of the character described in this agreement, to be used in any Magazine, within the period during which this Agreement is valid.

In witness whereof, we, the undersigned hereunto affix our signatures, this thirty-first day of January A.D. one thousand, eight hundred and forty-three. (ltrs.=tifd ??)

Witness, Present. F.O.C. Darley
Henry B. Hurst. Tho. C. Clarke
Wd. Ricbauer (?) Edgar A Poe

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