Edgar Allan Poe had very humble beginnings. Within the first three years of his life, he lost both of his parents and was separated from his siblings. Edgar Allan Poe’s parents had a background that can be credited for his imagination and love of writing poems and short stories. His parents, David and Elizabeth Poe, were both actors and stage performers. Although poor, David and Elizabeth were well known on the stage, and played as important characters in assorted plays including comedies and Shakespearean dramas. On January 19, 1809, Edgar Poe was born. Edgar’s father was suffering heavily from alcoholism, and eventually left Elizabeth to care for her son alone. Elizabeth, however, was showing signs of tuberculosis and was pregnant with a third child. Unfortunately, on December 11, 1811, Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis at the very young age of twenty-four, leaving her two children, Edgar and Rosalie alone as orphans.
Edgar Poe was almost three years old at the time of his mother’s death and during this time, he was adopted by the Allan family. Edgar Poe was now living in a world totally new to him. Instead of musty rented rooms and sickly mother, he now was living with a well-to-do Virginian merchant and his family. The Allans lived in large house that sat on top of John Allan’s shop. During his childhood with the Allans, Poe was badly spoiled by Frances Allan. John Allan however, was not as openly affectionate with his adopted son. He did nonetheless want the best for him, and spared no expense when it came to sending Edgar to school.
By the time came for Edgar to attend college, his relationship with John had severely deteriorated; their relationship was now based solely on money. The only time they contacted each other is when Edgar needed money. College life for Poe was not very demanding. He only had classes for a few hours of the day and he spent most of his time reading in various placed around the campus. During this time Edgar started to display his habit of drinking and his love of gambling. Assuming that his expenses would be paid, Poe continued to loan and gamble himself into over two thousand dollars of debt. When John Allan heard of this, he traveled to Poe’s college to see for himself. He was disgusted at the amount of money Edgar owed. Allan only paid off what debts he deemed important, all others he refused to pay.
Poe, now eighteen, felt betrayed by his stepfather. He decided that he could no longer live under the Allan’s care and decided to leave for the city of his birth, Boston. Poe entered Boston with one major goal in mind: to prove to his foster father and everyone else that had doubted him, that he was able to make it into the world on his own. Boston at the time was the center for publishing, and Poe took this as an opportunity to launch his writing career. It was here that Poe published his first volume of poetry. During his stay, Poe printed out about fifty copies of his forty-page pamphlet titled, Tamerlane and Other Poems. Unfortunately, the cost of publication left Edgar in debt once again. Instead of asking John Allan for money again, Poe enlisted in the army under the