“Invisible things are the only realities.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Virginia Poe Bicentennial

In-person events at Westminster Hall, plus virtual access. Join us for monthly programs!

A most poetical year to honor the beloved wife of Edgar Allan Poe.

Virginia Poe Bicentennial

Monthly events and programs in 2022

Edgar Allan Poe famously proclaimed the "death of a beautiful woman" the most poetical subject in the world. The prolonged suffering of his beautiful, dying wife, Virginia Poe (1822 - 1847,) almost certainly inspired this belief. Muse, poetess, child bride, daughter of Baltimore, Virginia Poe remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in the famed author's history.

Commemorating the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe's beloved wife, the Virginia Poe Bicentennial will include monthly virtual and in-person programs including grave-side chats, hidden history, discussion series, and exhibits.

May Event:

MOTHER: The Hidden Histories of the Women in the Poe Family (hybrid event)

Act I

The Life of Elizabeth Cairnes Poe, Matron & Patriot

J. Scott Watkins appears as David Poe Sr., Revolutionary War hero and patriot at the battle of North Point in the War of 1812, to talk about the family's contribution to the founding of the United States, and the forgotten war service of his wife, Elizabeth.

Scrupulous Sextons

Cemetery walk & grave-side chat at Westminster Hall with J. Scott Watkins, living history performer and descendant of the sextons at burials of both Edgar and Virginia!

Act II

"To My Mother" by Edgar Allan Poe

Reading by Kalin Thomas, Maryland Women's Heritage Center

Baltimore Mothers: Real and True Women

Antebellum women were expected to be pious, pure, submissive, and domestic. This ideal was not one that all women were able to achieve. Join Dr. Amy Rosenkrans for a talk on motherhood in Baltimore across race, religious, and social classes.


Virginia Poe Artifacts at Enoch Pratt Free Library

Eben Dennis shares items from the Edgar Allan Poe Special Collection at the Enoch Pratt Library

This is the fifth in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial; follow us on social media to be alerted when events are happening! The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women's Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)
Previous Sessions:


Westminster Hall & Burying Ground 519 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD