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Rosalie Mackenzie Poe
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Birth: 1810
Virginia, USA
Death: Jul. 21, 1874
Washington City
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Rosalie, sister of Edgar Allan Poe, is said to have been born in December of 1810, but we have no solid documentary evidence for this assertion. All we know for certain is that she was born long enough after the disappearance of her mother Eliza's husband, David Poe, for questions to arise about the girl's paternity. It was even said in later years that David's sister, (and Edgar's mother-in-law) Maria Clemm, claimed that Rosalie was not the child of either Eliza or David Poe. Intriguingly, when Rosalie was a child, a wealthy resident of Richmond, VA, Joseph Gallego, died and left a will bequeathing Rosalie the then enormous sum of 2,000 dollars for her maintenance. She was the only charity bequest in his will to be so favored, leaving one to speculate whether the small orphan was more to him than just an object of sympathy.

After Eliza Poe died in 1811, Rosalie was given a home by the Mackenzies, a prominent Richmond family, but there is conflicting evidence about whether she was treated as a member of the family or merely a ward.

Rosalie seems to have had a distant, if not antagonistic relationship with her famous older brother. She herself claimed that she was "a good size girl" before she even knew she had a sibling--an incredible statement considering they were raised in the same city. Edgar's one-time fiancee, Sarah Helen Whitman, stated that he told her his relationship with Rosalie was characterized by coldness and estrangement. Considering that Rosalie is generally characterized as having a childlike mentality and an off-putting personality, Whitman likely spoke the truth.

Rosalie appears to have led a relatively comfortable and stable existence in the Mackenzie home until the Civil War left the family destitute. Thereafter, her story becomes pure pitable tragedy. The remaining members of her foster family sent her to her Poe relatives in Baltimore. As her kin evidently wanted little to do with her, she was soon left on her own resources--a fate her intelligence, character, and upbringing left her completely unable to handle. She made attempts to gain work as a housekeeper, and was said to walk the streets trying to sell pictures of Edgar to passerby, but her main source of support was "the kindness of strangers," motivated to assist her by admiration for her legendary sibling.

Rosalie spent her last few years in a charity home in Washington, D.C. Her burial was arranged by Edgar Poe fans who, curiously, gave her a tombstone giving her year of birth as 1812--the year after Eliza Poe's death. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Elizabeth Arnold Poe (1787 - 1811)
 
 Siblings:
  William Henry Leonard Poe (1807 - 1831)*
  Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)*
  Rosalie Mackenzie Poe (1810 - 1874)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rock Creek Cemetery
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
 
Created by: Marie R
Record added: Feb 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34007517
Rosalie Mackenzie Poe
Added by: HalfBloodPrincess
 
Rosalie Mackenzie Poe
Added by: Ron Williams
 
Rosalie Mackenzie Poe
Cemetery Photo
Added by: L Ferree
 
 
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- J Spencer
 Added: Mar. 6, 2014

- AMELIA
 Added: Dec. 8, 2013

- la vita eterna
 Added: Oct. 7, 2013
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