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Frances Keeling "Fanny" Valentine Allan
Birth: Feb. 14, 1784
Richmond City
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 28, 1829
Richmond City
Virginia, USA

Literary Folk Figure. She was the foster mother and first teacher of, and arguably the only positive influence on, Edgar Allan Poe. The child a noted Richmond family, Frances married Scottish immigrant merchant John Allan on Febuary 5, 1803. Much to Frances' sadness the marriage remained childless, with a large dose of resentment as well since Allan was supporting one or more illegitimate children in Richmond. During actress Eliza Poe's terminal illness in the fall of 1811 she arranged for the separate care of her three children with Frances, against much opposition from John, eagerly accepting the almost three year old Edgar. The Allans, though they never formally adopted him, took Edgar in December 1811 and had him baptized, giving him "Allan" as his middle name. In contrast to John who despite his complaining did provide quite well, Frances always had a warm relationship with Edgar, giving him his first lessons, teaching him to read and write, and providing such religious instruction as he was ever to have. While Frances was always "Ma" John was seldom "Pa". Frances' death broke down what little family relationship Poe had with John Allan and triggered the life-long melancholy evident in his writings. Today no Richmond home in which Poe lived still stands; Monumental Church, where Frances took young Edgar, is a National Historic Landmark, with the pew where they sat denoted by a plaque. Frances' specific contribution to Poe's literary output, beyond her giving him basic instruction, is difficult to quantify; the stories "Ligeia" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" do deal with family disintegration and loss. Frances was portrayed by Mary Howard in the 1942 "The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Family links: 
  John Allan (1779 - 1834)*
*Calculated relationship
Shockoe Hill Cemetery
Richmond City
Virginia, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Feb 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34188533
Frances Keeling Fanny <i>Valentine</i> Allan
Added by: Bob Hufford
Frances Keeling Fanny <i>Valentine</i> Allan
Added by: Bob Hufford
Frances Keeling Fanny <i>Valentine</i> Allan
Added by: Mary Trumbull
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