Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welsh’s Times

New York City, 

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; 
— ’Tis a menu and nothing more! 

When Edgar Allan Poe was writing for the New York Evening Mirror in the mid-1840s, he congregated with other newspapermen at a nearby eatery known as Sandy Welsh’s. Situated at 85 Nassau Street, around the corner from P. T. Barnum’s American Museum, the popular hangout was called a “refectory” in the city directories. Poe produced his poem “The Raven” at small intervals during this period, reportedly submitting the stanzas piecemeal for criticism to fellow journalists at Sandy Welsh’s.2 The convivial spirit of this establishment is reflected by a menu dated February 12, 1847, offering a rare glimpse of everyday life that would nevermore be the same.