The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 185

based, renders it expedient
to give them, and also to say a few words in explanation of the general
design. A young girl, Mary Cecilia Rogers, was murdered in the
vicinity of New York; and, although her death occasioned an intense and
long-enduring excitement, the mystery attending it had remained
unsolved at the period when the present paper was written and published
(November, 1842). Herein, under pretence of relating the fate of
a Parisian grisette, the author has followed in minute detail, the
essential, while merely paralleling the inessential facts of the real
murder of Mary Rogers. Thus all argument founded upon the fiction is
applicable to the truth: and the investigation of the truth was the
object. The "Mystery of Marie Roget" was composed at a distance from the
scene of the atrocity, and with no other means of investigation than the
newspapers afforded. Thus much escaped the writer of which he could have
availed himself had he been upon the spot, and visited the localities.
It may not be improper to record, nevertheless, that the confessions of
two persons, (one of them the Madame Deluc of the narrative) made, at
different periods, long subsequent to the publication, confirmed, in
full, not only the general conclusion, but absolutely all the chief
hypothetical details by which that conclusion was attained.

(*2) The nom de plume of Von Hardenburg.

(*3) Nassau Street.

(*4) Anderson.

(*5) The Hudson.

(*6) Weehawken.

(*7) Payne.

(*8) Crommelin.

(*9) The New York "Mercury."

(*10) The New York "Brother Jonathan," edited by H. Hastings Weld, Esq.

(*11) New York "Journal of Commerce."

(*12) Philadelphia "Saturday Evening Post," edited by C. I. Peterson,

(*13) Adam

(*14) See "Murders in the Rue Morgue."

(*15) The New York "Commercial Advertiser," edited by Col. Stone.

(*16) "A theory based on the qualities of an object, will prevent its
being unfolded according to its objects; and he who arranges topics in
reference to their causes, will cease to value them according to their
results. Thus the jurisprudence of every nation will show that, when law
becomes a science and a system, it ceases to be justice. The errors
into which a blind devotion to principles of classification has led the
common law, will be seen by observing how often the legislature has
been obliged to come forward to restore the equity its scheme had

(*17) New York "Express"

(*18) New York "Herald."

(*19) New York "Courier and Inquirer."

(*20) Mennais was one of the parties originally suspected and arrested,
but discharged through total lack of evidence.

(*21) New York "Courier and Inquirer."

(*22) New York "Evening Post."

(*23) Of the Magazine in which the article was originally published.


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