Thomas Beale Treasure...The Last Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe
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In the last years of my life, I began working on a short story entitled The Beale Papers, which I intended as a check on the gold fever so rampant in the country at that time.  While composing this treasure hoax, I was seized with an idea, a wonderful, mischievous thought!  Why not send a gift to the men and women of the future, a poem placed in a time capsule, a treasure chest buried in the literature of my day to be opened by some intrepid Champollian of the future.


            I had used a similar literary device, writing letters from the future to the men and women of my era, with some success.  Yes, I would send a coded message that would only reveal my identity as the author when the cipher was finally broken.  Perhaps my greatest poem, better even then The Raven, or my best horror story or even a great novel would be written in code and left to be discovered by some investigator extraordinairre.  The idea thrilled me with possibilities!      


            Perhaps this attempt to cheat the grim reaper came to me as a result of my despondency over the sickness and death of my beloved Virginia.  Maybe my scientific studies gave me a desire to conquer time in some limited way.  More than any wish for immortality, though, I suggest that my primary motivation in secretly publishing a story thirty-six years after my death was respect, and maybe a little revenge.  To fool generations of pretentious poets and writers, greedy treasure hunters and pompous mathematicians would be a worthy endeavor indeed.  And to accomplish this deception with such style that, once revealed, would be seen as being so bold, so ingenious that generations to follow would take notice, this was a game that was worth the candle.

            I accepted the challenge of secretly writing to posterity.