The Dailey Family



Over at the North Burial Ground, you will find the family plot of the Dailey family. The Dailey family took the elderly Mrs. Whitman into their home at 97 Bowen Street in 1877 and cared for her until her death less than a year later in 1878. Their daughter, Charlotte, was especially attentive to their ailing guest, and would listen to Helen reminisce about her life and relationship with the famous poet, Edgar Allan Poe. She also transcribed letters for Helen, as the elderly woman grew too ill and weak to write. Mrs. Charlotte Burr Field Dailey became Helen’s executor, handling the funeral arrangements and managing the estate after Helen expired in June of 1878. Although the Dailey family were only an ephemeral part of Helen’s life, their hospitality, kindness, and their perpetual care to our Providence Poetess will forever be appreciated.

Below is a photo I took of a letter among Sarah Helen Whitman’s papers in the collection of the John Hay Library where you can see penciled in small print “Hand of C F D.” This is an example of Charlotte transcribing Helen’s letters for her as she was too weak to write herself. Helen’s devotion to her correspondents even during the final days of her life attest to her tenacious character.