Edgar Allan Poe is dead...This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was well known, personally or by reputation, in all this country...but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art has lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.
Griswold further claimed that it was a habit of Poe’s to wander the streets in delirium and talk to himself, describing Poe as follows:
He was at all times a dreamer — dwelling in ideal realms — in heaven or hell — peopled with creatures and the accidents of his brain. He walked the streets, in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayers, (never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned), but for their happiness who at the moment were objects of his idolatry — or, with his glances introverted to a heart gnawed with anguish, and with a face shrouded in gloom, he would brave the wildest storms; and all night, with drenched garments and arms wildly beating the winds and rains, he would speak as if to spirits. (see below under sources for a link to the full obituary).
Griswold also published Poe’s first full biography, where he portrayed him as a drunk, drug abuser, and madman. Poe nevertheless had prominent fans as well. Alfred Tennyson, for example, composed an epitaph in Poe's honor:
Fate that once denied him, / And envy that once decried him, / And malice that belied him, / Now cenotaph his fame.
In the decades following his death, Poe continued to invite mixed opinions; as scholar Kevin Hayes explains, there were three predominant attitudes toward Poe by the 1870s: popular acclaim, measured skepticism, and ardent enthusiasm.
Poe was initially buried in an unmarked, neglected grave. In the 1860s and 70s, however, a group of concerned citizens raised the money to build Poe a proper monument, which was dedicated in 1875, with Walt Whitman in attendance. Tennyson's epitaph was read at this ceremony. The monument is made of marble on a granite base. It mistakenly records Poe's birth date as January 20 (rather than January 19, the correct date).