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What is “Cooping” and Did It Contribute to Poe’s Mysterious Death?

In mid-19th-century America, “cooping” was an illegal process in which people were “cooped-up,” against their will, plied with liquor and drugs and then sent to various polls to vote over and over and over again for someone else's favorite candidate.

When Edgar Allan Poe went missing for several days, at about the time of an 1849 election in Baltimore, people at the time wondered whether he had been targeted for a cooping event.

Although we may never know, do you think “cooping” played a role in Poe's mysterious final days? Why, or why not?

Do you think the mystery surrounding Poe's final days explains why this poet is still popular? Why, or why not?


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