After his brother’s death, Poe began more earnest attempts to start his career as a writer. He chose a difficult time in American publishing to do so. He was the first well-known American to try to live by writing alone and was hampered by the lack of an international copyright law.Publishers often produced unauthorized copies of British works rather than paying for new work by Americans. The industry was also particularly hurt by the Panic of 1837. There was a booming growth in American periodicals around this time period, fueled in part by new technology, but many did not last beyond a few issues and publishers often refused to pay their writers, or paid them much later than they promised. Throughout his attempts to live as a writer, Poe repeatedly had to resort to humiliating pleas for money and other assistance.
On October 3, 1849, Poe was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, “in great distress, and… in need of immediate assistance”, according to Joseph W. Walker who found him. He was taken to the Washington Medical College where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849 at 5:00 in the morning.