THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                                                                                                   Letter from Morphy to George Allen




This letter was published in the Charleston Courier, August 3, 1859.
Morphy had been in New York since returning from Europe in May and intended to visit certain cities close by his route home to New Orleans. But the requests for his appearance were more than he could, or was willing to, accept. He sent this letter in August, but didn't return home until November. The members of the Philadelphia Committee who had planned on honoring Morphy had been hard at work raising money and making plans never expecting Morphy to decline their offer. When he did decline, they felt slighted and were very resentful. They had to return all the money they had collected. Morphy did, in fact, stop in Philadelphia on his way home and played with several members of the Athenaeum Club (in fact, there is a photograph of Morphy playing Louis Elkin there) as well as a 4 board blindfold simul. The letter was to decline any public ceremonies of banquets.



Professor George Allen,

My Dear Sir,

In my last communication to you I stated it was not in my power to specify any period at which to visit your city. My engagements here have been such, that I have, up to this day, found it impossible to determine upon any definite time for the acceptance of your invitation. In view of this fact, and for other reasons, which will readily suggest themselves to you, I feel compelled to decline any public reception in Philadelphia.
I shall, however, avail myself of the earliest opportunity to pay a friendly and unceremonious visit to the members of the Athenaeum.

With high regard,
Paul Morphy