AMHERST, N.H. — A rare letter from Edgar Allan Poe to the editor of a literary publication has sold at auction for more than $164,000.

Poe wrote it on Oct. 20, 1837, to Sarah Josepha Hale of Boston. She was the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

He was responding to her request for a prose article, saying he was “overwhelmed with business” after being ill. He wrote, “To send you a crude or hastily written article would be injurious to me, and an insult to yourself.”

Poe wrote a number of pieces for the magazine, along with contemporaries such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving.

The letter was offered by RR Auction, based in Amherst, N.H. It sold for $164,520.