Two editions of this document are known to be extant. The first appeared on or about 25 January 1867, when a Brooklyn newspaper reprinted its text in full (“Up the Mediterranean,” Brooklyn Union, 25 Jan 67, 4). The second appeared sometime between 5 April, when the selection of the steamship Quaker City was first announced in the press, and 3 June, when Sherman’s withdrawal became generally known and the excursion managers ceased to mention him in their newspaper advertisements. The second edition is reproduced here from a copy originally owned by Bloodgood H. Cutter, now in the Mark Twain Memorial (CtHMTH). This particular copy was printed before Sherman withdrew, but distributed afterward, for in the postscript (added in the second edition) one crucial phrase has been carefully deleted by hand: “with Gen. Sherman on board” (“The Mediterranean Excursion,” Brooklyn Eagle, 5 Apr 67, 2; New York Evening Post: “General Sherman Declines a Reception in This City,” 31 May 67, 2; advertisements, 1 and 3 June 67, 1, 3).
The second edition was a visibly cruder typesetting than the first, but apart from the added postscript, substantive changes were minor. Mark Twain saw both editions. In his Alta letter written on 2 March (SLC 1867) he clearly referred to the first, which noted that “passages must be taken and paid for on or before April 15th,” changed in the second to “passages must be paid for when taken.” When, however, he published the text of the prospectus in The Innocents Abroad (chapter 1), he reproduced an edited version of the second edition.