Elisha Bliss, on 16 October 1868, wrote out two copies of a contract between Clemens and the American Publishing Company for publication of an unnamed book, eventually called The Innocents Abroad; or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress. Clemens’s copy, signed by both men, is in the Mark Twain Papers (CU-MARK); Bliss’s copy, signed only by Clemens, is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale (CtY-BR). Clemens’s copy is transcribed below. The textual commentary records the minor variants between the two copies.
This Memorandum made this Sixteenth day of October A.D. [1868.] between [the] American Publishing Co. of City of Hartford & Samuel J Clemens of [City of New York] Wittnesseth, that the [sd] Clemens agrees to furnish to the Said [Company] manuscript properly prepared & written sufficient to make an Octavo [volume] of at least 500 pages— Table of contents &c &c to be made out fully & any other matters [neccessary],] to the book to be attended to & prepared. And the said Clemens agrees with the said [Company ]that they shall [have the] exclusive use of sd [Manuscript] & right to publish the same & that he will not use the same in any other [manner,] or any part of it or of its contained [matter] The subject of the same to be the trip of the “Quaker [City] to the Holy Land” And the said Company agree to [publish] sd [manuscript,] bringing it out in Book [form] with illustrations, & they agree to pay to sd Clemens for the copyright of the [same, the] royalty of Five (5) per [cent.] upon the retail price of [every] volume sold by [them] payable at the expiration of each & every three months after the [book] is brought out. No royalty however [to] be paid him upon any Books given to [Editors,] or furnished [to them] or others, for notices, advertisements, or for the purpose of advancing the sale of the Book. The said Clemens is to give all [neccessary] time & attention to the reading [of] proofs & [correting] the same if necessary] & to all other matters connected with the bringing out of the [Book] usually done by Authors & to do all in his power to promote the sale of the work
The sd Company agree that the work shall be Electrotyped during the next 4 months & be ready to place in the hands of their Agents very early next [spring] & [that they will use] all reasonable efforts to sell the same, & will adopt all of the usual forms & methods to so [do.]
[Elisha Bliss Secty
Am. Pub Co]
[The Mss for book contracted for by within contract by S. L
Clemens has been delivered to us—& entitled Inno. Abroad
Am. Pub Co.
[ [on back of contract as folded, in Charles L. Webster’s3 hand:] Contract with Am Pub Co. Oct 16 1868 [and in an unidentified hand:] 5% on retail price of each volume [and in a second unidentified hand:] Innoc Abroad Innocense Abroad Innocence Abroad]
Provenance:see Mark Twain Papers, pp. 514–15.
Emendations and textual notes:
neccessary, • neccessary
Compny • [sic]
neccessary • [sic]
correting • [sic]