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Add to My CitationsContract for The Innocents Abroad

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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.

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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 carettheircaret Agents very early next [spring] & [that they will use] all reasonable efforts to sell the same, & caretwillcaret adopt all of the usual forms & methods to so [do.]

[Elisha Bliss em spaceSectyem spaceem spaceem space

Am. Pub Coem spaceem spaceem space]

[Signedem spaceem spaceem space] Sam. L. Clemens.1em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space

[The Mss for book contracted for by within contract by S. L
em spaceem spaceem spaceClemens has been delivered to us—& entitled Inno. Abroad

Am. Pub Co. em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space

per E Bliss for firm] 2em spaceem spaceem space

[ [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]

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Clemens inscribed “Signed” as well as his signature.

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2 Bliss added the preceding paragraph no earlier than April or May 1869, when Clemens decided on the title of his book.

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3 Charles L. Webster (1851–91) of Fredonia, New York, married Clemens’s niece, Annie Moffett, in 1875. He began to assist Clemens with his business affairs in 1881. In 1884 Clemens established the New York publishing firm of Charles L. Webster and Company, with Webster as manager.



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS of Clemens’s copy, drafted by Elisha Bliss, Jr., Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L2, 421–22.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Mark Twain Papers, pp. 514–15.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


neccessary, • neccessarycaret

Compny • [sic]

neccessary • [sic]

correting • [sic]