25 May 1864 • Virginia City, Nev. Terr.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00081)
Va, Wednesday A.M.
My Dear Bro.
Don’t stump for the Sanitary Fund—Billy Clagett says he certainly will not. If I have been so unlucky as to rob you of some of your [popo ularity ]by that unfortunate item, I claim at your hands that you neither increase nor diminish it by so fruitless a proceeding as making speeches for the Fund. I am mighty sick of that fund—it has caused me all my d—d troubles—& I shall leave the Territory when your first speech is announced, & leave it for good.1
I see by the Union of this morning, that those ladies have seduced from me what I consider was a sufficient apology, under coming from a man open to a challenge from three persons, & already awaiting the issue of such a message to another2—they got out of me what no man would ever have got, & then—well, they are ladies, & I shall not speak harshly of them.3 Now although the Union folks have kept quiet this morning, (much against my expectations,) I still have a quarrel or two on hand—so that this flour sack business may rest, as far as Carson is concerned. I shall take no notice of it ‸at‸ all, except to mash Mr Laird over the head with my revolver for publishing it [ to if ]I meet him to-day—otherwise, I do nothing. I consider that I have triumphed over those ladies at last, & I am quits with them. But when I forgive the injury—or forget it—may or fail to set up a score against it, as opportunity offers—may I be able to console myself for it with the consciousness that I have become a marvellously better man. At I have no intention of hunting for the puppy, Laird, Mollie, but he had better let me have 24 hours unmolested, to get cool in.
We await the result of
CU-MARK). The MS consists of a folder of blue-lined off-white laid paper, 7¾ by 9¾ inches (19.7 by 24.8 cm), blind embossed in the upper left corner with the word ‘bancroft’ in a decorative lozenge. The folder is inscribed on the first three pages in black ink, now faded to brown. The MS is reproduced in Photographs and Manuscript Facsimiles.
Provenance:probably Moffett Collection; see p. 462. On the last page of the MS folder
someone, probably Orion, wrote in pencil: ‘For Mr &
Mrs Sam’l L. Clemens, Care of Mrs Crane Elmira n y’.
This address could have been written in almost any year during the period
from 1871 to 1897, when the Clemenses spent many summers at Susan
Crane’s Elmira home. Orion Clemens died on 11 December 1897. Next
to the address Paine wrote in pencil ‘1864’. Also on
the last page, a penciled note that may have been in Paine’s hand
has been erased: ‘These letters are not to be published or used
in any way. They are to be destroyed.’ At the top of the first MS
page Paine wrote in pencil ‘May ’64’ and
‘[May 25? 1864]’.
Emendations and textual notes:
popo ularity • [‘u’ inserted over ‘o’]
to if • [‘if’ over ‘to’]
q peace • [‘p’ over ‘q’]
Yro • [sic]