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Add to My Citations To William K. Cutler
28 May 1864 • Virginia City, Nev. Terr.
(MS, draft not sent: CU-BANC, UCCL 00083)
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Virginia, May 28, 1864.

W. K. Cutler—

Sir—To-day, I have received a letter from you, in which you assume that you have been offended and insulted by certain acts of mine. Having apologized [ one ] once for that offensive conduct, I shall not do it again. Your recourse is in a challenge. I am ready to [accept. it. ]

Having made my arrangements—before I [ reci received ]your note—to leave for California, & having [ to no ]time to fool away on a common bummer like you, I want an immediate reply to this.1


[in Dan De Quille’s hand on letter back:] Mark Twain to Cutler. First draft of document left on my desk when a second was written and sent. Nothing came of the matter. | Dan De Quille.

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

Add to My Citations

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1 Clemens later claimed that a duel with Cutler was averted because his opponent was intimidated by Steve Gillis:

Mr. Cutler had come up from Carson City, and had sent a man over with a challenge from the hotel. Steve went over to pacify him. Steve weighed only ninety-five pounds, but it was well known throughout the territory that with his fists he could whip anybody that walked on two legs, let his weight and science be what they might. Steve was a Gillis, and when a Gillis confronted a man and had a proposition to make the proposition always contained business. When Cutler found that Steve was my second he cooled down; he became calm and rational, and was ready to listen. Steve gave him fifteen minutes to get out of the hotel, and half an hour to get out of town or there would be results. So that duel went off successfully, because Mr. Cutler immediately left for Carson a convinced and reformed man. (AD, 19 Jan 1906, CU-MARK, in MTA, 1:360)

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, draft not sent, William Wright Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-BANC).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L1, 301–303; MTEnt, 204.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe William Wright Papers were acquired by The Bancroft Library in November 1953. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks, and clippings of articles by Wright (Dan De Quille) as well as letters and other documents by members of his family (The William Wright Papers: Report and Key to Arrangement, typescript, The Bancroft Library). The second draft of this letter, which was actually sent, is not known to survive.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

one once • onece [‘c’ over ‘e’]

accept. it. • accept. it. [deletion implied]

reci received • recieived [‘e’ over ‘i’]

to no • [‘no’ over ‘to’]