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Add to My Citations To Henry G. Blasdel and Others
1 November 1866 • Virginia City, Nev.
(Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, 4 Nov 66, UCCL 00109)
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Virginia, November 1.1

His Excellency H. G. Blasdel, Governor, and Messrs. A. Helm,
em spaceem space O. A. F. Gilbert, H. F. [Rice ]and others:2

Gentlemen:Your kind and cordial invitation to lecture before my old friends in Carson has reached me, and I hasten to thank you gratefully for this generous recognition—this [generous toleration], I should say—of one who has shamefully deserted the high office of Governor of the Third House of Nevada and gone into the Missionary business, thus leaving you to the mercy of scheming politicians—an act which, but for your forgiving disposition, must have stamped my name with infamy.

I take a natural pride in being welcomed home again by so long a list of old personal friends, and shall do my level best to please them, hoping at the same time that they will be more indulgent toward my [shortcomings ]than they would feel called upon to be toward those of a stranger.

Kindly thanking you again, gentlemen, I gladly accept your invitation, and shall appear on the stage of the Carson Theatre on Saturday evening, November 3d, and disgorge a few lines and as much truth as I can pump out without damaging my constitution.

Yours, sincerely,


Ex-Gov. Third House, and late [Independent Opposition ]Missionary to the Sandwich [Islands].

P. S.—I would have answered yesterday, but I was on the sick list, and I thought I had better wait a day and see whether I was going to get well or not.

M. T.

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 In publishing this letter the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise noted: “The following characteristic card from Mark Twain is in reply to a general invitation of the residents of Carson extended to him to visit the State Capital and deliver his lecture on the Sandwich Islands.” Clemens’s letter was a formal reply to the invitation that he had already answered with the preceding telegram.

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2 Henry G. Blasdel was governor of Nevada. Alfred Helm, a Carson City businessman and theater owner, was clerk of the second district court of Nevada Territory in 1862 and 1863, and since 1864 had been clerk of the Nevada state supreme court. Henry F. Rice (1817?–77), for many years the Wells, Fargo and Company agent in Carson City, served several terms as an Ormsby County commissioner between 1861 and 1866. O. A. F. Gilbert was a clerk at a Carson City dry-goods establishment in 1862; his occupation in 1866 has not been determined (Angel, 87, 89, 529, 555; Marsh 1972, 694 n. 294; Kelly 1862, 10, 70, 72; Kelly 1863, 9).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyph“Card from Mark Twain,” Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, 4 Nov 66, 2, University of Nevada Reno (NvU).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L1, 364–365; “Card from Mark Twain,” Sacramento Union, 6 Nov 66, 2; Benson, 200.


glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

RiceRic [e]

generous toleration • gen[white diamond]rous toleration

shortcomings • shortcomiugs

Independent Opposition • Indep[e]n[white diamond]en[white diamond] Op[white diamond] |position

Islands • [I]slands