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Add to My Citations To Edward P. Hingston
15 January 1867 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: PBL, UCCL 00118)
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Metropolitan Hotel,
em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceNew York, Jan. [ 16.15.]

Friend Hingston—

I have been lecturing to crowded houses at Platt’s Hall, the Academy of Music and Congress S Hall, in San Francisco, & as soon as I get my illustrated book on the Sandwich Islands in the hands of the printers, I am going to lecture here on California & perhaps on other subjects. That

I want you to come and engineer me. Ward is so well established in London, now, that he can easily spare you till you have given me a start. You & Artemus both owe me a good turn for old acquaintance sake.1

I have several invitations to lecture—in Cincinnati, Boston & St Louis, but I don’t want to start till I can start on a sure basis & not crucify myself through managerial inefficiency.

If you will come & get the houses audiences for me, I will engage to send them home d—d well satisfied—which is a great deal for a modest man to say.

State your terms & come along. Don’t throw off on a fellow.

Give Artemus my love & tell him I am glad of his success & feel grateful to old England for her generous appreciation & kindly treatment of one of our boys.2

Yrs with great affection & distinguished consideration., God be with us all, amen,

Mark Twain.

Room Metropolitan Hotel
New York


[letter docketed in ink:] Mark Twain

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Edward Peron Hingston (1823?–76), an Englishman, was an experienced theatrical agent and manager. Between 1856 and 1863 he had worked for the “Wizard of the North” (John Henry Anderson, a popular magician) on tours of Australia and the United States. From 1863 to 1865 he had been the agent and friend of Artemus Ward on his American tour, as well as, since June 1866, in England. Hingston also helped John Camden Hotten become Ward’s English publisher, even providing prefaces for Hotten’s editions. Clemens had enjoyed several days of revelry with Hingston and Ward in December 1863, when Ward’s American tour brought them to Virginia City (L1, 269–70 n. 5). In this letter to Hingston, he mentioned his own recent lectures not in chronological order, but in the descending order of their paid attendance. Hingston knew what it meant to command a “crowded house” at Platt’s Music Hall (as Mark Twain had on 16 November) because three years before, Ward had done the same thing: Hingston recalled in The Genial Showman that the price of admission was “one dollar, and the receipts exceeded one thousand six hundred dollars.” Clemens estimated his own paid attendance in Platt’s Hall at fourteen hundred, while both Maguire’s Academy of Music (which he filled on 2 October) and Congress Hall (which he filled on 10 December) were smaller, with crowds estimated at twelve to thirteen hundred and seven to eight hundred, respectively. He also recalled that from these lectures he “amassed twelve or fifteen hundred dollars,” which “was about half—the doorkeeper got the rest,” an allusion to Denis McCarthy, his manager at the time (Boase, 1:63, 1482–83; Seitz, 121–29, 170, 176, 184; Hingston, 299–300; SLC to James Redpath, 22 Jan 71, NN-B; “‘Mark Twain’s’ Lecture,” Californian 5 [6 Oct 66]: 5; “Mark Twain’s Lecture,” San Francisco Morning Call, 11 Dec 66, 1; AD, 11 Apr 1906, CU-MARK, in MTA, 2:351).

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2 In June 1866 Edward House escorted his ailing fellow Bohemian Artemus Ward to England, where he was met by Hingston. Ward found a warm welcome among the artists, writers, and wits of the Savage Club. His contributions to Punch brought him to the attention of a more general public, and when he opened his lecture on the Mormons at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, on 13 November, his success was instantaneous, as well as highly profitable—probably at least $1,000 (in gold) each week. Despite his worsening tuberculosis, Ward continued to lecture through 23 January, when he was at last persuaded to rest, leaving London for the island of Jersey and ultimately for Southampton (Hingston, 515–19; Seitz, 184–222; “The Last Days of Artemus Ward,” San Francisco Alta California supplement, 23 Apr 67, 3). In a letter that Clemens said he had “just received” from London on 23 February, Hingston presumably declined the request to become Mark Twain’s manager, even as he reported that

poor Artemus has caved in, through desperate ill health, and caved, too, just as the London “season” is on the point of commencement and all shows about to become Gould and Curry mines. He is rusticating at the seaside. The hope is that he will be well in a week or two and able to reappear. (SLC 1867)

But Ward did not resume performing in London: on 6 March he died at Southampton.

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Robert B. Honeyman Collection, Linderman Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa. (PBL).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L2, 8–9.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe Honeyman Collection, which contains eleven Clemens letters written between 1867 and 1897, was deposited at PBL in March 1957. On the verso of the last leaf of the letter someone has written:
S. L. Clemens
known as
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Humourist
Born Florida Missouri
Nov 30 1835
This is a very interesting letter written evidently in 1866 when Artemu as Ward was in England.
This letter shows the great esteem in which Mr E P Hingston was held by Mark Twain & A. Ward

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

16. 15. • 15. 6. [‘6’ doubtful]