Jump to Content

Add to My Citations To Charles Henry Webb
25 November 1867 • Washington, D.C.
(MS: InU-Li, UCCL 00160)
Click to add citation to My Citations.

Washington, Nov. 25.

Dear [ F ] Webb—

I send the inclosed to show you that I had the will to do that thing—but I haven’t the time.1 I am enrolled as an “occasional” on the Tribune staff, have received a letter from the Herald offering me the same position in that paper, (shall accept if it don’t interfere with the Tribune arrangement)2 & must keep up a Pacific coast correspondence. If you were here we cou to stir me up, we could do the play, sure. As it is, I don’t think I will accomplish anything but my correspondence.

Remember me to the Gov—& to Pauline. I hunted for her & couldn’t find her. She was gone from Amity Place, Ben Bolt.3

Yrs Ever

Sam Clemens
em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space 224 F street cor. 14 th.

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
1 The enclosure was Clemens’s penciled draft of the first two acts of a play about the Quaker City excursion. It is fully transcribed in Enclosure with 25 November 1867 to Charles Henry Webb.

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
2 See the next letter.

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
3 The “Gov” was clearly Frank Fuller, but “Pauline” is more difficult to identify. Early in 1912, Fuller wrote Paine: “I verily believe that I could tell you things concerning which you have never heard one word. Did he ever mention his Cleveland, Ohio Sweetheart, Pauline?” Paine answered on 8 April, “Write me ... about Mark’s Ohio sweetheart, Pauline. I want so much to know all about these things, whether I can make much use of them or not.” But Fuller thought better of his promised revelation and replied: “As to Pauline, we better maintain a profound silence. Mark was smitten with her good looks and qualities and talked with me about her and no one else” (Fuller to A. B. Paine, two undated letters, Davis 1956, 3, 2; A. B. Paine to Fuller, 8 Apr 1912, ViU). Pauline’s last name has not been found, but Clemens clearly knew her in New York, not Cleveland (even if she came from Cleveland), during the period before sailing on the Quaker City. Amity Place in New York was on Laurens Street (now West Broadway), between Amity and Bleecker streets, four blocks west of Broadway. The name “Ben Bolt” comes from a popular song of that title, written by Thomas Dunn English in 1848 and well known to Clemens. The predominantly anapestic meter of its lines, many of which end with this name (“Oh, don’t you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt?”), may have suggested Clemens’s whimsical allusion (Spaeth, 123; Ogilvie, 99).



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Collection, Lilly Library, Indiana University (InU-Li).MS of Quaker City play, Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Collection, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington (InU-Li). Clemens apparently completed only these twenty-eight MS pages (the first two acts) of his untitled play. Act 2 is probably unfinished.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L2, 114–115; SLC 1927, [4–5], in facsimile.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphdonated to InU-Li in 1955. The MS is bound with its original enclosure, the twenty-eight MS pages of Clemens’s unfinished Quaker City play, transcribed in Enclosure with 25 November 1867 to Charles Henry Webb.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


F[partly formed; possibly T]