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Add to My Citations To Elisha Bliss, Jr.
2 September 1869 • Buffalo, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00342)
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morning express $10 per annum.em spaceoffice of the express printing company
evening express $8 per annum.em spaceem spaceem spaceno. 14 east swan street.
weekly express $1.50 per annum.

buffalo, Sept 2 186 9.

Friend Bliss—

Have you an agent here?

I We are going to get out a supplement, (with perhaps a little reading matter in it,) containing “Notices of the Press” on my [accepssion] to the [ editorship. Would] it be a good idea for you to send me a lot of newspaper notices of the book to add [afterwa ] them, with the card of the publishing house attached? We could circulate several thousand, & we could send you a lot to Hartford to be distributed through your agents & agencies. [ It Is] the idea good? Is it worth the trouble? How many could you use? What do you think of it, anyhow?1

I wish you would send me a copy of the book—never have had a good chance to look at it yet. I suppose it would not be wo good policy to send the Buffalo papers copies until an agent is here ready to take advantage of the notices.

I enclose a letter from Packard, of the Monthly—I thought maybe you might be able to use a paragraph—but as it is a private letter do not do more than hint at him—don’t use his name.2



Hurry & send that complimentary book to Dan Slote, 121 William street. Don’t delay.


[letter docketed:] check mark [and] [Mark Twain | Sep 2/69]

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Bliss, whose reply to this letter has not been found, did not have agents in Buffalo until late September (see 27 Sept 69 to Bliss). Clemens waited until 9 October to publish the Buffalo Express advertising supplement. Under the heading “Complimentary,” it reprinted thirty-nine “Press Greetings” to the new editor, most of them undated. (The greetings from the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, the Buffalo Courier, and the Buffalo Post were misdated 4 August, although the first two and probably the last had appeared on 16 August, two days after Clemens purchased one-third of the Express.) In addition, under the heading “Opinions of the Press,” the Express supplement printed forty-six extracts from “some twelve hundred complimentary notices of the book which have appeared in the several sections of the Union” (“Advertising Supplement,” Buffalo Express, 9 Oct 69, 1–2). Clemens may have incorporated some new clippings from Bliss, but he probably relied for Bliss’s contribution on the press extracts already in place in the canvasser’s prospectus for The Innocents Abroad (APC 1869, [1–4]). It is not known if Bliss distributed copies of the Express advertising supplement.

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2 Silas Packard’s letter does not survive, nor has any excerpt from it been identified in Bliss’s promotional materials for Innocents. Packard’s Monthly reviewed the book in its October number, which issued about 20 September, and Clemens extracted the review for the Express’s “Opinions of the Press” (“Books and Things,” Packard’s Monthly 2 [Oct 69]: 318–19; “Advertising Supplement,” Buffalo Express, 9 Oct 69, 1). Bliss later included an excerpt from the notice in his revised supplement to the canvasser’s prospectus (APC 1870, [5]).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L3, 327–328.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Tufts Collection, pp. 587–88.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

accepssion • [‘p’ partly formed]

editorship. Would • editorship.— |Would

afterwa • after- | wa

It Is • Its

Mark ... 69 • [ink scraped away by unidentified owner or curator of the MS]