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Add to My Citations To Francis P. Church
9 February 1870 • Buffalo, N.Y.
(Transcript and paraphrase: Mott 1957, 3:364, UCCL 00422)
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[Feb. 9. ] 1

. . . .

[paraphrase: Mark Twain . . . had married and settled down at Buffalo in a house which, as he boyishly wrote Colonel Church,] a generous father-in-law has built [& ] furnished at the comely figure of $42,000 [paraphrase: and he had bought an interest in the Buffalo Express, which, he says,] pays me an ample livelihood, & does it without my having to go near it. I write sketches for it, & occasional squibs & editorials—that is all. I don’t go to the office.

. . . .

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Frank Luther Mott, who saw the original of this letter, reported that it was “dated February 9 [1870]” and addressed to William Conant Church (1836–1917), co-founder and editor of the Galaxy magazine, and a brevet lieutenant colonel during the Civil War. Mott believed that William was also the “Friend Church” whom Clemens addressed in letters of 22 February 1868, and 11 March, 18 October, and 23 December 1870 (Mott 1957, 364, 366–68). Although Mott may have been right about the 1868 letter (L2, 200–201), no replies from William are known to survive. His younger brother, and his co-founder and co-editor, Francis Pharcellus Church (1839–1906), signed all of the extant letters to Clemens about his Galaxy work (26 Apr 70 to 13 June 71, CU-MARK). The evidence, therefore, is that Clemens wrote exclusively to him during that period. In the present letter Clemens seems to have replied to an inquiry about his willingness to write for the Galaxy, perhaps on an extended or exclusive basis. Within a few weeks he had virtually agreed to do so: see 11 Mar 70 to Church.



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphTranscript and paraphrase, Mott 1957, 3:364. A footnote indicates that the letter was “dated February 9 [1870].” The date has been abbreviated according to Clemens’s usual practice.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 65.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe MS is not known to survive. In 1938, it belonged to William Conant Church’s son, Willard Church, but he was reported to have “destroyed most of his father’s papers” before his death in 1944. In 1952, the remaining Church papers belonged to Willard’s widow (Bigelow, 249, vii; Mott 1957, 3:361, n. 4).

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


Feb. 9. • February 9 [1870] [reported, not quoted; the month is spelled out in the usual catalog style]

& • and [also at 65.7, 8 (twice)]