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Add to My Citations To Orion Clemens
15 July 1870 • Elmira, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00489)
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Elmira, July 15.

D My Dear Bro:

Per contract I must have another 600-page book ready for my publisher Jan. 1, & I only began it [to-day ].1 The subject of it is a secret, because I may possibly change it. But as it stands, I propose to do up Nevada & Cal., beginning with the trip across the [country . ] in the stage. Have you a memorandum of the route we took—or the m names of any of the Stations we stopped at? Do you remember any of the scenes, names, incidents or adventures of the coach trip?—for I remember next to nothing about the matter. Jot down a foolscap page of items for me.2 I wish I could have two days’ talk with you.

I suppose I am to get the biggest copyright, ever this time, ever paid on a subscription book in this country.3

Give our love to [Mollie. Mr. ] Langdon is very low.

Yr Bro



Orion Clemens Esq | Night Editor “Democrat”4 | St Louis | Mo. [return address:] return to j. langdon, elmira, [n. y., ] if not delivered within 10 days. [postmarked:] elmira n.y. jul 16

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Bliss had gone to Elmira to draft this contract, dated 15 July 1870, which was fulfilled with Roughing It (see Book Contract for Roughing It). Clemens did not actually begin writing the book until late August (2 Sept 70 to OC, n. 1).

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2 See 27 July 70 to JLC and family, 2 Sept 70 to OC, and 11 Nov 70 to OC.

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3 Clemens had requested “half profits,” but Bliss persuaded him that the seven and a half percent copyright (royalty) specified by the 15 July contract was the equivalent: see RI 1993, 806–8. Clemens’s royalty on The Innocents Abroad was five percent (L2, 421).

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4 Orion was apparently promoted to this position from proofreader sometime after mid-April, at which time he had been seeking a better job. His pay increased by two dollars—to twenty-seven dollars per week (21 Apr 70 to OC, n. 1; 11 Nov 70 to OC).

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

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 171–172; MTB, 1:421, with omissions; MTL, 1:174–75.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Mark Twain Papers in Description of Provenance.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

to-day • to-|day

country.[deletion implied]

Mollie. Mr. • Mollie.—|Mr.

n. y., • n. [ywhite diamondwhite diamond] [torn]