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Add to My Citations To Elisha Bliss, Jr.
29 October 1870 • Buffalo, N.Y.
(MS: Daley, UCCL 00517)
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Buf. Oct. 29.

Friend Bliss—

I got the poster & Sketch-Book. They are fine.1

Colonel Albert S. Evans’s trip through Mexico! Who made him a Colonel? A regular dead beat of the first water—or rather a literary fraud—an excessively A one-horse newspaper reporter, who has been trying all his life to make a joke & never has & never will succeed ss. A Colonel! He would run from a sheep. I know him like a book. You publishers are pretty hard up for books, Bliss, I am dreadfully afraid, when our friend the “Col.” must be called in to help. And don’t he hate me? I should think so. I used to trot him out in the papers lang syne.2


Say, now, Bliss, if I were a publisher, I would send you a book occasionally, but here I am suffering for the “Col’s” book, & for “Beyond the [Missippi]” & f for the “Indian Races,” & especially for the “Uncivilized Races,” & [you] never say “boo” about sending [them]. You must give me the “Uncivilized Races[] & the “Col’s,” anyhow.3


Mark.em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space(over)

My wife has been sick abed for a week, but is much better now.4




[letter docketed:] check mark [and] Mark Twain | Oct 29/70

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 The poster may have been along the lines Clemens suggested on 22 September or a version of the circular Bliss had prepared in June (27 June 70, 22 Sept 70, both to Bliss). The November 1870 Author’s Sketch Book—the only number of this American Publishing Company paper issued—included extracts from chapters 19 and 39 of The Innocents Abroad (“New Books,” 1:3).

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2 See 28 Jan 70 to Bliss, n. 1. Evans’s Our Sister Republic: A Gala Trip Through Tropical Mexico in 1869–70 had been published by the Columbian Book Company of Hartford, a subsidiary of the American Publishing Company established on 2 March 1870 and managed by Richard Woolworth Bliss (b. 1826), Elisha’s younger brother, who was its secretary and treasurer. The Author’s Sketch Book prominently advertised Evans’s volume (“Our Sister Republic,” “Advertisements,” “A New and Timely Book,” 1:2, 3, 4; Geer 1870, 57, 91, 435, 508; “Hartford Residents,” Bliss Family, 2).

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3 Albert Deane Richardson’s Beyond the Mississippi (1867; expanded edition 1869), Charles De Wolf Brownell’s The Indian Races of North and South America (1865), and John George Wood’s The Uncivilized Races, or Natural History of Man (1870) were all published by the American Publishing Company. For discussion of Clemens’s use of Wood’s and Richardson’s books in the writing of Roughing It, see RI 1993, 575–76, 579, 597, 600, 605–6, 610–11, 635, 683–84, 695, 705–6, 820–21.

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4 Olivia Clemens had almost given birth prematurely, probably on the night of 19 October (5 Nov 70 to OC, n. 5).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, collection of Robert Daley until 1993.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 218–219; Sotheby 1993, lot 214.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe present location of the MS is not known; sold in 1993 to an unidentified purchaser.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

Missippi • [sic]

them • [‘em’ conflated]