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Add to My CitationsTo Elisha Bliss, Jr.
19 March 1876 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS, in pencil: CtY-BR, UCCL 01315)
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Friend Bliss:

It is going to rush you too tight to do your canvassing & issue “Tom” the middle of April, isn’t it? If so, you better clap on your canvassers at once but not publish till the middle of May. In Drop me a line about this at once—for if we don’t issue in April I must telegraph Howells to delay the Atlantic notice a month.1




[letter docketed:] Saml Clemens | Mch 19 ″76

Explanatory Notes

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1 Bliss’s reply does not survive, but he must have agreed to Clemens’s proposal. No telegram informing Howells has been found. Clemens may have realized that none was necessary since the April Atlantic Monthly had already issued and Howells was only now writing his review (see 13 Mar 76 to Howells, n. 4) . As late as 9 April Clemens believed that Tom Sawyer would issue by the middle of May. By 16 April, however, he had decided to postpone publication until autumn, creating an embarrassment for Howells, whose review was just then appearing in the Atlantic Monthly for May. Clemens apologized to Howells in a letter of 26 April. The American Publishing Company edition of Tom Sawyer did not finally issue until 8 December 1876 (3 Apr 76 to Howells; 9 Apr 76 to Conway; 16 Apr 76 to Conway; Howells 1876; TS 1980, 22–25).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, in pencil, Willard S. Morse Collection, Collection of American Literature, CtY-BR.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph MTLP, 95.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe Morse Collection was donated to CtY in 1942 by Walter F. Frear.