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Add to My Citations To Edward T. Howard
To A. Francis Judd
20 December 1870 • Buffalo, N.Y.
(MS facsimile: CtY-BR, UCCL 02784)
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Buffalo, Dec. 20.

Friend Howard—
em spaceem spaceem spaceJudd—1

(Your letter made me think of Ned Howard, & unconsciously I wrote the [name.) I] don’t think an enormous deal of Howard, though that’s nothing against him, [ oc of] course. Tastes differ, & 200 miles muleback in company is the next best thing to a sea-voyage to bring a man’s worst points to the surface. Ned & I like each other, but we don’t love, & we never [did. I] like to talk with him, & I buy little jewelry trifles there, but we don’t embrace—I would as soon e think of embracing a fish, or an [ icl icicle], or any other particularly cold & unemotional thing—say a dead stranger, for instance.2

Our wedding cards brought exceedingly pleasant notes from 2 little favorites of mine, the Spencer girls, at Benicia.3

I do wish you had spent a day or two with us in Buffalo, & I beg that you will when you come [again. I] I love to see people from the Islands notwithstanding I conducted myself so badly there & left behind me so unenviable a name.4 But then you know they honor Harris there, & so while that continues the preferable distinction is to stand dishonored, maybe. I never stole anything in the Islands—and ah, me, I wish Harris could say as much!5

I am under contract to write 2 more books the size of Innocents Abroad (600 pp 8vo.) & after that I am going to do up the Islands & Harris. They have “kept” 4 years, & I guess they will keep 2 or 3 longer.6 Have sold 82,000 copies of the Innocents in 16 months—the largest sale of that size book ever made in America in the same length of time. It still sells 2 to 3,000 a month & will so continue for a long time.7

Yes, the statement that you mention about the white children of the Islands having never borne a stain in any instance on their good name was in my lecture & has been pretty well disseminated ion through the United States.8

[one half of MS page missing]


If this isn’t postage enough, it don’t make any difference, because I have a private understanding with his Majesty Kamehameha V., whereby and “Harris.” 9

A. Francis Judd Esq


H. I.

[across envelope end:] [Return to Mark] Twain | Buffalo, U. S. [postmarked:] [buffalo n.y. dec 21] [and] [san francisco] paid all dec 31

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Albert Francis Judd (1838–1900), the son of Gerrit Parmele Judd, Hawaiian missionary and statesman, became attorney general of the Hawaiian Islands in 1873, a member of the Hawaiian supreme court the following year, and served as its chief justice from 1881 until his death. His letter to Clemens does not survive. Clemens’s acquaintance with the Judd family, largely undocumented, dated from 1866 (L1, 333–56; N&J1, 91–237).

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2 Edward Tasker Howard (1844?–1918), of New York and San Francisco, had been Clemens’s reluctant travel companion in Hawaii in June 1866. Howard was now a jeweler in New York: see L1, 346 n. 10, and Austin, 250–54 (both misidentifying Howard as an Englishman), and RI 1993, 736–37.

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3 Nellie and Katie Spencer were the daughters of Thomas Spencer, a merchant and ship chandler at Hilo, Hawaii, who apparently hosted Clemens and Howard in June 1866. In Benicia, California, the girls may have attended Mills Seminary for women, forerunner of Mills College (N&J1, 133; Austin, 203; MTH, 15, 77–78; Hart 1987, 26, 321).

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4 This bad behavior has not been documented. Although on at least one occasion Clemens “made Honolulu howl” (L3, 359), opinion of him seems to have been favorable: see for example, Austin, 250–54, and MTH, 134, 151–52.

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5 Charles Coffin Harris (1821–81), from New Hampshire, was the Hawaiian minister of finance and the most influential advisor to King Kamehameha V. Clemens ridiculed Harris, who was pompous and overweening but not dishonest, in letters to the Sacramento Union (N&J1, 119 n. 35; SLC 1866 [MT00464], 1866 [MT00469], 1866 [MT00472]).

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6 The Hawaiian Islands and Harris only had to “keep” until July 1871, when, using some of his Sacramento Union letters and the manuscript of an abortive 1866–67 book on Hawaii, Clemens prepared most of what became chapters 62–77 of Roughing It (chapters 67 and 68 included attacks on Harris). Then in January 1873 he published two letters about Hawaii in the New York Tribune, in the second of which he excoriated Harris still again. In 1884 he began a Hawaiian novel; the fragments that survive in the Mark Twain Papers do not refer to Harris (RI 1993, 463–64, 469, 718, 815, 862–63; SLC 1873 [MT01106], 1873 [MT01107]; N&J1, 104–5).

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7 Sales of The Innocents Abroad through its first fifteen months, or five quarters (30 July 69–31 Oct 70) totaled about 74,500 copies. By the end of the sixth quarter (1 Nov 70–31 Jan 71) the total had reached about 82,524 (5 Aug 70 to Bliss, n. 1; 7 Nov 70 to Bliss, n. 1; 15 Feb 71 to Bliss, n. 1).

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8 Clemens had begun disseminating some form of this statement with his very first Sandwich Islands lecture, in San Francisco on 2 October 1866, when he paid “an exceedingly glowing tribute to the missionaries” (“Editorial Gossip,” San Francisco Sunday Mercury, 7 Oct 66, clipping in Scrapbook 4:33–34, CU-MARK). In 1867, Henry M. Stanley, reporting for the St. Louis Missouri Democrat, transcribed the version Clemens used in his lecture on 26 March:

There are 3000 whites there, mostly Americans, and they are still increasing. They own all the money, control all the commerce, and own all the ships. They have a constitutional monarchy but they have no constitution, and the monarchy is only an empty name. . . . In education, refinement and culture, the sons and daughters of our missionaries there need not be ashamed to compare themselves with their brothers and sisters in the United States. (Stanley)

Lecturing in New York on 6 May 1867, Clemens “gave the American missionaries great credit for their work in civilizing and converting the Islanders, and spoke of the singular fact that the descendants of these missionaries have no stain upon their moral character, being exemplary citizens” (“Mark Twain’s Lecture,” New York Times, 7 May 67, 5). Then, on his eastern tour of November 1869–January 1870 with “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands,” Clemens reprised the statement, for example as reported by the Hartford Courant of 24 November:

There are about three thousand white people in the islands; they are mostly Americans. In fact they are the kings of the Sandwich Islands; the monarchy is not much more than a mere name. These people stand as high in the scale of character as any people in the world, and some of them who were born and educated in those islands don’t even know what vice is. (“Mark Twain’s Lecture,” 2)

(L1, 361; L2, 40–44; L3, 483–86; 1 Feb 94 to Frank Fuller, CtY-BR; AD, 20 Nov 1906, CU-MARK).

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9 Lot Kamehameha (1830–72) reigned as Kamehameha V from 1863 until his death. Clemens had planned to meet him in April 1866, but apparently did not do so (RI 1993, 717). The postage—a three-cent pre-stamped envelope, covering the basic domestic rate, to which Clemens added a three-cent stamp—was correct, as the San Francisco postmark indicates (Meyer et al., 84).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS facsimile, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (CtY-BR). The five-page MS consists of four pages of a folder of the same monogrammed stationery as 21 Apr 70 to OC (off-white laid paper, approximately 4 15/16 by 7 15/16 inches), and a fifth page written on another leaf torn from a similar folder. About one-half of MS page 5 is missing, which evidently contained further text, at least the complimentary close and signature. Only the tops of two ascenders remain, however, which do not provide enough evidence even to identify the missing letters.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 278–280; MTH, 467–68.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe present location of the MS is not known; the MS facsimile was donated to CtY in January 1936 by Albert F. Judd, eldest son of A. Francis Judd.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

name.) I • name.)—|I

oc of • ocf

did. I • did.—|I

id icicle • iclicle

again. I • again.—|I

Return to Mark • [white diamondwhite diamondwhite diamondwhite diamond]rn [t]o [M]ark [torn]

buffalo n.y. dec 21[bufwhite diamond] alo [n.y.]. [white diamondewhite diamond 21] [badly inked]

san francisco[swhite diamondwhite diamond white diamondrawhite diamond] cisco [badly inked]