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Add to My Citations To Donn Piatt
15 May–10 June 1871 • Elmira, N.Y.
(Paraphrase: Galaxy 12 [Oct 71]: 588, UCCL 11833)
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Mark Twain.—Your affecting letter notifying us that you have experienced religion in consequence of the solemn impression produced upon your mind by reading the manuscripts sent in for the jocular department is received, and contents noted. Your request that the rejected communications for the Club-Room may regularly be forwarded to you, to be perused as a precaution against backsliding, is gladly granted. A contract has been made with the Express Freight Company, on very advantageous terms, to deliver to your address “one bushel waste paper per diem,” for the receipt and storage of which please arrange. We imagine that if you want to continue solemn, your case is settled.1

Explanatory Notes

Add to My Citations

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1 Piatt was responsible for “The Galaxy Club-Room” in the May–July 1871 numbers of the magazine. During April or May, Clemens acceded to his first request for a contribution (27 Mar 71 to Piatt, n. 1). In his letter of acknowledgement (now lost) Piatt surely requested further contributions and possibly informed Clemens of his intention to soon give up the editorship of the “Club-Room.” Clemens may have responded with this facetious letter—almost certainly after 15 May but before mid-June, by which time he would have seen the June and the July issues of the Galaxy. In the latter of these the “Club-Room” consisted largely of short, humorous items Piatt had gathered, many of them uninspired. Clemens’s letter to Piatt was independent of his response to Francis P. Church’s 13 June request for a contribution. Clemens sent “About Barbers” to Church for the August “Club-Room,” ostensibly edited by Piatt, but probably prepared by Church, who explained in a note:

“The Galaxy Club-Room” will hereafter be, like the other departments of the magazine, under the direct charge of the Editor of “The Galaxy.” Mr. Donn Piatt finding his time occupied by his new and successful journal, “The Capital,” relinquishes his position of Presiding Officer . . . (“The Galaxy Club-Room,” Galaxy 12 [Aug 71]: 288)

By September, once he was convinced he would get no further contributions from Clemens, Church probably prepared this paraphrase of the letter to Piatt for the October “Club-Room.”

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphParaphrase, “Answers to Correspondents,” probably written by Francis P. Church, in “The Galaxy Club-Room,” Galaxy 12 (Oct 71): 588.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 393–394.