Submitted by scott on Mon, 05/04/2020 - 20:27

Mark Twain is in Buffalo and feels he will no longer need to take to the platform.

 To James Redpath
10 May 1870 • Elmira, N.Y.
Friend Redpath,—

I guess I am out of the field permanently. I am sending off these circulars to all lecture applicants now. If you want some more of them I can send them to you—for they are very convenient for you to mail to people save penmanship.

Have got a lovely wife, a lovely house, bewitchingly furnished, a lovely carriage,& a coachman whose style dignity are simply awe-inspiring—nothing less & I am making more money than necessary, by considerable, & therefore why crucify myself nightly on the platform. The subscriber will have to be excused from the present season at least.

Remember me to Nasby, Billings & Fall. Luck to you! I am going to print your menagerie, Parton and all, and make comments.

In next Galaxy I give Nasby’s friend and mine from Philadelphia (John Quill, a literary thief) a “hyste.” I don’t consider that the Rev. Talmage has the weather gage of me yet.

Yours always & after,


All too soon events, and a dissatisfaction with his situation bring about a change of mind.   Olivia became pregnant, but was devastated when her father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died on Aug. 6, 1870:  Emma Nye, a dear friend of Olivia’s who was visiting, was stricken with typhoid fever and died in their home Sept. 29: Finally, their son, Langdon, was born prematurely Nov. 7, frail and sickly, and Olivia fell ill with typhoid herself.

They had had enough. Olivia was carried out of their home on a mattress to the train station for the trip to Elmira. Both the home and Twain’s stake in the Express were sold at a loss.