Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/13/2021 - 00:23
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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.

August 15 Sunday – Sam officially became a writing editor of the Express, offering sketches and editorials. This began a period of eighteen months in Buffalo that marked a transition from sometime journalist to celebrated author. (DBD)

Sam’s article, “The Danger of Lying in Bed,” which also appeared in the Feb. 1871 issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 281]. This was the last known article Sam published in the Buffalo Express. (DBD)

In the spring of 1869, Mark Twain became associated with the Boston Lyceum Bureau, recently established by James Redpath.  He promised Redpath ten nights in the state of New York, "provided the towns were close together, but for the most part intended to accept engagements only in the six New England states."   In August, after purchasing a partnership in the Buffalo, New York Express, he attempted to cancel all engagements.  Redpath refused.  Finally, the tour "ranged up and down the coast from Maine to Washington D.C.

“We are selling our dwelling & everything here & are going to spend the summer in Elmira while we build a house in Hartford. Eight months sickness & death in one place is enough for Yrs Truly” [MTL 4: 347].

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