Submitted by scott on

December – Kaplan writes of the new contract between Sam Clemens and James W. Paige:

“Under the terms of a new agreement signed in December 1889, Clemens undertook to manufacture the typesetting machine and to pay Paige about $160,000 plus $25,000 a year for seventeen years. In return Paige assigned all rights in the machine. Clemens’ stake in the venture, which included not only the enormous profits he reckoned on but also the $150,000 or so which he had been paying out with increasing hardship since 1885, thus became, in what proved to be a catastrophic gamble, altogether contingent on his success as a promoter. The smooth-talking Paige, whom he always believed at the moment of talking, no matter what evidence there was to the contrary, once assured him they could dispose of the English patent rights for ten million, and Clemens assumed a universal supply of eager money” [301].

      Note: MTNJ 3: 579n23 states that this contract was never signed, however.

“…it appears that this contract was never ratified. A rough draft of the August 1890 contract in the Mark Twain Papers states that Paige and Clemens’ last outstanding agreement was that of September 1889 according to which Clemens was to receive a $500 royalty on each machine marketed; the subsequent contract of December 1889 is not mentioned.”

Sometime during the month Sam inscribed a book (unspecified, but probably CY, after Dec. 12) to George L. Bell: Geo. L. Bell / with compts of/ The Author/ ~ / 1889 [MTP].

Sam also made up a form letter “for declining any & all dinners”:

Sir: I have to thank the committee for the compliment of their invitation to attend the Banquet in honor of – – – – Dec…..& at the same time express my great regret that engagements already entered into debar me from accepting. / S L C [MTP].

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Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.