• March 20, 1871 Monday

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    March 20 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss and Orion Clemens. Sam included a contribution for the American Publisher, “The Old-Time Pony-Express of the Great Plains.”

    “We are all here, & my wife has grown weak, stopped eating, & dropped back to where she was two weeks ago. But we’ve got all the help we want here” [MTL 4: 367-8].

  • March 23, 1871 Thursday 

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    March 23 Thursday – On or about this day John Henry Riley wrote to Sam on 19 pages on fragile yellow paper about his travels, beginning Jan. 7, 1871 from NYC for Liverpool, his time in London, then to the Cape on Feb. 19, with people, places & events along the way [MTP].

  • March 24, 1871 Friday

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    March 24 Friday  Joe Goodman arrived in Elmira for a visit. He would stay several months. He wrote along side Sam and critiqued the California Book (Roughing It) [MTL 4: 379n2]. Joe was a Godsend. He gave Sam positive reinforcement on the work just when Sam, after such a difficult year, doubted its worth.

  • March 27, 1871 Monday 

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    March 27 Monday  Sam wrote from Elmira to Donn Piatt, who was negotiating with the Church brothers to replace Sam’s “Memoranda” in the Galaxy. Piatt had asked and Sam had unloaded his frustrations on the Church’s, but then sent this letter to smooth things over. The April edition carried Mark Twain’s final article [MTL 4: 369-70].

  • March 28, 1871 Tuesday 

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    March 28 Tuesday – Donn Piatt of the Galaxy replied to Clemens:

    My dear fellow / Your letter is perfectly safe in my hands—stop to make it so I have just put it in the stove altho’ I wished to retain a confidential letter written by one I like and admire much as I do you

    I am very glad to hear that your dear wife is convalescent and I hope with you that she will soon be well.

  • April 1871

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    April  In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA, the last, included: “Valedictory and My First Literary Venture,” and “About a Remarkable Stranger” [Schmidt].

    Sam’s article, “A Question Answered,” ran in the American Publisher for April, an in-house promotional pamphlet of the American Publishing Co. [Camfield, bibliog.].

  • April 1, 1871 Saturday 

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    April 1 Saturday – In an article titled “American Humor,” the London Graphic decided that Sam had a “rather forced sense of humor,” but the writer liked Sam “best when he is serious, and he can be both earnest and poetical,” although he lacked the genius of Bret Harte [Tenney 3].

  • April 4, 1871 Tuesday 

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    April 4 Tuesday  Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, asking for him to resend any “incidents” about the Nevada days he could recall, since notes had been lost in the move. He asked his brother if Bliss was doing anything with the manuscript he’d sent (Roughing It.) Sam added: “Baby in splendid condition. Livy as feeble as ever—has not sat up but once or twice for a week” [MTL 4: 372].

  • April 6, 1871 Thursday 

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    April 6 Thursday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Robert and Louise M. Howland, his old friends from Virginia City days, thanking them for pictures received; he promised to send pictures of the family [MTL 4: 374].

  • April 8, 9 and 10, 1871 Monday

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    April 8, 9 and 10 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Sam sent a few changes on the new book (Roughing It) and told of Livy’s improvement. Sam was on MS. page 610. He was at Quarry Farm, “a mile & a half up a mountain, where I write every day.” The rest of the family was at the Langdon home [MTL 4: 376-7].

  • April 12, 1871 Wednesday

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    April 12 Wednesday – Sam went to New York City, where he likely met with Isaac E. Sheldon and/or Francis P. Church to follow up on the planned pamphlet and to gain the final payment for his Galaxy contributions [MTL 4: 378n6]. Joe stayed with Clemens several months after his Mar. 24 arrival, and so may have gone with him.

  • April 18, 1871 Tuesday

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    April 18 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Orion. Sam directed him to leave the “Bull Story” alone until it appeared in the book and not to put it in the paper (American Publisher). Joe Goodman was visiting at Quarry Farm and would come up every day and write a novel, and read the California book critically.

  • April 20, 1871 Thursday

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    April 20 Thursday – Sam went to Buffalo to dispose of his interest in the Buffalo Express to George H. Selkirk, a previous part-owner of the paper [MTL 4: 380n1]. Sam took a financial beating on the sale.

  • April 22, 1871 Saturday

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    April 22 Saturday – Elisha Bliss wrote to Sam fearing that Orion had “written in a manner to give” the wrong impression. After clearing this up, Bliss felt that the issuance of “an occasional Twainish thing…would aid the future sale of the book.” After his signature, he wrote: “Your brother says he wrote you Knox had written up something similar to the Bull story—I never saw it & do not know anything about it. Yours struck me as a good thing, every way. Your first chap.

  • April 26, 1871 Wednesday

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    April 26 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who had suffered some sort of injury. Sam wrote that Livy was better, even “bright & cheerful.” After a couple of poor reviews of his Burlesque Autobiography, Sam was feeling low about his writing:

  • April 29, 1871 Saturday

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    April 29 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Whitelaw Reid, enclosing an article for the Tribune, which argued for saving Edward H. Ruloff (1819-1871) from hanging in a sensational murder case.

  • April 30, 1871 Sunday

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    April 30 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Sam put his foot down and would not be included in American Publisher (basically a promotional paper for Bliss’ stable of writers) more often than every six months. He even would have Livy stop any letters asking more of him. He would focus on his books.

  • May 1871

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    May – Sam’s article, “The Old-Time Pony Express of the Great Plains” ran in American Publisher, an in-house promotional pamphlet of the American Publishing Co [Camfield, bibliog.].

  • May 2, 1871 Tuesday

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    May 2 Tuesday – In Elmira, Sam wrote to James Redpath:

    Indeed I would like to find that Canadian “Innocents” if you can get it.

          I am well & flourishing & hard at work on a book similar to the “Innocents” but my wife is still confined to her bed & has been over three months / Yours / Clemens [MTP, drop-in letters].

  • May 3, 1871 Wednesday

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    May 3 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss about Bliss possibly publishing a book from Edward (Ned) House of the New York Tribune, who was in Japan. Sam enclosed House’s letter. He also announced his book was half done (Roughing It) [MTL 4: 389].

    Sam’s letter to the editor, “A Substitute for Rulloff,” dated Apr. 29, ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.; MTPO].