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Autobiography Of Mark Twain, Volume 1

Mark Twain




  The Mark Twain Project is an editorial and publishing program of The Bancroft Library, working since 1967 to create a comprehensive critical edition of everything Mark Twain wrote.

  This volume is the first one in that edition to be published simultaneously in print and as an electronic text at The textual commentaries for all Mark Twain texts in this volume are published only there.


  Robert H. Hirst, General Editor

  Board of Directors of the Mark Twain Project

  Jo Ann Boydston

  Laura Cerruti

  Don L. Cook

  Frederick Crews

  Charles B. Faulhaber

  Peter E. Hanff

  Thomas C. Leonard

  Michael Millgate

  George A. Starr

  G. Thomas Tanselle

  Lynne Withey

  Contributing Editors for This Volume

  Natalia Cecire

  Michelle Coleman

  George Derk

  Christine Hong

  Rachel Perez

  Leslie Walton






  Associate Editors

  Benjamin Griffin

  Victor Fischer

  Michael B. Frank

  Sharon K. Goetz

  Leslie Diane Myrick

  A publication of the Mark Twain Project

  of The Bancroft Library

  Frontispiece: Photograph by Albert Bigelow Paine, 25 June 1906, Upton House, Dublin, New Hampshire

  University of California Press, one of the most distinguished university presses in the United States, enriches lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. For more information, visit

  University of California Press

  Berkeley and Los Angeles, California

  University of California Press, Ltd.

  London, England

  Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 Copyright© 2010, 2001 by the Mark Twain Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Transcription, reconstruction, and creation of the texts, introduction, notes, and appendixes Copyright© 2010 by The Regents of the University of California. The Mark Twain Foundation expressly reserves to itself, its successors and assigns, all dramatization rights in every medium, including without limitation, stage, radio, television, motion picture, and public reading rights, in and to the Autobiography of Mark Twain and all other texts by Mark Twain in copyright to the Mark Twain Foundation.

  All texts by Mark Twain in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 have been published previously, by permission of the Mark Twain Foundation, in the Mark Twain Project’s Microfilm Edition of Mark Twain’s Literary Manuscripts Available in the Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley (Berkeley: The Bancroft Library, 2001), and some texts have been published previously in one or more of the following: Albert Bigelow Paine, editor, Mark Twain’s Autobiography (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1924); Bernard DeVoto, editor, Mark Twain in Eruption (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1940); Charles Neider, editor, The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Including Chapters Now Published for the First Time (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959). Unless otherwise noted, all illustrations are reproduced from original documents in the Mark Twain Papers of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

  MARK TWAIN PROJECT® is a registered trademark of The Regents of the University of California in the United States and the European Community.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Twain, Mark, 1835–1910


  Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 / editor: Harriet Elinor Smith;

  associate editors: Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Diane Myrick

  p. cm. — (The Mark Twain Papers)

  “A publication of the Mark Twain Project of The Bancroft Library.”

  Includes bibliographical references and index.

  ISBN 978-0-520-26719-0 (cloth : alk. paper)

  1. Twain, Mark, 1835–1910. 2. Authors, American—19th century—Biography. I. Smith, Harriet Elinor. II. Griffin, Benjamin, 1968– III. Fischer, Victor, 1942– IV. Frank, Michael B. V. Goetz, Sharon K. VI. Myrick, Leslie Diane. VII. Bancroft Library. VIII. Title.

  PS1331.A2 2010

  818’.4’0924—dc22 2009047700

  Manufactured in the United States of America

  19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  This book is printed on Natures Book, which contains 50% post-consumer waste and meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO z39.48–1992 (R 1997) (Permanence of Paper).

  Editorial work for this volume has been supported by a generous gift to the Mark Twain Project of The Bancroft Library from the


  and by matching and outright grants from the



  an independent federal agency.

  Without that support, this volume could not

  have been produced.

  The Mark Twain Project at the University of California, Berkeley, gratefully acknowledges generous support from the following, for editorial work on the Autobiography of Mark Twain and for the acquisition of important new documents:

  The University of California, Berkeley, Class of 1958

  Members of the Mark Twain Luncheon Club

  The Barkley Fund

  The Mark Twain Foundation

  The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

  Lawrence E. Brooks

  Helen Kennedy Cahill

  Kimo Campbell

  Virginia Robinson Furth

  The Herrick Fund

  The Hofmann Foundation

  The House of Bernstein, Inc.

  Robert and Beverly Middlekauff

  The Renee B. Fisher Foundation

  The Benjamin and Susan Shapell Foundation

  Jeanne and Leonard Ware

  Patricia Wright, in memory of Timothy J. Fitzgerald


  The thousands of individual donors over the past fifty years

  who have helped sustain the ongoing work

  of the Mark Twain Project.

  The publication of this volume has been made possible by a gift to the University of California Press Foundation by



  in honor of


  BA 1935, MA 1950, University of California, Berkeley


  MSW 1951, University of California, Berkeley

  University of California Press gratefully acknowledges the support of

  John G. Davies

  and the Humanities Endowment Fund of the UC Press Foundation


  List of Manuscripts and Dictations



  Preliminary Manuscripts and Dictations, 1870–1905


  Explanatory Notes


  Samuel L. Clemens: A Brief Chronology

  Family Biographies

  Speech at the Seventieth Birthday
Dinner, 5 December 1905

  Speech at The Players, 3 January 1906

  Previous Publication

  Note on the Text

  Word Division in This Volume






  Preliminary Manuscripts and Dictations, 1870–1905


  [The Tennessee Land]


  [Early Years in Florida, Missouri]


  The Grant Dictations

  The Chicago G.A.R. Festival

  [A Call with W. D. Howells on General Grant]

  Grant and the Chinese


  About General Grant’s Memoirs

  [The Rev. Dr. Newman]

  1890, 1893–94

  The Machine Episode


  Travel-Scraps I


  Four Sketches about Vienna

  [Beauties of the German Language]

  [Comment on Tautology and Grammar]

  [A Group of Servants]

  [A Viennese Procession]


  My Debut as a Literary Person


  Horace Greeley




  Ralph Keeler


  Scraps from My Autobiography. From Chapter IX


  Scraps from My Autobiography. Private History of a Manuscript That Came to Grief


  [Reflections on a Letter and a Book]


  [Something about Doctors]


  [Henry H. Rogers]


  [Anecdote of Jean]

  Except for the subtitle “Random Extracts from It” (which Clemens himself enclosed in brackets), bracketed titles have been editorially supplied for works that Clemens left untitled.



  An Early Attempt


  My Autobiography [Random Extracts from It]


  The Latest Attempt


  The Final (and Right) Plan


  Preface. As from the Grave


  The Florentine Dictations

  [John Hay]

  Notes on “Innocents Abroad”

  [Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Bailey Aldrich]

  [Villa di Quarto]


  Autobiographical Dictations, January–March

  9 January

  7 February

  8 March

  10 January

  8 February

  9 March

  11 January

  9 February

  12 March

  12 January

  12 February

  14 March

  13 January

  13 February

  15 March

  15 January

  14 February

  16 March

  16 January

  15 February

  20 March

  17 January

  16 February

  21 March

  18 January

  20 February

  22 March

  19 January

  21 February

  23 March

  23 January

  22 February

  26 March

  24 January

  23 February

  27 March

  1 February

  26 February

  28 March

  2 February

  5 March

  29 March

  5 February

  6 March

  30 March

  6 February

  7 March


  Intensive editorial work on the Autobiography of Mark Twain began some six years ago and will continue for several more years. But the collective skills and expertise that have allowed us to solve the daunting problems posed by this manuscript came gradually into existence over four decades of editorial work on Mark Twain. We therefore thank the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency, both for its three most recent outright and matching grants over the last six years, and for its patient, generous, and uninterrupted support of the Mark Twain Project since 1966. At the same time and with the same fervor, we thank the Koret Foundation for its recent generous grant in support of editorial and production work on the Autobiography, all of which has gone (or will go) to satisfy the matching component of the Endowment’s recent grants to the Project.

  For additional continuing support of work on the Autobiography and for help in acquiring important original documents for the Mark Twain Papers, we thank those institutions and individuals listed on page ix. The Mark Twain Project has been sustained over the years in so many ways by so many people that we are obliged, with regret, to thank them as one large group rather than by individual names. For donations to sustain our work, ranging from five dollars to five million dollars, we here thank all our loyal and generous supporters. Without their support, the Project would long ago have ceased to exist, and would certainly not be completing work on the Autobiography at this time.

  Recent efforts have been made to create an endowment to support the present and future work of the Mark Twain Project, and we want to acknowledge those efforts here. First and foremost we thank all the members of the University of California, Berkeley, Class of 1958, led by Roger and Jeane Samuelsen, Edward H. Peterson, and Don and Bitsy Kosovac, who recently created an endowment of $1 million dedicated to the Mark Twain Project. We thank each and every member of the Class for their far-seeing wisdom and generosity. To that endowment fund we may now add, with renewed gratitude, contributions from the estate of Phyllis R. Bogue and the estate of Peter K. Oppenheim.

  Instrumental in all recent fund-raising for the Project has been the Mark Twain Luncheon Club, organized ten years ago by Ira Michael Heyman, Watson M. (Mac) Laetsch, and Robert Middlekauff. Their leadership has been unflagging and indispensable, and we thank them for it and for a thousand other forms of help. We also thank all of the Club’s nearly one hundred members for their loyal financial and moral support of the Project, and on their behalf we extend thanks to the several dozen speakers who have agreed to address the Luncheon Club members over the years. Our thanks also go to Dave Duer, director of development in the Berkeley University Library, for his continuing wise and judicious counsel, and for his unprecedented efforts to raise financial support for the Project. Last but not least we want to thank the Berkeley campus as a whole for granting the Project relief from indirect costs on its several grants from the Endowment. We are grateful for this and all other forms of support from our home institution.

  We thank the staff of the University Library and The Bancroft Library at Berkeley, especially Thomas C. Leonard, University Librarian; Charles Faulhaber, the James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library; and Peter E. Hanff, its Deputy Director, all of whom serve on the Board of Directors of the Mark Twain Project. To them and to the other members of the Board—Jo Ann Boydston, Laura Cerruti, Don L. Cook, Frederick Crews, Michael Millgate, George A. Starr, G. Thomas Tanselle, and Lynne Withey—we are indebted for multiple forms of moral and intellectual support.