Jack London, Hit Hard By the San Francisco Earthquake, Concentrates on Building His Yacht, "The Snark"

May 15, 1906

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Jack London, Hit Hard By the San Francisco Earthquake, Concentrates on Building His Yacht, "The Snark"
Typed Letter Signed
3 pages | SMC 140

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      Background

      The San Francisco earthquake, just three weeks before, has nearly wiped London out, and he hasn’t, he says here, the funds to invest in an improved gas stove; his priority is building the Snark,  with which he will circumnavigate the globe.
       
      … The earthquake has likewise eaten into my capital and I am busy hustling now in order to raise money with which to continue building the boat on which I sail next October for a seven-years' cruise round the world. From the foregoing you will see that my plans and finances will not permit me to go into the proposition which you mention.
       
      A year later, London, his wife, and a small crew set out from San Francisco aboard the Snark – and for the next year and a half miraculously stayed afloat, calling at ports in the Pacific. The voyage, abandoned in Australia, was chronicled by London in The Cruise of the Snark (1911).


      Typed Letter Signed. 1 page, quarto, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California, May 15, 1906. To “Comrade Rice," being Lawrence W. Rice of the United Gas Improvement Company of Philadelphia.
       
      With a color postcard of London’s 41-foot ketch Snark, bearing the printing  legend “Jack London’s ‘Snark’ on Alameda Estuary.”
       
      Accompanied by a printed envelope from The United Gas Improvement Company, Philadelphia Gas Works, New Business Dept., 134-142 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Addressed in typescript to Mrs. Edith M. Lloyd, Director Home Economic Div., The United Gas Improvement Co., N.W. Cor. Broad & Arch Sts. Philadelphia, PA
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      Jack London,
      Glen Ellen,
      Sonoma Co. Calif.

      May 15, 1906

      Dear Comrade Rice:  

      In reply to yours of May 8. The earthquake has likewise eaten into my capital and I am busy hustling now in order to raise money with which to continue building the boat on which I sail next October for a seven-years' cruise round the world. From the foregoing you will see that my plans and finances will not permit me to go into the proposition which you mention.

      Thanking you for your kindly letter,

      Yours for the Revolution,

      Jack London

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      Page 2 transcript
      Jack London's "Snark"
      on Alameda Estuary.

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      Page 3 transcript
      If not delivered within FIVE DAYS return to

      The United Gas Improvement Company
      Philadelphia Gas Works
      New Business Dept.
      134-142 North 13th Street
      Philadelphia, PA

      Mrs. Edith M. Lloyd
      Director Home Economic Div.
      The United Gas Improvement Co.
      N.W. Cor. Broad & Arch Sts.
      Phila, PA