Manuscript from Mark Twain's Missing 1867 Notebook, Announcing His Intention to Travel Abroad

1867

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Manuscript from Mark Twain's Missing 1867 Notebook, Announcing His Intention to Travel Abroad
Autograph Manuscript
2 pages | SMC 911

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      Background

      Ripped apparently from a notebook, and scrawled quickly in pencil, this bare-bones autobiographical sketch created, seemingly, that its author, an entertaining if little-known young man from the West, might be introduced before giving a lecture at, perhaps, the Cooper Institute Hall in New York City…

      ...ring past 3 years. Was sent to the Sandwich Islands a year ago by Sacramento Daily Union to write up the sugar interest there, & remained 5 months. Came east last January with orders for the Daily "Alta California" of San Francisco, with orders to travel through Europe, India, China & Japan & correspond with that paper. Has since been ordered by telegraph across the continent to change his route & accompany the Gen. Sherman Pleasure Excursion to Europe & the Holy Land and will sail on the 8th of June.

      If much about the writing of the sketch is conjecture, however, and it had nothing to do with the author’s New York City lecture platform debut on May 6, 1867 - at which he was to be introduced by Nevada Senator Ben Nye, but was not; what happened next is not only well-documented, but historic. Thirty-one year-old Mark Twain gave his lecture on the Sandwich Islands, and was a success. On June 8th he embarked on the Quaker City pleasure excursion – sans General Sherman, who stayed home to fight the Indians - and wrote newspaper “letters” about it; he was a success. Upon returning home, he lectured about his trip – a great success – and published an account of his travels, The Innocents Aboard – at which point, his success was stellar, and never to remove.Twain kept notebooks in his long literary life, and had, altogether, 70 of them. One notebook, however, has been lost – from January 1867 to mid-May 1867. This manuscript is believed to be the sole fugitive leaf from that missing journal. It seems fitting, somehow, that with it, he would announce his plan to make the voyage which would begin his career – the greatest in all of American letters.


      Autograph Manuscript, in pencil, 2 pages, octavo, on imprinted memoranda paper, undated [circa January-May, 1867]. Of the greatest rarity.
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      Page 1 transcript
      MEMORANDA.

      ring past 3 years.

      Was sent to the Sandwich Islands a year ago by Sacramento Daily Union to write up the Sugar interest there, & remained 5 months.

      Came east last January [text is crossed out] for the Daily "Alta California" of San Francisco, with orders to travel through [text is crossed out] Europe, India, China & Japan & correspond with that paper.

      Has since been ordered by telegraph across the continent to change

      Given me by Mr. Davies of New York  

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript
      MEMORANDA.

      his route & accompany the Gen. Sherman Pleasure Excursion to Europe & the Holy Land, and will sail on the 8th of June.

      Spring of 1867 -