470
470
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
2,5003,500
LOT SOLD. 5,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
470
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
2,5003,500
LOT SOLD. 5,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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New York

Clemens, Samuel L.
Autograph letter signed ("Sml. L. Clemens"), 4 pages (8 x 5 in.; 205 x 130 mm), Elmira, 2 July [1871], to Jim [Gillis], concerning the sale of the Buffalo Express, Darwin, and personal matters, with a 14-line passage on the second page crossed out;  light marginal toning.
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Catalogue Note

Clemens writes to his old prospecting friend, Jim Gillis, the "Sage of Jackass Hill." In 1864, Jim Gillis met Clemens through his brother Steve, a printer at the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise and a brash ninety-five pound barroom brawler. "Jim Gillis was a talkative cuss, as witty as Steve was pugnacious. He knew Latin and Greek, and had taken a degree in medicine in Memphis before joining his father in the Gold Rush" (Powers, Mark Twain; A Life, p. 150). In late fall of 1864 Clemens ventured to Jackass Hill to visit Jim at his mining cabin which he shared with his younger  brother and mining partner, Dick Stoker. Gillis was a gifted storyteller, and a number of literary lights found their way to his doorstep, including Dan De Quille and Bret Harte. In the present letter Clemens attempts to renew his ties with Gillis, by offering to send books and newspapers: "I am here, close to bookstores & newspapers, & you & Dick ain't; & if you will send me your address (in case you have moved & this reaches you,) I'll be proud & happy to send you any book or paper your solitude needs. I am under large obligations to you & Dick for some pleasant old times." In January 1865, they went prospecting at Angel's Hill. While Clemens didn't find so much as a nugget, he did hear the story about the frog filled with shot, which he immortalized as The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1868).

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York