502
502
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
7,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 5,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
502
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
7,00010,000
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.

Three letters to his daughter Clara.

Autograph letter signed ("Papa"), 3 pages, rectos only on pale green stationery, [Hartford], 15 July 1889, reporting a railway tragedy, together with autograph envelope; loss to left margin of envelope. — Autograph letter signed ("Father"), 5 pages on Tuxedo Park stationery, London, 30 June 1907, describing an historic pageant in Oxford during which Clemens met Charles I, James I, and Henry VIII. Together with autograph envelope. — Autograph letter signed ("Father"), London, 12 July 1907, 2 pages on Brown's Hotel stationery, discussing his travel plans for home and his whirlwind of social engagements in London; discoloration along the fold line on the second page.


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Catalogue Note

A railroad tragedy. In the July 1889 letter, Clemens describes in grisly detail a train wreck on the Norfolk and Western railroad which occurred near Lynchburg, Virginia, at the beginning of the month: "There has been washout; several hundred feet of the road were gone; two hours after midnight that sleeping-car train dashed into that vacant space in a pouring rain & mingled its wreckage with the cahos of rocks, mud, rails & freshet-rubbish contributed by the washout; the crushed passengers woke up & wailed out in that rainy thick darkness; then the cheerful car-stove came to their help; & gave them light, & burnt them up. That darling little girl was burnt; but the remains were recovered ... Mrs. Thompson lost every scrap of baggage & clothing; had nothing left but the night-dress she had on. She was on her way from Texas; & in her trunks she was bringing a rich cargo, the accumulated heir-looms of a century or two—all of the family silver, jewels, & so on, of the Cabell-Thompson breed ... it's all gone—completely, comprehensively—not a sign, or scrap, or atom of it left: it, that was high-appointed Remembrancer of the joys & griefs of two centuries of the living & the dead, has left nothing behind to remember itself by."

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

|
New York