510
510
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
7,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 7,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
510
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
7,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 7,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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

|
New York

Clemens, Samuel L.

A group of three letters related to Clemens's friend and business advisor, Henry Huttleston Rogers, the Standard Oil magnate.

Autograph letter signed ("S.L. Clemens"), one page on Charles L. Webster & Co. stationery (9 1/8 x 6 in.; 230 x 150 mm), New York, 19 September 1893, to H. H. Rogers, regarding a remedy for summer attacks of dysentery but cautions there is no remedy for attacks in winter; two small stains on verso. — Autograph letter signed  ("S. L. Clemens"), 6 pages on Grosvenor Hotel stationery (8 x 5 in.; 204 x 130 mm), Timaru, New Zealand, 10 November 1895, to H. H. Rogers, providing details of his lecture tour in Australia and New Zealand and criticizing his American agent, James Pond, for his business cowardice; light browning. — Autograph draft letter signed ("Mark Twain"), one page, [?New York], 22 February 1894, to the Officers of the Millicent Library, Fairhaven, Massachusetts, praising the library for its congenial ambiance; light browning, rust spots and holes from a clip on the top margin.  


Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

Three letters related to Clemens's capable friend, Standard Oil executive Henry Huttleston Rogers. When they first met in the fall of 1893, Rogers, who admired Clemens's writing, demonstrated his willingness to help him with his business problems. Clemens assigned power of attorney to Rogers in 1894, and he personally negotiated a major new contract on Clemens's behalf with Harper's in 1895.  While Clemens went on his world tour (1895–1896), Rogers handled his business affairs. The first letter in the group dates to the time of their initial meeting.

The second letter details his speaking engagements in Australia and New Zealand, which he believes would have been more successful had he not been plagued by a persistent carbuncle on his leg. By his account he gave eighteen lectures in Australia. People travelled up to 170 miles to listen to his "wisdom." The record was broken at Dunedin, New Zealand, where one woman travelled 200 miles in a train "whose gait is 20 1/2 miles an hour." He also criticizes his American booking agent for incompetence; in spite of his alleged failure, Pond booked 23 lectures in 22 American cities for Clemens, netting about $230 for each performance. Lastly he discusses Bliss's proposed publishing contract. In 1895, Rogers personally negotiated a major publishing deal with Harper's on Clemens's behalf.  

The third letter praises the Millicent Library as "the ideal library ... books are the liberated spirits of me, & should be bestowed in a heaven of light & grace & harmonious color & sumptuous comfort, like, this, instead of in the customary kind of public library." Rogers founded the library in 1890 in memory of his seventeen-year-old daughter Millicent. The library, in the Italian Renaissance style with a sixteen-foot high stained glass window of an angel with Millicent's features, opened on the anniversary of her death, 30 January 1893.

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

|
New York