Finding Aid of the Mark Twain Letter C057762
Finding aid prepared by Lacey Lieberthal
Society of California PioneersAugust 2, 2012
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107-1272
Title: Twain, Mark Letter
Identifier/Call Number: C057762
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 folder (1 letter)
Date: August 20, 1877
Abstract: Letter (Elmira, New York, August 20, 1877): from Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) to Francis D. Clark sending his regrets that he cannot accept the invitation from the Society of California Pioneers (in New York), due to other engagements.
creator: Clemens, Samuel, 1835-1910
creator: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
Collection open for research.
There are no restrictions on access.
Mark Twain Letter. The Society of California Pioneers.
Donor and date of acquisition unknown.
Mark Twain is very well known, and further biographical information can be found through other resources. Information on Mark Twain's time in California taken from A Companion to California by James D. Hart:
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) was a native of Missouri. In 1861, he quit the volunteer service in which he participated in the American Civil War to travel with his brother Orion to Carson City, Nevada. Orion was the secretary of the territorial governor of Nevada, and Samuel worked as Orion's secretary before he got into the mining business.
Shortly after he arrived in Nevada, Samuel began sending sketch stories to the newspaper, Territorial Enterprise, of Virginia City. He signed these sketches "Josh." In August of 1862, the editor hired him. For this paper, Samuel wrote stories about the goings-on on the Comstock Lode.
Samuel used the pseudonym Mark Twain for the first time in one of his stories for Territorial Enterprise, written on February 3, 1863.
Due to his style of writing, Mark Twain became widely known, and he went to San Francisco in May of 1864. There, he worked sending sketches to newspapers such as the Golden Era and the Californian, reporting for the Call, and representing Territorial Enterprise in the San Francisco area. In the summer of 1867, Alta California, another California newspaper, asked him to write a series of tales about a trip he would take to the "Holyland."
Mark Twain left California in June of 1868. However, his experiences there can be seen in many of his later works. His third book, Roughing It (1872), for example, recalls his experience in the West and the influence that California had on him.
Letter (Elmira, New York, August 20, 1877): from Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) to Francis D. Clark sending his regrets that he cannot accept the invitation from the Society of California Pioneers (in New York), due to other engagements. The letter is signed Samuel L. Clemens and is written on Samuel Clemens stationary. However, "Mark Twain" is also written at the bottom of the page, appearing to be also in his handwriting.
The Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA, 94107.
The Society also has:
4 postcards: three with images of Mark Twain's cabin, and one in honor of the centennial of his birth (1935). 15 photographs: images of Mark Twain, his cabin, and sites where he worked/traded.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Clark, Francis D.
New York Society of California Pioneers