I am posting this on behalf of the American Antiquarian Society. If you can
assist, please respond to Doris O'Keefe at [log in to unmask]
I am the senior rare book cataloger at the American Antiquarian Society in
Worcester, Mass., and was hoping that I might solicit the expertise of the
Mark Twain Forum. I am cataloging a broadsheet entitled "The Pilgrim's
Progress. 1620-1875." It consists of 68 chronological events in American
history of the style:
1620. Lands on Plymouth Rock, and sets up for himself.
1638. Starts a college.
1704. Prints his first newspaper, in Boston.
1773. Waters his tea, in Boston Harbor.
1776. Brother Jonathan--as he begins to be called in the family--declares
himself free and independent.
1815. Holds a little convention at Hartford, but doesn't propose to
dissolve the Union.
1828. Tastes his first tomato--doubtingly.
1837. Gets in a panic--and out again, after free use of "shin-plasters."
1847. Buys his wife a sewing machine--in the vain hope that somehow
it will keep the buttons on his shirt.
1861-1865: Climbs the Hill Difficulty--relieved of his pack, after
Jan. 1, 1864; but loses Great-Heart, April 14, 1865.
1875: Gets ready to celebrate his second golden wedding by a grand
family re-union, next year, in Philadelphia.
It is signed "T." and our copy is annotated "from the Courant almanac,
1876." Indeed, it did also appear in The Courant Almanac for 1876,
published by Hawley, Goodrich & Co., publishers of the Connecticut
Courant, Hartford. Almost immediately I wondered if Mark Twain could be
the author. It's not in BAL, nor in Bill McBride's Mark Train: A
(Hartford, 1984), nor in Everett Emerson's Mark Twain: A Literary Life
(Philadelphia, 2000). But it's also not cataloged anywhere I've looked. A
local English prof. pointed me towards your web site. Can you post this
to the Forum and have any thoughts that anyone cares to share sent to me
directly? I love for this to be a previously unrecorded Twain item, but
maybe I'm hoping too much. In any case the expertise of Twain scholars
will be greatly appreciated.
American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury St.
Worcester, Mass. 01609
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