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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: James Caron <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:59:06 -1000
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Reply-To: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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In a recent post about his article on the origin of the pseudonym "Mark
Twain," Kevin MacDonnell writes:

"The bar tab story (with an entirely different meaning) is based on
patently false newspaper accounts by people who did not know or ever meet

While researching for my book, I ran across a report that the bar tab story
was a deliberate yarn told by Alf Doten, who did know SLC, as a joke on

"Doten delighted in pretending to their new acquaintances that it [nom de
plume] originated from Clemens using the expression in the booming days of
Virginia City on such occasions as he found it convenient to 'stand off" a
friendly bartender for drinks for Doten and himself."

So that "origin" story is clearly not to be believed, but no doubt was