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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:18:11 -0700
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I received this from Millie Barnhart Corresponding Secretary Delaware
Co. Genealogical Society.  She did the transcription herself.
-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Millie Barnhart <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: re: Mark Twain
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:23:30 -0400

Mark Twain speaks in Delaware Ohio 10 February 1885 – (This is copied
with all punctuation, spellings, etc. just as it was in the newspaper.
Please note that Samuel Clemens birthday was 30th of November, not
December as is written in the article)

Delaware Herald, 29 January 1885 – SKETCH OF MARK TWAIN

Personal Appearances – Career as a Correspondent & Editor – A Hard
Worker (Cleveland Leader)

               Mark Twain has a big head stuck on by a long neck to a
pair of round shoulders. He came on to the stage as though he were half
asleep, and he looked to me as though nature, in putting him together,
had, somehow, gotten the joints mixed. He has a big face, a nose large
enough to represent any kind of genius, and eyes large, black and
sleepy. He has a thick, bushy mane of hair, which is now iron gray, and
a bushy mustache which overhangs his characteristic mouth. As he stood
on the stage he reminded me much of a mammoth interrogation point, and
as he drawled out his words with scarcely a gesture his voice made me
think of a little buzz saw slowly grinding inside a corpse. He did not
laugh while he uttered his funniest jokes, and when the audience roared
he merely stroked his chin or pulled his mustache.

               Still he could not help being satisfied, and I do not
doubt the contrast of his first days in Washington, when he came here
years ago and had hard work making money enough to pay his board bills,
came forcibly before him. Though it is not generally known, Mark Twain
was once a Washington correspondent. He came here from the west with
Senator Stewart and for a time wrote letters to The Alta California and
The New York Tribune. He used to drink a good deal in those days, and
was hardly considered a reputable character. It was shortly before this
that he made the trip from which he wrote “Innocents Abroad,” and this
book he wrote here from the notes he took during his tour. The book made
him both famous and wealthy.

               His manuscript he first sent to several prominent
publishers, but they all rejected it, and he was about giving up in
despair when a Hartford company took hold of it. The result was they
made $75,000 off the book and sold more than 200,000 copies of it. It
was after this that Mark Twain tried editing The Buffalo Express. A man
who worked on the paper at the time told me today that this venture of
his was not a success. He loafed around the office, guying the office
boy, and telling jokes and stories rather than writing, and the only
fruit of his Buffalo experience was his marriage which, like “Innocents
Abroad,” turned out well. His wife brought a pot of gold into the family
and when he got to Elmira he found that his father-in-law had made his
the present of a brownstone front and thrown in a coachman with a bug on
his hat.  Twain did not remain in Elmira, however, but went to Hartford
and began to write “Roughing It.” This was also successful and
established his name. 

               Mark Twain probably makes as much out of his books as any
other writer in the country. He has his Hartford firm publish his books
for him, and he so arranges it that he gets a royalty on those printed
in Europe. He is better known in foreign lands than any other American
writer, and he is an international character. Many of the scenes are
taken from real life, and his descriptions of travel are in the main
true. He is a hard worker and while at Hartford he writes in his
billiard room in the attic. Like Trollope, he believes that there is
nothing like a piece of shoemaker’s wax pm the seat of one’s chair to
turn out a good literary work, and, like Blaine, he has a fixed amount
of writing for each day’s duty. He rewrites many of his chapters and
some of them have been scratched out and interlined again and again. Mr.
Clemens – everyone knows Mark Twain’s name is Clemens – will be 49 years
old on the 30th of December. He is a Missouri man by birth and has taken
care of himself ever since he was 15. He has been a practical printer, a
steamboat pilot, a private secretary, a miner, a reporter, a lecturer,
and a bookmaker.