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Wed, 13 Feb 2019 18:21:32 +0000
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Gregg Camfield <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Hate to be the curmudgeon, but this doesn't seem to me to be Twain's style.  The relative infrequency of parataxis alone should be a clue, but this is a style common to newspaper filler of the day.  And tacking Twain's name onto something to give it currency is still a common practice.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Martin Zehr
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Rediscovered Twain Sketch?

Having read the sketch, I have to say it does sound to me like something Twain could have written, begging the question, when, prior to 1870, would Clemens have had the opportunity to encounter a Texas steer?  Perhaps he transformed, or misremembered, the buffalo Bemis dealt with in Roughing It.  There were no cattle drives that far north when Sam and Orion absquatulated west in 1861, the railroads only making them possible in 1869, and the closest Sam ever got to Leavenworth, literally, that is, was getting on the stagecoach with Orion in ’61, in St. Joseph, just across the river.  Of course, he could have just created the sketch based on someone else’s reminiscences, or perhaps a few strays, vacationing in Virginia City or San Francisco, had caught his attention.

Martin Zehr

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Matthew Seybold
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Rediscovered Twain Sketch?

Just posted regarding “The Texan Steer,” a sketch which originated in the BUFFALO EXPRESS and circulated with Twain’s byline in 1870.

I’m obviously hedging my bets on whether or not it was actually written by him. But in many ways it reads like him. I haven’t found anything written about it anywhere. If anybody has, please alert me to it.


Matt S. 

Matt Seybold
Assistant Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies Elmira College Editor,