Sat, 14 Oct 1995 15:11:02 -0400
Minoru Okabayashi wrote:
> Dr.Harold beaver ,the author of _Huck Finn_,introduces Twain's letter to
> his mother from New York in 1853 to show his resentment to "the liberties
> enjoyed in the North by blacks" as follows; "to wade through this mass of
> human vermin,would raise the ire of the most patient person that ever
> lived...I reckon I had better black my face,for in these Eastern states
> niggers are considerably better than white people." But I cannot find any
> latter part of passage of this letter in Mark Twain's Letter in any
> editions. Can anyone inform me of the correct resource of this latter
> passage begginig with "I reckon...white people"? Minoru Okabayashi
1) "I reckon ...white people" is in the 24 Aug. 1853 letter, reprinted in
the 5 Sep 1853 Hannibal _Journal_, and is on pp. 3-5 of _Mark Twain's
Letters, Vol 1, 1853-1866_, U. Cal. Press, 1988.
The editors note, p. 6, "The attitude Clemens exhibits here--hardly
unusual for a seventeen-year-old white Southerner on his first visit to
the North--would change radically by 1861."
2) "To wade through the mass" is in the 31 Aug. letter, reprinted in the 10
Sep _Journal_, and is on pp.9-10.
It may be more a complaint of dirty New York crowds of children than
of the mass's ethnicity. Clemens was familiar with slavery; urban life,
with its crowded poverty, was probably a new experience.
3) Also, is Harold Beaver the editor of an edition of _Adventures of Huck
Finn_ or the author of a book about _Huck Finn_?