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Mark Twain's correspondence with the
San Francisco ALTA CALIFORNIA


The first letter in this collection is a spoof on a national news story and was meant to advertise Mark Twain's upcoming lecture appearance.

December 10, 1866 - "MARK TWAIN" EXPLAINS THE MEXICAN CORRESPONDENCE


The following letters of Mark Twain to the San Francisco Alta California were collected and published by Franklin Walker and G. Ezra Dane in 1940 in a book titled Mark Twain's Travels with Mr. Brown -- Mr. Brown being a fictitious traveling partner. In a review of the book on October 15, 1940 , The New York Times noted:

They are amusing and interesting letters, not at all the usual sort of exhibit discovered by pious scholars in old newspaper files. Covering the six months immediately preceding Twain's departure for Europe, they describe his trip from California to New York via Nicaragua, his impressions of a brief and not too nostalgic visit to Hannibal and St. Louis, and his reactions to the "overgrown metropolis" itself. Twain enjoyed New York, although of course he made fun of it, and most readers will enjoy his comments here and throughout.
- The New York Times, Oct. 15, 1940

December 14, 1866 - SO-LONG
December 15, 1866 - MARK TWAIN'S FAREWELL
January 18, 1867
- Away!
February 22, 1867 - On board steamer COLUMBIA
February 24, 1867 - Steamer COLUMBIA at sea
March 15, 1867 - THE FIRST DEATH
March 16, 1867 - THE TWIN MOUNTAINS
March 17, 1867 - UNDER WAY AGAIN
March 23, 1867 - KEY WEST
March 28, 1867 - THE OVERGROWN METROPOLIS
March 30, 1867 - MY ANCIENT FRIENDS, THE POLICE
April 5, 1867 - THE DREADFUL RUSSIAN BATH
April 9, 1867 - GRAND EUROPEAN PLEASURE TRIP
May 13, 1867 - HAPPY
May 19, 1867 - AT HOME AGAIN
May 26, 1867 - NOTABLE THINGS IN ST. LOUIS
June 2, 1867 - THE MORMONS
June 10, 1867 - CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
June 16, 1867 - JEFF DAVIS
June 23, 1867 - THE NUISANCE OF ADVICE
June 30, 1867 - CALIFORNIA WINES
July 7, 1867 - FOR CHRISTIANS TO READ
July 14, 1867 - THE BLIND ASYLUM
July 21, 1867 - THE SEX IN NEW YORK
July 28, 1867 - ACADEMY OF DESIGN
August 4, 1867 - "THE DOMES OF YOSEMITE"
August 11, 1867 - NEW YORK
August 18, 1867 - HARRY HILL'S


From June - November 1867, Twain traveled throughout Europe aboard the Quaker City steamship and continued to write letters to the Alta. These letters were collected and published in TRAVELING WITH THE INNOCENTS ABROAD, Mark Twain's Original Reports from Europe and the Holy Land, edited by Daniel Morley McKeithan (University of Oklahoma Press, 1958.) The book is currently out of print but frequently available from used book stores and through interlibrary loan Approximately 50 of those letters were revised and published in The Innocents Abroad. Texts from some of the original letters that were omitted from The Innocents Abroad can be viewed online at: "Reporting the Holy Land Excursion."
After returning to the states, Twain continued to contribute letters to the Alta -- most of them have never before been republished. They include:

January 8, 1868 - HOME AGAIN
January 15, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "The Hawaiian Treaty")
January 21, 1868 - LETTER FROM "MARK TWAIN." (includes "Our Purchases" and "Return of the Sutro Tunnel")
January 22, 1868 - LETTER FROM "MARK TWAIN. (correspondence of the New York Citizen)
January 28, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "How State Secrets Leak Out" and "Hawaiian Harris")
February 5, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "Charles Dickens" and "Jump's Pictures")
February 11, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "British Impudence")
February 14, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "General Grant Receives His Friends")
February 19, 1868 - MARK TWAIN IN WASHINGTON. (includes "The McCardle Case")
March 3, 1868 - MARK TWAIN ON HIS TRAVELS. (includes "A Glimpse of Hartford")
September 6, 1868 - LETTER FROM MARK TWAIN (includes "Captain Ned Wakeman" and "Morality and Huckleberries")
November 15, 1868 - LETTER FROM "MARK TWAIN." (includes "The Wicked Wickedest Man")
November 22, 1868 - LETTER FROM "MARK TWAIN." (includes "A Connecticut Legend")
July 25, 1869 - LETTER FROM MARK TWAIN. - "A First Visit in Boston"
August 1, 1869 - LETTER FROM MARK TWAIN. (includes "Crown Prince of Timbuctoo", "Blind Tom", and "How is Your Avitor?")
December 14, 1872 - Appeal for Capt. Ned Wakeman

 

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