Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884
Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge
Frank Jenkins to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41865)
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370 fifth avenue
Mar. 31st 84
Mr. S. L. Clemens, Hartford Ct.
Upon Christmas day I gave to each of my seven daughters an autograph album. The little ones will give me no rest until I secure for them your signature.
May I trespass upon your well known good nature to the extent to ask you for seven copies of your autograph?
My eldest child has View Page
Full size in new windowmet with great success with her collection having obtain at private sale the autographs of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton, and Martin Farquhar Tupper—and she insists that her collection will not be complete without yours—
You will pardon, I am sure a comparative stranger for making this request.
Yours very truly
▮ Copy-text: MS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).
Frank Jenkins (1851–1913)
Jenkins was born in Boontown, N.J., and graduated from Yale in 1874. He moved to New York City, where he boarded with fellow April Fool letter writer Horatio C. King, and through that connection soon became Henry Ward Beecher's secretary. He was connected with the Christian Union in various capacities, including as publisher in 1878–79, and then joined a banking firm, advancing to senior partner. However, the firm went into receivership in 1890. After two more failed ventures in managing mines in Minnesota and Cuba, he formed the Jenkins Coal Company. Through his association with Beecher and his memberships in the Lambs and Players Clubs, he formed acquaintances with Warner, Hutton, Stedman, and Clemens, as he claimed in a letter to the Yale alumni club. Clemens's annotation on Jenkins's envelope identifies him as a “stranger” in 1884. Jenkins never married. He died of Bright's disease at his home in the Hotel Ansonia in 1913.