Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884
Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge
Full size in new window
John C. Kinney to
Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41961)
Marshal of the United States
For the District of Connecticut.
hartford, March 31st188 4
My Dear Mr. Clemens—
My mother-in-law has a fine collection of autographs, the educational and moral effect of which has been of very great service in raising to maturity a large and gifted family. But she finds she has run too much to statesmen, clergymen and moral reformers, and to fill a long felt want desires to secure a supply of noted criminals, aesthetes and thoughtful democrats. I want very much to secure for her benefit one of your most powerful signatures. I am not particular about having it written by the type-writer or by telephone—all I insist upon is that it shall be characteristic, and, if possible, upon a cheque.
Yours sincerely, J. C. Kinney
Full size in new window Mr. Samuel L. Clemens | Farmington Ave. | Hartford, Conn. [return address:] If not called for in ten Days return to | john c. kinney, | united states marshal, | hartford, conn. [postmarked:] boston mass. mar 31 84 10 pm [docketed by SLC, in pencil: ] Good? | Check
▮ Copy-text: MS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).
John Coddington Kinney (1839–1891)
John Coddington Kinney was an associate editor of the Hartford Courant (1872–90), and was appointed US marshal for the district of Connecticut (1882–86). In 1890, the year before he died, he was made postmaster of Hartford. During the Civil War he had been a member of the signal corps on Farragut's ship, the Hartford, and wrote about his experiences in “An August Morning with Farragut: A Narrative of the Mobile Bay Fight, August 5, 1864,” Scribner's Magazine 22 (June 1881): 199–208.