Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884
Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge
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Thomas W. Knox to
Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41962)
157 Fifth Avenue.
NY. March 31, 1884.
My Dear Clemens,
The King of Siam writes me that his children—some 258 at last accounts—are crying for playthings, & the din is terrible. He thinks your autograph would silence them & I beg you’ll send it along, one for each. Better make it an even three hundred as the family is likely to increase.
If you have any left over after filling View Page
Full size in new windowthis royal commission please send one to me. I want it well done & rare, turned over & browned, stem-winding & with gilt sides & edges. It’s for a sick lady.
Thos. W. Knox
▮ Copy-text: MS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).
Thomas W. Knox (1835–1896)
Thomas Wallace Knox, a Civil War correspondent for the New York Herald, is best known for his series of forty travel adventure books for boys. His war letters were collected in 1866 as Campfire and Cottonfields. After the war he traveled as a Herald correspondent with the Russo-American Telegraph Company, which built the first telegraph line across Siberia. In 1870 the American Publishing Company published these letters as Overland Through Asia. In 1877 he traveled around the world, gathering material for his series of books. The series list serves as an itinerary for his travels. In 1881 the King of Siam conferred upon him a knighthood in the Order of the White Elephant in return for his service to the country. He was the first American to receive that honor. Knox, who never married, made his home at the Lotos Club and was club secretary from 1880 to 1889. He was also a member of the Authors Club.