Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884
Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge
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Ozias W. Pond to
Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41972)
union aquare, new york,
c. h. kerner.
S. L. Clemmens, Esq. Hartford Conn.
Dear Mr. Clemmens,
It is possible that you may not remember me, as I am somewhat hard to remember, being possessed of no personal deformities that would distinguish me from the great “majority.” I have had the honor of an introduction however, as my brother, Major Pond will testify. I have long wished to add your autograph to my somewhat valuable collection & therefore take the liberty of asking if you will kindly oblige me?
Yours very truly
Ozias W. Pond
P. S. I have a friend who also desires very much to be favored, but is too modest to make the request. Therefore, if it is not intruding on your generosity, may I hope that you will send two copies?
Full size in new window Mr Samuel L. Clemmens | Hartford | Conn. [return address:] everett house | union square, new york | c. h. kerner [postmarked:] new york mar 31 2 pm d 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Ozias Pond | Good | Mention
▮ Copy-text: MS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).
James B. Pond (1838–1903)
James Burton Pond was a decorated Civil War officer and lecture manager who fought with John Brown in 1846 in Kansas, and against Quantrill's gang in Missouri. In 1874 he formed the Pond Lyceum Bureau, having spent some years managing acts on his own in Salt Lake City, followed by a stint with the Redpath Lyceum Bureau. By 1884 he had managed Henry Ward Beecher, Wendell Phillips, Matthew Arnold, and George Washington Cable. Pond wrote several books and articles about his experiences on the lecture circuit, including A Summer in England with Henry Ward Beecher (1877) and Eccentricities of Genius (1900).
Ozias W. Pond (1852–1892)
Ozias Walter Pond was a younger brother of James B. Pond and a manager of musical acts and lecturers for the Redpath Lyceum Bureau. In 1883 he accompanied Henry Ward Beecher on a farewell lecture tour that extended into the spring of 1884. On 1 April he was with Beecher on the road between platform stops in Harrisburg and Cincinnati. Although in his letter to Clemens he claimed a meager acquaintance, he would soon come to know both Clemens and Cable very well—in January 1885 he accompanied the pair on their lecture tour in his brother's place. At the end of the month, however, he was forced to leave the tour due to illness.