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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

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Francis Davis Millet to Samuel L. Clemens
30 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41846)

578 5th Avenue

New York

March 30

My dear Mr. Clemens:—

I find on looking over my collection of autographs that yours is not among them.

Will you do me the favor of sending me your signature in your best style and much oblige

Yours faithfully

F. D. Millet[1]


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S. L. Clemens Esq | Hartford | Conn. [postmarked:] new york mar 31 9 pm G 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Millet

Explanatory Notes

1. Frank Millet was a close personal friend. In January 1877 he painted a portrait of Clemens, which the latter deemed "most excellent" in a letter to H. Boyesen on 17 January 1877. Three years later Clemens was best man at Millet's wedding in Paris. Millet, along with R. Swain Gifford, was a member of Society of American Artists. [back]

Textual Commentary

Copy-text:MS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

Persons Mentioned

Francis Davis Millet  (1848–1912)

Francis Davis Millet was a journalist and artist. After serving as a drummer boy and surgical aide to his father in the Civil War, he worked as a reporter for the Boston Courier and correspondent for the Boston Advertiser (1869–70). In 1871 he studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Antwerp, and then in Italy, moving between art studios in Rome and Venice. Upon his return to the United States in 1876 he worked as chief assistant to John La Farge in the creation of murals for Trinity Church, Boston. He completed a portrait of Clemens in January 1877. From 1877 to 1888 he was a correspondent for the New York Herald covering the Russo-Turkish War. He died on the Titanic in 1912.