You are viewing the archived content of Scholarly Editing, Volumes 33 – 38 issued between 2012 and 2017. Go to the new site.

Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

Noah Brooks to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41858)

View Page
Full size in new window

the lotos club

147 fifth avenue

March 31.

My dear Mark:

I don't like to trouble an old friend, especially one who is so considerate of the feelings of others as you are, but if you View Page
Full size in new window
will send me ten or twelve (10 or 12), of your autographs, you will save me a world of bother. I am constantly harrassed by applications for the autographs of distinguished people, View Page
Full size in new window
and I hate to be obliged to deny the applicants. If you will send me the number herein specified, I can satisfy a moderate demand.

Yours faithfully

Noah Brooks


View Page
Full size in new window
Sam'l L. Clemens, Esq | Hartford, | Conn. [postmarked:] new york mar 31 6 pm f 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Noah Brooks | wants 10 or 12

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Noah Brooks  (1830–1903)

Noah Brooks began his newspaper career in Boston at the age of eighteen, but six years later he went west, eventually settling in California, where he founded the Marysville Appeal. During the Civil War he served as Washington correspondent for the Sacramento Union, and was reputedly the last journalist to interview Abraham Lincoln. After the war he became managing editor of the San Francisco Alta California, when became acquainted with Clemens, initially through their mutual friend Bret Harte (Brooks contributed short fiction, as did Clemens, to Harte's Overland Monthly). Brooks was the managing editor of the Alta California when Clemens undertook the Quaker City voyage in 1867 as an Alta correspondent (furnishing the material for Innocents Abroad). In 1871 Brooks started working for the New York Tribune, and in 1876 he became the editor of the New York Times. Retiring in 1892, he spent the rest of his life publishing travel literature and memoirs. In his Autobiography, Clemens recalled that Brooks was "a man of sterling character and equipped with a right heart, also a good historian where facts were not essential" (AutoMT1, 228).