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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

Robert Collyer to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41862)

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Dear Lad

Was ever so sorry not to see you when I called, do send us your autograph like a good boy. I dont mind the expense in this case and so will not send a stamp


Robert Collyer[1]

Morrow of St ?s day N B Go for Cable


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S L Clemens [unidentified] | Hartford | Conn [postmarked:] new york mar 31 12 m f [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Collyer | good | mention

Explanatory Notes

1. Clemens admired Collyer's sermons enough to send his Nature and Life to Olivia while he was courting her in 1868 (letter to Olivia L. Langdon with a note to Charles J. Langdon, 17 January 1869, L3 45–49). Collyer was also friends with Andrew Carnegie and Henry Huttleston Rogers, to whom he dedicated his memoir, Some Memories (Boston: American Antiquarian Association, 1905). [back]

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Robert Collyer  (1823–1912)

Collyer was a blacksmith from Yorkshire, England, who became a Methodist lay preacher, and later an ordained Unitarian minister in the United States, serving as pastor of Unity Church in Chicago from 1859 until 1879. In 1879 he became the pastor of Church of the Messiah in New York City. In addition to being a popular lecturer, Collyer published several sermons, lectures, and books such as Life of A. H. Conant (1868), Father Taylor (1906), and Clear Grit (1913).