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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

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Horatio C. King to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41960)

Office of Horatio C. King,

Counsellor at Law,

No. 115 Broadway,

New York, March 31 1884.

S. L. Clemens Esq

My dear Sir:

I know your time is much engrossed, but I beg you to stop long enough to send me your autograph for a young friend who greatly admires your writings.[1]

Yours Truly,

Horatio C. King


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S. L. Clemens Esq | Hartford | Conn. [rule] [return address:] Horatio C. King, | counsellor at law, | no. 115 broadway, | New York [postmarked:] new york apr ♢ 5 30 pm 84

Explanatory Notes

1. Horatio Collins King, who studied law under Edwin M. Stanton, had been promoted to judge advocate general of the New York National Guard in 1883. His first extant correspondence with Clemens was a letter in late 1869 inviting him to lecture at Beecher's Plymouth Church, of which he was a longtime member, for the Young People's Christian Association (William F. West and Horatio C. King to SLC, 6 December 1869). King had previously tried to schedule Clemens in March 1869, to which letter only the reply is extant (SLC to Horatio C. King and John R. Howard, 13 March 1869, CU-MARK). [back]

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Horatio C. King  (1837–1918)

Horatio Collins King was a decorated Civil War officer, lawyer, publisher of the Christian Union and the Christian at Work in the 1870s, and longtime member of Beecher's Plymouth Church, which had been founded by his father-in-law, Joseph Tasker Howard. In 1878 he left publishing and was appointed major of the Thirteenth Regiment of the New York National Guard, of which he was later made judge advocate general. He was active in Democratic politics, but was never successful in winning an office.