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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

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Thomas F. Plunkett to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41969)

the hartford club.

My dear Mr Clemens

Will you kindly give me your autograph for a collection I am making and—very much oblige[1]

Yours sincerely

T. F. Plunkett


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S. L. Clemens Esq | Hartford, | Conn [postmarked:] hartford conn. mar 31 84 11 pm [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Plunkett | mention

Explanatory Notes

1. Plunkett corresponded with Clemens as recently as 24 March when he expressed his disappointment at not being invited to the recent Irving luncheon at Clemens's residence (13 March), and invited him to the Hartford Club, where he made his home, to meet actor William J. Florence and his wife: “11 p.m. Thursday, charm & oysters” (CU-MARK). American stage actor William J. Florence (1831–1891) was born William Jermyn Conlin of Irish immigrant parents in Albany, N.Y. He specialized in comic roles, often in Irish or German vernacular, and often costarring with his wife, Annie Malvina Pray (1830–1906). Their biggest hit, The Mighty Dollar, opened in 1875 and toured until 1889. [back]

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Thomas F. Plunkett  (1844–1905)

Treasurer of the Union Manufacturing Company and president of the Hartford Silk Company, Thomas Fitzpatrick Plunkett fled to Mexico in 1889 to escape embezzlement charges. He was rumored to have been murdered there shortly after his escape, but apparently lived in Mexico until shortly before he died in Tucson, Ariz., in 1905. The Beach family of Hartford were financial supporters of both companies, and Charles M. Beach was appointed receiver for the Union Mfg. Co. Plunkett was a member of the Hartford Club. His father, Massachusetts politician Thomas F. Plunkett (senior), had been a member of the Monday Evening Club.