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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

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Francis Hopkinson Smith to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41979)

[letterhead: family crest with slogan “Semper Paratus”]

150 E. 34th New York 3/31

My Dear Mr. Clemens

Will you be good enough to send me your autograph—

I very much desire to add it to my collection.

Faithfully Yours

F. Hopkinson Smith


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Saml Clemens Esq | Care Mark Twain | Hartford | Conn [rule] [postmarked:] new york mar 31 6 pm 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Hopkinson Smith | nothing.[1][rule] | [SLC, in different pencil:] [rule] The artist. [rule]

Explanatory Notes

1. Clemens knew Hopkinson Smith primarily through his membership in the Kinsmen, a dining club of like-minded artists, authors, and players, with no dues, no rules, and no officers. [back]

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Francis Hopkinson Smith  (1838–1915)

Civil engineer, artist, and writer Francis Hopkinson Smith was a friend and clubmate of Clemens. At the time of his death he was best known as an author and illustrator of his own works. He was also a successful landscape painter. Among his engineering projects were the construction of Race Rock Lighthouse and the base of the Statue of Liberty. He was a founding member of the Kinsman Club and the Tile Club.