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Clemens, Samuel L. Autograph letter signed, New York, 5 February 1869.

Currency:USD Category:Memorabilia Start Price:6,000.00 USD Estimated At:6,000.00 - 8,000.00 USD
Clemens, Samuel L. Autograph letter signed, New York, 5 February 1869.
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27. Clemens, Samuel L. Autograph letter signed ("Sam."), 3 pages (4.5 x 7 in.; 114 x 178 mm.), Elmira, New York, 5 February 1869, to his "Dear Mother & Brother & Sisters & Nephew & Niece, & Margaret," with autograph transmittal envelope with imprint of his future father-in-law, Jervis Langdon, and addressed to Clemens' sister, Mrs. William A. Moffett of St. Louis. Letter in fine condition; envelope exhibits wear. Clemens writes in part: My dear Mother & Brother & Sisters & Nephew & Niece, & Margaret: This is to inform you that on yesterday, the 4th of February, I was duly & solemnly & irrevocably engaged to be married to Miss Olivia L. Langdon, of Elmira, New York. Amen. She is the best girl in all the world, & the most sensible, & I am just as proud of her as I can be. It may be a good while before we are married, for I am not rich enough to give her a comfortable home right away, & I don't want anybody's help. I can get an eighth of the Cleveland Herald for $25,000, & have it so arranged that I can pay for it as I earn the money with my unaided hands. I shall look around a little more, & if I can do no better elsewhere, I shall take it. I am not worrying about whether you will love my future wife or not-if you know her twenty-four hours & then don't love her, you will accomplish what nobody else has ever succeeded in doing since she was born. She just naturally drops into everybody's affections that comes across her. My prophecy was correct. She said she never could or would love me-but she set herself the task of making a Christian of me. I said she would succeed, but that in the meantime she would unwittingly dig a matrimonial pit & end up tumbling into it-& lo! the prophecy is fulfilled... Married in 1869, Livy helped her husband with the editing of his books, articles and lectures. She was a "faithful, judicious and painstaking editor," Twain wrote. Their union lasted 34 years. Published in Love Letters of Mark Twain, p 64. Provenance: Prominent Twain scholar and collector Chester L. Davis, 1903-1987 (Christie's New York, 9 June 1992, lot 35). $6,000 - $8,000