MARK TWAIN AND "INSIDER TRADING" IN 1876: A MILLIONAIRE MINE-OWNER ADVISES HIM ON MINING STOCKS!   SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN). Autograph Letter Signed: "Mark", 4p, 5x8, conjoining leaves. No place, [1876] March 7. To Nevada journalist Dan DeQuille, pen name of William Wright.

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Condition: lightly creased, lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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Autograph Letter Signed: "Mark", 4p, 5x8, conjoining leaves. No place, [1876] March 7. To Nevada journalist Dan DeQuille, pen name of William Wright.In full: "O, you good old slow-coach! D[ea]r Dan: I supposed that Mackey would be nearly all the time in San Francisco but thought you would consult him by telegraph or letter. I didn't suppose you would see the stock droop to 81 & then rise figure by figure, day after day & then write me at last that you were still waiting for that man to come, & the stock already crept up to 92! Why didn't you telegraph me? I hope you will telegraph me next time, if it costs me $50. Did telegraphing me or Mackey never once occur to you? When I saw California go away down into the 80's, 3 weeks ago, I came near telegraphing you to put in $1500 more for me. Well-never mind-it isn't any matter to bother over a thing that has already gone by. I hope you have bought by this time, on your own judgment, even if you have had to pay 125. Don't fail to telegraph me whenever there seems to be the least need of it. I like that sort of expense, for it saves money. If at any time Mackey tells you it will be profitable to put in a thousand dollars or so more (and you believe him) telegraph me & you shall have the money in three hours. Whenever you want to sell, but are in doubt, telegraph me, if you can't get at Mackey, & I'll tell you what to do if I can. Went to see Bliss about your book yesterday & he said he was rushing things & would soon have his canvasses on the field. He showed me a lot of the pictures & said he was ready to set the compositions to work. You ought to have been taking names all this time. Have you been doing that, old chap? I see your late sketches floating around in the newspapers, & I noticed that you are doing them well & not wasting words. To waste words is weakening to an article. Lovely spring weather here. Yrs Ever." Lightly creased with folds, vertical fold at the flourish of the "M" in Mark. ½-inch separation at upper horizontal fold on first page touches 1 word, ¼-inch separation at blank area at that fold on integral leaf. Ink smudged at some words, slight show through of ink. Lightly soiled at blank right margin of integral leaf. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied by a letter from ROBERT H. HIRST, General Editor, Mark Twain Project, 1p, 8½x11. University of California, Berkeley, 1983 September 6.Hirst gives information about this letter. In full: "Thank you for letting me read your Mark Twain letter to 'Dr Dan,' dated 'Mch 7.' I hope that you will find the following information about it useful. The full date probably is 7 March 1876. (Mark Twain's inscription is a bit careless and 1 March 1876 is a possibility.) The addressee is William Wright, the Nevada journalist, who wrote under the pseudonym Dan DeQuille. He and Mark Twain had become close friends in the early 1860s, when they were fellow reporters for the Virginia City (Nevada) Territorial Enterprise, and had stayed in touch ever since. Wright was an expert on the silver mines of Nevada's Comstock Lode and was personally acquainted with many of the mining magnates. Mark Twain had counted on Wright to acquire inside information from John W. Mackay, one of the greatest of all the millionaire mine-owners, regarding a planned mining investment. Although Wright had disappointed on this occasion, Mark Twain's confidence in him remained high. And he was repaying Wright's assistance in advance by helping him with a book project. In 1875 he had suggested that Wright undertake a history of the Nevada mines and had interested his own publisher, Elisha Bliss, head of the American Publishing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, in bringing it out. The book was published in 1876 under the title History of the Big Bonanza: An Authentic Account of the Discovery, History, and Working of the World Renowned Comstock Silver Lode of Nevada, with an introductory note by Mark Twain. Bliss sold it through the same subscription system that he successfully used for Mark Twain's books, sending salesmen door-to-door to prospective buyers. Hence, Mark Twain's reminder to Wright that he 'ought to have been taking names' of potential purchasers. This is a highly interesting personal letter, giving an intimate view of Mark Twain's speculative and literary sides. It would be a prized possession for anyone interested in him and his work." Lightly creased. Staple holes at upper left blank corner, ink notes (unknown hand) at upper right margin. Fine condition. Two items.

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