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    Description

    Samuel Clemens Autograph Letter Signed, Accompanied by Ulysses S. Grant's Personal Memoirs, Vols. I and II. One page, 5.5" x 8.75", "Hartford, May 5/85." The great author and humorist sends a letter to his publisher James Osgood, whose firm, J. R. Osgood & Company, had gone into bankruptcy the day before. It reads, in full: "My Dear Osgood, I am exceedingly sorry to hear the bad news, and I shall hope that the suspension will be only temporary. Mrs. Clemens and I wish you a speedy deliverance from trouble & an early return to prosperity. Truly yours, S.L. Clemens."

    Clemens and Osgood became friends and business associates when Osgood's firm published Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and The Stolen White Elephant in 1882. That same year, Osgood accompanied Clemens on a riverboat trip collecting material for Life on the Mississippi, published by Osgood in 1883. These successful publications, however, did not keep Osgood's firm, reportedly one of the most successful in Boston, from failing.

    Clemens also had a close association with former President Ulysses S. Grant. The writer had heard that the ex-president and Civil War hero was interested in publishing his memoirs. He visited Grant and proposed a deal. If Grant would let Clemens publish his memoirs, he would give Grant 75% of the profits. Like Clemens, Grant suffered financial troubles. After some consideration, he agreed to let Clemens do the job.

    Clemens appreciated Grant's writing, and praised Grant's memoirs sincerely, saying they were "The best of any general's since Caesar." Charles L. Webster & Company, a publisher that he co-owned, published Grant's Memoirs in 1885, shortly after Grant's death. Clemens sent salesmen all over the country to sell the two-volume work, a copy of which accompanies the letter to Osgood that is offered here.

    Samuel Clemens' letter has been wonderfully framed and mounted, together with Grant's Memoirs, in a splendid large shadow box measuring 34" x 19" x 3.75". The shadow box lid was created using a walnut burl frame with beading and UV filtering conservation clear glass; the base is a walnut-stained box frame; the background of the shadow box is made with archival suede matting. The full-calf-bound books show moderate rubbing and scuffing of edges and corners, with some professional repair done to edges, corners, and binding; generally fine condition. The letter is in very fine condition. All together, an outstanding set of items, ready prominent for display!


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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