Mark Twain to John Henry Riley (3 March 1871 • Buffalo, N.Y. ) “G. A. T. says the Row boys will give him the cold shoulder when he gets back.” [Mark Twain Project Letters]

Newspaper Row _ Jan. 1874 _ New Harper's Monthly Magazine

Newspaper Row _ Jan. 1874 _ New Harper’s Monthly Magazine

To John Henry Riley

3 March 1871 • Buffalo, N.Y.

(MS: NN-BUCCL 00582)

Buffalo, March 3.

Dear Riley:

Your letters have been just as satisfactory as letters could be, from the day you reached England till you left it again.

I have come at last to loathe Buffalo so bitterly (always hated it) that yesterday I advertised our dwelling house for sale, & the man co that comes forward & pays us what it cost a year ago, ($25,000,) can take it. I Of course we won’t sell the furniture, at any price, nor the horse, carriage or sleigh. I offer the Express for sale also, & the man that will pay me $10,000 less than I gave can take that. 

We have had doctors & watchers & nurses in the house all the time for 8 months, & I am disgusted. My wife came near dying, 2 weeks ago.

I quit the Galaxy with the current number., & shall write no more for any periodical. Am offered great prices, but it’s no go. Shall simply write books.

Do you know who is the most celebrated man in America to-day?—the man whose name is on every single tongue from one end of the continent to the other? It is Bret Harte. And the poem called the “Heathen Chinee” did it for him. His journey east to Boston was a perfect torchlight procession of eclat & homage. All the cities are contend fussing about which shall secure him for a citizen.6

I mean to store our furniture until I can caretandcaret build a house in Hartford just like this one.

Was in Washington nearly a month ago. The Sutro accused me of sending you abroad. So did George Alfred T.

The latter says Ramsdell went to San Domingo with the U.S. Commissioners for the NY Tribune, & left Washington when his wife was within 2 days of her confinement —& G. A. T. says the Row boys will give him the cold shoulder when he gets back.

God speed you, old boy—I must run back to my wife—she is not well yet by any means.

Ys Ever




“SLC to John Henry Riley, 3 March 1871, Buffalo, N.Y. (UCCL 00582).” In Mark Twain’s Letters, 1870–1871. Edited by Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, and Lin Salamo. Mark Twain Project Online. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press. 1995, 2007. , accessed 2013-04-29.


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