Papers (1889) including framed letter and copy.
On April 10, 1889, Samuel Langhorne Clemens wrote this one-page letter in response to an invitation to speak at the University of Missouri. Walter Williams, founder of the university's journalism school, had attempted to arrange an appearance by Clemens and Henry Watterson, editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Clemens, who was living in Hartford, Connecticut, and engaged in several pursuits, declined. Using characteristic humor and knowledge gained during a recent visit to Thomas A. Edison's laboratory in New Jersey, Clemens quipped: "While Watterson, by himself, is a useless carbon loop, & I, by myself, am a useless wire, we are an electric light when we combine."
Loaned by Ronald W. Hoag
Loaned by George W. and Ruth N. Hoag
Processed by S. Morgan, May 1983
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.