The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939


Mark Twain Joel Chandler Harris, [?]Editor "Constitution"Atlanta, Georgia

My Dear Mr.Harris—

Jo Twichell brought me your note & told me of his talk with you. He said you didn't believe you would ever be able to muster a sufficiency of reckless daring to make you comfortable & at ease before an audience. Well, I have thought outa device whereby I believe we can get around that difficulty. I will explain when I see you.

Jo says you want to go to Canada within a month or six weeks— well i forget just exactly what he did say;

but he intimated that that trip could be delayed a while, if necessary. If this is so, suppose you meet Osgood & me in New Orleans early in May — say between the [?] 1st & 6th?

It will be well worth your while to do this because the author who goes to Canada unposted will not know what course to pursue when he gets there; he will find himself in a hopeless confusion as to what is the correct thing to do. Now Osgood is the only man in America who can lay out your course for you & tell you exactly what to do. Therefore, you just come to New Orleans

& have a talk with him.

Our idea is to strike across lots & reach St. Louis the 20th of April — [?] thence we propose to drift southward, stopping at some town a few hours or a night, every day, & making notes. [?]

To escape the interviewers, I shall follow my usual course & use a fictitious name (C.L. Samuel of New York. ) I don't know what Osgood's name will be, but he can't use his own.

If you see your way to meet us in New Orleans, drop me a line, now, & as we approach

that city I will telegraph what day we shall arrive there.

I would go to Atlanta if I could, but shan't be able. We shall go back up the river to St. Paul & thence by rail X‐lots home.

[I am making this letter so dreadfully private & confidential because my movements must be kept secret, else I shan't be able to pick up the book‐material I want.]

If you are diffident, I suspect that you ought to let Osgood be your magazine‐ agent. He makes those people pay three or four times as much as an article is worth, whereas I never had the cheek to make them pay more than double.

Yours Sincerely
S L Clemens