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

Mr. Samuel L. Clemens, Hartford, Connecticut
My Dear Mr. Clemens:

I am afraid Mr. Twichell didn't form a very good opinion of me. My backward way is an affliction—a state of chronic inflammation —until I get used to people. But I enjoyed his breezy way most thoroughly. I would have asked him to my house, but the fact is I am not comfortably enough fixed to be hospitable, and I [?] should have been dreadfully embarrassed. Poverty is [?] an embarrassing disease anyhow. I should have been glad to have Mr. Twichell above all things, not only for his sake, and yours, and mine, but because he had somehow gathered an idea that Southern people never ask Northerners to their homes. All this by the way.

My suggestion that you return North by way of Atlanta was merely a suggestion. I will gladly meet you in New Orleans unless some unforeseen contingency should [?]arise. In regard to my diffidence, I will say that the ordeal of appearing on the stage would be a terrible one, but my experience is that when a diffident man does become familiar with his surroundings he has more impudence than his neighbors. Extremes meet. At any rate,

your project is immensely flattering to me, and I am grateful to you for even connecting me with it in your mind. I appreciate the fact that, [?] if successfully carried out, it would be the making of me in more ways than one. It would enable me, for one thing, to drop this grinding newspaper business and write some books I have in my mind. I only hope you will see your way clear to including me in the scheme in some shape or fashion. A telegram three or four days in advance of your arrival in New Orleans will enable me to be on hand promptly; and you might mention the name of the hotel provided you settle that matter in advance also.

Gratefully yours:
Joel Chandler Harris