by Barbara Schmidt

A History of and Guide to

"I didn't know you were holding back a card in Tom Sawyer, Detective; and so when the Harpers wrote the other day to ask about how to fill out that book -- what to use as padding, that is -- I answered and told them to fill it out with anything they pleased ..."
- Samuel Clemens to Henry H. Rogers, 1 November 1896

Chapter 22
Brief Overview of Volume 20:
Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc.

First Publications

In an agreement with Olivia Clemens dated May 23, 1895, Harper and Brothers acquired the rights to Mark Twain's books previously published by both Webster and Company and James R. Osgood. These titles included Tom Sawyer Abroad published by Webster in 1894 as well as The Stolen White Elephant, a collection of stories published by Osgood in 1882. When Harper and Brothers began compiling their uniform editions of Mark Twain's works in 1896 in red cloth with gold cornstalk bindings, Clemens gave them permission to combine stories from these previous volumes and include the short novella "Tom Sawyer, Detective" which had recently been published in the August and September 1896 issues of Harper's Magazine with 21 illustrations by Arthur Burdette Frost.

Harper's 1896 edition of Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc. is a collection of previously published material. Tom Sawyer Abroad had first been serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine in six installments running from November 1893 to April 1894 with over twenty illustrations by Daniel Beard. Clemens was not pleased with the editing that had been done to the story when it appeared in St. Nicholas Magazine. Editor Mary Mapes Dodge had deleted sections she thought might be offensive to young readers and made other changes to suit her own tastes. Webster and Company published the story as a book in April 1894 without fully restoring Clemens's original wording. British publishers Chatto and Windus released a version of the book at the same time but relied on a typescript which was truer to Clemens's original text for their printing. The Chatto edition also contained a different selection of other stories. Harper, however, utilized the earlier Webster and Company version of the book for their 1896 red cloth uniform edition.

Some of the other short stories and sketches in the Harper 1896 edition of Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective included those from Osgood's 1882 publication of The Stolen White Elephant which was largely comprised of Mark Twain's early contributions to the Atlantic Monthly -- a magazine in which Osgood held an interest.

Refining the Work

In an agreement between Harper and Brothers and American Publishing Company, dated December 31, 1896, American Publishing Company acquired the rights to include Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc. in their 1899 uniform edition of Mark Twain's works. Under a second agreement dated November 11, 1898 Frank Bliss was allowed to manufacture new printing plates that would immediately become the property of Harper and Brothers. By producing a new set of plates in Hartford, Bliss could save transportation costs and insurance involved in shipping the plates from New York.

Although Clemens had an opportunity to revise and refine his work for the 1899 uniform edition, there is little evidence to suggest he took an active interest in doing so. Production of the new 1899 plates also had the potential to introduce inconsistencies into the texts that were the result of typesetting errors. The most extensive study of the manuscripts and previous publications of Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective was published in the 1980 edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Tom Sawyer Abroad; Tom Sawyer, Detective: The Works of Mark Twain published by the University of California Press and edited by John C. Gerber, Paul Baender and Terry Firkins. The study established that American Publishing Company's 1899 edition had only nine changes of wording and fifty changes of punctuation for the story "Tom Sawyer Abroad."

Frank Bliss intended to correct any errors for subsequent printings and hired Forrest Morgan (b. 1852 - d. 1924), a fastidious proofreader, to weed out errors. Morgan, a former editor of the Hartford Travelers Record and later an assistant librarian at Watkinson Library in Hartford, read from a set of the Royal Edition to mark errors.

Clemens was familiar with the work of Forrest Morgan in Travelers Record. When Clemens wrote "Stirring Times in Austria" in 1897 he quoted from a long passage he credited to Morgan to describe the history of disunity in the Austro-Hungarian empire. "Stirring Times in Austria" was published in Harper's Monthly in March 1898 and is reprinted in Volume 22.

Morgan's 22-volume set of the Royal Edition with his annotations is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, a gift from William Lyon Phelps in 1922.

Forrest Morgan
Forrest Morgan, proofreader for the 1899 uniform edition, helped refine the works for subsequent editions.

According to the 1980 study of the texts by Gerber, Baender and Firkins, Morgan corrected four substantive errors in the story "Tom Sawyer Abroad" that had been introduced by the American Publishing Company typesetters. For example, in Chapter 12, a line reading "Next you'll be saying a horse and a cow is the same thing" should have read "Next you'll be saying a house and a cow is the same thing." Morgan spotted the horse/house error and it was corrected in the Underwood and Riverdale editions published in 1901. As to "Tom Sawyer, Detective," no authorial revisions were made to this story. No extensive comparison of the remainder of the stories in Volume 20 to their original printings or manuscripts has been conducted.

Different Titles on the Spines

Frank Bliss planned at least three volumes of Mark Twain's sketches with Volume 20, Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc., being the second. However, instead of using the book's title on the spine of the volume, Bliss instead chose to identify the book as Volume XX / Short Stories and Sketches II. This designation appears in all the uniform editions published by American Publishing Company including Autograph Edition, Edition De Luxe, Japan Edition, Author's De Luxe Edition, Royal Edition, Underwood Edition, Riverdale Edition and Hillcrest Edition. However, with the Harper Author's National Editions of 1909, the title appearing on the spine of Volume 20 was changed to match the title of the work and perhaps reduce confusion.

Underwood spines
Spines for Volumes 19, 20, and 21 from Underwood Edition identifying the volumes only as Short Stories and Sketches
Vol XX Spine
Harper's editions of Volume 20 list the title of the work on the spine


W. H. W. Bicknell's Contributions

Bicknell portrait
William Harry Warren Bicknell
photo courtesy of the Winchester, Massachusetts Archival Center

Frank Bliss hired new illustrators for the 1899 uniform edition. Artist and etcher William Harry Warren Bicknell (b. 1860 - d. 1947) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a grocer. Bicknell graduated from the Boston Latin School in 1878 and later studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He was a pupil of Otto Grundmann and Frederic Crowningshield. Bicknell etched a number of frontispieces made from photographs of Clemens that were used throughout the set. Bicknell's etching of the Tiffany monogram appears as a title page in every volume of the Autograph Edition, Edition De Luxe, Japan Edition, Author's De Luxe Edition, and the Royal Edition. All of these editions began issuing in 1899.

Less expensive editions such as Underwood, Riverdale, and Hillcrest feature the Tiffany title page in Volume 1 only. It was eliminated altogether from the Author's National Edition.

Spiridon portrait
Frontispiece of Volume 20 etched by William Harry Warren Bicknell based on a portrait by Spiridon, 1898.
Regarding this portrait, Clemens wrote Frank Bliss that it was "a long way the best I have ever had, and much better than any photograph from life can ever be" (Leary, p. 363).


The Illustrators

Daniel Carter Beard (b. 1850 - d. 1941) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, James Henry Beard, was a portrait artist and member of the National Academy of Design. Daniel Carter Beard was an avid outdoorsman, author and illustrator. He studied civil engineering and later worked for the office of the city of Cincinnati. In 1874 he worked with the Sanborn Map and Publishing Company. In 1878 the Beard family moved to New York where he studied at the Art Students League. At age twenty-eight he began a successful career as a freelance commercial artist. By 1894 he was teaching drawing at New York's School of Applied Design. His first commission for one of Mark Twain's books came in 1889 when he he received $3,000 to produce about 400 drawings for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court -- 220 of them were selected for publication. He later illustrated other Mark Twain works including The American Claimant (1892); "The £1,000,000 Bank Note" (1893); "The Esquimau Maiden's Romance" (1893); "Traveling with a Reformer" (1893); and Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894). Beard provided more illustrations for the 1897 edition of Following the Equator than any other artist. Clemens once described Beard as "the only man who can correctly illustrate my writings, for he not only illustrates the text, but he also illustrates my thoughts" (Rasmussen, p. 589). In 1905 Beard became editor of Recreation magazine and founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, a group he merged with the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. Dan Beard
Daniel Carter Beard

Beard had drawn over twenty illustrations for the serialization of "Tom Sawyer Abroad" which ran from November 1893 to April 1894 in St. Nicholas Magazine. Some of the illustrations were retained by Harper and Brothers for the 1896 edition of the story in book format. Frank Bliss contracted with Beard to enhance two of the original illustrations for the 1899 edition of Tom Sawyer Abroad. According to a receipt that survives in archives at the University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, Beard was paid $50 for two repainted illustrations and $3.50 for the photoengraving plates on October 6, 1899.

1893 illustration
Beard's illustration for the St. Nicholas serialization of "Tom Sawyer Abroad" dated 1893
1899 illustration
Beard's same illustration for the 1899 uniform edition of Tom Sawyer Abroad included additional elements and detail.

Riverdale frontispiece
Dan Beard's illustration "We Catched Fish" was hand-colored and used as the frontispiece for the Riverdale Edition.

Arthur Burdett Frost (b. 1851 - d. 1928) was born in Philadelphia, son of John Frost (b. 1800 - d. 1859) who was a Harvard graduate, literature teacher, author and noted historian. Frost began his artistic career apprenticed to a wood engraver. He studied art for a year in London and while there he did illustration work for Lewis Carroll. He also studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins and William Merritt Chase. In 1875 Frost was hired by the New York Graphic and a year later began illustrating books for Harper and Brothers. While on the staff at Harper's he illustrated "Tom Sawyer, Detective" in 1896. On March 19, 1897 Clemens wrote to Frank Bliss regarding illustrations for the first edition of Following the Equator:

I suppose A. B. Frost is an expensive artist; but if he is not too expensive it might be well to get him to make 3 or 4 full-page humorous pictures. He is the best humorous artist that I know of, and he might not be difficult to deal with for the reason that he told me 3 years ago that he had long had an ambition to make some illustrations for me (Leary, p. 268).

From 1906 to 1914 Frost and his family relocated to France. He died in 1928 in Pasadena, California.

Frost supplied 21 illustrations for "Tom Sawyer, Detective" when it was published in the August and September 1896 issues of Harper's Magazine. Harper included all of Frost's illustrations for their 1896 edition of Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc. However, when Frank Bliss compiled the 1899 uniform edition for American Publishing Company, only two of Frost's original illustrations were used.

Arthur B. Frost
Arthur Burdett Frost

Mark Twain's Illustration - Map of Paris

The final illustration in the 1899 uniform edition of Volume 20, Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer Detective and Other Stories, Etc., Etc. is "Map of Paris" by Mark Twain. The illustration was first published in the Buffalo Express on September 17, 1870 when Clemens was a partner in that newspaper. It was reprinted in the November 1870 issue of the Galaxy.

Illustration List for Volume 20

The following are the original full-page illustrations that first appeared in the 1899 Autograph Edition, Edition De Luxe, Japan Edition, Author's De Luxe Edition, and the Royal Edition issued by American Publishing Company. As other editions were developed and prices were lowered, some of these illustrations were eliminated.




Beard, D. C. to Frank Bliss, 6 October 1899. Accession No. 6314, Box 8. (University of Virginia Library, Special Collections).

Blanck, Jacob, compiler. Bibliography of American Literature, Volume Two. (Yale University Press, 1957).

"Daniel Beard Dies, Boy Scout Pioneer," The New York Times, 12 June 1941, p. 23.

Leary, Lewis, ed. Mark Twain's Correspondence with Henry Huttleston Rogers 1893-1909. (University of California Press, 1969).

Mark Twain Project online database of letters from the Mark Twain Papers/Project at the University of California at Berkeley.

McCullough, Joseph B. and Janice McIntire-Strasburg. Mark Twain at the Buffalo Express. (Northern Illinois University Press, 1999).

Rasmussen, R. Kent. Critical Companion to Mark Twain, Volumes I and II. (Facts on File, 2007).

Smith, Francis Hopkinson. American Illustrators. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1892).

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Tom Sawyer Abroad; Tom Sawyer, Detective. The Works of Mark Twain. John C. Gerber, Paul Baender and Terry Firkins, eds. (University of California Press, 1980).

_____. Tom Sawyer Abroad; Tom Sawyer, Detective. The Mark Twain Library. (University of California Press, 1982).

Welland, Dennis. Mark Twain in England. (Chatto and Windus, 1978).


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