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Mark Twain's first appearance in the New York Sunday Mercury likely came as a result of the influence of Artemus Ward who first met Mark Twain in Virginia City in December 1863. Impressed with Twain's writing skills, Ward wrote Clemens on January 1, 1864 that he would write "a powerfully convincing note to my friends of the Mercury" suggesting they publish some of Twain's work.* On January 4, Twain wrote "Doings in Nevada" from Carson City and sent it to the Sunday Mercury. It was published February 7. He followed it up a few weeks later with another sketch titled "Those Blasted Children." It would then be three years before his next contributions appeared in 1867 and after he had gained acclaimed for a series of travel letters written from the Sandwich Islands. Early in 1867 he arranged with publishers William Cauldwell and Horace P. Whitney to contribute more articles to the New York Sunday Mercury which had a circulation of about 65,000. He probably received $25 each for the seven items published in 1867. These items have been characterized as "showing the strain of adjusting to an eastern audience" as Mark Twain tried to shift his style from writing for newspapers to writing for literary weeklies located on the East coast.

* See Mark Twain: Unsanctified Newspaper Reporter for a fuller account of the influence of Artemus Ward on Mark Twain's career and Twain's attempts to get published in East coast literary magazines.)

February 7, 1864 - Doings in Nevada

February 24, 1864 -
Those Blasted Children

March 3, 1867 -
The Winner of the Medal

March 17, 1867 -
A Curtain Lecture Concerning Skating

March 24, 1867 -

April 7, 1867 -
Female Suffrage

April 21, 1867 -
Official Physic

July 7, 1867 -
A Reminiscence of Artemus Ward

July 14, 1867 -
Jim Wolf and the Tom-Cats


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