The American Claimant

Contents:
Author: Mark Twain

Explanatory

The Colonel Mulberry Sellers here re-introduced to the public is the same person who appeared as Eschol Sellers in the first edition of the tale entitled "The Gilded Age," years ago, and as Beriah Sellers in the subsequent editions of the same book, and finally as Mulberry Sellers in the drama played afterward by John T. Raymond.

The name was changed from Eschol to Beriah to accommodate an Eschol Sellers who rose up out of the vasty deeps of uncharted space and preferred his request—backed by threat of a libel suit—then went his way appeased, and came no more. In the play Beriah had to be dropped to satisfy another member of the race, and Mulberry was substituted in the hope that the objectors would be tired by that time and let it pass unchallenged. So far it has occupied the field in peace; therefore we chance it again, feeling reasonably safe, this time, under shelter of the statute of limitations.

MARK TWAIN. Hartford, 1891.

THE WEATHER IN THIS BOOK.

No weather will be found in this book. This is an attempt to pull a book through without weather. It being the first attempt of the kind in fictitious literature, it may prove a failure, but it seemed worth the while of some dare-devil person to try it, and the author was in just the mood.

Many a reader who wanted to read a tale through was not able to do it because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an author’s progress like having to stop every few pages to fuss-up the weather. Thus it is plain that persistent intrusions of weather are bad for both reader and author.

Of course weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience. That is conceded. But it ought to be put where it will not be in the way; where it will not interrupt the flow of the narrative. And it ought to be the ablest weather that can be had, not ignorant, poor-quality, amateur weather. Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article of it. The present author can do only a few trifling ordinary kinds of weather, and he cannot do those very good. So it has seemed wisest to borrow such weather as is necessary for the book from qualified and recognized experts-giving credit, of course. This weather will be found over in the back part of the book, out of the way. See Appendix. The reader is requested to turn over and help himself from time to time as he goes along.

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Chicago: Mark Twain, "Explanatory," The American Claimant, ed. Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934 and trans. Gordon, Thomas in The American Claimant (New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1916), Original Sources, accessed July 23, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XR5QUNYWH1WSP6Z.

MLA: Twain, Mark. "Explanatory." The American Claimant, edited by Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934, and translated by Gordon, Thomas, in The American Claimant, Vol. 22, New York, A. L. Burt Company, 1916, Original Sources. 23 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XR5QUNYWH1WSP6Z.

Harvard: Twain, M, 'Explanatory' in The American Claimant, ed. and trans. . cited in 1916, The American Claimant, A. L. Burt Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 23 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XR5QUNYWH1WSP6Z.