Table of Contents
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Mark Twain: Papers of Charles M. Underhill, Central Library: Rare Book Room, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.
The Mark Twain: Papers of Charles M. Underhill collection were gifted to the Rare Book Room of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library by the Underhill family in March, 1993.
Collection processed by: Amy Vilz, April 2008
Finding aid encoded by: Amy Vilz, September 2010
The Mark Twain: Papers of Charles M. Underhill collection is open for research.
See librarian for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials.
About Charles M. Underhill
Charles Munson Underhill was born September 4, 1839. He was an alumnus of Genesee College (now Syracuse University), and elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa society. "For several years he was instructor in Latin and literature in Falley seminary at Fulton. He became connected with the coal business when he entered the employ of the Anthracite Coal Association at Rochester [New York]. Later, Mr. Underhill came to Buffalo as general salesman of that association, eventually became a member of the firm J. Langdon and Company of Elmira and finally a director of the Pittsburgh Coal Company of Pennsylvania."* Underhill was married to Anna A. Price and had three children: Bertha P., Irving S., and Augustus P. Underhill. He died in 1924.
About Irving S. Underhill
Irving Sears Underhill was born March 18, 1866 in Fulton, New York. After leaving William College, he founded and served as president of the Underhill Coal Company. "Known as a book collector, Mr. Underhill had a large library of first editions. His collection of first editions of Mark Twain's books is especially well known."** Underhill was married to Edith Nichols and had four children: Charles S., Irving Jr., Walter N., and Ruth Ann. He died in 1937.
About Mark Twain
In August of 1869, Mark Twain arrived in Buffalo to take up the reins of his one-third interest in one of the city's foremost newspapers, The Buffalo Morning Express, an opportunity made possible by a $12,500 loan from his future father-in-law, Jervis Langdon of Elmira, NY.
In Buffalo, Twain joined the Young Men's Association, probably at the urging of his friend and fellow Buffalo Express editor, Josephus N. Larned and/or his soon to be best friend in Buffalo, David Gray, a poet and the editor of the Express' chief rival the Buffalo Courier. He was a dues paying member for the years 1870 and 1871, and oddly enough for 1872 when no longer a resident. In March of 1871 the Twains left Buffalo and moved to Elmira, New York.
* "C.M. Underhill, in Coal Business Long Time, Dies at Home." The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, December 19, 1924.
** "I.S. Underhill is Dead at 68," The Buffalo Evening News, September, 1937.
This collection is highlighted by its small, but noteworthy set of original Mark Twain correspondence. These letters and uniquely addressed envelopes were mainly sent to Twain's friend Charles M. Underhill. However, one letter is simply addressed "Dear Madam," and consists of a rejection by Twain to lecture; for whom is unclear. Copies of Niagara Book and The Gleaner include the Twain essays "Was the Garden of Eden at Niagara Falls?" and "The First Authentic Mention of Niagara Falls" respectively. Lastly, a cartes de visite of Twain and contemporaries Petroleum V.Nasby and Josh Billings round out the collection.
Please note: Original Twain correspondence (folders 1.8 and 1.9) are fragile in nature and closed; please use provided facsimiles in 1.3.
Alphabetical by subject/title.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910--Correspondence
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910--Extracts from Adam's Diary
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910--Miscellanea
Underhill, Charles Munson
Underhill, Irving S., 1866-1937
Genres and Forms
bylaws (administrative records)