Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letters and Autographs

Click on the thumbnails on the left to view the letters full-size.

Letter to Ashley Trimble Cole

January 21, 1895. New York.

223 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                     Jan. 21, 1895

Ashley Trimble Cole
246 St. Marks Avenue
Brooklyn, NY


Thank you for your congratulations and kind wishes.  I am always glad of literary appreciation and friendly feelings on the part of young people.


Yours with best wishes,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Dr. Griffin (2 pages)

October 10, 1895. New York.

227 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                                                      Oct 10, 1895
Dear Dr. Griffin,

I have just returned to the city after a four month’s absence.  I am glad to hear from Edward Downie that he has improved so much under your charge.  I will very soon send you a check with my thanks added.

I shall soon call, and will bring Mrs. Griffin a copy of “The Disagreeable Woman.”


Yours Sincerely,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Mr. Blake (2 pages)

August, 19--. Natick, Massachusetts.

Natick, Mass. Aug 19-

Dear Mr. Blake,

I have just returned from Cottage City and I am about to start for Old Orchard Beach (Me.) where I shall stay at the Aldine Hotel.  Thank you for your appreciation of “The Island Treasure.”  I hope for more than ordinary success for it when it appears in book form.  I shall have a new story commence in the October Argosy.

I expect to return to New York about the end of September.  I hope you are passing the summer pleasantly.


Yours Sincerely,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Ellis H. Robb (2 pages)

January 12, 1894. New York.

223 West 34th St. New York

                                                                                    Jan. 12, 1894     

Mr. Ellis H. Robb,

Thank you for your kind words.  I am grateful to learn that my books are regarded with favor by yourself and the boys of Eldora.  I am sure I shall have the pleasure in meeting them.

My first Story was Helen Ford, which is included in the Alta edition of novels issued by Porter & Coates.

My first series of juvenile books was the Campaign Series, now issued by Porter & Coates, my regular publishers.

My earlier books, including these were published by A. K. Loring, of Boston, but they passed into the hands of Porter & Coates in 1881.


Yours truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Unknown Young Fan

November 24, 1881. New York.

52 West 26th St. New York

                                                                                    Nov. 24, 1881

My Dear young Friend -

On the next leaf you will find my autograph, as desired.  I am unable to send you my life of Garfield, but you will find it at the store of my new publishers – Porter & Coates – corner 9th & Chestnut Sts. – Philadelphia.


Yours very truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Unknown Gentleman (2 pages)

December 17, 1892. New York.

223 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                                                     Dec. 17, 1892
My Dear Sir,

Your letter of inquiry has been forwarded to me at New York – my residence.  I am unable to answer it definitely but shall by this mail forward it to a party in Boston who will no doubt be very glad to do so.  Should you not receive an answer in a week please notify me.


Yours truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to W. E. Heague

November 14, 1896. Natick, Massachusetts.

Natick, Mass 

                                                                                     Nov 14,  96
My Dear Sir,

I am glad to comply with your request for an autograph, and thank you for the kindly interest which leads you to ask.


Yours truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

To: W. E. Heague


Letter to H. T. Coates & Co.

January 4, 1896. New York.

227 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                    Jan. 4, 1896
H. T. Coates & Co -

I will with your permission call on you Jan. 18th (18th) for a statement and check.

It would be a convenience to me if you would send me a check for $100 on account.  If you have any objection I will wait till the general settlement.


Yours truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to H. T. Coates & Co.

January 9, 1896. New York.

227 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                     Jan. 9, 1896-
Messrs. H. T. Coates & Co –

I an in receipt of the check for $100 on account of royalties which you kindly sent at my request.  I will call on you on the morning of the 18th as you suggest – It was quite in time.

Please send a copy of “Adrift in the City” by mail to Harry Lovell, 24 Carmine St. New York City, charging to me.

                                                                                      Yours Sincerely,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Will

February 8, 1895. New York.

223 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                     Feb. 8, 1895-
Dear Will,

I am glad to oblige one of my Colorado boy friends.

I have twice visited your state and have pleasant recollections of my visit.  If I ever go again I hope to meet you.

Yours with best wishes,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Eugene (2 pages)

June 3, 1891. New York.

223 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                     June 3rd 1891
Friend Eugene,

Your letter of the 23rd ult. was mislaid, or I would have answered sooner.

I make it a point not to urge any enterprises upon my friends. If at any time you go to Montana I can give you a simple letter of introduction to Albert J. Seligman, whom I know very well. This will give you the opportunity of laying the matter before him. I was his guest for three days on my way to San F. and he introduced me to many of his friends. There are many rich men in Helena and I suspect most of them are interested in mines.

Yours truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Richie Sheafe

October 16, (1894?). Natick, Massachusetts.

Natick, Mass. 

                                                                                         Oct. 16-        
My dear Richie,

I mail you today a copy of “Digging for Gold.” I hope it will reach you, and that you will let me know of its reception.

Perhaps you may feel like digging for gold yourself. If your father had a garden, go out some moonlight night with a spade and commence digging. You must be sure to have the moon shining over your left shoulder. When you begin to dig, say in a distinct tone “Elorum foolorum rattledebangdorum slapdashimus. That will bring the gold if there is any there. You needn’t dig more than ten or twelve feet down. If your father should manipulate the ground before you begin your chances of finding something would be increased.

I hope you got home safe, and that your mother is rested. We are glad to be at home and fall into our usual ways. I have just written a chapter on a story which is now being published in a paper in New York. But we are much pleased with our visit, and remember with pleasure the pleasant friends whom we met on our way back.

Mr. and Mrs. Cheney send regards to your father and mother, and I send love to my little friend Richie.

Your affectionate friend,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Letter to Richie Sheafe

April 25, 1895. New York.

227 West 34th St. New York
                                                                                  April 25, 1895-
Dear Richie,

Your letter was forwarded to me. I am glad you received the book and hope you will like it.

April 14, Mrs. Artemus Cheney, the widow of my brother in law, died in Roxbury. She left half her property, which is considerable, to Amos Cheney, my brother-in-law. They are at present in Roxbury – I mean my sister and her husband – as he will have to settle up the estate. I send this news more to your father and mother than to yourself. Should you be in South Natick this summer I shall call on your father and hope to see you.

Yours affectionate friend,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Regards to Mrs. Townsend and family.

Letter to Dr. Griffin

February 8 (1895?). New York.

Hotel Marlborough                                                                  

223 West 34th St.
                                                                                                                      Feb. 8
My dear Dr. Griffin,

This will be handed you by a young acquaintance of mine – Arthur Guerin of Brooklyn, – who has been imprudent, and is very much worried, as he does not wish his parents to know what is the matter with him.  As you kindly authorized me to send such cases to you, I will ask you to advise him.  I trust he will eventually be able to make you some remuneration.

I am meaning very soon to give my self the pleasure of calling upon you.

                                                                                                           Yours Sincerely,

Horatio Alger, Jr.

Unpublished Poem

June 5, 1882.

Rich is that life which seeks a noble end,
The poor to aid, the wretched to befriend.
Who, self-forgetting, strives mankind to bless,
Wins Heaven’s approval, gains a true success,
And leaves behind, when God “His” summons sends,
A fragrant memory in the hearts of friends.

                                Horatio Alger, Jr.

                     June 5, 1882


Carving a Name

February 27, 1877.

Four (of five) stanzas from “Carving a Name” are slightly altered from the original.

                                                                                                                  Feb 27, 1877


I wrote my name upon the sand,
And trusted it would live for aye,
But soon, alas! The refluent waves
Had washed my feeble lines away.

To solid marble next my name
I gave as a perpetual trust;
An earthquake shook it to its base,
And now it lies o’erlaid with dust.

Since these have failed, in wiser mood,
I paused, and asked myself, “What then?”
If I could have my name endure
I’ll write it on the hearts of men.

In characters of living light,
With kindly deeds and actions fraught,
And these, beyond the touch of time,
Shall live, immortal as my thought

                                Horatio Alger, Jr.

Postcard to Mr. Alber

May 18, 1893. Natick, Massachusetts.


Mr. Eugene A. Alber
Jackson Co.
North Carolina-


Dear Mr. Alber,

I never knew a real life which furnished good material for a story - For an artistic and symmetrical story, a novelist must rely on his imagination.

I hope you are prospering -

Yours Truly,

Horatio Alger, Jr.