Harris writes about publication of nine new "Thimblefinger" stories, his Mr. Rabbit stories and his rabbit monogram made from his initials on this stationery, all within a letter that begins with condolences. This letter to his editor, Francis (Frank) Jackson Garrison ((848-1916, son of Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison) was occasioned by the death of Henry Oscar Houghton who died on August 25, 1895. Houghton (1823-1895) was an American printer and publisher, proprietor of the Riverside Press and partner in the publishing firms of Hurd and Houghton; Houghton, Osgood & Company; and Houghton, Mifflin & Company. Houghton Mifflin published many of Joel Chandler Harris’ works. To Mr. Garrison. "I was very much shocked to hear of the death of Mr. Houghton. I met him but once - he was kind enough to come to my house but I saw that he was a man to be lived on closer acquaintance. I sincerely trust that his death will make no change in the firm that has dealt so kindly and so generously with me. McClure is not after "Aaron" at all. What he wants is the nine new "Thimblefinger" stories that I sent you this summer to patch out "Mr. Rabbit at Home." Now you can use your own judgement [sic] and pleasure about that. I didn't think he can work them off before you are ready to issue the book. Nine weeks would carry the matter to the first of November, and my understanding is that you will get out Mr. Rabbit about the first of November. If you are willing for McClure to use the nine stories my terms are $20 a thousand words, payable weekly. But don't consider me in the matter at all. Consult our own desires. At the head of this paper you will see what use I made of Herford's cute monogram. Yours faithfully, Joel Chandler Harris." In his last sentence, he refers to the rabbit at the head of this stationery which is composed of the initials of Chandler's three-part name. The monogram was designed by Oliver Herford, the British-born, American humorist writer, artist and illustrator who illustrated all of Harris’ children’s books referred to in this letter.
Harris refers to a number of his children’s books, including "The Story of Aaron' which he was hoping would be published in November of 1895 and was, indeed published that month. He also discusses MClure wanting “the nine new Thimblefinger stories….” He is referring to S. S McClure, founder of McClure’s Magazine, an American illustrated monthly founded in 1893 by McClure and John Sanborn Phillips. The magazine was known for social reform as well as for publishing serialized novels by the leading writers of the day, including Joel Chandler Harris. In 1893 the magazine had published “The Comedy of War.