The University of Virginia's Barrett collection holds one of the few--perhaps the only--known remaining sales prospectus with the "mutilated cut"-- an illustration defaced by some anonymous jokester in the engraver's plant. Twain, publisher Charles Webster and others had apparently missed the alteration when proofing the book, and the door-to-door sales staff knocked on doors with the prospectus in hand for months before a canvasser discovered the obscenity. Twain was horrified. The prospectuses were recalled and the offending page ripped out; Webster offered a $500 reward for apprehension of the defacer.
The New York World first reported the discovery on its front page, Thanksgiving Day. Walter Blair notes that the article gives the wrong title to the illustration and describes the altered illustration somewhat misleadingly, but that and many other details were confirmed later by J.J. Little, owner of the plant that produced the book. ("Mark Twain and Huck Finn," Berkeley: U of C Press, 1960, p. 365.)