The American Monthly Review of Reviews [unsigned]
1894: January

[This isn't really a review of the novel, but it is interesting as a first response to the story. A regular feature of The Review of Reviews was "The Periodicals Reviewed," a summary of some of the main articles in many American, British and French magazines and quarterlies. The following is from the account of the contents of The Century, written after the first installment of Pudd'nhead Wilson had appeared there in December, 1893. MT's novel ran in The Century until June, 1894, but for some reason The Review of Reviews never discussed or mentioned the story again. It would have been interesting to know what "moral" about race the author of this comment felt the novel finally pointed.]
The feature of the number [i.e. the December Century] so far as fiction is concerned is the beginning of Mark Twain's serial novel, "Pudd'n Head Wilson," the scene of which is laid in Southwest Missouri thirty-five years ago. The first chapters give but small indication of that humor which made Mr. Clemens' fame. Curiously enough, the plot, if one may presume to prophesy from the first chapters, is going to center around the mixing up of two babies, one of whom is a white child and the other a mulatto with a slight strain of negro blood, the two being under the charge of the fond mulatto mother; so that we may expect to find Mark Twain drawing some healthy moral concerning the race problem before we are through with "Pudd'n Head Wilson."