Perhaps the good Reverend made a mistake and Wikipedia is correct.

Perhaps, but my reference was the William Dean Howells Society chronology page. (I see that Wiipedia agrees with them, and they could be correct part of the time if only by chance.) And, for what it's worth, my dead-tree, 11th edition Britannica (1910) gives 1885 as the publication date, but then they could very well be wrong, too. Caveat lector!