Vol 1 Section 0024

Key West – New York – Charles Webb Published The Jumping Frog

52 hours to St. Louis – Artemus Ward Dead – Lectures in Hannibal, Keokuk & Quincy

Back in New York – A Night in Jail – Three Lectures in the Big Apple

 Quaker City Five-month Excursion– Miniature Portrait in the Bay of Smyrna

A Post in Washington – Elisha Bliss – Sam Met Livy


1867 – Camfield [bibliog.] lists the following pieces undated for this year:


An unfinished script for a play, “The Quaker City Holy Land Excursion”

“Goodbye” printed posthumously by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Apr. 27, 1910

      “Who Was He? A Novel” posthumously, Satires and Burlesques, p. 25


January – Sam wrote a spoof of Victor Hugo’s novel, The Toilers of the Sea (1866) while aboard the steamer San Francisco [MTNJ 1: 280-4].


January 1 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:


“Slept on the Cora on floor & hammocks at woodyard first night out from Castillo. Started at 2AM & got to Greytown at daylight” [MTNJ 1: 267].

From Sam’s Mar. 15 Alta letter:

GREYTOWN, January 1st.—While we lay all night at San Juan, the baggage was sent ashore in lighters, and next morning we departed ourselves. We found San Juan to consist of a few tumble-down frame shanties—they call them hotels—nestling among green verdure and overshadowed by picturesque little hills. The spot where we landed was crowded with horses, mules, ambulances and half-clad yellow natives, with bowie-knives two feet long, and as broad as your hand, strapped to their waists. I thought these barefooted scoundrels were soldiers, but no, they were merely citizens in civil life. Here and there on the beach moved a soiled and ragged white woman, to whom the sight of our ship must have been as a vision of Paradise; for here a vast ship-load of passengers had been kept in exile for fifteen days through the wretched incompetency of one man—the Company’s agent on the Isthmus. He had sent a steamer empty to San Francisco, when he knew well that this multitude of people were due at Greytown. They will finish their journey, now, in our ship [Schmidt].

Sam noted the choir sang “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” –one of the “wretchedest old songs in the world,” not understanding why it was sang in such breathtaking surroundings [Gribben 588].

Sam arrived at San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua on the Caribbean. There, the steamer San Francisco waited for them bound for New York. It sailed at noon [Sanborn 313; MTNJ 1: 297].

January 2 Wednesday – Sam reported in his notebook that there were two cases of cholera on board. By the next morning two men were dead from cholera [MTNJ 1: 269; Sanborn 314].

January 3 Thursday From Sam’s notebook:

“9:30 PM. We are to be off the coast of Cuba to-morrow they say—I cannot believe it” [MTNJ 1: 273].

January 4 Friday – Three days into the voyage the ship had engine problems. An engine piece broke and took two hours to repair [Sanborn 314]. From Sam’s notebook:

Capt.—who came aboard at Greytown where in 3 years he had worn out his constitution & destroyed his health lingered until 10 this morning & then died & was shoved overboard half an hour afterward sowed up in a blanket with 60 pounds of iron. He leaves a wife at Rochester, N.Y. This makes the fourth death on shipboard since we left San Francisco [MTNJ 1: 273].

January 5 Saturday – The engine broke again and four hours were lost [Sanborn314]. From Sam’s notebook:

“We are to put in at Key West, Florida, to-day for coal for ballast—so they say—but rather for medicines, perhaps—the physic locker is about pumped dry” [MTNJ 1: 275].

Sam began to make a list of the dead on board and got to number eight [MTNJ 1: 279-80].


January 6 Sunday – Again, the engine broke down and they were dead in the water for another four hours. Even worse news, eight new cases of cholera. The doctor confessed to Sam that there was no medicine. Key West was a day or so away, and the doctor hoped to get medicine there. “I realize that I myself may be dead to-morrow” [Sanborn 314]. From Sam’s notebook:

“At 2:30 we anchored at Key West (Florida,) & he will be buried on shore. Was bound for the States to get his family” [MTNJ 1: 279]. Note: buried: Rev. J. G. Fackler, Episcopal clergyman of San Francisco

From Sam’s Mar. 17 Alta letter:

JANUARY 6th.—At two o’clock this morning, the Rev. Mr. Fackler died, and half an hour afterwards we landed at Key West. It is Sunday. Two of us attended Episcopal service here, and retired when they prepared to take the sacrament, and left a request at the pastor’s house that he would preach the funeral sermon. We visited the cemetery in the edge of town, and then, supposing there was plenty of time, strolled through the principal streets and took some notes. When we got to the ship, a little after one o’clock, they said the funeral was already over [Schmidt].

January 7 Monday In Key West the San Francisco stocked up on drugs and spare engine parts. Sam stocked up on Havana cigars before the ship continued on.

“We bought 700 superb cigars at $4 a hundred—greenbacks—better cigars than could get in Cal for $25 a hundred in gold. Town is full of good cigars….21 passengers left the ship here, scared—among them the Jew, the Undertaker, & Goff…I am glad they are gone, d—n them” [MTNJ 1: 286-7; Sanborn 314].

January 8 Tuesday From Sam’s notebook:

That dirty Dutchwoman & her 2 children—none of them washed or taken off clothes since left Sanf—belong in 2d cabin—ought to be in hell—purser started them out of the smoking room to make room for card party—Dutchman brought them back soon & said she was sick & should stay there. Well, the woman is sick, & if they don’t take sanitary measures, she’ll stay so—she needs scraping & washing [MTNJ 1: 191].

January 9 Wednesday – From Sam’s notebook: “Belmayne died Jan. 8, & was buried at sea, abreast of Florida.”

January 10 Thursday From Sam’s notebook:

26 days out from Sanfrancisco to-day—at noon we shall be off Cape Hatteras & less than 400 miles south of New York—(day & a half’s run).

We shall leave this warming pan of a Gulf Stream to-day & then it will cease to be genial summer weather & become wintry cold. We already see the signs—they have put feather mattresses & blankets on our berths this morning [MTNJ 1: 293].

January 11 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

7 PM—Been in bed all day to keep warm—fearfully cold. We are off Barnegat—passed a pilot boat a while ago. We shall get to New York before morning. The d—d crowd in the smoking room are as wildly singing now as they were capering childishly about deck day before yesterday when we first struck cold weather [MTNJ 1: 295].

January 12 Saturday – About 8 AM, the San Francisco steamed into the icy harbor of New York. Sam took a room at the Metropolitan Hotel, a favorite stop for Californians and Washoe miners at the corner of Broadway and Prince Street [Sanborn 311; MTL 2: 2]. The voyage from hell was over and cholera had not claimed Mark Twain. Sam sent a telegram to the Alta California giving details of the cholera outbreak aboard the steamer San Francisco [MTNJ 1: 296]. Sam planned to publish a book on the Sandwich Islands based on his letters to the Sacramento Union.  He also wanted to schedule a lecture tour in New York and perhaps other eastern cities. Lastly, he had a vague plan to embark on a world tour for the Alta. Sam was not without contacts in New York journalism and literary circles. His work had appeared in several New York papers as well as Harper’s.

Sam telegraphed the Alta California concerning the cholera in Nicaragua [Camfield bibliog.].

January 13 Sunday Sam’s telegram dated Jan. 12 to the Alta ran on the front page of that newspaper titled “Cholera in Nicaragua[MTNJ 1: 296n65; Camfield bibliog.].

January 15 Tuesday Sam wrote from New York to Edward P. Hingston (1823-1876), Artemus Ward’s theatrical manager. Sam had enjoyed carousing with Hingston and Ward in 1863 in Virginia City. He boldly asked Hingston to come from England and be his manager, “Ward is so well established in London, now, that he can easily spare you till you have given me a start.” Sam informed Hingston of his successful tour and full houses and his invitations to lecture in Cincinnati, Boston, and St. Louis [MTL 2: 8-9].

In 1890 Sam gave this as the date he first saw Edward H. House (1836-1901). If Sam’s memory 23 years later was accurate, this corrects the February 1867 only entry [Feb. 5, 1890 to Sage] In his Feb. 16, 1896 to Charles H. Webb, Sam confirmed January, 1867 in N.Y. [MTP].

January 17 Thursday – A giant snowstorm hit New York. Temperatures were in the twenties.

January 18 Friday – Sam’s “Letter from Mark Twain” dated Dec. 20, 1866, subtitled “Away” ran in the Alta California, p.1 col. 3 [Schmidt; Camfield bibliog.].

January 19 Saturday – Sam’s article, “Mark Twain On Chambermaids,” was printed in the Californian [Schmidt]. Note: this was collected in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and other stories.

January 30 Wednesday – At the end of January, New York papers announced the “members of Beecher’s congregation are organizing an excursion to the Holy Land, Crimea and Greece. They propose to charter a steamer, and leave in June. Rev. Mr. Beecher and family go with them” [MTL 2: 14]. On this date the Alta California posted the announcement. Sanborn claims Sam learned of the planned excursion “sometime after mid-February,” but it is likely that Sam would have noticed the wide exposure within a few days [Sanborn 319].


February – Sam went to popular shows and lectures, measuring his own attraction against what sold well in the big city. He crammed into a space “about large enough to accommodate a small spittoon” and, on the 3rd, studied the “performance” of the popular preacher, Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1889).  

Sam made contact with Charles Webb, founder and former editor of The Californian, who was now back home in New York and living in an apartment only a few blocks from Sam’s Metropolitan Hotel. Webb and then co-editor Bret Harte had published a version of “The Jumping Frog” in December 1865. Webb encouraged Sam to collect sketches for a book, using the frog story as the lead story and the title. George W. Carleton once again refused to publish the story, even in a collection, so Webb agreed to publish it for a ten percent royalty.

Webb introduced Sam to Edward (Ned) H. House (1836-1901), a noted Civil War correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. Sam, upon learning of Beecher’s planned excursion to the Holy Land, wrote to Frederick MacCrellish (1828-1882) of the Alta, asking if the paper would pay his passage. While waiting, he decided to enter his name for the trip. The fare was $1,250 and the passenger list limited to 110. Beecher wanted to write a life of Jesus and needed to travel the Holy land. General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was going. Here was a trip that sparked Sam’s interest.

He took House with him to Captain Charles Crooker Duncan’s (1821-1898) Wall Street office, where Ned claimed Sam was a Baptist minister, in order to qualify as a character of high repute. However, they were unshaven and had stopped at a saloon for drinks. The next day Sam returned to Duncan, confessed his real identity, put down a deposit, and left character references [Sanborn 319-20].


February 1 Friday – Sam’s Feb. 2 letter to the Alta California referred to the prior night’s visit to the Century Club. (The letter ran in the Mar. 28 Alta.)

By permission, I visited the Century Club last night. The most unspeakably respectable Club in the United States, perhaps. It was storming like everything, and I thought there would necessarily be a small attendance, but this was not the case; the reading and supper rooms were crowded, and with the distinguished artists, authors and amateurs of New York. I averaged the heads, and they went three sizes larger than the style of heads I have been accustomed to. In one of the smaller rooms they averaged best—thirteen heads out of the twenty-seven present were what I choose to call prodigious. I never felt so subjugated in my life. And I was never so ashamed of wearing an 8 1/4 before [Schmidt].

February 2? Saturday – Sam wrote from New York to Mollie Clemens (now in Keokuk), complaining about Orion’s request of him to seek Judge Dixson about an advance on some mining stock. Sam wrote he was going to Washington (he did not go.) He also mentioned some “good offers” he’d had from New York newspapers.

Sam soon agreed to supply seven sketches at $25 each to the Sunday Mercury; a sketch for the Evening Express; and reprints of his Sandwich Islands Letters for the New York Weekly [MTL 2: 10-12].

By this date Sam had finished his travel letters for the Alta California [Sanborn 315]. Sam wrote to John McComb (1829-1896), editor and part owner of the Alta, sometime between this day and Feb. 7 about his compilation of sketches for publication [MTL 2: 13].

February 3 Sunday Sam, promised a seat in the pew of New York Sun owner Moses Sperry Beach (1822-1892) if he’d come early, went to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn to hear the sermon by Henry Ward Beecher [Hirst and Rowles, “William E. James” 17]. Sam related the experience in his Alta letter of Mar. 30, 1867:


I have been in a pious frenzy myself for a while. I went over two weeks ago, (the thermometer was at 180 degrees below zero, I should judge, and I walked as stiff-legged as a Chinaman, because the nerves all through me were frozen as taut as fiddle strings. I had been promised a seat in the pew of a New York editor, who told me to come “early.” I was at the church at ten o’clock Sunday morning. I thought that was early – and I knew precious well it was earlier than any Christian ought to be out of his bed on such a morning. The pavements were crowded with people trying to get in, and when I told the usher I was accredited to pew No. 46, he answered with an offended air:

“Forty-six! – pretty time of day to come for forty-six!—full an hour ago!” [MTL 2: 15].

February 17 Sunday – From Sam’s Feb.18 Alta letter, published Mar. 30:


I attended Bishop Southgate’s matinee yesterday after noon, in pursuance of my desire to test all the amusements of the metropolis. The ungodly are not slow to get up nick-names for sacred things here. All the pretty girls, and also all the young men who dote on them, go to the Sunday afternoon services at Bishop Southgate’s Church, in Thirty-eighth street, and they call it the Bishop’s “matinee;” and there is Dr. Bellows’ Church, in Fourth avenue, somewhere above Twentieth street—it is the wildest piece of architecture you ever saw—gridironed all over with alternate short bars of showy red and white, like a Confederate flag—so the ungodly call it the “Church of the Holy Zebra” [Schmidt]. Note: Dr. Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-1882); see insert.

February 18 Monday – From Sam’s letter this date to the Alta, published Mar. 30, reveals perhaps his first interest in automated typesetting:



I have been examining a machine to-day, partly owned by a Californian, which will greatly simplify, cheapen and expedite stereotyping. With a single alphabet of type, arranged around a wheel, the most elaborate book may be impressed, letter after letter, in plaster plates, ready for the reception of the melted metal, and do it faster than a printer could compose the matter. It works with a treadle and a bank of keys, like a melodeon. It does away with cases of types, setting up and distributing, and all the endless paraphernalia of a printing office. The little machine could prepare Webster’s Unabridged for the press in a space no larger than a common bath-room. By this invention, a man could set up, as a stereotyper, on a large scale, on a capital of $200. It will either print or stereotype music with the utmost accuracy. An elaborate “border” may be printed in three minutes, by repeated impressions of a single type. The funniest part of it is that the inventor does not know anything about the art of printing. But then he has invented all sorts of curious machines (among them a flying-ship,) without any mechanical education, and paints well in oils, and performs on the guitar and piano without having ever received musical instruction. The stereotyping machine has been patented in the United States, England and Prussia, and is to be exhibited at the Paris Exposition. The patent rights have been sold for fabulous sums. I send a rough specimen of the machine’s work [Schmidt].

February 19 Tuesday – At Cooper Hall in New York City, Sam was impressed by the platform speaking of 24-year-old Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (1842-1932), a Quaker girl who had been speaking for five years. Sam was in the audience at Dickinson’s lecture, “Something To Do, or Work for Women.” Dickinson was a force in the suffrage movement, and instrumental in adoption of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Sam’s future in-laws, the Langdons, had long been active in social activism in Elmira—the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves, key members of the Congregational Church, the Temperance movement, and Women’s rights [Skandera 146; NY Times, p7]. Note: The Times announcement of the lecture stated that Horace Greeley would be in the chair.


February 21 Thursday – This announcement appeared in the editorial column of Street and Smith’s New York Weekly, p. 4:

We are happy to announce that we have made an engagement with the celebrated “Mark Twain,” the California wit and humorist, who will furnish us with a series of his inimitable papers. “Mark Twain” stands a head and shoulders above most of the humorous writers of the day, and his contributions to our columns cannot fail to give the most complete satisfaction. Mark informs us that he is about to deliver in this city his great lecture on the Sandwich Islands, which for a series of nights crowded the largest lecture room in San Francisco to suffocation. He cannot help succeeding here, and we bespeak for him, in advance, full houses and “a pile of rocks.”

Note: The Weekly ran five of Sam’s early letters to the Sacramento Union, probably to stir up interest in the Frog book and for advertising the forthcoming New York lectures. The Weekly was “a shrewdly conducted periodical quite hospitable to humorous writers [and] seems to have been the first eastern publication to capitalize on Mark Twain’s growing popularity in the late sixties by publishing a connected series of his writings” [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p1-2].


February 22 Friday Alta California p. 1, col. 4, ran Sam’s “Letters from Mark Twain” Number 2, dated Dec. 20, “On board steamer COLUMBIA,” [Schmidt; Camfield bibliog.].

February 23 Saturday Sam’s Alta letter with this date complained of suffering from “the blues” and that his “thoughts persistently ran on funerals and suicide” [MTNJ 1: 301].

Edward P. Hingston, agent for Artemis Ward. wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s Feb. 23 to the Alta. “He is rusticating at the seaside. The hope is that he will be well in a week or two and able to reappear.” [MTP]. Note: the article ran in the Alta on 5 Apr 1867.

February 24 Sunday Alta California prints Sam’s “Letter from Mark Twain” number 3, dated Dec. 23, 1866, with article “Steamer COLUMBIA at sea” [Schmidt; Camfield bibliog.].

March 1 Friday Sam was invited and attended the opening of the spring season for the grand Bal d’Opera at the new Academy of Music. Sam dressed up in “flowing robes, and purported to be a king of some country or other” [Sanborn 320]. He would become famous for such sartorial exuberance.

March 2 Saturday Sam telegraphed the proprietors of the San Francisco Alta California (Fred MacCrellish, William Augustus Woodward (1829?-1885), Orlando M. Clayes (1837-1892), and John McComb). “Send me $1,200 at once. I want to go abroad.” Although the owners were skeptical, it was McComb who argued and won the day for Sam to travel abroad in exchange for letters to the Alta [MTL 2: 17].

March 3 Sunday On a snowy night Sam left New York for St. Louis on the 8 o’clock New Jersey Central. It was a 52-hour rail connection. On the same day the New York Sunday Mercury published “The Winner of the Medal,” by “that prince of humorous sightseers, Mark Twain, whose contributions to California light-literature has gained him a front-rank position among the sparkling wits of the Land of Gold” [MTL 2: 11n3, 18n1].

March 5 Tuesday The New York Saturday Evening Express published “Barnum’s First Speech in Congress,” by Mark Twain, on page one [MTL 2: 11-12n3]. Sam arrived in St. Louis at midnight after sitting up for two nights in coach due to full sleeping cars. Sam was returning home after six years and four months. He went directly to his sister Pamela’s house at 12 Chestnut Street, where he “sat up till breakfast time, talking and telling lies.” Sam’s niece, Annie Moffett, was almost fifteen and his namesake nephew, Sammy, was six [Sanborn 320-21; MTL 2: 18n1].

March 6 Wednesday Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) died of tuberculosis after his last performance on Jan. 23 in London. Ward was 33. He was interred near London but his body was later shipped back to America to be buried at Waterford, Maine. It arrived in New York in May, when Sam noted the event in one of his Alta letters.

March 7 Thursday The New York Weekly announced it would print (re-print) a series of Mark Twain’s “inimitable papers.” The weekly reprinted five of Sandwich Islands Letters to the Union, but without mention of the prior publication [MTL 2: 12n3].

March 12, 13 and 15 Friday Three articles: “Female Suffrage: Views of Mark Twain” first appeared in the St. Louis Missouri Democrat on these days [Budd, “Collected” 1007; MTTMB 287n1]. These were reprinted in the Alta California April 10, 28, and May 11. From two of Sam’s letters on suffrage:

I think I could write a pretty strong argument in favor of female suffrage, but I do not want to do it. I never want to see the women voting, and gabbling about politics, and electioneering. There is something revolting in the thought. It would shock me inexpressibly for an angel to come down from above and ask me to take a drink with him (though I should doubtless consent); but it would shock me still more to see one of our blessed earthly angels peddling election tickets among a mob of shabby scoundrels she never saw before.

Women, go your ways! Seek not to beguile us of our imperial privileges. Content yourself with your little feminine trifles—your babies, your benevolent societies and your knitting—and let your natural bosses do the voting. Stand back—you will be wanting to go to war next. We will let you teach school as much as you want to, and we will pay you half wages for it, too, but beware! we don’t want you to crowd us too much.– Letter to St. Louis Missouri Democrat, March, 1867 [Schmidt].

 From Annie Moffett Webster’s reminiscences about Sam:

Again, he had written a short article making fun of woman’s rights. It was published in one of the papers [Missouri Democrat]. A woman, a stranger, answered, signing herself “Cousin Jenny.” He replied, and they had a humorous literary duel. He said privately that his task would have been easier if she hadn’t had all the arguments on her side [MTBus 48].

March 13 Wednesday Sam’s “Volley from the Down-Trodden” ran in the Missouri Democrat [Camfield bibliog.].

March 14 Thursday – The first of five letters from Hawaii, reprints of five early Sacramento Union letters with “a few minor omissions” ran in the New York Weekly. Dated Mar. 18, 1866, beginning: “We arrived here to-day at noon…” this first article omitted “the short anecdote of Brown’s mistaking a cake of soap for a ‘curious foreign dish’” [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p2-3]. These letters are notable for their promotional value to Sam’s upcoming New York lecture.


March 15 Friday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE FIRST DEATH” which Sam had dated from December 24 to January 1 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number IV [bibliog.]. Sam’s article “Iniquitous Crusade Against’ Man’s Regal Birthright Must Be Crushed” ran in the Missouri Democrat [Camfield bibliog.].


March 16 Saturday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE TWIN MOUNTAINS” which Sam dated New Year’s Day [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number V [bibliog.].

March 17 Sunday Sam was asked to make a few remarks to a Sunday school, at his sister Pamela’s church. Sam told the “Jumping Frog” story, but could not supply a moral from the story, so “let it slide” [MTL 2: 19 n2; Sanborn 322].

Alta California printed Sam’s article “UNDER WAY AGAIN” which Sam dated Jan. 1 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number VI [bibliog.]. Sam’s article “A Curtain Lecture Concerning Skating” ran in the New York Sunday Mercury [Camfield bibliog.].

The St. Louis Missouri Republican published “Cruelty to Strangers,” a letter to the editor, signed with his pen name, making light of a local law against “lying on the grass” [MTPO Notes Aug 1, 1876 to Cist].

March 19 Tuesday Sam wrote from St. Louis to Charles Webb asking Webb to telegraph the expected publishing date of the Jumping Frog book, saying that if it is more than ten days off, “I had better lecture here.” Sam felt he would have to return to New York if the book was to be out soon. Webb answered that he could not have the book out before April 25 [MTL 2: 18; Sanborn 323]. Note: The book was not published until about May 1 and never sold well. Webb simply didn’t have “the stuff” to market Sam properly.

March 23 Saturday Alta California printed Sam’s article “KEY WEST” dated Jan. 6 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number VII [bibliog.].


March 24 Sunday Sam was asked to speak at a Sunday school in Carondelet, a town bordering St. Louis. Sam told the John Godfrey sky-rocket story that later appeared in Roughing It [Sanborn 323].

Sam wrote a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican [Tenney 2]. A humorous advertisement for the Mar. 25 lecture also ran in the same paper, repeating Sam’s promise, first made in the Petaluma performance, to show how cannibals would eat a child, given a volunteer from the audience [Lorch 54].

Sam’s article “Barbarous” ran in the New York Sunday Mercury [Camfield bibliog.].

March 25 Monday In St. Louis, Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture to a standing room only crowd at Mercantile Library Hall for the benefit of the South St. Louis Mission Sunday School.

March 26 Tuesday At Mercantile Library Hall in St. Louis, Sam repeated the lecture, but due to bad weather only about 80 showed up. In the audience was Henry M. Stanley (1841-1904) of Livingstone fame, reporting for a Missouri paper. Stanley took down much of Sam’s lecture in shorthand [Lorch 56]. See Mar. 28 entry. On the first performance, from the St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican:

The audience was large and appreciative, and financially and every other way the entertainment proved a complete success. In fact, Mark Twain achieved a very decided success. He succeeded in doing what we have seen Emerson and other literary magnates fail in attempting. He interested and amused a large and promiscuous audience.

Mark has the gift of a bright and happy fancy, and expresses his thoughts with no ordinary force and gracefulness of language. His descriptive powers are good, and his descriptive powers very fair for a young lecturer.

Sam received three invitations to lecture at Hannibal, Keokuk, and Quincy. He accepted all three [MTL 2: 19n2]. Lorch says these were “invitations, rather than any direct efforts of scheduling on his part” [57].

March 27 Wednesday ca. – On or about this day Sam traveled to Hannibal, where he stayed about a week [Lorch 57].

March 28 Thursday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE OVERGROWN METROPLOIS” dated Feb.2 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number VIII [bibliog.]. Henry M. Stanley reviewed Sam’s lecture of Mar. 26 for the St. Louis Daily Missouri Democrat. “Everyone retired highly delighted with the irrepressible Californian,” wrote Stanley, who became a rather controversial figure by 1872, when Sam first visited England. Stanley claimed to be American but was born in Wales [MTL 5: 201n3&4]. Note: Lorch claims Stanley reported for the Missouri Republican [56].

The second of five letters from Hawaii, reprints of five early Sacramento Union letters with “a few minor omissions” ran in the New York Weekly. Dated Mar. 19, 1866 and beginning “On the Sunday following our departure…” this second article omitted “two short paragraphs on why the steamship line to Hawaii should be established” [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p2-3]. These letters are notable for their promotional value to Sam’s upcoming New York lecture.


March 30 Saturday Alta California printed Sam’s article “MY ANCIENT FRIENDS, THE POLICE” dated Feb. 18 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number IX [bibliog.].

April 2 Tuesday Sam lectured in Brittingham Hall in his old hometown of Hannibal [MTL 2: 19n2]. Hannibal gave Sam the largest turnout in its history, though turning out wasn’t what put Hannibal on the map.

April 4 Thursday Sam arrived in Keokuk at the Deming House four days before his lecture. He probably spent the time visiting Orion and Mollie, as well as other friends and cousins [MTL 2: 20 n2]. Posters were placed on street corners claiming that “Sam Clemens, the greatest Humorist in America,” was arriving to lecture [Lorch 57].

April 5 Friday Sam moved to the Tepfer House because he did not like the service at the Deming House [MTL 2: 20n2]. Alta California printed Sam’s article, “THE DREADFUL RUSSIAN BATH,” dated Feb. 23. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number X [bibliog.].

But the popular bar-keeper is the serenest villain of the lot. You have seen a vile, infernal waiter stand staring at vacancy with his complacent, exasperating smirk, pretending he didn’t know you had been trying to attract his attention for ten minutes—well, the popular bar-keeper mimics that to a charm. He even improves on it. When a party of gentlemen finally get him to notice them after much rattling of glasses, he don’t bow and smile and say “What will you have, gentlemen?” But he turns languidly upon them with an expression of countenance obtrusively intended to inform them that he knew they were calling all the time, and then stares impertinently at them without a word. That means, “Well, if you are going to name your drinks, you had better do it, that’s all!” It has a most excellent tendency—it soon stops people from drinking.

If a man asks the popular cigar-vendor “Which are the best?” he intimates that he isn’t paid to choose cigars for people, or relieves his mind of some similar incivility. Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know of [Schmidt].

April 6 Saturday – The Keokuk Gate City gave Sam a friendly welcome.

His are not the worn-out jests, and hackneyed phrases…he is fresh and vigorous, full of life and spirit….Years ago, before the war, Mark Twain…was one of the cleverest and most popular “printer boys” in Keokuk. He returns to us now, a famous man, and proverbs or scripture to the contrary, we trust that our citizens will honor him with a rousing house….[Lorch 57].

April 7 Sunday Sam’s article “Female Suffrage” ran in the New York Mercury [Budd, “Collected” 1007].

April 8 Monday – Sam lectured at the Chatham Square Methodist Episcopal Church in Keokuk, Iowa to about 140 persons – “Sandwich Islands” [MTL 2: 20].

April 9 Tuesday – From the Keokuk Constitution:

It has been many a day since our ribs were tickled so much as at listening to Sam Clemens’ lecture last evening upon the Sandwich Islands….Those of our citizens who did not hear the lecture missed one of the richest treats of their lives [Lorch 57-8].

Sam lectured – “Sandwich Islands” – at the National Hall, Quincy, Illinois, where Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) had spoken in February. Lorch points out, “relatives of the family were living there in 1867 who may have arranged an invitation” [57].

Alta California printed Sam’s article “GRAND EUROPEAN PLEASURE TRIP,” dated Mar. 2 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number XI [bibliog.].

In his letter to the Alta, which ran May 26, Sam mentioned staying in Quincy with General James W. Singleton (1811-1892) .

But Quincy is a wonderful place. It has always thrived—sometimes slowly and steadily, sometimes with a rush—but always making an unquestionable progress. It claims a population of 25,000 now, and it looks as if the claim were well founded. It is the second city of Illinois, in population, business, activity and enterprise, and high promise for the future. I have small faith in their project of bridging the Mississippi, but they ought to know their own business.

I spent a night at General Singleton’s—one of the farmer princes of Illinois—he lives two miles from Quincy, in a very large and elegantly furnished house, and does an immense farming business and is very wealthy. He lights his house with gas made on the premises—made from the refuse of petroleum, by pressure. The apparatus could be stowed in a bath-room very conveniently. All you have to do is to pour a gallon or two of the petroleum into a brass cylinder and give a crank a couple of turns and the business is done for the next two days. He uses seventy burners in his house, and his gas bills are only a dollar and a quarter a week. I don’t take any interest in prize bulls, astonishing jackasses and prodigious crops, but I took a strong fancy to that gas apparatus [Schmidt].

On this same day, a letter from Sam concerning his lecture ran in the to the Quincy Herald. The letter was preceded by another from one “John Smith” (imaginary), asking him to lecture in Quincy. Sam’s reply:

John Smith, Esq.—Dear Sir: It gratifies me, more than tongue can express, to receive this kind attention at your hand, and I hasten to reply to your flattering note. I am filled with astonishment to find you here, John Smith. I am astonished, because I thought you were in San Francisco. I am almost certain I left you there. I am almost certain it was you, and I know if it was not you, it was a man whose name is familiar.

I am surprised to find you here, John Smith. And yet I ought not to be, either, because I found you in New York, most unexpectedly; and I stumbled on you in Boston; and was amazed to discover you in New Orleans; and thunder-struck to run across you in St. Louis. You must certainly be of a sort of roving disposition, John Smith. You certainly are, John, and you know that a rolling stone gathers no moss. And a rolling Smith never gathers any moss. There is no real use in anybody’s gathering moss, John, because it isn’t worth any more in the market than sawdust is, and hardly even as much—but then, if we want to get along pleasantly with the world, we must respect the world’s little whims and caprices; and you know that the world has a foolish prejudice in favor of a man’s gathering moss. So you had better locate, John, and go to gathering some. It is no credit to you, anyhow, John Smith, that you are always sure to turn up wherever a man goes. It may be—no, it cannot be possible—that there are two John Smiths. The idea is absurd.

Come to National Hall Tuesday night, 9th inst., John, and bring some of your relations. I would say bring all of them, John, and say it with all my heart, too, but the hall covers only one acre of ground, and your Smith family is a large one, John [The Twainian, May 1939 p2-3; Lorch 58-9].


April 11 Thursday Sam wrote from St. Louis to Howard Tucker, treasurer of the Keokuk Library Association, which sponsored Sam’s lecture, confirming receipt of $35 as his fee [MTL 2: 20].

Sam also wrote to a fellow passenger on the Ajax from his Hawaii trip, Alice J. Hyde (1844?-1878). Alice was a single woman; Sam had promised her a silver sword leaf (a plant growing only in altitude in Hawaii) upon climbing Haleakala.

Packing my trunk to-night (for I leave to-morrow for New York, &, I suppose, for Europe a month later,) I came across the old swords, & hasten to send them, begging at the same time that you will excuse my characteristic negligence. I had to send them—I wouldn’t consider the Island trip complete with so chivalrous a promise, so knightly a deed as the disarming of a crater many times larger than myself & the laying of his weapons at the feet of a lady, unaccomplished. How’s that? I think I’ll put that in my lecture [MTL 2: 21].

The third of five letters from Hawaii, reprints of five early Sacramento Union letters with “a few minor omissions” ran in the New York Weekly. Dated Honolulu, March, 1866 and beginning “We came in sight of two of this group of islands, Oahu and Molokai…” this article had no omissions [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p2-3]. Note: These letters are notable for their promotional value to Sam’s upcoming lecture.


April 12 Friday Before leaving the city, Sam petitioned the Polar Star Masonic Lodge Number Seventy-nine of St. Louis for readmission. He was duly reinstated on April 21, 1867, by which time he was in New York [Jones 365].

Sam left St. Louis for New York “in an express train…a distance of nearly twelve hundred miles by the route I came” [MTL 2: 23n1].

April 13 Saturday – The New York Eagle announced that Henry Ward Beecher would not go on the Quaker City excursion. Forty of his parishioners then decided not to go. General Sherman also would bail out, citing Indian wars [MTL 2: 25n3; MTNJ 1: 303].

April 14 Sunday Sam arrived back in New York.


April 15 Monday Sam wrote from New York to Jane Clemens, his mother and family in St. Louis. Sam discovered he didn’t have to rush back to New York because an agent for the Alta had been there and took care of the passage for Sam by this deadline date. He wrote his mother to send letters to the Metropolitan Hotel. He also had seen the steamer Quaker City: “She is a right stately-looking vessel” [MTL 2: 23].

John J. Murphy,  New York business agent for the California Alta wrote


New York em spaceDear Sir

I have the honor to inform you that Fredk MacCrellish & Co. Proprietors of “Alta California” San Francisco Cal. desires to engage your services as special correspondent on the pleasure excursion now about to proceed from this City to the Holy Land. In obedience to their instructions I have secured a passage for you on the vessel about to convey the excursion party referred to and made such arrangements as I hope will secure your comfort and convenience. Your only instructions are that you will continue to write at such times and from such places as you deem proper and in the same style that heretofore secured you the favor of the readers of the Alta California. I have the honor to remain with high respect and esteem / your obdt Servant [MTP].

April 19 Friday Sam wrote from New York to Jane Clemens, his mother and family in St. Louis.

Direct my letters to this hotel [Westminster] in future. I am just fixed, now. It is the gem of all hotels. I have never come across one so perfectly elegant in all its appointments & so sumptuously & tastefully furnished. Full of “bloated aristocrats” too, & I’m just one of them kind myself—& so is Beck Jolly. The book will issue the 25. James Russell Lowell [1819-1891] says the Jumping Frog is the finest piece of humorous writing ever produced in America [MTL 2: 27-28].


April 1922 Monday – Sam walked into Frank Fuller’s office at 57 Broadway and sought his help to hire the largest hall possible for a lecture. Fuller offered to help, and devised means of advertising; called up a meeting of all Pacific Coast persons in town at the Metropolitan Hotel, and became Sam’s instant promoter. Since Sam wrote nothing of the effort in his Apr. 19 letter home, and the newspapers began announcing the upcoming lecture at Cooper Institute on Apr. 23, the meeting with Fuller and the gathering at the Metropolitan Hotel must have occurred during this period [Lorch 61-2]. (See Sam’s 1906 recollection of Fuller and the Cooper Institute lecture, MTA 2: 351-7; also AMT 2: 38-41).

April 21 Sunday The Polar Star Masonic Lodge Number Seventy-nine of St. Louis duly reinstated Sam to their order [Jones 365]. Sam’s article “Official Physic” ran in the New York Mercury [Camfield bibliog.].

April 22 Monday Sam wrote a humorous response to Malcom Townsend (b.1847), an autograph seeker, starting “of long habit” to write an I.O.U. [MTL 2: 28]. See source note 1 for more on Townsend.

James Warren Nye  wrote from Wash. DC to Sam, pleased to hear that Twain would repeat his lecture on the Sandwich Islands in NYC. Nye had been at the SF performance. “A larger or more intelligent audience than was present on that occasion I have rarely seen” He hoped it would be so rec’d in NYC [MTP].


April 23 Tuesday Sam wrote from New York to Charles Warren Stoddard (1843-1909), a California poet he’d met in San Francisco in 1864 or 5 while both were writing for the Californian. Stoddard had written Sam announcing a book of poetry to be published [MTL 2: 29-30&n1]. New York papers started announcing Sam’s upcoming debut lecture in the City—Great Hall of the Peter Cooper Institute at Astor Place. The hall seated 2,000 [Powers, MT A Life 189].

April 27 Saturday Sam wrote from New York to Charles Warren Stoddard, returning his autograph book and discussing poetry [MTL 2: 35-8].

April 29 Monday – Sam’s Jumping Frog book sold out of its first printing by this date. Charles Webb never disclosed the sell-outs and sales figures to Sam and never paid royalties even though the book was in print through 1870 [Slotta 20]. (See Dec. 22, 1870 entry. Also A.D. notes AMT 2: 487 showing 4,076 books printed.)


April 30 or May 1 Wednesday After several delays, Webb published The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches [Hirst, “A Note on the Text,” Oxford edition 1996].


May Sam spent weeks in New York, catching up on his letters to the Alta California. He gathered information from a variety of sources on subjects of interest to Alta readers. He compiled information on the popularity of California wines in the East, on New York weather, on the better hotels. He visited the Blind Asylum, the Midnight Mission, which tried to help prostitutes, the Five Points slums, and the Bible House. At the Bible House Sam introduced himself to Herman Dyer, doctor of divinity, and told him about the good work and influence that Rev. Franklin S. Rising had gained in Nevada for the miners and settlers there [Dyer 315]. Rising had been with Sam on the Smyrniote, returning from Hawaii in 1866, and is mentioned in Sam’s diary (see July 29, 1866). Rising died in Dec. 1868 in a collision of the steamers America and United States on the Ohio River [MTL 1: 354n3].

See May 20 for Sam’s letter to the Alta California about his visit to the Bible House.

Sam saw the famous horse “Dexter” race. He spent an evening at Harry Hill’s Club House with bawdy skits and music and a good bar. He toured museums and art galleries. One painting by an “old master” Sam said he could not admire, even though he knew he was supposed to. “I am glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner.” Sam noted that the body of Artemus Ward had arrived from London, on the way to burial in Waterford, Maine. Sam went to see the San Francisco Minstrels several times.

May 1 Wednesday Fuller and Sam had taken Cooper Institute’s hall at a $500 expense before they discovered the many competing attractions: Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) speaking at Irving Hall; Adelaide Ristori (1822-1906), famous singer, at the French Theatre; Thomas Maguire’s “Imperial Troupe of Japanese Jugglers” at the New York Academy of Music; and “The Black Crook,” an act Lorch calls “the most daring girlie show of the time,” at Niblo’s Garden [Lorch 63].

Sam wrote from New York to his mother, Jane Clemens, and family in St. Louis, expressing worry. He told of his hiring the Cooper at a $500 expense, his worry for the outcome, the conflict with other attractions:

“…everything looks shady, at least, if not dark….I have taken the largest house in New York, and cannot back water. Let her slide! If nobody else cares I don’t” [MTL 2: 38].

Sam inscribed a copy of the Jumping Frog: “To My Mother—the dearest Friend I even had, & the truest. Mark Twain. New York, May 1, 1867 [MTL 2: 38-9n1-2].

Sam also wrote Bret Harte:

The book [Jumping Frog] is out, & is handsome. It is full of damnable errors of grammar & deadly inconsistencies of spelling…I was away & did not read the proofs—but be a friend and say nothing of these things. When my hurry is over I will send you an autograph copy to pisen the children with….I am to lecture in Cooper Institute next Monday night. Pray for me. We sail for the Holy Land June 8. Try & write me (to this hotel,) & it will be forwarded to Paris, where we remain 10 to 15 days [MTL 2: 39].

Due to pre-publication editions of the Jumping Frog, reviews appeared on May 1:


In full: Mr. C.H. Webb has celebrated his debut as publisher by bestowing upon a community long rested from loud laughs, a book calculated to promote healthy good humor in the system. Mark Twain’s book of California stories, The Jumping Frog and Other Sketches—is a work that will make all its readers merry. Mark Twain never resorts to tricks of spelling nor rhetorical buffoonery for the purpose of provoking a laugh; the vein of his humor runs too high and deep to make surface-gilding necessary.—But there are few who can resist the quaint smiles, keen satire, and hard good sense which form the staple of his writings (“Literacy” in the New York Evening Express, p2) [Budd, Reviews 25].

There is a great deal of quaint humor and much pithy wisdom in his writings, and their own merit, as well as the attractive style in which they are produced, must secure them a popularity which will bring its own profit… (“New Publications” in the New York Times, p2) [Budd, Reviews 25].

May 2 Thursday – The second printing of Jumping Frog sold out [Slotta 20]. Over the next few days a third and fourth printings also sold out, but this information was never given to Sam. (See Dec.22, 1870 entry. Also A.D. notes AMT 2: 487 showing 4,076 books printed.)


May 4 Saturday – Positive reviews of The Jumping Frog continued. From the Boston Evening Transcript, p.1:

As a humorist the author of these sketches has acquired a wide newspaper reputation, not only for his drollery, but for his sagacity of observation, his keep perception of character, and the individuality of his style and tone of thinking (“New Publications” in the Boston Evening Transcript, p1) [Budd, Reviews 25].

The New York Citizen agreed, adding:

Mark Twain is a genuine humorist….He imitates no one, but is humor is thoroughly and entirely his own (“The Citizen’s Book Table” in the New York Citizen, p4) [Budd, Reviews 26].

May 5 Sunday – From the New York Dispatch:

Of the great army of humorists, we have always placed Mark Twain at the head, and it is, we believe, universally concluded that his quiet wit, forcible hits and unwavering pleasantry, combined with a certain gravity of expression peculiar to himself, are points not to be found in other funny writers of his day, and are as admirable as they are scarce (“New Publications” in the New York Dispatch, p7) [Budd, Reviews 26].

May 6 Monday Upon his return to New York, Sam had been presented with an invitation (a “call”) by 200 Californians living in New York to give his Sandwich Islands lecture. Frank Fuller, a Comstock mining pal of Sam’s and later governor of Utah for a day, headed the California committee. Sam and Fuller set this as the date of the lecture and hired Cooper Institute’s Hall, one of the largest in the city. Nevada Senator and former Territorial Governor James Warren Nye was to introduce Sam. Sam and Fuller waited at the Westminster Hotel, but Nye did not show, later claiming the reason was that Sam was “secesh,” even though Fuller had gone to Washington and secured Nye’s agreement. Lorch points out that Nye’s betrayal afforded Sam a “true blessing. It taught him that self-introductions had special advantages, especially for a humorous lecture” [65].

Nevertheless, the standing-room only New York lecture was a great success. Many were turned away for want of space. Sam’s worries had been for naught. “Make your mark in New York, and you are a made man” [Sanborn 228-30; MTL 2: 40]. Sam was a made man. (See May 11 Tribune review.) Note: Paine claims Fuller had given out enough complimentary tickets to schoolteachers to fill the house [MTB 315-17].

May 7 Tuesday –The New York newspapers were complimentary, if brief, about Sam’s May 6 lecture at the Cooper Institute. Lorch says “The most extensive and perceptive” review was by Edward H. House of the New York Tribune [66]. Fatout says there were “ten lines in the Sun, twenty in the Herald, thirty-eight in the Times, a quarter of a column in the World[Circuit 80]. Sam met “Ned” House shortly after arriving in New York; It was House who had accompanied Sam to sign up for the Quaker City excursion.


May 8 WednesdayCharles Webb published a special railway edition of Jumping Frog with paper wrappers. It was only available at railway stations in New York City and was quickly discontinued [Slotta 20]. (See Dec.22, 1870 entry; Also A.D. notes AMT 2: 487 showing 4,076 books printed.)


May 10 Friday Sam repeated his successful “Sandwich Islands” lecture at the Athenæum in Brooklyn [MTL 2: 40]. From the Brooklyn Eagle of May 11:


It would be manifestly unfair to report this most acceptable lecture, and no type could do justice to the cool, self-possession of the lecturer. His style is quaint and taking, and commends itself to an audience before they are aware of it, and is entirely original….In California Mr. Twain is well known, and draws like a poultice, but among us he is a stranger. Notwithstanding this he will soon win his way to public favor, as show by the very flattering reception given him in New York at the Cooper Institute and last evening at the Athenaeum. [Note: this review likely written by John Stanton (Corry O’Lanus).]


May 11 Saturday – John Stanton (Corry O’Lanus) (1826-1871) was a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle, and likely the reviewer of Sam’s May 10 lecture at the Brooklyn Athenaeum. Shortly thereafter, Sam inscribed (no date written) a copy of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches: To Cory [sic] O’Lanus, the compt’s of Mark Twain[Sotheby’s Apr. 4, 2004 auction, Lot 18]. 


May 11 Saturday ca. Sam spent a night in jail, having got in between two men fighting on the street. The police hauled everyone in [Sanborn 331-3].

I was on my way home with a friend a week ago—it was about midnight—when we came upon two men who were fighting. We interfered like a couple of idiots, and tried to separate them, and a brace of policemen came up and took us all off to the Station House. We offered the officers two or three prices to let us go, (policemen generally charge $5 in assault and battery cases, and $25 for murder in the first degree, I believe,) but there were too many witnesses present, and they actually refused.

They put us in separate cells, and I enjoyed the thing considerably for an hour or so, looking through the bars at the dilapidated old hags, and battered and ragged bummers, sorrowing and swearing in the stone-paved halls, but it got rather tiresome after a while. I fell asleep on my stone bench at 3 o’clock, and was called at dawn and marched to the Police Court with a vile policeman at each elbow, just as if I had been robbing a church, or saying a complimentary word about the police, or doing some other supernaturally mean thing [Schmidt; from a letter to the Alta datelined May 18 and printed June 23].

May 11 Saturday From the New York Tribune’s review of Sam’s May 6 New York lecture by: Edward H. House: 

Mark Twain as a Lecturer

About a year and a half ago, a communication entitled “Joe Smiley and his Jumping Frog,” with the hitherto unknown signature of “Mark Twain,” appeared in The Saturday Press of this city. The name, though new, was not remarkable, but the style of the letter was so singularly fresh, original, and full of character as to attract prompt and universal attention among the readers of light humorous literature. Mark Twain was immediately entered as a candidate for high position among writers of his class, and passages from his first contribution to the metropolitan press became proverbs in the mouths of his admirers. No reputation was ever more rapidly won. The only doubt appeared to be whether he could satisfactorily sustain it. Subsequent productions, however—most of them reproduced from California periodicals—confirmed the good opinion so suddenly vouchsafed him, and abundantly vindicated the applause with which his first essay had been received. In his case, as in that of many other American humorous writers, it was only the first step that cost. Since that time he has walked easily—let us hope not too easily—over his special course.

His writings being comparatively new to the public, and his position having been so recently established, it might perhaps, have been doubted whether his name would at present be sufficient to attract an audience of any magnitude to witness his debut as a lecturer. But the proof of the general good-will in which he is already held was manifested last Monday evening by his brilliant reception at the Cooper Institute. The hall was crowded beyond all expectation. Not a seat was vacant, and all the aisles were filled with attentive listeners. The chance offering of “The Jumping Frog,” carelessly cast, eighteen months ago, upon the Atlantic waters, returned to him in the most agreeable form which a young aspirant for popular fame could desire. The wind that was sowed with probably very little calculation as to its effect upon its future prospects, now enables him to reap quite a respectable tempest of encouragement and cordiality. His greeting was such as to inspire the utmost ease and confidence, and it is pleasant to add that his performance in every way justified the favor bestowed upon him. No other lecturer, of course excepting Artemus Ward, has so thoroughly succeeded in exciting the mirthful curiosity, and compelling the laughter of his hearers [Railton].

The Sandwich Islands lecture review and a “Letter from Twain’s Publisher” by Charles Webb which ran in the Brooklyn Eagle, reflect that Sam was not yet well known in the east. The newspaper had posted a publication notice a few days before for the Jumping Frog book and mistakenly identified Webb as the author. Here is Webb’s correction, which ran on page 3 under the review of Sam’s lecture:

While thanking you for this kind notice which appeared in a recent EAGLE, in connection with that lively book, “the Jumping Frog,” permit me to correct an error into which you were betrayed. I am not TWAIN. We twain, so to speak, are not one flesh! The real name of that gentleman is Samuel L. Clemens. But I am the “Mr. Paul” to whom reference was made as the editor of the book, “John Paul” being the nom de plume over which I contributed to the Sacramento Union. With the trifling exception that I am not the man you supposed me to be, the notice referred to is quite correct. Very truly, C.H. Webb.


May 13 Monday Alta California printed Sam’s article “HAPPY,” dated Mar. 15 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number XII [bibliog.].

May 14 Tuesday Sam wrote to John Stanton (Corry O’Lanus) city editor of the Eagle, asking if “a brother member of the press” might introduce him at his fourth lecture, which was later canceled [MTL 2: 44].


May 15 Wednesday Sam repeated his successful “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Irving Hall in New York. He planned a fourth New York lecture in Brooklyn at the Academy of Music but canceled [MTL 2: 40]. Note: Several authorities have misdated this lecture as May 16. The New York Times, May 14 & 15 ads, p.7, confirms 15th. Lorch points out the “enormous” importance of these three New York area lectures—they provided him with added celebrity for the Holy Land excursion, but most of all “his fear of the greater sophistication of eastern audiences greatly diminished” [67].

By this time Thomas Nast (1840-1902) had become a Mark Twain fan.

May 16 Thursday Sam spotted the ex-leader of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.

IT WAS just a lucky circumstance that I happened to be out late night before last, else I might never have been permitted to see the chief of the late Confederacy in life. I was standing in front of the New York Hotel at midnight, or thereabouts, talking with a clerk of the establishment, when the Davis party arrived, and I got a tolerably good look at the man who has been raising such a dust in this country for years. He is tall and spare—that was all I could make of him—and then he disappeared.

There was no crowd around, no torchlight processions, no music, no welcoming cannon—and better than all, no infuriated mob, thirsting for blood and vengeance. The man whose arrival in New York a year or two ago would have set the city wild with excitement from its centre to its circumference, had ceased to rank as a sensation, and went to his hotel as unheralded and unobserved as any country merchant from the far West. He was a fallen Chief, he was an extinguished sun—we all know that—and yet it seemed strange that even an unsuccessful man, with such a limitless celebrity, could drop in our midst in that way, and go out as meekly as a farthing candle [Schmidt – Letter to the Alta datelined May 17, published June 16; date of incident given as “the night after his Irving Hall talk” by Powers, MT A Life 193].

Rasmussen gives May 15 of Sam seeing Jefferson Davis [106].

May 19 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “AT HOME AGAIN,” dated Mar. 25 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” Number XIII [bibliog.].

May 20 Monday Sam wrote John Stanton (Corry O’Lanus) again, this time advising him of the canceled New York lecture:

“I am one magazine article & eighteen letters behindhand (18 days to do them in, before sailing,) & so I am obliged to give up the idea of lecturing any more. Confound me if I won’t have a hard time catching up anyhow. I shall stick in the house day & night for 2 weeks & try, though, anyhow” [MTL 2: 45].

Sam also responded in writing to Henry M. Crane (1838-1927) of Rondout (now Kingston, N.Y.), that due to his need to finish the Alta letters, he could not accept Crane’s invitation to lecture there [MTL 2: 47-8].

A third letter this date was to Sam’s mother and family. In that short note, Sam bemoaned his eighteen Alta letters due, refusal of all lecture invitations and the poor sales of his Jumping Frog book, though another 552 copies of the book were bound this day [MTL 2: 48-9; Powers, MT a Life 190].

Sam wrote about his visit to the Bible House in NYC. Printed in the Alta California.

MIXED UP SLIGHTLY.—Here is a little article from the pen of Mark Twain, giving an account of a visit while in New York, to the great Bible House :


“Still on the fifth floor is a huge room with nineteen large Adams’ steam presses, all manned by women (four of them confounded pretty, too,) snatching of Bibles in Dutch, Hebrew, Yam-yam, Cherokee, etc., at a rate that was truly fructifying to contemplate. (I don’t know the meaning of that word, but I see it used somewhere yesterday, and it struck me as being an unusually good word. Any time that I put in a word that doesn’t balance the sentence good, I would be glad if you would take it out and put in that one.) Adjoining was another huge room for drying the sheets (very pretty girls in there, and young,) and pressing them (the sheets, not the girls.) They used hydraulic presses, (three of the prettiest wore curls, and never a sign of a waterfall—the girls I mean), and each of them is able to down with the almost incredible weight of eight hundred tons of solid simonpure pressure (the hydraulics I am referring to, now, of course,) and one has got blue eyes and both the others brown; ah me! I have got this hydraulic business tangled a little, but I can swear that it is no fault of mine. You needn’t go to blame me about it. You have got to pay just the same as if it were as straight as a shingle. I can’t afford to go in dangerous places, and then my wages docked in the bargain” [Alta California; Note: reprinted in the May 22, 1868 edition of The Oregonian].


May 23 Thursday – The fourth of five letters from Hawaii, reprints of five early Sacramento Union letters with “a few minor omissions” ran in the New York Weekly. Dated Honolulu, March, 1866 and beginning “I did not expect to find as comfortable hotel as the American…” this article omitted “the particulars that a lady passenger from San Francisco had purchased a half interest in the American Hotel and that Mr. Laller, an American, runs a restaurant in Honolulu” [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p2-3].


May 26 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “NOTABLE THINGS IN ST.LOUIS,” dated Apr. 16 [Schmidt], mentioned his April visit to Quincy, Illinois and his stay with General James W. Singleton. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 14 [bibliog.]. “Singleton, who had lived on his stock farm near Quincy since 1854 and was noted for his hospitality. As Brigadier-General in the Illinois State Militia, he had played an active part in the Mormon riots during the early forties; tradition relates that he arrested Brigham Young and kept him sawing wood all night. When Mark Twain visited him, Singleton was practicing law; ten years later he was elected to Congress from Illinois” [MTTMB 289].

May 28 Tuesday – Sam reported to the Alta and criticized the dry goods multimillionaire’s home (Alexander T. Stewart) saying that it looked “like a mausoleum”: “Verily it is one thing to have cash and another to know how to spend it” [MTL 1: 6-9n11]. Fresh in New York back in 1853 (“I was a pure and sinless sprout”), Sam had been impressed by Stewart’s “Marble Palace,” an ostentatious dry-good store, but now Sam was older and wiser and saw that all that glittered was not in good taste. He extolled the virtues of Daniel Slote (1828?-1882) as his cabin-mate to be: [Slote] “has got many shirts, and a History of the Holy Land, a cribbage-board and three thousand cigars. I will not have to carry any baggage at all” [MTL 3: 177n3].

Note: Sometime in late May Sam met Daniel Slote, a bachelor older than Sam and soon to be a fellow passenger on the Quaker City. Sam visited Dan’s home during the end of May, where Dan’s mother, a widow, lived with Dan and his two single adult sisters.

JuneWilliam Morris Stewart (1827-1909) wrote to Sam sometime during the month offering Clemens a secretaryship at Washington. See Aug. 9 for Sam’s reply [MTP].

June 1 Saturday Sam wrote from New York to his mother and family in St. Louis, irritated about the wait, and uncertain if the Quaker City would even sail. He was no doubt down about the withdrawal of General Sherman and Henry Ward Beecher, and pressed to finish his writing duties

All I do know or feel, is, that I am wild with impatience to move—move—Move! …Curse the endless delays! They always kill me—make me neglect every duty & then I have a conscience that tears me like a wild beast. I wish I never had to stop anywhere a month.” Sam had scouted some of the passengers and looked forward to the company of one, Daniel Slote: “I have got a splendid, immoral, tobacco-smoking, wine-drinking, godless room-mate who is as good & true & right-minded as man as ever lived—a man whose blameless conduct & example will always be an eloquent sermon to all who shall come within their influence. But send on the professional preachers—there are none I like better to converse with—if they ain’t narrow minded & bigoted they make good companions.

Sam closed by saying he had not made arrangements for letters with any other New York papers but he would see about doing so “Monday or Tuesday” [MTL 2: 50].

Sam started a letter (finished June 8) before the steamer left port to Frank Fuller, asking him to “take charge of my affairs while I am gone to Europe,” which included collecting monies from Webb for sales of his Jumping Frog book and forwarding the amounts to his mother [MTL 2: 53, 62].


June 2 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE MORMONS,” which Sam had dated April 19 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 15 [bibliog.].

June 3 or 4 Tuesday Sam agreed to write letters during the trip for the New York Tribune and the New York Herald, at the rates of $40 to $50 dollars per column of type. He eventually published six letters in the Tribune and four in the Herald [MTL 2: 55n3]. Note: Sam may have hated the duty of writing his correspondent letters, but he didn’t shirk from loading his plate with more duty. This was due to an overabundance of affection for money, preferably not in greenbacks.


June 5 Wednesday Sam wrote to the Alta his impressions of New York, so different they were from those of his first visit in 1853: “I have at last, after several months’ experience, made up my mind that it is a splendid desert—a domed and steepled solitude, where the stranger is lonely in the midst of a million of his race” [MTNJ 1: 301]. Note: the letter was printed in the Alta on August 11.

June 6 Thursday – The get-together at the Moses Beach house in Brooklyn (Beach was neighbor to Henry Ward Beecher there) came off as planned (See Sam’s June 1 letter to his mother). The New York Sun reported that 70 guests, passengers awaiting departure on the Quaker City, enjoyed an “excellent repast,” and that “Mark Twain …enlivened the company with ebul[l]itions of wit” [MTL 2: 51n2].

In Mark Twain to Mrs. Fairbanks, p. xi, Wecter writes:

On the evening of June 7, 1867, some sixty persons, largely unknown to each other, gathered at 66 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, home of Moses S. Beach, proprietor of the New York Sun. Including the host and his young daughter Emma, they composed the passenger list of the steamship “Quaker City,” scheduled to sail next day for a tour of the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. In the midst of their decorous festivities, a thin man with hawklike nose and curly carrotty hair shuffled forward with an air of melancholy diffidence and drawled, “Captain Duncan desires me to say that passengers for the ‘Quaker City’ must be on board tomorrow before the tide goes out. What the tide has to do with us or we with the tide is more than I know, but that is what the captain says” [Note: editorial emphasis].


June 7 Friday Sam wrote from New York to “my oldest friend,” Will Bowen in Hannibal.

“We leave tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. Everything is ready but my trunks. I will pack them first thing in the morning. We have got a crowd of tiptop people, & shall have a jolly, sociable, homelike trip of it for the next five or six months” [MTL 2: 54].


On this same day Sam wrote to his mother and family in St. Louis. This letter contains evidence that Sam visited Dan Slote’s house before leaving New York. Sam teased his mother:


I haven’t got anything to write, else I would write it. I have just written myself clear out in letters to the Alta, & I think they are the stupidest letters that were ever written from New York.

An importing house sent me two cases of exquisite champaign aboard the ship for me to-day—Veuve Cliquot & Lac d’Or. I & my room-mate have set apart every Saturday as a solemn fast-day, wherein we will entertain no light matters or frivolous conversation, but only get drunk….(that is a joke) [MTL 2: 57].


Sam expressed wishes that Orion could go with him on the trip,

“For I believe with so many months of freedom from business cares he could not help but be cheerful & jolly”[MTL 2: 57].

Sam also wrote to Frank Fuller. This note should be compared with June 1 and 8 of 1867 to Fuller. In full:


“Frank Fuller Esq / You are hereby authorized to collect all moneys to me from the publication of my book, ‘The Jumping Frog,’ & receipt for the same. Particulars will be found in my former note. / My mothers address is 1312 Chestnut street, St Louis / Yrs Truly, / Mark Twain” [MTP].

Powers: “After finishing these letters, Sam Clemens left his hotel room for a night of Washoe-style dining and drinking with friends and newspaper editors—a nine-hour bender” [MT A Life 196].


June 8 SaturdayQuaker City left New York at 2 PM for excursion to the Holy Land, the first organized pleasure party ever assembled for a transatlantic voyage. The ship carried only 65 passengers, way short of the 110 limit. Few were from Plymouth Church. Due to rough seas the ship got only as far as Gravesend Bay, off Brooklyn. The captain elected to drop anchor and wait out the storm for two days. Sam finished a letter (started June 1) before the steamer left port to Frank Fuller, asking him to “take charge of my affairs while I am gone to Europe,” which included collecting monies from Webb for sales of his Jumping Frog book and forwarding the amounts to his mother [MTL 2: 53, p62].

In a letter written at 2 AM on June 9 to John McComb, part owner of the Alta, Sam related this last day in New York: He went to dinner at 3 PM with Charles Graham Halpine (Miles O’Riley) (1829-1868) and John Russell Young (1840-1899) managing editor of the Tribune. He drank wine, then dined from 6 to 9 P.M. at John Murphy’s,

…drank several breeds of wine there, naturally enough; dine again from 9 till 12 at Mr. Slote’s, (my shipmate’s), whom the same God made that made Jno Murphy—& mind you I say that such men as they are, are almighty scarce—you can shut your eyes & go forth at random in a strange land & pick out a son of a bitch a great deal easier; —drank much wine there, too….Now I feel good—I feel d—d good & I could write a good correspondence—can, anyway, as soon as I get out of this most dismal town. You’ll see. Got an offer today for 3-months course of lectures next winter—$100 a night & no bother & no expense. How’s that? [MTL 2: 60-61].

Note: It seems like every place Sam tired of and left was “dismal,” in great contrast to the praise he made upon first discovery. Sam was searching for something, for his true self, for something lasting. He would return a different man, closer to finding himself.

June 9 SundayFrom Sam’s notebook:

      Sunday Morning—June 9—Still lying at anchor in N.Y. harbor—rained all night & all morning like the devil—some sea on—lady had to leave church in the cabin—sea-sick.

      Rev. Mr. Bullard preached from II Cor. 7 & 8th verses about something.

      Everybody ranged up & down sides of upper after cabin—Capt Duncan’s little son played the organ—

      Tableau–in the midst of sermon Capt. Duncan rushed madly out with one of those d—d dogs but didn’t throw him overboard [MTNJ 1: 331-32].

June 10 Monday The Quaker City finally put out to sea at 12:30 PM. A lot of the passengers were seasick. “We all like to see people seasick when we are not, ourselves” [IA, Ch 3].

For the most part, Sam thought the passengers were staid stuffed shirts. “I was on excellent terms with eight or nine of the excursionists,” Sam wrote later in Innocents Abroad, “(they are my staunch friends yet) and was even on speaking terms with the rest of the sixty-five.”

Among these favorites were, Charles Jervis Langdon (1849-1916), John A. (Jack) Van Nostrand (1847?-1879), Julius Moulton (1843?-1916), Dr. Abraham Reeves Jackson (1827-1892), Solon Long Severance (1834-1915), Emily Charity Severance (1840-1921), Mary Mason Fairbanks (1828-1898) [MTL 2: 63-5]. Of these, Sam made two good and lasting friends—“godless” Dan Slote, and Mary Mason Fairbanks, soon to be called “Mother Fairbanks” by Sam (even though she was only seven years older) and her other “cubs” aboard ship. Mary was anything but godless, and was the wife of the Cleveland Herald’s editor, Abel W. Fairbanks (1817-1894). Mary saw the talent in Sam and took it upon herself to help shape him and his career. Sam remained devoted to her throughout her lifetime. Dan Slote would later be put in charge of Sam’s only profitable invention, “The Mark Twain Scrap Book.” The most important contact for his future was Charles Langdon, who Sam did not think much of at first. Langdon’s sister Olivia Louise Langdon “Livy” (1845-1904) would become Mrs. Samuel Clemens. Note: See MTL 2:385-7 for a full list of passengers and crew. The Itinerary of the Quaker City is cited from [MTL 2: 392-7 unless otherwise noted].

 Alta California printed Sam’s article “CRUELTY TO ANIMALS,” which Sam had dated April 30 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 16 [bibliog.].

June 11 Tuesday – Captain Charles Duncan recorded the noon hailing of the Emerald Isle, which, according to the NY Times, left Liverpool on May 12 [MTNJ 1: 333n76]. Note: after several days at sea without seeing a soul, this would have been cause for interest among the passengers.

June 13 Thursday From Sam’s notebook:

—On board Steamer Quaker City at sea, 12 M—lat.40, long 62—560 miles from New York, ¼ of the way to the Azores—just 3 days out—in last 24 hours made 205 miles. Will make more in next 24, because the wind is fair & we are under sail & steam both, & are burning 30 tons of coal a day & fast lightening up the ship [MTNJ 1: 335].

June 14 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

“Shipped a sea through the open dead-light that damaged cigars, books, &c—comes of being careless when room is on weather side of the ship….Mrs. C.C. Duncan’s 46 birth-day festival in the after-cabin” [Ibid.]

Emily Severance recorded most of what Sam said at the festivities:

This is Mrs. Duncan’s birthday. I make this statement to gain time. You have spoken of her youthful appearance, but I think she is old. Our life is not counted by years, but by what has been seen and accomplished. Methuselah was but a child when he died, though nine hundred and sixty-nine years old. The world did not improve any while he lived,—he tended his flocks just as his fathers did, and they none of them knew enough to make an iron fence. Mrs. Duncan has lived to see great improvements… [MTNJ 1: 335-6n79]. Note: Hannah Tibbets Duncan (1821-1869).

June 15 Saturday Sam entertained some of the passengers by holding a mock trial of the purser for “stealing an overcoat belonging to Sam Clemens” [MTNJ 1: 336].

June 16 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “JEFF DAVIS,” which Sam dated May 17 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 17 [bibliog.].

June 17 Monday From Sam’s notebook:

Blackfish, whales, an occasional shark & lots of Portuguese men-of-war in sight. Brown distressed for fear the latter would attack the ship….Caught a flying fish—it flew 50 yards & came aboard—can’t fly after wind & sun dry their wings….Lat. 40, long. 43W—1/2 way between America & Portugal & away south of Cape Farewell, Greenland. Large school of spouting blackfish—make the water white with their spouting spray [MTNJ 1: 337].

One of three dances was held on board the Quaker City [MTL 70n5].

June 19 Wednesday From Sam’s notebook:


June 19—Within 136 miles of the Azores at noon. / Dr & S get sea-sick at table—go out & throw up & return for more….

      Started a Social Club last night to discuss routes of travel, & chose Judge Haldeman for President,—Rev Mr Carew for Secretary, & Moses S. Beach, Dr. Jackson & myself as Executive Committee.

      Dr. [Edward] Andrews & Capt Duncan enlightened the Club concerning the Azores & Gibraltar.

      After which Mr James gave Stereopticon views—promised us pictures of places we are going to visit, & his first was a view of Greenwood Cemetary! [MTNJ 1: 337-8]. Note: Edward Andrews (d.1888?); Jacob Samils Haldeman (1827-1889).

June 20 Thursday A violent storm drove the QC to Fayal (see June 21 entry.) Sam’s notebook:

“Questions for debate.

      Which is the most powerful motive—Duty or Ambition?

      Is or is not Capt. Duncan responsible for the head winds?” [MTNJ 1: 340].


June 21 Friday – The Quaker City (subsequently noted here as QC) arrived at Horta, island of Fayal, in the Azores at daylight.

At three o’clock on the morning of the 21 of June we were awakened and notified that the Azores islands were in sight. I said I did not take any interest in islands at three o’clock in the morning. But another persecutor came, and then another and another, and finally believing that the general enthusiasm would permit no one to slumber in peace, I got up and went sleepily on deck [Innocents Abroad, Ch 5].

In Fayal, Sam wrote to his mother Jane Clemens and family:

“We are having a lively time here, after a stormy trip. We meant to go to Sau Miguel, but were driven in here by stress of weather. Beautiful climate” [MTL 2: 67].

From Sam’s notebook: “Everybody taking notes—cabin looks like a reporters congress” [MTNJ 1: 344]. See June 27.

June 22 SaturdayFrom Sam’s notebook:

The party started at 10 A.M. Dan was on his ass the last time I saw him. At this time Mr. Foster was following, & Mr. Haldeman came next after Foster—Mr. Foster being close to Dan’s ass, & his own ass being very near to Mr. Haldeman’s ass. After this Capt. Bursley joined the party with his ass, & all went well till on turning a corner of the road a most frightful & unexpected noise issued from Capt Bursley’s ass, which for a moment threw the party into confusion, & at the same time a portughee boy stuck a nail into Mr. Foster’s ass & he ran—ran against Dan, who fell—fell on his ass, & then, like so many bricks they all came down—each & every one of them—& each & every one of them fell on his ass [MTNJ 1: 346]. Note: Colonel James Heron Foster (1822-1868).

June 23 SundayQC departed Horta at 11 AM

“The group on the pier was a rusty one—men and women, boys and girls, all ragged and barefoot, uncombed and unclean, and by instinct, education, an profession, beggars. …and never more, while we tarried in Fayal, did we get rid of them” [Innocents Abroad, Ch. 5].

Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE NUISANCE OF ADVICE,” which Sam had dated May 18 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 18 [bibliog.].

June 24 to June 27 Thursday – The New York Weekly published the last of five of Sam’s Sandwich Islands Letters. From Sam’s notebook:

“Had Ball No. 2 on promenade deck, under lanterns (no awning but heaven) but ship pitched so & dew kept deck so slippery, was little more fun than comfort about it” [MTNJ 1: 348].

June 26 Wednesday From Sam’s notebook: “Met a great clipper ship under a perfect cloud of canvas” [MTNJ 1: 348].

June 27 Thursday – The last of five letters from Hawaii, reprints of five early Sacramento Union letters with “a few minor omissions” ran in the New York Weekly. Dated Honolulu, March, 1866 and beginning “I am probably the most sensitive man in the kingdom of Hawaii…” this article “stops about half-way through the corresponding article in the Union, perhaps for consideration of space” [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p2-3].

From Emily Severance’s notebook:

There are at least a dozen correspondents for different papers: Mrs. Fairbanks, “Cleveland Herald”; Mr. Crocker, “Leader”; Mr. Foster, “The Pittsburgh Dispatch”; Mr. Clemens, “The California Alta” and “The New York Tribune”; Mr. Beach, “The New York Sun”; Mr. Sanford (I think) for a Granville paper; Dr. Jackson for one in Philadelphia; Mr. Bullard for one in Boston; Dr. Hutchinson for one in St. Louis. Captain Duncan urged me very strongly to write for him a letter which he had promised to send to the “Independent,” and I have done so, but I confess to feeling poorly satisfied with my effort [MTNJ 1:344n106]. Note: also Stephen M. Griswold and William E. James both wrote a few letters for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle; John G. Isham for the Cincinnati Commercial; Julius Moulton for the St. Louis Missouri Republican, and Julia Newell for the Janesville (Wis.) Gazette. Sam wrote the most of all these correspondents.


June 28 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

      “Sat up all night playing dominoes in the smoking room with the purser & saw the sun rise—woke up Dan & the Dr. & called everybody else to see it.—Don’t feel very bright.

      “Must be 150 miles from Gibraltar yet, this morning & shall hardly have coal enough to make the port” [MTNJ 1: 348].

June 29 SaturdayQC arrived at Gibraltar at 10 AM.

“In a few moments a lonely and enormous mass of rock, standing seemingly in the center of the wide strait and apparently washed on all sides by the sea, swung magnificently into view, and we needed no tedious traveled parrot to tell us it was Gibraltar. There could not be two rocks like that in one kingdom” [Innocents Abroad, Ch 7].

Sam wrote from Gibraltar to his mother and family.

“Arrived here this morning, & am clear worn out riding & climbing in & over & around & about this monstrous rock & its fortifications. Summer climate & very pleasant” [MTL 2: 67-8].

From Sam’s notebook:

“Blucher in Gibraltar blowing about being American to British officers—to hotel keepers—to commandants—to band-masters, whores, chambermaids, bootblacks—making an ass of himself generally” [MTNJ 1: 351]. Note: in his Jan. 7, 1870 to Mrs. Fairbanks, Sam wrote “Greer is Blucher,” meaning Frederick H. Greer, of Boston. In his June 29, 1871 to Fairbanks he described Blucher as “an eccentric, big-hearted newspaper man.” Greer/Blucher was the prototype of the “Interrogation Point,” described in IA.

Sam was taken back by the behavior of many of the passengers throughout the excursion. He would ridicule them in his newspaper articles and in Innocents Abroad.

June 30 Sunday – Sam and seven others, including Dan Slote, boarded a steamer to Tangier.

THIS is royal! Let those who went up through Spain make the best of it—these dominions of the Emperor of Morocco suit our little party well enough. We have had enough of Spain at Gibraltar for the present. Tangier is the spot we have been longing for all the time. Elsewhere we have found foreign-looking things and foreign-looking people, but always with things and people intermixed that we were familiar with before, and so the novelty of the situation lost a deal of its force. We wanted something thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign—foreign from top to bottom—foreign from center to circumference—foreign inside and outside and all around—nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness—nothing to remind us of any other people or any other land under the sun. And lo! In Tangier we have found it. Here is not the slightest thing that ever we have seen save in pictures—and we always mistrusted the pictures before. We cannot anymore. The pictures used to seem exaggerations—they seemed too weird and fanciful for reality. But behold, they were not wild enough—they were not fanciful enough—they have not told half the story. Tangier is a foreign land if ever there was one, and the true spirit of it can never be found in any book save The Arabian Nights [Innocents Abroad, Ch.8].

Alta California printed Sam’s article “CALIFORNIA WINES,” which Sam dated May 19 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 19 [bibliog.].

July 1 Monday – Sam and others returned from Tangier to re-board the QC for a 6 PM departure. Sam wrote from Tangier to his mother and family.

“This is the infernalest hive of infernally costumed barbarians I have ever come across yet” [MTL 2: 68].


From Sam’s notebook:


“Left Gibraltar just as the sun was setting…The sunset was soft & rich & beautiful beyond description… After all this racing, & bustling & rollicking excitement in Africa, it seems good to get back to the old ship once more. It is so like home. After all our weary time, we shall sleep peacefully to-night” [MTNJ 1: 367-8].

July 2 Tuesday Sam wrote “from sea” to his mother, Jane Clemens and family. “…we are just passing the island of Minorca” [MTL 2: 68]. He wrote part of the letter the next day [70-1n5].

The passengers held a masquerade ball under the awnings of the quarterdeck, dressing in Moorish garb they’d purchased in the bazaars of Tangier. Sam wore a fez for the party and would wear it for a disguise when he stole ashore in Athens and hiked up the Acropolis on Aug.14 and 15 [Hirst & Rowles 29; MTL 1: 68, 70n5].

July 3 Wednesday – Sam finished his July 2 letter to Jane Clemens and family [MTL 1:70-1n5].

July 4 Thursday – At sunrise on the Quaker City, 13 guns saluted the day with blowing of steam whistles. Lucius Moody recorded the event in his diary published in the Canton, Ohio Plain Dealer for July 25, 1867. Clemens could not have helped to hear or have been on deck for the goings on.

QC arrived at Marseilles, France at 7 PM.

WE passed the Fourth of July on board the Quaker City, in mid-ocean. It was in all respects a characteristic Mediterranean day—faultlessly beautiful. A cloudless sky; a refreshing summer wind; a radiant sunshine that glinted cheerily from dancing wavelets instead of crested mountains of water; a sea beneath us that was so wonderfully blue, so richly, brilliantly blue, that it overcame the dullest sensibilities with the spell of its fascination.” And “That first night on French soil was a stirring one. I cannot think of half the places we went to or what we particularly saw; we had no disposition to examine carefully into anything at all—we only wanted to glance and go—to move, keep moving! The spirit of the country was upon us. We sat down, finally, at a late hour, in the great Casino, and called for unstinted champagne. It is so easy to be bloated aristocrats where it costs nothing of consequence! There were about five hundred people in that dazzling place, I suppose, though the walls being papered entirely with mirrors, so to speak, one could not really tell but that there were a hundred thousand. Young, daintily dressed exquisites and young, stylishly dressed women, and also old gentlemen and old ladies, sat in couples and groups about innumerable marble-topped tables and ate fancy suppers, drank wine, and kept up a chattering din of conversation that was dazing to the senses. There was a stage at the far end and a large orchestra; and every now and then actors and actresses in preposterous comic dresses came out and sang the most extravagantly funny songs, to judge by their absurd actions; but that audience merely suspended its chatter, stared cynically, and never once smiled, never once applauded! I had always thought that Frenchmen were ready to laugh at any thing [Innocents Abroad, Ch. 10].

Sam, Jackson, and Slote left the ship and took rooms at the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix on Rue Noailles [MTL 2: 71n6].

July 5 Friday – Sam, Jackson, and Slote left Marseilles for Paris on an evening train.

WE have come five hundred miles by rail through the heart of France. What a bewitching land it is! What a garden! Surely the leagues of bright green lawns are swept and brushed and watered every day and their grasses trimmed by the barber. Surely the hedges are shaped and measured and their symmetry preserved by the most architectural of gardeners. Surely the long straight rows of stately poplars that divide the beautiful landscape like the squares of a checker-board are set with line and plummet, and their uniform height determined with a spirit level. Surely the straight, smooth, pure white turnpikes are jack-planed and sandpapered every day. How else are these marvels of symmetry, cleanliness, and order attained? It is wonderful [Innocents Abroad Ch. 12].

Sam wrote from Marseilles to his mother and family. “We are here. Start for Paris to-morrow. All well. Had a gorgeous 4 of July jollification yesterday at sea” [MTL 2: 68].

July 6 Saturday – Sam and friends arrived in Paris in the evening.

The next morning we were up and dressed at ten o’clock. We went to the commissionaire of the hotel—I don’t know what a commissionaire is, but that is the man we went to—and told him we wanted a guide. He said the national Exposition had drawn such multitudes of Englishmen and Americans to Paris that it would be next to impossible to find a good guide unemployed. He said he usually kept a dozen or two on hand, but he only had three now. He called them. One looked so like a very pirate that we let him go at once. The next one spoke with a simpering precision of pronunciation that was irritating and said:

“If ze zhentlemans will to me make ze grande honneur to me rattain in hees serveece, I shall show to him every sing zat is magnifique to look upon in ze beautiful Parree. I speaky ze Angleesh pairfaitemaw.”

He would have done well to have stopped there, because he had that much by heart and said it right off without making a mistake. But his self-complacency seduced him into attempting a flight into regions of unexplored English, and the reckless experiment was his ruin. Within ten seconds he was so tangled up in a maze of mutilated verbs and torn and bleeding forms of speech that no human ingenuity could ever have gotten him out of it with credit. It was plain enough that he could not “speaky” the English quite as “pairfaitemaw” as he had pretended he could.

The third man captured us. He was plainly dressed, but he had a noticeable air of neatness about him. He wore a high silk hat which was a little old, but had been carefully brushed. He wore second-hand kid gloves, in good repair, and carried a small rattan cane with a curved handle—a female leg—of ivory. He stepped as gently and as daintily as a cat crossing a muddy street; and oh, he was urbanity; he was quiet, unobtrusive self-possession; he was deference itself! He spoke softly and guardedly; and when he was about to make a statement on his sole responsibility or offer a suggestion, he weighed it by drachms and scruples first, with the crook of his little stick placed meditatively to his teeth. His opening speech was perfect. It was perfect in construction, in phraseology, in grammar, in emphasis, in pronunciation—everything. He spoke little and guardedly after that. We were charmed. We were more than charmed—we were overjoyed. We hired him at once. We never even asked him his price [Innocents Abroad, Ch. 13].

We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We had heard of it before. It surprises me sometimes to think how much we do know and how intelligent we are. We recognized the brown old Gothic pile in a moment; it was like the pictures [IA, Ch 14].

Sam and party also visited Versailles [IA, Ch. 16]. While in Paris Sam and party stayed at the Grand Hotel du Louvre on the Rue de Rivoli [MTL 2: 72n1].

July 7 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “FOR CHRISTIANS TO READ,” which Sam had dated May 20 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 20 [bibliog.].

Sam’s article “First Interview with Artemus Ward” (alt. Title: “A Reminiscence of Artemus Ward”) ran in the Sunday Mercury [Camfield bibliog.].

July 11 Thursday – Sam and friends left Paris for Marseilles on a morning train.

July 12 Friday – Sam and friends arrived in Marseilles in the morning. Sam wrote from Marseilles to his mother and family.

“Oh, confound it, I can’t write–I am full of excitement—have to make a trip in the harbor—haven’t slept for 24 hours” [MTL 2: 72].

Jackson, Slote, and Sam again stayed at the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix [72n1].


July 13 SaturdayQC departed Marseilles at noon.

July 14 SundayQC arrived at Genoa at 6 AM.

I would like to remain here. I had rather not go any further. There may be prettier women in Europe, but I doubt it. The population of Genoa is 120,000; two-thirds of these are women, I think, and at least two-thirds of the women are beautiful. They are as dressy and as tasteful and as graceful as they could possibly be without being angels. However, angels are not very dressy, I believe. At least the angels in pictures are not—they wear nothing but wings. But these Genoese women do look so charming. Most of the young demoiselles are robed in a cloud of white from head to foot, though many trick themselves out more elaborately. Nine-tenths of them wear nothing on their heads but a filmy sort of veil, which falls down their backs like a white mist. They are very fair, and many of them have blue eyes, but black and dreamy dark brown ones are met with oftenest.

The NY Sunday Mercury published the last of seven sketches of Sam’s, entitled, “Jim Wolf & the Cats” [MTL 2: 11n3; Camfield, bibliog.]. Note: Budd list this as “Jim Wolf and the Tom-Cats,” the same as Sam’s Feb. 23, 1872 speech [“Collected” 1007].


Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE BLIND ASYLUM,” which Sam had dated May 2 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 21 and dates it as May 23 [bibliog.].

July 15 Monday Sam wrote from Genoa to his mother and family.

“We sat in a great gas-lit public-grove or garden till 10 last night, where they were crowded together drinking wine & eating ices, & it seems to me that it would be good to die & go there” [MTL 2: 74].

July 16 Tuesday – Sam, Jackson, and Slote left Genoa by train, arriving in Milan that evening.

Toward dusk we drew near Milan and caught glimpses of the city and the blue mountain peaks beyond. But we were not caring for these things—they did not interest us in the least. We were in a fever of impatience; we were dying to see the renowned cathedral! We watched—in this direction and that—all around—everywhere. We needed no one to point it out—we did not wish any one to point it out—we would recognize it even in the desert of the great Sahara [IA, Ch. 18].

July 18 Thursday – Sam took a train from Milan to Como, then took a steamer to Bellagio, Italy on Lake Como.

      We lunched at the curious old town of Como, at the foot of the lake, and then took the small steamer and had an afternoon’s pleasure excursion to this place,—Bellaggio.

      When we walked ashore, a party of policemen (people whose cocked hats and showy uniforms would shame the finest uniform in the military service of the United States,) put us into a little stone cell and locked us in. We had the whole passenger list for company, but their room would have been preferable, for there was no light, there were no windows, no ventilation. It was close and hot. We were much crowded. It was the Black Hole of Calcutta on a small scale. Presently a smoke rose about our feet—a smoke that smelled of all the dead things of earth, of all the putrefaction and corruption imaginable.

      We were there five minutes, and when we got out it was hard to tell which of us carried the vilest fragrance.

      These miserable outcasts called that “fumigating” us, and the term was a tame one indeed. They fumigated us to guard themselves against the cholera, though we hailed from no infected port. We had left the cholera far behind us all the time. However, they must keep epidemics away somehow or other, and fumigation is cheaper than soap. They must either wash themselves or fumigate other people. Some of the lower classes had rather die than wash, but the fumigation of strangers causes them no pangs. They need no fumigation themselves. Their habits make it unnecessary. They carry their preventive with them; they sweat and fumigate all the day long. I trust I am a humble and a consistent Christian. I try to do what is right. I know it is my duty to “pray for them that despitefully use me;” and therefore, hard as it is, I shall still try to pray for these fumigating, maccaroni-stuffing organ-grinders [IA, Ch. 20].

July 19? Friday Sam made a day-trip to Chiasso in nearby Switzerland. He did not mention the trip in Innocents [Rasmussen 86]. Note: A day-trip seems probable for this date.

July 20 Saturday – Sam and friends went by steamer from Bellagio to Lecco; left Lecco by carriage at 1 PM for Bergamo; took a train that passed through Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, and Padua, arriving in Venice at 8 PM.

We reached Venice at eight in the evening, and entered a hearse belonging to the Grand Hotel d’Europe. At any rate, it was more like a hearse than any thing else, though to speak by the card, it was a gondola. And this was the storied gondola of Venice!—the fairy boat in which the princely cavaliers of the olden time were wont to cleave the waters of the moonlit canals and look the eloquence of love into the soft eyes of patrician beauties, while the gay gondolier in silken doublet touched his guitar and sang as only gondoliers can sing! This the famed gondola and this the gorgeous gondolier!—the one an inky, rusty old canoe with a sable hearse-body clapped on to the middle of it, and the other a mangy, barefooted guttersnipe with a portion of his raiment on exhibition which should have been sacred from public scrutiny. Presently, as he turned a corner and shot his hearse into a dismal ditch between two long rows of towering, untenanted buildings, the gay gondolier began to sing, true to the traditions of his race. I stood it a little while. Then I said:

“Now, here, Roderigo Gonzales Michael Angelo, I’m a pilgrim, and I’m a stranger, but I am not going to have my feelings lacerated by any such caterwauling as that. If that goes on, one of us has got to take water. It is enough that my cherished dreams of Venice have been blighted forever as to the romantic gondola and the gorgeous gondolier; this system of destruction shall go no farther; I will accept the hearse, under protest, and you may fly your flag of truce in peace, but here I register a dark and bloody oath that you shan’t sing. Another yelp, and overboard you go” [IA Ch. 22].

July 21 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE SEX IN NEW YORK,” which Sam had dated May 26. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 22 [bibliog.].



The old Washoe instincts that have lain asleep in my bosom so long are waking up again here in the midst of this late and unaccountable freshet of blood-letting that has broken loose in the East. The papers, all of a sudden, are being filled with assassinations, and second-degree murders, and prize-fights, and suicides. It is a wonderful state of things. From a careless in difference to such matters, I have been roused up to an old-time delight in them, and now I have to have my regular suicide be fore breakfast, like a cocktail, and my side-dish of murder in the first degree for a relish, and my savory assassination to top off with while I pick my teeth and smoke. A breakfast would be insipid, now, without these condiments. If I were to order a beef steak rare and a murder in the first degree, and only got the former, I believe I would have to retire and wait for the evening papers [Schmidt].

July 22 Monday – Sam and friends left Venice by train; passed through Bologna and Pistoia overnight.

We were a little fatigued with sight seeing, and so we rattled through a good deal of country by rail without caring to stop. I took few notes. I find no mention of Bologna in my memorandum book, except that we arrived there in good season, but saw none of the sausages for which the place is so justly celebrated. Pistoia awoke but a passing interest [IA Ch. 24].

July 23 Tuesday – Sam and friends arrived in Florence; QC departed Genoa at 7 PM.

Florence pleased us for a while. I think we appreciated the great figure of David in the grand square, and the sculptured group they call the Rape of the Sabines. We wandered through the endless collections of paintings and statues of the Pitti and Ufizzi galleries, of course. I make that statement in self-defense; there let it stop. I could not rest under the imputation that I visited Florence and did not traverse its weary miles of picture galleries. We tried indolently to recollect something about the Guelphs and Ghibelines and the other historical cut-throats whose quarrels and assassinations make up so large a share of Florentine history, but the subject was not attractive. We had been robbed of all the fine mountain scenery on our little journey by a system of railroading that had three miles of tunnel to a hundred yards of daylight, and we were not inclined to be sociable with Florence. We had seen the spot, outside the city somewhere, where these people had allowed the bones of Galileo to rest in unconsecrated ground for an age because his great discovery that the world turned around was regarded as a damning heresy by the church; and we know that long after the world had accepted his theory and raised his name high in the list of its great men, they had still let him rot there [IA Ch. 24].

July 24 Wednesday – In Leghorn on July 25?, Sam referred to “A visit paid in a friendly way to General Garibaldi yesterday (by cordial invitation) by some of our passengers” [Ch. 24, IA]. Sam was not among these visitors, and he wrote nothing further of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), Italian patriot and soldier. The itinerary for the QC excursion had stated, if practical, a visit to the General would be made. (See “The Journal of the Quaker City Captain,” by Charles E. Shain, The New England Quarterly, Vol. 28 No. 3 (Sept. 1955): 388-394 for a description of the side trip to meet Garibaldi by Captain Duncan and seven others).

July 25? Thursday – Sam and friends left Florence on the noon train for Pisa, where they spent two hours. They arrived at Leghorn in the evening and boarded the QC.


At Pisa we climbed up to the top of the strangest structure the world has any knowledge of—the Leaning Tower.…this one leans more than thirteen feet out of the perpendicular. It is seven hundred years old, but neither history or tradition say whether it was built as it is, purposely, or whether one of its sides has settled. There is no record that it ever stood straight up….

Standing on the summit, one does not feel altogether comfortable when he looks down from the high side; but to crawl on your breast to the verge on the lower side and try to stretch your neck out far enough to see the base of the tower, makes your flesh creep, and convinces you for a single moment in spite of all your philosophy, that the building is falling. You handle yourself very carefully, all the time, under the silly impression that if it is not falling, your trifling weight will start it unless you are particular not to “bear down” on it [IA Ch. 24].


July 26? Friday – Sam and friends avoided being quarantined on the QC at Naples by taking a French steamer to Civitavecchia, Italy, then a train to Rome.

This Civita Vecchia is the finest nest of dirt, vermin and ignorance we have found yet, except that African perdition they call Tangier, which is just like it. The people here live in alleys two yards wide, which have a smell about them which is peculiar but not entertaining. It is well the alleys are not wider, because they hold as much smell now as a person can stand, and of course, if they were wider they would hold more, and then the people would die. These alleys are paved with stone, and carpeted with deceased cats, and decayed rags, and decomposed vegetable-tops, and remnants of old boots, all soaked with dish-water, and the people sit around on stools and enjoy it. They are indolent, as a general thing, and yet have few pastimes. They work two or three hours at a time, but not hard, and then they knock off and catch flies. This does not require any talent, because they only have to grab—if they do not get the one they are after, they get another. It is all the same to them. They have no partialities. Whichever one they get is the one they want [IA Ch. 25].

July 27 Saturday – Sam and friends arrived in Rome.

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me? What is there for me to touch that others have not touched? What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others? What can I discover?—Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. One charm of travel dies here. But if I were only a Roman!—If, added to my own I could be gifted with modern Roman sloth, modern Roman superstition, and modern Roman boundlessness of ignorance, what bewildering worlds of unsuspected wonders I would discover! Ah, if I were only a habitant of the Campagna five and twenty miles from Rome! Then I would travel.

I would go to America, and see, and learn, and return to the Campagna and stand before my countrymen an illustrious discoverer [IA Ch. 26].

In this connection I wish to say one word about Michael Angelo Buonarotti. I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo—that man who was great in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture—great in every thing he undertook. But I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast—for luncheon—for dinner—for tea—for supper—for between meals. I like a change, occasionally. In Genoa, he designed every thing; in Milan he or his pupils designed every thing; he designed the Lake of Como; in Padua, Verona, Venice, Bologna, who did we ever hear of, from guides, but Michael Angelo? In Florence, he painted every thing, designed every thing, nearly, and what he did not design he used to sit on a favorite stone and look at, and they showed us the stone. In Pisa he designed every thing but the old shot-tower, and they would have attributed that to him if it had not been so awfully out of the perpendicular. He designed the piers of Leghorn and the custom house regulations of Civita Vecchia. But, here—here it is frightful. He designed St. Peter’s; he designed the Pope; he designed the Pantheon, the uniform of the Pope’s soldiers, the Tiber, the Vatican, the Coliseum, the Capitol, the Tarpeian Rock, the Barberini Palace, St. John Lateran, the Campagna, the Appian Way, the Seven Hills, the Baths of Caracalla, the Claudian Aqueduct, the Cloaca Maxima—the eternal bore designed the Eternal City, and unless all men and books do lie, he painted every thing in it! Dan said the other day to the guide, “Enough, enough, enough! Say no more! Lump the whole thing! say that the Creator made Italy from designs by Michael Angelo!”

I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled with a blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael Angelo was dead [IA Ch. 27].

While in Rome, Clemens met Richard Garvey, 21 year old American, who roomed at the Via Babuino #68 (Pincion Hill), and allowed Garvey to show him and his friends “some points of the Eternal City” [see: July 7, 1884 Garvey to MT].

July 28 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “ACADEMY OF DESIGN,” which Sam had dated May 28. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 23 [bibliog.].

I am thankful that the good God creates us all ignorant. I am glad that when we change His plans in this regard, we have to do it at our own risk. It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and ignorant also of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues inflamed by disease. The very point in a picture that fascinates me with its beauty, is to the cultured artist a monstrous crime against the laws of coloring; and the very flush that charms me in a lovely face, is, to the critical surgeon, nothing but a sign hung out to advertise a decaying lung. Accursed be all such knowledge. I want none of it [Schmidt].

July 30 Tuesday – Sam’s article, dated June 23, “The Mediterranean Excursion” ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 10-18].


July 31 WednesdayQC departed Leghorn at 9 AM.

August 1 Thursday – Sam and friends probably left Rome for Naples by train, while the QC arrived at Naples. The QC was then quarantined a week.

THE ship is lying here in the harbor of Naples—quarantined. She has been here several days and will remain several more. We that came by rail from Rome have escaped this misfortune. Of course no one is allowed to go on board the ship, or come ashore from her. She is a prison, now. The passengers probably spend the long, blazing days looking out from under the awnings at Vesuvius and the beautiful city—and in swearing. Think of ten days of this sort of pastime!—We go out every day in a boat and request them to come ashore. It soothes them. We lie ten steps from the ship and tell them how splendid the city is; and how much better the hotel fare is here than any where else in Europe; and how cool it is; and what frozen continents of ice cream there are; and what a time we are having cavorting about the country and sailing to the islands in the Bay. This tranquilizes them [IA Ch. 29].

August 2 FridaySam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number One” dated June 19 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 3-10]. Note 2nd edition: McKeithan reported Mark Twain’s “Number One” letter from the Holy Land excursion as Aug. 2 (p. 10), but the newspaper has been examined online and the correct date is Aug. 25, 1867. Evidently McKeithan dropped the “5”.


August 3 Saturday – Sam’s article, dated Aug. 2, “Mark Twain in Quarantine” ran in the Naples Observer; it ran Sept. 16 in the Alta California [McKeithan 74-6].


August 4 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “THE DOMES OF YOSEMITE,” dated June 2 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 24 [bibliog.].

August 7 Wednesday – Sam and friends left Naples in the morning for two days on the island of Ischia. Sam wrote from Naples to Frank Fuller, the man who had acted as his agent to secure the Cooper Union hall in New York for Sam’s lecture. Sam declined to agree to anything in writing about a lecture circuit offer that Fuller had relayed from Edwin Lee Brown of the Young Men’s Library Association of Chicago [MTL 2: 75-6 n2].

August 9 Friday – Sam and friends returned to Naples in the morning. At midnight Sam, Jackson, Nesbit, Newell, and 4 others unidentified, left for Mt. Vesuvius. Sam wrote from Naples to his mother and family.

Sam wrote to William Morris Stewart (1827-1909) accepting a secretary position:

I wrote to Bill Stewart today accepting his private secretaryship in Washington next winter. When I come to think of it, I believe it can be made one of the best paying berths in Washington. Say nothing of this. At least I can get an office for Orion, if he or the President will modify their politics [MTL 2: 78].

Sam had sought the secretary position in Washington before the cruise. It does not seem like a position Sam would want after his literary and lecture successes, yet he took the job and was still concerned about his brother’s welfare [MTL 2: 78-9n2].

I shall remember our trip to Vesuvius for many a day—partly because of its sight-seeing experiences, but chiefly on account of the fatigue of the journey. Two or three of us had been resting ourselves among the tranquil and beautiful scenery of the island of Ischia, eighteen miles out in the harbor, for two days; we called it ‘resting,’ but I do not remember now what the resting consisted of, for when we got back to Naples we had not slept for forty-eight hours. We were just about to go to bed early in the evening, and catch up on some of the sleep we had lost, when we heard of this Vesuvius expedition. There was to be eight of us in the party, and we were to leave Naples at midnight. We laid in some provisions for the trip, engaged carriages to take us to Annunciation, and then moved about the city, to keep awake, till twelve. We got away punctually, and in the course of an hour and a half arrived at the town of Annunciation. Annunciation is the very last place under the sun. In other towns in Italy the people lie around quietly and wait for you to ask them a question or do some overt act that can be charged for—but in Annunciation they have lost even that fragment of delicacy; they seize a lady’s shawl from a chair and hand it to her and charge a penny; they open a carriage door, and charge for it—shut it when you get out, and charge for it; they help you to take off a duster—two cents; brush your clothes and make them worse than they were before—two cents; smile upon you—two cents; bow, with a lick-spittle smirk, hat in hand—two cents; they volunteer all information, such as that the mules will arrive presently—two cents—warm day, sir—two cents—take you four hours to make the ascent—two cents. And so they go. They crowd you—infest you—swarm about you, and sweat and smell offensively, and look sneaking and mean, and obsequious. There is no office too degrading for them to perform, for money [IA Ch. 29].

August 10 Saturday – Sam and friends visited Capri by chartered steamer.


August 11 SundayQC left Naples at 8 AM. From Sam’s notebook:

7 PM, with the western horizon all golden from the sunken sun, & specked with distant ships, the bright full moon shining like a silver shield high over head, & the deep dark blue of the Mediterranean under foot & a strange sort of twilight affected by all these different lights & colors, all around us & about us, we sighted old Stromboli [MTNJ 1: 383].

 Alta California printed Sam’s article “NEW YORK,” dated June 5 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 25 [bibliog.].

August 12 Monday From Sam’s notebook:

“Passed through Straits of Messina between Southern Italy & Sicily—2 miles wide in narrowest places. Passed close to city of Messina—mass of gas lights” [MTNJ 1: 384].

August 13 Tuesday From Sam’s notebook:

“Been skirting along the Isles of Greece all day—western side—very mountainous—prevailing tints gray & brown approaching to red” [MTNJ 1: 385].

August 14 WednesdayQC arrived at Piraeus, Greece at noon. The ship was quarantined again, but Sam, Dr. George Birch, William Denny, and Dr. Jackson snuck off the ship and visited Athens that night.


      Most of the Parthenon’s imposing columns are still standing, but the roof is gone. It was a perfect building two hundred and fifty years ago, when a shell dropped into the Venetian magazine stored here, and the explosion which followed wrecked and unroofed it. I remember but little about the Parthenon, and I have put in one or two facts and figures for the use of other people with short memories. Got them from the guide-book.

      As we wandered thoughtfully down the marble-paved length of this stately temple, the scene about us was strangely impressive. Here and there, in lavish profusion, were gleaming white statues of men and women, propped against blocks of marble, some of them armless, some without legs, others headless—but all looking mournful in the moonlight, and startlingly human! They rose up and confronted the midnight intruder on every side—they stared at him with stony eyes from unlooked-for nooks and recesses; they peered at him over fragmentary heaps far down the desolate corridors; they barred his way in the midst of the broad forum, and solemnly pointed with handless arms the way from the sacred fane; and through the roofless temple the moon looked down, and banded the floor and darkened the scattered fragments and broken statues with the slanting shadows of the columns [IA Ch32].

Sam wrote to Captain Duncan for “Several among us” to depart from the planned itinerary in order to take:

“…a short trip…through the Bosphorus & into the Black Sea, all parties will be willing to forego the extension of it to desolate Sebastopol with its notable pile of porter bottles, we respectfully request that you will altar [sic] your programme…” [MTL 2: 79-80].


August 15 ThursdayQC departed Piraeus at noon. From Sam’s notebook: “Booming through the Grecian Archipelago with a splendid breeze. Many passengers sea-sick” [MTNJ 1: 391].

August 16 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

“TROY. We are now (11AM., right abreast) the Plains of Troy & a little rock 200 yds long with a light on it (Asia Minor) was the anchorage of the Greek vessels….Diogenes going about with his lantern in the moonlight, did not tackle our party” [MTNJ 1: 322-3].

August 17 SaturdayQC arrived at Constantinople at dawn.

That three-legged woman lay on the bridge, with her stock in trade so disposed as to command the most striking effect—one natural leg, and two long, slender, twisted ones with feet on them like somebody else’s fore-arm. Then there was a man further along who had no eyes, and whose face was the color of a fly-blown beefsteak, and wrinkled and twisted like a lava-flow—and verily so tumbled and distorted were his features that no man could tell the wart that served him for a nose from his cheek-bones. In Stamboul was a man with a prodigious head, an uncommonly long body, legs eight inches long and feet like snow-shoes. He traveled on those feet and his hands, and was as sway-backed as if the Colossus of Rhodes had been riding him. Ah, a beggar has to have exceedingly good points to make a living in Constantinople. A blue-faced man, who had nothing to offer except that he had been blown up in a mine, would be regarded as a rank impostor, and a mere damaged soldier on crutches would never make a cent. It would pay him to get apiece of his head taken off, and cultivate a wen like a carpet sack [IA Ch. 33].

August 18 Sunday Alta California printed Sam’s article “HARRY HILL’S,” which Sam had dated June 6 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 26 [bibliog.].

August 19 MondayQC departed Constantinople.


August 20 Tuesday From Sam’s notebook:

New Palace on the Asiatic side of the beautiful Bosphorus (3 m. wide,) is built on spot where Constantine erected gold cross to commemorate his conversion. When Turks took the place & began to build, many thought he would declare himself Christian when finished, & waited to baptize their Children then. They are waiting yet.

Dan & Jack Van Nostrand have remained behind in Constantinople [MTNJ 1: 402].

Sam’s unsigned article, “The Holy Land Excursionists” dated Aug. 1, ran in the New York Herald [Camfield, bibliog.].

August 21 WednesdayQC arrived at Sevastopol at 5 AM and left again at 9 PM.

WE left a dozen passengers in Constantinople, and sailed through the beautiful Bosporus and far up into the Black Sea. We left them in the clutches of the celebrated Turkish guide, “FAR-AWAY MOSES,” who will seduce them into buying a ship-load of ottar of roses, splendid Turkish vestments, and all manner of curious things they can never have any use for. Murray’s invaluable guide-books have mentioned Far-away Moses’ name, and he is a made man. He rejoices daily in the fact that he is a recognized celebrity. However, we can not alter our established customs to please the whims of guides; we can not show partialities this late in the day. Therefore, ignoring this fellow’s brilliant fame, and ignoring the fanciful name he takes such pride in, we called him Ferguson, just as we had done with all other guides. It has kept him in a state of smothered exasperation all the time. Yet we meant him no harm. After he has gotten himself up regardless of expense, in showy, baggy trowsers, yellow, pointed slippers, fiery fez, silken jacket of blue, voluminous waist-sash of fancy Persian stuff filled with a battery of silver-mounted horse-pistols, and has strapped on his terrible scimetar, he considers it an unspeakable humiliation to be called Ferguson. It can not be helped. All guides are Fergusons to us. We can not master their dreadful foreign names [IA, Ch. 33].

August 22 ThursdayQC arrived at Odessa at 4 PM. Sam’s article, continued, dated Aug. 2, “The Holy Land Excursionists,” ran in the New York Herald [Camfield, bibliog.].

August 23 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

“Devil of a time getting the officials to let us go ashore. They have got all our passports. Fine town—broad, well paved streets—fine large houses, substantial, & good architecture—stone—fine stores—gas—pretty women—fashionably dressed—100,000 inhabitants” [MTNJ 1: 405].

August 24 SaturdayQC departed Odessa at 11AM.

The people of Odessa have warmly recommended us to go and call on the Emperor, as did the Sebastopolians. They have telegraphed his Majesty, and he has signified his willingness to grant us an audience. So we are getting up the anchors and preparing to sail to his watering-place. What a scratching around there will be, now! what a holding of important meetings and appointing of solemn committees!—and what a furbishing up of claw-hammer coats and white silk neck-ties! As this fearful ordeal we are about to pass through pictures itself to my fancy in all its dread sublimity, I begin to feel my fierce desire to converse with a genuine Emperor cooling down and passing away. What am I to do with my hands? What am I to do with my feet? What in the world am I to do with myself? [IA Ch. 36].

August 25 SundayQC arrived at Yalta at noon.

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number One” dated June 19 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 3-10]. Note 2nd edition: McKeithan reported Mark Twain’s “Number One” letter from the Holy Land excursion as Aug. 2 (p. 10), but the newspaper has been examined online and the correct date is Aug. 25, 1867. Evidently McKeithan dropped the “5”.

August 26 MondayQC passengers, including Sam, visited Czar Aleksandr II and family.

We had spent the best part of half a day in the home of royalty, and had been as cheerful and comfortable all the time as we could have been in the ship. I would as soon have thought of being cheerful in Abraham’s bosom as in the palace of an Emperor. I supposed that Emperors were terrible people. I thought they never did any thing but wear magnificent crowns and red velvet dressing gowns with dabs of wool sewed on them in spots, and sit on thrones and scowl at the flunkies and the people in the parquette, and order Dukes and Duchesses off to execution. I find, however, that when one is so fortunate as to get behind the scenes and see them at home and in the privacy of their firesides, they are strangely like common mortals [IA Ch. 37].

Sam wrote from Yalta to his mother and family describing the visit to the Czar.

Dear Folks—

We have been representing the United States all we knew how, to-day. We went to Sebastopol, after we got tired of Constantinople (got your letter there, & one at Naples,) & there the Commandant & the whole town came aboard & were as jolly & sociable as old friends. They said the Emperor of Russia was at Yalta, 30 miles or 40 away, & urged us to go there with the ship & visit him—promised us a cordial welcome. They insisted on sending a telegram to the Emperor, & also a courier overland to announce our coming. But we knew that a great English excursion party, & also the Viceroy of Egypt, in his splendid yacht, had been refused an audience within the last fortnight, & so we thought it not safe to try it. They said, no difference—the Emperor would hardly visit our ship, because that be a most extraordinary favor & one which he uniformly refuses to accord under any circumstances, but he would certainly receive us at his palace. We still declined. But we had to go to Odessa, 250 miles away, & there the Governor General urged us, & sent a telegram to the Emperor, which we hardly expected to be answered, but it was, & promptly. So we sailed back to Yalta. We all went to the palace at noon, to-day, (3 miles,) in carriages & on horses sent by the Emperor, & we had a jolly time. Instead of the usual formal audience of 15 minutes, we staid 4 hours & were made a good deal more at home than we could have been in a New York drawing-room. The whole tribe turned out to receive our party—Emperor, Empress, the eldest daughter (Grand-Duchess Marie, a pretty girl of 14,) a little Grand Duke her brother, & a platoon of Admirals, Princes, Peers of the Empire, &c., & in a little while an aid-de camp arrived with a request from the Grand Duke Michael, the Emperor’s brother, that we would visit his palace & breakfast with him. The Emperor also invited us, on behalf of his absent eldest son & heir (aged 22,) to visit his palace & consider it a visit to him. They all talk English & they were all very neatly but very plainly dressed. You all dress a good deal finer than they were dressed. The Emperor & his family threw off all reserve & showed us all over the palace themselves. It is very rich & very elegant, but in no way gaudy.

I had been appointed chairman of a committee to draught an address to the Emperor on behalf of the passengers, & as I fully expected, & as they fully intended, I had to write the address myself. I didn’t mind it, because I have no modesty & would as soon write an Emperor as to anybody else—but considering that there were 5 on the committee I thought they might have contributed one paragraph among them, anyway. They wanted me to read it to him, too, but I declined that honor—not because I hadn’t cheek enough (& some to spare,) but because our Consul at Odessa was along, & also the Secretary of our Legation at St Petersburgh, & of course one of those ought to read it. The Emperor (thanked us for) the address (it was his business to do it,) & so many others have praised it warmly that I begin to imagine it must be a wonderful sort of document & herewith send you the original draught of it, to be put into alcohol & preserved forever like a curious reptile.

They live right well at the Grand Duke Michael’s—their breakfasts are not gorgeous but very excellent—& if Mike were to say the word I would go there & breakfast with him tomorrow.

Ys aff



[written across previous paragraphs:]

They told us it would be polite to invite the Emperor to visit the ship, though he would not be likely to do it. But he dint give us a chance—he has requested permission to come on board with his family & all his relations to-morrow & take a sail, in case it is calm weather. I can entertain them. My hand is in, now, & if you want any more emperors feted in style, trot them out [MTL 2: 80-85].

August 27 Tuesday From Sam’s notebook:

Carpets were spread on the pier & the Governor General & family came on board the ship (we saluted with 9 guns,) & afterward: [list of dignitaries]. And a large number of army & navy officers & titled & untitled ladies & gentlemen.

      Shampagne blow out [MTNJ 1: 410-11].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Two” dated Gibraltar, June 30 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 18-25].


August 28 WednesdayQC departed Yalta at 8 PM. From Sam’s notebook:

Sailed for Constantinople last night, saluting as we left—& fireworks. That beautiful little devil I danced with at the ball in that impossible Russian dance, still runs in my head. Ah me!—if I had only known how to talk Russian! However, she must have known I was saying something with all that absurd English which she couldn’t understand [MTNJ 1: 411].

August 29 Thursday From Sam’s notebook:

“Passed through the beautiful Bosphorus just after daylight & anchored away up in the Golden Horn nearly to the lower bridge. Been on shore & found Dan [Slote], & Foster, Jack Van Nostrand & Col. Haldeman” [MTNJ 1: 411].


August 30 FridayQC arrived back at Constantinople at dawn.

August 31 Saturday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Three” dated July 1 at “Tangier, Africa” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 25-30].

September 1 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Four” dated July 1 at “Tangier, Africa” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 30-36].


September 12 Monday Sam wrote from Constantinople to his mother and family, listing all the letters he had sent to the Alta. He had not seen these in print so asked his mother if they had appeared. He complains that his room mate, Dan Slote,

“…had got the stateroom pretty full of rubbish at last, but a while ago his dragoman arrived with a bran new, ghastly tomb-stone of the Oriental pattern, with his name handsomely carved & gilded on it in Turkish characters. That fellow will buy a Circassian slave, next” [MTL 2: 89].

Sam and several other passengers had their photographs taken at the studio of Abdullah Freres [MTL 2: 92].

September 2 Monday – Sam inscribed a Bible he took on the trip: “Saml. L. Clemens / Constantinople, / Sept. 2, 1867. / Please return this book to stateroom No. 10 in case you happen to borrow it [Gribben 66].

September 3 TuesdayQC passengers, including Sam, visited Scutari, a suburb of Constantinople, during the day; QC departed Constantinople at 10 PM.

WE returned to Constantinople, and after a day or two spent in exhausting marches about the city and voyages up the Golden Horn in caiques, we steamed away again. We passed through the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles, and steered for a new land—a new one to us, at least—Asia. We had as yet only acquired a bowing acquaintance with it, through pleasure excursions to Scutari and the regions round about.

We passed between Lemnos and Mytilene, and saw them as we had seen Elba and the Balearic Isles—mere bulky shapes, with the softening mists of distance upon them—whales in a fog, as it were. Then we held our course southward, and began to “read up” celebrated Smyrna [IA Ch. 38].

September 5 ThursdayQC arrived at Smyrna at 10AM.

This seaport of Smyrna, our first notable acquaintance in Asia, is a closely packed city of one hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants, and, like Constantinople, it has no outskirts. It is as closely packed at its outer edges as it is in the centre, and then the habitations leave suddenly off and the plain beyond seems houseless. It is just like any other Oriental city. That is to say, its Moslem houses are heavy and dark, and as comfortless as so many tombs; its streets are crooked, rudely and roughly paved, and as narrow as an ordinary staircase; the streets uniformly carry a man to any other place than the one he wants to go to, and surprise him by landing him in the most unexpected localities; business is chiefly carried on in great covered bazaars, celled like a honeycomb with innumerable shops no larger than a common closet, and the whole hive cut up into a maze of alleys about wide enough to accommodate a laden camel, and well calculated to confuse a stranger and eventually lose him; every where there is dirt, every where there are fleas, every where there are lean, broken-hearted dogs; every alley is thronged with people; wherever you look, your eye rests upon a wild masquerade of extravagant costumes; the workshops are all open to the streets, and the workmen visible; all manner of sounds assail the ear, and over them all rings out the muezzin’s cry from some tall minaret, calling the faithful vagabonds to prayer; and superior to the call to prayer, the noises in the streets, the interest of the costumes—superior to every thing, and claiming the bulk of attention [IA Ch. 38].

It was in the Bay of Smyrna that Sam first saw the ivory miniature of Charles Langdon’s sister, Olivia Louise Langdon, who would become his wife in 1870 [MTL 2: 145n3].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Five” dated July 12 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 36-41].


September 6 FridayQC passengers, including Sam, visited Ephesus in the day. QC departed Smyrna at 11 PM.

We all stood in the vast theatre of ancient Ephesus,—the stone-benched amphitheatre I mean—and had our picture taken. We looked as proper there as we would look any where, I suppose. We do not embellish the general desolation of a desert much. We add what dignity we can to a stately ruin with our green umbrellas and jackasses, but it is little. However, we mean well [IA Ch. 40].


Sam’s article dated July “At Large in Italy” ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 72-4].


September 7 Saturday Skandera gives this as the date Sam first saw the miniature of Olivia Langdon. Note: She cites Dewey Ganzel, 1968, who cites Sam’s reminiscences, which did not include a date. Still, this may indeed be the very date.

September 8 Sunday From Sam’s notebook: “Isle of Samos St. Paul. Isle of Patmos St John’s Revelations. Isle of Rhodes, where the Colossus stood. St. Paul. Isle of Cyprus—Be at Beirut Sept. 10” [MTNJ 1: 416].


Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Six” dated July 16 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 41-7].


September 10 TuesdayQC arrived at Beirut before dawn.

We had also to range up and down through the town and look at the costumes. These are picturesque and fanciful, but not so varied as at Constantinople and Smyrna; the women of Beirout add an agony—in the two former cities the sex wear a thin veil which one can see through (and they often expose their ancles,) but at Beirout they cover their entire faces with dark-colored or black veils, so that they look like mummies, and then expose their breasts to the public [IA Ch41].

Sam wrote from Beirut to his mother and family:

“We shall be in the saddle three weeks—we have horses, tents, provisions, arms, a dragoman & 2 other servants, & we pay five dollars a day apiece in gold” [MTL 2: 93].

September 11 Wednesday – Clemens, Dr. George Birch, William Church, Joshua Davis, William Denny, Julius Moulton, Dan Slote, and Jack Van Nostrand left Beirut, Lebanon on horseback at 3 PM. They camped that night about ten miles east of the city.

At the appointed time our business committee reported, and said all things were in readdress—that we were to start to-day, with horses, pack animals, and tents, and go to Baalbec, Damascus, the Sea of Tiberias, and thence southward by the way of the scene of Jacob’s Dream and other notable Bible localities to Jerusalem—from thence probably to the Dead Sea, but possibly not—and then strike for the ocean and rejoin the ship three or four weeks hence at Joppa; terms, five dollars a day apiece, in gold, and every thing to be furnished by the dragoman. They said we would lie as well as at a hotel. I had read something like that before, and did not shame my judgment by believing a word of it. I said nothing, however, but packed up a blanket and a shawl to sleep in, pipes and tobacco, two or three woollen shirts, a portfolio, a guide-book, and a Bible. I also took along a towel and a cake of soap, to inspire respect in the Arabs, who would take me for a king in disguise [IA C41].

From Sam’s notebook:

“Our caravan numbers 24 mules & horses, & 14 serving men—28 men all told” [NJ 1: 417].

September 12 Thursday – The group broke camp at 6:30 AM and stayed that night near Zahlah, about two thirds of the way between Beirut and Baalbek. From Sam’s notebook:

“Passed up the Valley & camped on l. side under the dews of Hermon. –first passing through a dirty Arab village & visiting the tomb of Noah, of Deluge notoriety” [MTNJ 1: 417].

September 13 Friday – Sam and group broke camp at 6:30 AM and visited Baalbek before returning south to camp at Sirghaya.

By half-past six we were under way, and all the Syrian world seemed to be under way also. The road was filled with mule trains and long processions of camels. This reminds me that we have been trying for some time to think what a camel looks like, and now we have made it out. When he is down on all his knees, flat on his breast to receive his load, he looks something like a goose swimming; and when he is upright he looks like an ostrich with an extra set of legs. Camels are not beautiful, and their long under lip gives them an exceedingly “gallus” expression. They have immense, flat, forked cushions of feet, that make a track in the dust like a pie with a slice cut out of it. They are not particular about their diet. They would eat a tombstone if they could bite it. A thistle grows about here which has needles on it that would pierce through leather, I think; if one touches you, you can find relief in nothing but profanity. The camels eat these. They show by their actions that they enjoy them. I suppose it would be a real treat to a camel to have a keg of nails for supper [IA Ch. 42].

From Sam’s notebook:

“Rode 7 hours, partly through wild, rocky scenery, & camped at 10.30 on the banks of a pretty stream near a Syrian village—2 horses lame & the others worn out” [1: 418].

September 14 Saturday – Sam and group arrived at Damascus.

We reached the city gates just at sundown. They do say that one can get into any walled city of Syria, after night, for bucksheesh, except Damascus. But Damascus, with its four thousand years of respectability in the world, has many old fogy notions. There are no street lamps there, and the law compels all who go abroad at night to carry lanterns, just as was the case in old days, when heroes and heroines of the Arabian Nights walked the streets of Damascus, or flew away toward Bagdad on enchanted carpets [IA Ch. 44].


September 15 Sunday – From Sam’s notebook:

Taken very sick at 4 AM [MTNJ 1: 419]. THE last twenty-four hours we staid in Damascus I lay prostrate with a violent attack of cholera, or cholera morbus, and therefore had a good chance and a good excuse to lie there on that wide divan and take an honest rest. I had nothing to do but listen to the pattering of the fountains and take medicine and throw it up again. It was dangerous recreation, but it was pleasanter than traveling in Syria. I had plenty of snow from Mount Hermon, and as it would not stay on my stomach, there was nothing to interfere with my eating it—there was always room for more. I enjoyed myself very well. Syrian travel has its interesting features, like travel in any other part of the world, and yet to break your leg or have the cholera adds a welcome variety to it [IA Ch. 45].


Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Seven” dated July “Milan, Italy” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 48-53].


September 16 Monday – Sam and group left Damascus at noon, and camped that night at Kefr Hauwar. Meanwhile, the QC arrived at Mt. Carmel at 10 AM and left again at noon, arriving at Jaffa (now part of Tel Aviv) at 8 PM.

We left Damascus at noon and rode across the plain a couple of hours, and then the party stopped a while in the shade of some fig-trees to give me a chance to rest. It was the hottest day we had seen yet—the sun-flames shot down like the shafts of fire that stream out before a blow-pipe—the rays seemed to fall in a steady deluge on the head and pass downward like rain from a roof. I imagined I could distinguish between the floods of rays—I thought I could tell when each flood struck my head, when it reached my shoulders, and when the next one came. It was terrible. All the desert glared so fiercely that my eyes were swimming in tears all the time. The boys had white umbrellas heavily lined with dark green. They were a priceless blessing. I thanked fortune that I had one, too, notwithstanding it was packed up with the baggage and was ten miles ahead. It is madness to travel in Syria without an umbrella. They told me in Beirout (these people who always gorge you with advice) that it was madness to travel in Syria without an umbrella. It was on this account that I got one.

But, honestly, I think an umbrella is a nuisance any where when its business is to keep the sun off. No Arab wears a brim to his fez, or uses an umbrella, or any thing to shade his eyes or his face, and he always looks comfortable and proper in the sun. But of all the ridiculous sights I ever have seen, our party of eight is the most so—they do cut such an outlandish figure. They travel single file; they all wear the endless white rag of Constantinople wrapped round and round their hats and dangling down their backs; they all wear thick green spectacles, with side-glasses to them; they all hold white umbrellas, lined with green, over their heads; without exception their stirrups are too short—they are the very worst gang of horsemen on earth, their animals to a horse trot fearfully hard—and when they get strung out one after the other; glaring straight ahead and breathless; bouncing high and out of turn, all along the line; knees well up and stiff, elbows flapping like a rooster’s that is going to crow, and the long file of umbrellas popping convulsively up and down—when one sees this outrageous picture exposed to the light of day, he is amazed that the gods don’t get out their thunderbolts and destroy them off the face of the earth! I do—I wonder at it. I wouldn’t let any such caravan go through a country of mine [IA Ch. 45].

Sam’s article, dated Aug. 2, “Mark Twain in Quarantine” which ran in the Naples Observer on Aug. 3, also ran on Sept. 16 in the Alta California [McKeithan 74-6]. Note: Sam’s agreement with the Alta would most certainly have excluded his letters being published elsewhere, but perhaps this was done with the thought that the Alta folks would not know it.


September 17 Tuesday – Sam and group departed Kefr Hauwar in the AM and camped that night at Baniyas, once the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi. From Sam’s notebook:

A great, massive, ruined citadel of 4 acres…hoof prints deep in old rocks…This is the first place we have ever seen, whose pavements were trodden by Jesus Christ. …Here Christ cured a woman who had had an issue of blood for 7 years (now-a-days there would have been an affidavit published) and near here—possibly on the Castle hill, some claim that the Savior’s Ascension/Transfig(?) took place [MTNJ 1: 421].

September 18 Wednesday – Sam and group departed Baniyas at 7:15 AM, and camped that night at Ain Mellahah, near Lake Huleh (now called Bahret el Hule). From Sam’s notebook:

“It was first, ages ago, the Phoenician Laish—a lot of Danites from Sodom, 600, came over, like a pack of adventurers as they were, captured the place & lived there as sort of luxurious agriculturists, till Abraham hazed them in after times” [MTNJ 1: 422].

Sam’s unsigned “The American Excursionists” dated Aug. 27 ran in the New York Herald [Camfield, bibliog.].


September 19 Thursday – Sam and group left Ain Mellahah at 7 AM and camped that night at Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee.

At noon we took a swim in the Sea of Galilee—a blessed privilege in this roasting climate—and then lunched under a neglected old fig-tree at the fountain they call Ain-et-Tin, a hundred yards from ruined Capernaum. Every rivulet that gurgles out of the rocks and sands of this part of the world is dubbed with the title of “fountain,” and people familiar with the Hudson, the great lakes and the Mississippi fall into transports of admiration over them, and exhaust their powers of composition in writing their praises. If all the poetry and nonsense that have been discharged upon the fountains and the bland scenery of this region were collected in a book, it would make a most valuable volume to burn [IA Ch. 47].

Sam’s article “Americans on a Visit to the Emperor of Russia” dated Aug. 26 ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 142-150].


September 20 Friday – Sam and group left Tiberias in the AM and camped that night at Nazareth.

We visited the places where Jesus worked for fifteen years as a carpenter, and where he attempted to teach in the synagogue and was driven out by a mob. Catholic chapels stand upon these sites and protect the little fragments of the ancient walls which remain. Our pilgrims broke off specimens. We visited, also, a new chapel, in the midst of the town, which is built around a boulder some twelve feet long by four feet thick; the priests discovered, a few years ago, that the disciples had sat upon this rock to rest, once, when they had walked up from Capernaum. They hastened to preserve the relic. Relics are very good property. Travelers are expected to pay for seeing them, and they do it cheerfully. We like the idea. One’s conscience can never be the worse for the knowledge that he has paid his way like a man. Our pilgrims would have liked very well to get out their lampblack and stencil­plates and paint their names on that rock, together with the names of the villages they hail from in America, but the priests permit nothing of that kind. To speak the strict truth, however, our party seldom offend in that way, though we have men in the ship who never lose an opportunity to do it. Our pilgrims’ chief sin is their lust for “specimens.” I suppose that by this time they know the dimensions of that rock to an inch, and its weight to a ton; and I do not hesitate to charge that they will go back there to­night and try to carry it off [IA Ch. 50].

September 21 Saturday – Sam and group left Nazareth and camped that night at Janin. From Sam’s notebook:

“Left Nazareth & its chalk hills at 7.30 [AM], came down a high, steep mountain & galloped across the Plain of Esdraelon to Endor, the rustiest of all, almost—a few nasty mud cabin,—many caves & holes in the hill from which the fierce, ragged, dirty inhabitants swarmed. Pop. 250” [MTNJ 1: 427].

September 22 Sunday – Sam and group left Janin at 2 AM and camped that night at Lubban. From Sam’s notebook:

“Camped at 7 PM at an Arab Village—Lubia (Libonia of the Bible). Tents behind. Slept on the ground in front of an Arab house. Lice, fleas, horses, jackasses, chickens, & worse than all, Arabs for company all night” [MTNJ 1: 431].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Eight” dated July “Lake of Como” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 53-9].


September 23 Monday – Sam and group left Lubban at 2:30 AM and reached Jerusalem at noon.

A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is. The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt-heads. Every house has from one to half a dozen of these white plastered domes of stone, broad and low, sitting in the centre of, or in a cluster upon, the flat roof. Wherefore, when one looks down from an eminence, upon the compact mass of houses (so closely crowded together, in fact, that there is no appearance of streets at all, and so the city looks solid,) he sees the knobbiest town in the world, except Constantinople. It looks as if it might be roofed, from centre to circumference, with inverted saucers. The monotony of the view is interrupted only by the great Mosque of Omar, the Tower of Hippicus, and one or two other buildings that rise into commanding prominence.

Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live there [IA, Ch. 53].

The Daily Alta California, p. 1 col. 2 reported a small item of interest about the letters received from Mark Twain:

WHAT OBJECT? —We received by steamer mail yesterday a half a dozen letters from “Mark Twain” at Naples, each of which has had a knife or other sharp instrument, three-quarters of an inch in width, driven through it at the end, about half an inch from the edge. The knife was evidently driven through one end from the side on which the superscription appears and through the other end from the reverse side, cutting through envelope and contents each time. Had any of the letters contained photographs or any similar object, the knife would have played havoc with them. We are at a loss to understand what object any man could have in thus mutilating the letters, unless, indeed, the person making the incisions may have been a stranger—say an Italian brigand or something of that sort—and being totally unacquainted with the impecunious Mark, was on the lookout for bank checks, drafts, or greenbacks. The cut in each case would enable the outsider to ascertain what was inside the letter, and from the appearance of the envelopes the cutting must have been done long before the letters reached this continent.

September 24 Tuesday Sam wrote from Jerusalem at the Mediterranean Hotel to Mr. Esais ordering a Bible to be sent to his mother. He forwarded the note with a Mr. Weintraub [MTL 2: 94-5]. Note: this Bible is now at the MTP.

Sam inscribed: “Mrs. Jane Clemens / From Her Son— / Jerusalem, Sept 24, 1867.” on the flyleaf of an 1863 edition of The Holy Bible [Gribben 65].

Sam cut a piece of cedar for a gavel handle from a tree planted just outside the walls of Jerusalem by Geodfrey De Bouillon, the first Christian Conquerer of the city in 1099. Sam had a gavel made from the wood in Alexandria, Egypt for a gift to his Masonic lodge, the Polar Star Lodge No. 79 in St. Louis [Jones 365; MTNJ 1: 442n116].

September 25 Wednesday – Sam and group left Jerusalem at 8 AM for a two-day side trip, camping that night near Jericho.

Ancient Jericho is not very picturesque as a ruin. When Joshua marched around it seven times, some three thousand years ago, and blew it down with his trumpet, he did the work so well and so completely that he hardly left enough of the city to cast a shadow. The curse pronounced against the rebuilding of it, has never been removed. One King, holding the curse in light estimation, made the attempt, but was stricken sorely for his presumption. Its site will always remain unoccupied; and yet it is one of the very best locations for a town we have seen in all Palestine [IA Ch. 55].

From Sam’s notebook:

Lay down in the bushes & slept 2 hours & caught cold. Got up & crossed the Jordan [MTNJ 1: 438].


September 26 Thursday – Sam and group left Jericho at 2 AM and visited the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Sam swam in the north end of the Dead Sea and tried to ride his horse into it, but fell off [Rasmussen 107]. That night they camped at Mar Saba.

At two in the morning they routed us out of bed—another piece of unwarranted cruelty—another stupid effort of our dragoman to get ahead of a rival. It was not two hours to the Jordan. However, we were dressed and under way before any one thought of looking to see what time it was, and so we drowsed on through the chill night air and dreamed of camp fires, warm beds, and other comfortable things [IA Ch. 55].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Nine” dated July “Abroad in Italy” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 66-71].

September 27 Friday – Sam and group left Mar Saba at 3 AM and visited Bethlehem. They returned to Jerusalem at noon. (Thus Clemens stayed at the Hotel Mediterranean hotel from Sept. 23 to the 29)

At nine or ten in the morning we reached the Plain of the Shepherds, and stood in a walled garden of olives where the shepherds were watching their flocks by night, eighteen centuries ago, when the multitude of angels brought them the tidings that the Saviour was born. A quarter of a mile away was Bethlehem of Judea, and the pilgrims took some of the stone wall and hurried on.

The Plain of the Shepherds is a desert, paved with loose stones, void of vegetation, glaring in the fierce sun. Only the music of the angels it knew once could charm its shrubs and flowers to life again and restore its vanished beauty. No less potent enchantment could avail to work this miracle.

In the huge Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, built fifteen hundred years ago by the inveterate St. Helena, they took us below ground, and into a grotto cut in the living rock. This was the “manger” where Christ was born. A silver star set in the floor bears a Latin inscription to that effect. It is polished with the kisses of many generations of worshiping pilgrims. The grotto was tricked out in the usual tasteless style observable in all the holy places of Palestine. As in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, envy and uncharitableness were apparent here. The priests and the members of the Greek and Latin churches can not come by the same corridor to kneel in the sacred birthplace of the Redeemer, but are compelled to approach and retire by different avenues, lest they quarrel and fight on this holiest ground on earth.

I have no “meditations,” suggested by this spot where the very first “Merry Christmas!” was uttered in all the world, and from whence the friend of my childhood, Santa Claus, departed on his first journey, to gladden and continue to gladden roaring firesides on wintry mornings in many a distant land forever and forever. I touch, with reverent finger, the actual spot where the infant Jesus lay, but I think – nothing [IA Ch. 55].

September 28 Saturday From Sam’s notebook: “Went all through the Holy Sepulchre again” [MTNJ 1: 442].

September 29 Sunday – Sam and group left Jerusalem at 3 PM and reached Ramla in the evening.

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Ten” dated Aug. “Naples, Italy” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 76-83].


September 30 Monday – Sam and group left Ramla in the AM and arrived at Jaffa after a 3-hour trip to board the QC.

October 1 TuesdayQC departed Jaffa at 7:30 AM Sam wrote at sea to his nephew Sammy Moffett, enclosing a pressed rose in a New Testament [MTL 2: 95-7]. From Sam’s notebook: “Oct 1.—Sailed for Egypt” [MTNJ 1: 443].


Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Eleven” dated Aug. “Naples” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 83-9].

October 2 WednesdayQC arrived at Alexandria at sunset. Here he had the cedar branch from Jerusalem fashioned into a gavel for his Masonic lodge in St. Louis [Jones 365].

After a pleasant voyage and a good rest, we drew near to Egypt and out of the mellowest of sunsets we saw the domes and minarets of Alexandria rise into view. As soon as the anchor was down, Jack and I got a boat and went ashore. It was night by this time, and the other passengers were content to remain at home and visit ancient Egypt after breakfast. It was the way they did at Constantinople. They took a lively interest in new countries, but their school-boy impatience had worn off, and they had learned that it was wisdom to take things easy and go along comfortably—these old countries do not go away in the night; they stay till after breakfast [IA Ch57].

October 3 Thursday From Sam’s notebook:

“Café d’ Europe, Hotel d’Europe, Catacombs—pass along another King, Pompey’s pillar, Cleaopatra’s Needles, Great Cemetary, Mahmoudeea Canal, Nile boats, Fine streets & dwellings, Fine shade-tree avenues, Luxurious bowers, Great fountain in main street” [MTNJ 1: 443-4].

October 4 Friday – Sam, Slote, Van Nostrand, and others unidentified left Alexandria by train at 4 PM, arriving in Cairo late that evening.

Alexandria was too much like a European city to be novel, and we soon tired of it. We took the cars and came up here to ancient Cairo, which is an Oriental city and of the completest pattern. There is little about it to disabuse one’s mind of the error if he should take it into his head that he was in the heart of Arabia. Stately camels and dromedaries, swarthy Egyptians, and likewise Turks and black Ethiopians, turbaned, sashed, and blazing in a rich variety of Oriental costumes of all shades of flashy colors, are what one sees on every hand crowding the narrow streets and the honeycombed bazaars. We are stopping at Shepherd’s Hotel, which is the worst on earth except the one I stopped at once in a small town in the United States. It is pleasant to read this sketch in my note-book, now, and know that I can stand Shepherd’s Hotel, sure, because I have been in one just like it in America and survived [IA Ch. 57].

October 5 Saturday – Sam and companions left Cairo on donkeys in the early AM. They visited the Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza. They returned to Cairo that night.

Arrived at Old Cairo, the camp-followers took up the donkeys and tumbled them bodily aboard a small boat with a lateen sail, and we followed and got under way. The deck was closely packed with donkeys and men; the two sailors had to climb over and under and through the wedged mass to work the sails, and the steersman had to crowd four or five donkeys out of the way when he wished to swing his tiller and put his helm hard-down. But what were their troubles to us? We had nothing to do; nothing to do but enjoy the trip; nothing to do but shove the donkeys off our corns and look at the charming scenery of the Nile [IA Ch58].

October 6 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twelve” dated Aug. “Naples” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 89-94].


October 7 Monday – Sam and group left Cairo for Alexandria to board the QC, which departed Alexandria at 5 PM.

October 10 Thursday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Thirteen” dated Aug. “Naples” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 95-100].


October 11 Friday From Sam’s notebook: “At sea, somewhere in the neighborhood of Malta. Very stormy” [MTNJ 1: 446].

October 13 SundayQC arrived at Cagliari, island of Sardinia at 9 PM, and left at midnight without disembarking passengers. Sam began a letter to his mother and family, writing on Oct. 13, 15, and 17 brief notes about his whereabouts, travel plans, the restrictions of quarantine and arrival back in New York [MTL 2: 97-8].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Fourteen” dated July 29 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 59-66].


October 15 TuesdayQC arrived at Algiers at 3:30 PM; left at 5:30 PM without disembarking passengers.

October 17 ThursdayQC arrived at Malaga at 1 PM and left at 4 PM without disembarking passengers. It arrived at Gibraltar at 11PM.

“We were all lazy and satisfied, now, as the meager entries in my note-book (that sure index, to me, of my condition,) prove. What a stupid thing a note-book gets to be at sea, any way” [IA Ch. 59].


October 18 Friday – Sam, Dr. Jackson, Julius Moulton, Miss Julia Newell, and a guide left Gibraltar at noon, traveling overnight by horseback and carriage to Algeciras, Vejer, and San Fernando.

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Fifteen” dated Aug. 15 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 100-110].


October 19 Saturday – Sam and group took a 4 PM train to Seville, arriving at midnight.

The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County was reviewed by Fun, a English rival to Punch, edited by Tom Hood:

…one of the funniest books we have met with for a long time….too long to tell here and too good to spoil by curtailment….There are no misspellings, no contortions of words in Mark Swan [sic]; his fun is entirely dependent upon the inherent humour in his writings. And although many jokers have sent us brochures like the present from the other side of the Atlantic, we have had no book fuller of more genuine or genial fun [Welland 15-16].

October 20 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Sixteen” dated Aug. 20 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 110-115].


October 22 Tuesday – Sam and group took a train to Cordoba.

October 23 Wednesday – Sam and group returned by 9 AM train to Seville, then left for Cadiz, stopping briefly in Jerez.

The ship had to stay a week or more at Gibraltar to take in coal for the home voyage.

      It would be very tiresome staying here, and so four of us ran the quarantine blockade and spent seven delightful days in Seville, Cordova, Cadiz, and wandering through the pleasant rural scenery of Andalusia, the garden of Old Spain. The experiences of that cheery week were too varied and numerous for a short chapter and I have not room for a long one. Therefore I shall leave them all out [IA Ch60].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Seventeen” dated Aug. 23 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 115-20].


October 24 Thursday – Sam and group arrived in Cadiz. Meanwhile, the QC departed Gibraltar at 6 PM. Sam wrote from Cadiz to his mother and family about dodging quarantine and his hard journey to Seville. “…will arrive in New York ten days after this letter gets there” [MTL 2: 99].

He also wrote to Joe Goodman, relating the friction that had developed between Sam and some of the passengers, probably over a September 19 article of Sam’s in the New York Tribune. The article related the visit to the Czar and by comparison with Mrs. Fairbanks, painted the other ladies in a bad light, or so some of them thought. Sam confided in Joe:

“Between you and I, (I haven’t let it out yet, but am going to,) this pleasure party of ours is composed of the d—dest, rustiest, ignorant, vulgar, slimy, psalm-singing cattle that could be scraped up in seventeen States. They wanted Holy Land, and they got it” [MTL 2: 101-3].

October 25 FridayQC arrived at Cadiz at 7:30 AM. Sam and group boarded at 10:30 AM. The QC departed Cadiz at 11 AM. Sam’s article, dated Aug. 31 “A Yankee in the Orient” ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 128-32].

October 27 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Eighteen” dated only August, “Constantinople” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 120-23].


October 28 MondayQC arrived at Funchal, island of Madiera, at noon, then left at 8 PM without disembarking passengers.

October 29 Tuesday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Nineteen” dated only August, “Constantinople” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 123-28].


November 1 Friday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty” dated Aug. 22 “Sebastopol” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 132-7].


November 2 Saturday – Sam’s article, “The American Colony in Palistine” dated Oct. 2, ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 306-9].


November 3 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-one” dated Aug. 22 at “Odessa” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 137-42].


November 6 Wednesday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-two” dated Aug. 27 at “Yalta” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 150-57].


November 9 Saturday – Sam’s article, “Holy Land, The First Day in Palestine” dated Sept. at “Baldwinsville, Galilee” ran in the New York Tribune [McKeithan 209-13].


November 10 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-three” dated Aug. 27 at “Yalta, Russia” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 157-63].


November 11 MondayQC arrived at St. George, Bermuda at dawn.

“…the beautiful Bermudas rose out of the sea, we entered the tortuous channel, steamed hither and thither among the bright summer islands, and rested at last under the flag of England and were welcome” [IA Ch.60].

There were probably several groups who ventured to Hamilton, as there were 63 passengers. Mary Mason Fairbanks went in one group that followed the North Shore Road with views of Ireland Island and the Dockyard, reaching Hamilton about noon where they registered in the only hotel in town, the Hamilton Hotel [D. Hoffman 17-18]. Sam most likely went with a later group; after a breakfast on board, the Severances and Charles Langdon went to Hamilton. Mary Fairbanks wrote that Hamilton stood above the harbor “like a citadel” [18]. Emily Severance noted buildings and an “immense Indian rubber tree” in front of the postmaster’s house [20].

The American consul, Charles M. Allen, was from Belmont, New York an old friend of the Langdon family of Elmira [20]. Also visiting Bermuda was Charley Langdon’s cousin, Julia Louise Langdon [20]. The New York Sun of Moses Beach later reported “Miss Langdon” in Bermuda, which led one source to speculate incorrectly that this was Livy; that Sam first met her there, which is in error.

November 12 Tuesday The group rode in carriages to the Gibbs Hill lighthouse, an unusual structure built in 1844-6, mostly from cast-iron parts made in England. The group then returned to the Hamilton Hotel for a meal. Afterward they traveled back to St. George’s for an evening at the W.C.J. and Mary Hyland’s. Hyland was a “fellow Christian and eminent citizen of St. George, where he founded the YMCA and ran the Sunday school” [D. Hoffman 18, 20-1]. Hyland misspelled but listed Sam as among the guests for the evening: “Entertained Mrs. Fairbanks, Mr. and Mrs. Severance, Mr. Langdon, Moses S. Beach and daughter [Emma] and Mr Clements (‘Mark Twain’).” At midnight the pilgrims headed back to the Quaker City [22].

November 13 Wednesday – A gale from the NW came up, continuing throughout the day. Just after midnight: The ship was anchored about a mile from shore. A rising wind and current made rowing back difficult. Mary Fairbanks wrote:

“Our oarsmen tugged manfully, and ‘Mark Twain’ held the rudder with a strong hand, while the spray dashed over his Parisian broadcloth and almost extinguished his inevitable cigar” [D. Hoffman 22].

November 14 Thursday Stormy weather continued, delaying the departure of the QC [D. Hoffman 23].

November 15 FridayQC left St. George at 8 AM. [MTL 2: 105 n5].


November 17 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-four” dated Sept. 5 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 163-68].


November 19 Tuesday Charles Dickens arrived in Boston to begin a five-month tour, lecturing and reading from his works [MTL 2: 104n3].


Quaker City arrived at New York City at 10 AM to complete the excursion, 5 months and 11 days long.

At last, one pleasant morning, we steamed up the harbor of New York, all on deck, all dressed in Christian garb—by special order, for there was a latent disposition in some quarters to come out as Turks—and amid a waving of handkerchiefs from welcoming friends, the glad pilgrims noted the shiver of the decks that told that ship and pier had joined hands again and the long, strange cruise was over. Amen [IA, Ch60].

Notes: The excursion was pivotal for Sam. His experiences would translate into his first truly successful book, Innocents Abroad, which would bring national prominence as a writer. With contacts to the Langdons and Mrs. Fairbanks, Sam made inroads into “respectable” society. The inroads were not without friction.


November 20 Wednesday Sam wrote two letters to his mother, Jane Clemens and family upon arriving in New York, and finished them this day.

—the Herald folks got me at 6 o’clock, & notwithstanding I had an engagement to dine at the St. Nicholas with some ladies [Mary Fairbanks and Charles Langdon have been identified]. & take them to the theatre, I sat down in one of the editorial rooms & wrote a long article that will make the Quakers get up & howl in the morning.

The Quakers are all howling, to-day, on account of the article in the Herald. They can go to the devil, for all I care [MTL 2: 106].

Sam’s article, “The Cruise of the Quaker City,” dated Nov. 19, was printed on this morning [MTL 2: 104; McKeithan 313-19]. From the Herald article:

A free, hearty laugh was a sound that was not heard oftener than once in seven days about those decks or in those cabins, and when it was heard it met with precious little sympathy…The pilgrims played dominoes when too much Josephus or Robinson’s Holy Land Researches, or book-writing, made recreation necessary—for dominoes is about as mild and sinless a game as any in the world, excepting always the ineffably insipid diversion they call croquet, which is a game where you don’t pocket any balls and don’t carom on any thing of consequence, and when you are done nobody has to pay, and there are no refreshments to saw off, and consequently there isn’t any satisfaction whatever about it—they played dominoes till they were rested, and then they blackguarded each other privately till prayer-time. When they were not seasick they were uncommonly prompt when the dinner gong sounded. Such was our daily life on board the ship—solemnity, decorum, dinner, dominoes, devotions, slander. It was not lively enough for a pleasure trip; but if we had only had a corpse it would have made a noble funeral excursion [Lennon 183-4].

November 19 or 20 Wednesday Sam may have met Thomas Nast, famous illustrator and cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, upon his return to New York. Nast had a show opening there on Dec. 4. Or, he may have met Nast after traveling to Washington. Either way, Nast soon proposed a lecture tour Sam speaking and Nast drawing. Ten years later Sam broached the subject with Nast again:

Therefore I now propose to you what you proposed to me in November, 1867—ten years ago, (when I was unknown,) viz.: That you should stand on the platform and make pictures, and I stand by you and blackguard the audience. I should enormously enjoy meandering around (to big towns—don’t want to go to little ones) with you for company [Nov, 12, 1877 to Nast in MTL, 1: 311].


On one of these days, Sam also went to see Charles H. Webb.

Webb told me that the “Jumping Frog” book had been favorably received by the press and that he believed it had sold fairly well, but that he had found it impossible to get a statement of account from the American News Company. … He was willing to accommodate me upon these terms: that I should surrender to him such royalties as might be due me; [because Webb had supposedly incurred manufacturing costs] that I should surrender to him, free of royalty, all bound and unbound copies which might be in the News Company’s hands; also that I should hand him eight hundred dollars cash; also that he should superintend the breaking up of the plates of the book…[AMT 2: 49]. See Explanatory notes 49.31-33 and 50.11-14 p. 487 of source. In the former, John A. Gray and Green Co. listed a total of 4,076 books printed. This was the same NYC company that 17 year old Clemens set type for.

November 21 Thursday After a dinner with the New York Herald’s editorial board, Sam took the night train to Washington, D.C [MTL 2: 109 n2; Bliss 58].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-five” dated Sept. 6 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 168-72].

Elisha P. Bliss (1822-1880) of the American Publishing Co. wrote to Clemens:


Dr. Sir,—We take the liberty to address you this, in place of a letter which we had recently written and was about to forward to you, not knowing your arrival home was expected so soon. We are desirous of obtaining from you a work of some kind, perhaps compiled from your letters from the East, &c., with such interesting additions as may be proper. We are the publishers of A. D. Richardson’s works, and flatter ourselves that we can give an author as favorable terms and do as full justice to his productions as any other house in the country. We are perhaps the oldest subscription house in the country, and have never failed to give a book an immense circulation. We sold about 100,000 copies of Richardson’s F. D. & E. (Field, Dungeon and Escape) and are now printing 41,000 of “Beyond the Mississippi,” and large orders ahead. If you have any thought of writing a book, or could be induced to do so, we should be pleased to see you, and will do so. Will you do us the favor to reply at once, at your earliest convenience.

Very truly, &c.,

E. Bliss, Jr. [MTP]. Note: Paine’s Transcription.

November 22 Friday – Sam arrived in Washington, D.C. and roomed with his new employer, Senator William Morris Stewart (1827-1909) in a second-floor apartment run by 70-year-old Miss Virginia Wells. “Clemens took his meals and socialized at the Round Robin bar at the Willard Hotel (see insert picture)….a favorite watering hole of Washington power brokers” [Bliss 64].

Sam then wrote John Russell Young, editor of the New York Tribune. Sam explained that Young was out when he’d visited the Tribune’s offices and sent him several letters which passed the “most fastidious censor on shipboard” (probably Mrs. Fairbanks).

“I would so like to write some savage letters about Palestine, but it wouldn’t do. And I would like to modernize the biographies of some of the patriarchs—but that would not do, either” [MTL 2: 108-111].

Sam arrived in the nation’s capitol with grand ideas of fame and fortune, of making more of a name for himself by associating with important people, of gaining influence for his brother Orion and for himself. It wasn’t long before being tied to a desk job soured these dreams. The position lasted not quite a month. Powers writes: “Shortly after arriving, Sam hit Stewart up for a loan. Stewart turned him down” [Powers, MT A Life 225]. Lorch puts forth the idea that Sam took the Washington job to “become more knowledgeable for his contemplated trip to China[69].

November 24 Sunday Sam wrote from Washington to Frank Fuller about his strategy for lecturing somewhere other than “in the provinces.”

“I have solemnly yielded up my liberty for a whole session of Congress—enrolled my name on the regular Tribune staff, made the Tribune bureau here my headquarters, taken correspondence for two other papers [the Alta California and the Territorial Enterprise] & one magazine [the Galaxy]…” [MTL 2: 111-113].

Sam turned down the money offered for eighteen lectures through the Associated Western Literary Societies, thinking he would make twice that and gain reputation in Washington. Sam also wrote John Russell Young a short note enclosing three of his Holy Land letters [MTL 2: 113-14].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-six” dated Sept. 8 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 173-8].


November 25 Monday Sam wrote from Washington, D.C. to Charles H. Webb, sending a penciled draft of the first two acts of a play about the Quaker City trip. He also confessed his inability to find a sweetheart named “Pauline (unknown) and asked to be remembered to her [MTL 2: 115].

Sam also wrote John Russell Young of the Tribune again, informing him that he was doing a bit of writing for the Herald, “impersonal, of course, I suppose,” meaning, without his byline [MTL 2: 115-6].

Sam also wrote to Jane Clemens  and family and family of his efforts to obtain a clerkship in the Patent Office for Orion. He confided his progress at becoming well known:

“Am pretty well known, now—intend to be better known. Am hob-nobbing with these old Generals & Senators & other humbugs for no good purpose” [MTL 2: 116-7].

November 29 FridayThe New York Times ran a 1,700 word article on the front page signed by “Scupper Nong” about a meeting of a correspondent and General Ulysses S. Grant. Muller calls this the “Scupper Nong Letter” (in Chapter 3) and notes it was reprinted the following day in the Philadelphia Daily Evening Telegraph with the byline of Mark Twain [47]. The article was the result of Sam and Bill Swinton calling on Grant, who was not at home at the time. Donald Tiffany Bliss records that the interview with Grant was fictitious and in the Dec. 1868 issue of the New York Tribune. Evidently Bliss missed the Times article. Bliss writes, “Capturing Grant’s laconic personality, the spoof, much like a Saturday Night Live skit, mocked the evasive spin and non-answers that characterize so many political interviews” [87]. In the article, Sam wanted Grant’s opinion of Reconstruction policy. Anticipating possible negative responses to his chapter, Muller put a disclaimer on the page that his “finding has yet to be presented for peer review among the well-established network of Twain scholars and researchers.” Given the evidence in the Phila. paper, it seems no peer review is necessary. Muller explains Sam’s use of the pseudonym.


November 30 Saturday Sam’s 32nd birthday. “The Scupper Nong Letters—From the National Capital—An Interview with General Grant” ran in the Philadelphia Daily Evening Telegraph [Muller 47].

December 1 Sunday Sam wrote from Washington, D.C. to John Russell Young about payment and questioned the amount of a $65 check he’d received. He also received a letter from Elisha P. Bliss, which he responded to the next day. Bliss was soliciting a book from Sam, “compiled from your letters from the East, &c, with such interesting additions as may be proper.” Bliss published by subscription, a popular plan in those days with road salesmen pre-selling a book until profitability was ensured to enable publication. Bliss became Sam’s principal publisher until Bliss’ death in 1880. The letter from Bliss was the impetus for Sam’s second book, Innocents Abroad [MTL 2: 118-120].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-seven” dated Sept. 11 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 178-82].


December 2 Monday From Washington, Sam responded favorably to Bliss’ pitch, and asked for more particulars [MTL 2: 119-21].

On the same day Sam wrote Mary Mason Fairbanks:

My Dear Forgiving Mother—It all came of making a promise! I might have known it. I never keep a promise. I don’t know how. They only taught about the wise virgins & the stupid ones, in our Sunday School—never anything about promises….When I get married I shall say: “I take this woman to be my lawfully wedded wife, & propose to look out for her in a sort of general way, &c, &c.” It would be dangerous to go beyond that….I italicize like a girl….Give me another sermon! Yr. Improving Prodigal [MTL 2: 121-4].

Sam also wrote Frank Fuller about Bliss’ American Publishing Co. wanting a book [MTL 2: 124].

Twain’s article, “Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation,” which satirized his experiences with Senator William Morris Stewart, ran in the New York Tribune, and on Jan. 18, 1868 was reprinted in Kelley’s Weekly; and Feb. 13, 1868 again in the Tribune [Ebay #190462679873; 11/3/2010; Mark Twain’s Encyclopedia p. 279].

Sam covered President Andrew Johnson’s “annual message” to Congress, which created a firestorm. Sam wrote to the Territorial Enterprise:

The President’s Message is making a howl among the Republicans—serenity sits upon the brow of Democracy. The Republican Congressmen say it is insolent to Congress; the Democrats say it is a mild, sweet document, free from guile. But one thing is sure: the message has weakened the President. Impeachment was dead, day before yesterday. It would rise up and make a strong fight to-day if it were pushed with energy and tact [MTNJ 1: 490].


December 4 Wednesday Sam wrote from Washington to John Russell Young again, asking if he might use the three letters he had sent in the book he was planning for Bliss. “I am sorry to trouble you so much, but behold the world is full of sorrows, & grief is the heritage of man” [MTL 2: 125]. In the letter Sam mentioned William Swinton (1833-1892), who in 1906 Sam remembered as forming a “Newspaper Correspondence Syndicate” with him, earning a dollar a letter from several newspapers [MTA 1: 323-4]. Sam called Swinton “a brilliant creature, highly educated, accomplished.” For more about Swinton, a roommate of Sam’s in Washington during the winter of 1867-8, see MTL 2: 125n1].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-eight” dated Sept. 12 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 183-88].


December 5 Thursday Sam wrote from Washington to Miss Emeline Beach “Emma”, the seventeen year old daughter of Moses Beach, both of whom had been aboard the Quaker City. The Beach family was members of Henry Ward Beecher’s congregation, and Moses Beach took umbrage at Sam’s article about the passengers of the Quaker City.

I suppose I have made you mad, too, maybe, but with all my heart I hope I haven’t. You wasn’t particularly civil to an old & defeated chess antagonist, the day you left the ship, but I declare to goodness (pardon the expression,) I cannot bear malice for that. Mr. Beach told me in New York, that even Mrs. Fairbanks felt hurt about that best-natured squib that ever was written (I refer to the one in the Herald,) & Charlie Langdon has not dropped me a line. Mrs. Fairbanks has, though, & scolds—scolds hard—but she can’t deceive this Prodigal Son—I detect the good nature & the forgiveness under it all [MTL 2: 126-7].

Sam named Emma Beach as one of the eight passengers he wanted to stay friends with, and corresponded with her as late as 1905 [Rasmussen 26].

This day Sam also wrote to Frank Fuller about possible lecturing in the West:

“I am good for 3 nights in San F., 1 in Sac., 2 in Va, & 1 in Carson—that is all I can swear to” [MTL 2: 128].


December 8 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Twenty-nine” dated Sept. 17 ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 188-93].


December 10 Tuesday Sam wrote from Washington to his mother and family about political prospects and about Mrs. Fairbanks.

She was the most refined, intelligent, & cultivated lady in the ship, & altogether the kindest & best. She sewed my buttons on, kept my clothes in presentable trim, fed me on Egyptian jam (when I behaved,) lectured me awfully on the quarter-deck on moonlit promenading evenings, & cured me of several bad habits. …We all called her “mother” & kept her in hot water all the time about her brood. I always abused the sea-sick people—I said nobody but almighty mean people ever got sea-sick—& she thought I was in earnest. She never got sick herself. She always drummed us up for prayer meeting, with her monitory, ‘Seven bells, my boys—you know what it is time for.” We always went, but we liked four bells best, because it meant hash—dinner, I should say [MTL 2: 130].

Sam wrote the Alta of his conversations with General Edward McCook on support of the Hawaii treaty [MTL 2: 138n3].

December 12 Thursday Sam wrote from Washington to Mary Mason Fairbanks. About Mary’s advice to get married, Sam gave the famous reply:

“I want a good wife—I want a couple of them if they are particularly good….But seriously again, if I were settled I would quit all nonsense & swindle some girl into marrying me. But I wouldn’t expect to be ‘worthy’ of her. I wouldn’t have a girl that I was worthy of. She wouldn’t do. She wouldn’t be respectable enough” [MTL 2: 133-4].


December 13 Friday Sam wrote from Washington to Frank Fuller:

“I believe I have made a mistake in not lecturing this winter…I am already dead tired of being in one place so long. I have received 2 or 3 calls lately from N.Y. & Indiana towns. When are you coming down? I might take a ‘disgust’ any moment & sail for Cal” [MTL 2: 136].

December 14 Saturday Sam dated an article this day, “Colonel Burke and the Fenians,” a humorous article for the Washington Evening Star, which was reprinted in many newspapers, including the Territorial Enterprise. The article suggested using a barrel of gunpowder to remove Edwin M. Stanton from office [Fatout, MT Speaks 50].

An article from IA called “A Yankee In The Orient, Mark Twain Takes a Turkish Bath” ran in the Dec. 14 issue of Kelley’s Weekly Vol. I #3. The 2010 Ebay seller claimed this “represents the first printing in any form of any part of” IA. Also in this issue was “Mark Twain’s Opinion” three columns [Ebay # 190462656213; 11/03/2010].

December 15 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Thirty” dated Sept. at “Banias” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 193-8].

Sam’s article, “Letter from Mark Twain. The Facts in the Case of the Senate Door Keeper” dated Dec. 15, ran in the New York Citizen [Camfield, bibliog.].


December 16 Monday Sam announced to his Territorial Enterprise readers that he had resigned his secretaryship, and that “E.A. Pretois, formerly of Virginia and Sacramento, is Senator Stewart’s private secretary, now” [MTL 2: 139n4]. Note: Sam and Senator Stewart did not hit it off, and the position had not kept Sam’s interest. Once again the vagabond itch came over Sam.

Sam’s article, “A New Cabinet ‘Regulator’” dated Dec. 14, ran in the Washington Evening Star [Camfield, bibliog.]. Note: this may be the same article as the “Fenians” in the Dec. 14 entry.

Elisha Bliss replied to Sam (whose letter not extant), pleading illness; he asked for a few days longer” when he would respond to “your questions & give you such information upon the subject under consideration as I think you will wish. Trusting you will not negotiate with others until you hear from me…” [MTP]. Note: see Dec. 24 from Bliss, who made good his promise.

December 18 Wednesday – Sam’s article “Information Wanted” dated Dec. 10, ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.; The Twainian, Nov-Dec 1946 p.1-2]. Note: There is no connection with George Francis Train on this entry as mistakenly shown in the first edition. Gribben p.710 forthcoming will be corrected to read “Mark Twain’s column in the 22 January 1868 issue of the New York Tribune…”. Further note: Gribben’s reference work may not be updated; this information is from Jodee Benussi who has worked on a new edition. See Jan. 22, 1868 entry.


December 20 Friday Charles Langdon, along with his father, Jervis Langdon (1809-1870), and sister Olivia Louise Langdon, arrived at the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York for a holiday stay [MTL 2: 145 n2].

Sam included a prose poem parody on Poe’s “The Raven” in his letter to the Enterprise. “Quoth the Choctaw, ‘Nevermore’” [ET&S 2: 63].

December 22 Sunday Sam’s MARK TWAIN’S LETTERS FROM WASHINGTON, NUMBER I, dated Dec. 4, ran in the Virginia City Enterprise:

Scurrilous Weather. I have been here a matter of ten days, but I do not know much about the place yet. There is too much weather. There is too much of it, and yet that is not the principal trouble. It is the quality rather than the quantity of it that I complain of; and more than against its quantity and its quality combined am I embittered against its character. It is tricky, it is changeable, it is to the last degree unreliable. It has catered for a political atmosphere so long that it has come at last to be thoroughly imbued with the political nature. As politics go, so goes the weather. It trims to suit every phase of sentiment, and is always ready. To-day it is a Democrat, to-morrow a Radical, the next day neither one thing nor the other. If a Johnson man goes over to the other side, it rains; if a Radical deserts to the Administration, it snows; if New York goes Democratic, it blows—naturally enough; if Grant expresses an opinion between two whiffs of smoke, it spits a little sleet uneasily; if all is quiet on the Potomac of politics, one sees only the soft haze of Indian summer from the Capitol windows; if the President is quiet, the sun comes out; if he touches the tender gold market, it turns up cold and freezes out the speculators; if he hints at foreign troubles, it hails; if he threatens Congress, it thunders; if treason and impeachment are broached, lo, there is an earthquake!

Other sections of the letter: “The Capitol and Congress,” “Mining College Proposed,” “Effects of the President’s Message,” and “Personal” [MTP].

Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Thirty-one” dated Sept. at “Banias” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 198-204].

December 24 Tuesday Sam wrote from Washington, D.C. to Emily A. Severance about the death of Mrs. Fairbanks’ mother. After expressed sympathies, he wrote: “I am in a fidget to move. It isn’t a novel sensation, though—I never was any other way.” Sam also expressed support for the reciprocal treaty with Hawaii, probably due to Senator Stewart and Edward McCook’s support for it [MTL 2: 137-8]. Sam left Washington, D.C. probably by evening train, for New York [Sanborn 379].

The following squib ran in the Hartford Courant:

Mark Twain, one of the funniest writers of the day, who was one of the Quaker City excursionists, is preparing a volume descriptive of their voyage. It will be published by the American Publishing company of this city, and those who have laughed over Mark’s story of the Jumping Frog of Calaveras, Jim Wolfe and the Cats, or his inimitable letters from Italy and Palestine, will be apt to buy it. [“City and Vicinity,” Hartford Courant, p. 8].

Elisha Bliss wrote to Sam


Samuel L. Clemens Esq. Tribune Rooms, Washington D.C.

Dear Sir:

I have a few moments leisure and I shall spend them in writing you as I promised. Have you seen Mr. Richardson at your office? I suppose you have. I spoke to him about your work as talked of by us and asked him to give you some particulars or information regarding our operation, manner of doing business etc. I hope he has done so. I see it announced in one of our morning papers that you are engaged in writing a book or preparing one and that we are to publish it. How it got there is beyond my comprehension. Now about the book, We would like to have you get us up one. We can handle it we think to the advantage of both of us. We shall probably bring out Richardson’s new work and we can swing yours also easily and successfully. We think we see clearly that the book would sell; a humorous work, that is to say, a work humorously inclined we believe it, and Richardson’s work we think owe a good deal of their popularity to their spicy nature. The first thing then is, will you make a book? For material we should suggest your collected letters, revamped and worked over and all the other matter you can command, connected [single extant page ends here] [MTP]. Note: Albert Deane Richardson had made but a 4% royalty on his work.

December 25 WednesdayChristmas – Sam arrived in New York for the holidays, and took a room in the Westminster Hotel [MTL 2: 142n1]. Since Sam did not arrive in New York until Dec. 25, Langdon family tradition and other scholars are incorrect that he met Olivia Langdon two days before Christmas.

December 26 Thursday – Sam moved to Dan Slote’s home, probably after only one night at the Westminster Hotel [MTL 2: 142n1]. One night during this week, Charles Langdon, Jack Van Nostrand, Dan Slote and Sam got together for a “blow-out” at Dan Slote’s house “& a lively talk over old times” [MTL 2: 144].

December 27 Friday Sam accepted an invitation from the Langdons for dinner at the St. Nicholas Hotel. There he met Olivia Louise Langdon, his wife to be [MTL 2: 145n3]. (See Dec. 31 entry)

Paine’s biography does not give an exact date of the first meeting, but names “two days before Christmas” as the date of the invitation to Sam [MTB 352]. In his Autobiography, however, Sam writes:

“That first meeting was on the 27th of December, 1867, and the next one was at the house of Mrs. Berry, five days later Miss Langdon had gone there to help Mrs. Berry receive New Year guests” [MTA 2: 103].

Still, others speculate further: Sanborn claims their first meeting was on New Year’s Day, and the second was at the St. Nicholas Hotel, on either Jan. 2 or 3, and that they went to a Dickens reading, but Sam recalled Dickens reading David Copperfield [380]. The only evening Dickens read that work was Dec. 31 [MTL 2: 146 n3]. Skandera-Trombley admits to the controversy involving the exact date, and votes for Dec. 31 as their day of meeting [p. xx]. Lauber claims Sam “never forgot that during the reading he had held hands with Olivia” [220]. This astonishing idea was lately copied by Donald Tiffany Bliss [87] citing Lauber, who gives no source. That a proper and young Victorian woman would hold the hand of a man she’d just met in the presence of her family is simply absurd. But, this is the way myths get repeated and taken as fact.

Sam’s article “Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation” first ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.].

December 29 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Thirty-two” dated Sept. at “Banias” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 204-8].


December 30 Monday Sam wrote from New York to the Brooklyn Eagle, responding to an article “Trouble among the Pilgrims,” which had appeared on Dec. 24.

In your issue of the 24 inst, you called upon me, as upon a sort of Fountain-head of Facts (an intimation which touched the very marrow of my ambition, and sent a thrill of ecstasy throughout my being), to pour out some truth upon the Quaker City muddle, which Captain Duncan and Mr. Griswold have lately stirred up between them, and thus so rectify and clarify that muddle, that the public can tell at a glance whether the Pilgrims behaved themselves properly or not during the progress of the recent excursion around the world [MTL 2: 139-143; Brooklyn Eagle p3]. Note: Stephen M. Griswold (1835-1916).

Sam then proceeded to masterfully illustrate how easily a lie can be spread by citing the opposite—to wit, how Captain Duncan repeatedly did not show up drunk at breakfast. Sam was terrific at making light of quarrels, and he loved to stir some people up. Plus, he’d held back about Duncan throughout the voyage and didn’t need much of an excuse to blast away. (See Jan. 2, 1868 entry for Duncan’s immediate reply.)

December 31 Tuesday – Sam’s article on Duncan appeared in the Brooklyn Eagle. That evening Sam went with the Langdons to Charles Dickens read from David Copperfield at Steinway Hall in New York. Sam noted that Dickens not only read, but acted, an important lesson Sam noted about successful platform speakers. It is possible this is the day Sam met Olivia. (In 1906 Sam recalled the date as December 27, but in 1907 remembered the Dickens reading of Copperfield, which only took place on the 31st) [MTL 2: 146 n3; Powers, MT A Life 229n].


1867, Late 1868 – Sometime in late 1867 Sam met General Ulysses S. Grant at a Washington reception. The two did not speak on their first meeting. MTA dictated in 1885 gives this date as “the fall or winter of 1866” [1: 13]. Mark Perry, p. xxvi, also gives this as late 1866, but Sam was not in Washington that entire year. Neither are Paine’s misdated or other apocryphal accounts correct; the exact date and place are unknown. Powers writes that Dec. 1867 is probable [MT A Life 226]. (See entry Jan. 15, 1868.)