Vol 1 Section 0028

Sam Sues Webb – Finishes Lecture Tour – Sam & Livy Married “Sammy in Fairy Land” Buffalo Express – Jervis Falls to Cancer – Galaxy Articles – Langdon Clemens Born

 Emma Nye Dies at Clemens’ Home – Diamond Plans

1870 – Paine says that “as early as 1870 he [Sam] had jotted down an occasional reminiscent chapter” for what would become his autobiography [MTA 1: vi n1]. Of these, Paine includes “The Tennessee Land,” written this year [3-7].

January 1 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to George L. Hutchings about Trenton’s True American printing a lengthy synopsis of Sam’s Dec. 28 lecture. Sam hated it when newspapers did that; he imagined that people would not go to his lectures if they could read them in the papers. He sent Hutchings his apology for being upset by being shown the synopsis [MTL 5: 685].

“An Awful – Terrible Medieval Romance,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 123]. Note: The piece later appeared with Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography (Mar. 1871) and also revised as “Medieval Romance” in Sketches Old & New (1875).

Whitelaw Reid wrote to Sam with happy new year wishes and:


      I gave your paragraph out and think it has appeared. I’m heartily glad to be able to render a service—if so trifling a thing deserves that name.

      I got your dispatch [not extant] in time to send word to a friend or two I had asked not to come. Better luck next time / With heartiest good wishes [MTP].

Benjamin P. Shillaber [MTP]. Note: MTP staff was unable to find this letter.

January 1 to 5 Wednesday Sam spent these days with Livy in Elmira [MTL 4: 3].

January 4 Tuesday Sam and Livy traveled thirty miles east of Elmira where Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Wilson Hall, Owego, New York. They returned to Elmira that evening [MTL 4: 5n2].

January 5 Wednesday Sam left at 8 PM and traveled overnight by train from Elmira to New York City [MTL 4: 2n1, 3].

January 5-6 Thursday – Clemens wrote a sketch unpublished until 2009: “Interviewing the Interviewer” [Who Is Mark Twain? xxiv].

January 6 Thursday Sam wrote at 9 AM from Dan Slote’s in New York to Livy.

“The Amenia train has been changed to 3.30 instead of 4, PM., & so it is just right. I can arrive there at 7.21, whoop my lecture & clear out again.”

He’d been reading Robinson Crusoe and kept losing the book. “It is just like me. I must have a nurse” [MTL 4: 1].

In the evening he lectured (“Savages”) in Amenia, New York.

An article, “Mrs. Stowe’s Vindication,” attributed to Sam, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 129].

January 7 Friday – In the wee hours after midnight, Sam wrote from Amenia, New York to Mary Mason Fairbanks.

Well, Mother Dear—You ought to see Livy & me, now-a-days—you never saw such a serenely satisfied couple of doves in all your life. I spent Jan 1,2,3,& 5 there, & left at 8 last night. With my vile temper & variable moods, it seems an incomprehensible miracle that we two have been right together in the same house half the time for a year & half, & yet have never had a cross word, or a lover’s “tiff,” or a pouting spell, or a misunderstanding, or the faintest shadow of a jealous suspicion. Now isn’t that wonderful? Could I have had such an experience with any other girl on earth? I am perfectly certain I could not. And yet she has attacked my tenderest peculiarities & routed them. She has stopped my drinking, entirely. She has cut down my smoking considerably. She has reduced my slang & my boisterousness a good deal [MTL 4: 3]. Note: Sam never quit smoking and soon resumed the other vices.

In the evening, Clemens lectured (“Savages”) in Egberts Hall, Cohoes, New York.

January 8 Saturday At midnight in the Troy House, Troy, New York, Sam wrote to Livy. He wrote her a second letter later in the day. His second letter marveled at the insignificance of the earth in the universe and of man. “Does one apple in a vast orchard think as much of itself as we do?” Sam was reading “The Early History of Man” in Eclectic Magazine for Jan. 1870 [MTL 4: 12].

Sam also wrote his agent, James Redpath, of “one-horse” towns, bills, and the like.

“Cohoes was another infernal no-season-ticket concern—paid me in 7,000 ten-cent shin-plasters, so that my freight cost more back to Albany than my passage did” [MTL 4: 10].

“Around the World Letter No. 6,” sub-titled “Early Days in Nevada, Silver Land Nabobs” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 130].

January 10 Monday At noon, Sam wrote from Albany New York to Livy, apologizing for his Owego lecture she had attended. The reviews were good, however. “What an eternity a lecture-season is!” Sam wrote that he was reading Ivanhoe. “He is dead, now” [MTL 4: 15-16].

That evening he lectured (“Savages”) in Tweddle Hall, Albany. Afterward in bed he wrote again to Livy. “Had an immense house, tonight, little sweetheart, & turned away several hundred—no seats for them” [MTL 4: 17].

January 11 Tuesday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Union Place Hall, West Troy, New York.

Note: Sam’s next two letters to Livy, No.s 174-5, after West Troy and Rondout lectures are lost [MTL 4: 20n10].  

An empty envelope from Oliver Wendell Holmes for this date was found in Sam’s notebook # 29. Addressed to “Mark Twain Esq. (Care of Samuel Clemens)” at the American Publishing Company in Hartford. The postmark was “Jan. 11,” the year “probably” 1870 [MTNJ 3: 483.]

January 12 Wednesday Clemens lectured (“Savages”) in Rondout, New York.

January 13 Thursday Sam wrote from Cambridge, New York to Livy about quitting smoking—did she really want him to?

“I shall treat smoking just exactly as I would treat the forefinger of my left hand: If you asked me in all seriousness to cut that finger off…I give you my word I would cut it off” [MTL 4: 21]. Note: Presented in this way, how could Livy ask Sam to quit smoking?

In the evening, Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, New York [MTPO].

January 14 Friday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Mechanic’s Hall, Utica, New York [MTPO].

Sam wrote from Troy, New York to Livy. Neither poor weather nor a fire in the lecture hall stopped Sam from his lecture. He was upset that the Troy Daily Times had published his Cambridge lecture of the night before. At 7 a fire broke out in the lecture hall.

“…I felt that all I needed to be entirely happy was to see the Troy Times editors & this chairman locked up in that burning building” [MTL 4: 25-6]. Note: The fire was quickly put out and Sam lectured in a damp, singed, smelly hall.

January 15 Saturday Sam wrote after midnight from the Baggs Hotel in Utica, New York to Livy [Powers, MT A Life 280].

“We had a noble house to-night (Oh, it is bitter, bitter cold & blustery!)—the largest of the season, they believe, though they cannot tell till they count the tickets to-morrow.”

Sam also wrote his sister, Pamela. He’d sent money for her and Annie to come for his wedding, plus support money for his mother, whom he did not want making the trip during the winter.

“Hurry up, Pamela, you & Annie, & get to Elmira by the 24th or 25th if you can. I shall be there by the 22nd to remain.”

That evening he lectured (“Savages”) in Doolittle Hall, Oswego, New York. Sam’s story, “A Ghost Story – By the Witness,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 134].

January 17 Monday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Baldwinsville, New York [MTPO].

January 18 Tuesday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Ogdensburg, NY [MTPO]. He left Buffalo at 4 PM.

January 19 Wednesday Sam lectured at the Normal School Chapel, Fredonia, New York [MTPO]. The Fredonia Censor reported on Jan. 26 of this lecture:

Mark Twain’s lecture was a success…we shall not attempt to quote, for the reason that the lecture was too good to be mutilated, or spoiled for other audiences by having the jokes sent ahead of the speaker, and then, be the report never so accurate, the effect of Mark’s delivery is lost, which is a continued source of amusement in itself. Imagine a lean, cadaverous looking speaker, standing upon the platform for five minutes like a school boy who has forgotten his “piece,” and then drawling out with ministerial gravity his own introduction, because the Chairman of Lecture Committees never introduced him “strong enough.”

Note: five letters that Sam wrote Livy from Jan. 15 to 19 (#’s 179-83) are lost [MTL 4: 33n1].

January 20 Thursday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Hornell Library, Hornellsville, New York. Sam wrote before the lecture from Hornellsville to Livy.

I left Buffalo at 4PM yesterday & went to Dunkirk, & thence out to Fredonia by horse-car (3 miles) rattled my lecture through, took horse-car again & just caught 9.45 PM train bound east—sat up & smoked to Salamanca (12.30,) stripped & went to bed in a sleeping car two hours & a half, & then got up & came ashore here at 3 o’clock this morning—& had a strong temptation to lie still an hour or two longer & go to Elmira. But I resisted it. By coming through in the night, I saved myself 2 hours extra travel [MTL 4: 31-2].

January 21 Friday Sam lectured (“Savages”) in Institute Hall, Jamestown, New York, and immediately made the trip to Elmira to prepare for his wedding [MTL 4: 33n1]. Note: Reigstad writes that the tour “ended with a whimper. / He admitted to being tired for his last lecture stop, and the Jamestown Journal reports were unflattering” [93]. During the three-month lecture tour, Clemens sent over 20 stories to the Buffalo Express [94].

January 22 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss. He had begun a book about Noah’s Ark, which was never completed. He also wrote that he was “prosecuting Webb in the N.Y. courts” to regain the copyright of the Jumping Frog book, which Charles Webb had entered in his own name. He intended then to break up the plates “& prepare a new vol. of Sketches.” He also asked Elisha for a quarterly statement on Innocents Abroad [MTL 4: 33-4].


Sam’s article, “Around the World Letter No. 7,” was printed in the Buffalo Express. Subtitles within the article: “CHINAMEN,” and “DESPERADOES.”


January 26 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Jim Gillis, evidently answering Jim’s letter about the good ol’ days at Angels Camp.

I mean that day we sat around the tavern stove & heard that chap tell about the frog & how they filled him with shot. And you remember how we quoted from the yarn & laughed over it, out there on the hillside while you & dear old Stoker panned & washed. I jotted the story down in my note-book that day, & would have been glad to get ten or fifteen dollars for it—I was just that blind [MTL 4: 36].


Sam also wrote James Redpath about a disputed bill:

“I am willing to pay the $100 peaceably—though I prefer to be sued if it will not discommode you too much. It is more business-like. I am to be married next week, and I have got to economise. I am not going to pay the full amount of any body’s bill” [MTL 4: 39]. Note: this is possibly due to his Brooklyn cancel; see Dec. 6, 1869.

January 28 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, happy with the $4,000 due him for his latest royalties from Innocents Abroad.

“But $4,000 is pretty gorgeous. One don’t pick that up often, with a book. It is the next best thing to lecturing….I’ll back you against any publisher in America, Bliss—or elsewhere” [MTL 4: 40-1].

To date, Sam had totaled royalties of about $7,404 [MTL 4: 42n5].


January 29 Saturday Sam’s article, “Around the World Letter No. 8,” subtitled, “Dining with a Cannibal,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 144].


February 2Wednesday Samuel L. Clemens married Olivia Louise Langdon. Congregational ministers Joseph Twichell and Thomas K. Beecher performed the ceremony at 7 PM. Over one hundred guests looked on in the parlors of the Langdon home in Elmira, including Sam’s sister, Pamela Moffett and his niece Annie, who had arrived several days before the wedding to get acquainted with the bride and her family. Mary Mason Fairbanks arrived after Sam’s family. Olivia wore a white satin dress with long white veil and gloves that nearly reached her shoulders. After the wedding there was a supper with non-alcoholic beverages. Sam had sworn off of alcohol for the past year [Sanborn 444]. (See MTL 4: 42-4 for a long list of guests).

Sam received a check for $4,309.42 from his publishers for royalties from Innocents Abroad [MTL 4: 42n1].


Sam may have inscribed William Smith’s A Concise Dictionary of the Bible (1865): Livie L. Langdon / Feb 2d 1870” Note: Sam did not use this spelling of “Livy” in any other letters found.


The title page of an English New Testament (1869) was inscribed: The Clemens’s. S.L. & O.L. Feby. 2d, 1870” [Gribben 68].


February 3 Thursday The newlyweds left in a private railroad car for their new home in Buffalo. On the train Sam entertained by singing an old British folk ballad that his niece Annie Moffett did not think proper for the occasion. The song would appear in different versions in HF and P&P.

Upon arrival in Buffalo a great surprise awaited Sam. John Slee was to have selected a boarding house for the newlyweds, yet was in cahoots with Jervis Langdon and Livy. After others, including Pamela Moffett and Annie Moffett, had boarded sleighs, supposedly for a hotel, the last sleigh took Sam and Livy on a long ride, stopping in front of a three-story brick mansion on ritzy Delaware Avenue, number 472. It seemed like a mistake—people in such neighborhoods did not take in boarders. Livy assured Sam it was the right address and they opened the front door, greeted by Livy’s parents and Pamela and Annie. The house was a gift from Olivia’s father, Jervis Langdon. Sam was floored, and speechless, “for a minute” [Sanborn 444-5].


February 6 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo, New York to William “Will” Bowen:


My First, & Oldest & Dearest Friend,

My heart goes out to you just the same as ever! Your letter has stirred me to the bottom. The fountains of my great deep are broken up & I have rained reminiscences for four & twenty hours. The old life has swept before me like a panorama; the old days have trooped by in their old glory, again; the old faces have looked out of the mists of the past; old footsteps have sounded in my listening ears; old hands have clasped mine, old voices have greeted me, & the songs I loved ages & ages ago have come wailing down the centuries! Heavens what eternities have swung their hoary cycles about us since those days were new! Since we tore down Dick Hardy’s stable; since you had the measles & I went to your house purposely to catch them; since Henry Beebe kept that envied slaughter-house & Joe Craig sold him cats to kill in it; since old General Gaines used to say, “Whoop! Bow your neck & spread!;” since Jimmy Finn was town drunkard & we stole his dinner while he slept in the vat & fed it to the hogs in order to keep them still till we could mount them & have a ride; since Clint Levering was drowned; since we taught that one-legged nigger, Higgins, to offend Bill League’s dignity by hailing him in public with his exasperating “Hello, League!”—since we used to undress & play Robin Hood in our shirt-tails, with lath swords, in the woods on Holliday’s Hill on those long summer days; since we used to go swimming above the still-house branch—& at mighty intervals wandered on vagrant fishing excursions clear up to “the Bay,” & wondered what was curtained away in the great world beyond that remote point; since I jumped overboard from the ferry boat in the middle of the river that stormy day to get my hat, & swam two or three miles after it (& got it,) while all the town collected on the wharf & for an hour or so looked out across the angry waste of “whitecaps” toward where people said Sam. Clemens was last seen before he went down; since we got up a rebellion against Miss Newcomb, under Ed. Stevens’ leadership, (to force her to let us all go over to Miss Tory’s side of the schoolroom,) & gallantly “sassed” Laura Hawkins when she came out the third time to call us in, & then afterward marched in in threatening & bloodthirsty array—& meekly yielded, & took each his little thrashing, & resumed his old seat entirely “reconstructed;” since we used to indulge in that very peculiar performance on that old bench outside the school-house to drive good old Bill Brown crazy while he was eating his dinner; since we used to remain at school at noon & go hungry, in order to persecute Bill Brown in all possible ways—poor old Bill, who could be driven to such extremity of vindictiveness as to call us “You infernal fools!” & chase us round & round the school-house—& yet who never had the heart to hurt us when he caught us, & who always loved us & always took our part when the big boys wanted to thrash us; since we used to lay in wait for Bill Pitts at the pump & whale him; (I saw him two or three years ago, & was awful polite to his six feet two, & mentioned no reminiscences); since we used to be in Dave Garth’s class in Sunday school & on week-days stole his leaf tobacco to run our miniature tobacco presses with; since Owsley shot Smar; since Ben Hawkins shot off his finger; since we accidentally burned up that poor fellow in the calaboose; since we used to shoot spool cannons, & cannons made of keys, while that envied & hated Henry Beebe drowned out our poor little pop-guns with his booming brazen little artillery on wheels; since Laura Hawkins was my sweetheart————————

     Hold! That rouses me out of my dream, & brings me violently back unto this day & this generation. For behold I have at this moment the only sweetheart I have ever loved, & bless her old heart she is lying asleep upstairs in a bed that I sleep in every night, & for four whole days she has been Mrs. Samuel L. Clemens! [MTL 4: 50-51]. Note: Clemens continued a few paragraphs praising Livy, and recounting the surprise of the house given to them by Jervis Langdon. He invited Will and wife to visit. See notes in source for information on persons mentioned. Sam was capable of utterly sublime prose poetry.

Clemens went alone to services at the Lafayette Presbyterian Church, Rev. Grosvenor W. Heacock, minister [MTL 4: 55n5]. Livy rested at home [Reigstad 130]. He also sent his wedding notice to George E. Barnes, editor of the San Francisco Morning Call, who had fired Sam. The two men remained on good terms. A similar notice and note was sent to Horace E. Bixby, Sam’s old Pilot & tutor of the Big Muddy; to Laura H. Frazier (Hawkins), the old sweetheart; to John McComb, Sam’s employer on the Alta California; to Charles Warren Stoddard, co-editor of the Californian (“what is the matter with Bret Harte? –why all these airs?”); and to William Wright (Dan De Quille). Harte had met some difficulty in getting a review copy of IA. A protest letter from Harte hit Sam as “insulting.” This was the beginning of their famous split [MTL 4: 56-63].


February 7 Monday Joseph and Harmony Twichell responded to Sam’s telegram for them to visit; they arrived in Buffalo this day [MTL 4: 66].

Mary Mason Fairbanks account of the Clemens wedding ran in the Cleveland Herald. Though the event was mentioned in many newspapers, her account is the fullest, since she was in attendance.


February 8 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to John Fuller, brother of Sam’s agent in 1867, Frank Fuller. Sam declined to lecture. “Am just married, & don’t take an interest in anything out of doors” [MTL 4: 64].


February 9 Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Francis P. Church, of the Galaxy. Sam claimed his work for the Buffalo Express paid him an ample livelihood; that he wrote sketches, squibs and editorials for it; that he didn’t go to the office [MTL 4: 65].


Sam and Livy also wrote at noon to Jervis and Olivia Lewis Langdon. The newlyweds had exchanged social calls with the John and Emma Slee, and the Twichells came to visit.

I told them the story of what happened to Little Sammy in Fairy Land when he was hunting for a Boarding House, & they enjoyed that.


We are very regular in our habits. We get up at 6 o’clock every morning, & we go to bed at 10 every evening. We have three meals a day—breakfast at 10 o’clock, lunch at 1 PM & dinner at 5. The reason we get up at 6 in the morning is because we want to see what time it is. Partly this, & partly because we have heard that early rising is beneficial. We then go back to bed, & get up finally at half past 9 [MTL 4: 66-7].


Cary H. Fry wrote from St. Louis to Sam having rec’d his “cards today” and congratulated him on his marriage to Livy [MTP].


February 10 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles Cole Hine, editor of the monthly journal, Insurance Monitor, declining to submit an article.

I have begun a new life & a new system, a new dispensation. And the bottom rule of the this latter is,

To Work No More than is Absolutely Necessary.

I’ve got plenty of money & plenty of credit—& so I won’t write about your wicked & dreadful insurance business till my gas bills go to protest & the milk-man ceases to toot his matutinal horn before the gates of

Yours Truly & Defiantly, … [MTL 4: 69].


February 12 SaturdayRev. Grosvenor W. Heacock, minister Lafayette Presbyterian Church, called on Sam and Livy at home. Reigstad writes: “Heacock spoke highly of The Innocents Abroad to Twain, and the new married couple enjoyed his company” [130].


February 13 Sunday Sam again attended services at the Lafayette Presbyterian Church, Rev. Grosvenor W. Heacock, minister. This time Livy accompanied him [Reigstad 130].

Sam wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks, and Livy added her comments.

We are glad you printed that graceful account of our wedding & our Surprise—we were glad enough to have you do it, because you know how such things should be done—but I made a special request (for Livy’s sake) of all the other writers present, at the wedding, that they put all they had to say into one stickfull, & leave out the adjectives [MTL 4: 70]. Note: Mary’s account of the Clemens’ wedding ran in the Cleveland Herald (her husband’s newspaper) on Feb. 7.


February 14 MondayHenry W. Shaw (Josh Billings) wrote to Sam; letter not found at MTP, but catalogued as UCLC 31952.

February 15 TuesdayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam. After pleasantries and tales of a “little ‘bender’” with Twichell, Bliss gave production numbers on IA, “Have sold about 5,000 so far this month,” then hit Sam with the bad news about Kitty (Kate) D. Barstow (Mrs. William H. Barstow):

And now about a matter I want help in—Mrs. Kate D. Barstow suddenly disappeared from our sky, owing $157.40. We hear nothing from her. Can you ascertain her whereabouts—Think she should be looked after—She always seemed to be prompt, till she stept out. We wrote to Washington & elsewhere but no, answer [MTL 4: 78n1]. Note: Kitty did not write Sam until Oct. 16, 1881, and then asking for assistance to study medicine. As per Sam’s Feb. 26 to Bliss, Kitty did eventually pay.

February 17 – 19 SaturdaySometime during these two days David Ross Locke (“Petroleum Nasby”) and Coleman E. Bishop (1838-1896), editor of the Jamestown NY Journal, made an afternoon call. Locke was in Buffalo to lecture on “The Struggles of a Conservative with the Woman Question,” likely being about suffrage [Reigstad 134]. Note: Bishop was Twain’s contact for his January 21 Jamestown lecture. See also Feb. 18; July 14, 1871 to Redpath; MTL 4: 76n1, 2.


February 18 FridaySam attended David Ross Locke’s lecture in Buffalo for the Woman’s Suffrage Association on “The Struggles of a Conservative with the Woman Question.” Sam published a review in the Buffalo Express on Feb. 19 [Reigstad, email 11 May 2013].

February 19 Saturday The Hartford Courant reported that the 60,000 copy of Innocents Abroad had been printed, some 45,000 sold [MTL 4: 78n1]. An article attributed to Sam, “Nasby’s Lecture,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 153].


The San Francisco News-Letter, “Town Crier” page, carried a snide blurb about Sam’s marriage:

Mark Twain, who, whenever he has been long enough sober to permit an estimate, has been uniformly found to bear a spotless character, has got married. It was not the act of a desperate man—it was not committed while laboring under temporary insanity; his insanity is not of that type, nor does he even labor—it was the cool, methodical, cumulative, culmination of human nature working in the heart of an orphan hankering for some one with a fortune to love—some one with a bank account to caress. For years he has felt this matrimony coming on. Ever since he left California there has been an undertone of despair running through all his letters like the subdued wail of a pig in a wash-tub [Tenney 3].


February 20 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Joel Benton (1832-1911), former owner of the Amenia Times. Benton wanted to sell the Buffalo Express some European letters. Sam said the Express did not need European letters [MTL 4: 73-4]. Sam and Livy again teamed up on a letter written to Livy’s mother . Sam teased Livy about her cooking and housekeeping:

“Now this morning we had a mackerel fricasseed with pork & oysters, & I tell you it was a dish to stir the very depths of one’s benevolence. We saved every bit of it for the poor.” (Livy wrote “(False)” after “oysters.”) [MTL 4: 75]. Note: Sam mentioned the Petroleum Nasby lecture as “the other day” (Feb. 18).


A statement from Buffalo Express Steam Printing House is in the MTP financials for 1870, with a balance brought forward of $1,009.59, interest $17.82, and an ending balance of $187.11. Payments were posted for various people, Gena Dakin, Lyman Beecher, etc., with several $50 payments made. The period covered was Sept. 25, 1870 to Feb. 20, 1871 [MTP].

February 23 Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, responding to his two letters (one now lost; see Feb. 15 for the other).

Friend Bliss—

Why bless your soul, I never have time to write letters these days—takes all my time to carry on the honey-moon. I would like to talk to Mrs Bliss [Amelia Bliss] two or three or four hours about my wife now, if she could stand it——she used to stand it very well when I was at your house.

Express gets along well. I have a strong notion to write a——

Well, never mind, I’ll tell you about it another time.

I am glad Mrs. Barstow has retrieved her credit—I was about to write you to charge her $150 to me, when your second letter came. I am very glad, more simply for her own sake, that she has kept up her credit.

6,000 & upwards, in 16 days, is splendid—Splendid, isn’t it? [IA sales]

I don’t go near the Express office more than twice a week—& then only for an hour. I am just as good [as] other men—& other men take honey-moons I reckon.

Hello!—there’s the bell—my wife is taking a nap & I am receiving calls [MTL 4: 77; MTPO].


Anson Burlingame, American lawyer, diplomat and mentor to Sam since the Sandwich Islands trip, died suddenly in St. Petersburg, Russia.

February 24 Thursday – Sam wrote a eulogy for Anson Burlingame, which ran in the Buffalo Express the following day.


February 25 Friday Sam’s eulogy for “Anson Burlingame,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 153]. Sam said of the man who helped him get the scoop on the Hornet disaster:

…he had outgrown the narrow citizenship of a state, and become a citizen of the world; and his charity was large enough and his great heart warm enough to feel for all its races and to labor for them. He was a true man, a brave man, an earnest man, a liberal man, a just man, a generous man, in all his ways and by all his instincts a noble man; he was a man of education and culture, a finished conversationalist, a ready, able and graceful speaker, a man of great brain, a broad and deep and weighty thinker. He was a great man—a very, very great man [McCullough 153-4].


February 26 Saturday Sam & Livy wrote from Buffalo to Jervis Langdon.

Dear Father —It was to please me that Livy moved the wash-tubs, maybe—because I said “Let them be moved, Mrs. Clemens—I have hunted high & low & cannot find anything about the house to alter or improve, & it is entirely too bad—it is not showing proper respect to a father who pulls his house to pieces all the time—Move the washtubs, into the woodhouse, Madam, pile the wood in the stable & put the horse in the laundry—I tell you something must be altered quick, or your father won’t like it [MTL 4: 80].


February 28 Monday An article attributed to Sam, “The Blondes,” was printed in the Buffalo Express. The article criticized a dancing troupe called the Lydia Thompson’s Blonde Burlesque Troupe.

By some unexplained law of human nature, the farther below insult a person is, the easier it is to insult him; the nearer he comes to being a beast, the more rigidly does he demand to be considered a gentleman; the lower he is sunk in character and position, the more delicately sensitive he is, and the quicker does he take fire at criticism.


Now who would suppose that those Lydia Thompson Blondes could be insulted? —or anybody connected with them, male or female? The idea seems grotesque, and yet those people are as dainty in their feelings, and are as easily wounded and as cruelly smitten by any little unkind allusion to their supernatural nastiness, as if they really had a reminiscence of decency still lingering in some out-of-the-way corner of their systems [McCullough 157]. Note: see also Krause, p.44 for analysis of Sam’s editorial position.

Late February – Livy’s cousin, Hattie Marsh Tyler, “who lived in the Buffalo area, dropped in. She filled Olivia’s ears with complaints about the female ‘help’ available in Buffalo. Around that time, just three weeks into running her new household, Olivia had needed to mildly scold servants Ellen and Harriet. Perhaps Tyler’s groaning bolstered Olivia’s executive decision making (by mid-April, Harriet was dismissed as a servant)” [Reigstad 134]. Note: Livy then hired “a German girl” [143].

March Between March 1870 and March 1871 – Sam wrote 87 pieces for the New York Galaxy [Wilson 109]. He was offered two and a half times the normal rate for a regular humorous section in the magazine. He agreed only if the label of humor was not applied to his work. He thus wrote under a column titled, “Memoranda,” and his first article was published in May.

Livy’s cousin, Anna Marsh Brown stayed with the Clemenses “briefly” [Reigstad 134].

March 2 Wednesday – The Clemenses invited George H. Selkirk and wife Emily over for the evening. Selkirk was one of Sam’s Express partners [Reigstad 133].

Jervis Langdon replied to the Feb. 26 from Sam:

Dear Samuel,

You should have the privilege of following in the footsteps of your illustrious mother, so you should. You can make changes. You may put the Carriage in the Cellar, the horse in the drawing room, & Ellen in the stable. Please your own tastes my boy, some have peculiar tastes & ought to be gratified

I am for liberty—

Your affectionate father / J. Langdon [MTPO].

In Buffalo Sam and Livy began a letter to Jervis Langdon that they finished on Mar. 3:

Polishing Irons

Dear Father—

Got your dispatch, & shall talk no business with my partners till Mr. Slee gets back.

The “Peace” has arrived, but Livy don’t know it, for she has got some eternal company in the drawing-room & it is considerably after dinner-time. But I have spread the fringed red dinner-table spread over the big rocking-chair & set up the beautiful thing on it, & in a prominent place, & it will be the first thing Livy sees when she comes in.

Later—She went into convulsions of delight when she entered. And I don’t wonder, for we both so mourned the loss of the first Peace that it did not seem possible we could do without it—& for you to send another in this delightful & unexpected way was intensely gratifying. You have our most sincere gratitude—Livy’s for the present itself, & mine because I shall so much enjoy looking at it [MTL 4: 82].


Note: Sam’s partners were Josephus N. Larned and George H. Selkirk. “The Peace” statuette had arrived shattered, and Livy shed tears over it and written to her mother about it. So a replacement was sent in perfect order.

March 3 Thursday  Sam and Livy (in shaded text) finished their letter to Jervis Langdon.

Your two letters came this morning, father, & your dispatch yesterday afternoon. (Mem.—Ellen’s in the stable & the horse in the attic looking at the scenery.)

We think it cannot be worth while to enter into an explanation of the Express figures, for the reason that Mr. Slee must have arrived in Elmira after your letter was written, & he would explain them to you much more clearly & understandingly than I could.

I thank you ever so much for your offer to take my money & pay me interest on it until we decide whether to add it to the Kennett purchase or not. I was going to avail myself of it at once, but waited to see if Mr. Slee & MacWilliams [sic McWilliams]couldn’t make Selkirk’s figures show a little more favorably. As I hoped, so it has resulted. And now, upon thorough conviction that the Express is not a swindle, I will pay some more on the Kennett indebtedness.

I am very glad to begin to see my way through this business, for figures confuse & craze me in a little while. I haven’t Livy’s tranquil nerve in the presence of a financial complexity—when her cash account don’t balance (which does not happen oftener than once a day) false she just increases the item of “Butter 78 cents” to “Butter 97 cents”—or reduces the item of “Gas, $6.45” to “Gas, $2.35” & makes that account balance. She keeps books with the most inexorable accuracy that ever mortal man beheld.

Father it is not true— Samuel slanders me—

I wrote “Polishing Irons” at the head of this letter the other night to remind either Livy or me to write about them—didn’t put it there for a text to preach from.

The report of my intending to leave Buffalo Livy & I have concluded emanates from Hartford, for the reason that it really started in the newspapers only a very little while after my last visit & your last letter to Hartford, & has been afloat ever since.

Yr son


[MTL 4: 82]. Note: shaded text by Livy.

Sam also wrote Elisha Bliss, asking him to send a free copy of his book to an old Hannibal boyhood friend now a Methodist preacher in Rolla, Mo.Lewis Frank Walden (d.1924) [MTL 4: 84]. Note: Walden was a close boyhood pal of Sam’s and lived on Palmyra Avenue (now Mark Twain Avenue) at the foot of Cardiff Hill. Besides all the boyhood games and pranks shared, Walden set type in the Hannibal Courier office with Sam, and later purchased the place [Hannibal Courier-Post, Mar. 6, 1935 p.9C].

March 4 Friday – In Buffalo Sam replied to Lewis Frank Walden (whose letter not extant) explaining why he wasn’t lecturing:

“I was married a month ago & so have cast away the blue goggles of bachelordom & now look at the world through the crystal lenses of my new estate” [MTL 4: 86].


March 6 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Robert and Louise Howland (b. 1848?) with a note to James Warren Nye. Howland was a former mining buddy and partner of Sam’s in 1861. Nye was the former governor of Nevada and now Senator. Sam last saw Nye while in Washington, D.C. in 1868 [MTL 4: 87-8n1&4]. Note: The Howlands would visit Twain in Buffalo in June.

Stephen C. Massett (Jeems Pipes) wrote to Sam presenting his “compliments and begs leave to thank him for the enclosed notice,” pasted in small clipping which reads: “Chicago has Lingard and Leffingwell for its show-cards. Also that insanity Stephen Massett” [MTP].


March 7 Monday Sam’s brief disclaimer of a rumor that he was about to leave Buffalo was printed in the Express, daily from this day through Mar. 11. “I am a permanency here” [MTL 4: 89].


March 9 Wednesday An article attributed to Sam, “More Wisdom,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 159].


March 11 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Francis P. Church. Sam offered to edit the humorous department of the Galaxy for $2,000 a year if they’d release copyright back to him upon publication. He claimed he could make that amount in two weeks of lecturing, a bit of a stretcher. Church and his brother William had offered $2,400 a year but retention of copyright [MTL 4: 90-1]. Sam’s deal with the Galaxy broke new ground in the publishing industry by, in effect, “renting” pieces submitted rather than selling them. The Holy Land letters to the Alta, and the subsequent need to use them for Innocents Abroad had educated Sam [A. Hoffman 172].


Sam also wrote Bliss, allowing him to bid on the material the Galaxy wanted to publish and then use for a book. He added:

“I have a sort of vague half-notion of spending the summer in England. I could write a telling book. But we don’t like to leave our delightful nest even for a day. Have you heard yet what the possibilities are in the matter of selling our book there?” [MTL 4: 91].

Sam’s thoughts of a trip to England may have come from Jervis offering to pay for a European trip if Sam would give up smoking and drinking. No, Sam replied, he could not sell himself that way.


March 12 Saturday Sam’s article, “A Big Thing,” was printed in the Buffalo Express. Commenting on an article from the Louisville Journal, Sam wrote:

How familiar that old gushing, tiresome bosh is!…I wish to ask the Louisville reporter the old familiar question, so common among reporters in the mines: “How many ‘feet’ did the doctor give you?” (“Feet are shares.) We always got “feet,” in Nevada, for whooping about a Nearly-Pure-Silver-National-Debt-Liquidator in this gushing way” [McCullough 166].


March 15 Tuesday Sam accepted an invitation from a Mr. Nicholls to read for the G.A.R. [MTL 4: 92]. Note: Reigstad credits Martha Gray (Mrs. David Gray) with persuading Twain to speak as part of the Grand Army of the Republic’s lecture series. Reigstad writes:


“Twain read from ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County’ and also from a chapter of The Innocents Abroad to a very large crowd that had braved bitter ten-degree cold and heavy snowfall to pack the room. Twain shared the bill with English elocutionist Henry Rogers.” [136]. Note: Twain declined to have ex-resident Millard Fillmore introduce him as he was afraid Fillmore would say something that would make him laugh or cry.

March 16 Wednesday – Sam telegraphed an unidentified person, declining to lecture “during the present season” [MTL 4: 92].


March 18 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Hattie Booth, an autograph seeker [MTL 4: 93].

March 19 Saturday Sam’s article, “A Mysterious Visit,” a delightful spoof on income taxes and deductions, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 166]. A second article attributed to Sam, “Literary Guide to Williams & Packard’s System of Penmanship,” also was printed in the Express [McCullough 170].


March 21 Monday Sam wrote from Buffalo to James T. Fields, senior partner in Fields, Osgood & Co., a prestigious Boston publishing company. Fields preceded William Dean Howells as editor of the Atlantic Monthly.

“Fields Osgood & Co. does not appear to send us any more books to notice. We haven’t got one lately. Will you be so kind as to kill the person who is to blame, & appoint a more reliable officer in the murdered man’s place?” [MTL 4: 93].

March 22 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath, his lecture circuit agent.


“Dear Red: I am not going to lecture any more forever. I have got things ciphered down to a fraction now. I know just about what it will cost us to live & I can make the money without lecturing. Therefore old man, count me out” [MTL 4: 94].


March 22 and 24 Thursday Sam and Livy wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Sam told Mary about his plans to edit a humorous department for the Galaxy [MTL 4: 95]. Space prohibits inserting all of the back and forth of the newlyweds, but reading these letters does make Sam & Livy come through as flesh & blood.


March 26 Saturday In the morning Sam looked out his master bedroom window and saw flames on the roof of 455 Delaware Street. He and Patrick McAleer (1846-1906), his coachman for many years, raced to help. McAleer rang fire-alarm box 62 at the corner of Virginia and Delaware. Reigstad writes:

Meanwhile, Twain reached his neighbor’s front entrance, pulled the doorbell, and is said to have drolly introduced himself: “My name is Clemens. We ought to have called upon you before and I beg your pardon for intruding now in this informal way—but your house is on fire.” After thus meeting the owner, J.M. Gwinn, a teller at Marine Bank, they scampered up the stairs to address the blaze. McAleer climbed out of a window onto the roof and put half the fire out by throwing snow on it. Then Twain and Gwinn passed him buckets of water to extinguish the rest. By the time the two fire department steam engines arrived, led by Chief Tom French of Columbia Hose II, the fire—caused by a defective chimney—was under control [138].


Sam wrote from Buffalo to his mother and family. He had received a “coffin” of Enterprise files. He praised Annie’s letter and told them about the Galaxy appointment [MTL 4: 98].


March 27 Sunday Sam and Livy wrote in the afternoon from Buffalo to Jervis & Olivia Lewis Langdon.

“It is snowing furiously, & had been, the most of the day & part of the night…albeit snow is very beautiful when falling, its loveliness passes away very shortly afterward. The grand unpoetical result is merely chilblains & slush” [MTL 4: 98-100].

Text Box: March 30 1870 - Amendment XV- Became Law
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude

March 31 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles Frederick Wingate (1848-1909), a New York correspondent of the Springfield, Mass. Republican. Sam sent a copy of a review of his book by David Gray of the Buffalo Courier, and criticized a patronizing review by the Nation [MTL 4: 102-3].


William (Will) Bowen wrote from St. Louis to Clemens:


Dr Sam

On arrival of Keokuk Packet I went on board (this morning) to meet Sallie Bowen and who do you suppose I met?

No less distinguished visitors, than “Kitty Hawkins” (Lauras Sister) and “Old Lucy Davis” for a more particular description of them, reference is hereby made to latter portion of Shakespears Seven Ages. Old Luce’ asked for you instanter! Said you were the worst Boy, “and I declare in my heart he’s the funniest man in my acquaintance” Wants to know if you still climb out on the roof of the house and jump from 3d story windows

Yours Ever / Bill

[MTPO]. Notes from source: Sallie was Sarah Ro Bards Bowen. Catherine (Kitty) Hawkins was the older sister of Annie Laura Hawkins Frazer. Lucy Davis was a Hannibal schoolteacher.

April Sam sent a spoof to be inserted in a copy of Innocents Abroad for Jane L. Stanford, wife of the ex-governor of California. The note claimed he was the source for “E pluribus Unum” [MTL 4: 103-4].


George Routledge, the English publisher, published a new edition of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, And other Sketches, which included “Cannibalism in the Cars” as “a New Copyright Chapter” [MTL 5: 73n3].


April 1 Friday – Sam & Livy wrote from Buffalo to Jervis & Olivia Lewis Langdon. There was the usual horseplay and teasing (she was on his lap) and announcements that they were getting ready to go to England. Jervis and wife were to hurry to visit them before they left. Sam wrote:

“Yes, I guess we are about ready to start for England. My Galaxy work gives me a chance to travel if I want to—but if I hadn’t taken it I would have been tied hand & foot here & forever & ever. It also gives me a chance to write what I please, not what I must. Thus far I am very glad I undertook it” [MTL 4: 105].


April 2 Saturday Sam’s article, “The Facts in the Great Land Slide Case,” about his days in Washoe, was printed in the Buffalo Express. “Each new witness only added new testimony to the absurdity of a man’s claiming to own another man’s property because his farm had slid down on top of it” [McCullough 172].

Jervis Langdon wrote to Sam and Livy:

Richmond April 2d 1870

Dear Children

The weather has been unpleasant most of the time since I came here, but it has given me a good time to rest which I much needed I live on simple diet exercise what I am able, which has been very little, but my stomach has finally consented to digest the food, & I look now for rapid improvement

We shall move on from here tomorrow, for Charlston & Savannah. We want to hear from you very much and I hope you will write immediately on recpt of this at Savannah Gi., at Screven House—

I have thrown off all care.

so you see how good I am to follow the counsel of my children—

Doct Sayles has been a great comfort to me, I could not have got along without him, all my organs seemed to have suspended their functions, I would eat food moderately for two days and then throw it up. My bowells would not moove untill mooved by medicine I have been some times 4 days but now for 4 days I have not thrown up my food & my liver seems to have assumed its function, but very slugishly

I think I shall return entirely restored. I do not intend to return untill I am well—

Since writing this much your mother has retd from Breakfast with a letter from Susie from which we learn there is a letter from you awaiting us at Charlston, which makes us in a hurry to get there It will however take us untill Tuesday evening we shall only go to Weldon Monday, we shall probably stay in Charlston untill next week Monday. However that will depend upon Circumstances, we do not hold ourselves to any rules but moove with the spirit—

Samuel, I love your wife and she loves me, I think it only fair that you should know it but you need not flare up, I loved her before you did and she loved me before she did you & has not ceased since I see no way but for you to “make the most of it”—my wife sends much love

Your father / J. Langdon [MTP].


April 4 Monday ca. Alice Spaulding (1847?-1935) and Clara L. Spaulding (1849-1935), twin sisters, daughters of Henry C. Spaulding, Elmira lumber and coal dealer, came to stay with the Clemenses for ten days [MTL 4: 109].


April 10 SundayIn an exchange of pulpits, Rev. Thomas K. Beecher of Elmira Congregational Church came to Buffalo and preached at Grosvenor W. Heacock’s Lafayette Presbyterian Church. In his April 16 & 17 to Jervis and Olivia Lewis Langdon, Sam noted Beecher’s morning and evening sermons: “…the evening sermon, to a crowded house, was received with prodigious favor…” [MTL 4: 110; Reigstad 131-32].


April 12 Tuesday “Mark Twain on Agriculture” ran in the Buffalo Express.

(I can never touch the subject of Agriculture without getting excited. But you understand what I mean.) Under the head of “Memoranda” I shall take hold of this neglected topic, and by means of a series of farming and grazing articles of blood-curdling interest will proceed to lift the subject of Agriculture into the first rank of literary respectability [McCullough 176].


April 13 Wednesday – In Buffalo, Sam wrote to his brother Orion, who had asked if Sam could write him a letter of introduction to a Mr. Webster of the Republican [St. Louis?]. Sam could not remember the man. He also arranged to give Orion a credit at a St. Louis book dealer.

I keep money on deposit with Dan Slote all the time, in New York, & have just written him to write John Daly (of Daly & Boas, Blank Books, Main st. St. Louis,) to honor my order on them in your favor for $100. Dan will write them to-morrow [missing words]

Who is Mr. Webster of the Republican? If I knew him I would introduce you but I cannot very well take that liberty with a stranger. Who is he?

I may possibly know him, but cannot “place him” just now. As you want to get a patent, would it not be better for you to have one of [rest is missing; MTP, drop-in letters]. Note: The above letter claims that Sam also wrote to Dan Slote on this day; letter is lost.


April 14 Thursday Sam loaned Josephus Larned, his partner on the Express, $3,000 for one year against his interest in the newspaper. Bowen & Rogers attorneys drew the papers and John Slee advised Sam.

Alice and Clara Spaulding left after a ten-day visit. Sam began to look for “his tribe” (family) to visit, so wrote to the Langdons on Apr. 16 that he would “need the rooms” [MTL 4: 109].


April 15 Friday Livy fired Harriet the maid. Sam wrote on Apr. 16: “I had rather discharge a perilous & unsound cannon than the soundest servant girl that ever was” [MTL 4: 110].


Sam received a letter (not extant) from Thomas A. Kennett asking if Sam might pay something now. The first payment on purchase of the Express wasn’t till August [Apr. 16 to Jervis Langdon].

April 16 Saturday Livy & Sam wrote from Buffalo to Susan L. Crane, Livy’s adopted sister. They’d received a letter from Jervis who was in Richmond, Va., and moving further South to Charleston and Savannah for his growing illness. Most of the letter is by Livy, but Sam intruded with:


…and Susie dear, will you send us a couple of cats by the next minister or other party that is coming this way. We have not a cat on the place, & the mice will not patronize the little trap because it is cheap & small & uncomfortable, & not in keeping with the other furniture of the house. If you could send us a kitten or two like “Livy,” it would suit Mr. Clemens’s idea of what a house-cat should be [MTL 4: 108].


Sam and Livy also wrote Jervis & Olivia again (Sam on Apr. 16 and Livy on Apr. 17).

Dear Father & Mother— / Day before yesterday I loaned Mr. Larned $3,000 taking as security one-half of his ownership in the Express—the loan is for one year. Bowen & Rogers drew the papers at Mr. Slee’s instance. Took Mr Slee’s advice in everything. I have concluded to keep him here, for I cannot do well without him, but will get you a good man in his place. My wife still needs Mrs. Slee for some time yet, also, & so it seems absolutely necessary that we retain the family here for the present [MTL 4: 109].

An unidentified man wrote to Clemens recalling being with him on the exploration of a mine tunnel in late April, 1863 at the Boston Mine, afterwards known as the Echo Mine. The man’s point is never given, because nothing after page 4 survives [MTP].

Sam’s article “The New Crime” was printed in the Buffalo Express.

“Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common? …Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity. There is where the true evil lies” [McCullough 180].


April 19? Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion Clemens. Sam had washed his hands of the Tennessee Land several times, and the property had caused a rift between him and Orion.

“As for the land, sell it at once & forever, if that Pittsburgh man sticks to his word. $50,000 is all it is worth, maybe” [MTL 4: 113].


“It is Orion’s duty to sell that land. If he lets it be sold for taxes, all his religion will not wipe out the sin” [MT Encyclopedia, Ensor 730]. Note: Their father had acquired the land in about 1830 and they’d been trying to sell it since the 1850s.


April 21 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion. Jane Clemens, their mother, arrived to visit Sam & Livy and would stay until May 23 [MTL 4: 115n2].

Ma is wool-gathering fearfully, if I may be so bold. When we were riding up from the cars she said Pamela & Sammy & Margaret got off the cars at Dunkirk today. Afterward, at dinner, about 5 or 6 o’clock, she said they didn’t come on with her & didn’t get off at Dunkirk. Now, an hour later, she says they are coming here, tonight, & says she hasn’t mentioned them previously, to-day. She is laughing, & so are we—but what does Pamela think of the joke if she is waiting for an escort now, down yonder at the depot? [MTL 4: 114-5].


April 22 Friday Sam & Livy wrote a short note from Buffalo to Theodore W. Crane (1831-1889), their brother-in-law about receipt of a check (from money Jervis was holding for Sam) and miscellaneous matters [MTL 4: 116-7].


April 23 Saturday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, acknowledging the quarterly statement for Innocents Abroad. Sam wrote that he planned to buy his mother “a beautiful home in a village [Fredonia, New York] near here—my sister paying the other five or six thousand.” Sam requested a copy of Innocents Abroad be sent to Bart Bowen’s widow, Sarah. Bart, like Sam’s brother Henry, died from a steamboat accident on May 21, 1868 [MTL 4: 117].

Sam’s story, “The Story of the Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper,” was printed in the Buffalo Express. This was a revision of “The Bad Little Boy who did not Come to Grief,” published earlier [McCullough 182]. Note: it also ran in the May issue of the Galaxy.

April 26 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Frank Fuller, who was trying to sell Sam more insurance. Sam mentioned what was to be a small tempest with “John Quill” (Charles Heber Clark 1841-1915) about the ending to a story Quill claimed was his. (In “The Story of the Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper,” a boy is blown up with nitro-glycerin) [MTL 4: 119-122].

Francis P. Church of the Galaxy wrote to Sam: “Enclosed I send check for the 12th part of $2000 for the May Memoranda. / Please try to let me have the June lot soon…As you see, it has made a hit” [MTP]. See May entry.

April 28 Thursday Not any better and 30 pounds thinner, Jervis Langdon arrived back in Elmira with his wife. His problem was not the simple “dyspepsia” the doctors had thought, but cancer [MTL 4: 124-5n1].


April 29 Friday – In Springfield, New York? Sam telegraphed to Elisha Bliss:

“Send check & quarterly statement to me at Elmira Saml L. Clemens” [MTP, drop-in letters].

April 30 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles C. Converse, an attorney and son of a prominent Elmira music teacher, about a wrongful characterization of Rev. Thomas De Witt Talmage, (1832-1902) pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, in the May “Memoranda” of the Galaxy. Sam patched things up [MTL 4: 123].

The first part of “A Curious Dream” was printed in the Buffalo Express [Wilson 35; McCullough 186]. The sketch called attention to a neglected Buffalo cemetery. (See May 7 entry).


May After reaching an agreement with the Galaxy on payment and copyright, Sam’s first articles for “Memorandum” were published in the May issue. They included: “Introductory,” “George Wakeman,” “About Smells,” “Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy,” “The Story of a Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper,” and short, miscellaneous items (includes: “Professor Silliman and the Coal Mine”; City of Hartford; Oneida; Engagement Rings; “Cain and the Feejee Islander”). Note: Budd lists “City of Hartford” as first having no title, then titled, “Misplaced Confidence” [“Collected” 1010; MTP]. From “Introductory”:

P.S.—1. I have not sold out of the “Buffalo Express,” and shall not, neither shall I stop writing for it. This remark seems necessary in a business point of view.

2. These MEMORANDA are not a “humorous” department [Schmidt].

First appearing in the Galaxy “The Facts in the Case of the Great Beef Contract,” a satire on government bureaucracy, something Sam never had trouble satirizing [Budd, “Collected” 1010]. Paine notes that Sam wrote the article three years before and mislaid it [MTB 404]. Note: reprinted May 7, 1870 in the Sacramento Daily Union as “A Famous Beef Contract, etc.”

May 1 Sunday Sam and Livy left Buffalo and arrived in Elmira. The Elmira Reporter announced that Jervis had returned from the south, and that Sam and Livy were in town. Jervis, knowing his time was short, officially restructured his company to include his son Charles J. Langdon, Theodore W. Crane, and John D. Slee as partners [MTL 4: 124-5n1].

Benjamin P. Shillaber wrote a note of introduction for John W. Ryan to shake Sam’s hand [MTP].


May 2 Monday – In Buffalo, Sam wrote a short note to James Redpath about lecturing in Cambridge, New York:

Dear Redpath, / I mislaid the letter enquiring about Cambridge, N.Y., till this moment. It got mixed with my loose papers.

      They told me that the society I talked for was the leading [&] favorite. They half burned down the hall at 7 p.m., [&] yet at 8 had a full house though a mighty wet [&] smoky one. It was a bad night too.em spaceem spaceSpringfield Mo. /[Yrs] /Mark. [MTP, drop-in letters].

Elisha Bliss wrote to Sam

Friend Clements. / Enclosed please find Statement of sales, & Check for 3914.65 amount of copyright, which we trust will come safely to hand, & be satisfactory to you, & show you “we still live” We will at the end of the year give you a statement of every Book bound with report of what has been done with all. Every vol that we do not pay copyright on (i e Editors &c) so as to make it all plain & square with you. This is our style— Dont think your Galaxy articles hurt your reputation at all. it was good, capital capital I sent your Book to Mrs [Bart] Bowen Col. as you directed. Please acknowledge recpt of Check, & state how you feel as regards sales &c. Respects to Mrs. C / [MTPO].

May 4 Wednesday Sam wrote a note of thanks to a fan, Mary Janney [MTL 4: 124].

May 5 Thursday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, advising him he would be home in a week (Buffalo) and asking what happened to a paragraph (what Sam thought about himself) in the New York Sun [MTL 4: 125].


May 6 Friday Sam sent a dispatch from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, confirming receipt of a royalty check for $3,914.62 [MTL 4: 126]. Innocents had sold 60,378 copies, with total royalties to Sam in the amount of $11,300 [127n1].


May 7 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss acknowledging his check and letter of May 2. He also wrote about having an oyster dinner in Hartford with a speech once Innocents Abroad hit the 100,000-sale mark. He also mentioned his dispatch of the previous day, his:


“…eminent satisfaction at the way the book is selling….Mr. Langdon has been dangerously ill for some days, & it is plain that he cannot travel a mile this year. So we shall not move out of a sudden call.”

 Sam explained that the condition of his father-in-law precluded a trip to England, but still expected to go to the Adirondacks with the Twichells [MTL 4: 126-7].

 The last segment of “A Curious Dream” was printed in the Buffalo Express [Wilson 35]. Another short Express article, “Murder and Insanity,” is attributed to Sam [McCullough 194].

May 9 Monday Sam printed an article titled “Personal” in the Buffalo Express about the May Galaxy article “Smells,” having to do with “bad-smelling laboring men” being admitted “to the pews of the church” [McCullough 199].


May 10 Tuesday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath and vowed he was out of the lecturing field permanently [MTL 4: 128].


Sam and Livy returned to Buffalo, either this day or the next and found Pamela Moffett waiting [MTL 4: 130-1n1].

May 13 Friday – Sam and Livy wrote from Buffalo to Jervis Langdon, thanking him for sending Livy a check for $1,000. Evidently the seriousness of Jervis’ illness was yet unknown to them, for Livy enclosed a cure for dyspepsia for Jervis [MTL 4: 129-31].


May 14 Saturday Sam’s article, “Our Precious Lunatic,” was published in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 204]. William Ward, in an article, “American Humorists,” for Beacon, wrote:

But, since Irving, no humorist in prose has laid the foundation of a permanent fame, except it be Mark Twain, and this, as in the case of Irving, because he is a pure writer. Aside from the subtle mirth that lurks through his compositions, the grace and finish of his more didactic and descriptive sentences indicate more than mediocrity, though much of his writing has a dash of Bulwer in it [Tenney 3].


In Buffalo, Sam wrote to Elisha Bliss, enclosing a San Francisco letter, which evidently suggested a proposed book dealing with the Civil War:

Is the war worn out & the people surfeited with adventures, blood, scouting & all that sort of thing? Think the matter over & give me an idea of what I had better do with this. It would have been mighty bully chance a few years ago.

     Tell the Chicago agent to send that book (Mrs. Bart Bowen’s,) to “Care John Robards, Hannibal, Missouri.” [MTP, drop-in letters].


May 16 Monday – In Buffalo, Sam wrote but did not send a letter to Henry Wheeler Shaw (Josh Billings) [MTP, drop-in letters].


May 17 TuesdayElizabeth N. Buckingham (Horr) wrote from Canton, Ohio to Sam, enclosing Elizabeth Horr’s letter of May 16.


“My old friend Sam, / You will appreciate Mother’s effort to write: when I tell you ‘tis done with her left hand—the right hand being paralyzed and useless. / She was much affected by your kind remembrance of her, and greatly enjoyed reading your book” [MTP]. Note: Horr was Sam’s old schoolmarm. Sam wrote “preserve” on the env.

May 20 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, seeking advice about a proposal made by Appleton & Co. of New York, whereby Sam would write two-line captions for various pictures about Innocents Abroad. Bliss’ objections led to Sam declining Appleton [MTL 4: 131-2].

In the evening, the Clemenses entertained the Slees [May 22 to Jervis Langdon].


May 21 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Frank Fuller, declining again to lecture [MTL 4: 133-5].

Sam also wrote to James Redpath about a photograph of himself he had ordered 1,500 copies of [MTL 4: 135]. Sam sent the photo to Will Bowen as well:

“Been too busy & too frightfully lazy to write, Bill—do you pity me? [MTL 4: 136].

May 22 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Jervis Langdon.


Dear Father— / For several days the news from you has grown better & better, till at last I believe we hardly seem to feel that you are an invalid any longer. We are just as grateful as ever two people were in the world. Your case was looking very ominous when we came away, & if we had been called back within a day or two we could not have been surprised. Now we hope to see you up here with mother, just as soon as you can come. Everything is lovely, here, & our home is as quiet & peaceful as a monastery, & yet as bright & cheerful as sunshine without & sunshine within can make it. We are burdened & bent with happiness, almost, & we do need to share it with somebody & so save the surplus. Come & partake freely.

I do not think we shall be easily able to go home when Anna Dickinson visits you, & so it has not been right seriously in our minds, perhaps, as yet. We expect to spend a full month in the Adirondacks (August or Sept.), & I shall have to do all that amount of Galaxy & Express writing in advance, in order to secure the time. So I shall make myself right busy for a while now—shall write faithfully every day.

I want Theodore to send $150 to Charley for me, & I never shall think of it when down town. Can Theodore send the money & just charge it up against me with interest till I see Elmira again? I have asked Charley to get a fine microscope for me, & I guess he would like me to trot the money along.

We are offered $15,000 cash for the Tennessee Land—Orion is in favor of taking it provided we can reserve 800 acres which he thinks contain an iron mine, & 200 acres of cannel coal. But inasmuch as the country is soon to be threaded with railways, the parties who are trying to buy (they are Chicago men,) may very much prefer to have the iron & coal themselves. So I advise Orion to offer them the entire tract of 30 or 40,000 acres of land at $30,000 without reserving anything; or, all except that 1,000 acres of coal & iron for $15,000. Our own agents have for two or three years been holding the tract complete, at $60,000, & have uniformly hooted at any smaller price.

My sister writes that the plants have not yet arrived from Elmira.

She also writes that she & Margaret have finished making & putting down the most of the carpets, though the one for the parlor has not transpired yet. {Transpired is no slouch of a word—it means that the parlor carpet has not arrived yet.} And she writes that the kitten slept all the way from Buffalo to Dunkirk & then stretched & yawned, issuing much fishy breath in the operation, & said the Erie road was an infernal road to ride over. {The joke lies in the fact that the kitten did not go over the Erie at all—it was the Lake-Shore.}

Livy is sound asleep, I suppose, for she went to our room an hour ago & I have heard nothing from her since.

Ma will go to Fredonia tomorrow to advise about the Tennessee land, but she may return, as my sister’s house must be pretty well tumbled yet.

Mr. & Mrs. Slee are well. We saw them Friday evening.

We took dinner & spent yesterday evening most pleasantly with the Grays (editor Courier,)—they are going to Addirawndix with us.

Must write the Twichells.

With very great love to all of you, including Mother, Sue, Theodore & Grandma—& in very great haste—

Yr Son

Sam[MTL 4: 138-40].

Annie Moffett (in 1875 became Mrs. Charles Webster) recalled Jane Clemens her grandmother in Fredonia days:

Jane Clemens adored parades…She was a good mixer and loved company…She had no use for people who bored her…She was devoted to the theatre, and she loved spectacles and gaiety…She was lively and emotional and would weep at the slightest provocation…She loved red and wanted everything in her room red. She would have dressed entirely in that color if she hadn’t been dissuaded…She had a fondness for molasses candy…She was always ready to talk…She was a great embroiderer of her tales…She did not like housekeeping or doing any disagreeable work if she could get out of it…In politics she was very liberal…She loved her newspaper and, although she could see with only one eye, she would read it even by flickering firelight [The Twainian, “The Real Jane Clemens,” October, 1939 p2-4, from an article in the July, 1925 magazine, The Bookman].

May 26 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to the Buffalo Street Commissioner.

“The manner in which Delaware street is sprinkled above Virginia is simply ridiculous. A crippled infant with a garden-squirt could do it better” [MTL 4: 141].


May 27 Friday – Sam’s letter to the Buffalo Street Commissioner was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 207].


May 28 Saturday In Buffalo Sam wrote a note of thanks to Benjamin P. Shillaber, who had sent a poem in response to Sam and Livy’s wedding announcement. Shillaber founded the Boston Carpet-Bag, (1851-3) where Sam had sent “The Dandy Frightening the Squatter” in 1852 [MTL 4: 142-3].


May 29 Sunday – Sam and Livy wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Their plans to stay in the Adirondacks with the Twichells were “pretty definitely fixed” for a six week stay beginning Aug. 1. This letter shows they weren’t yet aware of the critical nature of Jervis’ illness (stomach cancer), although Livy added, “Of course we shall not go to the Adirondacs [sic] unless he is much better—.” Sam also planned to return to California in the spring. Looking over his old clippings, Sam was no doubt contemplating a book on his western adventures and felt the need to refresh his memories with another trip. Roughing It would come from Sam’s recollections [MTL 4: 144].

May 30 Monday Livy and Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss (Sam revised), about the suggested Hartford dinner—now the sales figure to be celebrated was 70,000 [MTL 4: 146].

Jervis Langdon and Olivia Lewis Langdon wrote their son, Charles Langdon, who had written asking for an extended stay in Europe. In part:

My dear Son

Your letter of 27th April from Beirut to your Father & Mother only is this morning recd— I have written you one letter upon the subject when in the South, which you have not recd—& my opinion is you had better calculate to reach home as nearly as you can consistently one year from the time you left. We do not feel that we can do without you longer, and think it may be as well for you to visit Europe further some day, when perhaps Clemens, Livia & Ida can go with you. My health is not good & the Doctor thinks a sea voyage at present would be hazardous as my difficulty is altogether or nearly so in the stomach, I am doing very well now & believe home is the best place for me to secure my health [MTPO].

June In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA – Included:

“A Couple of Sad Experiences” – (includes The Petrified Man and My Famous Bloody Massacre)
“The Judge’s ‘Spirited Woman’”
“A Literary ‘Old Offender’ in Court with Suspicious Property in His Possession”
“Post-Mortem Poetry”
“Wit-Inspirations of the “Two-Year-Olds”
Short miscellaneous items: “Murphy,” “A Patriarch,” and “Lady Franklin”

Note: Budd gives “Breaking it Gently” for this issue, first appeared without a title [“Collected” 1010].

June (either June 16 or 1221) Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Howland visited Sam and Livy in Buffalo. Howland was Sam’s mining partner in Aurora in 1862. Sam inscribed in Robert’s autograph book:

“In memory of old times in Esmeralda & Carson….when it was above ordinary to have dried apple pies on Sunday, & absolutely aristocratic to have canned peaches” [MTL 4: 147].


June 4 Saturday Sam’s article, “More Distinction,” a hilarious guide to raising chickens, ran in the Buffalo Express:

In the case of the other method mentioned for raising poultry, your friend takes along a covered vessel with a charcoal fire in it, and you carry a long slender plank. This is a frosty night, understand. Arrived at the tree or fence or other hen-roost, (your own, if you are an idiot,) you warm the end of your plank in your friend’s fire vessel and then raise it aloft and ease it up gently against a slumbering chicken’s feet. If the subject of your attentions is a true bird, he will infallibly return thanks with a sleepy cluck or two and step out and take up quarters on the plank, thus becoming so conspicuously accessory before the fact to his own murder as to make it a grave question in our minds, as it once was in the mind of Blackstone, whether he is not really and deliberately committing suicide in the second degree [McCullough 209].


June 7 Tuesday Jervis Langdon was sinking. Sam & Livy went to Elmira to help nurse him and to support Livy’s mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon [MTL 4: 149n1].

June 9 Thursday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, asking him to send an enclosure with a “nice copy of the book” to Edward H. House, Occidental Hotel, San Francisco. House was traveling to Japan. When he was critic for the New York Tribune he wrote an important and glowing review (May 11, 1867) of Sam’s first NY lecture, and Sam was thankful. Sam stated that “we shall return home Saturday” (Buffalo, on June 11.) Sam liked Bliss’ idea for a book, probably on his Western adventures, but Sam wasn’t ready:

“…the inspiration don’t come. Wait till I get rested up & rejuvenated in the Adirondacks, & then something will develop itself sure” [MTL 4: 148-9 with notes].


Charles Dickens died in Gadshill, Kent. Sam never met Dickens, although he attended his reading in Dec. 1867, the same day he first met Livy. Sam did visit Dickens’ grave in Westminster Abbey in 1872, [Rasmussen 111-12] but the two did not converse.

June 11 Saturday – Sam wrote a note from Elmira to Ellen White, the family housekeeper to have a carriage ready in Buffalo at “half past eleven tonight—Erie Depot.” The time means that Sam & Livy left Elmira on the 7:07 PM Erie Railway’s “Day Express,” which took four and a half hours to reach Buffalo [MTL 4: 150].


June 12 Sunday – Sam & Livy wrote from Buffalo to Pamela A. Moffett, now living in Fredonia, NY.

We were snatched away suddenly by an urgent call to come to Elmira & help nurse Mr Langdon for a couple of weeks at some Pennsylvania springs he was going to visit. But he decided not to go, & so we simply rested a moment & then hurried back here.


I am exceedingly glad to hear that Orion’s machine is so favorably thought of by Munn & Co. An inventor is a poet—a true poet—and nothing in any degree less than a high order of poet…We would all rejoice to see Orion achieve a moneyed success with his inventions, of course—but if he can eventually do something great, something imperial, it were better to do that & starve than not to do it at all.

Note: Sam’s relationship with Orion was consistently conflicted. Orion’s inventions had not been patented, and he discovered later that someone else had patented a similar woodcutting machine [MTL 4: 151-3].

June 19 Sunday Sam and Livy wrote from Buffalo to Jervis & Olivia Langdon. Jervis had improved somewhat and the newlyweds expected them to visit [MTL 4: 153]. Note: Jervis’ condition must have worsened after this, because they did not make the trip to Buffalo.

June 22 Wednesday – Sam and Livy returned to Elmira to help nurse Jervis Langdon [MTL 4: 155n1]. They took turns at a bedside vigil. Sam took a shift in the middle of the day and from midnight to four in the morning. Livy and sister Susan Crane sat with their father for seven or eight hour stretches, waving a palm-leaf fan over him during the hot summer days [Willis 61].

Pamela Moffett wrote. (Only the envelope survives) [MTP].

June 23 ThursdayFemale Academy, Buffalo, New York – Commencement Exercises Speech. Clemens wrote the speech, though David Gray (1836-1888), poet and editor of the Buffalo Courier, read it [McCullough 211].

Sam’s article, “MARK TWAIN IN NEW YORK” was printed in the Auburn, California, Stars and Stripes [Fatout, MT Speaks 62].

Sam telegraphed from Elmira to John Munroe & Co., American bankers in Paris, France to telegraph all over Europe if necessary to locate Charles Langdon, and notify him of his father’s condition. After eight hours, the Munroe Co. responded that a reply from Charles had reached them. Charley was in Bavaria and would start home immediately [MTL 4: 155].

June 2326 Sunday Sam wrote from Elmira to Appleton & Co., declining their offer to write a “humorous picture-book” [MTL 4: 155].

June 24 Friday Sam’s article “Buffalo Female Academy” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 211].

June 25 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to his mother, and sister:

“We were called here suddenly by telegram 3 days ago. Mr. Langdon is very low. We have well nigh lost hope—all of us except Livy.”

He added that Charley would be home in two weeks, and that the whole city was troubled at Jervis’ condition. The Elmira newspapers reported on Jervis Langdon’s condition, sometimes weekly [MTL 4: 156]. Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks about Jervis [MTL 4: 157]. It had become a deathwatch.

Sam’s article “The Editorial Office Bore,” which had appeared in the June edition of Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 215].

Sam also wrote to Charles Scribner & Co., asking for a book on child rearing to be sent to Elmira. Livy was three months pregnant with Langdon Clemens [MTL 4: 158-9]. Livy’s doctor was Rachel Brooks Gleason, one of America’s first female physicians. The Gleasons ran the Elmira Water Cure [A. Hoffman 172]. The sorrow of a family death would be weighed against the hope of a birth.

June 27 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, complimenting him on a circular claiming 150,000 sales for Innocents Abroad (a stretcher, for sure. 60,378 is more accurate.)

“Mr. Langdon is very ill. Sometimes we feel sure he is going to get well, but then again hope well nigh passes away. This morning the case looks so well that all are pretty cheery again” [MTL 4: 159].

Sam also wrote to Dan Slote in New York, informing him of Jervis Langdon’s condition and asking him to:

“…look out for Charley and whatever the news may be by June 8 [his arrival date] you will have to communicate it. I will write you again” [MTL 4: 161].

June 28 TuesdayCharles Langdon sailed from Liverpool on the Abyssinia. It arrived in Boston on July 8, not New York as Sam had thought in his letter of the previous day [MTL 4: 161n1].


July In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA – Included:

“How I Edited an Agricultural Paper Once”
The ‘Tournament’ in A.D. 1870”
“Unburlesquable Things”
“The Late Benjamin Franklin”
“The Editorial Office Bore”
“Johnny Greer”
“A Daring Attempt at a Solution of It”
“To Correspondents”


July 2 Saturday Sam’s article, “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper Once,” which had appeared in the July Galaxy, was reprinted in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 217].


July 4 Monday In Elmira, Sam wrote to Elisha Bliss. Jervis had rallied again, so much so that Sam expected him to get well. Sam disclosed his back and forth with the Appleton Co. and had been expecting Bliss to come up and discuss “books and business.” Sam was still counting on the Adirondack trip with the Twichells [MTL 4: 161-2].

Sam left Elmira in the evening bound for Washington, D.C. His purpose was to lobby in Jervis behalf for passage of Senate Bill 1025, which was in the Judiciary Committee. The bill created a reorganized Tennessee judicial system, which was critical to the success of the Langdon lawsuit for collection against the city of Memphis, which owed Langdon $500,000 for street paving [MTL 4: 165].


July 5 Tuesday – Sam arrived in Washington, D.C. and began lobbying for passage of the bill.

July 6 Wednesday – Sam wrote at 11:15 PM from Washington, D.C. to Livy:

“Got up at 6…went to several places. Finally, at 9, got a carriage & took Mr. Stewart to the Senate.”

Sam had some successes, got the bill approved in committee, but felt he should stay:

“a day or two & try to get the thing on its final passage….Dined from 6 to 8.30. Called on Fitch’s from 8.30 to 9.30. Then went to see Mr. & Mrs. Bennett & played euchre till 11” [MTL 4: 164-5]. Note: Thomas and Anna Fitch congressman from Nevada; David Smith Bennett (1811-1894) Republican congressman from Buffalo (1869-71) [MTL 4: 170-1]. 


July 7 Thursday – Senate Bill 1025 was reported out of committee, but no further action was taken on it [MTL 4: 168n1].

July 8 FridayMathew B. Brady (1823-1896) photographed Sam. Sam wrote at 10:30 PM from Washington to Livy. After summarizing the state of the bill and his dinner companions (Ex-Vice President Hamlin, Senator Pomeroy (1816-1891), Mr. Gardiner G. Hubbard, & Mr. Richard B. Irwin), Sam wrote:

Drove up to the Senate & staid till now (10.30 PM) & came back to hotel. Oh, I have gathered material enough for a whole book! This is a perfect gold mine.


Called on the President [Grant] in a quiet way this morning. I thought it would be the neat thing to show a little embarrassment when introduced, but something occurred to make me change my deportment to calm & dignified self-possession. It was this: The General was fearfully embarrassed himself! [MTL 4: 167].


Sam may have met Grant in 1867 at a Washington receiving line. If so, they did not speak. Sam also wrote a note to Joseph Twichell, and canceled the planned Adirondack trip. Livy was now four months pregnant, and with Jervis on his deathbed, the trip was not practical.


Virgilius (a pseudonym) wrote to Sam, responding to his July 1870 Galaxy sketch “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper Once”:

My Dear Sir, / I regret exceedingly that your agricultural editorship has not been appreciated. Other laborers in that field have met with the same ingratitude from an ignorant community. Some years ago one of the governors of Indiana devoted himself to the improvement of the stock in that benighted state shortly before a general election. A constituent addressed him a note inquiring what he thought of the hydraulic ram? Mr Governor immediately and properly replied that it was better than Southdown for mutton & equal to Merino for wool, and would you believe it—the prejudices of the people were such that he lost his re-election [MTP]. Note: the writer refers to Joseph A. Wright (1810-1867) tenth Governor of Indiana (1849-1857) who once suggested the “hydraulic ram” could improve sheep breeds, and was embarrassed to discover the ram wasn’t an animal at all. Though being turned down at the polls, Wright was later appointed to fill a U.S. Senate seat (1862-3).


July 9 or 10 Sunday Sam left Washington and returned to Elmira [MTL 4: 170n1].


July 10? Sunday Sam wrote from Elmira asking his lecture agent, James Redpath, to “puff” Thomas Fitch, Congressman from Nevada. Sam saw Fitch on July 6 in Washington and encouraged him to lecture. Redpath used such testimonials in his lecture tour literature. Sam then dropped Fitch a note about the testimonial. Fitch’s 1870 lecture was successful [MTL 4: 170-1].


July 15 Friday Elisha P. Bliss had arrived in Elmira and signed a contract with Sam for a book of Sam’s Western adventures to be completed by Jan. 1, 1871. Sales on Innocents were booming and Bliss wanted to tie Sam up for future books. Sam claimed he began work on Roughing It in a letter he wrote from Elmira to his brother Orion, soliciting names, places and details of their stage trip in 1862. Sam would receive seven and a half percent royalties, vs. the five percent from Innocents Abroad [MTL 4: 171-2]. Note: the contract may be seen in The Mark Twain Quarterly 6.3 (Summer-Fall 1944): 5.


July 16 Saturday – A brief biography of Sam ran in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper [The Twainian, Feb. 1940, p.7]. Budd calls this “The first biographical sketch meant to be serious” [Our MT 45].


July 17 SundayGeorge W. Cable (1844-1925), in his regular column in The New Orleans Picayune, compared Mark Twain and Josh Billings. At this time Cable felt Sam may have “the superior weight of mind,” but was more drawn to Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) [Tenney 3].


July 18 Monday In Elmira, Sam wrote to Elisha Bliss about details of the new book and the dinner for the 75,000-sale mark of Innocents [MTL 4: 172-3]. Sam also wrote his partner on the Express, Josephus Larned, that Jervis Langdon’s condition had improved and that they now held hope for recovery [MTL 4: 173].

July 22 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to C.A. King, declining to give a speech or lecture [MTL 4: 174].


July 25 Monday – Sam telegraphed Josephus Larned, again saying that Jervis Langdon continued to improve [MTL 4: 174]. Sam’s article, “THE EUROPEAN WAR,” which was a spoof of journalistic exuberance, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 222].

July 27 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to his mother, Jane Clemens, and family. “We are glad you are all so well satisfied in Fredonia.” Sam wanted his family near, but not too near. He’d been impressed by the “intelligent faces” in Fredonia during a lecture there and recommended the town to his sister Pamela, who rented a Fredonia house right after Sam’s wedding. Sam bought a house for them later. Pamela Moffett, daughter Annie, son Sammy and Jane Clemens lived there. Margaret, the family’s maid got lonesome for St. Louis and left. Sam announced he was going to write a 600-page book, but it:

“is a secret for a few days yet…I shall begin it about a month from now. By request, Orion has sent me his note-book of the Plains trip” [MTL 4: 175-6].

July 28 ThursdayJane Clemens wrote from Fredonia to Sam and Orion, including a newspaper story of the suicide of Dr. Charles A. Pope. “I send you this, for you to see how such a great wise and good man, as Dr Pope left this world….P S Mela [Pamela] says we are all hoping to see you both here soon, when you can leave your father [Jervis] out of danger” [MTP].


August In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA – Included “Personal Explanation,” “Portrait,” and:



My father and I were always on the most distant terms when I was a boy—a sort of armed neutrality, so to speak. At irregular intervals this neutrality was broken, and suffering ensued; but I will be candid enough to say that the breaking and the suffering were always divided up with strict impartiality between us—which is to say, my father did the breaking, and I did the suffering. As a general thing I was a backward, cautious, unadventurous boy; but once I jumped off a two-story stable; another time I gave an elephant a “plug” of tobacco and retired without waiting for an answer; and still another time I pretended to be talking in my sleep, and got off a portion of a very wretched original conundrum in hearing of my father. Let us not pry into the result; it was of no consequence to any one but me [Schmidt]. Note: referred to in the 1840s entry.


Joe Goodman, in a Mar. 13, 1908 letter to Paine, recalled visiting Sam in Buffalo, probably in August:

I was abroad in the Spring of 1870 when Mark was married, and didn’t see him and his wife till I returned in July and went up to Buffalo to visit them [The Clemenses were in Elmira most of July, so it is assumed Joe visited sometime in August]. I arrived just before dinner time, and Mark took me up to my room and showed me a bottle of whiskey on the table, which he had persuaded Livy to place there by telling her it was awful sinful, of course, but that I had lived in sin all my life and she couldn’t expect to reform me except by gradations. We took a pull at the bottle and went down to dinner. I was talking and laughing and running on at about forty knots, when I suddenly observed that there was nothing doing—that everybody seemed to be waiting for me to finish; so I shut up at once. Then Mark bowed his head and began in a sepulchral voice: “O Lord, for that we are about to receive”—I couldn’t restrain myself, it was so absurd; I just snorted, and Mark finished amid my uncontrollable laughter. Afterwards, by ourselves, I asked him when the change of heart had occurred. “Oh, Hell! There isn’t any change,” he said. “Of course, I don’t believe in it, but Livy does, and I want to do everything I can to please her; so I try to go through with it solemnly and reverently [The Twainian, Jan-Feb 1956 p1].

August 1 Monday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Even though Sam had washed his hands and renounced any share in the Tennessee Land, he helped pay the taxes when due. Here was the final straw—Orion asking for $200 for taxes.


You can draw on me for two or three hundred dollars, but only on one condition, viz: that you consider yourself under oath to either sell at some price or other, or give away, one full half of the Tennessee land within 4 months from date—but it must be honestly parted with, & forever.


The family has been bled for 40 years to keep that cursed land on their hands & perpetuate our father’s well intended folly in buying it [MTL 4: 177; bold is Sam’s emphasis].


August 2 Tuesday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss. Claiming that he’d only allowed Appleton to bid on his book—they bid ten per cent—but did not and would not have agreed regardless of what they bid, Sam wrote:

“You see you can’t get it out of your head that I am sort of a rascal, but I ain’t. I can stick to you just as long as you can stick to me, & give you odds. I made that contract with all my senses about me, & it suits me & I am satisfied with it” [MTL 4: 179].


August 5 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, asking Bliss’ son Frank to send the quarterly statement. He added, “The physicians pronounce Mr Langdon’s case utterly hopeless. The family are shrouded in gloom, awaiting the end” [MTL 4: 180].


August 6 Saturday Jervis Langdon died of stomach cancer at about 5 PM. His last words were, “Beecher, I’m going home” [MTNJ 1: 287]. Sam telegraphed his sister, Pamela Moffett. “Father died this afternoon” [MTL 4: 181]. Sam’s surrogate father had been an influence for good on Sam. He’d liked and championed Samuel Clemens when even testimonials from the West had pronounced him a “humbug.” Jervis was generous and upright; he provided Sam with strong male affection that he’d never received from his own father. Sam’s loss may not have been as great as Livy’s, but it was considerable.


August 7 Sunday from Elmira Sam wrote a eulogy for Jervis Langdon, and sent it to Josephus N. Larned, his partner on the Express, for use in that newspaper [MTL 4: 181-2].


August 8 MondayJervis Langdon’s funeral. His obituary was printed in the Buffalo Express, incorporating Sam’s eulogy [McCullough 224]. The Mayor of Elmira, John Arnot (1789-1873), requested that all local businesses close for two hours during the funeral [MTL 4: 183].


Sam telegraphed Elisha Bliss:

“Receipt of your check for two thousand dollars is here—hereby acknowledged. Saml L Clemens” [MTPO].

August 11 Thursday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss: “This is a house of mourning, now. My wife is nearly broken down with grief & watching.” In a lighter note, he recalled the exchange of letters he had with “that publisher,” probably the D. Appleton & Co.

I wrote that publisher that your bid was lower than his, but not enough lower to justify me in deserting you. He wrote back a hot answer, saying “he was surprised to hear me confess that his bid was the highest, & in the same letter say that I had awarded the book to you.” I sent him back a warm one in which I said I was surprised at his infernal impertinence—& then I talked sassy to him for a page or so & wound up by saying I judged he would be able from the foregoing to form a sort of shadow of an idea of my private opinion of him & his kind. If he didn’t go mighty slow I will print something personal about him [MTL 4: 184].


August 13 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to George L. Hutchings, declining to lecture.

“I haven’t the slightest idea of ever talking again on a platform. Congratulate me on my emancipation!” [MTL 5: 686].


August 17 or 24 Wednesday Sam wrote from Elmira or Buffalo to his sister Pamela Moffett.

“I will come as soon as I can leave Livy….My coming at this time would stop Livy’s progress; for whilst she sleeps but poorly now, she may be said to not sleep at all when I am away…she is weak & suffering….get all the gossip you can about Cousin James Lampton & family, without her knowing it is I that want it” [MTL 4: 184-5 – note: source is uncertain as to year of this letter]. Sam eventually based the model for Colonel Sellers in The Gilded Age on cousin James Lampton.


 August 21 Sunday In the evening, Thomas K. Beecher gave a memorial tribute to Jervis Langdon in Elmira’s Opera House [MTL 4: 182n1]. Sam & Livy probably stayed in Elmira until the day after the memorial, and then returned to Buffalo [MTL 4: 185].


August 22 MondayO.B. Jabbers wrote on Northern Tier Gazette letterhead, Troy, Pa. “Enclosed find an atrocity recently printed at this office to be distributed to the children and parents of the aforesaid school [no school mentioned].The undersigned line touched my feelings as a red hot poker would a sleeping cat” [MTP]. No article in file.


August 23 Tuesday – “Colonel” Alexander Curran Walker (1816-1883) wrote from McBean, Ga.

Mark Twain Esq / Sir—I am an old man, a farmer, and an invalid of two years standing. My occupation if I may call it so, is reading the papers and Magazines, of which together I subscribe to eighteen—among them the Galaxy, next I think in its standing to Appleton’s Journal—I write to thank you for filling a void in the Galaxy, which I have long felt in the literature of the day. The mind is like the body, it needs relaxation and rest—for it is hard labour to read continuously the stilted sentiment of the time and of the hundreds of books & papers I have read during several years back, excepting Mr Dickens works. I do not remember to have seen humour enough in any one to excite a laugh, until yr appearance in the Galaxy—It is a great feature in the work, with me at least, and poor down trodden devils as we are, it must be genuine humour that can produce a cachinnation in a Southern gentleman—I trust you will continue this department, with profit to yrself and benefit & amusement to yr readers—For God’s sake dont think I have written this to have it published—it is for yself alone—I dont know even yr real name— / Very respectfully yr / obt servt / A C Walker [MTP]. Note: Walker was a native of Georgia but opposed secession. He declined the offer of Alexander H. Stephens’ vacant seat in Congress, after Stephens resigned in 1858


August 25 Thursday – Sam’s article “Domestic Missionaries Wanted” first ran in the Buffalo Express [Budd, “Collected” 1011].


August 30 Tuesday – How do rumors get started? Here’s one from the Brooklyn Eagle p.4 of this date:

“Dr. Clemens, a brother of ‘Mark Twain,’ is a practicing physician in Louisville.”


Thomas Swift, M.D.  wrote from Hartford to Clemens.


     In a late number of the Galaxy you give an interesting specimen of this class of literature with an expressed desire for Some more.

     First let me give you my experience with that same article—After carefully reading it over twice, in silence, I tried it upon a somewhat romantic and sensitive young lady friend (of course, omitting your introductory remarks)—before I had reached the end of the twaddle her eyes were “bathed in tears”

     Woman like, she had got a long way ahead of the story—had identified herself with the poor sorrowing creature—so miserable with all her luxurious surroundings—had doubtless conjured up no end of Bluebeard or other troubles—(heaven knows what—I didn’t cross examine)—Here was a good, earnest, modest girl, with a fair share of common sense, as well as educational advantages—

     Now I wish to call your critical attention to Lippincott for August “The hungry heart”

     The animus of the whole thing you will find on the first page of the story—

     “Every woman in these days needs two husbands—one to fill her purse and one to fill her heart” (whatever that may be)

     As to J.W. De Forest—he may be a woman or she may be a man—things get terribly mixed up now-a-days—

     Any how, the principles instilled are those of that old hermaphrodite—The Atlantic Menstrual—Boston—

     J.W. De F. wants taking down a peg or two—bad—and you are the man “as can do it” / Yours very truly / Thomas Swift, M.D. [MTP].


Note: Sam’s June 1870 article in Galaxy quoted a reader’s letter he labeled a “miracle of pointless imbecility and bathos,” giving it “for competition as the sickliest specimen of sham sentimentality that exists.” Swift’s letter here answered the challenge by describing a magazine story by John William DeForest (1826-1906). DeForest wrote Clemens on July 31, 1874 proposing collaboration on a collection of sketches. Sam ignored the offer.

August 31 Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to his sister Pamela A. Moffett:

“We’re getting along tolerably well. Mother is here, & Miss Emma Nye. Livy cannot sleep, since her father’s death—but I give her a narcotic every night & make her.”

Sam was writing under contract to deliver the new book, which would be named Roughing It, “as early as 1 of January next.” Emma Nye was a schoolmate and longtime friend of Livy’s, who had traveled from Aiken, South Carolina for a visit [MTL 4: 186].


September In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA  Included:

“Political Economy”
“John Chinaman in New York”
“The Noble Red Man”
“A Royal Compliment”
“The Approaching Epidemic”
“Favors from Correspondents”
Short miscellaneous – included items on Beef Contract, Funeral, Obituary, Enigma


September 2 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion. Sam was so grateful for Orion’s memorandum books on their trip to Nevada, that he promised him $1,000 from royalties [MTL 4: 186].

Sam and Livy wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Most of the letter was a discussion of Britisher George MacDonald’s 1868 book, Robert Falconer, which Mary had recommended. Sam added: “Miss Emma Nye is here & is right sick” [MTL 4: 189]. Note: McDonald (1824-1905).


September 4 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss.

“During the past week have written first four chapters…[of Roughing It]. We shall sell 90,000 copies the first 12 months” [MTL 4: 190]. Note: Sam liked it. It did sell well, some 75,000 copies the first year.


September 5 Monday – In Buffalo, Sam wrote a short note to Francis P. Church of the Galaxy:

“Friend Church— / Received yr. Check for $334, full payment for July & Sept. Sent the MS.S. for Oct. yesterday, to you. Yrs ever” [MTP, drop-in letters].

Ella Wolcott (b.1828) wrote to seek publishing help for a young man, Frank Huntington, who was traveling and studying in Germany [MTP].


September 7 Wednesday Sam replied from Buffalo to the Sept. 6 of Ella Wolcott, a friend of the Langdons, declining verse from a friend of hers in Europe. He also wrote that Emma Nye had a “consuming fever—of a typhoid type.” In fact, it was typhoid [MTL 4: 191].


September 8?29 Thursday Sam telegraphed his mother in Fredonia. A family pest, Mrs. Melicent S. Holliday (b.1800?), had turned up at Sam’s in Buffalo and, due to Emma Nye’s illness, Sam gave her $50 and sent her on to Fredonia [MTL 4: 193].


September 9 Friday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion.

“Do exactly as you please with the [Tennessee] land….I have no time to turn around. A young lady visitor (schoolmate of Livy’s) is dying in the house of typhoid fever.”

Alice Spaulding came to help Livy nurse Emma Nye. The three had been schoolmates [MTL 4: 193].


September 15 Thursday – Sam and Livy wrote from Buffalo to Frank Bliss & Frances T. French, congratulating them on marriage, and regretting that illness in the house prevented them from attending the wedding [MTL 4: 194].


Sam also wrote to the Postmaster of Virginia City, Montana Territory (Hezekiah L. Hosmer) asking for a newspaper from the day the desperado Jack Slade (Joseph Alfred Slade 1829?-1864) was hanged. Sam wanted material to include about Slade in Roughing It [MTL 4: 195-6].


September 17 Saturday Sam’s article “To the Reader,” with a humorous map of Paris, France Fortifications, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 227]. Budd shows this as “Map of Paris” reprinted with “additional prefatory material” in the Nov. 1870 Galaxy [“Collected” 1012]. See map under Oct. 10 entry.


September 19 MondayJohn T. Metcalf wrote from Lansing, Iowa.

My Dear Sir: / I want to read your admirable book (“The Innocents Abroad”) but us poor d——s of country newspaper men can’t afford to buy one. We don’t know your publishers. Can’t we notice or advertise, and thus come into possession of something good for the mind, of a standard heaps of newspaper men want to reach, but you hold so successfully at your service? [MTPO]. Note: Sam sent this on to Bliss.

September 21? Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss that he’d written to Elisha’s son, Frank, and that Sam had finished the 7 or 8 chapter of Roughing It this day [MTL 4: 196].


September 22 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss about the burlesque map of “Fortifications of Paris,” he’d published in the Express. Sam suggested they use the map in posters for Innocents [MTL 4: 198].


September 24 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo, a letter of introduction for Livy to a local attorney, Franklin D. Locke, asking him to

“…make valid the accompanying power of attorney. It will be a very great favor if you can save her the necessity of getting out of the carriage facing the terrors of the law in your awe-inspiring den” [MTL 4: 200].


September 26 MondayVice President “Smiling” Schulyer Colfax wrote to laugh at Sam’s “Fortifications of Paris” map and also Sam’s “masterpiece…your lightning rod article” (“Political Economy” in Galaxy) [MTP].

September 28? Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Joe Goodman, previewing his coming new book (RI) [MTL 4: 201].


September 29 ThursdayEmma Nye died in the morning from typhoid fever [MTL 4: 192-3n1]. That night her body was transported to Elmira and the Spaulding home. She was buried the following day in the Second Street Cemetery [Reigstad 173]. Sam & Livy did not make the trip to Elmira, since Livy was seven months pregnant and worn out from nursing her friend [MTL 4: 198n3].


October In the Galaxy for this month MARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA  Included:

“The Reception at the President’s”
“Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again, Letters I – IV”
“Curious Relic For Sale”
“Science vs. Luck”
“Favors from Correspondents”
Short miscellaneous items – includes items on Obituary, Johnny Skae, Baby, How Is This for High?, Obituary, Some Other Favors


October 1 Saturday Sam’s article, “At the President’s Reception,” which had appeared in the October issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 229].


Sometime before Oct. 4, Sam and Livy traveled to Fredonia to visit Sam’s family for a week—a trip that had been planned since mid-June, but which had been delayed by the deaths of Jervis Langdon on Aug. 6 and Emma Nye on Sept. 29.


October 4 Tuesday Sam wrote from Fredonia, New York to James Redpath concerning reprints and use of the Paris map, asking Redpath to “get up a bargain” with Louis Prang (1824-1909), a well-known map maker [MTL 4: 201-4].


October 5 Wednesday The Fredonia Censor for this date reported Sam and Livy’s visit.

Samuel S. Clemens (Mark Twain) and wife are spending a few days with his mother and sister, who came here to reside last spring. He is engaged in preparing another work for the press.—His “Innocents Abroad” has had a sale of over 70,000. Its great popularity will prepare the way for an extensive sale of the book which he is now writing.


October 8 Saturday Sam’s article, “Curious Relic for Sale,” which had appeared in the October edition of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 233].


October 813? Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, about Hubert Howe Bancroft, West Coast agent for Innocents Abroad.

“He did well with the book—& would have done A GOOD DEAL better if he had any sense about handling newspaper people. Think of an agent refusing to give copies to the chief papers! He is an infernal fool” [MTL 4: 204-5].


October 9 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath. He’d given up putting the additions on his Paris map, since it had been printed and reprinted several times and he’d not copyrighted it. Sam began to think about lecturing again [MTL 4: 206].


October 10? MondaySam wrote to Ainsworth R. Spofford, on his “Fortifications of Paris” map which ran in the Buffalo Express Sat. Sept. 17:


Mr. Spofford, could I get you to preserve this work of art among the geographical treasures of the Congressional Library?

Yrs Truly

Mark Twain.


Note: see MTPO’s explanatory note 2 from SLC’s of 9 Oct 1870 to Redpath


October 11 TuesdayRobert Shelton Mackenzie (1809-1881), editor of the Phila. Press wrote: “You will see by the enclosed, which I had much pleasure in writing, as far as your book [IA] is concerned, that you are somewhat appreciated in our Quaker City. / Yours…” [MTP]. MacKenzie’s review is in the file; it praises Twain as “one of the three great living American prose humorists” the others being Harte and Oliver Wendell Holmes.


October 13 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Mary’s daughter Alice (“Alie”) was engaged. Sam wanted Mary to visit. Charles Langdon had married Ida B. Clark on Oct. 12, but Sam was too busy to go and Livy was unable [MTL 4: 208-9].

Sam also wrote Elisha Bliss:

“I am driveling along tolerably fairly on the book [Roughing It]—getting off from 12 to 20 pages (MS.) a day. I am writing so carefully that I’ll never have to alter a sentence, I guess, but it is very slow work. I like it well, as far as I have got. The people will read it” [MTL 4: 210].


October 15 Saturday – “Mark Twain – His Map and Fortifications of Paris” was reprinted in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 238].

October 18 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Frank Church, editor of Galaxy. Sam sent a doodled “portrait” of King William of Prussia, parodying the use of portraits in the magazine [MTL 4: 210].


October 19 Wednesday In Buffalo, Clemens wrote to Francis P. Church:


      I am so stupid. I forgot that it will be two or three weeks before I can see whether you are going to want that portrait & burlesque or not—so you must sit right down & write me even if you have to delay your dinner a minute or two. Will you?

      2d article of this “Memoranda” (expressed last night per U.S. Ex. Co.) is headed “History Repeats Itself.” Please change that heading to / “Moral Anecdote for the Young” / Unattractive headings is bad wisdom [MTP]. Note: this misdated in MTP’s files as 1871; but Sam was in Pennsylvania on Oct. 19, 1871.


“On Riley—Newspaper Correspondent” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 238]. This humorous article about John Henry Riley, a drinking pal from Sam’s Washoe and Washington days, was reprinted in the Nov. issue of the Galaxy [McCullough 243]. In the article Sam used a figure of speech that he’d use again in a Brooklyn lecture (Feb. 7, 1873):

“Riley has a ready wit, a quickness and aptness at selecting and applying quotations, and a countenance that is as solemn and as blank as the backside of a tombstone” [The Twainian, Jan-Feb 1946, p4]. Note: this source and Camfield’s bibliography report the article as Oct. 29, 1870.


October 20 Thursday – An earthquake struck Buffalo at about 5 p.m., and “lasted only thirty or fourty seconds. Church steeples and chandeliers swayed. Walls of buildings shook, windows shattered, and furniture moved across floors” [Reigstad 171].


October 21 Friday An article attributed to Sam, “The Libel Suit,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 246].


Mortimer Neal Thomson (Q.K. Philander Doesticks, P.B.) wrote from NY.

I don’t believe you’ve forgotten me, and I don’t want you to put on airs and pretend you have, just because I’m going to remind you of a promise.

When we met here in 186whatever it was 68 I believe, you told me you were going to go off in the Quaker City… [MTP]. Note: Mortimer Neal Thomson (1831-1875). He reminded Sam of his promise to give a copy of the book written from the excursion.

Charles Wiggins wrote from Vevey Switzerland; a fan of IA he tried with success a method of handing beggars a cheap coin to satisfy them [MTP].


October 22 SaturdayFrancis P. Church of the Galaxy wrote:

“Dear Twain: / The portrait is all right. I will give it to the engraver immediately.

We wont talk about your giving up at the end of the year. It is something not to be even thought of for a moment” [MTPO]. Note: a doodled portrait of King William of Prussia; see Oct. 18.

Fred Marsh wrote from Chillivothe, Mo. enclosing a clipping he thought would occupy a place in Twain’s “collection” of “Hog-wash” [MTP]. Note: the article entitled “Reverie” had a good chance of being so labeled.

J.D. Slee for Langdon & Co. “Your letter of yesterday morning is just recd. How much we sorrow that your dear wife is ill.” He apologized for some unspecified “intrusion” [MTP].

October 26 Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss asking if he thought his articles in the Galaxy had hurt book sales. He had notified Frank Church at the Galaxy that his year would be up with April’s edition. Even though Sam had expounded firmly that he was done lecturing, now he said, “I half expected to lecture a little next year” [MTL 4: 212]

Sam also responded to an angry letter from Dr. Iretus G. Cardner (1832?-1894), about a bill for treatment in Mar. 1867.

“…if you enjoy getting out of temper, level it all at me—I don’t mind it. Newspaper abuse has made me callous, & so if I can be useful to you as a target, in further payment of a bill that has run so disgracefully long, my moral alligator-skin is at your service” [MTL 4: 214].


October 27 ThursdayEdward Eggleston (1837-1902), in an article in The Independent said he was amused by Sam’s sketch in the Galaxy, but more impressed by a poem of Helen Hunt’s [Tenney 3].


October 28 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, asking him to send or have sent a copy of Innocents Abroad to “Mortimore Thomson, ‘better known,’ (as they have the thrice-infernal fashion of saying of me,) as ‘Q.K. Philander Doesticks, P.B.’ ” [MTL 4: 215].

Clemens also wrote to the secretary of Goethean Literary Society, Lancaster, Penn.

“I thank you, & through you the Literary Society you represent, for the honor conferred upon me by electing me to an honorary membership, & shall gladly avail myself of your kind invitation to visit your body at any time that I may chance to be in Lancaster” [MTP]. Note: the Society’s notification is not extant.

October 29 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss. Sam disrespected one “Colonel” Albert S. Evans. Sam berated Bliss for never sending him books, and mentioned three: Albert Deane Richardson’s Beyond the Mississippi (1867); Charles De Wolf Brownell’s The Indian Races of North and South America (1865); and John George Wood’s The Uncivilized Races, or Natural History of Man.

Sam added that Livy had been sick in bed for a week but was much better. Livy had come close to delivering prematurely [MTL 4: 216-7 &n3-4].

October 31 Monday Sam wrote again from Buffalo to Dr. Iretus G. Cardner that the letter Sam received did not indicate any money Sam had sent [MTL 4: 219].


November In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA  – Included:

“Riley Newspaper Correspondent”
“Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again, Letters V – VI”
“A Reminiscence of the Back Settlements”
“A General Reply”
“Favors from Correspondents”

Also a Special Feature not in Memoranda: “Mark Twain’s Map of Paris” [Schmidt].


Author’s Sketch Book (Vol. 1 No.1) included excerpts from IA and previously unknown Mark Twain writings [Slotta 22]. The Twainian, May 1940, describes this publication (five-column pages 15 x 20 inches) as from the American Publishing Co., written by Sam and “clearly a ‘house organ’ designed to inject vim, vigar [sic] and vitality into the nationwide army of subscription-solicitors….” The article reprints much of this work which contained some unknown writings of Clemens.

Hence the importance of a conservative and independent sheet, which cannot be bought up like Esau’s birthright, for a mess of pottage, nor influenced for a glass of wine, a fragrant cabano, or a good dinner, but which shall be conducted on principle, and whose editor shall act as conscientiously as did the old Puritan Lady who used to whip her beer barrel because the beer would work on the Sabbath day. Having received and completed our education in the highest public school in a country village, and not being near sighted, as was the Western editor, who would rub out with his nose whatever he wrote with his pen, we feel confident no one will doubt our ability in this undertaking…[The Twainian, May 1940 p2].

Sam wrote to an unidentified person:

Buffalo, Nov. 1870.

The passage is as follows:

From Soliloquy at Tomb of Adam.

“The grave of Adam! How touching it was, here in a land of strangers, far away from home, & friends, & all who cared for me, thus to discover the grave of a blood relation. True, a distant one, but still a relation. The unerring instinct of nature thrilled its recognition. The fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths, & I gave way to tumultuous emotion.”

It is on page 567—well toward the end of the book.

Yrs Truly / Sam. L. Clemens /em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space(Mark Twain.)

November 2 WednesdayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam:


Dear Twain / Yours recd Yes I got your article. “It is accepted” (a. la. N.Y. Ledger) Thanks for same—

Paper will be out last of the month—

How would your Bro. do for an editor of it?

Would he be satisfied with $100. per month for present, until we could do better by him—?

You see we have no real place just now for him, but would like for your sake to create a position for him, if possible—would this do? perhaps if here by & by we could see some opening which would pay good—(I guess he has an “it is safe to trust him to find “openings” if enough if you & he get along well together.)

Say! Is he anything like his younger brother?

When does he want to leave St Louis.?

Tell me what you want, &, what you think about it &c &c— / Truly / Bliss [MTPO].


November 4 FridaySam wrote to John Henry Riley, letter not extant but referred to in Riley’s Nov. 22.

November 5 Saturday Sam’s article, “A Reminiscence of the Back Settlements,” which had appeared in the November issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 248].

Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion advising him that Bliss was offering a position to Orion, hoping to keep Sam from “whoring after strange gods,” which, Sam wrote, “…is Scripture for deserting to other publishers.” Sam offered to send Orion $100 for his passage to Fredonia, being unwilling to accept any company “while Livy is in such a delicate state.” In 1906 Sam blamed a rushed carriage ride to the depot to deliver a friend for Livy’s near miscarriage [MTL 4: 219-222].


Sam then wrote to Elisha Bliss about Orion:

“It is a splendid idea! He will make a tip-top editor—a better than I, because he is full of talent & besides is perfectly faithful, honest, straightforward & reliable. There isn’t money enough in America to get him to do a dishonest act—whereas I am different” [MTL 4: 223].


Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Sam wrote that Livy was “doing pretty well,” and that Mary should “Come along here, now, as soon as possible, & prune my manuscript. Don’t delay” [MTL 4: 224].


Mortimer Neal Thomson (Q.K. Philander Doesticks, P.B.) wrote to thank Sam for a copy of IA and the dedication, “I enclose the chirographic your Publishers attempted to inflict on me as your genuine autograph” (pasted in the letter a cutout of a reproduction signature) [MTP].


November 6 SundayWhitelaw Reid wrote to ask Sam if he knew of some person who “can send us good dispatches on election night” [MTP].


November 7Monday Olivia gave birth to a boy, Langdon Clemens, a month premature, four and a half pounds at 11 AM. Sam telegraphed from Buffalo to Olivia Lewis Langdon, Livy’s mother: “mother & child doing well…Fairbanks is coming” [MTL 4: 225].


Olivia Lewis Langdon telegraphed congratulations: “The Mothers and Grandmas blessing on mother and child” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Elisha Bliss of the birth and asked him to Tell the Twichells” [MTL 4: 226].


November 8 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath, about the birth of Langdon, who Sam claimed had gone lecturing already on the subject of “Milk,” after a lecture by the name of “Milk and Natral Histry” by Josh Billings [MTL 4: 227].


Sam also sent two telegraphs to Whitelaw Reid, who had asked for election returns. Sam put Josephus Larned on the task and said he was tied up with mother and baby [MTL 4: 227-8].

Mary Mason Fairbanks telegrammed: “ ‘Here’s to your family may they live long & prosper’ Hope to dine with you Saturday next at six PM will arrive on five o’clock train” [MTP].


November 9 Wednesday Baby Langdon’s condition became critical, most likely from complications of premature birth. He improved after Nov. 11 [MTL 4: 231n5].

Clara Spaulding wrote from Elmira congratulations on “Baby Clemens” to Livy & Sam [MTP].


November 11 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion, chastising him for his responses to Bliss’ offer of employment. He added, “Livy is very sick & I do not believe the baby will live five days” [MTL 4: 229-230].


Sam also wrote to Livy’s friend, Fidele A. Brooks about the new baby, after receiving a note from her [231].

Sam wrote another letter, this in the first person as Baby Langdon to Eunice King Ford (1782-1873), the baby’s 88-year-old great-grandmother

Dear Grandma:

      I have waited with some impatience to hear from you or from some other member of the family, but up to this time no letter has arrived for me. I have received enthusiastic notice in telegrams from Cleveland & in congratulations from Mr. Brooks in New York—& the telegrams from Elmira have been gladly received & carefully preserved. But from you personally, I have not heard, at least in the shape of a letter, & I am obliged to say that I am hurt at it. Every now & then I think it all over & then I comprehend that you cannot write in these latter years without great difficulty. Of course that makes me feel better about it, but it does not last long. I soon get to worrying again & saying to myself that you might have written me one line at least. But never mind, I know it is all just as it should be, & that you have neglected me not because you desired to do it, but because you could not well help it. For I will not believe but that you love me. I am four days old to-day at eleven o’clock. Do you recollect when you were only 4 days old? I guess you don’t. I am looking for Granny Fairbanks tomorrow, & will be glad to see her, too, but I shall be outrageously sorry to part with Aunt Susie Crane, for she was here when I first came, & I have come to like her society very much, & she knows my disposition better than anybody except Auntie Smith.

      I am boarding with a strange young woman by the name of Brown, & her baby is boarding with my mother. I expect Mrs. Brown could take several more boarders like me, for I am not a very hearty eater. I don’t understand this little game, but I guess it is all right. It is some little neat trick of my father’s to save expense, I fancy.

      I have a ridiculous time of it with clothes. Except a shirt which aunt Hattie made for me I haven’t a rag in the world that fits me. Everything is too large. You ought to see the things they call “slips.” I am only 13 inches long, & these things are as much as 3 feet. Think of it. I trip & break my neck every time I make a step, for I can’t think to gather up the surplus when I am in a hurry.

      I tell you I am tired being bundled up head & ears nine-tenths of my time. And I don’t like this thing of being stripped naked & washed. I like to be stripped & warmed at the stove—that is real bully—but I do despise this washing business. I believe it to be a gratuitous & unnecessary piece of meanness. I never see them wash the cat.

      And I tell you it is dull, roosting around on pillows & rocking chairs & everybody else spinning around town having a good time. Sometimes they let that other baby lie on the kitchen table & wink at the sun, but bless you I never get a show. Sometimes I get so mad that I cannot keep my temper or my opinion. But it only makes things worse. They call it colic, & give me some execrable medicine. Colic. Everything is colic. A baby can’t open its mouth about the simplest matter but up comes some wise body & says it is wind in its bowels. When I saw the dog the first time, I made a noise which was partly fright & partly admiration—but it cost me a double dose of medicine for wind in the bowels. Do these people take me for a balloon?

      I am not entirely satisfied with my complexion. I am as red as a lobster. I am really ashamed to see company. But I am perfectly satisfied with my personal appearance, for I think I look just like aunt Susie. They keep me on the shortest kind of rations, & that is one thing that don’t suit the subscriber. My mother has mashed potatoes, & gruel, & tea, & toast, & all sorts of sumptuous fare, but she never gives me a bite—& you can risk your last dollar on it that I don’t ask for it. It would only be another case of “wind in the bowels.” You’ll have to excuse me. I am learning to keep my remarks to myself. {But between you & I, Grandma, I get the advantage of them occasionly—now last night I kept aunt Smith getting up every hour to feed me— but and between you & me and I wasn’t hungry once.}

      That doctor has just been here again. Come to play some fresh swindle on me, I suppose. He is the meanest looking white man I ever saw. Mind, now, this is not a splenetic & prejudiced outburst, but a calm & deliberate opinion formed & founded upon careful observation. Won’t I “lay” for him when I get my teeth?

Good-bye Grandma, good-bye. Great love to you & grandma & all the whole household.

Your loving great-grandson, / Langdon Clemens [232].

Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote to Langdon Clemens upon his birth:My Dear Langdon / I am delighted to learn of your safe arrival, and gratified that you should have so promptly reported yourself to me, your venerable relative—on your father’s side” [MTPO].

Edwin D. White telegraphed Sam: “The Press club sups tomorrow eve. Come and bring the baby!” [MTP]. Note: See (Nov. 11 or 12) entry.

November 11? Friday – Sam wrote to Olivia Lewis Langdon, asking her and Charley to visit [MTL 4: 234].

November 11 or 12 Saturday – Sam telegraphed Edwin D. White in response to an invitation to the Boston Press Club Supper, saying he was busily engaged in singing “Rock Me to Sleep, Father, “and could not possibly attend [MTL 4: 235].


November 12 Saturday Sam’s article, “A General Reply,” which had appeared in the November issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 250].

Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath, wishing he could be at the Press Club dinner that night and that he “sent the boys a dispatch” [MTL 4: 235-6].


Sam then wrote to Joseph and Harmony Twichell, again in first person for baby Langdon:

I am not corpulent, nor am I robust in any way. At birth I only weighed 4 ½ pounds with my clothes on—& the clothes were the chief feature of the weight, too, I am obliged to confess.


They all say I look very old & venerable—& I am aware, myself, that I never smile. Life seems a serious thing, what I have seen of it—& my observation teaches me that it is made up mainly of hiccups, unnecessary washings, & wind in the bowels [MTL 4: 236-7].


Fidele A. Brooks wrote : “We are just as happy as ever we can be that Livy and the boy are contented to remain with us a little longer” [MTP].

Mrs. James B. Parke wrote congratulations on the birth of baby Langdon [MTP].


November 14 Monday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Jesse C. Haney (1820-1901), writer and publisher of various handbooks, and editor and publisher of humor magazines. Sam declined to write for almanacs, writing that it “belongs to Josh & I won’t touch it.” He didn’t mind caricatures of himself, but not his new baby, in case Langdon didn’t live [MTL 4: 238].

Sam also telegraphed Charles Langdon, allowing any of the family to visit [MTL 4: 239].


Sam also wrote a short note to Thomas B. Pugh (1829-1884), a promoter for lectures in Philadelphia.

“I’m a wet nurse, now, & I like it! We have got a baby & we don’t want any more money nor any more glory either! Count us out, Mr. Pugh!” [MTL 4: 239].


November 15 TuesdayCharles Langdon wrote to Sam enclosing papers for Livy to sign on a deed, the contract of which Jervis ordered before his death “for some property on R.R. Ave adjoining the Boot & Shoe Manuf” [MTP].


November 16 Wednesday – Sam wrote to Elisha Bliss:


Friend Bliss— / This is a mild satire of my brother’s on the “Sleeping Beauty” who is making such a stir in St Louis.

Come, let’s hear from you.

Our baby flourishes gallantly. How is Frank’s

Yrs / Clemens [MTPO].


David R. Locke (Petroleum V. Nasby) wrote: “I have been bloviating about Pa & N.J. and have just heard of the birth of a child to you. / I congratulate you with all my heart” [MTP].

From the Fredonia Censor for this date: 

Mark Twain had a son and heir born to him last week, and yet, notwithstanding his extreme youth, his father has made something of him already—made a joke of him according to the [New York] World, which says the following despatch has been received by the Literary Bureau from Mark Twain:

      “A son was born to me yesterday [Nov. 7], and with true family instinct he has gone to lecturing already. His subject is he same as Josh Billings—‘Milk.’ You are hereby constituted his agent and instructed to make arrangements with lyceums.” [See also Nov. 8 entry for Billings reference].

November 17 Thursday – Sam telegraphed Elisha Bliss:

“My brother only waiting for you to say when. [Answer.] Book progressing slowly em spaceem space What date do you think it best to issue it? / Clemens” [MTPO]

Elisha Bliss wrote to Clemens:

Dr Clemens. / Believe me I am exceedingly glad to know your wife is getting on so well & your boy has gained an ounce as I learned from his letter to [Twitchell.]

      I trust no [untoward] accident will alter this state of affairs for the worse— I have not heard from you since the one relating to your [brother.] Has he decided to come? Please let me know if it is [settled] yet and when he will be here, if he is to come— Also please give me an idea when you would like the book to come [out,] & how you get on with it.

      By the way did you get the books I sent you? /truly [Bliss] [MTP].

November 18 FridayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam.


Dr Clemens, / Have I been so stupid, as not to say to you I expect your brother so far as we are concerned. I thought I had said so or as much, & was waiting for report, daily as to his time of arrival &c—

He tells a good yarn in the slip sent. We will give him scope for his talent here— [MTPO].


November 19 Saturday About this day, Sam wrote to brother Orion on the Nov. 17 of Elisha Bliss:

[unknown number of words missing]

Am. Pub. Co. But all right—I am willing. Only I know this—that if you take the place, with an air of perfect confidence in yourself, never once letting any thing show in your bearing but a quiet, modest, entire & perfect confidence in your ability to do pretty much anything in the world, Bliss will think you are the very man he needs—but don’t show any shadow of timidity or unsoldierly diffidence, for that sort of thing is fatal to advancement.

I warn you thus because you are naturally given to knocking your pot over in this way when a little judicious conduct would make it boil [MTPO].

Sam’s article, “Running for Governor,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 254]. The article also appeared in the December issue of the Galaxy.

Sam wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks, criticizing those who copied his ideas—specifically “John Quill” of Philadelphia and Alphonso Griswold of the Cincinnati Times.

Sam also wrote to Olivia Lewis Langdon encouraging her to:

“…hurry & get strong enough to be here on Thanksgiving Day—& sooner if you can, for Livy is very lonely” [MTL 4: 242].

November 19-20? Sunday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Susan Crane, enclosing drawings and measurements of baby Langdon (“Two Views of Langdon Clemens Thinking”) [MTL 4: 243].


November 20 Sunday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles J. Langdon, who had sent baby shoes. Sam invented a conversation with the baby about using slang [MTL 4: 244].

November 21 Monday – Sam reprinted “Hints to Farmers,” by Alphonso Griswold, written for the Cincinnati Times, on page two of the Buffalo Express, calling it “PLAGIARIZED. BY THE ‘FAT CONTRIBUTOR’ ” [MTL 4: 240-1].

Possibly on this date Sam wrote Orion, enclosing a note from Bliss to Sam, about his need for Orion’s work. Sam wrote, “I hope you will pack up & leave for Hartford instantly & finally.” Sam asked if Orion wanted the travel money he’d offered [MTL 4: 245].


November 22 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss to send “this beggar” (unidentified) a book. Also: “Have instructed my brother get to Hartford with all convenient dispatch” [MTL 4: 247].

John Henry Riley wrote from Washington D.C. to Sam, enclosing a clipping from the Phila. Sunday Dispatch for Nov. 6, a humorous tale about a Coolie filling a kerosene lamp. Also one called “Obituary Drivel.” Riley wrote: “Yours of the 4th inst. was recd on the 11th, which is quick time from Buffalo….I had heard of the Innocent at Home before you wrote me of the interesting event. Let me congratulate you” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s of Nov. 4 not extant.

November 24 ThursdayBenjamin P. Shillaber wrote from Chelsea, Mass.


My Dear Twain—A joyous thanks giving to you with your new joy. I saw the moment with much pleasure, remembering the scripture, and “thy Twain shall be thrice.” Bless the bairn [baby Langdon], and may his life be ever Clemens, as it would not be likely were it a girl….Now for a very modest request I wish to make—that you will write me six lines or upwards for a Fair paper I am editing”[MTP].


November 26 Saturday Sam’s article, “My Watch—An Instructive Little Tale,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 259]. The article also appeared in the December edition of the Galaxy.

Sam also wrote from Buffalo to Charles Henry Webb, who had published the Jumping Frog book. Sam had gone to court to get the copyright registered in his own name. Sam expressed regret at the trouble,

“But I hold that a man has got to make an ass of himself once a year anyhow, & I am sure I went along intelligently enough the balance of last year. I was very sorry, though, that I made trouble for a friend, because that is folly of such a particularly low grade” [MTL 4: 248].


Sam noted about Bret Harte:

“Indeed Harte does soar, & I am glad of it, notwithstanding he & I are ‘off’ these many months.”

Sam told how the friction occurred—that Harte had helped Sam pare Innocents Abroad down to size, and Sam was grateful. So when the book came out, Harte gave the book high praise. Sam wanted him to have an early review of it for the Overland. He ordered Bliss to get Harte a couple of books before anyone else, but Hubert H. Bancroft, the West Coast agent declined. Instead of asking Sam why he’d been turned down, Harte sent Sam “the most daintily contemptuous & insulting letter you ever read.”


November 27 SundayLivy’s 25th birthday. Sam gave her a copy of Snow-Bound. A Winter Idyl (1869) by John Greenleaf Whittier inscribed: “Livy/Nov. 27, 1870./From S.L.C. [Gribben 767].


November 27 or 28 Monday Diamonds were discovered in South Africa in the spring of 1870 and interest in the region was high. Sam wrote from Buffalo, “Will you Go?” to John Henry Riley. Sam wanted Riley to travel there and send back letters to publish into a book. It was a similar arrangement to that of Professor Darius Ford’s, that is, Sam would publish a travel book by proxy. He had dropped the “Around the World” entries in the Express after disappointing returns from Ford, but still liked the basic idea, and thought Riley was the right man. Sam would pay Henry’s passage and expenses and obtain letters with which to publish another travel book like Innocents [MTL 4: 250].


November 28 Monday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss that Orion was to start east in “about 6 or 8 days.” Sam also told of his plan to send Riley to South Africa, and the 600-page book he planned to write by the spring of 1872. He then asked Bliss for a 10% royalty on the proposed book.

“P.S. I don’t care two cents whether there is a diamond in all Africa or not—the adventurous narrative & its wild, new fascination is what I want” [MTL 4: 251-2].


November 30 Wednesday Sam’s 35th birthday. Bliss wrote Sam the facts of life about publishing—but said if he wanted 10% then he could have it, but it would leave Bliss very little profit. It was a very civil give and take. “Will this suit you? Aint it fair?” about the diamond book [MTL 4: 253n2].


John Henry Riley wrote to Sam.

Friend Clemens / Last night I dreamed “three times in succession” that I dwelt and delved in the Diamond fields of South Africa, and fairly reveled in the Republic of the Transvaal (wherever that may be)—furthermore that that I had been eminently successful in finding and buying the precious gems, some of which outrivaled the Koh-i-nor in size, weight and water, and outshone the Great Hoggarty Diamond in brilliancy. And lo and behold, this morning comes your letter!

How I would [have] liked to have been able to pack right up and start from the word “go”. I am “mighty willin” but not ready. And so after duly considering the subject, and carefully weighing the pros and cons I telegraphed the following “at your expense”:—

“Yes—at the close of session. Will write. Would rather talk. Pass is good yet. Can start to-morrow evening. Shall I? Answer”. Charges $1.50 for that with orders to C.O.D.

Waiting a reply I am writing you, with thanks for your kind consideration for my welfare and assuring you that I would really like to go. I am somewhat of an expert in precious stones, thanks to that poor old Brazillian Diamond Hunter whom I befriended in the Cal. mines, years ago; have a taste that way and thanks to my early experience in the gold fields and in Mexico and Centro-America am a good campaigner and know how to take care of myself and others. Besides which a residence of five years in the District of Columbia should certainly fit a man for South Africa. North Africa or the Interior of Africa. All of which is respectfully submitted. But—why did the idea not enter into your head or my head, or the pair of cabbage-heads when I was with you in Buffalo? And I would have said Yes to your query “Will You Go?” at once. Now, I consider that I am to a certain extent compromised to remain here through this session for I know that Senator Cole, Sutro, Judge Carter and others will rely upon my aid in their matters and apart from my engagement with the ALTA I have agreed to correspond with two other Cal. newspapers during the session; and this only one short week ago.

Then there are my two Committees—before which there remains much unfinished business which “went over” during the last session—and with which no new man taking my place as Clerk, could attend to so well as I, and it would not be right for me to leave at this time. Were I [to] go to Africa, to the diamond fields, or to Peru, to the coal mines, for you, I am sure you would not like me to fly off somewhere else just because the impulse seized me or a better offer were made me to go elsewhere. No—I cannot do it even though to “stick” should result to my disadvantage. But if there is no actual haste in the matter I can go after close of the session say as soon as you like after the fourth of March next. Who cares if there are “four hundred waggons on the Pnielside”. Why when I get there with my waggon I’ll drive in on the near side or the off side and thus secure a positive advantage—especially when it is time to leave. So wait for the “Ides of March” or fix a date to correspond to ’em, and I’ll go. / Yours truly / J. H. Riley. / Your injunction of secresy is heeded most religiously [MTPO]. Note: Adolph Sutro (1830-1898); Senator from Calif. Cornelius Cole (1822-1924); David Kellogg Cartter (1812–1887), chief justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia since 1863.

December In the Galaxy for this month MARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA  Included:

“An Entertaining Article”
“History Repeats Itself”
“Running for Governor”
“The ‘Present’ Nuisance”
“Dogberry in Washington”
“My Watch – An Instructive Little Tale”
“Favors from Correspondents”
Short miscellaneous items – includes items on A Colt, Whitney, Brigham Young, Divorce, Epitaph, the Map, Art [Schmidt].

December ? – In Buffalo Clemens wrote to Francis P. Church of the Galaxy.

Leave the miner’s poem

& some other short thing

till Feb.


(Let this be added to “Sad Sad Business.”)


Originally I expected the present article to be only six lines long—a simple statement that that review was a burlesque on the London one, & that I was the culprit. But I ask the reader as a man & a brother if he could have the heart to demand that I leave this next paragraph out? It is from the regular Boston correspondence of the Northampton “Gazette:” [MTP]. Note: clipping not in file.


December 1 Thursday In Buffalo, Sam wrote to Warren Luther Brigham (1846-1880) of the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette. Brigham had written suggesting Sam write a column for the Gazette. Sam declined—“as we steamboatmen used to say, ‘I’ve got my load.’” Still, Sam wrote that the Gazette was “the only Weekly paper I ever wanted to own” [MTL 4: 254-5].

Possibly on this date, Sam also wrote to Elisha Bliss about a “half-forgotten friend” whose “husband got lost in the desert & the cuyotes ate him” [MTL 4: 254-5]. Note: unidentified.


December 2 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss and offered a compromise royalty on the new book of 8 ½ percent. Bliss drew up a contract based on this letter [MTL 4: 256-7].


Sam also wrote a very long letter to John Henry Riley laying out the case and benefits to each. Sam would pay Riley’s passage and expenses. Riley would stay in South Africa up to three months and keep all the diamonds he found up to $5,000, but split everything over that amount with Sam. Sam would even teach Riley how to lecture and set him up with James Redpath on the circuit. Sam also suggested how Riley might get out of correspondent obligations to the Alta California—offer them a substitute equally qualified [MTL 4: 258-66].


December 3 Saturday Sam’s article, “An Entertaining Article,” which also appeared in the December edition of the Galaxy, was re-printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 262]. The paper also ran a poem titled “Three Aces” over the pseudonym “Carl Byng.” When the poem was called Sam’s “weak imitation of Bret Harte,” it caused Sam some grief. (See Jan. 15, 1871 entry.)

Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath about a scientific article by his partner, Josephus Larned. Sam asked about Tom Fitch’s progress on the lecture circuit [MTL 4: 266].


Elisha Bliss replied to the Dec. 1? from Clemens:

Friend Clemens, / “Little madam” is a brave one— What a magnet for the women you are— ‘From the North & the South the East & the West they come to do homage’em spaceAm looking for your brother daily. Have been in a stew—all day looking for a dispatch from you & none has come from you— Did my letter reach you—& have you replied?— Am anxious to hear, as I suppose the matter requires prompt action— Do you demur to my argument? Trust to hear from you soon—about it—& know how you feel— Hope you did not think me over sharp—now did you? / Let me hear from you if mine is not recd, telegraph [MTPO].


December 5 MondayElisha Bliss telegrammed to Sam: “All right go ahead will write tomorrow” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Bliss’s telegram agreeing to 8 ½ pc & advance of $2,500 if demanded on African copyright / This received Dec. 6, 1870.”


John Henry Riley telegrammed Clemens: “Long letter rec’d Plan approved Will get ready to go” [MTL 4: 266n10]. Note: Sam rec’d it on Dec. 6.

December 6 Tuesday John Henry Riley wrote from Wash DC, wanting to “come and have a chat” with Twain, and would try to get a leave of absence. “Look for me at the Mansion House on Thursday or Friday night—to return on Monday next” [MTP].


December 7 or 8 Thursday Sam was putting more literary irons in the fire. He telegraphed Isaac E. Sheldon & Co., publishers of Galaxy magazine. Sam had previously wanted Sheldon to publish a collection of his sketches, but Bliss had objected. Sam now suggested a pamphlet, not a book, for the Christmas Galaxy edition, a way around his contract with Bliss [MTL 4: 268].


December 9 Friday Sam received two telegrams from Sheldon & Co., agreeing to publish his pamphlet and split the profits, or offer a 15% royalty as an alternative. A letter followed the same day detailing the agreement. Sam chose the royalty. Probably on this night Sam left for New York [MTL 4: 268-9].


December 10 Saturday Sam arrived in New York City and stayed at the Albemarle Hotel. He talked with Sheldon & Co. about the proposed pamphlet, not published until March 1871 with a title of Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance. He also met with Charles Henry Webb, either this day or soon after, to smooth over differences in connection with the Jumping Frog book. Sam purchased back the copyright from Webb, who had tried to do Sam a favor when George W. Carleton had rejected the book [MTL 4: 268-9].


Sam’s article, “Dogberry in Washington,” which also appeared in the December edition of the Galaxy, was reprinted in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 266].

December 1016 Friday While in New York, Sam visited friends Dan Slote, Whitelaw Reid, John M. Hay (1838-1905) and perhaps John Rose Greene Hassard (1836-1888), all of the New York Tribune. Sam also saw Horace Greeley. On Dec. 19 Sam wrote Twichell that he “smoked a week, day & night” while in the City [MTL 4: 269].


December 11 Sunday Sam wrote an obituary for Reuel Colt Gridley to the editor of the New York Tribune. Gridley was a Hannibal schoolmate, and the man who carried the “Sanitary flour sack” in Austin, Nevada. Gridley died on Nov. 24 [MTL 4: 270-1]. His obituary appeared in the Tribune on Dec. 13.

A dramatization of his Jumping Frog story took place at Dan Bryant’s new minstrel hall, and Sam may have seen it [MTL 4: 269].


December 12 Monday Sam hand delivered the Gridley obituary to the New York Tribune, where he probably met Horace Greeley [MTL 4: 270].


December 13 Tuesday – Sam wrote from New York to Elisha Bliss about Sam’s plans to write a book about the diamond rush in South Africa [MTL 4: 272].

December 14 WednesdayBliss arrived in New York to discuss the South Africa book. Sam also met with John Henry Riley about this time [MTL 4: 272].


December 15 ThursdayWhitelaw Reid wrote to Sam that he’d “been waiting all week for you to make your appearance, and here it is Thursday night. Please you send me word by the bearer that you will dine with me tomorrow (Friday) evening at half past 6 o’clock at the Union League Club” [MTP].


December 16 Friday – An article attributed to Sam, “War and ‘Wittles’,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 268].

December 17 Saturday Sam’s article, “The Facts in the Case of George Fisher, Deceased,” which also appeared in the Jan. 1871 issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 270]. Sam left this day for Buffalo.


From Buffalo he telegraphed Elisha Bliss to send him a draft for $1,500 payable to Riley. “He starts in ten days” [MTL 4: 272].

Sam and Livy wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks. Sam planned to go to Cleveland for Alice Fairbankswedding in January, and to telegraph Dan Slote and Charley Langdon to go with him. Sam related paying off Webb:

“Think of purchasing one’s own property after never having received one cent from the publication!” [MTL 4: 273-4].

Phineas T. Barnum wrote from NYC to ask Sam’s help with a letter enclosed for his advertising circular [MTP].


December 19 Monday – An article attributed to Sam, “Waiting for the Verdict,” was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 276].

Sam wrote from Buffalo to Joseph Twichell.

Tell Harmony (Mrs. T.) that I do hold the baby, & do it pretty handily, too, although with occasional apprehensions that his loose head will fall off. I don’t have to quiet him—he hardly ever utters a cry. He is always thinking about something. He is a patient, good little baby.


Smoke? I always smoke from 3 till 5 on Sunday afternoons—& in New York the other day I smoked a week, day & night. I’m “boss” of the habit, now, & shall never let it boss me any more [MTL 4: 275-6].

Isaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “Your telegram has just been rec’d / I will see that the book is copyrighted before it is issued” [MTP]. Note: this for the Burlesque Auto.


December 20 Tuesday In Buffalo, Sam telegraphed, then wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss. The telegraph:

“Contract approved signed and mailed to you. / Sam L. Clemens”


The letter:

“Have just read over, approved & signed that contract, [for the S. African book] & it will go to you tonight.


“Riley is my man—did I introduce him to you in New York? He sails Jan. 4 for Africa. Just read about him in my Galaxy Memoranda for a month or two ago…” [MTL 4: 276; telegraph given at MTP drop-in letters].


Sam also wrote to Albert Francis Judd, son of Hawaiian missionary and statesman, who would become attorney general of Hawaii in 1873. Sam responded to Judd’s letter and announced the success of Innocents Abroad, his plans for two more books that size and other miscellaneous subjects [MTL 4: 278].

December 22 Thursday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss acknowledging receipt of the $1,500 for Riley and the S. African book. He also wrote about buying back his Jumping Frog copyright, and a proposed book of his sketches [MTL 4: 281]. Note: Slotta contends that Webb supplied Sam with fictitious sales numbers and printings for Jumping Frog, and that it was even briefly published as a paperback on May 8, 1867. (See A.D. notes AMT 2: 487 showing 4,076 books printed.) Since Sam never expected the book to sell, he swallowed Webb’s misrepresentations, and even paid him for the release of the copyright:

“I bought my Jumping Frog from Webb. —gave him what he owed me ($600.00), and $800 cash, & 300 remaining copies of the book, & also took $128 worth of free unprinted paper off his hands. I think of a Jumping Frog pamphlet (illustrated) for next Christmas—do you want it? Ys Ever Mark” [MTL 4: 281].


Isaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “Your telegram just rec’d.” He offered publication details on the Burlesque Autobiography pamphlet/book [MTP].


December 23 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Frank Church of the Galaxy about the bad review Sam claimed to have written himself [MTL 4: 283].

December 24 Saturday Sam’s article, “A Sad, Sad Business,” which also appeared in the January 1871 edition of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 277].

December 25 Sunday Christmas In Buffalo, Sam wrote a Merry Christmas note to Eunice Ford about her great-grandson, Langdon [MTL 4: 285].


December 26 Monday In Buffalo, Sam wrote a letter of regret to decline an invitation from Alfred B. Crandell and Other Members of the Farmers’ Club to speak at a Jan. 5, 1871 dinner at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York City [MTL 4: 286].


Sam also dropped a line to John R. Drake, brother of Francis S. Drake. Sam also wrote Francis about information requested for a biography. Francis Drake was preparing the first edition of the Dictionary of American Biography, Including Men of the Time (1872). “There is really no biography to my career,” Sam wrote, and then contrasted the numbers of sales expected for his first two books with the actual sales numbers [MTL 4: 288].


Sam also wrote and asked Whitelaw Reid to put a notice about Sam’s burlesque autobiography in his promotional literature [MTL 4: 288].

Sam also wrote to John Henry Riley, letter not extant but referred to in Riley’s Dec. 31.

John Henry Riley wrote from Phila. to acknowledge Sam’s of Dec. 22 with check for $1,500. “I shall return to Washington to-morrow night, pack up my traps, come back here for a day, and then on to New York for the final arrangements preparatory to starting on the long voyage” [MTP].


December 28 WednesdayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam.

Friend Clemens, / Yours of 22nd rec’d. Glad to hear you are progressing with the Books— I believe I wrote you I would copy this contract the next day after I wrote you & send you Well I think I did—not do as I agreed this time— The fact is I have been so busy with your brother &c getting things ready for paper &c I have not had a moment to do it— Have waited 2 or 3 days past to do it & send with this reply, & now dont send it. Well I will do it to night before I go to bed & also make out the contract for the Sketch book & send both tomorrows’ mail—but dare not delay writing you longer. Yes we will have Mullen illustrate the sketch book all right. Glad you have the Jumping Frog, in your own hands, but think he got the big end of a loaf em spaceHe ought to have sold you the plates for what he owed you.

Dont you think Jumping Frog would be a big thing in the sketch book? Seems to me it will do you as much good there as anywhere & pay you best— Think strongly of it, & see if you dont think it will be best to put it in there— By the way where are the plates & dont you want the book sold as it is—think we could sell a good many without making a noise—if you dont put it in Sketch book— Yes we want it in the pamphlet, or at least talk it over with you before you let it go, if you use it this way. Are you coming on? Will canvass for Sketch book as soon as Prospectus is ready for it. Will send Contracts tomorrow. Excuse my past lies failures. / Truly/ Bliss [MTP]. Note: (Misdated Dec. 29.)

December 29 Thursday – Wrote to Sam: Elisha Bliss wrote: “I send the contracts, one a copy of the one you signed, the other a short one for sketch book—comprehensive enough for all purposes. … I mention your altering the old sketches a little to secure a new copyright on them. Would it not be a good plan. You know best, but if you don’t do it some scallawag may run us opposition you know… [MTP].


Isaac E. Sheldon wrote from NYC: “Friend Clemens / Your two favors have come to hand. / Your idea is first rate & it is the very thing that I intended to do.” He gave more publishing details for “Burlesque Autobiography” [MTP].


December 31 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Whitelaw Reid sending an article Sam wrote on the controversial John H. Surratt (1844-1916), son of the woman who was hanged for her part in Lincoln’s assassination (engaging in the conspiracy and running the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth planned the crime). Sam argued that by persecuting Surratt, his lecture managers would use that to increase his fame. Left alone, Sam argued, Surratt could not gather more than a hundred to hear him speak and would fade away [MTL 4: 290].


John Henry Riley wrote having rec’d Sam’s of the 26th“and request complied with—the idea is now in genuine circulation as far as those one-horse papers go” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s of Dec. 26 not extant.

Isaac E. Sheldon wrote: “I send you by this mail proofs of all the cuts. If they are satisfactory to you please let me know at once. Please also send in ‘The House that Jack built’ just as you want it set up.” He gave more publishing details for “Burlesque Autobiography” [MTP].