Vol 1 Section 0029

Bored with Buffalo – Bret Harte on Top – Elmira Stay – Joe Goodman Boost

New York & Washington – Hartford House Hunting – Nook Farm Rental

Eastern Lecture Tour – Thomas Bailey Aldrich –Elastic Garment Strap

“Sociable Jimmy”— Roughing It Published


1871 Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance is a pamphlet (sometimes issued with cloth binding), published by Galaxy editor Isaac Sheldon early in the year. It was Sam’s third “book,” and the hope was to quickly capitalize on his Innocents Abroad popularity for the 1870 Christmas market, but publication problems delayed release. It consists of two stories “First Romance,” (before named “A Medieval Romance”) which originally appeared in the Buffalo Express in Jan. 1870, and “A Burlesque Autobiography,” published in violation of Twain’s contract with Elisha Bliss. The “Autobiography” was unpublished at the time it was joined with “The First Romance” as a small book. Sam’s A Burlesque Autobiography did not first appear in “Memoranda” in the Galaxy.

The illustrations form an interesting aspect of this book. They have no relationship to the text of the book. Rather, they use cartoons illustrating the children’s poem The House that Jack Built to lampoon the Erie Railroad Ring (the house) and its participants, Jay Gould (1836-1892), John T. Hoffman (1828-1888), and Jim Fisk (1834-1872).

The book was not one of Sam’s favorites. Two years after publication, he bought all of the printing plates of the book and destroyed them. The sketch survived as “A Burlesque Biography” in the $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906).

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

“The Portrait”
“The Facts in the Case of George Fisher, Deceased”
“A ‘Forty-niner’ ”
“Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again, Letter VII”
“Mean People”
“A Sad, Sad Business”
“Concerning a Rumor”

Josiah Jewett of the Buffalo Club receipted Sam for $125.00 for initiation fee, and semi-annual dues to July 1, 1871 [MTP].


January 1 SundayJames T. Fields announced his retirement as editor-in-chief of the Atlantic. William Dean Howells took over the job of the faltering publication. From a peak of 50,000 circulation, the Atlantic fell to 35,000 in 1870 after the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s attack on Lord Byron for adultery. By 1874 the circulation was down to 20,000, and by the end of Howells’ editorship was about 12,000 [Goodman and Dawson 138, 142].

January 2 MondayLaura E. Lyman (Kate Hunnibee) wrote on NY Tribune notepaper [MTP].. She wrote the “Home Interest” column. Basically a fan letter in praise of IA.


January 3 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Joseph Twichell, praising Charles Dudley Warner’s new book, My Summer in a Garden [MTL 4: 294].


He also wrote to Elisha Bliss about the proposed pamphlet, the sketchbook and Roughing It, which Sam planned to be out by August. It wasn’t published until Feb. 1872 [MTL 4: 295].

Whitelaw Reid wrote to Sam: “I hope to print in the morning your protest against the further manufacture of martyrs in re Surratt.” He wished he might accept Sam’s “very tempting invitation to Buffalo” having heard favorably of David Gray [MTP].


January 4 WednesdayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam:

Have not heard from you for some time—am anxious for your safety—let us know how you are. &c—& how goes the latter. Have looked for advt. of your pamphlet also. Your brother & myself have expected to see it advertised. What is the trouble? Did you get my contracts sent? / Our paper gets on now just perfectly, & will be out by & by, in good shape I think [MTP].

January 4 and 5 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss about the sketches book and the “Pre-deluge article,” which was a Noah’s Ark book that Sam never published [MTL 4: 296]. Sam wrote another letter on Jan. 5 to Bliss asking to:

“…make the theatre give my brother & his wife season-passes—you can puff & advertise in return. He’s an editor now & entitled to courtesies” [MTL 4: 297].


Possibly on this date Sam and Livy wrote to Mollie Clemens:

Both of you go slow—don’t hurry in the matter of making friends, & don’t get impatient. Making friends in Yankee land is a slow, slow business, but they are friends worth having when they are made. There is no section in America half so good to live in as splendid old New England—& there is no city on this continent so lovely & lovable as Boston, almost in sight of which is now your high privilege to live [MTL 4: 298].


January 6? Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to John M. Hay about a poem Hay had written: Paraphrased: “On the first appearance of ‘J.B.,’ Mark Twain wrote to me, saying that I was all wrong making him an engineer,—that only a pilot could have done what I represented him as doing” [MTL 4: 299]. Note: Hays’ poem “Jim Bludso, (of the Prairie Belle.)” —about the engineer of a burning steamboat who dies while keeping his vow to “ ‘hold her nozzle agin the bank / Till the last galoot’s ashore.’ ”—appeared in the New York Tribune on Jan. 5; see Hay’s Jan. 9 reply.

January 6 or 7 Saturday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Earl D. Berry, asking for articles for the Buffalo Express on a charity for orphaned children of dead Union soldiers [MTL 4: 300].

January 7 Saturday – Clemens was elected to membership in the elite Buffalo Club. He resigned his membership two months after leaving Buffalo [Reigstad 187-188]. Note: William G. Fargo was president of the club.

In “The Literature of the United States in 1870,” the Athenæum, p.15, briefly mentioned IA, but gave higher plaudits to Bret Harte for The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches [Tenney 3-4].

David R. Locke (Petroleum V. Nasby) wrote to Sam: “I enclose you the first of Redpath’s sketches, with his note to me. I think it is good, but whether it had better go in the Galaxy or not is the question. Do with it as you like. If you don’t use it for the Galaxy send it back to me & I will shove it into some daily” [MTP].


January 9 MondayJohn M. Hay wrote from the Astor House in NYC to Sam; the letter was sent with another of Jan. 14.


“My Dear Mr Clemens / I owe you many thanks for your kind letter. I think the pilot is a much more appropriate and picturesque personage and should certainly have used him except for the fact that I knew Jim Bludso and he was an engineer and did just what I said…” [MTL 4: 299]. Note: see the rest of the letter in source.


January 9 or 10 Tuesday Sam left Buffalo and traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, possibly with Dan Slote and Charley Langdon, for the wedding of Mary Mason Fairbanksdaughter, Alice to William H. Gaylord (b. 1832).


January 11 Wednesday Cleveland, Ohio. Sam attended the evening wedding of Alice Fairbanks and William H. Gaylord at the Fairbanks’ home [MTL 4: 302n1].


January 12 Thursday Sam wrote at 1 AM from Cleveland, Ohio to Livy about the Fairbanks-Gaylord wedding. “About four to six or seven hundred people have asked after your & the cub’s health & the latter’s progress” [MTL 4: 301].


January 13 Friday – Sam visited the new Fairbanks’ home, which had been built after the two fires in 1869. The new place was called “Fair Banks” [MTL 4: 302n5]. He left Cleveland to return home to Buffalo.


January 14 Saturday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles Henry Webb.

“I dissent. I made up my mind solidly day before yesterday that I would draw out of the Galaxy with the April No. & write no more for any periodical—except, at long intervals a screed that I happened to dearly want to write” [MTL 4: 302].

Webb may have made a request of Sam to write for James R. Osgood (1826-1892) or George W. Carleton, his own publisher, but Sam had a long memory (if a sometimes flawed one) and once scorned he did not forget. No way was Carleton ever going to publish Sam after the Jumping Frog refusal.

John M. Hay wrote to Sam, enclosing his letter of Jan. 9, and turning down Sam’s offer of a partnership in the Buffalo Express, thanking him for kind words about his verses [MTL 4: 299-300n1].

January 15 Sunday Sam wrote from Buffalo to the Editor of Every Saturday, Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907), setting him straight that the poem “Three Aces” run in the Express Dec. 3, 1870 over the byline “Carl Byng” was not Twain’s. Aldrich complained in the Jan. 7 issue that the poem “seems to be a feeble echo of Bret Harte” (wildly popular “Heathen Chinee”). Every Saturday was a Boston weekly owned by James R. Osgood. “I am not in the imitation business,” wrote Sam, claiming the Carl Byng writer “for years signed himself as ‘Hy. Slocum.’” Aldrich printed Sam’s letter without the dateline in the Feb. 4 issue [MTL 4: 304; Powers, MT A Life 293-4]. Sam would not meet Aldrich until late in 1871.

January 18 WednesdayIsaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “Yours of the 15th just at hand / We will get out the book just as soon as possible. The stereotypers have delayed us.” He included more publishing details for A Burlesque Autobiography [MTP].


January 19 ThursdayIsaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “I send you by this mail 8 or 10 pages of print. / I think that you will like the page” [MTP].

January 21 SaturdayIsaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “Why do you not return the proof sent to you some days since? I fear that it may not have reached you” [MTP].


C.F. Sterling wrote from Birmingham, Conn. to Sam.

Dear Mark, / I don’t care if letters are a bore to you either to answer or receive, I’ve had so much amusement from your travels, memoranda, &c. I want to thank you for it and I’m going to do it. Accept then the hearty gratitude of one who feels indebted in a higher degree than his subscription to the Galaxy or purchase of “The Innocents Abroad” cancels. Sometimes I think the balance between you writers and we readers is most unfair and while you are racking your brains to amuse us, we in our selfishness swallow it all and also all amusing things that happen to us. That you too may have a little smile let me tell you how they do things in Buffalo.

Stopping there one night a few weeks since I went to the “Tift [Tifft] House” called the nicest I was told. Going up to my room I, as is my invariable custom felt of the bedding to see if there was sufficient to keep me warm as it was during one of the cold spells we have recently had. Found sheet, one blanket and white spread. Coming down I asked the clerk to put more bedding on 106. “Certainly sir.” Going up to bed about 11.30 I found a blanket nicely spread over the outside. Still feeling doubtful as to quantity I felt again and found the blanket had changed places with the counterpane and there was precisely the same amount as at first. You will appreciate this as you know the style they spread at the “Tift House” and prices they charge. Don’t imagine I send this for publication. Tis for you to laugh at [MTPO].

January 22 Sunday – Sam wrote from Buffalo, again to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, asking that he not print the paragraph sent on Jan. 15. Aldrich replied on Jan. 25 that it was too late; that the note and his apology had been printed on 42,000 copies of the next edition [MTL 4: 305].

Sam also wrote to James Redpath, advising him of places and dates in California for John Bartholomew Gough to lecture. Gough had been a very successful temperance lecturer, using theatrics on stage to further his cause [MTL 4: 306-7].

Sam also wrote to H.E. Evans in Oshkosh, Wisc., about a book Evans hadn’t received.

Dear Sir: / I ordered my publisher to send you the book, long ago—& now I have sent him this present letter of yours, with an imperative order to send you the book immediately. He will be very likely to attend to it without this time without fooling away any perceptible amount of time—but if he neglects it, I ask as a personal favor that you will let me know, with dispatch. Things shall go right or else there shall be trouble in the family. / Yrs Truly / Sam. L. Clemens [MTP, drop-in letters]. Evans is not identified.

John Henry Riley wrote to Sam on the S.S. City of Dublin, and later in London. He’d decided to take the ship Gambia to the Cape on Feb. 1 [MTP].

January 24 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss.

Orion says you hardly know whether it is good judgment to throw the Sketch Book on the market & interfere with the Innocents. I believe you are more than half right—it is calculated to do more harm than good, no doubt. So if you like the idea, suppose we defer the Sketch Book till the last. That is, get out the big California & Plains book first of August; then the Diamond book first March or April 1872—& then the Sketch book the following fall. Does that strike you favorably? [MTL 4: 309].


Sam also wrote a note of thanks & reply to a fan and reader, C.F. Sterling of Buffalo who had written on Jan. 21 [MTL 4: 309-10].


January 25 Wednesday Livy and Sam (mostly Livy) wrote to Alice Hooker Day from a Buffalo hospital where Livy took Langdon for a wet nurse. Sam added an apology for an “absurdly curt dispatch” he had sent, probably canceling Isabella Beecher Hooker’s visit [MTL 4: 313-4]. Haughty Isabella was not one of Sam’s favorites.

Orion Wrote to his brother: “Your letter came while Bliss as in New York, and I waited for his return before replying.” Orion related that Bliss and Sheldon “seem to have made it up”. Bliss felt the pamphlet Sheldon was making, A Burlesque Autobiography, would constitute a “book” violating his contract with Twain. Bliss enjoyed being Sam’s sole publisher. Many other items discussed, including the Tennessee Land.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote from Boston. “It is too late for you to attempt to prevent me doing you justice! About 42000 copies of your note, with my apology nobly appended, are now printed, and we hope to have the rest of the edition off the press by to-morrow night. In the next No. of E.S? I will withdraw my apology, if you say so! / Yours…” [MTP].


January 26 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Mary Mason Fairbanks.

“Remembering the hatchet, I am your own moral son, which cannot tell a lie, when a body is looking straight at him…make the bride & groom be sure to stop…” —that is, Alice and William Gaylord on their honeymoon [MTL 4: 314].


January 27 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Thomas Bailey Aldrich concerning the Bret Harte plagiarism claim and Sam’s subsequent denial that the Carl Byng verses were his.

“No, indeed, don’t take back the apology! Hang it, I don’t want to abuse a man’s civility merely because he gives me the chance.”


Sam also gave credit to Harte for changing him:

“…from an awkward utterer of coarse grotesquenesses to a writer of paragraphs and chapters that have found a certain flavor in the eyes of even some of the very decentest people in the land…” [MTL 4: 316].

Sam also wrote to Elisha Bliss:


“I have to go to Washington next Tuesday & stay a week, but will send you 150 MS pages before going, if you say so. It seems to me that I would much rather do this. Telegraph me now, right away—don’t wait to write. Next Wednesday I’ll meet you in N.Y.—& if you can’t come there I’ll run up & see you” [MTL 4: 319].


Sam also wrote to Isaac E. Sheldon, protesting prices over 25 cents for the proposed pamphlet, which Sheldon eventually published in both paper and cloth bindings, priced at 40 and 75 cents respectively. Bliss was upset that cloth bindings would translate as a “book” and thus violate his contract with Sam. Agreement was made to limit the number of cloth bindings issued, but Sheldon did not honor the agreement [MTL 4: 320-1]. Years later, Sam was still trying to collect from Sheldon (see Sept. 24, 1882 entry).


January 28 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Willard McKinstry (1815-1899), publisher and editor of the Fredonia Censor since 1842, declining to attend a dinner at the Censor’s 50th anniversary. The Censor published Sam’s letter along with those of Horace Greeley (New York Tribune) David Gray (Buffalo Courier) and others [MTL 4: 121].


January 29 Sunday Sam’s article, “The Danger of Lying in Bed,” which also appeared in the Feb. 1871 issue of the Galaxy, was printed in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 281]. This was the last known article Sam published in the Buffalo Express.

Sam met Kate Field (Mary Katherine Keemle Field 1838-1896) at a private residence. Field was a well-known journalist and platform lecturer who followed Charles Dickens tour with one about Dickens. Sam criticized her performances [MTL 4: 322].

January 30 Monday Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath. Sam asked if his article on Rev. William Sabine in the Feb. issue of Galaxy (“The Indignity Put Upon the Remains of George Holland by the Rev. Mr. Sabine”) would bring damage. Sam had called Sabine a “crawling, slimy, sanctimonious, self-righteous reptile” for his refusal to officiate at a funeral for George Holland, a popular comic and actor [MTL 4: 322-3].


January 31 Tuesday Sam left Buffalo for Washington, D.C. via New York City. He telegraphed Elisha Bliss: “Have an appointment at Grand Hotel eleven tomorrow can you be there at noon.” Sam’s earlier appointment was with Isaac E. Sheldon or Francis P. Church of the Galaxy. Bliss objected to Sam writing for others, and offered Sam $5,000 to write exclusively for his American Publisher [MTL 4: 324, 320n1].


Sam left Susan and Theodore Crane with Livy and went to New York for two days [MTL 4: 325].


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

“The Coming Man”
“A Book Review”
“The Tone-Imparting Committee”
“The Danger of Lying in Bed”
“One of Mankind’s Bores”
“A Falsehood”
“The Indignity Put Upon the Remains of George Holland by the Rev. Mr. Sabine”

February 1 Wednesday – Sam arrived in New York City and stopped at the Grand Hotel to meet with Frank Church and probably Isaac E. Sheldon at 11 AM to work out his planned withdrawal from the Galaxy. At noon he met with Elisha Bliss to resolve matters and plans for future books. Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune announced Sam’s conclusion with the Galaxy:

“He says trying to think how he shall be funny at a certain date, is very melancholy; keeps him awake at night; prompts him to commit suicide, run for Congress, or describe in print his reminiscences of distinguished men whose funerals he has had the pleasure of attending” [MTL 4: 325].


February 2 Thursday Sam arrived in Washington, D.C. and registered at the Ebbitt House, where his partner Josephus Larned was staying. Sam had returned to the capitol on the unfinished business of the legislation for Tennessee. As one of the executors to Jervis Langdon’s estate, Sam wanted to get the bill passed that had failed in July 1870.


February 3 Friday Livy was coming down with typhoid and wrote Pamela Moffett that she wasn’t feeling well [MTL 4: 327].


February 4 SaturdayHenry W. Sage wrote to Sam seeking a meeting to clear up a misunderstanding with George H. Selkirk and Josephus N. Larned about an interview interrupted [MTP]. Note: Henry W. Sage (1814-1897), father of Dean Sage, mentioned in Sam’s Autobiography as the head of H.W. Sage & Co., which ran a lumber mill on Saginaw Bay. Sage was “an old and warm friend and former business partner of Mr. Langdon” [MTA 2:137; MTL 4: 474n2].

February 6 Monday – Sam telegraphed his plans home and Susan Crane answered by telegram. Then Susan Crane wrote Sam in Washington that Livy was worse—fever, no appetite, unable to sleep. Still, it was not yet urgent [MTL 4: 327].

Mrs. T.D. Crocker (b. 1831?) wrote from Cleveland, Ohio, enclosing a clipping from The Velocipede (Winchester, Conn.), edited by her son. She sought Sam’s approval and help publishing [MTP].


February 7 Tuesday – In Washington, Sam went to Mathew Brady’s studio and was photographed with David Gray, also staying at the Ebbitt House; and George Alfred Townsend aka “Gath” (1841-1914), another Washington correspondent. (See one of the photos in Muller, p.151; another in Meltzer, p.126.) That evening, while at a dinner at Welcker’s Restaurant Ohio congressman S. S. (“Sunset”) Cox (Samuel Sullivan Cox, 1824-1889) handed Mark Twain a telegram from Susan Crane that Livy was desperately ill. Sam left on the next train [MTL 4: 328]. Livy had been diagnosed with typhoid fever, the same illness that claimed the life of her friend Emma Nye.

Donn Piatt cited this dinner at Welcker’s Restaurant in Washington, D.C. as his first meeting with Mark Twain. After describing Sam and his manner, Piatt noted Sam’s abrupt departure after receiving Susan Crane’s telegram of Livy’s severe illness. Piatt wrote that Sam left with David Gray [MTL 4: 328-9]. Note: Piatt’s account was printed in the Mar. 2, 1871 Watertown, New York Weekly Reformer, p.1 and included this additional information:

He looks more like a member of the Ohio Legislature (if you know what that is) than anything else. That is, a sort of a man who had narrowly escaped being made a county commissioner, and so was returned to the Legislature. His face is a sad one, and when all are in roars about him he continues in a state of dense solemnity. His voice is the most extraordinary voice I ever heard. It is a cross between Horace Greeley and Tim Lincoln. He draws his words out in the most preposterous manner, that gives a drollery to what he says utterly beyond description [eBay by Headlines in History, Oct. 23, 2009 Item 380170621364].

February 8 Wednesday – Sam arrived back in Buffalo [MTL 4: 329].

February 9 Thursday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Louis Prang and Co. acknowledging receipt of a chromolithograph. Sam added:

“This is all in haste. I am simply out of the sick room for a moment’s rest & respite. My wife is seriously & I am afraid even dangerously ill” [MTL 4: 329].


Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote:

Dear Mr. Clemens, /I have been a long while acknowledging the receipt of your cheerful letter; but you understand how a man who writes perpetual “leaders” sometimes finds that the pen he uses for his private correspondence weighs about a ton. Now and then I kick over my personal inkstand; but I have just set it up on end and refilled it, in order to thank you for your entertaining pages. I am glad that I accused you of “The Three Aces”, and ruffled your feelings, and caused you to tell me about poor Artemus Ward, and how the Overland got so striking a design for its cover. Really, that is the best bear story I ever heard. All this wouldn’t have happened if I had not wronged you. Mem: Always abuse people.

When you come to Boston, if you do not make your presence manifest to me, I’ll put a ¶ in “Every Saturday” to the effect that though you are generally known as Mark Twain, your favorite nom de plume is “Barry Gray.” I flatter myself that will bring you. / Yours very truly, / T. B. Aldrich [MTPO]. Note from source: Barry Gray” was the pseudonym of genteel humorist Robert Barry Coffin (1826–86), who, like Aldrich, had been associated with the New York Home Journal in the late 1850s.


Clemens also wrote or telegraphed to Francis P. Church, wanting his last submission to the Galaxy withdrawn or held up [MTP].


Francis P. Church wrote Sam two notes and also telegraphed what is clearly a reply:

“All galaxy gone to Press impossible to do it notice of withdrawal not in department generally so quiet it need not disturb you my heartiest sympathy / F P Church”

February 10 FridayFrancis P. Church wrote to Sam:I have your last telegram, but I have already written that I succeeded in stopping Memoranda. / It will delay the Galaxy several days, but I keenly appreciate your feelings & honor you for it. I hope I should feel so myself under similar circumstances” [MTPO].

Isaac E. Sheldon wrote concerning Sam’s wish to delay the publication of Burlesque Autobiography:


I have spent all the afternoon in arranging to leave your department out of the March no & I assure you it has been no light task. It was part of a form on the press & all that comes after it in the March no had to be fixed over. Aside from the expense, it will cause us several days delay, which is peculiarly unfortunate as we were very much behind on this number…

The pamphlet I can hold a few days if you desire it, but a few samples of it have got out. I might hold the Editors copies back, while the distant orders are on their way by freight lines & they will not reach their destination for some time to come. Of course it is universally understood that this book was written long ago & has been in the press for some time [MTPO].

February 11 SaturdayIsaac E. Sheldon wrote to Sam: “Your telegram just rec’d. / I write to you this morning. /A note is inserted in the Nebulae & also in Table of Contents giving the reason why your Memoranda is not in this time” [MTP]. Note: Clemens may have sent another telegram on Feb. 10 or 11.


February 13 Monday To an unidentified request to lecture, Sam added a P.S. to a preprinted form:

“Am sorry to say that I am clear out of the lecture field, & neither riches nor glory can tempt me!” [MTL 4: 330].

Frank Bliss wrote an accounting of sales of IA during the period ending Jan. 31, including 6,395 in cloth, 1,353 in gift sets, 271 in half Morocco, enclosing check for $1,452.62 [MTP].

February 14 Tuesday – Sam signed both names on a short note to an unidentified man who evidently had asked for a valentine:

Dear Sir: / I am only too proud of the chance to help, with this the only Valentine I venture to write this day—for although I am twain in my own person I am only half a person in my matrimonial firm, & sometimes my wife shows that she is so much better & nobler than I am, that I seriously question if I am really any more than about a quarter! [MTP, drop-in letters].


February 15 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, acknowledging a quarterly royalty check for $1,452.62 for sales of 8,024 copies of Innocents. Sam wrote that Riley had sailed from London on Feb. 1 on a 30-day voyage. On the subject of Livy, Sam answered Orion’s concern:

“Sometimes I have hope for my wife,—so I have at this moment—but most of the time it seems to me impossible that she can get well. I cannot go into particulars—the subject is too dreadful” [MTL 4: 331].

February 16 Thursday – From Buffalo, Sam sent a request to Elisha Bliss:

Please mail or send in your own way, a cloth copy of Innocents Abroad to

Sidney Moffett

New Market

Shenandoah Co.,Va;

& charge to my ac / [MTP, drop-in letters].


February 17 Friday – Sam wrote a short letter to his mother and family about Livy’s improvement, though she:

“…still is very low & very weak. She is in her right mind this morning, & has made hardly a single flighty remark” [MTL 4: 352].

Sam also responded to an autograph seeker, Fannie Dennis, who wished both an autograph and sentiment:

To write an autograph is no trouble at all, when a body is used to it, but I never have tried to add a “sentiment” in my life…Therefore, let us just dodge the difficulty entirely & make use of somebody else’s sentiment. Now I always admired that neat & snappy thing which good old John Bunyan said to the Duke of Wellington: “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Isn’t it pretty? [MTL 4: 334].

February 21 Tuesday Petroleum V. Nasby, “enormously fat & handsome,” stopped by.

“We had a pleasant talk but I couldn’t offer him the hospitalities because my wife is very seriously ill & the house is full of nurses & doctors” [MTL 4: 335-6 in letter to Redpath the next day].

February 22 Wednesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion. “Livy is very, very slowly & slightly improving, but it is not possible to say whether she is out of danger…” [MTL 4: 334].

He also wrote a short note to James Redpath: “They keep writing me from Cleveland to send along the next article—so let’s have it—but do find some other author than ‘A Retired Lecturer’—it points right at me, old boy.” He told of Nasby’s visit the day before and of Livy’s condition [MTL 4: 335-6].


Clemens then wrote a short note to Whitelaw Reid. “I thank you heartily for saving me that gratuitous snub in the Tribune, & shall be glad to choke a slur for you if I ever get a chance. I guess this emanated from some bummer who owes me borrowed money & can’t forgive the offense.” He added about Livy’s condition and sent “warm regards” to John M. Hay and John Rose Greene Hassard, whom he called “Hazard” [MTL 4: 336]. Note: nothing is known of the intercepted “slur.”

February 23 ThursdayEdson C. Chick wrote from offices of The Aldine, NYC to send copies of the March issue. “Having made the announcement of portrait we are anxious for copy…Thanks for photograph…P.S. Bret Harte & John Hay will do something for us soon” [MTP]. Note: The Aldine, a monthly arts journal published in New York in the 1800s.

February 25 Saturday Bret and Anna Harte and their two sons, Woodie and Frankie, arrived in Boston around 11 AM. A crowd was at the train station to welcome Harte, including 33-year-old William Dean Howells, assistant editor of the Atlantic under James T. Fields. Sam and many others had followed the notices of Harte’s progress by rail since he left San Francisco on Feb. 2 [Powers, MT A Life 295]. Note: Some biographers have made much of the idea that Harte’s rise motivated Sam and affected his publishing strategy or enhanced his insecurities. Biographers often enjoy inflating pet ideas.


February 26 or 27 Monday – Sam telegraphed from Buffalo to Edson C. Chick, managing editor of the Aldine, a graphic arts and literary magazine published by James Sutton & Co. of New York (1871-3). Sam had sent a portrait of himself but not an autobiographical sketch, which Sam felt was “too long, as it stands, to be modest” [MTL 4: 337].


February 27 MondayEdson C. Chick wrote from offices of The Aldine: “Dr. Mark / Telegram recd. Many Many thanks. [I] enclose manuscript. You have helped me out of my difficulty like a ‘big hearted boatman’ as you are…” [MTP].


February 28 TuesdayW.S. Cassedy wrote from Rosston, Penn. to ask Clemens to read his MS about “the imaginary visit of a China man to this country” [MTP].

March Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance was published (Note: Rasmussen gives February, p.49). “First Romance” was joined with the work but was first published on Jan. 1, 1870 in Buffalo Express [Budd, “Collected” 1008].


March 1 Wednesday Sam sold his one-third interest in the Buffalo Express to George H. Selkirk for $15,000, to be paid over five years. Sam still owed Thomas A. Kennett (1843-1911). Sam repaid Jervis Langdon’s estate by the end of 1871, but by 1878 Selkirk had still not completed payment [MTL 4: 338].


March 2 Thursday Sam advertised his Buffalo house for sale at $25,000, what it cost Jervis Langdon a year before [MTL 5: 338].


In a letter to his brother on Mar. 4, Sam identified this day as when he decided to “go out of the Galaxy” with a last “Memoranda” column [MTL 4: 341].

Frank Church wrote to Sam on this day, trying to placate him about the column:

You certainly didn’t read the notice concerning the omission of the March Memoranda aright. I only said that the department would be continued as usual “next month” I had no idea of committing you to its indefinite continuance.

I thought it was understood that your farewell was to go in & with it your postscript & then some words of mine…

Of course, my dear fellow, I shall not keep the name Memoranda. I had no idea of it.


And can’t you work up some thing to start the new department—why not one of the things already in type? But I will have the plates of those pages destroyed, so that they need never arise to bother you if you don’t want them. / Don’t let us quarrel nor shall we, if I can help it by doing the square thing. / Truly F.P.C. [MTP].

James Sutton wrote from the office of The Aldine to acknowledge Sam’s letter to Mr. Chick; Sutton was filling in for Chick [MTP].

March 3 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to John Henry Riley praising him for his letters, “satisfactory as letters could be.” Then in a frank revelation of his frustration with how life was going, Sam blamed his misfortunes on Buffalo:

“I have come at last to loathe Buffalo so bitterly (always hated it) that yesterday I advertised our dwelling house for sale, & the man that comes forward & pays us what it cost a year ago, ($25,000,) can take it. …I offer the Express for sale also, & the man that will pay me $10,000 less than I gave can take that.”

Sam expressed disgust at his house being full of “doctors & watchers & nurses all the time for 8 months.” He wrote that he quit the Galaxy and wanted now to “simply write books.” Sam remarked on the “most celebrated man in America to-day,” Bret Harte [MTL 4: 337-8]. Note: Kaplan argues “it was impossible for him [Clemens] not to believe that Harte’s rise meant his own eclipse or that the tide had already turned against him.” No such sentiment is expressed in these letters, though it’s true that this period was not the best of times for Sam.


March 4 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion, answering his insistent request for an article for the monthly circular, American Publisher. Asking to be left out of the Publisher for a time, he wrote:

“I am endangering my reputation by writing too much—I want to get out of the public view for a while. I am nearly worn out. We shall go to Elmira ten days hence (if Livy can travel on a mattrass then,) & stay there till I have finished the California book—say three month.” Sam also wrote that he was getting out of The Galaxy because he wanted to focus on the “California book” [MTL 4: 341].


March 6 MondayBret Harte signed his record-breaking contract with the Atlantic for $10,000. Duckett and others argue that this accolade stimulated Sam’s desire to “get out of the public view for a while,” (Mar. 4 letter to Orion) in order to get ahead of Harte [62].

March 7 Tuesday – Sam completed entering, crossing out, and filling out his 1870 income tax forms (state or local taxes). He claimed a salary of $1,200 with other income of $8,200 and a net tax of $77.55 at 2 ½ per cent after deductions. Livy showed no income for the year. The forms bear penciled entries, some in black ink, and others in bright purple ink. Lengthwise between the folded form, Sam wrote:

“Pay no attention to any figures except those in black ink—otherwise the report will drive an innocent man crazy. Saml. L. Clemens, Elmira N.Y.” [MTP]. Note: The document appears to have been used as a worksheet. The form is prefaced by the following legalese:


By the act of July 14, 1870, it is made the duty of every person of lawful age, the gross amount of whose income, gains, and profits during the year ending December 31, 1870, exceeded two thousand dollars, on or before the 1st day of March, 1871, to make a return of said gross amount to the assistant assessor of the district in which he resides.

Note: God bless bureaucrats who cobble such sentences! Like the poor, they will always be with us.

Elisha Bliss wrote to nudge Sam for a MS of his book. He was happy to hear that Livy “was out of danger,” which he’d heard through Twichell [MTP].


March 8 WednesdayOrion Clemens wrote from Hartford to Sam.

My Dear Brother:– / Your very welcome letter contains a great deal of pleasant information.

1. That Livy will soon be well enough to move.

And 2. That we may look for you as a resident of our city. Bliss says he will furnish the information about taxes. I will see him when he comes in and get the figures unless he is going to write you the information himself. He says if you will only write we will take care of your furniture and it shan’t cost you anything. He knows an upper story, new and free of bugs, that can be rented cheap. Besides, we will hunt up any information you want, and do anything else you want done, if you will only write. He is in earnest. He is decidedly worked up about it. He says, put yourself in our place. A new enterprise, in which “Twain” was to be a feature, and so widely advertised. He receives congratulations in New York at the Lotus Club that you and Hay are to write for the paper. Everybody likes it. It starts out booming. Are you going to kick the pail over? Think of yourself as writing for no periodical except the Publisher. “Have you seen Twain’s last?” says one. “It’s in the Publisher.” He goes and buys it because there is no other chance to get it. It gives us prestige. Look how it helps me. I should be an editor with something to edit. This “Publisher” may as well be built up into something large as not. With a great circulation, giving only once a month a taste of “Twain,” to whet people’s appetites for books, it acts as an advertisement, and we have an incentive to “write up” “Twain,” so far as his own efforts leave us anything in that way to do. Under these circumstances, with your pen withdrawn from the Galaxy, and held aloof from small books, and confined to the larger and more elevated description worthy of your mettle, and writing only for us, who publish a paper as a branch of your publisher’s enterprise, you would not be writing too much nor too little, but just exactly enough. Squarely, we must have something from you or we run the risk of going to the dickens. Bliss says he will pay you, but we must have something every number. If you only give us a half column, or even a quarter of a column—a joke or an anecdote, or anything you please—but give us something, so that the people may not brand us as falsifiers, and say we cried “Twain,” “Twain,” when we had no “Twain.” If you don’t feel like writing anything, copy something from your book. Are you going to let the Galaxy have a chapter and give us nothing? If you don’t feel like taking the trouble of copying from the book say we may select something. We shall have time enough if you send some chapters in four or five days, as you proposed. If you prefer it I will hunt out something from my old file of Californians and send it to you to revamp. That paper never had much circulation east.


Do not understand that we fail or slacken in sympathy for you. We appreciate the sad fact that you have been sorely tried by an affliction which brought with it the shadow of a gigantic and irreperable sorrow, brought it close enough to chill you to the marrow; we do appreciate your exhaustion, your prostration, and the fearful strain it would be to you to attempt now to write for us. I could not have found it in my heart to insist now on the imposition of the least labor upon you if it had not been for the very serious moment the matter is to us—and even then we only insist so far as to request the privilege of copying a little from your book, or using other compositions without present labor to you.

Bliss wants me to say (he read the preceding except the paragraph in relation to Mollie’s proposition) that he was so much troubled about the prospect of not getting you into our next two numbers that he may have forgotten to express the earnest sympathy he feels for you, and wishes me to convey the expression of it to you. He says he laid awake till 2 o’clock last night thinking of your com[m]unications for the paper, and of the amount of work he had before him between now and the first of April. He says he wrote you about the taxes—that they are 1½ per cent.

Mollie and I go to-night to a children’s party at Blisss—75 invited, and to-morrow at 6 to tea with a fine lady on Elm Street—Mrs. Sargent. She means to have Hodge and his wife also. Hodge is pastor of our church (Presbyterian) and has had us at his house twice to dinner on Sunday—as we have a long walk. Hodge’s wife has translated some Swiss tracts, which have been published by the Dutch Reformed Church. She has a sister married to Colgate of soap celebrity, and the great telegraph inventor, Morse, is her uncle. She says her Uncle Sidney (five years younger than the telegraph inventor is an enthusiastic inventor, but very quiet, says little, and slowly perfects his inventions. For one he has been offered a hundred thousand dollars by the United States. He refused. He has another under way (though I suppose this is confidential) a new motive power designed to cross the Atlantic in 24 hours. Singular coincidence that it should be so near in the line of what I am trying to do—he working at the engine and I at the wheel—and that without my giving her any more of a hint than that I was merely trying to invent something, she should say that her brother was such a lover of inventions, if she should tell him there was an inventor here wanted his advice it would be her best chance to get him here. My love to Livy and the baby, / Your Bro., / Orion [MTPO]. Note: Sam took umbrage at the ideas he should only publish in Bliss’s new newspaper. See his reply Mar. 11. He wrote on env., “Still urging MSS.”


Elisha Bliss also wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to in Bliss’ Mar. 15.

March 9 Thursday Sam wrote a short note from Buffalo to Orion, promising to send Bliss “a chapter from the new book every month or nearly every month.” He had 168 pages of manuscript completed [MTL 4: 346]. Sam also wrote a short note to Samuel S. Cox,  who had given Sam the dinner in Washington he left after receiving a telegram about Livy.

“We are selling our dwelling & everything here & are going to spend the summer in Elmira while we build a house in Hartford. Eight months sickness & death in one place is enough for Yrs Truly” [MTL 4: 347].


Mark Twain’s Burlesque Autobiography, published a few days before, was not well received. Budd’s earliest from the Boston Evening Transcript p. 1 is a brief positive note, but the trouble was yet to come:

…is crammed full of fun, of which the illustration form no small part. The hits with pen and pencil will be enjoyed by all interested in Erie and other Fiskal operations [Budd, Reviews 93].

March 10 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion. Sam reported that he had sent 160 pages of manuscript out to be copied and would ship them to Elisha Bliss. Bliss had offered to find a storage place for Sam and Livy’s furniture, which Sam wrote would not be needed:

“…for at least 2 years—I mean to take my time in building a house & build it right—even if it does cost 25 per cent more.” Sam also asked Orion to: “…sit down right away and torture your memory & write down in minute detail every fact & exploit in the desperado Slade’s life that we heard on the Overland…I want to make up a telling chapter from it…” [MTL 4: 348].


March 11 SaturdayOrion Clemens wrote from Hartford to Sam:

“Your letters of the 9th & 10th just received. I showed them to Bliss, who is much pleased.” He gave details on the outlaw Slade, evidently answering Twain’s question. Orion also gave a description: “I think he was about your size, if any difference rather shorter and more slender. He had gray eyes, very light straight hair…and a hard looking face seamed like a man of 60, though otherwise he did not seem over thirty. I think the sides of his face were wrinkled. His face was thin, his nose straight and ordinarily prominent—lips rather thinner than usual—otherwise nothing unusual about his mouth, except that his smile was attractive and his manner pleasant. Nothing peculiar about his voice…neither very fine nor very coarse” [MTP].


March 11 and 13 Monday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion, objecting strenuously to Orion and Bliss continual calls for material from him for the American Publisher newspaper (see Orion’s of Mar. 8). Sam wanted to be only an “occasional” contributor, and on his own terms as to when. It is here that Sam expresses his understanding of Harte’s wild popularity and his desire to “top” Harte “again or bust.”

I don’t want to see my name anywhere in print for 3 months to come.

I must & will keep shady & quiet till Bret Harte simmers down a little & then I mean to go up head again & stay there until I have published the two books already contracted for & just one more beside, which latter shall make a ripping sensation or I have overestimated the possibilities of my subject [the African diamond mine book]. [MTL 1: 349-51].

March 13 MondayOrion Clemens wrote two letters to Sam. The first begins with: “I asked Mr. Bliss up into my room this morning and had a long talk with him. Said I: — ‘I compose with great difficulty. You or Sam would do it quickly.’ ” He continued to say that it would behoove Bliss to hire a girl at $30 for composing for the new newspaper. The second letter begins with: “Since writing the foregoing I have concluded to send you the children’s story. I am afraid Bliss is only putting it in because he thinks it will offend me if he don’t, because he said he could get plenty of people to write better for children…” [MTP].


March 14 Tuesday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Susan Crane about Livy’s improving condition, the hiring of a wet nurse, card playing and baby Langdon—“the cubby is not well” [MTL 4: 358-9]. Sam also wrote Mary Mason Fairbanks with much the same information [360].


March 15 Wednesday Sam wrote a short note from Buffalo to his mother and family. “Livy sits up 2 hours at a time, but can’t walk yet” [MTL 4: 361].


Sam also wrote Redpath offering to lecture in the Northeast for $150, but for not less than $250 in Boston. He asked for confidentiality on the matter [362].

Elisha Bliss wrote to Sam: “Your brother handed me your letters. I cannot conceive what we have done to draw your fire so strongly. I believe some misapprehension exists on your part of the position—& although you interdict the subject, I cannot let it drop without a reply. If I overpressed you to write monthly for us, I am sorry.” He went on at length to explain and smooth things over, relating his letter of Mar. 8 (not extant) and Sam’s of Mar 9 [MTP].

March 15 to 18 Saturday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Orion. Bliss had dismissed a child’s story that Orion had written for the Publisher, and asked Sam to evaluate it.

“My opinion of a children’s article is wholly worthless, for I never saw one that I thought was worth the ink it was written with, & yet you know & I know that such literature is marvelously popular & worth heaps of money” [MTL 4: 362].


March 17 Friday Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss. After notifying Bliss that he was taking Livy to Elmira the next day, Sam wrote:

“Now do you see?—I want rest. I want to get clear away from all the hamperings, all harassments. I am going to shut myself up in a farm-house alone, on top an Elmira hill, & write—on my book. I will see no company, & worry about nothing. I never will make another promise again of any kind, that can be avoided, so help me God” [MTL 4: 365].


March 18 Saturday – With Livy’s improvement, Sam & wife traveled to Quarry Farm, the home of Theodore and Susan Crane, Livy’s adopted sister. Livy was carried out of 472 Delaware Street, Buffalo, on a mattress to the train station [Reigstad 188]. Throughout the spring and summer of 1871 Sam would walk the mile and a half from the Elmira house in town to the farmhouse on the hill overlooking the Chemung River [Powers, MT A Life 298]. Years later, it would become the site of some heavy-duty writing, principally on HF.

It seems many newspapers passed on reviewing A Burlesque Autobiography. Those that didn’t scalded Sam. From “New Publications,” p. 1, San Francisco Evening Bulletin:


As a literary production the performance is beneath criticism. The jokes are stale, the puns bad, the conceits forced, the “points” pointless. There is no underlying motive, no moral obvious or implied, nothing but harlequinism, pure and simple. And it is bad harlequinism at that. It does not even make us laugh. Mr. Clemens is a man of much literary ability, but he lacks the earnestness of the true humorist, and has been degenerating of late into the lowest type of literary buffoon [Budd, Reviews 93].


March 20 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss and Orion Clemens. Sam included a contribution for the American Publisher, “The Old-Time Pony-Express of the Great Plains.”

“We are all here, & my wife has grown weak, stopped eating, & dropped back to where she was two weeks ago. But we’ve got all the help we want here” [MTL 4: 367-8].

March 22 WednesdayIn Elmira Sam wrote to Isaac E. Sheldon. Letter not extant but referred to in Sheldon’s Apr. 4. See entry.


March 23 Thursday – On or about this day John Henry Riley wrote to Sam on 19 pages on fragile yellow paper about his travels, beginning Jan. 7, 1871 from NYC for Liverpool, his time in London, then to the Cape on Feb. 19, with people, places & events along the way [MTP].

March 24 Friday Joe Goodman arrived in Elmira for a visit. He would stay several months. He wrote along side Sam and critiqued the California Book (Roughing It) [MTL 4: 379n2]. Joe was a Godsend. He gave Sam positive reinforcement on the work just when Sam, after such a difficult year, doubted its worth. Sam pressed to build a long enough manuscript of the type that subscription sales demanded—folks in the boondocks thought a good stout volume was a better bargain, and Sam calculated he’d need 1,800 manuscript pages (he claimed his handwritten pages at 80 words each) to produce a 600 page book. Years later Sam developed a technique of putting a work aside when the words did not flow and waiting until “the tank filled up.” At this point in his writing, Sam, with a long background of journalistic deadlines, and with a contract deadline staring him in the face, felt he had little choice but to press.


March 27 Monday Sam wrote from Elmira to Donn Piatt, who was negotiating with the Church brothers to replace Sam’s “Memoranda” in the Galaxy. Piatt had asked and Sam had unloaded his frustrations on the Church’s, but then sent this letter to smooth things over. The April edition carried Mark Twain’s final article [MTL 4: 369-70].

Sam also wrote to John Henry Riley: “I have nothing new to tell you, & am simply writing to let you know I am not dead” [MTL 4: 371].

March 28 TuesdayDonn Piatt of the Galaxy replied to Clemens:

My dear fellow / Your letter is perfectly safe in my hands—stop to make it so I have just put it in the stove altho’ I wished to retain a confidential letter written by one I like and admire much as I do you

I am very glad to hear that your dear wife is convalescent and I hope with you that she will soon be well.

I told the Churches I could not take the responsibility of that Dpt for any such sum as the one offered—so they came down and agreed to my demand.

Now I wish on my account you would reconsider your determination and help me a little. I find in print some very capital things from you that you ordered out—now cant you give me some of them?

So soon [as] the Church signs an agreement with me I am going to throw over letter writing and devote myself to editing and book making—We ought to make a shove for an international copy right. The literary and other brain of the country ought to be sufficient to accomplish this

Where are you to be this summer—I propose taking my wife to the Sea side—Narragansett Rhode Island— …Yours sincerely / Donn Piatt [MTP].


April In the Galaxy for this monthMARK TWAIN’S MEMORANDA, the last, included: “Valedictory and My First Literary Venture,” and “About a Remarkable Stranger” [Schmidt].

Sam’s article, “A Question Answered,” ran in the American Publisher for April, an in-house promotional pamphlet of the American Publishing Co. [Camfield, bibliog.].


The Aldine for April ran “An Autobiography.” As one of many authors solicited to contribute, Sam said he was born November 30, 1835, but could not provide further details “without compromising myself” [Tenney, MTJ, Spring 2004 p3].

The Aldine article, “An Autobiography” (p. 52) recently uncovered, is short enough to be included in its entirety here, along with an engraving by John C. Bruen of Sam’s 1870 photograph by Mathew Brady:







      I was born November 30th, 1835. I continue to live, just the same.

      *  *  *  *  * *  * *  *  *  *  * *  *  *  *  *  *  * *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * *  *  *  *  *  *

      Thus narrow, confined and trivial, is the history of a common human life!—that part of it, at least, which it is proper to thrust in the face of the public.  And thus little and insignificant, in print becomes this life of mine, which to me has always seemed so filled with vast personal events and tremendous consequences.

      I could have easily made it longer, but not without compromising myself

      Perhaps no apology for the brevity of this account of myself is necessary.

      And besides, why should I damage the rising prosperity of THE ALDINE ?

      Surely THE ALDINE has never done me any harm.

April 1 Saturday – In an article titled “American Humor,” the London Graphic decided that Sam had a “rather forced sense of humor,” but the writer liked Sam “best when he is serious, and he can be both earnest and poetical,” although he lacked the genius of Bret Harte [Tenney 3].

April 3 MondayIn Elmira, Clemens wrote Isaac E. Sheldon. Letter not extant but answered by Sheldon of Apr. 4. Evidently, Sam spelled out details of a desired contract.

April 4 Tuesday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, asking for him to resend any “incidents” about the Nevada days he could recall, since notes had been lost in the move. He asked his brother if Bliss was doing anything with the manuscript he’d sent (Roughing It.) Sam added: “Baby in splendid condition. Livy as feeble as ever—has not sat up but once or twice for a week” [MTL 4: 372].

Sam also wrote to Thomas Nast, whom he’d met in Nov. 1867 upon return from the Holy Land excursion, suggesting a piece for Nast’s proposed Th Nast’s Illustrated Almanac for 1872 [373-4n2]. See Apr. 24 entry for Nast’s reply.

Issac E. Sheldon wrote:

Friend Clemmens [sic] / Your favor of Apl 3rd is at hand. I rec’d also a few days since yours of Mar 22nd. Inclosed find a contract as you desire. It is just like the one you sent except that settlements are made 1st of Aug & Feb each year. At these times we make up a/cs of copyright in all our books.

      The returns for copyright, after the first settlement, will of course not be large, as a book like this has its main sale at once. As regards the story, I like the idea & it would sell well if it were a good story & had a quiet vein of humor as well as the tragic interest of a story. I do not see why you could not write such a story. If you feel in the spirit of it I should certainly make the attempt. We had better give the public enough for the money next time. I like to have every one satisfied / I am Truly Yours / Isaac E Sheldon [MTPO].

April 6 Thursday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Robert and Louise M. Howland, his old friends from Virginia City days, thanking them for pictures received; he promised to send pictures of the family [MTL 4: 374].

Sam also replied to the Apr. 4 of Isaac E. Sheldon about the pamphlet A Burlesque Autobiography to be published. Sam objected to being put off for the first royalty payment [MTL 4: 375]. Note: By this time in Sam’s life he was very shrewd with publishers and editors.

April 8, 9 and 10 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Sam sent a few changes on the new book (Roughing It) and told of Livy’s improvement. Sam was on MS. page 610. He was at Quarry Farm, “a mile & a half up a mountain, where I write every day.” The rest of the family was at the Langdon home [MTL 4: 376-7].

April 12 Wednesday Sam went to New York City, where he likely met with Isaac E. Sheldon and/or Francis P. Church to follow up on the planned pamphlet and to gain the final payment for his Galaxy contributions [MTL 4: 378n6]. Joe stayed with Clemens several months after his Mar. 24 arrival, and so may have gone with him.

A dinner took place with Clemens, David Ross Locke (Petroleum V. Nasby) and Melville D. Landon (Eli Perkins) at Perkins’ New York residence. “The conversation at that dinner I shall never forget. The stories told and the reminiscences brought out at that dinner would fill a small book” [“A Truthful Trio,” Wit and Humor of the Age, by Perkins (1883) p.194]. Note: Google online gives one of the stories told by Twain about a “very fast horse” he owned in Nevada.

April 14 Friday – Sam returned to Elmira.

April 18 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Orion. Sam directed him to leave the “Bull Story” alone until it appeared in the book and not to put it in the paper (American Publisher). Joe Goodman was visiting at Quarry Farm and would come up every day and write a novel, and read the California book critically. Sam didn’t want the story “Jack & Moses” used by the paper, but saved for possible lectures next winter [MTL 4: 378-9].

Sam also wrote a short note to Mary Mason Fairbanks that he “cannot see that she [Livy] has gained a single hair’s breadth in 30 days” [MTL 4: 379].

April 20 Thursday – Sam went to Buffalo to dispose of his interest in the Buffalo Express to George H. Selkirk, a previous part-owner of the paper [MTL 4: 380n1]. Sam took a financial beating on the sale.

April 22 SaturdayElisha Bliss wrote to Sam fearing that Orion had “written in a manner to give” the wrong impression. After clearing this up, Bliss felt that the issuance of “an occasional Twainish thing…would aid the future sale of the book.” After his signature, he wrote: “Your brother says he wrote you Knox had written up something similar to the Bull story—I never saw it & do not know anything about it. Yours struck me as a good thing, every way. Your first chap. Is splendid—smacks of the old style—” [MTP]. Note: possibly Thomas Wallace Knox (1835-1896), journalist and world traveler who wrote 45 books.


April 24 MondayThomas Nast replied to Sam’s Apr. 4 letter:

The “beef contract” is very good, but I do not think it is as suitable for my almanac, as some of your other things, for I must bear in mind that I cater for the children in my almanac as well as the big folks, so I think “the good little boy who never prospered”, or “advice to little girls”, or “the last Benjamin Franklin”, would suit me better, therefore, if you will graciously accord me your permission to use any of the aforesaid, I shall be happy to avail myself of it [MTP].

April 26 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who had suffered some sort of injury. Sam wrote that Livy was better, even “bright & cheerful.” After a couple of poor reviews of his Burlesque Autobiography, Sam was feeling low about his writing:

“I am pegging away at my book, but it will have no success. The papers have found at last the courage to pull me down off my pedestal & cast slurs at me—& that is simply a popular author’s death rattle” [MTL 4: 381].

Sam also replied to the Apr. 24 of Thomas Nast, who’d asked which sketch he might use in his Almanac for 1872. Nast had also asked if he needed to consult with the Galaxy editors about using a sketch, which had been published there. Since Sam’s arrangement provided all rights would revert to him upon publication in the Galaxy, he told Nast to use whichever sketch he pleased [MTL 4: 382].


Sam’s letter to Nast, reported (with partial text) as Apr. 27? In MTL 4: 382, has recently been up for sale. The date is herein corrected to Apr. 26, and the full text reads: 


Elmira, 26th /Dear Nast: /    Take any sketch you please — & you are the man to make the selection because you can tell what will illustrate best. Take any one you want. You needn’t ask anybody’s permission but mine. I own them.

      I daren’t got into a book or pamphlet speculation.—Contracts forbid it. / Yrs Ever /     Twain 

 [ABE books accessed April 27, 2009; Hirst at MTP verified by email].


April 29 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Whitelaw Reid, enclosing an article for the Tribune, which argued for saving Edward H. Ruloff (1819-1871) from hanging in a sensational murder case. Ruloff possessed a brilliant mind—“one of the most marvelous intellects that any age has produced,” wrote Sam, who proposed an intriguing solution for the law to be satisfied and the “gifted criminal still be saved”—Sam would find a man who would gladly substitute his life for Ruloff’s [MTL 4: 383-5]. Note: the letter is interesting for Sam’s support of capital punishment as well as the unique solution in a particular case. Still, Ruloff had killed a clerk during a robbery, as well as his wife and child years before. Sam hoped his letter, if printed in the Tribune, would “start the talk at every breakfast table in the land….”

April 30 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Sam put his foot down and would not be included in American Publisher (basically a promotional paper for Bliss’ stable of writers) more often than every six months. He even would have Livy stop any letters asking more of him. He would focus on his books.


You both wrote me discouraging letters. Yours stopped my pen for two days—Bliss’s stopped it for three. Hereafter my wife will read my Hartford letters & if they are of the the same nature, keep them out of my hands. The idea of a newspaper editor & a publisher plying with dismal letters a man who is under contract to write humorous books for them! [MTPO].

Accompanied by Joe Goodman, Sam went daily to Quarry Farm, for the first of many summers that were to prove productive and restful. David Gray also provided encouragement and support. Both men were instrumental in reviving Sam’s literary ambitions, which had been at a low point in Buffalo. Quarry Farm was the home of Livy’s sister, Susan L. Crane (Mrs. Theodore W. Crane). It was a peaceful wooded hilltop house overlooking Elmira with a view of the Chemung River and distant hills [MTL 4: 386].


May – Sam’s article, “The Old-Time Pony Express of the Great Plains” ran in American Publisher, an in-house promotional pamphlet of the American Publishing Co [Camfield, bibliog.].


May 2 Tuesday – In Elmira, Sam wrote to James Redpath:

Indeed I would like to find that Canadian “Innocents” if you can get it.

      I am well & flourishing & hard at work on a book similar to the “Innocents” but my wife is still confined to her bed & has been over three months / Yours / Clemens [MTP, drop-in letters].

May 3 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss about Bliss possibly publishing a book from Edward (Ned) House of the New York Tribune, who was in Japan. Sam enclosed House’s letter. He also announced his book was half done (Roughing It) [MTL 4: 389].

Sam’s letter to the editor, “A Substitute for Rulloff,” dated Apr. 29, ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.; MTPO].

May 5 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to Henri Gerard, a boy who sent Sam a copy of his newspaper, the “Comet.” Sam declined to submit material for the paper but praised the boy’s work and sent him a dollar for 3 subscriptions, one of which he sent to his nephew, Sammy Moffett in Fredonia [MTL 4: 389].

May 7 Sunday ­– Horace Greeley wrote to Sam on NY Tribune letterhead. See MTB p 437 for facsimile of the letter with Greeley’s scrawl and Paine’s comments [MTP].

May 8 MondayJoe Twichell wrote from Hartford to Sam, opening with what Twain would undoubtedly call “drivel” and then asking what had become of him? “Pray let us hear from you soon” [MTP].

May 11 ThursdayJames Florant Meline (1811-1873), author of Two Thousand Miles on Horseback: Santa Fe and Back (1867) wrote from Brooklyn asking for publication help in the form of a letter of introduction to Elisha Bliss [MTP]. Note: not in Gribben.

May 12 FridayFrank Bliss wrote to Sam, sending a royalty check for $703.35 [MTP].

May 14 Sunday – In a bound scrapbook with autographic comments in Sam’s handwriting, dated 1869, there is an entry with this date. The scrapbook calls for “mental” photographic statements and even has a place for an actual photograph, though none is included in the book. Sam answers a series of questions; this is similar to other “surveys” he answered about his favorites and preferences:

 Samuel L. Clemens , May 14, 1871


Color:  Anything but dun

Flower:  The  bright blooming Sirius the dog star which …[in  a footnote he calls this constellation a     “flower”]

Tree:  Any that bears forbidden fruit

Object in Nature:  A dumb belle

Hour in the day:  The leisure hour

Season of the year:  the present

Perfume:  Cent per cent

Gem?  The jack of diamonds—when it’s trump

Style of Beauty: the Subscriber’s [some in the book state “blonde” for example]

Names, Male and Female:  M’aimes (Maimie) for a female and Jacus [sic] & Marius for males.

Painters?  Sign painters

Musicians?  Harper & Bros.

Piece of Sculpture:  The Greek slave with his hoe

Poets? [Sam crossed out the “s”]:  Robert Browning, when he has a lucid interval

Poetesses [Sam crossed out the “es”]  Timothy Titcomb

Prose Authors [Sam crossed out the “s]”:  Noah Webster LLD

Character[Sam added an “s”] in Romance?  The Napoleon Family

         in History?  King Herod

Book to take up for an hour:  Vanderbilt’s Pocket Book

What book (not religious) would you part with last:  The one I might be reading on  railroad during the dvisas [?] to season

What epoch would you choose to have  lived in?  Before the present Erie – it was safer

Where would you like to live?  In the Moon—because there is no water there.

What is your favorite amusement?  Hunting the “tiger” or some kindred game

What is your favorite occupation?  “like dew on the gowan—lying.”

What trait of character do you most admire in a man?  The noblest form of cannibalism—love for his fellow man.

What trait of character do you most admire in women?  Love for her fellow man

What trait of character do you most detest in each:  That “trait” which you put “or” to describe its    possessor. 

If not yourself who would you rather be?  The wandering Jew with a nice annuity

What is your idea of happiness?  Finding the buttons all on.

What is your idea of misery?  Breaking an egg in your pocket

What is your bete noire?  What is my which?

What is your dream?  Nightmare as a general thing

What do you most dread?  Exposure

What do you believe to be your distinguishing characteristics?  Hunger

If married, what do you believe to be the distinguishing characteristics of your better half?  Opinion reserved

What is the sublimest passion of which human nature is capable?  Love your sweetheart’s enemies

What are the sweetest words in the world?  Not guilty

What are the saddest words?  “Dust unto Dust”

What is your aim in life?  To endeavor to be absent when my time comes.

What is your motto?  Be virtuous and you will be eccentric 

[Transcribed by Margaret Sibbitt from scrapbook at Beinecke Library at Yale, nowadays a University]. 

May 15 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, acknowledging receipt of $703.35 royalties of some 3,800 sales of IA (Bliss’ letter not extant). The book was going well, and his daily output even exceeded his best on the Innocents book, going over 30 pages of manuscript daily. The inspiration had found Sam and he “couldn’t bear to lose a single moment” of it. “So I will stay here & peg away as long as it lasts.” Sam was two-thirds done with the book, but his plan was to write an equal amount more and then “cull from the mass the very best chapters & discard the rest” [MTL 4: 390-1].

Sam kept his ear to the literary marketplace. His fear about being overexposed as a writer, not to mention the difficulties in writing humor in the midst of the Buffalo tragedies, had led to a retreat and a plan. He also may have guessed that the faddish popularity of Harte’s “Heathen Chinee” poem, and the sensation Harte’s trek east had caused would fade, when he wrote:

“The reaction is beginning & my stock is looking up. I am getting the bulliest offers for books & almanacs, am flooded with lecture invitations, & one periodical offers me $6,000 cash for 12 articles, of any length & on any subject, treated humorously or otherwise” [MTL 4: 392]. Note: Bliss replied on May 17.


May 15June 10 Saturday Sometime between these dates Sam wrote from Elmira to Donn Piatt of the Galaxy. After seeing the June and July Galaxy editions, which contained “The Galaxy Club-Room” column by Piatt, Sam wrote this facetious letter [MTL 4: 393-4]. For most of this period, Sam was hard at work on Roughing It, keeping the pace he’d set earlier.


May 17 WednesdayElisha Bliss replied to Sam’s May 15.

      Your favor recdem space Am glad to hear from you. Sorry to hear you are not going to call on us to day. However it may be for the best as I think you are in the mood to do good work, at which I heartily rejoice

      Glad to know you are so pressed with overtures for work.

      We intend to do our part towards making your book, what it should be, viz in illustrations. We shall try to have just the kind in that will suit—& think we shall succeed. I think it would be well to have Prospectus out soon as practicible as agents are anxious for it—still lets have the best stuff in it. I have no doubt you have ample matter now to select from, therefore suppose you do as you suggest, send another batch on, of selected chapters if you think best & I will get right to work— Suppose you send on such a lot, marked with what in your opinion is particularly good, & let me then make up prospectus matter from it & get engraving for it under way.

      Send the Mss. by express it will come then safely. I will put bully cuts into it, such as will please you

      Think this will be the plan if it suits you— I assure you nothing shall be wanting on my part, to bring it out in high style—I reckon I can do it—

      Glad to see you are feeling in good spirits & it seems a little closer to get a line in your old vein.

      Your Bro. is well. / Truly / E Bliss Jr

I got your telegraph & didn’t go to N. Y waiting to see you first [in margin:] Dont let any body else get House’[s] book! [MTPO].

May 26 FridayHarriet P. Spofford wrote to Sam [MTP].

May 31 WednesdayDavid Gray printed a notice in the Buffalo Courier of Sam’s new book to “be published in the fall and to appear simultaneously in England and America” [MTL 4: 394]. Note: the notice still did not include the title, which had yet to be formulated.

Sam left Elmira bound for Hartford, stopping for a day or two in New York at the St. Nicholas Hotel [MTL 4: 395].


May, late Sam wrote from Elmira to David Gray of the Buffalo Courier about plans for publication of Roughing It. To protect his English copyright, Sam intended to publish simultaneously in England and the U.S. [MTL 4: 394]. George Routledge would pay Sam a token amount ($185) for the right to publish Roughing It simultaneously [MTL 5: 73n3].


June 1 or 2 Friday Sam arrived in Hartford and delivered another segment of the Roughing It manuscript [MTL 4: 395].

June 4 Sunday – Sam attended services at Twichell’s church (Asylum Hill Congregational,) and had dinner with Conn. Governor Marshall Jewell (1825-1883) While in Hartford, Sam visited with Orion and Mollie and other Hartford friends [MTL 4: 395].


June 5 Monday – A letter sold on eBay (Sept. 18, 2007; # 270167135431) that puts the Clemens family’s departure for Elmira at June 5. Though dated only “June 5,” the letter could only fit into this date for the entire period from 1870 through 1885:

“Dear Sir, I snatch a moment to say Thank You—the baggage wagon at the door & the family ticketed & labeled & ready to flit for the summer. You have made ‘Events’ an interesting number—at a glance I see that. With thanks again, I am Sincerely Yours, S.L. Clemens.” [Note: the “Events number” may refer to an unknown publication or column, which, if found, may further cement this letter to 1871].

June 6 Tuesday – Sam was back in Elmira and began work on what would be Chapter 54 of Roughing It, which began by referring to a news item of June 3 in the New York Tribune.

“As I write, news comes in that broad daylight in San Francisco, some boys have stoned an inoffensive Chinaman to death, and that although a large crowd witnessed the shameful deed, no one interfered” [Roughing It, Ch.54].

For some reason, Sam put Roughing It aside for three weeks [MTL 4: 395]. It’s possible that upon his return to Elmira, as he wrote Orion and Molly, “Livy is stronger & the baby is flourishing,” so he wanted to spend time with them.


June 7 Wednesday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion and Mollie. Sam explained why he had to leave them so abruptly at Twichell’s church door (to speak to Gov. Marshall Jewell and apologize for not being able to accept him into their sick-house in Buffalo.) Sam “did not go on the hill today & have not seen Pamela & Sammy,” who had been in Elmira at the Elmira Water Cure, on the way to Quarry Farm.

Sometime between this date and Sept. 28 Sam sent a picture of Susan Crane with baby Langdon to Bret Harte. No letter accompanied the photograph, which was inscribed: “The most determined singer in America sends his warm regards to the most notorious” [MTL 4: 397-8].


June 9 Friday Sam wrote a new lecture, “An Appeal in behalf of Extending the Suffrage to Boys[MTL 4: 398].


June 10 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath & George L. Fall of the Boston Lyceum Lecture Bureau. Showing that he’d given the lecture circuit a great deal of thought from his past experiences. He wrote a list of seventeen items that he would or would not like for a lecture he’d written the day before. He was finally demanding higher prices, bigger towns and cities, and could name his preferences [MTL 4: 398-400].


Sam also wrote an announcement of his upcoming lectures to David Gray of the Buffalo Courier. Noting that there were many lectures on woman’s suffrage, and finding “Woman is less persecuted, and is held in a milder bondage than boys,” Sam’s new lecture, “An Appeal in behalf of Extending the Suffrage to Boys” [MTL 4: 402].


June 11 Sunday Sam wrote a most unusual letter from Elmira to his mother, Jane Lampton Clemens—on many scraps of different kinds and colors written on both sides. This was Sam’s way of teasing his mother for writing on any old piece of paper she happened on. He wrote on Pamela’s improving health, his willingness to help Orion, and his upcoming lectures [MTL 4: 403]. The PS for this letter mentioned measles and “cubbie” (Langdon) [MTL 5: 689].


June 12 Monday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath. Sam agreed to start his lecture tour in the West if Redpath preferred. He asks what “Olive & those other dead beats” were charging (Olive Logan 1839-1909) [MTL 4: 407].


Sam also wrote to his old Hannibal friend and fellow steamboat pilot, Will Bowen. Sam sent word of his plans to lecture in the West, including St. Louis; and his plans for building a home in Hartford [MTL 4: 407].


June 13 TuesdayFrancis P. Church of the Galaxy requested an article from Sam, and was rewarded with “About Barbers,” which first appeared in the August edition [MTL 4: 394]. It’s unclear why Sam would accede to such a request, but Church’s approach must have been less insistent than Bliss and Orion’s. Sam sold the piece for $100 [MTL 4: 410].

June 15 Thursday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath. Sam poured cold water on the idea of a woman reading humorous lectures or doing impersonations on stage. Possibly Redpath had received an offer from Helen Potter to tour with Sam. Helen did impersonations of well-known lecturers like John Gough, Henry Ward Beecher, and others [MTL 4: 408-9].


June 21 Wednesday Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, sending him three articles, “$125 for the lot,” payable to Orion at one-tenth of the $125 per week until paid. He wanted Bliss to mention his upcoming lecture and told him to say this:

“It is not a fight against Woman’s rights or against any particular thing, but is only a pretentiously & ostentatiously supplicating appeal in behalf of boys, which the general tendency of the times converts into a good-natured satire,—otherwise the lecture would hardly sound like a satire at all—at least to a careless listener.”

Sam asked if Bliss had heard from the English publisher Routledge. Sam also suggested he might go to Canada to get a copyright on the new book, since what he called “re-publishers” there were hard to beat [MTL 4: 410].


Sam also wrote this day to Orion & Mollie. Sammy Moffett’s nervous twitching & shakings were worse. Orion thought highly of the new book. Sam felt that the prospectus alone would sell 50,000 copies before the book was even printed. Sam told Orion about the three articles he’d sent Bliss and that Orion could draw small amounts against them. Sam and Livy were both at Quarry Farm—“Mr & Mrs. Crane stay here with us, & we do have perfectly royal good times” [MTL 4: 412].


June 27 Tuesday Sam wrote two short notes from Elmira to Orion. Sam had written a new lecture that day and wanted Bliss to leave out the talk about the “Suffrage to Boys”.  His second note announced he “wrote a third lecture to-day—& tomorrow I go back on the book again.” This last lecture, “Reminiscences of Some Pleasant Characters whom I have Met” was one given later. “It covers my whole acquaintances—kings, humorists, lunatics, idiots & all.”

Sam also wrote two notes to James Redpath about his new lectures and his indecision as to which to use. If Redpath wanted to include a picture of Sam, use the one that the Aldine had used “2 or 3 months ago that was right good” [MTL 4: 413-15].


Sam also informed Whitelaw Reid of the three lectures [MTL 4: 417].

Sam and Livy wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks, explaining why they hadn’t been able to make the promised trip to Cleveland. Sam:

“This book has been dragging along just 12 months, now, & I am so sick & tired of it” [MTL 4: 418-9]. Note: Evidently the break from his daily discipline of 20-60 pages of manuscript deflated Sam’s inspiration.

June 28 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath. This was another list of particulars, prices, and places that Sam dictated terms about [MTL 4: 419-21].


June 29 Thursday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, asking if the three articles he’d sent had arrived, begging off on opining on one of Orion’s machine inventions, and news that his lecture engagements would pay $250 in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Brooklyn [MTL 4: 423].


Sam also wrote to Mary Fairbanks, apologizing for being unable to visit Cleveland. Sam included a preview of persons included in this “Reminiscences” lecture. After listing off a dozen or so persons, Sam concluded:

“Of course you can’t tell much about the lecture from this, but see what a splendid field it offers, & you know what a fascination there is in personal matters, & what a charm the narrative form carries with it” [MTL 4: 425].

July Sam’s article, “A New Beecher Church,” was printed in the July American Publisher [MTL 4: 440n2]. Sam so inscribed on the flyleaf of Louis Figuier’s Primitive Man, that read: “Saml. L. Clemens, / The Primitive Man [Gribben 230].


July? – Responding to a request for an autograph with a pun, Sam wrote from Elmira to Pierre Reynolds: “I only make them at funerals & places where I wish to feel sad” [MTL 4: 426].


July 2 Sunday In Elmira, Sam wrote a short note to Orion. Though only about three-quarters done, Sam felt he had enough manuscript to cull from and planned to bring the manuscript to Hartford in “2 to 4 weeks hence” [MTL 4: 427].

Sam also wrote to Jim Gillis of Angels Camp days. Sam asked after Dick Stoker and added, “…I am here, close to bookstores & newspapers, & you & Dick ain’t,” then offers to send them any “book or paper” their “solitude needs.” Sam had also read Darwin’s Descent of Man, published earlier in the year and offered to send the book and others [MTL 4: 428].


July 4 TuesdayMollie Clemens wrote from Hartford to Sam, relating how Orion had felt “blue” after receiving a letter from Pamela, though he rallied. “For the first two years or more, I had very little faith in his being able to make the invention work, but my desire has been so great, I have gradually grown into the belief that it will be a success.” She told of their new quarters and obliquely thanked Sam for his money sent enabling them to afford it. She closed with “We are delighted at the prospect of your lectures paying you so well; and at their popularity” [MTP].

Orion also sent Sam a note: “The letter you refer to [Pamela’s] did no great harm. After a day’s sky-colored absent-mindedness I considered that your opportunities for judging of the concern were not so good as mine, and I went ahead.” He talked about his invention and hoped to get a patent on a “rough model.” He admitted being “a preternatural ass” for wanting Sam to write for Bliss for nothing. “I might as well have requested you to send him a file of bank notes” [MTP].

July 7 Friday Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Orion, directing his brother to sources Sam had used for an article, “Brace of Brief Lectures on Science” [MTL 4: 429].


Elisha Bliss wrote to Clemens:

Dear Clemens, /Thanks for your contributions em spaceI have been sick 10 days, flat on my back, most of the time—& feel hard yet.

Will pay O. as you say $12.50 pr week. He says & shows me a letter in which you say he can draw some more on your a/c beside this, he says 5 or 10 dolls. as he wants. As you say in yours, pay him no more than the $12.50—“I halt between 2 opinions” of course I should let him have it, but simply felt I should mention it to you. Unless you say to the contrary, shall consider it all O. K—Have got the engravings mill driving—& shall make a merry book of it em spaceAnd now, would like all the Mss. you have to be able to select subjects for full page engravings—want all I can of those to go in the book prospectus—And now another thing we have said nothing about. What is to be the title— This is a matter of some importance you know, & necessary for the Prospectus, unless we say we dont know it yet & call it the “Unnamed” & wait for developments—to christen it—

Let me have your ideas early as possible— Shall have prospectus ready early as possible to get the cuts ready, & make a sweep of the board—this fall— This & Beecher’s Life of Christ—will have the field & I’ll bet we win— [MTPO].

July 7-8 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath arguing reasons for changing the names and content of his lectures [MTL 4: 430]. Note: Evidently, Redpath was irritated by the change and its affect on advertising.


July 10 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to reply to the July 7 of Elisha Bliss. Sam agreed to allow Orion small weekly draw amounts from Sam’s account, but most of the letter pertained to the upcoming book, not yet titled. Sam suggests “Flush Times,” subtitled, “in the silver mines & other matters – a personal narrative by Mark Twain.” Ultimately, Bliss would name the book Roughing It [MTL 4: 431].


Sam also wrote three notes to James Redpath, insisting he was to speak first in Boston, if at all, not at South End [MTL 4: 433-5].

“I do plainly see in that Southend business calamity for my lecture season. I never made a success of a lecture in a church yet. People are afraid to laugh in a church. They can’t be made to do it, in any possible way. And Lord knows it wasn’t “business” to start me in my most important city in an obscure course” [MTL 4: 434].


July 11 Tuesday Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, notifying of the shipment of “up to Chapter 55” of Roughing It [MTL 5: 690].


July 14 Friday Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to James Redpath not to schedule him at Jamestown, New York, the scene of a poor lecture on Jan. 21, 1870. “I suppose all lecturers hate that place” [MTL 4: 435].


July 19 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath not to schedule him west of Cleveland. “When I think of those awful western roads & hotel[s] I get sick—sick as death.” Sam repeated that he wanted “Nasby prices” [MTL 4: 436].


July 20 Thursday Sam wrote from Elmira to George L. Fall, (In charge of scheduling for the Boston Lyceum), suggesting that Rondout, New York be charged $150 because it was so out of the way [MTL 4: 437].


July 23 Sunday Sam wrote from Elmira to Will Bowen in St. Louis about his lecture plans and turning down $150 a night for 30 consecutive nights in Missouri and Kansas because Sam didn’t like “so much railroad travel” [MTL 4: 438].

The New York Times, on page 6, ran “A New Beecher Church,” by Mark Twain. The article also appeared in the July issue of American Publisher [Jerome and Wisbey 194]. Thomas K. Beecher’s new planned church in Elmira was the subject. The Times ran another article on page 4, “A New Church,” which questioned Sam’s article:

The writer of this account has on several occasions deluded a too credulous public with what appears to him practical jokes, and this tale of his may be only another joke; but if it is, it is admirably conceived and worthy to be made a fact.

July 24 Monday – Sam wrote a one-line note to Adolph H. Sutro, asking for his address, the envelope may have been sent to the Sutro Tunnel Co. on Montgomery Street, S.F., with a note asking it to be forwarded [MTL 4: 439]. Sutro was a mutual friend of Sam’s and John Henry Riley’s, and was trying to secure investments for his tunnel. See also source p. 447-8 about Sam’s interest in Sutro.

July 31 Monday Sam wrote from Elmira to Edward P. Ackerman, editor of the Cherub. Sam responded to Ackerman’s questioning Sam’s article in the July American Publisher about Thomas K. Beecher’s new church [MTL 4: 439].


August Sam’s articles, “About Barbers,” and “How I Secured a Berth” were printed in the August Galaxy. These were his last contributions to the magazine [Camfield, bibliog.].

The Cape Monthly Magazine, Cape Town, South Africa, edited by Professor Roderick Noble, ran a section, “Mark Twain.” The magazine first appeared in 1857 and was published off and on during the rest of the 19th century. It also featured local topics on a wide range of subjects [eBay item 220442259983, July 2009; not in Tenney].


August 2 or 3 Thursday Sam left Elmira for New York and Hartford [MTL 4: 441n1].


August 3 to 5 Saturday – Sam spent two days in New York City and stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel. He shopped for clothes for his upcoming lectures [MTL 4: 441n1].

August 5 or 6 Sunday – Sam arrived in Hartford bringing his fifth submission section of Roughing It [MTL 4: 441n1].

August 8 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to James Redpath.


      I am different from other women. They have their monthly period once a month, but I have mine once a week, & sometimes oftener. That is to say, my mind changes that often. People who have no mind, can easily be steadfast and firm, but when a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding, or inclination, or mayhap of indolence, shifts the cargo. See?

      Therefore, if you will notice, one week I am likely to give rigid instructions to confine me to New England; next week, send me to Arizona; the next week withdraw my name; next week, give you untrammeled swing; and the week following modify it. You must try to keep the run of my mind, Redpath—it is your business, being the agent, & it always was too many for me [MTL 4: 440-1].


August 8 or 9 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Livy. (The first four letters he wrote have been lost.) He sought to reassure her about the passing anniversary of her father’s death, the tenuous health of baby Langdon and his love. Livy began a new number sequence for Sam’s letters since leaving Elmira [MTL 4: 442].


August 10 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Livy. She telegraphed, perhaps the day before, having not yet received any of Sam’s letters. Sam answered that he’d written every day but two, one day in New York and one since arriving in Hartford, and one day wrote two letters, one brief. He wrote of clothes he’d purchased that had arrived from New York, progress on Roughing It, and his mother’s trip to Hartford. After complimenting his mother, Annie Moffett and Mollie Clemens, he wrote:

Orion is as queer & heedless a bird as ever. He met a strange young lady in the hall this evening; mistook her for the landlady’s daughter (the resemblance being equal to that between a cameleopard & a kangaroo,) & shouted: “Hello, you’re back early!” She took him for a fugitive from the asylum & left without finishing her errand [MTL 4: 444].


August 17 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Horace Greeley, asking him to confirm or deny the famous Hank Monk story about the hair-raising stagecoach ride Monk supposedly gave Greeley. This anecdote is in chapter 20 of Roughing It. A reply from Greeley to this letter was lost, but at the end of this chapter Sam wrote with asterisk: “And what makes this worn anecdote the more aggravating is that the adventure it celebrates never occurred.”


August 18 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to Livy. Sam had not heard from her, and had written thirteen letters (twelve now lost) in eight days. Some were delayed from New York. Sam asked Livy if she wanted to go to England someday with him, where he might gather history, manners and customs of old England for a book [MTL 4: 446]. This idea may have been the seed that led to A Connecticut Yankee.


August 19 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Adolph H. Sutro.


“Got your letter to-day. When do you sail? Can’t you run up here for one day? I’m awful busy on my new book…Riley is in England—London.”


Sutro arrived in New York on Aug. 22 and sailed for England eight days later, to gain investors for his proposed tunnel into the Comstock Lode. His response to Sam on this letter is unknown. John Henry Riley had returned from South Africa to London [MTL 4: 447].


August 24 Thursday Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Sutro at the Gilsey House in New York. Sam wanted to know when Sutro would sail and where he was headed.

August 25 Friday – Sam again telegraphed Sutro, having had a response on his dispatch of the day before. “All right will see you in New York before you sail.” Sutro telegraphed an answer—he’d be in New York until Aug. 30 then sail to Liverpool [MTL 4: 449].


August 26 to 28 Monday Sam went to New York, where he met Livy, Ida Langdon and another Langdon cousin. He probably met with Sutro before he sailed for England, to gather mining information for RI. Sam returned to Hartford by Aug. 29 [MTL 4: 449n1].


August 29 Tuesday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Adolph H. Sutro, asking how long the tunnel into the Comstock Lode would be (planned to be 4 miles long). He also asked Sutro to send his London address. Sam wanted the tunnel information for Roughing It [MTL 4: 450]. Note: Since Sam and Sutro were in New York during the same time (Sutro from Aug. 22, Sam Aug. 26-28) it’s likely they met and Sam merely forgot to ask this detail. Sutro was to sail to Europe Aug. 30 seeking investment for the tunnel, which he started in 1865. See Mack’s Nevada 448-9 for a good account of the tunnel.

Baby Langdon was gravely ill. Sam may have left Hartford for Elmira this day or the day after, escorting his mother and niece, who went on to Fredonia [MTL 4: 452n3].

$308 from the American Publishing Co. from Orion was applied to Sam’s account [ViU; MTP].

August 30 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Ella Trabue Smith, a second cousin on his mother’s side, telling her of his family’s trip and how well his mother looked, but for his son “life is almost despaired of.” Sam had gone after a doctor and wrote the one page letter while waiting [MTL 4: 451].

August 31 Thursday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion.

We have scarcely any hope of the baby’s recovery.

Livy takes neither sleep nor rest.

We have 3 old experienced nurses.

Three months of overfeeding & surreptitious poisoning with laudanum & other sleeping potions is what the child is dying of [MTL 4: 452]. Sam’s only son would live until June 2, 1872.

September Sam’s new lecture tour was announced in the September issue of the American Publisher [MTL 4: 414]. “A Brace of Brief Lectures on Science. Part 1” [Camfield, bibliog.]. (See Gribben 230-1.)


September 6? Wednesday Sam left Elmira bound for Washington, D.C. to file for a patent on his “Elastic Strap,” a strap placed at the back of a vest to tighten around the waist. The invention itself made the strap elastic, detachable and adjustable in length. It fastened to the vest with buttons and buttonholes and could be removed. It could also be used with pants and even ladies’ corsets.


September 7 Thursday Sam arrived in Washington, D.C. [MTL 4: 454n1].


September 8 Friday Sam wrote from Washington to Livy. His only subject was the patent search [MTL 4: 453].


September 9 Saturday Sam filed his patent application for the garment strap and left Washington this day or the next for New York [MTL 4: 454n2].


September 10 or 11 Monday Sam stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel probably one night, and then left for Hartford [MTL 4: 454n2].


September 1213 Wednesday Sam stayed two days in Hartford and then returned to Elmira on Sept. 13 [MTL 4: 454n2]. In Hartford Sam secured rent on the John Hooker house in Nook Farm, Hartford for a temporary residence, and probably looked after his book at the American Publishing Co.

September 14 ThursdaySam wrote to an unidentified man:

Dear Sir, /Your proposition is received. In reply I am obliged to say that my engagements are such that they debar me from accepting”[unknown amount of text and complimentary close missing; MTPO]


September 15 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath: “…we will take up our permanent residence in Hartford the last day of this month.” Sam refused to lecture in Buffalo because of past treatment there by the G.A.R. Sam wrote he would be sick and remunerate Buffalo rather than lecture there [MTL 4: 454-5].

September 16 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion about the advisability of Orion applying himself to the invention of a steam brake for the railroads. However, such a brake had been invented already [MTL 4: 457-8].

September 17 Sunday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, enclosing a letter from Benjamin B. Bunker (b. 1815), who had been an attorney for Nevada Territory. Sam asked Orion to write Bunker, since Sam had “touch[ed] him up a little” in Roughing It [MTL 4: 458].

September 18 MondayOrion Clemens wrote to Sam about his invention: “You are right about the immense advantage of such a railroad brake—but has it not already been invented?” he recalled seeing an article about such a brake on the Missouri Pacific RR. “I think it was the way you suggested—by steam under control of the engineer.” He drew a hinge he proposed to have made for the brake [MTP].

September 1822 Friday Sam went to Buffalo to close the sales of his house and share of the Buffalo Express and to remove his personal property to Hartford.

September 21 Thursday – The Washington National Republican ran a summary of a conversation, “Mark Twain Takes Out a Patent — Why He Did It,” about a patent for suspenders based on Sam’s take on Horace Greeley’s pants [Schmidt].

September 22 Friday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath. Livy was sick in Elmira and Sam and the servants were packing. He and his wife were to take possession of their Hartford house on Oct. 1. Sam liked the Young Men’s Association in Buffalo and wouldn’t mind lecturing for them, but not the G.A.R. [MTL 4: 459-60].

Orion Clemens wrote to Sam:

“I answered Bunker’s letter as requested. / I got out of patience with the clockmaker yesterday and went and took away the unfinished buttons and told him if he would finish my chain I would not bother him any more. I don’t know what he’ll do.” He then wrote details about buttons, auger holes and gimlet holes, and ended with: “Glad to hear such good news from the baby, and that you are packing for Hartford…I think your paleontology ably handled. / P.S.—do you think it will pay you to put my gimlet holes through and give me half?” [MTP].

September 26 Tuesday – Sam again wrote from Buffalo to James Redpath, setting Feb. 2 as the final date for his lectures [MTL 4: 460].

Sam and Livy also wrote to Charles C. Duncan, steamboat captain, regretting that they could not attend:

“…the gathering of the pilgrims … We have packed up everything but ourselves, to move to Hartford, & shall pack ourselves aboard the train within the hour … If I am not there when you beat to quarters, you will know that circumstances … have got the advantage of me. In which case I shall at least be present in spirit & make a mute speech well packed with cordial good wishes for the long life & happiness of all that stand where they could hear if the silent syllables were voiced …” [MTP, drop-in letters from a sales catalog which only partially quoted the letter].

September 27 Wednesday – Sam’s article, “The Revised Catechism” ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.].

The City of Buffalo receipted Sam for $222.25 for city tax on the “Delaware st. house; Outer lot 50ft, front feet 60 ft, Feet deep 118” [MTP].

Napoleon Sarony, photographer, wrote from NYC to ask Sam to sit for a photo “any time you are in the city” [MTP].

September 28 Thursday – Sam wrote from Buffalo to John A. Lant, a printer Sam had worked with as a boy, probably in St. Louis.

“Thank you kindly for the picture of the baby. But it seems to me you did not economise material to the best advantage: there is meat enough in this youngster for twins” [MTL 4: 461].

October – Sam’s article “A Brace of Brief Lectures on Science, Part 2” ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.].

October 1 or 2 Monday Sam left Buffalo and met Livy in New York City, staying a day at the St. Nicholas Hotel [MTL 4: 462n1].

October 2 or 3 Tuesday – Sam and Livy arrived in Hartford and took possession of the Hooker house on Forest Street in Nook Farm, a small community on the western reach of the city. John Hooker, descendant of Hartford’s founder, Thomas Hooker, began Nook Farm with a 100-acre tract. Hooker and his wife Isabella Beecher Hooker developed the land and chose their neighbors. It was a loose, first name, and friendly island of cultural stimulation. Nook Farm was staunch Congregationalist and Republican, though somewhat progressive in religion tenets. The group raised money to build Joseph Twichell’s church, the Asylum Hill Congregational, a few blocks away from Nook Farm. Note: Andrews claims Oct. 1 as the day they took possession [24].

Livy was expecting again [MTL 4: 462n1; Kaplan 140]. Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Orion that he would come by in a day or two [MTL 4: 462].

October 6 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford, with an affidavit by John Hooker, to Mortimer D. Leggett (1821-1896), Commissioner of Patents, about the date of his ideas for the elastic strap. Sam included his first drawings, for use with vests and pants. Henry C. Lockwood had applied for a patent on a similar device only six days after Sam’s application [MTL 4: 462-4]. Note: the Oct. 9 of Alexander & Mason, patent solicitors, may suggest Sam also wrote them the same information.

Text Box: October 8, 1871 Sunday
The Great Chicago Fire


October 9 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to James Redpath, asking him to send the first part of his lecture list “& let me see where I am to talk.” He requested a copy be sent to Bliss. “We are settled here.” Sam had read less than a third of the proofs on Roughing It, and hoped to be finished with the task in a month or so [MTL 4: 466]. Sam also wrote to John Henry Riley responding to questions about the South Africa book. Sam, involved with a move, an ill wife and his new book, was about to embark on his lecture tour so he put Riley off [MTL 4: 467].

Alexander & Mason, patent solicitors, Wash DC wrote: “Yours of the 6th with copy of statement in the pending interference case is at hand. Your opponent is named H. C. Lockwood, residence….Baltimore Md. We have this day written to him with a view to settle the case by compromise & allowing your patent to issue…We feel quite certain that he goes back of you…” [MTP].

October 10 Tuesday – Bill paid to Thomas Carron Co. “$47 for moving; 3 teams moving furniture 11 hours each, 75 plus two hours; 2 men helping at house; 10 hours each, etc.” [MTP]. Note: This bill was likely for moving the family’s goods from the Hartford depot to their rental house in Nook Farm.

October 11 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Redpath & Fall. Having rec’d the lecture list.

“You can lecture me on Saturdays if you have the opportunity. Sometimes one of those idle days is hard to put in” [MTL 4: 468].

October 12 Thursday In Hartford, Sam declined an invitation by G.K. Jewett.

Dear Sir: / Your kind invitation is received, & I return my hearty thanks for the compliment. But I am compelled to tender my regrets, as well—& they are hearty ones, too, for it is hard to have to miss the opportunity of having personal experience of this great international event. But I am just leaving on a long lecturing tour & cannot get free.

Very Truly Yours,

Sam. L. Clemens.

 [MTP, drop-in letters; also www.liveauctioneers.com/item/948609 on May 12, 2005].

October 13 Friday Sam and Charles Langdon left Hartford. Sam was to begin his lecture tour in three days. He stopped in New York, where he stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel. Charles Langdon and Sam and Edward L. Marsh (a cousin of Charles and Livy) played billiards and went to a popular variety show at the Olympic Theatre, “Humpty Dumpty” [MTL 4: 467n3; p469]. Note: Marsh attended Sam and Livy’s wedding [MTA 2: 251].

October 14 Saturday – Sam wrote from the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York to Livy:

“Charley left for home a few minutes ago—9 AM. Well, I do wish I could see you, now, Livy dear, & the splendid cubbie.”

Sam left New York and arrived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at 4 PM [MTL 4: 469-470].

October 15 Sunday Sam wrote from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Livy. Sam wrote of the town, “an old Dutch settlement, & I hear that tongue here as often as ours.” He was impressed by a cemetery with acres of identical graves with tombstones “the size of a boy’s slate.” Sam had registered with an assumed name at the hotel to guarantee his privacy, even though it meant bypassing a reception and “sumptuous rooms provided” [MTL 4: 470-1].

October 16 Monday to February 27 1872 Lecture Tour:

Sam returned to the lecture circuit under the management of James Redpath and the Boston Lyceum Bureau. There were at least 77 engagements using three different speeches.

Note: Schmidt is one good updated source for dates and places of lectures, yet there is no guarantee that any website, will be up indefinitely. Print sources are thereby given priority; Emerson gives 76 performances in sixteen weeks [81].

October 16 Monday Sam lectured at Moravian Day School Hall, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “Reminiscences of Some Uncommonplace Characters Whom I Have Met”. He gave this lecture three times and then chose the segment on Artemus Ward to expand, dropping pieces about Dick Baker the quartz miner; Riley the journalist; the King of the Sandwich Islands; and others.  

Sam wrote a short note before the lecture from Bethlehem, Penn. to Livy. Sam thought he might have to pare down the lecture, but would talk without notes [MTL 4: 473].

October 17 Tuesday Sam lectured in Allentown, Penn. He wrote from Allentown to Livy:

      Livy darling, this lecture will never do. I hate it & won’t keep it. I can’t even handle these chuckle-headed Dutch with it.

      Have blocked out a lecture on Artemus Ward, & shall write it next Saturday & deliver it next Monday in Washington [MTL 4: 474-5].

The Easton Free Press ran a notice by “The Committee” dated Oct. 17 announcing “Mark Twain has been compelled to disappoint the good people of this town,” citing two telegrams pleading “sudden illness” in the family. A promise of “another evening shortly” would not be fulfilled until Nov. 23.

October 18 Wednesday Sam lectured (“Uncommonplace Characters”) in Music Hall, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Sam enlisted the help of “an old Californian friend” (unidentified) to cancel lectures in Easton, Penn., and Reading, Penn. for Oct. 19 and 20. The Easton Free Press had called the lectures in Bethlehem and Allentown a “failure,” so Sam was:

“…mourning over my miserable lecture…. I shall reach Washington tomorrow night, & then for two days & nights I shall work like a beaver on my new lecture. How I ever came to get up such a mess of rubbish as this & imagine it good, is too many for me” [MTL 4: 475-6].

October 19 Thursday Sam wrote from Wilkes-Barre, Penn. to Elisha Bliss. The typesetters had lost part of Ch. 18 of Roughing It, which described crossing the alkali desert. Sam could not focus to rewrite it and suggested perhaps they might have to omit the whole chapter [MTL 4: 477].

Sam left Pennsylvania and arrived in Washington that evening, staying at the Arlington Hotel, where he wrote the “Artemus Ward, Humorist” lecture, and threw the other lecture “overboard.” Sam wanted to lecture for Reading and Easton, Penn. for nothing, due to his cancellations [MTL 4: 478].

October 22 SundayW.L. Denning did work at the Hartford rental house; also provided feather bed, 2 feather pillows, and misc. See Nov. 17 entry for payment [MTP].

October 23 Monday Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Lincoln Hall, Washington, D. C. [One version of this speech is found in Mark Twain Speaking, 41-7]. The lecture attracted a record crowd for Lincoln Hall, some 2,000, with 150 crowded on stage. The reviews were mixed, and Sam found it difficult to lecture about a dead humorist, or to tell Ward’s jokes and make them funny [MTL 4: 480n3].

Artemus Ward’s real name, as most of you are probably aware, was Charles F. Browne. He was born in Waterford, Main, in 1834. His personal appearance was not like that of most Maine men. He looked like a glove-stretcher. His hair, red, and brushed well forward at the sides, reminded one of a divided flame. His nose rambled on aggressively before him, with all the strength and determination of a cow-catcher, which his red moustache—to follow on the simile—seemed not unlike the unfortunate cow [Fatout, MT Speaking 43].

Sam wrote a receipt for his lecture fee:

Received of JH Demeritt, Treas. G.A.R. Lecture Committee for the delivery of my lecture “Reminiscences of Some Uncommonplace Characters I have Chanced to Meet” at Lincoln Hall Monday evening 23d Octo 1871 One Hundred and Fifty ($150.) Dollars. Saml L. Clemens [MTP] .

October 24 Tuesday Sam lectured in Institute Hall, Wilmington, Delaware  “Artemus Ward.

In Washington, D.C. at the Arlington Hotel, Sam wrote to James Redpath:

(The only hotel in this town) {WILLARD’S—O, my!—seventh-rate hash-house.}

      Dear Red— / I have come square out, thrown “Reminiscences” overboard & taken “Artemus Ward, Humorist,” for my subject. Wrote it here on Friday & Saturday, & read it from MSS last night to enormous house. It suits me, & so I’ll never deliver the nasty, nauseous “Reminiscences” any more.

      Please make appointments for me at Reading & Easton Pa (between 5th & 10th of Feb., or sooner if it interferes with nothing,) for I am to talk for them for nothing—I threw them off, you know—telegram saying my folks were sick—(it came just in the nick of time, I may say, for I wanted to go to Washington & write a new lecture—which I’ve done it. / MARK [MTPO].


Notes: Only a single page of the MS that Sam refers to survives. The Easton and Reading lectures (See Oct. 18, 1871) were rescheduled for Nov. 23 and 24. Sam’s main bio source for Artemus Ward “seems to have been” The Genial Showman: Being Reminiscences of the Life of Artemus Ward (1870) by Edward P. Hingston, Ward’s manager. Reviews of Sam’s Ward lectures were mixed.

October 25 Wednesday Sam lectured in Odd Fellows Hall, Norristown, Penn. “Artemus Ward.” That morning Sam met Susan Dickinson, sister of the famous suffrage lecturer Anna E. Dickinson, who wrote to her sister:

“I came across Mr. Pugh with an individual whom he introduced as Mr. Clemens. I can’t say that I admire his personal appearance, tone, or manner.” Note: Thomas B. Pugh, lecture manager. The Norristown lecture was not successful. Sam was still struggling to find the right content and approach [MTL 4: 481n18].

October 26 Thursday – Sam spent the day traveling back to Hartford [MTL 4: 482n18].

October 27 Friday Sam lectured in Sumner Hall, Great Barrington, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote at midnight (into Oct. 28) from Great Barrington to Livy that the lecture “went off very handsomely.” But the Great Barrington Berkshire Courier of Nov. 1 claimed that of the crowd of 400, at least 390 went away disappointed and dissatisfied [MTL 4: 482-3].

October 28-29 Sunday – Sam probably spent the free weekend in Hartford, only 60 miles away, then traveled to Brattleboro, Vermont.

October 30 Monday Sam lectured in Brattleboro, Vermont  “Artemus Ward.”

October 31 Tuesday Sam lectured in Milford, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Milford to Livy.

…the same old practising on audiences still goes on—the same old feeling of pulses & altering manner & matter to suit the symptoms. The very same lecture that convulsed Great Barrington was received with the gentlest & most well-bred smiles & rippling comfort by Milford. Now we’ll see what Boston is going to do. Boston must sit up & behave, & do right by me. As Boston goes, so goes New England [MTL 4: 483].

November – Sam’s article “A Big Scare” ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.].

November 1 Wednesday Sam lectured in Music Hall, Boston, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Boston to Livy:

“…it was a bad night, but we had a packed house, & if the papers say any disparaging things, don’t you believe a single word of it, for I never saw a lecture go off so magnificently before. I tell you it makes me feel like my old self again. I wanted to talk a week…I am satisfied with tonight” [MTL 4: 484].

The reviews, however, were mixed. Sam added:

I am going to lunch with Ralph Keeler, Thomas Bailey Aldrich & one or two others tomorrow” [484].

Sam was receipted from Gridley & Frisbee, manufacturers of soap & candles for $5 [MTP].

November 2 Thursday – Sam went to the memorable lunch at Ober’s Greek Revival Restaurant on Winter Place, described by William Dean Howells as Sam’s introduction into the Boston literary circle. Ralph Keeler (1840-1873), a young bohemian Sam had known at the Golden Era, organized the lunch. In attendance: publisher James T. Fields, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and Bret Harte. “This is the dream of Sam’s life,” Harte was reported as announcing. Sam ignored Harte’s condescension [MTL 4: 484n4; Powers, MT A Life 307].

That evening Sam lectured in Town Hall, Exeter, New Hampshire  “Artemus Ward.”

November 3 Friday Sam lectured in Town Hall, Andover, Mass. “Artemus Ward

November 45 Sunday Clemens used Hartford as his base while lecturing in New England, so it’s likely that on this open weekend he returned home to Livy and “cubbie.” Newspapers were calling the Artemus Ward lecture “plagiarism,” and that “Mark Twain is capable of better things.” The critical responses to Sam’s lecture stayed mixed, though Sam tweaked the material. The result was that many were disappointed though pleased with Sam’s onstage persona.

November 5 SundayElisha Bliss sent Sam a royalty check from the American Publishing Co. [MTP].

November 6 Monday Sam lectured in Town Hall, Malden, Mass. “Artemus Ward.”

November 7 Tuesday Sam traveled the 125 miles back to Hartford.

November 8 Wednesday Sam lectured in Allyn Hall, Hartford, Conn. “Artemus Ward.”

November 9 Thursday Sam won a positive review from the Hartford Courant. Sam lectured in Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Worcester after the lecture, upset that the lecture chairman sat behind him on the stage—“a thing I detest.” Sam had talked to:

“1700 of the staidest, puritanical people you ever saw—one of the hardest gangs to move, that ever was. I’m going to bed—I’m disgusted” [MTL 4: 487].

November 10 Friday Sam lectured in Stetson Hall, Randolph, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam had a “delightful & jolly little audience.” He spent the night in Randolph.

November 11 Saturday Sam woke at 6 AM and traveled to Boston, where he had breakfast and then wrote Livy at 11 AM. Feeling “rusty & stupid,” Sam wrote:

“You see those country hotels always ring a gong at 6 & another at half-past, & between the two they would snake out Lazarus himself, let alone me, who am a light sleeper when nervous” [MTL 4: 488].

In the evening Sam went to the Boston Press Club dinner, but described it as a “cold-water” dinner (no alcohol) and that it broke up at “10.30—& with a sign instead of a hurrah.” Nevertheless, Sam’s toast was a huge hit [MTL 4: 490].

November 12 Sunday Sam wrote from Boston to Elisha Bliss. He’d enjoyed a good many dinners with Howells, Aldrich and Keeler. Sam directed copies of Innocents be sent to the three men, in care of J.R. Osgood & Co., Boston [MTL 4: 489].

He also wrote to Livy about the “cold-water” dinner of the night before [MTL 4: 490].

November 13 Monday Sam lectured in Mechanic’s Hall, Boston, Mass. “Artemus Ward.”

November 14 Tuesday Sam lectured in Smyth’s Hall, Manchester, N.H.   “Artemus Ward.”

November 15 Wednesday Sam lectured in City Hall, Haverhill, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Haverhill after the lecture to Livy.

Livy darling, it was a dreadfully stormy night, the train was delayed a while, & when I got to the hall it was half an hour after the time for the lecture to begin. But not a soul had left the house. I went right through the audience in my overcoat & overshoes with carpet bag in hand & undressed on the stage in full view. It was no time to stand on ceremony. I told them I knew they were indignant to me, & righteously so—& that if any aggrieved gentleman would rise in his place & abuse me for 15 minutes, I would feel better, would take it as a great kindness, & would do as much for him some time. That broke the ice & we went through with colors flying & drums beating [MTL 4: 491].

Sam felt he was getting the lecture “in better shape,” and ended it with “the poetry, every time, & a description of Artemus’ death in a foreign land.”

In the 1871 financials file at MTP, a receipt to Pottier & Stymus Mfg. Co. of Buffalo “To 10 days labor packing Express, Board, &c.” for $128.

November 16 Thursday Sam lectured in City Hall, Portland, Maine  “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Portland to Moses S. Beach, declining an invitation Beach had sent to Livy for the family to stay with the Beaches [MTL 4: 493-4]. Note: It was Mrs. Beach who had disapproved of Sam as a suitor for their daughter Emeline in 1868.

Robert M. Howland wrote to Clemens, his letter not extant but referred to in Livy’s answer of Nov. 20.

November 17 Friday At 1 AM in Portland, Maine, Sam wrote a short note to Livy. Sam thought the Portland lecture enjoyable, and the Portland Eastern Argus agreed [MTP].

In the evening Sam lectured in Huntington Hall, Lowell, Mass. “Artemus Ward.” [MTPO].

Bill paid to W.L. Denning for work at house on Oct. 22 and this date: feather bed, 2 feather pillows, misc. $43 [MTP].

November 18 Saturday – With another open weekend, Sam arrived in Hartford in the afternoon or evening and spent the rest of the weekend at home [MTL 4: 493n8].

In the year’s financial papers is a receipt from Western Insurance Co. for $60 to insure $20,000 of furniture moved from Buffalo to Hartford in September. Also a bill and receipt for $38.52 to J.J. Huppuch, House and Sign-Painting, Graining and Glazing, Buffalo for “repairing walls. Putting & painting woodwork on Delaware st. House” [MTP].

November 20 Monday Sam took the morning train from Hartford to New York, and made connections to Philadelphia [MTL 4: 493n8]. Sam lectured in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “Artemus Ward.”

In Hartford, Livy wrote for Sam to Robert M. Howland at the St. Nicholas Hotel in NYC:

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 16th rec’d— Mr Clemens spent yesterday at home, but was too jaded out to write letters or do anything but try to get rested— He desired me to answer your letter for him—

I do not yet know when he is to lecture in Auburn as I have only his a list of his engagements through Nov.1 I shall probably have his Dec. list before very many days, if the Auburn appointment should be in that month if you will let me know where to address you, I will send you word—

I wish Mrs Howland was with you and you could come here and finish your Buffalo visit—I think with great pleasure of that day spent with us, and truly hope it is the first but far from the last visit that we may have together—

We are all well, our baby grows fat and hearty every day—

I wish that Mr Clemens was to be at home for two or three days while you are in New York, then perhaps you could find time to come and see us—

You and Mrs Howland shall have pictures of the baby and myself as soon as we have any taken— We are exceedingly obliged for yours, I think them very good indeed—

Please give my love to Mrs Howland when you write her, and express my wish to her that we may know each other better—

With the kindest regards

Your Truly

Mrs S. L. Clemens [MTPO].

November 21 Tuesday Sam lectured in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York “Artemus Ward.” Plymouth was Henry Ward Beecher’s church. Sam evoked “continuous fits of laughter” [MTL 4: 497]. Advertisements like the one that ran on Nov. 9 in the Brooklyn Eagle, promoted this as “Reminiscences of Some Un-commonplace Characters that I have Chanced to Meet,” tickets 50 cents.  This particular ad ran a note by Redpath & Fall that this would “be his only appearance in that city the present season.”

November 22 Wednesday Sam lectured in Washington Hall, Roundout, NY “Artemus Ward.”

November 23 Thursday Sam lectured in Court House, Easton, Penn. “Artemus Ward.”

In MTP a receipt for $53 to W.B. Willard, Hartford dealer in flour, grain & feed.

November 24 Friday Sam lectured in Reading, Penn. “Artemus Ward.” The theater of Keystone Opera House, as reported by the Berks and Schuylkill Journal of Nov. 25:

Mark Twain, author of “Innocents Abroad,” delivered a lecture on the “Uncommon-place Characters he has met with” at the Keystone Opera House last evening to a full house.”

 The Reading Times and Dispatch for Nov. 25 offered a positive review:

 Mark Twain’s Lecture

A large and appreciative audience greeted Mark Twain last evening to hear his humorous discourse on “Uncommonplace characters I have met.” The lecturer is a modest gentleman, free from all stage affectation, and is perfectly “at home” on the platform. His delivery is not at all unpleasant, as we have been led to believe by some newspaper reports recently published, but is rather suited, we think, to the presentation of a quaint composition such as his lecture is.

[“Mark Twain in Reading: 1871” Historical Review of Berks County 51.2 (Spring 1986): 53-4, 69].


November 25 Saturday – The London Leisure Hour ran reprints from the St. Louis Republican and a story of how Sam took the name Mark Twain—this one relates him writing a sketch about Captain Isaiah Sellers, then asking “John Morris, now steward of the Belle Memphis,” what name he should sign to it. When the leadsman called out “Mark Twain,” it supposedly decided the issue [Tenney 4].

Redpath & Fall Co. wrote to advise Clemens of a recorded engagement to lecture in Kalamazoo, Mich., Saturday Dec. 16 [MTP].

November 2526 Sunday With no lectures scheduled, Sam spent part of the weekend in Elmira before traveling on to Bennington, Vermont [MTL 4: 498].

November 27 Monday Livy’s 26th birthday.

Sam lectured in Bennington, Vermont  “Artemus Ward.” Afterward, Sam wrote to Livy:

Livy darling, good house, but they laughed too much. A great fault with this lecture is, that I have no way of turning it into a serious & instructive vein at will. Any lecture of mine ought to be a running narrative-plank, with square holes in it, six inches apart, all the length of it; & then in my mental shop I ought to have plugs (half marked “serious” & the others marked “humorous”) to select from & jam into these holes according to the temper of the audience [MTL 4: 498].

Sam also thought that too many books about the West made Roughing It a bit “hackneyed,” and mentioned writing a Mississippi book—“then look out! I will spend 2 months on the river & take notes…” Sam had thought of a river book at least since Jan. 1866 [MTL 4: 499].

Hume & Sanford Co. Buffalo, wrote to Sam with a statement of account balancing goods & services with payments totaling $1,072.35 [MTP].

November 28 Tuesday Sam lectured in Tweddle Hall, Albany, New York  “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Albany to George L. Fall, scheduler for the Boston Lyceum Bureau.

Fall, my boy, you haven’t given me a hotel, from Fredonia clear to Chicago. Now you think I am going to roost in a tree—but I leave it to you, as a man & a brother, if a man can do that in the winter time & keep in good lecturing condition? Now you know he can’t. Fall, this comes of your exhuberance—your inhuman gaiety of spirits. I shall come to Boston & shoot you, with no mere Colt’s revolver, but with a Gatling gun [MTL 4: 501-2].

November 29 Wednesday Sam lectured in Opera House, Newark, New Jersey  “Artemus Ward.”

On this day or the next, Sam wrote from Newark, N.J. to Redpath & Fall. “Well, Troy had telegraphed for Feb. 8. We telegraphed you. You answered with a ‘word with a bark to it—No’ ” [MTL 4: 503; paraphrased]. Note: see source n1 for a full explanation.

November 30 Thursday Sam’s 36th birthday.

December – Sam’s article “My First Lecture” ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.]. Similar to Roughing It, Ch. 78.

December 1 Friday Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Doolittle Hall, Oswego, NY [MTPO]. 

December 2 Saturday Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Barber Hall, Homer, New York to a “large assemblage.”

Clemens gave a humorous autograph to an unidentified person. Cue: “It isn’t egotism that makes me choose a leaf so…” Not found at MTP but in catalog [MTP].

December 3 Sunday Sam spent the day in Homer, New York.  He wrote a laundry list of concerns to Livy, including loans to his Express partner, Josephus Larned; money to his mother; bills for shirts; directing that Margaret (the maid) should be given “the nightly care of the cubbie”; and another lecturer from Virginia City days, C.B. Plummer. Sam met an old Langdon family friend in Homer, Dr. George V.R. Merrill [MTL 4: 503-4,509n8].

John Henry Riley wrote from Wash DC: “Friend Clemens / I returned to Phila from California on the 23d ult. And remained there till over Thanksgiving Day, and then on the 1st inst came back here. I just missed your ev’g of lecture at the Academy of Music, Phila….” He obliquely asked for funds as he was almost out of money [MTP].

December 4 Monday Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Linden Hall, Geneva, New York. He wrote from Geneva to Livy, telling of being approached by “two-little-girl friends” of his “early boyhood,” Mary E. Bacon and Mildred Catherine (Kitty) Shoot.

Livy darling, I am thus far. Coming up from Homer I got acquainted with Rev. Mr. Foster, Episcopal City Missionary of Syracuse, a noble, splendid fellow—a Twichell. He tells yarns, smokes occasionally, has weaknesses & lovable vices, just like a good, genuine human being, instead of a half-restored theological corpse like some preachers. Sails right into the meat & marrow of a thing with a whole-hearted cordiality that makes you think what a pity it is there are so many people in the world who never know what it is to have anything more than a mere lukewarm, half-way interest in the pleasures & duties that fall to their lot.

Foster was a Colonel, & was in 14 battles in the war—was in active service from the beginning of the war to the end of it. Only entered the ministry a year ago. But I think it requires more than war pluck to be a city missionary & wade into filthy Irish slums & back streets & face the insults & the hateful beastliness that offend eyes & nose & spirit in such places. Foster looks about my age, but he has several children—the eldest a clerk in a bank, aged 17! I don’t know Foster’s age. I gave him “Waterloo,” & told him to read it & then mail it to you, as I had marked it somewhat. I guess we’ll have him up to Hartford, some day, & let him see Twichell.

Last night when the lecture was over, two ladies came forward heartily & shook me by the hand & called me “Sam Clemens, the very same old Sam”—& when the explanations came out, by & by, they were two-little-girl friends of my early boyhood—children with me when I was half as old [as] Sammy Moffett. They both saw me once, ten years ago, but I did not see them. One has been married 13 years & the other about 20. One was Mary Bacon & the other Kitty Shoot. They seemed like waifs from some vague world I had lived in ages & ages & ages ago—myths—creatures of a dream.

Livy dear, I didn’t see Dr Taft—he wasn’t in. I suppose I forgot to tell Patrick. You just send for the doctor & have a talk with him—or send Mrs Twichell to him.

I suppose the watches haven’t reached you yet. Livy darling, my diamonds are a daily & nightly & unceasing delight to me, they are so beautiful. I thank you with all my might, my darling.

Saw Dr Merrill last night & treated him the best I knew how.

Livy dear, my shirts are doubtless lying in the Express office, since you don’t speak of their arrival.

With lots of love for you, & Mother & the cubbie.


 [MTL 4: 506-7; MTPO]. Note: Rev. James P. Foster.


Notes from the latter source on the two “little-girl-friends”: The two women had not approached Clemens “last night,” but rather on 2 December, after his lecture in Homer. Mary E. Bacon (b. 1842?) was the only daughter of Catherine Lakenan Bacon (b. 1817) and George Bacon (1809–1874), Hannibal’s leading wholesale grocer; her married name is unknown. Mildred Catherine (Kitty) Shoot (b. 1840?), was one of the daughters of Mary Pavey Shoot (b. 1822?) and William Shoot (1809–92), the proprietor of Hannibal’s finest hotel and co-owner of a livery stable. She had married Charles P. Heywood (1833–1909), the paymaster of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad and later a United States revenue collector, in 1858. [Editiorial emphasis on names].

December 5 Tuesday Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Academy of Music, Auburn, New York [MTPO].

Sam wrote from Auburn to Livy. He met again with Dr. Merrill in the morning:

Old Darling, I thank you very very much for so loving me & so missing & me & remembering my birthday & wishing for me there—& I do reciprocate—I love you with all my heart & long to be with you again.

Dr Merrill came again this morning & we had a real good talk about all the folks—& his hearty loving gratitude to father, & his genuine appreciation of father’s grand character & great heart quite touched me deeply. Then I wanted to go to his house, but felt that I must go & see my two old playmates instead, & he granted that my impulse was right. I spent a delightful hour with them. The Dr. sent me some excellent cigars. Ever, Ever so lovingly,

Saml. [MTL 4: 509; MTPO]. Note: Livy’s birthday letter not extant.

December 6 Wednesday Sam telegraphed the American Publishing Company:

“Why have you not answered my telegram em spaceI particularly want proofs of the California part of the book expressed immediately to Reeds Hotel Erie Pa em spaceshall use some extracts in Public reading in place of a lecture if you have shipped none already maybe you better send duplicates to Toledo em spacealso answer. / Mark Twain”[MTPO].

Sam gave the “Artemus Ward” lecture in Wieting Opera House, Syracuse, New York. Roughing It was copyrighted this day [Duckett 63].

Elisha Bliss wrote to Sam: “We send you all the parts of the book [RI] we have printed so far.” He included publishing details—plates, prospectus, etc. [MTP].

December 7 Thursday Sam gave the “Roughing It” lecture in Sprague’s Hall, Warsaw, New York. One version of this speech is published in Mark Twain Speaking, pp. 48-63. Sam experienced mixed results with the Artemus Ward lecture, and even faced charges of plagiarism for retelling some of Ward’s old jokes. He was ready to try a new lecture. Sam probably invited his friend David Gray from Buffalo, some 30 miles away, to hear and review his new lecture.

A receipt to Livy from Spear & Whiting, Hartford dealers in greenhouse and other plants, shows $15 for various flowers, plants, and hanging baskets; also receipted for $102 to Isaac Glazier & Co., dealer in picture & looking glass frames; W.B. Willard $10 paid for flour [MTP].

December 7 or 8? Friday Sam wrote from Warsaw, New York or Buffalo to the Staff of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise about Thomas Kean’s tour through a Virginia City mine. Kean was a city editor and drama critic for the Buffalo Courier, and traveling in the West. He carried a letter of recommendation from Sam [MTL 5: 691].

December 8 Friday Sam lectured in Union Hall, Fredonia, New York “Roughing It.” Sam telegraphed from Buffalo to Redpath & Fall. “Notify all hands that from this date I shall talk nothing but selections from my forth-coming book Roughing It, tried it last night suits me tip top” Sam sent the telegraph while traveling from Warsaw [MTL 4: 511].

In Syracuse, New York, Sam also telegraphed to the American Publishing Co.:

Why have you not answered my telegram. I particularly want proofs of the California part of the book expressed immediately to Reeds Hotel Erie Pa shall use some extracts in Public reading in place of a lecture if you have shipped none already maybe you better send duplicates to Toledo also answer

Mark Twain [MTP, drop-in letters].

December 9 Saturday Sam lectured in Farrar Hall, Erie, Pennsylvania  “Artemus Ward.”

In a letter about this date to Redpath, Sam wrote, “I like this lecture first rate, —better than any I have ever had except the ‘Vandal’ —three years ago.” While revising the “Roughing It” lecture, Sam returned to the Artemus content. The Erie Observer called Sam’s lecture a “decided failure” and a “pitiful attempt to ape the style of Artemus Ward, in which he only succeeded in reaching the standard of a negro minstrel” [MTL 4: 513n1].

December 10 Sunday Sam wrote from Erie, Penn. to Mary Mason Fairbanks, apologizing for not being able to spend time with the Fairbanks family.

Am writing a new, tip-top lecture about California & Nevada—been at it all night—am still at it & pretty nearly dead with fatigue. Shall be studying it in the cars till midnight, & then sleep half the day in Toledo & study the rest. If I am in good condition there, I shall deliver it—but if I’m not just as bright as [a] dollar, shall talk A. Ward two or three nights longer & go on studying [MTL 4: 513].

December 11 Monday Sam lectured in White’s Hall, Toledo, Ohio “Artemus Ward.” Sam wrote from Toledo to James Redpath, claiming that his new lecture was “perfectly bully, now.” He wrote that he’d given it “at Warsaw & made a spectacular success—& at Fredonia & made a splendid failure.” So, Sam rewrote the “Roughing It” lecture again.

December 12 Tuesday Sam lectured in University Hall, Ann Arbor, Michigan  “Artemus Ward.” “–a continuous roar of laughter” [MTL 4: 515].

December 13 Wednesday Sam lectured in Union Hall, Jackson, Michigan  “Artemus Ward this time was said to be “rather monotonous and tiresome.” Either Sam was inconsistent with this material, probably looking past it to his perfected new lecture, or regional/local differences applied.

December 14 Thursday Sam gave the revamped “Roughing It” lecture in Mead’s Hall, Lansing, Michigan. Samuel H. Row introduced Clemens. See Nov. 14, 1905 from Row.

December 15 Friday Sam lectured in Luce’s Hall, Grand Rapids, Michigan  “Roughing It” was a moderate success.

December 16 Saturday Sam lectured in Union Hall, Kalamazoo, Michigan  “Roughing It” drew a sharply divided reaction in the newspapers, the Kalamazoo Telegraph hated the performance, while the Gazette claimed Sam “enchanted” and “convulsed” the audience. Sam must have wondered what he had to do to win over the press. Sam spent the night in Kalamazoo.


In MTP: a receipt for $6.12 to W.B. Willard, Hartford dealer in flour, grain & feed.


December 17 Sunday – Sam started at 4 AM for Chicago, about 140 miles away.


December 18 Monday Sam arrived in Chicago at 3 PM, some 11 hours for a 2-hour trip. He gave the “Roughing It.” lecture south of the area devastated by the Oct. 8 fire, in Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, Chicago.


Sam wrote from Chicago to Livy and spent the night at Robert Law’s home, a coal dealer and friend of the Langdons [MTL 4: 518n2].

“We sat up & talked till 10, & all went to bed. I worked till after midnight amending & altering my lecture, & then turned in & slept like a log—I don’t mean a brisk, fresh, green log, but an old dead, soggy, rotten one, that never turns over or gives a yelp” [MTL 4: 517].

December 19 Tuesday In Chicago, Sam stayed with Dr. Abraham Reeves Jackson, the “doctor” of Innocents Abroad. Sam performed the “Roughing It” lecture at the Union Park Congregational Church, Chicago, Ill. Reporters praised both of Sam’s Chicago lectures.

On this day Sam was assigned patent number 121,992 for an “Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments” [MTL 4: 466n5; McBride 422].

Sam wrote a note to an unidentified person,Dear Sir— / I am sorry to say that my nights are all full from this time to the end of my season, otherwise it would give me great pleasure to talk in your course” [MTP, drop-in letters].


December 20 Wednesday Sam lectured (topic unknown) in Sandwich, Illinois (why not the Sandwich Islands lecture for Sandwich?) The Chicago Tribune printed a long synopsis of Sam’s “Roughing It” lecture, so he returned to the “Artemus Ward” lecture, at least in Princeton and perhaps here as well [MTL 4: 519].


December 21 Thursday Sam lectured in City Hall, Aurora, Illinois  Topic was probably “Artemus Ward.” The Chicago Evening Post ran an interview on page 4 with Sam on some comments on King Edward VII [Scharnhorst, Interviews 1].


December 22 Friday Sam lectured in Patterson Hall, Princeton, Illinois  “Artemus Ward.”


December 24 SundayCharles Langdon sent a small preface to a book: “Practical Suggestions on the Sale of Patents,” 1871 by Wm. Edgar Simonds, atty. Hartford. No letter enclosed [MTP].


December 25 Monday Christmas ­ Sam wrote from Chicago to Livy at 2 AM. “Joy, & peace be with you & about you, & the benediction of God rest upon you this day!” Sam was still working over his lecture. There had been a smallpox scare in Chicago with fines levied against anyone not vaccinated. Sam urged Livy to get vaccinated, at least once a year [MTL 4: 521].


December 26 Tuesday Sam wrote from Champaign, Illinois to Livy, then gave the “Artemus Wardlecture there in Barrett Hall. Sam was memorizing his new lecture and wanted to:


“…get out of the range of the cursed Chicago Tribune that printed my new lecture & so made it impossible for me to talk it with any spirit in Illinois” [MTL 4: 522].


Redpath & Fall Co. wrote to Sam: “Jersey City writes ‘The best hotel is Taylors’ but I suppose Mr Clemens would prefer a hotel in New York” [MTP].


December 27 Wednesday Sam lectured in Tuscola, Illinois  “Artemus Ward.” He was still not out of “Chicago Tribune territory,” he wrote Livy from Tuscola, but he’d memorized all of the new “Roughing It in Nevada” lecture [MTL 4: 525].


December 28 Thursday Sam lectured in Lincoln Hall, Danville, Illinois  “Roughing It.”


He wrote from Danville to Livy, concerned about her health and the baby’s. He announced, “The debt to the firm is all paid up” (the $12,500 owned to Jervis Langdon on the purchase of the Buffalo Express.) [MTL 4: 526-7].


Sam also wrote to Jane Clemens, sending $300 and news that the “baby has lung fever” [MTL 4: 527].


December 29 Friday Sam lectured in Mattoon, Illinois  Topic was probably “Artemus Ward.” The hall in Mattoon had a hall above it used by a secret order. During the lecture noise frequently came from above, disturbing Clemens. Before the close of the lecture Twain said he’d lectured in schools, churches and theaters but had never lectured in a livery stable where they kept horses overhead [“Editor’s Drawer,” Harper’s Monthly 70 (Apr. 1885): 822].


December 30 Saturday Sam lectured in Paris, Illinois  Topic was probably “Artemus Ward.”


Sam wrote from Paris to Livy, a lost letter that probably included a description of “Sociable Jimmy,” published in 1874. Sam described a six or seven-year-old Negro boy who brought him dinner in the Paris House Hotel. The interaction between the “most artless, sociable, and exhaustless talker I ever came across,” and wise old Sam the narrator, anticipated Huck Finn [Fishkin 14; Powers, MT A Life 314].

Sam’s article, “MARK TWAIN IN A RAILROAD CAR” ran in the Jackson, California Amador Dispatch.

“I got into the cars and took a seat in juxtaposition to a female. The female’s face was a perfect insurance company for her—it insured her against ever getting married to anybody except a blind man” [Fatout, MT Speaks 65]. Note: This piece also ran in Comic Almanac, 1874 and in the Jan. 1873 issue of Theriaki, “a short-lived monthly published at Laporte, Indiana.

December 31 Sunday – In a “warm drizzling rain,” Sam went to church in Paris, Illinois, and wrote of the experience in a long letter to Livy.

“It was the West & boyhood brought back again, vividly. It was as if twenty-five years had fallen away from me like a garment & I was a lad of eleven again in my Missouri village church of that ancient time” [MTL 4: 527].