Orion Accuses Bliss – Olivia Susan “Susy” Clemens Born – Langdon Clemens Dies
John Henry Riley Dead from Cancer – Visit to Fairbanks Clan – Vacation in Saybrook
Sam Sails Solo to England – Banquets Galore – Batavia Heroes
Leonides Lunch recently stepped in to a dining saloon, not more than a hundred rods from Franklin statue, and with a composed but hungry countenance asked for a plate of hash in a very genteel voice. It happened, fortunately for him that the desired compound was not quite ready — and one of the waiters told him so, at the same time handing him a paper and politely asked him to take a seat. Leonides did so, with a grateful bow, nonchalantly remarking that he was in no hurry; and he was not, as will be, presently peeved. He observed, as he was compleasantly reading the last news of the Alabaster claims, that the waiter was blacking his boots; which done, Leonides rose and asked for the brush “Just to rub a bit of mud off my boots.” Taking the brush in one hand, and the blacking in the other, in a few moments he had given his foot casings a brilliant polish; then followed up his luck by a liberal and adroit use of the broom-brush over his clothes. He took up a hat-brush and removed the map of his sad silk hat.
“Those hash are not quite ready yet, are they?” he coolly inquired; and, being answered in the negative, he said it was no matter, “as he was not wanted at the City Hall just yet.” And turning around calmly surveyed the arrangements of the place, and condescended the remark that “it was not quite equal to the Metropolitan or Delmonico’s, still neat — very neat indeed.” Upon careful examination of his hands he observed that the blacking had soiled them; he proceeded to the wash basin, he turned on the faucet and, with free use of scented soap, he scoured his hands most thoroughly. Then he whisked out a once white handkerchief, quickly washed and wrung it, and returned it to his hat to dry. The waiter, being busy with other customers, took but little notion of his maneuvers, and taking advantage of this auspicious fact, Leonides removed the dirty paper collar and substituted a clean one ; immediately subsequent, he had possession of a bottle containing sweet oil, and pouring out about an ounce, treated his distracted head to a bath of it. And now, before a mirror, he made a rapid and tasteful use of the comb and the brush. Observing his surroundings, one of the waiters approached him with—
“Have you given your order, sir?”
“Oh yes, thank you. It’s coming on soon.”
“What dish was it, sir?”
“Hash. A plate of nice hash to begin.”
Leonides now approached the counter, where, seeing a case of fancy articles, among them two tooth-brushes, he called for one, as if intending to purchase, and after a long scrutiny he selected one, at the same time helping himself to a pinch of snuff, just as the proprietor was closing the snuff-box. He now lightly stepped to the wash basin and gave his teeth such a cleansing as few teeth can withstand, and finished just as the anxious waiter hurried breathless toward him, exclaiming—
“Here is your hash, sir. Hash, sir, hash.”
Leonides laid down his tooth-brush and strode with dignity to the table, where he seated himself with a satisfied “Ha!” as if one of John Ludin’s banquets had been spread before him.
After one mouthful, “Here, waiter,” exclaims he, “fill this water-pitcher and give me the walnut ketchup.” This mandate being fulfilled, he proceeded to lay waste the hash. After finishing that, with which he devoured half a dozen slices of bread, and about a quarter of a pound of butter, he tumbled the remaining slices into a tumbler of milk, the pitcher happening to hold about two quarts. Seeing nothing else to eat on the table except a plate of pickles, he swallowed them all regardless of curds, probably considering that he had stomach enough for anything.
By this time, Leonides Lunch appeared to have gotten quite comfortable, for, utilizing his chair back against the wall, crossing his legs and folding his hands, he fell into a snooze, having achieved one of the cheapest dinners on record. In a little while, he began to snore harmoniously, resounding blasts of victory.
“I say, Jack,” said one waiter to another, “who is that snoozer out there agin the wall?”
“I don’t know. Thought you did, he makes himself so much at home. He called for a plate of hash about two hours ago. Said something about not being in a hurry to go to City Hall — clerk, perhaps.”
“I noticed he swallowed all the bread and milk and pickles, and thinned that butter down.”
“What makes him snore so?”
“I suppose it’s the pickles quarreling with the milk.”
At this moment Leonides sneezed with such violence that his chair tilted forward, and he awoke amidst a peal of laughter from the waiters — the customers having long before gone about their business.
“Had a good sleep, sir?” gravely inquired a waiter, as Leonides strode up to the counter to settle for his hash.
“Sleep? Me? Yes, I did done a little. Ten cents, I believe?”
“For the hash,” said the clerk, laying particular emphasis on the word.
“Y-e-s,” said Leonides airily, stroking his English whiskers. “One plate only, I believe, of the hash.”
“Ten cents a plate for hash only,” replied the clerk, winking slyly to the waiters, who were making all sorts of grim faces.
Leonides put his hand in his pocket, and after fumbling awhile, he drew out from a corner a dilapidated ten-cent stamp., so wretchedly withered and defaced — such a mutilated evidence of the evils of civil war— that the clerk started aghast at the sight.
“That ain’t worth more than five cents,” said he, feebly. “It looks sick— had the small-pox, or must have been badly vaccinated.”
“Oh, never mind,” said Leonides with lofty carelessness, and yawning. “I shall come in and take dinner here every day. I’ll pay you the other five cents next time. I like your hash — and when I like a place I stick to it.”
His threats of coming every day increased the clerk’s alarm, and he thought it best to be rid of such a customer as soon as possible.
“Very well,” said he, forcing a smile. “It’s a small affair any way.”
“Of course,” replied Leonides, with a happy coincidence of opinion. “Have you such a useful tool as a penknife on you?”
The clerk looked rather savage at this, and felt as if a carving-knife would have been more serviceable just then. He thought of Felix Larkin and John Glass, but with heroic self-command he smoothed down the bristles of his indignation and presented his penknife. Leonides took it and commenced paring and cleansing his nails, apparently unconscious of being the “cynosure of neighboring eyes.”
“Jack,” shouted the clerk, fiercely, “put another cord of pickles and another mountain of bread on the table out there, and see that we take an extra gallon of milk after this.”
“Yes,” shouted Jack, “sure not to forget it.”
“Thank you sir,” said Leonides, returning the penknife. “Oh, by the way, I suppose you don’t care about that evening paper out there. There’s an article in it I’m anxious to preserve — a money article.”
“Jack,” cried the clerk, biting his lip in despair, “hand this gentleman the evening paper.”
“Yes sir,” exclaimed Jack, rushing and presenting the paper to Leonides as if waiting upon the Grand Duke.”
“Jack,” said Leonides familiarly, “now I’ll trouble you for a bit of your tobacco.”
And Leonides helped himself liberally.
“I shall be round again to-morrow,” said Leonides, “but I must go now and tend to my city accounts.”
And waving his hand gracefully to the clerk, he left the establishment.
“Round again! Heaven prevent him!” said the clerk as he disappeared.
“He didn’t pay for the tooth-brush,” said Jack, “and washed — oh! here he comes again.”
“I say, my friend, “it is just beginning to rain,” said Leonides, popping his head in at the door. “Can’t you lend me an umbrella? In again, you know, tomorrow.”
“Umbrella? No sir, haven’t got any. I say, you didn’t pay for the tooth-brush.”
“The tooth-brush. Tooth-bru-oh, no, no I didn’t did I? Well the fact was, you see, I tried it but the bristles were altogether too soft. I like your hash, however — I could live on that hash! Goodbye! In again tomorrow.
And again waving his hand gracefully and shaking out his clean, wet handkerchief, Leonides Lunch departed in the direction of Printing House Square.
January 1 Monday – Sam arrived in the evening to lecture in Association Hall, Indianapolis, Indiana – “Roughing It in Nevada” [Schmidt].
Sam was billed $21 by Hartford Drs. Taft & Starr for “professional services from July 1, 1871 to Jan 1 1872” [MTP].
James Redpath published his “Lyceum Circular,” announcing that Sam would not repeat the “Artemus Ward” lecture this season but would deliver a new lecture called “Roughing It” [Lorch 120].
January 2 Tuesday – Sam lectured in Opera House, Logansport, Indiana – “Roughing It.” Before the lecture he wrote from Logansport to James Redpath.
“Had a splendid time with a splendid audience in Indianapolis last night—a perfectly jammed house….I like the new lecture but I hate the ‘Artemus Ward’ talk & won’t talk it any more. No man ever approved that choice of subject in my hearing, I think” [MTL 5: 1].
January 3 Wednesday – Sam lectured in Richmond, Indiana – “Roughing It.” He also wrote his mother, Jane Clemens:
Dear Mother—Enclosed find checks for three hundred dollars. Please drop Livy a line acknowledging receipt of them, & tell her to let me know right away.
I have entirely rewritten & memorized my lecture five different times, & have at last got it so that I could even “fetch” that frozen Fredonia audience with it now, without a bit of trouble. Love to all. In haste [MTP, drop-in letters].
January 4 Thursday – Sam arrived in Dayton, Ohio and stayed at the Beckel House, Room 169. In the evening he lectured “Roughing It” to a full house in the Music Hall. He wrote John Henry Riley about plans for the diamond book, thinking that he’d be ready to start the collaboration around the first week in March [MTL 5: 2-3].
Heaven prosper the Minister to S. A! Amen.
“This is my thought”—as the Injuns say (but only in novels.) The first day of March—or the 4th or 5th at furthest—I shall be ready for you. I shall employ a good, appreciative, genial phonographic reporter who can listen first rate, & enjoy, & even throw in a word, now & then. Then we’ll all light our cigars every morning, & with your notes before you, we’ll talk & yarn & laugh & weep over your adventures, & the said reporter shall take it all down—& so, in the course of a week or so, we’ll have you & Du Toits Pan & Du Toits other household & kitchen furniture all pumped dry—& away you go for Africa again & leave me to work up & write out the book at my leisure (of which I have abundance—very.)
Don’t say any thing about the book.
Never mind Babe— his book won’t hurt—opposition’s the life of trade—but of course I’d rather be out first. Why didn’t you get my letter & stay there longer.
[MTPO]. Note: Du Toits Pan was a well known S. African mining camp. Jerome L. Babe’s 1871 “letters from the diamond fields of South Africa” to the New York World, made Americans aware of their importance.
Sam also wrote to Livy late, explaining why he declined stays at private homes:
“Hotels are the only proper places for lecturers. When I am ill natured I so enjoy the freedom of a hotel—where I can ring up a domestic & give him a quarter & then break furniture over him—then I go to bed calmed & soothed, & sleep as peacefully as a child” [MTL 5: 5].
January 5 Friday – Sam lectured in Opera House, Columbus, Ohio – “Roughing It” [MTPO].
A receipt from John Hooker for $100 for “house rent in full” is likely for one month, since later receipts for Hooker’s Nook Farm rent were $300 per quarter. Bill paid to E. Habenstein, baker for Livy, products not legible [MTP].
January 6 Saturday – Sam “hired a locomotive…to keep from having to get up at 2 in the morning,” and made the trip from Columbus to Wooster, Ohio, where he lectured in Arcadome Hall – “Roughing It” [MTL 5: 11-12n3].
January 7 Sunday – Sam telegraphed from Wooster, Ohio to William Dean Howells to solicit Bret Harte and “the other boys” to get up a fund for William Andrew Kendall (1831?-1876), a poet who was ill in New York, to gain his passage back to California. Sam claimed he didn’t know Kendall, but Harte did, having published several of his poems while editor of the Overland. These efforts raised Kendall’s passage, but he committed suicide in 1876 [MTL 5: 8-9]. Sam also wrote to Livy about money issues and his desire to get home . Sam also wrote James Redpath about a disputed lecture date in Paterson, New Jersey .
January 8 Monday – Sam gave the “Roughing It” lecture in Concert Hall, Salem, Ohio [MTPO].
He wrote from Salem to Livy.
“Well, slowly this lecturing penance drags toward the end. Heaven knows I shall be glad when I get far away from these country communities of wooden-heads. Whenever I want to go away from New England again, lecturing, please show these letters to me & bring me to my senses” [MTL 5: 14].
January 9 Tuesday – Sam lectured in Gray and Garrett’s Hall, Steubenville, Ohio – “Roughing It” [MTPO].
January 10 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Steubenville to Livy about his visit after the lecture to the Steubenville Female Seminary; the winning of passenger business by the railroads from steamboats; and novels he’d read and sent home.
That evening, Sam lectured in Washington Hall, Wheeling, West Virginia – “Roughing It.” He spent the night in Wheeling, and began another letter to Livy, calling the lecture “perfectly splendid” [MTL 5: 18].
Sam also began a letter while in Wheeling to James Redpath, that he finished Jan. 11 in Pittsburgh. The beginning of the letter is missing. Sam had asked for some of Redpath’s promotional materials and was sent one flyer. He had also lost track of monies sent for Redpath’s fees.
“SAY—send me a dozen of those puffs of mine, ‘Lyceum circular—’ what he devil can a christian do with one? / Pittsburgh, Jan. 10 P.S. Did I send you a check a week or ten days ago?” [MTP, drop-in letters].
January 11 Thursday – Sam left Wheeling in the afternoon and traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lectured in Mercantile Library Hall – “Roughing It.”
Afterward he finished his Jan. 10 to Redpath and also wrote Livy:
“This was the largest audience ever assembled in Pittsburgh to hear a lecture, some say. Great numbers were turned away—couldn’t get in; stage was jam-full; all the private boxes full—Seems to me there were three tiers of them” [MTL 5: 18].
January 12 Friday – Sam lectured in Kittanning, Pennsylvania – “Roughing It.” Sam wrote from Kittanning to Livy before the lecture:
“Livy darling, this is a filthy, stupid, hateful Dutch village, like all Pennsylvania—& I have got to lecture to these leatherheads tonight, but shall leave for Pittsburgh at 3 in the morning, & spend Sunday in that black but delightful town” [MTL 5: 21-2].
January 13 Saturday – Sam had an open weekend and wrote a short note from Pittsburgh to Livy, sending clippings of favorable reviews. In the note he wrote that he’d just sent a “long dispatch,” which has been lost [MTL 5: 22].
Sam also sent a check and note to James Redpath for $124.69. The Lyceum charged speakers a 10% commission, and Sam owed back fees .
Sam sent a second letter to Redpath and George L. Fall, enclosing $100 and claiming he’d sent five letters:
Enclosed find my draft for $100 in your favor. Please acknowledge.
S. L. Clemens.
There now. I have written you five letters all at once [&] put a New York draft in each. ([$124.69], $100, $200, $180, [&] $100.) [$704.69] altogether, [&] I have dated these letters from everywhere so some of them will get through anyway. [MTP, drop-in letters]. Note: only two of these five survive.
January 15 Monday – Sam’s lecture in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania was “backed” (canceled) by the committee there, so Sam spent a long weekend in Pittsburgh [MTL 5: 28].
Bill marked paid from Tracy & Co., Importers for “1 polished standard for Fire irons” $4 [MTP].
January 16 Tuesday – Sam was still in Pittsburgh when he wrote Livy:
“…if ever I get through with this tour alive I never want to take another, even for a month.”
He took the train and lectured that evening in Opera House, Lock Haven, Pa. – “Roughing It” [MTL 5: 27].
January 17 Wednesday – Sam lectured in Milton, Pennsylvania – “Roughing It.” He wrote from either Lock Haven or Milton to James Redpath, turning down lectures after Feb.1 in Utica and Newburgh, New York [MTL 5: 28].
January 18 Thursday – Sam lectured in Court House, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – “Roughing It.” Once again, Sam received mixed reviews:
The Harrisburgh Telegraph: “the roughest excuse for a lecture we ever heard.” The Harrisburg Evening Mercury: “a grand success oratorically and facetiously.” The Harrisburg Patriot: “much agreeable amusement…The only vacant space left when the lecturer commenced was his mouth, and that nobody crowded down his throat was astonishing” [MTL 5: 29-30n1].
Notes: Sam no doubt loved this last line. The reasons for such mixed reviews? Many expected lectures to be as they’d always been—a bit of showmanship perhaps, but mostly education. A humorist lecture was not unheard of (Ward, Nasby, etc.) but uncommon. It seems Sam’s best lecture successes came when he mixed information and description with humor, as in his “Sandwich Islands” presentation.
James Redpath wrote to Sam, explaining the dispute over the Paterson, N.J. lecture which had gone on since August 1871. “Dear Mark— When you reach Paterson, N. J., you will find, possibly,—probably—an indignant Secretary, who threatens, I think—for his language seems to smell of gunpowder—to complain to you of our course in refusing to give him February 1.” Redpath then related the timeline for the dispute [MTP].
January 19 Friday – Sam lectured in Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, Pennsylvania – “Roughing It.” Afterward, he returned to Harrisburg where he spent another open weekend. The reviews from Lancaster were unanimously positive [MTL 5: 30n3].
January 20 Saturday – Sam wrote from Harrisburg to Livy about the great success at Lancaster and miscellaneous matters. Livy had written that Joe Goodman and wife were in New York. Sam enclosed a Longfellow poem and one other unidentified [MTL 5: 28-9].
Bill marked paid from Duggan & Quinn for “50lbs of Mocha coffee” [MTP].
January 21 Sunday – In Harrisburg, Sam inscribed a copy of IA to Jane Findlay Shunk (1792-1878):
This book is given to
Miss Jane Findlay Shunk,
With the kindest regards of
Harrisburgh, Jan. 21/72 [MTPO]
Note: The Findlays and the Shunks were old Pennsylvania political families.
January 22 Monday – Sam lectured in the Old Methodist Church, Carlisle, Pa. to about 600 – “Roughing It” [MTPO].
A contract was drawn between Sam and the American Publishing Co. [MTP]. Note: Sam probably signed it shortly after his return on Jan. 25.
January 23 Tuesday – Sam lectured in Maryland Institute, Baltimore, Maryland – “Roughing It.” Lecture manager Thomas B. Pugh asked Sam to deliver a second Philadelphia lecture on Feb. 9 [MTL 5: 31]. Note: a note in the MTP file Pugh’s request: “Clemens must not have given him a definite ‘no’ (he seems in general to have avoided saying ‘no’ in person, relying on Redpath & Fall to do this for him).”
January 24 Wednesday – Sam lectured to over 2,000 in Steinway Hall, New York City – “On Governor Nye,” a benefit for the Mercantile Library. Sam telegraphed from New York to James Redpath to tell Pugh that he would not lecture again this season [MTL 5: 31]. Though Sam had been in New York many times over the past few years, this was his first lecture there since May 1867, when he first spoke before an Eastern audience prior to leaving on the Quaker City excursion. The reviews praised the lectures. Sam stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel.
January 25 Thursday – Sam returned home to Hartford and family to spend three or four days resting [MTL 5: 33].
January 26 Friday – F.W. Farwell wrote from NYC advertising the Babcock Fire Extinguisher [MTP].
Thomas B. Pugh wrote from Phila. to Sam, regretting Sam could not lecture in Phila again this season [MTP].
January 27 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James Redpath, nixing lectures in New York, Englewood, New Jersey, Danbury, Conn., but agreeing to Amherst, Mass.
“Thank God it is nearly over. I haven’t a cent to show for all this long campaign. Squandered it thoughtlessly paying debts” [MTL 5: 36]. Note: Sam did lecture in Danbury on Feb. 21.
January 28 Sunday – The Jubilee Singers, touring for Fisk University in Nashville, performed at the Asylum Hill Church in Hartford to a nearly full house. It’s likely that Sam attended [MTL 5: 37, p316n2]. Note: the church had 186 pews, seating 930 people [Strong 49].
January 29 Monday – Sam lectured in Klein’s Opera House, Scranton, Pa. – “Roughing It” [MTPO].
January 30 Tuesday – Sam lectured in The Tabernacle, Jersey City, New Jersey – “Roughing It.” Sam had become used to introducing himself, and played it up for all the humor it offered. He often related the true story about a man out West who’d been forced to introduce him: “I don’t know anything about this man except two things, one is, he has never been in the penitentiary, and the other is, I don’t know the reason why” [MTL 5: 38].
After the lecture Sam took the ferry back to New York and spent the night at the St. Nicholas. He purchased 200 Figaro cigars, Cuban, from Case & Rathbun, shirt manufacturers & cigars wholesale, New York, for $24 [MTP]. Note: Sam was famous for loving the cheapest cigars, but as this purchase shows, not always the cheapest.
The first copies of Roughing It arrived from the American Publishing Co. [MTL 5: 45n4].
January 31 Wednesday – Sam again took a ferry and lectured in Opera House, Paterson, New Jersey – “Roughing It” [MTPO]. Sam probably spent the night at Paterson’s Franklin House Hotel [MTL 5: 39].
Bill paid to Whiton & Gilletto $15 for 1&1/2 cord oak wood [MTP].
February – Sam’s article “Dollinger the Age Pilot Man” ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.]. See Roughing It, Ch. 51.
English publishers Routledge & Sons published Roughing It and The Innocents at Home in separate volumes [Camfield, bibliog.]. Emerson writes that the latter was called a “Copyright Edition,” reviewed by the Manchester Guardian, “which objected to the use of slang and the author’s being contented ‘with dwelling on the outside of things and simply describing manners and customs’ ” .
February 1 Thursday – Sam lectured to a “jammed” house in Rand’s Hall, Troy, New York – “Roughing It.” George Routledge paid Sam a token amount ($185) for the right to publish Roughing It simultaneously in England [MTL 5: 73n3].
Sam left for Hartford.
February 2 Friday – Sam and Livy celebrated their second wedding anniversary.
Bill from Whittlesey & Bliss, grocers, terms net cash, marked paid $19.38 for tubs of butter [MTP].
February 3 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Alvin J. Johnson (1827-1884), who had invited him to the 61st birthday celebration that evening for Horace Greeley in New York City. Johnson was a publisher and a close friend of Greeley’s. With house guests and Livy a few weeks from delivering her second child, Sam cited “domestic duties,” and declined for Livy, but went alone and was among the “several hundred” attending, including Bret Harte, John Hay, and Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891). For a list of others see: [MTL 5: 39-41].
John Camden Hotten wrote hoping to have had “the pleasure of seeing (& hearing) you in London before this.” Remarkably, Hotten asked to see “some of the proofs—a few chapters” of RI. “You may depend upon my dealing honourably with you & I will place to your credit whatever is fair & equitable” [MTP].
February 4 Sunday – Greeley’s birthday party ended at around midnight. Sam stayed in New York overnight at the St. Nicholas Hotel. Sam probably returned to Hartford after a day or two, but his whereabouts and activities aren’t known until Feb. 10, when he was in Hartford.
February 5–10 Saturday – Before he left New York Sam may have met the medium James Vincent Mansfield, seeking contact with his dead brother Henry Clemens. Sam wrote about the visit some ten years later in chapter 48 of Life on the Mississippi. Sam’s sometimes interest in spiritualism often resulted in lampoons of them [MTL 5: 41-3].
February 6 Tuesday – Bill paid to W.B. Willard, flour & grain merchant $8.50 for grain & oats [MTP].
February 10 Saturday – Sam had returned to Hartford and purchased a pair of “patent Congress Gaiters” from Caspar Kreuzer, a boot maker there [MTL 5: 41].
February 13 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Mary Mason Fairbanks, apologizing for not being able to visit during his “most detestable lecture campaign that ever was—a campaign which was one eternal worry with contriving new lectures & being dissatisfied with them.” Sam liked yanking the chains of his favorite females. “I killed a man this morning. He asked me when My book was coming out.” Sam wrote that Livy and he had Alice and Clara Spaulding, Livy’s girlhood friends, staying with them, and also Rachel Brooks Gleason (1829-1909) and Silas O. Gleason (1818-1899), owners of the Elmira Water Cure [MTL 5: 43-5].
Sam also wrote to James Redpath:
“If you could get that N.Y. Tribune notice of my lecture copied in full into one or two of the biggest Boston papers it would be the next best thing to achieving a Boston triumph” [MTL 5: 45].
February 19 Monday – Two copies of Roughing It were placed with the Copyright Office, Library of Congress [MTL 5: 45n4; Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Oxford edition, 1996].
February 21 Wednesday – Sam lectured in Opera House, Danbury, Conn. – “Roughing It.” He probably stayed the night and returned to Hartford the next day [MTL 5: 46].
February 23 Friday – James Redpath was in Hartford at the Allyn House and Sam sent him a note. They probably had breakfast together. By noon Sam had left for New York City [MTL 5: 47n1].
Sam gave a dinner speech for the publishers of the Aldine, at the St. James Hotel, New York City. The Aldine was an illustrated literary magazine. The speech is published in Mark Twain Speaking, pp. 65-68 [MTL 5: .47n1 gives sources for other texts]. The dinner was for about 50 guests, mostly publishers and printers from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. See citation for many in attendance. Vice-President Schuyler Colfax officiated. Sam’s speech was his story of “Jim Wolf and the Tom-Cats,” and brought loud laughter. Sam stayed at the St. James and was back at home in Hartford by Feb. 26.
The first known review of RI ran in the Utica (N.Y.) Morning Herald and Gazette, p.1 under “Literary Matters / New Books” and mostly quotes Sam:
There is no doubt that this book will find thousands of readers, and that it will afford them all amusement. There is also, as the author observes, “information in the volume.” He adds, in his funniest strain: “Yes, take it all around, there is quite a good deal of information in the book. I regret this very much; but really it could not be helped. Information appears to stew out of me naturally, like the ottar of roses out of the otter. Sometimes it has seemed to me that I would give worlds if I could retain my facts; but it can not be. The more I caulk up the sources, and the tighter I get, the more I leak wisdom” [Budd, Reviews 99-100].
February 26 Monday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Redpath & Fall asking “How in the name of God does a man find his way from here to Amherst.” Fall answered with times and places for connections from Hartford to Amherst, which would take Sam five hours though Amherst is only 40 miles north of Hartford. Sam also canceled a trip to Boston, the purpose of which is unknown [MTL 5: 48].
February 27 Tuesday – Sam lectured at College Hall, Amherst, Mass., his last lecture of the season – “Roughing It.” Afterward Sam attended an oyster dinner and told stories of his piloting days and of spirit mediums in New York. The reviews were poor, but the dinner was a great hit [MTL 5: 49n3].
February 28 Wednesday – Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote long to Sam & Livy. In part:
My dear unreliable boy, but much more reliable daughter!
I hardly know where to take up the broken thread. I feel as if you had been to Europe.
I did n’t mind your not writing. Livy’s pleasant letter was the sweetest peace-offering you could have sent me. I know by experience how much there is to hinder our letters, even to those to whom our loving thoughts fly quickest. All that had been reckoned up and no balance brought in against you. I heard of you here and there and everywhere. I knew your weariness and your annoyances. Mother-like I so often wished for you, that you might sleep all day in my house, where no one could find you. That you might have just what you wanted for breakfast—as many cups of coffee as you wanted, with two sugar bowls to one cup. Oh! I was full of tenderness for you, and when Livy wrote that you would make Cleveland for Sunday before Toledo, I was in ecstasy! I fixed your room, and then I un-fixed it! I forced the green-house and I forced the kitchen. I added up and subtracted and divided the time you were to be here, that I might make the most of it, for you and for me and for all of us who were so glad of your coming. Mr. Fairbanks judiciously suggested that I must not be too sanguine! I withered him with rebuke for such distrust! Did I not know you—? With all your eccentricity, had you ever broken faith with me? I took a new dignity upon myself at thought of my confidence in you, and your certain justification of it. This was the role I filled the week before you went to Toledo. The week following, the play was withdrawn and the house closed. The subject is not commented upon in my presence. My husband had a peculiar way of reading aloud any notice he saw of “Mark Twain” in Columbus—“Mark Twain” in Pittsburg,—points from which Cleveland has always been very accessible heretofore. I would n’t notice him. It was enough for me to know way down in my inner heart, that the boy I had so doted upon had outgrown me. It did not make the matter any better to “put myself in his place”—for I know that if I had been on a lecture circuit, I would have disappointed my audience, before I would have passed him—or I would have treated them to “Casabianca” or “Hohenlinden”—It is all passed now—I have resumed my regular duties, but there is a little sore spot in my heart, and it throbs whenever any one says “when is Mr. Clemens coming to see you?” I think I shall do with the next questioner, what you did with your book catechizer—kill him! I have n’t seen the book yet—Frank has it & will send it me when he has read it. I hear pleasant things of it from others.
You are coming to Elmira in March—that will be a delight to all concerned. If it concerned me I should rejoice too, for I have wished for a sight of Livy’s face—and I have something of a grand Mother’s love for the white-faced baby who calls his nurse Pa. Alas! like Jeptha I have made a vow. I come from a proud clan, and henceforth you must find me within my castle walls. You propose to take me home with you from Elmira[.] What do you take me for? Read Acts 16th—last clause of verse 37th. Paul and I are of one mind.
We have been saying all winter we were going to New-York, but we are loth to leave home.
We shall probably go before warm weather, because then we wish to be at home to our friends.
A bushel of love to Livy & Langdon and for yourself all you choose to come for
I shall write soon to Livy. None of these hard words are for her [MTPO].
February 29 Thursday – The American Publishing Co. made official announcement for Roughing It, even though copies had been available and the first review had even appeared in the Utica New York Morning Herald and Gazette [MTL 5: 45n4].
The New York Weekly Reformer of Watertown, N.Y. ran a wildly ridiculous spoof account by Eli Perkins (pen name of Melville A. Landon) of Mark Twain’s life: “Interesting Biography of Mark Twain,” which began:
The Rev. Dr. Mark Twain is a Turk. He was born in the interior of Ireland. His father followed the pursuits of patriotic husbandry—he raised string beans. Notwithstanding the tyranny of England, his beans sold readily, and Mark was apprenticed at an early age to a boiler-maker to learn the art of photography. His father, known as Honest Father Twain, says Mark made a great noise in the world while at the boiler business, and he was sent for by Napoleon to accompany him in his campaign up the Mississippi river. Subsequently, young Twain did efficient service in the Crimea under General Scott. During the battle of Inkerman he was lost, causing great grief in his regiment, but they afterward found him behind an empty barrel [eBay item 110424934293 ending Aug. 21, 2009].
Note: In a copy of Landon’s 1872 book, Saratoga in 1901. Fun, Love, Society and Satire, Sam wrote: “Saratoga in 1891/ or, the Droolings of an idiot” [Gribben 394].
Frank Fairbanks wrote from Cleveland, Ohio asking for a photo and autograph: “I am handed a letter to send to your address” [MTP].
March – Sam’s sketch “Roughing It” ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.]. Similar to Roughing It, Ch. 57.
March 2? Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Mary Mason Fairbanks responding to her letter of Feb. 28 and asking for her to visit. He also wrote: “We are getting to work, now, packing up, & fixing things with the servants, preparatory to migrating to Elmira”. Livy probably wanted to have the baby in Elmira [MTL 5: 49].
March 3 Sunday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to James Redpath, asking for George Fall to send Sam’s bill [MTL 5: 52].
March 4 Monday – The St. Louis Missouri Democrat ran a short item on page two about the newly released RI:
It is not necessary to say one word about this work, as it is already widely known. It is equal to Mark’s Innocents, profusely illustrated and of course no one would think of being without it….[Budd, Reviews 100].
March 7 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Redpath & Fall. Sam remitted less than his bill and haggled over the balance for hiring a train to reach an out-of-the-way lecture. In response to ills plaguing the two men, Sam wrote:
Dear Afflicted: /Fall does the carbuncles, Redpath does the boils—hire me to do an abcess & Nasby a tumor, or a wen, or something picturesque, like a goiter, for instance, & let’s open the Lyceum Course at Music Hall with an exhibition, with appropriate music & a cold lunch. It would be the sensation of the season, if Redpath’s boils are strikingly situated. We could get some surgeon to take the baton & lecture while the panorama moves [MTL 5: 54].
Sam also wrote to Orion, who had accused Elisha Bliss of fraud and cutting corners on the publishing of Roughing It. Orion had grown restless in the job without the independence he felt he should have, and he either was fired or quit. Sam sent Livy’s advice, to forget the whole thing and be grateful he was “free from a humiliating servitude.” Sam would soon question Bliss about Orion’s charges, even though he felt Orion’s attack on Bliss was “indefensible” [MTL 5: 55]. Note: Orion had lasted barely a year on the job secured for him by his brother.
March 12 Tuesday – Sam had a painful meeting with Elisha Bliss. An unsent draft of Mar. 20 shows that Sam was somewhat reassured by the meeting of this day. Sam probably went to a party at the Hartford home of Joseph R. Hawley, editor of the Hartford Courant. Andrew Hoffman claims that Bliss kept two sets of books .
March 15 Friday – Bill paid dated Mar. 11 from D.S. Brooks & Sons, Hartford dealer in “hot air furnaces, cooking ranges, stoves and tin ware, low down grates and Marbelized slate mantles”; $18.50 for fireplace grate & pan, fitting [MTP]. Note: A cheery or cozy fire was an important comfort for the Clemens family.
Howells sent Sam his book, Their Wedding Journey (1872) inscribed: “To Mr. Samuel L. Clemens with the regards of W. D. Howells. Cambridge, March 15, 1872” [Gribben 335].
March 18 Monday – Sam wrote to William Dean Howells, thanking him for sending his book, Their Wedding Journey. Sam wrote:
“I would like to send you a copy of my book, but I can’t get a copy myself, yet, because 30,000 people who have bought & paid for it have to have preference over the author” [MTL 5: 58].
Charles Dudley Warner gave RI a glowing review in the Hartford Courant:
The country reasonably and rightfully expects to be amused when Mr. Samuel L. Clemens gives it a new volume. His fun is contagious. He carries his personal manner into his writing, and is our most mirth-provoking story teller. His very deliberation, leisure and particularity, has come to be the known prologue to a hearty laugh. His fun is based on good sense. Behind the mask of the story-teller is the satirist, whose head is always clear, who is not imposed upon by shams, who hates all pretension, and who uses his humor, which is often extravagant, to make pretension and false dignity ridiculous (“Mark Twain’s New Book,” p1) [Budd, Reviews 100].
March 19 Tuesday – “Tuesday’s child is full of grace,” goes the old verse, and on this Tuesday the most graceful of Sam’s children was born at Quarry Farm. Olivia Susan Clemens, known as “Susy,” was named for her grandmother, Olivia Lewis Langdon, and her aunt, Susan Langdon Crane. The baby girl appeared healthy and hearty, unlike Langdon, but was probably also somewhat premature at a tiny five pounds [Powers, MT A Life 318].
Sam wrote to brother Orion:
“Born, in Elmira, N.Y., at 4.25AM March 19, 1872, to the wife of Saml. L. Clemens, of Hartford, Conn., a daughter. Mother & child doing exceedingly well. Five-pounder” [MTL 5: 59].
Sam also sent word to the Fairbankses, who had traveled to New York and were at the St. Nicholas Hotel on Mar. 20. Sam sent out birth announcements for several days, including notes to the Twichells, Goodmans, and actor Frank Mayo (1839-1896). See Mar. 24 entry for Joe Goodman’s response.
March 20 Wednesday – Mary and Abel Fairbanks arrived at the Langdon home in Elmira and stayed several weeks [MTL 5: 60n1].
Sam drafted a seven-page letter to Bliss about their last meeting, but did not send it. He saved the draft and wrote another. The agreement he had with Bliss for a seven and one half percent royalty for Roughing It, a number based on Bliss’ assurance that it was half the profits. Orion’s claims, if true, meant that Bliss was making more than half of the profits. Sam took his case to Charles E. Perkins, his attorney, who told Sam that his case was weak, that the agreement about half the profits was verbal and not part of the written contract. He advised Sam not to press the case and charged Sam $250. In the long run, Sam felt aggrieved [MTL 5: 65].
March 21 Thursday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss about the new book of sketches. Sam felt the Frog story should be left out. Bliss had consistently wanted the story included. Within a few days, Sam agreed to a deal with George Routledge & Sons to reprint his sketches in England. Sketch books would be published in 1874 and 1875 [MTL 5: 69-70].
March 24 Sunday – Joe Goodman wrote from New York City to Sam in Elmira, responding to news of Susy’s birth:
I have overhauled everything from a cook-book to the Book of Common Prayer to find some befitting form of congratulation for the happy event in your household—but am forced at last to fall back upon my own homely greeting and simple assurance of good-will.
Lucky mortal!—to have two such prosperous issues in a single year as “Roughing It” and—What do you call It?
Frank Farington came in and interrupted me. He sails for Europe Wednesday, and wants to see you very much, but I told him you would scarcely be able to pay a visit to the city at present, I thought [MTP].
March 25 Monday – In a Mar. 28 letter from Susan Crane to Alice Hooker Day, Susan wrote of Livy’s condition on Mar. 25:
Livy had symptoms all day Monday, which increased at bed time, so decidedly, that we sent for Mrs. Gleason, who came & went to bed, as we did, after having made all things ready for the little newcomer. Mr. Clemens remained while Livy, who rested, & slept some, & at 400 A.M. he called Mrs Gleason & the nurse. At 500 the [stranger?] had arrived & things were set to right. Before 800 Mrs Gleason, the Mother & child were all sleeping….the child [Susy] is a bright nice little creature & looks exactly like her Father [ALS from Stowe-Day Library, Hartford].
The Cincinnati Gazette, p.1, ran a favorable review of RI [Budd, Reviews 102].
March 27 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to John Henry Riley outlining amounts Sam would pay for someone to transcribe Riley’s dictation for the South Africa diamond book. Within a few weeks Riley would fall critically ill, and the book idea wasn’t completed [MTL 5: 71].
Abraham Reeves Jackson wrote from Chicago to Sam: “Your welcome favor of the 21st informing me of the advent of that immense girl-child came duly to hand. May her shadow never grow less!” He thanked Clemens for an autographed copy of a book “which I trust will come along soon” [MTP]. Note: likely RI.
March 28 Thursday – See Mar. 25 entry for letter written by Susan Crane this day.
March 31 Sunday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to James R. Osgood, a Boston publisher with a list of prestigious authors, and editor of the Atlantic Monthly. Sam declined Osgood’s offer to publish a book of stories, citing his present binding contract with Bliss and “quite a portly volume” of sketches just sent to George Routledge [MTL 5: 72]. The “portly volume” amounted to two volumes: A Curious Dream; and Other Sketches, containing fifteen sketches as yet unprinted in England; and Mark Twain’s Sketches, 66 stories including the fifteen in A Curious Dream. Included were the Routledge 1870 version of Jumping Frog as well as two small collections, Eye Openers and Screamers. Some of these latter stories had been published in England without Sam’s approval. Routledge had a New York agent, Joseph L. Blamire, who facilitated interaction with Sam [MTL 5: 73n4].
W.J. Babcock in Hartford sent a poem written in 1819 by Richard Henry Wilde (1789-1847) [MTP]. Note: Babcock, “Professor of music. Teacher of the Piano Forte, Organ and Singing. And sole Agent for the sale of the Chickering & Co.’s splendid piano Fortes” [MTL 4: 445n2].
April – Sam’s sketch “Horace Greeley’s Ride” (Roughing It, Ch. 20) ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.].
April 1 Monday – Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote from Cleveland about her visit to Elmira, the babies, her desire for Sam to visit for his health [MTL 5: 74-5].
In New York, Bret Harte wrote congratulating Sam on Susy’s birth:
I am glad it’s a girl. If she behaves herself she shall marry my Franky, provided her father does the right thing in the way of dowry and relinquishes humor as a profession. My Franky has early exhibited those talents calculated to render a woman happy, and as a circus rider, car conductor, Negro minstrel or butcher’s boy would attain professional eminence [Duckett 76].
April 2 Tuesday – Joe Twichell replied to the notice of Susy’s birth.
Dear Mark, / We were so taken aback by the sudden news of the nativity at Elmira that really we could not find breath for a speedy remark on the subject. And since we put off speech in the first moment, later silence has not signified. You deprived us of a luxury we had much reckoned on by your confounded precipitation. We had supposed that we should have ample scope to wait and wonder, and surmise and hope and expect, but lo, you cut us off from even a single hour of sweet uneasiness for you, by your desperate earliness. The little maid ought to be called “Festina”—the hasty or hastening one. Well, God grant she may keep well ahead of all the worlds worst troubles as long as she lives.
We greet and salute and bless her. And to her dear mother we send our best love. Now that we have had Livy among us, we find her absence irksome, and want her back. Indeed, about the first thing we thought of when your bulletin announced the birth was that now you would return sooner than you had been proposing. Is it so?
By the way, Mark, you are not going to be in New York in the next few days, are you? For, you see, I am going down Saturday to stay till the following Wednesday—and going alone. So that we could get at least one regular old classic and attic night together in case we were there together. Again, our love to Livy.
Yours as ever
J. H. Twichell
Regards to T.K.B. [Beecher]
P.S. A telegram just received upsets my plan of going to New York as within described. I shall not be there till Tuesday [MTPO].
April 6 Saturday – The London Examiner under “Life in the Western States” ran a review that declared:
Roughing It is, in some respects, superior to The Innocents at Home. It is more consecutive and less fragmentary, but both are equally racy and entertaining [Budd, Reviews 103]. See Feb. 1872 entry
April 8 Monday – Bill paid to W.B. Willard, flour & grain dealer, $6.55 [MTP].
April 11 Thursday – Sam left for New York, probably with Charles Langdon, who sailed for England on Apr. 13. Twichell had planned to be in New York on Apr. 9, so it’s possible Sam went earlier and met him there [MTL 5: 75].
April 12 Friday – Sam was at the Astor House in New York [MTL 5: 75].
April 13 Saturday – Sam saw Charles Langdon off at the pier [MTL 5: 75].
April 13–18 Thursday – Sam may have gone to Hartford and conferred with his attorney, Charles Perkins, about his royalty conflict with Elisha Bliss. A lawsuit was dropped. Sam was again at the Astor House on Apr. 16. that day (see Apr. 18 entry) [MTL 5: 75].
April 15 Monday – Bill from Arnold, Constable & Co., New York marked paid for one hat $4 [MTP].
Frank Bliss, American Publishing Co. issued a royalties statement for the period from Aug. 1, 1871 to Apr. 1, 1872 for IA, totaling $1,220.22, with charges against earnings, including Nov. 14, 1871 payment of $20 to Orion, and books sent to Jane Clemens, and others during the period [MTP].
April 18 Thursday – Bill dated Apr. 8 marked paid from Arnold, Constable & Co., New York importers silks, linens for two cloaks, $12 each [MTP]. This paid bill shows Sam must have made the ten-hour trip by train back to Elmira this day.
Miss Mathilde Victor wrote from Lansing, Mich., enclosing a letter from David Ross Locke (Petroleum Nasby) to Victor. Locke was part owner of the Toledo Daily Blade. Miss Victor was secretary of the Michigan Woman Suffrage Association. In part:
Sir, / In pursuance of our design to bring the Woman Suff. question favorably, before the people of Mich., during the present year, we wish to obtain a Play for public representations. I wrote to Mr Locke in reference & enclose his reply. Can you meet our wishes? We will of course, pay any reasonable amt., you may think due such service. Permit me to suggest certain characters as likely to draw if well acted. Our object is to make money for the state organization purposes, &, at the same time, to present the question to the people in a popular form. Give us a good play Mr Clemens, & we will not let your reputation suffer by the manner in which we will deal with it. We intend to present it in all towns large & small throughout the state. If you cannot serve us in this matter will you suggest some one who can & will? [MTPO].
April 19 Friday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Frank Bliss, asking him to send William C. Smythe, city editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, a copy of RI [MTL 5: 76].
April 20 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath about an article James had sent and to send him a blurb to advertise Roughing It [MTL 5: 77].
April 22 Monday – In Elmira, Sam wrote to Charles Dudley Warner & Susan Warner.
The new baby flourishes, & groweth strong & comely apace. She keeps one cow “humping herself” to supply the bread of life for her—& Livy is relieved from duty. Langdon has no appetite, but is brisk & strong. His teeth don’t come—& neither does his language. Livy drives out a little, sews a little, walks a little—is getting along pretty satisfactorily [MTL 5: 79].
Bill paid to W.K. Holt for hay delivered $23.18 [MTP].
April 24 Wednesday – James Redpath wrote to Sam
Dear Mark: / Your order for Sibley just rec’d & delivered to him. He will attend to it promptly. / I started your item. I hear golden previews of the book. Nasby was here yesterday, & had read it, & praised it warmly. The Agent here says he is “1000 behind orders” “every day” & that all his canvassers are growling because they can’t get it. So, I have seen no copy yet.” On the bottom of the letter, Twain wrote to Bliss the note in the next entry [MTP].
April 25 Thursday – In Elmira, Sam wrote to Frank Bliss directing a ½ morocco copy of IA be sent to James Redpath [MTP, drop-in letters, corrects date range citation MTL 5: 82].
May – The Cape Monthly Magazine, Cape Town, South Africa, edited by Prof. Roderick Noble, ran a section (p. 295-360) reviewing IA and quoting many passages from the recently released book [Google books for Cape Monthly Magazine, July 2009; not in Tenney].
May 1 Wednesday – American Publishing Co. issued a royalties statement for the period from Aug. 1, 1871 to Apr. 1, 1872 for RI, enclosing total $10,562.12 and signed by Frank Bliss, who thought it a “splendid showing.” Elisha Bliss was still sick [MTP].
May 8 Wednesday – Routledge & Sons received 10,000 copies of A Curious Dream from their printers [MTL 5: 73n4].
Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles E. Perkins, his attorney, stating his receipt from Bliss of a check for $10,562.13 for the first three months royalties of Roughing It. Sam wanted Perkins to notify Bliss of the protest that the seven and a half percent royalty did not approximate half of Bliss’ profits. Sam had asked Perkins to prepare a lawsuit against Bliss [MTL 5: 83-4].
Sam, Livy, and Sam’s mother, Jane Lampton Clemens, left for Cleveland. The children stayed in Elmira under the care of a nursemaid and servants. The trip was about 330 miles made in ten hours by train, by the New York & Erie railroad to Dunkirk, New York and the Lake Shore Railway to Cleveland [MTL 5: 85n1].
May 9 Thursday – Sam wrote from Cleveland to his baby daughter Susy.
We are enjoying our stay here to an extent not expressible save in words of syllables beyond your strength. Part of our enjoyment is derived from sleeping tranquilly right along, & never listening to see if you have got the snuffles afresh or the grand duke up stairs has wakened & wants a wet rag. And yet no doubt you, both of you, prospered just as well all night long as if you had had your father & mother’s usual anxious supervision. Many’s the night I’ve lain awake till 2 oclock in the morning reading Dumas & drinking beer, listening for the slightest sound you might make, my daughter, & suffering only as a father can suffer, with anxiety for his child. Some day you will thank me for this…. My child, be virtuous & you will be happy [MTL 5: 85].
Sam was quoting Benjamin Franklin in this last line, but would restate it as “Be virtuous and you will be eccentric,” then finally, “Be virtuous and you will be lonesome,” which became “Be good and you’ll be lonesome.”
May 9-14 Tuesday– While in Cleveland, Sam signed the visitor’s register for the Cleveland Club. No date is put to his entry [www.liveauctioneers.com/item/1279827; Oct. 15, 2005 auction].
May 10 Friday – Routledge & Sons received 6,000 copies of Mark Twain’s Sketches from their printers [MTL 5: 73n4].
May 13 Monday – In Cleveland, Clemens wrote to John Henry Riley, letter not extant but referred to in Riley’s May 16 reply.
May 14 Tuesday – The Clemens family returned to Elmira [MTL 5: 86].
May 15 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion and Mollie Clemens.
“The new baby is as fat as butter, & wholly free from infelicities of any kind. She weighed 4 ¼ pounds at birth—weighs about 9 now.”
Orion and Mollie had been staying in Sam’s Hartford house. Sam directed the discharge of one of the servants, sent petty cash for house expenses, and told Orion to ask Charles Perkins, Sam’s attorney, if any of Orion’s points about the Bliss lawsuit were needed [MTL 5: 87].
Sam also wrote to thank James Redpath for promoting Roughing It to the Boston press [MTL 5: 90].
Sam then wrote to Elisha Bliss, asking him to send another half-morocco copy to Redpath for him to forward to Ellen Louise Chandler Moulton (1835-1908), Boston literary correspondent of the New York Tribune. Sam also sent bad news:
“I enclose Riley’s letter. The simple fact is, that the cancer has fast hold of his vitals & he can live but a little while. Nine physicians have tried their hands on him, but the cancer has beaten the lot. I shall go down & see him day after tomorrow” [MTL 5: 91]. Note: Sam was unable to make the trip to Philadelphia. The diamond book was never written.
May 16 Thursday – John Henry Riley wrote to Sam: “Yours of Cleveland 13th inst. is recd today. I have managed to pass over my birthday (15th inst.) which is usually a turning point in my affairs. I am now taking electro-galvanic application with the view of arresting the progress of the disease and Dr. Grier expressed himself satisfied with the result of the first application” [MTP].
May 17 Friday – Livy and Sam wrote from Elmira to niece Annie E. Moffett. Livy sent some silk material for Annie to use and Sam denied newspaper reports that he’d made a fortune off his two books and lectures. “So you see we are not nearly so rich as the papers think we are” [MTL 5: 92].
Orion Clemens wrote a long reply to Sam’s May 15 about a possible lawsuit against Elisha Bliss.
“I don’t know how to approach Perkins. I didn’t know you had commenced a law suit. My plan did not contemplate a law suit by you. I suppose it is a suit for damages. I did not think there was any chance for enough to be made that way to justify such a proceeding.” Orion also suggested that Sam set him up with a law office with a salary of $100 a month; perhaps Perkins might make him a partner [MTP].
May 18 Saturday – Screamers, a small collection of Mark Twain’s stories published without Sam’s full approval, was reviewed in the London Spectator. Welland writes and quotes from the review:
Screamers was reviewed belatedly and with some asperity in the Spectator on 18 May 1872. The anonymous reviewer saw the humour as less subtle than that of ‘Bret Harte and Colonel John Hay and Artemus Ward’ and lacking their ‘political and social ‘irony’; nevertheless, recognizing that Mark Twain might have an especial appeal ‘in countries where the politics, manners, customs, and tone of thought of Americans are comparatively little known’, he attempted a critical assessment:
The secret of his fun lies in the assumed childlike credulity with which he accepts the premises offered, and the real ability and assumed simplicity with which he follows them up to their logical but utterly absurd conclusions.
Yet, thought containing ‘a fair amount of excellent nonsense’, the book seemed to him ‘rather a hotch-potch, and of very unequal merit’; he found some ‘amusing, though rather pointless satire’, some pieces ‘of a very vulgar type’ and ‘one or two….such extravagant rubbish that they incline one to throw the book to the other end of the room’ [Welland 18-19].
May 20 Monday – Sam wrote “a hasty note” from Elmira to Mollie Clemens to hire a cook who had been referred, to put a cot in Sam’s study and that they would start home “about Thursday or Friday noon. Will telegraph” [MTL 5: 93].
May 21 Tuesday – Bill paid to Horace C. Deming, flour & grain dealer, for $11.40 [MTP].
May 22 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion and Mollie, about being delayed by having only one nurse and needing a few days to secure another [MTL 5: 94].
May 22–29 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira during this period to William Dean Howells, thanking him for the “satisfactory notice of ‘Roughing It’” in the Atlantic. Here is where Sam made his famous remark:
“I am as uplifted & reassured by it as a mother who has given birth to a white baby when she was awfully afraid it was going to be a mulatto” [MTL 5: 95].
May 26 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Elisha Bliss, asking that half-morocco copies of Roughing It be sent to William H. Clagett, one of Sam’s Nevada mining buddies, and Thomas Nast, artist and illustrator [MTL 5: 96].
Susan Crane noted in her journal that ten-week-old Susy was baptized.
Bill paid to Flower & Hills, grocers $17.40 [MTP].
May 27 Monday – Sam’s sketch, “A Nevada Funeral,” an extract from chapter 47 of Roughing It, appeared in The Salt Lake City Tribune. The article included an engraved portrait of Sam, who sent a copy to William Dean Howells [MTL 5: 106n5].
Susan Crane recalled that the day after Susy’s baptism, Langdon grew feebler [Powers, MT A Life 319].
May 28 Tuesday – Sam, Livy, Langdon, and baby Susy left Elmira bound for Hartford, accompanied by at least one nursemaid and Theodore Crane. They arrived in New York City and stayed one night at the St. Nicholas Hotel. During the trip, the cough that Langdon had developed worsened [MTL 5: 97].
June – William Dean Howells published a glowing review of Roughing It for the June issue of the Atlantic.
Probably an encyclopedia could not be constructed from the book; the work of a human being, it is not unbrokenly nor infallibly funny; nor is it to be always praised for all the literary virtues; but it is singularly entertaining, and its humor is always amiable, manly, and generous.
Sam’s sketch “Mark Twain on the Mormons” (Roughing It, Ch. 15) ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.].
June 1 Saturday – Langdon Clemens, age 19 months, was diagnosed with diphtheria [MTL 5: 98].
June 2 Sunday – Langdon Clemens, Sam’s only son, died in his mother’s arms [MTL 5: 98; Kaplan 150]. Sam blamed himself for not noticing the baby had been uncovered in an April carriage ride. Sam always blamed himself in some way for deaths that visited the family. He kept the carriage ride to himself until his autobiographical dictation in 1906.
June 3 Monday – The Cranes arrived in Hartford at noon to take the body of Langdon back to be buried in the Langdon plot in Elmira. Livy was in no shape to travel, and could not leave Susy. Sam could not leave Livy, so they stayed in Hartford [MTL 5: 100].
G.W. Woolley & Son, manufacturers of burial caskets and coffins, 175 Main St., Hartford, supplied a covered casket, satin-lined for $50 [MTP].
A bill paid to M. Kenny, Hartford carriage manufacturer, for repairs to carriage $61.75 [MTP].
June 4 Tuesday – After a “short simple service” in Hartford, Susan and Theodore Crane, left Hartford at 8 PM, taking the body of Langdon to Elmira [MTL 5: 100].
Bill dated May 14 paid to D.S. Brooks & Sons, Hartford for a grate, $1.25 [MTP].
June 5 Wednesday – The Cranes arrived in Elmira while it was still daylight. As the sun set, Langdon Clemens was buried in the Langdon plot, Woodlawn Cemetery, close to his grandfather Jervis Langdon [MTL 5: 100]. A death mask of the child was made, which Livy placed in her keepsake box. Sam later had a bust made from the mask.
June 10 Monday – Bill paid to Horace C. Deming, flour & grain dealer, for two bales hay, 100 lbs meal, six buckets oats $11.15 [MTP].
June 11 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Adolph H. Sutro, a mutual friend of John Henry Riley’s. Sam had heard from Sutro about Riley’s failing health, but due to Langdon’s death and Livy’s condition, Sam had mot been able to get away. Sutro had sent Riley $100 and visited him. Since Sam could not visit, he also sent $100 [MTL 5: 101].
June 13 Thursday – Bret Harte traveled to Hartford and spent the night with the Clemenses. In 1907 Sam claimed that Harte was broke, borrowed $500 and “employed the rest of his visit in delivering himself of sparkling sarcasms about our house, our furniture, and the rest of our domestic arrangements” [MTL 5: 105n2].
Elisabeth (Lilly) Gillette Warner (1838-1915) (Mrs. George H. Warner) wrote her husband that Sam had just dropped by on his way from the carriage shed and told her he was on the way to the train station to pick up Harte at a quarter of five. “I hope I shall get a sight of him,” Mrs. Warner wrote [Duckett 77]. Note: Harte’s arrival in Hartford was a big occasion.
June 15 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to William Dean Howells. Sam enclosed a newspaper portrait of himself and begged for a portrait of Howells that appeared in Hearth & Home. He added that 62,000 copies of Roughing It had been sold and delivered in four months [MTL 5: 102-3].
June 17 Monday – Bret Harte wrote from NYC to thank Sam for his concern. He added: “I liked Slote greatly. He is very sweet, sensible and sincere. I think he is truly ‘white’ as you say, or quite ‘candid’ as Mr Lowell would say in his Latin-English. / I enclose your diamond stud, wh. I wore in the cars. …Let me hear from you about Bliss. Tell Mrs. Clemens I deputize you to kiss the baby for me…” [MTP].
June 18 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Louise Chandler Moulton. Sam thanked the Boston correspondent for the New York Tribune, for her kind review of Roughing It and her sympathies for his “irreparable loss” [MTL 5: 108].
June 21 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Joseph L. Blamire, NY agent for George Routledge & Sons publishers. Sam made 400 revisions to a copy of Innocents Abroad, in attempt to make the book more palatable to English tastes. He wrote that he expected to be in New York the next Wednesday, staying with Dan Slote. Blamire had suggested that Sam write prefaces to books for English publication [MTL 5: 109].
June 22 Saturday – Sam signed a new contract with Elisha Bliss, superceding his 1870 contract which called for the African diamond mine book. The new contract gave Sam his ten percent royalty, thus solving the problem he’d had with Roughing It. The contract was not fulfilled until 1879, when Sam and Bliss agreed that The Adventures of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) would be used to satisfy the contract [MTL 5: 101-2].
June 23 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Joseph L. Blamire, enclosing the preface for Innocents Abroad, which Routledge would publish in two volumes [MTL 5: 110].
June 24 Monday – Sam receipted $5,000 advance from Elisha Bliss for copyright on Roughing It [MTP].
June 26 Wednesday – Date of letter to Sam from J. Langdon & Co. with statement of Livy’s account and enclosed check for $1,018.18 [MTP].
June 27 Thursday – John Henry Riley wrote from Phila. to Sam: “Friend Clemens / My dear fellow, Are you going to make an effort to come and see me?…I may hold on for a month or so, (who knows?) and I may go off any night.” He was dying of cancer [MTP].
June 30 Sunday – Sam arrived in New York and stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel. He may have gone to Boston during this week to attend the Boston World’s Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival. James R. Osgood & Co. was a major underwriter of the Jubilee. Sam mentioned the Jubilee in one of his letters to the New York Herald in June 1873 [MTL 5: 112].
July – Sam’s sketch “Mark Twain at the Grave of Adam” (Innocents Abroad, Ch. 53) ran in American Publishing Co.’s in-house promotional monthly, American Publisher [Camfield, bibliog.].
July 1 Monday – Bill paid to The Farmington Creamery Co., $10.80, for purchases/deliveries made June 11, 14, 21, 28. Also, bill paid to Drs. Taft & Starr for professional services for period Jan. 1, ’72 to July 1, ’72. $67.82 paid to E.D. Roberts for one “No. 4 Extension Top ‘Peerless’” and parts [MTP].
July 2 Tuesday – Bill paid for James Ahern, Practical Plumber and Gas Fitter, 272 Main St. Hartford for work done Apr. 12, May 18, 21, 29, and June 13; total 17 man hours work, $15.76.
Sam send an engraved card in script font to an unknown man:
I thank you for the compliment of
the invitation, but am compelled
to decline, since my lecture has permanently closed.
Sam’l L. Clemens
At the bottom of the card he wrote: “P.S. I was away from home when your first letter came. / SL Clemens.” [eBay Oct. 22, 2010 by seller signaturesintime2, item 310263974…]. Note: the fact that Clemens had such cards printed shows he had many invitations to lecture.
July 3 Wednesday – Bill paid to McNary & Co., chemists and druggists Hartford 246 Main St. for “3 doz Scotch ale $9” [MTP].
July 4 Thursday – During Sam’s last day in New York, over an inch of rain fell [NOAA.Gov].
July 5 Friday – Sam was back home in Hartford by this date and packing up to leave Hartford’s summer heat for the Connecticut shore [MTL 5: 112]. Sam probably wrote Bret Harte before leaving Hartford, inviting him to New Saybrook, because Harte wrote back on July 6 [MTL 5: 118].
Bill paid to The Farmington Creamery Co., $8.80, for milk & cream deliveries made for July 5, 19, 26, [MTP].
July 6 Saturday – Sam, Livy, and baby Susy with nursemaid Nellie left Orion and Mollie in charge of the Forest Street house and left to Fenwick Hall Hotel at Saybrook Point, Saybrook, Conn. It was a two-hour train ride from Hartford. Fenwick Hall was completed in 1871 and offered a variety of entertainment, including billiards and bowling. Sam imitated Charles Dickens characters at the nightly hotel socials [Powers, MT A Life 321]. Livy loved the place except for “too many Hartford people.”
Sam may have begun The Adventures of Tom Sawyer while at Saybrook [MTL 5: 112-14].
Sam also wrote to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons on the matter of Innocents Abroad being published in England [MTL 5: 116n1].
Bret Harte wrote.
My dear Clemens, / I don’t know what to say about going to Saybrook. The baby has been dangerously sick, and we shall not be able to leave here until she is better…until Mrs Harte finds the wet-nurse, who, the Dr. says is essential…I have spent much of my holiday season running to the Doctor’s…(distant about 3 miles) and going to the city wet-nurse hunting… [MTP].
July 8 Monday – Pamela Moffett wrote from Fredonia to Sam: “My dear Brother. / Sammy succeeded in getting only three subscribers before he left home. It seems the Dunkirk agent did canvass this village but not very thoroughly, so there is still a chance for Sammy” [MTP]. Note: See July 9-12 entry.
July 9 Tuesday – Joseph L. Blamire agent for Routledge & Sons wrote to Sam:
Your favor of 6th is duly at hand. In reply I have to say that I received all right the copy of “Innocents Abroad” and sent it promptly to London; (I have no doubt but a part of it will be already in type by the time you receive this letter, as the steamer by which I sent it arrived at Queenstown on the evening of the 7th inst.) and I now have the pleasure of enclosing you our cheque for Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars in payment, which I think you will find correct [MTPO]. Note: see Welland, p. 33.
July 9–12 Friday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Francis E. Bliss. Sam had received a letter from his sister Pamela Moffett and an order for his eleven-year-old nephew Sammy, who had been selling subscriptions to Roughing It. He passed on the note to Bliss [MTL 5: 114-5].
July 10 Wednesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, who had sent a receipt and disclaimer for Sam to sign along with $250. Blamire had asked for an additional preface (see MTL 5: 117n1 for Blamire’s letter).
“Am spending the summer at this quiet watering place, & am not feeling a bit industrious; but I like your suggestion so much that I mean to write the other preface at the very earliest feasible moment…” [MTL 5: 116-7].
Bill paid: Thomas Miller, Hosier, glover and shirt maker $22.75, ½ doz. shirts made to order [MTP].
July 11 Thursday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Frank Bliss. Sam asked if Elisha Bliss was at home and if he ever came down to Saybrook. Sam had heard from Bret Harte, who he’d invited to Saybrook. He had been trying to get Bliss and Harte together since June for a new book from Harte. Harte wrote on July 6: he had a “dangerously sick” baby and was unable to leave [MTL 5: 118].
July 12 Friday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, inquiring about the cost of a Gatling gun, possibly for John Henry Riley [MTL 5: 118].
James Redpath wrote to Sam.
Dear Mark: / About biz first: Will you? or Wont you? Lecture committees are getting importunate about you. We have $7000 or $8000 of engagements recorded for you—“if he lectures.” And this is only July 12! Here is a list of cities applying as entered: Baltimore, Ithaca, Brooklyn, Elmira, Toledo, Bay City, Elizabeth, Jacksonville, Brooklyn, Minneapolis, New burg, Watertown, Rockford, Monmouth, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Titusville, Cambridgeport, St Pauls, Lawrence (Kansas) Waterloo (Ia) Palmyra, Natick, Monmouth, Lancaster (Pa) Evansville, Pittsburg, New Bedford, Cairo, Middle-town, Lewiston, Phila, St Louis, St Paul, Poughkeepsie, Brooklyn, New York City, Jersey City, Stamford, Buffalo, Brooklyn again, Brockport, Sing Sing, Cincinnatti, Jersey City again, Plainfield, Toledo, Athol Depot, Boston. This is a heavy list for so early in the season. Wherever the same town is repeated the 2dor 3d application came from different parties.
As soon as we can say that you will lecture the list can be extended & dates fixed. What say? We want to announce yr subject as well as the fact that you will lecture.
When will you decide?
Is there anything particularly disagreeable that you wd like said about you in the N. Y. Independent? I rushed off an article called “The Americans who Laugh” & made the first on Nasby as his publisher here importuned me. It is just published & I want to go for you next.
I have been so thoroughly played out with heat & things that I believe I did not write to say that I was perfectly delighted with your “Roughing It.”—But, there, if I go on you won’t care about reading my article & if I have stood 400 of your pages there is no reason why you shdn’t stand a column from me.
Yours in a parboiled “state of nature,” … [MTPO]. Note: Clemens replied on July 18.
July 13 Saturday – Thomas A. Kennett of Noyes & Kennett bankers & brokers, NYC, wrote to advise Sam “The next payment is due August 7th as follows: Principal $2500 / 1 yr 7% on $5000 350/” totaling $2,850 [MTP]. Note: this bill on the purchase of the Buffalo Express.
July 15 Monday – A translation into French of The Jumping Frog, along with discussions of IA and RI, by Therese Bentzon ran in the French publication, Revue des Deux Mondes [Tenney 4].
July 16 Tuesday – Thomas P. “Pet” McMurry boyhood pal of Sam wrote from Colony, Mo.
Dear Sam: / You may call this a piece of presumption—but I can’t help that—so few, so very few, of my boyhood acquaintances have become Literary Lights in the world, that I must not fail to keep up some kind of intercourse with those who have made their mark—“the cat you know, may smile at the King”—that is to say, I mean to keep up an intercourse, if I kin. If your memory extends so far back, you will recollect that when a boy, a little sandy-headed, curly-headed boy, nearly a quarter of a century ago, in the old Printing office at Hannibal, Mo, over the Brittingham Drug-Store, mounted upon a little box at the case, pulling away at a huge Cigar, or a diminutive pipe, you used to love to sing so well, the poor drunken man’s expression, who was supposed to have fallen in the rut by the wayside: “If ever I git up agin, I’ll stay up,—if I kin!” So with myself, I’ll keep up my acquaintance with so distinguished a personage, if I can.
Permit me to congratulate you upon the unprecedented success which has attended your efforts in the Literary world. It always affords me a great deal of pleasure to read your productions—consider them the natural offspring of that brain that was always so chuck-full of fun and mischief when a boy.
Do you recollect any of the many serious conflicts that mirth-loving brain of yours used to get you into with that diminutive creature, (as compared to your own gigantic proportions) Wales McCormick—how you used to call upon me to hold your Cigar, or Pipe, as the case might be, whilst you went entirely through him? He “still lives,” and is a resident of the City of Quincy, Ills. but like myself, has never made a great deal of noise in the World.
What has become of your mother & your brothers, Orion & Henry? Have never seen or heard of them since they left Muscatine, Iowa.
Have been here since the Spring of 1860. Have been in the mercantile business ever since 1854. Quit the printing business in 1853, at Louisville, Kentucky. Am the happy father of 5 children—4 girls and one boy—the boy is a great book-worm, and a fond admirer of yours—never fails to read all the productions from your pen that his eye catches. If he should get hold of “Roughing It,” he would at once be of the same turn of mind that the Southern people were in ’61, “want to be let alone” until he devoured it.
Will not weary your patience farther at this time. As you are convenient to the Artist, enclose your Photograph, when you write, & let us see how you look since you have growed up to be a man. Will take pleasure in giving it a conspicuous place in our Picture gallery.
Your old friend, / T. “Pet” McMurry
P.S. Don’t get vain of your reputation. Your reputation don’t extend to every nook and corner yet. Wanted to show off a little this morning while penning this, and remarked to a lady acquaintance of some intelligence who stepped into the store, that I was engaged in the dignified task of writing a letter to that distinguished character, “Mark Twain.” “Who is Mark Twain?” was the reply. Had she been a man, should have taken her to be of that class who still persist in voting for Gen. Jackson. So you see there is a great work for you to do yet, before your name is a universal household word, particularly in the rural districts.
Yours, / “Pet.” / [MTPO]. Note: any reply has been lost, though on May 6, 1873 Sam ordered IA be sent.
July 16 or 17 Wednesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire, sending the preface for the English version for the second volume (two volumes were printed for the English publication) of Innocents Abroad [MTL 5: 119].
July 17 Wednesday – Bills paid: to W.B. Willard, flour & grain dealer, $5.20; to M. Barrett 157.13 for white organdy dress, silk, ribbon, linings & sundries & packing box [MTP].
July 18 Thursday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to James Redpath, replying to his letter of July 12. Sam had decided not to lecture for the season, and wanted to spend the fall and winter “either in England or in Florida & Cuba” [MTL 5: 121]. Note: source speculates the desire to go to Cuba: “may have been roused by Whitelaw Reid and Bret Harte, who had been guests on a cruise to the island in January.”
Bill paid to W.K. Holt for 1 bbl. flour, Haxall, $16 [MTP].
July 19 Friday – Charles Dudley Warner wrote from Hartford to Sam
“Dear Clemens / Thank you for that jolly drive on Horace. Its first chop and will be printed tomorrow Was thinking myself the other day that that an interesting resume might be made of the news told Livingstone. But I didn’t know facts enough. What a mind you have for history” He sent regards to the family [MTP]. Note: Sam’s “The Secret of Dr. Livingstone’s Continued Voluntary Exile” appeared anonymously in the Hartford Courant on 20 July 1872 p.2.
July 20 Saturday – Sam wrote a short note from New Saybrook to Elisha Bliss, saying he’d been looking for Harte and would let Bliss know when he arrived. Sam also asked about Henry C. Lockwood of Baltimore, and the elastic strap patent [MTL 5: 124].
Sam’s anonymous humorous sketch, “The Secret of Dr. Livingstone’s Continued Voluntary Exile,” was published in the Hartford Courant [Camfield, bibliog.; also in Budd’s Collected, etc. 1852-1890]. In the story, Livingstone is updated with the news of the past five years, and upon learning that Horace Greeley won the Democratic Party’s nomination to run against Grant, Livingstone chose to stay in Africa [MTL 5: 249-50n4].
July 20 or 21 Sunday – Sam and Livy wrote from New Saybrook to Mollie Clemens with a laundry list of things they needed there, from condensed baby milk to bathing suits [MTL 5: 125].
July 20–23 Tuesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Mollie. A prowler had been operating in Nook Farm and Sam advised Mollie & Orion how to deal with the problem. Sam ordered a bell with a wire to bedroom windows be installed. The man was finally arrested Aug. 4 [MTL 5: 127].
July 21 Sunday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, sending revised preface. Blamire had encouraged Sam to travel to England, especially in the summer [MTL 5: 128].
July 22 Monday – Bill paid: Moore, Weeks & Co., Hartford for cases condensed milk $12.50 [MTP].
Joseph Graef sculptor, wrote from NYC to Sam after hearing through Slote that Clemens was contemplating having a marble bust of a child made [MTP].
John Henry Riley wrote to Sam having rec’d Sam’s July 19. After talk of the weather he confessed his condition had “not much changed.” He was “induced by a homeopathic doctor who was going to cure me right off. I tried his treatment 36 hours and then gave him notice to get. I can’t stand any more nonsence in the way of experiments…” [MTP].
July 22 or 23 Tuesday – Sam wrote to Mollie Clemens asking for a few of his photographs [MTL 5: 131].
July 23 Tuesday – Anna E. Dickinson wrote to Sam for publishing help and advice with Elisha Bliss. She wouldn’t do the book for less than $10,000 guarantee at the royalty of 7 & ½ % [MTP].
July 24 Wednesday – Bill paid to Lowell & Bright Engravers & Stationers 228 Washington St., Boston for custom stationery $47.50 [MTP].
Henry H. Clements wrote from Jersey City NJ to thank Sam “for the expression of interest manifested in our note just received.” Henry was digging into the family tree to find a common ancestor with Twain [MTP].
July 24 or 25 Thursday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook again to Mollie Clemens about laundry [MTL 5: 132].
July 25 Thursday – Bill dated June 3 was paid to G.W. Woolley & Son, mfrs. of burial caskets and coffins, 175 Main St., Hartford, for supplying a covered casket, satin-lined for $50 for Langdon [MTP].
In Morristown, New Jersey, Bret Harte wrote to Sam shortly after the birth of Harte’s first daughter, Jessamy Harte. Like Sam, Harte found it difficult to write in a house with a crying baby.
“Could not you and I find some quiet rural retreat this summer where we could establish ourselves (after your Elmira or Buffalo fashion) in some empty farm house a mile or two from our families, and do or work with precious intervals, of smoking, coming home to dinner at abt. 3 P.M? Think of it” [Duckett 81; MTPO]. Note: Harte thanked Clemens for two letters here, which are lost.
July 25–27? Saturday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook again to Mollie Clemens, this time about monogrammed paper from a Boston stationer he had designed and ordered. The paper, two types, arrived at the Hartford house on July 24. Sam used both types of paper from Aug. through Dec. 1872 and sometimes in early 1873 [MTL 5: 132-3].
July 26 Friday – Joseph L. Blamire for Routledge & Sons wrote to Sam: “In your letter of 21st inst. you say you propose to spend your ‘Winter either in the rural part of England or in Cuba & Florida.” He hoped Sam would choose the former [MTP].
July 27 Saturday – Henry H. Clements wrote again from Jersey City, NJ to advise more of the genealogical records he had found [MTP].
July 28 Sunday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Elisha Bliss. Sam planned to be in Hartford “about Aug. 1t. Will copyright returns be ready?” He continued to try to bring Harte together with Bliss, asking about rooms for Harte and family in Mt. Holyoke [MTL 5: 133]. Note: Bliss replied July 31.
July 29 Monday – A.S. Hale for Virtue & Yorston, NYC publishers & booksellers wrote to ask for a writing sample to be put in a collection with others [MTP].
July 30 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from New Saybrook to Mollie concerning arrival of goods needed. “All flourishing,” he wrote [MTL 5: 136].
Bill of July 29 paid to Flower & Hills, grocers $7.05 [MTP].
July 31 Wednesday – Elisha Bliss replied to the July 28 from Clemens.
Friend Clemens, / Yours at hand.
Will make up copyright a/c right away. Will take two or three days to get books posted up—then all ready, dont come for that time—How about Harte’s book. Can you give me any light on the subject? Has he been at Saybrook? He wrote me, that after hearing from you I should probably hear from him, but no word yet. Am a little anxious to know, so as to shape my course for operations
Will write at once to Holyoke Mt for prospect for rooms & report at once Let me have a line from you if possible at once about the Book [MTPO].
Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, letter not extant but referred to in Blamire’s of Aug. 6.
August 2 Friday – Sam wrote another short note from New Saybrook to Mollie, again about household needs [MTL 5: 137].
Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, letter not extant but referred to in Blamire’s of Aug. 6.
Orion Clemens wrote Sam a longish letter from Hartford all about a peeping Tom in the neighborhood [MTP]. Note: the peeper was arrested Aug. 4.
August 5 Monday – Sam telegraphed from Saybrook Point, Conn. to Mollie Clemens for her to send a carriage to the Hartford depot “about 10 this morning.” The reason for Sam’s trip back to Hartford is unknown [MTL 5: 137-8]. Sam probably returned to New Saybrook (Saybrook) the same day.
American Publishing Co. issued Sam a statement on royalties for IA and RI balance of $8,485.17, five thousand already paid [MTP].
August 6 Tuesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Charles M. Underhill (1839-1924), a general salesman for an affiliate of the J. Langdon & Co. Theodore Crane had informed Sam that his annual payment to Thomas A. Kennett was due with interest (Sam still owed $5,000 of the initial $25,000 for the one-third interest in the Buffalo Express). Sam enclosed a check for $2,000 and wrote that Crane would draft $815 from Elmira [MTL 5: 138].
Bills paid Flower & Hills, Hartford grocers $7.87; to E.C.C. Kellogg & Co. for furnishing material $22.65 [MTP].
Joseph L. Blamire for Routledge & Sons wrote to Sam having rec’d his of July 31 and also of Aug. 2 (neither extant), again urging Sam to come to England rather than Cuba & Florida as he’d previously written [MTP].
August 7 Wednesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Elisha Bliss, acknowledging payment of $8,485.17 in royalties. Sam had finalized plans to sail for England “in 10 or 12 days to be gone several months.” He also related writing “strongly to Anna Dickinson,” the suffrage reformer who was trying to swing a book deal with Bliss but was holding out for a $10,000 guarantee. Sam’s letter to Dickinson is lost [MTL 5: 140]. Since Sam had not received a guarantee of royalties from American Publishing Co., it’s probable he tried to put Anna in her place.
Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, letter not extant but referred to in Blamire’s of Aug. 9.
August 8 Thursday – Sam telegraphed from Saybrook Point to Mollie Clemens, asking her to “stir up that infernal Steam Laundry” [MTL 5: 141]. He also sent Mollie a short note and a check for the E.C.C. Kellogg Co. for the prowler bell he’d ordered installed at the Forest Street Hartford house. “All well. I am going to England in a week from now” [MTL 5: 142]. Sam’s actual date of departure was Aug. 21, worked out with Joseph L. Blamire, New York agent for Routledge & Sons.
Bills paid: Hartford Steam Carpet Beating Establishment, “cleaning 10 yds. Carpet @ 6c ; .60”; W.B. Willard, flour & grain for $6.45 and $10 for bran oats [MTP].
“I’ll put it [scrapbook idea] into Dan Slote’s hands & tell him he must send you all over America to urge its use upon stationers & booksellers—so don’t buy into a newspaper. The name of this thing is “Mark Twain’s Self-Pasting Scrap-book.’ ”
Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks of his travel plans.
“Mrs. Langdon will reach here in a day or two, & she & Livy will remain till cool weather—but I will sail in the Scotia, Aug. 21 for Europe—England, rather—to be gone several months. If I find I am to be away very long, shall return by & by & take Livy over. I confine myself to England & Scotland” [MTL 5: 146]
August 14, Wednesday – Sam wrote from New Saybrook to Joseph L. Blamire of Routledge & Sons, letter & check for $150 not extant but referred to in Blamire’s of Aug. 15.
August 15 Thursday – Joseph L. Blamire for Routledge & Sons wrote to Sam, having rec’d his note of Aug. 14 with check for $150 for a ticket to Liverpool. Since he didn’t know how long Clemens would be at Saybrook, he’d hold the ticket in NYC [MTP].
August 16 Friday – Sam telegraphed from Saybrook Point to Mollie Clemens: “Send down all my white pants” [MTL 5: 147]. Note: even then, Sam liked to wear white, though while Livy was alive, only in season.
Theodore W. Crane wrote on J. Langdon & Co. letterhead to Sam: “The money $2815 has been paid over to Kennert and he has transferred to you 25 shares of stock—we have the receipt.” He was sending a box of cigars by way of Charles Langdon on Tuesday next [MTP].
August 16 or 17 Saturday – Sam sent Orion a bill from a Hartford flour dealer and told him to pay it, if it was correct [MTL 5: 148].
August 18 Sunday – Sam left Saybrook for Hartford, where he probably spent the night [MTL 5: 149n1].
August 19 Monday – Sam wrote poetically from Hartford to Livy, still in Saybrook, Conn.
While this moon lasts it will be easy, on shipboard or on shore, to look up at the vague shapes in it & recall our last night on the verandah when they were our only witnesses. And as long as we are separated we can still regard the waxing & waning phases of this moon & commune with each other through her across the waste of seas, sending & receiving messages that shall ignore distance & count the accumulated meridians of longitude as nothing [MTL 5: 149].
Bill paid Flower & Hills, Hartford grocers $15 [MTP].
Sam left Hartford and arrived in New York, staying at the St. Nicholas Hotel.
August 20 Tuesday – Sam wrote from New York to Livy, after buying exchange for some English gold coins, buying a hat and books for the trip. Charley Langdon and wife Ida arrived at the hotel late. Charley brought two boxes of cigars from Theodore Crane for Sam. Sam wrote he was going to dinner with “the Harper’s Drawer man & Will M. Carleton the farm-ballad writer.” William A. Seaver (1813-1883) had written the “Editor’s Drawer” in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine since 1867 [MTL 5: 149-50]. The dinner was held by the Union League Club, and was arranged by John Hay. It may have been Sam’s introduction to both William A. Seaver and Will M. Carleton (1845-1912) [MTL 5: 150-1n3]
Sam obtained a sight-draft from Henry Clews & Co. Bankers, New York, to London branch of Clews, Habicht & Co. for £260.6.6; pay to Saml L Clemens by E. Zeidler [MTP].
Half an inch of rain fell in New York [NOAA.gov].
August 21 Wednesday – Sam departed New York, bound for England on the Scotia. Bills paid to Putnam Phalanx Market, grocers $5.43; to T.S. Daniels for oats, etc. $4.80 [MTP].
August 29 Thursday – Sam wrote from the SS Scotia, en route to Liverpool, England, to Livy. Sam missed her already [MTL 5: 151].
August 30 Friday – The Scotia reached Queenstown, Ireland at 8 AM. Sam sent a telegraph to Livy [MTL 5: 152n3].
Livy paid Flower & Hills, grocers $7.05 [MTP].
August 31 Saturday – The Scotia reached Liverpool [MTL 5: 152n3].
In Hartford, Hatch & Tyler delivered coal to the Clemens home [MTP].
September – Sometime during the month, Sir John Bennett (1814-1897) wrote Sam, enclosing Anthony Trollope’s calling card [MTP].
September 1 Sunday – Sam wrote from Liverpool, England to Livy.
Livy darling, I wonder if you are back home yet; & I wonder how the Muggins is [pet name for Susy]. & what she looks like. I seem only a stone’s-throw from you & cannot persuade myself that this is a foreign land & that an ocean rolls between us. I feel very near to you.
I have just finished a long & laborious conning of newspapers & pasting extracts & jotting down trivialities in my journal, & now comes my bete noir—for I must shave [MTL 5: 152-3]. Note: Sam had been planning a book about England and English customs, along the lines of Innocents Abroad. Thus, the notebook.
September 2 Monday – Sam probably spent the first two nights in Liverpool and on this day boarded a train for London. In 1907 he remembered sitting across from a man on the train who was reading Innocents Abroad. The man did not laugh or even smile [MTL 5: 153].
September 6 Friday – Sam gave a dinner speech at the Whitefriars Club in London at the Mitre Tavern (Published in Mark Twain Speaking, p. 72-73). Sam was treated like a conquering hero, wined and dined and escorted to many sights. He was a sensation in London. “When he rose to speak on these occasions he was greeted with wild cheers.” Among those present was Tom Hood, a poet and host for Sam, George and Edmund Routledge, and Ambrose Bierce, another well-known American humorist. Sam’s speech was a humorous claim that he had found Dr. David Livingstone, while Henry M. Stanley received all the credit [MTL 5: 154].
September 7 Saturday – Sam, along with Tom Hood, make a call on John Camden Hotten’s office. Sam went under the assumed name of “Mr. Bryce” to look over the man who had been publishing unauthorized copies of Mark Twain’s work in England. Hotten recognized Sam right away, but Sam stuck to being Bryce, and looked “glum and stern” [MTL 5: 165n1]. See Sept. 20 letter to Arthur Locker. Note: John Camden Hotten (1832-1873).
September 9 Monday – Sam spent the day sightseeing with James R. Osgood, the Boston publisher who was vacationing in England. They visited the Kenilworth ruins, Warwick Castle and Stratford on Avon [MTL 5: 155]. Sam would use Warwick Castle in the opening scene of A Connecticut Yankee.
September 11 Wednesday – Sam wrote from London to Livy about the great time he was having, though he wrote, “I accomplish next to nothing…. Have not written in my journal for 4 days—don’t get time. Real pleasant people here” [MTL 5: 154-5].
September 12 Thursday – Sam had several photographs taken at the studio of W. & A.H. Fry in Brighton (Walter Henry Fry and Allen Hastings Fry) See inserts. Sam, Henry Lee (1826-1888) and Edmund Routledge sat for a group photo [MTL 5: 653], and Sam had a series of portraits made . Sam wrote Livy the day before that he was going “down to Brighton …with Tom Hood.” (Evidently Hood was camera shy.)
September 13–November 11 Monday – Sometime between these dates Sam wrote a note to Henry Lee, mover and shaker in the building of the Brighton Aquarium. He developed a strong friendship with Lee. Sam wrote in his notebook:
His knowledge is not boxed up & labeled, but is practical. Knows all about birds, animals, architecture, fishes—can take off his coat & occupy the place of any officer in the Zoo Gardens or the great acquarium, or pretty much anywhere. (And he is mighty useful to me, because he does things like Slote or Charley—writes the notes, lays the plans, appoints the hours, delivers me at every needful place & assumes all the responsibilities. God is good, & constantly raises up people to take care of the shiftless and helpless. Mr. Lee knows all the bosses of every place, & gets me in at tabooed hours & finds me entrance to places that are forbidden to the general public [MTL 5: 588].
September 13–18 Wednesday – Sometime during these dates Sam, in London, sent a photo of himself and a note to James R. Osgood, anticipating a better photo when he got the Brighton pictures back, taken on Sept. 12. Sam was staying at the Langham Hotel, in Portland Place [MTL 5: 158].
September 14 Saturday – Bill paid to Putnam Phalanx Market, grocers $14.38 [MTP].
September 15 Sunday – Sam wrote from London to Livy. Sam was being pressured to lecture in London but he resisted.
“On Tuesday I mean to hang a card to my key-box, inscribed ‘Gone out of the City for a week’—& then I shall go to work & work hard. One can’t be caught in a hive of 4,000,000 people, like this” [MTL 5: 160].
Sam also wrote a short note to James R. Osgood, enclosing a photograph of himself [MTP, drop-in letters].
Sam continued to see the sights. From his notebook:
Regent’s Park is a huge tract in the midst of London, adorned with great trees & luxuriantly carpeted with grass. …We entered the great Zoological Gardens with Mr. Henry Lee…I wanted to find Mr. Darwin’s baboon that plays mother to a cat, but did not succeed. So Darwin invented that.
In the House of Monkeys there was one long, lean, active fellow that made me a convert to the theory of Natural Selection. He made a natural selection of monkeys smaller than himself to sling around by the tail. …Without reflection one might jump to the conclusion that Noah would consider the Zoo Gardens not much of a show, & look twice at his shilling before he bought a ticket; but it appears different to me. Noah could not get these animals into two arks like his. Though of course I do not wish to disparage Noah’s collection. Far from it. Noah’s collection was very well for his day [MTL 5: 586-7].
September 16 Monday – Sam had lunch with John Lawrence Toole (1830-1909), comic actor [MTL 5: 592n13]. Sam first met Toole in London in Sept. 1872 [MTNJ 1: 2: 296n11].
September 17 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from London to Arthur Locker (1828-1893), a journalist writing a short sketch of Sam’s life for the London Graphic. Sam wrote that the sketch in “Men of the Time” was accurate, as he “furnished the facts” himself [MTL 5: 161].
Henry Lee inscribed a copy of Francis Trevelyan Buckland’s (1826-1880) 1868 work Curiosities of Nature: “To Saml L. Clemens / with the sincere regard of his friend / the Editor / Henry Lee / Sept. 17th 1872” [MTP].
John Henry Riley died of cancer. Emerson writes the cancer “reportedly originating from a wound in his mouth caused by a fork while he was eating” ! .
September 18 Wednesday – The Alta California reported the death of John Henry Riley, whose planned collaboration with Sam on the South Africa diamond book was left undone [MTL 4: 468n3].
A six-month ticket to the British Museum’s Reading Room was issued to Mr. Samuel L. Clemens, Langham Hotel [MTL 5: 176n12].
September 20 Friday – Sam wrote from London to the editor for the London Spectator, railing against the unauthorized use, attribution of the articles of others, and added material to his work by John Camden Hotten. In the absence of international copyright agreements, Hotten had published many American works without permission or payment [MTL 5: 163]. Note: see Welland 20-22.
September 21 Saturday – The London Spectator published Sam’s letter of Sept. 20 about Hotten. In the evening, Sam gave a dinner speech at the Savage Club [Published in Fatout, MT Speaking 69-71]. The Club was a private club for authors, journalists and artists, founded in 1857 by a half-dozen writers of plays who dined together every week in an old Convent Garden inn. One night someone brought Artemus Ward; afterward membership soared. The chairman of this evening was John L. Toole, a popular English comic actor (1830-1906) [MTL 5: 175n1; The Twainian, Sept-Oct 1953 p4]. See insert photo of Toole.
In his Sept. 22 letter, Sam wrote he’d met Mrs. George Turner & Nellie “on the stairs yesterday—wasn’t expecting to see them here.” Sam had known the Turners from his Nevada days, when Turner was chief justice of the territory [MTL 5: 169-70].
While Sam was away the family had to eat. A bill was paid to Flower & Hills, Hartford grocers, for purchases/deliveries made: Sept. 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 18, 14 & 16, for a long list of items, incl. melons, tomatoes, peaches, beans, butter, soda, eggs, oil, coffee, crackers. $25.10 [MTP].
September 22 Sunday – Sam wrote from London to Livy that he was “making tolerably fair progress” sightseeing and collecting notes for a book.
“This is no worn out field. I can write up some of these things in a more different way than they have been written before” [MTL 5: 169].
He’d had a “very good time” at the Savage Club. Sam sent a postcard and an autographed manuscript of his speech to Moncure D. Conway (1832-1907), an American journalist [MTL 5: 171-2]. Note: Conway had been a long time friend of W.D. Howells.
September 23 Monday – Sam wrote from London to Thomas B. Pugh, declining his offer to lecture in Philadelphia during the next season. Pugh had arranged past lectures there for Sam [MTL 5: 178].
September 25 Wednesday – Sam attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah, featuring the well-known Hungarian soprano, Teresa Titiens and a chorus of 700 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Sam wrote from London to Livy about the performance, and enclosed pennies made for him in the mint that day and an emu’s feather. He also enclosed his grievance letter sent to the London Spectator about John Camden Hotten for either Orion or Charles Dudley Warner to publish. Orion was now working on the Hartford Evening Post, which printed a summary of Sam’s letter on Oct. 10 [MTL 5: 179].
September 28 Saturday – Sam spoke at the Sheriff’s Dinner, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Guildhall, London in response to a toast “Success to Literature” [Schmidt]. The dinner was given by the new sheriffs of London to the city guilds and liverymen. When one of the sheriffs proposed the health of Mark Twain, he was applauded, then Sam responded to the toast. The London Times, Sept. 30, 1872, called it “an amusing speech” [LLMT 178-79].
Afterward, Sam wrote about the dinner and speech to Livy and also to Elisha Bliss [MTL 5: 182-3].
William Gorman Wills opened his play, Charles I, with Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) in the lead role at the London Lyceum. Sam wrote unfavorably of the play, calling it “a curious literary absurdity” in an unpublished piece written later in the year [Gribben 775].
John Camden Hotten defended himself in “Mark Twain and His English Editor,” Spectator. Hotten argued that attributing Carl Byng’s work to Sam merely followed the commonly accepted view; that he was not a pirate since the material he took held no copyright in England; and that he’d written three letters to Sam, including one offer of payment, with no reply [Tenney 5].
September 29–October 3 Thursday – Sam visited Magdalen College in Oxford sometime between these dates. The college was founded in 1458 and was remarkable for its 145-foot tower [MTL 5: 614n64]. (See Oct. 17, 1874 entry for article, “Magdalen Tower” that Sam wrote for The Shotover Papers, Or Echoes from Oxford.)
October 1 Tuesday – Bill paid for The Farmington Creamery Co., $9.50 for milk & cream deliveries made Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27 [MTP].
October 7 Monday – Bill paid to E.D. Roberts, stoves, ranges and furnaces; for “2nd hand cylinder stove,” and parts $16.48 [MTP]. Livy was often frugal with the money when Sam was away. Purchasing a used stove reflects this. Hatch & Tyler delivered coal to the Clemens home [MTP].
October 10 Thursday – The Hartford Evening Post printed a summary of Sam’s grievance letter about John Camden Hotten (see Sept. 25 entry) [MTL 5: 179].
October 12 Saturday – Sam wrote from London to Livy.
October 23 Wednesday – In Hartford, Hatch & Tyler delivered coal to the Clemens home [MTP].
In Hartford, Hatch & Tyler delivered coal to the Clemens home [MTP].
October 26 Saturday – Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote to Sam [MTP]. COPY VIC
October 29 Tuesday and/or November 1 Friday – Sam attended one or both of the stag hunts on these dates near the village of Wargrave, and wrote about the experience to Mary Fairbanks on Nov. 2 [MTL 5: 207n3].
John Camden Hotten wrote to Clemens, who went to Piccadilly to call on him. Hotten’s letter, noted only in 1st ed. MTDBD I for this date, is now supplied by Welland:
I am vexed that I was out when you called this afternoon. Had I been at home I think the misunderstanding betwixt us might have been cleared away.
From the message you left here this afternoon I am sorry to find you under the impression that I am about to issue with your name, a work not written by you. You have said some very hard things about me — probably at the instigation of others who hoped to benefit by misleading you, but I do assure you in the frankest manner possible that self-respect — apart from my sincere respect for your inimitable talent — would not allow me to do anything of the kind. You have, unfortunately, fallen amongst people who dislike me, people who are jealous of me because I happen to be not quite so industrious, not quite so shrewd as they are. These people have misled you, the same as they tried to poison the mind of poor Artemus Ward against me. I say nothing more. All I ask is for you to see and judge for yourself.
I may just mention that Mr Bierce [Ambrose Bierce] was brought here for the express purpose of creating a disturbance. He saw that he was being made a tool of from jealous motives, and the result was that we became fast friends and I have had the pleasure of handing him money for material for a little book. It was my hope that our relations would have been of this character, and with the kindly message you have just left I do not despair of it.
The advertisement you have seen — or rather, I suspect, to which your attention has been drawn — refers simply to an elegantly printed volume of your scattered writings that we are preparing. The reason I was not more explicit in my announcement is that other members of the trade watch me as a cat would a mouse but after the frank message you have left here [not extant] I at once tell you what I am doing, and I can only say that I gladly avail myself of your offer to revise it. I have just telegraphed for sheets, and these shall be with you tomorrow, when you can go over them and let me have back on Monday.
I did think of giving a short biography of yourself, taking your own outline sketch as my foundation. I suppose that story of the origin of your nom de plume is tolerably correct. I remember when I lived at Galena, Ill., and used to go down the river on old Uncle Toby, the throwing — or casting — of the lead was accompanied by some such words.
As to payment for your editorial services — I am perfectly willing to give whatever you may think fair. I know you are a rich man, but that does not matter as my payment is concerned.
If you will kindly drop me a line I shall be obliged. Enclosed letter is from a Bank, and I sincerely trust that its stout proportions only represent so many bank notes.
Enclosed is a portrait of yourself which I prefer to any of the photographs yet published. I also send one of Bret Harte [26-7] Note: Welland provides a good exposition of the issues and back and forth between Twain and Hotten.
My Dear Nast—
As the best way of coming at it, I enclose my “mother Fairbanks’s” letter—the last page of it refers to you. We think the whole world of Mrs. Fairbanks (wife of proprietor of Cleveland Herald)—she was a pilgrim with me in the Innocents Abroad. Her son Charley I have written you about, before, & you sent him an autograph from your pencil which set him up wonderfully. Now I think it a glorious thing to be a boy’s idol, for it is the only worship one can swear to, as genuine—& I have no doubt you feel a good deal as I do about it. Therefore I send Charley Fairbanks to you without distrust or fear—satisfied that the few minutes he robs you of will be an inspiration to him & will be transmitted in the works of his hands to the next generation—& just as well satisfied that you will place that loss, with little regret, along with many another like it, labeled, “Bread cast upon the Waters.”
Nast you, more than any other man, have won a prodigious victory for Grant—I mean, rather, for Civilization & progress;—those pictures were simply marvels; & if any man in the land has a right to hold his head & up & be honestly proud of his share in this year’s vast events that man is unquestionably yourself. We all do sincerely honor you & are proud of you. / Ys Ever / Mark Twain [MTL 5: 249; MTPO]. Note: Mary Mason Fairbanks’ letter is not extant.
December 14 Saturday – Sam’s LETTER FROM “MARK TWAIN” “Appeal for Ned Wakeman” dated Hartford, Dec. 3, ran in the San Francisco Alta California.
Editors Alta: Certain gentlemen here in the East have done me the honor to make me their mouthpiece in a matter which should command the interest and the sympathy of many Californians. They represent that the veteran Capt. Ned Wakeman is lying paralyzed and helpless at his home near your city, and they beg that his old friends on the Pacific Coast will do unto him as they would gladly do themselves if they were back now in San Francisco—that is, take the old mariner’s case in hand and assist him and his family to the pecuniary aid they stand in such sore need of. His house is mortgaged for $5,000 and he will be sold out and turned shelterless upon the world in January, unless this is done. I have made voyages with the old man when fortune was a friend to him, and am aware that he gave with a generous heart and willing hand to all the needy that came in his way; and now that twenty years of rough toil on the watery highways of the far West find him wrecked and in distress, I am sure that the splendid generosity which has made the name of California to be honored in all lands, will come to him in such a shape that he shall confess that the seeds sowed in better days did not fall upon unfruitful soil.
Will not some of the old friends of Capt. Wakeman in your city take this matter in hand, and do by him as he would surely do by them were their cases reversed? [Schmidt].
“I long for a holiday, and would take one right away if I could afford it, but the work of my profession is, that when I don’t work, I don’t get any money, which don’t answer for a family of four children. I hope to see a book from you, before long, of your English travels. How much I should like to go with you and illustrate it” [MTP, drop-in letters].
December 18 Wednesday – Bill paid to Moore, Weeks & Co., Hartford for repair of rocker & cradle $4 [MTP].
December 19 Thursday – It was Orion and Mollie’s one year anniversary, and they dined with Sam and Livy [Livy & Sam to Jane Clemens, Dec. 20].
Bill paid to W.L. Denning for repair of rocker & cradle $4 [MTP].
December 20 Friday – The Springfield Mass. Union ran a correspondent’s article about Twichell’s church, which included a description of Sam in attendance on Dec. 15.
Livy and Sam wrote from Hartford to Jane Clemens and family. Livy wrote of Christmas and gifts sent and her joy at plans for Jane Clemens and Annie Moffett to come for the holidays.
“Your eldest son & daughter are exceedingly cosily situated, & Orion is as happy as a martyr when the fire won’t burn” [MTL 5: 254-5].
Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister of Hartford’s North Church of Christ, wrote: “You balance yourself over much. I am the one who is principally in fault—neither you nor Twichell. I had no right to be joking my poverty so hard as to make it appear that I cannot buy a five dollar book” [MTP].
December 20–22 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Joseph Twichell about Horace Bushnell, enclosing Bushnell’s letter. Sam had written a “(bogus) protest [not extant] of the Publishers against the proposed foreign copyright”—a sarcastic piece that he wanted to read to Twichell. Sam was reacting to a bill in Congress for more comprehensive copyright protection [MTL 5: 255].
December 21 Saturday – Sam’s article dated Dec. 3, “How I Escaped Being Killed in a Duel” ran in Every Saturday and in Tom Hood’s Comic Annual for 1873 [Camfield, bibliog.; Budd, “Collected” 1014].
Bill paid to Hartford Ice Co. 5,825lbs $23 [MTP]. Judging from other bill documents, the Clemens family went through this amount of ice every six months or so (see May 2, 1873 entry).
December 23 Monday – Sam wrote a poem for the Hartford Evening Post, “The New Cock-Robin” Answering the repeated question, “Who’s to be Editor of the Tribune” Sam suggested a different man for each verse. The Tribune had always been a favorite and even a critical paper for Sam’s need of good reviews. The poem ran in the Post on either this day or the next, and was reprinted later in several other major newspapers [MTL 5: 262].
December 24 Tuesday – Camfield gives this as the day the poem, “The New Cock-Robin “ ran in the Hartford Evening Post [bibliog.] and cites [Vogelback, “Control of Tribune” 377-80], but Vogelback only cites the Jan. 2 reprint in the Chicago Tribune . Still, it is likely the Dec. 23 verse ran within a few days. Evidently, copies of the Evening Post are not available.
December 26 Thursday – In Morristown, New Jersey, Bret Harte wrote to Sam, complaining about William A. Kendall, the past “sick & needy poet” who Sam had taken up a collection for to gain passage from New York to California. Kendall had accused Harte of swindling contributors to the Overland.
I have been lately pretty well abused from unexpected sources but I think the enclosed caps the climax. Do you remember the man to whom you gave $50; for whom I raised $60 and procured by begging a first class passage to San Francisco and to whom I sent anonymously $25, when I was rather poor myself? Well—this is the reptile! And worse than all, this is the second or third time that he has thus requited me.
Now what in the name of all that is diabolically mean, am I to do? I don’t mind his slander: that I can refute—but how am I to make this dog know that he is a dog and not a man? [Duckett 84].
December 27 Friday – Elisha Bliss wrote a royalty check to Sam for $1,718.36 [MTP].
George H. Fitzgibbon wrote on a Morning Post article, Dec. 27 about the Batavia episode: “Delighted to hear from you – All my family join unanimously and heartily in wishing you & yours a very happy & a very prosperous New Year. I enclose you a photograph of my two little daughters.” Autograph & photo requested [MTP].
December 28 Saturday – Whitelaw Reid wrote asking for a writing sample over Sam’s autograph [MTP].
December, end – Sam remained in Hartford with his family during this period and no letters from Dec. 22 to Jan. 3 have been found. Clemens may have gone to Elmira, where George MacDonald was visiting Livy’s mother [Lindskoog 26]. After returning from England, Sam was drafting an English book, so it’s probable he worked on it over the holidays. Sam got the book about a third completed and stopped. Some of the material found its way into Mark Twain’s sketches. Number One (1874). By year’s end, Sam was interested in collaborating with his neighbor, Charles Dudley Warner, in a satire about American politics. This work became The Gilded Age and was published at the end of 1873. Paine [MTB 476] describes a dinner with the Warners where the idea was a spur-of-the-moment agreement to do a novel together. Neither man had written a novel [Emerson 83]. Sam had wanted to use his mother’s cousin, the wealthy James A.H. Lampton, as a character in some work. Also, Sam’s Washington experiences had furnished him with many character sketch ideas [MTL 5: 258-63].
With Sam doing more work on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in Jan. 1873, as well as continued work on the English book and the collaboration with Warner, this period marked the beginning of the technique or approach of having several major manuscripts going at once—one Sam engaged in for the rest of his literary days. Interrupting work on one book allowed him to put steam into another. Some fell by the wayside, but the best were eventually completed. It took nine years, mostly shelf-time, to finish Huckleberry Finn, his masterpiece.
William Dean Howells, in a Jan. 3, 1873 letter from Boston to Charles W. Stoddard: “I lunched the other night with Mark Twain, and we had some ‘very pretty conversation,’ as Pepys says. Yourself was among the topics” [MTHL 1: 12]. The reference to “the other night” would most likely place this in late December.