Hopes of Riches For Paige Type-Setter – Whitelaw Reid Paranoia
Dan Slote Dead – Sam, Osgood & Phelps up the Mississippi – Old Sights and Sounds Railroads vs. Steamboats – Joel Chandler Harris, George W. Cable & New Orleans
Church, Cockfights & Mule Races – Embracing Bixby – Hannibal Tears
Home Again & Scarlet Fever – Writing the River Book – Huck Finn Gestating
1882 – Sam drew up a list of his investments and domicile expenses since Jan. 1, 1881. They totaled $83,875 not including staff salaries, food, clothing, and utilities [Emerson 125-6]. Here is a list in Sam’s handwriting in the 1882 financial file, MTP: Note this totals $92,875; Sam totaled $88,575; some figures copied differently by Emerson and this writer; as Emerson points out, these figures do not include “the salaries of six full-time servants and part-time maids, secretaries, governesses, and nurses for the children, amounting to some $1,650 per year, and such routine expenses as food, heating, and clothing.”
Improving& grading it, say
New Kitchen, &c
My new book
Fredonia Watch Co
Crown Pt Iron Co
Am Ex. In Europe
Ed Folsom and Jerome Loving recently published “The Walt Whitman Controversy – A Lost Document.” The Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 2007); 82, 2. p.123-38. The article cites a letter from the Boston District Attorney to James R. Osgood, which puts the date of Sam’s article, “The Walt Whitman Controversy” in 1882. Gribben had previously conjectured “possibly 1880.”
William Shepard Walsh sent Sam a copy of his book, Authors and Authorship (1882): (inscription: “Compliments of William Shepard Walsh”); also autographed “S.L. Clemens, Hartford, 1882.”
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote. Only envelope survives, but written on it: “Brer C—The enclosed letters are the nearest approach to the contracts with Am. Pub. Cy. That I can find. They will give you a fair insight as to some of the points contained in the contracts.” He thought Webster or Perkins knew where the actual contracts were [MTP].
January – Sometime during the month Sam wrote to Will Clemens (no relation, see Nov. 18, 1879 entry) who had asked for a humorous biography of Sam.
“I haven’t any humorous biography—the facts don’t admit of it. I had this sketch from Men of the Time printed on slips to enable me to study my history at my leisure” [Clemens, W. 20].
Will did write a 200-page biography of Sam and published it on July 1, 1892 as “No. 1” in a paperback series called “The Pacific Library.”
Sam also wrote to Whitelaw Reid sometime during January:
Your note of yesterday is received. Reassure yourself: I have told you, many times, these many years, that I am always ready & glad to help you, in these matters, just as far as I am able. A friendship that can say less, is not a friendship to be valued. I think your feeling for me has always led you to estimate my opinions, suggestions & advice quite above their real worth; but no matter: whether the estimate has been born of the heart or of the head, it pleases me, & pleases me more deeply than I can say—let that suffice [MTP].
Sam pointed out the indelicacy of Reid’s “secret instructions to President Garfield” and to remarks Reid must have said or printed to a:
“Chief Magistrate of the United States to his face…Did you blush? You should have blushed. It is the language of a man as tall as the Tribune tower; it is not proper to a person of lesser altitude” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook shows a list headed by John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864). Gribben suggests Sam intended to use Newman’s work as a model for his planned scathing biography of Whitelaw Reid .
January 1 Sunday – Schwartz Bros. (soon to be F.A.O. Schwartz), New York, billed Sam $3.50 for doll parts: “1 head, 1 wig, repackage doll.” Note: stamped on invoice: “bills rendered Jan. May and Oct.”; Park & Tilford, fancy groceries, New York billed Sam $36.88 for two kinds of jelly, “2 doz Glen Whiskey”, paid Jan. 11 [MTP].
Joseph William Torrey (1828-1885) wrote from Bangkok, Siam, about sending a copy of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress in Chinese [MTP]. Note: Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From a Sovereign Prince of the Island of Borneo, who is at the same time American—born & a U.S. Consul General!”
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy of the Paris weather and his love of Greek sculpture and his hope that the Warners, now in Munich, would return to Paris [MTP].
January 2 Monday – Edward House and daughter Koto arrived for a visit. Sam inscribed P&P to Koto, House’s adopted Japanese daughter: To / Koto House / With the affectionate regards of / The Author / Hartford Jan.2, 1882 [MTP]. Note: in his Dec. 27 to House Sam announced Koto would get the China paper edition.
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster:
“Dear Charley— Make me a copper stamp. I am on track of a way by which you can harden it afterwards, & make it as hard as brass. I hear this from the head of the Bank Note Co.” [MTP].
Sam also inscribed P&P to an unidentified person: “Yours truly, S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain). Hartford, Jan / 2, 1882” [MTP].
Jesse M. Leathers wrote from NYC to Sam having taken his advice not to write for a year. He’d requested aid from a “prominent Southern gentleman” to travel to Europe for his claims, and wanted to visit before he left [MTP].
January 4 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam inscribed P&P to A.V.S. Anthony: “To / A.V.S. Anthony / With Sentiments of esteem, / appreciation, & tenderness, / from / The Author / Hartford, Jan. 4, 1882” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to James R. Osgood about distribution of P&P to British possessions outside of Canada through McMillan. Sam didn’t care how it was done or how many were sold that way, he simply didn’t want cheaper versions flooding into the U.S. He also saw an opportunity to act in concert with Osgood as agents:
“Look here! Why shouldn’t we be our own general agents in N.Y., Phila and Boston, another time? We could work the bookstores and divide the swag” [MTLTP 150].
Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote a long, folksy letter thanking him & praising P&P [MTP].
David Watt Bowser wrote from Dallas, Texas, thanking for the P&P and the “great honor” [MTP].
January 5 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster after Bliss telephoned asking if he needed to send the check and statement to Webster. Sam confirmed it. He also wrote:
“Hang it, I believe your metallurgical authority says copper can’t be cast in anything but sand. I am sorry, if it is so” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote: “We cant cast copper or brass in Kaolatype, do you mean for me to make the spelter pattern & then get the copper cast at the foundry?” Also more on the Paige typesetter [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “The intricate way of the Type Co.” Spelter was a zinc alloy, sometimes mixed with lead, that Victorians used to cast images.
January 6 Friday – Tiffany & Co., per Louis C. Tiffany wrote to acknowledge Sam’s $2,000 [MTP].
January 7 Saturday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to James R. Osgood about some “Toronto pirates’ lawyers,” a reference which is obscure at this point. Late in the year Belford and Clarke were defendants in a lawsuit. Sam also referred to his “little assault of a rather venomous nature upon Whitelaw Reid,” and suggested Osgood “drop in and consult the judacity of it” if he were to “pass through” Hartford [MTLTP 151].
Sam also sent a note to Edwin W. Montgomery of Detroit, Mich., declining to lecture there [MTP].
January 8 Sunday – Sam was visited by John Russell Young, who evidently discussed events relating to Sam’s newly planned Mississippi trip and book [Jan. 9 letter to Young, MTP].
The Lotos Club, New York, receipted Sam $6.25 for dues [MTP].
January 9 Monday – At 11 A.M. Sam and Edward H. House called at the hotel where John Russell Young had been staying but he’d left on the 10:30 train. Later, Sam wrote from Hartford to Young:
“The prospective pleasure of writing that book [LM] grows with the moments; & already I foresee that in the building of it I am going to find a delight comparable to going to heaven.”
Sam asked Young to name a time when Sam might go to New York and get him to repeat what he’d told him the day before, so he might be able to correct and put dates in his notes.
“I spent nearly all night, last night, making notes, & consequently feel all burnt out to-day” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote, enclosing a check from Am. Pub. Co. for $1,505.55, which he felt showed the last report was wrong. Webster asked for statements before 1880, and refused to receipt Am. Pub. Co. as “full to date.” Paige wanted $1,500 to “have the machine in shape for printing in a printing office” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Page will perfect for $1500”; Sam often misspelled Paige.
Reginald Cholmondeley wrote: “A short while ago while I was staying with [Sir John Everett] Millais in London I received your amusing & genial letter. I read in a N.S.W. [New South Wales] paper in Sydney a most apparently authentic account of your illness & death.” This about Sam’s “double” parading as the true Mark Twain. He’d been reading and enjoying TA. At the end of the letter he wrote, “When are you going to string up that contemptible humbug & murderer Giteau” [MTP].
January 10 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to David “Wattie” Bowser, who evidently had sent Sam a frog when Sam was in Canada.
“…they put him in the greenhouse & he lost himself immediately. The gardener hunted for him every day or two, & three days ago he found him. I have seen him, & he is all right & manifestly enjoying himself.”
Sam also had received a photograph and several paintings from David, and perhaps from his teacher, Laura Wright Dake. Sam invited the boy to visit when he came east [MTP].
January 10 and 11 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster. He was suspicious of American Publishing Co. and suspicious of Dan Slote. He directed Webster to continue looking into his past dealings. He was also nibbling at the hook of the Paige machine:
“Yes, I would wait a little & let Page reduce the terms if he will. (I am convinced that that machine can be made perfect & thoroughly satisfactory—so we will hang along, & not drop it)” [MTBus 182].
Kaolatype hopes were dim, but the Paige machine began to fill Sam’s hopes for fabulous riches.
Sam also wrote to Hjalmar Boyesen. Poor sales of P&P had not yet dampened Sam’s optimism.
I was mightily delighted with your review of my book, and am very glad that the work impresses you so favorably. I was doubly solicitous—anxious, shall I say?—this time, because the thing was a new departure, both literarily and publicationally, for I went for the bulk of the profits, and so published the volume at my own expense, opening with an edition of 25,000 copies, for the manufacture of which I paid $17,500. Yes, I was solicitous, for a while, but that is all gone by, now. I find myself a fine success, as a publisher; and literarily the new departure is a great deal better received that I had any right to hope for…[MTLTP 152n1].
January 11 Wednesday – Thomas B. Aldrich for Atlantic Monthly wrote to thank for P&P: “a charming conception and charmingly worked out. The only thing I have against the idea is that I did not think of it first” [MTP].
John Russell. Young wrote from NYC. “Any day or anytime will suit,—either here or in H.” [MTP].
January 11 Wednesday ca. – According to Sam’s letter of Jan. 18 to Howells, Edward “Ned” House and his adopted Japanese daughter Koto had been visiting for a few days, with Koto being sick several days. This puts the beginning of their visit back about one week to about Jan. 11 [MTHL 1: 384].
January 12 Thursday – Edmund C. Stedman wrote; not found at MTP though catalogued as UCLC 41429.
Ency J. Coleman wrote from Kalamazoo, Mich. to ask for a letter on “Clubs” for his club [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No Answer”
January 13 Friday – Charles Webster wrote that he had Patterson at work on the brass. He enclosed (not in file) a report of the Am. Pub. Co. from Bradstreets and would get another from Dunn & Wyman and “we can see how they agree. I think there are some lies in that statement, especially about the par value of stock” [MTP].
M.M. Mitivier wrote from Holyoke, Mass. inviting Sam to a dinner on Jan. 31 for Louis H. Fréchette, Poet laureate of Quebec [MTP]. Note in file: “Between 15 & 18 January 1882, SLC telegraphed Louis Frechette, evidently professing ignorance of this banquet (see Frechette to SLC 15, 18 January 1882)”
January 15 Sunday – The Brooklyn Eagle, page 1, ran an article headlined “SAGEBRUSH SKETCHES, How Mark Twain’s Brightest Effort Was Kept from Print.” The paper gave credit without a prior date to the San Francisco Call. It seems Joe Goodman once called upon Sam to write up a fancy new saloon in Virginia City. Sam gathered a box of liquors from the saloon and “arranged them in a long row,” then tasting and describing each in print. The foreman compositor took it upon himself to conclude Sam had been drunk when he wrote the piece and thus “straightened the whole thing out.”
Louis Fréchette wrote to Sam in French, urging him to come to the banquet on the 31st in Holyoke [MTP].
January 16 Monday – Worden, Webb & Co. wrote advising of the sale of stock, 100 shares of Western Union @ 82 [MTP].
January 18 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells. He informed him of Ned House’s visit, a story Charles Dudley Warner had told of a faulty will for the late Mrs. Dan Fisk, and enclosed a Jan. 1 letter from Hattie Gerhardt. The Gerhardts were in Paris, where Karl was studying art, and had enjoyed a visit from the Warners. Sam found purity in nineteen-year-old Hattie’s letters:
“If I had that child’s artless ways of saying the moving thing, I would quit humor & write on the higher plane. No matter how brief a note she writes, or how scrawly or ill-spelled it may be, she is always sure to get in a sentence or two that makes me think the Creator intended her for a writer” [MTHL 1: 384].
Sam also wrote to Chatto & Windus, enclosing a slip he wished pasted in the front page of P&P and sent to: “William Smith, Esq / Osborne House / Morley, near Leeds, / England” [MTP].
Orion wrote to Sam that he had shipped the final manuscript of “Autobiography of a Crank,” some 2,523 pages [Fanning 194-5].
R.B. Buchanan wrote from Chicago requesting Sam’s autograph with “some sentiment” [MTP]. Note: though Clemens usually complied with requests for a simple autograph, he nearly always refused or ignored those for more.
Louis Fréchette wrote another note in French, referring to the Springfield Republican [MTP].
A.V.S. Anthony wrote his “profound thanks” for P&P [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “A.V.S. Anthony, Engraver”
Winifred Howells wrote from Boston thanking Sam the “beautiful book,” P&P. “The binding is so exquisite that I hardly dare handle it” [MTP].
January 19 Thursday – Sam’s letter of Jan. 18 to Howells implied Ned House and daughter Koto ended their visit at the Clemens home this day. Koto had been ill but was “up & around again, now” [MTHL 1: 384].
Orion wrote Sam again, anxious that he had not personally addressed the package with his MS, asking Sam to let him know as soon as it arrived [Fanning 195].
January 20 Friday – Howells, in a Boston boarding house where he might be close to his doctor, answered Sam’s Jan. 18 letter. Howells thanked him for the Gerhardt letter and remarked how “the ideal perfection of some things in life” led him to conclude, “never to meddle with the ideal in fiction….” He was just now recovering from a five-week stint in a sick bed due to exhaustion.
“I’m not myself, by any means. I’m five years older than I was two months ago. I may young up again, but that is the present fact. The worst of it is that I work feebly and ineffectually” [MTHL 1: 385].
He also gave Sam advice about the Whitelaw Reid flap:
“I told Osgood, the other day that I should write you about—or against—your dynamitic life of Reid; but I concluded not to do so, partly because I did not know how you would take unprovoked good intentions from me, and partly because I believe you will be sick of the thing long before you reach the printing point” .
Orion still had not heard from Sam about the arrival of the MS, “Autobiography of a Crank,” and wrote again asking Sam to send a telegram upon its arrival [Fanning 195].
Nathaniel J. Burton wrote that P&P had just arrived and would entertain his sick wife [MTP].
Hjalmar Boyesen wrote from NYC to decline a visit due to his wife’s illness [MTP].
January 21 Saturday – Sam may have been influenced by Howells’ comments of Jan. 20, and took Livy’s advice—He directed Charles Webster to examine the New York Tribune for evidence that Reid was persecuting him. Ned House may have also complained of similar treatment to Sam; Charles Dudley Warner certainly did complain [MTHL 1: 390n1].
Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster.
Suppose you put in an hour or two of your time for me at one of the big advertising agencies where they keep full files of the daily papers. Just quietly copy off & send to me every remark which the Tribune has made about me since the end of October, up to present date. Keep your own counsel; say nothing to anybody about this. As I understand it, these remarks have usually been brief original paragraphs on the inside pages, & borrowed slurs on the other pages. Copy them exactly, punctuation & all; & give the origin of the borrowed ones [MTBus 183].
Sam also wrote to Orion explaining that he didn’t give letters of introduction for someone he didn’t know, but if he knew the lady in question he’d recommend her to Lucy Hooper. He agreed to look at some manuscript, and said they didn’t have any photographs yet (of baby Jean?) but they were promised [MTP]. Note: he no doubt reassured Orion that he’d received the manuscript sent Jan. 18 [Fanning 195].
Sam then wrote to Lucy Hooper and enclosed it in the letter to Orion. The “young lady” in question:
…is recommended to me by my brother as being of excellent character & position, & as an able & facile translator of French into English & English into French. She desires opportunity to use her pen. If anybody in Paris can tell her whom to apply to, it is you; & if you can’t, you are the very person who can tell her so without causing her a pang [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Samuel Hollyer, an English-born engraver who worked in New York. Sam wrote that he had “taken the liberty to forward your favor of Dec. 31st to them [Chatto & Windus] this day” [MTP].
Sam’s Nov. 22, 1881 letter to W.H. Lentz ran in the Honolulu Saturday Press [MTP].
Thomas Nast’s cartoon of Sam, in Canada arranging for copyright, ran in Harper’s Weekly [Tenney 11]. See insert.
January 22 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Louis Fréchette. There’d been a mix-up on an invitation; a man had invited him to an event honoring Fréchette in Holyoke, Mass., and then told Fréchette that Sam had accepted when he had not. Sam felt honor-bound to go along and so cleared the air. He also wanted to discuss a matter with Fréchette that he could not write about, and asked if Fréchette might be able to stop in Hartford for a day or two before the Holyoke dinner [MTP].
Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy about Karl’s progress at the school [MTP].
January 23 Monday – Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement with a credit balance of $11,640.95 [MTP].
David M. Drury wrote from NYC to solicit an autograph [MTP].
Worden & Co. Wrote advising purchase of 100 shares of Western Union at 80 [MTP].
January 24 Tuesday – A.P. Mitchell, NY stockbroker wrote, promoting a copper mine in Ariz. He claimed he’d made Sam’s acquaintance 10 years before in Pittsburgh [MTP]. Note: Clemens was in Pittsburgh during his 1872 lecture course on Jan. 11 to 16.
Louis Fréchette wrote from Montreal, another note in French, thanking for a visit [MTP]. Note in file: “Frechette evidently visited SLC in Hartford on 4 Feb. 1882. See Charles H. Clark to SLC, 4 February, 5 February 1882”; Actually, Frechette was a guest of the Clemenses on Feb. 2, and Friday Evening Club on Feb. 3.
January 25 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood:
“If you and Roswell Smith are proposing a new magazine & Howell’s won’t take the editorship, why don’t you offer it to House?…Of course I have said nothing to him of the matter, & don’t know if he could drop his Japanese interests & his Japanese Consul-Generalship…” [MTP]. Note: Roswell Smith (1829-1892).
Sam inscribed P&P to George W. Curtis (1824-1892): “To Mr. George William Curtis, With the great & sincere respect & esteem of the Author. Hartford Jan. 25/82” [MTP].
John Russell Young wrote: “I send you the World with the autobiography of Reid. I will have The Tribune files looked over to see if Mr Walstein’s report is confirmed” [MTP]. Note: all of this was caused by the suspicion (unfounded) that Whitelaw Reid was attacking Clemens in the press, leading Clemens to deliberate on a bio of Reid.
January 26 Thursday – John Russell Young of the New York Herald inscribed a copy of his Around the World with General Grant in 1877, 1878, 1879 (1879): “To Mark Twain, honoring his genius; and remembering the friendship of many, many years. Jno Russell Young, N.Y., January 26, 1882” [Gribben 795].
Daniel Appleton & Co., New York, billed $9 for “science book and N.A. review; $5 paid Jan. 24 by cash” [MTP]. Note: Webster may have made this N.Y. purchase/payment for Sam.
Charles Webster wrote from NYC: “I have looked the files through very carefully and only find the enclosed. Some of which are copied from other papers as you will see.” Several copies of newspaper reports, negative reviews, are enclosed [MTP]. Note: again, to determine if there was a campaign against Twain.
January 27 Friday – Worden, Webb & Co. advised sale 100 shares Western Union @ 82 [MTP].
John Russell Young wrote: “I send you a copy of my work by express” [MTP]. Note: see Jan 26.
January 28 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells about the Whitelaw Reid “persecutions” of the New York Herald, which Sam had thoroughly investigated after Livy suggested he do so (See Jan. 21 entry to Webster).
Nobody knows better than I, that there are times when swearing cannot meet the emergency. How sharply I feel that, at this moment. Not a single profane word has issued from my lips this morning —I have not even had the impulse to swear, so wholly ineffectual would swearing have manifestly been, in the circumstances. But I will tell you about it.
About three weeks ago, a sensitive friend [Warner], approaching his revelation cautiously, intimated that the N. Y. Tribune was engaged in a kind of crusade against me. This seemed a higher compliment than I deserved; but no matter, it made me very angry. I asked many questions, & gathered, in substance, this: Since Reid’s return from Europe, the Tribune had been flinging sneers & brutalities at me with such persistent frequency “as to attract general remark.” I was an angered—which is just as good an expression, I take it, as an hungered. Next, I learned that Osgood, among the rest of the “general,” was worrying over these constant & pitiless attacks. Next came the testimony of another friend, that the attacks were not merely “frequent,” but “almost daily.” Reflect upon that: “Almost daily” insults, for two months on a stretch. What would you have done?
Sam “set a man out” [MTBus] to search the Tribune and also had London friends collect articles there; only a few items turned up, all explainable. What could his friends have been thinking?
There—that is the prodigious bugaboo, in its entirety! Can you conceive of a man’s getting himself into a sweat over so diminutive a provocation? I am sure I can’t. What the devil can those friends of mine have been thinking about, to spread these 3 or 4 harmless things out into two months of daily sneers & affronts? The whole offense, boiled down, amounts to just this: one uncourteous remark of the Tribune about my book—not me between Nov. 1 & Dec. 20; & a couple of foreign criticisms (of my writings, not me,) between Nov. 1 & Jan. 26! If I can’t stand that amount of friction, I certainly need reconstruction [MTHL 1: 388].
Sam also wrote to Arnold, Constable & Co., letter not extant; referred to in the Co.’s Feb. 1 reply.
Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement of Sam’s account [MTP].
January 29 Sunday – Joe Goodman wrote from Fresno, Calif. to Sam offering his opinion on P&P.
…I am going to say something that will not be agreeable, I presume, but which is spoken with the same warm regard I have always entertained for you and your writings. “The Prince and the Pauper” is the first of your works in which I have ever been disappointed. Aside from the clear-cut English and an occasional bit of elegant description or quiet humor, there is no evidences of your handiwork in the volume. It might have been written by anybody else—by a far less masterly hand, in fact. You went entirely out of your sphere. The laboriousness is apparent everywhere by which you endeavor to harmonize irreconcilable improbabilities, to manage the obsolete customs and parlance of the times, and to wrestle generally with a condition of things to which you feel yourself alien and unsuited. And after all you don’t succeed. The impression of a skillfully wrought-out improbability is still uppermost when the volume is closed; we feel that all the pomp and pauperism has been a masquerade, and not the genuine article, and we are conscious of not having heard the real language of the age and personages, but a stilted imitation that never did and never will have existence outside of a book. You develop no character through any subjective trait. Your princes and paupers, your lords and rogues all express sentiments in common through a common diction. But I am getting more sweeping in my remarks than I intended. Perhaps I should not have indulged in criticism at all, but I have such a high opinion of your abilities that I can’t bear to see them misdirected or exerted at a disadvantage. After all, it is only my own obscure judgment, and I have learned to distrust that mightily. I have seen no newspaper notices of the work. The only other opinion of it I have heard was one directly opposed to mine. Sam Davis, now of the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote me that he was charmed with the story, thought it by far the finest thing you ever did, and that it had exalted you to the highest niche in his estimation.
Who designed the mechanical and artistic features of the book? They are superb [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote a long letter on various topics to Sam, clipping enclosed from Keokuk Gate City about Rev. Dr. Craig. “Many thanks for your dispatch. It made me as easy as an old shoe” [MTP].
January 30 Monday – Edward “Ned” House and his adopted Japanese daughter, Koto, evidently returned for what was intended to be a brief visit, because Sam wrote on Jan. 28 to Howells that “House & Koto are coming Monday. They leave again Tuesday.” House and daughter may have traveled somewhere and returned to spend another day with Sam. An attack of gout would keep House abed at Sam’s for three weeks. House wouldn’t leave until Feb. 20 or 21 [MTNJ 2: 447n34].
Charles Webster wrote: “Your plan of making a variety of cuts for country printers I think is a good one, and I shall keep the boys busy at it. / You forgot to enclose the music store cut from the Courant. / Our printer has broken down & we may not get our new specimen book for a couple of weeks yet” [MTP].
January 31 Tuesday – The Canadian poet laureate, Louis Honoré Fréchette of Quebec, was a big fan of Sam’s and met him during the Montreal dinner. Fréchette was also William Dean Howells’ brother-in-law, husband of Anne Howells. Fréchette soon came to the U.S.; Sam spoke at a dinner in his honor at the Hotel Windsor, in Holyoke, Mass. His subject: “On After-Dinner Speaking”:
Your little talk, which sounded so fine and warbly and nice when you were delivering it in the mellow light of the laps and in an enchanted atmosphere of applause and all-pervading good fellowship, looks miserably pale and vapid and lifeless in the cold print of a damp newspaper next morning, with obituaries and cast iron politics all around it and the hard gray light of day shining upon it and mocking at it. You do not recognize the corpse. You wonder if this is really that gay and handsome creature of the evening before. You look him over and find he certainly is those very remains. Then you want to bury him. You wish you could bury him privately [Fatout, MTSpeaking 166-8].
Howells wrote Sam that his letter about dropping the Whitelaw Reid biography:
“…was an immense relief….I never believed that he was a man capable of persecuting you, or systematically nagging you” [MTHL 1: 390-1].
According to Sam’s Feb. 3 letter to John Young, Edward House became “quite sick” this day, which was the day he was to leave this second visit, planned for one day [MTP].
W. & J. Sloane of Carpet Warehouse, NYC, sent thanks for remittance of $1,375 [MTP].
Worden & Co. (twice) wrote advising purchase of 100 shs of W.U. @ 79 ¾; Also, they sent a statement of account with Jan. 31 balance of $1,968.41 [MTP].
February – Sam’s notebook: “Get Kellogg’s Andersonville experiences through a short-hand reporter,” referring to Robert H. Kellogg’s Life and Death in Rebel Prisons (1865). Kellogg was an agent for the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Hartford at this time [Gribben 366].
February 1 Wednesday – Joe Twichell wrote: “Your remembrance of dear Alex Holley, and your liking for him will give the enclosed eulogy and notice of the works he wrought some interest to you….Hope Jean and House are better this morning…” [MTP]. Note: Alexander Lyman Holley died on Jan. 29; he was the foremost steel engineer of his time.
Arnold, Constable & Co. wrote: “Replying to your favor of the 28th inst., the rugs therein mentioned have been received and placed to your credit, amt. of credit $500.00” [MTP].
February 2 Thursday – The Clemenses entertained Louis Fréchette at their Hartford home [MTHL 1: 389].
Kate D. Barstow wrote from Wash. DC to request additional $50 from Sam for her medical training [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Request complied with.”
February 3 Friday – Sam’s 6 PM Friday Evening Club (drinking, smoking, billiards for men) included: Charles Hopkins Clark, asst. editor of the Hartford Courant; Joe Twichell; Edwin Pond Parker, Congregationalist clergyman; Samuel C. Dunham and Henry C. Robinson attorneys; and William T. Hamersley, state attorney for the Superior Court of Connecticut [MTNJ 2: 445n24]. This meeting provided an introduction to Louis Fréchette. From Twichell’s journal about the gathering:
Dined at M.T.s with a company of gentlemen, invited to meet Mr. Frechette the poet laureate of Canada. Mr. Frechette is a thickset man of medium height—full faced—looks German-ish—very respectable, though rather still—laughs well. M.T. never was so funny as this time. The perfect art of a certain kind of story telling will die with him. No one [illegible word] can equal him, I am sure [Yale, copy at MTP].
Sam wrote from Hartford to John Russell Young, thanking him for his “beautiful volumes.” Sam reciprocated with one of his own, probably P&P and said he’d send another next year. Sam confessed the Tribune had mentioned him “only 5 times in the 2 ½ months; & in the 5 mentions didn’t say anything that could annoy” him “in retaliating.” Sam didn’t want to destroy the notes just yet, though. Explaining why he hadn’t been down to New York, his guest Edward House had been “quite sick” and “not out of bed for 4 days” [MTP]. Note: Sam and Livy were in New York from about Feb. 14 to 18 (see entries).
Charles E.S. Wood at West Point wrote to Sam inviting him to a ball (“an Officers Hop”) on Feb. 22.
“Mrs. Wood has gone to Baltimore to stay till April and I want you and Mr. Twichell and Mr. Blackburn and Mr. [A.W.] Drake Art Supt of the ‘Century’ and Mr. Jones, a young artist lately from Russian & Parisian wilds to occupy my sanity, destroy the terrapins, play whist and use up that Scotch Whisky you left here” [Leon 225-6]. Note: “terrapins” were bowling pins.
February 4 Saturday – Wm. H. Jackson, mfr. grates, New York, billed $17 for “1 large Brass wire Fireguard, special mesh, boxing” paid Mar. 2 [MTP].
Charles H. Clark for Hartford Courant wrote to thank Sam for the prior evening at his home [MTP].
February 5 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Moncure Conway.
Only a mere P.S.—a single sentence to say this morning Springfield Republican has your talk upon Tennyson’s “Despair,” & that I have read it through twice, from the first word to the last, & that it is as beautiful as music,—& full-freighted with all the merits, virtues & charms of literary art: sound reasoning, true poetry, lofty thought, noble imagery; & all set forth with a grace of expression which is enchanting. Thank you heartily for writing it [MTP; Univ. of Nevada Library].
Arnold, Constable & Co, New York, billed $39 for seven slips (four line items), paid Feb. 8 [MTP].
Charles H. Clark for Hartford Courant wrote to Sam that he hadn’t written for the Springfield Republican “for many a year” and the paragraph about Frechette was not his [MTP].
February 6 Monday – Sam cabled Karl Gerhardt that the idea of him taking private lessons from “The Master” was an excellent idea [MTP, see Mar. 21 letter to Gerhardt].
Lillie Edmunds wrote from NYC, a begging letter for help with her design schooling [MTP].
Chatto & Windus wrote to advise they’d offered Tauchnitz to print a German ed. of P&P for £75 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Tauchnitz sent him £75”
February 7 Tuesday – Estes & Lauriat, bookseller wrote to Sam; letter not extant [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote: “We are to have 500 of the new books this afternoon.” He included various ad rates. Part of the letter is torn and missing [MTP].
Worden & Co. wrote advice selling 100 shares Western Union @ 81 &3/4 [MTP].
February 9 Thursday – S.B. Wheeler, “looking glass and picture frames” New York, billed Sam $32 for “1 picture frame 19×24½ $25; relining picture, box & packing” [MTP].
February 10 Friday – In Hartford, Sam declined an invitation from Lt. Charles E. Wood to come up to West Point for an Officers Hop (see Feb. 3 entry). Wood had been post adjutant in 1881 and now served as the post librarian. Sam declined due to illnesses in his and Twichell’s families. Wood wrote again on Feb. 11.
Charles Johnston wrote from Edgar, Ontario praising P&P and the American republic [MTP].
February 11 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to E.B. Peck, to decline an invitation for a dinner at a gathering that called itself “Tom Sawyer’s Gang.” Sam was too busy “crowding his work forward” in order to take his trip up the Mississippi [MTP]. See also The Twainian, Jan-Feb 1957 p.4 for more on this club.
Charles Wood wrote again about Sam visiting West Point. Noting that Sam’s last letter was postmarked the 10th and dated the 11th, Wood wrote —“You are living too fast.” From Wood’s letter:
“Miss Terese Blackburn, a charming Kentucky schoolgirl, is looking forward (as only guileless youth can look upon idols) with enthusiasm to a genuine talk with Mark Twain” [Leon 226].
Louis Fréchette wrote from Montreal. It seems the man only wrote in French [MTP].
February 12 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood. Unwilling to admit that publishing by subscription was no longer the viable method it once was, Sam found every other possible reason for the failure of P&P to generate sales in line with his past successes.
My Dear Osgood—I didn’t know of anything to suggest, so I waited for an idea. It hasn’t arrived. Too brief a pre-canvass, and the subsequent performances of the Bliss gang of general agents, were the main troubles, I guess.—Then there is another—the modern canvasser (not gen’l agent but canvasser,) doesn’t canvass. He sublets to an idiot, on a percentage, and sits at home in aristocratic indolence. That is the case here; it is the case in Elmira, N.Y.; it is doubtless the rule [MTLTP 151].
Sam also mentioned that Edward H. House had been there “mighty sick” the past two weeks, but was “mending somewhat, the last two days”; the need for a trip soon to New York (“I’ve got to go to New York for a day, pretty soon”); and Charles Clark’s progress in editing the “Library of Humor” .
February 12–19 Sunday – Sometime during this period Sam wrote to Twichell. Sam mentioned that “House is getting better and better.” Sam wrote on Feb. 3 about Edward House becoming ill four days before; and wrote to House himself on Feb. 23, so this period of time for the Twichell letter makes more sense than the Feb.12-23 period given by the MTP. Sam offered theological advice:
“I always told you to keep a few sermons ahead—write them in the woods instead of always loafing. If I knew the ropes I’d write you one, cheerfully” [MTP].
February 13 Monday – Dan Slote died. The New York Times obituary of Feb. 14:
Daniel Slote, the well-known blank-book manufacturer and the “Dan” of Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad,” died yesterday at the house of his mother, No., 111 East Fifty-fifth-street. Mr. Slote was for eight years a member of the New York Board of Education under the old system of Ward Commissioners and had been closely connected with the cause of education all his life. He was a member of the old volunteer Fire Department, and also served his time in the Militia as a member of the old State Fencibles. At the time of his death he was a member of the St. Nicholas Society, the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, the Olympic Club, the New York Yacht Club, the old Prospect Park Fair Ground Association, and Howard Lodge of Masons. Mr. Slote was for 20 years the head of the old firm of Slote, Woodman & Co., and in later years of that of Daniel Slote & Co. He married about 15 years ago a daughter of ex-Alderman James Griffiths, who survives him with their two young children.
Charles Warren Stoddard wrote from Honolulu to thank Clemens for P&P, which had just arrived.
February 14 Tuesday – Sam and Livy probably took the trip to New York this day that Sam had mentioned in several previous letters. The Gilsey House bill of Feb. 21 specified nights from Feb. 15 through Feb. 18, plus other purchases, and sets the timeframe for this trip.
Dean Sage wrote from NYC. He had rec’d Sam’s telegram of this day (not extant) but could not meet him on Thursday as he & the wife were leaving that day for Ft. Monroe [MTP].
Tiffany & Co., per Skinner wrote they had shipped “a case of glass to be used over the mantel,” and asked that it be put aside until their men could put it in place [MTP]. The glass case to be used above the mantel was shipped by Louis C. Tiffany & Co. [MTNJ 2: 448].
Jacob E. Hemmell (b. ca. 1841) wrote a letter from Baltimore, overflowing with praise and flattery to lobby for an autograph [MTP].
February 15 Wednesday – Worden & Co. wrote advising 200 shs of Wabash bought @ 30 ½ [MTP].
February 16 Thursday – William Dowson wrote from Chloride, N.M. to praise RI [MTP].
David M. Drury wrote from Brooklyn to follow up a request for an autograph [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No answer”
February 17 Friday – A.A. Vantine & Co., New York, billed Livy $29.75 for “1 set tea toys[?], 2 trays, 5 boxes magic flowers”; paid same day [MTP]. Note: This purchase by Livy and the Feb. 18 Times notation (see entry) support the idea that Sam and Livy made another trip to New York sometime after Feb. 12, (at least by the Feb. 14 purchase of glass case) and returned by Feb. 19.
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam: “My sin, as a total abstainer, now finds me out. I haven’t a beer bottle in the house…Will you kindly spare a few of your empty ones?” Having to do with malt extract [MTP].
February 18 Saturday – According to the New York Times, page 8 under “PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE,” Sam was staying at the Hotel Brunswick. Note: Sam may have thrown off the Times by some sort of ruse—the Clemens family stayed at the Gilsey House; see bill at end of this entry.
Gilman Collamore & Co., “china, glass, pottery” New York, receipted $23.33 for “1 doz oyster plates $15; 1/3 doz tumblers $3.33; 2/3 doz tumblers $5”. [MTP]. See Feb. 14 & 17 entries for other purchases.
R.B. Buchanan for Western Publishing House wrote [MTP].
John W. Sanborn wrote from Perry, NY asking how to treat the adjective in Greek, as he’d advised him how to do so in Latin last Nov. [MTP].
William J. Lampton wrote:
You will remember perhaps in 1876 when I was in St Louis keeping books I asked you to assist me in getting a place in a newspaper but you told me I’d better stick at what I was. But I didn’t do it, and five years ago this month I went to Ky and started down so low as to publish a Republican paper in that state (Possibly you dont know just what sort of a job that was. I do—now) Then I went to Cincinnati & then here in 1879 & here I have succeeded in getting my name in lots of papers and my picture in several more and this week just 5 years from my first work on a newspaper I have been offered & accepted the position of City Editor of the Courier-Journal of Louisville without any solicitation or knowledge of it until the proposition was made. That’s all. I feel like I am entitled to this crow for you were the first man I ever talked to in the newspaper business and I felt interested in you. No preventing Providence. I go to Louisville Mch 1st & if you ever come down that way, we will see if we cant find a fresh cork out of a bourbon bottle for you to smell at. . . . Remember me to Mrs Clemens and the little chicks. / Yours, / W. J. Lampton / Ed Herald [MTPO].
The Gilsey House bill written on Feb. 21, $86.60, to “Sam and wife” stayed in room 91 for one day, and room 86 for 16th to 18th; rooms $14, meals $14.40, carriages $1.50, messages $1.70, and cash advanced of $55 [MTP]. This bill sets the dates of the trip at Feb. 14/15 through Feb. 18, the couple leaving on Feb. 19 (where Sam wrote a letter from Hartford on that date); bill paid Feb. 27.
February 19 Sunday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to an unidentified person:
“The expression of the reverence & admiration which I feel for our great poet could not be compressed into the narrow limits of a toast or a ‘sentiment;’ so I will not make the attempt. / Ys Truly / Mark Twain” [MTP]. Note: in what appears to be another hand, in pencil at the top: “Re: Longfellow.”
February 20 Monday – M.B. Bennett wrote from Cleveland to ask Sam “events of his life” for their club [MTP].
February 21 Tuesday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Lieutenant Charles Wood at West Point. Wood had mentioned “Miss Terese Blackburn, a charming Kentucky schoolgirl,” who was anxious for a “genuine talk” with Mark Twain.
Twichell’s Tribe and mine are still in doctor’s hands. The circumstances remain in both cases about as they were before. Do not let the charming Kentucky school girl get away from there: put her under martial restraint until we come, for Joe and I are certainly coming, just as soon as things will permit.
We bear your proffered hospitality in mind, and propose to take advantage of it as early as we can. Speaking of dead days: Have you seen my 1601? Did not Gen. Sherman or Gen. Van Vliet have it when I was at the Point? It’s circulation is quietly enlarging: A copy of it has just gone to Japan [to Edward House]. I shall get into trouble with it yet before I die [Leon 227-8].
Sam also typed a letter to Mary Mason Fairbanks, revealing that the late Dan Slote had in fact stole from him:
“…during at least seven years unsuspected by me. I never found him out until twelve months ago. I did not find him out then, but a sharper man than I am, did” [MTP]. Note: the sharper man was Webster.
Gilsey House of New York billed $86.60 for the Feb. 15 through 18stay; paid Feb. 27 (see Feb. 18) [MTP]. Note: Hotel invoices were sometimes written a day or more after Sam’s stay. This one is unique in that it specifies dates of stay in more than one room.
Jane Clemens started a letter from Fredonia to Sam & Livy that she finished Feb. 21. About diphtheria and smallpox fears, about her inability to visit yet though she hoped to come soon [MTP].
Louis Fréchette sent Sam a circular “Vive La France!” of a poem in French [MTP].
February 22 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam inscribed a portrait of himself to an unidentified person: “There isn’t any merit in doing a thing which it is a pleasure to do: & therefore none is claimed by / Ys Truly / SL. Clemens / (Mark Twain) / Hartford, Feb. 22, 1882” [MTP].
Sam received “a lot of English notices” on P&P, which he thought were “profoundly complimentary; even the ‘London Times’ stoops to flatter’ ” [MTP, Feb. 23 to House].
Edward W. Bok wrote from Brooklyn. “Now, Sir, will you not oblige me with what I have written you 4 letters about…” asking for “a short letter in your handwriting” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered—will bring a sharp rejoinder, doubtless / A letter from the unspeakable Bok”; see Sam’s Feb. 24 answer.
Jane Clemens finished her letter begun Feb. 21 to Sam and Livy [MTP].
Irene E. Ruff wrote from Athens, Ga., a begging letter for herself and her children [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Telegraphed No; Southern woman writes a long letter asking help”
Sallie B. Morgan wrote from Greenwood, Miss., her book out after “many trials and tribulations.” She asked Sam to criticize it in a way that would “draw public attention” [MTP]. Note in file: “Sallie B. Morgan appears to be the Pollie B. Morgan of #40697, 11 Feb. 1881 – RKR”
February 23 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Edward House. Koto left her shawl behind and Livy was getting it ready to mail as Sam typed the letter. He told of receiving English notices on P&P the day before and did a bit of bragging about being the “recipient of a most gaudy English in-come, from three books which cannot be pirated.” He explained the type written letter as him being “brim full of rheumatism and it gives me an excellent excuse for practicing typewriting on you.” The “whole gang” was sick “but none of us sick enough to hurt” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Miss Noyes (daughter or grand daughter of General Edward Noyes, b.1832?) who evidently had sent Sam a composition, which Sam complimented. He also asked the question:
“Wasn’t it your Academy which employed David Grey [sic] & me to judge the essays & award the prizes, once? Precious few thanks we got for the piece of honest work which we turned out upon that occasion.”
If Sam was correct in associating this Miss Noyes’ Academy with the above, it would suggest the recipient of this letter lived in Buffalo. The General returned to Cincinnati this year after being replaced as U.S. Minister to France. Sam told of the evolution of his Saturday Morning Club and offered advice for the girl’s “Thursday Class”—talk, don’t try to write and share papers [MTP].
“We’ve got a young girls’ club here, too. It is six or seven years old. I’ve been a member of it from the start; & I’m the only young girl of my sex that is. They waived sex, in my case, because they preferred solid wisdom to perfunctory technicalities. (Perfunctory is a pretty good word, though I am a little dim as to its meaning.)” [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote “anxious to learn” Sam’s opinion of his autobiography [MTP].
Solon L. Severance wrote from Cleveland, shocked by the death of Dan Slote. Did Sam plan to “come out this way?” [MTP].
Harold Turner wrote from Hannibal, Mo enclosing a SASE for an autograph [MTP]. Note: the SASE in file, unused.
February 24 Friday – Sam gave a reading at Twichell’s Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford, Reported in Hartford Courant, Feb. 25, page 3: “Additional City News” [Schmidt].
The Century’s art editor, W. Lewis Fraser, informed Sam that Abbott H. Thayer (1849-1921) was chosen to draw Sam’s portrait for the Sept. issue. The portrait was to go with an essay on Sam by Howells. Sam made a note to write the artist [MTNJ 2: 449n40].
Sam wrote from Hartford to Edward W. Bok (1863-1930) who had written asking for something in writing from Sam.
“…no man takes pleasure in exercising his trade as a pastime. Writing is my trade, and I exercise it only when I am obliged to. You might make your request of a doctor, or a builder, or a sculptor…It would never be fair to ask a doctor for one of his corpses to remember him by” [MTP].
Note: Bok was born in the Netherlands; at the age of six, he immigrated to Brooklyn and became an office boy with the Western Union Telegraph Co. in 1876. In the same year as this letter, 1882, he began work with Henry Holt & Co.; in 1884, he became involved with Scribner’s, where he eventually became advertising manager. From 1884 until 1887, Bok was the editor of The Brooklyn Magazine, and in 1886, he founded The Bok Syndicate Press. From this, he gained the editorship of Ladies Home Journal in 1889. Bok won the Pulitzer prize for best autobiography, The Americanization of Edward Bok, and is credited for coining the word “living room” to replace the older “parlor” (not on his tombstone).
Sam also typed a long letter to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt about their progress and artists they knew in common. He asked after Walter F. Brown, the artist who illustrated Tramp Abroad. He apologized for typing the letter due to being “full of rheumatism and laziness.” Everyone was sick at the Clemens residence and they’d “been through a long siege of house building and decorating, and have had a good deal of company in the house” so that Livy had not been able to write but would do so soon [MTP].
W. Lewis Fraser for Century Co. wrote “I enclose a note from Mr. Abbott H. Thayer, the artist who is to draw your portrait. Will this suit you?” [MTP].
Abbott H. Thayer wrote a postcard promising to do Sam’s portrait in two sittings of 3 hrs each [MTP].
February 25 Saturday – Christian Tauchnitz, Jr. wrote: “Accept my best thanks for your amiable letter of the 18th of January…” He’d paid £75 on Dec. 5 to Chatto & Windus for the right to publish P&P on the continent, and asked about the binding Sam preferred [MTP]. Note in file: “SLC replies to this on 30 March 1882 (see Tauchnitz to SLC, 15 April 1882) / Postmark on back of envelope may be Feb 25”
Charles H. Clark for Hartford Courant wrote: “I shipped all those books I drew from Osgood to Howells yesterday, by express” [MTP].
Worden & Co. Wrote of 100 shares of Mo Pac bought at 96 & ¾ [MTP].
February 26 Sunday – Charles H. Clark for Hartford Courant wrote to ask Sam’s advice. He’d been invited by a friend in London to join him for 4 or 5 weeks. Clark had never been abroad. Did Clemens think he might get some work done on board? [MTP]. Note: this may be on the Encyclopedia Of Humor
February 27 Monday – Mrs. Richard H. Jones wrote from N. Orleans to ask for Sam’s autograph. Much of the letter is faded out [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gee Whillikers!”
February 28 Tuesday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy of his progress at school [MTP].
Worden & Co. Sent a statement showing a balance of $13,682.53 [MTP].
February, end – The letters between Charles Erskine Scott Wood (USMA 1874) and Sam earlier show that the clandestine trip Sam made to West Point took place sometime after Feb. 24. Sam went for a personal trip and to secretly engage Wood to print 1601. He wrote the story in 1876 and passed it around to his closest friends. In 1880, Alexander Gunn printed four copies in Cleveland. Sam sent one copy to Wood. Dean Sage also printed a dozen copies in Brooklyn. Pirated copies had popped up here and there in England; Sam’s letter of Feb. 24 to Wood reveals he even sent one to Japan (to Edward House). The West Point edition is the first “authorized” by Sam; Wood was taking quite a chance to print it on Government presses (see Apr. 3 entry).
February, end–March 1 Wednesday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to James R. Osgood that he wouldn’t let Howells back out of a planned trip to Hartford to collaborate. Osgood sent the telegram to Howells, who referred to the fact on Mar. 2 (see entry) [MTHL 1: 392].
March – On a copy of John Bunyan’s (1622-1688) The Pilgrim’s Progress (Chinese), Sam inscribed: “Sent from Bangkok Siam by H.R.H. the Rajah of Ambong and Morocco in the Island of Borneo. This prince is a full-blooded Yankee, and was born in Boston. Hartford, March, 1882” [Gribben 112]. Note: This book sent by Joseph William Torrey as per Torrey’s of Jan. 1, 1882.
Clemens also wrote “Joshua Davidson / Mrs. Lyn Linton,” referring to The True History of Joshua Davidson by Elizabeth Linton (1873). Sam bought the book shortly after this notebook entry [MTNJ 2: 452n55].
Sam jotted the title of John William DeForest’s novel in his notebook: Kate Beaumont (1872). DeForest wrote Sam on July 31, 1874 suggesting collaboration on a book of sketches [Gribben 182]. Sam noted the title and publisher of Luigi Monti’s (Samuel Sampleton, 1830-1914) Adventures of a Consul Abroad (1878) [Gribben 481].
March 1 Wednesday – William T. Hamersley was company at the Clemens home [Letter of Mar. 2. to Webster].
Charles Ethan Porter wrote from Paris, France, where he frequently met with the Gerhardts [MTP].
Hubbard & Farmer sent a statement showing a credit to Sam of $12,775 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Account squared & discontinued”; the account continued on, however, so he changed his mind.
Charles Webster reported that Kaolatype had paid $206 worth of work the last week. He told of Goff stopping in wanting to know what he might sell his Kaolatype stock for. Webster answered they weren’t buying but trying to sell, as Kaolatype was not yet a paying proposition [MTP].
March 2 Thursday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Charles Webster that he’d asked Hamersley the night before “if the $25000.00 had been raised” for the Paige typesetter investment; Hamersley answered that it had and that “the work perfecting the machine was proceeding.” Sam also mentioned that he’d seen the man “half a dozen times within the last month” and “never exchanged a word about that matter….” He added that he didn’t want to buy any more stock from the Howard brothers (the watch maker stock) [MTP].
Tiffany & Co., New York, billed $37.20 for Feb. 12 purchase, “16 plates; 2 boxes cards”, paid Mar. 16 [MTP]. Note: this purchase is two days before Sam and Livy traveled to New York, and on the same day Sam wrote Edward House, “I’ve got to go to New York for a day, pretty soon.” The purchase may have been ordered by Webster or by letter/telegram.
Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909) wrote to ask Sam if he would “reel something off—no matter how short” for the Century on their crusade for copyright [MTP].
Howells wrote from Boston to Sam that Osgood had sent Sam’s telegram and replied “I expect to be down on you by the train leaving here at 4 Saturday afternoon” [MTHL 1: 392].
E.S. Nadal wrote on Century Club, NYC notepaper to thank “for the trouble you have taken about my matter. Your letter when read aloud at dinner was greatly enjoyed” [MTP]. Note: Sam to Nadal not extant.
James Van Vorden wrote from NYC asking Sam to autograph enclosed cards for their charity fair [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote urging Sam to come to some banquet, and talking about stocks—he thought Wabash now at 34 would go to 50 [MTP].
March 3 Friday – Sam was still typing letters. He typed one from Hartford to Andrew Chatto thanking him for requested English reviews of P&P. “They are surprisingly complimentary” [MTNJ 2: 449n41].
Sam also wrote a short note to John W. Sanborn, probably answering his Feb. 18 letter:
“I wish you had spoken a little sooner, because I am thinking of joining a church now, and I cannot seem to curse good any more. Sometimes I feel ashamed of my efforts, but if I do not join, or if after I do join, I manage to get my hand in again, I will give that Greek Adjective a cursing that will satisfy your heart” [MTP].
John W. Sanborn wrote to answer Sam’s of this day. Sanborn was glad Sam was “about to join the church…I am content, for I know the church will be greatly strengthened by your wholesome, smile-compelling presence” [MTP; Distinguished Authors Whom I Have Known, etc., p. 12].
Orion Clemens wrote: “All right. You are a splendid brother. I shall not worry another dogoned bit.” He was glad Ma would visit Sam and hoped Sam might “drop something into Ma’s ear that will have a soothing tendency. She is worrying over a suspicion that I have lost my situation at the printing office. I have neither confessed nor denied” [MTP].
Bissell & Co. Wrote advising of a credit of $5,150 rec’d in Sam’s of Mar. 2. Also in pencil, advice about buying the “Paris stock” [MTP].
March 4 Saturday – Howells arrived at Sam’s for a two-day visit to collaborate on a play, a lecture tour, a book of travel and the encyclopedia of humor proposal [MTHL 1: 392n1].
Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood, obviously in a good mood and practicing dialect.
“I’s gwyne to sen’ you de stuff jis’ as she stan’, now; and’ you an’ Misto Howls kin weed out enuff o’dem 93,000 words fer to crowd de book down to one book; or you kin shove in enuff er dat ole Contrib-Club truck fer to swell her up en bust her in two an’ make two books outen her” [MTLTP 152-3].
March 6 Monday – William Dean Howells returned to Boston [MTHL 1: 392n1].
Sam telegraphed from Hartford to John Russell Young. Sam had written to General Grant for a favor of keeping Howells’ father in his Toronto consulate position. He asked Young to get Grant’s answer and write or send him a telegram, saving Grant the bother [MTP].
He also wrote to Dean Sage, letter not extant but referred to in Sage’s Mar. 7 reply.
Abbott H. Thayer wrote from NYC to ask Sam to save him Thurs-Sat. March 16-18 and he expected to need only the first two days to complete Sam’s portrait [MTP].
March 7 Tuesday – Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, thrilled with a letter just rec’d from the Clemenses. More about progress on their studies [MTP]. Note: dated Mar. 8 but postmarked 7th.
Ulysses S. Grant wrote from NYC advising Sam of the days and times he’d be available [MTP]. Note in file: “SLC saw Grant on 10 March about keeping William Cooper Howells (WDH’s father) on as U.S. Consul in Toronto”
Hooker & Co., Carriages wrote, illustrations and costs enclosed [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote having rec’d Sam’s of the 6th, putting the banquet at Friday the 10th at 3.15 p.m. at Delmonico’s. He thought Sam would make money from the Wabash stock he held [MTP].
March 8 Wednesday – George P. Bissell wrote with a Bradstreet’s report on the Am. Bank Note Co., which he highly recommended [MTP].
Hooker & Co. wrote a short Note: “Your telegram just received. We will put the carriage in the works immediately and push it forward to completion as fast as possible” [MTP].
Henry Dwight Spencer (1854-1929) wrote from Bloomington, Illinois to ask the question his niece had posed: “What sort of a man did Tom Sawyer become?” The question referred to the final paragraph from TS, when Twain wrote “Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be…” [MTP]. Note: Sam never wrote of Tom or Huck as adults. Spencer wrote on legal stationery; he practiced law in his father’s (Hamilton Spencer; 1815-1891) firm.
March 9 Thursday – Sam took a train to New York, where he met Howells. The two men checked into the Hotel Brunswick [MTNJ 2: 451n54; N.Y. Times Mar. 10 p.8].
Clarence E. Ash (ca. 1861-1897) in Sioux City, Ia. sent a pre-printed autograph seeking card, spelling Clemens with two ‘m’s [MTP].
M.T. Williams wrote from Riverside, Conn. to essentially give his life story (he was 55) and including several “computations.” He offered Sam an interest in a book that might be published with all his figures [MTP].
March 10 Friday – At noon, Sam saw Ulysses S. Grant at 2 Wall Street in New York, hoping to prevent President Arthur from replacing William Dean Howells’ father, William Cooper Howells as U.S. consul at Toronto. Shortly after this day, Grant assured Sam that Howells would keep the post [MTNJ 2: 450n47].
Sam also wrote other appointments for the day in his notebook: 10 A.M. for David Maitland Armstrong, who specialized in designing and making stained glass windows. Armstrong had a studio in the City; 9:30 AM Richard Watson Gilder, editor-in-chief of the Century; 1 PM – Russell Sage and Dean Sage (Russell was a “Multi-millionaire Wall Street speculator, distantly related to the much younger Dean Sage”). During the year Dean Sage acted as Sam’s broker in New York City. Sam also noted to telephone Bissell and buy $5,000 stock in American Bank Note Co. [MTNJ 2: 451].
The one errand Sam failed to do for Livy was to call on Charles and Annie Webster, who were hosting Jane Clemens and Pamela Moffett, to determine what day the two ladies planned to arrive in Hartford. Sam and Howells did call on the Websters and his family but failed to ask the needed question [MTHL 1: 393].
An unidentified person wrote a fan letter to Sam, the signature torn off at the bottom
March 11 Saturday – Arnold, Constable & Co., New York, billed Sam $19.78 for “blankets, gloves, lace, ruffling”; paid Mar. 16 [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote (Edward B. Dickinson to Osgood Mar. 10 enclosed): “You see by the enclosed that Dickinson cannot go. I have written asking him if he can recommend any one” [MTP]. Note: Sam was looking for a stenographer to go on the Miss. River trip.
** Frederick T. Frelinghuysen wrote to General Grant that it was not their intention to make a change in the Consulate at Toronto; the letter here forwarded by Grant to Clemens [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Directed by General U.S. Grant. Enclosure, an autograph note from the Secretary of State.”
March 11 Saturday ca. – Sam returned home to Hartford. William Dean Howells traveled with him on the same train; Livy met Sam with the family carriage at the Hartford Station; Howells went on to Boston [MTHL 1:395]. (See Howells to Sam Mar. 15.)
March 13 Monday – Sam’s mother, Jane Clemens, and his sister, Pamela Moffett, arrived in Hartford to visit Sam, Livy and the children. They stayed until Apr. 8 [MTHL 1: 393]. Note: MTNJ 2: 457n81 puts the end of the visit at Apr. 7.
From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to John Russell Young. Sam missed seeing Young during his recent trip to New York to confer with General Grant. After explaining that Grant had written a letter to help Sam in his attempts to save Howells’ father’s Toronto consulate position, he also wrote of Webster’s request for a letter of introduction from Young to Governor Alonzo Barton Cornell (1832-1904).
“DO YOU EVER NEED A DAY’S REST? I WISH YOU WOULD COME UP HERE THE FIRST CHANCE YOU GET, AND LET US HAVE A LEISURELY TALK AND SMOKE TOGETHER; YOU KNOW I CAN TALK TO YOU EASIER, THAN I CAN PRACTISE ON YOU WITH THE TYPE WRITER” [MTP].
Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote another long folksy letter from Cleveland, including “moral lessons” that Sam must hear [MTP].
James Van Vorden wrote a postcard from NYC, not having heard a reply for an autograph request for their charity fair [MTP].
March 14 Tuesday – Sam typed a note from Hartford to Frank Fuller, about missing him in New York on his recent trip. Their relationship had been rather vacant since the “steam-generator” fiasco of 1877, when Sam lost $5,000. It’s not clear who re-initiated contact. (See also Mar. 23 entry.)
I WAS OUT TO DINNER THAT AFTER-NOON AT THREE O’CLOCK, AND DID NOT GET AWAY FROM IT, TILL TEN THAT NIGHT, WHEN I FOUND YOUR CARD AWAITING ME…I SUPPOSED YOU WERE DEAD, AND HAVE BEEN WEARING MOURNING IN A MOST RIDICULOUS WAY, AND EXPLAINING IT, WITH ABSURD COMPLIMENTARY LIES ABOUT YOU. BUT I SHALL COME OUT IN COLORS NOW…THE FIRST TIME I GO TO NEW YORK, I WILL LOOK IN AT THE STURTEVANT [MTP].
Sam also wrote two letters to Howells, both typed and bearing corrections not in Sam’s handwriting. These were probably transcribed by Roswell Phelps, Sam’s secretary during the Mississippi trip. In the first letter, Sam notes the hotel bill for Howells had been included on his bill, and his confession about forgetting to ask his mother and sister what day they planned to come to Hartford. The second letter was sent right after the mail brought Sam a letter from General Grant, conveying Secretary of State Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen’s reply that no change would be made in the Consulate at Toronto [MTHL 1: 393-4].
Sam also wrote to A. Arthur Reade, who was soliciting testimonials for his 1883 book, Study and Stimulants: or, The Use of Intoxicants and Narcotics in Relation to Intellectual Life. Sam’s answers are revealing:
I have not had a large experience in the matter of alcoholic drinks [!!] I find that about two glasses of champagne are an admirable stimulant to the tongue, and is, perhaps, the happiest inspiration for an after dinner speech which can be found; but, as far as my experience goes, wine is a clog to the pen, not an inspiration. I have never seen the time when I could write to my satisfaction after drinking even one glass of wine.
As regards smoking, my testimony is of the opposite character. I am forty-six years old, and I have smoked immoderately during thirty-eight years, with the exception of a few intervals, which I will speak of presently. During the first seven years of my life I had no health—I may almost say that I lived on allopathic medicine, but since that period I have hardly known what sickness is. My health has been excellent, and remains so. As I have already said, I began to smoke immoderately when I was eight years old; that is, I began with one hundred cigars a month, and by the time I was twenty I had increased my allowance to two hundred a month. Before I was thirty, I had increased it to three hundred a month. I think I do not smoke more than that now; I am quite sure I never smoke less. Once, when I was fifteen, I ceased from smoking for three months, but I do not remember whether the effect resulting was good or evil. I repeated this experiment when I was twenty-two; again I do not remember what the result was. I repeated the experiment once more, when I was thirty-four, and ceased from smoking during a year and a half. My health did not improve, because it was not possible to improve health which was already perfect. As I never permitted myself to regret this abstinence, I experienced no sort of inconvenience from it. I wrote nothing but occasional magazine articles during pastime, find as I never wrote one except under strong impulse, I observed no lapse of facility. But by and by I sat down with a contract behind me to write a book of five or six hundred pages—the book called “Roughing it”—and then I found myself most seriously obstructed. I was three weeks writing six chapters. Then I gave up the fight, resumed my three hundred cigars, burned the six chapters, and wrote the book in three months, without any bother or difficulty. I find cigar smoking to be the best of all inspirations for the pen, and, in my particular case, no sort of detriment to the health. During eight months of the year I am at home, and that period is my holiday. In it I do nothing but very occasional miscellaneous work; therefore, three hundred cigars a month is a sufficient amount to keep my constitution on a firm basis. During the family’s summer vacation, which we spend elsewhere, I work five hours every day, and five days in every week, and allow no interruption under any pretext. I allow myself the fullest possible marvel of inspiration; consequently, I ordinarily smoke fifteen cigars during my five hours’ labours, and if my interest reaches the enthusiastic point, I smoke more. I smoke with all my might, and allow no intervals [Gutenberg Project online; Study and Stimulants 120-22]. <http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/ststm10.txt>
Roswell H. Phelps wrote, agreeing to go on the River trip as his stenographer; he advised he would see Clemens at 5 or 7 the following day; this is a reply to Sam’s letter (not extant) [MTP].
Abbott H. Thayer wrote that he planned to reach Hartford at 7:08 p.m. the following day and would come straight to the Clemens home [MTP].
March 15 Wednesday – Hartford schoolteacher, Roswell H. Phelps, visited Sam to apply for stenographer on the upcoming trip to the Mississippi. Negotiations for salary took place. Phelps may have shown Sam some fundamentals of shorthand, because there are several practice pages of shorthand from this period in Sam’s notebook [MTNJ 2: 453n59].
In Boston, Howells wrote Sam:
Thanks and thanks for all your kindness in my father’s affair….Now what can I do to show my sense of Grant’s kindness? Would it be too hard on him if I sent him two of my books…? What a bare-faced pretence is that bill of $6.85! You have got on such a string of misrepresentations in regards to your mother’s visit that you can’t tell the truth about anything. Why, the breakfast bacon that I ate alone [was] worth $6.85….You can’t think what a sneaking desire I had to get into the carriage, that day, and drive home with you and Mrs. Clemens. Note: Howells and Sam had returned home on the same train; Livy met Sam at the Hartford station; probably Mar. 11.
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam, giving a list of Sam’s sketches published in the Atlantic, enough for a book of 250 to 300 pages. “When shall we publish and on what terms?” [MTP].
March 16 Thursday – After meeting with Sam, Roswell H. Phelps, after conferring with his boss at the Continental Ins. Co., Hartford, outlined in a letter his acceptable conditions for his employment as a stenographer. “Suppose we make it at the rate of $100. per month and all expenses for the time I am actually absent from this office?” [MTP]. These must have been acceptable because Sam quickly agreed and wrote Webster on Mar. 20 of his choice [MTNJ 2: 517].
March 18 Saturday – John Russell Young wrote thanks for Sam’s congratulations on his consulship. Young preferred Japan but bowed to Grant’s “superior and supreme judgment.” He was going to Washington on Tuesday but would still like to visit Sam [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Jno Russell Young / U.S. Minister to China.”
March 19 Sunday – Susy Clemens’ tenth birthday.
Charles B. Paine (8 yr. Old boy in Hallowell, Me.) sent a pre-printed invitation for an autograph [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No”
William D. Howells wrote [MTP].
“I got your dispatch by mail yesterday, and shall act upon your suggestion. / Tomorrow I hope to send you a lot of the books that Clarke & I have gone through & that are now ready for your reading: you will get Uncle Remus and all of Warner & Bret Harte. I will shortly follow this batch with Artemus Ward & Mark Twain; and hereafter the books had better go to you from Clarke direct & then come to me. After the first of May I hope to have pretty solid block of time till July 1st to work at the Library of Humor in, and I shall be glad of all the books you can go over before you start South. / Even proceeding upon the hotch-potch plan adopted the book ought to have some sort of chronological progression. Let us take it period by period, from the earliest gigglings of the humoristic must, & [the rest of the letter is missing from this Paine’s TS]. [MTP] (not in MTHL)
March 20 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, asking him to:
“…thank Mr. Whitford for his efforts to get me a stenographer, but I had already secured one, just before your letter came” [MTNJ 2: 517].
Sam also typed a short note to John Russell Young, who had replied to Sam’s request for a visit. “Name the day yourself” Sam offered [MTP].
Abbott H. Thayer wrote a postcard from Peekskill, NY to Sam that the portrait was “all that I hoped” but would like Sam to come to NY for one hour [MTP].
March 21 Tuesday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt.
“DON’T YOU IMAGINE ANY NONSENSE ABOUT DISPLEASING US. I AM NOT THE SORT OF PERSON WHO MANIFESTS DISPLEASURE BY SILENCE. I SEND A CABLEGRAM ON THE SPOT. UNTIL YOU GET THAT SORT OF CABLEGRAM, YOU CAN REST PERFECTLY EASY, THAT NO TROUBLE IS BREWING.”
Sam mentioned a cable gone awry he sent on Feb. 6. He also told them of his upcoming six-weeks or two-month trip up the Mississippi, saying he’d be too busy or lazy to write then [MTP].
Donald M. Grant wrote from Dublin, Ireland, describing himself as an “embryo doctor” at the Cork St. Hospital. Grant had read all of Twain’s publications available in Europe and claimed to have memorized much of it [MTP]. Note: He would write again from India on Jan. 21, 1883.
Abbott H. Thayer wrote another postcard, hoping Sam might come to NY within two weeks to give him one hour or less to sit again for the portrait [MTP].
March 22 Wednesday – In Boston, Howells wrote a short note to Sam concerning the “Library of Humor” work and his plans to go to Europe [MTHL 1: 395].
March 23 Thursday – Clara Spaulding arrived at the Clemens home after a trip through the South [MTNJ 2: 458n85].
Frank Fuller wrote to Sam somewhat apologetic for his loss in the “steam-generator” speculation of 1877. He encouraged Sam to buy shares in the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad .
Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells about the British counter proposal for cooperative copyright law, and work on the “Encyclopedia of Humor.” Howells wrote on Mar. 22 about the latter.
I am at work upon Bret Harte, but am not enjoying it. He is the worst literary shoe-maker, I know. He is as blind as a bat. He never sees anything correctly, except California scenery. He is as slovenly as Thackeray, and as dull as Charles Lamb. The things which you and Clark have marked, are plenty good enough in their way, but to my jaundiced eye, they do seem to be lamentably barren of humor. Still I think we want some funereal rot in the book as a foil [MTHL 1: 396]. (typewritten) Note: Charles Lamb (1775-1834).
Sam sent The Stolen White Elephant to Howells by Adams Express [MTP Mar. 25 letter to Osgood].
Sam also typed again to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt. Besides ending the letter with the news that Susie had the chicken-pox, Sam told Karl to send this letter to Chatto & Windus for a book on Greek and Roman mythology Karl wanted. He also wrote of Livy’s interest in Hattie’s “Cluny” picture,
“MRS CLEMENS THINKS THE CLUNY IS THE MOST FASCINATING PLACE ON THE EARTH, AND THOSE OLD CHIMNEY PIECES AND CABINETS THE QUAINTEST, AND PRETTIEST, AND MOST FASCINATING THINGS IN CLUNY. SHE WANTS THAT PICTURE” [MTP]. (Cluny Square, Left Bank in Paris.)
William B. Franklin wrote (enclosing Gustavus Smith to Franklin Mar 22.) “ My dear Clemens / The writer of the within figure as a rebel Genl of considerable note in the early part of the war. I have written him discouraging his idea of trying to get his book published here. I find your name as a Director in the Amer. Pub. Co.” [MTP]. Note: Smith’s letter asked the title and address of the Hartford publishing co. Gustavus Woodson Smith (1821-1896), Major General in the Confederate Army.
Frank Fuller for Health Food Co. wrote, glad to have heard from Clemens again. He commiserated again about money lost on the Bowers deal, feeling very guilty. In order to return the $5,000 lost to Clemens on those bad inventions, Fuller thought the Indiana, Bloomington & Western RR stock selling at $41 would take “a considerable rise very soon” [MTP].
March 24 Friday – The death of Henry W. Longfellow saddened New Englanders. He died at the age of 75 of peritonitis [MTHL 1: 398]. Note: His death particularly affected William Dean Howells, who wrote his father that he called to check on Longfellow’s health almost at the exact moment of death [Goodman and Dawson 216].
Richard Watson Gilder wrote about copyright issues and bills in Congress, enclosing a circular (not in file). Any time Sam wanted to go to Washington to lobby, Gilder would go with him [MTP].
John Henton Carter for St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote asking for another scene, possibly from LM for his next issue of his Almanac [MTP].
Independent Watch Co. per O.R. Burchard wrote announcing a meeting of stockholders to elect Directors, Apr. 4 at 2 p.m. Fredonia [MTP].
Edward T. Potter wrote: “Mr. [Alfred H.] Thorp has asked me to explain that his bill for expenses & time away from his office is for time spent in coming and going” [MTP].
March 25 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood about offering the “Stolen White Elephant” to Century. Sam had sent it to Howells to review. There were also some details about letterhead and Charles Clark’s name and P.O. Box being on it [MTP].
Frank Fuller wrote in a hurry seeing his family off, about Dean Sage and stock opportunities [MTP].
George N. Marsh for Kaolatype Engraving Co. wrote: “Yours of 24th inst is received with check for $500.00 enclosed for which credit has been given. / … Geo. N. Marsh” [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote that he’d be happy to see Fuller but had all the stock he felt he should carry [MTP].
before March 27– (MTP’s transcription is labeled “before 1 April 1882”) Sam wrote a one-liner from New York to James R. Osgood: “Submit this to Howells, first”; enclosed was the MS of “The Stolen White Elephant” [MTHL 1: 397]. Note: MTHL 1: gives the date as “shortly before” Mar. 27, when Sam thanked Howells for reading the story.
March 27 Monday – Sam wrote (typewritten) from Hartford to Charles Webster.
“Come come my boy, tell me what you have been doing. I may be in New York for an hour tomorrow; cannot tell yet” [MTBus 184].
Sam also wrote Howells, who wrote of his shock at Longfellow’s door upon learning of the man’s death:
My Dear Howells:—I can imagine the shock at Mr. Longfellow’s door. The news of his death had a peculiar affect on me; for it brought back that infernal breakfast and made me feel like an unforgiven criminal. I think there is no reasonable doubt that I can read all summer without any inconvenience. I can read all the Saturdays and Sundays and also an hour each evening perhaps. This added up makes about a month of pretty steady reading and ought to accomplish the business. I am very much obliged to you for reading “The White Elephant” and also for having such a good opinion of it. Yours as ever S.L. Clemens [typed letter, presumably by Roswell Phelps] [MTHL 1: 398].
“The Stolen White Elephant” was to be the title story of the book Osgood was about to publish.
Caroline B. Le Row wrote from Brooklyn, glad Sam had been born for she was trying to find something for a reading book for youth that was “lively…not objectionable” and felt the McWilliams sketches would do—would he give permission for her to use these? [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Yes”
Charles Webster wrote about stock manipulations on the Kaolatype stock and Slote’s involvement [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Slotes K. Swindle”
March 28 Tuesday – Sam went to New York City and was interviewed at the Hotel Brunswick. The following interview appeared on Mar. 29, 1882 in the Wheeling West Virginia Register, reprinted from an article in the N.Y. Mail and Express (mentioned in the article) probably the day before.
Attired in a business suit of gray cheviot and looking bright and active, Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) leaned over the desk in the office of the hotel Brunswick this morning, and said with a drawl” “Somebody down here wants me?” Four men who had sent their cards to the humorist addressed him at once. The first person to secure an audience was an agent for a local photographer. He was a tall, strong man, somewhat Mr. Clemens’ superior in physique, and the latter appeared to feel that it was probably better to hear the representative of the picture maker in patience.
Suddenly, Mark Twain grew restless, and said, “My dear sir, life is too short for having one’s picture taken, unless you do it by electricity. I have made out a schedule of my engagements today and am due at a certain place at 11. Won’t you please let me go?” The photographic agent took mercy on Twain and “let him go.”
Turning to a reporter from the Mail and Express Mr. Clemens said: “Do I look careworn? Let me see,” he continued. “You will probably ask me how I am, and I shall reply, ‘Quite well, I thank you; and then you will want to know whether I shall remain in New York long, and I shall answer, ‘No, sir,’ Isn’t that your scheme?”
The reporter replied that such might have been his intention.
“Or,” continued Mr. Clemens, “you would want to know what work I am engaged in, and I should reply, ‘I am writing several books which will take, at the way I am working now, about five years to complete.’ Perhaps you might ask me a question about Oscar Wilde, or Roscoe Conkling, or Blaine, at the obelisk, and I should answer: ‘I have no opinion on these deep subjects.’ Seriously, young man, I am saving myself the infliction of another interview by telling you that I am in New York and expect to be in Washington by Monday, for the purpose of talking with the bright lights there on the subject of copyright. I have been told that this is a good time to introduce the subject at the national capital.
“There appears to be a mystery about your copyright scheme,” rejoined the reporter. “What is the nature of it?” “Please excuse me from telling you. I have a copyright scheme that I think will protect me, I wouldn’t divulge it for the world. It would upset all my well laid plans, if I did. It’s a deep scheme, a deep scheme,” and Mr. Clemens looked at the bell-boys who were staring at him.
“Has it anything to do with the proposed international copyright,” asked the reporter. “It has not.”
“Has it anything to do with the Canadian matter?” “It has.”
“How long will it be before you can explain the nature of this copyright scheme?” “I will see you later.”
At this point Mr. Clemens vanished through a back door.
[Reprinted by Webb and Bush, “Mark Twain’s Supplement Two” American Literary Realism 40.3 (Spring 2008): 272-3.]
March 29 Wednesday – According to the New York Times, page 8 under “PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE,” Samuel L. Clemens, of Hartford,” was at the Hotel Brunswick.
Jane W. Bruner wrote from NYC to address Sam as “My old friend,” relating how 11 years before her illness prevented her from visiting. She divorced Dr. Bruner 8 years before for extreme cruelty. She was awarded custody of the children and related their college studies. “Would you use your gifted pen in saying a few kind things?” about her play A Mad World [MTP]. Note: see Apr. entry, also Apr. 7
March 30 Thursday – Sam wrote to Christian Tauchnitz, letter not extant but referred to in Tauchnitz, Jr.’s reply of Apr. 15.
Edward T. Potter wrote offering to “arrange the matter of the bill in any way that would be most satisfactory to you & Thorp. I do not want any thing for my services & think there is about 200 coming to me that I will gladly relinquish.” Evidently Sam felt there had been departures from what was agreed upon for the house while the family was in Europe, though Potter didn’t recall any [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote to Clemens (twice). In the first letter he was sorry he’d been away to Albany when Sam came by but assumed George N. Marsh “told you all about the matters.” The second short note as about hearing from George E. Jones of the NY Times, “that the Hartford people that are interested in the type setter have been down here to see him” for a $10,000 investment [MTP].
March 31 Friday – Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers wrote two notes: sold stock and bought J. B. & Y Western @ 45 ½ [MTP].
William Thomas St. Clair (1859-1910) wrote offering $10 for Clemens to write him an essay for St. Clair’s lady friend on the subject “How old are you” [MTP]. Note: St. Clair would write twice more in April, pressing his request, and Livy answered his third letter. After teaching high school math and publishing two books on Latin, St. Clair hanged himself. Latin will do such things to a man.
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy with no news to report on their work. They sent their love and a kiss to “baby” [MTP].
John Russell Young wrote that he was coming up to Hartford on Saturday [MTP].
April – Sam’s notebook has an entry “Gillette ask Chas W Butler about Mrs. Bruner’s play—‘A Mad World’.” Butler was an actor [Gribben 107]. Sam also jotted notes about Mike Fink . Also in his notebook: “War Diary of Gen. Geo. H. Gordon,” referring to A War Diary of Events in the War of the Great Rebellion (1882) . Another entry reads, “Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason—Max Muller’s translation. Macmillan, N.Y.” .
April, early – Sam wrote “Caroline Fox’s Memories” among a list of titles in his notebook prior to going to Boston. Caroline Fox’s (1819-1871) Memories of Old Friends (1882) would have interested Sam for the “vivid portraits of the prominent English authors—Carlyle, Wordsworth, Mill, Coleridge, Macaulay, and others—with whom she associated” (emphasis added.) Also listed is Sebastian Hensel’s (1830-1898) The Mendelssohn Family (1881), and a note to have “Osgood get a Longfellow for Clara’s birthday” [MTNJ 2: 460].
April 1 Saturday – Schwartz Bros., New York (soon to be F.A.O. Schwartz) billed Sam $22.25 for Feb. 17, 18, Mar. 17; “dolls, bow, doll beds & bedding, 1 doz arrows, 2 pr skates 4.50; 1 pr skates” [MTP].
Park & Tilford, New York, billed Sam $5 for Mar. 16 purchase “10 Ool tea” (other bills spell this out as oolong tea); paid Apr. 9 [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam “a written memorandum on the result of our confab this afternoon over the question of preparing copy for the Library of Humor. Hope you find it all right.” He enclosed the list of the process agreed upon [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Agreement between Howells & Clark as to system of reading for Library of Humor.”
April 2 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Joel Chandler Harris, in Atlanta. Twichell recently returned from a trip down South where he called on Harris with a suggestion of Sam’s that Harris appear on stage with him and read the Remus stories. Trouble was, Harris was exceptionally shy.
Jo Twichell brought me your note and told me of his talk with you. He said you didn’t believe you would ever be able to muster a sufficiency of reckless daring to make you comfortable and at ease before an audience. Well, I have thought out a device whereby I believe we can get around that difficulty. I will explain when I see you [MTP].
Harris was planning on going to Canada over copyright matters, and Sam invited him to meet with him and Osgood in New Orleans sometime between May 1 and 6. Osgood knew all about how to approach copyright in Canada, Sam said.
Our idea is to strike across lots and reach St. Louis the 20th of April—thence we propose to drift southward, stopping at some town a few hours or a night, every day, and making notes.
To escape the interviewers, I shall follow my usual course and use a fictitious name (C. L. Samuel, of New York.) I don’t know what Osgood’s name will be, but he can’t use his own.
If you see your way to meet us in New Orleans, drop me a line, now, and as we approach that city I will telegraph you what day we shall arrive there.
I would go to Atlanta if I could, but shan’t be able. We shall go back up the river to St. Paul, and thence by rail X-lots home. (I am making this letter so dreadfully private and confidential because my movements must be kept secret, else I shan’t be able to pick up the kind of book-material I want.)
If you are diffident, I suspect that you ought to let Osgood be your magazine-agent. He makes those people pay three or four times as much as an article is worth, whereas I never had the cheek to make them pay more than double [MTP].
April 3 Monday – Sam typed a note from Hartford to Charles Wood, at West Point. He enclosed “the original of” the 1601 manuscript as Wood had suggested, and explained there were a few archaic spellings that Wood should feel free to fix. According to Leon, Wood agreed to use West Point’s printing press to run off about 60 copies .
In his notebook, Sam marked the death of outlaw “Jessee James the Missourian” killed at St. Joseph, Mo. [MTNJ 2: 464n112].
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster on business matters. He wanted Charley to get the copyright back for the little book Dan Slote had published called “Punch Brothers Punch.” He also wanted the plates to the book to destroy [MTBus 184].
William Thomas St. Clair wrote his second of three letters, from Shelby City, Ky.: “I wrote you a letter in Danville—relative to you to write me an essay for a lady friend. Subject—‘How old are you’” [MTP].
April 4 Tuesday – Frank Fuller wrote about his plans for selling stocks [MTP].
George Hamlin wrote on Chicago Grand Opera House notepaper asking for an autograph [MTP]. Note: SASE in file not used.
Caroline B. Le Row wrote to thank Sam for his permission to use McWilliams sketches in her youth reader book [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote: “Yours recd. I will see about that ‘Punch Brothers Punch’ at once. I have just received a note from Perkins calling a meeting of the Co. at noon Saturday so I will go up” [MTP].
April 5 Wednesday – James R. Osgood wrote proposing a royalty for LM [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam about “trying to work into business naturally”, Orion to Rhodes & Mclure Apr. 5 enclosed. “My idea was to live in a village and do business in Chicago by aid of the railroads” [MTP].
April 5 Wednesday ca. – Mollie Clemens wrote, a “private” letter to Sam, nervous about the time & effort Orion had put in on his MS. Their house was too small to have Ma live with them, and other worries and problems [MTP].
April 6 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to the office of the Secretary of War, requesting a map of the Mississippi River. In Sam’s notebook: “Cut the map of the Mississippi into 20 pieces (full page size) & interleave it along through the book, beginning at St. Louis & going down section by section to N.O.” [MTNJ 2: 455].
Sam also wrote to William Thomas St. Clair letter not extant but referred to in St. Clair’s Apr. 10 reply.
Joel Chandler Harris replied to Sam’s of Apr. 2, fearing he’d left a bad impression on Twichell, and agreeing to meet Clemens in N. Orleans [MTP].
Former President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) wrote:
Dear Mr Clements [sic]:
The children of all ages, of my numerous household, have enjoyed your new book so much that I must thank you on their and my own behalf.
The child in his eighth year and the child in his sixtieth, and all between them in age and of both sexes were equally hearty in their applause and delight. The Prince and The Pauper is as entertaining as Robinson Crusoe to the Young Folks, and the older ones see in it a most effective presentation of the inhuman criminal laws, hardly yet wiped out, of English jurisprudence, and the only defence, or explanation rather, of the Puritan Codes of our New England ancestor.
I congratulate you on your great success in this admirable book. / Sincerely, R.B. Hayes … [MTP]. Note: Clemens replied on Apr. 10.
April 7 Friday – Returning from a trip to Spain, Lucius Fairchild stopped to visit Sam on the way to see his brother Charles Fairchild. He left an umbrella at the Clemens home (see Apr. 8 entry) [Rees 9; MTNJ 2: 513n267].
Pamela Moffett’s visit, which began Mar. 13 ended this day or the next; she returned home to Fredonia $1,000 richer. During her stay, Sam had recalled staying at her St. Louis home the years he was learning to be a steamboat pilot. Sam insisted he repay her [457n81].
Sam also wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood, listing sales after a long canvass of three prior works, and first quarter sales averages. He ended by questioning the legal fees charged and asking Osgood to pay a portion of them [MTLTP 154].
In Boston, Howells wrote a short letter to Sam, confirming the Apr. 14 luncheon with Osgood and Aldrich in Boston. Though quite busy, Howells had gone through the proposed material for Sam’s latest book, The Stolen White Elephant, advising what to keep and what to omit. “That new piece about Lying is capital” (“On the Decay of the Art of Lying”) [MTHL 1: 399].
Jane W. Bruner wrote from NYC to Sam, having rec’d his letter with Mr. Gillette’s note. She wanted her play read even if it was negative. She wrote, “I want to know my fate, & get back to my children” [MTP]. Note: see Mar. 29.
April 8 Saturday – Lucius Fairchild wrote from Boston to Sam, thanking him for the “pleasant talk” and mentioning the umbrella he gave Livy [Rees 9]. Sam probably received the note on Apr. 10 [MTP].
April 9 Sunday – The Lotos Club, New York receipted Sam $6.25 for dues [MTP].
April 10 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to reply to the Apr. 6 compliments from Rutherford B. Hayes, who had expressed a “happy reception” for P&P at his house. After explaining the receipt of his letter came just when their dinner friends were discussing the potential greatness of the Hayes administration (to Sam another example of “Mental Telegraphy”), and being “deeply gratified” by Hayes’ letter, Sam added after his signature:
“I never thought of it before, but it seems strange that there should be no title for an ex-President but plain Mr. Still, it is reasonably conspicuous, since in our day pretty much everybody else is Esq.” [MTP].
William Thomas St. Clair wrote his third letter from Shelby City, Ky. to Sam after receiving his of Apr. 6 (not extant). He now offered $30 for a “few ideas” for his essay (answered by Livy) [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote a half page from NYC. He’d written to Orion and he planned to go to Fredonia on the 18th. Also, “Mr. Talbott Pres & Manager of the Railway Age wants to know what we will take outright for Chicago. He was the man who tried to get it on a royalty last spring. What do you say?” [MTP].
April 11 Tuesday – Office of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army per H.M. Adams wrote to advise that “a copy of a map of the alluvial basin of the Mississippi River and 16 sheets of the new map …have been sent by today’s mail” [MTP].
April 12 Wednesday – Roswell Phelps mailed Sam a contract for his employment, which Sam signed. Phelps was to receive $100 per month for “at least four weeks” work, all traveling and living expenses and for transcribing notes made on the trip by June 1, one dollar per thousand words. The contract is in the MTP [MTNJ 2: 517].
Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster. Sam felt he had the American Publishing Co. on the run, but what he really wanted was control.
Can’t we manage, next fall, to scare them out of my copyrights & plates?
By that time they will have sold 85,000 “Tramps,” possibly, & charged 10 cents too much.
If I had the copyrights, I could make them pay me $25,000 a year, right along. They now pay me less than $3,000.
I would not care to have the “Tramp” by itself. I should want all or none.
Now how the mischief can I get hold of those copyrights? [MTBus 185].
Frank Fuller wrote again to push stock, & hoped him a good voyage [MTP].
William M. Laffan for Harper & Bros. wrote to advise Sam not to bring Osgood to the Union League Club instead of Delmonico’s on Monday night at 7 [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam, enclosing contracts for The Stolen White Elephant for signature [MTP].
Roswell H. Phelps wrote to Sam, enclosing a one page contract for his services. Sam signed on Apr. 13. $100 per month and all living and travel expenses paid [MTP].
April 13 Thursday – Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, delighted with the Clemenses letters even though typed. He’d sent Sam’s last letter to a London Publisher and rec’d a valuable dictionary in return. A detailed page or two of their expenses [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gerhardt / Part of Expense a/c for 17 ½ months—Mc 17 ’81 to Sept. 1 ’82–/ $900 a year
April 14 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood, arranging dates for the first leg of the Mississippi River trip.
“All right, call in Apl. 17—and start from New York, at 6 P.M., Pennsylvania road (ain’t it?) Hotel car all the way to Chicago—dam sight better than a mere dam sleeping car. How does this strike you?” [MTLTP 155].
Sam traveled to Boston to meet Howells and Aldrich at Osgood’s—all guests for the next day’s Saturday Morning Club of Boston [MTNJ 2: 455n69; MTHL 1: 399]. No doubt Sam returned Fairchild’s bumbershoot.
Johnny Bright & Claude Hope (yes, two girls) wrote a fan letter from Columbia, Ga. asking Sam for an answer and a visit to play his fiddle, if he had one. They added a PS for Livy “(Mrs Twain)”: “Please ask Mr Twain to answer this letter” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered in such a way that it need not be answered again.”; and “From two children / foolish letter”
Charles Webster wrote to Sam, still chasing after the Blisses about any loss Sam incurred. Frank Bliss agreed to come to Alexander & Green “the lion’s den” to answer questions, where they could “scare him if he is to be scared.” He added notes about family and Orion, who wasn’t coming to NY [MTP].
April 15 Saturday – Sam gave a talk at Boston’s Saturday Morning Club. Fatout designates this as “Advice to Youth” [MT Speaking 169-71] but Fatout prefaces this as “date and time uncertain,” the 1882 written later on Sam’s manuscript. Gribben notes that Sam urged youth to read only “good” books, such as Robertson’s Sermons, Baxter’s Saint’s Rest, and Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad .
Sam’s notebook and letter to Rutherford B. Hayes of Apr. 10 cite this paper as “Mental Telegraphy” [MTNJ 2: 455n69]. Whatever the talk, after the luncheon Sam, Howells and Aldrich went to Concord to pay their respects to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who would die Apr. 27 [MTNJ 2: 432].
Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam, authorizing him to use “any portion or all of the matter contained in ‘Punch, Brothers, Punch’” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the note, “You need to keep this, Osgood, I reckon. / SL Clemens”
Charles Webster wrote to Sam that they would need another $500 before he left for his trip. He also felt “we have got Bliss” for short paying, and added details [MTP].
Frank D. Haynes & Frank B. White wrote to ask Sam a list of questions, leading with “Who is the greatest general of modern times?” and 3 others [MTP].
Christian Tauchnitz, Jr. wrote “In consequence of your kind lines of the 30th of March, I handed over the books wished by you to the bookbinders to be bound in red leather like vol. 2000.” He added that Washington Irving’s Mahomet and Kimball’s Student Life were by American writers so he could not add those. He enclosed his invoice (not in file) for 172.90 Marks [MTP].
April 15 Saturday ca. – Sam sent authorization from Slote & Co. for use of “Punch, Brothers, Punch” to James R. Osgood, noting that he needed to keep the authorization [MTP].
April 16 Sunday – Sam returned to Hartford, where he wrote Howells.
O dear! I came home jubilant, thinking that for once I had gone through a two-day trip & come out without a crime on my soul: but it was all a delusion, nothing but a delusion—as I soon found out as I glided along in my narrative of how Aldrich—but no, I have suffered enough already, though Mrs. Clemens’s measureless scorn & almost measureless vituperation.
Sam had committed some trivial affront for which he profusely apologized. Livy added a note that he only represented her as “abusing him so terribly” but that most of his suffering was due to a guilty conscience [MTHL 1: 400-2].
April 17 Monday – Sam left Hartford with 37-year-old Hartford schoolteacher Roswell Phelps, hired stenographer. Phelps was to take down Sam’s impressions of the trip, and also letters of Sam’s ongoing business matters [Kaplan 244]. The men were bound for St. Louis and the Mississippi River, where Sam’s decade-old dream (since at least Jan. 1866) to revisit the river in preparation for another book would be realized [Powers, MT A Life 455-6]. The first stop was New York, where they met up with James R. Osgood. Kaplan writes that Sam “made a careful inventory, including certificate numbers, of the $110,000 in securities he kept in a box at the Mount Morris Bank” .
Sam also typed a short letter to Charles Webster. Sam directed Webster to Livy should he run out of money while Sam was traveling up the Mississippi.
I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO TELL YOU HOW TO REACH ME WITH LETTERS OR TELEGRAMS, AND BESIDES I DO NOT MUCH WANT TO BE REACHED BY BUSINESS ANYWAY WHILE I AM GONE. RUN THINGS ACCORDING TO YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT AND I THINK YOU WON’T MAKE ANY MISTAKES OF CONSEQUENCE [MTP].
At the invitation of journalist William Mackay Laffan, Sam and Osgood attended a banquet at the Union League Club [MTNJ 2: 432, 459n89]. They spent the night in New York, probably at the Gilsey House.
April 18 Tuesday – At 8 AM, Sam, Osgood, and Phelps left New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad. They would travel through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, then St. Louis. Sam noted in the evening:
“Speaking of dress. Grace and picturesqueness drop gradually out of it as one travels away from New York” [Ch. 22, LM].
In Boston, Howells wrote a send-off letter to Sam:
I am sorry that Osgood is with you on this Mississippi trip; I foresee that it will be a contemptible half-success instead of the illustrious and colossal failure we could have made it. But we still have our chance in the Library of Humor, (unless Clark ties our hands) and what can we not hope from the Circus? [referring to Sam’s scheme of touring the country with Aldrich, Cable and himself] [MTHL 1: 403].
April 19 Wednesday – “This morning struck into the region of full goatees—sometimes accompanied by a mustache, but only occasionally” [Ch. 22, LM].
Noon: Sam changed trains in Indianapolis.
Afternoon: “—At the railway-stations the loafers carry both hands in their breeches pockets; it was observable, heretofore, that one hand was sometimes out-of-doors—here, never. This is an important fact for geography.”
Sam wrote five minutes from Indianapolis to Livy,
“It is not easy to write on this joggling train. Slept better than I ever did before in a sleeping car. We are due at St. Louis at 8 to-night, where I hope to find a telegram from you saying you are a great deal better than when I left. With a world of love, sweetheart. / Sam” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook reveals he arrived in St. Louis at 8 PM [MTNJ 2: 436]. In Ch. 22 of Life on the Mississippi (hereafter abbreviated to LM) the time is given as 10 PM. The party checked into the Southern Hotel, one Sam called “ a good hotel…large and well conducted, and its decorations do not make one cry, as do those of the vast Palmer House, in Chicago” [Ch. 22 LM]. “Lawrence Barrett stumbled on us.” Barrett, the matinee idol was well known to both Osgood and Clemens. On this day he performed at the St. Louis Grand Opera House in a traveling production of Yorick’s Love, an adaptation by Howells. Osgood had published Barrett’s biography of Edwin Forrest in 1881 [MTNJ 2: 465].
Charles Robert Darwin died at around 4 PM at his home in Kent, England. His funeral was held on Apr. 26 at Westminster Abbey. Sam made a notebook entry about each of them being embarrassed at their only meeting at Grasmere on Aug. 19, 1879. “I am glad to have seen that mighty man,” Sam wrote. Darwin did not evolve after his death.
Jane “Jennie” Sevillee Walker (1870-1947) wrote from Flint, Mich.:
Mr. Mark Twain / I have read your Tom Sawyer and am very much interested in it. Wont you please tell me whether Tom and Huck Finn had the initiation that night. If you have the time. We have all your works. Papa said he knew you once, his name is Gorge L Walker. Tom must have had a hard time to keep still with the spirit of three boys in one, was Huck Finn composed of two or three boys. If you have time please answer my letter as soon as you can. You must be a ever so nice because you write such nice books. / Yours Truely/ …[MTP]. Note: in the preface to TS, Twain called Tom “a combination of the characteristics of three boys.” Jennie’s father was George L. Walker (1838-1909), Flint, Mich. businessman who helped set up Buick Motor Co. No connection between Walker and Twain was found.
April 20 Thursday – From Ch. 22, LM:
Next Morning we drove around town in the rain. The city seemed but little changed. It was greatly changed, but it did not seem so; because in St. Louis, as in London and Pittsburgh, you can’t persuade a thing to look new; the coal-smoke turns it into an antiquity the moment you take your hand off it. The place had just about doubled its size since I was a resident of it, and was now become a city of four hundred thousand inhabitants.
Sam noticed “melancholy” and “woeful” changes on the docks—“Half a dozen sound-asleep steamboats where I used to see a solid mile of wide-awake ones!…Here was desolation indeed.” It was the railroads that killed the steamboats, Sam wrote.
Sam and company left St. Louis at 5 PM, headed south aboard the Gold Dust, a “Vicksburg packet…neat, clean, and comfortable.” Nevertheless, they were delayed at East St. Louis at 10 PM [LM, Ch 23; MTNJ 2: 436].
Paine on the Mississippi excursion:
“The New Orleans excursion with Osgood, as planned by Clemens, proved a great success. The little party took the steamer Gold Dust from St. Louis down river toward New Orleans. Clemens was quickly recognized, of course, and his assumed name laid aside. The author of “Uncle Remus” made the trip to New Orleans. George W. Cable was there at the time, and we may believe that in the company of Mark Twain and Osgood those Southern authors passed two or three delightful days. Clemens also met his old teacher Bixby in New Orleans, and came back up the river with him, spending most of his time in the pilot-house, as in the old days. It was a glorious trip, and, reaching St. Louis, he continued it northward, stopping off at Hannibal and Quincy” [MTLP 419-20].
One trip schedule may be found at: www.twainquotes.com/steamboats/Itinerary1882.html
April 21 Friday – The Gold Dust finally got underway at 2 AM and at 6 AM paused at Menard, Ill. to let off passengers near St. Genevieve. Sam enjoyed the scenery, passing Chester, Ill., Grand Tower, Ill., and Cape Girareau, Mo., stopping at Cairo, Ill., some 200 miles from St. Louis. It was night when the Gold Dust made Cairo [Ch. 25 LM; MTNJ 2: 436]. Sam noticed many changes in the river, including several islands that had been washed away.
Sam telegraphed from Cole’s Landing, Menard, Ill. to Livy (ref. Apr. 22 letter, though telegram now lost), and wrote aboard the Gold Dust to Livy:
Livy darling, I am in solitary possession of the pilot house of the steamer Gold Dust, with the familiar wheel & compass & bell ropes around me. We are taking in coal. I came up here at a quarter to 8 (1/2 an hour ago,) while the dog watch was still on, & before the regular watch began—consequently I’ve had a brief acquaintanceship with both pilots. I’m all alone, now (the pilot whose watch it is, told me to make myself entirely at home, & I’m doing it [ )].
Thus far our fictitious names are a sufficient protection; but we had to get out of St. Louis in a hurry, because I got to meeting too many people who knew me. We swore them to secrecy, & left by the first boat [MTP].
F.W. Christern, “foreign bookseller & importer” New York billed Sam $3.50 for “1 Genovefa .75; 1 Weihnachsabend .55; 1 Scheree Volkslieder 2.20”; paid Apr. 22 [MTP].
April 22 Saturday – The Gold Dust left Cairo early in the morning. When Sam “turned out” the packet had passed Columbus, Ky. and was approaching Hickman. Sam noted the damage that the “flood of 1882” had caused to New Madrid, Mo. and the unprotected lowlands from Cairo south.
“We met two steamboats at New Madrid. Two steamboats in sight at once! An infrequent spectacle now in the lonesome Mississippi. The loneliness of this solemn, stupendous flood is impressive—and depressing” [Ch 27 LM].
Sam saw a steamboat named Mark Twain, “the first time” he’d “ever encountered this species of honor.”
The Gold Dust arrived at Memphis in the evening, and was “to tarry at Memphis till ten the next morning” [Ch 29 LM]. Sam recalled the yellow fever epidemic of years ago, and noted the town’s admirable new sewage system.
Sam wrote aboard the Gold Dust to Livy. After telling about being recognized, Sam added:
We are having a powerful good time & picking up & setting down volumes of literary stuff. I take a trick at the wheel occasionally, & find the mechanical work of steering a steamboat as familiar as if I had never ceased from it. But the “Upper” river! It was as new to me if I had never heard of it before. However, I recognize the river below Cairo—I know it pretty fairly, though some of the changes are marvelous….Telegraphed you from Cairo last night. Shall telegraph you from Memphis to-morrow morning [LLMT 208].
April 23 Sunday – Sam and party toured Memphis in the morning.
“A thriving place is the Good Samaritan City of the Mississippi: has a great wholesale jobbing trade; foundries, machine shops, and manufactories of wagons, carriages, and cotton-seed oil; and is shortly to have cotton-mills and elevators” [Ch 29 LM].
From Sam’s notebook:
“Passed the wreck of the ‘Golden City’ below Memphis. Caught fire early in the morning Mch. 30/82. The negro crew jumped ashore and deserted her. They ran her into shore but she got out of line. Great many lives lost—people asleep. She drifted down inside of President Island and sunk” [2: 570].
The boat discharged freight at Helena, Ark. on this sunny Sunday and Sam’s party had “two full hours’ liberty ashore.” Sam expounded about the town in Ch. 30, LM. From Sam’s notebook:
Reached Helena Ark. About 5:30 P.M. Went out for a stroll about the town. All had been under water. The plank walks loosened and irregular. Had to step careful or a loose board would fly up and hit Johnson on the nose…. Saw a garden which a man had planted with oyster cans. Couldn’t raise anything else, so tried to raise oysters [2: 536-7].
Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, pleased with their letter calling Karl by his first name—would they call her by one of her two names, Hattie or Josephine? The weather, and other details of their lives in Paris [MTP].
April 24 Monday – At about noon, the Gold Dust passed Napoleon, Ark., which used to be a thriving town but now was all but gone due to the shifting Big Muddy.
April 25 Tuesday – Sam wrote aboard the Gold Dust to Livy. He’d been on deck at 4 AM and watched the sun come up, complete with “cluttering” bullfrogs, aromas of dead fish on the ground, and “marvels of shifting light & shade & color & dappled reflections…bewitching to see” [Powers, MT A Life 460]. The writing would find itself in Huckleberry Finn.
“Our present plan is to stay in Vicksburg all day to-morrow, & then go on to New Orleans—remain there a week & then go straight through to St. Louis on the great steamer “Baton Rouge,” which is commanded by Horace Bixby, who taught me the river, & to whom I owed & paid absolute obedience during a year & a half” [MTP].
In Arkansas City, Ark., Sam wired congratulations to journalist friend John Russell Young on the day of his marriage to Julia E. Coleman, in Hartford [MTNJ 2: 463n110].
“I send a thousand congratulations & add to them as many regrets that I can not be present” [MTP].
H.J. Gibbs, attorney, wrote from Montreal to ask if Sam might reference the case where Sam successfully prosecuted a man from using “Mark Twain,” “…as a trademark” [MTP].
April 26 Wednesday – The Gold Dust arrived at Vicksburg, Miss., where Sam, Osgood and Phelps boarded the Charles Morgan [MTNJ 2: 436]. A notebook entry for the date at 11 AM may be the time of the Morgan’s departure . Before boarding, the party took a ride to the National Cemetery, where Sam jotted the motto over the gateway:
Here rest in peace 16,600 who died for their country in the years 1861 to 1865.
Sam added the corresponding motto at Arlington, lines from Theodore O’Hara’s “The Bivouac of the Dead” .
The Vicksburg Daily Herald (possibly from the Memphis Ledger) printed “Mark Twain Tries to Pull Wool Over the Marines, but Doesn’t.” This reported Sam’s use of pseudonym “C.L. Samuels” on his trip up the Mississippi; included stories about Sam, Captain Bart Bowen, and the pranks played on Captain Isaiah Sellers [Tenney 10].
April 27 Thursday – The Charles Morgan stopped a half an hour at Baton Rouge, La. [MTNJ 2: 546].
“Baton Rouge was clothed in flowers, like a bride—no, much more so; like a greenhouse. For we were in the absolute South now—no modifications, no compromises, no half-way measures. The magnolia trees in the Capitol grounds were lovely and fragrant…” [Ch.40 LM].
Ralph Waldo Emerson died in Cambridge, Mass. Clemens, Howells, and Aldrich had visited Emerson on Apr. 15.
The Vicksburg Daily Herald ran “Mark Twain visits the Historic City and Takes Some Views of Things as They Exist in These Parts. How He Looked to a Casual Observer.”
“…like a man who had just escaped from a lunatic asylum, whose only sense was in the perfect realization of that fact, and whose every energy was concentrated in an effort to dodge its keeper” [Tenney 10].
Noah Brooks wrote from NYC to advise that Sam would soon receive an invitation from Judge Horace Russell to speak at the next New England dinner of the New York Society [MTP].
April 28 Friday – At 8 AM, the Charles Morgan arrived at New Orleans. Sam stayed at the St. Charles Hotel [MTNJ 2: 458n84]. While in the city, he met up with George W. Cable. From Sam’s notebook:
Took a carriage after breakfast and drove about the old French part of the city. Visited the old “St. Louis Hotel.” Reminds one of a vast privy. Place where the legislature has met. Hasn’t been swept for 40 years. Saw old ornamental iron railings on balconies & before windows; much of it quite pretty and unique. Great deal of this iron work.
Old cemetery surrounded by high wall just over the top of which could see the roofs of the quadrangular tombs.
Evening 28th Drove to the “West End”. Cable with us. All round N. Orleans there seems to be a line of forest but one never reaches it. Cemetary on the way. Monument to Stonewall Jackson [2: 550].
April 28 to May 6 Saturday – Sam described his stay in New Orleans to Livy as a “whirlpool of hospitality” [Kaplan 245]. He met up again with George Washington Cable and met Joel Chandler Harris for the first time. Sam’s days began early and ended late. He enjoyed the city’s cuisine and good fellowship so much that he’d scarcely talked to more than a few steamboatmen, and then for a few minutes (see May 6 entry).
April 29 Saturday –Sam’s notebook records a mule race staged to benefit the Southern Art Union, a group promoting New Orleans artists:
Mule race with Burke & Houston. Later mentioned the Voudoo superstitions. Among old creoles if one meets a funeral he removes his hat & walks back with procession one block.
At the mule races managers wore rosettes large as sunflowers. Riders dressed in silk and velveteen costumes of the gayest colors. All leaders of fashionable society here [2: 550-1, &n54] Note: Edward A. Burke, managing editor of the New Orleans Times-Democrat; James D. Houston, a tax collector in New Orleans [MTNJ 2: 550n53].
Sam wrote from New Orleans at 10 PM to Livy, relating the day’s events, which were many:
Livy darling, we are in the midst of a whirlpool of hospitality—breakfasts, dinners, lunches, cock-fights, Sunday schools, mule-races, lake-excursions, social gatherings, & all sorts of things. And I enjoy it, too, though it is powerfully taxing, both mentally & physically, & I shall be glad of a rest by & by. However, I go to bed early, sleep soundly, rise early, snatch a couple of hours’ rest at noon, drink little or nothing, & consequently start out in a fresh & vigorous condition every morning. The weather is mighty hot, but I do not mind that. Called on a friend at 7.15 this morning; met an appointment at 11; stripped & lay quiet till 1; drove with friends to the mule-races; returned at five; dined with some new acquaintances; spent the evening at Cable’s; have just reached home, now (10 P.M.), & am somewhat tired. So, with your permission I will stop writing & go to bed [MTP].
Judge Horace Russell wrote to Sam asking him to speak & respond to toast at Dec. 21 dinner [MTP].
April 30 Sunday – 7 AM at the train depot, Sam met Joel Chandler Harris, who’d traveled from Atlanta. Harris registered at the St. Charles Hotel, where Sam was staying; the two then met George Cable and attended church services of the Prytania Street Presbyterian Church, Rev. J.H. Nall. The sermon was on John 14:2, “In My Father’s House are Many Mansions” [MTNJ 2: 468n127; 507n245]. Afterward, interestingly, they took in a cockfight. In Life on the Mississippi, Sam changed the day of the following cockfight from Sunday to Saturday, evidently to avoid criticism. First, his notebook:
Cockfight Sunday, Apl. 30.
Circular, amphitheater arrangement partially filled (200 or so) with audience of whites, negroes, creoles, Mexicans, Spanish, &c. / Honor of an introduction to the proprietor—a Frenchman.
From Life on the Mississippi:
We went to a cockpit in New Orleans on a Saturday afternoon. I had never seen a cock-fight before. There were men and boys there of all ages and all colors, and of many languages and nationalities. But I noticed one quite conspicuous and surprising absence: the traditional brutal faces. With no cock-fighting going on, you could have played the gathering on a stranger for a prayer-meeting; and after it began, for a revival—provided you blindfolded your stranger—for the shouting was something prodigious [Ch 45].
Joel Chandler Harris recalled leaving the cockfight in mid-fight, calling it “disgusting in the extreme” [MTNJ 2: 551n55].
More from Sam’s notebook on attending Winan’s Chapel, also known as the First Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Stephen Priestly, pastor.
Colored church Sunday eve’g. / Opened with singing of a choir. 12th Chap. Daniel read by black clergyman, during which an aged deacon back by the door chided some young dusky damsels saying “Takes yo’ long time get seated. Settle yo’ d’rectly ef yo do’ get seated.”
Clergyman then lined a hymn. Offered prayer very well, —better than some white ministers because it was short. The whole thing was a failure because too good for literature. / White woman preached [2: 552].
Madame Fogarty, New York, billed Sam $160.00 for silk costume, $130, bonnet $30 [MTP].
Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement with a balance for May 1 of $4,145.63 [MTP].
May – Sam’s notebook carries an entry to “see Dickens for a note on Cairo [Illinois]” [Gribben 187]. In LM Sam focused on the improvements in Cairo, no longer the place Dickens had described, a:
“…hotbed of disease, an ugly sepulcher, a grave uncheered by any gleam of promise.”
The May issue of The Nineteenth Century carried an unflattering evaluation by Matthew Arnold in “A Word about America.” Arnold called Sam’s humor “Quinionian” and America “still, from an intellectual point of view, a very rude and primitive soil…” [Tenney 11].
May 1 Monday – Sam, Cable and Harris spent the afternoon “at Cable’s red-and-olive cottage, surrounded by orange trees and a garden, on Eighth Street, on the lip of the Garden District” [Kaplan 245]. The crowd of children who’d come to Cable’s house to see their beloved Uncle Remus were shocked to find the red-haired man was white and too shy to read to an audience. Sam and Cable saved the day when they read “Tar Baby” and some of their own stories. “Cable read from the Grandissimes & sketches” [MTP letter to Livy May 2].
In the evening, they were entertained at the home of James Guthrie, a friend of Cable’s, and brother-in-law to David Gray, Sam’s old friend from Buffalo. “There was piano music by some young ladies, Cable sang a Creole song, Clemens read from Innocents Abroad and some unpublished travel sketches, Guthrie recited Shakespeare, and two of Guthrie’s children, a six-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, played Romeo and Juliet in the balcony scene” [Kaplan 245]. “There was an audience of twenty-five ladies & gentlemen” [MTP letter to Livy May 2].
In Sam’s notebook, most likely an account of morning events:
“Tug Boat ‘W.M. Wood’. Sailed up & down river front for 10 miles. Saw Chalmette Cemetary 5 miles below N. Orleans. 12,600 soldiers of last war buried there. Saw battle ground of 1815 near here” [MTNJ 2: 552].
Note: in footnote 57: According to the “River News” column in the Wednesday 3 May 1882 issue of the New Orleans Times-Democrat, “Capt. Mumf. Wood had Mark Twain on the Wm. Wood yesterday, giving him a sight of our harbor, and at the same time a pleasant ride on one of the finest tugs afloat.”
Tiffany & Co. New York, billed Sam $60 for “12 plates 1 dish”; paid May 14 [MTP].
F.W. Taylor for Danville Illinois Holy Trinity Church wrote to ask Sam if they might “casting the story [P&P] into the form of a drama”[MTP].
May 2 Tuesday – Dr. John Brown of Scotland, favored friend of the Clemens family died. Sam would learn of the death before he left New Orleans, in a “damp newspaper.”
Sam wrote from New Orleans to Livy:
…we are still booming along in the sociabilities, & find it a pretty energetic business & rather taxing to the strength…./ We are reduced to lying, at last. We pretend to have engagements which we have not, in order to escape others which we want to avoid.
A big, fast steam-tug was offered us, & this morning we steamed up & down the river a couple of hours at a tremendous rate. I did the steering myself….I took along a couple of old-time pilots as our guests.
We dine with the editors tonight, (& pretend to go down to the Mouth of the river to-morrow, but shall lie abed & sleep, instead.) [MTP].
In the evening, Edward Burke hosted a dinner for Sam and James R. Osgood at John’s Restaurant [Kruse 7], John Strenna’s popular restaurant on the corner of Canal and Dryades Streets [MTNJ 2: 461, 463]. Among the guests was Page Mercer Baker (1840-1910), along with Burke an editor for the Times-Democrat who later wrote Sam about the good memories of the evening, about “the good stories over wine, the music (in which Cables thin but melodious tenor mingled sweetly with [L. André] Burthe’s magnificent barytone)” [MTNJ 2: 468n128]. See Baker’s of Sept. 26.
Dr. Joseph Chase, Jr. Wrote from Concord, N.H. to ask “something concerning yourself, from you personally” for a paper on “American Humorists” he had to write [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered”
James Leibert wrote from Bethlehem, Penn. to ask for “a short article” for their Seminary [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “O Geeminy!”
May 3 Wednesday – Sam “lay abed till toward noon…& made Osgood go out & meet the appointments.” After Osgood returned they began a game of billiards, but Horace Bixby came by. Sam went and dined with his old mentor [May 4 to Livy, MTP]. In Ch. 48 of Life on the Mississippi, Sam wrote he encountered Bixby on the street and the two men embraced, but the May 4 account is probably the correct one.
May 4 Thursday – Sam wrote that he and Bixby “joined a party of ladies and gentlemen, guests of Major Wood, and went down the river fifty-four miles, in a swift tug” [Ch 48 LM].
From Sam’s notebook:
On tug “W.M. Wood” to plantation ex-Governor Warmouth [Henry Clay Warmouth 1842-1931] 47 miles below N. Orleans. Party numbered 15—7 ladies. Parrot on board keeping up constant stream of remarks, some irrelevant, some not. Parrot’s swearing very inappropriate….Warmouth met tug in river opposite his plantation. Tall, witty, self-possessed man of 40. Took us in carriages over his place [MTNJ 2: 555-6].
On Warmouth’s sugar plantation, Sam saw an early steam-plow there and was fascinated by it [Ch 48 LM]. Sam decided to wait for Bixby’s City of Baton Rouge to return him north. One of the last large steamboats to be built (1881); 300-foot, 2,300 tons boasted six bridal chambers and all the trimmings [Powers, MT A Life 461]. (See Loges.)
Sam wrote from New Orleans to Livy. After relating the reunion with Bixby, Sam added:
“I hunted up Tom Moore, who used to be mud clerk on the John J Roe when I was a cub. He is short, & unwieldy with flesh, is a rich & respected burgher, & looks it. Good fellow is Tom; am going to his house to see his wife & six children, tomorrow” [MTNJ 2: 465n116]. Note: John T. Moore, Jr & Co. was wholesale grocers on Tchoupitoulas Street.
May 5 Friday – Sam was quite fascinated by an ice factory he visited and described it the next day in a letter to Livy. “They make 60 tons a day in summer & 100 in winter, & sell it at a cent a pound.”
In the evening Sam received a letter from Susy and Clara and Livy [May 6 letter to Livy, MTP].
May 6 Saturday – From Sam’s notebook:
Visited Armory of the “Washington Artillery”. Hanging there is an equestrian portrait of “Stonewall” Jackson & Lee (by Julio.) Also an original portrait—full length—of Andrew Jackson.
Flags of the Wash. Artillery with names 60 noted engagements embroidered thereon. Also flag of the Cross and Stars—the first one made after adoption of change from Stars & Bars.
In another room were portraits of Gen. Beauregard & Gen Owens—our chaperone [MTNJ 2: 557]
At 5 PM Sam and party left New Orleans aboard the City of Baton Rouge (afterward referred to as CBR), with Horace Bixby piloting.
“…a delightfully hot day, but with the main purpose of my visit but lamely accomplished. I had hoped to hunt up and talk with a hundred steamboatmen, but got so pleasantly involved in the social life of the town that I got nothing more than mere five-minute talks with a couple of dozen of the craft” [Ch 51 LM].
Sam wrote from New Orleans to Livy. After describing in detail an ice-making plant, Sam gave his travel plans:
“We leave this evening for St. Louis, direct, in the City of Baton Rouge, Horace Bixby master, dam this pen, & shall arrive there next Friday, remain a few days, then a day in Hannibal, Keokuk; Quincy; then straight up to St Paul & across country to home” [MTP].
May 7 Sunday – The CBR arrived at Baton Rouge at 4:10 AM, Bayou Sara at 7:30 AM, and Natchez, Miss. at 4:15 PM [MTNJ 2: 560].
“We made Natchez (three hundred miles) in twenty-two hours and a half—much the swiftest passage I have ever made over that piece of water” [Ch 51 LM].
At Natchez there was a slight accident and a small delay. The boat took a barge in tow about a mile north of town. The towline parted, causing the barge to strike the CBR’s larboard wheel. The barge sank. The CBR had to return to Natchez for repair [Loges 5-6]. (See Loges’ article for descriptions and pictures of the City of Baton Rouge.)
Kate D. Barstow wrote to ask if she could get an “author’s discount” Sam had mentioned for Appleton’s American Cyclopedia [MTP]. Note: Livy wrote on the env., “Answered, at the same time sending one of Estes & Lauriat Clearance Catalogue with two copies A.C. advertised in it. / O.L.C.”
May 8 Monday – Sam’s room was over the boilers and “some idiot had closed the transoms,” the heat waking him at 4 AM. He “went on watch”; it was foggy. He noted that George Ritchie steered by compass until the watch was over, using “his & Bixby’s patented chart for crossings & occasionally blowing the whistle” [MTNJ 2: 471]. The CBR arrived in Vicksburg, Miss at 8 AM .
We had a heavy thunder-storm at Natchez, another at Vicksburg, and still another about fifty miles below Memphis. They had an old-fashioned energy which had long been unfamiliar to me. The third storm was accompanied by a raging wind. We tied up to the bank when we saw the tempest coming, and everybody left the pilot-house but me…the pilot-house fell to rocking and straining and cracking and surging, and I went down in the hold to see what time it was [Ch 51 LM].
The CBR reached Greenville, Miss., at 8 PM. From Sam’s notebook on or about this day on the CBR:
Two colored cabin hands; one more colored than the other. One played banjo & both sang. Concert opened with “Golden Slippers” in Negro dialect, followed by “Old Black Joe” “Empty is the cradle” &c. Following are the words to “Mary’s Gone Wid de Coon” [words followed] [2: 562].
Aboard the City of Baton Rouge en route to St. Louis, Sam wrote to Livy.
We are moving along up the river pretty swiftly, Livy darling, & by Friday I expect to get a letter from you in St. Louis. It was a very genuine pleasure to receive such a nice long letter from you just before leaving New Orleans. I went to bed a trifle after midnight last night, & got up at 4 & was in the pilot house in a tolerable thick fog until breakfast….it’s as hot as hades—but, I love you & the kids [MTP].
Joe Twichell noted in his journal that “Mrs. S.L. Clemens (Mrs Mark Twain) to bear the cost of Julia’s going to Europe with me…” [Yale, copy at MTP]. Note: Julia Curtis Twichell was one of Twichell’s daughters; the three-month trip to Europe was offered by Twichell’s friend, Mr. Newton Case (1807-1890). For more on Case, see AMT 2: 488.
Joseph R. Hawley wrote from Wash. DC to relate a trip to Ft. Monroe, the party including President Hayes, who told several stories from Sam’s works. When asked if Hayes had met Twain, he said no but would like to. Hawley invited Sam to Washington to join a literary group that he led every fortnight. Sam could then meet President Hayes [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gen.l Hawley. / Answered”
May 9 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:
“30 miles below Memphis tied up to the bank while they washed out the boilers and let a hurricane, thunder & hail storm pass over. The wind snapped off several forest trees near by making sounds like reports of a rifle” [MTNJ 2: 563].
Joseph P. Smyth, customs agent wrote from NYC to bill Clemens 22.30 for a case of books [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “About books from Tauchnitz”
May 10 Wednesday – The CBR arrived in Memphis, Tenn., early in the morning. The time of 2 days 20 hours and 38 minutes out of New Orleans—even with the delay at Natchez, was the fastest time since the famous race between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez [Loges 6]. Sam recorded that he noticed “several sheds were blown down” from the storm, “& the hail stones were nearly 3 inches in circumf. Unusual for this latitude” [MTNJ 2: 563]. Sam spent most of his time aboard in the pilot house, where he recorded the wartime stories of Horace Bixby and George Ritchie [Loges 6]. “Left Memphis 10 AM” [MTNJ 2: 476].
Joe Twichell wrote from Hartford
I suppose you have heard from Livy how the lightnings of my peculiar sort of luck has struck me again, and this time from a most unexpected quarter. In your neighbor Case was the last man, on Asylum Hill anyhow, that I should have thought would treat me so—the very last. I hardly know what to make of it. However, I will try to make the dear old gentleman glad of his venture.
And I suppose you have heard, too, of what Livy is up to, in sending Julie along with me. I can’t begin to tell, and she will never know, what gratitude Harmony and I are overflowing with, for her generosity. For to tell the truth, Mark, the prospect of a three months campaign in foreign parts with Mr Case and party, was not altogether blissful,—you can understand why [MTP]. Note: Newton Case, Sam’s neighbor, was on the board of American Publishing Co. See May 8 entry of Joe’s journal.
May 11 Thursday – The CBR arrived in Cairo, Ill at 11 AM [MTNJ 2: 476]. An old friend of Sam’s, John Henton Carter (“Commodore Rollingpin”) came down from St. Louis, and went aboard the CBR to escort him to his hotel upon arrival [Budd 39].
May 12 Friday – The CBR arrived in St. Louis. John Henton Carter escorted Sam and his party to the Southern Hotel, where they spent the night. Sam shared “a couple of farewell hot scotches with Bixby” [Powers, MT A Life 461]. Carter interviewed Sam about his books, the new suspender he was inventing, complaints about his image as a mere humorist, and his ability as a steamboat pilot. The interview would be published in Rollingpin’s Humorous Illustrated Annual for 1883.
Sam was interviewed by a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Budd, “Interviews” 37-9]. The interview probably also ran during the month in the St. Louis Times [Schmidt]. An excerpt from that interview:
A Post-Dispatch reporter met him in the rotunda of the hotel, and was received very cordially. It was only when the possibility of an interview was broached that Mr. Clemens grew slightly restive.
“I guess I haven’t got time,” he said. “The fact is you can say anything you like if you will put it in your own words, but don’t quote me as saying anything. No man can get me right unless he takes it down shorthand, very particularly too.”
–“You don’t love the interview, I see, Mr. Clemens?”
“No; I don’t. I have never yet met a man who attempted to interview me whose report of the process did not try hard to make me out an idiot, and did not amply succeed, in my mind, in making him a thorough one.” …Mr. Clemens melted a little and said:
“I have not been out here since 1864, I think, and I had intended remaining some time in the city. But I waited too long at New Orleans to catch the Baton Rouge, the commander of which was my old master, and in consequence will have to leave tonight.”
–“You ought not to be in such a hurry. The newspapers represent you as being fabulously wealthy, and as living in great splendor at Hartford.”
“Oh, there is quite an amount of fiction in that statement. Of course I’m living at Hartford, and I had a house when I left there, but I have not gone into competition with Vanderbilt yet, and I don’t think that I’ll do so.”
–“What is the nature of your new work?”
“I have been writing a series of articles in the Atlantic Monthly on subjects connected with the Mississippi, and I found that I had got my distances a little mixed. I took this trip for the purpose of making observations on this subject. I was getting a little rusty about it.”
In this interview Sam also spoke about a matter that interested him greatly—Arctic expeditions (a tragic failure of the Greeley expedition to the North Pole had left in 1881 and the main party was found frozen to death a year later; recent stories dealt with a rescue party that found the bodies) [Budd, “Interviews” 37-8].
The St. Louis Chronicle ran a piece on page 1 paraphrasing Sam; he said he never chooses titles for his books before they were finished [Budd, “Interviews” 2].
The “River News” column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported:
Mark Twain visited ‘Change today in company with his old friend Horace E. Bixby. The meeting between Mr. Clemens and Capt. James O’Neal was cordial in the extreme.
The same paper, on page 2, ran an interview of Sam discussing a fantasy expedition to fix the location of Hell. Sam also railed at interviewers and discussed his planned Mississippi travel book [Budd, “Interviews” 2].
James O’Neal was now superintendent of the Anchor Line. Sam had called him “The whitest Captain I ever sailed with” [MTNJ 2: 477n154].
Sam and his stenographer Roswell H. Phelps left St. Louis at about 4 PM aboard the Gem City on an overnight packet headed north to that “white town drowsing in the sunshine.” On board was a sister of Clint Levering, the ten-year-old boy who drowned while playing with Sam and friends on Aug. 13, 1847 (see entry). Sam noted the sister was with her husband (unnamed) and had “grown sons (one, anyway.)” Sam used a nickname for Clint of “Writer Levering.”
James R. Osgood took a train for Chicago for business and agreed to meet up with Sam in Davenport, Iowa on May 18 [MTNJ 2: 434].
May 13 Saturday – The St. Louis Globe-Democrat ran an interview with Sam on page 8, “Mark Twain’s Travels / A Round Trip on the Mississippi in Search of Book Material.” Sam recalled his “Babies” speech and discussed his planned river book [Budd, “Interviews” 2].
The St. Louis Missouri Republican ran a descriptive article about Sam on page 5 titled, “Mark Twain / The Famous Humorist Pays a Flying Visit to St. Louis”; Sam refused to be interviewed [Budd, “Interviews” 2].
May 14 Sunday – The Gem City arrived in Hannibal, Mo. at 7 AM [Ch 53 LM]. Kaplan writes it was “a still Sunday morning. The town seemed deserted.” Sam later wrote Livy that “Everything was changed, but when I reached Third or Fourth street the tears burst forth, for I recognized the mud” [Kaplan 246].
Sam registered at the Park Hotel.
May 14 to 17 Wednesday – Sam spent three days in Hannibal staring his history in the face:
During my three days’ stay in the town, I woke up every morning with the impression that I was a boy—for in my dreams the faces were all young again, and looked as they had looked in the old times; but I went to bed a hundred years old, every night—for meantime I had been seeing those faces as they are now.
Of course I suffered some surprises, along at first, before I had become adjusted to the changed state of things. I met young ladies who did not seem to have changed at all; but they turned out to be the daughters of the young ladies I had in mind—sometimes their granddaughters.
I noticed the greatest changes observable were the women, not the men. I saw men whom thirty years had changed but slightly; but their wives had grown old. These were good women; it is very wearing to be good [Ch 56 LM].
May 15 Monday – Sam was the guest at the summer home (“Woodside”) of John Garth, “A popular schoolmate of Sam’s, beginning at Mrs. Horr’s…son of a tobacconist who taught the boys at Sunday school in the Presbyterian church” [Wecter 144]. Garth had married another childhood friend, Helen Kercheval and made his fortune in New York [Rasmussen 163]. He returned in 1871 to live in Hannibal, now a town of 15,000. Garth was president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Hannibal [MTNJ 2: 513n269]. The town now boasted paved streets and a large railroad depot where six lines came together. It was John Marshall Clemens who led the push to charter a railroad to Hannibal back in the 1840s. It must have seemed to Sam that the railroads had destroyed the steamboats, and the river life that he knew.
In the morning Garth’s black coachman called for Sam at 10 instead of 7:30 and excused himself by saying that time was an hour and a half slower in the country. The servant drove Sam around and then delivered him the three miles to the Garth home [MTNJ 2: 478].
John Brown, Jr. wrote from Edinburgh to advise of the death of his father on the morning of May 11. “We were all with him at the last….Inflammation of the lungs” [MTP].
Charles L. Lamb wrote inviting Clemens to the Missouri State Medical Assoc. banquet for May 17 Sam [MTP]. Sam replied to Lamb, declining.
May 17 Wednesday – Roswell H. Phelps left Hannibal and returned to Hartford. Sam left Hannibal alone aboard the Minneapolis, which stopped at Quincy, Ill. and stopped at Keokuk, Iowa. Sam wrote from Quincy to Livy:
Livy darling, I am desperately homesick but I have promised Osgood, & must stick it out; otherwise I would take the train at once & break for home.
I have spent three delightful days in Hannibal, loitering around all day long, examining the old localities & talking with the grey-heads who were boys & girls with me 30 or 40 years ago. It has been a moving time. I spent my nights with John & Helen Garth, three miles from town, in their spacious & beautiful house. They were children with me, & afterwards schoolmates. Now they have a daughter 19 or 20 years old. Spent an hour, yesterday, with A. W. Lamb, who was not married when I saw him last. He married a young lady whom I knew. And now I have been talking with their grown-up sons & daughters. Lieutenant Hickman, the spruce young handsomely-uniformed volunteer of 1846, called on me—a grisly elephantine patriarch of 65 now, his grace all vanished.
That world which I knew in its blossoming youth is old & bowed & melancholy, now; its soft cheeks are leathery & wrinkled, the fire is gone out in its eyes, & the spring from its step. It will be dust & ashes when I come again. I have been clasping hands with the moribund—& usually they said, “It is for the last time.”
Now I am under way again, upon this hideous trip to St. Paul, with a heart brimming full of thoughts & images of you & Susie & Bay & the peerless Jean. And so good night, my love [MTLP 419; MTP].
The Minneapolis stopped at Keokuk in the evening and left about 11 p.m. Lorch quoted the Keokuk Daily Constitution of May 18: “Judge Davis, Ed. F. Brownell, Al Patterson, and Dr. J.M. Shaffer went on board to greet him and take him off for an hour or two, while the boat stopped, to talk over old times” [McDermott: 195-6 quoting Lorch: “Lecture Trips and Visits of Mark Twain in Iowa,” Iowa Journal of History and Politics, XXVII (October 1929), 518].
Augustus Saint-Gaudens wrote to Sam, having rec’d a telegram from “the young man I wrote you about (Mr Elnell).” He did not understand the message. Did Sam send the letter “I begged you to write”? [MTP].
May 18 Thursday – The Minneapolis arrived at Muscatine, Iowa. Osgood rejoined Sam at Davenport, Iowa.
“We had not time to go ashore in Muscatine, but had a daylight view of it from the boat. I lived there awhile, many years ago, but the place, now, had a rather unfamiliar look; so I suppose it has clear outgrown the town which I used to know” [Ch 57 LM].
The Keokuk Constitution ran an interview with Sam on page 4; Sam gave some details of his current trip [Budd, “Interviews” 3].
The Keokuk Gate City ran “Mark Twain / … A Short Chat with the Gentleman,” but included no direct quotations; mentioned that Sam recently told an anecdote about reciting the same Bible verses for five years [Budd, “Interviews” 3].
May 19 Friday – The Minneapolis arrived at Dubuque, Iowa.
We noticed that above Dubuque the water of the Mississippi was olive-green—rich and beautiful and semitransparent, with the sun on it….The majestic bluffs that overlook the river, along through this region, charm one with the grace and variety of their forms, and the soft beauty of their adornment…And it is all as tranquil and reposeful as dreamland, and has nothing this-worldly about it—nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon [Ch 58 LM].
The Muscatine Journal, on page 2, ran an account of Sam’s brief stop there, without opinion or quotes [Budd, “Interviews” 3].
May 20 Saturday – The Minneapolis arrived at Lake Pepin, Minn. Sam and Osgood saw a “wretched poor family on boat going to the frontier—man on deck with wagon; woman & several little children allowed in cabin for charity’s sake. The slept on sofas & floor in glare of lamps without covering. Must have frozen last night.” Sam told how he and Osgood took pity on the family and got them hot meals and blankets [MTNJ 2: 480n164].
Sam wrote to Livy and told her about the poor family and their assistance:
“The woman stopped me afterward and asked if it was I that paid for their meals—& thanked me & broke down. They are all sound asleep on sofas…but I notice that my interest in them has had an effect, for they all have pillows & coverings” [MTP].
May 21 Sunday – The Minneapolis arrived at St. Paul, Minn. at 7 AM after a “hideous trip” where Sam and Osgood spent the night at the Metropolitan Hotel. It was cold and snowing [Kaplan 246].
“St. Paul is a wonderful town. It is put together in solid blocks of honest brick and stone, and had the air of intending to stay. Its post-office was established thirty-six years ago; and by and by, when the postmaster received a letter, he carried it to Washington, horseback, to inquire what was to be done with it. Such is the legend” [Ch 60 LM].
May 22 Monday – “Snowed a few flakes. We left at 1.45 east” [MTNJ 2: 480].
Sam and James Osgood left St. Paul, Minn. by train, bound for home [Powers, MT A Life 462].
The St. Paul and Minneapolis Pioneer Press ran a brief article on page 7 paraphrasing Sam’s mistrust of interviewers and the reasons for his current trip. There were no direct quotations [Budd, “Interview” 3].
May 23 Tuesday – Judge Caleb F. Davis, President of Keokuk Savings Bank & Trust, wrote to Clemens:
I write to remind you of my request, and your promise to send me your photograph, and the published sketch you mentioned. … /
Jo Patterson says, that when you first commenced to write and lecture, the greatest surprise of your immediate friends and relatives, was your familiar quotations from the Bible, as you were never known to read that book. Al Patterson says, if you do not write me something good, he will refer to you in his own sketch and tell how, when your family moved from the country, down in Missouri to Hannibal…they found you missing. Going back they found you in an old flour barrel asleep.
Now save yourself from our friends and fill the sheet [enclosed]. As a general rule, literary fellows are impecunious, and you may not be an exception, therefore I enclose P.O. stamps for return favors. … /PS. Genl. Belknap, who is sitting by while I write, wants to know what became of your ‘patent Suspender,’ as he now has trouble in keeping up his pantaloons. / Keokuk, Iowa / May 23d 1882 [McDermott, “Mark Twain and the Bible” Papers on Language and Literature 4 (Spring 1968): 195-8]. Note: See Sam’s answer July 8, 1882.
May 24 Wednesday – On entering Philadelphia, Sam and Osgood observed a crowd had formed to gaze at an Italian laborer whose foot had been severed by a train.
“Our tracks ought to be fenced—on the principle that the majority of human beings being fools, the laws ought to be made in the interest of the majority” [MTNJ 2: 481].
Sam and Osgood arrived in New York. Sam arrived home in Hartford [Powers, MT A Life 462; MTNJ 2: 434].
William H. Thompson, publisher, Phila. wrote a postcard to Sam “Why no report or order from you?” He was pushing a new ed. of Pocket Manual & Book Rack [MTP].
May 25 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam inscribed The Poetical Works of Robert Browning to Susy Clemens: “These volumes, (in place of a promised mud turtle,) are presented with the love of / Papa / May 25, 1882. / N.B. The turtle was to have been brought from New Orleans, but I gave up the idea because it seemed cruel” [MTP].
F.A.O. Schwartz, New York, billed Sam $1.05 for “2 nurse bottles, 2 puffbones [?]” [MTP].
May 25 to June 8 Thursday – Sam began organizing and adding to his notes, reviewing his old Atlantic articles, “Old Times on the Mississippi,” which would comprise part of Life on the Mississippi. It was difficult for him to write at the Hartford house; he was anxious to leave the heat and distraction for Elmira and Quarry Farm, where high over the Chemung River, he was always quite productive. His notebook for this period reveals many planning entries for Clara Clemens’ upcoming birthday party.
Sometime shortly after May 24, Sam wrote to Louis C. Tiffany, evidently for glass work performed:
“I have been down the Mississippi river or I would have answered sooner. I am happy to say that the work is not merely and coldly satisfactory, but intensely so” [MTP].
May 28 Sunday – In Lexington, Mass., William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.
I hope you are safely and triumphantly at home again, and that you are bulging at the new book. I have heard from Osgood what a glorious time you had.—I suppose you got my letter at St. Louis [not extant]. We have been here for a month, and we expect to spend June at Belmont; then we go to see my father at Toronto, and we sail from Quebec July 22d….I’m going to write your life for The Century. When and why were you born? [MTHL 1: 403-4].
Arnold, Constable & Co. , New York billed Sam $7.44 for 1 “Salqui” [?] or “Saeqni”; paid [MTP].
May 29 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens, who was contemplating a trip from Fredonia to Keokuk to see Orion and Mollie. After commenting on his mother writing to an “old gentleman” and criticizing a “young man who prints the paper,” Sam encouraged her to travel part way by water for her comfort; he wanted to pay the cost [MTBus 186].
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, sending him the name of one “Mr. Dennison” in the lithography business for Webster to perhaps hire:
“Enclosed is a name given me by my old friend Ned Bunce, Cashier of the Phenix Bank, here” [MTP].
Sam also typed a letter to Chatto & Windus, acknowledging receipt of their note for £1,590 & 1s, and that their suggestion to stimulate demand for P&P seemed “wise and reasonable.” Sam informed them that Osgood & Co., was poised to publish the first of June [MTP].
Charles H. Wells for Assoc. Press wrote to ask for an autograph prefaced by a sentiment; SASE [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From some low-bred & unrefined son of a bitch in Pennsylvania”
May 30 Tuesday – In Lexington, Mass. William Dean Howells wrote hoping to lure the Clemenses for a visit before they left for Elmira for the summer and before he sailed for Europe [MTHL 1: 404-5].
May 31 Wednesday – Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement showing $4,167.05 credit in Sam’s account [MTP].
June – The Stolen White Elephant was a collection of stories published by James R. Osgood. Sam wrote the title story in 1878, and the earliest copies printed early in June [Hirst, “A Note on the Text,” Oxford Edition, 1996]. This book combined the elephant tale with all those in Punch, Brothers, Punch! (1878) as well as several others, including two on the “McWilliamses” [Rasmussen 445].
Sam inscribed a copy of Horace Williams Fuller’s Noted French Trials. Imposters and Adventurers (1882): “S.L. Clemens / Hartford, June 1882” [Gribben 248].
Sam’s notebook “Life of Jon Edwards about 1820 Northhampton Mass” ; On Charles Lamb (1775-1834):
“Make no end of Chas. Lamb, & people who have been educated to think him readable, & really do think him so. The same prejudice of education in favor of some other passé authors” [MTNJ 2: 489].
June 1 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to the son of the late Dr. John Brown, John Jr., nicknamed “Jock.” The Clemens family offered condolences. Sam asked for a picture of Dr. Brown.
“I was three thousand miles from home, at breakfast in New Orleans, when the damp morning paper revealed the sorrowful news among the cable dispatches” [MTNJ 2: 500n223]
Sam also typed a letter to the Gerhardts. It is a friendly letter about finances, complimenting them on how “cautious and careful” they were in expenses, and reacting to a drawing sent of a proposed sculpture,
FROM THE DRAWING SENT, I SHOULD SAY KARL’S GROUP PROMISED TO BE VERY BEAUTIFUL; BUT HE MUST NOT EXPECT INTELLIGENT CRITICISM OR SUGGESTIONS FROM US, BECAUSE IF ANY OCCURRED TO US WE SHOULD NOT HAVE THE EFFRONTERY TO GIVE THEM VOICE. WE DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SCULPTURE, YET AT THE SAME TIME WE DO NOT WISH TO EXPOSE THE FULL SIZE OF OUR IGNORANCE BY PUTTING IT ON PAPER [MTP].
June 2 Friday – Charles Webster wrote to Sam about possible hires and the return of Clarence E. Buckland (1851-1905), whom he thought unsuitable, too slow, and an instigator among the men to organize [MTP].
June 3 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood.
“Have written to ask Spofford [Librarian of Congress] if my copyright is perfect on my several books.”
Sam needed to know if any of his copyrights were faulty, as he considered a Chicago lawsuit against Belford and Clarke on the Sketches, New and Old (1875).
“There must be copyrighted articles in that pirated volume of Sketches—for some of them must have appeared in the Atlantic or Galaxy. I could tell if I had the book [the pirated edition]—and if proving that would answer our needs” [MTLTP 156].
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster.
I return Buckland’s letters unread—I don’t feel interest enough to read them. He is well got rid of.
You are right, as to Dennison, I judge [See May 29 letter to Webster].
The more I think of Ahern’s bill [plumber] the more it enrages me [MTP].
June 4 Sunday – Clarence E. Buckland wrote from Wash. DC to Sam, convinced that “my break with the Kaolatype Eng. Co. was the result of a conspiracy hatched in the fertile brain of Mr. F.C. Raubs.” He’d apologized to Webster for the way he left the firm and agreed upon a contract to work for $24 a month [MTP]. Note: Frank C. Raubs.
Charles Webster wrote to Sam: “Enclosed please find the Am. Bank Note Stock Certif.” His grandma was on her last leg. Their company funds were “holding out.” He hadn’t heard from Osgood. “What did you decide about the pictures for your new book?” [MTP].
June 5 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Webster about the Bierstadt Artotype business. He wanted Charles to look into it and see if it was worth investment [MTBus 186].
Sam also wrote to William M. Laffan, letter not extant but referred to in Laffan’s June 7 reply.
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam (Chatto & Windus to Osgood May 25 enclosed): “Yours of 3d received. We cabled Chatto on Saturday: meantime this morning arrives this letter….which sets things all right” [MTP].
John L. RoBards wrote to Sam, clippings enclosed from 5? June 1882 Hannibal Courier, containing the “Unwritten History” of Twain’s “Boyhood Days”. RoBards wrote: “The surprising contents of the inclosed clipping…will inform you of my reason for sending it.” Clemens was portrayed as “indifferent to family feeling”; RoBards had talked with the writer Reavis to correct this impression, and, regretfully shared a letter of Twain’s as well as pointing out the slab over Henry Clemens’ grave. He complimented P&P [MTP].
June 6 Tuesday – S.J. Ahern, ed. wrote a postcard from St. Paul, Minn. to Sam: “Come back. The circus is in town…” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote (twice) to Sam on various business matters, included correspondence with James Ahern, Hartford plumber. Clarence E. Buckland had asked to be taken back, but “he has lost his place.” In the second, “I have just seen Mr Shepard of the Am. Bank Note Co.,” who corrected a stock price; Webster advised Sam to take the stock at the corrected price [MTP].
June 7 Wednesday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Charles Webster about mailing a check to buy 80 shares of a stock suggested by Webster, which may have been for American Bank Note Co. (See June 12 letter to Webster) [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote from Fredonia to Sam. Ma had experienced some sort of “spasms” and he related her care. It was a “terrible fright” [MTP].
William M. Laffan wrote to Sam having rec’d his of June 5 (not extant). He replied that the artist Edwin A. Abbey was in Europe and Smith was not available. “I would like to come up and make the sketches myself,” then send them to Abbey “to draw for ‘process’ abroad” [MTP]. Note: Laffan also mentions telegraphing “this evening.”
June 8 Thursday – Clara Clemens’ eighth birthday was celebrated with a party for 67 children at the Farmington Avenue house. In his notebook, Sam entered: “Osgood get a Longfellow for Clara’s birthday” [2: 460]. Longfellow died on Mar. 24; soon after, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. published a volume of his works. Sam believed Jean picked up scarlet fever at the party [MTNJ 2: 487n186].
Sam inscribed The Stolen White Elephant to Clara Clemens: “To / Clara Langdon Clemens / from / Papa / Hartford, June 8, 1882” [MTP]. Note: the first copy of the book which would issue from the press on June 10.
Orion Clemens wrote from Fredonia: “Ma is most well. Glory for Dr. Moore! She has had no more spasms” [MTP].
June 9 Friday – Orion Clemens wrote from Fredonia: “When your dispatch came this afternoon I told Ma I had received a dispatch from you, in which you sent the love of all that family, and wishes to be kept informed. She was much affected”[MTP].
William M. Laffan for Harper & Bros. Wrote: “Dear Clemens: / If it will suit you I can come up on the newspaper train Tuesday a.m. which will give me all day” [MTP].
June 10 Saturday – The official issue date of The Stolen White Elephant.
Sam wrote from Hartford to Chatto & Windus, asking for copies of the London periodical Tom Hood’s Comic Annual for 1873, 1874, and 1875. Sam’s article, “How I Escaped Being Killed in a Duel” ran in the 1873 volume; and the 1874 issue ran a version of his sketch “Jim Wolf and the Cats” [MTNJ 2: 485n179].
Sam also typed a letter to John L. RoBards, his old Marion Ranger friend:
“DEAR JOHN:—DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING THE NEWSPAPERS SAY LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR THAT. AS LONG AS THE NEWS-PAPERS REFRAIN FROM TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ME, I HAVE NO FAULT TO FIND WITH THEIR STATEMENTS” [MTP].
The Chicago Tribune was among the first to review A Stolen White Elephant and other Detective Stories:
Mark Twain’s prolific pen has finished another volume, and before the buttons have been resewed after reading his last work he boldly steps out and bids you laugh again. …there are many things worth reading in this volume…[Budd, Reviews 219].
Lt. Andrew Goodrich Hammond wrote from Mayer’s Spring, Tex. to Sam: “Please accept my heartiest thanks for your photograph which has just been forwarded me from Lt. Clark …We have been in camp now for six weeks looking for Indians, but I think the Mexican troops have spared us the trouble & killed them all…” [MTP].
June 11 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood:
“I wish you would set a cheap expert to work to collect local histories of Mississippi towns & a lot of other books relating to the river for me.
“Meantime all those people who promised to send such things to us ain’t doing it, dern them” [MTP].
Joel Chandler Harris’ unsigned review of The Stolen White Elephant ran in the Atlanta Constitution, p. 4, cols. 2-3 [Griska 585; Budd, Reviews 219-20]. Remarking that this was “the first book which Mr. Clemens has entrusted to the regular channels of the book trade, the only one which may be bought of any bookseller who may desire to keep it in stock,” Harris went on to praise the story for which the volume of sketches was named, and to offer a Howells-like analysis of Sam’s approach to humor:
It is in fact a pungent satire upon the fraudulent concerns known as detective agencies, and, as a satire, it points its own pithy moral. This is the unctuous feature that separates Mr. Clemens’s writings widely and permanently from the host of imitators that have sprung up, and from the bulk of the so-called humor of the day. Exaggeration is ludicrous, but it is not genuine humor; and the difference between Mark Twain and those who give forth exaggerations only is the fundamental difference that exists between emptiness and pungency. It is the difference that makes trash of one and literature of the other…. / Mr. Clemens’s humorous perceptions enable him to go to the very core of character, and his later work, notably “The Prince and the Pauper,” shows a remarkable development of the sense of artistic purpose and proportion [Griska 586-8].
Orion Clemens wrote a follow up progress report on Ma’s condition, which was good now and her mind clear [MTP].
Kate D. Barstow wrote from Wash. DC to Sam, homesick for “northern air.” She thanked Livy for the catalog sent (see May 7) and expected to draw on Sam for $25 for the next term of her medical studies. Evidently she planned on going to Elmira for she wanted to know when Sam would be there for a visit [MTP].
June 12 Monday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Charles Webster, advising him to send the “Bank Note Certif.,” so he might put it in the safe with his other securities. “I need no more investments, now—bought a lot of Adams Express stock to-day & exhausted our pile” [MTP].
Two copies of The Stolen White Elephant were placed with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Oxford edition, 1996].
June 12–15 Thursday – Sometime during this period, Sam and Livy traveled to Boston for a quick visit with the Howells and their close neighbors, the Fairchilds. In a letter of May 30, Howells had urged them to come for a visit “next Wednesday” or June 7, but with Clara’s large planned birthday celebration on June 8, it’s likely the trip was put off a few days, and this period was the only open one before Sam’s June 16 letter remarking of Livy’s “strong liking” for Colonel Fairchild [MTHL 1: 405]. See June 20 letter to Howells.
June 13 Tuesday – A.V.S. Anthony of Osgood & Co. wrote a list of comparisons between some illustrations for LM made with Kaolatype and those by Moss Engineering Co. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Comparison of Kaolatype & Moss Eng. Doom of Kaolatype”
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam (Simon Sterne to Osgood June 12 enclosed) [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Sterne’s report on my trade-mark case.”
June 14 Wednesday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam & Livy. He’d rec’d the letter of credit for 100 pounds. He also told of Mr. Elnell arriving and now they were “best of friends”. He told of their art progress, his sculpting and her drawing [MTP].
Edward T. Potter wrote to ask Sam what he should do with the $800 check. He wanted to pay Thorp the $300 he felt due him “& return you the balance” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered”
Christian Tauchnitz, Jr. wrote to ask if they might publish The Stolen White Elephant in their Continental Edition [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Tauchnitz Jr / About Elephant”
Orion wrote from Fredonia that “Ma continues to mend.” He reported she often did not sleep at night, and the doctor, Mrs. London, recommended he not sleep in her room [MTP].
June 15 Thursday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Charles Webster about pictures done by the Moss Engineering Co. (possibly for LM); about Osgood buying a shop; about the Bank Note stock certificate arriving safely; and about another letter received from Clarence E. Buckland that Sam referred to Webster [MTP].
William D. Howells wrote from Belmont to Sam: “Please pass this on to the editor of the Century, after you have corrected the errors of fact and judgment in it / Yours ever…” [MTP]. Note: one of Howells’ literary pieces (not in MTHL).
June 16 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells, who was making ready to travel to Europe.
We leave here the 22d, D.V., —for Mrs. Clemens never alters a schedule: once decided, always decided, with her. Pity we can’t see you folks again, but evidently these families are too busy with journey-preparations to allow of any present visitings.
I don’t think I ever knew Mrs. Clemens to take such a strong liking for anybody on a first acquaintance as she took to Col. Fairchild…[MTHL 1: 405].
June 17 Saturday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Charles Webster about buying stock for him [MTP].
A brief description of The Stolen White Elephant appeared in the “Minor Notices” of Critic [Tenney 11].
Charles S. Fairchild wrote a notecard from Boston, hoping Sam & Livy would “review your decision and still find it possible to join us the 22nd” [MTP].
William M. Laffan for Harper & Bros. wrote to Sam: “One thing I forgot wholly and that was to ask you what amount of dross you wanted for ‘Me W. and the B.A.’ Drop me a line so that I may notify the authorities duly”. Then some details of delayed telegrams, etc. [MTP]. Note: the reference to “The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm.” See June 20 to Howells.
Bruce W. Munro wrote from Newcastle, Ont. sending a chapter of his book—did it have any merit? [MTP]. Note: he wrote the same letter in French on June 19.
June 18 Sunday ca. – The famous four-generations picture was taken in New York on or about this day, Jane Clemens’ 79th birthday: Jane, daughter Pamela Moffett, granddaughter Annie Moffett Webster, gr-granddaughter Jean Webster (See Webster, p. 193).
June 19 Monday – Sam entertained James R. Osgood at his Hartford home and “had a pleasant talk bout our trip & all…[the] charming people” he’d met [June 20 letter to Cable, MTP].
Frank H. Hooker for Hooker & Co., Carriages, N. Haven wrote to Sam, “sorry to have missed your call this morning.” He wrote that Sam “have some Hartford maker try to fix this up,” but felt they could do a better job of it. He advised on how to ship the carriage [MTP]. Note: this likely a telephone call.
June 20 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles W. Fairchild, Howells’ friend and neighbor in Belmont and brother of Lucius Fairchild. Charles had invited Sam to a farewell dinner for James R. Osgood, who was leaving for Europe. Sam decided not to go because the banquet was the same day the family had planned to remove to Elmira. The illnesses in the family no doubt also played a part in his declining the invitation. He sent his apologies [MTNJ 2: 487n191].
Would I go to a farewell feed whose object was to get rid of old Osgood, that majestic accumulation of iniquity? You bet you! By George I would walk to such a banquet rather than miss it. But you see, I am anchored here for the summer, 510 miles from Boston, & so long a journey, in this weather, would kill me…[MTP].
Sam also wrote to Howells (typewritten letter):
After infinite labor and fatigue, Mrs. Clemens has got her menagerie ready to move, but now we are brought to a halt by Jean’s illness. She has had hoarseness and a pretty sick time of it in one way or another, during the past four or five days, and now a rash has broken out on her which the doctor is not willing to say is not scarlet fever. So we shall stay still and wait a day or two, and then go or stay according to results.
Sam offered to advance $3,000 to Howells on the “Encyclopedia of Humor” project. He also spoke of the recent visit to Belmont:
I not only had a prodigiously good time at your house, but as usual I brought away some material results. I wrote an article for the Tile Club [“The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm”] which would never have been written if I had not gone to Belmont. I always make expenses, and a hundred dollars or so besides out of a visit to you. Yours as ever, Mark [MTHL 1: 406]. Note: This piece ran in the Harper’s Christmas Supplement, 1882.
Sam also wrote to George W. Cable. Sam’s plans for a traveling lecture “menagerie” had to be postponed:
Both Howells & Aldrich are to be absent a long time in Europe; & then Uncle Remus vanished southward again, without giving us a chance—according to agreement—to try the strength of his voice in some empty Boston hall. I suppose that if we ever do get the menagerie on its feet we can’t hope to have Remus [Joel Chandler Harris], because he evidently can’t conquer his diffidence. …
Our packing is all finished, to-day, & a special car engaged to transport out family to Elmira N.Y. for the summer—but now a horrible rash appears upon the body of the baby!—& there is much scarlet fever in the town [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote to Sam, more about purchasing stock for him, and also about Osgood coming in for a talk [MTP].
June 21 Wednesday – From Sam’s notebook:
“June 21—Crane We should be delighted to see any one of you here, but as the children have been exposed we don’t dare move them” [MTNJ 2: 497]. Note: No letter survives with this date or message. Possibly Sam wrote the note to include in a letter or telegram which no longer exists, or was never sent.
Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster:
“We were to leave for Elmira tomorrow, but Jean developed scarlatina this morning. She is not very sick, but we shall remain here at least a week longer” [MTBus 188]. Note: scarlatina, an older name for scarlet fever.
Sam also wrote to Delaware, Lackawanna R.R. to obtain a hotel car, letter not extant but referred to in the R.R.’s June 26 reply.
Rev. J. Chester for Lincoln University visited Clemens to ask him to support a colored college student, to be chosen by the school staff [Chester to Clemens Aug. 16].
George C. Blanchard wrote from NYC to beg for a $40 loan from Sam [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Blanchard (a no-account.)”
June, after 21st and July – Just when the Clemens family was about to make their annual retreat to Elmira on June 22, Jean came down with the dreaded scarlet fever on June 21. The disease ran rampant around Hartford. Even their servant Patrick McAleer’s child contracted the disease and was rendered deaf [A. Hoffman 297]. Trunks were unpacked. Sam and Livy kept Jean away from Susy and Clara, but on June 22 (see letter to Howells) Susy came down with a high fever, though it proved not to be scarlet fever. Faced with the stress of two seriously ill children, Sam broke down with lumbago and a slight fever of his own [Kaplan 247]. The house had become a hospital ward and the trip to Elmira postponed about a month. The only defense against scarlet fever before antibiotics was hygiene and quarantine.
June 22 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells. After reading the July installment of Howells’ A Modern Instance in the Century Magazine, Sam gushed:
I am in a state of wild enthusiasm over…your story. It’s perfectly dazzling—it’s masterly—incomparable. Yet I heard you read it—without losing my balance. Well, the difference between your reading & your writing is—remarkable—I mean, in the effects produced & the impressions left behind. Why, the one is to the other as is one of Joe Twichell’s booming yarns repeated by a somnambulist.
Sam added in the evening that “Susie is stricken—& savagely—with this dire scarlet fever” [MTHL 1: 407-8]. (Her ailment turned out to be something less serious.)
June 23 Friday – In Boston, Howells wrote to Sam:
I hope all fear of scarlet fever in the case of your little ones is past, and that you soon will be on your hill-top at Elmira….A composer [George Henschel] who can get the Ideals to produce his opera wants me to write his libretto. Will you kindly let me know just what terms you made with Raymond for production of Col. Sellers? [MTHL 1: 409].
Sam wrote from Hartford to Jack (no last name) who had sent turtles to Susy and Clara Clemens.
“Both of the creatures have just now been baptised, & duly outfitted with the designations suited to their dignity & general dimensions: Clara has named her turtle Alexander Hamilton; Susie names hers the Duchess of Marlborough. If the twins survive these names I reckon they will pull through all right” [MTP].
June 24 Saturday – Charles Webster wrote to Sam having rec’d his (no date specified). “I hope Jean is not going to have a hard time of it.” Also a request for $1000 and some expenses listed [MTP].
Alex Wilkin, Jr. wrote from Balsam Ontario, Canada to Sam. “I received your card and was greatly flattered with it indeed it had gone quite out of my mind that I had ever written you.” The rest of the four pages is a long, rambling pile of verbiage about ambition, imagination and his lack thereof. He only asks that Clemens answer this letter [MTP].
June 25 or June 26 Monday – In Belmont, Howells wrote a short note to Sam, saying “Hurrah” for the fact that Sam’s children were well at last; and asking if Sam had sent on his “Mark Twain biography” to the Century Magazine. Howells ended with “We are off to-morrow. Good bye”—leaving for Toronto and then Europe” [MTHL 1: 409-10].
June 26 Monday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Charles Webster, “From force of habit” Sam had sent a check for $500 instead of $1,000. “The child is doing first rate, at present” [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam: “I wish you would set me at work soliciting orders for the Kaolatype in some city.” A long letter of various topics, typical of Orion [MTP].
E.R. Holden for Delaware, Lackawanna R.R. wrote to Sam, having rec’d his of the 21st. If Sam wanted to telegraph for a hotel car he was to send to A. Reasoner, Supt. Hoboken, since Holden was going on vacation [MTP]. Note: Sam’s not extant.
June 28 Wednesday – Charles Webster reported to Sam that Frank Bliss had agreed to allow an auditor to examine the records of the American Publishing Co. Sam felt he’d been cheated out of thousands by inaccurate reporting of book sales [MTNJ 2: 496n209].
Charles Webster wrote to Sam “glad to hear that Jean is better.” He settled for $500 from Sam for Co. expenses. He wrote about making Bliss mad, refusing to send a statement, telling Webster if he wanted on to come up and the books were open. “I think now we will bring this matter to a head soon & know where the leak is & see if we can get the books away from him” [MTP]. Note: it had been Clemens’ plan for some time to wrest the rights to his old books from the Am. Pub. Co.
June 29 Thursday – George W. Cable wrote to Sam: “Your letter of 20th keeps me anxious. Is it scarlet fever or is it prickly heat. The white elephant was rec’d by us through the mail—many thanks. I took it with me on the cars on my way to Oxford, Miss. day before yesterday and read it with laughter and prolonged applause.” He related the success of his “annual oration” in Oxford [MTP; Cardwell 83].
Orion Clemens wrote from Fredonia to Sam, with a break down of his and Mollie’s expenses [MTP].
June 30 Friday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy about a dinner enjoyed though he was intimidated somewhat by men of “world wide fame.” More on his art progress [MTP].
Kate D. Barstow wrote from Wash. DC to Sam: “I wrote to you three weeks ago—telling you how homesick I was, and asking you to please advance $25.00 to enable me to come north for a rest.” She thought the letter had gone astray so was asking again [MTP]. Note: more likely than the letter going astray was Sam simply ignoring it. He’d agreed to support Kate in her medical training but not to finance her trips north. Her continual remonstrances with Clemens for funds seems to support Joe Goodman’s use of the term “succubus” for her.
Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement with a July balance of $3,112.54 [MTP].
July – Sam inscribed P&P to Ellen C. Taft, wife of Dr. Cincinnatus A. Taft: “This is the book which I had intended to give my friend Mrs. Taft, but the book agent arrived first. / S.L. Clemens / (Mark Twain) / Hartford July 1882” [MTP].
Sam also inscribed The Stolen White Elephant to Harriet E. Whitmore: “Mrs. F. G. Whitmore / With the friendliest regards of The Author. July 1882” [MTP].
July 2 Sunday – Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, clipping enclosed listing Karl as “Mentions honorables” for the Beau-Arts, Lettres school. Hattie told about the dinner to M. Jouffroy that they’d attended [MTP]. Note: François Jouffroy (1806–1882) was a French sculptor and teacher at the school Gerhardt attended but he died on June 25. M. Jouffroy was likely “Monsieur Jouffroy.”
July 3 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his Hannibal host on the recent trip West, John Garth, responding to his letter.
Next, I myself was stretched on the bed with three diseases at once, and all of them fatal. But I never did care for fatal diseases if I could only have privacy and room to express myself concerning them.
We gave early warning, and of course nobody has entered the house in all this time but one or two reckless old bachelors—and they probably wanted to carry the disease to the children of former flames of theirs [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Andrew Chatto:
“I see by the Irish Times (Dublin) of June 9, that a bogus Mark Twain is fooling people in Belfast. You & Conway please look out for him & expose him” [MTP].
Helen M. Cox wrote from N. Orleans to thank Sam for the book, likely The Stolen White Elephant. And, apologized for being unable to “go down to the boat when you left us” [MTP].
July 4 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to R. Christie, who evidently had asked Sam what his first book was. He answered that his first was now out of print, The Jumping Frog, and that it was “sharply criticised” [MTP]. Sam’s remark fits with his continued belief that the book had not sold (see Apr. 29 to May 2, 1867 entries for Webb’s swindle).
Put-In-Bay Island Wine Co. of Ohio billed Sam $16.10 for half barrel, 24 & ½ gal. Concord wine, forwarded by boat to Cleveland; paid Aug. 10 [MTP]. Note: This was probably a gift for the Fairbankses. Sam made a similar purchase from this company on Mar. 10, 1881, shipped to Hartford. It’s likely he enjoyed the wine on a past visit to Cleveland.
July 5 Wednesday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Frank Fuller.
“WE HAVE SCARLET FEVER PATIENTS TO TAKE CARE OF, AND THE HOUSE WILL BE UNDER STRICT QUARANTINE FOR SEVERAL WEEKS YET…WILL NOT BE ALLOWED OUTSIDE THE NURSERY FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS…I HAVN’T ANY LITERARY INSPIRATION” [MTP].
Jane Clemens finished their July 2 letter to Sam and Livy, and Orion Clemens wrote on July 5, both from Fredonia. Orion thanked Sam for his $100 check. He told of his reading Blackstone, and then of the inequity of men who were hanged or not hanged “in the old days” based on whether they could read or not [MTP].
July 6 Thursday – James R. Osgood wrote to Sam: “I am glad to learn that you are likely to get off so easy. . If possible I will go down…Monday or Tuesday and see you” [MTP].
July 7 Friday – Sam sent a telegram to James R. Osgood in Cohasset, Mass. not extant but referred to in Osgood’s July 8 reply.
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co. bill of July 31 shows a telegram sent this day to Cohassett, Mass., recipient not specified but Osgood was in Cohassett (see entry for other telegrams) [MTP].
Augustus Saint-Gaudens wrote to thank Sam for his card “rec’d this morning—I heard from Elnell last week and he is in Jeoffroys studio and speaks in the highest terms of Gerhardt. / your friend…” [MTP]. Note: evidently Elnell was an art student that Saint-Gaudens was supporting.
Charles Webster wrote a page of details about stock purchases, and two statements of sales of books he must have obtained from Bliss [MTP].
July 8 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, perplexed how the American Publishing Co. could have declared $7,500 in three dividends when they’d only sold “10 or 15,000 books” after he’d dumped his stock, when in “over nine years they paid no dividend; in which time they sold” 300,000 books total. He was also to receive a rebate for any sales over 50,000 of Sketches, and he thought they may have exceeded that number without telling him [MTBus 189-90].
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam having rec’d his telegram “last night at Cohasset. I should prefer going down on Tuesday, but I may be detained here, in which case I will go on Wednesday…will telegraph you on Monday” [MTP].
F.A.O. Schwartz, toys, etc. NYC sent a bill for “1 cow 1 lamb 1 doll” totaling $8.50 [MTP].
Based on Sam dating Jean’s scarlet fever contraction of June 21, this letter (dated only with the month) to his mother was probably written July 8.
Dear Ma—It is a great joy to us to hear you are progressing so finely. We hope you will continue to do so. Jean is skinning, now; & of course this is a time of great solicitude. For two weeks & a half, now, Rosa, Livy & I have been Jean’s nurses; & nobody allowed to enter the front door. I have written no letters, attended to no business, not even matters of the vastest importance. However, I am down, now, with lumbago & some other diseases, & this gives me a chance to clear away part of the accumulation of correspondence [MTBus 188].
Sam also replied to the May 23 from Judge Caleb F. Davis, President of Keokuk Savings Bank & Trust, about a writer named Joseph Patterson.
Elsewhere in this volume appears a statement, by Mr. Jo. Patterson, that when I first began to write & lecture, the greatest surprise to my immediate friends & relatives was my familiar quotations from the Bible, as I “was never known to read that book.” Since that old day I have reformed, & have ceased from sinning: therefore it is but right that I should now come out & make contrite & humble confession, that, under the inspiration of the devil, I did manufacture a lot of bogus Biblical “quotations” & play them off on Patterson & the others, knowing that they would not be able to detect the swindle. But long since, I have repented of it, bitterly, most bitterly [MTP].
Sam also wrote a second letter to Charles Webster asking if he hadn’t better “stir up Slote and the publishing company.” The Clemens family planned to leave for Elmira in “seven or eight days” [MTP].
July 9 Sunday – In Toronto, Canada, Howells wrote to Sam asking for a line about the health of the Clemens family while he still had a week left visiting his father [MTHL 1: 410].
July 10 Monday – Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co. bill of July 31 shows a telegram sent this day to Hoboken, N.J., recipient not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy that they’d seen Twichell and daughter Julia “and what a cordial heartfelt greeting we had from them” [MTP]. Note: Twichell and daughter were in Europe.
Charles Webster wrote to Sam: “Yours recd. / I am only waiting for Slote’s July statement which I expect today. / We send a man to Hartford this week to look into the books & get facts after which we shall commence.” More on brass process, and a letter to Ahern not replied to. He complained of the price of an ad that Harpers asked: “I pay the Century 37.50 for what Harpers ask the $100”. Business was “dull now as it always is during the hot weather” [MTP].
July 11 Tuesday – Sam wrote (typed) from Hartford to Charles Webster about a bill on the remodeling work for the Farmington Avenue house. The Clemens family would leave for New York “Thursday [July 13] evening, and leave for Elmira after a very early breakfast” [MTBus 190].
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co. bill of July 31 shows a telegram sent this day to New York, recipient not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote from Paris, France that they’d met the Gerhardts twice. He gave a glowing account of admiration of each of them, Hattie “isn’t she the dearest little woman?” and Karl, “so sincere”. A long tender letter [MTP].
Meade & Graham, Law and Land Office, Henrietta Texas wrote to Sam, having rec’d his letter of July 5. They asked for the address of Mrs. S.M. Baird “to whom you say the land belongs” [MTP]. On the back of the env. someone has written, “L.M. Baird / Beaumont / Jefferson Co. / Texas”
July 12 Wednesday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam suggesting he might be of some use to Webster in NY, at least “by saving him from yielding to temptation, and to you by saving you from the results of such yielding.” (transcript of Orion to Webster July 11 enclosed) [MTP].
Fox & Co., Hartford grocers, billed Sam “To Mdse as per Pass Book” $35.04 [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote to Sam: “It certainly looks as if some one had stolen a good deal of money those years that no dividends were declared. It is a good point and worth looking into” (for Am. Pub. Co.) [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Mostly about Pub. Royalties”
July 13 Thursday – Sam wrote to William H. Gillette, letter not extant but referred to in Gillette’s July 18 reply.
The Clemens family was finally able to leave Hartford for Elmira. They made the first leg to New York, and, as was their custom, stayed the night [MTNJ 2: 90n198].
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co. bill of July 31 shows a telegram sent this day to Elmira, recipient not specified (see entry for others), though likely either the Crane’s or Langdons [MTP].
The Lotos Club, New York sent Sam a receipt for $6.25 dues paid [MTP].
July 14 Friday – The Clemens family boarded a special railroad car and left New York for the ten-hour trip to Elmira [MTNJ 2: 490n198]. They had to make a “hurried & abrupt” meeting with Charles and Annie Webster at the hotel before leaving, due to Jean’s needs and Livy’s backache [July 16 letter to Webster].
In Toronto, Canada, Howells wrote to Sam that the Mallory brothers were after him for the play which eventually became Colonel Sellers as a Scientist [MTHL 1: 410].
Mitchell & Kinzler for Hotel Brunswick billed Sam for the family’s overnight stay on July 13 totaling $38.95. This was forwarded from Hartford to Elmira [MTP].
N.G. Hinckley, Hartford debt collector of school taxes wrote to Sam that they’d rec’d his check but it was 60¢ short [MTP].
Charles E.S. Wood for West Point wrote to Sam, having rec’d his letter the day or two before, “and the White Elephant came today… I have already very much enjoyed looking over it,” noting older and newer stories he hadn’t seen. He still had more than 20 copies of 1601 on hand [MTP].
July 16 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to E.R. Holden of the Erie, Lackawanna Railroad
“I & my family wish to thank you after a limitless fashion for your good offices in our behalf. Mr. Reasoner furnished us a new sleeping car which was the perfection of comfort & cleanliness. (I wore a white Irish-linen suit all day, & did not smut it.)” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster. Once again Orion aggravated Sam by referring to the Tennessee Land, an old wound.
I found a copy of Orion’s letter here—sent by him. It took me several hours to answer it, I had to tear up so many answers that were too severe…I told him his meddling was unwarrantable, considering that this matter was none of his business, & that I would like him to put his pen in the fire, since it was exactly as useful as a match in the hands of a child, & exactly as dangerous. I said that when Ma’s pocket shall have suffered as much from your mismanagement of her Tennessee land as it has from his, it will be time for him to begin to belch holy indignation upon you [MTP].
July 17 Monday – Jane Clemens wrote to Sam and Livy: “Dear Children / Sam said I was going to bury Jean before she was dead. I was just as near burying Sam as I was Jean, for I thought lumbago & other diseases were very dangerous. The Dr’s have dismissed me, some time ago. I am taking towel baths at night” which gave red splotches. She sent love to the children [MTP].
Drayton Hillyer for Dwight & Co., Wool, Hartford wrote to Sam that the “note of the Hartford Engineering Co. endorsed” by Sam fell due this day, “and I inclose herein a new note for same amount which you will please indorse” [MTP]. Note: Drayton Hillyer was president of Hartford Engineering Co.
Joseph William Torrey wrote from Bankok, Siam (U.S. Consulate) to thank Sam for his “pleasant and ever welcome letter” with his photograph. Torrey sent pictures of the royal family [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote to Sam (Orion Clemens to Webster July 11 enclosed). He enclosed the Slote check and Orion’s July 11 to him [MTP].
July 18 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster.
DEAR CHARLEY —
Don’t forget to send me Bliss’s check
Please send me ½ dozen of my small scrap-books—size of this page or somewhat larger.
Mrs Moffett offers me her Watch stock at par. I suppose it is well enough to take it, isn’t it? [MTBus 191].
Arnold, Constable & Co. sent Sam a billing statement for $21.70 for various articles of clothing, with a payment rc’d stamp for July 26 [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote to Sam (Thomas William Clarke, atty. to Osgood July 13 & 17 enclosed). “After receiving No. 1 I wrote asking if he included in his estimate the expense of a defending counsel. No. 2 is his answer” (it did not). “It appears from these letters that his lowest estimate of cost is $1100 and from that to $1500 or more. What do you say?” [MTP]. Note: Clarke’s letters reveal that this was to “pursue the Chicago case”; Sam wrote on the env., “Law prices for a trademark suit”
William H. Gillette wrote: “Yours of 13th came last night. If you leave the matter of buying you out to my preference I shall decide against it—for it is a pleasure to me to have you interested….Your views upon the godly Mallorys are sound…It would be a pretty tableau to have them up a tree—but not altogether easy for they can smell danger at 900 yards” [MTP]. Note: Sam had fronted Gillette $3,000 at the beginning of his stage career.
Charles Eliot Norton wrote from Ashfield, Mass.: “Howells has just sent me your note to him, and I write at once to do my best to put you at ease in regard to coming this summer to Ashfield. I am truly disappointed that I am again to lose the pleasure of a visit from you…” [MTP].
Worden & Co. wrote to advise they’d sold 200 shares Wabash [MTP].
July 19 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James R. Osgood:
Won’t you please send to Commodore Rollingpin [John Henton Carter] and get a photograph of Capt. Isaiah Sellers’ Monument in Bellfontaine Cemetary, and let our artist make a 2/3 or a full page picture of it. I stole my nom de plume from him, and shall have considerable to say about him, for out there he was ‘illustrious’ ” [MTLTP 156-7]. Note: The photograph was used to make an engraving which appeared in Life on the Mississippi.
Dean Sage wrote to Sam that he’d sold all of his and Sam’s Wabash stocks the day before at 35 & ¾ and now it was 37 & ¼, so coming to NY cost him $300 [MTP].
July 20 Thursday – A piece ran in the Elmira Daily Gazette that was reprinted on p. 2 of the New York Times for July 23:
MARK TWAIN AS STRONG AS MR. TILDEN
A large number of our exchanges are crediting Samuel L. Clemens with a struggle with malarial fever. He is depicted by them as lying in his Summer home near Elmira in various stages of dissolution. Such, however, is not the case. He is in good health and is working hard. Any newspaper correspondent who doubts this statement can satisfy himself regarding Mr. Clemens’s condition by climbing up Quarry Farm hill any morning at 5:30 o’clock and knocking at the door of the well-known Mark Twain study-arbor. He will find the author within and at his desk. If he chance to be something of an invalid Mr. Clemens will take him out and show him the woods wherein, last year, by chopping wood, he cured himself of 13 different and distinct diseases.
Sam wrote from Elmira to Twichell, and the letter found its way to the July 24 issue of the Hartford Courant as well as the July 26 New York Times, on page 3.
E.R. Clarke wrote a postcard from South Stockton, NY to thank Sam for his advice about bearing all the expense of publishing his work [MTP].
Louis Chable sent Clemens a “long German word” for his collection, in exchange for an autograph “written by you and not by your secretary”:
“Vierwaldstätterseealongschruaubendampferactienconcurrenzgesellschaftsbüreau ah!!” [MTP]. Note: translates as “Office of the Vierwaldstättersee propeller-steamer stock company ah!!”
Charles Webster wrote, mainly about the Howard brothers selling down stock in the watch company and Webster advising Jane to sell at par. He also sent Bliss’s check to Sam together with his statement and a long letter July 5th; sent the scrap books this day that Sam wanted. At the top of the letter he pasted a squib from the July 18 NY Sun: “Sunbeams. / A bogus Mark Twain has been lecturing in Ireland” [MTP].
July 21 Friday – In Elmira, Dr. Thaddeus S. Up de Graff made a visit on “East Hill with 2 office treatments” likely following, where he examined Susie Clemens’ eyes and fit her with glasses [Sept. 1 bill from Dr. Thaddeus S. Up de Graff]. See entry.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, transcript of Orion to Annie Webster July 20 enclosed. “My Dear Brother: — I send you a copy of a letter which Pamela enclosed yesterday to Annie, who had written to her mother a protest against my interference. Charlie did not answer my letter. I now apologize to you, and ask your pardon” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Orion: apology to ‘Charley’”
July 22 Saturday – After a pleasant visit with his father and siblings in Canada, William Dean Howells and family boarded the S.S. Parisian in Quebec, bound for England [Goodman and Dawson 223].
James R. Osgood wrote to advise they were sending by Am. Express a bunch of books and articles Clemens wanted [MTP].
Capt. Edmund Gray for St. Louis & Vicksburgh Line wrote that Capt. McCord, Lem S. Gray and himself each rec’d a Stolen White Elephant “and this acknowledgment though slow in coming is accounted for, by saying that we have perused the book with a great deal of pleasure.” He added a PS: “Did you receive the Photo of ‘Dad’ our Second Mate” [?] [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the bottom after the PS, “Just one month later (Aug. 23) Lem was buried. Died of wounds from explosion of the boilers. SLC.”
July 24 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster.
Yes, I received & banked both of those checks—and then forgot it.
Damn that Bliss statement. I forgot to return it to you—I wish you had sent me only a copy. I have left the blamed thing in my portfolio of business letters under the table in the billiard room at home. If you shall find that you need it, write George Griffin, “(with S.L. Clemens”) & he will find it in the pocket marked “K.”
I was not intending to take Pamela’s Watch stock—that is, I didn’t want to take it. It is located too far from home, for one thing.
We all stood the trip first rate. Jean has been having a hard and somewhat dangerous teething time, but it doing first-rate, now.
Orion is quiet again. It is a waste of time to bother about him & his performances [MTBus 191].
Sam also wrote to Howells, responding to his letter of July 14 from Toronto, where he was visiting his father before sailing to Europe on July 22. Sam thanked him for his help in excusing him from another invitation by Charles Eliot Norton, who wrote his understanding of the matter July 18. Howells had also conveyed an offer by the Madison Square Theatre Mallory brothers for a play collaboration idea of Sam and Howells’. Sam called them “godly thieves,” (Marshall Mallory was the owner of the Churchman Weekly, a religious publication) and that they had not written, but:
“…no matter about that: you write the play & send it along—there’s plenty theatres besides the Madison, & I’ll not sell it for nothing.”
Baby Jean was “nearly well, at last” [MTHL 1: 411-12]. Note: See note 2 in citation for explanation of Mallory brothers previous sins.
James R. Osgood wrote enclosing $300 check from Harpers for use of “McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm” for their Christmas ed. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Harper to use Burglar article 6 months”
Charles Webster wrote two plus pages on publishing details, enclosing “Morgan’s report” which he planned to submit to Osgood [MTP].
July 25 Tuesday ca. – Shortly after his letter of July 24 to Howells, Sam followed up with a P.S.
“O, I forgot to say, that I forwarded the biography, & that it reached the Century all right. Jean’s well at last!” [MTP].
Charles E.S. Wood for Century Co. wrote that he’d sent copies of 1601 to Edward House in Japan, John Hay in Cleveland, Dean Sage in NYC and David Gray in Buffalo. With permission he’d send one to Col. Morgan and had sent the remainders to Sam [MTP].
July 26 Wednesday – Jean Clemens’ second birthday.
Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, about a variety of business matters—Sam had received the “expert’s report” [auditor] of American Publishing’s books, but Sam still didn’t know “whether 50,000 ‘Sketches’ have been sold or not?”—as the man did not specifically mention that book [MTBus 192].
Sam also wrote to James Osgood, letter not extant but referred to in Osgood’s July 31.
Brooks & Son, Hartford, billed Clemens $46.35 for furnace work, an agate coffee pot, and several other items purchased from Jan. 20 to June 23; marked paid June 26 [MTP].
Meade & Graham wrote from Henrietta, Tex. to ask Sam what his price was on the Archer County, Texas land, and that like land was selling for $1 per acre [MTP].
July 27 Thursday – Hooker & Co. sent Sam a check for $244.70 for the sale of his old carriage [MTP].
July 28 Friday – Joel Chandler Harris wrote [MTP].
Estes & Lauriat (Boston booksellers) billed Sam for “1 Strickland’s Queens 26 vols 110.00” Marked paid on Aug. 4 [MTP].
William M. Laffan for Harper & Bros. wrote: “Thanks! I will send you a proof anyhow! My glass was not full, but I hastened away and put you in debt to me to the extent of 15c.” He wrote of hot weather in the high 90s [MTP].
Christian Tauchnitz wrote from Leipzig that he’d rec’d Sam’s of July 5 and was sending 500 Marks for the publication of The Stolen White Elephant in their Continental Edition [MTP].
July 29 Saturday – Robert Jones Burdette (1844-1914) wrote and enclosed a poem from “S.A. Hara,” a pseudonym, one of several, used by the crackpot Bristol Conn. grocer, Wallace Muzzy in his series of non-sensical missives to Twain.
Dear Mr. Clemens, / It would be a shame to permit this honest & earnest worshipper to burn his incense so far away from his most gracious majesty that it could not penetrate the royal nostrils. With your permission therefore, I will act as his priest and swing the censer a little nearer the regnant nose. / Ever yours / R.J. Burdette [MTP]. Note: Burdette had written an article for the Burlington, Iowa Hawkeye, in which he called Twain’s Hartford home “this palace of the king of humorists.” The article likely led Muzzy to send his poem to Burdette. Burdette and Twain met in Hartford on Dec. 10, 1880 when Sam introduced Burdette at the latter’s lecture.
R. Christie wrote to thank Clemens for his autograph. He was a fan, and corrected the idea that “Far Away Moses” was a Turk—he was “a genuine Jew.” He sent a copy of the “Amateurs’ Arena,” a paper “devoted to amateur journalism” and asked if Sam might review it [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote that he’d purchased stock for Sam and himself this day. He’d also received “a literary production of yours” [MTP]. A note in the MTP file identifies this as 1601 sent by Wood.
Charles Webster wrote from Providence with Annie & the children, though daughter Alice was very ill unable to keep even water down. The doctor said she’d get better. He’d rec’d Sam’s of the 26th and answered several questions about the business [MTP].
Worden & Co. wrote advising purchase of 200 shares of O.J. (T?) at 87 & 7/8 from Dean Sage [MTP].
July 31 Monday – In Elmira Sam replied to the July 22 from Capt. Edmund Gray (b. 1834) a resident of Gray’s Point, Scott County, Missouri, and Cape Girardeau, and steamboat pilot on the Mississippi for many years.
Hang it, no! I haven’t received Dad’s photograph. Maybe it was sent to Osgood, Boston, instead of to me, at Hartford. Was it?—if so, it’s all right & I shall get it.
Wish you would tell Lem to tell his Missouri-merschaum maker to send me a couple dozen of those cob pipes to Elmira, N.Y….I only stopped smoking the one Lem gave me, three weeks ago—she got so strong nobody would let me stay around.
Please remember me in the kindest & most appreciative way to Capt McCord, & Lem & Dad, & the same to yourself [MTP]. Note: “Dad” is not identified.
Sam also wrote to James R. Osgood. The first half of the letter is about Kaolatype (suggesting Osgood buy a block of stock in it) and other business matters. At first in Elmira Sam hadn’t been able to focus on writing; he usually was most productive at Quarry Farm and so had high expectations of himself
“My hope was, to be able to write 10,000 words a week, here. I was sick two or three days, in the beginning, & Jean’s attack kept me worried for a while, still, I have written my 15,000 words in the week & a half that I have actually been at work. Hope I can keep it up” [MTP].
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co., Hartford, billed Sam $3.18 for July telegrams sent: July 7 to Cohassett, Mass., July 8, 13 to Elmira, July 10 to Hoboken, July 11 to New York; also deliveries July 14 and 29 [MTP].
Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers sent a statement with credit balance of $3128.62 [MTP].
J.P. Newton, Hartford meats, etc. billed for $1.89 for clams, halibut, & salmon [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote twice. The first with the news that P&P seemed to be selling well. The second: he’d rec’d his of 26th and “Fearon and Fawkes shall be ordered.” He planned to sail for Europe on Aug. 8 to be gone 5 weeks. He offered to pay the cost of counsel to defend at $250 to $300, and referred to Belford [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Osgood will help pay trademark suit”
August – Sometime during the month, Orion wrote Sam with accusations that Charles Webster had defrauded people with the Watch Co. stock, even his own mother-in-law, Pamela Moffett, Orion’s sister. The Independent Watch Co. was exposed as fraudulent in July [Powers, MT A Life 466]. Sam did not want to believe that Webster was a thief but pressured him to make the investments good, which eventually he was able to do (See Aug. 29 entry).
August 1 Tuesday – Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, who had conveyed the news of illness there.
“It is dismal news. We had the impression that Annie & the children [at this date they had two: Alice, age six; William, nearly four] were to leave for some country place the moment the summer (June) should begin. It seems a very severe attack, but I hope you & Annie are in better hopes & spirits by this time” [MTP].
Francis Kenney billed Sam $5.98 for roof repairs and misc. items, this from Nov. 6, 1880 to Dec. 17, 1881! Also $6.85 for various items from Jan. 12 to June 27 [MTP].
August 2 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to John L. RoBards:
Dear John— / What promise? I hardly ever make one—and never make one that is any trouble to keep. Tell me about this one (for I have forgotten it utterly) & if it isn’t any trouble to keep it, I’ll keep it, as sure as you live—otherwise, I’ll add it, without a twinge of conscience, to the million of the same kind that went before it [MTP].
Augustus Saint-Gaudens wrote urging Sam to send any news along of Karl Gerhardt [MTP].
Worden & Co sent statements ending with a credit balance of $24,193.25 [MTP].
August 2 Wednesday ca. – Sam wrote from Elmira to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt, enclosing a note of encouragement by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Sam also heaped praise upon Hattie’s pictures [MTP].
August 3 Thursday – Charles E.S. Wood wrote: “The White Elephant is now all he ought to be and I’m proud of him. After final disposals here is the residue of 1601. The old sheets I destroyed” [MTP].
August 4 Friday – Sam paid Estes & Lauriat of Boston $110 for 26 volumes of Agnes & Elizabeth Strickland’s Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest, and other works by the two, including a six-volume work by Mary Anne Everett Green, Lives of the Princesses of England. The bill paid was dated July 28 [Gribben 674].
Sam telegraphed from Elmira to Hubbard & Farmer brokers to “Sell out I.B.& W. stock above 46” [MTP].
Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers advised they’d sold 200 shares JB & W at 46 [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote that his daughter Alice was now well. He’d seen Osgood and he examined the report of Mr. Morgan, who found there’d been a “$2000 swindle on the first 50000 copies”. More on brass and Kaolatype stock [MTP].
August 5 Saturday – Orion Clemens finished his Aug. 4 letter [MTP].
August 5–9 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Lt. Charles E. S. Wood, who wrote Aug. 3 asking if Sam would like a proof wood engraved portrait by Timothy Cole.
“I’d like it first rate, Wood, & so would Twichell. The one you sent here for signature is the only one I’ve seen. Raining here, now; & cold as Greenland! Yrs sincerely, S.L. Clemens” [Leon 231-2].
August 7 Monday – Hubbard & Farmer bankers & brokers wrote to Sam, Large printed page of stock prices enclosed. They’d rec’d an order from him this day to sell a stock at over 46 (see JB & W sale Aug. 4), which they interpreted as 46 or better [MTP].
Mollie Kane sent Sam a postcard from Union, Mo. full of shaky handwriting, spelling and grammar errors, asking for an autograph and claiming that her “Grandma used to know your uncle” [MTP].
August 8 Tuesday – Sam was writing chapters for Life on the Mississippi when “New York papers” brought news of an explosion, Aug. 7, from Hickman, Ky. The steamer Gold Dust had blown her boilers, scalding 47 with 17 persons missing. Lem Gray was later found dead, and buried Aug. 23. This was the same packet Sam and Osgood took on the Mississippi in April [Ch 37 LM].
Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster. The auditor and Charley had determined that American Publishing’s royalties to Sam were only short by $2,000.
“Look here, have the Am. Pub. Co. swindled me out of only $2,000? I thought it was five. It can’t be worth to sue for $2,000, can it? If we gain it will it pay lawyer’s fees?” [MTBus 192].
Edward W. Bok wrote to thank Sam for “the kind expressions” in his letter of Feb. 24; he now wanted a photograph [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote, sending a brass plate by U.S. Express, along with details and costs; he concluded they couldn’t make brass plates for fine work but could for “ordinary or coarse work” [MTP].
August 9 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster.
K. [Kaolatype] flourishes, better & better, but the monthly drain has always remained about the same since its earliest days. By the way—was the Slote note collected last month?—am hanged if I can remember now whether it was or not. How do the K accounts stand, now? Let Marsh [George N. Marsh, Webster’s assistant at Kaolatype Co.] send me a statement—not one of these damned incomprehensible professional-technical debtor-&-creditor enigmas, which none but gods & bookkeepers can make head or tail of, but a plain sensible written-out statement of the case, which [baby] Jean can understand [MTBus 193].
Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote asking Sam for a series of articles on:
“Permanent Sources of Corruption in Our Government…the lobbying, logrolling, running primaries and conventions, R.R. pass system, establishment of newspapers to form public opinion, &c., &c., &c. We mean a serious exposition of the ways that are dark” [Emerson 135]. Note: Sam declined the offer.
Charles Webster wrote that he’d rec’d Sam’s letter and would go to see Laffan when he rec’d his answer. More on Osgood’s estimate and on costs per Bliss’s expenses [MTP].
August 11 Friday – William M. Laffan for Harper & Bros. Wrote that he was going to London and wanted to know “where I will find Osgood when my first critical cocktail emergency arises.” He planned to stay 6 months there [MTP].
Charles E.S. Wood wrote “I send you five proofs. Keep one for yourself and one for Twichell and if you have no objection give me your signature ‘S.L. Clemens’ on the others as I wish to give them to people you don’t know” [MTP]. Note: this for 1601 as previously referred to.
August 12 Saturday – J.W. Bryan for St. Louis & Vicksburgh Line wrote from steamer City of Greenville, in St. Louis after seeing a telegram Sam sent to Capt. James O’Neal. He gave details of the injuries in the explosion [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “ ‘Gold Dust’ wounded”
Charles Webster wrote (twice). In the first letter he enclosed two illustrations, one for the Palmer Home Life Bible; he clarified the cost of a brass plate. On the second letter Webster replied to Sam’s request for “a simple statement of the accounts” for Kaolatype. He offered 6 plus pages of details and explanations [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the first env., “Wild cost of a spelter for brass plate”; on the 2nd: “Webster Statement Kaolatype”
August 13 Sunday – Livy wrote from Elmira to her nephew, Samuel Moffett, saying that Sam was “hard at work” on a new book. LM was a great struggle for Sam. Livy described him coming down from writing:
“…with his head so sore & tired that he cannot bear to have the simplest question asked of him, or be compelled to talk at all, so our evenings are spent in playing Cribbage…” [MTP].
Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy to relate progress on their work and plans [MTP].
August 14 Monday – Sam wrote to James R. Osgood, letter not extant but referred to in Osgood’s Sept. 2 reply.
John G. Scott wrote from Jamestown, NY to beg for $10 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Dead-beat”
August 15 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, rather peeved about an eighteen dollar charge for a picture, about comparing engraving on wood with brass, etc. As usual, it fell on Webster’s head to give Sam “the details of this expense, & explain them” [MTP].
August 16 Wednesday – Jane Clemens wrote from Fredonia to Sam and Livy: “The time for us to leave here is two weeks from yesterday. Mrs London our Dr. said this morning she thought it would be better if we could go sooner. Mollie is better than I have seen her before. Orion is better, but not well. Orion will do as you advised about our going. Your very kind letter was a comfort to us all” [MTP].
Heliotype Printing, Boston per W.D. Scandlin wrote: “We send you today copies of your portrait as it has been printed i.e. on paper 6×9 1/2, and also samples of same trimmed down to Cabinet size.” Which did he prefer? [MTP].
Rev. J. Chester for Lincoln University wrote on a flyer for the school: “I draw on you today for $150.—as you indicated—in my visit to you June 21st ultimo—.” Sam had agreed to support a student there and the faculty had chosen A.W. Jones of Wilson, N.C., first in his class of 51 with ave. grades of 96.8% [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Colored College student”
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote asking for “a monograph of the remarks on R.R. passes—say two Century pages” [MTP].
August 18 Friday – Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote “delighted” by a letter from Livy, but “so sorry to hear that Jean had been sick.” A shorter letter than usual [MTP].
August 19 Saturday – Charles Webster wrote that Sam’s picture in the Century “is splendid”. He told of meeting Abbott H. Thayer while in Providence; a burglary at his home and the stolen items; “a terrible fire” on their block; both of Slote’s notes were paid; a spelter cast for White Elephant; and other misc. business details [MTP].
August 20 Sunday – Sam telegraphed from Elmira to Charles Webster:
“May be you had better come up tonight and consult tomorrow morning on the bill. I shall have a guest to entertain tomorrow afternoon & night SL Clemens” [MTP]. Note: see Aug. 15 to Webster. Guest unidentified.
August 21 Monday – Kate D. Barstow wrote from Wash. DC: “I have written two letters to you during the summer, without receiving any reply…Please send me thirty-five dollars and oblige” [MTP].
Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote her typical “motherly” letter asking for “some word of yourself” and that the typewritten letters were better than nothing. She’d read of him in the Century [MTP].
Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy about his program for the coming year and his deep appreciation of all they’d done for him [MTP].
August 22 Tuesday – Pamela Moffett wrote from Fredonia: she’d rec’d his “very kind letter. Orion is trying to arrange in accordance with your wishes to take Ma in the safest and most comfortable way.—arrangements not yet perfected.” She also detailed expenses and showed he owed her $20 [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote, enclosing the illustration made for The Stolen White Elephant. “Your telegram came to hand, but it was most impossible for me to leave as Mr Marsh was away, and we would be stolen blind as well as let business run slack and disappoint customers. / … I will be in Elmira Saturday forenoon early, as Marsh will be here Saturday” He added developments on the Watch Co. stock [MTP]. Note: George N. Marsh.
August 23 Wednesday – John H. Carter for St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Lem Gray buried Aug. 23d”
Charles Webster wrote of his preference to come to Elmira on Saturday, as he had “some very important matters to attend to Monday and Tuesday” [MTP].
August 25 Friday – Molly & Orion Clemens wrote to Sam and Livy [MTP].
August 26 Saturday – In Elmira, Sam inscribed two correspondence cards to two unidentified persons, on one drawing a cat and on the other drawing a cow [MTP].
“I could not think of a sentiment—they won’t come on demand—so I have substituted pictures…”[MTP].
The New Orleans Times-Democrat ran a description of a Natchez cotton mill that Sam would quote in LM [Gribben 502].
George MacDonald wrote to Sam (enclosed in Watt, Aug. 30) [MTP].
August 27 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Annie Moffett Webster. Sam, trying to clear up the accusations about Annie’s husband, Charles Webster, wanted her side of the story. Sam asked a numbered list of questions about Pamela Moffett, Charley, Annie and deeding half of Annie’s house; about Dunkirk land; about Pamela’s will; silverware, a sewing machine; and Pamela’s state of mind.
“Of course my impulse is to cast this whole muddle out of my mind & busy myself with my work; but justice to Charley will not permit that. Maybe we can manage your part of it by letter; let us try; & later finish it up by word of mouth” [MTP].
Mollie Clemens wrote to Sam & Livy about preparations for transporting Ma back to Keokuk. She felt Ma would “bear the trip well, if she is as well as she is now when we start.” She thanked Sam for his offer to send Ma by boat but Mollie had made arrangements for the usual way [MTP].
August 28 Monday – Robert D. Brain wrote from Springfield, Ohio, wanting his advice on how he could retain rights of his stories after selling them to publications [MTP].
Joel Chandler Harris wrote from Atlanta to “inquire how you are coming on in a general way, and particularly with regard to lumbago.” He told of being the only sober man at a New York “farewell dinner” at the Tile Club, watching everyone “go to pieces” [MTP].
George O. Tobey wrote from Augusta, Me. having noticed in the appendix to TA some long German words. He offered a 49 letter name in Dutch of a ship he’d seen when traveling to Hong Kong. He’d been unable to find anyone who might translate it [MTP].
August 29 Tuesday – Sam had scrutinized Charles Webster’s dealings with the Independent Watch Company stock and wrote from Elmira to his niece, Annie Webster who evidently answered Sam’s questioning letter of Aug. 27 immediately:
Dear Annie—Your letters confirm my own opinion. In fact I hardly needed your evidence but Charley insisted upon it as being his right, some on the other side having testified to things which you were in a position to explain, justify, or contradict…
Now we will let the thing drop, entirely. It was a case of magnifying nothings into somethings; of color-blindness created by passion; of distortions of motives & purpose produced by prejudice….We call off the inquisitorial dogs, now, & send love to you & Charley, & best wishes for a better time henceforth [MTBus 194-5].
Orion Clemens wrote: “Charley has completely settled with Pamela, doing well by her. The remainder of her business she put into lawyer Johnson’s hands on favorable terms…” [MTP].
Annie Webster wrote (possibly enclosed in Webster to SLC 29 Aug. 1882). She wrote numbered items about a deed, the “Dunkirk Land,” “The Will” involving herself, Jane Lampton Clemens, Pamela Moffett (her mother) Charles Webster, Samuel Moffett, etc.
I wrote her [Ma] to do what she pleased with her money it hers not mine; but not to tell me any thing about it; and not to make any difference between Sam & me.
5. Charlie is apt to get angry and use “loud & violent language” but he gets over it just as quick if he is let alone; and I never saw any one that would come out of a tempest cooler and more pleasant and then he would move Heaven and earth to repair any wrong he may have done. …
I think you will find the key to the matter in this. Ma [Pamela] and Grandma [Jane] started in determined to distrust Charlie. They consulted a lawyer before I was married; and had me promise to make a will. Charlie had not thought of such a thing. Every little thing that came up, they seemed unreasonable and unjust and to want to call in a lawyer till Charlie was tired out.
[She also wrote of Ma giving her silverware, insisting upon it, then asking for half of it back. She returned all of it. Likewise with a sewing machine.] “This summer I have said sometimes that I didn’t think Ma was in her right mind. I didn’t mean she was crazy or anything but sometimes she does such queer things and takes such funny notions. When she takes a notion she clings to it. Of course she is able to manage business and make a will; but many times I think she is hardly responsible” [MTP].
She also replied to Sam’s of Aug. 27.
My Dear Uncle; / Your letter received this morning I have answered your questions to the best of my ability, you can not imagine how hard this whole matter is for me, I am between both parties; and as far as I am concerned I would rather lose every cent there is any trouble about than to have so much trouble.
Without meaning to, Ma and Grandma have always been unreasonable with Charlie and me. [MTP]. She continued on for two pages on conflicts regarding the house they’d purchased, the Dunkirk land matter, and failings on both sides, surprised that her mother had mentioned the matter to Clemens.
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote: “We fear you don’t understand us. We do not want you to drop your book and write a separate article for us on the R.R. pass; but just to suggest that we might print first and you follow with the same material in the book” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote about costs for copying a P&P picture [MTP].
August 30 Wednesday – Sam’s sister Pamela Moffett wrote him; Sam added a postscript sending it on to Annie Webster. Pamela emphasized that Charley had made everything perfectly satisfactory, and that she’d been distressed by Orion’s writing to Sam about her affairs, even though he’d meant well. Orion had jumped to conclusions, misunderstood Charley and misconstrued his acts, she wrote. “…every time a misunderstanding is cleared up it leaves me with a higher opinion of him [Charles Webster] than ever before.” Sam’s postscript to Annie:
“Well, Annie, you see there’s nothing so wholesome as an occasional storm. It clears the atmosphere. I think your mother will end by having as high an opinion of Charley’s integrity & honorable intentions as I have always had. SLC” [MTBus 195].
John H. Carter (“Commodore Rollingpin”) wrote a postcard that he was sending “a copy of the N. Orleans Democrat containing a history of basin on Miss.” [MTP].
Annie Webster wrote: “I write in great haste while waiting for the car, to say, that Charley has made every thing perfectly, satisfactory” [MTP].
A.P. Watt, London Literary Agent, wrote (Geo. MacDonald Aug. 26 to MT and circular enclosed). Should Clemens “be disposed to entrust me with the disposal of any literary productions…” [MTP].
August 31 Thursday – Chatto & Windus wrote about publishing matters [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote from Keokuk: “We arrived here at 1 o’clock to-day, by the route Mollie has fought for all the time. Ma arrives in better condition than either Mollie or Pamela.” He acknowledged Sam’s check for $125, of which $50 was for Ma [MTP].
Worden & Co. Sent a statement with a Aug. 31 balance of $24,318.25 [MTP].
Fall – Sam’s notebook refers to Sir John Lubbock’s (1834-1913) Ants, Bees, and Wasps: A Record of Observations on the Habits of the Social Hymenoptera (1882):
“Lubbock shows that ants are warriors, statesmen, &c. which led me to think they might have religion. Read Col. X.14—3 ants signified approval, the rest went away. Various verses showed some were Baptists, Pres &c.” [MTNJ 2: 507].
September – In the Century Magazine for the month, William Dean Howells published what Powers calls “one of the earliest appreciations” of Sam Clemens’ literature. Howells compared Sam’s originality with humor as a form to Shakespeare’s use of poetry as poetical. He explained the difference between “merely facetious” humorists such as Josh Billings or the late Artemus Ward and Sam’s use of humor” [MT A Life 464]. See MMT 134-44 for the entire text.
“… I warn the reader that if he leaves out of the account an indignant sense of right and wrong, a scorn of all affectation and pretense, an ardent hate of meanness and injustice, he will come indefinitely short of knowing Mark Twain.” – W.D. Howells in the Century, September 1882
Sam wrote to Charles Webster, enclosing an advertisement to sell $5,000 of stock in the Independent Watch Co of Fredonia. Sam wanted the ad run once in the Buffalo Courier Express, the Censor, Advertiser, Union newspapers and also on posters in Fredonia [MTP].
September, before 28th – Sam telegraphed Charles Webster from Elmira about a company publishing some of his old jokes and using his name to sell material he did not write [MTBus 198].
September 1 Friday – In London, England, Howells wrote a longish letter to Sam about the travels, the luncheons, the artists and others he’d met and about how far the dollar went there compared to Boston [MTHL 1: 413-4].
Dr. Thaddeus S. Up de Graff (1839-1885) wrote a bill on a card in Elmira with July 21 visitation, payment date Sept. 5 [MTP]. See insert.
Charles Webster wrote an explanation of his side of the recent family dispute and of his failure to get a through car to Keokuk for the family. Mollie had made “an awful fuss” about not wanting to go through Chicago [MTP].
September 2 Saturday – Jane Clemens had moved to Keokuk to live with Orion and Mollie Clemens.
Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Perkins asking him to make up a tax list of taxable items. Sam also wanted him to send his mother’s and Orion’s checks to Keokuk, Iowa, “henceforth, & increase Orion’s to $100 a month.”
“They jumped my tax up in such a lively fashion last year, that I sold every taxable thing I had, & put the money into manufacturing-stocks & such-like. Next year I’ll put a mortgage on the house & not have a damned thing that’s taxable” [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote from London: “Yours of Aug 14 has reached me. I am glad to hear the Gold Dust news is no worse, it is bad enough God knows. / I have arranged everything with Chatto about the Mississippi book. Will send you copy of his letter on my return.” He was leaving on the Gallia on Sept. 9 to be in NYC on the 18th. “I fear there is nothing to be done in England with Kaolatype. They are overrun with processes of all sorts…” [MTP].
Ella Lampton wrote from St. Louis, enclosing a newspaper account of Twain’s first meeting with Horace E. Bixby. She was “in great distress for means, to finish furnishing my house,” and asked for a $200 loan “out of your abundance” [MTP].
September 4 Monday – Annie Webster wrote a small card to her uncle Sam, “so glad to feel that every thing is all right again” [MTP].
** James R. Osgood wrote—or someone in his Boston office did, since he was in England, about the trademark issue. (Belford, Clarke & Co to Osgood Sept. 2 enclosed; they agreed to cooperate) [MTP].
September 5 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, commenting on the family upset and taking a sideways slap against Orion’s intelligence:
Dear Bro & the Rest— / I am glad to hear you got through so well. It was much better than I was expecting—especially in Ma’s case. Old as she is, I guess she has more “sand” than any of you.
I am glad things came out to the general satisfaction with Charley [Webster]. I imagined they would. I believed it was a tempest in a tea-pot about nothing—just as it turned out to be. Seldom has such an eloquent & imposing array of slanders come to so grotesque an end, I suppose.
I seem to speak lightly; but it was not a light matter at all. Some of the charges against Charley—& figures—were false on their face, to anybody not intellectually stone blind; the deductions from them—as to Charley’s motives—idiotic [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Joel Chandler Harris, encouraging him to return to Hartford and complimenting him on what he’d heard about a talk at the Tile Club:
Laffan told me all about your admirable stupefaction at the Tile Club, & your yarn, afterward, about the coon & the rabbit. Hang it, why did you go back on us, so? I fell to telegraphing Canada as soon as I reached home, & was confoundedly disappointed when I found you had come partway & then escaped.
Come again. Come to Hartford. We shall be there by the middle of October; there to remain till next June, & always ready for you, & a hearty welcome ready for you, too. Do it, & I will forgive you. And you shall see Twichell, who is just arriving home, now, from a 3-months’ prowl in Europe [MTP].
September 6 Wednesday – Sam also wrote to Charles Perkins, asking him to send payment certificates on the Independent Watch Co. stock to Charles Webster, who was in Fredonia [MTP].
Charles L. Brewer wrote from Southport, Ind. to ask for an autograph; SASE in file [MTP].
Independent Watch Co., Fredonia, per O.R. Burchard sent a notice of a stockholders for Monday Sept 18 at 8 a.m. to elect new directors [MTP].
September 7 Thursday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy with their July expenses detailed and a brief summary of his activities [MTP].
September 8 Friday – Jane Clemens and Orion Clemens wrote to Sam. Jane wrote on a small paper: “I read your letter this morning. I lived in Fredonia a long time. I say keep both eyes open & watch as well as pray. Love to Livy yourself & the little children.” Orion wrote: “Nevertheless, I continue to think that Charlie settled everything satisfactory because you made him—just as Howard Brothers pay $1900 for Pamela’s stock because you and Charlie coerced them. Very sorry you were interrupted in the writing of your book” [MTP].
September 9 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster.
I want you to be General Agent for my New Book [LM] for the large district of which New York is the center. I can make it pay us both. Go to studying up the methods & mysteries of General Agency right away—no great deal of time left. We will see if we can’t improve on the Prince & Pauper’s luck there. All well & send love, to you both [MTBus 195-6].
Sam also wrote to Frank Bliss, referring him to Alexander & Green, his New York attorneys, to “explain the whole mystery” [MTP]. Note: The “mystery” is unclear but may refer to the $2,000 shortage (see Aug. 8).
September 10 Sunday – The New York Times ran an article on page 3: “Mark Twain’s Summer Home”.
September 11 Monday – Jane Clemens wrote on Patterson House, Keokuk stationery to Sam and Livy. “You see where we are. Our trunks came with us, other things are not here yet. This is a very large building a number of boarders in it.” She described the place and the people [MTP].
David L. Grasmere wrote from NYC to ask for a writing sample for his daughter in England’s fair [MTP].
September 12 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira, responding to an Aug. 26 letter from George MacDonald, Scottish minister, novelist and poet whom Sam met in 1873 in London. George recommended his literary agent, A.P. Watt. Sam answered that he didn’t need an agent as he was going to publish his own works. He promised to send a copy of LM when issued [Lindskoog 28].
The New York Times reported in “PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE” that “Samuel L. Clemens, of Hartford, is at the Hotel Brunswick” [p.8]. I found no other evidence that Sam made a quick trip to New York City. He wrote from Elmira on both Sept. 12 and 14, so if he did take the 10-hour trip, he wasn’t there long.
Joel Chandler Harris wrote to Sam, newspaper clippings enclosed reviewing The Stolen White Elephant.
Dear Mr. Twain: / How can you call my stupefaction at the Tile Club dinner admirable? I suffered the agony of the damned twice over, and when I reflected that probably Mr. Osgood was prepared to put me through a similar experience in Boston, I thought it would be better to come home and commit suicide rather than murder a number of worthy gentlemen by making an ass of myself. Still, you will not escape. I shall have to go to Canada any way, and I’m going by way of Hartford. Next spring probably [MTP].
September 13 Wednesday – Pamela Moffett wrote from Quincy, Ill. To thank him for his “kind and generous forethought”—they’d had a “very comfortable journey.” She’d just received a draft for $1,900 from the sale of the Independent Watch Co. stock. “I feel very grateful to every body who had a share in getting me out of this scrape,” especially Sam and also Charles Webster [MTP].
Charles A. Dana of the NY Sun wrote to Sam wanting 4 stories 3,000 to 3500 words. He allowed Sam to “pile it on” as to the price [MTP].
September 14 Thursday – Sam wrote from Elmira to answer the Sept. 11 request from David L. Grasmere, asking for a note from Sam. Grasmere would also write Thomas Nast on July 11, 1883 for a similar contribution, so may have been gathering items for a book or may have simply been an autograph seeker, though Sam replied, “I am hardly well enough to write even a brief note explaining my situation & conveying my regrets,” which implies Grasmere’s request was for more than a simple autograph [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote, reporting on his investigation of the Howard Bros. books (Independent Watch Co.), after hearing the stock was only worth 25%. He cited instances and sales of watches, which he declared were not even as good as the Kaolatype business (which did only hundreds per month) [MTP].
September 15 Friday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James R. Osgood, mailing him another chapter of LM.
“Book nearly done, now. Is mainly in the hands of the copyist. Will send you the seven (reprint) chapters, revised and corrected presently—the ones first illustrated by the artist…so you can hurry up your canvassing specimen” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote to ask if it would be good plan to see Osgood’s people before declaring a General Agency for Sam’s book [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Webster asks advice”
September 15 Friday ca. – H.K. Green for Tiffany & Co. wrote to Clemens after hearing from Charles Langdon that Sam had not rec’d his watch chain. It was sent by M.L. Express “the very day I rec’d your favor” [MTP]. See Sept. 17 entry.
September 16 Saturday – James R. Osgood wrote to Sam: “Your letter of yesterday is received, with the accompanying MS. chapters of the book and the package of ‘Every Saturday’.” / We send you by Adams Ex. a package from Mr. Clarke, containing bill of complaint (in duplicate) in the Belford, Clark & Co. case …” [MTP]. Note: Thomas W. Clarke, attorney.
September 17 Sunday – Sam also wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, about a watch chain ordered from Tiffany & Co. that had not arrived in Elmira. Sam enclosed the letter from a Tiffany employee and wrote that he “got the watch chain at last, some 13 hours quicker than I could have got it by the canal” [MTP].
H.K. Green for Tiffany & Co. wrote to Sam [MTP]. Note: See Sept. 15 ca.
September 18 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to James R. Osgood, upon his return from a European vacation. Sam was struggling with the Mississippi book.
Welcome home! I have been half dead with malaria ever since you left; and these last few days am two-thirds dead. I work all the time, but accomplish very little—sometimes as little as 200 words in 5 hours.
What is worse than all that is that I find I still lack about 30,000 words, whereas a few days ago I thought it was only a third of that—dismal miscalculation! I shall peg along, day by day, but shan’t be through when we leave for home 2 weeks hence [MTLTP 157-8].
Sam added after his signature a remark that Lem Gray died of his injuries from an explosion on the Gold Dust, the very boat that Sam had used in his trip up the Mississippi River. See Aug. 8 entry.
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam that as per his “charitable instructions” they’d sent a selection of his books to the Vicarage near Birmingham, debiting his account £4 [MTP].
September 19 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, upset about material bearing his name published by J.S. Ogilvie & Co. that he had not written.
“Dear Charley—I want Messrs. Alexander & Green to go for these people at once & lively, on some charge or other. They are using my name to sell stuff which I never wrote. I would not be the author of that witless stuff (Bad Boy’s Diary) for a million dollars” [MTBus 197].
Sam wrote a second letter to Webster, praising him for recovering funds from the Howard brothers, whom he called “the Watch thieves.” Sam wanted Webster to be his general agent to distribute LM for the New York region. He would hire someone to teach Webster the subscription business, if necessary.
“Osgood will be home pretty soon [from Europe] & you can consult with him; but he doesn’t know the subscription business yet, himself. Osgood can probably get some chap or girl for you who has served a General Agent in Boston—somebody who can help you for wages, in New York, & teach you the methods.”
“I am not well yet, & my book drags like the very devil. Some days I cannot write a line” [MTBus 199].
Sam also asked for Ha! Ha! Ha!: 72 Pages of Fun by Leading Humorists (1882).
Note: The subscription method of using sales agents to pre-sell books was on the way out in favor of trade book distribution in stores. This may partly account for the slowing of sales on Sam’s last book, P&P.
Sam also wrote to Twichell, apologizing for not answering his letter from Europe, due to the struggle he was having with LM.
“I am full of malaria, my brain is stuffy & cloudy nearly all the time. Some days I have been five hours writing two note-paper pages” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to George MacDonald agreeing to send LM when it issued, Sam thought “not before Spring,” in exchange for Back of the North Wind, MacDonald’s book (See Gribben, p 441 for a discussion of the influence of this book on Mysterious Stranger.) Sam enclosed “one of Osgood’s neat heliotypes, from a photographic negative” [MTP].
Charles T.H. Palmer wrote from Oakland, Calif. He asked for some “important facts” for his “psychological investigation,” relating to his difficulty with public speaking, but first related that he’d met Clemens on Montgomery St. in S.F. and had a 5 minute conversation with Charles Stoddard, “a good many years ago.” He wished to know “whether you ever stammered or not. I want now to ascertain whether extreme slowness of speech is only desirable, or is absolutely essential” [MTP]. See Oct. 3 entry.
Mary Yates Watson wrote from England to thank him for the 3 nice books sent for her stall at a recent event where she collected over £300 [MTP].
September 20 Wednesday – Sam often wrote notes about what he called “mental telegraphy,” thinking about a person from years ago right before their letter arrived, or as in Twichell’s case in Germany, turning a corner and meeting a man from years before he’d just been talking about. Sam’s notebook:
“Livy says ‘I have no memory.’ My own thought but about myself last night” [MTNJ 2: 505].
Charles A. Dana wrote for the NY Sun, suggesting Sam take “some of the chapters of these four books and use them as independent articles in the way I propose?” [MTP].
David L. Grasmere wrote from NYC, with “personal” on the env., having rec’d Sam’s of the 14th declining to help. Would he not reconsider? [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote, back home in Hartford to tell of the European trip with daughter Julie [MTP].
September 21 Thursday – Sam telegraphed from Elmira to Charles Webster that he’d received his letter, the result was “convincing” and to “Do with that stuff as your Judgement directs” [MTP].
Sam left Elmira and traveled to Hartford, only to leave again the next night. The cause of his trip may have been the distress his dog, Rab, was causing, or some other needed preparations for the family’s fall return to Hartford (see Sept. 22).
Horace E. Bixby wrote from the steamer City of Baton Rouge in St. Louis to thank Sam for the photos, especially that of the “good looking Children.” He hoped Sam’s trip there had been everything he’d hoped, and now that he had a good home in St. Louis would entertain if Sam ever returned. All those who were injured on the Gold Dust explosion were now doing well, Lem Gray the only fatality [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote (Chatto & Windus to Osgood Aug. 31 enclosed), “back in good health” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Osgood, enclosing contract from Chatto & Windus—Mississippi Rv. Also menu of dinner given to Howells in London 1882”
September 22 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles S. Fairchild.
Arrived last night, & shall leave again to-day to bring the family home next week.
Alas! Rab [his dog] has acquired an evil reputation already. He takes position on the lawn & thence darts forth & greets every horse & wagon & street car that goes along—three hundred of ‘em a day—always in the friendliest spirit, of course, but he has caused a couple of runaways & come near causing many more; & he can’t be persuaded to leave off his diversion [MTP].
Fairchild had offered to take the dog back so Sam asked him to notify Patrick McAleer to have the dog shipped. Sam ended the letter by saying he was just starting for the train. He returned to Elmira.
James R. Osgood wrote: “After posting my letter yesterday I received yours of 18th. I am distressed to learn of your malarial attack, the more so as people have told me that is a beastly thing…. Now we must go to work at once on the prospectus-books.” He gave details of what he’d need, especially the title. He also advised “Sheldon & Co. are selling off at auction next Tuesday, Sep 26, their miscellaneous stereotype plates. Among them is one entitled / ‘Mark Twain: Autobiography & First Romance, Illustrated.’ Do you want to buy it in?” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote six pages full of business details and processes [MTP]. Note: How did he have any time to actually run the business with these frequent long letters which allowed Clemens to micro-manage so much?
September 23 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, again about the J.S. Ogilvie “bastards”.
Is not using my name in that way a kind of forgery, or obtaining money under false pretenses? And can it not be punished? …Osgood is back…How much could I punish them? To what extent? Jail? —or several thousand dollars damages? Ask Mr. Whitford. Meantime I have a suit pending in Chicago which may cover the case of these Ogilvie bastards [MTBus 200]. Note: Sam lost the Chicago trademark case.
Daniel Whitford had replaced Charles Perkins as Sam’s lawyer by this time.
Thad H. Chase wrote to ask for an autograph [MTP].
September 24 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster about settling for royalties owed him by the Sheldon & Co.; Osgood’s return to New York; and the Slote matter of the $5,000 “loan” which was still being settled, probably from his estate. Sam had prepared an ad to run in the New York Herald’s personals about the Sheldon matter and to “keep it there 7 years unless the thieves pay up sooner” [MTBus 201]. (See entry of Jan. 27, 1871 about the Sheldon matter.)
September 25 Monday – Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, having just read a half column in the NY Times about Clemens’ summer home. Discussion of visits to Abbott Thayer and Augustus Saint-Gaudens [MTP].
Silas M. Tellone, Louisville, wrote asking for a letter from Mark Twain [MTP].
September 26 Tuesday – Page Mercer Baker for New Orleans Times-Democrat wrote, sending the article that Sam had asked for in his Sept. 22 letter. He spoke of the “evening we spent at Johns—the good stories over the wine, the music (in which Cables thin but melodious tenor mingled sweetly with Burthes magnificent baritone)…etc.” [MTP]. Note: the evening was May 2; see entry.
John Brown wrote from St. Louis asking advise while writing his memoirs, and asking what kind of people the American Publishing Co. were [MTP]. Note: Not John Brown Jr. of Scotland.
George W. Cable wrote from NYC on Century notepaper, he’d be in NYC for 2 or 3 weeks. “I hope to run up & see you for a day if you will let me. May I? & when in October.” Cable’s wife had promised to send Sam “the picture of the old black nurse, which my sister did for you soon after you left us” [MTP].
Christian Tauchnitz, Jr. wrote that he’d read in the papers that Chatto was issuing a new book about the Mississippi and he’d requested proofs of it from Chatto for their Continental Edition [MTP].
September 27 Wednesday – Charles Webster wrote: “In regard to Ogilvie we are getting out an injunction, bringing a civil suit against them for damages for using your trade mark and signing it to ‘stuff’ you never wrote. Then, we are trying to get a criminal indictment against them before the grand jury” [MTP].
September 28 Thursday – The Clemens family left Elmira and traveled to New York for their eventual return to Hartford. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western depot was in Hoboken, New Jersey; passengers had to ferry from Hoboken to New York. Sam registered the family at the Brunswick Hotel in New York. He’d requested a man from the hotel go to Hoboken to look after the family’s baggage [MTNJ 2: 506]. In his notebook, Sam likened some of the colored glass design motif in the Brunswick to a tapeworm [MTNJ 2: 508n250].
September 29 Friday – Sam wrote from the editorial department of the Century Magazine, Union Square, New York to George W. Cable.
I’ve rushed in here, with 30 minutes to spare before rushing for the Hartford train—but I’ve missed you. Arrived yesterday evening with my whole tribe & 2 cats, from the summer vacation. Shall reach Hartford this evening. A week hence, we shall be all straightened up, there; & then we shall be glad & willing & anxious to see you on any date thereafter [MTP].
The Clemens family took a train from New York to Hartford and home.
James R. Osgood per W. Rowland wrote to Sam having rec’d pages 130-160 of his MS. “Later”: another installment rec’d pages 213-233. These for the prospectus books [MTP].
September 30 Saturday – Sam began a long letter from Hartford to Karl and Hattie Gerhardt whose expenditures in Paris, France had been increasing beyond Sam’s original pledge of $3,000 support for Karl’s three-year schooling [MTNJ 2: 506].
James R. Osgood per W. Rowland wrote a package from A.V.S. Anthony and acknowledged another installment rec’d from Sam’s MS [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote a short note needing $400 for repairs & furnishing the office plus the Chicago trip [MTP].
October 1 Sunday – Sam completed the letter, full of estimates, calculations and budgets he began Sept. 30 to Karl Gerhardt. He wrote they “just had our first brief glimpse of Twichell,” who returned from a three-month trip to Europe. Twichell had visited the Gerhardts in Paris.
He had the impression that you are making splendid progress: but he also aroused our solicitude by saying, “Gerhardt is probably working too hard—a good deal too hard, I think, from his worn & harassed look” [MTP].
October 2 Monday – William F. Smith wrote from Chatham, England asking Sam’s opinion on a small book sent, that he said was “stillborn” [MTP].
Charles Webster wrote that he had a large safe in Fredonia, and on the way to Chicago he’d have it sent down, which would save Sam from buying one [MTP].
October 3 Tuesday – Sam wrote a long letter from Hartford to Charles Webster, explaining agreements past and actions taken with Slote & Co. about payments on scrapbook sales [MTBus 201-3].
Sam also typed a response to Charles T.H. Palmer (1827-1897). Palmer was an early resident of San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He practiced law in San Francisco and was involved in various business interests. He served as one of the first trustee of Folsom prison. On Sept. 19 Palmer sent a list of questions asking about Sam’s speech patterns, whether he was ever a stammerer. If not, was Sam’s “extreme deliberation in speech natural or adopted?”
ALL THE QUESTIONS WHICH COME UNDER THE HEAD OF ‘WERE YOU A STAMMERER’ ARE ANSWERABLE BY SIMPLY AND SOLIDLY, NO…IT IS NATURAL, NOT ADOPTED. I CAN GIVE MY MOTHER THREE WORDS THE START ON A TEN WORD SENTENCE AND COME IN AT THE HOME STRETCH MAKING THE HEAD
I HAVE NEVER STAMMERED, HAVE NEVER HAD ANY OBSTRUCTION IN MY SPEECH EXCEPT SLOW DELIVERY, AND THAT OBSTRUCTION PERCEPTABLE TO OTHER PEOPLE ONLY; IT DOES NOT SEEM SLOW TO ME, AND WHEN NIGGER MINSTRELS IMITATE IT ON THE PLATFORM TO WHAT FRIENDS OF MINE CALL ABSOLUTE PERFECTION, IT ALWAYS FALLS UPON MY EAR AS A MOST LIMITLESS AND EXTRAVAGANT EXAGGERATION [MTP].
Palmer’s interest in stammering and speech patterns may have been professional or simply a personal interest. Sam ended the letter “Please give my love to Stoddard when you see him…” denoting that Palmer was probably still in Berkeley or possibly in Hawaii.
Sam also typed a letter to Howells, who was still in London:
“I do not expect to find you, so I shan’t spend many words on you to wind up in the perdition of some European dead letter office. I just want to say that the closing installments of the story [A Modern Instance] are prodigious.”
Sam figured he needed another five to ten days to finish his current book, Life on the Mississippi [MTHL 1: Selected 199-200]. (Note: MTLH p. 417 has this as Oct. 30, but this citation is more recent.)
October 4 Wednesday – Kate D. Barstow wrote from Wash. DC to Sam that her son Joe died on the 11th from diphtheria and her fear that it would spread to her other children. Lectures at Howard Univ. “begin this week…Please send me forty dollars” [MTP].
October 5 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam typed a letter to George W. Cable, asking if he’d received the note he sent from the Century office on Sept. 29. Sam repeated the invitation to visit:
“IF YOU CAN STAY THE LONGER BY COMING NOW, COME NOW; BUT IF YOU CAN STAY THE LONGER BY COMING LATER, COME LATER” [MTP].
Samuel H. Church wrote from Columbus, Ohio to ask Sam to “compose a preface” for his book, Horatio Plodgers: A Story of To-Day, which was to be published shortly by W.B. Smith of NYC [MTP; Gribben 143: reflects book was in Clemens’ hands].
Elon G. Salisbury for American Union Publishing Co., NYC wrote asking to use Sam’s name in their forthcoming prospectus as a contributor to “The Illustrated Family Friend” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Idiot or rascal”
October 6 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, who evidently was going to Chicago on the Ogilvie matter for Sam.
Find out, in Chicago, how my old books are now sold—by canvassers? or are they ordered by individuals, or by publishers? What is to account for their continuous & regular sale? It is a sale which keeps right along; this last quarter equals what they used to be, in old Bliss’s time. How are these sales accomplished? Find out the method while in Chicago.
I’ve got an idea. The Am. Pub. Co. might be crowded, by this suit, into this compromise—I to withdraw the suit, & they to turn over my copyrights to me one or two years from now.
Book contracts seem to be unusually limited to 3 years or 5, but as I had the monumental fool of the 19th century for a lawyer, these endure forever [MTBus 203-4]. Note: This may suggest Sam’s reason for firing Charles E. Perkins as his attorney; he felt Perkins had allowed him to sign poor contracts.
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy: “We shall be out of money again the 1st of Nov., as per account enclosed” [MTP].
October 7 Saturday – Alexander & Green advised the court had granted a preliminary injunction against J.S. Ogilvie & Co., The New York News Co. Ogilvie’s defense was that he’d republished from newspaper clippings [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Trade-mark suit against Ogilvie & Co. They ‘holler.’ ”
Charles Webster wrote:
The coon is out of the tree, Ogilvie is as limp as a wet rag. He came to Alex & Green and said he thought he was acting in a lawful manner when he “collected” those different storys from different authors, in one book, but now sees his mistake. / He came with literal tears in his eyes…that he had no defense…that he was not worth near the amount of the suits, and it would close his business & he had six “fatherless” (or words to that effect) children to support [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Trade-mark Victory”
October 9 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens. He told the news that Livy and Clara Spaulding had “gone shopping to New York…for a few days.” Sam wrote how he’d sent Charles Webster to Fredonia “with a very savage article exposing that watch company,” and how they’d paid him on the spot not to publish it. Sam had since sent Webster to Chicago on business.
“EVERY BODY HERE IS WELL BUT MYSELF, AND IN MY CASE SOME DOCTORS THINK IT IS MALARIA, AND SOME THINK IT IS LAZINESS. I AM TAKING MEDICINE FOR BOTH” [MTP].
Sam also typed a short note to Charles Webster, forwarding a letter for Webster to either take or refuse a price for some item or stock [MTP].
George W. Cable wrote that he got Sam’s note at the Century office, and was anxious to see him but didn’t know “exactly” when he could come; it’d have to be a “flying trip…a day or two at most” His wife had assured him Sam’s picture of the old black nurse was on the way [MTP].
Alexander & Green wrote (Slote to A&G Oct. 7 enclosed) [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Slote matter—1 cent books are 1/3 of the profit”
Babcock Fire Extinguisher per S.F. Hayward wrote they were in receipt of Sam’s endorsement on the circular they’d sent and were pleased to offer the price of $60 with a discount of 25% and allowance of $5 for his old unit which would net him a cost of $40 [MTP].
October 10 Tuesday – Milicent W. Shinn for Californian Magazine wrote to ask Sam for an article, though they didn’t pay contributors [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Begging letter”
October 11 Wednesday – John C. Kinney wrote from Hartford to invite Sam to the Oct. 14 event at Allyn Hall, “when the Governor’s Foot Guard will entertain the Worcester, Mass. Continentals” Of course, he wanted Clemens to speak, along with others [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Maj. Kinney”
Charles Webster wrote from Chicago on Sherman House letterhead outlining the need for lists of sales agents and those who had applied to be book sales agents. $500 was needed to purchase a list of Western agents from H.N. Hinckley, who had been sent by Elisha Bliss to open a Chicago branch of American Publishing Co. (see Oct. 24) [MTP].
October 12 Thursday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to George W. Cable, very satisfied with a portrait that had arrived, the artist one “Mrs. Cox” (Frances A. Cox). Sam told Cable to relate how “delighted we all are with her work.” Charles Warner and Joe Twichell were now home, so Sam hoped Cable could “come up as soon as” he could [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Kingsland Smith, of the St. Paul Roller Mills:
My Dear Smith—A barrel of the best flour we ever had in our house arrived while we were away on summer vacation, and we are using it now. It came from St. Paul, but no bill came with it. Did you send it? Is this the ordinary price? Let me know right away, because I have got over one hundred people who want to trade with you and with nobody else. They want to give you all their custom. Sincerely yours, / SAMUEL L. CLEMENS – [Hartford Courant, Nov. 2, 1882, p2].
Kate D. Barstow wrote having rec’d Sam’s check for $40. “I am glad to report the Diptheria entirely eradicated from our house” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “$40 rec’d”
J.S. Ogilvie & Co. Wrote: “We write to say that we thank you for your leniency in matter settled this day with Alexander & Green by payment of $583…We acted entirely innocently in the matter, and we now regret that you did not in some way notify us that you believed your rights were being imposed upon” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “The dullest ass!”
October 13 Friday – 18 yr old Edward W. Bok wrote from Brooklyn, this time seeking “a few words of opinion” about his autograph collection, which was the subject of enclosed clippings [MTP].
October 14 Saturday – Sam wrote to Worden & Co., letter not extant, referred to in Worden’s Oct. 16.
George W. Cable wrote: “Go to sleep. Go to sleep. The reason you forget what you was to pay for the ‘mammy’ is that you was not to pay anything. It was to be indicative of my desire to make you remember that you once walked up & down my little workshop with Osgood sitting here & me there and Mrs Cable yonder, and Uncle Remus on the other side; & that fellowship filled the place…” He disclosed that “Mammy” was Madame Baptiste [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote: “I had four hours of populous solitude in the train the other morning, and I fell to reflecting in the Mississippi book and the ways and means of promoting its sale.” His idea was for Sam to give 20 lectures in “the 20 principal cities on that subject” [MTP].
Alexander & Green wrote twice, the first about the close of the Ogilvie suit, and the second about the Slote contract [MTP].
October 16 Monday – From Hartford, Sam typed a letter to George W. Cable. A date for Cable’s visit had evidently been set. The weather was beautiful; they’d seen a comet and Sam hoped to finish LM this week,
“FOR I HAVE ALREADY FINSHED WRITING ALL I DON’T KNOW ABOUT NEW ORLEANS” [MTP].
Twichell’s journal notes meeting Cable on Dec. 16 at Sam’s. One of the two entries might be misdated, or, possibly Cable arrived at Sam’s after he’d typed the above letter. Joe’s entry:
“Monday forenoon we drove over to Farmington to see Susie S. at Mrs. Porters school, returning in time to lunch at M.T.’s where we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Geo. Cable of New Orleans, the author—a charming man—modest and good” [Yale, copy at MTP].
The court of common pleas in New York continued a temporary injunction against the New York News Co., restraining them from publishing an advertisement of one of Sam’s books, unspecified, in the Newsdealers’ Bulletin and Prices Current. The Hartford Courant of Oct. 17, 1882, p. 2 ran a short paragraph about the continuation resulting in a lawsuit brought by Sam “some time ago.” Note: no other articles on this suit or injunction were found in either the Courant or the New York Times.
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy going over several areas that caused extra expenses, and generally being concerned about another mouth to feed [MTP].
Worden & Co. wrote twice to Sam. The first letter is badly faded but mentions Sam’s of the 14th, Sage was in Albany and there’s reference to a sale of stock. Second Note: “Your second telegram just received at 2.10 pm. / We shall carry out the instructions of Mr Sage—who is in Albany at present” [MTP].
October 17 Tuesday – In Vaud, Switzerland, Howells wrote to Sam:
“What you want to do is pack up your family, and come to Florence for the winter….We are having a good, dull, wholesome time in this little pension on the shore of Lake Leman, within gunshot of the Castle of Chillon; but a thousand jokes rot in my breast every day for want of companionship” [MTHL 1: 415].
R.O. Dienwis wrote a postcard from Kings Ferry, Fla., with a non-sensical message [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote from Albany, NY: “Again you are the victim of my stupidity” and explained his stop loss orders with Worden & Co. that he later canceled. “Worden understood it as he had a right to do, to cancel stop orders as well & so we are caught. The only thing to do now is to hang on till things come right again” [MTP].
Thomas Wallace Knox wrote on Lotos Club paper, congratulating Sam on his legal victory over Ogilvie and wishing he might win the Chicago suit “and all others of the same sort.” Knox grew tired over imitations of his own juvenile books [MTP]. Note: Knox wrote The Boy Travelers series; Gribben 386-7.
October 18 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood:
“I am sending Webster to talk with you. I would like him to take pretty full charge of the matter of running the book, if this will disadvantage you in no way.”
This is seen as Sam’s “first step in CLW’s eventual career as MT’s publisher” [MTLTP 158-9 & n1]. Also in the works was “A Handbook of Etiquette,” planned as a trade book (never published), and much later, “Mark Twain’s Cyclopedia of Humor.”
October 19 Thursday – Sam gave a speech, titled “City of Hartford” for the Reception for Worcester Continentals at Allyn Hall, Hartford.
Mr. Commander and Ladies and Gentlemen: / His honor, the mayor, deputes me to speak for him in answer to the toast to the city of Hartford. He is in politics a delicate situation at all times,—(laughter)—where exceeding caution is necessary. I admire his prudence as much as I admire my own intrepidity, because, although he is not willing to answer for Hartford and to endorse it, I am. (Laughter.) I will back up Hartford in everything else if he will be responsible for the weather. (Great laughter). I am sorry that the mayor imported such detestable weather as this. I wish we had had clear weather, and hope your gentlemen of Worcester won’t go away without seeing our city. Now, as I am talking for Hartford, I will talk earnestly but modestly. There is much here to see—the state house, Colt’s factory and the place where the Charter Oak was. And we have an antiquity here—the East Hartford bridge. (Laughter.) [Hartford Courant, Oct. 20, 1882, p2, “The Visiting Soldiery”].
From Twichell’s journal: “Going to New Haven to attend a college corporation meeting I fell in the car with Mr. Cable” [Yale, copy at MTP]. Note: This suggests that George W. Cable visit with the Clemenses from Oct. 16, ended Oct. 19.
Marie A. Brown wrote from Stockholm, Sweden, thinking that since he was so popular in Sweden that his scrap book should be sold there as well [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Wants to introduce scrap-book in Sweden”
October 20 Friday – George Gebbie wrote from Phila to Sam wanting to “renew the discussion” about the “Library of Humor” book after not corresponding for a year [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Return no answer to this fraud.”
October 21 Saturday – In Hartford, Sam typed a response to his sister Pamela Moffett all about autographs and how he hated to give them out. He thought it a silly practice, save for those he knew. His sister had requested an autograph or a book for the Schroeters (Schroters), who had been business partners and neighbors to the Moffetts at the outbreak of the Civil War. It was the Schroeter house that Sam “hid out” in prior to running off to join the Marion Rangers. Sam advised for the Moffetts not to be go-betweens in securing autographs, that “SAM SHOULD HAVE TOLD MISS SHINN POLITELY TO GO TO THE DEVIL” [MTP].
Sam also typed a short note to Charles Webster, directing him to “RETURN THIS DESIGN TO MESSRS M & CO., AND EXPLAIN THAT THE PRICE IS NOT SUITED TO THE CHARACTER OF THE ROOM.” Sam enclosed a check for $500 (see Oct. 24) [MTP].
James R. Osgood wrote twice to Sam, clipping enclosed, Sheldon & Co. to Osgood Oct. 19 enclosed. The first letter concerned the plates and stock of Sam’s older autobiography at Sheldon to be auctioned: “There are about 1300 copies paper, and 50 cloth. They ask 4 cents for the former and 10¢ for the latter, exclusive of copyright…their letter enclosed. Shall we buy them? And have you any counter claim against them for royalties unpaid?”
The second note is a pasting of an article in the Boston Advertiser taken from the N. Orleans Picayune:
Samuel L. Clemens has commenced suit against a publishing firm for infringing his literary nom de plume. So far as the Picayune is concerned Mr. Clemens may have all there is in ‘Mark Twain,’ though the signature was used by a river correspondent of this paper long before Mr. Clemens commenced writing for publication” [MTP].
October, late – George W. Cable visited the Clemens family late in the month and stayed a few days. He wrote thanking for the visit on Nov. 7 and attended the Oct. 23 Monday Evening Club, so the visit may have been a week or longer [MTHL 1: 420n4]. Note: Twichell wrote that he met Cable at Sam’s on Oct. 16 – See entry.
October 23 Monday – In Hartford, Sam typed a letter to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt.
“I STARTED A LETTER OF CREDIT FOR A HUNDRED POUNDS TO PARIS ABOUT THREE DAYS AGO, AND INTENDED TO WRITE YOU AT THE SAME TIME; BUT HAVE BEEN DELAYED IN VARIOUS WAYS. IN FACT MY PRINCIPAL DELAY COMES OF THE UNFINISHED AND APPARENTLY UNFINISHABLE CONDITION OF MY BOOK” [MTP].
George W. Cable attended a Monday Evening Club with Sam [MTHL 1: 420n4].
In a letter of Nov. 4 to Howells, Sam wrote of the reaction to Cable:
Cable has been here, creating worshippers on all hands. He is a marvelous talker on a deep subject. I do not see how even Spencer, could unwind a thought more smoothly or orderly, and do it in cleaner, clearer crisper English. He astounded Twichell with his faculty. You know that when it comes down to moral honesty, limpid innocence, and utterly blemishless piety, the apostles were mere policemen to Cable; so with this in mind you must imagine him at a mid-night dinner in Boston the other night, where we gathered around the board of the Summerset Club; Osgood, full, [John] Boyle Oreily, full, Fairchild responsively loaded, and Aldrich and myself possessing the floor, and properly fortified [MTHL 1: 419-20]. Notes: John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890) part owner of the Boston Pilot. The exact date of the Boston “orgy” is not known, and newspaper accounts are lacking; see October, late entry. Howells was in England at the time.
Samuel H. Church wrote from Columbus, Ohio, “very sorry you could not find time to write a preface for my books.” He expected “to be slaughtered for publishing it” [MTP]. Note: see Oct. 5.
Adah Langstan (1862-1902) wrote from Elberton, Ga. to sell Livingston Poems and to ask for his photo [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “This is characteristically Southern”; not in Gribben. She later married Charles Franklin Marshall (1857-1936).
October 24 Tuesday – Charles Webster acknowledged Sam’s check for $500, which was used to purchase a list of Western agents from H.N. Hinckley, who had been sent by Elisha Bliss to open a Chicago branch of Am. Publishing Co. The lists held about 500 agents who had sold Sam’s prior books, and another 7,000 persons who’d applied for agency to sell the books. Also included was Hinckley’s unsold supply of older books. Webster wrote on Oct. 11 outlining a need for the lists and a Chicago storage and distribution depot. Sam probably wrote the check between Oct. 13 and 22 [MTLTP 159n2].
October 27 Friday – In Hartford Sam typed a note to Andrew Chatto asking for maps that they couldn’t find and that his governess wanted. Could they be shipped? [MTP]. The Clemens children’s governess since 1880 was Lilly Gillette Foote.
Sam also wrote to H.O. Johnson, who had written regarding some aspect of stage plays. Sam referred him to John T. Raymond, thought to be playing in a New York theater; Sam didn’t know which one [MTP].
Sam also typed a response to Milicent W. Shinn (1858-1940) of the historic Shinn pioneer farming family known in the Fremont, Calif. area. In 1879 at the age of 25—and as an undergrad at U.C. Berkeley—she became the editor of the Overland Monthly, a San Francisco literary magazine started by Bret Harte. In 1898 she became a noted child psychologist, the first woman ever to earn a doctorate degree from the University of California. This was the woman Sam Moffett made an autograph request for (see Oct. 21 to Pamela Moffett) Sam related that he had:
HANDED THE MANUSCRIPT OF “THE INNOCENTS ABROAD” TO BRET HARTE AND TOLD HIM TO TAKE SUCH MATTER OUT OF IT AS HE PLEASED FOR THE OVERLAND FREE OF CHARGE. I DO NOT REMEMBER WHETHER HE USED ANY OF THE MATTER OR NOT, BUT HE HAD ABUNDANT OPPORTUNITY IN AS MUCH AS THE BOOK WAS NOT PUBLISHED UNTIL ABOUT TWO YEARS LATER [MTP].
Sam also typed a letter to Charles Webster on the matter of the 320 acres of Archer County, Texas land owned by Livy. Sam had received “six or seven of these applications,” that is, requests for a sale price for the land. Sam also asked Webster to:
“…MAKE A NOTE OF HOW MANY TIMES HE PLAYS THAT PIECE DURING HIS NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT, SO THAT I CAN HAVE THE MATTER TO REFER TO IN CASE I WISH TO BOUNCE HIM IN THE FUTURE” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to John Brown Jr., the son of their late friend in Edinburgh, Dr. John Brown. Sam found a picture of Susy he would send that he particularly liked, and enclosed a picture of himself. He and Livy hoped they might see him on a visit someday [MTP].
October 29 Sunday – Sam wrote to Robert D. Brain, letter not extant but referred to in Brain’s Oct. 30.
John Boyle O’Reilly for the Boston Pilot wrote to Sam: “Thank you many times, for remembering to send me that rare study of a time. I have enjoyed it even to spiritual [illegible word]” [MTP]. Note: O’Reilly was mentioned in Sam’s Nov. 4 to Howells as being present for the Summerset Club’s midnight dinner. From 1870-6 he was the editor of the Boston Pilot and thereafter part owner. The “rare study of a time” may have been 1601.
October 30 Monday – In Hartford Sam typed a one-liner to Charles Webster. “Dear Charlie, Give the man the papers he wants, or kill him, I don’t care which” [MTBus 204].
Orion Clemens wrote from Keokuk.
My Dear Brother: / The $150 came from Perkin’s to-day.
I moved into my office to-day. Been with Marshall some weeks. Didn’t have fires; caught cold; couldn’t study; they talked too much.
Wrote this morning to electric light men. If you want to invest I will manage the investment and charge you nothing. In a district a mile square on the western border of the city oil lamps reign, at an expense of $1200 a year to the city. Can a Company light that district with electricity for the same amount and make money? If so, give me facts to show to persons I may solicit to subscribe for stock. Thus I wrote to them. If the answer is favorable I will send it to you, before asking any person here to take stock, thinking you might want to take it all yourself. The city now pays $4000 to the gas company for lighting the balance of the city—contract out June 1886. The beginners now will learn experience, and have a chance at enlargement then. / Your Brother [MTP].
Robert D. Brain wrote from Springfield, Ohio to thank Sam for his letter of Aug. 29 (not extant) [MTP].
October 31 Tuesday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, excited about their new professor for sculpture, M. Falguera, “one of the strongest French sculptors of the day.” He enclosed a notice from “the Boston Advertiser regarding a proposed equestrian statue of Paul Revere”—didn’t Sam think it a good idea for him to enter the contest for the Revere statue? [MTP].
November 2 Thursday – Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy having rec’d the new letter of credit for £100, and promised that “every cent will be used to the best advantage” [MTP].
November 4 Saturday – In Hartford Sam typed a note to Howells, who wrote Oct. 17 from Vaud, Switzerland. Howells tried to convince Sam to “pack up your family and come to Florence for the winter.” Sam responded:
Yes, it would be profitable for me to do that, because with your society to help me, I should swiftly finish this now interminable book. But I cannot come, because I am not boss here, and nothing but dynamite can move Mrs. Clemens away from home in the winter season.
I never had such a fight over a book in my life before. And the foolishest part of the whole business is, that I started Osgood to editing it before I had finished writing it. As a consequence, large areas of it are condemned here and there and yonder, and I have the burden of these unfilled gaps harassing me and the thought of the broken continuity of the work, while I am at the same time trying to build the last quarter of the book. [Typed by Phelps.] Note: Sam added more about Orion and the visit of George W. Cable [MTHL 1: 418-20].
Sam spoke at the Papyrus Club in Boston, Mass. [Hartford Courant, Nov. 6, 1882 p.2, “City Briefs”].
November 5 Sunday – The New York Times, under “LITERARY NOTES” page 3:
—The announcement that a new work on American humor by Mark Twain and W.D. Howells is in the press is somewhat premature. No such book has as yet been written, and as Mr. Clemens has still in his possession two completed manuscripts, it is difficult to say when a still unwritten book is likely to appear.
Note: This may have been planted by Sam to discourage questions about what would become The Library of Humor.
November 6 Monday – James R. Osgood wrote to Sam wanting Webster to come to Boston and arrange all the details for LM publishing [MTP].
November 7 Tuesday – George W. Cable wrote from N. Orleans to Sam: “I’m not going to try to say anything—adequate. I am here to thank you and Mrs. Clemens for your delightful hospitality, but what shall I say. I kiss my hand. I kiss Mrs. Clemens hand. I get out my handkerchief. But all is ineffectual-insufficient. Embrace the dear little girls, Susie Clara & Jean for me. … / I sent the books to you a day or two ago, (On the 4th). Mrs. Cable had failed to find them all…” [MTP]. Note: Sam received the books Nov. 11.
November 9 Thursday – Katie Hay wrote from St. Kilda West, Victoria to thank Sam for sending his autograph [MTP].
November 10 Friday – N.I. Brockett wrote from Hartford about shirts and underwear ordered from O.B. Bassetts, who was dead. The purpose of the letter is unclear [MTP].
Mary Keily wrote from Lancaster, Penn., another “lunatic” letter [MTP].
George P. Lathrop wrote from Concord, Mass. asking if Sam might telegraph him about being in Hartford next week, since his plan was to come there as a “spy in the service of the Harpers” [MTP].
November 11 Saturday –Sam typed a note from Hartford to George W. Cable, thanking him for the books that came. Sam was “infinitely obliged” [MTP].
“Please send me a New Orleans directory of this or last year. I do not know the price but inclose five dollars at random” [Gribben 652].
Sam also wrote to Charles Webster:
“YOU CAN BRING THE DEED OR SEND IT. EITHER WILL DO. BUT YOU MAY AS WELL STOP OVER A TRAIN BECAUSE I SHALL NOT BE IN BOSTON SOON. BETTER COME ON YOUR WAY HOME FROM BOSTON, AND THEN I CAN LEARN WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING THERE” [MTP].
James S. Ahern sent a bill to Sam for $110.26 for burner and faucet repairs [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote from Keokuk, sending copies of letters he’d rec’d on the “Brush Electric Light.” A recent subject of interest, one of a long line for Orion [MTP].
November 12 Sunday – Edward M. Bunce for Phoenix National Bank wrote advising a credit from Chatto for $1,442.87 had been made [MTP].
Mary Keily wrote another “lunatic” letter from Penn. [MTP].
November 13 Monday – H.O. Johnson wrote to Sam on Sam’s typed note of Oct. 27: “Candidly it was the autograph of ‘Mark Twain’ that I wanted and I was as disappointed as the man who after a night raid with the ‘boys’ found he had been stealing his own pork” [MTP].
November 14 Tuesday – William White for District Conn., Archer Co., Texas wrote to Sam that the 320 acres in Archer Co. had been sold for taxes the past year but he could redeem it by paying double what it sold for plus this year’s taxes, or a total of $17.06 [MTP].
November 15 Wednesday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, Bullock to Orion Nov. 13 enclosed. He apologized for sending so much information about electric lights, but Orion thought it might strike as an investment [MTP].
November 16 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Judge Horace Russell about his trouble in hitting upon a subject for a toast for the Dec. 21 dinner [MTP].
November 17 Friday – Sam and Livy joined Joe and Harmony Twichell and Harriet Beecher Stowe at a dinner in honor of George P. Lathrop, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s son-in-law. From Twichell’s journals:
“…pleasure of hearing Mrs. Stowe talk. She was in the mood for it, and struck a reminiscent strain having much to say of the old anti-slavery days. We were conscious of a great reverence toward her” [Andrews 87].
November 18 Saturday – Sam typed a response from Hartford to Orion, offering a familiar condescending tone about Orion’s latest idea for speculation, a local electric company. Sam was also “full of devilish irritation besides, on account of ….inability to work steadily” and to his satisfaction on LM [MTP].
Sam also inscribed The Stolen White Elephant to Harriet E. Whitmore:
“Dear Mrs. Whitmore: If the dog had waited, he could have got this copy which is much superior to the other. An impatient dog, a dog that is always in a hurry, is his own worst enemy. The waiting dog is the successful dog. / With the kindest regards of / The Author. / Hartford Nov. 18 /82” [McBride 81]
Thomas Bailey Aldrich for Atlantic Monthly wrote a whimsical note asking if “S.L. Clemens” was a nom de plume. “We think that we detect considerable latent ability in the little Club paper which you sent us yesterday, and would like to hear from you again” [MTP].
D.K. Loveland wrote, clipping enclosed, explaining Loveland’s scheme to take a “temperance drama out on the road…embraces a complete traveling opera house.” He had no capital to carry this out but would call on Sam if he was interested. The clipping stated that 75 to 100 thousand would be needed [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Car folly”; the scheme would involve several rail cars.
November 21 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster about cleaning up loose ends with Sam’s ex-lawyer, Charles Perkins.
“About Christmas you may go to Mr. Perkins & get all documents & everything connected with my business—so that Mr. Perkins’s salary can stop with the year.
“Let him explain the Western loans, the Raymond contract, &c. And next time, we’ll watch Mr. R.” [MTBus 204]. Note: The last implies Sam felt that John T. Raymond, too, had cheated him.
Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy about their $3,000 limit, items that cost more, and their progress [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote (Hibbard to Twichell Nov. 18 enclosed): “I sympathize with this fellow-minister, and really couldn’t say ‘no’ to the record request he made me, it seemed a little thing to ask and to grant.” He sent both Hibbard’s letters; he agreed to go to Williamburg with Sam and stay the night of the lecture or reading [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Twichell & Minister concerning a charity reading”
The New York Times reprinted an article from the Philadelphia Press, “Mark Twain’s Barometer”:
Somebody was asking a Hartford man how it happened that Mark Twain wrote and published so little nowadays. “He writes as much as ever,” was the reply, “but his barometer is out of order, and he does not know what to publish: so he publishes nothing.”
“What in the world has his barometer to do with his literary activity?”
“His barometer is a man-servant named Jacob, who is remarkable for his deficient sense of humor. Mark never can judge of the merit of his own performances. Years ago he fell into the habit of testing everything that he wrote by observing its effect on Jacob. If Jacob listened to the reading of the article, jest, or story with unmoved countenance, or merely smiled in a perfunctory way, Mark was satisfied and sent the manuscript to the printer. But if Jacob laughed outright, or gave any other indication of genuine merriment, the humorist concluded that the stuff was hopeless and withheld it from publication. He regarded Jacob as infallible, and came to lean upon his judgment.”
[Note: Jacob may have been George Griffin, the family man-servant for many years. That Sam used George as a “reverse” sounding board in this way is likely an exaggeration, but Sam may have read an article or two to his eccentric butler. See also Louis J. Budd’s, Our Mark Twain p.76; Budd calls this article “in the dying vein of apocrypha,” and a “retreaded forgery” that “surely did not fool those with any feeling for Twain’s genius…”]
November 22 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster asking him to come up from New York City “on a matter of business here upon which” he wanted Webster’s advice [MTP].
November 23 Thursday – Pamela Moffett wrote in a tiny hand on a tiny card from Oakland, Calif. where she had gone for her health and to see her son Samuel. She thanked Clemens for sending a signed book to the Schroeters, and talked about her son’s progress in farming there [MTP]. Note: also seen as “Schroter”.
George P. Lathrop wrote from Concord, Mass. to thank Sam & Livy for their hospitality [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Geo. P. Lathrop after a visit to Hartford. Refers to Burglar alarm”
November 24 Friday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, all about the company he wanted to start dealing with electric lights [MTP].
November 25 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster. After referring angrily to and enclosing another bill from the plumber Ahern, Sam wrote about a land matter in Archer County, Texas. It seems Livy had loaned money to a woman, and the woman’s husband had let the taxes fall delinquent.
Here is a letter from the County Clerk in Texas, whereby it appears that that pauper Baird has allowed the land to be sold for taxes while we have been supporting him. If I shall meet him in a place some day, where he shall beg for brimstone he will beg in vain. His wife is a nice person but he is manifestly a fool.
You can take charge of this tax business for the future, I wash my hands of it. There is a post-script, you observe, in which the County Clerk proposes to lease the land. I have written him that such matters belong in your hands not mine, and that you would write him presently. You can make arrangement with him, or not, just as seems best [MTBus 204-5]. (See Schmidt’s website for a full story of the Texas land:
Sam also inscribed The Stolen White Elephant to an unidentified person, “Yrs Truly Mark Twain Nov 25/82” [MTP].
November 27 Monday – Livy’s 37th birthday.
Hjalmar Boyesen wrote a card from NYC, asking if he’d sign his name on two copies of P&P, which he was sending in a day or two [MTP].
Mary Keily wrote another “lunatic” letter from Lancaster Insane Asylum, Penn. [MTP].
Frank M. Frisselle wrote from Medford, Mass., clipping enclosed of his article in a Nov. 25 newspaper on the origins of names, to ask if Sam could “possibly get me a position as correspondent of some paper with a good circulation” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “D——d ass”
November 28 Tuesday – Edward W. Bok, the pesky teen who kept writing Sam, sent birthday congratulations with a reminder of his of Oct. 13 request for “a few words of opinion on my collection [autograph] to be gathered from the” newspaper clippings he’d sent [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “D—d fool”
November 30 Thursday – Sam’s 47th birthday. Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Charles Webster: “Dear Charley—There’s no sort of hurry. Yrs. S L C The watch came” [MTBus 205].
Joe Twichell wrote to invite Sam to join him and “six or eight young apprentices and mechanics to dine and spend the evening with us Saturday” [MTP].
December – Harper’s Monthly Christmas Supplement, a 32-page large-folio, edited by members of the Tile Club, ran Sam’s “The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm” [MTHL 1: 406n2; Budd, “Collected” 1020].
December 2 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his sister, Pamela Moffett, who was in California visiting her son, Samuel Moffett.
I have sent the books to you, care of Sam….I am glad your health is so much improved, but in no way surprised, for a change of air and scene invigorates infallibly all but the dead and livens them up, too, I suppose, if they land in the wrong end of the here-after. I hope so at any rate, for a number of persons in whom I am interested have traveled that way this year. My old friend Joe Goodman’s post-office address is Fresno City, Cal. He is grape farming in a small way. It may be that he is a neighbor of Sam’s. If so, Sam should hunt him up and cultivate him, for he is a rare man in many ways, intellectual among others, and that is a quality which Sam will find sufficiently scarce where he has located himself.
All the family are well and send love and Christmas greetings. The White Elephant is my last book. [MTBus 205].
Sam also wrote to Helen M. Cox (“Miss Nellie”) niece to George W. Cable. Helen’s mother had done a painting Sam called “Mammy,” sent by Cable and referred to by Sam in an Oct. 12 letter to Cable. Sam also thanked her for a New Orleans directory. He opened with a lesson on the “tough English language”:
I have dictated 36 letters this morning, & made from two to half a dozen mistakes in every one of them; and here you rebuke me with a two-page letter with only a single error in it! Years ago, a man captured me on this little error of yours, & now I get my revenge. This man said to me: “Coats are hung—on nails; cats are hung—on clothes lines; birds and fishes are hung—in the meat closet; a dead man is hung—where you please; but a living human being is the only detail of creation that is never hung, but always hanged” [MTP].
Sam also typed a long to Edward House about the difficulties he was having with LM, Republican vs. Democrat politics, and family matters. What Sam wrote one day he’d tear up the next, a case of “literary gout” he called it. He was encouraged by the people’s ability to “go straight for it, over-riding every thing in the nature of leadership” when it came to bossism. Sam loved the wondrous things his daughters said:
…CLARA [AGE 8], AT BREAKFAST YESTERDAY MORNING. LIVY AND MRS. LANGDON WERE TALKING ABOUT A TELEGRAM IN THE PAPER, WHICH DESCRIBED HOW A YOUNG GIRL HAD LOST HER LIFE ON THE STAGE OF CINCINNATI THE NIGHT BEFORE. SHE WAS PLAYING WILLIAM TELL’S SON WITH THE APPLE ON HER HEAD…AND THE ACTOR WHO TRIED TO SHOOT THE APPLE WITH THE RIFLE SENT HIS BULLET THROUGH HER BRAIN INSTEAD….THEN THE HORROR AND FRIGHT OF THE VAST AUDIENCE WAS DESCRIBED, WITH THEIR SHRIEKS, AND THE FAINTING OF WOMEN. CLARA’S THOUGHT WAS PLAINLY WITH THAT POOR ACTOR, THE CENTER OF THE CONVULSION. SHE REFLECTED A MOMENT, AND THEN SAID WITH CAST-IRON GRAVITY, “I SHOULD THINK HE WOULD HAVE BEEN EMBARRASSED.” SHE WAS MORTALLY EMBARRASSED HERSELF WHEN SHE DISCOVERED BY THE OUT-BURST OF LAUGHTER THAT HER WORD DID NOT MEAN WHAT SHE HAS SUPPOSED IT DID [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Lorenz Reich, New York importer who the New York Times called “noted all over the country as the largest importer of the highest grade of Hungarian wine” [Apr. 10, 1887 p.9].
“When doctors disagree” calamity impends. But they seem to have agreed, this time, in a solid body. I am not surprised that they, & Mr. Longfellow, & President Garfield voted as a unit in attestation of the great & unique virtues of your Tokayer Aūsbruch…Ignorance is the enemy of man. I was afraid of the Aūsbruch, until I looked it in the dictionary, for I thought it meant Explosion, & dimly connected with dynamite [MTP].
Sam would later allow a line from this letter to be used as testimonial for the wine, together with a list of well-known men that reads like Who’s Who. Sam’s words: “It heals the word mind as well as the wasted body” [MTP; N.Y. Times, same article].
Joseph R. Hawley sent Sam two forms (no letter) from the American Exchange in Europe [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the bottom of one form, “Feb. 17 ’83 subscribed 500 shares. Paid in 50 per cent ($2,500)”
December 5 Tuesday – Filed with the US Patent Office: patent # 547,859: to James W. Paige: Machine for Setting, Distributing and Justifying Type [MTHHR 64n1].
December 5 ca. (after Dec. 4) – Sam wrote from Hartford to Hattie and Karl Gerhardt. Again, it was all about expenses, about the original $3,000 “limit” and to smooth things over. Hattie was also called “Josie” or “Mrs. Josie” (middle name Josephine); she was expecting and Sam sent happiness [MTP].
December 6 Wednesday – Center & Co., Private Detective Bureau, NYC wrote a postcard to Sam: “Wee [sic] have a letter of all Pawn and loan offices in City, as your watch is probably in those places. Wee will make an investigation of those places on receipt of $5.00 for expenses…send full description of watch” [MTP].
December 9 Saturday – Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote twice to Sam and Livy, in the first enclosing “a clearance paper from our consul here for a box (contents marked on invoice). It will go on the ‘Labrador’ … which sails from Ham on the 16th of December.” The baby bust was inside. The second one page letter was simply Merry Christmas wishes [MTP].
Horace Russell wrote from NYC, hoping Sam had picked a topic for the evening of the 22nd. He listed other speakers and their subjects and did not need to know Sam’s much before a day or two ahead [MTP].
December 11 Monday – Stewart L. Woodford (chairman of the dinner committee) wrote from NYC on US attorney’s Office notepaper asking what train they might expect him, and offered to secure a hotel for him [MTP].
Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934), son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a prolific author and journalist in his own right wrote from NYC to Clemens. “Here are Longman’s threatening to send me up to Canada to secure their copyright” [Vassar]. Note: Longman is a publishing co. established in England in 1724.
December 12 Tuesday – Sam replied from Hartford to the Dec. 11 of Julian Hawthorne Sam explained that the way the Canadian laws read, it was impossible for a foreigner to secure a copyright there without making false claims. He mentions that “it is said—Beecher, Jeff Davis, et al” had done it.
“The Canadian law was made, distinctly & professedly, to encourage piracy…” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Horace Russell. He had arrived at a subject for his Dec. 22 toast for the New England Society of New York at Delmonico’s Restaurant. Sam proposed to be the “5th Regular toast: Woman—God bless her! Response by Mark Twain” [MTP].
Sam also inscribed Ellen C. Taft’s autograph book; she was leaving for Europe. Sam included a poem:
Who shooeth folk with wit’s keen shaft,
Whose clear head maketh mine seem daft,
Who aye compassion had for my sad craft,
And o’er my humor wept when others laughed,
Who into shams drives blade unto the shaft,
But heartening cheer to merit aye doth waft,
What answereth this whole raft?
Hartford, Dec. 12, 1882.
Whose heart doth keep the wine of life on draft—
Good-fellowship—to be by all the thirsty quaffed,
Thomas William Clarke wrote from Chicago that the judge had taken the trademark suit under consideration [MTP]. Note: Thomas W. Clark (without the “e”) is listed as the attorney for the complainant (Sam) in Clemens vs. Belford, Clark & Co. Jan. 8, 1883. The same man.
Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy of gifts sent to the Clemens children [MTP].
December 14 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Stewart L. Woodford (1835-1913), attorney and ex-congressman from New York. Sam informed him that the Brunswick was his hotel and that he purposed to arrive there the evening of Dec. 21 for the Dec. 22 ceremonies; he thanked him for the reminder, but Judge Russell had written him the information [MTP].
George H. Morgan wrote to ask Sam, “Were you born in Gainsboro?” [MTP]. Note: see Dec 16 for answer.
December 15 Friday – Stewart L. Woodford wrote: “Thanks for card just received. I sent it to Judge Russell, who will secure your rooms at the Brunswick and wait upon you at 545 sharp, Friday afternoon to bring you to Delmonico’s” [MTP].
Karl & Hattie J. Gerhardt (to Sam and Livy) wrote enclosing the bill of lading for the box sent (baby bust). He mentioned making a sketch for the Paul Revere statue contest [MTP].
December 16 Saturday – Sam typed a short note from Hartford to John Brown Jr. thanking him for the picture sent “of a room whose aspect was so familiar to us and with which we have so many loving associations.” Sam sent another picture of little Jean, saying “two pictures of Jean Clemens” were much better “than none at all” [MTP].
Sam also typed a note to Edward S. Martin (1856-1939), who had written seeking an article. Martin attended Harvard University; he created the humor magazine Harvard Lampoon with a few of his friends. Following graduation, he and his friends created Life magazine, originally designed as a humor publication. He would write Howells’ obituary for Harper’s Magazine in 1920. Sam referred him to Osgood, saying he had “entered into a solemn engagement with him to this effect” [MTP].
Sam also typed a note to George H. Morgan, a resident of Gainesborough, Tenn., where Sam’s parents lived before he was born. (John Marshall Clemens opened the first hotel in Gainesborough.) Morgan supposedly lived in the old Clemens house. Sam enclosed a “slip” which probably had his basic biographical information and added:
“I am grieved to inform you that I was not born in Gainsboro. I have always regretted that I was not born there. If I am ever born again, I intend to be born in Gainsboro. P.S. I believe my parents lived a while in Gainesborough, in fact I am nearly sure of it, but it was before I was born. S.L.C.” [MTP].
Sam also typed a note to Charles Webster about putting Webster “in as director in the engineering company in my place.” Sam also wanted him to go to the American Publishing Co., to see if they had notified custom houses “on the frontier” regarding Sam’s books, “in accordance with the treasury order of October 19th” [MTP]. Note: this last item had to do with allowing pirated books into the U.S. via US mail.
December 18 Monday – Grace Meyer wrote from New Paris, Indiana to Sam, with a pathetic story of her life. A fan, but she didn’t seem to ask for anything except that the letter not be made public [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Poor devil!”
Samuel E. Dawson wrote from Montreal about sending his book and his desire to visit at Hartford. He mentioned giving Julian Hawthorne a book and also having rec’d Sam’s letter [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “refers to Plymouth Rock speech”
December 21 Thursday – Sam went to New York in the evening [Dec. 14 letter to Woodford, MTP]. He stayed at the Hotel Brunswick [N.Y. Times, PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE, p.5 Dec. 23, 1882].
William Bock wrote from Brooklyn, NY to ask Sam to sign enclosed cards “On behalf of my young Son, your namesake, Samuel Clements Bock” (2 years 7 mos. old) [MTP]. Note: no reply was found. Sam must have taken note of the misspelling of his surname, an error seen on even the ex-president Hayes’ recent letter. Sam wrote on the env., “Sarcasm?”
December 22 Friday – Sam had a list of errands to attend to during the day, probably meeting with Webster among other things [Dec. 14 to Woodford, MTP]. In the evening Sam delivered a fifteen-minute speech for the 75th annual dinner of the New England Society of New York at Delmonico’s Restaurant. The subject was “Woman – God Bless Her!” In his notebook earlier he had originally chosen “Arctic searches for Arctic explorers” but felt the topic was too solemn. Fatout describes:
“…the dining room was decorated with American flags and the shields of the thirteen original states. A string band made soft music for 250 gentlemen, among whom were General Grant, General Horace Porter, J. Pierpont Morgan, Noah Brooks, Elihu Root, Joseph H. Choate, Chauncey M. Depew, Benjamin Stillman, Stewart L. Woodford, three governors, and Mark Twain” [173-5]. (Editorial emphasis)
December 23 Saturday – The New York Times reported on p.1 the banquet and Sam’s speech of the previous night:
[Mark Twain delivered] an address which kept the tables in a roar for a quarter of an hour. The speaker brought his words out in an indescribable drawl, and puffed a cloud of smoke from his cigar between every two sentences [MTNJ 2: 505n240].
This day or shortly after, Sam returned home to Hartford.
December 25 Monday – Christmas – Sam gave Livy a copy of Robert Herrick’s (1591-1674) Selections from the Poetry of Robert Herrick (1882) and inscribed it: “Livy L. Clemens / from / S. L. Clemens / Xmas 1882” [Gribben 311].
December 26 Tuesday – Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote to Sam and Livy, photo enclosed marked “Karl 6 years old” on the back. She related Christmas and gifts [MTP]. Note: this photo in file.
Pamela Moffett wrote to Sam & Livy, still boarding in San Francisco. She wrote of her son seeing Joe Goodman’s articles in The Argonaut, but not realizing he was Clemens’ old friend. She loved the weather [MTP]. Note: The Argonaut was founded in 1877 by Frank M. Pixley.
December 28 Thursday – Sam shipped all but the “8th batch” of LM manuscript to Osgood [MTLTP 160].
Sam signed a power of attorney allowing Charles Webster to transact business in his name [ViU].
Arthur Von Rapp wrote from Painesville, Ohio asking for a loan of $200, which would “be barely sufficient to pull us out of the mire at present” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Begging letter”
December 29 Friday – In he morning Sam went to his copyist’s house to obtain the missing batch of his manuscript for LM. He discovered she’d had scarlet fever, and they’d had to disinfect the pages. Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood, enclosing the eighth batch of his manuscript for LM and advising him to “give it another good disinfecting before you meddle with it, or let your children get ahold of it.” The Clemens family was in quarantine, so he asked Osgood to “telephone Fairchild” and send his thanks [MTLTP 160].
Hartford Engineering per Joseph M. Stoughton sent printed minutes to the last Stockholders meeting on Dec. 26. Clemens was listed as having 145 shares [MTP].
Charles de Kay wrote from NYC to Sam: “I have the honor to inform you that you have been elected to the Authors Club” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Chas. de Kay. Answered”
December 30 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster. Sam sent a bill for Portfolio, a magazine he’d subscribed to that wouldn’t stop arriving. He also sent deeds and papers from the Archer County Texas land that Livy owned. He also discussed Webster taking the responsibility from Charles Perkins of sending monthly checks to Orion [MTBus 206-7].
Sam also wrote to Thomas D. Lockwood, one of the original officials with the Bell Telephone interests, who had evidently written inquiring about the Mississippi book. Sam answered that it would be issued in two or three months by Osgood & Co., as LM. Sam then talked about Lockwood’s book, Electricity, Magnetism and Electric Telegraphy that he’d read and liked, “particularly the first part, which details the history of electricity.” Sam observed that “to an outsider they [the book’s technicalities] convey a darkness as impenetrable as our easy alphabet conveys to a comanche” [MTP].
An article titled “Trollope and Mark Twain” ran in the Elmira Daily Gazette, page 6, a humorous unsigned dialogue about Sam and his knowledge of horses, or lack of it.
I remember at a dinner at the Garick club which he [Trollope] had given to Mark Twain and myself…After dinner we sauntered back to Mark’s hotel, (the Edward’s, St. George square,) where he was living in great state on the same floor with Disraeli. ….
[Sam had to admit he knew nothing about horses]—“Nothing, nothing at all and don’t want to. You see, I’m a steam-boat man.” Note: the article bylines the Somerville Unionist [N.Y.?] but it could not be found for the date or signature.
Orion and Mollie wrote to Sam & Livy, thanking for the checks ($100 for them and $50 for Ma) and for Christmas gifts. Mollie wrote a page that Ma “seems entirely well” [MTP].