Vol 1 Section 0043

 Sanctimonious Cheapskate – Huck Finn Took Off – 1,000 Investment Opportunities

Grant’s Memoirs – Path Worn to N.Y. – Banned in Concord – Black Bunting

Fantastic Sales & Royalties – Why Not the Pope? – Paige Quicksand

 Sam Honored at 50 – Susy Starts a Biography

1885 –Paine ascribes several segments of Mark Twain’s Autobiography to this year, including those relating to General Grant and his Memoirs. There are a few specific dates in these segments [MTA 1: 13-70].

Sam wrote from Hartford to his sister, Pamela Moffett (No date on this letter). He used Webster to handle family errands as well as business matters.

I have sent for Charley to get you a special car. He will see you tomorrow morning. Therefore wait [MTBus 187].

Sam inscribed copies of: Mark Twain’s Sketches, New and Old, and Huck Finn, and The Stolen White Elephant to Ulysses S. Grant Jr.: “To U.S. Grant, Jr. from the Author. 1885” ; and: “To / U.S. Grant, Jr / from / S.L. Clemens / 1885”; and: “To / U.S. Grant, Jr. / from / The Author. / 1885” [MTP]. Note: unknown place.


Sam also wrote from Hartford to Laurence Hutton, declining a Kinsmen Club dinner:


Indeed I wish I could be there, but I can’t. I’ve got to sit as a judge in a Trinity College debate that night, & so I couldn’t do justice to the Kinsmen’s debauch & expect to be in proper form to average the debaters that night [MTP]. Note: further investigation into possible dates for such a debate might yield a month and/or day.


Sometime during the year Sam wrote to Charles Webster, asking him to send,


Munn & Co the $20 at once—don’t forget it, as you did to send me some book proofs (which I am getting along very well without). [Sam wrote he] kind of [expected to] run down Thursday [MTP]. Note: Sam enclosed a printed notice, probably by Munn & Co., that dealt in patents. Back on June 12, 1870 Sam wrote Orion that he was gratified Munn & Co. liked Orion’s wood cutting machine.


Several of Sam’s manuscripts published posthumously are assigned to 1885. Among these, “The Chicago G.A.R. Festival,” “The Character of Man,” (early in 1885) and “Kiditchin” [Camfield, bibliog.; Budd, “Collected” 1021].


Jesse R. Grant sent Sam a note dated only “Friday”: “I am in town stayting at the Union League Club. Will you let me know when you arrive so that I may call” (on Hotel Normandie card) [MTP].


January – A chapter from Huck Finn, “Jim’s Investments, and King Sollermun,” ran in the Century Magazine for the January issue, pages 456-8 [Camfield, bibliog.]. Perhaps more immediately of influence was George W. Cable’s controversial essay in the same issue, “The Freedman’s Case in Equity,” which argued for full civil rights for the Negro. Though openly scorned by many, mostly in the South, the article made Cable a famous champion of justice and brought bigger crowds out to see him perform.


The same magazine also ran the second of three small (approx. 3” x 4”) display ads, announcing MARK TWAIN’S NEW WORK, with Kemble’s picture of Huck Finn doffing straw hat, “sold only by subscription, agents wanted, Chas. Webster” etc. [MTP, 1884-5 financial files].


Robert J. Burdette sent a small engraved Happy New Year card, no letter in file [MTP].


January 1 ThursdayGeorge Cable wrote to his wife, Lucy, perhaps in wee hours of the morning, of the performance a few hours before in Paris, Kentucky:

We have just finished a delightful evening on the platform before a hearty, quick-witted audience that laughed to tears and groans at Mark’s fun & took my more delicate points before I could fairly reach them.

I have a little bunch of flowers given me by a young lady of the Clay family. Many persons crowded round us after the entertainment. All this was particularly pleasing to me inasmuch as this is a Southern town & the two feelings which I always have to encounter in Southern towns were present & evident here. A ball was given in opposition [Turner, MT & GWC 78].

Sam took a train north to Cincinnati, Ohio for the day. He returned to Paris, Kentucky and wrote to Livy.


Livy darling, we have had a most pleasant evening here—in a region familiar to Ma when she was a girl, some seventy or eighty years ago. Wherever we strike a Southern audience they laugh themselves all to pieces. They catch a point bfore you can get it out—& then, if you are not a muggings, you don’t get it out; you leave it unsaid. It is a great delight to talk to such folks.


Sam related a conversation he heard on the smoking-car, writing in dialect about a farmer turned educator [MTP].


Sam also inscribed a copy of some book (probably Huck Finn) to Ozias W. Pond, brother of James B. Pond: “Happy New Year’s / to Ozias Pond / from / The Author (inventor) of this Book / (S. L. Clemens) / Cincinnati O. Jan 1/85 [MTP].


Karl Gerhardt wrote from Hartford: “Barnard refused to sign the contract, so Mr Webster had Alexander & Green cable Waller, to cable his willingness to sign….Let me know when you want my presence for the Prince and Pauper entertainment” [MTP]. Note: Henry Barnard.


January 2 Friday – Sam wrote from Paris, Kentucky to Livy. He was sorry he’d missed going to a soldiers’ home in Cincinnati for General Franklin.


I froze to death all last night, & never once thought of Sam Dunham’s camel’s hair shirt—but I did think of it a couple of hours ago, & am very comfortable, now. I mean to lay it on the bed every night after this.

When we came to put out our washing yesterday in Cincin, Mr. K. piled out a whole trunkful—all saved up since we were on the road last. I called Pond’s attention to it, & he said he would not permit that; he would make K pay for that wash out of his own pocket, I speak but the truth when I say I like K better & better; but his closeness is a queer streak—the queerest he has got [MTP]. Note: “K” was Sam’s way of referring to Cable.


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at Odeon Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio. Clemens included: “ A Dazzling Achievement,” “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “A Trying Situation” [MTPO].


Cable wrote home that “we hardly had time to eat & dress for the platform” after reaching Cincinnati in the evening [Turner, MT & GWC 81]. Fatout says the men registered as “J.B. Pond and two servants” [Circuit 209].


Murat Halstead wrote from Cincinatti in a huge scrawl, mostly illegible [MTP].


January 3 SaturdayOzias Pond recorded in his diary that Sam was examined by a phrenologist (reading bumps on the head). Cardwell writes that Ozias, “infected with the humor of the two writers and amazed at Twain’s extravagance punned feebly: ‘There was nothing in it’” [33].


Sam and Cable gave two more readings at Odeon Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, a matinee and an evening performance. Ozias Pond stood in as manager for his brother, James B. Pond. The Cincinnati Enquirer reviewed both evening performances separately, and concluded on Jan. 4 with the following:


They must have felt flattered by the audience that greeted them, for, in addition to being of goodly size, it was made up of the best of society people.

The lecturers’ engagement in this city has been a success financially, and the entertainments have been highly satisfactory to all who attended [Railton].


Sam wrote from Cincinnati to Livy:


“Livy darling, we finished one of those awful days, where you talk twice in the same day. It is a dreadful pull on a body’s muscle.”


Sam told of a young college girl from the music college where the hall was, asking him if the readings were over and if Mark Twain was going to read again, and would “he read something good?” Sam answered affirmatively and took the girl back stage, giving her a seat off-stage. When other girls came looking for her he gave them seats with the first girl.


“Then I went on the stage & shouted away, for the delectation of 1200 women in front, & this little group in the rear. Take it all around, we had a mighty rousing time, & a most pleasant afternoon” [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Charles Allen Thorndike Rice (1851-1889) editor of the North American Review, who had evidently sought a submission from Mark Twain. Sam answered he hadn’t time to write anything, but suggested Rice contact Webster, who “no doubt” would “furnish …a chapter from my new book” [MTP].


The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 4: “Twain and Cable / The Humorists Interviewed.” Sam discussed his stint on the Territorial Enterprise, Bret Harte, and the sketch (unnamed in the interview) “Typographical Howitzer” [Scharnhorst, Interviews 65-8]. Note: The sketch was by Sam P. Davis and is included in The Sagebrush Anthology, Lawrence I. Berkove, ed., 2006.


January 4 Sunday – Sam’s wrote from Cincinnati to Livy of the day’s activities:


“I breakfasted with the Halstead family at noon; spent 3 hours in the pottery [the “keramic factory” he referred to in his Jan. 3 letter to Livy]; dined (over) at Mrs. Geo. Ward Nichols’s; spent a most shouting good lovely 3 ½ hours at Pitts Burt’s fireside; & then he brought me home, & I have just now got my clothes off.”


Sam wished he could take Livy to the pottery factory and show her “what Mrs. Nichols & those other wonderful people have been doing.” He bought several pieces and had them shipped to Hartford, cautioning Livy not to let George open the box without her “personal superintendence…he mustn’t break those things.” Sam also sent a piece to Susan Crane, and one to Ida Langdon.


Sam also wrote a short directive to Charles Webster to send verification of an amount for an unspecified action or item, to “Keep at that Am Ex in Europe stock” and added that he hoped “Peyton’s project will succeed” (unidentified) [MTP].


January 5 Monday Sam rose at 6 AM and took a train to Louisville, Kentucky (Cardwell says 8:15 AM train [34] ). They stayed at the Galt House. At 4:30 they went to a reception at the Louisville Press Club, and a stop at the Pendennis Club [Cardwell 34].


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at Leiderkranz Hall. En route, Cable wrote to his wife Lucy about distractions in the audience during performances:

The other night, in Hamilton, O., a man with creaking shoes stalked out of the hall in the midst of one of Mark’s numbers. You know I told you we had decided to give any such person’s a shot across his bows. So Mark calls out in the most benevolent & persuasive tone, “Take your shoes off, please; take your shoes off” — to the great delight of the applauding audience [Turner, MT & GWC 82].

The Louisville Post, p1: “A Great Humorist / … Mr. Twain Gives Some Information Concerning Himself and Partner—How He Met the Reporter and the Instructions He Gave.” Sam talked about the struggle for international copyright [Scharnhorst, Interviews 68-70].


Henry Watterson wrote from Louisville inviting Sam & Cable to take pot luck the next day [MTP].


January 6 Tuesday Sam and Cable gave a second reading at Leiderkranz Hall, Louisville, Kentucky. From the Louisville Courier-Journal:


Despite the rain there was a large audience at Leiderkranz Hall last night to hear Cable and Mark Twain read. Mr. Cable last year prepared for himself a welcome to Louisville, and the people were ready with a hearty greeting for Mr. Clemens.

Mr. Cable’s selections were familiar to the audience, as was the manner of his interpretation, but they lost none of their charm on this account. “Narcisse” and “Kate Riley” and “Richling” and “Restofalo” delighted every one last night with their strange and fascinating humor, of which one never wearies, but the most striking and effective of the pieces recited by Mr. Cable was “Mary Richling’s Night Ride.” There is no more pathetic, no more moving story in all Mr. Cable has written than that which recounts the weary wandering of “Mary Richling.” Caught in the North when the war broke over the land with her child, whom her husband has never seen, she started for New Orleans, confident she could somewhere pierce the line. One disappointment followed another, but the brave-hearted woman never lost courage. Finally it seemed all obstacles were conquered, and, under the guidance and protection of a spy, she rode through the lines, avoiding the pickets and escaping the scouts. It is this last ride Mr. Cable reads with such dramatic force, and it is wise to repeat it to-night.

Mark Twain’s humor is indescribable, as it is inimitable. His “Tragic Tale of a Fishwife,” in its wild absurdities and extravagant incongruities, was greeted with continuous laughter, the appreciation of the situation, no doubt, being heightened by the recollection that last winter there was in Louisville a professor who promised to teach the German language in six weeks, and in the audience there were several score who once thought they had learned it in that time. Mark Twain promises to-night, in addition to regular programme, to tell the story of the “Jumping Frog.” There should be to-night even a larger audience than on last night, and it is to be hoped those who secure seats in advance will obtain them, and the annoyance experienced last night be avoided [Railton].

After the readings, Sam and Cable went again to the Pendennis Club with Sam’s second cousin by marriage, Colonel Henry Watterson, and editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Sam enjoyed a “2-hour supper wich was full of delightful conversation, & also full of tropic enthusiasm over the readings” [Jan. 7 to Livy, MTP]. Cable wrote home that Watterson “didn’t please” him, “Talks shamelessly about getting drunk &c &c.” In a discussion of the “negro question” at the Press Club, Cable observed, “Freedom of speech has yet to come to us of the South” [Turner, MT & GWC 83].

Note: The Pendennis Club was founded in 1881 as a private social club, modeled after English gentlemen’s clubs. Pendennis is the name of Thackeray’s novel..Sometime in the 1880s, the club was the birthplace of the “Old Fashioned,” claimed as the first drink to be called a cocktail.


January 7 Wednesday – Sam wrote to Livy on the train from Louisville, Ky. to Indianapolis, Ind, relating the dinner of the last evening at the Pendennis Club. Sam remarked on the differences of a Southern audience:


In truth, Baltimore, Washington & Louisville prove that none but a Southern audience can bring out the very best that is in a man on the platform. There is an atmosphere of affection for you, pervading the house, that you seldom feel, at least in a strong inspiring way, in a northern audience. If you make a miss-fire, they are troubled about it, not glad of it, & jump eagerly at the very first excuse they get to wipe it away & shout the memory of it out of your mind. One feels as if he were in front of his own family, & every individual personally anxious for his success [MTP].


Sam, in Indianapolis, responded to the Dec. 31 explanation of Estes & Lauriat, Boston booksellers that they’d been told by one of his subscription agents of the publication date for Huck Finn. Sam’s “quarrel,” a lawsuit pressed now by Alexander & Green Law firm of New York, wasn’t with the price offered, it was that they’d advertised,


“…for sale at a low price, a book of mine which you have not bought, & do not possess.”


 Sam pointed out that what a canvasser might tell them about a publication date,


“was of no value, as evidence, —[That they] could have applied at headquarters & got the truth, without difficulty or delay” [MTP].


Sam also telegraphed Thorndike Rice, editor of the North American Review, that he was seeking Webster by telegraph, and if Bromfield didn’t hear from Webster by Thursday evening, he may give Rice a chapter of HF [MTP]. Note: P.B. Bromfield had an New York Ad agency [MTNJ 3: 252].


Cardwell says “Ozias made Mark happy by playing billiards with him, and Cable was made happy, no doubt, by testimony on the front page of the Indianapolis Journal to his growing reputation as a champion of civil rights for the Negro” [35].


Cable toured the Louisville High School with Prof. Allmond and others, as well as the Colored High School—both schools singing “America” for him. Cable pled fatigue and Sam went alone to to dine at Watterson’s home. Cable grabbed two hours sleep then ate with Sam and went to the reading, which he reported so crowded that “Pond turned people away” [Turner, MT & GWC 84-5].

In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at Plymouth Church
, Indianapolis, Ind. Clemens included “Dick Baker’s Cat” [MTPO].


Andrew Chatto wrote “pleased to hear that you are on the platform once more and especially glad to think that you may be tempted to give your readings in London again….’Huck Finn’ is making his way very satisfactorily. I enclose two cuttings” (not in file) [MTP].


Jane Clemens wrote to Sam & to family):


Livy you are praising Sam. When I first saw him I could see no promise in him. But I felt it my duty to do the best I could. To raise him if I could. A lady came in one day & looked at him she turned to me & said you don’t expect to raise that babe do you. I said I would try. But he was a poor looking object to raise. So Livy I have brought him out. Now Livy you work night & day as hard as I did, perhaps you will succeed. Last night. I thought I was going to die. my greatest trouble was I thought they would bury me in my best dress. My wish was to be buried in a shroud. Muslin [MTP].


Edmund C. Stedman for Library of Am. Literature wrote for permission to quote HF [MTP].


January 8 Thursday – Sam wrote en route from Indianapolis to Springfield, Ill. to Livy:


We were up at 7, this morning, with a 9-hour journey before us & no parlor car. But we are getting along all right. The train stops every half a mile. It is now 1 p.m., & this car has been filled & emptied with farmer-people some 300 times. They are a constant interest to me—their clothes, their manners, attitudes, aspect, expression—when they have any. A small country boy, a while ago, discussed a negro woman in her easy hearing-distance, to his 17-year old sister: “Mighty good clothes for a nigger, hain’t they? I never see a nigger dressed so fine before.” She was thoroughly well & tastefully dressed, & had more brains & breeding than 7 generations of that boy’s family will be able to show [MTP].


On the train Sam “spent an hour rewriting a boasting match (probably from Chapter 3 of Life on the Mississippi) so that he and Cable could hurl brags at each other ‘for Pond’s amusement’ at night in their rooms” [Cardwell 36].


At 3 PM Sam added to the letter from Decatur, Ill. They’d got on the wrong train but noticed it at the last moment, “just time enough to snatch on or wraps & overshoes & skip aboard the right train.” Sam added a paragraph accusing James G. Blaine of betraying his wife [MTP].


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Chatterton’s Opera House, Springfield, Illinois. The Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield) reported the next day:


The Twain-Cable combination was greeted last night by the largest “downstairs” audience that has assembled in the Opera House this season, and it is safe to say that few audiences have congregated there composed of more intelligent and cultivated people. The entertainment was all that was promised, and the audience testified their delight by numerous bursts of laughter and applause. “Mark Twain’s” first peek-a-boo at R.1.E. was greeted with laughter, and his droll recitations of his own funny stories tickled his hearers prodigiously. Mr. Cable’s readings were so unlike Twain’s stories that a pleasing contrast was formed. His selections from his own novel, “Dr. Sevier,” were given with wondrous grace and effect, captivating the audience and winning genuine applause. His graphic description of “Mary’s Night Ride” was realistic in the extreme, while Twain’s final effort, a ghost story, was impressive as well as vehemently ludicrous. The combination is a strong one, and with a good management, “there is millions in it” for both the actors and their manager [Railton; the last line a reference to Col. Sellers famous line in The Gilded Age].


Andrew Chatto wrote, sending William L. Hughes translation of TS and that the publisher “has had the grace to acknowledge your interest in this volume by agreeing to pay 750 francs” [MTP].


January 9 Friday The party left Springfield for St. Louis at 6:35 AM. A train accident delayed them; the engine and baggage car derailed at the bridge over the Big Muddy. Sam joked that he would have been all right if he’d made it into the River, because he knew it well. The party walked across the bridge, took a car to the Southern Hotel, and were set for the evening’s performance [Cardwell 37].


Sam wrote from St. Louis to Rebecca Pavey Boas. The Paveys were from Hannibal and also lived in St. Louis. Sam had stayed with the family a couple of times while working there (see Aug. 7, 1854 and Feb. 13, 1855 entries.) No doubt Rebecca was a daughter of Napoleon “Pole” W. Pavey (see MTNJ 1: 37n45). Sam’s expressed hope of visiting and dining with his old friend.


“I shall certainly not fail to come if I get the time, but the chances are against me…Sincerely your old friend S.L. Clemens” [MTP]. Note: On the reverse of this note, written and signed by Becky Pavey (now Boas) she wrote on Apr. 14, 1919: “It was with sincere regret that my childhood friend Samuel Clemens did not dine with us” [AbeBooks.com by Raab Collection #9034].


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced the pair’s arrival and printed a humorous “interview” (see Railton for the full account, or Scharnhorst, Interviews 70-72).


CABLE AND TWAIN. The Author and the Humorist Arrive in the City To-Day.

While Mr. J. B. Pond was this morning standing in the rotunda of the Southern Hotel with Samuel C. Clemens (Mark Twain) standing upon one side of him and George W. Cable upon the other, the POST-DISPATCH reporter present was struck by the touching likeness which the group bore to that beautiful legend which provides a human being with two attendant spirits, one of them of diabolical mien always urging them on to commit felonies and misdemeanors, the other, of angelic aspect, constantly coaxing him to give up his criminal ways. Mark Twain’s features, familiarized to the public by several brands of chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarettes, are so well known that it only becomes necessary to describe the appearance of his less Mephistophelian companion [Railton].

The St. Louis Chronicle , p1: “Two of a Kind / Samuel L. Clemens and George W. Cable.” Sam compared audiences, Northern, Southern, Canadian, British [Scharnhorst, Interviews 72-4].


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading in Mercantile Library Hall , St. Louis. Clemens included: “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “A Trying Situation,” “A Ghost Story,” and “King Sollermun” [MTPO].


Edith Cockburn Kerr wrote from Oxford, England for an autograph [MTP].


James B. Pond wrote to Clemens; letter not found at MTP though catalogued as UCLC 42381.


Charles Webster wrote various business matters [MTP].


January 10 Saturday – In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a second performance in Mercantile Library Hall , St. Louis. The Post Dispatch, and the Daily Globe-Democrat gave the pair positive reviews [Railton]. Cardwell says the crowd was not good, and according to Ozias Pond, Saturday night was “not popular in St. Louis ‘with the better element’.” [Cardwell 37].


Alexander & Green wrote about the threatened suit of Estes & Lauriat, who were not repentant [MTP].


Charles Webster wrote various business matters, including the bed clamp invention [MTP].


January 11 Sunday – Since Sam had decided back in 1866 or 1867 to put his Sandwich Islands Letters into a book, he understood the value of pre-selling books by running excerpts in popular newspapers or magazines. On this date the Chicago Times and the New York Tribune ran portions of Huck Finn [The Twainian, Mar. 1944 p4].


Sam wrote two letters from St. Louis to Livy. The expressed,


“How measureless & lonesome the time since I have seen you, my dearest! This is Sunday, & I am abed all day. Instead of writing you, I thought I would translate the German prose verse of the Pied Piper of Hamelin for you.”


And did do a large portion of it. The second letter followed one he wrote to Mrs. Whiteside, a young “(married, but a mere child)” woman who’d sent him a story to evaluate. Sam gave the woman some wise words about writing fiction, and then copied the letter to Livy in his second note to her:


“Literature is an art, not an inspiration. It is a trade, so to speak, & must be learned—one cannot ‘pick it up.’ Niether can one learn it in a year, nor in five years. And its capital is experience—& you are too young, yet, to have much of that in your bank to draw from” [MTP].


Sometime during the brief stay in St. Louis, Sam’s cousin James Lampton, the model for Colonel Sellers in The Gilded Age, visited Sam’s hotel room. Sam left the door ajar to Cable’s adjoining room and let his relative talk away. After Lampton left, Cable stuck his head through the door and said, “That was Colonel Sellers” [Cardwell 38].


January 12 Monday After another early rise to catch a 9:40 train, according to Ozias Pond’s diary, Sam was in a foul mood and attacked (and won) a battle with a window shutter at the Southern Hotel in St. Louis [Cardwell 41-2]. The troupe arrived in Quincy, Illinois in the afternoon. Sam and Cable stayed with the widow of Erasmus Mason Moffett and her daughters (Lizzie Moffett, Ella Moffett], relatives of sister Pamela’s late husband [42]. A photograph of the group was taken (see Meltzer p. 188.)


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading to a packed Opera House in Quincy, Illinois.


Alexander & Green, wrote, Western Co. to Webster Jan. 9 enclosed, more about a Kansas City bookseller advertising Twain books at discounted prices, and making them back down [MTP].


January 13 Tuesday – Sam telegraphed from Quincy, Illinois to Charles Webster about the chapter to be given to Thorndike Rice of the North American Review. Sam had given orders to Rice that if Webster had not been heard from within a day then Bromfield could leave him a chapter of Huck Finn. Bromfield decided to leave the excerpt without waiting for Webster, which Sam wrote was a “pretty cool treatment of my orders….” Webster had written but Sam thought he should have telegraphed [MTP]. Sam often disagreed with how Webster communicated. Sam and company went to Hannibal.


Sam inscribed in Minnie Dawson’s autograph book: Truly Yours / S L Clemens / Mark Twain / Hannibal, Jan 13/85 [MTP]. (See Apr. 14, 1847 entry for more on the Hannibal Dawsons.)


Sam and Cable gave a reading in Opera House (?) Hannibal, Missouri. Meanwhile, the London Pall Mall Gazette was reporting favorably on the “great combination entertainment” of “Mark Twain and Mr. Cable” [p 3].


January 14 Wednesday – Delayed by a snowstorm, and “Long past midnight,” Sam wrote from Keokuk, Iowa to Livy. He’d had “no time to turn around, for 2 or 3 days” and so was behind in his letters. He wrote poignantly of his mother and of Hannibal, and an old friend since childhood, Tom Nash. Nash had been deaf and dumb for 40 years and handed Sam a letter which he read and sent to Livy to keep.


A beautiful evening with ma—& she is her old beautiful self; a nature of pure gold—one of the purest & finest & highest this land has produced. The unconsciously pathetic is her talent—& how richly she is endowed with it—& how naturally eloquent she is when it is to the fore! What books she could have written!—& now the world has lost them.


The visit to Hannibal—you can never imagine the infinite great deeps of pathos that have rolled their tides over me. I shall never see another such day. I have carried my heart in my mouth for twenty-four hours [MTP].


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Opera House in Keokuk, Iowa.


A check from James B. Pond to Sam for $1,540.46 with this date is signed “for deposit, Chas Webster” [MTP].


In Boston, U.S. Circuit Court, Judge Colt heard arguments by attorneys for Samuel L. Clemens, plaintiff, (George L. Huntress and S. Lincoln) seeking to prevent Estes & Lauriat from issuing a catalogue offering HF at prices less than the subscription rate [N.Y. Times, “Mark Twain a Plaintiff,” Jan. 15, 1885 p1].


January 15 ThursdayCable rose at four in the morning to catch a train, reaching Burlington, Iowa at a quarter to seven. Sam stayed behind in Keokuk to spend more time with his mother, Jane Clemens [Turner, MT & GWC 88]. The Keokuk Gate City ran an article discussing Sam’s lectures and his greetings to his mother [Tenney 14].


Sam wrote from Keokuk to Charles Webster. He included a long list of things for Webster to keep track of—“a list like this, & stick it on the wall where you can see it when you go to bed & when you get up…” Sam wrote of the bed-clamp enterprise, the chapter that Bromfield felt he could give to Rice without waiting on Webster, the “500,000 times” he had said he would “fill no engagement after Feb. 28” with Pond. Sam wanted a weekly report on the list given so that he wouldn’t have to keep asking about each item [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Edmund C. Stedman, giving permission to “take from any book you want to, new or old, good or bad. Huck Finn included.” Evidently, Stedman, at the time a journalist with the New York Tribune and the New York World, had asked for a submission excerpt from Sam. Sam referred him to Howells, who might make a better recommendation [MTP].


Sam arrived late in Burlington due to train problems; Cable spoke for an hour and a half by the time Sam arrived. Their reading was given at the Opera House, Burlington, Iowa. The next day, From the Burlington Daily Hawk-Eye:

When Mark Twain finally appeared, his first task was to explain the delay. He said he had stopped through the day with his mother in Keokuk. She was eighty-two years old; she was the only mother he had; their homes being a thousand miles apart he might never see her again. He thought he could trust the St. Louis train, but his trust was betrayed. It started from Keokuk an hour late, and had been getting an hour later ever since. On the way they broke something. A dispute arose as to what it was that was broken. It took forty minutes to decide the dispute, and five minutes to repair the damage. He detailed his disastrous experience with the German language, wove all the erratic applications of the German genders into the “Tragic tale of the fishwife,” described a “trying situation” in his foreign travels, in which an American young lady whom he fails to recognize, insists upon talking to him about “old times,” etc.

The audience went home in the best of humor. They were charmed by Cable and amused and entertained beyond their expectations by Twain.

Cable wrote on Jan. 17 to his wife Lucy about the Burlington delay:

I have not told you about our evening in Burlington, Iowa. Clemens lingered behind at Keokuk to see his aged mother—from whose fine aged face he gets all his own best lines—and was to reach Burlington just in time for the reading. But the snow storm was tremendous, his train was dreadfully belated and I had to lift a stone-dead audience out of the grave, as it were, and put life & mirth into them & keep their spirits rising for an hour & a half all alone. I did it, however, & when Clemens came into the house at 9/35 my work was much more than done & he had an enthusiasm to start on. I was proud of the job [Turner, MT & GWC 88-9].

January 16 Friday – Sam wrote from Chicago to Susy Clemens, thanking her for a letter and asking her to write “two or three times a week in Mamma’s place…What I’m after is to save her” [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Orion, thanking him for a perfect 24 hours there, with the sort of social activity which produces rest instead of fatigue” [MTP].


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Central Music Hall, Chicago, Illinois.


Chicago News, page 2, ran an article/interview making comic remarks to reporters as a way of gaining free publicity [Budd, “Interviews” 3].


E.F. Blanchfield wrote from Chicago, wanting to call on him for information about patents [MTP].


Orion Clemens wrote, deeply grieved by not having set up the carriage to take Sam to the train [MTP].


January 17 Saturday Sam and Cable gave two more performances at the Central Music Hall in Chicago.  Before the matinee performance, Sam wrote Livy:


Livy darling, Clara Wiley & her husband came behind the scenes last night, & saw me. She looks as young as ever, & as pretty. I told Pond to telegraph his brother to send you every new date & hotel just as fast as the engagements were made. He attended to it. Dr Jackson called yesterday, & asked that he & his wife be remembered to you [MTP]


Sam also confided that his attorneys hadn’t yet come to terms with Estes & Lauriat, Boston booksellers, who had refused to drop the case on payment of Sam’s legal fees.


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a second performance at the Central Music Hall in Chicago. Sam began a second letter to Livy, answering that a “Mr. Wilson is a fraud & a liar. It is a satisfaction to know that he had got hemorrages” (Wilson is unidentified) [MTP]. Note: Wecter points out, “Mark probably confuses hemorrhages with hemorrhoids” [LLMT 229].


Cable wrote home that the Chicago readings were “one of the greatest successes, if not the very greatest, artistic and pecuniary success of our season. The thermometer is 4° below zero and falling.”


Clemens’s story of Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer liberating runaway [Jim] was received with a continual tempest of merriment and when I gave “A Sound of Drums” I saw persons in tears all over the house. I was called back twice after my Creole songs and twice after “Mary’s Night Ride.” Mark & I both seemed especially inspired tonight & to inspire each other.” Along the tour people came up to Cable and thanked him, often in tears, for his Freedman paper [Turner, MT & GWC 89].


Charles H. Clark’s article “Authors at Home” ran in The Critic. This included a general account of Sam’s homes in Hartford and Elmira, “his current activities, including bicycling, billiards, the Monday Evening Club, and smoking cigars” [Tenney 15].


E.F. Blanchfield “desperate” and appealing “to your humanity” to see him [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “a fraud?”


Jane & Mollie Clemens (& to Livy) wrote. They had just rec’d the Grant book and had just finished HF. Mollie: “It simply amazes me to see how you kept up the dialects and the underlying moral lesson without a particle of apparent effort. It is real, to me.” Jane: “Dear Children. I wish to know why you say nothing about your income. Sam writes to me, he gives you the interest on twenty thousand dollars because it justly belongs to you. Love to all. Mother” [MTP].


Charles Webster wrote (Osgood to Webster Jan. 16 enclosed). Webster had just bought a 3-story brownstone for $13,130. He discussed various business matters. Osgood wrote he looked favorably on Webster’s offer to buy out their interest in the Library of Humor [MTP].


January 18 Sunday – Sam finished the letter to Livy, writing in the morning and after breakfast adding to it at noon, when he wrote about the Chicago readings:


We’ve had an immense time here with these three big audiences in this noble Central Music Hall. But for the fearful storms, we would have turned people away from the doors. It is a beautiful place, & you should have seen that alert & radiant mass of well-dressed humanity, rising tier on tier clear to the slope of the ceiling. Last night was the greatest triumph we have ever made. I played my new bill, containing The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (cut it down & told it in 13 minutes—quickest time on record) & Tom & Huck setting Jim free from prison—25 minutes—but it just went with a long roll of artillery—laughter all down the line…& after a thrice-repeated crash of encores, I came back & talked a ten-minute yard (Gov. Gardiner)—on the state 35 minutes, you see, & no harm done—encored again after the encore, & came back & bowed. And mind I tell the old Jumping Frog swept the place like a conflagration. Nothing in this world can beat that yarn when one is feeling good & has the right audience in front of him [MTP].


In the evening Sam and Cable gave a reading in Evanston, Illinois. From the Jan. 24 Evanston Index:

Mr. Clemens, or “Mark Twain,” was at his best, and kept the audience convulsed from the time he commenced with “King Sollermun,” to the loss of the golden arm. His quiet, drawling manner and perfectly immovable face lend an additional zest to the ludicrous things he says. He does not at any time stick to his text, but if the audience is appreciative, as this one was, he touches up the things that seem to take best. It was hard to determine which provoked the most laughter, the struggle with German grammar, “Huck Finn,” “A Trying Situation,” or “Who’s Got My Golden Arm.” In the latter, the painfully intense hush caused by the speaker’s dropping his voice almost to a whisper, was broken by his shouting “You have,” so loud as to bring the audience to their feet, and before he could reseat themselves he had bowed “good night” and left the stage. Both gentlemen were frequently recalled and gracefully responded.

Laura W. Richard wrote asking autographs from Twain and Cable [MTP].

January 19 Monday – Sam wrote from Chicago to Charles Webster, adding to the list of things he wanted progress reports on, including the weekly total of money received from Pond [MTP].


He also wrote to Charles Webster from Janesville, Wisc. About statements from Osgood, the possibility of buying him out (he left that up to Webster), statements wanting from American Publishing Co. and Slote & Co., plus he’d heard nothing back from Webster on “that Bromfield and Rice business” [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Livy.


(Back from Evanston—midnight.)

1 line—only 1 line, sweetheart—got to get up early in the morning.             

Yes, I got Stedman’s & all your letters, without doubt…I’ve written to Bissell & to Charley Webster about that bond. The loan was made under Mr. Perkins Administration [MTP].


Charles Webster wrote (three telegrams enclosed, A.J. Bromfield wishing a chapter of HF), having rec’d Sam’s of Jan. 15 from Keokuk: bedclamp matters; the Estes & Lauriat suit, forcing him to leave the office with Bromfield in charge; agent complaints [MTP].


January 20 Tuesday – Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Opera House in Janesville, Wisconsin. Cable wrote home:


Arrived here at 1/30 P.M. from Chicago. Snow, snow, snow! But clear skies overhead and sweet sunshine. So let it be in your heart. Now I must be off to bed so as to be fresh tonight. My health & strength need give you no concern. I weigh 111 pounds…” [Turner, MT & GWC 90]. Note: Cable seldom weighed more, and often less than 100 pounds.

January 21 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Madison, Wisc.
 to Livy. He reported that it had been seven days since the thermometer had risen above zero; it was ten below at the time of his letter, but he was in his “bag, in bed, & unspeakably snug & comfortable. That bag is the greatest thing in the world.” He wrote of meeting Lucius Fairchild, brother of Charles Fairchild and ex-governor of Wisconsin from 1866-1872:


Got here at 2:30 pm & ate dinner & went at once to bed—as usual. Fairchild came in, a moment (poor fellow, he will be defeated for U.S. Senate tonight—he told us so himself) & said the girls are out of town; asked us to supper—declined. We didn’t go to see Emma Sayles…[MTP]. Note: Emma Sayles (Mrs. Henry Sayles) (1844-1916).


Sam wrote that they would leave Madison at midnight. Cable wrote that it was midnight and they must take a train after 1 AM. “I can’t write. Mark Twain is telling California yarns to Ozias and Kark Strakasch” [Turner, MT & GWC 90].


Sam also wrote Charles Webster, reminding him to look into the stock of the Hayword Hand Grenade Co. and see what the cost would be [MTP]. Note: the Hayword were bottles of water to be thrown at a fire.


The Fort Madison Democrat: “Lecture Trips and Visits of Mark Twain in Iowa.” Sam commented on local Indians [Scharnhorst, Interviews 74-6].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Methodist Church in Madison, Wisconsin.


Charles Webster wrote about various business matters; he was too busy to look into the hand grenade fire extinguisher matter [MTP].


January 22 Thursday – Sam and Cable gave a reading in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.


Sam wrote from St. Paul, Minn. to Charles Erskine Scott Wood, his old West Point friend, who evidently had asked Sam why he never poked fun at Jews.


I have never felt a disposition to satirize the Jews. I have no reason to offer for I think it is a matter of feeling not a conscious intellectual impulse. Hang it, what I am trying to say is, that I have never had the disposition….But the intellectual origin of the disposition lies mainly in two facts, I think; (and they long ago deeply impressed me) that I have never seen a Jew begging his bread; and have never seen one procuring it by Manual labor. The one fact must mean that the Jews take care of their unfortunates with a fidelity known to no other race; and the other fact must mean that the Jews are the only race with whom brains are a universal heritage (by contrast consider the Irish race.) We do not satirize people we singularly respect—one would do it but indifferently well, and be ashamed of it when it was done. Twenty years ago I knew Adolph Sutro well (of Sutro Tunnel)—a fine, manly beautiful character; and I have always found something of Sutro is a sufficient equipment for an average man. No, I never knew Ben Holiday—I only knew of him [MTP]. Note: See also Feb. 5 from Morris W. Fechheimer.


January 23 Friday – Sam wrote from St. Paul to Livy, who’d asked if Pond ever failed to mail his letters. Sam didn’t think so and told the story of Orion taking one of his letters to the post box and when he got there forgetting why he’d gone, returning with the letter still in his pocket. Sam also related walking nine blocks to see the “ghost,” a “mysterious something on a school-house window pane,” which various people saw as various objects or persons.


If all the fools in the world should die, lordy God how lonely I should be.


Sam told of meeting old printer pals:


In Quincy I saw—well, first it was an old man with bushy gray whiskers down to his breast, & farmer-like clothes on. When I saw him last, 35 years ago, he was a dandy, with plug hat tipped far forward & resting almost on his very nose; dark red, greasy hair, long, & rolled under at the bottom, down on his neck; red goatee; a most mincing, self-conceited gait—the most astonishing gait that ever I saw—a gait possible nowhere on earth but in our South & in that old day; & when his hat was off, a red roll of hair, a recumbent curl, was exposed (between two exact partings) which extended from his forehead rearward over the curve of his skull, & you could look into it as you would into a tunnel. But now—well, see Holmes’s “the Last Leaf” for what he is not.


And there also I saw Wales McCormick, the giant printer-cub of 35 years ago—he & I were apprentices & the above dude, Pet McMurry, was the journeyman [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Susy Clemens, glad that she and “Daisy had such a good time over Huck Finn” [MTP]. Note: Margaret Warner (“Daisy”) was the daughter of George and Lilly Warner and a few months older than Susy.


Sam also wrote to Kingsland Smith of the St. Paul Roller Mill Co. that he wouldn’t be able to see friends in St. Paul on this trip, that the “railroad has fagged me out & I must like here & sleep & rest till lecture time this evening.” Sam invited him to come behind the curtain and see him in the evening [MTP].


Sam also wrote three notes to Charles Webster. The first note directed him to send unbound copies of Huck Finn to “the prominent journals & magazines of the country.” The second questioned Pond’s accounts and the royalties offered Osgood on the Library of Humor; the third seems to be a response to Webster’s (telegram?) about Pond’s accounts and several other matters discussed before—the weekly report Sam wanted, the Bromfield-Rice matter for the North American Review, the bed clamp and a dividend from Western Union stock [MTP]. It is difficult to read all these letters to Webster without feeling sympathy for the man.


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Market Hall, St. Paul, Minnesota.


Charles Webster wrote various business matters; a second letter of financial needs [MTP].


January 24 Saturday – Sam and Cable gave two readings at the The Grand Opera House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, a matinee and an evening performance. According to the Minneapolis Tribune, the matinee reading was “fairly attended” and there was a “full house” in the evening [Railton].


Jane Clemens wrote to Sam & Livy:


      Livy we enjoyed Sam’s short visit very much although very much of the time he was in my room he was writing & I could not talk. In the afternoon our friends came in to see him quite a number of them. I was glad to see them come although I could not talk to Sam. I suppose I am as well as most of old people are. The people here are kind & meet me half way, but I can’t get out this weather. A little baby died in the neighborhood but I can’t go to the funeral. I don’t find a great many old friends here they are most of them gone where I shall very soon follow. Robert Creel died here since I came here his mother and my mother were sisters. Robert’s mother and my mother were sisters. You see I am getting tired & repeat. Sam you remember the Timberman family. Jane came to see me & I called at her house. After William Timberman married and took his wife to live with his mother & sister they could not live together his wife had temper. He moved his wife away afterwards. Timberman was standing in the street talking and dropped dead. Property had been divided.

      Jane & her mother were living together & her mother died. Jane is left alone. Before William was married Jane raised a poor girl called Nancy. She got married. I called to see Jane she told me all about her trials & troubles. Jane had built a nice little cottage on a corner. I don’t remember the street angling from that corner she had built a house for Nancy, her husband and children. Jane said it was the greatest blessing that she raised Nancy. Her husband & children are the greatest blessing on this earth. The winter is very cold here. I don’t go out much. I am not sick much but old age is creeping along. I expect I am as well as people generally are of my age. I don’t feel much the matter. I will tell the children what a beautiful well like a fucia Orion spelt that name this morning. I told him I would not remember I spell it fusia. But trouble will come. A very cold night came & next morning fucia was down. I raised it, proped it, but it all died but the main stem. Such a cold country I wish I was down south. No person about but the girl in the kitchen. Love to all, Mother. Orion, Mollie, the hired girl are very kind. I have no fault to find.

      My memory don’t serve me I have mixed my letter. Mother & Grandma [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1981, 2].


January 25 Sunday – Sam wrote from Minneapolis to Charles Webster, again about business matters—the bed clamp, Osgood’s statement, books sold, American Publishing Co., and money Webster needed, probably for continued production of Huck Finn. Sam ended with,


I ought to have staid at home & written another book. It pays better than the platform [MTP].


The Minneapolis Tribune, p.3: “An Interesting Chat with Clemens and Cable Upon Their Work.” Sam discussed the origins of the reading tour and on sources for HF. Cable took part in the interview. Some excerpts were reprinted elsewhere [Scharnhorst, Interviews 53-6].


January 26 Monday – Sam wrote from Minneapolis to Charles Webster, more of the same—directing him again about putting funds in his name, and sending unbound copies of HF to magazines [MTP].


In the evening Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Philharmonic Hall, Winona, Minnesota. Cable wrote that they had to “rise at 5 tomorrow morning to take cars. O how home-sick I am” [Turner, MT & GWC 91].


In Minneapolis or Winona, Minn. Sam wrote an aphorism to an unidentified person: None genuine without this signature / on the bottle: / Mark Twain / Jan 26/85.” [MTP: Bauman Rare Books online sale Nov. 19, 2009].

January 27 Tuesday – This from Sam’s Jan. 31 letter to Livy
, about visiting Governor Lucius Fairchild and family in Madison, Wisc.:


On the 27th Cable & I walked up from the RR station & happened in on Fairchild & family just as they were ready for dinner. So we dined with them. It is a very nice attractive house, & has a noble view of the beautiful lake, which is very close at hand. Mrs. Fairchild was exceedingly pleasant, & she & Mrs. Conover were full of talk of you & wanted to be remembered to you. Mrs. Conover is Gen. Fairchild’s sister, whom we knew in Paris [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Methodist Church basement, Madison, Wisconsin.


En route from Madison to Milwaukee, Wisc., Sam wrote to Charles Webster, countermanding his previous directive: “Send no copy of the book to ANY newspaper until after the Century or the Atlantic shall have reviewed it.” Sam wanted, as usual, a favorable review to introduce the book before distrubution to the press [MTP].


In Madison, Ozias Pond fell ill, possibly with a heart attack. In spite of this he went with the troupe to Milwaukee, then was forced to bed [Cardwell 52].


January 28 Wednesday – Sam telegraphed from Milwaukee, Wisc. to Charles Webster to draw $5,000 from the “No 2 account” [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Academy of Music in Milwaukee, in front of what the Milwaukee Sentinel called “a small but delighted audience” [Railton].


January 29 Thursday – Sam and Cable gave a second reading at the Academy of Music, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Sentinel reported on Jan. 30: “The audience was much larger than on the previous night and appeared to heartily enjoy the readings” [Railton].


During the performance off stage, George Cable wrote to his wife, Lucy, of the struggle:

Now here is the strangest thing! A house full of people, seemingly highly entertained but feeble in their final applauses. Mark was not called back & I, following, was so feebly encored that I did not feel justified in doing more than bowing. Fact is Mark is under a cloud tonight — feels it, confesses it, but cannot explain it. He doesn’t take hold of his hearers and swing them as usual. There! he gets it at last. Even now it came as a kind of after thought from the audience after they had entirely ceased clapping. But it came good and heartily.

Strongest, heartiest kind of a reception to “Mary’s Ride.” Now Mark is on to finish; but I know he is going to come off wringing his hands with vexation. Fact is our hard railroad travel is telling on us — has let out — slackened — our nerves. Queerly, but truly, we feel it most after a partial resting spell… The clock strikes ten. The end is only a few moments away. Finis. Mark explains it all. He had a warm bath an hour before the reading. He’ll never take another [Turner, MT & GWC 92-3].

The Milwaukee Evening Wisconsin, p. 2: “Talk with Mark Twain.” Sam discussed Canadian copyright, the faulty illustrations in HF, and his nom de plume [Scharnhorst, Interviews 79-81].


January 30 Friday – Sam and Cable gave a reading in Rockford, Illinois. Ralph Emerson and wife wanted Sam to “camp in their house, which is the best one in town (Rockford), but” he had to leave at 11 P.M. in a freight train [Jan. 31 to Livy, MTP]. Ozias Pond remained in Milwaukee, and his brother James was at the Everett House in New York City. James wrote Cable on this day arguing that he shouldn’t be expected to travel back, that he could send a “perfectly honest, industrious man,” but Sam would have none of it—this had been explicit in their contract—either James or his brother Ozias, no substitutes [Cardwell 52-3].


Off stage during Sam’s performance, George Cable wrote his wife Lucy:

I am reminded by something Mark is saying, of what a fine instinctive art he has for the platform. He has worked & worked incessantly on these programmes until he has effected in all of them — there are 3 — a gradual growth of both interest & humor so that the audience never has to find anything less, but always more, entertaining than what precedes it. He says, “I don’t want them to get tired out laughing before we get to the end.” The result is we have always a steady crescendo ending in a double climax. My insight into his careful, untiring, incessant labors are an education … There! It does me good to hear them call him back at the place where the encores generally begin, instead of letting him go as they did in Milwaukee last night [Turner, GWC Bio. 93-4].

Charles Webster wrote twice of various business matters [MTP].

January 31 Saturday – From Davenport, Iowa, Sam wrote of his recent travels to Livy:


“…struck a sleeping-car train at 12.30 [A.M.], but did not go to bed, as we had to change cars at 2.40. Did it, slept till 6, when we reached Rock Island; then Cable & I walked up through the town & over toward this place, when a sleigh overtook & we rode” [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading in Burtis Opera House, Davenport, Iowa. Clemens included: “King Sollermun,” “A Trying Situation,” and “A Ghost Story” [MTPO].


The first major conflict occurred between Sam and Cable, according to Sam’s Feb. 5 to Livy:


It was announced that unless we left (Davenport) that night at 11, we could not meet our Chicago engagement Monday evening [Feb. 2]. Cable calmly said “I cannot travel on Sunday.” I was furious. I said “You will travel on Sunday, just the same,—this time.” He said, “It is in my contract that I am not to travel on Sunday, & I shall not do it.” I said, “Damn your contract. This is the accident of a change of RR service since the appointment was made; & your contract cannot cover accidents, & has got to yield. I am not going to be made a plaything of in order to humor the corpse of a superstition of the Middle Ages” [MTP]. See Feb. 5 entry for the resolution.


Brander Matthews (1852-1929) reviewed HF for the London Saturday Review, observing that though a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the book was of a “higher level” than its precursor. Matthews identified one aspect that has made the book one of the greatest American novels:


We see everything through his [Huck’s] eyes—and they are his eyes and not a pair of Mark Twain’s spectacles. And the comments on what he sees are his comments—the comments of an ignorant, superstitious, sharp, healthy boy, brought up as Huck Finn had been brought up….one of the most artistic things…is the sober self-restraint with which Mr. Clemens lets Huck Finn set down, without any comment at all, scenes which would have afforded the ordinary writer matter for endless moral and political and sociological disquisition [Budd, Reviews 260-1]. See also AMT 2: 475.


January 31? Saturday – Possibly from Davenport, Iowa, Sam wrote to Charles Webster, directing him to:


“…drop in & tell them the agreement was not carried out, & expect them to take the book away & refund the $270 already paid” [MTP]. [The circumstance is not identified further.]


February – A chapter from Huck Finn, “Royalty on the Mississippi, As Chronicled by Huckleberry Finn” ran in the Feb. issue of the Century Magazine, p.544-67 [Camfield, bibliog.]. The same magazine also ran the third of three small (approx. 3” x 4”) display ads, announcing MARK TWAIN’S NEW WORK, with Kemble’s picture of Huck Finn doffing straw hat, “sold only by subscription, agents wanted, Chas. Webster” etc. [MTP, 1884-5 financial files].


Sam wrote a short note to Orion from an unknown place:


“Don’t show that to Ma if it would make her impatient & set her mind to running on such a thing as a so far distant visit” [MTP].


Sam also mentioned the Travelers Insurance Co., and said they “give away those books, they don’t sell them.” This may have been the in-house magazine that Sam once submitted a poem for, “The House That Twain Built” (see 1877 beginning entry).


Early in the month, Charles Webster notified Sam that Huck Finn pre-sales had reached the 40,000 mark [Perry 143]. A month later, things really looked up (see Mar. 16 entry).


Sometime during the month Sam also wrote again from the Everett House in New York to Charles Webster, who must have been out of town. Pond had asked Sam if his brother Homer Pond could become the book agent for Kansas. Sam asked Webster not to forget Homer.


“There are 80,000 Grand Army veterans resident in Kanzas. [sic] & Homer Pond is Grand Commander ” [MTP].


February 1 Sunday – Sam wrote from Chicago, Illinois to Livy, giving her the future reading dates and reviewing the past few days.


…last night we made a great triumph before a great Davenport audience. At 7.45 I was old & seedy & wretched from traveling all night & getting no sleep; but then I drank a big cup of black coffee & went on the stage as fine as a fiddle; answered an encore; was uproariously encored again, immediately; was encored again, straightway, & went on & made a happy excuse, & did the same after another encore at 9.45. I guess we sent that multitude home feeling jolly. It was the only big audience that has assembled in that town since 1875.

Took the train half an hour after midnight—had then been mainly without sleep for 2 days & nights—so we got a stateroom & I slept the night through. When I am in such trim as I was last night, I would rather be on the platform than anywhere in the world [MTP].


Sam did not forget that “tomorrow is the great day”—their fifteenth wedding anniversary.


Myra L. Fuller wrote from Northampton, Mass.—a begging letter for money [MTP].


Sam also wrote from to Charles Webster, directing him to see a “fine notice” in the London Saturday Review. He sent a list of people who should get books, and wanted a half dozen sent to him in Hartford [MTP]. Note: Webster’s of Feb. 4 places Sam’s letter at this date.


Cardwell refers to a “scorching telegram from Twain” to James B. Pond, demanding he return and manage the rest of the tour as provided in the contract. Such a telegram, not in the current MTP files, would have been on or just after the first of February; shortly thereafter, Pond rejoined the group in Chicago [Cardwell, 53].


February 2 Monday – Sam wrote from Chicago, Ill. to Livy, that he loved her dearly fifteen years ago but loved her “more dearly now.” He reflected how they were,


“…well off; but poor [then], compared to what we are now, with the children…those dear rascals” [MTP].


James B. Pond wrote again from New York to George W. Cable, pleading for time and not to be pushed. Pond had Henry Ward Beecher’s arrangements to make on another tour and summer expenses to make. Meanwhile, Ozias was still holed up in Milwaukee, unable to travel [Cardwell 53].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Central Music Hall, Chicago, Illinois. Sam tried a new program (Buck Fanshaw, Agricultural Editor, and the Blue-Jays) and was quite concerned with it, being unable to “deliver it to a dog” without being “full of haltings and stammerings.” From his Feb. 3 to Livy:


“…at 7.30 I drank a big cup of strong black coffee, & at 8.20 went on the platform before a big house & put the Agricultural editor through spiritedly & without a flaw.”


More coffee made the Blue-jays piece a “rattling success” also. Livy had asked if Sam had yet read The Bostonians, by Henry James:


“Yes, I tried to read the Bostonians, but couldn’t. To me it was unspeakably dreary. I dragged along half way through it & gave it up in despair.”


Sam had not yet turned against George W. Cable:


“Speaking of Cable, he is no ordinary man, he is a great man; & I believe that if he continues his fight for the negro (& he will,) his greatness will come to be recognized—& it will be a greatness of a kind & size that will overshadow his merits as a novelist & make them small by contrast” [MTP].


February 3 Tuesday – Sam and Cable gave a second reading at the Central Music Hall, Chicago, Illinois. From the Chicago Tribune, Feb. 3:

A large audience again met George W. Cable and Mark Twain at Central Music Hall last night, leaving only a few seats vacant on the outskirts of the hall. Mr. Cable’s recitations again received intelligent and smiling consideration, while Mr. Clemens convulsed the house with uncontrollable mirth. His account of the runaway slave’s escape from the log cabin under the auspices of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn was irresistible. There will be another reading tonight.

Offstage during Sam’s performance, George Cable wrote his wife, Lucy:

Mark is telling one of his very best numbers & the old surf-roar is booming. They will encore every number to the end.

Ah! what a noble applause calls Mark back, continuing until he has returned entirely back across the broad platform to the footlights.

Funny thing just now. I had been out & sung two Creole songs & on retiring the applause died down & Mark in his nervous way stepping out on the platform a little too promptly was met by a patterning encore intended for the singer. It was awkward for him, but he was equal to the emergency. He stood still a moment, then said in the drollest way imaginable — “I’ll go back and get him” — At which there was a roar of laughter & applause in the midst of which he came back to make his word good. Of course I would not go, so he went back and raised another laugh, saying, “He’s sung all he knows” — and went on with “The Jumping Frog,” which is getting a superb reception [Turner, GWC Bio 181].

Sam wrote from Chicago to Livy (see Feb. 2 entry). He also wrote to Susy Clemens, thanking her for the composition she’d sent, and praising it. He told about a very unusual man at the hotel:


In this hotel, (the Grand Pacific) there is a colored youth who stands near the great dining room door, and takes the hats off the gentlemen as they pass into dinner & sets them away. The people come in shoals & sometimes he has his arms full of hats and is kept moving in a most lively way. Yet he remembers every hat, & when these people come crowding out, an hour, or an hour & a half later he hands to each gentleman his hat & never makes any mistake. I have watched him to see how he did it but I couldn’t see that he more than merely glanced at his man if he even did that much. I have tried a couple of times to make him believe he was giving me the wrong hat, but it didn’t persuade him in the least. He intimated that I might be in doubt, that that he KNEW. / Goodbye honey / Papa


Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, evidently answering a question put to him about where he wanted to read in the days ahead. Sam preferred Toronto and Detroit because “we know both of those cities” and “neither of them has heard our new program” [MTP].


Sam and Cable telegraphed from Chicago to Ozias W. Pond, Plinkinton House, Milwaukee, Wisc., who was ailing and feared near death. Sam had given Ozias a copy of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, and addressed it to “Sir Sagramore le Desirous”—a nickname that stuck:


Now wit you well, Sir Sagrarmore, thou good knight and gentle, that there be two that right wonderly do love thee, grieving passing sore and making great dole at thy heavy travail. And we will well that thou prosper at the hand of the leech, and come lightly forth of thy hurts, and be as thou were tofore [MTP].


Western Union Telegraph Co. Feb. 28 bill shows above telegram sent this day to Chicago, and also one from Newport, R.I., sender not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].


Wales R. McCormick wrote from Quincy, Ill. “Your check recd this a.m. and I am much obliged for same & your promptness. I have forwarded your photos to the parties whom you directed.” He would have liked to spend more time with him, and sometime he’d like to know Sam’s life since leaving Hannibal [MTP].


February 4 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Chicago to Livy:


Livy dear, we hit them again last night, & hit them hard. We have now appeared four times before big audiences here & made a ten-strike every time. The ghost story was simply immense. I made those 1600 people jump as one individual. It is a pity to leave Chicago. We could repeat here a week longer. We go to South Bend, Indiana, this afternoon toward 4 oclock. Charles Warren Stoddard is a Professor of English Literature 2 miles from there in a big Catholic College [MTP]. Note: Sam revealed in his Feb. 5 to Livy that the College was Notre Dame.


Sam also remembered that this was their engagement day, sixteen years before. He enclosed the telegram that Cable had sent to Ozias Pond for the two of them the day before.


Fatout says Sam had a “brief reunion” with Stoddard, and the two “Probably talked about those pleasant London days of almost twelve years before” [Circuit 225].


In the evening Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Opera House, South Bend, Indiana. The South Bend Daily Tribune reported the next day:


Mark Twain, the great humorist and George Washington Cable, the popular novelist, were greeted by a large and enthusiastic audience at the opera house last night, and a better pleased people never sat through a two hours’ entertainment of any sort, in the uncomfortable seats of the old hall.


Charles Webster wrote having rec’d his of the 1st: various business matters, incl. Grant book [MTP].


February 5 Thursday – Sam wrote from South Bend, Indiana to Livy:


Livy dear, we are grinding out the days pretty fast, now that we are at last fairly into the last month & unquestionably on the homestretch. Major Pond [James] is with us, now. He wanted to send his brother Edward, but we needed an expert, not a novice.


He also told of the Jan. 31 argument with Cable over traveling on Sunday (see Jan. 31 entry).


Better information settled the fact that he could start Monday morning at 8 & have abundance of time. If he had missed that engagement, I was going to deliver a lecture about him to the Chicago audience….I do not believe that any vileness, any shame, any dishonor is too base for Cable to do, provided by doing it he can save his despicable Sabbath from abrasion [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. [Feb. 6 to Livy, Sam mentioned having a “most delightful time with the Ft Wayne audience last night,” not listed by Railton; Schmidt verified there’s a record in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel for Feb 6].


Alexander & Green wrote about the hundred Sam sent and the action against The Coker Co.  [MTP].


Morris W. Fechheimer (1844-1866) wrote from Portland, Ore.


Dear Sir, / My sole apology for obtruding in this manner consists in the fact of my having suggested to Mr. Wood the inquiry which you have kindly taken some pains to answer x As you are doubtless aware the Jews for centuries furnished a field upon which every amateur satirist did “flesh his maiden blade,” and each veteran wield his trenchant sword, even Heine, himself one of “The Lords Body Guard” only quitted it with his last breath, so that no sooner had the thought occurred to me that I had found a distinguished exception, than with it came a curiosity to know the reason for such a marked singularity x At the same time I was surprised that this had not been noticed before, for I have noticed comments at various times upon the fact that Scott in Ivanhoe and Lessing in Nathan the Wise were the first authors in their respective countries, who in modern times had represented a Jew in other than the most contemptible light x Now, to me it seems that what under the circumstances you failed to do, is equally as noteworthy as what they did do x Please accept my thanks for your trouble to satisfy my curiosity and explain what, as it would appear, you had not been requested to do before [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “from a distinguished Jew”) [MTP]. Note: Charles E.S. Wood; see Jan. 22 to Wood.


February 6 Friday – In the afternoon, Sam wrote from Layfayette, Indiana to Livy:


We rose at 5.45 this morning & took a train which ought to have had us here at 10.30, but it lost 2 hours on the road. I slept a couple of hours on the way, & I feel rusty & seedy, now. I have not eaten for 12 hours & it will doubtless be another 12 before I do eat; for I got up with a sour stomach. Pond has just been in, mad. He went in to dinner with Cable, who was shown to a table where some children sat; & he whirled on his heel & marched out before everybody in grandiose style & told Pond to have his dinner sent to his room. Pond was deeply mortified at this fantastic exhibition of petty magnificence [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Plymouth Church, Indianapolis, Indiana [Schmidt lists this, Railton does not]. Sam’s black coffee again helped him through the evening reading, according to a Feb. 7 letter to Livy. Sam also mentioned enjoying a reading in Ft. Wayne on Feb. 5 in this letter. At 10:30 In the evening, Maurice Thompson, the poet, came by and visited until midnight.


The Lafayette Courier, p. 1: “Mark Twain Interviewed / His Views upon Subjects of Interest.” Sam joked about the local canal, the courthouse, and George Cable’s effect on audiences [Scharnhorst, Interviews 81-2].


February 7 Saturday – Sam got up at 7 AM and took a train to Indianapolis, Indiana. On the train he wrote to Livy, explaining how black coffee made him “cheerful, & easy, & confidential & conversational with the audience,” but it didn’t protect him from “disastrous lapses of memory which come of over-fatigue.” Sam was counting the days now till he would be home, “at half past 3 on a Sunday morning Feb. 22!” [MTP].


At the Hartford house, Fox, Brusselars & Co., did massive work on the carpet, ceiling and woodwork (see Mar. 2, 1885 entry & bill.)


Sam and Cable gave two readings at the Plymouth Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, a matinee and an evening performance.


Anne D. Cooper wrote from Westfield, N.J. She rec’d his “kind reply” but asked more about the ghost story [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “the cheek of it”


Julia Handover wrote from London asking for an autograph; SASE in file unused [MTP].


Charles Webster, wrote, receipt by Osgood of $3,000 from Webster enclosed, to buy his interest in the Library of Humor [MTP].


February 8 Sunday – Sam wrote from Indianapolis to Livy. He blamed Cable for his own supposed shortcomings:


It is Cable’s fault that I have done inferior reading all this time. He has hogged so much of the platform-time that I have always felt obliged to hurry along at lightning speed in order to keep the performance within bounds; but now I take my own time, & give 25 minutes to pieces which formerly occupied but 15.


If this show were new, I would cut a third of him out of the program….I am paying Cable $450 a week & expenses. He isn’t worth a penny over $200. He is not a novelty anywhere…his same old stuff…doesn’t prepare himself with untried matter….He will find a sickly way of making a living [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, excited about the possibility of publishing Grant’s memoirs. Sam reminded that he was reading in Brooklyn Feb. 21 and he wanted to see him at the Everett House that day.


You can bring a Huck Finn in a nice binding, & I will write in it & we will send it to Col. Fred Grant’s eldest little girl.


Sam also suggested sending out 300 press copies early; he suggested Feb. 23, without waiting for the magazines. He ended with the matter of D. Appleton & Co.’s “humiliating swindle” of $300 for their “Artistic Homes.” Sam wanted to know what Webster thought of his plan to order “several hundred dollars’ worth of books” from them and then…


“…tell them to come & cart away the Artistic Homes & pay back my $300 & they can have the other books; or, if they prefer, I will come to New York & be sued for the other books & state my case to the interviewers” [MTP].


Sam also wrote a note to Susy Clemens, quoting from Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.


There isn’t that beautiful? In this book one finds out where Tennyson got the quaint & pretty phrases which he uses in The “Idyls of the king” —“Lightly” & “Wave” & the rest. Yes you must read it when I come sweetheart. Kiss Momma for me; & Ben & Jean / Papa [MTP].


February 9 Monday – In Indianapolis, Sam wrote Livy a letter full of indignation and disgust with George W. Cable. He told of Cable interrupting an anecdote at a Saturday evening reception to tell him he was leaving (due to the Sabbath). Sam accused Cable of “insulting & insolent ways with servants” and relayed Pond’s opinion that the “servants of the Everett House all hate him,” and that he would starve himself if on his own expenses, but his “appetite is insatiable” if “somebody else is paying….” Sam said Cable wouldn’t even cross a bridge on a Sunday, though he’d wanted to hear Beecher. For Sam this was:


“…the most beggardly disease, the pitiful, the most contemptible mange that ever a grown creature was afflicted withal” [MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Comstock’s Opera House, Columbus, Ohio. Sam told of the day and the performance in his Feb. 10 letter:


Livy darling, rode all day in a smoking car, stopping every 30 yards, arrived here in a rain storm about 2 hours after dark, jumped into evening dress in a desperate hurry & came before a full Opera house of the handsomest people you ever saw, & made them shout, & tore them all to pieces till half past 10, & not an individual deserted till the thing was over [MTP].


February 10 Tuesday – Sam and Cable gave a reading in Opera House, Delaware, Ohio [MTPO].


Sam wrote from Columbus, Ohio to Livy (continued from above):


….After the show (& a hot supper, Pond & I did play billiards until 2 a.m., & then I scoured myself in the bath, & read & smoked till 3, then slept till half past 9, had my breakfast in bed, & now have just finished that meal & am feeling fine as a bird [MTP].


Sam also complained again about Cable keeping “his program strung out to one hour, in spite of all” he could do. Sam was especially sick of Cable’s piece, “Mary’s Night Ride,” a sentimental episode at the end of Cable’s novel, Dr. Sevier, where Mary Richling crosses Confederate lines to reach her dying husband [LLMT 236].


And it is in every program. This pious ass allows an “entirely new program” to be announced from the stage & in the papers, & then comes out without a wince or an apology & jerks that same old Night Ride on the audience again [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, pessimistic about upcoming sales of Huck Finn, and suggesting papers to send copies “bound & unbound” to. “Never send any to N.Y. Graphic,” he warned [MTP].


Cable wrote home of seeing Ohio Governor George Hoadly, and of his later visit to talk with Sam [Turner, MT & GWC 100].


Sarah E. Griswold wrote from Brattleboro, Vt. About her cousin the cigar manufacturer, a cripple since youth [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Order sent for one box of cigars”


February 11 Wednesday – Sam and Cable gave a reading sponsored by the Union Library Association, at the First Congregational Church, Oberlin, Ohio. Reviews were mixed [Cardwell 58]. Clemens included: “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “A Trying Situation,” “A Ghost Story,” and “Incorporated Company of Mean Men” [MTPO].


Horace E. Rounds wrote from Milwaukee for autograph & photo [MTP].

February 12 Thursday
– Sam and Cable gave a reading to a packed house at Whitney’s Opera House
, Detroit, Michigan. Even though there was a scheduling conflict with a high society event, the Light Guard’s Grand Levee Honors for Governor Russell A. Alger (1836-1907), and even though the thermometer had plummeted to 20 to 30 degrees below zero, “Luke Sharp” (Robert Barr, 1849-1912) of The Detroit Free Press reported the following Sunday that the audience was large and pleased [Denney 26].


George Cable wrote to his wife, Lucy:


“Clemens found himself as heavy as lead—I mean in his own consciousness, and although the audience showed some heartiness of appreciation while he was before them, yet he came off disheartened, vexed & full of lamentations over his condition” [Turner, MT & GWC 101].


In Detroit, Mich. Sam wrote to George Iles.

My Dear Iles: / I am so driven that I am obliged to cut correspondence down to telegrams; but I must drop just a line to thank you for your kindnesses & courtesies, {O, h—l, it’s platform time}



I got your other telegram a while ago, & answered it, explaining that I have only a couple of hours in the middle of the day for social life. I know it doesn’t seem rational that a man should have to lie abed all day in order to be rested & equipped for talking an hour at night, & yet in my case & Cable’s it is so. Unless I get a great deal of rest, a ghastly dullness settles down upon me, on the platform, & turns my performance into work, & hard work, whereas it ought always to be pastime, recreation, solid enjoyment. Usually it is just this latter; but that is because I take my rest faithfully, & prepare myself to do my full duty by my audience. I am the obliged & appreciative servant of my brethren of the Snow-Shoe Club, & nothing in the world would delight me more than to come to their hours without naming time or terms on my own part—but you see how it is. My cast-iron duty is to my audience—it leaves me no liberty & no option. With my kindest regards & compliments to the Club & to you, I am … [MTP].

Sam began a routine of eating his dinner late, this one at 11 P.M. [Feb. 13 to Livy, MTP]. Western Union Telegraph Co. Feb. 28 bill shows telegram sent this day to So. Manchester, Mass, recipient not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].


February 13 Friday – At 9 A.M. Sam wrote from Detroit, Michigan to Livy, whose last letter transmitted a hint by some Hartford charity for Cable to perform for their benefit. Sam wanted no part of trying to coax or persuade Cable to donate his time. “I imagine that if a charity wants his in-his-opinion-almighty aid that charity will have to pay dollars for it.” Sam didn’t want Livy to allow herself, “to be in any way, directly or indirectly, concerned in the applying to him.” Sam recalled that Cable had charged a charity in New Orleans, and believed “he wouldn’t read in Heaven for nothing” [MTP].


To an unidentified person, Sam inscribed the back of his photograph by Sarony, 87 Union Square, N.Y.: “Sincerely Yours / S.L Clemens / Mark Twain / Feb. 13, 1885 [MTP].


Sam took the train for Canada where he and Cable gave a reading in London, Canada. In the audience were 151 girls, by Sam’s estimate, from Helmuth Female College [Cardwell 61]. After the lecture, Sam met many of the girls as well as the principal, who offered to send a sleigh for Sam and Cable in the morning if he would visit the college. Sam agreed [Feb. 15 to Susy Clemens]. Cable wrote that this reading was in the Y.M.C.A. hall [Turner, MT & GWC 104].


February 14 Saturday – Sam was introduced to tobogganing by 74 young ladies from Helmuth Female College, “2 ½ miles” out from town. It was twelve below zero.


You sit in the midst of a row of girls on a long broad board with its front curled up, & away you go, like lightning….the sport was so prodigiously exciting & entertaining that it was well for us it was cut short by telephonic message that the train was being held for us; otherwise we should have tired ourselves to death…Tobagganing is very violent fun…[Feb. 15 to Livy; MTP].


Sam and Cable gave a reading in Toronto, Canada, again at the Horticultural Gardens Pavilion. This time the audience was only half as large as their Dec. 8 and 9 sellouts a few weeks before [Roberts 22].


Charles Webster sent Sam a financial report that showed Sam earning $14,168.50 for the tour through the week ending Feb. 7 [Cardwell 11].


February 15 Sunday – While Sam most likely slept in, Cable attended morning service at a Toronto Methodist church, and again at a 3 PM Sunday school [Roberts 22].


Sam wrote from Toronto to Livy about the tobogganing fun of the previous day. He also wrote to Susy Clemens about the “girl’s college in the country” (Helmuth College) near London, Canada where he tobogganed (see Feb.14 entry) [MTP].


Sam also wrote Charles Webster to “draw up a contract in accordance with the enclosed, & have it ready for the signatures when we reach the Everett House Feb. 21” Also, “the death of that Southern obscene pirate [Coker] ends that suit to my satisfaction,” so tell Whitford of it [MTP].


Sam also wote to Noah Brooks:


My Dear Brooks — The both of us thank you most heartily for your kind offer, but to our great regret we have got to lose the opportunity. Business matters will keep me in New York till the latest moment; & besides, the platform is an exacting damned institution, & does not permit me to eat anything after 2 o’clock p.m.—have to talk on an empty stomach always. But I hope you will give me a chance to look at you that night & have a shake of your hand for old friendship’s sake. / Sincerely yours / S.L. Clemens [ABE Books, John K. King Rare Books, 7/26/2010].


The Detroit Free Press, p. 15 by Luke Sharp: “The Re-Mark-Able Twain.” Backstage remarks by Sam and George [Scharnhorst, Interviews 82-5].


February 16 Monday – In a Feb. 17 letter to Livy, Sam explained why he did not write on Feb. 16. On the train all day, Cable asked to borrow Sam’s writing pad. Though it was “pretty thin,” Sam thought there’d be enough. Cable wrote eight letters and used up the pad.


“I was so disappointed & so mad that I spoke my mnd rather freely—at least in manner, though not so much in words. (He has never bought one single sheet of paper or an envelop in all these 3 ½ months—sponges all his stationery … from the hotels. His body is small, but it is much too large for his soul” [MTP].


In the evening Sam and Cable gave a reading in Grand Opera House, Brockville, Canada. Cable wrote,  “We did not read in Kingston. The appointment was changed to Brockville…” [Turner, MT & GWC 108].


Elder Publishing wrote to promote Literary Life, a monthly out of Chicago. They would send a sample upon hearing from him [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Impudent . No answer”


February 17 Tuesday – Sam and Cable gave a reading in Opera House, Ottawa, Canada.


Sam wrote from Brockville, Canada to Charles Webster. Sam still had not heard if Osgood had sent a statement for the account.


I have paid Osgood for 50,000 Mississippis, bound & complete. He has not accounted to me for more than 33,000. You speak of a remainder of 6,000. What has he done with the other 11,000? Follow him up sharply in the matter; for I want to know [MTP].


Sam wrote to Livy en route from Brockville to Ottowa, Canada, explaining why he didn’t write the day before (see Feb. 16 entry). The letter is a rant on Cable’s shortcomings, including the famous line, “He is the pitifulest louse I have ever known.” Sam finished the letter complaining that the train would be all day going 3 hours worth. He described a man with “enormous cluster-diamond” jewelry, and made an entry about it in his notebook as well [MTP; MTNJ 3: 93].


St. James’s Club, Montreal, per H. Mackenzie sent an engraved card conferring “privileges of the club” upon him for two weeks [MTP].


February 18 Wednesday – The official U.S. publication date for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Oxford edition, 1996]. Note: other dates are sometimes given, for example, Budd in MT “Collected” gives Feb. 16 [978]. In the first month the book sold 42,000 copies [Willis 161]. By the year 2000, the book had sold perhaps twenty million copies and approximately 60 foreign editions [162].


Ozias Pond finally left Milwaukee and returned to New York [Cardwell 53].


En route from Ottowa to Montreal, Sam began a letter to Livy, to which he added a P.S. on Feb. 19 in Montreal. Sam stayed at the Windsor Hotel.


“On board the train, Feb. 18/85. / This is a most superb winter morning—snow up to the fence-tops splendid sunshine, no wind, white smoke floating up in lazy columns from the scattered log houses, the distances vague & soft in a haze that is lightly tinted with blue” [MTP].


The Athenænum Club, a literary society of high rank, held a reception for the reading troupe at the Windsor from 4:30 to 6:00. Some 200 leading citizens, mostly ladies, were there to meet Sam and George. A long list of attendees was printed in the Feb. 19 Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette along with a notice for the next evening’s performance [Cardwell 62].


Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Queen’s Hall, Montreal, Canada.


Afterward, Sam gave an impromptu speech at Tuque Bleue Snowshoe Club in Montreal Canada.


“Husky young club members seized Clemens, Cable, and the huge major [Pond] and tossed them repeatedly to the ceiling. Each of the visitors made speeches, Cable sang “Pov’ Piti Momzel Zizi,” club members sang a snowshoe song, and, finally, all joined in “God Save the Queen” [Cardwell 63].


The Brockville (Canada) Evening Recorder, p.1: “Mark Twain’s Wicked Moments.” A reporter wrote down some of Sam’s dinner-table conversation [Scharnhorst, Interviews 86].


February 18 or 19 Thursday – Sam wrote from Montreal to Captain Jim Smith, declining an invititation to some event. “The readers connected with this circus must attend strictly to business—no social life allowed them” [MTP].


Zon gives us a “not as yet cataloged” “reply” from Sam to Henry Perkins Goddard (1842-1916), written “in Montreal:

“MY DEAR CAPTAIN,—We thank you ever so much, but we can’t. The readers connected with this circus must attend strictly to business—no social life allowed them. / Sincerely yours, / S. L. Clemens” [323].

February 19 Thursday – Sam’s P.S. to his Feb. 18 to Livy, simply added that he’d “talked here in Montreal last night.” Before the reading Sam wrote another letter to Livy, enclosing the itinerary for the tour for February. Livy had referred twice to an invitation sent Sam but he’d not heard of nor seen of one for “the Union for Home Work ladies.” If they wanted him to speak, he hoped it would be set for “some time in the first fortnight of March, so that” he would “still be fresh & not have to use a book” [MTP]. Cable wrote home that he received Dr. Louis Fréchette at 3 PM [Turner, MT & GWC 112].


Sam and Cable gave a second reading at the Queen’s Hall, Montreal, Canada.


Charles C. DeZouche  (1830-1896) wrote from Montreal:


“Your ‘Tragical tale of a Fishwife’ [in “The Awful German Language” in A Tramp Abroad] last night reminded me that I, too, tried to learn German. It was years ago, and when I had crept in, about up to my ankles, I discovered words which looked badly, sounded badly, and almost smelled badly.” He included a poem with such words and then asked for Sam’s autograph [MTP].

February 20 Friday – En route from Montreal
 to New York City Sam wrote to Livy. He’d sent a toboggan for the children but cautioned, “They better not try to use it till I come.” He wrote just as the train left the Lake Champlain area.


You look miles & miles out over the frozen snow—white floor of the Lake, with the dazzling sun upon it, & huge blanket-shadows of the clouds gliding over it, & here & yonder a black spec on the remote level, & away on the far further shore a dim & dreamy range of mountains rises gradually up & disappears in a ragged, low-hanging leaden curtain of clouds [MTP].


The Montreal Evening Star, p3: “Movements of Clemens and Cable.” A reporter was nearby when Sam chatted and toboganned with the college girls [Scharnhorst, Interviews 53-6]. (See Feb. 14 entry.)


In the evening, Sam and Cable gave a reading in Town Hall, Saratoga, New York. Fatout reveals that “the Town Hall was so cold that the audience wrapped in ulsters and capes” [Circuit 228]. Clemens included: “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “A Trying Situation,” and “A Ghost Story” [MTPO].


February 21 Saturday – Upon arriving in New York, Sam and Cable breakfasted with Ozias Pond and his wife, Nella. He inscribed a copy of the newly published Huck Finn for Ozias, whose health had improved [Cardwell 64]. Sam then immediately made his way to the home of General Grant, hopeful that Grant’s memoirs would be given to Webster & Co. [Perry 137]. Grant confirmed that he, his son, and George W. Childs had been negotiating with Webster, since Sam’s last call (see Nov. 20, 1884 entry). “I mean you shall have the book—I have made up my mind about that,” Grant said [138]. The bad news was the doctors gave Grant “only a few weeks to live.” (See Perry’s Grant and Twain for the full story.)


Sam went straight to the offices of his nephew, Charles Webster, and directed him to finish the details on the Grant contract and deliver it to his home. Sam agreed to hire a stenographer to help Grant finish the work. Noble E. Dawson was chosen—he’d been with Grant in Mexico [Perry 140-1].


Sam and Cable gave a reading in the Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York. From the Brooklyn Eagle for Feb. 22:


The Academy of Music was well filled last night by an audience which was entertained by Mark Twain and George W. Cable. It is not long since these gentlemen visited Brooklyn, but they have entirely failed to exhaust their welcome. Both readers were in excellent humor, their drolleries competing with the more pathetic efforts by which the programme was diversified [MTP]. Note: Others misidentify this reading as New York City; Brooklyn was an independent city prior to 1898. Fatout lists the take from this reading as $983 [Circuit 218].


He also inscribed a copy of Huck Finn with this date and city to an unidentified person [MTP].


Twichell’s journal holds tickets to the dedication of the Washington Monument this date [Yale, copy at MTP].


 February 23 Monday – Sam and Cable gave a reading at the Opera House in New Haven, Conn. [New Haven Evening Register for Feb. 18, 21 and 23].


J. Chipchase wrote from Baltimore about losing money on an offer by Bissell’s [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Bissel’s victim & my reply”


February 25 WednesdayCable’s Feb. 26 letter home:


Had a great time in Newark last night; one of the finest nights we have had for some ten days. Orange [NJ] was very poor—i.e. the audience was slim; which was a great surprise to us & not to be accounted for [Turner, MT & GWC 113]. Note: Although not listed in Railton or Schmidt, it seems from this letter that the men read in both places, probably a matinee and an evening performance.


James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) sent a copy of his first book, a small 50-page volume, “The Old Swimmin’-Hole,” and ‘Leven More Poems (1883). Riley wrote that Sam’s “characters and their varied dialects…have interested and delighted me for many years, and in thanking you …I beg you to accept the little book of Hoosier dialect…” [Gribben 580]. Note: Riley, Indiana writer and poet known as the “Hoosier Poet” and the “Children’s Poet.”


Western Union Telegraph Co. Feb. 28 bill shows telegram sent this day to New York, recipient not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].


Charles Webster wrote to make a case for higher wages and % of profits [MTP].


February 26 Thursday – Sam saw Nat Goodwin, actor and vaudevillian, on the train going to Philadelphia. Goodwin told Sam he was “very anxious to play” the Sellers as Scientist [Feb. 27 to Howells].

In the evening Sam and Cable gave a reading to an audience of about 3,000 at the Academy of Music
 in Philadelphia, Penn. Clemens included: “A Dazzling Achievement,” “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “Incorporated Company of Mean Men,” and “The Bluejay’s Mistake” [MTPO].


Fatout, citing Pond’s finance records says the $918 take reflected a crowd of one thousand [Circuit 218]. From Cable to his wife on Feb. 27:


It was the finest sight I have ever looked at from the platform. And I had great success. As to Mark his was not up to high water mark though — excuse me, the pun was accidental — he created much enthusiasm. I don’t see what is the matter with him except that he seems tired out. [Turner, MT & GWC 113].


Sam inscribed a copy of HF to Erroll and Gwendolyn Scoville-Drake: To Gwennie and Erroll Scoville-Drake— / with the best wishes and kindest regards of the author. / New York, February 26, 1885” [MTP].


Western Union Telegraph Co. Feb. 28 bill shows a telegram sent to New York, recipient not specified (see entry for others) [MTP].


February 27 Friday – Sam wrote from Philadelphia to William Dean Howells:


To-night in Baltimore, to-morrow afternoon & night in Washington, & my four-months platform campaign is ended at last. It has been a curious experience. It has taught me that Cable’s gifts of mind are greater & highter than I had suspected. But—


That “But” is pointing toward his religion. You will never know, never divine, guess, imagine, how loath-some a thing the Christian religion can be made until you come to know & study Cable daily & hourly. Mind you, I like him; he is pleasant company; I rage & swear at him sometimes, but we do not quarrel; we get along mighty happily together; but in him & his person I have learned to hate all religions. He has taught me to detest the Sabbath-day & hunt up new & troublesome wasy to dishonor it [MTP]. Note: Fatout, using Pond’s records, lists the take for the Baltimore reading at $754 [Circuit 218].


Sam planned to return to New York City on Monday and stay one or two days, “mainly at Webster’s office,” so he asked Howells if he’d write him there (Sam was in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Mar. 2, but may have left that day for New York.)


Sam and Cable traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, where they gave a reading at the Oratorio Hall. Clemens included: “A Dazzling Achievement,” “A Ghost Story,” “Jumping Frog” and “The Bluejay’s Mistake” [MTPO].


February 28 Saturday – Sam and Cable read at the Congregational Church, Washington, D.C.


Note: Fatout gives figures from Pond’s cashbook, listing $789 as the take from this reading [Circuit 218]. Thus ended the “Twins of Genius” tour: total gross receipts, $46,201, from which Cable’s salary and expenses took more than $20,000. Cable earned $6,750, Sam approximately $15,000, and Pond’s commissions “a modest $2500 to $3000” [228].


Howells responded to Sam’s Feb. 27 letter, advising him to “let Goodwin have the play.” Howells thought Nat Goodwin would pay more than Raymond offered. As to the complaints about Cable’s religion, Howells recalled that he came to tea and made “me go to church with him…” [MTHL 2: 521].


Western Union Telegraph Co. billed Sam $2.03 for February telegrams sent: Feb. 3 to Chicago and from Newport; Feb. 12 to So. Manchester [Mass.], Feb. 25, 26 to New York; paid Mar. 4 [MTP].


William L. Alden wrote that he’d read excerpts of HF in the Century “& enjoyed them more than I ever enjoyed any magazine articles anywhere” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “very personal letter unanswered”


March – Sam inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to Edith Beecher: To Edith Beecher with the very best wishes of Mark Twain March 1885 [MTP].

Sam made many day trips to New York during the month, as General Grant’s strength waned. From Perry:

“It was as if Grant, Julia, Fred, the doctors, and all of his regular visitors had now steeled themselves for Grant’s last campaign. This was true also of Twain, who came from Hartford nearly every day to visit the offices of Charles L. Webster & Co before stopping at 66th Street to check on Grant’s condition and his progress on the memoirs” [Perry 162].

Charles Webster moved the publishing co. to bigger rooms at 42 E. 14th Street in early March, right after signing the Grant contract [AMT 2: 494].

Karl Gerhardt was given the commission to sculpt the Nathan Hale statue for the capitol in Hartford [Schmidt].

March-June, 1885 – Ulysses S. Grant wrote a small card note to Clemens: “There is much more that I could do if I was a well man. I do not write quite as clearly as I could if well If I could read it over myself many little matters of anecdote and incident would suggest themselves to me.” [MTP].

March 1 SundayWashington, D.C.: George W. Cable wrote home that he spent the day with friends “Carrie Henderson & her husband Lieut. Wadhams.” Cable wrote: “Clemens was with us. I got him out to church at last!” [Turner, MT & GWC 114].

From Sam’s notebook:

In October, I will go to Pittsfield & read “Mental Telegraphy” to the Young Ladies Club—a promise made to Miss Dawes. Mch 1/85 [MTNJ 3: 99 & n106].

Note: See Oct. 7, 1885 entry. Miss Anna Laurens Dawes, daughter of Senator Henry L. Dawes of Mass., was a Washington correspondent from Pittsfield, Mass.

John Henry Boner (1845-1903) wrote from Wash. DC “Let me thank you once more for your kind words, written and spoken. Farewell—and joy be with you” [MTP].

March 2 Monday ­– Sam wrote from Washington, D.C. to J. Chipchase, who evidently solicited information on Feb. 23 from Sam about the American Bank Note & Co. stock, and called Sam “shrewd.” The stock was down, no doubt, as Sam answered he was:

…too shrewd to ever again invest in anything put on the market by George P. Bissell & Co., of Hartford, Conn…He sold me $10,000 worth of another rose-tinted stock about the same time. I have got that yet, also…A financial scheme advertised in any religious paper is a thing which any living person ought to know enough to avoid; & when the factor is added that a Mallory runs that religious paper, a dead person ought to know enough to avoid it [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Livy about the uniqueness of Washington:

Similarity between Washington and other cities probably doesn’t exist. The differences are almost innumerable. The city is big; it is also small; it is broad it is narrow; sometimes it is wet, sometimes it is clouded with dust. The sun rises early, without a smile, thinly veiled and cold; later it burns like Hell; still later the clouds rise up, and suddenly you find yourself engulfed in darkness, wet through with rain—and, as a consequence—your moral state quite probably upset. Before you can open your umbrella, the bad weather has again vanished and everything lies in bright sunshine. You shut your eyes, deliver a solemn “Thank God,” open your eyes again, and Holy Moses, its snowing! [MTP].

Fox, Brusselars & Co., Hartford billed Sam $205.44 for Feb. 7 work: “upholstery mtls and labor, carpet lining; labor decorating ceiling and on woodwork; 130 yds materials”; paid; Fox & Co. “fine groceries, teas, wines & segars” billed $12.57 “to Mdse as per pass book” [MTP].

March 3 Tuesday – The New York Times printed a small announcement paragraph on page 5:

Messrs. Charles L. Webster & Co, publishers of this city, have been engaged by Gen. Grant to publish his forthcoming book entitled “Personal Reminiscences.” The book is in two volumes of about 500 pages each, and is to be sold only by subscription. The manuscript of the first volume is ready for the press and will be issued soon. Gen. Grant is engaged every day upon the second volume, which is well advanced toward completion.

Sam must have preferred a low-key announcement, perhaps due to General’s failing health, or possibly to avoid controversy with the Century Magazine which had assumed publication of the memoirs (see Mar. 8 entry).

Sam traveled to New York City (see Mar. 4 N.Y. Times).

Orion Clemens wrote thanks for the monthly checks. He’d finished Richard I on his research/writing; his diet of only oatmeal crackers and half cup of coffee; Sam going to Europe made him feel lonesome [MTP].

March 4 WednesdayGeneral Grant had resigned his commission rather than wait till retirement, which left him without retirement income. Upon failure of Grant & Ward brokerage firm on Wall Street, the General was bankrupt. Chester A. Arthur’s last act as out-going president was to sign the bill reinstating Grant’s pension (See Perry’s Grant and Twain for a full account of the political machinations.) Sam was there when the General got the good news telegram.

The New York Times reported under “Personal Intelligence,” p.8, that Sam was staying at the Everett House, which would show (given the normal one day delay of local reporting) that Sam arrived in New York from Washington on Mar. 3. He telegraphed from New York to Livy on Mar. 4:

We were at General Grants at noon and a telegram arrived that the last act of the expiring congress late this morning retired him with full Generals rank and accompanying emoluments. The effect upon him was like raising the dead. We were present when the telegram was put in his hand [MTP; AMT 2: 496].

Text Box: March 4, 1885 – Grover Cleveland sworn in – 22nd 
President of the United States




March 5 Thursday – Sam reached Hartford and home in the afternoon. He wrote from there to Orion and Mollie Clemens. He thought it best to put off a reading-trip to England and Australia until the next year as he wanted to closely supervise the canvas of Grant’s biography, which Webster & Co. would publish. Upon reflection he wrote,

“Ma seems to be growing young again very fast” [MTP].

The Boston Evening Traveler called Huck Finn, “singularly flat, stale, and unprofitable” [Perry 146].

Charles Webster wrote various business matters: Grant book scheme [MTP].

March 6 Friday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster, reporting that the furnace had not been improved, even “after spending all that money” to do so. Livy claimed it was even “less capable than it was before.” Get right on it, Charley, and let Sam know what the furnace repairman says [MTP].

Also, on or about this day, Sam wrote again to Webster, not to forget he wanted a dozen of his photos from Sarony’s, and that the furnace “threatens to quit heating the house altogether” [MTP].

March 8 Sunday – Sam’s coup of Grant’s memoirs, though not widely proclaimed, had been noticed. The Brooklyn Eagle, on p. 2 reported that Sam was in New York:

There is a great deal more bitterness than he [a Century man] intimated, and it is certain that no more papers by Grant will appear in the Century. Some say that Mark Twain has incidentally closed the pages of the magazine to any further transcripts from his forthcoming books, which will be a loss of advertising. He is in town to help Webster in the new project. The terms of the partnership between them and the Grants are not divulged, further than that Mark advances the considerable capital required to put the books on the market.

March 9 Monday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Roswell Smith, editor/owner of the Century Magazine.

All right—I’ve just written to Cable; & when he gives me the date I want him to furnish it to you & Gilder also, so you can work out the N.Y. end of the enterprise.

The rest of the letter involves an “Imperial Dictionary” that Sam wanted to buy at the cheapest rate. Just what the “enterprise” was with Cable, Gilder, and Smith, is unclear, but may have been a sop to the Century for scooping Gen. Grant’s Memoirs.

Reviews of Huck Finn came in slowly; the San Francisco Examiner was one of the first to do so, but found the book “ very much the same character as many of the author’s Pacific Coast sketches, in the utter absence of truth…” [Perry 144].

Jane Clemens wrote to Sam & family, and finished it on Mar. 10: “When you all get over on the other side of the world, I don’t expect to see you again…If I live until the 18th of June I will be 82 years old” [MTP].

 March 10 Tuesday – The Hartford Daily Courant, page one, printed “Grant’s War Reminiscences,” which included Sam’s comments on how he acquired the contract to publish the Memoirs.

Richard Watson Gilder for Century Magazine wrote urging Sam to come and consult with them about the Grant matter. Gilder was reacting to announcements made about Grant’s Memoirs by the Webster Co. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Had a talk about it”

A.P.T. Elder for Elder Publishing Co., sent a printed circular (Literary Life) asking his opinion and an article of 2,500 or 3,000 words [MTP].

U.S. (no further identification) wrote from Cleveland, Ohio, a scathing blast on a postcard to Clemens:

For Gods sake give a suffering public a rest on your labored wit.—Shoot your trash & quit it.—You are only an imitator of ARTEMIS WARD & a sickening one at that & we are all sick of you. For Gods sake take a tumble & give U.S. a rest.— / U.S.— [MTP]. Note: no specific work was mentioned, but HF was published in the U.S. a month earlier.

March 11 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Casey. He addressed Casey as “Ex-President.” This is probably the Charles Casey Sam wrote to on May 15, 1876, president of a “Mark Twain Fan Club” in Ireland.

I hurried all I could, but it was a very very severe strain upon that part of my bowels which is called my intellect, & I perceived long ago that I had not asked for time enough on that problem by as much as two years. Well, there is a another & a longer world, & I will think it out there. It is not one of these ephemeral questions, anyway [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Andrew Chatto, informing him of excellent sales of Huck Finn in the U.S., his completed reading tour, and Grant’s autobiography, which he planned to issue Dec. 1.

General Grant will own his foreign copyrights himself, but Webster will go abroad in August & make the contracts with publishers for him. Webster will necessarily have to make the best trade he can for the General, but I want you to think it over & be prepared to make an offer that will put the book into your hands.

General Grant’s death will strike this country to the heart when it comes; & we are afraid it is not far away now. He is failing steadily, & the disease is incurable [MTP].

Sam also wrote to James Whitcomb Riley. Sam admired Riley and complimented him on his poem the “Old Swimmin’ Hole,” saying “what a strong text it was,” and how well he handled it [MTP]. Note: see Mary Bowe’s article in Fall 1995 Traces, “On Stage and Off with James Whitcomb Riley and Mark Twain.”

Howells wrote an invitation for Sam and Livy to visit him in Boston [MTHL 2: 522].

George Farquhar Marchmont wrote from the Phila. Hospital for the Insane [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “lunatic”

March 12 ThursdayReginald Cholmondeley wrote having read he was “about to visit England” and asked for him to send his address. He added, “I have been reading Huckleberry Finn with delight. You appear to be inexhaustible & evergreen but is it possible that blood-feuds really existed in Arkansas within 50 years? I want to present you to the original Bilgewater” [MTP].

D.W. Howland wrote. See Mar. 13 to Howells [MTP].

March 13 Friday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster about an offer made by the Rose Publishing Co. of Toronto, Canada (see also Dec. 8, 1884 entry). Sam advised Webster not to trust Rose’s word, but to draw a contract or bond that would “tie him fast to it,” such as a forfeit.

“I think his proposition indicates two things, 1. That our Canadian copyright is strong, this time; & 2, that he wants the Grant book” [MTP].

On or about this day Sam sent a one-liner to Howells about D.W. Howland:

“Who is this man, Howells? tell me, & return me his cheeky damned letter. Mark [MTP].

The note was written on a letter from D.W. Howland to Sam, dated Mar. 12, 1885. Howland wrote that he was gathering after-dinner speeches for a book and would Sam offer suggestions [MTHL 2: 522].

March 14 Saturday – In New York City, Sam autographed a banquet invitation at Delmonico’s to British actor Henry Irving. About this day Sam presented the proofs of volume one of Grant’s Memoirs to the General for his approval [Perry 166]. Note: Sam may have been in New York between this day and Mar. 20, since Perry puts this presentation of proofs as the “third week in March.”

Sam also wrote from Hartford to James B. Pond, a letter which puts into question the date of the surprise P&P performance by Susy Clemens and cast:

My boy, you ought to have been here tonight to see Susie & Clara & a dozen of the neighbors’ children play half a dozen stirring scenes from the Prince & the Pauper—one of the prettiest private theatrical performances I have ever seen. Audience of 25 neighbors. Mrs. Clemens has been drilling these kids 3 or 4 weeks in their parts, & to-night the thing was sprung on me as a surprise. When it is repeated, you must run up & see it [MTP].

Was this the first performance, later recalled by Sam and cited by others as pre-Christmas 1884 during the break from Sam’s tour with Cable? Or, was this the first follow-up show? (See Dec. 19, 1884 entry).

Sam also told Pond he was coming down to New York “next Friday, arriving at 6,” and would “stay over Sunday.”

39,000 copies of Huck Finn sold by this date [Budd, “Collected” 978].

Charles Webster wrote “Huck Finn is a success…I have sold 39,000 books” He had contracts of another 6,000 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Re – Huck / 46,000 copies”

March 15 Sunday – The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle loved Huck Finn:

Anyone who has ever lived in the Southwest, or who has visited that section, will recognize the truth of all these sketches and the art with which they are brought into this story [Perry 144-5].

William L. Alden wrote “I would if I could but I am not a man of authority, having editors under me. I proposed it to the authorities, but they didn’t seem to see it. … / I have just read Huck through in course. It is the best book ever written” [MTP].

March 16 Monday – The Concord, Mass. Public Library banned Huck Finn from its shelves (see Sam’s Mar. 18 to Webster). The Boston Globe reported the event on the following day.

Sam inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to Edwin P. Parker: “To / Rev E.P. Parker / with the warmest / regards of / The Author. / Hartford, March 16, 1885 [MTP].

Sam also wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, who had written with the news of great early sales of Huck Finn:

“Your news is splendid. Huck certainly is a success, & from the standpoint of my own requirement. This result sets my fears about at rest as regards the General’s book. It insures a sudden sale of 250,000 copies of the first volume.”

Sam also warned Webster to “keep on good terms with the Century people,” and not to overwork (“overwork killed Mr. Langdon, & it can kill you”). He wanted to be notified each time Webster sold a thousand copies of HF. Sam advised him that he’d be at the Everett House on Friday at 6 PM [MTP].

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote having just rec’d HF and expected “great pleasure from it,” as he had all of Twain’s books, beginning with The Jumping Frog [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote: “I was not joking the other day in suggesting to you that you should write out your experiences in the Rebel Army” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Only said I would see about it in August”

March 17 Tuesday – In Hartford, Sam inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to Margaret Warner, daughter of George Warner: “To / Margaret Warner / with the love of / The Author / Hartford March 17, 1885 [MTP].

The banning of Huck Finn by the Concord Public Library brought this article from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, which quoted library board members, one of whom said:

While I do not wish to state it as my opinion that the book is absolutely immoral in its tone…it contains but very little humor, and that little is of a very coarse type…I regard it as the veriest trash [Powers, MT A Life 490, 670n36].

Sam wrote or telegraphed Howells, “naming Tuesday” for a visit. The communication is not extant, but is referred to in Howells’ Mar. 18 letter—see entry that date [MTHL 2: 522].

James Whitcomb Riley wrote Sam again (see Feb. 25 entry). “It is a very great delight to read what you have written me of ‘The Old Swimming Hole’ and over and over I review your gentle tribute.” When would they meet? [MTP]; Gribben notes “Clemens began to think of speaking with Riley in England on a lecture tour” [580]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “The poet Riley with two poems”; two poems from news clippings in file: “like his mother used to Make” and “down on Wriggle Crick”

Charles Webster wrote he couldn’t recall what he’d written in a letter Jean destroyed; sales were up “making 40,000 in all and no apparent let up.” He’d found an old picture of Lt. Grant in uniform [MTP].

March 18 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson, editor of Century Magazine, who had written asking if Sam wanted to contribute to the upcoming “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” series. Sam wanted to be in series, which he wrote was “the greatest thing of these modern times & nobody who is anybody can well afford to be unrepresented in it,” but he wouldn’t know till August after he’d been at Quarry Farm a month and tried a book which he’d “begun in my mind…” [MTP]. Note: According to Perry, Johnson was the first to approach Grant about his memoirs [in photo insert after p.218].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, about the banning of Huck Finn by the Concord, Mass. Public Library:

Dear Charley— / The Committee of the Public Library of Concord, Mass., have given us a rattling tip-top puff which will go into every paper in the country. They have expelled Huck from their library as “trash & suitable only for the slums.[”] That will sell 25,000 copies for us, sure [MTP].

The book was controversial upon release, as it remains. Sam well understood this meant sales.

Howells wrote accepting Tuesday, Mar. 24 as a date for Sam and Livy to visit Boston:

We have just got your dispatch naming Tuesday for Mrs. Howells’s tea-fight, and so that is all right. Now I want you personally to give me Wednesday night for dinner at the Tavern Club, of which I’m President. It is mostly young fellows of 30 or 35, but some good old heads, and we always have a good time. We dine, and then we go up stairs into a painter’s studio, where we have singing, piano-playing, fiddling and other jinks [MTHL 2: 522-3].

Howells added that he’d never heard of D.W. Howland (see Mar. 13 entry). In 1884, Howells was chosen the first president of the Tavern Club, a group of artists, musicians, writers and professional men who met at the Carrolton Hotel in Boston [MTHL 2: 523n1].

The Boston Evening Transcript (and likely other newspapers) ran adds for Babcock fire extinguishers, which included an extract from a letter from Mark Twain to an unidentified person (probably a vendor) for this date. “We have had a fire in the billiard-room this morning. The Babcock Extinguisher saved the house from destruction—a service which it has rendered us four times since we lived in Hartford. Be sure and send me a box of ammunition for the extinguisher right away.” See ad insert.

Brander Matthews wrote: “Here is a page of the Saturday Review just rec’d. I don’t know who wrote the article. But I suspect that it is the work of our Kinsman, Mr. Andrew Lang. I think he ought to be asked over to lecture at Concord” [MTP].

Rodney K. Shaw wrote from Marietta, Ohio enclosing a tribute to Gen. Grant [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “answer dam fool”

Charles Webster wrote that 42,000 HF’s had been sold to date, in the first month [MTP].

March 19 ThursdaySusy Clemens’ thirteenth birthday.

 Howells wrote again on Mar. 19 and changed the date for the Tavern Club gathering to Monday, Mar. 23 [MTHL 2: 523]. He also invited Thomas Bailey Aldrich [524n1].

Mary E. Donly,  a farmer’s wife, wrote from Knoxville, Tenn. to ask if it was possible to get pay for a MS. if one was “not a hero or heroine and not highly cultured or educated, also without knowledge attained by travel as the reading of many books.” “What course would you advise me to pursue” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Some time answer this literary aspirant”

March 20 Friday – Sam went to New York City for the weekend and stayed at the Everett House [Mar. 14 to Pond; Mar. 16 to Webster]. At about 2:30 PM, Sam and Karl Gerhardt went to the home of General Grant. Sam suggested “several days previously” that Gerhardt make a life-size bust of the General that could be photographed for use as a frontispiece in Grant’s reminiscences. Gerhardt carried a clay bust he’d completed from photographs of Grant. Col. Fred Grant and Jesse Grant were there. With the aid of Julia Dent Grant, Gerhardt worked over the bust in a few areas while Grant sat for the work [Perry 168-70; Mar. 21 telegram to Livy]. (See MTB p.808 for a detailed account of the visit to Grant’s.)

He probably met Webster after 6 PM as intended by his letter of Mar. 16.

A new contract with Webster was drawn on this day, providing with the same salary ($2,500 a year), and 1/3 of the net profits up to $20,000, with 1/10th thereafter. Sam was given 8% on capital he put in [AMT 2: 495]. See notes connected with this contract and later sources of conflict between the two.

March 21 Saturday – Sam and Cable gave a reading in Steinway Hall, N.Y. Clemens included: “A Dazzling Achievement,” “Tragic Tale of the Fishwife,” “Incorporated Company of Mean Men,” and “The Bluejay’s Mistake” [MTPO].

Sam telegraphed from New York City to Livy:

“Gerhardt worked three hours in General Grants presence yesterday with excellent results” [MTP].

While in New York, Sam also inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to Jervis Langdon II: To My Nephew Jervis / with the love of his uncle / The Author. / ~ / New York, March 21, 1885 [MTP].

Sam also inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to Oscar Marshall: “To / Mr Oscar Marshall / with the compliments of / Mark Twain / ~ / March 21, 1885 [MTP].

Sam also inscribed a copy of Huckleberry Finn to unidentified persons: “To the General’s boys / this book is offered, / with the compliments of / The Author. / ~ / New York, March 21, 1885” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote from NYC to Sam: “Col. Fred Grant is delighted with the bust and does not want me to touch the face” [MTP].

March 22 Sunday – Sam probably returned to Hartford as planned (see Mar. 16 to Pond) but there is no documentation. However, since Sam and Livy traveled to Boston on Mar. 23, this is the last date Sam could have returned home.

March 23 Monday – Sam and Livy went to Boston for a short visit with the Howellses [MTHL 2: 522-3]. Sam and Howells joined in the fun at the Tavern Club.

Chatto & Windus wrote “Dawson Brothers of Montreal have sent us the enclosed letter which they have received from the Rose Publishing Company Toronto offering $1000. for the exclusive privilege of publishing in Canada” HF. “We were under the impression that you had already arranged with Dawson Brothers for this right…” [MTP].

March 24 Tuesday – The Howellses put on a tea for Livy Clemens. In his Mar. 19 letter moving up the date for the Tavern Club gathering with Sam, Howells wrote:

Mrs. Clemens must not think we are putting up much of a party on her. It will be short and sharp, and she will feel better when it is over. Don’t let her be tired by apprehension of it. We are joyous to think of seeing you both [MTHL 2: 523-4].

George W. Galloway, M.D. (1846-1893) wrote from Ft. Collins, Colo. to ask where he might obtain a “nicely bound copy” of TS, a book read to him during a convelescence by a woman who later became his wife [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote they’d sold 1,500 HF’s since Saturday night. “What did Genl Grant say about those matters Sunday?” [MTP]

 James Hanson Larned wrote from Hartford offering poems for publication, one enclosed which used the F-word twice [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “An obscene lunatic”

John Lewis RoBards replied to Sam’s question about Mount Olivet Cemetery, public or private? He sent the by-laws for Sam to read [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “This was always a poor well meaning ass—& at last has gone & stuck that big B in the middle of his name!”

March 25 Wednesday Sam’s article, “The Carson Fossil-Footprints” was re-printed in the Sacramento Record–Union. The Twainian article speculates that this article, which was misdated by Merle Johnson in his 1935 bibliography, was planted by Sam as a way of promoting Huckleberry Finn, and because he knew an old friend on the staff of the paper [May-June, 1949 p1]. Note: Budd’s list, furnished by Thomas Tenney, shows this piece for 1884 in The San Franciscan as cited by Branch. Camfield also lists it as Feb. 16, 1884 in that paper.

Andrew Chatto wrote to thank Sam for giving them the preference in making an offer for the English edition of General Grant’s Autobiography [MTP].

George P. Lathrop wrote from NYC to urge Sam to take part in readings by authors at Madison Square to raise money for the Copyright League [MTP].

March 26 Thursday Sam and Livy returned home from Boston on Mar. 25 or 26.

Sam wrote on this day to Howells, saying they had a “most noble good time in Boston…” He enclosed a penciled draft of a letter to Frank A. Nichols, secretary of the Concord, Mass. Free Trade Club, in response to Nichols’ notification that Sam had been elected an honorary member. Sam asked if Howells could:

“…read it, & riddle it & scarify it with expungings & other emendations, & get it right & the way it out to be, against the possible accident of its getting into print.”

Sam sent the praise of Clara Spaulding for Howells’ new book, The Rise of Silas Lapham, which was to be his masterpiece—“I & madam are clear behind with” the book, Sam confessed [MTHL 2: 524].

Mrs. A.A. Ward for Ladies Aid Society wrote from Vacaville, Calif. to ask for an autograph for their autograph quilt [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Cheek – not answered”

March 28 Saturday In Hartford, Sam wrote to Reginald Cholmondeley of Shrewsbury, England. (Cholmondeley had warned Sam about the Australian imposter.) Reginald had asked if feuds like the Shepherdson-Grangerford trouble were factual. Yes, they had existed in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas, just like he’d described in Huck Finn.

“I came very near being an eye-witness of the general engagement detailed in the book. The details are historical and correct.”

Sam also responded about revisiting England:

“Mrs. Clemens wont let the children’s schooling be interrupted this year. But next year maybe I can meet the original Bilgewater…” [MTP].

With the editing help of Howells, who wrote again after receiving the draft on Mar. 26, Sam finished a letter from Hartford to Frank A. Nichols, thanking him for his honorary membership in the Concord Free Trade Club:

Dear Sir,—I am in receipt of your favor of the 24th instant, conveying the gratifying intelligence that I have been made an honorary member of the Free Trade Club of Concord, Massachusetts, and I desire to express to the club, through you, my grateful sense of the high compliment thus paid me. It does look as if Massachusetts were in a fair way to embarrass me with kindnesses this year. In the first place, a Massachusetts judge has just decided in open court that a Boston publisher may sell, not only his own property in a free and unfettered way, but also may as freely sell property which does not belong to him but to me; property which he has not bought and which I have not sold. Under this ruling I am now advertising that judge’s homestead for sale, and, if I make a good a sum out of it as I expect, I shall go on and sell out the rest of his property.

In the next place, a committee of the public library of your town have condemned and excommunicated my last book and doubled its sale. This generous action of theirs must necessarily benefit me in one or two additional ways. For instance, it will deter other libraries from buying the book; and you are doubtless aware that one book in a public library prevents the sale of a sure ten and a possible hundred of its mates. And, secondly, it will cause the purchasers of the book to read it, out of curiosity, instead of merely intending to do so, after the usual way of the world and library committees; and then they will discover, to my great advantage and their own indignant disappointment, that there is nothing objectionable in the book after all.

And finally, the Free Trade Club of Concord comes forward and adds to the splendid burden of obligations already conferred upon me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an honorary membership which is worth more than all the rest, just at this juncture, since it indorses me as worthy to associate with certain gentlemen whom even the moral icebergs of the Concord library committee are bound to respect.

May the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts endure forever, is the heartfelt prayer of one who, long a recipient of her mere general good will, is proud to realize that he is at last become her pet Thanking you again, dear sir, and gentlemen,

I remain, / Your obliged servant, / S.L. Clemens. / (Known to the Concord Winter School of Philosophy as “Mark Twain.”) [MTHL 2: 877-8]. Note: see this source for Howells’ edits used and unused by Sam.

Sam may have gone to New York again, for on this date he inscribed a copy of Huck Finn to Dean Sage: “To / Dean Sage / with the warmest regards. / The Author / ~ / Mch 28/85” [MTP]. Note: Sage may have visited Hartford.

In Hartford, Sam also sent a note to an unidentified person who had furnished him with a review, probably of Huck Finn [MTP].

On or about this date, in Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster, directing him to leave:

…2 cloth Finn’s at Everett House Monday afternoon & write in pencil on one of the brown paper covers, “Remus,” & on the other, “J R Randall, Augusta Ga., Chronicle”. Note: James Ryder Randall (1839-1908), author of the famous war song of the Confederacy, “Maryland, My Maryland” became the Washington correspondent for the Augusta Chronicle.

Sam wrote he intended to go to General Grant’s house “toward 2 p.m.” and if there were anything he should know before going there, “you or Gerhardt meet me at the RR station” [MTP]. Note: this letter may have been earlier than Mar. 28, but does not refer to the Friday, Mar. 20 date when Gerhardt accompanied Sam with the bust of Grant. Sam made many New York trips during this period to supervise the publication of Huck Finn and to check on General Grant’s progress, to show proofs, etc.

On or just after this date Sam went to New York; he was there on Mar. 31.

Pitts H. Burt wrote from Cincinnati, having just rec’d HF [MTP].

March 29 SundayN.E. Collins wrote from Pittsburg to praise HF [MTP].

March 31 Tuesday – Sam spoke at the Tile Club Dinner for Laurence Hutton in New York City—the title of his talk “On Speech-Making Reform” [Fatout, MT Speaking 190-3]. Note: Fatout says this speech is conjectural for this date.

Sam inscribed a copy of HF to Mary Mason Fairbanks: “To / Mother Fairbanks / with the love of her eldest, / The Author. /~ /March 31, 1885 [MTP].

Sam also wrote from New York City to Brander Matthews, literary critic, essayist and dramatist, who invited him to some gathering. Sam replied in a friendly way that he had a “whole raft of business” and people with appointments “to get themselves swindled” [MTP]. Note: Matthews was a writer, critic, and educator, the first U.S. professor of dramatic literature and among founders of the Author’s Club and the Players’ Club, both of New York.

April On an unknown Friday evening in April, Sam wrote from New York City to Charles Webster of his plans to go home to Hartford in the morning and stay there for the time being unless Webster needed him back in New York. He gave instructions about the galley proofs on Grant’s book, and noted that Charles Langdon was in Hartford or on his way with “a lot of papers to sign & business to straighten up, which may take us several days.” Sam thought he might return to New York and bring Livy the following Thursday [MTP].

Likewise, on an unknown Sunday, Sam wrote another note to Charles Webster about an error on page 92 of Grant’s book, one which would have to be fixed on the plates. The note closed with, “Livy & Susy & I will be down at noon Thursday,” which seems to connect with the preceding unknown Friday evening letter—that is, these letters were written Friday and Sunday of the same weekend in April.

Webster & Co. contracted with J.J. Little & Co. to print 50,000 copies of Grant’s Memoirs; Little later sued for breach of contract (see May 20, 1888).

April 1 Wednesday – Sam’s Mar. 28 letter to Frank A. Nichols ran in the New York World. It was widely copied in other papers [MTHL 2: 526n2].

In Hartford, Sam wrote to an unidentified lady who had asked if he might send his short tribute to Adam. Sam replied positively and sent her a paragraph from Innocents Abroad [MTP].

Gerhardt informed Sam that sculptor James Alexander Wilson MacDonald had claimed the right to make a desk mask of General Grant. Sam didn’t want to get involved over the issue. Gerhardt then got permission to make the mask upon Grant’s death from his son Fred Grant [MTNJ 3: 127n5].

Tracy, Tarbox & Robinson, “Hardware & Woodenware” Hartford billed $5.88 for purchases: Mar. 16, May 8, 23, 29, June 4, 24: “cup hooks, bristle brush, curry comb, grass hook, pr sheep shears, ball twine, scythe stone” etc.; paid July 9 [MTP].

April 2 Thursday – On or just after this day, Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Frederick Dent Grant (1850-1912), son of General Grant. Sam’s note was in response to an Apr. 1 letter from Gerhardt, who was in New York at the time. “I hope you can speak a moment with Gerhardt. I am sending him to you on a matter of importance” [MTP]. Note: Such a matter of importance unspecified would lean toward Sam sending the dispatch as soon as he received Gerhardt’s, or Apr. 2 at the earliest. Mail between New York, Hartford, and Boston seems to have been timely in the 1880s.

Sam then telegraphed Karl Gerhardt:

“Go see Col. Grant & if that man’s name is mentioned you can tell him what you have told me. I have telegraphed Col. Grant you are coming” [MTP].

The Boston Daily Advertiser, on page 2, ran a short announcement:

Concord, April 1—At a recent meeting of the Concord Free Trade Club, Mr. S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain) was elected an honorary member of the club. A certificate of his election was sent Mr. Clemens in due course, and the following acknowledgment of the same has just been received—

W.W. Taylor for Rockwood Pottery wrote they’d sent the vase to Hartford [MTP].

April 3 Friday – Sam wrote on the envelope of a letter from Karl Gerhardt:

“Telegraphed Gerhardt not to send this letter—leave the matter alone or put it in General Badeau’s hands” [MTP]. Note: Adam Badeau was an old friend of Grant’s and one of his closest advisors during the war. He was an accomplished writer and also a public figure [Perry 72-73].

Sam also wrote from Hartford to Miss Wachschlager, probably an autograph seeker.

“Ah, if I had but a moment’s time!—But one gets not even time to sleep” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote, enclosing a letter to Col. Grant if it met with Sam’s approval. The letter outlined why and what a plaster cast of the face would mean [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Telegraphed perhaps not to send this letter—leave the matter alone or put it in General Badeau’s hand / SLC”

S.L. Caldwell for Vassar College wrote “gratified” that Sam would consent to meet the young ladies and read to them [MTP].

April 4 Saturday – From Sam’s notebook:

“General Grant is still alive to-day, & the nation holds its breath & awaits the blow” [MTNJ 3:127].

The Hartford Courant ran Sam’s Mar. 28 letter to Nichols, prefaced by these remarks about the Concord Library and the Boston Advertiser:

The Boston Advertiser attacks Mark Twain as venomously and persistently as if his recent suit against a Boston publishing-house had been brought against itself; and it ventures into declaration which it would have hard work to prove. For example, it says that there is “something very suggestive in the eagerness and unanimity with which library committees and newspapers throughout the country have followed the precedent established by the Concord library in condemning Mark Twain’s last book,” but it omits to mention the libraries or to list the newspapers.

Indeed, some of the leading newspapers of the country have taken the liberty to laugh at the Concord folks for their conduct, and the libraries that have rejected the volume are, we venture to say, few and far between. They must all be of the class that the Concord library belongs to; for one of the trustees of that library, when interviewed on the matter, said that no fiction was permitted on the Concord shelves. Of course, “Huckleberry Finn” isn’t a true story. It is fiction, and so it’s barred by this Concord limitation. The discovery that they had bought a biography in good faith and had got something that was not true may be the cause of the discontent, although the life of Huck Finn is not the only biography that partakes of the nature of fiction, and the Concord library would be further depleted if all biographies that are not true were cast out from it [Railton].

In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster—he had a trick up his sleeve as well, for the Boston Advertiser and the Springfield (Mass.) Republican. He wrote a “prefatory insertion” for all future editions of the book, answering gossip as to whether Huck Finn was real or imagined:

Huckleberry Finn is not an imaginary person. He still lives; or rather they still live; for Huckleberry Finn is two persons in one — namely, the author’s two uncles, the present editors of the Boston Advertiser and the Springfield Republican. In character, language, clothing, education, instinct, and origin, he is the painstakingly and truthfully drawn photograph and counterpart of these two gentlemen as they were in the time of their boyhood, forty years ago. The work has been most carefully and conscientiously done, and is exactly true to the originals, in even the minutest particulars, with but one exception, and that is a trifling one: this boy’s language has been toned down and softened, here and there, in deference to the taste of a more modern and fastidious day [MTP]. (See Apr. 5 entry for the result of Livy’s censorship.)

Sam also wrote a second letter to Webster, which he added a PS to on Apr. 6. The letter is all about financial details for the Paige typesetter, which Sam always misspelled as “Page.” [MTP].

From Sam’s notebook:

“A telegram from Gerhardt tonight says Col. Grant has personally given him the desired permission. I am very glad indeed; for the mask must be made when the General dies, & it is so much better that Gerhardt who is honest & whom the family know, should do it than some tricky stranger” [MTNJ 3: 127n5].

Karl Gerhardt wrote and telegraphed. “Telegram rec’d will do as you say.” Telegram: I shall make mask permission given personally by Col Grant” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gerhardt has received Col. Fred. Grant’s personal permission to make death-mask of Gen. Grant”

Wellington Evarts Parkhurst (1835-1924), editor of the Clinton (Mass.) Weekly Courant, wrote:

Dr Sir / Presuming on a brief acquaintance with you, formed on the occasion of your visit to our town some fifteen years ago, I made you a copy of my paper, by wh. you will see that our Library directors have decided to help your sale of “Huckleberry Finn” by refusing it a place in our library. I can assure you, that the anxiety to see and read “Huckleberry” is on the increase here; the adults are daily inquiring where “Finn” can be had, and even the children are crying for “Huckleberries”; the only way by wh. we can preserve some of our young lads in the facts of moral rectitude is a promise to give them a copy of Mark Twain’s rejected “H.F.”—Both as an incentive and as an opiate the promise of a copy of this work is a marked success… [MTP].

April 5 Sunday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster.

“Livy forbids the ‘Prefatory Remark’—therefore, put it in the fire.”

Sam also discussed the son, age 34, of brilliant criminal lawyer Samuel F. Jones, who was looking for a position. Sam referred him to Webster to evaluate as a state agent for book sales. Sam also vowed to raise the money for Hamersley necessary for the “type-writer speculation” [MTP]. Note: Paige typsetter.

April 6 Monday – Sam added a PS to his letter of Apr. 4 to Webster. He noted that the man made two errors in an enclosed galley proof, but the Paige machine made “not a single error” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote “I carried bronze bust to Col Fred Grant this afternoon and he gives it to his mother. I give the other members of the family terra cotta busts” [MTP].

George P. Lathrop for Am. Copyright League wrote; “Dear Clemens: / Have you attacked Mrs. Stowe? You must use all your powers of persuasion. Get Mrs. Clemens to join in the campaign, too. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered”

Thomas May Peirce for Peirce College of Business, Phila. wrote abougt their commencement: “In your last letter to me you encouraged me to believe thatyou would deliver the address to our graduates if you did not go to Europe the coming season” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Damn Thomas May Pierce/ answered”

April 7 Tuesday – Sam presented and signed a copy of his “Burlesque Autobiography” to Wellington Evarts Parkhurst: Hartford, Apl 7/85. W.E. Parkhurst, Esq.” [MTP]. Note: Wellington Evarts Parkhurst of the Framingham, Mass. Parkhursts, brother to Dr. Parkhurst of New York, famous for his fight against Tammany Hall. If so, (1835–1897?).

Webster & Co. sent a telegram: “Col Grant writes, tell Gerhardt will have to withdraw permission about mask have made other arrangements” [MTP].

April 8 Wednesday – Sam went to New York on his way to Philadelphia, a trip which he’d expected to take Livy. She had a bad cold and a headache, so she did not go. Sam wrote late from New York to Livy of his disappointment on leaving her home. He went to General Grant’s in the evening. Grant’s son, Colonel Fred Grant, conveyed that the General was “restful & happy, exceedingly pleased” at the “expressions of sympathy from rebel soldiers of all ranks in the South. His last hours are among the happiest of all his life.”

As for the book, Sam’s good news offset Livy’s initial worries about him taking all the risks for a small portion of the profits:

General Grant’s book is not in type—indeed, the work on it is only fairly begun, & not a scrap of advertising has been done; & yet 20,000 sets are already in effect sold—they have been ordered by two responsible general agents; 20,000 sets is 40,000 volumes, for it is a 2-volume work. This affords a clear profit to us of $13,000—& over $26,000 to Mrs. Grant. You were a little afraid to have me venture on the book & take all the risks for so small a share as 30 per cent of the profits. I did not think there was any risk. These 40,000 books are ordered for only 2 States—Michigan & Iowa—wait till you hear from the other 37! [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, that Webster & Co. should be the general agents for “New York & a fair area of territory around it, & receive the general agent’s commission.” Such a commission would be a “handsome addition to the firm’s assets” [MTP].

David Gray wrote from Buffalo to thank him for HF, but that they’d rec’d the copy addressed to “Mother Fairbanks” so she probably had theirs [MTP].

W.W. Taylor for Rockwood Pottery Co. wrote about “tiger eye” bowl sent and Mr. Burt being there to consult [MTP].

April 9 Thursday – In Philadelphia Clemens inscribed a drawing to the Clover Club, where he was to speak in the evening. “Ys Truly / Mark Twain” [MTP].

Sam read “The Tragic Tale of the Fishwife” at the Actors Fund Fair, Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fatout’s introduction in Mark Twain Speaking, p.194:

An Actors Fund Fair was a philanthropic project, assisted by the gratis services of actors, musicians, writers, and socialites, who manned bazaars and put on vaudeville acts. Mark Twain, attending the Philadelphia Fair, praise…

At 5:30 PM Sam wrote from Philadelphia to Livy, about the day’s event. He was just “starting for the Clover Club dinner.” He planned to leave for “New York in the morning & expect to leave for Hartford at 4.30 p.m., arriving in time for billiards” [MTP]. Note: The billiards were part of his Friday Night male gathering.

“…a superb performance, and of prodigious variety. It began shortly after noon and lasted till 4. There were 4,000 people present, and they sat it through” [Apr. 9 to Livy, MTP].

“More than once I have been accused of writing obituary poetry in the Philadelphia Ledger. I wish right here to deny that dreadful assertion. I will admit that once, when a compositor in the Ledger establishment, I did set up some of that poetry, but….I did not write that poetry” [Fatout, MT Speaking 194].

Also at the gathering was Harry Kellar, the great magician, who performed his famous “Mysterious Cabinet” illusion [Slotta 51-2].

In the evening, Sam gave a dinner speech at the Clover Club in Philadelphia [Schmidt].

Charles H. Clark forwarded the Southern New England Tel. Co.’s letter to him, about Sam’s complaint that the phone rang too many times on a call [MTP].

S.L. Caldwell for Vassar College wrote encouraging him to allow his daughter (not specified) to stay there during his talk [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Accepted”

April 10 Friday – Before leaving for New York, Sam wrote from Philadelphia to Karl Gerhardt, recommending Erastus Brainerd, who had inquired after Gerhardt “with great interest” [MTP]. Note: Brainerd (1855-1922) a Connecticut native and Harvard graduate was a journalist. He would later move to the Northwest and become editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Sam returned home to Hartford, probably in time for billiards with the Friday Night boys.

April 11 Saturday – Sam wrote a one liner from Hartford to S.L. Caldwell, accepting for Susy and himself the invitation sent. Caldwell’s identity and the event referred to are unknown.

Sam also wrote a rather brusque letter to Orion about William Lampton wanting a photo of Sam. Sam also wrote “Curses on the War Dept man,”(who evidently had requested a copy of Huck Finn) and told Orion if he’s sent the man’s address it would have saved him a “½ page of writing.” Lastly, he directed his brother,

“Don’t send me newspaper rubbish—can’t find time to eat my meals” [MTP].

Sam also corrected a slip sent him by Mrs. A.P. Cosgrove (identity unknown, not to be confused with Margaret Cosgrave, a former housekeeper for the Clemenses), about his mother’s memory of his pledge not to drink. He was “only 15” then, Sam wrote, and “it was not a limitless promise.” She’d “voluntarily released me” after seven years.

“The instant a person pledges himself not to drink, he feels the galling of the slave-chain he has put upon himself; & if he be wise, & not a fool, he will go instantly & break that pledge” [MTP].

Sam also wrote two letters to Charles Webster, warning him not to leave proofs of Grant’s book on his desk at night but to lock them in the safe. Sam would have to borrow $200,000 before issuance of the book, and was concerned about Canadian pirates. He instructed other security measures—private marks on the proofs, irregular mailing envelops, surveillance by watchmen of printers, compositors, binders, etc. He also wanted to insure against such disasters and wanted Webster to find a company that would do so to $300,000 for a $10,000 premium. He also wanted Webster to keep separate account of any work on the Grant book performed by his attorneys, Alexander & Green. “Keep your proofs in your safe” [MTP].

Major Pond wrote and invited Sam to an Apr. 29 dinner at Morelli’s Restaurant for the Alumni Association of Cornell University [MTNJ 3: 137n35].

April 14 TuesdayOrion Clemens wrote: “I humbly apologize. / I did not expect you to write a letter, but merely send the photograph and autograph. I will send to Charley for the book for Fitzgerald.” [MTP].

George P. Lathrop for Am. Copyright League wrote “I happened to be in the Century office to-day, just after you had left. Now look here: this won’t do. If you can come down here just to attend to your sordid private interests, you can read twice for the Cause” [MTP].

John M. Hay wrote thanking him for HF, which was a life he thought was obsolete and forgotten by him. “I shall never forgive you for voting for Cleveland, but bar that I am always / Affectionately yours…” [MTP].

April 15 Wednesday, before – In Hartford, Sam sent a note to James B. Pond asking him to send James Redpath $200, that he would refund it later [MTP]. Note: from the Apr. 15 note repaying this amount, which Sam wrote he “was forgetting about,” it stands to reason this request was most likely made at least a couple of weeks prior to Apr. 15, and should more properly be entered earlier.

April 15 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, who had written concerned about the Concord Library’s banning of Huck Finn. She also asked if he’d seen Dan De Quille’s recent articles.

The Chronicle understands the book—those idiots in Concord are not a court of last resort, & I am not disturbed by their moral gymnastics. No other book of mine has sold so many copies within 2 months after issue as this one has done.

No, I haven’t seen Dan’s articles; but if they are good they will turn up in the eastern papers & fall under my eye [MTP].

Sam also sent James B. Pond the $200 which he’d given to Redpath [MTP].

Sam also sent a thank you for a book received on Apr. 7 from an unidentified person [MTP].

George P. Lathrop for Am. Copyright League wrote, upset that Clemens and Howells declined to read more than once [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote: contract with Century Co. signed—“all future articles are to be copyrighted by us in the name of U.S.Grant” [MTP].

April 16 ThursdayJohn Linahan wrote from St. Louis to suggest a subject for the next book: a Comic History of the U.S. [MTP]. Readers would have to wait for Stan Freburg on this one.

April 19 Sunday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to James B. Pond, inviting him to the Clemens’ home Wednesday evening, Apr. 22 for a presentation of P&P by Susy and crew. Jean Clemens added scribbles to the top of the note, to which Sam referred:

“The above is a postscript—I should say an ante-script—by Jean—& she has gone off without translating it”[MTP].

April 20 MondayHowells wrote from Boston to Sam, advising him not to use his Cornell speech on Apr. 29 to defend Huck Finn against the Concord Library Committee—he thought them:

“…game too small for you, and you can’t stir it up without seeming to care more than you ought for it. You have done enough” [MTHL 2: 526]. Note: Howells was one of the few people who could be so blunt and directive with Sam and ward him off of obsession which might be damaging to his image. Clemens left it alone.

April 21 Tuesday – Sam visited U.S. Grant at 9:30 a.m.

Albert H. Dowell wrote a begging letter “for a few dollars” from HahnemannHospital, NYC [MTP].

Webster & Co. wrote, Gerhardt to Webster Apr. 19 enclosed: “We refer the enclosed to you as it is something which you are personally concerned” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Send 1000”

April 22 Wednesday The Prince & the Pauper play was re-staged by the Clemens and neighborhood children. This may have been the time Sam played the part of Miles Hendon. James B. Pond had been invited the prior Sunday [Apr. 20 to Pond].

A.B. Anderson for Robert L. Downing, Joaquin Miller to Sam Apr. 22 enclosed. Anderson requested “a line” from Clemens “commending Mr. Downing’s rendering of Horace Greeley’s ride with Hank Monk [MTP].

Joaquin Miller wrote a small card: “Dear ‘Mark’ only a line to say Downing is doing grandly with ‘Hank Monk’ whom you have helped to make immortal; and if you can say a line or so for him it will be a favor to me [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote various business matters: Grant’s book sales, HF sales [MTP].

April 23 ThursdayThomas S. Nash wrote a long, tender reminiscence of Hannibal boyhood days. Most of the letter here:

Dear old friend, / I have waited for a long time for an opportunity of inflicting on you some more of my poor penmanship and bad gramar, but did not know for certain whether you were out west interviewing the earliest settlers or down South among the Cannibal Islands hence you have been spared the infliction until now, and I hope not to tire you with too many words

      In the first place dear Sam I was very gratified for the kind letter you wrote me from Keokuk, and have added to my deep gratitude by sending me your new Book Huckleberry Finn, which I received some time since. I have not owing to the press of business had a chance to read much of it. I read several Chapters in the “Century” and was very anxious to find out how the “Duke” & the “Dolphin” were finally checked off. The mere mention of the Book, takes me back in memory to “old Jim Finn of Craig’s Alley” who if I remember right perished with the burning of the old Calaboose on front St

      In yesterdays Courier I was reading a long article copied from Chicago Inter Ocean of an interview had by the reporter with your Mother in which you are shown up as being very much opposed to going to school in your early days, and this reminds me of the days when I went to school to old Cross in a little frame building on the park, and of the many pranks I had a hand in in those days, such as stealing the Bell Clapper pitching the Black Boards out the window when locked up at noon etc. I went to school then with “Andy” Fuqua, “Buck” Brown George Robards Jim Brady” Henry Fuqua Jim McDaniel and others—Remember “Orion” well, and poor Henry. I met him on the wharf in St. Louis only a short time before the fatal accident that deprived him of life and it was from him that I received some of your earliest litterary productions while in California. How dear are the early friends of our boyhood I remember the “Hannibal Gazette” office and the time you stuck type there—Also the old Hannibal Courier— When I came home from Jacksonville where I went to school I missed you with other of the boys who had gone overland to California. I was in the post office from 49 to 53, then apprenticed to Wm League who published the “Hannibal Messenger” and deviled it rolled it pressed it and set up for near a year but it did neither agree with my inside nor my ambition to get rich in a hurry, so I took to Printing under old “Dick Hardy” and have stuck to it ever since though it has not proved a way of gaining wealth in a hurry.

      I was married 25 years ago to a nice little woman in Monroe Co. Had two children both girls and are married & am grand pa

      I have been to Keokuk several times but never knew until to day that Orion & your mother lived there or I should certainly have gone to some trouble to have had a good shake of Orion’s hand once again—

      Since you were here another of our old friends has gone to his reward, Thos K. Collins died the last of February. One by one the old settlers dissapear, and even I after an absence of near Twenty years return here to live and walk the streets of the town in which I was born. I meet but few familiar faces that I knew in other days, but can find the names of an hundred inscribed on the white marble of the surrounding grave yards—Soon they will lay me there, and I shall sleep quietly, but I hope I shall not be entirely forgotten—

      Time flies swiftly away and admonishes me to be up and doing. So I will bring my somewhat extended letter to a close, but cannot do so without renewing my deep sense of gratitude for the beautiful Book you wrote and which you so kindly sent me—I shall value it highly, as I can in memory see you speak as I read—Don’t forget me Sam. I cherish the memory of all the friends of my youth, whether they have in the struggle of life gained wealth and fame or merely like myself still possess only a plain but honest name

      This of me often Write to me Sometimes—Ever your friend [MTP].

James B. Pond wrote from NYC about the hot weather for April. “Homer writes that the Jenny will be shipped as soon as he can find one nice enough” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “get a little donkey”

An unidentified person signed as “A Socialist” wrote to encourage Clemens to emulate Voltaire, who he claimed “ridiculed dogmatic superstition of the 18th century out of existence….Why should not Mark Twain imitate his noble example and wield his mighty pen for the abolition of Wage-slavery—the curse of the 19th century!” [MTP]. Note: Clemens was sometimes compared to Voltaire; see mentions of him in Gribben 729.

April 24 Friday – From Sam’s notebook:

“Accident—man backed almost into us—we had to almost run into the curbstone to keep from taking his wheel off—injured it, anyway” [MTNJ 3: 138]. Note: note 42 of source corrects date.

April 25 Saturday – Sam received a letter from J.B. Clapp, secretary of the Blodgett & Clapp Co. an iron and steel merchant of Hartford.

“I was unfortunately ran into by your carriage and my own carriage somewhat injured. The carriage I have placed in the Hospital & trust it will soon be convalescent. The Doctors bill I presume you will see in due course of time” [MTNJ 3: 138-9n42]. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Ha-ha!”

Clemma L. Bradley (nee Lampton) wrote from McKinney, Texas to “earnestly request that you honor our state by a visit at your earliest convenience.” “I am the youngest daughter of your Mother’s uncle Wharton Lampton; the ‘curly headed Sis,’ that you mischievously nicknamed “The Weather Office” [MTP]. File notes: that SLC had ‘no shred of remembrance of her (to Orion 5 May; in MTBM, 321”

J.B. Clapp wrote that Sam ran into his carriage which now was in the “hospital & trust it will soon be convalescent. The doctor’s bill I presume you will see in due course…” [MTP].

April 27 Monday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to George Iles, Montreal editor:

“I hope to live to see you swing your scepter by & by, in accordance with that plan we talked of” [MTP]. Note: The “plan” is not identified. Sam may have left for New York this day or early the next.

April 28 Tuesday – Sam, Livy, and thirteen-year-old Susy Clemens went to New York for a four-day outing, which included a reading up at Vassar in Poughkeepsie on May 1. Sam conferred with Webster and General Grant and gave a reading on Apr. 29 [MTNJ 3: 140n48].

The American Copyright League Benefit was held in the afternoons of Apr. 28 and 29 at Madison Square Theater, New York City with a host of authors reading, including W.D. Howells, Julian Hawthorne, Hjalmar Boyesen, Edmund C. Stedman,  Henry Ward Beecher, Dr. Edward Eggleston, and others. The New York Times advertised the event, announcing on Apr. 25 that John Greenleaf Whittier wrote his apologies [page 8]. On April 29 a long page 4 article did not list Sam among the many authors who had read or who would read that day. Fatout lists Sam reading of “A Trying Situation” for the second day, a story Sam had delivered several times on his reading tour with Cable [656].

Sam’s notebook cites Chatto’s draft for £178.0.5 paid—$861.35 for royalties on the English versions of his books [MTNJ 3: 141].

April 29 Wednesday – Sam gave a reading on this second day at Madison Square Theater, Author’s Reading given for the Longfellow Memorial, an entertainment managed by George Parsons Lathrop (1851-1898). Charles Eliot Norton introduced the readers [MTB 817]. Note: Paine mistakenly identifies this event as “early May.”

At this matinee performance Sam appeared in formal evening dress, a display which surprised everyone. As reported by the New York World next day, Sam explained: “I knew it would be night before they reached me, and so I came in evening dress.”

From Madison Square Theater he went to a Cornell alumni dinner at Morelli’s Restaurant in New York [656]. Major Pond invited Sam on Apr. 11. Sam responded to the toast “The Politician” [MTNJ 3: 137n35].

Susy Clemens, accompanied by her father and Major Pond, went to a dog show at Madison Square Garden. The show was an annual event of the Westminster Kennel Club, patronized by many well-to-do New York families. Susy wrote of the show in her unfinished biography of her father [MTNJ 3: 130n11]. From Susy’s Biography:

…when we got through seeing the dogs papa thought he would go and see General Grant and I went with him—this was April 29, 1885. Papa went up into General Grant’s room and he took me with him. I felt greatly honored and delighted when papa took me into General Grant’s room and let me see the General and Col. Grant, for General Grant is a man I shall be glad all my life that I have seen [MTA 2: 143].

April 30 Thursday – From Susy Clemens’ unfinished biography (her spelling):

…mamma planned to take the four-o’clock car back to Hartford. We rose quite early that morning and went to the Vienna Bakery and took breakfast there. From there we went to a German bookstore and bought some German books for Clara’s birthday.

Then mamma and I went to do some shopping and papa went to see General Grant. After we had finished doing our shopping we went home to the hotel together….Papa came home and gave mamma her ticket; and after visiting a while with her went to see Major Pond and mamma and I sat down to our lunch. After lunch most of our time was taken up with packing, and at about three o’clock we went to escort mamma to the train. We got on board the train with her and stayed with her about five minutes and then we said good-bye to her and the train started for Hartford. It was the first time I had ever beene away from home without mamma in my life, although I was 13 yrs. old. Papa and I drove back to the hotel and got Major Pond and then went to see the Brooklyn Bridge we went across it to Brooklyn on the cars and then walked back across it from Brooklyn to New York [Salsbury 198].

Sam wrote from New York City to Frederick D. Grant, making a suggested change in a letter Fred wrote for Gerhardt. He strenuously argued that a libel suit be brought against the New York World for an article printed Apr. 29, namely, that the memoirs were not the work of General Grant, but a ghost-writer. The World claimed that the book was the work of Adam Badeau. Sam was enraged [MTP; Perry 196].

May Sam’s article “What Ought he to Have Done?” ran in the May issue of Babyhood [Lou Budd’s list furnished by Thomas Tenney and citing Branch]. Note: this piece also ran in The Christian Union, July 16, 1885 [Camfield, bibliog.]. It was also reprinted in the July 21 Courant as “Mark Twain on the Government of Children.” Susy Clemens reported that upon reading the piece, Livy was “shocked and a little displeased” [MTB 820].

Sam’s notebook listed the German titles of three works by Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)—translated, A Daughter of Russia; First Love; Spring Floods. Beneath these is listed Berthold Auerbach’s (1812-1882) melodramatic novel of illicit love, Auf der Hohe (1865) [Gribben 719; 31]. Also listed is the name of Karl Friedrich Becker’s children’s book about Greek myths, Erzahlungen aus der alten Welt fur die Jugend (1810) [MTNJ 3: 148]. Also in his notebook, “Boots & Saddles, E.B. Custer” [Gribben 169]. Note: Elizabeth B. Custer (1844-1933).

May 1 Friday – Sam spoke at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, for their Founder’s Day, reading the popular “Trying Situation” and “Golden Arm” [Fatout, MT Speaking 656].

From Susy’s unfinished biography (her spelling):

The next morning we rose early, took our breakfast and took an early train to Pougkeepsie. We had a very pleasant journey to Poughkeepsie. The Hudson was magnificent—shrouded with beautiful mist. When we arrived at Poughkeepsie it was raining quite hard….It was a long drive from the station to Vasser College and papa and I had a nice long time to discuss and laugh over German profanity. [After being made to wait ]. At last we were called to dinner, and I went down without papa as he never eats anything in the middle of the day….After dinner I went around the College with the young ladies and papa stayed in his room and smoked. When it was supper time papa went down and ate supper with us and we had a very delightful supper.

Papa read in the chapell. It was the first time I had ever heard him read in my life—that is in public…I enjoyed the evening inexpressibly much…After papa had finished reading we all went down to the collation in the dining-room, and after that there was dancing and singing. Then the guests went away and papa and I went to bed [Salsbury 199-200; MTA 2: 170-1].

From Sam’s notebook:

60,000 sets of Gen. Grant’s book (or 120,000 single vols) I am to publish next December, are already ordered by a region comprising one-fourth of the territory lying between Canada & Mason & Dixon’s line, & the Mississippi river & the Atlantic Ocean. At this rate, the rest of that territory will take 180,000 sets more—240,000 sets in all, or 480,000 single volumes. The vast West, & the body of Southern States, ought to take, together, 120,000 sets, perhaps—say 600,000 single volumes. If these chickens really hatch out according to my count, Gen. Grant’s royalties will amount to $420,000, & will make the larges single check ever paid an author in the world’s history….If I pay the General in silver coin (at $12 per pound) it will weigh 17 tons [MTNJ 3: 141-2].

May 2 Saturday – From Susy’s unfinished biography:

The next morning we rose early, took an early train for Hartford and reached Hartford at ½ past 2 o’clock. We were very glad to get back [MTA 2: 171].

In New York City: three days after the appearance of the New York World’s claim that Ulysses Grant was not the author of the forthcoming book, Grant dictated a letter to Sam—the Memoirs composition was entirely his own [Perry 197]. Sam made sure Grant’s letter was well circulated to other New York newspapers. Badeau had started the rumor, dissatisfied over his recent lesser role. See Perry 198-202 for a full account of Badeau’s disservice.

Charles Webster wrote various business matters, including a possible suit of the NY World, which Alexander & Green thought would take a year [MTP].

May 3 Sunday In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster. He’d “watched closely” and had “not seen a single reference to the World’s lie in any newspaper” (The New York World’s lie about Grant—see Apr. 30 entry). He realized that if no other papers copied the report, that suing them would only give “that daily issue of unmedicated closet-paper” publicity. Sam PS’d that he was coming to New York on Wednesday, May 6 [MTP].

May 4 Monday – James Redpath wrote to arrange a meeting in NYC. “If you are to be down on a Thursday I wish to take you to the Twilight Club”. He offered several other plans [MTP]. Note: this is clearly a reply to a non-extant letter by Clemens.

May 5 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Orion, enclosing a letter from a relative he had “no shred of remembrance of. …maybe you & Ma may like to read her letter. All well & send love” [MTP]. Note: see Apr. 24: Clemma L. Bradley (nee Lampton) from McKinney, Texas.

Sam also wrote a longer letter to Howells, praising him on his reading at the Apr. 28-9 American Copyright League in New York. Sam had sometimes teased Howells about his ability to read to an audience, but now he was effusive:

Who taught you to read? Observation & thought, I guess. And practice at the Tavern Club?—yes; & that was the best teaching of all.

Well you sent even your daintiest & most delicate & fleeting points home to that audience—absolute proof of good reading. But you couldn’t read worth a damn a few years ago. I do not say this to flatter you; it is true.

Sam also wrote of Osgood’s business failure, that he’d seen it coming a year before. Osgood still held the Library of Humor, which Sam said he’d hand to Howells “whenever you want it”—then added that to avoid a mix up perhaps Howells “had better send down & get it.” Sam PS’d derisively that Cable’s response to Pond about the Copyright League wanting him to speak was they’d have to pay his price.

“He is intellectually great—very great, I think—but in order to find room for this greatness in his pygmy carcase, God had to cramp his other qualities more than was judicious, it seems to me” [MTP].

Sam also wrote a short note of condolence to James R. Osgood, wishing him “an early return to prosperity,” then turned around and wrote to Webster, “Osgodo’s busted, at last. It was sure to come” [MTP].

In Boston, Howells wrote to Sam, grateful for the kind words about his recent reading. As to Cable’s refusal to read for charity,

“I don’t see how a reasonably selfish author could have refused to read there. Wasn’t it our own interest we were promoting? Cable ought to have thought that his books were to gain as much as anyone’s. And Warner failed too! Well, the show netted $1700, Lathrop tells me” [MTHL 2: 530].

May 6 WednesdayUlysses S. Grant wrote to Adam Badeau, saying “you and I must give up all association so far as the preparation for any literary work goes which bears my signature.” Sam was fully behind Grant’s action [Perry 200]. Sam and Grant knew that Badeau had likely planted the story in the New York World claiming that Grant’s book was written by a ghost-writer. Perry claims Mark Twain was that ghost-writer [202].

May 7 and 9 Saturday – The Boston Herald ran an article publicizing Sam’s complaints against George W. Cable in their recent reading tour, “Personal Peculiarities of a Well Known Author.” Sam remained silent on these accusations of stinginess and inconvenience caused to others as a result of Cable’s refusal to travel on Sundays. It wasn’t until ten years later that Sam came out against such claims, which Fatout asserts were generated by Sam’s talk with others [Circuit 228-31].

May 10 Sunday – In the wake of the rumor in the New York World, Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, admonishing him to “write nothing in any private letter to friend, relative, or anybody, which you do not want published.” Sam felt he’d been burned “so often, in my own experience, that I feel like warning & saving” Webster [MTP].

May 11 MondayKarl Gerhardt wrote twice, one to Sam & one to Sam & Livy, about medallions, his need for a small office, and his circular (on the back of the letters) for the Grant busts: (twice, one to Sam only). His second letter added that James B. Pond had offered a part of his office; Pond suggested a terra cotta bust of Henry Ward Beecher [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote, again pursung the idea that Clemens would write up his brief experiences in the Confederate ranks [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Wants war article”

May 11 or 12 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook designates this as the period he began dictating the events surrounding General Grant’s illness to James Redpath [MTNJ 3:144].

May 13 Wednesday – Sam notified Edward M. Bunce, Henry C. Robinson, and other Friday night billiard players that he was moving up their gathering to the next day, Thursday, May 14, in order to attend a lecture by Chauncey M. Depew (1834-1928) at the Opera House in Hartford on Friday [MTP]. Depew was a Yale-educated lawyer and businessman who later served as a U.S. Senator from New York.

Sam also dictated a letter to Edward House. James Redpath took down Sam’s words. Most of the letter is a discussion of General Grant’s book and Sam’s conclusions that the Century had underpaid Grant for his previous articles. House was forced to return home from Japan by recurrence of severe gout, which left him unable to work, or even walk [Huffman 18]. Sam wrote “We are infinitely grieved to hear of your latest calamity” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, “more & more bothered by the French & German translations.” Sam wanted them printed in New York, not Europe, and he wanted to wait till Nov. 1 to avoid theft and reentry into the U.S. market, as in the Belford travesty. He recommended Hjalmar Boyesen, now teaching at Columbia College as an “absolutely trustworthy” translator. Sam also wanted to be kept informed of all his various enterprises: “Dictate me a letter every week if you die for it” [MTP].

Sam also had Redpath take down a short note to an unidentified person who suggested Sam write about some topic. Sam answered it was a good idea but that it had already been done “in the Georgia Scenes, & quite well done, too” [MTP].

May 14 Thursday – Newspapers were reporting grossly inaccurate earnings for Sam and Cable from the reading tour—The Boston Transcript and the Boston Evening Journal claimed the tour had netted Sam “nearly $35,000.” On May 17, the New York World also claimed that amount for Sam, and an equal number for Cable [Cardwell 11]. The actual amounts were much less—see Feb. 28 entry.

The Friday night billiards gathering took place on this Thursday night at Sam’s home. (See May 13 entry.)

Charles Webster wrote about Grant doing 20 pages this day, though he was not well. Also wrote about the photo of Grant as a young lieutenant. Webster was “awfully busy” [MTP].

May 15 Friday – Sam attended Chauncey M. Depew’s talk on “Poetry and Politics in the British Isles” at the Opera House in Hartford. Governor Henry B. Harrison (1821-1901) was in attendance. Sam and Joseph R. Hawley and other dignitaries sat on the lecture platform. The lecture included Depew’s impressions of Ireland, Scotland, and England, along with personal anecdotes [Hartford Courant, May 16, 1885 p.1]

In Hartford, Sam wrote to Dr. George C. Jarvis, arranging to have minor surgery on his palate the first week in June. He was giving a Hartford reading and wanted the doctor to come to his house for the procedure right after. “I shan’t need my voice after that reading, nor my palate either” [MTP].

George W. Cable telegraphed: “All intimations that you and Pond are not my Beloved Friends are false and if you can say the same of me do so as privately or as publicly as you like” [MTP].

L.A. Stager for Stager School of Languages wrote a fan letter with some history [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Engel’s fine compliment”

May 16 Saturday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Orion that the family would leave for Elmira the fifteenth of June. Marked “private” Sam praised Charles Webster and noted General Grant’s high regard for him.

Charley has tackled the vastest book-enterprise the world has ever seen, with a calm cool head & a capable hand, & is carrying it along in a serene unhalting fashion which is fine to see. All well, —love to all [MTP].

Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, about a “small donkey, with saddle, harness & two little carts, all for $75,” most likely for his girls. Sam told Pond to have his brother Homer “hold on for a while,” if he hadn’t already got some of these items, since Sam wanted this lot. Sam had written to reserve the lot for up to two weeks [MTP].

Puck Magazine wrote to request autograph for Mr. Schenk, the editor of the German Puck [MTP].

George W. Cable wrote to explain his telegram and that he thought the slander about himself, Pond and Clemens originated in the Boston Herald [MTP].

May 17 Sunday In Hartford, Sam wrote to George W. Cable, who wrote and telegraphed the day before, upset at things he was reading in the papers. Sam assured him that they were the “slanders of a professional newspaper liar,” and that “this thing did not distress” him “for one single half of a half of a hundreth part of a second” [MTP]. The source of Cable’s upset? From Turner’s biography of Cable:

“Yet within a few weeks after the reading team had disbanded, the newspapers printed comments on the tour, critical particularly of Cable, some of which could have originated ultimately with no one but Mark Twain. These slanderous charges were written and published, however, after the way had been prepared by the stand Cable had taken on the race question and the newspapers had heaped abuse on him for that reason” [193].

Sam also telegraphed Charles Langdon at the Gilsey House in New York, asking if he could come see him there the next evening [MTP].

Sam also wrote a short note to James B. Pond, asking for “two or three of those broadsheets of notices” of his readings. Sam intended to give a double performance the first week in June at Unity Hall in Hartford [MTP]. (See June 1 entry to the Art Society of Hartford.)

May 18 Monday – Sam probably went to New York City as referenced by his May 17 telegram to Webster [MTP]. (No other documentation found; no letters published for May 18 to May 19.)

Orion Clemens wrote. “I sent cousin Clemma Bradley directions for obtaining the agency. I also had a letter from her.” He suggested forwarding letters from such relatives [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No don’t send me any family trees—don’t take interest in them”

Dean Sage wrote from NYC. “Your telegram happened to catch me during a few hours stay in N.Y.the first time in a month. I return to Albany much against my will tomorrow morning early & so shall be unable to see you” [MTP].

Theodore W. Crane wrote, two letters enclosed, about getting a donkey for the Clemens girls [MTP].

May 19 TuesdayJane Clemens wrote to Sam & Livy about the weather, not getting out much, good neighbors, her new set of teeth, and asked Jean to tell her how the stockings fit [MTP].

May 20 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Charles Webster. Progress had been made on the Paige typesetter; a big test was in the offing. Sam was ready to sign a contract:

“Just take a day & shin around & get experts & capitalists together & send them up here without waiting any longer for Peyton. CAN’T wait any longer. When those people see the machine at work, now, they will see at a glance that there is no occasion to remove it to New York for the test” [MTP].

May 20 Wednesday ca. – Sam went to Albany, New York to discuss another invention by Paige (an electric telegraphic apparatus) with Dean Sage. Sam’s notebook notes to telegraph “Ch & Norv. Green or Watterson.” The source speculates that “Ch” may have been George W. Childs, owner of the Philadelphia Public Ledger [MTNJ 3: 144n57].

Evidently, Sam made a brief stay with Sage and visited the Shaker community at Watervliet, New York. Sage wrote on May 23:

“We enjoyed your short visit very much & don’t want you to forget your promise to the Shakers, the fulfillment of which will of course involve the long promised visit here of Mrs Clemens & yourself” [MTNJ 3: 148-9n70].

May 21 ThursdayKarl Gerhardt wrote to Sam & Livy: great hopes for Josie’s getting well; more about the Grant busts—he offered to sell “outright my share of royalty in Grant bust (Terra Cotta) for $10,000…and cancellation of indebtedness to you, reserving the right to withdraw this proposition after June 15, 1885, is that fair?” [MTP].

Charles J. Langdon wrote: “I was hunting among the telegrams here yesterday expecting one from another party when I came across the enclosed. Please note it with care, and lay the fault where it belongs, viz! to the telephone” [MTP]. Note: enclosed lost telegrams to and from Clemens to Langdon from May 1884, with misspelled names. Sam wrote on the env., “Queer!”

May 22 Friday – Sam typed a letter from Hartford to Orion in Keokuk, Iowa, admonishing him not to send “any letter from the Gogginses or anybody else,” that he had no “interest in relatives born to me,” due to the fact that such interest required correspondence.



Sam also dictated for his Autobiography, and gave this date in connection with a bust made by Gerhardt of General Grant:

“Up to the present day, May 22, 1885, no later likeness of General Grant, of any kind, has been made from life, and if it shall chance to remain the last ever made of him from life, coming generations can properly be grateful that one so nearly perfect of him was made after the world learned his name” [1: 68].

May 23 Saturday – The Graphic (London) ran a notice:

“Humourists will delight in ‘The Mark Twain Birthday Book,” edited by ‘E.O.S.’ (Remington), which contains excerpts from Mr. Clemens’ writings. Each day is allotted several sentences, presumably summarising the character of the person who writes his name on the opposite page, such as ‘A Meddling Old Clam,’ or ‘She was attractively attired in her new and beautiful false teeth’” [Tenney].

Dean Sage wrote to Sam, Gov. Cornell to Sage May 21 enclosed. Subject: “what his idea is of any new telegraphic inventions” [MTP].

May 25 Monday – In his notebook, Sam drafted a letter in German in response to a letter from her sister asking if Rosina Hay, their ex-governess, was still alive. Sam answered of course she was still alive, happily married and now Mrs. Horace Terwilliger, Elmira New York. The letter may not have been sent. [MTNJ 3: 150 & n78].

In his Autobiography, this date is given for more dictation about Grant’s book, and the startling fact that without advertising, Sam wrote:

“…we have bona fide orders for 100,000 sets of the book…and these orders are from men who have bonded themselves to take and pay for them….We also have under consideration applications for 50,000 sets more…” [1: 54-5].

May 26 Tuesday Joel Chandler Harris unsigned review of Huck Finn ran in the Atlanta Constitution (p4, cols 2-3) [Griska 585]. In answering those critics who had followed lockstep with the Concord Library’s indictment of the book as “coarse, crude and inartistic,” Harris pointed out the falseness of that view and the true value of the book:

It is the story of a half illiterate, high spirited boy whose adventures are related by himself. The art with which this conception is dealt with is perfect in all its details. The boy’s point of view is never for a moment lost sight of, and the moral of the whole is that this half illiterate boy can be made to present, with perfect consistency, not only the characters of the people whom he meets, but an accurate picture of their social life. From the artistic point of view, there is not a coarse nor vulgar suggestion from the beginning to the end of the book. Whatever is coarse and crude is in the life that is pictured, and the picture is perfect. It may be said that the humor is sometimes excessive. But it is genuine humor—and the moral of the book, though it is not scrawled across every page, teaches the necessity of manliness and self-sacrifice.

Note: Harris sent a clipping of this review to Sam along with a short note on June 1, 1885.

Sam was in New York and spent time chatting with General Grant.

To-day talked with General Grant about his & my first Missouri campaign in 1861 (in June or July.) He surprised an empty camp near Florida, Mo., on Salt river, which I had been occupying a day or two before. How near he came to playing the devil with his future publisher! [MTNJ 3: 153].

(It is curious & dreadful to sit up this way & talk cheerful nonsense to Gen. Grant & he under sentence of death with that cancer. He says he has made the book too large by 200 pages—not a bad fault—a short time ago we were afraid it would lack 400 of being enough. He has dictated 10,000 words at a single sitting, & he is a sick man! It kills me these days to do half of it! [MTNJ 3: 152].

May 27 Wednesday From New York City, Sam wrote a letter of introduction for Charles Webster to take with him overseas, in the securing of foreign publishers for the Grant book. Although Grant owned the foreign rights to the memoirs, Sam wanted to establish contracts with foreign publishers to protect copyright. This letter was not to any specific person [MTP].

From Sam’s notebook:

Called on Postmaster Pierson (New York City)—a very young man—is 42—but I have already made this note.)

Then called on Dr. Norvin Green, President of the Western Union Telegraph Co & had a long talk about James W. Paige’s printing telegraph. One of the Virginian Wises was there—a very pleasant gentleman. We were on good terms once, because one of my tribe of Clemenses shot one of his tribe of Wises in a duel once—or was shot himself by a Wise, I don’t remember which [MTNJ 3: 153].

Thomas & Anna Fitch wrote from San Francisco, having just read P&P and HF. He thought P&P was timeless. “You have money enough. Instead of ‘pot boilers’ why don’t you write antoehr such a book as” P&P [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote that he’d “chased after” Sam to show him the Beecher bust but missed him [MTP].

May 28 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam also wrote to Karl Gerhardt, answering a letter of May 27. Paraphrase: “Answered him with ‘No’—with thanks” [MTP]. From Sam’s notebook:

“May 28—At Western Union building was introduced to Jay Gould & lunched with his son. Damned insignificant looking people” [MTNJ 3: 155-6].

May 29 FridayE. Evans wrote a begging letter from London [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote: “Have Woodruff see Mr Green at Tiffany’s. They wish to control the bronze bust—The ‘Courant’ article changed their eyes” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Tiffany wants bust”

Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote sending paper and gum samples “as we understand your description given us yesterday” [MTP].

May 30 Saturday In Hartford, Sam and Livy wrote to Hattie Gerhardt. Hattie had been ill, so coordinating a visit was the object of this letter, the body by Livy with PS added by Sam. Livy wrote that they were leaving for Elmira on June 17; their last guests at Hartford would be arriving on June 10, making the only time available for Hattie to visit with her baby, June 6 to 9. If that didn’t work, Livy suggested they could “catch a glimpse” of her as “we got through New York on the 17th.” Sam cautioned her to beware—“That is too deadly & treacherous disease to take any chances with, at all” [MTP].

Note: Sam to Howells, June 5, revealed that the “last visitors” were “Miss Murfree & her sister.” Mary N. Murfree wrote Southern mountain stories under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock. After Howells had printed one of her stories, he discovered she was a “young crippled woman of great charm” [MTHL 2: 532n3].

Sam also wrote to Buvva Morgan Smith  [Referenced by her letter of June 1, MTP].

June – Sometime during the month, Sam wrote from either Hartford or Elmira to Charles Webster, suggesting the text and layout for business envelopes, which included “Personal Memoires of General Grant” in red ink [MTP].

Sam’s notebook carries an entry recalling Sydney Smith’s (1771-1845) famous line, “Who reads an American book?” [Gribben 650]. He also noted to “Get Carlyle’s Essays” [MTNJ 3: 160]. Sam also noted “Perfect: About ben Adhhem & the Rubiyat,” referring to Leigh Hunt’s poem, “Abou Ben Adhem.” Sam used a phrase from Hunt’s poem in Ch. 9 of IA: “may his tribe increase!’ [3: 159].

Ulysses S. Grant finished a letter he began Mar. 1885 [MTP].

June 1 Monday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to the Art Society of Hartford, accepting an invitation from the ladies there to give a reading in Unity Hall on the evening of Friday, June 5, and also the afternoon of June 6 [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Warren Stoddard. During this year Stoddard accepted the chair of the English department at Notre Dame College, but soon gave it up due to ill health. When Stoddard confessed discomfort about publishing A Troubled Heart, the story of his religious quest, Sam replied:

I have read it. Yes, I think you were right to print it; for there are all sorts of people, & they require all sorts of comforting; consequently there are those who require this sort—I mean the sort of comfort that is found in what is called religion. Peace of mind is a most valuable thing. The Bible has robbed the majority of the world of it during many centuries…I have found that as perfect a peace is to be found in absolute unbelief…May your belief & my unbelief never more be shaken in this life! [MTP].

Buvva Morgan Smith wrote to Sam.

54 East 11th St / June 1st ’85 / Dear Mr. Clemens:

Communication of Saturday last received. I am much obliged for your courtesy. But, upon my word the idea of writing up our pleasant call never crossed my mind until the next day. I only wish now that it had, for the sake of the many funny things you didn’t say. “Of all sad words of tongue or type-writer” &c. You know the quotation.

Dear Mr. Clemens, I do hope that if in the future I may ever enjoy the honor of a note from you, that your type-writer will have gone to pieces like the “One Hoss Shay.” I prefer your chirography [sic], however bad you may moderately affirm it to be [MTP]. Notes: “our pleasant call” may refer to Sam’s visitors, “Miss Murfree & her sister” recollected in June 5 to Howells. It may be that Buvva accompanied Miss Murfree to Hartford, or was part of the company there before the Clemens family left for Elmira. Since Murfree was a writer, perhaps Sam was concerned the visit would be publicized. MTP gives “daughter of Confed. General Morgan-Smith; first name uncertain”, yet the envelope reads, in Sam’s hand, “Daughter of Rebel General Morgan Smith”. This is probably the daughter of Union general Morgan L. Smith, under Sherman’s command. No record of a hyphenated Morgan-Smith could be found. Also, the MTP in-coming letter lists her as “Bulla,” but the signature is spelled out and is clearly Buvva, perhaps a nickname or stage name; the letter suggests some connection with the stage:

West Hartford Ice & Pressed Brick Co. , billed $24.62 for deliveries Jan. through May, total 9,850 lbs @ 25 cents lb.; paid June 6 [MTP].

Joel Chandler Harris wrote from Atlanta, enclosing a notice of HF contributed to the Editorial columns of the Atlanta Constitution, “less a review of the book than of its critics.” Evidently this was in response to a favor asked by Sam, for Harris wrote it was the best he could do [MTP].

June 2 TuesdayOrion Clemens wrote: thanks for the $150; his history game research; “Ma is well, and takes lots of exercise”; Mollie was not well [MTP].

Pitts H. Burt wrote from Pittsburg about pottery sent and the thanks of the pottery crew [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt sent a telegram from Mt Vernon, NY: “Eve’s Lullaby has been awarded a diploma of honor by the Jury of fine arts at the New Orleans Exposition ward just received” [MTP].

June 3 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to James B. Pond.

“Damn it, we could not get that donkey, after all, & so I hope you will get Homer to rush a gentle small burro to Elmira in a hurry, for Jean, or she will be dreadfully disappointed. We shall arrive there the 18th of June & go up to the farm a few days or a week later” [MTP]. Note: Jean would be five on July 26.

June 4 Thursday – Sam, wrote from Hartford to Karl Gerhardt, advising him to tag along with Webster to see General Grant two or three days in succession” and to observe him in various poses so as to work on a large statue to be presented to the City of New York. Sam hoped for orders of it from other cities. He also admonished Gerhardt not to neglect “the Beecher bust,” and wanted a bronze copy of “Mother Langdon’s medallion” [MTP].

June 5 Friday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to Howells. He had read the June installment of The Rise of Silas Lapham in the Century, and “found it as great & fine & strong & beautiful as Mrs. Clemens had already proclaimed it to be.” Sam extended an invitation for the Howellses to visit them on June 10 [MTP]. Note: in a June 6 response, Howells explained his daughter had been sick and that Osgood’s business failure had caused them to be “a great deal distracted.” They would not be able to visit. With the conclusion of his agreement with Osgood, Howells was now in negotiation with other publishers [MTHL 2: 532 & n1].

In the evening, Sam gave a reading for the Art Society Benefit, Unity Hall, Hartford. His selections were “King Sollermun,” and “German Lesson” [Fatout, MT Speaking 656].

June 6 Saturday – Sam gave a matinee reading, the second for the Art Society Benefit, Unity Hall, Hartford. His selections: “Trying Situation,” “Short Story” [Fatout, MT Speaking 656].

In Boston, Howells wrote to Sam with reasons why they’d not yet been able to visit: Osgood’s failure (which put payments to Howells in a ping-pong match between other publishers), daughter Pilla’s illness, and packing for a week in the country [MTHL 2: 532].

Karl Gerhardt wrote twice, one to family: “In case I should wish to replicate the “Echo” and exhibit the original at Tiffany’s Gallery, may I have your permission to do so?” [MTP].

June 7 Sunday – The last entry in Sam’s “A Record of the Small Foolishnesses of Susie & ‘Bay’ Clemens (Infants),” was made this day.

Livy Clemens’ diary:

“I am reading with great interest George Elliott [Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)’s Life by her husband J.W. Cross.] It is most delightful….The only thing in the book that annoys me is her constant mentions of her ill health.”

Notes: Sam undoubtedly read or discussed this book with his wife, and in late Oct. 1885 entered in his notebook the idea of writing an article about such “whines & complaints” of authors [Gribben 217]. Eliot (1819-1880), not to be confused with George W. Elliott or George W. Elliot.

Livy began this diary as a log for visitors, the first of whom was entered on Oct. 26, 1877. On this day she wrote:

“This book was strarted for a visitors book but—as we always forget to ask visitors to write in it—As ‘I’ have gone from Nov 16th 1880 until now, unused—will try to make some use of it.”

Livy then wrote about Harriet Beecher Stowe, “so gentle and lovely,” bringing her flowers [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote: Sam’s of June 4 to Josie arrived late; he wouldn’t be able to talk to Webster until return from Peekskills; this day he got to observe Beecher in the pulpit; a colossal (8’) stature of Gen. Grant to be made [MTP].

** Jane Clemens & Pamela Moffett wrote of family doings and the wish to see the children play P&P [MTP].

June 8 MondayClara Clemens eleventh birthday. She received a lawn tennis set, Livy recording the gifts in her diary [Mark Twain News 39.2 (Summer 1995): 9].

Sam took the early morning train to New York and took a room at the Everett House. From Livy’s diary:

The little maiden is eleven years old today and a precious little maiden she is. She had her school this morning only that it closed about half an hour earlier than usual. Then we had her table as has been our habit for several years on the Ombra. She had given to her a lawn tennis set, books—some little pieces of pottery, two little pins (brooches) one silver and one shell. Note paper, a pretty little Japanese pencil box—a work basket etc.

We had Susy, Julia and Harmony Twichell, Daisy Warner, Fanny Freese, Susy Corey and Miss Foote here for supper. A jolly time playing games, dancing, and so on. It is a great pleasure to see the children together they do have such a good time….When I came up to bed tonight they were both wide awake waiting to tell me what a good day they had had and how much they thanked me for it. They are blessed children and tremendous comforts [Salsbury 200-1; MTP].

Just as the children’s company was breaking up Mr & Mrs Geo. Warner came in to help me decide which two pieces of pottery Mr Clemens and I should give to Miss Lizzie Foote for her wedding gift [MTP].

In New York, Sam wrote his mother, Jane Clemens. He noted that he wouldn’t be home to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. He was sending $50 a month extra to Jane “while the warm weather lasts” that she must spend. Sam boasted that “Our little sculptor, Gerhardt” was making a “mighty fine bust” of Henry Ward Beecher. He marked “private” that Osgood had owed him $1,800, but that he was “very sorry Osgood failed—mighty nice man.” Sam told of a rat that “traveled across the floor” as he wrote:

“The idea of these people charging $7 a day for a room with a rat in it, & allowing the rat board & yet charging me extra for board. Love to you all. Sam” [MTP].

Ulysses S. Grant informed Sam that volume two of his memoirs were completed. The cancer had spread and Grant could barely speak [Perry 202-3].

Julius Blasius, Hartford music teacher billed Livy $21.20, for Jan. 26 to June 8 for music lessons [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote from Keokuk, Ia. to his brother:


I just now met John H. Craig, the leading lawyer here, and possessing the chief local reputation as a poet and popular orator.

      He says he read Huckleberry Finn through, and then reread it and studied the points. In his view Huckleberry Finn is as distinctly a created character as Falstaff [Shakespeare char.] The dialogues between him and Jim are inimitable, and the dialect perfect. How you could get down to their ideas, especially Jim’s of King Sollerman, and manage so many dialects he does not see[.] His boys lie on the floor and read it, and roll over, and laugh. It is full of fun.

      Tom Sawyer was read and loaned till it had to be re-covered; and Huckleberry will soon start on the same journey.

      He regards Jim as a very clear-cut character; standing out with Huckleberry[‘s] natural distinctness. He can see them. To him they are real characters.

      The feud is a perfect picture.

      I am going to take ma to the park this afternoon. The artesian well water has iron, magnesia and sulfur and other things, and seems to benefit her. It is in the park / Love to all, / Your Brother, Orion [MTP]. Note: Orion added a lengthy P.S. about one Charley Whitney and an unnamed man who scammed the people there selling soap for all sorts of cures and legal services without a license.


Charles H. Clark wrote thanking Sam for an unspecified article. He could only print about half of it and then return it [MTP].


E.B. Webb wrote from Washington, NJ, enclosing a copy of a paper read at the last meeting of their Washington Literary Circle, asking “an expression of your views as to its usefulness” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Burlesque critique”


William N. Woodruff telegraphed from Hartford: “Philadelphia accept I go there Saturday thirteenth letters by mail.” He also wrote a letter this day: “I have just received a letter from Phila’, and they accept our terms on the busts. I am to go there on Saturday of this week…to close contract.” When would Sam be home to view the contract? And if Sam saw Gerhardt he advised “coming to some definite understanding” for his pay [MTP].

June 9 Tuesday – Sam was in New York. He gave notice to his canvassers that volume two of Grant’s work would soon be published. Perry writes that Sam:

“…contracted for the use of twelve more printing presses and seven more bindaries, all of which combined would produce one set of memoirs every second. All of Twain’s funds were now tied up in printing, marketing, and distributing Grant’s memoirs” [203].

From Sam’s notebook:

Paper contract for 2 years let to Warren & Co, Boston, at 6 1/3 cents per pound—they charged Osgood 8½ for the same paper for Life on the Mississippi at a time when the market was lower than it is now. We may possibly want 600 tons of it—we already require 300.

Called on Genl. Grant to-day [MTNJ 3: 160].

June 10 Wednesday – Sam was attending to “imperative business” in New York. This is the third day of a three day stay there [Sam to Moffett, June 12].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote they couldn’t get “the note of introduction to Mr Bates President of the Baltimore & Ohio Telegraph Company (which you desire) until tomorrow” [MTP].

June 11 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to the editor of the Christian Union. Sam’s letter, a reaction to a Union article, “What Ought He to have Done,” ran in that publication on June 16 on pages 4-5, and is a great argument for the proper application of a whipping to a wayward child, given in the right spirit “with hearts wholly free from temper.” Significantly, Sam ended the letter about proper parenting by referring to Livy:

In all my life I have never made a single reference to my wife in print before, as far as I can remember, except once in the dedication of a book; &, so, after these fifteen years of silence, perhaps I may unseal my lips this one time without impropriety or indelicacy. I will institute one other novelty: I will send this manuscript to the press without her knowledge, & without asking her to edit it. This will save it from getting edited into the stove. Mark Twain [Note: see the full response in Neider’s Mark Twain: Life As I Find it, p. 209-211]. See also July 16.

He also wrote to Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green, letter not extant; referred to in June 12 reply.

Livy and the girls decorated their schoolroom in anticipation of examination day [Salsbury 201].

East India House of Boston billed Livy $2.50 for “2 ½ yds Pink Arab Cotton”; paid June 18 [MTP].

Edward Abbott for The Literary World Magazine wrote to invite Sam to a welcome home reception for James Russell Lowell on June 27 in the magazine; they asked for Sam to join “with such words of greeting as you may feel moved to write” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No”

Karl Gerhardt wrote “I hear the Century Club is gathering money for a statue to the poet Bryant do you know anything about it?” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Don’t know nothing ‘bout it”

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, enclosing a note of introduction to Mr. Bates [MTP].

June 12 Friday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, explaining against her admonitions why he hadn’t written her.

Correspondence is the despair of my life. Suppose you had to have 15 teeth pulled every day; & every time you lost 3 days…

I have been to New York 3 days on imperative business—& at this table I must stick this entire day & answer the accumulation of letters—adding a deep, strong, heartfelt curse to each & every one of them except this one [MTP].

From Livy’s diary:

Yesterday the children and I decorated the school room with wild flowers, grasses and ferns for today’s examination. We made the room exceedingly pretty, the children enjoyed so much the process of doing it. This morning Mrs. Geo. Warner, Daisy, Miss Price and Miss Corey came to the examination. All the lessons went very nicely I thought. The children were both examined in Arithmetic. Next Susy was examined in Geography, then Clara in United States History.—then Susy in United States History, Susy’s was a brief but very good synopsis of United S. H. from the earliest discoverers down to the Civil War—Clara’s was giving more particulars of the Civil War.

Supper tonight on the Ombra. Billiards evening—Mr. Robinson, Mr. Bunce, Mr. Whitmore and Sam Dunham came for billards [Salsbury 201].

Hawley, Goodrich & Co., Hartford, billed Sam $4.25 to adv. “cow for sale” 2.25; Daily Courant 1 quarter 2.00; paid July 9 [MTP].

W. Minor wrote from Nashville, “humorous story” enclosed. “Touch it with the humor of your prolific pen” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “O, hell!”

 Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, having rec’d his of June 11. About the Paige typesetter and the Delaware people and W.A. Paton [MTP].

June 13 SaturdayLivy recounted the day’s activities in her diary:

This morning the last day of the childrens examination, Clara passed a most excellent examination in her Geography. Susy told the story of Cupid and Psyche in Latin, Miss Foote asking her questions. Susy gave what I think without partiality was a brilliant recitation in Ancient History. She talked for fully an hour with an occasional question from Miss Foote, telling us in a most concise and felicitous way about what she had been going over in this last Winter. Describing what History is—about the races of men, about Egypt, Assyria & Babylonia, Phenicia &c &c &c….

After dinner which we ate on the Ombra we took a drive in the long carriage, first taking Jean a little way, then bringing her home as it was her bed time. In the evening Mr & Mrs G. Warner & Miss Price came in. Lilly going home after a little, Miss Price and Mr Warner staying for whist. After we had played four games Mr & Mrs Charles Warner came he having just returned from a long trip away. A little later Dr. Smith and Miss Corey came….We had a jolly remainder of the evening, eating ice cream hearing and telling funny stories of which latter Mr Clemens was full [MTP].

A bill of $51.85 from Roberson & Wiley of Ft. Scott, Kansas to J.B. Pond for H.W. Pond [Homer Pond] for “1 donkey shipped to Elmira” – Sam reimbursed Homer for the animal for his children to ride [MTP].

William H. Avery wrote from Lamar, Mo. about John (Judge) Main, a 65 yr old man worth 100k to 250k. Avery thought Main could be “valuable” to Sam, though besides interesting reminiscences he doesn’t say how [MTP].

June 14 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to the Gerhardts in New York City.

We arrive at the Everett House Wednesday evening & leave for Elmira on Friday morning, & shall hope to see one or two of you, if we can see the whole trinity [MTP]. Note: The family stayed at the Hotel Normandie (see June 19 entry).

June 15 Monday – The New York Times ran a short note on page 3 under “Literary Notes” that volume one of Grant’s memoirs would not be out till December and the second volume about March, 1885.

C.L. Webster…will go to Europe to arrange simultaneous issues in several other languages, besides French, German, and Italian.

In Hartford, Sam inscribed a copy of Huck Finn to an unidentified person [MTP].

The family was preparing for the summer move to Elmira. From Livy’s diary for this day:

A busy day getting picking up done and articles put together for our Summer absence. Down town immediately after lunch taking Clara with me to hear a talk with Mr Blasius about as to how she is to practice on her violin this Summer. The “blessed Miss Jane” of course went too. She has been with Patrick nearly the entire afternoon, riding seeing him milk the cows and so on.

Just after we had finished our dinner on the Ombra Lilly and Mr Warner came, he to say good bye as he goes to New York tonight—and will not return until we are gone. While Lilly was still here Harmony and Joe came they staid and visited with us until Mr Dunham, Sally and Molly came after a little. We went into the Library having two tables of whist players. A most delightful evening—the Dunhams the Warners & Miss Price. Mr Charles Warner played with us this evening [MTP].

Livy also wrote of a discussion she had with Charles Dudley Warner about charity work for some Indians at Hampton, New York; she agreed to pay half of the cost for a cottage there, $250.

June 16 TuesdayGeneral Grant left New York City a little after 8 AM and took a five-hour train ride to Saratoga, New York. From there he boarded a smaller-gauge train for the final twelve miles to Mt. McGregor, where a welcoming committee waited. It had been the doctor’s recommendation that Grant spend time in the Adirondacks, where the air was clean and much cooler than New York in the summer. Grant had to be carried the last distance up a steep hill to a cottage where he would stay [Perry 206-8]. Sam would travel to Mt McGregor on June 30.

Sam and Livy went to “Armsmear,”  the Colt Mansion for a dinner with Mrs. Elizabeth H. Jarvis Colt. From Livy’s diary:

This evening we dined at Mrs. Colts to meet some southern friends of hers. There were twelve of us at the table, a delightful time we had and the decorations were beautiful—Such superb masses of roses. About half past eight or nine other guests began to arrive and I should think there might have been two hundred there. A charming last evening in Hartford, seeing so many friends that I was glad to say good bye to. A band and fire works in the grounds as we sat about in the drawing room and on the porches. It has been an excessively hot day [Salsbury 202].

June 17 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam sent a short note to W. Minor.

“I believe if I were you I would continue to sort beans & sand sugar, & not stray out of my God-appointed beat & strain my capacities” [MTP]. Note: This implies the recipient is a grocer, but not much else.

Sam also wrote a short note to James B. Pond, thanking him for the burro sent to Elmira by Pond’s brother Homer Pond [MTP]. Sam added,

“Redpath is in New York, & I shan’t need him for 2 or 3 weeks. I have written him to go & see you”

Sam also wrote a short note to Charles Webster, enclosing a note from Charles Clark of the Courant and one from a man named Joseph Fewsmith, a friend of Clark’s as well as Gerhardt’s, who was looking to be an agent in Newark, New Jersey for the sale of Grant’s book [MTP]. Note: It seems to have been Sam’s habit to write many short notes on the day the family was to leave a place—possibly to avoid much of the hubbub involved with the move.

Sam inscribed in volume 1 of John Lord’s (1810-1894) Beacon Lights of History (1884-1896): “2 vols subscribed for—& the same taken & paid for, June 17 ’85./ S. L. Clemens[Gribben 423].

The Clemens family left Hartford bound for New York and Elmira.

June 18 Thursday – Sam wrote from New York to James B. Pond thanking him for another jackass that Homer Pond had sent and asking if Pond would pay Homer, then he’d reimburse him once he was in Elmira. He was sending Homer copies of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and P&P, “in the hope that he has some little people around him who will read them” [MTP]. The family spent the day in New York City, staying at the Hotel Normandie. Livy did some shopping.

Jane Clemens wrote to family. Unfortunately the letter has bled through and it would take “an army of coolies to decipher it.” (Thanks to the MT Forum for this burst of inspiration) [MTP].

Pamela Moffett wrote having rec’d his letter “last night”. She understood why he didn’t write much; she had an easy life though her health was not good. Sammy read aloud to her a lot. Her dyspepsic childhood; being an “invalid wife”—all to explain “why I am so stupid when I visit you, and manage to mortify you and Livy and myself.” She claimed her illness had weakened her mind [MTP].

June 19 Friday – The Clemens family took a special car from New York to Elmira, a ten-hour trip. They stayed at Mrs. Langdon’s home (See June 14 to Gerhardt). Livy wrote in her diary, “On June 19th we arrived in Elmira, we went directly to Mothers spending a little more than a week with her” [MTP].

Hotel Normandie, New York, billed Sam $42.05 for “room 1 day 12; restaurant 16.35, telegrams .20, baggage .75, carriages 1, 2 dollars each”; bill paid (no date); envelop mailed June 23.

Hattie J. Gerhardt wrote from Mt Vernon, NY to Sam & Livy, sorry she could not see them buthoped to get better. “Baby Olivia is slowly improving” and sang songs in both French and English ; she loved them [MTP].

June 20 SaturdayWaldstein Optician of New York, billed Livy $2.50 for “altering gold E.G.” [MTP].

June 21 SundayFrederick D. Grant wrote from Mt. MacGregor. “Your very kind letter was received. As I agree with what you say there is no chance of an argument on the matter contained in it. My poor dear father is worse again today. I would like (to try) to write you a snice a letter as you have me; but on account of his feeling so badly I am unable to do so” [MTP].

Courtlandt Palmer wrote from Stoningham, Conn. to ask if he would “consider an appearance before the Nineteenth Century Club next winter on the subject of American Humor”[MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Humor lecture”

June 23 TuesdayKarl Gerhardt wrote from Mt. MacGregor that he’d met Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Grant on the train from Saratoga. “They report the General sadly changed” [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, enclosing W.A. Paton’s letter about the Paige typesetter. Paton liked the mechanics but thought the financial scheme unworkable [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Paton retires”

June 24 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster. By this time the family may have removed to Quarry Farm. He asked Webster to follow up on a “little water heater” that Livy had purchased in New York “at a small Japanese store between Aitkin’s & Arnold & Constable’s.” The heater was to have been expressed to Elmira but hadn’t come. Livy didn’t know the name or address of the store, Sam confided [MTP].

Sam also replied to the June 21 from Courtlandt Palmer; letter not extant; referred to in reply of June 27.

Samantha Bowie wrote from Shakers, N.H. to thank Sam for the books that Dean Sage “so unexpectedly presented” to her yesterday [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “One of the Shaker Sisters”

Charles H. Clark wrote to thank Sam for his “kind interest in Mr Fewsmith” [MTP]. Note: Joseph Fewsmith had been a classmate of Twichell’s and sought a book agency in NJ (see June 17 to Webster); the Joseph and Millie Fewsmith befriended the Gerhardts in Paris.

Frederick D. Grant wrote from Mt McGregor, disclosing his polite answer to the enclosed Winegar Albion Tourgée to Gen. Badeau June 10 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Col. Fred Grant—enclosing Judge Tourgie’s foolish letter to General Badeau”

Karl Gerhardt wrote from Hotel Balmoral, Mt. McGregor, NY that he’d had the first sitting for the Grant child of Mr. & Mrs Jesse Grant this a.m. and of their desire for a statue of Gen. Grant seated as the Napoleon statue [MTP].

June 26 Friday Sam wrote from Elmira to his mother, Jane Clemens, enclosing a letter from his old childhood friend, “Puss” Tabitha Quarles, now Greening. Puss wanted a loan to buy a hotel in Hunnewell, Kansas. Sam had spent many idyllic summers at his uncle Quarles’ farm with Puss.

Now I must not venture a cent, at present. I need every penny I can raise; & I may have to borrow a hundred thousand dollars within the next few months, to apply upon General Grant’s book.

Sam suggested his mother send Orion to Hunnewell to see if:

…Puss can make a living out of that hotel, and if a thousand dollars will answer Puss’s purpose, you furnish her the cash & I will make you perfectly safe by giving you my note at 6 per cent interest—or 7, if that is the interest you get out there. Of course, Puss will never be able to pay back a cent—I don’t expect it & I don’t want it, & probably wouldn’t take it if she offered it—but I want her helped, & I will see that you don’t lose a penny. Lovingly, Sam [MTP].

Sam also wrote a letter of encouragement to Karl Gerhardt: “You can’t help making a noble statue of the General, even if you only catch glimpses of him & get no regular sittings” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote to suggest that Jesse Grant’s child’s bust in bronze would make them a nice present. “How does it strike you?” [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to advise Clemens he’d been “elected to membership” in the American Copyright League Committee along with Gilder and Poultney Bigelow [MTP].

June 27 SaturdayGeneral Grant had continued working on revisions of volume two, and even adding “plums and spices” to volume one, a process which made Sam impatient [Perry 219]. On this day Grant believed he was within a few pages of finishing. He telegraphed Sam to come to Mt. McGregor [221]. Note: Sam’s notebook stated that Grant telegraphed him on June 28 [MTNJ 3: 164]. If this latter date is correct, Sam left the morning after, June 29.

Sam accepted an invitation from Courtlandt Palmer (who wrote June 21) to speak next winter on the topic of American Humor—a specific subject and date subject to Sam’s choice. Though Sam made several notes and at least three attempts to write a speech, he finally gave up and refused to speak (See Sept. 23 to Palmer)[MTNJ 3: 162n121]. Sam was too involved with the Grant book and with business.

In the morning, the Clemens family left Mrs. Langdon’s home for Quarry Farm. From Livy’s diary:

…two loads of us drove up here….At once…the children all went out to see a new donkey that had been purchased in Kansas and sent to the farm for them. Jean’s first exclamation was “dear old fellow” as she advanced toward the “creature” with a little embarrassed air. The children all had a ride on the donkey….and we began to get ourselves settled for our Summer’s stay here. [Note: Livy noted that the children named their donkey Patience Cadichon (pronounced Kaditchin)] [Salsbury 203].

Jennie F. Snell wrote from Seven Oaks, Penn. asking for help publishing her Gospel hymns and poems [MTP].

Clara Y. Cramer wrote from Elizabeth, NJ. She was the niece of Gen. Grant. She asked for an autograph plus “a line or two, composed by you” [MTP].

Courtlandt Palmer wrote from Stonington, Ct. “Your welcome answer to the 24th inst recd. I sincerely hope you may be able to arrange your engagements so as to speak before our club” (in 9 months) [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Courtland Palmer / — 9 months time”

June 28 Sunday – At Quarry Farm, Livy wrote in her diary:

“This morning Theodore, Sue, Susy and I went down to church, it was Anniversary Sunday, there was a very large number large number baptized, first infants, later in the service young people, and older people all excepting the infants professed their faith. It was an exceedingly interesting and touching service” [MTP].

Sam didn’t go to church. Instead, he wrote to Karl Gerhardt. After scolding him for ordering negatives without asking the cost, Sam said he was “prodigiously glad” that Gerhardt was “succeeding with the little child’s bust”—one of Jesse Grant’s children [MTP].

Sam also wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, who had written of a crop failure in her son Samuel Moffett’s farming effort. Sam felt his nephew had been more suited for a career in science or academia.

Oh, well, Sam’s experience is that of everybody else: he must waste half of his life in finding out what he was sent into the world to do, when he could just as well have found out before he was seventeen. I suppose Sam must continue the usual course: he must go on experimenting in one mistaken occupation after another; & at last, at forty, strike the right one & call himself an ass for not seeing that that was the right one in the beginning. Of course there are people who never do find out what they were intended for—Orion, for instance, who at sixty is still meddling with the law, when if God would grant him but one single fleeting lucid interval he could not help but perceive that he is no more fitted for that occupation than is a horse [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote about Sam’s “beautiful perfect letter” which made the rounds, including Gen. Grant. He wrote about a plan of Jesse Grant’s involving the Sultan of Turkey and Gov. Stanford of Calif. [MTP].

June 29 Monday – Sam left Quarry Farm at 6 AM. Traveling all day to Mt. McGregor, New York, in the Adirondacks, and arriving at 8.40 [MTNJ 3: 164; June 30 to Livy, MTP].

John C. Black wrote, misidentifying Sam as an applicant for a pension [MTP: Pall Mall Gazette 3 Aug 1885].

Orion Clemens wrote: checks rec’d; progress on history research for game; Ma upset by Puss’s “supposed distress”; Puss’s finances; volunteered to run errands or answer law questions [MTP].

June 30 Tuesday – Sam wrote to Livy.

Livy darling, what a journey it was!—sneaking along all day in accommodation trains, till half past 6; then I snatched a bite in Saratoga, them jumped into a buggy at 7.20 & reached here at 8.40—after dark. I shall have to remain here all day, but I can get away tomorrow I hope—& expect [MTP].

JulyFrank M. Scott was hired as a cashier and bookkeeper by Webster & Co. He had previously worked for Haney & Co. of Newark, N.J. Scott was arrested for embezzlement on Mar. 11, 1887 [N.Y. Times, Mar. 18, 1887, p.5, “Confessions of a Thief”].

Sam wrote Mary Harriott Norris’ name in his notebook 24, but didn’t indicate that he’d read her novels [Gribben 509]. He also alluded to Arthur Penrhyn Stanley’s (1815-1881) Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, noting events there, in preparation for CY [657].

Sam noted to “inquire for Gen Wallace,” (Lewis Wallace, author of Ben Hur) about a Turkish railroad investment [Gribben 734]. He also noted “The Children’s Crusade to Palestine,” referring to Charles Mackay’s (1814-1889) Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841) [MTNJ 2: 168]. Sam repeated the entry in Aug. 1885.

July, before the 23rd – Sometime before Grant’s death Sam sent a petition statement advocating an International Copyright Law to Richard R. Bowker, asking him to ask Charles Webster to lay the petition before Grant for his signature [MTP]. Sam composed the petition, perhaps by request, and sent it to Bowker to get the ball rolling. He may have referred to this petition in his undated Sunday-in-July letter to Webster: “If Gen. Grant signs that paper,” etc. (See entry.) Note: Bowker, Vice President of the American Copyright League, was known as the “original Mugwump” because he had organized a “Young Scratcher” movement to oppose Alonzo Barton Cornell’s run for the governorship of New York back in 1879. The Mugwumps figured in the outcome of the presidential campaign of 1884, Sam among them.

July 1 Wednesday – At Mt. McGregor, New York, Sam telegraphed and then wrote Livy that he would leave for Hartford at noon the next day. He added that Gerhardt took a good photograph taken of Grant and that the bust done of Jesse Grant’s child was:

“…a very successful thing, & they are all pleased with it. [The General was] placid, serene, & self-possessed as ever…Manifestly, dying is nothing to a really great & brave man” [MTP].

In the evening he saw General Grant, who handed him the Century’s edited version of Grant’s piece on the Vicksburg battles. Richard Watson Gilder of the Century had requested several additions and transitions, so Sam and Fred Grant worked it over. Sam wanted those changes to be included in the memoirs, so he and Fred worked all night [Perry 222]. Note: Perry puts the date as June 28; but Sam did not arrive at Mt. McGregor until the night of June 30 and left on July 2. So the all-night work, if it did occur, had to have been the night of July 1.

Sam’s delay in leaving was also partly due to waiting for Jesse Grant, who wanted Sam to underwrite a trip to Turkey to investigate a railroad franchise offered by the Sultan [MTNJ 3: 165]. (See notebook notes for full story.) Sam wrote he “had to leave before Jesse could get back, but I shall furnish the money for the experiment.”

Livy’s diary, in Elmira:

A visit today from Ella Corey and Grace Collin, the latter came up to have a day in the country and get acquainted with our children. Ella read to us from the July Atlantic the last installment of Charles Egbert Craddock’s “Prophet of the Great Smoky”. It was wonderfully fine….She also read to us the part of Mr Howells Silas Lapham in the July Century that we found also unusual, it seems as if it showed more the moral struggles of moralists than any thing Mr Howells has ever done before. The characters are all so well drawn. You are compelled to like “Silas”and “Persis” in spite of their commonness—particularly Silas [MTP].

Bills/receipts/statements from Hartford merchants for Sam:

Robert Garvie, plumber (on bill: “Successor to Wm. A. Garvie”), billed $12.78: 17.5 hrs tot labor; Apr. 18, May 7, June 26; drain tile, rubber packing, putting in water boxes; paid July 9; G.A. Hayden, “dlr in fresh, salt & smoked meats, etc.” $21.42 for Apr., May, June fish, clams, lobster, paid; E.A. Newell, “importer and Men’s outfitter, mfgr. shirts” $57 for May 6 “1 doz shirts to order 2 prs Berlin suspenders”, paid; William H. Bulkeley, dry goods $68.27 for long list of clothing items purchased, yardage from Apr. 6, 9, 20, May 4, 5, 11, 20, 21, 28, June 1, 6, 9, 10, 12, 19, paid July 9; D.H. Buell billed $59.35 for “mch 23 repair eye glasses; ditto Mar. 30, Apr. 1 diamond collar button $50; Apr. 10 collar button; Apr. 16 Ice pitcher, June 2, 2 pins sleeve buttons” paid; J.G. Rathbun & Co. druggists & chemists $13.37 for long list of toiletries, soaps, cleaners; cholera mixture, etc: Feb. 11, Apr. 9, 29, May 7, 14, 20, 27 June 11, 20, 24, paid July 9 [MTP].

Western Union Telegraph Co. billed $2.82 for telegrams sent July 3 to N.Y., Hoboken, Elmira; July 11 to Elmira, July 25 to New York and Elmira [MTP]. Note: telegrams sent on July 3 no doubt arranged and notified Sam’s trip back to Elmira.

July 2 Thursday – Sam said his goodbyes to General Grant, left Mt. McGregor and went to New York City [Powers, MT A Life 503].

July 3 Friday Sam took the ten-hour train ride to Elmira [Sam to Jesse Grant, July 4].

Western Union Telegraph Co.’s July 1 bill shows telegrams sent this date to New York, Hoboken, Elmira [MTP]. Note: the Hoboken connection was with the Eirie, Lackawanna R.R.

Henry H. Clements wrote from Jersey City, N.J. to ask for “the methods to be pursued in the attainment of an International Copyright” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote about the sitting statue of Grant and Mrs. Jesse Grant’s subscription [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the letter, “If this thing is started at once we are ahead of any other sculptor don’t you think?”

July 4 Saturday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Jesse Grant.

I got back last night, & am detained here for the present, but shall reach New York Wednesday or Thursday evening to ask some questions & get some information—further information, for the satisfying of hard-headed business men—& then I shall hope to see you [MTP].

In the evening the Langdons and the Clemenses watched fireworks from the hilltop of Quarry Farm [Sam to Gerhardt, July 5]. Also, from Livy’s diary:

On the 4th of July Charlie and Ida with the children came up to dinner and to have some fire works in the evening. Mother had been here since the day before. Charlie set off the fire works as soon as it was dark, quite a number from outside gathered to see them. They were exceedingly pretty. Two carriage loads drove down after the fire works—I felt a little anxious about Charlie’s horses as they seemed quite restive as they started away, but they arrived at home safely [Salsbury 203].

Hotel Normandie, New York, billed Sam for his one-day stay the night of July 2: “1 day $4; restau 2.85; telegrams 1.00; cash $10, $5, carriage to depot 1.50” total bill $24.35 paid July 9 [MTP]. The New York Times reported Sam was staying at the Hotel Normandie [“Personal Intelligence,” p2]. Note: such local notices were usually one day after the fact.

Karl Gerhardt wrote that Jesse Grant had “just returned and likes the idea of the subscription for statue very much. He thinks $5000 will cover the expense of the whole thing and will give you ½ interest” [MTP].

Jesse R. Grant wrote he’d intended to write out “a general idea of my plan” but since they would meet in NY soon he would “defer the description until then. / I feel that you will enter into the Turkish Railway with the same enthusiasm that I have felt” He referenced a telegram from Clemens, not extant [MTP].

July 5 Sunday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Karl Gerhardt. He thought the idea of Karl and Mrs. Jesse Grant’s was the right one concerning the statue. Whatever idea that was, Sam thought it an “inspiration.” Sam made a reference to giving messages to Woodruff (who favored the G.A.R. raising money for the statue—see July 18 to Gerhardt). He then said it was “quite likely” that he would be in New York twice this coming week and stay at the Hotel Normandie—Thursday evening and Saturday evening, going to Hartford in between [MTP]. Sam was on the move.

July 5 or 12 or 19 Sunday The Boston Herald and other newspapers had run editorials casting aspersions on Sam’s character in the publication of Grant’s Memoirs. Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster on one of these Sundays, directing him to “Stir up the Am Pub Co—July statement is due.” He also wrote what to do if “Grant signs that paper”—Sam wanted a copy to keep as a “standing advertisement in the Hartford papers till those thieves make reparation,” and provided an additional statement accusing unnamed persons for attempting “to obtain money under false pretenses.” Sam would then add the names of the directors of the American Publishing Co. and wanted Webster to provide those names. Sam asked if Webster shouldn’t take the “General’s note to all the N.Y. papers as a news item” [MTP].

July 6 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to the editor of the Boston Herald, which had run an article Sam felt was damaging to his and Gen. Grant’s character and “untrue in spirit,” an article that accused Sam of leading Grant to break an understanding with the Century. “I want to ask for fair play—only fair play, nothing more,” Sam began. There was no understanding with the Century. He’d offered Grant “double as much” as the Century, and Grant had chosen the best terms. Though several publishers had duplicated his offer, none were set up for subscription sales in the way Webster & Co. was. Sam made his famous line here:

For I am Webster & Co, myself, substantially.

I seem to be fast getting the reputation in the newspapers, of being a pushing, pitiless, underhanded sharper—but I don’t quite deserve it. General Grant was considering the Century’s offer for his book—that is all; there was no “understanding.” He said I could speak freely, & without any impropriety. I estimated the sale of the book at a quarter of a million sets—2 volumes to the set. At the Century’s offer, such a sale would pay him $175,000. At my offer his pay would amount to $350,000. He had the wisdom to decline the Century offer—& to this day I can’t help thinking he was right. I would have done it myself. Upon my word I have done nothing underhanded in this whole business. Every step has been taken in the broad daylight, & nothing concealed. Neither have I done anything unfair or in any way dishonorable [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Karl Gerhardt, advising him on a price and contract for the large statue of Grant to be presented to the City of New York. Sam wanted to subscribe $500 for the completion of the statue, but not be included in the list of subscribers, to avoid claims that he was “craftily advertising himself” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson, editor at the Century, agreeing to be on some sort of committee:

“I’m glad to be on the committee—I mean as bric-a-brac—but I calculate to let you boys do the work while I hog the glory.”

Sam then asked Johnson not to print any criticism of the correspondents who’d run articles about Sam being sneaky with the Grant book [MTP].

Clemens also wrote to Selmar Hess, Publisher of Our Living World, etc. (1885), a set of six volumes which he would give to Clara for a Christmas gift.


      I am the Head Chief of a small tribe of small animal worshippers. Consequently I am a person of large experience in the chase after animal books wherewith to feed this special family appetite. I shall not have to hunt anymore, now, for this book furnishes the larder with an inexhaustible supply.

      The plan of the work is judicious. The matter is persuasively instructive. The style compels the interest of the old and young. One cannot speak of the illustrations without running considerable risk of seeming intemperate in his praises. The paper and typography are answerable to the matter and the pictures. It is indeed a sumptuous work, in every way a desirable work, and puzzlingly cheap to one who is so well acquainted with bookmaking as I am.

      Yes, I shall be very glad indeed to have the rest of the work. It is one of those books which this family cannot do without.

      Mark Twain [Robert Slotta’s Twainucopia (2006) p. 46]. Note: See Dec. 25 entry.

Orion Clemens wrote to reassure Sam that no one had repeated anything from his letters, not Grant’s writing or anything; Ma’s excursion and love of fireworks, she seems to have forgotten Puss [MTP].

July 7 TuesdayOrion Clemens wrote about a letter from Puss, who was anxious to go; the doctor advised a steamboat; plans to go to Hannibal; Puss feared she could not repay a loan [MTP].

H.B. Vandiver wrote from Weaverville, NC about the prospectus of LM. He confessed to not being out of his teens, and wrote, “Wont I be a fiend when I’m grown?” and asked for LM and HF to be sent [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From the average Southern gentleman”

July 8 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to John C. Black, Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C. Sam received a June 29, 1885 letter from Black that a pension application had been denied on June 23 [Brooklyn Eagle, July 17, p6]. Sam responded:

I have not applied for a pension. I have often wanted a pension often—ever so often, I might say; but in as much as the only military service I performed during the war was in the Confederate army, I have always felt a delicacy about asking you for it. … very truly yours / S.L. Clemens, / Known to the police as / Mark Twain [MTP; also in the July 21 Halifax Morning Herald and other newspapers].

Samuel E. Moffett wrote from Kingsburg, Calif. to clear up the “annoyances” which he was sorry his mother had written about to Sam. He did not see farming as an end. He explained that a vineyard seemed a good way to make a living, increasing in value, worked by hired men, etc. He’d used his leisure time to study. He revealed plans to write books on history and political science [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote to ask Sam to send his idea of a heading for the subscription statue [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gen Grant & Gov Stanford are furnishing letters to the Sultan of Turkey”

July 9 Thursday – In Elmira Clemens wrote to Henry M. Stanley.

My Dear Stanley— / I am publishing General Grant’s Personal Memoirs, & I venture to send to you my nephew & partner, Chas. L. Webster, to act on behalf of General Grant, & also myself, for a sort of information which you are better able to furnish than any other man I am acquainted with on the author’s side of the book business, for you have made many foreign book-contracts, & your books have been translated into many languages. Won’t you please give Webster some points upon royalties, share-publishing, &c; & also advise him as to what languages he had better have this book translated into; & whether he had better give all Europe to a London publisher, or go to Germany, Austria & France, & make special contracts there.

      Eighty-five per cent of the European result goes to the General’s pocket; we simply take the remaining 15 per cent to cover Webster’s time & expenses. I know that you will be prompt & willing to do the General a service as any other American, & so I intrude this matter upon you without remorse or hesitation.

With always increasing admiration I am / Sincerely Yours … [MTP].

Charles King, Hartford dealer in “Stoves, ranges, furnaces” billed Sam $8.85 for Jan. and Mar. work, grates, pieces, labor; paid; Linus T. Fenn, Hartford Mfg. & dealer in furniture, bedding was paid $34.90 for an undated bill for “use of 42 oak finished chairs; doing over mattresses; 1 library step ladder, carpeted top” [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote more about Ma, Puss,and family matters [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote to ask advise about denying “such scurrilous paragraphs as this, disgusting to the family of Grant’s.” He mentioned the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee papers, but no clippings in file [MTP]. Note: rumors were passed that Grant did not write the Memoirs.

July 11 Saturday – Sam wrote a short note from Elmira to Orion. Evidently Mollie had suggested a pension for Puss Quarles Greening, rather than a thousand dollar investment in a Kansas hotel. Sam offered to have Webster set one up and send money to her monthly. “I hate complications,” Sam wrote [MTP]. (See June 26 entry.)

Sam also wrote to the editor of the Albany Journal, stating,

“…neither Mrs. Grant nor any other member of Gen. Grant’s family has any pecuniary interest in it [the bust of Grant], whatever—not a single farthing’s worth” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Karl Gerhardt and enclosed a copy of his letter to the editor of the Albany Journal. Sam advised to ignore it when lies were told about him or the General, that denial would only bring more lies in order to generate publicity for the newspapers.

“But the case is different when a lady is slandered. The slanderer ought to be confronted with a denial, or he ought to be disemboweled. The latter is by all the odds best, but is indiscreet. Therefore, one is forced to fall back on the other way.”

Sam added he was “going down tonight to see Jesse Grant,” with a plan that would work—probably a reference to Jesse’s desire to go explore the railroad for the Sultan of Turkey [MTP].

Sam left for New York, where he stayed two days.

Western Union Telegraph Co.’s July 1 bill shows telegram sent this date to Elmira [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote enclosing Puss’ answers to his queries about payments on a house, the hotel she wanted to purchase, farming, etc. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Eminently characteristic”

James Redpath wrote from NYC that he’d telegraphed this night “asking if you cd excuse me for a week or two weeks. / I will explain why when I see you” on business matters [MTP]. Note: telegram not extant.

William N. Woodruff wrote from Hartford with a plan to raise funds for Gerhardt’s statue of Grant [MTP].

July 12 SundayPamela Moffett wrote from Kinsgburg, Calif. about the letter she’d sent and her son’s concerns about it; the letter they’d both written him. Her son was upset thinking Sam would take his troubles with locusts as a plea for help [MTP].

July 12 to 13 Monday – Sam was in New York, where he saw “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” show “two days in succession” [July 14 to Cody].

July 13 MondayCharles Webster wrote of business matters & details [MTP].

July 14 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to William F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”).

I have now seen your Wild West show two days in succession, enjoyed it thoroughly. It brought back to me the breezy, wild life of the Rocky mountains, and stirred me like a war song.

Sam felt the show was genuine and suggested he take it to England, where “it is said the exhibitions …are not distinctly American” [MTP].

Town and City of Hartford and School Districts billed Sam $1,773.71 for taxes on $100,550 value of property; West Middle School District billed Sam school tax 1 ¾ mills on the dollar of value; amount listed at $100,650 [MTP: 1885 financial file].

Charles Webster wrote with information and a warning to Sam about the Turkish railroad scheme of Jesse R. Grant’s [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote, Puss Greening to Orion July 13 enclosed; a proposal to send Puss $200 [MTP].

July 15 WednesdayLivy wrote in her diary that she and her children were “reading together” Grace Aguilar’s (1816-1847) The Days of Bruce; A Story from Scottish History (1834). Livy added the girls enjoyed it “very much,” and Clara Clemens later remembered it as one of their favorite books. Sam may have read this to his girls also. During this summer the Clemens girls named their Quarry Farm playhouse “Ellerslie” from the novel [Gribben 13].

Susan E. Dickinson wrote from W. Pittston, Pa.—a begging letter for an unnamed girl (Sade E. Bond) to finish her education [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the letter, “I’m to give $50 if she raises the other $160”

July 16 Thursday – Sam’s response, “On Training Children,” to the article, “What Ought He to Have Done” was reprinted in The Christian Union (see June 11 entry). Note: This is sometimes given as the first printing. Also ran in August issue of Babyhood, p. 275-6.

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine about Sam’s help in the copyright effort; Gen. Grant’s name on the list would help the effort [MTP].

July 16 to 17 or July 19 to 20Livy wrote in her diary on July 26:

Since I wrote in my journal on the 12th we have all had a pleasant trip to the soft-coal regions with Charley [Langdon] and his family. Charley, Ida, Julia, Jervis, Josie Clark, Mr. Clemens, Susy, Clara and I made up the party [MTP]. Note: These are the only two open dates for such a trip in this period.

July 17 Friday – The Brooklyn Eagle ran an article with Sam’s letter about the pension mixup. Other newspapers reprinted the story. Note: Camfield lists the Boston Daily Advertiser on this for July 18 [bibliog.].

July 18 Saturday – The final details of volume two of Grant’s Memoirs was handed to Charles Webster in Mt. McGregor, New York [July 24 to Livy].

Sam wrote a scolding note from Elmira to Orion telling him to settle the Puss Quarles Greening matter; that her “$200 proposition ought to have been accepted instantly[MTP]. (See June 26, July 11 entries.)

Sam also wrote again to Karl Gerhardt gently chiding him about the statue of Grant:

And again, if you had asked Mrs. Grant’s judgment about the subscriptions for the statue, we should have saved some time & ink there, also.

Again, Woodruff proposes to have the Grand Army raise the statue money; & I hardly have time to tell him. I think it’s a good idea when you tell me of Mrs. Grant’s idea of having the statue ordered by Congress—another good idea, & the best, too, only Congress might not order you to make the statue…

Sam also warned Gerhardt about wearing out his welcome with the Grant family during this distressing time [MTP]. Sam’s tone was as a father to a young son.

Jesse R. Grant wrote more about the Turkish RR scheme [MTP].

Susan Matilda Bradshaw Swales (1843-1916) (Mrs. Charles Everett Swales) wrote from Detroit, Mich., referring to her letter of “about fifteen years ago” for which she cherished Sam’s reply.

“Since then nothing that you have written has so appealed to my feelings as this paper on the Government of Children, in the Christian Union.” She praised his essay as “so sensible, so alert, vigorous and twainy,” coining a word. “My thirteen year old daughter says she cannot imagine the lazy, drawling, humorous reader of the Blue Jay writing such an article; and her mother says that you have risen head and shoulders above yourself” [MTP]. Note: the correspondence she refers to is not extant. Sam’s essay, “On Training Children,” was Sam’s retort to “What Ought He to Have Done?” in the June 11 issue of Christian Union. See June 11 entry.

July 19 SundayOrion Clemens wrote more about helping Puss (Tabitha Greening (Puss) to Orion July 17 enclosed)

Karl Gerhardt wrote from Mt. McGregor: “your very nice letters are with me—Josie has again made the fatal mistake of letting my private correspondenced get out…” And, “Josie and baby have come here to the mountain and are all the rage” [MTP].

Henry C. Robinson wrote from Hartford to thank Sam for his “communication to the Christian Union” [MTP].

July 20 MondayJoseph Blackburn Jones wrote from Chicago, having been to Hartford twice and missing him both times. He hadn’t seen Sam since the “babies” speech in Chicago. He mentioned the time they roomed together at Tom Fitch’s in Va. City. He just returned from Europe and told how popular Twain was there [MTP].

July 21 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Edward House, marking the letter “private.” Sam covered again the events leading to his publication of Grant’s Memoirs, the sales figures and royalties, comparing what the General would have received if he had signed the Century contract vs. Sam’s. He was glad to hear that House and his daughter Koto were returning to the states and that he’d look them up should they be unable to come to Hartford [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Howells, whose ninth installment of Silas Lapham had run in the July Century Magazine.

You are really my only author; I am restricted to you, I wouldn’t give a damn for the rest.

…I can’t stand George Eliot and Hawthorne and those people; I see what they are at a hundred years before they get to it and they just tire me to death. And as for “The Bostonians,” I would rather be damned to John Bunyan’s heaven than read that [MTHL 2: 533-4].

Sam also wrote to his nephew, Samuel Moffett, who had a new idea to become a historian. Sam thought it a “good sound sensible idea.” Sam wished he might help, but until the Grant book was published, he had no leeway on financial matters. Sam suggested a history book for his nephew to write that Webster & Co. could sell by subscription, “Picturesque Incidents in History & Tradition; a 500 or 600-page octavo” [MTP]. There is no evidence that Moffett ever worked on such a book [MTNJ 3: 167n135].

Lizzie C. Grant (Mrs. Jesse Grant) wrote that Gerhardt’s “bust of her baby is the most perfect thing I ever saw, & now that he is succeeding so wonderfully with our statue I want that he should have every advantage” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Mrs. Jesse Grant / Answer”

Thomas Twain, (an obvious pseudonym) wrote with anger about Clemens’ reply to “What Ought He Have Done” in The Christian Union; clipping enclosed. Sam suspected this lengthy insulting letter was sent by the writer called “Father Senior” in the original CU article. The writer was graphic in how he would tie and torture Livy: “I would bare her to the skin, and then proceed to ply a stout leather strap with knotted tails to her buttocks”—sentiment that likely made Sam’s blood boil [MTP]. Note: the clipping told of a girl who had surfaced after three years earlier being petrified by a teacher’s threat of a whipping. The argument for and against corporal punishment wages on even today.

A.H. Warner wrote that while on a train he learned from Clemens that his copy of “Jim Wolfe and the Cats” had been lost. He found a copy and enclosed it. See July 22 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Jim Wolf & the Cats”

William N. Woodruff wrote, having just returned from Mt. McGregor. He offered three transcribed letters praising Gerhardt, enclosed [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Pleasant words for Gerhardt”

July 22 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to A.H. Warner (no connection found to the Hartford Warners). “Dear Sir: I thank you very much—& also your friend—for the enclosure.” [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote that he’d sent no proof pages as he had none to send. He thought “it very dangerous to cart those proofs about,” feeling better when they’re in the safe. Details added about the Grant volumes [MTP].

July 23 ThursdayGeneral Ulysses S. Grant died. Sam took a ten-hour train ride to New York City, arriving in the early evening [July 24 to Livy].

From Sam’s notebook:

On board train, Binghamton, July 23, 1885,—10 a.m. The news is that Gen. Grant died about 2 hours ago—at 5 minutes past 8.

The last time I saw him was July 1st & 2d , at Mt. McGregor. I then believed he would live several months. He was still adding little perfecting details to his book—a preface, among other things. He was entirely through, a few days later…He was a very great man—& superlatively good [MTNJ 3: 168].

Sam wrote from Quarry Farm to Howells, the first page of the letter is lost, so it is assumed the letter was written this day.

General Grant will probably die today, & lack of space will protect me from the Advertiser (Boston) for awhile. If they start in on me again, later, it will be fair proof of malice.

Webster & Goodwin are to have a talk when the latter gets back to New York [MTHL 2: 534-5].

Note: Perry claims Sam was at Quarry Farm when Grant died [227]. MTHL gives the place of the fragment letter as Hartford, while the more recent copy in MTP lists it as “unknown place.” If the letter was indeed written on the day of Grant’s death, and Perry is correct, then it was written at Quarry Farm.

Note: The Boston Advertiser had attacked Huckleberry Finn, and before was highly critical of Sam for the 1877 Whittier Birthday speech. Sam’s famous “prefatory remark” ascribing the source of Huck and Tom Sawyer’s nature to editors of the Advertiser and the Springfield Republican had been squelched by Livy. Also, Goodwin (above) refers to Nat Goodwin; Webster was to talk with him about playing Colonel Sellers as a Scientist.

James W. Paige wrote that both he and an expert could not figure out why the dynamo failed, but would apply Sam’s thousand to the typesetter [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Failure of the dynamo machine / The $1000 to apply on the setter”

July, after the 23rd – Sam sent another note to Richard R. Bowker, saying it was a pity he hadn’t attended to getting Grant to sign the petition himself, because he knew “General Grant felt the injustice wrought by the absence of international copyright” [MTP]. (See July, before the 23rd entry.)

July 24 Friday – Sam wrote from New York City to Livy:

Livy darling, I reached here so drowsy & dull with railroading that I forgot to telegraph you till 9 o’clock; so I was probably too late with it, considering the slowness of the Western Union service.

      I woke refreshed about half past eight; & now am through with today’s business & ready to take the 4.30 train for Hartford.

      The second volume was finished last week, to the last detail; & was formally delivered to Charley Webster at Mt. McGregor last Saturday [July 18]. General Grant having not another interest in this world to live for, died. He would have died three months ago if his book had been completed. I am satisfied of that.

      I love you darling, more than ever I can tell [MTP].

Sam went to Hartford for undisclosed business. How long he stayed there is not yet documented.

The New York Times ran “How the Memoirs Were Written,” on page 6, which explained Sam’s role in obtaining the publishing contract, the composition process, and issues of piracy.

July 25 Saturday – From Sam’s notebook:

Home (Hartfd) July 25/85 (Saturday) noon. James W. Paige has just told me that I can dispose of his telegraphing machine & have half of the proceeds for my trouble. Each of us is to give a certain share of said result to Hammersley [MTNJ 3: 170].

Fred Grant traveled from Mt. McGregor to New York City to tour proposed sites for the burial of his father. The family had made no decisions about a burial place even yet [Perry 229]. Sam may have made suggestions to Fred, but could not have been on site during the tour.

Western Union Telegraph Co.’s July 1 bill shows telegrams sent this date to New York, Elmira [MTP].

J.J. Frater wrote from Chattanooga to ask for a set of his books for the YMCA [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote: “Mr Newman tells me he is constantly receiving telegrams from sculptors who wish to use his influence for casting the [death] mask.” He’d rec’d compliments his mask was “fine” [MTP].

L. McKinley wrote from Hartford to ask for a loan of $35 [MTP].

July 26 SundayJean Clemens fifth birthday.

Sam returned to New York City, from whence he traveled back to Elmira, since he wrote from there on July 27.

From Susy’s unfinished biography of her papa:

It is Jean’s birthday to day. She is 5 yrs. old. Papa is away today and he telegraphed Jean that he wished her 65 happy returns.

Papa is very fond of animals particularly of cats, we had a dear little gray kitten once that he named “Lazy” (papa always wears gray to match his hair and eyes) and he would carry him around on his shoulder, it was a mighty pretty sight! The gray cat sound asleep against papa’s gray goat and hair. The names that he has given our different cats are realy remarkably funny, they are namely Stray Kit, Abner, Motley, Fraeulein, Lazy, Buffalo Bill, Soapy Sall, Cleveland, Sour Mash, and Pestilence and Famine [MTA 2: 82].

There are eleven cats at the farm here now. Papa’s favorite is a little tortoise-shell kitten he has named “Sour Mash,” and a little spotted one “Fannie.” It is very pretty to see what papa calls the cat procession; it was formed in this way. Old Minnie-cat headed, (the mother of all cats) next to her came aunt Susie, then Clara on the donkey, accompanied by a pile of cats, then papa and Jean hand in hand and a pile of cats brought up in the rear, mama and I made up the audience [Salsbury 208].

From Livy’s diary:

…Her father was in New York, he telegraphed her wishing her sixty five returns. Where shall we all be at that time [?] 1950. Jean saw the little birds picking up seeds and worms at all sorts of irregular times and she said to Aunt Sue, “doesn’t it hurt the birds to eat between meals [?]” [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt wrote about interest in a statue of Grant with pedestal for Mt. McGregor [MTP].

July 27 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to the editor of the New York Sun, discussing the controversy and objections to Grant being buried in New York City. Sam argued that it was just the place:

But as long as American civilization lasts New York will last….Twenty centuries from now New York will still be New York, still a vast city…I observe that the common & strongest objection to New York is that she is not “national” ground. Let us give ourselves no uneasiness about that. Wherever Gen. Grant’s body lies, that is national ground [MTP].

Sam also wrote a short note to Charles Webster, that Western Union had delayed the telegram Webster had sent by a day and a half.

This delay makes it necessary for you to come to Elmira as my business is important—S.L. Clemen” [MTP].

Webster telegraphed back that it was impossible for him to come to Elmira—“if important you must come here. If I come to Elmira I can’t sail Saturday & we can’t publish, which will damage us one hudred thousand dollars”

Karl Gerhardt wrote more about the statue of Grant, transcript of J.P. Newman to Gerhardt July 27 enclosed [MTP].

July 27? Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Webster, telling him to look up Henry M. Stanley’s address and send him the enclosure. Stanley knew “all the ropes of procedure, & the value of each & all the European States” [MTP].

July 28 TuesdayFred Grant decided that his father would be placed in a temporary tomb in Riverside Park next to the Hudson River, while the city architect drew plans for the permanent tomb and memorial. Formal plans for the funeral were completed this week [Perry 229].

Sam also wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson of the Century about his piece for the Civil War series. He had been floored by all the “railroading” he’d had to do and told Johnson not to wait for him, “just game in the other Generals,” and leave Sam “to meander along in a kind of gravel-train fashion,” which Sam claimed was his way [MTP].

Sam also telegraphed to Charles Webster that he’d write instead of coming to New York and would follow Webster’s letter [MTP].

Sam then wrote two letters to Webster, saying part of his business could be done by letter, the rest must wait. Sam’s new idea was to publish both of Grant’s volumes Dec. 1. “Don’t throw this suggestion overboard without giving it serious thought.” Sam then discussed the pros and cons of achieving that goal, which ultimately didn’t prove practical [MTP]. The second letter was full of calculations about the Paige typesetting machine:

“Three years from now I calculate to have about 1000 of those machines hired out in the country at $2,500,000” [MTP].

July 30 Thursday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Annie Webster, sending her $250 “to spend on trifles” she “would not otherwise feel justified in buying….” Annie and her husband Charles were about to sail for Europe (on Aug. 1). The letter was high praise for Charles and included praise from the late General Grant. [MTP].

The New York Sun ran Sam’s article, “The Future National Capital” [Camfield, bibliog.].

Clarence C. Buel for Century Magazine wrote in Johnson’s absence about the article Sam was to furnish for their Nov. number on his brief Confederate career; he suggested a few of Kemble’s pictures to go with the article [MTP].

Richard S. Tuthill wrote to invite Sam to another Reunion of the Grand Army on Sept 9 & 10 [MTP].

July 31 FridayJ.P. Haynes, “tea and grocery house” Hartford, billed $6.50 for “1 bbl of flour” [MTP].

Annie Moffett Webster wrote: “Your very kind letter enclosing $250.00 received. I thank you and Aunt Livy very much. I am very much pleased that you feel as you do about Charlie; and I hope he will always be as successful as he has been…” [MTP].

Alexander & Green wrote returning a MS. Also, “You will get the burro in due course” [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote twice, thanking for the present of $250 to Annie and compliments of his work. He would sail in the morning. The second letter was details of the Grant book [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “London address / Brown, Shipley & Co.”; Webster was going to Europe to contract publishing of Grant’s Memoirs there.

August Sam’s history game was patented, but no attempt was made to market it until Feb. 1891 [MTNJ 3: 19n37]. Sam wrote ideas in his notebook for “Picturesque Incidents in History & Tradition” and cited “Plague & Fire of London, Copy from Pepys” diary [Gribben 540]. Sam alluded again here to Sydney Smith (see June 1885 entry) [Gribben 650]. He also made a note for the “Library of Humor,” to “refer to & quote from Nasby.” Curiously, no entries for Petroleum Nasby made the book [415]. Sam repeated an entry referring to the Children’s Crusades (see July entry).

Also in Sam’s notebook, a reference to Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, which he may have been re-reading:

“Robinson Crusoe leaves the bag of doubloons in the wreck; a fine literary point, but untrue. No man would have done that” [MTNJ 3: 173].

August 1 Saturday – Sam went to New York, probably to see Charles Webster sail for Europe. He went to arrange English and European editions of Grant’s Memoirs, and to feel out foreign investment interest in the Paige typesetter [MTNJ 3: 131n13]. Frederick J. Hall was temporarily head of Webster & Co., while Charles was in England [MTNJ 3: 191].

Park & Tilford, New York, billed $2 for “5 Oolong tea”; paid Aug. 15 [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote about a complication involving a photo of Gen. Grant “that was in Mrs Jesse Grant’s hands & which we intended for our De-Luxe Edition. An artist by the name of Howe appeared for the Century Co. and took the photo” [MTP].

Joe Twichell wrote from Willoughby, Vt.

I think I never wanted to see you so much:—in fact, that I never wanted to see anybody so much, (unless ‘twas Harmony,) as I have you the past ten days—to talk over General Grant. / I’d give anything for a day or two with you just now sitting or strolling around, and letting our converse run freely, where it would, through the whole subject. Your heart is full of it, I know, and mine certainly is [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, enclosing papers served on the Century Co. about Gerhardt having all rights to the photo that Mr. Howe had taken [MTP].

August 2 Sunday – Beginning this night or the next, Sam stayed seven nights at the Normandie Hotel, returning home Aug. 10 (see that entry).

E.V. Satterfield wrote from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, agreeing with Sam about the final resting place of Gen. Grant being in NYC. “P.S. Mt Vernon Ills. is away down in Egypt and the writer of this is a printer by trade and a lawyer by profession and practice, and never have been known as a very ‘shining light’ at either” [MTP].

Ella Lampton wrote a begging letter “on account of my child” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Neither read nor answered—a woman who has been all her life a coarse, vain, rude, exacting idiot. / SLC”

Samuel Moffett wrote “If I could carry out your idea, nothing would suit me better. At all events I shall make the attempt, and see what luck I have” He doubted his ability to write on a subject Sam had suggested (see July 21 to Moffett) [MTP].

August 3 MondayTisdale & Davis, “mfg and dealers in tobacco & cigars”, Hannibal, Mo., for 500 “Old Fish” cigars. Sam wrote on this bill: ‘These are first-rate S.L.C.” No paid date [MTP]. Only Sam would enjoy a cigar named “Old Fish.”

August 4 Tuesday – Sam wrote from New York City to Livy, describing the black draped buildings and how much more so the City was for Grant than it had been for Garfield.

“I think I have seen a thousand big portraits of the General, set in the centre of a desert of black, on store-fronts” [MTP].

August 5 Wednesday – From Sam’s Aug. 6 to Livy for this day:

I sat in the Lotos Club this afternoon & saw the procession pass on its way to City Hall with Gen. Grant’s body. It was very grand & impressive…The procession on the day of the funeral will be a memorable spectacle & I shall be glad to be here, since the General must be buried. I wish you were with me; & at the same time I don’t wish it, since it would involve a couple of exhausting railway journeys [MTP].

Lucia Booth wrote from Cleveland, a begging letter [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Poor woman wants $100”

August 6 Thursday – After lying 24 hours in the Capitol at Albany, Grant’s casket, was put on a train for the six-hour ride to New York City. The train slowed passing West Point for the cadets to salute. Once in the city, where tens of thousands waited, the casket was taken to City Hall, where it lay in state another 24 hours [Perry 229].

Sam telegraphed from New York to Livy that he’d just received her dispatch about his going to New York City. Sam also wrote two letters to Livy. The first began at midnight of Aug. 5-6, and told of the events of Aug. 5. Sam doubted he could go to Hartford, but if he did, he agreed to obey her “orders.”

Sam spent “an hour or two” at the Fifth Avenue Hotel with both Grant families. People dropped by to pay their condolences, many of whom Sam:

…had met before; among them General Sherman & his brother the Senator General Sheridan, General Van Vliet. Ex-President Hayes also came in. By & by I went to a private room with the Shermans & Gen. Van Vliet, & talked army life & anecdotes & Grant & the war; for an hour, over whisky & cigars, & had a very good time. Stumbled on Watterson & some other friends in the lobby…[MTP].

From Sam’s notebook:

Talked an hour with Gen. Sherman. He spoke in terms of prodigious praise of Gen. Grant’s military genius. “Never anything like it before.” I think those were his words. But he said this talk of Grant’s never listening to indelicate stories was bosh. Said he had seen Grant listen & laugh by the hour at Governor (Jim) Nye’s yarns. They were seldom delicate, as I well remember [MTNJ 3: 171]

Sam also wrote a short note to Thomas Corwin Donaldson (1843-1893), collector of Americana and a close friend to ex-President Hayes, enclosing ten dollars. Donaldson had a great interest in Walt Whitman, writing a biography of Whitman in 1896, and I suspect Sam’s letter made reference to Whitman:

“I comply instantly, with thanks for letting me in. I have a great veneration for the old man, & would be glad to help pay his turnout’s board, year after year, & buy another when it fails. The secret is safe with me—I shall not speak of it to anyone [MTP]. Note: Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Donaldson was taking up a collection to buy Whitman a new horse and phaeton (see Sept. 15 entry).

Cammie Bowling wrote to ask his advise and influence in changing from elocution to drama as a career [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Addie Gentry’s daughter. / Told her how to proceed” Addie boarded with the Clemens family one winter in Hannibal.

August 7 Friday – Over 300,000 people passed by Grant’s casket in New York City Hall [Perry 229]. The New York Times reported Sam staying at the Hotel Normandie [p.4 “Personal Intelligence”].

August 8 SaturdayGrant’s funeral and procession included 60,000 members of the military assigned by President Cleveland. Sam was not in the funeral, but took a place in the window of Webster & Co. overlooking Union Square. He stood for five hours watching as the procession worked its way north through the City, passing along 14th Street toward Fifth Avenue [Perry 231]. Kaplan says 40,000 military. A lot, anyway. The procession included twenty-four black horses pulling the catalfque, and in the throng a President and two ex-Presidents rode [Kaplan 279]. Sam did not attend services at the temporary tomb [MTNJ 3: 173]. He wrote that after five hours of watching the procession he “plowed thorugh the sidewalk crowd up Fifth avenue to 40th st.” [174].

In Hartford’s 1st Regiment Armory, Twichell gave an address for Grant’s memorial services there [Twichell’s journal, Yale].

Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye wrote a rather whimsical letter about rheumatism, sore eyes and piles. He sent his congrats at Sam’s success [MTP].

August 9 Sunday – Sam had arranged “business…with Hartford people” on Tuesday (Aug. 11), but moved it up to Sunday so he might return to Elmira the next day [Aug. 15 to Johnson]. The nature of his business with Hartford people is unknown. It is possible that the Hartford people referred to came to New York.

Several newspapers printed nasty things about Sam and the Grant book and the Century Magazine. The Brooklyn Eagle ran this item on page 10 the day after Grant’s funeral:

THE MAN HEAVILY enriched by Grant’s death is Mark Twain. He is the principal in the firm of Webster & Co, the publisher of Grant’s biography. He has already received orders from the army of canvassers for three hundred thousand and he expects to finally sell half a million here and in Europe. The retail price is $5.00, the share to agents and middlemen $2.00, the royalty to the Grant family 75 cents, the cost of manufacturing and delivery $1.50, leaving 75 cents clear to Twain and his partner. The shrewd humorist had to risk his entire fortune in the enterprise, but he pluckily refused to shirk the chances of loss by dividing the possible profits, and the net result to him and his partner will be a quarter to a third of a million dollars. Mark is a very solemn and docorous attendant at the funeral.

Note: Of course, this sort of thing enraged Sam. See his answer that ran in the New York Times on Aug. 20, 1885.

In Bethlehem, New Hampshire, Howells wrote to Sam thanking him for his “kind letter,” which stated Howells was his “only author.” W.D. also wrote about literature and General Grant:

Did you ever read De Foe’s Roxana? If not, then read it, not merely for some of the deepest insights into the lying, suffering, sinning, well-meaning human soul, but the best and most natural English that a book was ever written in. [Note: Sam may have named the heroine of Pudd’nhead Wilson after Defoe’s Roxanna.]

We had a funeral service for Grant, here, yesterday, and all the time while they were pumping song and praise over his great memory, I kept thinking of the day when we lunched on pork and beans with him in New York, and longing to make them feel and see how far above their hymns he was even in such an association. How he “sits and towers” as Dante says [MTHL 2: 536].

August 10 Monday – Sam left New York in the morning for the long train ride to Elmira. He telegraphed from Portland, Penn. to Theodore W. Crane: “Shall arrive at the usual / S L Clemens” [MTP]. Portland was en route to Elmira.

Hotel Normandie, New York, billed Sam $154.53 for “room 7 days @ 4$; restaurant 22.90; boot black .50; telegrams 1.60; messages .75, washing 2.22; cash Aug. 6, 7 and 9th $5, $5 and $50; Aug. 10 $5” = $65 [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote about receiving criticisms to the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud in HF. He enclosed a clipping from the Cincinnati Enquirer (not in file) of Aug. 10. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Southern feud. / Answer”; Johnson also sent a note with a Kemble sketch for the MS. of “My Campaign against Grant”

John C. Fuller (b. ca. 1838) wrote from Cincinnati, Ohio enclosing a clipping (not extant) from the Aug. 10 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer reporting a real family feud paralleling the Grangerford-Shepherdson conflict in HF. Fuller closes with: “If it lies within your power either as writer or publisher to bring this knowledge to the attention of the lunkheads who disbelieve in the reality of the southern vendetta, I pray you do so, and confer an everlasting favor upon / Yours Truly…” [MTP].

Robert Spaulding wrote regretting he could not attend Sunday afternoon [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “The Spaulding dog declines our cat’s invitation to a garden party.”

Webster & Co per Frederick J. Hall wrote enclosing a clipping from this morning’s NY World quoting Fred Grant as saying “that there might not be enough matter for two volumes.” This was a problem since they’d taken large orders for two volumes [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “shall I write Col. Grant?”

Worden & Co. Wrote sale of a stock and they’d send proceeds of $4,887.50 to Webster & Co. [MTP].

August 11 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Richard S. Tuthill, at this time District Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). Tuthill had sent an invitation for Sam to come and break bread with some of his old Midwest friends.

“I would give anything in the world if I could go; for that is true which you have said: the boys are growing old & passing away—did not we deliver to the rest & peace of the grave the greatest, noblest, the chiefest of them all, three days ago?”

Sam pled he was: “overwhelmed with engagements & business for months to come” [MTP].

Sam also replied to an unidentified person regarding Grant’s burial place in New York. Sam argued that the City would still be there:

“…20 centuries hence…[like] London, Constantinople, & one or two others, whose commercial situation will always insure their being rebuilt as fast as the earthquakes can shake them down” [MTP].

August 12 or 19 or 26 Wednesday – On one of these days, Sam wrote to Webster & Co. (Charles Webster was sailing to Europe). He hadn’t received a letter referred to in a telegraph from someone at the company. There were “bogus Grant books” being canvassed and Sam suggested “Mr. Hall employ detectives or trustworthy friends to write” a solicitation to canvass to be sent to “several fraudulent publishers” [MTP].

August 13 ThursdayW.H.H. Daggett, Hartford awning dealer, charged Sam $2 for “putting up awnings” [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote of checks rec’d and of work completed on the history game; Ma went to a picnic [MTP].

August 14 Friday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Daniel Whitford, his attorney, asking if he knew the “President of the Balt & Ohio Tel Co, or parties connected with the new Co.” Sam was touting Paige’s telegraph invention. “Any idiot can operate it. No experts required” [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote that the Century people had given up all claim to the picture of Gen. Grant [MTP].

August 15 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Robert Underwood Johnson, of the Century Magazine. He began a draft of this letter in his notebook [MTNJ 3: 172]. Webster & Co. intended to use what was purported to be the last photograph of Grant for the deluxe edition of the Memoirs, but Webster wrote Sam on Aug. 1 that another copy had been made secretly by the photographer and given to the Century Co. to use in their October issue. Whitford, Sam’s attorney investigated the legalities of prohibiting Century, and concluded each party could prevent the other from using the photograph. [3:172n154]. To Johnson:

I did what I could in the photograph matter, but I found that there was more behind it than I had supposed; so I dropped it. Any judicious person would have done about the same, I judge. I did not call on you again, because a business which I was expecting to arrange with Hartford people Tuesday I arranged Sunday, & so came away Monday morning. Ever since I have been grinding away on my war article, & have only finished it this moment [MTP].

Joe Twichell wrote of Sam’s invitation to “come down to New York and share your facilities for viewing the Funeral procession.” He couldn’t accept [MTP].

Robert Armstrong wrote from Kirkfield, Ontario, a begging letter for “any amount” [MTP].

August 16 SundayHjalmar Boyesen wrote to ask if Sam thought an illustrated history of Norway would pay as a subscription book [MTP].

August 17 MondayHenrietta B. Babcock wrote from Cleveland to ask Sam’s help with producing her play [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answer — Don’t [know] anything aboutg dramatic literature”

J.E. Buerk wrote from Boston to sell a German translation of TS to Sam made by his late brother [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No—don’t want it”

T.R. Burnam in Boston, sent one telegram, wrote one letter. “Will you be in Hartford Tuesday noon so that I can see you on important business connected with the Grant book answer giving address” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No / answer”. The letter revealed Burnam was a photog with pictures he made of Grant on June 5, 1868—would Clemens like to use them if not too late?

August 18 Tuesday Sam was granted his third and last patent, number 324,535, for a “Game Apparatus,” the board version of the history game [The Twainian, Nov-Dec 1957 p3; Aug. 27, 1965 letter from GSA on file at MTP]. See filing date and card info made by Patent Engraving Co., New York Oct. 9, 1884 entry.

Sam wrote from Elmira to Hjalmar Boyesen, and reviewed the possibilities of a book by Boyesen. He compared the clientele of Howells with Boyesen’s possible clientele [MTP].

Sam wrote “A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHERS,” which ran in the N.Y. Times on Aug. 20.

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, two letters enclosed by Webster, denying claims made by the NY World and also exposing fake volumes of the Grant book [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Letter to the public to deny a lying World statement”

August 19 WednesdayLivy’s mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon, celebrated her 75th birthday. The Clemens family all went to town for the celebration [Salsbury 209]. Susy and Clara Clemens performed the second part of The Merry Wives of Windsor as part of the birthday fun [Gribben 629]. From Livy’s diary:

      We were all in town today to celebrate Mother’s 75th birthday. We all made our various gifts to her. Susy had worked an umbrella case, and she had also learned the second part of the Merry Wives of Windsor to play with Clara, as part of her contribution Clara had learned the part before with her teacher, but Susy learned hers alone.

      It seemed almost useless to prepare anything for Mother, for she does so much for us, it seems wrong for her to give us gifts on her birthday…but it is her pleasure so I suppose we must all be content. She gave Sue and Charlie and me each of us a check of $100, so it made fifty dollars for each of the children and children-in-law [.] Theodore, Ida and Mr. Clemens were to share our one hundred dollar checks. Beside the checks she made us gifts. She gave me three pieces of Crown Derby Tea-pot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher.

      Mother looked so young and bright and handsome that it was impossible to realize she is 75 [MTP].


August 20 Thursday – The New York Times printed on page 5 “GENERAL GRANT’S BOOK / A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHERS,” Dated Aug. 18, with a note from the late General dated July 4. The letter addressed rumors of the Grant contract, that Mrs. Grant would “receive nearly three-fourths of the profits arising from the sale of the book, and upon some sales even more.” Grant’s note advised simply letting the public know about unscrupulous and cheap imitations of the Memoirs. Note: Sam was constantly irritated during this period by rumors that Grant was not the true author; or that there wasn’t enough material for two volumes. Also, other publishers, including American Publishing Co., brought out rival biographies.

Sam’s notebook contains an entry that Paige reminded him on Aug. 20 that the $3,000 sent was $1,000 too much [MTNJ 3: 180]. Note: there are many undated entries in the notebook during this period about the Paige typesetter. Sam was getting in deeper, buoyed by the success of Grant’s book.

James W. Paige wrote “Upon my return from Block Island I find your two favors. One with a check for three thousand dollars enclosed, which, please let me remind you is one thousand more than it should have been” [MTP].

Dean Sage wrote expecting Sam & Livy to stay with them Monday night at Albany [MTP].

Webster & Co per Frederick J. Hall wrote, enclosing copy of a circular which made unsubstantiated claims about royalties the Grant book was paying the family. Whitford advised putting this with a private detective to discover the source; they suspected the Am. Pub. Co. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “A singularly villainous circular”

William Hamersley wrote after having “a long talk” with James Paige about the typesetter stock [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Paige gives H & me 1/10 each”

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote: “I waited for some response from you as late as I dared and then let the letter go. So far as we have been able to ascertain it is very well received indeed and is not looked upon as an advertisement” [MTP]. Note: the letter was an explanation about publishing the Grant Memoirs.

August 21 FridayJ.E. Larkin photographer, Elmira, billed Sam $8 for “1 ½ doz Cab[inet] cards 3 negatives”, paid Aug. 24 [MTP].

Chatto & Windus wrote with royalties of £979.11 in 3 drafts [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote more about recent legal matters [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote: “you have such an enormous business on your hands!” Root, a state book agent claims 600 copies sold “for this county.” Ma sent Puss $150 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Send Puss the other $50”

August 22 SaturdayKarl Gerhardt wrote “another chapter in the Nathan Hale farce” [MTP]. Note: Gerhardt was bidding on doing a statue of Nathan Hale, now at the Conn. capitol in Hartford.

William N. Woodruff wrote [MTP]. Only the env. survives; Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Containing Judge [George] Turner’s suicide”

Charles Webster wrote from London that he’d made “a splendid contract” in London but “the prospects are poor for the Continent.” Webster had chosen Henry Stanley’s publisher Sampson, Low Marston & Co. Stanley had helped him greatly [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote “All right about the photograph. Mr. Whitford told us the [illegible word] of the situation.” He was anxious to see the “Missouri sketch” about Sam’s time in the Marion Rangers [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “They give up the Grant photograph”

August 23 SundayOrion Clemens wrote to warn Sam about an unworthy woman being given the book agency in that county [MTP].

August 24 Monday – Sam and Livy left the children with the Cranes at Quarry Farm and took a trip to Albany, where they stayed at the home of Dean Sage [MTNJ 3: 179n5; The Twainian, Sept-Oct. 1956, p4].

Livy’s diary entry:

Mr Clemens and I started today to visit some acquaintances in the Catskills. We had a long days journey, being obliged to wait three hours in Binghampton. We arrived at Albany about seven in the evening. Mr Dean Sage met us at the station, and took us out to his summer place, Hillside, about three miles from Albany. We have had a delicious supper and a pleasant chat this evening. One can not see Mr & Mrs Sage with out being brightened up in all sorts of ways, they are such live people [MTP].

William Hamersley wrote about finances and the Paige typesetter with co. formation [MTP].

E.J. Johnson for Johnson Business Exchange, Cincinnati, sent a pre-printed postcard offering to buy patents [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green, three letters enclosed, about Webster’s letter to the public, and other matters with the copied circular [MTP].

August 25 Tuesday – Sam, Livy, and the Sages traveled to Mt. Onteora, New York in the Catskills near Tannersville to visit Candace Wheeler (Mrs. Thomas M. Wheeler), mother of Dora Wheeler Keith, the artist. Mrs Wheeler specialized in the design of tapestries and fabrics for Louis C. Tiffany & Company[MTNJ 3: 179n5; 212n85]. Note: Candace was a founder of the New York Society of Decorative Arts, and advised the Clemenses on the remodeling of their Hartford Home in 1881 [MTNJ 3: 178n2]. While at Onteora, the Clemenses met Elizabeth Clift Bacon (Mrs. Geo. A. Custer) (1842–1933). Susy quoted her mother as saying Mrs. Custer “was a very attractive, sweet appearing woman” [Salsbury 209].

Livy’s diary entry:

Tannersville 25th

We reached here about five in the afternoon – Mr & Mrs Sage came with us from Albany – it has been a pouring rain all day. We had trouble making connections & so have had a rather tiresome day of it – but with a good deal of fun interspersed. Mr Dinsham Wheeler, the son of the lady that we were to visit met us in Tannersville. We had a ride of about half an hour out to their cottage, there we found Mrs Wheeler and her daughter Miss Dora Wheeler, beside Mrs Custer the widow of Gen’l Custer. Miss Dora Wheeler is the artist & she and her mother are both connected with the Associated Artists.

Mr & Mrs Sage & Mr Clemens and I had rooms in the house of Mrs Wheelers brother Mr Thurber [MTP].


See insert drawing of Clemens by Dora Wheeler; autographed.

W.E. Welsh billed Sam $20.85 “for Miss Spaulding making dress,” and $499.68 for dresses made for Livy, including Fouland dress, silk suits—a great long list of items these include. All paid Sept. 5. [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote about the NY World failing to publish Col. Grant’s letter, but it would run the next day in the Sun, Tribune, and Times [MTP].

August 26 WednesdayWebster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote “pleasure to report that in round numbers the reported sales up to date are 151,000 sets” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Immense news”

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote: “I understand that a German Publishing house in Chicago have announced that they will publish the German translation of the Personal Memoirs in cheap form and have written Charley to consider this…” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “All rights reserved covers this. Write those people / If necessary we will issue a 25c German edition”

August 27 Thursday Sam wrote from Mt. Onteora, New York to Miss Nettie (last name not given).

Dear Miss Nettie— /Anybody can tell the bare truth: let us study to adorn it./ Truly Yours / Mark Twain” [MTP].


Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote that neither Howe the photographer nor Gerhardt has the right to publish the photo of Grant; but the Century co. was ‘out of the way” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Settlement of the Grant photograph perplexity”

August 28 Friday – In a Aug. 31 letter to Sarah A. Sage, Sam refers to his “finished business in New York in about three hours and a half,” so it would seem he and Livy traveled from Onteora back to New York City, and then on to Quarry Farm the next day. (See Aug. 31 entry). The New York Times reported Sam in the city at the Hotel Normandie [Aug. 29, p2 “Personal Intelligence”].

J.T. Marion wrote from Richburg, S.C. to thank Sam for the information about the Confederate burial ground [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From a Confederate General”

August 29 Saturday Sam and Livy returned to Quarry Farm [The Twainian Sept-Oct 1956, p4; Susan Crane’s letters to Paine]. They arrived “before supper” [Aug. 31 to Sage]. Livy’s diary entry:

“Quarry Farm Aug 29th / Here we are back again after our pleasant trip away. We enjoyed our stay in the Catskills exceedingly….We found the children all well and glad to get us back”[MTP].

August 30 Sunday Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion, who was anxious about agents taking books from Webster & Co., and not paying for them. Sam explained that “Books are not delivered to General Agents till we get the money; if they fail to get it back again out of their canvassers, it is their misfortune, not ours.” Sam added a note to the letter that since Orion had sent “Puss” Quarles Greening $150, that “if she needs the other $50” to let him know and he would send it [MTP].

Sam also wrote to an unidentified person, declining, as Grant’s publisher, to write on the subject of Grant’s “burial place.”

“I could not write upon the subject which you propose without experiencing that uncomfortable sensation again…When a man deliberately offends other folk, he invites sorrow; when he deliberately offends himself, he insures it. I should strike the latter snag if I complied with your very kind & most complimentary request” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Candace Wheeler, their host at Onteora, New York in the Catskills. Wheeler and her wealthy brother established Onteora Park.

“It was the perfection of a visit; just enough rain, just enough sunshine; just enough people, & just the right kind; just enough exercise, just enough lazying around; just enough of everything desirable, & no lack of anything usual to the details of a lark away from home…” [MTP].

August 31 Monday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Sarah A. Sage (Mrs. Dean Sage).

I find my youth renewed by that lark in the mountains, whereas it is to be hoped that Dean Sage is just as old as he was before, for throwing away his opportunity. I believe he would have profited by staying and letting business run it’s [sic] self for a while. Come to think of it, Joe ought to have been there, that was just the place for Joe [Twichell] [MTP].

Sam wrote that he’d finished up his New York business in three and a half hours, so he must have traveled from Onteora to New York City, then back to Elmira.

F.G. de Fontaine for Grant Memorial Assoc. Sent a printed circular letter with a plan to raise money for a Grant statue & memorial [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “A Grant Memorial scheme”

September 1 TuesdayJesse R. Grant wrote giving Henry A. Taylor’s NYC address and saying he’d advise Taylor that Sam would call on him regarding the Turkish railroad scheme [MTP].

Frank C. Raubs wrote from City Prison, NYC to beg for a loan of $50 for bail [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From the scoundrel Raubs” who had stolen from Webster & Co.

September 2 WednesdaySusan E. Dickinson wrote: “I sent Miss Bond off to school 24 hours before your letter came. Now I send her your check; and she will send it back to me to draw from bank here…”” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Anna Dickinson’s sister”; Sade E. Bond.

Mrs. C.L. Roddey wrote a small card from Hackettstown, N.J., advising that she’d been misidentified as the model for Sam’s Laura Hawkins in GA. She wished to see him ASAP for a denial [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “A frightened villager of New Jersey”

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote. “I am glad you like the burro.” He also wrote of completing the organization of the Wolfe Contracting Co. J.R. Grant president, F.J. Hall secretary, etc [MTP].

September 3 ThursdayWebster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote reporting total sales of the Grant books at 175,000 sets; other agent requests to be answered with postcards preprinted [MTP].

September 4 FridayWilliam Hamersley wrote with his usual illegible scrawl about the Paige operators and stock [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote another couple of large pages in longhand, suggesting that nothing from the Grant book be published ahead of time [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Possibly 250,000 sets sold”

September 5 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Karl Gerhardt. Sam did not want a connection between the Webster Co. and Gerhardt’s bust and statue of Grant. He did not want either of the two works by Gerhardt to be see as his attempt to profit from Grant’s death. Sam’s attorneys at Alexander & Green thought it “better & safer that the book agencies & the bust agencies be kept as separate as possible.” Sam informed Gerhardt that the Clemens family would leave Elmira on Sept. 15 and “stop over a day or two in New York” [MTP].

Frederick D. Grant wrote receipt of his letter and the 2 P.S.’s in diffrerent envelopes; as each PS “added” 25,000 volumes sold he’d “like to get them daily” [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to convey Webster’s letter in England about his efforts to secure contracts for the Grant book sales there and on the Continent [MTP].

Webster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote “We sent you books asked for by mail yesterday.” Other news about canvassing agents n Middlesex Co. N.J. [MTP].

September 6 SundaySade E. Bond wrote, enclosed in Dickinson Sept. 16 [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote: Check for $150 rec’d. “Ma went up to Burlington (40 miles) with a steamboat excursion Thursday. Returned same day.” Ma sent Puss and bought a dress to overdraw her account $4 [MTP].

September 8 Tuesday Sam wrote from Elmira to Chatto & Windus, acknowledging receipt of their Aug. 21 letter with notes for £986.10.5.

“It is true that Huck Finn has not treated you kindly, but it must be because the English people do not understand that dialect; for here, where the people do understand it, the book has sold more than 60,000 copies, at my usual high prices—$2.75 to $4.50 a copy.”

Sam noted that sales were also weak for Tauchnitz, his European publisher, due to his clientele being:

“…mainly traveling Englishmen & native Germans. That dialect would give these latter the belly-ache every time.”

Sam expressed sadness that Chatto would not be the English publisher for Grant’s Memoirs, writing, “It’s like going out of the family.” But he’d directed Webster to “get the best terms, & accept none other” [MTP].

Sam’s notebook contains an entry on Chatto’s notes sent to his banker, Bissell, for collection [3:185].

Sam also wrote a short note to Robert Underwood Johnson. Sam had finished the war article for the Century’s “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” series, but Livy “confessed, under cross-examination, that she does not like that article yet.” Sam suggested it would:

…look like mighty poor weak stuff…in the smoke and thunder of the big guns all around it [MTP].

Henry Ward Beecher wrote (see Sept. 11 reply for content) [MTP].

September 9 Wednesday – Sam entered in his notebook Bissell’s acknowledgement of Chatto’s notes [MTNJ 3: 188].

Webster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote: “Your favor enclosing statement from Chatto & Windus is received; we have placed it in the safe.” More sales numbers on the Grant books, this time from Indiana and Illinois [MTP].

September 11 Friday Sam wrote a rather long reply, from Elmira to Henry Ward Beecher, who wrote on Sept. 8 asking to see the Grant Memoirs to aid in a eulogy Beecher was to deliver on Oct. 22. He asked for Sam’s views on Grant and especially his opinion on Grant’s drinking. Sam hid behind a “promise” he’d made to Webster to “Honor no order for a sight or copy of the Memoirs while I [Charles] am absent, even though it be signed by Mr. Clemens himself.” Sam had not foreseen that Beecher would ask, or he would have made an exception. On the drinking issue, Sam defended Grant, said that such sprees had ceased before Grant came east to be Lt. General, and referred Beecher to General William B. Franklin on the matter.

It was while Grant was still in the West that Mr. Lincoln said he wished he could find out what brand of whisky that fellow used, so he could furnish it to some of the other generals [MTP].

Fox & Co. Hartford grocers, billed Sam $28.48 for “Mdse as per pass book”, no paid date shown [MTP].

Clarence C. Buel for Century Magazine wrote “I have outflanked Johnson (who is having a letter vacation) and sent the ‘Private History’ to the printer” [MTP].

September 14 MondayLivy was depressed about leaving Quarry Farm, but was encouraged at Susy’s unselfish instincts in making up a bag of amusements for Jean on the trip. Livy’s diary entry:

We start for New York tomorrow the 15th leaving this beloved Quarry Farm. We expect to spend a few days in New York & then on to Hartford….The blessed child…was doing some thing for the pleasure of some one else [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote to give some of the statistics on type setting Sam requested [MTP].

Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye wrote, clipping enclosed of a wood engraving, possibly of himself, because he goes on four pages noting every detail and saying he found this work of art in an “obscene paper” [MTP].

September 15 Tuesday – The Clemens family left Elmira and Quarry Farm and traveled to New York City [Sept. 5 to Gerhardt; MTNJ 3: 189].

“A handsome horse and a phaeton” was delivered to Walt Whitman in Philadelphia as a gift from his friends, to aid him in “his financial embarrassment.” The name of Samuel L. Clemens was among those who donated for the $500 gift [N.Y. Times, Sept. 16, 1885 p5]. (See Aug. 6 for Sam’s contribution.)

Frederick D. Grant wrote a small note with mourning border: “I think I can get the lines together you wish. I will be in N.Y. the last of this month…” [MTP].

Theodore W. Crane wrote:

Dear Mr Clemens / Your Telegram just reached us, while sitting on the stoop trying to comfort the cats who seem to miss you all, as much as we do[.] The place, from the tent to the lower gates seems funereal and desolate—we look for Jean and she is not—for Clara & Susie and they do not appear—The Donkeys hang their heads & mourn their occupation is gone & they soon go into winter quarters & the Cats will be distributed (except Sour Mash) to new owners—all this should not be—Sell the Castle & build on Quarry farm, and let Susie teach the Deestrect school and Clara & Jean become her pupils—

I will keep you posted about the Coal business, and we will keep our spirit alive until you return next June or we go to you in the winter—Sue joins me in very much love to all your good family. / Theodore [MTP].

William Tecumseh Sherman wrote from St. Louis to inquire about publishing his notes made in 1871-2 traveling in Europe [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “General Sherman / Answer today”

September 16 Wednesday – The Clemens family intended to spend “a day or two” in New York City before traveling on home to Hartford for the winter [Sept. 5 to Gerhardt].

Susan E. Dickinson wrote forwarding Sadie E. Bond’s note of thanks for Sam’s assistance [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From the Normal School girl”

September 17 Thursday – Sam entered a list of fifteen things to do, an “order of procedure,” relating to the Paige typesetter and business organization for it [MTNJ 3: 187-8].

September 18 FridayLivy wrote in her diary: “We arrived home safely on the 18th of Sept. and the children began their lessons on the 21st” [Salsbury 212; MTP].

September 19 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to General William Tecumseh Sherman. After sending a telegram in the morning, he sent a note of apology for not answering Sherman’s letter sooner. Sherman had asked if Sam would consider for publication his manuscript, a collection of Sherman’s travel notes from Europe. Of course he would read it, Sam answered.

“Webster is in Europe, now, making contracts for General Grant’s book with the publishers in those countries; but he will be back within a fortnight—in time to help me convince you as to what you ought to do, General [MTP]. Note: It was agreed in early Oct. that the MS was not publishable” [MTNJ 3: 193n41].

Frederick J. Hall for Webster & Co. wrote about a sales strategy from the “Banner Report” that began with quoting the highest price style of binding and working down to cloth, which it was thought led buyers to think they were getting a bargain [MTP].

Leila Watson (Mrs. Charles Watson) wrote from Ottawa asking him to write a recommendation on her as a reader, even though he’d never heard her read! [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “O, hell no!” and “Mrs. Watson the reader”

September 20 Sunday – Sam and Twichell walked to Talcott’s Tower, as was their custom in the summer and fall, about a ten mile trip. Joe wrote in his journal,

“To the Tower on foot with M.T. Plenty of delightful talk. Much to tell on both sides” [Yale, copy at MTP].

September 22 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Orion. He wanted to know more about compositor rates in small towns and the country—what did the fastest man set in 7 ½ hours? He was sorry to hear that his mother was not well [MTP]. Note: Sam wanted this information because the “foreman of the N.Y. Sun” told him some very high em rates were now required, and Sam was calculating how much savings the Paige typesetter offered a newspaper.

Frederick D. Grant wrote another small card that he would be in NY by Sept 28 [MTP].

R.L. Blakeman wrote from Troy, NY with criticism of the French translation of The Jumping Frog [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “! ! Singluar ass.”

William Tecumseh Sherman wrote from St. Louis, having rec’d Sam’s telegram and letter of Sept. 19. “The MS/ss of which I wrote you is all ready and after submitting parts to the Rev’d Dr. Eliot, President of Washington University in this City—I will land the whole to you per Adams & Co” [MTP].

September 23 WednesdayTwichell’s journal reveals how the Twichells and the Clemenses spent this evening:

H[armony] & I dined at M.T.’s where we met Hon. John Russell Young late U.S. Minister to China. The talk was largely of Gen. Grant of whom he had intimate knowledge having made the Great Tour with him and written the book “Around the World with Gen. Grant” But though so well furnished with matter of interest (of various kinds) he was so unskillful a talker as to make the least of it [Yale, copy at MTP].

Sam wrote from Hartford to President Grover Cleveland. As a Mugwump, Sam wanted Cleveland to know that Mugwumps were not dissatisfied with him, that they would all vote for him again.

“…they believe in you, rest in you, stand by you, & are day by day increasingly proud of you & grateful that you are where you are. We are not disturbed by the Brooklyn Weigher & the New York Custom house matters…”

These were merely mistakes, Sam assured; they had faith that Cleveland would correct them [MTP].

Sam also accepted an invitation from Henry L. Dawes [MTP]. Note: back on Mar. 1 Sam made a reminder in his notebook to speak in Pittsfield, Mass. for the “Young Ladies Club” in October. The promise made was to “Miss Dawes,” Anna Laurens Dawes, daughter of Henry. The invitation most likely related to Sam’s Oct. 7 reading in Pittsfield, perhaps to stay with the Dawes family.

Sam also wrote to Frank Finlay of Belfast, Ireland, who was about to visit the U.S.

My Dear Finlay: / I am home all those days except the 6th & 7th. Now then, you reach New York Oct 1; can’t you get through with your business there by the 3d & run up here & stay till the 6th? (I don’t go away till the morning of the 6th.) Give me a line saying you’ll come [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Courtlandt Palmer, New York lawyer, resident of Stonington, Conn. and head of the Nineteenth Century Club, who on June 21 asked Sam to speak at the club. He’d tried several times to come up with a humorous speech and failed, so he finally declined the invitation to speak:

“ wrote the thing three times & put each attempt in the fire where four-fifths of my manuscript goes to, of late years. I gave it up then; for the same thing which had caused my defeat up to that time, would keep on causing it for an indefinite period: the Grant book”[MTP].

September 24 ThursdayGrover Cleveland replied to Sam’s Sept. 23:

My dear Sir: / Your letter is this moment received; and I am so pleased with it and so grateful for it, that I must put every thing else aside for a few minutes, and thank you for your kind, sensible, and hard-headed words.

      I want to do some good in the cause of reform and better government. I think my back is stiff enough to withstand palpable pressure and cursing; but I have every day to guard my temper lest in an explosion aimed at certain provoking hunters after mice, I should injure a good cause. If your boy (if you have one) should demolish your most expensive vase in an effort to whack a mosquito he found upon it, you’d find it pretty hard to work coolly reason on the subject. I think like the mosquito but I want to save the vase if I can, and the boys certainly ought to be careful—that’s surely mild talk, under the circumstances.

Thanking you again and all the good men in Hartford that feel as you do, I am / Yours sincerely… [MTP].

September 25 FridayCourtlandt Palmer wrote that Sam’s “kind but disappointing letter of the 23rd is received” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Appoints May 1 (no good) & will write me Mch 1. I can’t”

Webster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote that Webster sailed on the Aurania on Oct. 3; Brockhous of Leipzig and Baron Tauchnitz would publish the German and English Continent Editions respectively [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Continental royalty on Grant book”

William Tecumseh Sherman wrote that he sent the MS referred to earlier [MTP].

September 26 SaturdayCharles J. Langdon wrote that he hadn’t “a cent to put into” the typesetting co. stock as he was “about ‘busted’” [MTP].

Webster & Co. per Frank M. Scott listed the drafts drawn by Gerhardt totaling $1,031 from July 30 to Sept. 21 [MTP].

September 27 Sunday – From Livy’s diary:

Today we have had a quiet day having only Miss Corey to dinner, and Jean also eating with us, but we had a merry time this evening. I invited Miss Foote, Ward Foote, Hattie Foote, Daisy [Margaret Warner], Fanny Freese, the Twichell children and two or three other children—the grown people came with them and we had a most merry time—dancing, we all danced the Virginia-Reel—Mr. Twichell, Mr. Clemens, both Mr. Warners, and then charades in which the gentlemen led and all together a very good wholesome time for the children [Salsbury 212].

September 28 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Frank Fuller.

“ want you to run up here & stop over night & let me tell you how I think you can make a considerable stack of money”[MTP].

Sam’s notebook contains an entry about Fuller putting Paige’s telegraphic invention on the market. Sam wrote on Nov. 11 that he’d dropped the scheme. (See MTNJ 3: 181n12.)

Orion had gathered information for Sam about the work rate for newspaper compositors in the Keokuk area (see Sept. 22 entry); he reported that they averaged about 1,000 ems per hour for seven and a half hours, and that one boy consistently did 1,200 ems per hour [MTNJ 3: 202n64]. This was information Sam needed to calculate the savings to a purchaser of the Paige typesetter.

September 29 TuesdayFred Hall informed Sam that Colonel Fred Grant was planning on writing a biography of his father, taking up the story where the Memoirs left off. Sam left the negotiations to Charles Webster. Fred Grant asked for more than what was possible and the biography was never published [MTNJ 3: 201n58].

R.L. Blakeman wrote from Troy, NY, rather humble about correcting Sam’s French; he cited a professor of French there and concluded though there were flaws in Sam’s French, “that is a small matter compared to the many valuable things you have written” [MTP].

Frank Fuller wrote from NYC: “Your telegram is here & I have a minute in which to say that as a month or two will pass before action is needed, I will be greatly indebted to you if you will tell me all about it” [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote:

We thank you for sending us the letter from Mr Putnam of Virginia City concerning General Dent’s prediction of Grant’s prominence in the War. We have already written to Mr Putnam to say that it would give us great pleasure to print a brief note on the subject. / Did you overlook my inquiry in regard to the compensation for “The Campaign That Failed,” or does your modesty forbid a reply? [MTP]. Note: Charles A.V. Putnam.

Charles J. Langdon wrote “I read your leter to John Arnot & we discussed the matter. John says that he has been so badly hurt in all his outside ventures that he cannot bring himself to go into any more of the kind.” He complained that ‘things very blue in our future. She is pretty nearly played out in health and money, & the situation is fast wearing me out’ ” [MTP]. Note: Sam was likely trying to entice the wealthy Arnot into investing in the typesetter.

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote twice, both about Col. Grant’s “swagger” and appearance in the Webster office [MTP].

Webster & Co. per Frederick J. Hall wrote of business matters: binding totals, General Agent reports & the Co. share of profits on each type of binding; Col. Fred Grant had been in and talked about doing a biography of his father, but would do nothing until he talked to Clemens [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Proportion of profits”

October, earlyThomas and Candace Wheeler returned the visit to the Clemenses in Hartford, who for a “lark” went with the Sages in late August to Onteora near Tannersville, New York [MTNJ 3: 178n2]. Dora Wheeler, daughter, drew a flower in Sam’s notebook during this stay. Sam drew another flower on the opposing page and labeled hers “Marsh-mallow By Dora Wheeler” [MTNJ 3: 221].

Harper’s Monthly Magazine printed an article “A Model State Capital,” by George Parsons Lathrop, which included some remarks by Sam on his Hartford house. Sam didn’t have a name for his house, just a number, though there wasn’t a number on it anywhere. Note: this was also printed as “Mark Twain’s House” by the Hartford Courant, Sept. 23, 1885 p1.

October 1 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Fred Hall, who was acting for Charles Webster during his absence in England. Sam advised Hall to put off some question to General Badeau and Mrs. Grant till Webster came home in a few days [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote, warning against any disagreements with the Grant family; that it jeopardized a proposed 400,000 sale [MTP].

October 2 FridayW.A. Paton for Scribner’s Sons wrote to introduce from England, Joseph Tyler and Philip Bright who would visit Hartford on pleasure [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Telegraph & write Mrs. Wheeler Monday. Write W.R. Plunkett”

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote “Mr Alexander wishes me to say to you from him that your letter is worthy of Talleyrand and I have placed it in Hall’s hands with a form of a shore-note from him to Col Grant for wording it which he will copy and send” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “What do I think of Badreau’s article”

October 3 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:

I think I’ve struck a good idea. It is to reduce a series of big maps to mere photographic fly-specks & sell them together with a microscope of ¼ to 1 inch focal distance. By this means I could conveniently examine my synchromatic map which is 36 ft long [MTNJ 3: 196]. (See also note 48.)

Sam wrote from Hartford, for Livy, to Candace Wheeler, thanking her for “the fragrant cushion” and saying Livy would “be most glad to welcome” her “& Miss Wheeler on the 9th, & so shall I also.” Livy was “a trifle ailing” and so Sam was standing in [MTP].

Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “Yes—the MSS. came duly & safely—Grant’s in heaven—I wish I had been there too, before agreeing to deliver his eulogy!” [MTP]. Note: Twain agreed to send some proofs of Grant’s Memoirs.

October 4 SundayBelle C. Greene wrote from Nashua, N.H. to send him her first book (A New England Conscience). She needed “honest, literary criticism of the right sort.” She enclosed clippings, not in file [MTP].

 International Typographical per E.S. McIntosh wrote to Orion, who passed the stats on to Sam [MTP].

October 5 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Fred Hall in New York, directing him to take a $1,000 note to Gerhardt and have him endorse it payable to Webster & Co. Gerhardt had turned the note over to Sam for monies owed. The note was from Goodwin Brothers, Elmwood, Conn., the manufacturers of Gerhardt’s bust of Grant [MTP; MTNJ 3: 202n61].

Sam also wrote most of a letter to William Tecumseh Sherman that he added a paragraph to on Oct. 6. Sam’s learned advice was for him not to publish his book of travel notes [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote: checks rec’d $150. Grant book subscription sales in Keokuk [MTP].

October 6 Tuesday Sam added the PS paragraph to his Oct. 5 letter to Sherman. If Sherman wished to disregard Sam’s advice and go ahead and publish, he needed to remember:

Tom, Dick or Harry can reduce the size of his footprint if he wants to, but Hercules can’t. He must leave a No. 19 track behind him all the time [MTP].

Sam left Hartford in the morning and traveled to Pittsfield, Mass., where he was to give a reading the next day for the Wednesday Morning Club for young ladies, an engagement he’d promised Anna Dawes while in Washington on Mar. 1 (See Mar. 1 entry; Sept. 23 to Finlay). Sam was a guest of William R. Plunkett, a “leading citizen and public official of Pittsfield” [MTNJ 3: 196n47].

E.S. Cunningham wrote from Melbourne, Australia. “Since my return from your country I have had the pleasure of widely spreading the news that you are likely to visit us.” HF had “boomed” there [MTP].

Webster & Co. wrote sales amounts and expense list on the Grant books, having rec’d his of the 5th[MTP].

October 7 Wednesday – Sam gave his reading, “Mental Telegraphy” for the Wednesday Morning Club for young ladies, in Pittsfield, Mass. [Fatout, MT Speaking 656].

October 8 Thursday – Sam sent a two-liner note from Hartford to Karl Gerhardt. He’d not sent his estimate of monthly expenses, “& time passes.” Had the “Governor been brought to name a date yet” Sam wanted to know [MTP]. Most likely the “date” had to do with Gerhardt’s statue of Grant.

An envelope only survives to Candace Wheeler, 115 East 23d Street, New York City [MTP].

Moncure Conway wrote a short note from Boston; he and the wife would “come by express Wednesday, unless you receive telegram modifying the time of the inevitable invasion” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Conway – which express”

October 9 FridayWilliam Tecumseh Sherman wrote having rec’d Sam’s of Oct. 5. Sherman agreed with Sam’s judgement—he would not publish his travel notes of 1871-2 [MTP].

October 10 SaturdayWebster & Co. per Frank M. Scott wrote of more drafts honored to Gerhardt, making a total paid to date $1,206. They’d rec’d Sam’s letter of Oct. 9 [MTP].

October 11 Sunday – Clemens wrote to E.S. Cunningham of the Melbourne Argus.

I wish I were able to promise myself a look on an Australian platform, just to enjoy seeing the prophecies made good, but indeed I don’t see any prospect of it. I find I was only beguiling myself with the false notion that I liked the platform in order to keep up my spirits while I was chained to it last winter. It was, indeed, beguilement—delusion pure & simple—& it all vanished, & passed utterly away within two months after my emancipation. I dread the platform now, as not even a novice is capable of dreading it, & I am well convinced that I shall never stand upon one again until I do so with a sheriff at my side with his warrant in his hand. I haven’t my any means given up the hope of seeing Australia some day, but when I come I am coming innocently, & not to rob. I have relinquished the latter project entirely. Henceforth, even in my own country, I shall lead in many respect a reformed life.— / Sincerely yours…[MTP].

October 12 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to William Tecumseh Sherman, who had agreed with Sam not to publish his travel notes. Sam thought he had “decided wisely,” and would return the General’s manuscript. He would see if it violated copyright to send Sherman an early copy of Grant’s Memoirs. Sam also suggested several memoirs the General might benefit from reading [MTP].

Charles and Annie Webster returned from England on the steamer Aurania. Charles spoke to a New York Times reporter who ran an article the next day Oct. 13, on page 5: GEN. GRANT’S MEMOIRS. / A LARGE FOREIGN SALE ASSURED FOR THE WORK.

His contract in England was made with Sampson Low & Co., of London, and in Germany with Brockhouse & Co. Of Leipsic, the great centre of the book publishing trade. Lack of time did not allow him to conclude his contracts for Italy and France, but instructions regarding these contracts were intrusted to Sampson Low & Co.

Webster was asked what the probable royalties would amount to for the Grant family, and answered, though it was difficult to exactly estimate, enough had already been sold to bring in $300,000 to $400,000 and that the total might even reach $750,000 [MTP].

Mrs. O. Barnes wrote a begging letter from Smithfield, R.I., asking for $150 for a feeble man [MTP].

** Moncure Conway wrote they’d leave Boston Wednesday at 11, arriving Hartford 2.30 pm [MTP].

Henry C. Robinson wrote from Hartford about “a matter of Col. Clapp’s claim for damages” [MTP].

October 13 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, repeating his intention to retail commissions as general agents for the New York City district. Sam instructed this to be fifteen per cent and not to “make any other calculation.” Sam and Livy were “glad you & Annie are back again & well.” Sam was “very uncertain” when he would be down next [MTP].

Jesse R. Grant wrote, just returned from London. He had too much to tell him in a letter but if Sam wouldn’t be in NY soon he would write again. “I made very satisfactory arrangements in London as to our business—and returned simply because of the elections in England and the revolutions in Turkey” [MTP].

October 14 Wednesday Moncure Conway and daughter Mildred visited the Clemenses. Moncure’s oldest son was practicing law in New York City [MTNJ 3: 201n57].

Charles Webster wrote: “Who has proposed turning the 15% that we make on New York City territory into the general pool? I never thought of such a thing, it clearly belongs solely to the firm, just as much as any other General Agents profit belongs to him” He asked Sam “to come down for a day” as there were many things to decide [MTP].

Richard Watson Gilder for Century Magazine wrote: “We very much want a brief article on Frank R. Stockton. Mr. Buel suggests that you are the man to write it” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gilder 1885 wants article on Stockton”

Will J. Smyth wrote from Ft. Grove, NY. “Your letter rec’d and many thanks.” He couldn’t come but had in mind a man who might “take charge of your house soon” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gardener / Answered”

October 15 ThursdayJacob L. Greene for Grover Cleveland wrote thanking Sam for a letter. “I am glad you have voiced to him [President] the satisfaction of the Hartford Mugwumps with him” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From the President of the U.S.”

October 16 Friday – In Boston, Howells wrote to Sam of his new agreement with Harper & Bros. Conditions of his employment forbade his name from appearing save over their imprint, so it affected his part in the Library of Humor book. Howells suggested he sell out at a “sacrifice” to Sam, settling for $2,500, or half of the original agreement. He suggested Sam call the work “Mark Twain’s Library of American Humor[MTHL 2: 537]. (See Oct. 18 entry.)

Sam may have gone to New York overnight. (See Oct. 17 entry.)

William Tecumseh Sherman wrote to acknowledge Sam’s letter of Oct. 12 and the return of his MS. “I assure you that I feel a sense of relief to again possess that pile of papers” [MTP].

October 17 Saturday – The New York Times reported under “Personal Intelligence” p.2, that Sam was in New York staying at the Hotel Normandie. If true, Sam may have accompanied the Conways to the city after their Hartford visit, since Moncure’s son was practicing law in New York. Sam was back in Hartford on Oct. 18.

Mary L. Leverette for Acorn Magazine, Chicago, sent a copy of the magazine and asked him to solicit editors of children’s magazines “to give me a place as a contributor. I’m a young writer…” [MTP].

October 18 Sunday ­ Sam wrote from Hartford, answering Howells letter of Oct. 16. Howells had rejected Ticknor’s offer to become his publisher, and through Charles Fairchild’s efforts came to an agreement with Harper’s which would pay him a $10,000 per year salary for the serial rights to a yearly 300-page novel, plus other income for articles and a column. Howells had offered to “sell out to you at a sacrifice, and let you call it ‘Mark Twain’s Library of American Humor’—a capital selling title—suppressing my name altogether.” Howells wanted $2,000 for the sacrifice, for a total of $2,500, or half of the original agreement. Sam answered:

“I reckon it would ruin the book—that is make it necessary to pigeon-hole it & leave it unpublished. I couldn’t publish it without a very responsible name to support my own on the title page, because it has so much of my own matter in it” [MTHL 2: 538].

Sam decided to pigeon-hole the manuscript; it wasn’t printed for two years. Sam begged off on paying the $2,000 right away, since it would be 30 days before the Grant book “relief-money” began “to flow in.”

“Mind, I am not in financial difficulties, & am not going to be. I am merely a starving beggar standing outside the door of plenty—obstructed by a Yale time-lock which is set for Jan. 1st”[MTHL 2: 539].

October 19 MondayA.P. Fulkerson wrote from KC asking if Sam had referred to him in an 1870 sketch, “Yaller Dog” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Yaller dog”; In HF Sam wrote “It don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didn’t know no more than a person’s conscience does I would pison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and yet ain’t no good, nohow.”

October 20 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, advising him to get a new set of plates for the printers. If Sam remembered rightly, 150,000 impressions was the life of the plates. After that, the impressions would not print clearly. [MTP].

Karl Gerhardt received the “Diploma of Honor” from New Orleans for his exhibit there, which included his bust of Mark Twain, now on exhibit at Vorce’s Gallery in Hartford, along with the marble statuette, “The Echo” [Hartford Courant Oct. 20, 1885 p.2 “Honors to Karl Gerhardt”]. See insert of “The Echo” rear view.

Jane Clemens wrote to Sam & family about the weather, “like a beautiful spring day.” She added an anecdote about George Hagerman striking a car man [MTP].

October 21 Wednesday – Sam borrowed $100,000 from Samuel G. Dunham, director and treasurer of the Dunham Hosiery Co. of Hartford, a friend of the Clemens family. (Note: this is not Samuel C. Dunham, Hartford atty.) The loan was to cover publishing costs for Grant’s Memoirs, with $15,000 payable Jan. 29, 1886 and $85,000 payable Feb. 27, 1886 at six per cent interest. Sam sent the notes “by the office boy, per 4.30 train” [MTNJ 3: 204].

Lizzie C. Grant (Mrs. Jesse Grant) wrote “The little lady arrived safely / I did not know the bust had been photographed and was delighted with the picture. I am glad you are pleased with what Mr. Grant accomplished in London. / His friends are enthusiastic about the project…” [MTP].

John D. Collins wrote from Dalton, Ga. with hopes for his book. Evidently Sam had written to him before since he thanked “for your prompt and candid reply to my letter” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No answer needed / Man with a book”; Sam and Collins prior correspondence not extant.

October 22 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster with the financial matters of the loan from Dunham, whom he did not name. Sam repeated that since he’d made himself personally liable for the notes, Webster needed to fully insure the books, both finished and unfinished.

“I mean, get all the insurance you can on them” [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote a “Personal” note confiding that a telegram to Webster had caused him “a good deal of annoyance.” Whitford felt Sam misunderstood some things [MTP].

Brooklyn Magazine (Bok, editor) wrote to ask Sam to take place in a symposium [MTP]. 

October 23 FridayJoe Twichell wrote a short note, clipping enclosed “Aerial Navigation”: “Don’t you remember how one of us said, when we last walked to the Tower, speaking of aerial navigation, that the problem was bound to be solved sometime, because it was never given up, but there were always men at work on it. / The sight of the enclosed recalled the remark” [MTP]. Note: Steering a balloon had always been a challenge.

October 24 SaturdayCharles Webster wrote from New York to Sam in Hartford:

If you could see the piles of stock at the printers and binders and see the hundreds of men boys and girls at work upon it…what you would see would astonish you…I have telegraphed for paper in large quantities and am using the set of plates that I had made for Canada while another set is being made for them…I shall drain this city of printers & binders. All the other publishers are howling about me they are obliged to send their Christmas books out of town to get them bound [MTNJ 3:204-5n70].

Orion Clemens wrote, Puss Greening to Orion Oct. 20 enclosed:

I enclose a bill of lading and letter from Puss. Ma instructs me to so write to Puss as not to incourage her to think she will get any more money. / The other evening Ma wanted to know where you and Livy were to sleep. She thought you were here. She walked 3 squares to a Congregational sociable last night, and walked home. She had much attention, and was bright. / I have commenced Henry III [MTP].

Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote a complimentary letter: “I have your letter and I like and admire you for it. I have always admired you as an author but I say to you now what I have often said to others that what I most like in you is that frank manly way of always doing full justice when the facts are properly presented to you” [MTP].

** Charles Webster wrote: “Yours is recd. All the stock bound and unbound has been kept fully insured from the first and will be. Don’t you worry about business. I have never yet made a business mistake that I am aware of and it is not probable that I shall commence on this book” He offered a total of 296,497 orders for the Grant set, “Entirely unprecedented in the history of book making”[MTP].

October 26 Monday – Sam had returned to New York, this time with Livy [see Oct. 28 to Annie Webster]. He made a notebook entry that “Up to date, 320,000 sets of General Grant’s book have been subscribed for—that is to say, 640,000 single volumes” [MTNJ 3: 204]. He also noted seeing a play at the Metropolitan in New York.:

“Saw [Tommaso] Salvini in Othello. His was a grand performance, but his support was wretchedly poor. They might as well all have talked Italian—or Sanscrit, for that matter—nobody would understand what they said” [205].

John O’Neil began work for the Clemens family as their gardener, paid $50 per month. He would serve them many years [MTNJ 3: 206n75]. John’s wife Ellen O’Neill, was also employed [MTA 2: 32].

Sam also wrote a letter of introduction for his attorney, Daniel Whitford, to Samuel G. Dunham, who had loaned Sam $100,000. Whitford would “take this loan business off my ignorant hands, & furnish some information which I was not able to furnish myself.” Sam added a PS that he would be at home at “7.21 to-morrow evening” [MTP].

Jane Clemens wrote from Keokuk to Sam & family that she wished to see “you all.” She’d lost a letter to them she wrote this day but couldn’t find it. “I like this city. Because it is so healthy. The most of the old people I knew are gone. But there is good people here yet. I don’t care so much for company as I did” [MTP].

October 27 TuesdayLivy shopped while Sam tried to finish business but failed to visit his niece, Annie. After stopping at Mrs. Grant’s, he could not see Charles Webster in time to catch his train. Livy was worn out (Sam wrote “she had the cholera morbus lately”). The trip went all wrong, Sam wrote, and he apologized for not calling [MTP].

October 28 Wednesday ­– Samuel G. Dunham remitted the proceeds from Clemens’ $100,000 notes to Charles Webster, for the working capital to publish Grant’s Memoirs [MTNJ 3: 204n69].

Sam wrote from Hartford to his niece, Annie Webster, apologizing for not being able to stop for a visit with Livy the day before [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster on several matters. He wanted $5 a month added to the amount sent Orion monthly—“for an impecunious cousin,” (Puss) he said. He wanted to donate $500 for the construction of “a wooden barrack” for soldiers guarding Grant’s temporary tomb. Such donation to be made instead of one for the monument. Samuel C. Dunham had telephoned that he’d sent the drafts to Sam in New York, care of the firm, which reminded Sam that when Webster got mail addressed to Sam, even marked “private,” he was to open and read it and not to send it on unless he couldn’t answer it. Sam had left some suggestions at Charley’s office about an offer for Fred Grant’s book and ideas about the lawsuit that Adam Badeau was bringing. Lastly, Sam had bought a 25 cent toy watch for Jean Clemens from a street vendor in front of Schwartz; had broken it; Jean’s heart was broken; he requested Webster to go find the street vendor and buy another [MTP].

The evening is revealed in Twichell’s journal:

“H[armony] & I dined at C.D.W’s [Charles Dudley Warner’s] with M.T. & wife, to meet Mr & Mrs Fred K. Church, with both of whom we were much pleased. Mr. Church a frail, thin man physically, quiet in manner but attractive. M. T. at his best” [Yale, copy at MTP].

October 29 ThursdayCharles Webster notified Sam that the proceeds of the notes had been received all right from Dunham. “I have offered Col Grant ½ profits on his book up to 50,000 and if it sold more than 50,000 to give him 60% of the profits. We can afford this and no more” [MTNJ 3: 204n69; MTP].

October 30 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens.

Dear Ma— / I suppose I owe you a good deal of money by this time, on account of Puss; but I will make it good, & more besides, as soon as I get the General’s second volume launched next March. Still, if you need any extra money now, or should need it at any time, you must let me know, & I’ll be sure to send it. You mustn’t deny yourself anything you want, but call upon me without the least hesitation. I shall take it as a favor. [Note: see June 26 entry.]

Sam added that Livy hadn’t been well but was now and would write soon. [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, discussing further offers made to publish Fred Grant’s biography of his father, which would pick up where Grant’s Memoirs ended. They did not come to terms. Sam also wrote that they could not publish Adam Badeau’s book—if it was clean and respectful, it would “have but a poor sale”; if it were “malicious…it may be expected to have a great sale, but we can’t touch it.” Sam rethought the amounts going to Keokuk monthly and told Webster simply to send $155 [MTP].

October, late – From Sam’s notebook:

Got 12 more presses at work; this makes 20, that are going night & day; if we could get 37, we could print a complete volume every second; but it is impossible to get them.

We have got 7 binderies at work—all large ones. One of them turns out 1500 volumes per day in sheep, by hand. This one occupies 3 large floors, & works upon nothing but this book. The building was rented, the machinery bought new, & the hands brought from Philadelphia,—all for this book. We are being well scolded by other publishers, for they have to send their printing and binding to other cities [MTNJ 3: 204].

Sam also entered the idea of writing an article about “Carlyle’s whines & complaints” and “George Elliot’s [sic] ditto” [Gribben 217]. (See June 7 entry.)

November Sam, in Hartford, inscribed a copy of P&P to Ulysses S. Grant Jr (“Buck”): “To / U.S. Grant, Jr. / from / The Author. / ~ / Nov. ’85 [MTP].

November 1 Sunday Sam wrote from Hartford to unidentified persons:

“Dear Sirs: I think you have been ordering & paying for our several magazines, & charging to us in your usual bills. If so, please continue to do it & oblige” [MTP].

November 2 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster about a mix up with too many books sent to station masters on the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad—men who were involved in arranging “hotel” or “parlor” cars for the Clemens family when they traveled back and forth between Elmira and Hoboken. Griffith, A. Reasoner, and Billings of said railroad, plus Collins of the New Haven line had received Grant’s book, but Sam never gave an order to send them his other books. “I must apologize to these folks for overloading them with my precious literature.” Livy wanted an apology and explanation sent to “these gentlemen.” Sam wrote “she is thoroughly ashamed,” and thinks it better that Webster send the apology [MTP]. Note: See Dec. 1.

Orion Clemens wrote: “Your 2 letters to Ma and 1 to myself received. / By Ma’s directions I this afternoon sent $5 to Puss” [MTP].

C.A. Glyn wrote from NYC to ask if Sam might read his MS. he wished to publish, “a reminiscence of my travels abroad, written up in a humorous vein,” which he compared to IA [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No.”

November 3 TuesdayGeorge Walton Greene wrote to encourage Sam to attend the annual meeting of the Copyright League on Saturday [MTP].

The “Troy ass” R.L. Blakeman also wrote…from Troy NY. Only the envelope survives [MTP].

November 4 Wednesday – Sam wrote a letter from New York City to Annie Eliot Trumbull, daughter of Hartford historian and philologist J. Hammond Trumbull, who wrote the multilingual chapter epigraphs for The Gilded Age. The Trumbulls were family friends. The letter was entirely in German [MTP].

Robert B. Porter wrote from Bloomington, Ill., enclosing a small pamphlet on the Longfellow Club. Porter was to give a talk on Mark Twain and wanted to know if Twain was “original” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Infernal”

November 5 ThursdayOrion Clemens wrote check rec’d for $155. “Jean’s letter was very interesting. Tell her to write again”[MTP].

Rollin M. Daggett wrote from Washington DC about having Sam publish a book of “fifteen or twenty legends of love, chivalry and barbaric pomp, extending back for over seven hundred years,” he was preparing with King Kalakana of Hawaii [MTP].

J. Chester for Lincoln University wrote asking his help to endow a chair for the study of “Sacred Scriptures [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Damn this humbug. / Wanted an endowment for a chair”

Charles Webster sent a telegram: “See page 4 this morning’s Tribune Thorndike Rice a violation of our contract have written Col. Grant” [MTP].

Jane Clemens wrote to Sam & Family that she found a mislaid letter. Her body was strong but she felt her mind was failing. She felt it wasn’t “best” to give Puss too much money [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “From Ma – Read it Livy”

November 6 FridayFrank Fuller wrote from Madison, NY. About being lied to by a solicitor that Clemens would “take charge of this magazine,” Literary Life. He then wrote of a financial scheme [MTP].

** Belle C. Greene wrote from Nashua, N.H. “Your kind letter in relation to my book ‘A New England Conscience’ makes me wish I had chosen a more cheering theme. I did not mean to be so disagreeable. I think you and Mr Savage should be boon companions—perhaps you are?” She was planning a volume of humorous sketches and would send him a copy as “an antidote” for her first book [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “An author”

Edward O. Sharpe (1862-1942), minister in Watseka, Ill., wrote asking how to “get loose” from P&P, as he could not “let go of it. I read it and it won’t stay read. Some how or other, that miserable Tom Canty keeps following me and scratching my imagination until I am forced to go with him again through his troubles….Can you not devise some remedy for my trouble [?]” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Compliments Prince & Pauper.”

Charles Webster wrote all about Charles Allen Thorndike Rice publishing Col. Grant’s book in violation of their contract. He’d persuaded Grant to their cause though he’d already taken funds from Rice; it wouldn’t matter, Webster advised—they could get an injunction [MTP].

November 7 SaturdayJames Fraser Glück (1852-1897) for Young Men’s Assoc. Buffalo wrote to ask for the HF MS for display in their library [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Sent what was left of Huck Finn / Buffalo Library”

George E. Waring wrote on Union League Club notepaper, NYC that he’d come “near invading you last week. I shall have that pleasure soon” [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote, sorry Sam was sick and hoped it was nothing serious. “I have taken means to stop the matter you speak about and I think the plans on foot will stop it effectively.” He’d told Col. Grant that “in telegraphic communication with you we had decided that it must not be published…” [MTP]. Note: this was likely about Rice’s attempt to publish Col. Grant’s book or excerpts from Grant’s Memoirs in a reminiscences book (see Nov. 10).

November 8 Sunday – Sam entertained an old Virginia City friend, landlord, and editor of the Territorial Enterprise, Rollin M. Daggett (see Jan. 24, 1878). Daggett had been U.S. Minister to the Sandwich Islands. He stayed two days and showed Sam a manuscript he’d written with the King Kamehameha V of the Islands; Sam was interested in publishing it [Nov 11 to Webster, MTP].

November 9 MondayHenry Ward Beecher wrote scolding Sam and assured that the pages of Grant’s Memoirs he had were safe “and will soon be on their way home” [MTP].

James Redpath telegram: “Would like to see you tonight or tomorrow morning. Will be at the Allen House” [MTP].

November 10 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, directing him to send William Hamersley a check for $3,500—“it finishes the type-setter business in a very satisfactory fashion,” Sam wrote. Sam also instructed Webster to gather information regarding “General Grant’s literary powers—his happily proven ability as an author…” [MTP]. Because Grant had not been a good speaker, many were still skeptical that he could have written his memoirs with any ability.

Rollin Daggett left Hartford [Nov 11 to Webster, MTP].

James Redpath came to Sam’s and talked three hours on behalf of Charles Allen Thorndike Rice,  “the ambitious young editor and publisher of the North American Review” [MTNJ 3: 284n195]. Rice had compiled Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of his Time and had included anecdotes by Fred Grant directly from the manuscript of Grant’s Memoirs. Rice had hired a Webster & Co. bookkeeper to gain information regarding the company’s subscription methods. When the prospectus of the Lincoln book appeared, Webster and Sam suspected foul play. Redpath gained permission after the fact for use of the anecdotes, but Sam would not budge. He deferred prohibition of Fred Grant’s chapter in Rice’s book until his attorneys at Alexander & Green could judge that it would do no harm to Grant’s Memoirs.

Mary L. Leverette for Acorn Magazine wrote to thank Sam for his “kind, friendly letter” which evidently told of his being rejected at the start of his career. “We forget that noted authors have had trials, like the rest of us, don’t we” [MTP].

Daniel Whitford sent a telegram: “Have seen Rice & am to see him again tomorrow morning. Colonel called today but I was out. He says in note did not agree to any time to deliver the manuscript. I think it will be all right” [MTP].

November 11 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Frank Fuller, advising him not to pay Literary Life a cent to advertise for him. Sam wrote he’d “dropped that scheme I wrote you about” (on Sept. 26.) realizing it would take all the time from an “idle man.”

“But mainly I dropped it because I was afraid it would hamper & delay a scheme of mine of 4 years’ standing which absorbs all my love, & interest, & spare time [Paige typesetter]. Your own scheme looks well, but it doesn’t begin with mine, honest man! Till I look in on you next week, Affectionately yours / Mark” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster about Rollin Daggett’s Sandwich Islands book that he’d “constructed” with the King of the Islands. Sam wanted the book and would pay a higher royalty if both names were on the title page.

“I would rather have this book than any that is offering now. It can be fascinatingly illustrated.”

 Sam told of Redpath’s visit and his response (see Nov. 10 entry).

When Webster went to Canada “about the 28th of November to copyright the General’s book,” Sam said he might go along if he wasn’t “needed on American soil by any etiquette of law” [MTP].

November 12 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to James Fraser Glück, a Buffalo lawyer and rare book collector, who had written asking Sam to donate the original manuscript of Huck Finn to the Buffalo Library [MTP]. Note: this is the half that survived and was re-discovered in early 1991.

Sam also wrote a short note to Benjamin H. Ticknor, seeking the original MS of P&P for Glück. “He wants to glass-case it in the great Buffalo Library” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Orion, letter not extant but referred to in Orion’s Nov. 17 reply.

James F. Glück wrote from Buffalo to thank Sam for sending the HF MS. He then asked for the LM MS, no matter the “shabby condition” [MTP].

William Tecumseh Sherman referred to Sam a letter from H.B.Taliferro, who wanted the agency for sales of Grant’s Memoirs in Harrisburg, La. [MTP].

November 13 FridayOrion Clemens wrote: “I enclose replies from the mint, and will send you extracts from Macaulay’s Life & Letters next week.” And, “Ma treated me to a dog and pony show at the opera house last Saturday afternoon” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “What a ton of gold and silver is worth”

Rollin M. Daggett wrote from Wash. DC with his travel plans back to San Diego, and the book of legends he was preparing with the Hawaiian King [MTP].

Frank Fuller wrote about the Literary Life fraud of selling him a subscription by falsely assuring them Twain was to run the magazine; Fuller ran an advertisement in the magazine and planned on not paying them to set things right [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote that he’d like the King’s name to be put to Daggett’s book. Also about Charles Allen Thorndike Rice [MTP].

Robert U. Johnson for Century Magazine wrote: “Don’t forget to give us five or six lines about Copyrigth for the Symposium in the Feb. no.” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Same old Johnson”

William H. Knight wrote from Cincinnati, a kindly fan letter, recalling hearing Sam’s first lecture, and enjoying several of his books and his article on “Baby Discipline” [MTP].

William D. Whitney wrote from N. Haven to introduce Rev. Pelham R. Ogle, an English gentleman…who desires the pleasure of your acquaintance” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Prof. Whitney. Philologist Yale College”

November 14 SaturdayLizzie C. Grant (Mrs. Jesse Grant) wrote to thank Samfor an article she’d rec’d from the Philadelphia Ledger about the portrait of Gen. Grant [MTP].

James Fraser Glück wrote that the HF MS. arrived this afternoon. He asked Sam to use his influence with Charles Dudley Warner to contribute his papers [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “MS. for Buffalo”

R.L. Blakeman wrote from Troy NY “Aha! Students at a mathematical institution are an ill-chosen lot among whom to trust to an effort at wit to get you over a blunder like that. The boys opened the envelope, but when they caught the drift, their ridicule was not for the critic, but for the author, of the words ‘five or six trees in a straight row, equidistant from each other.’ Yours…” [MTP].

A.J. Williams, M.D. wrote a letter from McGregor, Ia. of “admiration” for Sam’s essay in the Christian Union, a response to John Senior. “My wife & I both think that was the best & wisest & most human-hearted thing ever written on that subject, & we want to thank you” [MTP].

November 15 Sunday Sam wrote from Hartford to Pelham Ogle.

Your kind note arrives at the moment that I am taking the train for New York—for a business-sojourn there until the Christmas holidays…a note addressed to me at the Hotel Normandie will find me, & I will answer in person—almost surely: (the slight uncertainty is based upon the fact that New York is only headquarters for a month—my business is scattered, from Washington to Boston, & betwixt & between [MTP]. Note: Pelham Ogle’s note does not survive; he was “that English clergyman” of the Anglican Church, referred to Nov. 17 to Livy.

An envelope survives postmarked from Hartford on Nov. 16 and addressed to Sam’s mother, Jane Clemens. The lost letter was likely written this day [MTP].

Sam left for New York City, leaving the family at home, with Mrs. Langdon as a house guest. Sam stayed at the Normandie Hotel. The publication of Grant’s book was pending and there were still proofs to be read and many business matters to be attended to.

Kibbry Greening (Tabitha Quarles Greening “Puss”) wrote; the letter copy is now too faded to read [MTP].

November 16 Monday – Sam referred to “12 hours’ cast-iron sleep,” going to “bed at 6” in his Nov. 17 to Livy. “…was asleep at half-past. I woke up twice for ¾ of an hour in the night…” [MTP].

George W. Elliot for American Rural Home Weekly wrote hoping that Sam “might be induced to write a few lines.” Elliot was a fan of Clemens’ efforts for a monument to Adam [MTP].

Frank M. Higgins for Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette wrote asking for his sentiment over his signature for Thanksgiving morning [MTP]. SASE unused in file; Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No Answer beg”

Benjamin H. Ticknor wrote from Boston declining to send the MS of P&P to James Fraser Glück [MTP].

November 17 Tuesday Sam wrote from New York City to Livy.

      Livy darling, another solid day’s work on proofreading, two hours of it at Mrs. Grant’s house, & the rest at the office…

      I am going to dine with Laffan this evening (thanks for the dress suit, which has come)—& I shall read some proof after I go to bed. Three or four days of this constant work will enable me to catch up, & then I shall have a little easier time of it.

      I am afraid I can’t go home Saturday, because they want me to go to Washington the end of this week & talk international copyright to the President. One must not refuse an office of that kind, when asked—a man who prides himself on his citizenship can’t refuse [MTP].

Sam also wrote to James W. Paige; letter not extant but referred to in Paige’s Nov. 18 reply.

Sam did dine with William Mackay Laffan in a private room at an unspecified restaurant. Joining in were James R. Osgood and “two young Harpers.” The two Harpers:

“…forced Laffan to match half dollars with them & in 15 minutes they hadn’t a cent, & Laffan had won enough to pay for the dinner.”

They then played billiards and drank champagne (Sam had none) till 1:30 AM [Nov. 18 to Livy, MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote, Orion stories enclosed. Orion had rec’d Sam’s of Nov. 12 (not extant). “I sent you the answer of the Director of the mine last Friday…but before writing to him again, I will wait till the latter part of next week, as the answer he has already made may suggest some modifications of your interrogations, or additions to them” [MTP].

November 18 Wednesday Sam wrote from New York City to Livy on Western Union form as stationery:

“Livy dear, I suppose I shall leave for Washington at 8 in the morning, arriving at the Ebbitt House there about a quarter before 2 in the afternoon.”

Sam wrote about the dinner the night before, only three courses but “a marvel”—raw oysters, very small, fresh, terrapin stew:

“…in dainty little covered pots, with curious little gold-&-silver terrapin spoons from Tiffany’s, [an] entire canvass-back duck, red hot from the oven. [It was a] memorable dinner” [MTP].

From Sam’s notebook:

There was an understanding with Gen. Grant, in Co. Fred’s presence, that we should run the N.Y. Genl. Agency instead of appointing a Genl Agent, & that we should take 80 per cent of a Genl Agent’s commission, & give the Genl the other 20%. But this have never yet been signed, though written out & sent to Mrs. Grant by Col Fred some time ago. Yesterday—no, I believe it was the day before yesterday—Webster asked Col. Fred about it in my presence in our office, & Col. Fred said he believed he had mislaid that paper somewhere, & added “But you needn’t be uneasy about it; mother understands it & I understand it, & know that agreement was made; & that it isn’t signed is only an accident…”

That was entirely satisfactory to me, & also to Webster, & we said so [MTNJ 3:211].

James W. Paige wrote having rec’d Sams of Nov. 17; the name of the foreman of the NY Herald that Sam requested was John Brusnahan [MTP].

November 19 Thursday – Sam left New York City for Washington, D.C. 

Sam wrote to Rollin M. Daggett, letter not extant but referred to in Daggett’s Nov. 28 reply.

Sam sent a full morocco copy of Grant’s Memoirs to Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888) [Gribben 640].

From Sam’s notebook:

Nov. 19 Called on President Cleveland at the White House, by appointment, with Johnson of the Century Magazine & Geo Walton Green, Chief of the Authors’ League. By little & little I wandered into a speech—having got speedily warmed up by the first remark or two made on international copyright—which remark or two I made myself without intending to say anything further. Then there was a 4-cornered talk of an hour. The President showed great interest in our subject & will do it as good a turn as he can in his Message. I ventured to urge him to make I.C. the child of his administration, & nurse it & raise it [MTNJ 3: 211].

November 20 Friday – Sam wrote from The Normandie Hotel, New York City to an unidentified person, and gave his plans, thinking he might return to Hartford for the weekend then return on Monday for the entire week.

“Dear Sir: When & where can I see you for a moment—meaning an hour—on business?” [MTP].

Brooklyn Magazine wrote asking him to reply to their Oct. 19 asking whether he thought Boston was “losing its literary prestige” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “No answer / Beg”

Edward Gruy wrote from NYC with birthday wishes for his 50th (some 10 days early) [MTP].

Rose Georgiana Kingsley wrote from Leamington, England, recollecting her visit with him eleven years before. “Would it be possible for you to give us a little sketch—however short” as she’d just been made editor of a child’s magazine [MTP].

Mrs. F.M. Houts wrote to ask for the MS. copy of Sam’s article “What Ought he to Have Done” which ran in the Christian Union [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Babies. / No—Can’t”

November 21 Saturday – In New York City Sam wrote to Livy after telling Webster to send her a telegram that he was planning on spending Thursday and Friday (Nov 26-7) at home, taking “the 11 oclock train, reaching Hartford at 2.21.” Sam thought he might be able to stay home until Monday (Nov. 30) but was unsure. He was just on his way to Fred Grant’s and would “stop in & hurry up Mrs. Wheeler [Candace Wheeler] on the way” [MTP].

November 21 or 22? Sunday – MTP marks Sam’s letter to Orion as either day. Sam enclosed a letter from Kibbry Greening (Tabitha “Puss” Quarles Greening) in Hunnewell, Mo., asking him to answer it, as he was “home for only a day” [MTP]. If Sam did run up to Hartford on either of these days, it wasn’t mentioned in his Nov. 21 letter to Livy. It could be the letter was later, say Nov 26-29.

November 23 Monday – While Sam was in New York on business he ran an errand for Livy’s friend, Fiedele Brooks (Mrs. Henry Brooks); he inquired about curtains from Candace Wheeler for Mrs. Brooks [MTNJ 3: 212n85]. Candace “at once telegraphed Mrs. Brooks to come & get the curtains & instructions” [Nov. 25 to Livy; MTP].

November 24 Tuesday – Sam read proofs early and made the rounds of newspaper offices, talking up the Paige typesetter. He called it a “wild day” in a letter to Livy the next day. He accompanied Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun home…

…at 4 p.m. & played billiards till dinner time, 7 pm; then stayed to dinner with the family, Mrs. Dana & two married daughters, & had a very lively time; billiards again after dinner, & got home at 11, where I met a disappointment in not getting any letter from you [Nov. 25 to Livy; MTP]. Note: Sam added that Livy’s letter had just come.

William A. Brownell for Keokuk National Bank wrote in behalf of Mary Timberman (see Nov. 25 entries) [MTP].

U.S. Grant, Jr. wrote a short note on a small card “Fred wants to see you here tomorrow. If you will not be here will you please let Fred know” [MTP].

Joseph Jefferson telegraphed Sam about seeing him; telegram not extant but referred to on Nov. 25.

R.B. Ogden wrote from Keokuk on behalf of Miss Mary Timberman asking Sam’s “aid in her advancement in her profession” [MTP].

Mary Timberman wrote asking for aid in entering the dramatic profession [MTP]. 

November 25 Wednesday – Sam wrote from New York City to Livy, describing the “wild day” he’d had the day before (see Nov. 24 entry) [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Ross R. Winans, letter not extant but referred to in Winan’s Nov. 27 reply.

Joseph Jefferson scrawled awfully that he’d telegraphed Sam yesterday that they would not come till late in the day; he could see him from 4 to 5 pm. He’d be at the US Hotel at 3 [MTP].

November 26 Thursday Thanksgiving – Sam returned to Hartford. 

Twichell’s journal:

“We dined—nine of us –ie all but the two youngest children with our dear friends Mr & Mrs C. D. Warner. / In the evening we passed a couple of delightful hours at M.T’s. where there was dancing and charade actings for the young folks” [Yale, copy at MTP].

Livy’s diary entry:

More than two months since I have made any entry in this book. We arrived home safely on the 18th of Sept. and the children began their lessons on the 21st. They have been going on busily ever since, being also much occupied with their Christmas work. Mr Clemens has had to be much in New York seeing to the publication of Gen’l Grants book reading proof of it &c. Today we have had a quiet day having only Miss Corey to dinner and Jean also eating with us, but we had a merry time this evening. I invited Miss Foote, Ward Foote, Hattie Foote, Daisy, Fanny Friese, the Twichell children and two or three other children – the grown people came with them and we had a most merry time –dancing, we all danced the Virginia Reel—Mr Twichell, Mr Clemens, both Mr Warners, and then charades in which the gentlemen led and all together a very good wholesome time for the children [MTP].

Orion Clemens wrote: “I am spending Thanksgiving principally in Ma’s room. She has had a pretty tough time—doctor here twice yesterday; but she is better to-day, and chances good.” He enclosed more of his history research for the game [MTP].

November 27 Friday ­– Livy‘s 40th birthday. Sam wrote Livy his sentiments on her 40th:

We have reached another milestone, my darling, & a very very remote one from the place whence we have started; but we look back over a pleasant landscape…And here we have company on the journey—ah, such precious company, such inspiring, such lovely & gracious company!…our old love grows & never diminishes…Your husband [MTP].

From Livy‘s diary:

When I went down to breakfast I found a little table trimmed with smilax and with my gifts on it beside my place at the breakfast table. Mr. Clemens gave me a most beautiful copper vase, shaped much like the old estruscan vases; with beautiful design and motto on it. Mother gave me some money to buy some silver, (I think I shall buy soup spoons.) Susy gave me a blotter, with some work of hers in sepia on the cover, her first attempt at using water color it is very pretty. Clara gave me a little Japanese match box. Jean a little steel implement to use in keeping your sleeves down when you draw a sack over them [Salsbury 213].

The Clemenses threw a dinner party for twelve: “the Warners, & Twichells & Joe Jefferson & a son of John Bright among the company. Had a riotous time” [Nov. 28 to Orion; MTP]. From Livy‘s diary:

Tonight or rather this afternoon at four o’clock we had Mr. Joseph Jefferson to dinner, with some friends to meet him—we sat twelve in number at the table, among the guests was a young Mr. Bright.—son of Mr John Bright the English liberal. He brought letters to Mr Clemens. We had a pleasant time enjoying Mr Jefferson exceedingly. The guests were Mr & Mrs Twichell, Mr & Mrs Charles Warner, Mr Dunham, and Sally & Mollie Dunham….In the evening I took Clara and Susy to see Mr Jefferson in Rip Van Winkle. They enjoyed it all immensely—it is the first time they have ever been out in the evening to a place of amusement here. Susy has been once in New York.

Since we came home from Elmira we have had visitors in Moncure Conway and his daughter [.] much interesting talk then about Mr & Mrs Carlyle. Mrs Wheeler & Miss Dora Wheeler the artist have been with us for a few days. A Mr & Mrs Daggett, he was a friend of Mr Clemens were with us for twenty four hours. Mr John Russel Young we gave a little dinner to. Cousin Earrin Lewis was here for a few days, so have not been quite alone. Clara Spaulding came home with us and staid two weeks. [MTP; Salsbury 213].

Twichell also noted the gathering:

H[armony] and I dined at M.T’s with a company of our friends invited to meet Jefferson the actor…..He is very simple and quiet in manner and talked agreeably. H. and several of the children went down to the Opera House to see him act “Rip Van Winkle” in the evening [Yale, copy at MTP].

Ross R. Winans wrote in answer to Sam’s of Nov. 25. He wouldn’t be in NY next week but would see him if he came to Baltimore and suggested Dec. 1 for luncheon [MTP].

November 28 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Orion, enclosing letters he had received from and for Mary Timberman, asking him to use his influence in gaining her a position with the Boston Museum Theatre or any other theatre, as she wanted to early a “livelihood” in the “dramatic profession.”

I want to ask you or Mollie to take this matter off my hands…I knew her father & mother 30 years ago…a man of whose critical ability I haven’t the slightest evidence, says she has dramatic talent…Another man says he has heard people say she has dramatic talent. Dam it, I should simply get myself laughed at—& so I decline [MTP].

Sam also wrote a note to William H. Knight, thanking him for:

“the pleasant things…said & the countenance which you & Mrs. Knight give to that sketch.”

He enclosed a picture of Livy and the girls taken by H.L. Bundy of Hartford. Sam wrote that the picture:

“…does justice to Susy & the cat, & Jean & Clara…but slanders Mrs. Clemens” [MTP]. Note: This may have been the William H. Knight who rose to national recognition through the publication of such works as Hand-Book Almanac for the Pacific States (1862) and Bancroft’s Maps of the Pacific States (1864). In 1879, he moved his family to Cincinnati where he joined the Fisher Carriage Building Company and he continued with his scientific and literary work.

Rollin M. Daggett wrote he’d rec’d Sams of the 19th and had just written to the Hawaiian King; he didn’t doubt he’d be able to get the King’s name on the title page of the proposed legends book [MTP].

November 29 Sunday – Sam wrote to Frank R. Stockton, thanking him for his good wishes [AMT 2: 576].

The Critic ran affectionate essays by Charles Dudley Warner, Oliver Wendell Holmes (a poem), Joel Chandler Harris, and Frank P. Stockton on the eve of Sam’s 50th birthday. These were reprinted in many newspapers, even in the London Pall Mall Gazette of Dec. 12, 1885.

Warner: You may think it an easy thing to be fifty years old, but you will find it not so easy to stay there, and your next fifty years will slip away much faster than those just accomplished. After all, a century is not much, and I wouldn’t throw it up to you now, only for the chance of saying that few living men have crowded so much into that space as you, and few have done so much for the entertainment and good fellowship of the world.

An excerpt of Holmes’ verse:

So fifty years have fled, they say,

  Since first you took to drinking,—

I mean in Nature’s milky way,—

 Of course no ill I’m thinking. [see AMT 2:263-4 for the entire text].


Harris: I saw Mr. Twain (says Mr. Harris) not so very long ago piloting a steamboat up and down the Mississippi river in front of New Orleans, and his hand was strong and his eye keen. Somewhat later I heard him discussing a tough German sentence with Little Jean—a discussion in which the toddling child probably had the best of it…I am glad he is fifty years old. He has earned the right to grow old and mellow. He has put his youth in his books, and there it is perennial.

Sam wrote a letter of thanks from Hartford to the four men, addressing it to “My dear Conspirators.” Their essays had reconciled him:

“…to being fifty years old….May you live to be fifty yourselves, & find a fellow-benefactor in that time of awful need” [MTP]. Note: see AMT 2: 258-60.

He then wrote individual letters of thanks, especially thanking Joel Chandler Harris for the “good word about Huck” he’d written.

November 30 Monday Sam’s 50th birthday. Two volumes of Francis Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe (1885) were inscribed: “Saml. L. Clemens/ Hartford/ Conn./ Nov. 30th 1885[Gribben 534].

Frederick D. Grant wrote that “two mistakes have been made in the placing of maps and notes in the II volume” [MTP].

E.J. Hamersley wrote birthday wishes [MTP].

Laurence Hutton wrote birthday wishes [MTP].

James B. Pond telegraphed birthday wishes [MTP].

George E. Waring wrote suggesting spending Thursday night with Sam [MTP].

December – Sam wrote from Hartford to an unidentified person:

“There is not a copy to be had. I bought the plates & stock 4 years ago & destroyed them” [MTP]. Note: Sam may have referred to The Jumping Frog book or Mark Twain’s Burlesque Autobiography.

Sam’s article, long delayed, “The Private History of a Campaign that Failed,” ran in the December issue of the Century Magazine. The series “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” had been in the magazine for over a year, and was quite popular. Robert Underwood Johnson’s persistence resulted in Sam finishing the article. (See MTHL 2: 541n1.) Also in the magazine was “Wanted—A Universal Tinker,” signed by “X.Y.Z” [Camfield, bibliog.].

Sam’s notebook: “Valentino. Ch Scribner’s Sons,” evidently Sam’s intention to purchase William Waldorf Astor’s (1848-1919) Valentino. An Historical Romance of the Sixteenth Century in Italy (1885) [MTNJ 3: 216]. Astor was the son of John Jacob Astor, and this was his first literary work. In his planning for CY, there’s an entry: “remnants of monkish legends. Get them from Wm of Huntingdon” [Gribben 308]. (See Oct. 24 1877 entry for Sam’s purchase of this ancient history.)

December 1 TuesdayPersonal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, Vol. 1 was officially published [MTNJ 3: 210n81]. Note: Powers [504] and Perry [233] each give the publication date as Dec. 10. However, the Library of America edition of Grant’s Memoirs gives these statistics:The first volume was published December 1, 1885, in five bindings: cloth at $7.00 a set; sheep, $9.00; half-morocco, $11.00; full-morocco, $18.00; and tree calf, $25.00.”

If the “official” date was Dec. 10, Sam jumped the gun on early copies out, for he inscribed a copy of volume 1 to A. Reasoner: “To Mr. A. Reasoner / with the kindest regards of / S.L. Clemens / New York, Dec. 1, 1885” [MTP]. Note: Howells also praised its success on Dec. 5 in a letter to Sam (see entry).

Along with a copy of Grant’s Memoirs given to Mr. A. Reasoner of the Delaware, Lackawana and Western R.R., Sam had also given “an order to send Gen Grant’s book to Griffith, …and Billings” of the R.R. [Nov. 2 to Webster]. The inscription to Reasoner is listed herein. The inscription and two volume set to Mr. Griffith appeared for sale (Oct. 3, 2009) on AbeBooks.com by the bookseller, Somewhere In Time, inventory # 684F. The inscription reads, “To Mr. Griffith, with the kindest regards of S.L. Clemens, New York, Dec. 1, 1885.” The volumes sent Mr. Billings are not extant.

Note: [MTNJ 3:198n51] has Sam in Baltimore to see Ross Winans about the Paige typesetter, but several letters by Sam from New York City and no other reference to a Baltimore trip would suggest Sam either stopped there on his recent Washington, D.C trip to see President Cleveland, or Winans was in New York on Dec. 1.

John R. Young wrote birthday wishes [MTP].

Oliver W. Holmes wrote, “so glad” Sam was pleased with his “little vases” (Holmes to Gilder Nov. 23 enclosed [MTP].

December 2 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells, asking to be reminded should Webster forget to send the $2,000 that Howells had requested. Sam made reference to “these first days of publication” of Grant’s Memoirs, and gave specific shipping numbers—another argument for Dec. 1 being the correct publication date.

I’ve got the first volume launched safely; consequently half of the suspense is over, & I am that much nearer the goal. We’ve bound & shipped 200,000 books; & by the 10th shall finish & ship the remaining 125,000 of the first edition. I got nervous & came down to help hump-up the binderies; & I mean to stay here pretty much all the time till the first days of March, when the second volume will issue [MTP].

Note: See Dec. 5 for Howells’ answer.

In the evening Sam “stopped at Laffan’s a moment…where Osgood was dining; then went up to Mrs. Grant’s.” General Grant’s sons were there admiring a stack of the volume 1 in various bindings [Dec. 3 to Livy, MTP].

MTP copy of stock certificate to Olivia L. Clemens for 813 shares of J. Langdon and Co., “organized in Pennsylvania” shares valued at $100 each (value $81,300) dated this day [MTP: 1885 financial file].

Henry Guy Carlton (not Cashton) wrote on Lotos Club notepaper asking if Sam had “time and inclination to tackle a play dealing wth American life, not as Dickens assumed it to be, but as it is?” [MTP].

December 3 Thursday – Sam wrote from New York City to Livy. He had received Susy’s letter telling of the death of Mary Burton. He related the night before at Laffan’s, and Mrs. Grant’s, and wrote of the Japanese Village in Madison Square Garden that he wanted to show Livy when she came down the following week [MTP].

Osman C. Hooper (1858-1941) of the Columbus Evening Dispatch wrote, enclosing a clipping from that paper of a poem he wrote celebrating Clemens’ 50th birthday [MTP].

December 5 Saturday – In Boston, Howells answered that he’d received the check, but didn’t think he could keep it. His dilemma was that Harpers, whom he’d recently contracted with, would not allow him to have his name on the title page of another publisher’s work, and that if there was no definite plan to publish, he felt the money did not belong to him. Howells suggested Sam contract “for the other half of $5,000” with Harris or Warner or Aldrich to use their name on the title page [MTHL 2: 541].

Orion Clemens wrote (Pamela Moffett to Jane Clemens Nov. 24 enclosed). Check for $155 rec’d. They’d had a “dreadful time” with Ma the night before. “She is fairly reasonable during the day, and ripping and tearing at night. The doctor promises to make her sleep tonight. Her cough is still bad” [MTP].

December 6 SundayBrander Matthews wrote to Sam: “Bunner is to be married in Jan. So he comes here to breakfast, Thursday, Dec 17th at 1 P.M. Couldn’t you find some imperative business which will demand your presence in this city on the 17th…The breakfast will be very informal—you may wear your slippers!” [MTP].

December 7 Monday – Back in Hartford, probably over the weekend, Sam wrote to Howells about the “Library of Humor” book. Sam suggested Howells write the preface now, and then:

“…we can put the Library away, with cheerful souls, knowing that at any time now or far away, there’s nothing in the way of her coming out whenever we want her to.”

Sam confided that he’d had “that $5,000 invested” for Howells and didn’t tell him because he knew Howells wouldn’t let him make it good should it go “to the devil.”

“Well, at last when the Grant book actually emerged from the press, with all its immense sale laid bare to the public, I recognized the bald ridiculousness of trying any longer to keep up the pretense of being short of money—so I gave it up, & let my dream go.”

Sam closed with a wish that Howells had been with him to relate the “14-months’ history” of “Gerhardt & the Nathan Hale statue,” one he called “the funniest in the whole history of art” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton. After some teasing about being his son-in-law that-was-to-have-been (Hutton was fond of young Jean Clemens), Sam thanked him for his birthday congratulations. About being 50, Sam added,

“In public I say breezily that I don’t care a damn. This deceives. It is intended to deceive. But let it not deceive you” [MTP].

Sam also wrote a short note to John Russell Young, also thanking for birthday congratulations [MTP].

William Tecumseh Sherman wrote after reading Vol I of the Grant Memoirs: “On the whole the book is admirable” [MTP].

December 8 Tuesday Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Orion, sending $25 and a Christmas greeting, saying the money represented,

“…what they would buy & send you if they warn’t so dam busy” [MTP].

Sam also wrote, or allowed to be written in his behalf, from Hartford to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, declining an invitation to some event [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Brander Matthews, declining an invitation to a wedding. Sam wrote they would have “company arriving the 16th, & we don’t know how long they will stay” [MTP]. Note: the wedding was for Alice Learned to Henry Cuyler Bunner.

Sam also wrote a 2-liner to James B. Pond, who had written asking for a picture of Sam. He was fresh out of pictures but suggested Pond get one of “those made by Sarony”—whoever Pond wanted it for, Sam had told them that Pond would get them one [MTP].

Ross R. Winans wrote, declining to invest in the Paige typesetter [MTP].

Boston Globe per Walter E. Decrow wrote wanting Sam to contribute a signed editorial [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Pleasantly proposed—but I could not accept”

December 9 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Walter E. Dacrow, who evidently had asked for a small article. Sam’s answer deserves space here:

If anything in the world could tempt me, this letter of yours could certainly do it. But I give myself only five years longer to live, and in that time I must furnish certain books for the betterment of the human race; if I should stop to peddle miscellaneous articles, it would leave the human race insecure [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Rollin M. Daggett, letter not extant but referred to in Daggett’s Dec. 19 reply. Evidently Sam was trying to locate John Mackay, along with any other rich men who might subscribe to Paige Co. stock.

Jeannette L. Gilder for The Critic wrote, sending Oliver Wendell Holme’s poem for Sam’s 50th [MTP].

William Howard (1834-1902), wrote from Bethlehem, Penn., referring to earlier correspondence, not extant. His wife had read “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed” to the family the night before, from the Century. Howard praised the article as well as IA, “the best abused of our books” [MTP].

December 10 ThursdayKarl Gerhardt wrote more about the death mask matter, Grant to Gerhardt Dec. 7 enclosed [MTP].

December 10-13? Sunday – Sam wrote from the Normandie Hotel in New York City, probably sometime in this period, to Charles Webster regarding the use of General Grant’s death mask, which Gerhardt had made. Controversy grew surrounding the possession of the mask.

I think I’ll insist on Gerhardt yielding up the mask unconditionally—then if you get Mrs. Grant to allow Gerhardt the first or exclusive use of it for a time, she can do that as a favor to you or me, & maybe it will come easier. However, I’ll see how Gerhardt feels about it—though I think that if he yields unconditionally it may really be the better for him [MTP].

From Perry, p.237:

“Karl Gerhardt reentered the life of the Grant family, casting the general’s death mask. But he refused to turn it over to the family until he was paid $17,000. Julia Grant was enraged by this demand and refused. Twain was embarrassed. To resolve the issue, he paid Gerhardt $10,000 from his own funds. The last Twain heard of Gerhardt, he was an itinerant minister, preaching fire and brimstone in revivals staged in rural Louisiana, where he died.”

December 11 Friday From Sam’s notebook:

“Howells says [from his Dec. 11 letter to Sam]: I’m reading Grant’s book with a delight I’ve failed to find in novels.” And again: “I think he is one of the most natural—that is, best—writers I ever read. The book merits its enormous success, simply as literature” [MTNJ 3: 217].

Julian Hawthorne wrote from NYC about voting at the Authors Club for Will Carleton the poet, and the subsequent “mistake” some made after Carleton won, contesting the vote [MTP].

December 12 Saturday – The New York Critic printed an interview with Sam’s mother, Jane Clemens: Sam as a boy avoided school, though he enjoyed reading [Tenney 14].

December 13 SundayWilliam M. Clemens for Chicago Literary Life Magazine wrote “sorry” Sam was 50 [MTP].

Prof. John Fiske wrote asking if he could “accept your kind invitation for the 23d instead of the 16th?” [MTP].

December 14 Monday – The Monday Evening Club met at the Clemens home with a discussion of “Eloquence.” Susy Clemens attended the meeting. “The essayist of the evening contended that the only form of eloquence was verbal. In the debate which followed the reading, Sam said that there were many kinds of eloquence: sunsets, music, the dumb appeal in frightened animals’ eyes, and even the army marching into the jaws of death” [Monday Evening Club 14 (privately printed)]. Note: Salsbury’s (p.256-7) juxtaposition of this event suggests 1891, but this is in error.

Orion Clemens wrote to Sam & Livy thanking for Christmas gifts rec’d [MTP].

December 15 Tuesday Denis E. McCarthy died in Irvington, Alameda County, Calif. He was 55. The New York Times reported his death on Dec. 18, 1885, p.2. The article mentions his association with Sam, “then a young and comparatively unknown writer.” It also recounted the fake robbery on the “divide,” which may have caused a permanent breach with Sam. McCarthy died as editor and proprietor of the Virginia City Chronicle, which he ran from 1873. Too much demon rum killed him.

Sam returned to Hartford after a week in New York City. He wrote thanks to Jeannette L. Gilder, who with her brother, Joseph B. Gilder founded Critic, a New York literary magazine in 1881. She had sent Sam a poem, probably for his 50th birthday [MTP].

Sam also wrote to John C. Kinney, editor of the Hartford Courant, declining an invitation for an unspecified Jan. 6, 1886 event. Sam would be out of town then, he wrote, then added,

“Private. / And for other reasons, which I’ll tell you some time” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to William Tecumseh Sherman, apologizing for the delayed shipment of a book [MTP].

W. Hastings Hughes wrote “to the author of ‘Wanted—a Universal Tinker” recommending Mr. S. Sailer, whose letter he enclosed [MTP].

December 15 Tuesday ca.William H. Knight wrote. “It was a wholly unexpected treat to get that charming group of wife and daughters—not forgetting the cat.” [MTP].

December 16 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells, again about the “Library of Humor” book.

No, don’t keep the check—collect the check & keep the money…you & I will probably be bald & toothless before the Library is published; for if I get the two books I am expecting to get, they will come in ahead & shove the Library along a couple of years; & by that time other books will intervene again & keep shoving it along.

Sam also announced that he and the children would act the P&P [again] “about the middle or the end of January,” and invited the Howellses to come [MTHL 2: 546]. Note: the two books Sam hoped for were General Grant’s letters to Julia, his wife; and an authorized biography of Pope Leo XIII [n2].

Sam also wrote two short notes to Charles Webster. The first announced he would reach Webster’s office about noon the following day (Dec. 17) and return home Friday (Dec. 18). He enclosed a letter (from Howells?) to be put with the “Library of Humor,” or where Webster could find it when it would be needed. Sam’s second note shows a change of mind. He wouldn’t come right away unless needed. He referred to a “new book”— the beginnings of Connecticut Yankee:

“I am plotting out a new book, & am full of it; so unless there is use for me down there, I shall not come yet awhile…”

Sam wanted Webster to telegraph him when the matter of Grant’s death mask was settled:

“…for I am full of solicitude & shan’t feel easy & comfortable till it is settled to Mrs. Grant’s satisfaction” [MTP].(See Perry’s note, entry Dec. 10-13?.)

“Puckograph” of this day featured Mark Twain [Puck 18.458 back cover]. See insert.

John Fiske sent a telegram: “Cannot speak above a whisper. Too much New England climate have telegraphed Pond to postpone lecture one week. Perhaps somebody ought to explain to audience if assembled. Could you” [MTP].

Frederick D. Grant wrote “I find there is some difficulty about my mother’s getting possession of the death mask…I write hoping that you will be able to influence Mr Gerhardt to deliver the mask to my mother, without a break in the friendly relations which have existed between him and us”[MTP].

Charles K. Tuckerman wrote from Paris, France for autograph [MTP].

Charles Webster wrote: “I can’t do a thing with Col. Grant. He says if I do not deliver that mask by Monday he will get an order in court compelling me to do so. I told him I could not deliver it that I was not a competent court to decide whose property it was, that I could deliver it only to the person from whom I received it or upon his order. He then told me I must not deliver it to Gerhardt” [MTP].

December 17 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster about the death mask mess, which Sam feared was an impending scandal that would damage book sales “a hundred thousand dollars’ worth.” Gerhardt was “obdurate” about demanding $17,000 for the mask. Sam thought a quick lawsuit would settle things [MTP].

December 18 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens, hoping she was healthier and telling of Livy’s plans for the family to visit Keokuk in the spring, if possible [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Julian Hawthorne, responding to a Dec. 11 letter asking his advice on running the Author’s Club. Sam recommended starting a new club, that “that sort of procedure has already ruined” the club.

“It is no more an Author’s club than it is a horse-doctor’s club. Its name is a sarcasm” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, strategizing about paying Gerhardt off in the death mask controversy, and gaining a contract from Julia Dent Grant for the volumes of letters from the General. Gerhardt owed Sam “nine or ten thousand dollars,” and Sam suggested he’d forgive this debt and assume his outstanding obligations. The Grant letters volumes wouldn’t be published for two years, but whoever bought them would also want the Memoirs. Above all, Sam wished to avoid scandal, and changed his mind about bringing or encouraging a lawsuit [MTP]. Sometime just after this date, Sam sent a clipping to Webster from the New York Evening Post, directing him to add the lines to the prospectus on the Grant book and put it first. The clipping read:

The general verdict upon General Grant’s Memoirs is that THE BOOK AT ONCE TAKES ITS PLACE

AMONG THE GREAT HISTORIES OF THE WORLD. The best Critics say that he has, without knowing it, Found a style which many famous historians have sought in vain. It is straightforward [MTP].


Willam T. Sherman wrote to Sam: “I was delighted as always to receive your most [illegible word] letter of Dec 15” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “General Sherman’s opinion of Gen.Fry & his North American Review article / also his opinion of General Grant’s admirable book”


December 19 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Edward House about Grant’s Memoirs. “As I was expecting, the book has instantly taken literary rank at the summit of its class of literature” [MTP].

Alexander & Green per C.A. Seward sent a telegram: “Mrs G having made a formal demand upon the depository for the plaster cast to be followed by an action to obtain it unless the demand is complied with the matter has been adjourned to Tuesday noon / Counsel for the custodian have advised him to deliver the property at that date and he proposes to do so notify artist” [MTP].

Rollin M. Daggett wrote from San Diego: “In reply to your inquiry of the 9th instant, I have to say that I passed Mackay on the Yuma Desert. I had but a moment’s time with him. Hhe was on his way to some mines in Arizona, and has since gone to Mexico” [MTP].

December 20 Sunday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Webster, stressing the importance of securing a contract with Mrs. Grant for the publication, now planned a year ahead, of General Grant’s letters to his wife. Sam was afraid there’d be a demand for an even higher royalty or an offer to take in Fred Grant as a partner. Did Webster want Sam “to come down & ask for the letters?” Or, simply to come and consult about a plan. Sam also wanted Webster to secure the Pope’s book through Dana of the New York Sun [MTP].

In Auburndale, Mass., Howells wrote to Sam about bringing his daughter for a visit [MTHL 2: 548].

Charles Hopkins Clark wrote: “Your note is received and with photographic information is transmitted to Mr Osgood / Your kind and characteristic suggestion about the Library of Humor comes with a pleasant Christmas flavor and I appreciate and am much obliged for the offer” [MTP].

December 21 Monday – Sam wrote a short note from New York City to Charles Webster, directing him to re-ship a Memoirs, vol. 1 to Mrs. W. M. Laffan, as the first one was lost, and to send tree-calf books to Mrs. Grant for her autograph [MTP].

December 22 Tuesday – The N.Y. Times article of Dec. 5, 1886 recalls this previous New England Society Dinner and the “Trick” Sam played on William M. Evarts. This is in the 1886 entry, but should also be in the Dec. 22, 1885 entry. Sam was in New York on that day, though the 1885 Times article covering the dinner says nothing of Sam or Evarts.

James W. Riley for the Indianapolis Journal wrote “With this, I mail to you a Christmas book just printed here” [MTP].

December 23 WednesdayJulian Hawthorne wrote, Hawthorne to Author’s Club before Dec. 10 enclosed. He enclosed a notice that balloting on Will Carleton would be postponed until after Dec. 31. Hawthorne’s tiny hand shows he agreed and thanked Sam for his proxy and letter [MTP].

C.A. Martin wrote to criticize Sam’s Century article, “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed.” “I am very sorry you published such a story….If you have a boy I hope he has not read this shameful story of cowardice & folly…” [MTP]. Note: luckily, Sam did not have a boy (editors need humor also).

William H. Sage wrote. The letter is torn away top & bottom leaving only a paragraph referring to Joe Twichell as a new member and something about $100 [MTP].

December 24 Thursday – From New York City, Sam sent best wishes to Joe and Harmony Twichell:

“Livy & I love you both, & fervently wish you a long & happy life, & eventually a sufficient family” [MTP]. Note: The Twichells had NINE children.

Sam also wrote to Francis Wayland, dean of Yale Law School, asking if he knew Warner T. McGuinn (1859-1937), a Negro student there:

      Do you know him? And is he worthy? I do not believe I would very cheerfully help a white student who would ask a benevolence of a stranger, but I do not feel so about the other color. We have ground the manhood out of them, & the shame is ours, not theirs; & we should pay for it.

      If this young man lives as economically as it is the duty & should be the pride of one to do who is straitened, I would like to know what the cost is, so that I may send 6, 12, or 24 months’ board, as the size of the bill may determine.

      You see he refers to you, or I would not venture to intrude.  

Note: Sam met McGuinn briefly during a visit to Yale a few weeks before he wrote to Dean Wayland. I have not pinpointed the date of this meeting; Sam passed through New Haven many times on his trips back and forth to New York City. (See Fishkin 103-4; she gives 1862 as the year of McGuinn’s birth, and states that Sam paid the year and a half remaining in McGuinn’s studies at Yale.)

Also, on or about this day, Sam sent a one-liner to Howells and enclosed a note from Charles H. Clark, thanking him for the offer of final payment for his work on the “Library of Humor,” but was it finished?

“It is all finished, ain’t it? Write & tell him so, Howells” [MTP].

Orion and Mollie Clemens wrote: Mollie: “Nothing but your being here, could give us more pleasure than the word that you expect to come.” Orion: “Bring all of the children and stay all summer. You all and Ma can have the second story” [MTP].

George P. Lathrop wrote enclosing the same notice that Julian Hawthorne sent (see Dec. 23 entry) [MTP].

Douglas Taylor wrote for The Typothetae, Annual Celebration of Franklin’s Birthday. Although he’d rec’d Sam’s decline to dine on Jan. 18, 1886, he still had hopes [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Typothetae – yes”

December 25 FridayChristmas ­– Sam also inscribed six volumes (originally three but rebound) of Our Living World by Rev. John George Wood, adapted by Joseph B. Holder, M.D., to daughter Clara: In volumes 1, 2, and 4: “Clara Clemens / Christmas /1885. / From Papa”; in volume 3: “ Clara Ben Clemens / Christmas / 1885. / From Papa” [Slotta 46]. Note: see Twain’s to the publisher of these books, Selmar Hess July 6, 1885.

Sam also inscribed Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, vol. 1 to Ward Foote: “To / Mr. Ward Foote / with the compliments of the publishers. / per / S. L. Clemens / of the firm. / Christmas, 1885 [MTP].

Sam also inscribed Poems of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1881) to Livy: “Livy L. Clemens / from S. L. C. / December, 1885 [MTP].

Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) presented Sam with a set of Grant’s Memoirs with a special binding of tree calf with morocco slipcase. It was also inscribed: “For / Mr. S.L. Clemens / with the compliments of / Julia D. Grant / New York / Dec. 25th 1885 [Christie’s, Lot 103 Sale 1720 Nov. 26, 2006].

Charles Webster wrote about “a few galleys of proof” he’d taken which seemed “so changed and patched that it made” him “nervous.” He objected to changes and strike outs Col. Grant made [MTP].

Joe Twichell wrote Christmas wishes [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Mighty bright xmas ‘85”

Prof. Francis Wayland of Yale College wrote from N. Haven. “I think the colored youth is a promising case & deserving of help from someone. I will take the opinion of some of my associates & write you again very soon. I am glad you are interested in the matter & thank you for writing to me” [MTP].

December 26 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells, who wrote Dec. 20 that “Mrs. Howells doesn’t foresee her way” to come for the P&P play Sam and the children were re-staging in January, but that he would come and bring his daughter, Mildred (Pilla), a friend of Susy’s and Clara’s. Sam responded.

“Good—we claim you & Pilla, then, for Jan. 13, since we can’t get Mrs. Howells too. Everything is now planned, & the several guests’ beds appointed them, in Mrs. Clemens’s methodical fashion.”

To Howells’ idea of planting a humorous article in Life (then a humor magazine) or Puck on Aldrich not being 60, Livy suggested they wait a year, since “it would look like a burlesque & would pain Dr. Holmes” [MTP]. Note: Holmes had been one of four who wrote for the Nov. 28 Critic article on Sam’s 50th, supplying a witty verse.

Sam also wrote to an unidentified person on a matter of his “feeble little poverty-stricken joke,” the content of which is unclear.

“Whenever I have to explain a joke, I always charge the price of a thermometer for it. But in this instance, if you will send me one of those boxes, I will return you a thermometer” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles L. Tiffany &Co. 

“The watch which Mrs. Clemens bought of you some days ago keeps too much time, sometimes, & the rest of the time it doesn’t keep any. Will you please take out its present works & put in some of a more orthodox character. It goes to you today” [MTP].

December 27 SundayCharles J. Langdon wrote to Sam & Livy, “hard to sit down and write an acknowledgment of those xmas gifts you and the dear children sent me…I was deeply touched” [MTP].


December 28 Monday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Jervis II, Julia O., and Ida Langdon, his nephew and nieces, thanking them for the “Spain” book, which Sam,

“…more wanted than any other book that could be named. It gives me nightly peace, now, & I think of you when I read it. / We have all been skating on the river today; no, Susy hasn’t; she has a sore throat; but the other three of us had a good time” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, who wrote earlier with another generous offer for Sam to give more readings.

“Goway!—you & his reverence. Tempt me not.

I have two engagements—one to a banquet, the other to read—& that’s all I’m going to do this winter”[MTP].

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster, about alterations in volume two of Grant’s Memoirs and “avoiding Badeau’s language.” Had Webster seen Charles A. Dana of the New York Sun yet? (It was through Dana that negotiations for the Pope’s book would be obtained.) “It’s a clear $100,000,” Sam wrote, meaning the profit from the Pope’s book.

“Strike—for that book, & also for the letters; for it is best that those be settled before I talk with the proprietors of the third book I spoke of—a book which we must have. With the priesthood to help, Dana’s book is immense.” Note: That “third book” was most likely Rollin Daggett’s book of Hawaiian myths and legends written with King Kamehameha V.

Charles Webster wrote that Goodwin had paid $730; the thousand dollar note was all paid [MTP].

December 29 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Mr. Handy, declining an offer of some sort.

“What with business & idleness unsystematically mixed, I seem to have to keep humping myself all the time” [MTP]. Note: Handy is not further identified. The famous songwriter by that name would have only been 12 years old.

Sam also wrote to Charles Webster. He made a brief reference to some savings from their “terra cotta experiments” (Kaolatype); about putting extra cash into government bonds for a short time since the bankers and Samuel G. Dunham probably would not want to be paid early; and about seeing Dana on the Pope’s book, the percentages of profits to offer (50 percent to 67 ½, if necessary). If Webster wasn’t able to go immediately he was to telegraph Sam and he would go down and manage things through William Laffan [MTP].

December 30 Wednesday – In Auburndale, Mass., Howells wrote to Sam that the “Library of Humor” was complete “except about 10 or 20 short biographical notes that” he could “readily attend to; that Clark’s work was done, and well done….” Howells repeated that he and his daughter would be there on Jan. 13 for the P&P play [MTHL 2: 549]. Note: it’s likely this letter reached Sam on the last day of the year.

Orion Clemens wrote about writing Puss and Ma improving [MTP].

Francis Wayland of Yale College wrote “McGuinn can manage everything but his board, whch he can secure for $3.50 per week—with an excellent colored man—the College Carpenter….McGuinn is very studiou & well behaved…”[MTP]. Warner T. McGuinn was a colored student whom Sam supported through law school.

December 31 Thursday Sam noted:


I’m out of the woods. On the last day of the year I had paid out $182,000 on the Grant book and it was totally free from debt [Salsbury 216 from Harpers].


William C. Prime wrote from NYC. “I heartily appreciate your great kindness. I would much rather call on you at your convenienc, than to give you the trouble of fulfilling an appointment at meine [MTP].

December, late – Fishkin refers to Sam speaking for Yale’s Kent Club, Yale Law School, New Haven, Conn., but does not give a date or a topic. Warner T. McGuinn introduced Sam [103-4.]

During this period, Susy Clemens began a biography of her father. The unfinished work was later included as part of Twain’s Autobiography.

Ledger page Heading: S. L. Clemens in a/c with Chas. L. Webster & Co.

Sam wrote on back: “close of account up to beginning of Grant book. Dec. 31, ’85” [MTP 1885 financial file].

to amt drawn mdse charged to apr 1st 1885


by mdse


Wm. Hammersley


W.D. Howells


Col. From notes & open a/c

mdse& trip of FJH to hartford


outstanding apr 1st 85 to date

karl Gerhardt on note of Woodruff


less amt pd

mount morris bank to your credit July 24th


Orion Clemens


rent #658 B’way

checks to balance


Amt paid

E & DE New York Dec 31st 1885

Karl Gerhardt

on Note Goodwin Bros



Editor’s note: The close of 1885 is a propitious division for this work, both in number of pages and in the life of Samuel Clemens, who was at the highest point of his success, with several best selling books behind him, immense success with the release of Grant’s Memoirs, and the future pregnant with possibilities as a publisher and writer. In February of 1886 Julia Grant received the largest royalty payment ever made in U.S publishing history. All told, some $450,000 would eventually be hers. Sam’s reputation was never stronger. In the days ahead, he would face losses, bankruptcy, tragedy and bitterness; but as the sun set on 1885, Sam had obtained wealth, respectability, the love of a devoted family and close friends, plus the admiration of millions at home and abroad.


I am frightened at the proportions of my prosperity.

It seems to me that whatever I touch turns to gold.



David H Fears © 2007, 2014