August 1 Thursday – Frederick J. Hall sent Sam twelve Daily Report forms and a financial statement showing 4,402 books sent out during July, LAL Vol. 8 leading the list with 301 sales. Hall also sent a letter with the reports, noting, about the Scott embezzler affair, “The Dist. Attorney writes this morning, saying the Scott matter is to go before the Governor and he wishes to know if this letter contains our present views regarding Scott” [MTP].
August 2 Friday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Orion Clemens explaining delays on the Paige typesetter. Apprentices were striking two keys simultaneously, so the machine had been down for a week until an additional device to prevent such events was installed. Sam wanted the letter strictly private, and included the Apprentice’s Record for time and number of ems on the typesetter.
Not 5 persons in the country know that the machine is done, & no more will know it for a month yet, if we can help it. …
I go to Hartford a couple of days hence to remain a spell. I’ve got an unusually promising apprentice in New York, & presently we shall send for him & put him in the sick veteran’s place [MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to ask Sam if Kemble was going to do the illustration cuts for CY. Johnson wrote “We have the article down ‘for December sure’ and only want to know whether we can expect a slice at the pictures too” [MTP].
Mary C. MacDonald wrote to Sam: “May the recording angel drop some to us and blot out this record of this part of my life.” A begging letter for money. [MTP]. See Jan. 31 from Drake. Evidently Sam had encouraged Mary to send her drawings to the Century Co. and they were rejected.
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam: “Sorry to hear of your back trouble. Have it rubbed with camphorated oil & Turpentine, ½ & ½ …” His son Fred set 4100 (ems) for 5 ½ hours consecutively; Whitmore was at the factory in the morning and “the machine is going right along.” He enclosed a few checks for Sam’s signature [MTP].
August 3 Saturday – In Elmira Sam answered Robert Underwood Johnson’s letter of Aug. 2 about which issue of Century excerpts of CY would appear and who would be the illustrator:
Beard is the artist. As for me, I’d as soon it went into the Nov. No. as the Dec. Suppose you drop in & discuss with Mr. Hall [MTP].
† Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore asking for a half dozen checks from Bissell’s bank; for the postman not to forward any letters but those for the rest of the family; any news about the typesetter; and a note he’d left on a file on his table describing the character of CY [MTP].
Webster & Co. Sent Daily Report Slips to Sam for the period July 29 to Aug. 3 [MTP]. See Aug. 19 for typical report form.
August 4 Sunday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about the apprentice Fred Whitmore (one of Franklin’s sons) on the typesetter. Sam wanted Fred to practice on a dummy keyboard while the machine was down, just to keep his practice for speed up. Sam had discovered that his servant, George Griffin, was to blame for forwarding letters to him and said that he’d instructed George but he’d neglected to follow instructions [MTP]. Note: Sam’s summers in Elmira were largely dedicated to recharging his energies as well as devoted to literary activities.
August 5 Monday – In Elmira Sam wrote to William Dean Howells. The letter reflects the degree to which Sam depended on Livy and/or Howells as social censors of his work.
Mrs. Clemens will not listen to reason, or argument; or supplication: I’ve got to get you to read the book [CY]. … The proofs, thoroughly corrected, & then revised & re-corrected, shall go to you as revises, from time to time, from the office in New York.
If Mrs. Clemens could have sat down & read the book herself, I could have got you off, maybe but she has not had an hour’s use of her eyes for reading since she had pink-eye six months ago. So she is afraid I have left coarsenesses which ought to be rooted out, & blasts of opinion which are so strongly worded as to repel instead of persuade. I hardly think so. I dug out many darlings of these sorts, & throttled them, with grief; then Steadman [sic] went through the book & marked for the grave all that he could find, & I sacrificed them, every one. So you see your work has been lightened for you the best I could. Now then. God be with you! [MTHL 2: 608-9].
Andrew H.H. Dawson for N.Y. District Attorney wrote Sam inviting him to an unspecified banquet and to solicit a donation (see Aug. 9 for Sam’s check).
Frederick J. Hall wrote again to argue for selling CY as a trade publication rather than their more usual subscription method [MTLTP 258n2].
The editor of American Garden wrote a follow up letter asking Sam to opine on “the question of abolishing the disfiguring fences in villages, suburban towns and country highways.” He had not answered a prior request (not extant) [MTP].
August 6 Tuesday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Francis de Winton (1835-1901), a friend of the Marquis of Lorne who later was appointed by King Leopold to take Sir Henry Stanley’s place in the Congo. He was a recognized authority of central Africa.
So it is you, after all! …Your note to Chatto came to me, & straightened out my tangles. May you & Lady de Winton be always fortunate, & leave with everybody the same impression which you left with me [MTP]. See May 28 & June 4, 1883 entries.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam “delighted” with the increasing output on the Paige typesetter due to the “increasing skill of the boy” (Fred Whitmore). Other family and local happenings including a runaway pony which caused an accident to Dr. Jenkins and his children [MTP].
Webster & Co. wrote to Sam: “I enclose the Title-page as it will appear in your new book, unless you wish further changes. Do you wish to have it punctuated? In most of your books we believe, there is no punctuation on the Title-page.” Also mentioned was the suppression of a book by John Rose Troup in England, With Stanley’s Rear Guard, due to violation of an agreement signed by Stanley’s party not to publish an account of the expedition until the official account had been written [MTP]. Note: the book was published as With Stanley’s Rear Column in 1890.
August 7 Wednesday – In Elmira Sam wrote to the editors of the Century:
I’ve done as you required — done my very levelest best to get it to you in time for the November number — & I reckon I’ve succeeded. — Hope so, anyway. I mail it to-night.
Sam also wrote that he would have Fred Hall hurry Dan Beard with the illustrations [MTP].
Adrien C. d’Henzel wrote from St. Paul, Minn.; this is a “begging letter”; Sam wrote on the env. “An incorrigible humbug” [MTP].
Webster & Co. wrote a short letter to Sam:
…favor received. We note what you say about sending sheets to Mr. Howells. We will send you proofs of the pictures as fast as they are gotten ready. / the …[LAL] is indeed a grand work. We are pleased to say that the expense of getting it out is now nearly at an end [MTP].
August 8 Thursday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about Johnson of the Century wanting the material and illustrations and of the one picture by Daniel Beard “made as a sample.”
P.S. Since writing the above, I have received your letter of August 6th and note carefully what you say. You speak therein of not having received the type-written copies of the selections for the Century. These were mailed to you three or four days ago, and if you have not received them by this time, let me know and I will have duplicates made [MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam:
It is agreed between Mr Hall and yourself and myself that the chapter is to go into the November number. / Moreover, we like Mr. Beard’s first drawing — the armed figure charging upon the dry goods drummer in the tree — and pray that you will not omit an excuse for the use of it… [note: Sam wrote on the env. “Tell him he can have that picture”] [MTP].
August 9 Friday – Sam’s notebook: [chk #] 4388. A.H.H. Dawson, $10, Aug. 9 / [chk #] 4389 Langdon & Co. $100 Aug. 9 [3: 491].
Sam wrote to George Standring, letter not extant but referred to in Standring’s Sept. 16 [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam:
Inclosed bulletin for Sat.! I have just returned from the factory, & left everything doing finely — they are assembling the parts and expect to distribute into the case this afternoon. / I shall not send any more bulletins to you, as you will be home so soon. … I paid Mr. Paige his salary today [MTP]. Note: among his duties for Sam, Whitmore often visited Pratt & Whitney’s factory to check on Paige.
August 10 Saturday – In Cambridge, Mass. Howells answered Sam’s plea of Aug. 5:
You know it will be purely a pleasure to me to read your proofs. So far as the service I may be is concerned, that I gladly owe you for your many generous acts; and if I didn’t want to read the book for its own sake or your sake, I should still want to do it for Mrs. Clemens [MTHL 2: 609].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4390. Mrs. S.A. Quarles, $10, Aug. 10 / Patrick $50, John $60, for August [3: 491]. Note: Patrick McAleer, the family coachman; John O’Neil, Hartford gardener.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “We note what you say in your two favors of August 9th. Mr Beard brought in six or eight pictures yesterday and they were magnificent ones…I will see Mr. Johnson about the matter at once. Note what you say about Dawson. The best way would be to have him use our plates just as we make them…” Hall also passed on from Stedman a circular showing what was prepared for Vol. XI of LAL [MTP].
August 11 Sunday
August 12 Monday – Andrew H.H. Dawson wrote on District Attorney’s Office, NYC stationery to Sam:
It’s a whack! I’ll go it — do it — risk it, yea in the full frowning face of the fate of the Ides of March gang & the Flack flock, I’ll enter into the conspiracy you propose & will carry it out to the letter reckless of consequences. I made the same contract once with Stewart & Woodford & did redeem to the letter my part of it but he… [did not.] [MTP].
August 13 Tuesday
August 13-14 Wednesday – It is possible but unlikely that Sam made the intended trip to Hartford through New York during this period; it would have been a rushed trip, since he was in Elmira on Aug. 15 when Kipling arrived. In his Aug. 2 to his brother he wrote: “I go to Hartford a couple of days hence to remain a spell.” No outgoing letters from Sam are extant for the period. Further, Sam refers to a “made delay by going away” in his Aug. 24 to Robert Underwood Johnson.
August 14 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing the finished title page for CY. He also mentioned Charles A. Durfee, who was in with a book of quotations to publish [MTP].
August 15 Thursday – What Baetzhold calls “one hot August morning” during the family’s summer stay at Quarry Farm, a relatively unknown young man tramped up the hill to visit. A year later, after a meteoric rise in literary circles, he would be widely read and discussed. Sam would later say, he knew this man’s work “better than I know anybody else’s books”: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). The exact date of Kipling’s visit, Aug. 15, is calculated from three sources: Kipling’s letters, a newspaper interview, and Kipling’s later accounts. Sam did not record the date, nor note it at the time, Kipling being relatively unknown. The case for Aug. 15:
On the evening of Aug. 11, 1889 an unknown reporter for the Buffalo Courier interviewed Kipling in Buffalo. Kipling wrote he’d had arrived in Buffalo on Aug. 9 and wrote on Aug. 11 from that city to Edmonia Hill:
This evening a reporter introduced himself to me and interviewed me on behalf of the Buffalo Courier — which see if you want news of me, my thoughts and my sentiments. I am off to Niagra tonight by the 11.50 train in order to see the moonlight on the water and shall stay there for a day or so, as you ordered me [Pinney 1:334].
The unsigned Courier interview, titled “As Others See Us,” ran on Aug. 12 [334n4]. Kipling had been staying at the Iroquois Hotel. The reporter refers to the interview being cut short, as Kipling had to catch a train. Note: As Kipling’s next letter on Aug. 13 reveals, the train wasn’t south but north, to Toronto. Kipling wrote of his time in Toronto, again to Edmonia Hill, and then revealed his travel plans, and his thoughts about where Mark Twain might be, which shows, at least, his prior intent to visit:
Tomorrow [Aug. 14] I start upon the home track and ever was a man more glad to return. I hope old Mark Twain is well out of the way in Maine where they say he rusticates and even more do I hope that you will be pleased with the little I have done .
Kipling’s later account of the visit was first published in Allahabad, India newspapers, The Pioneer Mar. 10, 1890 and The Pioneer Mail Mar. 19, 1890 (Kipling was on the editorial staff of The Pioneer) [Baetzhold, John Bull 358n18], then later published in the N.Y. Herald, Aug. 17, 1890 p.5 “Rudyard Kipling on Mark Twain.” In this excerpt of that account Kipling reveals he learned where (and thus when) the fact that Sam was not in Maine, Hartford, or Europe, but in Elmira. On Aug. 14 in Toronto between trains, Kipling learned this from a stranger:
They said in Toronto that he was in Hartford, Conn., and again they said perchance he is gone upon a journey to Portland, Me.; and a big fat drummer [traveling salesman] vowed that he knew the great man intimately and that Mark was spending the summer in Europe, which information so upset me that I embarked upon the wrong train at Niagara and was incontinently turned out by the conductor three quarters of a mile from the station, amid the wilderness of railway tracks. Have you ever, encumbered with great coat and valise, tried to dodge diversely minded locomotives when the sun was shining in your eyes? But I forgot that you have not seen Mark Twain, you people of no account!
Saved from the jaws of the cowcatcher I, wandering devious, a stranger met.
“Elmira is the place. Elmira in the State of New York — this State, not two hundred miles away,” and he added, perfectly unnecessarily, “Slide, Kelly, slide.” [A popular baseball poem.]
I slid on the West Shore line. I slid till midnight and they dumped me at the door of a frowzy hotel in Elmira [From Scharnhorst’s reprinting p.117].
The next day (Aug. 15) Kipling sought Mark Twain at Quarry Farm, only to be told Sam was back in town at Charles Langdon’s office. The date has been variously reported in many sources as “summer of 1889” or as “July or August” or as simply “August.” This momentous meeting was later reported by Sam and others.
First, here is Paine’s account in MTB:
THE COMING OF KIPLING
It was the summer of 1889 that Mark Twain first met Rudyard Kipling. Kipling was making his tour around the world, a young man wholly unheard of outside of India. He was writing letters home to an Indian journal, The Pioneer, and he came to Elmira especially to see Mark Twain. It was night when he arrived, and next morning some one at the hotel directed him to Quarry Farm. In a hired hack he made his way out through the suburbs, among the buzzing planing-mills and sash factories, and toiled up the long, dusty, roasting east hill, only to find that Mark Twain was at General Langdon’s, in the city he had just left behind. Mrs. Crane and Susy Clemens were the only ones left at the farm, and they gave him a seat on the veranda and brought him glasses of water or cool milk while he refreshed them with his talk-talk which Mark Twain once said might be likened to footprints, so strong and definite was the impression which it left behind. He gave them his card, on which the address was Allahabad, and Susy preserved it on that account, because to her India was a fairyland, made up of magic, airy architecture, and dark mysteries.
Clemens later dictated a memory of Kipling’s visit:
Kipling had written upon the card a compliment to me. This gave it an additional value in Susy’s eyes, since, as a distinction, it was the next thing to being recognized by a denizen of the moon.
Kipling came down that afternoon and spent a couple of hours with me, and at the end of that time I had surprised him as much as he had surprised me — and the honors were easy. I believed that he knew more than any person I had met before, and I knew that he knew that I knew less than any person he had met before — though he did not say it, and I was not expecting that he would. When he was gone Mrs. Langdon wanted to know about my visitor. I said:
”He is a stranger to me, but he is a most remarkable man — and I am the other one. Between us we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest.”
He was a stranger to me and to all the world, and remained so for twelve months, then he became suddenly known, and universally known. From that day to this he has held this unique distinction — that of being the only living person, not head of a nation, whose voice is heard around the world the moment it drops a remark; the only such voice in existence that does not go by slow ship and rail, but always travels first-class — by cable.
About a year after Kipling’s visit in Elmira George Warner came into our library one morning in Hartford with a small book in his hand and asked me if I had ever heard of Rudyard Kipling. I said, “No.”
He said I would hear of him very soon, and that the noise he was going to make would be loud and continuous. The little book was the Plain Tales, and he left it for me to read, saying it was charged with a new and inspiriting fragrance, and would blow a refreshing breath around the world that would revive the nations. A day or two later he brought a copy of the London World which had a sketch of Kipling in it, and a mention of the fact that he had traveled in the United States. According to this sketch he had passed through Elmira. This remark, with the additional fact that he hailed from India, attracted my attention — also Susy’s. She went to her room and brought his card from its place in the frame of her mirror, and the Quarry Farm visitor stood identified.
Kipling also has left an account of that visit. In his letter recording it he says:
You are a contemptible lot over yonder. Some of you are Commissioners and some are Lieutenant-Governors, and some have the V. C., and a few are privileged to walk about the Mall arm in arm with the Viceroy; but I have seen Mark Twain this golden morning, have shaken his hand and smoked a cigar — no, two cigars — with him, and talked with him for more than two hours! Understand clearly that I do not despise you; indeed, I don’t. I am only very sorry for you, from the Viceroy downward.
A big, darkened drawing-room; a huge chair; a man with eyes, a mane of grizzled hair, a brown mustache covering a mouth as delicate as a woman’s, a strong, square hand shaking mine, and the slowest, calmest, levelest voice in all the world saying:
“Well, you think you owe me something, and you’ve come to tell me so. That’s what I call squaring a debt handsomely.”
“Piff!” from a cob-pipe (I always said that a Missouri meerschaum was the best smoking in the world), and behold! Mark Twain had curled himself up in the big arm-chair, and I was smoking reverently, as befits one in the presence of his superior.
The thing that struck me first was that he was an elderly man; yet, after a minute’s thought, I perceived that it was otherwise, and in five minutes, the eyes looking at me, I saw that the gray hair was an accident of the most trivial. He was quite young. I was shaking his hand. I was smoking his cigar, and I was hearing him talk — this man I had learned to love and admire fourteen thousand miles away.
Reading his books, I had striven to get an idea of his personality, and all my preconceived notions were wrong and beneath the reality. Blessed is the man who finds no disillusion when he is brought face to face with a revered writer [880-2].
Note: See also Mark Twain: Life as I find It, Neider 310-21; Scharnhorst, Interviews 117-126. The Herald article was actually the third printing of the article.
A 1955 Kipling biography of by C.E. Carrington [p.96-100] tracks Kipling’s 1889 vacation wandering from India to Japan to San Francisco, up to Portland, Oregon and the Columbia River where he caught a 12 lb. salmon, then on to Yellowstone for a week after the 4th, Salt Lake and Chicago later in the month. Kipling then went to a “little country town on the Monongahela, Beaver, Penn. where he stayed with the parents of a friend, using the location for his base for trips to Toronto, Elmira, Washington, D.C, Boston, and New York. He sailed for London on Oct. 5. Carrington does not date the visit to Elmira nor does he cite the Buffalo Courier interview of Aug. 12. Pinney’s vol. I of Kipling’s letters gives July 24 as the date Kipling reached Beaver, Penn. via Salt Lake, Omaha, Chicago and Pittsburgh (citing Mrs. Hill’s diary). Letters from Kipling to Hill are transcribed on Aug. 9 from Lakewood, N.Y., Aug. 11 from Buffalo, Aug. 13 from Toronto, and no others until Sept. from Washington D.C [330-9].
From Katy Leary’s memoirs:
I mustn’t forget to tell you that Susy always kept that little visiting card of Kipling’s, as a kind of momento of his visit. She thought then that he must be somebody that would turn out wonderful, so she kept that card ‘cause he had written something on it — his address in India — and she liked that [LWMT 161].
Orion Clemens began a letter to Sam he finished Aug. 16, asking Sam to send a copy of a letter that Standring might publish. Sam had sent Standring’s letter to Orion, who declared that “If Hutchings [Stilson Hutchins] can get a million dollars for the Mergenthaler (as per newspaper ext I sent), yours will be likely to command more.” The doctor had recommended whiskey for Ma’s pains [MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson wrote to Sam (Gilder to Johnson Aug. 12 encl.):
As you will see from the inclosed letter from Mr Gilder he agrees with me that it will not do to use the title you have given us for the extracts from the new book [CY]. I cant do better than to inclose his note, which touches upon other topics of your letter [MTP].
August 16 Friday – In Elmira Sam telegraphed Robert Underwood Johnson of the Century:
I see Gilders position clearly and he is right. Leave the article out and I will write you an article on some other subject [MTP]. Note: Sam appears to be calling their bluff on the title.
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote bad news to Sam — the Paige typesetter had broken down and would have to be disassembled again [MTNJ 3: 512]. See Sam’s notebook reaction, Aug. 18 entry.
Orion Clemens finished his Aug. 15 letter.
Richard W. Gilder for Century Magazine telegraphed to Sam: “A second withdrawal will be serious injury to our plans. We can arrange title to suit you . letter by mail” [MTP]. He then wrote Sam that it would be better for it to run with any title Sam wanted than to have it withdrawn at this time. Sam wrote on the envelope:
I telegraphed that “the title as it now stands saves the book from heavy financial hurt. So I save myself from serious injury & shall not care for a small damage. Mark on the proofs all the alterations & modifications you would like made, 7 I will then decide at once” [MTP]. Note: Sam used sarcasm here — the same language of Johnson and Gilder, “heavy financial hurt,” “serious injury.”
August 17 Saturday – In Elmira Sam telegraphed Richard Watson Gilder of the Century:
…put into the proofs every alteration and every modification you would like made and I will then decide at once [MTP].
Sam also telegraphed and wrote to Francis Dalzell Finlay, answering his July 29, which had been delayed. Sam attributed the delay in the forwarding of the letter to “the carelessness of my business agent in Hartford,” (Franklin G. Whitmore.)
But all is not lost, save honor. I have telephoned a telegram to Elmira — distant two or three miles, down yonder in the valley — & by this time it is on its way to P.O. Box 2082, New York, & so your daughter will get it, if you be gone.
I am scribbling this note in desperate haste while I keep a transient & impatient farmer waiting in the road to carry it down for me. Its mission is to say welcome to you & Miss Finlay to this Great Country of Ours, & to beg that the pair of you will fill a niche in our house (meaning beds) between some departing & some to-arrive guests for a couple of days — in straighter English, we beg you twain to give us the 10th and 11th of October if by possibility you can, in Hartford [MTP]. See Aug. 29 for Finlay’s humorous response.
Webster & Co. Sent Daily Reports from Aug. 5 to Aug. 17 [MTP].
August 18 Sunday – Sam’s notebook:
Elmira, Aug. 18/89. We have been here 2 months; in which time Brer W [Whitmore] has written me some 3 meagre notes about the machine. I wrote once & asked him to tell me anything there was to tell from time to time. No answer. Wrote him & asked him to keep Fred in practice [Fred Whitmore, son] while the machine is stopped. No answer. The mach. stopped Aug 2 — not a line from him to say why, or how much is to be done on it. Suppose it were a sick child of mine? Would he give me any news about it? I suppose it is merely my own disposition — to depend upon Davis or somebody else to do the thing & save you the trouble. How many times I have hopefully opened those envelops in the last 3 years & found not a scratch in them but checks to be signed for the damned household Expenses! [3: 511-12].
Mrs. T.P. McMurry wrote a “begging letter” from Colony, Mo. to Sam. She asked for help for her daughter go to school in Palmyra; her husband died 3 years before [MTP]. Note: this was the wife of Thomas “Pet” McMurray, an employee with Sam on Joseph Ament’s Missouri Courier in Hannibal in 1848. See June, 1848.
August 19 Monday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore asking him to check with the tax office to determine the value of the James Goodwin, Newton Case, James G. Batterson and Samuel Colt mansions, as he wanted to compare the worth of his Hartford home with theirs. He also asked for another dozen checks as he’d lost the others [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4387. Twichell — $140. Aug. 19. [3: 491].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
Yes, the idea is to have Rose and Chatto work together to secure copyright. As this is so important a matter I think it would be best for me to do as you suggested in your last letter. Go to Canada, & if necessary, take Whitford with me, see Dawson first then Rose & make an arrangement with him for the Canadian copyright [MTP].
Hall then wrote a second letter enclosing reports for the prior two weeks, and enclosing a copy of a letter received that morning from Chatto & Windus, reminding them that English copyright would be lost there by any first publication in the US [MTP].
August 20 Tuesday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall confirming that the proofreader had to follow his punctuation “ABSOLUTELY.” Sam included the desired issue dates for CY in London, Canada and the U.S.: Dec. 6, 8 and 10, 1889 [MTLTP 255].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about his son Fred’s output on the typesetter and a planned contest with the Courant, which was still typeset by hand. The contest had been postponed at least once. For Sam’s details about such a contest, see MTNJ 3: 507-9.
There is but one thing needful — & that is, that Fred shall set fast. Never mind about clean proof — that is a matter of absolutely no importance in the world. Let him put his whole energy on acquiring of speed. One of the virtues of the machine is, that a bad proof can be corrected [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4395 & 6. Patrick 50 & John 60, Aug. 20. [3: 491]. (See Aug. 10 entry)
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam: “You see we come to good terms & throw ourselves on the mercy of the Court! It is too late to recede from our arrangement — we’ve discarded other plans for this article. So ship back the proof and we’ll print five of Beard’s drawings and the thing will have a send-off under either title” [MTP]. Note: Johnson and Gilder, faced with Sam’s ultimatum to withdraw the CY excerpts, gave in on their objection to his title.
Mrs. L.A. Rice sent Mrs. Clemens a bill marked paid for a white dress for Susie for $10 [MTP].
August 21 Wednesday – In Elmira Sam wrote William Dean Howells about the delay in proofs of CY being sent:
…yesterday Mr. Hall wrote that the printer’s proof-reader was improving my punctuation for me, & I telegraphed orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray [MTHL 2: 610]. Note: Sam consistently resented any messing with his spelling or punctuation.
Sam also sent off the signed publishing agreement with Chatto & Windus to Andrew Chatto, along with a note about the publishing sequence (see Aug. 20) [MTP].
Webster & Co. reported to Sam:
We mail you today the first batch of page proofs [CY]. Our proof reader is now revising these with the galley proofs and we will send you a revised set as soon as ready [MTNJ 3: 512n109].
It is likely Sam made a quick trip to New York from Aug. 21 to 23, as he did not respond to Johnson’s Aug. 20 letter until Aug. 24, writing “I am sorry to have made delay by going away, but it was one of those unavoidable things.”
August 22 Thursday – Sam may have been in New York City on business (see Aug 21 entry).
Thomas A. Davis wrote a “begging letter” to Sam (Mitchell to Davis Aug. 21 encl.) “wont you help a poor crippele [sic] old Minister” Sam wrote “Unanswered letters” on the env. [MTP].
Webster & Co. wrote to Sam: “We send you today a design for the cover of the new book. Beard has taken the liberty of leaving out the word ‘Connecticut’ in the title” — what was Sam’s opinion? [MTP].
August 23 Friday – Sam may have been in New York City on business (see Aug 21 entry).
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
I have heard both from Mr. S.E. Dawson and from Mr. Daniel Rose — they will see me the first part of next week, so I think there will be no difficulty in settling the Canadian matter satisfactorily.
I will leave Monday and get back as soon as I possibly can.
I have made arrangement with the Mount Morris Bank, and they will let us have whatever money we want for the manufacture of your book [CY] and the Conkling book, but I am going to try and get along with as little as possible. The chances are this is the last time, we will ever have to call on them.
As I figure it, it will cost about $62000 to place the first 10,000 copies of your book on the market, and in the neighborhood of $2000 to place the first 5000 of the Conkling book on the market, making in all about 68,000 that we will have to draw out before any receipts for the same will come in. However we are going along very nicely indeed now [MTP]. Note: The error here was corrected by E.H.R. in the Aug. 27 letter, making Sam’s book cost at $6,200 (not $62,000), for a total of $8,200.
August 24 Saturday – In Elmira, Sam had just received the first batch of proofs sent by Webster & Co. on Aug. 18 [MTNJ 3: 512n109]. Sam wrote to William Dean Howells. Sam praised Beard’s illustrations for CY and hoped Howells could mention the book in his Harper’s column, “Editor’s Study.”
If you should be moved to speak of my book in The Study, I shall be glad & proud — & the sooner it gets in, the better for the book; though I don’t suppose you can get it in earlier than the November number — why, no, you can’t get it in till a month later than that. Well, anyway I don’t think I’ll send out any other press copy — except perhaps to Stedman. I’m not writing for those parties who miscal themselves critics, & I don’t care to have them paw the book at all. It’s my swan-song, my retirement from literature permanently, & I wish to pass to the cemetery unclodded [MTHL 2: 610-11].
Note. Howells review appeared in the Jan. 1890 issue of Harper’s Monthly. As to why Sam felt this was his “swan-song” it may be that Sam’s dreams of great wealth, which he hoped to realize with the Paige typesetter, allowed him to see an end to writing as a way to make a living. Another theory is that he realized he was “never again able to put on the vernacular mask with any creative result,” and saw his work as a failure [n2].
Sam also wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson sending proof of the CY excerpt and apologizing for a delay made by his “unavoidable” trip, probably to Hartford. Sam was concerned that the Century article with excerpts from CY was going to come out way before the book in December,
…to give many careless readers the impression that all of it will appear in the Century. Those are hard people for a canvasser to capture. / So you see I have offered a compromise. I use the book’s title as a heading, but ask you to put in that foot-note telling who publishes it [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Webster & Co., letter not extant but referred to in CLW Co.’s Aug. 27 [MTP].
August 25 Sunday
August 26 Monday
August 27 Tuesday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about a letter received the day before which filled him “with apprehensions.” Sam prepared to leave for Hartford but then received a letter from Whitmore (not extant) “& felt differently.”
If the machine is going to be finished & set to work Sept. 1, there is no use in my leaving here before then. If you would write me a note every day I couldn’t be caught by these surprises; but in truth I never know anything about the machine nor what condition it is in nor what is proposed or expected concerning it. If you can ask Paige once a day if he still expects to finish by the first — saying I ask this — that will make a daily valuable item of news. Whatever his daily reply is from now till the finish, no matter how far off that may be, I can live on it — & I am pretty hungry [MTP].
Webster & Co. per E.H.R. wrote to Sam: “Your favor of August 24th received, also the design for the book cover. Mr. Hall, accompanied by Mr. Whitford, has gone to Montreal.” The error reported at $62,000 for the cost of Sam’s book was corrected to $6,200. Corrections were also noted on proofs received from Sam [MTP].
August 28 Wednesday – In Elmira Sam wrote a gushing letter of compliment to Daniel Carter Beard about the CY illustrations.
I do not know of any quality they lack. Grace, dignity, poetry, spirit, imagination, these enrich them and make them charming and beautiful; and wherever humor appears it is high and fine, easy, unforced, kept under mastery, and is delicious [MTP].
Fred J. Stewart wrote from Toronto calling Sam’s books “the vilest trash I ever waded through,” but also, amazingly, asking for his autograph! [MTP].
August 29 Thursday – Francis Dalzell Finlay wrote from Pitcher Creek, Texas to Sam:
My dear Clements [sic], You may be aware that when the celebrated American humourist, Mark Twain, is in the preliminary throes of composition, he takes off all his clothes, and sits stark-naked in the middle of his library floor, and in these conditions constructs those delightful works which are the joy of the present, and will be the pride of the future, generations, of the cultivated classes, of all civilized, & uncivilized, communities. It is under analogous conditions that I reply to yours of Aug 17, and yr. Telephoned-telegram of same date, both forwarded on by my daughter, and received here, in the boundless perorar. Except in a Turkish Bath, I have never been so hot….suffice it that the kind — nay, most kind — proposal of the 11th & 12th Oct. seems to me to be exactly convenient, and therefore most agreeable; and that unless earthquakes of some kind, or conviction of sin, or impecuniosity in an unexperienced form, should intervene, my girl and I will be Most Delighted to accept your hospitality of the aforesaid date.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Finlay accepts” [MTP].
August 30 Friday – Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4406. WH Frost, Aug. 30 $16. [3: 491]. Note: not identified.
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam; the ink is smeared to the point of illegibility, but the subject revolved around seeing posters using Mark Twain’s name while he and Fred Hall were in Buffalo, and possible permissions Sam had given for the use of his name [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam (Davis to Whitmore ca. Aug 30 encl.): “Inclosed is Mr. Davis estimate of the time it will take to finish the machine, or rather, before the machine will commence running again.” Davis’ letter estimates Sept. 13 as the completion date [MTP].
August 31 Saturday – In Elmira Sam responded to a message (not extant) from William J. Hamersley that the typesetter would not be ready Sept. 1 as hoped. Sam was in a tight spot financially, and the continual delays and hitches in the typesetter made it impossible for him to obtain help from Livy’s brother, Charles Langdon, who was about to leave with his family for a year abroad. Explaining that the earlier stoppage on Aug. 2 was expected, Sam continued:
I was blown to the moon, tho’, when the sudden news came that we should not get done the 1st of Sept. I was to get the money from my brother-in-law this time, but as it was conditioned on an actual & final finish with this month, so that he could know the fact before sailing for Europe, that trade is off now….He says he has talked with me every summer for three years & that I have always been mistaken about when the machine was going to be finished; & that when I visited Hartford last month I came back here & said it was finished, & once more I was mistaken; that I promised another finish for Aug. 12, & another for Sept. 1 & failed twice more; that on a finished machine he would take the chances & help me if he were going to be here, but as he is leaving for a year’s stay in Europe he can’t afford the risk. [Note: a draft of this letter also appears in Sam’s notebook, 3: 514-15]
Sam offered Langdon a royalty for each thousand borrowed and sought Hamersley’s help and approval, together with Paige’s for such an agreement [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4417. Meyrowitz Bros. Aug. 31 — 81 cents. [3: 491]. Note: NYC opticians.
Frank B. Darby the Clemens’ dentist in Elmira, sent Sam a clipping (“Mark Twain’s Income is $80,000 a year.”) & a statement Marked ‘Rec payment” for $25 worth of work done on June 27 for Mrs. C., 28 and 29 for SLC, July 2 for Susie, 12 for Mrs.C. Darby wrote under the news item about Sam’s income: “If this ‘Item’ is correct, please let me know and I will hereafter make bill accordingly.” Sam wrote on the side of the statement, “You be hanged — You’ve already begun. All this is old last year’s work-been paid for twice, already” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
I have just returned from Canada, & find a lot of unanswered letters & no stenographer. Our trip was very successful. Made a contract with Dan’l Rose which both he & Dawson agree is perfect & will absolutely protect the book. / I will give you full details Tuesday… [MTP].
Webster & Co. Sent Daily Report slips for the period Aug. 19 to Aug. 31 [MTP]. Note: below is a typical report, actual size was 6 & 1/8” by 6 & ¾”, this from the Subscription Dept. There are perhaps 100 in the files for this period, showing Sam’s “close watch” on the company; today we might say “micro-management”:
September – Sometime during the month Sam inscribed a copy of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood to Elsie Leslie Lyde: To Elsie Leslie Lyde. / This book is for you, my dear, & / you will like it. / Mark Twain [MTP].
September 1 Sunday – In Elmira Sam telegraphed William J. Hamersley about Charles Langdon and the latest offer Sam made to him:
He drove up this morning to talk. Was surprised at my proposition when I re-stated it. He wouldn’t touch it. Said he supposed I was proposing to sell a perpetual lien, parting with it out & out, a stipulated sum for each thousand dollars cash [MTNJ 3: 516].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4407. Dr. Darby, Sept 1 — $25 [3: 491]. Note: Frank B. Darby, Elmira dentist.
Francis de Winton wrote from London to Sam answering his “welcome letter” and glad Sam had not forgotten him and “those good times in Ottowa.” He related legal action against John Rose Troup in England, “by which he was prevented from injuring Stanley’s just rights.” Steps were also taken to prevent Troup from publishing in the US; de Winton blamed Troup’s wife who “longs for the fame of authorship” [MTP]. See Aug. 6 entry.
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam (Charles Ethan Davis to Whitmore Aug. 31 encl.); The work on the typesetter was progressing; Sam had over $4,000 balance there; Whitmore estimated about $1800 in bills to pay on the 3rd. Davis estimated 13 days more work to do [MTP].
September 2 Monday – Daniel Carter Beard wrote compliments to Sam: “It is a great pleasure for me to know that my pictures are admired by the author and a still greater pleasure to receive personal acknowledgement of his appreciation” [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, ashamed that he was “so slowly with the Kings,” and had spent all morning on the lawn and related all the projects the house needed. [MTP].
James W. Paige and William J. Hamersley wrote to Sam (this on Western Union Telegraph Co. letterhead and reads like a telegram, though wordy).
Paige says it will be considered September 12th your proposition not understood will assent to either of these / Will give for loan a bonus equal to loan bonus to be secured by payment fifty dollars and each American for each thousand dollars loaned until bonus and loan are paid or will sell outright royalty on reach American at rate of one thousand dollars for each two dollars royalty [MTP].
September 3 Tuesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote two notes to Sam. Payment had been offered to Samuel E. Dawson for arranging a contract with the Rose Publishing Co. of Toronto for CY. (Dawson was no longer in the book publishing business). Hall conveyed that Dawson would not take payment, but would accept a set of the Library of American Literature [MTLTP 257n3]. Hall also enclosed a copy of the contract with Rose Publishing. It held that Rose (who had sold cheap copies of Tom Sawyer into the U.S.) would not sell CY in the U.S. or sell for less than $1.50 [n4].
September 4 Wednesday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about the family’s plans to return to Hartford:
We leave here the morning of the 10th. We stop at the Murray Hill from the evening of the 10th to noon the 12th. / Mail no letters for me here later than afternoon of 7th. Send them to Murray Hills, marked “to be kept till called for” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s plans went awry, for the family did not leave Quarry Farm until Sept. 16.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (financial statement enclosed and letter forwarded) asking for a contribution. Should he decline in Sam’s name unless they came “from first class and well known source[s]” or should he refer them to Sam? [MTLTP 257n5].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam (Charles Ethan Davis to Whitmore Sept. 3 encl.) that he paid Paige for expenses $1,593.82 for the month of Aug. and another $112 for patents. Some $6,023.30 was owed to Pratt & Whitney [MTP].
September 5 Thursday – In Elmira Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, directing him to send revision proofs of CY to Howells and also to Andrew Chatto. Sam liked the Canadian contract and was obliged to Samuel E. Dawson of Dawson & Brothers, his Canadian printer. Other details filled out the letter:
Please tell this Jeweler’s Weekly for me — well, anything you please; for instance, I am too much pressed. You can say the same to all other applicants, without sending me their letters. / August panned out very nicely. I endorsed the note & mailed it to-day [MTLTP 256].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam: “I have done nothing in the Jacobs matter except to write him a savage letter and will of course do nothing further until I see you.” Whitford suggested they meet at 3 p.m. on Sept. 11 [MTP]. Note: a theatrical manager named Jacobs had been putting on an unauthorized play of Tom Sawyer in Buffalo.
September 6 Friday
September 7 Saturday – In Elmira Sam responded to a letter from Nellie Bunce (See June 9, 1888 entry for more on Nellie). Sam waxed eloquent about a “feeling” he shared with Nellie, and invited her and her husband to visit. He was in a poetic mood:
We who have our home in this divine far country, spread its hospitable gates wide to you, & say out of heart & mouth, Enter in, ye are welcome! [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4415. Boselman [sic], $23, Sept 7. / [chk#] 4409 — Patrik (ponies) $20 Sept. 7. [3: 491]. Note: John Bostelmann, the children’s music teacher; Patrick McAleer, coachman.
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam (Davis to Whitmore Sept. 6 encl.):
Everything is progressing & nothing new turned up to delay the work. Mr. Davis said he thought ….be finishing next Thursday 12th. Signed checks recd all right. Shall send next bulletin to N.Y. Murray Hill [MTP].
September 8 Sunday
September 9 Monday
September 10 Tuesday – Sam made a solo trip to New York City, as family plans to leave Quarry Farm by this day had changed. On the train he noted the boy who sold him a Sept. Harper’s [MTNJ 3: 519&n121]. He stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel through Sept. 12 and then returned for a few days before leaving Elmira with the family for Hartford.
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4416. Mrs. Crane, Sept 10, $640. [3: 491]. Note: the family’s expenses for their summer stay.
A list of errands for N.Y., crossed out as completed through number 9:
2. Patent leathers 3.Players
card for Frank Finlay.
Laffan. & Lotos. 4.Money
from hotel. 5.Telegraph
Century Office. 9. Harpers.
10. Laffan. 11. Whitford 3 p.m. [Sept. 11]
September 11 Wednesday – Most of the errands on Sam’s above list were probably completed this day. Plus, he had a 3 p.m. Sept. 11 appointment with his lawyer, Daniel Whitford of Alexander & Green to discuss what to do about a theatrical manager named Jacobs who was putting on an unauthorized play of Tom Sawyer in Buffalo. On the same line he planned to see William Mackay Laffan at 11 a.m. His “telegram home” is not extant. So, Sam met with the men he needed to see, arranged temporary memberships for Frank Finlay at the Lotos Club and the Players Club, got a haircut, telegraphed home, secured cash from the Murray Hill Hotel, and probably stopped by Webster & Co. — a busy day [MTNJ 3: 519n121].
A Webster & Co. note was due for $4,000 at the Mount Morris Bank [MTLTP 257n6].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that his note from the Murray Hill Hotel was received. He wrote that the papers from Stanley’s lawyers had come and were ok — they were intended to prevent John Rose Troup from publishing his book in the US.
As you return to Elmira so early tomorrow morning of course I will not be able to see you. If there had been anything very important I should have waited over to-night to see you, but there is nothing. Everything is running smoothly. I have got some good general agents in the far West and in a few days will be ready to start for Chicago & that section of the country to appoint general agents [MTP].
Opha Moore editor of Light magazine wrote to Sam soliciting a submission and asking the price he would want for a “sketch of less than 1,000 words” [MTP].
September 12 Thursday – Sam returned to Elmira to gather the family for the trip home to Hartford [MTNJ 3: 519n121].
G.A. Bates wrote on Pratt & Whitney letterhead to Sam that Paige and Davis were absent from the city so the machine would not be started till they returned. “Everything is looking well and satisfactory” [MTP].
Orion Clemens and Jane Clemens wrote to Sam. Orion wrote of Ma’s lips trembling and her tearing up after reading the enclosed (not extant); Ma was rheumatic and restless and kept the attendant awake most of the previous night. Jane wrote she wished she could see “you all” [MTP].
September 13 Friday – In Elmira Sam wrote to John C. Bostelmann, the Clemens girls’ music teacher whom Clara Clemens raved about in her July 15 (spelled there Bostlemann). Sam enclosed a check and wrote that even though the amount was owed for the lessons, “They were worth a great deal more.”
For years I have been brought into daily contact with teachers of various arts, but I have seen none but you that could compress the meat and marrow of five lessons into one…. I have listened while you have taught the children, and have been beguiled from my work and my duties by the enjoyment I got out of watching and analyzing the processes that make a fine art out of what as a rule is grubbing drudgery, and confer entertainment where customarily suffering is inflicted [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks. The Fairbanks’ had lost their newspaper interest in Cleveland, and had moved to Omaha to live for a time with their daughter Mollie and her husband. Sam related recent events: the Charles Langdon family’s departure for a year in Europe; Theodore Crane’s death and Sue Crane’s suffering, and Jean Clemens’ sorrow over his death:
The earned heartbreak of a little child must be high & honorable testimony for a parting spirit to carry before the Throne [MTMF 263-4].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.
I have sent $15,000 to the U.S. Bank today. Make no mention of it to anybody. You will use from it to square up with P & W [Pratt & Whitney] the 20th if Paige wishes it done; but if he wants to wait a while, do as he desires. I shall doubtless be there, with the family, the 19th [MTP].
September 14 Saturday – On or just after this day Sam responded to E.H. Butler’s letter (below) through Franklin G. Whitmore. He didn’t recall the piece Butler asked about but told Whitmore if it was a sketch he wrote it must be in Mark Twain’s Sketches, New and Old or The Stolen White Elephant [MTP]
Sam also wrote to Charles J. Langdon in New York, letter not extant but referred to as “pleasant” in Langdon’s Sept. 29 [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4412. “Cash” Arnot, $300, Sept. 14. [3: 491]. Note: Matthias Hollenback Arnot (1832-1910), financier and director of Arnot mercantile holdings in Elmira, a classmate of Chauncey Depew at Yale (1856), reputed to be worth $50,000,000 at his death. However, he did not take any of the cash with him, though undoubtedly the burden of it gave rise to his nickname, used here by our Samuel Clemens. Aug. 3, 1890 to Senator John P. Jones, Sam estimated Arnot’s worth at seven million. The Arnot’s were Elmira neighbors of the Langdons.
E.H. Butler for New York Daily News wrote asking for a copy of “Mark Twain’s First Romance,” that he’d seen before — where could he buy it? Sam wrote on the letter, “Tell him I do not remember it. If a sketch, it must be in Sketches or Wh Elepht SLC” [MTP]. Note: “First Romance” and Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography were published in 1871, not in Stolen White Elephant.
September, mid – James W. Paige announced that the typesetter was ready for testing [MTNJ 3: 479].
September 15 Sunday – Sam wrote to Charles J. Langdon in New York, letter not extant but referred to along with Sam’s Sept. 14 as “pleasant” in Langdon’s Sept. 29 [MTP].
September 16 Monday – Clara Spaulding Stanchfield invested $5,000 in the Paige typesetter; she was to receive a five-dollar royalty on each machine sold or rented; Sam increased this to six dollars [MTNJ 3: 277n174; 521&n128].
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4410 RR. fares, Sept. 16, $33 [3: 492].
These paid railroad fares suggest this was the day the Clemens family left Quarry Farm for New York and home. Sam’s Sept. 13 to Whitmore estimated the family would be back in Hartford by Sept. 19, so this day is a good estimate, allowing a day or two stay in New York, probably at the Murray Hill Hotel, which was the family’s preferred stop due to its proximity to the rail station.
George Standring wrote from London to Sam:
Yours of the 9th August duly came to hand, and is treasured with the rest. I have not breathed a word of the contents, or shown a line of the three letters wh I have of yours on the private & confidential racket. And I won’t till you say, Let fly! / I sent you a day or two ago a copy of the Printer’s Register wh will show you that the Linotype didn’t “unload” worth a damn. “The guileless British public” (your own words, me lord) is not such a fool as you imagined, and Stilson Hutchings [sic] must feel pretty sick & disgusted now [MTP].
Charles Ethan Davis wrote to Sam estimating they’d have the machine running by Tuesday night — “one slight defect” had delayed matters [MTP].
September 17 Tuesday
September 18 Wednesday
September 19 Thursday – In Cambridge, Mass., William Dean Howells wrote to Sam about CY.
I’m just home from Ohio. Last night I started on your book, and it sank naturally into my dreams. It’s charming, original, wonderful — good in fancy, and sound to the core in morals. So far I find nothing but a word or two even to question. — I can’t reach it in the Study before the January number. When do you publish? [MTHL 2: 612]. Note: Sam would publish in the U.S. on Dec. 10; Howells’ review appeared in the Jan. 1890 issue of Harper’s.
William J. Hamersley wrote to Sam (mostly illegible) and enclosed a deed for a $500 royalty [MTP].
September 20 Friday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam — more of Ma’s feeble mindedness and of the improvements being made to their new house, and hoping they might come next June [MTP].
September 21 Saturday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, presuming Sam was back in Hartford by now and advising he would leave the next day for Chicago. Hall referred to a representative from a “newspaper syndicate” (likely Bacheller, see below) who’d asked for some extracts from CY, who also claimed the Century urged this. Hall told the man emphatically no, but said he might use the descriptive circular [MTP]. See Johnson’s Sept. 24 to SLC.
Bacheller & Co., N.Y. wrote seeking Sam’s permission to quote a few lines from the forthcoming CY in the Century Magazine for a column they had planned [MTP].
September 22 Sunday – In Hartford Sam responded to Howells’ Sept. 19 letter about reading proofs of CY, as well as a follow up written that day or by Sept. 21 (now lost) which approved of Sam’s remarks in the book about the French Revolution. Sam offered that few people would approve of their feelings on the event:
It is odd that even to this day Americans still observe that immortal benefaction through English & other monarchial eyes, & have no shred of an opinion about it that they didn’t get at second hand. Next to the 4th of July & its results, it was the noblest & the holiest thing & the most precious that ever happened in this earth. And its gracious work is not done yet — nor anywhere in the remote neighborhood of it.
Sam wrote that Howells’ reading of CY “gives peace to Mrs. Clemens’s soul,” and he was “as grateful as a body can be” He would publish on Dec. 10 (in the U.S.) Sam felt he had more to say about issues touched on in CY, but the book was finished.
Well, my book is written — let it go. But if it were only to write over again there wouldn’t be so many things left out. They burn in me; & they keep multiplying & multiplying; but now they can’t ever be said. And besides, they would require a library — & a pen warmed-up in hell. Ys. Ever / Mark [MTHL 2: 613].
Sam also wrote to E.W. Abell of Yale University, acknowledging receipt of “The book.” Sam said he’d been “hindered in one way or another” to write sooner [MTP]. Note: Abell is listed as a member of the Yale University Drum Corps and in the class of ‘91 [Yale Banner vol. 47, 1888 p.221]. The book in question was William Makepeace Thackeray’s Marvels of the West (1888). See June 26 entry.
September 23 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Dora Wheeler, turning down her invitation to visit in early October. Sam responded that he had to write due to Livy’s pinkeye, which she’d suffered from since last February, and that guests were expected for the first half of October (Frank Finlay and daughter Miss Mary Finlay; Pamela Moffett); he felt “it would be noble spree, & most sorry we are that we can’t be in it” [MTP].
Sam wrote to Opha Moore editor of Light, letter not extant but referred to in Moore’s Sept. 25 [MTP].
Webster & Co. per E.H.R. wrote to Sam that they’d recd the corrected pages of CY and that more proofs of pictures would be sent that day, with more page proofs sent the next day [MTP].
September 24 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:
At 12.15, Sept. 24, a man went along my sidewalk on a low bicycle; Jo Lane & Hough were in a buggy; I stopped them & pointed the man out, who was not on the sidewalk beyond the bridge, & asked them to get his name, so I could report him to the police [3: 522]. Note: Hartford grocer Joseph G. Lane and broker Niles P. Hough, also a resident of Farmington Ave.
Also in Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4411 Patrick (ponies) [Sept] 24 65. / [chk#] 4413, Miller (wood) Sept 24 — $107.50 [3: 492].
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam that the “boy” from the syndicate lied twice about them urging an excerpt of CY being given. “Don’t be afraid of our giving you away except over your own seal and superscription” [MTP].
George Omsted wrote asking Sam for his portrait to include in a London illustrated article; also desired, a list of items Sam might want mentioned about his new book; and a picture of Sam’s Hartford house (TR Unknown to Olmstead Oct. 1 encl.) [MTP].
September 25 Wednesday – Opha Moore editor of Light wrote to Sam: “Yours of the 23rd just received. I will not bother you for anything until after LIGHT makes its first appearance from New York and you have a chance to see the kind of a paper it is to be” [MTP].
September 26 Thursday – According to Sam’s Sept. 29 letter to Clara Spaulding Stanchfield, William J. Hamersley recorded papers for the Paige typesetter in the patent office on this date.
“…on 26 September Clemens obtained from Paige the right to a five hundred dollar royalty on each machine which was sold. Clemens promptly sold a number of shares in his royalty to friends and family in order to relive the immediate financial burden of the typesetter” [MTNJ 3: 479].
September 27 Friday – Orion Clemens wrote that the monthly $200 check was received. Orion loved the sample of the book (CY) and was eager to see the rest. He included a page and a half of his historical research, and more of the same delusional sufferings about Ma [MTP].
Charles Ethan Davis wrote a cryptic postcard to Sam: “Sept 27 2.10 R. = 4614 F. Davis” [MTP].Note: this was the first (extant) of a series of postcards which reported em production numbers by various apprentices, “F” probably Fred Whitmore.
September 28 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote to John C. Kinney, editor of the Hartford Courant:
Dear Kinney — Thou knowest I am a shirk. Never never shall reform, I do believe. But I thank you heartily all the same for thinking of me [MTP].
Note: Driscoll attributes this letter to Mrs. Kinney (Sara Thomson Kinney) “apparently in response to yet another solicitation she had made on behalf of her native rights organization”  See Feb. 13, 1886 entry. It is doubtful, however, that Sam would address the lady as “Dear Kinney.” Still, such a request for support in some fashion for the Connecticut Indian Assoc. might come through Sara’s husband.
Sam’s notebook: [chk#] 4414. Mad. Freese, Sept. 28 = $25 [3: 492]. Note: Madame Cécil Freese, Clemens family French teacher.
Sam also entered a paragraph in his notebook this day about the five Clara Stanchfield’s royalties:
Fulfilled Sept. 28, 1889.
I intend to add a one-dollar royalty to these, to take the place of a twenty-five-dollar share in the old K. Co., [Kaolatype], which I gave to Clara years ago, & which never came to anything. This must not be forgotten, but attended to by others if I forget — that is the reason I am making this entry in my note-book. S L Clemens [3: 521].
Note: this totaled six royalties for Clara Spaulding Stanchfield. Royalties on the typesetter were amounts to be paid on future sales; they were not stock, but were in a superior position because stocks might or might not pay dividends, and depended on increasing value for investors, while royalties were paid on every sale before expenses.
Charles Ethan Davis wrote another cryptic postcard to Sam: “Sept 28 3.55 R. = 4584 F.” and “Sept. 28 1.07 R = 1908 J. / Davis” [MTP]. Note: another of a series of postcards which reported em production numbers by various apprentices, this for “J”.
September 29 Sunday – Clara Spaulding Stanchfield had paid Sam $5,000 on Sept. 16 for royalties on the Paige typesetter, and later wrote (she and her husband now lived on Long Island) evidently asking if and when she might buy more. In Hartford, Sam responded.
Yes, you can have more at any time in the future; & if I should raise the price & forget to notify you beforehand, the raise shall not be applied to you.
Sam wrote of a new apprentice and also an “expert stenographer from the Sun office, New York, who is also an expert type-writer.” He enclosed “6 royalties” which were to pay on individual sales of the typesetter regardless of profits [MTP].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam, unable to invest no more than $3,000 in the typesetter:
I was exceedingly glad to get your two pleasant letters from the farm written Sept. 14 & 15th. I have written Livy a social letter in which I try to [illegible word] upon you and her how much I appreciate your kind treatment of me & my project, after the latter was made known to you, how I will at once do business with you on the typesetter [MTP].
September 30 Monday – William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) inscribed his A Book of Verses to Sam:
To Samuel L. Clemens, in admiration of his happy gift of making his fellow creatures happy. From W.E.H. Glasgow, Sept. 30, ’89 [Gribben 308]. Note: See W.C. Angus’ letter below; he sent Henley’s book which Henley inscribed.
Charles Ethan Davis wrote another cryptic postcard of typsetter tests to Sam: “Sept 30 4.18 R. = 2325 J.” and “Sept. 30 3. R = 792. M.C N. J. / Davis” Below this he wrote 3 lines for M.C N with a note to the right, “First time he even saw…Mch or keyb” [MTP]. Note: apprentices, “F,” “J,” and “McN” were likely Fred Whitmore, H. McNeilly (see Oct.1), and possibly Martin J. Slattery for “J”, otherwise unknown.
W.C. (William Craibe) Angus (1830-1899) wrote from Glasgow, Scotland to Sam:
I have sent you the 3 books mentioned in my last letter [not extant]. Be pleased to accept Henley’s verses, as a small token of my admiration of your gifts. I also send 1 Burns, and I Burnsiana book, and shall be obliged by your writing your name on the title page, opposite the portraits, of each book [Note: Sam wrote on the envelope, “I must write in 2 of these books & keep the third”] [MTP]. Note: the third being William Ernest Henley’s A Book of Verses; See above entry on Henley
October – No Name Magazine ran a biographical sketch of Mark Twain, the first in a planned series of “American Literary Portraits.” Publishers’ Weekly reviewed: “Mark Twain is handled without fear or favor” [Publishers’ Weekly – American Booktrade Journal Vol. XXXVI July-Dec. 1889 p.542; not in Tenney].
October 1 Tuesday – Pamela Moffet came to visit the Clemens family for a week. She was living with her son Samuel Moffett, a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner [Oct. 7 to Langdon].
H. McNeilly was one of the three “cub” apprentices considered for the Paige typesetter. On Sept. 30 he came to Hartford and tried the Paige machine, but a day later, this day, sent a note to Sam saying he’d decided against moving to Hartford to be an apprentice. He asked if he might have a pasteboard copy of the keyboard to study for when the machine went to New York [MTNJ 3: 568n268].
Charles Ethan Davis wrote another cryptic typesetter production test postcard to Sam: “Oct 1st 3.52 R. = 4992 F.” and for the same date using ditto marks for the date 4.37 R = 2352 J. / Davis” [MTP].
October 2 Wednesday – Daniel Frohman wrote Sam through Daniel Whitford, Sam’s attorney at Alexander & Green. He advised that a new version of Abby Sage Richardson’s dramatization of P&P “embodying some recent changes,” would be sent on to Clemens “within two weeks.” There had been repeated delays by Richardson in carrying out her contract with Sam [MTNJ 3: 524n138].
Charles Ethan Davis wrote another cryptic typesetter production postcard to Sam: “Oct 2 4-21 R. = 4926 F.” and for the same date using ditto marks for the date 3-52 R = 2506 J. / Davis” [MTP].
October 3 Thursday – Sam finished his slipper for Elsie Leslie, the partner of one knitted by William Gillette, out of admiration for the girl actress [Oct. 5 to Leslie].
Sam’s notebook: Oct. 3. One [Paige royalty] to Orion Clemens; the other to Mrs. P.A. Moffett [3: 569].
Charles Ethan Davis wrote another typesetting record on a postcard to Sam, this one including three apprentices, “F,” “J,” and “S”. [MTP].
William Lindon sent Sam a MS which he could have at his own price, thinking that there was some “wit & humor in it” [MTP].
Clara Spaulding Stanchfield wrote thanking Sam for “the valuable package which was received lst night.” (Contents not mentioned.) She was waiting up for her husband John to come home [MTP].
October 4 Friday – Sam jotted in his notebook that another of the anticipated apprentices for the Paige typesetter, Martin J. Slattery, on Oct. 3 and 4, “in his third hour (he had never seen the machine or its keyboard before) set 1593 ems. He sets 1500 an hour at the case” [3: 568].
October 5 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder, responding to his invitation and offering to bring a guest:
Fellowcraft Club, 32 W. 28th. 7 pm Oct. 16 — I will be there.
And might I bring a foreign ex-journalist if he is not engaged? Frank Finlay, old English-Irish friend of mine in London 17 years ago…visiting member of the Players & The Lotos, here, & Hon Sec. Of the Reform Club on the other side… [MTP]. Note: Sam was sick in bed on Oct. 16 so did not attend [MTNJ 3: 522n132].
Sam also wrote a long letter to Elsie Leslie explaining that “Away last spring” he and William Gillette had undertaken to embroider a pair of slippers for her, each man making one of his own creation. Sam drew a parallel between creating the slipper and writing a story:
I began with that first red bar, and without ulterior design, or plan of any sort — just as I would begin a Prince and Pauper, or any other tale. And mind you it is the easiest and surest way; because if you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them — you can’t help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so, first thing you know, there’s your book all finished up and never cost you an idea. Well, the red stripe, with a bias stitch, naturally suggested a blue one with a perpendicular stitch, and I slammed it in, though when it came daylight I saw it was green — which didn’t make any difference, because green and blue are much the same, anyway, and in fact from a purely moral point of view are regarded by the best authorities as identical. …
You notice what fire there is in it — what rapture, enthusiasm, frenzy — what blinding explosions of color. It is just a “Turner” — that is what it is. It is just like his “Slave Ship,” that immortal work. What you see in the “Slave Ship” is a terrific explosion of radiating rags and fragments of flaming crimson flying from a common center of intense yellow which is in violent commotion — insomuch that a Boston reporter said it reminded him of a yellow cat dying in a platter of tomatoes.
Take the slippers and wear them next to your heart, Elsie dear; for every stitch in them is a testimony of the affection which two of your loyalist friends bear you. Every single stitch cost us blood. I’ve got twice as many pores in me now as I used to have; and you would never believe how many places you can stick a needle into yourself until you go into the embroidery line and devote yourself to art.
Do not wear these slippers in public, dear; it would only excite envy; and, as like as not, somebody would try to shoot you [MTP]. Note: See picture insert of Sam’s slipper in MTB, after p.884.
Sam also wrote to Karl Gerhardt, letter not extant but referred to in Gerhardt’s Oct. 7 [MTP].
October 6 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Sarah A. Sage (Mrs. Dean Sage) inviting for Livy and himself a visit by the Sages for Thursday, Oct. 17 and to “stay over Sunday & much longer if you can.” Livy had a “hard headache” caused by reading “five or ten minutes,” and so Sam wrote the invitation for her [MTP].
October 7 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote a long letter of proposition about the Paige typesetter to Joe Goodman. He wrote that he’d come close to writing him several times but the time wasn’t ripe then. “It is ripe, now.” After describing what the compositor would do, Sam placed an offer plainly before Goodman:
I want you to run over here, roost over the machine a week & satisfy yourself, & then go to John P. Jones or to whom you please, & sell me a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of this property, & take ten per cent in cash of the “property” for your trouble — the latter, if you are wise, because the price I ask is a long way short of the value.
What I call “property” is this. A small part of my ownership consists of a royalty of $500 on every machine marketed under the American patents. My selling-terms are, a permanent royalty of one dollar on every American-marketed machine, for a thousand dollars cash to me in hand paid. We shan’t market any fewer than 15,000 machines in 15 years — a return of fifteen thousand dollars for one thousand. A royalty is better than stock, in one way — it must be paid, every six months, rain or shine; it is a debt, & must be paid before dividends are declared. By & by, when we become a stock company I shall buy these royalties back for stock if I can get them for anything like reasonable terms.
I have never borrowed a penny to use on the machine and never sold a penny’s worth of the property until the machine was entirely finished & proven by the severest tests to be what she started out to be — perfect, permanent….
Mrs. Clemens begs Mrs. Goodman to come with you, & asks pardon for not writing the message herself — which would be a pathetically-welcome spectacle to me; for I have been her amanuensis for 8 months, now, since her eyes failed her [MTP].
Note: Sam also described how he’d convinced several newspapers to hold off buying the Mergenthaler compositor; how they’d hired three cub operators to run the Paige and were going to hire three more.
Sam also wrote for Livy to her mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon. There was,
…no news to tell, further than the children have settled down to their studies, the household life has settled down into the old grooves & goes smoothly; & my sister Mrs. Moffett is this evening finishing up a week’s visit & starts west to-morrow [MTP].
Sam added a paragraph about Annie Price and her family’s misfortunes of death and suffering.
Dean Sage wrote to Sam having received his of the 5th and “very glad that success at last seems within the grasp of your machine. As to your kind intention, I shall be obliged to consult with my spouse before saying I can accept it. I am going, with her, to New York on Monday next the 14th will probably return Wednesday.” Sage would try to let him know if he could make it to Hartford [MTP].
Karl Gerhardt wrote to ask Sam to consider building his company (typesetter) on land that Karl purchased in Cottage Grove, a section of Hartford [MTP].
October 8 Tuesday – Pamela Moffett left the Clemens home after a week visit [Oct. 7 to Langdon]. She sent a postcard from New York that she had arrived there [mentioned in Oct. 9 to Moffett].
Richard R. Bowker for Am. Copyright League sent Sam an invitation to read at the authors’ benefit for copyright at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Dec. 16 [MTNJ 3: 523n133].
Frederick J. Hall reported the agents’ opinions about CY:
…that the church could not possibly hurt it; that it was the Catholic church that would principally attack, and that they were not book buyers anyway [MTLTP 258n2].
Richard Watson Gilder wrote to Sam:
I suppose you got a telegram from me last night. I was out of town over Sunday. / I am greatly delighted that you can come to the dinner on the 16th and I extend an invitation to our friend Mr. Finlay. He’s just the kind of man we want [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote to Sam that a letter from his father required him to be in Michigan on the 16th for an important law case; he would have to see the typesetter later [MTP]. Note: Sam had urged Sage and his friend Parsons to come to Hartford to inspect the Paige typesetter and to invest in it.
October 9 Wednesday – In Hartford, Sam wrote his sister, Pamela Moffett, who had sent a postcard from New York he received this morning.
I declined the invitation to banquet with the visiting South American Congress, in a polite note explaining that I had to go to New York to-day. I conveyed the note privately to Patrick; he got the envelop soiled, & asked Livy to put on a clean one. That is how she came to find out what was in it; which is why I am going to the banquet; also why I have disinvited the boys I thought I was going to punch billiards with, upstairs tonight. Patrick is one of the injudiciousest people I ever struck. And I am the other.
Sam directed Pamela to give their love to “the Keokuk household”[MTP]. Note: The Pan American Congress arrived in Hartford from South Manchester, Conn.. A contingent of South American delegates, correspondents and New England businessmen toured various factories, including Pratt & Whitney where the Paige machine sat (though no mention of it in the news articles), followed by a banquet and reception at the Capitol, both of which Sam likely attended. (See Hartford Courant, Oct. 9, 1889 “Pan American Congress”p.8; also “America in Connecticut, Oct. 10, 1899 p.1) Friday was Sam’s regular billiard night. The banquet took place at 7 p.m. at the Allyn House. This from the Courant article of Oct. 10:
It was already long after time for the reception at the Capitol, but the visitors had learned that Mark Twain was present and there was a call for him which had to be recognized. Governor Bulkeley introduced Mr. Clemens as a gentleman who belonged not to Hartford alone, nor to the United States, but to the whole world.
Mark Twain responded in his happiest vein, in a speech which to undertake to report would be to spoil. Every sentence was sandwiched between laughter and cheers.
Sam also answered Richard R. Bowkers’ invitation to read at the authors’ benefit for copyright at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Dec. 16. He was tired of such events and felt they weren’t produced rationally, so he declined. (His notebook, 3: 523 holds plans to read “Tar Baby” at the tail end, but he must have changed his mind after some thought.)
I have worked for Copyright in all the different ways that its friends have suggested, ever since 1872 — seventeen or eighteen years; & I am cordially willing to continue to work for it all the rest of my life in all those ways but one — but I want to draw the line there: the platform. …
No; an Author’s Reading, conducted in the customary way, turns what ought to be the pleasantest of all entertainments into an experience to be forever remembered with bitterness by the audience. Remember Washington! There are now living but four persons who paid to get into that house; it is also a fact, howsoever privately it has been kept, that 22 died on the premises, & 87 on their way home. I am miserable whenever I think of my share in that wanton, that unprovoked massacre. / Tell me any other way I can help the cause, & I will do my very level best [MTP].
Elsie Leslie Lyde wrote Sam thanking him for the slipper and long letter, which arrived this afternoon.
I think they are splendid and shall have them framed and keep them among my very most prechus things….Give my love to Mrs. Clemens Susy Clara Gene [Jean] I-know and you-know and Vix and all of my Hartford friends tell Gene I wish I was with her and we would have a nice jump in the hay loft. When you come to New York you must call and see me then we will see about those big words…. To my loyal friend Mark Twain from his little friend ELSIE LESLIE LYDE. (Not Little Lord Fauntleroy now but Tom Canty of Offal Court and Little Prince Edward of Wales.) [Salsbury 268].
Best & Co. , Mfgr. Boys, Girls and Infant’s Clothing, N.Y., sent Sam a statement dated Oct. 1:
Sept 17 1 Cap 2.50; Sept 19 1 coat 22.70; 1 coat 19.00; 1 coat 14.00; 1 coat 9.75; 1 Dress 15.00; 1 Dress 13.50; Alt[erations] 2.00 Totaling 98.45; marked paid this date [MTP].
Frank Fuller wrote to Sam asking for money to build a place for his business, which he claimed he’d “built up from nothing to quite large proportions.” Fuller wrote, “I have got to get out of this hole,” that is the surroundings he was stuck in. The envelope’s return address was to the Health Food Company, 74 Fourth Ave, Cor. 10th St., N.Y. [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that while in Chicago he’d heard a rumor that Stanley’s book would be published by Samson Low & Co. Sam might find out through Sir Francis de Winton if it were so [MTP].
Norden & Co. telegraphed Sam: “Yes it was understood that Sage had such authority” [MTP]. Note: reference here is obscure.
October 10 Thursday – L.J. Drake wrote to Sam having seen an advertisement for a perpetual calendar. In 1884 and 1885 Sam had urged Charles Webster to develop and patent a portable perpetual calendar but Webster didn’t think much of the idea and so it died [MTNJ 3: 522n131].
Frederick J. Hall wrote that the prospectuses for CY were ready and he planned to “commence the canvass at once.” The reason why statements weren’t sent was he’d been out of town, but they’d been sent the day before. Hall commented that sam’s several “favors” had been received; Mr. Rosenquest had left to get him proofs and a NYC directory [MTLTP 258n2; MTP].
Richard R. Bowker for Publishers’ Weekly wrote a friendly reminder for Sam to be at a dinner (unspecified) and added “We all rejoice at what you have done for copyright — that is why we want more” [MTP].
October 10 Thursday ca. – In Hartford, Sam answered L.J. Drake’s Oct. 10 inquiry with a one liner — “I know of no such thing being on the market” [MTP]. See Oct. 16 when Sam’s memory came around.
October 11 Friday – Frank Dalzell Finlay and his daughter Miss Mary Finlay had traveled from Belfast, Ireland to America and spent some days with the Clemens family in Hartford. In 1937 Mary Finlay wrote about the visit and this specific day:
…a lovely house. His 3 daughters — the eldest then 16, were there. They gave a big dinner in Father’s honor & I was covered with confusion, being very shy and self-conscious, when Mark Twain took me in first to dinner.
“Harris” of the “Tramp Abroad” was there (real name the Rev. Twichell) & I think, but am not sure, Charles Dudley Warner and a lady whom I remember as Mrs. Beecher Stowe. After dinner, M.T. took me up to see his study & presented me with “Huckleberry Finn” & wrote in it “To Miss Mary Finlay, with the best wishes of Mark Twain — Hartford, October 11th, 1889.” I still have it of course [The Twainian Oct. 1944, p.5].
Sam’s notebook: Frank Finlay % H.R. Finlay, Box 2082. Member & Hon Sec. Of the Reform Club, London — Member of Arts Club; & is a journalist [3: 484].
The length of Finlay’s visit is not clear. Budd writes,
“Two months before A Connecticut Yankee came out he was happy to put up Finlay as a houseguest and introduce him around as honorary secretary of the Reform Club, the Liberals’ social center in London” [Social 121]. Note: Budd adds the work “honorary” and does not specify the scope of “around,” but from his daughter’s recollections above, it seems clear that the introductions were at least among Sam’s Nook Farm neighbors and regular friends. Perhaps Finlay was included in Sam’s regular Friday Evening smoke and billiards gathering.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, acknowledging receipt from sister Pamela of “conveyance of an interest in the royalties.” He was sorry Livy’s eyes were so bad; perhaps she wore glasses too much. Orion expressed worry about the final outlook of the typesetter, and contracts made with Paige, going into some legal details: “I am aware that I run the risk of invoking your wrath by writing to you a lot of chestnuts, already weighed and fully considered…but you will excuse me any how, when you consider the vastness of the interests at stake…”[MTP].
Frank Fuller wrote from N.Y. to Sam about his going to a masquerade ball in Madison, N.J. the following Wednesday — this a prelude to his not having heard from Sam about “becoming a heavy real estate owner in this growing town,” so if Sam would not be busy “next Tuesday evening, or even one hour of it,” he would come and talk to him while Sam would “punch your billiard balls” [MTP]. Note: Fuller wanted Sam to build him a building for his growing health food business.
October 12 Saturday – In Hartford, Sam answered Frank Fuller’s letters of Oct. 9 and 11. In the past, Fuller had often hit Sam up for various investments, most of which turned sour. Fuller was at it again, but Sam offered to take Fuller’s money this time.
I am laid up with a hard cold and many guests, otherwise I would have answered yesterday when your first letter came. If you had from $1,000 to $100,000 that you were not going to need for three years, I could place it for you where it would pay you a hundred per cent a year for fifteen years…. I have just completed the great undertaking which I began 3 ½ years ago, and in which I have paid out $3,000 every month for the next year. I have brought that ship into port after that tedious and costly voyage, and am prodigiously glad I undertook the trip; but you see I don’t need any other investment [MTP].
A.F. Kelly for Beech Creek Cannel Coal wrote to Sam, enclosing a draft for $3,000 to invest in the Paige typesetter, as requested by Charles J. Langdon [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: 12th Oct. Mrs. Susan Crane, five [Paige royalties sent] [3: 569].
An unidentified person from Elmira sent Sam a story clipped from the Oct. 12, 1889 N.Y. Evening Post, “Dr. Gabriel’s Experiment.” Sam wrote on the clipping,”Is it fact or fiction? Do not answer. Just say yes or no to [illegible word/name — leau? Dean?]; For she intends to tell me about the dogs.” On the envelope he wrote “story” [MTP].
October 13 Sunday – The New York World announced a “contest of ideas” with a first prize of $1,000. The winners of the best ideas presented were to be announced on Christmas morning. Sam’s notebook carries this entry, which he wrote he proposed, though no record of any response has been found:
Oct. 13, ’89. Proposed my idea (of buying the remains of Columbus & bringing them over to the Fair of ’92,) to the N.Y. World “Committee on Ideas” — but shan’t name the idea till I hear from them [MTNJ 3: 523n134].
October 14 Monday – In Hartford, on or just after A.F. Kelly’s letter of Oct. 12 with check arrived, Sam forwarded them to Franklin G. Whitmore and asked him to acknowledge receipt [MTP]. Note: allowing for mailing time between Elmira and Hartford, this would be the soonest Sam might have forwarded the letter and check to Whitmore.
The New York Times ran a short paragraph on p.8 of Sam’s invitation to a benefit:
THE HORACE GREELEY STATUE.
The Horace Greeley Statue Committee met yesterday at 222 East Twentieth-street, and J.T. McKechnie reported that Bill Nye and J. Whitcomb Riley had promised to participate at the entertainment to be given for the benefit of the statue fund at Palmer’s Theatre on Jan. 9. Amos Cummings will also give some of the reminiscences. Mark Twain had been invited to preside at the entertainment, but he sent $20 with a letter stating he had sworn off from lecturing. The statue fund now amounts to $10,192.10.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that they’d “already sent out some four hundred prospectuses of your book [CY] and a great many thousand circulars,” neither of which “begin to do justice to the pictures.” He also noted they’d lost Chauncey M. Depew’s book to Cassell publishers [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote that he’d shipped a bag of hickory nuts to Sam the day before; he wrote more on the legal ramifications with Paige. Orion saw the error in “departing from prescribed legal forms” and wrote several pages on what-if’s with legal “advice” [MTP].
October 15 Tuesday – The New York World ran a piece about the Earl of Galloway rape case in England, in which the earl was acquitted on Oct. 14. Sam made an entry about it in his notebook. The article implied that the earl was found not guilty because of his power and wealth [MTNJ 3: 523n135].
Joseph T. Goodman wrote from Fresno:
Dear Mark — your favor was received yesterday. I congratulate you upon the success of your invention….I shall start East within a week, not that I have much confidence I can accomplish the ends you propose; but I desire to see you all again, and the doctors have been telling me for a year that I better get away from the ranch a while. [Goodman noted his wife was in Paris] [MTP].
October 16 Wednesday –Hartford. Sam, laid up in bed, wrote again to Frank Fuller. After a paragraph about his old tendency to speculate and his eventual lack of interest in it, Sam talked about his health.
If you are talking about colds in the head, it is not with them that I have trouble — I banish them easily & swiftly; but it’s the aftermath that beats me — the trouble in the chest that is heir & successor to the exiled headcold. That is the fellow that stays by me a week, & is not cast out save by prayer. … / Between you & me, Franklin, it’s dull here in bed, there’s no question about it [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Karl Gerhardt, answering his Oct. 7 offer to buy royalties on the Paige typesetter. Things were looking up, Sam wrote, and thanked Gerhardt for his offer.
Yesterday, our first apprentice, after less than 5 working weeks apprenticeship doubled the machine’s original price by setting (during 20 minutes) at the rate of 8,550 ems an hour.
A month ago I couldn’t have raised a dollar on the machine. But now a single individual in New York wants to put up the several millions of capital required.
Those are two of the month’s developments, & they say, “Go slow — you don’t know anything about this machine yet — it is too early to enter upon permanent plans.”
Another development — of yesterday. The N.Y. Herald writes to claim first place in the list of orders for machines.
You can buy those royalties on the terms I offered you whenever it is convenient between this & January. / I was very busy; & now am sick abed, or I would have answered sooner [MTP].
Sam also sent a letter and invitation to Charles H. Taylor for Boston Globe, letter not extant but referred to in Taylor’s Oct. 17 response. The invitation was extended also to Oliver Wendell Holmes [MTP].
L.J. Drake wrote from Brighton N.Y. pointing to page 536 in the October Drake’s Magazine about an article for a “perpetual calendar.” Sam wrote on the envelope,
Brer W. say “I remember it now, but had long ago forgotten it. I never manufactured it because matters of greater moment intruded and obliterated my interest in it; in fact, swept it wholly out of my memory” SLC [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
Your favor received. Since you approve of it, we will take sixteen of Beard’s best pictures and make a solid signature of pictures; under each one, in fine type, putting a short description of whatever the picture is intended to represent, as this will be a help to agents in selling the book. In selecting these pictures we have left out anything that would apply directly to the church or that is strongly political, and the idea of a government by an aristocratic class, we have put in, as that will suit the American public well.
Hall had learned through Hamilton W. Maybee that James R. Osgood had gone to Hartford to inspect the typesetter; Hall presumed Osgood would be the man who Harper’s would work through in England to “get hold of Stanley’s book.” He proposed a book by Dr. Thomas De Witt Talmage that he thought would sell. Daniel Carter Beard had just stopped in [MTP]. For Talmage references, see Gribben 685.
October 17 Thursday – In Cambridge, Mass., William Dean Howells wrote reporting on the proofs of CY, and telling Sam what he probably already knew:
This last batch, about the King’s and the Boss’s adventures, is all good; and it’s every kind of a delightful book. Passages in it do my whole soul good. — I suppose the Church will get after you; and I think it’s a pity that you don’t let us see how whenever Christ himself could get a chance, all possible good was done [MTHL 2: 614].
Howells also wanted to know when he’d see the whole book as he had to begin his Harper’s column by Oct. 25.
Sam also wrote to his sister-in-law, the recently widowed Susan L. Crane. He enclosed five royalties on the Paige typesetter and told her to put them in a safe place. “Without any question at all they will be salable at $50,000 within four years” [MTP]. Note: Royalties were payments to be made upon each machine’s sale, and therefore were in a superior position to stock.
Also on or after this day Sam answered L.J. Drake’s follow up inquiry. Whitmore had jogged Sam’s memory on the portable perpetual calendar:
I remember it now, but had long ago forgotten it. I never manufactured it because matters of greater moment intruded and obliterated my interest in it; in fact, swept it wholly out of my memory [MTNJ 3: 522n131]. Note: Soon after, Sam wrote in his notebook “Paige, make me a perpetual calendar” [3:522].
Sam’s notebook noted three Paige royalties sent this day to Charles J. Langdon [3: 569].
Charles H. Taylor for Boston Globe wrote to Sam: “I have your polite letter of the 16th [not extant] and have sent word to Mr. Holmes. We will try to come, I think, if it is agreeable to him about next week Wednesday or Thursday, but I will give you due notice” [MTP].
October 18 Friday – Susan L. Crane wrote to Sam, having received this evening five royalties on the Paige typesetter; it seemed “very tame” for her to simply say “thank you.” She continued to say it for six pages [MTP].
October 19 Saturday – Karl Gerhardt wrote from Hartford to Sam:
Of course you shall have all the time you require in regard to the offer I made on OCTOBER 4th 1889; As a matter of form I will place the time at JUNE 1st 1889…I called on Saturday to see you but you were in N.Y…. [MTP]. Note: Gerhardt wanted Sam to influence the building of a factory for the manufacture of Paige typesetters on Gerhardt’s land. See Oct. 7 entry.
October 20 Sunday
October 21 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Susan L. Crane, assuring her that financial security was hers, with her securities and the royalties from the Paige machine. Sam was full of optimism. He even referred to her late husband:
I hope Theodore hovers about us & is still interested in our efforts & victories; in which case it has pleased him to hear the emissary of the greatest of newspapers order 33 machines & forget to ask what we are going to charge him for them [MTP].
Sam also responded to William Dean Howells’ Oct. 17 request for the rest of the proofs of CY, as he was working under deadline for his Harper’s “Editor’s Study” column.
I’m afraid we have been too slow, & must lose the Study-notice, for the book will contain about 500 pages, & I observe by the paging that the end is not yet in sight.
Sam wanted to explain why “that Yankee could not honestly say any pleasant word for the Church,” but wanted to do so when they could talk. Most of all, he wanted Howells to come see the typesetter in action [MTHL 2: 615].
Sam also wrote to Douglas Taylor, influential in the revival and organization of the Typothetae, a New York society of printers and binders. He encouraged Taylor to come to Hartford, see the Paige typesetter and let Sam convince him that the society had nothing to fear from the passage of the Chase bill [MTP]. Note: the Chase-Breckinridge Copyright legislation would pass in 1891 and would protect copyright from countries who protected American copyrights.
Mary E. Cheesewright wrote from St. John’s Wood near London to ask if a biography of Sam had been published, as she needed one for a paper she was writing; Chatto had given her Sam’s address [MTP].
October 22 Tuesday – William Dean Howells received Sam’s Oct. 21 and sent an answer that Elinor Howells was not well and not likely to be all winter. The two men shared the curse of puny spouses. However, Howells hoped to come alone.
I may go to you for Sunday next, and it will be a great joy for me. I’m getting good out of your book, the whole way along, and I guess I can fetch it for the Jan’y (the next) Study. It’s a mighty great book, and it makes my heart burn and melt. It seems that God didn’t forget to put a soul into you; he shabs most literary men off with a brain merely.
— We are both so sorry for dear Mrs. Clemens’s suffering.
In Hartford, Karl Gerhardt sent his Equitable Life insurance policy, signing over the $1,000 net value after premiums paid to Sam, for investment in Paige typesetter royalties.
On or after this date Sam forwarded Gerhardt’s policy to Franklin G. Whitmore asking him to “Please attend to it, Brer W.” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook carries an entry with this date that he offered his friend Edward “Ned” Bunce royalties on the Paige typesetter at the same price he’d given Clara Spaulding Stanchfield [3: 524]. Note: Bunce was cashier of the Phoenix National Bank in Hartford.
Charles H. Taylor for Boston Globe wrote to Sam: “I received your second letter and am in communication with Mr. Holmes, and will give you due notice of our coming.” Taylor also announced the annual dinner of the Boston Press Club on Tuesday, Nov. 12 and urged Sam to attend [MTP].
October 23 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam wrote a scolding apology to Henry Loomis Nelson (1846-1908) who had called on the Clemens home and been mistaken for a peddler. Loomis had been secretary of the American Copyright League and would later become editor of Harper’s Weekly. He was also an author and educator.
Great Scott, what a thoughtless man you are! Why the mischief didn’t you write on your card in the first place? …
I was “very busy” playing billiards; I hadn’t my glasses & couldn’t read the card [sent up by George]; my adversary read it & said to the colored man, “Yes, I know — tell him to name an hour & I’ll call at his office.” But George said: “This isn’t our neighbor, this gentleman is a stranger.” Now I beg a thousand pardons, but I jumped straight way to the conclusion that you had come for a contribution to a Western College — damn it, man, they all do [MTP].
October 24 Thursday – Treasurer for the National Park Bank of N.Y. wrote to Sam, acknowledging his check # 4432 for $20 for the Horace Greeley Statue Fund [MTP].
Douglas Taylor, General Mercantile Printer, N.Y. wrote to Sam: “Your welcome note-letter 21st p’m’k 23 just rec’d. / I’d be delighted to run up a day or two to Hartford.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Interesting letter from Douglas Taylor, Inc. Typesetter & Co. / Oct 1889” [MTP].
October 25 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Charles H. Taylor of the Boston Globe who had invited him to speak before the Boston Press Club in early November. Sam thanked him but wrote,
I shall without doubt be compelled to spend the first ten days of November in Washington [MTP].
Karl Gerhardt wrote a short note to Sam: “Enclosed please find quarterly receipts on policy no-333154-Equitable Life $5000-to date” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “Your favor, regarding Mr. Howells, is received, and he is probably, by this time, in receipt of a letter such as you suggested. / Mr. Beard is keeping right up to time and we do not anticipate any delay.” References were now being checked for all applications by book agents [MTP].
October 26 Saturday – Sam’s notebook carries an entry with this date that he offered his friend Henry C. Robinson royalties on the Paige typesetter at the same price he’d given Clara Spaulding Stanchfield [3: 524]. Note: Robinson, an attorney, was a Friday night billiards regular.
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam :
We are organizing Authors’ Readings for Copyright at Chicago (for the third or fourth week in November, most probably) the idea being to charter a car and take the Eastern readers out and back without personal expense. May we count on you? [MTNJ 3: 525n139].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing reports (not extant) for the past two weeks [MTP].
October 27 Sunday – William Dean Howells wrote again, unable to come for the visit he’d planned.
I am awfully sorry to put myself off; but we are blistering under the curse of house-hunting, and till something is decided, we are mere shrieks of agony. May I ask myself on a little later?
The book is glorious — simply noble. What masses of virgin truth never touched in print before!
Would the book make it out by Dec. 20? He didn’t want to “make a fool of the Study” [MTHL 2: 617].
In Hartford, Sam wrote in response to Daniel Frohman, theatre manager and impresario, that it was unlikely in “the guest season…in full bloom, now, for the winter,” that they would get to New York before the end of the year. Frohman had given dates he wished the Clemenses to attend his productions. Sam would let him know if things changed [MTP].
Sam also responded to Robert Underwood Johnson’s proposal for him to come to Chicago for Authors’ Readings in the copyright cause. His note is not extant but here is the condition Sam put in his notebook that he wrote to Johnson on this day, one which was taken as a refusal:
Condition: I am not to go to Chicago to read unless the Authors secure Bellamy, Kennan, Roosevelt, Warner, Riley, Nye, Stockton / Wrote this to Johnson Oct. 27 [MTNJ 3: 525&n139].
October 28 Monday – In Hartford Sam responded to Howells’ letter of the day before:
Don’t be afraid. As I have given my word to the canvassers that my book will be out & in their hands Dec. 10, nothing can stop it from coming out on that date. It is true I have a passion for lying to rich people, but I do not lie to men who get their bread by thankless hard work [MTHL 2: 617].
Dean Sage wrote from Albany to Sam that he should expect him and his wife, and possibly Parsons, Thursday night, Oct. 31; they would inspect the typesetter and return home on Saturday, Nov.2 [MTP].
October 29 Tuesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote, “The Yankee is all in type.” Complete sheets were printed by Nov. 15; Last week’s report enclosed (not extant); “As you will seeby these reports, we have been taking in considerable money, and of course, our expenses now are heavy, as we are manufacturing both the Conkling book and your book [CY], putting most of our energies on your book. As yet the money returns from these works are not very heavy” [MTLTP 258n2; MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam: “Your riddle of the 27th is duly received. / I do not quite see the point, but I read with the eye of faith. I didn’t know that Bowker had asked you to read in Brooklyn. Sorry he did if that bars you out for us.” On the envelope Sam wrote, “Can’t read this year” [MTP]. Johnson was hopeful Sam could read for benefit of the copyright movement.
October 30 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Bruce Weston Munro, who as a 21-year-old hopeful writer in 1881, contacted Sam for advice and occasionally sent him writing to review. He evidently did so again because Sam responded:
I’m going to read the preface sure — & you have the word of an honest man for it [MTP].
Note: Sam never offered much to Munro in the way of advice, which may say something about his opinion of Munro’s writing. See also Mar. 17, 1887.
October 31 Thursday – William Dean Howells penciled a postcard to Sam: “I expect to start for Hartford at four o’clock Saturday afternoon. Stop me if you can’t bear it. W.D. Howells” (not in MTHL) [MTP].
November – Sam and Charles Webster wrote to New York Governor David Hill) urging that Frank M. Scott, former bookkeeper at Webster & Co., serving a six-year sentence for embezzling, be pardoned [MTNJ 3: 497n49]. Up until this time Sam was adamant and hostile for punishment of Scott, so the turnaround suggests someone else’s influence, say Livy’s?
Selections from Connecticut Yankee appeared in the Century magazine as agreed the prior May.
In this month or the next, Sam wrote “All right. / SLC” on Chatto’s Preface to CY [MTP]. Note: since release date in England was Dec. 6, it’s likely Sam approved this sometime during November.
November or December – Charles Heber Clark, who wrote under the pseudonym “Max Adeler” telegraphed Sam sometime “not long before the ‘Yankee’ was published,” openly accusing Sam of plagiarism. The telegram has not been found though Sam’s referred to it in a New York World article of Jan. 12, 1890, “Mark Twain at Home” [Ketterer, MTJ: 24:1 (1986), 24]. Note: This Clark is not to be confused with Charles Hopkins Clark of the Hartford Courant.
November 1 Friday – Colonel John M. Wilson, Superintendent at West Point wrote to Sam:
Since I had the pleasure of meeting you in Washington, I have been assigned to the command of this post, and I am anxious to do something this winter for the entertainment of the Cadets.
The only time that can be devoted to amusement is on Saturday evening between seven and nine P.M. and I write to ask whether your engagements will admit your devoting one Saturday evening during the winter to the entertainment of the Cadets [Leon 237]. Note: Wilson knew Sam from his several appearances before Congress on copyright law.
Sam’s notebook carries an entry, “Proposition to Jo Goodman, Nov. 1/89” (Sam often spelled Joe without the “e”) which is essentially what he put to Joe Goodman in his Nov. 16 letter.
G.W. Lynch telegraphed from N.Y. to Sam: “Frohman has fixed everything all right for Elsie has engaged her for two years will write” [MTP].
Charles L. Thomas wrote from Crawfordsville, Ind. to ask Sam for a sketch of his life; Thomas was to read his paper before their Literary Club on Dec. 27 [MTP].
November 2 Saturday – William Dean Howells wrote his father, “I am going down to spend Sunday with Mark Twain…” [MTHL 2: 618 n1].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he was “stirring up our general agents…Yesterday, November 1st — which was by the way my twenty-ninth birthday — we sent out 500 volumes Sheridan; 680 volumes Literature [LAL]; secured an order from Watson Gill for 2500 more Grant…” Monthly report enclosed but not extant [MTP].
November 3 Sunday – William Dean Howells spent the day as Sam’s guest. He likely read the first part of his short experimental novel soon to be published in Harper’s, The Shadow of a Dream (Mar.-May 1890) [MTHL 2: 618n1].
Howard P. Taylor wrote to Sam that he’d called several times at Webster & Co. but failed to catch him in.
Would like to have a good old sage-brush talk with you sometime. When will you be in N.Y, and where can I see you when you are here? I see you are still tackling “platitudes”. Remember those you used to grind out for the Enterprise? How that name takes me back to the ‘good old times’, when we used to drum on two consumptive guitars, after the paper was out, in the editorial room. Remember? [MTP].
November 4 Monday – Dean Sage wrote to Sam that Parsons promised to join him the next day on his trip to Hartford to see the typesetter; Parsons would stay at the Allyn House [MTP]. Note: this implies that Sage and wife would stay at the Clemens home.
Clara Spaulding Stanchfield wrote to Sam [MTP]. A card in the MTP file says this letter “missing as of 1-87”
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam of postponement of a meeting with Daniel Frohman [MTP].
Virginia S. Mosby wrote from Warrenton, Va. to ask Sam for “a few lines” for a series of papers she was writing [MTP].
November 5 Tuesday – Sam went to New York with William Dean Howells. “Personal Intelligence” column in the New York Times, Nov. 5, p.5:
Samuel L. Clemens of Hartford is at the Victoria Hotel. [Note: Sam’s usual hotel during this period was the Murray Hill, which did not disclose Sam’s presence there for the newspapers to print. The Victoria may have been Howells’ preference].
Notes: MTNJ 3: 526n142 gives this date with the pair returning the next day. Also, Sam’s notebook entry does give the 5th as the date on the train he began Bellamy’s book (see below). Newspaper accounts were generally one day behind the fact; this article seems to be the exception. It’s probable someone alerted the press that Sam would be in town.
In his Oct. 25 to Taylor, Sam wrote he would be “compelled to spend the first ten days of November in Washington, D.C. Sam’s plans often changed. On Nov. 10, Howells referred to “getting you down to N.Y. on a holiday.” [MTHL 2: 620n7 refers to the hotel as the “Victorian”].
Began “Looking Backward” Nov. 5, 1889, on the train. A fascinating book [MTNJ 3: 526].
Note: This book by Edward Bellamy was much admired by Sam, who would meet Bellamy at his home on Jan. 3, 1890, accompanied by Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald [Gribben 58].
Joseph T. Goodman wrote from New York to Sam: “I hung around the ‘Victoria’ for half an hour before noon, but could gather no intelligence from the obliging clerk as to whether you had left the hotel or not. My attempt to get information was so discouraging that I had no heart to try the 3 o’clock racket.” Joe had no luck sending his card to Mr. Sharin at the Fifth Ave. Hotel. “We start at 6:00 to-night. I will let you know the result of my San Francisco guest immediately after my return home” [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam thanking for the monthly check of $200, He wrote more about Paige’s contract and the machine; he noted sister Pamela would be in Denver by now; talk and clippings enclosed about a Keokuk sewer ordinance and Orion’s three papers on the subject presented to the editor of the Keokuk Gate City [MTP].
Edith A. Hawley wrote from Washington to thank Sam for a cold cure; she recommended a trip to “this southern portion of the country,” and wrote “My sister joins with me in sending kindest regards” [MTP]. Note: this is probably Edith Anne Hawley (Horner).
November 6 Wednesday – Sam returned to Hartford [MTNJ 3: 526n142].
Richard W. Gilder for Century Magazine wrote to Sam that Nov. 15 was the date of the Fellowcraft Club dinner. Sam would go and schemed a surprise with James B. Pond (see Nov. 15).
Frederick J. Hall wrote sorry he’d missed Sam the day before; had he known Sam wanted to see him he would have made it a point to be in the city; after phoning to the Murray Hill and the Victoria Hotels, he’d discovered Sam had checked out of the latter. He enclosed a letter from the N.Y. Sun (not extant) [MTP]. See Nov. 7 from Hall.
November 6 Wednesday ca. – About this day Dean Sage came to Hartford from Albany to examine the Paige typesetter (see Nov. 19, Sage to Sam) [MTNJ 3: 527n144].
November 7 Thursday – Marvin Safe Co., N.Y. wrote to Sam: “We beg to acknowledge your favor stating that you will guarantee payment of safe for Mr. J.W. Paige” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “I referred you a letter from Mr. Blakely Hall of the ‘N.Y. Sun’, together with Mr. Hazeltine — who does a great deal of reviewing for the ‘Sun’ — was in to-day to see us about the book.” Hall thought, knowing Sam’s “quite close relations with the ‘Sun’,” to refer the matter to him. [MTP].
November 8 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Mr. (James?) Goodwin.
My Dear Mr. Goodwin:
If I had written this letter as many times as I have intended to do it, I should have had to sell one of the children to pay the postage; but I didn’t, & the family are all here yet [MTP]. Note: The James Goodwin mansion was one of four Sam cited in a request to compare taxes — see Aug. 19, 1889 entry.
Sam also wrote a two-liner to John J. McCook suggesting he “look in” to see the Paige typesetter set type at Pratt & Whitney’s [MTP]. Note: McCook was rector of St. John’s Church in E. Hartford and also professor of Latin at Trinity College. In 1885 McCook was included on a list that Sam wanted to purchase stock in the Paige typesetter (see July 15, 1888).
Sam also wrote to Col. John M. Wilson of West Point, agreeing to speak to the cadets on Saturday, Dec. 7 [Leon 238, referred to in Wilson to Sam Nov. 11; not extant].
Sam also wrote to Orion, letter not extant but mentioned in Orion’s Nov. 15 [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a Special Delivery letter to Sam: “Your favor is received. I will answer the parties as suggested and will hereafter bother you as little as possible with reference to applications for publication of a book.” Hall explained he’d referred the Sun matter to Sam knowing of his close ties with that newspaper, but he would write Blakely Hall a polite refusal to use parts of CY. The enclosed promissory note wasn’t a new note but a renewal; Sam needed to sign at once and return [MTP].
Dean Sage wrote to Sam: “Parsons returned form Hartford quite as much charmed with your machine as I was. But the same objection to going in occurred to him that did to me though I had not mentioned this to him.” Sage pointed out the tremendous capital investment needed before any profits; the price of $12,000 per machine he thought prohibitive and would limit sales; “the necessity of having any one man in absolute control of such large interests may prove disastrous — I allude of course to Mr. Paige” [MTP].
November 9 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote for Livy to his mother-in-law, Olivia Lewis Langdon.
…we have been having good times ourselves — a perfectly delightful visit from David Robinson & Miss Nelly; a visit with only one defect — it was too short. They are restful people, & a comfort in all their ways.
Livy & the children have spent the most of this evening up stairs rehearsing a variegated program of Susie’s devising for Thanksgiving. Jean plays a part in it. As I was not inserted, I suppose I shall have to get up a shindy of my own & invent it for myself.
Livy has been grieving because the chops were burned & the Robinson’s breakfast spoiled thereby; but I told her it would make them the better satisfied with their own home. Such things are providential; they are sent for a good & wise purpose [MTP].
Sam’s notebook notes a letter and contents sent to Dean Sage, now an Albany businessman:
Nov. 9 ’89. Offered to D.S. by letter, to sell him a 1-45th of my future stock at $25,000, & put up 50 royalties as security; or two 1-45ths for $50,000, & put up 100 royalties as security. / Will offer at double these figures hereafter [3: 527&n144].
The Haberdasher, Jos. W. Gibson, Publisher sent Sam a clipping that appeared in “the current number” of the magazine. The clipping related Sam’s “inventive genius” in a shirt requiring “neither buttons, studs, nor button-holes” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that the Mt. Morris Bank was complaining that Webster & Co. did not keep large balances there; Hall felt the bank was safe and the best one to keep deposits in [MTP].
Rev. John J. McCook (listed as professor at Trinity College in the 1886 Geer’s) wrote from Hartford to Sam: “Greatly obliged for the reminder. I shall surely go. My eldest son, who has fallen heir to a few shares was there a few weeks ago and I seriously think the sight of that machine has done more than the Books on Evidence to make it easy for him to believe in a Creator.” McCook also congratulated Sam on CY. The envelope was addressed to J.W. Paige [MTP].
November 10 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to his niece, eighteen-year-old Julia Langdon (daughter of Charles J. Langdon) now in Geneva, Switzerland with her family.
Thank you ever so much for your stirring letter from Paris, & the vivid glimpse you gave us of our mightily — prized & gratefully remembered guide, Joseph Very….
Julie, it distresses me to know the family have settled in Geneva — but only on your father’s account. It will take years of endeavor to persuade him to leave there. You must try to keep him away from some of the sights there — some of the most exciting & intoxicating ones, I mean.
Sam recommended Julie “rush him out of there — quick!” or he’d never leave [MTP]. Note: Joseph Verey was the Clemens family guide during their 1878-9 European trip. Katy Leary, in her memoirs, A Lifetime with Mark Twain (1925) writes,
“They called him Joseph Very. But that really wasn’t his own name. It was some awful Russian name — nobody could pronounce it, but he named himself ‘Very,’ because he said all the Americans were always saying ‘very’ to everything — it was ‘very nice, very good, very beautiful, very big,’ so he thought as long as that was a word they all liked so much, he’d just take it himself for his own name, and he did — called himself Joseph Very — which was kind of sensible to him, I think” [Lawton 122-3].
In Cambridge, Mass., William Dean Howells wrote about seeing a play of his novel, A Foregone Conclusion. (See MTHL 2: 619n1 about this play.)
They give it this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights; and we shall be glad if you can come for the whole week, or any part of it. Just telegraph me at Belmont, Mass., what day to expect you. / Last night, I read your last chapter [CY]. As Stedman says of the whole book, it’s Titanic [2:618-19].
Howells also wrote a postcard, which was not mailed until Thursday, Nov. 14:
I expect to start for Hartford at four o’clock Saturday afternoon. Stop me if you can’t bear it [MTHL 2: 618]. Note: This may be misdated and related to W.D.H.’s Nov. 2-3 visit, since the Clemenses were in N.Y. later in the week, returning home on Saturday.
Thomas Getufaugit wrote on M.S. Gibson Co., Portland, Maine letterhead to Sam, though he signed off as from “Temple Court, N.Y.” Thomas was soliciting a “first class line of ‘A-one’ affidavits,” for what purpose isn’t entirely clear [MTP].
November 11 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Dan Beard, thrilled about the illustrations for CY.
Hold me under permanent obligations. What luck it was to find you!…it was a fortunate hour that I went netting for lightning-bugs & caught a meteor [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote that completed sheets of CY would be done by Friday, Nov. 15 [MTLTP 258n2].
John M. Wilson for West Point again wrote to Sam, who had accepted Wilson’s Nov. 1 invitation to visit (letter not extant) on Nov. 8. Wilson again offered his residence for Sam’s lodging and requested that Sam telegraph his arrival time, originally planned for Dec. 7 [Leon 76].
Howard P. Taylor wrote from N.Y. to Sam:
Your two favors duly received — yes, I remember the old song of ‘Villikens,’ but I can only recall the first verse:…I will search the music stores today, and if I can secure a copy will forward. Will be at your ‘shop’ on 14th St. at 4 P.M. on Thursday next, as per your appointment. / I will also see Mr. Sanger today, and if you desire it, will get him to reserve you seats for Thursday Evening….No, I’m not a member of the Fellowcraft Club, but will be happy to join you in the devour. Will it be a dress affair? You know my tendencies are rather plebian, and my swallow-tail is still at the cleaner’s.
Weather here rather amalgamated, which doesn’t do my old Washoe head-trouble any good — I suppose you remember the remedy you once suggested for this, when I told you, “if somebody would only scoop out my brains and fill my skull with mud, I know I would feel better,” you unfeelingly remarked, “if somebody would scoop out the mud and fill it with brains, it might have a still better effect!” I have never forgotten it, for it was real tough….[After signature:] Enclosed is from yesterday’s World. If you have not already seen it, thought you might like to know something of your disgraceful juvenility [MTP]. Note: Article not in MTP file; the Fellowcraft dinner and speech was Nov. 15.
November 12 Tuesday – Sam went to Boston and gave a dinner speech at the Press Club [Fatout, MT Speaking 659].
William and Elinor Howells took Sam to see A Foregone Conclusion [Nov. 14 to Elinor Howells]. Since the play was to be performed only Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and since Sam was back in Hartford on Thursday, it leaves only this day. His dinner speech probably followed the performance. Alexander Salvini played the part of the priest, Don Ippolito; it haunted Sam, who thought him “embodied music.” The Howellses were temporarily living in Mount Auburn, Mass.
According to Ketterer, Sam “presumably” stayed at the Parker House. Since Sam’s letter of Nov. 14 about the visit does not thank the Howells for their hospitality, usually the case had he stayed with them, this may be correct. Ketterer also points out that the Parker House was “a short stroll” from Lee & Shepherd’s bookstore at 10 Milk St., Boston, where he recalled buying a copy of one of Charles Heber Clark’s (Max Adeler’s) books, probably The Fortunate Island and Other Stories [Ketterer, 24-5].
Daniel Carter Beard wrote to Sam. The two men saw alike in championing the struggle of the common man against elites and aristocracies, which undoubtedly contributed to the unity of the book.
Unless the signs mislead me, the time is ripe for Hank the “Boss” to make himself felt both here and with our cousins across the water. I would like to see a copy of your book in every palace house and hut in the United States, not because I had the honor of illustrating it but because I consider the story a great missionary work to bring Americans back to the safe honest and manly position, intended for them to occupy, by their ancestors when they signed the declaration of independence [MTHL 2: 611-12n3].
November 13 Wednesday – Sam was in Mount Auburn, Mass. part of the day, completing his visit with the Howells family. He returned either this evening or early the next morning.
Sylvester Baxter for Boston Herald wrote to ask Sam for advance sheets of CY so he might “give a good story about it in the Herald; Howells had given Baxter “an enthusiastic account” of the book [MTP].
Sam G. Boyle for Kentucky Stock Farm (“Devoted to the interest of the trotting horse”) wrote to Sam soliciting a submission for their Christmas issue — what would it cost? [MTP].
Edward H. Mott wrote from Hammondsport, N.Y. to Sam, sending his new book, The Old Settler, recently published [MTP]. Note: See Gribben 489.
November 14 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam responded to Sylvester Baxter’s Nov. 13 letter.
I was Howell’s guest in Boston yesterday when you were writing your letter, & at his suggestion I set your name down for the book — you will receive it about 30 days from now. No — I’ll send you a full set of the sheets now within a week, & you can publish what you write about the same day that what Howells has written appears in the “Study.” That will be about Dec. 20 — Harper is to issue a day or so later than usual. The book itself will issue 8 days earlier (Dec. 12) but there will be no reviews of it in the month of December…for no copies will be sent to the press until the book has been out a few weeks & its canvass completed [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Elinor M. Howells and William Dean Howells, thanking them for a “most refreshing visit” and angling for a return visit from them. Sam reported that Edmund C. Stedman agreed with him about revising a particular sentence in CY and wrote out the change. Sam also PS’d how successful the part of the priest (Don Ippolito) was in William’s play, A Foregone Conclusion [MTHL 2: 620-1].
Edward H. McClure for American Printers’ Exchange, Buffalo, N.Y. wrote to Sam soliciting a specimen of his writing for their “Franklin Souvenir” [MTP].
Howard P. Taylor was to meet Sam at 4 p.m., and also to join him the next evening for the Fellowcraft dinner. See Nov. 11 Taylor to Sam.
November 15 Friday – Sam and Livy made a trip to New York, where Sam was to speak [MTHL 2: 621n3]. This is the day Fred Hall reported on Nov. 11 that complete sheets would have been printed for CY, so it’s likely Sam stopped by Webster & Co.
In the evening Sam gave a dinner speech at the Fellowcraft Club, New York City. Fatout prefaces a copy of the speech in Mark Twain Speaking, p.247-50:
“In a dictation of August 28, 1906, MTP, Mark Twain says that at a dinner of the Fellowcraft Club, an organization of magazine writers and illustrators, he induced Major Pond to ask the chairman, Gilder, to recognize an unscheduled speaker who had a foolproof scheme for teaching novices how to make speeches without preparation. Gilder reluctantly consented, and the interloper was announced as Mr. Samuel Langhorne, the audience shouting its disapproval of this gross violation of banqueting etiquette. When Mark Twain arose, he was immediately recognized and cheered, everybody relieved because they thought he was to speak in place of the unknown Langhorne.”
Livy lost a diamond on this trip according to Sam’s Nov. 22 to Susan Crane.
Frederick J. Hall wrote Sam of needing $3,000 for “a short time,” to meet printing and composition costs for CY and the Conkling book and Vol. X of LAL and of having $7,408.65 due from agents within the next 90 days [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam that a “postal from Pamela…announced her arrival at Oakland.” “Ma is well but full of hallucinations And, “I was glad to learn from your favor of the 8th that you feel satisfied.” Sam rarely annotated Orion’s letters, but on the envelope wrote, “Orion’s dream about the baby — Valuable / Nov. 1889” [MTP].
November 16 Saturday – Sam and Livy returned to Hartford. In Hartford, Sam telegraphed Joe Goodman in care of Samuel Moffett (not having Joe’s address), saying “Close no bargain if you have not already done so. Wait for my letter.” Then Sam wrote the letter, leading with his description of the telegram and outlining his “new project”, and marking it “Private”:
I want you to get from Jones & two or three others the capital which we shall require. This money to not pass through our hands at all, but through the Chemical Bank if Drexel Morgan & Co. (who must assume the trust & be responsible); they to pay it out only on vouchers for plant & manufacture; the trust to also deliver the machines & collect the money. Jones et al to receive all the profits until they have got back all the money they put in [and] $500,000 besides. After that, they to receive one-third of the profits thenceforth, permanently. You yourself to receive $500,000 out of the profits before we get anything ourselves [MTP] Note: California Senator John P. Jones was a longtime target of Sam’s for investment, but only reluctantly and eventually threw in $5,000. Goodman was working at growing grapes in Fresno with money put up by John Mackay, silver baron of the Comstock Lode.
Sam planned to move the machine to New York the middle of January and that 600 sales would pay all of the above owing and leave two million dollars in the kitty. Sam gave more big numbers following these. He figured the machines would cost $2,000 to manufacture and sell for $10,000. Sam wanted Goodman to keep all of this to himself, and not to give things away to Jones. Sam had misgivings about interrupting any sales of royalties Joe was in the middle of securing, but to go ahead, it would not interfere with the project he’d outlined. Royalties were payments to be made upon each machine’s sale, and therefore were in a superior position to stock. Could Joe come east and have a talk about the end of January?
Sam enclosed the letter to Goodman in a note to his nephew, Samuel Moffett, asking him to find out where Goodman was and to get his letter to him [MTP]. Note: Goodman was grape-growing in Fresno.
Henry K. Dillard wrote from Phila to Sam, “much interested in an article” about Sam “written by Mr. C.H. Clark which appeared in the ‘Critic’”. [MTP].
November 17 Sunday
November 18 Monday
November 19 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, thanking him for the “lovely book” and promising in December to send him “one that hasn’t much poetry in it, but pictures enough to make up” [MTP]. Gribben labels this as “an advance copy” of Wyndam Towers, since “Aldrich published no other volumes during this period” .
Sam also wrote again to Joe Goodman, apologizing if his telegram had caused embarrassment to any negotiations, but hoped it reached him before he’d offered Senator Jones royalty shares. This shouldn’t be done to millionaires, but other folks like Alexander Badlam (see Feb. 9, 1889 on Badlam). The rest of the longish letter was all dollar signs, and calculations of the number of machines they’d sell in New York City alone. Sam was thinking and talking in the millions of dollars, and was already counting orders for a machine that would ultimately let him down [MTP].
Sam also wrote a curious account of problems ordering a carriage for “Miss F.” to bring her to his house, then later to take her to the station. The letter is labeled to Unidentified by MTP. Sam ended the “memorandum” with the directive “Please bring suit for your bill. (This memorandum was written down at 10.25 p.m., Nov. 19/89” [MTP]. Who was Miss F? Since 1876 Woolley’s Livery Stable was Sam’s usual Hartford supplier of hacks and carriages, so this letter may have been written for them. To further muddy the waters, Sam’s notebook carries an entry mentioning a Miss Reardon, a Mrs. F.:
An hour later than the order a carriage arrived & Miss Reardon went up — Mrs. F. said she had ordered none. / Nov. 19 ‘/89, 10.25, p.m. To Mr. Lewis: Tele at 6.30 for carriage to [3: 534].
Dean Sage wrote to Sam after having visited Hartford around Nov. 6 to inspect the Paige typesetter. Sage was skeptical, and also prescient — he warned that putting out two million dollars to setup a typesetter factory before any machines were manufactured was too great a risk, and suggested that the first few hundred units be subcontracted out to machine shops.
You have either got a great bonanza or nothing, & until you have a good number of the machines actually turning out successfully the work they are expected to do this is a question…. To tell the truth I feel anxious about you — as I understand it, you are the man who will have to furnish the capital, so large in amount that a failure in the business might sweep away all you have, or seriously embarrass you [MTNJ 3: 527n144].
T.B. Persse wrote from 41 Captil Ave (City not specified) to Sam soliciting sale of “2 Handsome Farms…” Sam wrote on the letter, “Don’t know what it is, Brer W., but don’t want it anyway” [MTP].
November 20 Wednesday – Webster & Co. sent Sam the first copies of Connecticut Yankee, albeit unbound set of stitched sheets [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, Oxford ed. 1996].
Noting the Nov. 15 revolt by Brazilians and their Declaration of Independence and a republic, which coincidentally resembled the dissolution of King Arthur’s monarchy in CY, Sam wrote to Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald who had received early sheets of the book.
This is merely one of those odd coincidences which are always turning up. Come, protect the Yank from the cheapest & easiest of all charges — plagiarism.
Sam exulted in the fall of the Brazil monarchy:
Another throne has gone down, & I swim in oceans of satisfaction. I wish I might live fifty years longer; I believe I should see the thrones of Europe selling at auction for old iron. I believe I should really see the end of what is surely the grotesquest of all the swindles ever invented by man — monarchy [MTP].
Joseph T. Goodman wrote from Fresno to Sam: “I reached here nearly a week ago but have been so tortured by neuralgia ever since that I have not been able to write or do anything else…the pain in my jaws has left me this morning.” Joe related his talks with Senator Jones, and said Sam would have to go over the same ground with him [MTP]. (Letter referred to in Nov. 28 to Moffett.)
November 21 Thursday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
The only thing you have to do on the day of publication is, to cross the Canadian line, at any point, and register in some hotel in Canada and remain there during the hours of publication in England. ….P.S. If there are no hotels at which you can register at Niagara Falls in Canada, if you will post a letter or send a telegram from there that will be sufficient proof [MTP].
E. Lyde (mother of Elsie Leslie Lyde) wrote from The Percival Apartment Hotel, N.Y. to Sam, relating that Mary Mapes Dodge would like Sam’s permission to use the slipper and description of it, and her daughter’s note to Sam for the Christmas issue of the St. Nicholas. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Send Elsie’s letter” [MTP].
November 22 Friday – In Hartford, Sam again wrote Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald, who he wanted to come out with an early review of CY. He wrote he was telegraphing his publisher to verify they’d sent Baxter an unbound copy. He also confided he’d asked Howells to write and tell Baxter he had no objections to a notice coming out before his, in Harper’s. His last revelation is interesting — knowing that aspects of the book might be objectionable, he wrote:
Please don’t let on that there are any slurs at the Church or Protection in the book — I want to catch the reader unwarned, & modify his views if I can [MTP].
With the same joy and concerns he’d expressed to Baxter, Sam wrote to William Dean Howells of his telegram to Webster & Co., and asked if there were any objections to Baxter’s review preceding Howells’ “Study” column on CY. If Howells objected Sam promised to “keep perfectly still,” but if no objections would Howells please write Baxter a note and give him the green light. The news about Brazil excited him; his remarks reflect the political animal Sam Clemens was:
I want to print some extras from the Yankee that have in them this new breath of republics. It is not that I wish to advertise my book but that I want the book to speak now when there’s a listening audience, alert & curious to hear — & try to make that audience hear with profit [MTHL 2: 621].
Sam also telegraphed Webster & Co. to verify two unbound copies of CY had been sent to Baxter [Nov. 22 to Howells].
Sam also telegraphed Henry M. Stanley:
Hope you will give my firm Webster New York chance to publish your book before closing with any other American Firm. Mark Twain [MTP]
Note: In Darkest Africa was published in 1890 in England by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington; and in the U.S. by Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Sam also sent a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore directing him to tell an unidentified man that a favorite of Sam’s “for public use” was “An Encounter with an Interviewer” in Stolen White Elephant [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Susan L. Crane, thanking her for apples, once he learned she’d sent them.
I have been eating them with immense relish, & thoughtlessly thanking God for them all the time, & it makes me feel ashamed of myself. You must forgive me Susie dear, & I won’t do so anymore. … Livy is losing diamonds every day, now — one in New York, another here last night. We are going to be short of diamonds pretty soon…Livy is feeling mighty bad [MTP].
John M. Wilson for West Point wrote again to firm up Sam’s arrival:
Your kind note is fast at hand and it will give us great pleasure to have you with us at the time you indicate and unless something occurs to prevent you from coming, we will look for and welcome you on Dec. 14th [Leon 76 & 239].
Andrew Chatto wrote that he’d received all proofs of CY. He also enclosed a clipping [MTLTP 255n].
Sylvester Baxter wrote to Sam: “I enjoyed your letter immensely and agree with it wholly. I believe that less than 50 years will see the end of the King business and that, indeed, 12 years more will see the whole gang cleaned out of Europe except Russia!” He supposed the advance sheets for CY were on the way — then his PS announced they’d just come. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Cant go the 19th,” though no mention of the date was made in Baxter’s letter [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “We have ‘reported’ sales up to date for 8,072 volumes [CY]. We have not heard from the Pacific Coast, nor from our St. Louis agent….We have about 3,000 subscriptions on the Conkling book reported….The ‘Century’ article is doing an immense amount of good….” And, “P.S. Your telegram received. Mr. Baxter’s sheets went day before yesterday…” [MTP].
November 23 Saturday – Sam once allowed his name to be advertised with the Loisette memory system, but his short note to Franklin G. Whitmore, likely in response to an inquiry, said Sam had “changed his mind long ago” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam confirming that copyright laws required that Clemens “be on Canadian soil the day the book is published in England, viz: December 6th” [MTNJ 3: 535n162]. See Dec. 6.
General John Gibbon wrote on Headquarters Dept. of the Columbia, Vancouver Barracks, W.T. letterhead. Gibbon suggested that a book about Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians would make a good book; he was “one of the most remarkable Indians ever known” –What was the feasibility of Gibbon’s project to write such a biography? (Gibbon to Franklin Nov. 23 encl.)
Daniel A. Rose for Rose Publishing wrote to Webster & Co. that they had instructed Sam correctly about coming to Canada for copyright protection [MTP]. Note: this mis-catalogued to SLC.
November 24 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Sylvester Baxter, having decided it unwise to release excerpts of CY in the US prior to publishing elsewhere:
It is a pity to have to relinquish my scheme, but it would imperil my English & Canadian copyright — & our copyright relations are much more strained now than they have ever been before. It was a mistake to publish portions of several chapters in the Century the other day, but I am discovering that fact late in the day.
Please withhold your article until Dec. 12 or 15; that will make everything safe, I reckon [MTP].
To Baxter’s invitation to come and meet the author Edward Bellamy, Sam put in a PS.
Indeed I would like to be there & meet the man who has made the accepted heaven paltry by inventing a better one on earth, but I am otherwise booked & cannot extricate myself.
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, sending George Standring’s The People’s History of the English Aristocracy (1887), which he wanted to re-release as a cheap paperback simultaneously with CY [Gribben 657; MTLTP 257-8]. Note: Sam may have wished to do this to counter anticipated attacks on his book.
Jesse A. Gregg wrote from St. Paul, Minn. to Sam, relating that her 4-year-old son, after listening to the CY story, became “Hank” afterward. Sam wrote on the env., “A pleasant letter — preserve it” [MTP].
November 25 Monday – Hunting & Howard wrote a short note to Sam:
Your favor received. We have the diamond stud referred to and will keep it in the safe subject to further orders from you. Very Truly Yours / Hunting & Howard [MTP]. Note: In the MTP file, a slip reads: “The ‘Howard’ of Hunting & Howard is Edward Tasker Howard, Clemens’s Sandwich Islands companion. See Roughing It notes by him or ET&S 3 notes by Bucci”
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, clippings enclosed. “I think it would be a good idea to give the book out pretty freely to the press.” Hall acknowledged that any newspapers accepting copies would have to agree not to publish reviews prior to Dec. 8 (English pub date) so as not to damage English copyright, where the work had to appear first [MTLTP 258n3].
November 26 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald about sending illustrations for CY and sending sheets of the book to a Mr. Zuboff at Baxter’s request [MTP]. Note: The Herald’s review was not one of the first in Budd’s Contemporary Reviews.
On or just after this date Sam answered Hunting & Howard’s Nov. 25 letter through instructions to Franklin G. Whitmore (unspecified) [MTP].
Joseph T. Goodman wrote to Sam, who wrote at the top “A still newer arrangement (Dec. 3) entered into since this letter was written.” Joe acknowledged getting Sam’s letter of Nov. 16 and 19. He still suffered from neuralgia of the face. He thought Sam’s new proposition was “a much better one to interest capitalists than the old one.” He thought Senator John P. Jones was in Nevada now; he suggesting hitting up John W. Mackay if Jones was not interested. “I will go down and see Mackay, Hayward, Hobart and a lot of the other moneyed men. I had rather Jones would take hold of it than any of the others, because I like him best” [MTP]. Note: Alvinza Hayward (1822-1904) well-known gold mining millionare and “Silver Baron”; and W.S. Hobart were mine directors.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “I enclose a note from the Rose Publishing Co. which explains itself [probably the one just prior was encl?] Have cabled Samson Low & Co.; also written. Will advise you as soon as we hear from them” [MTP].
F.G. Saltonstall, Chairman for the Union League Club wrote to Sam:
The lecture committee of the Club would be gratified if you will give a lecture at the Club House at an early date. The entertainment is wholly confined to the members of the Club and their families and is therefore in a large sense, private [MTP].
November 27 Wednesday – Livy’s 44th birthday.
Sam’s notebook: Nov. 27. S.E. Moffett, one [Paige royalty sent] [3: 569].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing the weekly reports (not extant); the orders “continue to come in very well considering the horrible weather we are having.” Old books were selling well [MTP].
November 28 Thursday – Thanksgiving – Sam gave a reading for the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in their reading room, Hartford. A summary and some text of the speech was printed in the Hartford Courant, November 29, 1889, p.1 “Thanksgiving Exercises”:
Every seat at the six big tables in the reading room of the Young Men’s Christian Association was occupied at the annual Thanksgiving dinner of the association yesterday, and it was a dinner to be thankful for, too. The friendly feeling and good cheer formed as important an element as did the elegantly prepared food. There were the savory roast turkeys, the cranberry sauce, celery, vegetables, mince and pumpkin pies, ice-cream, cakes, nuts, raisins and fruit and coffee.
[After it was announced that] Mr. B.T. Briggs…who would tell the party how to make a speech on any subject without any previous preparation, was unable to be present, but he would introduce the junior member of the firm, Mr. “Mark Twain.” There was a suspicion that Mr. “Twain” and the mythical Mr. Briggs are the same man.
Mr. Clemens began his speech by saying “I ought to begin my remarks as no many ought to begin a speech — with an apology. Dr. Hooker told me to come along with the clothes I had on, and here I am in an old gray suit. When I look around and see so many men dressed better than I am, I feel [illegible word]. Well, I took Dr. Hooker at his word that time, but I’ll never do it again. This art that I am to talk about was not invented by Mr. Briggs and me. We simply discovered it. It has been in use always, ever since speech-making first began, but it was not noticed. I have been present on a great many occasions where speeches appeared to be made for their own sake, but it was not so. They were made for the sake of telling anecdotes. The speakers pretend that the anecdotes are intended to illustrate certain points, but they don’t. The next time you hear a public speech notice that point. The anecdotes don’t illustrate anything. They are generally miles away. The speakers little game is to lead up to the anecdote. You don’t notice it, for he has beguiled you, but when you go home and analyze it you will find the speech was made for the sake of the anecdotes. To acquire this art, the pupil must first get perfect confidence in himself. You must believe you can do the thing. You must have in your pocket, as I have here, a little book containing your anecdotes. As you go along you take out your book and look for an anecdote, while the audience thinks you are referring to your notes. The speech is simply the foundation for your jokes.”
To illustrate his lesson, Mr. Clemens asked his hearers to pick out a subject for him to talk about. Several were suggested and “Old Clothes” was the one finally selected. Then the speaker made a rambling talk about clothes, introducing a number of anecdotes, amusing in themselves and exceedingly well told, but with no possible bearing on the subject he was supposed to be talking about. He would introduce his anecdotes with, “this point is illustrated by,” or “this reminds me of,” or “that leads me to remember an anecdote,” etc. His remarks were highly amusing and loudly applauded, and it is supposed his simple lesson has produced a new crop of after-dinner orators.
Remarks were made by Dr. Hooker, Mr. Hersey and others.
In Hartford Sam wrote to Samuel Moffett in Alameda, Calif., enclosing a deed for one royalty on the Paige typesetter. He also sent letters and a telegram to Joe Goodman in Moffett’s care at the San Francisco Examiner office. Sam refers to Goodman’s Nov. 20th letter from Fresno and news of Goodman’s week of suffering from neuralgia. Sam also reported on the status of the typesetter:
When we took the machine apart, the other day, it was perfect enough to satisfy everybody in the world except two people — the inventor & me. When it goes together again, Jan. 15, it will satisfy those two. That is our prophecy & belief. But if it doesn’t satisfy us, the perfecting will go on. It shall not go out of the shop with even the triflingest defect in it. I mean to run it in two or three months in New York 24 hours a day 7 days in the week without an infelicity in any of its functions & without causing 5 minutes delay in all that time. [Note: The complexity of the typesetter, Sam’s perfectionism and Paige’s love of tinkering undoubtedly combined to cause repeated delays with accompanying loss of credibility to potential investors and customers].
Sam also wrote he would have unbound sheets of CY sent to Moffett; and if he reviewed the book, to keep it out of print until Sunday, Dec. 8 [MTP]. Note: This would protect his copyright in England and Canada.
There was an evening of fun in the Clemens house. The family and neighbors, including Charles Dudley Warner, enjoyed a play written by Susy Clemens Clara Clemens described the audience as “a large company of invited friends” [MFMT 57]. In a Dec. 3 to Sylvester Baxter, and also years later, Sam described the evening:
…a brief, little fanciful play which was written by my eldest girl, & was played in the drawing-room by herself & two sisters & a couple of schoolgirl friends. After piece — charades: performers, Charley Warner, other neighbors, & the children & me. Audience — all personal friends. Result — a gay time all around [MTP].
[“The Love Chase”] was drawn upon Greek lines and reflected the spirit of its inspiration, being sweet and simple and light-hearted and pure. The costumes were Grecian. Susy was “Music;” Clara was “Art;” Daisy Warner was “Literature;” Fanny Freese was the “Shephard Boy;” and Jean was “Cupid.”
[The play ended with] “Music” wreathed and draped in fresh roses, holding the curtains apart, and singing her final song with the glow of youth in her face and eyes, and all her heart in her voice, the response of the house was a moving thing to see and hear.
This was perhaps the happiest night that Susie ever knew [Salsbury 269]. Note: MTB 883 gives the title of Susy’s play as “The Triumph of Music.”
After the play there was charades, one of the family’s favorite games with guests:
When that [the play] was over, Father joined us in playing charades, even adding as guest star William Gillette, who was visiting his relatives, the George Warners, neighbors of ours. How the audience rocked and roared with laughter at those two men! [MFMT 57].
William Smith inscribed vol. 2 of Old Yorkshire (1889-91): With the editor’s kind regards, Morley, Nov. 28, 1889 [Gribben 651].
John Brusnahan, foreman for the N.Y. Herald wrote two letters to Sam about the great demand for a reliable typesetter, and including statistics [MTP].
November 29 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to his old friend, Joe Goodman.
Things are getting into better and more flexible shape every day. Papers are now being drawn which will greatly simplify the raising of capital; I shall be in supreme command; it will not be necessary for the capitalist to arrive at terms with anybody but me. I don’t want to dicker with anybody but [Senator John] Jones. Try to see if you can’t be here by the 15th of January.
Sam also repeated that the typesetter would be reassembled by Jan. 15 and gave some “lowest conceivable estimate” of machine sales during the seventeen-year life of the patent [MTP].
In the morning, George Warner came by and had a long talk with Susy Clemens, impressed with the dramatic production of the previous evening. He said, “She is the most interesting person I have ever known, of either sex” [Neider 193].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about the P&P dramatization tangle and an advertising flyer:
I have made Frohman a definite offer regarding his advertising plan. He wanted us to stand half the expense & let him say just what would be in the circular, which would mean all to his benefit. He wanted 50000 circulars & they would cost just $310.00. The circular to be 8 pages. I told him we would print & make the circular; allow him 6 of the 8…. He to pay 2/3 & we 1/3 of the cost [MTNJ 3: 532n153].
Note: Hall also confirmed the three men Sam wanted unbound review copies sent to: Joe Goodman, Samuel Moffett and Arthur McEwen, a prominent California journalist. Sylvester Baxter had already received advanced sheets. All hands were advised to print their reviews only after publication of the book in the U.S. on Dec. 10.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam thanking for the $200 check received. “All in usual health. Belle and her husband and daughter are visiting us. / Pamela wrote that Jo Goodman thought the machine might be worth millions or hundreds of millions.” Orion wrote that Goodman was also enthusiastic about CY [MTP].
November 30 Saturday – Sam’s 54th Birthday.
Sylvester Baxter for Boston Herald wrote to Sam about the article on the CY they were to run, and sorry Sam could not join them for the Nationalist Club’s anniversary. “Could we not announce you in our list of contributors to The Nationalist Magazine?” He also asked if Sam “could write us a bit of something…” On the envelope Sam wrote, “ 1, No. 2, yes” [MTP].
Richard R. Bowker for Publishers’ Weekly wrote to Sam inviting him to a Dec. 16 gathering on Copyright. “Warner is coming down.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Can’t” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about communications with Samson Low & Co. to publish Henry M. Stanley’s book. They wished for Webster & Co. to make an offer, something Hall found difficult to do by cable, but he had cabled, “We can make a liberal offer. How soon must it be made? Answer.” [MTP].
An unidentified person sent Sam clippings about the Mergenthaler Linotype in London [MTP].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam that he did not find the agreement of Feb. 1886 among those papers sent him and had telegraphed for it; if he could get it by Monday morning he would come to Hartford on Tuesday morning with such revision of the document that he felt necessary. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Could not waste all that time” [MTP].
December – Kaplan writes of the new contract between Sam Clemens and James W. Paige:
“Under the terms of a new agreement signed in December 1889, Clemens undertook to manufacture the typesetting machine and to pay Paige about $160,000 plus $25,000 a year for seventeen years. In return Paige assigned all rights in the machine. Clemens’ stake in the venture, which included not only the enormous profits he reckoned on but also the $150,000 or so which he had been paying out with increasing hardship since 1885, thus became, in what proved to be a catastrophic gamble, altogether contingent on his success as a promoter. The smooth-talking Paige, whom he always believed at the moment of talking, no matter what evidence there was to the contrary, once assured him they could dispose of the English patent rights for ten million, and Clemens assumed a universal supply of eager money” .
Note: MTNJ 3: 579n23 states that this contract was never signed, however.
“…it appears that this contract was never ratified. A rough draft of the August 1890 contract in the Mark Twain Papers states that Paige and Clemens’ last outstanding agreement was that of September 1889 according to which Clemens was to receive a $500 royalty on each machine marketed; the subsequent contract of December 1889 is not mentioned.”
Sometime during the month Sam inscribed a book (unspecified, but probably CY, after Dec. 12) to George L. Bell: Geo. L. Bell / with compts of/ The Author/ ~ / 1889 [MTP].
Sam also made up a form letter “for declining any & all dinners”:
Sir: I have to thank the committee for the compliment of their invitation to attend the Banquet in honor of – – – – Dec…..& at the same time express my great regret that engagements already entered into debar me from accepting. / S L C [MTP].
December 1 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Daniel Whitford, letter not extant but referred to in Whitford’s Dec. 2 to Sam [MTP].
December 2 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote a short note to decline Richard Bowker’s Nov. 30 invitation. Bowker was in the forefront of the lobby for international copyright legislation, and his name is familiar today to anyone involved in publishing:
Blessed are the dead that died in the cause. I’ve really got to stay away, this time, & let the other boys conduct the slaughter [MTP].
Sam also wrote a note to Karl Gerhardt, urging him to accept “my typesetting offer” [MTP paraphrase Swann Auction Galleries catalog, Sept. 10, 1942 item 90].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam of Samson Low’s answer to his last cable: “As soon as you like, but no hurry. You will not be overlooked” [MTP].
William F. Hull wrote from N.Y. asking Sam to define a “Free Trade Crank” — something he’d been called by a friend, and neither of them knew the exact meaning of [MTP].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam having received his letter of the 1st — “Which one of the agreements did you sign, 1 or 2? I think they are substantially as we talked them over with Mr. Hamersley and I did not intend to change either of these agreements as to form unless I found something had been omitted from the old agreement which was to your advantage.” The agreements involved the typesetter [MTP].
December 3 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald, who evidently had asked for a piece from Sam for publication:
No, I am under too heavy a weight of burdens; & must not contemplate another, large or small, near or remote, for a long time yet. I mean to hold still a good many months, yet, & let my tank fill up, before I do any more writing. But I vastly want to know Bellamy, & you must bring him down, one of these Saturdays. I am to be away from home every Saturday until Dec. 28th.
Sam confided that Livy and he had a “little project in view” for that day and told Baxter to keep the date open. If possible Sam hoped to reproduce the same sort of fun evening they’d enjoyed on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving (see entry) and promised that Baxter and Bellamy would not be bored [MTP]. Note: Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) author of Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888). Sam began reading the book on the train, Nov. 5. He would entertain the two men on Jan. 3, 1890 [Gribben 58].
Sam also wrote a three-page letter and a note to his old Hannibal friend, Will Bowen, who evidently had written a letter now lost. Sam’s letter:
Yes sir! I should like to go again. For I had a noble good time in Australia once — by proxy. I have hunted all about for the letter which told me about it, but it is unfindable. However, in brief, these are the facts. Years ago when I was younger & not afraid of travel, I used to get ready about once per annum to go out & lecture in Australia & of course I always told a lot of friends & strangers about my project — which was a natural thing to do. Now as to that letter. It came to my wife eight or ten years ago from an English friend of ours who was yachting in those distant waters. It broke to Mrs. Clemens as gently as possible the news of my death in Melbourne or somewhere out there . . . The writer of the letter had arrived just in time to march with the funeral & so was able to say to my widow, the present & only Mrs Clemens, that an old friend saw me interred & that of the tears that were shed for me, not all were the tears of strangers. There — think of that. I seem to see that dead fraud enjoying those tears yet & trying to smile his satisfaction in this final & unlooked for cap-stone to his gaudy Australian career of social success & financial crime. Very likely he was a pretty poor sort of humorist when alive but certainly he played his hand first-rate as a corpse . . .
[www.liveauctioneers.com/item/948610; May 12, 2005].
Sam’s follow-up note:
Will that do to send to him? I must cut short, now, & rush down & read to the madam, who has sent to hurry me; her eyes are in bad condition these past ten months…[MTP]. Note: Bowen answered on Dec. 10. ‡ The gentleman in question was W.D. Meares of Christchurch N.Z. Sam’s Dec. 3 reply to Bowen was published in the Brisbane Courier Feb. 27, 1890 p.5
Saloman & DeLeeuw, Tobacconists, Hartford, receipted $2 for 4lbs of Bl’k Durham @ .50 [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing a copy of letter sent to Sampson Low & Co., London. The letter acknowledged receipt of Low’s last cable and advised they would send a representative of Webster & Co. to London the latter part of the winter for direct negotiations. (Webster to Sampson, Low & Co. Dec. 3 encl.) [MTP].
December 4 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Joe Goodman encouraging him to “come east & lay regular siege to Jones.” Now Sam was using Jan. 20 as the date “when the machine will go to work again.” In order to strategize about Senator John P. Jones, Sam urged Joe to “come east immediately.” Sam also called the Mergenthaler “so feeble an enemy” based on its average production rate of 2,000 ems per hour. The Paige was said to be capable of 7,000 ems using an apprentice and up to 24,000 ems at full capacity using a veteran [MTNJ 3: 528; MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “We enclose report for the month of November. When you take into consideration that this does note include any work done on the ‘Yankee’ or ‘Conkling’ book, it is very good.” The LAL had secured 197 new orders. Report not extant [MTP].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam that he’d been unable to contact Senator Jones at the Hoffman House [MTP]. Note: Jones was elusive for Whitford and Goodman in this period.
December 5 Thursday – Two bound copies of Connecticut Yankee were deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, Oxford ed. 1996].
Under the headline, “THEATRICAL GOSSIP.” the New York Times ran an article on page 8 about the dramatization of P&P.
Mr. David Belasco has begun the rehearsals of “The Prince and the Pauper,” the dramatization made for Daniel Frohman of Mark Twain’s book by Mrs. Abby Sage Richardson. The play is to be first given at the New Park Theatre, Philadelphia, Christmas week, and will be presented there for a month. It treats of the adventures of the young Prince, and Mr. Belasco is bringing out clearly the dramatic elements of the story. One of the interesting features of the play is the double impersonation of the two parts by Elsie Leslie. The company engaged includes Annie Mayor, Nelly Howard, Dora Leslie, E.H. Vanderfelt, Arthur F. Buchanan, Frank Tannehill, Sr., D. Gilfeather, Arthur Elliot, George Pauncefort, and William Tibbitts. Many others are employed in the performance. The costumes and scenery are of the Elizabethan period and are designed by W.H. Day. The play will be subsequently done at the Broadway Theatre.
Karl Gerhardt wrote to Sam: “Your kind offer is not forgotten; I am working with the end in view that I may be able to close the matter satisfactorily by the 25th to the 30th of DECEMBER…P.S. Please have enclosed receipt attached to policy…now in your possession” [MTP]. Note: Gerhardt had given a cash-value life insurance policy in exchange for a typesetter royalty.
December 6 Friday – The official publication date for Connecticut Yankee in London [Aug. 20 to Hall].
Sam’s notebook: 8.03 am — leaves Spr. 9.50 — get to Buf 8.35 pm [MTNJ 3: 534].
Sam traveled to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada to protect his English copyright. Laws required him to be on Canadian soil the day the book was published in England, in order to protect both English and Canadian copyright. In Canada, at Rosli’s Hotel, Sam mailed his calling card to Chatto & Windus. On the back of his card Sam wrote:
Rosli’s Hotel, / Niagara Falls, Ontario, / Canada, / Dec. 6 /1889. / A true date, duly set down. /Very Truly Yours / S L Clemens / ~ [MTP]. Note: See Sam’s interview of Dec. 10 — he may have simply registered at this hotel without spending the night.
Lilly Warner sent Livy a short note and included her husband George’s note about Susy Clemens and the Thanksgiving play she had written and produced:
Dearest Livy: George put this note in a letter to me — not to give you, but to let me see what he had thought. He is apt to think what he does isn’t worth while, but I generally believe in impulse. Anyhow I think this will please you a little.
[From George:] Dear Mrs. Clemens: Instead of merely thanking you for the pleasure of Thanksgiving evening [Nov. 28] I ought to have told you what I was thinking about it; and what you said as we were walking over to your house on Sunday [Dec. 1] — that Susy was pleased by what I said to her — reminded me. As I sat there it seemed to me that this was a new drama and a good one and, of course, that as there are so many fine and noble things to say and do, why do the coarse and ignoble ones at all. And then this expression came into my mind — this is the “consummate flower” of civilization — and to have girls do naturally and of their own accord so fine a thing.
When I get rich I shall found a school for girls with this as Prospectus. Teach all noble thoughts of antiquity to be played upon by the emotions of the present [Salsbury 271].
Andrew Chatto notified Sam that he’d deposited a copy of CY in the British Museum and sold a copy to secure copyright “although the bulk of the copies in our edition will not be ready for delivery to the general public before the 13th of this month” [MTLTP 255n2].
Samuel Moffett wrote a one-page letter to Sam having recd the royalty certificate for the Paige typesetter; he was glad to hear that the machine was “making such good progress” and felt it “ought to create a sensation” when Sam could “get it on the market.” He’d received and forwarded the two letters for Joe Goodman [MTP].
Eli Thayer wrote from Philadelphia to Sam advising he’d ordered a pamphlet of abstracts of his lectures on the Kansas struggle for the overthrow of slavery sent to Sam; he claimed “300 letters from very prominent men sustaining the views of the pamphlet,” and named a few. Thayer had called on Fred Hall about a book made from the pamphlet [MTP].
December 7 Saturday – Robert Donald wrote to Sam:
I write to say that I have given an article — similar to the one I have sent to the Pall Mall Gazette — concerning the interview which you kindly accorded me the other day, to the N.Y. Times. The editor was anxious to get it, & instead of waiting while it returned from London I thought it would be more opportune to publish it now, about the date when your new book will be issued. / I have written to the business manager of the London Star — who is on the lookout for a good type-setting machine — asking him to wait until February when I hope to be able to send him full particulars on the Paige compositor [MTP].
Charles L. Webster wrote from Fredonia, N.Y. to Sam: “In Dec 1886 Henry M. Stanley promised me personally his next book should he ever write one. I have his written promise in a personal letter to me over his signature.” Webster reported better health and offered to see Stanley and use his “best efforts in regard” to the proposed book [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “Have this day received the following cable from Sampson, Low & Co. ‘Stanley says, cable Twain to correspond with me respecting his telegram’”. Hall also confirmed a cable from Chatto & Windus that they had published (CY) the day Sam was in Canada, Dec. 6 [MTP]. Note: a duplicate of this is listed in the MTP catalogue as a second letter.
December 8 Sunday – The intended official publication date for Connecticut Yankee in Canada [Aug. 20 to Hall].
December 9 Monday – Sam’s notebook carries a “Mem. Of Agreement” dated this date in the body and Dec. 14 (date to be executed?) in the heading, for sales of 50 “Royalty Deeds of the Paige Compositor for fifty thousand dollars” to Elmira businessman Matthias Hollenback Arnot. Sam signed his wife’s name in the memo to be a witness [3: 536].
Note: right after this entry: West Point Jan 11 / Eggleston, Author’s Club, midnight, Dec. 31. (See Dec. 19 & 31 entries)
Also in Sam’s notebook: Dec. 9. M.H. Arnot …… 50 [Paige royalties sent] [3: 569]. Note: One royalty was given for each thousand dollars invested.
Sylvester Baxter wrote from Boston that the article he was putting together for the Boston Herald might not appear until Dec. 22, the Christmas issue. “Bellamy writes that he will be delighted to come with me, and we will run down for the 28th if you decide upon that date” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a short note to Sam that they’d received a letter from Edward Marston, but “it contained no news whatever, but merely repeated what he had sent in the cable in order to verify the cable.” A letter from Daniel Carter Beard was enclosed (not extant) [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote a very short note of thanks to Sam for Vol. X of the LAL sent [MTP].
Gen. John Gibbon wrote on Headquarters Dept. of the Columbia, Vancouver Barracks, W.T. (Washington Territory) to Sam: “Many thanks for yours of the 3? Which with its enclosures reached me this morning” [MTP]. See Nov. 23 entry.
December 9-12 Thursday – Sometime during this week Sam and Livy made a trip to New York to visit Livy’s mother and sister, Olivia Lewis Langdon and Susan L. Crane, who had traveled from Elmira [Salsbury 272]. On Dec. 18 Sam would write that the visit could have been improved “by staying longer”, and also wrote of the delay about writing to thank them, as Livy had been so busy.
December 10 Tuesday – The official U.S. publication date for Connecticut Yankee. Some 25,000 copies were printed before the end of the year [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, Oxford ed. 1996].
The New York Times, p.5 ran an interview, “MARK TWAIN AND HIS BOOK.” A somewhat different version of this ran on Dec. 23, 1889 in London’s Pall Mall Gazette, p.1-2 (see Scharnhorst, Interviews.101-150). After a brief description of the Clemens’ Hartford home, the newspaper reported,
Mr. Clemens, as is his custom, spoke very quietly and slowly. His new book will be published in New-York on the 10th, but before then he will pay a flying visit to Canada. He will just look over the frontier and register on the other side. He could register nearer home with less trouble, but his peep into Canada will secure him copyright there and in England. Mr. Clemens had something to say about this new book, and about how he had been obliged to modify it to suit the English publisher.
“Had the same party been in power,” said Mr. Clemens, “I would have gone to Washington again with the boys. But I don’t know the feeling of the present Congress, and I have not much faith in a Republican Congress anyway. They are more likely to clap on more protection where it isn’t needed than to pass a measure which would do some good. Every one ought to get value for his labor, whether he makes boots or manuscripts.
Mr. Clemens is delighted at the way the artist has entered into the spirit of the book in executing the illustrations, and pointed specially to a fine portrait of Jay Gould in the capacity of “the slave driver,” but he fears that some of the illustrations in the English edition will be sacrificed on the altar of English hypocrisy.
On or shortly after this day Sam answered Henry W. Cleveland’s letter of this date with a one-line directive:
Please address the firm. I am not the firm [MTP].
Sam also inscribed the flyleaf of a copy of CY to Edmund C. Stedman:
My Dear Stedman — It was ever so kind of you to drive your critical plow through the MS for me, & I hold myself your obliged friend & servant [MTP].
Clemens also inscribed a CY for Charles M. Underhill, longtime salesman for J. Langdon & Co.:
To/ C.M. Underhill — / Don’t forget that there is a good sound British copyright on you, & that I own it. I send you my love with this / Mark Twain / ~ / Dec. 10/89 [MTP] See Aug. 6, 1872 entry.
William Bowen wrote to Sam:
Your favor 3d returning the New Zealand letter rec’d 7th, since which date have scarce had time to ack’e sooner. / All right — I’ll send “Meares” your letter — thus you make the whole South Sea happy. / Poor Meares — an ardent admirer — one of those who only laugh inside — but seem to laugh all over — he’ll cry. / Do you know I’d give a Dollar to hear you Lecture once? I recall the announcement of your death. Maybe you will die some day — like Jeff Davis. /Few braver — better — purer — greater ever lived or died than he [MTP].
Henry W. Cleveland wrote on Louisville Mayor letterhead to Sam about the autobiography of Jefferson Davis. Sam had answered Cleveland a year before that he was a year too soon, so now was Sam interested? Sam wrote on the envelope, “Please address the firm. I am not the firm,” meaning Webster & Co [MTP].
December 11 Wednesday – The Hartford Times was first out of the chute with a review of CY on page 5.
There is fun enough — and fun of the robust and extravagant sort for which the author is known to feel an occasional partiality — in this curious and decidedly original book to satisfy those who in his works seek for that, first, last, and every time; yet its most humorous touches are not those which are likely to be seen and seized by that much-abused individual, the average reader. And underlying all, the work seems, strange as it may sound, to have a sober and genuine purpose. It shows up a good many long established if not actually reverenced wrongs, in a way as fierce and dashing as Sir Gawain or Sir Galahad in his armor, when, mounted and charging with spear at rest, he “means business” in going for his adversary. The author assails Kings and Knights, Church and State, and the laws enacted to favor the wealthy classes [Budd, Contemporary 283].
Right there with the Times was the Utica (N.Y.) Herald, p.3, “Literary Matters”:
Mark Twain has in his new book fairly earned the title of the “Cervantes of the Nineteenth Century.” Only for the whimsical Castilian knight of La Mancha, he has given us a live Yankee of an inquiring turn of mind, who pokes into the chinks of English aristocracy to see wherein the titled clay differs from ordinary mud, and under the guise of a romantic tale about another age, gives us a keen and witty satire on the present English nobility. Mark being a thoro’ democrat socially, and a good deal of a Bohemian mentally, has approached the fields of knightly romance without that flutter of the heart which a school girl or a partially enlightened devotee of chivalry might experience. Yet he too is chivalrous, and our Yankee visitor is never intentionally rude, if inclined to be merry. Edward Bellamy has given us a view of the world some centuries ahead; why shouldn’t Mark Twain give us a view of it some centuries behind? The humor is clean and hearty, and the book is not without its instructive side. The volume is a square 8vo. of 500 pages, illustrated with 250 drawings by Dan Beard, and is sold only by subscription at $3 to $5, according to the style of binding [Budd, Contemporary 285].
Joseph Banister wrote from N.Y. objecting to Sam’s remarks quoted in the N.Y. Times. He claimed Sam “charge[d] the British newspapers and publishers with cowardice and the British people with hypocrisy” [MTP].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam — more about getting in touch with Senator John P. Jones; Whitford wrote this day to Gen. John J. McCook, Secretary of the Senate, to ask Jones’ whereabouts [MTP].
December 12 Thursday – A day or two before, Livy wrote (letter not extant) to Col. John M. Wilson that Sam was too ill to keep his Dec. 14 engagement at West Point. Wilson answered on this day:
My dear Mr. Clemens:
Mrs. C’s letter is just received and I regret that you are ill.
I trust that you will be yourself once more, and that the pleasure of hearing you address the Cadets will be only temporarily postponed [Leon 240].
A.W. wrote from Wash. to Sam via Gen. John J. (McCook) that Senator Jones was on his way east [MTP].
Karl Gerhardt sent Sam a clipping about the need for “increased facilities for doing the government printing.” Gerhardt wrote above the clipping, “50 Type setters will about fill this bill” [MTP].
Katherine K. Walker wrote to Sam with compliments for “the magazine installment of your delicious Arthurian Yankee” which “beguiled” her and gave her “anticipation” for the future [MTP].
Gen. John M. Wilson for West Point wrote to Sam having received Livy’s note that Sam was ill; he hoped that “the pleasure of hearing” Sam “address the cadets will only be temporarily postponed” [MTP].
December 13 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote an invitation in Livy’s behalf to Elinor M. Howells.
I write for Mrs. Clemens, who is still blind, after a nine months’ struggle with the oculists. To read a page or write one gives her a two-days’ headache. Please run down here with W.D.H., & be shut out from all save the family, & have some good talks & quiet good times, & the refreshment of rest in unfamiliar surroundings [MTHL 2: 623].
Alexander Badlam wrote to Sam from S.F. having received from Sam’s “business partners” that it would be impossible for them to publish his book, Wonders of Alaska. Bedlam was busy finding a publisher; he would send Sam a copy of the book when it issued [MTP].
December 14 Saturday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about books offered the firm and his ideas for each: Henry Clews’ Twenty Eight Years in Wall Street; an authorize biography of Jefferson Davis by Colonel Scharf; and History of the Supreme Court of the United States, author not named [MTP].
Daniel Whitford for Alexander & Green wrote to Sam advising him to wait till Senator Jones got to Washington; he enclosed Gen. John J. McCook’s letter. He suspected the Hoffman House people thought Whitford had been trying to serve legal papers on Jones [MTP].
December 15 Sunday – In Boston, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam mentioning Baxter’s notice in the Boston Herald and graciously declining Sam’s invitation of Dec. 13 due to Elinor’s health.
It is not likely now that she can go anywhere this winter; but I want nothing but a pretext. — We have dumped ourselves down here for eighteen months (which I wish over, as if I had a thousand years to live) and we have a hole in the wall where we can put you to sleep when you like to come.
W.D. also asked how the typesetter was coming along [MTHL 2: 623-4].
From this last citation, note 1:
“Mark Twain’s Masterwork, A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court” was spread over four columns of the Boston Sunday Herald of 15 December 1889 (p.17) with six cuts from the book. In his unsigned review Baxter emphasized Mark Twain’s “abundant fun” and his ridicule of “the claims of aristocratic privileges and royal prerogatives that yet linger in the world.” He pointed as well to Dan Beard’s “strong and spirited” illustrations, especially one of an “arrogant slave-driver” which “shows in its face the unmistakable portrait of a celebrated American billionaire and its stock gambler.” The face of Beard’s slave driver …is clearly that of Jay Gould.
See Dec. 19 to Baxter for Sam’s reaction to the notice.
December 15 Sunday ca. – In Hartford, Sam sent a proof of a descriptive circular for CY to Chatto & Windus:
It is very good indeed — but why not add to it a lot of Beard’s most picturesque pictures?
Sam advised his English publishers not to be too delayed by the addition of five or six pictures [MTP]. In his interview first published in the N.Y. Times Dec. 10, “MARK TWAIN AND HIS BOOK,” Sam expressed fears that English hypocrisy might prevent all of Beard’s illustrations from making the book there.
December 15-31 Tuesday – Sometime during the latter half of December, Sam and Livy sent a calling card with invitation to Annie Eliot Trumbull. Sam inserted his comments in parentheses:
Dear Miss Trumbull (Oh my land, how formal & perfunctory S. L. C.) Will you give us the pleasure of your company b’gosh, on Friday evening Jan. 3 at 8 o’clock? Going to have a Halifax of a time. / Affectionately Yours / Olivia L. Clemens / (To my mind this note is too formal & familiar. — S. L. C.) [MTP]. Note: Annie was the 32 year-old daughter of James Hammond and Sarah Trumbull.
December 16 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to George Dolby in London informing him that he’d written Henry M. Stanley in Zanzibar. Sam had read a newspaper report that Stanley might not remain in that country until spring, as previously reported. Sam asked Dolby to keep a copy of his letter and get it to Stanley should he reach London and fail to receive the original [MTP]. Note: Dolby had arranged Sam’s lecture schedule in London in Oct. 1873 (see Oct. 7, 1873 entry).
Sam also wrote to his brother, Orion, sending Christmas love and “a check for $15 to buy 3 Xmas trifles.” Sam noted that the small check showed the machine “still has its grip on our purse,” but his hopes pointed to a February exhibition in New York [MTP].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified person:
I wish I could, but I am all balled-up with engagements and can’t [MTP paraphrase Scott & Shauhessy Catalog, Feb. 20, 1917 item 79].
George P. Bissell wrote to Sam recommending Wheeling Bridge & Railway stock as a good investment, and wrote of himself and other Hartford men buying the security [MTP].
W.J. Hamby for Western Reserve Univ. Students wrote to Sam that they’d formed the “Mark Twain Literary Society” and asked for “a few lines with autograph.’ Sam wrote, “Will dictate answer” on the envelope. [MTP].
December 17 Tuesday – The N.Y. Times, p.2 “Authors’ Readings” included the entire text of Sam’s letter sent to the readings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, explaining his reasons for not coming. Ex-Mayor Low read Sam’s letter, which complained that of “about twelve Authors’ readings,” not “a single one of them…was rationally conducted.” He decried the running over of allotted time by most readers.
Henry Whitney Cleveland wrote a follow up postcard to Sam:
I wrote to you and not to the Firm, because Geo. MacDonald gave us a half introduction in 1875, — because anything in your writing is valuable, even if the blotter has left very little ink — because I am not the Mayor of Louisville, but only Keeper of the Public Records [MTP]. Note: Cleveland had written on Dec. 10 on the Mayor’s letterhead.
December 18 Wednesday – In Boston, William Dean Howells wrote a short note to Sam, enclosing “another letter from my old Tennessee woman” (unidentified) that was “full of fervor and most ‘fortimate’ inventions in spelling.” Howells thought Sam and Livy might want to see the letter and asked for its return [MTHL 2: 624]. Note: Sam would comment on the old woman’s letter in his Dec. 23 to Howells.
In Hartford Sam wrote to his mother-in-law, Olivia Lewis Langdon about a “most darling visit with” her and Susan Crane in New York. “I do not think we could have improved it in any way except by staying longer,” he wrote. See Dec. 9-12 entry.
Livy would have written you long ago, for she has had otherwise little or nothing to do that fourteen people & a horse couldn’t do, but every time she got an idle couple of days some hindrance or other always shoved itself in the way & prevented her from writing.
Sam also confided that he’d been “laid up with a cold” since he’d seen her and “only got out on the street yesterday.” He’d missed his Dec. 14 West Point engagement, postponing it for three weeks. The children were well and “hard at work at their lessons,” so much so and so out of sight that,
…the memory grows dim & I often mistake them for the children of strangers & am embarrassed in their presence [MTP].
Sam also sent documents to Andrew Chatto, with a short note, “Respectfully submitted to you, Chatto” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: Dec. 18 Karl Gerhardt………one [Paige royalty sent] [3: 569].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a short note to Sam that Henry Watterson was in town [MTP].
Isabel Von Oppen wrote from Londonderry, Ireland to Sam. Or rather, either her secretary did or she liked to write about her self in the third-person. The letter rambles but talks of the nine years Isabel lived in the US, of her relatives in the South and her residence in the North not far from “Clements.” She enclosed a “Memoranda” (not in the file) asking for “a little trifling sum in cash in exchange for it” [MTP].
Luca L. Moore wrote to Sam, “begging permission to translate into German such of” his books “as have not yet appeared in this tongue.” Sam referred it to Chatto, as he usually did for such requests [MTP].
December 19 Thursday – In Hartford, Sam wrote compliments to Sylvester Baxter on his “admirable notice” in the Boston Herald for CY. He anticipated the visit of Baxter and Edward Bellamy on Jan. 3.
And I am so glad you said the appreciative word for Beard’s excellent pictures.
It will be a great pleasure to get acquainted with the maker of the latest & best of all the Bibles. Can you & he drop down here Friday Jan. 3, 2.20 p.m.?
Sam wanted to know which train the men would come on so he might meet them at the station [MTP].
George Cary Eggleston wrote and invited Sam to attend the Author’s Club “watch night meeting” on Dec. 31. Sam accepted (See Dec. 31) [MTNJ 3: 536n167].
December 20 Friday – In Hartford, Sam replied to L.E. Parkhurst (incoming not extant) who evidently inquired about the illustration “The Slave Driver” in CY, which was a likeness of robber baron Jay Gould.
I should not be able to tell you anything about the picture, as I did not make it or suggest it. You will have to apply to its author, Mr. Dan Beard, “Judge” Building, New York…. to my mind the illustrations are better than the book — which is a good deal for me to say, I reckon [MTP]. Note: Parkhurst was a Hartford resident and friend of Sam’s, listed in the 1888 Municipal Register on the corner of Park and Cedar, and also in Geer’s City Directory 1899, both viewable online
Frank B. Darby wrote to Sam: “The book with ‘Mark Twain’s” hand writing has arrived, and I assure you it made me happy, and I know it will be appreciated by my friend” [MTP]. Note: Darby was the Clemens’ Elmira dentist.
December 21 Saturday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that his telegram for “6 Morocco ‘Yankee’” was received and they’d been shipped. Enclosed was an audit by Barrow, Wade, Guthrie, & Co., Public Accountants for the period of four months ending Aug. 31, 1889. They found the books in good order. A N.Y. World reporter had been by the previous day asking what was behind a portrait of Jason “Jay” Gould (1836-1892) in CY. Mr. Granfield of Webster & Co. said he knew of no portrait of Gould in the book [MTP]. Note: Gould was a RR financier often vilified as a “Robber Baron.” One of Daniel Carter Beard’s drawings in CY bore a strong resemblance to Gould.
Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Webster & Co. (mis-catalogued to SLC; statement mentioned but not in file)
Webster & Co. wrote to Sam that his “telegraph order for 12 cloth ‘Yankee’, 1 ‘Custer’ and 1 ‘Cox’ has been shipped as you desired” [MTP]. Note: telegram not extant.
December 22 Sunday – Charles D. Poston wrote from Wash. to wish Sam a merry Christmas and a happy new year, thereby “renewing the appearance of many years friendship” [MTP]. See Dec. 28, 1888.
December 23 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to William Dean Howells.
The magazine [Harper’s] came last night, & the Study notice [“Editor’s Study” review of CY] is just great. The satisfaction it affords me could not be more prodigious if the book deserved every word of it: & maybe it does; I hope it does, though of course I can’t realize it & believe it. But I am your grateful servant, anyway & always.
Sam related that he’d read the “old Tennessee woman’s” letter to Livy and Miss Fanny Hesse (his sometimes secretary) and they thought it “an impressively extraordinary production, to come from such a source & from such a region.” Sam wrote he was to read to the West Point cadets on Jan. 11, and wanted Howells to go with him. He was going to read passages from CY. Sam also wanted a day or two visit from Howells toward the end of January, and wanted to hear the rest of W.D.’s experimental novel, The Shadow of a Dream. He promised that Joe Goodman would be “on hand again by that time,” and Sam wanted Howells “to get to know him thoroughly.” The Clemens family was “in the full rush of the holidays” [MTHL 2: 625].
George Standring wrote from London to thank Sam for the “very handsome” copy of CY. He enclosed a clipping from a trade journal (not extant) about the Linotype machine; and reported that the Pall Mall Gazette regarded the whole Paige typesetter promotion as a joke of Twain’s; and that three days prior the paper had taken Sam to task for “vulgarising and debasing the Arthurian legend!” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote Sam more about Samson Low & Co. and the proposed Stanley book. More strategy and couching terms and promises here. Thomas M. Williams was the new man on the LAL and he would begin work on Dec. 27. Hall was prepared to sail for London in mid-January to negotiate. [MTP].
Edmund C. Stedman wrote to thank Sam for his copy of CY; due to the death of his mother and pressing needs of LAL he had not yet been able to read it; it was “uncommonly fine” of Sam to acknowledge Stedman’s “very slight service” on the fly-leaf of his copy [MTP].
December 24 Tuesday – The Prince and the Pauper stage play opened at the Park Theater in Philadelphia, managed by Daniel Frohman and staged by David Belasco. Elsie Leslie, the child actor, starred in the dual roles. The engagement ran about four weeks. Fatout writes:
“If not an unqualified hit, the production was a moderate success; the audience applauded at the end of each act and gave a prolonged demonstration at the close. Critics praised the juvenile actress for her winsome manner, spontaneity, sweet voice, and a self-possession unusual in one of such tender years” [“MT, Litigant” 31; MTNJ 3: 532n154].
December 25 Wednesday – Christmas – Sam inscribed a copy of CY to Susan Corey: Miss Susan Corey with the compliments of the Author, Xmas, 1889 / Yours Truly Mark Twain [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a half-morocco copy of CY to Maria C. Gay: Mrs. Julius Gay with the compliments of the author. Xmas, 1889 [MTP]
Sam also inscribed a copy of CY to Margaret “Daisy” Warner: To Margaret Warner — / with the warm regards & Christmas greetings of / The Author / ~ / 1889. [MTP]
Sam also inscribed a copy of CY to Harriet E. Whitmore: Mrs. F.G. Whitmore / with the affectionate regards of / The Author./ ~ / Xmas, 1889 [MTP]
Daniel Frohman wrote a note and sent Philadelphia notices of the P&P play. Frohman also telegraphed: “Success. We go to Broadway Theatre Jany twentieth.” [MTP].
G.W. Lynch telegraphed from Philadelphia to Sam: “Play a great success Elsie made the hit of her life.” [MTP].
December 26 Thursday
December 27 Friday – In Hartford, Sam & Livy thanked Olivia Lewis Langdon for books sent and for her usual generous Christmas check:
]Sam:] Mother Dear, accept my very best thanks for the noble volumes. The valuable part of our library is complete now.
[Olivia:] With your check I bought the gold beads for Clara that I told you I should buy. I bought a very dainty little gold comb for Susy’s hair. It was almost a pin, yet it was a little too broad for that. A pair of skates for Jean which was precisely her hearts desire, for myself the lions share, I bought myself a narrow gold comb wider than Susy’s but less than half the width of the other one that you gave me. Katy declared it to be just what I needed because it fills a little bare spot on the top of my head. I intend to wear it every afternoon and I shall take great pleasure in it. I also bought myself, but for all the family to enjoy, a small silver jardinière for ferns, it is lovely for the center of the dining room table. I do thank you so much. Samuel will send you his thanks for his books [MTP; Salsbury 273]. Note: This was given in error as Dec. 22; is this date according to MTP.
Sylvester Baxter and Edward Bellamy telegraphed Sam accepting his invitation for a visit on Jan. 3. [MTHL 2: 622n2]. Note: It would be Sam’s first meeting with Bellamy.
December 28 Saturday – Sam’s notebook entry suggests travel:
[Chk #] 4399. Dec. 28. Ticket office RR, for 2000 miles, $40 [3: 537].
John (“Jock”) Brown, son of the late Dr. John Brown, wrote to Sam from Edinburgh:
I think you will like the small book I have sent you. It is written by a Miss McLaren who knew my father very well and understood him [Gribben 444]. Note: the book was Elizabeth T. McLaren’s Dr. John Brown and His Sister Isabella: Outlines (1889). See also Jan. 25, 1890.
Orion Clemens wrote a short note of thanks to Sam for the $200 check received. He enclosed a squib of a clipping from the St. Louis Daily Constitution-Democrat for Dec. 27, which read:
A news item is to the effect that Mark Twain has spent about $100,000 in perfecting the Page [sic] type-setting machine, and he is the principal owner of the company that will manufacture them. The machine is sixteen feet long, nine feet high in the middle, and, it is claimed, will set, justify and distribute 45,000 ems of type daily [MTP].
Annie E. Trumbull wrote to thank Sam for a copy of CY, which she was “enjoying every line of” [MTP].
December 29 Sunday – In Boston, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam:
I have just heated myself up with your righteous wrath about our indifference to the Brazilian Republic. But it seems to me that you ignore the real reason for it which is that there is no longer an American Republic, but an aristocracy-loving oligarchy in place of it. Why should our Money-bags rejoice in the explosion of a Wind-bag?
Howells was becoming increasingly radicalized in his political views, and had been greatly affected in the Haymarket case, as well as in the loss of his daughter Winny. He also declined to go to West Point with Sam.
…for I hate to shiver round in the shadow of your big fame, and I guess I hate the sight of a military-factory too, though I’m not sure; I suppose we must have ‘em a while yet [MTHL 2: 626-7].
Clara Clemens wrote of this day:
We had a very Merry Xmas and a mighty warm one….It is a beautiful day today and if it had not been so desperately muddy I should have ridden.
I hope I can ride tomorrow before breakfast, but no doubt it will rain.
We are greatly satisfied with Papa’s book [CY], but I should think he would almost fear England….
We are going to New York Saturday [Jan.4] to see Ada Rehan in “As You Like It,” and I don’t know yet what else [Salsbury 273]. Note: Ada Rehan was advertised in this play on Jan. 3 as well as for the next day at a 2 p.m. matinee starring as Rosalind [N.Y. Times, p.7 “Amusements”].
Thomas W. Higginson sent a postcard to Sam with just this message: “Bravo ! for you & Brazil” [MTP]. Note: A military coup in Brazil overthrew the monarchy of Pedro II; a republic was proclaimed..
December 30 Monday – Kingsland Smith of the St. Paul Roller Mill Co. wrote to Sam about dividends forthcoming and a reorganization of the company. Sam would stand to get about $5,000 in stock of the new company. Smith wrote, “Please advise if you wish to withdraw entirely or if you would like to continue” [MTP] Note: Sam would not have received this notice until after the new year, since it was postmarked from St. Paul, Minn.
The Boston Daily Globe, Dec. 31, 1889 ran an article datelined New York, Dec. 30, p.8 “Dan’s Firm Fails Again – Sheffield & Son Break Blank Book Concern. Mark Twain’s Friends, Slote & Co., Make an Assignment.”
Daniel Slote & Co., manufacturers of blank books at 119 and 121 William street, suspended today, on account of losses through the failure of J.B. Sheffield & Son of Saugerties. … The firm has been in existence for 30 years. It was originally known as Slote, Woodman & Co. Under this title it failed in 1878 with liabilities of $200,000. The firm subsequently paid 30 cents on the dollar.
Daniel Slote, who died a few years ago, was the “Dan” of Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad,” and the firm for many years past have made a specialty of Mark Twain’s scrap book.
In New York, Sam inscribed a copy of CY to Augustin Daly: My dear Daly. Read at least one chapter of this book, & be higher & holier than before. With warm regards, Yours sincerely, Mark Twain, New York, Dec. 30, ’89. On the flyleaf Sam wrote: “Bind it in full Morocco & send it to Augustin Daly, S.L.C.” [MTP].
Andrew Chatto wrote to Sam that “not a word of yours has been cut out or altered, except as regards keeping the title to your original wording, ‘A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur’” [MTLTP 255n2].
Frank B. Darby, Sam’s Elmira dentist, wrote to thank Sam for the book sent [MTP].
Katherine K. Walker wrote to Sam, commenting favorably on CY and pointing out a typo on p.241, line 24 of an apostrophe unneeded, “it’s”. Sam wrote “Perversity of inanimate things” on the envelope [MTP].
E.T. Ryan receipted for $43.20 in deliveries of apples, chickens, duck, vinegar, pigeons, lard, eggs deliveries on: Oct 10, 17, 19, 23, 26, 31; Nov 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 16, 21, 26, 27 Dec 13, 14, 19, 21, 23, 26 [MTP].
December 31 Tuesday – Sam attended the Author’s Club Watch Night event in New York City and told a story. George Cary Eggleston had invited Sam on Dec. 19 and recalled the event:
[The club festivities were patterned after] the old custom of the Methodists who held “Watch Night” meetings, seeing the old year out and the new year in with rejoicing and fervent singing…. Fortunately, Mark Twain was called upon to begin the story telling, and he put formality completely out of countenance at the very outset. Instead of standing as if to address the company, he seized a chair, straddled it, and with his arms folded across its back, proceeded to tell one of the most humorous of all his stories [MTNJ 3: 536n167 quoting Eggleston’s Recollections of a Varied Life (1910)].
John Cockerill for New York World wrote inviting Sam to be on the Committee of Invitations for the Apr. 10, 1890 ball to be held at the Metropolitan Opera House [MTP].
Crown Point Iron Co. sent a printed business statement for the year ending Dec. 31, 1889 [MTP].
Webster & Co. sent Sam ledger page reports for “Books Sent out during September, 1889” totaling 3,908 books; for October totaling 2,824 books; for November 5,729; and for Dec. 21,745, which included 12, 398 for CY [MTP].