Vol 2 Section 0018

Farewell to the “Modern Heaven” – Oriental Charm & Mystery – Political Turmoil

Lecturing in the Back Country – Retired From the Platform

Susy Dies From Spinal Meningitis –“I Know What Misery Is At Last”

Hiding Away

1896 – Harper & Brothers published Tom Sawyer Abroad, Tom Sawyer, Detective and Other Stories in one volume. Both tales had been serialized in magazines.

January – Sometime during the month at sea Sam looked over the Oceana’s library and wrote in his notebook:


I must read that devilish Vicar of Wakefield again. Also Jane Austin [sic] [Gribben 32; NB 37 TS 3].


The Ahkoond of Swat [NB 36 TS 21]. Note: listed among a catalogue of “sounding titles” he enjoyed hearing in Bombay [Gribben 397].


Sam also noted George Bruce Mallesons Dupleix (1890) as a “beautiful book” about Joseph Francois Dupleix (1697-1763) [Gribben 447; NB 37 TS 1]. Note: See also Apr. 10 entry.

Sam read Edwin Lord Weeks article on Bombay in the Nov. 1895 issue of Harper’s [Gribben 294].

January 1 Wednesday – At noon, Sam, Livy and Clara Clemens with Carlyle G. Smythe sailed from Adelaide for Ceylon on the P&O’s liner, Oceana [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 34]. Once underway, Sam wrote a short letter to H.H. Rogers:

There is nothing to write, but we want to send New Year greetings to the Rogerses and the Benjamins and the Broughtons….We have touched at Adelaide and are now just leaving for Ceylon. We shan’t hear any more war-talk for 14 days to come [MTHHR 189-90].


Note: On Jan.1, 1896 President Cleveland appointed a commission to look into the boundary dispute in Venezuela, which put England and the US at odds and even threatened war. Urban H. Broughton married Rogers’ daughter Cara Leland (Duff); William Evarts Benjamin married Rogers’ daughter Anne Engle Rogers.


Sam also wrote a short note to Charles Dudley Warner:

Just a line to holler Happy New Years!…We got back from New Zealand ten days ago & talked a couple of times in Sydney and Melbourne…We reach Ceylon 14 days hence (no war-news till then, thank goodness) and change there for Calcutta….I think this browsing around is good for Livy & Clara [MTP: Swann Galleries catalog, Oct. 26, 1944 Item 580].

Sam’s notebook entry:

Truth, Nov. 14 ’95, contains a clear statement of the unfair treatment of Surgeon Lea of the Navy by the Admiralty [Gribben 717; NB 36 TS 14]. Note: Truth, A Weekly Journal (London).

January 2 Thursday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 3 Friday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana along the southern shore of Australia, en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 4 Saturday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon. Sam’s notebook reveals anchoring off Albany, Western Australia for mail pickup and delivery, and newspapers. [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 34; NB 36 TS 14]. Tied up in the “perfectly landlocked roadstead — the most desolate-looking rocks & scarred hills.” Many ships were arriving, “full of people rushing to the mines,” hoping to get rich [At Home 196]. Note: Sam must have thought of his own mining days in Nevada. His notebook contains opinions of Australia, including:

One must say it very softly, but the truth is that the native Australian is as vain of his pretty country as if it were the final masterpiece of God, achieved by Him from designs by that Australian. He is as sensitive about her as men are of sacred things — can’t bear to have critical things said about her [196: quoting NB by Paine 265].

…Thinks he is going to build a mighty nation there, & some day be an independent one — a republic — cut up his 60 & 100,000-acre sheep runs into farms, maybe — irrigate the deserts, &c — Federation is sound; but better not hurry to cut loose from England…Australasia is the modern heaven — it is bossed absolutely by the workingman.


Buckle says the bulk of population of India is the Sudras — the workers, the farmers, the creators of wealth. Their name — laborer — is a term of contempt [Gribben 109; NB 36: TS 15]. Note: Henry Thomas Buckle’s History of Civilization in England. 2 vols. (1857 and 1861).

Sam also quoted Sir Alfred Lyall about the religious divisions of Asia [Gribben 430; NB 36 TS 15].

Robert Roundabout (pseudonym) in “Roundabout Readings,” Punch CX p.4 had high praise for HF [Tenney 25].


January 5 Sunday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.

January 5. At 9 this morning we passed Cape Leeuwin (lioness) and ceased our long due-west course along the southern shore of Australia. Turning this extreme south-western corner, we now take a long straight slant nearly N.W., without a break, for Ceylon. As we speed northward it will grow hotter very fast — but it isn’t chilly, now [FE ch XXXVII 335].


Sam’s notebook, on comparing Australasia with India: “see previous quotation from Buckle” [Gribben 109; NB 36 TS 18]. Note: See Jan 4 entry and Ch. XXXIX FE.

Sam copied the first eight lines from Reginald Heber’s poem, “Missionary Hymn,” more popularly known as “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” into his notebook 36, though he disagreed with the sentiment [Gribben 304].

The Boston Daily Globe, p.25 “Youth of Mark Twain” of this day was a long article about Sam’s youth and the many pranks played. It began, however, with two paragraphs about the present world tour and his efforts to get out of debt, echoing sentiments that would increase his popularity:

The news from Australia that Mark Twain, now has such a firm hold on American hearts, is meeting with success on his debt-paying lecture tour, makes his host of friends rejoice, while interest in the author of “Innocents Abroad” and “Tom Sawyer” is stimulated anew.

      Since he said “The law recognizes no mortgage on a man’s brain — and honor is a harder master than the law — it cannot compromise for less than a hundred cents on the dollar and its debts never outlaw,” and straightway set about paying up his debts, the good people of the little town of Florida, Mo, where he was born, have been prouder of him than ever.

January 6 Monday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon. Sam was still suffering from carbuncles, and a lingering cold. Lorch writes, “Twain spent most of his time reading, finding particular fascination in Sir John Lubbock’s books on ant life” [192]. A check of Sam’s NB 37 TS 38-44, however [supplied by Gribben, 428] reveals this reading to be on his Apr. 11-23 voyage, and, though Lorch may have found documentation of an earlier use, he does not offer it. From Sam’s notebook:

At midnight went to sleep with eight bells in my ear; slept; woke & heard 2 bells; slept, woke, heard 4 bells; slept, woke, heard 7 bells; slept, woke, heard 1 bell; slept, woke, heard 2 bells & the bugle-call to breakfast. Took my coffee in bed — kind of a fool of a night [NB 36 TS 18]

January 7 Tuesday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 8 Wednesday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon. Sam’s notebook carries comment on books he’d recently read at sea. First up, Henry Kingsley’s The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn, n.d.

Henry Kingsley’s book, Geoffry Hamlin is a curiosity. In places & for a little while at a time, it strongly interested me, but the cause lay in the action of the story, not in the story’s people. All the people are offensive. Some of them might be well enough if they could be protected from the author’s intolerable admiration of them….The reader is lost in wonder that any man can be so piteously bewitched & derationalized by his own creations. The book’s grammar is bad, its English poor & slovenly, its art of the crudest. There is one very interesting feature: the author is never able to make the reader believe in the things that happen in the tale. It is not that the things are extraordinary, it is merely that the author lacks the knack of making them look natural….And how misty, vague, unreal, artificial the characters are [Gribben 374; NB 37 TS 3-4]. Note: See also Dec. 1 NB entry.

On this voyage I have read a number of novels. Prince Otto — full of brilliances, of course — plenty of exquisite phrasing — an easy-flowing tale, but — well, my sympathies were not with any of the people in it. I did not care whether any of them prospered or not. There was a fault somewhere; it could have been in me [Gribben 664; NB 37 TS 3]. Note: Prince Otto: A Romance (1885) by Robert Louis Stevenson.


Zangwill’s “Master” is done in good English — what a rare thing good English is! & the grammar is good, too — & what a very very rare thing that is! The characters are real, they are flesh & blood, they are definite; one knows what they will do in nearly any given set of circumstances. And when there is an incident, an episode, it comes about in a natural way, & happens just as it would happen in actual life [Gribben 796; NB 37 TS 4-5]. Note: Israel Zangwill’s The Master; A Novel.

January 9 Thursday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 10 Friday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 11 Saturday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon.


January 12 Sunday – The Clemens party was at sea on the Oceana en route to Colombo, Ceylon. Shut up in his “cabin with another allfired cold,” Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

I shall have to read in Colombo if there is time; and we are trying to doctor-up my voice. But I don’t care if it never gets audible again. I have been persecuted with carbuncles and colds until I am tired and disgusted and angry.

      I’ve been writing a note to J. Henry Harper to ask him to renew the copyright of “Innocents Abroad” for Mrs. Clemens’s benefit.

Sam then mentioned an old debt owed to him which the Webster & Co. creditors should be ashamed to collect — of about $700 from the $500 he lent to Jesse Grant in 1885 when they were hard up. It had never been paid, so as a receivable of Webster & Co., the creditors might claim it. Sam pointed out to Rogers something that he probably knew well, that Sam had saved the Grant family $200,000 by keeping them from signing a contract with the Century Co. for a ten per cent royalty.

It is roasting hot here within fifty yards of the equator. Mrs. Clemens doesn’t allow me to leave this room to-night. Still, I think I will dress and go on deck. …I think that when I get through in South Africa I will settle down there or in England for half a year or more and write two books before I take up lecturing again. Please remember me to Miss Harrison [MTHHR 190-1].


Sam also wrote (not extant) to J. Henry Harper, as mentioned in the letter to Rogers (above).

January 13 Monday – From FE ch XXXVII, p.336:

January 13. Unspeakably hot. The equator is arriving again. We are within eight degrees of it. Ceylon present. Dear me, it is beautiful! And most sumptuously tropical, as to character of foliage and opulence of it. “What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle” — an eloquent line, an incomparable line; it says little, but conveys whole libraries of sentiment, and Oriental charm and mystery, and tropic deliciousness….Colombo, the capital. An Oriental town, most manifestly; and fascinating…In this palatial ship the passengers dress for dinner. The ladies’ toilettes make a fine display of color….There has been a deal of cricket-playing on board; it seems a queer game for a ship, but they enclose the promenade deck with nettings and keep the ball from flying overboard, and the sport goes very well, and is properly violent and exciting….We must part from this vessel here.


The S.S. Oceana arrived in Colombo, Ceylon. The Clemens party took rooms in the Hotel Bristol for a one-night stay. In her Jan. 17 letter to Susan Crane, Livy called Colombo “the most fascinating, picturesque place that I have ever seen. Oh, the moving, changing pictures was something marvelous. Sam’s cold prevented him from lecturing in Colombo — or was it the early sailing of the Rosetta? [Ahluwalia 9]. Note: this source gives both reasons, citing local newspaper articles, and Sam’s Feb. 8 to Rogers.

January 14 Tuesday – From FE ch XXXVII, p.336-44, a day of sight-seeing in Colombo:

January 14. Hotel Bristol. Servant Brompy. Alert, gentle, smiling, winning young brown creature as ever was. Beautiful shining black hair combed back like a woman’s, and knotted at the back of his head — tortoise-shell comb in it, sign that he is a Singhalese; slender, shapely form; jacket; under it is a beltless and flowing white cotton gown — from neck straight to heel; he and his outfit quite unmasculine. It was an embarrassment to undress before him.

      We drove to the market, using the Japanese jinriksha — our first acquaintanceship with it. It is a light cart, with a native to draw it….There’s a plenty of these ‘rickshas, and the tariff is incredibly cheap.

      The drive through the town and out to the Galle Facè by the seashore, what a dream it was of tropical splendors of bloom and blossom, and Oriental conflagrations of costume! The walking groups of men, women, boys, girls, babies — each individual was a flame, each group a house afire for color. And such stunning colors, such intensely vivid colors, such rich and exquisite minglings and fusings of rainbows and lightnings!


Evening — 14th. Sailed in the Rosetta. This is a poor old ship, and ought to be insured and sunk. As in the Oceana, just so here: everybody dresses for dinner; they make it a sort of pious duty. These fine and formal costumes are a rather conspicuous contrast to the poverty and shabbiness of the surroundings….If you want a slice of lime at four o’clock tea, you must sign an order on the bar. Limes cost 14 cents a barrel [Ch XXXVIII p. 345].


Clara Clemens remembered her father’s reactions upon reaching Ceylon:

Father seemed like a young boy in his enthusiasm over everything he saw. He kept reiterating: “This wonderful land, this marvelous land! There can be no other like it.” He loved the heat, the punkahs, the bungalows, and the continuous opportunity to wear white clothes without attracting attention. …A great wave of careless joy spread over the spirits of all and we felt as if we were entering upon a long holiday, because the strange sights and sounds made one oblivious to one’s own affairs. It did not take Father long to purchase one of the birch-bark umbrella hats — fine protectors against the heat…. We only stayed long enough in Ceylon to see some of the tropical gardens and sandy roads by the sea [MFMT 153-4].

Clara later recalled her father riding an elephant, and put it to the day in Colombo, but her recollection was often faulty for times and places. The ride would happen at Baroda Station on Jan. 31 — see entry.

The Ceylon Observer ran an article, “Mark Twain in Columbo,” announcing his arrival and suggesting Sam had no hotel initially.

When our representative met him Mark Twain was in the unenviable position of not knowing where to lay his head for the night, the influx of passengers having filled up the hotels. Amid the bustle of looking after luggage the conversation was naturally of a hurried and disjointed nature. “What ! you are not going to lecture in Colombo?” asked the pressman with astonishment. “Well, not at present. I am going to fool round India a bit first.” Fortunately at this state Mr. R.S. Smythe of Melbourne, who is traveling with Mr. Clemens, came to the rescue; and from him we were kindly favoured with an outline of the tour. Mr. Smythe explained that it was intended that Mark Twain should have lectured in Colombo tomorrow; but the time of departure of the P.& O. ss. “Rosetta” in which he travels to Bombay rendered this impossible.

In the evening the Clemens party sailed for Bombay on the S.S. Rosetta [Rodney, next to p. 182].

January 15 Wednesday – On the S.S. Rosetta the Clemens party was en route on a three-day passage through the Arabian Sea to Bombay, India.

January 16 Thursday – On the S.S. Rosetta the Clemens party was en route on a three-day passage through the Arabian Sea to Bombay, India.

January 17 Friday – On the S.S. Rosetta the Clemens party was en route on a three-day passage through the Arabian Sea to Bombay, India. Livy began a letter to Sue Crane that she finished in Bombay on Jan. 24. Due to the heat Livy and Clara put their mattresses on deck for the night, but Sam was still confined to his cabin with a bad cold [Livy to Crane Jan. 18].

Livy wrote to Susan Crane. “To-morrow about two we expect to reach Bombay” [MTP].


January 18 Saturday – From FE ch XXXVIII p. 345:

We have been running up the Arabian Sea, latterly. Closing up on Bombay now, and due to arrive this evening.


On board at noon Livy wrote to Susan Crane that they expected to reach Bombay at four. The newspapers reported that both R.S. and Carlyle G. Smythe were aboard. The US Vice-Consul Samuel Comfort and others met the Clemens party upon their arrival. A formal reception was called off at the last minute when the Rosetta arrived hours early. The Clemens party took rooms at the Esplanade Hotel, also known as Watson’s Hotel [Ahluwalia 9].

While approaching Bombay Sam referred to George Bruce Malleson’s The Indian Mutiny of 1857:

“The Indian Mutiny” — Col. G.B. Malleson, C.S.I. Review it. Abuse his spelling of Kahnpur, &c [Gribben 447; NB 36 TS 19].

At the hotel Sam witnessed a scene of abuse that brought vivid images of his boyhood:


Our rooms were high up, on the front. A white man — he was a burly German — went up with us, and brought three natives along to see to arranging things. About fourteen others followed in procession, with the hand-baggage; each carried an article — and only one; a bag, in some cases, in other cases less. One strong native carried my overcoat, another a parasol, another a box of cigars, another a novel, and the last man in the procession had no load but a fan. It was all done in earnestness and sincerity, there was not a smile in the procession from the head of it to the tail of it. Each man waited patiently, tranquilly, in no sort of hurry, till one of us found time to give him a copper, then he bent his head reverently, touched his forehead with his fingers, and went his way….

      There was a vast glazed door which opened upon the balcony. It needed closing, or cleaning, or something, and a native got down on his knees and went to work at it. He seemed to be doing it well enough, but perhaps he wasn’t, for the burly German put on a look that betrayed dissatisfaction, then without explaining what was wrong, gave the native a brisk cuff on the jaw and then told him where the defect was. It seemed such a shame to do that before us all. The native took it with meekness, saying nothing, and not showing in his face or manner any resentment. I had not seen the like of this for fifty years. It carried me back to my boyhood, and flashed upon me the forgotten fact that this was the usual way of explaining one’s desires to a slave. …those unresented cuffings made me sorry for the victim and ashamed for the punisher.


That evening, Sam tried to sleep:


Some natives — I don’t remember how many — went into my bedroom, now, and put things to rights and arranged the mosquito-bar, and I went to bed to nurse my cough. It was about nine in the evening. What a state of things! For three hours the yelling and shouting of natives in the hall continued along with the velvety patter of their swift bare feet — what a racket it was! They were yelling orders and messages down three flights. Why, in the matter of noise it amounted to a riot, an insurrection, a revolution. And then there were other noises mixed up with these and at intervals tremendously accenting them — roofs falling in, I judged, windows smashing, persons being murdered, crows squawking, and deriding, and cursing, canaries screeching, monkeys jabbering, macaws blaspheming, and every now and then fiendish bursts of laughter and explosions of dynamite. By midnight I suffered all the different kinds of shocks there are, and knew that I could never more be disturbed by them, either isolated or in combination [FE ch. XXXVIII 348-53].

January 19 Sunday – In Bombay, Sam wrote of the first night from midnight on:

Then came peace — stillness deep and solemn — and lasted till five.

      Then it all broke loose again. And who re-started it? The Bird of Birds — the Indian crow. I came to know him well, by and by, and be infatuated with him. I suppose he is the hardest lot that wears feathers. Yes, and the cheerfulest, and the best satisfied with himself. He never arrived at what he is by any careless process, or by any sudden one; he is a work of art, and “art is long”; he is the product of immemorial ages, and of deep calculation; one can’t make a bird like that in a day [FE ch. XXXVIII 353].


Dr. Sidney Smith ordered Sam to keep to his bed for five or six days; the diagnosis was bronchial cough and fever. Sam remained in bed, nursing his cold [Parsons, “MT India” 76; Ahluwalia 9].

Sam hired a bearer named Mousha this morning, and rechristened him “Satan” [Parsons “MT India” 79].

January 20 Monday – In Bombay, Sam’s notebook [NB 36 TS 20]:

Been shut up all the time with this infernal cough. It does not improve. I wish I was in hell.

Parsons writes,

One comfort was that Livy and Clara could go out sightseeing for him. As Mark told a newsman, “My wife and daughter overwhelm me with the fascinations of Bombay.” From his window to the large balcony door and then to the rail, the stay-at-home moved closer to the passing show. From his balcony, just two days after his arrival, he was peering across the road at the spectacle under shade trees of a “juggler in his turban…with his snakes and his magic.” And always there was a flow of life, an incessant play of color. “Bombay! A bewitching place, a bewildering place, an enchanting place” [“MT India” 76].


January 21 Tuesday – Sam was still laid up at Watson’s Hotel in Bombay. He would not be able to venture out until his lecture on Friday, Jan. 24. In his notebook he jotted, “Private Life of an Eastern King. — Chelsea Library. Get it,” referring to William Knighton’s book by that title (1855). Sam would check it out from the London Library on Oct. 22.


January 22 Wednesday – In Bombay, Sam’s notebook:

Wed., Jan 22, ’96. Read Edwin Lord Weeks’s article on Bombay in Nov. Harper [NB 36 TS 22].


Invited, with the family, to lunch with Lord Sandhurst, Governor of Bombay, at Government House, Malabar Point, tomorrow….had to decline — not able to go out before the lecture day after tomorrow, lest my cough jump on me again [NB 36 TS 24]. Note: Weeks’ article, “Recent Impressions of Anglo-Indian Life” [Gribben 754]. Note William Mansfield Sandhurst (1855-1921), British statesman, Governor of Bombay.

Sam was interviewed by the Times of India (pub. Jan 23) and the Bombay Gazette (pub. Jan. 23, 24) . See Scharnhorst, 270, 273, 277. Parsons writes of these interviews:

Marching to and fro while he manufactured smoke with his commodious brierroot pipe, he unwrapped his notions one after another: that he himself stumbled into journalism, not being “particular in those days,” then began “slipping” from one thing to another; that he worked when the mood took him “till late into the night,” with an interval at seven when “they pull me away from table to dress for dinner”; that interviews could only be “fluff and foam” after all, because the phrasing and the matter were spur-of-the-moment stuff [“MT India” 76].


Lord William M. Sandhurst wrote a note on Government of Bombay letterhead to Sam. “It would give us much pleasure, if with Mrs. & Miss Clemens you would come to lunch tomorrow at 1.30” [MTP].


January 23 Thursday – Having declined an invitation with Lord William Sandhurst to lunch at Malabar Point, Sam was recovering in time for his lecture the following day, Jan. 24.


January 24 Friday – In Bombay, Sam took the stage for his first “At Home” lecture in India at the Novelty Theater, 5:30 p.m. to an enthusiastic and “crowded house,” with “a party of ladies and gentlemen from Government House,” mostly an audience of Europeans, but “with a large number of Parsees present — to say nothing of a good sprinkling of Mahomedans and Hindus” [Ahluwalia 9: Bombay Gazette, Jan. 25]. The crowd, consisting of “almost every prominent citizen of Bombay,” gave Sam “round after round of loud, prolonged, and enthusiastic applause.” Sam was still a bit hoarse.


Livy finished her Jan.17 letter to Sue Crane:

Absolutely the most fascinating place I have seen, and for a week I have been trying to write you about it, but could not snatch a moment. Social life and sightseeing all the time — breakfasts, teas, dinners, balls. / Livy [MTP].


The New York Times, p.4 ran an article about the identity of the “Joan of Arc” papers.

When the series of papers entitled “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” began to appear anonymously in Harper’s Magazine several months ago, word came from Hartford that the author was Mark Twain. The statement at the time was printed in the New-York Times. It now appears that the report was well-founded. In Vol. VI. Of the “National Cyclopedia of American Biography,” published yesterday, appears of sketch of Mark Twain based on material furnished by himself, in which these papers are named as the last work thus far published by him.

January 25 Saturday – In Bombay, Sam’s notebook:

It was Mr. Ghandi (delegate to Chicago World’s Fair Congress of Religions) who explained everything to us yesterday at the Jain temple.

      From there went to the house of a wealthy Parsee to assist at a gathering in honor of knighthood being bestowed upon H H The Prince of Politana….

      Afterward Parsee palace. Owner had heard me in London 22 years ago [NB 36 TS 24-5].


Note: This guide was Virchand Raghavji Gandi, not Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, the famous Indian reformer. As for “Politana,” Ahluwalia gives it as “Palitana”; also “Gandhi” [10].


Sam spent nearly two hours looking at the buildings and statues with jewelry. He was scheduled to be entertained by the Byculla Club in the evening. Ahluwalia writes,

According to V.R. Gandhi, who escorted them, MT, Olivia, and Clara went to the Jain temple in the company of United States Consul and his wife, and the Vice-Consul, “accompanied by Mr. Fakirchand and myself.” All three Clemenses had questions about the beliefs of the Jains, and how they differed from those of the Brahmins. Citing Parsons, “Mark Twain: Sightseer in India” and Clara’s My Father Mark Twain, Mutalik says Olivia and Clara, without MT, had also attended an earlier reception, ‘at the house of a Hindu,’ honoring the Prince of Palitana” [See MFMT 156-7; Keshav Mutalik, Mark Twain in India (Bombay: Noble, 1978); Parsons “MT India”].

Parsons writes of the next attraction:

From the temple the party went to Lovelane in the Byculla section. There, in the large hall of the bungalow of Premchand Roychand, a wealthy broker once known as “the uncrowned king of Bombay,” Mark awaited the arrival of the begemmed Thakur Saheb Masinghji of Palitania, whom the Queen-Empress Victoria had just created a Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. …

      A Hindu ceremony which the Americans attended toward midnight made a different impression on Clara and on her father. Clara remembered joining a foot procession from the home of the twenty-year old bridegroom to that of the twelve-year old bride, where a wedding took place, and Mark recalled betrothal festivities at the bride’s house. As they drove down the streets, they saw hundreds of blanket-wrapped forms strewn like victims of pestilence or pogrom….Twain had a premonition which was realized eight months later in bubonic plague[“MT India” 77-8]. (emphasis added.)

Mehrjibhai N. Kuka in Bombay wrote to Sam, sending his book, The Wit and Humour of the Persians (1894), which Kuka hoped Sam would accept “as a token of…sincere admiration for your genius” [MTP]. See Gribben 390.


January 26 Sunday – In Bombay, Sam’s notebook:

Sunday, we lunched at Government House with their excellencies, the Governor and Lady Sandhurst; & at 4 p.m. visited the Towers of Silence with three Parsi gentlemen.

      Lovely drive around the sea at sunset, Malabar Point and Scandal Point [NB 36 TS 25-6].

The three “Parsi gentlemen” were C. Rustomjee, D.H.J. Rustomjee, and Framjee C. Mehta, founder of a Parsi weekly. At the gates they were received in time for the ceremonial disposal of the dead by the son of the head priest of the Fire Temple at Colaba, Jeewanjee Jamshedjee Mody. Mody was the secretary of the Parsee Panchayet Trust Funds, and had spoken at the Chicago Congress of Religions [Parsons 78]. See Sam’s account of his visit to the Towers of Silence in FE ch XL 371-7.

Parsons writes that Sam was “vibrant with curiosity,” wanting to know all about the Towers: “In response to his questions, he was shown a model of the Towers by Nusserwanjee Byramjee, who explained their construction and use. Then the visitor [Mark Twain] wrote in the book of the Panchayet [Parsi council]”:

One marvels to see here a perfect system for the protection of the living from the contagion derivable from the dead — I mean one marvels to see this proof that modern science is behind the ancients in this so important matter. S.L. Clemens [“MT India” 78]. Note: the bodies thus delivered were devoured by vultures, which Sam felt was about on a par with cremation.


Upon leaving the towers, the Clemens party was given bouquets and taken on a drive along the Walkeshwar Road by these same three Parsi friends [“MT India” 79; Ahluwalia 10].

Sam’s notebook:

The model of the Towers [of Silence, a Parsee shrine,] shown & explained by Mr. Modi. See his book [Gribben 479; NB 36 TS 26]. Note: Modi published several books in Bombay about the Parsees.

January 27 Monday – The Hindoo Patriot of Feb. 4, 1896 reported on Sam’s whereabouts,

Mark Twain, accompanied by Miss Clemens, visited Monday, in company with Mr. A.S. Panday [sic], the rooms of the Bombay Natural History Society, where Mr Phipson accorded the distinguished visitor a cordial reception. Mr. Clemens expressed himself much pleased with the museum in the rooms of the society [Ahluwalia 10].

At 5:30 p.m. at the Novelty Theatre in Bombay, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) program. Reviews published Jan. 28: Bombay Gazette; Times of India; Advocate of India: Feb. 6: Englishman reported that his three Bombay lectures at the Novelty Theatre “was thronged in every part” [Ahluwalia 10, 21].


Sam’s notebook further informs:

Clara & I went with Mr. Pandy to the Natural History Collection –Mr Phipson heard me in London in ’73…/

Lectured 5.30 p.m., Novelty Theatre: Watermelon, Duel, Crusade, Interviewer, Poem. 1.10 [hours].

      Invitation from the Gaeckwar of Baroda to come & lecture in his palace. Maybe we can. This is the stunningest of the Indian Princes [added later, in ink: “except the Nizam”]

      Entertained by the Bombay Club. Made a speech. No other speeches but the Chairman’s.

      Went from there at 10.30 to the Yacht Club’s beautiful house — Mrs. C. & Clara there at a ball–& at 11.30 we & Smythe drove to an Indian wedding. Gaudy — gorgeous decorations — a bewildering dazzle [NB 36 TS 26-7].

January 28 Tuesday – In Bombay, the wedding festivities of the prior night lasted till the wee hours. Sam wrote of it in FE:

We withdrew from the festivities at two in the morning. Another picture, then — but it has lodged itself in my memory rather as a stage-scene than as a reality. It is of a porch and short flight of steps crowded with dark faces and ghostly-white draperies flooded with the strong glare from the dazzling concentration of illuminations; and midway of the steps one conspicuous figure for accent — a turbaned giant, with a name according to his size: Rao Bahadur Baskirao Blainkanje Pitale, Vakeel to his Highness the Gaikwar of Baroda. Without him the picture would not have been complete; and if his name had been merely Smith, he wouldn’t have answered [ch XLII 388-9].


In ch. XLIV p.400, Sam wrote an entry with this date of being allowed the temporary use of an official Thug-book, and that they were making preparations to travel, which included purchasing of bedding, for no trains or hotels provided it for travelers. This practice was left over from the times when there were no railroads and hotels did not exist.

In Bombay Sam wrote a short letter to Mr. Bennett, sorry he was “to lose that dinner & the good time we should have,” but he’d have only a dozen hours upon returning from Poona before having to leave for Baroda, but hoped “for a glimpse” of Bennett on Thursday, Jan. 30 [MTP].

At 9:30 p.m. in Bombay Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 3) lecture. Reviews published Jan. 29: Bombay Gazette; Times of India [Ahluwalia 10, 21].

January 29 Wednesday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe made a “flying trip” to Poona, returning to Bombay the following morning. Sam’s notebook:

Jan. 29. Left for Poona — (southeast).

      At the mountain station of Lonauli — 12.30 am, was given that remarkable circus bill.

      Been passing through ghats since 10 or 11 (now 12.30) [NB 36 TS 28].


There was no one to meet Sam at the Poona station, though he’d been invited to speak there. His lecture at the Gymkhana Club Hall was inadequate for the crowd, which was mostly English with a few Indian men and women [Ahluwalia 10-11]. Back in Bombay, Livy and Clara were no doubt securing bedding for the coming trip.


January 30 Thursday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe returned to Bombay at 11 a.m. Sam spent “Two interesting hours with this prince” Kumar Shri Samatsinghji of Politana State, “& his young daughter — along with Merewether. The others saw the Rani his Wife” [NB 36 TS 29].

Sam and Smythe left at 10 p.m. for Baroda, some 245 miles north. Sam wrote of leaving:

January 30. What a spectacle the railway station was, at train-time! It was a very large station, yet when we arrived it seemed as if the whole world was present — half of it inside, the other half outside, and both halves, bearing mountainous head-loads of bedding and other freight, trying simultaneously to pass each other, in opposing floods, in one narrow door. …

      When we reached our car, Satan and Barney [hired bearers] had already arrived there with their train of porters carrying bedding and parasols and cigar boxes, and were at work. We named him Barney for short; we couldn’t use his real name, there wasn’t time [FE ch XLIV 400-4].


January 31 Friday – At Baroda Station, some 245 miles north of Bombay, Sam was treated to a “ride on a lurching elephant, without a mahout at the controls” [Parsons “MT India” 80]. Clara recalled this as in Colombo, but her later recollections of time and place were often faulty, and the Clemens party had less than 24 hours in Colombo with Sam mostly in bed.    


Father seated on an elephant defies description. There was something funny about the sight to me; and Father, suspecting what I was giggling about, said, “What are you laughing at, you sassmill?”

      “If you could see yourself, Father, you would laugh, too. The elephant looks so unreal with all his important trappings and you have such a troubled air, as if you realized your hat did not match the blue-and-red harness.”

      Father never minded being laughed at unless something else had gone wrong with him. So he replied he did not believe the picture could be any stranger than his feelings, the driver of the beast seemed so far off. What could he do if the elephant decided to run? Nobody could answer this question, so he decided to forget it and enjoy the picturesque little streets and unfamiliar architecture. [MFMT 154].


Parsons writes,

      By seven, Friday morning, they alighted at Baroda Station….At that hour the shy sun and the wan lights were dispiriting, but the officials, the servants, and the impressive carriage sent by the Gaikwar of Baroda, who invited the lecturer, were picturesque and reassuring. A drive through park and forest brought the strangers to Baroda on the Viswamitri River. The time-encrusted city was hearty in odor, ringing with sound, pullulating with life. Sightseeing, planned and unplanned, took the Twain party on to villages tranced in silence, glaringly new, Indo-Saracenic Laxmi Vilas Palace, and such wonders as two salute cannon, one silver and the other gold, weighing 280 pounds each. Somehow Twain missed the Maharaja’s £3,000,000 display of jewelry, but he was treated to a ride on a lurching elephant, without a mahout at the controls [“MT India” 80].

At 4:30 p.m. Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in Durbar Hall of the Laxmi Vilas Palace to the Gaikwar of Baroda and 200 guests (Rodney gives 300 guests and calls this “The Great Hall of the Palace[182].) They left Baroda at 10 p.m. and Sam slept all the way back to Bombay, arriving at 7 a.m. on Feb. 1. Parsons writes that the return had to be that night so Sam might begin the 866 mile trip to Allahabad. “As the train crossed the mountain range of the Western Ghats in the dark, that enemy of rest, the temperature, dropped from summer to winter” [Parsons “MT India” 81].  

February 1 Saturday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe arrived back in Bombay at 7 a.m. That evening the entire Clemens party left Bombay for Allahabad by a night train. It would be a two-day, two-night trip. It was customary, Sam writes at the beginning of ch. XLVIII in FE, “to avoid day travel when it can be conveniently done.” There was no system to reserve sleeping berths so the bearers had to remain in possession of them until the ticket owners boarded. This explains Sam’s notebook entry:

Capt. Cox took Carlyle Smythe’s engaged berth last night (Engaged-ticket) on the door) & an American woman stole Clara’s [NB 36 TS 33].

Sam tried the newest thing for sleepwear, “pyjamas”:


At first the night promised to be fatiguing, but that was on account of pyjamas. This foolish night-dress consists of jacket and drawers….Pyjamas are hot on a hot night and cold on a cold night — defects which the nightshirt is free from. I tried pyjamas in order to be in the fashion; but I was obliged to give them up, I couldn’t stand them. I missed the refreshing and luxurious sense, induced by the night-gown, of being undressed, emancipated, set free from restraints and trammels. In place of that, I had the worried, confined, oppressed, and suffocated sense of being abed wit my clothes on [FE ch XLIX 459].


Before leaving Bombay Sam wrote to Dr. Sidney Smith who had treated him for his bronchitis and carbuncles. The good doctor had charged him 25 rupees each for four visits. Sam thought the amount “seemed unaccountably large” and so waited to pay while making “some inquiries” and discovering that 10 rupees per visit was the norm.


There seems to be a mistake somewhere & it may be that you can rectify or explain it. My address for the next fortnight will be care of

      E. Bevan & Co., Calcutta.

Meantime I enclose cheque for Rs. 40 & will await an explanation of the seemingly extra charge [MTP].

Sam also sent a telegram to Sir George Wolseley, “General Commanding, &c.”

Am happy to say shall not arrive until after 11th, shall hope to be able to accept your kind hospitality, will write from Calcutta some days hence [MTP].

George Washington Cable’s article, “Samuel L. Clemens, ‘Mark Twain,’” ran in The Letter (a publication of the Home Culture Clubs of Northampton, Mass.). Cable praised the entertaining quality of Mark Twain’s humor, and the way it bears rereading [Tenney 25].

February 2 Sunday – The Clemens party was on their long train ride all day.


February 3 Monday – The Clemens party arrived in Allahabad:

We arrived in the forenoon, and short-handed; for Satan [their servant] got left behind somewhere that morning, and did not overtake us until after nightfall. It seemed very peaceful without him. The world seemed asleep and dreaming.

      I did not see the native town, I think. I do not remember why….But I saw the English part of the city. It is a town of wide avenues and noble distances, and is comely and alluring, and full of suggestions of comfort and leisure, and of the serenity which a good conscience buttressed by a sufficient bank account gives [FE ch XLIX 465-6].


His servant missing, Sam wired the Station Master in Maikpur (he crossed out G.F. Kellner & Co.).

Kindly forward my detained servant by next train. M.T. [MTP].


At 9:30 p.m. Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) lecture “to a packed house” at the Railway Club Theatre in Allahabad. His servant “Satan” arrived at 11 p.m. He’d been taken into custody for trying to board the train while it was moving. Sam went to the A.W.P. Club (probably the Allahabad Press Club) at 11:30 p.m. to leave his card but no one was there [Ahluwalia 12; NB 36 TS 35].

February 4 Tuesday – In Allahabad, India, Sam was up at dawn. When Livy and Clara were ready, they took a drive.

In the early brightness we made a long drive out to the Fort [built by Akbar, the Mogul emperor in the 16th C.]. Part of the way was beautiful. It led under stately trees and through groups of native houses and by the usual village well, where the picturesque gangs are always flocking to and fro and laughing and chattering….

      Then we struck into the hot plain, and found the roads crowded with pilgrims of both sexes, for one of the great religious fairs of India was being held, just beyond the Fort, at the junction of the sacred rivers, the Ganges and the Jumna [FE ch XLIX 468-9].


Parsons writes of Sam at the Fort, where the Great Mutiny took place in 1857, with the defense of the fort by English and loyal Sikhs:

From the ramparts of the Fort he gazed at the confluence of the pale blue Jumna and the mud-yellow Ganges. But he failed to make out the third sacred stream, the Saraswati, although he seemed to have entered subterranean shrines where the hidden river is said to ooze out of the rocky walls [“MT India” 82].

In the afternoon the Clemens party started for Benares, some 90 miles from Allahabad. Sam wrote:

The journey to Benares was all in daylight, and occupied but a few hours. It was admirably dusty. The dust settled upon you in a thick ashy layer and turned you into a faker, with nothing lacking to the role but the cow manure and the sense of holiness. There was a change of cars about mid-afternoon at Moghul-serai — if that was the name — and a wait of two hours there for the Benares train [FE ch L 475].


The day of the carriage excursion to the Fort, Mark Twain also covered the 72 miles to Benares by the East Indian and the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railways. Although there was a two-hour wait in the mid-afternoon (probably at Mirzapur), with a change to the Benares train, and a 45 minute wait at Moghi Serai, a junction outside the holy city, there was so much to engage his eye that Twain thought the journey took only a few hours, being too short if anything. From the Kasi Station there was a long drive to the hotel in the western outskirts of Benares and then a mile beyond to the bungalow annex which the Clemenses were to have entirely to themselves [“MT India” 82]. Note: Parsons gives 72 miles to Benares, while Ahluwalia estimates “about” 90 miles.

Sam’s notebook:

Feb. 4, 2.10 p.m. Station 9 m W of Benares. Change cars. There 2 hours. Wonderful crowd of natives — hundreds and hundreds. / Thought this would all become commonplace in a week: 3 weeks of it have only enhanced its fascinations. I think I shd always like to wait an hour for my train in India… [NB 36 TS 37].  

February 5 Wednesday – In Benares The Clemens family was up at 6 a.m. and spent the whole day sightseeing [Feb. 8 to Rogers]. It was likely, then, that this was the day they hired a “commodious hand-propelled ark” and took several trips up and down the Ganges. Parsons writes,

Seated in awning-shaded chairs, they surveyed the fifty major ghats, or landing stairs, the shrines, temples, and palaces covering the stone-lined northern bluff, which bent in a crescent almost four miles long. Little cracks in the masonry massed at the top were the openings of narrow, winding, malodorous streets of red houses and peeling temples.

…Twain was eager to see how they did things at the Burning Ghat, a macabre three-ring circus with several flaming funerals going on at once. In half an hour, he had gone through nine cremations and was ready for a change.

      When he rowed to a landing, Twain went with his folk to the monkey-infested temple of black Kali (or Durga) [Thug goddess], with flower-garlanded goddess of death….Perhaps to clear his head, Mark climbed up the dark, spiral stairs of one of the 147-foot, leaning minarets, from whose cage he had a breathless view of the city, river, and plain [“MT India” 83].


Two letters from Sam survive for this day, and were likely written in the evening after the long day of sightseeing. The first was to Kumar Shri Samatsinghji in Bombay, thanking him for his recent hospitality.

It was our first glimpse of the home of an eastern prince; & the charm of it, the grace & beauty & dignity of it realized to use the pictures which we had long ago gathered from books of travel & oriental tales…

      We make our salutations to your Highness & to the members of your family — including, with affectionate regard, that littlest little sprite of a princess…[MTP].


The second letter was to H.H. Rogers.

I was delighted to see by enclosure from Langdon a few days ago, that you had decided to take the creditors individually & get releases from them at 50 cents on the dollar. And I was glad to see the first to respond was that Boston firm. They were always nice men to deal with; their only fault was that they were too easy with [Fred] Hall — they ought to have made him pay up occasionally.

Sam further discussed the possible sale of his Uniform Edition and of negotiations with Frank Bliss. He repeated that he meant to write his book (or books) before he decided on another American lecture tour. He also repeated that Pond was “such an idiot” but he knew no other American lecture agent. He summarized the places in India he’d lectured and his general schedule ahead. He also said that Rogers had “an excellent man in Bombay — Major Comfort” [MTP]. Note: Major Samuel Comfort was the manager of Standard Oil’s business in western India, headquartered in Bombay. He would soon become the American consul to Bombay.

February 6 Thursday – The Clemens party left Benares at 1:28 p.m. [NB 36 TS 39]. It was a seventeen and a half hour train ride from Benares to Calcutta. Parsons writes,

He was pleased with his car, which possessed not one iota of an American sleeper’s “luxury and magnificence,” yet was more comfortable with “plenty of air, and a night’s rest” ahead. But when he reached Macaulay’s “city of palaces” and British supremacy, he kept to his room in the Hotel Continental for about thirty hours with a cold picked up on the train [“MT India” 85].

February 7 Friday – The Clemens party changed trains at Moghalserais at 2 a.m. and arrived in Calcutta at 7 a.m. [NB 36 TS 39]. They took rooms at the Hotel Continental [Parsons “MT India” 85]. FE:

Like Bombay, it [Calcutta] has a population of nearly a million natives and a small gathering of white people. It is a huge city and fine, and is called the City of Palaces. It is rich in historical memories; rich in British achievement — military, political, commercial; rich in the results of miracles done by that brace of mighty magicians, Clive and Hastings. And has a cloud-kissing monument to one Ochterlony.

      It is a fluted candlestick 250 feet high. This lingham is the only large monument in Calcutta, I believe. It is a fine ornament, and will keep Ochterlony in mind [ch LIV 517].

Parsons writes that although Sam “kept to his room…for about thirty hours,” in the afternoon he received journalists from The Friend of India & Statesman and The Englishman [“MT India” 85]. The interview first appeared in The Englishman and in the Statesman on Feb. 8. Scharnhorst lists this plus an interview with the Calcutta Asian for this date [281].

Sam wrote to daughter Susy, in care of Susan Crane, Elmira:

Mamma is busy with my pen, declining invitations. And all because we haven’t you or Miss Foote or Miss Davis here to argue some of our stupid foolishness out of us and replace them with healthy thoughts — and by consequence physical soundness. I caught cold last night, coming from Benares, and am shut up in the hotel starving it out; and so, instead of river parties and dinners and things, all three of us must decline and stay at home. It is too bad — yes, and too ridiculous. I am perfectly certain that the exasperating colds and the carbuncles came from a diseased mind, and that your mental science could drive them away, if we only had one of you three here to properly apply it. I have no language to say how glad and grateful I am that you are a convert to that rational and noble philosophy. Stick to it; don’t let anybody talk you out of it. Of all earthly fortune it is the best, and most enriches the possessor. I always believed, in Paris, that if you could only get back to America and examine that system with your clear intellect you would see its truth and be saved…I wish I hadn’t declined the grand river-party down the Hoogly. I know I shall be well by noon to-morrow [LLMT 316]. Note: Lilly Foote was the Clemens’ former governess. Willis writes of Susy: “she practiced her mental science treatments on John Lewis’s daughter, also named Susy, and her cousin Julia Langdon” [231].


Note: Rodney has Sam giving “four engagements in rapid succession” in Calcutta, one at Dhurrumtolah House and three at the Theatre Royal, though he gives no date for the former, [183] which is not given by Ahluwalia.

February 8 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:

To-day and yesterday lay abed & starved a cold.

      This evening went to Belvedere & dined with the Lt. Governor of Bengal (Sir Alexander Mackenzie) & a dozen — private dinner party [NB 36 TS 40].

Sam sent a short note to Child & Co. after receiving some pipe tobacco:

This is the brand I wanted. I have smoked your Honey Dew Mixed in another part of the world, and learned to prefer it. Truly yours [MTP].

Sam also wrote a short paragraph to James B. Pond, acknowledging receipt of “Farm pictures,” taken at Quarry Farm.

Yes, indeed we got the Farm pictures, and mama has written you, but goodness knows when you will get the letter. They made us very homesick and I feel farther away than ever. I wonder if we shall ever see America again. I hope so. The world never seemed so big before. But I am glad to be in it [MTP: Paraphrased in Overland with Mark Twain, by Karanovich & Gribben].


Note: Pond had gone to Elmira after leaving Sam and Livy in Canada. See photograph of Susan Crane, Mrs. Martha G. Pond, her son Bim, and Susy Clemens taken on Sept. 15, 1895 at Quarry Farm, perhaps the last pictures made of Susy, in Mark Twain, an Illustrated Biography, by Ward & Duncan, 2001.

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, having just received his Dec. 7 letter (not extant).

Yours of Dec. 7 met us here yesterday, & I perceive that a letter of yours of an earlier date has failed to reach us. The first paragraph — about the finding of the Referee — plainly refers to something we know nothing of — also the paragraph at the top of the 3d page. You speak as if May has been in trouble of some sort. Is it so? We hope not. But at any rate, whatever it was she is evidently out of it again and we are very glad of that.


[Note: On July 28, 1893 May (Mai) Rogers eloped with Joseph Cooper Mott at Sheepshead Bay on Long Island. An annulment was granted in Dec. 1895 – MTHHR 195n1].

Sam was glad that the Webster & Co. assets might pay as much as 38 per cent of the debt, when all was liquidated. He bemoaned the idea that Frank Bliss might be entitled to the copyrights on Sam’s older books for 42 more years, and repeated the claim that Elisha Bliss “robbed me of $25,000 on a single contract” for RI. Frank Bliss’ claim was honored by Harper & Brothers, and they allowed Bliss to continue publishing some books on Harper’s list, but Sam later decided Bliss’ claim was false, but by then “the damage had been done.” [MTHHR 194n2].

Sam agreed to allow Century Co. to bid on his new book, but only by subscription with an advance payment of $10,000-$12,000, and Bliss had already offered the lower amount. Also, Sam was gratified that Rogers had managed to make “one or two thousand dollars” investing Livy’s money. Sam closed with a paragraph reviewing places he’d lectured, and that he’d been invited (by Col. F.W. Chatterton) to see “a series of magnificent military tournaments — regular mimic war” on Feb. 10 and 11. After his signature Sam wrote a short paragraph that the Century Co. didn’t have a “very large ‘moral right’” over him, for they drew a contract that he “couldn’t possibly agree to” [MTHHR 193-4].

During his stay in Calcutta, Sam met Francis Henry Bennett Skrine (1847-1933) and Helen Lucy Stewart Skrine. Francis would become an English author (see Gribben 645). Later references exist to the good times had with the Skrines in Calcutta, but no specific dates could be determined. (see also Gribben 645).

Arthur Parker wrote from Benares, India to Sam, transcribing a paragraph from the Jan. 4 issue of Punch which referenced HF, and which he had discussed with Sam earlier. Parker sent regards [MTP].

February 9 Sunday – In Calcutta, Sam went sightseeing. From his notebook:

Drove through native quarter & to Black Hole. Saw them excavating old brick cellars under the old Fort William [NB 36 TS 40].


The supposed site of the Black Hole is marked by an engraved plate. I saw that and better that than nothing. The Black Hole was a prison — a cell is nearer the right word — eighteen feet square, the dimensions of an ordinary bed chamber; and into this place the victorious Nabob of Bengal packed 146 of his English prisoners. There was hardly standing room for them; scarcely a breath of air was to be got; the time was night, the weather sweltering hot. Before the dawn came, the captives were all dead but twenty-three [FE ch LIV 520].

February 10 Monday – Sam’s notebook in Calcutta:

By invitation of His Excellency, Lt-General Sir William Elles, we went to the great field outside of Fort William, 7.20 a.m., & saw the inspection of the Calcutta garrison   

      At 9 [p.m.] went to the great military tournament — 9 till 12 [NB 36 TS 40, 42].

At 5:30 p.m. at the Theatre Royal, Sam gave his “At Home” lecture, running an hour and twenty. Reviews published Feb. 11: The Englishman; Calcutta Statesman; Calcutta Indian Daily News [Ahluwalia 21].


Parsons writes that the inspection of the garrison was by Commander-in-Chief, Sir George White and that by arranging his lecture to an early 5:30 p.m. he might watch the tournament, “electrically lit before 5,000 spectators,” at 9 p.m. [“MT India” 87].

February 11 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook in Calcutta:

Went to Government House to see the portraits.

Then an hour in the Museum, among Indian sculptures & inscriptions

Then to call on the Lieut. Governor of Bengal — stayed to luncheon.

Then to call on H.E. the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of India.

Then to call at the Bengal United Service Club….

Bought a silver mug for my niche as one of the founders of the Players, New York [NB 36 TS 42].


There was plenty to see in Calcutta, but there was not plenty of time for it. I saw the fort that Clive built; and the place where Warren Hastings and the author of the Junius Letters fought their duel; and the great botanical gardens; and the fashionable afternoon turnout in the Maidan; and a grand review of the garrison in a great plain at sunrise [Feb. 10]; and a military tournament [Feb. 10 and 11] in which great bodies of native soldiery exhibited the perfection of their drill at all arms, a spectacular and beautiful show occupying several nights and closing with the mimic storming of a native fort which was as good as the reality for thrilling and accurate detail, and better than the reality for security and comfort; we had a pleasure excursion on the Hoogly [river] by courtesy of friends, and devoted the rest of the time to social life and the Indian museum [FE ch. LIV 522].


February 12 Wednesday – At 5:30 p.m. in Calcutta Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture at the Theatre Royal to a packed house. The early time was selected so those in the suburbs might come, and leave just after 7 p.m. Sam’s Australian Poem was advertised as the “principal feature” by the Englishman (Feb. 12). Note: Reviews published Feb. 13: Calcutta Englishman; Calcutta Statesman [Ahluwalia 22].

February 13 Thursday – In Calcutta during the morning Sam attended the Supreme Legislative Council, and noted “the Viceroy (Lord Elgin) in the chair” [NB 36 TS 43-4]. The Englishman reported on Feb. 14 that the Council “had a distinguished visitor in the person of Mark Twain at its weekly meeting yesterday morning. Mr Clemens seemed to take considerable interest in the proceedings, which struck him as practical and businesslike” [Ahluwalia 15].

At 5:30 p.m. Sam gave his “At Home” lecture at the Theatre Royal to another packed house, his last in Calcutta. Sam’s notebook:

Packed house — jammed. Read Punch, McWilliams, Sandpile, German, 1.10. [hr+10 min.].

Didn’t do the Golden Arm — saved it for next Tuesday.

Barney [servant] is slow & not sure, Mausie [servant] is quick and not sure. Barney was to put a glass of water on my stage-table….What he finally did was to put a vast empty glass on the stage & a full one behind the scenes…. [NB 36 TS 43-4].


Note: Reviews published Feb. 14: Calcutta Englishman; Calcutta Indian Daily News; The Statesman [Ahluwalia 22]. The following is from a reproduction in Rodney, next to p.182 in the Feb.14 Calcutta Indian Daily News:



MARK TWAIN gave his last, “At Home,” yesterday afternoon [Feb. 13], and if one is to judge from the packed state of the Theatre Royal (many being turned away for want of space), our genial humourist might go on talking to crowded houses for an indefinite period. Anyway there was no lack of appreciation last evening, for every now and then, after an interval of intense silence, there would arise a burst of laughter and applause. Our visitor yesterday commenced by giving his excruciating experiences of learning a doggerel, composed as he put it, by a newspaper man who had nothing better to do, although personally he did not think there was such a thing as a newspaper man who had nothing to do. With a view to get the particular doggerel (the refrain of which was “Punch in the presence of the passenjare,” and which had reference to tram car tickets) out of his head, he took a ten-mile walk with a clerical friend — he always liked walking with clerical people: it was respectable: it reflected respectability on both.

Parsons writes of the Calcutta campaign:

Each of Mark’s three At Homes was in a “packed house — jammed” with the most responsive listeners of his Indian tour. His eyes half shut, his voice a monotone which sank “at times almost to a stage whisper,” he threw everyone off guard before slipping into intricate asides and afterthoughts. Under his magic, the Mississippi seemed to flow through the Garden of Eden. He resurrected his own past in order to prove that “a moral lesson might be deduced from every crime” and expatiated on “the foibles of man — and woman.” …But his greatest hit, “one in fact that brought down the house,” was a poem on the anomalies of the ornithorhynchus, an egg-laying mammal. “I wrote it in haste while traveling in Australia as I knew the poetlaureateship was vacant, but I have since found that I was too late. However, I am reconciled to having lost the laureateship, for it has been given to a good poet like me….The present Laureate is just the same kind of poet as I am.” This ribbing of Tennyson’s feeble successor, Alfred Austin, caused laughter to roll “for some minutes” [“MT India” 87-8]. (Editorial emphasis.)

February 14 Friday – At 4:30 p.m., the Clemens party left Calcutta for Darjeeling, a 24-hour trip of 361 miles.

Until dark we moved through rich vegetation, then changed to a boat and crossed the Ganges [FE ch LV 524].


4.30 p.m. Left Calcutta for Darjeeling in the official car of Mr. Barclay, chief of traffic.

8.30 p.m. changed to boat to cross the Ganges. Had a sumptuous dinner — joined at the table by Mr. Holmes, chief of traffic on the other side, & by another official and his wife

Sound sleep, all night. [NB 36 TS 44-5].


February 15 SaturdayLivy described a 9 a.m. breakfast set for them on the train [Feb. 16 to Jean]. Sam wrote of the trip to Darjeeling:

Up with the sun. A brilliant morning, and frosty. A double suit of flannels is found necessary. The plain is perfectly level, and seems to stretch away and away and away, dimming and softening, to the uttermost bounds of nowhere. What a soaring, strenuous, gushing fountain spray of delicate greenery a bunch of bamboo is! As far as the eye can reach, these grand vegetable geysers grace the view, their sproutings refined to steam by distance. And there are fields of bananas, with the sunshine glancing from the varnished surface of their drooping vast leaves. And there are frequent groves of palm….And everywhere through the soft morning vistas we glimpse the villages, the countless villages, the myriad villages, thatched, built of clean new matting, snuggling among grouped palms and sheaves of bamboo; villages, villages, no end of villages, not three hundred yards apart, and dozens and dozens of them in sight all the time; a mighty City, hundreds of miles long, hundreds of miles broad, made all of the villages, the biggest city in the earth, and as populous as a European kingdom. I have seen no such city as this before [FE ch LV 524-5].


From the breakfast station we started in a small 6-chaired car — canvas — & by & by came to the foot of the rise. Ascended the mountain — all curves — at apparently 100 m. an hour, but really it takes 7 or 8 h to climb the 40 m. to Darjeeling [Ahluwalia 15-16].


Parsons writes,


At Siliguri…they changed to one of the canvas-covered, six-passenger cars which hugged the two-foot-gauge rails of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. For about seven miles they darted through rice fields and tea gardens to Sukna, where the 7,000 ascent began. The miniature train slowed to less than ten miles an hour as it passed through forest and wild botanical gardens, rounded countless goompties (zigzags), crept under cliffs, and edged along chasms. At 4864 feet they paused at Kurseong before climbing to Ghoom, the highest rail point (7407 feet), and dropping some hundreds of feet to the great ridge on which Darjeeling is scattered [“MT India” 88].


Clara Clemens recalled the trip to Darjeeling:


We were soon in a quite different sphere — high up in the Himalaya Mountains. The railroad company gave us an open railway-car in which to make our trip to Darjeeling; also the use of two or three servants who prepared the best of meals on the way. Of course we were informed of lions that had crossed the track immediately before our arrival. Father said probably they realized that he didn’t care much about lions and so had not waited. The higher we mounted, the greater the fog, so that when we finally reached Darjeeling about a climb of 7,000 feet we could not see a single snow-peak [MFMT 162].


Sam’s notebook entry shows part of the time on this trip was passed by constructing an attack on “that most self-complacent of all poems, Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” by Reginald Heber [Gribben; NB 36 TS 45].


At 9:30 p.m. Sam lectured in the Darjeeling Town Hall to an audience mixed with year-round residents, planters from Kurseong and Terai, a few from Calcutta and travelers. Sam told the audience he’d been advised by no fewer than nine people in Calcutta that it would be very cold at Darjeeling and to wear warm clothes — “I have taken their advice and am now wearing the whole nine suits” [Parsons “MT India” 89]. Reviews published Feb. 19: Calcutta Englishman [Ahluwalia 22].

February 16 SundayClara Clemens remembered:

We were encouraged by guests in the hotel to rise the next morning at five o’clock and take a short trip in order better to see the Himalayan snows. I say “we” but that meant only Mother and me, because Father decided to absorb what view there might be from his comfortable bedroom window. I rode on horseback with a gentleman, and Mother was drawn in a ricksha by three men. We did not regret the effort or the early hour, for never again did we behold such a dazzling expanse of bluish-white snow. We were awed and humbled by the sight, but we did not succeed in making Father wish he had gone with us, because he had gained a couple of good morning hours in a comfortable bed, without risking the disappointment he would have suffered from a cantankerous fog [MFMT 162].


Later in the day Sam spent a couple of hours at the Planters’ Club, with a grand view of the mountains. The Standard reported, “he had a peg (brandy and soda), and was genial and entertaining, and kept the billiard-room so jolly, that, though it was full of members, no one could play” [Parsons “MT India” 89].

Sam’s notebook reveals some of his other activities:

Sunday all cloud. Went to bazaar — vast crowd came in from large distances

In sight are Bhotan, Brit, Sikkim; Thibet; & Napaul — 1/2 day, horseback, to the boundaries [NB 36 TS 48].

In Darjeeling, Sam responded to a letter (not extant) from Charles H. Webb, founder of the Californian and publisher of The Jumping Frog:

Certainly, write the article. My, how that January day in your rooms in Broadway comes back! There was a “reporter’s cobbler” there, & much cheer, & some young men who are old men now or dead — & all this was twenty-nine years ago [1867]. It was there that I first saw Ned House. He was superbly handsome, & looked as little like a perjurer & thief as any creature of his breed I have ever seen.

Sam related they were returning to Calcutta after their stay in Darjeeling; they’d seen the 29,000-foot Himalayan mountain. Sam had heard of a tiger who ate a man and they expected to “see that tiger to-day, for we have to pass right by that spot and he will probably want some more” [MTP].

Livy wrote to daughter Jean Clemens:

Look on the map, and try to realize that we who belong to you are away up here in the Himalayas, on the border of Thibet. I cannot myself believe that it can be true.

      Clara has gone to bed, but not until she had given me a scolding for thinking of trying to write to you to-night. Our days are so full that she thought I ought to go to bed.

      We get up many mornings at six, and as a rule are not in bed until twelve, and I very rarely lie down in the day-time. Don’t you think I must be pretty strong and well? To-morrow morning we are going to get up at five to try & see a sight of the mountains. We have had fogs and clouds since we reached here yesterday, so we have had no view of the snow-clad mountains. But the spot is fine and interesting even in this foggy weather, & the trip up the mountain (over 7000 feet) was glorious. We came up in an open carriage — very much such as we went up into the CatsKills in.

      We are so royally treated every where we go that I cannot begin to command the time to write you beloved ones at home about it. On the trip the company (railway co.) just the fares at ½ rate, gave us the director’s car, with a car attached for servants. In the car were easy chairs, sofas, a good-sized table, &c. &c. We left Calcutta at 4:30; [Feb. 14] at about 5:30 there was sent into our car tea & bread & butter & cake &c., and two servants to serve us, who remained standing behind our tables until we had finished our tea [Ahluwalia 43-4]. Note: Livy went on to describe similar service on the boat and train and breakfast for the next day, Feb. 15.

Livy and Clara left for Calcutta, returning there at 5 a.m. on Feb. 17. Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe would go on to Darjeeling Feb. 17 [Livy to Jean Feb. 18].

February 17 Monday – The fog cleared and Sam got a good view of the Himalayas and of Mt. Kinchinjunga, 28,146 feet. As he was being accompanied to the railroad station to leave Darjeeling, Sam said of the view, “I intended to tell the many people in Calcutta, who told me of the grandeur of the snows, that I had seen them, whether I had or not. I am glad to be saved the pain of telling a lie” [Parsons “MT India” 89-90].


Sam’s notebook:

By train 5 m. to summit, then the 35 m down in 6-seat handcar handled by Barnard chief engineer of that division of the road — 50 m — sent a pilot ahead with Pughe [Pugh], a goorka & another native…

Fine dinner at [illegible] expense of Mr. [illegible] Holmes thro. Good sleeping car [NB 36 TS 48-9].


Parsons writes a somewhat fuller account:

Mark went by train some four or five miles to Ghoom, where he sat on a handcar which was equipped with a strong brake and powered by gravitation. The V.I.P.’s car was in charge of Mr. Barnard, Chief Engineer of the railway’s mountain division, and the pilot of the car ahead was Mr. Pugh, Assistant Inspector General of Police, under whose protection the party had come from Calcutta. When Pugh waved his signal flag, Mark experienced “a sudden and immence exaltation, a mixed ecstasy of deadly fright and unimaginable joy…the perfection of human delight.” The car swooped after its leader and was in turn followed by the regular train. Halfway down, they halted about an hour at Barnard’s house for refreshments and the view from the veranda. Then they took to bird flight again — until the gradient let them down in the plain, where they dwindled into train passengers bound for Calcutta. Mark’s summary, “That was the most enjoyable day I have spent in the earth” [“MT India” 90].

February 18 Tuesday – Sam and Carlyle Smythe arrived back in Calcutta at 11 a.m. At 2 p.m., at the Continental Hotel, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, having just received his Jan. 9 letter (not extant). He referenced May Rogers elopement and annulment and wrote, “she is out of it, & that is the important thing.” Sam was comforted by the creditors accepting payment on a 50 cents per dollar basis, and by Frank Mayo’s success with the dramatization of PW. If the Harper’s agreement fell through because Frank Bliss still retained copyright, Sam thought he’d have to give all of the books to Bliss for “a term of years.”

We are just in from a long trip — 2 p.m., now — & I am going to bed & rest up a little, for I leave for the west at 9 to-night & travel till noon to-morrow…. We came down the mountain (40 miles) at a dizzy toboggan gait on a six-seated hand-car & never enjoyed ourselves so much in all our lives. We started in rugs & furs & stripped as we came down, as the weather gradually changed from eternal snow to perpetual hellfire [MTHHR 194-5]. Note: Sam misdated this letter as Feb. 17.


Sam also wrote a short note of compliments on his ten-day stay to the Hotel Continental [MTP].

Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left Calcutta at 9:30 p.m. for Muzaffarpur, some 354 miles, on a private rail car. Parsons: “In a partly backtracking lecture itinerary, the Clemenses were soon traveling northwest through fields of poppies to Muzaffarpur, then by a branch line to the Ganges near Dinapur and on to Benares…for a twenty-four hour stopover” [“MT India” 90].

At about 11 p.m. in Calcutta, Livy wrote a long letter to daughter Jean. This shows that the ladies did not go to Muzaffarpur, as does Sam’s notebook entry of Feb. 20.

Sunday Evening, Calcutta / Feb. 18th / You see my darling child that my letter did not get finished up at Darjeeling, and now we are back here. Papa and Mr. Smythe have gone on, and Clara & I remain here 24 hours longer. …

…And so ended our most delightful trip up in the Himalayan mountains. I could write out with as much more to say that I think would be of interest to you, but as I was up yesterday morning at five & to-day at four and it is now after eleven at night, & I am to ride all night tomorrow night I think I better stop & go to bed. Don’t you? You know my darling child that each of my letters is for you all, for I cannot command time or strength to write what I want to each one. So you will let Aunt Sue & Susy & Aunt Ida share their letters if they wish to, nicht? [Ahluwalia 44-5].


February 19 Wednesday – The Clemens party arrived in Muzaffarpur at noon. He gave his lecture at 9:30 p.m. Sam’s notebook:

Mr. Hall’s bungalow — indigo planter…slept all afternoon.

Talked at 9:30 p.m.; had a supper for a dozen in the same club, went in evening dress & took train at 1 a.m. [NB 36 TS 50].

A check from the National Bank of India for £101.12 was made out to Livy and sent to H.H. Rogers; a “duplicate” or “second” copy was enclosed in Sam’s Mar. 6 to Rogers [MTHHR 196n1].

Livy and Clara left Calcutta headed for a reunion on the train with Sam and Smythe near Dinapur [Livy to Jean Feb. 18]. See Feb. 20 notebook entry.

February 20 Thursday – A travel day. Sam and Smythe left Muzaffarpur at 1 a.m. on the train. At 5 a.m. they took a boat and landed near Dinapur, then traveled on to Benares. Sam’s notebook suggests Livy and Clara took a train from Calcutta to meet the pair, as they had not left with them on Feb. 18.

Up at 5 & soon on boat — landed between Dinapore & [illegible] — ran down to [illegible] found Livy & Clara on up-train at 7; all went to Benares, arriving about noon, to stay 24 hours [NB 36 TS 50].

February 21 Friday – The Clemens party left Benares for Lucknow, some 261 miles. Sam’s notebook:

Feb. 21. Left for Lucknow about 1 p.m., hot as the nation, the flat plains the color of pale dust, & the dust flying. Tiffin [lunch] at 2, at Jawnpur City. No doubt all those native grayheads remember the Mutiny [NB 36 TS 49-50].

Parson writes,

Having red up on “the crushing of the Mutiny,” Mark wanted to recapture its tension and heroism by visiting the “sacred” ruins. What drew him most to Lucknow, therefore, was the sixty acre site of the residency, which was shaken by frequent native attacks and mining operations from June to November, 1857 [90].


February 22 SaturdayLucknow, India. Sam was “all over” the Residency ruins with “young” Stirling. Sam gave his No. 1 “At Home” lecture at the Mahomed Bagh Club at 9:30 p.m. The Allahabad Pioneer of Feb. 28 reported “the house being crowded, and the great humorist’s lecture was received with hearty applause from start to finish” [Ahwaluia 17].

February 23 Sunday – Sam’s notebook in Lucknow:

Drove with Major and Mrs. Aylmer (16th Lancers) & Capt. & Mrs. Dallas, in the regimental drag (4 horses) over the whole of Colin Campbell’s March, & also out to the Imam Bara….[NB 36 TS 50-1].


      The Residency ruins are draped with flowering vines, and are impressive and beautiful. They and the grounds are sacred now, and will suffer no neglect nor be profaned by any sordid or commercial use while the British remain masters of India. Within the grounds are buried the dead who gave up their lives in the long siege [FE ch LIX 567].


      Was dined by the United Service in the ancient & elegant Chutter Munzil palace (Umbrella Palace) — very large — it is the Club’s sumptuous home. In my speech quoted what Wolcott said lately in the Senate about England [NB 36 TS 50-1].


The Allahabad Pioneer reported on the dinner, about which Parsons writes, “he made a speech and sat beside a forty-one year old survivor of the siege” [“MT India” 90].

A most enthusiastic banquet was held at the Chutter Munzil Club last night [Feb. 22] in honour of Mark Twain. The toasts of the Queen, the President of the U.S. and the distinguished guest were given in succession by the Honorary Secretary of the Club, General Corrie-Bird, and Sir John Tyler, in most felicitous speeches. Mark Twain replied to both the latter toasts in his customary humourous style. The party did not break up until a very late hour [Allahabad Pioneer, Feb. 26; Ahwaluia 17].

February 24 Monday – At 9:30 p.m. Sam gave another lecture at the Mohamed Bagh Club in Lucknow, India [Ahwaluia 17]. This lecture was reported in the Allahabad Pioneer on Feb. 26 [23].


February 25 Tuesday – The Clemens party left Lucknow and traveled some 40 miles southwest to Kanpur (Cawnpore). Parsons writes,

Revising the direction of the relief marches to Lucknow, Mark traveled forty miles southwest to Cawnpore. There he reverently visited the temple to Siva from which the bugle signal of ambush came, the Slaughter Ghat [stairway] where the surrendered garrison was shot down as it embarked in Ganges barges for Allahabad under Nana Sahib’s promise of safe conduct, and the well into which women and children were “cast, the dying with the dead”as the inscription reads — on July 15, 1857 [“MT India” 90-1].

Sam’s notebook: 25th & 26th . Cawnpore. Guests of Lt. Col. P. Baddeley [NB 36 TS 52].

Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in Kanpur at 9:30 p.m. [Ahluwalia 17].

February 26 Wednesday – In Kanpur, India the Clemens party was the guests of Lt. Col. P. Baddeley and visited more sites connected with the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Sam accepted an invitation, expecting to be in Meerut on Mar. 3 [Ahluwalia 17].

Sam wrote in Kanpur to an unidentified man:

My wife & daughter & I thank you very much for your kind invitation, & are very glad to accept it.

      I am not quite sure of our date at Meerut, but I think it is the 3d, & that we are only there one day.

Sam promised to get the date from Carlyle G. Smythe and wire the man [MTP].

February 27 Thursday – The Clemens family left Kanpur and traveled 45 miles to Agra, staying at the Government House occupied by Colonel P.L. Loch [Ahluwalia 17; Livy to Crane Feb. 28]. Sam’s notebook:

Agra. Feb. 27. Visited the microbes of Mr. Henkin. Has proved that no cholera microbes in the Ganges & the Jumna…/ Guests of Lt. Col. P.L. Loch, Political Agent [NB 36 TS 52-3].

February 28 Friday – At 5:30 p.m. in Agra, Metcalfe Hall, Sam gave his “At Home” lecture to another full hall. Sam noted the lecture ran an hour and 35 minutes. Sam’s notebook:

Mouza was drunk again last night; 2d time in 2 weeks. At midnight was sleeping on the marble steps of the great portico, with his head on the bare flags….

Lectured: Corpse, Plug, Poem, Smpox, German, Xning — 1 hr 35 m.

Drove from there (2 carriages full) to the Taj [Mahal], arriving at 11.30, clear sky & splendid full moon. At that moment, to our surprise, and eclipse began & in an hour was total — an attention not before offered to a stranger since the Taj was built [NB 36 TS 53].

Parsons writes “Shamefully let down, he complained that a host of earlier rhapsodists had thrust a false bottom under his responses [about the Taj Mahal]. If there were only time, he could purge those verbalizers out of his system and manufacture his own reaction” [“MT India” 91].

Livy wrote a long letter to her sister, Susan Crane, about staying in the Government House in Agra occupied by Col. P.L. Loch, political agent. Their bedroom was more than 30 feet square with 30-foot ceilings, with a large pillared verandah where their servants slept at night.

It is all most beautiful and delightful — good food, nice, interesting, homelike people, great comfort, & great independence. ..

      Twice we have been out with two carriage loads from the house. That means all servants to go with us, a coachman and two footmen standing behind to each carriage.

      To-night the rest of the household have gone down to hear Mr. Clemens read & Clara & I have staid at home, but later we are to be taken down to meet them at the Taj and see that by moonlight [Ahluwalia 46].

February 29 Saturday – At 10 p.m. the Clemens party left Agra and traveled 140 miles to Jaipur. Sam’s notebook:

Feb. 29. Mr. Achlom [Aklom] & wife & 2 dau; they live in Ajmir

At noon, gave Mouza a note to carry to Smythe & bring an answer, & told him he could consider himself discharged at 7 this evening. He laid his fingers against his forehead as usual, made the usual inclination, said “wair good” (very good), just as he always does when receiving an order, — & that was all. It was pathetic….

We paid to Goa man Rs 30 per month, this one 40. People say it is too much. A house servants wages is Rs 7 a month, & he supports & clothes & feeds himself & family on it.

The new man is a Mahommedan named Sahadeath Kahn. Speaks good English.

Mouza had apparently a bad attack of fever in Lucknow before he got drunk. Livy was full of compassion & gave him a teaspoonful of liquid hellfire — quinine. Six hours later he turned up & she offered him another dose. He said gravely, “Scoose me — no sick no more” [NB 36 TS 54].

March 1 Sunday – In Jaipur the Clemens party took ill — first Sam, then Smythe, then Clara. Sam’s notebook of Mar. 4:

Arrived here next morning at 9 or 10. Immediately ordered by Dr. Hendley to throw up Delhi & other engagements & rest a week or 10 days. Smythe arrived Feb. 1 [Mar. 1] & in bed ill ever since. Clara ditto [NB 36 TS 54-5].


March 2 Monday – In Jaipur, Sam was ill in bed. Clara also ill. During his convalescence Sam consulted George Robert Aberigh-Mackay’s Serious Reflections and Other Contributions, etc. (1881), calling it this “brilliant little book…the beset & delightfulest work in its line that I have seen in many a day.” The book concerned rank and prerogatives of Indian royalty [Gribben 5-6].


March 3 Tuesday – In Jaipur, Sam noted that “Clara & her mother vaccinated” [NB 36 TS 55]. Parsons notes that smallpox broke out in Delhi and Bombay, thus the precaution [“Sightseer” 93 notes].

March 4 Wednesday – In Jaipur, Sam ill in bed. Clara also ill. Sam’s notebook:

Neat little hotel, kept by 9 Indian brothers, & wonderfully noisy….Mr. Aklom looked in, this morning, from Ajmere — his wife is not well. Brought an armful of books. Col. Jacob sent very fine oranges & bananas [NB 36 TS 54-5].

March 5 Thursday – In Jaipur, Sam and Clara recovering.


March 6 Friday – In Jaipur, Sam had recovered enough to ride into town, to “the city of victory,” founded by Maharajah Jai Singh II in 1728. Parsons writes,

His most exciting trip to town was on a day of festivity. Everywhere, in streets, squares, and public gardens, in balconies and recessed colonnades of the huge and dazzling palace of Maharajah Sir Sawa Madho Singh, clouds of pigeons and “gloriously clothed people” made a boundless pageant. The occasion, at ten in the morning, was a rich Hindu’s parade of images and objects representing scenes in the life of some god or saint. Caparisoned elephants came like outlandish heralds, then floats bearing the still and holy forms, followed by wonderfully garbed riders on camels. Mark’s comment, “It was the most satisfying show I had ever seen” [“MT India” 91].


Comparing this description to Sam’s notebook proves interesting:

Mch. 6. The cow pestered by the crow in the big court. Drove to bazar….

Girls with Xtian skirt on, & naked busts & bellies.

Women clothed in gold bangles.

Elephants & plenty tall camels.

Huge Clouds of pigeons [NB 36 TS 56].

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, probably before going to town, for there’s no mention of the spectacles he saw in town, no bare-breasted girls, no elephants, no tall camels.

Whether Harper gets my books or not, I do hope the copyright of Innocents Abroad will be renewed and not suffered to run out. …

      I am in the doctor’s hands again. He made me cancel a week’s engagements and shut myself in my room and rest….We leave here to-morrow night and go lecturing along up to Lahore and so-on.; and we fetch up in Madras hear the end of this month and take ship there for Ceylon and the S. Africa.

      Enclosed please find a “Duplicate” or “Second” for £101. If you will strike out the words in parenthesis I think you can collect it…You could get Dr. Rice to work it.

      I have to go to S. Africa, but I suppose that will end my lecturing in this world. Mrs. Clemens is not willing that I shall continue the risk any further [MTHHR 196]. Note: Sam had mailed the check dated Feb. 19, 1896 for £101.12 and it evidently was lost.

By sheer coincidence H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam on this same day. He’d received a $511.61 check from Frank Mayo, who was touring with his dramatization of PW. Rogers had talked turkey with Walter Bliss, Frank’s brother, who had come to New York in Frank’s place due to illness. Rogers had little patience with the Bliss brothers, and had attempted with some success to force them into a favorable agreement with Harper & Brothers. Rogers was lobbying for a deal whereby Bliss would surrender rights to Sam’s older books and gain a portion of the royalty from Harper Bros. American Publishing Co. would continue to sell Sam’s older books singly as well as those Webster & Co. had published, though would pay Livy royalties on all books sold. Harper would be able then to publish a Uniform Edition.

May I ask you to decide only after careful deliberation. To review, please consider first, that the scheme provides for Mrs. Clemens’s receiving a royalty from Harper & Brothers on the uniform edition entire. She will also receive a royalty on all of the books sold by the American Publishing Co. singly as present, including those originally published by Webster & Co. She will surrender a portion of the royalty from Harper & Brothers on “Innocents Abroad,” “Roughing It,” “Tramp Abroad,” etc. now controlled by the American Publishing Co. This may be perfectly visionary on my part, and impossible to carry out, because of an objection that Harper & Brothers may make to it, but I believe that American Publishing Co. can be whipped into line, particularly if they can secure the privileges on your new book for a short term of years.

      Colby had dropped into a state of lethargy for the moment, and we are dropping carpet tacks in his way to stimulate his ambition. He is a rather spasmodic sort of cuss [MTHHR 197-8]. Note: it should be remembered that Sam would not get this letter for about a month, but no acknowledgment of it was found in extant letters to Rogers.

March 7 Saturday – In Jaipur (which Sam spelled “Jeypore”) Sam wrote to Mr. Acklom and A.J. Acklom, thanking them for two books and a poem sent. Sam divulged that Carlyle Smythe was still confined to his bed, so they didn’t know just when they’d move on [MTP].

Sam then wrote a second letter to Mr. Acklom.

Your telegram [not extant] came a little while ago — a thousand thanks for your thoughtful kindness. Clara was in better form yesterday evening, so we thought we could leave to-day; wherefore I saw the station master, yesterday evening, & he said he had your orders & a carriage would be ready for us. However before noon to-day I was sending him word of our postponement. For in the meantime Mr. Smythe had got into the doctor’s hands. It may be that he will be able to travel by to-morrow evening, in which case we will start.

Sam hoped they might see the Ackloms again, perhaps in Ajmeer [MTP].

As mentioned above, Sam also sent notice to Mr. Bickers, the station master, that they’d be unable to leave that evening and sent word “according to agreement” [MTP].


March 8 Sunday – In Jaipur the Clemenses, especially Carlyle Smythe, were recuperating.


March 9 Monday – In Jaipur Sam started and signed a letter taken down by Livy to an unidentified man, whose invitation had reached the Clemenses too late to accept. Sam explained there had been illness in his party but that they hoped to get to Lahore on Mar. 15 and leave there on Mar. 18. The invitation was evidently for accommodations.

If it is not too near the time of your leaving we might go to you until the 17th and then go to a hotel. On account of the heat it is about decided that my wife and daughter do not take the journey. In that case there would simply be Mr Smythe and me. / In a day or two when our plans are definitely made I will send you a telegram [MTP]. Note: This letter may be to Mr. Burnes of the Bank of Bengal, for this is where the Clemenses stayed, Livy and Clara included [Ahluwalia 19].

March 10 Tuesday – In Jaipur, Livy began a letter to daughter Jean that she finished Mar. 12.

Jean Darling: / We are having a very quiet, restful time here. Papa was not well at first. [Ahluwalia 46]

Livy wrote to Chatto & Windus: “Will you kindly send to me at Natal, South Africa a copy of ‘Punch’ for Jan. 4th ?” She wrote they’d heard there was a pleasant article about Sam in it [MTP].


March 11 Wednesday – The Clemens party was in Jaipur waiting for all to be well enough to travel.


March 12 Thursday – In Jaipur Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder to inform him of a book on Indian architecture being made available under Colonel Jacob’s supervision and funded by the Maharajah in Jaipur.

With a fine liberality the Maharajah proposes to give this costly book to public institutions, and my idea in writing this note is to convey the fact to our art-schools and universities in America. I quote:


      “His Highness the Maharajah of Jeypore has given permission to present a set of the first six parts to any Public Institution that applies for it for bona fide public use, if the applicants defray the cost of carriage only and packing — Rs. 1-8.”

Sam gave the address in London where such institutions might apply [MTP]. Note: no other subjects comprised this letter, which Gilder published as “A Gift from India” in the Apr. 25, 1896 issue of The Critic [Gribben 355].

Livy finished her Mar. 10 letter to daughter Jean:

We think we shall sail from Bombay the 27th of this month. We shall probably sail from Colombo for South Africa about April 7th. If Papa had been well he would have delivered 30 lectures or more in India.

She also told about going to a museum before noon, where no men were allowed; the ladies were “brilliantly dressed” and were very curious about her, as she was about them [Ahluwalia 46].


March 13 Friday – At 7 p.m. in Jaipur at the Kaiser-i-Hind Hotel, Sam wrote another notice to Mr. Bickers, the station master, that this time they would really leave for Delhi the following evening (Mar. 14). He didn’t anticipate another change of plans but if there were he would notify. Significantly, he listed Livy and Clara, along with himself and Carlyle G. Smythe as passengers, so that his earlier thought of leaving the ladies in Jaipur was now changed. He listed Kaiser-i-Hind Hotel above the date, which was likely the hotel they stayed in during their long siege [MTP]. Note: they actually left on Mar. 15. The Lahore Civil & Military Gazette reported (Mar. 13) that Mark Twain had recovered from his “indisposition” and would give his “At Home” lecture in Lahore on Mar. 18 at 9:30p.m. and the following day at 5:30 p.m. (later changed to 9:30 p.m.) [Ahluwalia 18].

The New York Times p.1 ran a short article datelined Mar. 12 London, “Mark Twain Seriously Ill.” On Mar. 15 they ran another p.1 notice, “Mark Twain’s Illness Not So Serious.”


March 14 Saturday – The Clemens party was delayed one more day in Jaipur due to Sam having some additional health problems. As he wrote H.H. Rogers on Mar. 15, “I was going to start last night for Lahore but wasn’t yet in condition” [MTHHR 199].


March 15 SundayH.H. Rogers, probably after reading of Sam’s “serious illness” in the N.Y. newspapers, wired Sam with an offer of support (wire not extant), and also cabled Major Samuel Comfort in Bombay to inquire on Sam’s condition [MTHHR 201]. Sam responded from Jaipur before leaving that city at 6 p.m.:

Your cable has just arrived through Major Comfort. Than you ever so much for your generous offers, but things are going along pretty well with us considering that we are not acclimated. We have been here two weeks, & each of us (including the manager) has been in the doctor’s hands in turn. I have not been seriously ill — nor any of the others.

They would sail from Bombay for Ceylon and S. Africa about Apr. 1. He also mentioned the copyrights supposedly held by Bliss and said “There is no shadow of sense in it” [MTHHR 199; NB 36 TS 56].


March 16 Monday – The Clemens party arrived in Delhi at half-past midnight. They stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Burne of the Bank of Bengal, “in the great old mansion built by a rich orientalized Englishman” [Ahluwalia 19; NB 36 TS 57].


March 17 Tuesday – The Clemens party was in Delhi, guests of Mr. and Mrs. Burne. Parsons writes,

Well enough to travel again, Mark tried whenever possible to conserve energy in the heat of the day and to be active early in the forenoon or after sunset. He spent a day or two in Delhi [actually about 24 hours], where it was his good fortune to lodge in a “great old mansion” which in 1857 had been headquarters of the three-month siege to retake the city. Among the sights were the Kashmir Gate, the sixty-foot Ridge behind which the British encamped during the thirty actions which culminated in John Nicholson’s successful assault, and Nicholson’s grave [“MT India” 91].

In her Mar. 30 letter to Susan Crane, Livy wrote of their short stay in Delhi:

      We were in Delhi about 24 hours, but we saw almost nothing of that very interesting city, for two reasons: one was we expected to return there, & the other was that there was so much small-pox that it was deemed better not to go about among the natives, or where they went [Ahluwalia 46].


The Clemens party left Delhi at about midnight headed to Lahore, some 320 miles. From Sam’s notebook:

Mch. 17. Left Delhi at 24.30. Car-communicating door wouldn’t shut. In previous car it wouldn’t open [NB 36 TS 57].

March 18 Wednesday – The Clemens party arrived in Lahore at 5 a.m. [NB 36 TS 57]. Parsons writes,

The next jaunt was to Lahore, capital of the Punjab. Raised like Troy on the rubble of its dead selves, Old Lahore had monuments and bases of Hindu temples and Mohammedan mosques which had sunk under a seven to twelve foot encrustation of time. It was a travel commonplace that the best way to see these antiquities and the native city’s threadbare, serpentining streets was regally. The Lieutenant Governor obliged with the loan of an elephant (on Mar. 19). Thus the Occidental humorist looked down from a swaying howdah on the flashing, scurrying life, peeped through top floor windows at family huddles, and noted the works of dead hands [“MT India” 92].


At 9:30 p.m. Sam Gave his “At Home” (No. 1) lecture at the Railway Theatre in Lahore. The Lahore Civil and Military Gazette published a review of this and the Mar. 19 lecture on Mar. 20 [Ahluwalia 19].


March 19 ThursdaySusy Clemens’ 24th birthday. Sam’s notebook recorded the event:

Mch. 19. Susy’s birthday — 24 yr old. [“And we did not know it was to be her last,” added later in ink.]

      Lunch with the Lieut-Governor of the Punjab. Lent us his elephant — one of them. “Four days with H.C. Fanshawe, Secretary to Government, & his niece, Miss Fanshawe. Mr. Hurry, his Asst.” [NB 36 TS 57-8]. Note: though Sam and Carlyle made a side trip to Rawalpindi, the ladies were in Lahore these four days, Mar. 18-22.


At 9:30 p.m. Sam Gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture at the Railway Theatre in Lahore. The Lahore Civil and Military Gazette published a review of this and the Mar. 18 lecture on Mar. 20 [Ahluwalia 19].


March 20 Friday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe traveled 174 miles to Rawalpindi. Livy and Clara likely stayed behind, as the men returned to Lahore the next day. Parsons calls Rawalpindi the “most heavily garrisoned of British Indian military stations” [“MT India” 92]. Sam’s notebook:

Lectured at Rawal Pindi. Dead Man, Plug, Poem, German, Golden Arm, Whistling — 1.15 [hrs] Supper-guest of Club. Left for Lahore at 12.45 [NB 36 TS 57]. Note: 12:45 p.m. on Mar. 21


Parsons writes,

He had intended to penetrate the North-West Frontier as far as Peshawar, only a few miles from the Khyber Pass, portal of Afghanistan, but sickness had dislocated his schedule and two more days were lopped off by a message that his ship was sailing from Calcutta ahead of time. As The Englishman commented, “he most disappointed person is Mark Twain himself” [“MT India” 92].

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam:

I have nothing from you since my letter of Mar. 20th [he must have meant Feb. 20]. I have from Mrs. Clemens enclosing draft on London for 101/12. Since my last of the 5th inst. [6th?] I have a letter from Harper & Brothers in which they express themselves in a general way as not unfavorable to the scheme proposed. They have asked me some questions which I am not able to answer until I can see the Blisses, which I hope to do on Monday next, when they are coming down to the city. Gen’l Langdon was here a day or two since, and he approved of the Harper scheme, taken as a whole, without, however going into the details, which we have not yet come to. Gen’l Langdon had a talk with that miserable man, Payne of the bank, and I think they had quite an animated time, at any rate the Gen’l. left Mr. Payne in a very pleasant sort of way, so that no harm was done.


Note: Charles J. Langdon was appointed as Commissary General in 1880 by Governor Cornell of N.Y.; William H. Payne was president of the hated Mount Morris Bank.

Rogers was looking into a possible lecture manager for Sam should he want to lecture again in America, and had been recommended to John Warner, under Abbey & Co. as a possible man for the job. What terms could Sam offer? Also, Rogers had been concerned about Sam’s condition and had cabled Major Comfort at Bombay on Mar. 15 [MTHHR 199-201].

March 21 Saturday – At 12:45 p.m. Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left Rawalpindi and returned the 174 miles to Lahore [Ahluwalia 19].


March 22 Sunday – At 10 a.m. the entire Clemens party left Lahore on a 1,443 mile train trip to Calcutta [Ahluwalia 19].


March 23 Monday – A travel day on the cars for the Clemens party, en route to Calcutta.

March 24 Tuesday – The Clemens party reached Howrah and crossed the Hooghly River by way of a floating bridge, arriving in Calcutta at sunrise. They took rooms at the Hotel Continental [Parsons “MT India” 92; NB 36 TS 59].


March 25 Wednesday – In Calcutta at the Hotel Continental, Clara Clemens was confined to her room by a touch of malarial fever. Both cholera and malaria were rampant in the city. Sam had recovered from the trip enough to submit to an interview by a journalist from The Indian Daily News, which ran Mar. 26.

Mr. and Mrs. S.L. Clemens and Miss Clemens arrived in Calcutta yesterday morning [Mar. 25] and put up at the Hotel Continental. During the afternoon they embarked on board the B.I.S. Co.’s steamer Wardha, en route to Ceylon, the Mauritius, and Cape Town, where the great humorist will make a somewhat lengthened stay. One of the members of our staff called on him yesterday, and found him in the office of the hotel, comfortably ensconced in an easy chair and smoking a Meershaum, black with age. In answer to a question, Mr. Clemens said he had recovered his usual health. Miss Clemens, however, was suffering from a slight attack of malarial fever, but was much better. Their medical attendant had advised their immediate departure from Calcutta, where the heat was very trying, to sea, the breeze of which would soon restore her to her usual health. Questioned as to a statement made by a local contemporary that he had parted with the copyright of his forthcoming work for £10,000, Mr. Clemens said there was no truth in it, and he did not know how it had got abroad. It was unlikely, he added, that he would sell, outright, the copyright to any of his works, as he claimed and readily obtained a royalty on the sale of every copy of his works. It was all a gamble, he went on to say. For instance, when he was an almost unknown author, an American publisher offered him £2,000 for the copyright of The Innocents Abroad; he refused the offer, as he did not know how the book would take, and he had now no desire that any publisher should lose through him [Scharnhorst, Interviews 290-1].

Sam’s notebook: March 25. Went aboard the s.s. Wardha (British India Co.) in a customhouse launch lent by Mr. Skrine — 5.30 p.m. [NB 36 TS 60]. Note: Francis Henry Bennett Skrine.


Also on or just after this date: New Guinea in ’77-85’ written by a missionary [NB 36 TS 63]. Note: the book is unidentified.

March 26 Thursday – At 7 a.m. the Clemens party sailed from Calcutta on the S.S. Wardha bound for Ceylon. Before reaching the sea, however, they had to negotiate the Hooghly River. Sam’s notebook:

March 26. At anchor at Garden Reach all night. When wind blew in, icy cold; the moment it stopped, blistering hot & mosquitoes. We all went up & slept on deck….

      This morning the Hoogly is 1 to 1 ½ mile wide, with low banks, wooded, & very muddy water. Bends, points, bars. When you are far enough away so that you cannot distinguish the cocoa tress & mud villages, you can’t tell it from the Lower Miss.

      A fatal notion. For 6 hours now, it has been impossible to realize that this is India & the Hoogli. No, every few miles we see a great white-columned European house standing in the front of the vast levels, with a forest away back — La [Louisiana] planter? — & the thatched groups of native houses have turned themselves into the negro quarter familiar to me near 40 years ago & so for 6 hours this has been the sugar coast of the Mississippi …

      We are lying from noon all day at anchor below the shoalest place, waiting for high tide for tomorrow’s shoals. Getting below this shoal place (Mary & James) saves us 26 hours — it would be that long before wd be a high enough tide to float us over. We had short of 4 inches to spare this time [NB 36 TS 60-1].


March 27 Friday – The S.S. Wardha negotiated the last stretch of the Hooghly River and by 11:15 a.m. was in the blue of the Bay of Bengal. Again Sam was nursing a cold. Sam’s notebook:

Mch. 27. We have slept on deck these 2 nights. Very hot, & mosquitoes troublesome elsewhere.

10 a.m. The Hoogli here is 5 miles wide, the shores a low fringe of forest — a ribbon….

      Left the muddy water for the blue at 11.15 — the line separating the 2 colors distinctly mark[ed]. But the illusion has remained — I am leaving La & the Miss behind — not India & the Hoogli. See Bayard Taylor….

      We have been out of the river 2 hours, now (2 pm) but its brown streak is still visible off to one side [NB 36 TS 60-2].


March 28 Saturday – En route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, Sam wrote in his notebook:

Our captain (Robinson) is a handsome Hercules; young, resolute, manly … he cannot tell the truth in a plausible way. He is the very opposite of the austere Scot who sits midway of the table: he cannot tell a lie in an unplausible way [NB 37 TS 8-11].


March 29 Sunday – The Clemens family was en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for Colombo, Ceylon. During the Mar. 28 to 31 voyage Sam wrote a short essay burlesquing missionaries in a parody of Sir John Lubbock’s Ants, Bees, and Wasps: A Record of Observations on the Hapbits of the Social Hymenoptera (1882). Gribben writes,

Clemens claims that in Jeypore he painted forty five ants different hues and loosed them among “four miniature houses of worship — a Mohammedan mosque, a Hindu temple, a Jewish synagogue & a Xn cathedral.” To his professed disappointment the ants always preferred whatever type of church in which he had placed a cube of sugar; he facetiously deduces that this behavior demonstrates how the ant is “the opposite of man” in religious matters. In one canceled passage Clemens wonders why Lubbock respected the ant so highly, since Lubbock’s experiments seem to show that man overestimates the ant’s intelligence (TS pp. 11-13). Mark Twain’s decision not to include this amusing spoof in FE (1897) was unfortunate, but as he wrote to Richard Watson Gilder (who wanted the essay for Century Magazine) on 13 January 1897, he feared that a digression on ants might unduly interrupt the travel-narrative structure of FE, and he removed this passage from the manuscript” [427-8].


March 30 Monday – The Clemens family was en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for Colombo, Ceylon. The Wardha anchored in the bay at Madras, India at 8 p.m. [Budd, “Interviews” 69].

Livy wrote to her sister, Susan Crane.

During the last days I have been so full, full of thoughts of you all at home, Hartford places,….When, however, I think of the list of creditors, and the money yet to be paid, I feel that our going home and inhabiting our own house is far in the distance. Very, very far. You know I have a pretty good courage, but sometimes it comes over me like an overwhelming wave, that it is to be bitterness and disappointment to the end….Mr. Clemens has not as much as I wish he had; but, poor old darling, he has been pursued by colds and inabilities of various sorts. Then he is so impressed with the fact that he is sixty years old. Naturally I combat that idea all I can, trying to make him rejoice that he is not seventy.

      I wonder if I wrote Charley in my letter the other day that the thing that kept us so long in Jeypore was the fact that Mr. Clemens had had for several weeks a pricking sensation in his left hand & arm, which made us rather anxious. We consulted the doctor in Jeypore. — he said Mr. Clemens required ten days rest. So we took it. Of course that lost him many lectures. In fact he only gave three after that. India was getting too hot for us to stay.

Livy estimated they’d only make about a thousand dollars from their India campaign, though they’d enjoyed every minute of it [Ahluwalia 46-7].


March 31 Tuesday – The Wardha was piloted into the harbor of Madras, India at daybreak for a 24 hour stop. Sam was again suffering from a cold and cough. He was interviewed by the Madras Standard; the interview ran on Apr. 1; a longer version on Apr. 11 in the Calcutta Reis and Rayyet (see Budd, “Interviews” (119) p. 69). From the interview, Sam was quoted:

I am killed with this cold since morning. We went ashore and breakfasted at the hotel near Spencer’s shop intending to drive around Madras afterwards, but I found I could not manage it. I wasn’t equal to the heat with this cold, so I left my family to do that. …

      I hope to reach Colombo on Friday. I am engaged for two “At homes” there I believe — not three. Thence I go to Mauritius and South Africa. This boat I am in, just suits my mood at present. I am in no hurry to get along. The more salt air I breathe the better I feel. We had a fine passage down from Calcutta except for a current that took about 30 miles off the rate of our travel each day. The Wardha is not one of those boats that cover 500 miles a day, but without running away from herself she keeps in the neighborhood of 200 [Budd, “Interviews” 71]. Note: the interview ended with the reporter observing that Sam “strolled to the other end of the deck to watch Harmston’s menagerie being hauled inboard.”

Sam also mentioned recently reading a book by Francis Henry Bennett Skrine about “the merits of a Hindu friend of the higher caste” (Journalist / Being the Life, Letters, and Correspondence of Dr. Sambhu C. Mookerjee, 1895, not in Gribben).

From Sam’s notebook:

Mch 31. Moved into the basin at Madras & anchored [Mar. 30]. Photos of Madura. / Lunch at hotel / In afternoon, young fellow & his sister — basket trick — jugglery — fortune-telling. Took on circus / “W.J. Wedgwood, Esq. Harmston’s Circus.’ On trunk / Fine menagerie — tigers, &c. [NB 37 TS 17].


Note: according to the above interview, Harmston’s Menagerie. Parsons notes that the Clemenses “were entertained on board ship in the afternoon by a pair who juggled, told fortunes, and performed a trick in which the sister was tied, crowded into a basket, apparently stabbed numerous times, and brought forth unscathed and unbound [“Sightseer” 93 notes].


April – A copy of Walter Bagehot’s Biographical Studies (1895) was inscribed in Sam’s hand: S.L. Clemens from Mr. Skrine, Calcutta, April, 1896 [Gribben 39]. See Mar. 25 for a NB entry on Francis Skrine.


April 1 Wednesday – The Clemens family was again en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for Colombo, Ceylon. Sam noted, “Curving down around the S.E. corner of Ceylon” [NB 37 TS 18].


April 2 Thursday – The Clemens family was en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for Colombo, Ceylon. Aboard ship Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

I didn’t quite finish in India, because I got laid up in Jeypore, Rajputana, with diarrhea, but I came very near doing it. Perhaps I might not have had to cancel any engagements at all if this ship had stuck to her advertised sailing-day instead of suddenly shortening up her date. We had to jump for the train and travel two nights and a day to catch her.

      We reach Colombo, Ceylon, to-morrow; and my talks there will end this part of the campaign. We then go on in this vessel to the Mauritius; then change for South Africa.

      I’ve been sick a good deal; the rest not so much; but we have had a good time in India — we couldn’t ask a better. They are lovely people there, both in the civil and the military service, and they made us feel at home [MTHHR 202].


April 3 Friday – Shortly after noon, the Wardha arrived in Colombo, Ceylon. At 9:30 p.m. Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in Public Hall, to what Lorch calls “a highly appreciative but disappointingly small audience,” due to it being Good Friday and with inclement weather [194]. Livy and Clara spent the day sightseeing in Kandy; The Clemenses were guests of Dr. Murray, surgeon, “delightful people & a delightful bungalo” [Ahluwalia 20; Lorch 194]. Sam’s notebook:

One very seldom sees the ocean slick enough to cast reflections, often as we see the reverse stated; but now (noon) nearing Colombo, the vast piles of pink, & leaden & snow-white clouds on the horizon are repeated in detail in the slick & polished surface of the sea [NB 37 TS 24].

The Clemenses got word that a son of Franklin G. Whitmore had died. They sent sympathies on Apr. 5 [Apr. 5 to Whitmore].

April 4 Saturday – At 5:30 in Columbo, Sam gave another “At Home” lecture, probably his No. 2 program. In the evening during a tropical downpour, the Clemens party sailed on the S.S. Wardha for Port Louis, Mauritius [Ahluwalia 20].


April 5 Sunday – At sea on the S.S. Wardha Sam noted his last two lectures:

Talked Friday, 9.30 p.m. & Saturday 5.30 p.m. Dead Man, Plug, Smpox, Punch & German — 1.20 [hrs]. Watermelon, Duel, McWillims, Poem, Whistle — 1.20.

      We sailed yesterday evening. Guests in Columbo of Dr. Murray & his wife — delightful people & a delightful bungalo…The Anglo-Indian runs to pets. (Lt.Col. Baddeley at Cawnpore.)

      Tropical downpour when we sailed [NB 37 TS 24-5].


On board, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore:

In Ceylon, two days ago, we learned the sad news of the death of your boy, & you will know that our loving sympathy went out to you, & to all of your house in deep affliction [MTP].

April 6 Monday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius.


April 7 Tuesday – At sea on the S.S. Wardha, Clara Clemens wrote to her cousin Samuel Moffett:

Thank you ever so much for sending me the photographs of your wife & children, they are charming & we are all so glad to have them. …. We are now on our way to Mauritius where we shall probably be quarantined for ten days simply because of a case of chicken pox on board — which I imagine maybe is really smallpox. They like better to call it chicken-pox. Our trip to India was shortened because my father wasn’t well & we had to wait two weeks in Jeypore, but I think we had about enough of hot dusty traveling anyway. If we could only see the country in a fairly comfortable state but we can’t after February really. My mother & I sleep on deck every night on account of the heat & cockroaches in the cabins. The cockroaches are as large as mice & more familiar. Thank goodness we change boats in Mauritius, & I hope the new one will be better [Ahluwalia 47].


      Sam wrote,

We are far abroad upon the smooth waters of the Indian Ocean, now; it is shady and pleasant and peaceful under the vast spread of the awnings, and life is perfect again — ideal…I do not know how a day could be more reposeful: no motion; a level blue sea; nothing in sight from horizon to horizon; the speed of the ship furnishes a cooling breeze; there is no mail to read and answer; no newspapers to excite you; no telegrams to fret you or fright you — the world is far, far away; it has ceased to exist for you — seemed a fading dream, along in the first days; has dissolved to an unreality now…There is nothing like this serenity, this comfort, this peace, this deep contentment, to be found anywhere on land. If I had my way I would sail on forever and never go live on the solid ground again [FE: ch LXII 609-17].

April 8 Wednesday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius.

The San Francisco Examiner, p.8 ran a review of the touring PW with Frank Mayo, “Mark Twain’s Epigrams.” The play at the Columbia Theater was called a “huge success.”

You cannot pull epigrams out of “Pudd’nhead Wilson” like you can pull plums — if you are not afraid of burning your fingers or having your table manners criticized — out of a Christmas pudding. It is not that kind of a play. It is a continuous ripple rather than a series of guffaws. It glows rather than glitters.

      And yet there are some notable lines in “Pudd’nhead Wilson” — lines that stand alone, and will bear quoting without regard to the situations to which they give point. They are Mark Twain lines. For the most part they are the extracts from Wilson’s calendar, with which the chapters of the book are introduced, woven skillfully into the dialogue by Mr. Mayo.

April 9 Thursday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius. Sam wrote:

April 9. Tea-planting is the great business in Ceylon, now. A passenger says it often pays 40 per cent. on the investment. Says there is a boom [ch LXII 611].


Livy wrote to Harriet E. Whitmore: “I have just rec’d word at Columboof the terrible grief that has come to you. How I wish I could put my arms about you….” [MTP].


During Apr. 8 and 9 at sea, Sam was reading Thomas Macaulay’s History of England from the Accession of James II. His notebook contains notes about Titus Oates, executions, and the Tower of London — details based on incidents described in chapters 4 and 5 of the first volume [Gribben 6; NB 37 TS 32-3].


April 10 Friday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius. Sam also wrote in FE:

April 10. The sea is a Mediterranean blue; and I believe that that is about the divinest color known to nature.

      It is strange and fine — Nature’s lavish generosities to her creatures. At least to all of them except man. For those that fly she has provided a home that is nobly spacious — a home which is forty miles deep and envelopes the whole globe, and has not an obstruction in it. For those that swim she has provided a more than imperial domain — a domain which is miles deep and covers four-fifths of the globe. But as for man, she has cut him off with the mere odds and ends of the creation….

Afternoon. The captain has been telling how, in one of his Arctic voyages, it was so cold that the mate’s shadow froze fast to the deck and had to be ripped loose by main strength. And even then he got only about two-thirds of it back. Nobody said anything, and the captain went away. I think he is becoming disheartened….Also, to be fair, there is another word of praise due to this ship’s library: it contains no copy of the Vicar of Wakefield, that strange menagerie of complacent hypocrites and idiots….Not a sincere line in it, and not a character that invites respect; a book which is one long waste-pipe discharge of goody-goody puerilities and dreary moralities; a book which is full of pathos which revolts, and humor which grieves the heart. ….

Jane Austen’s books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it [ch LXII 611-15].

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, receiving no reply since his letter of Mar. 20. He announced a half-way proposition with Walter and Frank Bliss, so he passed it on to attorney Bainbridge Colby to work with Harper & Brothers, but Colby was busy with other matters so Rogers was now dealing direct with J. Henry Harper. He reassured Sam that anything he did in the matter of his Uniform Edition and the forthcoming new book, was subject to Sam’s approval. Rogers enclosed a four-paragraph agreement for Sam’s review, and would write again after a proposed interview with Harper the next week. Of the parties involved Rogers observed,

They can talk longer and cover a wider range than anybody I know. The only mistake those fellows made was in going into the Publishing business instead of the preaching business [MTHHR 203].

April 11 Saturday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius. In FE Sam wrote of the morning shipboard routine:

Customs in tropic seas. At 5 in the morning they pipe to wash down the decks, and at once the ladies who are sleeping there turn out and they and their beds go below. Then one after another the men come up from the bath in their pyjamas, and walk the decks an hour or two with bare legs and bare feet. Coffee and fruit are served. The ship cat and her kitten now appear and get about their toilets; next the barber comes and flays us on the breezy deck. Breakfast at 9.30, and the day begins [ch LXII 615-6].


Sam’s notebook entry for the day included his intention to quote Robert Browning’s poem “Clive” in FE. He’d included it in his readings at Bryn Mawr in Feb. 1891 [Gribben 92; NB 37 TS 36]. Gribben also cites “profuse notes that index his thoughts while ‘reading Sir John Lubbock’” about the ants and Sam’s note,

This is a good time to read up on scientific matters & improve the mind [428]

April 12 Sunday – On board the Wardha at sea, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, principally about the Archer County, Texas land that Livy purchased. (See Oct. 27, Nov. 25, Dec. 30 1882 entries.)


Do you remember that Texas land? First & last it cost Mrs. Clemens something more than $1000 I believe, without counting interest. You see by the inclosed that it has advanced in value, & Mrs. Baird wants to buy it back again…And Mrs. C. believes that the reason Mrs. Baird offers $1000 is because it is worth more than that. I suspected that myself, but I didn’t say so.

Sam asked Whitmore if he might “stir up a better” offer. He then related their travel progress:

We left Calcutta March 26, & are now within three days of Mauritius, where we expect to be pretty tediously quarantined, for the natives were dying 200 a day with cholera in Calcutta while we were there. However, we are well & enjoying the ship & the voyage & the weather, & shan’t mind a quarantine of a fortnight or so [MTP].

 April 13 Monday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius. Livy wrote home to Alice Day on their ninth day at sea that “this ocean trip has been most restful” [Rodney 187].

H.H. Rogers, having just received Sam’s Mar. 15 letter, wrote of his talk with J. Henry Harper, and felt that if American Publishing Co. was as reasonable, they’d be able to “make a good trade all around.” Rogers also mentioned an article on Mark Twain by Joe Twichell which would appear in the May issue of Harper’s Monthly [MTHHR 208-9].

April 14 Tuesday – The Clemens family was at sea on the S.S. Wardha, bound for Port Louis, Mauritius. Sam wrote in FE:


April 14. It turns out that the astronomical apprentice worked off a section of the Milky Way on me for the Magellan Clouds. A man of more experience in the business showed one of them to me last night. It was small and faint and delicate, and looked like the ghost of a bunch of white smoke left floating in the sky by an exploded bombshell [nebula] [ch LXII 617].


April 15 Wednesday – At 2 a.m. the S.S. Wardha arrived and anchored off Port Louis. Sam wrote:

Rugged clusters of crags and peaks, green to their summits; from their bases to the sea a green plain with just tilt enough to it to make the water drain off. I believe it is in 56° E. and 22° S. — a hot tropical country. The green plain has an inviting look; has scattered dwellings nestling among the greenery. Some of the sentimental adventure of Paul and Virginia.

      Island under French control — which means a community which depends on quarantines, not sanitation, for its health [FE ch LXII 617].

Parsons notes that the Port Louis temperatures at that time were 65 to 82 degrees in the shade and 128 to 146 in the sun, which made Sam prefer the mountain village of Curepipe [“Traveler in S.A.” 3].

April 16 Thursday – The best account of the Clemens party reaching Mauritius and traveling to the village of Curepipe, which Parsons calls a “mountain health resort,” where they would rest twelve days, is in FE:

Thursday, April 16. Went ashore in the forenoon at Port Louis, a little town, but with the largest variety of nationalities and complexions we have encountered yet. French, English, Chinese, Arabs, African with wool, blacks with straight hair, East Indians, half-whites, quadroons — and great varieties in costume and colors.

      Took the train for Curepipe at 1.30 — two hours’ run, gradually uphill. What a contrast, this frantic luxuriance of vegetation, with the arid plains of India; these architecturally picturesque crags and knobs and miniature mountains, with the monotony of the Indian dead-levels. …

      Curepipe (means Pincushion or Pegtown, probably). Sixteen miles (two hours) by rail from Port Louis. At each end of every roof and on the apex of every dormer window a wooden peg two feet high stands up; in some cases its top is blunt, in others the peg is sharp and looks like a toothpick. The passion for this humble ornament is universal [FE ch LXII 617-8].


Parsons offers a somewhat different view:

In two hours he was borne by train the sixteen miles from the hot Mauritian port to the cool health resort of Curepipe, where it rained “all the time…the wettest place in the world except the ocean” …he was repelled by the “ugliness & savage discomfort of an Indian hotel.” Noting that the island’s chief produce was “sugar, molasses, and mongrels,” he visited an English plantation where he was breakfasted by the efficient French manager and rushed “8 miles through the cane in 40 m.” by a mule. A later notebook entry on introductions, “(Bombay.) — saved! Curepipe. Pretoria. Maritzburg. (Great!) Johannesburg — saved!…Other occasions commonplace,” suggests that, after dining at British barracks, he gave a talk. It seems unlikely that one of his money-snaring “At Homes” was delivered in a mostly French-speaking community. Anyway, the Curepipe Casino was booked to the Marionettes d’Arc et Fantoches Francais, soon to accompany the American on the Arundel Castle to Durban. For Twain Mauritius yielded a charmed “resting spell” from “platform work,” and he left it with regret…[“Clubman in S.A.” 235].

As to why Sam did not lecture in Mauritius, Lorch offers that it was not, at least, due to his health:

Mark Twain spent twelve delightful days which were marred only by the fact that his daughter Clara was still suffering from the ague [malaria fever] which she had contracted in India. As for Mark Twain himself, he had completely recovered from his prolonged siege of carbuncles and was in the best of health. Much to the disappointment of both the English and French inhabitants of the island, however, he did not lecture, despite the fact that a public performance seemed promised and was anticipated by news reporters. The French inhabitants were especially unhappy not to have the opportunity to hear the celebrated American, surmising that his failure to lecture indicated his scorn of them or that Mark Twain might have been offended by critical comments the French journalist Edmond About had made about him after one of About’s visits to the United States [195].

April 17 Friday


April 18 Saturday – In Curepipe, Mauritius on a twelve-day rest, Sam wrote in FE:

April 18. This is the only country in the world where the stranger is not asked “How do you like this place?” This is indeed a large distinction. Here the citizen does the talking about the country himself; the stranger is not asked to help; you get all sorts of information. From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius. Another one tells you that this is an exaggeration; that the two chief villages, Port Louis and Curepipe, fall short of heavenly perfection; that nobody lives in Port Louis except upon compulsion; and that Curepipe is the wettest and rainiest place in the world [ch LXII 618-9].


April 19 Sunday


April 20 Monday – In Curepipe, Mauritius, Sam wrote in FE:

April 20. — This is the only place in the world where no breed of matches can stand the damp. Only one match in 16 will light.

      The roads are hard and smooth; some of the compounds are spacious, some of the bungalows commodious, and the roadways are walled by tall bamboo hedges, trim and green and beautiful; and there are azalea hedges, too, both the white and the red; I never saw that before.

      As to healthiness: I translate from today’s (April 20) Merchants’ and Planters’ Gazette ….This daily paper has a meteorological report which tells you what the weather was day before yesterday.

      One is never pestered by a beggar or a peddler in this town, so far as I can see. This is pleasantly different from India [ch LXIII 622-3].


April 21 Tuesday


April 22 Wednesday – In Curepipe, Sam gave this date for a discussion of why the English allowed the French to colonize Madagascar.

Did she respect a theft of a couple of centuries ago? Dear me, robbery by European nations of each other’s territories has never been a sin, is not a sin to-day….All the territorial possessions of all the political establishments in the earth — including America, of course — consist of pilferings from other people’s wash. No tribe, howsoever insignificant, and no nation, howsoever mighty, occupies a foot of land that was not stolen. When the English, the French, and the Spaniards reached America, the Indian tribes had been raiding each other’s territorial clothes-lines for ages, and every acre of ground in the continent had been stolen and re-stolen 500 times. The English, the French, and the Spaniards went to work and stole it all over again; and when that was satisfactorily accomplished they went diligently to work and stole it from each other [FE ch LXIII 623].


April 23 Thursday – In Curepipe, Sam gave this date for a potpourri of information about Mauritius.

April 23. “The first year they gather shells; the second year they gather shells and drink; the third year they do not gather shells.” (Said of immigrants to Mauritius.)

      Population 375,000. 120 sugar factories.

      Population 1851, 185,000. The increase is due mainly to the introduction of Indian coolies. They now apparently form the great majority of the population. They are admirable breeders; their homes are always hazy with children. Great savers of money….These thrifty coolies are said to be acquiring land a trifle at a time, and cultivating it; and may own the island by and by [FE ch. LXIII 626].


April 24 Friday – In Curepipe, Mauritius Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

We have been here about ten days, and shall be here 3 or 4 more before our ship will be ready to receive us on board. This holiday comes very handy for me; I am very glad to have a resting spell; I was getting fagged with platform work….

      This village of Curepipe is up-country….It is on high ground, and is cool, and rains all the time, and is very damp and pleasant. Cigars are mushy and clammy, and a match that will light on anything is a curiosity. It is believed to be the wettest place in the world except the ocean. But it is in a beautiful country, surrounded by sugar plantations and the greenest and brightest and richest of tropical vegetation, and we like it. …

      There are some Protestant missionaries here, but there is nothing doing in their line. The Catholics control the market. There are 18 daily newspapers in the island, but there wouldn’t be any money in it if there were a million. Nobody knows what they live on.

      Clara has a large carbuncle, and suffers a great deal with it; but her mother’s health keeps in pretty good shape.

      If I think of any more facts about Mauritius that will be valuable in Wall street I will write again. I send love to you all, and if you think Harry would like a mongrel I will get him one. Sincerely… [MTHHR 209-11].


April 25 SaturdayRichard Watson Gilder published Sam’s Mar. 12 letter about Jaipur architecture as “A Gift from India” in the Apr. 25, 1896 issue of Critic [Gribben 355].

Critic also reprinted “Mark Twain on the Platform” from The Sketch, dealing with Sam’s world tour, including a description of his choice of material and of his platform appearance and manner [Tenney 25]. 


April 26 Sunday

April 27 Monday


April 28 Tuesday – The Clemens family left Curepipe, took the two-hour trip to Port Louis, and boarded the Arundel Castle for the eight-day voyage to Mozambique and Natal. Parsons includes Sam’s remark about bed linens being washed in a stream as his “chief memory” of Mauritius:

This is the first time I ever saw women trying to break rocks with sheets [“Traveler in S.A.” 3].


April 29 Wednesday – The Clemens party was at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for South Africa. In FE Sam waxed eloquent about the 4,700 ton ship, captained by R.W. Winder [Philippon 14]:


The Arundel Castle is the finest boat I have seen in these seas. She is thoroughly modern, and that statement covers a great deal of ground. She has the usual defect, the common defect, the universal defect, the defect that has never been missing from any ship that ever sailed — she has imperfect beds. Many ships have good beds, but no ship has very good ones [ch LXIV 630].


The ship passed the Isle de Bourbon (now Réunion), about 130 miles southwest of Mauritius, and though not dated, Sam’s FE entry at 8 a.m. would have been this day, one day out of Port Louis:

8 A.M. Passing Isle de Bourbon. Broken-up sky-line of volcanic mountains in the middle. Surely it would not cost much to repair them, and it seems inexcusable neglect to leave them as they are [FE ch LXIV 630].

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, saying since his Apr. 12 letter he’d not heard from him. He wasn’t sure he was making progress with Harper & Bros. and the Bliss brothers. He was leaving Sunday for the oil fields for a couple of weeks. This morning he received a check from Frank Mayo for $1,457.87 as royalties on the PW play through Apr. 11; Rogers enclosed Mayo’s letter, saying the play was “an assured success.” Mayo had been touring with the play from Pittsburgh to Kansas City to San Francisco. Rogers also wrote of progress with the creditors — all but two:

At last the Grant case is settled and Colby is going on now to close up the affairs of the C.L. Webster & Co. Payne [Mt. Morris Bank] and Barrow are the stubborn ones and we are unable to make settlement with them. The only thing to do is to let the matter rest for a time and hope for something favorable to turn up in the future [MTHHR 211]. Note: George Barrow represented the Barrow family, to which Webster & Co. owed $15,416.90; William H. Payne was president of the Mt. Morris Bank.

April 30 Thursday – The Clemens party was at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for South Africa.


MayJoe Twichell’s piece appeared as the lead article in the May issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine as “Mark Twain.” Brander Matthewsarticle, “The Penalty of Humor,” p. 897-900, also ran in the same magazine. Matthews thought Twain’s writing was uneven, but the best of it was very good; critics did an injustice if they dismissed him as merely a humorist. (Reprinted in The Twainian, XXX (Mar.-Apr. 1971 1-4)) [Tenney 25].

William Peterfield Trent’s article, “Mark Twain as an Historical Novelist” ran in Bookman (N.Y.) III, p.207-10. Most of the article focused on JA. Trent felt Twain failed as Joan and other characters were not brought to life; fortunately Twain made his contribution elsewhere, as in TS, and was “something far more than a man of letters, even a great one; he is something more than a mere humorist, even a thoroughly genial and whole-souled one — he is a great writer” [Tenney 25].


May 1 Friday – The Clemens party was at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for South Africa. In his May 2 entry in FE, Sam related this night’s story:

Last night [May 1], the burly chief engineer, middle-age, was standing telling a spirited seafaring tale, and had reached the most exciting place, where a man overboard was washing swiftly astern on the great seas, and uplifting despairing cries, everybody racing aft in a frenzy of excitement and fading hope, when the band, which had been silent a moment, began impressively its closing piece, the English national anthem. As simply as if he was unconscious of what he was doing, he stopped his story, uncovered, laid his laced cap against his breast, and slightly bent his grizzled head. The few bars finished, he put on his cap and took up his tale again as naturally as if that interjection of music had been a part of it. There was something touching and fine about it, and it was moving to reflect that he was one of a myriad, scattered over every part of the globe, who by turn was doing as he was doing every hour of the twenty-four — those awake doing it while the others slept — those impressive bars forever floating up out of the various climes, never silent and never lacking reverent listeners [ch LXIV 632].

Two copies of Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc were deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office; the earliest copies of the first edition were published in early May, 1896 [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.21, 1996 Oxford ed.]

May 2 Saturday – The Clemens party was at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for South Africa. Sam wrote in FE:

May 2, A.M. A fair, great ship in sight, almost the first we have seen in these weeks of lonely voyaging. We are now in the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and South Africa, sailing straight west for Delagoa Bay [ch LXIV 631].


May 3 Sunday –The Clemens party was at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for South Africa. Sam wrote in FE:

May 3. Sunday. Fifteen or twenty Africanders who will end their voyage to-day and strike for their several homes from Delagoa Bay to-morrow, sat up singing on the after-deck in the moonlight till 3 A.M. Good fun and wholesome. And the songs were clean songs, and some of them were hallowed by tender associations [ch LXIV 632].


May 4 Monday – The Arundel Castle arrived in Delagoa Bay, Mozambique; Sam wrote about briefly going ashore in the port of Lourenço Marques:

Steaming slowing in the stupendous Delagoa Bay, its dim arms stretching far away and disappearing on both sides. It could furnish plenty of room for all the ships in the world, but it is shoal. The lead has given us 3 ½ fathoms several times and we are drawing that, lacking 6 inches.

      A bold headland — precipitous wall, 150 feet high, very strong, red color, stretching a mile or so. A man said it was Portuguese blood — battle fought here with the natives last year. I think this doubtful. Pretty cluster of houses on the tableland above the red — and rolling stretches of grass and groups of trees, like England.

      The Portuguese have the railroad (one passenger train a day) to the border — 70 miles — then the Netherlands Company have it. Thousands of tons of freight on the shore — no cover. This is Portuguese all over — indolence, piousness, poverty, impotence.

      Crews of small boats and tugs, all jet black woolly heads and very muscular. …

      We spent the afternoon on shore, Delagoa Bay. A small town — no sights. No carriages. Three ‘rickshas, but we couldn’t get them — apparently private [FE ch LXIV 637-8]. Note: Delagoa Bay, now Maputo Bay, is on the Indian Ocean side of the coast of Mozambique and is over 55 miles long and 20 miles wide.


Parsons writes,

Twain’s first experience of South Africa came in the afternoon of Monday May 4 during shore leave at Lourenço Marques, port of Mozambique. The traveler was impressed by Delagoa bay….He was less impressed by the Portuguese masters. Their capital was small, without sights or conveyances to get about in. Although the Delagoa Bay Railway had been completed the year before, connecting Pretoria with Lourenço Marques and giving the Transvaal a sea outlet, only one passenger train a day crept the seventy miles to the border, where the Netherlands Company took over” [“Traveler in S. Africa” 4].

May 5 Tuesday – The Clemens party, at sea aboard the Arundel Castle bound for Durban, S. Africa.


May 6 Wednesday – The Arundel Castle arrived in Durban, S. Africa. Sam wrote in FE:

At 3 P.M., May 6th, the ship slowed down, off the land, and thoughtfully and cautiously picked her way into the snug harbor of Durban, South Africa [ch LXIV 643]. Note: The Natal Mercury reported a 2 p.m. arrival.

David Hunter of the Durban Savage Club and A. Milligan, secretary pro tempore of the Club, met the Clemens family and Carlyle G. Smythe [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 5; Philippon 14]. The group went to the Royal Hotel, where the Clemens party took rooms. Parsons writes,

Later, at the Royal Hotel, when young Smythe was fending off lion-hunters, a third Savage, the Scots physician Samuel George Campbell, presented his card with an offer of any needed service and was received by Mark into a friendship that embraced their families. The doctor and his wife, Margaret Dunnachie, with their daughter Ethel, opened their home to the Clemenses, took them on carriage drives [probably after this day], and set a chair among the orange trees of their garden so that Mark might be screened from his curious public. This is the account of Dr. Campbell, whose unpublished “Story about Mark Twain” is in the Killie Campbell Library of Africana in Durban [“Clubman” 236].

Sam described the hotel and his first night in Durban:

Royal Hotel. Comfortable, good table, good service of natives and Madrasis. Curious jumble of modern and ancient city and village, primitiveness and the other thing. Electric bells, but they don’t ring. Ask why they didn’t; the watchman in the office said he thought they must be out of order; he thought so because some of them rang, but most of them didn’t. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put them in order? He hesitated — like one who isn’t quite sure — then conceded the point [FE ch LXV 644].


During the night “crowing roosters heartlessly serenaded” Sam [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 6].

May 7 Thursday – At daybreak in Durban, S. Africa, more annoyance:

May 7. A bang on the door at 6. Did I want my boots cleaned? Fifteen minutes later another bang. Did we want coffee? Fifteen later, bang again, my wife’s bath ready; 15 later, my bath ready. Two other bangs; I forget what they were about. Then lots of shouting back and forth, among the servants just as in an Indian hotel.

      Evening. At 4 P.M. it was unpleasantly warm. Half-hour after sunset one needed a spring overcoat; by 8 a winter one.

      Durban is a neat and clean town. One notices that without having his attention called to it.

      Rickshaws drawn by splendidly built black Zulus, so overflowing with strength, seemingly, that it is a pleasure, not a pain, to see them snatch a rickshaw along. They smile and laugh and show their teeth — a good-natured lot. Not allowed to drink; 2s per hour for one person; 3s for two; 3d for a course — one person [FE ch LXV 644].

Just before noon Sam was interviewed in bed by the Natal Mercury; it was published on May 8 as “Mark Twain in Durban: A Bedside Chat with the Humorist,” and reprinted in at least two other S. African newspapers [Philippon 14; Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 239]. See Scharnhorst, Interviews 296-300.

May 8 Friday – In Durban, Natal Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

We reached here day before yesterday, 41 days out from Calcutta — breaking the journey a couple of days in Ceylon and near a fortnight in Mauritius. We have been in the pitiless and uninterrupted blaze of summer from the time I saw you last until we reached this place — more than ten straight months of it. …

      But here in Durban it is cool. Their autumn is closing; before this Month of May is ended their winter will have set in. The days are warm, but not too warm; coolness begins with sunset; an hour later you must put on an overcoat; and your bed must have several blankets on it.

      We shall be in South Africa 3 months — address Cape Town — then sail for England end of July or early in August — most likely August [MTHHR 212-3].


In FE under a May 9 listing:

A drive yesterday [May 8] with friends over the Berea. Very fine roads and lofty, overlooking the whole town, the harbor, and the sea — beautiful views. Residences all along, set in the midst of green lawns with shrubs and generally one or two intensely red outbursts of poinsettia — the flaming splotch of blinding red a stunning contrast with the world of surrounding green. The cactus tree — candelabrum-like….

      Saw one bird. Not many birds here, and they have no music — and the flowers not much smell [ch LXV 646].

Sam dined with the Durban Savage Club [Philippon 14].

May 9 Saturday – The Clemenses went sightseeing in Durban [Philippon 14].


The Chicago Tribune, p.10 ran a review of JA:

Books of the Day

Mark Twain in Sober Mood

Humorous writing, like the o’er-cheerful cup, has its penalties. The jocular scribbler who saw the printer’s devil doubled up in a fatal fit and vowed never again to be as funny as he could will not have to make puns alone upon the River Styx. Here is the master humorist of our generation compelled to withhold his name from a fine piece of literary work as it runs its serial length through Harper’s simply because the name would mislead the public into regarding the whole as a huge joke. …

      Though there is but little humor in this bulky volume, there are abundant incentives to interest. Rollicking fun is replaced by an intense human sentiment. The titillation of wit gives place to the esthetic joy aroused by genuine art. The heroine, as the author depicts her, standing angel-white against the black background of a century that was “the brutalist, the wickedest, the rottenest in history since the dark ages,” is a figure that may well appeal to the more enlightened church which today stands ready to canonize her whom once it so foully slew [Budd, Contemporary Reviews 380].

May 10 Sunday


May 11 MondayDurbin, Natal. Parsons writes,

On Monday the eleventh the man Twain was accompanied by David Hunter and A. Milligan to Trappist Mariannhill, where they “were vegetarians from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.” On the two-hour drive over country roads, Mark reveled in lantern flowers, “spiky plants, plants like bunches of vegetable swords, plumy tall palms, the cactus tree, the flat-roof tree, and so on,” plantations of banana and pineapple, grass-thatched huts, familiar-looking darkies and “unmodified Zulus…shining with oil.” Among other things, Amandus Scholzig’s abbey was the center of a network of shops, chapels, and schools to civilize, educate, christianize, and confer trades on the Kaffirs or unbelievers. But this sophisiticating of the savage made far less impression on Twain than the sight of monks living in discomfort and silence (sub silentio), going to bed at eight, rising at two, laboring endlessly without the company of kinfolk or women or pets, forbidden to swear, smoke, bet, or lay hands on a cue stick. His human instincts suppressed, man was extinguished “as an individual.” Yet, “from what I could learn, all that a man gets for this is merely the saving of his soul” [“Traveler in S.A.” 7]. (Editorial emphasis added.)


FE, this dateline gives Sam’s direct reactions to the monastery:

There is a large Trappist monastery two hours from Durban, over the country roads, and in company with Mr. Milligan and Mr. Hunter, general manager of the Natal government railways, who knew the heads of it, we went out to see it.

      There it all was, just as one reads about it in books and cannot believe that it is so — I mean the rough, hard work, the impossible hours, the scanty food, the coarse raiment, the Maryborough beds, the tabu of human speech, of social intercourse, of relaxation, of amusement, of entertainment, of the presence of woman in the men’s establishment. There it all was. It was not a dream, it was not a lie. And yet with the fact before one’s face it was still incredible. It is such a sweeping suppression of human instincts, such an extinction of the man as an individual [ch LXV 647-8].


May 12 Tuesday – In Durban, Natal Sam gave his “At Home” No. 1 lecture at the Theatre Royal. The house held about 1,000 and was full, tickets from 1s to 4s, with an approximate gross of £105. Sam spoke for 95 minutes, including the boy and the corpse, Civil War soldiering, Mexican plug, German language, and his Australian Poem [Philippon 15].  

After the lecture he went to the Princess Café and gave a Savage Club supper speech. Fatout writes,


Dr. Samuel Campbell, dinner chairman, said that he prescribed Mark Twain’s books as a tonic for convalescing patients. In an undated reminiscence, Natal University Library, Durban, South Africa, Dr. Campbell summarizes Mark Twain’s speech: “He commenced his reply by describing how much he admired Durban — what wonderful men they were. He then proceeded to give some of his experiences….he told of how he had been ill in Bombay recently and called in a Doctor, a remarkable man, clever was no name for him, he got right down to the disease and cured it — but left a much worse one behind and passed him on to a Doctor in Calcutta, a wonderful Physician, who cured him of this malignant disease but left a worse one behind….Then he turned his attention particularly to my relationship to him — how soothed he was to hear that he had been so helpful to me in my profession — curing my patients by means of his writing. I was no doubt an honest man, but had it ever occurred to me that I was using his brains to acquire wealth, position, credit. It was surely evident to the simplest intelligence that I owed him something and he would be glad to receive a cheque from me before he left Durban” [MT Speaking 664].


The Natal Mercury’s “Man in the Moon,” whom Parsons takes to be A. Milligan, the Club’s secretary remembered Sam’s speech about the doctor fees:

Well, gentlemen, it is very gratifying to me to learn that I have done so much good in the world. I want to do good, and you hear that I have been doing it. I am indeed pleased to know that my books have been of so much assistance to a noble profession for the alleviation of human suffering. Yes, it is very gratifying to know that I have done half the work of my friend — I have not received half the fees (laughter).

      As you know, I am fond of doctors. I am in my 61st year. Well, I have lived for 60 years without having anything at all to do with doctors, but since I entered into the 61st year I have had them all the time. They are a noble set of men, and I like them. Nothing is too much for them to do. They are most attentive and kind in their treatment. I find they always accomplish what they set themselves to do. They always cure the disease they are dealing with — and leave you with another. Yes, since I have had to do with doctors, I have had a processional time with complaints [Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 238]. Note: this last paragraphs is given as “the merest outline from memory” by the reporter.

In FE chapter LXV p.652 with this dateline, Sam gives a concise summary of the politics behind the Jameson Raid across the Transvaal border four months before, Jan. 1-2, 1896. See also May 23 entry.

Harper & Brothers wrote to ask Sam if they might gather some of his essays to publish as a volume in their “Contemporary Essayists” series. Sam may not have received this letter since they asked again on Oct. 12, though he did enclose an answer in his to Rogers [MTHHR 240n1].


May 13 Wednesday – In Durban, Natal Sam gave his “At Home” No. 2 (morality) lecture at the Theatre Royal. Extra seats were brought in to accommodate an overflow crowd. Reviews published: May 15: Transvaal Advertiser; May 16: Natal Witness; Pretoria Press.

Sam gave an impromptu speech for the Durban Savage Club, Dr. Samuel George Campbell, chairman [Philippon 15]. Parsons writes,

Among clubmen he was at home, striking no bargains. Besides, as guests, he and Carlyle Smythe had the privilege of the club’s billiard table and much more chance of playing without a wait than in a hotel [“Clubman in S.A.” 238].

May 14 Thursday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left Durban at 6 p.m. on the Natal Govt. Railway for “the heat and turmoil” of the Transvaal. They were seen off at the station by David Hunter and A. Milligan. They traveled 71 miles to Pietermaritzburg, arriving at 10 p.m.. Sam and Smythe took rooms at the Imperial Hotel on Loop Street, Emma Thresh landlady, “sincere and genuine old-time English Inn…large room & comfortable.” The night was chilly and blustery; Sam “ordered up hot water & had a punch, & Mr. Smythe brought up the house-kitten: gray, & perfectly tame & sociable. I was asleep by 1” [Philippon 15; May 15 to Livy].

Livy and Clara stayed in Durban and would not reunite with Sam until June 17 in Port Elizabeth. It was the longest separation Sam and Livy had during the world tour. Willis writes,

Livy and Clara stayed in Durban while Clemens lectured throughout South Africa. Even by letter, Livy kept her role of advisor and admirer. She loved and missed him and cautioned him, “But you must continue to miss me and to think that you do not get on as well without me as you do with.” Although she could not physically be in his audience, she advised him on his lectures by mail as she had done when they were engaged twenty-seven years previously. He must make sure his presentations were long enough for the audience. “I want them to feel that they have had the worth of their money.” She advised including the “Jumping Frog” or “Buck Fanshaw” to lengthen his program. “I should think if a reader could make it go, you could make it go much better” [233].

Note: Livy’s concern with the time of Sam’s lectures seems a bit unwarranted, since reviewing the time of his lectures before this reveals they were fairly consistent at or close to 90 minutes.


May 15 Friday – In Peitermaritzburg, S. Africa, Sam was awakened at 7 a.m. He bathed and had coffee and shaved, then rested in bed rehearsing for the night’s lecture. Before lunch he wrote to Livy:

Livy darling, we had a brief & pleasant journey in a reserved carriage provided by Mr. Hunter. He & Mr. Milligan were at the station to see us off; both are fine men — fine & good hearted and sound & genuine. … Luncheon is at 1 o’clock; after it we will go to Government House & sign our names. I have devised a new ending for Huck & the Smallpox, & will try it to-night.

      It is pretty lonesome without you, dear heart: I miss you all the time. By & by we’ll be together again. Good-bye; I love you both. Saml [MTP; not in LLMT].


In the afternoon, Sam signed his name at the Government House, where he would luncheon the following day (May 16).


In the evening Sam gave his modified “At Home” lecture at the Theatre Royal on Chapel Street. It seems that every town in S. Africa had a “Theatre Royal.” Governor Sir Walter Healy-Hutchinson was in the full-house. Sam’s lecture, including the new ending to “Huck and the Smallpox” ran 84 minutes. Reviews published: May 16: Natal Witness; May 22 The Critic [Philippon 15].


Sam attended a reception and then gave a dinner speech to a combined meeting of the Victoria and Savage Clubs. Like many dinner talks, this one seems to have been spontaneous and brief. No text is available for his “good long paragraph,” beyond his May 16 letter to Livy, below [15; Fatout, MT Speaking 664].

The two clubs joined teams last night [May 15] & I was the supper-guest of the combination. We sat down to table a very little after 10 — after a handshaking reception. The table & one extra full — 30 or more — just right. The Chairman was an English barrister & a capable man. He delivered a memorized speech of considerable length & made them shout all the way through. Then I got up & said with a seriousness amounting to solemnity: “I am the unwilling slave of an exacting vocation, and” That is all I remember of it; but it was a good long paragraph choicely worded — & ended: “and it would appear that through the inscrutable providence of God I am come to Maritzburg to be taught my trade by this hoary expert.” Then I took his speech to pieces in detail & we had a roaring time. After a recitation of a spirited sort by the President of the other Club I privately asked leave to go [MTP; not in LLMT].


Note: Parsons identifies the Chairman who gave the long speech as “an English barrister,” G. Bulkley:


As an older party, locally knowing, he [Bulkley] advised the American [Twain] what to put in his Wanderjahr about Maritzburg, its advantages plus any future “adjuncts of civilisation.” After the toast was musically honored, Twain eagerly responded to this “splendid ‘draw’.” Having made a journey of 24,000 miles to put together a tome, he now discovers that , “Had I only come to Maritzburg in the first instance, and consulted the gentleman who has…advised me, I would have found all I was in search of ready to my hand! My life, in fact, has been a failure up to this moment! And with regard to my kind adviser’s reference to our respective ages, and to his claim of seniority, I can only look at him, and in the fullness of my heart exclaim, ‘How glorious is youth!’” [“Clubman in S.A.” 241]. Note: Parsons judges at least part of these remarks were included in Sam’s “good long paragraph choicely worded.”

Sam’s May 16 to Livy reported he was in bed before midnight

May 16 Saturday – At 10 a.m. in Pietermaritzburg Sam wrote to Livy:

I have just had my bath & coffee, Sweetheart, & am back in bed again. My proposed program is the one I used in Calcutta:

      First Night. Dead Man, Plug, Ram, Smallpox, Christening.

      Second. Watermelon, Duel, Crusade, Interviewer, Poem, Whistle.

      Third. Punch, McWilliams, Sandpile, German. (And possibly Golden Arm.)

Sam felt the previous night’s lecture went well: “[I am] satisfied with myself & with the noise that was made.” He also wrote of his dinner speech at the combined meeting of the Victoria and Savage Clubs. He ended by reassuring her, probably in response to her letter (not extant):

Yes, my darling, you’ll be telegraphically informed if I get sick. Smythe has seen that the coffee & eggs were promptly ready.

      I love you, love you, love you. / Saml [MTP; not in LLMT].

At 1 p.m. Sam had lunch at the Government House. In the evening he gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture at the Theatre Royal [Philippon 15].

In his first May 19 letter to Livy Sam referred to “the fatigue of that sleepless night in the train,” which could only have referred to this night, traveling from Pietermaritzburg to Johannesburg. Parsons writes,

He told how, coming by train from Maritzburg, a pair of inebriates wanted to know what he did for a living, only to mistake write books for keep books. This led to the conjecture that his go-ahead countryman, John Hays Hammond, might turn up a job for him [“Clubman in S.A.” 243].

Poultney Bigelow, traveling in Africa, wrote to Sam (Sam enclosed this in his first May 19 to Livy)

My dear Mr. Clemens.

Hail to you! I be so fortunate as to shake hands with you again! Where I don’t know, I am off for some savage life amongst the Basutos, but shall be here the 23d May & then travel northward to Johannesburg. I sh’d like to compare notes in Africa as we did in Paris near the Madeleine.

Yesterday my despatch case was stolen from me here, also my letter of credit with a balance of f225 — that is a warning to you. I hope to recover it or at least to get enough to carry me home.

      I have left a letter for you here introducing you to the President of the Orange Free State — he is a man you will like — these Boers remind me of our primitive hell fire Puritans [MTP]. Note: In response, Sam would telegram Bigelow and offered help [noted on Sam’s May 19 to Livy].


May 17 Sunday – Sam and Smythe arrived in Johannesburg at Park Station at 8:50 p.m. and were greeted by a “large number of admirers and curious spectators.” They took rooms at the Grand National Hotel at Rissik and Pritchard Streets. Journalists from the Johannesburg Times and the Standard Diggers’ News interviewed Mark Twain, these published on May 18 [Philippon 16]. Note: Scharnhorst reports these two interviews, plus another of May 18 by the Johannesburg Star [Interviews 300-9].


Rodney writes,

A few days later the two travelers reached Johannesburg and the richest gold region in the world, known as “the Rand.” They stayed over for twelve days so that Mark Twain could satisfy the demand for his “At Homes” with seven performances in Johannesburg and three in nearby Pretoria. Fatigued though he was by such a rigorous schedule, he was elated by his reception [190].

May 18 Monday – In Johannesburg, a journalist from the Johannesburg Star interviewed Sam in bed for an hour at the Grand National Hotel. The interview was taken in the forenoon; it ran this same day [Scharnhorst 300]. A. Bonamici of Bonamici & Co. was Sam’s manager in Johannesburg gave Sam a small, engraved gold brick. At 3:30 in the afternoon Sam took a drive with Mrs. John Hays Hammond, and Adele Chapin, wife of the American consul Robert Chapin, followed by a tea at the Chapins’ house with “beautiful young American women” (and some husbands); the tea lasted until 5:45 p.m. Sam then took the Chapins’ carriage “& rushed home for some rest.”

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) lecture in the Standard Theatre to a capacity crowd of 570 who paid high prices [Philippon 16]. Sam wrote the next day to Livy:  

Had a grand time at the theatre. Packed, & 25 or 30 on the stage. Had cold-beef supper & went off to bed [May 19 to Livy].

Natalie Hammond (Mrs. John Hays Hammond) telegraphed Sam (enclosed in Sam’s first May 19 to Livy): “Your kind letter found on my arrival this morning. Its friendly tone both touched and cheered me in my trouble” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s initial letter to Natalie is not extant.


May 19 Tuesday – In Johannesburg, S. Africa, Sam wrote at 12:30 p.m. to Livy:

Livy dear, I have just finished bathing & shaving — I slept straight through ten hours — for the fatigue of that sleepless night in the train had arrived at last, though there had been no suggestion of it before [MTP].


Sam wrote a second letter to Livy later in the afternoon, as he waited for Mrs. Adele Chapin’s carriage to drive him out.

Livy dear, I’ve only a moment. The interviewers were on hand when we arrived last night at 10. I got to bed at 12, after a large cold-roast-beef supper. The interviewers were here again this morning just after I had had a late bath & a shave & had returned to bed to warm up. Visitors & luncheon have occupied all my time since this moment….Tremendous excitement here over the suicide of that poor prisoner. His wife lies in a stupor & does not believe he is dead — thinks the report is a lie.

      I love you, dearly, sweetheart. / Saml / I wish you had come with me [MTP]. Note: See Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 245 — he identifies the dead man as Fred Gray, who had just cut his throat in despair. Hammond was initially serving a fifteen year sentence; others in the Jameson raid lesser sentences.

Sam ate lunch at the Rand Club, Mr. Jennings chairman. Political tangles in the country were difficult to translate for anyone, much less an American visitor. Parsons writes of the Rand Club and its links to the prisoners at Pretoria:

Built in 1889, just three years after the discovery [of gold], this Rand Club, the second cost £45,000. The entrance fee was ten guineas, the monthly subscription one guinea, and the membership about six hundred. When Mark appeared for lunch on Tuesday, all that transpired to the press was Mr. Jennings’ proposing his health, upon which the guest “made an interesting speech, full of wit, fun, and truth, which is the very essence of wit.”

      Although it has long been protested that “the Rand Club had nothing to do with the Reform movement” or the Jameson Raid, all the Reform leaders were members and many of those jailed in Pretoria had been arrested at the Club [“Clubman in S.A.” 245].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture at the Standard Theatre [Philippon 16]. 

Livy wrote to Sam “Please thank Mr. Smythe for his telegram which we were so very glad to receive from Johannesburg yesterday, stating that there were no colds & no carbuncle’s as yet….I am afraid your programs are not quite long enough. Do you think they are? ….Of course, Mr Smythe will help you to judge…you might try the “Jumping Frog” again nicht?”

She added that she had so many beautiful images in her mind from the trip so far. She’d been with Clara “over to the Museum this morning. It was not particularly interesting,” and that she’d asked Mr. Milligan in for tea this afternoon [MTP].


May 20 Wednesday – In Johannesburg, S. Africa Sam began a letter to Livy he added to on May 21.

Livy darling I love you, & that is about all I can find time to say this morning. I am driven — driven — driven — & without you to save me from blunders I make them all the time. I think I have engaged myself to lunch with 2 different crowds at 1 o’clock today. This would not have happened if you had been there….A visitor is announced [MTP].


Sam lunched at Mrs. Adele Chapin’s with a dozen others. He wrote of it in his May 22 to daughter Clara:

…she sprung a toast on me, & I required her to re-word it & put in something that I could use as a text — then I went ahead & made a speech — & not a bad one, if I do say that should. Nearly as good a one as I made at the Club here the other day. Only this latter was humorous, whereas the former was wholly serious [MTP]. Note: speech listed by Fatout, MT Speaking 664.

Sam gave his No. 3 “At Home” talk to a full house at Standard Theatre. In his May 21 to Livy he judged the lecture “came out just as handsomely as the others,” though he’d dreaded giving the No. 3. After the lecture the theater manager bought Sam and Smythe dinner. Sam was in bed by 1 a.m. [Philippon 16].

L.F. Austin’s article, “At Random,” ran in Sketch (London) 54, p.140. Austin briefly describes Sam at the Tile Club in N.Y. with Frank Millet, Henry Cuyler Bunner and F. Hopkinson Smith [Tenney ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 331].

May 21 Thursday – In Johannesburg, S. Africa Sam finished a letter to Livy he began May 20.

Livy darling, your dear letters are arriving now & glad am I to get them. It is noon, & I am not yet dressed or shaved. I got to bed (from a lovely supper given to Smythe & me by the theatre manager at one oclock this morning & slept like a log until eleven. Am refreshed. I was dreading lecture No.3. But it came out just as handsomely as the others [MTP].


Sam gave his No. 1 “At Home” lecture at Standard Theatre. The Johannesburg Times ran a review on May 22 [Philippon 16].  

Livy wrote to Susan Crane that the pineapples were “the most delicious I ever ate”; the bananas “not so rich as ours.” She added that Sam had an interview with president Paul Kruger the following day [MTP].

May 22 Friday – Close to midnight in Johannesburg, S. Africa, Sam wrote to daughter Clara:

Dear Ash-Cat:

      I got your rattling good letter yesterday, you must relieve Mamma often of the task of writing me.

      Consound it! it was such a cussed mistake that I left you two behind. I wish to goodness I had brought you here. Mrs. Robert Chapin [Adele] knows you & took a powerful liking to you — met you at Sybil Sanderson’s. Mrs. John Hays Hammond knows you & Susy too — met you at Sanderson’s. They tried to meet Mamma in Paris but failed. …I was to dine quietly at Mrs. Hammond’s at 7 this evening. She sent the carriage & I was there at 6, which gave her time to tell me the moving & thrilling story of what this town went through in the days of Jameson’s raid. Then the other guests arrived — Mr. & Mrs. Chapin & Mr. & Mrs. (forget the name). We sat down to dinner at 7 & staid at the table 4 hours & had a shouting good time, & then the Chapins brought me home & I have just arrived. The Chapins & Mrs. Hammond & I leave for Pretoria to-morrow morning at 10.40, & Mrs. Chapin will be here at 9.30 to pack my baggage for me & she & her husband will drive me to the station. We all expect to have leave to visit the prisoners.

Sam added at the end that he’d “been around a good deal among the mines,” and that he was to have been received at the station “in grand style with torches by Americans,” but one of the prisoners of the Jameson raid, Fred Gray, committed suicide and the celebration was canceled [MTP].

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam:

Since writing you on April 29th, I have been out of town nearly three weeks with Mr. Archbold. We were making our annual pilgrimage through the oil regions of the South and West. …

      I had about given up accomplishing anything with Bliss and Harper Bros. but Bliss was here yesterday, after an interview with Harper Bros. He had a memorandum from Harper Bros. which I think he ought to be willing, at least, to accept. Of course, it is all conditional on its being agreeable to you.


Rogers then explained all the ins and outs of possible agreements between the two companies on the Uniform Edition issues. He enclosed a copy of a letter addressed to him by Harper & Bros. No developments had taken place in the Webster & Co., with William H. Payne and George Barrow “acting the ‘dog in the manger’” and so he felt it best to wait them out. Rogers was having some trouble with Harry, who he felt was too full of himself:

Harry’s yacht is being fitted out and he is about the biggest nuisance there is in the vicinity of 57th Street. He puts on too many airs, and it will require the services of a man to take him down. I wish when you come home you would avoid making any appointments until you have engaged with me to give him a blamed good thrashing. He has grown so big that he can tire me out because my wind is poor, and I shall want somebody to ease me up when we have the battle. I would send for the “Harlem Coffee Cooler” [Negro boxer] but I understand he is under a permanent engagement in London. / With warmest regards….[MTHHR 213-14].


May 23 Saturday – In Johannesburg, Adele Chapin arrived to help Sam pack, and with her husband Robert Chapin took him to the train station. The trio left with Carlyle G. Smythe at 10:46 a.m. and traveled the 46 miles to Pretoria, Transvaal, S. Africa, arriving in the early afternoon. In his May 24 letter to Joe Twichell he wrote:

Harper for May was given to me yesterday [May 23] in Johannesburg by an American lady who lives there, and I read your article while coming up in the train with her and an old friend and fellow-Missourian of mine, Mrs. John Hays Hammond, the handsome and spirited wife of the chief of the 4 Reformers, who lies in prison here under a 15-year sentence, along with 50 minor Reformers who are in for 1 and 5-year terms [MTP]. Note: The “American lady” was no doubt Adele Chapin, since no other lady besides Mrs. Hammond was listed as traveling to Pretoria with Sam.

At 2:30 p.m. he visited the prisoners from the Jameson raid in prison, accompanied by American consul Robert Chapin and wife, Carlyle Smythe and Mrs. John Hays Hammond.

Paine quotes Sam:

I made them a speech — sitting down. It just happened so. I don’t prefer that attitude. Still, it has one advantage — it is only a talk, it doesn’t take the form of a speech…. I advised them at considerable length to stay where they were — they would get used to it and like it presently; if they got out they would only get in again somewhere else, by the look of their countenances; and I promised to go and see the President and do what I could to get him to double their jail terms [MTB 1018].


Mrs. Hammond described Sam’s visit including more of his talk:


Mark Twain came to the Rand. He visited the men at Pretoria. My husband did the honors of the prison and introduced him to the Reformers. He talked to them a long while sitting on a dry-goods box; expressed his satisfaction at finding only one journalist in the crowd, and no surprise that the lawyers were largely represented. He assured them that they were to be congratulated and envied, although they did not know it. There was no place one was so safe from interruption as in a jail. He recalled to their minds Cervantes and Columbus — it was an honour to share captivity with such men as these [Philippon 17: quoting from A Woman’s Part in a Revolution 137-8].

Sam’s intent was to “cheer up” the prisoners. Parsons writes,

These were the men who had unheroically wavered toward — then away from — assistance to the impulsive Leander Starr Jameson in his undermanned, loosely coordinated invasion of the Transvaal, with the object of forcing President Paul Kruger to slacken his curbs on the wealthy but heavily taxed and voteless Uitlanders. Twain exchanged greetings with his two American friends, John Hays Hammond, Rhode’s gold fields engineer, and Captain Thomas Mein, and traded jests with Colonel Bettington before bringing consolation to his mixed audience of Britons, Celts, Continentals, and Colonials [“Clubman in S.A.” 245-6].

Note: See Parson’s account for mixed recollections of the meeting and talk by some of the prisoners. Hammond came to resent Sam’s remarks; he was first sentenced to death, then commuted to fifteen years, then released on paying a fine of $125,000 [MTHHR 215n1].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No.1) lecture at Caledonian Hall, ticket prices 10s for a stage seat to 3s unreserved. The Transvaal Advertiser of May 25 ran a review of the lecture.

Sam tried to meet with President Paul Kruger sometime after leaving the jail, but was unable to do so [Press review of May 25].

After visiting the jail Sam began a letter to Livy that he added to on May 24.

Livy darling, I had a good time with my house last night.

In the afternoon I went to the jail with the Chapins & Mrs. Hammond & Smythe. About 50 political prisoners there. I had found I had met Hammond many years ago when he was a Yale senior & guest of Gen. Franklin; Capt. Mien, I found was an old friend of 32 years ago; an English prisoner heard me lecture in London 23 years ago. I made a sitting-talk of some length & Smythe made a synopsis of it for publication, from memory. The prisoners are a fine body of men; almost all [of] them educated gentlemen — possibly all. They look healthy & well-kept [MTP].

Sam returned to writes the Grand Hotel where Philippon writes the staff kept Mark Twain awake [17].

May 24 Sunday – In Pretoria Carlyle Smythe led a Press reporter to interview Sam in the Grand Hotel. Sam was talkative giving the journalist an hour “full of wit and entertaining items,” including a desire to meet the “man of the hour,” President Kruger. He then gave the reporter an autograph and a curious line:

Truth is stranger than fiction — to some people. But I am measurably familiar with it / Truly yours, Mark Twain. / May 24, 1896 [Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 248].

Sam also returned to visit the prisoners but due to the arrival of a clergyman, he was not allowed entrance. He wrote of this and other happenings to Joe Twichell; On the train from Johannesburg the day before, Sam read Twichell’s article on Mark Twain in the May Harper’s Monthly (see May 23 for first part of this letter).

Thank you a thousand times, Joe, you have praised me away above my deserts, but I am not the man to quarrel with you for that; and as for Livy, she will take your very hardiest statements at par, and be grateful to you to the bottom of her heart. Between you and Punch and Brander Matthews, I am like to have my opinion of myself raised sufficiently high….

      Yesterday I was allowed to enter the prison with Mrs. Hammond. A Boer guard was at my elbow all the time, but was courteous and polite, only he barred the way in the compound (quadrangle or big open court) and wouldn’t let me cross a white mark that was on the ground — the “deathline” one of the prisoners called it. Not in earnest, though, I think. …

      We had a very good sociable time till the permitted time was up and a little over, and we outsiders had to go. I went again to-day, but the Rev. Mr. Gray had just arrived, and the warden, a genial, elderly Boer named Du Plessis, pained that his orders wouldn’t allow him to admit saint and sinner at the same time, particularly on a Sunday.

Sam regretted not bringing Livy and Clara from Durban, but wanted to save them the 30-hour train trip. He would reunite with them in Port Elizabeth after his lectures, they taking a ship down from Durban. He ended by noting it was then after midnight, and gave Joe “a world of thanks” [MTP].

At about 2:30 p.m. Sam called on Mrs. Gray (née Mary Tyler), Hartford-born and wife of a Presbyterian minister, answering her note and card. This was likely the wife of the clergyman whose admission to the prison had trumped Sam’s second visit there [mentioned in May 25 to Livy; Philippon 17]. See Parsons, “Traveler in S.A” p 19 for more on this visit.

Sam added to his May 23 letter to Livy at the Royal Hotel in Durban by adding “Notes for this letter” in a list. These notes contain a somewhat modified narrative of his talk to the prisoners as found in MTB (see May 23). Sam headed the segment “The Queen’s Birthday / 96,” and the only item not discussed in the earlier segment is:

This brisk & delicious air, this crystal-clear atmosphere, this luminous sky, destitute of any vagrant feather of cloud, these faint purple hills under the remote horizon — not real hills apparently, but dreams of hills that once were. And everywhere these wide deserted streets, this deep Sunday stillness, this mysterious & impressive absence of life and movement. This is the Puritan Sabbath of two centuries ago come back to earth again.

      No time to write the letter. Goodnight, sweetheart — I dearly love you / Youth [MTP].

May 25 Monday – In Pretoria, South Africa Sam wrote to Livy:

Livy darling, I am sending “A Monk of Fife” to you. I have just finished it. There is no “Joan” in the May Harper; so it is finished. …

      The political situation here is absorbingly interesting, but it is not possible for a stranger to get an entirely clear understanding of it. One thing seems plain: that Brer Rhodes meant to overturn the government; it also looks suspiciously like the leading Reformers were accessories; but when you have gotten that far your head begins to whirl & you have to give it up.

Sam also mentioned that Smythe would advise her to take the steamer of June 13 and they would join them at East London, S. Africa, which would keep Livy and Clara a week longer in Durban than originally planned (they actually left on June 6). Sam also revealed he’d written “old Joe a letter of 8 or 10 pages last night” [MTP].


Sam gave his “At Home” lecture on moral regeneration at Caledonian Hall; it ran 80 minutes [Philippon 17]. After the lecture Sam went to the Pretoria Club [Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 248]. Sam’s notebook:


Supper at Pretoria Club. Rather poor introduction but I got a good text out of it. He was one of the no-speaker kind. Mr. Wessells toasted the chairman [Johann Rissik] & said one very killing thing: “The Chairman has intimated that the quality of veracity has been left out [of] Mr. Clemens’s make-up; Mr. C. has said that the Chairman is a man of innumerable virtues. The result is obvious” [Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 249].

Livy wrote to Alice H. Day that she may be surprised some time in Aug. or Sept. to receive a note from her introducing a young Mr. Jameson. Livy hadn’t seen him but his parents were kind to her and Clara in Durban [MTP].

May 26 Tuesday – In Pretoria, Transvaal, Sam met with President Paul Kruger. Tenney suggests, “it is possible that friends saw the interview [Press of May 25] and urged him to set matters right. Twain said little of the meeting in his notebook:”


Visited President Kruger. He was in ordinary every-day clothes, & sat in arm-chair, smoking Boer tobacco (the common black kind) his head and body bent forward. He had a bad cold & a very husky voice. He said he felt friendship toward America & that he was disposed to be lenient with the American captives [NB 38 cited by Tenney, “Mark Twain and the Reformers” MTJ 40:1 (Spring 2002) p.50]. Note: See entire article for details of Sam’s involvement in S. African politics and the aftermath.

The New York Times ran a squib on p. 5, datelined May 25: “Mark Twain Visits the Prisoners” — and that he “found them in good spirits.”

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.

It is intensely interesting here — the political pot is boiling vigorously. I have seen the prisoners, and made them a nonsensical speech …I am sending you the newspapers…

      We have been having in South Africa a repetition of the charming times we had in India and the other places. In truth I am sorry to remember that the lecture trip is drawing to a close. I would like to bum around these interesting countries another year and talk. I suppose that within 2 months I shall retire from the platform at the Cape and be ready to go to England and sit down and write my book. My London address will be Brown Shipley & Co, bankers. ….

      I haven’t heard from you for a couple of months, but you are in my mind all the same, and I send love to you and all the house [MTHHR 215]. Note: evidently the mails had not found him, for Rogers had sent several letters over the past two months.

Sam gave his “At Home” lecture again at Caledonian Hall; it was less crowded than previous appearances; Reviewed May 28 by the Transvaal Advertiser [Philippon 17].

May 27 Wednesday – In the morning in Pretoria, S. Africa Sam wrote to Livy, who evidently had tried to reach him by more than one telegraph.

Livy darling, we are just leaving here, after an early breakfast. I don’t know where you are. Don’t ever scare a body to death again, like that. Use the mail, not the telegraph, & then you won’t take such a wild notion. I didn’t get the telegrams till they were 24 hours old; & then the land was full of holidays (which I cursed with the deepest blasphemies I could invent) & the telegraph offices closed [MTP]. Note: Queen Victoria’s birthday was May 26.


Sam visited the American Consul to President Paul Kruger on behalf of the Reform prisoners. He left with Smythe and perhaps others at 11 a.m. and traveled 34 miles back to Johannesburg, arriving after 1 p.m.

In Johannesburg Sam wrote on Grand National Hotel letterhead to his nephew, Samuel E. Moffett.

Dear Sam: Yours of April 18 just received [not extant]. It is too early to start the boom in San F. now. If I reach the U.S. at all this year, I think it won’t be before next winter. But I [will] write from England long enough beforehand for William’s needs.

      Yes, I would ever so much like to be entertained at dinner by the Club two nights before the lecture. And I’d like to have a man introduce me who knows how — a man who will furnish me a better text to build a speech upon than the usual string of mere praises & compliments. [Note: William noted here was a possible candidate put forth by Moffett for the position of agent for a planned American lecture tour.]

Sam also shared his plans for the next couple of months — the Cape campaign and sailing for England, staying there four months or longer [MTP].

At about 4 p.m. the Clemens party left Johannesburg and traveled about 20 miles west to Krugersdorp, arriving after 5 p.m. Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) at the Masonic Hall in Krugersdorp. He was introduced by Dr. A.G. Viljoen, district surgeon. The talk was reviewed on May 30 by the Krugersdorp Times. Sam had a late supper at the home of Mr. and Mrs. G. Seymour, where there were a “lot of jolly people” and he spent the night [Philippon 18; Parsons “Traveler in S.A.” 20].

Sam’s notebook shows a dramatist, pseudonym “Riola” called on him [Gribben 581; NB 38 TS 19].

May 28 Thursday – At 10 a.m. in Krugersdorp, Mrs. G. Seymour drove Sam and Smythe to the train station. From Sam’s notebook about Mrs. Seymour and the ride to the station:

She is small & gentle & womanly, but she has abundance of fire & nerve; drove me to the station 10 am May 28, Thursday with a pair of horses over a rough & rocky & guttered road — drove like Satan; how she kept her seat I don’t know; it would have been a hard drive for me, only I was in the air the main part of the time & the air at Krudersdorp [sic] is very thin & soft on account of the great altitude. Nothing else saved me from having my spine driven out at the back of my head like a flagstaff. It reminded me of the man who was run away with, in an ox-cart over a stumpy road [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 20].

Sam and Smythe left at 10:16 a.m. for Johannesburg, where they met and took a ride around town with Poultney Bigelow in the carriage of a German friend of Bigelow’s.

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” lecture (No. 2) at the Masonic Hall, on Jeppe Street. Review published on May 29 in Standard and Diggers’ News (excerpt below). After the lecture Sam went to supper with Poultney Bigelow to Bigelow’s German friend at a “sumptuous bachelor house…supper & comfortable fire (cold night) & hot whiskey & cigars.” Parsons writes that Sam admitted, “I have a base taste,” and liked Indian and Burmese cigars — Boer tobacco, too, which “swells up & tumbles out & is always burning holes in your clothes” [“Traveler in S.A.” 20]. Sam returned to his rooms at the Grand National Hotel [Philippon 18].  

From Johannesburg Standard & Diggers’ News, May 29, 1896, p.5:

To say that Mark Twain has kept the good wine till the last would be a manifestly unfair statement of the position, seeing that each of his lectures has been a masterpiece in its way; but certainly the best wine of his marvelous cellar was supplied to the packed audience of fashionables which occupied the Masonic Hall, Jeppe-street, last night, when the farewell lecture of the series was announced to be delivered ….

      …Finally, he came to the Reform business. He had been to Pretoria, and saw the Reformers gathered there in the charge of the Government, and it seemed to him such a pity to see all that energy and talent and nerve-power and will-power and all those multitudinous capacities — (immense applause) — locked up even for a trifling time — (renewed applause) — lost to this wonderful country with its great mines, the richest in all the world. To carry on the work without them was something like running the cyanide process without the cyanide. (Hear, hear, and applause.) [MTJ (Spring 2002) 42, 44].


May 29 Friday – In Johannesburg Sam wrote to his beloved:

Dear, dear, Livy dear, it was a busy day yesterday & day before & on one or the other I failed to write you — the first failure, I believe.

      I saw Mr. Davis last night, & he gave me good news of you & Clara — that you were well & enjoying life; Poultney Bigelow has arrived, & is mighty likeable….He leaves for Natal soon & I hope he will find you still in Durban. He sails thence for Zanzibar. I love you most dearly, sweetheart. / Saml [MTP].


Sam met Sir Henry Layard (See Mar. 12 1893). He also had supper at the home of Robert Chapin. According to Sam’s May 30 to Adele Chapin, she made a speech he admired. According to Parsons, Sam learned that Mrs. Hammond was “very ill; threatened with premature childbirth” [“Traveler in S.A.” 21]. Sam may also have given informal remarks or a speech of sorts, after which he and Carlyle Smythe left Johannesburg at 11 p.m. for Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State, some 257 miles southwest on the Cape Colony Railway [Philippon 18].

May 30 Saturday – The Clemens party arrived in Bloemfontein, S. Africa at 4 p.m. after “18 hours steady travel….Fine cars, easy riding, all the conveniences.” He thought the veldt in winter “as beautiful as Paradise,” and Bloemfontein “even prettier than Pretoria” [Philippon 19; June 1 to Livy]. Sam wrote a letter of admiration to Mrs. Chapin (Adele):

Do you know you should have been an advocate — you got at the deep places in our hearts, Friday night. It was a strong, moving speech. It made me want to follow and endorse and applaud [MTP from Chapin’s 1931 Their Trackless Way p.121].


Parsons, in his article tracing Sam’s contact with social clubs, writes of his stop in Bloemfontein:

There he crossed the covered veranda of the brick and stone Bloemfontein Club to pick up a letter of introduction to President Martinus Theunis Steyn left for him by the American journalist, Poultney Bigelow. The lack of any reference to Twain in the Club minutes makes it unlikely that a special dinner was arranged in his honor [“Clubman in S.A” 249].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” lecture at Town Hall to record crowds. Reviews published June 1: Friend of the Free State; June 6: Diamond Fields Advertiser. Sam and Smythe took rooms at the Free State Hotel; they may have heard the news that all but six of the Reform prisoners were released [Philippon 19].


William Dean Howellsreview of JA ran in Harper’s Weekly, XLI p.535-6. Page 536 sported seven pictures of Sam from 1873 to 1895. Howells observed that Twain was more restricted by historical facts in this book than in CY, and his attempts to portray the language and attitudes of the age were less successful than passages in which he wrote in his own idiom: “I am not at all troubled when he comes out with a good, strong, downright American feeling; my suffering begins when he does the supposed medieval thing” (reprinted in MMT 129-35) [Tenney 25].

May 31 Sunday – Sam spent the day sightseeing in Bloemfontein. In FE:


The voices, too, of the African women, were familiar to me — sweet and musical, just like those of the slave women of my early days. I followed a couple of them all over the Orange Free State — no, over its capital — Bloemefontain, to hear their liquid voices and the happy ripple of their laughter. There language was a large improvement upon American. Also upon the Zulu. It had no Zulu clicks in it; and it seemed to have no angles or corners, no roughness, no vile s’s or other hissing sounds, but was very, very mellow and rounded and flowing [ch LXVIII 693-4].

June – Sam joked about the obscurity of Robert Browning’s Sordello in NB 38 TS 32, doubting whether Browning himself understood some passages. He attributed the joke to Carlyle Smythe [Gribben 106].

McClure’s Magazine VII p.73-8 ran “Portraits of Mark Twain,” with fifteen half-tone portraits of Sam and his birthplace, along with a brief, conventional biographical sketch [Tenney 24].

Laurence Hutton reviewed JA favorably in Harper’s Monthly [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1983) 167].

June 1 Monday – In the afternoon in Bloemfontein, S. Africa, Sam wrote to Livy, having received no letter in nearly 48 hours in the town. He rested easy because she was with Clara. He wrote of the landscape and of his activities of the day, taking notes and working on an “extravagant romance,” he’d thought of for “many years.”

I think the veld is just as beautiful as Paradise — rolling & swelling, & rising & subsideing, & sweeping on, & on, & on, like an ocean, toward the remote horizon, & changing its pale brown by delicate shades, to rich orange and finally to purple & crimson where it washes against the hills at the base of the sky.

      Land, I’ve made so many notes today that I’m tired; & will lie down & rest till lecture. I’ve been sketching out an extravagant romance that has been mulling in my head for many years, & seems likely to take form, now [MTP]. Note: Livy and Clara were still at the Royal Hotel in Durban.

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) talk at Town Hall. The Natal Mercury on June 6 reported that Mark Twain was “immensely popular” in Bloemfontein. Sam continued to room at the Free State Hotel [Philippon 20].

Sam’s notebook contains an entry to quote Olive Schreiner about her unfavorable view of the Boers [Gribben 609; NB 38 TS 35]. Also in his notebook:

Like Crusoe upon the footprint & is aghast [Gribben 181; NB 38 TS 28].


What a curious thing a “detective” story is. And was there ever one that the author needn’t be ashamed of, except “The Murders in the Rue Morgue?” [Gribben 552; NB 38 TS 32].


June 2 Tuesday – In Bloemfontein, Carlyle G. Smythe was interviewed by the Friend of the Free State, as he was a few other times during the tour. Several newspapers ran articles about Twain and his S. African tour [Philippon 20].

The Queenstown Free Press, June 2, 1896


The great American humorist Mr. S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain) who has just concluded a record season of eight evenings in Johannesburg where each night over 100 persons occupied seats on the stage and yet numbers had to be refused admission, will give one of his celebrated “Mark Twain’s At Home” in the Town Hall Queenstown next Friday evening. In the May number of “Harper’s Magazine” where there is also an excellent biographical sketch of the famous humorist by his friend of 25 years standing, Rev J Mitchell [Twichell] (the Harris of the Tramp Abroad). Mr. Brander Matthews, Professor of English at Columbia University (New York) [also] writes of Mark Twain…[MTJ (Spring 2002) 44].


June 3 Wednesday – In Bloemfontein, S. Africa Sam wrote on Free State Hotel stationery to Livy:

Well, sweetheart, I have been 3 hours packing & shaving — 7.30 to 10.30; & now I haven’t anything left to do but do up two suits of clothes & some soiled linen & cigars & things in the shawl-strap, & I’ll be ready for the train. I never open the large valise. It is nicely & compactly packed, & I leave it just as you left it. If I should take anything out, I couldn’t get it back again.

Sam related the sad tale of Poultney Bigelows daughter’s marriage to a promising young man in the foreign office in Germany. The man had been drinking himself to death and lost his post and was now in an obscure government professorship in Bonn.

Separately, foreign marriages and whisky are bad; mixed, they are fatal.

      Good-bye dear heart, you will be sailing, 3 days hence, & we’ll be together again all the sooner for it, thank goodness. Saml [MTP].


Sam presented a letter of introduction from Bigelow to Maritnus Theunis Steyn, president of the Orange Free State. The two men enjoyed an hour-long talk in the capitol. Afterward, at 2:30 p.m., Sam and Smythe left Bloemfontein on the train for Queenstown, some 160 miles northeast of Port Elizabeth, where Livy and Clara would disembark on the Athenian [Philippon 20].

Livy wrote to Susan Crane. “We sail for Port Elizabeth tomorrow…your letter of May 8th reached me last night. X x x. We expected Mr. Clemens and Mr. Smythe this morning” [MTP].


June 4 Thursday – Sam and Carlyle Smythe arrived at Queenstown, Cape Colony (pop. 4,000+) at 7 a.m. They took rooms at Joplin’s Commercial Hotel, where Sam slept six hours. Later in the day the pair were admitted to the Queenstown Club, where their names were entered in the Club Visitors Book by W. Wainright, and A.D. Webb, a prominent attorney. They would return in two days for wine and speeches [Philippon 20; Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 249].

Parsons writes of the billiard contests between Sam and Smythe, probably at the Queenstown Club or at Joplin’s Hotel, which advertised a “Spacious Billiard room”:

…the congenial travelers probably resumed their one-sided contest in which Sam complained, “Carlyle Smythe beats me to death — by fluking” and by “his habit to make new rules driving billiards” [“Traveler in S.A.” 24].

Sam wrote to Livy, sending the letter to East London ahead of her June 6 sailing.

Dearheart, we traveled all night & reached here at 7 this morning. Very glad to get your letter & Ash-Cat’s [Clara’s] to-day. We have telegraphed you a few minutes ago that I am perfectly well, which is true. I slept 6 hours in the train; & that made it necessary to sleep 6 more when I reached here this a.m. — which I did. News has come that the Four are released from prison, with banishment & £5,000 fine each. So that business is ended.

Sam related meeting Mr. Brown on the train, one of the prisoners released, who told him they were expecting the four would be set free and fined £100,000 each, so they were happy to get the lesser terms [MTP].

In his notebook Sam called the Boers “dirty,” “indolent,” and “solemn,” and reminded himself to see Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883) [Gribben 609; NB 38 TS 35].

June 5 Friday – In Queenstown Sam had lunch at the home of A.D. Webb, the noted attorney who had sponsored Carlyle G. Smythe at the Queenstown Club. In the evening Sam gave his 90-minute “At Home” (No.1) lecture to a packed audience at the Town Hall. The Queenstown Representative reviewed the talk on June 8, an article signed by “Autocycus,” who Parsons suggests may have been F.C.T. von Lisigen. The reporter affirmed “that Mark Twain can be as funny on the platform as on paper.” Several local newspapers ran articles announcing Sam’s arrival in Queenstown [Philippon 20; MTJ (Spring 2002) 45].  

June 6 Saturday – In Durban, S. Africa, Livy and Clara took a tug and boarded the Athenian, captained by W. Martin of the Union Steam Ship Co. The ship left Durban at about 4 p.m., headed for Port Elizabeth with a stop on June 7 at East London.

Sam spent some time at the Queenstown Club enjoying wine and sharing speeches [Philippon 20; Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 249].

Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, worried again about the publication of JA:

I find myself well scared. The May Harper (London edition) is here. Evidently Joan has finished appearing in the magazine, but I hear nothing of its being published in book form. Is it possible that there is a hitch there, and that it hasn’t been issued in book form? If so, I don’t think it is of any use for me to struggle against my ill luck any longer. If I had the family in a comfortable poor-house I would kill myself.

Sam related they were “poking along from town to town, from village to village.” He figured they’d be in East London the next day where they might have “a glimpse” of Livy and Clara as they passed by on the Athenian headed for Port Elizabeth. He added he’d enjoyed being in Pretoria and Johannesburg “in the thick of this political storm,” and would have made money on stocks since after the prisoners were released the “best stock in the lot jumped up 33 points when the news came” [MTHHR 216]. Note: the Joan of Arc articles ran serially from Apr. 1895 through Apr. 1896, and the notice of a forthcoming book of the tale ran in the April issue [n1]. So, Sam wouldn’t have gathered either notice from the May Harper’s.

June 7 Sunday – Sam was up at 6 a.m. and left Queenstown with Carlyle Smythe at 7 a.m., arriving in King Williams Town, Cape Colony in the late afternoon; they took rooms at the Central Hotel [Philippon 20]. Sam wrote to Livy:

Livy darling it is 5 pm — we have just arrived, & it is just 12 hours since we got out of bed this morning. Beautiful country all day — lovely brown hills and mountains & grand flowing swells like the sea. One blossom in this blossomless Africa — a cactus with a foot-long tongue of flame standing up out if it as red as the coat-of-arms at the head of this page [Sam wrote on Free State Hotel stationery].

Sam described the native kraals (villages), the “children stark naked,” the “darkies dressed European-wise & talking English,” the “negro women drifting from church dressed…in handsome and bright-colored & tasteful & swell European rig” [MTP].

Meanwhile, Livy and Clara arrived in East London at 10 a.m. on the Athenian. The ship would not leave for Port Elizabeth until the next day, June 8 [Philippon 20]. Note: in his June 8 to Livy, Sam noted he’s sent “two or three letters there to be sent on board,” suggesting Livy did not have to disembark to receive her mail, though Parsons writes that Livy and Clara had a “restful shore leave” in East London [“Traveler in S.A.” 26].

June 8 MondayClara Clemens’ 22nd birthday. Sam wrote her a short note at nearly midnight, that he’d almost forgotten the date, and if it weren’t so late he’d send a “telegraphic word of condolence.” Sam sent the note to the Grand Hotel in Port Elizabeth, where the ladies would arrive the following day, June 9 [MTP].

Sam gave his “At Home” to 500 at the Town Hall in King Williams Town; it ran 90 minutes. The Cape Mercury reviewed the talk on June 9, claiming the audience laughed at Sam’s delivery not the content [Philippon 20-1].


Sam wrote to Livy with an interesting suggestion:


Livy dear, how would you like me to be U.S. Consul at Johannesburg for a year? Mr. Chapin wants to quit, & I suppose I could have the place for the asking. I might make a fortune, I might not. But a Consul there must have mighty good chances. I’ve not said anything to Chapin, but I would like you to telegraph me yes or no. If yes, I think I would stop at the Cape & write the book.

Sam also noted he’d been awake 19 hours when he hit the bed the previous night, and knew he’d feel tired the next day, June 9. He also noted they’d be at East London by now; he’d sent letters there for her to be sent on board [MTP]. Note: Livy telegraphed, “No, Colonel” to Sam’s suggestion (no date, but before June 13 as Sam responded to her telegraph on June 12) [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 12].


Frank Mayo died on the train near Omaha, returning east to Philadelphia from his last stage engagements in the PW play in Denver. H.H. Rogers sent Sam the news in a June 18 letter, which was probably Sam’s first notice of it, since no prior mention is found in his letters [MTHHR 219-220 & n1].

June 9 TuesdayLivy and Clara arrived at Port Elizabeth on the Athenian and took rooms in the Grand Hotel. In King Williams Town, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) talk at Town Hall. Reviews published: June 10: Kaffrarian Watchman; June 13: Cape Mercury thought Sam was better as a writer [Philippon 20-1].  

Parsons writes,

Arriving in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday the ninth of June, mother and daughter were dashed in spirit by the smallness of their rooms in the Grand Hotel, certainly a less interesting place to stay than the Royal. Clara’s bedroom was “so small that two people can’t stand abreast in it.” “Friendliness and lonesome” they hated “everything that first day; my mother cursed in the conventional female way and I in the masculine & we wished ourselves back in Durban with heart, soul and mind ….People are not generous all over the world & I can tell by the narrow streets that they won’t be here.” There was no “woodfire to warm our frozen rheumatic limbs,” not like the lovely fire and “delightful times” at the Campbells’. Nostalgia quickly set in. Three hours after disembarking, “feeling greatly enriched” by the lost companionship, Livy wrote Mrs. Campbell, “I hasten to tell you how regretful we felt when we got here that we had not staid in Durban….Such good times as we had with you all in Durban! I fear we are not likely to look upon the like again” [“Traveler in S.A” 11].


June 10 Wednesday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left King Williams Town at 8:20 a.m., traveling the 42 miles to East London, S. Africa, arriving at 11:10 a.m. They took rooms at the Beach Hotel on the Esplanade, with a view of Marine Park [Philippon 21]. A lonely Sam wrote to Livy:

Its no use, Livy dear, I am homesick for you all the time. It is unusually bad yesterday & to-day. If you were here no doubt I would be reading some book or other, but no matter, I should be conscious of you, & that is communion & satisfaction. But this afternoon I can’t even read the book.

      Well, I will try again. I wish Smythe would come. Maybe we could play cards. But no, he is busy. Lord, it’s a tiresome life. What is there so hateful as lecturing!

Sam felt he still would have to “cover” the U.S. next year. The letter ended with Sam saying it was “train-time,” which argues that this letter was written in Kings Williams Town before 8:20 a.m., assuming that the travel times cited by Philippon are correct [MTP].


June 11 Thursday – In East London, S. Africa, Sam gave his “At Home” talk to a “meager house” at Mutual Hall. Tickets ranged from 5 shillings to 2. The small house was due to heavy rain. A man attended who had the copy of IA that Sam gave to John Henry Riley in 1870. A review was published on June 12 by the East London Standard [Philippon 21].


Livy sent a telegram to H.H. Rogers:

Harpers share dramatic profits too high. Offer one-fifth or fourth / Olivia Clemens [MTP: in Sam’s June 19 to Rogers]. Note: profits referred to were on JA.


June 12 Friday – When Livy and Clara left Durban, Clara exulted because a group of people saw them off. Now in East London, Sam wrote to Livy in Port Elizabeth and included a mention for Clara.

Livy darling I have just been writing a letter to Jean.

I wrote Mr. Milligan from Kingwilliamstown & thanked him cordially for helping you & Clara. I am glad you had the 11 people on the dock to see you off on your own merits. Sometimes an entire town will turn out in order to get rid of people. (That’s for Clara.)

      We are having a lazy comfortable time here — billiards in the day time & cards at night.


Sam also acknowledged receiving her telegram beginning “No, colonel,” and said he understood it “after studying a while” [MTP]. See June 8 entry.


In the evening Sam gave his No. 2 “At Home” talk at Mutual Hall in East London; it ran 90 minutes [Philippon 21].  

June 13 Saturday – At 7 a.m. in East London, S. Africa, Sam noted it was “Quite winterish” after having experienced twelve months of summer. In the evening Sam gave his No. 3 “At Home” talk at Mutual Hall [Philippon 21]. Note: Parsons writes of Kings William Town and East London, “Mark seems not to have had time for clubs or reporters. Through bad weather and good, however, he kept a heavy platform schedule” [“Clubman in S.A.” 250].

Parsons writes, “By Saturday it had turned ‘quite winterish (7 a.m.) There is a raw & blustery look about the sea, with its crawling, winking white-cap’”[“Traveler in S.A.” 27].

June 14 Sunday – In East London, Sam the observer noted the native males, as he had done the females with liquid voices back in Bloemfontein. Parsons writes,

Mark was also responsive to the native males, “brimming over with good nature and comradeship and friendliness,” dirty, indolent, superstitious, cheery fellows with savage customs, but capable of supreme moments, like the “naked niggers riding horses into the beautiful surf” at East London. Among their mud huts they were certainly picturesque “savages in long brown blankets,” the juveniles “stark naked,” but tamed by the whites they dwindled into “ex-savages in European garb glibly chattering English,” a pathetic lot.

      Worse still were their overlords, the Boers. Whether Mark gazed at them, or heard about their ways, in remote villages, at railway stations, or in capital towns, he felt that they contributed nothing to make life attractive, exciting, or even nostalgic. Their vices were loutish, their virtues depressing. Thus the amiable black was pushed aside by “a white savage,” dirty, indolent, superstitious, brutal, morose, and unamiable. His clothes were ugly in shape and color. He put others to work, then ate, smoked, drowsed, and slept — it would improve things a lot if he never woke up [“Traveler in S.A.” quoting from NB’s 22-3].

Sam’s notebook:

Very heavy sea on, to-night. Our ship [Norham Castle] lies in sight, half a mile away, but we may not be able to get across the bar tomorrow [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 27].

June 15 Monday – In East London in the afternoon, the tug was able to take Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe across the shifting sandbar and along side of the 4,392 ton Norham Castle. The high sea delayed the sailing for another day, however [Philippon 21; Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 27].


June 16 Tuesday – At 6 p.m. in East London, the “large & very fine ship,” the Norham Castle, was able to sail in “a considerable sea” with the breakwater spouting up “in a vast white volume with laced edges, apparently 100 feet high.” It was a day behind schedule and would reach Port Elizabeth, 135 miles south, the following morning (June 17) [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 27; Philippon 21].


June 17 Wednesday – Sam arrived in Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony in the morning, and went to the Grand Hotel where he was reunited with Livy and Clara. In the afternoon he gave an interview to the Eastern Province Herald, which was published on June 19. The Clemens party would remain in Port Elizabeth until June 25. Parsons writes of their time at the Grand Hotel:

Mark kept from reporters his annoyance at “a great long tow-headed spider-legg[ed] jackass-voiced American girl” whose gabble could be heard by “60 other, silent people” in the dining room: “There is talk of taking up a collection to have her drowned” [“Traveler in S.A.” 28 quoting from NB].

Sam was in excellent health now and took an “enjoyable rest at the Grand Hotel.”

“Patronised by all the Elite and Nobility from Home,” the Grand rested on a hilltop in handsomely planted grounds overlooking the sea, a view that Livy Clemens called beautiful, even ravishing. In this, the best season of the year, the temperature ranged from 44 to 83 degrees outside; inside the hotel it was always right for billiards at one of the large English tables. So while the days slipped by from June 17 to 25 and other people might be celebrating anniversaries of the battle of Bunker Hill and the accession of Queen Victoria, Mark Twain grumbled about the “composition balls — as active as doughnuts” and having to take turns. He went down to defeat to such players as a sergeant-major, a rector, and his own tour manager. Of course, there was always the consolation of opening “another gratis cargo” of cigars…. “To some people the Transvaal tobacco is like friendship — the liking is more lasting through taking the longer to form” [28-9].


L.F. Austin’s article, “At Random,” ran in Sketch (London) p. 298. “Mark Twain has been telling an interviewer that international copyright ought to be used as a censorship for the exclusion of French novels”; he disregards the great contribution of the French to the art of writing, and “the author of ‘Joan of Arc’ is an untutored genius” [Tenney ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 331].


June 18 Thursday – In Port Elizabeth Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto that he’d seen the English edition of JA advertised in the Cape Town newspapers, and that though they’d found “very small editions” of his book in stock in India and Australasia, what they found were “easily sold out.”

We sail from Cape Town for England in the Norman (?) July 15; so I shall look in on you about Aug 1st or 2d — unless we switch off at Portsmouth & hunt up lodgings in the Isle of Wight. Sincerely [MTP].

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers,

Your very long delayed letters of the end of February [none from that period extant] have just arrived — via India. Honest, if I had had the selecting to do for you, I would have chosen Mrs. Hart every time; and so it has cost me not a pang to praise you up, to her, a blame sight higher than you probably deserve; for I want her to be satisfied with you.

Rogers had married Emilie Augusta Randel Hart on June 3, 1896, the former wife of Lucius R. Hart Sam also announced he was,

sending a few wedding presents per first vessel — to wit:

Pair of elephants;

Pair of rhinoceroses;

Pair of giraffes;

Pair of zebras;

30 yards of anacondas;

Flock of ostriches;

Herd of niggers.

The wedding-present business is expensive when you work it from Africa [MTHHR 217].

By coincidence H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam the very same day. Rogers noted he’d received Sam’s letters of May 22, Apr. 2 and 24, and May 8. He announced his marriage to Emilie Hart on June 3, and that he was on his honeymoon, so he’d not had time to wrap them up.

The affairs of C.L. Webster & Co. are now gradually drawing to a close. The accounts have been handed to the Courts and we expect to get the whole business cleaned up within 20 or 25 days. Nothing further was done with Payne or Barrow but we do not despair of getting them later on through a new lead we have found.

Rogers also related his dealings with “Those Hartford fellows,” the Bliss brothers, who were “enough to perplex a saint.” His letter was interrupted for a meeting with Frank Bliss who Rogers afterward felt had “showed more willingness to be reasonable than ever before,” though Harper & Brothers was asking too much for the printed sheets of HF, and Rogers would have to intervene if Bliss could not get the price reduced.

You understand of course that if Bliss makes the arrangement with Harper & Brothers it seems that Bliss is to be the publisher of your new book if you write one, on the terms expressed in an earlier letter which undoubtedly is before you. When the memorandum goes forward for Mrs. Clemens’ approval, I will embody the whole. / With warmest regards… [MTHHR 218-21].


Philippon reports that Mark Twain’s comments on politics and platform success were published in a Port Elizabeth Telegraph interview. Also, news reached Port Elizabeth that the Drummond Castle had gone down at sea, with the loss of 400 lives. This was a Union Castle Co. ship like the Norham Castle [21].

Sam’s notebook: Get bound vols. Of Truth [Gribben 717; NB 38 TS 49]. Note: Truth, A Weekly Journal.

June 19 Friday – Flags flew at half-mast in Port Elizabeth for the 400 lost on the Drummond Castle. Sam’s letter of this date to H.H. Rogers did not mention the tragedy, but covered the book and drama rights to JA, the business between Bliss and Harper and the “good news” from Frank Mayo (Sam had not yet learned of his death, news of which Rogers sent June 18). Sam wanted to know how much they presently owed their creditors, offering Livy’s idea of paying the minor debts in full now. Sam wrote that they planned to sail from Cape Town on July 15 [MTHHR 221-3].


W.H. Aldens article, “American Humorist,” ran in the Port Elizabeth Looker-On [Philippon 22].

June 20 Saturday – In Port Elizabeth, with no performance to give until Monday, the Clemenses likely engaged in sightseeing. Parsons writes,

…local people expected him to get away from that billiard table and look around. Besides the “beautifully decorated” Town Hall, where Mark would be “At Home” to audiences, there were parks to see, hills and vales, Baaken’s River, the fashionable suburb of Humewood, the Seawall Promenade, Marine Drive, the Lighthouse 250 feet above high-water mark, and the pyramidal obelisk to the memory of Lady Donkin, the motto of whose survivor was In meliora spera (Hope for better things). Of course, during their eight days alone in Port Elizabeth, Livy and Clara may have done “the Liverpool of South Africa,” and Mark wanted to be protected against conventional sights [“Traveler in S.A.” 29].


Several newspapers, including African Critic, Diamond Fields Advertiser, and the Port Elizabeth Telegraph, ran “Critique and Causerie,” containing Sam’s opinions on Olive Schreiner, William Thomas Stead, and French novels. (See Gribben 608, 659.) Sam would seek Schreiner’s, The Political Situation in Cape Colony on Dec. 24 of this year, when he requested it from Chatto & Windus.


June 21 Sunday – The Clemens party was in Port Elizabeth, S. Africa, staying at the Grand Hotel.

Livy wrote to Susan Crane that family plans were a “little more certain” — they expected to sail for England on July 15, reaching there about Aug. 1, and would like Susy and Jean to sail about Aug. 5, hoping not to wait later than Aug. 12 [MTP].


June 22 Monday – In Port Elizabeth Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, who had not cabled the actual date of his marriage (June 3), though Sam knew of his plans to marry Emilie Hart.

I don’t know yet if the marriage has taken place, but I heartily hope it has; for both of you are lovable people and you could not fail to make each other happy. I was minded to cable my congratulations, but that is a dangerous thing to do when the distance is so great….That reminds me of the time I cabled the words “Hearty Congratulations” from New York to a bride in Berlin — timing the cablegram to hit the wedding-hour but it came within only an hour or two of congratulating her on her father’s sudden death. …

      About the time this reaches you we shall be cabling Susy and Jean to come over to England; and so I hope you will let Miss Harrison engage passage for them in an American liner when they or Langdon let you know the date they wish to sail on. Please pay the fares and charge to ac/ of Mrs. Clemens.

      I wish to gosh you had cabled the marriage — do you like suspense? Love to both of you…[MTHHR 223-4]. Note: Sam’s estimation of both as “lovable” reveals he had met Emilie Hart.

By yet another coincidence, H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam on the very day Sam wrote to him. Rogers had just received a note from Harper & Brothers and enclosed a copy. Augustin Daly was interested in dramatizing JA, and the note was a preliminary offer of Harper accepting one quarter of the profits from Daly. Rogers wrote, “I assume that Harper & Brothers will take the matter up with Mr. Daly, and that I shall hear further from them again. Yours truly…” [MTHHR 224].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) performance to a full house at Town Hall. The Port Elizabeth Advertiser on June 24 reported that Mark Twain was a better writer than talker, and that the audience laughed at the wrong times. The Port Elizabeth Telegraph reported this day that the seat demand was “very large” [Philippon 22].  


June 23 Tuesday – In Port Elizabeth, S. Africa Sam wrote to his nephew, Samuel Moffett. He referred to a prior cable (not extant) by William Randolph Hearst, publisher of the San Francisco Examiner since 1887. Moffett was an editor on the paper, and no doubt Hearst wanted Sam to write about the political machinations in S. Africa concerning Jameson’s raid and the aftermath. Sam’s letter to his nephew is obviously a response to another letter not extant.

When Mr. Hearst’s first request reached me (for a cable-communication) the idea seemed good — was good, I am sure; but straightway came the second, changing it to a letter. That idea would have been good, too, if the situation had not been decaying so rapidly. It was plain to me that a letter would be too stale by the time it arrived; & I see now that I was right. Even in South Africa the incident is closed, the subject is dead today. Since I arrived in South Africa there has been no warrant for a letter — nothing but cablegrams could have had value.

Sam ended with a brief rundown of the family’s plans to sail for England in mid-July [MTP].


In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) performance to a full house at Town Hall. The talk was reviewed by the Port Elizabeth Telegraph on June 25 [Philippon 22].


June 24 Wednesday – In the evening in Port Elizabeth, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 3) performance to a full house at Town Hall. Newspaper reviews were decidedly negative on his three talks in the town. Port Elizabeth reviews published June 25: “generally disappointing and more expensive than his books,” The Leader; June 26: Mark Twain “decidedly disappointing at all three” lectures, Looker-On; June 27: crowded houses, Telegraph [Philippon 22].


June 25 Thursday – The Clemens party and agent Smythe left Port Elizabeth on the train at 11:50 a.m. and traveled the 106 miles to Grahamstown, arriving at 7 p.m. Their average speed was but fifteen miles an hour. On the way Sam noted a lot of ostriches in the fields. On their arrival they were “most pleasantly welcomed by the Irish parish priest,” unnamed [Philippon 22; Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 29].

Parsons writes,

On this leg of his journey, Twain arrived too late for the once-a-week Feather Market in Town Hall, but there were compensations in a “beautiful town & well built; with broad straight streets. Is cultured; has a library.” Besides its avenues and roads, lined with oaks, gums, pines, and blackwoods, Grahamstown had a 100-acre Botanic Garden and the reputation — at least locally — of being “the healthiest place in the country” and “a favourite resort of lovers of the beautiful in Nature.” ….Rickshas could also be hired [“Traveler in S.A.” 30].

Carlyle G. Smythe turned down guaranteed lecture houses in Graff-Reinet and Uitenhage, as Sam’s schedule would not allow for additions now [Philippon 22].

June 26 Friday – In Grahamstown, S. Africa, Sam and Carlyle Smythe were admitted to the Grahamstown Club, and entered in the visitor’s book along with their two proposers (sponsors):

1896, June 26 S Clemens (Mark Twain) U.S.A. [proposed and seconded by:] W.A.H. Holland B.L.W. Kitching [Parsons, “Clubman in S.A.” 251]. Note: Holland was the Town Clerk and Treasurer of the Club; Kitching was Rev. [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 30-1].


In the evening at the Albany Drill Hall, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) talk. No table had been provided on stage for his watch. Wagonloads of people came to hear Mark Twain. Grocott’s Penny Mail and the Port Elizabeth Looker-On ran articles about his Grahamstown appearance [Philippon 22].  

Sam’s notebook carries a subsequent note of his visit with the Trappists he visited on May 11:

For the Trappists draw on Louis Stephenson’s [sic] Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes [Gribben 664; NB 38 TS 54]. Note: Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879) by Robert Louis Stevenson.

June 27 Saturday – In Grahamstown, S. Africa, with a poor night of sleep due to hotel staff, Sam changed his accommodations to the Grahamstown Club. In the evening at the Albany Drill Hall, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) talk. Grocott’s Penny Mail reviewed the performance on June 29 and reported that one man traveled 400 miles to hear Mark Twain [Philippon 22].  


June 28 Sunday – In Hartford the Clemenses old neighbor and Nook Farm saint, Harriet Beecher Stowe, died at age 85. Her funeral was held on July 2, at 73 Forest Street (see entry).

At 11: 40 a.m. in Grahamstown, the Clemens group were bound for Kimberley. Parsons writes,

…after ten hours broke their journey at Cradock for a day. They went to the neat and comfortable Victoria Hotel, which looked out on a “vast bare dust-blown square.” Ignoring the powerful wind and clouds of dust, the proprietor advertised, “Invalids specially cared for,” and the town regarded itself as “the best centre in the Colony for…health seekers.” And with some justification. At an altitude of 2856 feet, it enjoyed a very dry climate and was three miles south of anti-rheumatic sulphur baths. Less concerned at the moment with health than with comfort, the American guests tried to make their wants clear to the Negresses in English — and failed. When a Negro boy was told to build a wood fire, he brought fire on a shovel, a thing Mark had not seen “since I was a boy” [“Traveler in S.A” 31].


June 29 Monday – The Clemens party spent the day in Cradock. Parsons writes that the town was the “home off and on of ‘the best-known woman in Africa’,” Olive Schreiner. The lady’s book, Story of an African Farm was more successful in the U.S. and greatly influenced Sam’s idea of the Boer. Parsons claims, “In some measure Mark Twain saw South Africa through her eyes as he had seen India through Rudyard Kipling’s” [“Traveler in S.A.” 32]. Note: Sam wrote the name of this book in his notebook on Nov. 20, 1895 while in N. Zealand [Gribben 608].

Parsons writes of the stop in Cradock:

In the cozy Victoria Hotel, he had time to catch up on the dispatches from Matabeleland and the Mashonaland, where uprisings of “2,000 natives” met the fire of Maxim guns and black workers deserted railway gangs “to number of two thousand.” A Midland Newsman had “a long and enjoyable chat” with Mark, who was greatly interested in Colonial history, the Boers and the Uitlanders, and indigenous “customs and manners.” When shown the latest release from Salisbury about “a hot fight across bad country,” the American “drily remarked ‘Strange, how that number, 2,000 natives, recurs in every telegram. Never more — never less!’” [“Clubman in S.A.” 251-2]. Note: the quotes from interview with Midland News and Karroo Farmer, June 30.

The Clemens party left Cradock at 7 p.m. by train and traveled all night. Parsons writes,

Once more the Clemenses were on their way, in a first-class compartment for four at a fare of £3.16s each for the 304 miles to Kimberley and 2s.6d. “per set” of bedding” [“Traveler in S.A.” 32].


June 30 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:

June 30, Tuesday. Left Cradock 7 p.m. [June 29] Cold night. 10 hours without a urinal. Damnation! [Parsons, “Travelers in S.A.” 32].


In Kimberley, elevation 4,012 ft., the Clemenses arrived “shortly after noon” and took rooms at the Central Hotel, where word of his arrival preceded him and an American flag was bunted over the entry. Parsons writes, “When the Great Yankee passed up the pathway…a gentle breeze stirred the bunting, and lo! it was a signal of distress — it was upside down.” Parsons continues:

Twain was in a position to see that Kimberley itself was somehow upside down, for he was in the heart of things at the corner of Dutoitspan and Jones Street, equidistant from the Town Hall, where he would perform, the great Market Square, and the Kimberley Club, and about a five-minute walk from the DeBeers office and the Big Hole or Kimberley Mine. The buildings, mostly corrugated iron, were low and ugly, and the only suggestion of elevation was in reverse, the steep rim, then the frightening drop, of the Big Hole, whose vast throat could swallow the Coliseum and several other Wonders of the Word with room to spare for countless tons of lifted blue rock — and white stone…. Much of the grace and charm of life had sunk to the bottom in the greed for diamonds. But the American humorist was expected to restore the balance “in Kimberley, where men are loath to take life grimly” [“Traveler in S.A.” 33].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No.1) performance at the Kimberley Town Hall on Old Main St. The Midland News and Karroo Farmer published an interview on p.4 with Mark Twain, “Midland and Local Gleanings” [Philippon 23; Scharnhorst 313].  

July – The Idler IX p.901-6, “Mark Twain Up-to-Date,” was a brief, general discussion of Mark Twain without new information but with fourteen photos of Sam at various ages and an excellent photo of his birthplace at Florida, Mo. before restoration [Tenney 24].

Bookman (London), X p.124 ran a review of JA: “It is all very fresh, and much finer in texture than, we confess, we had expected from its writer,” and there is only one serious flaw: Joan was argumentative, it is true, but he makes her arguments into long-winded discourses” [Tenney 25].

July 1 Wednesday – In Kimberley, Sam accompanied A.M. Robeson, assistant engineer to the general manager of DeBeers, Gardner Williams, and viewed the diamond mines and the “Big Hole.” A day’s yield was on display — Sam’s notebook lists it as worth $50,000. In FE, ch. 69 he gives it as $70,000.  

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) talk at the Kimberley Town Hall, reviewed on July 2 by the Diamond Fields Advertiser [Philippon 23].  


July 2 Thursday – In Kimberley the Clemenses “went over the Kimberley mines” with Mr. and Mrs. Robeson, viewing the No. 2 washout, the concentrators, and the pulsator, a diamond-separating machine. Sam also visited the Kimberley Club [Philippon 23; Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 34].

Susy Clemens was visiting Hartford at this time and went to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s funeral at 73 Forest Street, where Joe Twichell gave a short Bible reading and Francis Goodwin read Episcopal prayers. Many came to pay respects, including the estranged Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher and Isabella Beecher Hooker. Also attending: Annie Fields, Sarah Orne Jewett, and James B. Pond, who wrote Sam of the gathering on the following day.

July 3 Friday – In Kimberley Sam went on drives with A.M. Robeson to the Bulfontein and new Wesselton mines. At 8:30 p.m. the Clemens party left Kimberley on a first-class rail car, bound for Cape Town some 647 miles southwest [Philippon 23]. Parsons writes of this leg of the journey:

Twain’s final rail journey of 647 miles from the 4,012-foot elevation of Kimberley to near sea level at Cape Town must have been exhausting. The Cape Times warned its readers, “He asks for a rest before visitors and interviewers begin” [“Clubman in S.A.” 252].

James B. Pond wrote to Sam after returning to New York from the Hartford funeral of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

My Dear Friend: —

I have just returned from Hartford with Mrs. [Henry Ward] Beecher. We attended Mrs. Stowe’s funeral yesterday. Mr. Twichell conducted the service. It was a pathetic incident, and I might almost say, event. There were present most of the distinguished people of Hartford, and all of your old neighbors. Within a few minutes walk lay Mrs. [Mary Beecher] Perkins. In her ninety-second year, — a physical invalid with an intellect as brilliant and sparkling as ever. She is quite deaf. I called on her and she seemed quite delighted to see me. She had not seen Mrs. Stowe for eight years, although she has been stopping in Hartford for two years. She said she preferred to remember her sister as she saw her eight years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Warner and Susie [Clemens] were present. Charley Stowe [Harriet’s son] was there with his family. I received a gracious reception from everybody, having known Mrs. Stowe so long and she having been my friend for twenty years. It was a pleasure to hear so many kind expressions from everybody. I called at Mr. Warner’s and Mrs. Warner went with me to your house where we found Susie in possession of the old place. She, and her faithful Katie, spend their days at the house. She seemed very glad to see me. She told me that she had heard from you about two weeks ago; that you had decided to spend the winter in England (near London), and that she and Jean [Clemens] expected to sail in September. She seems quite happy where she is. She says it seems very much like home to her, and she wished you would come back. The place is beautiful, but there is a terrible atmosphere of lonesomeness there. The last time I visited the place you and Mrs. Clemens and a party of Hartford friends were there, and it was delightful. Mr. and Mrs. Twichell had many kind inquiries and expressions for you and of you and are very very anxious that you come back sometime to live. I wonder if your ears burned yesterday. Everybody seems to think you fail to give them any information about yourself. Mr. Warner said, “Mark never tells any of us anything about his movements, or even his address.” I replied that I thought you were uncertain as to that yourself. We have all come to the conclusion, however, that you will be in South Africa during August, so I send you letters and papers there.

      I started to write you about Mrs. Stowe, but it seems to me my thoughts are of the living more than on the dead. Susie told me that she (Mrs. Stowe) was in the habit of coming over nearly every day to your place for a chat, and was pleasant and childish. Hattie Stowe [Harriet’s daughter, one of the twins] told me that her Mother had played with the children and seemed more like a child for the last four years than a woman. Her memory seems to have failed, and she seldom referred to the past. She was in good physical health until she was strikken last Friday. There are none of her old friends left to write of her. The familiar poet-friends, and men of letters, she has outlived; even Mrs. Gov. Claflin, of Boston, died on the 13th of May last. Mrs. Beecher, in her eighty-fifth year, accompanied me. She is quite feeble. Mrs. Hooker was at the funeral, but she and Mrs. Beecher did not meet, — a very pathetic condition of affairs.


P.S.: — I had a delightful visit with Mr. and Mrs. Twichell, who are about the most substantial friends you have in the world. J.B.P. [Andrews 219-20].


July 4 Saturday – This was a travel day. At 8 a.m. the Clemens party arrived at Victoria West Road (now Hutchinson), some 419 miles northeast of Cape Town [Philippon 23]. Sam sent a postcard of July 4th “salutations” to Hartford lawyer and friend, Henry C. Robinson [MTP].

He also wrote four lines in German on a postcard to Miss Annie E. Trumbull, also of Hartford [MTP]. Note: These two postcards were likely mailed from Hutchinson, as the party did not arrive in Cape Town until the next day.

Parsons writes of the stopover, using Sam’s notebook entries:

Nearly a third of the journey accomplished, the party woke to look out on “an arid plain, flocks of sheep in the distance. Tents; scattering huts; niggers — one, about 14, with her first baby on her hip.” They were at a railway junction and refreshment stop, Victoria West Road…where Mark noted a “yellow wench at the coffee table by the track, in a pink waist & yellow teeth. Quite pretty, but not as pretty as she thought she was. Penguin eggs” [“Traveler in S.A.” 35].


July 5 Sunday – At 7 a.m. Sam, Livy, Clara and Carlyle G. Smythe arrived at Cape Town, S. Africa and took rooms at the Grand Hotel. They’d missed the Fourth of July banquet there [Philippon 23]. Parsons notes, “Twain found that the Adderley Street Railway Station was directly opposite his last Grand Hotel” [“Traveler in S.A.” 35]. Parsons continues, describing the hotel:

The travelers went round the corner to the entrance on Strand Street, through the swinging glass doors, across the mosaic floor to the handsome staircase and up to the lounge. For the hotel proper started on the first floor and rose, leaving the arcaded ground floor to an ostrich feather shop and establishments of food, alcohol, clothes, and general commerce. The first floor was enclosed by a “splendid balcony promenade” twelve feet wide and 350 feet long. Inside were a commodious billiard room with two Thurston tables, a Moorish bar, and a 16½-foot-high dining room whose walls — dado and paper — were mahogany, salmon and gold color and whose walnut furniture was upholstered in crimson plush. The second floor, devoted to bedrooms and private sitting rooms, was the Clemens party’s destination….On his first evening in town Mark undoubtedly wanted the privacy of his sitting room. But when his order went up, “6 slices of tough mutton” came down, and just the looks of the stuff deadened his appetite [“Traveler in S.A” 35-6].


July 6 Monday – The Clemenses were staying at the Grand Hotel in Cape Town S. Africa. The Cape Times ran an article about Sam’s plans for writing and lecturing in England.

The famous humorist is in excellent health, indeed better health than he has had since he started on his talking tour round the world…. He asks for a rest before visitors and interviewers begin [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 37].


July 7 Tuesday – The Cape Times ran an interview, “Mark Twain on Tour: Arrival in Cape Town, Observations and Comparisons” p.7 [Philippon 23; Scharnhorst 313].


July 8 Wednesday – The Clemenses were in Cape Town, S. Africa, probably sightseeing. Sam received a postcard from Poultney Bigelow who was at Delagoa Bay. In the evening Sam dined at the Castle of Good Hope with General W.H. Goodenough, and probably Mrs. Anna Goodenough, whom he gave an inscribed photograph of himself to during the voyage on the Norman (see on or after July 15) [July 9 to Bigelow]. Note: Lt. General Goodenough was commander-in-chief of British forces in S. Africa until 1898.


July 9 Thursday – In Cape Town, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 1) lecture to the 1,200 seat Opera House. Tickets ranged from 5 shillings to 1 & 6 pence. The Cape Argus ran a review of the talk on July 14 [Philippon 23].

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, notifying him that Frank Bliss was in New York and had brought him a list of points made by Harper & Brothers in the Uniform Edition matter. Rogers understood it this way:

As I view it the conditions of affairs will be in substance: if the trade is made between Harper & Brothers and the American Publishing Co. as follows, the American Publishing Co. will get out the uniform edition and continue the sale of books already in their possession, both old and new editions and sell the Harper books only in complete sets. Harper & Brothers will confine themselves to the sale of the C.L. Webster & Co. books, “Joan of Arc” and perhaps “Tom Sawyer, Detective.” The American Publishing Co. to publish the new book you are going to write of your trip around the World, and to make an advance payment of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars as a guarantee on the profits of the new book for a stated time. The American Publishing Co. proposes to make a new contract (destroying the old one) with Mrs. Clemens for their publications, giving her half the profits on all the books or perhaps 15% as Mrs. Clemens may elect.

Rogers felt this was a brief summary and wanted Sam’s approval, but beforehand he would “lay before Mrs. Clemens a full text of the contemplated arrangements” between Harper & Brothers and Bliss [MTHHR 225-6].

Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow:

We reached here from Kimberley last Sunday morning; got your Delagoa Bay post-card yesterday (Wednesday) [July 8] & answered it by telegram asking if I should secure you a berth in our ship (the Norman a week hence) [sailed July 15]; dined at the Castle last evening & the first thing General Goodenough said was, that he had seen you off last Friday. I wish you had waited a little; but he said you had fever, & that the sea was the best place for you. This morning Mrs. Lindley called, & brought your introductory letter & a letter from her husband inviting us to come & share their bungalow; also Mrs. Van der Merwe has called & we are going there to tea day after tomorrow.

Sam also thanked Bigelow for “provision” he’d made for Sam at the Reform Club, as he would want to “sneak into town [London] at times to get paper & ink & books” [MTP]. Note: this letter misdated July 16.


July 10 Friday – In Cape Town, Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture to the 1,200-seat Opera House [Philippon 23]. C.J. Littlewort, secretary of the Owl Club in Claremont, invited Sam to join them on Monday night, July 13 before he would sail. Parsons quotes Sam’s reply:

I also regret that my time is so full that I am obliged to limit to so short a space the time that I may spend with you [“Clubman in S.A.” 253].


July 11 Saturday – In Cape Town, the Clemenses went to tea at Mrs. Van der Merwe’s [July 9 to Bigelow].

In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 3) lecture to the 1,200 seat Opera House, this time full to “utmost capacity.” The talk was reviewed on July 13 by the South African Telegraph. Several other newspaper articles on Mark Twain ran this day [Philippon 23-4].

July 12 Sunday – Sam’s trio of Cape Town lectures behind him, the family spent the day sightseeing. From FE:

I saw Table Rock, anyway — a majestic pile. It is 3,000 feet high. It is also 17,000 feet high. These figures may be relied upon. I got them in Cape Town from the two best-informed citizens, men who had made Table Rock the study of their lives. And I saw Table Bay, so named for its levelness. I saw the Castle — built by the Dutch East India Company three hundred years ago — where the Commanding General lives; I saw St. Simon’s Bay, where the Admiral lives. I saw the Government, also the Parliament, where they quarreled in two languages when I was there, and agreed in none [710].


July 13 Monday – Sam gave his final South African “At Home” lecture at the Claremont Town Hall, about seven miles south-southeast of Cape Town. This was a repeat of his No. 1 program. In the evening he was a guest of the Owl Club at Roux’s Masonic Hall in Cape Town. Parsons writes,

This was a special social meeting arranged by fifty Owls for about 150 guests. Songs by the Angelus Quartet, instrumental solos, recitations, and conjuring tricks had been following each other for an hour when “the prince of humourists” and his tour manager arrived at ten-thirty. Then things began to move. The American was presented an album of sixty views of Cape scenery, and his health was drunk — with Livy’s and Clara’s thrown in [“Clubman in S.A” 254].

Note: Photographic views of Cape Town, South Africa (1896) presented with this date inscribed [Gribben 127].

Parsons also gives Sam’s remarks to the club:


I am glad to see the American flag placed on the platform — a flag symbolic of liberty and constitutional Government, which this colony and the land of my birth conjointly enjoy. [This first anniversary] of my lecture pilgrimage — a pilgrimage in which I hope I have given as much pleasure as I have received — is an occasion of parallels, for it is my hope that this will be my last appearance on any platform. I gave the first lecture of my present tour on the 13th of July, 1985, in Elmira, New York, before an audience of 700 men, who, like the audience I see before me, had made their mark in the world, intelligent men who had done something to bring their name before the world like the gentlemen here present. There is one little point I must not forget to mention, which is that my first audience was — in a penitentiary. (Loud laughter.) But there the comparison ends. For whilst those men are expiating their crimes, the gentlemen in front of me have not even commenced to repent of theirs. (Laughter.) ….I shall always remember with pleasure the evening I have spent with my friends, this noble assembly of unclassified convicts. (Laughter and cheers.)

During the evening the prime guest had been treated to “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and “Three Times Three.” Yet to come were “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the Queen,” in which Mark “most heartily joined.” After the sexagenarian celebrity had been with the Owls for two hours, the affair broke up and Mark got back to his hotel bed [253-4].


July 14 Tuesday – In the afternoon in Cape Town, probably escaping the trunk packing by the ladies, Sam visited the House of Assembly and viewed debates there, as reported by the Cape Times on July 15. The Owl reported on July 18 that Sam was bored in the Assembly’s distinguished visitors’ gallery [Philippon 24].


July 15 Wednesday – At 4 p.m. in Cape Town, the Clemens party, with Robert S. Smythe, sailed for England on the Norman, captained by E.T. Jones. Rodney writes that Carlyle Smythe returned to Australia at this time [195]. In FE Sam wrote,


We sailed on the 15th of July in the Norman, a beautiful ship, perfectly appointed. The voyage to England occupied a short fortnight, without a stop except at Madeira. A good and restful voyage for tired people, and there were several of us. I seemed to have been lecturing a thousand years, though it was only a twelvemonth, and a considerable number of the others were Reformers who were fagged out with their five months of seclusion in the Pretoria prison [ch. LXIX 712].

There would be one stop at Madeira, on or around July 26. Parsons writes that Sam had initially planned to work on the sixteen day voyage to Southampton, taking away a “complete run of the Cape Times Weekly Edition from January 1 to July 15, 1896, to serve as an on-the-spot account of South African events.” But Sam met distractions, what with 400 passengers and nice decks for lounging. Included in photographs with Sam, Parsons names: Barney Barnato (1852-1897), Melton Prior (1845-1910; artist of the Illustrated London News), Isaac Freidlander and Sir Abe Bailey (1864-1940). There were at least three released Reform prisoners on board, including Abe Bailey — William Hosken, and Dr. Alfred F. Hillier, men who had been entertained in prison by Sam on May 23. Hillier would write Raid and Reform By a Pretoria Prisoner, which included Sam’s offer to swap places with any of the men. Barnato, born Barnett Isaacs, a mercurial speculator, would die of a suspicious death (some said suicide; family said no), being lost overboard near Madeira the next year [Parsons, “Traveler in S.A.” 39-40].

Leaving his last lecture tour behind it is instructive to note that Sam had completed a year of forced labor, fighting physical, mental, and financial obstacles. In the past ten weeks in Africa he’d given 32 performances in fifteen places, in halls and one large Opera House. His plans were to relax on the two-week voyage home and perhaps lecture some in England and the provinces, but mainly to settle down in a quiet spot and write the new travel book, which would become Following the Equator.

Clara Clemens remembered the voyage to England:

Father luxuriated in cigars and books all the way from Africa to England and we thought of nothing but the pleasure of seeing Susy and Jean again. They were to be brought to London by the faithful maid Katie [Leary], early in August [MFMT 170].

Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam, enclosing a request of July 8 by Hermann Siegel, who wished to translate JA to German. Sam would forward the letters to Chatto & Windus, as he always did with such inquiries for translations or other European editions (see July 15, on or after) [MTP].


July 15, Wednesday on or after – Sometime at sea on the SS Norman en route from Cape Town, S. Africa to Southampton, England, Sam inscribed a Falk Studios photograph of himself to Anna Goodenough (Mrs. W.H.): Very Sincerely Yours / S.L. Clemens / To Mrs. Goodenough / At Sea, July 1896 [MTP]. Note: See July 9 to Bigelow.

July 16 Thursday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England. On board Sam wrote in his notebook that he’d learned in Cape Town of Frank Mayo’s death near Denver, Colo. On June 7. “Heart disease” [NB 38 TS 75].

July 17 Friday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 18 Saturday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 19 Sunday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 20 Monday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 21 Tuesday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.


July 22 Wednesday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, reflecting on his lecturing, the voyage, and the days ahead.


I think we have been out about a week from Cape Town — speed, an average of 410 miles a day. Very fine ship.

      You have been having a tough job of it with the Blisses, et al. I don’t see how even your trained and wonderful patience has held out. . I am ashamed of being the cause of putting so much work on you; but I am grateful to you for doing it, anyway. We are looking forward with a heap of interest to the Memorandum of Agreement. We shall find it when we reach England no doubt. I do most heartily hope it will settle my publication matters once and for all. [Note: The Memorandum was the expected final agreement between Harper & Brothers, the American Publishing Co.and Mrs. Clemens for the Uniform Edition, Sam’s older books and the future FE].

Sam felt it better to have the sets of his Uniform Edition sold by subscription and the singles by Harper, but he admitted his favoring subscription “may be merely superstition.” The main thing was to sell books again. He was fed up with the platform, of which he said “there isn’t any slavery that is so exacting and so infernal.” He expressed hope that he had done it for the last time, “that bread-and-butter stress will never crowd me onto it again.” Sam had expressed his dislike for lecturing many times, and even swore off many times, “yet when on the stage, he almost always succeeded in electrifying himself to the point of pleasure,” Clara Clemens wrote [MFMT 139]. For now there was no mention of lecturing in England or America, so by this time he may have changed his plans. He loved the voyage and wished they “were a thousand days from port” [MTHHR 227-8].


July 23 Thursday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 24 Friday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 25 Saturday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.


July 26 SundayJean Clemens’ sixteenth birthday. On or about this day the SS Norman stopped in the Madeira Islands, some 1,550 miles from England, given the ship’s rate of 400+ miles per day.


July 27 Monday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 28 Tuesday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 29 Wednesday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.

July 30 Thursday – The Clemenses were on the SS Norman, en route to Southampton, England.


July 31 Friday – The Clemens family arrived in Southampton. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers what may have been meant as a PS to his July 22 letter:

We are just arrived, 16 days out from the Cape, and now I will telegraph London to send down the letters. Love to you all. / SLC [MTHHR 228].

Sam then telegraphed Chatto & Windus to forward his mail to his hotel in Southampton. The Clemenses took rooms at the South Western Hotel in Southampton [Aug. 5 to Harper].

Note: Rodney estimates that half of Sam’s Webster & Co. debt was paid after the world tour [196]. Powers gives Sam’s lecture receipts for the tour at between $20,000 and $25,000, “well short of his $100,000 goal” [MT A Life 576]. Both biographers give Sam’s hope in the travel book (FE) to pay the balance. Pond writes that “with his voice and pen enough to pay all his creditors …in full, with interest, and this he did almost a year sooner than he had originally calculated” [Eccentricities of Genius, 199]. This would have included royalties from FE, however. Lorch writes: “Mark Twain’s debts from the Webster failure [not counting the $70,000 claim by Livy] amounted to approximately $80,000. Thus it is clear that the income from lecturing alone contributed between a third and a half to the final retirement of that burdensome debt” [255]. Further, MTLTP p.365-6 gives the total of $79,704.80 owed to 101 creditors, not counting Livy, and by 1898 “all creditors apparently satisfied.”


August – The first of two installments of the 23,400 word Tom Sawyer, Detective first appeared in the Aug. issue of Harper’s Magazine. 21 illustrations were included by A.B. Frost. It would be included by Harper’s in book form, together with the 34,000 word Tom Sawyer Abroad in November, 1896. The latter had first appeared in book form in 1894 by Webster & Co., after being serialized in St. Nicholas.


Sometime during August, and probably before Susy’s death on Aug. 18, Sam, during one of his country tramps, encountered England’s most notable writer, Thomas Hardy. Rodney gives each man’s account of the meeting, Hardy’s being a recollection of 30 years later. First, Sam’s memory of the event:

I found myself stranded in the country and obliged to put up at a village inn. I gravitated to the smoking-room and there met a brother derelict, and after the time of day had been passed a desultory conversation sprang up between us. Soon literary topics came to the fore, and I began to attack England’s literary giant, Thomas Hardy. But the little man with the broken nose across the table did not seem somehow to concur as heartily as I might have expected. When the little man rose to go after paying his score, he gave me a look that can best be described as “dirty” and stalked out of the room with the hauteur of a Spanish grandee. Vaguely ill at ease, I asked the waiter the name of the gentleman. “Mr. Thomas Hardy, sir,”…


And Hardy’s very different and more detailed recollection:

You know I had a very interesting encounter many years ago….I was on a walking-tour with a friend, and we stopped for supper in a little inn where Isaak Walton is supposed to have spent the night and which he described in the Compleat Angler. While we were sitting before the blazing hearth awaiting the summons to supper, there entered a striking-looking man with a great mass of snow-white hair and a peculiar drawlish manner of speaking. We began chatting, and when it turned out that he was an American, I asked him some questions about the Mississippi River as only a week before I had finished re-reading Huckleberry Finn. I told the book’s creator — for it turned out to be Mark — that, after reading his extraordinarily vivid pages, I knew the Mississippi almost as well as the Thames. Mark recalled having read Under the Greenwood Tree aloud to his wife. He characterized as “altogether unfounded and untrue” the report of his disliking my work and professing never to have read it.

      We found we had a number of friends in common, such as Browning, Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh, Andrew Lang, Thomas Huxley and Anthony Trollope. Mark spoke in a fascinating, even drawl that I felt I could have listened to him forever. I feel that Mark Twain did more than any other man to make plain people in England understand plain people in America. That alone was a big work, and he did it, by the way, without setting out to do it [200-1].


Note: Hardy was perhaps the first British authority to recognize Mark Twain’s literary place and purpose — see Howells’ letter of July 10, 1883, which quotes Hardy.

Richard Le Gallienne reviewed JA in Idler X p.112-4. Though much of the review is merely long quoted passages, Le Gallienne compared Twain’s historical approach to that of Carlyle’s French Revolution and added: “The man who has inaugurated a great epoch in the history of humour — and the whole of modern humour is the invention of Mark Twain — must have a great imagination, as he must also have a great heart. We have not waited for Joan of Arc to find these important gifts in Mark Twain, but certainly they are here once more, with even more than their ancient vitality” [Tenney 25].

August 1 Saturday


August 1-18 Tuesday – Sometime before Sam learned of the death of his daughter Susy, he wrote to an unidentified person, enclosing a short note from Miss Lucy Frelinghuysen. First her note, then Sam’s remarks:

I send you the little book, & hope it may touch some point of sympathy. It is not great but it shows how love develops & transforms people, & one closes it with a strong regret that a life so beautified by love as Bernadine’s might not go on here a little whether in happiness or unhappiness — they seem so unimportant compared with what she was, what she grew to be — Sincerely Yours / L. Frelinghuysen


They say Miss F. was engaged to ex-President Arthur when he died. I will ask Chatto to send you the book; then you will see why Miss F. thinks so much of it.

      I wish Susy would see herself in its heroine & follow in her footsteps [MTP]. Note: Sam’s hope for daughter Susy shows this was written before her death on Aug. 18. See NY Times Oct. 22, 1884 p.4 “President Arthur’s Bride.”


August 2 Sunday


August 3 Monday – In Southampton, England on South Western Hotel stationery, Sam wrote to unidentified “gentlemen” at Harper & Brothers 

The books have come & in all ways are to my taste. They are up to the Harper reputation for grace & style. Thank you for the trouble you have taken.

After his signature Sam asked that they not reveal where he was “hiding & working.” The manuscript of FE was underway [MTP].

Powers gives this as the date that Susy Clemens first became feverish [MT A Life 576]. See Aug. 4.


August 4 Tuesday – From Katy Leary’s memoirs:

By then we were getting letters that the family was nearing Europe, and the next thing we got a cable to come at once, to sail for London the following Saturday [see discrepancies of day of week, date for Aug. 5 notes], Susy, Jean, and I. Well, I hurried up to Elmira to get Jean ready. I left Susy at Mr. Warner’s. My! It was the hottest day we had that summer. Mr. and Mrs. Crane [Theo Crane died in 1889], Mr. Langdon, and Jean and myself went to New York the day before sailing [sail date according to Sam’s Aug. 5 letter to Howells was Aug. 5], then I went back to Hartford to bring Susy down and all the trunks. Mr. Langdon had the tickets and everything was ready. I went up to the Warners’ and I found Susy wasn’t feeling very well. She looked very bad…

      So I hurried right off and I got Dr. Porter right away, and he said she was coming down with spinal meningitis. That evening [Aug. 4] she got very bad. I saw then she couldn’t travel. There was no chance of our sailing the next day, so I telephoned to Mr. Langdon to New York, where he was waiting for us, and told him Susy was sick. He cabled right away to her mother “Unavoidably delayed,” and that we would leave on the next steamer [Lawton 135-6]. Note: Powers gives Susan Crane as the sender of this cable, and that departure would be delayed to Aug. 12 [MT A Life 576].


August 5 Wednesday – In Southampton, England on South Western Hotel stationery, Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper.

I find that people are misled by the words “Edited by.” They seem to take it entirely for granted that Joan is not my book & that I am simply lending my name to somebody else’s book for such commercial value as it may possess. Don’t you think you can knock that unlucky word out, next time you print, & leave it simply, “by Mark Twain?”

Sam added they’d been delayed in Southampton a few days, but were expecting to “go out into the country” soon and take a “3-month’s rest from the platform & from racing around.” He added that A.B. Frost’s pictures for Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896) were “mighty good” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to his old friend and literary ally, William Dean Howells.

Certainly your White Longfellow is perfect — wholly flawless. And Mrs. Clemens requires me to thank you for writing it & sending it out to medicine the spirits of such as droop & the bodies of such as are in pain & would forget. She arrived here from South Africa five days ago with a sprained ancle at one end of her & despondency at the other end and — no, the despondency came later when she found she couldn’t run around the country house-hunting….

      We hope to get a house in some quiet English village away from the world & society, where I can sit down for six months or so & give myself up to the luxury & rest of writing a book or two after this long fatigue & turmoil of platform-work & gadding about by sea & land. Susie & Jean sail from New York today, & a week hence we shall all be together again [MTHL 2: 660-1].


Notes: “The White Longfellow” was Howells’ account of his participation thirty years before in the readings of Longfellow’s Dante Club, and of his friendship with Longfellow. The article ran in the August Harper’s. This as the proposed sailing date for Susy and Jean Clemens varies from Katy Leary’s account that they were to sail after a cable “the following Saturday.” [Lawton 135]. Willis gives Saturday, Aug. 5, but the date was not a Saturday [235]. It is assumed here, therefore, that Sam’s date of Aug. 5 is correct, while the day of week given by Leary was in error. Also, Livy’s sprained ankle led to her quickly taking a house in Guildford for a month, with an eye toward finding a longer lease later [235].


Katy Leary’s recollections of moving Susy to the Farmington Ave. house (on this day):

Mr. Langdon came to Hartford in the morning and we took her over to the old home. She was very sick and she wouldn’t take a bit of medicine from anybody but me. She wouldn’t let the nurses touch her or come near her, so I sat by her night and day — night and day, I sat! Oh, it was a terrible time! My heart aches even now when I think of it, after all these years. Poor little Susy! She died before we could ever sail [Lawton 137].

August 6 Thursday


August 7 Friday – In Guildford, England, possibly house-hunting, Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper (Sam was still in Southampton on Aug. 10, writing to Pond).

Yes, I find that the “Edited by” is an addition of Chatto’s.

      I left you a printed sheet — “A Californian’s Tale.” It has never been published. I interred it (gratis) in a hundred copies of a book issued by the Author’s Club, consenting to this temporary burial quite willingly — the term to be two years, according to my recollection of the matter. That is more than 3 years ago.

      I would like it published, now, before it goes into your set of volumes.

Sam wanted to see the piece in Harper’s Monthly. He thought H.H. Rogers “probably” had a copy if Harper could not locate the tale [MTP]. Note: on the reverse side of this letter there is a note which mentions Susy had been “dead three weeks,” or mid-September. See that entry.


August 8 Saturday – In Hartford Jean Clemens wrote to her father; the letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s Aug. 26 to Livy.


August 9 Sunday – In Hartford Jean Clemens wrote again to her father; the letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s Aug. 26 to Livy.


August 10 Monday – In Southampton, England Sam wrote to James B. Pond:

We are busy house-hunting. As soon as we find shelter in some country place I shall put in a few months on a book. I managed to pull through that long lecture campaign, but I was never very well, from the first night in Cleveland to the last one in Cape Town…

Sam added he wasn’t strong enough for platform work and wasn’t going to let himself think of London, “or any other platform for a long time to come.” He also added that Susy and Jean were not on the way and they did not yet know why [MTP].


August 11 Tuesday – At Highfield House, Portsmouth Road, Guildford, England, Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto:

We’ve got ourselves located here an hour from London, for a month: & in the meantime we are spying around for a house for the winter. Mrs. Clemens is out on that quest to-day, in the neighborhood of London.

Sam anticipated Chatto coming for a visit and explained that “ours is a mighty plain cook” but that any time he might “run down” from London he could expect a chop or a steak. Evidently it had been very hot the past few days, as he wrote the “weather had been ordered from hell,” but that it was “ordered from heaven to-day” [MTP]. Note: From the Aug. 10 and this letter it is clear the Clemenses took possession of the Guildford house on this day; Sam’s Aug. 14 to Anna Goodenough gives the rental five weeks. Powers calls Guildford “a graceful 12th-century farming village southeast of London, where Lewis Carroll was living out his final years” [MT A Life 576].

Sam also wrote a short note to Ainsworth R. Spofford, the Librarian of Congress, applying to re-copyright IA. This was referred to in his Aug. 12 to H.H. Rogers as enclosed.

In Hartford Sue Crane wrote to Sam; the letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s Aug. 26 to Livy.


August 11-14 Friday – At Highfield House on Portsmouth Road in Guildford, England, sometime during these three days, Clara Clemens wrote for her father to Andrew Chatto.

My Father has asked me to write his notes for him this morning as he is unable to use his right hand owing to a cut in the left, his leg was also injured trying to walk to the village the other day, & his hair is falling out fast. These he considers causes enough to be shoving all his affairs onto the shoulders of another.

The letter ended that the family would be “very glad indeed” to see Chatto on Monday (probably Aug. 17). Note: the tone and whimsy of the letter suggests a dictation by Sam. MTP lists this letter as Aug. 7-14 week in Guildford, but as of Aug. 10 in his letter to Pond, Sam was still in Southampton, so the possible dates are here reduced.


August 12 Wednesday – In Guildford, England Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

Land, but the Harpers must be acquainted with the road to wealth! Just imagine: Bliss to pay them 8 per cent on the retail price of my books for the use of the plates! Suppose Bliss sells 25,000 of one of my books at $1.50 — cost of plates, say $450 (at the outside $500) — is he to pay Harpers $3,000? They could give Bliss a duplicate set of plates at cost of $100. Why, this is murder in the first degree, isn’t it?

      And Bliss was willing? All right, let him go ahead, it’s his funeral. And it’s about time somebody was squeezing that gang — they’ve robbed me for a quarter of a century; and wherever I catch Bliss’s old thief of a father, be it in hell or heaven, over the balusters he goes.

Sam once again thanked Rogers for all his work on his behalf, and promised to send him a copy of anything Bliss approached him directly with. He also expressed worry that an extension of copyright must be due for IA, and enclosed the application (to Spofford dated Aug. 11) asking Rogers to send it with the fifty cent fee to Washington for him. He announced they were in a house in Guildford for a month and that Livy was hunting for another for a longer period. Also, that they’d invited Rogers’ assistant, Katharine I. Harrison, to pay them a visit [MTHHR 229-30].

August 13 Thursday – Sam began an essay, “Man’s Place in the Animal World” on or just after this day. It was first published in 1962 in Letters from the Earth, under the title, “The Lowest Animal,” supplied by DeVoto [Budd, Collected 2: 1003]. Note: Baender’s article, “The Date of Mark Twain’s ‘The Lowest Animal’” makes a solid case for Aug. 13 as Sam’s beginning and October, 1896 as the completion for this 3,600 word piece [174-9].  


August 14 Friday – In the morning word reached the Clemenses in Guildford that Susy Clemens was quite ill. Sam cablegrammed Charles Langdon throughout the day for clarification but none came.

He also telegraphed Chatto & Windus, since Andrew Chatto was expected on Aug. 17:

We may sail from Southampton tomorrow Daughter ill in America / Clemens [MTP].


Note: Katy Leary recalled that Livy and Clara “had sailed for America right after getting out cable….Mr. Clemens was going to take the next steamer after them” [Lawton 137]. (See next to Goodenough.)


Sam also wrote to Anna Goodenough (Mrs. W.H. Goodenough).

Mrs. Clemens was hoping to have some stamps by this time, but none have accumulated but the enclosed. We had a very pleasant hour or two at the Crown in Lyndhurst, but found no house there & none at Romsey, none at Weybridge. We finally got this house for 5 weeks while the inmates take an outing at the seaside.

      To-day we are troubled a little by news that our eldest daughter is ill in America. We cannot all get away immediately, but Mrs. Clemens & Clara will sail to-morrow & I shall follow 3 days later if the cablegrams do not improve meantime.

Sam added after his signature that they could get no reply to their cablegrams — they’d begun at 11 a.m. and it was now 11 p.m. and still no answer, so they could not imagine what the trouble with Susy was [MTP]. Note: cablegrams not extant.

The three packed bags for an emergency trip home to Hartford. They would leave for Southampton the next morning, Aug. 15 [Powers, MT A Life 576].

August 15 Saturday – Upon arriving at Southampton, the Clemenses found another cable waiting from the family gathered in New York. Susy’s recovery (from an unspecified disease) would be “long but certain.” This convinced Sam to stay in England. Livy and Clara boarded the S.S. Paris bound for New York. On the same day, Dr. Porter in Hartford diagnosed Susy with spinal meningitis, an often lethal malady before the days of antibiotics. The lining of Susy’s brain swelled, and high fevers caused delirium and strange behavior. She ate her last meal on this day [Papa 43; Powers, MT A Life 576]. Sam spent the night in a hotel, probably the South Western in Southampton, and played billiards till midnight with R.S. Smythe [Aug. 16 to Livy].


August 16 Sunday – Neider writes of Susy’s torment:

Next morning, a Sunday, she walked about a bit in pain and delirium, then felt very weak and returned to bed, but before doing so, rummaging in a closet, she came across a gown she had once seen her mother wear. She thought the gown was her dead mother, and, kissing it, began to cry [Papa 43].


Wecter further describes the scene:

      …she paced the floor in a raging fever, often taking pen and paper to scribble those notes in a large sometimes incoherent hand…She fancied that her companion was [some biographers say she fancied herself as] La Malibran, famous Parisian mezzo-soprano who had died sixty years before, at only little more than Susy’s age…. “My benefactress Mme Malibran Now I can better hold you,” wrote the dying girl in Hartford. “…In strength I bow to Mme Malibran Mr. Clemens Mr. Zola…to me darkness must remain from everlasting to everlasting [LLMT 319].

Note: Susy slipped into a coma later this day and would not recover. For the full text of Susy’s delirious writings, about 1,000 words written on 47 sheets of 9” x 5 ¾” lined paper, see Papa, 44-7. See also MTB 1020-1024, “Passing of Susy.”

At about noon Susy went blind. Charles Langdon and Katy Leary were with her. In her delirium she touched Katy’s face and said, “Mama” — her last word. A short time after she slipped into a coma, that she would not recover from [Papa 48]. Note: Neider puts her uncle Theo with her, but he died on July 3, 1889. MTA 36 gives the time of Susy’s last word at 1 p.m. with coma ensuing at 2.p.m.

Meanwhile, in Guildford, Sam began an anguished letter to Livy that he finished on Aug. 17:

My darling, you were in my mind till I went to sleep last night, & there when I woke this morning, & you have been there ever since — you have not been out of it a single waking moment since you disappeared from my vision. I hope you are not sad to-day, but I am afraid you are. You & Clara are making the only sad voyage of all the round-the-world trip. I am not demonstrative; I am always hiding my feelings; but my heart was wrung yesterday. I could not tell you how deeply I loved you nor how grieved I was for you, nor how I pitied you in this awful trouble that my mistakes have brought upon you. You forgive me, I know, but I shall never forgive myself while the life is in me. If you find our poor little Susy in the state I seem to foresee, your dear head will be grayer when I see it next.

Sam talked about taking R.S. Smythe to lunch at the hotel and leaving for Guildford at 2 p.m. and of sending another cablegram at 4 p.m. that Livy and Clara were on their way. He also handled prior engagements, sending a postcard to Chatto to say “Come Monday as arranged,” and to agents at Weybridge that he would be there to watch for table-ware that Livy likely had ordered; and he would send a line to Miss Hawdon advising her that Livy was gone. The end of this day’s letters was a potpourri of details:

I told Emily about that little bill that is to be paid; she knew the name. (I am writing on my knee.) I wore my slippers last night in tramping about in my shire. Mr. Smythe & I played billiards till midnight, & I gave him the pyjamas that had not been worn. He has gone to London and will be back at 6.30 with his things. Satan (the cat) came in early by the window & took a nap. Package of photos arrived from France this morning for Clara. Emily has the Key of the trunk room. Your note from this ship came this morning. I will remember, dear heart, about Emily’s day out, Thursday, 26th. [LLMT 317-8]. Note: Emily was likely a hired servant.

August 17 Monday – At noon in Guildford, Sam finished his Aug. 16 letter to Livy.

Monday noon. Chatto is evidently off on his vacation. I do not hear from him.

      I enclose a letter received this morning, about the photos. It has no signature, but I suppose it is from Miss Blood — so I have answered it.

      The maids are excellent. They do everything necessary for Mr. Smythe & me, & keep the house in nice order.

      (Susy dear I hope you are well & in no pain; that will make Mamma happy. You have had a bitter affliction, poor child) [note — Sam’s parentheses are square brackets].

…Livy darling, you are so good & dear & steadfast & fine — the highest & finest & loveliest character I have ever known; & I was never worthy of you. You should have been the prize of a better man — a man up nearer to your own level. But I love you with all my heart, from my proper place at your feet.

After his signature Sam wrote, “Chatto has come”; and that he was mailing the letter today for the steamer New York and would mail another letter the next day for the Wednesday steamer [LLMT 318-9]. Note: No Aug. 18 letter from Sam to Livy is extant.

In Hartford, daughter Susy was in a coma, hovering near death.

August 18 Tuesday – At 7:07 p.m. in Hartford, Olivia Susan (Susy) Clemens, age 24, died of spinal meningitis in the Farmington Ave. house [MTA 37; Sept. 6 to Hutton]. Katy Leary, longtime servant and helper to the family, was with her, as was Charles Langdon and Sue Crane. Joe Twichell had come from the Adirondacks to comfort Susy, but it’s not clear if he was with her at the end (see Sept. 27 to Twichell) Livy and Clara were at sea in the S.S. Paris, headed for New York and would not arrive for three more days.

Sam, not yet aware of Susy’s death, was instead under the impression she was better, and wrote to Mrs. Armstrong asking for an address:

You gave Mrs. Clemens the address of the house of Mrs. Keenly … (I cannot call to mind the last syllable of her name). Won’t you please give me that address again.

      Mrs. Clemens was called suddenly across the ocean three days ago by news of our eldest daughter’s illness. Tidings received by me to-day indicate that the illness has moderated & that a sea-voyage may presently be possible. So I shall not go to America next week…[MTP: Sotheran Ltd. Catalogs Feb. 14, 1988 Item 14]. Note: Just who sent the above tidings is not clear. The request may have been a loose end from Livy’s house-hunting efforts.

Sam played billiards with Robert S. Smythe [Aug. 19 to Livy].

August 19 Wednesday – In Guildford, England, Sam wrote two notes to Andrew Chatto, the first before receiving news of Susy’s death, the second afterward. First,

The five books have come, & the reviews, & the bank-book and cheque-book & I am cumulatively obliged to you.

      The Chronicle notice is very very fine. If I ever lecture again — but I hope I shan’t — I shall be glad to be interviewed for the Chronicle… [MTP]. Note: London Chronicle. The reviews were of JA.


Charles Langdon sent a cablegram (not extant), which reached Sam with the news of Susy’s death [MFMT 172]. In his Aug. 28 to Livy (added to Aug. 26), Sam quoted the message:

Susy could not stand brain congestion and meningitis and was peacefully released today.

Ten years later Sam would write:

It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live [MTA 34].

And the second note to Chatto:

P.S. These wholly unexpected tidings reached me just after I had written you. This was the prodigy of our flock, in intellectuality, in the gift of speech, & in music — not instrumental but vocal. Will you please had the enclosed half-sheet to any newspaper you please.

Sam asked that Chatto copy the notice and then hand it on — he originally wrote the Chronicle but crossed it out for “any newspaper.” Sam wrote he wanted his many English friends to know of his disaster. The news notice item he included:


Susan Olivia Clemens, aged 24, eldest daughter of S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain), died on Tuesday of this week in the home she was reared in, in the city of Hartford, Connecticut. The illness was brief, the disease brain fever. News of the illness, with the intimation that it was not serious, was received by cable on Friday last, & Mrs. Clemens & her second daughter sailed from Southampton the next day, hoping & expecting to be able to bring the patient to England for some month’s stay. They are still at sea [MTP].

Sam also wrote his anguish to Livy, still at sea:


I have spent the day along — thinking; sometimes bitter thoughts, sometimes only sad ones. Reproaching myself for laying the foundation of all our troubles & this final disaster in opposing Pamela when she did not want Annie to marry that Webster adventurer. Reproaching myself for a million things whereby I have brought misfortune & sorrow to this family [LLMT 320-1].


Sam thought Livy would sail Sept. 2 but would know for sure soon. He wanted her to see “that doctor in New York & take his treatment.” Sam wished he could be at the dock in New York, when Charles Langdon’s tears would “reveal all without speaking.”


A second letter which was headed P.S. of the same date:


Oh, my heart-broken darling — no, not heart-broken yet, for you still do not know — but what tidings are in store for you! What a bitter world, what a shameful world it is. Yesterday we were playing billiards, here, & laughing & chatting; & you & Clara at sea were planning to take this or that or the other Hartford train according to possibilities, & conjecturing & forecasting as to how soon you could get our poor little Susy out of Hartford & on board a ship; & at the very same hour that we four were doing these things Sue & Charley were saying in whispers, “She is passing away” — & presently, “All is over.” O my God! My darling I will not say to you the things that are in my heart & on my tongue — they are better left unsaid. …

      Be comforted, my darling — we shall have our release in time. Be comforted, remembering how much hardship, grief, pain, she is spared; & that her heart can never be broken, now, for the loss of a child. …

      I seem to see her in her coffin — I do not know in which room. In the library, I hope; for there she & Ben & I mostly played when we were children together & happy. I wish there were five of the coffins, side by side; out of my heart I wish it. You & Jean & Charley & Sue & all of you will be in that room together next Sunday, with our released & happy Susy, (& no unrelated person but Katy) — & I not there in the body — but in the spirit, yes. How lovely is death; & how niggardly it is doled out.

      She died in our own house — not in another’s; died where every little thing was familiar & beloved; died where she had spent all her life till my crimes made her a pauper & an exile. How good it is, that she got home again [LLMT 321-2].

Sam also sent a cablegram to Henry Watterson, evidently following a prior letter not extant:


August 20 Thursday


August 21 Friday – In Guildford, England Sam wrote again to Livy.

Oh, poor Livy darling, at 8 tomorrow morning your heart will break, the Lord God knows I am pitying you. Smythe & I have done what we could — cabled Mr. Rogers to have Dr. Rice there at the ship & keep all other friends prudently out of sight — for if you saw them on the dock you would know, & you would swoon before Rice could get to you to help you.

      Hour by hour my sense of the calamity that has overtaken us closes down heavier & heavier upon me; & now for 48 hours there is a form of words that runs in my head with ceaseless iteration — without stop or pause — “I shall never see her again, I shall never see her again.” You will see the sacred face once more — I am so thankful for that. …

      I eat — because you wish it; I go on living — because you wish it; I play billiards, & billiards, & billiards, till I am ready to drop — to keep from going mad with grief & with my resentful thinking [LLMT 323].

August 22 Saturday – The S.S. Paris arrived in New York. Clara Clemens recalled the events:

Mother decided that she and I should go to America while Father might attend to the house and other affairs in England. We could not rid ourselves of a heavy depression all the way across the unending Atlantic Ocean, although no warning note had been evident in the cables or letters. The days dragged on, but at last we could say, “Tomorrow we shall hug that darling girl and start to nurse her back to health!”

      The morrow dawned and with the new day stalked the herald of grief. On my way to the saloon for letters, I was told the captain wished to speak to me. We met in the companionway. He handed me a newspaper with great headlines: “Mark Twain’s eldest daughter dies of spinal meningitis.” There was much more, but I could not see the letters. The world stood still. All sounds, all movements ceased. Susy was dead. How could I tell Mother? I went to her stateroom. Nothing was said. A deadly pallor spread over her face and then came a bursting cry, “I don’t believe it!” And we never did believe it [MFMT 170-1].


Paine writes,

A tugboat with Dr. Rice, Mr. Twichell, and other friends of the family went down the bay to meet the arriving vessel with Mrs. Clemens and Clara on board. It was night when the ship arrived, and they did not show themselves until morning; then at first to Clara….Susy already had been taken to Elmira, and at half past ten that night Mrs. Clemens and Clara arrived there by the through train [MTB 1024].

Livy and her surviving daughters traveled to Elmira for the funeral and burial of Susy Clemens, as the following article shows.

The New York Times, Aug. 23 p.4 “LEARNS OF HER DAUGHTER’S DEATH” is somewhat at variance with Clara Clemens’ memoir:

Mrs. Clemens Faints When the News is Broken to Her.

Among the passengers who arrived yesterday [Aug. 22] on the American Line Steamship Paris were the wife and daughter of Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) whose eldest daughter, Olivia Susan Clemens, died on Tuesday night last, at the home in Hartford, Conn.

      Mr. Clemens, who was expected also, had started with his wife and Miss Clara, the second daughter, when news of their eldest daughter’s illness reached them, but was detained on business at the last moment in Southampton. He, therefore, was advised of the death by cable while Mrs. Clemens and the sister were on the ocean.

      They were notified by Dr. Rice, a friend of the family, who boarded the Paris at Quarantine. The mother was prostrated and swooned when the news was conveyed to her.

      A carriage awaited the party at the pier, and they went directly to the Grand Central Station.

      Mr. Clemens sailed from Southampton yesterday for New-York.

Note: even then the Times got things wrong. Business did not keep Sam from sailing and he did not sail from Southampton on Apr. 22.


August 23 SundayThomas Kinnicut Beecher, minister of the Park Church in Elmira, conducted the funeral of Olivia Susan (Susy) Clemens in the Langdon home. Susy was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira. Livy, Jean, and Clara Clemens were all at the graveside, along with Sue Crane and members of the Langdon clan. Sam was unable to arrive in time, and so remained in Guildford, England. Clara recalled the event:

The funeral services took place in the Langdon home in Elmira, where we were shown tender sympathy and care. Susy was laid to rest in the cemetery we used to visit as children, because of its beautiful trees and tranquility [MFMT 172].

In 1904 Livy would be interred on one side of Susy and in 1909 Jean on the other. Susy’s tombstone bears lines from poet Robert Richardson:


            SHINE KINDLY HERE,


            BLOW SOFTLY HERE.


            LIE LIGHT, LIE LIGHT —


            GOOD NIGHT, GOOD NIGHT” [Jerome and Whisbey 165; Gribben 577].

Note: Paine writes they found these lines in Australia, and at first did not know the name of the poet, which was added to the tombstone later [MTB 1024]. Gribben outlines how Sam modified the lines.


August 24 Monday – Sam and Robert S. Smythe went house-hunting [Aug. 25 to Livy].

Poultney Bigelow sent a letter of condolence about Susy’s death [MTP].


August 25 Tuesday – In Guildford, England Sam wrote to Livy:

Livy darling, your cablegram came yesterday [not extant] asking after my health. I was unspeakably glad to get it, for it swept away a fast-gnawing burden of apprehension concerning your own state; I judged that its inner meaning was a message to me to say “Do not be uneasy about me.”

      I meant to write you a line yesterday but we were house-hunting; & my heart was too heavy to write. …

      I will not write more now, Mr. Smythe is waiting; we are going to Godalming to look at a house. I love you with all my heart, my darling. /Saml [LLMT 323-4].


August 26 Wednesday – In Guildford, England Sam began a letter to Livy that he finished Aug. 28.

I know what misery is at last, my darling. I know what I shall suffer when you die. I see, now, that I have never known sorrow before, but only some poor modification of it. In Henry’s case I would not allow myself to think of my loss, lest the burden be too heavy to bear; but in poor Susy’s case I have no disposition or desire to put it out of my mind — I seem to want to think of it all the time. For the present the zest of life is gone from me, which is natural. I have hated life before — from the time I was 18 — but I was not indifferent to it. Mind, I am not always dully indifferent now, in these heavy days. No, my mood changes; changes to fury, & rage until I get a sort of relief. …

      No letters have come — not a line since Jean’s of the 8th & 9th & Sue’s of the 11th. They must have written after that & before you sailed [on Aug. 15]; & surely they would write me after you sailed. I was sure I should get letters yesterday or to-day — surely I shall not be disappointed tomorrow.

      After dinner — 8.45. Mr. Smythe has gone up to lie down & try to get rid of a headache, & I am alone with my memories of the Light that Failed. I enclose a paragraph which Mr. Smythe told you he would send you. …

      I find I cannot write. It is so soon after dinner that my words clog & will not flow.

      Our daily life goes on by unchanging routine. Mr. Smythe takes his bath at 8; I take mine at 8.30 & shave; breakfast (with fish or meat) at 9; the newspaper for a quarter of an hour; then a walk of miles through the town & the beautiful outskirts, from two to three hours, & get back at lunch-time or a shade later; after lunch, billiards & reading — my reading begin the letters, often — the letters that came from Sue & Jean & Charley, & which now mean so much! after dinner, billiards till 1 a.m., or a trifle earlier if Smythe finds he is no longer able to stand up. I get so tired that in bed if I drive poor Susy out of my mind I go to sleep at once. I do not wake until I am called. O, I love you, dearheart [LLMT 324-5].

August 27 Thursday


August 28 Friday – In Guildford, England Sam finished his Aug. 26 letter to Livy:

Noon, Friday. There is yet time to add a line before posting this for tomorrow’s steamer.

      No letter from Hartford yesterday, from any relative or friend! I do not know how to describe my disappointment. Sue, & Jean, & Lilly Warner all believed, up to noon of Saturday the 15th, that you were going to remain here. Did they imagine you would be content with a letter a week? I am amazed. Letters written any day for 7 days — those tremendous days! — from Sue’s last letter (11th) to the evening of the 18th — that disastrous day, that day of imperishable memory! — would all have been in my hands by now. But there is not one line.

Sam then quoted the fateful cablegram he received on Aug. 19. He could not believe that no follow up letters had arrived.

Only one individual in all America has sent me a line either of news or regret. It is a word of sympathy from — Harper & Brothers. It came this morning when I was watching for the postman. I thank them — & out of my heart I do it.

      I have not a word of blame for aunt Sue — her heart & her hands were full. I have only gratitude for her. But I think that Jean could have remembered me. Or Katy, or Twichell, or somebody [LLMT 325-6].

In his letter to Livy, Sam included a notice from the Daily Telegraph (London) for a three-night appearance by Mark Twain at Protestant Hall for Sept. 19, 21 and 23 — all now canceled — to an unidentified person. On the left margin he wrote:

Mr. Smythe asks me to send this to you. It reads as if it had been meant for that Biography which can now never be finished. Please find it & bring it with you. And the book of the children’s sayings, too.


[MTP; Christie’s Lot 28 Sale 7700 June 9, 1993; avail. online]. Note: the reference of the bio is likely to Susie’s biography of her father. The MTP lists this as to “unidentified,” but judged here to be enclosed in the letter to Livy and meant for her. Thanks to JoDee Benussi for this and other Christie’s listings.

In his Aug. 30 Sam referred to a side trip with R.S. Smythe, his companion during this period, and according to the notice (above) probably still managing him for appearances:

Day before yesterday [Aug. 28] we went to the Castle; & it seemed kinsman to me, for I am a ruin, too. But there was solace for me there, & healing: for all that danced & were happy in those once sumptuous halls a thousand years ago, & danced & were very light of heart, have gone the way of all that dance & are happy, & in my time I also shall be set free [LLMT 327].


Note: Sam also quoted verse from Benjamin F. Taylor’s “The Long Ago.” Guildford Castle, Surrey is thought It is thought to have been built shortly after then 1066 invasion of England by William the Conqueror.

August 29 Saturday – In Guildford, England Sam began a letter to Livy that he finished Aug. 30.

I wonder if she left any little message for me, any little mention, showing that she thought of me. I was not deserving of it, I had not earned it, but if there was any such word left behind for me, I hope it was saved up in its exact terms & that I shall get it.

      My remorse does not deceive me. I know that if she were back I should soon be as neglectful of her as I was before — it is our way….You were the best friend she ever had, dear heart, & the steadfastest. Keep the thought of it in mind, & get from it the solace you have earned, dear Livy….

      It is an odious world, an horrible world — it is Hell; the true one, not the lying invention of the superstitious; & we have come to it from elsewhere to expiate our sins.

      And now what can we do? Where can we go & hide ourselves till we earn release? For what have we further to do with the world? [LLMT 326-7].


August 30 Sunday – In Guildford, England Sam finished his Aug. 29 letter to Livy.

Sunday, mid-afternoon, 30th. Not a line yet, not a single line. It seems as if I cannot bear it.

      It is a bleak day, cold & silent — Sundaylike & mournful. I am by myself, for the long walk has tired Smythe & he went to his room after luncheon.

      Poor Susy, it is now eleven days. …

      What a year of disaster it has been. Such a little time ago we had three daughters, now we have lost two. Susy goes out of our life to something better; Clara goes out of it to a doubtful change — & one which I would have prevented if I could have done it [LLMT 327].


August 31 Monday


September – The second and last installment of the 23,400 word Tom Sawyer, Detective ran the Sept. issue of Harper’s Magazine. 21 illustrations were included by A.B. Frost. It would be included by Harper’s in book form, together with the 34,000 word Tom Sawyer Abroad in November, 1896. The latter had first appeared in book form in 1894 by Webster & Co., after being serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine.

September 1 TuesdayChatto & Windus sent a form letter of their move to St. Martin’s Lane [MTP].


September 2 WednesdayLivy, Clara Clemens, and Katy Leary sailed for Southampton, England on the liner St. Louis [N.Y. Times Aug. 11, 1896 p.11, “Marine Intelligence”; Sept. 9 to Rogers; MFMT 177].

September 3 Thursday

September 4 Friday

September 5 Saturday


September 6 Sunday – In Guildford, England Sam responded to Laurence Hutton’s letter of condolence (not extant).

No, dear Laurence, there is nothing that you can do for me, I am hurt past help. In writing me a kind word you have done the best that any can do — you have paid reverent respect to my dead. That is the value of letters written in such circumstances — I realize it now. I have neglected them before, knowing they could heal no wounds, & not perceiving their true office; but from this time I shall not fail to write them.

      Your letter is from Onteora. The name has brought back many memories; & many pictures of those pleasant days — & Susy is in them all. But that is all gone by. I remember how she looked, as she stood inviting me from her side of the Hellespont, — I remember how satisfying to my eye she was, & with what spirit she sang. And that is all gone by, too. A wider Hellespont flows between us now.

Sam expected Livy and Clara on Wednesday:

Then I shall know how our incredible & unrealizable disaster came about. For the present I have only vague and incoherent knowledge of it.

      Jean’s letter tells me part. There are sentences in it, artlessly delivered, that fall upon me like blows; & others that wring my heart as it has not been wrung before.

Sam then related Susy’s last food, her last words, and the time of her death [MTP].


September 7 Monday – In Guildford, England Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper on the back of his (a copy?) Aug. 7 to Harper, about the “Californian’s Tale” — whether or not it was considered published.


However, it may be that you will consider that the interment did constitute publication & turn it into second-hand matter.

      In which case the above letter [copy of his Aug. 7] will not be needed. It was to serve as your explanation to the public — in some newspapers — in case anybody found fault.

      If my notion is a foolish whim, have charity for it. My daughter is dead three weeks, & my head is worn out as well as my heart [MTP]. Note: “Californian’s Tale” had appeared in the Authors Club book, Liber Scriptorum.


September 8 Tuesday


September 9 WednesdayLivy, daughter Clara, and Katy Leary arrived in Southampton. It is assumed they went directly to Guildford to be reunited with Sam [Sept. 10 to Rogers].

Harper & Brothers wrote enclosing copies of two letters asking to translate TSD into German [MTP].


September 10 Thursday – In Guildford, England Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.


I have just read the sheaf of letters brought from you by my wife, and it makes my bones ache to think of the work and thought and persistency and patience they represent. I do not see how you ever held out to finish such a lagging and discouraging and troublesome job. …And you have got the victory at last — as you always do. You have brought about a consolidation of my interests which is far more advantageous to me than I could have expected or could have counted upon. It secures to my wife and children one sure source for their bread and butter, and I am deeply grateful to you. Chatto said that a better arrangement could not have been invented.

Sam also thanked Rogers for placing Livy and Clara in the St. Louis for their return; they’d arrived the morning before (Sept. 9).

Our original plans are all swept away by our unspeakable disaster; therefore we go to London to-morrow, and shall get a house there and shut ourselves up in it and bar the doors and pull down the blinds and take up the burden of life again, with one helper the fewer to put heart into my work as it goes along. I shall write the book of the voyage — I shall bury myself in it….

      It kills me to think of the books that Susy would have written, and that I shall never read now. This family has lost its prodigy. …

      Fortunate Frank Mayo, to die in prosperity, not in adversity. I wonder his son does not attempt to take his place in the piece [PW play]. Charley Langdon thinks Evans claims commanding rights in it. If he possesses them it must be by some contract with Frank Mayo which you and I know nothing about [MTHHR 234-5]. Note: Charles E. Evans, partner of the late Mayo, whose son, Edwin Mayo later prevented the sale by Evans of the partnership assets. (See note 1 of source.)

Sam also responded to a letter of sympathy (not extant) from Franklin Whitmore. He disclosed they would give up their Guildford house the next day (Sept. 11) and go to London “to hide from men for a time, & let the wounds heal.” He gave Chatto & Windus address as a forwarding and wanted to be informed should a renter for the Farmington house be found, which means that John and Alice Day were no longer renting there [MTP].

Sam added a very long PS that the MTP puts as between this date and Sept. 13, on renting the Farmington Ave. house, possibly to the Barney’s. It would be necessary for Patrick McAleer to move out; Livy wanted the gardeners, the John O’Neil’s to then take Patrick’s quarters in the stable. Sam thought the house should rent for more than the Day’s paid; he felt $1,200 per year. Other notes allowed for some space reserved for Livy’s storage [MTP].

James B. Pond sent a copy of Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s Majors and Minors: Poems. (1895) inscribed: To S. L. C. / fm / J. B. Pond / Sept. 10 ’96 [Gribben 207].

September 11 Friday – The Clemenses and Katy Leary went to London. Sam’s letter of Sept. 14 to Whitmore reveals that Livy was still out house-hunting.


September 12 Saturday


September 13 Sunday – In London, Sam sent a letter of thanks to Charles J. Langdon. (This is the first of several letters with a return address of c/o Chatto & Windus, 111 St. Martin’s Lane, London.)

This is Sunday — a day now holy to me. For it was on this day, four weeks ago, that Susy’s dear voice fell silent forever in this world; & it was on this day, three weeks ago, that that which had been our Susy entered into the shelter & peace of the grave.

Sam thanked Ida Langdon for her “support & comfort,” and daughter Julia Langdon “for her touching letter” (not extant). Though he’d tried, he could not yet write Sue Crane, “whose unselfish devotion” was “beyond any poor words” of his to “rightly praise.”

To her, & to you & Ida & our Jervis & Julie I offer full measure of love & gratitude — & peace be with you all. / SLC. [MTP].

Sam also wrote to coachman Patrick McAleer. Though not extant, it was mentioned in Sam’s 2nd of Sept. 14 to Whitmore [MTP].

In Far Rockaway, Long Island William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.

I remember how you came in one day when we were bleeding from the death of Winnie, and said to me, “Oh did I wake you?” because I suppose my heavy heart had got into my eyes, and I looked sleep-broken. I have never forgotten just how you said it, and the tender intelligence you put into your words, and I wish now my affliction for you and your wife could translate itself into some phrase that could be as nearly like comfort. There is really nothing to say to you, poor souls, and yet I must write, as I have already written to Mrs. Clemens to say that we suffer with you [letter not extant]. As for the gentle creature who is gone, the universe is all a crazy blunder if she is not some where in conscious blessedness that knows and feels your love [MTHL 2: 661-2]. Note: Winnie Howells died Mar. 2, 1889.


September 14 Monday – In London Sam wrote two letters to Franklin G. Whitmore about the Hartford house rental and associated matters. In the first letter he also mentioned “a notice of Susy by George Warner and a little poem by Annie Trumbull.” (Editorial emphasis.) After writing the first letter, a letter and statement of affairs came from Whitmore. Sam was adamant about any damage and interest owed from John and Alice Day for their stay in the house. He wanted an inventory made of all the house contents save for the books. He agreed to having the furnace repaired and suggested “to jam a lot more screws” might fix the ceiling problem. He wrote that a letter Whitmore sent by way of Brown Shipley & Co. never reached him, calling the firm “a slovenly, idiotic bank” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens:

There is nothing to say. The bolt has fallen, & we with it — in pride, spirit, ambition, the zest of life.

      We shall live here a few months, while I do some writing. We that are left are together, & all well — at least fairly well; & not apparently near to death — which is regrettable.

Sam also wrote he’d not expected the cable that came about Susy to be anything but good news, so he had no preparation for the contents. He was saving Livy from letter writing as “well as I can in these black days” [MTP].


September 15 Tuesday

September 16 Wednesday


September 17 ThursdayLondon. In his Sept. 14to Whitmore, Sam disclosed he’d just written the Authors Club to withdraw his membership. A note dated Sept. 17 to the club secretary to withdraw “for economical reasons” is in the MTP, so it may be that this was put off a few days [MTP].


September 18 Friday

September 19 Saturday


September 20 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. The Clemenses were still house-hunting.

I gathered the idea from [the late] Frank Mayo that Evans [Charles E. Evans, Mayo’s partner] was a capital manager; so I think, with you, that a quarrel in that camp is bad for all concerned, and ought to be patched up if possible. I guess it would be to young [Edwin, surviving son] Mayo’s advantage to let Evans select a new Puddn’head and go on and do the managing.

      And yet, where’s the use? Straightway something else would happen. Luck has turned her back on me for good, I reckon. Sometimes it looks like it. It is good luck that you have managed to bring order out of chaos in the Harper-Bliss matter, but until the contracts are actually signed I shall always be expecting Satan to mix in and spoil everything.

Sam wasn’t sorry that the Mt. Morris Bank and George Barrow and Sons, his largest creditors, were still against a 50% settlement.

I shall be glad if they never consent. It was the Bank’s criminal stupidity that caused my destruction, and I never greatly liked Barrows. I don’t want to pay those two anything until all the others have been paid in full — if that day ever comes. My chances to pay are far poorer than they were. Our unspeakable bereavement has put my proposed 2-years platform-campaign entirely (and I think permanently) out of my list of intentions. It was my purpose to pay those debts in that way, and reserve all proceeds of my pen for my family.

      I want to pay off the small debts as soon as that useless [Bainbridge] Colby closes the estate and lets us find out what they aggregate. I mean such of them as are owning to people of slender means — Mrs. Custer and a few others. But not including debts owing to people who are well off.

Sam noted they were trying to find a furnished house to rent for five guineas a week, though they could get one for six. He also sent congratulations to the new Broughton baby, son of Urban and Clara Rogers Broughton, a baby yet unnamed [MTHHR 236-7]. Note: $1,825.46 was owed to Elizabeth Bacon Custer for outstanding royalty payments on Tenting on the Plains, etc. The baby born to the Broughtons on Aug. 31, 1896 was Urban Huttleston Rogers Broughton; a handle that undoubtedly held great expectations.


September 21 Monday – Sam’s notebook for this day:

Day after tomorrow the Queen will have achieved the longest reign in the history of the English throne. She will come within 12 years of the longest reign in the history (of any throne?) Louis XIV, 72 years [NB 39 TS 2].


September 22 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook for this day:

House-hunting again. England is the land of neat & shapely & polite housemaids. An ugly or ill-dressed or unpolished one is rate, very rare. So rare that one doubts if she exists [NB 39 TS 2].


September 23 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote a PS note to Franklin G. Whitmore reminding him to keep the Farmington Ave. house insured.

My luck is down. If the insurance failed for a day the house would burn down. / Ys Ever/ K [MTP].


September 24 Thursday – In London Sam wrote to William Dean Howells, responding to his Sept. 13 letter of condolence.

Yes, you two know what we feel — but no others among our friends. They have lost children, but the proportions were not the same. As Mrs. Clemens says, “they have lost a daughter, but they have not lost a Susy Clemens.” There was not a detail in Susy’s make-up that was commonplace.

      To me our loss is bitter, bitter, bitter. Then what must it be to my wife. It would bankrupt the vocabularies of all the languages to put it into words. For the relation between Susy & her mother was not merely & only the relation of mother & child, but that of sweethearts, lovers also. “Do you love me, mamma?” “No, I don’t love you Susy, I worship you” [MTHL 2: 662-3].


September 25 Friday

September 26 Saturday – Sam’s notebook for this day:

The French have gone mad over the approaching visit of the Czar. Such an exhibition of boot-licking adulation has never been seen before. The wife of the Pres of the Republic is not good enough to take part in the reception–by Russian command–& those lickspittles accept it & are not insulted. Is there anything that can insult a Frenchman? [NB 39 TS 3].


September 27 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to Wayne MacVeagh.

The solacing word from you, who have suffered the like disaster with us has value, & we thank you for saying it, & for the moment of easement it brings to our pain. We can never forget how good you & Mrs. MacVeagh were to Susy, nor how eloquent Susy’s thankfulness for it was, nor how strong were her affection & admiration for your Margaretta. … And we live on. How, we do not know — nor why [MTP]. Note: See Dec. 19, 1893 for more on MacVeagh.


Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers:

I was glad to get the letter of last November which Miss Harrison remailed to me, for it flooded with light an episode about which I was in doubt and darkness before. It all stands explained, now, and I see that you did the right thing, followed the only right course. I would have done just so, myself — even to the hiring of Hummell. That was clean, straight wisdom. I wish I had Wilder instead of Colby for my lawyer — that paltering ass [MTHHR 237-8].


Note: “Probably Abraham Henry Hummel, an attorney frequently accused of sharp practices, who, in addition to his criminal cases, also specialized in lawsuits involving theatrical people” [n1]. William Wilder had been attorney for Thomas Russell & Son in the lawsuit against Webster & Co. Evidently Sam admired him. Colby was Bainbridge Colby, who Sam thought would never recover the five or six thousand he had tried to Sue Daniel Frohman for in 1894 [n2-3].

Sam added that they had finally found a house for $1,350 a year, “a little more than we wanted to pay,” and that they would “move into it in about a week” (Oct. 5) [238]. Note: This places the first week in October when they took a small house at 23 Tedworth Square, Chelsea, in southwest London. They kept their address a secret, using Chatto & Windus for a return address and closing themselves off from nearly everyone.

Sam also wrote to his old friend, Joe Twichell.

Through Livy and Katy I have learned, dear old Joe, how loyally you stood poor Susy’s friend, and mine, and Livy’s: how you came all the way down, twice, from your summer refuge on your merciful errands to bring the peace and comfort of your beloved presence, first to that poor child, and again to the broken heart of her poor desolate mother. It was like you; like your good great heart, like your matchless and unmatchable self. It was no surprise to me to learn that you stayed by Susy long hours, careless of fatigue and heat, it was no surprise to me to learn that you could still the storms that swept her spirit when no other could; for she loved you, revered you, trusted you, and “Uncle Joe” was no empty phrase upon her lips! I am grateful to you, Joe, grateful to the bottom of my heart, which has always been filled with love for you, and respect and admiration; and I would have chosen you out of all the world to take my place at Susy’s side and Livy’s in those black hours.

Sam thought his dead daughter a “rare creature; the rarest that has been reared in Hartford this generation.” He listed those in Hartford who he felt also knew it: Charles and George Warner, Harmony Twichell, the Drayton Hillyer’s, the A.C. Dunham’s, the Frank Cheney’s, Edward (Ned) Bunce’s, Henry Robinson and Richard E. Burton [MTP].

September 28 Monday – In London, Sam continued to respond to letters of condolence, including this answer to Henry C. Robinson, Hartford attorney and family friend.

It is as you say, dear old friend, “the pathos of it” — yes, it was a piteous thing — as piteous a tragedy as any the year can furnish. …All the circumstances of this death were pathetic — my brain is worn to rags rehearsing them. Yes, & cursing them — cursing the conception & invention of them. …

      In my despair & unassuageable misery I upbraid myself for ever parting with her. But there is no use in that. Since it was to happen it would have happened [MTP].


September 29 Tuesday


September 30 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote to Susan Crane.

Oh, oh, oh, dear Sue, I cannot believe it, cannot realize it, cannot accept it! It is a dream, & will pass, & Susy will come again. You were good to Susy. She made it hard for you, but you did not let that swerve you; you stood by her, staunch & true, like the loyal & loving friend, aunt & sister you have always been to her & to us. We are daily & hourly grateful, dear Sue, that you were with her in those final awful hours when her sunny life went out in storm & darkness [MTP].


Sam’s notebook entry discloses he wanted to get all the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning but “not Aurora Leigh”; he also included William JamesThe Principles of Psychology among works he wanted to obtain [Gribben 90; NB 39 TS 6]. On the same TS page:

Friday, Oct. 2 or Sat Oct 3 we are to move to 23 Tedworth Square, Chelsea. We get it, furnished, at 5½ guineas a week as long as we want it. It belongs to Mr. Garth.

October – Sometime during the month Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow, confiding the secret address of 23 Tedworth Square for him to visit. Sam headed the note, “Private,” and explained:


We keep in hiding because we are four broken hearts, and I do not go out and my wife and daughters never see anybody — they cannot bear it yet; but I shall be glad, and more than glad to see you, at any day or hour or moment that you will look in on me; and the sooner you come the gladder I shall be. …Nobody but my publisher, Chatto, knows this address.


Sam expressed sorrow that Bigelow had been ill, and that he’d had “pen-rheumatism,” which he wrote they would fix with electricity treatments in Berlin, “and make sure work of it” [MTP].

Late in the month Sam referred in his notebook to a juggler’s ability to juggle despite not having done so for 30 years as,

So powerful is a habit once acquired. Quoted by Prof. Wm James in his ‘Principles of Psychology’ [Gribben 351; NB 39 TS 11].


Also, late in the month Sam noted that the charge for using the London Library was,

Just the rent of an unfurnished house suitable for a family of 4 persons & 5 servants in Henry IVs time, according to the Paston letters [Gribben 535; NB 39 TS 12]. Note: The Paston Letters, 1422-1509 A.D. A New Edition, Ed. By James Gairdner (1872-5).


Baender’s article, “The Date of Mark Twain’s ‘The Lowest Animal’” makes a solid case for Sam beginning the essay on Aug. 13 and finishing it sometime in October, 1896 [174-9].

October 1 Thursday


October 1 Thursday ca. – On or about this day a portion of a letter Sam sent to Orion appeared in the Keokuk Gate City; it survives in scrapbook 20 at the MTP:

When I reached here from South Africa on the first of August I was expecting to lecture a while in London, then in other cities of England, Ireland & Scotland, then lecture a year in America, for I had grown used to the work & no longer minded it, but the unspeakable bereavement which has befallen me in Susie’s death has necessarily quenched all desire to continue on the platform. I shall not lecture anywhere this fall or winter [MTP].

October 2 Friday – In London, Sam wrote a short note to Percy Spalding:

No, we’ll not have the contract stamped. Disagreements & misunderstandings between the Garths & us are not possible. We are two pairs of constitutionally just & fair-minded people [MTP: TS: Anderson Auction Co. catalogs, Nov. 25, 1930 Item 48].


Note: Spalding is mentioned in Sam’s Oct 4-18 letter to Chatto: “you & Mr. Spalding are fair dealers,” suggesting Spalding was a member of the firm. Sam’s Oct. 9 laundry list of house repairs to Douglas Garth suggests he was either the landlord of the Tedsworth Sq. house or an agent for the property; the contract being the lease and “stamped” likely akin to being witnessed and/or recorded.


October 3 Saturday

October 4 Sunday


October 4-18 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to his English publisher, Andrew Chatto:

To-morrow or next day Mr. William Wilson an old Scotch friend & present neighbor of mine will call upon you business-wise, with a manuscript book. I promised him that you would read it; and told him that if you liked it & wanted it he would find that you & Mr. Spalding are fair dealers.

Sam added that Harper gave permission for Chatto to use the “Californian’s Tale,” and if there was a hurry he could let him have his type-written copy. Sam also thanked him for “the copper-plate letter” which had arrived [MTP].


October 5 Monday – This is the likely day the Clemenses and Katy Leary took possession of a small house at 23 Tedworth Square, Chelsea, in southwest London. Sam’s Oct. 6 to Rogers states they were now “settled in a house.” They kept their address a secret, using Chatto & Windus for a return address and closing themselves off from nearly everyone. Sam’s Sept. 27 to Rogers said they would move into the house “in about a week,”; Oct. 4 would have been exactly one week, but a Sunday move was unlikely.

Edward M. Bunce (Ned) wrote a letter of condolence on Conn. Mutual Life Ins. letterhead of Susy’s passing. Ned spoke of Susy’s character, of her stay with them and of seeing her at the Warner’s; he also told of a last talk he had with her on the piazza there [MTP].


Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton:

I shall take the dedication as a very high compliment, & I thank you sincerely for it in advance. We are all so pleased with what you said about Joan [of Arc]. How it would have delighted Susy! For she took as personal an interest in that book as if she had written it herself, not merely inspired a part of it.

Sam related buying Harper’s Monthly in S. Africa and Australia until Livy found it lacked Hutton’s section, so she told him to order the home edition when they reached England. He’d neglected to do so but promised to order it “this moment.”

Keep Susy’s memory green — & her response to the pat of your hand upon her head; for she, like her sisters, always loved you. In the privacy of the family circle their name for you was always “Uncle Larry” [MTP].


October 6 Tuesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

The proposed Bliss-contract has arrived, & is so entirely satisfactory that I shall be very glad & quite at rest in my mind the day that it is signed & goes into effect. Thank you ever so much for pushing it to this hopeful condition.

Sam was relieved to hear “good accounts from Mrs. Broughton” (Clara Rogers) that the “little fellow” was all right. He also thanked Rogers for “keeping track” of the PW play in Livy’s interest, and had hope for its continuation (Edwin Mayo did not succeed with the play after the death of his father Frank).

We are at last settled in a house, after scouring London several weeks. It only just exactly holds us — not an inch of spare room. However, we’ll put up a bed in the drawing-room for you and Mrs. Rogers when you come.

Sam then disclosed his address, counting Rogers, J. Henry Harper and Katharine I. Harrison as “trustworthy fellows” deserving of the secret [MTHHR 239]. Note: a “Bliss-contract” survives with a Nov. 1896 date but it did not go into effect until Dec. 31, 1896. See MTHHR Appendix C for the text of the contract.

Clara Clemens wrote of the house on Tedworth Square, Chelsea, London:

It was a very quiet part of London and Father succeeded in maintaining complete seclusion, with the exception of two, or three intimate friends, who came frequently to visit him. They were Poultney Bigelow, a Mr. McAlister, and two gentlemen that he had known in India. His work occupied him most of the time. He used to rise as early as four or five o’clock in the morning. Never did he write more continuously. I am sure he felt that it was his only protection against brooding on Susy’s death. …

      It was a long time before anyone laughed in our household, after the shock of Susy’s death. Father’s passionate nature expressed itself in thunderous outbursts of bitterness shading into rugged grief. He walked the floor with quick steps and there was no drawl in his speech now [MFMT 178-9].

October 7 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper about the piece “The Californian’s Tale,” which the Authors Club was claiming he gave them for an 1893 publication, The First Book of the Authors Club, Liber Scriptorum. Sam claimed he gave them only a two-year use of the sketch. It was a piece he’d written in 1892 in Bad Nauheim, Germany, but the germ of the story dates back to Angel’s Camp in the winter of 1864-5 [Wilson 11].

In these days of mourning I am not so combative; & so for the present I will not contend with the Authors’ Club for the confiscated property.

      I lent them an article worth four or five hundred dollars. They claim that I gave it — & instance as proof: A circular — which I know nothing about, and which cannot bind me.

Sam added that Arthur Stedman’s claim about not remembering a promise of two years was correct — for it was Sam who made the provision, not Steadman, “not his affair.”

This is the second time that I have been caught. Years ago I lent an article to Gill for the Lotos Club book [Lotos Leaves]. Later, when I wanted to use it he promptly answered my notification with a threat to prosecute me. But I used it all the same.

Sam added after his signature that the Authors Club’s whole case was based on a circular and that “anybody can issue a circular” [MTP]. See also Dec. 22 to Hutton.

October 8 ThursdayH.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter not extant but mentioned in the Oct. 20 to Rogers [MTHHR 240].


October 9 Friday – At 23 Tedsworth Square in London Sam wrote to Douglas Garth about problems with the house they’d rented: the chimney was “broken and canted into the form of an elbow,” driving them out of the drawing-room when they tried to build a fire. Sam also wanted to pay for having some electric wire strung to hook up two or three lightbulbs in the room. Other than those needs Sam wrote,

We find ourselves most comfortably housed, & very very glad to be settled at home [MTP].


October 10 Saturday


October 11 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore responding to a recent letter. Whitmore hadn’t enclosed a newspaper notice of Susy that he said was enclosed. Livy wanted to leave the matter of the rugs in the Farmington Ave. house in Ellen O’Neil’s charge to take care of. He also agreed that they wanted the furnace & ceilings to be safe, but wanted to “let the expense stop there.”

We mustn’t let any harm come to those Barneys — Providence will attend to that for them without any of our assistance [MTP].


Clara Clemens wrote of Sundays after the move to their rental house:

A Sunday in London looked like an array of misspent hours, particularly the quarter where we lived. Father would take Jean and me for a walk by the side of the river or into Regent’s Park. But everywhere we met an atmosphere of world-loneliness. Poor women seated aimlessly and alone on benches, even when the air was cold and damp. A stray cat, a stray leaf, a stray — Oh, everything looked adrift and unattended. It was on such days that Father created the habit of vituperating the human race [MFMT 180-1].

October 12 MondayHarper & Brothers wrote that they’d had no response to their May 12 question as to whether they might include some of Sam’s essays in a volume for their “Contemporary Essayists” series. Sam’s enclosure answer to them in his Oct. 13 to Rogers, would suggest Sam answered the May 12 letter, not this one [MTP].


October 13 Tuesday – At 23 Tedsworth Square in London Sam wrote H.H. Rogers.

I enclose answer to Mr. Harper’s question. You can retain it if you prefer, and convey the decision to him by your own hand.

      Well, you do have a time of it trying to make Bliss and Harper trot in harness together! First one and then the other breaks over the traces when you are least expecting it. Bliss’s turn next — I wonder what he will do, this time [MTHHR 240].


Note: the question referred to was whether Harper might put certain of Sam’s essays into a book in the series of “Harper’s Contemporary Essayists.” Sam gave his permission as long as the material in question was also used again in his own books [n1]. See May 12 and Oct. 12 letters from Harper.


Sam sent a letter that was solely a PS to Franklin G. Whitmore — probably an afterthought to his Oct. 11 letter.

P.S. Please send me all letters of condolence that arrive, no matter whence or from whom [MTP].

October 14 Wednesday


October 15 Thursday – In London Sam sent a one-liner to an unidentified person: “Can be used to filled up a crack” [MTP]. Note: something is missing here.


October 16 Friday – In London Sam wrote to Edward M. (Ned) Bunce, sharing shock and sorrow over the loss of Susy.

Ah me, you knew how rare she was, & how far you would have had to go to find her peer.

We are so glad you had that last talk with her — it will be a grateful memory with us. …I have not forgotten, & shall not forget, that time that you and Henry Robinson offered to help me when all others failed [MTP].


Note: Sam likely referred to his last trip to Hartford to seek financial help, right before Dr. Clarence Rice arranged the first financial meeting with H.H. Rogers, Sept. 12-13, 1893.

Sam also wrote to Edmund C. Stedman. He offered some lines of poetry he’d found in Susy’s papers, and asked if they were new to him or not. Susy normally put quotation marks around borrowed material, but these verses had none, so Sam was assuming she’d written them, and he wished to use them in a “brief life of our daughter…for private circulation among our relatives.” He also addressed the matter of his withdrawal from the Authors Club and the misunderstanding about the “Californians Tale” which appeared in The First Book of the Authors Club; Liber Scriptorum (1893) Stedman edited. Sam didn’t want Stedman to think he quit the club over the matter, but that it was for economy’s sake.

As for the Liber Scriptorum matter, it is not a thing which can be resolved by correspondence, but only by conversation & a calm examination of the matter — & not by excitable men, but men with a lucid mind & the ability to use it judicially, like Rossiter Johnson. / Sincerely Yours / SL Clemens [MTP].


Note: Rossiter Johnson (1840-1931) American editor from Rochester, N.Y; prolific author, historian and officer of Authors’ Club for fourteen years. He was associate editor (1873-77) of the American Cyclopaedia, editor (1883-1902) of the Annual Cyclopedia, and managing editor (1886-89) of the Cyclopedia of American Biography. He originated and edited the “Little Classics” (18 vol., 1875-80) and was editor in chief of “The World’s Great Books” (40 vol., 1898-1901). He also lectured widely and wrote a variety of books.

October 17 Saturday

October 18 Sunday


October 19 Monday – Sam signed a “Reader’s Guarantee Form” for the Chelsea Public Libraries, in effect, a library card, giving his address as 23 Tedworth Square and his occupation as “private.” See a reproduction of the form in the Fall, 1998 MTJ p.31


October 20 Tuesday – In London Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus about material (unspecified) he’d sent, asking them to “look it over & see if it will do.” After his signature, some clue as to what he’d sent:

This Diary is full of underscorings (for use on the platform) PAY NO ATTENTION TO THEM [MTP].

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.

Yours of Oct. 8 [not extant] arrived last night. By George I am glad your patience is holding out. I should have been buried before this if I had had to conduct the negotiations with the Harpers. You tell me not to give up. All right, I won’t; at least I won’t until you think the time has come for it. You’ll be in a position to know.

      Also I’ll try not to worry over the Webster matters, though I perceive that there is formidable load of debt on me. It is bigger than I thought. When I left America I thought $40,000 would set me clear of debt; and it was my purpose to put in 200 nights on the platform in America and pay it off. But my trip has taught me that I am too old a wreck for such a job. I should break down almost at the start.

      I find, now, — or seem to find, per the statement sent me by Miss Harrison — that my debt was nearer $70,000 than $40,000. In which case, I need not dream of paying it. I never could manage it.

Sam had thought the assets from Webster & Co. would have retired half of the $80-90,000 debt [actually $79,704.80] but it only paid some 35% of it [actually 27.7%]. He also discussed Mrs. Custer’s claim and noted she’d been paid $547 of $1,800 owed. He also thought that Bainbridge Colby had allowed the Grants to enlarge their claim beyond the $700 he recalled owing. He also expressed relief that the Mt. Morris Bank and George Barrow had both declined to accept 50%, because he expected to be dead before he could ever pay them. As to the amount he felt Daniel Frohman owed him:

Colby will never collect the money that is owing to me by that Lyceum Theatre Jew. It has been lying in the Court’s hands for years. Just as soon as we are through with Colby, I would like Wilder to go for that money. Hubbell is that Jew’s lawyer. The two will make a fine fight. If Colby’s senior, Russell, were dead, Colby would be the head idiot of this century; and I wish Russell would die and give him a chance.

Looking forward to the US election on Nov. 5, Sam wrote if they elected William Jennings Bryan and his program of free silver, that he might wait and settle some of his debts on a more “economical basis.” Evidently Rogers had expressed support for the Republican candidate who never left his home in Canton, Ohio from the nominating convention to the election, William McKinley — for Sam asked,

Are you wanting this political fight to go against me?


Sam included a note to Katharine Harrison thanking her for the statement sent (probably enclosed in Rogers’ Oct. 8, and asked for verification that Mrs. Custer’s claim was $1,800. Did the Webster assets pay 35% of the debt? Also, he was very sorry he missed seeing her when she was in London. [MTHHR 241-2].

DeWitt Miller wrote to Sam on letterhead of The Union League of Philadelphia, asking about the lines for Susy’s headstone, “of which you made an adaptation” [MTP].


October 21 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote to Frank Bliss:

As I understand the idiotic law, the renewal of a copyright is not possible until the original one lacks 6 months of running out.

Sam wondered if it wasn’t nearly time to renew IA, and asked Bliss to check and to renew it if he originally did; otherwise, Sam would renew, if told how to proceed. After his signature he added, “Am writing the new book” [MTP]. Note: Sam had sent a renewal application to Spofford on Aug. 11, but perhaps was not certain it would be valid.

October 22 Thursday – Gribben writes that Sam discovered the book The History of a Slave (not further identified) in the London Library [315; NB 39 TS 32]. Also found, Sir Basil Home Thomson’s The Diversions of a Prime Minister (1894) [702; NB 39 TS 12]. Sam also noted he’d withdrawn a copy of William Knighton’s The Private Life of an Eastern King, etc. from the London Library [Ibid.]. See also Jan. 21. He also checked out Travels of Two Mohammedans Through India and China in the Ninth Century (author unidentified) [Ibid.]


Sam’s notebook contains a title this date for John Robert Seeley’s The Expansion of England; Two Courses of Lectures (1883) [Gribben 620; NB 39 TS 12].

Livy wrote to Alice H. Day

Ever since your letter came I have been trying to write and say when I could see you, but — Alice dear, I am sure you will understand when I say that I am afraid I cannot see you at all. I long in many ways to see you & hear you talk of Susy & yet — I cannot. I had looked forward with so much pleasure to our all being together again here at this time, your girls & our girls and now my world is dark. I cannot find Susy & I cannot find the light. [Livy also expressed that few knew how much Susy meant to her; that the 25 letters from Susy during the year were more like love letters than the sort one would receive from a daughter] [MTP].

October 23 Friday


October 24 Saturday – In London Sam wrote in his notebook:

Wrote the first chapter of the book to-day — Around the World [MTB 1026; NB 39 TS 14]. Note: FE.


October 25 Sunday – In London, Livy wrote to Mary Mapes Dodge. 

How well I remember the evening at Puddinhead Wilson your coming into our box. You sat there some time chatting with us before you recognized Susy. Then you leaned forward and said, “Why Susy is this you??” She gave a little pleased self-conscious laugh, and my mother’s heart was proudly touched because the tone of affection with which you said “Susy” [MTP].


October 26 Monday – At the Tedworth Square house in Chelsea, London, Sam began work on the manuscript of Following the Equator [Dec. 18 to Rogers]. Note: he may have started even earlier, as he added a note to Bliss on Oct. 21 that he was working on it.

He also wrote to Chatto & Windus, supposed they hadn’t received the Bourget-Max O’Rell article he’d sent by messenger. He had another piece for them:

To-day I received from America & am posting to you the Californian’s Tale [from Rogers] in good clean print — the original from the Author Club book. You won’t need to worry the printer with that mangy type-written copy now.


Sam also wanted a note struck out which preceded Tom Sawyer, Detective, the note explaining the story was true though the scene not the real scene. Sam felt it looked “like an attempt to make the reader believe true what” he failed to make sound true [MTP].

After his signature Sam wrote:

I am immersed in work.

My address has been discovered.

 — G — — — d — — —

October 27 Tuesday – In London Sam sent a postcard to Chatto & Windus asking if they’d received the printed “Californian’s Tale” and the amended Bourget article which he’d mailed [MTP].

Sam also wrote to J. Henry Harper asking him to give only “Care Chatto & Windus” as his address.

We wish to remain strictly in hiding. To make sure of the Monthly, the Weekly & the Bazar, I would like to have them sent to this private address, if you will.

      I am most sincerely obliged to you for putting me on the gratis list for these; & the family are equally thankful with me.

      “The Californian’s Tale” has arrived, through Mr. Rogers. / Sincerely… [MTP].


October 28 Wednesday


October 29 Thursday – In London Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus.

1. Please send me two proofs of Max O’Rell [Bourget] article. I wish to send one to Harper.

2. When am I to send next cheque for rent? To whose order shall it be drawn? And won’t it be best for me to send it through you? Also, what is the amount?

Sam also asked if they’d seen the review of JA by Walter Besant, and did they have a copy of it. He’d learned from a letter that it was being reprinted in St. Louis newspapers with large display headings [MTP]. Note: Sam’s questions about the rental house suggests that it was secured for him by his English publisher, and that Douglas Garth, to whom he addressed the chimney problems on Oct. 9, was likely an agent rather than the landlord. The first rent check likely included a partial period (£90.2.0. See Oct. 31).

Sam also wrote to J. Henry Harper:

It occurs to me that you may have rights in this matter. But whether you have or not, will you take hold of it on the terms proposed by you as to distribution of the profits in the case of Daly & Joan of Arc? By the way, I never heard anything more of the Daly matter after sending the cablegram about it from South Africa. This is the severalth time that Daly has asked to dramatize a book of mine & then got his sanity back again. …I would like to have the small note at the head of Tom Sawyer Detective struck out. It is too likely to put the readers mind in an attitude of suspicion [MTP: paraphrase, Henkels catalogs Apr. 23 1924 Item 68].


Sam also wrote to Florence Hayward who had invited the Clemenses to visit.

Our wound is too deep, & too recent; we do not visit; we see nobody, friends or other. It will be many months before we shall have heart to face the world again. Understand — & forgive.

Sam added that her speech was “charming” and “delicious,” and convinced him of the falsehood that women could only perceive humor and not produce it [MTP].

Note: Florence Hayward (1865-1925), St. Louis native and journalist. At this time she was the London contributor to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St. Louis Republican. She wrote extensively for American and English magazines.

October 30 Friday


October 31 Saturday – In London Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus.

Am very much obliged. I enclose the house-rent cheque drawn to your order, for £90.2.0. I believe this completes the payment of the house-rent for the first 6 months. Mr. Garth’s address is — — — damn, I’ve begun on the wrong page — is / 3 Polstead Road / Oxford.

Sam added after his signature a request for them to tell any inquirers that he was “entirely out of the lecture field” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Douglas Garth:

I am writing Messrs. Chatto & Windus to attend to the rent for me Monday. The matter had not escaped my mind, but I was lazy [MTP].


November – Gribben writes,

At the end of a list of books that Clemens read in London in November 1896 appears “2 Years in F. — Lytton Forbes” (NB 37, TS 26). Subsequently he quoted from Forbes’ book (merely citing “Forbes’s ‘Two Years in Fiji’”) in chapter 8 of FE (1897), where he presented Forbes’s account of two foreigners who mysteriously appeared in Fiji and whose homeland could never be determined. [235] Note: Arthur Forbes, Two Years in Fiji (1875).


Sam’s notebook refers to John Gerard’s new book, What Was the Gunpowder Plot? Which re-evaluated the evidence against Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) in a conspiracy against James I. Sam wrote:

A book is just out by a Cath priest which shows (proves) that history has done some large but awkward & unscientific lying in the G.F. matter [Gribben 256; NB 39 TS 20].

Also, Sam’s reading that he undertook in London during November included Arthur NicolsWild Life and Adventure in the Australian Bush: Four Years’ Personal Experience (1887) [Gribben 508; NB 39 TS 26].

Another book in the Nov. list is Berthold Carl Seemann’s Viti: An Account of a Government Mission to the Vitian or Fijian Islands, in the Years 1860-1 (1862). Yet another book listed as recent reading in London, Alfred Russel Wallace’s Australasia (1878).


November 1 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, thinking that perhaps J. Henry Harper was “disgruntled” because he was “purposing” to give the new book (FE) to Frank Bliss.

My goodness, have I gone and weakened your hands! I didn’t know you were holding back a card in Tom Sawyer, Detective; and so when the Harpers wrote the other day to ask about how to fill out that book — what to use as padding, that is — I answered and told them to fill it out with anything they pleased (for in fact I was getting pretty impatient with the delay). Dear me, a year ago I was taking comfort in the fact that at last I was in the hands of the Harpers, but in truth I am feeling less restful about it now.

Sam advised Rogers to sign without waiting to hear from Livy on any agreement with Harpers, that he and Livy would be satisfied with his judgment. Sam wanted FE to be by subscription, which meant only Bliss could make it go, as Harpers was exclusively to the trade, that is, to buyers in bookstores. He wanted a cable when the Bliss-Harpers contracts were signed. Writing would be his income now, and he felt he had “several books” in his “skull” and he meant “to dig them out,” including his Autobiography which he felt should be sold by subscription.

Since I am cut off from the platform I am thinking much more about creating an income for my family than I am about paying creditors. That is not Mrs. Clemens’s attitude, but it is mine [MTHHR 243-4].


November 2 Monday – In London Sam wrote to Bram Stoker, asking that a man be fired:

As you may know, I have lately lost my eldest daughter. For this reason I & my wife go nowhere & see nobody; otherwise I would call upon you or ask you to visit me.

      My object in writing this note, is, to say to you that the large blonde man with spectacles who was selling seats in your box office this afternoon at half past 4 or 5 grossly insulted my two daughters by his brutal & surly behavior, & I wish to ask you if it is your intention to discharge him, & if it is your purpose, to do it at once.

Sam asked for the name of the man so he might “make future use of him in print,” and called the man a “mangy cur” and “a hog” The “offense” of the Clemens girls was to try and buy cheap seats for 4s. “He shall not die uncelebrated, if I can help it” [MTP].


Sam’s notebook for this day:

Nov. 2, the first cook applied yesterday. Good but not honest. When I was busy making statistics to show that the 4 or 5 cooks per day who advertise for places are all that the 5,00,000 of London have to choose from, & that that was the reason my ad was not answered, a Londoner said, “23 Tedworth Square — you say that is all the address you gave?” “Yes.” “Well, that accounts for it. Tedworth is only 12 years old — a new name, you see — nobody has ever heard of it — not even the cabmen. You shd have added Chelsea — then you’d have an applicant or so…[NB 39 TS 13].

November 3 TuesdayWilliam McKinley defeated Williams Jennings Bryan in a campaign centering on free silver. Sam had hoped the silver men would win out, thus allowing him to pay his creditors with somewhat devalued currency (H.H. Rogers was a McKinley man).

November 4 Wednesday Sam’s notebook for this day:

Clara went with Mrs. Hopekirk Wilson yesterday & saw a young English girl of 20 (pupil of Letzitinski’s) play before an audience for the first time. The girl’s name is Goodson, Clara says she is not pretty, but has a most interesting face [NB 39 TS 19]. Helen Hopekirk Wilson (1856-1945).


November 5 Thursday


November 6 Friday – In London Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

I am very glad indeed that the contract is accomplished at last, both for your patient indomitable sake and for my sake — I can work the better now. And I am glad of what you say of Harry Harper. He always seemed to me to be a frank and straightforward man and a man of a good heart and an obliging disposition.

Sam sympathized with four-year-old Henry Rogers Benjamin’s broken arm, and then mentioned the US election results.

I perceive that Brer McKinley has arrived. I supposed he would. Now then, let us have a quiet spell for a while, if we can [MTHHR 244-5].


November 7 Saturday – Two copies of Tom Sawyer, Detective were received by the U.S. Copyright Office. The earliest copies of the first edition were published in Nov. or Dec. 1896 [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” The Stolen White Elephant and Other Detective Stories, Afterword materials, p.27 1996 Oxford ed.].


November 8 Sunday – In London Sam wrote to Henry C. Robinson, grateful and touched by a speech Robinson made. He remarked how it would have stirred Susy.

It was a beautiful speech, dear old friend, & I am glad you thought of me & sent it to me. I could see you — see you plainly, & hear every note of your voice, every inflection [MTP].


November 9 Monday


November 10 Tuesday Katharine I. Harrison wrote to Sam, responding to his Oct. 20 note enclosed with his letter to Rogers.

Dear Mr. Clemens:

I enclose a letter from Mr. Colby which I thought might be of interest. I have been trying to find out about Mrs. Custer’s claim, but cannot succeed in getting hold of Mr. Colby. I will follow it along and as soon as I get anything, send it along [MTHHR 242n3] Note: Colby responded that he doubted the assets of Webster & Co. would pay 35% of the debt, but at the very least 30%. (It actually paid 27.7%.)

H.H. Rogers wrote to Livy enclosing the Bliss-Harper contracts. If they met with her approval would she sign and return by early mail. He also provided a blank contract for her to keep [MTP].

Rogers also wrote to Sam, advising him of the contracts sent to Livy, and repeated what he wrote Livy, that he had “done the very best that I could under the circumstances.” He advised that he and John D. Archbold were going to the oil fields of Ohio and Indiana. He also expressed relief about McKinley winning the election and felt that politicians had been running the country “for a good many years” and it was time someone with “business sense should be exercised” and felt the country was “on the right track” [MTHHR 247-8]. Note: Rogers reportedly raised a fund of five million dollars to help with McKinley’s victory [n1].


November 11 Wednesday – In London Sam heard Israel Zangwill lecture and entered in his notebook:

Went out to Swiss Cottages, per underground RR with Smythe, & heard Zangwill on the Jewish Ghetto. Very fine & bright. Knowledge boiled down. Pemmican in fact. Substance enough in it to furnish forth 5 ordinary lectures [Gribben 796; NB 39 TS 23].

November 12 Thursday


November 13 Friday – In London Sam sent a clipping and short request to Chatto & Windus asking for a copy of A Sketch of the Natural History of Australia (1896) by F.G. Aflalo [MTP]. See Gribben 12.

In the evening Sam also wrote to Andrew Chatto Jr.

Dear Mr. Chatto junior:

You know about bicycles & I and my daughters don’t. We are going up into Regent street to lay in a couple for family use.

Sam wanted to call on the boy to “get the benefit of” his judgment [MTP]. Note: This note and the one to Stoker about the theater tickets reveal that the Clemens girls were quicker to come out of mourning than their parents. Harnsberger (p.171) writes that Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, acting together in London, sent passes for the Clemens girls to use.


November 14 Saturday

November 14 Saturday ca. – In London on or about this day Sam wrote a short paragraph to Frederic W.H. Myers. Significantly he gave his Tedworth Square address, which heretofore he’d kept secret.

6 p.m. Tuesday the 17th will suit me exceedingly well. But it seems very unfair to make you come to me to do me a favor.

Sam suggested he might come to Myers [MTP]. The nature of the favor or Myers identity is not given.


November 15 Sunday — Sam’s notebook for this day:

At Bram Stoker’s, 18 St. Leonard’s Terrace. Anthony Hope was there [NB 39 TS 25].


November 16 MondayFrank E. Bliss for American Publishing Co. wrote Sam that the copyright for IA “will not be legally ripe for renewal before Jan. 29th 1897.” The former copyright was taken out in the company’s name; this time it would be taken out in Sam’s name with quick assignment made to Livy to avoid complications from the bankruptcy. Bliss asked when the new book might be completed. [MTP]. Note: Sam asked Bliss to refer back to this letter on Jan. 19, 1897 in London when enclosing an application for renewal of copyright on IA.


November 17 Tuesday – In London Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus that he’d finished the proofs, and wanted to send the proofs of the Bourget article to Harpers once they had been corrected and made ready for the press [MTP].


November 18 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote two short notes to Chatto & Windus. In the first he noted “The book has come. Many thanks,” and enclosed something he wished to “shove” into the material going to Harper’s, not revealing he’d written it. In the second note he changed his mind:

I think it better to suppress the squib I mailed you to-day. It is not worth the powder, & moreover I find that the position taken is not invulnerable [MTP].


Sam also wrote to the London Chronicle editor, enclosing a clipping about James M. Barrie (1860-1937), and his works being pirated in America.

There is copyright in America for the writings of all English authors. If Mr. Barrie’s books have been debauched there by the pirate it is no one’s fault but Mr. Barrie’s. That he should have allowed even one of his books to be raped is a strange thing; that he has looked indifferently on & seen the “most” of the family dishonored is a still stranger thing, & almost moves one to ask, Why cross the Atlantic to throw bricks when the person principally to blame is here & handier? / An American [MTP].

November 19 Thursday


November 20 Friday – In London, Sam had received the Bliss-Harper contracts from H.H. Rogers and considered them for three hours before responding to Rogers.

The contracts clear my head.

I had the impression that the Harpers could use all of my Bliss books; & that my ‘Round the World [FE] would fall into their list, too, after a reasonable time. I had the notion that all the books would be sold by both parties, but that Bliss would sell them in uniform sets only.

      However, I see it isn’t so. I don’t know why. I suppose Bliss was the objector.

      And he objects to the additional clause proposed by Harper. I don’t know why. He ought not to object, I should think.

Sam felt “it would be dangerous to try to alter these contracts,” and felt they should be signed and sent. He added that he’d designed FE as a subscription book from the beginning, a book for those who never go to bookstores, and if it didn’t pay him $30,000 in the first six months, then Frank Bliss and his brother lacked “their old father’s push and efficiency” [MTHHR 249-50]. Note: MTP lists this as ? date; Sam’s Nov. 24 to Rogers states he had been considering the contracts for four days, so this date is assigned here.

November 21 Saturday


November 22 Sunday – In London Sam wrote a letter of thanks to the junior Andrew Chatto for the bicycles he’d helped secure. He wrote that his daughters were “charmed with the machines” and the family thanked him. He asked the sum of what he owed for them so he might send a check [MTP].


November 23 Monday


November 24 Tuesday – In London Sam wrote to the Players Club. His note ran in the Dec. 31, 1896 N.Y. Tribune.

Oh, thank you, dear boys for remembering me, and for the love that was back of it. These are heavy days and all such helps ease the burden. I glanced at your envelope by accident, and got several chuckles for reward — and chuckles are worth much in this world. And there was a curious thing; that I should get a letter addressed “God-Knows-Where” showed that He did know where I was, although I was hiding from the world, and no one in America knows my address, and the stamped legend “Deficiency of address supplied by the New York P.O.,” showed that He had given it away. In the same mail comes a letter from friends in New Zealand addressed, “Mrs. Clemens (care Mark Twain), United States of America,” and again He gave us away — this time to the deficiency department of the San Francisco P.O. These things show that our postal service has ramifications which ramify a good deal. / Mark [MTP].


Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.

In one of your letters of Nov. 10 you favor the execution of the contracts, but in your other of the same date you “urge us to consider carefully the matter of making terms with Harper for all time.” I take this latter to mean, drop Bliss entirely and publish my new book and future books with Harper alone.

Sam outlined three “projects” and wished he could talk them over with Rogers. Was he coming over? Or would Bliss come over? Sam and Livy had discussed the contracts for two days and thought that before signing that they should be amended in four ways, which he detailed. The other “project” was a scheme to have Harper’s issue the Uniform Edition. Under the heading “PROJECT No. 3” it’s as if Sam realized he was muddying the waters and further burdening Rogers:

By gracious, I’m appalled! Here I am trying to load you up with work again, after you have been dray-horsing over the same tiresome ground for a year. It is too bad; and I am ashamed of it.

      Tell you what — if you approve, let’s do this. Won’t you put on a separate paper, in legal phrase, the things which I have suggested in PROJECT No. 1 and No. 2, and ship the paper to me and tell Bliss (not his brother) to come over here. Then I will discuss with him, and if there is a result I will submit it to Chatto and his lawyer before letting Mrs. Clemens sign the papers.

      How does that strike you? Is it not fair to let you waste any more time on Bliss.

      Mrs. Clemens’s leanings are all toward the Harpers — she doesn’t believe in Bliss. I add this in fairness to her. But I keep insisting that if I fail to compromise with Bliss this time I can never get my books together and never get the income from the old books augmented.

After his signature Sam asked if Bainbridge Colby, assignee for the Webster & Co. bankruptcy was on salary.

If so, let us not get in a hurry — it wouldn’t be any use. I’d like to have our Broughton baby educated to succeed him when he dies in the harness of old age.

      This letter bears date to-day, but it took me four days to study out the situation. Mrs. Clemens and I thought it best to take time and go into the matter carefully [MTHHR 251-3].

Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore in what is an obvious response to a letter not extant, but about matters previously corresponded of.

I think you did extremely well in the matter of the furnace. I was dreading the expense, but am relieved now. 

      I am curious to know what action John Day will take in the matter of that bill. There were breakages — but we shall never get anything out of him on that score, I’m afraid.

Sam was pleased about a dividend paid by “W.U.” (Western Union?) and also enclosed “a little bill” he wanted Whitmore to pay. After his signature he suggested that John Day be solicited to estimate the value of the few pieces of valuable glass breakage; if an offer close or reasonable were offered, Whitmore was advised to “hesitate a little, but take it” [MTP].

November 25 Wednesday


November 26 ThursdayThanksgiving – In London Sam wrote in his notebook:

We did not celebrate it. Seven years ago Susy gave her play for the first time [MTB 1027].

He also wrote to Emilie R. Rogers (Mrs. H.H. Rogers)  “For & in behalf of Helen Kellar…” (Sam was consistent in misspelling Helen Kellers name.)

Experience has convinced me that when one wishes to set a hard-worked man at something which he mightn’t prefer to be bothered with, it is best to move upon him behind his wife. If she can’t convince him it isn’t worth while for other people to try. …

      It won’t do for America to allow this marvelous child to retire from her studies because of poverty. If she can go on with them she will make a fame that will endure in history for centuries. Along her special lines she is the most extraordinary product of all the ages. …

      So I thought of this scheme: Beg you to lay siege to your husband & get him to interest himself and Messrs. John D. & William Rockefeller & the other Standard Oil chiefs in Helen’s case; get them to subscribe an annual aggregate of six or seven hundred or a thousand dollars — & agree to continue this three or four years, until she has completed her college course.

Sam then disclosed Eleanor Huttons plan to raise a permanent (and much larger fund) for Keller and her teacher, Miss Anne Sullivan, to live off the interest. He wouldn’t argue against such a plan but thought it would be a “difficult & disheartening job” to raise that much. Sam asked Emilie to “plead with Mr. Rogers for this hampered wonder of your sex, & send him with plenary powers to plead with the other chiefs.” He added after his signature that Laurence Hutton was “close by and handy” to her, on the staff of Harper’s Monthly [MTHHR 253-4].

Sam then wrote to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton). He explained why he could not go out and solicit funds for Helen Keller — that they were still in hiding and saw no one, keeping his address unknown so that he might work on his “long book” (FE). He told her of writing Mrs. H.H. Rogers and asking her to employ her husband to “lay the case” before the other Standard Oil magnates for a temporary annual fund for Keller.

This is still a house of mourning, & will remain so, wholly unmodified, until Susy’s father & mother fall heir to the best thing in the treasury of life, which is death [MTP].


Sam’s notebook for this day:

We have now been in this house 2  months, but nothing can persuade this fool postoffice to send Mr. Garth’s letters to his new address any oftener than 4 days in the week — the other three they come here [NB 39 TS 27].


November 27 FridayLivy’s 51st birthday. Sam wrote Livy a short note “With worlds of love” to her:

We have lost her, & our life is bitter. We may find her again — let us not despair of it. God knows how much poorer were by this loss than we were before; but we still have the others, & that is much; & also we have each other, my darling, & this is riches.

      This is the blackest birthday you have ever seen: may you never see its mate, dear heart [LLMT 328].


November 28 Saturday Sam’s notebook for this day:

Nov.  28. Yesterday Livy saw a clearly defined but ghostly picture of the dwelling on the corner next below us hanging high in the heavens, & called all the house but me to see the “mirage.” I said I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. We could have raised the 5,000,000 of London to look at it; stopped all traffic & cost the world a million dollars in 5 minutes — the effects would be felt commercially to the utmost corners of the globe & the pockets of 100,000,000 would be affected by it. So she was glad I missed it [NB 39 TS 27].


November 29 Sunday


November 30 Monday – Sam’s 61st Birthday.

Livy wrote to Andrew Chatto Jr. “Enclosed please find the check for the Swifts [bicycles] which you so kindly helped us to get. I think my daughters find cycling quite another thing now that they have their own machines” [MTP].


December – Sometime during the month Sam wrote through Livy to Chatto & Windus asking if they’d send him Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery, and charge it to his account [MTP].

Sam also inscribed a copy of Tom Sawyer, Detective (Chatto & Windus 1897) to Bram Stoker: To B.S. from M.T. with warm regards. London, December, 1896 [MTP].

December 1 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook entry: Slam at Geoffrey Hamlyn [Gribben 374; NB 39 TS 29]. Note: see Jan. 8, 1896 entry about this book of Henry Kingsley. Another entry: Trials of Mutinous Convicts (book) [Gribben 713; NB 39 TS 28]. Note: this is an unidentified book titled, Trials of Mutinous Convicts.


December 2 Wednesday

December 3 Thursday

December 4 Friday


December 5 Saturday – In London Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper:

You lately mentioned “Merry Tales.” If is isn’t too late, please squelch that title & call the mess by some other name — almost any other name. Webster & Co. invented that silly title [MTP].


December 6 Sunday

December 7 Monday

December 8 Tuesday


December 9 Wednesday – In London Sam wrote per Livy to Franklin G. Whitmore.

Mr. Clemens wants me to ask you if you will inquire at Bundy’s old photograph shop and ask if they have the negative of a picture that was taken of Susy in 1891. …

      Mr. Clemens is working every day but he finds it rather up-hill work [MTP].

December 10 Thursday

December 11 Friday


December 12 Saturday – In London Sam wrote to Col. Andrew Burt whom he’d met at Ft. Missoula on the American leg of his world tour. As were most of his letters from this period, the stationery bore a black mourning border.

We are miserable in our oldest daughter’s death. She died while Mrs. Clemens and Clara were flying (a figure of speech) to her across the Atlantic. She would not have died if we had been there [Koelbel 64].


December 13 Sunday Sam’s notebook for this day:

London, Dec. 13, ’96. To-night at dinner Clara told of meeting a lady (Scotch, I think) at Mrs. Hopekirk Wilson’s to-day, who told her about a remarkable young relative of hers — (a young girl, friend of Mrs. Wilson’s a few years ago in Leipzig This said young girl was studying there — violin — as has turned out to be fine on that instrument. But suddenly she began to draw & paint (without instruction), & threw all her heart into it & lost her passion for music. Somebody showed one of her pictures to the great Watts, R.A., &he said he must see her at once; she must be his pupil (he never would take pupils) & be his successor & continue his work [NB 39 TS 32].

December 14 Monday

December 15 Tuesday

December 16 Wednesday

December 17 Thursday

December 18 Friday – In London Sam wrote through Livy to Chatto & Windus.

Will you kindly send me eight cloth copies of “Joan” two of The Prince & Pauper & two of the Yankee at the Court of King Arthur & charge to my account [MTP].


Sam also wrote to H.H. and Emilie R. Rogers, now blaming Hartford people for Susy’s death.

This is a line to wish you Merry Christmas.

I do not wish this family one, for the wish would achieve nothing in that line. We are bearing Susy’s wholly unnecessary death as well as we can. The hard part to bear is the knowledge that if she had been with wise and thoughtful friends those last six months instead of with fools the other sort, she would be as well to-day as she was when we left her. …

      I myself can keep cheerful — much more so than the others — for I have my work. I work seven days in every week, and seldom go out of the house. I don’t rush, and I don’t get tired, but I work every day and sleep well every night. I got to work on the book at the earliest possible moment — October 26 — and I have not missed a day since [MTHHR 255].

Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, who evidently had written that the matter of breakage with John and Alice Day was resolved. Sam answered:

I am glad it came out so handsomely — & I am particularly glad there is to be no rupture of the relations existing so many many years between the families. However, there would have been none — because Mrs. Clemens always said she would not allow me to do or write anything that could wound Alice Day; & she would have kept her word. I had come to greatly like John in Etretat, & am very glad I don’t have to get to work to unlike him.

Sam also reported he’d written a third of his book (FE). He also expressed hope that the new tenants (Barney’s) would stay in the house a year or two until they decided what they were going to do [MTP].

December 19 Saturday – In London Sam added a PS to his Dec. 18 letter to Franklin G. Whitmore, that he’d forgotten to direct the disconnection of certain electric lights on the ombra and in front of Patrick McAleer’s quarters at the Farmington Ave. house. Sam also thought Patrick, after living rent-free for five years, had some nerve to charge $5 for repairing his roof; Sam thought Patrick “poor stuff.” He also asked who took the inventory of the Farmington house and was it “good & complete?” [MTP].


December 20 Sunday

December 21 Monday


December 22 Tuesday – In London Sam wrote to Laurence and Eleanor V. Hutton.

I am powerful glad you have spared that poor girl [Helen Keller] over the shoal place. I had every confidence that Mr. & Mrs. Rogers would be found ready for business when the watch was called. 

Sam also expressed surrender about the piece, “The Californian’s Tale”:

I can’t ever touch it again. It has left a bad taste in my mouth. The article is my property, to do as I please with, whenever I get ready. But I shall never do anything in the matter. Earlier I would have enjoyed this opportunity to try conclusions with those people [Authors’ Club; Stedman, et al]; but my fighting days are over, now. Squabbling over trifles has lost its charms [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Emilie Rogers (Mrs. H.H. Rogers):

It is superb! And I am beyond measure grateful to you both. I knew you would be interested in that wonderful girl [Helen Keller], and that Mr. Rogers was already interested in her and touched by her; and I was sure that if nobody else helped her you two would; but you have gone far and away beyond the sum I expected — may your lines fall in pleasant places here and Hereafter for it.

      The Huttons are as glad and grateful as they can be, and I am glad for their sakes as well as for Helen’s.

Sam also thanked Rogers for his work on the Bliss-Harper contract, and that they would sign at his signal [MTHHR 255-6]. Note: Helen Keller was supported in her work at Radcliffe.

Sam’s notebook for this day:

It took piles of blankets to keep us warm last night. It was as cold as it would be at home at 30° – yet it was really only 52°. I brought the thermom from the dressing-room, where there was a fire; it was marking 59 [NB 39].


December 23 WednesdayLivy wrote to Chatto & Windus, “Will you kindly place to my credit in the City Bank, Old Bond St. one hundred pounds (£100.) deducting the same from the four hundred pounds I have in your hands” [MTP].


December 24 Thursday – In London Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus:

I would like to have a copy of Olive Schreiner’s (& her husband’s) little book (political) — forgotten the name of it — published a couple of months or such a matter ago — by Fisher Unwin [MTP]. Note: Olive Schreiner and Samuel Cron Cronwright-Schreiner The Political Situation [In Cape Colony] (1896) by London publisher, T. Fisher Unwin. See Gribben 608.

H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam:

I have been out of town and ill and had other things to annoy me, hence my neglect in writing you. At last I have a letter from Bliss, copy of which I enclose which I think meets the questions you raised in your letter of the 24th of Nov. or at least, as near to the same as I can get. Bliss in closing up his letter says, these are all the points I raised with him, (which is not quite true,) but as much as I was able to get him to yield. …. Please read Bliss’s letter, and if the same is acceptable, sign the contracts and I will attach Bliss’s letter to your copy of the contract and it will therefore become part of it.

Rogers also confirmed the help given to Helen Keller through Eleanor Hutton’s efforts, and related a Lotos Club dinner where he’d discussed the matter with Laurence Hutton.

I don’t imagine that you will have a very Merry Christmas, but certainly all our wishes are that you may. Remember me with much kindness to Mrs. Clemens and your daughters … [MTHHR 255-7]. Note: Sam would answer this letter on Jan. 4, 1897.


December 25 Friday – Christmas – In London Sam wrote in his notebook:

LONDON, 11.30 Xmas morning. The Square & adjacent streets are not merely quiet, they are dead. There is not a sound. At intervals a Sunday-looking person passes along. The family have been to breakfast. We three sat & talked as usual, but the name of the day was not mentioned. It was in our minds, but we said nothing [MTB 1027].

Clara Clemens wrote of this period that “We did not celebrate Thanksgiving day or Christmas, but,


“Wet with silent tears

      Those graves of memory where sleep

      The joys of other years.” [MFMT 184].

December 26 Saturday

December 27 Sunday

December 28 Monday


Livy wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks in Providence, R.I., a letter which seems like a response to one not extant from Mary.

We are going on as well as we can. We even talk to each other and smile and perhaps a stranger coming in would not see that we are a broken-hearted family, yet such we are and such I think we must always remain. This is of course the first terrible staggering blow that we have had and I realize that for me there can be but one worse.

      Mr. Clemens is going on with his work but he has found it very up hill work. Now however I think he is getting a little bit more interested in it. I wish I were where I could sit by you and have a little talk with you. I write this in place of Mr. Clemens because I try to take all letters off his mind. He goes to his study directly after breakfast & works until seven o’clock in the evening [MTLMF 278].


December 29 Tuesday


December 30 Wednesday – A man with an indecipherable signature from Ad. Goerz & Co. of Berlin (in London) wrote to Sam noting he was sorry to have missed him “the other day” when Sam called.

Sam wrote on the envelope, “New Zealand & Austral. / unpubl.” [MTP].


December 31 Thursday



She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not what you would call unrefined.

She was the kind of person who keeps a parrot. –FE ch. 57

He was as shy as a newspaper is when referring to its own merits –FE ch 6

“Classic.” A book which people praise and don’t read. –FE ch. 25

There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it,

and when he can. –FE ch. 56

There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice. –FE ch. 36

Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth. –FE ch. 59

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. –FE ch. 52


Editor’s Note


And so we leave Mark Twain in the early twilight of his life, working on his last and least successful travel book, Following the Equator, using work as a sedative for prolonged grief at the loss of daughter Susy, still expatriated and bruised from the failure of his publishing firm, hiding out in London, fatigued from an exhausting world tour, and feeling every one of his 61 years.


David H. Fears