Vol 2 Section 0020

Note: First print runs often contain egregious errors and omissions. In the interest of historical accuracy, several errors have been corrected since the first print run of Vol. I, and, together with accumulated additions and notes, are summarized here; they are also included here Vol. II.

Corrected spellings: “Wooley” has been changed to “Woolley,” both for Hartford undertakers and Hartford livery services. William T. Hamersley has been changed to William J. Hamersley (James). 

September 1838 is moved to September 1841 for John Marshall Clemens jury duty service in the trial of George Thompson, Alanson Work, and James Burr. (No change is made in the listing save for the move to the correct year and an additional citation of Wecter, p.72.)

September 4, 1843Vincent Hudson was the murderer in this Hannibal killing.


November 6, 1845 addition – Record of Jimmy Finn’s death.

March 14, 1846 additionWilliam P. Owsley, was acquitted of murdering Samuel Smarr by a Palmyra jury [Wecter 108].

August, 1846 addition – Hannibal slave dealer William Beebe sued and gained a judgment against John Marshall Clemens for $126.50 stemming from debts for the store [Wecter 112].

November, 1846 additionsJohn Marshall Clemens chaired a citizens’ committee to promote a macadamized road between Hannibal and St. Joseph, Mo. [Wecter 110].

Henry La Cossitt, new to Hannibal, established the Democratic Gazette [201].

November 5, 1846 addition –Hannibal Gazette announced John Marshall Clemens’ candidacy for clerk of the circuit court in 1847’s election.

Winter of 1846-7 addition – Now president of the Hannibal Library Institute, John Marshall Clemens worked for the establishment of a Masonic college in Hannibal [Wecter 111].

December 17, 1846 addition – Hannibal slave dealer William Beebe was granted a writ of attachment ordering the sheriff to sell “the goods and chattels and real estate of the said John M. Clemens” [Wecter 112].


March 11, 1847 addition/correctionJudge Ezra Hunt of the Circuit Court at Palmyra “accepted John M. Clemens’reasonable plea that his own unpaid claims against Beebe be considered as an offset to Beebe’s demands upon him — and with that decision the case fades from the records” [Wecter 112]. John Marshall may have traveled to Palmyra for this hearing and got caught in a sleet storm returning [115]. This was reported as just March in the first printing.


April 12 MondayOrion leased the house on Hill Street from James Clemens, Jr., a wealthy St. Louis cousin, who bought some of John Marshall’s property [Wecter 102]. Jane and children moved back into the Hill Street house. Sister Pamela, (named for an aunt and sometimes spelled “Pamelia,” and always pronounced as such) now twenty, had been giving piano and guitar lessons in the villages of Florida and Paris, Mo. (Sam became proficient in both) She moved back to take care of her mother Jane.


April 23, 1847 addition – The Marion County Court appointed Orion administrator of John Marshall Clemens’ estate [Wecter 120].

July 23, 1850 addition Aunt Martha Ann (Patsy) Quarles died. She was Jane Lampton Clemens’ sister. Less than two years later, John Quarles sold his farm [Wecter 290n20]. (Reported before as month only.)


December 29, 1851 – A piece by Orion datelined “Near Glasgow, Ky., Dec. 29, 1851” ran in the Journal on Jan. 22, 1852 upon Orion’s return, showing that he left Hannibal on his fruitless trip to Tennessee, somewhat before this date, probably just after Christmas [Wecter 242].


September 8, 1860 correction – “Special River Correspondence” ran in the St. Louis Missouri Republican but is not now believed to be written by Sam [marktwainproject.org notes with Aug. 1, 1876 to Cist].


November 5, 1860 correction – This is correct birth date for Samuel Erasmus Moffett, not Nov. 1 as in first printing. Also corrected in text.

March 27, 1861 – Added citation: [ET&S 1: 12].


July 2, 1861 addition – Orion Clemens received final instructions for his appointment as secretary of Nevada Territory [RI UC 1993 574].

UPDATES FOR: Trip Out West From July 26, 1861 to Aug. 14, 1861

Information added from Orion’s journal of the trip and other materials is found in the 1993 UC edition of RI, Supplement A, p.769-81. Orion’s Journal has been lost, but on Sept. 8, 1861, a few days after arriving in Carson City, Orion copied the journal, probably in its entirety, into a letter for his wife Mollie. Some of Orion’s entries correct entries in the first printing of MTDBD Vol. I.; several add important information Sam did not include in RI itself. The entire section is redone here from both RI and Orion’s journal. Instead of using “1 days out, 2 days out….19 days out,” changes are made to “2nd day out, 3rd day out,” etc., to be more in keeping with the language and chronology of RI and Orion’s journal. The reader should understand that RI was written with Orion’s journal entries in hand, requested by Sam to Orion in a letter of Mar. 10, 1871.

July 26 Friday – Sam and Orion leave St. Joseph for Nevada on the Overland Stage.

By eight o’clock [a.m] everything was ready, and we were on the other side of the river. We jumped into the stage, the driver cracked his whip, and we bowled away and left “the States” behind us. It was a superb summer morning, and all the landscape was brilliant with sunshine [Ch 2, Roughing It].


Left St. Joseph. Started on the plains about ten miles out. The plains here are simply prairie [Orion 769].


July 27 Saturday 2nd day out – The coach broke down and was repaired.

By and by we passed through Marysville [KS], and over the Big Blue and Little Sandy [creeks]; thence about a mile, and entered Nebraska. About a mile further on, we came to the Big Sandy — one hundred and eighty miles from St. Joseph….As the sun was going down, we saw the first specimen of an animal known familiarly … as the “jackass rabbit.” He is well named. …and has the most preposterous ears that ever were mounted on any creature but a jackass [Ch 3, Roughing It].

Crossed the Nebraska line about 180 miles from St. Joseph. Here we saw the first Jack Rabbit. They have larger bodies, longer legs and longer ears than our rabbits [Orion RI 1993, 769].


July 28 Sunday 3rd day out

So we flew along all day. At 2 PM the belt of timber that fringes the North Platte and marks its windings through the vast level floor of the Plains came in sight. At 4 PM we crossed a branch of the river, and at 5 PM we crossed the Platte itself, and landed at Ft. Kearney, fifty-six hours out from St. Joe – THREE HUNDRED MILES! [Ch 4, Roughing It].


Saw the first prairie wolf, and first antelope, and first prairie dogs and villages. Also came in sight of the long range of Sand Hills. 2 P.M. Timber of Platte in sight. 7 miles further arrived at Ft. Kearney, 296 miles from St. Joseph [Orion RI 1993, 770].


July 29 Monday 4th day out

Along about an hour after breakfast we saw the first prairie-dog villages, the first antelope, and the first wolf. If I remember rightly, this latter was the regular coyote…The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede (Ch 5, Roughing It).


Saw the first Indians, 75 miles from Kearney, with Buffalo skin wigwams, the hide dressed on both sides, and put up on poles, sugar loaf shape. Here we found Buffalo robes at three to six dollars, beautifully dressed, and some of them wonderfully large. This is the Buffalo region, and robes are higher as you go further, either east or west. Saw an Indian child’s grave on a scaffold about eight feet from the ground, supported by four stakes. Sand Hills and Platte river still in sight [Orion RI 1993, 770].

July 30 Tuesday 5th day out


…we arrived at the “Crossing of the South Platte,” alias “Julesburg,” alias “Overland City,” four hundred and seventy miles from St. Joseph — the strangest, quaintest, funniest frontier town that out untraveled eyes had ever stared at and been astonished with (Ch 6, Roughing It) .


Arrived at the “Crossing” of the South Platte…at 11 A.M….. Saw to-day first Cactus. 1:20 P.M. across the South Platte [Orion RI 1993, 770].


July 31 Wednesday 6th day out


…just before dawn, when about five hundred and fifty miles from St. Joseph, our mud wagon broke down. We were to be delayed five or six hours, and therefore we took horses, by invitation, and joined a party who were just starting on a buffalo hunt. It was noble sport galloping over the plain in the dewy freshness of the morning, but our part of the hunt ended in disaster and disgrace, for a wounded buffalo bull chased the passenger Bemis nearly two miles, and then he forsook his horse and took to a lone tree (Ch 7, Roughing It).

Sunrise. Court House Rock, Chimney Rock, and Scott’s Bluffs, in sight. At noon passed through Scott’s Bluff’s pass, 580 miles from St. Joseph. This was the first high ground, since entering upon the plains. All was vast, prairie, until we reached Ft. Kearney. Soon afterwards, we struck the barren region, and thenceforward we had a level expanse covered with sage brush…. After we crossed the South Platte we found a great deal of cactus…. About 6 P.M., crossed the range of Sand hills which had been stretching along our left in sight, since Sunday. We crossed this long low range near the scene of the Indian mail robbery and massacre in 1856, wherein Babbitt alone was saved, though left for dead [Orion RI 1993, 770].

August 1 Thursday 7th day out


We passed Ft. Laramie in the night, and on the seventh morning out we found ourselves in the Black Hills, with Laramie Peak at our elbow (apparently) looming vast and solitary – a deep, dark, rich indigo blue in hue, so portentously did the old colossus frown under his beetling brow of storm cloud. 676 miles out from St. Joseph (Ch 9, Roughing It).


Found ourselves this morning in the “Black Hills,” with “Laramie Peak,” looming up in large proportions. This peak is 60 miles from Fort Laramie, which we passed in the night. We took breakfast at “Horseshoe” station, forty miles from Fort Laramie…After dinner we climbed to the yellow pines. This afternoon passed, near La Parelle station, the little canon in which the Express rider was last night when a bullet from the Indians on the side of the road passed through his coat. …At noon we passed a Morm[on] train 33 wagons long. They were nooning [Orion RI 1993, 770].

August 2 Friday 8th day out

About midnight, at a station we stopped to change horses, a dispute arose between our conductor and four drivers who were at the Station. The conductor came to me for a pistol, but before I could hand it to him, one of the men came up and commenced cursing him. Another then came up and knocked the conductor down, cutting a bad gash in his upper lip…. I had not heard the fuss before the pistol was called for, and supposed it was the Indians, who, it was said, would be dangerous along this part of the road. The four drivers were drunk [Orion RI 1993, 771].

August 3 Saturday 9th day out – This is the date for the breakfast at Rocky Ridge station with the desperado Joseph Alfred (Jack) Slade, written about in RI ch. X 80-9 (1996 Oxford facsimile of first ed.) [MTL 4: 196n2].

Saturday, Aug. 3. Breakfast at Rock Ridge Station, 24 miles from “Cold Spring,” and 871 miles from St. Joseph. A mile further on is “South Pass City” consisting of four log cabins, one of which is the post office, and one unfinished. Two miles further on saw for the first time, snow on the mountains, glittering in the sun like settings of silver [Orion RI 1993, 771]. Note: In his Mar. 11, 1871 letter to Sam, Orion confessed that they had seen Slade at Rocky Ridge, but at the time had not known who he was: “There was nothing then in a name to attract us to Slade, and yet I remember something of his appearance while totally forgetting all the others” [778].


August 4 Sunday 10th day out Sam and Orion ate a memorable meal at Green River station — fresh antelope steaks, hot biscuits, and good coffee. Years later they said it was the only meal on the trip between St. Joseph and Salt Lake that they were “really thankful for.” A stagecoach inn state park and museum now invites tourists in Fairfield, Utah.


Crossed Green River. It is something like the Illinois, except that it is a very pretty clear river. The place we crossed was about 70 miles from the summit of the South Pass. Uinta mountains in sight, with snow on them, and portions of their summits hidden by the clouds. About 5 P.M. arrived at Fort Bridger, on Black’s fork of Green river, 52 miles from the crossing of Green river, about 120 miles from the South Pass, and 1025 miles from St. Joseph [Orion RI 1993, 771].

August 5 Monday 11th day outOrion’s journal:

52 miles further on, near the head of Echo Canyon, were encamped 60 soldiers from Camp Floyd. Yesterday they fired upon 300 or 400 Utes, whom they supposed gathered for no good purpose. The Indians returned the fire, when the soldiers chased them four miles, took four prisoners, talked with and released them, and then talked with their chief. Echo Canyon is 20 miles long, with many sandstone cliffs, (red) in curious shapes, and often rising perpendicularly 400 feet.

      4 P.M., arrived on the summit of “Big Mountain,” 15 miles from Salt Lake City, when the most gorgeous view of mountain peakes yet encountered, burst on our sight.

      Arrived at Salt Lake City at dark, and put up at the Salt Lake House. There are about 15,000 inhabitants. The houses are scattering, mostly small frame, with large yards and plenty of trees. High mountains surround the city. On some of these perpetual snow is visible. Salt Lake City is 240 miles from the South Pass, or 1148 miles from St. Joseph [Orion RI 1993, 771-2].


August 6 Tuesday 12th day out – The brothers rested in Salt Lake City. Sam and Orion’s layover at Salt Lake allowed them to bathe and stock up for the remainder of the trip. After donning white shirts, the pair was introduced to Brigham Young (1801-1877). Sam described Young as “a quiet, kindly, easy-mannered, dignified, self-possessed old gentleman…” [Roughing It, Ch. 13]. Note: no entry was made in Orion’s journal for this day.


August 7 Wednesday –From Orion’s journal:

Bathed in the warm spring. Mountains in the morning, Southwest and East enveloped in clouds [Orion RI 1993, 772].

Frank Fuller (1827-1915) would be in Utah, and was even acting governor for one day. Sam would be greatly aided by Fuller later in New York, and often called him “governor.” In 1906 Sam mistakenly recalled meeting Fuller in Salt Lake, but Fuller did not arrive there until Sept. 10, 1861. The Frank who showed the Clemens brothers around was Francis H. Wootten, then secretary of Utah [MTPO].

[Wootten] gave us a very good time during those two or three days that we rested in Great Salt Lake City. He was an alert and energetic man; a pushing man; a man who was able to take an interest in anything that was going — and not only that, but take five times as much interest in it as it was worth, and ten times as much as anybody else could take in it — a very live man [MTA 2: 350].


Brigham Young’s office journal for this day:

Br. Wm. Clayton, introduced: Mr Clements [sic] Secy of the Territory of Nevada who was on his way to Carson, accompanied by his Brother & Capt. G.T. Hicher & Secy Wootten of this Ter. And one other gentlemen. / They conversed with Pres. Young & Wells principally about this Territory situation of Big Cotton wood Lake, the health of the Country [RI 1993, 595].

August 8 Thursday – Orion’s journal shows the Clemens brothers moved on early from Salt Lake City.

Arrived at Fort Crittenden — (Camp Floyd) 8 A.M., 45 miles from Salt Lake City. Arrived at the edge of the desert, 95 miles from Salt Lake City, at 4 P.M. [Orion RI 1993, 772].


August 9 Friday 15th day outOrion’s journal:

Sunrise. Across the desert, 45 miles, and at the commencement of the “little Desert.” 2 o’clock, across the little desert, 23 miles, and 163 miles from Salt Lake, being 68 miles across the two deserts, with only a spring at Fish Creek Station to separate them. They are called deserts because there is no water in them. They are barren, but so is the balance of the route [Orion RI 1993, 772].

August 10 Saturday16th day out – Sam encountered the Goshute Indians,  “at the entrance of Rocky Canyon, two hundred and fifty miles from Salt Lake.” Sam never cared much for Indians (Roughing It Ch.19). Orion’s journal reported that this night was “very cold”:

Arrived in the forenoon at the entrance of “Rocky Canyon,” 255 miles from Salt Lake City [Orion RI 1993, 772].

August 11 Sunday 17th day out – Orion wrote that the driver informed them that the mountain peaks they passed this day were the highest they’d yet seen. The night was “very cold” though the days were “very warm.” 

…we passed the highest mountain peaks we had yet seen, and although the day was very warm the night that followed upon its heels was wintry cold and blankets were next to useless [RI ch. 20].


August 12 Monday 18th day out

…we encountered the eastward-bound telegraph constructors at Reese River station and sent a message to His Excellency Governor Nye at Carson City (distant one hundred and fifty-six miles) [RI ch. 20].


August 13 Tuesday 19th day out


…we crossed the Great American Desert – forty memorable miles of bottomless sand, into which the coach wheels sunk from six inches to a foot. We worked our passage most of the way across. That is to say, we got out and walked [RI ch. 20].


August 14 Wednesday – Noon: the pair arrived in Carson City, Nevada. The 20-day trip is recounted in Roughing It. The Clemens brothers boarded with Mrs. Margret Murphy, a “genial Irish-woman…a New York retainer of Governor Nye” [MTB 176]. Note: Bridget O’Flannagan in RI [RI 1993, 613].


Note: In 1860 the population of Carson City was a mere 701 souls and VirginIa City 2,437; in 1861 Carson had doubled to 1,466; Virginia City had exploded to 12,704 [Mack’s Nevada: a History of the State, 1936].

Sam once visited the Chinese Free Mason Hall in Carson, probably shortly after arriving [Jones 364].

END UPDATES FOR: Trip Out West From July 26, 1861 to Aug. 14, 1861


October 25, 1861 correction – James Moffett corrected to James A.H. Lampton [MTL 1: 134n3].

December 1, 1861 addition –Sam sold a black horse with white face to William H. Claggett (Billy) for $45 [MTL 1: 169n18]. Note: Thought to be the original “ Genuine Mexican Plug” of ch. 24, RI.


December 4, 1861 addition – Sam acknowledged payment for completion of term as clerk [ET&S 1: 12].


July 13, 1862 addition –An Aurora correspondent, probably Sam, reported that the Wide West mine and the Pride of Utah mine had “run together.” The Pride men “built a fire of such aromatic fuel as old boots, rags, etc., in the bottom of their shaft, and closed up the top, thus converting the Wide West shaft into a chimney,” which temporarily stopped work [RI 1993, explanatory notes 643].


August 7, 1862 addition – Sam sold his mining interests to Judge George Turner. From a Christie’s sale (Lot 59 Sale 8444; May 17, 1996; avail. Online) a document written and signed by Samuel Clemens:

By this indenture “Samuel L. Clemens of Mono Co., Cal.,” agrees to sell to “George Turner, of Carson City, Nevada Territory” for $1,000 his interests in “certain veins or lodes of rock containing precious metals…gold and silver bearing quartz, rock and earth therein.” In the blank space provided Clemens has carefully listed the shares (measured by feet) in 15 different claims (the names of which reflect the geographic origin of the prospectors): “Fifty (50) feet in the Sciola; 62 ½ in “Ottawa;” Fifty (50) in the “Allamoocha”; 6 ¼ in 1st Ex. S. “Winnomucca;” 25 feet in the “Tom Thumb;” 50 in the “Fresno;” 12 ½ feet in the “Horatio;” 100 feet in the 1st N.E.Ex. Fresno;” 50 feet in the “Rosetta;” 100 in the “Potomac;” 12 ½ in the “Daniel Boone”; 12 ½ feet in the “Boston”; 12 ½ in the “Great Mogul;” 12 ½ in the “Long Island;” 25 feet in the “Mountain Flower.” [See also MTL 1: 233n4 and 235n2.]


May 16, 1863Corrected citation: [MTL 1: 256n1; ET&S 1: 248-9].


July 24, 1863 additionOrion’s term as acting governor of Nevada Territory ended [ET&S 1:465].

March 6, 1864 addition – The Weekly Occidental may have had as many as seven editions. The first five, from Mar. 6 to Apr. 3, 1864 [RI UC 1993 explanatory notes 678].

March 10, 1864 additionJoseph Alfred Slade (Jack) was hanged at Bannock City, Idaho [RI UC 1993 587].

August 12, 1864 addition – Branch writes that Lewis P. Ward was “probably…responsible for Clemens” joining the Olympic Club. “Ward was a compositor for the Alta California and a “well known gymnast” [C of the Call 223].

October 21, 1864 addition –Sam had to pay an assessment of $100 on four shares of Hale and Norcross stock [RI 1993, explanatory notes 701].

End of July 1866 addition (note…placed between July 29 entry and July 30 entry.)


Relating to the diaries of Methuselah and Shem, which were part of a larger project Sam conceived in the late 1860s is this passage in his notebook:

Conversation between the carpenters of Noah’s Ark, laughing at him for an old visionary — his money as good as anybody’s though going to bust himself on this crazy enterprise [MTNJ 1: 147}.

The passage stands alone; it is evidence to the beginnings of Sam’s attempts to rewrite the Bible on his own terms, attempts that culminated in such works as “Captain Stormfield,” “Letters from the Earth,” and “What is Man?” The age Sam lived in, due to great scientific and technological advances, was one of conflict between science and Christian Biblical belief. Sam was a product of that age and was troubled by what he saw as fallacies in Scripture, though ironically he was influenced more by the Bible than any other book.

October 31, 1867 possible addition –Sam gave one performance in Virginia City. The Longmont, Colo. Ledger of Oct. 10, 1879 ran a story in “Mark Twain’s Testimonial,” in which Sam was greeted before his lecture by a committee of three, that asked him to meet at the “old place,” a saloon, after the lecture. Supposedly he did go and was presented with a silver brick, which stunned him with gratitude until he discovered it was covered with tinfoil [MTJ, Spring 1989 p 33]. Note: This story was not confirmed with other sources, and due to the newspaper article coming twelve years after, may be apocryphal.

January 15, 1867 addition – In 1890 Sam gave this as the date he first saw Edward H. House. If Sam’s memory 23 years later was accurate, this corrects the February 1867 only entry [Feb. 5, 1890 to Sage] In his Feb. 16, 1896 to Charles H. Webb, Sam confirmed January, 1867 in N.Y. [MTP].

February 5, 1868 correction – Article in the Alta date corrected to Jan. 11, 1868 [MTL 2: 623 1868s].


April 28, 1868 additionConrad Weigeand (1830-80), Gold Hill assayer, is identified as the giver of the silver bar [1993 UC RI p.760-1].


October, 1869 addition – The text of an interview with ex-Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, And Attorney General Brown. The supposed discussion was the Alabama question, but Sam was present and wrote the real discussion was about the most effective way to remove warts. Attributed to MT in the Oct. 1869 issue of Wood’s Household Magazine [Tenney 162; Neider, MT Life as I Find It 36-7; Gale 409].

January 11, 1870 addition An empty envelope from Oliver Wendell Holmes for this date was found in Sam’s notebook # 29. It was addressed to “Mark Twain Esq. (Care of Samuel Clemens)” at the American Publishing Company in Hartford. The postmark was “Jan. 11,” the year “probably” 1870 [MTNJ 3: 483.]


Correction for 1871 Begin year ­– Sam’s A Burlesque Autobiography did NOT first appear in “Memoranda” in the Galaxy.

May 9-14, 1872 addition – While in Cleveland, Sam signed the visitor’s register for the Cleveland Club. No date is put to his entry [www.liveauctioneers.com/item/1279827; Oct. 15, 2005 auction].

March 8, 1873 correction (not 1872) –The Alta California ran the first printing of Sam’s, “Poor Little Stephen Girard.” This is sometimes reprinted as, “Life As I Find It” [Budd, Collected 1014].


May 19, 1873 addition – Sam and Charles Dudley Warner secured a dramatic copyright for The Gilded Age, seven months before the novel was published [Thomason, MT Encyc. 229].


June 18, 1873 addition –At 11 p.m. in London, Sam wrote to Joaquin Miller:


My Dear Miller: Haven’t received the diploma, but would like exceedingly to go with you tomorrow night if I possibly can — & I feel sure I can. The only thing in the way is, that I may possibly not be able to finish a newspaper letter in time on which I am engaged. If you’ll come by for me I can at least talk a bit about Bliss if I can’t leave home. Bliss will make as much money for you as any publisher, & I think considerably more than any other publishers. / PS I enclose picture for Lord Houghton’s daughter [Christie’s Lot 102 Sale 1216 April 8, 2003; avail. Online]. Note: Richard Monckton Milnes, First Baron Houghton, editor of Keats and a literary figure of note; Miller had introduced him to Sam.


June 28, 1873 addition – Sir Frederick Pollock’s Personal Remembrances (1887) p. 252-3:


28th June [1873]. –Luncheon at home. Lady Castletown, Madame Mohl, Clemens (Mark Twain) and his wife, Joaquin Miller, G.S. Venables, George Cayley [MTJ 42:1 (Spring 2004) 5].


July 16, 1873 addition – In London, Sam and Livy attended a garden party at the home of George MacDonald, clergyman and novelist. In a July 10 invitation to Livy, Louise MacDonald (Mrs.) described the party:

The 16th — Wednesday aft — is the day on wh we are going to act our play we call it our July Jumble — our programme includes the inhabitants from some of the courts of Mary-le-bone — some of the elite of St James’ doctors lawyers clergymen artists and this year those Jubilee singers from Nashville College are coming [MTNJ 1: 564n1].


September 19, 1873 – Sam dated his double signature with “London” to an unidentified person [liveauctioneers.com/item/104701; Sept. 6, 2003].


February 5 to 12, 1874 note: – No letters have been found for this period. MTL 6: 30n1, explains this may be due to Sam’s expressed desire on Jan. 31 (made to Frank Fuller) that he was “entirely idle” and planned to “remain so for two weeks & possibly three.”


October 8, 1874 additionSam wrote to William Dean Howells, the letter unrecovered but an enclosure about the Olympic Theatre survives and may be read at [MTL 6: 627-30].


January 29, 1875 additionSam wrote to William Dean Howells, the letter unrecovered but enclosure by Charles Warren Stoddard, “Lingering in Venice” survives and may be read at [MTL 6: 630-6].


Summer 1874 addition ­(page 456) – Omitted in Volume I is mention of Sam first reading British Author William Edward Hartpole Lecky, and his History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne. Gribben lists volume I signed, “T.W. Crane/1874 New York” [400]. Baetzhold traces Lecky’s influence in Tom Sawyer as well as Huck Finn and places Sam’s first reading of Lecky as “probably during the summer of 1874” [MT & John Bull 54]. This is likely, given the above inscriptions as Crane’s dates of acquisition, and given the other notable books they shared this summer (page 456 Vol. I). Paine writes that the two men “read Lecky avidly and discussed it in original and unorthodox ways” during this summer at Quarry Farm [MTB 511]. Sam would be greatly influenced by Lecky’s later A History of England in the Eighteenth Century (1887-1890) in eight volumes (see Gribben 400-403).


May 9, 1875 correctionOlivia Clemens commenced a letter to her mother on May 9, 1875 from Hartford: “Mr. Clemens is reading aloud in ‘Plato’s Dialogues’ — so if I write incoherently you must excuse it” [Gribben 549]. Previously reported as May 5, 1875.

July 19, 1875 addition Sam wrote check #173 to N.W. Hunter for $171.05 drawn on the First National Bank of Hartford [www.liveauctioneers.com].

July 21, 1875 addition – Sam submitted a synopsis of Tom Sawyer, A Drama to the Library of Congress. Since the synopsis encompasses most of what would make up the published book, Norton concludes it shows all the essential work on the book was completed ten months earlier [Writing Tom Sawyer 21].

September 18, 1875 addition – Sam sent an autograph-letter to an unidentified person.

Will you please excuse the delay. Yours Truly [eBay Nov. 6, 2008 item 360096514257].

October, 1875 addition –Sam inscribed a copy of IA: To Mrs. P.T. Barnum / from / Your Friend / Saml L. Clemens / Mark Twain / Oct 1875 [www.liveauctioneers.com/sothebys/item/589972; Dec. 11, 2006].

January 5, 1876Moncure Conway wrote from Boston of his plans to be in Hartford for three lecture dates, Jan 18, 22 and 23, with possibly others in nearby cities like New Haven.

We will talk over the book when we meet in the intervals of b-ll-r-ds. By the way, we think b — ds a good Sunday pastime in London — especially holy (perhaps because our tables have holes) — but I suppose that at Farmington we should make the old Puritan gods turn over in their graves by the click of anything that did not give pain [Marktwainproject.org].


January 18, 1876 additionMoncure Conway arrived in Hartford to pick up a copy of the Tom Sawyer manuscript to carry to England for publication there [Norton, Writing Tom Sawyer 30]. Conway had also

received three lecture dates in Hartford and wanted to stay with the Clemenses, at least part of the time. He wrote Sam from Boston on Jan. 5 of the lecture dates and in anticipation of billiards at the Clemens home. From the recently added 1876 annotations on marktwainproject.org:

Sponsored by Hartford’s Unitarian Society, Conway lectured at Allyn Hall on “Demonology, or the Natural History of the Devil,” “Science and Religion in England,” and “Oriental Religions; Their Origin and Progress” on 18, 22, and 23 January, respectively, staying with the Clemenses while he was in Hartford. The book Clemens wanted Conway to offer to an English publisher was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , the American edition of which was in production at the American Publishing Company in Hartford. For Conway’s own gloss of “Dissenters’ trouble,” see L6, 600–1. The famous diary that Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) began keeping in shorthand in 1659 was first deciphered and published in part in 1825 (Hartford Courant: “Amusements,” 17 Jan 76, 2; “The Devil: Mr. Conway’s Lecture on Demonology,” 19 Jan 76, 1, 4; “Mr. Conway’s Lectures,” 24 Jan 76, 1; L6, 585–86; Pepys 1825).

January 24, 1876 additionMoncure Conway ended his stay in Hartford. He would sail to England on Mar. 11 taking the Tom Sawyer MS in search of an English publisher.

February 26, 1876 correction Sam wrote from Hartford to Moncure Conway, answering his Feb. 22 and confirming Conway’s visit for Mar. 9. Conway had finished a fall and winter lecture tour on “London,” [MTL 6: 600n1] and would leave for England on Mar. 11 to make a deal with a publisher for Tom Sawyer. Sam was “entirely recovered” from his bout with dysentery, though Susy had “a tilt with diphtheria.” Sam had also gone to bat for Conway on a lecture pay dispute with the Elmira YMCA [MTLE 1: 27]. (corrected Conway’s leave from “soon leave” to Mar. 11)

March 11, 1876 addition to entry Moncure Conway sailed for England with Sawyer MS in hand [Norton 31].

October, 1876 addition – The German edition of Tom Sawyer was published in Leipzig by F.W. Grunow [Norton, Writing Tom Sawyer 90].

January, 1877 addition – Sam’s poem, “The Curious House that Mark Built,” was published in The Traveler’s Record, an in-house insurance trade monthly of the Travelers Insurance Co. Budd puts this to January [Our MT 49]. Added under 1877 year entry.


January 13, 1877 – The first substantial review following the American Publishing Co.’s release of Tom Sawyer on Dec. 8, 1876 ran in the New York Times. Unsigned and cursory, it noted:

…a truly clever child’s book is one in which both man and boy can find pleasure. No child’s book can be perfectly acceptable otherwise.

July 30, 1877 correction – This entry took no notice of Livy’s letter to Sam dated July 29 — she did not “chasten Sam for not writing” but cautioned him not to “talk against Mr. Harte to people” [LLMT 203-4].

November 1, 1877 correction – This reference is not to Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), Hartford-born grandniece of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who did not become a Gilman until 1900.

January 2, 1878 correction – Sam and Livy and Lilly Warner saw Howells’ play A Counterfeit Presentment at the Hartford Opera House, not in Boston as was reported in the first print run.

June 2, 1878 addition – Sam wrote about the family to Susan Crane; Livy added a few lines:

There are three great handsome dogs here, & a litter of puppies. The mother-dog is very cross, but the father-dog isn’t. I said there was nothing strange about this difference of disposition, as the dogs were not kin to each other. But Bay spoke up and said, “O yes they are, papa — the Mother-dog is the father-dog’s brother.”

Lately Livy has whipped Bay with the heavy stem of one of my pipes. The other day she had occasion to discipline Susie — had her weapon ready. Poor Susie observed it, & said with simple pathos that she wished we had brought the paper cutter from home, “because she was better acquainted with it” [MTP]. Note: “Bay” was Clara’s nickname.

June 5 and 6, 1878 addition – MTP’s Fables of Man, p. 144 gives this for “The Lost Ear-ring”: “The tale begins with the date 6 June 1878, and the verso of manuscript page 13 bears the heading ‘Schloss Hotel Heidelberg, June 5’”.

March 11 or 12 1879 addition – In a Dec. 7, 1893 letter to Sam, Francis Davis Millet referred to the time in Paris Sam stood up for him at his wedding and the wedding breakfast, revealing that he’d not been at the breakfast: “…as I have a telegram…and can’t be here myself you’ll have to speak for me as you did at the wedding breakfast” [MTP].


March 30, 1879 addition – Sam and daughter Clara wrote to Jane Lampton Clemens and Pamela A. Moffett, this a similar letter written to Olivia Lewis Langdon the same day. Clara’s letter is noteworthy:

Well, that I’ve got a dress, & a new one, & is silk & got gold buttons, & that I’m bigger’n thicker’n I was before, & that I got a great big doll, & that t’isn’t broken yet; & that I got a horse, & its broken; the car came off it, & that its car is broken, & that I know how to take it (the ear) out; & two legs is broken, & his tail is come out.

      Ihad a hard pinch in my finger: that I was looking in the looking-glass door & Rosa closed the looking glass; & sometimes Susie plays with my things & I get a-fighting at her. That’s all, now, that I can write.

      And that all my names is Clara Lewis O’Day Botheker McAleer McLachlin Bay Clemens. (Her wet-nurses) [MTPO].


August 19, 1879 additionJames Abbot McNeil Whistler (1834-1903) was the artist.

November 13, 1879 addition – Sam met and spent time with Robert Green Ingersoll during banquet and festivities for the U.S. Grant tribute; this was the only time the two men met [Austin, MT Encyc. 395].

December 5, 1879 correction The poem of William Winter that Sam rhapsodized about was, “The Chieftain,” later collected in The Poems of William Winter (1881) [MTP].


December 21 and 25, 1879 correction –Sam’s letter to John Munro, previously reported under Dec. 21 [MTLE 4: 184], is actually Dec. 25, 1879. Ebay sale 310090576701 of letter Oct 22, 2008, JPG examined.

1880 addition/correction – As to the “Walt Whitman Controversy,” which Gribben states was begun sometime this year, Ed Folsom and Jerome Loving’s article in the Virginia Quarterly Review, “The Walt Whitman Controversy,” gives 1882. It may simply be that Sam began the piece in 1880 and did not finish it until 1882. [http://www.vqronline.org/articles/2007/spring/folsom-loving-whitman/].

February 18, 1880 addition – Sam wrote to Frank Fuller, responding to a proposal (not extant).

That has a very pleasant sound, my boy. Go you ahead & do as you have proposed to do. We will make the said assignments. Old Bowers has been haunting Dan Slote, (121 Wm. st.,) every day, lately. I told Dan I will never see him, & to tell him to go to you for the talk which he desired to have [MTPO]. Note: See Feb. 24, 1880 for more on what Bowers was up to. When it came to Fuller, a variety of investments were usually involved.

June 15, 1880 addition/correction – Sam did write two days after about seeing “one act at Madison Square [Theatre]” and did discuss the chances of William Gillette’s play, The Professor, but it was not the play he and Livy saw on this night. Playing was Steele Mackaye’s Hazel Kirke [N.Y. Times, June 15, 1880 “Amusements This Evening,” p.4]. Gillette’s play opened on June 1, 1881. The actress Sam misspelled as “Miss Cavan” was Georgia Cayvan (1858-1906). Corrected in text, p.707.


August 1, 1880 addition – Sam wrote to Frank E. Bliss, forwarding a letter and enclosures intended for the American Publishing Co.

The article headed “Stupendous Sell” is not badly done; but the rest of his matter grows monotonous before one gets through — no breaks in it — too guide-booky — don’t seem to be any episodes [MTPO]. Note: the letter is a fragment, recently added to the Project. The author is not identified.

December 8, 1880 addition –Sam found an old notebook (Formerly NB 1, now MTP’s NB 2):

(Notes made by me when I was learning to be a Mississippi River pilot, in 1856-7.) —

Found this book among some old rubbish today, Dec. 8, 1880. /S.L. Clemens. [Note: Further down the page in Charles L. Webster’s hand: “This book was found in an old box of rubbish in Chas. L. Webster’s attic at Fredonia”] [MTNJ 1: 45-6].

January 12 and 13, 1881 addition – Sam was advertised as part of the entertainment at this two-day Hartford event. (See end of addenda for poster.)


January 24, 26, 31, 1881 corrections – Sam paid a Jan. 26 bill for $5 from the Daniel Appleton & Co. of New York for the North American Review subscription [Gribben 509], and $4.50 for Popular Science Monthly subscription [554]. He’d paid $5 cash on these two items on Jan. 24 [MTP].


February 27, 1881 addition – Sam gave one of his specially-made notebooks, to Karl Gerhardt, and inscribed the endpaper: This note-book is conveyed to friend Gerhardt by the hand of its inventor, the same being / S.L. Clemens / Hartford, Feb. 27, 1881. / Mem. –When you have filled a page, tear off the projecting corner — then you can always find your place instantly. This economizes time & temper. / S.L.C.

[www.liveauctioneers.com/sothebys/item/165577; sale Jun. 19, 2003].


July 24, 1881 correction –Date for NY Times “Authoritative Contradition” changed to Dec. 8.


1882 additionEd Folsom and Jerome Loving recently published “The Walt Whitman Controversy – A Lost Document.” The Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 2007); 82, 2. p.123-38. The article cites a letter from the Boston District Attorney to James R. Osgood, which puts the date of Sam’s article, “The Walt Whitman Controversy” in 1882. Gribben had previously conjectured “possibly 1880.” This corrects MTDBD vol. I page 685.


May 17, 1882 addition –The Minneapolis stopped at Keokuk in the evening and left about 11 p.m. Lorch quoted the Keokuk Daily Constitution of May 18: “Judge Davis, Ed. F. Brownell, Al Patterson, and Dr. J.M. Shaffer went on board to greet him [MT] and take him off for an hour or two, while the boat stopped, to talk over old times” [McDermott: 195-6 quoting Lorch: “Lecture Trips and Visits of Mark Twain in Iowa,” Iowa Journal of History and Politics, XXVII (October 1929), 518].

May 23, 1882 addition – Judge Caleb F. Davis wrote to Sam:

I write to remind you of my request, and your promise to send me your photograph, and the published sketch you mentioned. … /

      Jo Patterson says, that when you first commenced to write and lecture, the greatest surprise of your immediate friends and relatives, was your familiar quotations from the Bible, as you were never known to read that book. Al Patterson says, if you do not write me something good, he will refer to you in his own sketch and tell how, when your family moved from the country, down in Missouri to Hannibal…they found you missing. Going back they found you in an old flour barrel asleep.

      Now save yourself from our friends and fill the sheet [enclosed]. As a general rule, literary fellows are impecunious, and you may not be an exception, therefore I enclose P.O. stams for return favors. … /PS. Genl. Belknap, who is sitting by while I write, wants to know what became of your ‘patent Suspender,’ as he now has trouble in keeping up his pantaloons. / Keokuk, Iowa / May 23d 1882 [McDermott, “Mark Twain and the Bible” Papers on Language and Literature 4 (Spring 1968): 195-8]. Note: See Sam’s answer July 8, 1882.

July 8, 1882 correction/addition – Judge Caleb F. Davis at the time was President of the Keokuk Savings Bank & Trust Co. Previously shown as “unknown.” See also May 17 and May 23 additions for 1882.

December 5, 1882 addition – Filed with the US Patent Office: patent # 547,859: to James W. Paige: Machine for Setting, Distributing and Justifying Type [MTHHR 64n1].

April 11, 1883 addition – Sam also wrote to John Bellows (See May 17 entry) responding a note sent to Webster & Co. of an offer to receive a copy of Bellows’ French-English dictionary.

…for Mrs. Clemens will not allow me to keep hers in my study, & somebody long ago stole my own copy — our pastor, I think; who was probably beguiled by its pious aspect….”

Sam asked by Bellows and other authorities ignore the terms “nom de plume” and “nom de guerre”

I think you do — can’t go to the bedroom to look, because then I should have to explain why I am sitting up enjoying myself so late to-night; & I would rather tell seven lies than make one explanation” [www.liveauctioneers.com/sothebys/item/98374; July 8, 2004]. Note: Bellows’ work was Dictionary for the Pocket: French and English, English and French (1873) [Gribben 58].


November 18, 1883 additionEdwin Booth, Matthew Arnold, Charles Dudley Warner, and Oliver Wendell Holmes filled out the lunch party at the Aldriches. Booth wrote that day to William Bispham that “the feast was royal…I both listened and ate my fill” [Edwin Booth: Recollections by His Daughter, Edwina (1894)]. Thanks to JoDee Benussi.

March, 1884 addition – Sam inscribed a copy of Edgar Watson Howe’s The Story of a Country Town (1883): S.L. Clemens, Hartford, March 1884, Sent by the Author [Gribben 326].

September 20, 1884 addition – In Elmira, Sam wrote to an unidentified man:

The album has gone to Hartford, I judge, where I have not been for 4 months, but where I shall doubtless be, a week or ten days hence. / Very Truly, SL Clemens [2007 October Grand Format Rare Books & Manuscripts Auction #675 Lot 30310; Oct 24, 2007]. http://historical.ha.com/


November 26, 1884 addition – The first copy of HF was bound with a tipped-in dedication that was later removed in favor of the current one. This page, apparently on the same paper as MS2, survives tipped into a copy of the first American edition in which Webster wrote: “This copy of ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ was bound by J.F. Tapley Nov 26th 1884, and is the first copy ever bound.”

Note: This same item, book with page tipped in was sold at Christies [sale 51, item 1388] on 9 June 2004, price realized $265,100. Here is the deleted page:

To the Once Boys & Girls

who comraded with me in the morning of time &

the youth of antiquity, in the village of

Hannibal, Missouri,

this book is inscribed, with affection for

themselves, respect for their virtues, &

reverence for their honorable gray hairs.

The Author


“It was probably sometime during these months [from Sept 1883 to mid-April 1884] that he wrote a dedication for the book and added it (in holographic manuscript) to his assembled typescript — although he ultimately deleted it before publication” [MTP].

December 22, 1884 additionMiss Mitchell identified as Eleanor Varnum Mitchell, soon to marry Laurence Hutton.


April, 1885 addition – Webster & Co. contracted with J.J. Little & Co. to print 50,000 copies of Grant’s Memoirs; Little later sued for breach of contract (see May 20, 1888, vol. II).


July, 1885 addition – Frank M. Scott was hired as a cashier and bookkeeper by Webster & Co. He had previously worked for Haney & Co. of Newark, N.J. Scott was arrested for embezzlement on Mar. 11,

1887 [N.Y. Times, Mar. 18, 1887, p.5, “Confessions of a Thief”].

December 14, 1885 addition – The Monday Evening Club met at the Clemens home with a discussion of “Eloquence.” Susy Clemens attended the meeting. “The essayist of the evening contended that the only form of eloquence was verbal. In the debate which followed the reading, Sam said that there were many kinds of eloquence: sunsets, music, the dumb appeal in frightened animals’ eyes, and even the army marching into the jaws of death” [Monday Evening Club 14 (privately printed)]. Note: Salsbury’s (p.256-7) juxtaposition of this event suggests 1891, but this is in error.

December 22, 1885 addition – The N.Y. Times article of Dec. 5, 1886 recalls this previous New England Society Dinner and the “Trick” Sam played on William M. Evarts. This is in the 1886 entry, but should also be in the Dec. 22, 1885 entry. Sam was in New York on that day, though the 1885 Times article covering the dinner says nothing of Sam or Evarts.

December 25, 1885 additionJulia D. Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) presented Sam with a set of Grant’s Memoirs with a special binding of tree calf with morocco slipcase. It was also inscribed: For / Mr. S.L. Clemens / with the compliments of  / Julia D. Grant / New York / Dec. 25th 1885. [Christie’s, Lot 103 Sale 1720 Nov. 26, 2006; avail. Online].

For January 12 and 13, 1881: