Vol 3 Section 0065

1897                                                                              25

behalf to help him pay off his debts, after rumors circulated that he was destitute and in poverty in London. These would culminate in the June 1 campaign by the NY Herald. See entry. Details of John Carl Hubinger’s (1851-1908) offer are not known. From the Keokuk history web site:

“J.C. Hubinger opened his starch factory to Keokuk in 1887, producing Elastic Starch. He was also an important figure in The Electric Light and Power Company, Mississippi Valley Telephone Company, Keokuk Brick Company, and the YMCA. He also played a big role in bringing electricity town. In the late 1880’s Hubinger built a mansion in the area of what is now 1229 Grand Avenue. The property included both sides of Grand Avenue from 8th to 15th Streets. Included in the landscaping of his home was a pond fed by an artesian well that included an island in the center. The pond was stocked with fish, and there were boats which the public was invited to use. After losing out to larger telephone companies and failing in health, J.C. Hubinger died in a boarding house at 616 High Street in 1908.” Above: The Hubinger mansion. The lake in the foreground was fed by artesian wells. Sam may have been well aware of this mansion and undoubtedly would have admired its style.

Sam’s notebook:

Mar. 28. Twichell sends me a vast newspaper heading the breadth of 5 columns, “Close of a Great Career,” in which it is said I am living in penury in London & that my family have forsaken me. This would enrage

disgust me if it came from a dog, or a cow, or an elephant or any other of the higher animals but it comes from a man, & must allowance must be made for Man [NB 41 TS 21].

March 29 Monday

March 30 Tuesday

March 31 Wednesday

AprilThe April issue of Atlantic Monthly included Charles Miner Thompson’s “Mark Twain as an Interpreter of American Character,” p. 443-50. Tenney: “‘He is not a great or a skillful writer,’ and lacks the taste of an Oliver Wendell Holmes. His character of Tom Sawyer is inferior to the Bad Boy of Thomas Bailey Aldrich, but the character Huck rises above the conventional vagabond in ‘his essential honesty, his strong and struggling moral nature.’ Despite the artistic flaws in MT’s work the reflection of his life is appealing: ‘If a man can thoroughly express the individuality of a nation, he may fairly be called great’” [27].

In April or early May, at the request of Adele Chapin, Sam paid a surprise storytelling visit to the London Hospital, where Chapin’s children had been treated by Dr. Thomas Gilbert Smith for various illnesses. With 790 beds it was London’s largest general hospital. Sam agreed to the rare appearance only if nothing would appear in the newspapers. Dr. Smith took Twain and Mrs. Chapin to the Fitzgerald Ward, where Sam gave a talk to a crowd of sick and dying men. In Chapin’s 1931 memoirs, Their Trackless Way: A Book of Memories, she wrote of the patients’ reactions: “Mirth struggling through pain in their faces was wonderful to see and their eager listening not to lose a word.” Two ladies accompanied Sam’s stories (including the watermelon, Mexican plug, Old Ram, and Miss Wilkerson’s glass eye stories) on the piano and violin. Chapin quotes Twain: “I have never had such an appreciative audience”

[Le Bourgeois and Evans 344-7].

April 1 Thursday

April 2 FridayMunsey’s Magazine included “My Favorite Author and His Best Book,” by William

Dean Howells, p. 18-25. Tenney: “Surprisingly, a discussion of many novelists in various periods as favorites; near the end, praises CY as ‘delicious…I feel under all its impossibilities that it is true to the character of that man (Morgan) and true to all the conditions’” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) p.7].

April 3 Saturday – Johannes Brahms, composer, pianist died in Vienna.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.