Look at the rapid manner in which the news of the Galveston disaster was made known to the entire world. This reminds me of an episode which occurred fifteen years ago when I was at church in Hartford, Connecticut.
The clergyman decided to make a collection for the survivors, if any. He did not include me among the leading citizens who took the plates around for collection. I complained to the governor of his lack of financial trust in me, and he replied: “I would trust you myself—if you had a bell-punch.”
You have paid me many compliments, and I like to listen to compliments. I indorse all your chairman has said to you about the union of England and America. He also alluded to my name, of which I am rather fond.
A little girl wrote me from New Zealand in a letter I received yesterday, stating that her father said my proper name was not Mark Twain but Samuel Clemens, but that she knew better, because Clemens was the name of the man who sold the patent medicine, and his name was not Mark. She was sure it was Mark Twain, because Mark is in the Bible and Twain is in the Bible.
I was very glad to get that expression of confidence in my
origin, and as I now know my name to be a scriptural one, I am not without hopes of making it worthy [Fatout, MT Speaking 340-1].
Insert: Kensal Rise Library ca. 1900
Note: The library’s website claims Sam was presented with an inscribed silver key, and gave Charles Pinkham, the Chairman of the Library Committee, his signed photograph and five of his own books [www. brent-heritage.co.uk/Kensal_Rise_Library.htm]. A great hurricane hit Galveston, Tex. Sept. 8-9, 1900 causing many millions of dollars damage and cost some 5,000 lives. Sam would speak at a charity event in N.Y.C. for Galveston orphans on Oct. 17. See entry.
At Dollis Hill House in London, England Sam wrote to Lyman J. Gage, American financier, now Secretary of the Treasury.
Dear Sir: I have got it all arranged, now, & we sail in the “Minnehaha” of the Atlantic Transport Line October 6, & shall expect to reach New York in 10 days…loaded with my baggage. But none of it is contraband…so, sir, if you will convey this fact to your New York subordinates as being an emanation from yourself, it will have a better effect than if I told them. I believe it will be best not to mention my name…as there is a man of the same name going over about the same time, & I could be mistaken for him. He is not of
good character & is being watched for [MTP]. Note: See Apr. 30 to Gage. Sam usually tried to avoid the delay of customs.
Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister: “It is too lovely of you! And naughty, too; but I forgive you, & so does God. I am getting Him interested in you; I am using all my influence. Let me know when there’s anything you want” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Samuel E. Moffett to confirm sailing date and ship. They now planned to stay at the Earlington Hotel on 27th Street between Broadway and 6th Ave. until they found a more permanent place. He cautioned Moffett about editing Pond’s book, not to allow any letters of his to stay in [MTP].
Sam also wrote to John Brisben Walker.
Your cable [not extant] has just arrived, but unhappily I haven’t a MS that isn’t preempted. Since I made a bargain 7 or 8 months ago pledging all my stuff to one house I have been so lazy that I have written but one article, & even that one I don’t allow to leave my hands because it isn’t finished quite to my satisfaction.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.