October 15 to 31 – During the stay at the Hotel Earlington Sam wrote two notes to Mr. Wood (previously misdated as 1905 by MTP): “I am pretty well tangled up with engagements of one kind & another,& I can’t see my way clear to a date earlier than November 12th. Would that do?” And,
The afternoon seems a grim & uncanny time for diversions not theological, & yet there is something attractive about the idea & devilish. I believe I should like to experiment. At the same time—if there is no hurry—won’t you look in, here, some morning at 10.30 to 11 & talk with me about it? But if it is inconvenient for you, never mind—make it evening or afternoon, just as you prefer & I shall be quite content [MTP]. Note: the “idea” and Mr. Wood not further identified.
October 16 Tuesday – At Hotel Earlington, N.Y.C., Sam wrote one sentence to Arthur Lumley (1837-
1912), illustrator, painter. “Gen. Bunker means well, & so I’ll not criticise his history, though I give you my word there isn’t a single molecule of truth in it anywhere” [MTP].
Note: the reference is to a newspaper article, both in the N.Y. Herald and in the Jan. 2, 1900 Washington Times, p.4, “Mark Twain’s First Story,” related by General Benjamin B. Bunker. Supposedly Sam sent in his first story about a trip to Aurora, Nevada Territory, to a San Francisco paper at the urging of Bunker, and using the name Mark Twain. MTL 1 : 135n6 gives Bunker as the attorney general of Nev. Terr., (b. 1815), removed by Lincoln in June 1863 for “inattention to duty.” In August of that year Sam characterized Bunker as “the densest intellect the President ever conferred upon the Territory” [ET&S1, 281]. Bunker would have been 85 at this time. Evidently Lumley spotted the story and sent it to Sam.
The New York Herald, “Mark Twain Home, An Anti-Imperialist,” quoted Twain about finally having repaid his business debts he “felt like the Ancient Mariner when the dead albatross fell into the sea. I became a new man” [Gribben 153].
Macnaughton writes of Sam’s new chosen outspokenness on matters political and quotes the above
Interviews that Mark Twain gave to the New York World correspondent in London and to reporters greeting him in New York suggest that he already was considering his role, as well as ways to use the newspaper medium to make himself influential. His responses in both interviews give the impression of being delightfully extemporaneous; yet when queried about the issue of imperialism, he gave answers that are so pungently clear as to suggest that he wanted to be asked questions and was absolutely ready when he was. A few of his statements made in the New York interview follow: [144; boxed by ed.]
I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I though it would be a real good thing to do….
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
We have also pledged the power of this country to maintain and protect the abominable system established in the Philippines by the Friars.
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.
Sam also wrote on a calling card to John Brisben Walker: “Will Mr. Walker please call when he can, and give
me some professional advice? S.L. Clemens” [MTP: Bodley Book Shop catalog, No. 5, Item 518].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.