THE HOWELLSES lived just on the far side of Union Square, at 115 East 16th Street. This was the first time that Clemens and Howells had ever lived within walking distance of each other, something Sam had wished for since the 1870s. They made the most of this proximity. They rejuvenated their long friendship, shifting their passions from the literary world to the political. Howells swept Clemens up into the Anti-Imperialism crusade, introducing him at a Lotos Club dinner on November 10 as the ascendant satirist laureate of the country [MT A Life 604].
November 1, 1900 to June 21, 1901 – At N.Y.C. Sam wrote to an unidentified person: “Rockwood
photographed me some days ago—the best picture I have had in a year or more” [MTP:Walpole Galleries catalogs; noted “untraceable”]. Note: this is headed “Sunday” but Nov. 1 is a Thursday; nevertheless the MTP date period is used here.
November 2 Friday – At 14 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to William Webster Ellsworth: “All right— make it Dec. 4—Aldine—good time—no reporters” [MTP].
Sam also replied to Andrew Langdon (1835- 1919), Livy’s first cousin. Langdon was a wealthy Buffalo businessman. In 1887 Clemens had made him the subject of an uncomplimentary sketch, “Letter from the Recording Angel” (see What Is Man?, etc.).
“It is a prized compliment & I am thankful for it, but I mustn’t think of it for a moment.
“Thank you ever so much for your kind offer of hospitality, & it is a great pity that Livy & I cannot take advantage of it” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Brander Matthews, wishing he could but he was “full up, that day, & a Lotos dinner in the evening.” Why didn’t Matthews think of some other date? [MTP]. Note: The Lotos dinner was Nov. 12 [Fatout MT Speaking 667].
John Y. MacAlister wrote to Sam enclosing a stock certificate for the Plasmon Syndicate. “There is no change yet in the prospects of the stock Goerz is holding for you. By the way, Goerz’s death has proved to be rather an awkward thing. His executors had to sell the Plasmon shares at any price…but I set to work and am glad to say I was able to find fresh subscribers for the whole amount” [MTP].
November 3 Saturday – Sam and Livy (and possibly one or both of their daughters) took a train by 10:55 a.m. and traveled to Princeton, N.J.. for a two day visit with the Laurence Huttons [Oct. 31, Nov 7 to Hutton]. Note: it is possible they took in a ball game if they arrived early enough (mentioned in Sam’s Oct. 31 to Hutton; Sam planned to attend a football game on a return trip Nov. 16-18).
James L. Ford’s article, “An American Humorist,” ran in Collier’s Weekly [Tenney 33: The Twainian (Dec.
November 4 Sunday – The Clemenses visited with the Laurence Huttons in Princeton, N.J..
William Dean Howells, nearby at 115 E.16th Street, wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, remarking on how good Clemens looked:
Clemens is here, settled down for the winter in West 10th st., and looking younger and jollier than I’ve seen him for ten years. He says it is all Plasmon, a new German food-drug he’s been taking, but I think it’s partly prosperity. He has distinctly the air of a man who has unloaded. He has his family all with him, and Mrs. Clemens is fully sharing his effect of renewed youth [MTHL 2: 723].
November 5 Monday – Before leaving Princeton, N.J.., Sam inscribed Laurence Hutton’s copy of The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County to: Laurence Hutton: “Prosperity & happiness to Laurence Hutton from
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.