Review of Reviews (London) ran an anonymous article, “Mark Twain and the Missionaries: The Parable of the Watermelons,” p. 467. Tenney: “Extract from MT’s reply to Dr. Ament in North American Review, February. No significant commentary” .
Charles Johnston followed up his July, 1899 article in Atlantic Monthly with “The Essence of American Humor,” p. 195-201. Wells: “…an attempt to understand American humor as manifested in the works of Twain and Harte. Johnston refers to Twain as the supreme writer of humor, especially as manifested in ‘the immortal trio’ of Huck, Tom, and Jim: ‘the high- water mark of humor and imaginative creation for the New World—the most genuinely American thing ever written.’” Tom Sawyer is also discussed as “an example of the unique role of children in American literature” .
February ca. – Tuckey puts this date on Mark Twain beginning “The Secret History of Eddypus,” and continuing “until some time in March 1901” [Fables of Man 317]. Note: see also Feb. 16, 1902 after, entry.
February 1 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “Tell the story of (the woman whose young daughter was seduced by her second husband) Tut Reynolds. / Laffan, 8 to meet Mrs. Millet” [NB 44 TS 4].
February 2 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Speyor [sic ] calls for me. Afternoon, 330. East side poor?” [NB 44 TS 5]. Note: James Speyer (1861-1941), American banker, who, along with his wife, Ellin Prince Lowry Speyer (d. 1921) helped to organize the University Settlement Society in 1891 and was also involved in many social, educational, and cultural organizations in N.Y.C., including the Speyer school at Columbia University.
In the afternoon Sam spoke at the annual meeting of the University Settlement Society. The New York Times, Feb. 3, p.12 reported:
MARK TWAIN TELLS ABOUT PAWNBROKERS
Relates How He Advised a Friend
to Commit Suicide.
SAID HE WAS “ONLY A POET”
It Was at the Annual Meeting of the
University Settlement Society—
Other Prominent Speakers.
At the annual meeting of the University Settlement Society, held yesterday afternoon in the society’s house, at Rivington and Eldridge Streets, there gathered a large crowd, mostly composed of patronesses and patrons of the organization from up-town. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) was the principal speaker, and he talked for a full three-quarters of an hour—longer, he said, than he planned, for the audience insisted upon interrupting him their laughter after almost every remark. William H. Baldwin, Jr., Chairman of the Committee of Fifteen, also made a speech, in which he talked of the city’s responsibility for the proper rearing of children in the crowded sections. Seth Low presided over the meeting. Dr. Franklin H. Giddings, Professor of Sociology in Columbia University, delivered an address of the subject of how efforts to uplift people of the poorer classes should be directed. Mrs. Edward R. Hewitt made a report on the settlement work in the east side, and Mrs. Bond Thomas told how the charitable work of the various clubs in the west side was progressing. The report of Head Worker James B. Reynolds dealt with the general doings of the society. Richard Watson Gilder, editor of the Century Magazine, talked extemporaneously just before the meeting was adjourned.
In introducing Mark Twain, President Low said that the humorist had just whispered to him that the meeting should be adjourned at this point. Mr. Twain began by telling why he made such a request.
MARK TWAIN’S ADDRESS.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.