Vol 3 Section 0530

476                                                                        1901

February 6 WednesdaySam’s notebook: “Introduction 100-year. Gov’t in hands of Xn Sci, or R. Catholics? Whole suffrage introduced to save Protestantism in 1950, but too late; R C & XSC ahead—got the field” [NB 44 TS 5].

At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Andrew Carnegie, Paine offering it was done “in the midst of the tumult” created by his “Sitting in Darkness” article [MTB 1132]:

“You seem to be in prosperity. Could you lend an admirer a dollar & a half to buy a hymn-book with? God will bless you. I feel it, I know it.” …

After his signature Sam added, “Don’t send the hymn-book, send the money; I want to make the selection myself” [MTP]. Note: see Feb. 8 entry for Carnegie’s answer.

February 7 ThursdaySam’s notebook: “Chas Fairchild 10 W. 8th—8 p.m.” [NB 44 TS 5].

At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Oliver O. Howard asking for “good seats” for his wife and daughters for the Feb. 11 Lincoln Celebration night [MTP].

Judson Smith for the American Board of Commissioners wrote to Sam (in part here):

My Dear Mr. Clemens:

In common with multitudes in this country and elsewhere, I have a great admiration for your genius, and read whatever comes from your pen with delight. Your brilliant article, “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” in the February North American Review will attract wide attention and exert a strong influence. Its keen, lightly-veiled sarcasm is well adapted to its purpose and will produce an effect quite beyond the reach of plain argument.

I observe that in commenting on affairs in China you select the Rev. Mr. Ament, D.D., one of our missionaries at Peking, to give your point of view, and that you base all you have to say of him on a single press despatch printed in the Evening Sun of December 24th, and that you assume the accuracy of this despatch as though it were Dr. Ament’s frank and full confession of deeds and motives. The arraignment is severe, the effect on Dr. Ament’s name and reputation must be very damaging. The prejudice thus awakened against the missionaries, mission work and the American Board is serious and likely to be of long consequence. …

You are too experienced an author to rest so terrible an accusation against a man whose reputation is as dear to him as yours to you, and who is engaged in missionary work on the other side of the globe, upon a single newspaper despatch. I wonder what other information you possessed, what inquiries you made concerning Dr. Ament’s record and of whom these inquiries were made. …

Assured of your good sense of fair play with highest regards… [William Scott

Ament: Missionary to the American Board to China (1911) p.232-4].

Note: Source gives Feb. 8 for above letter; MTP gives Feb. 7 (which is correct, both of a first draft and a final copy in the file). Source states that Judson’s letter ran in “several newspapers” on Feb. 9. Sam wrote an answer to Smith on Feb. 12 but did not send it; the MS is partly lost.

Further, the despatch referred to in Smith’s letter was one which contained a blunder. From the above source:

Dr. Ament’s personal disclaimer as seen above was all that could be expected by cable. Laffan’s News Agency seems to have made haste to fulfill its part in confessing that the earlier despatch was “unauthorized.” Its correction appears in the New York Sun, February 20th.

“Owing to the cable blunder, the Sun’s despatch of December 22d was made to say that the Rev. Mr. Ament, of the American Board of Foreign Missions, had

collected fines from the Chinese in various places to the amount of thirteen times the damages collected

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