February 19 Tuesday – Sam’s
Aldine dinner in honor of Howells, new
Pres. Of Natl Institute Arts & Letters” [NB 44 TS 6].
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to nephew Samuel E. Moffett: “Please attend to him, Sam & tell him I am too ignorant of the matter & too busy” [MTP]. Note: the remainder of the letter is torn off; this may relate to the Montgomery request for family matter recently referred to Moffett.
Poultney Bigelow wrote a postcard from London to Sam: “My Dear Mark—it was something to see Bangs make an ass of himself while trying to teach you how to think—a l’Americaine! I didn’t think Bangs could be such a provincial scribbler!” [MTP]. Note: Bigelow referred to the Feb. 9 article in Harper’s Weekly, in which John Kendrick Bangs answered affirmatively to the question, “Is the Philippine Policy of the Administration Just,” while Mark Twain answered no. See Feb. 9.
George Lynch, war correspondent for The Illustrated Sphere and The Daily Express (London) wrote on Waldorf-Astoria Hotel stationery to Sam shortly after a visit; Sam promised to attend Lynch’s lecture on the following Tuesday (see Feb. 26). The following items are likely things Sam asked Lynch to investigate:
I have just come from seeing the editor of the Herald. He is not in direct touch from New York with their Pekin correspondent Mr. Bonsal. Their Eastern news is all handled by Mr. Bennett in Paris. He suggested your sending a short cable to Mr. Bennett asking him to get Bonsal to investigate the truth of the statements regarding Ament on page 162 of the current North American Review [MTP]. Note: the referred to p. 162: “Everywhere he went he compelled the Chinese to pay….He also assessed fines amounting to THIRTEEN TIMES the amount of the indemnity”.
February 20 Wednesday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to William Carey of Century Magazine. Sam wrote to him at the University Club: “Carey says he knows I would rather write than be President. This has all the ear-marks of one of Carey’s ordinary every-day lies” [MTP]. Note: See June 14, 1897 entry; Carey died later in 1901 in his forties.
Sam also wrote to Henry R. Chamberlain, head of Laffan’s news service in China.
Laffan says that the cablegram published in the Sun December 24, in which Rev. Mr. Ament seemed to be frankly confessing crimes and infamies of an amazing sort, could not have gotten upon the wires without your sanction, nor without your knowledge that the thing was straight and the proofs at hand when needed.
I copied that dispatch in an article in the North American Review of the present month, wherein I was slandering the progress of the white man’s civilization in China—at least trying to slander it; I suppose it cant really be done. I commented upon Mr. Ament’s Confession, and promised him a monument. If I was expecting to call out the gratitude of the American Board, that expectation has not materialized. The board has uttered its disapproval, through its first secretary , Rev. Justin [sic Judson] Smith, D.D., in a letter mailed to me through the Associated Press. Dr. Smith studiously avoids the issue—which is, did Doctor Ament say the attributed words and to the attributed things, or didn’t he? He thinks I have committed an enormity in condemning a man upon a single newspaper dispatch. He wanted a thousand, perhaps. I waited 39 days for the Board to produce from Mr. Ament a repudiation of the facts of the dispatch, before I said anything….The Board would not have waited three days, I judged, if it could have furnished from Ament’s mouth a denial.
I shall probably not take up the matter again, if I am left unmolested. But if molested I should like to be in shape to say with positiveness one thing or the other—that Ament did and said those things, or didn’t. If he shall prove innocent I wish to frankly say so; and if guilty as frankly say that.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.