Vol 3 Section 0557

1901                                                                            501

Col. Harvey turned the cablegram over to Mr. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who would not be interviewed yesterday on the subject, he being bound by contract to his publishers not to talk of the matter for other publications.

Those who called at this place of residence, 14 West Tenth Street, with reference to the matter were met by a very close friend of Mr. Clemens, who said:

“Mr. Clemens cannot say anything touching on the affair at present. The American Board of Foreign Missions some time ago requested him to either prove or retract the statements he made in the article, and at which they took umbrage and exceptions. Mr. Clemens replied that if they would have patience he would discuss the situation further in a new article, which will appear in the April issue of The North American Review.”

Mr. Clemens’s friend was asked if the article would be in the nature of a retraction.

“I can only say the Mr. Clemens will have much more to say on the subject. He has received many letters from China since the publishing of the first article. He hopes that both the Peking Missionary Association and the American Board of Foreign Missions will like it, but he has his doubts.”

Paul Dana for the NY Sun wrote a note to Sam, enclosing an interview with Henry R. Chamberlain (not in the file); Dana wrote he hadn’t read the interview but had “the impression that it has a negative bearing on the existing issue,” (claims against Rev. Ament) and would be “published next Sunday”


Edwin L. Godkin wrote to Sam, encouraging him not to “retract or explain, or do anything except rub it in harder. To say a single word in explanation or apology, would be treason, to every good cause for which men have ever fought or fallen.” He asked where Sam’s next article was to be published [MTP].

March 23 SaturdaySam’s notebook: “Odell dinner, Lotos Club? 9.45 do? I’ve an engagement” [NB 44 TS 7].

Once again, Sam gave a dinner speech, arriving too late to dine, which allowed him to avoid a lot of rich food and a lot of clatter and noise. The New York Times, Mar. 24, p.2, ran a full article on the event at the Lotos Club in honor of Governor Benjamin Barker Odell, Jr. (1854-1926) (Article below edited to include only the introductory paragraphs and Mark Twain’s speech):


Gov. Benjamin B. Odell, Jr. was the guest of honor at a dinner given by the Lotos Club last evening, and many complimentary things were said about him by the speakers. The Governor had hardly stepped in the dining hall, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion, when he was cheered. Thereafter, whenever his name was mentioned, he was cheered again and again, and when, during his brief speech, he declared that he was the Governor of the whole State, not of Republicans alone, he was rewarded with shouts of approval that compelled him to stop speaking for a considerable time.

Even before the speechmaking began the Governor was made much of by the banqueters, and he and Senator Chauncey M. Depew were kept busy writing their autographs on the menu cards, which were attractive enough to deserve mention. Late in the evening Mark Twain arrived, and for a time shared the attention of the guests with the Governor.


Mark Twain, who next spoke, was greeted with enthusiasm as he arose.

“I recently had the pleasure and the honor of visiting Gov. Odell and his official family,” he said. The family is made up of three Republicans for business and one Democrat for ornament and social elevation.

“I have also been to Albany two or three times without salary on expensive errands, once to help repeal the Ramapo bill, and again to assist in passing a police bill, in case he was short a police bill. I am privileged on the floor of any Legislature. There was a little self-interest here and there.

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