Vol 3 Section 0559
[Mar. 26 to McQuiston].
March 25 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Stenographer 2.30. Dinner to Harvey 7.30
University Club” [NB 44 TS 7].
The Clemenses heard that Frederic William Henry Myers died in Rome. He was the founder and president of the Society for Psychical Research in Cambridge, England
Unidentified (“Many Students”) wrote from N.Y.C.:
Your (former) countrymen were sorry for your troubles and were glad when you got out of them. But ninety eight out of a hundred now feel you are unworthy & if you knew how they feel you would go (guilty) abroad
stay. You are not worthy of citizenship in a land which you…slander & vilify—while you have nothing but praise & comfort for its enemies—shame on you—many students— [MTP].
Thomas M. Carey of Bryn Mawr College wrote to invite Sam to deliver the Commencement address on June 6 at 11 a.m. [MTP].
Augustus T. Gurlitz wrote having rec’d Sam’s check for $100 to initiate a lawsuit against Chicago publisher Butler Brothers for issuing an unauthorized edition of the “Library of Wit and Humor by Mark Twain.” Gurlitz asked Sam to look up “The Steamboat Race” on page 68, a five-page article. “It would be a good thing to show copyright in it.” He also felt he ought to have a copy each of IA and RI and the copyright papers relating to each [MTP]. Note: Sam’s answer is catalogued by MTP as ca. Mar. 27
March 26 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “10.30, Joan of Arc (Jules E[ckert] Goodman)” [NB 44 TS 7].
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Laura Fitch McQuiston (1863- 1935) in Fort Hancock, N.J. Sam extended his “deepest sympathy,” but he had “never had an experience which moved me to believe the living can communicate with the dead,” though he and Livy had and would continue to “experiment in the matter when the opportunity offered.”
I enclose a letter [not extant] which came this morning—the second from the same source. Mrs. Koller is a Missourian; & lately she discovered, by accident, that she was a remarkable hypnotiser. Her best subject is a Missouri girl, Miss White, who is to come here soon & sustain strictly scientific tests before professors at Columbia University. Mrs. Clemens & I intend to be present. And we shall ask the pair to come to our house
do whatever things they can do. Meantime, if you think well of it, you might write her & arrange a meeting, telling her how it is by my suggestion & that I gave you her address. I like the note of honesty that is in her letter.
Sam related he’d been told within the past six months that Mrs. Piper was discredited—he thought it was Frederick Meyers, president of the London Psychical Research Society; the day before Sam had learned of Meyers’ death. Sam described Meyers as a “spiritualist…a very easily-convinced man.” He related visiting two mediums recommended by Meyers and Andrew Lang, “but they were quite transparent frauds.” After his signature Sam stood corrected on his last statement:
“Mrs. Clemens corrects me: One of those women was a fraud; the other not a fraud but only an innocent, well-meaning, driveling vacancy” [MTP].
Note: Charles M. McQuiston (1858-1900), West Point graduate was shot and killed at Bancoup, Philippines Sept. 15, 1900 after going insane and attacking his own troops. He was buried at Arlington and his headstone, along with Sam’s letter may be seen on the Arlington Cemetery website. It’s likely the strange circumstances
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.