Vol 3 Section 0577

1901                                                                            521

After the reading he was initiated in the Cliosophi Literary Society. He will be present at the Harvard-Princeton debate here to-morrow night.

Note: The New York Times, p.5, “Mark Twain at Princeton,” was a shorter article but ended with this factoid:

“Mr. Clemens will attend the Caledonian games, and also the Harvard debates.”

May 10 Friday – At Princeton University, Sam made a few remarks at the Harvard-Princeton debate

[Fatout, MT Speaking 669].

George V.W. Duryee of Adirondack Park Co. wrote to Sam acknowledging his of May 4 (not extant) and enclosing the lease of the camp for signature; Duryee assured him he could move in by June 4; most of the furniture had been ordered and the road to the camp had been “put in good condition” but advised not sending freight until the end of May. Could he suggest an appropriate name for the camp? It was “still a nameless Eden” [MTP].

Sam returned to New York, where he signed a lease indenture for a cottage that he would name “The Lair” (it would later be called “Mark Twain Camp”) on Saranac Lake, N.Y. The lease to run from June 1 to Oct. 31, 1901 for a total of $650, with $150 at the signing and $250 on July 1 and $250 on Aug. 1. Sam and George V.W. Duryee, owner of the Adirondack Park Co. signed, with Olivia L. Clemens signing as witness. The camp was built in 1900 by architect W.L. Coulter, “either as a speculation or as a rental house.” The Clemens family was the first to rent the camp. The Adirondack Park Co. was incorporated with Duryee, and Frank Creesy [www.hsl.wikispot.org/Mark_Twain_Camp (display by Bobbie Learner)].

May 11 SaturdaySam’s notebook: See Jan. 7 . Will send carriage 1.45 the Sherman, 159 W. 48th. Dr. Elizabeth Jarrett. Normal College Chapel along aobut 3—68th & Park Ave. Read or talk. German Lesson” [NB 44 TS 10].

Mark Twain spoke at Normal College (renamed in 1914 Hunter College , after its founder Thomas Hunter) and spoke to 1,500 alumni of the school. The New York Times, May 12, p.21 reported his talk:



Tells Normal College Alumnae About His Troubles with the German Language.

Mark Twain amused the Associate Alumnae of the Normal College yesterday afternoon by relating to them the difficulties he had with the German language. Fully 1,500 graduates of the college listened to him, and gave abundant evidence that they appreciated his humor.

In a very formal manner Mr. Clemens was escorted to the platform by Miss Elizabeth Jarrett, M.D., the President of the Associate Alumnae, to whom fell the duty of introducing the humorist. She had begun a little speech complimentary to Mr. Clemens, when he checked her. Gently but firmly he sat her in the chair she had been occupying upon the platform, and when the audience had ceased laughing explained that there was no sense in complimenting a man who really deserved it.

“The President has hardly permitted me to choose whether I will read or speak,” Mr. Clemens began. “I have decided to read. I thought I would tell you about the difficulties I experienced while studying the German language. I owe it an old grudge.”

Mr. Clemens then read the story in the appendix of his “Tramps Abroad,” “The Awful German Language,” making a few side remarks here and there. He concluded with the “Tale of the Fishwife and Its Sad Fate,” mixing up pronouns and gender as they appear in the story, to the great delight of his hearers.

Miss Jarrett read her annual report, and there were several songs by well-known vocalists.

May 12 Sunday

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