Sam compared the festivities to the 1,000th anniversary of Heidelberg University, which, he noted, he hadn’t seen due to “laziness.” After his signature he noted the view from the window of academic gowns up and down the street, denoting this as daytime [MTP].
Notes: Anson Phelps Stokes, Sr. (1838-1913), philanthropist and multimillionaire, had five daughters and four sons, including Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr. (1874-1958), secretary of Yale since 1899. The junior Stokes did not have the “three tall unmarried daughters” who Sam spoke of, but the Senior Stokes did. Sam stayed with the Stokes family in the house they’d rented for the week, writing the elder Mrs. Louisa Stokes on Nov. 1 his thanks (see entry); William Earle Dodge, Sr. (1803-1883) had been in the copper mining business with Stokes, Sr. The cousin of Stokes, Jr. who Sam referred to was the son, William Earle Dodge, Jr. (1833-1903). Arthur Twining Hadley (1856-1903), President of Yale (1899-1921).
The Independent (NY) described the events of Tuesday, some of which Sam may have seen, though his letters make no mention of them:
On Tuesday large audiences heard the address of President Northrup (’57), of Minnesota University, on Yale in its relation to the Development of the Country, and of President Gilman (’52), of Johns Hopkins, on the relation of the college to Science and Letters. A game of football drew many to Yale Field in the afternoon, and at a later hour the lovers of music enjoyed Professor Parker’s oratorio, “Hora Novissima,” in the theater across the street from Vanderbilt Hall. That night, under a benign October moon, 9,000 graduates and undergraduates assembled in a huge amphitheater on the inclosed campus before a temporary stage to witness a series of brief dramatic performances representing events in the life of the college, from the founding by the ten ministers in Branford, to the inspection of Yale’s volunteers by Washington, and the execution of Nathan Hale, and finally to the exhibitions of the social customs of recent years. As the hours of the mild October night passed by, old college songs were sung by the great assembly, class answered class across the great open-air auditorium, old customs and cries were revived, and it seemed that no more successful and enjoyable a meeting of college men could ever be held [Oct. 31, 1901 p. 2553-4]. Note: Cyrus Northrup (1834-1922); Daniel Coit Gilman (1831-1908).
October 23 Wednesday – The fourth and last day of Yale’s Bicentennial Celebration in New Haven, Conn. saw commemoration exercises and conferring of honorary degrees in the Hyperion Theater to more than sixty eminent men. The Doctors of Literature degrees numbered eight: Thomas Bailey
Aldrich, George W. Cable, Mark Twain, Richard Watson Gilder, William Dean Howells, Thomas Nelson Page, Woodrow Wilson, and Brander Matthews. Theodore Roosevelt received the degree of Doctor of Laws [The Independent (NY) Oct. 31, 1901 p. 2554].
The New York Times noted Yale’s Bicentennial on p.1, Oct. 24, 1901. A shorter article focused on the honorary law doctorate of New York mayoral candidate, Seth Low, on p.2 and includes mention of Mark Twain, Seth Low, Richard Olney, Yale President Arthur Twining Hadley, and President Theodore Roosevelt joking together before the ceremonies. A reception followed in the evening; Sam thought that “Etiquette may require” him to go.
Frank Bliss wrote to Sam asking if he would make an estimate of the number of book sold for P&P, LM, CY, HF, JA, AC, TSA, TSD and “How to tell a Story.” Bliss wanted to “fix up an advertisement showing the comparative sales along side of our volumes to let the public judge which are the best books,” but not to include Uniform sets or Harpers sets, but only single volume sales. Sam wrote on the margin bracketing this paragraph: “Gosh! What an insane idea!” Bliss also asked about a story where “a little figure” approached him “which turned out to be your conscience” (“Carnival of Crime”) [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.