December 23 Monday – Elisabeth Marbury wrote to Sam that she had his letter and that he was “more than generous to the Mayos. I conveyed to them this proof of your kindness” [MTP].
December 24 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote on a postcard, the verso containg a printed: “A Bright and Happy Christmas,” to niece Ida Langdon.
—‘sh! Ida dear, do not let these sweet maids beguile you of the shivery shuddery secret, known to none but you & me, of the fate of the Tale, the Tear & the Joke That Went Out Seeking the Truth and Met Up With a Bryn Mawr Girl.
Remember the Great Oath of our Order:
“Silence should be seen, not heard.”
These—from one of uncular rank who loves you. / Mark / Riverdale, Xmas Eve, 1901 [MTP].
Sam also wrote to President Theodore Roosevelt.
Not Duncan himself was clearer in his great office.
I think the whole nation would say that, Your Excellency, if a Christmas greeting from it to its President were a custom.
Praise from a stranger to the Head of the Nation could have the look of an impertinence; but I am not a stranger, & so may venture it without offending against propriety, I trust & believe / Mark Twain [MTP].
Sarah Grand (born Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke; 1854-1943), British feminist writer traveling in the U.S., wrote to Sam: “Since you are so kind please expect me on Friday by the 12.15 train from the Grand Central” [MTP]. Note: see Gribben p. 270 who gives her birth year as 1862.
George A. Patterson, at the Hotel Windsor in Hannibal, Mo., wrote a fan letter to Sam asking for his autograph, and confessing he’d gone to No. 216 Hill Street and listened to the occupant give “pleasant reminiscences” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “A first-rate test to be used in the Gospel of Self.”
December 25 before – The New York Sun, p.8, January 25, 1901 ran a squib about Mark Twain, which appeared on Christmas Day in Vienna’s Neues Wiener Tagblatt:
Prosperity and happiness to my friend in the Emnira. The same to my enemies—on Christmas Day, but not after that date. Mark Twain.
December 25 Wednesday – Christmas – William Winter wrote to Sam, sending him and Livy “a few volumes of his sketches as a Christmas remembrance & as a token of my respect & esteem” [MTP].
December 26 Thursday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Jules Hart, responding to a letter not extant.
“I realize that you are perfectly right: to publish the letter would do harm, not good. If I could spare the time I would gladly write another, but I am away behind with my work, & must try to keep my mind from getting side-tracked from it” [MTP]. Note: See Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 to Hart.
Charles S. Fairchild wrote to Sam, enclosing a prospectus with The American Mechanical Cashier Co. and six-pages of details. “I have just telephoned to you that the Cashier Co. is to be organized tomorrow. The difficulties of the telephone were such that I did not attempt to explain the situation fully…” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “The ‘Cashier” Co. Have written him to make my subscription $16,000 instead of $15,000”.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.