February 16 Sunday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Frederick A. Duneka asking for “a travel-book or two,” on the West Indies, preparing for his next yachting trip with H.H. Rogers. He also requested A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew D. White
(1901). Clemens also referred to a book he was writing:
“You will begin to think the large book I am writing is going to be a mine of learning. Well it is—a little bit distorted, a trifle out of focus, recognizably drunk. But interesting, & don’t you forget it!” [MTP]. Note: see Gribben p.760, which reveals Sam inscribed his copy on Feb. 22. Tuckey writes that after receiving White’s book (above), which was “a major source for the remaining thirty-five manuscript pages of” Sam’s “The Secret History of Eddypus,” Sam took up the MS again until some time in March 1902. He had begun the MS ca. Feb. 1901 [Fables of Man 317].
February 17 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Geo. Iles & Mr. Montgomery, artist, coming, 4.15 p.m.” [NB 45 TS 4].
Elisabeth Marbury sent Sam another statement for two weeks of the PW play and a check for $22 for his royalties [MTP].
February 18 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Robert Bridges, declining an invitation as he was to “go yachting in the southern seas” at month’s end [MTP].
Fatout lists Sam reading unspecified stories at a Boys Club in N.Y.C. [MT Speaking 670], undoubtedly from this
entry in Sam’s notebook: “4.30 p.m. At The Boy’s Club. Corey Fund meeting. (Letter from Wm. H. McElroy, 135 W.
95th.) / Must try to get there. / Dinner to Julie Langdon, my niece” [NB 45 TS 4].
Note: William H. McElroy of Albany was a widely known journalist, lecturer, poet and public speaker. He had been editor in chief of the Albany Journal, and later in the editorial corps of the NY Tribune. In 1884 he moved to Rochester where he became editor of the Rochester Post-Express . In 1898 he moved to N.Y.C. and is listed in the Biographical Directory of the State of New York (1900) as residing at 404 East Ave. He also attended the June 17 Lotos Club dinner for Gen. Horace Porter; also gave a speech at the Jan. 27, 1900 Lotos dinner for Andrew Carnegie.
February 19 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Rev. L.M. Powers of the Universalist Church in Haverhill, Mass., a collector who had requested autographed copies of books:
You make it so pleasant for me to say yes, & so easy, that I can’t say no although my conscience demands it. I do smoke, though not to excess, there not being hours enough in the 24 for that.
One of the maxims which I have written in the books has been in print, but not the other three or four— they are of yesterday & the day before.
I shall issue a small book thro’ Harper presently, & will try & not forget to autograph a copy & mail it to
I shall be glad to autograph that other 6 whenever it is handy to send them to me [MTP].
Note: Schmidt reports on one maxim given to L.M. Powers, a collector: “One should not pay a person a compliment and straightway follow it with a criticism. It is better to kiss him now and kick him next week.” Inscription written on fly leaf of HF from the L. M. Powers collection. Reported in Kansas City Star, April 10, 1911, p. 6. See also Nov. 9, 1905 to Powers. This is the same inscription and copy of HF that the MTP catalogs (UCCL 13114) to an “unidentified person”: [MTP:Samuel T. Freeman & Co. catalog, Mar. 23, 1936, Item 66].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.