Vol 3 Section 0694

March 6 Thursday

636                                                                        1902


March 3. I went house-hunting in the rain yesterday afternoon—I kept this letter waiting, because I might perhaps be able to report a purchase to you. But it didn’t happen. Cheap enough house, but I wouldn’t take it as a gift.


To-morrow I examine a lot of houses with an agent, & next day shall examine two or three with a friend. I think I shall succeed within a week. And I’d better, for I go yachting for 6 weeks soon—March 11th or


12th I think [MTP]. Note: the sailing date was Mar. 13.


Katharine I. Harrison wrote to Sam asking for a check of $ 10,425 to pay for the Bordens stock and advising that the stock was “a trifle higher” than she expected, but since a dividend of $150 was due on Mar. 15, it made the price about 102½ [MTHHR 482]. Note: n1 of the source points out that this sort of note from Harrison acting for H.H. Rogers, was a normal management of the details of the Clemenses finances.


March 4 TuesdaySam house hunted with a real estate agent. He later wrote, “I went alone, one day, and examined 12 country seats from garret to cellar, and it ended my usefulness, and my strength. I struck” [Mar. 3 to Whitmore; Mar. 12 to Bigelow].


Sam’s notebook repeats one of the items from Mar. 2: “Polk Miller / Carnegie Hall”; then adds: “Box from Mrs. John S. Wise 154 W. 76th Box A 8.15 p.m.” [NB 45 TS 4]. Note: a box seat, Carnegie Hall. See insert, NY Times, Mar. 4, 1902, p.6.


Polk Miller (1844-1913) was a pharmacist and musician from Virginia, who played the banjo and headed the “Old South Quartette,” a minstrel-like

depiction of the life of Negroes before the Civil War. Miller was white and the four members of the quartet were black; they toured the country between 1900 and 1912. Earlier, Miller made remedies for his favorite dog Sergeant, and began selling them, which was the beginning of Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. The Old South Quartette was not mentioned in the Carnegie ad for this date, so they must have been a lead-in act.


Livy’s diary: “March 4th Six Callers: unusual for Riverdale” [MTP: DV161].


March 5 WednesdayIn Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to C.H. Shelby in the Transit Bldg., N.Y.C.Yes, I should like to try some of that water. I am not an enemy to water, now, the way I used to was, when I thought it was dangerous” [MTP].


Sam wrote a short note to Frank Bliss to settle some matters relating to the deal with Collier’s [MTP].


Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore (only the envelope survives) [MTP].



Sam’s notebook: “10 a.m. Benjamin—I meet him at our station” [NB 45 TS 5]. Note: likely William Evarts Benjamin, H.H. Rogers’ son-in-law, taking the train from the city for a visit.


Albert E. Davis, President of the North Side Board of Trade, read a letter of regret from Mark Twain at their eighth annual dinner in the Metropolis Theatre Hall. The New York Times, Mar. 7, p.2, “North Side Board of Trade,” printed the letter and speeches:


I thank you very much for the invitation, but I am still booked for several dissipations this season and must not indulge myself with another.



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