this one, I believe. It is a 9 or 10-hour journey. We shall stay all night there—take ship, at Miami, if she is there. She is not there yet
Payne [sic Col. Augustus G. Paine] furnishes to Swoboda the paper he uses in those little directions & the outline figure of a man (two or three little pieces of paper for which the customer pays $10.) Just for that use Payne sends his paper by the car-load; each car containing 15 tons of paper.
Breakfast! Good-bye sweetheart, & love to you all [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Left 10.30. Arrived at 7 at the hotel Royal Poinciana, Palm Beach. To bed early” [NB 45
TS 6]. Sam’s ship log: “Left at 10.30 a.m.; arrived, at 7 p.m., at the Ponciana [sic], Palm Beach, Fla. Gambled.
Several lost” [MTP].
Livy’s diary: “Miss Crystal Eastman came for a two day’s visit” [MTP: DV161].
March 16 Sunday – At the Royal Poinciana in Palm Beach, Fla. Sam wrote to Livy.
Livy darling, the whole multitude in this vast hotel wear Panama hats—& there isn’t one among them that is as fine as the one I left in Riverdale. I did not remember that I had such a thing until Rice inquired after it. He has lent me a nice soft hat to use until I can buy a straw.
Yesterday was a most trying day; from 9.30 a.m. until 6 p.m. through midsummer weather of an exhausting sort. We got the trunks right away; & as every room has a batch we were soon scoured-up and refreshed; dressed for dinner & went down in a body, we 7, & sat at one round table. There were 150 similar round tables in our part of the dining room, & more than 200 glimpsable in the other part of it. When the dining room is full there are 2,500 persons present. The hotel corridors afford fine perspectives—in fact about three times that of St. Peters at Rome, where the people furthest away look like children. One of these corridors, they say, is 1700 feet long. Of course this is the largest hotel in the world.
After dinner I went at once to bed & to sleep. Joe Jefferson sent up his card & a note this forenoon, & presently followed in person & visited half an hour with us. We are to go on an excursion with him in a steam launch at 3 this afternoon. He is a dear. You might send his card to Miss Harrison; it is an autograph, but not a signature.
We are just back, (1.30 p.m.), from a two-hour excursion in wheel-chairs of willow, driven by negro-power—the negro is behind you, & the thing is a 3-wheeled, rubber-tyred bicycle. It makes great speed. We visited the crocodile pools & the ostrich farm—& saw an ostrich sit down & lay an egg. Few tourists have seen that. One ostrich is named for Mr. Cleveland, & another one for me. It was Mrs. Cleveland that laid the egg.
We saw no country around the world whose aspects & vegetation are more tropical than this.
It is expected that the yacht will reach Miami to-night. As soon as she reports by telegram, we shall join her. It is even possible that she may come to this place, & get us [LLMT 334-5]. Note: A. Hoffman has Joe Jefferson knocking “around from island to island enjoying late-night poker, local rum, and native life” . If so, he joined the party here in Palm Beach for part of the cruise.
Sam’s notebook: “Went with Joe Jefferson in a launch & visited Mr. Cragin in afternoon” [NB 45 TS 6].
Sam’s ship log: Roll called at 2 p.m. All present—to wit:
Rogers, Commodore. T.B. Reed, Czar.
C.C. Rice, Surgeon to the Expedition Col. Paine, (partially) Reformed Pirate. W. Foote, Unreformed Congressman Laurence Hutton, Professor at Princeton. S.L. Clemens, Chaplain
In the afternoon the company went with Joe Jefferson in a steam-launch & visited the summer seat
of his friend Mr. Cragin & did not over-stimulate themselves. It is the unexpected that happens [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.