Vol 3 Section 0702
Livy’s diary: “Mrs [Ethel] Newcomb came for lunch and tea. Sam Moffett & his little girl Mr & Mrs & Miss
Bartholomew called. Miss Marie van Vorst came for dinner & the night” [MTP: DV161].
Harper & Brothers wrote a note to Sam and enclosed contracts for the publication of “A Double-Barrelled Detective Story” and “The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Mch 9 – 13 – 16/03”.
March 17 Monday – At the Royal Poinciana in Palm Beach, Fla. Sam wrote to Livy. The men had just been notified of the Kanawha’s arrival in Miami, and so were “packing & rushing.” The sister of Mrs. Alice M. Ditson) as well as Col. A.G. Paine raved about the Hot Springs and told of a special train from N.Y. that arrived there overnight; he felt they should try it for Livy’s gout. In his prior letter Sam gave Livy a Havana address c/o H.H. Rogers at the West India Oil Refining Co. there; he would telegraph them to forward her letters to every known destination point [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Left about 5 p.m.—two hours to Miami & slept aboard yacht” [NB 45 TS 6].
Sam’s ship log: “Left, per train, about 5 p.m. Two hours to Miami. Joined the yacht, & slept aboard” [MTP].
The Plasmon Syndicate in the U.S. organized the Plasmon Company of America which was capitalized at 7,500 shares of stock at the par value of one hundred dollars. The English company held 2,500 shares issued in exchange for granting patent rights to the American company. John Hays Hammond held 1,250 shares, his wife, Natalie Hammond 229 shares; Samuel Clemens 400 shares, Ralph W. Ashcroft 10 shares, and others made up the rest. Howard E. Wright became General Manager of the American company, succeeding Channing H. Cook who had left in Dec. 1901 under accusations of dishonesty. There would be trouble almost from the beginning, with managers leaving under charges of dishonesty
[Report of Cases Vol. 187 (1910): Ashcroft v. Hammond 490-1]. Note: Sam’s 400 shares represented a $40,000 investment.
Sam would lose all of $50,000 on Plasmon.
Sam also replied to John Y. MacAlister who stated that Samuel Bergheim had purchased London Plasmon stock at twice what “we gave for it,” thus giving Sam a signal of a possible good time to sell. Sam had just subscribed to $25,000 additional of the newly formed American Plasmon Co. stock and would be a director of the company, but he didn’t want to sell the British stock if that business was “going to be conducted in an uncrooked fashion.” (Sam had initially invested in the Plasmon Syndicate in 1900) He had asked Henry A. Butters, who was headed to England, to look into a possible sale of Sam’s Syndicate stock there, and gave him an order to sell part or all of his holdings at 40 shillings a share. He rushed to finish the letter as they were about to leave for Miami, two hours away by rail [MTP].
Sam and the others took Henry Flagler’s railroad to Miami, then a town of about a thousand, and spent the night [Reckford 3].
March 18 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “All morning at Miami. Visited Mrs. Whitehead (Lucy Page) / Anchored
outside about 4” [NB 45 TS 6]. Sam’s ship log: “All the morning at Miami. Anchored outside about 4” [MTP].
On board the Kanawha in Miami, Fla., Sam wrote to Beatrice M. Benjamin, H.H. Rogers’ granddaughter.
It was lovely of you to make that beautiful tag me & furnish me that sure protection against dishonest people who covet every umbrella they see. I find it very useful. I was afraid to bring an umbrella this time, not foreseeing that I was to have this protection; but I am all the better off, because I am now able to put the tag on any umbrella I prefer, & pull it in. I am the only person in this ship, now, who has an umbrella, & they all
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.