“Mrs. Clemens bought the Casey house, near Tarrytown, while we were away, for what the Caseys paid for the land the house stands on—$45,000. There are 19 acres, & everything in good shape. We are very well satisfied. Mrs. C. paid $2,500 down, & we must pay the rest ten or fifteen days hence.”
Sam detailed stock sales and other monies needed to complete the sale, and if he needed more cash would borrow from Rogers. He then completed the letter with several items of finances and personal matters:
I wrote the Funston article yesterday, for the North American (May number.) It is short, & worth only $600. But last month’s article brought $1,000, & I put it up on a letter of credit for Clara, who sails in the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, April 22.
We have offered our Hartford house for sale at $75,000—bottom price $60,000. Mrs. Clemens puts her foot down, there.
There’s an applicant for this Riverdale house for the summer months. We are willing. The agent has taken charge of the matter, & hopes to get more than the summer is worth. We are willing.
It was a grand trip in the yacht—it couldn’t be improved on. I am expecting to look in on you as soon as I get the letters cleared off [MTHHR 484-5].
Note: the facts that Livy would purchase a home in Sam’s absence and her “foot down” about the Hartford house sale, shows her to be at least an equal partner in the financial dealings of the family. Hill writes that “Olivia decided, after qualms of indecision, to buy a house from Flora McDonald Casey…the primary instinct at work was her need to have a ‘home ’” [43-4]. The Clemens never lived in the Tarrytown house, which they rented after choosing to go to Italy for Livy’s health in 1903; Sam sold the house in Dec. 1904. Sam engaged Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford, and the William H. Hoyt & Co., N.Y.C. to advertise the Farmington Ave. house (see Apr. 19). “A Defence of General Funston” ran in the May issue of the North American Review. Sam would write a PS to it on Apr. 16
April 15 Tuesday – Livy’s diary: “The Misses Selfridge & Miss Mayo here for tea” [MTP: DV161].
April 16 Wednesday – Sam wrote a PS to his “A Defence of General Funston” article, which ran in the May issue of the N.A.R.
P.S. April 16. The President is speaking up, this morning, just as this goes to the printer, and there is no uncertain sound about the note. It is the speech and spirit of a President of a people, not of a party, and we all like it, Traitors and all. I think I may speak for the other Traitors, for I am sure they feel as I do about it. I will explain that we get our title from the Funstonian Patriots—free of charge. They are always doing us little compliments like that; they are just born flatterers, those boys. —Mark Twain [Zwick 132].
Livy’s diary: “Charley here for dinner” [MTP: DV161].
April 17 Thursday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote on Thomas B. Reed’s note to H.H. Rogers [MTP].
[Reed:] I still think we had a most lovely trip, & I am still grateful; I am told, however, that you had trouble immediately after I left. Which leads me to counsel you not to take the yacht out unless you have on board persons of such weight with the community that they can keep the boat level. The Colonel, Hutton, Foote, & Mr. Twain are all well enough in their way: quite interesting people, but they lack gravity. / Very truly yours /T. B. Reed
[Clemens:] This is well meant, but not well reasoned: for a yacht needs virtue as well as ballast. / Mark
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.