June 17 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to W.H. Dulany, who had sent news clippings, biographical details, and a photo he had taken of Sam in Hannibal. Sam’s replied:
The views have arrived & are exceedingly fine & beautiful. Pray accept my best thanks for them.
My trip to the West was no tax upon my strength, & was an abounding delight. I’ve renewed my youth in Hannibal—all but the hair—& I would not trade those days for any others I have seen in a quarter of a century [MTP; Sorrentino 40].
Sam also wrote to Mr. Miller.
I saw that “Clemens” depot, by courtesy of the conductor, who took me to the rear platform of the train
showed it to me. It is beautifully situated, & I hope a town will grow up & flourish there. I am full of appreciation of the honor which has been done my name [MTP]. Note: On June 3, when traveling on the train between Hannibal and Columbus Mo., a depot shack with the name of a new town, “Clemens” was pointed out. No township or depot by that name was found in a recent search.
Sam’s notebook: “Lotos dinner to Ambassador Horace Porter—7. / 558 – 5th ave. ” [NB 45 TS19].
Sam spoke at the Lotos Club event honoring General Horace Porter. While no formal speeches were made, Sam did say a few words. The New York Times, Jan. 18, p.2 reported the event:
GEN. PORTER HONORED AT LOTOS CLUB DINNER
Distinguished Speakers Compliment Ambassador to France.
An Evening of Epigram Under Gay Decorations—
Gen. Brooke Defends Soldiers in the Philippines.
Gen. Horace Porter, Ambassador to France, was the guest of honor at a dinner given by the Lotos Club last night. Among those who assembled to do him honor were Frank R. Lawrence, President of the club and toastmaster; Major Gen. John R. Brooke, Mark Twain, George H. Daniels, Charles A. Moore, Read Admiral [Albert S.] Barker, and many other prominent citizens. The clubhouse was elaborately decorated with evergreens and flags from the entrance to the rear of the first floor dining hall.
Mr. Lawrence announced at the start that there were to be no formal speeches, partly because the guest probably had forgotten the intricacies of the English language by reason of his long absence abroad. Gen. Porter, the toastmaster said, had been the right man to send as Ambassador to a nation of cavaliers, being a great soldier himself, and to a people of orators, being among the greatest masters of epigram in America. There was a rising toast in the General’s honor, and then all sang “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” …
Mark Twain was introduced by the toastmaster as one who had promised “to say something if anybody else said anything that would remind him of something.” He began b announcing that the toastmaster had told the truth, “not because he was practiced in it, but for variety. He himself, he said, had been always a symbol of truth, although nobody had discovered it. He had been glad to hear from Mr. Lawrence that the night was the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, but he would look up the date when he got home, as he was sure no one in the room knew whether the toastmaster was telling the truth or not.
“I have more admiration for Gen. Porter,” continued Mr. Clemens, “than I have for the Tax Assessors of Tarrytown. And they are great. They multiply what you have by seven and then tax. They would tax him on his general appearance if he came there. They even tax me on my chicken coop. If I don’t have a chance to vote next time for Theodore Roosevelt, I hope to vote for Porter.”
William H. McElroy, John S. Wise, and George H. Daniels were the other speakers, and the dinner ended not far on the right side of midnight. [Note: Rear Admiral Albert S. Barker (1845-1916), was at this time commandant of the Brooklyn Naval Yard.]
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.