I am mailing you a letter containing a proposition to buy the Hartford house for $50,000 worth of 5% railroad bonds; & I am telegraphing Whitmore to ask for an appointment & go down & get your judgment as to whether the bonds are safe & sound or not. The price ($50,000) is eminently satisfactory.
Won’t you please tell Whitmore what you think, & whether the cash-down part of W.’s proposition should be $5,000 or double that?
The proposer wants possession Oct. 5. We can give it possibly, by dreadful work & crowding, but would much rather it should be a fortnight (Yes, a month later,) if possible, for the emptying of the house will be a good deal of a job for Mrs. Clemens.
If those bonds should happen to be satisfactory it would much gratify [MTHHR 493-4]. Note: Rogers wrote his disapproval of the proposal on Aug. 5. See entry.
Hélène Elisabeth Picard wrote a picture postcard of a lake (Rigi Kanseli) to Sam: “With all good wishes and kindest regards to the C.S. from the F.M.” (Chief Servant; French Member) [MTP].
August 4 Monday – Harper & Brothers wrote to Livy, advising that Sam’s article on Christian Science she ordered had not been republished in book form; the magazine was out of stock but Mr. A.S. Clark of the City could “supply good second hand copies” at more than 35 cents each [MTP].
August 5 Tuesday – In N.Y.C. H.H. Rogers gave his advice about Sidney A. Witherbee’s proposal to purchase Sam’s Hartford house:
I have read Mr. Whitmore’s letter, also Mr. Witherbee’s. In the first place, it would seem quite natural to inquire as to the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad. In view of the fact that Poor’s Manual makes no reference to the railroad, it is reasonably fair to assume that it is not of any great prominence. I certainly would never undertake to enter into the arrangement for myself. In the first place, if you put a ten thousand dollar mortgage on your property, that is a nuisance. In the second place, if you put up the deed of your property subject to that mortgage against forty thousand dollars in bonds of a Railway that has no existence in the investment world, you might as well put your deed up against so much brown paper. Then you surrender your property and the party moves in. The improvements that Mr. Whitmore refers to, might prove in the end to be injurious.
If Mr. Witherbee can sell those bonds within three years, and will guarantee to do so at par, it would be pretty good financial business for him to sell them now at 90, and pay you the cash.
I may be too conservative in this matter, but I have always felt that it is a good deal safer to deal with the devil I know than it is to have business with the devil I don’t know.
I judge from Mr. Whitmore’s letter that he has told Mr. Witherbee that some cash must be paid down, and Witherbee suggests that you raise it by mortgage. Don’t let me influence you too much, but do be careful. It is much easier to keep out of trouble than it is to get out. You and I know that of old [MTHHR 494-5].
Note: Sam forwarded this letter to Whitmore on Aug. 6.
The 250th Anniversary of the incorporation of York, Maine was held on the Meeting-House Green of York Village, at 2 p.m. The Citizen’s Welcome was delivered by John C. Stewart, followed by orations by James Phinney Baxter, President of the Maine Historical Society. Then a band led singing of The Star Spangled Banner. Short addresses were then given. Sam was the second speaker after Thomas Nelson Page; he was followed by President of Dartmouth William Jewett Tucker (1839-1926), Francis L. Stetson of N.Y., Thomas B. Reed, and Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, Ex-Gov. of Maine. William Dean Howells was one of the guests.
A pamphlet, Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Town of York, Maine, York Public Library, pp.
119-20, summarizes his speech:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.