At the station here there came near being a tragedy. Clara had just stepped off our car and Father was following when a lightning express passed between our car and the platform. Some men yelled and the train whistled so that Clara leaped for the platform and Father managed to stay on the car steps. If either of them had been half a minute later (or earlier), they would have been killed” [Heritage Auction Archives Oct. 15, 2009, Lot 35132; “Be Sure and Save the Gentians,” by Peter Salwen, 2005].
Sarah A. Sage (widow of Dean Sage) wrote from Albany, NY to Sam, thanking him for his letter and “kind words of sympathy” [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam, sorry he’d been unable to see him on the train the day before when he passed through, but he didn’t get Sam’s telegram until 2 p.m. and was busy at his office until 3. The train went through Hartford at 2:58 p.m. He wished Livy the best and extended any help [MTP]. Sam wrote on the env. “Telegram from Boston Hartford, 2 hours.”
October 17 Friday – Sam’s notebook : “Signed for 250 shares ($25,000) in the American Plasmon Co at 110-122 Broad st. I had previously paid in $5,000, which was the first call. Mr. Wright was there & Mr. Butters came pretty soon” [NB 45 TS 31]. Note: Howard E. Wright then President of the American branch, would later resign under a cloud of fraud. Henry A. Butters, an officer in the co.
October 18 Saturday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Edward W. Bok. “I wish I could, but I can’t, as I am barred by existing contracts” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister.
Mrs. Clemens is going to stay with us a good while yet, the doctors say: so to-day I have returned the Amended Obituaries to the Harper’s & told them to publish it in the Weekly about Nov. 20—ten days before my birthday. You can do the same in London if you like. The birthday is Sunday, Nov. 30; there’s to be a birthday banquet in New York, & I hope to have a bright obituary or two to read there & comment on [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, asking him to look in the safe and send “a bundle of MS entitled ‘Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven’ & express it to me.”
The madam talks to Clara & the nurse—although strictly forbidden by the doctor to do it—& she is determined to build an addition at Tarrytown. We have the plans, & it will not cost less than $30,000. But I won’t consent to put a dollar there that the Hartford house doesn’t furnish. She’ll have to take $30,000 for that house if she can’t do any better. (I myself would take it in a minute.)
I like the idea of the auction.
If the house were pulled down—oh hell, the subject is a kind of maddening one [MTP].
Sam also replied to Theodore Weld Stanton who requested a visit (not extant). “Any time, now, that suits
your convenience. But better telephone, first, to make sure” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook recorded another instance of Post Office negligence, the object of one of his crusades: “The suicide, Ida C. Craddock, announced it by mail 7.30 p.m. (posted it). U. Sam delivered it 13 hours later—too late. Should have done it in 1 ½ h; the W.U. [Western Union] could do it in 2. / The U.S. marks delivery time—the W.U. dasn’t” [NB 45 TS 31].
Note: Ida C. Craddock (1857-1902), writer and advocate of free speech and women’s rights, had an obsession with the occult to the point of being seen as a crackpot (she claimed to have an ongoing marital relationship with an angel named Soph, and called herself a “Priestess and Pastor of the Church of Yoga.” She was the subject of a Federal indictment for distributing Right Marital Living via the U.S. Mail. She committed suicide on Oct. 16 after writing a letter to her mother, who had tried to have her institutionalized.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.