At the Metropolitan Club in N.Y.C. a dinner was given in honor of Mark Twain’s 67th Birthday. (Note: Paine gives the evening of Nov. 27 going into the wee hours of Nov. 28 [MTB 1182].) A. Hoffman claims that George B. Harvey’s motivation for throwing the party was a desire to renew the contract for exclusive rights to Mark Twain’s books and articles, set to expire in 1903 .
Sam gave souvenirs to each guest. A paper inscription was placed at the foot of a copper plate with Sam’s self-portrait, and the words on the plate in facsimile: “N.B. I cannot make a good mouth, therefore leave it out. There is enough without it, anyway. Done with the best ink. M.T.” (see insert ) [MTP]. Note: The Metropolitan Club was founded in 1891 by J. Pierpont Morgan. About 54 copies of the plate were made; 53 guests were reported in attendance; about 42 of these plates are not extant; of those that survive, the following persons also received a plate and inscription with this date. The “extra” dinner card and plate was sent to his niece, Miss Ida Langdon on Nov. 30; see entry.
Will Carleton, John Kendrick Bangs, Robert W. Chambers, William Dean Howells, Adrian H. Joline, William Mackay Laffan, David A. Munro, H.H. Rogers, Henry L. Stoddard, Van Tassel Sutphen, and Edward W. Townsend.
Of those others listed in the NY Times of Nov. 29, p.2, not included in the above were:
Charles Frohman, E. Thompson Seton [Ernest Seton-Thompson], George W. Young, Will N. Harben, Booth Tarkington, Joseph H. Twichell, Clarence C. Rice, John White Alexander, Richard Watson Gilder, Henry M. Alden, Brander Matthews, Howard Pyle, Hamblen Sears, James Lane Allen, Hamlin Garland, Richard Le Gallienne, Thomas A. Janvier, James H. Hyde, Frederick A. Duneka, Thomas F. Ryan, William A. Nash, Aldolph S. Ochs, F.T. Leigh, St. Clair McKelway, J. Henry Harper, F. Hopkinson Smith, Samuel Bowles, Horace White, August Belmont, John Hay, Roy Rolfe Gilson, George Washington Cable, Dumont Clarke, Henry S. Harper, Daniel O’Day, W.B. Leeds, Henry Van Dyke, George B. Harvey, Chauncey M. Depew, Hamilton W. Mabie, Wayne MacVeagh.
One autographed dinner program that survives was given to an unidentified man and signed by Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Hamlin Garland, and Henry Van Dyke [MTP].
Sam also inscribed one of the self-portrait plates to Hamilton W. Mabie “Hamilton W. Mabie /.With the kindest regards of / Mark Twain” [MTP].
The New York Times covered the birthday celebration, on p.10, Nov. 30:
WHEN TWAIN GOT HIS SAY
Paid His Respects to Fellow-Guests at Col. Harvey’s Dinner.
Describes Thomas B. Reed’s Goings On
During a Yachting Trip; Also a Dream of Another World.
Humorous oratory flowed freely at the Metropolitan Club Friday night after the banquet given to Mark Twain, in honor of the humorist’s sixty-seventh birthday, by Col. George Harvey. Mr. Twain himself was the target, and had difficulty in getting a hearing. Thomas B. Reed was there, and he took occasion, as he always does when he encounters the author of “Huckleberry Finn,” to say a multitude of things more or less true but always funny things about him. Chauncey M. Depew, Wayne MacVeagh, Dr. Van Dyke, W. D. Howells, Hamilton W. Mabie, St. Clair McKelway, and John Kendrick Bangs had their say before Mr. Twain got the floor.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.