“Hank always had a desire to drive stage,” said Mr. Monk in speaking of the proposed exhibit, “from the days when he was a mere boy at Waddington, and could scarcely trudge around and was only strong enough to snap a whip with great exertion of his little arms. When he was only twelve years old he drove stage from Waddington to Massena, and I am told by the older residents of the town that he was a good driver, even at that early age.
“Hank was born in Waddington in 1828. He was the eldest of a family of four children. Our family was of the same origin as the good Vermont stock in ‘Eben Holden.’ Grandfather and grandmother came from Vermont in 1809, making the journey to Waddington through the woods. When Hank first took the Waddington-Massena route many shook their heads and said he was too young, but he showed the doubters that he was a natural driver.
“When gold was discovered in 1849 Hank wanted to make a trip to the coast. Mother objected strongly, and he deferred the trip for a time, holding to the stage route while he remained in this part of the country. But when he was twenty-four years of age, in 1852, the fever was too much for him and he went West. The next time the people at home heard from him he was driving a six-horse stage coach in the Sierras. For many years he drove the Wells-Fargo stage, from Sacramento to Placerville. It was here that he first became acquainted with Joaquin Miller, California’s poet, who later won such fame in verse.
“Hank was running out of Virginia City when Horace Greeley made the trip to Placerville, which is described by Dr. Clemens in ‘Roughing It.’ The distance was forty miles and the trip was made in four hours.
“Nearly everyone on the coast and directly east of the mountains came to know my brother, either personally or by repute, as early as the sixties, and gradually his reputation crossed the divide, and came through the East. He was an adventurous fellow, but he took no chances when his coach was loaded. He died in 1883.”
[Note: Henry Marvin Yerington (spelled with one “r”) (b. 1828) went to Carson City in 1863, the same year Sam worked for the Territorial Enterprise, and covered the Legislative meetings (See Vol. I). Yerington became one of Carson’s most prosperous business men. Among his earliest work was the construction of the Merrimac mill for the crushing of Comstock ore, the first mill in the state of that description, which stood on the Carson river. He then was involved in railroad construction and from 1868 to 1910 was Superintendent for the Virginia City Truckee RR. He is likely the Yerington whom Sam remembered knowing well. Henry had three sons including the J.A. Yerington of this article. Yerington, Nevada is named after him. Source: A History of the State of Nevada: Its Resources and People, by Thomas Wren, 1904]
Chatto & Windus’ Jan. 1, 1904 statement to Clemens shows 1,500 2s.0d. copies of TS were printed, for a total printed to date of 43,500 [1904 Financials file MTP].
September 18 Friday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam wrote to Beatrice M. Benjamin.
Yes, I should like very much to have the views of the house. I think the pictures of your grandfather & me are excellent. Mr. Rogers looks just like himself—just as he always looks when he is arranging in his mind to raise my board.
I’ve got the bronchitis & am leading a very exemplary life. I can’t swear or carry on, because it hurts my breast. Bronchitis would help your grandfather, don’t you think?
I am sending my love, & am affectionately your ancient & aged friend [MTP]. Note: Beatrice M. Benjamin (1889-1956), fifteen-year-old granddaughter of H.H. Rogers.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
I am ashamed, that I am still dawdling here, when I ought to have been in New York days ago. I can’t get rid of the bronchial trouble, & I telegraphed yesterday, hoping to go down last night. But I got a fresh cold, & was afraid of the night journey.
Lord, I know you are out of patience with me—it couldn’t be otherwise. If I could have caught
yesterday’s train—but I couldn’t, there wasn’t time.
[one or two lines (about 14 words) torn away]
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.