Vol 3 Section 1084

Joseph Gaylord Gessford


prominent N.Y. photographer, wrote to Sam.

1020                                                                        1904




Mary Elizabeth Phillips in White Mountains, N.H.wrote a letter of condolence to Sam [MTP].


Isabel Lyon’s journal: “this evening” Richard Watson Gilder “sauntered in” while she was playing euchre with Clemens and Jean in Lee, Mass. “We kept on with our game, and Mr. Gilder read bits of ‘Ponkapog Papers’ and Kipling’s ‘Five Seas’ . Mr. Clemens told of the day in Florence that he read Mr. Aldrich’s comment upon Mark Twain’s humor in the ‘Ponkapog Papers’, speaking of it as being deep rooted” [Gribben 17: 1903-1906 Journal TS 25, MTP].


July 29 FridayIn Tyringham, Mass. Sam wrote to John Francis Holme of Bandar-Log Press. “I am exceedingly glad to be a Bandar Log Town stock and I sent my best thanks. The stuff has reached me and I highly prize it. Immeasurable disaster has befallen me since the La Shelles were under my roof and this has changed my permanent address. Sincerely Yours, S.L. Clemens” [MTP]. Note: Mr. & Mrs. Kirke La Shelle visited in Florence after April and before Livy’s death.



(1874-1925),                                                                               “I send herewith


unfinished proofs, in making your selection for the Berkshire Topics please consider that the rough lines which are untouched in the proofs will be judiciously modified”[MTP]. Note: Gessford had a branch studio in Lee, Mass., a stone’s throw from Tyringham. One of the photos Gessford took of Richard Watson Gilder (standing) and Mark Twain (seated) at Tyringham ran in the Nov. 1904 issue of The Editor. The MTP puts the date of the Gessford photographs as between July 19 and 29.


July 30 SaturdayIn Tyringham, Mass., Isabel Lyon replied to Joseph Gessford, photographer.


In returning the prints to you, Mr. Clemens wishes me to say that you may use any of the small photos that you choose for the Berkshire Topics—but he would like you to keep for him the large fine one, the one that you have marked “Splendid” and beneath your writing Mr. Clemens has written “Best of all”—

Mr. Clemens would like to know what the price would be for

2 of himself & dog—mounted

6 of the large one mounted

12 ” ” ” ” unmounted

Mr. Clemens also wishes me to say that they are so good that it is difficult to make a choice.

Very truly yours,

I. V. Lyons

Mr. Clemens thinks that the large fine one will be very good to keep in case some magazine may some day need a photograph and he can then refer them to you without having to sit again [MTP].


Jean Clemens was injured in a bad accident with a trolley car while on horseback, one of the two horses that comprised Livy’s last gift to her daughters. The local paper, The Berkshire Gleaner, Aug. 3, p.3 reported the near tragedy:





Horse Backed Onto Track and was Killed, while She was Thrown to the Ground

and her Escape from Serious Injury a Miracle.

Late Saturday night Miss Jean Clemens, youngest daughter of Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) who is spending the summer at Gilder cottage in Tyringham, had a narrow escape from serious accident, by her horse backing into a trolley car just below the Pleasant street bridge in Lee.


In company with Rodman Gilder, son of Richard Watson Gilder she was taking a horseback ride, and, when near the bridge, the 10.15 car approached and her horse became frightened and backed onto the track,



SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.