Vol 4 Section 0003


Dedicated To

Thomas A. Tenny


Scholar, editor, friend who made this work possible.

This volume completes his vision.

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, and every day, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history. His acts and his words are merely the visible, thin crust of his world, with its scattered snow summits and its vacant wastes of water — and they are so trifling a part of his bulk! a mere skin enveloping it. The mass of him is hidden — it and its volcanic fires that toss and boil, and never rest, night nor day. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written. Every day would make a whole book of eighty thousand words — three hundred and sixty-five books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.




“David H. Fears’s log of Samuel Clemens’ life is often downright interesting in itself for Twainians. Furthermore, they will get a heightened sense of the whirligig he somehow shaped into an ongoing presence—his now well-known business activities, his tireless socializing, his dealings with plumbers, and his paying bills for groceries (including pilsener beer and cigars, of course). As for Mark Twain authors, Fears will help resolve some cruxes while setting up others unsuspected until now. I’m envious that my generation didn’t have this resource when we were starting out.” – LOUIS J. BUDD – Professor Emeritus at Duke University, author of Mark Twain: Social Philosopher

“More fascinating and far better documented than any existing biography of Mark Twain, this study provides a window into every waking—and for that matter, sleeping—moment of Twain’s hyperactive life. Many scholars before David Fears had contemplated undertaking this staggeringly daunting but incredibly useful project….All students of Mark Twain should give heartfelt thanks for this masterful accomplishment. Fears interweaves even Twain’s most quotidian activities into a textured fabric, threading helpful explanations where needed. This book now qualifies as the single most essential reference work in Mark Twain scholarship. We will be indebted to David Fears forever.” – ALAN GRIBBEN – Author of Mark Twain’s Library: A Reconstruction

“Mr. Fears must be fearless! To undertake such an immense project certainly requires courage. Going day-by-day in Twain’s life gives valuable information regarding Twain’s multi-faceted literary, business, and speculative career. Despite the short length of the quotations the flavor of Twain is there: his attention to household matters, his caring role as husband and father, his experience with publishers, the wide-ranging friendships and his biting wit. Fears’ volumes will be a major contribution to Mark Twain Studies.” ­– HOWARD G. BAETZHOLD – Author of Mark Twain & John Bull

“In these pages there is a rich record of the life, works, and Twain’s family and friends.” – THOMAS A. TENNEY, author of Mark Twain A Reference Guide; editor of The Mark Twain Journal.


When reaching the end of a long journey, there is opportunity to reflect upon the ground covered. I know the comprehensiveness and approach to this work has evolved since I began in 2005 (actually it began in 1971 with the discovery that Clemens came through my hometown, Portland, Oregon, in 1895). That’s life—just when we get wise it’s time to check out. When our great jobs are finished, we are the most capable of producing them.

This final volume is greatly informed by the generous use of Isabel V. Lyon’s journal entries (variously called “journals,” “daily reminders,” and “datebooks” herein called simply “journal” entries), which have never been substantially published but which hold a wealth of detail and observation on Clemens’ life. Hill used a few excerpts, as did Trombley and a few other historians, but nearly all of her entries from 1905-1908 are now in this volume. As a primary source Lyon’s journals are rich in persons, places, episodes and details relating to Mark Twain, and they provide us with an indispensable peek into his daily life for these last years, years which were amazingly full. The MTP graciously allowed me copies of the newer transcriptions (page numbers are thus different than the excerpts which Gribben used in his seminal work), not to mention access to many letters, notes and sources. This volume alone should dispel the image of a bitter Twain sitting alone with little going on in his life during his last years. If anything, after the death of Livy, Twain’s life became fuller, his circle of contacts broadened, and his interest in life expanded. Certainly his uncensored opinions flourished. Stormfield became his country sanctuary and also his “hotel” for numerous guests, gatherings (“Doe luncheons,” etc.) and of course for his “Aquarium” of young ladies.

It should be noted that Lyon struck out many short passages and a few longer ones that now seem either excessive in their praise of Twain, or that reveal her personal struggles. There are also a few emendations with dates as late as 1938. These are the result of plans to publish some sort of work, plans that never reached fruition. When the strikeout reveals opinion or other important information, they are included; when a simple edit of word choice without connotation, they are omitted. It cannot be determined just when the edits were applied. She also wrote and later struck out passages such as that of June 28, 1906 about various persons (this referred to about Albert Bigelow Paine, which shows a definite change of opinion at a later time). Lyon also disposed of the 1909 journal, and may have also selectively removed others, clearly concerned about how she would be regarded. Today she remains a controversial figure in Clemens’ life. The reader can find judgment coming down on either side of the saint/devil Lyon-Ashcroft-Clara Clemens-Twain dustups. In this regard, as in most others, it is not my purpose to take editorial position, but to present the primary and secondary opinions for researchers and others to use in formulating their understanding. In each case—Clemens included—we are dealing with human beings, fragile at times and strong at others. I will leave the judgments to biographers who glory in that sort of work. There is enough material for any biographer or scholar to pick and choose in arguing any case. Biographers, I might add, have the luxury of picking and choosing what material to include. This work has included the mundane, the trivial with the significant. Who knows, after all, just what details will prove significant to some researcher from the twenty-third century?

As this last volume goes to press, I am encouraged by the interest and purchase by top American Universities and scholars. I am content in knowing this reference work will stand at least as long as any other work on Twain, and hopefully, will be more helpful.

A second edition of Vol. I (1835-1885) is needed, since so much additional material has been found even beyond that of the addenda items online, and since the incoming letters were not examined for that volume. I quickly learned that incomings are critical to understanding Twain’s replies (most of his letters are replies), and so did examine all available incomings for subsequent volumes. But if that edition is never completed then perhaps some young researcher will follow me and get the job done. I am young only in my driving habits and my smart mouth. The rest is eroding.

Much information lies beyond the scope of this work: most letters outside the immediate family, or further biographical information on hundreds of Twain’s contacts. Each one has a story to tell, though many are hidden and defy research efforts. There are literally hundreds of these letters in the MTP files. For example, many survive from Pamela Moffett to her son Samuel E. Moffett. There are also other letters from and to persons outside the immediate Clemens family that might shed light on some aspects of Twain’s life.

Inevitably there are errors in these volumes. How could there not be? But every effort was made to lay down an accurate historical daily record, something I’ve only seen done for one other famous American, Herman Melville, and that a bit cryptic.

I hope to continue putting items up in addenda for all four volumes online:


You may look there for additions, corrections and further comments.

David H Fears 2012-2013

Conventions Used

‡ – The double dagger was used in reprints of vol. I and II to designate additions or corrections in later print runs. These now may now be accessed online:



Dates: I have followed the conventions used by the University of California Press on the volumes of Mark Twain’s Letters, except I offer the day of the week, which in some cases is helpful. To wit:


October 5 Thursday – Sources indicate this is a confirmed date, or a deduced date from events or

other evidence. Firm dates come before conjectured or circa dates and date ranges.

October 3? Tuesday    

The question mark indicates a conjecture of October 3. Conjecture dates are listed separately following firm dates.


June 2429 Saturday

A span of dates joined by a dash indicates a less specific conjecture: the date or dates of composition are thought to fall within this span. Day of the week is ascribed to the last date in the span. The last date in a period is noted by its day of the week. Such entries are listed separately.


June 24 to 29 Saturday – Not a conjecture, but an assertion that some event ran from June 24 through June 29. Such date ranges are listed separately.

May 2 and 3 Friday

Not a conjecture, but an assertion that the event or activity occurred at least in part on both days. Such inclusive dates are listed separately.


May 1 Friday ca.

A conjecture of circa a date, month, year or season. Similar to May 1st? but with less specificity. May also be specified as “on or before,” or “on or after.” Circa dates are listed separately.


Items for which only a month is known, or for magazine-type publications issued for a given month.


Items for which a year is known, but not a month or date.


Note: Dates are arranged in order; spans of dates and single dates are sorted by the first date in a span. Conjectured dates are usually separate from known or consensus dates. Thus there are separate entries for May 1 Friday, and May 1? Friday; May 17 Thursday would follow May 1220 Sunday. Occasionally entries are labeled “Mid-month” or “End of Month” or “Early Spring,” etc. Confirmed dates are listed first.


Where unsigned articles have been ascribed to Sam Clemens by major researchers, I have followed their lead but specified, “attributed.” “Sam” when shown without surname is used throughout to mean Mark Twain/ Samuel L. Clemens; likewise “Livy” designates Olivia Louise Clemens; “Susy” has been chosen for Olivia Susan Clemens over the spelling “Susie,” which is seen in earlier references to her. “Jane Clemens” is used for Sam’s mother, “Pamela” or “Pamela Moffett” for his sister, “Orion” for his brother. For certain dominant people in Sam’s life, or dominant within certain periods, last names only are given: Howells, Twichell, Cable, etc. Middle names are now given if known; if not, a middle initial; some middle initials are omitted, when reference is clearly to one person, such as Hjalmar Boyesen. “Frank” is often given for “Francis”; “Joe” for Joseph, when the person was a familiar figure in Sam’s life, such as Joe Twichell, Joe Goodman, Frank Bliss, etc. There are exceptions, as when H.H. Rogers is used for Henry Huttleston Rogers, etc.


MLA formatting is followed for in-text and Works Cited, with exceptions made for MT “standard” abbreviations such as MTBus or MTLTP (see abbreviations), and follow the MT Project’s conventions when possible. Use of [brackets] for in-text citations, as well as editor’s inserts within quoted text. When the writer uses [brackets] these are replaced by parentheses or {curly brackets}.

Some exceptions are made to standard MT scholarly convention, such as MTL with volume numbers used for the MTP volumes, whereas this abbreviation in the past was used for Paine’s volumes of letters, which I cite as MTLP, if I use them at all. A few conventions are modified, such as LM instead of LoM for Life on the Mississippi. See Abbreviations for the full list.

Nearly every date given requires a citation, though some are calculated from sources. Because both primary and secondary sources are used, errors and omissions may have been introduced. Hopefully, more study of primary sources will amend such shortcomings.

R – This symbol is used for incoming letters not reviewed.


Editor’s opinions:


The few opinions on events or interpretation of an entry follow all citation designators as well as extra information following “Note”; These remarks are offered as simply one man’s view, and every effort has been made to keep them short and pithy, without obstacle to the meaning of the listing. Of course, I hold title to many more opinions than the few exposed here. Admittedly, a work of this scope carries errors and inconsistencies. That’s what future appendixes, supplements and editions are for. Ultimately, online status for the whole work may happen.

Misc: Bold Entries, Italics, Strike-outs, Quotations, use of sic:

All references to dates are bold, save for those within quotes. Also bold are first mentions of persons and places (including lecture halls, etc.) within each date entry. Subjects and titles are not in bold. Indented are letter, newspaper excerpts (boxed) and longer commentaries from biographers and scholars. This aids ease of reading, finding one’s place and appearance. Italics are used when the primary source uses underlines, except for newspaper reports using underlines. They are also used for all inscriptions noted, especially those in books given as gifts. When Sam Clemens uses strikeouts to convey his real or additional meaning, those are usually retained — all other strikeouts, thought to be drafting strikeouts, are not included. Due to all the variant spellings of the day, use of vernacular, and the many misspellings by some writers, the use of sic has been limited to a few instances. Some surnames were spelled in more than one way. Choices were made to stick with one variant, trying to follow the MTP’s examples, or sometimes to put the variant in parentheses.


Corrected sources and method used; the “not in” listings:


Inevitably, sources contain errors. When an error is perceived it is sometimes, but not always, reported. This is not to point any blame or to discredit any source or author, but merely to report findings. Prejudice is given to contemporary works, with Internet sources taking a much lower priority. Apologies to egos aside, the errors, omissions and oddities should be reported.


Also, some notable material is missing from standard works. Whenever possible these are pointed out, as in “Not in Gribben,” or “Not in Scharnhorst,” to save the reader/researcher effort in tracing back material. When errors were found in the MTP catalogue, such as letters to Livy or Whitmore that were catalogued as to SLC, these are left out or noted. The MTP catalogue misleads when it lists a letter from a person for a company — one particular listing found was a letter from a man FOR the U.S. Senate. Upon review it was discovered the man was a clerk in Washington using Senate letterhead to write asking for Sam’s autograph — hardly a letter FOR the Senate. In every such case the language in this work has been changed to, for example, “John Doe wrote on US Senate letterhead asking for Sam’s autograph for his daughter,” etc. Also, many listings from the Charles Webster & Co., which are nothing more than monthly financial reports of several types, often without corresponding letters, have been catalogued by the MTP under the month of the report. These have been placed in the following month here, as they could not have been sent until the month closed — thus, March 1889’s monthly report is placed as being sent in April, 1889. In all such cases a strict chronology is attempted. Is this an error on the MTP’s part? No, merely a different way to categorize these entries. Likewise, when a pack of Daily Reports was sent, the MTP dates these as a range of dates and places them at the first date. We place them at the last date and note the range within that entry, since they could not have been mailed earlier. Several such changes have been made. These do not reflect on the scholarship of the MTP or of any other source.



A.D.                 Autobiographical dictations, MTP.

AC                   The American Claimant

ALR                 American Literary Review

AMT 1: 2:         Autobiography of Mark Twain. Vol. 1 (2 & 3 forthcoming) Harriet Elinor Smith and Benjamin Griffin and Victor Fischer, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. It should be noted that the MTP uses Auto1, Auto2, etc. for this, to differentiate from Neider’s edition. The volume numbers, however, should be sufficient to differentiate between this work and Neider’s.

BAMT              The Bible According to Mark Twain. Baetzhold, Howard G. and McCullough, Joseph B., eds. New York: Touchstone, 1995.

CS                    Christian Science

CY                    Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

ET&S   1: 2:     Early Tales & Sketches. Vol. 1, 1851-1864. Vol. 2, 1864-1865. Edited by

Edgar M. Branch and Robert H. Hirst. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979-81.

FE                    Following the Equator

GA                   The Gilded Age

IA                     Innocents Abroad

IVL                  Isabel VanKleek Lyon

JA                    Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

L-A MS             Lyon-Ashcroft Manuscript MTP

LAL                  Library of American Literature

LLMT               The Love Letters of Mark Twain. Edited by Dixon Wecter. New York: Harper & Bros 1949

LM                   Life on the Mississippi

LWMT              A Lifetime With Mark Twain. Edited by Mary Lawton. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1925.

MMT                My Mark Twain, by William Dean Howells. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1910.

MTA                 Mark Twain’s Autobiography. Edited by Albert Paine. 2 vols. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1924.

MTAq               Mark Twain’s Aquarium. Edited by John Cooley. Athens: University of Georgia Prss, 1991.

MTB                 Mark Twain A Biography, by Albert Paine, 4 vols. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1912.

MTE                 Mark Twain in Eruption, Edited by Bernard DeVoto. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1922.

MTFM              Mark Twain’s Fables of Man. Edited by John S Tuckey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

MTFWE           Mark Twain’s Four Weeks in England 1907. Edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Hartford: The Mark Twain House & Museum, 2006.

MTHHR           Mark Twain’s Correspondence with Henry Huttleston Rogers 1893-1909. Edited by Lewis Leary. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.

MTHL 1: 2:       Mark Twain-Howells Letters: The Correspondence of Samuel L. Clemens and William Dean Howells. Edited by Henry Nash Smith and William M. Gibson. 2 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.

MTJ                 Mark Twain Journal. Edited until 2012 by Thomas A. Tenney.

MTL 1: – 6:       Mark Twain’s Letters. Volumes 1-6. 1853-1875. Edited by Edgar M. Branch, et al. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988-2002.

MTLE 1: – 5:    Mark Twain’s Letters, Electronic Volumes 1-5. 1876-1880. Mark Twain Project.

MTLP 1: – 2:     Mark Twain’s Letters. 2 vols. Edited by Albert Bigelow Paine. New York: Harper & Bros, 1917.

MTLTP             Mark Twain’s Letters to His Publishers, 1867-1894. Edited by Hamlin Hill. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

MTMF              Mark Twain to Mrs. Fairbanks. Edited by Dixon Wecter. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1949.

MTOW             Mark Twain’s Other Woman, by Laura Skandera Trombley. New York: Knopf, 2010.

MTP                 Mark Twain Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

MTPO              Mark Twain Project Online (as of late 2007)

MT & GWC      Mark Twain and George W. Cable, by Alan Turner.

MTNJ 1: – 3:     Mark Twain’s Notebooks & Journals. Volumes 1 – 3. 1855-1891. Edited by Frederick Anderson, et al. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

MTS&B            Mark Twain’s Satires & Burlesques. Franklin R. Rogers, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

NB  TS             Sam’s unpublished notebooks, given with a TS (transcription page #)

PW                   Pudd’nhead Wilson

P&P                 The Prince and the Pauper

S&MT              Susy and Mark Twain, by Edith Colgate Salsbury, Harper & Row, 1965.

TS                    Transcription

TS                    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

TSA                  Tom Sawyer Abroad

TSD                 Tom Sawyer, Detective

ViU                  Barrett Collection, University of Virginia