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Add to My Citations To Orion Clemens
To Jane Lampton Clemens and Pamela A. Moffett
26 June 1869 • Elmira, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00322)
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Elmira, June 26.

[My Dear Br Mother & Sister]

I shipped my old trunk & valise to you day before yesterday while in New York, intending to follow them in the course of a week or more. I shall probably go to Cleveland tomorrow or next day, but I doubt if I enter into any arrangement with the [Herald, ]for Livy does not much like the Herald people & rather dislikes the idea of my being associated with them in business—& besides, they will [ hardl ]not like to part with as much as a third of the paper, & Mr. Langdon thinks—(as I do,) that a small interest is not just the thing.1

We have all been to Hartford on a villainously expensive trip to attend Alice Hooker’s [ wee wedding]. My expenses were ten to twelve dollars a day, & Mr. Langdon’s about caretovercaret fifty. We were gone fifteen days.2 I wanted to stay a day or so in New York, & so Livy visited with friends there & waited for me. I brought her home yesterday. She stood the trip right well.

I told Slote to send Ma $150;—a check for it, on John Daly or some book firm. Daly’s firm was “Daly & Boas,” I think—look in the Directory.3 If I come to St Louis I want to shut myself up in the house & not see anybody.4 I must write next winter’s lecture. Livy thinks I can ought to be able to write it here, but I doubt it. I’ll give it a trial tomorrow morning, but I don’t think it will work.5

Got a good letter from Orion today., for which I am much obliged.6 I guess I won’t have time to answer it to-day.

Affectionately,

Sam.

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Since writing to Pamela Moffett on 23 June, mentioning a plan to offer $60,000 for a one-third interest in the Cleveland Herald, Clemens seems to have received a discouraging letter from Abel Fairbanks. Although Olivia Langdon was aware of Clemens’s personal reservations about Fairbanks and knew of Fairbanks’s mishandling of Clemens’s lecture arrangements in February (see L2, 301, and 13 Feb 69 to OLL), her dislike of the “Herald people” was most probably a response to their foot-dragging, since late 1868, over her fiancé’s business propositions. Not only were Fairbanks and his partners, George A. and George S. Benedict, reluctant to part with a satisfactory share of the Herald, the “small interest” they were about to offer carried a price higher than Clemens was willing to pay (see 5 July 69 to Fairbanks, n. 4).

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2 Clemens traveled with the Langdons from Elmira to New York on 10 June, left for Hartford on 16 June, stopped again in New York on 22 June, and returned to Elmira on 25 June. The record of his cash account with Slote, Woodman and Company shows that he withdrew $200 on 11 June (“Mr S. L. Clemens in a/c & Interest a/c with Slote Woodman & Co to August 15. 1869,” CU-MARK).

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3 The record of Clemens’s account with Slote, Woodman and Company shows a withdrawal of $200 on 25 June. Presumably Clemens kept $50 for himself, and had the remainder sent to his mother, who recorded receipt of a check for “$100 50” on 29 June (JLC, 4). The firm of John J. Daly and John R. Boas, wholesale stationers, was listed in the St. Louis directory at 321 North Main Street (Richard Edwards 1869, 179, 259).

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4 When a month later Clemens still had not arrived in St. Louis, Jane Clemens sent him the following letter (CU-MARK):
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Horace Bixby was Clemens’s old piloting mentor (L1, 70–71).

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5 The lecture was “Curiosities of California,” which Clemens “mapped out” by 10 May and substantially drafted by 5 July. He abandoned it sometime before 27 September in favor of “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands,” with which he opened the 1869–70 lecture season on 1 November in Pittsburgh (10 May 69 to Redpath; 5 July 69 to Fairbanks; 27 Sept 69 to Bliss). Part of the California lecture, entitled “Scenery” and describing Lake Tahoe, survives in the Mark Twain Papers (SLC 1869).

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6 Orion’s “good letter” presumably described his plan to dispose of the Clemenses’ Tennessee land. He, like Pamela Moffett, had probably asked Clemens to obtain Jervis Langdon’s opinion of the arrangements (see 23 June 69 to PAM, n. 4).



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L3, 276–77.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Moffett Collection, pp. 586–87.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


My Dear Br Mother & Sister • [Clemens altered ‘Brother’ to ‘Mother’ before he added ‘& Sister’]

Herald, • [possibly ‘Herald.,’]

hardl[‘l’ partly formed]

wee wedding • weedding