Jump to Content

Add to My CitationsTo Xantippe Saunders
19 October 1876 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS: T, UCCL 01377)
Click to add citation to My Citations.

Hartford Oct 19.

My Dear Cousin:

Your letter arrived last night, & was very welcome.1 We want you to come, & we want it to be under the pleasantest auspices, too. I am up to the chin in work, these days, getting ready for a brief reading-tour which begins Nov. 10 & ends Nov. 23, & so I couldn’t see as much of you as I would like to, until after the latter date;2 but possibly your time is limited & you could not put off your visit so long as that. If that is so, can you come next Wednesday or Thursday? I shall get so well ahead by that time that I shall require a holiday & shall feel perfectly free to take one. If you are not going to be in the East till Nov. 23, I shall depend on you for next Wednesday or Thursday, & shall look for you. Will you just drop me a postal card or a telegram telling me what train you leave New York by, so that I can meet you here at the station? The best train, by all odds, leaves the Grand Central station, New York, every morning at 11 o’clock, & gets here toward half past 2 P. M. I shall have a white handkerchief tied around one of my arms, & when you step from the train, don’t hesitate to put yourself in charge of the first man you meet who bears that sign.3

Yrs Sincerely

Sam. L. Clemens

Explanatory Notes

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
1 The letter that Clemens answered does not survive. Mary Ann Pamela Xantippe Bryon (Tip) Saunders, a portrait painter, was the daughter of Ann Hancock Saunders, a half-sister of Clemens’s father. She painted Clemens from a photograph in the 1870s (L6, 215 n. 1; Davis 1982, 2-F).

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
2 During the portion of this tour managed by the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, Clemens appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on 13 November, Boston Music Hall on 21 November, the Chelsea (Massachusetts) Academy of Music on 23 November, and in Providence (Rhode Island) on 24 November. He also appeared at the Philadelphia Academy of Music on 14 November, in the Star Course of Lectures managed by Thomas B. Pugh. He varied his programs somewhat, choosing from: the anecdote about the Nevada nabobs, “Col. Jim,” and “Col. Jack,” from chapter 46 of Roughing It; “My Late Senatorial Secretaryship” and “Experience of the McWilliamses with Membranous Croup,” both from Mark Twain’s Sketches, New and Old; and “An Encounter with an Interviewer,” which he had published in the Lotos Leaves anthology (RI 1993, 304–7; SLC 1868; SLC 1875; SLC 1875; SLC 1875; Brougham and Elderkin 1875). In addition to Clemens, the program on these occasions included soprano Emma C. Thursby (1845–1931) and, at least sometimes, a local instrumental group (L6, 383, 541 n. 6; Odell 1927–49, 10:322; Boston Evening Transcript: “The Lecture Platform,” 11 Nov 76 and 18 Nov 76, 6; “Amusements,” 20 Nov 76, 1 and 5, and 21 Nov 76, 5; “The Redpath Lyceum,” 22 Nov 76, 5; Philadelphia Public Ledger: “Amusements,” 14 Nov 76, 1; Hartford Courant: “Personals,” “‘Mark Twain’ in Philadelphia,” 16 Nov 76, 2).

Add to My Citations

Click to add citation to My Citations.
3 Saunders visited the Clemenses for a week, but not until December 1876, staying with them during the Christmas holiday. See 20 Dec 76 to Perkins, n. 2.



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, T.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph Davis 1982, 1-F; MicroPUL, reel 1.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphThe letter was presented to the Tennessee Historical Society (THi) in 1947 or 1948 by “two Nashville cousins of both Mark Twain and ‘Tip’: Joe B. Taylor and his father, the late Bryan Taylor” (Davis 1982, 1-F). Now in the State Library and Archives (T).