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Friday, September 7, 1906

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The statement made at the banquet of [the] Ends of the Earth Club, “We are of the Anglo-Saxon race,” etc.—Our public and private [mottoes] and morals—Mr. Clemens’s tribute to British Premier [Campbell-Bannerman] on his seventieth birthday—Meeting Labouchere—Anecdote of the lost deed which was to have been presented to Prince of Wales.

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For good or for evil, we continue to educate Europe. We have held the post of instructor for more than a century and a quarter now. We were not elected to it, we merely took it. We are of the Anglo-Saxon race. At [[the] [banquet,] last winter, [of that organization [page 226] which calls itself the Ends of the Earth Club],] the [chairman, a retired regular army officer of high grade], proclaimed in a loud voice, and with fervency,

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“We are of the Anglo-Saxon race, and when the Anglo-Saxon wants a thing [he just takes it].”

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That utterance was applauded to the echo. There were perhaps seventy-five civilians present and twenty-five military and naval men. It took those people nearly two minutes to work off their stormy admiration of that great sentiment; and meanwhile the inspired prophet who had discharged it—from his liver, or his intestines, or his esophagus, or wherever he had [bred] it—stood there glowing and beaming and smiling, and issuing rays of happiness from every pore—rays that were so intense that they were visible, and made him look like [the old-time picture in the [almanac] of the man who stands discharging signs of the zodiac in every direction, and so absorbed in happiness, so steeped in happiness, that he smiles and smiles, and has plainly forgotten that he is painfully and dangerously ruptured and exposed amidships, and needs sewing up right away].

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The soldier man’s great utterance, interpreted by the expression which he put into it, meant, in plain English—

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“The English and the Americans are thieves, [highwaymen,] pirates, and we are proud to be of the combination.”

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Out of all the English and Americans present, there was not one with the grace to get up and say he was ashamed of being an Anglo-Saxon, and also ashamed of being a member of the human race, since the race must abide under the presence [upon] it of the Anglo-Saxon taint. I could not perform this office. I could not afford to lose my temper and make a self-righteous exhibition of myself and my superior morals that I might teach this infant class in decency the rudiments of that cult, for they would not be able to grasp it; they would not be able to understand it.

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It was an amazing thing to see—that boyishly frank and honest and delighted outburst of enthusiasm over the soldier prophet’s mephitic remark. It looked suspiciously like a revelation—a secret feeling of the national heart surprised into expression and exposure by untoward [accident;] for it was a representative assemblage. All the chief mechanisms that constitute the machine which drives and vitalizes the national civilization were present—lawyers, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, journalists, politicians, soldiers, sailors—they were all there. Apparently it was the United States in banquet [assembled,] and qualified to speak with authority for the nation and reveal its private morals to the public view.

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The initial welcome of that strange sentiment was not an unwary [betrayal,] to be repented of upon [reflection;] and this was shown by the fact that whenever, during the rest of the evening, a speaker found that he was becoming uninteresting and wearisome, he only needed to inject that great Anglo-Saxon moral into the midst of his platitudes to start up that glad storm again. After all, it was only the human race on exhibition. It has always been a peculiarity of the human race that it keeps two sets of morals in stock—the [private] and real, and the [public] and artificial.

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Our public motto is “In God [We Trust],” and when we see those gracious words on [page 227] the trade-dollar (worth sixty cents) they always seem to tremble and whimper with pious emotion. That is our public motto. It transpires that our private one is “When the Anglo-Saxon wants a thing [he just takes it].” Our public morals are [touchingly] set forth in that stately and yet gentle and kindly [motto] which indicates that we are a nation of gracious and affectionate [multitudinous] brothers compacted into one—[e pluribus unum.] Our private morals find the light in the sacred phrase [“Come, [step] [lively!]]

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We imported our imperialism from monarchical Europe; also our curious notions of patriotism—that is, if we have any principle of patriotism which any person can definitely and [intelligibly] define. It is but fair then, no doubt, that we should instruct Europe, in return for these and the other kinds of instruction which we have received from that source.

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Something more than a century ago we gave Europe the first notions of liberty it had ever had, and thereby largely and happily helped to bring on the French Revolution and [claim] a share in its beneficent results. We have taught Europe many lessons since. But for us, Europe might never have known the interviewer; but for us certain of the European states might never have experienced the blessing of extravagant imposts; but for us the European Food Trust might never have acquired the art of poisoning the world for cash; but for us her Insurance Trusts might never have found out the best way to work the widow and orphan for profit; but for us the [long delayed] resumption of Yellow Journalism in Europe might have been postponed for generations to come. Steadily, continuously, persistently, we are Americanizing Europe, and all in good time we shall get the job perfected. At last, after long waiting, London journalism has adopted our fashion of gathering sentiments from everywhere whenever anything happens that a sentiment can be coined out of. Yesterday arrived this cablegram:

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[British Premier [Campbell-Bannerman] celebrates seventieth birthday to-morrow]. London Tribune requests tribute.

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I furnished it, to wit:

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[To His Excellency, the British Premier—

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Congratulations, not condolences. Before seventy we are merely respected, at best, and we have to behave all the time, or we lose that asset; but after seventy we are respected, esteemed, admired, revered, and don’t have to behave unless we want to. When I first knew you, [honored sir], one of us was hardly even respected.

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Mark Twain.]

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[A great and brave statesman, and a charming man. I met him first at Marienbad, in [Austria, half a generation ago.] In the years that have since elapsed I have met him frequently in London, at private dinners in his own house and elsewhere, and at banquets. In Vienna, in ’98, we lived in the same hotel for a time], and the intercourse was daily and familiar. I hope that this explanation will in a measure justify the form of the tribute which I have just quoted. Now that I come to think of it, I am not quite sure that [page 228] anything could really justify me in addressing the acting king of the British Empire in such an irreverent way, but I didn’t think of that when I was putting the words together. I had before me only the companionable comrade of the earlier days, when he was only an important member of Parliament and I was not respected, because I was a bankrupt.

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In Marienbad he introduced me to [Labouchere, and for a number of days I helped that picturesque personality] walk off his mineral water up and down the promenade. His vocabulary, and his energetic use of it, were an unqualified and constant delight to me. Two or three years later, at Homburg, I came across [his wife, in the throng of medicinal-water drinkers, and eagerly asked where I might find her husband. She said he was not there, he was in London. I expressed my honest grief, and said I would rather hear him swear than hear an archbishop pray. She had been a great actress in her time], and she knew how to say with effect the thing she had to say, when her heart was in it. Her face [lighted] with pleasure at the honest admiration which I had expressed for her husband’s power, and she said:

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“Oh you never saw him at his best. Mr. Clemens, you ought to see him at home mornings, during the session, standing before the table ready for breakfast, with his back to the fire and his hands parting his [coat-tails] for the comfort of the warmth—you should hear him break out and curse the Opposition, name by name, and wind up with his comprehensive and unvarying and eloquent formula, ‘[the] [sons] of [bitches!’ ”]

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I last met Sir Henry at a small dinner party, six years ago, at the house of [the [Nestor] of Parliament of that day]. Among the guests were [Sir William Vernon Harcourt, leader of the Opposition]. I had not seen him for twenty-seven years, but of course I recognized him. The caricatures would make that sure. I asked him if he remembered me, and he [said,]

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“Certainly, it is only twenty-seven years since I saw you last.”

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At that time I was beginning to [realize] that I was old, and I said I hoped that he was either older than I or that he would at least strain a point and say he was, because it had been so long since I had come across any one whose years exceeded mine that I was getting depressed, and needed comfort. He said,

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“Well, examine your English history and decide. When I was nine years old I was crossing London Bridge when I heard the tolling bells announce the [death of William [IV]].”

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I said, “I am grateful. You have renewed my youth, and if there is anything you desire, even to the half of my kingdom, name it. I have been the oldest man in the earth for months; I am glad to take second place for a [while.”]

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After dinner one of the men present said he could tell the company a curious thing if they would keep it to themselves, and let it be confidential—at least as far as regarded names and dates. He said he was acting as an official, [at a function] some years before, [where] [the Prince of Wales—the present King—was to receive in state the deed of a vast property which had been conferred upon the nation by a wealthy citizen]. It was the narrator’s [duty] to formally hand the deed to the [Prince] in an envelope.

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When everything was [about] ready for the presentation his clerk came to him, pale and [page 229] agitated, and informed him in a whisper that the deed had [disappeared!] It was not in the safe; they had ransacked the place and could find no trace of it. It was a ghastly situation; something must be done, and done promptly. The narrator whispered to the clerk:

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[Rush!—]fold [up a] Daily News, shove it into an official [envelope,] and fetch it here.”

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This was done. The official committee of noblemen and gentlemen, bareheaded, and with the narrator at its head, solemnly approached the Prince where he stood supported by his [imposing] retinue, and with awe inspiring formalities the Daily [News] was placed in [his] [hands,] [whereupon he] [pronounced,] in carefully prepared and impressive words, the nation’s profound gratitude to the wealthy citizen for this precious and memorable [gift. It was not even a new paper, it was two days old.]

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The narrator closed with the statement that even unto that day the lost deed had never been found.


Explanatory Notes: Expand | Collapse
Textual Commentary

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These notes are intended to clarify and supplement the Autobiographical Dictations in this volume by identifying people, places, and incidents, and by explaining topical references and literary allusions. In addition, they attempt to point out which of Clemens’s statements are contradicted by historical evidence,
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PROMOTION FOR BARNES, WHOM TILLMAN BERATED] The article that begins here was published in the New York Times on 1 April. Clemens provided his stenographer with a (partial) clipping of it and dictated the following instructions: MERRITT GETS NEW PLACE . . . succeeding the late Major James Low] President William McKinley appointed John A. Merritt (1851–1919) as postmaster of Washington in 1899, the same year that he made James Low collector of customs for the district of Niagara. Governor Nye was . . . politician, not statesman] James W. Nye (1815–76) had been a district attorney and judge in Madison County (New York), a lawyer in Syracuse, and The Governor’s official menagerie . . . boarders and lodgers] In the first four chapters of Roughing It Clemens recalls Orion’s appointment as secretary of Nevada Territory, and the “six pounds of Unabridged Dictionary” he brought along on their stagecoach trip west from Missouri. a journalistic life on the Virginia City Enterprise . . . Carson City to report the legislative session] After about six weeks on the staff of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Clemens was assigned to report the second session of the Nevada Territorial Legislature, held in Carson City from 11 November until 20 December 1862. I got the legislature to pass a wise and very necessary law . . . furnishing a certificate of each record] Clemens may be conflating two sessions of the Nevada Territorial Legislature. During the first session he served as Orion’s clerk, and Very well, we prospered. The record-service paid . . . a thousand dollars a month, in gold] Orion’s salary was $1,800 a year, paid quarterly, as set by the congressional act of 2 March 1861 which organized the Nevada Territory. Clemens earned $480 as Orion’s clerk during the first session of the legislature, and Governor Nye was often absent . . . as Acting Governor] For four years Nye was a driver for his brother’s stagecoach line, hauling passengers and express on its Syracuse-Albany run, before studying law in Troy, New York, and being admitted to the New York State bar in 1839. He recklessly built and furnished a house at a cost of twelve thousand dollars] In November 1863 Orion paid George B. Cowing $1,100 for the plot of land at the northwest corner of Spear and Division streets in Carson City. the people were willing . . . the Governor’s game was made] Nevada voters approved statehood on 2 September 1863, and Nevada became the thirty-sixth state in late 1864.
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BARNES’S APPOINTMENT . . . Citizens Say Selection Is an Insult] Clemens made three brief notes on the clipping of this article from the New York Times [page 460] of 3 April, to remind himself of what he wanted to say about it: a “carpetbag” appointment . . . an effort will be made to defeat the confirmation] The Times, while not condoning Barnes’s part in the Morris incident, editorialized:the President’s letter of some weeks ago. Maybe I inserted it] On 16 February 1906 Minor Morris had written to Roosevelt, complaining of the “damnable treatment” his wife had received at the White House. Roosevelt’s reply was conveyed in a letter of 19 February from his secretary, William Loeb, Jr. I at first took that thief and assassin, Leopold II . . . our Government’s attitude toward Leopold and his fiendishnesses] Clemens probably agreed to speak at the Tuskegee Institute fundraiser when Washington called at his house on 13 December 1905. Twice I went to Washington . . . A final visit to the State Department settled the matter] Only one of the three trips to Washington Clemens mentions here has been documented: of the fourteen Christian Governments . . . our Government was not one] Clemens alludes to the General Act of Berlin of 26 February 1885, which concluded I privately withdrew . . . the Government would of course do nothing] On 8 January 1906 Clemens wrote to Thomas S. Barbour, a member of the “Local Committee of Conference” of the Congo Reform Association in Boston, announcing that I did not throw the speech away, but saved it] A manuscript of this speech on manners, comprising thirteen leaves, survives in the Mark Twain Papers. I talked upon a text . . . my exposition of what the American gentleman should be got suppressed] Clemens spoke at New York’s Majestic Theatre on the afternoon of 4 March 1906 to fifteen hundred members and friends of the West Side Branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association. MARK TWAIN LETTER SOLD. Written to Thomas Nast, It Proposed a Joint Tour] Clemens’s letter, written on 12 November 1877, is quoted only in part in this article from the New York Times (for the original manuscript, see Letters 1876–1880). It appears that four of my ancient letters were sold . . . twenty-nine dollars respectively] Clemens’s source was probably the New York Tribune of 3 April, which published a fuller excerpt of his letter to Nast than did the Times. Dr. J. Ross Clemens] James Ross Clemens (1866–1948), one of Clemens’s second cousins, was a native of St. Louis. He received his medical education at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Surgeons in London. “Say the report is greatly exaggerated.” . . . it keeps turning up, now and then, in the newspapers] In a notebook entry for 2 June 1897 Clemens reported that his reply to the inquiry about his possible death was “in substance this:
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Mr. Barnes’s successor as Assistant Secretary . . . These four men are prize-fighters] M. C. Latta was chosen to be Roosevelt’s new assistant secretary. Theodore Roosevelt as Police Commissioner, Colonel of the Rough Riders, Governor, and President] [page 464] Roosevelt was president of the New York Board of Police Commissioners in 1895–97. In 1898 he became colonel of the Rough Riders, the volunteer cavalry regiment he helped organize to fight in the Spanish-American War. J. H. Manning, a son of the late Daniel Manning] Daniel Manning (1831–87) was a journalist and newspaper owner, prominent Democratic politician, and President Cleveland’s first secretary of the treasury (1885–87). I will be married on the 30th of June coming] General Philip H. Sheridan (see AutoMT1, 472 n. 67.5) was married in Chicago on 3 June 1875 to Irene Rucker, the twenty-two-year-old daughter of General D. H. Rucker, Gen. W. T. Sherman’s letter . . . Sumner, Greeley, Walt Whitman] General William Tecumseh Sherman (see AutoMT1, 473 n. 68.10); Charles Sumner (1811–74), senator from Massachusetts (1851–74), William M. Tweed and his companion, Hunt, under arrest] From the mid-1850s until his arrest in December 1871, William M. (“Boss”) Tweed (1823–78) and his Democratic party Tammany Hall cohorts defrauded New York City of as much as $200 million through systematic graft and election fraud. this morning’s stirring news from Russia . . . clipping is about me] Clemens refers to a report of 4 April in the New York Times about the possibility of military conflict between Russia and China over the Russian presence in Manchuria Susy’s Biography shows . . . old goat who was President there] For the excerpts from Susy Clemens’s biography of Clemens that describe their 1 May 1885 visit to Vassar and the poor treatment they received from Samuel L. Caldwell, The occasion was a benefit arranged by Vassar . . . to aid poor students] The Vassar Students’ Aid Society raised almost a thousand dollars with an afternoon [page 466] event at the Hudson Theatre on 2 April 1906, which
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Miss Mary Lawton . . . will be a great name some day] It is not known when Clemens met actress Mary Lawton (1870?–1945), but by late 1905 he had begun to take an interest in her career: on 16 November he wrote to Charles Frohman, Fay Davis . . . asked Charles Frohman if he would let Miss Lawton try that part] Davis (1872–1945), a comic and dramatic actress successful both in the United States and in London, began appearing on 12 February 1906 in The Duel, a play by Henri Lavedan, Ellen Terry . . . will retire in due form at a great banquet in London] Terry (1847–1928), who made her debut on 28 April 1856, achieved international renown for her acting in Shakespeare’s plays as well as in works by the leading playwrights of her day. then his answer came . . . was a Chinese one] The exchange that Clemens recalls occurred in July 1874 while he was writing Colonel Sellers, his popular play based on The Gilded Age. Orion was so sure to get the Secretaryship . . . He had not received a vote] Orion was not the only candidate nominated, nor did he avoid attending the Republican convention or fail to receive any votes. Mr. Camp . . . told me to buy some shares in the “Hale and Norcross.”] Herman Camp, whom Clemens had first known in Virginia City and San Francisco in the early 1860s, was one of the first locators on the Comstock Lode and an active speculator in Nevada mining stock. I bought fifty shares . . . when at last I got out I was very badly crippled] Clemens did own stock in the Hale and Norcross mine (almost certainly never as much as fifty shares), but his purchase and sales prices have not been documented. a gentleman arrived yesterday from Tennessee . . . the surviving heirs—the remaining third] These visitors have not been identified. I came East in January 1867. Orion remained in Carson City . . . steamer for New York] Orion and Mollie Clemens actually returned East before Clemens. I had bought my mother a house in Keokuk . . . They all lived together in the house] Clemens makes a chronological leap here. It wasn’t until August 1882 that Jane Clemens went to Keokuk to live with Orion and Mollie. Orion got a job as proof-reader on the New York Evening Post . . . Rutland, Vermont] Clemens’s chronology is inaccurate. his idea was to buy that place and start a chicken farm . . . and I sent the money] In May 1874 Clemens gave Orion and Mollie $900 to make a first payment on Mollie’s father’s chicken farm near Keokuk. I found twenty-five dollars for pew-rent . . . sell the pew] On 26 July 1875 Clemens wrote to Orion:
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Renwick, the architect of the Roman Catholic Cathedral] James Renwick (1818–95), a graduate of Columbia College but self-trained as an architect, designed many prominent buildings in New York, Etta Booth . . . Virginia City, Nevada] Booth was probably the daughter of Lucius A. Booth of Virginia City, owner of the Winfield Mill and Mining Company. fifty-thousand-dollar prize . . . Orion worked at that thing two or three years] In 1871 the New York legislature established a commission to test inventions to enable economical navigation on the state’s canals by steam power rather than by “bank propulsion,” that is, towage by draft animals. he wrote me all about it himself . . . to the joy of every witness present] No letter of Orion’s describing such an event has been found. During the presidential campaign of 1888, however, Orion assisted Keokuk Republicans despite being a supporter of the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland. Orion wrote his autobiography . . . he was constantly making a hero of himself] Clemens gives a similar account of Orion’s autobiography in his Autobiographical Dictation of 23 February 1906 (see AutoMT1, 6, 378, 599–600 n. 378.25–27). I destroyed a considerable part of that autobiography] [page 473] Today only a few pages of Orion’s autobiography survive in the Mark Twain Papers. Miss Lyon] Isabel Van Kleek Lyon (1863–1958) was the daughter of Giorgiana and Charles Lyon. Her father, an author of Greek and Latin textbooks, left his family impoverished when he died in 1883, and Isabel, I shall quote from them here and there and now and then, as I go along] In the remaining dictations, through 1909, Clemens only once quotes an excerpt from Orion’s autobiography: in 1898 a cablegram came from Keokuk announcing Orion’s death] Orion died on 11 December 1897. From Vienna, Clemens wrote Mollie the same day:
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a letter from a French friend of mine, enclosing . . . de la faire] This clipping from an unidentified French newspaper was sent to Clemens by Hélène Elisabeth Picard (b. 1872 or 1873) in a letter of 28 or 29 March 1906. she wrote me about five years ago . . . friendly letters three or four times a year] The surviving correspondence between Clemens and Picard consists of thirty-one letters, written (with the possible exception of one undated postcard) between February 1902 and August 1909. I have the constitution and by-laws somewhere] Clemens drafted the “Constitution and Laws of the Juggernaut Club” early in 1902. Then the public library of Denver flung him out] In August of 1902, at the request of local clergymen who attacked Huckleberry Finn as immoral and sacrilegious, the Denver Public Library removed the book from its shelves (Denver Post to SLC, 12 Aug 1902, CU-MARK). Brander Matthews’s opinion of the book] Matthews, a leading critic and a friend of Clemens’s (see AutoMT1, 548 n. 255.24), praised Huckleberry Finn at great length in the Saturday Review for 31 January 1885, Seeing you the other night at the performance of “Peter Pan”] Peter Pan, based on the book by J. M. Barrie, opened a successful run at the Empire Theatre in New York on 6 November 1905. It starred the popular actress Maude Adams (1872–1953) in what became her most famous role. “warn’t no more quality than a mud cat.”] “He was well born, as the saying is, and that’s worth as much in a man as it is in a horse, Asa Don Dickinson] After leaving the Brooklyn Public Library in 1906, Dickinson (1876–1960) worked as a librarian in New York, Kansas, Washington, and Pennsylvania before 21 Fifth Ave. . . . Dear Sir] [page 476] The source of this letter text is Lyon’s handwritten record copy of Clemens’s original manuscript. Huck’s character . . . is no better than those of Solomon, David, Satan] In the holograph letter that Clemens sent to Dickinson, this passage reads: report had sprung up that I had written a letter some months before to the Brooklyn Public Library] The report had probably “sprung up” because Dickinson—as he later explained—Miss Lyon . . . sent them away mightily pleased with her, but empty] In her diary entry for 27 March Lyon noted thatI wrote Mr. Dickinson . . . to be wise and wary] In a short letter of 26 March Clemens instructed Dickinson: “Be wise as a serpent & wary as a dove!
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I find one from a little girl . . . the ocean] Clemens quotes a letter of 31 March 1906 (not from “twenty-one years ago”) from Elizabeth Owen Knight (1894–1981) (CU-MARK; Rasmussen 2013, letter 164). Ambassador White’s autobiography, and I find the book charming, particularly where he talks about me] Andrew Dickson White (1832–1918) was a preeminent educator and diplomat. Willard Fiske was a poor and untaught and friendless boy . . . Cornell University] Daniel Willard Fiske (1831–1904), a journalist, editor, and book collector, was a professor of Northern European languages and the head librarian at Cornell University from its inauguration in 1868 until his resignation in 1883. Mr. McGraw . . . had a lovely young daughter] [page 478] John McGraw (1815–77), a founding trustee and great benefactor of Cornell University, made his fortune in the lumber industry. she invited Fiske and Charles Dudley Warner and his wife to make a trip up the Nile] Warner, Clemens’s Hartford neighbor and his collaborator on The Gilded Age, had been a fellow student and Psi Upsilon fraternity brother of Fiske’s at Hamilton College, becoming his lifelong friend. I declined, when I had the opportunity, by her own offer, to learn the contents of her will; I signed, without an instant’s hesitation, the prenuptial contract, Mrs. Fiske made a will . . . left the residue of the fortune to Cornell University] The estate of Jennie McGraw Fiske was estimated to be as much as $3 million. He could not live in the Ithaca house on any such income as that. He did not try to live in it] According to the historian of Cornell University, Charley Warner, who drew the will] [page 479] Warner earned a law degree in 1858, but he made his career in journalism and literature. the University might claim the little palace . . . Fiske resisted the University’s claim and the University brought suit] The executors asserted that Fiske was entitled to absolutely nothing beyond the $300,000 bequeathed him, claiming not only the house but its contents; according to some reports, these included Jennie Fiske’s personal effects. the young man of whom I have been talking] Charles P. Bacon (1859?–1916) was one of the Cornell students in whom Fiske took a special interest, and for several years he lived with Fiske and his mother on campus. young Bacon had this happy idea . . . It is the university, now, that has no show] At the time of Mrs. Fiske’s bequest, White and Boardman were both aware of the [page 480] restriction in the university’s charter. Bacon won the case . . . that first lawsuit of his was also his last one] In 1890, after seven years of litigation, the case was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which awarded the entire estate to Fiske; his attorney received a fee of $180,000.
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the Secretary of the Territory, Frank Fuller—called Governor, of course] Fuller (1827–1915) had not yet arrived in Utah Territory in the summer of 1861 when the Clemens brothers passed through on their way to Carson City. I found Fuller there in some kind of business . . . matronly of aspect, and married] In January 1867 Fuller was vice-president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, with offices at 57 Broadway. He would have the basement hall in Cooper Institute] Fuller booked the hall, in the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, for 6 May 1867. Oh, he was all on fire with his project] In 1911 Fuller claimed that it was Clemens who was fired with the idea of a New York lecture and insisted upon Cooper Union as the venue. I put myself in Redpath’s hands . . . whether it was the following year] [page 482] Clemens did not undertake any lecture tour in the season of 1867–68, following his 6 May success at the Cooper Union and the Quaker City excursion, which took place from June to November. Last fall his wife’s brother was murdered . . . beaten him to death with a club] Fuller’s first wife died in 1870, and on 14 December of that year he married Annie Weeks Thompson (1840?–1906) (Chatham Census 1880, 792:65C; “Married,” New York Times, 15 Dec 1870, 5). She passed to her rest about three days later] Annie Fuller died on 10 February 1906. On 2 February Isabel Lyon wrote in her diary, “This afternoon a messenger came with a note from Mr. Frank Fuller asking, he is only the adopted son of Dr. Frank Fuller] Louis R. Fuller (b. 1878) was adopted at three months of age by Frank and Annie Fuller, after their own son died in infancy. the Anna Dickinson kind . . . could powerfully move an audience with their eloquence] Dickinson (1842–1932), a powerful and eloquent speaker on abolition and women’s rights, was one of the best-paid performers on the lecture circuit, earning as much as $200 per appearance. “Surf; or, Life at Long Branch,” dramatized Wilkie Collins’s “Armadale” . . . Francois Coppee’s “Le Passant.”] Logan’s play Surf, a melodramatic farce, opened in New York in January 1870. “The Widow Bedott.” . . . swept this continent with a hurricane of laughter] Frances Miriam Berry Whitcher (1812?–52) settled in Elmira with her minister husband in 1847. She began writing when very young, but didn’t publish her first story until 1839, when she was nearly thirty. In this morning’s paper . . . news that she is on her way to the cemetery] [page 484] Accounts of these events appeared in several newspapers; the particular one that Clemens read has not been identified.
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Charles H. Webb . . . The Californian] Charles Henry Webb (1834–1905) was born in northern New York State. Inspired by reading Moby-Dick when it was first published (1851), he shipped on a whaler, where he served for more than three years. Artemus Ward passed through California . . . in 1865 or ’66, I told him the “Jumping Frog” story] Clemens met, and enjoyed a convivial time with, popular humorist Artemus Ward (born Charles Farrar Browne, 1834–67) in December 1863, when the latter lectured in Virginia City. his publisher, Carleton . . . didn’t think much of it] George W. Carleton (1832–1901) began his publishing career as a humorous illustrator. In 1857 he cofounded [page 485] a bookstore and publishing house in New York, becoming sole proprietor in 1861. made Henry Clapp a present of it . . . joyous feature of the obsequies] Henry Clapp, Jr. (1814–75), a journalist, satirist, and brilliant wit, was the center of a group of New York “bohemians,” writers and other artists who congregated at Pfaff’s saloon to carouse and converse. Webb undertook to collate the sketches] Bret Harte proposed to Clemens in January 1866 that they issue a joint collection of sketches, but they did not pursue the idea. found a letter from Elisha Bliss . . . alternative of ten thousand dollars] [page 486] Bliss’s letter, written on 21 November 1867, is now lost, but I consulted A. D. Richardson] Albert Deane Richardson (1833–69), journalist and traveler, worked on several newspapers in the East and Midwest before joining the staff of the New York Tribune, for which he corresponded during the Civil War. Bliss provided a multitude of illustrations . . . contract date for the issue went by] The Innocents Abroad was published by the subscription method: agents solicited prepublication orders and delivered books when they came from the press. One of the directors, a Mr. Drake . . . begged me to take away “The Innocents Abroad”] As a young man Sidney Drake (1811–98) was apprenticed to a bookbinder in Hartford, and in 1841 began his own bookbinding business, which—with various partners—endured for over fifty years. I lost patience and telegraphed Bliss . . . sale within the required time] No such telegram has been found, but in a bitter letter of 22 July 1869 Clemens accused Bliss of deliberately causing “annoying & damaging delays” by promoting books by other authors. In nine months . . . seventy thousand dollars’ profit to the good] In 1903 Clemens calculated that by “February or March” 1870 the American Publishing Company had earned about $91,000 net profit on The Innocents Abroad, $20,000 of which had gone to pay off debts.
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I made my contract for “The Innocents Abroad” . . . forbidding me to publish books with any other firm] The contract for The Innocents Abroad, drawn up by Elisha Bliss and signed on 16 October 1868, contains no such exclusivity clause (“Contract for The Innocents Abroad,L2, 421–22). that I should surrender to him such royalties as might be due me . . . eight hundred dollars cash] In late 1869 Clemens considered “prosecuting Webb in the N. Y. Courts” for an unspecified grievance involving the book; bound and unbound “Jumping Frogs” . . . six hundred more that should have come to me on royalties] There is no evidence to support Clemens’s claim that Webb owed him $600 in royalties for 4,000 “inherited” books (see the note at 49.31–33). when I became notorious through the publication of “The Innocents Abroad,”] The Innocents Abroad was a huge success: eight years after publication, in 1877, 119,870 copies had been sold, earning Clemens royalties of approximately $21,876 (RI 1993, 891 n. 278).
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I . . . proposed that the Company cancel the contracts] In late 1881 and early 1882 Clemens considered bringing a lawsuit against the American Publishing Company for charging him excessive costs in the manufacture of A Tramp Abroad, I repeated it, and proceeded to say unkind things about his theological seminary] Newton Case (1807–90) established a printing business in Hartford in 1830, which he expanded over the years, with a series of partners, into one of the largest in New England. carried my next book to James R. Osgood of Boston . . . “Old Times on the Mississippi.”] As in the previous dictation, Clemens substantially repeats his account in the Autobiographical Dictation of 21 February 1906 (AutoMT1, 369–72). I think that that was Osgood’s first effort, not his third . . . after his failure with “The Prince and the Pauper,”] Clemens’s first publication with Osgood was a booklet containing only two sketches: A True Story, and the Recent Carnival of Crime (1877). old and particular friend of mine unloaded a patent on me] In a June 1879 letter to Frank Bliss (son of Elisha), Clemens praised a patented process owned by Daniel Slote (1828?–82), a friend from the Quaker City excursion, which was used for printing illustrations. when I had lost forty-two thousand dollars on that patent] Webster proved that Sneider was a fraud, and that he and Slote were conspiring to swindle Clemens: the sample impressions that Sneider had supplied had not been created by Kaolatype. arrived with a wonderful invention . . . Mr. Richards] In 1877 Clemens’s old friend Frank Fuller persuaded him to invest in a company that he managed, the New York Vaporizing Company, which was financing H. C. Bowers to develop a new type of steam generator. I took some stock in a Hartford company . . . with a new kind of steam pulley] In early 1881 Clemens bought $14,500 worth of stock in the Hartford Engineering Company, which intended to build a factory for making steam-powered pulleys. I invented a scrap-book . . . in the hands of that old particular friend of mine] Clemens first mentioned his idea for a pregummed scrapbook in August 1872, and patented what he called “Mark Twain’s Patent Self-Pasting Scrap Book” in June 1873. Senator John P. Jones was going to start a rival . . . we began business] Jones, a wealthy silver-mine owner, served as a U.S. senator from Nevada in 1873–1903. Jones had bought a piece of the State of California . . . in debt for these properties] In January 1875 Jones paid $150,000 for a two-thirds interest in a large rancho in Southern California. Mr. Slee of our Elmira coal firm . . . There are not many John P. Joneses in the world] John D. F. Slee was the chief officer of the Langdon family’s coal business. Graham Bell . . . first one that was ever used in a private house in the world] Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) obtained his first telephone patent in March 1876. We were gone fourteen months . . . his telephone stock was emptying greenbacks into his premises] The family returned in early September 1879, almost seventeen months after their departure.
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Webster, from the village of Dunkirk, New York] Charles L. Webster was actually from Fredonia, New York, where in early 1870 Clemens had relocated I had paid Bixby a hundred dollars, and it was borrowed money] Horace E. Bixby agreed to take on Clemens as an apprentice pilot in 1857 for a fee of $500. I erected Webster into a firm . . . Webster was his own sub-agent] Clemens has jumped ahead in his chronology by a year, skipping the events of late 1882 and 1883 entirely. his friend Whitford] Like Webster, Daniel Whitford (1840–1923) was from Fredonia, where the two men had been friends. Alexander and Green had a great and lucrative business . . . Life Insurance Companies] Charles B. Alexander was head of the law firm Alexander and Green and counsel for—and a director of—the Equitable Life Assurance Society.
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That was General Grant’s memorable book] This account of the publication of Grant’s Personal Memoirs by Webster and Company largely repeats what Clemens dictated to James Redpath in 1885, dictations that were not included in his Autobiography. [page 494] two dim figures . . . permitted to overhear them] In his 1885 dictation, made when events were fresh in his mind, Clemens said that he and his wife “stumbled over” Richard Watson Gilder General Sherman had published his Memoirs . . . ought to have been published in that way] Memoirs of General William T. Sherman was first issued in two volumes in 1875 by D. Appleton and Company. that his salary be increased to thirty-five hundred dollars . . . I furnish all the capital required at 7 per cent] No contract on these terms has been found.
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George Evans . . . “I’ve never read any of his books, on account of prejudice.”] As “George Eliot,” English writer Mary Ann Evans (1819–80) was best known for her novels Adam Bede, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch; Clemens here combines her name with her pseudonym. Webster had suggested that we abolish the existing contract . . . I could not even make a suggestion] A contract drawn on 20 March 1885 provided Webster with the same salary as before ($2,500 a year), one-third of the net profits up to a limit of $20,000, and one-tenth thereafter.
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one-word title, “General” . . . surrendered it to become President] When the title General of the Army was given to Grant in July 1866 it had previously been conferred only on George Washington. Schofield, Logan] John McAllister Schofield (1831–1906) held major commands during the Civil War and later was secretary of war (1868) and superintendent of West Point (1876–81);
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most telling speech I ever listened to . . . by the capable Depew] This speech has not been identified with certainty, but Depew (see the note at 72.23–25) himself described an occasion bearing some resemblance to the one that Clemens recalls here.Depew . . . is dying now, and under a cloud] Chauncey M. Depew had been a Republican senator from New York since 1899. When I was entering the house, the Confederate General, Buckner . . . General Grant captured the fortress] Clemens did not encounter Buckner at Mount McGregor, the resort near Saratoga Springs, New York, where Grant spent his last days. in the aggregate the book paid Mrs. Grant something like half a million dollars] The net profits on the book were divided between Mrs. Grant (70 percent) and the Webster firm (30 percent). Webster was in his glory] In a self-aggrandizing 1887 interview Webster claimed that it was he who first approached Grant about writing his memoirs, several months before the incident that Clemens recalls here:
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Charles L. Webster was one of the most assful persons I have ever met] This dictation about the ill fortunes of Webster and Company is one-sided and in many instances erroneous. on a level with Sherlock Holmes] Although Clemens himself employed the literary device of mysteries solved by clever deduction (usually for comic effect), he had no admiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Fred Grant . . . ordered another examination] Colonel Frederick Grant, the general’s son, questioned Webster and Company’s accounting in April 1887, complaining that legal fees had been improperly “charged” to Mrs. Grant. expert found that Scott had stolen twenty-six thousand dollars . . . sent to the penitentiary for five years] Frank M. Scott (b. 1859?) was hired as a cashier and [page 499] bookkeeper by Charles L. Webster and Company in July 1885. pay to him his share of that loss . . . deficit of eighteen or nineteen thousand dollars could amount to four thousand] Scott’s accounts showed a payout of $8,000 to Webster, who claimed he had drawn only $4,000. ex-preacher, a professional revivalist . . . a gross sum of thirty-six thousand dollars, and Webster never got a cent of it] The Iowa agent, R. T. Root, was a member of the American Bible Society. A fellow member later described him as the embodiment of piety “to outward appearances,” Joe Jefferson wrote me and said . . . He simply ignored it] Joseph Jefferson (1829–1905) was born into a theatrical family and became a leading comedian of his [page 500] day. He accepted and published two or three war books that furnished no profit] The first of these war books was McClellan’s Own Story: The War for the Union, by Major General George Brinton McClellan, published posthumously in December 1886. It doesn’t contain words enough for the price and dimensions] Clemens is probably referring to Almira Russell Hancock’s book about her husband, Reminiscences of Winfield Scott Hancock (1887). he had agreed to resurrect Henry Ward Beecher’s “Life of Christ” . . . money was eventually returned] Beecher, the famous liberal pastor of Plymouth Church in [page 501] Brooklyn, had published the first volume of his Life of Jesus, the Christ, in 1871 with J. B. Ford and Company, but the second volume remained incomplete. Webster kept back a book of mine, “A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur,” . . . published it so surreptitiously] Clemens did not complete A Connecticut Yankee until the spring of 1889, and it was published later that year. He suppressed a compilation made by Howells and me, “The Library of Humor,” . . . there was such a book] Beginning in late 1880 Clemens developed a plan to collaborate on an anthology, Mark Twain’s Library of Humor, with William Dean Howells and Charles Hopkins Clark, an editor with the Hartford Courant William M. Laffan told me that Mr. Walters, of Baltimore . . . illustrate in detail his princely art collection] William Mackay Laffan (1848–1909), a longtime friend of Clemens’s, was born in Ireland and emigrated to America as a young man. you can make a fortune out of that without any trouble] In a letter of 13 January 1887 to Webster, Clemens estimated the “probable” profit to be $750,000. Webster would be willing to put up with twelve thousand dollars and step out] In 1887 Webster, who suffered from a chronic condition diagnosed as acute neuralgia, found it increasingly difficult to participate actively in the business. understudy and business manager . . . Frederick J. Hall, another Dunkirk importation] Hall (1861–1926) was born in New York City and attended Peekskill Military Academy. Stedman, the poet . . . thereby secured the lingering suicide of Charles L. Webster and Company] Clemens had known Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), an influential poet and critic, since the early 1870s (23 Feb 1872 to Redpath, L5, 47 n. 1). a bank in which Whitford was a director] [page 504] The Mount Morris Bank, located in Harlem, was one of the more persistent creditors of Webster and Company, refusing to renew notes when they became due. Webster and Company failed . . . ninety-six creditors an average of a thousand dollars or so apiece] The company declared bankruptcy on 18 April 1894, after the Mount Morris Bank demanded repayment. Mr. Rogers stepped in . . . they could not have my books; that they were not an asset of Webster and Company] Henry Huttleston Rogers, the wealthy vice-president of the Standard Oil Company, befriended Clemens in the fall of 1893 and guided him through the financial complexities of the bankruptcy. We lectured and robbed and raided . . . creditors have all been paid] For details of this world lecturing tour see the Autobiographical Dictation of 4 June 1906. “Put it in Federal Steel” . . . a profit of 125 per cent] [page 505] Acting on Clemens’s behalf, in October 1898 Rogers purchased preferred and common stock (heavily discounted) in the newly incorporated Federal Steel Company for $17,139.87. I was assisting in the work . . . The machine was a failure] Clemens gives a full account of this disastrous venture in “The Machine Episode” (AutoMT1, 101–6). It stands in Cornell University] A note in Volume 1 states that one machine survives at the Hartford House and Museum, and that the other was donated by the Mergenthaler Company to Cornell University and later used for scrap metal in World War II (AutoMT1, 644 n. 455 footnote).
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I lecturing every night] Clemens facetiously represented these lectures as a lesson in morals, illustrated by examples from his writings. Three months’ repose and seclusion in the Adirondacks . . . York Harbor for the summer] From late June to mid-September 1901 the Clemenses stayed in a summer home on Lower Saranac Lake that they called “The Lair” (see the photographs following page 300). Mr. Rogers brought his Kanawha, the fastest steam yacht in American waters] Rogers bought the Kanawha, a 227-foot-long steam-powered yacht, in 1901. Aix-les-Bains . . . there was nothing very serious the matter with her] Olivia was at Aix-les-Bains, France, in June and July 1891, and at Bad Nauheim from June to mid-September 1892. I at once wrote it out . . . and sent it to Harper’s Monthly. I here append it] Clemens wrote in his notebook on 27 August 1902, “Send ‘Heaven or Hell’ to Harper?” Frederick A. Duneka (general manager of Harper and Brothers) replied on 18 September,
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visitor was a lady . . . earn a living there by teaching] The visitor, Florence Hartwig, was a singer and voice teacher who had left America to study in Europe at the age of fourteen. poor woman’s face was as white as marble! The French phrase stood translated] In her letter Queen Elisabeth explained that Hartwig’s husband had been forced to leave “quite a brilliant situation” in Bucharest We secured a special train . . . delivered us at our home, Riverdale] “We left York Harbor at about 9 yesterday morning in an invalid car & special train,” Clemens [page 508] wrote to Laurence Hutton 16 October,
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I will here insert the Susy Crane letter] Clemens’s preparations for this dictation go back to Florence in January 1904, York Harbor experience] Susan Crane traveled from Elmira to York Harbor in mid-August 1902 to help nurse Olivia. Clemens wrote her on 15 August, Dr. Janeway] Dr. Edward Gamaliel Janeway (1841–1911) was a prominent specialist in nervous diseases and tuberculosis who had attended two presidents—McKinley and Cleveland—and was currently treating Cornelius Vanderbilt for typhoid fever John Howells] John Mead Howells (1868–1959) was the son of William Dean and Elinor Howells. After studying at Harvard and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he founded the architectural firm of Howells and Stokes in New York City. Mark Hambourg] Hambourg (1879–1960) was a Russian pianist who began his career as a child prodigy. After studying with renowned piano teacher Theodor Leschetizky, I wish Clara . . . could take a pen and put upon paper all the details of one of her afternoons in her mother’s room] On 31 December 1902, the same day that Clemens wrote his letter to Twichell, Clara wrote her friend Dorothea Gilder:Joe, don’t let those people invite me—I couldn’t go] [page 510] Twichell had written Clemens from Hartford on 30 December: full report of that dinner*—issued by Colonel Harvey as a remembrancer . . . to all the guests] George Harvey—president of Harper and Brothers and editor of the North American Review and Harper’s Weekly—hosted a dinner Mary Foote] Mary Hubbard Foote (1872–1968) was a cousin of the Clemens girls’ former governess, Lilly Gillette Foote (see AutoMT1, 579 n. 326.13–21). unberufen!] Clemens frequently used this superstitious German interjection. In his own words: “If a German forgets himself & suddenly lets slip a strong desire, [page 511] he immediately protects himself Judy] Julia Curtis Twichell (1869–1945), Joseph Twichell’s oldest daughter, was called “Judy” by her family. William E. Dodge’s house, or . . . at Cleveland Dodge’s] William E. Dodge and his son, philanthropist and financier Cleveland H. Dodge (1860–1926), George W. Perkins’s house] Perkins (1862–1920), a partner in J. P. Morgan and Company and vice-president of the New York Life Insurance Company, was another Riverdale neighbor.
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household consisting of six or eight persons] The Dublin household included Jean Clemens, Isabel Lyon, Albert Bigelow Paine, stenographer-typist Josephine Hobby, and the following staff: Alexander Selkirk . . . horrible place] [page 512] Alexander Selkirk (1676–1721) was marooned for over four years on an uninhabited island three hundred and fifty miles off the coast of Chile. Early in April came the great irruption of Vesuvius . . . account by the Younger Pliny of the overwhelming of Herculaneum and Pompeii] A major eruption of Vesuvius began in 1905 and climaxed the following year.
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thirty-eight years since I last saw San Francisco . . . chief and only reporter] Clemens describes his 1864 job at the Morning Call in the Autobiographical Dictation of 13 June 1906. husband of Madame Sembrich . . . little creature was not frightened] Marcella Sembrich (1858–1935), born in Austrian Poland, was a child prodigy on the piano and violin who ultimately became an operatic soprano. I was in what was called the “Great Earthquake” . . . because I was a newspaper reporter, and was thankful] On 8 October 1865 an earthquake caused significant damage to buildings not only in San Francisco but as far away as San Jose and Santa Cruz. Professor William James . . . had no feeling of fright or fear] Psychologist and philosopher William James (1842–1910) taught at Harvard University from 1873 to 1907, and was a visiting lecturer at Stanford when the earthquake occurred. “little Ward,” . . . had reached the age of sixty-five] Lewis P. Ward (1837–1903) was a compositor on the San Francisco Alta California when Clemens shared a room with him in San Francisco in 1865. Steve Gillis and his brother Jim . . . young sons and daughters of the family] Clemens mentions boarding with the Gillis family in San Francisco—in 1864 and again in 1865—in the Autobiographical Dictation of 19 January 1906. I am the eldest son of the eldest of the Gillis sisters . . . he was thirty-seven] The eldest Gillis sister, Theresa Ann (1843–1929), married Henry Williams, a stockbroker born in England.
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The Call could not afford to publish articles criticising the hoodlums for stoning Chinamen] [page 515] Clemens had previously described this incident in a May 1870 Galaxy article, “Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy”: Day before yesterday’s New York Sun . . . from one end of the United States to the other] Clemens describes a “special cable despatch” from the London correspondent for the Sun, published on the front page on 10 June 1906. to-day’s lurid exposure, by Upton Sinclair, of the . . . Beef Trust] Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) published his novel The Jungle in serial form in 1905, and it became a best-selling book in early 1906. an exposure which has moved the President . . . hands of the doctor and the undertaker] [page 516] After reading The Jungle President Roosevelt ordered an investigation and forwarded the resulting report to Congress on 4 June, urging immediate action. According to that correspondent . . . an honest male human creature left in the United States] The Sun correspondent opined that He called him Smiggy McGlural] Clemens’s colleague on the Call was William K. McGrew (1827–1903), who was also undoubtedly the man he recalls here. in the Magnalia . . . nothing left but the man himself] Magnalia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical History of New-England, from Its First Planting in the Year 1620 unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698 In those ancient times . . . Bret Harte as private secretary of the Superintendent] In 1864 the Call was located in a new brick building at 612 Commercial Street, [page 517] next door to the United States Branch Mint. Harte was doing a good deal of writing for The Californian . . . I was a contributor] Harte edited the Californian from 10 September to 19 November 1864, and was probably responsible for accepting Clemens’s first nine literary contributions to the journal (25 Sept 1864 to JLC and PAM, L1, 314 n. 5). Ambrose Bierce, who is still writing acceptably for the magazines . . . Golden Era, perhaps] In 1905–6 Bierce wrote primarily for the New York American and Cosmopolitan magazine, Harte had arrived in California . . . campers were satisfied with it and adopted it] Harte arrived in California in 1854—when he was seventeen—to join his mother, who had recently remarried. Harte taught school . . . Jackass Gulch (where I tarried, some years later, during three months)] In the summer of 1857 Harte left San Francisco to join his married sister in Union (or Uniontown, now Arcata), on the coast near Eureka in Humboldt County. quaint dialect of the miner . . . until Harte invented it] Clemens also criticized Harte’s unauthentic dialect in chapter 7 of Is Shakespeare Dead?By and by he . . . got work in the Golden Era office] In February 1860, while substituting for the absent editor of the Northern Californian, Harte published an article condemning a local massacre of Native American women and children.
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he came East five years later, in 1870, to take the editorship . . . lamented absence] Harte had edited the highly successful Overland Monthly since 1868, and his publications in that journal had brought him instant celebrity (see the note at 120.6–17). crossed the ocean to be Consul, first at Crefeld, in Germany, and afterwards in Glasgow] In mid-1877 Clemens heard that President Hayes was likely to award Harte a diplomatic post. He wrote to Howells:he had written “The Heathen Chinee” for amusement . . . finer glory of “The Luck of Roaring Camp,”] The Overland Monthly was founded in 1868 by Anton Roman, a San Francisco bookseller and publisher, to replace the defunct Californian. “Tennessee’s Partner,” . . . “Gabriel Conroy,”] “Tennessee’s Partner” was published in the Overland Monthly in October 1869 and collected in The Luck of Roaring Camp, and Other Sketches. undertook to give all the product of its brain . . . spent the money before the year was out] Harte wrote to James Osgood, publisher (with James T. Fields) of the Atlantic Monthly and Every Saturday, on 6 March 1871:
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and not to strangers, but to personal friends of mine . . . Mrs Williams] On the day of this dictation Isabel Lyon noted in her journal:
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Our Bible reveals to us the character of our God with minute and remorseless exactness] On 17 June Clemens wrote to Howells,
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When we want a Deluge we go away back to hoary Babylon and borrow it . . . The flood is a favorite with Bible-makers] [page 523] The story of a universal flood is present in a great number of the world’s mythologies. Hindoos prized it . . . Buddhists were happy when they acquired Gautama by the same process] In Hindu tradition, Krishna, the most important avatar of the god Vishnu, was miraculously conceived and saved from murder at birth through divine intervention. Episcopal clergyman in Rochester . . . did not believe that the Savior was miraculously conceived] On 9 May 1906, Algernon Sidney Crapsey (1847–1927), minister of St. Andrew’s church in Rochester since 1879, was convicted of heresy by an ecclesiastical court for views he had expressed in his sermons and published in Religion and Politics (1905). Rev. Dr. Briggs, who is perhaps the most daringly broad-minded . . . in a position to know] Charles Augustus Briggs (1841–1913) was a prominent clergyman, biblical and Hebrew scholar, and professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York from 1874 until his death.
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For two years, now . . . the ultra-Christian Government of Russia has been officially ordering and conducting massacres of its Jewish subjects] In the early years of the century, the government of Tsar Nicholas II (who ruled from 1894 to 1918) promoted vicious anti-Semitism. Horrible details have been sent out by the correspondent of the Bourse Gazette, who arrived in Bialystok] Clemens had a clipping of this portion of the article, from the New York Times of 19 June, pasted into the typescript of this dictation. massacre of the Albigenses] The Albigenses were members of a medieval religious sect in southern France, concentrated in the area of Albi. They were ascetics who practiced chastity and vegetarianism. for each year of the sixty of her reign . . . a separate and distinct war] The London Standard noted that during Victoria’s sixty years on the throne each Christian Government has played with its neighbors . . . We are in it, ourselves, now] In the late 1880s the major European powers began to build up their navies, increasing their production of battleships in an effort to intimidate the enemy and deter aggression. “Science and Health” . . . Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy] The Church of Christ, Scientist, is a denomination based on the theories set forth in Science and Health (1875) by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910).
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Mr. Garfield lay near to death . . . died, just the same] President James A. Garfield (b. 1831) was shot on 2 July 1881 by Charles J. Guiteau (b. 1841). Boer population was a hundred and fifty thousand . . . confidence in the righteousness and intelligence of God impaired] The Second Boer War (1899–1902) was fought between Britain and the Dutch (Boer) colonies in southern Africa. spider was so contrived . . . chew her legs off at their leisure] Clemens had previously discussed his view of “Nature’s infernal inventions for the infliction of needless suffering” in his 1895 notebook:
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Man is not to blame for what he is] Many of Clemens’s remarks in this Autobiographical Dictation reprise his philosophy in What Is Man?—an essay in dialog format that he printed anonymously, for private distribution, in 1906.
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Mr. Duneka] Frederick A. Duneka (1859–1919), a native of Kentucky, was a colleague of George Harvey’s on the New York World, serving as its city editor. Bliss captured my thirty thousand dollars, but I made it cost him a quarter of a million thirteen years afterward] Clemens describes negotiating the Roughing [page 528] It contract with Elisha Bliss in the Autobiographical Dictation of 23 May 1906. I wrote some Christian Science articles . . . that announcement was made] Clemens published four articles on Christian Science in the North American Review, in December 1902, January and February 1903, and April 1903. Mr. Duneka said . . . publication had been postponed until the fall] In a letter drafted at the time of these events, Clemens said this ruse was his own idea: Publishers’ Weekly of April 11th, 1903 . . . a Pittsburgh bookseller sent it to me] Remarkably, Clemens remembered the exact date of the announcement. Duneka . . . would make that book volume XXIV of my Collected Works] In April 1905 Duneka wrote to Clemens (in a letter no longer extant) outlining his plan to add Christian Science to Harpers’ collected editions of Mark Twain’s works. I wrote an unfriendly article about the Butcher, King Leopold . . . publish it as soon as possible] In late 1904 Clemens promised Edmund Dene Morel, the secretary of the British Congo Reform Association, a magazine article exposing the depredations of King Leopold II in the Congo Free State. he had employed Mr. Nevinson . . . Mr. Nevinson’s first article appeared] Harvey sent British journalist Henry Woodd Nevinson (1856–1941) to Portuguese West Africa (now Angola) in late 1904 to report on the practice of plantation slavery there. short story called “A Horse’s Tale,” . . . he did not explain what the trouble was] Clemens wrote “A Horse’s Tale” in late 1905, and it was published in Harper’s Monthly in August and September 1906. Last summer, Mr. Duneka wanted . . . that priest reformed or left out] In July 1905 Duneka visited Clemens at his summer retreat in Dublin, New Hampshire. My contract with the Harpers of three years ago puts all my books permanently in their possession . . . “Mark Twain’s Library of Humor.”] The 1903 contract is described in the Autobiographical Dictation of 7 August 1906, note at 160.32–36. Mr. Duneka said that he had heard that a “pirate” out West . . . I wrote him and consented to that] In October 1905 Duneka proposed to Clemens that Harpers reissue the book to foil some “more or less obscure publishers in the West” who were That detail privileges Mr. Duneka to . . . “bring it up to date.”] Duneka assigned the task of creating a revised and expanded edition to a young Harper subeditor, Burges Johnson, who later recalled that he was charged with When an author is wholly unknown . . . 20 per cent] This estimate of royalty entitlements recapitulates Clemens’s long-standing opinion—as given, for example, in “About General Grant’s Memoirs” (1885)—and
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Edward Lauterbach . . . the Harper lawyer, Larkin] Lauterbach (1844–1923) was a prominent New York corporate lawyer specializing in railroad cases; he was also active in the Republican party. Clemens retained him in 1904–6 and was impressed: an early sweetheart of mine . . . New Orleans as guest of a relative of hers who was a pilot] Clemens met and courted Laura Mary Wright (25 December 1844–23 February 1932) between 16 and 18 May 1858, when he spent several days in New Orleans while serving as a cub pilot on the Pennsylvania; the John J. Roe, a steamboat whose officers I knew . . . I saw him four years ago] Clemens was a cub pilot (“steersman”) on the John J. Roe from 5 August to 24 September 1857, plying the river between St. Louis and New Orleans. “I never saw her afterward. It is now forty-eight years . . . no word has ever passed between us since.”] Clemens evidently did make at least one trip to Laura’s home town of Warsaw, Missouri. And he also had news of her in the spring of 1880, when he received a letter from Wattie Bowser, a Dallas schoolboy. I reached home from Fairhaven last Wednesday and found a letter from Laura Wright . . . in need of a thousand dollars, and I sent it] This passage is the only known evidence that Laura sought help for her “disabled son.” Her first 1906 letter to Clemens has been lost or destroyed, but his account of it here is supported by what he wrote to Susan Crane on the day he received it:
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your Howells article which I have just this minute read . . . extract from “Venetian Days”] In his appreciation of Howells, published in the July 1906 issue of Harper’s Monthly, Clemens wrote: The western pirate . . . has really published his book] The pirated book was not, as Duneka and Clemens had feared, the Webster and Company Library of Humor (see AD, 17 July 1906, note at 146.37–147.9). It may have been Hot Stuff by Famous Funny Men. George Ade and Dooley] George Ade (1866–1944) became famous for his “Fables in Slang,” originally written for the Chicago Record and published, starting in 1899, in a series of books; he went on to write successful works of fiction, plays, and musicals. Nasby, Artemus Ward . . . the “Disbanded Volunteer,”] For Artemus Ward and “the Pfaff crowd” see the Autobiographical Dictation of 21 May 1906 and the notes at 46.33–34 and 47.3–5; letters of the late John Hay, copies of which I enclose . . . Chas. Orr] The letters were written to Alexander Gunn (1837–1901), a Cleveland industrialist, by Clemens’s friend John Hay, who had died on 1 July 1905 (see AutoMT1, 534 n. 222.9). The Globe has not yet recovered from Downey’s inroad] Hay refers to a recent occurrence in Washington, D.C. On 12 April 1880 Stephen W. Downey, a congressional delegate from Wyoming Territory, sumptuous edition . . . was made by Lieut. C. E. S. Wood at West Point—an edition of 50 copies] The so-called West Point edition of 1601 was printed in 1882 by Lt. Charles Erskine Scott Wood—with Clemens’s active consent—at the little press of [page 536] West Point Military Academy. Dean Sage . . . got a dozen copies privately printed in Brooklyn] Sage (1841–1902), the son of wealthy lumber merchant Henry W. Sage, was Clemens’s close friend and occasional financial adviser. learned rabbi said it was a masterpiece . . . ‘He wrote the immortal “1601”.’ ] The rabbi in Albany has not been identified. Rudolph Lindau, of the Foreign Office] Rudolf Lindau (1829–1910) was a German diplomat and novelist. Clemens became acquainted with him during the winter of 1891–92, when the Clemenses were living in Berlin. Mommsen] Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), the great historian of Rome, was Germany’s preeminent academic, a liberal politician, and a noted public figure. In 1890 I had published in Harper’s Monthly a sketch called “Luck,” . . . it is Lord Wolseley] [page 537] This sketch was written in April 1886, the purported facts of the case deriving, according to Clemens, from Twichell’s report of an acquaintance’s story. he asked me for a copy of “1601,” . . . see whether it really is a masterpiece or not] Having recovered his store of copies, Clemens did eventually offer one—rather tentatively—to Wolseley. Writing on 17 April 1909, he correctly recalled the occasion of their meeting, but not the book’s exact title (UkBrH):
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I stumbled accidentally upon H. H. Rogers . . . Dr. Clarence C. Rice] Rice (1853–1935), who practiced medicine in New York City, became the Clemenses’ family physician in 1885, sometimes visiting them in Hartford. We had paid a hundred cents on the dollar, and owed no one a penny] In his original dictation Clemens admitted, “I am a weak sister, and I could probably have been persuaded to let the Webster assets pay what they could of the indebtedness and stop there. the books had revived . . . generous support for my children] In the course of revising this account of his income from royalties, Clemens rewrote several sentences, substituting general terms for specific dollar amounts.
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three years ago . . . servant to only one—the Harper Corporation] In October 1903 Harpers bought the American Publishing Company for $50,000, half of it paid by Harpers and half by the Clemenses.
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Autobiographical Dictation, 8 August 1906

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163.18 forlorn hope] In military language, a detachment of soldiers, usually volunteers, selected to perform some especially perilous service.

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164.8 ‘Lohengrin’] Clemens saw a performance of this opera by Richard Wagner in Mannheim in 1878, which he described in chapter 9 of A Tramp Abroad as a “shivaree” (Gribben 1980, 2:731).

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165.12–14 Papa went to Europe to lecture . . . reading with Mr. G. W. Cable] Susy made a leap in time here. Clemens and Olivia took Susy to England, Scotland, and Ireland from May to October 1873; Clemens lectured in London near the end of the trip. The reading tour with Cable took place over the winter of 1884–85.

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166.2 the nurse] Rosina Hay (see AD, 3 Oct 1906, note at 242.34).

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166.11 Aunt Clara Spaulding] [page 540] A dear childhood friend of Olivia’s (see AutoMT1, 593–94 n. 363.23–25).

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166.15 Frank Warner] Frank (1867–1931), then aged seventeen, was the son of George H. and Elisabeth (Lilly) Gillette Warner, Nook Farm neighbors. George was the brother of Charles Dudley Warner (“Nook Farm Genealogy” 1974, 30; AutoMT1 580 n. 327.14).

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166.28–29 I have already described that monumental night in an earlier chapter of this autobiography] See the Autobiographical Dictation of 6 February 1906 for Clemens’s earlier description of this occasion, which took place on 14 March 1885 (AutoMT1, 334–36, 583 n. 335.18–21).

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166 footnote at dinner the other night . . . Sir Henry Irving] 166 footnote at dinner the other night . . . Sir Henry Irving] Clemens added many such footnotes to Susy’s original manuscript. He dined with the renowned British actor Sir Henry Irving (1838–1905) at The Players club on 10 November 1901 (Notebook 44, TS p. 17, CU-MARK).
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At last we have heard from Higbie . . . he proposed to pass his manuscript through my hands] Calvin Higbie was Clemens’s cabinmate in the mining camp of Aurora in 1862. You have invented some new things—such as . . . the ball] Higbie’s essay describes a ball celebrating the opening of a saloon:
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in this morning’s paper is a note which I wrote to Andrew Carnegie some years ago] Clemens wrote this letter to Carnegie on 6 February 1901 (DLC), Peace Palace . . . eighty million dollars’ worth of free libraries] The Palace of Peace, in The Hague, was funded by Carnegie to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the first global court for the settlement of international disputes; In a previous chapter I have told how John T. Lewis saved the lives of a rich man’s wife and daughter] There is no such “chapter” in the Autobiography, but the anecdote was one that Clemens was fond of recounting, He came over and traveled about America . . . up to Quarry Farm in quest of me] From March to October 1889, Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), at the time an obscure journalist, traveled from India to Britain by an eastward route:
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Autobiographical Dictation, 13 August 1906

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176.10 Eric Ericsons] Norwegian mariners Eric the Red and his son Leif Ericson explored Greenland and Vinland (variously identified as Labrador, Newfoundland, or New England) in the second half of the tenth century.

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176.31–32 He was a stranger . . . universally known] See the Autobiographical Dictation of 11 August 1906, note at 175.33–37.

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177.2–16 “Plain Tales,” . . . “Kim”] Kipling’s short story collection Plain Tales from the Hills (1888); The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book (1894, 1895); and his novel Kim (1901).
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Mrs. Horr taught the children . . . Mr. Sam Cross taught the young people of larger growth] Elizabeth Horr (1790?–1873), born in New York, was Clemens’s first schoolteacher. I prayed for gingerbread. Margaret Kooneman . . . brought a slab of gingerbread to school every morning] In notes made in Switzerland in 1897, Clemens planned to make use of the baker, his daughter, and her gingerbread in “Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy,” transferring the episode to Huck Finn:
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Several weeks ago, in Chapter XLI, I spoke of how rare a thing a good memory for names and faces is] Unless this refers to the remarks on James W. Nye (AD, 2 Apr 1906), there is no such passage. Harpers applied to me for some nonsense, and I sent . . . “An Open Letter to the Queen.”] Clemens’s exercise in lèse-majesté, “A Petition to the Queen of England,” appeared in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for December 1887; its content is largely recreated in the present dictation. “Mr. President, I am embarrassed—are you?”] Clemens told this story in an 1885 dictation, “The Chicago G. A. R. Festival” (AutoMT1 67–68), which he never published, as well as in chapter 2 of Following the Equator (1897). In 1891 or ’92 . . . he asked me if I would like to meet the Prince of Wales] The Clemenses spent the summer of 1892 at Bad Nauheim, being joined by Joseph and Harmony Twichell in August.
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Fellow-Craftsmen’s Club, and I attended its first banquet] The Fellowcraft Club, an organization of New York journalists and illustrators with a membership of over two hundred, was founded in 1888 with Richard Watson Gilder as president.
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The “Horse’s Tale” . . . distributed abroad in Spain] Clemens began “A Horse’s Tale” in September 1905 at the request of the actress and animal rights activist Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865–1932), who wrote:editor of Harper’s Bazar projected a scheme for a composite story . . . would take an interest in it or not] Elizabeth Jordan (1867–1947) was the editor in charge of Harper’s Bazar, but it was Howells who initiated the idea for the collaborative novel [page 548] The Whole Family. Mr. Howells began the composite tale . . . Thus far, the boy has not applied to me] Clemens at first consented to contribute to The Whole Family, telling Jordan that the idea was “excellent” but that he would first need to see some of the other authors’ installments (notes by Lyon on Jordan to SLC, 29 May 1906, CU-MARK). letters which were handed to me by a neighbor yesterday . . . letter No. 1] These semiliterate letters were shown to Clemens in August 1906 by Sumner B. Pearmain (1859–1941), Captain Ned Wakeman . . . I made two voyages with him, and we became fast friends] Edgar Wakeman (1818–75), once described by Clemens as “a splendidly uncultured old sailor, but in his own opinion a thinker by divine right,” was born not at sea (as Clemens claims at 192.24), but in Westport, Connecticut (24 Apr 1901 to Phelps, CtY-BR). he brought the murderer of his colored mate to trial in the Chincha Islands] Clemens’s notebook entry made during his 1866 voyage with Wakeman reads “Hanging the negro in the Chinchas.” When he was fifty-three . . . then the nautical paradise was complete] Wakeman was thirty-six when he met and married Mary E. Lincoln, one of the passengers aboard his ship, the SS New Orleans, en route from San Francisco to Panama. he once told me of a visit which he had made to heaven . . . Howells and he said, “Publish it.”] In 1906 Clemens had been working on “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven” for at least thirty-seven years, off and on, and considering (and rejecting) publication for nearly as long. “The Gates Ajar,” a book which had imagined a mean little ten-cent heaven] The Gates Ajar, by Massachusetts author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844–1911), was published in November 1868 and, according to Clemens, I mean to put it into this Autobiography now.† It is not likely to see the light for fifty years, yet] On the typescript of this dictation Paine noted, “He changed his mind a year later—Stormfield was published both in j[our]nal & book form in 1907–8.” His guess was right, and the two men were inseparable . . . I have printed it in full in one of my books] In August 1874 Twichell traveled from New York to Peru, accompanying his friend Yung Wing, who was on a diplomatic mission.
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I had reached the middle of “Tom Sawyer” . . . When the manuscript had lain in a pigeon-hole two years] Clemens had reached the end of what was ultimately chapter 18 when “the story made a sudden and determined halt.” On 4 September 1874 Clemens wrote to John Brown:“The Prince and the Pauper” struck work in the middle . . . a story of mine called “Which Was It?”] The composition of The Prince and the Pauper began in 1877 but was broken off in early 1878 when the Clemenses went to Europe; it was not resumed until 1880. “The Refuge of the Derelicts.” . . . “The Mysterious Stranger.”] “The Refuge of the Derelicts” and “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes” are substantial but unfinished novels, written in 1905–6 and 1905 respectively, and left in manuscript at Clemens’s death I carried it as far as thirty-eight thousand words . . . Tom Sawyer and Jim were the heroes of it] Clemens seems to allude to a story he worked on when his family was staying at York Harbor, Maine, in 1902. an offer of sixteen thousand dollars a year . . . as editor of a humorous periodical] The offer referred to may have been from Robert Barr (1849–1912), who in [page 553] 1892 founded The Idler, a London monthly. six attempts to tell a simple little story . . . “The Death-Wafer.”] Inspired by a passage that Clemens read in 1883 in Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, “The Death-Disk”
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Messrs. Brush and Smith] George de Forest Brush (1855–1941) was a painter associated with the American Renaissance movement of the turn of the century; forty years ago, in San Francisco . . . That anecdote is in one of my books] A contemporary report of Clemens’s second San Francisco lecture, on 16 November 1866 at Platt’s Hall, said:there was to be an Authors’ Reading at Chickering Hall . . . James Russell Lowell] Clemens resurrected this Monk-Greeley anecdote for the Chickering Hall reading of 28 November 1887. The pictures which Mr. Paine made . . . I am sending half a dozen of these sets to friends] Paine, who in his youth had been a professional photographer, took these photographs on the porch of Clemens’s summer rental (Upton House, Dublin, New Hampshire) on 25 June 1906, the day before Clemens departed for New York. my long-vanished little fourteen-year-old sweetheart . . . has written a charming letter] Laura Wright Dake’s letter of 27 August 1906 thanked Clemens effusively for the $1,000 check he had sent her (see AD, 30 July 1906):
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Professor Henderson] Ernest Flagg Henderson (1861–1928), who earned his doctorate in history at the University of Berlin, had by 1906 published three books on Germany: Brush assumed the character and manner of an old German professor . . . effective] Jean Clemens reported in her diary that the club “was packed. Mr. Smith assumed the precise and ornate style . . . of an established reputation] Jean Clemens also reported Smith’s argument:over-impassioned recitations of “Curfew Shall Not Ring To-night,”] This poem, written by sixteen-year-old Rose Hartwick (later Thorpe) in 1867 and first published three years later, She . . . jumped on his back and rode him all over the farm] In a letter to Clemens of 1 August 1886, Olivia (at Quarry Farm) reported a visit from Clara Spaulding. General Beale recently outlined his great, simple, beautiful nature] Beale’s remarks were quoted in a “Special” report from Washington to the Chicago Tribune, and were probably printed in other newspapers as well (“A Tribute. Gen. Beale’s Recollections [page 557] of the Dying General,” 2 Apr 1885, 1).
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It is years . . . little chaps] Clemens and Olivia began “the Children’s Record,” which Clemens titled “A Record of the Small Foolishnesses of Susie & ‘Bay’ Clemens (Infants),” in August 1876, when Susy was four years old and Clara was two; Jean was not yet born. Mr. Darwin said that nothing was necessary . . . statute of limitations] Darwin, in his “Biographical Sketch of an Infant,” described his young son’s beginning to lie:Mrs. Leslie and her daughters. Elsie Leslie . . . a great celebrity on the stage] Evelyn Lyde (b. 1849) became known as Mrs. Leslie after her daughters’ stage names, Elsie and Dora Leslie.

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225.39–226.1 the banquet, last winter . . . the Ends of the Earth Club] According to the New York Times,

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226.1–2 chairman, a retired regular army officer of high grade] General James H. Wilson (1837–1925), the toastmaster and unofficial chairman, served in both the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

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226.11–14 the old-time picture in the almanac . . . needs sewing up right away] Nineteenth-century almanacs typically included the figure of a naked man surrounded by the signs of the zodiac.

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227.6 “Come, step lively!”] The standard exhortation from train conductors such as those of the Manhattan Elevated Railway to move passengers off and onto the trains (see AutoMT1, 620 n. 411.5–6).

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227.25–26 British Premier Campbell-Bannerman celebrates seventieth birthday to-morrow] Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836–1908) was born Henry Campbell in Kelvinside, near Glasgow, Scotland, on 7 September. He reluctantly changed his surname to Campbell-Bannerman after a conditional inheritance of property in 1871 (Wilson 1973, 46–47). See the note at 227.34–37.

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227.28–33 To His Excellency . . . Mark Twain] Clemens sent this telegram to the London Tribune’s New York correspondent, Luther E. Price, who had made the request (Price to SLC, 6 Sept 1906, VtMiM).

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227.34–37 A great and brave statesman . . . we lived in the same hotel for a time] Clemens probably first met Campbell-Bannerman at Marienbad in August 1891.

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228.5–6 Labouchere . . . that picturesque personality] After two years at Trinity College, adventures in South America and Mexico, six months in an Ojibwe Indian camp, ten years as an attaché in Washington, D.C., and Europe, and

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228.8–11 his wife, in the throng of medicinal-water drinkers . . . had been a great actress in her time] Actress Henrietta Hodson (1841–1910) lived with Labouchere, served as his hostess, bore him a child, and eventually married him, after the death of [page 560] her estranged husband, Richard Walter Pigeon, in 1887.

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228.20–21 the Nestor of Parliament of that day] Unidentified.

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228.21–22 Sir William Vernon Harcourt, leader of the Opposition] Harcourt (1827–1904), a lawyer, journalist, and Liberal member of Parliament, served as home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer under Gladstone before becoming Leader of the Opposition in 1896–98, when a Conservative-Unionist government was in power.

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228.31 death of William IV] On 20 June 1837.

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228.38–39 the Prince of Wales . . . was to receive in state the deed of a vast property which had been conferred upon the nation by a wealthy citizen] A manuscript fragment in the Mark Twain Papers reads in part, “tell about lost deed to the new national gallery”;