At 2 PM on a dismal day with frequent downpours, William Dean Howells saw the Clemens family off from New York, bound for Europe on the steamship Holsatia commanded by Captain C.L.Brandt. The Times article also mentioned Dan Slote was in the send-off party. It was a two-week voyage. Susy, six, and Clara, going on four, were accompanied by their German nursemaid, Rosa Hay. Also along was George, who would handle baggage and valet duties. Clara Spaulding, who went with the family five years before was also in the group, which occupied two staterooms. Also, a young lady, probably Miss Sophia J. Olivier, was traveling to Hamburg; Livy reluctantly agreed to take charge of her. Although Sam had told friends he might be gone between two and three years, they would return in just over sixteen months. The Clemens family had staterooms #19 and 20.


Submitted by scott on Sun, 08/14/2016 - 14:42

European Itinerary, 1878-1879 (from Mark Twain’s Notebooks and Journals, Vol II)

* Accompanied by Joe Twichell

Rotterdam. They stayed at the Victoria Hotel. Sam liked the middle-class Dutch girls, thought them “very pretty & fresh & amiable & intelligent” and wished “they would come over to us instead of Irish”.

July 15 Tuesday – The Clemens family left Rotterdam in the afternoon and went to Amsterdam, where they took rooms at the Hotel Doelen. From Sam’s notebook:


Twain, Mark. 1880. A Tramp Abroad. American Publishing Company.