"In January business flourished. News of his successful performances was circulating widely. That month there were twenty bookings which took him on an itinerary that criss-crossed Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio." (Lorch, pg 94-95)
January 2 - 22, 1869: Fort Wayne, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Rockford, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; Monmouth, Illinois; Galesburg, Illinois; Peoria, Illinois; Decatur, Illinois; Ottawa, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Toledo, Ohio; Norwalk, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio
January 1 Friday – Sam spent the day with Solon & Emily Severance, old Quaker City shipmates, making social calls in Cleveland, Ohio. While he waited for the carriage, Sam wrote Joseph Twichell:
“And I have delightful Christmas letters, this morning, from her [Livy’s] mother & father—full of love and trust. I seem to be shaking off the drowsiness of centuries & looking about me half bewildered at the light just bursting above the horizon of an unfamiliar world” DBD
January 2 , 1869: Hamilton's Hall, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
From Cleveland to Crestline on the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati;. As of May of 1868 this was actually the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railroad.
Branching from the CCC&I at Crestline, the original line to Fort Wayne was the Ohio and Indiana RR. The line was consolidated with the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad on July 26, 1856, which was restructured February 26, 1862. The PFW&C was leased by the Pennsylvania Railroad July 1, 1869, transferred to the Pennsylvania Company April 1, 1871 and transferred back to the Pennsylvania Railroad January 1, 1918.
Where was I on Sunday, Jan. 3? In Fort Wayne. Had my breakfast brought up, & lay in bed till 1 P.M.
... Then I got up & ate dinner with some friends—& went to bed again at 4 in the afternoon & read & smoked again—& got up long, long before daylight & took the cars for the endless trip to Indianapolis & Chicago. That is the history of Jan. 3, Livy dear, & I remember it ever so pleasantly. SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 14 Jan 1869, Davenport, Iowa (UCCL 00232).
The journey from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis was not endless but was approximately 129 miles. The USGS map of this area indicate the Norfolk and Western Railroad. The kml files from the University of Nebraska indicate the Toledo and Western from Fort Wayne to Peru and the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad from Peru to Indianapolis. This may be in error as Wikipedia articles indicate this as the Wabash Railroad or Toledo, Wabash and Western, from Fort Wayne through Peru. The history of railroads in this area is quite convoluted with bankruptcies, mergers and name changes.
The map plotted here shows the: Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati: Cleveland to Crestline;
Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago RR: Crestline to Fort Wayne;
Toledo, Wabash, and Western RR: Fort Wayne to Peru;
Indianapolis, Peru and Chicago RR: Kokomo to Peru;
Norfolk and Western RR: Peru to Indianapolis.
January 4, 1869: The Metropolitan, Indianapolis, Indiana
In 1858 Bavarian-born Valentine Butsch completed Indianapolis’ first building designed for theatrical performances, Metropolitan Hall, on the northeast corner of Tennessee and Washington.
Built at a cost of $60,000, the top two levels of the Metropolitan’s three stories were devoted to its 1200-seat theater, while the street level featured storefronts. Other theater managers struggled with low attendance and protests by local clergy of the “immoral character” of the theater, so Butsch called his establishment a hall, rather than a theatre.
No reference but it seems likely Twain traveled to Rockford on January 5th. The journey was approximately 187 miles. Chicago and North Western RR ran for 94 miles between Chicago and Rockford. In 1870, between Indianapolis and Chicago, for 93 miles: Norfolk and Western to Kokomo; Chicago and Cincinnati section of the Columbus, Chicago and Indiana Central Railway to La Crosse; Louisville, New Albany and Chicago to Valparaiso then to Chicago on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad.
January 6, 1869: Brown's Hall, Rockford, Illinois
The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, at this date part of the Chicago and Northwestern, from Chicago to Rockford. Brown's Hall, described as being 64 by 90 feet; architecturally it was plain, four walls, a small stage, limited dressing rooms and a small gallery. Wood bottom chairs and settees of the same material were the only seats provided for the patrons, with a seating capacity of nearly 1,000.
January 7, 1869: Library Hall, Chicago, Illinois
Twain returned to Chicago January 7th, probably on the Chicago and North Western, for 93 miles. He lectured at the Library Hall, Chicago, Illinois. I have found no direct reference to this location but it is likely the Wigwam Convention Center and Meeting Hall. Twain stayed at the Sherman House.
To Olivia L. Langdon
7 January 1869 Chicago, Ill.
Sherman House, Chicago, Jan. 7.
I will remark, in passing, that the Sherman House is a good hotel, but I have seen better. They gave me a room there, away up, I do not know exactly how high, but water boils up there at 168⁰. I went up in a dumb waiter which was attached to a balloon. It was not a suitable place for a bedchamber, but it was a promising altitude for an observatory. The furniture consisted of a table, a camp stool, a wash-bowl, a German Dictionary and a patent medicine Almanac for 1842. I do not know whether there was a bed or not—I didn’t notice. (SLC 1868)
The Sherman House was designed in 1861 by “the supreme architect of the Chicago hotel, William Boyington.” It “rose up in six stories of finely cut Athens marble, could accommodate 300 guests, and always had an orchestra playing in its grand dining room.” The imposing structure had “a frontage of one hundred and eighty feet on Clark Street and one hundred fifty on Randolph Street” and cost, with furnishings, half a million dollars. It was destroyed by fire in 1871 (Lowe, 66, 95, 114; Masters, 111).
SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 7 Jan 1869., Chicago, Ill. (UCCL 00224).
January 8, 1869: Hardin's Hall, Monmouth, Illinois
On 8 January Clemens traveled from Chicago to Monmouth, Illinois, about 170 miles to the southwest, presumably on the “Day Express and Mail” of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which departed at 7:30 a.m. He lectured in Monmouth that evening, in Hardin’s Hall, under the aegis of the Quaternion Association (“Railroad Time-Table,” Chicago Times, 8 Jan 69, 3; “Mark Twain,” Monmouth Review, 8 Jan 69, 2; Wallace, 14–16). SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 7 Jan 1869., Chicago, Ill. (UCCL 00224).
The 1870 railroad maps from the University of Nebraska would have him travel 150 miles on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy line, and 35 miles on the Galena and Chicago Union line from Chicago to Geneva.
The night Mark Twain ‘vandalized’ Monmouth Jeff Rankin Jan 23, 2018
MONMOUTH, Ill. — Living in a college town like Monmouth has its perks — among them the opportunity to hear an impressive array of distinguished lecturers. That was certainly the case in 1869, when Monmouth College’s Quaternion Society (a joint organization of its four literary societies) invited bestselling author and humorist Samuel Clemens — Mark Twain — to speak in Monmouth.
The lecture was held in the new Hardin’s Hall, located on the north side of the 100 block of East First Avenue. Built in 1865 by hardware merchant Chancy Hardin, it was at the time the only public auditorium in Monmouth. Details of the Monmouth lecture were not recorded in the local newspapers, but because of Twain’s fame, they can be effectively reconstructed through preserved documents.
January 9, 1869: Galesburg, Illinois
Twain would have back-tracked on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy for 17 miles to Galesburg, Illinois. There are no indications as to where Twain lectured in Galesburg but it is likely that he was at Old Main, the oldest building on the campus of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Completed in 1857, it is a distinctive Gothic Tudor design of Swedish architect Charles Ulricson, one of the few surviving sites to host one of the famous 1858 Lincoln–Douglas debates.
On the 10th or 11th he would have traveled on what was the Peoria, Oquawka and Burlington to Peoria on the now named Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.
January 11, 1869: Rouse's Opera House, Peoria, Illinois
Dr. Rudolphus Rouse's Performance Hall was located at the North West corner of Main and Jefferson Streets, and played host to many theatrical and opera companies. It was called "Main Street" theater after 1902.
Sam wrote from El Paso that he spent half the day in Peoria on his way to Decatur.. Then went to Ottawa in the evening. From Peoria to El Paso was 32 miles aboard the Logansport, Peoria and Burlington, originally the Peoria and Oquaka, later to become the Toledo and Western in 1905 and the Toledo, Peoria and Western in 1927. From El Paso to Decatur was 61 miles aboard the Illinois Central.
January 12, 1869: Powers' Hall, Decatur, Illinois
What information I have found for this theater begins in 1874 and includes mention of the Twain-Cable lecture. It must have existed before this date as it is included in references to this January 12, 1869 lecture.
After the lecture, according to the Day By Day site, Twain traveled to Ottawa, approximately 115 miles. 101 miles from Decatur to Peru aboard the Illinois Central, then 14 miles to Ottawa aboard the Chicago and Rock Island.
January 13, 1869: Methodist Episcopal Church, Ottawa, Illinois
Another botch of a lecture!—even worse than Elmira, I think. And it was such a pity—for we had a beautiful church entirely full of handsome, well-dressed, intellectual ladies & gentlemen. They say I didn’t botch it, but I should think I ought to know. I closed with a fervent apology for my failure, just as I did in Elmira—& the apology was the only thing in the lecture that had any life or any feeling in it. It cuts me to the very quick to make a failure. I did feel so ashamed of myself. I even distressed the Committee—I touched their hearts with my genuine suffering, & real good fellows as they are, they came up to my room to comfort me. The failure was chiefly owing to an idiot president, who insisted on introducing me while the people were still pouring in,—& they kept on coming in till one-fourth of the lecture had been delivered to an audience who were exclusively engaged in watching the new-comers to their seats—it seemed that I never would get their attention. I grew so exasperated, at last, that I shouted to the door keeper to close the doors & not open them again on any account. But my confidence was gone, the church was harder to speak in than any empty barrel would have been, I was angry, wearied to death with travel, & I just hobbled miserably through, apologized, bade the house good-night, & then gave the President a piece of my mind, without any butter or sugar on it. And now I have to pray for forgiveness for these things—& unprepared, Livy, for the bitterness is not all out of my bad, foolish heart yet.
January 14, 1869: Burtis Opera House, Davenport, Iowa
97 miles from Ottawa to Davenport aboard the Chicago and Rock Island and Pacific.
January 15: Metropolitan Hall, Iowa City, Iowa
I am uncomfortably lame this morning. I slipped on the ice & fell, yesterday, in Iowa City, just as I was stepping into an omnibus. I landed with all my weight on my left hip, & so the joint is rather stiff & sore this morning.
I have just been doing that thing which is sometimes so hard to do—making an apology. Yesterday morning, at the hotel in Iowa City, the landlord called me at 9 o’clock, & it made me so mad I stormed at him with some little violence. I tried for an hour to go to sleep again & couldn’t—I wanted that sleep particularly, because I wanted to write a certain thing that would require a clear head & choice language. Finally I thought a cup of coffee might help the matter, & was going to ring for it—no bell. I was mad again. When I did get the landlord up there at last, by slamming the door till I annoyed everybody on my floor, I showed temper again—& he didn’t. See the advantage it gave him. His mild replies shamed me into silence, but I was still too obstinate, too proud, to ask his pardon. But last night, in the cars, the more I thought of it the more I repented & the more ashamed I was; & so resolved to make the repentance good by apologizing—which I have done, in the most ample & unmincing form, by letter, this morning. I feel satisfied & jolly, now.
There appear to be two possible routes from Iowa City back to Chicago: From Iowa City to Davenport on the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad to Wynet, and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy to Geneva, then the Chicago and Northwestern into Chicago; or the C&RI to Joliet and the Chicago and Alton Railroad to Chicago. He arrived in Chicago the morning of January 18.
Unable to get to Sparta, Twain returned to Cleveland, 356 miles. Twain departed Chicago aboard the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad to Crestline and the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati RR to Cleveland.
I reached here at daylight yesterday morning, Livy dear, pretty well tired out with railroading1—& they called me at 8 o’clock, this morning. It was a great mistake. They ought to have let me sleep longer. I did not try to get to Sparta, because I found it could not be done.
Clemens was at the home of Abel and Mary Mason Fairbanks, on whose personal stationery he wrote this letter. He remained with the Fairbankses until 25 January, except for the nights of 20 and 21 January, which he spent in Toledo and Norwalk, respectively, after delivering his lectures.
SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 19 Jan 1869, Cleveland, Ohio (UCCL 00235).
January 20, 1869: White's Hall, Toledo, Ohio
The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern to Toledo. Mark Twain entertains a crowded White's Hall (Summit and Jackson) with his stories from The American Vandal. The Toledo Blade wrote:
“White’s Hall was filled from cellar to garret, last night, by one of the best tickled audiences that ever assembled there to hear a lecture or see the speaker. Mark Twain tickled them. And he did it so easily and almost consistently, that they didn’t know what they were laughing at more than half the time. Twain is witty, and his wit comes from his own fertile brain. His style is original; and his manner of speaking is not after the manner of men generally. His serious face and long drawn words are, of themselves, sufficient to make one laugh, even if there were not in every sentence expressed a sparkling gem of humor, and original idea. His anecdotes, with which the lecture is replete, are rich, and, as he tells them, irresistibly funny. In some of his descriptions of European places and characters the lecturer delivers, at times, most eloquent passages, brilliant in thought and word.
That MARK TWAIN is a success as a lecturer, as well as writer, we think no one who heard ‘The American Vandal Abroad,’ last night, will dispute.”
January 21, 1869: Whittlesey Hall, Norwalk, Ohio
I have been informed by private correspondence that "the brick building where Twain spoke still stands as a two-story building with a Chinese restaurant on the lower level. The third floor was a large community room where Twain spoke and it was removed some time later after wind damage."
Sam returned to Toledo where he stayed the second night with the Carson family. The next day he returned to Cleveland.
January 22, 1869: Protestant Orphan Asylum Benefit, Case Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland Leader reported Sam’s remarks that prefaced his lecture:
Ladies and Gentlemen: I am well aware of the fact that it would be a most gigantic fraud for you to pay a dollar each to hear my lecture. But you pay your dollar to the orphan asylum and have the lecture thrown in! So if it is not worth anything it does not cost you anything! [Laughter.]…I understand that there are to be other entertainments given week after next for the same object, the asylum being several thousand dollars in debt, and I earnestly recommend you all to attend them and not let your benevolence stop with this lecture. There will be eating to be done. Go there and eat, and eat, and keep on eating and pay as you go [Great laughter]. The proprietors of the skating rink have generously offered to donate to the asylum the proceeds of one evening, to the amount of a thousand dollars, and when that evening comes, go and skate. I do not know whether you can all skate or not, but go and try! If you break your necks it will be no matter; it will be to help the orphans. Don’t be afraid of giving too much to the orphans, for however much you give you have the easiest end of the bargain. Some persons have to take care of those sixty orphans and they have to wash them [Prolonged laughter]. Orphans have to be washed! And it’s no small job either for they have only one wash tub and it’s slow business. They can’t wash but one orphan at a time! They have to be washed in the most elaborate detail, and by the time they get through with the sixty, the original orphan has to be washed again. Orphans won’t stay washed! I’ve been an orphan myself for twenty-five years and I know this to be true [Great laughter].