Submitted by scott on

From Boston to Providence:  the Boston and Providence Railroad.

November 9 - Harrington's Opera House, Providence, Rhode Island

Sam returned to Boston that same night and wrote to his sister:

Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience—4,000 critics—& on the success of this matter depends my future success in New England. But I am not distressed. Nasby is in the same boat. Tonight decides the fate of his brand-new lecture. He has just left my room—been reading his lecture to me—was greatly depressed. I have convinced him that he has little to fear.

SLC to Pamela A. Moffett, 9 Nov 1869, Boston, Mass. (UCCL 00371). 

November 10 - Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts


November 11 - Trinity Church, Charlestown, Massachusetts


November 13 - Norwich, Connecticut

The journey from Boston to Norwich would have begun on the Boston and Worcester then the Norwich and Worcester to Norwich.

Possible Venue:  ... in 1842, a group gathered primarily from Norwich’s Second Congregational Church formed a new congregation which met in the town hall until their own church building was constructed on Main Street in 1845. Known as the Main Street Congregational Church, they eventually built a new building on Broadway after the Main Street structure was destroyed by fire in 1854. The Broadway Congregational Church, a much larger building than the first, was built in the Romanesque Revival style between 1855 and 1857.

I had to submit to the customary & exasperating drive around town in a freezing open buggy this morning (at Norwich) to see the wonders of the village

{Mem.—They always consist of the Mayor’s house; the ex-mayor’s house; the house of a State Senator; house of an ex-governor; house of a former Member of Congress; the public school with its infernal architecture; the female seminary; paper mill or factory of some kind or other; the cemetery; the Court house; the plaza; the place where the park is going to be—& I must sit & shiver & stare at a melancholy grove of skeleton trees & listen while my friend gushes enthusiastic statistics & dimensions. All towns are alike—all  have their same stupid trivialities to show, & all demand an impossible interest at the suffering stranger’s hands. Why won’t these insane persecutors believe me when I protest pleadingly that I don’t care two cents for all the thrilling wonders the village can boast.

How I gloat in secret when one of these people regrets that I cannot “remain over” & see his accursed village! And how unblushingly I repeat the threadbare lie that I am sorry!

After the natural wonders are all visited, then we have to call on other inanimate wonders with dull faces, but with legs to them that show them to be human: the mayor; the richest man; the wag of the village (who instantly assails me with old stale jokes & humorous profanity); the village editor—& a lot more of people I take no possible interest in & don’t want to see. And when by some divine accident one of them isn’t at home, what a fervent prayer of thankfulness rises up in my heart!

I only have to submit to these inflictions when I am the guest of somebody & cannot refuse to suffer in return for his hospitality. When I am paying my own bills, at a hotel, I talk out & say No Sir—not any village wonders for the subscriber, if you please.

SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 15 and 16 Nov 1869, Clinton, Mass. (UCCL 00368).

Apparently, Sam stayed as someone's guest in Norwich.

November 15 - Clinton Hall, Clinton, Massachusetts

Traveling from Norwich to Clinton:  Norwich and Worcester Railroad to Worcester; then the Worcester and Nashua to Clinton.

Here I am in a hotel—the Clinton House—& a villainous one it is—shabby bed, shabby room, shabby furniture, dim lights—everything shabby & disagreeable [MTL 3: 395]. 

From Clinton to Holyoke:  Worcester and Nashua to Worcester;  the Western, now part of Boston & Albany RR to Springfield;  Connecticut River railroad to Holyoke.

November 16 - Holyoke, Massachusetts

I left Boston without baggage, thinking I would go back there from Norwich the same night—but the trains left at such inconvenient hours that I went from there to Clinton—found a similar state of things — came straight here. But as I am clear out of shirts (wore this one yesterday) I shall take an early train to Boston tomorrow before I go to Danvers.


November 17 - Gothic Hall, Danvers, Massachusetts

The train from Boston to Danvers does not have a name in the KML maps.  The USGS maps for 1888, 1892 and 1893 show the line to be the Boston and Maine RR.

Return to Boston then take the Norfolk County Line to Jamaica Plain.

November 19 - Town Hall, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

 The lecture in the Town Hall of Jamaica Plain, a wealthy suburb of Boston, was a benefit for “a Benevolent Educational Enterprise” (“Unique Entertainment by Mark Twain,” Boston Evening Transcript, 13 Nov 69, 1; Edwin M. Bacon, 259).

SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 19 Nov 1869, Boston, Mass. (UCCL 00374), n. 3. 

In Boston until Nov 23.  The route taken from Boston to Hartford is unknown.  My guess is Sam took the Boston and Worcester,  the Western,  then the Hartford and Springfield 

November 23 - Allyn Hall, Hartford, Connecticut


November 26 - Unidentified town

Had a big house last night, as usual, . Didn’t make a brilliant success otherwise, though. Good-bye little darling, will write tomorrow.

 The site of this indifferent performance has not been identified.

SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 27 Nov 1869, Boston, Mass. (UCCL 00379), n. 3. 

Twain was in Boston on the 28th and it's possible he took the Boston & Albany the short distance from Boston to Newtonville.

November 29 - Congregational Church, Newtonville, Massachusetts

Boston to Thompsonville would require the Boston and Albany and the New Haven, Hartford and Springfield Railroad.   Following the Thompsonville lecture Twain would have continued on the NH,H&S to Hartford.

Clemens lectured on 29 November in the Congregational Church in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Although a church could be an inhospitable setting for a humorous lecture (see 13 and 14 Jan 69 to OLL, n. 2), that was not the case in Newtonville. There Clemens “elicited shouts of laughter. Three divines of the town were noticed as present, apparently in a most enjoyable frame of mind” (“Lectures,” Newton Journal, 4 Dec 69, 2).

SLC to Olivia L. Langdon, 28 Nov 1869, Boston, Mass. (UCCL 00380), n. 2. 

November 30 - Thompsonville, Connecticut



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