Delayed by a snowstorm, and “Long past midnight,” Sam wrote from Keokuk, Iowa to Livy. He’d had “no time to turn around, for 2 or 3 days” and so was behind in his letters. He wrote poignantly of his mother and of Hannibal, and an old friend since childhood, Tom Nash. Nash had been deaf and dumb for 40 years and handed Sam a letter which he read and sent to Livy to keep.A beautiful evening with ma—& she is her old beautiful self; a nature of pure gold—one of the purest & finest & highest this land has produced. The unconsciously pathetic is her talent—& how richly she is endowed with it—& how naturally eloquent she is when it is to the fore! What books she could have written!—& now the world has lost them. The visit to Hannibal—you can never imagine the infinite great deeps of pathos that have rolled their tides over me. I shall never see another such day. I have carried my heart in my mouth for twenty-four hours[MTP].
See Touring with Cable and Huck for a review in The (Keokuk) Daily Gate City 1885: January 15