Submitted by scott on Wed, 04/29/2020 - 10:27

Mark Twain explained, in another Alta dispatch, that on 17 March he had been asked to “make a few remarks” to a Sunday school, and that he “told that admiring multitude all about Jim Smiley’s Jumping Frog,” which in turn led to a more formal invitation. “I did not intend to lecture in St. Louis, but I got a call to do something of that kind for the benefit of a Sunday School.” On 25 March he delivered his Sandwich Islands lecture before an overflow crowd of about one thousand at Mercantile Library Hall, for the benefit of the South St. Louis Mission Sunday School. The St. Louis Republican registered a typical reaction, which Mark Twain quoted for his California readers: “The audience was large and appreciative.... He succeeded in doing what we have seen Emerson and other literary magnates fail in attempting. He interested and amused a large and promiscuous audience” (“Mark Twain’s Lecture on the Sandwich Islands,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, 26 Mar 67, 3; SLC 1867 [MT00534]). Clemens repeated the lecture in the same hall on 26 March but, evidently because of bad weather, to an audience he later estimated at about eighty. Publicity both for and from these two lectures soon prompted at least three further invitations to lecture in towns along the river, which he accepted, starting with Hannibal, where on 2 April he lectured in Brittingham Hall “to the largest and most delighted crowd ever gathered in a public hall in that city.” He then spoke at Keokuk, Iowa, on 8 April and at Quincy, Illinois, on 9 April .   Mark Twain Project

March 25 - Mercantile Library Hall, St. Louis, Missouri

March 26 - Mercantile Library Hall, St. Louis, Missouri

April 2 - Brittingham Hall, Hannibal, Missouri

Brittingham Hall was better known as the Avery Burch Building. Built as an opera house and meeting hall in 1859 by the Brittingham Brothers who had a thriving drug store, the building had a rich history over the next century. It was used as a military hospital and possibly a prison during the Civil War.

April 8 - Chatham Sq. Methodist Church, Keokuk, Iowa

See  SLC to Howard Tucker, 11 Apr 1867, St. Louis, Mo. (UCCL 00121)

April 9 - National Hall, Quincy, Illinois

Comment