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.

 

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

One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Europe on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878.

I looked about me for the right sort of person to accompany me in the capacity of agent, and finally hired a Mr. Harris for this service.

It was also my purpose to study art while in Europe. Mr. Harris was in sympathy with me in this. He was as much of an enthusiast in art as I was, and not less anxious to learn to paint. I desired to learn the German language; so did Harris.

Toward the middle of April we sailed in the HOLSATIA, Captain Brandt, and had a very pleasant trip, indeed.

After a brief rest at Hamburg, we made preparations for a long pedestrian trip southward in the soft spring weather, but at the last moment we changed the program, for private reasons, and took the express-train.

 

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

* Accompanied by Joe Twichell

Mark Twain in Germany in the years of 1878 and 1879

August 12, 1878 Monday – The men left Baden Baden by rail and arrived at Lucerne, Switzerland where they joined Livy, the children and the rest of the party who had been there a few days.

August 15 Thursday – The entire Clemens party took a two-day excursion to the Rigi-Kulm. They spent the night in a hotel on the Rigi to watch the sunset and sunrise.

July 10 Thursday – Sam called Brussels “a dirty, beautiful (architecturally), interesting town” [MTNJ 2: 328].
July 10 to 12 Saturday – The Clemens family spent two days in Brussels, then left in the afternoon of July 12 [MTNJ 2: 328]. Sam’s notebook:

“In Brussels Cathedral heard the most majestic organ music & men’s voices, ever listened to. Never have heard anything that rose to the sublimity of those sounds”.

July 12 Saturday – In the afternoon, the Clemens family went to Antwerp.

Citations

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