Submitted by scott on

Twain traveled from Newark, NJ to Oswego, NY sometime between November 29 and December 1.  A likely itinerary would have been to take the Central Railroad of New Jersey from the Communipah Terminal, through Elizabeth to Hampton.  From Hampton to the Delaware River, the Warren Railroad and then the Delaware Lackawanna and Western through Scranton to Hallstadt and then to Binghamton.  The  DL&W no longer required the New York and Erie to reach Binghamton; the Syracuse Binghamton and New York Railroad to Syracuse;  and the Oswego and Syracuse Railroad to Oswego. 

December 1 - Doolittle Hall, Oswego, New York - "Artemus Ward"

The Oswego and Syracuse then the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York  to Homer.

December 2 - Barber Hall, Homer, New York - "Artemus Ward"

 Clemens performed before a “large assemblage at Barber Hall” in Homer on Saturday, 2 December. According to James P. Foster, a clergyman whom he met two days later, the Artemus Ward lecture was “unexceptionably delightful; the stories were told in a masterly manner, and were chaste and delightful; the envelope of pure humor often covering a touching moral” (Foster). Clemens spent Sunday, 3 December, in Homer and then took the train to Geneva, New York, the following day.     SLC to OLC, 3 Dec 1871, Homer, N.Y. (UCCL 00684), n. 1. 

Livy darling, I am thus far.1 Coming up from Homer I got acquainted with Rev. Mr. Foster, Episcoapal City Missionary of Syracuse, a noble, splendid fellow—a Twichell. He tells yarns, smokes occasionally, has weaknesses & lovable vices, just like a good, genuine human being, instead of a half-restored theological corpse like some [ pea preachers]. Sails right into the meat & marrow of a thing with a [whole-hearted] cordiality that makes you think what a pity it is there are so many people in the world who never know what it is to have anything more than a ‸mere‸ lukewarm, half-way interest in the pleasures & duties that fall to their lot.2
Last night when the lecture was over, two ladies came forward heartily & shook me by the hand & called me “Sam Clemens, the very same old Sam”—& when the explanations came out, by & by, they were two-little-girl friends of my early boyhood—children with me when I was half as old [as] Sammy Moffett. They both saw me once, ten years ago, but I did not see [them. ( One] [ had has] been married 13 years & the other about 20. One was Mary Bacon & the other Kitty Shoot. They seemed like waifs from some vague world I had lived in ages & ages & ages ago—myths—creatures of a dream.5

SLC to OLC, 4 Dec 1871, Geneva, N.Y. (UCCL 00685), n. 5. 

Reportedly Twain spent Sunday in Homer then departed  on the 4th and returned to Syracuse, then took what was the Auburn and Syracuse Line, now part of the New York Central and Hudson River RR to Geneva.

December 4 - Linden Hall, Geneva, New York - "Artemus Ward"

Sam returned along the New York Central and Hudson River RR to Auburn.

December 5 - Academy of Music, Auburn, New York - "Artemus Ward"

After lecturing in Geneva on 4 December, Clemens probably spent the following morning there before departing for the adjacent town of Auburn. His 5 December Auburn audience numbered over a thousand, and possibly included his Nevada friend Robert M. Howland (20 Nov 71 to Howland). The Auburn Advertiser remarked that the Artemus Ward talk, “even had it been divested of all the embellishment of humorous anecdote, would have still been decidedly interesting” (“The Lecture,” 6 Dec 71, 3).  SLC to OLC, 5 Dec 1871, Auburn, N.Y. (UCCL 00686), n. 1. 

Sam returned from Auburn to Syracuse on the  New York Central and Hudson River RR.

December 6 - Wieting Opera House, Syracuse, New York - "Artemus Ward"

I warned you, begged you, entreated you to look out for Syracuse==that I feared a private speculation, there—but you paid no attention, & thrust me into the meanest, lousiest, filthiest lecture course with no course [tickets. ] 4—& wherever I find another one on my list, so help me God I will not deliver the lecture. Lecture me for nobody but courses with course tickets—& pray don’t let another nasty thieving private speculation like Newark creep in? Did it never suggest itself to you that a man may be in ‸ on ‸ a lecture course without being in the course & having the benefit of the course tickets? I would not have had Newark happen for $500.5

Clemens had consistently denounced “private speculations” (L3, 418; 8 Jan 70, 28 June 71, both to Redpath). In Syracuse on 6 December he had lectured on Artemus Ward for the Y.M.C.A. The lecture was well advertised in the Syracuse Standard in the preceding days and reportedly satisfied an “immense audience” that “responded unanimously” (“Mark Twain,” Syracuse Standard, 7 Dec 71, 4).    SLC to James Redpath, 11 Dec 1871, Toledo, Ohio (UCCL 00689), n. 4. 

"...the Artemus Ward lecture lasted only about seven weeks.  For a number of reasons it failed to satisfy Mark Twain."

"It is possible, of course that none of these considerations played a major role in causing him to abandon the lecture,  During the early part of the tour he was reading proof on  his new book Roughing It, and it is highly probable that he saw in its material far more promise of a good lecture than in Artemus Ward."

Returning west along the Auburn Road to Canandaigua, then the Canandaigua and Niagara Railroad portion of the  New York Central and Hudons River RR from Syracuse to Batavia. From Batavia to Attica ran the Tonawanda Railroad section of the NYC&HR or the Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad portion of the Erie Railroad.  The two lines ran parallel and in close proximity.  From Attica to Warsaw ran the Buffalo and New York City Railroad, a section of the Erie Railroad.

December 7 - Sprague's Hall, Warsaw, New York - "Roughing It"

From Warsaw to Fredonia, Twain would need to backtrack to Attica. He may have returned to Batavia and contined to Buffalo on the NYC&HR but more likely he continued on the Attica and Buffalo Railroad portion of the Erie Railroad to Buffalo.  From Buffalo to Dunkirk ran the Buffalo and State Line and the Silver Creek and Dunkirk railways, which were portions of the Lakeshore Railroad.  He probably took a "horse-car" from Dunkirk to Fredonia.

December 8 - Union Hall, Fredonia, New York - "Roughing It"

Returning to Dunkirk , Sam continued on to Erie, Pennsylvania on the Lakeshore Railroad.  This portion of the line had been the Buffalo and State Line and the Erie and North East Railway.    Twain likely stayed at the Reed Hotel.

December 9 - Farrar Hall, Erie, Pennsylvania - "Artemus Ward"

Am writing a new, tip-top lecture about California & Nevada—been at it all night—am still at it & pretty nearly [ w ] dead with fatigue. Shall be studying it in the cars till midnight, & then sleep half the day in Toledo & study the rest. If I am in good condition there, I shall deliver it—but if I’m not just as bright as [a] dollar, shall talk A. Ward two or three nights longer & go on studying.1 Have already tried the new lecture in two villages, night before last & night before that—made a tip-top success in one, but was floored by fatigue & exhaustion of body & mind & made a dismal failure in the other2—so now I am reconstructing & [rewriting] the thing & I’ll fetch ’em next time. , you

From the very first I was planning to spend this day with you & now you see I could not. I am as sorry & a good deal sorrier than you are.3

It is train time & I can only send my warm sincere love to you & yours & jump aboard.

SLC to Mary Mason Fairbanks, 10 Dec 1871, Erie, Pa. (UCCL 00688), n. 1. 

From Erie, Sam continued on the Lakeshore Railroad, over what had been the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad and the Cleveland and Toledo Railroad.

December 11 - White's Hall, Toledo, Ohio - "Artemus Ward"

From Toledo, Sam likely continued on the Lakeshore to Detroit and from there to Ann Arbor.  The line to Detroit would have been over what had been the Detroit, Monroe and Toledo , which had leased itself to the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad, which had then become the Lakeshore and Southern Michigan Railway.

From Detroit, the Michigan Central over what had been the Central Railroad of Michigan, to Ann Arbor. 

December 12 - University Hall, Ann Arbor, Michigan - "Artemus Ward"

Sam would continue on the Michigan Central to Jackson, Michigan

December 13 - Union Hall, Jackson, Michigan - "Artemus Ward"

The Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railroad, that had leased itself to the Michigan Central.

December 14 - Mead's Hall, Lansing, Michigan - "Roughing It"

From Lansing to Ionia, the Pere Marquette then the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad between Ionia and Grand Rapids.

December 15 - Luce's Hall, Grand Rapids, Michigan - "Roughing It"

The Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad to Kalamazoo.

December 16 - Union Hall, Kalamazoo, Michigan - "Roughing It"

2 Clemens jotted the Kalamazoo engagement in his lecture itinerary book and later added the hotel name—the Burdick (Redpath and Fall 1871–72, 7–8).  

My dear dear old darling, I went to bed considerably after midnight yesterday morning, got up again at 4 oclock & went down (breakfastless,) to the depot, & found, with unspeakable gladness that there stood a sleeping car which I might have been occupying all night—but as usual, nobody about the hotel or among the lecture committee knew anything certain about any [train. I] took a berth—the train left immediately, & of course I couldn’t go to sleep. We were due here at in two [hours—we] fooled along & got here in eleven hours—3 P.M. Ha Could get nothing to eat, all that time. Not a vehicle at the omnibu station, nor a man or a boy. Had to carry my two satchels half a mile, to Mr. Robert Law’s house, & it did seem to me they weighed a couple of tons apiece before I got through. I then ate a perfectly enormous dinner (a roast turkey & 8 gallons of Oolong tea—well it was “long” something—it was the longest tea that ever went down my throat—it was hours in passing a given point.2

Then Mr. Law & I immediately hopped into his buggy & for 2 steady hours we capered among the solemn ruins, on both sides of the river—a crisp, bitter day, but all days are alike to my seal-skin coat3—I can only tell it is cold by my nose & by seeing [ peo ] other people’s actions. There is literally no Chicago here. I recognize nothing here, that ever I saw before.

Robert Law was a Chicago coal dealer, undoubtedly a business acquaintance of the Langdons’. He lived at 838 Prairie Avenue, near Lake Michigan but well south of the area devastated by the Chicago fire in October. Although his home was spared, Law may have suffered business losses in the fire: his coal business was listed at three addresses in the city in 1870, but at only one location in the 1871 directory, issued after the fire (Chicago Directory: 1870, 484, 984; 1871, 103, 178).  SLC to OLC, 18 Dec 1871, Chicago, Ill. (UCCL 00690), n. 2. 

The Michigan Central ran the entire length of the trip save for a short distance on the leased Illinois Central into downtown Chicago.

I shall now get [ & g ] up and go to Dr Jackson’s house & be his guest for 2 days.

 Abraham Reeves Jackson, the “doctor” of The Innocents Abroad, had moved from Pennsylvania to Chicago in 1870 and had married Julia Newell, his Quaker City shipmate, in February 1871. They lived at 785 Michigan Avenue. Jackson was chief surgeon of the newly established Woman’s Hospital of the State of Illinois. He was Clemens’s host and companion for the balance of the Chicago visit   SLC to OLC, 18 Dec 1871, Chicago, Ill. (UCCL 00690), n. 5. 

December 18 - Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois - "Roughing It"


December 19 - Union Park Congregational Church, Chicago, Illinois - "Roughing It"

The Chicago Tribune printed large portions of his lecture in Chicago Dec. 20 and 24, 1871.  The complete stenographic report of his lecture in Lansing Michigan, State Republican, Dec. 21, 1871, had apparently escaped his notice.  He wrote to Livy from Champaign, Illinois, Dec. 26, 1871,  "My new lecture is about licked into shape, & this [afternoon] ; after trimming at it all day I memorized one-fourth of it. Shall commit another fourth tomorrow, maybe more—& shall begin talking it the moment I get out of the range of the cursed Chicago Tribune that printed my new lecture & so made it impossible for me to talk it with any spirit in Illinois. If these devils incarnate only appreciated what suffering they inflict with their infernal synopses, maybe they would try to have humanity enough to refrain."

The Chicago and North Western, previously the Galena and Chicago Union, ran from Chicago to Batavia, then Twain would have taken the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy to Sandwich.

December 20 - Sandwich, Illinois - Topic unknown - text not available

Backtrack to Aurora on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy

December 21 - City Hall, Aurora, Illinois - Topic unknown - text not available

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy

December 22 - Patterson Hall, Princeton, Illinois - "Artemus Ward"

Twain returned to Chicago for Christmas then took the Illinois Central to Champaign.

Get vaccinated—right away—no matter if you were vaccinated 6 months ago—the theory is, keep doing it—for if it takes it shows you needed it—& if it don’t take it is proof that you did not need it—but the only safety is to apply the test, once a year. Small pox is everywhere—doctors think it will become an [epidemic. Here] it is $25 fine if you are not vaccinated within the next 10 days. Mine takes splendidly—arm right sore. Attend to this, my child.

 Like many other American cities, Chicago was seeing an increase in small-pox cases, threatening an epidemic. The Chicago Board of Health responded on 21 December by announcing that “each person who has not been vaccinated or revaccinated within the last six months should have the operation performed immediately” (“Small-Pox,” Chicago Tribune, 21 Dec 71, 2).  SLC to OLC, 25 Dec 1871, Chicago, Ill. (UCCL 00693), n. 2. <>

December 26 - Barrett Hall, Champaign, Illinois - "Artemus Ward"

Scharnhorst writes (page 31 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891) "He also deplored the 'execrable hotel' where he had registered in Champaign so he checked out to find a better one. As a result, he slept in a chair in an unheated room in Tuscola."

Illinois Central to Tuscola

December 27 - Tuscola, Illinois - "Artemus Ward"

There appear to be two possible routes to Danville from Tuscola, returning north on the Illinois Central to Tolono Twain could have taken the Wabash Railroad, this link was the  Great Western to Danville.  Further north at Champaign he could have taken the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis (a no-name line in the 1870 kml collection) to Danville.

December 28 - Lincoln Hall, Danville, Illinois - "Roughing It"

Returning west to a junction with the Illinois Central, then south to Mattoon.

December 29 - Mattoon, Illinois - Topic unknown - text not available

The hall in Mattoon had a hall above it used by a secret order. During the lecture noise frequently came from above, disturbing Clemens. Before the close of the lecture Twain said he’d lectured in schools, churches and theaters but had never lectured in a livery stable where they kept horses overhead [“Editor’s Drawer,” Harper’s Monthly 70 (Apr. 1885): 822]. (DBD)

The USGS quad indicates that the New York Central Railroad had track between Mattoon and Paris.  The Wikipedia article indicates this stretch of track was originally the The Terre Haute and Alton Railroad. 

December 30 - Paris, Illinois - Topic unknown - text not available

Day By Day includes this last bit for the year 1871:  December 31 Sunday – In a “warm drizzling rain,” Sam went to church in Paris, Illinois, and wrote of the experience in a long letter to Livy.  “It was the West & boyhood brought back again, vividly. It was as if twenty-five years had fallen away from me like a garment & I was a lad of eleven again in my Missouri village church of that ancient time” [MTL 4: 527].