Return to the States, August 1893:
August 26 Saturday – Sam and daughter Clara left Franzensbad and traveled by train to Leipzig, taking rooms at the Palmbaum Hotel [Aug. 28 to Livy]. Note: date is calculated.
August 28 Monday – In Leipzig, Germany shortly before breakfast and catching a train for Bremen, Sam wrote to Livy, still in Franzensbad with Susy.
Bremen to New York: Spree
August 29 Tuesday – Sam and daughter Clara sailed from Bremen for New York in the Spree, Captain Meissel [NB 33 TS 30].
August 30 Wednesday – The Spree stopped in Southampton, on the south coast of England for more passengers [Sept. 2 Times article]. Sam’s notebook: At Southampton 2.30 p.m. Aug 29 [Aug. 30] about 25 hours out from Bremen. / Consul Kelly, General Agent of the N.D.L. / The widow lady & her sons got off here. Ask for her at Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, they will find her for us. / Clothes to come by next ship — probably Wm. II [NB 33 TS 30].
September 7 Thursday – The Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 8, 1893, p.4, “Personal Mention” noted Sam and Clara’s arrival:
Mark Twain and his daughter, Miss Clara L. Clemens, arrived yesterday from Bremen on the Spree.
September 9 Saturday – Sam sent daughter Clara and cousin Jervis Langdon to Elmira. He had written Livy he’d take board and lodging at the Lotos Club, “for economy’s sake,” but first actually moved into “temporary bachelor quarters with his physician and friend Dr. Clarence C. Rice, on East 19th Street.” (Rice’s family was away; by the end of the month Sam took “a cheap room” at The Players Club) [Sept. 7 to Livy; LLMT 268].
September 15 Friday - Sam meets Henry H. Rogers, vice president and chief operations officer of Standard Oil.
September 16 Saturday – Sam traveled to Madison, New Jersey and Frank Fuller’s farm, “Chemmiwink,” arriving at 1 p.m. Exhausted from this ordeal to find financial support for Webster & Co., worn down with another cold and bad cough, but knowing that Rogers would provide Fred Hall with the needed $8,000, Sam “went immediately to bed thoroughly tuckered out & drowsy” [Sept 17 to Clara].
In New York at 4 p.m., H.H. Rogers bailed out Webster & Co. with a check for $8,000 to meet the notes to fall due on Monday, Sept. 18. Hall alone went to Rogers’ office for the transaction [citations in Sept. 15 entry]. To many, 53-year-old Rogers was a capitalistic “shark,” a heartless monopolist; while to others he was enormously kind, generous, a patron and contributor, later a benefactor to Helen Keller. To Sam he became an angel and a friend.
October 1 Sunday – As evidenced by Oct. 3 letters to Clara and Livy, Sam made a quick round trip to Elmira on Oct. 1 and 2. Each way was nine to ten hours by rail, so his visit there was brief. Evidently he changed his mind about his clothes not being suitable, as expressed to Clara on Sept. 30. Sam’s notebook:
Erie Road. Parlor Car Hebrides, Sunday Oct 1 — left Jersey City 10.15 a.m. / Darkey porter with impudent manners [NB 33 TS 33].
October 2 Monday – Sam was in Elmira for a quick visit with his daughter Clara, Sue Crane and perhaps others. He returned to New York on this day or overnight.
October 3 Tuesday – In the morning, Sam was back in New York and wrote to daughter Clara:
October 26 Thursday – Sam was in Hartford staying with the Charles Dudley Warners [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 27 Friday – In Hartford
October 30 Monday – Sam returned to New York with daughter Clara [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 31 Tuesday – At 10 a.m. in New York, Sam shipped out daughter Clara on the liner Allee, bound for Europe. Clara was accompanied by Miss Katherine Willard, daughter of Clara’s Berlin schoolmaster.
December 21 Thursday - In the afternoon, Rogers and Sam departed New York for Chicago. They traveled in a "mighty nice and comfortable" private rail car belonging to the vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. [Scharnhost, pg 57]
December 22 Friday – Sam and Rogers continued on to Chicago, eating breakfast in their parlor car after 9:30 a.m.
The colored waiter knew his business, & the colored cook was a finished artist. Breakfasts: coffee with real cream; beefsteaks, sausage, bacon, chops, eggs in various ways, potatoes in various — yes, & quite wonderful baked potatoes, & hot as fire. Dinners — all manner of things, including canvas-back duck, apollinaris, claret champagne, etc.
Then a couple of hours before entering Chicago he [Rogers] said:
“Now we will review, & see if we exactly understand what we will do & will not do — that is to say, we will clarify our minds, & make them up finally. Because in important negociations a body has got to change his mind; & how can he do that if he hasn’t got it made up, & doesn’t know what it is?” [Dec. 25 to Livy].
Based on Sam’s stated travel times, the two men would have arrived in Chicago about 3 p.m., eastern time. They would spend 24 hours in the city to complete their business.
The two men left Chicago at 5 p.m. for a 30-hour return trip.
December 23 Saturday - Leaving Chicago in the evening, they were 30 hours in returning to New York.
December 24 Sunday – Returning from Chicago, Sam and H.H. Rogers “insisted on leaving the car at Philadelphia so that our waiter & cook (to whom Mr. R gave $10 apiece), could have their Christmas-eve at home.” Rogers’ carriage was waiting for the men at Jersey City. Sam was “deposited” at the Players Club “close upon midnight” [Dec. 25 to Livy].
December 25 Monday – Christmas – In New York at the Players Club
December 28 Thursday – In New York George N. Stone telegraphed to Sam: “Final proposition wired to Mr Rogers today see telegram to him immediately” [MTP].
December 31 Sunday – Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example [MTP].
January 7 Sunday – Sam left in the a.m. for Elmira, a nine or ten hour train trip [Jan. 6 to Hall].
January 9 Tuesday – Sam was back in New York, and his rooms at The Players Club.
January 10 Wednesday – Sam went to Hartford
January 11 Thursday – In Hartford at Joe Twichell’s parsonage, Sam returned to New York on the train with Laurence Hutton and Rudyard Kipling, who had been living near Brattleboro, Vermont since his marriage to Carrie Balestier in Jan. 1892. Sam wrote of the trip in his Jan. 12 letter to Livy: Livy darling, I came down from Hartford yesterday [Jan. 11] with Kipling, & he & Hutton & I had the small smoking compartment to ourselves & found him at last at his ease & not shy. He was very pleasant company indeed [Jan. 12 to Livy: MTP].
January 12 Friday – In New York
January 15 Monday – In New York a telegram arrived from Chicago (probably from Paige’s attorney Walker); Paige had agreed to terms. In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to Livy, apologizing for the delay in the typesetter cablegram he’d promised. The snag was caused by Paige’s lawyer, Walker, who was holding out on a point or two, while H.H. Rogers was adamant, and had sent a telegram on this day that he disagreed with Walker; that if the points were not conceded entirely, Rogers would “no longer be connected with the enterprise.” So Sam was forced to wait, and to explain the delay.
January 25 Thursday – In Boston at Annie Fields’
January 26 Friday – …I did errands in Boston till 11 a.m.; reached N.Y. at 5.30 p.m.; left my satchel at the station & walked 17 blocks in the snowstorm to Mr. Rogers’s;
January 27 Saturday – In New York at the Players Club,
February 13 Tuesday – Mrs. Rogers [Annie Palmer Gifford Rogers] has built a costly town hall for the Courts & the post office in their native village of Fairhaven, Mass., & it is to be delivered to the town & dedicated with big ceremonies on the 22d of Feb. Coming up the Elevated, Mr. Rogers asked me if I would go up with them and be present & make a few remarks; & he was as shy & diffident about it as if he were asking me to commit suicide; but said Mrs. Rogers was afraid it was asking too much of me & was sure she never could get up the courage to do it; so she had entreated him to do it for her. Think of that! Why, if they should ask me to swim the Atlantic I would at least try.
February 14 Wednesday – In Paris, Olivia Clemens wrote to H.H. Rogers, sending the letter first to Sam to deliver. On Feb. 27 Sam referred to this letter as “just right” and promised to write Rogers and enclose hers in his “to be handed to him after I have sailed [Mar. 7]. That will spare him embarrassment.” Portions of Livy’s letter to Rogers:
My dear Mr. Rogers: / I am going to venture to send you a little note in order that I may quote to you a paragraph in one of Mr Clemens’ last letters.
I have had the good fortune to be Mr Clemens wife for a goodly number of years, therefore I know him pretty thoroughly.
One of his peculiarities is that he does not say a thing when he thinks it and ought to say it.
And she quoted Sam’s letter about Rogers’ name being “music in my ear”:
For six months Mr Clemens letters have been full of affectionate admiration of you, and I have given you a little sample of what his letters have contained.
Hoping the day is not far distant when I shall be able to know you personally [MTHHR 39].
February 15 Thursday – In the evening, Sam discussed Webster & Co.’s “disastrous condition” with Rogers, the first time he’d done so:
I did hate to burden his good heart and over-worked head with it, but he took hold with avidity & said it was no burden to work for his friends, but a pleasure. We discussed it from several standpoints, & found it a sufficiently difficult problem to solve; but he thinks that after he has slept upon it & thought it over he will know what to suggest.
Sam praised Rogers as “not common clay, but fine — fine & delicate.” He was never afraid of wounding him, and:
His effect upon me is the opposite of Emma Sayles’s: the sight of her brought all that was vicious in me to the surface; but the sight of him is peace. [Note: Emma Sayles may have been the female Sam accused of ruining his Christmas in a letter Dec. 27, 1893 to daughter Susy.]
Sam related how desperate things were in September when he arrived, how he “flew to Hartford” but his friends “were not moved, not strongly interested” in his financial plight.
It was from Mr. Rogers, a stranger, that I got the money [$8,000] & was by it saved. And then — while still a stranger — he set himself the task of saving my financial life without putting upon me (in his native delicacy) any sense that I was the recipient of a charity, a benevolence — & he has accomplished that task; accomplished it at cost of three months of wearing & difficult labor. He gave that time to me — time which could not be bought by any man at a hundred thousand dollars a month — no, nor for three times the money.
Sam disclosed his weight was now 155 ½ and supposed he was “becoming obese,” though he claimed to be “in great form, anyway” [MTP].
February 20 Tuesday – In New York at the Players Club, In the evening Sam talked over Webster & Co.’s problems with H.H. Rogers and Fred Hall until nearly 11 p.m., when Rogers had to take the train to his hometown of Fairhaven, Mass. to prepare for the town hall dedication on Feb. 22.
February 21 Wednesday – In New York at the Players Club Sam’s wakeup call came at 8 a.m. He’d packed his valise before going to bed so had nothing to do except have coffee and shave. He went to the station and met Mrs. Annie Rogers with her sister and brother-in-law the Grinnells.
We reached Fairhaven at 5 in the afternoon & Mr. Rogers met the carriages. He looked a little tired, & I felt a little that way too. His country house here had just burned down after it had been painstakingly put in beautiful order for us guests, & he had been seeing to it that this house was hurried into shape for us — this in addition to his other work.
February 24 Saturday – In Fairhaven, Mass. Sam woke at 8:30 a.m. and breakfasted. Afterward he and H.H. Rogers went down to the Millicent Library.
…it was bitter cold — thermometer 5° below zero. He asked me if I would do him a favor. I said he couldn’t mention anything I wouldn’t attempt. The favor he wanted was that I should write a letter to put under the engraving of me which is to be hung up in the room dedicated to authors, & which is to be the first one hung there.
We all drove from the house at 3 p.m. — 9 altogether, for some of the guests left by the morning trains — & we got away for New York by the 3.40 train from New Bedford. We waited at Providence an hour for the express, & took dinner on board. By 9 oclock I was dead sleepy, but it soon passed off. We reached New York a little after 11, & I thought of going to the annual round-up of the University Club, for I had a speech in my mind which I very wanted to make; but as I wanted to write the letter Mr. Rogers had asked for, & must also prepare for Monday night’s public reading, I thought it would be best for me to go to bed — so I drove straight to the Players, & went to bed. Then came a telephone message to say that Depew & Choate & the others were on hand but the pow-wow would be held back until I should arrive. If I had my clothes on I would have gone, & gladly — but I hadn’t; so I sent my sorrow & regret. I was asleep by 1, & didn’t wake again till 10…[Feb. 25 to Livy].
February 25 Sunday – At 10:30 p.m. in New York at the Players Club,
March 4 Sunday – In New York Sam wrote a second letter to H.H. Rogers, enclosing Livy’s Feb. 14 (see entry) to Rogers. Sam wrote it arrived “six or seven days ago, & gave me a pleasant surprise.”
I am not able to put into words how grateful I am to you. In truth there are no words that could do that. You have saved me & my family from ruin and humiliation. You have been to me the best friend that ever a man had, & yet you have never by any word made me feel the weight of this deep obligation. And Lord, how welcome is the sight of your face to me! S.L.C. [MTHHR 38]. Note: Sam arranged to have Rogers receive this letter after he had sailed to save Rogers from embarrassment.
March 6 Tuesday – In New York Sam gave power of attorney to H.H. Rogers to act on his behalf during Sam’s absence in Europe, including assigning all of Sam’s property — including typesetter rights and copyright on his books — to Livy.
An interesting event occurred during this period, Sam was offered the book "Wealth against Commonwealth", "... a book that arraigns the Standard Oil fiends & gives them unmitigated hell, individual by individual". for publication by Charles L.Webster and Co. Sam refused it in deference to his new friend, Henry H. Rogers. The book was subsequently issued by Harper & Brothers in 1894 and his never gone out of print. [Scharnhorst, pg 60]