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From Page 17 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891:

In order to support Livy in the style to which he had become accustomed and to earn his own bread and butter until he began to collect royalties on Roughing It, Sam had decided even before leaving Buffalo to speak throughout New England during the fall and winter lecture season under the auspices of the Boston Lyceum Bureau and its manager James Redpath.

"Redpath knew by this time that the popular humorist had some characteristics of a prima donna, and may have written Mark Twain that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make up a schedule that observed all the conditions imposed upon him.  At any rate, on August 8[, 1871] Mark Twain acknowledged to Redpath that he was 'different from other women; my mind changes oftener.  People who have no mind can be steadfast and firm, but when  a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding or inclination, maybe of indolence, shifts the cargo.  See? Therefore if you will notice, one week I am likely to give rigid instructions to confine me to New England; the next week send me to Arizona; the next week withdraw my name; the next week give you full, untrammeled swing; and the week following modify it.  You must try to keep the run of my mind, Redpath; it it your business, being the agent, and it always was too many for me... Now about the West this week, I am willing that you shall retain all the Western engagements.  But what I shall want next week is still with God.'"  (Lorch, pg 115-6)

October 16 - February 27, 1872, Lecture tour, at least 77 engagements included three different speeches.  Under the management of James Redpath.

To James Redpath and George L. Fall
10 June 1871 • Elmira, N.Y.
Elmira, June 10.

Dear Redpath & Fall:

Without really intending to go into the lecture field, I wrote a lecture yesterday just for amusement & to see how the subject1 would work up—but now that I have read it over I like it so much that I want to deliver it.

I want to impose a few stipulations if they strike you favorably & you’ll stand them:

1. In whatever town I talk, I want the best price that that town has ever paid Nasby—except it be a place thrown in here & there for the purpose of shortening travel between places. [in margin: Nasby will tell give you transcript of his terms in the various places.2

2. I want to stick to main railroad lines as a rule, avoiding out-of-the way branches as much far as practicable.

3. I don’t want to make any steamboat trips, or any stage or carriage trips of even 2½ miles—2 miles is too much. To simplify it, I don’t want any engagements off the railroads.

4. I don’t want to lecture a single rod west of St. Louis in Missouri or Davenport Iowa.—nor south of Washington, D.C.3 [ ‸ over. ]

I would much rather talk for Pugh in Phila., & for the Correspondents’ Club in Washington—think it well to talk for the latter at half price, making them understand that feature. Good card.‸ 4

5. I want to talk at least 12 times in [good sized] towns before I talk in a city—so as to get the hang of my lecture perfectly, you know.

6. If I am to talk in Brooklyn or New York, I ‸much‸ prefer that they should be the very last on the list.5

7. I am a bully good card in Philadelphia, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, & Detroit, & I want them to pay high prices.6 ‸In Newark I would much prefer to talk for my same old society—the Clayonians—good boys.‸ 7

8. Rondout, N. Y., is hard to get at & Trenton N. J., not agreeable—crowd both out with high prices.8

9. I think that out of New England I ought never to talk for less than $125, because I thereby escape one-horse towns, candle-lighted halls, & execrable [hotels]—thought exceptions in order to put places close together are proper of course.9 What y do you think. ‸What does Nasby do?‸ Answer.

10. Is it well to go all over the country?—or would it be better to talk only in New England two of the months, & then put in the other two in the west, making Chicago the centre of operations & Cleveland & St. Louis the [extremes] of the circumference—& wholly leaving out Pitts New York, Philadelphia, Washington & everything, & simply bridging from New England to Cleveland by simply slamming in Elmira & Buffalo, or Pittsburgh. {Mem.—I want a big price in Buffalo if I talk there, which I ain’t particular whether I talk there or not.}10

Now by jings I like this latter idea of a 2-months N. England & a 2‐months western campaign—don’t it strike you pleasantly? [in margin: If you did do this, you will need to specify the [eastern & ]western months & so advertise, won’t you?]

11. It would [ so suit] me entirely, though, to put Philadelphia along with Brooklyn & New York & make them my very last lectures, though I traveled 500 miles to get there——but always remember I don’t care 2 cents about talking in either place. I love Philadelphia, but I don’t know anything about the other two places.

12. Give me all the appointments in New England that you can—{I wish it could occu fill up all the 3½ months ‸you hear me—‸}—I say 3½ because I don’t suppose any courses open before middle of October.

13. Give me the very shortest trips you can, & Heaven will bless you. ‸{Three hours is a healthy stretch—six is FRIGHTFUL.[}] ‸

14. Say—if you are posted

14.—Say—can’t you, when making an appointment get the Society to name their best hotel, & then put it in my list, as Fall did several times before? Splendid thing.11

15.—Can’t you get somebody to answer this letter in detail, please?

16.—Can’t you file this letter away where Fall can refer to it when in doubt about particulars?

17. Is the form I enclose about the thing you want for announcement? Alter it to suit yourself—add to it—take from it—fix it the ‸way you‸ want it to read.12

Yrs Ever

Samℓ. L. Clemens.


Write me frankly about everything—I want all your views. Tell me of my errors.

P. S.—Say—why don’t you ‸or Pugh‸ rent a popular hall in N. Y., & select the pick & choice of the lecturers ‸(say 5,)‸ & lecture each of them 5 to 10 nights in succession & just divide the actual profits with each after all [expenses.?] Fifty ni successive nights could be put in, in that way, & you would clear $20,000 or $25,000. Don’t you believe it? I do.

There was no direct train route to Rondout, over ninety miles north of New York City and across the Hudson River. Clemens had lectured there on 2 December 1868 and 12 January 1870 and would do so again in 1871. In Trenton he had lectured twice in 1869, delivering “The American Vandal Abroad” on 23 February and “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands” on 28 December. The Trenton press evidently did not review the first lecture. The Trenton True American had called the second “one of the grandest humbugs of the day. However a man, and a printer at that, can have the cheek to go about the country retailing anecdotes as stale as some sausages, at $150 a night, is more than we can understand” (“An extended . . . ,” 29 Dec 69, 3, in Lane). Actually, Clemens had received only $100 for his 28 December appearance. For his objection to Trenton, see 28 June 71 to Redpath. He did not lecture there during his 1871–72 tour (28 June 71 to Redpath20 July 71 to FallL2, 298, 300 n. 5; L3, 442 n. 1, 483, 485–86).

SLC to James Redpath and George L. Fall, 10 June 1871, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 00614), n. 1.

To David Gray

10 June 1871 • Elmira, N.Y.

Mark Twain in the Lecture [Field.—]Mark Twain is going to make a short lecturing tour in the early part of the coming season. Subject—“An Appeal in behalf of Extending the Suffrage to Boys.” He says he thought he had retired permanently from the lecture field, but upon looking into things and finding that Woman is less persecuted, and is held in a milder bondage than boys, he thinks it incumbent upon somebody to “lift up a voice for the poor little male juvenile.”1

1 Clemens probably wrote this letter just after the preceding one to Redpath and Fall. Among the Boston Lyceum Bureau’s lecturers on women’s suffrage during the 1870–71 lecture season were: Susan B. Anthony, “The Woman Question”; the Reverend James Freeman Clarke, “Why should not Women Vote?”; the Reverend Robert Laird Collier, “Woman’s Place”; the Reverend Rowland Connor, “The Subjection of Woman”; Anna E. Dickinson, “A new lecture on the Woman Question”; the Reverend Jesse H. Jones, “The Supreme Political Reform”; Mary A. Livermore, “The Reasons Why”; the Reverend W. H. H. Murray, “Woman’s Suffrage: and what would be the result of it?”; Petroleum V. Nasby, “Struggles of a Conservative with the Woman Question”; and Judge Edwin Wright, “Woman Greater than her Aspirations” (Lyceum 1870, 2–4).

SLC to David Gray, 10 June 1871, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 11746), n. 1.

Mark Twain’s Lecture on his acquaintances—kings, humorists, lunatics, idiots, and all—under the title of “Reminiscences of some pleasant characters whom I have met,” will be delivered during the approaching season at the prices of $100 or $110 to $250 per night. (OC 1871)

SLC to Orion Clemens, 27 June 1871, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 00622), n. 1. 

SLC to Mary Mason Fairbanks, 29 June 1871, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 00629), n. 2.

 The July American Publisher printed the following:

Mark Twain’s New Lecture.—We have the pleasure to announce that Mark Twain will lecture in New England during the ensuing fall, and later, in the Western States. The subject is not yet decided upon. He has two new lectures, one an appeal in behalf of boy’s rights, and one entitled simply “D. L. H.” When he has decided which he likes best, he will discard the other entirely. (OC 1871)

“D. L. H.” has not been explained.

SLC to Orion Clemens, 27 June 1871, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 00620), n. 1.

Mark Twain departed New York City October 14, 1871 traveling to Bethlehem, PA.  The trip would be aboard the New Jersey Central  and the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, which was leased to the CNJ  March 31, 1871 (New Jersey Central).

The November portion of Mark Twain's Three Speeches Tour begins in Boston, Massachusetts, 


November 1 - Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts - "Artemus Ward"

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 Osweg

It's likely Twain traveled to Indianapolis from Paris, IL on January 1, 1872 as he attended church in Paris December 31, 1871. 

Both the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads had connections between Paris and Indianapolis.  The NYC, as per the Wikipedia article, maps the Terre Haute Railroad and the St Louis and Indianapolis Railroads.  The Wikipedia article for the Pennsylvania Railroad maps the Paris and Terre Haute Railroad and the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad. This line was associated with the Vandalia Railroad.