Submitted by scott on Wed, 01/25/2023 - 12:59
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July 9, 1880:  Approximate date Sam moved to Quarry Farm from Elmira, as per letter to Twichell dated July 19.

July 26, 1880: Jean is born  at Quarry Farm

August 3, 1889:  Possibly the most important historical event to occur in Elmira, at this time, was the Emancipation Day celebration. Matt Seybold notes that “Twain never directly commented upon the event in his public or private writings.”. Seybold does, however, present a strong argument for Twain’s presence at Douglas’ speech.  (EVEN IF HE WEREN’T MY FRIEND: FREDERICK DOUGLASS & MARK TWAIN,)

The Day By Day entry for this date is only a quote from Lighting Out for the Territory, Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture By Shelley Fisher Fishkin · 1998:

August 3 Tuesday What Fishkin calls “noisy hoopla that engulfed Elmira” was the arrival and speech of Frederick Douglass. “The event drew delegations from virtually every city and town within a hundred miles. Sixty-three guns were fired at 11 A.M. Well before the parade began, the ‘excitement reached the white folks, and the streets were thronged with expectant people.’” At least four bands provided music. The parade route went around the Langdon home. Even if Sam were up on Quarry Farm, he would have heard the commotion [Lighting Out 95-6]."

September 27, 1880 – The Clemens family left Quarry Farm and Elmira and took the special “hotel car” for the ten hour ride to New York City, where they stayed three days at the Gilsey House.

Matt Seybold makes an interesting observation of Mark Twain's character at this time:

Twain was, quite clearly, grappling with the legacy of the South, which was his own legacy. He still sometimes (selectively) introduced himself as a Southerner, and frequently traded upon this identity in his humor and personal branding. But it is hard for him to face the truth. His first, rejected estimation of Southern celebrity could easily have been ripped directly from Douglass’s own descriptions of the ingrained and degrading culture of violence in the South. But he is not fully comfortable, even in his private journal, with naming that culture of violence, though his representation of it was already starting to take shape in the manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn he had been working on earlier in the Summer of 1880.


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