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Twain's party departed Great Falls at 7:35 am, Thursday, August 1st, 1895. They rode the Montana Central Railway, part of the Great Northern Railroad owned by J.J. Hill. Hill needed to connect his interests in Great Falls with the mining operations in Helena, Butte and the smelter in Anaconda. The railroad followed part of the old Mullan Military Road. Along the way we examine the fate of Egbert Malcolm Clarke and one of the most egregious actions taken by the U.S. Army against Native American peoples, the Marias massacre. Twain gave a lecture that evening in Butte. The next day, August 2nd, he and Major Pond traveled to Anaconda. The audience there was so small that Twain reimbursed the local manager one hundred dollars. He was a man Twain had known in the 60's. They returned to Butte and from there to Helena. Monday, August 5th, Twain's party, along with Senator Sanders and Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher rode to Missoula, Montana. They traveled on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Twain entertained and was entertained by the troops at Fort Missoula. From Missoula they continued on to Spokane, Washington.

James Jerome Hill, primary stockholder and president of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway (StPM&M), established the Montana Central Railway on January 25, 1886. Few railroads served Montana at that time. But Butte, Montana, was a booming mining town that needed to get its metals to market; gold and silver had been discovered near Helena; and coal companies in Canada were eager to get their fuel to Montana's smelters.

Egbert Malcolm Clark(e) arrived in the upper Missouri region in the 1840's with a reputation for violence. He had been briefly enrolled at West Point but was quickly expelled for assaulting a classmate. President Andrew Jackson reportedly intervened and Clarke was reinstated only to be court martialed for another attack on a classmate. He had been in the Texas Army and worked for the American Fur Company. Eventually he owned property along what had been the Mullan Military Road.

Samuel Thomas Hauser, territorial governor of Montana from 1885 to 1887, formed the Missouri River Power Company in 1894 and won the approval of the United States Congress to build a dam, the Hauser Dam, two miles below Stubb's Ferry on the Missouri River. It was a steel dam built on masonry footings on top of gravel, with the ends of the dam anchored in bedrock on either side of the river. The dam was 630 feet long and 75 feet high.

The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893 and ended in 1897. It deeply affected every sector of the economy and produced political upheaval that led to the 1896 realigning election and the Presidency of William McKinley. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, perhaps along with the protectionist McKinley Tariff of that year, has been partially blamed for the panic. Passed in response to a large overproduction of silver by western mines, the Sherman Act required the U.S.

The Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway is a short line railroad in the U.S. state of Montana which was founded in 1892. It was financed by the interests behind the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, (Daly and JJ Hill), and operated primarily to carry copper ore from the mines at Butte, Montana to the smelters at Anaconda, Montana, although the company was chartered as a common carrier and also carried passengers and general freig

August 6: Two ambulances were sent to the hotel for our party and Adjutant General Ruggles, who is here on a tour of inspection. Mark rose early and said he would walk to the fort slowly, he thought it would do him good. General Ruggles and the ladies went in one ambulance, the old four mule army officers ambulance, and the other waited some little time before starting that I might complete arrangements for all the party to go direct from the fort to the depot. I was the only passenger riding with the driver and enjoying the memory of like experiences on the plains when in the army.