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September 19, 1874:  The family occupied the second floor of the three-story home; the main floor was not yet complete. It would be the happiest and longest stay of their residences. Powers gives Sept. 21 as the possession date of the new house [360]. Willis also gives this date [92]. See Willis [92-6] for a good description of the details of the house at 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. According to Andrews, within three years Sam had purchased $21,000 worth of furniture in the house which cost $70,000 on five acres of land worth $31,000 [82].

The family resided here until March of 1878 when they tramped through Europe.  The family returned to the  United States in September of 1879 and took up residence in Hartford again in October of 1879.

September 3, 1879 – After spending one night in New York, the Clemens family took the train for the ten-hour trip to Elmira.  They took a hotel car.

September 10, 1879:  Sam and Livy traveled to Fredonia and Buffalo, returning to Elmira by the 15th.

September 23, 1879:  The family moved from the Langdon home to Quarry Farm.

October 10, 1879:  The family possibly returned to Elmira.

October 21, 1879:  The family departs Elmira and Quarry Farm, spend time in New York and take up residence again in Hartford by  the 24th.

November 8, 1879:  Sam travels to Chicago to address the Army of the Tennessee Reunion Banquet, Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois.  He takes a room at the Palmer House and returns to Hartford on the 17th.

At about this time Sam became annoyed with new postal regulations requiring a full address on envelopes.  "But we have retired a hundred years, within the last two months, & now it is our boast that only the brightest & thoughtfulest & knowingest men’s letters will ever be permitted to reach their destinations, & that those of the mighty majority of the American people,—the heedless, the unthinking, the illiterate,—will be rudely shot by the shortest route to the Dead Letter office & destruction. It seems to me that this new decree is very decidedly un-American."

See To the Editor of the Hartford Courant 22 November 1879 Hartford, Conn.

December 2nd and 3rd, 1879:  In Boston for birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sam returned to Hartford the next day after “an awful good time” with Howells, But at the Belmont depot, when he apparently attempted to telegraph Livy that he would be home that afternoon, Sam was treated with ‘insolent neglect by the young lady in charge” so he “told her he should report her to her superiors, and (probably to her astonishment) he did so” with Howells's collusion, Sam was “very much obliged for the trouble you have taken in the telegraphic matter,” he wrote his friend on December 9. “I think the employment of ‘young ladies’ to do a servant's work in a waiting-room is a mistake.” Soon “the poor girl came to me in terror and in tears,” Howells recalled, “for I had abetted Clemens in his action and had joined my name to his in his appeal to the authorities. She was threatened with dismissal unless she made full apology to him and brought back assurance of its acceptance.  I felt able to give this and, of course, he eagerly approved.” But this episode set a precedent in some of Sam’s future dealings with surly hack drivers and horsecar conductors.  [Page 300 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]

Sam continues his dispute with the U.S. Postal Service, or at least with Thomas Kirby, Private Secretary to the Postmaster General:

See To the Editor of the Hartford Courant and Thomas B. Kirby, Private Secretary to the Postmaster General 8 December 1879 • Hartford, Conn.

January 8, 1880:  Sam and Livy travel to Elmira. They were back in Hartford by February 4.

April 12 or 13, 1880:  The Clemens family travels to Boston, returning to Hartford April 20.

June 15, 1880:  The Clemens family departs Hartford for their Elmira and Quarry Farm summer, via New York.  They would return by October 1.

Elmira and Quarry Farm, Summer of 1880

September 27, 1880:  The Clemens family departed Elmira and started home to Hartford.  They were in New York, possibly until the 29th or 30th.  They were back home by October 1st.

October 14, 1880:  Sam took a train to Boston and got a room at the Brunswick Hotel [MTLE 5: 173].  Sam and Edward House escorted General Ulysses S. Grant from Boston to Hartford on the 15th.

October 21, 1880:   Sam and Livy made a quick shopping trip to New York, probably spending one night there and leaving Oct.22.

November 6, 1880:  Sam went to Boston and gave another political speech at the Middlesex Club. He stayed overnight at the Howellses [MTLE 5: 194]. 

December 20, 1880:   Sam traveled with Twichell to New York City, arriving in the evening. Returned to Hartford the next day.

February 1518, 1881:  Sometime between these dates, Sam and Livy spent a “couple of days” in New York City, but were back in Hartford by Feb. 19.

February 23, 1881:  Sam traveled to Boston [MTHL 1: 350360n3]. He had returned by the 25th.

February 28, 1881:  Sam and Joe Twichell went to West Point and returned March 2nd.

June 4, 1881:  The Clemens family left Hartford for the summer.  First stop, the Montowese House, Branford, CT.

Summer at Branford, CT, Elmira and Quarry Farm - 1881

September 22 or 23, 1881:  The family returns to Hartford from the summer retreat in Elmira.

Though Elinor Howells assured Livy that she would soon be “settled in your own house after all those repairs,’ they returned to a house “full of joiners, masons, & plumbers” who had promised that a finish date of October 1 would “be the best they can do.” On October 9 Sam moaned that the family was still trapped “in our carpetless & dismantled home, living like a gang of tramps on the second floor” with "the rest of the house in the hands of mechanics & decorators.” The family finally reoccupied the library and the dining room on the first floor in late December 1881 and Tiffany completed the interior decoration two months later, On January 28, 1882, Sam at last notified Howells that “all our rooms are finished and inhabitable.” [Page 340 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]

October 22, 1881:  Sam went to New Haven, CT and spoke at the Saturday Morning Club.

November 3, 1881:  Sam traveled to Boston,  it is not known what day he returned to Hartford, some time between November 4th and 6th.

November 25, 1881:  Departed Hartford for Boston.  Departed Boston on the 26th for Montreal, Canada.

On November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Sam left Hartford for Boston and Montreal in order to establish Canadian residency, or at least the appearance of it, for the purpose of securing British copyright on the book. It was his first prolonged trip north of the border. After registering at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, he had little to do except shelter in place.  He enjoyed a sleigh ride on November 28 and “inspected a lot of Catholic churches, French markets, shop windows, &c.” but after filing the paperwork for copyright he seems to have mostly played billiards and read Francis Parkman’s The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867). Osgood joined him in Montreal no later than November 30; they were guests that day of Samuel Dawson of the firm of Dawson and Brothers, Sam’s Canadian publisher; and they celebrated the appearance of The Prince and the Pauper from the presses of Chatto & Windus in London on December 1. It was the decisive event of the trip because it meant (they thought) that Sam had obtained imperial copyright. They then took a three-day excursion to Quebec City, where Sam was disgusted with his room at Russell's Hotel, “the foulest hotel in some respects in Am[erica],” he wrote Livy. “Everything in the hotel is of the date of Champlain, or even of Cartier, & thoroughly worn out.” But the pulchritude in Quebec caught his eye. “So many pretty girls,” he remarked in his journal, “Never so many in one town before—beauty of girls, & of little children of both sexes so common as to be almost monotonous. ...  The dresses are short.” [Page 342 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]

December 2, 1881:  Began a three day excursion to Quebec.  Back in Montreal on the 6th.

December 9, 1881:  Sam returned to Hartford.

December 21, 1881:  Sam travels to Philadelphia., returning on the 23rd.

February 14, 1882:  Sam and Livy possibly traveled to New York, returning home on the 19th.

March 9, 1882:   Sam took a train to New York, where he met Howells. The two men checked into the Hotel Brunswick.  Sam returned to Hartford March 11th.

March 28, 1882:  Sam went to New York City and was interviewed at the Hotel Brunswick. Sam was home by at least April 2nd.

April 14, 1882:  Sam traveled to Boston to meet Howells and Aldrich at Osgood’s, returning to Hartford on the 16th.

Mark Twain Returns to the Mississippi


From Pages 365-6 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891:

After the spring warmth of New Orleans, Sam was benumbed by the frigidity of Minnesota. St, Paul was as “cold as the very devil” and a few flakes of snow fell. Though the two travelers had originally planned to return east by boat through the Great Lakes—“I go by water because I don't like the railroads,” Sam had told an interviewer in St. Louis scarcely a week earlier — they left St. Paul by rail early in the afternoon of May 22 and arrived in New York the evening of May 24. Osgood spent that night at the Hotel Brunswick and soon reported that he and Sam had enjoyed “a glorious time” in the Midwest. Alerted that two-year-old Jean was ill with scarlet fever, Sam hurried to Hartford and arrived the next morning.

He returned to a house under quarantine. “We have had scarlet fever in the house ever since I reached home,” he wrote a friend in early July, and he notified Frank Fuller the same week that his “house will be under strict quarantine for several weeks,” Jean was nursed by Livy, Sam, and Rosina Hay and attended as usual by Cincinnatus Taft, widely regarded as the leading physician in town. “No one else allowed in that part of the house,’ Sam wrote his mother, “& nobody allowed to enter the front door.” Though they had originally planned to leave for Elmira in mid-June, Jean's illness post poned the Clemenses’ departure until July 13 and, Sam claimed, delayed the completion of Life on the Mississippi “twice as long.” He complained, not very graciously, that “the six weeks which Jean robbed me of happened by accident to be the very most valuable 6 weeks of my entire life.” He wrote few letters, “attended to no business, not even matters of the vastest importance” during these weeks. Jean suffered later in life from epilepsy likely caused by this episode of fever. Sam’s health was also compromised for the next several months by a series of maladies, including malaria apparently contracted during his Mississippi trip.


June 1215, 1882:  Sometime during this period, Sam and Livy traveled to Boston for a quick visit with the Howells and their close neighbors, the Fairchilds.

July 13, 1882:  Clemens family depart Hartford for New York and Elmira for the summer. Departing Elmira September the 28th and back in Hartford by the 30th.

Elmira, Summer of 1882

November 4, 1882:  Sam was reportedly in Boston to speak at the Papyrus Club.

November 25, 1882: Sam wrote to Charles Webster about Livy's property in Texas.

December 21, 1882:  Sam travels to New York. Returning to Hartford on the 23rd or 24th.

January 12, 1883:  Sam was in Boston, dates of travel unknown.

March 1, 1883:  Sam traveled to New York City, returning to Hartford on the 7th or 8th.

March 19, 1883:  Sam and Livy took a morning train for New York for business and shopping. They returned to Hartford on the 22nd.

May 8, 1883:  Sam was in Boston, en route to Montreal, Canada. He was back in Hartford by the 17th.

May 20, 1883:  Sam and James R. Osgood traveled from Hartford to New York City to watch Collender’s great billiard tournament at Tammany Hall.  On the 22nd Sam left for Montreal, Canada, departing there for Hartford on the 29th.

June 14, 1883:  The Clemens family departed Hartford for their summer in Elmira, via New York.  They had returned to Hartford by September 17th.

To spare the family the strain of travel after a difficult winter during which Livy and Clara had suffered from diphtheria and Susy from scarlet fever, the Clemenses and their servants traveled to Elmira in June on a private sleeping car. Sam hoped Livy's mother could “nurse her back to health.” Ironically, as soon as they arrived at Quarry Farm, during the most inspired summer of his career, Sam knocked out a short story that has never been published—deservedly so, according to Howells. A longtime devotee of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainment, Sam continued Scheherazade’s tales in the “1002d Arabian Night,” in which she finally bores Sultan Shahriyar to death, “The opening passages are the funniest you have ever done,” Howells allowed, but he thought the rest of the story, though only twenty thousand words, resembled Jim Blaine’s tale of his grandfather's old ram in Roughing It, Like Blaine, Scheherazade is afflicted with a severe case of “prolixity.” In Howells's view, “this burlesque falls short of being amusing... "  [Page 381 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]

Elmira, Summer of 1883

October 16, 1883:  Sam and Joe Twichell went to New Britain.

November 1617, 1883:  Sam, Livy and William Dean Howells went to Boston.  Sam and Livy were back in Hartford on the 18th.

December 17, 1883:   Sam took a train for Boston, home by the 19th.

February 5, 1884:  Sam went to New York, back home the next day.

February 15, 1884:  Sam and George W. Cable travel to New York City.  Sam is home again on the 17th. and then back to New York City for the night.

February 19th or 20th, 1884:  Sam and Susie went to Brooklyn with Twichell.  On the 22nd, they moved to New York City.  Sam was back in Hartford by the 25th.

April 10, 1884:  Sam was in New York City.

April 16th or 17th, 1884:  San and Livy go to Boston. They are home on the 20th.

April 28, 1884:  Sam goes to New York City.

June 17, 1884:  Clemens family departs Hartford for their summer in Elmira.  They spent the night in New York City.  On the 18th they left New York by way of the Christopher Street Ferry to Hoboken, New Jersey, where they took a special car on the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad for the ten-hour trip to Elmira.

The family traveled from Hartford to New York on June 17 but Sam could not afford to engage an entire sleeping car for the family on the railroad to Elmira as he had in the past so he arranged instead for a “large compartment" in a drawing room car.   [Page 406 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]

Day By Day for June 8 indicates Sam still expected to take a sleeping car but that Livy did not like the sleeping-car seats.

Elmira, Summer of 1884

On September 9 and 10 Sam attended performances of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West at the Elmira Driving Park and ‘enjoyed [the show] thoroughly.  It brought back to me the breezy, wild life of the great plains & the Rocky Mountains & stirred me like a war song. He happily overlooked the contrivances in William F. Cody's Western simulacrum, graciously pronouncing it “genuine” with its ‘cowboys, vaqueros, Indians, stage-coach, costumes & all,” and “wholly free from sham & insincerity, In fact, the Wild West was no more realistic than a dime novel Western, though in the wake of his work on “Huck and Tom among the Indians” Sam tolerated the fantasy. In any event, he left with the family two weeks later for the Hotel Brunswick in New York en route to a more genteel routine in Hartford, arriving on September 14, and he never resumed his Wild Western tale. [From page 411 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]


September 28, 1884:  The Clemens family arrived back in Hartford either this day or the day before. 

November 3, 1884: Sam may have gone to New Haven but was home again the same day.

November 5, 1884 to February 28, 1885 – Mark Twain and George Washington Cable went on a grand tour, frequently mislabeled as the ”Twins of Genius” tour.  Sam remained in Washington D.C. after the tour until March 3rd when he traveled to New York City.

Twain embarked on this tour in part to publicize his new book, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book was controversial from the moment it was published and remains so today. One point of controversy is how Twain ended the book, with Tom Sawyer’s contrived rescue of Jim. See Ernest Hemingway’s oft paraphrased comment: All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.

Readers are often disappointed that after spending so much time in the novel developing the relationship between Huck and Jim, Twain seems to discard it and return to minstrelsy. Isaac Gewirtz, in Mark Twain A Skeptic’s Progress, addresses this:

Though it may be difficult for today’s reader to accept, Twain regarded the romantic adventure novel, whether set in the Middle Ages or in modern Europe, as dangerous enough to merit a sustained, satiric attack. That he would attempt to sharpen that attack by employing minstrel-show caricatures is, of course, painful, especially because the caricatures contrast so starkly with the compassion and wholeness of vision with which he had imbued Jim’s character earlier in the novel. Our desire to discern a noble intention in this tactic and our reluctance to admit that Twain would sacrifice Jim’s humanity merely in order to destroy so seemingly trivial a target as the literary idealization of aristocracy is understandable. It seems absurd to us that Twain could fear the reification of values enshrined in such novels as Ivanhoe or The Count of Monte Cristo. But he did. He took literature seriously, not only as art, but as a powerful moral and psychological force that could transform minds and reshape society. Twain states explicitly, strongly, and repeatedly, as we have seen, that Scott’s novels had, in fact, achieved these goals in the South; the calamitous consequence was the Civil War. For Twain, attempting to eradicate the “Sir Walter disease” was a noble cause. The allegory detectives who parse selected details of the final chapters of Huckleberry Finn in an attempt to find evidence of Twain’s opposition to the subversion of Reconstruction ignore not only the narrative context and historically flawed analogs of those selected details, but the raging white elephant of Twain’s immortal genius—a genius that cannot be confined by our theories and desires and one that could have created a superb satire on the subversion of Reconstruction had it been put to that use. (Theory and desire, unlike genius, are decidedly mortal; they comprise the elephant’s carcass we create out of our need to shape the genius in our own image, which we stumble over and then believe we have painstakingly discovered.) The hard truth is that Twain, during the years he was writing Huckleberry Finn and Life on the Mississippi, was much more disturbed by the hierarchism of Southern white society and its attendant distortions of social and civic relationships among whites, thereby ensuring the South’s continuing economic and cultural stagnation, than he was by the reversal of voting and civil rights of African-Americans.

That Twain, by the time he began to woo his progressive wife-to-be, Olivia Langdon (her high-society parents had been fierce abolitionists), in 1869, had awakened to the horror of African-American slavery is beyond question. (Coincidentally, the 15th Amendment, which prohibited the state and federal governments from denying the vote to anyone on the basis of race or previous status as a slave, was passed on February 3, 1870, the day after Twain and Langdon married.) But a horror of slavery and sympathy for African-Americans does not necessarily entail active advocacy for black civil rights; certainly not for Twain, at least through 1885.

Twain-Cable Tour

March  3, 1885:  New York City.

March 5, 1885:  Sam was at home in Hartford.

March 14, 1885:  New York City & Hartford.

March 16, 1885:  The Concord, Mass. Public Library banned Huck Finn from its shelves.  Possibly the first of many censorships of this book.

March 20, 1885:  Sam went to New York City for the weekend and stayed at the Everett House. Sam and Cable gave a reading in Steinway Hall, N.Y.  on the 21st.

March 23, 1885: Sam and Livy went to Boston for a short visit with the Howellses. Home on the 26th.

March 31, 1885: Sam spoke at the Tile Club Dinner for Laurence Hutton in New York City

April 8, 1885:  Sam went to New York on his way to Philadelphia.  He's back in Hartford via New York on the 10th.

April 28, 1885: Sam, Livy, and thirteen-year-old Susy Clemens went to New York for a four-day outing, which included a reading up at Vassar in Poughkeepsie on May 1. Sam conferred with Webster and General Grant and gave a reading on Apr. 29

May 1, 1885: Sam spoke at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York,  returning home the next day.

May 18, 1885:  Sam probably went to New York City

May 20, 1885:  Sam went to Albany, New York

May 25, 1885:  Sam was in New York and spent time chatting with General Grant.

June 8, 1885:  Sam took the early morning train to New York and took a room at the Everett House.  Back home on the 11th.

June 17, 1885:  The Clemens family left Hartford bound for New York and Elmira.

Elmira, Summer of 1885

September 18, 1885:  Home from New York City and their summer in Elmira.

September 20, 1885:  Sam and Twichell walked to Talcott’s Tower,

October 6, 1885:  Sam left Hartford in the morning and traveled to Pittsfield, Mass.  He was back on on the 8th.

October 16, 1885:  Sam may have gone to New York and home again on the 18th.

October 26, 1885:  Sam returned to New York with Livy.

November 15, 1885:  Sam left for New York City, leaving the family at home, with Mrs. Langdon as a house guest. Sam stayed at the Normandie Hotel.   "I am taking the train for New York—for a business-sojourn there until the Christmas holidays…a note addressed to me at the Hotel Normandie will find me, & I will answer in person—almost surely: (the slight uncertainty is based upon the fact that New York is only headquarters for a month—my business is scattered, from Washington to Boston, & betwixt & between."

November 19, 1885:  Washington DC, then back to New York.

November 26, 1885:  Sam returns to Hartford for Thanksgiving.

December 1, 1885:  Note: [MTNJ 3:198n51] has Sam in Baltimore to see Ross Winans about the Paige typesetter, but several letters by Sam from New York City and no other reference to a Baltimore trip would suggest Sam either stopped there on his recent Washington, D.C trip to see President Cleveland, or Winans was in New York on Dec. 1.  There may  be problems with this as DBD has Sam back in Hartford on December 2nd. and New York on the 3rd.

December 5, 1885:  Boston

December 7, 1885:  Hartford.

December 10-13?, 1885:  Sam wrote from the Normandie Hotel in New York City,

December 14, 1885:  Hartford

December 21, 1885: New York probably home by Christmas.

January 18, 1886:  Sam went to New York, where he spoke at the Typothetae Dinner at Delmonico’s

January 26, 1886:  In New York, headed to Washington the next day,  Back home by February 1st.

March 22 Monday – Sam presented a paper titled “Knights of Labor — The New Dynasty” to the Monday Evening Club. 

March 23, 1886:  New York, back home by the 27th.

April 3, 1886: Sam and Joe Twichell traveled to New York City and on to West Point.  They were possibly home on the 4th.

April 16, 1886:  Sam, Livy and “a couple of friends,” went to New York City for the weekend 

April 22, 1886:  New York, returning home sometime between the 23rd and May 1st.

May 4, 1886:  The Haymarket affair.  Fears quotes from a biography of Howells that  “From the outset, Howells followed reports of the Haymarket story and the trial. His version, which anticipated the findings of later historians, ran contrary to almost every contemporary editorial and every assumption about justice in the national press. He did not consider the process supervised by Judge Joseph Easton Gary a trial at all. As he saw it, Gary selected his own biased jury, silenced or overruled an able defense team, and found consistently for the prosecution…. Howells pitied the defendants as victims of a judicial system gone awry” [278-9].

May 5, 1886:  Answering a promise to return in May, Sam and Twichell once again went to West Point Military Academy by way of New York City.  Home by May 7th.

May 9, 1886:  Boston

May 25, 1886:  Possible trip to New York

Elmira, Summer of 1886

October 2, 1886:  Sam, Livy and Clara in New York City.  They may have returned home but it seems Clara had an orthodontist appointment in New York on the 5th.

October 12, 1886 Sam and Livy went to New York City, where they spent an unknown number of days; they were home by Oct. 18.

October 23 or 24, 1886:  Washington DC

October 26, 1886:  From Washington to New York.  Hartford on the 29th.

November 3, 1886:  New York, home on the 6th.

November 11, 1886:  At the Military Service Institution, Governors Island, New York

November 29, 1886:  New  York

December 9, 1886:  Boston to introduce Henry Stanley to lecture audience.

January 10, 1887:  Escorted Olivia Lewis Langdon to New York in her return to Elmira from Hartford.

January 20 or 21, 1887:  New York with Livy

February 8, 1887:  New York, until the 11th.

March 17, 1887:  Sam went to New York City, where he gave a speech/toast/talk at the informal Kinsmen Club (See Mar. 1883 entry for the history and makeup of this group, which did not meet after this year.) The content of Sam’s remarks are not known.

March 30 Wednesday – Sam either went to Boston as planned in his Mar. 17 to Fields, or left early the next morning.   Home again April 1.

April 7, 1887:  Sam left Hartford for a Union Veterans Assoc. of Maryland Banquet in Baltimore.

April 13, 1887 Wednesday – Sam and Livy went to New York, where they attended the 100th performance of Taming of the Shrew,  Home again on the 17th.

April 18, 1887 Monday – Sam went to New York

April 28, 1887 Thursday – Sam and Livy went to New York, where they checked into the Murray Hill Hotel.

April 30 Saturday – Sam and Livy were at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York

May 18 Wednesday – Sam had planned to go to New York City

June 7 Tuesday – “The Clemenses, the Charles Dudley Warners, and Grace Elizabeth King boarded a train and traveled to Frederick E. Church’s “Olana,”his imposing mansion near Hudson, New York”.  Returned home June 10th.

Elmira, Summer of 1887

October 4 Tuesday –  in New York at the Glenham Hotel 

October 28 Friday –  in New York at the Glenham Hotel 

November 3 Thursday – In New York

November 17 Thursday – On or about this day, Sam and Livy went to New York

November 21 Monday – On or about this day Sam returned to New York

November 28 Monday – Sam and daughter Clara left Hartford on the 12:30 p.m. train for New York

December 20 Tuesday – Sam went to Boston, Mass.

December 31 Saturday – In the morning, Sam left Hartford for New York

January 6 Friday – The Players Club was founded at 1.P.M. in the Red Room at Delmonico’s, New York City.

February 15 Wednesday – at the Murray Hill Hotel in N.Y.

March 10 Saturday – Sam left Hartford for New York City

March 16 Friday - Sam then went to Washington, D.C., a six-hour trip by train. Sam checked into the Arlington Hotel, T.E. Roessle, manager [MTNJ 3: 381n271].

About this time in a correspondence with WD Howell, Twain wrote : The thing which has made Labor great & powerful is labor-saving machinery — & nothing else in the world could have done it. It has been Labor’s savior, benefactor; but Labor doesn’t know it, & would ignorantly crucify it. But that is human, & natural. Every great invention takes a livelihood away from 50,000 men — & within ten years creates a livelihood for half a million. But you can’t make Labor appreciate that…[MTHL 2: 597 & notes].  I suspect this was in part his justification for investing in the Paige typesetter.

April 6 Friday – Sam, Livy, and perhaps Susy, went to New York and checked into the Murray Hill Hotel

April 19 Thursday - Sam left Hartford for Montreal.

April 27 Friday – Sam  went to New York. This is the likely day he met with Robert Louis Stevenson in Washington Square. 

“A soul of flame in a body of gauze”

RL Stevenson and Mark Twain
Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain in Washington Square

May 21 Monday - Murray Hill Hotel in New York,

June 21 Thursday - Murray Hill Hotel in New York,

June 25 Monday - the Clemens family left Hartford for New York and Elmira.

Elmira, Summer of 1888

Grace King offers her written portrait of Mark Twain, from DBD, October 10, 1888.

October 15/88. Special officer Heise goes on duty to-day noon at $2.73 a day, regular policeman’s wages, as he says, & as Mr. Smith told me last night. He will patrol the yard & frontage in uniform from 7 every evening & discourage the tramps — & is to stay until I get up my electric street-lamp. Let go Oct. 27 [MTNJ 3: 427]. See DBD Entry

October 25 Thursday – Sam and Livy arrived in New York at the Murray Hill Hotel.

November 2 Friday – It’s not clear whether Sam and Livy had been in New York since Oct. 25, but more likely is that they returned to Hartford by Saturday Oct. 27, and that Sam then returned to the City by this day...

November 20 Tuesday –Grace King joined an excursion to New York with the Clemenses:

November 26 Monday – Sam took Grace King to visit Smith College in Northhampton, Mass.,

1889:   Gewirtz (Mark Twain A Skeptic's Progress) asks "Was the Twain of 1883-85 [Huckleberry Finn] also the Twain of 1889, the year in which he published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court?"

 It is difficult to say from the evidence of the novel, since it is a satire not on Southern Reconstruction, but on the antebellum South, the chief focus of which is the attempt to awaken Camelot’s freemen to their exploitation by a rapacious nobility, and to hasten the demise of that class of parasites by introducing progressive ideas such as social and economic justice, and the technological and educational innovations that will support a radical psychological and political transformation. (True, the Connecticut Yankee, Hank Morgan, abhors the institution of slavery, and Twain writes several moving chapters on its cruelties, in the course of which he makes the case that most people can sympathize with the suffering of others only when they have endured the same themselves. But Camelot’s slaves are not Morgan’s primary focus.)

The novel might also be read as a satire on the “civilizing” projects of nineteenth-century Western imperialist powers, except that Twain did not express a consistent anti-imperialism until Following the Equator (1897),  ...

In Connecticut Yankee, the well-intentioned Hank Morgan—“The Boss,” as he likes to be called—introduces technological innovation as a first step in attempting to impose nineteenth-century American ideas of progress on sixth-century feudal Camelot. All goes surprisingly well until King Arthur dies, and the forces of reaction, embodied in twenty-five thousand angry, prideful knights, the sorcerer Merlin, and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, muster their forces and prepare to attack the redoubt in which Morgan and his cohort of fifty-two young disciples have taken refuge.  ...

The real reason that Morgan’s attempt to bring progress to Camelot failed, as he discovers on his return from France, is that the overwhelming mass of “freemen” betrayed him. ...

... and the people reacted to the fear of eternal damnation by abandoning Morgan’s reforms: social equality, tax reform, a uniform currency, labor-saving technologies, the newspaper, and science education. Certainly, the people do not want democracy, which would require that they make decisions independent of the authorities whom they have always obeyed. ...

The great enemy of progress is childhood conditioning. So difficult is this to uproot, in Twain's view, that one might say that it is human nature to seek authority—religious, political, or social—and conform to the particular conditioning it prescribes.

January 17 Thursday – According to Sam’s Jan. 4 to Johnston, he left New York for Baltimore, Maryland at 10 a.m. He may have left Hartford on an early train, or may have gone there a day or more before. 

January 21 Monday – Sam gave a reading at Smith College, Northampton, Mass

January 31 Thursday – At 10 a.m. in New York, Sam left for Washington

February 11 Monday – Sam and Livy went to New York City on this day, and then on to Albany to visit the Dean Sage family the next [MTNJ 3: 448&n136].  They returned to Hartford on the 17th.

February 25 Monday – In New York City, Sam gave a dinner speech for Trinity College Alumni

February 28 Thursday – Sam gave a short speech ... at the Tremont Temple in Boston.

March 6 Wednesday – Sam took a 12:05 p.m. train to Springfield, Mass. and then continued on to Pittsfield, where he got there shortly after 4 p.m. [MTNJ 3: 455]. 

March 7 Thursday – In Boston, Mass

March 15 Friday – Sam and his “tribe” went “New Yorkwards” checking into the Murray Hill Hotel.

March 30 Saturday – At supper party for Edwin Booth, held at Delmonico’s in New York

April 8 Monday – Sam and Livy went to New York and stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel.

April 12 Friday – Sam and Livy went to New York and stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel 

May 29 Wednesday – ...another quick trip to New York City:

Elmira, Summer of 1889

November 5 Tuesday – Sam went to New York with William Dean Howells.

November 12 Tuesday – Sam went to Boston and gave a dinner speech at the Press Club

November 13 Wednesday – Sam was in Mount Auburn, Mass

November 15 Friday – Sam and Livy made a trip to New York,

December 6 Friday – Sam traveled to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada to protect his English copyright.  In Canada, at Rosli’s Hotel, Sam mailed his calling card to Chatto & Windus. On the back of his card Sam wrote:

Rosli’s Hotel, / Niagara Falls, Ontario, / Canada, / Dec. 6 /1889. / A true date, duly set down. /Very Truly Yours / S L Clemens / ~ [MTP]. Note: See Sam’s interview of Dec. 10 — he may have simply registered at this hotel without spending the night.

December 9-12 Thursday – Sometime during this week Sam and Livy made a trip to New York

January 11 Saturday – Sam read selections from CY at the USMA, West Point, New York

January 20 Monday – The Clemens family went to New York for the opening of the P&P play at the Broadway Theatre.

February 1 Saturday – Sam went to New York City and would return Feb. 3.

February 12 Wednesday – Sam and Livy went to New York

March 11-14 Friday – Sam went to New York for two days during this period. He referred to watching “an improved Mergenthaler” in the city with James W. Paige and Charles Ethan Davis

Onteora Park Club, Summer of 1890


The family finally left for Elmira and Quarry Farm on June 15, 1880, and railed to New York, where they overnighted at the Gilsey House. 

June 7, 1881:  Sam returns to Hartford.

June 8, 1881:  Sam gave a speech at the Army of the Potomac Banquet, Allyn House, Hartford:

June 9, 1881:  Sam went with a party by train to West Point for graduation festivities.  He returns to Hartford June 11th.

AFTER twenty-one years' absence, I felt a very strong desire to see the river again, and the steamboats, and such of the boys as might be left; so I resolved to go out there. I enlisted a poet for company, and a stenographer to 'take him down,' and started westward about the middle of April.

July 13, 1882:  Family departs Hartford, spending the night in New York, then boarding a spcial car for the trip to Elmira on the 14th.

September 21, 1882:  Sam traveled to Hartford, returning to Elmira the next day.

September 28, 1882:  The family departed Elmira for New York then to Hartford on the 29th.

June 14, 1883:  Clemens family travels from Hartford to New York.

June 15, 1883:  The Clemens family left New York City and traveled by special sleeping car to Elmira

June 22, 1883:  Sam traveled to New York City. Unknown how long he stayed...

September 13, 1883:  The Clemens family departs Elmira and traveled to new York, on their way home to Hartford.

June 17, 1884:  The Clemens family’s annual trek to Elmira and Quarry Farm began. They left Hartford and traveled to New York City, where they spent the night.

George Washington Cable and Samuel L. Clemens first met in 1881. It appeared that he stood at the threshold of a brilliant career. (pg3 Cardwell). Cable had just caught the attention of the public with his two fresh, promising volumes [from 1879 and 1880]. Although his thinking on questions of race and caste had taken a liberal bias in the 1860's he was not yet marked as a forthright, vocal advocate of civil rights for the Negro and had not yet been widely attacked by southerners for the nonconformist views which were to make him notorious and obnoxious among them. (pg2 Cardwell).

June 19, 1885:  The Clemens family took a special car from New York to Elmira,

June 27, 1885:  In the morning, the Clemens family left Mrs. Langdon’s home for Quarry Farm.

June 15, 1886:   The Clemens family and governess Rosa Hay (a party of six) left Hartford for Elmira and spent the night at the [Sam to Orion June 2] Gedney House at 40th Street and Broadway in New York 

As usual, the family vacationed in the summer of 1887 at Quarry Farm, leaving Hartford on June 21, spending a week in New York, and arriving in Elmira on June 29, Sam devoted his working months at the farm to reading and writing, indulging in particular his taste for history and biography with Thomas Babington Macaulay's The History of England from the Accession of James II (1849), The Memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon on the Reign of Louis XIV and the Regency (1857), Prince Metternich’s Memoirs (1880), George Standring’s The People’s History of the English Aristocracy (1887), and rereadin

June 25 Monday - Depart Hartford for New York City and Elmira

From page 547-8 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891:

June 24 Monday –For Sam to have traveled to New Haven for the Yale Alumni speech of June 26,

July 8 Monday – Likely on this day Sam left Quarry Farm for New York, where he may have spent the night. He was in Hartford by July 11.  He was back in Elmira on the 24th.