April 11 Thursday – Before sailing, Sam wrote from New York to Moncure Conway, sending a letter of introduction for his nephew, Samuel Moffett, who would also travel to England. From the New York Times of Apr. 12:
THE HOLSATIA CARRIES AWAY THE NEW MINISTER, ACCOMPANIED BY MARK TWAIN AND HIS FAMILY, AND THE WIFE AND CHILDREN OF MR. MURAT HALSTEAD.
The first name on the passenger list of the Holsatia, that sailed yesterday, was “Hon. Bayard Taylor, United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary;” then followed Mrs. Bayard Taylor and Miss Lillian Taylor, Mrs. Murat Halstead, Miss Jenny Halstead, Master Robert Halstead, Mr. Samuel L. Clemens and family. [Note: Murat Halstead (1829-1908).]
At 2 PM on a dismal day with frequent downpours, William Dean Howells saw the Clemens family off from New York, bound for Europe on the steamship Holsatia commanded by Captain C.L. Brandt. The Times article also mentioned Dan Slote was in the send-off party. It was a two-week voyage. Susy, six, and Clara, going on four, were accompanied by their German nursemaid, Rosa Hay. Also along was George, who would handle baggage and valet duties. Clara Spaulding, who went with the family five years before was also in the group, which occupied two staterooms. Also, a young lady, probably Miss Sophia J. Olivier, was traveling to Hamburg; Livy reluctantly agreed to take charge of her [MTLE 3:43; MTNJ 2: 110n127]. Although Sam had told friends he might be gone between two and three years, they would return in just over sixteen months [Kaplan 212]. The Clemens family had staterooms #19 and 20 [Slote to Clemens Mar. 8].