Dates: I have followed the conventions used by the University of California Press on the volumes of Mark Twain’s Letters, except I have added the day of the week. To wit:
October 5 Thursday – Sources indicate this is a confirmed date, or a deduced date from events or other evidence. Firm dates come before conjectured or circa dates and date ranges.
October 3? Tuesday – The question mark indicates a conjecture of October 3. Conjecture dates are listed separately.
June 24–29 Saturday – A span of dates joined by a dash indicates a less specific conjecture: the date or dates of composition are thought to fall within this span. Day of the week is ascribed to the last date in the span. The last date in a period is noted by its day of the week. Such entries are listed separately.
June 24 to 29 Saturday – Not a conjecture, but an assertion that some event ran from June 24 through June 29. Such date ranges are listed separately.
May 2 and 3 Friday –Not a conjecture, but an assertion that the event or activity occurred at least in part on both days. Such inclusive dates are listed separately.
May 1 Friday ca. – A conjecture of circa a date, month, year or season. Similar to May 1 st ? but with less specificity. May also be specified as “on or before,” or “on or after.” Circa dates are listed separately.
February – Items for which only a month is known, or for magazine-type publications issued for a given month.
1863 – Items for which a year is known, but not a month or date. Note: Dates are arranged in order; spans of dates and single dates are sorted by the first date in a span. Conjectured dates are usually separate from known or consensus dates. Thus there are separate entries for May 1 Friday, and May 1? Friday; May 17 Thursday would follow May 12–20 Sunday. Occasionally entries are labeled “Mid-month” or “End of Month” or “Early Spring,” etc. Confirmed dates are listed first.
Where unsigned articles have been ascribed to Sam Clemens by major researchers, I have followed their lead but specified, “attributed.” “Sam” when shown without surname is used throughout to mean Mark Twain/ Samuel L. Clemens; likewise “Livy” designates Olivia Louise Clemens; “Susy” has been chosen for Olivia Susan Clemens over the spelling “Susie,” which is seen in earlier references to her. “Jane Clemens” is used for Sam’s mother, “Pamela” or “Pamela Moffett” for his sister, “Orion” for his brother. For certain dominant people in Sam’s life, or dominant within certain periods, last names only are given: Howells, Twichell, Cable, etc. Middle names are usually omitted, in favor of a middle initial; some middle initials are omitted, when reference is clearly to one person, such as Hjalmar Boyesen. “Frank” is often given for “Francis”; “Joe” for Joseph, when the person was a familiar figure in Sam’s life, such as Joe Twichell, Frank Bliss, etc.
MLA formatting is followed for in-text and Works Cited, with exceptions made for MT “standard” abbreviations such as MTBus or MTLTP (see abbreviations), and follow the MT Project’s conventions when possible. Use of [brackets] for in-text citations, as well as editor’s inserts within quoted text.
Some exceptions are made to standard MT scholarly convention, such as MTL with volume numbers used for the MTP volumes, whereas this abbreviation in the past was used for Paine’s volumes of letters, which I cite as MTLP, if I use them at all. A few conventions are modified, such as LM instead of LoM for Life on the Mississippi. See Abbreviations.
Nearly every date given requires a citation, though some are calculated from sources. Because both primary and secondary sources are used, errors and omissions may have been introduced. Hopefully, more study of primary sources will amend such shortcomings.
The few opinions on events or interpretation of an entry follow all citation designators as well as extra information following “Note”; These remarks are offered as simply one man’s view, and every effort has been made to keep them short and pithy, without obstacle to the meaning of the listing. Of course, I hold title to many more opinions than the few exposed here. Admittedly, a work of this scope carries errors and inconsistencies. That’s what future appendixes and supplements are for.
Bold Entries, Quotations:
All references to dates are bold, save for those within quotes. Also bold are first mentions of persons and places (including lecture halls, etc.) within each date entry. Subjects and titles are not bold. Indented are letter, newspaper excerpts (boxed) and longer commentaries from biographers and scholars. This may aid ease of reading, finding one’s place and appearance.
CY Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
ET&S 1: 2: Early Tales & Sketches. Vol. 1, 1851-1864. Vol. 2, 1864-1865. Edited by Edgar M. Branch and Robert H. Hirst. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979-81.
GA The Gilded Age
IA Innocents Abroad
LLMT Bros 1949 The Love Letters of Mark Twain. Edited by Dixon Wecter. New York: Harper &
LM Life on the Mississippi
MMT 1910. My Mark Twain, by William Dean Howells. New York: Harper & Brothers,
MTA Mark Twain’s Autobiography. Edited by Albert Paine. 2 vols. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1924.
MTB Mark Twain A Biography, by Albert Paine, 4 vols. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1912.
MTHL 1: 2: Mark Twain-Howells Letters: The Correspondence of Samuel L. Clemens and William Dean Howells. Edited by Henry Nash Smith and William M. Gibson. 2 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.
MTJ Mark Twain Journal. Edited by Thomas A. Tenney.
MTL 1: – 6: Mark Twain’s Letters. Volumes 1-6. 1853-1875. Edited by Edgar M. Branch, et al. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988-2002.
MTLE 1: – 5: Mark Twain’s Letters, Electronic Volumes 1-5. 1876-1880. Mark Twain Project.
MTLP Mark Twain’s Letters. 2 vols. Edited by Albert Bigelow Paine. New York: Harper & Bros 1917.
MTLTP Mark Twain’s Letters to His Publishers, 1867-1894. Edited by Hamlin Hill. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.
MTMF Mark Twain To Mrs. Fairbanks. Edited by Dixon Wecter. San Marino: Huntington Press, 1949.
MTP Berkeley. Mark Twain Project/Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California,
MTPO Mark Twain Project Online, University of California, Berkeley.
MT & GWC Mark Twain and George W. Cable, by Alan Turner.
MTNJ 1: – 3: Mark Twain’s Notebooks & Journals. Volumes 1 – 3. 1855-1891. Edited by Frederick Anderson, et al. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.
MTS&B Mark Twain’s Satires & Burlesques. Franklin R. Rogers, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.
MTTMB Mark Twain’s Travels With Mister Brown. New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1940.
P&P The Prince and the Pauper
ViU Barrett Collection, University of Virginia