Submitted by scott on Thu, 08/18/2022 - 16:55

1906 – Sometime during 1906 Sam wrote “The Captain’s Story,” which ran in $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories, first published in Sept. 1906; the piece was an extracted republication from “Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion” 1877 [Camfield, bibliog.]. Also included in $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories and written probably this year: “A Deception” [ibid].

Sam wrote an essay, “Simplified Spelling” in 1906; it first ran in Letters From the Earth (1962) [Camfield’s bibliog.].

Sam also wrote “Things a Scotsman Wants to Know,” which was included in De Vinne’s private and anonymous printing of What Is Man? in August of 1906. Since he wrote parts of What Is Man? as early as 1898, he may have written this piece earlier.

Sometime during the year Isabel Lyon replied for Sam to Daniel Kiefer (incoming not extant).

I should be far from willing to have a political party named after me. I would not be willing to belong to a party which allowed its members to have political aspirations or push friends forward on political preferment. If I had a photograph I would send it to you with pleasure, but I never keep any on hand [Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters p.831 gives this “no date”; MTP gives 1906].

Sam also wrote a poem to Gertrude Natkin, whom he met in Dec. 1905 and called “Marjorie.”  


A Valentine for Marjorie, Marjorie, listen to me—

Listen, you winsome witch:
Whom ever you bless with your innocent love,
That person is passing rich.
Rich though he have not a grain of gold
Save that which is in his mouth,
Rich though his silver be all in his head
And crusts for his crow be all his bread
And his wine-tank rusty with drowth.
For your love has the power of the fabled purse
That wrought charms in the old romaunt
Who had it might live in a shack or worse
And feed on dreams & air dew & verse
Yet never could he know want.

[MTP: Kenneth W. Rendell catalogs, No. 259]. See Dec. 28, 1905 for more about Gertrude.

Sometime during 1906, place unknown, Sam wrote to Mary B. Rogers (Mrs. Harry Rogers).

Saturday eve / What was it that happened, dear pal? Did I make a mistake in the hour? I suppose so; I don’t generally get anything right when there is a chance to get it wrong. I thought you said 10, but although I was especially and phenomenally dull-witted, Friday morning, I just had barely penetration enough to see that I had disordered your plans & Harry’s; also I was sorry—not perfunctorily sorry, but really sorry—but being embarrassed I didn’t know enough to say so. So, as dulness isn’t a crime, & is very very rare with me, I am fully expecting you to forgive me. O, pet of St. Peter, why didn’t you tell me, you little fraud! [MTP].

Sam sent autographed notes to unidentified theater managers. Two survive (the notes; neither manager survives!) [MTP].

Sam also wrote instructions for Isabel Lyon to write to Kate D. Wiggin (Riggs).

“Tell M . Riggs that it would be perfectly fair for her to have printed notices for the kind of woman with 7-small-children-&-1-at the breast who appeals to her for literary advice, referring her to the Lord. It is his business—not a sparrow falls, so it shows he is noticing” [MTP].

Sam wrote “S.L. Clemens, 1906” on the inner cover of The Trident and the Net; A Novel (1905) by Marguerite Cunliffe-Owen (de Godart) (1859-1927) [Gribben 166].

Sam also wrote on a Thursday, early in 1906 to Frank N. Doubleday: “Harvey is going to give me written permission to privately print and distribute 250 copies of ‘a small anonymous book of unknown title and contents.” After his signature Sam added, “We have amicably settled the quarrel and the ‘Library’ is stopped without public mention” [MTP]. Note: See May 9 Lyon’s journal entry, which likely puts this letter to April. The “anonymous book of unknown title”: What is Man? printed by DeVinne and not successful.

Sam also wrote to Professor Antonio Borzi, “With many thanks for his photograph, which is an excellent likeness of me when I am at my best” [MTP]. Note: Borzi looked so much like Mark Twain, that whenever he traveled people refused to believe he wasn’t Twain. See Ladies’ Home Journal, May 1907, p. 59, “Mark Twain and his Double.” See May, 1907.

Sometime on a Wednesday early in 1906, Adele Burden wrote a short note to Sam, “looking forward with much pleasure to seeing” him at luncheon at 1:30 on Sunday. “In the meantime, have you discovered a curious situation that existed?” [MTP]. Note: this was prior cataloged as no date. In the file: “According to Adile Burden’s before 16 February 1908 letter, he & SLC meet 2 years prior.” (Not mentioned in Vol. III.)

Eleanor Jay Chapman wrote to Sam relative to her sending him Imaginary Obligations, by Frank Moore Colby (1906) [MTP]. Note: Colby (1865-1925) [Gribben 151].

Frederick Moore Clements, chemist and pharmacist in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, wrote, pasting a news article about Susy’s biography of Clemens on his advertising sheet: “Good! / You make the ‘Kid’ I make the ‘Patent medicine’” [MTP].

Susan L. Crane wrote from Elmira to Sam (pages 1&2 are missing). She related going through the old Langdon house which had been renovated, hardly recognizing it inside. She hoped Sam was warm up in Dublin as they were in “very cold weather.” Sam wrote on the left margin of page 8: “Put this in my tin box—after Auto-use” [MTP]. Note: Sam intended the letter for use in his Autobiography.

Douglas Littleton, a young boy and son of Martin W. Littleton, wrote from 23 Fifth Ave. that they would be “very glad to have you for dinner…when you can come to dinner with us?” [MTP]. Note: the note was not mailed but likely delivered. “Was in fragments.” A NYC neighbor of Clemens.

Gertrude Lynch wrote for The Sunday Illustrated Magazine, NYC, asking if they could lead with an article about Clemens’ home. “We want to tell what it is in a home that gives it the personal touch…” [MTP].

Gertrude Lynch followed up with a thank you to Miss Lyon for letting her “see Mr. Clemens’ house” for The Sunday Illustrated Magazine.

Laura Mozee wrote (probably in the Spring of 1906) to Sam: “Will you be shocked if I ask to be allowed to bring my little 3 ½ x 3 ½ Kodak to your house and take a picture of you?” She’d been in school there a year and hadn’t “done one thing out of the ordinary” and wanted to say to her friends in Idaho when she returned, “This is a picture of Mark Twain. I went to his home and took it myself, while I was  in New York.” [MTP]. Note: Twain wrote on the top in pencil: “On tap any time that she’ll give me notice enough so that I can get up & dress.”

History of the Ohio Society of New York, 1885-1905 by James H. Kennedy was published. Tenney cites Mac Donnell Rare Books Catalog 42, no. 119. “Contains at p.431 the first printing of a letter of regret (Machlis 06012) Twain sent to them in response to an invitation to their fifteenth annual banquet held at the Waldorf Astoria, March 30, 1901. At page 101 Twain is listed among those who sent letters of regrets in response to an invitation to an 1891 dinner. Johnson, p.118” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) p.9].

Who’s It in America: Being a Sort of Biography of Certain Prominent Persons, etc. by Charles Eustace Merriman. Tenney: “On 32-33 a laboriously jocose account of MT’s life, noting his lack of formal schooling, reputation for humor, and financial troubles. ‘N.B. The fact that he ultimately repaid his creditors, dollar for dollar, is one of the most brilliant witticisms of his career’” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) p. 9].

A Short History of American Literature, etc.  by Eva March Tappan was published in 1906. Tenney: “On 121, 126, calls MT ‘the best’ among American humorists rather than listing him with ‘writers of fiction,’ but praises IA (‘more than a satire, for Mark Twain is not only a wit but a literary man’), JA, and P&P (‘He is a clear-sighted, original, honest man, and his fun has a solid foundation of good sense’)” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) p. 9].

Critic published an anonymous comment on Twain’s 70 birthday dinner, p. 16-17. Tenney: “Reprints ‘The American Joke,’ a poem by Howells for the occasion, and part of MT’s speech, together with a poem Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for MT’s Fiftieth Birthday Dinner, given as a surprise celebration by the CRITIC; also prints MT’s thank-you note after the earlier dinner, addressed to ‘My Dear Conspirators’” [“A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 190].

Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir by A.S. and E.M.S.  by Arthur and Eleanor Sidgwick, p.406. Tenney: “Quotes the Cambridge professor’s journal (March 29, 1885), praising HF: ‘Huck Finn is a kind of boyish, semi-savage Gil Blas, of low—the lowest—Transatlantic life, living by his wits on the Mississippi. The novelty of the scene heightens the romantic imprévu of his adventures: and the comic imprévu of his reflections is—about once every three times— irresistably laughable’” [42].

Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving by Bram Stoker contained stories of Mark Twain, p. 166, 324. Tenney: “MT was a guest at a supper with Sarah Bernhardt one night in 1899 when she was playing Hamlet at the Adelphi; F.P. Dunne was also present. Among those listed as having dined with Irving are ‘S.L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”)’ and ‘Mrs. and Misses S.L. Clemens’” [42].

The Lincoln Farm Association was organized to preserve Lincoln’s birthplace and establish a memorial [Printed broadside from Cowan’s auction, June 24, 2009, Lot 456]. Note: sometime after the formation, membership certificates were issued bearing the signature of Mark Twain and 21 others, and by the end of 1907 over $350,000 had been contributed by over 100,000 people to build the Lincoln Memorial. Certificates of Membership (see insert) were issued; Mark Twain was one of 22 luminaries to sign the certificates. Sometime during the year Sam wrote “A Birthplace Worth Saving” for the Lincoln Farm Assoc. pamphlet [Camfield’s bibliog.].

Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.