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This Everlasting Exile – Plasmon in Syndication – Depressing Fog, Hadleyburg Book McClure’s Scheme Fizzles – Harvey Runs Harpers – Seeking Osteopaths “I am an Anti-Imperialist” – Another Heart-Stab – Preaching Copyright to Lords Dollis Hill Idyll – “That Singular Tapeworm” – Home at Last!

Feeding & Speeching – Yale-Princeton Football – Crooked Cab Driver Introduces Churchill – Another Lawsuit –“Hide the Looking-glass”

1900 – Sam recorded he was paid $14,280.05 this year by the American Publishing Co. and noted “N: E. Co.” by the entry. He estimated the Co. cleared $6,000 [NB 46 TS 17].

On a Monday sometime during the year, Sam sent a short note to Poultney Bigelow. “You are to be good & leave it open; for although we can’t be sure to get there we mean to try” [MTP].

Sam also sent a somewhat longer note in German to Poultney Bigelow sometime during the year.

Translation and footnotes courtesy of Holger Kersten.

Hochwohgeboren!1 Sehr gut! Donnerstag 7.30.  Your Honor! Very Good! Thursday at 7:30. We

Wir werden dankbar sein bei    will be grateful to have dinner at your house if

Ihnen zu schmausen, wenn Ihre gnädige Frau  your honored wife has nothing against it.

Gemahlin nichts dagegen sagen wollen. (?)    Your most humble servant

Unterthänigste2  SLC


    Correct spelling would be “Hochwohlgeboren.” It is a form of address used for members of the nobility, but also for high ranking military officers, and people considered to belong to the higher ranks of society. No longer in use today. 2 Correct grammatical form would be “untertänigst.” Just like “Hochwohlgeboren” and “gnädige Frau Gemahlin! another example of Clemens’s mock-deferential tone.

Also on a Monday evening, Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto.

“I am sending you a pound of plasmon powder—& Prof. Virchow’s Report to the German Government on it. In it you will find how to use the powder. And you will see its effect upon his wife’s indigestion.”

Sam gave directions for Mrs. Chatto to use the plasmon powder to prevent constipation; he took “it in cold milk—all lumpy—not half dissolved. It has completely cured my ancient curse of indigestion” [MTP].

Sam’s letter to Mr. Hogue, cataloged by the MTP as ca. 1900 has been judged as 1899; see entry.

Three correspondence cards and one postal card exist undated for this year to James M. Tuohy, London correspondent for the N.Y. World. Source: “…mainly about Clemens’ travel plans. He sends thanks for a world almanac; asks his correspondent to drop by and talk over an ‘objection’; and write of a case involving ‘Mr. Merrill’: ‘But you know, the explanation in writing or otherwise, isn’t due from me to the other side, but from the other side to me…” [MTP: Charles Hamilton catalogs, 8 Oct. 1964, No. 5, Item 39]. Note: Frank Thayer Merrill (b.1848) was an illustrator who did work on the P&P volume in the Uniform Edition; he may be the man referenced.

In London Sam wrote an aphorism to an unidentified person: “We ought never to do wrong when any one is looking. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / London, Jan. 1900” [MTP].

Sam wrote the manuscript, “Scraps from my Autobiography. From Chapter IX” in London in 1900. The piece started in 1849, when Sam was 14 in Hannibal. The new “authoritative” edition of Autobiography of Mark Twain offers this account: “He later asked his daughter Jean to type it, probably in 1902, and then lightly revised her typescript. … Paine misdated the manuscript 1898 and published it as “Playing ‘Bear’—Herrings—Jim Wolf and the Cats,” censoring it in his usual manner (MTA 1:125-43)” [AMT 1: 155]. Note: see source for examples of Paine’s changes.

Sometime in 1900 Sam wrote “The Private History of a Manuscript That Came to Grief,” an account of the editing done on his Introduction for T. Douglas Murray’s English translation of Joan of Arc’s trial records (Jeanne d’Arc, Maid of Orleans, Deliverer of France, etc.). Paine included the first and last sections of “The Private History” (MTA 1: 175-89), Which omitted the middle section, the “Edited Introduction” that Sam received back from Murray. It is published for the first time in 2010 [AMT 1:164]. Note: on Aug. 25, 1899 Sam wrote Murray that he wrote the Introduction “a week or ten days ago.” Sam sent the MS with corrections on Jan. 31, 1900, and corresponded with Murray on May 2, 1900. The unsent letter criticizing Murray’s editing of his Introduction was dated Aug. 27, 1900.

James B. Pond’s book, Eccentricities of Genius was published by the G.W. Dillingham Co. and included a section about Mark Twain, p.197-233. Tenney: “(preceded by portrait), and passim. Extensive account of MT on lecture tours, but very little on his actual lecturing” [33]. Note: see Gribben 553.

Augustus J.C. Hare’s The Story of My Life (6 vols. London 1900), p.281-3 includes a brief account of Mark Twain as “a wiry, thin old man, with abundant grey hair, like an Italian zazzara.” Tenney: “Also recounts MT’s stories about his man George [Griffin], who bet on revivals, later on horse races, and said he had fifteen hundred dollars between his mattresses” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide First Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 332].

Thomas Edgar Pemberton’s book Bret Harte: A Treatise and a Tribute (London 1900). Tenney: “On 48-52, briefly and vaguely describes MT’s early association with Harte on The Golden Era. The source is given as Harte himself, without details” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) p.8].

Walter C. Bronson’s textbook, A Short History of American Literature, Designed Primarily for Use in Schools and Colleges p.286-7, contained a section on Mark Twain. Tenney: “Calls MT ‘the greatest writer of the West,’ noting both his vigor in books dealing with the Mississippi, and in another group of ‘his better works…an historical imagination and a finish of manner hardly to be expected in the author of the rougher books….Time will winnow much chaff from his pages, but much of great merit will remain’” [32].

Wilfred R. Hollister and Harry Norman’s book, Five Famous Missourians (Kansas City). Tenney: “On MT, pp. 7-85; basically biographical. ‘The data relating to the subjects has been furnished the authors almost entirely by members of the families and personal friends of the subjects, and has been authenticated by reference to them, in order that apocryphal matter might not be used’ (Preface, p.3) . Contains anecdotes of MT’s early years, some of which may be useful; refers to Pamela Clemens as ‘Parmelia’ (pp. 13, 29)” [33].

Matthew Irving Lans wrote “Biographical Sketch” in English As She Is Taught, by Mark Twain (Boston: Mutual Book Co.; p iii-v). Tenney: “A brief review of the salient events in MT’s life as they were generally known at the time” [33].

Booker T. Washington, in his 1900 book Up from Slavery: An Autobiography reported on p. 284 of his first meeting Mark Twain at a reception given by Ambassador Choate in 1899 [Tenney 33]. This would have been the July 4, 1899 celebration. See entry.

Kate Field: A Record, by Lilian Whiting contains Sam’s letter to Kate Field of Mar. 8, 1886, in which he agrees with Field about the Mormon religion [Tenney 33]. See entry, Vol. II.

1900 ca. – About this year Ugo Catani painted a 10.6 x 8.1 cm. portrait of Mark Twain on what appears to be ivory, with a copper frame with loop for hanging [Bancroft Library pictorial online]. Note: See Sept. 15, 1903 and Oct. 1903 for early publications of the portrait.

1900-1902 – Sam wrote several pieces which have been dated to this period: “A Passage from a Lecture,” “Passage from ‘Glances at History’ (suppressed.)” and “Passage from ‘Outlines of History’ (suppressed.)”

[Fables of Man 380- 402]. Note: these essays deal with “the duty of righteous dissent,” suppressed history, and the question, “Will this wonderful civilization of today perish?”

1900-1903 – Tuckey puts Sam’s piece “The Synod of Praise” to this period, and writes the “piece is more nearly a set of working notes than a finished composition. The idea that God was not moral was to be proved by his persecutions of the creatures he had made to suffer without any hope of future reward…”

[Fables of Man 141-3].



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.