Submitted by scott on

July 26 Friday  Jean Clemens’ 21st birthday.

In Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam replied to the July 24 of G.&C. Merriam Co., .the dictionary people, discussing the origin of two words associated with nautical vessels: “stateroom,” which Sam thought was “rosy” and he liked it but had never heard it used “till to-day”; and “Texas” on a steamboat.

The vision of my memory goes back to ’40; & while at that early date it is possibly true that there were passenger packets with no more than 30 staterooms, they certainly were not named for States, but only numbered. And this was sane & right. With 15 State-names on a side, it would have taken a man the rest of the night to find his own, even if sober. Which he wasn’t—in those days. Five men per night would have blundered into the wrong cabins & gotten themselves shot….

I think it very likely indeed that the Texas was but a few years old when Texas was annexed; that it had a cumbrous long name; that some freshwater wit suggested that as it was a recent annex, like Texas, it could be appropriate & an advantage to give it that name… [MTP].

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.