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June–July – In a few weeks Sam and Steve would move from the more expensive Occidental to cheaper rooms, but they continued to take meals at the Occidental, where the food was great and the company stimulating. There Sam met and enjoyed Martha Hunter Hitchcock, wife of Dr. Charles McPhail Hitchcock (1813?-1885), medical director for the Army of the Pacific. Martha was a regular contributor to the Alta California and active in local literary circles. She introduced Sam to her literary circle, which included: Ina Coolbrith (1841-1928), Bret (Francis) Harte (1836-1902), Ambrose G. Bierce (1842-1914?), Fitz Hugh Ludlow (1836-1870), Joe Lawrence (editor of The Golden Era), Charles H. Webb (1834-1905; founder of The Californian), and Charles Warren Stoddard (1843-1909), young friend of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). Stoddard wrote poetry for the Era under the name Pip Pepperwood [Rasmussen 444]. In London years later, Sam would hire Stoddard because he admired his character and his piano playing [Sanborn 243-4].

Dr. & Mrs. Hitchcock had an 18-year-old daughter, Lillie (Eliza Wychie Hitchcock 1843-1929), a cross-dressing, cigar smoking, poker-playing girl who, on a dare, rode a cowcatcher on the Napa railroad. Sam was fascinated by Lillie, and spent many hours with her.

“She was a brilliant talker…It always seemed funny to me that she & I could be friends, but we were —I suppose because under all her wild & repulsive foolery, that warm heart of her would show.”

Note: Sam would later sketch a character, “Hellfire” after Lillie in an unfinished work, and also the character of Shirley Tempest in the 1877 play of Ah Sin, in collaboration with Bret Harte [Sanborn 245].

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.