Submitted by scott on

May 20 Monday – Sam wrote John Stanton (Corry O’Lanus) again, this time advising him of the canceled New York lecture:
“I am one magazine article & eighteen letters behindhand (18 days to do them in, before sailing,) & so I am obliged to give up the idea of lecturing any more. Confound me if I won’t have a hard time catching up anyhow. I shall stick in the house day & night for 2 weeks & try, though, anyhow” [MTL 2: 45].
Sam also responded in writing to Henry M. Crane (1838-1927) of Rondout (now Kingston, N.Y.), that due to his need to finish the Alta letters, he could not accept Crane’s invitation to lecture there [MTL 2: 47-8].
A third letter this date was to Sam’s mother and family. In that short note, Sam bemoaned his eighteen Alta letters due, refusal of all lecture invitations and the poor sales of his Jumping Frog book, though another 552 copies of the book were bound this day [MTL 2: 48-9; Powers, MT a Life 190].
Sam wrote about his visit to the Bible House in NYC. Printed in the Alta California.
MIXED UP SLIGHTLY.—Here is a little article from the pen of Mark Twain, giving an account of a visit while in New York, to the great Bible House :
“Still on the fifth floor is a huge room with nineteen large Adams’ steam presses, all manned by women (four of them confounded pretty, too,) snatching of Bibles in Dutch, Hebrew, Yam-yam, Cherokee, etc., at a rate that was truly fructifying to contemplate. (I don’t know the meaning of that word, but I see it used somewhere yesterday, and it struck me as being an unusually good word. Any time that I put in a word that doesn’t balance the sentence good, I would be glad if you would take it out and put in that one.) Adjoining was another huge room for drying the sheets (very pretty girls in there, and young,) and pressing them (the sheets, not the girls.) They used hydraulic presses, (three of the prettiest wore curls, and never a sign of a waterfall—the girls I mean), and each of them is able to down with the almost incredible weight of eight hundred tons of solid simonpure pressure (the hydraulics I am referring to, now, of course,) and one has got blue eyes and both the others brown; ah me! I have got this hydraulic business tangled a little, but I can swear that it is no fault of mine. You needn’t go to blame me about it. You have got to pay just the same as if it were as straight as a shingle.

I can’t afford to go in dangerous places, and then my wages docked in the bargain” [Alta California; Note: reprinted in the May 22, 1868 edition of The Oregonian].

Links to Twain's Geography Entries

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.