From Greece to Constantinople:
August 16 Friday – From Sam’s notebook:
“TROY. We are now (11AM., right abreast) the Plains of Troy & a little rock 200 yds long with a light
on it (Asia Minor) was the anchorage of the Greek vessels….Diogenes going about with his lantern in
the moonlight, did not tackle our party” [MTNJ 1: 322-3].
August 17 Saturday – QC arrived at Constantinople at dawn.
That three-legged woman lay on the bridge, with her stock in trade so disposed as to command the
most striking effect—one natural leg, and two long, slender, twisted ones with feet on them like
somebody else’s fore-arm. Then there was a man further along who had no eyes, and whose face was
the color of a fly-blown beefsteak, and wrinkled and twisted like a lava-flow—and verily so tumbled
and distorted were his features that no man could tell the wart that served him for a nose from his
August 18 Sunday – Alta California printed Sam’s article “HARRY HILL’S,” which Sam had dated
June 6 [Schmidt]. Camfield lists this as “Letter from Mark Twain” No. 26 [bibliog.].
August 19 Monday – QC departed Constantinople.
August 20 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:
New Palace on the Asiatic side of the beautiful Bosphorus (3 m. wide,) is built on spot where
Constantine erected gold cross to commemorate his conversion. When Turks took the place & began
to build, many thought he would declare himself Christian when finished, & waited to baptize their
Children then. They are waiting yet.
Dan & Jack Van Nostrand have remained behind in Constantinople [MTNJ 1: 402].
Sam’s unsigned article, “The Holy Land Excursionists” dated Aug. 1, ran in the New York
August 29 Thursday – From Sam’s notebook:
“Passed through the beautiful Bosphorus just after daylight & anchored away up in the Golden Horn
nearly to the lower bridge. Been on shore & found Dan [Slote], & Foster, Jack Van Nostrand & Col.
Haldeman” [MTNJ 1: 411].
August 30 Friday – QC arrived back at Constantinople at dawn.
August 31 Saturday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Three” dated
July 1 at “Tangier, Africa” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 25-30].
September 1 Sunday – Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Four” dated
July 1 at “Tangier, Africa” ran in the Alta California [McKeithan 30-36].
September 1–2 Monday – Sam wrote from Constantinople to his mother and family, listing all the
letters he had sent to the Alta. He had not seen these in print so asked his mother if they had appeared.
He complains that his room mate, Dan Slote,
“…had got the stateroom pretty full of rubbish at last, but a while ago his dragoman arrived with a
bran new, ghastly tomb-stone of the Oriental pattern, with his name handsomely carved & gilded on it
in Turkish characters. That fellow will buy a Circassian slave, next” [MTL 2: 89].
September 2 Monday – Sam inscribed a Bible he took on the trip: “Saml. L. Clemens /
Constantinople, / Sept. 2, 1867. / Please return this book to stateroom No. 10 in case you happen to
borrow it” [Gribben 66].
September 3 Tuesday – QC passengers, including Sam, visited Scutari, a suburb of Constantinople,
during the day; QC departed Constantinople at 10 PM.
WE returned to Constantinople, and after a day or two spent in exhausting marches about the city and
voyages up the Golden Horn in caiques, we steamed away again. We passed through the Sea of
Marmora and the Dardanelles, and steered for a new land—a new one to us, at least—Asia. We had as
yet only acquired a bowing acquaintance with it, through pleasure excursions to Scutari and the
September 5 Thursday – QC arrived at Smyrna at 10AM.
This seaport of Smyrna, our first notable acquaintance in Asia, is a closely packed city of one hundred
and thirty thousand inhabitants, and, like Constantinople, it has no outskirts. It is as closely packed at
its outer edges as it is in the centre, and then the habitations leave suddenly off and the plain beyond
seems houseless. It is just like any other Oriental city. That is to say, its Moslem houses are heavy and
September 6 Friday – QC passengers, including Sam, visited Ephesus in the day. QC departed Smyrna at 11 PM.
September 7 Saturday – Skandera gives this as the date Sam first saw the miniature of Olivia Langdon. Note: She cites Dewey Ganzel, 1968, who cites Sam’s reminiscences, which did not include a date. Still, this may indeed be the very date.
September 8 Sunday – From Sam’s notebook: “Isle of Samos St. Paul. Isle of Patmos St John’s Revelations. Isle of Rhodes, where the Colossus stood. St. Paul. Isle of Cyprus—Be at Beirut Sept. 10” [MTNJ 1: 416].