The Quaker City departed Constantinople 19 August, 1867, arriving in Sevastopol 21 August at 5am. It departed at 9 pm the same day, arriving in Odessa 22 August at 4 pm. The ship then departed for Yalta 24 August at 11 am, arriving 25 August at noon. A party from the ship visited Tsar Alexander II on the 26th. On the 28th the ship departed Russia returning to Constantinople.
August 21 Wednesday – QC arrived at Sevastopol at 5 AM and left again at 9 PM.
WE left a dozen passengers in Constantinople, and sailed through the beautiful Bosporus and far up
into the Black Sea. We left them in the clutches of the celebrated Turkish guide, “FAR-AWAY
MOSES,” who will seduce them into buying a ship-load of ottar of roses, splendid Turkish vestments,
and all manner of curious things they can never have any use for. Murray’s invaluable guide-books
August 22 Thursday – QC arrived at Odessa at 4 PM. Sam’s article, continued, dated Aug. 2, “The
Holy Land Excursionists,” ran in the New York Herald [Camfield, bibliog.].
August 23 Friday – From Sam’s notebook:
“Devil of a time getting the officials to let us go ashore. They have got all our passports. Fine town—
broad, well paved streets—fine large houses, substantial, & good architecture—stone—fine stores—
gas—pretty women—fashionably dressed—100,000 inhabitants” [MTNJ 1: 405].
August 24 Saturday – QC departed Odessa at 11AM.
The people of Odessa have warmly recommended us to go and call on the Emperor, as did the
Sebastopolians. They have telegraphed his Majesty, and he has signified his willingness to grant us an
audience. So we are getting up the anchors and preparing to sail to his watering-place. What a
scratching around there will be, now! what a holding of important meetings and appointing of solemn
committees!—and what a furbishing up of claw-hammer coats and white silk neck-ties! As this fearful
August 25 Sunday – QC arrived at Yalta at noon.
Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number One” dated June 19 ran in the Alta
California [McKeithan 3-10]. Note 2nd edition: McKeithan reported Mark Twain’s “Number One”
letter from the Holy Land excursion as Aug. 2 (p. 10), but the newspaper has been examined online
and the correct date is Aug. 25, 1867. Evidently McKeithan dropped the “5”.
August 26 Monday – QC passengers, including Sam, visited Czar Aleksandr II and family.
We had spent the best part of half a day in the home of royalty, and had been as cheerful and
comfortable all the time as we could have been in the ship. I would as soon have thought of being
cheerful in Abraham’s bosom as in the palace of an Emperor. I supposed that Emperors were terrible
people. I thought they never did any thing but wear magnificent crowns and red velvet dressing gowns
August 27 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:
Carpets were spread on the pier & the Governor General & family came on board the ship (we saluted
with 9 guns,) & afterward: [list of dignitaries]. And a large number of army & navy officers & titled &
untitled ladies & gentlemen.
Shampagne blow out [MTNJ 1: 410-11].
Sam’s “Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number Two” dated Gibraltar, June 30 ran in
the Alta California [McKeithan 18-25].
August 28 Wednesday – QC departed Yalta at 8 PM. From Sam’s notebook:
Sailed for Constantinople last night, saluting as we left—& fireworks. That beautiful little devil I
danced with at the ball in that impossible Russian dance, still runs in my head. Ah me!—if I had only
known how to talk Russian! However, she must have known I was saying something with all that
absurd English which she couldn’t understand [MTNJ 1: 411].