• Sandwich Islands Tours

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/13/2021 - 00:20

    October 11 - December 10 - Lecture Tour in California and Nevada. "Sandwich Islands" 17 engagements. Partially managed by Denis McCarthy.

    I launched out as a lecturer, now, with great boldness. I had the field all to myself, for public lectures were almost an unknown commodity in the Pacific market. They are not so rare, now, I suppose. I took an old personal friend along to play agent for me, and for two or three weeks we roamed through Nevada and California and had a very cheerful time of it. 

  • August 13, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 13 Monday – At 3 PM, the Smyrniote and the Comet arrived at San Francisco together. The
    trip had taken 25 days, due to long periods of calm weather [Sanborn 294]. From Walter Frear:
    One of the most interesting features of the return voyage was the race between the clipper barks
    Smyrniote (1426 tons, Capt. Lovett), on which Mark Twain sailed, and the Comet (1836 tons), in
    command of the noted Commodore John Paty, who had sailed the course upwards of one hundred

  • August 14, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 14 Tuesday – Based on his letter of the previous day, Sam left for Sacramento to present his
    bill to the Union Publishers. They paid him and gave him another assignment to report on the State
    Fair, which ran from Sept. 10 to 15.

  • August 14-19, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 14–19 Sunday – In his letter completed Aug. 20 to his mother, Sam wrote that he’d been to
    Sacramento to square accounts [MTL 1: 353]. The exact date of his return took place within this five-
    day period. He was paid a bonus for his scoop of the Hornet disaster [MTL 1: 355n6]. Sam came down from Sacramento on the steamboat Capital, where he found a pamphlet issued by an insurance
    company about various insurable risks. This gave Sam an idea for an article for the Enterprise, “How,

  • August 18, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    August 18 Saturday – Sam’s eighteenth letter to the Union dated “HONOLULU, JULY, 1866: AT
    SEA AGAIN”:
    Bound for Hawaii, to visit the great volcano and behold the other notable things which distinguish this
    island above the remainder of the group, we sailed from Honolulu on a certain Saturday afternoon, in
    the good schooner Boomerang.
    The Boomerang was about as long as two street cars, and about as wide as one. She was so small
    (though she was larger than the majority of the inter-island coasters) that when I stood on her deck I

  • August 20, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 20 Monday – Sam, in San Francisco, completed the multi-dated letter to his mother, and
    sister Pamela he began on July 30.
    “I have been up to Sacramento & squared accounts with the Union. They paid me a great deal more
    than they promised me. I suppose that means that I gave satisfaction, but they did not say
    so….Orion & Mollie are here. They leave for Santa Cruz tomorrow” [MTL 1: 353].

  • August 24, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 24 Friday – Sam’s nineteenth letter to the Union dated “KONA, JULY, 1866: STILL IN
    KONA - CONCERNING MATTERS AND THINGS”:
    At one farmhouse we got some large peaches of excellent flavor while on our horseback ride through
    Kona. This fruit, as a general thing, does not do well in the Sandwich Islands. It takes a sort of almond
    shape, and is small and bitter. It needs frost, they say, and perhaps it does; if this be so, it will have a

  • August 25, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    August 25 Saturday – Sam was probably staying at the Occidental Hotel [MTL 1: 359n2; Sanborn
    295]. Sam received and answered a letter from his old Hannibal and pilot friend, Will Bowen.
    You write me of the boats, thinking I may yet feel an interest in the old business. You bet your life I
    do. It is about the only thing I do feel any interest in & yet I can hear least about it. If I were two years
    younger, I would come back & learn the river over again. But it is too late now. I am too lazy for 14-

  • August 30, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    August 30 Thursday – Sam’s twentieth letter to the Union from Kealakekua Bay:
    GREAT BRITAIN’S QUEER MONUMENT TO CAPTAIN COOK
    When I digressed from my personal narrative to write about Cook’s death I left myself, solitary,
    hungry and dreary, smoking in the little warehouse at Kealakekua Bay. Brown was out somewhere
    gathering up a fresh lot of specimens, having already discarded those he dug out of the old lava flow
    during the afternoon. I soon went to look for him. He had returned to the great slab of lava upon which

  • September 5, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    September 5 Wednesday – Sam’s opinion of photographs ran in the Daily Hawaiian Herald:
    No photograph ever was good, yet, of anybody – hunger and thirst and utter wretchedness overtake the
    outlaw who invented it! It transforms into desperadoes the meekest of men; depicts sinless innocence
    upon the pictured faces of ruffians; gives the wise man the stupid leer of a fool, and a fool an
    expression of more than earthly wisdom. If a man tries to look serious when he sits for his picture the

  • September 6, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    September 6 Thursday – Sam’s 21 st letter to the Union dated “KEALAKEKUA BAY, JULY, 1866
    A FUNNY SCRAP OF HISTORY” ran:
    (Sam arrived back in Honolulu on June 18, so this was one of several post-dated letters)
    In my last I spoke of the old cocoanut stump, all covered with copper plates bearing inscriptions
    commemorating the visits of various British naval commanders to Captain Cook’s death-place at
    Kealakekua Bay. The most magniloquent of these is that left by “the Right Hon. Lord George Paulet,

  • September 22, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    September 22 Saturday – Sam’s 22 nd letter to the Union dated “KEALAKEKUA BAY, JULY, 1866
    THE ROMANTIC GOD LONO” ran: (Sam arrived back in Honolulu on June 18):
    I have been writing a good deal, of late, about the great god Lono and Captain Cook’s personation of
    him. Now, while I am here in Lono’s home, upon ground which his terrible feet have trodden in
    remote ages—unless these natives lie, and they would hardly do that, I suppose—I might as well tell
    who he was.

  • September 26, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    September 26 Wednesday – Sam’s 23 rd letter to the Union “HONOLULU, SEPTEMBER 10 1866
    THE HIGH CHIEF OF SUGARDOM”: This letter was dated Sept. 10, even though Sam left the
    islands on July 19. It describes the “principal labor used on plantations…that of Kanaka men and
    women—six dollars to eight dollars a month and find them, or eight to ten dollars and let them find
    themselves” [Day 270].

  • September 29, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    September 29 Saturday – Sam’s article, “Origin of Illustrious Men,” ran in the Californian:
    You have done fair enough about Franklin and Shakespeare, and several parties not so well known—
    parties some of us never heard of, in fact—but you have shirked the fellows named below. Why this
    mean partiality?
    JOHN SMITH was the son of his father. He formerly resided in New York and other places, but he has
    moved to San Francisco, now.
    WM. SMITH was the son of his mother. This party’s grandmother is deceased. She was a brick.

  • Late September, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    September, mid to late – Although they’d traveled in the same regions, from the Mediterranean to
    the Mississippi to Washoe mining camps, there is no record before this month that Sam and J. Ross
    Browne ever met. Browne was a humorist in the Western vein of John Phoenix, Bret Harte, and
    Mark Twain. He was also an excellent travel writer, currently collecting mining statistics in the West
    for the U.S. Treasury Department. He was living with his family in Oakland. Note: some scholars have

  • October 2, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    October 2 Tuesday – Sam’s first stage appearance took place at the Academy of Music on Pine
    Street in San Francisco, a new hall owned by Tom Maguire, who suggested Sam try to make his
    fortune by entering the lecture field and offering his experiences in the Sandwich Islands. He’d
    offered the hall to Sam at half price, 50 dollars, in exchange for half the profits. Sam agreed and spent
    150 dollars on advertising. He had posters made up announcing the Honolulu Correspondent for the

  • October 3, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    October 3 Wednesday – Newspaper reviews to Sam’s talk were very positive, as witnessed by this
    excerpt from the San Francisco Evening-Bulletin of Oct. 3:
    The Academy of Music was stuffed . . . to repletion. . . . It is perhaps fortunate that the King of Hawaii
    did not arrive in time to attend, for unless he had gone early he would have been turned away, as many
    others were who could not gain admittance.
    The appearance of the lecturer was the signal for applause and from the time he commenced until he

  • October 6, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    October 6 Saturday – Sam’s article, MARK TWAIN ON ETIQUETTE, was reprinted in the Daily
    Hawaiian Herald. (See May 22 entry for excerpt).

  • October 11 to November 27, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    October 11 to November 27 Tuesday – Sam and Denis McCarthy, former part-owner of the
    Territorial Enterprise, (who Sam now labeled “The Orphan,” quickly organized a lecture tour in
    California and Nevada. (Lorch gives strong reasoning that the subsequent lecture tour was most likely
    organized well before this Oct. 2 debut [35-6]). The lecture, titled “Sandwich Islands” made sixteen
    engagements between these dates at locations where Sam was well known [Sanborn 298-9]. Dates in

  • October 15, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    October 15 Monday – Sam and Denis McCarthy traveled by riverboat to Marysville,
    California (named for Mary Murphy, a survivor of the Donner Party). There, Sam gave the lecture
    “Sandwich Islands” at Maguire’s New Theatre [Sanborn 299].

  • October 17, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 22:08

    October 17 Wednesday – Sam’s article dated “Sept. 24, San Francisco, An Epistle from Mark Twain
    THE QUEEN’S ARRIVAL / ALPHABET WARREN / MISC.” ran in the Daily Hawaiian
    Herald [Schmidt; Camfield bibliog.].

  • October 20, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    October 20 Saturday – Sam and McCarthy traveled by stage through gold boomtowns, Timbuctoo,
    Smartsville, and Rough and Ready (in modern days nearly empty). Sam gave the lecture “Sandwich Islands” in Hamilton Hall, Grass Valley, California. The Grass Valley Daily Union reported:
    Crowds are flocking into Hamilton Hall, as we write, to hear Mark Twain’s lecture….But a moment
    ago we saw the lecturer preparing himself for a clear voice with a copious dose of gin and gam, after

  • October 23, 1866

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:56

    October 23 Tuesday – Sam gave the lecture “Sandwich Islands,” in the Nevada Theatre in Nevada
    City, California, a short distance from Grass Valley. Sam stayed at the National Exchange Hotel.
    The local newspaper Transcript wrote: “Mark Twain” as a lecturer is far superior to “Artemus Ward” or any of that class….We bespeak for
    him large audiences wherever he goes [Sanborn 300].