• August 13, 1869 Friday

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    August 13 Friday  Sam received a letter from John Slee, agent for the Anthracite Coal Association in Buffalo, informing him that Jervis Langdon’s check was on the way, and that Slee would add another check totaling $12,500. The papers might be exercised that day [MTL 3: 294n2]. Note: Jervis Langdon’s check for $12,500 plus Twain’s $2,500 went toward the down payment with Langdon guaranteeing the balance.

  • August 14, 1869 Saturday 

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    August 14 Saturday  At the law offices of Bowen & Rogers, 28 Erie Street, papers were signed on the purchase of Sam’s one-third interest in the Buffalo Express, 14 East Swan Street [Reigstad 37]. Note: see pictures of the Express building in Reigstad 40-41.

  • August 15, 1869 Sunday 

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    August 15 Sunday – Sam officially became a writing editor of the Express, offering sketches and editorials. This began a period of eighteen months in Buffalo that marked a transition from sometime journalist to celebrated author.

    Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss, and Whitelaw Reid about his new book:

  • August 16, 1869 Monday 

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    August 16 Monday – Lydia Thompson’s Blonde Burlesque Troupe opened this evening at the Academy of Music in Buffalo. “A standing-room-only throng at the opera house waited three hours for the featured sparring exhibition between Ned ‘The Irish Giant’ O’Baldwin and Mike McCoole to finally begin” [Reigstad 35]. Did Clemens attend this performance of the Blondes? Perhaps. He must have seen it sometime because he published a story on the act in the Express on Feb. 28, 1870.

  • August 19, 1869 Thursday

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    August 19 Thursday  “Inspired Humor,” attributed to Sam, ran in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 9].

    From the Buffalo Express “People and Things Columns” by Mark Twain:

    ·       One of those venerable parties, a pre-Adamite man, has been dug up from a depth of ninety-eight feet, in Alabama. He was of prodigious stature, and is supposed by savans to have existed twelve thousand years ago. Life was entirely extinct when they got him out.

  • August 20, 1869 Friday

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    August 20 Friday  Sam, in Buffalo, began a letter at nearly 2 AM to his sister Pamela. He’d sent his luggage to St. Louis on June 24, but never made the trip, so apologized. With his wedding planned for Christmastime or New Year’s, Sam felt for his mother, and sister to travel across the country would be “equivalent to murder & arson & everything else,” not to mention a cost of some $500.

  • August 21, 1869 Saturday

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    August 21 Saturday – Sam’s first signed sketch, “A Day at Niagara,” appeared in the Buffalo Express. Also an introductory piece he titled, “Salutatory”:

    I shall always confine myself to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.

    I shall not write any poetry, unless I conceive a spite against the subscribers.

    I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political editor who is already excellent, and only needs to serve a term in the penitentiary to be perfect [McCullough 5].

  • August 23, 1869 Monday 

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    August 23 Monday – “Uncriminal Victims,” attributed to Sam, ran in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 18].

    From the Buffalo Express “People and Things Columns” by Mark Twain:

    ·       Children in Iowa bite rattlesnakes in order to prevent toothache. Probably the cure would be more permanent if the rattlesnakes bit the children.

  • August 24, 1869 Tuesday

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    August 24 Tuesday – “The Byron Scandal,” attributed to Sam, ran in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 19].

    From the Buffalo Express “People and Things Columns” by Mark Twain:

    ·       The Blondes will expose themselves in Elmira to-night.

    ·       Peach kernels contain hydrocyanic (or prussic) acid, and are dangerous nutriment. Fifteen hundred of them taken on an empty stomach will kill a man.

  • August 25, 1869 Wednesday 

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    August 25 Wednesday  Sam wrote from Buffalo to Charles Warren Stoddard, poet and contributor to the San Francisco Overland Monthly. Stoddard became Sam’s personal secretary/companion in London in 1872.

    Dear Charlie: / Thank you heartily for all your good wishes—& you must accept of mine in return. I have written Bret that we must have the “Overland”—see that he sends it, will you?

  • August 26, 1869 Thursday 

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    August 26 Thursday – Sam finished a letter of Aug. 25 from Buffalo to Livy of his plans to be home in Elmira about 8 PM Friday. He enclosed notices of the Innocents Abroad [MTL 3: 322-3].

    “Only a Nigger,” attributed to Sam, ran in the Buffalo Express [McCullough 22].

  • August 27, 1869 Friday

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    August 27 Friday  Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune published the first review of Innocents by a metropolitan daily, a positive and even-handed appraisal [MTL 3: 343n1; Powers, MT A Life 275]. Any good word from the Tribune was momentous and important to Sam.

  • September 1869

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    September – Sam wrote an untitled burlesque letter from Lord Byron to Mark Twain, which was published posthumously [Camfield, bibliog.]. The impetus for the letter was no doubt Harriet Beecher Stowe’s bombshell article in the Atlantic, “The True Story of Lady Byron’s Life,” which exposed an affair by Lord Byron with his half sister, Augusta Leigh. Significantly, the article ran during James T. Fields’ (1817-1881) European vacation, with Howells in charge. This was a clear blunder, one of the few by Howells, and probably an attempt to placate Stowe.

  • September 1, 1869 Wednesday 

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    September 1 Wednesday  Sam’s article “The Prodigal Son Returns” appeared in the Express [McCullough 28]. Sam wrote from Buffalo to Alphonso Miner Griswold (1834-1891), who wrote under the pen name, “Fat Contributor,” of his desire to get out of all lectures for this season. Griswold was reviewed as a “colorless copy of Mark Twain” [MTL 3: 324]. Sam also wrote to Livy.

  • September 2, 1869 Thursday

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    September 2 Thursday  Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss about securing agents in the Buffalo area for sales of Innocents Abroad. All sales were by subscription, with traveling agents advertising and soliciting the book [MTL 3: 327]. Sam sent a note of acknowledgement to Stephen C.

  • September 3, 1869 Friday 

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    September 3 Friday  Sam wrote from Buffalo to Elisha Bliss about the New York Herald’s favorable notice for his book. The review argued that it was not too irreverent, a criticism some reviewers made [MTL 3: 329].

    Sam also wrote to Henry Crane, who had kept requesting Sam to lecture, and to Livy.

  • September 4, 1869 Saturday

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    September 4 Saturday  Sam’s story of comic mayhem, “Journalism in Tennessee,” was printed in the Express. It was about Mark Twain taking a journalism job in Tennessee as associate editor of the Morning Glory and Johnson County War-Whoop and being shot at so much he decided frontier journalism wasn’t for him [Wilson 37]. A second article by the same name, “The Byron Scandal,” and a follow up article, “The Byron Question” are attributed to Sam [McCullough 28-30].

  • September 6, 1869 Monday

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    September 6 Monday  Sam wrote from Buffalo (“In Bed Monday Night”) to Livy about a flap over poetry/song with George W. Elliott, who Sam referred to as the “Dead Canary.”

    “[The] Cincinnati, Toledo & other western papers speak as highly of the book as do the New York & Philadelphia papers” [MTL 3: 335-7].

  • September 7, 1869 Tuesday

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    September 7 Tuesday – Another article attributed to Sam ran in the Express: “More Byron Scandal.”

    “The aching desire that some people have for notoriety, to be talked about, even to be cursed rather than not to be noticed at all, can be the only possible excuse that I can imagine for this woman to lug into view family secrets in which the world can find nothing but the nastiest interest” [McCullough 37].

  • September 8, 1869 Wednesday 

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    September 8 Wednesday  Sam wrote from Buffalo to Henry M. Crane about lecturing:

    “No, your ‘persistence’ don’t annoy me a bit—it is complimentary to me. I am only going to lecture till the middle of January, anyhow.”

    Sam noted that his wedding had been postponed until the first week in February, due to lecture dates he was unable to cancel. Sam’s intention at this point was to “get out of the lecture-field forever” [MTL 3: 346-7].