• April 15, 1874 Wednesday

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    April 15 Wednesday  Sam and Livy left Hartford for Elmira, stopping in New York where they stayed two nights at the new Windsor Hotel. There they met Mary Mason Fairbanks and her son Charley [MTL 6: 109n2].

    An inch of rain fell on New York City [NOAA.gov].

  • April 17, 1874 Friday

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    April 17 Friday  Sam and Livy continued on to Mrs. Langdon’s in Elmira, where they stayed until May 5 and then moved to Quarry Farm with Susan and Theodore Crane [MTL 6: 47n1].

  • April 18, 1874 Saturday

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    April 18 Saturday  Sam replied from Elmira to David Gray of the Buffalo Courier. Sam extended an invitation for the Grays to visit them at Quarry Farm in a few weeks. Sam mentioned the “Mark Twain dinner” joke, and that he’d “swallowed the joke without any difficulty” [MTL 6: 108].

  • April 23, 1874 Thursday

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    April 23 Thursday  Sam wrote from Elmira to Orion. Letters flew back and forth (many lost) about Orion and Mollie buying a farm in Keokuk, Mollie’s hometown. For Orion it would be “a sort of gloomy exile,” but he knew “Mollie would be happy there” [MTL 6: 110].

  • April 24, 1874 Friday

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    April 24 Friday – Sam wrote from Elmira to the editor of the Dubuque (Iowa) Herald about an imposter posing as “Charles Clemmens, agent for Mark Twain,” and a brother who had been selling tickets to non-existent lectures by Mark Twain.

    “I hope that the full rigor of the law will be meted out to this small villain. He professes to be my brother. If he is, it is a pity he does not know how to spell the family name” [MTL 6: 116].

  • April 25, 1874 Saturday

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    April 25 Saturday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Edgar “Ned” Wakeman. Sam repeated that he could not take on Wakeman’s book and would not put his name to a book that someone else had written, but he did refer Wakeman to Elisha Bliss, warning that Eastern publishers rarely took on a book from an unknown man, and when they did the royalties were low [MTL 6: 119].

    Mollie Clemens wrote:

    Dear Sam

  • April 27, 1874 Monday

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    April 27 Monday – Sam wrote from Quarry Farm, Elmira to Dr. John Brown that the family was well, and they were in Elmira to spend the summer, though a snowstorm hit day before. Elmira grew hot in the summer, Sam wrote, so they moved to “the top of a hill 6 or 700 feet high, about 2 or 3 miles from here—it never gets hot up there” [MTL 6: 121].

    Orion Clemens wrote again to Sam.

  • May 1874

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    May, early  Joe Goodman, then living in San Francisco, attended a play, an adaptation of The Gilded Age, by Gilbert B. Densmore (sometimes misidentified as G.S. Densmore). Joe sent Sam a clipping on the production [Walker, Phillip 185].

  • May 1, 1874 Friday

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    May 1 Friday – Sam wrote from Elmira to William A. Seaver, a writer for Harper’s (he wrote the “Editor’s Drawer” for the monthly magazine). Sam sent a page from a sketch published without authorization by J.B. Brown of the Galena (Illinois) Gazette.

  • May 2, 1874 Saturday

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    May 2 Saturday – Bill paid to Hartford Ice Company 5,750lbs. $23 [MTP]. Judging from earlier bills, the Clemens family went through this amount of ice every six months or so.

    An $5,000 insurance policy was written to the Atlas Ins. Co., Hartford, for a term of one month, on the “brick dwelling in process of erection on Farmington Ave.” [MTP].

  • May 4, 1874 Monday

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    May 4 Monday – In Elmira, Sam took Livy to see the stage play of “Rip Van Winkle.” This was Dion Boucicault’s play starring the comic actor Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905) put on at the Elmira Opera House [MTL 6: 127, 129n3].

  • May 5, 1874 Tuesday 

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    May 5 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Dudley WarnerJoe Goodman had sent an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about Gilbert B. Densmore, critic and editor of the Golden Era, producing an unauthorized play from The Gilded Age. Densmore left out all of Warner’s characters and sections of the work, and wrote the play as a comedy around Colonel Sellers.

  • May 6–29, 1874 Friday

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    May 629 Friday – At some time during this period, Sam wrote from Elmira to Jerome B. Stillson, editor of the New York World, enclosing a column from the Hartford Courant. The Courant article noted the revival of the “famous Fisher claims,” whereby a family had continually bilked the U.S.

  • May 7, 1874 Thursday

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    May 7 Thursday  Sam wrote to the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth R. Spofford, enclosing the $1 copyright fee and design cover for Mark Twain’s Sketches. No. One [MTL 6: 135].

  • May 8, 1874 Friday

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    May 8 Friday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles E. Perkins. The language in part of the letter suggests that Sam was working on “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven,” probably inspired by his recent letters with Ned Wakeman. Sam began the story in 1868 and worked on it intermittently until its publication in Harper’s and in book form in 1907.

  • May 10, 1874 Sunday

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    May 10 Sunday  Sam wrote from Elmira to his mother, Jane Lampton Clemens. Sam confided the dilemma of helping Orion and Mollie rent a chicken farm in Keokuk while at the same time giving them:

    “…a lot of advice which none but children ought to need, but which THEY richly need & which will make Mollie rip & tear, no doubt.”

  • May 11, 1874 Monday 

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    May 11 Monday – Benjamin P. Shillaber wrote to Sam: “There was a conundrum among politicians—After Grant, what? I am in a position where I must adopt something similar relative to publishing my book—After publishing, what?” He sought Sam’s advice about a publisher, since Shillaber owned the plates [MTP].

  • May 1874, mid

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    May, mid – Sam wrote to the matinee idol actor, Lawrence Barrett (1838-1891), offering him the role of Colonel Mulberry Sellers in his Gilded Age play. He also solicited Barrett’s opinion of actors Frank Mayo and John T. Raymond (John O’Brien 1836-1887), who had appeared in Densmore’s San Francisco version [MTL 6: 148]. Raymond eventually starred in Sam’s play.

  • May 16, 1874 Saturday

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    May 16 Saturday – Sam purchased Francois Pierre Guizot’s (1787-1874) A Popular History of France from Estes & Lauriat of Boston. The work was sent in segments and totaled $10 [Gribben 282].

  • May 18, 1874 Monday

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    May 18 Monday  Sam boarded a train for New York. He arrived at 9 PM and stayed one night at the Astor House. He may have wanted to meet with the matinee idol Lawrence Barrett, who checked into the hotel the day before. John T. Raymond was also in New York, staying at the New York Hotel close by the Astor.

  • May 20, 1874 Wednesday

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    May 20 Wednesday  Sam wrote from Elmira to William A. Seaver, editor of Harper’s. Sam apologized for not stopping by on his one-day foray to New York, but would run through New York on the way to Hartford “by & by” and “then I propose to assemble where there be refreshments, & tackle you” [MTL 6: 149-50].