• Mark Twain Day By Day: 1886

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    Business Takes Over – An Author Without a Publisher – Riches for Mrs. Grant
    Susy is Fourteen, God I’m Old! – More Paige Quicksand
    Steaming across the Great Lakes – Sweltering Keokuk – Wanamaker Woes
    Governor’s Island Sneak-Peek – Stanley Visits, Lectures – More Books by Dead Soldiers

  • January 1886

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    January – Sam began serious work on Connecticut Yankee during the month, reading excerpts to his family in February.

  • January 2, 1886 Saturday

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    January 2 Saturday – Jervis Langdon, Jr. wrote to Sam and Livy, thanking them both for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which he thought “a very beautiful book….The story seems as interesting and funny as the pictures” [MTP].

    William J. Hamersley wrote that they “had better decide pretty soon – whether or not we want to see a type setter charter…” he also wished a happy New Year [MTP].

  • January 3, 1886 Sunday

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    January 3 Sunday – In Hartford Sam sent a short note to Charles Hopkins Clark of the Hartford Courant, and an ally on the “Library of Humor” project, wishing him “Happy New Year’s!” and observing about past communications on the “Library” book:

    You perceive that nothing — in Howells’s opinion — is necessary but a selection from his own humor; then the book will be finished [MTP].

  • January 4, 1886 Monday

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    January 4 Monday – Frank B. Darby, Sam’s Elmira dentist, wrote and sent Sam some artwork. He answered Darby’s letter on Jan. 10Note: Extracts of Darby’s reminiscences of the 1840s to 1895 in Elmira can be found online: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nychenan/raft-rr2.htm and also in some modern reprints of Mildred Cochrane’s A History of the Town of Greene, Chenango County, New York.

  • January 5, 1886 Tuesday 

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    January 5 Tuesday – H. Harris for Star Lecture Course wrote to Sam asking, “Can I say anything to you that will induce you to make an appearance in Phila this coming season under the auspices of ‘The Star Course’”? Harris had an opening on Feb. 28, “just two years since your last appearance here.” He referred to a performance with George W. Cable.

  • January 9, 1886 Saturday

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    January 9 Saturday – The Clemens children were rehearsing for their performance of the P&P play. Sam wanted to see Clara’s part, the Lady Jane Grey, given more lines in her scene with the Pauper, played by Margaret (Daisy) Warner. From Daisy’s diary (with her charming spellings):

  • January 10, 1886 Sunday

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    January 10 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote a short note of thanks to Dr. Frank B. Darby, his dentist in Elmira, for sending an “addition” to his “works of art” on Jan. 4.

    They are pinned up, in the billiard room & their exceeding ister ingenuity fetches out lots of applause [MTP]. Note: see July 2-10, 1884 entry for time spent in Darby’s dentist chair.

  • January 12, 1886 Tuesday

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    January 12 Tuesday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, bemoaning in burlesque the fact that he’d not received the monthly stipend for himself and their Ma for the month:

    Is he too busy? Can it be possible that he has after all let the books go without first receiving the money? If so, we are all on the ragged edge of hell. O, my poor grocer! My unhappy butcher! My sainted landlady! The devil has got us all! Affectionately, [MTP].

  • January 13, 1886 Wednesday

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    January 13 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam responded to a plan sent by Charles Webster, probably on Jan. 9, about paying dividends, notes, and the funds due Mrs. Grant, or 70% of the royalties for Grant’s Memoirs. Sam felt Webster’s plan as he understood it amounted to borrowing to pay dividends; that it would be best to pay off the notes first and reserve 30% of what was left in cash, paying the balance to Mrs. Grant [MTP].

  • January 14, 1886 Thursday

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    January 14 Thursday – In Hartford Sam wrote a short note to Charles Webster, acknowledging receipt of $480 from the Slote Co. and $646.68 from American Publishing Co. He PS’d that Webster had not sent the monthly checks to Keokuk for his mother and brother.

  • January 15, 1886 Friday

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    January 15 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to James B. Pond reminding, “Chamberlaine’s letter distinctly begged me to implore you to give him a date for Cable.” Sam didn’t have to fill in for Cable should he be unable to attend, and wouldn’t go to Concord, Mass. for the reading “in any circumstances.” Note: Mr. & Mrs. Augustus P. Chamberlaine were friends of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  • January 16, 1886 Saturday

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    January 16 Saturday – Howells ended his visit this day or the next, and wrote thanks on Jan. 18 from Auburndale, Mass. [MTHL 2: 550].

    Worden & Co., Wall Street brokers, wrote acknowledging Sam’s return of a $50 check to C. Depew, for a dividend to be shared [MTP]. NoteChauncey Depew.

  • January 17, 1886 Sunday

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    January 17 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to George Henry Himes (1844-1940), about old Hannibal fellow printers Urban E. Hicks, Thomas P. (Pet) McMurray, and Wales R. McCormick. He thanked Himes for sending a text (unspecified) and mentioned he was to speak at the printers’ dinner in New York.

  • January 20, 1886 Wednesday

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    January 20 Wednesday – The Hartford Courant ran “The Typothete,” on pages 1-2, quoting Sam’s New York speech of Jan. 18 at Delmonico’s.

    One of the festive events in New York city Monday evening was the yearly Delmonico dinner of the Typotheter. This peculiar and rather awe-inspiring word is alleged to be Greek and so signify being interpreted, gentlemen, who have accumulated wealth by hiring other gentlemen to stick type for them.

  • January 21, 1886 Thursday

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    January 21 Thursday – An amendment to the co-partnership agreement for Webster & Co. Was added. It gave Charles Webster the right to withdraw more of his share of the profits (save on Grant’s Memoirs), raised his salary to $3,000, and put the interest rate on Sam’s capital invested down to six percent from eight [MTLTP 170]. Note: the source does not say, but presumably the amended “No. 2” contract was signed this day.

  • January 22, 1886 Friday 

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    January 22 Friday – James B. Pond wrote to Sam; he’d been on the road with Clara Louise Kellogg and was trying unsuccessfully to get a commitment from George W. Cable for a reading in ConcordMass. Pond confessed that Sam’s “letter could be read both ways, or at least I read it so” [MTP]. See Jan. 20 entry.

  • January 23, 1886 Saturday

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    January 23 Saturday – Ambrose Bierce’s short article in The Wasp (San Francisco) was a sneering discussion of Sam’s Jan. 18 speech at the Typothetae Dinner. Bierce felt Sam had lost his humor: “foremost among those desecrators of the tomb of Mark the Jester is Mark the Money-worm….”his last atrocious desecration” was the speech as reported by the Associated Press.

  • January 24, 1886 Sunday

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    January 24 Sunday – William C. Prime wrote to Sam from New York, asking when Sam might be in town to discuss the McClellan book. Prime was representing General George B. McClellan’s widow for publishing the General’s memoirs[MTP]. Note: Prime also wrote Dec. 31, 1885.

    In 1908, Sam dictated this about Prime, who was James Hammond Trumbull’s brother-in law: