I think one needs to take into consideration three things:
The times, where even in the (supposedly) enlightened Northeast
interracial marriage was extremely rare. It was illegal in some Northern
towns too, as it was throughout most of the South. I could see, however, Sam
consenting to a union with a very light-skinned man of good education and
Susy, Clara or Jean.
His, not to mention Livy's, concern for their daughter's and prospective
son-in-law's future. In the late 1950s, my dad had to walk a cousin of mine
down the aisle because she was marrying someone of Italian heritage, and his
brother-in-law, according to family lore, equated Italians with blacks.
His own survival, financially and socially. Though he bravely and
willingly spoke out on dozens of controversial issues — especially U.S.
the Philippines in the late 1890s; read some of his talks and other pieces
the parallels with Iraq now will make your hair stand on end — he wouldn't
able to afford the repercussions of approving such a marriage. He was so
famous it could have been life-threatening.
Hope this helps.
P.S.: Does anyone on the forum have a direct e-mail address for Debra Petke,
the new director of the Mark Twain House? I'm still searching for full-time
work, and there's no place I'd rather be in a non-journalistic capacity than
there. And for those who haven't yet visited since the opening of Robert
Stern's addition, it's quite beautiful.