October 3 Tuesday - Sam wrote a long letter from Hartford to Charles
Webster, explaining agreements past and actions taken with Slote & Company about
payments on scrapbook sales [MTBus 201-3].
Sam also typed a response to Charles T. Palmer (1827-1897). C.T.H.
Palmer was an early resident of San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He
practiced law in San Francisco and was involved in various business interests.
He served as one of the first trustee of Folsom prison. Palmer had sent a
list of questions asking about Sam's speech patterns, whether he was ever a
stammerer. If not, was Sam's "extreme deliberation in speech natural or
ALL THE QUESTIONS WHICH COME UNDER THE HEAD OF 'WERE YOU A STAMMERER' ARE
ANSWERABLE BY SIMPLY AND SOLIDLY, NO...IT IS NATURAL, NOT ADOPTED. I CAN
GIVE MY MOTHER THREE WORDS THE START ON A TEN WORD SENTENCE AND COME IN AT THE
HOME STRETCH MAKING THE HEAD
I HAVE NEVER STAMMERED, HAVE NEVER HAD ANY OBSTRUCTION IN MY SPEECH EXCEPT
SLOW DELIVERY, AND THAT OBSTRUCTION PERCEPTABLE TO OTHER PEOPLE ONLY; IT
DOES NOT SEEM SLOW TO ME, AND WHEN NIGGER MINSTRELS IMITATE IT ON THE PLATFORM
TO WHAT FRIENDS OF MINE CALL ABSOLUTE PERFECTION, IT ALWAYS FALLS UPON MY
EAR AS A MOST LIMITLESS AND EXTRAVAGANT EXAGGERATION [MTP].
Palmer's interest in stammering and speech patterns may have been
professional or simply a personal interest. Sam ended the letter "Please give my
love to Stoddard when you see him..." denoting that Palmer was probably still
in Berkeley or possibly in Hawaii.