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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 15:27:41 -0600
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Browsing through the index of Karen Lystra's _Dangerous Intimacy_, I noted
the name of Clemens's last butler is once again spelled as "Claude
Benchotte." I would like to offer this correction for future researchers
who may be finding it difficult to locate primary source information on him
using this spelling:

The correct identification appears to be Claude Joseph Beuchotte. It is
very easy to mistake a handwritten "u" for "n." Hamlin Hill's _God's Fool_
appears to be the first publication with the incorrect "Benchotte" spelling
and others have followed suit.

The 1910 census shows Claude living at Stormfield with Clara and Ossip and
other staff. The 1910 census taker spelled the name "Buchott". Born in
France, his US naturalization petition papers list his name as Claude
Joseph Beuchotte. The 1920 census shows him living in a New York boarding
house with Katy Leary, Twain's former housekeeper. The 1920 census taker
spelled the name "Beuchotte."  Newspaper clippings at the Millicent
Library, Fairhaven, MA indicate "Claude J. Beuchotte" worked for the son of
Henry H. Rogers after Twain's death. He managed the Rogers family's Tabitha
Inn. During 1932-1941 he managed Cedar Beach Inn and Sunrise Inn on
Southold, Long Island. Ads he placed in the New York newspapers for these
hotel establishments spell his name "Beuchotte."  He appears to disappear
from published records after 1941. Perhaps with the correct spelling,
future researchers will be able to put together more of his story, find a
photo or an obituary--and perhaps more important--find any written record
or documents he may have left of his time spent with Clemens.