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David H Fears <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 28 May 2007 13:04:57 -0400
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Mark, thanks for the post. Here are some entries for my nearly completed
volume 1 of Mark Twain Day-by-Day which is slated to publish later this
year. It seems that there has been controversy on the exact date that Sam
met Livy, but I come down on Dec. 27th as the date:

December 27 Friday, Sam accepted an invitation from the Langdons for dinner
at the St. Nicholas Hotel. There he met Olivia Louise Langdon, his wife to
be. That first meeting was Dec. 27, 1867, and the next one was at the house
of Mrs. Berry, five days later. Miss Langdon had gone there  to help Mrs.
Berry receive New Year guests [MTL 2: 145 n3]. Sanborn claims their first
meeting was on New Year's Day, and the second was at the St. Nicholas Hotel,
on either Jan. 2 or 3,and that they went to a Dickens reading, but Sam
recalled Dickens reading David Copperfield [380].

The only evening Dickens read that work was Dec. 31 [MTL 2: 146 n3].
Skandera-Trombley admits to the controversy involving the exact date, and
points to Dec. 31 as their day of meeting [p. xx].

Sam's article Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation ran in the New York
Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.].

December 29 Sunday, Sam's Holy Land Excursion. Letter from Mark Twain Number
Thirty-two dated Sept. at Banias ran in the Alta California [McKeithan

December 30 Monday, Sam wrote from New York to the Brooklyn Eagle,
responding to an article Trouble among the Pilgrims, which had appeared on
Dec. 24.

In your issue of the 24 inst , you called upon me, as upon a sort of
Fountain-head of Facts (an intimation which touched the very marrow of my
ambition, and sent a thrill of ecstasy throughout my being), to pour out
some truth upon the Quaker City muddle, which Captain Duncan and Mr.
Griswold have lately stirred up between them, and thus so rectify and
clarify that muddle, that the public can tell at a glance whether the
Pilgrims behaved themselves properly or not during the progress of the
recent excursion around the world [MTL 2: 139-143; Brooklyn Eagle p3,

Sam then proceeded to masterfully illustrate how easily a lie can be spread
by citing the oppositeE28094to wit, how Captain Duncan repeatedly did not
show up drunk at breakfast. Sam was terrific at making light of quarrels, a
nd he loved to stir some people up. Plus, he'd held back about Duncan
throughout the voyage and didn't need much of an excuse to blast away. (See
Jan 2, 1868 entry for Duncan's immediate reply.)

December 31 Tuesday, Sam's article on Duncan appeared in the Brooklyn Eagle.
That evening Sam went with the Langdons to Charles Dickens' read from David
Copperfield at Steinway Hall in New York. Sam noted that Dickens not only
read, but acted, an important lesson Sam noted about successful platform
speakers. It is probable this is the day Sam met Olivia. (In 1906 Sam
recalled the date as December 27, but in 1907 remembered the Dickens reading
of Copperfield, which only took place on the 31st.) [MTL 2:146 n3; Powers,
MT A Life 229n].

David H Fears