me add to this section. Submit your ideas or articles to email@example.com
are New York Times articles that contained interesting facts
about Mark Twain's life in Redding, with articles related
to his family, homes and the Mark Twain Library after his
death in 1910. I learned a lot putting this page together
and hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
source of these articles at http://www.TwainQuotes.com
Twain New York Times Articles 1908-1960
New York Times, September 19, 1908
INVADE MARK TWAIN VILLA
After a Pistol Fight on a Train in Which Prisoner and Officer
to The New York Times.
DANBURY, Conn., Sept. 18. - Mark Twain's home at Redding,
"Innocents at Home," was visited by two professional burglars
last night. The wakefulness of Miss Lyons, the humorist's
private secretary, was the undoing of the bold crooks, who
were captured after a fight on a New Haven train.
Clemens today posted this notice on the door of his house:
To the Next Burglar:
is nothing but plated ware in this house, now and henceforth.
You will find it in that brass thing in the dining room, over
the corner by the basket of kittens. If you want the basket
put the kittens in the brass thing. Do not make a noise -
it disturbs the family. You will find rubbers in the front
hall by that thing which has the umbrellas in it - chiffonier
I think they call it, or pergola, or something like that.
Please close the door.
truly, S. L. CLEMENS.
Lyon the humorist's secretary, was aroused about midnight
by the sound of breaking glass in the lower part of the house.
She went softly down the stairs to find a flood of light in
the dining room and that the sideboard, with its solid silver,
was missing from its customary place in the room. Cautiously
slipping along in the shadows to a point where she could have
a view of the garden, to which her attention had been called
by an open window in the dining room, Miss Lyon saw two men
forcing the doors and drawers of the sideboard, which they
had carried out, apparently in the hope that they would not
be interrupted in their work.
giving the burglars any cause for alarm Miss Lyon summoned
Mr. Clemens and the butler and then telephoned for Deputy
Sheriff Banks, Harry Lounsbury, and several neighbors. Before
any of them reached the scene the burglars had fled with their
the awakening of Miss Lyon and her discovery that burglars
had been at work, search of Mark Twain's place was made by
Mr. Lounsbury, the Deputy Sheriff, and neighbors, and on the
lawn some distance away was found the empty drawer. Mr. Lounsbury
and Deputy Sheriff Banks found peculiar footprints, which
they followed to Bethel. Mr. Lounsbury discovered the men
on the train in the smoking car. He attempted to engage them
in conversation and asked them if they lived in Danbury. The
men replied vaguely. Mr. Lounsbury said he noticed that both
men's shoes had rubber heels, which it was said would correspond
with the tracks in the roadway.
the train arrived at Redding Mr. Lounsbury got off and notified
Banks that he believed the men they were after were the two
to whom he had been talking. Banks boarded the train, and
when an attempt was made to arrest the burglars one ran out
of the car door and jumped off and the other showed fight
and drew a revolver. He fired four shots, one of which struck
the Sheriff in the leg, and one, the last in the struggle,
hit the burglar himself in the head. A passenger jumped into
the fight and subdued the burglar with a club, cutting his
head open. The burglar who jumped was found under a bridge
in Brookside Park. A physician was called and the wounds of
the Sheriff and of the injured robber were attended to.
in the morning the men were taken before Justice Hickerson
for a hearing. Mr. Clemens, his daughter, Miss Clara, and
Mr. Wark appeared at the hearing. The men had taken only the
solid silverware and this was all recovered. The plated ware
they had evidently discarded. The hearing was held in a small
room of an old-fashioned house. Justice Nickerson sitting
at a little table. The witnesses and the prisoners occupied
the same settee. Mr. Clemens had on his white suit.
prisoners described themselves as Charles Hoffman, aged 30,
of South Norwalk, and Henry Williams, aged 40, no address.
Both men were held for the Superior Court. Other counts of
assault, resisting an officer, and carrying concealed weapons
were lodged against Williams. He was the wounded man. They
were taken to the Bridgeport Jail this afternoon. Later they
were taken before Judge William Case of the Superior Court.
Williams was charged with burglary, and held under $5,000
bail. Besides the burglary charge, a second charge of assault,
with intent to kill, was entered against Hoffman, and his
bail fixed at $7,500.
New York Times, November 12, 1908
TWAIN BURGLARS SENTENCED.
Who Broke Into Samuel L. Clemens's Home Get Prison Terms.
Conn., Nov. 11 - When the trial of Henry Williams and Charles
Hoffman, accused of breaking into the Italian villa of Samuel
L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) at Redding, several weeks ago, was
resumed in the Superior Court this afternoon, both men changed
their pleas of not guilty to guilty.
court sentenced Hoffman to not less than three nor more than
five years in State prison. On the charge of burglary Williams
received not less than five nor more than six years in State
prison, and on the charge of assault with intent to kill,
to which he also pleaded guilty, not more than four years
in State prison.
New York Times, December 1, 1908
MARK TWAIN IS 73.
His Birthday Quietly at His Connecticut Home.
Conn., Nov. 30. - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) passed his seventy-third
birthday quietly at his home here today. As was his custom,
Mr. Clemens took his morning ride, passing the remainder of
the day with his household.
New York Times, December 21, 1908
SAVES MISS CLARA CLEMENS.
Gabrilowitsch Stops Runaway Horse About to Plunge Down a Bank.
to The New York Times.
Conn., Dec. 20. - Miss Clara Clemens, daughter of Samuel L.
Clemens, (Mark Twain) was saved from serious injury and possible
death this morning through the action of Ossip Gabrilowitsch,
a Russian pianist, who is a guest at Innocent at Home, the
residence of Mark Twain.
Gabrilowitsch, who is making a tour of America, and Miss Clemens
went for a sleigh ride this morning, leaving the Twain residence
at 10 o'clock. While passing through Redding Glen, about three
miles from Miss Clemens's home, the horse took fright at a
wind whipped newspaper and bolted.
Gabrilowitsch, who was driving, lost control of the horse.
At the top of a hill the sleigh overturned, and Miss Clemens
was thrown out. At the right of the summit of the hill is
a drop of fifty feet. When the sleigh turned over the Russian
leaped to the ground, and caught the horse by the head, stopping
it as it was about to plunge over the bank, dragging Miss
Clemens, whose dress had caught in the runner.
leaping to rescue Miss Clemens he sprained his right ankle.
Miss Clemens was picked up uninjured, but suffered greatly
from the shock of the accident. The injury to the pianist's
ankle was painful, but he helped Miss Clemens into the sleigh,
and drove her to her home.
New York Times, April 9, 1909
Mark Twain Adds 150 Acres to Farm.
Conn., April 8. - Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) has purchased
150 acres of land adjoining his recently acquired property.
The "farm," as the author calls his beautiful estate, now
comprises 350 acres of agricultural and wooded tracts, near
the centre of which is the Clemens home. The house, an inviting
abode, rises from a knoll that commands a far view of the
New York Times, May 20, 1909
H. H. ROGERS DEAD, LEAVING $50,000,000
Carries Off the Financier Famous in Standard Oil, Railways,
Gas, and Copper.
Heard the News on Arriving in Town to Visit His Old Friend.
Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) for years one of the warmest
friends of Mr. Rogers, arrived in town from his home in Redding,
Conn., at noon yesterday intending to meet Mr. Rogers at the
latter's home, and heard the news of his death on arrival
at the Grand Central Station.
telegram apprising Mr. Clemens of the death of his old friend
had been sent to Redding yesterday morning, but Mr. Clemens
did not receive it, and did not know that Mr. Rogers was dead
until after he arrived. As Mr. Clemens left the station he
looked greatly grieved, and was leaning heavily upon the arm
of his daughter, Miss Clemens, who had accompanied him to
New York from Redding. Tears filled his eyes and his hands
reporters who had met the Pittsfield express, on which Mr.
Clemens came to New York, were at the train to meet him. "This
is terrible, terrible, and I cannot talk about it," Mr. Clemens
said to the reporters. "I am inexpressibly shocked and grieved.
I do not know just where I will go."
Clemens explained that her father had left his home not knowing
anything about the death of his friend, and had expected to
enjoy the day with him. The members of the Rogers household,
knowing that he was coming, had notified her as soon as the
death had occurred, that she might break the news to him as
gently as possible. The first intimation, she said, that her
father received that Mr. Rogers was not living and in good
health was from herself.
Clemens and his daughter lingered in the waiting room on the
main station for a few minutes. Then Mark Twain, still leaning
on his daughter's arm and looking toward the ground, walked
slowly to the street through the Forty-second Street exit.
Together they proceeded to the Subway station and boarded
an uptown express. Later in the day Mr. Clemens went to the
home of Urban H. Broughton, son-in-law of Mr. Rogers, where
they were joined by other friends of the family. After spending
a few minutes there he reappeared and went away in a carriage.
He did not go to the Rogers home and it was said that he had
probably returned to Redding.
New York Times, July 15, 1909
WANTS MARK TWAIN TO EXPLAIN TO HER
Ashcroft Hurries Back from Her Honeymoon Abroad to Find Out
About $4,000 Suit.
Thinks the Attachment on the Humorist's Gift House is the
Work of His Daughter. Mrs. Ralph Ashcroft, who until her marriage
a few weeks ago, was Miss I. N. [sic] Lyon, secretary to Mark
Twain, arrived yesterday on the Cunard liner Carmania to learn
why Mr. Clemens had obtained an attachment of $4,000 against
the house in Redding, Conn., he gave her when she got married.
is a demure-looking woman, but was wroth when she landed,
for she had to leave her husband and cut short their honeymoon
to return to America. She lays the blame for it all on Miss
Clemens, daughter of the humorist, whose artistic temperament,
she said, often led her in the wrong direction.
Ashcroft was met at the pier by her mother, and after a day
in New York she will beard [sic] Mark Twain in his country
home, Stormfield, to learn the true inwardness of the attachment
and seek an adjustment of the matter. "Two weeks ago in London
I was notified that Mr. Clemens had sworn out an attachment
against he house he gave me," said Mrs. Ashcroft. "I came
home as soon as I possibly could, leaving my husband behind.
I cannot think that Mr. Clemens is responsible for what has
happened. He and I were the best of friends, and he has treated
me almost as would a father. "For seven years I was closely
associated with him. I relieved him of every care I could,
and he gave me the house, and later lent me the money with
which to furnish it. This money, both understood, was to be
paid back when I could do so. Knowing him as I do, I cannot
believe that he attached the property. "I believe the whole
trouble is caused by his daughter. Miss Clemens is of the
artistic temperament, but in this affair I believe that she
has been wrongly advised into taking a step she would never
have taken had she the right understanding of the case."
Ashcroft said she intended to take steps at once to adjust
the matter. She thinks that the whole trouble must be due
to some mistake. She said that no request had been made by
her former employer for a return of the money. Indeed, she
said, that several times she had refused suggestions from
him that she consider the cost of fixing up and furnishing
the house as a gift from him. "If Miss Clemens knows all about
the case, and I notice that she says she is fully informed
as to her father's affairs, she must know that every step
in the restoration of the house was done not only with her
father's knowledge but with his approval," continued Mrs.
Ashcroft. "She does not exhibit a surprising knowledge of
affairs when she presented her case, for in spite of what
is said to the contrary, every cent that was expended for
renovation I incurred a liability to pay. "Mr. Clemens has
notes amounting to nearly $1,000, which were signed by my
husband when the first rough estimate was made of the cost
of fitting up the place. Mr. Clemens made a written agreement
with Mr. Ashcroft to accept his notes for the balance of the
indebtedness outstanding upon the completion of repairs. "The
whole case will be settled, but the shame of it is that I
should have been placed in an improper and false light."
Ashcroft was formerly financial secretary to Mr. Clemens.
It is said that both left the humorist's service because of
differences with Miss Clemens.
New York Times, July 16, 1909
MRS. ASHCROFT NOT SEEN.
Secretary, Whom Mark Twain is Suing, Did Not Call on Novelist.
Special to The New York Times.
Conn., July 15. - Mrs. Ralph W. Ashcroft, a former secretary
of Mark Twain, who is being sued by the author for $4,000,
and who has just got back from England, where she was on her
honeymoon, did not see Mark Twain today, nor has she yet come
back to her home here. Miss Clemens and Mr. Clemens's secretary
saw a TIMES reporter at Stormfield, the novelist's home, and
said that Mr. Clemens would have nothing further to say about
the matter, which was in the hands of his lawyer.
New York Times, July 28, 1909
CLEMENS SUIT A SURPRISE. R. W.
Says His Wife Was Prostrated by News of Author's Action.
the passengers on the Caronia from Liverpool yesterday was
R. W. Ashcroft, whose wife was formerly private secretary
to Mark Twain, and was recently sued by the author for a return
of the house he presented her with on her wedding day. Mr.
Ashcroft said that they went abroad on June 9 and spent some
days at The Hague.
their arrival in London he was surprised to receive a letter
containing clippings and a notice of the suit begun by Mr.
Clemens and the attachment on the dwelling presented to Mrs.
Ashcroft. "It came like a bolt out of the blue," said Mr.
Ashcroft, "and I was glad to hear that the matter had been
settled, as my wife was completely prostrated by the news,
and wanted to sail home at once to face the music. I persuaded
her to take things calmly and come by the Carmania, which
Ashcroft admitted that there might be some truth in the report
that a wealthy friend of his father's had some influence with
Mr. Clemens in settling the matter, but he declined to give
New York Times, August 4, 1909
ASHCROFT ACCUSES MISS CLARA CLEMENS
Mark Twain's Daughter Made Charges Because She Was Jealous
of Her Success.
It He Praised His Secretary and Rebuked Daughter for Complaints
- No Diversion of Funds. Ralph W. Ashcroft, manager of the
Mark Twain Company at 24 Stone Street, whose wife, for years
before her marriage was private secretary to Mr. Clemens,
was sued by the humorist to recover $4,000, gave out a statement
yesterday in which he warmly defends his wife against insinuations
that she misused Mr. Clemens's money.
Ashcroft, in his statement, accuses Miss Clara Clemens, daughter
of the humorist, of having been envious of Miss Lyon's achievements
as secretary to her father. Miss Clemens, he says, wanted
to have Miss Lyon removed from her place. Mr. Ashcroft declares
that it was without the knowledge of the humorist's New York
lawyers that the cottage at Redding, Conn., adjoining the
Clemens estate, which he gave to Miss Lyon, was attached in
his recent suit. He gives excerpts from the author's letters
to indicate the high opinion he once had of Miss Lyon.
is the statement:
my return from Europe, a week ago, I have thoroughly investigated
the occurrences connected with quarrels forced on Mrs. Ashcroft
by Mark Twain's daughters, and have heard what both sides
have to say in the matter. "To understand the matter in its
true light, it is necessary to hark back to the Summer of
1904, when Mrs. Clemens died in Italy.
Ashcroft (then Miss Lyon) was Mark Twain's secretary. When
his wife died, Mark Twain was like a ship without a rudder,
and, as Henry H. Rogers said to me a few days before he died:
'At that crisis in his life, Clemens needed just such a person
as Miss Lyon to look after him and his affairs, and Miss Lyon
came to the front and has stayed at the front all these years
and no one has any right to criticize her.' "
Jealous of Miss Lyon. "For two years or more after their mother's
death, both girls were in sanitaria most of the time, and
the younger daughter has been under the care of nerve specialists
ever since. Under these circumstances, Miss Lyon naturally
became Mr. Clemens's hostess and person of affairs and how
well she fulfilled the position is known to all who met her
in those capacities. Both daughters, however, became jealous
of her, were afraid that Mark Twain would marry her, and often
endeavored to destroy his confidence in her. She probably
would have been supplanted two or three years ago, but the
elder daughter had musical and other ambitions, and thought
more of them than of taking care of her old father and filling
her mother's place. "One's vocal ambitions, however, sometimes
exceed one's capabilities in that direction, and the bitter
realization of this has, in this instance, caused the baiting
of a woman who has earned and kept the admiration and respect
of all of Mark Twain's friends.
Twain well has said of her: 'I know her better than I have
known any one on this planet, except Mrs. Clemens.' When one
of his daughters made an attack on her about two years ago,
he wrote this: I have to have somebody in whom I have confidence
to attend to every detail of my daily affairs for me except
my literary work. I attend to not one of them myself; I give
the instructions and see that they are obeyed. I give Miss
Lyon instructions - she does nothing of her own initiative.
you blame her, you are merely blaming me - she is not open
to criticism in the matter. When I find that you are not happy
in that place, I instruct her to ask Dr. Peterson and Hunt
to provide change for you, and she obeys the instructions.
In her own case I provide no change, for she does all my matters
well, and although they are often delicate and difficult,
she makes no enemies, either for herself or me. I am not acquainted
with another human being of who this could be said. It would
not be possible for any other person to see reporters and
strangers every day, refuse their requests, and yet send them
away good and permanent friends to me and herself - but I
should make enemies of many of them if I tried to talk with
them. The servants in the house are her friend, they all have
confidence in her, and not many people can win and keep a
servant's friendship and esteem - one of your mother's highest
talents. All Tuxedo likes Miss Lyon - the hackmen, the aristocrats
and all. She has failed to secure your confidence and esteem,
and I am sorry. I wish it were otherwise, but it is no argument
since she has not failed in any other person's case. One failure
to fifteen hundred successes means that the fault is not with
Expense Accounts Explained. "The only person, so far as I
know, who has charged Mrs. Ashcroft with dishonesty is Clara
Clemens. Mark Twain has not and his lawyers have not. As is
the custom in all large households, so it was in the Clemens
household - money was drawn from the bank in cash to pay the
thousand-and-one debts and expenses that it is not convenient
to pay by check. When Mark Twain placed all of his financial
responsibilities on Miss Lyon's shoulders (in addition to
her other manifold duties) he did not tell her to employ a
bookkeeper to keep a set of books, and she simply followed
the custom that had been in vogue under Mr. Clemens's regime,
to wit: no books of account were kept (other than the check
book) and no itemized or other record was kept of cash expenditures.
Miss Lyon was never asked to keep any such record, and did
not do so.
Clemens now insinuates that Miss Lyon embezzled a large part
of the money she drew from the bank in cash. Fortunately Miss
Lyon is in a position to prove that the bulk of the money
was paid to Clara Clemens herself for the expenses of concert
tours and the delightful experience of paying for the hire
of concert halls destined to be mainly filled with 'snow'
or 'paper,' for the maintenance of her accompanist, Charles
E. Wark, and to defray other cash expenditures that an embryonic
Tetrezzini is naturally called upon to make. Returning home
one day from an unsuccessful and disheartening tour Clara
Clemens simply couldn't stomach the sight of Miss Lyon's successful
administration of her father's affairs. So it became a case
of 'get rid of her by hook or crook' and she endeavored to
enlist my sympathies and services along these lines, with
the result that - well, I married Miss Lyon.
Clemens's New York lawyers now state that Mrs. Ashcroft's
cottage was attached without their knowledge or advice. They
also now state that they did not know that Mr. Clemens and
I had made an agreement regarding the money he advanced for
the rehabilitation for the cottage, which agreement makes
his suit against Mrs. Ashcroft for this indebtedness absolutely
groundless and farcical, in that no one can sue for a debt
which has been partially paid and the balance of which is
agreement is as follows:
Conn., March 13, 1909.
from R. W. Ashcroft is notes for the sum of $982.47, being
estimated balance due on money advance to Isabel V. Lyon for
the renovation of "The Lobster Pot," this receipt being given
on the understanding that said Ashcroft will pay in like manner
any further amounts that his examination of my disbursements
for the fiscal year ending Feb. 23, 1909, shows were advanced
for like purposes.
L. CLEMENS. (Seal.)
agree to the above and to make said examination as promptly
as my other duties will permit.
W. ASHCROFT. (Seal.)
Amicable Settlement. "The matter has been settled amicably
as far as Mark Twain, Mrs. Ashcroft, and I are concerned,
and the adjustment will be consummated as soon as the proper
papers can be drawn up, although it may be necessary for Mrs.
Ashcroft to commence suit against Mark Twain to set aside
the deed transferring the cottage to him, simply to protect
her legal rights for the time being; as, while we believe
that Mark Twain and his lawyer, John B. Stanchfield, will
abide by their promises, still there is always the contingency
of the death of either or both to be provided against.
Mr. Rogers had not died so suddenly and unexpectedly the affair
would have been settled long ago without any publicity. It
is an unfortunate occurrence all around. I am still manager
of the Mark Twain Company, and shall so remain for the present.
My contract has nearly two years to run."
to talk with Mr. Clemens at his home in Redding last night
were futile. A TIMES reporter called up the humorist's home
on the telephone, was informed that he had retired, and that,
under no circumstances, would any word of Mr. Ashcroft's statement
by conveyed to him. It was stated that Miss Clemens was at
home, but that she, too, had retired, and that no communication
would be taken to her until morning. It was also found impossible
to reach John B. Stanchfield, Mr. Clemens's lawyer.
New York Times, September 13, 1909
MARK TWAIN SUITS ALL OFF.
Litigation Between Him and the Ashcrofts is Finally Dropped
differences between Mark Twain and his daughter, Miss Clara
Clemens, on the one side, and his former secretary Mrs. Ralph
Ashcroft, and her husband have been settled without an appeal
to the courts.
criticism of the conduct of Mrs. Ashcroft has been withdrawn
and all suits have been dropped. On their part the Ashcrofts
ratify and confirm the conveyance to Mark Twain by Mrs. Ashcroft
of the house, known as the Lobster Pot, which adjoins Mr.
Clemens's estate at Redding, Conn., the gift of which to his
former secretary on her marriage is understood to have been
the beginning of the trouble.
the controversy it was contended by Mr. and Mrs. Ashcroft
that the deed transferring the house back to the humorist
had been signed by Mrs. Ashcroft under duress. In addition
Mr. and Mrs. Ashcroft have agreed to withdraw the suits which
they brought against Mark Twain and Miss Clemens for defamation
the other hand Mark Twain has agreed to drop his suit against
Mrs. Ashcroft for an alleged loan of $3,050 and has removed
the attachment which he had caused to be placed on the property
of his former secretary at Farmington. Reparation has also
been made for the hard things which the Ashcrofts alleged
had been said of them by the author and Miss Clemens. Mark
Twain has signed a document acquitting Mrs. Ashcroft of all
blame for her conduct of his affairs while she was in his
employ as his secretary. Miss
Clara Clemens has also to the satisfaction of Mr. and Mrs.
Ashcroft retracted the criticisms she is alleged to have made
on Mrs. Ashcroft.
Mr. Ashcroft continues to be Secretary and Treasurer of the
Mark Twain Company, which manages the business connected with
the publication and sale of the humorist's works. It is understood
that on the exoneration of his wife he offered to resign his
place, but Mark Twain requested him to continue to hold it.
New York Times, October 6, 1909
MISS CLEMENS WEDS TODAY.
Twain's Daughter to Become the Bride of Ossip Gabrilowitsch.
Clara L. Clemens, daughter of Mark Twain, will become today
the bride of Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Russian pianist.
ceremony will take place at noon at the bride's home in Redding,
Conn. About forty intimate friends of Miss Clemens and Mr.
Gabrilowitsch have been invited to the wedding, and a special
car for their use will be attached to one of the morning trains
from New York. The Rev. Dr. Joseph Twitchell of Hartford,
Conn., a life-long friend of Mark Twain, will perform the
New York Times, October 7, 1909
MISS CLEMENS WEDS MR. GABRILOWITSCH
Twain, in Scarlet Cap and Gown, Sees His Daughter Married
to Russian Pianist.
in Prepared Interview Says a Happy Marriage is One of the
Tragically Solemn Things of Life.
REDDING, Conn., Oct. 6. - Miss Clara L. Clemens, daughter
of Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) was married at noon today
to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Russian pianist.
wedding took place in the drawing room at Stormfield, Mr.
Clemens's country home, with the Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twitchell
of Hartford, a close friend of Mr. Clemens, as officiating
clergyman. The bride was attended only by her sister, Miss
Jean Clemens, but her cousins, Jervis Langdon of Elmira, N.
Y., and Mrs. Julia Loomis, wife of Edward Loomis, Vice President
of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad, were present.
Ethel Newcomb of New York City played a wedding march as the
bridal party entered the drawing room. This room was prettily
decorated with evergreens. Autumn leaves, and roses, and the
bride and bridegroom stood beneath a bower of white roses
the ceremony was being performed Mr. Clemens was attired in
he scarlet cap and gown which he wore when the Degree of Doctor
of Literature was conferred upon him by Oxford University.
After the wedding he wore a white flannel suit. Forty
guests from New York City were present and attended a wedding
breakfast which followed the marriage.
and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch left for New York this afternoon. After
remaining that city about a week they will go to Berlin, where
Mr. Gabrilowitsch has taken a house. Later Mr. Gabrilowitsch
will make a tour of Germany in concerts.
Twain's Interview. Mr. Clemens prepared the following characteristic
interview "to avoid any delays at the ceremony," as he expressed
it. Speaking of the bride and bridegroom Mr. Clemens said:
"Clara and Gabrilowitsch were pupils together under Leschetizky,
in Vienna, ten years ago. We have known him intimately ever
not new - the engagement. It was made and dissolved twice
six years ago. Recovering from a perilous surgical operation,
two or three months passed by him here in the house ended
a week or ten days ago in renewal. The wedding had to be sudden
for Gabrilowitsch's European season is ready to begin. The
pair will said a fortnight from now. The first engagements
are in Germany. They have taken a house in Berlin."
you say a word or two about the Redding Mark Twain Library?"
village did me the honor to name it so. It flourishes. The
people came to it from a mile or so around. We are all engaged
in propagating the building fund, in a social and inexpensive
way, through picnics, afternoon teas, and other frolics in
the neighborhood, with now and then a full strength concert
in my house at ostentatious prices. We had one last week with
a team composed of Gabrilowitsch, David Bispham, and his bride,
with me as introducer and police. "We had an audience of 525.
When I have a male guest I charge him a dollar for his bed
and turn the money into the fund and give him an autographed
receipt, which he carries away and sells for $1.10." Doesn't
Work, But Takes Exercise.
you at work now?"
I don't work. I have a troublesome pain in my breast which
won't allow it, and won't allow me to stir out of the house.
But I play billiards for exercise. Albert Bigelow Paine, my
biographer and business manager, plays with me. He comes over
every day for two or three hours. He has a farm half a mile
from here upon which he raises hopes."
you like it here at Stormfield?"
it is the most out of the world and peaceful and tranquil
and in every way satisfactory home I have had experience of
in my life."
marriage pleases you, Mr. Clemens?"
fully as much as any marriage could please me or perhaps any
other father. There are two or three tragically solemn things
in this life, and a happy marriage is one of them, for the
terrors of life are all to come. A funeral is a solemn office,
but I go to them with a spiritual uplift, thankful that the
dead friend has been set free. That which follows is to me
tragic and awful - the burial. I am glad of this marriage,
and Mrs. Clemens would be glad, for she always had a warm
affection for Gabrilowitsch, but all the same it is a tragedy,
since it is a happy marriage with its future before it, loaded
to the plimsoil line with uncertainties."
the guests at the wedding were Richard Watson Gilder, Mrs.
Gilder and three daughters, Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Wright of Boston,
Mrs. E. F. Bauer and the Misses Flora and Marion Bauer of
New York, Miss Lillian Burbank, Miss Marie Nichols, Mrs. John
B. Stanchfield, Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Sprague, Miss Foot,
Miss Comstock, Miss Mary Lawton, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Gaillard,
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hapgood, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bigelow
Paine, and Miss Ethel Newcomb, all of New York.
New York Times, December 24, 1909
TWAIN'S MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Says He Would Not Think of Dying at His Time of Life.
Conn., Dec. 23. - Mark Twain today gave out the following
statement as a result of various reports concerning his condition
of health, following his recent return from Bermuda:
hear the newspapers say I am dying. The charge is not true.
I would not do such a thing at my time of life. I am behaving
as good as I can. Merry Christmas to everybody!
New York Times, December 25, 1909
MISS JEAN CLEMENS FOUND DEAD IN BATH
Was Overcome by an Epileptic Seizure an Hour Before Her Body
to The New York Times.
Conn., Dec. 24. - Miss Jean Clemens, youngest daughter of
Mark Twain, was found dead in the bathtub at Stormfield, Mr.
Clemens's country home near here, early this morning. Her
body lay submerged in water when the young woman's maid discovered
it, shortly after sunrise. An
attack of epilepsy, to which Miss Clemens had been subject
for many years, is believed to have rendered her unconscious
while she was taking her morning bath, with the result that
she drowned in the water of the bath.
Twain, her father, while heartbroken at the blow which has
taken away the one daughter who had remained single to be
his mainstay in his declining years, is bearing up bravely
under the shock, and says that, in spite of his sorrow, he
cannot help feeling glad that death came to his daughter at
had feared for many months that she might be stricken while
on horseback, far away on the lonely country roads, and that
she might be mangled beneath the horse's hoofs. He had many
warnings that his daughter might be stricken down. Less than
a month ago she suffered a violent attack of epilepsy, and
for several years she had been under the constant care of
an attendant. For several months Miss Clemens was in a sanitarium,
but in April last had come to Stormfield in order to be her
father's housekeeper and to help him in his literary work
as his secretary.
Prepared for a Jolly Christmas.
Clemens herself had no thought of death. Several days ago
she invited one of her girl friends in New York to come to
Stormfield to spend the holidays and elaborate plans had been
made for a jolly Christmas. This friend had been instructed
to come today on the Pittsfield express, and Mark Twain had
arranged with the New York, New Haven & Hartford officials
to have the train stop at Redding, which is a flag station,
at 5:19 this afternoon. A telegram was sent to her this morning
informing her of what had happened and telling her not to
come, but she evidently did not get the message, for she arrived
according to arrangement, and was driven at once to Stormfield.
Clemens and her father were up late last night discussing
plans for Christmas Day and talking of the future. This morning
about 6:30 o'clock Katie, one of the maids at Stormfield,
who usually accompanied Miss Clemens wherever she went, rapped
on her door and asked if she were ready to dress. "No, Katie,
you can wait an hour, for I am going to lie in bed and read,"
said Miss Clemens through the door. She often did this in
the morning before arising, so the maid went away. An hour
later she returned to the bedroom, which is on the second
floor of Stormfield. Miss Clemens was not there.
Father Hears the News.
went at once to the bathroom. One glance inside and the maid
screamed in terror. She ran to the door of Mr. Clemens's room,
who was still in bed, and told him that he had better come
at once. Mr. Clemens hastily donned a bathrobe. The servants
were grouped around the bathroom door uncertain what to do.
In a few minutes the body had been lifted from the tub, and
a telephone call brought Dr. Ernest H. Smith, the family physician
and County Medical Examiner, to the Clemens home. For a long
time the doctor tried by artificial respiration to bring the
young woman back to life, but it was useless. She had been
dead at least an hour before he arrived, said the doctor later.
Soon after Dr. Smith arrived Mr. Clemens telephoned to Alfred
[sic] Bigelow Paine, who has been assisting the author in
writing his biography and who lives not far from Stormfield.
Mr. Paine and his wife were soon at the house and did what
they could for Mr. Clemens.
news of Miss Clemens's death spread rapidly through the countryside,
and there were many messages of sympathy and offers of help
over the telephone. Many of Mark Twain's neighbors also called
in person, and soon the reporters arrived. Mr. Clemens met
them and told the sad story of his daughter's death. "My daughter,
Jean Clemens, passed from this life suddenly this morning
at 7:30 o'clock," he said. "All the last half of her life
she was an epileptic, but she grew better latterly. For the
past two years we considered her practically well, but she
was not allowed to be entirely free. Her maid, who has served
us twenty-eight years, was always with her when she went to
New York on shopping excursions and such things. She had very
few convulsions in the past two years and those she had were
not violent. "At 7:30 this morning a maid went to her room
to see why she did not come down to her breakfast, and found
her in her bathtub drowned. It means that she had a convulsion
an could not get out. "She had been leading a very active
life. "She spent the greater part of her time looking after
a farm which I bought for her, and she did much of my secretarial
Last Talk With Her Father.
night she and I chatted later than usual in the library, and
she told me all her plans about the housekeeping, for she
was also my housekeeper. I said everything was going so smoothly
that I thought I would make another trip to Bermuda in February,
and she said put it off till March and she and her maid would
go with me. So we made that arrangement. "But she is gone,
poor child. "She was all I had left, except Clara, who married
Mr. Gabrilowitsch lately, and has just arrived in Europe."
one of the downstairs room of Stormfield was today a half-trimmed
Christmas tree, which the bereaved author pointed to while
tears came to his eyes. "My daughter was trimming the tree
yesterday and I was helping her," he said. "She was so anxious
that the lads and lassies of the neighborhood should have
a tree, so we brought this one in and began to trim it for
them. Tomorrow there were to have trooped in to see the tree
and to get presents from it. "It is all so very sad. Upstairs
in my daughter's room are still a number of gifts which she
had bought for some of her dear friends, and which were to
have been sent out by her today. It will be a sad Christmas
for poor old me."
Monday Miss Clemens went to New York with her maid to meet
her father on his arrival from Bermuda. She took advantage
of her presence in town to buy several Christmas presents
for her friends. Some of these she sent by mail, and they
will be received this morning about the same time that some
of her friends learn of her death.
Was Clearly Accidental.
Smith, after leaving Stormfield, made out a certificate of
death from accidental cause, which he sent on to Clifford
B. Wilson, the Coroner at Bridgeport. In this the doctor stated
that the primary cause of death was epilepsy and the secondary
cause drowning. "It was a plain case and no mystery about
it," said Dr. Smith. "There have been two other cases of epilepsy
here recently which met death in the same way. It is very
common for an epileptic to fall unconscious in the water while
bathing. One of the other cases here recently was drowned
in three or four inches of water after being rendered unconscious
by an attack of epilepsy. "The bath tub in which Miss Clemens
met her death was nearly full of water when I got there. She
simply must have lost consciousness and sunk down beneath
the surface. Mr. Clemens is bearing up bravely under the blow,
and he will survive it, I am sure. He is strong and healthy
for a man of his years."
Clemens had recently attended to much of her fathers mail.
yesterday she telephoned to the Associated Press a statement
from her father, contradicting the newspaper reports that
he was in failing health.
cablegram was sent today to Mr. Clemens's married daughter,
who with her husband, is spending her honeymoon abroad. It
told her of her sister's death.
for the funeral have already been made. The body will be taken
to Elmira, N.Y., and will on Sunday be buried from the former
home of Mr. Clemens's wife. Miss Clemens will be laid at rest
alongside her mother in the old churchyard at Elmira.
Clemens will not be able to attend the funeral. He is now
74 years old, and his physicians discourage the unusual fatigue
that he would necessarily undergo on such a journey. For the
present he will remain at Stormfield.
Twain's Plans for His Daughter.
had been Mr. Clemens's ambition for the pasty twenty years
to provide a future home for his daughters, and to leave them
a sufficient income to continue their existence after his
death in the same comfort as they had before. As the copyrights
on all his books are rapidly expiring, and soon will bring
in no return, it occurred to him that if he wrote an autobiography,
which might be brought out, a little in each volume, in a
new edition of his works, which the publishers should publish
after his death, that he might secure a new copyright for
these volumes. Much of this autobiography is finished, and
the home for his daughters built, but there seems to be no
occasion for either precaution at present.
Clara Clemens, who is a musician, was married last Summer
to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the celebrated Russian pianist, and
the two are now in Europe. Miss Clemens had been engaged to
Gabrilowitsch twice before, and each time the engagement had
been broken. Last Spring the pianist was seized with a desperate
illness and spent some time in a hospital near the point of
death. At that time Miss Clemens spent a great deal of time
with him and they were married soon after his recovery and
left for Europe.
New York Times, December 26, 1909
MARK TWAIN BEARS UP WELL.
of His Daughter, Accompanied by Household Servants, Taken
Conn., Dec. 25. - Mark Twain has borne up well under the bereavement
which came to him yesterday in the death of his daughter,
Miss Jean Clemens. Today he was fully composed and gave final
directions for the removal for the body to Elmira, N. Y. The
coffin was taken from Stormfield this evening in time to be
placed on the 7 o'clock train for New York. Several of the
household servants accompanied it with a few of the most intimate
friends of Miss Jean Clemens and of Mr. Clemens. A great many
messages of sympathy from friends in all parts of the country
were received today by Mr. Clemens.
New York Times, January 6, 1910
MARK TWAIN GOES BACK.
to Bermuda Suffering from Indigestion. Samuel M. [sic] Clemens
(Mark Twain) sailed for Bermuda yesterday. He spent some weeks
there late in the year, returning about fifteen days ago to
spend Christmas with his daughter, Miss Jean Clemens, at Redding,
Conn. She died while he was there. It had been the intention
of Mr. Clemens to return to Bermuda with his daughter in April.
He denied that his health was in an alarming state. He was
simply suffering from indigestion, he said. The length of
his stay on the island will depend on how much his indigestion
improves there. He may be away for two months.
New York Times, April 15, 1910
MARK TWAIN BACK IN FEEBLE HEALTH
Author Returns from Bermuda in Weakened State from Heart Trouble.
Meet Him and He is Taken Immediately to His Home at Redding,
Conn. Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) humorist and author,
stricken in health, arrived yesterday from Bermuda on the
was so ill when the vessel reached her pier in the morning
that he could not be removed until the physicians summoned
by wireless got to the pier, at the foot of West Tenth Street.
After an examination they consented to his removal. He was
carried from the liner and taken across the city in a coach
left on the 3:32 P. M. train for his home, at Redding, Conn.
Mr. Clemens's condition, it is admitted, is serious, but his
physicians believe he will improve in the quiet of his country
home. He has angina pectoris. The author made the voyage from
Bermuda ill in his stateroom.
spent the Winter in Bermuda, going there immediately after
the sudden death of his daughter. He was accompanied only
by Albert Bigelow Paine, the author, who has been acting as
his secretary. When the Oceana reached her pier Edward E.
Loomis, Mr. Clemens's nephew, and the latter's wife and Robert
Collier were on hand to meet him. They went at once to his
cabin. A few minutes later Dr. Edward S. Quintard of 145 West
Fifty-eighth Street, a long-time friend of the author, and
Dr. Robert H. Halsey of 118 West Fifty-eighth Street arrived
and went to Mr. Clemens's room.
voyage north had not improved the condition of his health.
About a week ago he had a severe attack, and from this he
did not readily recover. The recent high temperature in Bermuda,
according to Mr. Paine, had proved too much for him and went
far toward bringing on the attack. Mr. Paine went to Bermuda
about two weeks ago, when the news came that Mr. Clemens was
failing in health. After the attack of a week ago the physicians
concluded that the salt air was not good for him and ordered
his immediate return to this country.
Mr. Clemens's request it had been planned that he was to return
on the Bermudian, which is scheduled to arrive here on Monday.
The author and Capt. Frazer, the skipper are old friends.
Later it was decided that it would be dangerous to delay his
homecoming. Embarking on the Oceana was quite a task for the
sick man. The vessel because of her great draught cannot go
alongside a pier. She anchors in deep water, and her passengers
are taken out to her in a tender. Mr. Clemens made the trip
in a special tug, and was so weak that he had to be carried
on board the Oceana.
Wednesday when the vessel was passing through the Gulf Stream,
with a fairly rough sea running, Mr. Clemens had a sinking
spell. For a time, it is said, there was fear that in his
weakened condition he would not rally. Mr. Clemens occupied
a starboard stateroom amidships. When the steamer got in his
relatives and the physicians found him dressed and lying in
his berth, propped up with pillows. The Oceana reached her
pier about 10:15 A. M., but it was not until afternoon that
he was removed. It is said that the excitement of arriving
proved a severe strain, and his departure to the station was
preceded by another sinking spell.
have made but a superficial examination of Mr. Clemens," said
Dr. Quintard. "When he gets home we will make a thorough examination
of his heart. He has angina pectoris, which is a dangerous
state for him. He looks much better than I expected he would."
Mr. Clemens was carried from the Oceana in an invalid chair
by two stewards. He was assisted into the coach and with Dr.
Halsey started for the Grand Central. Mr. Clemens appeared
to be extremely weak. He had to rest a few minutes in the
invalid chair on the pier before he could make the effort
of getting into the vehicle. On reaching the railway station
a few minutes after 3 o'clock Mr. Clemens raised his arms
feebly while two station attendants lifted him from the carriage
to a wheel chair. They took him directly to a drawing room
New York Times, April 16, 1910
MARK TWAIN HOLDS HIS OWN.
a Comfortable Day - Country Air Has Good Effect.
Conn., April 15. - Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who arrived
at his country home here last evening, fatigued from his long
journey from Bermuda, and very ill, passed a comfortable day
with no appreciable change in his condition and was holding
his own pretty well. A second nurse arrived today. Dr. R.
H. Halsey of New York, who accompanied Mr. Clemens here yesterday,
remained with him overnight and returned to New York this
morning. The bracing air of the country, it is stated, has
had a beneficial effect upon Mr. Clemens's respiratory organs
since his arrival here, and much of the distress that accompanied
his breathing during the ocean voyage from Bermuda to New
York and after his arrival in New York has disappeared.
New York Times, April 17, 1910
MARK TWAIN'S DAUGHTER HERE
Gabrilowitsch and Her Husband, the Pianist, Called by Author's
Ossip Gabrilowitsch, who was Miss Clara Clemens, the only
surviving daughter of Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) and
her husband, the Russian pianist, arrived last night on the
American liner New York. Mr. Gabrilowitsch has not been playing
for a year. He and his wife were in Rome when word reached
them of the serious condition of Mr. Clemens. That was ten
days ago, and since then they have been traveling to reach
Mr. Clemens's home at Redding, Conn.
sailing they had been assured by Mr. Clemens's physician that
his condition had improved. They were greatly relieved to
learn upon their arrival that he had also improved since his
return from Bermuda. "We had intended coming to America to
spend the Summer with Mr. Clemens," said Mr. Gabrilowitsch.
"The news that he had been taken ill in Bermuda simply caused
a change in plan and we are here sooner than we had expected."
Gabrilowitsch had Miss Clara Clemens were married at the Clemens
home on Oct. 6, 1909.
New York Times, April 18, 1910
MARK TWAIN SEEMS BETTER.
of Daughter from Abroad Brightens Sick Man Considerably.
Conn., April 17. - According to those in attendance, Samuel
L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who is ill at his home, Stormfield,
seemed a little improved today. Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch,
Mr. Clemens's daughter who reached New York Saturday fro abroad,
arrived here today, and her presence seemed to brighten her
father very materially. Dr. Robert M. Halsey of New York will
remain with his patient until Monday.
New York Times, April 19, 1910
Mark Twain Improving.
Conn., April 18. - Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who is
seriously ill with heart disease at his home near here had
a restful night and was brighter and to all appearances better
today. Dr. Robert H. Halsey who has been with Mr. Clemens
since Saturday, went to New York this morning, seemingly satisfied
with the progress Mr. Clemens was making.
New York Times, April 20, 1910
Mark Twain a Little Weaker.
Conn., April 19. - Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who is
here trying to regain his health after the severe attack of
heart trouble that prostrated him on the voyage from Bermuda
to New York last week, is a little weaker. Dr. Robert Halsey
of New York issued a statement tonight as follows: "Mr. Clemens
is very comfortable tonight and passed a quiet day, though
he seems to have grown a little weaker." Dr. Halsey will remain
with Mr. Clemens.
New York Times, April 21, 1910
MARK TWAIN SINKING.
Condition is Critical, but He Is Expected to Live Through
to The New York Times.
Conn., April 20. - At 11 o'clock tonight Samuel L. Clemens,
though he had been sinking all day, and at one time late in
the afternoon was thought to be in a very serious condition,
was resting at his residence, Stormfield, in Redding, Conn.,
comfortably enough to assure those in attendance on him that
his chances for living through the night were very favorable.
daughter, Clara, and her husband, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the
pianist, and Alfred Bigelow Paine, the humorist's manager
and biographer, who comprise the household, felt confidence
enough to retire for the night shortly before 11 o'clock.
Dr. Robert H. Halsey, the heart specialist who has been in
attendance, admitted that his patient was in a critical condition
giving his trouble as angina pectoris. Dr. Quintard was called
from New York in consultation during the afternoon, but left
this evening. Oxygen was resorted to early in the afternoon
to stimulate vitality.
he was weak on his arrival from Bermuda last Tuesday, and
had not since recovered his strength, it was not until today
that his symptoms became alarming. He was noticeably weak
this morning and did not respond to treatment as he had previously.
As the day went on he became weaker and collapsed this afternoon.
He has been almost in an unconscious condition during the
afternoon and this evening. He did not show any interest in
his surroundings and took no notice of the people around him.
in the evening he aroused a little and talked for a short
time with his daughter. He does not seem to be suffering any
pain. The daughters who have been watching Mark Twain agree
that it is simply a case of how long his wonderful constitution
can battle with the malady which is gradually overcoming him.
He may die during the night or he may live for several weeks,
there is no knowing.
New York Times, April 22, 1910
[This article has numerous historical inaccuracies.]
MARK TWAIN IS DEAD AT 74
Comes Peacefully at His New England Home After a Long Illness.
to The New York Times.
Conn., April 21. - Samuel Langhorne Clemens, "Mark Twain,"
died at 22 minutes after 6 tonight. Beside him on the bed
lay a beloved book - it was Carlyle's "French Revolution"
- and near the book his glasses, pushed away with a weary
sigh a few hours before. Too weak to speak clearly, "Give
me my glasses," he had written on a piece of paper. He had
received them, put them down, and sunk into unconsciousness
from which he glided almost imperceptibly into death. He was
in his seventy-fifth year.
some time his daughter Clara and her husband, Ossip Gabrilowitsch,
and the humorists' biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, had been
by the bed waiting for the end which Drs. Quintard and Halsey
had seen to be a matter of minutes. The patient felt absolutely
no pain at the end and the moment of his death was scarcely
noticeable. Death came, however, while his favorite niece,
Mrs. E. E. Loomis, and her husband, who is Vice President
of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railway, and a nephew,
Jervis Langdon, were on the way to the railroad station. They
had left the house much encouraged by the fact that the sick
man had recognized them, and took a train for New York ignorant
of what happened later.
the end had been foreseen by the doctors and would not have
been a shock at any time, the apparently strong rally of this
morning had given basis for the hope that it would be postponed
for several days. Mr. Clemens awoke at about 4 o'clock this
morning after a few hours of the first natural sleep he had
had for several days, and the nurses could see by the brightness
of his eyes that his vitality had been considerably restored.
He was able to raise his arms above his head and clasp them
behind his neck with the first evidence of physical comfort
he had given for a long time. His strength seemed to increase
enough to allow him to enjoy the sunrise, the first signs
of which he could see out of the windows in the three sides
of the room where he lay. The increasing sunlight seemed to
bring ease to him, and by the time the family were about he
was strong enough to sit up in bed and overjoyed them by recognizing
all of them and speaking a few words to each. This was the
first time that his mental powers had been fully his for nearly
two days, with the exception of a few minutes early last evening,
when he addressed a few sentences to his daughter.
for His Book.
two hours he lay in bed enjoying the feeling of this return
of strength. Then he made a movement and asked in a faint
voice for the copy of Carlyle's "French Revolution," which
he has always had near him for the last year, and which he
has read and re-read and brooded over. The book was handed
to him, and he lifted it up as if to read. Then a smile faintly
illuminated his face when he realized that he was trying to
read without his glasses. He tried to say, "Give me my glasses,"
but his voice failed, and the nurses bending over him could
not understand. He motioned for a sheet of paper and a pencil,
and wrote what he could not say. With his glasses on he read
a little and then slowly put the book down with a sigh. Soon
he appeared to become drowsy and settled on his pillow. Gradually
he sank and settled into a lethargy. Dr. Halsey appreciated
that he could have been roused, but considered it better for
him to rest. At 3 o'clock he went into complete unconsciousness.
Later Dr. Quintard, who had arrived from New York, held a
consultation with Dr. Halsey, and it was decided that death
was near. The family was called and gathered about the bedside
watching in a silence which was long unbroken. It was the
end. At twenty-two minutes past 6, with the sunlight just
turning red as it stole into the window, in perfect silence
he breathed his last.
of a Broken Heart.
people of Redding, Bethel, and Danbury listened when they
were told that the doctors said Mark Twain was dying of angina
pectoris. But they say among themselves that he died of a
broken heart. And this is the verdict not of popular sentiment
alone. Albert Bigelow Paine, his biographer to be and literary
executor, who has been constantly with him, said that for
the past year at least Mr. Clemens had been weary of life.
When Richard Watson Gilder died, he said: "How fortunate he
is. No good fortune of that kind ever comes to me."
man who has stood to the public for the greatest humorist
this country has produced has in private life suffered overwhelming
sorrows. The loss of an only son in infancy, a daughter in
her teens and one in middle life, and finally of a wife who
was a constant and sympathetic companion, has preyed upon
his mind. The recent loss of his daughter Jean, who was closest
to him in later years when her sister was abroad studying,
was the final blow. On the heels of this came the first symptoms
of the disease which was surely to be fatal, and one of whose
accompaniments is mental depression.
Paine says that all heart went out of him and his work when
his daughter Jean died. He has practically written nothing
since he summoned his energies to write a last chapter memorial
of her for his autobiography. He told his biographer that
the past Winter in Bermuda was gay but not happy. Bermuda
is always gad in Winter and Mark Twain was a central figure
in the gayety. He was staying at the home of William H. Allen,
the American Consul. Even in Bermuda, however, Mr. Clemens
found himself unable to write and finally relied on Mr. Allen's
fifteen year-old daughter Helen to write the few letters he
cared to send. His health failed rapidly, and finally Mr.
Allen wrote to Albert Bigelow Paine that his friend was in
a most serious condition. Mr. Paine immediately cabled to
Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, his surviving daughter, who was in Europe,
and started himself on April 2 for Bermuda, embarking with
the humorist for he return to New York immediately after his
arrival. On the trip over Mark Twain became very much worse
and finally realized his condition. "It's a losing game,"
he said to his companion. "I'll never get home alive." Mr.
Clemens did manage to summon his strength, however, and in
spite of being so weak that he had to be carried down the
gangplank he survived the journey to his beautiful place at
first symptom of angina pectoris came last June when he went
to Baltimore to address a young ladies' school. In his room
at the hotel he was suddenly taken with a terrible gripping
at the heart. It soon passed away, however, and he was able
to make an address with no inconvenience. The pains, however,
soon returned with more frequency and steadily grew worse
until they became a constant torture.
of the last acts of Mark Twain was to write out a check for
$6,000 for the library in which the literary coterie settled
near Redding have been interested for a year, fairs, musicales,
and sociables having been held in order to raise the necessary
amount. The library is to be a memorial to Jean Clemens, and
will be built on a site about half a mile from Stormfield
at Selleck Cross Roads.
is certain to be recalled that Mark Twain was for more than
fifty years an inveterate smoker, and the first conjecture
of the layman would be that he had weakened his heart by overindulgence
in tobacco. Dr. Halsey said tonight that he was unable to
say that the angina pectoris from which mark Twain died was
in any way a sequel of nicotine poisoning. Some constitutions,
he said, seem immune for the effects of tobacco, and his was
one of them. Yet it is true that since his illness began the
doctors had cut down Mark Twain's daily allowance of twenty
cigars and countless pipes to four cigars a day.
deprivation was a greater sorrow to him.
tried to smoke on the steamer while returning from Bermuda,
and only gave it up because he was too feeble to draw on his
pipe. Even on his death bed when had passed the point of speech,
and it was no longer certain that his ideas were lucid, he
would make the motion of waiving a cigar, and smiling, expel
empty air from under the mustache still stained with smoke.
Mark Twain chose to spend his declining years was the first
outpost of Methodism in New England, and it was among the
hills of Redding that Gen. Israel Putnam of Revolutionary
fame mustered his sparse ranks. Putnam Park now incloses the
memory of his camp. Mark Twain first heard of it at the dinner
given him on his seventieth birthday, when a fellow-guest
who lived there mentioned its beauties and added that there
was a vacant house adjoining his own. "I think you may buy
that old house for me," said Mark Twain.
Place was the name of that old house, and where it stood Mark
Twain reared the white walls of the Italian villa he first
named Innocence at Home, but a first experience of what a
New England Winter storm can be in its whitest fury quickly
caused him to christen it anew Stormfield.
Mark Twain Died.
house had been thus described by Albert Bigelow Paine: "Set
on a fair hillside with such a green slope below, such a view
outspread across the valley as made one catch his breath a
little when he first turned to look at it. A trout stream
flows through one of the meadows. There are apple trees and
gray stone walls. The entrance to it is a winding, leafy lane."
Through this lane the "Innocent at Home" loved to wander in
his white flannels for homely gossip with the neighbors. They
remember him best as one who above all things loved a good
listener, for Mark was a mighty talker, stored with fairy
tales for the maids he adored, and racier, ruder speech for
more stalwart masculine ears. It
is a legend that he was vastly proud of his famous mop of
white hair, and used to spend the pains of a Court lady in
getting it to just the proper stage of artistic disarray.
burial will be in the family plot at Elmira, N. Y., where
lie already his wife, his two daughters, Susan and Jean, and
his infant son, Langhorne. No date has yet been set, as the
family is still undecided whether or not there shall be a
public funeral first in New York City. It is probable that
Stormfield will be kept as a Summer place by Mrs. Gabrilowitsch,
who is very fond both of the house and the country, although
her husband's musical engagements make it necessary that she
spend a part of each year abroad. Mr. Paine said tonight that
Mark Twain had put his affairs in perfect order and that he
died well off, though by no means a rich man. He leaves a
considerable number of manuscripts, in all stages of incompleteness
and of all characters, many of them begun years ago and put
aside as unsatisfactory. Mrs. Gabrilowitsch will aid Mr. Paine
in the final decision as to what use shall be made of these.
New York Times, April 23, 1910
Mark Twain and Halley's Comet.
the Editor of The New York Times: I wish to draw your attention
to a peculiar coincidence.
Twain, born Nov. 30, 1835. Last perihelion of Halley's comet,
Nov. 10, 1835. Mark Twain died, April 21, 1910. Perihelion
of Halley's comet, April 20, 1910.
so appears that the lifetime of the great humorist was nearly
identical (the difference being exactly fifteen days) with
the last long "year" of the great comet.
FRIDERICI. Westchester, N. Y., April 22, 1910
New York Times, April 23, 1910
MARK TWAIN'S BODY TO BE HERE TODAY
Will Attend Simple Services in Brick Presbyterian Church -
Burial in Elmira.
to The New York Times.
Conn., April 22. - New York friends of Samuel L. Clemens (Mark
Twain) will have opportunity to pay their respects to his
memory tomorrow afternoon. His body is to arrive at the Grand
Central Station on the Pittsfield Express at noon, and at
4 o'clock simple funeral services will be held in the Brick
Presbyterian church at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-seventy Street.
these relatives and as many of Mr. Clemens's friends as possible
will be present. Afterward the body will be taken to Elmira,
N. Y., where, after another simple service, it will be buried
beside those of his wife and children. Jarvis Langdon,nephew
of Mr. Clemens, said this afternoon that if Mrs. Gabrilowitsch,
the only surviving member of the immediate family, had consulted
only her own wishes, there would have been no public funeral,
but only a simple service at Elmira. When arrangements were
discussed, however, she said she felt that her father belonged
to the public to a large extent, and that the public had certain
rights in regard to him at a time like the present. She therefore
consented to a semi-public service in New York.
Bigelow Paine, one of Mr. Clemens's leterary exectors, left
on the early morning train for new York to consult E. E. Loomis,
one of the trustees of the will, and the firm of Harper &
Brothers, who have the public services in charge. When he
returned at 5 o'clock he announced that final arrangements
had been made. He said the coffin had been chosen, a severely
plain one of mahogany. F. E. Duneka of the publishing firm
completed the arrangements for the funeral.
Journey to New York.
body will be taken to the West Redding Station at 10 o'clock
tomorrow mornig and placed on board the Pittsfield express.
It will be accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, Mr.
Paine, and servants who have been in Mr. Clemens's service
for many years. All business will be suspended in this vicinity,
and the villagers and farmers from the surroundng hills will
the arrival of the body in New York it will be taken to the
Brick Presbyterian Church. The church service will consist
of little more than a brief address by Dr. Henry Van Dyke
of Princeton, and there will be no pallbearers. There will
probably be no music. At the conclusion of the services the
body will be taken to Elmira, N. Y., in Lake Forest, the private
car of E. E. Loomis, Vice President of the Delaware, Lackawanna
& Western Railroad.
will be held at the home of Gen. Langdon, and the Rev. Joseph
H. Twichell of Hartford, a life-long friend of Mr. Clemens,
will make an address. Late today the body was prepared for
burial and dressed in the white cashmere which Mr. Clemens
so constantly wore in the later years of his life. It lies
in his many-windowed room on the second floor. Some of the
persons of the neighborhood were permitted to see the body
Left to Daughter.
to Albert Bigelow Paine, the will is to be read in about a
week. He believes that Mrs. Gabrilowitsch will be the sole
heir, and will be asked by a codicil to make provision for
some of the older servants. Katie Leary has been housekeeper
for twenty-nine years. The trustees are E. E. Loomis, Jarvis
Langdon, and Z. S. Freeman of the Liberty National Bank. The
house was not barred and shuttered today, but looked cheerful
in the Spring sunshine, as Mr. Clemens would have wished it.
The doors and windows downstairs were wide open and the sunlight
was allowed to flood in. All the windows of his room were
open, and breezes played through their curtains. The whole
atmosphere was strikingly typical of the genial man who had
made a dwelling there. After the suspense and anxiety of hte
week the worn-out watchers spent the day in rest. Mr. and
Mrs. Gabrilowitsch remained in their apartments all day. The
nephew, Jarvis Langdon, was about the house doing what was
necessary. During the day so many telegrams of sympathy poured
in that the telegraph operator in the little station at Redding
used up all his forms.
of the more prominent names represented were: President Taft,
ex-President Roosevelt, William Dean Howells, H. M. Alden,
Melville E. Stone, William Milligan Sloan, Robert Underwood
Johnson, Archdeacon J. Townsend Russell, W. R. Coe, Brander
Matthews, Frank A. Munsey, Henry Watterson, George Barr McCutcheon,
George W. Cable, Walter Scott, Lynn Roby Meeking, and Capt.
Horace E. Bixby, the Mississippi pilot who fifty years ago
"taught" Mark Twain the river.
message was received form the authorities of Hannibal, Mo.,
Mark Twain's boyhood home, asking that his body be taken there
for burial. Mrs. Gabrilowitsch in reply said that as the family
burial ground was in Elmira, N. Y., it was thought best that
the body be taken there.
Prayer Not Yet Published.
Beard, the artist and naturalist, who lives only a half mile
from Stormfield, was a caller. He went to leave his own and
his wife's cards. Afterward he grew reminiscent, and sitting
on a large rock, where he said Mark Twain had often sat, he
told a few stories of the dead author. He said Mark Twain
has shown him one day a draft of a prayer. Mr. Beard was much
impressed and asked the author why he did not publish it.
"Ah," said Mark Twain, "that must not be published until after
my death. While a man is alive he cannot speak the truth,
but when he is dead it is different." Then he went on to tell
in his peculiar drawl: "I showed this to my secretary, and
she said: 'Do not publish it; it is blasphemy.' I showed it
to my daughter. 'Father,' she said, 'do not publish it; it
is blasphemy.' Then in despair, I showed it to my butler.
He said: 'Mr. Clemens, do not publish it; it is blasphemy.'
So I added four lines and then they were all satisfied."
Beard told a recent experience the humorist had confided to
him. He was walking up Fifth Avenue when a little girl about
10 years old slipped her hand in his and started to match
his stride. "I'm awful glad to see you," she said. "Are you?
said he. "That's very nice." "Yes," she answered. "I knew
you right away." They continued to the next corner chatting,
he proud that he could be so well known that a little girl
like this could pick him out. Suddenly a horrible thought
struck him and he stopped. "Who am I?" he asked, turning around.
"Why," answered his companion, "Buffalo Bill, of course."
effort was made to get the text of the prayer mentioned by
Dan Beard, but Mr. Paine said he did not know of the manuscript.
Mr. Paine is one of Mark Twain's literary executors, there
New York Times, April 24, 1910
LAST GLIMPSE HERE OF MARK TWAIN
Opened the Coffin in the Brick Church and 3,000 Persons Saw
His Dead Face. Dr. Van Dyke Pays His Tribute and the Rev.
Joseph Twichell Chokes Down His Tears to Pray.
short pause was made in the journey of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
to his final resting place in Elmira yesterday, and he was
brought to the Brick Church, at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-Seventy
Street, that those who knew him might not be deprived of opportunity
to see his face for the last time. A reading from the Scripture,
a short address, and a prayer constituted the simple service.
Then, for an hour and a half, a stream of people from all
walks of life passed in front of the bier.
same spirit which had led to the unbarring of Stormfield to
breezes and sunshine on the day after the death pervaded the
church yesterday. There was no gloom; only the peace that
Mark Twain would have desired. The people who passed by the
coffin saw not so much the man Samuel L. Clemens, a philosopher
through the necessity for bearing misfortune, as Mark Twain,
who was everything from Huckleberry Finn and Colonel Mulberry
and Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the latter heavily veiled, sat
in the front pew on the left side of the church. With them
were Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Loomis and William Dean Howells. Behind
these sat the Albert Bigelow Paines and Jarvis Langdon. In
another pew were the widow and children of Samuel Moffett,
a favorite nephew of Mr. Clemens, who died in California several
funeral party from Redding arrived in New York at noon, Mr.
and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch going first to friends. The male members
of the party accompanied the body to the Brick Church. At
the Grand Central Station a few who knew the train on which
the party was to arrive had gathered, and when the body was
taken out a crowd collected and all heads were bared as the
coffin was lifted into the hearse.
at the Church.
was originally intended to open the church to the public at
3 o'clock, after the holders of the 400 tickets which had
been distributed had taken their seats. But the crowd at Thirty-seventh
Street and Fifth Avenue threatened to block traffic on the
avenue, and at 2:30 it was decided to let them in. the church
was almost immediately filled. In fact, several hundred persons
who could not be accommodated remained on the streets during
the service until it was time to view the body. Inside the
church complete quiet was maintained, even while the people
were taking their seats. The effect was enhanced by the soft
tones of the organ when Clarence Dickinson began playing Chopin's
Funeral March. As he changed to the Death's Chariot music
of Grieg's "Death of Asa" the Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke and
Dr. Joseph H. Twichell, both old friends of the author, came
through the curtains into the pulpit. Dr. Van Dyke stepped
forward and began to read the Scriptural part of the Presbyterian
funeral service. When he had finished he entered without a
break on his address. It was a simple and dignified estimate
of the worth of the work that Mark Twain's life had produced.
Throughout it was evident that the speaker was making a strong
effort to keep down his emotion and control his voice. There
was a noticeable break in his voice when he said: "Now he
Van Dyke's Address
part Dr. Van Dyke said: "Those who know the story of Mark
Twain's career know how bravely he faced hardships and misfortune,
how loyally he toiled for years to meet a debt of conscience,
following the injunction of the New Testament to provide not
only things honest, but things 'honorable in the sight of
all men.' "Those who know the story of his friendships and
his family life know that he was one who 'loved much' and
faithfully, even unto the end. Those who know his work as
a whole know that under the lambent and irrepressible humor
which was his gift there was a foundation of serious thoughts
and noble affections and desires. "Nothing could be more false
than to suppose that the presence of humor means the absence
of depth and earnestness. There are elements of the unreal,
the absurd, the ridiculous in this strange, incongruous world
which must seem humorous even tot he highest Mind. Of these
the Bible says, 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh;
the Almighty shall hold them in derision.' But the mark of
this higher humor is that it does not laugh at the weak, the
helpless, the true, the innocent; only at the false, the pretentious,
the vain, the hypocritical. "Mark Twain himself would be the
first to smile at the claim that his humor was infallible.
But we may say without doubt that he used his gift, not for
evil, but for good. The atmosphere of his work is clean and
wholesome. He made fun without hatred. He laughed many of
the world's false claimants out of court, and entangled many
of the world's false witnesses in the net of ridicule. In
his best books and stories, colored with his own experience,
he touched the absurdities of life with penetrating but not
unkindly mockery, and made us feel somehow the infinite pathos
of life's realities. No one can say that he ever failed to
reverence the purity, the frank, joyful, genuine nature of
the little children, of whom Christ said, 'Of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven.' "Now he is gone, and our thoughts of him
are tender, grateful, proud. We are glad of his friendship;
glad that he has expressed so richly one of the great elements
in the temperament of America; glad that he has left such
an honorable record as a man of letters, and glad, also for
his sake, that after many and deep sorrows, he is at peace,
and we trust happy in the fuller light. "Rest after toil,
port after stormy seas, Death after life doth greatly please."
News to Dr. Twichell.
the Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twichell of Hartford came forward to
deliver the prayer. Associated with the dead author from the
middle and happiest part of his life, the minister who performed
the marriage that brought so much happiness into Mr. Clemens's
life and lived to hold the funeral services of not only the
wife, but of three of the children born of the marriage, it
was no wonder that when he came to deliver a prayer at the
death of his friend his voice should fail him. Throughout
the short service he had sat with bowed head to conceal the
fact that tears had found their way to the surface. Now he
made a determined effort to control himself, and finally was
able to say what he had to say. Although fully as old as Mark
Twain, Mr. Twichell carries his age well. He is a big, vigorous-looking
man. With his mass of heavy white hair he does not look unlike
Mark Twain himself. His prayer, except for the benediction
by Dr. Van Dyke, ended the service. When he left the pulpit
and retired into the robing room, he received a blow that
was particularly sad owing to the circumstances under which
it came - a telegram saying that his wife was seriously ill
in Hartford and that he must return there at once. He left
the church immediately and took the first train for his home.
was arranged that in his stead the Rev. Samuel E. Eastman,
pastor of the Park Church, should officiate at the services
in Elmira. 3,000 Passed the Coffin. The service in the Brick
Church lasted only twenty minutes. It is estimated fifteen
hundred persons crowded to hear it. At its conclusion it was
announced that the coffin would be opened. The lines of those
within the church began to pass around it, and the crowd from
the street pushed in. This was at half past three. there was
no abatement in the stream for the next hour and a half.
at 5 o'clock it was found necessary to close the doors, as
the body had to be taken to Hoboken and put aboard the special
train for Elmira. More than three thousands persons meantime
had passed in front of the coffin. Every walk of life was
represented in the line, which filed slowly past the coffin.
Before the doors were opened a score of brightly dressed little
girls appeared in front of the church, each with flowers in
her hand. They were disappointed at not being allowed to enter,
but the ushers appeased them by taking their flowers and setting
them near the bier. When the people had been filing past only
a few minutes it could be seen that almost every nationality
was represented. There were several negroes.
Langdon, who was standing near the head of the coffin, was
much interested in one of the persons who passed him. He said
that the man looked the very picture of tramphood, but his
bearing was easy, and he seemed to be unconscious of his tattered
clothes, stopping for along look at he face of Mark Twain.
Mr. Paine also saw him, and said he was probably some one
who had seen better days, in which he had read Mark Twain
and conceived a liking for his work. All religions were represented.
Some of those who passed crossed themselves as they did so.
Wreath on the Coffin.
idea of simplicity was carried out in all the arrangements.
There were no pall bearers. Although surrounded by flowers,
there was nothing on the coffin except a wreath which Dan
Beard had made of bay leaves gathered the night before, at
the request of the family, on the hill behind the house where
Mark Twain spent a good deal of his time. This was put on
the coffin when it was taken out of Stormfield, and will not
be removed. A copper plate on the lid bore the inscription:
LANGHORNE CLEMENS, MARK TWAIN, 1910
New York Times, April 23, 1910
LAST SCENE AT
THE OLD HOME.
Twain, When Ill, Wouldn't Be Carried in There - Stood for
to The New York Times.
Conn., April 23. - Less than two weeks ago Mark Twain arrived
at Stormfield, having been brought back from Bermuda by Albert
Bigelow Paine when he was told that his friend was dangerously
ill. Mr. Clemens had to be carried from the steamer to his
carriage, and in all the intermediate steps of the journey.
But when he arrived at his hilltop home and the carriage drew
up at the doorway, he insisted on getting out himself. This
was because Katie Leary, his housekeeper for twenty-nine years,
and his butler Claude, stood at the door to welcome him.
did not suit Mark Twain's notion of courtesy, Mr. Paine said,
to be carried in and not be able to greet them properly. He
weakly alighted and then drew himself up to his full height.
Off came his big hat with a full sweep, and then he made one
of his old-fashioned low bows and spoke to them. Not until
then would he allow himself to be helped. It was the last
time he walked unaided.
before his body was carried to New York, he lay in the beautifully
furnished living room on the lower floor, among his books.
He had been dressed in one of his white cashmere suits and
brought down there the night before. The unshuttered windows
let in a stream of sunlight, and the breeze fluttered the
light curtains. It was a perfect day.
9 o'clock it was announced that Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, his only
surviving daughter, Clara, was coming downstairs. The other
members of the household withdrew and she went into the living
room alone. The doors were locked. In about half an hour she
came out, drawing her veil about her face. The coffin was
placed in the village hearse, drawn by a team of white horses,
and the little procession started for the four-mile drive
to the Redding station. Mr. and Mrs. Paine and Jervis Langdon
were in one carriage with the butler, Claude, and Mr. and
Mrs. Gabrilowitsch followed in a carriage which had been presented
to Mr. and Mrs. Clemens at the time of their marriage. On
the front seat sat Katie Leary. As they went over the hills
to the railroad station many of the townsfolks were seen in
front of their houses. The men uncovered as the hearse passed.
On the way Dan Beard, his wife, and children joined the procession.
group of country folk was gathered at the railroad station.
Most of them were members of the Redding Library Club, in
which Mark Twain was deeply interested, and to which, besides
giving it all his superfluous books, he had drawn a check
for $6,000 the day before his death. They stood in silence
during the short wait for the train, and the men again uncovered
as the coffin was lifted on the train. Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch
retired into the stateroom compartment of the parlor car.
The remainder of the party was made up of Jervis Langdon,
Albert Bigelow Paine, Dan Beard, and Harry Lounsbury, the
Stormfield Superintendent. The conductor of the train, which
was the Pittsfield Express was M. H. Lyons. He had become
well acquainted with Mark Twain owing to the fact that the
author always waited for his train in going to and from the
city. The dead author used to say that he enjoyed talking
New York Times, May 4, 1910
MARK TWAIN'S WILL FILED.
Everything to His Daughter, Mrs. Gabrilowitsch.
Conn., May 8. - Under the will of Mark Twain, filed for probate
at Redding today, all his property, save 5 percent in ready
cash, is bequeathed in trust to his only daughter, Clara Clemens
Gabrilowitsch. The 5 percent cash is given to her outright.
Arrangements are made for quarterly payments of interest to
Mrs. Gabrilowitsch by the trustees.Mr.
Clemens remarked in his will that he took this method of bequeathing
his estate to his daughter in order to leave the property
"free from any control or interference from any husband she
home, Stormfield, is valued at $30,000, and there is thought
to be about $150,000 on deposit in banks. No estimate has
been made of the literary assets, but they will be ascertained
by the trustees of the will later in the week. The will was
dated Aug. 17, 1909, and covers eight typewritten pages. It
was drawn in Redding and witnessed by Mr. Clemens's secretary,
Albert Bigelow Paine, Harry Lounsbury, Superintendent of Mr.
Clemens's estate, and Charles G. Sark of New York.
will appoints Jarvis Langdon of Elmira, N. Y.; Zohet S. Freeman,
and Edward E. Loomis of New York as trustees and executors.
When the will was drawn, a second daughter, Jean Clemens,
was alive, and by the terms of the will each daughter is to
receive 5 per cent of all money on deposit in the bank at
once, the residue of the estate to be divided equally and
invested by the trustees and the income paid quarterly to
the heirs. In case of the death of either heir without leaving
issue or will, the whole estate is to go to the next of kin.
In case there is issue and no will the estate is to go to
that issue. The heirs are given the privilege of disposing
of their shares by will as they may see fit. In case both
heirs to estate die without issue or will, the estate is to
go to the next of kin. The will further says that his daughter
Clara and his biographer, Mr. Paine, know his desires as to
his literary assets, and directs that the trustees be guided
by them in their disposal. No bonds are required of the trustees.
New York Times, July 10, 1910
TWAIN BOOKS FOR LIBRARY.
Daughter Announces She Will Give 2,500 to Redding Institution.
Conn., July 9. - Mrs. Clara Clemens-Gabrilowitsch, daughter
of the late Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) has formally
notified the directors of the Mark Twain Free Library here
that she will present to that institution practically the
entire library of her father, now in the Redding residence,
Stormfield. The gift includes nearly 2,500 volumes.
Clemens drew a check for $6,000 in favor of the Redding library
a few days before his death, and the money will be used to
erect a building for the institution.
New York Times, February 19, 1911
DEDICATE TWAIN'S LIBRARY.
to His Daughter Jean Formally Opened at Redding, Conn.
Conn., Feb. 18. - The Mark Twain Library, built as a memorial
to Miss Jean L. Clemens, daughter of the humorist, who was
drowned in a bathtub in her father's home, Stormfield, on
Dec. 24, 1909, was formally dedicated this afternoon. Addresses
were made by the Rev. Joseph H. Twichell of Hartford and the
Rev. Frederick Winslow Adams of Schenectady, N. Y.
money for the erection of the building was given by Mr. Clemens
a few days before his death, to the trustees of the library,
which he founded in 1908. the building is of colonial design,
one story in height and contains part of the collection of
books that formerly constituted the private library of the
humorist, and some rare pictures from Stormfield.
New York Times, July 20, 1912
ENDOWS TWAIN LIBRARY.
Carnegie Makes the Author's Memorial Self-Supporting.
public library founded by the late Samuel L. Clemens (Mark
Twain) in Redding, Conn., where he spent the latter years
of his life, has been endowed by Andrew Carnegie with a fund
sufficient to support it. The library is to be known as the
Mark Twain Memorial Library. When Mr. Clemens moved to Redding
he placed several thousand volumes from his own library in
a small vacant chapel and opened it to the public. Just before
his death he erected a building for the library as a memorial
to his daughter Jean. After the author's death Mrs. Gabrilowitsch,
another daughter, donated the larger part of his remaining
library to the collection. The library up to the present time
has been supported by voluntary contributions.
New York Times, July 2, 1917
TO SELL MARK TWAIN HOME
Daughter Finds Connecticut Place Too Isolated.
Mark Twain's old home near Redding, Conn., in which the humorist
died, has been advertised for sale.
built it with the idea of getting a country home which should
be near enough to New York, and yet not too near, in Summer
and Winter; but his daughter, Mrs. Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch,
to whom it passed after his death, found it too far away for
the needs of an artist whose affairs required frequent presence
in the metropolis.
and her husband, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, lived in it intermittently
until 1914, but since then they have spent their Summers at
Seal Harbor, Me., and most of the Winter seasons in New York.
house, built on 248 acres acquired by Mr. Clemens, stands
on a hilltop in the section where General Israel Putnam raised
his troops in the revolution. It embodies a good many of the
humorist's own ideas of architecture. The house was built
in 1907, but the humorist did not find the happiness he expected
there. His daughter Jean, who had lived with him for many
years, was drowned in her bath at Stormfield on Christmas
Eve, 1909, as a result of an epileptic stroke, and Mark Twain
was still suffering from grief over her death when he died
on April 21 following.
New York Times, October 25, 1918
TWAIN HOME A REST CAMP.
Estate to be a Retreat for Wounded Men.
the estate at Redding, Conn., which was the home of Mark Twain,
has been given by his daughter, Clara Clemens (Mme. Ossip
Gabrilowitsch) for the use of convalescent soldiers and sailors
of the artistic professions. Mme. Gabrilowitsch, though admitting
that she had turned Stormfield over for the use of wounded
men would not discuss the subject further, saying that the
affairs of the organization which was to control the estate
were not yet complete.
New York Times, November 7, 1918
STORMFIELD FOR A HOME.
Clemens Gabrilowitsch Aids Artists' War Service.
Clemens Gabrilowitsch has turned over Stormfield, the home
of Mark Twain at Redding, Conn., as a convalescent home in
charge of the Artists' War Service League, recently incorporated
under the laws of the State of New York. The objects of this
organization are similar to those of the American Friends
of Musicians in France, except that it proposes to aid men
of all the artistic professions in the service and their dependents,
instead of confining itself to musicians alone.
honorary committee named for the purpose of stimulating membership
now includes Rudyard Kipling, representing literature; Enrico
Caruso, music; Daniel C. French, sculpture, and John Drew,
representing the drama. J. F. D. Lanier will be Treasurer
and Winslow, Lanier & Co. will act as bankers for the fund
raised by the league.
New York Times, March 23, 1923
Mark Twain Estate Sold.
trustees of the Samuel L. Clemens estate have sold "Stormfield,"
near Redding, Conn., to Mrs. Margaret E. Given. The property
contains abut 200 acres, with a stucco residence of Italian
architecture, containing eighteen rooms and five baths built
in 1907 and occupied by Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain, the world
famous humorist) until his death in 1910. Hamilton Iselin
& Co. were the brokers in the deal.
New York Times, July 26, 1923
TWAIN'S OLD HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE
at Redding, Conn., Burns - Present Owners Flee for Lives
Conn., July 25. - Stormfield - the home of Samuel L. Clemens
(Mark Twain), in the closing years of his life - was burned
early today. The picturesque villa on the ridge of this town
was unoccupied for many years after Mr. Clemens's death, but
was bought in December by Mrs. Margaret E. Givens of New York,
as a Summer home.
home was built to carry out the ideas and wished of Mr. Clemens
and with the other buildings comprised a country estate. In
this home Mark Twain spent his last years, and as he had expressed
it, experienced some of the deepest sorrows of his life, as
well as some of his happiest days. Here his younger daughter,
Janet [sic], met a tragic death and here there was a burglary
which aroused widespread interest. In Stormfield, Mr. Clemens
lay ill for a long time and from it his body was borne to
its last resting place. After
a visit to Stormfield William Dean Howells wrote of Mark Twain
in his home: "He showed his absolute content with his home.
Truly he loved the place."
Givens, her daughter Thelma, and her son Eben, were in the
house when the latter discovered the fire in the laundry.
They were obliged to flee in their night garments. The flames
could be seen for a long distance and farmers hastened tot
he place to assist the Redding fire department and neighbors.
property was originally offered at $175,000 and the house
was valued at a considerable part of that figure. It was insured.
The fire is believed to have started from spontaneous combustion
among some painting materials which were in the laundry. Neighbors
saved a few things including articles which had been thought
much of by Mr. Clemens. Among them was a carved mantel brought
by him from Scotland.
New York Times, April 18, 1924
BUYS MARK TWAIN'S HOUSE.
L. Hunter Is Reported Acting for a Wealthy New Yorker.
Conn., April 17. - The Mark Twain place, where stand the ruins
of the former home of the author, burned three years ago [sic]
has been sold to George Leland Hunter, who, it is understood,
represents a wealthy New York man who is expected to erect
an elaborate residence on the site. Mr. Hunter recently purchased
and occupies the house known as The Lobster Pot, given by
Mark Twain to his social secretary, Miss Virginia Lyon. He
is author of several books on tapestries.
New York Times, December 28, 1924
Mark Twain's Burglar Now a Devoted Reader of Man He Robbed
To the Next Burglar:
is only plated ware in this house now and henceforth. You
will find it in that brass thing in the dining room over in
the corner by the basket of kittens. If you want the basket,
put the kittens in the brass thing. Do not make noise - it
disturbs the family. You will find rubbers in the front hall
by that thing that has the umbrellas in it - chiffonier, I
think they call it, or pergola, or something like that. Please
close the door when you go away.
said a giant of a man with a heavy face and large, powerful
that little note was called forth by me. It was written just
after a friend of mine and myself broke into Mark Twain's
smiled at Mark Twain's now famous bit of fooling with a reminiscent
air. "It was a long time ago," he went on, staring at nothing;
"sixteen years." He
lapsed into silence.
you remember much about it?"
he replied calmly, "I remember it, all right. I got ten years
in the Connecticut State Prison for it." After a pause he
added with a chuckle:
was 'that brass thing' mentioned by Mark Twain in his little
note to the next nocturnal visitor that made all the trouble.
" 'That brass
thing' was a large brass bowl on the sideboard, and when we
tried to get the silver out, my friend noticed it. He was
afraid we'd knock it off, so he took it down carefully and
laid it on the floor. That was a bad move.
see," said the ex-burglar in a matter of fact tone, "we didn't
want to make any more noise than we could help, anyway. And
when we tried to break into the sideboard, it began to seem
pretty risky. So we decided to take the sideboard out. We
moved it down the road a way, and - "
it out of the house, and down the road," he replied patiently.
And when we got it out and away from the house we opened it.
That was all right. But we went back after that to see what
else we could find. The Faux Pax. We didn't get very far on
that second trip. My friend was moving around in a quiet sort
of way, when all of a sudden there came a terrific band from
the part of the room where he was. It was 'that brass thing'
he had taken so carefully off the sideboard; he'd gone and
stumbled over it in the dark where it lay on the floor.
after that things began to happen, and they happened fast.
Somebody came down from upstairs and turned on a flashlight
from the stair landing. " 'Hello,' said this person, but we
didn't wait to answer politely. We decided that it was about
time to blow, and we did that without losing any time. We
decided to get the early morning train away from those parts.
That was a bad move too.
weren't very many people on it, and we were a little conspicuous,
I guess. You know how all those trains are - everybody knows
everybody else, or pretty close to it. But we were strangers.
"However, we didn't have much time to feel out of it on account
of being strangers. All of a sudden twelve men came into the
car, and the way they looked at us made us pretty sure they
wanted to have us join them. "My friend ran to the other end
of the car, out through the door and jumped off the train.
It's a wonder he didn't break his neck; that train must have
been going about fifty miles an hour. I didn't have much time
to think about what had happened to him, though. Those fellows
made a beeline for me. "The first of them had a gun, and it
was pointed in my direction. So I took out my own gun - I
had it right here like this, in my right-hand coat pocket.
It took it out and I let fly with two or three shots toward
the ceiling of the car. I thought might be able to scare them.
But I was fooled. There were all old hands at that sort of
thing. One of them got close enough to hit me over the head
with a blackjack. Right here is where he landed." The ex-burglar
pushed back the hair from his forehead and showed a white
scar just at the hair's edge.
hit me with it," went on the ex-burglar, frowning, "and then
I got mad. I grabbed hold of him and we started to wrestle
around in the aisle of the car. I tripped him, but he swung
me around as we fell and landed on top of me. He was a big
man, bigger than I. He had me by the wrist, but I was crazy
by that time, couldn't see what I was doing, on account of
the blood in my eyes. I wriggled the gun around into something
and pulled. Later I learned I had shot the policeman in the
leg. "I say 'later', because that's all I can remember until
I found myself lying on the embankment beside the train with
handcuffs on. "Then came the trial, and I got ten years. It
was interesting to hear what Mark Twain had to say about my
visit. He said I scared away most of the servants and didn't
get what I was after; and that now I was in jail, and that
if I kept on I would go to Congress."
Bigelow Paine, in his biography of Mark Twain, says: "Claude,
the butler, fired a pistol after them (the burglars) to hasten
their departure and Clemens, wakened by the shots, thought
the family was opening champagne and went to sleep again."
would expect that the Mark Twain burglar might have some feeling
of bitterness in connection with any Mark Twain products,
but this is far from being the case. The ex-burglar is, as
a matter of fact, a Mark Twain enthusiast. He has read most
of the author's writings, and they remain his favorite books.
Indeed, the ex-burglar was discovered through his coming to
the establishment of Harper & Brothers to get the recently
published autobiography of Mark Twain. While he was getting
it he modestly divulged the information that he had once paid
the famous author an evening visit without invitation. "My
visit to Mark Twain was the last such exploit I ever made,"
he said. "Not because I was a 'disappointed burglar,' as Mark
Twain said - for I took away all the silverware - but because
I have since come to the conclusion that crime doesn't pay."
ex-burglar has had further relations with the Clemens family
since the unhappy episode which landed him in Connecticut
State Prison for ten years, but these relations have been
of a far pleasanter sort. "Since my release from prison some
nine years ago," he said, "I had the privilege and pleasure
of meeting the only living member of Mark Twain's family,
Mrs. Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch. It is to the generosity
and practical assistance of Mark Twain's talented daughter
that I owe my real chance to make good and to become a useful
and law-abiding citizen and member of the society I hated
and fought so long." [This article concludes with a reprint
of the burglar alarm story from Mark Twain's AUTOBIOGRAPHY]
New York Times, April 10, 1937
ALBERT B. PAINE, 76, BIOGRAPHER, DEAD
and Writer of Mark Twain's Life - Stricken in Florida on Way
SMYRNA, Fla., April 9 (AP). Albert Bigelow Paine of West Redding,
Conn., author and biographer, died here tonight after an illness
of four weeks. His age was 75.
member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee for many years, he
had just finished reading a novel which may bring its author
the award next month. Mr. Paine spent the Winter in South
Florida and was en route to New York when he was stricken
and brought to a hospital here.
the past forty years, Mr. Paine had spent most of his time
in Europe and the East. Survivors include the widow, Mrs.
Dora L. Paine, who was with her husband; three daughters.
Mrs. Louise Paine Benjamin of New York, associate editor of
The Ladies' Home Journal; Mrs. Frances Paine Wade of Paris,
France, and Mrs. J. H. Cushman of West Redding, and a sister,
Mrs. Carry Alexander of Orange Park, Fla.
body will be sent to West Redding for funeral services and
burial. Wrote Twain Biography Albert Bigelow Paine wrote fiction,
humor, verse and edited several magazines, but his outstanding
work was a three-volume biography of Mark Twain, with whom
he lived and traveled for four years. In addition, he wrote
"The Boy's Life of Mark Twain" (1916) and "A Short Life of
Mark Twain" (1920). He was Twain's literary executor and arranged
for publication of "Mark Twain's Letters" (1917). "Thomas
Nast - His Period and His Pictures" (1904) was Mr. Paine's
first biography. He also wrote lives of Lillian Gish, Captain
Bill MacDonald of the Texas Rangers and George F. Baker, New
York banker. Mr. Paine lived for several years in France and
wrote "Joan of Arc, Maid of France," and "The Girl in White
Armor," works which brought him from the French Government
the decoration of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor. His travel
books, all widely circulated, included "The Car That Went
Abroad," "The Ship Dwellers" and "The Tent Dwellers." His
first novel was "The Bread Line" (1900) and he followed it
in 1901 with "The Great White Way," a title for Broadway and
New York's theatrical district that came into general use.
All through the years he turned out skits, sketches and a
steady string of books for children, the "Hollow Tree," "Arkansas
Bear" and "Deep Woods," the first of which were produced in
the Nineties and which are still selling.
Youth in West
Paine was born July 10, 1861, in New Bedford, Mass., the fifth
child of Samuel Estabrook Paine, a Vermont farmer and storekeeper,
and Mercy Coval Kirby Paine of South Dartmouth, Mass., daughter
of a family of seafaring folk. When he was a year old, the
family moved to Bentonsport, Iowa, where the father owned
a store and a farm. But in a few months the elder Paine marched
away to the Civil War. After the war the family moved to Xenia,
Ill. There Mr. Paine attended a one-room school, writing "compositions"
for the weekly "literary" exercises.
20 he went to St. Louis, learned photography, tramped with
camera for three years through the South and then set himself
up as a dealer in photographic supplies in Fort Scott, Kan.
He kept this up for ten years, but wrote, too, and his first
book, "Rhymes by Two Friends" (1893), was also the first book
of William Allen White, for it was a collection of their verse.
A pleasant note from Richard Harding Davis, accepting a Paine
story for Harper's Weekly, decided him to turn author in earnest,
and in 1895 he sold his photographic business and went to
New York Times, October 9, 1953
MARK TWAIN HOME BURNS (Lobster Pot)
Landmark in Redding is $100,000 Loss
to THE NEW YORK TIMES
Conn., Oct. 8 - A defective oil burner was blamed today for
a $100,000 blaze that destroyed a two-century-old house once
owned by Mark Twain. The estimate of the damage was made by
the present owner, the Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes Jr., rector
of St. Bartholomew's Protestant Episcopal Church, New York,
who acquired the twelve-room landmark in 1952 as a summer
home. The blaze yesterday afternoon destroyed many antiques,
including family heirlooms, according to the owner, who said
the loss was partially covered by insurance. Mark Twain had
acquired the house for one of his daughters and had named
it the "Lobster Pot" because he said it resembled a lobster
trap used in Maine.
New York Times, April 30, 1960
TWAIN LETTER GIVEN TO REDDING LIBRARY
to The New York Times.
Conn., April 29 - The Mark Twain Library this week received
a first edition of Twain's "Petition to the Queen of England."
The petition is a letter he wrote to Queen Victoria complaining
about an income tax England wanted him to pay. Albert Bigelow
Paine, the writer's biographer, described it as "one of the
most exquisite of Mark Twain's humors." The piece was first
printed in Harper's Monthly magazine in December, 1887. That
section of the magazine was repaired and rebound and presented
to the library's Samuel Clemens Collection. Mark Twain was
Clemens' pen name. The edition was found by Duane Haley of
Redding, who turned it over to William Ireland Starr, also
of Redding. Mr. Starr passed it on to the library.
Twain Centennial Art Collection:
Twain's "Lobster Pot" Studio & Gallery is honored
to present a special limited edition "Centennial
Collection" of prints commorating Mark Twain's last
years in Redding, CT and his death at Stormfield, his Redding
home, April 21, 1910. Artist, Susan Boone Durkee, who lives
on the original property which Mark Twain called "The
Lobster Pot" is pleased to present this exclusive limited
edition of prints using the highest quality of archival inks
and paper available. Please view the Mark
Twain Gallery of her artwork honoring America's most
famous writer and humorist.
and more information on Twain in Stormfield
of Twain in Redding shot by Thomas Edison (1909)
you'd like to learn more about Mark Twain visit:
The Mark Twain Forum (amazing insights).
a scrapbook with pictures of Stormfield from PBS. Click Here.
with links to Twain related sites
The Lives of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
by Andrew Hoffman
*Includes Redding info.
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