"The American Vandal Abroad"

Schedule of Lectures


Nov. 17 Cleveland, Ohio
Nov. 19 Pittsburg, Pa.
Nov. 23 Elmira, N.Y.
Dec. 2  Rondout, N.Y.
Dec. 9  Newark, N.J.
Dec. 11 Norwich, N.Y.
Dec. 16 Scranton, Pa.
Dec. 19 Fort Plain, N.Y.
Dec. 22 Detroit, Mich.
Dec. 23 Lansing, Mich.
Dec. 25 Charlotte, Mich.
Dec. 26 Tecumseh, Mich.
Dec. 30 Akron, Ohio
Jan. 2  Fort Wayne, Ind.
Jan. 4  Indianapolis, Ind.
Jan. 6  Rockford, Ill.
Jan. 7  Chicago, Ill.
Jan. 8  Monmouth, Ill.
Jan. 9  Galesburg, Ill.
Jan. 11 Peoria, Ill.
Jan. 12 Decatur, Ill.
Jan. 13 Ottawa, Ill.
Jan. 14 Davenport, Iowa
Jan. 15 Iowa City, Iowa
Jan. 20 Toledo, Ohio
Jan. 21 Norwalk, Ohio
Jan. 22 Cleveland, Ohio
Jan. 25 Marshall, Mich.
Jan. 26 Batavia, Ill.
Jan. 27 Freeport, Ill.
Jan. 28 Waterloo, Ill.
Jan. 29 Galena, Ill.
Feb. 1  Jacksonville, Ill.
Feb. 13 Ravenna, Ohio
Feb. 15 Alliance, Ohio
Feb. 16 Titusville, Pa.
Feb. 17 Franklin, Pa.
Feb. 23 Trenton, N.J.
Feb. 25 Stuyvesant, N.Y.
Mar. 1  Geneseo, N.Y.
Mar. 3  Lockport, N.Y.


The schedule at left doubtless contains errors. It has been compiled from a number of sources -- most importantly, Mark Twain's Letters, Vol. 2 (ed. Harriet Elinor Smith & Richard Bucci); The Love Letters of Mark Twain (ed. Dixon Wecter); Mark Twain's Letters to Mrs. Fairbanks (ed. Wecter); and the accounts of the tour in Lorch's Trouble Begins at Eight and Fatout's Mark Twain on the Lecture Circuit. It was then checked against the schedule published in an appendix to Mark Twain's Letters, Vol. 3 (ed. Victor Fischer & Michael B. Frank).

The schedule is designed to allow you to join the tour in two different ways. When a date on the list appears as an active link, clicking on it will take you to an excerpt from a letter by MT about that performance. Whenever a city name appears as an active link, it will take you to a local review of that performance.

Cleveland was one of MT's home bases during the tour. Besides beginning there, and returning for a benefit lecture there on January 23, he several times stayed over at the Fairbanks' house between other lectures. But the center of his attention was Elmira, N.Y, where Olivia Langdon lived. Throughout the tour he was courting her as well as the approval American audiences. After his Elmira performance in November, he was accepted as a suitor. He cancelled several shows, and sometimes traveled out of his way, to get to Elmira as often as possible. And during a break in early February she and her family accepted his proposal of marriage.

He himself was dissatisfied with his performance in Elmira, apologizing to the audience at the end. But there is reason to think that his success on the tour, the evidence it gave of his rising star, helped persuade Livy's family to endorse his suit. Because he registered with Redpath late in the booking season, and because lyceum committees were waiting to see how his early lectures went before inviting him, his itinerary was inefficient. Its gaps and criss-crossings increased his expenses, so that all told he netted less than $2000 from the tour. On the other hand by the time it was over he had succeeded as a claimant for both love and popularity in the East. By the next lecture season he was in high demand as a performer, and as soon as the 1869-1870 tour ended he and Olivia Langdon got married. (There is interesting evidence of the way MT interlinked these two successes -- on stage and in private -- especially in the letters he wrote announcing the success of his courtship.)

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