Oct. 1  San Francisco
Oct. 11 Sacramento
Oct. 15 Marysville
Oct. 20 Grass Valley
Oct. 23 Nevada City
Oct. 24 Red Dog
Oct. 25 You Bet
Oct. 31 Virginia City
Nov. 3  Carson City
Nov. 4  Washoe City
Nov. 8  Dayton
Nov. 9  Silver City
Nov. 10 Gold Hill
Nov. 16 San Francisco
Nov. 21 San Jose
Nov. 26 Petaluma
Nov. 27 Oakland
Dec. 10 San Francisco

First Lecture Tour

It's not clear when MT decided to raise money by taking his Sandwich Islands lecture on the road, but in any case the success of his San Francisco performance, widely reported in California and Nevada, served as excellent publicity. Travelling by steamboat, stage coach, horseback and even on foot, MT found himself a popular figure wherever he went. Advertisements for the performance show he was in high spirits, and the San Francisco Call twice reported MT's triumphant progress through the "interior." Many of the towns were so small, however, that he later advised against trying to lecture in the west--according to him, neither he nor Artemus Ward had made money by it. And when he lectured again out west a year and a half later, he revisted less than half the sites on this tour (see SECOND WESTERN TOUR).

The lecture in Virginia City was a homecoming of sorts: only three years earlier "Mark Twain" had been born there as the name Samuel Clemens started signing to his newspaper correspondence, and his return was celebrated by the town. It was in Red Dog that he first heard the introduction he later used himself, when an old miner introduced him by saying that he knew only two things about the speaker, that he'd never been in the penitentiary, and that "I can't imagine why." The lecture in Gold Hill led to an adventure, when friends pretending to be highwaymen robbed MT as he was walking back to Virginia City; the "robbers" gave as their motive the desire to bankrupt MT and so force him to lecture a second time in Virginia City, but MT was so annoyed by the practical joke that he cancelled his remaining Nevada lectures and returned to San Francisco. (MT uses a revised account of this experience as THE LAST CHAPTER of Roughing It [1872].)

The second San Francisco lecture, originally billed as a farewell performance, received negative reviews. Afterwards MT scheduled the lectures in San Jose, Petaluma and Oakland. The third San Francisco lecture, much more successful, was a farewell performance, and shortly afterwards he left by boat for New York.