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4 West 31st Street between 5th Ave and Broadway

Famous Guest Mark Twain


Only six months after the Wolcott opened its doors in 1904, Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known by his pen name “Mark Twain” - an American author and humorist, stayed here. Mr. Clemens as Mark Twain wrote The Adventure of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventure of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Below are some letters Mr. Clemens wrote from the hotel on September 9th, 1904. The letters below are to Frank Seaman, an advertising agent,  whose office was on 34th street and to Susan L. Crane

Enlarged image of the Wolcott's  eagle and address from Mr. Twain's letter below.

"Dear Frank,

 As I understand it, my second & final $12,500 indebtedness will begin to move in your direction November first on the installment plan.Can you make it profitable to me to anticipate? What reductions will you make on that $12,500 – lump – cash, payable Sept. 15 or Sept. 30, 13 or 13 ½ months before the final installment of it would fall due?

                                                Truly Yours,

 SL. Clemens

Hotel Wolcott”




“The Wolcott                                                                                                                                                                                       

Sept 9/ 04                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Susy dear, the first time I heard ‘In the Sweet By and Bye’, a street - organ played it near the St. Nicholas in December 1867; & that was the first time I ever saw Livy Langdon, a sweet young slender girl & beautiful. In our engagement – year some of us often sang it evening, along with other songs.  Present:                                                                                                                                                                                               

Father, † (John Marshall Clemens)  

Mother, † (Jane Lampton Clemens)


Theodore, † (Theodore Crane)

Mr. Slee, † (John D. F. Slee)

Hattie Lewis, (Harriet Lewis)     

Livy Langdon † (Olivia Langdon Clemens)

How many are gone!   An organ is playing The Sweet Bye & Bye in the Street now & breaking my heart. I saw Clara off, day before yesterday, to a rest – cure in Connecticut. She is to be shut up 4 or 5 weeks, in bed, without books, without companionship, writing no letters, reading no letters, seeing no one but physician & nurse – a horrid solitude, with grief and memory for company. What an unforgivable crime the creation of the human race was! That inscription for the Gravestone is in Lee. I will send it by & by when I can. I do not remember the wording.



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The Hotel Wolcott 4 West 31st Street New York, New York 10001 United States Phone: 212-268-2900 Fax: 212-563-0096