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Clemens Family Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 53346-53483  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Family relationships in the Clemens Family Papers
  • Bibliography
  • Indexing Terms
  • Added Subject Entries
  • Added People Entries

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Clemens Family Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1872-1908
    Collection Number: mssHM 53346-53483
    Creator: Clemens family
    Extent: 139 items in 4 boxes and 1 tan rope case
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains papers of the family of American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens (also known as Mark Twain), including 7 diaries of Jane Clampton Clemens (1880-1909), which detail her struggle with epilepsy, as well as medical treatments, ca. 1900, and correspondence and records of the family, including letters from all three Clemens daughters to their parents.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Clemens Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Purchased from the Phyllis Harrington estate on March 24, 1987 (accession number 1335).

    Biographical Note

    On February 2, 1870, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) married Olivia Langdon (1845-1904), the daughter of Jervis Langdon, a wealthy coal mine magnate. In the first year of their marriage, Olivia gave birth to their son, Langdon Clemens. The baby was premature, and died in 1872. Clemens and Olivia had three more children: Olivia Susan (1872-1896), Clara (1874-1962), and Jane Lampton (1880-1909). The girls spent most of their childhood years at the Clemens home in Hartford, Connecticut, although they often traveled to Europe with their parents. Summers were spent at Quarry Farm, in Elmira, New York, with Olivia Clemens' sister, Susan Langdon Crane (1836-1924), and her husband Theodore Crane, who managed the Langdon coal company with Olivia's brother, Charles Jervis Langdon (1849-1916). The Clemens family also had a close relationship with Olivia's brother, his wife Ida Clark, and their children Jervis, Julia (1871-1948), and Ida (1881-1964).
    As children, the Clemens girls enjoyed music and play-acting, and Clara studied piano and singing as an adult, and eventually appeared on the legitimate stage. In 1909, Clara married Russian pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch (1878-1936) and continued concert work. In 1944, she married Jacques Samossoud, a Russian friend of Gabrilowitsch. Olivia Susan (Susy) Clemens attended Bryn Mawr College for several years, but depression and ill-health inhibited her progress, and she left without receiving a degree. Susy died of spinal meningitis at the age of twenty-four, much to the dismay of her father, who had considered her the prodigy of the family. Jane Lampton (Jean) Clemens also died young, at the age of twenty-nine. She was diagnosed as epileptic in 1896, and traveled with her family to European spas for treatment. For a number of years she was confined to a sanatorium in Katonah, New York. On Christmas Eve of 1909, she drowned in the bathtub during an epileptic seizure.

    Family relationships in the Clemens Family Papers

    • Clemens, Clara (second daughter)
    • Clemens, Jane (Jean) Lampton (third daughter)
    • Clemens, Susy (first daughter)
    • Crane, Susan (Langdon) (Samuel's sister-in-law; Olivia's sister)
    • Crane, Theodore (Susan Crane's husband; brother-in-law to Samuel and Olivia)
    • Langdon, Charles Jervis (Samuel's brother-in-law; Olivia's brother)
    • Langdon, Ida Clark (Charles Langdon's wife; sister-in-law to Samuel and Olivia)
    • Langdon, Olivia Lewis (Samuel's mother-in-law; Olivia's mother)
    • Loomis, Julia Langdon (daughter of Charles and Ida; niece to Samuel and Olivia)

    Bibliography

    Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Mark Twain: Family Man. The Citadel Press, 1960.

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection contains papers of the family of American writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens including 7 diaries of his daughter Jane Clampton Clemens and correspondence and records of the family, including letters from all three Clemens daughters to their parents. The following individuals are represented in the collection: Clara Clemens, Jane Lampton Clemens (1880-1909), Susy Clemens (1872-1896), Mary Mason Fairbanks, Grace Elizabeth King (1852-1932), and Elizabeth Gillette Warner (1838-1915). Note: the collection does not contain letters by Samuel Clemens; he is only represented as an addressee.
    The collection includes 7 diaries of Jane Lampton Clemens, spanning the years 1900-1907. HM 53346 also contains 12 photographs that were inserted in the diary's opening for 1900, Nov. 11-12. The photos are not annotated in any way but several appear to have been taken in Europe, possibly Italy. The diaries, for the most part, cover the last years of her life, while she lived in Dublin, New Hampshire and a sanitarium in Katonah, New York. The diaries detail Jean Clemens struggle with epilepsy, as well as the medical treatments for the disease, circa the turn of the century.
    There are also letters and records including letters from all three Clemens daughters to their father, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, and to their mother, Olivia Langdon Clemens. There are letters from various extended family members and friends to Olivia Langdon Clemens, as well as, financial records from various companies.

    Arrangement

    Arranged in the following manner:
    • 1. Diaries of Jane Lampton Clemens (Box 1). The diaries are filed chronologically.
    • 2. Correspondence and financial records (Boxes 2-4 and tan rope case). Filed alphabetically by author or company, with oversize items at the end.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Clemens, Clara.
    Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909.
    Clemens, Olivia Langdon, 1845-1904.
    Clemens, Susy, 1872-1896.
    Fairbanks, Mary Mason.
    King, Grace Elizabeth, 1851 or 1852-1932.
    Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Family -- Archives.
    Warner, Elisabeth Gillette, 1838-1915.
    Epilepsy.
    Mental illness -- Treatment -- United States.
    Sanatoriums -- United States.

    Forms/Genres

    Diaries -- United States.
    Financial records -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Photographs -- United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Clemens, Clara.
    Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909.
    Clemens, Olivia Langdon, 1845-1904.
    Clemens, Susy, 1872-1896.
    Fairbanks, Mary Mason.
    King, Grace Elizabeth, 1851 or 1852-1932.
    Warner, Elisabeth Gillette, 1838-1915.

    Added Subject Entries

    • Epilepsy. In Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909, Diaries (HM 53346 -53352) and her letters to Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910, (HM 53356 -53366).
    • Mental Illness--Treatment--United States. In Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909, Diaries (HM 53346 -53352) and her letters to Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910, (HM 53356 -53366).
    • Sanatoriums--United States. In Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909, Diaries (HM 53346 -53352) and her letters to Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910, (HM 53356 -53366).

    Added People Entries

    • Clemens, Clara. Joint author with Susy Clemens, 1872-1896, letter to Susan Langdon Crane, c. 1880. HM 53372. Written in an unidentified hand.
    • Clemens, Olivia Langdon, 1845-1904. Addressee for Charles Jervis Langdon, 1887, Dec. 29, Elmira, N.Y. HM 53424.