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Inventory of the Clemens (Samuel) Family Papers, 1872-1908
HM 53346 - HM 53483  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Indexing
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix: Family relationships in the Clemens Family Papers

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Clemens (Samuel) Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1872-1908
    Collection number: HM 53346 - HM 53483
    Creator: SamuelClemens Family
    Extent: 139 items (7 diaries, 132 letters and financial records)
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    This collection was acquired from the Phyllis Harrington estate on March 24, 1987 (accession number 1335).


    Collection is open to qualified researches by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL. 

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

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

    Biographical Note

    On Feburary 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 conert 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. (This biography was complied by Kay Peterson, April 1990)


    Added Subject Entries

    • Clemens family
    • Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910
    • 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.

    Form and Genre Terms

    • Correspondence
    • Diaries
    • Financial records
    • Photographs


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

    Appendix: Family relationships in the Clemens Family Papers

    (Relationship to Samuel Langhorne Clemens and Olivia Langdon Clemens)
    • 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)