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The Mark Twain Archive: The Pond Collection
This collection presents a unique and telling record of a critical juncture in the life of Samuel Clemens. In 1895, suffering the effects of a series of financial failures, Clemens agreed to a demanding around the world lecture tour. The tour lasted more than a year and at the end, while Clemens was still in England, he received the news that his oldest daughter Susy, who had remained in the States, had died of meningitis. Major James B. Pond was Clemens' agent for the tour and accompanied him on the early cross country leg, from Cleveland to Vancouver, in the summer of 1895. Pond kept a journal account and a candid photographic record of this journey including images of Quarry Farm from which the party departed for Cleveland and to which the Ponds returned after seeing Clemens off in Vancouver. Elmira College acquired 125 archival quality prints and negatives of Pond's photos and copies of Pond's original journal entries from Twain collector Nick Karanovich and in 1992 the Center for Mark Twain Studies published Overland With Mark Twain, including all of the photos, Pond's journal, a preface by Nick Karanovich and an introduction by noted Twain scholar Alan Gribben.