Nook Farm logo
Fingerpost Productions
 Fingerpost Productions
 Hartford Street
"Hartford has a population of 40,000 souls, and the most of them ride in sleighs. That is a sign of prosperity and a knowledge of how to live -- isn't it?" --Mark Twain. Photo courtesy of the Hartford Public Library

Early Recollections of Hartford

   --from Mark Twain's letter to the Alta California, January 25, 1868, Volume 2, Mark Twain Memorabilia, Connecticut State Library

"I am in Hartford, Connecticut, now (January 25), but I am confident I shall get this letter finished yet, if I keep at it. I think this is the best built and handsomest town I have ever seen. They call New England the land of steady habits, and I can see the evidence about me that it was not named amiss. As I came along the principal street, today, smoking, of course, I noticed of the 200 men in sight at one time, only two were smoking besides myself. I had to walk three blocks to find a cigar store. I saw no drinking saloons at all in that street -- but I was not looking for any. I hear no swearing here. I see no one chewing tobacco. I have found nobody drunk. What a singular country it is! At the hospitable mansion at which I am a guest, I have to smoke surreptitiously when all are in bed, to save my reputation, and then draw suspicion upon the cat when the family detects the unfamiliar odor. I never was so absolutely proper in the broad light of day in my life as I have been for the last day or two. So far I am safe, but I am sorry to say that the cat has lost caste. She has steadily decreased in popularity since I made my advent here. She has achieved a reputation for smoking and may justly be regarded as a degraded, a dishonored, a ruined cat."

Continued on the next page

Go to

© 2007 Fingerpost Productions, Inc. -- All Rights Reserved