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The New York Times, July 12, 1895

Supplementary Proceedings on a Judgment Resulting from Failure of C. L. Webster & Co. - Mr. Clemens in Poor Health.

Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) the humorist, was yesterday examined in supplementary proceedings at the office of his lawyers, 40 Wall Street. Mr. Clemens was a partner in the publishing house of Charles L. Webster & Co. The firm was organized in 1885, failed in 1890, was reorganized, and failed again in April 1894, with assets of $25,000, and liabilities of $80,000. The firm published Grant's Memoirs, and made a success of it, but in the late business depression the firm became embarrassed.

The examination of Mark Twain yesterday was upon a judgment against him and Frederick J. Hall, another member of the firm, that Thomas Russell & Sons, printers of 34 New Chambers Street, obtained in the sum of $5,046.83. Upon the return of the execution unsatisfied, Justice Patterson issued an order for the examination of Messrs. Clemens and Hall.

Mr. Clemens returned from Europe about six weeks ago and went to Elmira. He was there served with the order for the examination, and came here yesterday morning.

Henry H. Rogers, a Director in the Standard Oil Company, the other member of the firm, was present yesterday, waiting to be examined after the judgment creditors finished with Mr. Clemens.

Mr. Clemens was examined in private, the lawyers on both sides agreeing not to make public any of the proceedings. The examination was not concluded yesterday, and will go on again at 10 o'clock this morning.

Bainbridge Colby, assignee of the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co., said that Mr. Clemens had lost all of his money trying to keep the firm solvent, and that in its failure he had lost everything.

When the firm needed money and Mr. Clemens had no more to give it, Mrs. Clemens made loans, until, at the time of the failure, it owed her $70,000. For this she has never made a claim against the firm's assets.

Mr. Colby said that Mr. Clemens has done all in his power to aid him in paying the firm's creditors, and to dispose of the assets, which consisted of books that accumulated in the nine years that the firm was in business.

The assignee has paid dividends amounting to 20 per cent of the claims proved against the firm.

With the exception of Russell & Sons, the creditors of the firm have taken no action against Mr. Clemens, but have been satisfied with Mr. Colby's efforts to realize and pay them as much as possible, knowing that Mr. Clemens will do what he can to pay them in full.

At the time of the failure, Mr. Clemens became ill through worrying over his business affairs, and has not yet fully regained his health. He was attended yesterday by a nurse, who came from Elmira to care for him until he is able to return. If he regains his health sufficiently he will start West. He expects to leave Vancouver Aug. 16, on a lecture tour around the world, that he contemplates making.

After Mr. Clemens's examination is finished today Messrs. Hall and Rogers will be examined.

See the publishing history of Webster and Company.

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