“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work”- Mark Twain
Samuel L. Clemens was born in Hannibal, Missouri on November 30, 1835. The American author is overwhelming known by his pen name of Mark Twain. Born shortly after the appearance of Hailey’s Comet in 1835 Clemens said he came in with comet and would go out with it. His death came one day after the comet’s return on April 20, 1910.
His pen name of,”Mark Twain,” Clemens said came from Captain Isaiah Sellers who wrote down paragraphs of practical information and signed them Mark Twain and send them to the New Orleans Picayune. Clemens took up the pen name after Captain Sellers died in 1869.
The cover of the magazine featured in this post is from 1874 and was illustrated by R. T. Sperry. Note that the frog is reading the same title as the magazine.
The Special Collections Department in the Thomason Room of the Newton Gresham Library holds the Mark Twain Correspondence and Ephemera Collection, 1874-2002. This Twain collection is said to be one of the best in Texas.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri to John and Jane Clemens. The Clemens family moved to Hannibal, Missouri near the Mississippi River when Samuel was 4 years old. His father died in 1847 leaving the Clemens family financially unstable for years to come. After completing the fifth grade, Samuel left school to work as a printer’s apprentice for a local newspaper. By the age of 18, Samuel Langhorne Clemens had traveled to New York and Philadelphia writing articles for several newspapers. He worked as a riverboat pilot beginning in 1857 and spent several years traveling the Mississippi River. Later, Clemens was in the Confederate army for a short time and then moved to Nevada where he began writing under the pen name Mark Twain. He toured Europe by steamboat and his collection of travel letters was later reworked into his first popular book, The Innocents Abroad, released in 1869. Samuel Clemens married Olivia (Livy) Langdon in 1870 and the couple had three daughters. Clemens wrote most of his popular works from his family home in Hartford, Connecticut. These works included: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Clemens family moved to live in Europe in 1891. Samuel later lost two daughters and his wife before his death on April 21, 1910. Mark Twain was one of America’s premier writers and his works have reached worldwide recognition for their humor and historical significance.
The Mark Twain Correspondence and Ephemera Collection contains original correspondence from Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The letters and postcards consist mostly of thank you letters and correspondence concerning travel accommodations for a trip to Europe. The collection includes original photographs and postcards of Mark Twain. The collection also has numerous newspaper clippings and ephemeral booklets relating to Mark Twain. In addition, a complete memory training game created by Mark Twain is a featured item. The Mark Twain Correspondence and Ephemera Collection is associated with the SHSU Special Collection’s Mark Twain rare book collection which includes approximately 500 volumes.
View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Finding Aids Online page and see just what materials are in the collection.
Mark Twain was one of America’s premier writers and his works have reached worldwide recognition for their humor and historical significance. SHSU Special Collections currently has a large and unique collection of the novels and writings of Mark Twain. The collection includes roughly 500 of Mark Twain’s books and even some of his personal correspondence. The books include many first editions and limited printings. This correspondence includes letters and postcards that are mostly thank you letters concerning travel accommodations for one of Mark Twain’s trips to Europe. The collection also has newspaper clippings and ephemeral booklets relating to Mark Twain. In addition, a complete memory training game created by Mark Twain is a featured item.