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175 years ago today, humorist, journalist, river boat captain and American original, Samuel L. Clemmons (pen name Mark Twain) was born in Missouri, near the Mississippi River. A popular writer who captured colloquial and native speach as well as the American spirit, Twain is surely best known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer(1875) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Read a short biography of Twain in Gale Biography in Context.

A search in Furman’s library catalog for Mark Twain as author yields 236 titles! and a search of Twain as a subject yields 183! One of the most interesting is The Writings of Mark Twain, a definitive edition consisting of eight volumes of his works, each volume bearing his signature! (see photo) This work lives in Special Collections on the second floor of the library.

“I have had a ‘call’ to literature, of a low order –i.e. humorous. It is nothing

to be proud of, but it is my strongest suit…seriously scribbling to excite the

laughter of God’s creatures.” –Mark Twain, 1965


Bruce Clemens says:

Samuel Clemens was the quintessential American author, full of fun, games and tragedy. I’m blessed to be a descendant of Sam’s brother, Orion. My son, Benjamin Samuel Clemens, was born the first time that Haley’s comet graced our heavens since Sam’s death.

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