Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Life and Death of the Great Mark Twain

Be sure to read Chapter 7 of Cadwallader - The Trail Forks: Click Here!

By Al Colombo, WMD  Publisher

If there was ever a writer that most of us from almost any recent era would recognize, it's that of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain. His life began in Hannibal, Missouri, which later served as the setting in which Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn lived their seemingly enjoyable lives.

“He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada” (Mark Twain, Wikipedia,

His exposure to a life in the Old West included mining gold in Virginia City, Nevada; when he failed at mining, he became an editor of a newspaper entitled the Territorial Enterprise. “He first used his pen name here on February 3, 1863, when he wrote a humorous travel account entitled 'Letter From Carson – re: Joe Goodman; party at Gov. Johnson's; music' and signed it 'Mark Twain'" (Mark Twain, Wikipedia,

One of his famous assertions is that he rode in on Halley's Comet in 1835 and that he was almost sure to ride out on the same comet in 1910, and that he did.

Sometime before that, in and about 1897, the American press reported that Mark Twain had died while traveling abroad. Twain was reported to have responded, according to author Terry Breverton, in his book entitled Immortal Last Words, “James Ross Clemens, a cousin of m ine was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness, the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

Obviously, Mark Twain was a man with a good sense of humor.

Despite his good humor, Twain became depressed in 1896 with the deaths of his favorite daughter, Susy, his wife Olivia in 1904, the death of Henry Rogers in 1909, and his daughter Jean, reportedly on Christmas Eve the same year. In 1910, he returned to his home in Connecticut after suffering a second heart attack. In 1910, within one day of the passing of Halley's Comet.

Author Breverton laments, “Albert Bigelow Paine's contemporary biography informs us: 'Good-bye,' he said, and Dr. Quintard, who was standing near, thought he added: 'If we meet'--but the words were very faint.”

A final note found next to Mark Twain's deathbed said, “Death, the only immortal, who treats us alike, whose peace and refuge are for all. The soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.”

Editor's Note: Be sure to read TK Hugh's Cadwallader - Chapter 6!

About Allan B. Colombo

As a freelance writer, Colombo has worked for many magazines in the security, life safety, HVAC, and locksmith markets.

Colombo also writes copy for equipment manufacturers and service providers in the electronic security and life safety markets. 

For a list of magazines, manufacturers and service providers, go to:

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