Samuel Clemens Papers

Finding Aid Prepared by Patrick Lawlor
August 2001

Date Range: 1900-1968
Size of Collection: 1 linear ft. (73 items in 2 boxes; 1 volume; 1 oversize folder)
Date of Acquisition: Gift of Mrs. H.H. Rogers, 1953
Gift of Henry Rogers Benjamin, 1966
Transferred from the Dramatic Museum, 1977
Material on Microfilm: No material on microfilm
Terms of Access: Available for faculty, students, and researchers engaged in scholarly or publication projects.
Restrictions on Use or Access: Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of The Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Location in Stacks: In sequence.
Processing Information: Processed by various people.


       Clemens -- Mark Twain -- was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835 and was raised in Hannibal on the Mississippi River. In 1856 he apprenticed himself to become a riverboat pilot and spent the next five years navigating the Mississippi. In 1862 he began work as a feature writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise and began to sign his work Mark Twain. The report of his journey to Europe Innocents Abroad 1969 became his first best-seller. In 1876 he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and in 1894 he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some modern readers are offended by the language Twain's books. His realistic prose style influenced numerous American writers. Twain was liberal on racial and social issues. One of the themes of Huckleberry Finn is equality for people of all races. Towards the end of his life Clemens was troubled by bad investments the loss of loved ones and depression. He died on 21 April 1910 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetry Elmira New York.


       The collection consists of 32 letters written by Samuel L. Clemens to Mary Benjamin Rogers (Mrs. H.H.), his niece by marriage, and four letters written to Clemens and forwarded to him by Mrs. Rogers with comments. The letters are very personal in tone, full of Clemens' well-known wit, and revealing of his personal characteristics. There are a few clippings, cartoons, and one photograph.

Also, a collection of 18 letters written to Clemens by Dorothy Sturgis, 1908-1909, relating to the "Angel-Fish Aquarium". There is also one typescript of the Constitution of the Club, "The Aquarium, Issued by the Admiral"; and a photograph album of the Mark Twain Dinner, 1905

Cataloged correspondence

1  Clemens
     To Mary Benjamin Rogers
1  Clemens
      To [?]
1  Clemens
     To H. Q. Russ
1  Clemens
     To E. Ducan Lucas
1  Clemens
     To Mr. Bangs
1  Clemens
     To Dorothy Sturgis
1  Grant, Percy S.
     To Mary Benjamin Rogers
1  Harvey, George
     To Samuel L. Clemens
1  Kellog, Lois
     To Samuel L. Clemens
1  Lyon, Mrs. I.
     To Samuel L. Clemens

Cataloged manuscripts

1  Clemens, Samuel L.
     The Aquarium, Issued by the Admiral Redding, 8pp.
1  Portraits of Samuel L. Clemens
     1 folder
1  Newspaper clippings, cartoons and photographs
     1 folder
1  Miscellaneous material relating to the collection
     1 folder


2  Magazine excerpts
     1 volume
2  Mark Twain's Letters to Mary
     2 copies
2  Photostatic copies of Clemens' letters to Mary Rogers


 Mark Twain Dinner
     Delmonico's December 5, 1905
     1 volume of photographs
 Folder containing offprint from Life
     December 20, 1968
 A copy of Harpers Weekly
     September 26, 1891