The purpose of this project is to celebrate Samuel L. Clemens' life in Redding, Connecticut by documenting and showcasing his time here in multiple formats both online and offline. Your donations & site sponsorships will help me dedicate more time to these projects and allow me to get them online sooner.

Monday, September 14

Mark Twain Centennial

Connecticut has a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate Mark Twain's life in Hartford and Redding, Connecticut throughout the year 2010.

Mark Twain Day in Connecticut

We asked for an official Mark Twain Day in Connecticut on April 21, 2010 and we got it! A big thank you to Governor Rell and State Senator Boucher for her assistance.

Mark Twain Centennial Exhibits

Portrait Artist Susan Durkee, Mark Twain Library Director Heather Morgan and Redding historian Brent Colley, are working on a project that will increase awareness of Mark Twain’s time in Connecticut by showcasing the people and places connected to his time here. They call it the Mark Twain Centennial Project.

About the Mark Twain Centennial Project:

The project will place informative exhibits in every public library and/or public building that would like to be a part of this celebration. These Exhibits will be free to the public and free to the libraries and public places that display them.

The exhibits will include information about Twain's life, his work and his friends in Connecticut. Exhibiting locations will be provided with a portrait of Twain along with photos and information brochures that showcase Redding, Hartford and the Twain Connections that have been made across the State.

Towns and cities that have Twain Connections will be encouraged to provide information and photos about the people and places in their towns that are connected with Twain. That way we raise awareness of Twain and bring attention to local individual’s and their accomplishments too. Bridgeport's P.T. Barnum would be a perfect example. Another is Keeler Tavern in Ridgefield, in the present day people visit Keeler Tavern to learn about a colonial tavern. We hope in the future they'll visit to learn more about Architect Cass Gilbert and his friendship with Twain too.

To date we've been amazed by the number of people and towns connected to his life and we cannot wait to make others aware of these connections, people and their own individual accomplishments. The ultimate goal of this project is to make Connecticut a destination for Mark Twain research in the future.

Mark Twain Library Marginalia. Personal note to Jean in 1903 w/sketch.

Planning and Progress

1. April 21, 2010 is Mark Twain Day in Connecticut. Our request has been approved by Governor Jodie Rell. This proclamation provides the perfect kick-off to our 2010 exhibits across the State.

2. We are making connections daily (55 to-date)using a number of online and offline resources. We are also actively marketing our idea across the State via newspaper articles and television interviews. We have submitted requests for assistance from local historical societies and historians. State librarians have also been made aware of our project and have been asked to participate. Feedback on the project has been positive.

3. Exhibit materials:

a). The artwork has been created but needs to be printed and framed.
b). Maps, Photos and information brochures need to be compiled and printed.

4. Funding. Sponsorships and donations are essential to the success of the project. All donations are tax-deductible and our sponsors will be prominently featured in all of our offline and online exhibits.

We Need Your Help

You can help us by...

1. Please make others aware of this idea. We need libraries to place the exhibits in and local historical societies and historians to help us make new connections between towns and Twain.

2. We need sponsors. Please forward this to local businesses, foundations and individuals and please encourage them to fund The Mark Twain Centennial.

Send checks to:

Mark Twain Library
P.O. Box 1009
Redding, Connecticut 06875
Attn: The Mark Twain Centennial Project

I can be reached at or by phone at 860-364-7475 if you would like to discuss this project with me.

Thank you,
Brent M. Colley

Mark Twain Centennial Collection Prints now available for online purchase...framed and unframed.

Does your town/city have a Mark Twain Connection?

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