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.

Tuesday, September 29

Making Connections- Captain Ned Wakeman, Westport CT

The Mark Twain Centennial, to me, is all about celebrating the life of Samuel L. Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) and making people more aware of his time in Connecticut.

To connect Connecticut towns and cities to his friends, family, associates and the places he visited I recently asked for assistance from local historians. As it turns out I didn't need to look past my own personal rolodex! Portrait Artist Susan Durkee, my friend and fellow Twainiac, forwarded a real gem to me this week. Westport's Captain Edgar "Ned" Wakeman.

Captain Edgar "Ned" Wakeman was skipper of the steamship America(a ship Clemens sailed on from San Francisco to NYC in 1866-67), and one of the most colorful seafarers of the time period. Wakeman is reincarnated in several of Twain's book characters: Captain Ned Blakely, Captain Stormfield, and Captain Hurricane Jones.

In a letter to the Alta (Newspaper), Clemens speaks of him as follows:

"I will do him the credit to say that he knows how to tell his stirring forecastle yarns; with his strong, cheery voice, animated countenance, quaint phraseology, defiance of grammar, and extraordinary vim in the matter of emphasis and gesture, he makes a most effective story even out of unpromising materials.

He is fifty years old, as rough as a bear in voice and action, and yet as kind hearted and tender as a woman. He is a burly, hairy, sunburned, stormy-voiced old salt, who mixes strange oaths with incomprehensible sailor-phraseology and the gentlest and most touching pathos, and is tatooed from head to foot like a Feejee Islander.

He knows nothing of policy or of the ways of the world, but he can keep cheered-up any company of passengers that ever traveled in a ship. He never drinks a drop, never gambles, and never swears where a lady or a child may chance to hear him."

In a notebook entry he writes:

"I'd rather travel with that old portly, hearty, jolly, boisterous, good-natured sailor...than with any other man I've ever come across,"

In his memoirs he wrote:

"I first knew Capt. Wakeman thirty-nine years ago. I made two voyages with him and we became fast friends. He was a great burly, handsome, weather-beaten, symmetrically built and powerful creature, with coal-black hair and whiskers and the kind of eye which men obey without talking back. He was full of human nature, and the best kind of human and loving a soul as I have found and when his temper was up he performed all the functions of an earthquake, without the noise."

In a letter Clemens wrote to his brother Orion, from Hartford, Clemens notes helping the Captain in 1874. This letter and more like them can be found at

"Farmington Avenue, Hartford.

March. 18, 1874

My Dear Bro:

The enclosed letter [ it is ] from a remarkable man—old Ned Wakeman, mariner for 40 year.,—or 50, more like it. He hung the mate (see “Roughing It”) for killing the negro. It is a true story.

I have written him that you will edit his book & help him share the profits, & I will write the introduction & find a publisher."

Westport Connection

Edgar "Ned" Wakeman was born in Westport, Connecticut:

"My great-great-great-grand-father, more than two hundred years ago, settled at Green Farms, Fairfield county, Connecticut; taking up a farm, as was the custom then, by running two parallel lines in a northerly direction from Long Island Sound,
so as to in close a strip of land as long and as wide as he desired.

This grant, signed by the English king, and always to be exempt from taxes, extended, according to the record on parchment in the Hartford Hall of Records, from the Sound, through Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. There were plenty of Indians in the country then, but neither roads nor fences, and the trees were marked with an ax to indicate the boundary lines.

The old house, the home of my fondest recollections, was built by this Joseph Wakeman, and lived in by five Josephs successively, down to my uncle Joe, who died in 1854. After his death it was sold to the Episcopalian society, and a stone church, the finest religious edifice in Westport, the town which has grown up around it, erected upon its site.

The old house measured fifty feet by forty, the stone chimney was eighteen feet square, the kitchen fireplace was ten feet wide at the back, twelve feet wide in front and six feet deep; a horse was employed to haul in the back-log, which was generally about nine feet long by three in diameter. The stone steps into the cellar were immense, and the oak timbers in the chamber floor and around the chimney were sixteen inches square. The original siding and shingles were never changed, but the last time I saw the old place the shingles were worn through in many places and were generally threadbare.

When the mail-stage road from New York to Boston came to be made, it ran close to the house, where the stage always stopped upon each trip, and when the British troops were in this country a number of officers made their headquarters at this house. My father was then a boy, and I have heard him say that he and the other frightened children ran and threw themselves into a bed as the troops approached; and I have seen him laugh as he remembered how he trembled when a soldier pulled back the covering, exclaiming:

"Here they are; black and white, all together!"

Down the road and across it, when I was young, stood an old building, which I have heard my father say was the house of a Jenning, a family which intermarried with mine. When the soldiers were leaving Westport they set fire to this building, and left a small squad behind to see that the fire was well kindled.

But the boys, my father among them, got an old King's tim and loaded it and then crept behind the stone fence, from which place they shot at the soldiers, wounding one and putting all to flight, so that the boys extinguished the flames and saved the house.

My grandfather Joseph and his wife Mary both died young. His family consisted of my father, whose name was Hezekiah, Seth, Joseph, Gideon and one daughter, Abigail; good, old-fashioned, names, that I love to recall, and family histories that my father used to relate to me when I was a boy at home, how I love to repeat them!

My father married Mary Godfrey on the eighteenth of February, 1798. He lived to the ripe age of eighty-seven, and my mother died at seventy-eight. My father was noted for his skill and strength in wrestling more than for anything else, unless it was for his sturdy honesty. On public occasions in our village, eighty years ago, wrestling matches were always held in which my father invariably, engaged, while report saith that he was never once thrown by his opponent. It was the custom then for the lad who was the best wrestler to wait upon the county belle, so it may be surmised that my mother was a very pretty girl; and I have often heard her say that Hezekiah was not only the strongest lad, and the only one of her acquaintance who possessed a double row of teeth all around, but also the best-looking young man in the country.

My first personal recollections carry me back more than forty years to a little tow-headed fellow living with his kind father and his loving mother in Westport, in the State of Connecticut..."

From: The log of an ancient mariner: being the life and adventures of Captain Edgar Wakeman. Library of Congress, American Memory.

Edgar "Ned" Wakeman, of Westport, of the "most winning and delightful" people Samuel L. Clemens ever met.

Does your Town have a "Twain Connection"???

I'd like to know all about it!

Make a Donation to the Project

Sunday, September 27

Stormfield Project Site Map

It's been getting tough to find the "good stuff" so until Blogger gets a better category sorting gadget I've listed some helpful links below.

Twain's Time in Redding:

June 18th, 1908, the arrival

The Burglary at Stormfield, September 18, 1908

The Burglary... who were the Stormfield burglars?

Stormfield Burglar makes his confession

Our Neighbor Mark Twain by Coley Taylor

Mark Twain as I Knew Him. Recollections of an Angelfish

Guestbook Entries September 1909

Who were the Angelfish?

The Billiard Room Addition (Bigelow Paine's House)

Mark Twain & Isabel Lyon

Funeral Expenses

The Tour de Twain... where to visit when you come to Redding


The property known as Stormfield

Books and articles containing information on Stormfield

The Stormfield Guestbook

Sunderlands, the builders of Stormfield

Stormfield and Mark Twain Lane in 1915

Stormfield Rebuiding Crew, 1925 (post fire)

Mark Twain Library:

Concert in support of library for Redding

Letter asking lawyer, Charles Lark, to release $6,000 for library

Samuel L. Clemens Book Collection at the Mark Twain Library

Mark Twain Library Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Mark Twain Library Launches New Website on the 99th Anniversary of his Death

The Mark Twain Centennial Project:

The Mark Twain Centennial Project Explained

Does Your Town Have a Twain Connection?

The Centennial Project Artwork

The Centennial Project Kickoff at the Lobster Pot

What We Want to Do Going Forward

Movie Projects:

Dangerous Intimacy: The Untold Story of Mark Twain's Final Years

Wednesday, September 23

Does Your Town Have a Twain Connection?

April 21, 2010 marks the Centennial of Mark Twain's passing and provides the residents of Connecticut with a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate Twain's life in Hartford and Redding, Connecticut throughout the year 2010.

Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel L. Clemens) called a number of places home over the course of his lifetime, however, his years in Connecticut came during very significant periods in his life. These years and the people and places that occupied them are the focus of a very special program Redding Historian Brent M. Colley is working on for 2010.

Having partnered with The Mark Twain Library and Portrait Artist Susan Durkee, Mr. Colley is currently securing funding in an effort to place exhibits in every public library and/or public place that wants to be a part of this celebration. The exhibits will include artwork, photos and information brochures about Twain's life, his work and his friends in Connecticut. These Exhibits will be free to the public and free to the libraries and public places that display them.

The Artwork:

"The most exciting feature in this project, to me, is the opportunity to explore the Friends of Twain and make connections to Twain in towns & cities across Connecticut. To date I've been amazed at the number of people and towns connected to his life and I cannot wait to make others aware of these people and their accomplishments." Said Mr. Colley in a recent interview.

Mr. Colley feels that merging information about Twain with information about the "Friends of Twain" in the exhibits of each town and city that has a Twain Connection is a great way to promote town pride and Connecticut tourism in the future.

"This project's objective is to promote and raise awareness of Clemens' time in Hartford and Redding, Connecticut. If we can do the same for the towns and cities connected with Twain that would be an amazing and welcomed bonus. I want to work with local historians and local historical societies to promote their resources and efforts. Making Connecticut a destination for Twain research is my ultimate goal."

Towns and Historians that would like to assist Brent in his efforts can contact him at 860-364-7475 or

Businesses and Individuals that would like to sponsor these exhibits can forward their tax deductible contributions to:

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

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

Wednesday, September 16

September 18th, 1908: The Burglary at Stormfield

Danbury Evening News, Friday, September 18th, 1908:

"Crooks carry off Humorist's Silverware. Caught while fleeing by train. One jumps from car while other uses revolver."

The New York Times, September 19, 1908:

Captured After a Pistol Fight on a Train in Which Prisoner and Officer Are Shot.

The Burglary

A little past midnight on September 18th two burglars (Charles Hoffman & Henry Williams) entered Twain's Redding house via a window in the kitchen that had been left unfastened. In the process of locating and carrying out a table filled with silverware they awakened Twain's secretary Isabel Lyon. Miss Lyon hearing the commotion downstairs, ran to the stairs, and upon seeing the intermittent flashing of lights below she awakened Claude Beuchotte (Twain's butler) and a house guest (Will Wark).

A search of the house was made and it was found that an English serving table that stood in the dining room was missing. Following a trail of discarded plateware, the serving table was found a short distance from the terrace, the drawer broken and its silverware gone.

Burglar Henry Williams would later describe the burglary in his book entitled: IN THE CLUTCH OF CIRCUMSTANCE, My Own Story by a Burglar; D. Appleton & Co., 1922 pp. 168-182:

"It was September 16, 1908, when I called on my partner (Charles Hoffman) and put the Mark Twain house proposition up to him. Like myself, he was "broke." We were in the same boat. The Mark Twain house possibilities lured him as powerfully as they did me. The following afternoon we boarded a train out of New York for Redding, Connecticut, where "Stormfield" stood.

Arriving at "Stormfield," we found the house lights still burning brightly. The family had not yet retired. In order to give the occupants time to go to sleep, we picked out a secluded place behind some bushes and indulged in a quiet smoke during a period of watching and waiting.

It was getting well on toward midnight when one by one the lights were extinguished and the house was enshrouded in complete darkness except for one dim light upstairs. Experience told us that this was nothing unusual. My partner went on a tour of inspection around the house. He returned presently with the word that the coast was clear and that one of the kitchen windows had been left partly open. I helped my partner to climb in through it; and he then went and opened the big French double doors leading out from the dining room on the great veranda. I entered by the front door, like a gentleman.

By the rays of our flashlights, we first made a careful inspection of the dining room. The heavy, old-fashioned, oak sideboard near the door leading into the hall commanded our attention. We knew that it contained the family silver, which it was our object to secure first, as usual. We tried to open the drawers of the sideboard, but found them locked. To break them open would make a noise, of course, and disturb the family if done inside the house. We did not wish to be guilty of such carelessness, so we took hold of the sideboard and carried it out of the house and some five hundred feet down the road. There we broke the locks of the drawers and emptied their contents into a black bag which we had brought for the purpose. Then we went back into the house to see what else we could find.

Before proceeding, it is necessary to mention a brass bowl which had stood as an ornament on top of the sideboard, and which played such an important and fatal part on that night. Since a brass bowl was of no value to us I took it and placed it noiselessly on the dining-room floor - without my partner's knowledge, however. This was my second mistake on that night. When we entered the dining room the second time, my partner, walking rather carelessly, stumbled and fell heavily over that brass bowl.

In the stillness of the night it seemed to me as if an earthquake had suddenly struck the house. Such a noise that rolling brass thing made! With every nerve tense, we silently watched and waited for the result.

Presently a woman, dressed in bathrobe and slippers, appeared at the head of the stairs. Then a soft clear voice called: "Hello!" It was Miss Lyons, Mark Twain's social secretary, as we afterwards learned, who, awakened by the noise, had courageously come to investigate. A moment we hesitated. Then we turned and silently and swiftly left the house.

Running down the road, we picked up our bag with the silver, and continued running till we arrived at the foot of the hill. There we slackened speed and started to walk back in the direction of Bethel, some seven miles away."

The Hunt Begins

Harry Lounsbury, who lived on Diamond Hill Road, was awakened and informed of the burglary. Mr. Lounsbury phoned Deputy Sheriff George Banks and the hunt for Twain's burglars began. By the aid of lanterns the grounds outside the windows of the dining room were examined and a number of footprints with peculiar patterns were found. One of the prints was made with a rubber heel, the other was that of a long pointed shoe. Next the footprints were followed down the roadway leading to Twain's villa, and along the country roads leading to the Simpaug crossing of the N.Y.N.H. and Hartford Railroad. At that point the tracks left the highway and went in the direction of Bethel.

The Search Party Splits Up

Deputy Sheriff Banks left the search party and returned to Redding for the purpose of preventing the burglar's possible escape by train via West Redding station.

Mr. Lounsbury and Wark followed the footprints toward Bethel, which led them to the Bethel train depot, they arrived about 5:50AM. Feeling certain that the burglars would attempt to escape by train they boarded a southbound train from Danbury at approximately 6:01AM.

High Drama on the 6:01 out of Bethel

Searching the train they found two men in the smoking car whose appearance seemed suspicious. The men were seated separately, one behind the other. Mr. Lounsbury engaged one of them in conversation and noticed that his shoes had rubber heels.

At West Redding station Deputy Sheriff Banks boarded the train and was alerted of Lounsbury's suspicions. Banks accosted the man in question and asked to see the heels of his shoes. Muttering some thing unintelligible the man raced from his seat and jumped from the train, which by this time had left the station. Banks turned immediately to the second man and a fierce struggle ensued. The other passengers in the car, of whom there were seven or eight, looked on in amazement as they had no knowledge of what occurred the night before.

The burglar, finding himself no match for the strength of the Deputy Sheriff, drew his revolver and began firing at him. Train Conductor, John Dyas, entered the smoking car as the struggle was in progress and pulled the signal cord which stopped the train at a point just south of the little stream that runs beside the tracks. The passengers then came to Banks' aid, one of them clubbing the burglar over the head which stunned him and allowed Banks to get the better of him. Four shots in all were fired.

Burglar Henry Williams describes the struggle, and the outcome:

"My partner having successfully "flown the coop," the entire posse turned upon me. An automatic pistol was shoved in front of my face and I was commanded to surrender. In stead of obeying the command, I pulled out my own revolver and began to blaze away at the ceiling of the car to cause a panic if possible. I did not want to kill any one; and they did not want to shoot me. The sheriff, from behind me, seized me by the right wrist and tried to twist my gun out of my hand. The others now attacked me, and a free-for-all fight ensued. Showers of blows fell upon me from all sides. Then I was struck several times on the head with a blackjack and, partly conscious, sank to the floor still grappling with the sheriff. In the furious struggle for possession of the revolver, which I still gripped securely, it went off. I became unconscious.

When I came to myself, I was lying hand cuffed out on the tracks, with my captors standing over me. I felt a heavy stream of blood pouring down over my face from wounds in my head. A sickening sense of despair came over me. I was in for it again; and all my dreams of marriage and of happiness in a home of my own were blown to shreds."

The Second Burglar Captured

Several men who were standing on the platform at West Redding station and witnessed the first burglar jump from the train followed him to Brookside Park (behind present day West Redding Post Office building). There they prevented him from escaping and alerted Banks of his location (under a bridge) and he was arrested without resistance.

Somebody Call the Doctor!

When Deputy Sheriff Banks left the train it was found that he had been wounded in the leg by one of the bullets fired during the struggle. The bullet entered between his knee and his ankle making an ugly flesh wound. In addition, while handling the revolver taken from the burglar Banks accidently shot himself in the hand.

Banks and the prisoners arrived at Harry Lounsbury house at approximately 7:15AM and the prisoners were placed under armed guard in Lounsbury's front yard. The second burglar's head, face and clothing were smeared with blood and the Deputy Sheriff's wounds also bled freely. Local physician, Earnest H. Smith, was alerted of the situation and came down from Redding Center to attend to the wounds of both Deputy Sheriff Banks and the burglar.

The physician found that the wounds of neither man were serious.

Swift Justice

At 9:00AM the prisoners were escorted to Town Hall in Redding Center where they were arraigned before Justice John Nickerson and Grand Juror Henry Duncan.

Just before the court opened Mr. Clemens arrived at the Town House in a little open wagonette. Dressed in a white flannel suit and white fedora hat, he was accompanied by his Daughter Clara and his secretary Isabel Lyon. The ladies were attired in bright gowns and their costumes with that of Mr. Clemens, gave a touch of brightness to the otherwise gloomy scene.

When the prisoners were called before the Justice they took seats so near Mr. Clemens that they almost touched him. Hoffman was the first to be arraigned. He spoke with a foreign accent and his English was broken. He looked to be an Austrian but he declined to state his nationality. When Lloyd Blackman, who was one of the State's witnesses, testified that early Thursday evening Hoffman called at his house which is on the road from Redding Station to Mr. Clemens' place asking the way to Redding, the prisoner broke in with a remark that the statement wasn't true!

Hoffman declined at first to plead to the charge of burglary made by Grand Juror Duncan, and John B. Sanford was assigned by the court to act as his counsel. Hoffman, acting on the advice of Mr. Sanford, entered a plea of not guilty.

The other prisoner, Williams, also spoke in broken English and looked the part of a hardened criminal.

Deputy Sheriff Banks, Harry Lounsbury, Claude Beuchotte, and Miss Lyon testified to various facts in connection to the burglary. Justice Nickerson found probable cause in each case. Hoffman, who was accused of burglary only, was held on $1,000 bail and Williams, who was charged with burglary, assault, resisting arrest, and carrying concealed weapons, was held on $2,000 bond.

The prisoners were taken to the Bridgeport jail on the noon train where they would remain for three months before being transported back to Danbury for trial. It was the first time in fifty years that the Supreme Court had sat in that particular Connecticut town. Williams was sentenced to a term of 9 years at Connecticut State Prison at Wethersfield, Charles Hoffman was sentenced to a term of 4 years Wethersfield.

The Silverware is Found

Harry Lounsbury searched for and found the satchel filled with the silverware stolen from Mr. Clemens' residence hidden behind a rock down the road on September 30th. This information comes via a letter to one of Twain's Angelfish. The letter in John Cooley's book Mark Twain's Aquarium is dated September 30th, 1908- Clemens writes Dorothy Sturges that:

"Mr. Lounsbury has just this minute been in, with a 'find'. It is the stolen plated ware. The burglars hid it behind a rock almost in front of that farm house which he says you called beautiful...The finding was an accident & happened early this morning."

Twain pokes fun at the Burglars

While dedicating the little chapel/library which he had founded for the residents of the town of Redding in October of 1908, Twain took occasion to make characteristic fun of the affair as follows:

"I am going to help build this library with contributions - from my visitors. Every male guest who comes to my house will have to con tribute a dollar or go away without his baggage. If those burglars who broke into my house recently had done that, they would have been happier now; or if they had broken into this library, they might have read a few good books and led a better life. Now they are in jail, and if they keep on they will go to Congress. When a person starts down hill, you can never tell where he is going to stop. I am sorry for those burglars. They got nothing that they wanted, and scared away most of my servants. Now we are putting in a burglar alarm instead of a dog. Some advised the dog, but it costs even more to entertain a dog than a burglar. I am having the ground electrified, so that for a mile around any one who puts foot across the line will set off an alarm that will be heard in Europe."

Anniversary of Burglary marked by Clemens in 1909 via his Guestbook:

September 18th: Anniversary. A year ago the burglars broke into the house at midnight. They were condemned to terms of 4 and 9 years. Persons of their sort had been plying this trade in the house for a long time, but we were not aware of it. This 18th close all relations with them. [The word "this" is underlined]

Who Were the Stormfield Burglars?

This was a question asked on the Mark Twain Forum and it was answered beautifully by Barbara Schmidt, I'm posting it here so more people have access to it:

According to contemporary news reports of the Stormfield burglary, the two prisoners were named Charles Hoffman and Henry Williams. They were sentenced to time in Connecticut State Prison at Wethersfield.

The 1910 census for Connecticut shows two prisoners by the names of Charles Hoffman and Henry Williams at Wethersfield.

Charles Hoffman is described in the censuses as a white, 29-year-old male, married 4 years, born in New Jersey, mother and father both born in Germany.

Henry Williams is described as a white, male, twenty-two years old, single, born in Connecticut, father born in Ireland, mother born in New York.

Both prisoners are employed in production labor in a shoe factory.

View Barbara's website: for a wealth of information on Mark Twain, including newspaper articles in relation to this burglary.

Are there other Twain-related dates of interest in September??


September 21st, 1909:
The Concert held at Stormfield to aid the village library building fund.

It started at 3pm.

Concert Team:

Ossip Gabrilowitsch
David Bispham
Clara Clemens
Mark Twain

+525 other guests

Coley Taylor recalled the concert in his article Our Neighbor Mark Twain:

"We heard music in the distance, a piano and two voices, Miss Clara's and that of David Bispham, then a star of the Metropolitan Opera. (The pianist was Ossip Gabrilowitsch, famous as soloist and as orchestra director, later director of the Detroit Symphony, and the future husband of Miss Clara.)"

September 25th:
Announcement!! (Clara's Wedding was announced after or shortly after the Concert)

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?