Mark Twain: A Portrait

Mark Twain: A Portrait

Mark Twain: A Portrait

Mark Twain: A Portrait

Excerpt

Mark Twain traced his ancestry to Virginia, to Samuel Clemens, who married Pamela Goggin and by her fathered five children. The eldest was John Marshall Clemens, born August 11, 1798. That he was not named Thomas Jefferson Clemens may reveal the political tendencies of Samuel, and explain the subsequent party alliances of his son Mark Twain, who turned up fairly early in life as an adherent of the political school which the famous Chief Justice did so much to establish and strengthen. This was an anomalous course for a satirist, if Mark Twain may strictly be called such. The story of his life will show that his political and economic adherences and associations did much to tangle his rightful career.

When John Marshall Clemens was seven years old, his father Samuel was killed at a house-raising, and soon after this he was taken by his mother to Adair County, Kentucky. Here in due course he was sent to the county seat to study law. Back in Lynchburg, Virginia, he had clerked in an iron foundry. At twen-

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