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"Dr. Regina Faden" <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 17 Nov 2006 16:37:48 -0600
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Artifact Presentation to Highlight Mark Twain Birthday Celebration

This year's community Mark Twain Birthday Celebration will be held on
Saturday, December 2nd from 1 - 5p.m.  Events throughout the day promise a
fun afternoon for the whole family.

A special highlight of the day will be the presentation of a very important
piece of history to the museum.  At 2:30 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Salter, of
Hannibal, will present the museum with a law ledger owned by Mark Twain's
father, John Marshall Clemens.

Very little is known about John M. Clemens.  For many years he has been an
elusive figure.  According to his son he was a well-respected man in
Hannibal, a stern father, and failed business man.  But Sam Clemens never
described his father in any detail and what little we know is gleaned from
Twain's works and contemporary accounts.  There are also very few physical
artifacts that can offer some clue to understanding Twain's father.  No
photographs of him are known to exist.  Now, thanks to Frank Salter, the
museum and scholars around the world have a newly uncovered source to help
us fill in the sketchy outline of this man.

Salter unknowingly purchased the ledger at a public city auction.  After
buying a box of old law books, he discovered the ledger had been buried in
the box as well.  Fortunately, he knew the value of the book and saved it
from being lost to history.  The Salter family is now going to present the
book to the museum for preservation and display purposes.

The book has already been cited in academic books and is a unique glimpse
into Hannibal's past.  The book records cases the Judge Clemens heard, as
well as his rulings.  Some of the entries are even in Clemens' own hand.

This is an exciting addition to the museum, and we hope you can join us for
this special presentation at 2:30 on Saturday, December 2nd in the Museum
Gallery Auditorium.

Regina Faden, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
120 North Main Street
Hannibal, MO 63401
p. 573 221-9010
f.  573 221-7975

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