TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Martin Zehr <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:47:08 -0600
text/plain (69 lines)
Like Hal, I think the purported connection between Lincoln and Huck is a
real stretcher, to put it mildly.  The "connection" between Lincoln and
Clemens is also tenuous, but at least has some basis in fact.  Edward
Bates, as Attorney General in Missouri, was a Whig, who, like Lincoln,
became a Republican with the dissolution of the Whig party in the 1850s.
He was an unsuccessful (obviously) contestant for the Republican
presidential nomination in 1860, but Lincoln appointed him to his cabinet
as Attorney General, the first cabinet member to come from west of the
Mississippi.  If memory serves me, when Bates was a practicing attorney, he
represented a black child whose mother was free at the time of her birth,
and successfully argued that the child was, therefore, free.  Orion knew
Bates and may have, in fact, studied law for a time with Bates.  Orion, who
had abolitionist sympathies, campaigned for the Republican ticket in 1860,
an action which did not make him especially popular in a state which went
for Breckenridge, and in his home county (Marion), which went for Bell and
Douglas, with Lincoln a very distant fourth.  As a "reward,"  Bates, on
becoming U.S. Attorney General, awarded Orion his appointment to the
Territorial government in Nevada, and, the rest, as they say, is history.
Sam may not have been favorably disposed to Lincoln at the time, since
Lincoln's election precipitated secession, the closing of the Mississippi,
and the end of Sam's piloting career, but, in retrospect, Sam could have
viewed Lincoln's election as one of the "turning points" of his life, the
succession of causal events leading to his later careers.
Martin Zehr
Kansas City, Missouri

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 8:04 AM, Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> For the record, the assertions in that article are extremely tenuous at
> best.  It's always fun to speculate but there is evidently, in this case,
> no real evidence to support that Lincoln's stories are behind Huck Finn.
> If I missed the evidence please enlighten me.
> As far as somewhat less specific connections between AL & MT, now that is
> an interesting question.  Twain wrote about Lincoln on at least 2 occasions
> and also gave at least one speech about Lincoln, for example.  I tried to
> imagine the implications of that connection myself, in some of my work;  I
> figure them both, in Twain's words, as "men of the border," a phrase I like
> a lot.  But maybe my favorite formulation is by Fred Kaplan:  "Just as
> Howells has called Twain the Lincoln of our literature," Kaplan writes, "I
> could envision Lincoln as the Twain of our politics."  I like that!!
> On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 7:18 AM, Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > That's pretty interesting. First I'd ever heard of this Vote Lincoln!
> book.
> >
> > SLC's (unpaid; maybe room & board, at best?) berth out West came through
> > Orion. I don't know how big brother was selected for his post-- he must
> > have had some connection to the territorial governor, James Nye? (Nye
> was,
> > of course, a Lincoln appointee.)
> >
> > DDD
> >
> --
> Prof. Harold K. Bush
> Professor of English
> 3800 Lindell
> Saint Louis University
> St. Louis, MO  63108
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
> <>