Monday, June 9, 2014


Mount Olivet Chapel, Hannibal Missouri
This was a delightful little chapel. I wondered if Twain had participated in ceremonies there honoring his family.

In the morning of my last day in Hannabal I decided to go out in search of some gravesites in the nearby Mount Olivet Cemetery. Again the GPS was invaluable in finding the cemetery as it was listed as a road.
The cemetery was larger than I expected and I drove the entire route of circles and found neither the Injun Joe graveste nor that of any of the Clemens family. Then I had that same kind of urge that I had when locating my grandmother's gravesite in Cheektowaga. I pulled over to park and just a few steps ahead of that spot were the Clemens family gravestones. The whole thing was a bit eirie.
Later a young boy and his Mom visited the Injun Joe site and then the Clemens site and I talked to them. The boy was excited about possibly being the next Tom Sawyer in Hannibal and his Mom was giving him background experience. They pointed out the Injun Joe site. It was really right out there but I had approached it from the back. That stone I had seen on the net. I had not seen the Clemens site where I had been led to park the car.
Injun Joe's wife was buried along side him. I believe the stone's must have come much later.

For informaton on Orion see:

Clemens, Mary E. (Mollie) (1834–1904)

Born Mary Eleanor Stotts in Sangamon County, Illinois, she married SLC’s brother Orion in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1854. Their only child, Jennie, was born there in 1855. In the early years of their marriage, while Orion tried to run printing businesses and start a law practice, the Clemenses lived in Muscatine and Keokuk, Iowa, and Memphis, Missouri. In 1861, Orion obtained an appointment as Secretary of the Nevada Territory; Mollie and Jennie joined him in Carson City in October 1862. Jennie died in February 1864 of spotted fever. The Clemenses returned to the East in 1866. Mollie suffered from ill health, and the couple lived modestly in boarding houses as Orion struggled to earn a living in newspaper work and as an inventor, author, chicken farmer, and lawyer. From the mid-1870s the Clemenses lived in Keokuk and were dependent on a pension from SLC. In 1882 Jane Lampton Clemens joined them, remaining until her death in 1890. The household increased to include several boarders. After Orion died in 1897, SLC continued his support until Mollie’s death in 1904.

Henry was Twain's brother.
Jane Lampton Clemens was Twain's mother. She died in Iowa and was returned for burial.

I did not read about this family being represented. But this is the name of the fellow in town who was the model for Tom Sawyer in Twain's books.

Other notes


Next I was going to go to an upscale restaurant that had excellent reviews and treat myself to some fancy food, but the place was totally booked. Instead I did something much better. I bought another food long tuna fish Subway and some drink and headed up to explore the Lover's Leap in the nearby park. This was a fine choice. The leap gave great views of Hannibal and surroundings and I could eat my tuna fish sandwich while watching the slow tugs push the barges up the river.

It was not very crowded. It was a warm and sunny day and I sat in shirt sleeves. A few came and read the legend. I had already seen on the internet that there were a dozen of these places along the Mississippi, all with the same romantic legend of the Indian Princess who plunged to her death with her lover rather than be separated from him or see him harmed by her tribe. It seemed unlikely that an Indian girl would do other than her father demanded and very unlikely that there had been a dozen such girls along the Mississippi but perhaps it had become somewhat of a fad in Indian times.
Twain would have seen sceptical. He did not much use the American Romance of the Indian. He would have had that opportunity in the using the character of Injun Joe whose own story must have been an interesting one, but had chosen to so change the poor man's character that he found himself an honorable man maligned all his life by Twain's fiction. His revenge was to out live Twain.
I feel for old Injun Joe. Here he has started his life abandoned and scalped as well, lived in an upstanding way even if his strange appearance did frighten children, never managed his own children but helped in the raising of step children.
I felt for his death too this past week. He died from what I've been suffering. food poisoning. Only in his case it was a batch of bad pickled pig's feet. This is a funny food now, but my father loved them and they were more common before refrigeration.
While I had made the journey to Lover's Leap, and eaten a fine last meal, I could not bear to jump. I had spoken to Elizabeth each day of my journey and while she was enjoying having some time to herself during iceout on Burden Lake, there was nothing in those conversations in the least to encourage me in any forlorn romance of lost love. At any rate to really leap with any legendary accuracy Elizabeth would have had to leap with me, pursued by her clan who had murderous intent toward me as a suitor. While certainly I expect that I annoy them on occasion as I seem to most annoy most of the family as Cory says, I am not annoying "in a bad way" so I felt I had to be content with just the sandwich and the view.

Actually, to get these other tourists to take my photo I had to promise them that I had no intention of jumping. Laughable, really. If you can imagine this stomach able to vault over this fence, you have more romantic notions of my world adventures than I do?

Here is the spot that sticks out over the edge of the river, but we were protected from walking out to the edge. It is not like Mexico's Copper Canyon.

That being done, I decided to visit the Mark Twain museum.
Well, to be honest I forgot about it again this day, my second forgetful day in a row, but I ran into it again and so I visited.
It was the best Hannibal offered for Twain pieces. There were more original pieces than in his boyhood home and everything was displayed in a fine way. I spent a good bit of time in this little place exploring.

Along the walls were photographs and posters from many of the productions of his work. In the center of the museum was a vertical file just packed with an assortment of old newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, anything you might imagine.

Here is a cat fishing scene from Tom Sawyer.
Below is a fine clock that was out in the hallway on the way to the restroom. Every corner was full of interesting pieces.

In A Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur's Court the Yankee hero teaches the knights to play baseball but they play it in their armor. For one of the productions here is the bat held with armor and we could put our hands inside to get a feel of what it was like.

All sorts of old posters adorned the walls.

Lots in interesting Mark Twain named goods were also displayed.

here are cards as were used on the Steamboats.

This was the robe used by Twain for his honorary doctorate

Along one wall were original Normal Rockwell illustrations.
Here are two examples poorly photographed. In the first Huck plays Sally in order to get information.
IN the second the King and the Duke try to impress one another.

These Rockwell illustrations of Huck Finn can be see at this web site. Just go to the galleries, select one example and click on that and you'll see what I saw in original.

This is an original photograph of Twain leaving on a train taken by a Hannibal resisdent.

Here is the Black man show saved Twain's family when he stopped a runaway horse. And below is the cupula that I saw in Elmira only this is more interesting because it shows how much was growing on it and how much more isolated it must have been then.

There is a tapestry that was created by an Hannabal resident. It was very stunning. More that this photo shows.

This was a record found showing details of Judge Clemens work in the courthouse.





Also interesting was inventions that Twain created. A game geared to increase memory and the first scrapbook with self sticking pages. My photo of these left a lot to be desired.

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