New Episode of American Vandal Explores Origins of Police Departments in San Francisco & Charleston

Mark Twain and James Redpath both, in the years surrounding the American Civil War, denounced police forces for violently oppressing people of color.

Seybold concludes the 2020 Trouble Begins Lectures

The fall portion of the 2020-2021 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies concludes with a presentation by Dr. Matthew Seybold, assistant professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College. During the mid-1860s, Mark Twain waged a prolonged and inflammatory media war against the San Francisco Police. By some accounts his campaign led directly to the replacement of the SFPD’s longtime Commissioner, as […]

The Calculated Incivility of Anson Burlingame, The Only Congressman Mark Twain Could Tolerate

“His outlook upon the world and its affairs was as wide as the horizon, and his speech was of a dignity and eloquence proper to it. He dealt in no commonplaces, for he had not commonplace thoughts. He was a kindly man, and most lovable. He was not a petty politician, but a great and magnanimous statesman. He did not serve his country alone, but China as well. He held […]

Remembering Reverend Conway, Mark Twain’s Second-Favorite Clergyman

While Mark Twain’s close bond with Congregationalist minister Joseph Twichell is well known among Twainians, the friendship he shared with another man of the cloth, the Rev. Moncure Conway, often receives little more than passing reference. We read mostly of Conway’s role as Twain’s literary representative in England or of his glowing review of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Occasionally there’s a reference to the time he helped Twain arrange […]