The Trouble Begins in Hartford: All Things Twain in Elmira

August 23 • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Join the Staff of the Mark Twain House and Museum on August 23rd, 2023 as they welcome The Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College’s Dr. Joe Lemak and Dr. Matt Seybold to the Trouble Begins stage for a conversation with Betsy Maguire about all things Twain in Elmira, NY.

When Samuel Clemens, more commonly known by his pen name “Mark Twain”, married Olivia Langdon on February 2, 1870, Elmira, New York would become a cornerstone for their family life. The Langdon’s were a predominate Elmira family. The couple courted and married there. Sam, Livy, and their daughters would visit Quarry Farm, the Langdon’s Elmire home, during the summer. And the family is buried in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

This is a FREE HYBRID event sponsored by CT Humanities and the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York.

In-person attendees are invited to come to the Museum center early to visit this year’s summer exhibition For Business or Pleasure? Twain’s Summer Sojourns which highlights the Clemens family’s American-based summer vacations. Learn more about the exhibit by CLICKING HERE. Virtual attendees will receive a link to watch live via YouTube.

About The Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College

In 1982, Elmira College became home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies (CMTS) thanks to the gift of Quarry Farm to Elmira College by the Langdon family, Mark Twain’s in-laws. The Center offers distinctive programs to foster and support Mark Twain scholarship and to strengthen the teaching of Mark Twain at all academic levels. The Center serves the Elmira College community and regional, national, and international students and scholars of Mark Twain. To learn more about the CMTS visit:

Dr. Matt Seybold joined the Elmira College faculty in July 2015. He earned his Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine in 2012, after which he worked at The University of Alabama. He teaches courses on all periods of American Literature, as well as interdisciplinary courses on mass media and economics. Dr. Seybold’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of economics, mass media, and literary culture in the United States from the founding of the New York Stock Exchange in 1817 to the 2008 financial crisis. He has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University, a Taylor Fellow in American Literature at University of Virginia’s Harrison Institute, and a Fathman Young Scholar Award recipient. For a full list of publications, visit

Dr. Joseph Lemak became Director of CMTS in January of 2016. He has served Elmira College in various roles for almost two decades, most recently as Director of the Academic Writing Program and the Writing Center. Lemak holds a Ph.D. in Classics (with an emphasis in Roman History) from University at Buffalo and teaches a wide range of classes, including European History. As a lifelong resident of Elmira, Lemak is intimately familiar with the local legacy of Twain and his extended family. He has already succeeded in deepening ties between the Center, the College, and other historic institutions like the Park Church and the Chemung Valley Museum, where Joe previously served as editor of the Chemung Historical Journal. Dr. Lemak organizes the Trouble Begins lecture series, the Twain Symposia, the Quadrennial Conference, the Summer Institute for Teachers, and the Quarry Farm Fellowships.

Betsy Maguire is a local playwright and the founder of Playland Productions, a theatre company specializing in historical research and unconventional theatre spaces. Betsy is the recipient of the 2019 Jon Lipsky Award for Excellence in Playwriting, Best Comedy and Best Drama festival awards, and the winner of Connecticut Stories on Stage. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the International Museum Theatre Alliance, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Betsy created the Living History program at The Mark Twain House & Museum, writing scripts and training actors to portray Mark Twain’s family and servant staff.