Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Boston, MA

Mark Twain visited Boston often to see James R. Osgood, his publisher, James Redpath’s lecture bureau and friend W. D. Howells, the Atlantic Monthly editor who described Twain as “the Lincoln of our literature.” The choice of Hartford in 1871 for Twain’s home is attributed in part to its location halfway between Boston and New York. Twain rarely mentioned Boston in his writings, and then not always favorably. In Roughing It, a storyteller by the name of Williams regales a retired whaleman known as the “Old Admiral” with a tale about a Boston lynching that helped start the Civil War.

October 23-October 25

Posts from Boston, MA

Would Mark Twain have tweaked the Paul Revere House restoration?

Mark Twain mocked New Englanders’ reverence for their early ancestors and symbols of those ancestors. He jokingly suggested that they disband their New England societies and “get up an auction and sell Plymouth Rock!” One can … Read more >>

Transgender activist Gunner Scott advises us on how to respectfully report on the transgender community

At first, transgender political activist Gunner Scott hesitated to give us an interview. The media so often bungle trans coverage that it’s not hard to understand why. Take Rita Hester’s case, for example, which continues to … Read more >>

The ethics of obtaining our interview with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The video interview we obtained with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of Harvard’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, symbolizes an issue for journalists, especially … Read more >>

Visiting the oldest “Glamour Girl” Ghiglione

It’s Sunday, Oct. 23, my first day off from the Twain trip. I’m spending it in Scituate, Mass., with my wife, Nancy; younger daughter, Laura; son-in-law Mike MacMillan; and their three children. Infant Joy (who is … Read more >>