Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Buffalo, NY

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) passed through Buffalo, a growing commercial capital of western New York, on August 22, 1853, headed for New York City. He returned to Buffalo 16 years later to co-own and co-edit the Buffalo Morning Express, for which he would write some 120 features, editorials and news items. At first he lived in a one-room, boarding-house apartment. Then, after a four-month, pre-wedding lecture tour to augment his income, he returned to Buffalo with his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, to occupy a grand, two-and-a-half story, 15-room Second Empire Style house. The fully furnished home included three servants, a stable, horse and carriage with the newlywed’s monogram on the panel, all a gift from Olivia’s father. But the happy home at 472 Delaware, what Twain called “a constant delight,” turned to “a state of absolute frenzy.” Olivia’s father died from cancer, a house guest died of typhoid fever, which was also contracted by Olivia. Her baby, Langdon, born a month prematurely, appeared close to death. In 1871 Twain quit journalism, sold the house and interest in the Express at a loss and moved his family to Elmira.

October 4-October 6

Posts from Buffalo, NY

Bill Loos and the long-lost Huck Finn manuscript

In 1885-86, James F. Gluck, a young attorney in Buffalo, N.Y., received from Mark Twain half of the manuscript of his recently published novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Gluck was collecting letters and manuscripts by important … Read more >>

Immigration: The key to Buffalo’s success and Cleveland’s decline?

Villified today by some as America’s enemies, immigrants and refugees actually may be saviors of the nation’s disintegrating cities. The Rust Belt cities of Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, Ny., among the poorest in America, have in … Read more >>

Republican NY Senator Mark Grisanti on voting for gay marriage

New York State Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Catholic, agonized about his vote on legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. In the end, as the video indicates, he decided the denial of rights to same-sex partners … Read more >>

Buffalo News newsroom aims for diversity

“Intern to editor.” It has a nice ring to it. And in 19 years at the Buffalo News, Margaret Sullivan did just that. She’s been the top editor at the News for 12 years, and one … Read more >>

Niagara’s golden hour

A fabulous way to end a long day of interviews. We were blessed with inordinately good weather during our stay in Buffalo, New York. Here’s proof, along with some snapshots of Niagara Falls, just as the … Read more >>