Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Hartford, CT

Mark Twain at Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain was rarely photographed grinning or naked. This was probably taken in Hartford in 1884.

Hartford, Connecticut’s capital and America’s insurance capital, was home to Mark Twain’s for longer than any other community, 1871-91, though he typically spent summers in Elmira and traveled the world to lecture and write. Twain’s 25-room Picturesque Gothic house, with glass conservatory, large library and billiard room, is now the key attraction of the Mark Twain House & Museum, a National Historic Landmark. Forced by money woes to move to Europe in 1891, Twain’s family never lived in Hartford again. The death of daughter Susy in 1896 made it too painful for Twain’s wife, Olivia, to return to the Hartford home. It was sold in 1903.

October 18-October 20

Posts from Hartford, CT

Mark Silk describes atheism in Twain’s era and the parallels with Christopher Hitchens

Mark Silk heads the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He is the author of Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America and … Read more >>

Ingrid Mattson on being Canadian, converting to Islam and post-9/11 perceptions

She was described as “the most noticed figure among American Muslim women” in a 2010 New York Times article. At 48, Ingrid Mattson struck me as a mirthful, sassy person, whose eruptive laughs were punctuated with … Read more >>

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: Ghost stories in Mark Twain’s Hartford mansion

Let me just start by saying that Steve Courtney, publicist and guide at the Mark Twain House & Museum, does not believe in ghosts. But in the sleepy Hartford pre-dawn, Team Twain was intrepidly coming into … Read more >>

Scholar Kerry Driscoll investigates Twain’s lingering prejudice against Indians

Kerry Driscoll was up-front with us: “I’m a bonafide Twainiac.” Driscoll is an English professor at St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, and she’s spent the last 10 years working on a book about Mark Twain’s … Read more >>

The role of immigration in Hartford, Conn.

Andrew Walsh, associate director of Trinity College’s Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and a former Hartford Courant reporter, is an expert on Hartford immigration. He kindly took us around … Read more >>