On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

Samuel Clemens boyhood home


Huck Finn ( Tom Blankenship) home




Laura Hawkins ( Becky Thatcher) - age 19

Laura - age 70


Mark Twain Steamboat Pilot


I arrived in Hannibal Missouri four hours after saying goodbye to Colin in Chicago. We spent a lovely evening together at his favorite Greek restaurant on Wednesday night. That was his birthday celebration since he had to work last night. It was worth going slightly out of my way to spend even a day and a half with him.

Mark Twain's hometown is small and there doesn't seem to be much that's new. His boyhood home is but a block from the Mississippi River and is in very close proximity to what was Tom Blankenship's ( Huck Finn) home and across the street from Laura Hawkins ( Becky Thatcher) home. Just like Mt. Airy, N.C. that thrives on visitors who want to visit "Mayberry", Hannibal is all about Mark Twain. There is Aunt Polly's treasures, Becky Thatcher ice cream parlor, and so on.

The history of the Clemens family is interesting. Sam's father and mother moved many times after they were married. The family got poorer with each move and with each child - there were five. John, Sam's dad, did not succeed as a lawyer, farmer, or storekeeper. He ended up selling 5 out of the 6 slaves he inherited to pay the bills.

Samuel Clemens grew up in Hannibal in the 1850's. He had a ton of adventures in this small town. He eventually became a pilot on the Lower Mississippi but when the Civil War broke out he was persuaded to move West to the Nevada Territory. That is when he decided to take the pen name Mark Twain ( see photo of explanation of the name) and write about the people, places and the events of his childhood. By the way, he was urged to go west by a fellow citizen of Hannibal, Margaret Tobin, who later became known as "the unsinkable Molly Brown."

Tomorrow I will do more exploring - including a tour of the Mark Twain Cave featured in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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