Samuel L. Clemens - Author & Humorist

 Alias "Mark Twain"

Samuel L. Clemens (1835-1910)  American author and humorist.  Born November 30, 1835 at Florida, Missouri.  He was apprenticed to a printer at age 12 and was a Mississippi River pilot for a short time.  He went west as a secretary to his brother who had been appointed territorial secretary of Nevada.  He was the city editor of the Virginia City (Nev.) Enterprise in 1862, and alternated between mining and newspaper work, until, becoming noted as a humorist, he began lecturing and reading books.  He founded the publishing house of C. L. Webster & Co. in 1884 and its failure nearly ruined him financially.  Among his many famous books are:  "The Innocents Abroad", "Roughing It", Adventures of Tom Sawyer", The Prince and the Pauper", The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur", etc.  He was a member of Polar Star Lodge No. 79, St. Louis, Mo.  (EA May 22, 1861, FC June 12, 1861, MM July 10, 1861).  He was later suspended and reinstated on April 24, 1867.  He demitted October 8, 1868 and presumably never again affiliated with any lodge.  He is recorded as having visited Carson City Lodge, U.D. in Feb. and March of 1862.  During his trip to Palestine, he sent his lodge a gavel with this note:  "This mallet is a cedar, cut in the forest of Lebanon, whence Solomon obtained the timbers for the Temple."  Clemens cut the handle himself from a cedar just outside the walls of Jerusalem.  He had it made in Alexandria, Egypt and it was presented to the Lodge on April 8, 1868.  He died in 1910.

(Reprint) Appearing in The Missouri Freemason, Summer 2006 Volume 51, No. 3

"Mark Twain, of Hannibal, MO., is one of the most widely known Missouri Freemasons. He received his Masonic degrees in 1861 in Polar Star No. 79 in St. Louis. "His brother, Orion [Clemens], had secured an appointment as Secretary of Nevada Territory and easily induced his brother Samuel to accompany him as his private secretary. He had received his third degree on July 10 and on July 26 we find the two brothers at St. louis, Mo., on the overland stage headed for the Territory of Nevada, arriving there in August, 1861."

Mark twain obtained his degrees in our lodge on these dates:
E.A. - May 22, 1861
F.C. - June 12, 1861
M.M. - July 10, 1861
Lived: Nov. 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910

Twain presented Polar Star Lodge No. 79 with a special gavel in 1867.

 

 

         

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