EARLY MARK TWAIN SHOWN IN DISCOVERY
Copies of Brother's Newspaper, for Which He Wrote, Found in Hannibal, Mo.
HIS FIRST LITERARY WORK
Finds by Pastor In Clemens's Home Town Reveal Him as "Livening Up" the Journal.
HANNIBAL, Mo., March 29 (AP). - Long-sought newspaper files containing original first works of Mark Twain and described by him in his autobiography as representing "my first literary venture" have been discovered in Hannibal, his native home.
They reveal the boy Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) in his 'teens as substituting as editor of his brother's newspaper here and striving to "liven up" the columns of the paper with his wit. His methods reveal him as even the richly possessed of the ingenuity he later instilled in his famed fiction characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
The newspapers were found by the Rev. C. J. Armstrong, Hannibal pastor and long a student of Mark Twain, among seven volumes of old Hannibal papers preserved by the late W. H. League, a boyhood friend of Sam Clemens, and shelved away by his daughter, Miss Lettie League.
Dr. Armstrong's discoveries, including one original poem, several witty articles and editorials and a few cleverly designed "wood cut" cartoons by the famous humorist, are described by him in articles published in The Hannibal Courier-Post.
He found copes of the old Hannibal Journal, published by Orion Clemens, elder brother of Mark Twain in 1851, 1852 and 1853. Mark Twain worked on The Journal from 1851 to 1853.
His poem traditionally called "To Mary in H--l," his catchy way of using the title he explained to mean "To Mary in Hannibal," was discovered in an issue of The Journal of May 6, 1853. The poem is not entitled "To Mary in H--l," but as "Love Concealed," and is addressed "To Miss Katie of H--l." It is signed "Rambler," now revealed as the earliest nom de plume used by the humorist.
In ensuing issues is a witty correspondence between "Rambler" and "Grumbler," obviously written by Mark Twain in his efforts to "liven up" the paper.
Another Newly Found Poem.
An original poem, believed never before found, was in an issue of The Journal May 12, 1853. It is entitled "The Heart's Lament" and is addressed "To Belle ---e of Tennessee." It also is signed by "Rambler."
The original wood cuts deal with a Hannibal citizen who resolved to commit suicide, but didn't, and with "a dog-deviled citizen." Both are referred to by Mark Twain in his autobiography.
The return of Orion to discover that his younger brother had been making the paper "spicy" is indicated in an editorial by the editor May 13, 1853, saying that "Rambler and his enemies must stop their stuff." This editorial edict seems to have ended Mark Twain's fun.
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