Mark Twain and the Colonel: Samuel L. Clemens, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Arrival of a New Century
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In Mark Twain and the Colonel, Philip McFarland tells the story of the rich years of American history between 1890 and 1910 through the fully engaged involvement of two of its most vital participants.
The narrative unfolds in six sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the United States of the early twentieth century that continues to matter to this day: America as an imperialist nation, America as a continental nation, America as a racial nation, America as a corporate nation, America at home, and America striving for peace.
In this short span of years, the America of the late nineteenth century will move substantially closer to the America we know today, thanks in part to the influence and actions of Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt, two of the most influential figures of the age.
at her side—Clemens had written to his friend Rogers, on the sixth: “Our life is wrecked; we have no plans for the future; she always made the plans, none of us was capable. We shall carry her home and bury her with her dead, at Elmira. Beyond that, we have no plans. The children must decide.” Livy in life had done everything for the family: attended to the daughters, to the servants, to the entertaining, to travel arrangements, supervised the packing, made all the domestic decisions, approved
in February 1905; and in May they dealt a crushing blow at sea to a second Russian fleet, which had sailed 18,000 nautical miles around the Cape of Good Hope only to be destroyed in the Tshushima Straits that lie between Japan and Korea: eight Russian battleships sunk and over 5,000 Russian lives lost, while Japanese losses were limited to 116 crewmen and three torpedo boats. The war stretched through a year and a half, its battles including the largest military engagements the world had yet
church with the Sears one of whom will be married to Uncle Irving. We walked in the Princes and Botanist park”—ten-year-old Teedie conscientiously recording this start of his yearlong European tribulation, for the first time far from home and determined to make the best of it. Chapter Eleven Clemens Goes West Within a year of the boiler explosion on the Mississippi that killed his brother Henry in 1858, Samuel L. Clemens earned his pilot’s certificate. “Time drifted smoothly and prosperously
over the globe, having attended to Mark Twain’s progress, ended by saluting the lecturer for a success that was also a remarkable display of character, grit, and a high sense of honor. He had returned to England from the round-the-world tour in the summer of 1896, his financial goal within reach. Clemens would write his book about the voyage and in that way end by amassing the necessary funds to get out of debt once and for all. In a materialistic age, the world extolled him for his resolve; and
my hearing; the local papers said nothing against it; the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing and that the doubter need only look in the Bible if he wished to settle his mind.” The views of Sam’s mother would have been similarly untroubled. Jane Lampton Clemens’s entire life thus far had been spent among slaves; yet, her son reflected in after days, “kind-hearted and compassionate as she was, I think she was not conscious that slavery was a bald, grotesque and