Submitted by scott on

August 23, 1853 Sam Clemens first passed through Buffalo on his way to New York. 

August of 1869, he had bought into the Buffalo Express and became a resident of the city. He lived in an East Swan Street boardinghouse near the newspaper, thenm went on a lecture tour.  Returning to Buffalo as a married man, he moved into a furnished house at 472 Delaware Avenue.

From Scharnhorst page 512 The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years, 1835-1871:  "...a thriving industrial city and transportation center located at the confluence of the Erie Canal and Lake Erie, were auspicious. It was the eleventh-largest city in the country, with a population of about 115,000 residents and twenty-five breweries, most of them founded by German immigrants or their descendants. As late as 1906 Sam reminisced about the “pleasant times in the beer mills of Buffalo” he shared with his friendly rival David Gray of the Courier. Buffalo also boasted a new park system designed by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and it was the hometown of both former president Millard Fillmore and future president Grover Cleveland."

Then came a string of disasters:  His father-in-law died;  a pregnant Livy fell ill and her friend Emma Nye, who came to nurse her, died from typhoid fever.  Langdon Clemens was born prematurely and both he a Livy became ill.  "Exhausted after their first year in Buffalo, he and Livy put their house and Express interests up for sale on March 2, 1871.  Two weeks later, they went to Elmira, ..."

Mark Twain lived in Buffalo for only 18 months, from August of 1869 to March of 1871. Twain’s life in Buffalo ended with illness, loss and anxiety, but it began on a high note. He moved to Buffalo as a bachelor and the new editor of the Buffalo Express. His wealthy future father-in-law, coal magnate Jervis Langdon, put up $25,000 to make him part owner.

Twain threw himself into his work at the Express with enthusiasm approaching glee, transforming the newspaper with wit and elan. He had a wide social circle. He had just published “The Innocents Abroad.” Everybody loved him and wanted to get close to him. He was like a rock star,”

Six months after arriving in Buffalo, Twain married Olivia Langdon and they moved into a e mansion purchased as a surprise wedding gift by her father. Twain and his new wife hosted visitors and socialized. It was also a productive period for Twain personally, who not only wrote for, edited and made changes at the Express for the first six weeks, but began work on “Roughing It.”

Soon, Olivia became pregnant, but was devastated when her father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died on Aug. 6, 1870.

Then Emma Nye, a dear friend of Olivia’s who was visiting, was stricken with typhoid fever and died in their home Sept. 29.

Finally, their son, Langdon, was born prematurely Nov. 7, frail and sickly, and Olivia fell ill with typhoid herself.

They had had enough. Olivia was carried out of their home on a mattress to the train station for the trip to Elmira. Both the home and Twain’s stake in the Express were sold at a loss.

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