Florida in Monroe County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) was born in the nearby village of Florida, Nov. 30, 1835. His birthplace was given to the Mark Twain Memorial Park Association by M.A. Violette, 1924, and is maintained as a museum. The two-room clapboard house was rented by Twain's parents, John M. and Jane Lampton Clemens, upon their arrival here from Tennessee, 1835. Before it was moved to the park, 1930, it had been moved once before and had seen use as a printing office, grain storage shed, and cow shelter.
Twain spent many summers on his Uncle John Quarles' farm near Florida after his parents moved, in 1839, to Hannibal, Mo. It was from his boyhood in Hannibal and here that he drew material for "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn."
In 1853, Twain left a job on his brother Orion's Hannibal newspaper to become a printer, Mississippi River pilot, and a miner, writer, and lecturer in the West, where he adopted the pen name, Mark Twain (two fathoms - a river measure). In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. He died April 21, 1910, and is buried in Elmira, N.Y.
Mark Twain State Park, beautiful tract of woodland along the South
The Bringhurst bust of Twain in Florida was erected by the State, 1913. In Hannibal are the State statue of Twain by Hibbard; his statue of Tom and Huck; the Mark Twain Museum and Home; Becky Thatcher House; Mark Twain Cave; and other sites. In Florida's cemetery are buried Twain's sister and other relatives.
Located at Perry, to the southeast, is the Mark Twain Research Foundation and its collections. The State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, has a noted collection of Twain's writings and a file of Hannibal newspapers on which he worked.
It is of interest that General Ulysses S. Grant's first assignment of the Civil War brought him to Florida, July 1861. He was looking for Col. T.A. Harris, who had withdrawn.
Erected 1953 by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Parks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Missouri, The State Historical Society of series list.
Location. 39° 29.267′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37352 Shrine Road, Stoutsville MO 65283, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Town of Florida (approx. 0.3 miles away); James Monroe (approx. 11.8 miles away).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Mark Twain Birthplace
Also see . . .
1. Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site Video. This link presents a short professional interpretive video about the Mark Twain birthplace site. (Submitted on September 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site. With Halley’s Comet clearly visible in the heavens, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Mo., in a very small, two-room cabin that is today preserved inside a modern museum. This cabin sheltered eight people after Samuel was born: John and Jane Clemens, along with their five children -- Orion, Pamela, Margaret, Benjamin, and the infant Samuel -- and a teenage slave. Mark Twain once wrote, "Recently someone in Missouri sent me a picture of the house I was born in. Heretofore (Submitted on September 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Wikipedia entry for Mark Twain. Excerpt:
Twain describes his boyhood in Life on the Mississippi, stating that “there was but one permanent ambition” among his comrades: to be a steamboatman. “Pilot was the grandest position of all. The pilot, even in those days of trivial wages, had a princely salary – from a hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars a month, and no board to pay.” As Twain described it, the pilot’s prestige exceeded that of the captain. The pilot had to “get up a warm personal acquaintanceship with every old snag and one-limbed cottonwood and every obscure wood pile that ornaments the banks of this river for twelve hundred miles; and more than that, must... actually know where these things are in the dark.” Steamboat pilot Horace E. Bixby took Twain on as a cub pilot to teach him the river between New Orleans and St. Louis for $500 (equivalent to $15,000 today), payable out of Twain’s first wages after graduating. Twain(Submitted on November 28, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on November 29, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7, 8. submitted on October 30, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.