by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Writers get around. The world. Literally. Seems us scribes are vagabond souls who have to see, hear and experience many different scenes and lands to keep our muses happy. One of the items I spied on the archive list before I went to Maui this month was a letter from Samuel Clemens. Whoa. Mark Twain!
It was the first file I looked at in the basement of the Bailey House Museum of the Maui Historical Society. Now, even decked out in my white cotton archive gloves, I got to handle copies of the letter, not the original.
This is because the original letter was found in the papers of Rodney C. Heaton’s grandfather’s effects. Being the chairman of the Harvard Historical Commission, he felt the Society would like a copy to learn more about Mark Twain’s visit to Maui.
Imagine! I have yet to closely read the copy I had made, but it is so fun to look at. Dated April 26, 1866, Twain writes about making sure they don’t hike Haleakala without him.
Twain spent four months in Maui in 1866 as a correspondent for the Sacramento “Union” newspaper at the ripe age of 31. He had just started using his pen name of Mark Twain.
A great little book I picked up at the Museum Gift Shop, “Mark Twain in Hawaii – Roughing It In The Sandwich Islands,” is my current reading material. Seems Twain never returned to the islands after his trip, but he always loved and remembered them.
When I consider the ship travel and the time period, it all amazes me. Gives one cause to pause since both Mark Twain and I were in the same town on Maui, many years apart. How cool is that?
Any idea where your favorite authors might have travelled? Have you visited their creative spaces? Road trip!