Twain Would Be Amused

November 20, 2012 in Coins, Commemorative, Gold, Gold Coins, Precious Metals, Silver, Silver Coins, USA Coins

From Coin Collectors Blog ( November 18th, 2012

Under suspension of the rules, the House of Representatives voted 408-4 to pass H.R. 2453, Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act. The bill has been officially enrolled and sent to the president for his

When the bill becomes law, the Twain commemorative will be in 2016 to sell 100,000 $5 gold coins and 350,000 silver dollars whose designs “shall be emblematic of the life and legacy of Mark Twain.” There will be the usual $35 surcharge for the gold coin and $10 for the silver dollar that will be distributed evenly to:

  1. Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut
  2. University of California, Berkeley for the benefit of the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library
  3. Elmira College, New York, to be used for research and education purposes
  4. Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri

After looking at the list, I could not imagine why Elmira College is on the list until I discovered the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Twain was married in February 1870 to the former Olivia Langdon in Elmira. While Twain and his family lived in Hartford, Connecticut, he summered at Quarry Farm in Elmira, the hole of Susan Crane, Olivia’s sister.

Twain would be amused by the commemorative. While he had a love for science and technology, Twain did not embrace his celebrity as much as some do today. Even after he faced financial troubles from bad investments and the depression from the death of his daughter Susy of meningitis, friends pushed Twain to the lecture circuit. His lectures were humorous bordering on an early form of stand-up comedy full of self-deprecating humor. Part of his talks marveled how people would pay to hear his speak or seek him out for advice.

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