Mark Twain

Buffalo & Erie County Library

The young Samuel Clemens grew up along one of the world’s great rivers, the Mississippi, and eventually became a pilot on the riverboats that carried the trade of a continent to the world. Better known today as Mark Twain, he is now an entry on the greatest of trade routes: the World Wide Web.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Mark Twain’s history in the City of Buffalo is well-documented. From 1869 to 1871, he was an editor at the Buffalo Express newspaper and lived on Delaware Avenue. The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library has a room of his manuscripts and letters.

Buffalo & Erie County Central Library

Buffalo in the late 1800s was a city of enormous economic wealth and innovation. For about 18 months, it was also home to Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. It was here, as part-owner and editor of the Buffalo Express newspaper, that Twain transformed into the subversive rebel that would define his legacy as a great American author.

Heritage Moments: Mark Twain, Buffalonian

Jul 16, 2018
Mathew Brady / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

Samuel L. Clemens’s time in Buffalo was short. But it was also by turns pivotal, tragic and, of course, funny. The young man who would go on to become America’s greatest humorist was just barely on the cusp of national fame when, armed with a loan from his fiancée’s industrialist father, he rolled into town and bought a one-third share of the Buffalo Express newspaper. 


If you walk through the Central Library Dowtown, there's a special room for the original manuscript for Huckleberry Finn. In Tom Reigstad's new book, "Scribblin' for a Livin': Mark Twain's Pivotal Period in Buffalo," the college professor and writer explores how Twain and the manuscript wound up in the booming lake port during a pivotal period of his life.