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Samuel L. Clemens-Frances N. Winzer Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 48450-48492; mssFAC 1023  
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This collection contains forty pieces of correspondence from American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens (also known as Mark Twain) to teenager Frances Nunnally Wizner (1891-1981), dating from 1907 to 1910.
In June 1907, American author Samuel Clemens travelled to England to receive an honorary degree from Oxford University. One of his shipmates for the Atlantic crossing was Frances Nunnally (later Wizner) (1891-1981), the daughter of J. H. Nunnally, an Atlanta candy manufacturer. The teenaged school girl and the 71-year-old writer became acquainted and, discovering they were staying in the same London hotel, Clemens escorted the young girl, whom he called Francesca, on visits and social calls. Back in the United States, their friendship continued, and Nunnally became part of Clemens's group of young women, nicknamed the "Angelfish," whom Clemens treated as honorary grandchildren. Two years after the friendship began, Frances asked Clemens to speak at her graduation. He agreed and, in June 1909, left his Redding, Connecticut, home and journeyed to Catonsville, Maryland, to be the commencement speaker at St. Timothy's school for young women. His address included this advice (much quoted in the contemporary press) to the young ladies: "Don't smoke, drink, or marry -- that is, to excess." While in Maryland, Clemens for the first time suffered the chest pains of the heart ailment that would result in his death less than a year later on April 21, 1910, at the age of 74. The affectionate correspondence between Clemens and his young friend continued until shortly before his death.
approximately 50 pieces in 1 box
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