National Geographic : 1956 Jul
ness crossing to which John Marshall Clemens brought his family. An unsuccessful lawyer in Tennessee, he had come by horse and carriage and steamboat to Missouri, ar riving with his wife and four children only six months before his famous son was born on Novem ber 30, 1835. One of seven children, Mark Twain was a weak baby whom neighbors did not expect to live. Pre mature, he arrived when Halley's comet was in the sky and died when it re appeared 74 years later. The two-room cabin with its two adults and four children was already crowded when Mark Twain was born. But be fore the Clemenses moved to Hannibal, another son, Henry, was born and their daughter Margaret died. Today sparrows nest in the broken timbers of the frayed cabin, and field mice inhabit its many holes. It stands alone in the Mark Twain State Park outside Florida. Custodian John Schmidt, who lives down the road, gives visitors the key. The two whitewashed rooms are barely fur nished with odd items a handless clock, a spin ning wheel, a bellows or gan, and a bed-that never belonged to the Clemens family. Their furniture was sold for debt during the Judge's unprosperous days in Hannibal. Back in Hannibal, where the Mississippi is 139 National Geographic Photographer Willard R. Culver still the truant's highway, Mark Twain Looks Out on His Beloved Mississippi I joined a family going School children from Atlas, Illinois, touring Hannibal by bus, pay a call fishing. The youngest to the towering bronze statue in Riverview Park.