Written by Kevin Heffernan

Though his Time in Buffalo was Brief, the Experience Created the Man and Author we Know Today

We spoke with Thomas J Reigstad, author of Scribblin’ for a Livin’ about Mark Twain’s time in Buffalo. Reigstad’s book takes a look at Mark Twain, a man in his young 30’s arrived in Buffalo in 1869 as the new editor of The Buffalo Express. After growing up poor in the south, Twain’s marriage to Olivia Langdon, daughter of the Elmira-based coal magnate Jarvis Langdon, welcomed him into Buffalo with an important, influential job, a mansion on Delaware Avenue equipped with servants, and an entirely new life than what he had known. Watch more about Twain’s arrival, the triumph and tragedy of his time in the Queen City in 1869-1871, and how it changed him as a man and influenced him as an author.

You can find Tom’s book online via (Buffalo-based) NFBpublishing.com, amazon.com, or shop the localist at Talking Leaves on Elmwood/Bidwell in Buffalo.

Reigstad, along with Rare Book Curator at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Amy Pickard and Professor of English at Canisius College Robert Butler Discuss Twain and Buffalo.

Reigstad Discusses How Twain Was Able to Use his Bully Pulpit as Editor of the Buffalo Express to Support his Father-in-law’s Coal Monopoly, but also to Denounce Racism.

Learn more about the Huckleberry Finn original manuscript’s journey across the country and back to Buffalo, where it was intended.