The pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, famous American humorist, born November 30, 1835, at Florida, Missouri. He petitioned Polar Star Lodge No. 79 of St. Louis under date of December 26, 1860, as follows:
The subscriber, residing in Saint Louis, of lawful age and by occupation a Pilot, begs leave to state that unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives he freely and voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire of knowledge and sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the Fraternity.
Recommended by John M. Leavenworth, Tom Moore. Committee: H. T. Taylor, Defreiz, Wannall.
(Signed) Sam L. Clemens. The petition was received on the same day and the Committee made a favorable report February 18, 1861. He was Initiated May 22, 1861, Passed, June 12, 1861, and Raised July 10, 1861. On June 12, he paid the Lodge $20 cash and made a further payment of $10 on July 10. During a trip that he made to Palestine he sent his Lodge at St. Louis a mallet accompanied by the following memorandum: This Mallet is of Cedar cut in the Forest of Lebanon, whence Solomon obtained the Timbers for the Temple. The handle was cut by Brother Clemens himself from a cedar planted just outside the walls of Jerusalem by Brother Godfrey DeBoullion, the first Christian Conqueror of that City, nineteenth of July, 1099.
This gavel in its present form was made at Alexandria Egypt, by order of Brother Clemens. From Brother Sam'l L. Clemens (Mark Twain) to J. H. Pottenger, M.D. March 25, 1868 Presented to Polar Star Lodge No. 79 By J. H. Pottenger, W. M. April 8, 1868.
In 1869 he asked for a dimit but this is not known to have ever been presented to any Lodge. Mark Twain has many racy books of travel and adventure, as well as a number of humorous autobiographical novels to his credit. He received the degree of Doctor of Literature from Oxford. For many years he was considered the most outstanding and popular American personality in the world of letters. During the later years of his life he was able to amass a considerable fortune although most of his life was harassed by a constant struggle against poverty. He died at Redding, Connecticut, on April 21, 1910.
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