In May of 1897, American author and humorist Samuel Clemens (or Mark Twain) arrived in London as part of a lengthy world tour. There he was greeted by the news that his cousin, a Mr. James Ross Clemens, also in London, had been gravely ill.
The cousin recovered, but news spread across the ocean that Clemens had grown ill and was, in fact, on the verge of death. The news sparked tremendous worry and speculation that the beloved author would soon die.
Samuel Clemens, who did not die in London in 1897, or in the great Facebook death glitch of 2016. By Photographer: A.F. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
It was Frank Marshall White with the New York Journal that finally set the record straight when he sent a cable to Twain inquiring after his health. The author replied, explaining the confusion between his identity and that of his cousin’s…
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