One Hundred Years Later, Twain Still Dead

Photo: Tim Murphy

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Elmira, New York— We don’t stop for long in Elmirajust long enough to confirm our worst fear: As expected, Mark Twain is still dead. There’s an inverse correlation between the health of a city and the number of signs leading to a single, not especially compelling historic marker; in Elmira, where boarded up storefronts seem to be the default in the city’s crumbling downtown (the city’s population has dropped by 40 percent since 1950), all signs point to Twain’s resting place.

Meanwhile, according to a poster at the front entrance, a black bear has been terrorizing joggers in the cemetery in recent weeks. I suppose that’s probably what Twain would have wanted.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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