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Mark Twain, his cigars, and Buffalo

Mark Twain, the pen name for writer Samuel Clemens who lived in Buffalo from 1869 to 1871
Mark Twain, the pen name for writer Samuel Clemens who lived in Buffalo from 1869 to 1871From the free image archive at http://projects.ericshalov.com

Mark Twain came to Buffalo, New York in 1869 and remained there until 1871. Mark Twain was the pen name for Samuel Clemens, a prolific and brilliantly humorous writer whose literary work defined a nation at a most critical time in its development.

Mr. Twain was an avid cigar smoker, reputedly acquiring his habit at age 10, consuming a colossal 100 cigars a month. His passion for cigars never abated throughout his life, and quotes such as, "If smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go.", and "It has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake." exemplified his passion in real, if not humorous terms.

While living in Buffalo in 1870, Mark Twain tried quitting cigars for the benefit of his new bride and found that the effect on his creative pursuits was severe. He was able to write only two chapters in a week which, for him, was a horrible rate of production. At this, he realized the connection he had with his beloved cigars, and reestablished his earlier relationship with tobacco. At various times throughout his life, Mark Twain would abstain from tobacco only to rush back with vigor. He saind that the only reason he gave up his cigars for the brief periods mentioned was to show off to his critics.


Mark Twain left Buffalo in 1871 to be closer to his editor and continue his writing and travels. The impressions he left on the city and further on a nation will likely never fade. His philosophy and passion for cigars creates a unique bond with those cigar aficionados with a literary interest who reside in Buffalo today.

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