It's common knowledge that Mark Twain's childhood later became a legend of literature. However, not many people know the real childhood friends of Samuel Clemens before he became Mark Twain. Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can.

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I found this rare photo in the Library of Congress. It's a photo that was taken 100 years ago on June 13, 1922. According to the Library of Congress, the photo was taken by Jean Tomlinson Frazer and Hal Frazer. It features 6 contemporaries of Samuel Clemens childhood before he became Mark Twain.

Frazer, Jean Tomlinson and Frazer, Hal/Library of Congress
Frazer, Jean Tomlinson and Frazer, Hal/Library of Congress
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If you can't read the fine print beneath the photo, here's the legend according to the Library of Congress:

Mark Twain's boyhood friends Standing - Noval [i.e. Norval] L. Brady, age 82. Son of James Brady, first mayor of Hannibal, Mo. Dr. B.Q. Stevens, age 85. Boyhood friend of Mark Twain. J.L. Robards, age 84. Boyhood friend of Mark Twain. Sitting - Moses D. Bates, age 84. Son of Moses D. Bates, founder of Hannibal, Mo. Mrs. Elizabeth Frazer, age 84. "The real Becky Thatcher." T.G. Dulaney, age 81.

So much Hannibal history in just one photo. The man standing in the back row far left was the son of James Brady, the first Mayor of Hannibal. The man on the bottom left sitting is the son of Moses Bates who founded Hannibal. And, of course, there's Mrs. Elizabeth Frazer who was the "real" Becky Thatcher in Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain's young life.

It's worth noting that the Library of Congress is a virtual treasure trove of Hannibal history and photos. You can sort through a wide variety of photos at your leisure.

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