Mark Twain and the Coards

I was thumbing through MarkTwain’s Life on the Mississippi early this morning and ran across this fascinating insight into St. Louis. In an attempt to explain the unexpected success of one of Twain’s childhood acquaintances, a newfound adult acquaintance provides the following:

There ain’t any accounting for it, except that if you send a damned fool to St. Louis, and you don’t tell them he’s a damned fool, they’ll never find it out. There’s one thing sure: if I had a damned fool, I’d know what to do with him – ship him to St. Louis; it’s the noblest market in the world for that kind of property.


Ha! Of course I’m currently in St. Louis.

That actually explains quite a lot.

Do you need me to check in on anyone before I leave?

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Not sending Benintendi and Merrifield to STL shows how badly the Royals are run.

My family history bears this out. My fifth great grandfather was one of the first to settle St. Louis, having moved there before the Louisiana Purchase. He and my fourth great grandfather were signatories to the “Wilkinson Memorial”, a document sent to President Jefferson in support of the governorship of James Wilkinson, then, as always, embroiled in scandal. Wilkinson was arguably the most corrupt American soldier and politician in history, even more than recent history. So-way to go, grampas!

Fortunately, my third great grandfather skedaddled.