Racism Against Natives Dooms Mark Twain Honor

Racism Against Natives Dooms Mark Twain Honor Samuel L. Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain

Indian Country Today

Racism Against Natives Dooms Mark Twain Honor

A state panel in Nevada has opted to not name a Lake Tahoe cove for Mark Twain, saying the author was racist against Native Americans.

The request to rename a cove on the lake’s northeast shore for Samuel Clemens—Twain was a pen name—has been indefinitely tabled by the Nevada State Board on Geographic Names.

“Samuel Clemens had racist views on the Native people of this country and has captured those views in his literature,” Darrel Cruz wrote in a letter to the board, reported the Associated Press. “Therefore, we cannot support the notion of giving a place name in Lake Tahoe to Samuel Clemens.”

Cruz, is head of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California’s cultural resource department, also said Twain doesn’t deserve the honor because he was against naming the lake Tahoe, a word derived from Washoe word “da ow” for lake.

Cruz also mentioned a particular quote from Twain: “People say that Tahoe means ‘Silver Lake’—‘Limpid Water’—‘Falling Leaf.’ Bosh! It means grasshopper soup, the favorite dish of the digger tribe—and of the Pi-utes as well.”

The term “digger” is derogatory and refers to western tribes who dug roots for food.

Thomas Quirk, an English professor emeritus at the University of Missouri and leading Twain scholar, told the Associated Press that Twain did get over his racism toward blacks but Quirk hasn’t found any evidence that the author’s views on Native Americans ever changed.

Quirk told the Associated Press that Twain did not embrace idolizing who he called the “noble red man,” which was Twain’s way of picking on James Fenimore Cooper.

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“When it comes to African Americans, he was ahead of his time substantially,” Quirk told the Associated Press. “When it comes to Native Americans, his record is not very good. If he were alive today, he would sing a different tune.”

Robert Stewart, a member of the Nevada State Board on Geographic Names, actually dropped his support of the renaming even though he initiated it.

“I have a great deal of respect for the Washoe Tribe. And if their cultural committee is unhappy with naming the cove for Mark Twain, I’m not going to fight them,” Stewart told the Associated Press. “We need to show sensitivity to the tribe.”

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
researcher of all
researcher of all

This is just not true,the research he did for Tesla,after his wife died in 1884 he would spend lots of time at Tesla's Lab(Wardenclyffe Tower) now Shoreham NY and my home town for 40 years were nobodys knows more about Tesla then me,I was the one who got the non profit buy that Lab and I live on Tesla's old 200Arces where he named my streets in my neighborhood after Mark Twain and his mission Tesla gave him,which was meeting with the oldest tribes that had ancient Alien contact,As he met with as (Samuel Clemens) the Blackfeet Indians(maybe 1,000 people know this or less) and chief Fox and VeeJay and Mark Twain and Tesla walked a path Tesla had been walking and cleared for years called the South trail on his property.If you wanna find this Neighborhood lookup Blackfoot Trail,Vee-Jay drive Fox, Huck Finn and the south trail in Shoreham NY I knew he had been there in 09 but never posted it to my research pages until I had proof, and then I found a PIcture of Mark Twain in Shoreham I told it,The other street he named I don't know if anybody's knows about this but me,When The Philadelphia Experiment landed at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York (3 miles from my house and a few miles from how I got to Long Island as my Parents were USAF R&D and were stationed at the Top Secret Grumman base in Calverton NY from 70-83 and I had grown up on and would go into USAF Intelligence for 16 years too)under the name Phoenix Project, but it was soon realized that the project required a large radar dish, and installing one at Brookhaven would compromise the security of the project. Luckily, the U.S. Air Force had a decommissioned base at Montauk, New York, not far from Brookhaven, which had a complete Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) radar installation. The site was large and remote (Montauk was not yet a tourist attraction) and water access would allow equipment to be moved in and out undetected. Tesla and Einstein were on Contract from the US Navy to work on it, Einstein set up at Princeton for The Philadelphia Experiment, know they had to move and when that project went on hold as they made casing under the ground to get the beam out to Montauk..they had nowhere to set up,The took Tesla Lab away in Shoreham but did know how much he had underground, and during the Revolutionary War, Shoreham was all 300-foot rolling bluffs but had a gully really low and it was called "brickyard beach" at the beginning of the war, somebody was smart and looked at this as a perfect way to move men and supplies unseen, so you have Gully lower than the Bluffs bottom and the landscape past the Gully climbed to 500 feet above the Long Island Sound,So they had the brick there and just tunneled into the mainland perfect? Tesla reused those tunnels and added lights, due to the fact some of the stuff he needed nobody would have signed off on, so he could get it at the Gully and it came out right on his property, the Government never went go down there because a photo company bought it and dumped millions of gallons of toxic waste down the tunnels which then led to the sewer system, Stil a level 4 EPA site, making people from Shoreham when retired to Florida and you said you were from this area they called it the cancer belt, we had one neighborhood have 6 cancer victims when there were only 3 houses in that court? Brookhaven lab had 2 spills and a meltdown trying to push the beam to Montauk, I always knew about the spills finding a DOD video about Radio Active clean up, they said Brookhaven NY talking about the Lab's spills. I commented on the video which was 1 of 100(all having less then 50 views in the research world means you've struck gold),they were all from the DOD, reading soldiers up on whatever job they were going into and told them that was classified and they took it down, anyways the lab Tesla and Einstein set up shop was an underground Lab nobody knew of across the street from his lab, if you wanna see where that lab was look up Albert Street which Tesla named also,And Tesla had a house built in Shoreham from marble and tiles from Sweden and shipped from other countries, and it's not listed anywhere, when it goes for sale they won't even tell you the street of number,it is near Albert street and the reason they keep it a secret is due to the fact the barn holds only 1 or 2 Marconi shacks