Mark Twain Marries Olivia "Livy" Langdon
Charles Langdon showed a picture of his sister, Olivia, to Twain; Twain claimed to have fallen in love at first sight.
The two met in 1868, were engaged a year later, and married in February 1870 in Elmira, New York. She came from a "wealthy but liberal family", and through her he met abolitionists, "socialists, principled atheists and activists for women's rights and social equality", including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and the writer and utopian socialist William Dean Howells, who became a longtime friend.
The couple lived in Buffalo, New York from 1869 to 1871. Twain owned a stake in the Buffalo Express newspaper, and worked as an editor and writer. Their son Langdon died of diphtheria at 19 months.
In 1871, Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where starting in 1873, he arranged the building of a home (local admirers saved it from demolition in 1927 and eventually turned it into a museum focused on him). While living there Olivia gave birth to three daughters: Susy (1872–1896), Clara (1874–1962) and Jean (1880–1909). The couple's marriage lasted 34 years, until Olivia's death in 1904.
During his seventeen years in Hartford (1874–1891), Twain wrote many of his best-known works: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889).
After courting for two years, Sam Clemens and Olivia (Livy) Langdon were married in 1870. They settled in Buffalo, New York where Sam had become a partner, editor and writer for the daily newspaper the Buffalo Express. While living in Buffalo, their first child, Langdon Clemens was born.
In an effort to be closer to his publisher, Sam moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut in 1871. For the first few years the Clemenses rented a house in the heart of Nook Farm, a residential area that was home to numerous writers, publishers and other prominent figures. In 1872, Sam's recollections and tall tales from his frontier adventures were published in his book, Roughing It. That same year the Clemenses' first daughter Susy was born, but their son, Langdon, died at the age of two from diphtheria.
Olivia Langdon, familiarly called “Livy,” was born and raised in Elmira, New York, the daughter of wealthy coal merchant Jervis Langdon and Olivia Lewis Langdon. The Langdons were strongly religious, reformist, and abolitionist. Livy’s education, in the 1850s and 1860s, was a combination of home tutoring and classes at Thurston’s Female Seminary and Elmira Female College. Always delicate, her health deteriorated into invalidism for a time between 1860 and 1864. “She was never strong again while her life lasted,” SLC said in 1906. SLC was first introduced to the shy and serious Livy in December 1867; he soon began an earnest and protracted courtship, conducted largely through letters. They married in February 1870 and settled in Buffalo, New York, in a house purchased for them by Livy’s father; their first child, Langdon Clemens, was born there in November. In 1871 they moved, as renters, to the Nook Farm neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut, and quickly became an integral part of the social life of that literary and intellectual enclave. They purchased land and built the distinctive house which was their home from 1874 to 1891.