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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


FINGERPRINTS

[Comparing Pudd'nhead Wilson
to another book]
There was nothing new in that story, but the finger-prints in this one is virgin ground--absolutely fresh, and mighty curious and interesting to everybody.
- Letter to Fred Hall,
July 30, 1893

The finger-mark system of identification has been in use in India & China, to some extent, for twenty-five years. It has been quite thoroughly & scientifically examined by Mr. Galt & I kept myself with the bounds of ascertained facts.
- Letter to Gertrude Darrall,
February 23, 1897

 

Mark Twain palm print
Mark Twain's palm print


Chicago Daily Tribune, March 5, 1903, p. 1

PUDD'NHEAD WILSON SET RIGHT
Mark Twain Says London Identification Method Vindicates the Character of His Creation.

Mark Twain declares the adoption by the London police of fingertip impressions as the method of identifying criminals justified Pudd'nhead Wilson. Mr. Clemens' plot reached its climax when Pudd'nhead revealed the criminal as well as the duplicity of his mother by means of finger prints. He modestly refuses to claim that the London bureau of identification has taken its idea from his book.

Yesterday THE TRIBUNE asked Mr. Clemens whether or not he believed that the adoption of the system by the police of London vindicated Pudd'nhead. His reply follows:

"Riverdale, N.Y., March 4. - THE TRIBUNE, Chicago: Only at second hand. Pudd'nhead vindicated Francis Galt. This vindicates Pudd'nhead.

MARK TWAIN."


Poster from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Also see Mark Twain's interview on fingerprints as this site.


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