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Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations

The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.

[Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]



The Life of Mark Twain: The Final Years, 1891-1910

(Part of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives Annual Meeting and Luncheon) 

Saturday, June 10, 2023 @ 11:30 a.m.




Author and scholar Gary Scharnhorst will discuss his latest book, The Life of Mark Twain

The Final Years, 1891–1910, the third volume in his Twain biography series. This entry chronicles the life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, from his family's extended trip to Europe in 1891 to his death in 1910. Despite his worldwide fame during this period, he grappled with bankruptcy, causing him to return to the lecture circuit. These years also saw the death of two daughters and his wife, influencing some of his darkest, most critical works.

Gary Scharnhorst is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He is the author or editor of 50 books, including the three volumes in this series and Mark Twain on Potholes and Politics: Letters to the Editor. He now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Though open to the public, there is a $25 charge for non-members, payable in advance or at the door on the day of the event. Attendees must also RSVP to [email protected] or (573) 751-3280 on or before Wednesday, June 7th, 2023.

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Murder & Mayhem Jefferson City 

Thursday, July 20, 2023 @ 7 p.m.




Missouri State Archives staff member and author Michelle Brooks will speak about her new book, Murder & Mayhem Jefferson City. The wilderness-born Missouri capital’s first century (1821-1921) was a tumultuous time. Villainous escapes from the state’s only prison resulted in theft, abuse and even murder, the grandest attempt ending with the city’s only triple hanging. Later during this period, the capital had entrepreneurs willing to sidestep the federal Volstead Act and its prohibition on alcohol. This attracted Ku Klux Klan activity and culminated in the election of a “law and order” sheriff, whose deputies’ broke laws of their own in their enforcement efforts. Many smaller, more personal tragedies grieved the community during these years as well. Take the South Side murder of a German immigrant by a teenaged deputy caught sleeping with the victim’s daughter. Join us as Brooks recounts these and other shocking events in Jefferson City’s turbulent first century. 

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