Mark Twain, A Biography Vol III, Part 2: 1907 - 1910 Appendix P: The Adam Monument Petition byPaine, Albert Bigelow
(See Chapter cxxxiv)
TO THE HONORABLE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES
IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED.
WHEREAS, A number of citizens of the city of Elmira in the State of New
York having covenanted among themselves to erect in that city a monument
in memory of Adam, the father of mankind, being moved thereto by a
sentiment of love and duty, and these having appointed the undersigned to
communicate with your honorable body, we beg leave to lay before you the
following facts and append to the same our humble petition.
1. As far as is known no monument has ever been raised in any part of
the world to commemorate the services rendered to our race by this great
man, whilst many men of far less note and worship have been rendered
immortal by means of stately and indestructible memorials.
2. The common father of mankind has been suffered to lie in entire
neglect, although even the Father of our Country has now, and has had for
many years, a monument in course of construction.
3. No right-feeling human being can desire to see this neglect
continued, but all just men, even to the farthest regions of the globe,
should and will rejoice to know that he to whom we owe existence is about
to have reverent and fitting recognition of his works at the hands of the
people of Elmira. His labors were not in behalf of one locality, but for
the extension of humanity at large and the blessings which go therewith;
hence all races and all colors and all religions are interested in seeing
that his name and fame shall be placed beyond the reach of the blight of
oblivion by a permanent and suitable monument.
4. It will be to the imperishable credit of the United States if this
monument shall be set up within her borders; moreover, it will be a
peculiar grace to the beneficiary if this testimonial of affection and
gratitude shall be the gift of the youngest of the nations that have
sprung from his loins after 6,000 years of unappreciation on the part of
5. The idea of this sacred enterprise having originated in the city of
Elmira, she will be always grateful if the general government shall
encourage her in the good work by securing to her a certain advantage
through the exercise of its great authority.
Therefore, Your petitioners beg that your honorable body will be pleased
to issue a decree restricting to Elmira the right to build a monument to
Adam and inflicting a heavy penalty upon any other community within the
United States that shall propose or attempt to erect a monument or other
memorial to the said Adam, and to this end we will ever pray.