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Mark Twain, A Biography Vol III, Part 2: 1907 - 1910
Appendix P: The Adam Monument Petition
by Paine, Albert Bigelow

(See Chapter cxxxiv)


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 its elders.

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.

NAMES: (100 signatures)


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