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David Gray: Mark Twain’s Buffalo Friend (March 2023 - January 2024)

Mark Twain Display : Mainfloor, Central Library

When Mark Twain moved to Buffalo in 1869 to assume part ownership as well as editorial duties for the Buffalo Express, many critics believed he would not find literary inspiration nor meaningful companionship in a city lacking cultural stimulation. However, Twain would find just that in the form of a rival newspaper editor, David Gray, a man who preferred writing poetry and prose to his daily editorial tasks for the Buffalo Courier. Gray and his wife Mattie not only hosted Buffalo’s literary circles in their Niagara Street home, they would soon become friends with Mark and his wife Livy, and continue to correspond and visit in the years following the Twain’s departure from Buffalo in 1871.

On display are samples of Gray’s poetry, his handwritten travel journal and his posthumously published collections of letters, prose and poetry.