Marion county, located in the north-central part of Missouri, has a rich and fascinating history. Here are seven interesting facts about this area that you might not know:
1. Mark Twain was born in Marion County
One of the most famous writers in American history, Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, a small town in Marion County.
2. Hannibal was once the stomping ground of pirates and robbers
In the 1830s and 40s, Hannibal was a bustling river town, but it was also a haven for pirates and robbers who preyed on travelers along the Mississippi River. Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are set in the Hannibal of his youth.
3. The Battle of the Sinkhole was fought here
In 1862, Confederate forces led by General Sterling Price clashed with Union soldiers under General John M. Schofield in the Battle of the Sinkhole, which took place near Palmyra. The battle resulted in a Union victory.
4. The first African American U.S. senator hailed from Marion County
Hiram Revels, a Republican from Mississippi and the first African American to serve in the U.S. Senate, was born in Fayette, a small town in Marion County, in 1827.
5. Tom and Huck's Cave actually exists
Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" features a cave where the titular character and his friend Huck Finn have adventures. The cave actually exists, and it's known as McDowell's Cave. Located in Hannibal, it's named after the family that owns the property where the cave is situated.
6. The area was named after the revolutionary General Francis Marion
Marion County was named after Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War hero known as the "Swamp Fox" for his guerrilla tactics against British troops in South Carolina.
7. Marion County played a role in the Underground Railroad
Marion County was home to many abolitionists who helped escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that stretched from the Southern states to Canada. A house in the town of Palmyra, known as the "Anti-Slavery House," served as one of these safe houses.
These are just a few of the interesting facts about Marion County's history. From Mark Twain to the Underground Railroad, this area has played a significant role in American history and culture.
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