Albert Bigelow Paine

Brief Life History of Albert Bigelow

Albert Bigelow Paine was an American author and biographer best known for his four-volume biography of Mark Twain, published in 1912. Paine, who was Twain's literary executor, wrote in several genres beyond biography, including fiction, humor, and verse. He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of a Vermont farmer, Samuel Estabrook Paine, and a Massachusetts shopkeeper, Mercy Coval Kirby Paine, and was moved to Bentonsport, Iowa, when he was one year old. From early childhood until early adulthood, Paine lived in the village of Xenia in southern Illinois; there he received his schooling. His home in Xenia is still standing. At the age of 20, he moved to St. Louis, where he trained as a photographer, and became a dealer in photographic supplies in Fort Scott, Kansas. Paine sold out in 1895 to become a full-time writer, moving to New York. He spent most of his life in Europe, including France, where he wrote two books about Joan of Arc. The works were so well received in France that he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by the French government. He was also a member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee in New York. -- based on his obituary in the New York Times, April 10, 1937, page 19.

Photos and Memories (3)

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Family Time Line

Albert Bigelow Paine
Dora Locey
Marriage: 21 August 1893
Louise Paine
Frances Bigelow Paine
Temple Paine
Joy Paine

Sources (37)

  • Albert Payne, "United States Census, 1900"
  • Albert B Paine, "Kansas County Marriages, 1855-1911"
  • Albert Bigelow Paine, "Florida Deaths, 1877-1939"

World Events (8)


Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.

1868 · Land in Groton Given to US Navy for Navy Station

In 1868, the State of Connecticut gave the Navy 112 acres of land along the Thames River. This became the location of the Naval Submarine Base. It was designed to hold 1,400 men and 20 submarines. During WWII it was expanded to 497 acres. 

1881 · The Assassination of James Garfield

Garfield was shot twice by Charles J. Guitea at Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. After eleven weeks of intensive and other care Garfield died in Elberon, New Jersey, the second of four presidents to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln.

Name Meaning

English: variant of Payne .

History: The author of the republican treatise The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine (1737–1809), left England for North America in the mid 1770s, where he became involved in the movement that led to independence. His pamphlet of 1776, Common Sense, influenced the Declaration of Independence and furnished some of the arguments justifying it.

Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

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