Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is an American icon. But in his time, he wasn’t the only one in his family with name recognition.
Twain’s older brother, Orion Clemens, was a newspaper publisher and had studied law under Edward Bates, who later became President Abraham Lincoln’s Attorney General. Orion was appointed the first (and only) Secretary of the Nevada Territory by Lincoln, and was second-in-command to the Territorial Governor, James Nye. A popular figure in Nevada politics Orion, acting as temporary Governor in Nye’s absence, deftly avoided the “Sagebrush War”, a boundary dispute between Nevada and California.
Orion was accompanied by his brother Sam as he traveled by stage from Iowa to his new post in 1861, and their journey is memorialized in the Mark Twain’s book Roughing It.
For an excerpt from Twain’s book, see this post about the wackiest gun in the West.