Brian "Fox" Ellis presents “Steam Boatin' Down the River with Mark Twain" at the Bettendorf Public Library -- May 18.

Thursday, May 18, 1:30 p.m.

Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf IA

Mixing true stories with doses of famed wit and wisdom by one of history's most revered authors, acclaimed storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis steps into the Bettendorf Public Library on May 18 to regale his audience with the live performance piece Steam Boatin' Down the River with Mark Twain, a delightful presentation in the library's monthly Community Connections series.

In his Bettendorf library program, Ellis portrays Captain Henry Detweiler, a riverboat man who piloted steamboats for 30 years during the mid-1800s. Detweller was a friend of Abraham Lincoln; delivered troops, supplies, and top-secret messages during the American Civil War; and, like all captains, kept a log of his travels on the great river road. In Steam Boatin' Down the River with Mark Twain, Ellis' Detweller spins some of Twain's favorite yarns with his adventures as a cub pilot on the Mississippi, discussing Twain's craft, the life of a writer, and his boyhood spent in Hannibal, Missouri. As a Riverlorian and storyteller, Ellis has worked on riverboats for more than 30 years, and although his May 18 program will only last an hour, the storyteller has learned by heart more than three hours of Twain's most memorable material. History buffs of all ages are invited to join Ellis for jokes, tall tales, and true-life sagas woven together with songs and stories from one of the world's greatest humorists.

An internationally acclaimed author, storyteller, historian, and naturalist, Ellis has worked with The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The Field Museum, and dozens of other museums across the country. Ellis is also a highly sought keynote speaker at regional and international conferences including the International Wetlands Conservation Conference, National Science Teachers Association Conference, and the North American Prairie Conservation Conference, and the list of famed figures he portrays in one-man-show form includes Charles Darwin, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, John Deere, and Mark Twain himself. Since 19809, Ellis has been touring the world as an educator and dynamic performer who, in a warmly entertaining manner, captures what is most life-affirming and beautiful in the human experience.

Brian "Fox" Ellis' Steam Boatin' Down the River with Mark Twain will be presented on May 18, participation in the 1:30 p.m. program is free, and more information is available by calling (563)344-4175 and visiting

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