Samuel L. Clemens. Who was Mark Twain?

Inventing Mark Twain: The Life of Samuel L. Clemens
The reports of my
death have been
greatly exaggerated
Twain Still in the News – 100 years after his Death
Twain's name could be linked to highway - March 2, 2010
The name of Mark Twain could soon be attached to something else a stretch of highway in St. Louis.
Local Author Roy Morris Jr. Releases New Book On
Mark Twain In The West
The Chattanoogan - March 2, 2010
Local author Roy Morris Jr.'s sixth book, Lighting Out for the
Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark
Hockey: Canada/USA, USA/Canada
Salem-News.Com - March 2, 2010
Which segues into a story that Mark Twain once told, which I'll just
paraphrase. He was reporting from the Sandwich Islands (now
Hawaii) and he…
Halley’s Comet
Redding, Connecticut Estate
Sam’s Bedroom
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, born on November 30, 1835, the
sixth child of John and Jane Clemens, in a cabin in the small
settlement of Florida, Missouri.
Although the Missouri he grew up
in never joined the Confederacy, it
was a world in which slavery was
taken for granted by most whites,
defended by all public institutions,
including the churches; Sam's
own parents owned slaves. Sam
respected them and enjoyed their
company, folklore & music.
Interior of Florida, Missouri home
The family moved to nearby Hannibal in 1839, where Sam
spent his boyhood in the presence of the broad Mississippi.
United States in 1835
Sam rarely attended school,
opting to take frequent trips to
Glasscock Island, where he and
his friends would spend their days
swimming, fishing, hunting and
smoking. Even alone, Sam had a
daredevil quality, an almost selfdestructive passion for effect, an
urge to contradict convention...
Hannibal hosted many great orators. Sam would learn
and later commander their techniques.
To the Once Boy & GirlsMy comrades in the morning of time & the youth of
antiquity, in the village of Hannibal, Missouri.
After the death of his Father, Sam became a Printer’s
Devil. A printer’s devil was an apprentice or young
assistant to a printer.
Sam at 15
When he was 16, in 1851, Sam began
contributing humorous pieces, and
occasionally stood in as Editor when his
brother Orion was away.
In 1852, Sam gained interest East of the
Mississippi via articles in the Philadelphia
Saturday Evening Post.
Sam left Hannibal for the first time in
June of 1853, when he was seventeen,
working initially in St. Louis as a
typesetter for a few months. By late
August he was heading to the World's Fair
in New York City.
Sam at 18
The next three and half years found
him moving between New York,
Philadephia, Washington D.C.,
Muscatine (Iowa), St. Louis, Keokuk
(Iowa), and Cincinnati.
Sam’s teenage travels
In February of 1857, he took passage
from Cincinnati to New Orleans, intending
to embark for the Amazon River, to seek
his fortune in the thriving coca trade.
He was twenty-one years old.
His plans changed when he met pilot
Horace Bixby. Sam's boyhood dream to
become a steamboat pilot had been
Sam at 23
In April of 1861, when the Civil War
caused the suspension of civilian river
traffic on the Mississippi, Sam's career as
a steamboat pilot came to an abrupt end.
In the summer of 1861 he found himself
on a stagecoach heading west with his
older brother Orion, who had been
appointed Secretary of the Nevada
Sam’s travels by his mid-twenties
By about April of 1862, he was
prospecting near Aurora, and it was now
that he began contributing humorous
letters to the Virgina City Territorial
Enterprise signed "Josh". These were so
popular that owner Joe Goodman offered
Sam $25 a week to work for the
Soon after he began using the pen-name
Mark Twain.
In May of 1864, he headed for San
Francisco, working for the San Francisco
Morning Call newspaper as a full-time
In 1865, he visited Jackass Hill, California,
where he tried gold-mining.
The next year, in 1866, he traveled to the
Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) writing for the
Sacramento Union, and upon returning to
California gave his first lecture on his
travel experiences.
Sam at 30
Sam left San Francisco for New York at
the end of 1866, via Nicaragua.
In 1867, he undertook a Midwest lecture
tour with stops in St. Louis, Hannibal,
Quincy and Keokuk.
Commissioned to be a travel writer for an
excursion to the Mediterranean and back
from June 8 to November 19 of 1867.
On board the Quaker City, in 1867, Sam met Charles
Langdon who showed him an ivory miniature of his sister Livy. From that moment, he was so charmed that he asked
to see it repeatedly.
His first proposal to Livy in September of
1868 was rejected, after which he undertook
a lecture tour through California and Nevada
in November and December.
In February of 1869 he proposed to Livy
again. Their engagement was formally
announced after her father had quietly
checked Sam's "references".
Sam at 33
Sam and Livy were married on February 2nd,
1870. The couple settled in Buffalo, N.Y. in a
house that was a wedding present from Livy's
Sam edited on the Express, wrote a monthly
column for a New York literary magazine called
the Galaxy, and began working on an account
of his experiences in Nevada and California
that would become Roughing It.
But 1870 would become a difficult year for
Sam and Livy. Their son, Langdon, was born
premature and remained sickly.
Next Livy's father died, followed by her close
friend while staying in their Buffalo home.
From 1871 to 1885 is a whirlwind of success
and travel…
In 1871, moves to Hartford CT. Continues his
lecture tours and visits England for the first
1872: Susy Clemens is born, Langdon dies.
Roughing It published.
1873: Sam returns with family to England,
The Gilded Age published.
1874: Hartford house completed. Clara
Clemens is born.
1876: Publishes The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer. Starts to work on Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn.
1878: Travels with family in Europe for nearly
2 years.
1880: Publishes A Tramp Abroad.
Daughter,Jean Clemens, is born.
1881: Publishes The Prince and the Pauper.
Hires Louis Comfort Tiffany to decorate public
rooms of Hartford home.
1882: Travels down the Mississippi River to
do research for Life on the Mississippi.
1883: Publishes Life on the Mississippi.
Finishes Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1884: Founds Charles L. Webster Publishing
and Co. Lectures throughout United States.
1885: Publishes Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn. Charles L. Webster and Co. issues first
volume of Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant.
Sam at 49
He had it
July 15, 1895 - July 15,
1896 - World Speaking
Tour: United States,
Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, India, Ceylon,
Mauritius South Africa:
about 140 engagements.
In 1895, at age fifty-nine, Clemens began a "lecturing raid
around the world" to pay off his substantial debts.
We must remember to lay ourselves on the shelf
occasionally & renew our edges!
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