WHAT IS AN AMERICAN? Teaching American History Through Biography A Teaching American History Grant: Year 2 HEAD WEST: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain By Glenn Oney INTRODUCTION • • • • This lesson was created as part of the “What is an American?: Teaching American History Through Biography” Teaching American History Grant Program. It follows the adventures of a young man named Samuel Clemens as he traveled West during the Civil War, and became Mark Twain, one of the greatest writers in American History. This lesson can be used for American History courses, as part of Missouri History curriculum, or in an American Literature course. The page numbers reference Lighting Out For The Territory by Roy Morris, Jr., the inspiration for this lesson. http://franklyfrancis.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/mark-twain.jpg PRINTING ORIGINS • • • • • In June 1853, Clemens left his Hannibal, Missouri, home for the first time at the age of seventeen and went to St. Louis to become a printer’s apprentice at the St. Louis Evening News. (13) Sam had learned about printing at the Hannibal Journal and the Hannibal Western Union, then owned by his brother Orion (pronounced Oh-Ree-On). (13) Sam and Orion had a strained relationship through most of their lives as Sam felt his brother ruined every business venture he touched. Sam himself was a self-diagnosed “lazy man.” Clemens soon grew bored and in August headed to New York City, where he found work in a printing shop. (13) Clemens also spent time in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. before reuniting with his family the following spring in Muscatine, Iowa. Orion married and moved the family to Keokuk, Iowa, and Sam would spend over a year working with his brother in Keokuk at his printing business. (14,18,19) St. Louis levee, circa 1850s http://steamboattimes.com/images/levee_scenes/stlouis_levee_steamerscirca1850s481x275.jpg Samuel Clemens, 1850 http://rlv.zcache.com/portrait_of_samuel_clemens_40447_ card-p137115796539363398t5tq_400.jpg RIVERBOAT PILOT • • • • • Restless again, Samuel Clemens boarded the steamboat Paul Jones piloted by Captain Horace Bixby. By the time the Sam traveled the Mississippi River to New Orleans, he had found a new love. (21) Sam became Capt. Bixby’s prize student as the future Mark Twain learned to navigate a steamboat on the dangerous Mississippi. (21) “Bixby’s empire stretched from New Orleans to St. Louis, twelve hundred miles on the lower Mississippi, each mile menaced by ever-shifting currents, riptides, shallows, sandbars, quicksand, floating islands, sunken rocks, sunken trees, sunken boats, loose debris, and the ever-present dangers of collisions with other boats, shipboard fires, and boiler explosions.” (22) Despite its “dangers, the life of a steamboat pilot was grandly romantic, particularly for a young man who had grown up beside the river. Gradually, Sam learned how to be a pilot.” (22) After two unpaid years of learning the river from Bixby and others, Samuel Clemens became fully licensed on April 9, 1859. (22) Samuel Clemens, 1860 http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.wikitree.com/photo.php- Steamboat: ARAGO Built: 1860 Tonnage: 268 Clemens' Service: 28 July - 31 August 1860 http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.twainquotes.com/ Steamboats/SSArago.jpg RIVERBOAT PILOT • • • • Samuel Clemens made over 120 trips up and down the Mississippi River over the next 2 years. The salary of $250 a month meant that he could live well. (22, 23) An average trip took 25 days (not counting time in port). Around 900 steamboats traveled the Mississippi below St. Louis carrying cargo and up to 200 passengers. (22) The flat-bottomed boats barely cleared the water, needing 12 feet of water to float freely. The steersman’s cry of “Mark twain!” or two fathoms, signaling the safe depth needed would be heard by Clemens many times. (22) The start of the Civil War in 1861, would put an end to Sam’s career as a riverboat pilot, as he feared being caught in the crossfire on the Mississippi, one of the most highly fought over highways in the country. Ad for the ALONZO CHILD from 1861 Steamboat: ALONZO CHILD Built: 1857 Tonnage: 493 Clemens' Service: 19 September 1860 - 18 November 1860 and 8 January 1861 - 8 May 1861 Co-Pilot: Horace Bixby Horace Bixby http://steamboattimes.com/images/mark_twain _piloting/horace_bixby1812_1912_237x329.jpg www.twainquotes.com/Steamboats/LicensedPilot.html DRAFT DODGER • • • Missouri was a border state during the Civil War, a slave state that pledged allegiance with the Union and Abraham Lincoln. Missouri was one of the most bitterly divided areas during the war, its citizens split between the ideals of the Confederacy and the Union. In time, Missouri would witness more than eleven hundred battles and skirmishes, the third most of any state behind Virginia and Tennessee. Murderous guerilla fighting would spawn revenge and counter-revenge across Missouri that would last long after the war was over. (27) In June 1861, Sam and two friends were sitting on the dock in Hannibal, Missouri, when a steamboat carrying Union soldiers pulled in. The commanding officer forcibly drafted the three and took them to St. Louis to meet with General John B. Grey. The General informed the them that they were needed to pilot a Union boat up the Missouri River. They protested that they only knew the Mississippi River and wouldn’t be much help to which the General proposed that they could just follow another boat. At that moment General Grey stepped across the hall to meet some female visitors and Sam and his two friends escaped out a side door and high-tailed it back to Hannibal. (25-26) Union Troops Drilling In St. Louis http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ greenwolf/johnson/fremont-st-louis2.jpg The United States Civil War http://www.civilwarinfoguide.com/images/american_civil_war_map.gif DRAFT DODGER • • • • Clemens’ brush with forced Union service drove him to join the Marion Rangers, an unofficial local Confederate Army unit with a whopping fifteen members, upon his return to Hannibal. (26) Samuel Clemens rode to war on a mule named “Paint Brush”. His gear of war included a valise, a carpetbag, a pair of blankets, a quilt, a frying pan, an oldfashioned Kentucky squirrel rifle, twenty yards of rope, and an umbrella. (27) Mark Twain wrote a part fact part fiction version of his time as a soldier titled “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed” in the Century Magazine’s December 1885 issue. (28) Clemens stated that “I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating.” Sam did in fact retreat back to his sister’s house in St. Louis where he went into hiding from both the Union and Confederate recruiters. (32) http://www.richardhenzel.com/CTF_ill.jpg A WAY OUT WEST • • • Samuel Clemens soon received an opportunity to put himself many miles away from the raging, bloody Civil War. Sam’s brother Orion, had worked with St. Louis lawyer Edward Bates to campaign hard for Abraham Lincoln in northern Missouri during the 1860 Presidential campaign. Bates became an important Lincoln Cabinet member as the US Attorney General. In appreciation to his work for Lincoln, the new Attorney General helped get Orion Clemens appointed as the Secretary to the Governor of the newly created Nevada Territory. (34) However, Orion didn’t have enough money to get to Nevada where his new job awaited. Sam, using money he had saved from his days as a riverboat pilot, offered to pay Orion’s travel expenses if he could tag along, thus escaping the ever worsening war. (35) Orion Clemens http://www.twainquotes.com/OC.jpg Edward Bates US Attorney General (1861-1864) http://www.s9.com/images/portraits/2074_Bates-Edward.jpg Abraham Lincoln President of the U.S. (1861-1865) http://www.uptake.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ abraham-lincoln-picture.jpg 18th CENTURY ROAD TRIP • • • • • The brothers Orion and Samuel had to arrange transportation to get them to Nevada. On July 18, 1861, they left St. Louis for a six-day trip up the Missouri River to St. Joseph. In many ways the Missouri could be more dangerous and challenging than the Mississippi. (37-38) They reached St. Joseph on July 24 and purchased tickets on the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express stagecoach line for $150 apiece. (39) The COC&PP would take them by the northern-most (following the Oregon Trail much of the way) of the five established routes to the West Coast. The trip was scheduled to take seventeen days and average one hundred miles per day. (39) Passengers were expected to sleep sitting up inside the coach. There was no other option as the first transcontinental railroad wouldn’t be finished for another decade. (39-40) The inside of the coach contained 2,700 pounds of mail that the brothers had to maneuver around. The heat on the trip caused the brothers to strip down to their underwear while smoking their pipes and taking in the scenery. (40, 48) http://www.richardbealblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/stagecoach1.gif http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/stage.htm 18th CENTURY ROAD TRIP • • • • • During the 1,900 mile trip the stagecoach changed drivers once a day, or every 75 miles, and changed conductors every 250 miles. (53) Sam and Orion did get to see one of the last Pony Express riders on their trip. The famous ad for riders, “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”, was becoming outdated as the new telegraph became a much more efficient, and less deadly way to communicate quickly. (54-56) The brothers also met the outlaw Jack Slade as well as Brigham Young, leader of the Mormons in the Utah territory. Orion’s first official business as Secretary to the Governor was to meet with Young and tour Salt Lake City. (57, 63) On August 14, 1861, the Clemens brothers pulled into Carson City, Nevada, twenty days after leaving Missouri. (65) Mark Twain would write about his experiences in the West, including the trip from Missouri, in his book Roughing It. As always, one must read his accounts with caution as he liked to sprinkle his fact with fiction. Illustration by Ed Vebell from 1950's Los Angeles Times Sunday Of Orion and Samuel Clemens seeing A Pony Express Rider. http://www.twainquotes.com/PonyExpressEdVebellEXP.jpg http://animalpetdoctor.homestead.com/1860ponyexpress.jpg Brigham Young, 1870. Leader of Latter Day Saint Movement and founder of Salt Lake City http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young Illustration from Mark Twain’s Roughing It, 1871. http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/22491/images/stagecoach_our_morning_ride_twain_roughing_it.jpg WELCOME TO NEVADA • • • Upon arrival in Carson City, Sam and Orion Clemens were witness to a gunfight. After claiming their bags they were walking to the hotel and met Jack Harris who stopped to welcome them to the city. Harris had barely gotten past hello when he begged leave to interrupt himself. “I’ll have to get you to excuse me for a minute,” he said. “Yonder is the witness that swore I helped to rob the California coach – a piece of impertinent intermeddling, sir, for I am not even acquainted with the man.” Harris didn’t contradict the man’s testimony, only his meddling. He was in fact a notorious stagecoach robber. Wells, Fargo & Company even hired Harris to protect themselves from robbers, which was in fact him, and he even continued robbing their shipments while they paid him to protect them. Eventually WellsFargo would begin putting live rattlesnakes in their strongboxes and molding their silver coins into 700 pound weights. On this day, Harris rode over to a man named Julien “and began to rebuke the stranger with a six-shooter, and the stranger began to explain with another.” Harris rode away, nodding politely to the Clemenses “with a bullet through one of his lungs, and several in his hips.” Blood poured down the sides of the outlaw’s horse – Twain found it “quite picturesque” – and the incident ended as quickly as it had begun. (70) Carson City, 1860’s http://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/images/Carson-City-1860s.jpg Nevada Territory, 1860’s http://www.twainquotes.com/CalifNevada1860s.jpg ODD JOBS • • • Sam had heard all about the Comstock Lode, the huge silver strike at nearby Virginia City. He bought some western clothes and found a partner, or “pard”, named Johnny K, and they decided to get in the timber business to supply the building boom going on in Virginia City. The venture was short-lived, as according to Sam, he left the campfire going one morning and started a forest fire by Lake Tahoe. (77-78) Sam next worked with his brother as a clerk for the Nevada Territorial Legislature beginning in October 1861. (79) The infant legislature wasn’t without it’s excitement. When Representative Jacob Van Bokkelen of Virginia City proposed saving money by getting rid of the $3 a day official chaplain, Representative John Winters of Carson City took offense. Van Bokkelen challenged him to a duel with pistols, but Winters instead grabbed a piece of firewood and proceeded to beat his fellow Representative severely over the head and stomped him with his boots once he fell to the floor. (80-81) MINER & TRADER • • • • After his two month stint as legislative clerk, Sam decided to try his hand at mining, heading to the newest boomtown Unionville with two friends. (83) Sam soon figured out that the silver wasn’t just lying on the ground to be picked up and that actual mining was hard work. Instead he began trading in “feet,” a risky venture that consisted of buying and selling shares, on paper, of mine claims that were most probably worthless. Soon he had collected thirty thousand “feet”. Sam and Orion also had invested in mines further south in Aurora. (86) “Sam spent the rest of the winter lounging around Carson City, growing a beard, smoking a pipe . . . He looked and acted the part of a seasoned prospector, clomping into saloons in high-top Spanish boots, linen shirt, and blue jeans and sporting a revolver on his hip . . . While his actual money, a few hundred dollars in savings, steadily dribbled away, Sam counted and spent his paper millions . . .” (89) That spring Sam headed south to Aurora to check the Clemens brother’s holdings. “It did not take Clemens long to realize that most, if not all, were utterly worthless.” (89-90) This group of Aurora miners includes three known friends of Sam Clemens outside a cabin where he was known to have stayed. Only the man on the right is unidentified. Is he Sam Clemens? http://www.nevadatravel.net/pix/aurora/howlandcabin300x200.jpg MINER & TRADER • • • Sam decided to try and mine the holdings in Aurora himself, but soon realized that Nevada mining had gone from individual effort to mass production. Sixteen ore-grinding mills had begun operating in Aurora, the most efficient of which belonged to Joshua E. Clayton. (92) Clayton’s mill used the stamping method, dropping ore through a chute into a large box and crushing it with six-ton steel stamps. The crushed ore was then mixed in vats of water, mercury, and other chemicals, and the gold and silver were amalgamated with the mercury and separated. Clayton offered to teach the method to Sam. Clayton said it would take about five to six weeks to learn the method. Samuel Clemens lasted one. (92) Sam found a new partner named Calvin Higbie, and in August 1862, they headed to Mono Lake, 25 miles southwest of Aurora to strike it rich. Higbie and Clemens do eventually find a promising area, but neither put in the necessary ten days work regarded to establish legal ownership. Others jumped the claim and walked away with the gold. Mark Twain, in the dedication to Roughing It joked that they were “millionaires for ten days.” (95-96) Virginia City miner, 1869. http://thispublicaddress.com/tPA4/images/01_06/mine.jpg WELCOME TO VIRGINIA CITY • • • Failed as a miner, Sam contemplated his next move, but it was done for him. William H. Barstow, manager for the Virginia City Territorial Express newspaper, wrote to Samuel Clemens in late July offering him a $25-a-week staff writer’s position on the newspaper. Sam jumped at the chance. (97) By sheer luck, Samuel Clemens had landed a spot on the best newspaper between St. Louis and San Francisco. The Territorial Enterprise had moved to Virginia City in 1860 and by September 1861 began publishing an eight page daily. (100-101) Virginia City sat upon the Comstock Lode, the greatest silver strike in the United States. Sitting unbelievably on Mount Davidson, its streets ran east to west along the eastern slope of the mountain. The boom town had a population of almost ten thousand residents, who were mostly male. There were 51 saloons, 2 opera houses, 12 quartz mills, and a generous number of hotels, restaurants, meat markets, drugstores, and numerous other businesses including brothels that housed what the locals called “hurdy-gurdy girls”. (101) This is how Virginia City Nevada looked in the 1860s when Sam Clemens was a reporter there. As small as it was, Virginia City was one of the largest towns on the west coast. http://nevada-outback-gems.com/Mark_Twain/virginia_city1861.jpg http://drew90210.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/virginia-city-1861.jpg Virginia City, Nevada. Circa 1880. http://www.onlinenevada.org/media/image/XXD_00015_Virginia_City_overview.jpg VIRGINIA CITY • • • • “Among the most popular saloons lining mile-long C Street were the Sazerac, the Sawdust Corner, and the Bucket of Blood, all serving something called Pisco Punch and the local staple, Forty-rod, a particularly raw and fiery brand of house whiskey so named because that was the approximate distance a tenderfoot could walk before collapsing in a heap.” (101) “Piper’s Opera House, the town’s center for performing arts, featured everything from traveling Shakespearean road companies to cage fights between wildcats, bulldogs, bulls, and bears.” (101) Regardless of the entertainment, Virginia City was a mining town. Lemuel Sanford “Sandy” Bowers turned a ten foot claim into a $70,000 a month fortune becoming Nevada’s first millionaire before dying in 1868 at age 35. (101-102) Missouri born George Hearst bought into the Ophir mine, cashed out early, and sunk his earnings into a San Francisco newspaper, the Examiner, which would become the cornerstone of his son William Randolph Hearst’s global publishing empire in the twentieth century. (103) http://www.greatstreets.org/MainStreets/MainVirginiaCityHistory.html http://www.greatstreets.org/MainStreets/MainVirginiaCityHistory.html http://www.greatstreets.org/MainStreets/MainVirginiaCityHistory.html THE TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE • • • • The co-owner and editor of the Territorial Enterprise was 24 year old Joseph Goodman who was 3 years younger than his newest reporter Samuel Clemens. (104) Associate editor Rollin Mallory Daggett was associate editor. Daggett drank hard and lived high. At 16 he walked from Ohio to California, “living for a time with the Sioux Indians, who understandably considered him crazy for doing so and thus left him alone.” Daggett went on to make a small fortune in the California gold rush before finding himself in Virginia City where he opened a brokerage firm. His work at the paper counted as a hobby for him. (104) Sam’s closest friend at the paper was William Wright, who wrote under the name Dan De Quille, would give Clemens his first bit of advice, which Mark Twain would carry with him the rest of his career: “Get the facts first, then you can distort them as much as you like.” (104-105) The Enterprise was “a kind of bachelor’s paradise”, a group of mostly twentysomethings that were far from the killing and dying at the Civil War battlefields in the East. The newsmen drank, smoked, played pool and cards, played practical jokes, and ate endless plates of Chinese food. (105) http://web.sbu.edu/friedsam/archives/Songer/images/masthe2.jpg Territorial Enterprise Office, 1885. Territorial Enterprise Building http://www-tc.pbs.org/marktwain/scrapbook/03_roughing_it/images/03_b_photo.jpg http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/nevada/buildings/ter2.jpg NEWSPAPER MAN • • • • • Samuel Clemens “would never be a particularly hard worker – he later boasted that he made a 50 percent profit on his work for the Enterprise, being paid six dollars a day and only doing three dollars worth of work.” (105-106) Sam’s instructions were to “go all over town and ask all sorts of people all sorts of questions” and “make notes of the information gained, and write them out for publication.” (106) Clemens’s assignment was to produce one written column of six-point type per day. (106) “The new reported caught on quickly. The hard-drudging miners who made up the bulk of the Enterprise’s readership wanted to be entertained as well as informed. Raw facts only went so far. It was up to the writer to open a shallow vein of truth, then excavate whatever nuggets of amusement lay buried below.” (107) “Virginia City was a twenty-four hour town, and Clemens’s news beat comprised everything from the silver mines to the police court.” (109) THE UNDERBELLY • • • Samuel Clemens and the Territorial Enterprise reported on gunslingers with names like Sugarfoot Mike, Pock-Marked Jake, El Dorado Johnny, Six-Fingered Pete, and Farmer Pease. (110) In a town where men outnumbered women 17 to 1, and many of those men had pockets bulging with gold and silver nuggets, prostitution flourished. An estimated 200 prostitutes worked Virginia City, “from fumbling back alley assignations and upstairs saloon cribs to well-appointed pleasure houses.” (111) “Operating alongside the C Street whorehouses were dozens of opium dens, or smoking parlors, where miners could go” for a few hours after their labors. Opium was handled exclusively by Chinese dealers, whose hardworking countrymen had first brought the drug into the West during the 1849 gold rush. “Opium was legal in Virginia City until 1876, when town elders suddenly noticed that many of their own wives and daughters had been seen entering and exiting the dens.” (111-112) Virginia City, 1866. http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-nevada/VirginiaCityNV1866-5-500.jpg San Francisco Chinatown Opium Den, 1870s. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/immigration/opium.gif A “Soiled Dove” http://www.soiled-doves.com/ THE BIRTH OF MARK TWAIN • • • • In November 1862, Sam talked the Enterprise into sending him back to Carson City to cover the second territorial legislature, where his brother Orion had finally brought his family out west with him. (112) It was during his reporting from the capital that the bored Samuel Clemens created a new pen name – Mark Twain in a February 3, 1863, article “Letter from Carson City”. (115) Scholars debate the origins of the name Mark Twain. While working for his brother in Missouri and Iowa, Sam had written under the names W. Epaminondas Adrastus Perkins, W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab, Rambler, Grumbler, Peter Pencilcase’s Son, John Snooks, and Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass. When he first started at the Territorial Enterprise he used the name Josh. In the West it was an accepted practice for settlers to change their names. Everybody had a past. (116) Most likely the name came from his days as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, when “Mark twain!” was the leadsman’s call for two fathoms, meaning a ship’s passage from shallow to safe water. (116) http://bullmurph.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/twain.jpg SAN FRANCISCO & A FIERY HOMECOMING • • • • • Shortly after taking the pen name Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens took off for San Francisco in May 1863 for a two month leave of absence. He decided to live it up after spending two years bouncing around Nevada. (117) When Twain returned to Virginia City in early July, it was going through another boom, with new silver finds being recently found. (117) The Enterprise was booming as well. In July 1863, the paper moved to a new three-story brick building on South C Street equipped with steam-powered presses and reinforced with twenty new employees. (119) The move was fortunate, a few days later a massive fire swept through the city destroying many of the buildings west of A Street. “Twain’s rooming house on B Street was completely destroyed, costing him a trunk-load of mining stock, whose value he ruefully estimated at between ten cents and two hundred thousand dollars, and a closet full of new suits he had just purchased in San Francisco. He barely escaped with his life, diving through a window as oily black smoke bubbled up the stairs.” (119) Mark Twain bought a new suit and moved in with his best friend Dan De Quille. (119-120) A HOAX GONE WRONG • • • • • • • Mark Twain loved a good hoax, especially when news stories were few and far between. On October 28, 1863, the Enterprise published Twain’s article “A Bloody Massacre near Carson”. “Purporting to be an eyewitness account by respected citizen Abraham Curry, the article recounted the horrific slaughter of his wife and seven children by one Philip Hopkins, a hitherto respectable mine owner driven mad by bad investments and crooked bankers.” (121-123) “A Bloody Massacre near Carson” October 28, 1863 “When word got out that the story was another hoax, outraged subscribers put up a howl.” Twain offered to resign, but his editor refused to accept it. (122) Rival journalists were less forgiving. One example of many was the Gold Hill Daily News that ran an article “Lives of the Liars, or Joking Justified” questioning Twain’s judgment. The next day, the Enterprise ran a short correction. (122) “I Take It All Back” October 29, 1863 Just in time, following the ill-received hoax, Twain left for Carson City to cover the Territorial Legislature’s attempt to adopt a Nevada Constitution. (123) http://www.famouspeoplebiography411.com/images/Mark-Twain-Biography.jpg RUN OUT OF TOWN • • • • Mark Twain’s second winter in Virginia turned out to be his last. Ever the jokester, one of his satirical newspaper articles got him run out of town. Virginia City, in the midst of the Civil War was divided like the Blue and the Gray. The territory of Nevada sided with the Union as did the majority of the citizens, however periodic fights would break out in Virginia City between proConfederate and pro-Union dwellers. Mark Twain was well known for picking fights with his pen, especially with rival reporters. As a joke Twain wrote an article saying Thomas Fitch, editor of the Union newspaper, had filed a complaint against their landlord (they lived across the hall from one another) for “slandering the federal government in general, African-Americans, and Abraham Lincoln in particular, and giving aid and comfort to the Confederacy”. The Bulletin attacked Twain as “an ass of prodigious ear, and a malicious and illiterate cuss generally.” (136) In retaliation, Twain wrote a piece accusing a group of wealthy fund-raising women in the capital Carson City of diverting charitable funds to help wounded Union soldiers to “a Miscegenation Society somewhere in the East.” Miscegenation means interracial marriage or sex. Twain said it was meant as a joke for his friend Dan De Quille, but an eager typesetter picked it up and printed it in the next days paper. Regardless, Nevadans were furious and Mark Twain left Virginia City in a hurry. (138-140) http://quotationsbook.com/assets/shared/img/7349/Mark_Twain_young.JPG BOOM & BUST IN S.F. • • • • “Mark Twain’s abrupt departure from Virginia City signaled the end of an era. For more than 3 years, he had been an enthusiastic participant in the gold rush culture of Nevada Territory.” (141) In May 1864, Mark Twain and his friend Steve Gillis headed out to San Francisco to live it up on their savings and mining stock. However, about a month into his stay, Twain learned from the Territorial Enterprise that his partners in the Humboldt County Mine had sold their shares out from under him for a $3 million profit while he was left holding worthless paper. Mark Twain was destitute. (141, 149) Mark Twain found work with the San Francisco Morning Call, the cheapest newspaper in town. Despite the job, Mark’s debts increased and he struggled to survive. (150-160) Despite his hardships, he continued to write, submitting stories to the Californian magazine. On December 3, 1864, his best story yet, “Lucretia Smith’s Soldier” about a girl nursing her heavily bandaged war hero boyfriend back to health only to find out it’s the wrong person, put money in his pocket and he and Gillis hightailed it 100 miles east of San Francisco to the mining camp of Jackass Hill, where he would hear a story that would change his life. (162-165) http://nevada-outback-gems.com/prospect/prospector_sam_a.jpg THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY • • • Jackass Hill was another miserable mining experience for Mark Twain, except that he heard some great stories around the camp that he would later publish. Some show up in Roughing It, but the one he heard from Ben Coon III, in February 1865, would change everything. Sitting around the tavern, Coon, a fellow riverboat pilot from Illinois, told the story that Twain would make famous as “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” (171-172) “With comedic gold in his pocket, so to speak, Twain decided to return to San Francisco and resume his writing career.” Mark Twain continued writing other pieces as he struggled to get “Frog” just right. Finally it was published in the November 16, 1865, issue of the New York Saturday Press. It was an immediate success. (172-177) THE JACKASS HILL CABIN http://cf.juggle-images.com/fit/white/600x600/wg-mark-twain-1.jpg http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2444/3728812978_98bf348fe5.jpg?v=0 THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY • “What made the story hilarious for readers of the time, and what still gives it an important place in the history of American humor, is the way in which it is told. The de facto narrator, Simon Wheeler, is utterly matter-of-fact in both his approach and his affect. He is not trying to tell a joke or even a funny story, but merely to give a straightforward account of Jim Smiley and his frog. The humor comes from his absolute inability to tell the story straight.” (176) • LISTEN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Celebrated_Jumping_Frog_of_Calaveras_County OR http://ia361300.us.archive.org/3/items/story_5_librivox/celebrated_jumping_frog_of_calaveras_county_twain_rgn.mp3 • READ ALONG: • “Twain’s masterstroke, is to keep an entirely straight face while recounting (or letting Simon Wheeler recount) a patently ridiculous story. Generations of American comedians have based their entire careers more on their deliveries than their punch lines.” (176) http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/projects/price/frog.htm A LITERARY CAREER IS BORN • • • • “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” is also the title story of an 1867 collection of short stories by Mark Twain. Twain's first book, it collected 27 stories that were previously published in magazines and newspapers. That 1867 book was the starting point for a prolific literary career, with Twain being called “the greatest humorist of his age” and “the father of American literature” by none other than William Faulkner. His most famous works include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, often called “The Great American Novel”, published in 1884. Prior to his seminal works Sawyer and Finn, Twain published Roughing It in 1872, a semi-autobiographical account of Twain's journey to Nevada and his subsequent life in the American West. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e1/1867._ The_Celebrated_Jumping_Frog_of_Calaveras_County,_and_Other_Sketches .djvu/page1-395px-1867. _The_Celebrated_Jumping_Frog_of_Calaveras_County,_and_Other_Sketches.djvu.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_of_Huckleberry_Finn SOURCES BOOKS James, Ronald M. The Roar and the Silence: A History of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode. Reno, Nevada: University of Nevada Press, 1998. Morris Jr., Roy. Lighting out for the Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain. Simon & Schuster: New York, 2010. Rasmussen, Kent R. Mark Twain for Kids: His Life and Times. Chicago Review Press: Chicago, 2004. WEBSITES Mark Twain in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, 1862-1868. http://www.twainquotes.com/teindex.html Mark Twain Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain#Overview Cookie Mining Activity – Earth Science Week http://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/cookiemining_cont.html Harry S Truman Presidential Library http://www.trumanlibrary.org/psource.htm ACTIVITIES 1. Historical Source Analysis. Have students analyze one or more of the Mark Twain newspaper sources hyperlinked in the PowerPoint or have them choose their own from Mark Twain in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, 1862-1868 . Analysis worksheets can be printed off of the Harry S Truman Presidential Library site http://www.trumanlibrary.org/psource.htm 2. Have students complete “Chocolate Chip Mining Activity”. Activity comes from: Cookie Mining Activity – Earth Science Week http://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/cookiemining_cont.html 3. Have students make a paddlewheel boat. Use the instructions and templates from the slides that follow. Activity comes from: Rasmussen, Kent R. Mark Twain for Kids: His Life and Times. Chicago Review Press: Chicago. 2004. COOKIE MINING ACTIVITY Purpose The purpose of this activity is to give the player an introduction to the economics of mining. Each player buys "property," purchases the "mining equipment," pays for the "mining operation," and finally pays for the "reclamation." In return, the player receives money for the "ore mined." The object of the game is to develop the mine, safeguard the environment, and make as much money as possible. Materials play money ($19 for each student) grid paper (1 sheet for each student) chocolate chip cookie (1 for each student) toothpicks (flat and round) paper clips paper towels (for clean-up) Taken from http://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/cookiemining_cont.html COOKIE MINING INSTRUCTIONS •Each player starts with $19 of play money. •Each player receives a Cookie Mining sheet (click here) and a sheet of grid paper. •Each player must buy his/her own "mining property" which is a chocolate chip cookie. Only one "mining property" per player. •Two to three types of cookies should be "for sale"; one cheaper one with fewer chocolate chips than the other and another more pricey cookie with more chocolate chips. For example, sell "Chips Ahoy" cookies for $5.00 and "Chips Deluxe" for $7.00. •Players choose their "properties" knowing that the more chips they harvest, the more profit they make. •After buying the cookie, the player places it on the grid paper and, using a pencil, traces the outline of the cookie. The player must then count each square that falls inside the circle, recording this number on the Cookie Mining Spreadsheet along with the properties of the cookie. Note: Count partial squares as a full square. •Each player must buy his or her own "mining equipment." More than one piece of equipment may be purchased. Equipment may not be shared between players. Mining equipment for sale is Flat toothpick — $2.00 each Round toothpick — $4.00 each Paper clips — $6.00 each Mining costs are $1.00 per minute. •Sale of a chocolate chip mined from a cookie brings $2.00 (broken chocolate chips can be combined to make one whole chip). •After the cookie has been "mined," the cookie fragments and crumbs should be placed back into the circled area on the grid paper. This can only be accomplished using the mining tools — No fingers or hands allowed. •Reclamation costs are $1.00 per square over original count. (Any piece of cookie outside of original circle counts as reclamation.) Cookie Mining Rules 1. Players cannot use their fingers to hold the cookie. The only things that can touch the cookie are the mining tools and the paper on which the cookie is sitting. 2. Players should be allowed a maximum of five minutes to mine their chocolate chip cookie. Players who finish mining before the five minutes are used up should only credit the time spent mining. 3. A player can purchase as many mining tools desired; the tools can be of different types. 4. If the mining tools break, they are no longer usable and a new tool must be purchased. 5. The players that make money by the end of the game win. 6. All players win at the end of the game because they get to eat the remains of their cookie! Social Studies GLE’s 3a. Knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri and the United States A. Understand he migrations of people from many regions. J. Understanding economic concepts. N. Economic development in the United States. T. Understanding the concept of Place. U. Understanding relationships within places. V. Understanding relationships between and among regions. Z. Missouri history as it relates to major developments of United States History. 4. Knowledge of economic concepts and principles. A. Knowledge of basic economic concepts, being able to explain and use them to interpret historical and current events. 5. Knowledge of major elements of geographical study and analysis and their relationship to changes in society and the environment. D. Relationships within places (Human-environment interactions) 7. Knowledge of the use of tools of social science inquiry. F. Interpreting various social studies resources.