December 7, 2022
mark-twain

Who is Mark Twain

Mark Twain was born in Missouri and died on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut. He was an American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who became famous around the world for his travel writing, especially The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), and Life on the Mississippi (1883), and for his stories about boyhood adventures, especially The Adventures of Tom (1885). He was a good storyteller, a unique humorist, and an angry moralist. Despite his background, he became a popular public figure and one of America’s best and most loved writers.

Youth:

Samuel Clemens was born two months early and had bad health for the first ten years of his life. He was the six child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. During those early years, his mother tried different allopathic and hydropathic treatments on him. His memories of those times, along with other memories from his childhood, would end up in Tom Sawyer and other works. Because he was sick, Clemens was often coddled, especially by his mother.

As a Guarantee for the Small Crimes:

He learned early on to test her patience by getting into trouble, with only his good nature as a guarantee for the small crimes he often did around the house.  At the point when Jane Clemens was in her 80s, Clemens got some information about his chronic frailty in those early years. “I guess you were worried about me the whole time,” he said. She said, “Yes, the whole time.” “Are you scared I won’t live?” “No,” she said, “afraid you would.”

Business Failures:

If Clemens got his sense of humour from anyone, it would have been from his mother and not from his father. All accounts say that John Clemens was a serious man who rarely showed affection. There’s no doubt that his mood was affected by his worries about money, which were made worse by a string of business failures.

Justice of the Peace:

The Clemens family’s finances were getting worse, so in 1839 they moved 30 miles (50 km) east from Florida, Missouri, to Hannibal, a port town on the Mississippi River where there were more opportunities. John Clemens opened a store and later became a justice of the peace. This gave him the right to be called “Judge,” but not much else. Between then and now, the debts grew. Still, John Clemens thought that the 70,000 acres (28,000 hectares) of land he bought in Tennessee in the late 1820s might make them rich one day.

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This gave the children a dreamy hope. Mark Twain thought back on this promise that turned out to be a curse: Sam Clemens never really got over this curse, judging by the risky things he did in silver mining, business, and publishing.

Romantic Dreamer:

Clemens was a romantic dreamer, and that’s why he liked to think about his childhood in Hannibal so much. In “Old Times on the Mississippi,” a book he wrote in 1875. He wrote that the village was a “white town sleeping in the sunshine of a summer morning” until a riverboat came along and made it a busy place. A young boy would have been impressed by the gamblers, stevedores, and pilots, as well as the loud rafts men and elegant travelers. They were all going somewhere glamorous and exciting, which would have sparked his already active imagination.

Bad Events of His Life:

It’s not surprising that the pleasant things that happened to you when you were young might be more important than the bad things that happened to you. But Samuel Clemens’s childhood was hard in a lot of ways. During this time, disease killed a lot of people. When Clemens was only four years old, his sister Margaret died of a fever. Three years later, his brother Benjamin also died. When he was eight, he was so scared of a measles epidemic (which could have killed people back then) that he climbed into bed with his friend Will Bowen, putting himself at risk of getting sick, in order to calm down.

A few years later, cholera killed at least 24 people, which is a lot for such a small town. His father died of pneumonia in 1847. John Clemens’s death made things even worse for the family’s finances. Even before that year, though, they had to sell off property, sell their only slave, Jennie, take in boarders, and even sell their furniture because they kept getting into debt.

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Apprentice Printer for Joseph:

Sam Clemens worked odd jobs around town after his father died, and in 1848 he became an apprentice printer for Joseph P. Ament’s Missouri Courier. He didn’t have much to eat or do at the Ament house, but he was allowed to keep going to school and sometimes do boyish things. Still, by the time Clemens was 13, he had pretty much stopped being a boy.

The Early Years of Mark Twain:

In 1850, Orion Clemens, the oldest of the Clemens boys, came back from St. Louis, Missouri, and started a weekly newspaper. He bought the Hannibal Journal a year later and hired Sam and Henry, his younger brother, to work for him. Sam got very good at setting type, but he also sometimes drew pictures and wrote articles for his brother’s newspaper. Some of these early sketches, like “The Dandy Scaring the Squatter” (1852), were published in newspapers and magazines in the East.

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Orion was Out of Town:

In 1852, when Orion was out of town, Clemens filled in as editor and signed a sketch “W. Epaminondas Adrastus Perkins.” This was the first time he was known to have used a pen name. He used a few more (Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, Quintius Curtius Snodgrass, Josh, and others) before settling on Mark Twain as his real name.

Job Experience:

By the time he was 17, Clemens had learned a trade and could do some things on his own. He left Hannibal in 1853. Twain worked in many different jobs as a wandering worker for almost 20 years. He once said that he didn’t realize he was a “literary person” until he was 37 years old. In the meantime, he was determined to see the world and find out what he could do. In 1853, he worked as a typesetter for a short time in St. Louis before going to New York to work at a big printing shop.

Become an Apprentice:

Clemens agreed to pay Bixby $500 to become an apprentice. Bixby taught Clemens about the Mississippi River and how to run a riverboat so that Clemens could get a pilot’s license. (Clemens gave Bixby $100 up front and said he would pay the rest of the large fee in instalments, but it looks like he never did.) Bixby did, as Mark Twain insisted, “teach” him the river, but the young man was also a good student. Bixby was a great pilot and had a license to travel on the Missouri River, the upper Mississippi, and the lower Mississippi.

Misunderstanding:

The courtship ended because of a misunderstanding, but he still thought of her as his first love. He also found a job on the riverboat Pennsylvania for his younger brother Henry. The boilers, on the other hand, blew up, killing Henry.

Accident:

Clemens wasn’t on the ship when the accident happened, but he thought it was his fault. His time as a cub and then as a full-fledged pilot taught him discipline and direction in a way that he might not have learned anywhere else. After only two weeks, during which the soldiers mostly ran away from rumors that Union troops were nearby, the group broke up. Some of the men joined other Confederate units, but most of them, including Clemens, went their separate ways.

Books:

He would make it less clear and add some fictional details (1885). In that book, he said that he had been a deserter because he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier. Clemens then set out for the territory, just like the character Huckleberry Finn, whose story he was going to write and publish in 1885. Huck Finn wants to run away to the Indian country, which is probably Oklahoma. Clemens went to the Nevada Territory with his brother Orion.

About Politics during the War:

It’s not clear how Lemens felt about politics during the war. He was named territorial secretary of Nevada. When they got to Carson City, the capital of the territory. Sam Clemens’ relationship with Orion did not provide him with the kind of income he might have thought it would. Once again, he had to take care of himself by mining and investing in timber, silver, and gold stocks, which were often “potentially rich,” but that was all.

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Virginia City Territorial Enterprise:

Clemens sent several letters to the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. These letters caught the editor, Joseph Goodman’s, attention, and Goodman offered Clemens a paid job as a reporter. He started another apprenticeship, this time with a group of writers called the Sagebrush Bohemians, and he did well again.

Wild and Dangerous Place:

From the time the Comstock Lode was found in 1859 until its peak production in the late 1870s. The Nevada Territory was a wild and dangerous place.  In a public speech years later, Mark Twain talked about the town and said, “It was no place for a Presbyterian”. After taking a moment to think, he said, “And I didn’t stay one for very long.” Still, he seems to have kept at least some of his moral character. He was often angry and often told the truth when he found fraud or corruption.

Legislative Session for the Enterprise:

In February 1863, Clemens went to Carson City to write about the legislative session for the Enterprise. He wrote “Mark Twain” on them. Clemens must have thought that Isaiah Sellers had died and that his name was up for grabs because of a mistake in the way a telegram was written. Clemens seized it. (See Researcher’s Note for more on how Mark Twain got his name.) It would take a few years, though, for this pen name to become a full-fledged literary persona.

New York Newspapers:

He was already getting known outside the territory. Some of his articles and sketches had been published in New York newspapers, and he was hired by the San Francisco Morning Call to cover Nevada. He moved from Virginia City to San Francisco and started working full-time for the Call. When he got tired of that work, he started writing for the Golden Era and Bret Harte’s new literary magazine, the Californian.

Article about Police Corruption:

After he wrote an angry article about police corruption in San Francisco and a friend of his got arrested in a fight. Clemens decided it would be best to leave the city for a while. He went to the foothills of the Tuolumne Range to mine. There, he heard a story about a frog that could jump. The story was well-known, but Clemens had never heard it before, so he took notes to write about it. When Artemus Ward, a humorist, asked him to write something for a book of funny sketches. Clemens decided to write the story. Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog came too late to be included in the book.