Mark Twain

by courtney derby


November 30 1835 in Florida, Missouri. his parents john and Jane Clemens moved there family to Hannibal, Missouri, in 1839 four years after Samuel was born. living in hannibal, a port along the Mississippi river, Clemens developed a sort of bond with the river and as a child aspired to one day be steamboat pilot.

early childhood

after his fathers death in 1847, Clemens began an apprenticeship with Joseph Ament, publisher of the Missouri courier, and by age 16 he worked as a printer and contributed his first published sketches for his brother Orisons Hannibal western union where he worked for the last two years. after this, Clemens went on to work as a printer in several other cities including Philadelphia and new York 1857 Clemens began working as a cup pilot on Mississippi river steamboats and received his steamboat pilot licence in 1859. for the next two years twain worked as a steamboat pilot until 1861 when the american civil war put a stop to travel on the river.


Clemens volunteered in the confederate cavalry for a very brief period of time. Samuel joined his brother Orion that same year, and headed out west to the nevada territory where he mined for silver. in 1862, he began working as a reporter for the virginia city territorial Enterprise in Nevada. It was in 1863 that Samuel Clemens began using the pen name Mark Twain. The name was a phrased used on the steamboats of the Mississippi River which meant "two fathoms deep." From Nevada, Clemens moved on to San Francisco, California, where he wrote for San Francisco newspapers. He also worked in mines at Angel's Camp, California, where heard the tale that inspired his short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Canaveral County." In 1866, Clemens gave his first lecture about the Sandwich islands. After this he began a lecture tour throughout California and Nevada and went on to give lectures in New York City during the next year.


from June to November of 1867, Clemens sailed on a ship called the Quaker city to Europe and the Mideast. He writes of his travels in his travels in his book the innocents aboard. after arriving back in the united states, he moved to Washington, D.C., to become the private secretary to senator William Stewart. During this time he also traveled and gave lectures in California and Nevada. In 1870 they married in Elmira, new York, where Clemens worked as an editor and writer for the buffalo express. shortly after the couple moved to