Twain (1835-1910): American Author
Twain was the pen name for Samuel Clemens born November 30, 1835 in
Florida, Missouri. The family
moved to Hannibal Missouri
on the banks of the Mississippi River when Sam
was four. Sam spent many summers on his uncle's farm playing in the
slave quarters and listening to tall tales and spirituals that he would
enjoy throughout his life.
age 11 Sam, having completed the fifth grade, went to work as a printer's
apprentice for a local newspaper. When Sam turned 18 he went to New York City and Philadelphia
where he worked on several different newspapers and found some success
at writing articles.
1857 Sam returned to Hannibal Missouri
to be a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River,
however the outbreak of Civil War in 1861 ended his new career. Sam
traveled west to strike it rich in Nevada’s silver rush next, and although he gained
material for his short stories and books he failed as a silver prospector.
began to write for “the Territorial Enterprise, a Virginia City,
Nevada newspaper where he used, for the first time,
his pen name, Mark Twain.” His first big break came in 1865 with the
publication of his short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.
Afterwards the Sacramento Union hired him
to visit and report on the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and this started a career of travel reporter,
for various publications, that would last until the end of his life.
Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens died on April 21, 1910 at the age of 74 at
his Redding Connecticut
of Sam’s most famous works include: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
(1876), Life on the Mississippi
(1883), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), A Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur's Court (1889), and his most famous work, Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
of the Mark Twain Memorial
Twain House and Museum
PBS, Mark Twain: A Film Directed
by Ken Burns
Railton, Mark Twain and His Times
Paine, Biography of Mark Twain, Great Literature Online