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Inventing Mark Twain: The Life of Samuel L. Clemens.

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Presentation on theme: "Inventing Mark Twain: The Life of Samuel L. Clemens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inventing Mark Twain: The Life of Samuel L. Clemens

2 The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

3 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 Twain. 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…

4 11/30/1835 04/21/1910 Halleys Comet

5 Redding, Connecticut Estate Sams Bedroom

6 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.

7 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.

8 Interior of Florida, Missouri home

9 The family moved to nearby Hannibal in 1839, where Sam spent his boyhood in the presence of the broad Mississippi.

10 United States in 1835



13 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 self- destructive passion for effect, an urge to contradict convention...

14 Hannibal hosted many great orators. Sam would learn and later commander their techniques.

15 To the Once Boy & Girls- My comrades in the morning of time & the youth of antiquity, in the village of Hannibal, Missouri.

16 After the death of his Father, Sam became a Printers Devil. A printers devil was an apprentice or young assistant to a printer.

17 Sam at 15

18 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.

19 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.

20 Sam at 18

21 The next three and half years found him moving between New York, Philadephia, Washington D.C., Muscatine (Iowa), St. Louis, Keokuk (Iowa), and Cincinnati.

22 Sams teenage travels

23 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 revived.

24 Sam at 23

25 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 Territory.

26 Sams travels by his mid-twenties

27 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 newspaper Soon after he began using the pen-name Mark Twain.

28 In May of 1864, he headed for San Francisco, working for the San Francisco Morning Call newspaper as a full-time reporter. 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.


30 Sam at 30

31 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.

32 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. Sam


34 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".

35 Sam at 33

36 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 father. 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.

37 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.

38 From 1871 to 1885 is a whirlwind of success and travel…

39 In 1871, moves to Hartford CT. Continues his lecture tours and visits England for the first time. 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.

40 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.



43 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.


45 Sam at 49 He had it all.




49 In 1895, at age fifty-nine, Clemens began a "lecturing raid around the world" to pay off his substantial debts. July 15, 1895 - July 15, 1896 - World Speaking Tour: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ceylon, Mauritius South Africa: about 140 engagements.

50 We must remember to lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally & renew our edges!

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