Mark Twain was born as Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. I tried to do a little research on his early education. It seems as though his schooling was brief and random, and not consistent with the usual curriculum. When Samuel was 12 years old his father died and he had to then quit school to help support the family. For a while he was a printer's apprentice until his brother bought out a small paper in 1850. He started his writings then, when his brother wasn't around. However, before he was 18 years old, he left and went to New York where he found a job in a printing office. And somewhere around 1862 he was sent to Carson city to report on the Legislature. It was then that he began signing his articles "Mark Twain". It was a river term, used in making soundings, from his piloting days on a riverboat with Captain Sellers, an old steamboat pilot. When the water was 2 fathoms deep (that's 12 feet and deep enough to be safe) the leadman on a riverboat called out, "mark twain"!. Mark Twain was actually the original pen name of Captain Sellers. When the old captain passed away in 1869, Samuel started using his pen name, so it is told, as a tribute to the Captain. Samuel wrote a letter stating that since the Captain had died, he no longer needed that signature. He quotes, "I laid violent hands upon it without asking permission of the proprietor's remains." And that name became known up and down the Pacific Coast. He soon acquired world-wide fame. There is so much written about Mark Twain's travels, experiences, and writings. One would have to research the many biographies written about this man to see it all. I can't even begin to condense his story and present it properly. But I have always enjoyed reading of his adventures and I appreciate Mr.Twain for making them part of America's heritage. Right now I am rummaging through pages of his quotes. He did call himself a "freak", you know. And in 1907, Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate in letters.
Just a couple of his writings that most of us grew up with (which are my favorites) are "Huckleberry Finn", first published in 1884 and "Tom Sawyer" in 1876.
Mark Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut. He is buried at Woodlawn cemetary in Elmira, New York. In 1909, Mark Twain was quoted as saying "I came in on Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year and I expect to go out with it." Well, our buddy Mark was pretty accurate. Although the year was 1910, he did pass away one day after the comet's closest approach to the earth.
I gathered my information from various resources: mtwain.com, wikipedia.org, ask yahoo, and territorial-enterprise.com
I want to take this time to thank my regular readers for humoring me in my writings. And I welcome any new readers to my blog-hope you were able to find something interesting and amusing during your visit. As always, please feel free to make comments and visit anytime. My only regret is that only two people voted on my poll during Elvis week, and one of them was my husband, Karo. He voted for me. The poll is now closed and the other voter (unknown) chose Stella Stevens. It was actually Stockard Channing who sang, "Elvis, Elvis, let me be! Keep that pelvis far from me!" Miss Channing sang this in her "Sandra Dee' song in the movie Grease. I hope everyone enjoyed my personal tribute to Elvis. "Hunka Hunka Burning Love!"
Of course, I cannot leave you without yet another quote from my man Mark (Samuel Clemens) Twain~
"So I became a newspaperman. I hated to do it, but I couldn't find honest employment."
~by the way, it is 99 degrees at 7:45 pm in Fort Worth, Texas tonite!