Timeline Description: Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was an American author, adventurer and humorist. Twain wrote about the reality of American life just before and after the turn of the century. His witty sense of humor gives him a permanent spot as a writer in the world of American literature.
|November 30, 1835||Twain was born on this day.
Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri to Jane and John Marshall Clemens. His father was an attorney and a judge. Twain was the sixth of seven children. Twain was born two weeks after the closest approach to Earth of a famous comet called Halley's Comet.
|1829||family moves to Hannibal, Missouri.
Hannibal, Missouri is a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional stories called The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Missouri was a slave state and Twain became familiar with slavery that helped him in writing his books.
|1847||Twain's father died.
When Twain was 11 years old when his father died of pneumonia. To help his family Twain became a printer's apprentice and soon was writing articles and sketches for a newspaper owned by his older brother.
|1853||Twain's first experience with printing in various places.
Twain traveled and worked in many places as a printer such as St. Louis, New York City, and Philadelphia. He also worked as a correspondent and gained a lot of experience in the newspaper business.
|1856||Twain gives first speech.
His great way of speaking earned him praise and he became instantly recognized as a great lecturer who was sought after as a speaker many years after this first speech.
|1859||Twain gets his steamboat pilot license.
After two years of studying the Mississippi river he earned his river pilot license. He got his pen name of Mark Twain from "mark twain", the measured river depth of two fathoms. He was earning about $250 a month, which was a lot of money in those days. He worked as a pilot until the Civil War broke out in 1861.
|1861||Twain heads out West.
Twain journeyed to Virginia City, Nevada a silver mining town in the hills near Carson City, the capitol of the state. He was not a good miner and so he became a newspaper writer again. His western experiences became material for his many stories.
|1864||Twain moves to San Francisco, California.
He meets many other famous writers of the time and his stories especially The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was one of the most famous ones.
|1867||Met his soon to be wife.
Twain was a passenger aboard a ship to the Holy Land when he met his future brother in law who showed Twain a picture of his sister. He fell in love with her at first sight.
|1870||Twain marries Olivia Langdon in New York.
Although Olivia Langdon rejected his first proposal of marriage they married this year in New York. She came from a wealthy family and introduced Twain to many famous people of the time. Their first and only male child died when he was almost two years old. They had three more daughters after this.
|1874||He published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Twain moved his family to Connecticut and built a home there. The home was saved in 1927 from being torn down and is now a museum.
|1885||Twain finally published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain worked in a study built away from the main house so he could have peace and quiet. He toured Europe and stayed in Germany and England for a few months.
|1896||Twain met some very famous people (1896 - 1898).
He developed a close friendship with Nikola Tesla the famous scientist. Through his influence Twain patented three inventions= suspenders, a historical trivia game and a self-pasting scrap book system. He continued to write many other stories, books and articles.
|1906||He began working on his autobiography (1906 - 1909).
Thomas Edison visited Mark Twain in his home at Redding, Connecticut, and he met the famous Indian politician, Mahatma Gandhi. During this time, Twain also lost a great deal of money because of bad investments. He diligently worked on his memoirs that became his legacy.
|1910||Mark Twain died on April 21 in Connecticut.
Twain was born when Halley's Comet made a pass in orbit and Twain always said he would "go out with it" as well. He died following the return of the comet and his prediction came true.