subject = English
title = Biography of Mark Twain
papers = Please put your
paper here.

Samuel Clemens based his works on things that occurred throughout
his personal
life. He gained many interests and talents while on the Mississippi

River that contributed
to his writings.

Samuel Clemens was born on November

30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was
two months premature. AT the time
of his birth, Haley's comet was in the sky. Four
years after Clemens was
born, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. He grew up there
on the Mississippi

River. The river supported some of the happiest moments in his life.

Clemens
was the fifth child in the family of John and Jane Clemens. The first seven
years
of his life, he was under the supervision of his mother and the family physician,

Dr.

Hugh, because of being sick. At age nine, though, Clemens was known to
be grown up.

In 1847, his father died. He began to carry our adult responsibilities
now at age 12. He
began working and running errands to contribute to the
family. After his father died, the
family began to have bad financial problems.

When Clemens turned seventeen, he was
ready to be on his own, He began to
write stories and sketches for newspapers. He
supported himself for the next
two years. He also decided to go east ward from Hannibal
to work on printing
jobs. (Miller, Dwyer, Wood, 259)

He enrolled in school at age four. He
was well-behaved and disciplined in school.

Learning was a privilege to Clemens.
he was interested in knowing facts, information, and
figures. He had a strong
knowledge of math, language, vocabulary, and correct
composition. He learned
much about Botany. At age 12, he quit school and became a
printer's apprentice.

In 1901, he received his Lit. D. degree from Yale, 1902. his Lit. D.
degree
from the University of Missouri, and in 1907 his Lit. D. degree from Oxford.

In

1857, Clemens started down the Mississippi River. He made important
decisions
with important consequences in his life. Clemens persuaded Horace Bixby to
teach
him piloting skills. In 1859, he became a licensed riverboat pilot. During
the 1850's
while he piloted steamboats, he adopted the name Mark Twain in

Virginia City. Mark

Twain was a name meaning two fathoms deep, used on a

Mississippi River steamboat.
(Discovering Authors) Twain first began to
publish under his pen name on February 3,

1863. During the summer, he was
working with the staff of the Virginia City, Nevada,

Territorial Enterprise.
his career progressed. He removed himself from a humorous
image to express
the view that all motives are selfish. When he became a steamboat pilot
he
had to learn to be forward with his offers and not polite like his mother raised
him to
be.

During his nights of piloting he discovered his love for astronomy.

In 1861, Twain
served briefly in the Missouri, Militia. His piloting years
ended when the river was closed
down by the war in 1861. He also served in
a Confederate volunteer company for two
weeks. he decided not to be involved
with the war. His brother Orion and he traveled to

Carson City, Nevada in

1861. Through the years of 1861-1862, he was a prospector for
gold in Nevada.

Twain
found spiritual uplifting and inspiration through memories on the

Mississippi.

On the Mississippi, he learned of the different types of human nature that
could
be found. (Albert Paine, 82) Twain was skeptical about human society. He
had a
serious view of life, causing him to be viewed as serious and pessimistic.

He was known
as a humorist. Although there was a lot of tragedy in his life
through the poverty and
death of his father, loss of a daughter, and bankruptcy.

Twain was a master of irony,
urging people to see the things they could change
if they tried. He was a very generous
person, but seldom liked to show it.

He had musical talents that were not known by many
people. He could play
the piano, guitar, organ, and could sing. Even though Twain was
always into
trouble and liked adventure, he had good luck at being where interesting
things
were happening at the right time. He had a skill for quickly observing things.

One
of Twain's later works was Life on the Mississippi. It tells of the Mississippi

River
region and things such as the history, sights, people, and legends of the towns
and
steamboats. Throughout chapters 4 and 17, he recalled his piloting days
very vividly. The

Atlantic Monthly originally contained these chapters as

"Old Times on the Mississippi."

In 1852, Twain did not want to be a writer.

He did not know what he wanted to
do in life, but he found writing to be
easy. He began to write to support his family and to
make a living. He was
good at describing details. Twain could interest the reader by
telling his
own ideas and reactions. His imagination is limited with