The ship sailed from New York harbor on June 8, 1867 and returned on November 19. Twain had convinced his employer, the Daily Alta California, to pay his passage ($1,250) as well as accept his travel letters. The book is derived from these letters as well as others written for the New York Herald, and the New York Tribune and of course his own journal. Possibly the single most important moment in Twain's life occurred because of a fellow passenger, Charles J. Langdon of Elmira, New York. He showed Twain a picture of his sister, Olivia. Twain (Clemens) married her in 1870.

Submitted by scott on Sun, 08/14/2016 - 14:41

This book is a record of a pleasure trip. If it were a record of a solemn scientific expedition, it would have about it that gravity, that profundity, and that impressive incomprehensibility which are so proper to works of that kind, and withal so attractive. Yet notwithstanding it is only a record of a pic-nic, it has a purpose, which is to suggest to the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in those countries before him. I make small pretense of showing anyone how he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea—other books do that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is no need.

I offer no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-writing that may be charged against me—for I think I have seen with impartial eyes, and I am sure I have written at least honestly, whether wisely or not.

In this volume I have used portions of letters which I wrote for the Daily Alta California, of San Francisco, the proprietors of that journal having waived their rights and given me the necessary permission. I have also inserted portions of several letters written for the New York Tribune and the New York Herald.


June 10 - 21, 1867: Aboard the Steamship Quaker City

Fair Winds

Atlantic island group of volcanic origin, located about 740 miles west of Portugal, which has owned the islands since the mid-17th century. The Quaker City was to land at the largest island, San Miguel, but to avoid a storm, it instead anchored at the port of Horta on the island of Fayal on June 21, 1867. After two days... the passengers voted to skip San Miguel and go directly to Gibraltar.

(Mark Twain A to Z)

The Quaker City arrived at Gibraltar where "the passengers scattered like marbles".   A few joined Sam, with "five bottles of champagne and seventy-five cigars" took a steamer south to Tangiers, Morocco.  Sam was most impressed by its "Moorish Costumes".

We have come five hundred miles by rail through the heart of France. What a bewitching land it is! What a garden! Surely the leagues of bright green lawns are swept and brushed and watered every day and their grasses trimmed by the barber. Surely the hedges are shaped and measured and their symmetry preserved by the most architectural of gardeners. Surely the long straight rows of stately poplars that divide the beautiful landscape like the squares of a checker-board are set with line and plummet, and their uniform height determined with a spirit level.

Mark Twain's first visit to Italy in 1867, before its political unification. Italy had been under foreign domination but following the Napoleonic Wars movements for independence and unification began. The first wave, led by Garibaldi and others created the kingship of Italy in 1861. Venetia was added in in 1866 and Rome in 1870. The Quaker City first made port in Genoa followed by landings in Leghorn and Naples. Twain toured several other cities, mostly by train. These included Milan, Como, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome.


Strathcarron, Ian. 2011. Innocence And War. Andrews UK Limited.
Twain, Mark. 1869. The Innocents Abroad. American Publishing Company.