• 1835-11-30
    Samuel L. Clemens Born

    Samuel L. Clemens born 30 November 1835 in the village of Florida, Missouri.


    "[Early Years in Florida, Missouri]" in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1. 2010 

    [[Early Years in Florida, Missouri]  Chapter 1]

  • 1839-11-01
    Clemens Family Moves to Hannibal

    The Clemens family moved to Hannibal in November of 1839,  

    Scraps from My Autobiography. From Chapter IX," in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1. 2010   A long reminiscence of childhood.

  • 1853-05-25

    May 25 Wednesday – Sam wrote another “Assistant’s Column” in the Journal [MTL 1:2]. A notice first ran in the Journal: “WANTED! AN APPRENTICE OF THE PRINTING BUSINESS. APPLY SOON.” The ad ran for two weeks. Wecter concludes this date marked Sam’s departure from Hannibal [Wecter 263]. Sam had promised his mother that he would abstain from cards and liquor [Wecter 262].

  • 1853-05-26
    Sam departs Hannibal for St. Louis

    Sometime in the first two weeks of June 1853, Samuel L. Clemens (aged seventeen) left his home and family in Hannibal, Missouri, for the first time, stopping initially in St. Louis and then going on to New York City, supporting himself as a journeyman printer in both places. Precisely when Clemens boarded the regular evening packet for St. Louis is not known:

  • 1853-05-27
    St Louis - 1853

    By this time Sam was in St. Louis to find his way in the world. Paine writes he took a night boat to St. Louis. Sam likely stayed with his sister Pamela and found work as a typesetter. He vowed never to let a place trap him again.

  • 1853-08-19
    St. Louis to New York, 1853

    It took a day, by steamboat and cars, to go from St.

  • 1853-08-20
    LaSalle and Chicago

    August 20 Saturday – Sam took the Illinois Central line to LaSalle, then the Chicago and Rock Island into Chicago, arriving at 7 PM [MTL 1: 5n2; Dempsey 232]. He “laid over all day Sunday” [MTL 1: 3].

  • 1853-08-21
    Chicago to Monroe, Michigan

    Fears writes:  Sam took the 9 PM Michigan Central to Toledo, Ohio, then to Monroe, Michigan on the Northern Indiana and Michigan Southern railroads [Dempsey 232]. In his letter he wrote he traveled from Chicago to Monroe, Michigan “by railroad, another day” [MTL 1: 3].  It's my view that the leg to Toledo either did not yet exist or at least was unnecessary as a straight line ran directly to Monroe.

  • 1853-08-22
    Across Lake Erie on the Southern Michigan

    August 22 Monday – 8 AM “from Monroe, across Lake Erie, in the fine Lake palace, ‘Southern Michigan,’ to Buffalo, 

  • 1853-08-23
    Buffalo to Albany

    August 23 Tuesday – 7 AM “from Buffalo to Albany, on the “Lightning Express” railroad