Submitted by scott on Wed, 09/15/2021 - 10:03

25 March - 1 or 2 July 1860

March 25 Sunday – Sam became pilot of the City of Memphis (865 tons) and left St. Louis this day with co-pilot Wesley Jacobs, Captain Joseph E. Montgomery. Here was a 6-boiler, 300-foot behemoth of a boat. Branch asserts that Sam was a skillful pilot [Branch, “Mark Twain: The Pilot” 30]. “One time I mistook Capt. Ed Montgomery’s coat hanging on the big bell for the Capt. himself and waiting for him to tell me to back I ran into a steamboat at New Orleans” [MTNJ 2: 536].

April 2 Monday – City of Memphis arrived in New Orleans.

April 4 Wednesday – City of Memphis left for St. Louis.

April 11 Wednesday – City of Memphis arrived in St. Louis.

April 14 Saturday – City of Memphis left for New Orleans.

April 21 Saturday – City of Memphis arrived in New Orleans.

April 24 Tuesday – City of Memphis left for St. Louis.

May 1 Tuesday – City of Memphis arrived in St. Louis.

May 4 Friday – City of Memphis left for New Orleans.

May 14 Monday – City of Memphis arrived in New Orleans.

May 15 Tuesday – City of Memphis left for St. Louis.

May 22 Tuesday – City of Memphis arrived in St. Louis.

May 24 Thursday – City of Memphis left for New Orleans.

May 31 Thursday – City of Memphis arrived in New Orleans.

June 3 Sunday – City of Memphis left for St. Louis.

June 10 Sunday – City of Memphis arrived in St. Louis.

June 13 Wednesday – City of Memphis left for New Orleans.

June 19 Tuesday – City of Memphis encountered a storm about 11 AM at Terrapin Bend, 28 miles north of Vicksburg.

June 22 Friday – City of Memphis arrived in New Orleans.

June 24 Sunday – City of Memphis left for St. Louis.

June 27? Wednesday – Sam wrote brother Orion while on the City of Memphis (surviving fragments here): Putting all things together, I begin to think I am rather lucky than otherwise—a notion which I was slow to take up. The other night I was about to round to for a storm—but concluded that I could find a smoother bank somewhere. I landed 5 miles below. The storm came—passed away and did not injure us. I Coming up, day before yesterday, I looked at the spot I first chose, and half the trees on the bank were torn to shreds. We couldn’t have lived 5 minutes in such a tornado. And I am also lucky in having a berth, while all the young pilots are idle. This is the luckiest circumstance that ever befell me. Not on account of the wages—for that is a secondary consideration—but from the fact that the CITY OF MEMPHIS is the largest boat in the trade and the hardest to pilot, and consequently I can get a reputation on her, which is a thing I never could accomplish on a transient boat. I can ‘bank’ in the neighborhood of $100 a month on her, and that will satisfy me for the present (principally because the other youngsters are sucking their fingers.) Bless me! what a pleasure there is in revenge! and what vast respect Prosperity commands! Why, six months ago, I could enter the “Rooms,” and receive only a customary fraternal greeting—but now they say, “Why, how are you, old fellow—when did you get in?” And the young pilots, who used to tell me, patronisingly, that I could never learn the river, cannot keep from showing a little of their chagrin at seeing me so far ahead of them. Permit me to “blow my horn,” for I derive a living pleasure from these things. And I must confess that when I go to pay my dues, I rather like to let the d—d rascals get a glimpse of a hundred dollar bill peeping out from amongst notes of smaller dimensions, whose faces I do not exhibit! You will despise this egotism, but I tell you there is a “stern joy” in it [MTL 1: 96-99].

June 28 Thursday – City of Memphis arrived at Cairo [MTL 1: 99 n2].

July 1–2 Monday – City of Memphis arrived in St. Louis.

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