Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:25

May – The Journal moved above T.R. Selme’s on Main Street opposite the Post Office [Dempsey 158].

May 1 Saturday – The Carpet Bag, a Boston journal that provided rustic humor, and was often sent to Western towns, carried a 425-word sketch of Sam’s titled “The Dandy Frightening the Squatter.” It was signed with Sam’s initials, “S.L.C.” The sketch related a steamboat passenger showing off to female passengers by acting brave, only to be one-upped by a Hannibal man [A. Hoffman 29]. No payment was made, but the glory was all Sam’s. This may be one of the two pieces that Sam mistakenly recalled having contributed to the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post [ET&S 1: 63].

Note: Sam would have been familiar with The Carpet Bag, edited by Benjamin Shillaber (1814-1890), because wholesale agents in the West distributed it widely. Plus, Orion quoted articles from the humor publication more than a dozen times between Mar. 4 and June 3, 1852 [“Benjamin Shillaber and his ‘Carpet Bag’, by Cyril Clemens, The New England Quarterly Vol. 14, No. 3, Sept. 1941 p.527; See also My Own Story by J.T. Trowbridge (1903) p. 181-2].

In an interesting side note, eighteen-year-old Charles Farrar Browne (1834-1867), known after 1858 as Artemus Ward, had been working as a compositor for The Carpet Bag over the past year, and probably set the type for the May 1 issue [538]. Shillaber’s most important literary work was The Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington (1854), a popular work in Sam’s library years later [Gribben 641].

Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.