Day by Day entries are from Mark Twain, Day By Day, four volumes of books compiled by David Fears and made available on-line by the Center for Mark Twain Studies.  The entries presented here are from conversions of the PDFs provided by the Center for Mark Twain Studies and are subject to the vagaries of that process.    The PDFs, themselves, have problems with formatting and some difficulties with indexing for searching.  These are the inevitable problems resulting from converting a printed book into PDFs.  Consequently, what is provided here are copies of copies.  

I have made attempts at providing a time-line for Twain's Geography and have been dissatisfied with the results.  Fears' work provides a comprehensive solution to that problem.  Each entry from the books is titled with the full date of the entry, solving a major problem I have with the On-line site - what year is the entry for.  The entries are certainly not perfect reproductions from Fears' books, however.  Converting PDFs to text frequently results in characters, and sometimes entire sections of text,  relocating.  In the later case I have tried to amend the problem where it occurs but more often than not the relocated characters are simply omitted.  Also, I cannot vouch for the paragraph structure.  Correcting these problems would require access to the printed copies of Fears' books.  Alas, but this is beyond my reach.

This page allows the reader to search for entries based on a range of dates.  The entries are also accessible from each of the primary sections (Epochs, Episodes and Chapters) of Twain's Geography.  

Entry Date (field_entry_date)

September 1841

Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

September   – John Marshall Clemens sat on a jury at Palmyra which condemned and sent to the penitentiary  three abolitionists for a term of twelve years [Dempsey  42; Wecter 72]. Note:  See Dempsey, chapters 5 & 6, for a full account of the “crime” and trial of  James Burr, George Thompson, and Alanson Work, “the  biggest criminal case in Marion County.”
 

October  13 Wednesday 1841

Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

October  13 Wednesday – The Clemenses were forced to transfer the title  of their home property to James Kerr, a St. Louis dry-goods  merchant to whom they were most indebted [Wecter  70]. Note: The indebtedness may have  stemmed from funds John Marshall borrowed to buy the Tennessee Land,  incurred before the family moved to Hannibal.
 

January 5, 1842

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

January 5 or 7 Friday – Sam’s father wrote on his failed trip of being unable to collect debts or even to sell Charlie for $40 in Vicksburg [MTB 43]. Powers suggests he sold Charlie for ten barrels of tar [Powers, Dangerous 124]. Wecter cites the letter date as Jan. 5 and the sale for tar as Jan. 24 [74].

May 12, 1842

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

May 12 Thursday – Ten-year-old Benjamin L. Clemens died after a weeklong, unexplained illness. “Bilious fever” they sometimes called such illnesses. Sam was six. He remembered his parents’ grief; Orion recalled that his parents kissed—the only time the Clemens children had seen them do this [MTB 44]; Powers writes that it was Sam who remembered; it’s likely both recalled the event. In her grief, Sam’s mother made all the children approach the bedside of Benjamin and touch his dead cheek.

July 17, 1842

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

July 17 Sunday ca. – (After this day) – Sam’s brother, Orion, now seventeen and a “very good journeyman printer,” obtained a position in St. Louis, and was able to send support home for the family, three dollars out of ten per week [MTB 44]. (Powers characterizes it as Orion being “sent off.”) Orion wrote home that he was trying to imitate the life of Benjamin Franklin, even to the extent of living on bread and water. While in St. Louis until 1849, Orion made friends with attorney Edward Bates (1793-1869) and began studying law in his office.

August 12, 1842

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

August 12 Friday – Though a boy of nearly seven, Sam probably was witness to the sinking of the side wheel steamboat Glaucus at Hannibal. Such an event would have brought the whole town out to gawk. Sam noted the sinking in his notebook in 1883 [MTNJ 3: 30n52]. https://daybyday.marktwainstudies.com/category/volume-1/26/68

October 13, 1842

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

October 13 Thursday – Exactly one year before, John Marshall and Jane Clemens lost their real estate in Hannibal, interest being transferred to James Kerr, St. Louis merchant and debt holder. On this day the property was auctioned but failed to meet the amount of the debt [Dempsey 49].

Summer of 1843

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

Summer – This was the first year of long summer visits to the Quarles Farm, about three and a half miles northwest of the old Clemens home in Florida, Mo.. These visits would continue until Sam was eleven or twelve (1847-8). Sam was seven on this first visit. He loved his uncle John Quarles, a warm, affable, hospitable, country man who told jolly jokes and played with the children. Quarles made hunting trips through the woods. His wife Aunt Patsy set a marvelous table; they had eight children and about thirty slaves (some sources say far fewer).

September 4, 1843

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

September 4 Monday – Sam played hooky from school and got home at night, so he climbed into his father’s first floor office, only to discover a corpse, James McFarland, a local farmer stabbed by Vincent Hudson in a drunken argument about a plow. Since John Marshall Clemens was a judge, the body was taken to his office to be embalmed the next day. This was the first recorded murder in Hannibal [Wecter 104].

October 27, 1843

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

October 27 Friday – James Kerr, as trustee, sold the Clemens home to James Clemens Jr., of St. Louis, a cousin of John Marshall Clemens. The price on the abstract was $300. The legal description: “the west 20 feet and 6 inches of the east 101 feet of lot 1 in block 9 in the original town of Hannibal” [Hannibal Courier-Post, Mar. 6, 1935 p10b].

 

Late Fall 1843

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

Late Fall – On Mar. 11, 1883 the N.Y. Times, p.4 ran an article, “Judge Clemens” and attributed it from “Communication to the St. Louis Missouri Republican.” The article described John Marshall Clemens as a “stern unbending man of splendid common-sense, and was, indeed, the autocrat of the little dingy room on Bird-street, where he held his court” [as Justice of the Peace]. An excerpt: Late in the Fall of 1843 the case of Allen B. McDonald against Jacob Smith was on trial.

December 1843

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

December – The Clemens family moved out of the Virginia House and into 206 Hill Street, which forever more would be considered Sam’s boyhood home. Sam shared a second-story bedroom with his brother Henry [Powers, MT A Life 34].

Summer of 1844

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

Summer – A measles epidemic swept through Hannibal. Sam’s mother was obsessed with keeping her children from contracting the disease, but Sam decided to expose himself. Sam snuck into his friend Will Bowen’s house and bedroom. He was discovered and chased away, but tried again and slipped into bed with Will. Rediscovered by Will’s angry mother, Sam was taken home, but contracted measles. “I have never enjoyed anything in my life any more than I enjoyed dying that time” [Powers, Dangerous 85].

September 14, 1844

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

September 14 Saturday – Henry, a Negro, was tried and convicted in Judge Clemens’ court of “menacing” with a knife. State law prohibited slaves from having weapons. John Marshall Clemens found Henry guilty and imposed punishment of 20 lashes to be given publicly. Dempsey writes, “Nine-year-old Sam liked to play about Hannibal on pretty fall days. A public whipping would have been high entertainment in 1844 Hannibal” [54].

October 22, 1844

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

October 22 Tuesday – Sam watched worshippers from the Millerite sect (led by William Miller) wrap themselves in robes and climb the steep hill to Lover’s Leap, expecting the world to end. In his visit back to Hannibal in 1902, Sam and pal John Briggs (1837-1907) went up Holliday’s Hill and pointed over the valley.

“There is where the Millerites put on their robes one night to go up to heaven. None of them went that night John but no doubt many of them have gone since” [Wecter 89].

November 30, 1844

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

November 30 Saturday – Sam’s ninth birthday (he didn’t want to be called “Sammy” any longer.) In his 1906 Autobiography, Sam claimed to be a private smoker from age nine, and a public one after his father’s death, in 1847 [Neider 43].

January 24, 1845

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

January 24 Friday – Sam witnessed the premeditated murder of “Uncle” Samuel Smarr (1788?-1845), shot at close range by William P. Owsley. Smarr was carried into the drugstore of Dr. Orville Grant, the very house that poverty would soon force the Clemens to move into. Sam squeezed into the room where they laid the dying Smarr and watched [Wecter 106]. Note: The scene would be grist for Colonel Sherburn’s cold-blooded killing of Boggs, the town drunk, in chapters 21-22 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

March 19, 1845

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:24

March 19 Wednesday – From the Hannibal, Mo. Library web site: “In 1840 many citizens of Hannibal, Missouri felt a need for a public library. Judge John Marshall Clemens (Mark Twain’s father), Zachariah Draper (1798-1856), Dr. Hugh Meredith, and Samuel Cross (1812-1886) took on the responsibility of this task. They organized the Hannibal Library Institute. On March 19, 1845 this library was chartered by the General Assembly of Missouri. The books were kept in Dr. Meredith’s office in a building at the corner of Main and Bird Streets. This was not a free library.