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)

Summer of 1845

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

Summer – Sam stowed away on a steamboat headed south. He was found by a crewmember and put ashore thirty miles down river, at the town of Louisiana, Mo. There he spent the night with Lampton relatives. The next day they returned him home.


August 24, 1845

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

August 24 Sunday – In Hannibal, John Marshall Clemens wrote to Orion in St. Louis. He enclosed a course of twenty oral lectures on grammar by Professor Hull. John was taking Hull’s class and promised to outline the material and send it on to Orion, who might benefit in the printer’s trade from such lessons. Sam was nearly ten years old and probably received the same instruction at home [MTBus 9-10].

August 25, 1845

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

August 25-26 Tuesday – The Philadelphia North America reported on Aug. 26, “Affray at Hannibal, Mo.”—a fight between Dr. Orville R. Grant and a man named Railey, who stabbed Grant with a spear attached to his cane. In his Dec. 2, 1906 A.D. Sam recalled the man’s name as Dr. Reyburn [AMT 2: 590].

Fall of 1845

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

Fall – In either 1844 or 1845, Sam left the dame school for a “good common school” on Center Street near the town square, taught by a middle-aged Irishman, William O. Cross [Powers, D. Waters 93].

August 1846

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

August – Hannibal slave dealer William Beebe sued and gained a judgment against John Marshall Clemens for $126.50 stemming from debts for the store [Wecter 112].


September 10, 1846

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

September 10 Thursday – John Marshall Clemens wrote to Buffum & Co., in New York concerning sale of the Tennessee Land. John had canceled the agency of Meredith & McCullough and gave “exclusive sale of my Tennessee lands for two years on the terms propose.—That you will be at the expense of agencies and advertising as in your letter mentioned; and will make sales as speedily and advantageously as possible” [MTBus 11]. Note: The Tennessee Land created a rift between Sam and Orion in later years, and hung around the family’s neck until the 1880s.

October 16, 1846

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

October 16 Friday – James Clemens, Jr. leased the Hill Street house to Orion Clemens for a period of 25 years at a rental of $28 per year [Hannibal Courier-Post, Mar. 6, 1935 p10b].

November 1846

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

November – John Marshall Clemens chaired a citizens’ committee to promote a macadamized road between Hannibal and St. Joseph, Mo. [Wecter 110].

Henry La Cossitt, new to Hannibal, established the Democratic Gazette [Wecter 201]. Note: Wecter surmises that Sam Clemens was briefly an apprentice for the Gazette.

Winter of 1846

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

Winter of 1846-7 – Now president of the Hannibal Library Institute, John Marshall Clemens worked for the establishment of a Masonic college in Hannibal [Wecter 111].

December 17, 1846

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

December 17 Thursday – Hannibal slave dealer William Beebe was granted a writ of attachment ordering the sheriff to sell “the goods and chattels and real estate of the said John M. Clemens” [Wecter 112].

March 11, 1847

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

March 11 Thursday – John Marshall Clemens rode to the village of Palmyra (the county seat) to attend a judicial hearing that would clear him in a debt matter. Riding home he was chilled by a sleet storm. He became ill from the shock to his system. Judge Ezra Hunt of the Circuit Court at Palmyra “accepted John M. Clemens’ reasonable plea that his own unpaid claims against Beebe be considered as an offset to Beebe’s demands upon him—and with that decision the case fades from the records” [Wecter 112].

March 24, 1847

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

March 24 Wednesday – John Marshall Clemens died of pneumonia at the age of 49. Paine gives some of John’s last words: “Cling to the land,” he whispered. “Cling to the land, and wait. Let nothing beguile it away from you” [MTB 73]. Orion’s comments about his father were included in Sam’s Jan. 29, 1907 A.D. In part: My father may have hastened the ending of his life by the use of too much medicine. He doctored himself from my earliest remembrance. During the latter part of his life he bought Cook’s pills by the box and took one or more daily [AMT 2: 409].

March 25, 1847

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

March 25 Thursday – John Marshall Clemens was buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery a mile and a half from Hannibal. Sam walked in his sleep this night and a few others. In 1876 John Marshall and Henry Clemens were later transferred to the newer Mount Olivet Cemetery, southwest of Hannibal [Wecter 118-9]. The following obituary ran in the Hannibal Gazette:

April 1847

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

April – A torchlight parade celebrated victories in the Mexican War. Sam no doubt was there, watching the pomp and a huge transparency showing “Old Zac at Buena Vista.” A band played and the streets were full of cheering townspeople [Wecter 123].

April 12, 1847

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

April 12 Monday – Orion leased the house on Hill Street from James Clemens, Jr. , a wealthy St. Louis cousin, who bought some of John Marshall’s property [Wecter 102]. Jane and children moved back into the Hill Street house. Sister Pamela, (named for an aunt and sometimes spelled “Pamelia,” and always pronounced as such) now twenty, had been giving piano and guitar lessons in the villages of Florida and Paris, Mo. (Sam became proficient in both) She moved back to take care of her mother Jane.

April 14, 1847

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

April 14 Wednesday – The doors of J.D. Dawson’s school, later immortalized in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, opened in Hannibal. Dawson’s son, like Henry Clemens and Sid Sawyer, was a model boy, except that the Dawson boy added priggishness. It was in this school that Sam experienced many of the pranks and games that would fill the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn [Wecter 132; Powers, D. Waters 93]. Note: John D. Dawson (b.1812?).

From Sam’s 1906 recollection of his schoolmates:

April 23, 1847

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

April 23 Friday – The Marion County Court appointed Orion administrator of John Marshall Clemens’ estate [Wecter 120].

Spring and Summer – Sam clerked in a grocery store until he was fired for eating too much sugar. He enrolled at Dawson’s School a few weeks after the death of his father. He worked many odd jobs during these months. He clerked for a bookstore, delivered newspapers, helped out at a blacksmith’s, and even studied law, but gave it up “because it was so prosy and tiresome” [Ch. 42 of Roughing It; Wecter131].

May 6, 1847

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

May 6 Thursday – The Hannibal Gazette reported that Sparhawk & Layton were giving nightly lectures and demonstrations at Hawkins’ saloon on “human magnetism” (hypnosis). Such subjects as mesmerizing and phrenology excited the town when “experts” arrived. In a few years Sam would engage in outdoing another boy who’d been put in a trance. See AMT 2: 589.