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)

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].


Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 11:45

In his Dec. 2, 1906 A.D., Clemens recalled their house:
In 1847 we were living in a large white house on the corner of Hill and Main streets—a house that still stands, but isn’t large now, although it hasn’t lost a plank; I saw it a year ago and noticed that shrinkage. My father died in it in March of the year mentioned, but our family did not move out of it until some months afterward. Ours was not the only family in the house, there was another, Dr. Grant’s [AMT 2: 301].

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:

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:

Died in this city on yesterday, the 24 th inst., after a protracted and painful illness, John M. Clemens, Esq., in the 49 th year of his age.

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:

1847 Spring and Summer

Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 11:56

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.


May 21, 1847

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

May 21 Friday – An appraisal of John Marshall Clemens’ property was filed in Marion County. The most valuable item was “6 volumes Nicholsons Encyclopedia.” Orion inherited the volumes, which went to Sam’s library after Orion and Mollie’s deaths [Gribben 507].


August 13, 1847

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

August 13 Friday – One of Sam’s playmates, Clint Levering, age ten, drowned after falling out of an empty flatboat while playing with “a number of his playmates.” Sam was no doubt among these boys, as he remembered the tragedy in his notebook and wrote of it in Life on the Mississippi, Chapter 54, where Sam called him “Lem Hackett.” (See May 13, 1882 entry.)


August 19, 1847

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

August 19 Thursday – Reported in the Hannibal Journal: While exploring on Sny Island and Bird Slough with pals John Briggs and Will Bowen, the boys went wading. Tom Blankenship’s older brother “Bence” Blankenship had discovered a runaway slave, Neriam Todd, hiding on the island weeks before, and had secreted food to him until a group of men chased the slave into the water and lost him.

September 1847

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

September – Sam’s memory wasn’t always accurate. He recalled being “taken from school at once upon my father’s death and placed in the office of the Hannibal Courier,” working for Joseph P. Ament. The Courier, however, was not established in Hannibal until 1848. Wecter says Sam no doubt delivered extras for Henry La Cossitt, owner of the Gazette, in particular after the victorious battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican War, in Sept. 1847 [Wecter 122-3].