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)

April 6, 1850

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

April 6 Saturday – Arnold Buffum wrote Pamela Clemens that the price of the Tennessee Land had gone down to ten cents per acre. Pamela forwarded the letter to Orion in St. Louis, saying “Ma thinks you had better accept Buffum’s proposal and let him sell a portion of the land in that way, say half or more, limiting him to the quantity.” Pamela was suspicious that Buffum simply wanted the land for himself [MTBus 17].

April 11, 1850

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

April 11 Thursday – Sam witnessed a killing on this date. “…the young California emigrant who was stabbed with a bowie knife by a drunken comrade; I saw the red life gush from his breast” [Wecter 219].

May 1850

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

May – A traveling mesmerizer (hypnotist) stopped in Hannibal for a two-week show. Sam volunteered to be a subject, but unlike another boy, failed to go under. When Sam saw all the attention that others got when hypnotized he volunteered again and went along with a ruse that fooled everyone. He even allowed himself to be stuck with needles without flinching, convincing even his mother [Neider 50-58].

May 3, 1850

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

May 3 Friday – A fragment of the Tennessee Land was sold for $50. Orion may have used this money and savings to start a new paper in Hannibal in September [Wecter 225].

June 27, 1850

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

June 27 Thursday – “Doing’ a Dandy,” a sketch of Sam’s ran in Ament’s Courier under the pseudonym of “Fred Ballard” [Wecter 247].

Summer – Orion returned to Hannibal [Wecter 225].

July 4, 1850

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

July 4 Thursday – Sam marched in the parade with the Cadets of Temperance, and later recollected that he picked up a cigar butt from the street, smoked it, and quit the group [Wecter 153].

July 23, 1850

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

July 23 Tuesday – Aunt Martha Ann (Patsy) Quarles died. She was Jane Lampton Clemens’ sister. Less than two years later, John Quarles sold his farm [Wecter 290n20].

September 6, 1850

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

September 6 Friday – Orion began printing the Hannibal Western Union, a weekly Whig newspaper. Sam probably continued working for Joseph Ament the first few months Orion established the newspaper [Wecter 225]. Note: Dempsey gives the date as Sept. 5 [158].

November 14, 1850

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

November 14 Thursday – The Hannibal Western Union printed an article, “Humorous Content Upon the Excellence of a Wedding Cake,” byline “Devil,” attributed by Branch to Sam Clemens [Branch, “Chronological” 113].

January 1851

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

January – Sam ended his commitment to Joseph Ament of the Missouri Courier and went to work with brother Henry for Orion, who promised him a salary of $3.50 a week. Orion was never able to pay Sam a penny. Orion secured cousin Dr. Jim Lampton and uncle John Quarles as sales agents [A. Hoffman 28]. Sam served Orion daily as a printer and editorial assistant.

January 9, 1851

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

January 9 Thursday – A fire broke out one door from the print shop where Sam worked with brothers Orion, Henry, and a newcomer who was the butt of many of Sam’s practical jokes, Jim Wolfe. This episode was the basis for a humorous sketch printed a week later [Wecter 236].

January 16, 1851

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

January 16 Thursday – Sam began his new position on Orion’s newspaper; he wrote a comic piece, “A Gallant Fireman,” lampooning Jim Wolfe, their new apprentice and his dim-witted reaction to a minor fire at a shop next door to the Western Union [ET&S 1: 61].

May 1851

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

May – A municipal ordinance passed forcing farmers to sell their eggs through the city market. Sam put a letter to the editor in the Hannibal Western Union sarcastically praising this “most eggscellent, eggs-plicit, eggs-travagant and eggs-traordinary ordinance.” Throughout the summer, Sam attempted to inject humor, local interest and pep into Orion’s otherwise dull newspaper [Wecter 239].

June 5, 1851

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

June 5 Thursday – Orion’s newspaper, the Hannibal Journal, reported on this day that steamboats “were burying their passengers at every wood yard, both from cabin and deck.” Cholera had hit the river again, claiming 24 citizens of Hannibal [Wecter 214].

July 10, 1851

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

July 10 Thursday – The Hannibal Western Union printed an unsigned article, “The New Costume,” attributed to Sam [Camfield, bibliog.]. It seems likely that Sam wrote other sketches and articles for Orion’s paper, now lost. Note: Dempsey attributes the article to “one of the Clemens boys” [209].

August 28, 1851

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

August 28 Thursday – The last day the Hannibal Western Union printed under that name [Benson 7].

August, late – Orion took over the Hannibal Journal from “Big Joe” Buchanan’s son, “Little Joe.” Big Joe went to California in the spring of 1850 with his brother Robert [Wecter 239, 223]. Note: Robert (1802-1875), Joseph S. Buchanan (b.1806) [MTP].

September 4, 1851

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

September 4 Thursday – Orion, from his old office on Bird Street, brought out the first issue of the consolidated Hannibal Journal and Western Union [Wecter 239]. Five months later the name was shortened.

September 20, 1851

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

September 20 Saturday – Sister Pamela (Pamelia), who just turned 24 a week before, married well on this day. Her new husband, William Anderson Moffett (1816-1865) was a successful Hannibal merchant who sold out his interests and moved with his new wife to St. Louis where he established a successful wholesale business. With the growth of Western Territories, St. Louis grew rapidly. The pair married in Green County, Kentucky.

Fall of 1851

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

Fall – The Clemens family received notice of the sale of part of their Tennessee Land, the asset that the late John Marshall Clemens had put so much faith in. The farmer who purchased the land then discovered it unfit to farm, so Orion went to Tennessee to resolve the issue. His trip took two months and was a total failure. Soon after his return the Journal office burned.

December 29, 1851

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

December 29 Monday – A piece by Orion datelined “Near Glasgow, Ky., Dec. 29, 1851” ran in the Journal on Jan. 22, 1852 upon Orion’s return, showing that he left Hannibal on his fruitless trip to Tennessee, somewhat before this date, probably just after Christmas [Wecter 242].