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)

January 29, 1852

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

January 29 Thursday – The Journal was able to beat the other town papers to a story about a fire—this one in the Journal office. Orion collected insurance money and soon restarted the paper. The Journal, like most of Orion’s endeavors, never made a profit [Wecter 243]. On page 2 of the Hannibal Journal and Western Union a lot of Orion Clemens’ is advertised for sale to satisfy a tax assessment [Hannibal Courier-Post, Mar. 6, 1935 p13c].

February 1852

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

February – Orion moved the Journal “to the room over Stover & Horr’s Clothing Store, on Main Street” [Wecter 243].

March 25, 1852

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

March 25 Thursday – Sam wrote the descriptive piece, “Hannibal Missouri,” which he submitted to the Philadelphia American Courier, published on May 8, 1852 [ET&S 1: 68]. In this glowing description of his hometown, Sam included the Mississippi River, the St. Joseph Railroad, and the cave south of town. Dempsey points out he “completely omitted any reference to slaves or slavery” [168].

April 9, 1852

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

April 9 Friday – The Saluda, a side-wheel, wooden hull packet, 223 tons, christened in 1846, sank in 1850 but eventually was raised and restored. On Apr. 9, 1852, Good Friday, with Mormon emigrants aboard, the boat was headed for Council Bluffs, Iowa. Upon arriving at Lexington, the current was swift. Pilot Charles S. LaBarge pushed her too hard and her boilers blew. Pilot and Master Belt and about 75 others died.

May 8, 1852

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

May 8 Saturday – The Philadelphia American Courier ran “Hannibal, Missouri,” a description of Hannibal by Sam (dated Mar. 25, 1852). This was heady stuff for a mere sixteen-year-old. Sam used these successes to brag to various females in the town and to throw them up to Orion. Easterners were curious about the Western frontier; many Eastern papers sought articles about the West [A. Hoffman 30]. Again, no payment was made for these articles.

Summer of 1852

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

Summer – Sam, now sixteen, swam the Mississippi River to the Illinois side, then turned back and swam back to Hannibal without landing. It was two miles round trip, and on the return leg Sam got a cramp and had to navigate home with only his arms [MTB 57].

July 1, 1852

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

July 1 Thursday – Sam became an uncle with the birth of Annie E. Moffett to Sam’s sister Pamela Ann and her husband, William Anderson Moffett. Annie would always be a favorite of Sam’s; she married Charles Luther Webster (1851-1891) in 1875, the man Sam would hire to run his publishing business [MTL 1: 382].

July 15, 1852

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

July 15 Thursday – Sam wrote a facetious piece of “the Dog Law” which from that day forth ordered all canines to be licensed at a dollar a head and wear collars. An early case of Sam pulling legs—readers’ legs, not dogs’ [Wecter 249].

The Hannibal Journal (formerly the Hannibal Western Union) printed an unsigned article, “Paragraph on a Military Company Formed by Town Boys,” attributed to Sam [Camfield, bibliog.].

July 24, 1852

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

July 24 Saturday – Sam reported that a calf had been bitten by a mad dog. A not-so-serious proposal, signed “A Dog-be-deviled Citizen,” called for all dogs to be exterminated. The dog pieces brought Ament’s Hannibal Courier to the defense of dogs, and the Hannibal Tri-Weekly Messenger also joined in. It’s likely that Orion humored Sam these small needles in print, or perhaps did not notice the humor in them.

August 1852

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

August, late – Ament’s Hannibal Courier and the Hannibal Tri-Weekly Messenger printed pieces defending the town dogs [Wecter 249].

September 9, 1852

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

September 9 Thursday – Orion left town for a week and turned the paper over to Sam, who printed gossip to liven things up. He printed an account titled “A Family Muss” about fighting among an Irish family on Holliday’s Hill. Sam used the pen name “W.

September 16, 1852

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

September 16 Thursday – Sam satirized Josiah T. Hinton, the new editor of the competing Hannibal Tri-Weekly Messenger, in an article, “Local Resolves to Commit Suicide.” See insert. It seems Hinton had been a jilted lover, so went to the river one night to drown himself, but could not follow through.

September 23, 1852

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

September 23 Thursday – “Blab’s Tour”; “Letter to ‘Mr. Editor’” byline Blab; “Letter to ‘Mr. Editor’” byline A Dog-be-Deviled Citizen,” [Camfield, bibliog.] and “‘Pictur’ Department,” were printed with additional thrusts at the Messenger’s “Local.” Orion returned; Blab announced, “I have retired from public life to the shades of Glascock’s Island” [Wecter 253; ET&S 1: 72-4]. Blab announced his final appearance in the Journal [ET&S 1: 83].

November 4, 1892

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

November 4 Thursday – “Conubial Bliss,” another unsigned sketch of Sam’s about a rowdy Irishman on “Holliday’s Hill” appeared in the Hannibal Journal [ET&S 1: 85]: A squalid family living on the side of Holliday’s Hill is under the ‘protection’ of a big fellow who once in a while, say about every afternoon, gets drunk and ‘cuts up’ considerably. Sometimes he gathers the baby and goes staggering and stumbling and pitching about over the hill, to th

November 25, 1852

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

November 25 Thursday – Orion’s newspaper, the Hannibal Journal, commented on Joseph Ament’s sale of the Hannibal Missouri Courier: [Ament’s ability had] made him an efficient supporter of his party principles, while his courtesy and uniformly manly course, procured him many friends among his opponents.

January 23, 1853

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

January 23 Sunday – Sam gave a drunk some matches for his pipe. Later that night the drunk was arrested and jailed in a brick house by the river. At 2 AM the jail caught fire from the drunk’s pipe and people could only watch as the man burned to death. It was an episode that loaded more guilt on Sam, and in 1870 he recalled the death in a letter to his boyhood pal, Will Bowen: “we accidentally burned up that poor fellow in the calaboose” [MTL 4: 51]. Just how the fire started, no one could tell, yet Sam carried guilt from that episode his entire life.

March 1853

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

March, early – An accident at the Journal ruined several columns of type, as reported by the Messenger on Mar. 5. Orion announced the paper would now be a daily as well, to make up for lost editions, under the name the Hannibal Daily Journal [Benson 7].

April 16, 1853

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

April 16 Saturday– The Journal printed an unsigned comic verse, “On Miss Anna Bread,” attributed to Sam [Camfield, bibliog.].

April 29, 1853

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

April 29 Friday – Two humorous pieces appeared in the Journal over the name “Rambler,” one a report of a stagecoach that crashed through a cellar, and the other a report that “some French gentleman or gentlemen” stole “two hams only” from Brittingham’s pork house [Wecter 257].

May 5, 1853

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

May 5 Thursday – Orion once again left the Journal in Sam’s hands. Sam printed three stanzas of vernacular humor in verse “The Heart’s Lament,” dated May 4, under the pen name, “Rambler,” one he would use again in 1858 for the St. Louis Missouri Democrat. The rival Messenger paper was outselling the Journal, now a daily, and Sam was overburdened with getting the paper out. Brother Henry Clemens was a slow and careless typesetter, who probably didn’t like the work; Sam had to keep long hours to correct Henry’s errors [Wecter 257; ET&S 1: 88-90].