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 31, 1853

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August 31 Wednesday – In New York, Sam wrote to his mother, Jane Clemens, of his new position, his rooming house, a derogatory description of “brats” in the city, and food.

My dear Mother:

September 3, 1853

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September 3? Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote at 2 AM to his sister, Pamela Moffett in St. Louis. After describing Crystal Palace of the World’s Fair, he wrote that the daily visitors average 6,000, double Hannibal’s population, and that the city’s water was supplied by the Croton Aqueduct from a reservoir in Westchester County, some thirty eight miles away.Such figures impressed Sam. After descriptions he wrote of family:

September 22, 1853

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September 22 Thursday – Orion sold the Hannibal Journal and moved the family to Muscatine, Iowa, where he soon started another paper, the Muscatine Journal with a partner, John Mahin [MTL 1: 18n3; Powers, Dangerous 229-30].

September 30, 1853

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September 30 Friday – The Muscatine Journal published its first edition. Orion sent a copy to Sam, who later submitted letters for Orion to use in the paper [Powers, Dangerous 230].

October 8, 1853

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October 8 Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote to Pamela, saying he hadn’t written to any of the family for some time and gave the reason that he had “been fooling myself with the idea that I was going to leave New York, every day for the last two weeks. I have taken a liking to the abominable place…” He confessed he didn’t know where the family was, due to his receipt some days before of the final issue of the Journal. He supposed they were in St. Louis. Sam told of seeing Edwin Forrest in the role of Spartacus in the play Gladiator at the Broadway Theater.

October 19, 1853

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October 19–21 Friday – Sam left New York for Philadelphia. The trip lasted four and a half hours, by steamboat from New York to South Amboy, New Jersey and from there by train to Camden, ferry across the Delaware River. In several letters, Sam decided he liked Philadelphia much more than New York [MTL 1: 28n20]. Paine briefly mentions a boarding-house roommate, an Englishman named Sumner who now and then grilled herring, which was “regarded as a feast” [MTB 98].

October 26, 1853

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October 26–? 28 Friday – In Philadelphia, Sam wrote to Orion and Henry. He received the last edition of the Journal, which carried a notice that the paper had been sold,

“…and I very naturally supposed from that, that the family had disbanded, and taken up winter quarters in St. Louis. Therefore, I have been writing to Pamela, till I’m tired of it, and have received no answer.”

November 23, 1853

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November 23 Wednesday – Sam went to the third anniversary ball and banquet of Philadelphia Typographical Union No. 2. Publishing people met to discuss how to raise money for a monument to Benjamin Franklin [MTL 1: 28].

November 28, 1853

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November 28 Monday – In Philadelphia, Sam wrote brother Orion after receiving his letter,not extant.

My Dear Brother:

I received your letter to-day. I think Ma ought to spend the winter in St Louis. I don’t believe in that climate—it’s too cold for her. [in Muscatine]

December 4, 1853

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December 4 Sunday – In Philadelphia, Sam wrote a letter to Orion’s newspaper, the Muscatine Journal, describing the layout of the city, the “unaccountable feeling of awe” one feels when entering the Old State House in Chestnut Street where the Declaration of Independence was passed by Congress on July 4, 1776. He also told of a local practice of “free-and-easy” at saloons, which was a sort of karaoke laugh-fest. Sam noted the attraction of “two fat women, one weighing 764, and the other 769 pounds, to ‘astonish the natives’ ” [MTL 1: 30-1].

December 24, 1853

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December 24 Saturday – In Philadelphia, Sam wrote to the Muscatine Journal, describing the weather, a recent fire, the price of turkeys at $7 [MTL 1: 34-5].


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Short Washington Vacation – Philadelphia to New York
Return to St. Louis and Muscatine – Orion Ties the Knot

February 3, 1854

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February 3 Friday – Sam wrote another letter to the Muscatine Journal, which was printed unsigned as “From Philadelphia Correspondence of the Journal.” He described going to a reception for Captains Low and Crighton, visiting heroes to Philadelphia from the rescue of survivors in the steamship San Francisco on December 25, 1853. The reception was probably on Feb. 2 [MTL 1: 39n3]. Sam also wrote of the Philadelphia Ledger’s habit of inserting doggerel poetry in obituaries; Paine claimed that Sam submitted a few of these to the Ledger, but “never confessed that” [MTB 98].

February 16, 1854

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February 16 Thursday – Sam arrived at the Baltimore and Ohio station in Washington, D.C. for a short vacation that he called “a flying trip.” It is possible he stayed until Washington’s Birthday. Paine says he did not work there [MTL 1: 44; 11; 3; Bliss 1].

February 17 to 19, 1854

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February 17 to 19 Sunday – In Washington, D.C., Sam wrote to the Muscatine Journal. He took a “stroll” around the capitol waiting for Congress to sit (Feb. 17) [MTL 1: 43n1]. even though the snow was “falling so thickly I could scarcely see across the street.” He described various buildings, including the unfinished Washington Monument. On Feb.19 he added description of the Smithsonian. Sam was particularly taken by the Museum of the Patent Office, where Bliss writes he spent four hours [9]. He ended with a note about seeing Edwin Forrest playing Othello at the National Theater on Feb.

February 23, 1854

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February 23 Thursday – By this date, Sam had returned to Philadelphia. He worked for about two weeks on the Ledger and North American [MTL 1: 44]. Bliss writes he returned on this day [11].

March, mid 1854

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March, mid – Sam returned to New York. There are no letters for this period, so the reasons are unclear, but it was probable that he lost his job, given that his pay in Philadelphia was more than he’d received in New York. It’s also possible that Sam was growing restless, having been away from home nearly a year. There are unclaimed letters for Sam in Philadelphia dated Mar. 10 and also Mar. 17, indicating he had gone to New York by Mar. 10. Sam’s memory of this period was vague, and it seems likely it was one of struggle.