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)

Fall and Winter 1854

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

Fall, Winter—There is some controversy whether Sam worked on the Muscatine Journal and stayed a few months there, or whether he went to St. Louis after a short visit with family. Paine takes this latter position [MTB 102]. Powers claims Sam got rehired as a typesetter on the St. Louis Evening News [Powers, MT A Life 68].

December 19, 1854

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

December 19 Tuesday –Orion Clemens married Mary Eleanor (Mollie) Stotts, in Keokuk, Iowa. Orion was visiting there. They left the next morning for Muscatine, but when she became homesick, Orion moved them back to Keokuk.

February 13, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

February 13 Tuesday – Sam was once more in St. Louis, back at his former job at the Evening News. Sam lived during this period with the Pavey family [See also MTNJ 1: 37n45].


He attended a play, The Merchant of Venice, put on by the Thespian Society. Sam wrote on Feb. 16:
“I had always thought that this was a comedy, until they made a farce of it” [MTL 1: 48n8].

February 16, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

February 16 Friday –Sam dated his letter this day to the editors of the Muscatine Tri-Weekly Journal (his brother Orion and Charles E. H. Wilson) [MTL 1:46-9]. He related the fire and a list of other happenings in St. Louis, including a play of Merchant of Venice. Later that night, Sam awoke to a man beating a woman with a stave in the street, raving she had broken his heart.

February 24, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

February 24–26 Monday – In St. Louis, Sam dated a letter to the Muscatine Journal and summarized St. Louis news, including the new route for St. Louis mail west—it would no longer go to New York first. He also related massacres by Indians in New Mexico. Though progressive beyond his time on racial matters, Sam didn’t care much for Indians. The letter ran on Mar. 9 [MTL 1: 50-51].

March 9, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

March 9 Friday – Sam’s letter dated Feb. 24 from St. Louis ran on page 2 of the Muscatine Tri-Weekly Journal [Branch, “Three New Letters” 4].

March 12, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

March 12 Monday – Sam’s letter of Mar. 1 ran in the Muscatine Tri-Weekly Journal as a featured article, “Special Correspondence.” Sam wrote about the killing of Benjamin Brand, Deputy Marshall, by Bob O’Blennis, a wealthy gambler and livery-stable owner.

June-July 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

June–July – Forty-nine of Sam’s notebooks survive, and the first notebook was from this period. It holds random entries on important and trivial matters, interspersed with information on phrenology, French lessons, and chess lessons. There were also entries relating to family business, a theological controversy, and laundry lists. Entries were first made in St. Louis, then in Keokuk, Iowa, and later during a trip to the villages of Hannibal, Florida, and Paris, Missouri [MTNJ 1: 11].

June - mid 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

June, mid – Sam left St. Louis for Keokuk, Iowa, two hundred miles away [MTL 1: 58]. The town had a population of 6,500. Sam was nineteen and had already lived in quite a few places.

June 9, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

June 9 Saturday – Orion and Mollie moved to Keokuk, Iowa [MTL 1: 58]. Powers says this move took place “around the end of March 1855” [MT A Life 69].

June 11, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

June 11 Monday – Orion became the new owner of the Ben Franklin Book and Job Office printers [MTL 1: 58]. Selby writes that Orion “took possession” this day [6].

June 16, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

June 16 Saturday – Sam’s name appeared in a list of unclaimed letters in St. Louis, indicating he had left the city by this date [MTL 1: 58].

June 27, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

June 27 Wednesday – From Sam’s notebook:
“ …sent out to wash the following: 1 pair heavy Pants; 1 ‘ light do; 4 white Shirts; 4 ’ collars; 2 pair white cotton Socks; 1 summer cravat; 2 white Handkerchiefs; 1 pair twilled Drawers; 1 linen summer Coat/17 [x]. 6/102” [MTNJ 1: 35].
Note: Sam used semicolons in a laundry list! He was a printer. He also loved semicolons.

June 29, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

June 29 Friday – The Keokuk Dispatch described a man believed by the MTP editors to be Sam:
We know a man in this city who would make a prime editor, and we believe that if he has any “genius” at all, it runs in that direction, “ ‘cos” he says there is not a single paper published in town worth reading—and he says that not one of them has any news—and if he published a paper, he says he would make news, and lots of it, and spirited news, too.

July -mid 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

July, mid – Sam visited Hannibal and traveled to the villages of Paris and Florida to provide care and dispose of family property. In Florida he visited his uncle John Quarles, who had sold the old Quarles Farm. He then continued down river to St. Louis, where he tried to become a Mississippi River cub pilot. Orion had supplied Sam with a letter of introduction to their wealthy cousin, James Clemens, Jr. Sam hoped that James might help him secure an apprenticeship as a cub. Sam had no luck.

July 16, 1855

Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:27

July 16 Monday – From Sam’s notebook:
“Florida, Mo., 16 July, 55:—Introduced to Miss Jule Violett, Miss Em Tandy, and Miss Em Young” These three young ladies, 16, 17 and 19 years of age respectively, were residents of Florida, Mo..