• A Restless Type Setter

    Submitted by scott on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 17:31

    Sam Clemens departs his childhood home of Hannibal, Missouri and attempts to support himself as a type setter.  His travels take him to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. then back to Hannibal, Keokuk and Muscatine.  He eventually finds his way to Cincinnati, Ohio  where a new phase in his life is to begin on the Mississippi River

  • May 25, 1853

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

    May 25 Wednesday – Sam wrote another “Assistant’s Column” in the Journal [MTL 1:2].

    A notice first ran in the Journal: “WANTED! AN APPRENTICE OF THE PRINTING BUSINESS. APPLY SOON.” The ad ran for two weeks.

    Wecter concludes this date marked Sam’s departure from Hannibal [Wecter 263]. Sam had promised his mother that he would abstain from cards and liquor [Wecter 262].

  • May 26, 1853

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

    May 26 Thursday – Sam wrote his last “Assistant’s Column” inserting a paragraph about the Crystal Palace in New York City. He wrote that the fifteen to twenty thousand persons who were “continually congregated” there engaged in “drunkenness and debauching…carried on to their fullest extent.” Sam was thinking about leaving Hannibal by this time, and New York may have already been his desired destination, but he spoke only of St. Louis to his mother [Wecter 262; MTL 1:2].

  • May 27, 1853

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

    May 27 Friday June, early – By this time Sam was in St. Louis to find his way in the world. Paine writes he took a night boat to St. Louis [MTB 94]. Sam likely stayed with his sister Pamela and found work as a typesetter. He vowed never to let a place trap him again. Orion was so depressed that he did not publish another edition of the Journal for a month [Powers, Dangerous 217].

     

  • June 2, 1853

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

    June 2 Thursday – Four unsigned news articles appeared in the Journal attributed to Sam days after he left town: “Friday Evening, May 27, 1853,” “Saturday Evening, May 28, 1853,” “Monday Evening, May 30, 1853. Small Pox Gone,” and “Tuesday Evening, May 31, 1853” [Camfield, bibliog.]. It is likely that Sam had left these, either complete or for Orion to finish and use as he saw fit. Sam’s only other items in the Journal were two letters home that ran in September.

  • June 11, 1853

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

    June 11 Saturday – Orion failed to get out the Hannibal Daily Journal for a whole month, beginning on this date. In one sense, Sam never truly left Hannibal—he carried it in his heart and memory and poured it out into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Hannibal in those pages would become a universal boyhood home, an icon like the man himself. Sam would visit again in 1882 to gather material for Life on the Mississippi, and the last time in 1902. In many ways Sam Clemens would always be the boy of Hannibal—his wife Livy would call him “youth.”

  • Summer of 1853

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

    Summer – St. Louis in the summer of 1853 was a burgeoning city of 100,000 souls, the largest city of the West. The city offered Western freedom together with many of the luxuries and affectations of the East. For a young man from Hannibal, such a city must have been dazzling. Sam had kept plans secret from his family, to work in St. Louis long enough to make fare to New York City. Sam had read stories about the World’s Fair there, The Crystal Palace Fair, and he’d included them in his Journal column. He probably stayed with the Moffetts and set type for the St.

  • August 19, 1853

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

    August 19 Friday – At 8 AM Sam boarded a boat and started a journey by train and boat to New York. He did not tell his mother about the trip, which took about five days. From St. Louis to Alton, Ill by the sidewheeler steamer Cornelia, 11:00 AM, from Alton to Springfield on the partly completed Chicago and Mississippi Railroad; by Frink’s stage to Bloomington, Ind. [MTL 1: 5n2]. Dempsey notes that the train station was “just a few blocks” from the law office of Abraham Lincoln [232].

  • August 20, 1853

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

    August 20 Saturday – Sam took the Illinois Central line to LaSalle, then the Chicago and Rock Island into Chicago, arriving at 7 PM [MTL 1: 5n2; Dempsey 232]. He “laid over all day Sunday” [MTL 1: 3].

  • August 21, 1853

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

    August 21 Sunday – Sam took the 9 PM Michigan Central to Toledo, Ohio, then to Monroe, Michigan on the Northern Indiana and Michigan Southern railroads [Dempsey 232]. In his letter he wrote he traveled from Chicago to Monroe, Michigan “by railroad, another day” [MTL 1: 3].

  • August 22, 1853

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

    August 22 Monday – 8 AM “from Monroe, across Lake Erie, in the fine Lake palace, ‘Southern Michigan,’ to Buffalo, another day. Sam would revisit Buffalo and Niagara Falls in 1869 [MTL 1: 3; Reigstad 59]. Dempsey: “He traveled to Buffalo, New York, aboard the steamer Southern Michigan” [Dempsey 232].

  • August 23, 1853

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

    August 23 Tuesday – 7 AM “from Buffalo to Albany, on the “Lightning Express” railroad, another day” [MTL 1: 3; Powers, MT A Life 64]. Dempsey gives this train trip as beginning at 8 A.M. [232].

  • August 24, 1853

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

    August 24 Wednesday – “…and from Albany to New York, by Hudson river steamboat [Isaac Newton], another day—an awful trip, taking five days, where it should have been only three” [MTL 1: 3]. Sam arrived in New York City at 5 AM with “two or three dollars in his pocket and a ten-dollar bill concealed in the lining of his coat” [MTB 95; MTL 1: 5n2; Powers, MT A Life 64]. (See letter of this date for a more exacting suggested itinerary.)

  • August 29, 1853

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

    August 29 Monday – Sam got “a permanent situation…in a book and job office and went to work.” He was paid 23 cents per 1000 ems, the lowest rate. He worked in the fifth floor office of John A. Gray, 95-97 Cliff Street [MTL 1: 9; Powers, MT A Life 65]. His earnings were four dollars a week; he managed to save as much as fifty cents a week [MTB 96].

     

  • August 31, 1853

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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].