• November  30, 1835 Monday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

    November  30 Monday – Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) was born two months  premature in the hamlet of Florida, Missouri to John Marshall Clemens (1798-1847) and Jane Lampton Clemens (1803-1890). The baby was named Samuel, for  John’s father; Langhorne, for the friend of John  Marshall’s who had helped him in his youth in Virginia.

  • May 21, 1836

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

    May  21 Saturday – John Marshall Clemens purchased a somewhat larger house on the south side of Main Street in Florida, Missouri for $1,050 from Sam’s grandfather, Benjamin Lampton (1770-1837), who had occupied the house and moved to the country [Wecter 46].

  • May 10, 1837 Wednesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The early part of the decade saw an inflationary boom, which led to The Panic of 1837. The crisisoccurred when every bank stopped payment in specie (gold and silver coinage). The West was badly hit by the panic, and would not recover for four or five years. The Clemens family would struggle financially for years, in part due to this panic.

  • November 6 Monday 1837

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    John MarshallClemens was sworn in as a judge of the Monroe County court. Wecter calls this the “zenith of his professional life and one that fixed upon him ever after the title of ‘Judge’” [Wecter 48]. He received two dollars a day while the court met [49]. John had trained to be a lawyer and was very exacting in his work. His letters show the graceful Spenserian script which educated people of the day displayed. Sam got his exacting nature from his father, and his humor and red hair from his mother.

  • July 13 Friday 1838

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Henry Clemens, the youngest child of John Marshall Clemensand Jane Lampton Clemens was born in Florida, Mo. [MTL 1: 382]. Henry was the model for Sid Sawyer in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a boy upright in every way, not at all like his older brother Sam.

  • August of 1838

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    August ca. – Shortly after Jane Clemens recovered from childbirth, thirteen-year-old Orion was dragged along a picket fence by two oxen. He was saved from death or injury by Jane and a peg leg man who happened to be passing [Varble 127].

  • February of 1839

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    February – John Quarles had married Martha Ann “Patsy” Lampton (1807-1850), Jane’s younger sister, and opened a store at Florida, Missouri the year before the Clemens family arrived. In this month he closed his successful store at Florida and bought 70 acres of good farmland. A few months later he added 160 acres more [Wecter 50]. The farm was three and a half miles northwest of town. Quarles kept slaves (Some claim as many as 30 slaves, some eleven, and some as few as six) [Powers, Dangerous 41; Powers MT A Life 11; Dempsey 4].

  • August of 1839

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    August, mid – About this time one-year-old Henry Clemens eluded the colored boy who was caring for him and toddled into the hot embers at a soap kettle. While he was being tended by Jane Clemens and neighbor Mrs. Penn, Henry’s sister Margaret fell ill [Varble 127]. Sam sleepwalked into sister Margaret’s bedroom and tugged at her blanket. Nineteenth century rural America called this act “plucking at the coverlet,” an act presaging death. The family took this as a sign that little Sammy had “second sight” [Wecter 51].

  • November 13 Wednesday 1839

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    John Marshall Clemens sold properties around Florida for $3,000 to speculator Ira Stout. At the same time, John purchased a quarter of a city block in Hannibal on the Mississippi, about forty miles east of Florida, for what Wecter calls “the thumping price of $7000 paid in full” [Wecter 51-2; Powers, MT A Life 21]. Note: “Hannibal” was also a family name with no connection to the town. It may be argued that John paid too much for the quarter block in Hannibal.

  • November, mid-late 1839

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The Clemens family moved to Hannibal: John, Jane, Orion, Pamela, Benjamin, Sammy (nearly age four), the baby Henry, and a slave girl Jennie. Paine, in Boy’s Life of Mark Twain says the family lived first at Pavey’s Hotel(later Planter’s Hotel). The Paveys later moved to St. Louis. Wecter gives the time of the move as “about mid-November” [56]. The first home for the Clemens was the Virginia House, a rickety two-story hotel close to the river at the northwest corner of Main and Hill Streets [Varble 129].

  • Spring 1840

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

    Spring – Sam started school  at Mrs. Horr’s school in  Hannibal, a small log cabin at the  southern end of Main Street, near Bear Creek. Elizabeth Horr (ca.1790-1873) and  daughter Miss Lizziewere the only teachers. On Sam’s first day of  school he broke a rule twice and was told to go find a switch for his punishment. He kept looking for smaller and smaller switches until he came back  with a cooper’s shaving (a cooper is a barrel maker). Later, Miss Mary Ann  Newcomb(1809-1894) would help at the school [Wecter 54].

  • July  28 and 29 Wednesday 1840

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

    – The Log Cabin Campaign rally on Market Street in Hannibal would surely have included John Marshall,  a devout Whig. Jane Lampton Clemens loved parades and funerals. Four  and a half year old Sam no doubt witnessed the celebration [Wecter 58]. Note: For more about Jane Clemens  as recalled by her granddaughter Annie Moffett Webster in Fredonia, see May  22, 1870 entry.
     

  • July  28 and 29 Wednesday 1840

    Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 17:46

    – The Log Cabin Campaign rally on Market Street in Hannibal would surely have included John Marshall,  a devout Whig. Jane Lampton Clemens loved parades and funerals. Four  and a half year old Sam no doubt witnessed the celebration [Wecter 58]. Note: For more about Jane Clemens  as recalled by her granddaughter Annie Moffett Webster in Fredonia, see May  22, 1870 entry.
     

  • October 1840

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:53

    October   – John Marshall sold on credit about $1,000 for merchandise  bought wholesale to one Ira Stout, who then used the new  bankruptcy laws to avoid payment. Ultimately this led to the loss of the  Clemens home [Wecter 56].