• 1835 - 1839

    Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 09:27

    Births of Margaret, Benjamin, Pleasant and Samuel Clemens – Move from Tennessee to
    Florida, Missouri – Financial Panic and Hard Times – Henry Clemens Born
    Sister Margaret Died – John Marshall Clemens Became Judge – Moved to Hannibal Sammy
    Survived Infancy

  • 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].

  • February 1837

    Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 09:41

    February – Big plans were afloat for developing the area. The Missouri Legislature appointed John Marshall to head a commission of six members to promote a Florida & Paris railroad. The same Legislature also encouraged John Marshall, together with John Adams Quarles (1802-1876), Dr. Hugh Meredith and others to found a school to be called The Florida Academy [Varble 125]. An educational foundation was set up with Marshall and Quarles as trustees.

  • 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.

  • 1838 - First Half of Year

    Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 09:49

    First half of year – The Clemens family moved to their third house in Florida, Mo. Wecter says “probably before the birth of their youngest child, Henry Clemens, on June 13” [Wecter 49]. They sold their second Florida house to John Quarles for a sum that reflected settlement of unpaid debts from the dissolved store partnership [49].

  • 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, mid 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].

  • 1840

    Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/21/2022 - 17:02

    U.S. Census reported 1,034 people living in Hannibal, up from the sixty families that were there in the Panic of 1837 [Wecter 57]. Hard times came to the Clemens family during the first years of the decade. Judge John Marshall Clemens was forced to sell Jennie, the slave girl brought from Virginia. “She was tall, well formed, nearly black, and brought a good price” [MTB 41]. For a time, things improved. John Marshall borrowed money from his wealthy cousin James Clemens, Jr. A wealthy Whig attorney in St. Louis, and from James A.H.

  • 1840 - 1847

    Submitted by scott on Fri, 10/14/2022 - 10:11

    Sammy’s Idyllic Childhood – Summers at Quarles Farm – First Schooling
    Brother Benjamin Died – Family Moved to Hill Street House – Murder Witnessed
    Many Adventures – Cholera, Measles and Death – John Marshall Clemens Died
    Sam the Printer’s Devil