Born in a Shack (04:47)
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born in a little shack in the village of Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835.
Formative Years in Hannibal (02:54)
The Clemens family moved to Hannibal in 1839, when Sam was 4 years old. He and his friends spent a lot of time playing along the riverbank and in the woods.
Twain's Childhood (02:51)
Mark Twain's childhood in Hannibal, Missouri shaped his writing style and moral values.
The Mississippi River: Battleground (01:54)
Sam Clemens became a river pilot and mastered the Mississippi River well enough to work as a master pilot for the next two years or so on good boats. In 1861, the Civil War began. The Mississippi River was soon to become a major battleground. Sam was taken prisoner and sent to St. Louis. From there, he escaped west.
A Change of Career (06:24)
Samuel Clemens, ex-steamboat river pilot, became Mark Twain, writer, in 1862 when he joined the staff of The Daily Territorial Enterprise. He took up a position with a paper in San Francisco in 1862.
Twain's Letters (08:24)
Mark Twain was a very successful author and humorist who wrote about his life experiences in a way that was interesting and entertaining to read. He was married to Olivia Langdon, and they had three daughters. He was forced to sell his house and move to Europe when he lost a great deal of money in a business venture.
Mark Twain's Reputation (01:37)
Mark Twain was a celebrated humorist and author who was highly respected by his peers. He was known for his wit and ability to make people laugh, which often had a therapeutic effect. He was also highly critical of hypocrisy and pomposity. Twain passed away in April of 1910, and the undertaker was likely sorry to see him go.
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