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Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida MissouriShortly after the death of his father in 1847 Samuel ended his brief period of schooling to become a printers apprentice Between 1853 and 1857 Clemens worked as a journeyman printer in St Louis New York Philadelphia Muscatine and Keokuk Iowa and in Cincinnati A series of sketches The Snodgrass Letters signed with the pseudonym Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass were published in the Keokuk Post in 1856 and 1857 He took a downstream boat apparently with the intention of going to South America to seek his fortune During the trip however he recalled boyhood memories of the glamour of river life and arranged to become a pilots apprentice under Horace Bixby He won his license in due time and served as a pilot until in 1861 the civil war slowed trafficIn 1863 while reporting on meetings of the Nevada legislature he first used the pseudonym Mark Twain derived from a call by Mississippi boatmen sounding the depth of the river In 1864 he went to San Francisco where he worked for several newspapersIn 1866 Twain became a traveling correspondent of the Alta California The year 1867 saw the publication of Mark Twains first book The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveros County a collection of sketches it was too his first appearance as a humorous lecturer in the East The year was also notable for his trip to the Holy Land with an excursion party reported in letters published in the Alta California and the New York Tribune These letters collected and revised were published as the volume Innocents Abroad 1869 a book that secured his fame as a humoristClemens married Olivia Langdon of Elmira New York in 1870He soon moved to Hartford and devoted all his time to writing and lecturing A number of books reaped handsome royalties notably Roughing It 1872 based on his experiences in the Far West The Gilded Age 1873 written in collaboration with Charles
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