Mark Twain Timeline

Main

In Florida, Missouri

Mark Twain

November 30, 1835

The day he was born in Florida, Missouri.

When he was 15

1851

He got a job as a printer and occasional writer and editor at the Hannibal Western Union, a little newspaper owned by his brother, Orion at the age of 15.

When he was 21

1857

He began learning the art of piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi at the age of 21.

Pilot

1859

Twain became a fully licensed steamboat pilot until the beginning of the Civil War.

Civil War

June 1861

Joined the Confederate Army but didn't want to stay for long, so he left.

Moving to California

July 1861

He climbed on-board a stagecoach and headed for Nevada and California, where he would live for the next five years.

New Nickname

February 1863

He adopted the nickname “Mark Twain,” which is a riverboat term meaning “two fathoms deep".

Big Break

1865

He got a big break, when one of his tales about life in a mining camp, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog," was printed in newspapers and magazines around the country

Frogs Story

1865

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was published in the Saturday press, which won Twain the fame in the East that he had wanted for so long.

Marriage

1870

Twain married Olivia Langdon

Another book

1889

Twain published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a science-fiction/historical novel about ancient England.

World Tour

1894

When his publishing company failed , Twain was forced to set out on a worldwide lecture tour to earn money.

Daughter's Death

1896

His favorite daughter, Susy, died at the age of 24 of spinal meningitis.

Wife Died

June 1904

Twain's wife died from an illness that she had had for many years.

Death

April 21, 1910

Mark Twain died at his country home in Redding, Connecticut. He was buried in Elmira, New York.

Twain

Notes

Broke

1862

Twain was flat broke and had no regular job to give him money.

New job

1873

Twain's writings turned toward social criticism. He and Hartford Courant publisher Charles Dudley Warner co-wrote The Gilded Age, a novel that attacked political corruption, big business and the American obsession with getting rich.

Book

1876

Wrote the Adventures of Tom Sawyer

New Book

1881

Twain wrote The Prince and the Pauper

Next book

1885

Wrote sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn