• Submitted By: cas4iu
  • Date Submitted: 02/16/2009 10:17 AM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 573
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, "Mark Twain", was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835 to a Tennessee country merchant, John Marshall Clemens (August 11, 1798 – March 24, 1847), and Jane Lampton Clemens (June 18, 1803 – October 27, 1890).[8] He was the sixth of seven children. Only three of his siblings survived childhood. His brother Orion lived from July 17, 1825 to December 11, 1897. His brother Henry, who died in a riverboat explosion, lived from July 13, 1838 to June 21, 1858, and his sister Pamela lived from September 19, 1827 to August 31, 1904). His sister Margaret (May 31, 1830 – August 17, 1839) died when Twain was three years old, and his brother Benjamin (June 8, 1832 – May 12, 1842) died three years later. Another brother, Pleasant (1828–1829), died at the age of six months.[9] Twain was born two weeks after the closest approach to Earth of Halley's Comet (see 1835 comment).

When Twain was four, his family moved to Hannibal,[10] a port town on the Mississippi River that served as the inspiration for the fictional town of St. Petersburg in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.[11] At that time, Missouri was a slave state in the Union, and young Twain became familiar with the institution of slavery, a theme he later explored in his writing.

In March 1847, when Twain was 11, his father died of pneumonia.[12] The next year, he became a printer's apprentice. In 1851, he began working as a typesetter and contributor of articles and humorous sketches for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper owned by his brother, Orion. When he was 18, he left Hannibal and worked as a printer in New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Cincinnati. He joined the union and educated himself in public libraries in the evenings, finding wider sources of information than he would have at a conventional school.[13] At 22, Twain returned to Missouri. On a voyage to New Orleans down the Mississippi, the steamboat pilot, Horace E. Bixby, inspired...

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