Mark Twain was known for being one of the finest writers the world has ever seen, but where did his life begin?
Mark Twain was born in a small town called Florida, Missouri. He remained with his family in Missouri until 1853 when, at the age of 17, he relocated to New York.
Read on to learn more about the life of the great Mark Twain.
The town that Mark Twain was born and primarily grew up in now stands abandoned. Florida, Missouri had a tiny population at the opening of the 20th century, but was reported as totally uninhabited as of 2010. Mark Twain reportedly described this town as “a nearby invisible village.”
There is an old photograph that exists of the ‘cabin’ wherein Mark Twain was born, and spent his very early years.
Further, he went on to highlight that, “The village contained a hundred people and I increased the population by 1 percent. It is more than many of the best men in history could have done for a town.” This line is taken from his autobiography, published in 1906.
Also in this book, Twain recounts a bizarre tale. He writes that his family packed up and started moving towards a new settlement, which would become their next home. However, they’d forgotten the then three year old Mark Twain back at the original home, and had to return to collect him.
The vast majority of Mark Twain’s upbringing occurred in a small house in Hannibal, Missouri. This town was located around thirty miles from Mark’s first home. This town would eventually become the inspiration behind Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two of his most famous works.
There are many references and tributes to Mark Twain in and around Hannibal. There are several statues, a museum, and many commemorative places and building names. It was this local area and its geography that was immortalized in Twain’s novels.
Mark Twain matured very quickly in Hannibal, Missouri. His father passed away when he was just eleven years old, and he started his first real job shortly after. He became a type setter for a local newspaper, instantly being exposed to the written word.
Barely six years later, at the age of seventeen, Mark Twain left Hannibal for good. He first travelled to New York and experienced big city living for the first time. Over the next few years, he’d explore Philadelphia, St. Louis and Cincinnati, before journeying south.
For a while, Twain took up occupation as a steamboat pilot, between New Orleans and St. Louis. It was during this role that he acquired his pen name, Mark Twain. Before this, he went by his birth name, Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
Ultimately, Twain would travel much farther, going out to explore Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. He also had the opportunity to explore much of Europe and the Middle East in the course of his lifetime. In 1870, Twain married and settled in Hartford, Connecticut with his family in 1873.
It was in Hartford where the majority of his famed novels would be written. However, after financial difficulties in the early 1880s, Twain and his family packed up and moved to Europe. Over the next few years, Twain would travel again, this time around the entire planet. He’d visit Australia, India, South Africa, and Canada, all before returning to Europe to live back with his family.
Finally, Twain and his family re-settled in America, for the final years of Twain’s life. The famed writer had lived one of the greatest lives, filled with travel and iconic literary success. There’s a video on YouTube that lists the 100 greatest quotes from this impressive individual.