Steamboats of The Mississippi - Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Many of the works of Mark Twain deal with or take place near the Mississippi River. One of his first major works, Life on the Mississippi, is in part a history of the river, in part a memoir of Twain's experiences on the river, and a collection of tales that either take place on or are associated with the river. Twain's most famous work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is largely a journey down the river. The novel works as an episodic meditation on American culture with the river having multiple different meanings including independence, escape, freedom, and adventure.

Twain himself worked as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi for a few years. A steamboat pilot needed a vast knowledge of the ever-changing river to be able to stop at any of the hundreds of ports and wood-lots along the river banks. Twain meticulously studied 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Mississippi for more than two years before he received his steamboat pilot license in 1859. While training, he convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him. Henry died on June 21, 1858, when the steamboat he was working on, the Pennsylvania, exploded.

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Famous quotes by mark twain:

    There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe ... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Huck was always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no capital, for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of time which is not money.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)