The Adventurous MARK TWAIN
By: David Ginbsurg & Domingo Vazquez Jr.
Samuel Clemens was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, the day Halley's Comet, which passes overhead once every seventy-five years, was seen in the sky.
Clemens was a very mischievous boy, especially when he was with his friend, Tom Blankenship. Tom lived in a broken-down farm behind Clemens' house. At night, Tom would give a catcall and Clemens would sneak out to join him. Then they would look for treasure or try to find a cure for warts. During the day they included other friends in their mischief. Once they were rolling boulders down a hill and one just missed a wagon and wagon driver. After that, the boys stopped their mischief.
When Clemens was eleven years old his dad died of pneumonia. He stopped going to school and started working as a typesetter to support his family. A typesetter is a person who sets metal letters called type. This is how newspapers were made. After he became a good typesetter, his brother, Orion, came back from St. Louis where he was also a typesetter. Orion bought a newspaper and made Clemens his assistant. When Orion was out of town, Clemens was in charge. one time when Orion was away, Clemens got people to tell him all the gossip. He printed it in the paper. Everyone liked it except for the people he was talking about. Those people came to complain, including one armed with a shotgun! When Orion got back he quickly put an end to Clemens' mischief.
For fun Clemens liked to write funny short stories and send them to a newspaper. They would get published, so he kept writing. At age seventeen, he went to work as a typesetter for newspapers in St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, and back in St. Louis. Again, he worked with Orion but this time in Iowa where Orion lived. He then worked in Cincinnati for a while. He gained quite an education working on the newspaper. But after ten years of being a printer he wanted to move on.
At age 21 in 1857 he...