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Mark Twain at Sea

Growing up along the banks of the Mississippi River, Sam Clemens was at home on the water, whether at play or at work. He got his license as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi in 1859 at the age of 23 and plied his trade for another two years.

Over the next five decades he crossed the Atlantic twenty-nine times, and crossed the Pacific and Indian oceans as part of one complete round-the-world circuit. Whether aboard the great steamers of the period or yachting with friends, he always enjoyed the leisurely, carefree, and sociable shipboard life.

Aboard the Quaker City Aboard the Quaker City
[modern photograph based on 1867 stereoscopic views]
The Log of the Kanawha The Log of the Kanawha
[manuscript, 1901]
Aboard the Kanawha Aboard the Kanawha
[photograph, 1902]
En route to England En route to England
[photograph, June 1907]
"Mark 2" and Mark Twain
[from Clemens's 1857 piloting notebook]
Mark Twain, Pilot Mark Twain, Pilot
[Life, 13 July 1905]
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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Inventions, Games and Contraptions Cats and Billiards One Cigar at a Time Music and Theater Literary Mischief Mark Twain, Pilot 'Mark 2' and Mark Twain En route to England Aboard the Kanawha The Log of the Kanawha Aboard the Quaker City About Timeline Relaxing Friends and Social Life