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Journalism in Tennessee – Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) (1835-1910)
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, universally known under his pen-name of Mark Twain, was born at Florida, Mo., in 1835. His early education was fragmentary. He spent some years of his youth as a journeyman printer, wandering from town to town. At the age of seventeen he worked on a Mississippi boat, and later went West with his brother. In Nevada he began to write for the newspapers.

In i86g he achieved his first great success with Innocents Abroad, based on his experiences in Europe. Then followed a long period of travelling, lecturing, business enterprise, and writing. He is one of the best-known American authors throughout the world. Though Mark Twain’s brief sketches can for the most part hardly be considered short stories, there are a few, like that which follows, that may legitimately be included in the category. It is reprinted from Sketches, Mew and Old, 1875.
Journalism in Tennessee
From Sketches, New and Old

I was told by the physician that a Southern climate would improve my health, and so I went down to Tennessee, and got a berth on the Morning Glory and Johnson County War-Whoop as associate editor. When I went on duty I found the chief editor sitting tilted back in a three-legged chair with his feet on a pine table.

There was another pine table in the room and another afflicted chair, and both were half buried under newspapers and scraps and sheets of manuscript. There was a wooden box of sand, sprinkled with cigar stubs and “old soldiers,” and a stove with a door hanging by its upper hinge. The chief editor had a long-tailed black frock coat on, and white linen pants. His boots were small and neatly blacked.

Journalism in Tennessee – He wore a ruffled shirt, a large seal ring, a standing collar of obsolete pattern, and a checkered neckerchief with the ends hanging down. Date of costume about 1848. He was smoking a cigar, and trying to think of a word, and in pawing his hair he had rumpled his locks a good deal. He was scowling fearfully, and I judged that he was concocting a particularly knotty editorial. He told me to take the exchanges and skim through them and write up the “Spirit of the Tennessee Press,” condensing into the article all of their contents that seemed of interest.

Journalism in Tennessee part 1

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Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) (1835-1910)Samuel Langhorne Clemens, universally known under his pen-name of Mark Twain, was born at Florida, Mo., in 1835. His early education was fragmentary. He spent some years of his...

Journalism in Tennessee part 2

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John W. Blossom, Esq., the able editor of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom, arrived in the city yesterday. He is stopping at the Van Buren House.We observe that our contemporary of...

Journalism in Tennessee part 3

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That ass, Blossom, of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom, is down here again sponging at the Van Buren.We observe that the besotted blackguard of the Mud Spring Morning Howl is giving...

Journalism in Tennessee part 4

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They then talked about the elections and the crops while they reloaded, and I fell to tying up my wounds. But presently they opened fire again with animation, and every shot took effect but...

Journalism in Tennessee part 5

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I said, “I`ll have to get you to excuse me; I think maybe I might write to suit you after a while; as soon as I had had some practice and learned the language...

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