Not In The History Books

A blog about history you will not find in a history textbook.

Everything found under "My Writings" is written by me.
In the mid 1800s, a young Missourian hopped on a steamboat that would take him down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. From there, he would travel to Brazil, where he hoped to make a fortune trading cocoa plants. On his way down the river, a childhood dream awoken— the dream of becoming a steamboat pilot. The authority and prestige the occupation held was something he felt strongly about, and he believed it was a great occupation to have because of those traits.
By the time he reached New Orleans, he had convinced the captain of the Paul Jones to have him on as an apprentice in exchange for the first $500 of his wages. From the start of the apprenticeship, he realized the difficult job the captan has. The route was from New Orleans to St. Louis (or vice versa) and the captain needed to memorize every natural landmark of the journey. 
The most important lesson was to learn the depths of water at every spot on the river. To do so, a fellow crewman of the ship would drop a knotted rope into the river to determine the depth and shout the depth back to the captain. Of course, they had a coded system: “quarter twain”, “half twain” or, the greatest news a captain wants to hear, “mark twain” (which was the ideal depth).   
In 1858, the man received his steamboat captain license. He continued his life as a steamboat captain until the American Civil War, when the Mississippi River was curtailed. Though, history remembers Samuel Clemens not as a steamboat captain, but as a writer. Clemens would, of course, be known by his famous pen name: Mark Twain. Safe water. 

In the mid 1800s, a young Missourian hopped on a steamboat that would take him down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. From there, he would travel to Brazil, where he hoped to make a fortune trading cocoa plants. On his way down the river, a childhood dream awoken— the dream of becoming a steamboat pilot. The authority and prestige the occupation held was something he felt strongly about, and he believed it was a great occupation to have because of those traits.

By the time he reached New Orleans, he had convinced the captain of the Paul Jones to have him on as an apprentice in exchange for the first $500 of his wages. From the start of the apprenticeship, he realized the difficult job the captan has. The route was from New Orleans to St. Louis (or vice versa) and the captain needed to memorize every natural landmark of the journey. 

The most important lesson was to learn the depths of water at every spot on the river. To do so, a fellow crewman of the ship would drop a knotted rope into the river to determine the depth and shout the depth back to the captain. Of course, they had a coded system: “quarter twain”, “half twain” or, the greatest news a captain wants to hear, “mark twain” (which was the ideal depth).   

In 1858, the man received his steamboat captain license. He continued his life as a steamboat captain until the American Civil War, when the Mississippi River was curtailed. Though, history remembers Samuel Clemens not as a steamboat captain, but as a writer. Clemens would, of course, be known by his famous pen name: Mark Twain. Safe water. 

(Source: notinthehistorybooks)

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    Mark Twain
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    I thought it would be important to make my first post a picture of Mark Twain himself, since he wrote such an...
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