Before Samuel Langhorne Clemens became Mark Twain and invented the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he tried his hand in other professions. Originally Clemens, who was born in Missouri in 1835, dreamed of becoming a steam boat pilot on the Mississippi. He even became an apprentice and got his license. After only two years as a pilot the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the Mississippi was closed for boats and his career came to a hold. After a short bout in a confederate militia Clemens fled to a newly established gold mining town.
Work was hard, profits were tiny, so Clemens started to supplement his income by working as a local reporter. He mostly wrote exaggerated accounts on saloon gossip. His stories from this time largely contributed to the myth of the “Wild West”. Clemens writing was often received as slander and he had to flee the town in 1863.
After that incident Clemens took on the pen name of Mark Twain. He worked as a journalist and published reports on his travels to Europe. In 1871 he settled in Connecticut, where he wrote his most famous works. The rascals story “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was based on a neighbor boy from his childhood and came out in 1876. His most famous work “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was first published in the UK in 1884 before it was printed in the USA.