"Our Forrest" and Fort Pillow: 1869


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#3
The "Junior" part of his signature is throwing me off....I don't know much, but I personally did not know that there was a "Junior".
Twain did have a son, Langdon, who died at 19 months of age, and he had 3 daughters. Knowing that, I am still confused as to who the author may be!
 

AndyHall

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#4
Here is a mention in Twain's Life on the Mississippi (1883), at the beginning of Chapter 29, that doesn't take the same approach:

We passed through the Plum Point region, turned Craighead's Point, and glided unchallenged by what was once the formidable Fort Pillow, memorable because of the massacre perpetrated there during the war. Massacres are sprinkled with some frequency through the histories of several Christian nations, but this is almost the only one that can be found in American history; perhaps it is the only one which rises to a size correspondent to that huge and somber title. We have the 'Boston Massacre,' where two or three people were killed; but we must bunch Anglo-Saxon history together to find the fellow to the Fort Pillow tragedy; and doubtless even then we must travel back to the days and the performances of Coeur de Lion, that fine 'hero,' before we accomplish it.
 

Jimklag

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#5
The "Junior" part of his signature is throwing me off....I don't know much, but I personally did not know that there was a "Junior".
Twain did have a son, Langdon, who died at 19 months of age, and he had 3 daughters. Knowing that, I am still confused as to who the author may be!
Here might be a reason for using "Jr."

"One of Clemens's Western friends claimed the phrase derived from the way the proprietor at John Piper's saloon in Virginia City kept track of his bar tab (marking the bar with two chalk marks for two drinks). Clemens denied that assertion, and in an autobiographical sketch of 1873, a letter of June 24, 1874, another letter in May, 1877, in chapter 50 of Life on the Mississippi (LM 493-99), and several other times he claimed to have begun using his famous pen name after learning of the death of Capt. Isaiah Sellers, who Clemens claimed had written under this name for the New Orleans Picayune." - Source

Perhaps it was an homage to his friend who had first used the name.
 

Pat Young

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#6
Here might be a reason for using "Jr."

"One of Clemens's Western friends claimed the phrase derived from the way the proprietor at John Piper's saloon in Virginia City kept track of his bar tab (marking the bar with two chalk marks for two drinks). Clemens denied that assertion, and in an autobiographical sketch of 1873, a letter of June 24, 1874, another letter in May, 1877, in chapter 50 of Life on the Mississippi (LM 493-99), and several other times he claimed to have begun using his famous pen name after learning of the death of Capt. Isaiah Sellers, who Clemens claimed had written under this name for the New Orleans Picayune." - Source

Perhaps it was an homage to his friend who had first used the name.
Have you seen him use "Jr" elsewhere?
 

O' Be Joyful

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#7
Here might be a reason for using "Jr."

"One of Clemens's Western friends claimed the phrase derived from the way the proprietor at John Piper's saloon in Virginia City kept track of his bar tab (marking the bar with two chalk marks for two drinks). Clemens denied that assertion, and in an autobiographical sketch of 1873, a letter of June 24, 1874, another letter in May, 1877, in chapter 50 of Life on the Mississippi (LM 493-99), and several other times he claimed to have begun using his famous pen name after learning of the death of Capt. Isaiah Sellers, who Clemens claimed had written under this name for the New Orleans Picayune." - Source

Perhaps it was an homage to his friend who had first used the name.
I have always believed the Hollywood story from the movie w/ Frederick March--that mark twain was a riverboat term for safe water which Clemens adopted--but your post caused me to look around.


From bymarktwain.com


Patricia Truslow, Contributor​
| updated November 6, 2013​



The term mark twain is a navigational description of two fathoms, meaning a depth of twelve feet of water, derived from the measurement of a mark combined with "twain" meaning "two." Mark twain is considered the lowest depth for safe water travel. The measurement of a mark is taken with a "hand lead" that consists of a rope with a heavy weight fastened to its end. The rope is usually twenty-five fathoms long and is marked in increments of two, three, five, seven, ten, fifteen, seventeen and twenty fathoms.
Mark Twain is also significant in the literary world as it is the pen name of Samuel Clemens, the author. Legend has it that Twain actually "lifted" the pseudonym from his supervising captain, who often contributed articles to local papers. Regardless of how Mark Twain, the writer, devised the name, it has become synonymous with tales of adventure, mischief, mishap and life along the Mississippi River, namely in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, known as Hannibal, Missouri in real life. Through many characters, Mark Twain's mark never halted at the twain, it would always be bottomless.
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diane

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#9
Good observation, Patrick H! It isn't Twain's style at all. And...we must remember the Avalanche had a certain slant during those days - it was known for coded messages.
 



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