Life on the Mississippi
Free

Life on the Mississippi

By Mark Twain
Free
Book Description

Life on the Mississippi (1883) is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War, and also a travel book, recounting his trip along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans many years after the War.
The book begins with a brief history of the river as reported by Europeans and Americans, beginning with the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1542. It continues with anecdotes of Twain's training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' (apprentice) of an experienced pilot, Horace E. Bixby. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River in a section that was first published in 1876, entitled "Old Times on the Mississippi". Although Twain was actually 21 when he began his training, he uses artistic license to make himself seem somewhat younger, referring to himself as a "fledgling" and a "boy" who "ran away from home" to seek his fortune on the river, and playing up his own callowness and naïveté.
In the second half, Twain narrates his trip many years later on a steamboat from St. Louis to New Orleans. He describes the competition from railroads, and the new, large cities, and adds his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are most likely tall tales.
Simultaneously published in 1883 in the United States and Great Britain, the book is the first submitted to a publisher as a typewritten manuscript.
From Wikipedia (CC BY-SA).

Table of Contents
  • LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
  • LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS
    • THE 'BODY OF THE NATION'
    • Chapter 1
      • The River and Its History
    • Chapter 2
      • The River and Its Explorers
    • Chapter 3
      • Frescoes from the Past
    • Chapter 4
      • The Boys' Ambition
    • Chapter 5
      • I Want to be a Cub-pilot
    • Chapter 6
      • A Cub-pilot's Experience
    • Chapter 7
      • A Daring Deed
    • Chapter 8
      • Perplexing Lessons
    • Chapter 9
      • Continued Perplexities
    • Chapter 10
      • Completing My Education
    • Chapter 11
      • The River Rises
    • Chapter 12
      • Sounding
    • Chapter 13
      • A Pilot's Needs
    • Chapter 14
      • Rank and Dignity of Piloting
    • Chapter 15
      • The Pilots' Monopoly
    • Chapter 16
      • Racing Days
    • Chapter 17
      • Cut-offs and Stephen
    • Chapter 18
      • I Take a Few Extra Lessons
    • Chapter 19
      • Brown and I Exchange Compliments
    • Chapter 20
      • A Catastrophe
    • Chapter 21
      • A Section in My Biography
    • Chapter 22
      • I Return to My Muttons
    • Chapter 23
      • Traveling Incognito
    • Chapter 24
      • My Incognito is Exploded
    • Chapter 25
      • From Cairo to Hickman
    • Chapter 26
      • Under Fire
      • THE PILOT'S FIRST BATTLE
    • Chapter 27
      • Some Imported Articles
    • Chapter 28
      • Uncle Mumford Unloads
    • Chapter 29
      • A Few Specimen Bricks
    • Chapter 30
      • Sketches by the Way
    • Chapter 31
      • A Thumb-print and What Came of It
    • Chapter 32
      • The Disposal of a Bonanza
    • Chapter 33
      • Refreshments and Ethics
    • Chapter 34
      • Tough Yarns
    • Chapter 35
      • Vicksburg During the Trouble
    • Chapter 36
      • The Professor's Yarn
    • Chapter 37
      • The End of the 'Gold Dust'
    • Chapter 38
      • The House Beautiful
    • Chapter 39
      • Manufactures and Miscreants
    • Chapter 40
      • Castles and Culture
    • Chapter 41
      • The Metropolis of the South
    • Chapter 42
      • Hygiene and Sentiment
    • Chapter 43
      • The Art of Inhumation
    • Chapter 44
      • City Sights
    • Chapter 45
      • Southern Sports
    • Chapter 46
      • Enchantments and Enchanters
    • Chapter 47
      • Uncle Remus and Mr. Cable
    • Chapter 48
      • Sugar and Postage
    • Chapter 49
      • Episodes in Pilot Life
    • Chapter 50
      • The 'Original Jacobs'
    • Chapter 51
      • Reminiscences
    • Chapter 52
      • A Burning Brand
    • Chapter 53
      • My Boyhood's Home
    • Chapter 54
      • Past and Present
    • Chapter 55
      • A Vendetta and Other Things
    • Chapter 56
      • A Question of Law
    • Chapter 57
      • An Archangel
    • Chapter 58
      • On the Upper River
    • Chapter 59
      • Legends and Scenery
    • Chapter 60
      • Speculations and Conclusions
    • APPENDIX
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