Samuel Langhorn Clemens was born November 30, 1835, when Halley’s Comet was visible in the sky. He was born in Florida, Missouri, 2 months early and weighed 5 pounds. He was very sickly, said his mother, Jane.
Sam moved to Hannibal four years afterward, for his father needed a new job.
The Mississippi River inspired him greatly, as it was the dream of all boys to become a steamboat captain. This is noticeable in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Life on the Mississippi.
His father was a court judge. He died of pneumonia when Sam was 11. He became a printer’s devil (apprentice) the next year to help his family. They are called printer devils because their arms become stained black with ink. People thought this was a relation to the black arts. They also thought that a ghost caused spelling flaws and other problems. The ghost was thought to inhabit the apprentices.
In the year 1853 he became a printer in New York City, Cincinnati, Philidelphia, and St. Louis.