Mark Twain Wrote for the Sacramento Union

Mark Twain Avenue in the 95820 zip code is obviously named after the great writer who wrote for the Sacramento Union, the oldest daily publication west of the Mississippi River. Twain wrote for many publications across America and moved around frequently to explore the country. Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens (1835-1910). He wrote a series of articles about Hawaii for the Union in 1866. At the time the Hawaiian Islands, where Twain was sent, were referred to as "The Sandwich Islands" by Americans. The series was popular and helped advance Twain's writing career.

He was originally from Missouri, born November 30, 1835. He grew up watching steamboats on the Mississippi River, which brought circuses and minstrel shows. Raised in the small town of Hannibal, much of the imagery would appear in his fictional writing. After heading for Nevada on a train in 1861, he began to enjoy writing success. His first significant work was working as a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise in Nevada near Reno. In 1865 his mining camp story "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" was published by multiple newspapers across America.

After relocating to San Francisco and writing for The Union, Twain got more national attention in 1867 with his series of articles about visiting the Mediterranean. The sea cruise led to his 1869 book The Innocents Abroad, which became a national bestseller. He is mostly remembered for his novels, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and it sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). One of the reasons Twain's writing stuck out was that he wrote from the voice of the common folk, which was rare for published authors in those days.

Twain is also widely remembered as the publisher of former President Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs, which became a bestseller after it was released in 1885. Grant died in July of that year before the book came out. The memoirs were written by Grant in his final days, reflecting on how he guided the Union Army to victory during the Civil War. The book earned $450,000 in royalties for the ex-President's widow, Julia Grant. It formed the basis of a future tradition in which former presidents earned money from issuing their memoirs.

As much as Twain grew as a publisher, his company eventually went bankrupt. He was able to pay off his debts by giving paid speeches around the world through 1896. He died on April 21, 1910 at the age of 74 in Redding, Connecticut, where he resided in his final years. His legacy revolves around his books, articles, short stories and times quotes, such as "it's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

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