Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was born in Missouri in 1835, growing up on the banks of the Mississipi River. After the onset of the Civil War, Samuel looked west. In 1861 he followed his older brother, Orion, to the newly created Nevada Territory.
Samuel ended up in Carson City working in timber, mining and finally found success as a featured writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. It was this paper that Samuel began to sign his work as “Mark Twain”, which refers to shallow, yet safe, navigable waters. (Samuel spent 3 years navigating the Mississippi River waters as a riverboat pilot where he learned the term “mark twain”.)
Clemens had a way with his story telling, that would be half truths about his experiences and the ways of life in the West. He left the West by 1870 and made Hartford, Connecticut his permanent home. Although his time out West was brief, his writing was influenced and sharpened by it, which broadened his abilities as a writer. One of Clemens’ famous quotes of Lake Tahoe: “As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Nicely put, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, nicely put.