Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi: The First Part
The Boys' Ambition.—Village Scenes.—Steamboat Pictures. —A Heavy Swell.—A Runaway.
A Traveller.—A Lively Talker.—A Wild-cat Victim
Besieging the Pilot.—Taken along.—Spoiling a Nap.—Fishing for a Plantation.—"Points" on the River.—A Gorgeous Pilot-house.
A little History.—Early Commerce.—Coal Fleets and Timber Rafts. —We start on a Voyage.—I seek Information.—Some Music.—The Trouble begins.—Tall Talk.—The Child of Calamity.—Ground and lofty Tumbling.—The Wash-up.—Business and Statistics.— Mysterious Band.—Thunder and Lightning.—The Captain speaks. —Allbright weeps.—The Mystery settled.—Chaff.—I am Discovered. —Some Art-work proposed.—I give an Account of Myself.—Released.
River Inspectors.—Cottonwoods and Plum Point.—Hat-Island Crossing. —Touch and Go.—It is a Go.—A Lightning Pilot
A Heavy-loaded Big Gun.—Sharp Sights in Darkness.—Abandoned to his Fate.—Scraping the Banks.—Learn him or Kill him.
Shake the Reef.—Reason Dethroned.—The Face of the Water. —A Bewitching Scene.-Romance and Beauty.
Putting on Airs.—Taken down a bit.—Learn it as it is.—The River Rising.
In the Tract Business.—Effects of the Rise.—Plantations gone. —A Measureless Sea.—A Somnambulist Pilot.—Supernatural Piloting. —Nobody there.—All Saved.
Low Water.—Yawl sounding.—Buoys and Lanterns.—Cubs and Soundings.—The Boat Sunk.—Seeking the Wrecked.
A Pilot's Memory.—Wages soaring.—A Universal Grasp.—Skill and Nerve.—Testing a "Cub."—"Back her for Life."—A Good Lesson.
Pilots and Captains.—High-priced Pilots.—Pilots in Demand. —A Whistler.—A cheap Trade.—Two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar Speed.
New Pilots undermining the Pilots' Association.—Crutches and Wages. —Putting on Airs.—The Captains Weaken.—The Association Laughs. —The Secret Sign.—An Admirable System.—Rough on Outsiders. —A Tight Monopoly.—No Loophole.—The Railroads and the War.
All Aboard.—A Glorious Start.—Loaded to Win.—Bands and Bugles. —Boats and Boats.—Racers and Racing.
Cut-offs.—Ditching and Shooting.—Mississippi Changes.—A Wild Night.—Swearing and Guessing.—Stephen in Debt.—He Confuses his Creditors.—He makes a New Deal.—Will Pay them Alphabetically.
Sharp Schooling.—Shadows.—I am Inspected.—Where did you get them Shoes?—Pull her Down.—I want to kill Brown.—I try to run her.- I am Complimented.
A Question of Veracity.—A Little Unpleasantness.—I have an Audience with the Captain.—Mr. Brown Retires.
I become a Passenger.—We hear the News.—A Thunderous Crash. —They Stand to their Posts.—In the Blazing Sun.—A Grewsome Spectacle.—His Hour has Struck.
I get my License.—The War Begins.—I become a Jack-of-all-trades.
The Mississippi is Well worth Reading about.—It is Remarkable.— Instead of Widening towards its Mouth, it grows Narrower.—It Empties four hundred and six million Tons of Mud.—It was First Seen in 1542. —It is Older than some Pages in European History.—De Soto has the Pull.—Older than the Atlantic Coast.—Some Half-breeds chip in.—La Salle Thinks he will Take a Hand.

Life on the Mississippi is the ninth book in The Oxford Mark Twain collection but the content brackets his early childhood aspirations with his eventual success as a writer, "...a scribbler of books". This particular "book", a drupal method for organizing content, contains those chapters dealing with Mark's training to be a pilot. The readings are all done by my Second Life avatar SLClemens in sessions conducted at the sim Fate Gardens in May and June of 2011.

The text and illustrations comes from the Gutenberg Project edition and what verifications I've done were from my copy of the Oxford Mark Twain edition. I have tried to spruce up the videos by editing in scenes from the Second Life readings as well as some other images found throughout the internet.

Update, July 2014: I have learned more about Audacity, so I'm working on improving the audio tracks. Also, people have expressed confusion over the Second Life video segments so I am reworking the videos to contain only the illustrations found in the first edition of the book - along with a title frame.

Help Produce Mark Twain Videos

Submitted by scott on

February of 1857, the 22 year old Sam Clemens booked passage on the steamboat Paul Jones, piloted by Horace Bixby. By the time it reached New Orleans Sam had convinced Mr. Bixby to train him to be a riverboat pilot. Two years later, April 1859, he was. The first part of this book presents those years of training although the illustrations indicate a much younger cub than 22 years of age.