Story 6: Compensation

Mark Twain

mark twainMark Twain was a famous American humorist of the last century. Many people know that his real name was Samuel langhorne Clemens, but few people know why he never used it.

Mark Twain, in nautical language, means: two fathoms deep. It was the pen name of a Mississippi river boat captain, whose real name was Isaiah Sellers.

Once day Captain Sellers published a very flowery article under his pen name in a New Orleans newspaper. Samuel Clemens, in a joking frame of mind, imitated the article word for word and published his version in a rival New Orleans paper

The unforeseen result was that it killed the captain’s literary future. In order to make up for it, Samuel Clemens blossomed out into his own famous writing career, all the while using the name of Mark Twain. And to this day no one seems to have known which of the two men was actually producing the humorous masterpieces.

That was Mark Twain’s way of compensating Captain Isaiah Sellers, who was the original Mark Twain

- Herman Schreiber

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