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Mon, 8 Jan 2024 13:27:50 -0800
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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For those interested in this rather brief period of Mark Twain’s life, I 
have condensed my material on his journey from St. Joseph to Carson 
City, found in the section of Twain’s Geography titled “Sam Clemens Goes 
West”. As most, if not all of you know, he and his brother Orion took 
the Overland Stage. Railroads were not quite ready to cross the 
continent yet. He was the third of three authors to write about this 
journey and ironically was the least informative, the other two being 
Horace Greeley and Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (not yet 
knighted). Greeley followed part of the route taken by Twain, from Fort 
Laramie to Ruby Valley but then followed the earlier Humboldt River 
route. Burton and Twain followed the same route until near the end of 
the journey where Burton continued to Fort Churchill and Carson City but 
Twain took the "Stillwater Dogleg" through the area Twain called “The 
Great American Desert”. The Great American Desert has had many 
definitions through the years, some encompassing vastly larger regions 
than just Lake Lahontan.

Anyway, I have prepared a PDF of about 100 pages that I will email to 
anyone interested. It consists for the most part of selections from the 
three books, Greeley’s “An Journey, Overland From New York To San 
Francisco, In The Summer Of 1859”; Burton’s “The City of the Saints”; 
and of course, “Roughing It”. It also includes notes on all the 
stagecoach and Pony Express stations on the route noted in the National 
Park Service’s web site. The PDF does not include reference citations. 
If you want them they can be found in Twain’s Geography.

Again, if interested send a message to me rather than just Twain-L with 
an email address that can accept a document of this size.

/*Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado*/

Visit B. Scott Holmes <>
Twain's Geography <>