In Life on the Mississippi, CHAPTER XV. THE PILOTS' MONOPOLY, Twain
describes a union (or an association) for Mississippi River steamboat
pilots. He wrote that it was "...an organization which the pilots once
formed for the protection of their guild. It was curious and noteworthy in
this, that it was perhaps the compactest, the completest, and the strongest
commercial organization ever formed among men" (page 128 in the the Penguin
Classics 1984 version).
I am trying to find out about this organization but so far I have not had
much success. Some questions come to mind right away: When was the
association formed? How long did it last? (That is, did the Civil War
interrupt it?). Was Mr. Clemens a member of it? And most importantly to me,
does anyone have any ideas of where I should go to look for any
corroborating text (reminisces, news stories) of the Pilot's Association?
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