TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Classic View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:46:30 +0000
text/plain (116 lines)
Reagan was a football announcer?  That one passed me by.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind, though is that flatboats and rafts were different things.  Now that I've read the biographical sketches, it is clear that Lincoln's trips were on flatboats, or what Huck calls "trading scows," (Chs. 16 and 19), while Huck and Jim clearly have a piece of raft.  

A website called "The Steamboat Times" does a good job, so far as I understand the history of river traffic, of explaining the difference, using sources and drawings from the era for each, along with photographs (some of which are pretty harrowing!) -- including the stories of Lincoln's trips.  The entry on flatboats actually cites Huck's reference to a "trading scow" in Life on the Mississippi (Ch. 3).  I'd forgotten it was included there.  

Anyway, here are two links that are short enough (I hope) to avoid the equal signs that I know will plague the rest of this post.   

Fascinating stuff.

From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Lawrence Howe [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Connection between Twain and Lincoln

You may be right that "pretty much everyone knew about Lincoln's raft trips=
," but all of the examples you list are presidents whose campaigns were in =
the era of modern media saturation.  Campaigns in the nineteenth century do=
n't really compare with those we experience now.  And even given that, I'm =
not sure "everyone knows" that Reagan was a football announcer; it's true t=
hat he was, but I suspect that people are more familiar with his early care=
er as a radio broadcaster recreating Cubs games from ticker-tape accounts. =
Is there evidence of how common the knowledge of AL's raft trips was?  =0A=
Best, =0A=
--LH =0A=
Larry Howe=0A=
Professor of English=0A=
Chair, Department of Literature and Languages=0A=
Roosevelt University=0A=
Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies, Syddansk Universitet--Od=
ense, 2014-15=0A=
From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Hal Bush <bushhk@SLU=
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2015 7:31 AM=0A=
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Connection between Twain and Lincoln=0A=
I think I should clarify something about this topic.  Pretty much everyone=
knew about Lincoln's raft trips -- as they knew about him as a "rail=0A=
splitter," or they knew that he grew up in southern Indiana, or lost his=0A=
mother Nancy Hanks, etc.  Just like everyone reading this knows that Reagan=
was a football announcer on the radio and went to Hollywood to star in=0A=
movies; or that Clinton grew up in rural Ark. with a single Mom, that he=0A=
"did not inhale," and that he shook the hand of Jack Kennedy; or that=0A=
Barack Obama had a white mother and and a Kenyan father, spent time in=0A=
Indonesia and Hawaii, and that he was a grassroots organizer in Chicago;=0A=
etc., etc.  It was not necessary to read a book as a source for any of=0A=
these details; they are just sort of in the water of presidential=0A=
Twain would NOT have needed to "read a book" to know that AL took raft=0A=
trips down the Mighty Mississippi.=0A=
On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 10:40 PM, Arianne <[log in to unmask]> wrote:=0A=
> Thanks Barbara.  I really appreciate your knowledgeable tips!=0A=
> Chances are Mark Twain read Howell's work, for sure, and Lincoln's raft=
> trip might have been mentionied in it, too.  I'll check your archive link=
> Arianne Laidlaw=0A=
> On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 3:13 PM, Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>=
> wrote:=0A=
> > I don't think the fact that William Dean Howells wrote an 1860 campaign=
> > biography _Life of Abraham Lincoln_ should be overlooked.  This book is=
> not=0A=
> > listed in Gribben's _Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction_.  However=
> in a=0A=
> > letter dated 5 Aug. 1876, Howells reminded Clemens: "You know I wrote t=
> > Life of Lincoln which elected him."  The text of Howell's book is also=
> > available online at
> >=0A=
> > Barb=0A=
> >=0A=
> --=0A=
> Arianne Laidlaw A '58=0A=
Prof. Harold K. Bush=0A=
Professor of English=0A=
3800 Lindell=0A=
Saint Louis University=0A=
St. Louis, MO  63108=0A=
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)=0A=