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John Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Sep 2022 21:35:54 -0400
text/plain (64 lines)
Following the title of the novel, Mark Twain writes:

Scene: The Mississippi Valley
Time: Forty to fifty years ago

The book was published in England late in 1884 and early in 1885 in the
United States, placing the events in it between 1844 and 1834.  Most
sources I checked set the time in the 1840s.

On Thu, Sep 8, 2022 at 7:23 PM Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]>

> I have always thought of AHF as taking place, loosely, in 1849 or 1850.
> When SLC himself was 14-15.
> The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, as part of the compromise(s) of
> 1850.
> The Dred Scott decision had not yet been rendered. Dred Scott's suit (for
> his freedom) was filed in 1853.
> (These real world events/framing are not mentioned in the text of the
> novel, although the ability of "free blacks" to vote in Ohio is. )
> On Thu, Sep 8, 2022 at 4:04 PM Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > I have a copy from the University of California Press with a date of
> > 2002 but I fail to find an actual printing date.  The electronic edition
> > found on the Mark Twain Project site gives dates of 2003, 2009, and
> > 2016.  I'm wondering if there are any substantive changes in these
> > editions (printing runs?).  Actually, I'm trying to fix a date for Huck
> > and Jim passing Cairo on their way down the Mississippi.  I've been
> > poring over the history of Cairo for the past week and find written
> > perceptions of this place to vary as much as the level of the
> > Mississippi River, depending on the date observed.  From the Explanatory
> > notes of my edition, Huck's passing Cairo would have been between 1835
> > and 1845.  The year 1835 saw the beginning of the second, and ultimately
> > failed, attempt to built a city on this dynamic piece of land at the
> > confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
> >
> > --
> > /Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/
> >


John H. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of English
Distinguished Professor of English, Retired
Department of English
Chowan University
One University Place
Murfreesboro, North Carolina 27855
252.398.6240  [log in to unmask]