[log in to unmask] wrote:
> In DeVoto's Mark Twain in Eruption there is a passage with Twain discussing
> the Snodgrass Letters and the nom de guerre Mark Twain as well. Quoting
> from what Clemens apparently dictated to his biographer...he used the name
> first in 1859 in order to satire Capt. Isaiah Sellers.
Actually, Clemens' _Eruption_ assertion was that Sellers, not Clemens, had
used the name "Mark Twain" in 1859.
Regardless, the bar-room version of facts, first printed in Western
papers in 1866, appears correct.
Horst H. Kruse, in the _Mark Twain Journal_ (Spring, 1992), "Mark Twain's
_Nom de Plume_: Some Mysteries Resolved", offers a thorough,
well-documented, discussion of the pen name of the man who, as early as
1873, "in his attempt to establish himself in the East was tring hard to
detach himself from being associated with a past that included so
reprehensible a thing as a love of ardent spirits..." (p.6). Once Clemens
had used the Sellers story, he stuck with it, as in the 1906 _Eruption_
larry marshburne ([log in to unmask])