"But the basin of the Mississippi is the Body of the Nation... Latitude, elevation, and rainfall
all combine to render every part of the Mississippi Valley capable of supporting a dense population. As a dwelling-place for civilized man it is by far the first upon our globe." -Editor's Table, Harper's Magazine (1863)
Life on the Mississippi (1883) is a brilliant memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. It is also a history of a mighty river, recounting Twain's trip twenty years later along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans.
This replica of the original 1883 edition of Life on the Mississippi with illustrations by John Harley, offers a colorful portrait of 19th century America and is a prelude to Twain's great boyhood novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).