Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mark Twain on Mardi Gras

(Mardi Gras in 1858, London Illustrated News, May 8 1858, via)
On March 8 1859, a 23 year old trainee steamboat pilot named Samuel Clemens, a month away from getting his full pilot’s license, arrived in New Orleans after a week’s voyage down the Mississippi from St. Louis. But when the young man who would soon become Mark Twain stepped off the Aleck Scott, looking forward to some rest and recuperation in the South’s premier city, he was unprepared for the spectacle that met his eyes: he had alighted in the middle of Mardi Gras.