Called the 'father of American literature," Mark Twain is best known for his two most popular novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was born in 1835 in Missouri as Samuel Clemens. He dropped out of school in the 5th grade to be a printer's apprentice and soon became a typesetter for his town's newspaper, often publishing articles and cartoons. When he turned 18, he left his home town and was a typesetter in many major cities across the US. Later, he followed his dream to become a steamboat pilot, which stemmed from living in near the Mississippi River as a boy. This profession inspired his pen name, as "mark twain" is the minimum measurement of water depth that a steamboat is safe to float on. He convinced his brother to pilot with him, but he was shortly killed when their steamboat blew up, which Twain claims to had foreseen. He joined a Confederate unit for two weeks when the Civil War broke out, leaving to work with his brother. He traveled around the US and the Mediterranean. During his travels, he met his wife, who was from a liberal family and influenced his own personal ideals. He had 4 children, one of which died as a child. He had a close friendship with Nikola Tesla and even assisted him. Twain is attributed to three inventions, the most successful of which was a type of adhesive. Later in life, he filed for bankruptcy because of a series of bad investments, but he payed back his debts even though he did not have to. He died in 1910 from a heart attack.
His novels and stories deal with themes that reflected his own personal beliefs. As seen in Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, he was strongly opposed to slavery and supported Civil Rights. These beliefs stemmed from seeing how slaves were treated in his home town and was strengthened by his wife's liberalness. In the beginning of his life, Twain was an imperialist, supporting the addition of the Hawaiian islands to the US, but after his travels in Europe, he became an adamant anti-imperialist. One of his shirt stories was later used as part of an anti-Vietnam War campaign. He supported labor unions. Twain questioned organized religion and was particularly critical of Christianity. His family hid many of his later writings that criticized religion after his death, but they were later published.
Contribution to The Tessera:
Twain brought secret society experience to The Tessera organization as an honorary member of the Yale secret society, Scroll and Key. This experience helped The Tessera stay secret and protected, though his efforts were later thwarted by S. In level 6, he wrote the note on the typewriter. He also contributed to Ada's library, adding copies of his books and others.