Mark Twain's first popular story of a hardcore gambler in a mining camp during the Gold Rush.
In the 1850s and 1860s thousands packed up and headed for the gold fields of California and silver mines of Nevada to seek their fortunes. Among this disparate group of men (along a very few women) were drifters, grifters, work-men, con-men, gamblers and story tellers. This tale is about members of latter two categories.
Looking to make his fortune, Samuel Clements – better know as Mark Twain – went west to the mining towns of Nevada in 1861 as a reporter. In 1864 he continued his journalistic work in San Francisco where he penned his first successful story about a more camp gambler and his jumping frog.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was published in 1865 by the Saturday Press and brought Twain’s extraordinary storytelling talents to attention of the public for first time.