Newly discovered newspaper articles by Mark Twain reveal ‘identity crisis’

A team of University of California, Berkeley scholars working on the Mark Twain Project have discovered a cache of Mark Twain stories from his early days as a newspaper man in San Francisco. Many of these stories and letters, which are 150 years old, reveal a darker side of the author who eventually came to be known as America’s first modern celebrity.

When Twain was 29 years old, he worked in San Francisco as a correspondent for the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nev., filing 2,000-word columns six days a week, for $100 per month.

These early works contain the signature wit and stinging criticism that would later define Twain’s writing. He frequently used his columns to mock the corrupt San Francisco police department, which tried to sue him once for comparing the chief to a dog chasing its tail to impress its mistress. READ MORE.