Roughing It

Roughing It

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

$6.95 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, December 16


The celebrated author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn mixes fact and fiction in a rousing travelogue that serves as “a portrait of the artist as a young adventurer.”*
In 1861, young Mark Twain found himself adrift as a newcomer in the Wild West, working as a civil servant, silver prospector, mill worker, and finally a reporter and traveling lecturer. Roughing It is the hilarious record of those early years traveling from Nevada to California to Hawaii, as Twain tried his luck at anything and everything—and usually failed. Twain’s encounters with tarantulas and donkeys, vigilantes and volcanoes, even Brigham Young, the Mormon leader, come to life with his inimitable mixture of reporting, social satire, and rollicking tall tales.
With an Introduction by Elizabeth Frank*
And a New Afterword by Mark Dawidziak

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451531100
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/04/2008
Series: Signet Classics
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 274,023
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, the literary icon worked as a printer’s apprentice, a river pilot, a newspaper reporter, a miner, and even as a confederate volunteer (though he disbanded after only two weeks). Writing under the pen name Mark Twain, he authored many beloved works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Life on the Mississippi River, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910 at the age of 74 in Redding, Connecticut.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Table of Contents



1. My Brother Appointed Secretary ofNevada-I Envy His Prospective
Adventures-Am Appointed Private Secretary under
Him- My Contentment Complete- Packed in One HourDreams
and Visions- On the Missouri River- A "Bully"

2. Arrive at St. Joseph-Only Twenty-five Pounds Baggage
Allowed-Farewell to Kid Gloves and Dress Coats-Armed
to the Teeth- The "Allen"-A Cheerful Weapon- Persuaded
to Buy a Mule- Schedule of luxuries- We Leave "the States"
-Our Coach-Mails for the Indians- Between a Wink and
an Earthquake-A Modern Sphynx and How She Entertained
Us-A Sociable Heifer

3. "The Thoroughbrace Is Broke"-Mails Delivered ProperlySleeping
under Difficulties-A Jackass Rabbit Meditating, and
on Business-A Modern Gulliver- Sage-brush- Overcoats
as an Article of Diet- Sad Fate of a Camel-Warning to

4. Making Our Bed-Assaults by the Unabridged-At a Station-
Our Driver a Great and Shining Dignitary-Strange
Place for a Front Yard- Accommodations-Double Portraits-
An Heirloom-Our Worthy Landlord-"Fixings
and Things"-An Exile-Slum-gullion-A Well Furnished
Table-The Landlord Astonished- Table Etiquette-
Wild Mexican Mules- Stage-coaching and Railroading

5. New Acquaintances-The Cayote-A Dog's Experiences-
A Disgusted Dog-The Relatives of the Cayote -Meals
Taken Away from Home

6. The Division Superintendent-The Conductor-The
Driver-One Hundred and Fifty Miles' Drive without Sleep-
Teaching a Subordinate-Our Old Friend Jack and a Pi!-
grim-Ben Holladay Compared to Moses

7. Overland City-Crossing the Platte-Bemis's Buffalo Hunt
-Assault by a Buffalo-Bemis's Horse Goes Crazy-
An Impromptu Circus-A New Departure-Bemis Finds
Refuge in a Tree-Escapes Finally by a Wonderful Method 41
8. The Pony Express-Fifty Miles without Stopping-"Here
He Comes!"-Alkali Water-Riding an Avalanche-Indian

9. Among the Indians-An Unfair Advantage-Lying on Our
Arms-A Midnight Murder-Wrath of Outlaws-A Dangerous,
Yet Valuable Citizen

10. History of Slade-A Proposed Fist-Fight-Encounter with
Jules-Paradise of Outlaws-Slade as Superintendent-
As Executioner-A Doomed Whisky Seller-A Prisoner-
A Wife's Bravery-An Ancient Enemy Captured-Enjoying a
Luxury-Hob-nobbing with Slade-Too Polite-A Happy

11. Slade in Montana-On a Spree-In Court-Attack on a
Judge-Arrest by the Vigilantes-Turn-out of the Miners-
Execution of Slade-Lamentations of His Wife-Was Slade
a Coward?

12. A Mormon Emigrant Train-The Heart of the Rocky Mountains-
Pure Saleratus-A Natural Ice-House-An Entire
Inhabitant-In Sight of"Eternal Snow"-The South Pass-
The Parting Streams-An Unreliable Letter Carrier-Meeting
of Old Friends-A Spoiled Watermelon-Down the
Mountain-A Scene of Desolation-Lost in the Dark- Unnecessary
Advice-U.S. Troops and Indians-Sublime Spectacle-
Another Delusion Dispelled-Among the Angels

13. Mormons and Gentiles-Exhilarating Drink, and Its Effect
on Bemis-Salt Lake City-A Great Contrast-A Mormon
Vagrant-Talk with a Saint-A Visit to the King-A Happy

14. Mormon Contractors-How Mr. Street Astonished Them-
The Case before Brigham Young, and How He Disposed of
It-Polygamy Viewed from a New Position

15. A Gentile Den-Polygamy Discussed-Favorite Wife and
D 4-Hennery for Retired Wives-Children Need Marking
-Cost of a Gift to No. ~A Penny-Whistle Gift and Its
Effects-Fathering the Foundlings-It Resembled Him-
The Family Bedstead

16. The Mormon Bible-Proofs of Its Divinity-Plagiarism of Its
Authors-Story of Nephi-Wonderful Battle-Kilkenny
Cats Outdone

17. Three Sides to All Questions-Everything a Quarter-Shriveled
Up-Emigrants and White Shirts at a Discount-"Forty-
Niners"-Above Par-Real Happiness

18. Alkali Desert-Romance of Crossing Dispelled-Alkali
Dust-Effect on the Mules-Universal Thanksgiving

19. The Digger Indians Compared with the Bushmen of Africa-
Food, Life and Characteristics-Cowardly Attack on a Stagecoach-
A Brave Driver-The Noble Red Man

20. The Great American Desert-Forty Miles on Bones-Lakes
without Outlets-Greeley's Remarkable Ride-Hank Monk,
the Renowned Driver-Fatal Effects of "Corking" a Story-
Bald-Headed Anecdote

21. Alkali Dust-Desolation and Contemplation-Carson
City-Our Journey Ended-We Are Introduced to Several
Citizens-A Strange Rebuke-A Washoe Zephyr at Play-
Its Office Hours-Governor's Palace-Government Offices
-Our French Landlady Bridget O'Flannigan-Shadow
Secrets-Cause for a Disturbance at Once-The Irish
Brigade-Mrs. O'Flannigan's Boarders-The Surveying
Expedition-Escape of the Tarantulas

22. The Son of a Nabob-Start for Lake Tahoe-Splendor of the
Views-Trip on the Lake-Camping Out-Reinvigorating
Climate-Clearing a Tract of Land-Securing a Title-
Out-house and Fences

23. A Happy Life-Lake Tahoe and Its Moods-Transparency of
the Waters-A Catastrophe-Fire! Fire!-A Magnificent
Spectacle-Homeless Again-We Take to the Lake-
A Storm-Return to Carson

24. Resolve to Buy a Horse-Horsemanship in Carson-A Temptation-
Advice Given Me Freely-! Buy the Mexican Plug-
My First Ride-A Good Bucker-! Loan the Plug-Experience
of Borrowers-Attempts to Sell-Expense of the Ex periment-
A Stranger Taken In

25. The Mormons in Nevada-How to Persuade a Loan from
Them-Early History of the Territory-Silver Mines Discovered-
The New Territorial Government-A Foreign One and
a Poor One-Its Funny Struggles for Existence-No Credit,
No Cash-Old Abe Curry Sustains It and Its Officers-
Instructions and Vouchers-An Indian's Endorsement-

26. The Silver Fever-State of the Market-Silver Bricks-
Tales Told-Off for the Humboldt Mines

27. Our Manner of Going-Incidents of the Trip-A Warm but
Too Familiar a Bedfellow-Mr. Ballou Objects-Sunshine
amid Clouds-Safely Arrived

28. Arrive at the Mountains-Building Our Cabin-My First
Prospecting Tour-My First Gold Mine-Pockets Filled with
Treasures- Filtering the News to My Companions-The Bubble
Pricked-All Not Gold That Glitters

29. Out Prospecting-A Silver Mine at Last-Making a Fortune
with Sledge and Drill-A Hard Road to Travel-We Own in
Claims-A Rocky Country

30. Disinterested Friends-How "Feet" Were Sold-We Quit
Tunneling-A Trip to Esmeralda-My Companions-
An Indian Prophecy-A Flood-Our Quarters during It

31. The Guests at "Honey Lake Smith's"-"Bully Old
Arkansas"-Our Landlord-Determined to Fight-The
Landlord's Wife-The Bully Conquered by Her-Another
Start-Crossing the Carson-A Narrow Escape-Following
Our Own Track-A New Guide-Lost in the Snow

32. Desperate Situation-Attempts to Make a Fire-Our Horses
Leave Us-We Find Matches-One, Two, Three and the
Last-No Fire-Death Seems Inevitable-We Mourn over
Our Evil Lives-Discarded Vices-We Forgive Each Other-
An Affectionate Farewell-The Sleep of Oblivion

33. Return of Consciousness-Ridiculous Developments-
A Station-House-Bitter Feelings-Fruits of Repentance-
Resurrected Vices

34. About Carson- Gen. Buncombe- Hyde vs. Morgan-How
Hyde Lost His Ranch- The Great Land-Slide Case- The
Trial-Gen. Buncombe in Court-A Wonderful Decision-
A Serious Afterthought

35. A New Traveling Companion-All Full and No Accornrnodat
ions-How Capt. Nye Found Room-And Caused Our
Leaving to be Lamented-The Uses of Tunneling- A Notable
Example- We Go into the Claim Business and Fail-At the
36. A Quartz Mill-Arnalgarnation-"Screening Tailings"-
First Quartz Mill in Nevada-Fire Assay- A Smart Assayer-
I Stake for an Advance

37. The Whiteman Cement Mine- Story oflts Discovery-
A Secret Expedition- A Nocturnal Adventure- A Distressing
Posit ion-A Failure and a Week's Holiday

38. Mono Lake-Shampooing Made Easy- Thoughtless Act of
Our Dog and the Results-Lye Water-Curiosities of the
Lake-Free Hotel-Some Funny Incidents a Little

39. Visit to the Islands in Mono Lake- Ashes and Desolation-
Life amid Death- Our Boat Adrift- A j ump for Life-
A Storm on the Lake-A Mass of Soap Suds- Geological
Curiosities-A Week on the Sierras-A Narrow Escape from
a Funny Explosion-"Stove Heap Gone"

40. The "Wide West" Mine-It Is Interviewed by Higbie-
A Blind Lead- Worth a Million- We Are Rich at Last-
Plans for the Future

41. A Rheumatic Patient- Day Dreams- An Unfortunate Sturnble-
I Leave Suddenly-Another Patient-Higbie in the
Cabin-Our Balloon Burst- Worth Nothing- Regrets and
Explanations-Our Third Partner

42. What to Do Next?-Obstacles I Had Met With-"Jack of All
Trades"- Mining Again- Target Shooting-! Turn C ity Editor-
I Succeed Finely

43. My Friend Boggs-The School Report-Boggs Pays Me an
Old Debt-Virginia City

44. Flush Times-Plenty of Stock-Editorial Puffing-Stocks
Given Me-Salting Mines-A Tragedian in a New Role

45. Flush Times Continue-Sanitary Commission Fund-Wild
Enthusiasm of the People-Would Not Wait to Contribute-
The Sanitary Flour Sack-It Is Carried to Gold Hill and Dayton-
Final Reception in Virginia-Results of the Sale-
A Grand Total

46. The Nabobs of Those Days-John Smith as a Traveler-Sudden
Wealth-A Sixty-Thousand-Dollar Horse-A Smart
Telegraph Operator-A Nabob in New York City-Charters
an Omnibus-"Walk Right in, It's All Free"-"You Can't Pay
a Cent"-"Hold on, Driver, I Weaken"-Sociability of New

47. Buck Fanshaw's Death-The Cause Thereof-Preparations for
His Burial-Scotty Briggs the Committeeman-He Visits the
Minister-Scotty Can't Play His Hand-The Minister Gets
Mixed-Both Begin to See-"AII Down but Nine"-Buck
Fanshaw as a Citizen-How to "Shake Your Mother"-The
Funeral-Scotty Briggs as a Sunday School Teacher

48. The First Twenty-six Graves in Nevada-The Prominent Men
of the County-The Man Who Had Killed His Dozen-Trial
by Jury-Specimen Jurors-A Private Graveyard-The Desperadoes-
Whom They Killed-Satisfaction without

49. Fatal Shooting Affray-Robbery and Desperate Affray-
A Specimen City Official-A Marked Man-A Street
Fight-Punishment of Crime

50. Capt. Ned Blakely-Bill Noakes Receives Desired Information-
Killing of Blakely's Mate-A Walking Battery-
Blakely Secures Noakes-Hang First and Be Tried Afterward-
Capt. Blakely as a Chaplain-The First Chapter of
Genesis Read at a Hanging-Noakes Hung-Blakely's

51. The Weekly Occidental-A Ready Editor-A Novel-A Concentration
of Talent-The Heroes and the Heroines-The
Dissolute Author Engaged-Extraordinary Havoc with the
Novel-A Highly Romantic Chapter-The Lovers Separated-
Jonah Outdone-A Lost Poem-The Aged Pilot
Man-Storm on the Erie Canal-Dollinger the Pilot Man-
Terrific Gale-Danger Increases-A Crisis Arrived-Saved
as if by a Miracle

52. Freights to California-Silver Bricks-Underground Mines-
Timber Supports-A Visit to the Mines-The Caved
Mines-Total of Shipments in 1863

53. Jim Blaine and His Grandfather's Ram-Filkins's Mistake-
Old Miss Wagner and Her Glass Eye-Jacops, the Coffin
Dealer-Waiting for a Customer-His Bargain with Old Robbins-
Robbins Sues for Damage and Collects-A New Use
for Missionaries-The Effect-His Uncle Lem and the Use
Providence Made of Him-Sad Fate of Wheeler-Devotion
of His Wife-A Model Monument-What about the Ram?

54. Chinese in Virginia City-Washing Bills-Habit of
Imitation-Chinese Immigration-A Visit to Chinatown-
Messrs. Ah Sing, Hong Wo, See Yup, etc.

55. Tired of Virginia City-An Old Schoolmate-A Two Years'
Loan-Acting as an Editor-Almost Receive an Offer-
An Accident-Three Drunken Anecdotes-Last Look at
Mount Davidson-A Beautiful Incident

56. Off for San Francisco-Western and Eastern Landscapes-
The Hottest Place on Earth-Summer and Winter

57. California-Novelty of Seeing a Woman-"Well, if It Ain't a
Child!"-One Hundred and Fifty Dollars for a Kiss-Waiting
for a Turn

58. Life in San Francisco-Worthless Stocks-My First Earthquake-
Reportorial Instincts-Effects of the Shocks-Incidents
and Curiosities-Sabbath Breakers-The Lodger and
the Chambermaid-A Sensible Fashion to Follow-Effects of
the Earthquake on the Ministers

59. Poor Again-Slinking as a Business-A Model Collector-
Misery Loves Company-Comparing Notes for Comfort-
A Streak of Luck-Finding a Dime-Wealthy by Comparison
-Two Sumptuous Dinners

60. An Old Friend-An Educated Miner-Pocket-Mining-
Freaks of Fortune

61. Dick Baker and His Cat-Tom Quartz's Peculiarities-On an
Excursion-Appearance on His Return-A Prejudiced Cat-
Empty Pockets and a Roving Life

62. Bound for the Sandwich Islands-The Three Captains-
The Old Admiral-His Daily Habits-His Well Fought
Fields-An Unexpected Opponent-The Admiral Overpowered-
The Victor Declared a Hero

63. Arrival at the Islands-Honolulu-What I Saw There-Dress
and Habits of the Inhabitants-The Animal Kingdom-Fruits
and Delightful Effects

64. An Excursion-Capt. Phillips and His Turn-out-A Horseback
Ride-A Vicious Animal-Nature and Art-Interesting
Ruins-All Praise to the Missionaries

65. Interesting Mementoes and Relics-An Old Legend of a
Frightful Leap-An Appreciative Horse-Horse-Jockeys and
Their Brothers-A New Trick-A Hay Merchant-Good
Country for Horse Lovers

66. A Saturday Afternoon-Sandwich Island Girls on a Frolic-
The Poi Merchant-Grand Gala Day-A Native Dance-
Church Membership-Cats and Officials-An Overwhelming

67. The Legislature of the Island-What Its President Has Seen-
Praying for an Enemy-Women's Rights-Romantic Fashions-
Worship of the Shark-Desire for Dress-Full Dress-
Not Paris Style-Playing Empire-Officials and Foreign
Ambassadors-Overwhelming Magnificence

68. A Royal Funeral-Order of Procession-Pomp and Ceremony-
A Striking Contrast-A Sick Monarch-Human
Sacrifices at His Death-Burial Orgies

69. "Once More upon the Waters"-A Noisy Passenger-Several
Silent Ones-A Moonlight Scene-Fruits and Plantations

70. A Droll Character-Mrs. Beazeley and Her Son-
Meditations on Turnips-A Letter from Horace Greeley-
An Indignant Rejoinder-The Letter Translated but Too Late

71. Kealakekua Bay-Death of Capt. Cook-His Monument-
Its Construction-On Board the Schooner

72. Young Kanakas in New England-A Temple Built by
Ghosts-Female Bathers-I Stood Guard-Women and
Whisky-A Fight for Religion-Arrival of Missionaries

73. Native Canoes-Surf-Bathing-A Sanctuary-How Built-
The Queen's Rock-Curiosities-Petrified Lava

74. Visit to the Volcano-The Crater-Pillar of Fire-Magnificent
Spectacle-A Lake of Fire

75. The North Lake-Fountains of Fire-Streams of Burning
Lava-Tidal Waves

76. A Reminiscence-Another Horse Story-My Ride with the
Retired Milk Horse-A Pic-nicking Excursion-Dead Volcano
of Haleakala-Comparison with Vesuvius-An Inside View

77. A Curious Character-A Series of Stories-Sad Fate of a
Liar-Evidence of Insanity

78. Return to San Francisco-Ship Amusements-Preparing for
Lecturing-Valuable Assistance Secured-My First Attempt
-The Audience Carried-"All's Well That Ends Well"

79. Highwaymen-A Predicament-A Huge Joke-Farewell to
California-At Home Again-Great Changes. Moral

A.-Brief Sketch of Mormon History
B.-The Mountain Meadows Massacre
C.-Concerning a Frightful Assassination That Was
Never Consummated


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Roughing It 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
jchas More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3 times over the years. The first time it literally had me laughing out loud as I read it on my lunch hours in the company bresk room. It is a hilarious tale of Twains travel adventure by stage coach from the Mississippi to Californias gold fields with a unique historical perspective of the California gold rush that you wont find any where else. Much more entertaining than his other "travel" books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Twain is always great. For those who want a trip back into our past, Roughing It is fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who has travelled the areas Twain describes, I can truly appreciate his perspective. Hope its not lost on those that haven't witnessed it first hand. A bit wordy in some areas, but a great book nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining autobiographical book
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has no discernable plot or other literary pretenseions to distract from the fun of seeing Virginia City and the Comstock Lode in their heyday through the eyes of a young Samuel Clemens. It could be subtitled 'Autobiography of a Splendid Liar.' It wanders about, goes nowhere in particular and trails off into idle reminiscences, but it's a great trip.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is one of the best books i ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Educational, historical,  and hilarious.  Join Mark Twain on his journey across 19th century America.  It makes history fun.
MikeLaville More than 1 year ago
awesome book!
amerynth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know this is supposed to be one of the all-time classics in adventure literature... but I quit reading halfway through because I just couldn't take anymore of Twain's style, which I found stilted and painfully slow. The anecdotes were just so long and tedious that I was happy by the time even the interesting ones were over. I've never particularly enjoyed Mark Twain's work... making this book a poor fit for me.... but it disliked it more than his works of fiction.
Whiskey3pa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funny stories and good insight into day to day life in Nevada and Hawaii circa 1861-70.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book I chose to read while on our California trip. Roughing It is an account of Twain¿s life in the West. Twain travels with his brother to California and Nevada during the time of the Gold Rush. Twain looks for silver, has run-ins with bad guys, and observes the West in its early days with humor and cleverness. Lots of politically incorrectness that probably struck the readers of the day as hilariously funny.
NateJordon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first American road novel is not only an entertaining read but a detailed account of an era long past. All American writers can (or should) point to Twain as a major influence; the following passages contain hints of what would later become Jack Kerouac and Hunter Thompson:"I never had been away from home, and that word 'travel' had a seductive charm for me. Pretty soon we would be hundreds and hundreds of miles away on the great plains and deserts, and among the mountains of the Far West, and would see buffaloes and Indians, and prairie dogs, and antelopes, and have all kinds of adventures, and maybe get hanged or scalped, and have ever such a fine time, and write home and tell us all about it, and be a hero.""We jumped into the stage[coach], the driver cracked his whip, and we bowled away and left 'the States' behind us. It was a superb summer morning, and all the landscape was brilliant with sunshine. There was freshness and breeziness, too, and an exhilarating sense of emancipation from all sorts of cares and responsibilities, that almost made us feel that the years we had spent in the close, hot city, toiling and slaving, had been wasted and thrown away."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version wasunfortunately unreadable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dranowalker More than 1 year ago
Covers Twain's travels from St Joe, MO to the west coast. Highly entertaining. Must read if you liked Huck and Tom from Twain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a full book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago