The Mississipi river, the Steamboat and Mark Twain
The Mississippi is one of the world’s great rivers. It spans 3,860 miles of length as measured using its northernmost west fork, the Missouri River, which starts in the Rocky Mountains in Montana, joining the Mississippi proper in the state of Missouri. The Ohio River and Tennessee River are other tributaries on its east, and the Arkansas, Platte and Red River of Texas on the west. The Mississippi itself starts at Itasca Lake in Minnesota, and the river wends its way through the center of the country, forming parts of the boundaries of ten states, dividing east and west, and furthering trade and culture.
Steamboats played a major role in the 19th-century development of the Mississippi River and its tributaries by allowing the practical large-scale transport of passengers and freight both up and down river. Using steam power, riverboats were developed during that time which could navigate in shallow waters as well as upriver against strong currents. After the development of railroads passenger traffic gradually switched to this faster form of transportation, but steamboats continued to serve Mississippi River commerce into the early 20th Century.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel".
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.
Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it," too. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."
The inner core of this pure 999 Silver coin is made out of real Mother of Pearl with high relief and pictures the Steamboat while sailing the river Mississippi. Because of the nature of Mother of Pearl, this beautiful motif is actually a unique miniature work of art surrounded by precious Silver minted to the highest proof quality. It is part of sucessful series of Mother of Pearl Coins and the successor of the popular 5oz Titanic, Zeppelin and Nautilus Mother of Pearl Coins. A special packaging has been designed for this beautiful coin and it comes in a "Steam Box" featuring a specially shaped Certificate of Autenticity.