Question: Mark Twain - Why Did Samuel Clemens Use the Pen Name of Mark Twain?
Why did Samuel Clemens use the pen name, Mark Twain? Did he use any other pseudonyms?
Answer: Where Samuel Clemens Got "Mark Twain"
In Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain: "The old gentleman was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief paragraphs of plain practical information about the river, and sign them 'MARK TWAIN,' and give them to the 'New Orleans Picayune.' They related to the stage and condition of the river, and were accurate and valuable; and thus far, they contained no poison."
How Samuel Clemens Decided to Use the Pen Name - "Mark Twain"
Later, in Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain says: "I was a fresh new journalist, and needed a nom de guerre; so I confiscated the ancient mariner's discarded one, and have done my best to make it remain what it was in his hands-- a sign and symbol and warrant that whatever is found in its company may be gambled on as being the petrified truth; how I have succeeded, it would not be modest in me to say."
Other Pen Name / Pseudonym
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) used the name "Sieur Louis de Conte" for "Joan of Arc" (1896).
Mark Twain also used the pseudonym, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, for three humerous pieces he contributed to "Keokuk Post."