Twain, Mark

Revered American writer and wit, born Samuel Clemens (1835) in Florida, Missouri; author of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Huckleberry Finn (1884), and one of the first Americans, in 1866, to offer a published account of surfing—or "surf-bathing" as Twain called it. Twain, 30, was virtually unknown when he visited the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii as a $20-dollar-an-article travel correspondent for the Sacramento Union newspaper.

Twain's articles for the Sacramento Union were collected for h...