in accumulating one hundred and twenty-five in habitants in the next sixty years. When we read of the westward sweep of population and wealth in the United States, it seems as if those who were in the van of that movement must have been inevitably carried on to fortune. But that was a tide full of eddies and back-currents, and Mark Twain s parents possessed a faculty for finding them that appears nothing less than miraculous. The whole Western empire was before them where to choose. They could have bought the entire site of Chicago for a pair of boots. They could have taken up a farm within the present city limits of St. Louis. What they actually did was to live for a time in Columbia, Kentucky, with a small property in land, and six inherited slaves, then to move to Jamestown, on the Cumberland plateau of Tennessee, a place that was then no farther removed from the currents of the world s life than Uganda, but which no resident of that or any other part of Central Africa would now regard as a serious competitor, and next to migrate to Missouri, passing St. Louis and settling first in Florida, and afterward in Hannibal. But when the whole map was blank the promise of fortune glowed as rosily in these regions as anywhere else. Florida had great expectations when Jackson was President. When John Marshall Clemens took up eighty thou sand acres of land in Tennessee, he thought he had established his children as territorial magnates. That phantom vision of wealth furnished later one of the motives of The Gilded Age. It conferred no other benefit.