Given the facts of Sam Clemens’ early life – his growing up only two blocks from the steamship landing in Hannibal and his pursuing a career as a pilot for several years – he was probably predestined to write Life on the Mississippi (LOTM). However, the opportunity to begin the project came on October 24, 1874 when he received a request from William Dean Howells to submit a literary piece for the Atlantic. Clemens, at first, declined the invitation, but later in the day he took a long walk with his pastor, Joseph Twichell. During the walk Clemens recounted many stories about his experiences as a pilot on the Mississippi, and Twichell suggested that they would be an excellent subject for a magazine article.…
Loges, Max Lester. "Life on the Mississippi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2013; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3959, accessed 25 April 2015.]