Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in 1835 in Florida, Missouri, and raised there in the eastern part of the state. His schooling was minimal; he was essentially self-taught. As a teenager, he worked for local newspapers, and then for printing shops in Cincinnati and other eastern cities. In 1857, now twenty-one, Sam persuaded Horace Bixby, a Mississippi River steamboat pilot, to accept him as an apprentice. Sam sailed up and down the Mississippi first as an apprentice, then as a full-fledged pilot until the advent of the Civil War, when hostilities closed the river to civilian traffic.