As related in the 50th chapter of Life on the Mississippi, it was Isaiah Sellers, a riverboat captain, who first signed the name "Mark Twain", to letters to the New Orleans Picayune in the 1850s. An apprentice river pilot, Samuel Clemens, wrote a burlesque (now lost) of one of these dispatches, which so embarrassed the dignified old captain that he never wrote again for publication. Clemens (who eventually became a full-fledged river pilot, though never a captain) esteemed it an honor to be despised by the venerable Sellers, and after the captain's death adopted Sellers's nom de guerre as his own.