The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County


Mark Twain

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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Characters

Jim Smiley

Simon Wheeler tells the unnamed narrator about Jim Smiley, an enthusiastic gambler who once lived in the mining town of Angel’s Camp in California. An honest and hardworking man, Smiley never cheats in his bets… read analysis of Jim Smiley

Simon Wheeler

Simon Wheeler is a simple old man who lives in a small mining town in the West called Angel’s Camp. Wheeler tells the bulk of the story, as later transcribed by the unnamed narratorread analysis of Simon Wheeler


The unnamed narrator, a man visiting from the East, recounts Simon Wheeler’s tall tale about Jim Smiley. He visits the small mining town called Angel Camp at the request of a friend, who… read analysis of Narrator

The Stranger

The stranger in Wheeler’s story comes to the mining town of Angel’s Camp and strikes up a conversation with Jim Smiley. When Smiley boasts that his frog, Dan’l Webster, can out-jump any… read analysis of The Stranger

The Mare

Like many of Jim Smiley’s animals, his mare looks weak and unhealthy. Its appearance is deceiving, however, because it often wins races. Smiley has trained the horse to hold back in the race until… read analysis of The Mare
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Leonidas W. Smiley

The unnamed narrator originally sought out Simon Wheeler in order to ask him about a man named Leonidas W. Smiley. A friend of the narrator’s had reportedly been a childhood friend with this “young minister… read analysis of Leonidas W. Smiley
Minor Characters
The Parson’s Wife
Jim Smiley is such a prolific gambler that he’s willing to bet on anything—including whether or not the parson’s wife would survive her illness. Even though she was beginning to improve, Smiley tactlessly placed a bet that she wouldn’t survive.