8¢ Tom Sawyer
American Folklore Series
Issue Date: October 13, 1972
City: Hannibal, MO
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
This stamp salutes Tom Sawyer, who "lived" along the Mississippi River about 1845. Created by Mark Twain, Tom represented the typical adventurous American boy. Twain, who settled in Hannibal, Missouri, as a child, also wrote Huckleberry Finn.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Author and Humorist
Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel L. Clemens, one of the greatest American fiction writers and widely considered America’s greatest humorist. He took the name “Mark Twain” from a riverboat term meaning “two fathoms.” Twain was born in Florida, Missouri, but his family soon settled in the town of Hannibal. In that town, Twain developed his love of the Mississippi River. He eventually became a riverboat captain. Twain is best remembered for the books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In these stories, the fictional town of St. Petersburg was modeled after Hannibal.
Twain developed a distinctly American style of writing. Many writers have imitated his language and tone, which give the impression of real speech. Legendary author Ernest Hemingway once stated, “All modern American literature comes from... Huckleberry Finn.”