29¢ Huckleberry Finn
Issue Date: October 23, 1993
City: Louisville, KY
Printed By: American Bank Note Co.
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Based on his childhood experiences along the Mississippi River, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides a vivid record of 19th century America. Begun in 1876 as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the book describes the adventures of two runaways - the boy Huckleberry Finn and a slave named Jim - as they travel on a raft down the Mississippi.
Told from Huckleberry Finn’s point of view, Twain used realistic language to make Huck’s speech sound like actual conversation, and imitated a variety of dialects to bring the other characters to life. It was this realistic use of speech that set Twain’s work apart from other writers of the day and influenced numerous other modern American authors. “All modern American literature comes from…Huckleberry Finn,” Ernest Hemingway once stated.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest American novels ever written, the book is not without its foes. As when it was first published in 1885, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn still receives criticism for Huck’s lack of morals, as well as his unrefined manners and careless grammar. Its deeper themes however, argue for equality and universal opportunities for all races.