Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Illustrations - Page 3


Attached a transformation I did years ago to the rather klunky cover art from a 1920's Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn board game box. I added the names of boys in rustic lettering to the fence from 2 different sources, a photographic sky, and upgraded the boys' faces and hats from the work of gifted Swedish illustrator Eric Palmquist (1908- 1999); also modified the colors.


Whitewashin' the fence under the shadow of Aunt Polly

This is cover art illustration by "BILL BAILEY" off a 1930 children's edition of TOM SAWYER by Mr. Clemens. I added the sky and the lettering above the fence for Debbie Harris in Hannibal so she'd have this as a graphic for T-shirts and tote bags since tourism has always been a good business in "Tom Sawyer's Town" in Missouri on the Mississippi River.

The style of the painting is fanciful and my favorite things about it are the stick figure drawings, the hand written "TOM & BECKY," tic-tac-toe games and especially the menacing shadow of Tom's Aunt Polly holding a stout switch to make sure Tom carried through on his whitewashing assignment on a pleasant Saturday morning. Once he is left alone Tom's friends will pass by on their way to swimmin' or fishin' but remain to whitewash after Tom convinces them what a privilege it is to do so and the boys hand over some of their treasures to buy a turn at the glamorous job.


A play of TOM SAWYER program dated Dec 6th, 1894

An ancient theatre broadside printed on wood pulp paper, dated in pencil across the top "December 6, 1894"




In the 3 act comedy drama entitled



MISS MAUDE BURTON who played HUCKLEBERRY FINN is listed last but her name is the only one listed in capital letters, so it's assumed that the cast was listed in order of each character's appearance

W.E.BURTON (possibly a brother or sister of MAUDE BURTON) is listed first and played TOM SAWYER

The other 8 characters seem to have been freshly invented, they didn't appear in any novels by Samuel Clemens. It would be interesting to know if Mark Twain (Sam Clemens) was aware of this production. His name is not mentioned in this little flyer and it's not know what the substance of it was although there were murders in both TOM SAWYER, HUCKLEBERRY FINN and TOM SAWYER DETECTIVE that could have provided inspiration for the one that takes place in Act I of this Opus.

There is a JUDGE SAWYER (maybe derived from JUDGE THATCHER who was Becky's father and appeared in the novels TOM SAWYER and HUCK FINN) a MRS. SAWYER (Tom's Aunt Polly's last name may possibly have been SAWYER but it's never mentioned if it was) There is also a JESSIE SAWYER (besides Tom there was his his half-brother Sid and there was a Cousin Mary whose last name was was also never mentioned) There is a BECKY STUBBS whose first name may have been borrowed from BECKY THATCHER.

STUMP HAWKINS could have come from LAURA HAWKINS (the real-life model for Becky Thatcher) and femme fatale named LAURA HAWKINS appears in the novel THE GILDED AGE which was co-written by Samuel Clemens with his Hartford neighbor Charles Dudley Warner.

Instead of a LIST OF SCENES there is a


ACT I The Murder

ACT II The Trial

ACI III All's well that ends well

The New York Theatre Co. was based in New York City's Lyceum Theatre and managed by Daniel Frohman.

The minute books of the company are in the archives of the New York Public Library.

This collection consists of two volumes of the company's minute books, dating from the time of its incorporation on August 28, 1885 and the two volumes conclude on January 18, 1894. If there was a third volume it's likely that it would have included mention of this play TOM SAWYER play and the actors in the company.

The 2 minute books includes articles of incorporation, by-laws, minutes of regular annual and committee meetings, and contracts of actors and actresses. The collection also holds a copy of Daniel Frohman's agreement to manage the Lyceum Theatre, as well as his reports. The NY Theatre Co. minute books are in the Manuscripts and Archives Division located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York City Public Library.


Huck Finn in his "sugar hogshead"

Stylized illustration of Huck's refuge (a big barrel referred to as a "sugar hogshead") from the last chapter 35, the last in THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. The cat behind the oar on the far left and the fish on the fire are a nice touches. Huck is contented in his homelessness again but Tom has come to lure him back into captivity with a promise that he can join Tom's band of robbers. The rest of the story can be found here:

From the dust jacket of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (both novels in one volume) by Mark Twain Illustrated by Eberhard Binder Verlag Neues Leben, publisher Berlin (1986)

excerpted from Chapter 35 TOM SAWYER:

Huck Finn's wealth and the fact that he was now under the Widow Douglas' protection introduced him into society - no, dragged him into it, hurled him into it - and his sufferings were almost more than he could bear. The widow's servants kept him clean and neat, combed and brushed, and they bedded him nightly in unsympathetic sheets that had not one little spot or stain which he could press to his heart and know for a friend. He had to eat with a knife and fork; he had to use napkin, cup, and plate; he had to learn his book, he had to go to church; he had to talk so properly that speech was become insipid in his mouth; whithersoever he turned, the bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot.

He bravely bore his miseries three weeks, and then one day turned up missing. For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in great distress. The public were profoundly concerned; they searched high and low, they dragged the river for his body. Early the third morning Tom Sawyer wisely went poking among some old empty hogsheads down behind the abandoned slaughter-house, and in one of them he found the refugee. Huck had slept there; he had just breakfasted upon some stolen odds and ends of food, and was lying off, now, in comfort, with his pipe. He was unkempt, uncombed, and clad in the same old ruin of rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was free and happy. Tom routed him out, told him the trouble he had been causing, and urged him to go home. Huck's face lost its tranquil content, and took a melancholy cast.

He said:

"Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work; it don't work, Tom. It ain't for me; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to me, and friendly; but I can't stand them ways. She makes me get up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for - well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat - I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell - everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it."

"Well, everybody does that way, Huck."

"Tom, it don't make no difference. I ain't everybody, and I can't stand it. It's awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy - I don't take no interest in vittles, that way. I got to ask to go a-fishing; I got to ask to go in a-swimming - dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do everything. Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort - I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out awhile, every day, to git a taste in my mouth, or I'd a died, Tom. The widder wouldn't let me smoke; she wouldn't let me yell, she wouldn't let me gape, nor stretch, nor scratch, before folks - " [Then with a spasm of special irritation and injury] - "And dad fetch it, she prayed all the time! I never see such a woman! I had to shove, Tom - I just had to. And besides, that school's going to open, and I'd a had to go to it - well, I wouldn't stand that, Tom. Looky-here, Tom, being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time. Now these clothes suits me, and this bar'l suits me, and I ain't ever going to shake 'em any more. Tom, I wouldn't ever got into all this trouble if it hadn't 'a' ben for that money; now you just take my sheer of it along with your'n, and gimme a ten-center sometimes - not many times, becuz I don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable hard to git - and you go and beg off for me with the widder." "Oh, Huck, you know I can't do that. 'Tain't fair; and besides if you'll try this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it."

"Like it! Yes - the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long enough. No, Tom, I won't be rich, and I won't live in them cussed smothery houses. I like the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and I'll stick to 'em, too. Blame it all! just as we'd got guns, and a cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dern foolishness has got to come up and spile it all!"


Cover art for TOM SAWYER

Restored book cover from an edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with an illustration by Worth Brehm circa 1910 of Tom Sawyer telling his schoolmates in St. Petersburg, Missouri about his adventures with Huck Finn and Joe Harper on Jackson's Island in the Mississippi River when the 3 boys ran away on a raft to "play pirates."

Worth Brehm


Worth Brehm became interested in art through his brother George. He prepared a series of sample drawings in Indiana, brought them to New York, and Outing magazine bought them all. Publication of these pictures led Harper's to commission him to illustrate The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

He later did general illustration for many magazines; the best known were for the Penrod stories by Booth Tarkington in Cosmopolitan. While Brehm had a good color sense, he seldom had the opportunity to use it, since printing in color was still sparingly used because of the cost. Worth usually worked in charcoal. He was never at a loss for models, and regularly used the neighboring children for his characters, sometimes dressing them in period clothing, as befitted the story.

Brehm's work was always in demand from magazines and advertisers until his untimely death at age 44.


Tom Sawyer 1930 promotional art from Paramount studio

From a 1930 Paramount Studio promotional album came this artwork signed with the initials H.H. whose identity I haven't discovered yet, for the upcoming first "talkie" version of Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER with Jackie Coogan as Tom, Junior Durkin as Huck Finn and Mitzi Green as Becky Thatcher. Tom (seated), Huck (standing holding a rabbit he has bagged, based on the frontispiece by E.W. Kemble for the 1st edition of HUCKLEBERRY FINN) and Becky far right don't resemble the actors who portrayed them so they're basically "generic" although the drawing of Sam Clemens lower right corner is an accurate portrait.


Ol' swimmin' hole themed poster for Jackie Coogan's TOM SAWYER - first "talkie" version of the Sam Clemens novel from 1930's. I had this "insert" restored and framed years ago. Jackie Coogan is Tom Sawyer, Mitzi Green is Becky Thatcher.


Tom and Becky in color About a dozen years ago I added color and period style lettering over British illustrator Walter Hodges' pen and ink illustration of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in a schoolhouse scene from TOM SAWYER

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens
Illustrated by C. Walter Hodges
London; E.P. Dutton & Company, 1955


Tom Sawyer Island concept art COLOR
The reverse side says:
Frontierland - Disneyland
Screen Print, 1956
Copyright 2005 Walt Disney Imagineering Art Collection

From "Behind the Magic: 50 Years of Disneyland" an exhibition developed by The Henry Ford in association with Walt Disney Imagineering and The Walt Disney Company.


The high angle of Huck and Jim on the raft came from the black and white fly leaves of a mass printing edition to which I added color to the raft and characters plus lettering from 2 different sources to the top margin. Made this years ago for Debbie Harris in Hannibal who printed this and many others I conjured up on T-shirts for the tourist trade.

Vertical cover art from another mass printing featured a bushy-haired dog standing behind Huck as he sits a fishin' with a proverbial "can of worms" next to him as a stylized sternwheeler plies the Mighty Mississippi in the distance.


Bronze of Huck and Tom October 1925 Mentor magazine cover

Attached composite of the cover of THE MENTOR October, 1925 with 2 photos I took in Hannibal, MO of the statue of Huck and Tom plus a plaque next to it at the foot of Cardiff Hill.

Transcript of the article from the Mentor:

The Immortal Boys Will Stand in Bronze in Mark Twain's Own Home Town
by Edgar White
October, 1925
page 55

Boyland the world over will be interested in an event that will take place at Hannibal, Missouri, in October—the unveiling of a statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The figures, in the picturesque costumes of rural boys in the days when the West was young, are located on an enduring base at the foot of Cardiff Hill, of fascinating memory.

The site was purchased and presented to the city by Mr. and Mrs. George A. Mahan, who, with their son, Dulaney, have also given the city and the public the memorial statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

Mr. Frederick C. Hibbard, the artist who designed the statue, was born near Hannibal. He has had the work under consideration since 1914, when Mr. Mahan wrote describing what was wanted. Since the completed model has been exhibited and pictured there has been . . . an amount of earnest and diverse discussion about it . . .

Most of the comments have been congratulatory, but some find in Huck not enough of the hardy young "roughneck" of the story, and observe that the face of Tom Sawyer bears "too angelic an expression for a boy who would feed pain-killer to a cat."


German Tom Sawyer Detective illustration Jan Reiser

We have another illustration by Jan Reiser for a German edition of TOM SAWYER DETECTIVE which is a high angle drawing of a sternwheeler at a river landing and Tom and Huck are in the left foreground walking down the hill towards the boat.

This time Reiser painted a watercolor sidewheeler which was probably influenced by the SOUTHERN COMFORT commercial art in an oval vignette made for a saloon mirror which we have on Illustrations 10, I added a reduced version of it in the upper left of this color work by Reiser. Note the Confederate flags which the artist apparently assumed were flown all over the South even before the Civil War. The gent with spectacles and handlebar mustache carrying a valise on the main deck is Jake Dunlap in disguise while two villains stalking Jake look down on him from the boiler deck. Tom and Huck sit on the bow while the steamboat plows along in the surf close to the shoreline of what a appears to be not on a river but rather a sandy tropical beach lined with distant palm trees on an island in the South Seas somewhere.


German edition HUCK FINN, artwork by Tatjana Hauptmann

Illustrations from twin editions of TOM SAWYER and HUCK FINN in a slipcase.

The charcoal and watercolor painting of the MARTHA was actually published as a mirror image (the lettering gave it away) which I have flipped back to Tatjana's original format. This is a detail from the front the front cover of HUCK FINN and the drawn illustration is of Huck and Jim in the canoe with the wreck of the steamboat WALTER SCOTT in the distance on a stormy night in Chapter 13. Mark Twain: Die Abenteuer von Tom Sawyer und Huckleberry Finn Mit Bildern von (Illustrations by) Tatjana Hauptmann. published by Diogenes - Zürich, Switzerland : 2002


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.