Samuel L. Clemens was born in the small village of Florida but moved soon after to the town of Hannibal, Missouri.After a Tom Sawyer childhood, at the age of seventeen Sam set out to see the world supporting himself as a restless journeyman printer.
Possibly the best sources for learning about Twain's Hannibal Years are "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". For an analysis of this time see "Huck Finn's America", subtitled "Mark Twain and the Era that shaped his Masterpiece" by Andrew Levy.
Sam never truly left Hannibal—he carried it in his heart and memory and poured it out into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Hannibal in those pages would become a universal boyhood home, an icon like the man himself. Sam would visit again in 1882 to gather material for Life on the Mississippi, and the last time in 1902. In many ways Sam Clemens would always be the boy of Hannibal—his wife Livy would call him “youth.”