U.S. History

"Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-era San Francisco"

Robert Graysmith

About the Program

Robert Graysmith recalls author Mark Twain's friendship with Thomas Sawyer, a customs inspector and volunteer fireman in San Francisco, whose name Twain would immortalize in his novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Mr. Graysmith reports that in 1863, a twenty-eight year old Mark Twain, a reporter for San Francisco's Daily Morning Call, befriended Mr. Sawyer over cards and drinks.  It was during these casual meetings that Sawyer relayed to Twain stories of his youth and his involvement in stopping a serial arsonist that had set San Francisco afire six times in 18th months.   Robert Graysmith speaks at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.

About the Authors

Robert Graysmith

Robert Graysmith is the author of numerous books, including Zodiac


Buy the author's book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Program Information

"Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-era San Francisco"

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Past Airings

  • Sunday, January 13th at 7:15am (ET)
  • Sunday, December 30th at 5:15pm (ET)
  • Wednesday, December 26th at 12am (ET)
  • Saturday, December 15th at 9:15am (ET)
  • Sunday, December 9th at 10pm (ET)
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