I’m surprised at myself, that the casual use of “nigger” in Tom Sawyer still makes me wince. Especially since, in this passage, he’s barely human (no name, just a nigger and, besides, they’re all liars).
Then again, the casual use of “nigga” in rap also makes me wince (and I love rap).
I’m not really saying anything here, other than observing my own reaction. I approve of Mark Twain , I approve of his unvarnished use of language, and I approve of your quotation of it.
Still, what a strange society that must have been for a black person to live in. I can’t ever get over that strangeness.