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Title: Mark Twain Newspaper Correspondent
Author: Mark Twain
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0900821h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: October 2009
Date most recently updated: April 24, 2011

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Mark Twain Newspaper Articles 1862-1881



Newspaper Articles Written by Mark Twain

Collected from the Archives of Several Newspapers

















































































SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 1863


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Nevada Territory

Territorial Enterprise, October 1, 1862


A GALE.—About 7 o'clock Tuesday evening (Sept. 30th) a sudden blast of wind picked up a shooting gallery, two lodging houses and a drug store from their tall wooden stilts and set them down again some ten or twelve feet back of their original location, with such a degree of roughness as to jostle their insides into a sort of chaos. There were many guests in the lodging houses at the time of the accident, but it is pleasant to reflect that they seized their carpet sacks and vacated the premises with an alacrity suited to the occasion. No one hurt.

THE INDIAN TROUBLES ON THE OVERLAND ROUTE.—Twelve or fifteen emigrant wagons arrived here on Monday evening, and all but five moved on towards California yesterday. One of the five wagons which will remain in the city is in charge of a man from Story county, Iowa, who started across the plains on the 5th of May last, in company with a large train composed principally of emigrants from his own section. From him we learn the following particulars: When in the vicinity of Raft river, this side of Fort Hall, the train was attacked, in broad daylight by a large body of Snake Indians. The emigrants, taken entirely by surprise—for they had apprehended no trouble—made but a feeble resistance, and retreated, with a loss of six men and one woman of their party. The Indians also captured the teams belonging to thirteen wagons, together with a large number of loose cattle and horses. The names of those killed in the affray are as follows: Charles Bulwinkle, from New York; William Moats, Geo. Adams and Elizabeth Adams, and three others whose names our informant had forgotten. The survivors were overtaken on the afternoon by a train numbering 111 wagons, which brought them through to Humboldt. They occasionally discovered the dead bodies of emigrants by the roadside; at one time twelve corpses were found, at another four, and at another two—all minus their scalps. They also saw the wrecks of many wagons destroyed by the Indians. Shortly after the sufferers by the fight recorded above had joined the large train, it was also fired into in the night by a party of Snake Indians, but the latter, finding themselves pretty warmly received, drew off without taking a scalp. About a week before these events transpired, a party of emigrants numbering 40 persons was attacked near City Rocks by the same tribe of uncivilized pirates. Five young ladies were carried off, and, it is thought, women and children in all to the number of fifteen. All the men were killed except one, who made his escape and arrived at Humboldt about the 20th of September. This train was called the "Methodist Train," which was not altogether inappropriate, since the whole party knelt down and began to pray as soon as the attack was commenced. Every train which has passed over that portion of the route in the vicinity of City Rocks since the 1st of August has had trouble with the Indians. When our informant left Humboldt several wagons had just arrived whose sides and covers had been transformed into magnified nutmeg-graters by Indian bullets. The Snakes corralled the train, when a fight ensued, which lasted forty-eight hours. The whites cut their way out, finally, and escaped. We could not learn the number of killed and wounded at this battle.

[MORE INDIAN TROUBLES.—] Mr. L. F. Yates, who arrived in this city a few days since from Pike's Peak, has given us the following particulars of a fight his train had on the 8th of last August, about one and a-half miles this side of the junction of the Lander's Cut-off and Fort Bridger roads. Their train consisted of 15 wagons and 40 men, with a number of women and children. The train was attacked while passing along a ravine by a party of Indians being concealed in among a thick growth of poplar bushes. When the attack commenced, most of the front wagons were some 80 rods in advance. They formed in corral, and intrenched behind their wagons, refused the slightest aid to those who were struggling with the savages in the rear. The party thus left to fight their way through the ambushed Indians numbered but nine men, and there were but four guns with which to maintain the battle. Five of the nine were killed and one wounded. The names of the killed are as follows: Parmelee, James Steele, James A. Hart, Rufus C. Mitchell, from Central City, Colorado Territory, and McMahan, residence unknown; the name of the man wounded is Frank Lyman. He was shot through the lungs—recovered. The thirty-one men who were hidden snugly behind their wagons, with a single honorable exception, refused to render the slightest assistance to those who were fighting for their lives and the lives of their families so near them. Although they had 27 guns they refused to lend a single gun, when at one time four men went to ask assistance. The cowards all clung to their arms, and lay trembling behind their wagons. A man named Perry, or Berry, was the only one who had sufficient courage to attempt to render his struggling friends any assistance. He was shot in the face before reaching the rear wagons, and was carried back to the corral. The fight lasted nearly two hours, and some seven or eight Indians were killed, as at various times they charged out of the bushes on their ponies. Several Indian horses were killed, and at length the few left alive fought through to where their thirty heroic friends (?) were corraled, leaving the killed and two wagons in possession of the Indians. Thirty bigger cowards and meaner men than those above mentioned never crossed the plains; we are certain that every man of them left the States for fear of being drafted into the army.

Territorial Enterprise, October 4, 1862


A petrified man was found some time ago in the mountains south of Gravelly Ford. Every limb and feature of the stony mummy was perfect, not even excepting the left leg, which has evidently been a wooden one during the lifetime of the owner—which lifetime, by the way, came to a close about a century ago, in the opinion of a savan who has examined the defunct. The body was in a sitting posture, and leaning against a huge mass of croppings; the attitude was pensive, the right thumb resting against the side of the nose; the left thumb partially supported the chin, the fore-finger pressing the inner corner of the left eye and drawing it partly open; the right eye was closed, and the fingers of the right hand spread apart. This strange freak of nature created a profound sensation in the vicinity, and our informant states that by request, Justice Sewell or Sowell, of Humboldt City, at once proceeded to the spot and held an inquest on the body. The verdict of the jury was that "deceased came to his death from protracted exposure," etc. The people of the neighborhood volunteered to bury the poor unfortunate, and were even anxious to do so; but it was discovered, when they attempted to remove him, that the water which had dripped upon him for ages from the crag above, had coursed down his back and deposited a limestone sediment under him which had glued him to the bed rock upon which he sat, as with a cement of adamant, and Judge S. refused to allow the charitable citizens to blast him from his position. The opinion expressed by his Honor that such a course would be little less than sacrilege, was eminently just and proper. Everybody goes to see the stone man, as many as three hundred having visited the hardened creature during the past five or six weeks.

Territorial Enterprise, late October, 1862


This comprises one hundred feet of the great Comstock lead, and is situated in the midst of the Ophir claims. We visited it yesterday, in company with Mr. Kingman, Assistant Superintendent, and our impression is that stout-legged people with an affinity to darkness, may spend an hour or so there very comfortably. A confused sense of being buried alive, and a vague consciousness of stony dampness, and huge timbers, and tortuous caverns, and bottomless holes with endless ropes hanging down into them, and narrow ladders climbing in a short twilight through the colossal lattice work and suddenly perishing in midnight, and workmen poking about in the gloom with twinkling candles—is all, or nearly all that remains to us of our experience in the Spanish mine. Yet, for the information of those who may wish to go down and see how things are conducted in the realms beyond the jurisdiction of daylight, we are willing to tell a portion of what we know about it. Entering the Spanish tunnel in A street, you grope along by candle light for two hundred and fifty feet—but you need not count your steps—keep on going until you come to a horse. This horse works a whim used for hoisting ore from the infernal regions below, and from long service in the dark, his coat has turned to a beautiful black color. You are now upon the confines of the ledge, and from this point several drifts branch out to different portions of the mine. Without stopping to admire these gloomy grottoes you descend a ladder and halt upon a landing where you are fenced in with an open-work labyrinth of timbers some eighteen inches square, extending in front of you and behind you, and far away above you and below you, until they are lost in darkness. These timbers are framed in squares or "stations," five feet each way, one above another, and so neatly put together that there is not room for the insertion of a knife-blade where they intersect. You are apt to wonder where the forest around you came from, and how they managed to get it into that hole, and what sums of money it must have cost, and so forth and so on, and you wind up with a confused notion that the man who designed it all had a shining talent for saw mills on a large scale. He could build the frame-work beautifully at any rate. Whereupon, you desist from further speculation, and waltz down a very narrow winding staircase, and the further you squirm down it the dizzier you get and the more those open timber squares seem to whiz by you, until you feel as if you are falling through a well-ventilated shot-tower with the windows all open.

Finally, after you have gone down ninety-four feet, you touch bottom again and find yourself in the midst of the saw mill yet, with the regular accomplishments of workmen, and windlasses, and glimmering candles and cetera, as usual. Now you can stoop and dodge about under the "stations," and get your clothes dirty, and drip hot candle grease all over your hands, and find out how they take those timbers and commence at the top of the mine, and build them together like mighty window sashes all the way down to the bottom of it; and if, after coming down that tipsy staircase, you can by any possibility make out to understand it, then you can render the information useful above ground by building the third story of your house to suit you first, and continuing its erection wrong end foremost until you wind up with the cellar. You will also find out that at this depth the lead is forty-six feet wide, with its sides walled and weather boarded as compactly and substantially as those of a jail. And here and there in little recesses, the walls of the lead are laid bare, showing the blue silver lines traced upon the white quartz, after the fashion of variegated marble—this, in places, you know, while others, where the ore is richer, the blue predominates and the white is scarcely perceptible. From these various recesses a swarm of workmen are constantly conveying wheel-barrow loads of quartz to the windlasses, of all shades of value, from that worth $75 to that worth $3,000 per ton—and if you should chance to be in better luck than we were, you may happen to stumble on a small specimen worth a dollar and a half a pound. Such things have occurred in the Spanish mine before now. However, as we were saying, you are now one hundred and seventy feet under the ground, and you can move about and see how the ore is quarried and moved from one place to another, and how systematically the great mine is arranged and worked altogether, and how unsystematically the Mexicans used to carry on business down there—and you may get into a bucket, if you please, and extend your visit to the confines of purgatory—so to speak—if you feel anxious to do so; but as this would afford you nothing more than a glance at the bottom of a drain shaft, you could better employ your time and talents in climbing that cork screw and seeking daylight again. And before leaving the mouth of the tunnel, you would do well to visit the office of Mr. Beckwith, the superintendent, where you can see a small cabinet of specimens from the mine which has been pronounced by scientific travelers to be one of the richest collections of the kind in the world. We shall have occasion to speak of the steam hoisting apparatus now in process of erection by the Spanish Company at an early day.

Territorial Enterprise, November 1-10, 1862


THE PETRIFIED MAN.—Mr. Herr Weisnicht has just arrived in Virginia City from the Humboldt mines and regions beyond. He brings with him the head and one foot of the petrified man, lately found in the mountains near Gravelly Ford. A skillful assayer has analyzed a small portion of dirt found under the nail of the great toe and pronounces the man to have been a native of the Kingdom of New Jersey. As a trace of "speculation" is still discernible in the left eye, it is thought the man was on his way to what is now the Washoe mining region for the purpose of locating the Comstock. The remains brought in are to be seen in a neat glass case in the third story of the Library Building, where they have been temporarily placed by Mr. Weisnicht for the inspection of the curious, and where they may be examined by any one who will take the trouble to visit them.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1862


December 5, 1862

EDITOR ENTERPRISE: If your readers are not aware of the fact, I take pleasure in informing them that the [Nevada] Supreme Court will meet in Carson City on the 13th of the present month; and in connection with this intelligence I present the following item, giving it in the language in which I received it for fear of mistakes—for its terms are darkly, mysteriously legal, and I have not the most distant conception of what they mean, or what they are intended to have reference to—thus: "Wm. Alford vs. Nathaniel Dewing et als.—Ordered filed, denying rehearing." There it is, and I wash my hands of the matter. I don't know Alford, and I don't know Dewing, and I don't know Et Als—and I never heard of either, or any of these gentlemen until this very day, when the Clerk of the Supreme Court brought me this written nightmare, which has been distressing me up to the present moment. If it is a charge, I do not make it; if it is an insinuation, I do not endorse it; if its expression less exterior conceals a slur, I do not father it. I simply publish the document as I received it, and take no responsibility upon myself for the consequences. I do not wish these gentlemen any harm; I would not willingly and knowingly do them the slightest possible wrong—yet, if they ought to be filed—mind, I say if they ought to be filed—if it is entirely right and proper that they should be filed—if, in the opinion of the people of this commonwealth, it is deemed necessary to file them—then, I say, let them be filed and be d——[here the manuscript was illegible.—ED.] Now you have the document and the facts in the case; and if there be a fault in the matter it is the Clerk's, and I know what that Chinaman did it for. [If you have forgotten the circumstance, I said in a letter that he had been cast for a Chinaman in the recent tableaux here.]

The Roads and Highways bill was considered in Committee of the Whole in the House yesterday. A clause in it provides for a tax of $4 on each voter, or a day's work on the roads in lieu thereof. Storey was relieved from the payment of this tax, which was entirely proper, since there is not a free road in the whole county.

These grave and reverend legislators relax a little occasionally, and indulge in chaste and refined jollity to a small extent. Col. Williams is engineering a certain toll road franchise through the House, and the other night he was laying before the Committee on Internal Improvements some facts in the case, pending which he had occasion to illustrate his theme with pencil and paper, and the result was a map, which, in view of its grandeur of conception, elegance of design and masterly execution, I feel justified in styling miraculous. Mr. Lovejoy, Chairman of the Committee, captured it, incorporated it into his report, and presented it before the House yesterday, thus:


Map of Col. Williams' road "from a certain point to another place," as drawn by himself, and which was conclusive evidence to your Committee:

Your committee would ask that it be referred to Col. Howard of the Storey county delegation.

[Signed] LOVEJOY, Chairman

ACKLEY, Sec y.

It was so referred by the Speaker.

Col. Howard will report to-day. I have procured a copy of the forthcoming document, and transmit it herewith.


Your committee, consisting of a solitary but very competent individual, to whom was referred Col. Williams' road from a certain point to another place, would beg most respectfully to report:

Your committee has had under consideration said map.

The word map is derived from the Spanish word "mapa," or the Portuguese word "mappa." Says the learned lexicographer Webster, "in geography a map is a representation of the surface of the earth, or any part of it, drawn on paper or other material, exhibiting the lines of latitude and longitude, and the positions of countries, kingdoms, states, mountains, rivers, etc."

Your committee, with due respect to the projector of the road in question, would designate what is styled in the report a map, an unnatural and diabolical scrawl, devoid of form, regularity or meaning. Your committee has in times past witnessed the wild irregularity of the footprints of birds of prey upon a moist sea shore. Your committee was struck with the strong resemblance of the map under discussion to some one of said footprints.

Your committee, during his juvenile days, has watched a frantic and indiscreet fly emerge from a pot or vase containing molasses; your committee has seen said fly alight upon a scrap of virgin paper, and leave thereon a wild medley of wretched and discordant tracks; your committee was struck with the wonderful resemblance of said fly-tracks to the map now before your committee.

Yet your committee believes that the map in question has some merit as an abstract hieroglyphic.

Your committee, therefore, recommends, the Council concurring, that the aforesaid map be photographed, and that one copy thereof, framed in sage brush, be hung over the Speaker's chair, and that another copy be donated to the Council, to be suspended over the chair of the President of that body, as a memento of the artistic skill and graphic genius of one of our most distinguished members—a guide to all future Pi-Utes. All of which is respectfully submitted.

HOWARD, Chairman and Sole Committee

A resolution passed the House yesterday, authorizing the Secretary of the Territory to purchase and preserve files of the various papers published in the Territory.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1862


December 12, 1862

EDITORS ENTERPRISE: Ormsby heads the world on the turnip question. The vegetable upon which I base this boast, was grown in the turnip garden of Mr. S. D. Fairchild, back here towards King's Canyon—in the suburbs—say about eight squares from the plaza. Mr. Fairchild left it at the 'branch of the ENTERPRISE office in Carson, a day or two since. The monster was accurately surveyed, with the following result: circumference, forty inches; weight, a fraction over eighteen pounds.

Col. Williams, of the House, who says I mutilate his eloquence, addressed a note to me this morning, to the effect that I had given his constituents wrong impressions concerning him, and nothing but blood would satisfy him. I sent him that turnip on a hand barrow, requesting him to extract from it a sufficient quantity of blood to restore his equilibrium—which I regarded as a very excellent joke. Col. Williams ate it (raw) during the usual prayer by the chaplain. To sum up: eighteen pounds of raw turnip is sufficient for an ordinary lunch—Col. Williams had his feet on his desk at the time—he beamed—wherefore, I think his satisfaction was complete.

Carson also boasts the only pork-packing establishment in Nevada Territory. Mr. George T. Davis is the proprietor thereof, and he has already killed and packed two hundred and fifty fine hogs this winter. This will be cheering news to the young lady who told me the other evening that she "loved pork."

The pleasantest affair of the season, perhaps, although not the most gorgeous, was the "candy-pull" at the White House, a few nights ago. The candy had not finished cooking at nine o'clock, so they concluded to dance awhile. They always dance here when they have time. I have noticed it frequently. I think it is a way they have. They got a couple of able-bodied fiddlers and went at it. They opened with the dance called the plain quadrille, which is very simple and easy, and is performed in this wise: All you have to do is to stand up in the middle of the floor, being careful to get your lady on your right hand side, and yourself on the left hand side of your lady. Then you are all right you know. When you hear a blast of music like unto the rush of many waters, you lay your hand on your stomach and bow to the lady of your choice then you turn around and bow to the fiddlers. The first order is, "First couple fore and aft"—or words to that effect. This is very easy. You have only to march straight across the house—keeping out of the way of the advancing couple, who very seldom know where they are going to—and when you get over, if you find your partner there, swing her; if you don't, hunt her up—for it is very handy to have a partner in these plain quadrilles. The next order is, "Ladies change." This is an exceedingly difficult figure, and requires great presence of mind; because, on account of shaking hands with the lobby members so much, and from the force of human nature also, you are morally certain to offer your right, when the chances are that your left hand is wanted. This has a tendency to mix things. At this point order and regularity cease the dancers get excited—the musicians become insane—turmoil and confusion ensue—chaos comes again! Put your trust in Providence and stick to your partner. Several of these engaging and beautiful plain quadrilles were danced during the evening, and we might have enjoyed several more, but the rostrum broke down and spilt the musicians. I was exceedingly delighted with the waltz, and also with the polka. These differ in name, but there the difference ceases—the dances are precisely the same. You have only to spin around with frightful velocity and steer clear of the furniture. This has a charming and bewildering effect. You catch glimpses of a confused and whirling multitude of people, and above them a row of distracted fiddlers extending entirely around the room. The waltz and the polka are very exhilarating—to use a mild term—amazingly exhilarating.

Nothing occurred to mar the joyousness of the occasion. The party was very select except myself and Col. Williams; the candy was not burned; the Governor sat down on a hot stove and got up again with great presence of mind; the dancing was roomy and hilarious, and fun went to waste. Henceforward my principles are fixed. I am a stern and unwavering advocate of "candy-pulls."

There was a slight conflagration in Mr. Helm's office yesterday morning—at least I was told so by my friend, the reporter for the Virginia Union, who is not very reliable. He also stated that no damage was done; but I don't put much confidence in what he says.

The ladies have not smiled much on this Legislature, so far. Thirty-two of our loveliest visited the halls night before last, though, which is an encouraging symptom. I cannot conscientiously say they smiled, however, for the Revenue bill was before the House. This cheerful subject is calculated to produce inward jollity, but the same is not apt to blossom into smiles on the surface. The ladies were well pleased with the night session, though—they enjoyed it exceedingly—in many respects it was much superior to a funeral. The Revenue bill was finished up last night, and in the name and at the request of the members, I invite all the ladies in town to call again, at any time, either day or night session. That Revenue bill was one of those nonsensical general public concerns that we are not used to; but the fun will be resumed right away, now that we are back on our regular toll roads again.

I went down to Empire City yesterday to see the Eagle Fire Company try their new engine (by the way, you have, so far, neglected to mention either the machine or the company in your paper). They first threw an inch and a quarter stream over Dutch Nick's hotel, and then a three-quarter inch stream over the liberty pole. This brought cheers from the multitude (there were many ladies there from neighboring cities). The boys grew excited and ambitious. Several ladies passed by, wearing the new fashioned light-house bonnets. The Eagles, in their madness, attempted to throw a half-inch stream over those bonnets. They puffed their cheeks and strained every nerve; there was a moment of painful suspense, as the pearly column went towering toward the clouds—then a long, loud, reverberating shout, as it bent gracefully and went over, without touching a feather! But the engine broke.

If McCluskey, of the Delta Saloon, could send me a reporter's cobbler—an unusually long one—I think it would relieve my cold.

Territorial Enterprise, December 13-19, 1862


Ah, well—it is touching to see these knotty and rugged old pioneers—who have beheld Nevada in her infancy, and toiled through her virgin sands unmolested by toll-keepers; and prospected her unsmiling hills, and knocked at the doors of her sealed treasure vaults; and camped with her horned-toads, and tarantulas and lizards, under her inhospitable sage brush; and smoked the same pipe; and imbibed lightning out of the same bottle; and eaten their regular bacon and beans from the same pot; and lain down to their rest under the same blanket—happy, and lousy and contented—yea, happier and lousier and more contented than they are this day, or may be in the days that are to come; it is touching, I say, to see these weather-beaten and blasted old patriarchs banding together like a decaying tribe, for the sake of the privations they have undergone, and the dangers they have met—to rehearse the deeds of the hoary past, and rescue its traditions from oblivion! The Pah-Ute Association will become a high and honorable order in the land—its certificate of membership a patent of nobility. I extend unto the fraternity the right hand of a poor but honest half-breed, and say God speed your sacred enterprise.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1862

[extracts from original]


Carson, Midnight December 23d.

Eds., Enterprise:

On the last night of the session, Hon. Thomas Hannah announced that a Grand Bull Drivers' Convention would assemble in Washoe City, on the 22d, to receive Hon. Jim Sturtevant and the other members of the Washoe delegation. I journeyed to the place yesterday to see that the ovation was properly conducted. I traveled per stage. The Unreliable of the Union went also—for the purpose of distorting the facts. The weather was delightful. It snowed the entire day. The wind blew such a hurricane that the coach drifted sideways from one toll road to another, and sometimes utterly refused to mind her helm. It is a fearful thing to be at sea in a stagecoach. We were anxious to get to Washoe by four o'clock, but luck was against us: we were delayed by stress of weather; we were hindered by the bad condition of the various toll roads; we finally broke the after spring of the wagon, and had to lay up for repairs. Therefore we only reached Washoe at dusk. Messrs. Lovejoy, Howard, Winters, Sturtevant, and Speaker Mills had left Carson ahead of us, and we found them in the city. They had not beaten us much, however, as I could perceive by their upright walk and untangled conversation. At 6 P.M., the Carson City Brass Band, followed by the Committee of Arrangements, and the Chairman of the Convention, and the delegation, and the invited guests, and the citizens generally, and the hurricane, marched up one of the most principal streets, and filed in imposing procession into Foulke's Hall. The delegation, and the guests, and the band, were provided with comfortable seats near the Chairman's desk, and the constituency occupied the body-pews. The delegation and the guests stood up and formed a semicircle, and Mr. Gregory introduced them one at a time to the constituency. Mr. Gregory did this with much grace and dignity, albeit he affected to stammer and gasp, and hesitate, and look colicky, and miscall the names, and miscall them again by way of correcting himself, and grab desperately at invisible things in the air—all with a charming pretense of being scared.

The Hon. John K. Lovejoy arose in his place and blew his horn. He made honorable mention of the Legislature and the Committee on Internal Improvements. He told how the fountains of their great deep were broken up, and they rained forty days and forty nights, and brought on a flood of toll roads over the whole land. He explained to them that the more toll roads there were, the more competition there would be, and the roads would be good, and tolls moderate in consequence.

Mr. Speaker Mills responded to the numerous calls for him, and spoke so well in praise of the Washoe delegation that I was constrained to believe that there really was some merit in the deceased.

Hon. Theodore Winters next addressed the people. He said he went to the Legislature with but one solitary object in view—the securing to this Territory of an incorporation law. How he had succeeded, the people themselves could tell...

The Chairman, Mr. Gaston, introduced Colonel Howard, and that gentleman addressed the people in his peculiarly grave and dignified manner. The constituency gave way to successive cataracts of laughter, which was singularly out of keeping with the stern seriousness of the speaker's bearing. He spoke about ten minutes, and then took his seat, in spite of the express wish of the audience that he should go on.

Hon. Jim Sturtevant next addressed the citizens, extemporaneously. He made use of the very thunder which I meant to launch at the populace. Owing to this unfortunate circumstance, I was forced to keep up an intelligent silence during the session of the convention...

After this the assemblage broke up and adjourned to take something to drink. At nine o'clock the band again summoned the public to Foulke's Hall, and I proceeded to that place. I found the Unreliable there, and George Hepperly. I had requested Mr. Hepperly, as a personal favor, to treat the Unreliable with distinguished consideration and I am proud and happy to acknowledge he had done so. He had him in charge of two constables.

The Hall had been cleared of the greater part of its benches, and the ball was ready to commence. The citizens had assembled in force, and the sexes were pretty equally represented in the proportion of one lady to several gentlemen. The night was so infernally inclement—so to speak—that it was impossible for ladies who lived at any considerable distance to attend. However, those that were there appeared in every quadrille, and with exemplary industry. I did not observe any wallflowers—the climate of Washoe appears to be unsuited to that kind of vegetation.

In accordance with the customs of the country, they indulged in the plain quadrille at this ball. And notwithstanding the vicissitudes which I have seen that wonderful national dance pass through, I solemnly affirm that they sprung some more new figures on me last night. However, the ball was a very pleasant affair. We could muster four sets and still have a vast surplusage of gentlemen—but the strictest economy had to be observed in order to make the ladies hold out.

The supper and the champagne were excellent and abundant, and I offer no word of blame against anybody for eating and drinking pretty freely. If I were to blame anybody, I would commence with the Unreliable—for he drank until he lost all sense of etiquette. I actually found myself in bed with him with my boots on. However, as I said before, I cannot blame the cuss; it was a convivial occasion, and his little shortcomings ought to be overlooked. When I went to bed this morning, Mr. Lovejoy, arrayed in fiery red night clothes, was dancing the war dance of his tribe (he is President of the Paiute Association) around a spittoon and Colonel Howard, dressed in a similar manner, was trying to convince him that he was a humbug. A suspicion crossed my mind that they were partially intoxicated, but I could not be sure about it on account of everything appearing to turn around so. I left Washoe City this morning at nine o'clock, fully persuaded that I would like to go back there again when the next convention meets.

Territorial Enterprise, December 28, 1862


Old Dan is gone, that good old soul, we ne'er shall see him more—for some time. He left for Carson yesterday, to be duly stamped and shipped to America, by way of the United States Overland Mail. As the stage was on the point of weighing anchor, the senior editor dashed wildly into Wasserman's and captured a national flag, which he cast about Dan's person to the tune of three rousing cheers from the bystanders. So, with the gorgeous drapery floating behind him, our kind and genial hero passed from our sight; and if fervent prayers from us, who seldom pray, can avail, his journey will be as safe and happy as though ministering angels watched over him. Dan has gone to the States for his health, and his family. He worked himself down in creating big strikes in the mines and keeping all the mills in this district going, whether their owners were willing or not. These herculean labors gradually undermined his health, but he went bravely on, and we are proud to say that as far as these things were concerned, he never gave up—the miners never did, and never could have conquered him. He fell under a scarcity of pack-trains and hay wagons. These had been the bulwark of the local column; his confidence in them was like unto that which men have in four aces; murders, robberies, fires, distinguished arrivals, were creatures of chance, which might or might not occur at any moment; but the pack-trains and the hay-wagons were certain, predestined, immutable! When these failed last week, he said "Et tu Brute," and gave us his pen. His constitution suddenly warped, split and went under, and Daniel succumbed. We have a saving hope, though, that his trip across the Plains, through eighteen hundred miles of cheerful hay stacks, will so restore our loved and lost to his ancient health and energy, that when he returns next fall he will be able to run our five hundred mills as easily as he used to keep five-score moving. Dan is gone, but he departed in a blaze of glory, the like of which hath hardly been seen upon this earth since the blameless Elijah went up in his fiery chariot.

Territorial Enterprise, December 30-31, 1862


OUR STOCK REMARKS.—Owing to the fact that our stock reporter attended a wedding last evening, our report of transactions in that branch of robbery and speculation is not quite as complete and satisfactory as usual this morning. About eleven o'clock last night the aforesaid remarker pulled himself upstairs by the banisters, and stumbling over the stove, deposited the following notes on our table, with the remark: "S(hic)am, just 'laberate this, w(hic)ill, yer?" We said we would, but we couldn't. If any of our readers think they can, we shall be pleased to see the translation. Here are the notes: "Stocks brisk, and Ophir has taken this woman for your wedded wife. Some few transactions have occurred in rings and lace veils, and at figures tall, graceful and charming. There was some inquiry late in the day for parties who would take them for better or for worse but there were few offers. There seems to be some depression in this stock. We mentioned yesterday that our Father which art in heaven. Quotations of lost reference, and now I lay me down to sleep," &c., &c., &c.

BOARD OF EDUCATION.—In accordance with a law passed at the late session of the legislature, a Board of Education is to be organized in each of the several counties. The Storey county Board will be composed of seven members, apportioned as follows: Four from Virginia, two from Gold Hill, and one from Flowery. The Chairman of the Board will be County School Superintendent. These officers will have power to issue bonds sufficient to defray the expenses of the schools, from the 1st of January until the 1st of November; to establish schools of all grades, engage and examine teachers, etc. The election for the Board of Education will be held next Monday, at the Court House, in Virginia; at the Postoffice, in Gold Hill, and at the house of I. W. Knox, in Flowery, the polls to be open from 8 o'clock in the morning until 6 in the evening. The Board will meet and organize on the Monday following their election.

BLOWN DOWN.—At sunset yesterday, the wind commenced blowing after a fashion to which a typhoon is mere nonsense, and in a short time the face of heaven was obscured by vast clouds of dust all spangled over with lumber, and shingles, and dogs and things. There was no particular harm in that, but the breeze soon began to work damage of a serious nature. Thomas Moore's new frame house on the east side of C street, above the Court House, was blown down, and the fire-wall front of a one story brick building higher up the street was also thrown to the ground. The latter house was occupied as a store by Mr. Heldman, and owned by Mr. Felton. The storm was very severe for a while, and we shall not be surprised to hear of further destruction having been caused by it. The damage resulting to Mr. Heldman's grocery store, amounts to $2,200.

AT HOME.—Judge Brumfield's nightmare—the Storey county delegation—have straggled in, one at a time, until they are all at home once more. Messrs. Mills, Mitchell, Meagher and Minneer returned several days ago, and we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Davenport, also, yesterday. We do not know how long the latter gentleman has been here, but we offer him the unlimited freedom of the city, any how. Justice to a good representative is justice, you know, whether it be tardy or otherwise.

THE SCHOOL.—Mr. Mellvile's school will open again next Monday, and in the meantime the new furniture is being put up in the school house. The Virginia Cadets (a company composed of Mr. Mellvile's larger pupils,) will appear in public on New Year's Day, the weather permitting, armed and equipped as the law directs. The boys were pretty proficient in their military exercises when we saw them last, and they have probably not deteriorated since then.

SAD ACCIDENT.—We learn from Messrs. Hatch &. Bro., who do a heavy business in the way of supplying this market with vegetables, that the rigorous weather accompanying the late storm was so severe on the mountains as to cause a loss of life in several instances. Two sacks of sweet potatoes were frozen to death on the summit, this side of Strawberry. The verdict rendered by the coroner's jury was strictly in accordance with the facts.

THRILLING ROMANCE.—On our first page, to-day, will be found the opening chapters of a thrilling tale, entitled "An Act to amend and supplemental to an Act to provide for Assessing and Collecting County and Territorial Revenue." This admirable story was written especially for the columns of this paper by several distinguished authors. We have secured a few more productions of the same kind, at great expense, and we design publishing them in their regular order. Our readers will agree with us that it will redound considerably to their advantage to read and preserve these documents.

FIRE, ALMOST.—The roof of the New York Restaurant took fire from the stovepipe, yesterday morning, and but for the timely discovery of the fact, a serious conflagration would have ensued, as the restaurant is situated in a nest of frame houses, which would have burned like tinder. As it was, nothing but a few shingles were damaged.

PRIVATE PARTY.—The members of Engine Co. No. 2, with a number of invited guests, are to have a little social dance at La Plata Hall, this evening. They have made every arrangement for having a pleasant time of it, and we hope they may succeed to the very fullest extent of their wishes.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1, 1863


Are we to be scared to death every time we venture into the street? May we be allowed to go quietly about our business, or are we to be assailed at every corner by fearful apparitions? As we were plodding home at the ghostly hour last night, thinking about the haunted house humbug, we were suddenly riveted to the pavement in a paroxysm of terror by that blue and yellow phantom who watches over the destinies of the shooting gallery, this side of the International. Seen in daylight, placidly reclining against his board in the doorway, with his blue coat, and his yellow pants, and his high boots, and his fancy hat, just lifted from his head, he is rather an engaging youth, than otherwise; but at dead of night, when he pops out his pallid face at you by candle light, and stares vacantly upon you with his uplifted hat and the eternal civility of his changeless brow, and the ghostliness of his general appearance heightened by that grave-stone inscription over his stomach, "to-day shooting for chickens here," you are apt to think of spectres starting up from behind tomb-stones, and you weaken accordingly—the cold chills creep over you—your hair stands on end—you reverse your front, and with all possible alacrity, you change your base.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1, 1863


Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. To-day, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient short comings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.

Territorial Enterprise, January 4, 1863


[first lines not recovered]

... benevolent enterprise, and to be present and see such a phenomenon, would be well worth the price of the ticket—six dollars, supper included. Wherefore, we advise every citizen of Storey to go to the ball—early—and stand ready to enjoy the joke. The fun to be acquired in this way, for a trifling sum of money, cannot be computed by any system of mathematics known to the present generation. And the more the merrier. We all know that a thousand people can enjoy that failure more extensively than a smaller number. Mr. Unger has tendered the use of the large dining hall of the What Cheer House (nearly opposite the La Plata Hall) with all the necessary table ware, and the waiters employed in the hotel, free of charge. This generosity—this liberality in a noble cause—calls for a second from somebody. Get your contributions ready—money, wines, cakes, and knicknacks and substantials of all kinds—and when the ladies call for them, deliver your offerings with a grace and dignity graduated by the market value of the same, the condition of your pecuniary affairs, and the sympathy you feel for maimed and suffering humanity. The ladies may be looked for to-morrow.

ELECTION.—To-morrow morning, at eight o'clock, the polls will be opened at the Court House, on C street, for the election of the four members of the County Board of Education to which Virginia is entitled. Gold Hill is entitled to two members, and Flowery to one. In the former place, the polls will be at the Post Office, and in the latter at the house of Mr. I. W. Knox. The Board will meet and organize on the Monday following their election. They will have power to issue bonds for a sum sufficient to defray the expenses of the respective schools of the county, from the beginning of the present month until the first of November. They will also have power to establish schools of all grades, engage and examine teachers, etc. The Chairman of the Board will be County School Superintendent. Let those who feel interested in school matters go and deposit their opinions in the ballot-box to-morrow.

PUBLIC SCHOOL.—The juveniles are hereby notified to put away their sleds and doll-babies and go into the traces again, at Mr. Mellvile's school-house, corner of E and Washington streets, to-morrow morning, at 10 o'clock. The pupils used to learn fast under the old regime of puritanical straight-back benches. We shall expect the new chairs and desks to impart a telegraphic celerity to their improvement henceforward.

NEW YEARS EXTENSION.—Yesterday was New Years Day for the ladies. We kept open house, and were called upon by seventy-two ladies—all young and handsome. This stunning popularity is pleasant to reflect upon, but we are afraid some people will think it prevented us from scouting for local matters with our usual avidity. This is a mistake; if anything had happened within the county limits yesterday, those ladies would have mentioned it.

SUPREME COURT.—Gen. Williams finished his long and able argument in the Chollar and Potosi case, at a late hour last night. This was the closing speech. It is said that the Supreme Court cannot reasonably be expected to render a decision in this important case before the end of the present month.

BALL IN CARSON.—Just as we are going to press, we learn that Mrs. Williamson is to give a ball at the White House in Carson City, next Thursday evening. We have no particulars, but we suppose that one of those pleasant, sociable affairs, which are Mrs. Williamson's specialty, is in contemplation.

MASS.—Rev. Father Manogue notifies the Roman Catholics of Carson City that Mass will be celebrated there this forenoon at 11 o'clock. We presume that this service will take place at Miss Clapp's school house, as it has been used by that denomination for some time past as a chapel.

FIREMEN'S MEETING.—The Virginia Engine Company will hold a meeting at the engine house, A street, on Tuesday evening, January 6th, for the purpose of electing officers to serve during the present year.

RECORDER'S COURT.—Business in this institution is still feeble. Only one case yesterday—a scion of the noble house of Howard—Christian name, John Doe, d. d., fined ten dollars and costs—paid the same and was discharged.

Territorial Enterprise, January 6, 1863


FREE FIGHT.—A beautiful and ably conducted free fight came off in C street yesterday afternoon, but as nobody was killed or mortally wounded in a manner sufficiently fatal to cause death, no particular interest attaches to the matter, and we shall not publish the details. We pine for murder—these fist fights are of no consequence to anybody.

Humboldt stocks are plenty in the market, at figures which we have no doubt are low for the claims. The want of buyers is probably attributable to the indefinite knowledge of these claims. There are unquestionably many valuable ledges in the district offered at exceedingly low prices.

The old friends and acquaintances of Jno. D. Kinney (who came to Nevada Territory with Chief Justice Turner, and who returned to the States last March,) will be gratified to learn that that sterling patriot is now a captain in the Seventh Ohio Cavalry.

Milstead, who murdered a man named Varney, some time ago, near Ragtown, in Humboldt county, will be hung in Dayton next Friday.

James Leconey, W. H. Barstow, Jas. Phelan and John A. Collins were elected members of the Board of Education at Virginia.

Territorial Enterprise, January 8, 1863

[written after having his hat stolen]


We have been suffering from the seven years' itch for many months. It is probably the most aggravating disease in the world. It is contagious. That man has commenced a career of suffering which is frightful to contemplate; there is no cure for the distemper—it must run its course; there is no respite for its victim, and but little alleviation of its torments to be hoped for; the unfortunate's only resource is to bathe in sulphur and molasses and let his finger nails grow. Further advice is unnecessary—instinct will prompt him to scratch.

Territorial Enterprise, January 10, 1863


THE SANITARY BALL—The Sanitary Ball at La Plata Hall on Thursday night [January 8, 1863] was a very marked success, and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, the correctness of our theory, that ladies never fail in undertakings of this kind. If there had been about two dozen more people there, the house would have been crowded—as it was, there was room enough on the floor for the dancers, without trespassing on their neighbors' corns. Several of those long, trailing dresses, even, were under fire in the thickest of the fight for six hours, and came out as free from rips and rents as they were when they went in. Not all of them, though. We recollect a circumstance in point. We had just finished executing one of those inscrutable figures of the plain quadrille; we were feeling unusually comfortable, because we had gone through the performance as well as anybody could have done it, except that we had wandered a little toward the last; in fact we had wandered out of our own and into somebody else's set—but that was a matter of small consequence, as the new locality was as good as the old one, and we were used to that sort of thing anyhow. We were feeling comfortable, and we had assumed an attitude—we have a sort of talent for posturing—a pensive attitude, copied from the Colossus of Rhodes—when the ladies were ordered to the centre. Two of them got there, and the other two moved off gallantly, but they failed to make the connection. They suddenly broached to under full headway, and there was a sound of parting canvas. Their dresses were anchored under our boots, you know. It was unfortunate, but it could not be helped. Those two beautiful pink dresses let go amidships, and remained in a ripped and damaged condition to the end of the ball. We did not apologize, because our presence of mind happened to be absent at the very moment that we had the greatest need of it. But we beg permission to do so now.

An excellent supper was served in the large dining-room of the new What Cheer House on B street. We missed it there, somewhat. We were not accompanied by a lady, and consequently we were not eligible to a seat at the first table. We found out all about that at the Gold Hill ball, and we had intended to be all prepared for this one. We engaged a good many young ladies last Tuesday to go with us, thinking that out of the lot we should certainly be able to secure one, at the appointed time, but they all seemed to have got a little angry about something—nobody knows what, for the ways of women are past finding out. They told us we had better go and invite a thousand girls to go to the ball. A thousand. Why, it was absurd. We had no use for a thousand girls. A thou—but those girls were as crazy as loons. In every instance, after they had uttered that pointless suggestion, they marched magnificently out of their parlors—and if you will believe us, not one of them ever recollected to come back again. Why, it was the most unaccountable experience we ever heard of. We never enjoyed so much solitude in so many different places, in one evening before. But patience has its limits; we finally got tired of that arrangement—and at the risk of offending some of those girls, we stalked off to the Sanitary Ball alone without a virgin, out of that whole litter. We may have done wrong—we probably did do wrong to disappoint those fellows in that kind of style—but how could we help it? We couldn't stand the temperature of those parlors more than an hour at a time: it was cold enough to freeze out the heaviest stock-holder on the Gould & Curry's books.

However, as we remarked before, everybody spoke highly of the supper, and we believe they meant what they said. We are unable to say anything in the matter from personal knowledge, except that the tables were arranged with excellent taste, and more than abundantly supplied, and everything looked very beautiful, and very inviting, also; but then we had absorbed so much cold weather in those parlors, and had had so much trouble with those girls, that we had no appetite left. We only eat a boiled ham and some pies, and went back to the ball room. There were some very handsome cakes on the tables, manufactured by Mr. Slade, and decorated with patriotic mottoes, done in fancy icing. All those who were happy that evening, agree that the supper was superb.

After supper the dancing was jolly. They kept it up till four in the morning, and the guests enjoyed themselves excessively. All the dances were performed, and the bill of fare wound up with a new style of plain quadrille called a medley, which involved the whole list. It involved us also. But we got out again—and we staid out, with great sagacity. But speaking of plain quadrilles reminds us of another new one—the Virginia reel. We found it a very easy matter to dance it, as long as we had thirty or forty lookers-on to prompt us. The dancers were formed in two long ranks, facing each other, and the battle opens with some light skirmishing between the pickets, which is gradually resolved into a general engagement along the whole line: after that, you have nothing to do but stand by and grab every lady that drifts within reach of you, and swing her. It is very entertaining, and elaborately scientific also; but we observed that with a partner who had danced it before, we were able to perform it rather better than the balance of the guests.

Altogether, the Sanitary Ball was a remarkably pleasant party, and we are glad that such was the case—for it is a very uncomfortable task to be obliged to say harsh things about entertainments of this kind. At the present writing we cannot say what the net proceeds of the ball will amount to, but they will doubtless reach quite a respectable figure—say $400.

DUE NOTICE—Moralists and philosophers have adjudged those who throw temptation in the way of the erring, equally guilty with those who are thereby led into evil; and we therefore hold the man who suffers that turkey to run at large just back of our office as culpable as our self, if some day that fowl is no longer perceptible to human vision. The Czar of Russia never cast his eye on the minarets of Byzantium half as longingly as we gaze on that old gobbler. Turkey stuffed with oysters is our weakness—our mouth waters at the recollection of sundry repasts of that character—and this bird aforementioned appears to us to have an astonishing capacity for oyster-stuffing. Wonder if those fresh oysters at Almack's are all gone? We grow ravenous—pangs of hunger gnaw our vitals—if to-morrow's setting sun gleams on the living form of that turkey, we yield our reputation for strategy.

THE NEW COURT HOUSE.—Messrs. Unger & Denninger's new brick house, on B street, has been leased by the County Commissioners for court rooms and offices. The first floor, we believe, is to be used for a United States District Court room, and the second story will be partitioned into offices and a Probate Court room. It would probably have been better to have reversed this order of things, on account of the superior light and the freedom from dust and noise afforded by the upper story; yet it is possible that these advantages may be as necessary in one case as the other—we do not care about dictating much in the matter so long as no one will be likely to pay us for it. But nevertheless, since the first story is to be used for the District Court, we wish to suggest that that box, that partition, be removed, and the whole of it set apart for that purpose. It would then be a large, handsome and well-lighted hall, whereas, in its present shape, it is not very greatly superior to the present court room on C street. A gentleman informed us yesterday that he thought the intention was to remove the partition, but he could not be positive about it.

THE MUSIC.—Millington & McCluskey's band furnished the music for the Sanitary Ball on Thursday night, and also for the Odd Fellows' Ball the other evening in Gold Hill, and the excellence of the article was only equalled by the industry and perseverance of the performers. We consider that the man who can fiddle all through one of those Virginia Reels without losing his grip, may be depended upon in any kind of musical emergency.

Territorial Enterprise, January 11-21, 1863


HIGH PRICE OF PORK.—In our record of probate proceedings to-day, will be found the case of John Hill vs. John Doe Wentworth. As a matter of principle, it may be well enough to stand by your rights until the lake of fire and brimstone is no longer in a state of liquification, but whether it be good policy to do so at all times is a question which admits of argument. This case is an instance in point. The property involved is about twenty or thirty dollars' worth of pork in a crude state—we mean, two living hogs, probably worth but little more than ten dollars each; yet this suit to determine their ownership has already cost the parties to it some six or seven hundred dollars, and the defeated but plucky plaintiff has given notice that he will apply for a new trial! The new trial will double the bill of expenses, in all human probability.

We learn from gentlemen who were present at the trial to-day, that there were about thirty witnesses on the stand, and one of them a woman. The hog dispute afforded those concerned and the lookers-on a good deal of fun, but it was very costly. Those two distinguished pigs ought to be taken care of and exhibited at the first agricultural fair of Nevada Territory. At any rate, we shall officially spread the proceedings of this trial upon the records of the Washoe Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society, as evidence of the high value placed upon the hog in Nevada Territory.

Territorial Enterprise, January 22-28, 1863


The following, which will do to sweeten some bachelor's coffee with, was picked up in front of the International:

"DARLING: I have not had time to write you to-day—I have worked hard entertaining company. Do come and see your little pet. I yearn for the silvery cadence of your voice—I thirst for the bubbling stream of your affection.


We feel for that girl. The water privilege which she pines for so lovingly has probably dried up and departed, else her sweet note would not have been floating around the streets without a claimant. We feel for her deeply—and if it will afford her any relief, if it will conduce to her comfort, if it will satisfy her yearning even in the smallest degree, we will cheerfully call around and "bubble" awhile for her ourself, if she will send us her address.

Territorial Enterprise, mid-February, 1863


We slide down into the Spanish mine yesterday, to look after the rich strike which was made there lately.

[This in the time before elevators, when, as in the salt mines in Austria, one slides down a polished wooden bannister on a waxed leather apron to reduce the heat. It is a great ride down but a long hike back up. Ed.]

We found things going on at about their usual gait, and the general appearance of the mine in no respect differing from what it was before the recent flood. A few inches of water still remain in the lower gallery, but it interferes with nobody, and can be easily bailed out whenever it may be deemed necessary. Every department of the Spanish mine is now in first class working order, owing to the able management of the general Superintendent, Mr. J. P. Corrigan: the slight damage done by the inundation having been thoroughly repaired. In the matter of bracing and timbering the mine, an improvement upon the old plan has lately been added, which makes a large saving in the bill of expenses. This improvement consists in building the stations wider and higher, and filling up a wall of them here and there with refuse rock. Expenses are not only lightened thus, but such walls never rot, are never in danger of caving, need never be removed, and are altogether the strongest supports that a mine can have. Intelligent people can understand, now, that about a hundred dollars a day may be saved in this way, without even taking into consideration the costly job of re-timbering every two or three years, which is rendered unnecessary by it—and by way of driving the proposition into heads like the Unreliable's, which is filled with oysters instead of brains, we will say that by building these walls, you are saved the time and labor of lowering heavy timbers 300 feet into the earth and hoisting up refuse rock the same distance; for you can leave the one in the woods, and pile the other into boxed-up stations as fast as you dig it out. However, it is time to speak of the rich strike, now. This charming spot is two hundred and forty feet below the surface of the earth. It extends across the entire width of the ledge—from twenty-five to thirty feet—and has been excavated some twenty feet on the length of the lead, and to the depth of twenty-one feet. How much deeper it reaches, no man knoweth. The face of the walls is of a dark blue color, sparkling with pyrites, or sulphurets, or something, and beautifully marbled with little crooked streaks of lightning as white as loaf sugar. This mass of richness pays from eight to twelve hundred dollars a ton just as it is taken from the ledge, without "sorting." Twenty thousand dollars' worth of it was hoisted out of the mine last Saturday; about two hundred and fifty tons have been taken out altogether. The hoisting apparatus is about perfect: when put to its best speed, it can bail out somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and fifty tons of rock in daylight. The rich ore we have been talking about is sacked up as soon as it reaches the surface of the Territory, and shipped off to the Company's mill (the Silver State) at Empire City. The Silver State is a forty-stamp arrangement, with a thundering chimney to it, which any one has noticed who has traveled from here to Carson. Mr. Dorsey is the superintendent, and Mr. Janin assayer.

Territorial Enterprise, February 5, 1863


CARSON, Tuesday Night.

EDS. ENTERPRISE: I received the following atrocious document the morning I arrived here. It is from that abandoned profligate, the Unreliable, and I think it speaks for itself:

CARSON CITY, Thursday Morning

TO THE UNRELIABLE—SIR: Observing the driver of the Virginia stage hunting after you this morning, in order to collect his fare, I infer you are in town.

In the paper which you represent, I noticed an article which I took to be an effusion of your muddled brain, stating that I had "cabbaged" a number of valuable articles from you the night I took you out of the streets in Washoe City and permitted you to occupy my bed.

I take this opportunity to inform you that I will compensate you at the rate of $20 per head for every one of those valuables that I received from you, providing you will relieve me of their presence. This offer can either be accepted or rejected on your part: but, providing you don't see proper to accept it, you had better procure enough lumber to make a box 4 x 8, and have it made as early as possible. Judge Dixson will arrange the preliminaries, if you don't accede. An early reply is expected by


Not satisfied with wounding my feelings by making the most extraordinary references and allusions in the above note, he even sent me a challenge to fight, in the same envelope with it, hoping to work upon my fears and drive me from the country by intimidation. But I was not to be frightened; I shall remain in the Territory. I guessed his object at once, and determined to accept his challenge, choose weapons and things, and scare him, instead of being scared myself. I wrote a stern reply to him, and offered him mortal combat with bootjacks at a hundred yards. The effect was more agreeable than I could have hoped for. His hair turned black in a single night, from excess of fear; then he went into a fit of melancholy, and while it lasted he did nothing but sigh, and sob, and snuffle, and slobber, and blow his nose on his coat-tail, and say "he wished he was in the quiet tomb"; finally, he said he would commit suicide—he would say farewell to the cold, cold world, with its cares and troubles, and go and sleep with his fathers, in perdition. Then rose up this young man, and threw his demijohn out of the window, and took a glass of pure water, and drained it to the very, very dregs. And then he fell on the floor in spasms. Dr. Tjader was called in, and as soon as he found that the cuss was poisoned, he rushed down to the Magnolia Saloon and got the antidote, and poured it down him. As he was drawing his last breath, he scented the brandy and lingered yet a while upon the earth, to take a drink with the boys. But for this, he would have been no more and possibly a good deal less—in another moment. So he survived; but he has been in a mighty precarious condition ever since. I have been up to see how he was getting along two or three times a day. He is very low; he lies there in silence, and hour after hour he appears to be absorbed in tracing out the figures in the wall paper. He is not changed in the least, though; his face looks just as natural as anything could be there is no more expression in it than a turnip. But he is a very sick man; I was up there a while ago, and I could see that his friends had begun to entertain hopes that he would not get over it. As soon as I saw that, all my enmity vanished; I even felt like doing the poor Unreliable a kindness, and showing him, too, how my feelings towards him had changed. So I went and bought him a beautiful coffin, and carried it up and set it down on his bed, and told him to climb in when his time was up. Well, sir, you never saw a man so affected by a little act of kindness as he was by that. He let off a sort of war-whoop, and went to kicking things around like a crazy man, and he foamed at the mouth, and went out of one fit and into another faster than I could take them down in my note-book. I have got thirteen down, though, and I know he must have had two or three before I could find my pencil. I actually believe he would have had a thousand, if that old fool who nurses him hadn't thrown the coffin out of the window, and threatened to serve me in the same way if I didn't leave. I left, of course, under the circumstances, and I learn that although the patient was getting better a moment before this circumstance, he got a good deal worse immediately afterward. They say he lies in a sort of a stupor now, and if they cannot rally him, he is gone in, as it were. They may take their own course now, though, and use their own judgment. I shall not go near them again, although I think I could rally him with another coffin.

I did not return to Virginia yesterday, on account of the wedding. The parties were Hon. James H. Sturtevant, one of the first Pi-Utes of Nevada, and Miss Emma Curry, daughter of Hon. A. Curry, who also claims that his is a Pi-Ute family of high antiquity. Curry conducted the wedding arrangements himself, and invited none but Pi-Utes. This interfered with me a good deal. However, as I had heard it reported that a marriage was threatened, I felt it my duty to go down there and find out the facts in the case. They said I might stay, as it was me; the permission was unnecessary, though—I calculated to do that anyhow. I promised not to say anything about the wedding, and I regard that promise as sacred—my word is as good as my bond. At three o'clock in the afternoon, all the Pi-Utes went up stairs to the old Hall of Representatives in Curry's house, preceded by the bride and groom, and the brides maids and groomsmen (Miss Jo. Perkins and Miss Nettie Curry, and Hon. John H. Mills and Wm. M. Gillespie) and followed by myself and the fiddlers. The fiddles were tuned up, three quadrille sets were formed on the floor. Father Bennett advanced and touched off the high contracting parties with the hymeneal torch ( married them, you know), and at the word of command from Curry, the fiddle-bows were set in motion, and the plain quadrilles turned loose. Thereupon, some of the most responsible dancing ensued that you ever saw in your life. The dance that Tam O'Shanter witnessed was slow in comparison to it. They kept it up for six hours, and then they carried out the exhausted musicians on a shutter, and went down to supper. I know they had a fine supper, and plenty of it, but I do not know much else. They drank so much champagne around me that I got confused, and lost the hang of things, as it were. Mills, and Musser, and Sturtevant, and Curry, got to making speeches, and I got to looking at the bride and bridesmaids—they looked uncommonly handsome—and finally I fell into a sort of trance. When I recovered from it the brave musicians were all right again, and the dance was ready to commence. They went to slinging plain quadrilles around as lively as ever, and never rested again until nearly midnight, when the dancers all broke down and the party broke up. It was all mighty pleasant, and jolly, and sociable, and I wish to thunder I was married myself. I took a large slab of the bridal cake home with me to dream on, and dreamt that I was still a single man, and likely to remain so, if I live and nothing happens—which has given me a greater confidence in dreams than I ever felt before. I cordially wish the newly married couple all kinds of happiness and posterity, though.

Richardson's case was continued to the next term of the District Court last Thursday, and the prisoner admitted to bail in the sum of $10,000—$7,000 on the charge of murder (the killing of Con Mason), and $3,000 on the charge of highway robbery.

Three new mining companies filed their certificates of incorporation in the County Clerk's and Territorial Secretary's offices last Saturday. Their ledges are located in the new Brown & Murphy District, in Lyon county. The names, etc., of the new companies are as follows: Jennie V. Thompson G. & S. M. Company, capital stock $220,000, in 2,200 shares of $100 each; Byron G. & S. M. Company, same number of shares, etc.; Lion G. & S. Company, capital stock $230,000, in 2,300 shares of $100 each. The following gentlemen are Trustees of all three companies: C. L. Newton, J. D. Thompson, J. Ball, G. C. Haswell and Wm. Millikin. The principal offices of the companies are in Carson City.


Territorial Enterprise, February 8, 1863


CARSON, Thursday Morning

EDS. ENTERPRISE: The community were taken by surprise last night, by the marriage of Dr. J. H. Wayman and Mrs. M. A. Ormsby. Strategy did it. John K. Trumbo lured the people to a party at his house, and corraled them, and in the meantime Acting Governor Clemens proceeded to the bride's dwelling and consolidated the happy couple under the name and style of Mr. and Mrs. Wayman, with a life charter, perpetual succession, unlimited marital privileges, principal place of business at ho—blast those gold and silver mining incorporations! I have compiled a long list of them from the Territorial Secretary's books this morning, and their infernal technicalities keep slipping from my pen when I ought to be writing graceful poetical things. After the marriage, the high contracting parties and the witnesses there assembled, adjourned to Mr. Trumbo's house. The ways of the Unreliable are past finding out. His instincts always prompt him to go where he is not wanted, particularly if anything of an unusual nature is on foot. Therefore, he was present and saw those wedding ceremonies through the parlor windows. He climbed up behind Dr. Wayman's coach and rode up to Trumbo's—this shows that his faculties were not affected by his recent illness. When the bride and groom entered the parlor he went in with them, bowing and scraping and smiling in his imbecile way, and attempting to pass himself off for the principal groomsman. I never saw such an awkward, ungainly lout in my life. He had on a pair of Jack Wilde's pantaloons, and a swallow-tail coat belonging to Lytle ("Schermerhorn's Boy"), and they fitted him as neatly as an elephant's hide would fit a poodle dog. I would be ashamed to appear in any parlor in such a costume. It never enters his head to be ashamed of anything, though. It would have killed me with mortification to parade around there as he did, and have people stepping on my coat tail every moment. As soon as the guests found out who he was they kept out of his way as well as they could, but there were so many gentlemen and ladies present that he was never at a loss for somebody to pester with his disgusting familiarity. He worried them from the parlor to the sitting-room, and from thence to the dancing-hall, and then proceeded upstairs to see if he could find any more people to stampede. He found Fred. Turner, and stayed with him until he was informed that he could have nothing more to eat or drink in that part of the house. He went back to the dancing-hall then, but he carried away a codfish under one arm, and Mr. Curry's plug hat full of sour-krout under the other. He posted himself right where he could be most in the way, and fell to eating as comfortably as if he were boarding with Trumbo by the week. They bothered him some, though, because every time the order came to "all promenade," the dancers would sweep past him and knock his cod fish out of his hands and spill his sour-krout. He was the most loathsome sight I ever saw; he turned everybody's stomach but his own. It makes no difference to him, either, what he eats when hungry. I believe he would have eaten a corpse last night, if he had one. Finally, Curry came and took his hat away from him and tore one of his coat tails off and threatened to thresh him with it, and that checked his appetite for a moment. Instead of sneaking out of the house, then, as anybody would have done who had any self respect, he shoved his codfish into the pocket of his solitary coat tail (leaving at least eight inches of it sticking out), and crowded himself into a double quadrille. He had it all to himself pretty soon; because the order "gentlemen to the right" came, and he passed from one lady to another around the room, and wilted each and every one of them with the horrible fragrance of his breath. Even Trumbo, himself, fainted. Then the Unreliable, with a placid expression of satisfaction upon his countenance, marched forth and swept the parlors like a pestilence. When the guests had been persecuted as long as they could stand it, though, they got him to drink some kerosene oil, which neutralized the sour-krout and cod fish, and restored his breath to about its usual state, or even improved it, perhaps, for it generally smells like a hospital.

The Unreliable interfered with Col. Musser when he was singing the pea-nut song; he bothered William Patterson, Esq., when that baritone was singing, "Ever of thee I'm fondly dreaming"; he interrupted Epstein when he was playing on the piano; he followed the bride and bridegroom from place to place, like an evil spirit, and he managed to keep himself and his coat-tail eternally in the way. I did hope that he would stay away from the supper-table, but I hoped against an impossibility. He was the first one there, and had choice of seats also, because he told Mr. Trumbo he was a groomsman; and not only that, but he made him believe, also, that Dr. Wayman was his uncle. Then he sailed into the ice cream and champagne, and cakes and things, at his usual starvation gait, and he would infallibly have created a famine, if Trumbo had not been particularly well fortified with provisions. There is one circumstance connected with the Unreliable's career last night which it pains me to mention, but I feel that it is my duty to do it. I shall cut the melancholy fact as short as possible, however: seventeen silver spoons, a New Testament and a gridiron were missed after supper. They were found upon the Unreliable's person when he was in the act of going out at the back door.

Singing and dancing commenced at seven o'clock in the evening, and were kept up with unabated fury until half-past one in the morning, when the jolly company put on each other's hats and bonnets and wandered home, mighty well satisfied with Trumbo's "corn shucking," as he called it.

Well, you were particularly bitter about the "extra session" yesterday morning, and with very small cause, too, it seems to me. You rush in desperately and call out all the fire engines in the universe, and lo! there is nothing but a chunk of harmless fox-fire to squirt at after all. You slash away right and left at the lawyers, just as if they were not human like other people, subject to the same accidents of fortune and circumstances, moved by the same springs of action, and honest or dishonest according to the nature which God Almighty endowed them with. Stuff! You talk like a wooden man. A man's profession has but little to do with his moral character. If we had as many preachers as lawyers, you would find it mixed as to which occupation could muster the most rascals. Then you pitch into the legislators, and say that, "with two or three exceptions, they are men who failed to complete their programmes of rascality," etc. Humbug! They never commenced any such programme. I reported their proceedings—I was behind the scenes, and I know. I talk sweepingly, perhaps—so do you, in that wild sentence. There might have been two or three first-class rascals in the Legislature—I have that number in my eye at the present moment—but the balance were fully as honest as you, and considerably more so than me. I could prove this by simply reminding you of their names. Run over the list, and see if there are not some very respectable names on it. I have acknowledged that there were several scoundrels in the Legislature, but such a number, in as large a body as the last Assembly, could carry no measure, you know, and the men I am thinking of couldn't even influence one. The Lord originally intended them to do transportation duty in a jackass train, I think. And then, how you talk about the pecuniary wants of our legislators: "Their hungry wallets yearn for a second assault on the greenbacks and franchises of the Territory." That is humbug, also. Take the House, for instance. I can name you fifteen members of that body whose pecuniary condition is very comfortable—who stand in no more pressing need of Territorial greenbacks than you do of another leg. And I can name you half a dozen others who are not suffering for food and raiment, and whom Providence will be able to take care of, I think, without bringing an extra session of the Nevada Legislature to pass. You talk like a wooden man, I tell you. Why there are not enough "Territorial Greenbacks" in the Secretary's office and the Territorial Treasury put together to start a wholesale pea-nut stand with; and why should thirty-nine legislators want to neglect their business to go to Carson and gobble up and divide such a pittance? Bosh.

Somebody made a blunder; somebody did a piece of rascality. It was not the legislators, yet only they can set the matter right—and if they want to go back to the capital and do it, it is rather a credit to them than a dishonor. I cannot see anything very criminal in this conduct of theirs. You are too brash, you know—that is what is the matter with you. You say you heard a report that the Acting Governor had decided to call an extra session. Well, what if you did? Don't you suppose that, being here, at the seat of government, I would naturally know a good deal more about it than anybody's reports? Reports lie—I do not. Why didn't you ask me for information? I always have an abundance of the article on hand. I will give you some now: the Acting Governor has not decided to call an extra session; he is not seriously thinking of such a thing at present; he is not expecting to think of it next week; he is not in favor of the measure, and does not wish to move in the matter unless a majority of the counties expressly desire it. Now, you have said a great many things in your article which you ought not to have said; you have done injustice to all the parties whom you have mentioned; you have hollered "wolf!" when there was nothing present but the mildest sort of a lamb; and the properest course for you to pursue will be to screw down your throttle-valve and dry up.

I have a strong inclination to continue this subject a while longer, but I promised to go down in town and get drunk with Curry and Trumbo, and Tom Bedford and Gillespie, before I leave for Virginia. My promises are sacred. I have also to receive a petition from citizens of Carson, with several thousand names on it, requesting me to extend my visit here a few years longer. It affords me great pleasure to state that several hundred sheets of this petition are covered with the autographs of intelligent and beautiful ladies.

Territorial Enterprise, February 19, 1863


EDS. ENTERPRISE—I found the following letter, or Valentine, or whatever it is, lying on the summit, where it had been dropped unintentionally, I think. It was written on a sheet of legal cap, and each line was duly commenced within the red mark which traversed the sheet from top to bottom. Solon appeared to have had some trouble getting his effusion started to suit him. He had begun it, "Know all men by these presents," and scratched it out again; he had substituted, "Now at this day comes the plaintiff, by his attorney," and scratched that out also; he had tried other sentences of like character, and gone on obliterating them, until, through much sorrow and tribulation, he achieved the dedication which stands at the head of his letter, and to his entire satisfaction, I do cheerfully hope. But what a villain a man must be to blend together the beautiful language of love and the infernal phraseology of the law in one and the same sentence! I know but one of God's creatures who would be guilty of such depravity as this: I refer to the Unreliable. I believe the Unreliable to be the very lawyer's-cub who sat upon the solitary peak, all soaked in beer and sentiment, and concocted the insipid literary hash I am talking about. The handwriting closely resembles his semi-Chinese tarantula tracks.

SUGAR LOAF PEAK, February 14, 1863.

To the loveliness to whom these presents shall come, greeting:—This is a lovely day, my own Mary; its unencumbered sunshine reminds me of your happy face, and in the imagination the same doth now appear before me. Such sights and scenes as this ever remind me, the party of the second part, of you, my Mary, the peerless party of the first part. The view from the lonely and segregated mountain peak, of this portion of what is called and known as Creation, with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto appertaining and belonging, is inexpressively grand and inspiring; and I gaze, and gaze, while my soul is filled with holy delight, and my heart expands to receive thy spirit-presence, as aforesaid. Above me is the glory of the sun; around him float the messenger clouds, ready alike to bless the earth with gentle rain, or visit it with lightning, and thunder, and destruction; far below the said sun and the messenger clouds aforesaid, lying prone upon the earth in the verge of the distant horizon, like the burnished shield of a giant, mine eyes behold a lake, which is described and set forth in maps as the Sink of Carson; nearer, in the great plain, I see the Desert, spread abroad like the mantle of a Colossus, glowing by turns, with the warm light of the sun, hereinbefore mentioned, or darkly shaded by the messenger clouds aforesaid; flowing at right angles with said Desert, and adjacent thereto, I see the silver and sinuous thread of the river, commonly called Carson, which winds its tortuous course through the softly tinted valley, and disappears amid the gorges of the bleak and snowy mountains—a simile of man!—leaving the pleasant valley of Peace and Virtue to wander among the dark defiles of Sin, beyond the jurisdiction of the kindly beaming sun aforesaid! And about said sun, and the said clouds, and around the said mountains, and over the plain and the river aforesaid, there floats a purple glory—a yellow mist—as airy and beautiful as the bridal veil of a princess, about to be wedded according to the rites and ceremonies pertaining to, and established by, the laws or edicts of the kingdom or principality wherein she doth reside, and whereof she hath been and doth continue to be, a lawful sovereign or subject. Ah! my Mary, it is sublime! it is lovely! I have declared and made known, and by these presents do declare and make known unto you, that the view from Sugar Loaf Peak, as hereinbefore described and set forth, is the loveliest picture with which the hand of the Creator has adorned the earth, according to the best of my knowledge and belief, so help me God.

Given under my hand, and in the spirit-presence of the bright being whose love has restored the light of hope to a soul once groping in the darkness of despair, on the day and year first above written.


Law Student, and Notary Public in and for the said County of Storey, and Territory of Nevada.

To Miss Mary Links, Virginia (and may the laws have her in their holy keeping).


Territorial Enterprise, February 19, 1863

[some text of this article has not been recovered]


[LA PLATA ORE COMPANY.—]... The company was organized under a deed of trust, and has been steadily at work, with scarce any intermission, since the 1st of May, 1861—under the general superintendence of the President, Col. W. H. Howard. The claim is believed to comprise some of the finest ledges in the Virginia and Gold Hill range, and from present appearances it looks as if the company were about to commence realizing the reward of their long and well-bestowed labor, as in addition to the ledges already noticed, the top of a fine ledge has already been uncovered on the west side of the claim, where the chimney ranging with the Butler's Peak and Mount Davidson ledges crops out.

THE CHINA TRIAL.—We were there, yesterday, not because we were obliged to go, but just because we wanted to. The more we see of this aggravated trial, the more profound does our admiration for it become. It has more phases than the moon has in a chapter of the almanac. It commenced as an assassination; the assassinated man neglected to die, and they turned it into assault and battery; after this the victim did die, whereupon his murderers were arrested and tried yesterday for perjury; they convicted one Chinaman, but when they found out it was the wrong one, they let him go—and why they should have been so almighty particular is beyond our comprehension; then, in the afternoon, the officers went down and arrested Chinatown again for the same old offense, and put it in jail—but what shape the charge will take this time, no man can foresee: the chances are that it will be about a stand-off between arson and robbing the mail. Capt. White hopes to get the murderers of the Chinaman hung one of these days, and so do we, for that matter, but we do not expect anything of the kind. You see, these Chinamen are all alike, and they cannot identify each other. They mean well enough, and they really show a disinterested anxiety to get some of their friends and relatives hung, but the same misfortune overtakes them every time: they make mistakes and get the wrong man, with unvarying accuracy. With a zeal in behalf of justice which cannot be too highly praised, the whole Chinese population have accused each other of this murder, each in his regular turn, but fate is against them. They cannot tell each other apart. There is only one way to manage this thing with strict equity: hang the gentle Chinamen promiscuously, until justice is satisfied.

THE CONCERT.—We shall always guard against insinuating that the citizens of Virginia are not filled with a fondness for music, after what we saw at Mr. Griswold's Concert last night. The house was filled, from dome to cellar (we speak figuratively, since there was neither dome nor cellar to the house,) with people who entirely appreciated the performance, and testified pleasure by frequent and hearty applause. The Concert was a notable credit to the talent of Virginia, and we think we speak the public desire when we ask for another like it. Mr. James Gilmore, a very youthful looking poet, recited a martial poem whereof himself was the author. It was received with great applause. We only heard five of the songs set...

Territorial Enterprise, February 17-22, 1863


We propose to speak of some silver bars which we have been looking at, and to talk science a little, also, in this article, if we find that what we learned in the latter line yesterday has not escaped our memory. The bars we allude to were at the banking house of Paxton Thornburgh, and were five in number; they were the concentrated result of portions of two eight-day runs of the Hoosier State Mill, on Potosi rock. The first of the bricks bore the following inscription, which is poetry stripped of flowers and flummery, and reduced to plain common sense: "No. 857; Potosi Gold and Silver Mining Company; Theall & Co., assayers; 688.48 ounces, gold, 020 fine, silver, 962 fine; gold $572.13, silver $1,229.47." Bars No. 836 and No. 858 bore about the same inscription, save that their values differed, of course, the one being worth $1,800, and the other a fraction under $1,300. The two largest bars were still in the workshop, and had not yet been assayed; one of them weighed nearly a hundred pounds and 1 was worth about $3,000, and the other, which contained over 900 ounces, was worth in the neighborhood of $2,000. The weight of the whole five bars may be set down in round numbers at 300 pounds, and their value, at say, $10,000. Those are about the correct figures. We are very well pleased with the Hoosier State mill and the Potosi mine—we think of buying them. From the contemplation of this result of two weeks' mill and mining labor, we walked through the assaying rooms, in the rear of the banking house, with Mr. Theall, and examined the scientific operations there, with a critical eye. We absorbed much obtuse learning, and we propose to give to the ignorant the benefit of it. After the amalgam has been retorted at the mill, it is brought here and broken up and put into a crucible (along with a little borax,) of the capacity of an ordinary plug hat; this vessel is composed of some kind of pottery which stands heat like a salamander; the crucible is placed in a brick furnace; in the midst of a charcoal fire as hot as the one which the three Scriptural Hebrew children were assayed in; when the mass becomes melted, it is well stirred, in order to get the metals thoroughly mixed, after which it is poured into an iron brick mould; such of the base metals as were not burned up, remain in the crucible in the form of a "sing." The next operation is the assaying of the brick. A small chip is cut from each end of it and weighed; each of these is enveloped in lead and placed in a little shallow cup made of bone ashes, called a cupel, and put in a small stone-ware oven, enclosed in a sort of parlor stove furnace, where it is cooked like a lost sinner; the lead becomes oxydized and is entirely absorbed by the pores of the cupel—any other base metals that may still linger in the precious stew, meet the same fate, or go up the chimney. The gold and silver come from the cupel in the shape of a little button, and in a state of perfect purity; this is weighed once more, and what it has lost by the cooking process, determines the amount of base metal that was in it, and shows exactly what proportion of it the bar contains—the lost weight was base metal you understand, and was burned up or absorbed by the cupel. The scales used in this service are of such extremely delicate construction that they have to be shut up in a glass case, since a breath of air is sufficient to throw them off their balance—so sensitive are they, indeed, that they are even affected by the particles of dust which find their way through the joinings of the case and settle on them. They will figure the weight of a piece of metal down to the thousandth part of a grain, with stunning accuracy. You might weigh a musquito here, and then pull one of his legs off, and weigh him again, and the scales would detect the difference. The smallest weight used—the one which represents the thousandth part of a grain—is composed of aluminum, which is the metallic base of common clay, and is the lightest metal known to science. It looks like an imperceptible atom clipped from the invisible corner of a piece of paper whittled down to an impossible degree of sharpness—as it were—and they handle it with pincers like a hair pin. But with an excuse for this interesting digression, we will return to the silver button again. After the weighing, melting and re-weighing of it has shown the amount of base metal contained in the brick, the next thing to be done is to separate the silver and gold in it, in order to find out the exact proportions of these in the bar. The button is placed in a mattrass filled with nitric acid, (an elongated glass bottle or tube, shaped something like a bell clapper) which is half buried in a box of hot sand—they called it a sand bath—on top of the little cupel furnace, where all the silver is boiled out of said button and held in solution, (when in this condition it is chemically termed "nitrate of silver.") This process leaves a small pinch of gold dust in the bottom of the mattrass which is perfectly pure; its weight will show the proportion of pure gold in the bar, of course. The silver in solution is then precipitated with muriatic acid (or something of that kind—we are not able to swear that this was the drug mentioned to us, although we feel very certain that it was,) and restored to metal again. Its weight, by the musquito scales, will show the proportion of silver contained in the brick, you know. Now just here, our memory is altogether at fault. We cannot recollect what in the world it is they do with the "dry cups." We asked a good many questions about them—asking questions is our regular business—but we have forgotten the answers. It is all owing to lager beer. We are inclined to think, though, that after the silver has been precipitated, they cook it a while in those little chalky-looking "dry cups," in order to turn it from fine silver dust to a solid button again for the sake of convenient handling—but we cannot begin to recollect anything about it. We said they made a separate assay of the chips cut from each end of a bar; now if these chips do not agree—if they make different statements as to the proportions of the various metals contained in the bar, it is pretty good proof that the mixing was not thorough, and the brick has to be melted over again; this occurrence is rare, however. This is all the science we know. What we do not know is reserved for private conversation, and will be liberally inflicted upon any body who will come here to the office and submit to it. After the bar has been assayed, it is stamped as described in the beginning of this dissertation, and then it is ready for the mint. Science is a very pleasant subject to dilate upon, and we consider that we are as able to dilate upon it as any man that walks—but if we have been guilty of carelessness in any part of this article, so that our method of assaying as set forth herein may chance to differ from Mr. Theall's, we would advise that gentleman to stick to his own plan nevertheless, and not go to following ours—his is as good as any known to science. If we have struck anything new in our method, however, we shall be happy to hear of it, so that we can take steps to secure to ourself the benefits accruing therefrom.

Territorial Enterprise, February 25, 1863


THE UNRELIABLE.—This poor miserable outcast crowded himself into the Firemen's Ball, night before last, and glared upon the happy scene with his evil eye for a few minutes. He had his coat buttoned up to his chin, which is the way he always does when he has no shirt on. As soon as the managers found out he was there, they put him out, of course. They had better have allowed him to stay, though, for he walked straight across the street, with all his vicious soul aroused, and climbed in at the back window of the supper room and gobbled up the last crumb of the repast provided for the guests, before he was discovered. This accounts for the scarcity of provisions at the Firemen's supper that night. Then he went home and wrote a particular description of our ball costume, with his usual meanness, as if such information could be of any consequence to the public. He never vouchsafed a single compliment to our dress, either, after all the care and taste we had bestowed upon it. We despise that man.

"MANY CITIZENS."—In another column of this paper will be found a card signed by "Many Citizens of Carson," stating that the County Commissioners of Ormsby county have removed the Sheriff from office and appointed some one else in his stead. They also ask whether the Commissioners really possess the power to remove the Sheriff, or the Governor of the Territory, or the President of the United States, at pleasure. This is all well enough, except that in the face of our well known ability in the treatment of ponderous questions of unwritten law, these citizens have addressed their inquiries to the chief editor of this paper—a man who knows no more about legal questions than he does about religion—and so saturated with self-conceit is he, that he has even attempted, in his feeble way, to answer the propositions set forth in that note. We ignore his reply entirely, and notwithstanding the disrespect which has been shown us, we shall sink private pique for the good of our fellow men, and proceed to set their minds at rest on this question of power. We declare that the County Commissioners do possess the power to remove the officers mentioned in that note, at pleasure. The Organic Act says so in so many words. We invite special attention to the fist clause of section 2 of that document, where this language is used, if we recollect rightly: "The executive power and authority in and over said Territory of Nevada shall be vested in a Governor and other officers, who shall hold their offices for four years, and until their successors shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the County Commissioners." That is explicit enough, we take it. "Other officers" means any or all other officers, of course, else such dignitaries as it was intended to refer to would have been specifically mentioned; consequently, the President of the United States, and the Governor and Sheriff being "officers," come within the provisions of the law, and may be shoved out of the way by the Commissioners as quietly as they would abate a nuisance. We might enlarge upon this subject until Solomon himself couldn't under stand it—but we have settled the question, and we despise to go on scattering pearls before swine who have not asked us for them. In thus proving by the Organic Act, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the County Commissioners are invested with power to remove the Sheriff or the Governor or the President, whenever they see fit to do so, we have been actuated solely by a love of the godlike principles of right and justice, and a desire to show the public what an unmitigated ass the chief editor of this paper is. Having succeeded to our entire satisfaction, we transfer our pen to matters of local interest, although we could prove, if we wanted to, that the County Commissioners not only possess the power to depose the officers above referred to but to hang them also, if they feel like it. When people want a legal opinion in detail, they must address their communications to us, individually, and not to irresponsible smatterers, like the chief editor.

THE FIREMEN'S BALL.—About seventy couples assembled at Topliffe's Theatre night before last, upon the occasion of the annual ball of Virginia Engine Company No. 1. The hall was ablaze, from one end to the other, with flags, mirrors, pictures, etc.; and when the crowd of dancers had got into violent motion, and thoroughly fuddled with plain quadrilles, the looking-glasses multiplied them into a distracted and countless throng. Verily, the effect was charming to the last degree. The decoration of the theatre occupied several days, and was done under the management of a committee composed of Messrs. Brokaw, Robinson, Champney, Claresy, Garvey and Sands, and they certainly acquitted themselves with marked ability. The floor was covered with heavy canvass, and we rather liked the arrangement—but the wind got under it and made it fill and sag like a circus tent, insomuch that it impeded the Varsovienne practice, and caused the ladies to complain occasionally. Benham's "People's Band" made excellent music; however, they always do that. We have not one particle of fault to find with the ball; the managers kept perfect order and decorum, and did everything in their power to make it pass pleasantly to all the guests. They succeeded. But of all the failures we have been called upon to chronicle, the supper was the grandest. It was bitterly denounced by nearly everybody who sat down to it—officers, firemen, men, women and children. Now, the supposition is, that somebody will come out in a card and deny this, and attribute base motives to us: but we are not to be caught asleep, or even napping, this time—we have got all our proofs at hand, and shall explode at anybody who tries to show that we cannot tell the truth without being actuated by unworthy motives. Chief Engineer Peasley and officer Birdsall said that the supper contract was for a table supplied with everything the market could afford, and in such profusion that the last who came might fare as well as the first (the contractor to receive a stipulated sum for each supper furnished)—and they also say that no part or portion of that contract was entirely fulfilled. The entertainment broke up about four o'clock in the morning, and the guests returned to their homes well satisfied with the ball itself, but not with the supper.

SMALL POX.—From Carson we learn, officially, that Dr. Munckton has been sent down to Pine Nut Springs to look after some cases of small pox, reported as existing among the Washoe Indians there. It is said that three men and a mahala are afflicted with it; the doctor intends vaccinating their attendants and warning the other Indians to keep away. Capt. Jo says one of the Indians caught the disease from a shirt given him by a white man. We do not believe any man would do such a thing as that maliciously, but at the same time, any man is censurable who is so careless as to leave infected clothing lying about where these poor devils can get hold of it. The commonest prudence ought to suggest the destruction of such dangerous articles.

SCHOOL-HOUSE.—An addition is being built to the public school house, and will be completed and put in order for occupation as soon as possible. Mr. Mellvile's school has increased to such an extent that the old premises were found insufficient to accommodate all the pupils. As soon as the new building is completed, the school will be divided into three departments—advanced, intermediate and infant—and one of these will occupy it.

TRIAL TO-DAY.—Sam Ingalls, who attempted the life of Pease the other day with a bowie knife, will be up before Judge Atwill to-day on a charge of drawing a deadly weapon. A case of this kind should never be allowed to pass without a severe rebuke, and if the evidence finds the prisoner guilty, he will probably catch it to-day; if it does not, why, no one wants him rebuked, of course.

DISTRICT COURT.—The testimony for both sides in the case of the Burning Moscow vs. Madison Company was completed yesterday, and the lawyers will begin to throw hot shot at each other this morning—which is our military way of saying that the arguments of counsel herein will be commenced to-day. A great deal of interest is manifested in this suit, and the lobbies will be crowded during its trial.

SUICIDE.—We learn by a note received last night per Langton's Express, that a German named John Meyer, a wood dealer in Downieville, committed suicide there on the night of the 19th inst., by blowing his brains out with a pistol. The cause is supposed to have been insanity.

TELEGRAPHIC.—A message for S. S. Harman remains uncalled for at the Telegraph office.

Territorial Enterprise, February 26, 1863

[last portion of mock obituary of the "Unreliable"; first portion of original text not recovered]


He became a newspaper reporter, and crushed Truth to earth and kept her there; he bought and sold his own notes, and never paid his board; he pretended great friendship for Gillespie, in order to get to sleep with him; then he took advantage of his bed fellow and robbed him of his glass eye and his false teeth; of course he sold the articles, and Gillespie was obliged to issue more county scrip than the law allowed, in order to get them back again; the Unreliable broke into my trunk at Washoe City, and took jewelry and fine clothes and things, worth thousands and thousands of dollars; he was present, without invitation, at every party and ball and wedding which transpired in Carson during thirteen years. But the last act of his life was the crowning meanness of it: I refer to the abuse of me in the Virginia Union of last Saturday, and also to a list of Langton's stage passengers sent to the same paper by him, wherein my name appears between those of "Sam Chung" and "Sam Lee." This is his treatment of me, his benefactor. That malicious joke was his dying atrocity. During thirteen years he played himself for a white man: he fitly closed his vile career by trying to play me for a Chinaman. He is dead and buried now, though: let him rest, let him rot. Let his vices be forgotten, but let his virtues be remembered: it will not infringe much upon any man's time.


P. S.—By private letters from Carson, since the above was in type, I am pained to learn that the Unreliable, true to his unnatural instincts, came to life again in the midst of his funeral sermon, and remains so to this moment. He was always unreliable in life—he could not even be depended upon in death. The shrouded corpse shoved the coffin lid to one side, rose to a sitting posture, cocked his eye at the minister and smilingly said, "O let up, Dominie, this is played out, you know—loan me two bits!" The frightened congregation rushed from the house, and the Unreliable followed them, with his coffin on his shoulder. He sold it for two dollars and a half, and got drunk at a "bit house" on the proceeds. He is still drunk.

Territorial Enterprise, between February 17-26, 1863


APOLOGETIC.—We are always happy to apologize to a man when we do him an injury. We have wounded William Smiley's feelings, and we will heal them up again or bust. We said in yesterday's police record that Bill (excuse the familiarity, William,) was drunk. We lied. It is our opinion that Sam Wetherill did, too, for he gave us the statement. We have gleaned the facts in the case, though, from William himself, and at his request we hasten to apologize. His offense was mildness itself. He only had a pitched battle with another man, and resisted an officer. That was all. Come up, William, and take a drink.

Territorial Enterprise, March 4, 1863


John Van Buren Perry, recently re-elected City Marshal of Virginia City, was born a long time ago, in County Kerry, Ireland, of poor but honest parents, who were descendants, beyond question, of a house of high antiquity. The founder of it was distinguished for his eloquence; he was the property of one Baalam, and received honorable mention in the Bible.

John Van Buren Perry removed to the United States in 1792—after having achieved a high gastronomical reputation by creating the first famine in his native land—and established himself at Kinderhook, New Jersey, as a teacher of vocal and instrumental music. His eldest son, Martin Van Buren, was educated there, and was afterwards elected President of the United States; his grandson, of the same name, is now a prominent New York politician, and is known in the East as 'Prince John;' he keeps up a constant and affectionate correspondence with his worthy grandfather, who sells him feet in some of his richest wildcat claims from time to time.

While residing at Kinderhook, Jack Perry was appointed Commodore of the United States Navy, and he forthwith proceeded to Lake Erie and fought the mighty marine conflict, which blazes upon the pages of history as "Perry's Victory." In consequence of this exploit, he narrowly escaped the Presidency.

Several years ago Commodore Perry was appointed Commissioner Extraordinary to the Imperial Court of Japan, with unlimited power to treat. It is hardly worthwhile to mention that he never exercised that power; he never treated anybody in that country, although he patiently submitted to a vast amount of that sort of thing when the opportunity was afforded him at the expense of the Japanese officials. He returned from his mission full of honors and foreign whisky, and was welcomed home again by the plaudits of a grateful nation.

After the war was ended, Mr. Perry removed to Providence, Rhode Island, where he produced a complete revolution in medical science by inventing the celebrated "Pain Killer" which bears his name. He manufactured this liniment by the ship-load, and spread it far and wide over the suffering world; not a bottle left his establishment without his beneficent portrait upon the label, whereby, in time, his features became as well known unto burned and mutilated children as Jack the Giant Killer's.

When pain had ceased throughout the universe Mr. Perry fell to writing for a livelihood, and for years and years he poured out his soul in pleasing and effeminate poetry.

His very first effort, commencing:

"How doth the little busy bee

Improve each shining hour," etc.-

gained him a splendid literary reputation, and from that time forward no Sunday-school library was complete without a full edition of his plaintive and sentimental "Perry-Gorics." After great research and profound study of his subject, he produced that wonderful gem which is known in every land as "The Young Mother's Apostrophe to Her Infant," beginning:

"Fie! fie! oo itty bitty pooty sing!

To poke oo footsy-tootsys into momma's eye!"

This inspired poem had a tremendous run, and carried Perry's fame into every nursery in the civilized world. But he was not destined to wear his laurels undisturbed: England, with monstrous perfidy, at once claimed the "Apostrophe" for her favorite son, Martin Farquhar Tupper, and sent up a howl of vindictive abuse from her polluted press against our beloved Perry. With one accord, the American people rose up in his defense, and a devastating war was only averted by a public denial of the paternity of the poem by the great Proverbial over his own signature. This noble act of Mr. Tupper gained him a high place in the affection of this people, and his sweet platitudes have been read here with an ever augmented spirit of tolerance since that day.

The conduct of England toward Mr. Perry told upon his constitution to such an extent that at one time it was feared the gentle bard would fade and flicker out altogether; wherefore, the solicitude of influential officials was aroused in his behalf, and through their generosity he was provided with an asylum in Sing Sing prison, a quiet retreat in the state of New York. Here he wrote his last great poem, beginning:

"Let dogs delight to bark and bite,

For God hath made them so—

Your little hands were never made

To tear out each other's eyes with—"

and then proceeded to learn the shoemaker's trade in his new home, under the distinguished masters employed by the commonwealth.

Ever since Mr. Perry arrived at man's estate his prodigious feet have been a subject of complaint and annoyance to those communities which have known the honor of his presence. In 1835, during a great leather famine, many people were obliged to wear wooden shoes, and Mr. Perry, for the sake of economy, transferred his boot-making patronage from the tan-yard which had before enjoyed his custom, to an undertaker's establishment—that is to say, he wore coffins. At that time he was a member of Congress from New Jersey, and occupied a seat in front of the Speaker's throne. He had the uncouth habit of propping his feet upon his desk during prayer by the chaplain, and thus completely hiding that officer from every eye save that of Omnipotence alone. So long as the Hon. Mr. Perry wore orthodox leather boots the clergyman submitted to this infliction and prayed behind them in singular solitude, under mild protest; but when he arose one morning to offer up his regular petition, and beheld the cheerful apparition of Jack Perry's coffins confronting him, "The jolly old bum went under the table like a sick porpus" (as Mr. P. feelingly remarks), "and never shot off his mouth in that shanty again."

Mr. Perry's first appearance on the Pacific Coast was upon the boards of the San Francisco theaters in the character of "Old Pete" in Dion Boucicault's "Octoroon." So excellent was his delineation of that celebrated character that "Perry's Pete" was for a long time regarded as the climax of histrionic perfection.

Since John Van Buren Perry has resided in Nevada Territory, he has employed his talents in acting as City Marshal of Virginia, and in abusing me because I am an orphan and a long way from home, and can therefore be persecuted with impunity. He was re-elected day before yesterday, and his first official act was an attempt to get me drunk on champagne furnished to the Board of Aldermen by other successful candidates, so that he might achieve the honor and glory of getting me in the station-house for once in his life. Although he failed in his object, he followed me down C street and handcuffed me in front of Tom Peasley's, but officers Birdsall and Larkin and Brokaw rebelled against this unwarranted assumption of authority, and released me—whereupon I was about to punish Jack Perry severely, when he offered me six bits to hand him down to posterity through the medium of this Biography, and I closed the contract. But after all, I never expect to get the money.

Territorial Enterprise, March 7, 1863


By a sort of instinct we happened in at Almack's just at the moment that the corks were about to pop, and discovering that we had intruded we were retreating when Daggett, the soulless, insisted upon our getting with the Board of Brokers, and we very naturally did so. The President had already been toasted, the Vice-President had likewise been complimented in the same manner. Mr. Mitchell had delivered an address through his unsolicited mouth-piece, Mr. Daggett, whom he likened unto Baalam's ass—and very aptly too—and the press had been toasted, and he had attempted to respond and got overcome by something—feelings perhaps—when that ever lasting, omnipresent, irrepressible, "Unreliable" crowded himself into the festive apartment, where he shed a gloom upon the Board of Brokers, and emptied their glasses while they made speeches. The imperturbable impudence of that iceberg surpasses anything we ever saw. By a concerted movement the young man was partially put down at length, however, and the Board launched out into speech-making again, but finally somebody put up five feet of "Texas," which changed hands at eight dollars a foot, and from that they branched off into a wholesale bartering of "wildcat"—for their natures were aroused by the first smell of blood of course—and we adjourned to make this report. The Board will begin its regular meetings Monday next.

Territorial Enterprise, between March 1-12, 1863


CALICO SKIRMISH.—Five Spanish women, of unquestionable character, were arraigned before Judge Atwill yesterday, some as principals and some as accessories to a feminine fight of a bloodthirsty description in A street. It was proved that one of them drew a navy revolver and a bowie-knife and attempted to use them upon another of the party, but being prevented, she fired three shots through the floor, for the purpose of easing her mind, no doubt. She was bound over to keep the peace, and the whole party dismissed.

Territorial Enterprise, between Feb. 24—March 31, 1863

[portion of letter from Carson City]


I arrived in this noisy and bustling town of Carson at noon to-day, per Langton's express. We made pretty good time from Virginia, and might have made much better, but for Horace Smith, Esq., who rode on the box seat and kept the stage so much by the head she wouldn't steer. I went to church, of course,—I always go to church when I—when I go to church—as it were. I got there just in time to hear the closing hymn, and also to hear the Rev. Mr. White give out a long metre doxology, which the choir tried to sing to a short-metre tune. But there wasn't music enough to go around: consequently, the effect was rather singular, than otherwise. They sang the most interesting parts of each line, though, and charged the balance to "profit and loss;" this rendered the general intent and meaning of the doxology considerably mixed, as far as the congregation were concerned, but inasmuch as it was not addressed to them, anyhow, I thought it made no particular difference.

By an easy and pleasant transition, I went from church to jail. It was only just down stairs—for they save men eternally in the second story of the new court house, and damn them for life in the first. Sheriff Gasherie has a handsome double office fronting on the street, and its walls are gorgeously decorated with iron convict-jewelry. In the rear are two rows of cells, built of bomb-proof masonry and furnished with strong iron doors and resistless locks and bolts. There was but one prisoner—Swayze, the murderer of Derickson—and he was writing; I do not know what his subject was, but he appeared to be handling it in a way which gave him great satisfaction...

Territorial Enterprise, March—April, 1863


A grand examination of candidates for positions as teachers in our public schools was had yesterday in one of the rooms of the Public School in this city. Some twenty-eight candidates were present—twenty-three of whom were ladies and five gentlemen. We do the candidates but simple justice when we say that we have never seen more intelligent faces in a crowd of the size. The following gentlemen constituted the Board of Examiners: Dr. Geiger, Mr. J. W. Whicher and John A. Collins. We observed that Messrs. Feusier, Adkison and Robinson of the Board of Trustees were also present yesterday. Printed questions are given to each of the candidates, the answers to which are written out and handed in with the signature of the applicant appended. These are all examined in private by the Board, and those who have best acquitted themselves are selected as teachers. In all, we believe, about twelve teachers are to be chosen. Upon each of the following subjects a great number of questions are to be answered: General questions, methods of teaching, object teaching; spelling, reading, writing, defining, arithmetic, grammar, geography, natural philosophy, history of the United States, physiology and hygiene, chemistry, algebra, geometry, natural history, astronomy—in all, eighteen subjects, with about as many questions upon each. Yesterday they had got as far as the ninth subject, grammar, at the time of our visit, and we presume have got but little further. To-day the examination will be resumed. If there is anything that terrifies us it is an examination. We don't even like an examination in a Police Court. In vain we looked from face to face yesterday through the whole list of candidates for signs of fright or trepidation. All appeared perfectly at ease, though quite in earnest. We took a look at some of the questions and were made very miserable by barely glancing them over. We became much afraid that some member of the Board would suddenly turn upon us and require us on pain of death or a long imprisonment, to answer some of the questions. Under the head of "Object Teaching," we found some ten questions—some of them, like a wheel within a wheel, containing ten questions in one. We barely glanced at the list, reading here and there a question, when we felt great beads of perspiration starting out upon our brow—our massive intellect oozing out. Happening to read a question like this, "Name four of the faculties of children that are earliest developed," we at once became anxious to get out of the room. We expected each moment that one of the Board would seize us by the collar and ask, "Why is it?" or something of the kind, and we wanted to leave—thought we would feel better in the open air. When the answers of all the candidates are opened and read we will try to be on hand; we are anxious for information on those "four faculties." We think the above a good deal like the conundrum about the young man who "went to the Sandwich Islands; learned the language of the Kanakas, came home, got married, got drunk, went crazy, was sent to Stockton—Why is it?" Then under the same head we noticed ten questions about mining for silver ores and ten more about the reduction of silver ores. Why these twenty-three "school marms" are expected to be posted on amalgamating processes, is more than we can guess. As this is a mining country, we presume it is necessary for a lady to give satisfactory answers to such questions as the following, before being entrusted with the education of our little Washoeites: "What is your opinion of the one-ledge theory? Have you seen the Ophir horse? Have you conscientious scruples as to black dyke? Are you committed to the sage-brush process? Give your opinion on vein matter, and state your reasons for thinking so; and tell wherein you differ with those who do not agree with you."

Territorial Enterprise, April 3, 1863


A DISTINGUISHED VISITOR.—Madame Clara Kopka arrived in Virginia a few days since, and is still sojourning in the city. To many of our citizens the name will be unfamiliar, yet such is by no means the case in the hospitals and upon the battle-fields of the East, where she has devoted nearly twelve months to arduous labor in tending the sick and wounded soldiers. In this service she has endured all the hardships and privations of camp life, without hope or desire of reward, and to the serious detriment of her health. She comes among us partly to satisfy a taste for travel, and partly to gather renewed vigor by a change of climate. She asked Mayor Arick for a homestead, supposing, in the simplicity of her heart, that the barren but beautiful landscape which surrounds Virginia was free to any who thought they could make use of it. Unfortunately, this is not the case; but the Silver Terrace Company could give Madame the homestead she covets without inconveniencing themselves in the least, and we have an idea that they will consider it a pleasure to do so. Madame Kopka brings with her a bundle of letters from military officers, from brigade and subordinate surgeons in the army, from Secretary Stanton, and letters of recommendation to General Halleck, all of which speak of her in the highest terms of praise. We cannot spare room for these letters, but we publish two newspaper extracts which will answer every purpose, perhaps. The first is from a long article, written by an army surgeon, in the N. Y. Home Journal of September 13th, and the other from the N. Y Tribune of July 5th...

THE LOIS ANN.—This claim is situated in a ravine which runs up in a northwesterly direction out of American Flat, and is on the Ophir Grade, about two miles and a half from Gold Hill. The ledge did not crop out, but was uncovered by a small slide in the hillside, and found by Mr. Lightford, the present Superintendent, and located some four or five weeks ago. A well timbered incline has since been sunk upon it to the depth of twenty-five feet, and work in it is still going on day and night, although a stream of water from the vein materially interferes with the operations of the men. In the bottom of the incline the ledge is about ten feet wide, has a casing of blue clay, and is well defined; a great quantity of quartz has been taken from it, which looks exactly like third or fourth-class Ophir, but it won't pay to crush yet awhile, although choice specimens of it have assayed as high as ninety-two dollars to the ton. We visited the mine in company with Mr. H. C. Brown and Mr. Lightford, the Superintendent, and we share their opinion, that there is big pay rock in it somewhere, and it is only necessary to sink a reasonable depth to find it. Such promising indications as have been found in this claim are not often discovered so near the surface. Three north extensions have been located on the Lois Ann, and shafts sunk, and the lead struck on the first and third, the character and appearance of the rock in both instances proving identical with that of the original—coarse crystalized quartz, of a porous nature, and of a dark blue color like Comstock rock. There are fourteen hundred feet in the discovery claim, and the property is owned principally by mill men of Gold Hill. One of the best indications about the Lois Ann is at present much the most troublesome—we refer to the stream of water which pours from the ledge; work in the incline will have to be suspended on account of it and a tunnel commenced from the ravine—this will be about a hundred and fifty feet long, and will tap the lead at a depth of seventy-five feet. A mill-site has been taken up in the vicinity with the intention of turning the water to useful account in case the ledge proves as excellent as it is expected it will. Another good-looking ledge lies back of the Lois Ann, and parallel with it, which belongs to the same company. There is a claim of a thousand feet in the vicinity of these leads which is called the Zanesville, and the rock from it pays in gold from the very surface; every pound of it is saved, and mill men who have tested it say it will yield about a hundred dollars to the ton; there is only a mere trace of silver in it. The ledge is only about two feet wide, in the bottom of a shaft twelve feet deep, but is increasing in width slowly; possibly the Zanesville may peter out and go to thunder, but there is no prospect of such a result at present. It is rich, but as it is only a gold ledge, and is so small, we have less confidence in it than in the Lois Ann.

ISLAND MILL.—The Island Mill, built on Carson river by Mr. Hite, of Gold Hill, is about completed now, and the machinery was set in motion yesterday to see if there was anything wrong about it. The result was satisfactory, and the Island Mill will go to work formally and forever next Tuesday.

GOULD & CURRY.—They struck it marvelously rich in a new shaft in the Gould & Curry mine last Saturday night. We saw half a ton of native silver at the mouth of the tunnel, on Tuesday, with a particle of quartz in it here and there, which could be readily distinguished without the aid of a glass. That particular half ton will yield some where in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. We have long waited patiently for the Gould & Curry to flicker out, but we cannot discover much encouragement about this last flicker. However, it is of no consequence—it was a mere matter of curiosity anyhow; we only wanted to see if she would, you know.

THE MINSTRELS.—We were present at La Plata Hall about two minutes last night, and heard Sam. Pride's banjo make a very excellent speech in English to the audience. The house was crowded to suffocation.

Territorial Enterprise, April 12, 1863

[partial excerpt]


In the first place, I must impress upon you that when you are dressing for church, as a general thing, you mix your perfumes too much; your fragrance is sometimes oppressive; you saturate yourself with cologne and bergamot, until you make a sort of Hamlet's Ghost of yourself, and no man can decide, with the first whiff, whether you bring with you air from Heaven or from hell. Now, rectify this matter as soon as possible; last Sunday you smelled like a secretary to a consolidated drug store and barber shop. And you came and sat in the same pew with me; now don't do that again.

In the next place when you design coming to church, don't lie in bed until half past ten o'clock and then come in looking all swelled and torpid, like a doughnut. Do reflect upon it, and show some respect for your personal appearance hereafter.

There is another matter, also, which I wish to remonstrate with you about. Generally, when the contribution box of the missionary department is passing around, you begin to look anxious, and fumble in your vest pockets, as if you felt a mighty desire to put all your worldly wealth into it—yet when it reaches your pew, you are sure to be absorbed in your prayer-book, or gazing pensively out of the window at far-off mountains, or buried in meditation, with your sinful head supported by the back of the pew before you. And after the box is gone again, you usually start suddenly and gaze after it with a yearning look, mingled with an expression of bitter disappointment (fumbling your cash again meantime), as if you felt you had missed the one grand opportunity for which you had been longing all your life. Now, to do this when you have money in your pockets is mean. But I have seen you do a meaner thing. I refer to your conduct last Sunday, when the contribution box arrived at our pew—and the angry blood rises to my cheek when I remember with what gravity and sweet serenity of countenance you put in fifty cents and took out two dollars and a half...

Territorial Enterprise, between April 16-18, 1863


For a day or two a rumor has been floating around, that five Indians had been smothered to death in a tunnel back of Gold Hill, but no one seemed to regard it in any other light than as a sensation hoax gotten up for the edification of strangers sojourning within our gates. However, we asked a Gold Hill man about it yesterday, and he said there was no shadow of a jest in it—that it was a dark and terrible reality. He gave us the following story as being the version generally accepted in Gold Hill:—That town was electrified on Sunday morning with the intelligence that a noted desperado had just murdered two Virginia policemen, and had fled in the general direction of Gold Hill. Shortly afterward, some one arrived with the exciting news that a man had been seen to run and hide in a tunnel a mile or a mile and a half west of Gold Hill. Of course it was Campbell—who else would do such a thing, on that particular morning, of all others? So a party of citizens repaired to this spot, but each felt a natural delicacy about approaching an armed and desperate man in the dark, and especially in such confined quarters; wherefore they stopped up the mouth of the tunnel, calculating to hold on to their prisoner until some one could be found whose duty would oblige him to undertake the disagreeable task of bringing forth the captive. The next day a strong posse went up, rolled away the stones from the mouth of the sepulchre, went in and found five dead Indians!—three men, one squaw and one child, who had gone in there to sleep, perhaps, and been smothered by the foul atmosphere after the tunnel had been closed up. We still hope the story may prove a fabrication, notwithstanding the positive assurances we have received that it is entirely true. The intention of the citizens was good, but the result was most unfortunate. To shut up a murderer in a tunnel was well enough, but to leave him there all night was calculated to impair his chances for a fair trial—the principle was good, but the application was unnecessarily "hefty." We have given the above story for truth—we shall continue to regard it as such until it is disproven.

Territorial Enterprise, April 19—30, 1863


ELECTRICAL MILL MACHINERY.—Mr. Wm. L. Card, of Silver City, has invented a sort of infernal machine, which is to turn quartz mills by electricity. It consists of wheels and things, and—however, we could not describe it without getting tangled. Mr. Card assures us that he can apply his invention to all the mills in Silver City, and work the whole lot with one powerful Grove battery. We believe—and if we had galvanic sense enough to explain the arrangement properly, others would also. A patent has already been applied for.

Territorial Enterprise, May 19-21, 1863


SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 1863

EDS. ENTERPRISE: The Unreliable, since he has been here, has conducted himself in such a reckless and unprincipled manner that he has brought the whole Territory into disrepute and made its name a reproach, and its visiting citizens objects of suspicion. He has been a perfect nightmare to the officers of the Occidental Hotel. They give him an excellent room, but if, in prowling about the house, he finds another that suits him better, he "locates" it ( that is his slang way of expressing it). Judging by his appearance what manner of man he was, the hotel clerk at first gave him a room immediately under the shingles—but it was found impossible to keep him there. He said he could not stand it, because spinning round and round, up that spiral staircase, caused his beer to ferment, and made him foam at the mouth like a soda fountain; wherefore, he descended at the dead of night and "jumped" a room on the second floor (the very language he used in boasting of the exploit). He said they served an injunction on him there, "and," says he, "if Bill Stewart had been down here, Mark, I'd have sued to quiet title, and I'd have held that ground, don't you know it?" And he sighed; and after ruminating a moment, he added, in a tone of withering contempt: "But these lawyers won't touch a case unless a man has some rights; humph! they haven't any more strategy into 'em than a clam. But Bill Stewart—thunder! Now, you just take that Ophir suit that's coming off in Virginia, for instance—why, God bless you, Bill Stewart'll worry the witnesses, and bullyrag the Judge, and buy up the jury and pay for 'em; and he'll prove things that never existed—hell! What won't he prove! That's the idea—what won't he prove, you know? Why, Mark, I'll tell you what he done when—"

The Unreliable was interrupted here by a messenger from the hotel office, who handed him several sheets of legal cap, very neatly folded. He took them and motioned the young man to retire. "Now," said he, confidentially, "do you know what that is, Sweetness?" I said I thought it was a wash bill, or a hotel bill, or some thing of that kind. His countenance beamed with admiration: "You've struck it, by the Lord; yes, sir, that's just what it is—it's another of them d—d assessments; they levied one on me last week, and I meant to go and see a lawyer about it, but"—The Unreliable simmered down into a profound reverie, and I waited in silence to see what species of villainy his fertile brain would bring forth. At last he started up exultingly, with a devilish light in his eye: "I've got them in the door, Mark! They've been trying all they knew how to freeze me out, but they can't win. This hotel ain't incorporated under the laws of the Territory, and they can't collect—they are only a lot of blasted tenants in common! O, certainly" (with bitter scorn ), "they'll get rich playing me for a Chinaman, you know." I forbear to describe how he reveled in the prospect of swindling the Occidental out of his hotel bill—it is too much humiliation even to think of it.

This young man insisted upon taking me to a concert last night, and I refused to go at first, because I am naturally suspicious of him, but he assured me that the Bella Union Melodeon was such a chaste and high-toned establishment that he would not hesitate to take any lady there who would go with him. This remark banished my fears, of course, and we proceeded to the house of amusement. We were the first arrivals there. He purchased two pit-tickets for twenty- five cents apiece; I demurred at this kind of hospitality, and reminded him that orchestra seats were only fifty cents, and private boxes two dollars and a half. He bent on me a look of compassion, and muttered to himself that some people have no more sense than a boiled carrot—that some people's intellects were as dark as the inside of a cow. He walked into the pit, and then climbed over into the orchestra seats as coolly as if he had chartered the theatre. I followed, of course. Then he said, "Now, Mark, keep your eye skinned on that doorkeeper, and do as I do." I did as he did, and I am ashamed to say that he climbed a stanchion and took possession of a private box. In due course several gentlemen performers came on the stage, and with them half a dozen lovely and blooming damsels, with the largest ankles you ever saw. In fact, they were dressed like so many parasols—as it were. Their songs, and jokes, and conundrums were received with rapturous applause. The Unreliable said these things were all copyrighted; it is probably true—I never heard them anywhere else. He was well pleased with the performance, and every time one of the ladies sang, he testified his approbation by knocking some of her teeth out with a bouquet. The Bella Union, I am told, is supported entirely by Washoe patronage. There are forty-two single gentlemen here from Washoe, and twenty-six married ones; they were all at the concert last night except two—both unmarried. But if the Unreliable had not told me it was a moral, high-toned establishment, I would not have observed it.

Hon. Wm. H. Davenport, of Virginia, and Miss Mollie Spangler, of Cincinnati, Ohio, were married here on the 10th instant, at the residence of Colonel John A. Collins. Among the invited guests were Judge Noyes and lady, Messrs. Beecher and Franz, of Virginia, and Mr. Mark Twain; among the uninvited I noticed only the Unreliable. It will probably never be known what became of the spoons. The bridal party left yesterday for Sacramento, and may be expected in Virginia shortly. Old fat, jolly B. C. Howard, a Lyon county Commissioner, is here, at the Russ House, where he will linger a while and then depart for his old home in Vermont, to return again in the Fall. Col. Raymond, of the Zephyr-Flat mill, is in the city, also, and taking up a good deal of room in Montgomery street and the Bank Exchange; he has invested in some fast horses, and I shall probably take them over to Washoe shortly. There are multitudes of people from the Territory here at the three principal hotels—consequently provisions are scarce. If you will send a few more citizens down we can carry this election, and fill all these city offices with Carson and Virginia men.

There is not much doing in stocks just now, especially in the Boards. But I suspect it is the case here as it is in Virginia, that the Boards do precious little of the business. Many private sales of Union ( Gold Hill) and Yellow Jacket have transpired here during the past week at much higher prices than you quote those stocks at. Three hundred feet of Golden Gate changed hands at $100 per foot, and fifty feet at $110; but a telegram from Virginia yesterday, announcing that they had "struck it"—and moderately rich—in the San Francisco, raised both stocks several figures, as also the Golden Eagle (first south extension of the Golden Gate), which had been offered the day before at $30 a foot. Two hundred feet of Oriental were sold at private sale to-day at $7 a foot. Now, you hear no talk in Virginia but the extraordinary dullness of the San Francisco market. Humbug! It may be dull in the Boards, but it is lively enough on the street. If you doubt it, say so, and I will move around a little and furnish you with all the statistics you want.

I meant to say something glowing and poetical about the weather, but the Unreliable has come in and driven away refined emotion from my breast. He says: "Say it's bully, you tallow brained idiot! that's enough; anybody can understand that; don't write any of those infernal, sick platitudes about sweet flowers, and joyous butterflies, and worms and things, for people to read before breakfast. You make a fool of yourself that way; everybody gets disgusted with you; stuff! be a man or a mouse, can't you?"

I must go out now with this conceited ass—there is no other way to get rid of him.


Territorial Enterprise, June 21-24, 1863




EDS. ENTERPRISE:—I have just received, per Wells-Fargo, the following sweet scented little note, written in a microscopic hand in the center of a delicate sheet of paper—like a wedding invitation or a funeral notice—and I feel it my duty to answer it:

VIRGINIA, June 16.

"MR. MARK TWAIN:—Do tell us something about the fashions. I am dying to know what the ladies of San Francisco are wearing. Do, now, tell us all you know about it, won't you? Pray excuse brevity, for I am in such a hurry. BETTIE.

"P. S.—Please burn this as soon as you have read it."

"Do tell us"—and she is in "such a hurry." Well, I never knew a girl in my life who could write three consecutive sentences without italicising a word. They can't do it, you know. Now, if I had a wife, and she—however, I don't think I shall have one this week, and it is hardly worthwhile to borrow trouble.

Bettie, my love, you do me proud. In thus requesting me to fix up the fashions for you in an intelligent manner, you pay a compliment to my critical and observant eye and my varied and extensive information, which a mind less perfectly balanced than mine could scarcely contemplate without excess of vanity. Will I tell you something about the fashions? I will, Bettie—you better bet you bet, Betsey, my darling. I learned those expressions from the Unreliable; like all the phrases which fall from his lips, they are frightfully vulgar—but then they sound rather musical than otherwise.

A happy circumstance has put it in my power to furnish you the fashions from headquarters—as it were, Bettie: I refer to the assemblage of fashion, elegance and loveliness called together in the parlor of the Lick House last night—[a party given by the proprietors on the occasion of my paying up that little balance due on my board bill.] I will give a brief and lucid description of the dresses worn by several of the ladies of my acquaintance who were present. Mrs. B. was arrayed in a superb speckled foulard, with the stripes running fore and aft, and with collets and camails to match; also, a rotonde of Chantilly lace, embroidered with blue and yellow dogs, and birds and things, done in cruel, and edged with a Solferino fringe four inches deep—lovely. Mrs. B. is tall, and graceful and beautiful, and the general effect of her costume was to render her appearance extremely lively.

Miss J. W. wore a charming robe polonais of scarlet ruche a la vieille, with yellow fluted flounces of rich bombazine, fourteen inches wide; low neck and short sleeves; also a Figaro veste of bleached domestic—selvedge edge turned down with a back-stitch, and trimmed with festoons of blue chicoree taffetas—gay?—I reckon not. Her head-dress was the sweetest thing you ever saw: a bunch of stately ostrich plumes—red and white—springing like fountains above each ear, with a crown between, consisting of a single fleur de soliel, fresh from the garden—Ah, me! Miss W. looked enchantingly pretty; however, there was nothing unusual about that—I have seen her look so, even in a milder costume.

Mrs. J. B. W. wore a heavy rat-colored brocade silk, studded with large silver stars, and trimmed with organdy; balloon sleeves of nankeen pique, gathered at the wrist, cut bias and hollowed out some at the elbow; also, a bournous of black Honiton lace, scolloped, and embroidered in violent colors with a battle piece representing the taking of Holland by the Dutch; low neck and high-heeled shoes; gloves; palm leaf fan; hoops; her head-dress consisted of a simple maroon colored Sontag, with festoons of blue illusion depending from it; upon her bosom reposed a gorgeous bouquet of real sage brush, imported from Washoe. Mrs. W. looked regally handsome. If every article of dress worn by her on this occasion had been multiplied seven times, I do not believe it would have improved her appearance any.

Miss C. wore an elegant Cheveux de la Reine (with ruffles and furbelows trimmed with bands of guipre round the bottom), and a mohair Garibaldi shirt; her unique head-dress was crowned with a graceful pomme de terre (Limerick French), and she had her hair done up in papers—greenbacks. The effect was very rich, partly owing to the market value of the material, and partly to the general loveliness of the lady herself.

Miss A. H. wore a splendid Lucia de Lammermoor, trimmed with green baize: also, a cream-colored mantilla shaped pardessus, with a deep gore in the neck, and embellished with a wide greque of taffetas ribbon, and otherwise garnished with ruches, and radishes and things. Her coiffure was a simple wreath of sardines on a string. She was lovely to a fault.

Now, what do you think of that effort, Bettie (I wish I knew your other name) for an unsanctified newspaper reporter, devoid of a milliner's education? Doesn't it strike you that there are more brains and fewer oysters in my head than a casual acquaintance with me would lead one to suppose? Ah, well—what I don't know, Bet, is hardly worth the finding out, I can tell you. I could have described the dresses of all the ladies in that party, but I was afraid to meddle with those of strangers, because I might unwittingly get something wrong, and give offense. You see strangers never exercise any charity in matters of this kind—they always get mad at the least inaccuracies of description concerning their apparel, and make themselves disagreeable. But if you will just rig yourself up according to the models I have furnished you, Bets, you'll do, you know—you can weather the circus.

You will naturally wish to be informed as to the most fashionable style of male attire, and I may as well give you an idea of my own personal appearance at the party. I wore one of Mr. Lawlor's shirts, and Mr. Ridgway's vest, and Dr. Wayman's coat, and Mr. Camp's hat, and Mr. Paxton's boots, and Jerry Long's white kids, and Judge Gilchrist's cravat, and the Unreliable's brass seal-ring, and Mr. Tollroad McDonald's pantaloons—and if you have an idea that they are anyways short in the legs, do you just climb into them once, sweetness. The balance of my outfit I gathered up indiscriminately from various individuals whose names I have forgotten and have now no means of ascertaining, as I thoughtlessly erased the marks from the different garments this morning. But I looked salubrious, B., if ever a man did.

Territorial Enterprise, August 2, 1863


WHEREAS, Thomas Fitch, editor of the Union, having taken umbrage at an article headed "The Virginia Union—not the Federal," written by Joseph T. Goodman, our chief editor, and published in these columns; and whereas said Fitch having challenged said Goodman to mortal combat, naming John Church as his "friend;" and whereas the said Goodman having accepted said challenge, and chosen Thos. Peasley to appoint the means of death—

Therefore, on Friday afternoon it was agreed between the two seconds that the battle should transpire at nine o'clock yesterday morning (which would have been late in the day for most duelists, but it was fearfully early for newspaper men to have to get up)—place, the foot of the canon below the Gould & Curry mill; weapons, navy six-shooters; distance, fifteen paces; conditions, the first fire to be delivered at the word, the others to follow at the pleasure of the targets, as long as a chamber in their pistols remained loaded. To say that we felt a little proud to think that in our official capacity we were about to rise above the recording of ordinary street broils and the monotonous transactions of the Police Court to delineate the ghastly details of a real duel, would be to use the mildest of language. Much as we deplored the state of things which was about to invest us with a new dignity, we could not help taking much comfort in the reflection that it was out of our power, and also antagonistic to the principles of our class, to prevent the state of things above mentioned. All conscientious scruples—all generous feelings must give way to our inexorable duty—which is to keep the public mind in a healthy state of excitement, and experience has taught us that blood alone can do this. At midnight, in company with young Wilson, we took a room at the International, to the end that through the vigilance of the watchman we might not be suffered to sleep until past nine o'clock. The policy was good—our strategy was faultless. At six o'clock in the morning we were on the street, feeling as uncomfortable in the gray dawn as many another early bird that founded its faith upon the inevitable worm and beheld too late that that worm had failed to come to time, for the friends of the proposed deceased were interfering to stop the duel, and the officers of the law were seconding their efforts. But the two desperadoes finally gave these meddlers the slip, and drove off with their seconds to the dark and bloody ground. Whereupon young Wilson and ourself at once mounted a couple of Olin's fast horses and followed in their wake at the rate of a mile a minute.

Since then we enjoy more real comfort in standing up than sitting down, being neither iron-clad nor even half-soled. But we lost our bloody item at last—for Marshal Perry arrived early with a detachment of constables, and also Deputy Sheriff Blodgett came with a lot of blasted Sheriffs, and the battle ground lying and being in Storey county, these miserable, meddling whelps arrested the whole party and marched them back to town. And at the very moment that we were suffering for a duel. The whole force went off down there and left the city at the mercy of thieves and incendiaries. Now, that is about all the strategy those fellows know. We have only to add that Goodman and Fitch were obliged to give bonds in the sum of $5,000 each to keep the peace, and if anything were lacking to make this robbery of the reporters complete, that last circumstance furnished the necessary material. In interfering with our legitimate business, Mr. Perry and Mr. Blodgett probably think they are almighty smart, but we calculate to get even with them.

Territorial Enterprise, August 4, 1863

[portion of original]


We are to blame for giving "the Unreliable" an opportunity to misrepresent us, and therefore refrain from repining to any great extent at the result. We simply claim the right to deny the truth of every statement made by him in yesterday's paper, to annul all apologies he coined as coming from us, and to hold him up to public commiseration as a reptile endowed with no more intellect, no more cultivation, no more Christian principle than animates and adorns the sportive jackass rabbit of the Sierras. We have done.

Territorial Enterprise, Aug. 19, 1863

[from Steamboat Springs, Nevada Territory; dated August 18, 1863]


EDS. ENTERPRISE: Never mind the date—I haven't known what day of the month it was since the fourth of July. In reality, I am not well enough to write, but am angry now, and like our old Methodist parson at home in Missouri, who started in to produce rain by a season of fervent prayer, "I'll do it or bust." I notice in this morning's ENTERPRISE a lame, impotent abortion of a biography of Marshal Perry, and I cannot understand what you mean by it. You either want to impose upon the public with an incorrect account of that monster's career (compiled from items furnished by himself, I'll warrant), or else you wish to bring into disrepute my own biography of him, which is the only correct and impartial one ever published. Which is it? If you really desired that the people should know the man they were expected to vote for, why did you not republish that history? By referring to it you will see that your own has not a word of truth in it. Jack Perry has made you believe he was born in New York, when in reality he was born in New Jersey; he has told you he was a pressman—on the contrary, he is by occupation a shoemaker,—by nature a poet, and by instinct a great moral humbug. If I chose, I could enumerate a dozen more instances to prove that, in his own vulgar phraseology, Jack Perry has successfully played you for a Chinaman. I suppose if he had told you the size of his boots was No. 5, you wouldn't have known enough to refrain from publishing the absurdity. Now the next time you want any facts about Jack Perry, perhaps you had better refer to the standard biography compiled by myself, or else let me hash them up for you. You have rushed into these biographies like a crazy man, and I suppose you have found out by this time that you are no more fitted for that sort of thing than I am for a circus rider (which painfully reminds me that my last horseback trip at Lake Bigler, on that razor-bladed beast of Tom Nye's, has lengthened my legs and shortened my body some). If I could devote more time to composition and less to coughing, I would write all those candidates' biographies over again, just to show you how little you know about it.

I must have led a gay life at Lake Bigler, for it seems a month since I flew up there on the Pioneer coach, alongside of Hank Monk, the king of stage drivers. But I couldn't cure my cold. I was too careless. I went to the lake (Lake Bigler I must beg leave to call it still, notwithstanding, if I recollect rightly, it is known among sentimental people as either Tahoe Lake or Yahoo Lake—however, one of the last will do as well as the other, since there is neither sense nor music in either of them), with a voice like a bull frog, and by indulging industriously in reckless imprudence, I succeeded in toning it down to an impalpable whisper in the course of seven days. I left there in the Pioneer coach at half-past one on Monday morning, in company with Mayor Arick, Mr. Boruck and young Wilson (a nice party for a Christian to travel with, I admit), and arrived in Carson at five o'clock—three hours and a half out. As nearly as I can estimate it, we came down the grade at the rate of a hundred miles an hour; and if you do not know how frightfully deep those mountain gorges look, let me recommend that you go, also, and skim along their edges at the dead of night.

I left Carson at two o'clock with Dyer—Dyer, the polite Dyer, the accommodating—Dyer, of the Carson and Steamboat stage line, and reached the Steamboat Springs Hotel at dusk, where all others who are weary and hungry are invited to come, and be handsomely provided for by Messrs. Holmes & Stowe. At Washoe we ate a supper of unimpeachable squareness at the Washoe Exchange, where I found Hon. J. K. Lovejoy, Dr. Bowman, and Captain Rawlings—there may have been other old acquaintances present, but the champagne that Lovejoy drank confused my vision so much that I cannot recollect whether there were or not. I learned here that the people who own ranches along Steamboat creek are very indignant at Judge Mott for granting an injunction to the Pleasant Valley Mill Company, whereby they are prohibited from using the water in the stream upon their lands. They say the mill company purchased the old Smith ranch and that portion of the creek which passes through it, and now they assume the right to deprive ranchmen owning property two or three miles above their lines from irrigating their lands with water which the mill company never before pretended to claim.

They further state that the mill men gave bonds in the trivial sum of $1,000, whereas the damage already done the crops by the withdrawal of the water amounts to more than $20,000. Again, the idea is that the mill men need the water to wet a new ditch which they have been digging, and after that is accomplished they will pay the amount of the bond and withdraw the injunction. More over—so the story runs—Judge Mott promised a decision in the case three weeks ago, and has not kept his word. The citizens of Galena, in mass meeting assembled, have drawn up a petition praying that the Judge will redress their grievances to-day, with out further delay. If the prayer is unheeded, they will turn the water on their ranches to-morrow in defiance of the order of the court. I believe I have recounted all these facts just as I got them; but if I haven't, I can't help it, because I have lost my note-book again. I think I could lose a thousand note-books a week if I had them. And, moreover, if you can ferret out the justice of the above proceedings, you are a better lawyer than I am—and here comes Orrick Johnson's Virginia stage again, and I shall have to fling in my benediction before I sing the doxology, as usual. Somehow or other, I can never get through with what I have to say.


Territorial Enterprise, Aug. 25, 1863



August 23, 1863.


EDS. ENTERPRISE: I have overstepped my furlough a full week—but then this is a pleasant place to pass one's time. These springs are ten miles from Virginia, six or seven from Washoe City and twenty from Carson. They are natural—the devil boils the water, and the white steam puffs up out of creviccs in the earth, along the summits of a series of low mounds extending in an irregular semi-circle for more than a mile. The water is impregnated with a dozen different minerals, each one of which smells viler than its fellow, and the sides of the springs are embellished with very pretty parti-colored incrustations deposited by the water. From one spring the boiling water is ejected a foot or more by the infernal force at work below, and in the vicinity of all of them one can hear a constant rumbling and surging, somewhat resembling the noises peculiar to a steamboat in motion—hence the name.


The Steamboat Springs Hotel is very pleasantly situated on a grassy flat, a stone's throw from the hospital and the bath houses. It is capable of accommodating a great many guests. The rooms are large, "hard-finished" and handsomely furnished; there is an abundant supply of pure water, which can be carried to every part of the house, in case of fire, by means of hose; the table is furnished with fresh vegetables and meats from the numerous fine ranches in the valley, and lastly, Mr. Stowe is a pleasant and accommodating landlord, and is ably seconded by Messrs. Haines, Ellsworth and Bingham. These gentlemen will never allow you to get ill-humored for want of polite attention—as I gratefully remember, now, when I recall the stormy hours of Friday, when that accursed "Wake-up Jake" was in me. But I haven't got to that, yet. God bless us! it is a world of trouble, and we are born to sorrow and tribulation—yet, am I chiefest among sinners, that I should be prematurely damned with "Wake-up Jake," while others not of the elect go free? I am trying to go on with my letter, but this thing bothers me; verily, from having "Wake-up Jake" on the stomach for three days, I have finally got it on the brain. I am grateful for the change. But I digress.


Dr. Ellis, the proprietor of the Springs, has erected a large, tastefully designed, and comfortable and well ventilated hospital, close to the bath-houses, and it is constantly filled with patients afflicted with all manner of diseases. It would be a very profitable institution, but a great many who come to it half dead, and leave it again restored to robust health, forget to pay for the benefits they have received. Others, when they arrive, confess at once that they are penniless, yet few men could look upon the sunken cheeks of these, and upon their attenuated forms and their pleading, faded eyes, and refuse them the shelter and assistance we all may need some day. Without expectation of reward, Dr. Ellis gives back life, hope and health to many a despairing, poverty stricken devil; and when I think of this, it seems so strange that he could have had the meanness to give me that "Wake up-Jake." However, I am wandering away from the subject again. All diseases (except confirmed consumption,) are treated successfully here. A multitude of invalids have attended these baths during the past three years, yet only an insignificant number of deaths have occurred among them. I want to impress one thing upon you: it is a mistaken notion that these Springs were created solely for the salvation of persons suffering venereal diseases. True, the fame of the baths rests chiefly upon the miracles performed upon such patients, and upon others afflicted with rheumatism, erysipelas, etc., but then all ordinary ailments can be quickly and pleasantly cured here without a resort to deadly physic. More than two-thirds of the people who come here are afflicted with venereal diseases—fellows who know that if "Steamboat" fails with them they may as well go to trading feet with the undertaker for a box—yet all here agree that these baths are none the less potent where other diseases are concerned. I know lots of poor, feeble wretches in Virginia who could get a new lease of life by soaking their shadows in Steamboat Springs for a week or two. However, I must pass on to


My friend Jim Miller has charge of these. Within a few days the new bath-house will be finished, and then twelve persons may bathe at once, or if they be sociable and choose to go on the double-bed principle, four times as many can enjoy the luxury at the same time. Persons afflicted with loathsome diseases use bath-rooms which are never entered by the other patients. You get up here about six o'clock in the morning and walk over to the bath-house; you undress in an ante room and take a cold shower-bath—or let it alone, if you choose; then you step into a sort of little dark closet floored with a wooden grating, up through which come puffs and volumes of the hottest steam you ever performed to, (because the awkwardest of us feel a hankering to waltz a little under such circumstances, you know), and then if you are alone, you resolve to have company thenceforward, since to swap comments upon your sensations with a friend, must render the dire heatless binding upon the human constitution. I had company always, and it was the pleasantest thing in the world to see a thin-skinned invalid cavorting around in the vapory obscurity, marveling at the rivers of sweat that coursed down his body, cursing the villainous smell of the steam and its bitter, salty taste—groping around meanwhile, for a cold corner, and backing finally, into the hottest one, and darting out again in a second, only remarking "Outch!"—and repeating it when he sits down, and springs up the same moment off the hot bench. This was fun of the most comfortable character; but nothing could be more agreeable than to put your eye to the little square hole in the door, and see your boiled and smoking comrade writhing under the cold shower-bath, to see him shrink till his shoulders are level with the top of his head, and then shut his eyes and gasp and catch his breath, while the cruel rain pattered down on his back and sent a ghastly shiver through every fibre of his body. It will always be a comfort to me to recall these little incidents. After the shower-bath, you return to the ante-room and scrub yourself all over with coarse towels until your hide glows like a parlor carpet—after which, you feel as elastic and vigorous as an acrobat. Then if you are sensible, you take no exercise, but just eat your breakfast and go to bed—you will find that an hour's nap will not hurt you any.


A few days ago I fell a victim to my natural curiosity and my solicitude for the public weal. Everybody had something to say about "wake-up-Jake." If a man was low-spirited; if his appetite failed him; if he did not sleep well at night; if he were costive; if he were bilious; or in love; or in any other kind of trouble; or if he doubted the fidelity of his friends or the efficacy of his religion, there was always some one at his elbow to whisper, "Take a 'wake-up,' my boy." I sought to fathom the mystery, but all I could make out of it was that the "Wake-up Jake" was a medicine as powerful as "the servants of the lamp," the secret of whose decoction was hidden away in Dr. Ellis' breast. I was not aware that I had any use for the wonderful "wake-up," but then I felt it to be my duty to try it, in order that a suffering public might profit by my experience—and I would cheerfully see that public suffer perdition before I would try it again. I called upon Dr. Ellis with the air of a man who would create the impression that he is not so much of an ass as he looks, and demanded a "Wake up-Jake" as unostentatiously as if that species of refreshment were not at all new to me. The Doctor hesitated a moment, and then fixed up as repulsive a mixture as ever was stirred together in a table-spoon. I swallowed the nauseous mess, and that one meal sufficed me for the space of forty-eight hours. And during all that time, I could not have enjoyed a viler taste in my mouth if I had swallowed a slaughter-house. I lay down with all my clothes on, and with an utter indifference to my fate here or hereafter, and slept like a statue from six o'clock until noon. I got up, then, the sickest man that ever yearned to vomit and couldn't. All the dead and decaying matter in nature seemed buried in my stomach, and I "heaved, and retched, and heaved again," but I could not compass a resurrection—my dead would not come forth. Finally, after rumbling, and growling, and producing agony and chaos within me for many hours, the dreadful dose began its work, and for the space of twelve hours it vomited me, and purged me, and likewise caused me to bleed at the nose.

I came out of that siege as weak as an infant, and went to the bath with Palmer, of Wells, Fargo & Co., and it was well I had company, for it was about all he could do to keep me from boiling the remnant of my life out in the hot steam. I had reached that stage wherein a man experiences a solemn indifference as to whether school keeps or not. Since then, I have gradually regained my strength and my appetite, and am now animated by a higher degree of vigor than I have felt for many a day. 'Tis well. This result seduces many a man into taking a second, and even a third "wake-up-Jake," but I think I can worry along without any more of them. I am about as thoroughly waked up now as I care to be. My stomach never had such a scouring out since I was born. I feel like a jug. If I could get young Wilson or the Unreliable to take a "wake-up Jake," I would do it, of course, but I shall never swallow another myself—I would sooner have a locomotive travel through me. And besides, I never intend to experiment in physic any more, just out of idle curiosity. A "wake-up-Jake" will furbish a man's machinery up and give him a fresh start in the world—but I feel I shall never need anything of that sort any more. It would put robust health, and life and vim into young Wilson and the Unreliable—but then they always look with suspicion upon any suggestion that I make.


Well, I am going home to Virginia to-day, though I dislike to part from the jolly boys (not to mention iced milk for breakfast, with eggs laid to order, and spiced oysters after midnight with the Reverend Jack Holmes and Bingham) at the Steamboat Springs Hotel. In conclusion, let me recommend to such of my fellow citizens as are in feeble health, or are wearied out with the cares of business, to come down and try the hotel, and the steam baths, and the facetious "wake up-Jake." These will give them rest, and moving recreation—as it were.


Territorial Enterprise, August 27, 1863


YE BULLETIN CYPHERETH.—The Bulletin folks have gone and swallowed an arithmetic; that arithmetic has worked them like a "wake up-Jake," and they have spewed up a multitude of figures. We cypher up the importance of the Territory sometimes so recklessly that our self-respect lies torpid within us for weeks afterwards—but we see now that our most preposterous calculations have been as mild as boardinghouse milk; we perceive that we haven't the nerve to do up this sort of thing with the Bulletin. It estimates the annual yield of the precious metals at $730,000,000! Bully! They say figures don't lie—but we doubt it. We are distanced—that must be confessed; yet, appalled as we are, we will venture upon the Bulletin's "boundless waste" of figures, and take the chances. A Gould & Curry bar with $2,000 in it weighs nearly 100 pounds; $100,000 worth of their bullion would weigh between two and two and a half tons; it would take two of Wells Fargo's stages to carry that $100,000 without discommoding the passengers; it would take 100 stages to carry $5,000,000, 2,000 stages to carry $100,000,000, and 14,600 stages to carry the Bulletin's annual yield of $730,000,000! Wells, Fargo & Co. transport all the bullion out of the Territory in their coaches, and to attend to this little job, they would have to send forty stages over the mountains daily throughout the year, Sundays not excepted, and make each of the forty carry considerably more than a ton of bullion!—yet they generally send only two stages, and the greatest number in one day, during the heaviest rush, was six coaches; they didn't each carry a ton of bullion, though, old smarty from Hongkong. The Bulletin also estimates the average yield of ore from our mines at $1,000 a ton! Bless your visionary soul, sixty dollars—where they get it "regular like"—is considered good enough in Gold Hill, and it is a matter of some trouble to pick out many tons that will pay $400. From sixty to two hundred is good rock in the Ophir, and when that company, or the Gould & Curry, or the Spanish, or any other of our big companies get into a chamber that pays over $500, they ship it to the Bay, my boy. But they don't ship thousands of tons at a time, you know. In Esmeralda and Humboldt, ordinary "rich rock" yields $100 to $200, and when better is found, it is shipped also. Reese River appears to be very rich, but you can't make an "average" there yet awhile; let her mines be developed first. We place the average yield of the ore of our Territory at $100 a ton—that is high enough; we couldn't starve, easily, on forty-dollar rock. Lastly, the Bulletin puts the number of our mills at 150. That is another mistake; the number will not go over a hundred, and we would not be greatly amazed if it even fell one or two under that. While we are on the subject, though, we might as well estimate the "annual yield" of the precious metals, also; we did not intend to do it at first. Mr. Valentine, Wells Fargo's handsome and accomplished agent, has handled all the bullion shipped through the Virginia office for many a month. To his memory—which is excellent—we are indebted for the following exhibit of the company's business in the Virginia office since the first of January, 1862: From January 1st to April 1st, about $270,000 worth of bullion passed through that office; during the next quarter, $570,000; next quarter, $800,000; next quarter, $956,000; next quarter, $1,275,000; and for the quarter ending on the 30th of last June, about $1,600,000. Thus in a year and a half, the Virginia office only shipped $5,330,000 in bullion. During the year 1862 they shipped $2,615,000, so we perceive the average shipments have more than doubled in the last six months. This gives us room to promise for the Virginia office $500,000 a month for the year 1863, and now, perhaps, judging by the steady increase in the business, we too, like the Bulletin, are "underestimating," somewhat. This gives us $6,000,000 for the year. Gold Hill and Silver City together can beat us—we will give them eight, no, to be liberal, $10,000,000. To Dayton, Empire City, Ophir and Carson City, we will allow an aggregate of $8,000,000, which is not over the mark, perhaps, and may possibly be a little under it. To Esmeralda we give $4,000,000. To Reese River and Humboldt $2,000,000, which is liberal now, but may not be before the year is out. So we prognosticate that the yield of bullion this year will be about $30,000,000. Placing the number of mills in the Territory at 100, this gives to each the labor of $300,000 in bullion during the twelve months. Allowing them to run 300 days in the year, (which none of them more than do) this makes their work average $ 1,000 a day—one ton of the Bulletin's rock, or ten of ours. Say the mills average 20 tons of rock a day and this rock worth $50 as a general thing, and you have got the actual work of our 100 mills figured down just about to a spot—$1,000 a day each, and $30,000,000 a year in the aggregate. Oh no!—we have never been to school—we don't know how to cypher. Certainly not—we are probably a natural fool, but we don't know it. Anyhow, we have mashed the Bulletin's estimate all out of shape and cut the first left-hand figure off its $730,000,000 as neatly as a regular banker's clerk could have done it.

Territorial Enterprise, September 4-5, 1863


I hope some bird will catch this Grub the next time he calls Lake Bigler by so disgustingly sick and silly a name as "Lake Tahoe." I have removed the offensive word from his letter and substituted the old one, which at least has a Christian English twang about it whether it is pretty or not. Of course Indian names are more fitting than any others for our beautiful lakes and rivers, which knew their race ages ago, perhaps, in the morning of creation, but let us have none so repulsive to the ear as "Tahoe" for the beautiful relic of fairy-land forgotten and left asleep in the snowy Sierras when the little elves fled from their ancient haunts and quitted the earth. They say it means "Fallen Leaf"—well suppose it meant fallen devil or fallen angel, would that render its hideous, discordant syllables more endurable? Not if I know myself. I yearn for the scalp of the soft-shell crab—be he injun or white man—who conceived of that spoony, slobbering, summer-complaint of a name. Why, if I had a grudge against a half-price nigger, I wouldn't be mean enough to call him by such an epithet as that; then, how am I to hear it applied to the enchanted mirror that the viewless spirits of the air make their toilets by, and hold my peace? "Tahoe"—it sounds as weak as soup for a sick infant. "Tahoe" be—forgotten! I just saved my reputation that time. In conclusion, "Grub," I mean to start to Lake Bigler myself, Monday morning, or somebody shall come to grief.


Territorial Enterprise, September 17, 1863


SAN FRANCISCO, September 13, 1863


EDITORS ENTERPRISE: The trip from Virginia to Carson by Messrs. Carpenter & Hoog's stage is a pleasant one, and from thence over the mountains by the Pioneer would be another, if there were less of it. But you naturally want an outside seat in the day time, and you feel a good deal like riding inside when the cold night winds begin to blow; yet if you commence your journey on the outside, you will find that you will be allowed to enjoy the desire I speak of unmolested from twilight to sunrise. An outside seat is preferable, though, day or night. All you want to do is to prepare for it thoroughly. You should sleep forty-eight hours in succession before starting so that you may not have to do anything of that kind on the box. You should also take a heavy overcoat with you. I did neither. I left Carson feeling very miserable for want of sleep, and the voyage from there to Sacramento did not refresh me perceptibly. I took no overcoat and I almost shivered the shirt off myself during that long night ride from Strawberry Valley to Folsom. Our driver was a very companionable man, though, and this was a happy circumstance for me, because, being drowsy and worn out, I would have gone to sleep and fallen overboard if he had not enlivened the dreary hours with his conversation. Whenever I stopped coughing, and went to nodding, he always watched me out of the corner of his eye until I got to pitching in his direction, and then he would stir me up and inquire if I were asleep. If I said "No" (and I was apt to do that), he always said "it was a bully good thing for me that I warn't, you know," and then went on to relate cheerful anecdotes of people who had got to nodding by his side when he wasn't noticing, and had fallen off and broken their necks. He said he could see those fellows before him now, all jammed and bloody and quivering in death's agony—"G'lang! d—n that horse, he knows there's a parson and an old maid in side, and that's what makes him cut up so; I've saw him act jes' so more'n a thousand times!" The driver always lent an additional charm to his conversation by mixing his horrors and his general information together in this way. "Now," said he, after urging his team at a furious speed down the grade for a while, plunging into deep bends in the road brimming with a thick darkness almost palpable to the touch, and darting out again and again on the verge of what instinct told me was a precipice, "Now, I seen a poor cuss—but you're asleep again, you know, and you've rammed your head agin' my side-pocket and busted a bottle of nasty rotten medicine that I'm taking to the folks at the Thirty-five Mile House; do you notice that flavor? ain't it a ghastly old stench? The man that takes it down there don't live on anything else it's vittles and drink to him; anybody that ain't used to him can't go a-near him; he'd stun 'em—he'd suffocate 'em; his breath smells like a grave yard after an earthquake—you Bob! I allow to skelp that ornery horse, yet, if he keeps on this way; you see he's been on the over land till about two weeks ago, and every stump he sees he cal'lates it's an Injun." I was awake by this time, holding on with both hands and bouncing up and down just as I do when I ride a horse back. The driver took up the thread of his discourse and proceeded to soothe me again: "As I was a saying, I see a poor cuss tumble off along here one night—he was monstrous drowsy, and went to sleep when I'd took my eye off of him for a moment—and he fetched up agin a boulder, and in a second there wasn't anything left of him but a promiscus pile of hash! It was moonlight, and when I got down and looked at him he was quivering like jelly, and sorter moaning to himself, like, and the bones of his legs was sticking out through his pantaloons every which way, like that." ( Here the driver mixed his fingers up after the manner of a stack of muskets, and illuminated them with the ghostly light of his cigar.) "He warn't in misery long though. In a minute and a half he was deader'n a smelt—Bob! I say I'll cut that horse's throat if he stays on this route another week." In this way the genial driver caused the long hours to pass sleeplessly away, and if he drew upon his imagination for his fearful histories, I shall be the last to blame him for it, because if they had taken a milder form I might have yielded to the dullness that oppressed me, and got my own bones smashed out of my hide in such a way as to render me useless forever after—unless, perhaps, some one chose to turn me to account as an uncommon sort of hat-rack.


Not a face in either stage was washed from the time we left Carson until we arrived in Sacramento; this will give you an idea of how deep the dust lay on those faces when we entered the latter town at eight o'clock on Monday morning. Mr. Billet, of Virginia, came in our coach, and brought his family with him—Mr. R. W. Billet of the great Washoe Stock and Exchange Board of Highwaymen—and instead of turning his complexion to a dirty cream color, as it generally serves white folks, the dust changed it to the meanest possible shade of black: however, Billet isn't particularly white, anyhow, even under the most favorable circumstances. He stepped into an office near the railroad depot, to write a note, and while he was at it, several lank, gawky, indolent immigrants, fresh from the plains, gathered around him. Missourians—Pikes—I can tell my brethren as far as I can see them. They seemed to admire Billet very much, and the faster he wrote the higher their admiration rose in their faces, until it finally boiled over in words, and one of my countrymen ejaculated in his neighbor's ear,—"Dang it, but he writes mighty well for a nigger!"


When I arrived in San Francisco, I found there was no one in town—at least there was no body in town but "the Menken"—or rather, that no one was being talked about except that manly young female. I went to see her play "Mazeppa," of course. They said she was dressed from head to foot in flesh-colored "tights," but I had no opera-glass, and I couldn't see it, to use the language of the inelegant rabble. She appeared to me to have but one garment on—a thin tight white linen one, of unimportant dimensions; I forget the name of the article, but it is indispensable to infants of tender age—I suppose any young mother can tell you what it is, if you have the moral courage to ask the question. With the exception of this superfluous rag, the Menken dresses like the Greek Slave; but some of her postures are not so modest as the suggestive attitude of the latter. She is a finely formed woman down to her knees; if she could be herself that far, and Mrs. H. A. Perry the rest of the way, she would pass for an unexceptionable Venus. Here every tongue sings the praises of her matchless grace, her supple gestures, her charming attitudes. Well, possibly, these tongues are right. In the first act, she rushes on the stage, and goes cavorting around after "Olinska"; she bends herself back like a bow; she pitches headforemost at the atmosphere like a battering ram; she works her arms, and her legs, and her whole body like a dancing-jack: her every movement is as quick as thought; in a word, without any apparent reason for it, she carries on like a lunatic from the beginning of the act to the end of it. At other times she "whallops" herself down on the stage, and rolls over as does the sportive pack-mule after his burden is removed. If this be grace then the Menken is eminently graceful. After a while they proceed to strip her, and the high chief Pole calls for the "fiery untamed steed"; a subordinate Pole brings in the fierce brute, stirring him up occasionally to make him run away, and then hanging to him like death to keep him from doing it; the monster looks round pensively upon the brilliant audience in the theatre, and seems very willing to stand still—but a lot of those Poles grab him and hold on to him, so as to be prepared for him in case he changes his mind. They are posted as to his fiery untamed nature, you know, and they give him no chance to get loose and eat up the orchestra. They strap Mazeppa on his back, fore and aft, and face upper most, and the horse goes cantering up-stairs over the painted mountains, through tinted clouds of theatrical mist, in a brisk exciting way, with the wretched victim he bears unconsciously digging her heels into his hams, in the agony of her sufferings, to make him go faster. Then a tempest of applause bursts forth, and the curtain falls. The fierce old circus horse carries his prisoner around through the back part of the theatre, behind the scenery, and although assailed at every step by the savage wolves of the desert, he makes his way at last to his dear old home in Tartary down by the foot lights, and beholds once more, O, gods! the familiar faces of the fiddlers in the orchestra. The noble old steed is happy, then, but poor Mazeppa is insensible—"ginned out" by his trip, as it were. Before the act closes, however, he is restored to consciousness and his doting old father, the king of Tartary; and the next day, without taking time to dress—without even borrowing a shirt, or stealing a fresh horse—he starts off on the fiery untamed, at the head of the Tartar nation, to exterminate the Poles, and carry off his own sweet Olinska from the Polish court. He succeeds, and the curtain falls upon a bloody combat, in which the Tartars are victorious. "Mazeppa" proved a great card for Maguire here; he put it on the boards in first-class style, and crowded houses went crazy over it every night it was played. But Virginians will soon have an opportunity of seeing it themselves, as "the Menken" will go direct from our town there without stopping on the way. The '"French Spy" was played last night and the night before, and as this spy is a frisky Frenchman, and as dumb as an oyster, Miss Menken's extravagant gesticulations do not seem so overdone in it as they do in "Mazeppa." She don't talk well, and as she goes on her shape and her acting, the character of a fidgety "dummy" is peculiarly suited to her line of business. She plays the Spy, without words, with more feeling than she does Mazeppa with them.

I am tired writing, now, so you will get no news in this letter. I have got a note-book full of interesting hieroglyphics, but I am afraid that by the time I am ready to write them out, I shall have forgotten what they mean. The lady who asked me to furnish her with the Lick House fashions, shall have them shortly—or if I ever get time, I will dish up those displayed at the great Pioneer ball, at Union Hall, last Wednesday night.


Territorial Enterprise, October 1863

[portion of original]

First Annual Fair of the Washoe Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society

Carson City, October 19,1863


Late on Saturday afternoon, after the announcement of the awards in class A had been made, all the stock that had received premiums formed in a sort of triumphal procession, with the band at the head, and the stock following in the order of precedence to which they were entitled by the decision of the Judges, and marched down to the city, through the principal streets of which they paraded two or three times back and forth before final dismissal. The parade of so many fine animals in the streets was really a very fine sight, and was witnessed by everybody with much pleasure, being the first grand parade of the kind ever seen in the Territory.


While waiting at the race course on Saturday for the arrival of some of the officers from the Pavilion, some of the boys belonging to the brass band in attendance concluded to do what they could for the amusement of those present, and so took possession of the platform from which the awards were to be made. One of the party was introduced to the audience as a very eloquent gentleman, who had volunteered to favor those present with a speech on the success of the Fair. The speaker took his position and made a polite bow to his audience, another of the musicians prepared to take down the speech and the third acted in the capacity of bottle holder. The speaker soon launched forth, and in a few moments had worked himself up into a tremendous state of excitement. His lips worked convulsively, though no sound escaped them. He pointed toward the rocky peaks of the Sierras, then at the surrounding brown hills, finishing with a complacent wave of his hand toward the broad valley in which he stood. He was leaning far over the railing of the platform in the middle of a most eloquent appeal to the crowd, occasionally pointing heavenward, when his bottle-holder was suddenly overtaken by a violent fit of admiration, which he felt constrained to manifest by a most vigorous stamping upon the boards of the platform—so vigorous that he burst through one of the boards and hung suspended by the arms. A keg of nails was kicked over in the row, and the great oratorical effort came to an end amid the prolonged shouts and cheers of the crowd. I was favored with a look at the speech as taken down by the reporter, and give the following extract: "_____! _____! _____? _____! (?)_____; _____, _____, _____!!! _____." There were some ten pages in the same style, but as your readers will perhaps be better pleased with the extract I have given than with the whole speech, as taken down by the reporter, I will omit the balance.


The challenge of "Deuces" against the field on Friday, for $300, catch-weights, barring "Breckinridge," was accepted by "Kate Mitchell," but to-day she was lame and forfeited. After the failure of these horses to run, a race was gotten up between three Spanish nags, for a purse of $27.50, single dash of a mile. In starting "Grey Dick" and the black nag, "Sheep," got off at the tap of the drum, but the sorrel horse "Split-ear," was held by his owner. "Sheep" and "Grey Dick" dashed forward, when the cry of "Come back!" was raised by several, also by a voice or two on the Judges' stand. "Grey Dick's" rider came back, but the rider of "Sheep" (Johnny Craddock), after riding back a short distance and ascertaining that the drum had tapped, turned about and rode leisurely around the track, winning the race and purse, according to the decision of the Judges and the rules of the Carson Racing Club. The decision was that once the drum was tapped, it was a go—the riders not being required to pay any attention to the calls to come back from anybody. Outside bets were declared drawn. A new race was now made up between the same nags. Theo. Winters paid the entrance fees for the three horses, amounting to $15; purse, $20; single dash of a mile. The horses got a very fair start; on the first quarter "Sheep" got the lead, "Grey Dick" came next, and "Split-ear" brought up the rear. "Sheep" still held his own on nearing the home-stretch, but "Grey Dick" soon began to gain on him, and they were soon head and head. Both riders used the whip freely on the home-stretch and the race was more stubbornly contested than any one that has taken place on the track this week. The betting had been very free on "Sheep" and "Grey Dick," "Sheep" seeming to be the favorite, and the excitement was intense. "Sheep" passed the score 6 inches ahead of "Grey Dick," winning the purse; time, 1:58. A purse of $16.25 was now made up, the same horses to run, single dash of one mile. "Grey Dick" had the track, "Split-ear" second, "Sheep" third. The horses got a very good start. "Grey Dick" led for the first half mile, "Sheep" following closely and "Split-ear" far behind. "Grey Dick" kept the lead down the home stretch, the others following in about the same order in which they passed the half mile post, and came in three lengths ahead of "Sheep," "Split-ear" being three or four hundred yards behind. "Grey Dick" won the purse; time, 2:08. A purse of $25 was now made up for a slow race—the slowest horse of the three to win—riders to change horses. "Split-ear" had the track, "Sheep" second, "Grey Dick" third. "Sheep's" owners had given him all the water he could drink on the sly, and from the start he was behind and kept at least three hundred yards behind all the way round the track, "Grey Dick" came in first, "Split-ear" second and "Sheep" rolled along far behind. "Sheep" won the race and purse; time 2:17.


There are some things that kept running through my mind while looking through the city of Carson, and considering the peculiarities of its site, that I cannot refrain from jotting down here, though not coming strictly under the head of the Fair. However, they were suggested by improvements made on the Plaza in preparing for the holding of the Fair, and may, therefore, be considered as one of its legitimate fruits. I think that every person who attended the Fair must have been most forcibly struck with the great improvement made in the appearance of the Plaza by the planting of evergreens on it in front of and about the Pavilion; this first led me to consider the site of the town and the many advantages its location afforded for making it one of the prettiest and pleasantest cities on the Eastern Slope. Situated on a wide, and almost level, plain, at but a short distance from the eastern base of the Sierras, with numerous fine mountain streams tumbling down the hills behind it, Carson might have every street as well supplied with ditches of water as are those of Salt Lake City. The water from these ditches might be made to cause a thousand gardens in the city to "bloom as the rose." At no very great expense, the water of one of the mountain streams nearby might be brought upon the Plaza in pipes, and used to supply fountains in various parts of the grounds; about these fountains willows and plats of flowers might be planted, which, with a liberal sprinkling of cottonwood and other trees in various parts, would make it a far prettier place than the "Willows," near San Francisco. With some such improvements Carson would be apt to attract nearly all the wealthy men owning mines and mills, or doing business in this part of the Territory—they would all wish to reside in or near so pretty and pleasant a place. If the Plaza was turned into a park as pleasant and beautiful as it might be made, it would soon become a general place of resort on Saturdays and Sundays for all the young people, and pleasure seekers in general, of all the neighboring towns and cities. If the present Pavilion is allowed to stand where it is, it should be raised at least six to eight feet higher than it is by putting under it some kind of basement; then, with a broad flight of steps at the entrance of each wing, it would be a really imposing edifice, and one that would at once elicit the admiration of every stranger passing through the town. Mr. Curry, one of the most public-spirited men in Carson, has already put a beautiful and substantial fence around the Plaza, and has offered to build a fountain that will throw a stream some twenty-five feet high, provided the Water Company, now about supplying water to the city, would furnish the amount of water needed. The people of Carson have, as I remarked above, the foundations for the handsomest city on the Eastern Slope, and the fault will lie with themselves if they don't make it such.


I have not yet been able to obtain the exact amount of all the receipts of the Fair, and will therefore defer all mention of sums. The receipts in full will shortly be obtained and published; I may, however, say that I heard it stated that the receipts would be much more than adequate to the liquidation of all outstanding liabilities of the Society, and that the $2,000 appropriated by the Legislature could be allowed to stand over untouched for the Fair of next year. A number of the members of the Society have acted most generously, and done much toward contributing to the financial success of the institution. Theodore Winters in the start donated the Society $200; afterwards he presented to the Society all his winnings, amounting to $225, and has in various other ways aided the institution to near the amount of $1,000. The owners of the Carson Race Course, as I took occasion to mention in a former letter, acted in the most liberal and handsome manner by the Society, in giving them the free use of all their grounds and buildings, to say nothing of the fact of their having worked all the week like Trojans for the success of the Fair. Mr. Gillespie, the Secretary, and many other officers of the Society, labored day and night during the progress of the exhibition, that nothing might be left undone that could further the plans or aid the triumphant result of an institution which too many had predicted would die in an inglorious fizzle. But we have no "fizzle" to chronicle. We have not, it is very true, made the grandest display of the kind ever seen on the Pacific Coast, but there have been much worse. We came to the exhibition, many of us, with a feeling of dubiousness in our hearts—half ashamed to tell where we were going, even when on the way. When we came away, we felt quite proud, held up our heads, and said we'd "been to the Fair!" We have most of us been dwellers in the mountains and delvers in the mines, and knew little of the agricultural capacity of our valleys; we had rather supposed that we should be obliged always to look to California for our supplies of such articles of farm produce as we might need; but we have now had a faint glimpse of what may be done upon our soil, and feel no hesitancy in calling upon all who wish to till the earth in a land where the soil yields a bountiful return, and the best market in the world is open at the door of the cultivator, to come and occupy the land lying ready and free for all settlers. All who are now engaged in the cultivation of the soil of Washoe, and were present at the exhibition—and even those who only hear of it from the reports going forth—will now go to work in greater earnestness and with more confidence. Especially will this be the case with those contemplating fruit culture; and we shall expect soon to see orchards in all our valleys and vineyards gracing the slopes of all our hills.

Territorial Enterprise, October 28, 1863


From Abram Curry, who arrived here yesterday afternoon from Carson, we have learned the following particulars concerning a bloody massacre which was committed in Ormsby county night before last. It seems that during the past six months a man named P. Hopkins, or Philip Hopkins, has been residing with his family in the old log house just at the edge of the great pine forest which lies between Empire City and Dutch Nick's. The family consisted of nine children—five girls and four boys—the oldest of the group, Mary, being nineteen years old, and the youngest, Tommy, about a year and a half. Twice in the past two months Mrs. Hopkins, while visiting in Carson, expressed fears concerning the sanity of her husband, remarking that of late he had been subject to fits of violence, and that during the prevalence of one of these he had threatened to take her life. It was Mrs. Hopkins' misfortune to be given to exaggeration, however, and but little attention was paid to what she said. About ten o'clock on Monday evening Hopkins dashed into Carson on horseback, with his throat cut from ear to ear, and bearing in his hand a reeking scalp from which the warm, smoking blood was still dripping, and fell in a dying condition in front of the Magnolia saloon. Hopkins expired in the course of five minutes, without speaking. The long red hair of the scalp he bore marked it as that of Mrs. Hopkins. A number of citizens, headed by Sheriff Gasherie, mounted at once and rode down to Hopkins' house, where a ghastly scene met their gaze. The scalpless corpse of Mrs. Hopkins lay across the threshold, with her head split open and her right hand almost severed from the wrist. Near her lay the ax with which the murderous deed had been committed. In one of the bedrooms six of the children were found, one in bed and the others scattered about the floor. They were all dead. Their brains had evidently been dashed out with a club, and every mark about them seemed to have been made with a blunt instrument. The children must have struggled hard for their lives, as articles of clothing and broken furniture were strewn about the room in the utmost confusion. Julia and Emma, aged respectively fourteen and seventeen, were found in the kitchen, bruised and insensible, but it is thought their recovery is possible. The eldest girl, Mary, must have taken refuge, in her terror, in the garret, as her body was found there, frightfully mutilated, and the knife with which her wounds had been inflicted still sticking in her side. The two girls, Julia and Emma, who had recovered sufficiently to be able to talk yesterday morning, state that their father knocked them down with a billet of wood and stamped on them. They think they were the first attacked. They further state that Hopkins had shown evidence of derangement all day, but had exhibited no violence. He flew into a passion and attempted to murder them because they advised him to go to bed and compose his mind. Curry says Hopkins was about forty-two years of age, and a native of Western Pennsylvania; he was always affable and polite, and until very recently we had never heard of his ill treating his family. He had been a heavy owner in the best mines of Virginia and Gold Hill, but when the San Francisco papers exposed the game of cooking dividends in order to bolster up our stocks he grew afraid and sold out, and invested to an immense amount in the Spring Valley Water Company of San Francisco. He was advised to do this by a relative of his, one of the editors of the San Francisco Bulletin, who had suffered pecuniarily by the dividend-cooking system as applied to the Daney Mining Company recently. Hopkins had not long ceased to own in the various claims on the Comstock lead, however, when several dividends were cooked on his newly acquired property, their water totally dried up, and Spring Valley stock went down to nothing. It is presumed that this misfortune drove him mad and resulted in his killing himself and the greater portion of his family. The newspapers of San Francisco permitted this water company to go on borrowing money and cooking dividends, under cover of which cunning financiers crept out of the tottering concern, leaving the crash to come upon poor and unsuspecting stockholders, without offering to expose the villainy at work. We hope the fearful massacre detailed above may prove the saddest result of their silence.

Territorial Enterprise, October 29, 1863

[the text of this article is from C. A. V. Putman's "Dan De Quille and Mark Twain," published in the Salt Lake City Tribune on April 25, 1898. It may be based upon memory and incomplete.]


The story published in the Enterprise reciting the slaughter of a family near Empire was all a fiction. It was understood to be such by all acquainted with the locality in which the alleged affair occurred. In the first place, Empire City and Dutch Nick's are one, and in the next there is no "great pine forest" nearer than the Sierra Nevada mountains. But it was necessary to publish the story in order to get the fact into the San Francisco papers that the Spring Valley Water company was "cooking" dividends by borrowing money to declare them on for its stockholders. The only way you can get a fact into a San Francisco journal is to smuggle it in through some great tragedy.

Territorial Enterprise, November, 1863


Carson City, November 7, 1863

EDS. ENTERPRISE: This has been a busy week—a notable and a historical week—and the only one which has yet passed over this region, perhaps, whose deeds will make any important stir in the outside world. Some dozens of people in America have heard of Nevada Territory (which they vaguely understand to be in Virginia City, though they have no definite idea as to where Virginia City is) as the place which sends silver bricks to the Sanitary fund; and some other dozens have heard of Washoe, without exactly knowing whether the name refers to the Northwest passage or to the source of the Nile—but when it is shouted abroad through the land that a new star has risen on the flag—a new State born to the Union—then the nation will wake up for a moment and ask who we are and where we came from. They will also ascertain that the new acquisition is called Nevada; they will find out its place on the map, and always recollect afterwards, in a general way, that it is in North America; they will see at a glance that Nevada is not in Virginia City and be surprised at it; they will behold that neither is it in California, and will be unable to comprehend it; they will learn that our soil is alkali flats and our shrubbery sage-brush, and be as wise as they were before; their mouths will water over statistics of our silver bricks, and verily they will believe that God createth silver in that form. This week's work is the first step toward giving the world a knowledge of Nevada, and it is a giant stride, too, for it will provoke earnest inquiry. Immigration will follow, and wild-cat advance.

This Convention of ours is well worth being proud of. There is not another commonwealth in the world, of equal population, perhaps, that could furnish the stuff for its fellow. I doubt if any Constitutional Convention ever officiated at the birth of any State in the Union which could boast of such a large proportion of men of distinguished ability, according to the number of its members, as is the case with ours. There are thirty-six delegates here, and among them I could point out fifteen who would rank high in any community, and the balance would not be second rate in most Legislatures. There are men in this body whose reputations are not local, by any means—such as Governor Johnson, Wm. M. Stewart, Judge Bryan, John A. Collins, N. A. H. Ball, General North and James Stark, the tragedian. Such a constellation as that ought to shed living light upon our Constitution. General North is President of the Convention; Governor Johnson is Chairman of the Legislative Committee—one of the most important among the Standing Committees, and one which has to aid in the construction of every department of the Constitution; Mr. Ball occupies his proper place as Chairman of the Committee on Finance, State Debt, etc.; the Judiciary Committee is built of sound timber, and is hard to surpass; it is composed of Messrs. Stewart, Johnson, Larrowe and Bryan.

We shall have a Constitution that we need not be ashamed of, rest assured; but it will not be framed in a week. Every article in it will be well considered and freely debated upon.

And just here I would like to know if it would not be as well to get up a constitutional silver brick or so, and let the Sanitary fund rest a while. It would cost at least ten thousand dollars to put this Convention through in anything approaching a respectable style; yet the sum appropriated by the Legislature for its use was only $3,000, and the scrip for it will not yield $1,500. The new State will have to shoulder the present Territorial debt of $90,000, but it seems to me we might usher her into the world without adding to this an accouchement fee—so to speak—of ten or fifteen thousand more. Why, the Convention is so poor that it cannot even furnish newspapers for its members to read; kerosene merchants hesitate to afford it light; unfeeling draymen who haul wood to the people, scorn its custom; it elected official reporters, and for two days could negotiate no desks for them to write on: it confers upon them no spittoons, to this day; in fact, there is only one spittoon to every 7 members and they furnish their own fine-cut into the bargain; in my opinion there are not inkstands enough to go around, or pens either, for that matter; Col. Youngs, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (to pay expenses), has gone blind and baldheaded, and is degenerating into a melancholy lunatic; this is all on account of his financial troubles; it all comes of his tireless efforts to bullyrag a precarious livelihood for the Convention out of Territorial scrip at forty-one cents on the dollar. Will ye see him die, when fifty-nine cents would save him? I wish I could move the Convention up to Virginia, that you might see the Delegates worried, and business delayed or brought to a stand still every hour in the day by the eternal emptiness of the Treasury. Then would you grow sick, as I have done, of hearing members caution each other against breeding expense. I begin to think I don't want the Capital at Virginia if this financial distress is always going to haunt us. Now, I had forgotten until this moment that all these secrets about the poverty of the Convention treasury, and the inoffensive character of Territorial scrip, were revealed to the house yesterday by Colonel Youngs, with a feeling request that the reporters would keep silent upon the subject, lest people abroad should smile at us. I clearly forgot it—but it is too late to mend the matter now.

Hon. Gordon N. Mott is in town, and leaves with his family for San Francisco to-morrow. He proposes to start to Washington by the steamer of the 13th.

Mr. Lemmon's little girl, two years old, had her thigh bone broken in two places this afternoon; she was run over by a wagon. Dr. Tjader set the limb, and the little sufferer is doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

I used to hear Governor Johnson frequently mentioned in Virginia as a candidate for the United States Senate from this budding State of ours. He is not a candidate for that or any other office, and will not become one. I make this correction on his own authority, and, therefore, the various Senatorial aspirants need not be afraid to give it full credence.

Messrs. Pete Hopkins and A. Curry have compromised with me, and there is no longer any animosity existing on either side. They were a little worried at first, you recollect, about that thing which appeared recently (I think it was in the Gold Hill News), concerning an occurrence which has happened in the great pine forest down there at Empire.

We sent our last report to you by our stirring official, Gillespie, Secretary of the Convention. I thought that might account for your not getting it, in case you didn't get it, you know.


Territorial Enterprise, November 17, 1863


CARSON, November 15, 1863

EDITORS ENTERPRISE: Compiled by our own Reporter! Thus the Virginia Union of this morning gobbles up the labors of another man. That "Homographic Record of the Constitutional Convention" was compiled by Mr. Gillespie, Secretary of the Convention, at odd moments snatched from the incessant duties of his position, and unassisted by "our own reporter" or anybody else. Now this isn't fair, you know. Give the devil his due—by which metaphor I refer to Gillespie, but in an entirely inoffensive manner, I trust; and do not go and give the credit of this work to one who is not entitled to it. I copied that chart myself, and sent it to you yesterday, and I don't see why you couldn't have come out and done the complimentary thing, by claiming its paternity for me. In that case, I should not have mentioned this matter at all. But the main object of the present letter is to furnish you with the revolting details of—


A massacre, in which no less than a thousand human beings were deprived of life without a moment's warning of the terrible fate that was in store for them. This ghastly tragedy was the work of a single individual—a man whose character was gifted with many strong points, among which were great benevolence and generosity, and a kindness of heart which rendered him susceptible of being persuaded to do things which were really, at times, injurious to himself, and which noble trait in his nature made him a very slave to those whom he loved—a man whose disposition was a model of mildness until a fancied wrong drove him mad and impelled him to the commission of this monstrous crime—this wholesale offering of blood to the angry spirit of revenge which rankled in his bosom. It is said that some of his victims were so gashed, and torn, and mutilated, that they scarcely retained a semblance of human shape. As nearly as I can get at the facts in the case—and I have taken unusual pains in collecting them—the dire misfortune occurred about as follows: It seems that certain enemies ill-treated this man, and in revenge he burned a large amount of property belonging to them. They arrested him, and bound him hand and foot, and brought him down to Lehi, the county seat, for trial. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jaw-bone of an ass, and put forth his hand and took it, and slew a thousand men there with. When he had finished his terrible tragedy, the desperado, criminal (whose name is Samson), deliberately wiped his bloody weapon upon the leg of his pantaloons, and then tried its edge upon his thumb, as a barber would a razor, simply remarking, "With the jaw-bone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men." He even seemed to reflect with satisfaction upon what he had done, and to derive great comfort from it—as if he would say, "ONLY a mere thousand—Oh, no I ain't on it, I reckon."

I am sorry that it was necessary for me to furnish you with a narrative of this nature, because my efforts in this line have lately been received with some degree of suspicion; yet it is my inexorable duty to keep your readers posted, and I will not be recreant to the trust, even though the very people whom I try to serve, upbraid me.


P.S.—Now keep dark, will you? I am hatching a deep plot. I am "laying," as it were, for the editor of that San Francisco Evening Journal. The massacre I have related above is all true, but it occurred a good while ago. Do you see my drift? I shall catch that fool. He will look carefully through his Gold Hill and Virginia exchanges, and when he finds nothing in them about Samson killing a thousand men, he will think it is another hoax, and come out on me again, in his feeble way, as he did before. I shall have him foul, then, and I will never let up on him in the world (as we say in Virginia). I expect it will worry him some, to find out at last, that one Samson actually did kill a thousand men with the jaw-bone of one of his ancestors, and he never heard of it before.


Territorial Enterprise, November 1863

["Ingomar, the Barbarian," was presented at Maguire's Opera House in Virginia City during the fall of 1863. Mark Twain reviewed the play after this own fashion:]


ACT. 1.—Mrs. Claughley appears in the costume of a healthy Greek matron (from Limerick). She urges Parthenia, her daughter, to marry Polydor, and save her father from being sold out by the sheriff—the old man being in debt for assessments.

Scene 2.—Polydor—who is a wealthy, spindle-shanked, stingy old stockbroker—prefers his suit and is refused by the Greek maiden—by the accomplished Greek maiden, we may say, since she speaks English with out any perceptible foreign accent.

Scene 3.—The Comanches capture Parthenia's father, old Myron (who is the chief and only blacksmith in his native village) they tear him from his humble cot, and carry him away, to Reese River. They hold him as a slave. It will cost thirty ounces of silver to get him out of soak.

Scene 4.—Dusty times in the Myron family. Their house is mortgaged—they are without dividends—they cannot "stand the raise."

Parthenia, in this extremity, applies to Polydor. He sneeringly advises her to shove out after her exiled parent herself.

She shoves!

ACT II.—Camp of the Comanches. In the foreground, several of the tribe throwing dice for tickets in Wright's Gift Entertainment. In the background, old Myron packing faggots on a jack. The weary slave weeps—he sighs—he slobbers. Grief lays her heavy hand upon him.

Scene 2.—Comanches on the war-path, headed by the chief, Ingomar. Parthenia arrives and offers to remain as a hostage while old Myron returns home and borrows thirty dollars to pay his ransom with. It was pleasant to note the varieties of dress displayed in the costumes of Ingomar and his comrades. It was also pleasant to observe that in those ancient times the better class of citizens were able to dress in ornamental carriage robes, and even the rank and file indulged in Benkert boots, albeit some of the latter appeared not to have been blacked for several days.

Scene 3.—Parthenia and Ingomar alone in the woods. "Two souls with but a single thought, etc." She tells him that is love. He "can't see it."

Scene 4.—The thing works around about as we expected it would in the first place. Ingomar gets stuck after Parthenia.

Scene 5.—Ingomar declares his love—he attempts to embrace her—she waves him off, gently, but firmly—she remarks, "Not too brash, Ing., not too brash, now!" Ingomar subsides. They finally flee away, and hie them to Parthenia's home.

ACTS III and IV.—Joy! Joy! From the summit of a hill, Parthenia beholds once more the spires and domes of Silver City.

Scene 2.—Silver City. Enter Myron. Tableau! Myron begs for an extension on his note—he has not yet raised the whole ransom, but he is ready to pay two dollars and a half on account.

Scene 3.—Myron tells Ingomar he must shuck himself, and dress like a Christian; he must shave; he must work; he must give up his sword! His rebellious spirit rises. Behold Parthenia tames it with the mightier spirit of Love. Ingomar weakens—he lets down—he is utterly demoralized.

Scene 4.—Enter old Timarch, Chief of Police. He offers Ingomar—but this scene is too noble to be trifled with in burlesque.

Scene 5.—Polydor presents his bill—213 drachmas. Busted again—the old man cannot pay. Ingomar compromises by becoming the slave of Polydor.

Scene 6.—The Comanches again, with Thorne at their head! He asks who enslaved the chief? Ingomar points to Polydor. Lo! Thorne seizes the trembling broker, and snatches him bald-headed!

Scene 7.—Enter the Chief of Police again. He makes a treaty with the Comanches. He gives them a ranch apiece. He decrees that they shall build a town on the American Flat, and appoints great Ingomar to be its Mayor! [Applause by the supes.]

Scene 8.—Grand tableau—Comanches, police, Pi-Utes, and citizens generally—Ingomar and Parthenia hanging together in the centre. The old thing—The old poetical quotation, we mean—They double on it—Ingomar observing "Two souls with but a single Thought," and she slinging in the other line, "Two Hearts that Beat as one." Thus united at last in a fond embrace, they sweetly smiled upon the orchestra and the curtain fell.

[reprinted in the Golden Era, NOV. 29, 1863]

Territorial Enterprise, c. November 27, 1863

[Mark Twain on Artemus Ward, "The Wild Humorist of the Plains"]

We understand that Artemus Ward contemplates visiting this region to deliver his lectures, and perhaps make some additions to his big "sho." In his last letter to us he appeared particularly anxious to "sekure a kupple ov horned todes; alsowe, a lizard which it may be persessed of 2 tales, or any comical snaix, and enny sich little unconsidered trifles, as the poets say, which they do not interest the kommun mind. Further, be it nown, that I would like a opportunity for to maik a moddel in wax of a average size wash-owe man, with feet attached, as an kompanion pictur to a waxen figger of a nigger I have sekured, at an large outlaye, whitch it has a unnatural big hed onto it. Could you also manage to gobbel up the skulp of the layte Missus Hopkins? I adore sich foot-prints of atrocity as it were, muchly. I was roominatin' on gittin' a bust of Mark Twain, but I've kwit kontemplatin' the work. They tell me down heer to the Bay that the busts air so kommun it wood only bee an waist of wax too git us kounterfit presentiment." We shall assist Mr. Ward in every possible way about making his Washoe collection and have no doubt but he will pick up many curious things during his sojourn.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1-3, 1863

[excerpt from original article concerning an affair in Virginia City]


Afterwards, Mr. Mark Twain being enthusiastically called upon, arose, and without previous preparation, burst forth in a tide of eloquence so grand, so luminous, so beautiful and so resplendent with the gorgeous fires of genius, that the audience were spell-bound by the magic of his words, and gazed in silent wonder in each other's faces as men who felt that they were listening to one gifted with inspiration [Applause.] The proceedings did not end here, but at this point we deemed it best to stop reporting and go to dissipating, as the dread solitude of our position as a sober, rational Christian, in the midst of the driveling and besotted multitude around us, had begun to shroud our spirits with a solemn sadness tinged with fear. At ten o'clock the curtain fell.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1863


Carson City, December 5, 1863

EDITOR'S ENTERPRISE: The church in Carson prospereth. A fine edifice will soon be completed here, wherein the gospel may be comfortably preached, and listened to in comfort likewise. A complimentary benefit to this enterprise was given at the theatre last night by Hon. James Stark and Mrs. Cutler, the profits of which amounted to upwards of two hundred dollars. Mrs. Cutler recited several poems, and sang a few choice songs with such grace and excellence as won for her the compliment of repeated and enthusiastic encores. Mr. Stark's readings were well selected and admirably delivered. His recital of the speech of Sergeant Buzfuz, in the great breach of promise case of Bardell vs. Pickwick, was a very miracle of declamation. If all men could read it like him, that speech would live after Cicero's very creditable efforts had been forgotten; yet heretofore I had looked upon that as the tamest of Mr. Dickens' performances.

And just here, I am constrained, in behalf of the community, to do justice to Charley Parker's liberality and good citizenship. He prepared his theatre for this church benefit, put a stove in the green room, and had the house duly cleaned and lighted—all at his own expense. It was a good action, and gracefully and unostentatiously performed.

The Convention will probably complete its labors about Wednesday. The members are growing restive and impatient under this long exile from their private business, and are anxious to finish their work and get back home. Three of the Esmeralda delegation—Messrs. Stark, Conner and Bechtel, being imperatively called away by the necessity of attending to their private affairs, have been granted indefinite leave of absence. These gentlemen have been constantly at their posts, and unremitting in the discharge of their duties, and well deserved this kindness at the hands of the Convention. And between you and me, if there were no ladies in Carson, my estimable old fossil, Colonel Youngs, would ask permission to go home, also. Now, why will a man, when he gets to be a thousand years old, go on hanging around the women, and taking chances on fire and brimstone, instead of joining the church and endeavoring, with humble spirit and contrite heart, to ring in at the eleventh hour, like the thief on the cross? Why will he?


Mr. STERNS rose to a question of privilege again, to-day, and requested that the reporters would publish his speeches verbatim or not at all. The fact is, they ought to be reported verbatim, but then we work eighteen hours a day, and still have not time to give more than the merest skeletons of the speeches made in the Convention. Johnson and Stewart, and Larrowe, and Bryan, and others, complain not, however, although we condense their remarks fearfully. Even Judge Brosnan's stately eloquence, adorned with beautiful imagery and embellished with classic quotations, hath been reported by us thus tersely: "Mr. Brosnan opposed the motion." Only that, and nothing more. But we had taste enough not to mar a noble speech with the deadly engines of reduction and the third person.

Now, in condensing the following speech, the other day, we were necessarily obliged to leave out some of its most salient points, and I acknowledge that my friend Sterns had ample cause for being annoyed at its mutilation. I hope he will find the present report all right, though (albeit the chances are infernally against that result)I have got his style verbatim, whether I have the substance or not.


The question being on the amendment offered in Committee of the Whole, to Mr. Stewart's proposed substitute for Section 1 of the Article entitled "Taxation," as reported from the Standing Committee:

Mr. STERNS said—Mr. President, I am opposed, I am hostile, I am uncompromisingly against this proposition to tax the mines. I will go further, sir. I will openly assert, sir, that I am not in favor of this proposition. It is wrong entirely wrong, sir (as the gentleman from Washoe has already said); I fully agree (with the gentleman who has just taken his seat) that it is unjust and unrighteous. I do think, Mr. President, that (as has been suggested by the gentleman from Ormsby) we owe it to our constituents to defeat this pernicious measure. Incorporate it into your Constitution, sir, and (as was eloquently and beautifully set forth in the speech of the gentleman from Storey) the gaunt forms of want, and poverty, and starvation, and despair will shortly walk in the high places of this once happy and beautiful land. Add it to your fundamental law, sir, and (as was stated yesterday by the gentleman from Lander) God will cease to smile upon your labors. In the language (of my colleague), I entreat you, sir, and gentlemen, inflict not this mighty iniquity upon generations yet unborn! Heed the prayers of the people and be merciful! Ah, sir, the quality of mercy is not strained, so to speak (as has been aptly suggested heretofore), but droppeth like the gentle dew from Heaven, as it were. The gentleman from Douglas has said this law would be unconstitutional, and I cordially agree with him. Therefore, let its course to the ramparts be hurried—let the flames that shook the battle's wreck, shine round it o'er the dead—let it go hence to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns (as hath been remarked by the gentleman from Washoe, Mr. Shamp), and in thus guarding and protecting the poor miner, let us endeavor to do unto others as we would that others should do unto us (as was very justly and properly observed by Jesus Christ upon a former occasion).

After which, the Convention not knowing of any good reason why they should not tax the miners, they went to work and taxed them.

Now, that is verbatim, as nearly as I could come at it. I took it from my own mysterious short-hand notes, which are mighty shaky, I am willing to admit; but then, I guarded against inaccuracy by consulting the several authorities quoted in the speech, and from them I have the assurance that my report of Mr. Sterns' comprehensive declamation is eminently correct. I cannot bet on it, though, nevertheless—I cannot possibly bet on it.

I think I have hit upon the right plan, now. It is better to report a member verbatim, occasionally, and keep him pacified, than have him rising to these uncomfortable questions of privilege every now and then. I hope to be able to report Bill Stewart verbatim in the course of a day or two, if he will hold on a spell.


Territorial Enterprise, December 1863


Carson City, December 12, 1863


Such is my destination. Thither I go to recuperate. I take with me a broken spirit, blighted hopes and a busted constitution. Also some gin. I shall return again, after many days, restored to vigorous health; restored to original purity; free from sin, and prepared to accept any lucrative office the people can be induced to force upon me. If elected, I shall donate my salary to charitable institutions. I will finish building this chronic brick church here, and lease a high-priced parson to run it. Also, an exorbitant choir. Everything connected with the church shall be conducted in the bulliest manner. The Logan Hotel is situated on the banks of Lake Bigler—or Lake Tahoe, which signifieth "grasshopper" in the Digger tongue. I am not going with any of the numerous pleasure parties which go daily to the lake and infest the Logan Hotel. I shall travel like Baxter's hog—in a gang by myself. I am weary of the gay world, and I pine for an hour of solitude. The hotel is new, handsomely furnished, and commodious; it stands within fifty feet of the water's edge, and commands a view of all the grand scenery there about; its table is furnished with the best the market affords, and behold they eat trout there every day; fifteen miles over the new King's Canyon road is all the journey it is necessary to take—after which the worn pilgrim may rest in peace in the bosom of Logan & Stewart. That is as good a thing as I want, as long as I am not married.


A year from now, there will not be a mine left in this Territory. This is an appalling statement, but it is a true one. I guessed it from remarks made by that disreputable old cottonhead, Bill Stewart, who as good as promised me ten feet in the "Justis," and then backed down again when the stock went up to $80 a foot. That was a villainous way to treat me, who have gone on juries for him, and held my grip through all the monstrous fabrications he chose to present in his eloquent sophistry, and then brought in a verdict for him, when it seemed morally certain that Providence would interfere and stop the nefarious business. I said, the last time, that I would never serve on one of Bill Stewart's juries again, until they put a lightning rod on the Court House. I said it, and my word is good. I am not going to take any more chances like that. But what I commenced to tell about was, that last night, after the Convention adjourned, and the political meeting was called together, Bill Stewart went to work with his characteristic indecent haste (just a parallel case with that Justis affair), to construe the Constitution!—construe and determine the species of the new-laid egg from which is to be hatched our future power and greatness, while the tender thing was warm yet! Bill Stewart is always construing something—eternally distorting facts and principles. He would climb out of his coffin and construe the burial service. He is a long-legged, bull-headed, whopper-jawed, constructionary monomaniac. Give him a chance to construe the sacred law, and there wouldn't be a damned soul in perdition in a month. I have my own opinion of Bill Stewart, and if it would not appear as if I were a little put out about that Justis (that was an almighty mean thing), I would as soon express it as not. He construed the Constitution, last night, as I remarked before. He gave the public to understand that the clause providing for the taxation of the mines meant nothing in particular; that he wanted the privilege of construing that section to suit himself; that a mere hole in the ground was not a mine, and it wasn't property (he slung that in because he has a costly well on his premises in Virginia); and that it would be a difficult matter to determine in our courts what does really constitute a mine. Do you see his drift? Well, I do. He will prove to the satisfaction of the courts that there are only two definite kinds of mine; that one of these is an excavation from which metallic ores or other mineral substances are "DUG" (which is the dictionary phrase). Then of course, the miners will know enough to stop "digging" and go to blasting. Bill Stewart will then show, easily enough, that these fellows' claims are not "mines" according to the dictionary, and consequently they cannot be taxed. He will show that the only other species of "mine" is a "pronominal adjective," and proceed to prove that there is nothing in the Constitution that will permit the State to tax English grammar. He will demonstrate that a mere hole in the ground is not a mine, and is not liable to taxation. The end will be that a year from now we shall all own in these holes in the ground, but no man will acknowledge that he owns in a "mine"; and about that time custom, and policy, and construction, combined, will have taught us to speak of the staunch old bulwark of the State as "The Great Gould & Curry Hole-in-the Ground." Bill Stewart will put them up to it. In one short year, sir, from this date, I feel within me that Bill Stewart will have succeeded in construing the last vestige of a mine out of this country.


This subject worried the Convention some. In the first place, the Standing Committee reported an article providing for the election of a State Printer, whose compensation was to be fixed by law, etc. The members, without even showing the Committee the courtesy of discussing the matter, snubbed them very pointedly, by pitching the bill overboard without offering the semblance of an apology for their conduct. They substituted an article providing for printing State work by contract. That was debated to death, and duly buried with its still-born predecessor. Then they tried a Superintendent of Public Printing. That plan appeared to suit them. They adopted it, and looked upon the work of their hands and pronounced it good. There the matter rested until last night, when Governor Johnson got up and asked unanimous consent to substitute the original State Printer article for the Superintendent. He pointed out to the Convention that the office of Superintendent would be turned into a mere sinecure, and its incumbent would accomplish no good to the State and behold, without a word of objection, the change was made! Verily, it is vastly better to yield to wisdom at last, than not at all.


Speaking of State Printer, reminds me that we made a mistake in the report published this morning. We said the school moneys were to be invested only in United States bonds—whereas, the truth is, it was decided that they might be invested in either United States or State bonds.


A superb gold watch, worth five or six hundred dollars, was presented to Hank Monk, here, night before last. The donors were John S. Henning, Joe Clark, H. H. Raymond, Alex. O'Neil, William Thompson, Jr., John 0. Earl, W. M. Lent and three others. The ceremonies were conducted at Frank Ludlow's daguerrean rooms. Judge Turner made the presentation speech, and Judge Hardy replied on behalf of the defendant. Champagne flowed freely. The watch is gorgeously embellished with coaches and horses, and with charms and seals in keeping with the same, and bears for a motto Hank's famous remark to Horace Greeley: "KEEP YOUR SEAT, HORACE—I'LL GET YOU THERE ON TIME!"


Lovejoy has issued the first number of his paper at Washoe City, and the above is its name. It is as pretty as a sweetheart, and as readable as a love-letter—and in my experience, these similes express a good deal. But why should Lovejoy spell it Pah-Utah? That isn't right—it should be Pi-Uty, or Pi-Ute. I speak by authority. Because I have carefully noted the little speeches of self-gratulation of our noble red brother, and he always delivers himself in this wise: "Pi-Uty boy heepy work—Washoe heep lazy." But if you question his nationality, he remarks, with oppressive dignity: "Me no dam Washoe—me Pi-Ute!" Wherefore, my researches have satisfied me that one of these, or both, is right. Lovejoy ought to know this, even better than me; he came here before May, 1860, and is, consequently, a blooded Pi-Ute, while I am only an ignorant half-breed.


Call your Constitutioners home. They do nothing but sing the praises of Carson City, and Carson society, and Carson climate. Hite, and Brosnan, and Youngs, and Sterns, and half the balance of them, are more than half inclined to stay here. It is absurd. Pipe to quarters!


The Third House of the Constitutional Convention met in solemn grandeur, at 1l o'clock last night. To-morrow or next day I shall compile a verbatim report of its proceedings for the forthcoming volume of official reports of the Convention, and if you think you can afford to pay enough for it I will allow you to publish it in advance of that volume.


President Constitutional Convention (Third House)

Territorial Enterprise, December 1863

[The "Third House" was an informal group of pranksters who often met and burlesqued the legislative process.]

Nevada State Constitutional Convention; Third House

Carson City, December 13, 1863


The Third House met in the Hall of the Convention at 11 P. M., Friday, immediately after the final adjournment of the First House.

On motion of Mr. Nightingill, the rules were suspended and the usual prayer dispensed with, on the ground that it was never listened to by the members of the First House, which was composed chiefly of the same gentlemen which constitute the Third, and was consequently merely ornamental and entirely unnecessary.

Mr. Mark Twain was elected President of the Convention, and Messrs. Small and Hickok appointed to conduct him to the Chair, which they did amid a dense and respectful silence on the part of the house, Mr. Small stepping grandly over the desks, and Mr. Hickok walking under them.

The President addressed the house as follows, taking his remarks down in short-hand as he proceeded.

Gentlemen—This is the proudest moment of my life. I shall always think so. I think so still. I shall ponder over it with unspeakable emotion down to the latest syllable of recorded time. It shall be my earnest endeavor to give entire satisfaction in the high and bully position to which you have elevated me. [Applause.]

The President appointed Mr. Small, Secretary, Mr. Gibson, official reporter, and Mr. Pete Hopkins, Chief Page, and Uncle Billy Patterson, First Assistant Page. These officers came forward and took the following oath:

"We do solemnly affirm that we have never seen a duel, never been connected with a duel, never heard of a duel, never sent or received a challenge, never fought a duel, and don't want to. Furthermore, we will support, protect and defend this constitution which we are about to frame, until we can't rest, and will take our pay in scrip." Mr. Youngs—"Mr. President: I, ah—I—that is—"

The President—"Mr. Youngs, if you have got anything to say, say it; and don't stand there and shake your head and gasp 'I—ah, I—ah,' as you have been in the habit of doing in the former Convention."

Mr. Youngs—"Well, sir, I was only going to say that I liked your inaugural, and I perfectly agree with the sentiments you appeared to express in it, but I didn't rightly understand what—"

The President—"You have been sitting there for thirty days, like a bump on a log, and you never rightly understand anything. Take your seat, sir, you are out of order. You rose for information? Well, you'll not get it—sit down. You will appeal from the decision of the Chair? Take your seat, sir, the Chair will entertain no appeals from its decisions. And I would suggest to you, sir, that you will not be permitted, here, to growl in your seat, and make malicious side remarks in an undertone, for fifteen minutes after you have been called to order, as you have habitually done in the other house."

The President—"The subject before the house is as follows. The Secretary will read:"

Secretary—"A-r, ar,—t-i, ti—arti, c-l-e, cle,—article—"

The President—"What are you trying to do, sir?"

Secretary—"Well, I am only a helpless orphan, and I can't read writing."

The Chair appointed Mr. Hickok to assist Mr. Small, and discharged Mr. Gibson, the official reporter, because he did not know how to write.

Mr. Youngs—(singing)—"For the lady I love will soon be a bride, with the diadem on her brow-ow-ow."

President—"Order, you snuffling old granny!"

Mr. Youngs—"I AM in order, sir."

The President—"You are not, sir—sit down."

Mr. Youngs—"I won't, sir! I appeal to—."

The President—"Take your—seat!"

Mr. Youngs—"But I insist that Jefferson's Manual—."

The President—"D—n Jefferson's Manual! The Chair will transact its own business in its own way, sir."

Mr. Chapin—"Mr. President: I do hope the amendment will not pass. I do beg of gentlemen—I do beseech of gentlemen—that they will examine this matter carefully, and earnestly, and seriously, and with a sincere desire to do the people all the good, and all the justice, and all the benefit it is in their power to do. I do hope, Mr. President-."

The President—"Now, there YOU go! What are you trying to get through your head?—there's nothing before the house."

The question being on Section 4, Article 1 (free exercise of religious liberty):

Mr. Stewart said—"Mr. President: I insist upon it, that if you tax the mines, you impose a burden upon the people which will be heavier than they can bear. And when you tax the poor miner's shafts, and drifts, and bed-rock tunnels, you are NOT taxing his property; you are NOT taxing his substance; you are NOT taxing his wealth—no, but you are taxing what may become property some day, or may not; you are taxing the shadow from which the substance may eventually issue or may not; you are taxing the visions of Alnaschar; which may turn to minted gold, or only prove the forerunners of poverty and misfortune; in a word, sir, you are taxing his hopes; taxing the aspirations of his soul; taxing the yearnings of his heart of hearts! Yes, sir, I insist upon it, that if you tax the mines, you will impose a burden upon the people which will be heavier than they can bear. And when you tax the poor miner's shafts, and drifts, and bed-rock tunnels, you are NOT taxing his property; you are NOT taxing his substance; you are NOT taxing his wealth—no, but you are taxing what may become property some day, or may not; you are taxing the shadow from which the substance may eventually issue or may not; you are taxing the visions of Alnaschar, which may turn to minted gold, or merely prove the fore runners of poverty and misfortune; in a word, sir, you are taxing his hopes! taxing the aspirations of his soul!—taxing the yearnings of his heart of hearts! Ah, sir, I do insist upon it that if you tax the mines, you will impose a burden upon the people which will be heavier than they can bear. And when you tax the poor miner's shafts, and drifts, and bed-rock tunnels—"

The President—"Take your seat, Bill Stewart! I am not going to sit here and listen to that same old song over and over again. I have been reporting and re-reporting that infernal speech for the last thirty days, and want you to understand that you can't play it off on this Convention any more. When I want it, I will repeat it myself—I know it by heart, anyhow. You and your bed-rock tunnels, and blighted miners' blasted hopes, have gotten to be a sort of nightmare to me, and I won't put up with it any longer. I don't wish to be too hard on your speech, but if you can't add something fresh to it, or say it backwards, or sing it to a new tune, you have simply got to simmer down for awhile."

Mr. Johnson—"Mr. President: I wish it distinctly understood that I am not a candidate for the Senate, or any other office, and have no intention of becoming one. And I wish to call the attention of the Convention to the fact, sir, that outside influences have been brought to bear, here, that—"

The President—"Governor Johnson, there is no necessity of your putting in your shovel here, until you are called upon to make a statement. And if you allude to the engrossing clerk as an outside influence, I must inform you, sir, that his battery has been silenced with Territorial scrip at forty cents on the dollar."

Mr. Sterns—"Mr. President, I cordially agree with the gentleman from Storey county, that if we tax the mines we shall impose a burden upon the people that will be heavier than they can bear. I agree with him, sir, that in taxing the poor miner's shafts, and drifts, and bed-rock tunnels, we would not be taxing his property, or his wealth, or his substance, but only that which may become such at some future day—an Alnascharean vision, which might turn to coin or might only result in disaster and disappointment to the defendant—in a word, sir, I coincide with him in the opinion that it would be equivalent to taxing the hopes of the poor miner—his aspirations—the dear yearnings of his—"

The President—"Yearnings of his grandmother! I'll slam this mallet at the next man that attempts to impose that tiresome old speech on this body. SET DOWN! You have been pretty regular about re-hashing other people's platitudes heretofore, Mr. Sterns, but you have got to be a little original in the Third House. Your sacrilegious lips will be marring the speeches of the Chair, next."

Mr. Ralston—"Mr. President: I have but a word to say, and I do not wish to occupy the attention of the house any longer than I can help; although I could, perhaps, throw more light upon the matter of our eastern boundary than those who have not visited that interesting but comparatively unknown section of our budding commonwealth. It is growing late, and I do not feel as if I had a right to tax the patience—"

The President—"Tax! Take your seat, sir, take your seat. I will NOT be bullyragged to death with this threadbare subject of taxation. You are out of order, anyhow. How do you suppose anybody can listen in any comfort to your speech, when you are fumbling with your coat all the time you are talking, and trying to button it with your left hand, when you know you can't do it? I have never seen you succeed yet, until just as you got the last word out. And then the moment you sit down, you always unbutton it again. You may speak, hereafter, Mr. Ralston, but I want you to understand that you have got to button your coat before you get up. I do not mean to be kept in hot water all the time by your little oratorical eccentricities ."

Mr. Larrowe—"Mr. President: There are nine mills in Lander county already—let me see—there is Dobson's, five stamp; Thompson's, eight stamp; Johnson's, three stamp—well, I cannot give the names of all of them, but there are nine, sir—NINE splendid, steam-power quartz-mills, disturbing with their ceaseless thunder the dead silence of centuries! Nine noble quartz-mills, sir, cheering with the music of their batteries the desponding hearts of pilgrims from every land!—nine miraculous quartz-mills, sir, from whose steam-pipes and chimneys ascends a grateful incense to the god of Labor and Progress!—nine sceptred and anointed quartz-mills, sir, whose mission it is to establish the power, and the greatness, and the glory of Nevada, and place her high along the—"

The President—"Now will you just take your seat, and hold your clatter until somebody asks you for your confounded Reese River quartz-mill statistics? What has Reese River got to do with religious freedom?—and what have quartz-mills got to do with it—and what have you to do with it yourself? You are out of order, sir—plant yourself. And moreover, when you get up here to make a speech, I don't want you to yell at me as if you thought I were in San Francisco—I'm not hard of hearing. I don't see why President North didn't tone you down long ago."

Mr. Larrowe—"I think I am in order, Mr. President. It was a rule in the other Convention that no member could speak when there was no question before the house; but after the question had been announced by the Chair, members could then go on and speak on any subject they pleased—or rather, that was the custom, sir—the ordinary custom."

The President—"Yes, sir, I know it has been the custom for thirty days and thirty nights in the other Convention, but I will let gentlemen know that they can't ring in three-stamp Reese River quartz mills on the third house when I am considering the question of religious liberty—the same being dear to every American heart. Plant yourself, sir—plant yourself. I don't want any more yowling out of you, now.

Mr. Small—"The Secretary would beg leave to state, for the information of the Con——-"

The President—"There, now, that's enough of that. You learned that from Gillespie, I won't have any of that kind of nonsense here. When you have got anything to say, talk it right out; and see that you use the personal pronoun 'I,' also, and drop that presumptuous third person. 'The Secretary would beg leave to state!' The devil he would. Now suppose you take a back seat, and wait until somebody asks you to state something. Mr. Chapin, you will please stop catching flies while the Chair is considering the subject of religious toleration.

Mr. Ball—"Mr. President: The Finance Committee, of which I have the honor to be chairman, have arrived at the conclusion that it is a hundred and thirty miles from here to Folsom; that it will take two hundred and thirty miles of railroad iron to build a road that distance, without counting the switches; this would figure up as follows: Bars, 14 feet 3 inches long; weight, 800 pounds; 1,000 bars to the mile, 800,000 pounds; 130,000 bars for the whole distance, weight, 104,000,000 pounds; original cost of the iron, with insurance and transportation to Folsom from St. Louis, via Salt Lake City, added, say three dollars and a half a pound, would mount to a fraction over or under $312,722,239.42. Three hundred and twelve million, seven hundred and twenty-two thousand, two hundred and thirty-nine dollars and forty-two cents, sir. That is the estimate of the Committee, sir, for prime cost of one class of material, without counting labor and other expenses. In view of these facts, sir, it is the opinion of the Committee that we had better not build the road. I did not think it necessary to submit a written report, because—"

The President—"Take your seat, Mr. Ball—take your seat, sir, your evil eye never lights upon this Chair but the spirit moves you to confuse its intellect with some of your villainous algebraical monstrosities. I will not entertain them, sir; I don't know anything about them. You needn't mind bringing in any written reports here—or verbal ones either, unless you can confine yourself to a reasonable number of figures at a time, so that I can understand what you are driving at. No, sir, the Third House will not build the railroad. The other Convention's donation of $3,000,000 in bonds, worth forty cents on the dollar, will buy enough of one of those bars to make a breastpin, and that will have to satisfy this common wealth for the present. I observe that Messrs. Wasson and Gibson and Noteware and Kennedy have their feet on their desks. The chief page will proceed to remove those relics of ancient conventional barbarism from sight."

Mr. Musser—"Mr. President: To be, or not to be that is the question—

The President—"No, sir! The question is, shall we tolerate religious indifference in this community; or the rights of conscience; or the right of suffrage; or the freedom of the press; or free speech, or free schools, or free niggers. The Chair trusts it knows what it is about, without any instructions from the members."

Mr. Musser—"But, sir, it was only a quotation from—"

The President—"Well, I don't care, I want you to sit down. The Chair don't consider that you know much about religion anyhow, and consequently the subject will suffer no detriment from your letting it alone. You and Judge Hardy can subside, and study over the preamble until you are wanted."

Mr. Brosnan—"Mr. President, these proceedings have all been irregular, extremely and customarily irregular. I will move, sir, that the question be passed, for the present, and that we take up the next section."

Mr. Mitchell—"I object to that, Mr. President. I move that we go into Committee of the Whole on it."

Mr. Wasson—"I move that it be referred back to the Standing Committee."

Mr. North—"I move that the rules be suspended and the whole article placed upon its final passage."

The President—"Gentlemen, those of you who are in favor of adopting the original proposition, together with the various motions now pending before the house, will signify the same by saying aye."

No one voting in the negative, the chair decided the vote to be unanimous in the affirmative.

The President—"Gentlemen, your proceedings have been exactly similar to those of the convention which preceded you. You have considered a subject which you knew nothing about; spoken on every subject but the one before the house, and voted without knowing what you were voting for or having any idea what would be the general result of your action. I will adjourn the Convention for an hour, on account of my cold, to the end that I may apply the remedy prescribed for it by Dr. Tjader—the same being gin and molasses. The Chief Page is hereby instructed to provide a spoonful of molasses and a gallon of gin, for the use of the President."



Third House met after recess, and transacted the following business:

Secretary read Section 15, Legislative Department:

"SECTION 15. The doors of each house shall be kept open during the session."

Kinkead moved to amend by adding the words "and the windows also, if the weather will permit."

Secretary read Section 32, Legislative Department:

"SECTION 32. No law shall be passed authorizing married women to carry on business as sole traders."

On motion of Stems, construed to mean that married women shall not preach.

Secretary read Section 6, Declaration of Rights:

"SECTION 6. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed."

Youngs moved to amend by striking out the word "bair'l" and inserting the word "board." Adopted, unanimously.

SECTION 1. Miscellaneous Provisions, was amended so as to read as follows:

"SECTION 1. The seat of government shall be at Carson, and the Legislature shall hold its session in the plaza during the first six years."

Section added empowering the President of the Third House of the Convention to convene, by proclamation, the Third House of the State Legislature, for the purpose of electing two United States Senators, within thirty days after the Constitution shall have been ratified.

Name of the State changed to "Washoe," in conformity with the law which called the Convention together.

New section added, as follows:

"SECTION—. No Sheriff or other officer shall be expected to arrest any assassin or other criminal on strong presumptive evidence, merely, nor any other evidence, unless such assassin or other criminal shall insist upon his privilege of being arrested."

The hour having arrived for the President to take his regular gin and molasses, the Convention adjourned.

Last night, about 12 o'clock—[here the telegraph ceased working.-BLOOMER, operator.]

Territorial Enterprise, December 25—27, 1863


A CHRISTMAS GIFT.—"Mr. Twain—compliments of Miss Chase—Christmas, 1863." This handwriting disposed us to suspect treachery, and to regard the box as a deadly infernal machine. It was on this account that we got a stranger to open it. This precaution was unnecessary. The diabolical box had nothing in it but a ghastly, naked, porcelain doll baby. However, we are much obliged—we always had a hankering to have a baby, and now we are satisfied—the mythical "Miss Chase" helped us to the business, and she has our cordial thanks for her share in it.

Territorial Enterprise, late December 1863

[Mark Twain's review of Artemus Ward's lecture]

"There are perhaps fifty subjects treated in it, and there is a passable point in every one of them, and a healthy laugh, also, for any of God's creatures who hath committed no crime, the ghastly memory of which debars him from smiling again while he lives. The man who is capable of listening to the 'Babes in the Wood' from beginning to end without laughing either inwardly or outwardly must have done murder, or at least meditated it, at some time during his life."

Territorial Enterprise, December 29, 1863


CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.—We received from Carson, Saturday, a long yellow box, of suspicious appearance, with the following inscription upon it: "Mark Twain, ENTERPRISE Office, Virginia—Free—Politeness Langton's Pioneer Express—Be-hi-me-soi-vin." That last phrase is Greek, and means "Bully for you!" We are not sure that it was written by Mrs. H. F. R., of Carson, and there was no evidence accompanying the box to show that it was. This is what makes us so obstinate in the opinion that it might have been written by somebody else. The box contained a toy rabbit, of the jackass persuasion, gifted with ears of aggravated dimensions, and swathed in sage-brush; an Indian chief—a mere human creation—made of raisins, strung on a skeleton formed of a single knitting-needle, with a solitary fig for a body, and a chicken feather driven into the head of the effigy, to denote its high official character. One more present remained—the same being a toy watchman's rattle, made of pine and tastefully painted. We are glad to have that rattle now, but when we asked for such a thing at a certain convivial party in Carson, it will be remembered that we meant to bestow it upon another young man who was present, and whose absent mind, we imagined, might be collected together and concentrated by means of such an instrument. We have presented the rabbit to Artemus Ward, to be preserved as a specimen of our resources; the other presents we shall always wear near our heart. The following report of the committee, accompanying the box, has been received, accepted, adopted, and the same referred to the Committee of the Whole people:

CARSON City, December 25, 1863.

Mr. MARK TWAIN—Sir: The undersigned has the honor to be selected by the gay company of ladies and gentlemen and boys and girls and Santa Claus, who came in person with Judge Dixson's wolf-skin cap, coat, pants and a mask, and sleigh bells around his waist, and dashed in the room just after Mrs. Cutter and two long rows of children had sung a pretty piece, and read a letter from Santa Claus, when that individual immediately dashed into the room to the terror of some of the children, thirty-six in all, and climbed the Christmas tree, all covered with presents, and little lighted candles, and handed down things for everybody, and afterwards danced with the now reconciled children, and then dashed out; after which there was supper and dancing by the ladies and gentlemen; and the school which was thus made to enjoy them selves last night till midnight, was Miss H. K. Clapp and Mrs. Cutter's Seminary, which is one of the best there is, and instructed me to send you these things, which I do by Langton's Express, handed down from the Christmas tree by Santa Claus, marked "Mark Twain," to wit: One rabbit under a sage brush, to represent your design for a seal in the Constitutional Convention; one rattle, presented by a lady of whom you begged for one when you were here last, and a Pi-Ute to be eaten, being a chief with a chicken feather in his hat, composed of a fig for his body and otherwise raisins, sent to you by request of a lady of the medical profession, all of which is submitted by


Territorial Enterprise, December 30, 1863


AT 7 o'clock last night a large number of citizens met at the Court House for the purpose of selecting sixteen new delegates, which they hoped might prove more acceptable to the State Convention than those elected by the regular County Convention day before yesterday. There appeared to be some discord in this Convention as well as in that which preceded it, but of course the manner in which it was constituted prevented the possibility of anyone's bolting from it in the regular and recognized way. It was a gorgeous sight to behold those two hundred fearless spirits of Storey—those noble human soda-bottles, so to speak, effervescing with the holy gas of pure unselfish patriotism, rising in their might to bust out, as it were, the infamous action of 3,000 voters of Storey county, as done in the County Convention by their chosen representatives. But we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we glorious Americans will occasionally astonish the God that created us when we get a fair start.

The proceedings opened with three cheers and a tiger for the stars and stripes.

Mr. Corson moved that Dr. Minneer be elected chairman of the meetings. Carried.

Mr. Barclay nominated Wm. H. Davenport and James Phelan as Secretaries. They were elected without opposition.

The following Vice Presidents were then elected: James Brannon, Dighton Corson, Judge Leconey, J. W. Noyes, Thos. Lynch, Judge Ferris, John A. Collins, A. B. Elliott, E. Bond, W. H. Young, J. S. Black, Thos. G. Taylor, S. A. Kellogg, Judge Frizell, J. H. Heilshorn, P. Quigley, J. T. Sage, John Church, W. R. Warnock and R. H. Rider. [Several of these gentlemen were said to be present.]

The Chairman reviewed the action of the County Convention, and said it was not satisfactory to the majority of the community; therefore the people had met now to improve upon that action in their sovereign capacity as fountain-head of power in the land. He said the present Convention would nominate sixteen delegates, and hoped they would be accepted by the State Convention in preference to the delegates elected by the late packed Convention.

[A voice—"Three cheers!" No response.]

A committee previously and mysteriously appointed immediately brought in a report containing the following names. There was no suspicion of packing about it, however. The report reads as follows:

Report of the committee appointed by a meeting of citizens held at the Court House on Monday evening, December 29th, to select the names of sixteen citizens to be presented to the mass meeting this evening as suitable persons to represent Storey county in the Union State Convention, to be held at Carson on the 31st inst., beg leave to submit the following names: Dr. Geiger, John Dohle, Thomas Lynch, Captain White, Joseph Loryea, J. L. Black, George E. Brickett, Thomas Hannah, J. D. Meagher, Augustus Ash.

Mr. Corson moved that the report be accepted, and the committee discharged. Carried.

Mr. Fitch was called for and addressed the Convention at great length, re-hashing, adding to and improving his most recent editorials in the Virginia Union. He was heard with interest and was frequently applauded.

As is always his custom, Mr. Brosnan spoke eloquently and feelingly, and was repeatedly and loudly cheered. Public speakers are not given to adhering strictly to the truth as a general thing, but we know Judge Brosnan is. However, he stood up there last night and misrepresented old Nestor—a poor devil who has been dead hundreds and hundreds of years. And Judge Brosnan knew perfectly well that he was departing from the record when he unblushingly abused old Nestor's wardrobe and said he wore a poisoned shirt. Now why couldn't he confine himself to living convention-packers and let dead foreigners alone? That's it—we are down on that kind of thing, you know.

[Cries, "Hannah! Hannah!" "Gentlemen, wait a moment!" "I call for the adoption of the report before we have any speaking!"]

However, Mr. Hannah came forward and said that "As had been remarked by both gentlemen who have preceded me," and then went on and made both gentlemen's speeches over again, in such a pleasant way, and with such vehemence of manner that "the people"—that mighty lever being present, and filling very nearly three-fourths of the house—"the people" applauded each familiar argument as it fell upon their ears, and felt really comfortable over it. He touched us very agreeably by speaking of us as "those intelligent reporters who officiated at the late Constitutional Convention." [The word "intelligent" is our own. We had an idea it would make the sentence read better.] Toward the last, Mr. Hannah soared into originality, and touched upon a multitude of subjects on his own hook. Notwithstanding its apparent originality, however, we shall always be haunted by the dreadful suspicion that the fag-end of Tom Hannah's speech was gobbled out of the Babes in the Wood.

Mr. Brosnan moved that a committee of five be appointed to draft resolutions.

Mr. Pepper suggested that there was already a question before the house. [A voice "Sit down."]

The Chairman remarked that there was a question before the house, and proceeded to state it as being on the adoption of the report of the Committee on Nominations.

The house refused to entertain the report in its entirety, and demanded, in great confusion, that the candidates should be voted for separately, which was done, and the following gentlemen elected:

Messrs. Geiger, Dohle, Lynch, White, Black, Hannah, Warnock, Ash, Phillips, G. H. [sic], J. Y. Paul, Doak (?), Frizell, Burke, Knox, Brickett.

Messrs. Loryea and Meagher were voted for and rejected, and confusion grew worse confounded in the meantime.

Mr. Warnock moved the appointment of a Nominating Committee of ten, to present names to the next mass meeting, as candidates for Legislators, Judges, etc. Carried.

The Committee on Resolutions was appointed as follows: Messrs. Brosnan, Frizell, Hannah, Corson, Bond.

The committee created by Mr. Warnock's resolution was then nominated and elected, as follows: Messrs. Warnock, Jas. Campbell, Hannah, Jacob Young, Manning, Lackey, Dimock, Carey, Van Vliet and Flood.

Mr. Corson moved to add five to the committee, and take them from Gold Hill and Flowery. Carried.

The following gentlemen were nominated and elected: Messrs. Phillips, La Flower and Bishop.

[Here great trouble arose about a suggestion that the Convention might possibly be electing people who were opposed to them. It was a wise and bully idea. Mr. James Campbell called at our office after the Convention adjourned, and requested us to remove his name from the nominating committee.]

After which, with remarkable unanimity, the Convention struck off the names of the Gold Hill members from the nominating committee, and left it to the President to fill up with other Gold Hill men.

Mr. Frizell submitted the following names, which he said had been selected by a mass meeting in Gold Hill: Wm. C. Derall, E. R. Burke, Ed. C. Morse, Sam Doak, and J. W. Phillips.

They were unanimously elected.

Chas. H. Knox of Flowery was added to the committee.

The Committee on Resolutions then reported as follows:

Resolved, That as subjects of a Government, yet free, we rejoice at the inestimable right and privilege to publicly assemble and approve or condemn, when the general good requires it, the manner in which our representatives may have discharged the duties as signed them by the suffrages of the people.

2. As the sense of this large assemblage of citizens which may justly be denominated a spontaneous uprising of an outraged and insulted constituency, that the action of the County Nominating Convention, held in Virginia on the 28th day of December, instant, has been unjust, unfair, arbitrary, and without precedent in the history of conventional legislation.

3. That the resolutions adopted, and the other proceedings had by the said Convention, fail to express the true sentiments of the people of this county, and only proclaim the sentiments of a few interested individuals. Regarding them as such, we unanimously repudiate them, and declare that those resolutions and proceedings ought not to have, and have not, any binding force upon the political action of the free, independent and Union-loving electors of Storey county.

4. That copies of the proceedings of this meeting be transmitted to the members of the ensuing State Nominating Convention, from other counties, accompanied with a respectful request that they will do justice to the great majority of the people of Storey county, and rebuke the odious and unjust system of "packing" conventions by admitting the nominees of this meeting to seats in the Convention, as the true delegates and representatives of the people of Storey.

The resolutions were unanimously adopted.

A County Central Committee was elected, as follows: J. L. Black, Chas. Knox, Jas. Phelan, E. R. Burke, Samuel Doak, T. R. P. Dimock, Thos. Barclay, Dighton Corson, W. D. [sic] Warnock, Jacob Young.

Motion that the delegates elected be instructed to go to Carson to-morrow (Wednesday ) and that no proxies be allowed except in extreme cases, and that such extreme cases be attended to by the delegates, themselves. Carried.

A motion that the Central Committee meet in the District Court room to-morrow (Wednesday) evening, prevailed.

Also, a motion that the Convention adjourn until next Monday evening—to meet then at the District Court room.

The meeting broke up with cheers for the Convention, the Union, the old flag, and groans for Stewart and Baldwin.

It was a dusty, a very dusty, Convention, and as has been previously remarked in America, we are a great people.


EDS. ENTERPRISE.—The gentleman who reported the proceedings of the Union mass meeting last evening for the ENTERPRISE, unintentionally misquotes. He says Mr. Brosnan slandered the defunct "Nestor." Not so—Mr. B____ made no allusion to that hair brained, crazy old fool, "Nestor," nor to his "wardrobe." But Mr. B____ did mention that other jealous and wicked "cuss," Nessus, and his historical, villainous "shirt."

Now, if that facetious sinner, blunderer and sage-brush painter, "Mark Twain," had thus libelled me, I could forgive him; but to be thus misrepresented (though undesignedly) by the "intelligent" reporter of the ENTERPRISE is, as Mrs. Partington would say, assolutely inseparable.

Virginia, Dec. 30th


Territorial Enterprise, December 30, 1863


Dr. May, of the International Hotel, has put into our hands the following documents, which will afford an idea of how infinitely mean some people can become when they get a chance. This firm of Read & Co., Bankers, 42 South Third street, Philadelphia, will do to travel—but not in Washoe, if we understand the peculiar notions of this people. The accompanying letter, circular, and certificate of stock were sent by Read & Co. to Dr. May's nephew, Theodore E. Clapp, Esq., Postmaster at White Pigeon, Michigan. Through the Doctor, Mr. Clapp had learned a good deal about Washoe, and saw at a glance, of course, that a swindle was on foot which would not only cheat multitudes of the poorest classes of men in the States, but would go far toward destroying confidence in our mines and our citizens if permitted to succeed. He lost no time, therefore, in forwarding the villainous papers to Dr. May, and we are sure the people of the Territory are right heartily thankful to him for doing so.

The certificate of stock is a curiosity in the way of unblushing rascality. It does not state how many shares there are in the company, or what a share is represented by. It is a comprehensive arrangement—the company propose to mine all over "Nevada Territory, adjoining California"! They are not partial to any particular mining district. They are going to "carry on" a general "gold and silver mining business"!—the untechnical, leather-headed thieves! The company is "TO BE" organized—at some indefinite period in the future probably in time for the resurrection. The company is "to be" incorporated "for the purpose of purchasing machinery"—they only organize a company in order to purchase machinery—the inference is, that they calculate to steal the mine. And only to think—a man has only got to peddle forty or fifty of these certificates of stock for Messrs. Read & Co. in order to become fearfully and wonderfully wealthy!—or, as they eloquently put it, "By taking hold now, and assisting to raise the capital stock of this company, you have it within your grasp to place yourself [in] a way to receive a large income annually without spending one cent!" Oh, who wouldn't take hold now? Breathes there a man with soul so lead that he wouldn't take hold under such seductive circumstances? Scasely. Read & Co. want to get money—rather than miss, they will even grab at a paltry two-and-a-half piece thus: "You can send in $2.50 at a time." Two and a half at a time, to buy shares in another Gould & Curry!

But the coolest, the soothingest, the most refreshingest paragraph (to speak strongly) is that one which is stuck in at the bottom of the circular, with an air about it which mutely says, "it's of no consequence, and scarcely worth mentioning, but then it will do to fill out the page with." The paragraph reads as follows: "N.B.—Subscribers can receive their dividends, as they fall due, at Messrs. Read & Co's Banking House, No. 42 South Third street, Philadelphia, or have them forwarded by express, of which all will be regularly notified!" We imagine we can see a denizen of some obscure western town walking with stately mien to the express office to get his regular monthly dividend; we imagine less fortunate people making way for him, and whispering together, "There goes old Thompson—owns ten shares in the People's Gold and Silver Mining Company—Lord! but he's rich!—he's going after his dividends now." And we imagine we see old Thompson and his regular dividends fail to connect. And finally, we imagine we see the envied Thompson jeered at by his same old neighbors as "the old fool who got taken in by the most palpable humbug of the century."

Who is "Wm. Heffly, Esq., of San Francisco," who knows it all, and who has calmly waited for three years without once swerving from his purpose of "starting a mining company" as soon as he could become satisfied that quartz-mining was a permanent thing? Cautious scoundrel! You couldn't fool him into going into a highway robbery like the "People's Gold and Silver Mining Company," until he was certain he could make the thing look plausible. But if he wrote those circulars and things, he was never a week in Washoe in his life, because we don't talk about "cap rock" in this country—that's a Pike's Peak phrase; and when we talk about "cab-rock," we never say it pays "$24 to the ton," or any other price; we don't crush wall-rock, as a general thing. There is no "Washoe Mining District" in this Territory, and the President of the People's Company did a bully good thing when he "reserved the right to change the location" of operations whenever he pleased. Mr. Heffly's knowledge of the prices of leading stocks here borders on the marvelous. He says Gould & Curry is worth "$5,000 per share." A "share" is three inches; but Gould & Curry don't sell at $20,000 a foot; he puts Ophir at $2,400 "per share"; now a "share" of Ophir is one inch. All the other prices mentioned by Mr. Heffly are wrong, and never were right at any time, perhaps. In the items written by Mr. Heffly, and pretended to be clipped from the Bulletin and the Standard, he uses mining technicalities never uttered either by miners or newspaper men in this part of America. The only true statement in these documents is the one which reads—"Therefore, in subscribing to the capital stock of this company, you are acting on a certainty, and taking no risk whatever." That is eminently so. You are acting on a certainty of being swindled, and so far from there being any risk about that result, it is the deadest "open and shut" thing in the world.

Now this swindle ought to be well ventilated by the newspapers—not that sound business men will ever be swindled by it, but the unsuspecting multitude, who yearn to grow suddenly rich, will assuredly have their slender purses drained by it.

Territorial Enterprise, January, 1864


January 10, 1864


EDITORS ENTERPRISE: Well, how are you and the News and the Bulletin making out for the Constitution in Storey?

I suppose it will be voted down here. I said so to a Virginia man yesterday. "Well," says he, "that reminds me of a circumstance. A good old practical Dutchman once contributed liberally toward the building of a church. By and by they wanted a lightning rod for it, and they came to the Dutchman again. 'Not a dam cent,' says he, 'not a dam cent! I helps to puild a house for te Lord, und if he joose to dunder on it and knock it down, he must do it at his own risk!' Now in the Constitution, we have placed the Capital here for several years; Carson has always fared well at our hands in the legislature, and finally, we have tacitly consented to say nothing more about the Mint being built in this inconvenient locality. This is the house that has been built for Carson—and now if she chooses to go and dunder on it and knock it down, by the Lord she'll have to take the consequences! The fact is all our bullion is silver, and we don't want the country flooded with silver coin; therefore, we can save the Government a heavy expense, and do the Territory a real kindness, by showing the authorities that we don't need a mint, and don't want one. And as to that Capital, we'll move it up to Storey, where it belongs."

So spake the Virginian. I listened as one having no taxable property and never likely to have; as one being out of office and willing to stay out; as one having no tangible right to take an interest in the Constitution, and consequently not caring a straw whether it carried or not. The man spoke words of wisdom, though. I am aware that the capital could have been removed last session, and from the complexion of the new Territorial Assembly, I suppose it can be done this year. Notwithstanding these things though, and notwithstanding I am a free white male citizen of Storey county, I conjecture that I have a right to my private opinion that Carson is the proper place for the seat of Government and it ought to remain here so long as I don't try to make capital out of that opinion. Nobody has a right to arrest me for being disorderly on such ground as that.


Dan, will you send my baggage down here, or have I got to go on borrowing clothes from Pete Hopkins through all eternity?


Young Gillespie is down here in my employ. On a small salary. I have got him figuring with the Legislators for extra compensation for the reporters.


The Territorial Legislature will meet here next Tuesday at noon. The rooms used last year in the county buildings, have been let by the County Commissioners for the use of the two Houses, at $500 for the session of forty days, payable in greenbacks. The halls are now being fitted up, and will be ready at the proper time.


All Carson went out to warm Theodore Winters' new house, in Washoe Valley, on Friday evening, and had a pleasant time of it. The house and its furniture together, cost $50,000.


The Warren boys brought out their superb machine for practice yesterday. She threw a heavy stream entirely over the tall flag-staff in the Plaza.


Religious matters are booming along in Carson. Mrs. Wiley, who is an unusually talented vocalist, has been requested to give a concert for the benefit of my old regular chronic brick church, and will probably do so shortly.


A jury has finally been empaneled in this murder case, or man slaughter case, or justifiable homicide, or whatever it is, and the trial set for to-morrow.


Concerning the Marsh troupe, R. G. Marsh sends the following note to Major Dallam, of the Independent: "—Please insert enclosed corrected advertisement, and make such flourish and announcement as your local feeling will admit of, consistent with a kleer konshuns. Yours till we meat and drink."

The Company will appear at the Carson Theatre on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of the present week. Billy O'Neil comes along, too.


I received a letter from Artemus Ward, to-day, dated "Austin, January 1." It has been sloshing around between Virginia and Carson for awhile. I hope there is no impropriety in publishing extracts from a private letter—if there be, I ought not to copy the following paragraph of his:

"I arrived here yesterday morning at 2 o'clock. It is a wild, untamable place, but full of lion-hearted boys. I speak tonight. See small bills. *** I hope, some time, to see you and Kettle-belly Brown in New York. My grandmother—my sweet grandmother—she, thank God, is too far advanced in life to be affected by your hellish wiles. My aunt—she might fall. But didn't Warren fall, at Bunker Hill? [The old woman's safe. And so is the old girl, for that matter.-MARK.] DO not sir, do not, sir, do not flatter yourself that you are the only chastely-humorous writer onto the Pacific slopes. *** I shall always remember Virginia as a bright spot in my existence, and all others must or rather cannot be, 'as it were.'"

I am glad that old basket-covered jug holds out. I don't know that it does, but I have an impression that way. At least I can't make anything out of that last sentence. But I wish him well, and a safe journey, drunk or sober.


Territorial Enterprise, January 12-13, 1864



CARSON, 11 A.M., January 12, 1864.

The Constitution pot boils. Gentlemen from the different sections of the Territory—visiting brethren of the Legislature agree in the opinion that the Constitution will carry by a very respectable vote on the 19th. This will have its effect upon Ormsby county, which, strangely enough, considering the advantages she would derive from having the Capital permanently located at Carson, a mint built here, and the number of resident officials increased, has heretofore been opposed to the establishment of a State Government.

And speaking of the mint, I have an item of news relating to that subject. Mr. Lockhart, the Indian Agent, has just received a letter from Commissioner Bennet, in which he says he has been informed by Secretary Chase that no further steps will be taken toward building a mint in this region until our State Representatives arrive in Washington! This is in consequence of efforts now being made by Mr. Conness to have the mint located at Virginia. The authorities want advice from representatives direct from the people. As I said before, the people of Ormsby will oppose the Constitution.

O, certainly they will! They will if they are sick—or sentimental—or consumptive—or don't know their own interests—or can't see when God Almighty smiles upon them, and don't care anyhow. Now if Ormsby votes against the Constitution, let us clothe ourselves in sackcloth and put ashes on our heads; for in that hour religious liberty will be at an end here—her next step will be to vote against her eternal salvation. However the anti-Constitutional sentiment here is growing weak in the knees.

Most of the members have arrived, and the wheels of government will begin to churn at 12 M.


Territorial Enterprise, January 1864


Carson City, January 13, 1864

Before the Legislature begins its labors, I will just mention that the Marsh Troupe will perform in Virginia to-morrow night (Thursday)—at the Opera House of course—for the benefit of Engine Company No. 2. They played here last night—"Toodles," you know. Young George Marsh—whose theatrical costumes are ungainly enough, but not funny—took the part of Toodles, and performed it well—performed it as only cultivated talent, or genius, or which you please, or both, could enable him to do it. Little Jenny Arnot (she with the hideous—I mean affected—voice) appeared as Mrs. Toodles. Jenny is pretty—very pretty; but by the usual sign, common to all those of her sex similarly gifted, I perceive she knows it. Therefore, let us not speak of it. Jenny is smart—but she knows that too, and I grant you it is natural that she should. And behold you, when she does forget herself and make use of her own natural voice, and drop her borrowed one, it is the pleasantest thing in life to see her play. The other ladies—however, I neglected to preserve a theatre bill, and I do not know what characters they personified. However, one was a handsome sailor boy, and the other was a lovely, confiding girl with auburn hair—the same being stuck after each other. Alexander was gotten up in considerable taste as a ratty old gentleman—the father of one of the stuck—the auburn one, I think. Beatty was one of those dear reformed pirates, who comes in at the finale with a bandaged head and a broken heart, and leans up against the side-scenes and slobbers over his past sins, and is so interesting. Billy O'Neil was so successful in keeping the house in a roar as the Limerick Boy, and especially as the Irish Schoolmaster, that he was frequently driven from his own masterly gravity. After the performance was over, he said, "Those girls on the front seats knew where the laugh came in, didn't they?" I said they did. I further observed that if there was any place where the laugh didn't come in, those girls on the front seats didn't know it. Wherefore, if so, he had them there. My head was level. I think I am not transcending the limits of truth, when I assert that my head was eminently level. I would not flatter Billy O'Neil, yet I cannot help thinking that as "Barney the Baron," night before last, he was the drunkest white man that ever crossed the mountains. George Boulden, assisted by Mr. Alexander, sang "When this Cruel War is Over, as it Were," and was thrice encored.

A circumstance happened to an acquaintance of mine this week, which I promised to say nothing about. A young man from one of the neighboring counties, took a good deal of silk dress, with a moderate amount of girl in it, home from the theatre, and on his way back to his constituents he jammed his leg into a suburban post-hole, and remained anchored out there in the dark until considerably after midnight. He wept, and he prayed, and he cussed. He continued to cuss. He cussed himself, and the Board of Alder men, and the County Commissioners. He even cussed his own relations, and more particularly his grandmother, which was innocent. It seemed a good deal mixed as to whether he was ever going to get loose or not; but the coyotes got to skirmishing around him and grabbing at his independent leg, and made him uncommon lively. Whereat, he put on his strength, and tugged and cussed, and kicked at the coyotes, and cussed again, and tugged, and finally, out he came—but he pulled the post-hole up by the roots in doing of it. It was funny—exceedingly funny. However, I don't mind it; I slept all the same, and just as well.

I have received that carpet-sack of mine at last. It contained two shirts and six empty champagne bottles. Also one garrote collar, with a note from Dan written on it in pencil, accounting for the bottles under the plea that "voluminous baggage maketh a man to be respected." It was an airy and graceful thought, and a credit to his great mind. The shirts were marked respectively "R. M. Daggett" and "Sandy Baldwin," from which I perceive that Dan has been foraging again.

We organized yesterday. "We" is the House of Representatives, you understand. Simmons will make a good Speaker; and, besides, I shall be nearby to volunteer a little of my Third House experience, occasionally. The Council did not expend half an hour in getting very thoroughly and permanently organized. The regular joint committees were appointed to wait on the Governor, and that Body will be produced in Court this morning to testify concerning the condition of the country. N.B.—The several departments of the law-making power are called Bodies. The Governor is one of them, by law—therefore it is disrespectful to speak of him otherwise than as a Body—a jolly, unctuous, oleaginous old Body. That's it. I do not consider that we are entirely organized yet, either. You see, we are entitled to a Chaplain. The Organic Act vouchsafes unto us the consolations of religion—payable in Greenbacks at three dollars a day. We roped in the Rev. Mr. White, yesterday, and gouged him out of a prayer, for which, of course, we never intend to pay him. We go in for ministers looking to Providence in little matters of this kind. Well, there is no harm in us, and we calculate to run this institution without a Chaplain. In accordance with a motion of Mr. Nightingill, we dispensed with the services of Chaplain in the Third House, and it is a matter of no little pride to me to observe that this Aggregation of Wisdom manifests a disposition, not only in this but in many other respects, to send Jefferson's Manual and the Organic Act to the d—l and take the published proceedings of that Body as its parliamentary gospel—its guide to temporal glory and ultimate salvation. The House will proceed to business now in a few minutes.


Territorial Enterprise, January 1864


Carson, January 14, 1864


Say—you have got a compositor up there who is too rotten particular, it seems to me. When I spell "devil" in my usual frank and open manner, he puts it "d—l"! Now, Lord love his conceited and accommodating soul, if I choose to use the language of the vulgar, the low-flung and the sinful, and such as will shock the ears of the highly civilized, I don't want him to appoint himself an editorial critic and proceed to tone me down and save me from the consequences of my conduct; that is, unless I pay him for it, which I won't. I expect I could spell "devil' before that fastidious cuss was born.—MARK TWAIN.

The Speaker called the House to order at 10 A.M.


Mr. Heaton introduced a concurrent resolution, that when the Legislative Assembly adjourn to-morrow, it be to meet again on Wednesday, 21st, at 12 M.

A motion to suspend the rules was put to a vote and carried—ayes 15; noes, Messrs. Clagett, Curley, Gillespie, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones and Trask.

Mr. Gillespie moved to amend by making the hour 1 P.M.

[More skirmishing about parliamentary usage but the Chair is not in fault.—REPORTER.]

Mr. Fisher offered an amendment, to read "the House of Representatives and Council concurring." [Mr. Fisher got his notion from—well—say inspiration, for instance.—REPORTER.]

Mr. Clagett finally got up and straightened the blasted resolution.

The Speaker made a suggestion concerning the wording of the document. [Half an hour more will get it all right, you know. The parliamentary skirmishing still goes on, with unabated intelligence. This Aggregation of Wisdom can frame a concurrent resolution, but we must have time we must have a reasonable length of time to do it in. I could have furnished all the amendments offered to this document, and all the transmogrifications it has passed through—but then you don't want a column of that kind of information. I don't consider it important.—REP.]

The resolution as infinitely amended and improved, was voted upon at last, and carried—ayes 18, noes 5—Messrs. Clagett, Gillespie, Gove, Hunter and Phillips. [I asked the Clerk what the resolution proposed to do now? And he said he'd be d—d if he knew.—REP.]

Mr. Clagett offered a resolution that the regular daily sessions of the House commence at 10 A.M.

Mr. Fisher moved to insert "except when otherwise ordered."

On a division the motion was lost—14 to 6.

The resolution was then adopted.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1864


Carson, January 15.

The Committee on Rules for the Government of the House, reported yesterday the good old-fashioned and entirely proper rule that members and officers should keep their seats at adjournment until the Speaker had declared the House adjourned and left the Chair. Well, sir, the House debated it and voted it down. I can prove it by the Clerk's Journal. Now, considering that it was a harmless measure, and a customary one, and a mark of respect to the Chair; and considering that it is very seldom enforced, and also, that it was a little disrespectful to the Chair to vote it down, the action of the House in the matter seems somewhat strained. But I will interrupt you just here, if you please, and suggest to you that it is none of your business, and I want to know what you are putting in your lip about it for? I expect we can attend to our own affairs. And didn't they bullyrag that concurrent resolution yesterday? I reckon not. I do not admire the taste of the lobby members, though, in letting on as if they knew so much more about it, when the House is being rent with the mortal agonies of an effort to adjourn itself over for a week without adjourning the Council at the same time. The House did not wish to adjourn the Council without being asked to do so by that body, and if the House found it very nearly impossible to word the resolution so as not to adjourn the Council aforesaid, I do not conceive that it was dignified on the part of the lobby members to express by their countenances that they had their own opinions concerning the House. But didn't the House worry that concurrent resolution for a few hours or so? You bet you. However, we had better let "parliamentary usage" alone for the present, until our former knowledge on the knotty subject returns to our memories. Because Providence is not going to put up with this sort of thing much longer, you know. I observe there is no lightning rod on these county buildings.—MARK TWAIN

Territorial Enterprise, January 1864



Carson, January 20

Mr. Dean offered a resolution to employ a copying clerk.

Mr. Gillespie offered an amendment requiring the Engrossing and Enrolling Clerks to do this proposed officer's work. [These two officers are strictly ornamental—have been under wages since the first day of the session—haven't had anything to do, and won't for two weeks yet—and now by the eternal, they want some more useless clerical jewelry to dangle to the Legislature. If the House would discharge its extra scribblers, and let the Chief Clerk hire assistance only when he wants it, it seems to me it would be better.—REP.]

Without considering the appointment of a new jimcrack ornament, and starting his pay six weeks before he goes to work ( only thirteen dollars a day), the House adjourned.

Territorial Enterprise, January 19-20, 1864


CARSON, January 14.


By authority of an invitation from Hon. Wm. M. Gillespie, member of the House Committee on Colleges and Common Schools, I accompanied that statesman on an unofficial visit to the excellent school of Miss Clapp and Mrs. Cutler, this afternoon. The air was soft and balmy—the sky was cloudless and serene—the odor of flowers floated upon the idle breeze—the glory of the sun descended like a benediction upon mountain and meadow and plain—the wind blew like the very devil, and the day was generally disagreeable.

The school—however, I will mention, first that a charter for an educational institution to be called the Sierra Seminary, was granted to Miss Clapp during the Legislative session of 1861, and a bill will be introduced while the present Assembly is in session, asking an appropriation of $20,000 to aid the enterprise. Such a sum of money could not be more judiciously expended, and I doubt not the bill will pass.

The present school is a credit both to the teachers and the town. It now numbers about forty pupils, I should think, and is well and systematically conducted. The exercises this afternoon were of a character not likely to be unfamiliar to the free American citizen who has a fair recollection of how he used to pass his Friday afternoons in the days of his youth. The tactics have undergone some changes, but these variations are not important. In former times a fellow took his place in the luminous spelling class in the full consciousness that if he spelled cat with a "k," or indulged in any other little orthographical eccentricities of a similar nature, he would be degraded to the foot or sent to his seat; whereas, he keeps his place in the ranks now, in such cases, and his punishment is simply to "'bout face." Johnny Eaves stuck to his first position, to-day, long after the balance of the class had rounded to, but he subsequently succumbed to the word "nape," which he persisted in ravishing of its final vowel. There was nothing irregular about that. Your rightly-constructed schoolboy will spell a multitude of hard words without hesitating once, and then lose his grip and miss fire on the easiest one in the book.

The fashion of reading selections of prose and poetry remains the same; and so does the youthful manner of doing that sort of thing. Some pupils read poetry with graceful ease and correct expression, and others place the rising and falling inflection at measured intervals, as if they had learned the lesson on a "see-saw;" but then they go undulating through a stanza with such an air of unctuous satisfaction, that it is a comfort to be around when they are at it.

"The boy—stoo-dawn—the burning deck—

When-sawl—but him had fled—

The flames—that shook—the battle—zreck—Shone round—him o'er—the dead."

That is the old-fashioned impressive style—stately, slow-moving and solemn. It is in vogue yet among scholars of tender age. It always will be. Ever since Mrs. Hemans wrote that verse, it has suited the pleasure of juveniles to emphasize the word "him," and lay atrocious stress upon that other word "o'er," whether she liked it or not; and I am prepared to believe that they will continue this practice unto the end of time, and with the same indifference to Mrs. Hemans' opinions about it, or any body's else.

They sing in school, now-a-days, which is an improvement upon the ancient regime; and they don't catch flies and throw spit-balls at the teacher, as they used to do in my time—which is another improvement, in a general way. Neither do the boys and girls keep a sharp look-out on each other's shortcomings and report the same at headquarters, as was a custom of by-gone centuries. And this reminds me of Gov. Nye's last anecdote, fulminated since the delivery of his message, and consequently not to be found in that document. The company were swapping old school reminiscences, and in due season they got to talking about that extinct species of tell-tales that were once to be found in all minor educational establishments, and who never failed to detect and impartially denounce every infraction of the rules that occurred among their mates. The Governor said that he threw a casual glance at a pretty girl on the next bench one day, and she complained to the teacher—which was entirely characteristic, you know. Says she, "Mister Jones, Warren Nye's looking at me." Whereupon, without a suggestion from anybody, up jumped an infamous, lisping, tow-headed young miscreant, and says he, "Yeth, thir, I thee him do it!" I doubt if the old original boy got off that ejaculation with more gusto than the Governor throws into it.

The "compositions" read to-day were as exactly like the compositions I used to hear read in our school as one baby's nose is exactly like all other babies' noses. I mean the old principal ear-marks were all there: the cutting to the bone of the subject with the very first gash, without any preliminary foolishness in the way of a gorgeous introductory; the inevitable and persevering tautology; the brief, monosyllabic sentences (beginning, as a very general thing, with the pronoun "I"); the penchant for presenting rigid, uncompromising facts for the consideration of the hearer, rather than ornamental fancies; the depending for the success of the composition upon its general merits, without tacking artificial aids to the end of it, in the shape of deductions, or conclusions, or clap-trap climaxes, albeit their absence sometimes imparts to these essays the semblance of having come to an end before they were finished—of arriving at full speed at a jumping-off place and going suddenly overboard, as it were, leaving a sensation such as one feels when he stumbles without previous warning upon that infernal "To be Continued" in the midst of a thrilling magazine story. I know there are other styles of school compositions, but these are the characteristics of the style which I have in my eye at present. I do not know why this one has particularly suggested itself to my mind, unless the literary effort of one of the boys there to-day left with me an unusually vivid impression. It ran something in this wise:


"I like horses. Where we lived before we came here, we used to have a cutter and horses. We used to ride in it. I like winter. I like snow. I used to have a pony all to myself, where I used to live before I came here. Once it drifted a good deal—very deep—and when it stopped I went out and got in it."

That was all. There was no climax to it, except the spasmodic bow which the tautological little student jerked at the school as he closed his labors.

Two remarkably good compositions were read. Miss P.'s was much the best of these—but aside from its marked literary excellence, it possessed another merit which was peculiarly gratifying to my feelings just at that time. Because it took the conceit out of young Gillespie as completely as perspiration takes the starch out of a shirt-collar. In his insufferable vanity, that feeble member of the House of Representatives had been assuming imposing attitudes, and beaming upon the pupils with an expression of benignant imbecility which was calculated to inspire them with the conviction that there was only one guest of any consequence in the house. Therefore, it was an unspeakable relief to me to see him forced to shed his dignity. Concerning the composition, however. After detailing the countless pleasures which had fallen to her lot during the holidays, the authoress finished with a proviso, in substance as follows—I have forgotten the precise language: "But I have no cheerful reminiscences of Christmas. It was dreary, monotonous and insipid to the last degree. Mr. Gillespie called early, and remained the greater part of the day!" You should have seen the blooming Gillespie wilt when that literary bombshell fell in his camp! The charm of the thing lay in the fact that that last naive sentence was the only suggestion offered in the way of accounting for the dismal character of the occasion. However, to my mind it was sufficient—entirely sufficient.

Since writing the above, I have seen the architectural plans and specifications for Miss Clapp and Mrs. Cutler's proposed "Sierra Seminary" building. It will be a handsome two-story edifice, one hundred feet square, and will accommodate forty "boarders" and any number of pupils beside, who may board elsewhere. Constructed of wood, it will cost $12,000; or of stone, $18,000. Miss Clapp has devoted ten acres of ground to the use and benefit of the institution. I sat down intending to write a dozen pages of variegated news. I have about accomplished the task—all except the "variegated." I have economised in the matter of current news of the day, considerably more than I purposed to do, for every item of that nature remains stored away in my mind in a very unwritten state, and will afford unnecessarily ample material for another letter. It is useless material, though, I suspect, because, inasmuch as I have failed to incorporate it into this, I fear me I shall not feel industrious enough to weave out of it another letter until it has become too stale to be interesting. Well, never mind—we must learn to take an absorbing delight in educational gossip; nine-tenths of the revenues of the Territory go into the bottomless gullet of that ravenous school fund, you must bear in mind.


Territorial Enterprise, January, 1864



Carson, January 21

An officer of the House—Charles Carter, Messenger—is lying at the point of death this morning. He ruptured a blood vessel of the brain, night before last, previous to which time he was in robust health. He was a youth of great promise, and was respected and esteemed by all who knew him. He held the position of Messenger of the House during the session of 1862, and his faithful attention to the duties of the office then was endorsed by his re-election the present session.

The chief portion of the population of Carson spent last night in feasting and dancing at the Warm Springs. Such of them as are out of bed at this hour, declare the occasion to have been one of unmitigated felicity.

The House met at 10 A.M.


Mr. Calder asked and obtained leave for one day for Mr. Clagett who was engaged in drafting a bill.


Mr. Stewart rose to a question of privilege, and said the ENTERPRISE and Union reporters had been moving Ellen Redman's toll-bridge from its proper position on the Carson Slough to an illegal one on the Humboldt Slough. [I did that. If Ellen Redman don't like it, I can move her little bridge back again—but under protest. I waded that Humboldt Slough once, and I have always had a hankering to see a bridge over it since.—MARK.]

Mr. Phillips moved to amend Mr. Gillespie's resolution by striking out that portion which puts the Enrolling and Engrossing Clerks under the sole control of the Chief Clerk. Lost.

A warm debate sprung up on the subject. Mr. Gillespie manfully contended for the justness and expediency of adopting his resolution, and stated several propositions which were eminently correct, to-wit: that these subordinate officers ought to be under the control of the Chief Clerk; that they were under the pay of the House, and had been for some time, and yet had nothing to do; and finally, that copying being within the scope of their duties, they ought to be put at it and afforded an opportunity of rendering an equivalent for their salaries. Messrs. Stewart, Dixson and others were very fearful of discommoding the subordinate clerks, and very anxious to embellish the House with some more fellows calculated to swing a sinecure gracefully. The Chief Clerk stated that Mr. Powell, the Enrolling Clerk, had labored assiduously, from the first, in rendering any and all assistance asked at his hands, but nobody coming forward to say how much Captain Murphy had done, and nobody being supplied with a pile of estimates [sufficient] to portray how much he hadn't done, it became the general impression that Captain Murphy had been considerably more ornamental than useful to the House of Representatives. But I am here only during the courtesy of the House—on my good behavior, as it were—and I am a little afraid that if I say this aggregation of Wisdom elected Captain Murphy more out of regard for his military services than respect for the nasty manner in which he can sling a pen, I shall get notice to quit.—MARK.

Mr. Gillespie, on leave, amended his resolution by adding "Provided said clerks shall not be interfered with in the discharge of their respective duties"—and had the resolution not been furnished with this loophole if it had not been thus emasculated, it would not have passed. By a scratch it carried, though, and here are the voters' names:

AYES—Messrs. Calder, Elliott, Gillespie, Gove, Hess, Hunter, McDonald, Nelson, Requa, Trask, Ungar, Speaker—12.

NOES-Messrs. Barclay, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Heaton, Jones, Phillips, Stewart, Tennant—10.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1864



Carson City, January 27


The House resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, Mr. Fisher in the chair, upon the unfinished business of the general orders, and occupied the remainder of the forenoon session in the consideration of the Act providing for the appointment of Notaries Public and defining their duties. [This is a most important bill, and if passed will secure clearer and more comprehensible records hereafter. It will leave Storey county twelve Notaries in place of the fifteen hundred we have at present, and these twelve will have to be men of solid reputation, since they will have to give heavier bonds than all the fifteen hundred combined do at present; they must give bail in the sum of $5,000 each—$60,000 altogether. Mr. Fisher said three would be sufficient for Douglas county—he didn't want all the property there tied up in Notary's bonds. Mr. Clagett said there was scarcely a valid deed on the Humboldt records, because the certificates attached to them by ignorant Notaries were worthless, and he supposed property worth millions had already been jeopardized in the Territory by this kind of officers. He said one really splendid ignoramus out there who forwarded a bond in the sum of $10, had it returned with a notification that it must be increased to $500; he couldn't straddle the blind, and had to give up his commission. Besides, Mr. Clagett said, the passage of this Act would oust from office some twenty-five rabid Secessionists in Humboldt county alone! [Sensation.] If you could just see the official bonds drawn up and sent to the office of the Secretary of the Territory by some of these mentally deaf, dumb and blind Notaries, you would wonder, as I do, what they have been and gone and done, that Heaven should be down on them so. They never use revenue stamps—they don't subscribe the oath, they—well, they don't do anything that could lay them liable to an accusation of knowing it all, or even any fraction of it.

[Mr. Tennant said some few secesh had been appointed in Lander, but not so many as in Humboldt—they found one secesh in Lander last spring, and Acting-Governor Clemens captured him. I send you a copy of the bill, as they have just finished amending it in the Committee of the Whole, and suggest that you publish it.—MARK]

Territorial Enterprise, January 1864


Carson City, January 28, 1864


I delivered that message last night, but I didn't talk loud enough—people in the far end of the hall could not hear me. They said "Louder—louder," occasionally, but I thought that was a way they had—a joke, as it were. I had never talked to a crowd before, and knew none of the tactics of the public speaker. I suppose I spoke loud enough for some houses, but not for that District Court room, which is about seventy-five feet from floor to roof, and has no ceiling. I hope the people will deal as mildly with me, however, as I did with the public officers in the annual message. Some folks heard the entire document, though—there is some comfort in that. Hon. Mr. Clagett, Speaker Simmons of the inferior House, Hon. Hal Clayton, Speaker of the Third House, Judge Haydon, Dr. Alban, and others whose opinions are entitled to weight, said they would travel several miles to hear that message again. It affords me a good deal of satisfaction to mention it. It serves to show that if the audience could have heard-me distinctly, they would have appreciated the wisdom thus conferred upon them. They seemed to appreciate what they did hear though, pretty thoroughly. After the first quarter of an hour I ceased to whisper, and became audible. One of these days, when I get time, I will correct, amend and publish the message, in accordance with a resolution of the Third House ordering 300,000 copies in the various languages spoken at the present day.

P.S.—Sandy Baldwin and Theodore Winters heard that message, anyhow, and by thunder they appreciated it, too. They have sent a hundred dollars apiece to San Francisco this morning, to purchase a watch chain for His Excellency Governor Twain. I guess that is a pretty good result for an incipient oratorical slouch like me, isn't it? I don't know that anybody tendered the other Governor a testimonial of any kind.


Territorial Enterprise, November 1863-February 1864



[TRAVELING WITH ADOLPH SUTRO.—] Eight left Virginia yesterday and came down to Dayton with Mr. Sutro. Time 30 minutes—distance 8 or 9 miles. There is nothing very slow about that kind of travel. We found Dayton the same old place but taking up a good deal more room than it did the last time I saw it, and looking more brisk and lively with its increase of business, and more handsome on account of the beautiful dressed stone buildings with which it is being embellished of late.

Just as we got fairly under way, and were approaching Ball Robert's bridge, Sutro's dog, "Carlo," got to skirmishing around in the extravagant exuberance of his breakfast, and shipped up a fight with six or seven other dogs whom he was entirely unacquainted with, had never met before and probably has no desire to meet again. He waltzed into them right gallantly and right gallantly waltzed out again.

We also left at about this time and trotted briskly across Ball Robert's bridge. I remarked that Ball Robert's bridge was a good one and a credit to that bald gentleman. I said it in a fine burst of humor and more on account of the joke than anything else, but Sutro is insensible to the more delicate touches of American wit, and the effort was entirely lost on him. I don't think Sutro minds a joke of mild character any more than a dead man would. However, I repeated it once or twice without producing any visible effect, and finally derived what comfort I could by laughing at it myself.

Mr. Sutro being a confirmed businessman, replied in a practical and businesslike way. He said the bridge was a good one, and so were all public blessings of a similar nature when entrusted to the hands of private individuals. He said if the county had built the bridge it would have cost an extravagant sum of money, and would have been eternally out of repair. He also said the only way to get public work well and properly done was to let it out by contract.

"For instance," says he, "they have fooled away two or three years trying to capture Richmond, whereas if they had let the job by contract to some sensible businessman, the thing would have been accomplished and forgotten long ago." It was a novel and original idea and I forgot my joke for the next half hour in speculating upon its feasibility...

Territorial Enterprise, February 9, 1864

Letter from Carson City


A strange, strange thing occurred here yesterday, to wit:


Think of it. Ponder over it. He wanted a notarial commission—he said so himself. He was from Storey county. He brought his little petition along with him. He brought it on two stages. It is voluminous. The County Surveyor is chaining it off. Three shifts of clerks will be employed night and day on it, deciphering the signatures and testing their genuineness. They began unrolling the petition at noon, and people of strong mining proclivities at once commenced locating claims on it. We are too late, you know. But then they say the extensions are just as good as the original. I believe you.

Since writing the above, I have discovered that the foregoing does not amount to much as a sensation item, after all. The reason is, because there are seventeen hundred and forty-two applications for notaryships already on file in the Governor's office. I was not aware of it, you know. There are also as much as eleven cords of petitions stacked up in his back yard. A watchman stands guard over this combustible material—the back yard is not insured. Since writing the above, strange events have happened. I started downtown, and had not gone far, when I met a seedy, ornery, ratty, hang-dog-looking stranger, who approached me in the most insinuating manner, and said he was glad to see me. He said he had often sighed for an opportunity of becoming acquainted with me—that he had read my effusions (he called them "effusions,") with solemn delight, and had yearned to meet the author face to face. He said he was Billson—Billson of Lander—I might have heard of him. I told him I had—many a time—which was an infamous falsehood. He said "D—n it, old Quill-driver you must come and take a drink with me"; and says I, "D—n it, old Vermin-ranch, I'll do it." [I had him there.] We took a drink, and he told the bar-keeper to charge it. After which, he opened a well-filled carpet-sack and took out a shirt-collar and a petition. He then threw the empty carpet-sack aside and unrolled several yards of the petition—"just for a starter," he said. "Now," says he, "Mark, have you got a good deal of influence with Governor?" "Unbounded," says I, with honest pride; "when I go and use my influence with Governor Nye, and tell him it will be a great personal favor to me if he will do so and so, he always says it will be a real pleasure to him—that if it were any other man—any other man in the world—but seeing it's me, he wont." Mr. Billson then remarked that I was the very man; he wanted a little notarial appointment, and he would like me to mention it to the Governor. I said I would, and turned away, resolved to damn young Billson's official aspirations with a mild dose of my influence.

I walked about ten steps, and met a cordial man, with the dust of travel upon his garments. He mashed my hands in his, and as I stood straightening the joints back into their places again, says he, "Why darn it, Mark, how well you're looking! Thunder! It's been an age since I saw you. Turn around and let's look at you good. 'Gad, it's the same old Mark! Well, how've you been—and what have you been doing with yourself lately? Why don't you never come down and see a fellow? Every time I come to town, the old woman's sure to get after me for not bringing you out, as soon as I get back. Why she takes them articles of yourn, and slathers 'em into her old scrap-book, along with deaths and marriages, and receipts for the itch, and the small-pox, and hell knows what all, and if it warn't that you talk too slow to ever make love, dang my cats if I wouldn't be jealous of you. But what's the use fooling away time here?—let's go and gobble a cocktail." This was old Boreas, from Washoe. I went and gobbled a cocktail with him. He mentioned incidentally, that he wanted a notaryship, and showed me a good deal of his petition. I said I would use my influence in his behalf, and requested him to call at the Governor's office in the morning, and get his commission. He thanked me most heartily, and said he would. [I think I see him doing of it.]

I met another stranger before I got to the corner—a pompous little man with a crooked-handled cane and sorrel moustache. Says he, "How do you do, Mr. Twain—how do you do, sir? I am happy to see you, sir—very happy indeed, sir. My name is _____ _____. Pardon me, sir, but I perceive you do not entirely recollect me—I am J. Bidlecome Dusenberry, of Esmeralda, formerly of the city of New York, sir." "Well," says I, "I'm glad to meet you, Dysentery, and—" "No, no Dusenberry, sir, Dusenberry!—you—" "Oh, I beg your pardon," says I; "Dusenberry—yes, I understand, now; but it's all the same, you know—Dusenberry, by any other name would—however, I see you have a bale of dry goods—for me, perhaps." He said it was only a little petition, and proceeded to show me a few acres of it, observing casually that he was the candidate in the notarial line—that he had read my lucumbrations (he called it all that) with absorbing interest, and he would like me to use my influence with the Governor in his behalf. I assured him his commission would be ready for him as soon as it was signed. He appeared overcome with gratitude, and insisted, and insisted, and insisted, until at last I went and took a drink with him.

On the next corner I met Chief Justice Turner, on his way to the Governor's office with a petition. He said, "God bless you, my dear fellow—I'm delighted to see you—" and hurried on, after receiving my solemn promise that he should be a Notary Public if I could secure his appointment. Next I met William Stewart, grinning in his engaging way, and stroking his prodigious whiskers from his nose to his stomach. Sandy Baldwin was with him, and they both had measureless petitions on a dray with the names all signed in their own handwriting. I knew those fellows pretty well and I didn't promise them my influence. I knew if the Governor refused to appoint them, they would have an injunction on him in less than twenty-four hours, and stop the issuance of any more Notary commissions. I met John B. Winters, next, and Judge North, and Mayor Arick, and Washoe Jim, and John O. Earl, and Ah Foo, and John H. Atchinson, and Hong Wo, and Wells Fargo, and Charley Strong, and Bob Morrow, and Gen. Williams, and seventy-two other prominent citizens of Storey county, with a long pack-train laden with their several petitions. I examined their documents, and promised to use my influence toward procuring notaryships for the whole tribe. I also drank with them.

I wandered down the street, conversing with every man I met, examining his petition. It became a sort of monomania with me, and I kept it up for two hours with unflagging interest. Finally, I stumbled upon a pensive, travel-worn stranger, leaning against an awning-post. I went up and looked at him. He looked at me. I looked at him again, and again he looked at me. I bent my gaze upon him once more, and says I, "Well?" He looked at me very hard, and says he, "Well—" "Well what?" says I, "Well I would like to examine your petition, if you please."

He looked very much astonished—I may say amazed. When he had recovered his presence of mind, he says "What the devil do you mean?" I explained to him that I only wanted to glance over his petition for a notaryship. He said he believed I was a lunatic—he didn't like the unhealthy light in my eye, and he didn't want me to come any closer to him. I asked him if he had escaped the epidemic, and he shuddered said he didn't know of any epidemic. I pointed to the large placard on the wall: "Coaches will leave the Ormsby House punctually every fifteen minutes, for the Governor's mansion, for the accommodation of Notorial aspirants, etc., etc.—Schemerhorn, Agent"—and I asked him if he didn't know enough to understand what that meant? I also pointed to the long procession of petition-laden citizens filing up the street toward the Governor's house, and asked him if he was not aware that all those fellows were going after notarial commissions—that the balance of the people had already gone, and that he and I had the whole town to ourselves? He was astonished again. Then he placed his hand upon his heart, and swore a frightful oath that he had just arrived from over the mountains, and had no petition, and didn't want a notaryship. I gazed upon him a moment in silent rapture, and then clasped him to my breast. After which, I told him it was my turn to treat, by thunder. Whereupon, we entered a deserted saloon, and drank up its contents. We lay upon a billiard table in a torpid condition for many minutes, but at last my exile rose up and muttered in a sepulchral voice, "I feel it—O Heavens, I feel it in me veins!" "Feel what?" says I, alarmed. Says he, "I feel—O me sainted mother!—I feel—feel—a hankering to be a Notary Public!" And he tore down several yards of wall-paper, and fell to writing a petition on it. Poor devil—he had got it at last, and got it bad. I was seized with the fatal distemper a moment afterward. I wrote a petition with frantic haste, appended a copy of the Directory of Nevada Territory to it, and we fled down the deserted streets to the Governor's office.

But I must draw the curtain upon these harrowing scenes—the memory of them scorches my brain. Ah, this Legislature has much to answer for in cutting down the number of Notaries Public in this Territory, with their infernal new law.

Territorial Enterprise, February 12, 1864


Carson City, February 5, 1864


EDITORS ENTERPRISE: Theodore Winters handsome dwelling in Washoe Valley, is an eloquent witness in behalf of Mr. Steele's architectural skill. The basement story is built of brick, and the spacious court which surrounds it, and whose columns support the verandah above, is paved with large, old-fashioned tiles. On this floor is the kitchen, dining-room, bath-room, bed-chambers for servants, and a commodious store-room, with shelves laden with all manner of substantials and luxuries for the table. All these apartments are arranged in the most convenient manner, and are fitted and furnished handsomely and plainly, but expensively. Water pipes are numerous in this part of the house, and the fluid they carry is very pure, and cold and clear. On the next floor above, are two unusually large drawing-rooms, richly furnished, and gotten up in every respect with faultless taste which is a remark one is seldom enabled to apply to parlors and drawing-rooms on this coast. The colors in the carpets, curtains, etc., are of a warm and cheerful nature, but there is nothing gaudy about them. The ceilings are decorated with pure, white mouldings of graceful pattern. Two large bed-chambers adjoin the parlors, and are supplied with elaborately carved black walnut four-hundred-dollar bedsteads, similar to those used by Dan and myself in Virginia; the remainder of the furniture of these chambers is correspondingly sumptuous and expensive. On the floor above are half a dozen comfortable bedrooms for the accommodation of visitors; also a spacious billiard-room which will shortly be graced by a table of superb workmanship. The windows of the house are of the "Gothic" style, and set with stained glass; the chandeliers are of bronze; the stair railings of polished black walnut, and the principal doors of some kind of dark-colored wood—mahogany, I suppose. There are two peculiarly pleasant features about this house the ceilings are high, and the halls of unusual width. The building—above the basement story—is of wood, and strongly and compactly put together. It stands upon tolerably high ground, and from its handsome verandah, Mr. Winters can see every portion of his vast farm. From the stables to the parlors, the house and its belongings is a model of comfort, convenience and substantial elegance; everything is of the best that could be had, and there is no circus flummery visible about the establishment.

I went out there to a party a short time ago, in the night, behind a pair of Cormack's fast horses, with John James. On account of losing the trail of the telegraph poles, we wandered out among the shingle machines in the Sierras, and were delayed several hours. We arrived in time, however, to take a large share in the festivities which were being indulged in by the Governor and the Supreme Court and some twenty other guests. The party was given by Messrs. Joe Winters and Pete Hopkins (at Theodore Winters' expense) as a slight testimonial of their regard for the friends they invited to be present. There was nothing to detract from the pleasure of the occasion, except Lovejoy, who detracted most of the wines and liquors from it.


I expect Mr. Lawlor keeps the best private school in the Territory—or the best school of any kind, for that matter. I attended one of his monthly examinations a week ago, or such a matter, with Mr. Clagett, and we arrived at the conclusion that one might acquire a good college education there within the space of six months. Mr. Lawlor's is a little crib of a school-house, papered from door to ceiling with black-boards adorned with impossible mathematical propositions done in white chalk. The effect is bewildering, to the stranger, but otherwise he will find the place comfortable enough. When we arrived, the teacher was talking in a rambling way upon a great many subjects, like a member of the House speaking to a point of order, and three boys were making verbatim reports of his remarks in Graham's phonographic short-hand on the walls of the school-room. These pupils had devoted half an hour to the study and practice of this accomplishment every day for the past four or five months, and the result was a proficiency usually attained only after eighteen months of application. It was amazing. Mr. Lawlor has so simplified the art of teaching in every department of instruction, that I am confident he could impart a thorough education in a short time to any individual who has as much as a spoonful of brains to work upon. It is in no spirit of extravagance that I set it down here as my serious conviction that Mr. Lawlor could even take one of our Miss Nancy "Meriden" Prosecuting Attorneys and post him up so in a month or two that he could tell his own witnesses from those of the defense in nine cases out of ten. Mind, I do not give this as an absolute certainty, but merely as an opinion of mine and one which is open to grave doubts, too, I am willing to confess, now, when I come to think calmly and dispassionately about it. No—the truth is, the more I think of it, the more I weaken. I expect I spoke too soon—went off before I was primed, as it were. With your permission, I will take it all back. I know two or three prosecuting attorneys, and I am satisfied the foul density of their intellects would put out any intellectual candle that Mr. Lawlor could lower into them. I do not say that a Higher Power could not miraculously illuminate them. No, I only say I would rather see it first. A man always has more confidence in a thing after he has seen it, you know; at least that is the way with me. But to proceed with that school. Mr. Clagett invited one of those phonographic boys—Master Barry Ashim—to come and practice his short-hand in the House of Representatives. He accepted the invitation, and in accordance with resolutions offered by Messrs. Clagett and Stewart, he was tendered the compliment of a seat on the floor of the House during the session, and the Sergeant-at-Arms instructed to furnish him with a desk and such stationery as he might require. He has already become a reporter of no small pretensions. There is a class in Mr. Lawlor's school composed of children three months old and upwards, who know the spelling book by heart. If you ask them what the first word is, in any given lesson, they will tell you in a moment, and then go on and spell every word (thirty five) in the lesson, without once referring to the book or making a mistake. Again, you may mention a word and they will tell you which particular lesson it is in, and what words precede it and follow it. Then, again, you may propound an abstruse grammatical enigma, and the school will solve it in chorus—will tell you what language is correct, and what isn't; and why and wherefore; and quote rules and illustrations until you wish you hadn't said anything. Two or three doses of this kind will convince a man that there are youngsters in this school who know everything about grammar that can be learned, and what is just as important, can explain what they know so that other people can understand it. But when those fellows get to figuring, let second-rate mathematicians stand from under! For behold, it is their strong suit. They work miracles on a black-board with a piece of chalk. Witchcraft and sleight-of-hand, and all that sort of thing is foolishness to the facility with which they can figure a moral impossibility down to an infallible result. They only require about a dozen figures to do a sum which by all ordinary methods would consume a hundred and fifty. These fellows could cypher a week on a sheet of foolscap. They can find out anything they want to with figures, and they are very quick about it, too. You tell them, for instance, that you were born in such and such a place, on such and such a day of the month, in such and such a year, and they will tell you in an instant how old your grandmother is. I have never seen any banker's clerks who could begin to cypher with those boys. It has been Virginia's unchristian policy to grab everything that was of any account that ever came into the Territory—Virginia could do many a worse thing than to grab this school and move it into the shadow of Mount Davidson, teacher and all.


There is a system of extortion going on here which is absolutely terrific, and I wonder the Carson Independent has never ventilated the subject. There seems to be only one undertaker in the town, and he owns the only graveyard in which it is at all high-toned or aristocratic to be buried. Consequently, when a man loses his wife or his child, or his mother, this undertaker makes him sweat for it. I appeal to those whose firesides death has made desolate during the few fatal weeks just past, if I am not speaking the truth. Does not this undertaker take advantage of that unfortunate delicacy which prevents a man from disputing an unjust bill for services rendered in burying the dead, to extort ten-fold more than his labors are worth? I have conversed with a good many citizens on this subject, and they all say the same thing: that they know it is wrong that a man should be unmercifully fleeced under such circumstances, but, according to the solemn etiquette above referred to, he cannot help himself. All that sounds very absurd to me. I have a human distaste for death, as applied to myself, but I see nothing very solemn about it as applied to anybody—it is more to be dreaded than a birth or a marriage, perhaps, but it is really not as solemn a matter as either of these, when you come to take a rational, practical view of the case. Therefore I would prefer to know that an undertaker's bill was a just one before I paid it; and I would rather see it go clear to the Supreme Court of the United States, if I could afford the luxury, than pay it if it were distinguished for its unjustness. A great many people in the world do not think as I do about these things. But I care nothing for that. The knowledge that I am right is sufficient for me. This undertaker charges a hundred and fifty dollars for a pine coffin that cost him twenty or thirty, and fifty dollars for a grave that did not cost him ten—and this at a time when his ghastly services are required at least seven times a week. I gather these facts from some of the best citizens of Carson, and I can publish their names at any moment if you want them. What Carson needs is a few more undertakers—there is vacant land enough here for a thousand cemeteries. MARK TWAIN

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



Carson, February 8, 1864

This bill appears—to a man up a tree—to be a bill of sale of Nevada Territory to the California State Telegraph Company. They never print this kind of bills—wherefore I shall have to copy it myself for you. It flashed through the House under a suspension of the rules, before you could wink, they tell me. It provides that Mr. Watson (his other name is the California State Telegraph Company) shall have the exclusive right to connect Star, Unionville, Austin, Virginia, Gold Hill, Carson, etc., etc., with Sacramento and San Francisco, and nobody else shall be permitted to do likewise, for five years after this line is completed, and with a liberal length of time allowed Mr. Watson in which to get ready to begin to commence completing it. To have all the telegraph lines in the hands of one Company, makes it a little binding on newspapers and other people.—MARK.]

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



Carson, February 9.

I see you want the ayes and noes on all important measures. Long ago I got a batch of roll-calls and prepared to post the people concerning the final action of this body upon the various bills presented. But I got tired of it. I found the House too unanimous; they always voted aye, and I discovered that the list of noes was a useless incumbrance to the roll-call. Now when an important measure passes this House, and I neglect the roll-call, that need be no excuse for your doing the same thing; just publish the list of members and say they voted "aye"—you'll be about right. The thing is done thus: When a bill is on its final passage, and a member hears his name called, he rouses up and asks what's going on? The Speaker says, by way of information, "Third reading of a bill, sir." The member says, "Oh!—well, I vote aye," and becomes torpid again at once. Now, concerning that infamous telegraph monstrosity, it passed to its third reading in this House on the 4th of February. Messrs. Babcock, Dixson, Gray and Stewart were absent, and had no opportunity of voting aye but all the balance voted affirmatively, of course, as follows: AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Brumfield, Calder, Clagett, Curler, Deane, Elliott, Fisher, Gillespie, Gove, Heaton, Hess, Hunter, Jones, McDonald, Nelson, Phillips, Requa, Tennant, Trask, Ungar and Mr. Speaker.


Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 10

The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the special order—Mr. Fisher in the Chair—and took up the first bill on the list. [Some seventy-five ladies have swarmed into the House, and the process of swarming still continues. I have a presentiment that I am to have an exhaustless stream of weak platitudes inflicted upon me by Young Gillespie and other unmarried members.—MARK.]

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 11

The House met at 10 A.M. Present, 18. Absent, Messrs. Clagett, Dixson, Gillespie, Phillips, Stewart and Ungar.


Mr. Heaton rose to a question of privilege, and said he was reported in the ENTERPRISE as having moved that the Committee of the Whole recommend the rejection of Miss Clapp's Seminary bill. That was a mistake. He said his motion was to refer the bill back to the Standing Committee on Colleges and Common Schools. [I suppose that is true; I do not consider myself responsible for mistakes made when the House is full of beautiful women, who are: writing tender notes to me all the time and expecting me to answer them. In cases of this kind, I would just as soon misrepresent a member as any other way.—MARK] Mr. Heaton was easy on the reporters, but he was very severe on Mr. Gillespie. He said it would appear from the report that Mr. Gillespie included him among those members who had dodged the issue on the telegraph bill—whereas he was absent from the House, by permission of the Speaker, with the Prison Committee.

The Speaker said there was nothing incorrect about the report—that Mr. Heaton was shielded from Mr. Gillespie's insinuation by a preceding paragraph, which stated the fact that he had been excused from attendance.

Whereupon Jefferson's Manual arose the same being known on the credit accounts of the several saloons as "Young Gillespie"—and proceeded to waste the time of the House, as usual, in dilating upon some trivial distinction without a difference. [He was after the reporter of the ENTERPRISE, in the first place, but before I could catch his drift, he fell a victim to his old regular "parliamentary usage" dysentery,—passed his brains, and became a smiling, sociable, driveling lunatic. Consequently, I failed to find out what I had been doing to young Gillespie, after all.—MARK TWAIN.]



A message was received from the Council, transmitting the following bills:

Council bill incorporating the Austin Christian Association. [The Speaker was at a loss to know what committee to refer a bill of such an unusual nature to—wherein his head was level. He finally referred it to the Lander delegation, two of the most faithful and consistent supporters of the Devil there are in the House.—MARK.]

Council bill for the relief of certain parties. Referred to the Committee on Claims.

At 5 P.M. the House adjourned until 6:30 P.M.

[While I was absent a moment, yesterday, on important business, taking a drink, the House, with its accustomed engaging unanimity, knocked one of my pet bills higher than a kite, without a dissenting voice. I convened the members in extra session last night, and deluged them with blasphemy, after which I entered into a solemn compact with them, whereby, in consideration of their re-instating my bill, I was to make an ample apology for all the mean things I had said about them for passing that infamous, unchristian, infernal telegraph bill the other day. I also promised to apologize for all the mean things that other people had published against them for their depraved action aforesaid. They reinstated my pet to-day, unanimously, thus fulfilling their contract to the letter, and in conformity with my promise above referred to, I hereby solemnly apologize for their rascally conduct in passing the infamous telegraph bill above mentioned. Under ordinary circumstances, they never would have done such a thing—but upon that occasion I think they had been fraternizing with Clagett and Simmons at the White House, and were under the vicious influence of Humboldt whisky. Consequently, they were not responsible, Sir—they were not responsible, either to anybody on earth or in heaven.—MARK TWAIN.]

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 12

An Act to amend an Act relating to game and fish. The passage of this bill was also recommended. [It provides that trout shall neither be caught in this Territory, nor exposed for sale, between the first of January and the first of April, under a penalty of $25 for each fish caught, killed or destroyed, or bought, sold or exposed for sale. The Act goes into effect on the first of the coming March, and therefore it would be well to publish it for the information of the people. It is a good law, and calls our lake by its right name Lake Bigler—and rejects the spooney appellation of "Tahoe," which signifieth "grasshopper" in the Digger tongue, and "breech clout" in the Washoe lingo. Bigler is the legitimate name of the Lake, and it will be retained until some name less flat, insipid and spooney than "Tahoe" is invented for it. I am sorry, myself, that it was not called in the first place by some cognomen that could be persuaded to rhyme with something, because, you see, every sentimental cuss who goes up there and becomes pregnant with a poem invariably miscarries because of the unfortunate difficulty I have just mentioned. I speak of the matter lightly, but it is not a frivolous one, for all that. A very beautiful thing was once written by a distinguished English poet about our royal river at home, but the loveliness was all mashed out of it by the stress of weather to which he was obliged to succumb in order to gouge a rhyme out of its name. He had to call it "Mississip"!—MARK.]

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 13

An Act to incorporate the Virginia, Gold Hill, Washoe and Carson railroad.

[More railroads, you observe. The Council killed the Virginia and Dayton Railroad bill the other day. That franchise was well guarded, and the road would have been built. Will this, or any of the others?—REP.]

Mr. Barclay moved to lay the bill on the table. Lost.

The bill then passed by the following vote: [ayes 11, noes 9].

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864


Carson City, February 13, 1864


EDITORS ENTERPRISE: The Independent takes hold of a wretched public evil and shakes it and bullyrags it in the following determined and spirited manner this morning:

"Our friend, Mark Twain, is such a joker that we cannot tell when he is really in earnest. He says in his last letter to the ENTERPRISE, that our undertaker charges exorbitantly for his services—as much as $150 for a pine coffin, and $50 for a grave and is astonished that the Independent has not, ere this, said something about this extortion. As yet we have had no occasion for a coffin or a bit of ground for grave purposes, and therefore know nothing about the price of such things. If any of our citizens think they have been imposed upon in this particular, it is their duty to ventilate the matter. We have heard no complaints."

That first sentence is false, and that clause in the second, which refers to the Independent, is false, also. I knew better than to be astonished when I wrote it. Unfortunately for the public of Carson, both propositions in the third sentence are true. Having had no use for a coffin himself, the editor "therefore knows nothing about the price of such things." It is my unsolicited opinion that he knows very little about anything. And anybody who will read his paper calmly and dispassionately for a week will endorse that opinion. And more especially his knowing nothing about Carson, is not surprising; he seldom mentions that town in his paper. If the Second advent were to occur here, you would hear of it first in some other newspaper. He says, "If any of our citizens think they have been imposed upon in this particular, it is their duty to ventilate the latter." It is their duty—the duty of the citizens—to ferret out abuses and correct them, is it? Correct them through your advertising columns and pay for it—is that it? And then turn to your second page and find one of your insipid chalk-milk editorials, defending the abuse and apologizing for the perpetrator of it; or when public sentiment is too well established on the subject, pretending, as in the above case, that you are the only man in the community who don't know anything about it. Where did you get your notion of the duties of a journalist from? Any editor in the world will say it is your duty to ferret out these abuses, and your duty to correct them. What are you paid for? What use are you to the community? What are you fit for as conductor of a newspaper, if you cannot do these things? Are you paid to know nothing, and keep on writing about it every day? How long do you suppose such a jack-legged newspaper as yours would be supported or tolerated in Carson, if you had a rival no larger than a foolscap sheet, but with something in it, and whose editor would know, or at least have energy enough to find out, whether a neighboring paper abused one of the citizens justly or unjustly? That paragraph which I have copied, seems to mean one thing, while in reality it means another. It's true translation is, for instance: "Our name is Independent—that is, in different phrase, Opinionless. We have no opinions on any subject—we reside permanently on the fence. In order to have no opinions, it is necessary that we should know nothing—therefore, if this undertaker is fleecing the people, we will not know it, and then we shall not offend him. We have heard no complaints, and we shall make no inquiries, lest we do hear some."

Now, when I published a sarcasm upon the San Francisco Water Company, and the iniquity of "cooking dividends," some time ago, in the attractive form of a massacre at Dutch Nick's, by an irresponsible crazy man, this lively Independent came after me with the spirit of Old Hopkins strong upon him, and launched at me the red bolts of its virtuous wrath for bringing the high mission of journalism into disrepute for leading the citizens of California to believe that the murderous proclivities of this people were more extensive than they really were, or, in other words, creating the impression abroad that we were all lunatics and liable to slay and destroy one another upon the slightest provocation. I did not reply to that, because I took it to be the fellow's honest opinion; and being his honest opinion, it was his duty to express it, whether it galled me or not. But he has permitted so many greater wrongs to pass unnoticed since then, that I have arrived at the conclusion that he only did it to modify the circulation of the ENTERPRISE hereabouts. I should be sorry to think he did it to procure my discharge. He would not, if he knew I was an orphan. Yet the same eyes that saw a great public wrong in that article on the massacre, wilfully see no wrong in this undertaker's impoverishing charges for burying people—charges which are made simply because, from the nature of the service rendered, a man dare not demur to their payment, lest the fact be talked of around town and he be disgraced. Oh, your Independent is a consistent, harmless, non-committal sheet. I never saw a paper of that non-committal name that wasn't. Even the religious papers bearing it give a decided, whole-souled support to neither the Almighty nor the Devil.

The editor of the Independent says he don't know anything about this undertaker business. If he would go and report a while for some responsible newspaper, he would learn the knack of finding out things. Now if he wants to know that the undertaker charged three or four prices for a coffin (the late Mr. Nash's) upon one occasion, and then refused to let it go out of his hands, when the funeral was waiting, until it was paid for, although the estate was good for it, being worth $20,000—let him go and ask Jack Harris. If he wants any amount of information, let him inquire of Curry, or Pete Hopkins, or Judge Wright. Stuff! let him ask any man he meets in the street—the matter is as universal a topic of conversation here as is the subject of "feet" in Virginia. But I don't suppose you want to know anything about it. I want to shed one more unsolicited opinion, which is that your Independent is the deadest, flattest, [most] worthless thing I know—and I imagine my cold, unsmiling undertaker has his hungry eye upon it.

Mr. Curry says if the people will come forward and take hold of the matter, a city cemetery can be prepared and fenced in a week, and at a trivial cost—a cemetery from which a man can set out for Paradise or perdition just as respectably as he can from the undertaker's private grounds at present. Another undertaker can then be invited to come and take charge of the business. Mr. Curry is right—and no man can move in the matter with greater effect than himself. Let the reform be instituted.


Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 15

At one o'clock this morning, as Mr. Gray, barkeeper at Bingham's, was leaving the saloon with his cash box in his hand, two men jumped out from the shadow of a door, enveloped him in a blanket, and seized the box. Gray held on to the property until the handle came off, and then, having no pistol, shouted with good enough effect to attract the attention of two foot passengers who had. These gentlemen opened a brisk fire on the retreating highwaymen—sent eight or ten navy balls after them—caused them to observe, plaintively, "O God!" and drop the box. All the dogs in town woke up and barked—they always do on such occasions, but they never bite, and they are opposed to chasing highwaymen—so the same escaped. Mr. Gray recovered the box, of course, which contained about one thousand dollars.—MARK.

You have got a mighty responsible delegation here from Storey county. As Mr. Curler remarked the other day, "When you put your finger on that delegation, as a general thing, they ain't there." I believe you. In the face of a notice given last Saturday by Mr. Clagett, of the introduction of a little bill to remove the Capital to Virginia—in the face of it, I say, only one member from Storey, out of eight, was present when the proper time arrived this morning for the introduction of the bill. Mr. Elliott was present—he always is, for that matter, and always awake. It has been a good thing for the whole Territory, on more than one occasion, that he was at his post in this House. One member was present—seven were absent: Messrs. Gillespie, Heaton, Nelson, Phillips, Requa, Ungar and Barclay. Several of these gentlemen arrived an hour after the order for the introduction of bills had been passed. Now if the people of Storey do not want the Capital, it was the duty of these members, since they knew the question was before the House, to be on hand to use their best efforts to kill the bill—and if the people do want the Capital, then it was the duty of those members to be here and do what they could toward securing it. Above all things, they had no business to be absent at such a time. They knew what was going on, and they knew, moreover, that the fact that they have been pretty regular in their attendance when toll-roads were to be voted on, will indifferently palliate the offense of being absent upon this occasion. Last session Storey offered an immense price for the capital, and nothing in the world could have kept her from getting it but her own delegation. They kept her from it, though. Mr. Burke was absent. His vote, at the proper time, would have moved the Capital—and in the meantime, Mr. Tuttle, of Douglas, was brought from a sick bed to vote no. I suppose this bill will be introduced to-morrow (Tuesday) morning, at 10 o'clock—and I suppose some of the Storey delegation will be absent again. But if you want the roll-call to-morrow, you can have it. I have made a mistake. Mr. Gillespie came in this morning before the introduction of bills, though he was absent at an earlier hour, when the roll was called.—MARK.

Territorial Enterprise, February 16, 1864


EDITORS ENTERPRISE: I have just returned from the Capital, where I have been a Legislative spectator for a while. The strongest conviction which the experience of my visit forced upon my mind was, that the Capital ought to be removed from Carson City.

I think you would be of my opinion if you could see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears, the doings of the Legislature for a few days.

My first and best reason for thinking the Capital ought to be removed is, that while it remains in Carson, the Legislative Assembly is beyond the pale of newspaper criticism—beyond its restraining influence, and consequently beyond the jurisdiction of the people, in a manner, since the people are left in ignorance of what their servants are doing, and cannot protest against their acts until it is too late. Your reports of proceedings take up as much room in the city papers as can well be spared, I suppose, and they are ample enough for all intents and purposes—or rather, they would be, if the Virginia newspapers could stay in Carson and criticize these proceedings, and also the members, editorially, occasionally. A mere skeleton report carries but an indifferent conception of the transactions of a Legislative body to the minds of the people. For instance, in the style and after the manner of one of these synopses: Mr. Stewart gave notice of a bill entitled an Act to audit the claim of D. J. Gasherie. A day or so afterward, we learn that according to former notice, Mr. Stewart introduced his bill. You hear of it again in some committee report. And again, as having been reported "favorably' by a Committee of the Whole. Next, your report says Mr. Stewart's bill passed by so many ayes, and so many noes. The work is done; none of your readers have the slightest idea what Mr. Gasherie's claim was for, and neither does one of them imagine himself even remotely interested in knowing anything about it. Yet the chief portion of your readers, I take it, were very particularly interested in that bill—because they will have to contribute money from their own pockets to pay Mr. Gasherie's claim; and they were further interested, on general principles, because the passage of that bill inflicted a great wrong upon the Territory. Now, if the Legislature had been in session in Virginia, under the eyes of the press, instead of those of six or seven idle lobby members, I doubt if Mr. Stewart would have introduced the bill; I doubt if the Committee of the Whole would have presumed to consider it; I know the House and the Council would not have passed it. When Mr. Elliott rose in his place and objected that this was a bill to provide payment of a sum out of the Territorial Treasury, amounting to between $1,800 and $1,900, for the maintenance by Sheriff Gasherie, of several Ormsby county paupers, the newspapers would have promptly seconded him in the suggestion that Ormsby county maintain her own paupers, and pay the bill out of her own pocket. And when Mr. Stewart acknowledged the justness of the suggestion, but said Ormsby had bankrupted herself by purchasing a set of fine county buildings, and must therefore beg this favor at the hands of the people of the whole Territory, the newspapers would have known all about it, would have demurred, and the members, with a sense of responsibility thus forced upon them would have intentionally voted no upon the bill, instead of voting aye without really knowing, perhaps, what particular measure was before the House. Moreover, several other outrageous laws, already passed, could never have been passed in Virginia. Twenty thousand dollars of the people's money have been asked for to build a seminary in Carson City and present it to two of her citizens—a private affair, and no more public in its character than Mr. Chauvel's fencing school here, and no more deserving of a Territorial appropriation of $20,000. Members were not wanting to vote for the measure, and to advocate it strongly. The bill would even have passed, probably, if Messrs. Clagett, and Elliott had withheld their earnest opposition to it. Yet a bill to provide for the establishment and maintenance of a public mining college—a polytechnic school—has excited small interest among the members. They forget that a mining education can be best acquired here in the Territory—they forget, also, that the Seminary could offer no inducements of a similar nature, since our citizens, for many years to come, will prefer to educate their daughters at the inexpensive and efficient seminaries of Benicia, San Jose, and Santa Clara. The Seminary bill was resurrected on Saturday, consolidated with the Polytechnic bill, $30,000 of public money added, and again brought before the Legislature. So—$20,000 for a building, and a tax of 1 per cent. on $30,000,000 of property, for "sundries." A crowd of young gentlemen and ladies in one building might affect the matter of public morals more than that of public education, I think. The school is not located, in the bill, but the Ormsby delegation propose to have it established in Carson. The Governor is to appoint the trustees, and they are to fix upon a location, I believe. A mining school in a town fifteen miles from a mine, would be a beneficial thing, in the abstract. Yet this $50,000 bill may pass, after all. So may the act to purchase Mr. Curry's prison for $80,000 more—$130,000 to Carson, by way of compensation for the stream of iniquitous private franchises which has been flowing from one or two members of her delegation during the entire session. Could these bills, unmodified, pass, if the people could be thoroughly posted as to their merits, by the press? I suppose not. Clagett, Brumfield, Elliott, and two or three other intelligent, industrious and upright members have saved the credit of the Lower House, and protected the interests of the people, in nearly every case where it has been done at all—but they have received no commendation for it; neither have idle members, and members of easy integrity, been censured. It is because the people have been left in the dark as to who they ought to praise and who they ought to blame.

It was urged, last session, that Storey county was disposed to stow away, in her ravenous maw, everything that came in her way. That argument lost her the Capital, by one vote—that argument, and one other, which was a written pledge, on the part of Ormsby county, that if the Capital were permitted to remain in Carson, halls should be furnished for the use of the Legislature, free of charge. Storey county offered to erect capital buildings at her own expense, and move the officers and other governmental appurtenances within her lines, also at her own expense. Let Storey county make that proposition to-day, and it will be accepted. It is Ormsby county, now that is striving with extraordinary energy, to swallow all public benefits—not Storey. And Ormsby has failed to redeem her pledge—for she has charged the Legislature $500 for the use of her Court-house, and after making the contract, is now dissatisfied because the granting of a greater sum is refused her.

Four members of one branch of the Legislature support the Specific Contract bill because it will result to their personal advantage, in sums varying from $1,000 to $4,000. More than that number have supported private franchises on personal pecuniary grounds. One member would vote $20,000 to the Seminary because he would reap an advantage, in dollars and cents, from the passage of the bill. Inasmuch as these statements come from the gentlemen referred to, themselves, they are entitled to full credence. If there could be a merit attached to a wrong motive, I think that merit might be considered to be the small amount of intelligence required to keep from telling about it. But all Legislators are not diplomats. Would it not be well to place the Assembly where the press, and through the press the people, could look after it?

Mr. Clagett gave notice, on Saturday, of an Act to remove the Capital, and the bill will probably be formally introduced to-day (Monday). If the people of Storey county want the seat of government in their midst, let them signify it promptly and cordially.


Territorial Enterprise, February 1864


CARSON, February 16, 1864

Mayor Arick, Joe Goodman, George Birdsall, Young Harris, and other solid citizens of Virginia arrived at 3 this morning, having left home at midnight. They came down to see how the Capital question was going. Send a lot more down—the more the merrier, and the greater degree of interest is exhibited. Virginia seldom does things by halves—she generally comes out strong when she takes hold of a question.—MARK.

* * * * * *

Mr. McDonald moved a recess.

Mr. Clagett hoped the motion would not prevail. He wished to go on with the regular business—introduction of bills etc. [Sensation among opponents to the removal of the Capital.]

The motion was lost.

Mr. Clagett moved a call of the House. [Numerous objections.] The motion was carried—ayes 7, noes 5.

After a moment's delay, Mr. Dixson moved that further proceedings under the call be dispensed with. Lost.

The absentees, Messrs. Ungar and Curler, were brought forward and excused, and further proceedings under the call were then dispensed with. Mr. Phillips moved a recess. Lost-ayes 9, noes 1l.

Mr. Clagett then, pursuant to previous notice, introduced an Act to locate permanently the Capital of the Territory. [At Virginia—that city to provide suitable buildings for 5 years at her own cost, before October 1, 1864—otherwise the Act to be null and void.]

The bill was read in answer to numerous calls.

Mr. Elliott moved that the rules be suspended and the bill engrossed for a third reading.

Mr. Dixson strenuously objected, and said he couldn't see the object of rushing this bill through with such indecent haste. [Behold the virtuous member from Lander—the heart of the same being in Carson.—MARK.]

Mr. Ungar moved to refer the bill to the Storey delegation, with instructions to report forthwith.

Mr. Phillips moved to amend by substituting the Gold Hill portion of the Storey delegation.

Mr. Clagett hoped the amendments would be rejected and Mr. Elliott's motion agreed to, and in his remarks called attention to the fact that Ormsby county made a written pledge last year that she would furnish free halls to the Legislature from and after that session—but had violated her pledge, inasmuch as those same County Commissioners have charged and received $500 for the halls now being used by the Assembly.

Mr. Dixson did not want things rushed so—he wanted things printed; he didn't know anything about things, and he wanted time to gain information. He couldn't see what members meant by springing things in this way. [Emotion, indicative of the distress which a Lander member with his heart in Ormsby must naturally feel when he sees an attempt made to ravish Carson against her will.]

Mr. Dixson sat down weeping, and snuffling, and wiping his nose on his coat sleeve. [That's a joke of mine—he had a handkerchief with him.—MARK.]

Mr. Tennant called for the reading of Ormsby's pledge, and Mr. Clagett got it from Mr. Calder, and read it.

Mr. Stewart made an eloquent appeal in behalf of Ormsby county, and moved as a substitute to the three or four motions already before the House, that the bill be referred to a special committee, to consist of one member from each county, with instructions to report to-morrow morning. Carried; on a division—ayes 13, noes 4.

The Speaker appointed the committee as follows: Messrs. Clagett, Stewart, Curler, Dean, Elliott, Gove, McDonald, Tennant and Partridge.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 17

[Dallam, of the Carson Independent, makes a full and unqualified apology to me this morning—an entire column of it. He says he was not in his right mind at the time, and hardly ever is. Now, when a man comes out like that, and owns up with such pleasant candor, I think I ought to accept his apology. Consequently, we will call it square. It is flattering to me to observe that Dallam's editorials display great ability this morning, and that the paper shows an extraordinary degree of improvement in every respect. A becoming modesty should characterize us all—it is not for me to say who the credit is due to for the improvements mentioned. I only say I am glad to see the Independent looking healthy and vigorous again.—MARK.]


Mr. Stewart presented a petition, signed by most of the responsible citizens of Ormsby, he said, setting forth that it had just come to a knowledge of the fact that the Ormsby Commissioners had pledged free Legislative Halls, and violated that pledge. The petitioners promise that the rent money shall be at once refunded.

Mr. Stewart also presented a communication from the Secretary of the Territory acknowledging the receipt of the full amount of the rent money ($500) as paid over to him by the petitioners yesterday.

Mr. Stewart moved the reference of the two documents to the Special Committee on removal of the Capital.

Mr. McDonald objected that the Committee spoken of were ready now to report, according to instructions. He moved to lay the papers on the table, to be taken up at pleasure. Carried.


Mr. Stewart rose to a question of privilege, and spoke at considerable length upon two editorials in the ENTERPRISE in relation to the removal of the capital, and a communication upon the same subject in the same paper, written by one "Looker-On," but whom Mr. Stewart, with ghastly humor and with relentless and malignant irony, persisted in calling "Looker On or Hanger-On, I don't know which!" He said the Gasherie bill for supporting Ormsby county paupers, and which expense the Territory was asked to pay, only amounted to $877, instead of the large amount stated by the writer of the article!

[The amount being less, don't you see, the principle is not the same. Of course. Certainly. Wherefore? Why not? The gentleman's question of privilege was well taken. As long as the paupers did not cost, or propose to cost the Territory much, it was impertinent in a newspaper to mention it. That is the way Mr. Stewart and I look at it.—MARK.]

Mr. Stewart said the balance of the money was cash paid out of Mr. Gasherie's own pocket in the catching of Territorial criminals, and of course as anybody would willingly acknowledge, it was the Territory's place to pay it.

Mr. Clagett, from the Special Committee on the removal of the capital, presented a majority report favoring the removal.

Mr. Stewart, from the same committee, presented a minority report recommending the indefinite postponement of the bill.

Mr. Dixson moved the reference of both reports to Committee of the Whole.

Mr. McDonald moved to amend by accepting the majority report.

On a division, Mr. Dixson's motion prevailed—13 to 11.

Mr. Clagett called for the reading of the amendments recommended by the majority report, which was done. [Stipulates that Virginia shall also furnish Supreme Court rooms and Clerk's offices for five years.—REP.]

Mr. Stewart moved that the Ormsby petition and the communication from the Secretary of the Territory be referred to Committee of the Whole. Carried.

Mr. Barclay moved a re-consideration of the vote by which the bill and the above documents were referred to Committee of the Whole. Lost by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Clagett, Curler, Elliott, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Requa, Tennant, Ungar—11

NOES-Messrs. Brumfield, Calder, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones, Phillips, Stewart, Trask, Mr. Speaker—13.

Mr. Elliott moved that the Capital Bill be made the special order for tomorrow morning at 11 A.M. Lost by the following vote (required a two-thirds vote to carry):

AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Calder, Clagett, Elliott, Fisher, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Phillips, Requa, Tennant, Ungar and Mr. Speaker—14.

NOES—Messrs. Brumfield, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones, Stewart and Trask—10.

Mr. Brumfield moved to change the time to 12 o'clock Saturday night (the moment when the Legislature adjourns finally).

Mr. Clagett opposed the motion.

Lost, by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Brumfield, Dean, Dixson, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones, Stewart—9.

NOES—Messrs. Barclay, Calder, Clagett, Curler, Elliott, Fisher, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Phillips, Requa, Tennant, Trask, Ungar, Mr. Speaker—16.

Mr. Clagett said that in order to stop this frittering away of valuable time, and in order to get a test vote, he would move that the bill be considered engrossed and ordered to a third reading. Carried by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Brumfield, Calder, Curler, Clagett, Elliott, Fisher, Gillespie, Gove, Heaton, Hunter, Jones, McDonald, Nelson, Phillips, Requa, Stewart, Tennant, Trask, Ungar—20.

NOES—Messrs. Dean, Dixson, Hess, Mr. Speaker—4.

Mr. McDonald moved that the bill be read by title only. Carried.


The bill was accordingly read a third time by title, and finally passed, by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Calder, Clagett, Curler, Elliott, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Requa, Tennant, Ungar and Mr. Speaker—13.

NOES—Messrs. Brumfield, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones, Phillips, Stewart and Trask—11.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 18, 1864


Mr. Calder, according to previous notice, moved a reconsideration of the vote of yesterday, by which the Capital bill passed. He said his objections had been removed by the bond submitted by Mr. Stewart.

Mr. Clagett spoke at some length on the subject, in demonstration of the fact that a bond could not be drawn under such circumstances that would be valid and binding.

Mr. Brumfield replied rather warmly. In reply to the old argument about newspaper criticism which could be brought to bear on the Legislature if the Capital were in Virginia, he was especially bitter on the Bulletin—said he supposed it would be the favorite—that paper which was to have been teeming with mining taxation articles to-day, but was silent—had been purchased again, doubtless. As for the advantage a community might derive from the presence of the Capital, he couldn't appreciate the proposition; he didn't want the Capital at Virginia; he was going there to live, and he didn't want to be bothered with it. As to buying the Capital with the bond now before the House, neither Ormsby county nor the Legislature had a right to buy and sell the Capital.

After some further debate, Mr. Gillespie moved the previous question, which motion prevailed, and discussion was blockaded.

The motion to reconsider was then put and lost [!—REP.] by the following tie vote [clinching the thing as far as the House is concerned].

AYES—Messrs. Brumfield, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Hess, Hunter, Jones, Phillips, Stewart and Trask—1l

NOES—Messrs. Calder, Clagett, Curler, Elliott, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Tennant, Ungar and Mr. Speaker—11.

ABSENT—Mr. Requa—don't know whether he dodged or not.


After the above bully proceedings, and on motion of Mr. McDonald, the House took a recess until 2:30 P.M.

Thursday Afternoon

The Sergeant-at-Arms brought in Messrs. Dean, Phillips, Tennant, Jones, Gillespie and Ungar.

Mr. Dean had been talking over family matters. Mr. Phillips had been engineering a lawsuit. Mr. Tennant had been on committee business. Messrs. Jones and Gillespie were playing billiards, and Mr. Ungar's child was sick and he had been playing marbles with her.

Mr. Brumfield moved that Mr. Ungar be granted leave of absence to continue playing marbles with her. [Laughter.]

A motion to fine Mr. Gillespie a box of cigars for engaging in the unholy practice of playing billiards, was lost by a tie vote 10 to 10 [notwithstanding that youth has a remittance at Wells Fargo's from his creditors in Virginia, and which he denied the same.—MARK. ]

The absentees were all excused.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864


Friday afternoon

CARSON, February 19

Mr. Gillespie moved to reduce the Sergeant-at-Arms' salary to $9 per day, and strike out that portion which gives the reporters $7 per day.

Mr. Barclay said Mr. Gillespie was not so economical when he presented his own bill. Mr. Fisher said he ought to remember the verse,

"The mercy I to others show,

That mercy show to me."

Considering the mercy shown him by the House, his opposition comes with a bad grace from him.

[I feel called upon to observe that Mr. Gillespie got huffy—I would prefer to call it by a milder term, but I cannot conscientiously do so. Mr. Gillespie got huffy.—REP.]

After some further debate, Mr. Gillespie explained that there was no vindictiveness in him—all his motives were dictated from on high—from on high, sir!—[Tremendous applause.] He went on and made further and even more aggravatedly absurd remarks. Mr. Barclay said it was customary to pay the reporters.

Mr. Gillespie's motion in relation to the reporters was lost, by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Clagett, Gillespie, Hess, Hunter, Nelson, Phillips, Tennant and Trask—8. NOES—Messrs. Barclay, Brumfield, Calder, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Heaton, Jones, McDonald, Stewart, Ungar and Mr. Speaker—15.


CARSON, February 19


Mr. Daggett moved that the Capital bill be taken from the table. Mr. Coddington moved that the bill be indefinitely postponed.

Upon the latter's motion a lengthy discussion ensued. Mr. Daggett opposing, and Messrs. Curry, Coddington, Sturtevant, Negus and Hall supporting it.

Mr. Curry presented a communication from certain citizens of Carson City, binding themselves in the sum of $20,000, to furnish suitable halls and rooms for the Legislature and Territorial offices free of cost, provided that the Capital be allowed to remain at Carson City, while Nevada remained a Territory.

At the close of the debate, the motion to indefinitely postpone was carried by the following vote:

AYES—Messrs. Coddington, Curry, Negus, Sturtevant, Waldron, Mr. President.

NOES—Messrs. Daggett, Flagg, Sheldon, Thompson.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 20

The Chaplain not being present, Mr. Fisher suggested that the Virginia reporter be requested to officiate in his place.

By courtesy of the House, the Virginia reporter was allowed to explain that he was not on it. [Excused.]

Mr. Phillips moved a call of the House. Carried.

Mr. Gillespie was produced before the bar of the House.

Mr. Brumfield moved, as the heaviest punishment that could be inflicted upon him, that he be denied the comfort of making a single motion for the space of an hour. [Laughter.]

Mr. Barclay moved that he be fined $5, and the same be paid to the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Mr. Phillips moved to amend by contributing the money to the Sanitary Fund.

The motions were lost.

Messrs. Dixson and Hunter were brought in and fined a box of cigars each.

The Sergeant-at-Arms said Mr. Clagett was sick in bed.

The Speaker said he must come anyhow.

Mr. Fisher wanted the editor of the Independent sent for. [Laughter.]

The Speaker said he did not think Mr. Clagett needed purging. [Laughter.]

Mr. Heaton came forward and was excused.


Mr. Stewart gave notice of an act to permanently locate the Capital on the South side of Capt. Pray's saw mill on Lake Tahoe, in Douglas county. [Sensation.]

[But nothing further appears in the record concerning this proposed bill.—H. N. S.]

A Message was received from the Council asking the return of the bill for the removal of the Capital. [Another of those grave Council jokes—REP.]

In view of these portentous symptoms, a call of the House was ordered.

After calling the roll, Mr. Stewart moved that further proceedings under the call be dispensed with.

The Chair decided the motion carried.

A motion to indefinitely postpone the Council message was lost—ayes 9, noes 1l.

The motion to comply with the Council's request, carried—ayes 11, noes 8. [Confusion and contention—so to speak. The vote was even taken over again, with the following result: ]

AYES—Messrs. Barclay, Calder, Clagett, Elliott, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Tennant, Ungar and Mr. Speaker—11.

NOES—Messrs. Brumfield, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Hunter, Jones, Phillips, Stewart and Trask—11.

Mr. Speaker pro tem.—Mr. Fisher—decided the motion lost.

Mr. Barclay wished to remind our worthy reporter that he didn't dodge the question this time. [His head is right. I cannot even swear that he dodged it before, with malice aforethought. Good authority says his absence before was unavoidable. I believe it. A man who votes as firmly as Mr. Barclay does for reporters against log-rolling members, would be apt to stick to his points upon all occasions when the same was possible. How's that?—REP.]

Saturday Afternoon

Council bill to amend the Act to prohibit gambling. The bill was read. [The Clerk pronounces the names of all games glibly, and without any perceptible foreign accent.—REP.]

Saturday Night

[Mr. Stewart drew his everlasting toll-road on the House again. This has been the old regular result of every five minutes idleness to-day.—REP.]


The institution resolved itself into a respectable body, as expressed in the above heading.

Mr. Thos. Hannah was elected assistant Clerk, and came forward and took the oath.

Mr. Clagett introduced a voluminous bill for the relief of certain citizens of Ormsby county. [It appropriates Curry's Warm Springs—gives it to these parties as a franchise for a swimming school—and—never mind, I will cease reporting and listen to the fun.—REP.]

[The Independent of this morning touched upon Mr. Clagett's seeming repugnance to the use of the comb. On this hint, Mr. Barclay and other members of the House, had procured a prodigious wooden comb and conferred upon your servant the honor of presenting it.—REP.]

Mr. Mark Twain inquired if testimonials were still in order, and received an affirmative reply from the Speaker. He arose in his place and addressed Mr. Clagett as follows—[Never mind publishing it again. I had no speech prepared, and therefore I was obliged to infringe upon etiquette to some extent—that is to say, I had to take Mr. Fisher's speech (apologizing to that gentleman, of course) and read it to Mr. Clagett, merely saying "comb" where the word "cane" occurred, and "legislator" in the place of "parliamentarian," and slinging in a few "as it weres," and "so to speaks," etc., to add grace and vigor to the composition. I think I must be a pretty good reader—the audience appeared to admire Fisher's speech more when I delivered it than they did when he delivered it himself.]

Mr. Clagett received the testimonial, and replied felicitously—as he is wont to do. He concluded by saying it was a college practice to give the ugliest student a penknife, with instructions to give it to a man uglier than himself, if he should ever find one. He liked the idea—he thought it his duty to confer the comb upon some person whose hair needed its offices more than his own. [He passed it over to Mr. Hunter, of Washoe. Applause and Laughter.]

Baskets of wine were now brought in, with the compliments of Theodore Winters, President of the Washoe Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society, and the House rested awhile to drink health and prosperity to that gentleman.

Shortly after, other baskets were produced, per order, and at the expense of the Speaker, and the operation of drinking was further continued.


Mr. Hunter, by request, came forward and read a long, solemn, magnificent, hifalutin memorial about the mines, religion, chemistry, social etiquette, agriculture, and other matter proper to a document of this kind. The House applauded tempestuously—and laughed. They laughed immoderately. Why they did it, I cannot imagine, for I never heard an essay like this one before in my life. Now that is honest. Mr. Hunter finally got angry and refused to finish reading the discourse, but when it was explained to him that only lobby members had been laughing all the time he was satisfied of course. I would like to hear the memorial read in Virginia.

Mr. Stewart, from the special Committee, reported that the Governor had no further communications to make.

Mr. Elliott offered a resolution that the House adjourn sine die at 11:30 P.M.

Mr. McDonald, true to his old regular motion [to adjourn] moved to amend by making the hour 12 P.M. The motion prevailed.

And from this time until midnight, fun ran high.

At 12 P.M. Mr. Speaker declared the House adjourned sine die.

The members went up to the Governor's and had a good time for an hour. The old man is as competent as any that walks, to make an evening pass pleasantly. Wine, music, anecdotes and sentiments composed the programme.

At 2 A.M. the exhilarated members closed the frolic by serenading the Speaker, at the White House.

Territorial Enterprise, April 20, 1864


Our time-honored confrere, Dan, met with a disastrous accident, yesterday, while returning from American City on a vicious Spanish horse, the result of which accident is that at the present writing he is confined to his bed and suffering great bodily pain. He was coming down the road at the rate of a hundred miles an hour (as stated in his will, which he made shortly after the accident,) and on turning a sharp corner, he suddenly hove in sight of a horse standing square across the channel; he signaled for the starboard, and put his helm down instantly, but too late, after all; he was swinging to port, and before he could straighten down, he swept like an avalanche against the transom of the strange craft; his larboard knee coming in contact with the rudder-post of the adversary, Dan was wrenched from his saddle and thrown some three hundred yards (according to his own statement, made in his will, above mentioned,) alighting upon solid ground, and bursting himself open from the chin to the pit of the stomach. His head was also caved in out of sight, and his hat was afterwards extracted in a bloody and damaged condition from between his lungs; he must have bounced end-for-end after he struck first, because it is evident he received a concussion from the rear that broke his heart; one of his legs was jammed up in his body nearly to his throat, and the other so torn and mutilated that it pulled out when they attempted to lift him into the hearse which we had sent to the scene of the disaster, under the general impression that he might need it; both arms were indiscriminately broken up until they were jointed like a bamboo; the back was considerably fractured and bent into the shape of a rail fence. Aside from these injuries, however, he sustained no other damage. They brought some of him home in the hearse and the balance on a dray. His first remark showed that the powers of his great mind had not been impaired by the accident, nor his profound judgment destroyed—he said he wouldn't have cared a d—n if it had been anybody but himself. He then made his will, after which he set to work with that earnestness and singleness of purpose which have always distinguished him, to abuse the assemblage of anxious hash house proprietors who had called on business, and to repudiate their bills with his customary promptness and impartiality. Dan may have exaggerated the above details in some respects, but he charged us to report them thus, and it is a source of genuine pleasure to us to have the opportunity of doing it. Our noble old friend is recovering fast, and what is left of him will be around the Brewery again to-day, just as usual.

Territorial Enterprise, April 1864


[by Dan De Quille]

Some three days since, in returning to this city from American Flat, we had the misfortune to be thrown from a fiery untamed steed of Spanish extraction—a very strong extract, too. Our knee was sprained by our fall and we were for a day or two confined to our room—of course knowing little of what was going on in the great world outside. Mark Twain, our confrere and room-mate, a man in whom we trusted, was our only visitor during our seclusion. We saw some actions of his that almost caused us to suspect him of contemplating treachery towards us, but it was not until we regained in some degree the use of our maimed limb that we discovered the full extent—the infamousness of this wretch's treasonable and inhuman plottings. He wrote such an account of our accident as would lead the public to believe that we were injured beyond all hope of recovery. The next day he tied a small piece of second-hand crape about his hat, and putting on a lugubrious look, went to the Probate Court, and getting down on his knees commenced praying—it was the first time he ever prayed for anything or to anybody—for letters of administration on our estate. Before going to the Court to pray he had stuffed the principal part of our estate—consisting of numerous shares in the Pewterinctum—into his vest pocket; also had secured our tooth-brush and had been using it a whole day. He had on our only clean shirt and best socks, also was sporting our cane and smoking our meerschaum. But what most showed his heartlessness and utter depravity was the disposition he made of our boots and coat. When we missed these we applied to Marshall Cooke. The Marshall said he thought he could find them for us. He went on to say that for sometime past he had noticed the existence of a suspicious intimacy between Twain and a nigger saloon keeper, who had a dead-fall on North B street. Proceeding to this palace he found that he was correct in his conjecture. Twain had taken our boots and coat to the darkey, and traded them off for a bottle of vile whiskey, with which he got drunk; and when the police were about to snatch him for drunkenness, he commenced blubbering, saying that he was "overcome for the untimely death of poor Dan." By this dodge he escaped the lock-up, but if he does not shortly give up our Pewtertinctum stock—which is of fabulous vale—shell out our tooth-brush and take off our socks and best shirt, he will not so easily escape the Territorial prison.

P. S.—We have just learned that he stole the crape he tied about his hat from the door knob of Three's engine house, South B street.

Territorial Enterprise, April 1864


[by Dan DeQuille]

We may have said some harsh things of Mark Twain, but now we take them all back. We feel like weeping for him—yes, we would fall on his breast and mingle our tears with his'n. But that manly shirt front of his air now a bloody one, and his nose is swollen to such an extent that to fall on his breast would be an utter impossibility.

Yesterday, he brought back all our things and promised us that he intended hereafter to lead a virtuous life. This was in the forenoon; in the afternoon he commenced the career of virtue he had marked out for himself and took a first lesson in boxing. Once he had the big gloves on, he imagined that he weighed a ton and could whip his weight in Greek-fire. He waded into a professor of the "manly art" like one of Howlan's rotary batteries, and the professor, in a playful way he has, when he wants to take the conceit out of forward pupils, let one fly straight out from the shoulder and "busted" Mr. Twain in the "snoot," sending him reeling—not exactly to grass, but across a bench—with two bountiful streams of "claret" spouting from his nostrils. At first his nose was smashed out till it covered nearly the whole of his face and then looked like a large piece of tripe, but it was finally scraped into some resemblance of a nose, when he rushed away for surgical advice. Pools of gore covered the floor of the Club Room where he fought, and he left a bloody trail for half a mile through the city. It is estimated that he lost several hogsheads of blood in all. He procured a lot of sugar of lead and other cooling lotions and spent the balance of the day in applying them with towels and sponges.

After dark, he ventured forth with his nose swollen to the size of several junk bottles—a vast, inflammed and pulpy old snoot—to get advice about having it amputated. None of his friends recognize him now, and he spends his time in solitude, contemplating his ponderous vermillion smeller in a two-bit mirror, which he bought for that purpose. We cannot comfort him, for we know his nose will never be a nose again. It always was somewhat lopsided; now it is a perfect lump of blubber. Since the above was in type, the doctors have decided to amputate poor Mark Twain's smeller. A new one is to be made for him of a quarter of veal.

Territorial Enterprise, April 28, 1864


Carson City, April 25

EDS. ENTERPRISE: The road from Virginia to Carson—as traveled by Wilson's coaches—is in excellent condition, the same being neither muddy nor very dusty. The stages do not even stop to rest on the chalk hill.

We came by the penitentiary, but I did not consider it worth while to stop at the institution more than a few minutes, inasmuch as I had been in it before. Bob Howland, the Warden, was at his post, and I had sufficient confidence in him to leave him there. He is probably there yet. N.B.—When you journey in this direction, stop at the penitentiary and examine the native silver fish on exhibition there in the aquarium. They are caught in the Warm Springs. They are very like gold-fish, only they are longer, and not so wide, and are white instead of yellow, and also differ from gold-fish to some extent in the respect that they do not resemble them. This description may sound a little incoherent, but then I have set it down just as I got it from Bob Howland, in whom I have every confidence. Mr. Curry is erecting a handsome stone edifice at the Warm Springs, to be used as a hotel.

I heard in the stage, and also since I arrived here, that an organized effort will shortly be made to rescue Jaynes, the murderer, from the Storey county jail. Whether it be true or not, it will not be amiss to put the officers on their guard with a hint.

The Supreme Court began its session here to-day, and adjourned over until to-morrow, after hearing arguments for a new trial of Johnson for killing Horace Smith. The ground upon which a new trial is sought, is that some testimony was admitted upon the first trial in the District Court which should have been ruled out. I have spoken with District Attorney Corson on the subject, and he thinks the movement for a rehearing will not succeed. From present appearances, I think Alderman Earl will hold his seat for some time yet (if the sacred ambition to sit in a high place in spite of law and gospel to the contrary shall continue to animate him), as it has already been decided to submit his case, through the District and City Attorneys, to the District Court, and the long session now anticipated for the Supreme Court, will doubtless delay his trial for some time. It would have been better, wouldn't it, for the Council to have declared his seat vacant, and allowed him to take legal steps for its restitution himself?

Governor Nye has not yet returned. It is said he will start back to Carson to-morrow.

Acting-Governor Clemens made a requisition upon H. F. Rice, Esq., a day or two since, for offices for the Secretary of the Territory, rent-free, in accordance with the contract entered into by certain citizens during the late session of the Legislature when the subject of removing the Capital to Virginia was agitated. The requisition was duly honored, and in the course of the week, handsome offices will be fitted up in the second story of the north end of the county buildings for the use of the Secretary and his clerks.

Mr. Colburn, or Coleman, or whatever his name is—the young man with a penchant for trying unique experiments, and who was accused of committing a rape on an infant here three years ago—is in trouble again. A young girl who alleges that he seduced her in California some time ago, is over here suing him for damages in the Probate Court.

Your carrier here neglects some of his subscribers as often as two or three times a week, sometimes, or else his papers are stolen after he leaves them. Let the matter be attended to—the people hunger after Dan's intellectual rubbish.

The ladies gave a festival here last Friday for the benefit of my chronic brick church. The net proceeds amounted to upwards of $500, and will be applied to furnishing the edifice, which is still in a high state of preservation, and is gradually but surely becoming really ornamental. That is the church for the benefit of which I delivered a Governor's message once, and consequently I still take a religious interest in its welfare. I could sling a strong prayer for its prosperity, occasionally, if I thought it would do any good. However, perhaps it wouldn't—it would certainly be taking chances anyhow.

The ladies are making extraordinary preparations for a grand fancy-dress ball, to come off in the county buildings here on the 5th of May, for the benefit of the great St. Louis Sanitary Fair. The most pecuniary results are anticipated from it, and I imagine, from the interest that is being taken in the matter, the ladies of Gold Hill had better be looking to their laurels, lest the fame of their recent brilliant effort in the Sanitary line be dimmed somewhat by the financial achievements of this forthcoming ball.

The infernal telegraph monopoly saddled upon this Territory by the last Legislature, in the passage of that infamous special Humboldt telegraph bill, and afterwards clinched by a still more rascally enactment on the same occasion, is bearing its fruits, and the people here, as well as at Virginia, are beginning to wince under illegal and exorbitant telegraphic charges. They double the tariff allowed by law, and a man has to submit to the imposition, because he cannot afford the time and trouble of going to law for a trifle of five or ten dollars, notwithstanding the comfort and satisfaction he would derive from worrying the monopolists. The moment that law received the Governor's signature last winter, you will recollect the Telegraph Company doubled their prices for dispatches to and from San Francisco. And that is not the worst they have done, if common report be true. This common report says the telegraph is used by its owners to aid them in stock gambling schemes. I recollect that on the night the jury went out in the Savage and North Potosi case and failed to agree, our San Francisco dispatch failed to come to hand, and the reason assigned was that a dispatch of 3,000 words was being sent from Virginia to San Francisco and the line could not be used for other messages. Now that Telegraph Company may have made money by trading in North Potosi on that occasion, but who is young enough to believe they ever got two dollars and a half for that voluminous imaginary dispatch? That telegraph is a humbug. The Company are allowed to charge $3.50 for the first ten words across the continent, and must submit to a considerable deduction on longer dispatches—but they take the liberty of increasing that rate some thirty-five per cent, and people have to put up with it. Colonel Cradlebaugh tells me that last year, when he was a delegate at Washington from this Territory, they always charged him more for dispatches sent here than if they went through to California. The Government pays the Overland Telegraph Company $40,000 a year, with the understanding that Government messages are to pass over the lines free of charge—but I know of several dispatches of this character that were not permitted to leave the telegraph offices until they were paid for. It is properly the District Attorney's business to look after these telegraphic speculators, and that officer ought to be reminded of the fact. The next Grand Jury here will endeavor to make it interesting to the Telegraph Company.

Gillespie's monument—the ratty old Agricultural Fair shanty—still rears its ghastly form in the plaza, and serves to remind me of that statesman's extraordinary career in the House of Representatives. It consisted in saving to his country the usual, but extravagant sum of eight or ten dollars a day extra pay to Legislative reporters, and in making a speech in favor of the Sierra Seminary bill which had the effect of killing that really worthy measure. All through the session Gillespie was mighty handy about smashing the life out of any little incipient law that he chose to befriend, with one of his calamitous speeches. His vote was patent, too; his "nay" invariably passed a bill, and his "aye" was the deadest thing! [My language may be unrefined, but it has the virtue of being uncommonly strong.] But that monument in the plaza looks as hungry as Gillespie does himself, and much more unsightly, and I look for one of them to eat the other some day, if they ever get close enough together.

I depart for Silver Mountain in the Esmeralda stage at 7 o'clock to-morrow morning. It is the early bird that catches the worm, but I would not get up at that time in the morning for a thousand worms, if I were not obliged to.


Territorial Enterprise, April 28 or 30, 1864

[fragment of original]


The idea of a plebeian like Dan supposing he could ever ride a horse! He! why, even the cats and the chickens laughed when they saw him go by. Of course, he would be thrown off. Of course, any well-bred horse wouldn't let a common, underbred person like Dan stay on his back! When they gathered him up he was just a bag of scraps, but they put him together, and you'll find him at his old place in the Enterprise office next week, still laboring under the delusion that he's a newspaper man.

Territorial Enterprise, May 1—May 15, 1864



"DEAR SIR:—My object in writing to you is to have you give me a full history of Nevada: What is the character of its climate? What are the productions of the earth? Is it healthy? What diseases do they die of mostly? Do you think it would be advisable for a man who can make a living in Missouri to emigrate to that part of the country? There are several of us who would emigrate there in the spring if we could ascertain to a certainty that it is a much better country than this. I suppose you know Joel H. Smith? He used to live here; he lives in Nevada now; they say he owns considerable in a mine there. Hoping to hear from you soon, etc., I remain yours, truly,

WILLIAM _____.

DEAREST WILLIAM:—Pardon my familiarity—but that name touchingly reminds me of the loved and lost, whose name was similar. I have taken the contract to answer your letter, and although we are now strangers, I feel we shall cease to be so if we ever become acquainted with each other. The thought is worthy of attention, William. I will now respond to your several propositions in the order in which you have fulminated them.

Your object in writing is to have me give you a full history of Nevada. The flattering confidence you repose in me, William, is only equalled by the modesty of your request. I could detail the history of Nevada in five hundred pages octavo, but as you have never done me any harm, I will spare you, though it will be apparent to everybody that I would be justified in taking advantage of you if I were a mind to do it. However, I will condense. Nevada was discovered many years ago by the Mormons, and was called Carson county. It only became Nevada in 1861, by act of Congress. There is a popular tradition that God Almighty created it; but when you come to see it, William, you will think differently. Do not let that discourage you, though. The country looks something like a singed cat, owing to the scarcity of shrubbery, and also resembles that animal in the respect that it has more merits than its personal appearance would seem to indicate. The Grosch brothers found the first silver lead here in 1857. They also founded Silver City, I believe. (Observe the subtle joke, William.) But the "history" of Nevada which you demand, properly begins with the discovery of the Comstock lead, which event happened nearly five years ago. The opinion now prevailing in the East that the Comstock is on the Gould & Curry is erroneous; on the contrary, the Gould & Curry is on the Comstock. Please make the correction, William. Signify to your friends, also, that all the mines here do not pay dividends as yet; you may make this statement with the utmost unyielding inflexibility—it will not be contradicted from this quarter. The population of this Territory is about 35,000, one half of which number reside in the united cities of Virginia and Gold Hill. However, I will discontinue this history for the present, lest I get you too deeply interested in this distant land and cause you to neglect your family or your religion. But I will address you again upon the subject next year. In the meantime, allow me to answer your inquiry as to the character of our climate.

It has no character to speak of, William, and alas! in this respect it resembles many, ah, too many chambermaids in this wretched, wretched world. Sometimes we have the seasons in their regular order, and then again we have winter all the summer and summer all winter. Consequently, we have never yet come across an almanac that would just exactly fit this latitude. It is mighty regular about not raining, though, William. It will start in here in November and rain about four, and sometimes as much as seven days on a stretch; after that, you may loan out your umbrella for twelve months, with the serene confidence which a Christian feels in four aces. Sometimes the winter begins in November and winds up in June; and sometimes there is a bare suspicion of winter in March and April, and summer all the balance of the year. But as a general thing, William, the climate is good, what there is of it.

What are the productions of the earth? You mean in Nevada, of course. On our ranches here, anything can be raised that can be produced on the fertile fields of Missouri. But ranches are very scattering—as scattering, perhaps, as lawyers in heaven. Nevada, for the most part, is a barren waste of sand, embellished with melancholy sage-brush, and fenced in with snow clad mountains. But these ghastly features were the salvation of the land, William, for no rightly constituted American would have ever come here if the place had been easy of access, and none of our pioneers would have staid after they got here if they had not felt satisfied that they could not find a smaller chance for making a living anywhere else. Such is man, William, as he crops out in America.

"Is it healthy?" Yes, I think it is as healthy here as it is in any part of the West. But never permit a question of that kind to vegetate in your brain, William, because as long as providence has an eye on you, you will not be likely to die until your time comes.

"What diseases do they die of mostly?" Well, they used to die of conical balls and cold steel, mostly, but here lately erysipelas and the intoxicating bowl have got the bulge on those things, as was very justly remarked by Mr. Rising last Sunday. I will observe, for your information, William, that Mr. Rising is our Episcopal minister, and has done as much as any man among us to redeem this community from its pristine state of semi-barbarism. We are afflicted with all the diseases incident to the same latitude in the States, I believe, with one or two added and half a dozen subtracted on account of our superior altitude. However, the doctors are about as successful here, both in killing and curing, as they are anywhere.

Now, as to whether it would be advisable for a man who can make a living in Missouri to emigrate to Nevada, I confess I am somewhat mixed. If you are not content in your present condition, it naturally follows that you would be entirely satisfied if you could make either more or less than a living. You would exult in the cheerful exhilaration always produced by a change. Well, you can find your opportunity here, where, if you retain your health, and are sober and industrious, you will inevitably make more than a living, and if you don't you won't. You can rely upon this statement, William. It contemplates any line of business except the selling of tracts. You cannot sell tracts here, William; the people take no interest in tracts; the very best efforts in the tract line—even with pictures on them—have met with no encouragement here. Besides, the newspapers have been interfering; a man gets his regular text or so from the Scriptures in his paper, along with the stock sales and the war news, every day, now. If you are in the tract business, William, take no chances on Washoe; but you can succeed at anything else here.

"I suppose you know Joel H. Smith?" Well—the fact is—I believe I don't. Now isn't that singular? Isn't it very singular? And he owns "considerable" in a mine here, too. Happy man. Actually owns in a mine here in Nevada Territory, and I never even heard of him. Strange—strange—do you know, William, it is the strangest thing that ever happened to me? And then he not only owns in a mine, but owns "consider able;" that is the strangest part about it—how a man could own considerable in a mine in Washoe and I not know anything about it. He is a lucky dog, though. But I strongly suspect that you have made a mistake in the name; I am confident you have; you mean John Smith—I know you do; I know it from the fact that he owns considerable in a mine here, because I sold him the property at a ruinous sacrifice on the very day he arrived here from over the plains. That man will be rich one of these days. I am just as well satisfied of it as I am of any precisely similar instance of the kind that has come under my notice. I said as much to him yesterday, and he said he was satisfied of it, also. But he did not say it with that air of triumphant exultation which a heart like mine so delights to behold in one to whom I have endeavored to be a benefactor in a small way. He looked pensive a while, but, finally, says he, "Do you know, I think I'd a been a rich man long ago if they'd ever found the d—d ledge?" That was my idea about it. I always thought, and I still think, that if they ever do find that ledge, his chances will be better than they are now. I guess Smith will be all right one of these centuries, if he keeps up his assessments—he is a young man yet. Now, William, I have taken a liking to you, and I would like to sell you "considerable" in a mine in Washoe. I think I could get you a commanding interest in the "Union," Gold Hill, on easy terms. It is just the same as the "Yellow Jacket," which is one of the richest mines in the Territory. The title was in dispute between the two companies some two years ago, but that is all settled now. Let me hear from you on the subject. Greenbacks at par is as good a thing as I want. But seriously, William, don't you ever invest in a mining stock which you don't know anything about; beware of John Smith's experience.

You hope to hear from me soon? Very good. I shall also hope to hear from you soon, about that little matter above referred to. Now, William, ponder this epistle well; never mind the sarcasm, here and there, and the nonsense, but reflect upon the plain facts set forth, because they are facts, and are meant to be so understood and believed.

Remember me affectionately to your friends and relations, and especially to your venerable grand-mother, with whom I have not the pleasure to be acquainted—but that is of no consequence, you know. I have been in your town many a time, and all the towns of the neighboring counties—the hotel keepers will recollect me vividly. Remember me to them—I bear them no animosity.

Yours, affectionately,


Territorial Enterprise, May 24, 1864


[ I ]


Saturday, May 21, 1864

JAMES LAIRD, ESQ.—Sir: In your paper of the present date appeared two anonymous articles, in which a series of insults were leveled at the writer of an editorial in Thursday's ENTERPRISE, headed "How is it?—How it is." I wrote that editorial.

Some time since it was stated in the Virginia Union that its proprietors were alone responsible for all articles published in its columns. You being the proper person, by seniority, to apply to in cases of this kind, I demand of you a public retraction of the insulting articles I have mentioned, or satisfaction. I require an immediate answer to this note. The bearer of this—Mr. Stephen Gillis—will receive any communication you may see fit to make.


[ II ]


VIRGINIA, May 21, 1864

SAMUEL CLEMENS, ESQ.—Mr. James Laird has just handed me your note of this date. Permit me to say that I am the author of the Article appearing in this morning's Union. I am responsible for it. I have nothing to retract. Respectfully,


[ III ]


Saturday Evening, May 21, 1864

JAMES LAIRD, ESQ.—Sir:—I wrote you a note this afternoon demanding a published retraction of insults that appeared in two Articles in the Union of this morning—or satisfaction. I have since received what purports to be a reply, written by a person who signs himself "J. W. Wilmington," in which he assumes the authorship and responsibility of one of said infamous articles. Mr. Wilmington is a person entirely unknown to me in the matter, and has nothing to do with it. In the columns of your paper you have declared your own responsibility for all articles appearing in it, and any farther attempt to make a catspaw of any other individual and thus shirk a responsibility that you had previously assumed will show that you are a cowardly sneak. I now peremptorily demand of you the satisfaction due to a gentleman—without alternative.


[ IV ]


VIRGINIA, Saturday evening, May 21st, 1864

SAM'L. CLEMENS, ESQ:—Your note of this evening is received. To the first portion of it I will briefly reply, that Mr. J. W. Wilmington, the avowed author of the article to which you object, is a gentleman now in the employ of the Union office. He formerly was one of the proprietors of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He was Captain of a Company in the Sixth Ohio Regiment, and fought at Shiloh. His responsibility and character can be vouched for to your abundant satisfaction.

For all editorials appearing in the Union, the proprietors are personally responsible; for communications, they hold themselves ready, when properly called upon, either to give the name and address of the author, or failing that, to be themselves responsible.

The editorial in the ENTERPRISE headed "How is it?" out of which this controversy grew, was an attack made upon the printers of the Union. It was replied to by a Union printer, and a representative of the printers, who in a communication denounced the writer of that article as a liar, a poltroon and a puppy. You announce yourself as the writer of the article which provoked this communication, and demand "satisfaction"—which satisfaction the writer informs you, over his own signature, he is quite ready to afford. I have no right, under the rulings of the code you have invoked, to step in and assume Mr. Wilmington's position, nor would he allow me to do so. You demand of me, in your last letter, the satisfaction due to a gentleman, and couple the demand with offensive remarks. When you have earned the right to the title by complying with the usual custom, I shall be most happy to afford you any satisfaction you desire at any time and in any place. In short, Mr. Wilmington has a prior claim upon your attention. When he is through with you, I shall be at your service. If you decline to meet him after challenging him, you will prove yourself to be what he has charged you with being: "a liar, a poltroon and a puppy," and as such, can not of course be entitled to the consideration of a gentleman.



[ V ]


May 21,1864—9 o'clock, P.M.

JAMES L. LAIRD, ESQ.—Sir: Your reply to my last note in which I peremptorily demanded satisfaction of you, without alternative—is just received, and to my utter astonishment you still endeavor to shield your craven carcass behind the person of an individual who in spite of your introduction is entirely unknown to me, and upon whose shoulders you cannot throw the whole responsibility. You acknowledge and reaffirm in this note that "For all editorials appearing in the Union, the proprietors are personally responsible." Now, sir, had there appeared no editorial on the subject endorsing and reiterating the slanderous and disgraceful insults heaped upon me in the "communication," I would have simply called upon you and demanded the name of its author, and upon your answer would have depended my farther action. But the "Editorial" alluded to was equally vile and slanderous as the "communication," and being an "Editorial" would naturally have more weight in the minds of readers. It was the following undignified and abominably insulting slander appearing in your "Editorial" headed "The 'How is it' issue," that occasioned my sending you first an alternative and then a peremptory challenge:

"Never before in a long period of newspaper intercourse—never before in any contact with a contemporary, however unprincipled he might have been, have we found an opponent in statement or in discussion, who had no gentlemanly sense of professional propriety, who conveyed in every word, and in every purpose of all his words, such a groveling disregard for truth, decency and courtesy as to seem to court the distinction, only, of being understood as a vulgar liar. Meeting one who prefers falsehood; whose instincts are all toward falsehood; whose thought is falsification; whose aim is vilification through insincere professions of honesty; one whose only merit is thus described, and who evidently desires to be thus known, the obstacles presented are entirely insurmountable, and whoever would touch them fully, should expect to be abominably defiled."—Union, May 21

You assume in your last note, that I "have challenged Mr. Wilmington," and that he has informed me "over his own signature," that he is quite ready to afford me "satisfaction." Both assumptions are utterly false. I have twice challenged you, and you have twice attempted to shirk the responsibility. Mr. W's note could not possibly be an answer to my demand of satisfaction from you; and besides, his note simply avowed authorship of a certain "communication" that appeared simultaneously with your libelous "editorial," and states that its author had "nothing to retract." For your gratification, however, I will remark that Mr. Wilmington's case will be attended to in due time by a distant acquaintance of his who is not willing to see him suffer in obscurity. In the meantime, if you do not wish yourself posted as a coward, you will at once accept my peremptory challenge, which I now reiterate.


[ VI ]


VIRGINIA, May 21, 1864

J. W. WILMINGTON—Sir: You are, perhaps, far from those who are wont to advise and care for you, else you would see the policy of minding your own business and letting that of other people alone. Under these circumstances, therefore, I take the liberty of suggesting that you are getting out of your sphere. A contemptible ass and coward like yourself should only meddle in the affairs of gentlemen when called upon to do so. I approve and endorse the course of my principal in this matter, and if your sensitive disposition is aroused by any proceeding of his, I have only to say that I can be found at the ENTERPRISE office, and always at your service.


[To the above, Mr. Wilmington gave a verbal reply to Mr. Millard—the gentleman through whom the note was conveyed to him—stating that he had no quarrel with Mr. Gillis; that he had written his communication only in defense of the craft, and did not desire a quarrel with a member of that craft; he showed Mr. G's note to Mr. Millard, who read it, but made no comments upon it.]

[ VII ]


Monday Morning, May 23, 1864

SAMUEL CLEMENS, ESQ.:—In reply to your lengthy communication, I have only to say that in your note opening this correspondence, you demanded satisfaction for a communication in the Union which branded the writer of an article in the ENTERPRISE as a liar, a poltroon and a puppy. You declare yourself to be the writer of the ENTERPRISE article, and the avowed author of the Union communication stands ready to afford satisfaction. Any attempt to evade a meeting with him and force one upon me will utterly fail, as I have no right under the rulings of the code, to meet or hold any communication with you in this connection. The threat of being posted as a coward cannot have the slightest effect upon the position I have assumed in the matter. If you think this correspondence reflects credit upon you, I advise you by all means to publish it; in the meantime you must excuse me from receiving any more long epistles from you. JAMES L. LAIRD

I denounce Mr. Laird as an unmitigated liar, because he says I published an editorial in which I attacked the printers employed on the Union, whereas there is nothing in that editorial which can be so construed. Moreover, he is a liar on general principles, and from natural instinct. I denounce him as an abject coward, because it has been stated in his paper that its proprietors are responsible for all articles appearing in its columns, yet he backs down from that position; because he acknowledges the "code," but will not live up to it; because he says himself that he is responsible for all "editorials," and then backs down from that also; and because he insults me in his note marked "IV," and yet refuses to fight me. Finally, he is a fool, because he cannot understand that a publisher is bound to stand responsible for any and all articles printed by him, whether he wants to do it or not.


Territorial Enterprise, May 24, 1864


We published a rumor, the other day, that the moneys collected at the Carson Fancy Dress Ball were to be diverted from the Sanitary Fund and sent forward to aid a "miscegenation" or some other sort of Society in the East. We also stated that the rumor was a hoax. And it was—we were perfectly right. However, four ladies are offended. We cannot quarrel with ladies—the very thought of such a thing is repulsive; neither can we consent to offend them even unwittingly—without being sorry for the misfortune, and seeking their forgiveness, which is a kindness we hope they will not refuse. We intended no harm, as they would understand easily enough if they knew the history of this offense of ours, but we must suppress that history, since it would rather be amusing than otherwise, and the amusement would be at our expense. We have no love for that kind of amusement—and the same trait belongs to human nature generally. One lady complained that we should at least have answered the note they sent us. It is true. There is small excuse for our neglect of a common politeness like that, yet we venture to apologize for it, and will still hope for pardon, just the same. We have noticed one thing in this whole business—and also in many an instance which has gone before it—and that is, that we resemble the majority of our species in the respect that we are very apt to get entirely in the wrong, even when there is no seeming necessity for it; but to offset this vice, we claim one of the virtues of our species, which is that we are ready to repair such wrongs when we discover them.

Territorial Enterprise, June 17-23, 1864


To a Christian who has toiled months and months in Washoe; whose hair bristles from a bed of sand, and whose soul is caked with a cement of alkali dust; whose nostrils know no perfume but the rank odor of sage-brush—and whose eyes know no landscape but barren mountains and desolate plains; where the winds blow, and the sun blisters, and the broken spirit of the contrite heart finds joy and peace only in Limburger cheese and lager beer—unto such a Christian, verily the Occidental Hotel is Heaven on the half shell. He may even secretly consider it to be Heaven on the entire shell, but his religion teaches a sound Washoe Christian that it would be sacrilege to say it.

Here you are expected to breakfast on salmon, fried oysters and other substantials from 6 till half-past 12; you are required to lunch on cold fowl and so forth, from half-past 12 until 3; you are obliged to skirmish through a dinner comprising such edibles as the world produces, and keep it up, from 3 until half-past 7; you are then compelled to lay siege to the tea-table from half-past 7 until 9 o'clock, at which hour, if you refuse to move upon the supper works and destroy oysters gotten up in all kinds of seductive styles until 12 o'clock, the landlord will certainly be offended, and you might as well move your trunk to some other establishment. [It is a pleasure to me to observe, incidentally, that I am on good terms with the landlord yet.]

Why don't you send Dan down into the Gould & Curry mine, to see whether it has petered out or not, and if so, when it will be likely to peter in again. The extraordinary decline of that stock has given rise to the wildest surmises in the way of accounting for it, but among the lot there is harm in but one, which is the expressed belief on the part of a few that the bottom has fallen out of the mine. Gould & Curry is climbing again, however.

It has been many a day since San Francisco has seen livelier times in her theatrical department than at present. Large audiences are to be found nightly at the Opera House, the Metropolitan, the Academy of Music, the American, the New Idea, and even the Museum, which is not as good a one as Barnum's. The Circus company, also, played a lucrative engagement, but they are gone on their travels now. The graceful, charming, clipper-built Ella Zoyara was very popular.

Miss Caroline Richings has played during the past fortnight at Maguire's Opera House to large and fashionable audiences, and has delighted them beyond measure with her sweet singing. It sounds improbable, perhaps, but the statement is true, nevertheless.

You will hear of the Metropolitan, now, from every visitor to Washoe. It opened under the management of the new lessees, Miss Annette Ince and Julia Dean Hayne, with a company who are as nearly all stars as it was possible to make it. For instance—Annette Ince, Emily Jordan, Mrs. Judah, Julia Dean Hayne, James H. Taylor, Frank Lawlor, Harry Courtaine and Fred. Franks, (my favorite Washoe tragedian, whose name they have put in small letters in the programme, when it deserves to be in capitals—because, whatever part they give him to play, don't he always play it well? and does he not possess the first virtue of a comedian, which is to do humorous things with grave decorum and without seeming to know that they are funny?)

The birds, and the flowers, and the Chinamen, and the winds, and the sunshine, and all things that go to make life happy, are present in San Francisco to-day, just as they are all days in the year. Therefore, one would expect to hear these things spoken of, and gratefully, and disagreeable matters of little consequence allowed to pass without comment. I say, one would suppose that. But don't you deceive yourself—any one who supposes anything of the kind, supposes an absurdity. The multitude of pleasant things by which the people of San Francisco are surrounded are not talked of at all. No—they damn the wind, and they damn the dust, and they give all their attention to damning them well, and to all eternity. The blasted winds and the infernal dust—these alone form the eternal topics of conversation, and a mighty absurd topic it seems to one just out of Washoe. There isn't enough wind here to keep breath in my body, or dust enough to keep sand in my craw. But it is human nature to find fault—to overlook that which is pleasant to the eye, and seek after that which is distasteful to it. You take a stranger into the Bank Exchange and show him the magnificent picture of Sampson and Delilah, and what is the first object he notices?—Sampson's fine face and flaming eye? or the noble beauty of his form? or the lovely, half-nude Delilah? or the muscular Philistine behind Sampson, who is furtively admiring her charms? or the perfectly counterfeited folds of the rich drapery below her knees? or the symmetry and truth to nature of Sampson's left foot? No, sir, the first thing that catches his eye is the scissors on the floor at Delilah's feet, and the first thing he says, "Them scissors is too modern—there warn't no scissors like that in them days, by a d—d sight!"


Territorial Enterprise, June 27—30, 1865


Immorality is not decreasing in San Francisco. I saw a girl in the city prison last night who looked as much out of place there as I did myself—possibly more so. She was petite and diffident, and only sixteen years and one month old. To judge by her looks, one would say she was as sinless as a child. But such was not the case. She had been living with a strapping young nigger for six months! She told her story as artlessly as a school-girl, and it did not occur to her for a moment that she had been doing anything unbecoming; and I never listened to a narrative which seemed more simple and straightforward, or more free from ostentation and vain-glory. She told her name, and her age, to a day; she said she was born in Holborn, City of London; father living, but gone back to England; was not married to the negro, but she was left without any one to take care of her, and he had taken charge of that department and had conducted it since she was fifteen and a half years old very satisfactorily. All listeners pitied her, and said feelingly: "Poor heifer! poor devil!" and said she was an ignorant, erring child, and had not done wrong wilfully and knowingly, and they hoped she would pass her examination for the Industrial School and be removed from the temptation and the opportunity to sin. Tears—and it was a credit to their manliness and their good feeling—tears stood in the eyes of some of those stern policemen.

O, woman, thy name is humbug! Afterwards, while I sat taking some notes, and not in sight from the women's cell, some of the old blisters fell to gossiping, and lo! young Simplicity chipped in and clattered away as lively as the vilest of them! It came out in the conversation that she was hail fellow well met with all the old female rapscallions in the city, and had had business relations with their several establishments for a long time past. She spoke affectionately of some of them, and the reverse of others; and dwelt with a toothsome relish upon numberless reminiscences of her social and commercial intercourse with them. She knew all manner of men, too—men with quaint and suggestive names, for the most part—and liked "Oyster-eyed Bill," and "Bloody Mike," and "The Screamer," but cherished a spirit of animosity toward "Foxy McDonald" for cutting her with a bowie-knife at a strumpet ball one night. She a poor innocent kitten! Oh! She was a scallawag whom it would be base flattery to call a prostitute! She a candidate for the Industrial School! Bless you, she has graduated long ago. She is competent to take charge of a University of Vice. In the ordinary branches she is equal to the best; and in the higher ones, such as ornamental swearing, and fancy embroidered filagree slang, she is a shade superior to any artist I ever listened to.

Territorial Enterprise, July 7-19, 1865

[portion of letter from San Francisco describing black marchers in Fourth of July celebration]


And at the fag-end of the procession was a long double file of the proudest, happiest scoundrels I saw yesterday—niggers. Or perhaps I should say "them damned niggers," which is the other name they go by now. They did all it was in their power to do, poor devils, to modify the prominence of the contrast between black and white faces which seems so hateful to their white fellow-creatures, by putting their lightest colored darkies in the front rank, then glooming down by some unaggravating and nicely graduated shades of darkness to the fell and dismal blackness of undefiled and unalloyed niggerdom in the remote extremity of the procession. It was a fine stroke of strategy—the day was dusty and no man could tell where the white folks left off and the niggers began. The "damned naygurs"—this is another descriptive title which has been conferred upon them by a class of our fellow-citizens who persist, in the most short-sighted manner, in being on bad terms with them in the face of the fact that they have got to sing with them in heaven or scorch with them in hell some day in the most familiar and sociable way, and on a footing of most perfect equality—the "damned naygurs," I say, smiled one broad, extravagant, powerful smile of grateful thankfulness and profound and perfect happiness from the beginning of the march to the end; and through this vast, black, drifting cloud of smiles their white teeth glimmered fitfully like heat-lightning on a summer's night. If a white man honored them with a smile in return, they were utterly overcome, and fell to bowing like Oriental devotees, and attempting the most extravagant and impossible smiles, reckless of lock-jaw. They might as well have left their hats at home, for they never put them on. I was rather irritated at the idea of letting these fellows march in the procession myself, at first, but I would have scorned to harbor so small a thought if I had known the privilege was going to do them so much good. There seemed to be a religious-benevolent society among them with a banner—the only one in the colored ranks, I believe—and all hands seemed to take boundless pride in it. The banner had a picture on it, but I could not exactly get the hang of its significance. It presented a very black and uncommonly sick looking nigger, in bed, attended by two other niggers—one reading the Bible to him and the other one handing him a plate of oysters; but what the very mischief this blending of contraband dissolution, raw oysters and Christian consolation, could possibly be symbolical of, was more than I could make out.

Territorial Enterprise, October 10-11, 1865

[Portion of Letter from San Francisco]



Now the Rev. Mr. Stebbins acted like a sensible man—a man with his presence of mind about him—he did precisely what I thought of doing myself at the time of the earthquake, but had no opportunity—he came down out of his pulpit and embraced a woman. Some say it was his wife. Well, and so it might have been his wife—I'm not saying it wasn't, am I? I am not going to intimate anything of that kind—because how do I know but what it was his wife? I say it might have been his wife—and so it might—I was not there, and I do not consider that I have any right to say it was not his wife. In reality I am satisfied it was his wife—but I am sorry, though, because it would have been so much better presence of mind to have embraced some other woman. I was in Third street. I looked around for some woman to embrace, but there was none in sight. I could have expected no better fortune, though, so I said, "O certainly—just my luck."


When the earthquake arrived in Oakland, the commanding officer of the Congregational Sabbath School was reading these words, by way of text: "And the earth shook and trembled!" In an instant the earthquake seized the text and preached a powerful sermon on it. I do not know whether the commanding officer resumed the subject again where the earthquake left off or not, but if he did I am satisfied that he has got a good deal of "cheek." I do not consider that any modest man would try to improve on a topic that had already been treated by an earthquake.


A young gentleman who lives in Sacramento street, rushed down stairs and appeared in public with no raiment on save a knit undershirt, which concealed his person about as much as its tin foil cap conceals a champagne bottle. He struck an attitude such as a man assumes when he is looking up, expecting danger from above, and bends his arm and holds it aloft to ward off possible missiles—and standing thus he glared fiercely up at the fire-wall of a tall building opposite, from which a few bricks had fallen. Men shouted at him to go in the house, people seized him by the arm and tried to drag him away—even tender-hearted women, (O, Woman!—O ever noble, unselfish, angelic woman!—O, Woman, in our hours of ease uncertain, coy, and hard to please—when anything happens to go wrong with our harness, a ministering angel thou), women, I say, averted their faces, and nudging the paralyzed and impassible statue in the ribs with their elbows beseeched him to take their aprons—to take their shawls—to take their hoop-skirts—anything, anything, so that he would not stand there longer in such a plight and distract people's attention from the earthquake. But he wouldn't budge—he stood there in his naked majesty till the last tremor died away from the earth, and then looked around on the multitude—and stupidly enough, too, until his dull eye fell upon himself. He went back upstairs, then. He went up lively.


But where is the use in dwelling on these incidents? There are enough of them to make a book. Joe Noques, of your city, was playing billiards in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. He went through a window into the court and then jumped over an iron gate eighteen feet high, and took his billiard cue with him. Sam Witgenstein took refuge in a church—probably the first time he was ever in one in his life. Judge Bryan climbed a telegraph pole. Pete Hopkins narrowly escaped injury. He was shaken abruptly from the summit of Telegraph Hill and fell on a three-story brick house ten feet below. I see that the morning papers (always ready to smooth over things), attribute the destruction of the house to the earthquake. That is newspaper magnanimity—but an earthquake has no friends. Extraordinary things happened to everybody except me. No one even spoke to me—at least only one man did, I believe—a man named Robinson—from Salt Lake, I think—who asked me to take a drink. I refused.

Territorial Enterprise, October 21-24, 1865

[portion of letter from San Francisco written October 19, 1865]


Where did all these Democrats come from? They grow thicker and thicker and act more and more outrageously at each successive election. Now yesterday they had the presumption to elect S. H. Dwinelle to the Judgeship of the Fifteenth District Court, and not content with this, they were depraved enough to elect four out of the six Justices of the Peace! Oh, 'Enery Villiam, where is thy blush! Oh, Timothy Hooligan, where is thy shame! It's out. Democrats haven't got any. But Union men staid away from the election—they either did that or else they came to the election and voted Democratic tickets—I think it was the latter, though the Flag will doubtless say it was the former. But these Democrats didn't stay away—you never catch a Democrat staying away from an election. The grand end and aim of his life is to vote or be voted for, and he accommodates to circumstances and does one just as cheerfully as he does the other. The Democracy of America left their native wilds in England and Connaught to come here and vote—and when a man, and especially a foreigner, who don't have any voting at home any more than an Arkansas man has ice-cream for dinner, comes three or four thousand miles to luxuriate in occasional voting, he isn't going to stay away from an election any more than the Arkansas man will leave the hotel table in "Orleans" until he has destroyed most of the ice cream. The only man I ever knew who could counteract this passion on the part of Democrats for voting, was Robert Roach, carpenter of the steamer Aleck Scott, "plying to and from St. Louis to New Orleans and back," as her advertisement sometimes read. The Democrats generally came up as deck passengers from New Orleans, and the yellow fever used to snatch them right and left—eight or nine a day for the first six or eight hundred miles; consequently Roach would have a lot on hand to "plant" every time the boat landed to wood—"plant" was Roach's word. One day as Roach was superintending a burial the Captain came up and said:

"God bless my soul, Roach, what do you mean by shoving a corpse into a hole in the hill-side in this barbarous way, face down and its feet sticking out?"

"I always plant them foreign Democrats in that manner, sir, because, damn their souls, if you plant 'em any other way they'll dig out and vote the first time there's an election—but look at that fellow, now—you put 'em in head first and face down and the more they dig the deeper they'll go into the hill."

In my opinion, if we do not get Roach to superintend our cemeteries, enough Democrats will dig out at the next election to carry their entire ticket. It begins to look that way.

Territorial Enterprise, October 26-28, 1865

San Francisco Letter

[written October 24, 1865; some portions missing]


Well, you ought to see the new style of bonnets, and then die. You see, everybody has discarded ringlets and bunches of curls, and taken to the clod of compact hair on the "after-guard," which they call a "waterfall," though why they name it so I cannot make out, for it looks no more like one's general notion of a waterfall than a cabbage looks like a cataract. Yes, they have thrown aside the bunches of curls which necessitated the wearing of a bonnet with a back-door to it, or rather, a bonnet without any back to it at all, so that the curls bulged out from under an overhanging spray of slender feathers, sprigs of grass, etc. You know the kind of bonnet I mean; it was as if a lady spread a diaper on her head, with two of the corners brought down over her ears, and the other trimmed with a bunch of graceful flummery and allowed to hang over her waterfall—fashions are mighty tanglesome things to write—but I am coming to it directly. The diaper was the only beautiful bonnet women have worn within my recollection—but as they have taken exclusively to the waterfalls, now, they have thrown it aside and adopted, ah me, the infernalest, old-fashionedest, ruralest atrocity in its stead you ever saw. It is perfectly plain and hasn't a ribbon, or a flower, or any ornament whatever about it; it is severely shaped like the half of a lady's thimble split in two lengthwise—or would be if that thimble had a perfectly square end instead of a rounded one—just imagine it—glance at it in your mind's eye—and recollect, no ribbons, no flowers, no filagree—only the plainest kind of plain straw or plain black stuff. It don't come forward as far as the hair, and it fits to the head as tightly as a thimble fits, folded in a square mass against the back of the head, and the square end of the bonnet half covers it and fits as square and tightly against it as if somebody had hit the woman in the back of the head with a tombstone or some other heavy and excessively flat projectile. And a woman looks as distressed in it as a cat with her head fast in a tea-cup. It is infamous.


The Plaza, or Portsmouth Square, is "done," at last, and by a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors last night, is to be thrown open to the public henceforth at 7 o'clock A. M. and closed again at 7 o'clock P. M. every day. The same resolution prohibits the visits of dogs to this holy ground, and denies to the public the privilege of rolling on its grass. If I could bring myself to speak vulgarly, I should say that the latter clause is rough—very rough on the people. To be forced to idle in gravel walks when there is soft green grass close at hand, is tantalizing; it is as uncomfortable as to lie disabled and thirsty in sight of a fountain; or to look at a feast without permission to participate in it, when you are hungry; and almost as exasperating as to have to smack your chops over the hugging and kissing going on between a couple of sweethearts without any reasonable excuse for inserting your own metaphorical shovel. And yet there is one consolation about it on Nature's eternal equity of "compensation." No matter how degraded and worthless you may become here, you cannot go to grass in the Plaza, at any rate. The Plaza is a different thing from what it used to be; it used to be a text from a desert—it was not large enough for a whole chapter; but now it is traversed here and there by walks of precise width, and which are graded to a degree of rigid accuracy which is constantly suggestive of the spirit level; and the grass plots are as strictly shaped as a dandy's side whiskers, and their surfaces clipped and smoothed with the same mathematical exactness. In a word, the Plaza looks like the intensely brown and green perspectiveless diagram of stripes and patches which an architect furnishes to his client as a plan for a projected city garden or cemetery. And its glaring greenness in the midst of so much sombreness is startling and yet piercingly pleasant to the eye. It reminds one of old John Dehle's vegetable garden in Virginia, which, after a rain, used to burn like a square of green fire in the midst of the dull, gray desolation around it.


I am told that the Empress Eugenie is growing bald on the top of her head, and that to hide this defect she now combs her "back hair" forward in such a way as to make her look all right. I am also told that this mode of dressing the hair is already fashionable in all the great civilized cities of the world, and that it will shortly be adopted here. Therefore let your ladies "stand-by" and prepare to drum their ringlets to the front when I give the word. I shall keep a weather eye out for this fashion, for I am an uncompromising enemy of the popular "waterfall," and I yearn to see it in disgrace. Just think of the disgusting shape and appearance of the thing. The hair is drawn to a slender neck at the back, and then commences a great fat, oblong ball, like a kidney covered with a net; and sometimes this net is so thickly bespangled with white beads that the ball looks soft, and fuzzy, and filmy and gray at a little distance—so that it vividly reminds you of those nauseating garden spiders in the States that go about dragging a pulpy, grayish bag-full of young spiders slung to them behind; and when I look at these suggestive waterfalls and remember how sea-sick it used to make me to mash one of those spider-bags, I feel sea-sick again, as a general thing. Its shape alone is enough to turn one's stomach. Let's have the back-hair brought forward as soon as convenient. N. B.—I shall feel much obliged to you if you can aid me in getting up this panic. I have no wife of my own and therefore as long as I have to make the most of other people's it is a matter of vital importance to me that they should dress with some degree of taste.

Territorial Enterprise, October 15-31, 1865

[portion of Letter from San Francisco]


Where's Ajax now, with his boasted defiance of the lightning? Who is Ajax to Popper, and what is lightning to an earthquake? It is taking no chances to speak of to defy the lightning, for it might pelt away at you for a year and miss you every time—but I don't care what corner you hide in, if the earthquake comes it will shake you; and if you will build your house weak enough to give it a fair show, it will melt it down like butter. Therefore, I exalt Popper above Ajax, for Popper defieth the earthquake. The famous shake of the 8th of October snatched the front out of Popper's great four-story shell of a house on the corner of Third and Mission as easily as if it had been mere pastime; yet I notice that the reckless Popper is rebuilding it again just as thin as it was before, and using the same old bricks. Is this paying proper respect to earthquakes? I think not. If I were an earthquake, I would never stand for such insolence from Popper. I am confident that I would shake that shell down, even if it took my last shake.

Territorial Enterprise, October 31-November 2, 1865

[portion of San Francisco letter]


I feel savage this morning. And as usual, when one wants to growl, it is almost impossible to find things to growl about with any degree of satisfaction. I cannot find anything in the steamer departures to get mad at. Only, I wonder who "J. Schmeltzer" is?—and what does he have such an atrocious name for?—and what business has he got in the States?—who is there in the States who cares whether Schmeltzer comes or not? The conduct of this unknown Schmeltzer is exasperating to the last degree.

And off goes General Rosecrans, without ever doing anything to give a paper a chance to abuse him. He has behaved himself, and kept quiet, and avoided scandalous meddling with the Oakland Seminaries, and paid his board in the most aggravating manner. Let him go.

And Conness is gone. Oh, d—n Conness!

Territorial Enterprise, November 1865


It is bound to come! There is no help for it. I smell it afar off—I see the signs in the air! Every day and every hour of every day I grow more and more nervous, for with every minute of waning time the dreadful infliction comes nearer and nearer in its inexorable march! In another week, maybe, all San Francisco will be singing "Wearing of the Green!" I know it. I have suffered before, and I know the symptoms. This holds off long, but it is partly that the calamity may gather irresistible worrying-power, and partly because it is harder to learn than Chinese. But that is all the worse; for when the people do learn it they will learn it bad—and terrible will be the distress it will bring upon the community. A year ago "Johnny came marching home!" That song was sung by everybody, in every key, in every locality, at all hours of the day and night, and always out of tune. It sent many unoffending persons to the Stockton asylum. There was no stopping the epidemic, and so it had to be permitted to run its course and wear itself out. Short was our respite, and then a still more malignant distemper broke out in the midst of this harried and suffering community. It was "You'll not forget me, mother, mother, mother, mother!" with an ever-accumulating aggravation of expression upon each successive "mother." The fire-boys sat up all night to sing it; and bands of sentimental stevedores and militia soldiers patroled the streets and howled its lugubrious strains. A passion for serenading attacked the youth of the city, and they sang it under verandahs in the back streets until the dogs and cats destroyed their voices in unavailing efforts to lay the devilish spirit that was driving happiness from their hearts. Finally there came a season of repose, and the community slowly recovered from the effects of the musical calamity. The respite was not long. In an unexpected moment they were attacked, front and rear, by a new enemy—"When we were marching through Georgia!" Tongue cannot tell what we suffered while this frightful disaster was upon us. Young misses sang it to the guitar and the piano; young men sang it to the banjo and the fiddle; the un-blood stained soldier yelled it with enthusiasm as he marched through the imaginary swamps and cotton plantations of the drill-room; the firemen sang it as they trundled their engines home from conflagrations; and the hated serenader tortured it with his damned accordeon. Some of us survived, and some have gone the old road to a haven of rest at Stockton, where the wicked cease from troubling and the popular songs are not allowed. For the space of four weeks the survivors have been happy.

But as I have said before, it is bound to come! Arrah-na-Pogque is breeding a song that will bedeck some mountain with new-made graves! In another week we shall be "Wearing of the Green," and in a fortnight some will be wearing of the black in consequence. Three repetitions of this song will produce lunacy, and five will kill—it is that much more virulent than its predecessors. People are finding it hard to learn, but when they get it learned they will find it potent for harm. It is Wheatleigh's song. He sings it in Arrah-na-Pogque, with a sprig of shamrock in his hat. Wheatleigh sings it with such aggravated solemnity as to make an audience long for the grave. It is doled out slowly, and every note settles deliberately to its place on one's heart like a solid iceberg—and by the time it is finished the temperature of the theatre has fallen to twenty degrees. Think what a dead-cold winter we shall have here when this Arctic funeral melody becomes popular! Think of it being performed at midnight, in lonely places, upon the spirit depressing accordeon! Think of being driven to blow your brains out under such circumstances, and then dying to the grave-yard cadences of "Wearing of the Green!" But it is bound to come, and we may as well bow our heads and submit with such degree of Christian resignation as we are able to command.

THE CALIFORNIAN, Saturday, November 11, 1865

EXIT "BUMMER."—As we have devoted but little space to an event which has filled our local contemporaries with as much sorrow (judging from the columns of lamentations it has called forth) as would the decease of the best biped in the city, we give "Mark Twain's" view of the occurrence as recorded in the ENTERPRISE of the 8th. Strangely enough, Mark, who can't stand "ballad infliction" seems to think there has not been quite enough of "Bummer":

"The old vagrant 'Bummer' is really dead at last; and although he was always more respected than his obsequious vassal, the dog 'Lazarus,' his exit has not made half as much stir in the newspaper world as signalised the departure of the latter. I think it is because he died a natural death: died with friends around him to smooth his pillow and wipe the death-damps from his brow, and receive his last words of love and resignation; because he died full of years, and honor, and disease, and fleas. He was permited to die a natural death, as I have said, but poor Lazarus 'died with his boots on'—which is to say, he lost his life by violence; he gave up the ghost mysteriously, at dead of night, with none to cheer his last moments or soothe his dying pains. So the murdered dog was canonized in the newspapers, his shortcomings excused and his virtues heralded to the world; but his superior, parting with his life in the fullness of time, and in the due course of nature, sinks as quietly as might the mangiest cur among us. Well, let him go. In earlier days he was courted and caressed; but latterly he has lost his comeliness—his dignity had given place to a want of self-respect, which allowed him to practice mean deceptions to regain for a moment that sympathy and notice which had become necessary to his very existence, and it was evident to all that the dog had had his day; his great popularity was gone forever. In fact, Bummer should have died sooner: there was a time when his death would have left a lasting legacy of fame to his name. Now, however, he will be forgotten in a few days. Bummer's skin is to be stuffed and placed with that of Lazarus."

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


The lamented Lazarus departed this life about a year ago, and from that time until recently poor Bummer has mourned the loss of his faithful friend in solitude, scorning the sympathy and companionship of his race with that stately reserve and exclusiveness which has always distinguished him since he became a citizen of San Francisco. But, for several weeks past, we have observed a vagrant black puppy has taken up with him, and attends him in his promenades, bums with him at the restaurants, and watches over his slumbers as unremittingly as did the sainted Lazarus of other days. Whether that puppy really feels an unselfish affection for Bummer, or whether he is actuated by unworthy motives, and goes with him merely to ring in on the eating houses through his popularity at such establishments, or whether he is one of those fawning sycophants that fasten upon the world's heroes in order that they may be glorified by the reflected light of greatness, we can not yet determine. We only know that he hangs around Bummer, and snarls at intruders upon his repose, and looks proud and happy when the old dog condescends to notice him. He ventures upon no puppyish levity in the presence of his prince, and essays no unbecoming familiarity, but in all respects conducts himself with the respectful decorum which such a puppy so situated should display. Consequently, in time, he may grow into high favor.

Territorial Enterprise, November 9-12, 1865

[portion of San Francisco letter describing trip on tugboat "Rescue"]


We lunched, then, and shortly began to drink champagne—by the basket. I saw the tremendous guns frowning from the fort; I saw San Francisco spread out over the sand-hills like a picture; I saw the huge fortress at Black Point looming hazily in the distance; I saw tall ships sweeping in from the sea through the Golden Gate; I saw that it was time to take another drink, and after that I saw no more. All hands fell to singing "When we were Marching Through Georgia," and the remainder of the trip was fought out on that line. We landed at the steamboat wharf at 5 o'clock, safe and sound. Some of those reporters I spoke of said we had been to Benicia, and the others said we had been to the Cliff House, but, poor devils, they had been drinking, and they did not really know where we had been. I know, but I do not choose to tell. I enjoyed that trip first-rate. I am rather fond of a trip on a fast boat with a jolly crowd. That was a jolly crowd. Sometimes they were all out forward standing on their heads, and then the boat wouldn't steer because her rudder was sticking up in the air like a sail of a wind-mill; and sometimes they were all aft turning hand springs and playing "mumble peg," and then the boat wouldn't steer because she stood so straight up in the water that her head caught all the wind that was blowing; and sometimes they were all on the starboard side eating and drinking and singing, and then she wouldn't steer because she was listed worse than any soldier that ever listed since the war began. Still, even under these trying circumstances, the boat made fifteen miles an hour, and so I suppose that on an even keel she can make a hundred, or thereabouts. I enjoyed that excursion.

Territorial Enterprise, November 15-18, 1865

[portion of letter from San Francisco]


Let "John Wychecombe Smith, Esq., one of our pioneer merchants, and one among our wealthiest and most respected citizens," leave in the steamer "to revisit the home of his nativity," and one of these papers will give you half a column of sorrow and distress about it, and wind up with the eternal "but we are happy to say that not many months will elapse ere he will be with us again"—and forget to mention that a distinguished and war-bronzed Major-General went in the same steamer with the wealthy and successful Smith. The other paper would let John Wychecombe Smith go to the States, or to the devil, either, a dozen times over, and always maintain an insolent silence about it: but let Moike Mulrooney, or Tim Murphy, or Judy O'Flaherty, receive a present of raal Irish whisky from the ould country, and it will never let you hear the last of it.

Territorial Enterprise, November 18, 1865

[portion of letter from San Francisco]


As usual, the Alta reporter fastens the mysterious What Cheer robbery on the same horrible person who knocked young Meyers in the head with a slung-shot a year ago and robbed his father's pawnbroker shop of some brass jewelry and crippled revolvers, in broad daylight; and he laid that exploit on the horrible wretch who robbed the Mayor's Clerk, who half-murdered detective officer Rose in a lonely spot below Santa Clara; and he proved that this same monster killed the lone woman in a secluded house up a dark alley with a carpenter's chisel, months before; and he demonstrated by inspired argument that the same villain who chiselled the woman tomahawked a couple of defenceless women in the most mysterious manner up another dark alley a few months before that. Now, the perpetrator of these veiled crimes has never been discovered, yet this wicked reporter has taken the whole batch and piled them coolly and relentlessly upon the shoulders of one imaginary scoundrel, with a comfortable, "Here, these are yours," and with an air that says plainly that no denial, and no argument in the case, will be entertained. And every time anything happens that is unlawful and dreadful, and has a spice of mystery about it, this reporter, without waiting to see if maybe somebody else didn't do it, goes off at once and jams it on top of the old pile, as much as to say, "Here—here's some more of your work." Now this isn't right, you know. It is all well enough for Mr. Smythe to divert suspicion from himself—nobody objects to that—but it is not right for him to lay every solitary thing on this mysterious stranger, whoever he is—it is not right, you know. He ought to give the poor devil a show. The idea of accusing "The Mysterious" of the What Cheer burglary, considering who was the last boarder to bed and the first one up!

Smythe is endeavoring to get on the detective police force. I think it will be wronging the community to give this man such a position as that—now you know that yourself, don't you? He would settle down on some particular fellow, and every time there was a rape committed, or a steamship stolen, or an oyster cellar rifled, or a church burned down, or a family massacred, or a black-and-tan pup stolen, he would march off with portentous mien and snatch that fellow and say, "Here, you are at it again, you know," and snake him off to the Station House.

Territorial Enterprise, November 19 or 21, 1865


It was estimated that four hundred persons were present at the ball. The gentlemen wore the orthodox costume for such occasions, and the ladies were dressed the best they knew how. N. B.—Most of these ladies were pretty, and some of them absolutely beautiful. Four out of every five ladies, present were pretty. The ratio at the Colfax party was two out of every five. I always keep the run of these things. While upon this department of the subject, I may as well tarry a moment and furnish you with descriptions of some of the most noticeable costumes.

Mrs. W. M. was attired in an elegant pate de foi gras, made expressly for her, and was greatly admired.

Miss S. had her hair done up. She was the centre of attraction for the gentlemen, and the envy of all the ladies.

Miss G. W. was tastefully dressed in a tout ensemble, and was greeted with deafening applause wherever she went.

Mrs. C. N. was superbly arrayed in white kid gloves. Her modest and engaging manner accorded well with the unpretending simplicity of her costume, and caused her to be regarded with absorbing interest by every one.

The charming Miss M. M. B. appeared in a thrilling waterfall, whose exceeding grace and volume compelled the homage of pioneers and emigrants alike. How beautiful she was!

The queenly Mrs. L. R. was attractively attired in her new and beautiful false teeth, and the bon jour effect they naturally produced was heightened by her enchanting and well sustained smile. The manner of this lady is charmingly pensive and melancholy, and her troops of admirers desired no greater happiness than to get on the scent of her sozodont-sweetened sighs and track her through her sinuous course among the gay and restless multitude.

Miss R. P., with that repugnance to ostentation in dress which is so peculiar to her, was attired in a simple white lace collar, fastened with a neat pearl-button solitaire. The fine contrast between the sparkling vivacity of her natural optic and the steadfast attentiveness of her placid glass eye was the subject of general and enthusiastic remark.

The radiant and sylph-like Mrs. T., late of your State, wore hoops. She showed to good advantage, and created a sensation wherever she appeared. She was the gayest of the gay.

Miss C. L. B. had her fine nose elegantly enameled, and the easy grace with which she blew it from time to time, marked her as a cultivated and accomplished woman of the world; its exquisitely modulated tone excited the admiration of all who had the happiness to hear it.

Being offended with Miss X., and our acquaintance having ceased permanently, I will take this opportunity of observing to her that it is of no use for her to be slopping off to every ball that takes place, and flourishing around with a brass oyster-knife skewered through her waterfall, and smiling her sickly smile through her decayed teeth, with her dismal pug nose in the air. There is no use in it—she don't fool anybody. Everybody knows she is old; everybody knows she is repaired (you might almost say built) with artificial bones and hair and muscles and things, from the ground up—put together scrap by scrap—and everybody knows, also, that all one would have to do would be to pull out her key-pin and she would go to pieces like a Chinese puzzle. There, now, my faded flower, take that paragraph home with you and amuse yourself with it; and if ever you turn your wart of a nose up at me again I will sit down and write something that will just make you rise up and howl.

Territorial Enterprise, November 28-30, 1865


I will now relate an affecting incident of my meeting with Uncle Lige, as a companion novelette to the one published by Dan the other day, entitled "Uncle Henry."

A day or two since—before the late stormy weather—I was taking a quiet stroll in the western suburbs of the city. The day was sunny and pleasant. In front of a small but neat "bit house," seated upon a bank—a worn out and discarded faro bank—I saw a man and a little girl. The sight was too much for me, and I burst into tears. Oh, God! I cried, this is too rough! After the violence of my emotion had in a manner spent itself, I ventured to look once more upon that touching picture. The left hand of the girl (how well I recollect which hand it was! by the warts on it)—a fair-haired, sweet-faced child of about eight years of age—rested upon the right shoulder (how perfectly I remember it was his right shoulder, because his left shoulder had been sawed off in a saw-mill) of the man by whose side she was seated. She was gazing toward the summit of Lone Mountain, and prating of the gravestones on the top of it and of the sunshine and Diggers resting on its tomb-clad slopes. The head of the man drooped forward till his face almost rested upon his breast, and he seemed intently listening. It was only a pleasing pretence, though, for there was nothing for him to hear save the rattling of the carriages on the gravel road beside him, and he could have straightened himself up and heard that easy enough, poor fellow. As I approached, the child observed me, notwithstanding her extreme youth, and ceasing to talk, smilingly looked at me, strange as it may seem. I stopped, again almost overpowered, but after a struggle I mastered my feelings sufficiently to proceed. I gave her a smile—or rather, I swapped her one in return for the one I had just received, and she said:

"This is Uncle Lige—poor blind-drunk Uncle Lige."

This burst of confidence from an entire stranger, and one so young withal, caused my subjugated emotions to surge up in my breast once more, but again, with a strong effort, I controlled them. I looked at the wine-bred cauliflower on the poor man's nose and saw how it had all happened.

"Yes," said he, noticing by my eloquent countenance that I had seen how it had all happened, notwithstanding nothing had been said yet about anything having happened, "Yes, it happened in Reeseriv' a year ago; since tha(ic)at time been living here with broth—Robert'n lill Addie (e-ick.')."

"Oh, he's the best uncle, and tells me such stories!" cried the little girl.

"At's aw-ri, you know (ick!)—at's aw ri," said the kind hearted, gentle old man, spitting on his shirt bosom and slurring it off with his hand.

The child leaned quickly forward and kissed his poor blossomy face. We beheld two great tears start from the man's sightless eyes, but when they saw what sort of country they had got to travel over, they went back again. Kissing the child again and again and once more and then several times, and afterwards repeating it, he said:

"H(o-ook!)—oorah for Melical eagle star-spalgle baller! At's aw-ri, you know—(ick!)—at's aw-ri"—and he stroked her sunny curls and spit on his shirt bosom again.

This affecting scene was too much for my already over charged feelings, and I burst into a flood of tears and hurried from the spot.

Such is the touching story of Uncle Lige. It may not be quite as sick as Dan's, but there is every bit as much reasonable material in it for a big calf like either of us to cry over. Cannot you publish the two novelettes in book form and send them forth to destroy such of our fellow citizens as are spared by the cholera?

Territorial Enterprise, December 8-10, 1865


Tom Maguire,
Torn with ire,
Lighted on Macdougall,
Grabbed his throat,
Tore his coat,
And split him in the bugle.
Shame! Oh, fie!
Maguire, why
Will you thus skyugle?
Why bang and claw,
And gouge and chaw
The unprepared Macdougall?
Of bones bereft,
See how you've left,
Vestvali, gentle Jew gal—
And now you've slashed,
And almost hashed,
The form of poor Macdougall.

Territorial Enterprise, December 13-15, 1865

[portion of San Francisco Letter, written December 11, 1865]

"Christian Spectator"—REV. O. P. FITZGERALD, of the Minna street Methodist Church South, is fairly under way, now, with his new Christian Spectator. The second number is before me. I believe I can venture to recommend it to the people of Nevada, of both Northern and Southern proclivities. It is not jammed full of incendiary religious matter about hell-fire, and brimstone, and wicked young men knocked endways by a streak of lightning while in the act of going fishing on Sunday. Its contents are not exciting or calculated to make people set up all night to read them. I like the Spectator a great deal better than I expected to, and I think you ought to cheerfully spare room for a short review of it. The leading editorial says: "A journal of the character of the Spectator is always to a great extent the reflex of the editor's individuality." Then follows a pleasant moral homily entitled "That Nubbin;" then puffs of a religious college and a Presbyterian church; then some poetical reflections on the happy fact "The War is Over;" then a "hyste" of some old slow coach of a preacher for not getting subscribers for the Spectator fast enough; then a confidential hint to the reader that he turn out and gather subscriptions—and forward the money; then a puff of the Oakland Female Seminary; then a remark that the Spectator's terms are cash; then a suggestion that the paper would make a gorgeous Christmas present—the only joke in the whole paper, and even this one is written with a fine show of seriousness; then a complimentary blast for Bishop Pierce; then a column of "Personal Items" concerning distinguished Confederates, chiefly; then something about "Our New Dress"—not one of Ward's shirts for the editor, but the paper's new dress; then a word about "our publishing house at Nashville, Tenn.;" then a repetition of the fact that "our terms are cash;" then something concerning "our head"—not the editor's, which is "level," but the paper's; then follow two columns of religious news not of a nature to drive one into a frenzy of excitement. On the outside is one of those entertaining novelettes, so popular among credulous Sabbath-school children, about a lone woman silently praying a desperate and blood-thirsty robber out of his boots—he looking on and fingering his clasp-knife and wiping it on his hand, and she calmly praying, till at last he "blanched beneath her fixed gaze, a panic appeared to seize him, and he closed his knife and went out." Oh, that won't do, you know. That is rather too steep. I guess she must have scalded him a little. There is also a column about a "remarkable police officer," and praising him up to the skies, and showing, by facts, sufficient to convince me that if he belonged to our force, Mr. Fitzgerald was drawing it rather strong. I read it with avidity, because I wished to know whether it was Chief Burke, or Blitz, or Lees, the parson was trying to curry favor with. But it was only an allegory, after all; the impossible police man was "Conscience." It was one of those fine moral humbugs, like some advertisements which seduce you down a column of stuff about General Washington and wind up with a recommendation to "try Peterson's aromatic soap."

Subscribe for the vivacious Christian Spectator; C. A. Klose is financial agent.

More Romance—The pretty waiter girls are always getting people into trouble. But I beg pardon—I should say "ladies," not "girls." I learned this lesson "in the days when I went gypsying," which was a long time ago. I said to one of these self-important hags, "Mary, or Julia, or whatever your name may be, who is that old slab singing at the piano—the girl with the 'bile' on her nose?" Her eyes snapped. "You call her girl!—you shall find out yourself—she is a lady, if you please!" They are all "ladies," and they take it as an insult when they are called anything else. It was one of these charming ladies who got shot, by an ass of a lover from the wilds of Arizona, yesterday in the Thunderboldt Saloon, but unhappily not killed. The fellow had enjoyed so long the society of ill-favored squaws who have to be scraped before one can tell the color of their complexions, that he was easily carried away with the well seasoned charms of "French Mary" of the Thunderboldt Saloon, and got so "spooney" in his attentions that he hung around her night after night, and breathed her garlicky sighs with ecstasy. But no man can be honored with a beer girl's society without paying for it. French Mary made this man Vernon buy basket after basket of cheap champagne and got a heavy commission, which is usually their privilege; in the saloon her company always cost him five or ten dollars an hour, and she was doubtless a still more expensive luxury out of it.

It is said that he was always insisting upon her marrying him, and threatening to leave and go back to Arizona if she did not. She could not afford to let the goose go until he was completely plucked, and so she would consent, and set the day, and then the poor devil, in a burst of generosity, would celebrate the happy event with a heavy outlay of cash. This ruse was played until it was worn out, until Vernon's patience was worn out, until Vernon's purse was worn out also. Then there was no use in humbugging the poor numscull any longer, of course; and so French Mary deserted him, to wait on customers who had cash—the unfeeling practice always observed by lager beer ladies under similar circumstances. She told him she would not marry him or have anything more to do with him, and he very properly tried to blow her brains out. But he was awkward, and only wounded her dangerously. He killed himself, though, effectually, and let us hope that it was the wisest thing he could have done, and that he is better off now, poor fellow.

Territorial Enterprise, December 16-17, 1865

[extract of original letter dated December 13—pertaining to theater critics and the upcoming visit of Edwin Forrest]

San Francisco Letter


These mosquitoes would swarm around him and bleed dramatic imperfections from him by the column. With their accustomed shameless presumption, they would tear the fabric of his well earned reputation to rags, and call him a poor, cheap humbug and an overrated concentration of mediocrity...They would always wind up their long-winded "critiques"—these promoted newsboys and shoemakers would—with the caustic, the cutting, the withering old stand-by which they have used with such blighting effect on so many similar occasions, to wit: "If Mr. Forrest calls that sort of thing acting—very well; but we must inform him, that although it may answer in other places, it will not do here..." Their grand final shot is always a six-hundred pounder, and always comes in the same elegant phraseology: they would pronounce Mr. Forrest a "bilk!" You cannot tell me anything about these ignorant asses who do up what is called "criticism" hereabouts—I know them "by the back."

Territorial Enterprise, December 1865


One may easily find room to abuse as many as several members of Chief Burke's civilian army for laziness and uselessness, but the detective department is supplied with men who are sharp, shrewd, always on the alert and always industrious. It is only natural that this should be so. An ordinary policeman is chosen with especial reference to large stature and powerful muscle, and he only gets $125 a month, but the detective is chosen with especial regard to brains, and the position pays better than a lucky faro-bank. A shoemaker can tell by a single glance at a boot whose shop it comes from, by some peculiarity of workmanship; but to a bar-keeper all boots are alike; a printer will take a number of newspaper scraps, that show no dissimilarity to each other, and name the papers they were cut from; to a man who is accustomed to being on the water, the river's surface is a printed book which never fails to divulge the hiding place of the sunken rock, or betray the presence of the treacherous shoal. In ordinary men, this quality of detecting almost imperceptible differences and peculiarities is acquired by long practice, and goes not beyond the limits of their own occupation—but in the detective it is an instinct, and discovers to him the secret signs of all trades, and the faint shades of difference between things which look alike to the careless eye.

Detective Rose can pick up a chicken's tail feather in Montgomery street and tell in a moment what roost it came from at the Mission; and if the theft is recent, he can go out there and take a smell of the premises and tell which block in Sacramento street the Chinaman lives in who committed it, by some exquisite difference in the stink left, and which he knows to be peculiar to one particular block of buildings.

Mr. McCormick, who should be on the detective force regularly, but as yet is there only by brevet, can tell an obscene photograph by the back, as a sport tells an ace from a jack.

Detective Blitz can hunt down a transgressing hack-driver by some peculiarity in the style of his blasphemy.

The forte of Lees and Ellis, is the unearthing of embezzlers and forgers. Each of these men are best in one particular line, but at the same time they are good in all. And now we have Piper, who takes a cake, dropped in the Lick House by a coat-thief, and sits down to read it as another man would a newspaper. It informs him who baked the cake; who bought it; where the purchaser lives; that he is a Mexican; that his name is Salcero; that he is a thief by profession—and then Piper marches away two miles, to the Presidio, and grabs this foreigner, and convicts him with the cake that cannot lie, and makes him shed his boots and finds $200 in greenbacks in them, and makes him shuck himself and finds upon him store of stolen gold. And so Salcero goes to the station-house. The detectives are smart, but I remarked to a friend that some of the other policemen were not. He said the remark was unjust—that those "other policemen were as smart as they could afford to be for $125 a month." It was not a bad idea. Still, I contend that some of them could not afford to be Daniel Websters, maybe, for any amount of money.


Ah, but Fitz Smythe can be severe when it suits his humor. He knocks "Outcroppings" as cold as a wedge in his last "Amigo" letter to the Gold Hill News, in a single paragraph—yet it cost you a whole page of the Enterprise to express your disapprobation of that volume of poems. He says, "The contents are of course suited to the capacity of children only." This will make those Eastern papers feel mighty bad, because several of them have spoken highly of the book and thought it was written for men and women to read.

But I attach no weight to Smythe's criticisms, because he don't know anything about polite literature; he has had no experience in it further than to write up runaway horse items for the Alta and act as Private Secretary to Emperor Norton. And even in the latter capacity he has never composed the Emperor's proclamations; his duties extended no further than to copy them for the Gold Hill News, and anybody could do that. As for poetry, he never wrote but two poems in his life. One was entitled, "The Dream of Norton I, Emperor," which was tolerably good, but not as good as the "Chandos Picture," and the other was one which he composed when the news came of the assassination of the President. This latter effort was bad, but I do not really think he knows it, else why should he feel so injured because it was not inserted in "Outcroppings"? But perhaps it is not fair in me thus to pass judgment upon that poem, when possibly I am no more competent to discern poetical merit or demerit than I conceive him to be himself. Therefore, rather than do Fitz Smythe an unintentional injustice, I will quote one verse from the poem which I have called "bad," and leave the people to endorse my criticism or reject it, as shall seem unto them best:


Gone! gone! gone!

Forever and forever! Gone! gone! gone!
The tidings ne'er shall sever! Gone! gone! gone!
Wherever! Oh, wherever! Gone! gone! gone!
Gone to his endeavor!


Gone forever!
To wherever!
Ne'er shall sever!
His endeavor!
From our soul's high recompense!

I consider that the chief fault in this poem is that it is ill-balanced—lop-sided, so to speak. There is too much "gone" in it, and not enough "forever." I will do the author the credit to say, however, that there is in it a manifestation of genius of a high order. It is a dangerous kind of genius, however, as two poets here, gifted exactly similar, have lately demonstrated—they both transgressed laws whereof the penalty is capital punishment. I have to be a little severe, now, because I am a friend to "Outcroppings," and I do not like to see you and Smythe trying to bring the book into disrepute.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1865

[dated December 20, 1865]


The new swimming bath in South Park is attracting large crowds of curious visitors, who are anxious to test its virtues, but as yet it is not quite ready to be thrown open to the public. The great bath-house is finished, however, and this morning they are ornamenting its ample front with an immense painting, representing men swimming in all manner of impossible attitudes. It is as full of gorgeous coloring as a Presbyterian picture of hell, and is as good as a panorama to look at. It promises to be a very popular institution. The North Beach and South Park cars pass directly in front of it.


The eccentric Fourteenth Regulars is the gayest crowd of lads that any war ever did produce, I suppose. It is funny to read the accounts of their doings in the papers every day. They are so supremely indifferent to consequences—or public opinion—or law, or gospel, the police, the devil, or anything else! Each happy Fourteener sallies forth in a gang by himself, like Baxter's hog, and in the course of an hour he has captured a horse, or waylaid a stagecoach, or carried off a showcase, or devastated a dwelling, or snatched a policeman, or got a hundred and fifty people corraled in a narrow court, where he guards the sole exit, and entertains himself by charging on them with his bowie-knife from time to time, and laughing in his hoarse, stormy way when they stampede. Oh, they are gay!

I am really sorry to see that Col. Drumn is about to tone down the exuberance of the Fourteeners, and I am satisfied that my grief is shared by every reporter in town, for three months ago the press oozed columns of the most insipid and resultless run-away beer-wagon items; whereas lately it has scintillated with the most thrilling and readable exploits and adventures of the Fourteeners. Col. Drumn recommends to the Commander of the Department the limiting of passes to the issuance of not more than two at a time—and Chief Burke, I have no doubt, will take care that the whole police force turns out, armed to the teeth, to look after these two. The Fourteeners have been accustomed to carnage and battle in the Eastern wars so long, that they don't mind a small squad of police at all—look upon such as only a troublesome interruption to their amusements, but not a positive obstruction.

Territorial Enterprise, December 19-21, 1865

[portion of San Francisco Letter]



The following celebrated artistes have been engaged at a ruinous expense, and will perform the following truly marvelous feats:

PETE HOPKINS, the renowned Spectre of the Mountains, will walk a tight rope—the artist himself being tighter than the rope at the time—from the Cliff House to Seal Rock, and will ride back on the Seal known as Ben Butler, or the Seal will ride back on him, as circumstances shall determine.

JIM EOFF will exhibit the horse Patchen, and explain why he did not win the last race.

HARRIS COVEY will exhibit Lodi and Jim Barton, and BILLY WILLIAMSON will favor the audience with their pedigree and sketches of their history. N.B.—This will be very entertaining.

JEROME LELAND will exhibit the famous cow, in a circus ring prepared for the occasion, and perform several feats of perilous cowmanship on her back.

COMMODORE PERRY CHILDS will take a drink—the weather permitting. This was to have been done by another acrobat, but he is out of practice, and Mr. Childs has kindly volunteered in his place.

MICHAEL REESE will dance the Stock Gallopade, in which fine exhibition he will be assisted by several prominent brokers.

After which JUDGE BRYAN will sing two verses of "Neapolitaine"—by request.

The whole to conclude with the grand tableau of the "Children in the Wood"—Children in the Wood: Emperor Norton and the Spectre of the Mountains.

Territorial Enterprise, December 22-23, 1865


The talk occasioned by Maguire's unseemly castigation of Macdougall, while the latter was engaged in conversation with a lady, was dying out, happily for both parties, but Mr. Macdougall has set it going again by bringing that suit of his for $5,000 for the assault and battery. If he can get the money, I suppose that is at least the most profitable method of settling the matter. But then, will he? Maybe so, and maybe not. But if he feels badly—feels hurt—feels disgraced at being chastised, will $5,000 entirely soothe him and put an end to the comments and criticisms of the public? It is questionable. If he would pitch in and whale Maguire, though, it would afford him real, genuine satisfaction, and would also furnish me with a great deal more pleasing material for a paragraph than I can get out of the regular routine of events that transpire in San Francisco—which is a matter of still greater importance. If the plaintiff in this suit of damages were to intimate that he would like to have a word from me on this subject, I would immediately sit down and pour out my soul to him in verse. I would tune up my muse and sing to him the following pretty


Come, now, Macdougall!
Can lucre pay
For thy dismembered coat—
Thy strangulated throat—
Thy busted bugle?
Speak thou! poor W. J.!
And say—
I pray—
If gold can soothe your woes,
Or mend your tattered clothes,
Or heal your battered nose,
Oh bunged-up lump of clay!
Be wise!
Macdougall, d—n your eyes!
Don't legal quips devise
To mend your reputation,
And efface the degradation
Of a blow that's struck in ire!
But 'ware of execration,
Unless you take your station
In a strategic location,
In mood of desperation,
And "lam" like all creation
This infernal Tom Maguire!

Territorial Enterprise, December 24 or 26, 1865

[portion of letter]

San Francisco Letter



[discusses recent problems with local judge—text not available]


The following fine Christmas poem appears in the Alta of this morning, in the unostentatious garb of an editorial. This manner of "setting it" robs it of half its beauty. I will arrange it as blank verse, and then it will read much more charmingly:


"The Holidays are approaching. We hear
Of them and see their signs every day.
The children tell you every morn
How long it is until the glad New Year.
The pavements all are covered o'er
With boxes, which have arrived
Per steamer and are being unpacked
In anticipation sweet, of an unusual demand.
The windows of the shops
Montgomery street along,
Do brilliant shine
With articles of ornament and luxury;
The more substantial goods,
Which eleven months now gone
The place have occupied,
Having been put aside for a few revolving weeks,
Silks, satins, laces, articles of gold and silver,
Jewels, porcelains from Sevres,
And from Dresden;
Bohemian and Venetian glass,
Pictures, engravings,
Bronzes of the finest workmanship
And price extravagant, attract
The eye at every step
Along the promenades of fashion.
The hotels
With visitors are crowded, who have come
From the ultimate interior to enjoy
Amusements metropolitan, or to find
A more extensive market, and prices lower
For purchases, than country towns afford.
Abundant early rains a prosperous year
Have promised—and the dry
And sunny weather which prevailed hath
For two weeks past, doth offer
Facilities profound for coming to the city,
And for enjoyment after getting here.
The ocean beach throughout the day,
And theatres, in shades of evening, show
A throng of strangers glad residents as well.
All appearances do indicate
That this blithe time of holiday
In San Francisco will
Be one of liveliness unusual, and brilliancy withal!"

[Exit Chief Editor, bowing low—impressive music.]

I cannot admire the overstrong modesty which impels a man to compose a stately anthem like that and run it together in the solid unattractiveness of a leading editorial.


This morning's Alta is brilliant. The fine poem I have quoted is coppered by a scintillation of Fitz Smythe's in the same column. He calls the thieving scalliwags of the Fourteenth Infantry "niptomaniacs." That is not bad considering that it much more intelligently describes their chief proclivity than "kleptomaniac" describes the weakness of another kind of thieves. The merit of this effort ranks so high that it is a mercy it is only a smart remark instead of a joke—otherwise Fitz Smythe must have perished, and instantly. For fear that this remark may be obscure to some persons I will explain by informing the public that the soothsayers were called in at the time of Fitz Smythe's birth, and they read the stars and prophecied that he was destined to lead a long and eventful life, and to arrive to great distinction for his untiring industry in endeavoring, for the period of near half a century, to get off a joke. They said that many times during his life the grand end and aim of his existence would seem to be in his reach, and his mission on earth on the point of being fulfilled; but again and again bitter disappointment would overtake him; what promised so fairly to be a joke would come forth still-born; but he would rise superior to despair and make new and more frantic efforts. And these wise men said that in the evening of his life, when hope was well nigh dead with him, he would some day, all unexpectedly to himself, and likewise to the world, produce a genuine joke, and one of marvelous humor—and then his head would cave in, and his bowels be rent asunder, and his arms and his legs would drop off and he would fall down and die in dreadful agony. "Niptomaniac" is a felicitous expression, but God be thanked it is not a joke. If it had been, it would have killed him—the mission of Armand Leonidas Fitz Smythe would have been accomplished.


The last news from Frank Mayo will be gratifying to his host of friends and admirers in California and Nevada. His rank is "Stock Star," and he plays the leading characters in heavy pieces, and, the Boston papers say, plays them as well as is done by any great actor in America, and make no exceptions. He traveled through the chief cities with the Keans, starring by himself in afterpieces, and playing with the Keans when there was no afterpiece—taking such parts as "Henry VIII." The Philadelphia papers said the Keans were very well, but Mr. Mayo was the best actor in the lot!

Louis Aldrich, in his new Boston engagement, will take high rank also, and play "first old man" and such characters. He will do well in the East. You never saw a man make such striding advances in professional excellence as Aldrich has done since he first played in Virginia. He "holds over" Mayo in one respect—he will study, and study hard, too—and Mayo won't.


In an editorial setting forth the palpable fact that California and Nevada are cutting their own throats by their mistaken sagacity in hanging on to their double-eagle circulating medium, instead of smoothing the way for the adoption of greenbacks as our currency, the Flag touches upon several matters of immediate interest to Washoe, and I make an extract:

In the large city of Virginia, the San Francisco system of moneyed exclusiveness prevails completely. Two or three usurers have taken advantage of the necessities of the community and, upon loans at exorbitant interest, obtained some sort of possession of nearly all of the real estate and house property in the city. The Bank of California through its various connections, has worked itself into the proprietorship of the most valuable mines, and this has been accomplished by first depreciating the stock and then buying it under the stress of "a stock panic." Men who cannot sustain the depreciation, maintain their credit and transact their business independent of a high value of their mining stock, must yield in order to ease their fall, and then, as they become ruined, they witness the outrage of their ruin, and retire in despair from enterprise and competition. The stock market has lately been unusually depressed. The California speculators and Specific Contract fellows of the two States have caused the depression, and now, having absorbed nearly all of the mining property, they are preparing to create a "revival" of stock speculation whereby they will again deceive the public, realize enormous sums and effect new ruin in every direction but their own.


I do not know why I should head these two items from the Call "personal," but I do:

THE "TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE."—This admirably conducted paper has entered on its eighth year of existence.

CHANGED.—The Virginia Union has changed from a morning to an evening paper. It manifests a restlessness which may precede speedy dissolution.


A French broker on Montgomery street quarreled with his rival in a tender affair, the other day, and a challenge passed, and was accepted. The seconds determined to merely load the pistols with blank cartridges, and have some fun out of the matter; but they got to drinking rather freely, ran all night, and when the party arrived on the dueling ground, at early dawn, the seconds were not sober enough to act their part with sufficient gravity to carry their plan through successfully. The principals discovered that they were being trifled with, and indignantly left the ground. I could get no names. All I could find out was that the seconds were two well-known "sports," that the challenge was sent and accepted in good faith, and that one of the principals was a broker.


The Alta is most unusually and astonishingly brilliant this morning. I cannot do better than give it space and let it illumine your columns. It lets off a level column of editorial to prove that bees eat clover; mice eat bees; cats eat mice; cats bask in the sun; the spots on the sun derange the electric currents; that derangement produces earthquakes; earthquakes make cold weather; and the bees, and the mice, and the cats, and the spots on the sun, and the electric currents, and the earthquakes, and the cold weather, mingling together in one grand fatal combination, produce cholera! Listen to the Alta:

We know that we have sometimes to go a long way around to trace an effect to its cause. Darwin, in "The Origin of Species," states a fact which may be used with advantage in illustration, viz.: The presence of a large number of cats in a village is favorable to the spread of red clover. The reader will at once exclaim—what on earth can cats have to do with that species of the genus trifolium? The answer is—the humble-bee, by a peculiarity of its organization, can alone extract the nectar from the flower of the red clover. In passing from flower to flower it conveys the pollen necessary for the fertilization and consequent spread of the plant. The field mice prey upon the humble-bee, break up its nests, and eat its stores of honey, while the cats destroy the mice; hence it follows that in the natural propagation of the plant in question, the feline tribe perform an important part. Bearing such curious revelations as these in mind, it is easy enough to present a theory to cover the case of mother earth at this time, namely: that the spots on the face of the sun derange the electric currents of the earth; that the derangement of the electric currents produces earthquakes; that earthquakes contribute to cold weather, by permitting the escape of some of the caloric of the interior of the globe, and that all these changes, in some way, are the cause of the rinder-pest and cholera.

Solomon's wisdom was foolishness to this.


Territorial Enterprise, December 26-27, 1865

[portion of San Francisco Letter written December 23, 1865]


A Mr. P. M. Scoofy, of this city, has been raising oysters for two years past, on the Mexican coast, and his first harvest—eight tons—arrived yesterday on the John L. Stephens. They arrived in admirable condition—finer and fatter than they were when they started; for oysters enjoy traveling, and thrive on it; and they learn a good deal more on a flying trip than George Marshall did, and nearly as much as some other Washoe European tourists I could mention, but they are dignified and do not gabble about it so much. I would rather have the society of a traveled oyster than that of George Marshall, because I would not hesitate to show my displeasure if that oyster were to suddenly become gay and talkative, and say: "I was in England, you know, by G—; I went up to Liverpool and there I took the cars and went to London, by _____ _____; I been in Pall Mall, and Cheapside, and Whitefriars, and all them places—been in all of 'em: I been in the Tower of London, and seen all them d—d armors and things they used to wear in an early day; I hired a feller for a shil'n', and he took me all around there and showed me the whole hell-fired arrangement, you know, by G—; and I give him a glass of of'n-of, as they call it, and he jus' froze to me. You show one of them fellers the color of a bit, and he'll stay with you all day, by _____ _____. And I went to Rome—that ain't no slouch of a town, you know—and old? _____ _____! you bet your life. There ain't anything like it in this country—you can't put up any idea how it is; you can't tell a d—d thing about Rome 'thout you see it, by. And I been to Paris—Parree, French call it—you never hear them say Parriss—they would laugh if they was to hear any body call it Parriss, you know. I was there three weeks. I was on the Pong-Nuff, and I been to the Pal-lay Ro-yoll and the Tweeleree, all them d—d places, and the Boolyver and the Boys dee Bullone. I stood there in the Boys dee Bullone and see old Loois Napoleon and his wife come by in his carrage—I was as close to him as from here to that counter there, by G—; I see him take his hat off and bow to them whoopin' French bilks by _____ _____; I stood right there that close—as close as that counter when he went by; I was close enough to a spit in his face if I'd been a mind to, by Hell, a feller might live here a million years, and what would he ever see, by G-d. Parree's the place—style, there, you know—people got money, there, by _____ _____. Let's take a drink, by G—." I wouldn't let a traveled oyster inflict that sort of thing on me, you understand, and refer to the Deity, and to the Savior by his full name, to verify every other important statement. I would rather have the oyster's company than Marshall's when his reminiscences are big within him, but the moment I received the information that "I been to Europe, and all them places, by G—," I would start that oyster on a journey that would astonish it more than all the wonders of "Parree" and "all them d—d places" combined.

I have forgotten what I was going to say about Mr. Scoofy and his Mexican oyster farm, but it don't matter. The main thing is that he will hereafter endeavor to keep this market supplied with his delicious marine fruit; and another great point is that his Mexican oysters are as far superior to the poor little insipid things we are accustomed to here, as is the information furnished by Alexander Von Humboldt concerning foreign lands to that which one may glean from George Marshall in the course of a brief brandy-punch tournament.


San Francisco is a city of startling events. Happy is the man whose destiny it is to gather them up and record them in a daily newspaper! That sense of conferring benefit, profit and innocent pleasure upon one's fellow-creatures which is so cheering, so calmly blissful to the plodding pilgrim here below, is his, every day in the year. When he gets up in the morning he can do as old Franklin did, and say, "This day, and all days, shall be unselfishly devoted to the good of my fellow-creatures—to the amelioration of their condition—to the conferring of happiness upon them—to the storing of their minds with wisdom which shall fit them for their struggle with the hard world, here, and for the enjoyment of a glad eternity hereafter. And thus striving, so shall I be blessed!" And when he goes home at night, he can exult and say: "Through the labors of these hands and this brain, which God hath given me, blessed and wise are my fellow-creatures this day!

"I have told them of the wonder of the swindling of the friend of Bain, the unknown Bain from Petaluma Creek, by the obscure Catharine McCarthy, out of $300—and told it with entertaining verbosity in half a column.

"I have told them that Christmas is coming, and people go strangely about, buying things—I have said it in forty lines.

"I related how a vile burglar entered a house to rob, and actually went away again when he found he was discovered. I told it briefly, in thirty-five lines.

"In forty lines I told how a man swindled a Chinaman out of a couple of shirts, and for fear the matter might seem trivial, I made a pretense of only having mentioned it in order to base upon it a criticism upon a grave defect in our laws.

"I fulminated again, in a covert way, the singular conceit that Christmas is at hand, and said people were going about in the most unaccountable way buying stuff to eat, in the markets—52 lines.

"I glorified a fearful conflagration that came so near burning something, that I shudder even now to think of it. Three thousand dollars worth of goods destroyed by water—a man then went up and put out the fire with a bucket of water. I puffed our fine fire organization—64 lines.

"I printed some other extraordinary occurrences—runaway horse—28 lines; dog fight—30 lines; Chinaman captured by officer Rose for stealing chickens—90 lines; unknown Chinaman dead on Sacramento steamer—5 lines; several 'Fourteener' items, concerning people frightened and boots stolen—52 lines; case of soldier stealing a washboard worth fifty cents—three-quarters of a column. Much other wisdom I disseminated, and for these things let my reward come hereafter."

And his reward will come hereafter—and I am sorry enough to think it. But such startling things do happen every day in this strange city!—and how dangerously exciting must be the employment of writing them up for the daily papers!


I spoke to you a day or two ago about the terrific panorama with which the proprietors of the new swimming baths out at South Park have glorified the ample front of their building by way of a sign. It never entered my head that any one's modesty would be shocked by that distressing caricature, but we live to learn, and I was mistaken. Some of the citizens of that vicinage complain that the picture is obscene, and they have taken steps to present it before the proper authorities as a nuisance! Oh, but this is air-drawn delicacy!

The dreadful picture is about thirty feet long and eight or ten feet wide. It is painted in defiance of all rules of art and the possibilities of nature. It represents a square tank as large as a plaza, and surrounded by long bulkheads of highly ornamental bath-room doors, after the fashion of steamboat cabin architecture. At one end a fountain squirts a vast spray of water into the air. Here and there men are seen jumping from spring-boards into the great tank; other men are swimming about in all sorts of attitudes except natural and passable ones. Two bald-headed patriarchs are skylarking around a small boat like a pair of schoolboys. Expensively dressed men are seen coming in to bathe, and other expensively dressed gentlemen are seen leaving the place after having performed their ablutions. The swimmers are the ones the fastidious South Parkers object to. Yet they make exactly the same appearance in that picture that daring equestrians and acrobats do in the circus bills. They are dressed about the loins in an exceedingly short pair of pantaloons, and the remainder of their bodies is naked or clad in tights—it is impossible to determine which. Their legs look like prize carrots, though this is not a good flesh color; wherefore I think the bath man will be able to demonstrate, on his trial, that his model artists are necessarily dressed in tights, since nature never painted human legs of such a preposterous color. This will establish the fact that his sign is not indelicate, and he will be allowed to go free and be no further molested. You only need to look once at that barbarous piece of mud-daubing to appreciate the absurdity of any one's modesty being offended by it. I have no doubt all those who are complaining of this sign went to see the Menken play Mazeppa in her much scantier attire, and blushed not.

Territorial Enterprise, December 10-31, 1865

[portion of San Francisco Letter]


One would hardly expect to receive a neat, voluntary compliment from so grave an institution as the United States Revenue Office, but such has been my good fortune. I have not been so agreeably surprised in many a day. The Revenue officers, in a communication addressed to me, fondle the flattering fiction that I am a man of means, and have got "goods, chattels and effects"—and even "real estate!" Gentlemen, you couldn't have paid such a compliment as that to any man who would appreciate it higher, or be more grateful for it than myself. We will drink together, if you object not.

I am taxed on my income! This is perfectly gorgeous! I never felt so important in my life before. To be treated in this splendid way, just like another William B. Astor! Gentlemen, we must drink.

Yes, I am taxed on my income. And the printed paper which bears this compliment—all slathered over with fierce-looking written figures—looks as grand as a steamboat's manifest. It reads thus:



Name—M. Twain

Residence—At Large

List and amount of tax—$31.25



Total amount—$36.82

Date—November 20, 1865.


Deputy Collector.

Please present this at the Collector's office."

Now I consider that really handsome. I have got it framed beautifully, and I take more pride in it than any of my other furniture. I trust it will become an heirloom and serve to show many generations of my posterity that I was a man of consequence in the land—that I was also the recipient of compliments of the most extraordinary nature from high officers of the national government.

On the other side of this complimentary document I find some happy blank verse headed "Warrant," and signed by the poet "Frank Soule, Collector of Internal Revenue." Some of the flights of fancy in this Ode are really sublime, and show with what facility the poetic fire can render beautiful the most unpromising subject. For instance: "You are hereby commanded to distrain upon so much of the goods, chattels and effects of the within named person, if any such can be found, etc." However, that is not so much a flight of fancy as a flight of humor. It is a fine flight, though, anyway. But this one is equal to anything in Shakspeare: "But in case sufficient goods, chattels and effects cannot be found, then you are hereby commanded to seize so much of the real estate of said person as may be necessary to satisfy the tax." There's poetry for you! They are going to commence on my real estate. This is very rough. But then the officer is expressly instructed to find it first. That is the saving clause for me. I will get them to take it all out in real estate. And then I will give them all the time they want to find it in.

But I can tell them of a way whereby they can ultimately enrich the Government of the United States by a judicious manipulation of this little bill against me—a way in which even the enormous national debt may be eventually paid off! Think of it! Imperishable fame will be the reward of the man who finds a way to pay off the national debt without impoverishing the land; I offer to furnish that method and crown these gentlemen with that fadeless glory. It is so simple and plain that a child may understand it. It is thus: I perceive that by neglecting to pay my income tax within ten days after it was due, I have brought upon myself a "penalty" of three dollars and twelve cents extra tax for that ten days. Don't you see?—let her run! Every ten days, $3.12; every month of 31 days, $10; every year, $120; every century, $12,000; at the end of a hundred thousand years, $1,200,000,000 will be the interest that has accumulated...

Territorial Enterprise, December 1865


If I were Police Judge here, I would hold my court in the city prison and sentence my convicts to imprisonment in the present Police Court room. That would be capital punishment—it would be the Spartan doom of death for all crimes, whether important or insignificant. The Police Court room, with its deadly miasma, killed Judge Shepheard and Dick Robinson, the old reporter, and will kill Judge Rix, and Fitz Smythe also. The papers are just now abusing the police room—a thing which they do in concert every month. This time, however, they are more than usually exercised, because somebody has gone and built a house right before the only window the room had, and so it is midnight there during every hour of the twenty-four, and gas has to be burned while all other people are burning daylight.

That Police Court room is not a nice place. It is the infernalest smelling den on earth, perhaps. A deserted slaughter-house, festering in the sun, is bearable, because it only has one smell, albeit it is a lively one; a soap-factory has its disagreeable features, but the soap-factory has but one smell, also; to stand to leeward of a sweating negro is rough, but even a sweating negro has but one smell; the salute of the playful polecat has its little drawbacks, but even the playful polecat has but one smell, and you can bury yourself to the chin in damp sand and get rid of the odor eventually. Once enter the Police Court though—once get yourself saturated with the fearful combination of miraculous stenches that infect its atmosphere, and neither sand nor salvation can ever purify you any more! You will smell like a polecat, like a slaughter-house, like a soap-factory, like a sweating negro, like a graveyard after an earthquake—for all time to come—and you will have a breath like a buzzard. You enter the door of the Police Court, and your nostrils are saluted with an awful stench; you think it emanates from Mr. Hess, the officer in charge of the door; you say to yourself, "Some animal has crawled down this poor man's throat and died"; you step further in, and you smell the same smell, with another, still more villainous, added to it; you remark to yourself, "This is wrong—very wrong; these spectators ought to have been buried days ago." You go a step further and you smell the same two smells, and another more ghastly than both put together; you think it comes from the spectators on the right. You go further and a fourth, still more powerful, is added to your three horrible smells; and you say to yourself, "These lawyers are too far gone—chloride of lime would be of no benefit here." One more step, and you smell the Judge; you reel, and gasp; you stagger to the right and smell the Prosecuting Attorney—worse and worse; you stagger fainting to the left, and your doom is sealed; you enter the fatal blue mist where ten reporters sit and stink from morning until night—and down you go! You are carried out on a shutter, and you cannot stay in the same room with yourself five minutes at a time for weeks.

You cannot imagine what a horrible hole that Police Court is. The cholera itself couldn't stand it there. The room is about 24 x 40 feet in size, I suppose, and is blocked in on all sides by massive brick walls; it has three or four doors, but they are never opened—and if they were they only open into airless courts and closets anyhow; it has but one window, and now that is blocked up, as I was telling you; there is not a solitary air-hole as big as your nostril about the whole place. Very well; down two sides of the room, drunken filthy loafers, thieves, prostitutes, China chicken-stealers, witnesses, and slimy guttersnipes who come to see, and belch and issue deadly smells, are banked and packed, four ranks deep—a solid mass of rotting, steaming corruption. In the centre of the room are Dan Murphy, Zabriskie, the Citizen Sam Platt, Prosecuting Attorney Louderback, and other lawyers, either of whom would do for a censer to swing before the high altar of hell. Then, near the Judge are a crowd of reporters—a kind of cattle that did never smell good in any land. The house is full—so full that you have to actually squirm and shoulder your way from one part of it to another—and not a single crack or crevice in the walls to let in one poor breath of God's pure air! The dead, exhausted, poisoned atmosphere looks absolutely blue and filmy, sometimes—did when they had a little daylight. Now they have only gas-light and the added heat it brings. Another Judge will die shortly if this thing goes on.

Territorial Enterprise, December 1865

[written December 29, 1865]


Louderback, Prosecuting Attorney in the Police Court, has discovered something at last. How it thrills me to think of it! For two long years I have waited patiently for that man to discover something, and he never could do it. He has always gone through with his same old formula, in every case before the Court, and has never shown any inclination to branch out into anything fresh. That formula was as follows: Mr. Louderback addresses the witness:

"Did this all happen in the city'n county of San Francisco?"


L.—"You are sure of that, now?"

W—"Yes, sure."

L.—(With severity)—"Remember, you are on your oath—we can't have any prevarication here. You are certain it all happened in the city'n county of San Francisco?"

W—"Yes; certain. I know it did."

L.—(To witness)—"That'll do—set down" (To Judge)—"Your honor, I don't think there is any use in hearing the evidence on the other side—the defendant appears to be guilty."

As long as he flows along comfortably in that regular old groove of his, Louderback is bound to succeed—is bound to succeed as well as he ever has done. And why he should suddenly bulge out and go to "discovering" things in this startling and unexpected manner, is a mystery to me, and must be a source of distress and uneasiness to his nurse. But here is what the Call says:

A practice has obtained in the Police Court, which will no doubt convince the public that San Francisco practitioners are as shrewd as 'Philadelphia lawyers.' It is a habit certain attorneys have of engaging to defend a person charged with some petty offense, and getting some other person to represent them, while they state to the Court that they are retained on behalf of the prosecution, and then have the Court dismiss the case without investigation, by stating there is no prospect of obtaining a conviction, and that the time of the Court would be needlessly occupied. The Prosecuting Attorney has discovered the dodge, and will hereafter resist all such motions.

"The Prosecuting Attorney has discovered the dodge"—the Prosecuting Attorney discovered it! Good God!

Territorial Enterprise, December 31, 1865

[portion of San Francisco Letter written December 28, 1865]


Some one (I do not know who,) left me a card photograph, yesterday, which I do not know just what to do with. It has the names of Dan De Quille, W. M. Gillespie, Alf. Doten, Robert Lowery and Charles A. Parker on it, and appears to be a pictured group of notorious convicts, or something of that kind. I only judge by the countenances, for I am not acquainted with these people, and do not usually associate with such characters. This is the worst lot of human faces I have ever seen. That of the murderer Doten, (murderer, isn't he?) is sufficient to chill the strongest heart. The cool self-possession of the burglar Parker marks the man capable of performing deeds of daring confiscation at dead of night, unmoved by surrounding perils. The face of the Thug, De Quille, with its expression of pitiless malignity, is a study. Those of the light fingered gentry, Lowery and Gillespie, show that ineffable repose and self-complacency so deftly assumed by such characters after having nipped an overcoat or a pair of brass candlesticks and are aware that officers have suspected and are watching them. I am very glad to have this picture to keep in my room, as a hermit keeps a skull, to remind me what I may some day become myself. I have permitted the Chief of Police to take a copy of it, for obvious reasons.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


There was a good deal of visiting done here on New Year's Day. The air was balmy and spring-like, and the day was in every way suited to that sort of business. I say business, because it is more like business than pleasure when you call at a house where all are strangers, and the majority of one's New Year's Calls are necessarily of that description. You soon run through the list of your personal friends—and that part of the day's performances affords you genuine satisfaction—and then Smith comes along and puts you through your paces before a hundred people who treat you kindly, but whom you dare not joke with. You can be as easy and comfortable as a mud-turtle astraddle of a sawyer, but you must observe some show of decorum—you must behave yourself. It is irksome to me to behave myself. Therefore, I had rather call on people who know me and will kindly leave me entirely unrestrained, and simply employ themselves in looking out for the spoons.

When I started out visiting, at noon, the atmosphere was laden with a sweet perfume—a grateful incense that told of flowers, and green fields, and breezy forests far away. But this was only soda-water sentiment, for I soon discovered that these were the odors of the barber shop, and came from the heads of small squads of carefully-dressed young men who were out paying their annual calls.

I took wine at one house and some fruit at another, and after that I began to yearn for some breakfast. It took me two hours to get it. A lady had just given me the freedom of her table when a crowd of gentlemen arrived and my sense of propriety compelled me to destroy nothing more than a cup of excellent coffee. At the next house I got no further than coffee again, being similarly interrupted; at the next point of attack there were too many strange young ladies present, and at the next and the next, something always happened to interfere with my arrangements. I do not know, but perhaps it would be better to defer one's New Year's calls until after breakfast. I did finally corral that meal, and in the house of a stranger—a stranger, too, who was so pleasant that I was almost tempted to create a famine in her house.

It used to be customary for people to drink too much in the course of their annual visits, but few offended in this way on this occasion. I saw one well-dressed gentleman sitting on the curb-stone, propping his face between his knees, and clasping his shins with his hands; but he was the only caller I saw so much discouraged during the whole day. He said he had started out most too early, and I suppose he was right. Wisdom teaches us that none but birds should go out early, and that not even birds should do it unless they are out of worms. Some of the ladies dressed "in character" on New Year's. I found Faith, Hope and Charity in one house, dealing out claret punch and kisses to the annual pilgrims. They had two kinds of kisses—those which you bite and "chaw" and swallow, and those which you simply taste, and then lick your chops and feel streaky. The only defect there was in the arrangement was that you were not permitted to take your choice. Two other ladies personated Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth; I also found a Cleopatra and a Hebe and a Semiramis and a Maria Antoinette; also a Beauty and the Beast. A young lady, formerly of Carson, was the Beauty, and took the character well; and I suppose Beecher was the Beast, but he was not calculated for the part. I think those are very neat compliments for both parties.

When it came to visiting among strangers, at last, I soon grew tired and quit. You enter with your friend and are introduced formally to some formal looking ladies. You bow painfully and wish the party a happy New Year. You then learn that the party desire that a like good fortune may fall to your lot. You are invited to sit down, and you do so. About this time the door-bell rings, and Jones, Brown and Murphy bluster in and bring the familiar fragrance of the barber shop with them. They are acquainted. They inquire cordially after the absent members of the family and the distant relatives of the same, and relate laughable adventures of the morning that haven't got anything funny about them. Then they cast up accounts and determine how many calls they have made and how many they have got to inflict yet. The ladies respond by exhibiting a balance sheet of their own New Year's Day transactions. Yourself and your friend are then conducted with funeral solemnity into the back parlor, where you sip some wine with imposing ceremony. If your human instincts get the upper hand of you and you explode a joke, an awful sensation creeps over you such as a man experiences when he catches himself whistling at a funeral. It is time for you to go, then.

New Year's was pretty generally enjoyed here, up stairs and down. At one place where I called, a servant girl was needed, for something, and the bell was rung for her several times without effect. Madame went below to see what the matter was, and found Bridget keeping "open house" and entertaining thirteen muscular callers in one batch. Up stairs there had been only eleven calls received, all told. One chambermaid notified her mistress that extra help must be procured for New Year's Day, as she and the cook had made arrangements to keep open house in the kitchen, and they desired that their visitors should not be discommoded by interruptions emanating from above stairs. I am told that nearly all the Biddies in town kept open house. Some of them set finer tables than their mistresses. The reason was because the latter did not consider anything more than tea and coffee and cakes necessary for their tables (being church members) but the former seized upon wines, brandies and all the hidden luxuries the closets afforded. Some people affect to think servant girls won't take liberties with people's things, but I suppose it is a mistake.

[Reprinted in the Golden Era, JAN. 14, 1866.]

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866

[Dated January 8, 1866]


Nigger never spoke truer word. White man is mighty "onsartain." An instance of it is to be found in the ingenious manipulation of a certain recent speculation here by a white man whom I have in my mind's eye at present.

A small swimming bath was constructed out yonder at North Beach, as a sort of novel experiment, and everybody was surprised to see what a rush was made to it and what a thriving speculation it at once became. Many a smart man wished the idea had occurred to him, and then thought no more about it. Others pondered over it and thought the experiment might bear repetition, but then there was an uncomfortable possibility of the reverse proving the case. Mr. Aleck Badlam, late a member of the California Legislature, but latterly acting in the double capacity of nephew and business agent to Mr. Samuel Brannan, belonged to the latter class, but was rather more hopeful, more energetic and more fertile in expedients than the rest. He went to work and got up a joint stock association, composed of men with good bank accounts, and announced in the public prints that this association would immediately commence the construction of a colossal swimming bath, with all manner of admirable conveniences and accommodations, away out in Third Street opposite South Park. Many people went on swimming in the pioneer bath, and many others in the Bay, and both parties said the new speculation would prove a disastrous failure, and that they were sorry for the projectors of it, etc., and then bothered no more about it. In a day or two the local reporters fell heirs to a refreshing sensation and were made happy—a genuine shark was harpooned in the Bay of San Francisco! It was brought to town and was visited by crowds of timid citizens while it lay in state in the market place. Mr. Badlam went at once to the various newspaper offices and told the reporters, and was greeted with the ancient formula: "That's bully—there's pen and ink, write it up for a fellow, can't you?"—(you know if you walk a mile to accommodate one of these thieves with an item, he will always impose upon you, with infernal effrontery, the labor of writing it up for him, if you will stand it). Mr. Badlam wrote up the shark item. A few days elapsed, the sensation was cooling down and beginning to be forgotten, when another shark was harpooned in the Bay and exposed to view in the market. People shuddered again. Mr. Badlam went and told the reporters; the reporters got him to write it up. In the course of three days another shark was harpooned in the Bay and placed on exhibition. People began to show signs of uneasiness. Mr. Badlam told the reporters and wrote it up. The new swimming bath was being rushed forward to completion with all possible dispatch. From this time on, for the next six weeks a shark cashed in his checks every twenty-four hours in the Bay of San Francisco. Mr. Badlam discontinued the ceremony of telling the reporters, but he always came at 1 o'clock in the afternoon with several slips of manuscript, laid one down on the reporter's table, said "Shark item," and departed toward the next newspaper office on his regular beat. People began to say "Why, blame these sharks, the Bay's full of them—it ain't hardly as healthy to swim there as it used to was"—and they stopped swimming there. Reporters got to depending on the customary shark item pretty much as a matter of course, and the printers got to making these items "fat" by keeping them "standing" and making such unimportant alterations in them as the variations in the localities of the shark-killing demanded.

The fact of the business was, that Mr. Badlam, that "onsartain white man," had imported the old original shark from the coast of Mexico, and paid some Italian fishermen to take him out in the Bay and harpoon him, and then fetch him ashore and exhibit him in the market place. It was all in the way of business; he wanted to discourage bathing in the Bay and pave the way for the success of his great bath-house scheme at a later day. It is but just to say that he did make bathing in the Bay exceedingly unpopular. He imported all his sharks, and he kept a detachment of shark-killers under regular pay. Sharks come pretty high—sharks are very expensive and he economized occasionally by having the same old shark harpooned and exhibited over and over again as long as he would hang together; and when he had to bring on a fresh one he would vary the interest in the thing by having the fish captured alive and towed ashore and exposed to public view in all his native ferocity; and once he got a number of young pigs killed and scraped clean, towed a shark out in the Bay, fed the pigs to him, towed him back again and landed him at the head of the Long Bridge when there were about two thousand people promenading on it, got a multitude collected around the spot, killed and cut the shark open, took several chunks of the delicate white young pork out of its stomach, and then hid his face in his handkerchief and said with manifest emotion: "Oh God, this fellow's been eating a child—ah, how sad, how sad!" This culminating stroke of genius crowned Mr. Badlam's patient, long-continued efforts with a splendid success—no man has bathed in the Bay since Mr. B. wrote that item up and travelled his regular newspaper route with it. His labors were over, the bath-house was nearly finished, and he had nothing but easy sailing before him from that time forward. In a few days his monstrous tank was completed and the water turned on, and the very first day he opened business with a hundred and fifty swimmers an hour on an average, and a hundred and fifty more standing around in Menken costume waiting for a chance. There is nothing like trying, you know; and all experience teaches us that the best way to ascertain a thing is to find it. But when it comes to believing all the shark items a sagacious strategist favors you with in the papers, it is well to remember that the wise nigger saith "white man mighty onsartain."


The Alta of this morning publishes a correct statement of the embezzlement by young Macy of $39,000 from the mint, and you can copy it; but there are some little matters in the background which always come within a correspondent's province in cases of this kind, but which are usually omitted from the accounts in the local press, and these I will talk about. Mr. Cheeseman is U.S. Sub Treasurer, and ex officio treasurer of the mint. Macy, his brother in-law, was his paying clerk—his cashier. He is a green, gawky young fellow about twenty-four or—five years old; and by a glance at his gait and the shape of his head and his general appearance, an experienced business man would judge his capacity to be about equal to the earning of, say fifty dollars a month. But he was the Sub-Treasurer's brother-in-law—he was a barnacle, and had to be provided with a place in the Circumlocution Office, whether he knew enough to come in out of the rain or not. So he was made paying clerk, at a salary of $2,500 a year, and placed in a position where twenty millions in gold coin and oceans of greenbacks passed through his hands in the course of a year. Mr. Swain, the Superintendent of the mint, did not fancy this appointment, but it was out of his jurisdiction. Mr. Cheeseman has the appointing of his own clerks, although all their reports must be made finally to the Superintendent, and all their acts come under his supervision.

Naturally there was nothing bad about young Macy, but it is believed—well, I might go so far as to say it was known—that some mining speculators got around him and persuaded him to put mint funds in stocks, promising to "stand behind him." He did so, and they stood behind him until the crash in stocks warned them to stand some where else and then they dropped him—having made what they could out of him, no doubt. He had been speculating on the mint's money six months before he was found out—the work men occasionally going without their wages in the meantime because of the lack of supplies. Mr. Swain's suspicions were first aroused by seeing him so frequently in company with speculators and hearing so often on the street of his transactions in heavy stocks. But Macy's books came out right every month and nothing could be shown against him. One of his thefts was a bold one. The coiner sent him three "melts" at different times—three batches of gold coin—two of a hundred thousand dollars each and one of a hundred and twenty thousand. Each had the usual "tag," describing the amount contained. Macy removed and tore up the $120,000 "tag," and sent to the coiner a message that he had lost the tag from one of the $100,000 batches—a thing which sometimes occurs. The coiner sent him the necessary substitute, and he altered the date and placed the new tag on the $120,000 "melt"; but he carried off the extra $20,000 first.

At the last quarterly examination the money and the books were all right, but Macy displayed such distress and trepidation during the examination that he excited the suspicions of more than one of the mint officials; he had been shinning around the streets all day long, too, and it was thought that he had been getting a temporary loan to make his accounts straight with. Such a rigid surveillance was commenced then, and so many informal examinations instituted, that Macy finally packed and ran off. This was in December. The facts of this embezzlement have only just come to light and its full extent only just now finally ferreted out and made known to the public, but the Department at Washington has been kept posted upon the subject by telegraph from time to time during the last two or three weeks.


Saw two or three dozen invited guests in the new bath and a free champagne blow-out served up for them in an ante-room. The water was seven feet deep, and there was 300,000 gallons of it, heated to a pleasant temperature, barring the cold streaks here and there. Each man has a little stateroom to himself and a couple of towels. The price of the baths is one for 25 cents or 3 for a dollar, and you can swim an hour. Mr. Nash's swimming pupils pay $10 a month or $20 for 3 months, and bathe whenever they please. There are spring boards, parallel bars, rings, flying trapeze, ladders—a complete gymnasium—suspended over the water. Among the swimmers were—but as these individuals are represented in the panoramic sign on the front of the bath house, I will merely talk of their portraits and say nothing of their swimming. It is my duty to explain that sign, because many people imagine it is a fancy sketch, and are distressed to think any artist would be so depraved as to paint such impossible figures and faces and elevate the devilish libel in full view without a word of apology.


In the bath-house sign are very correct likenesses of the chief stockholders, and are as follows: The fleshy, smiling, bald-headed man hanging to the middle of the little life boat, is Mr. O. P. Sutton, in the banking interest. The bald headed man hanging on near the stern of the boat, is Mr. Aleck Badlam, the shark-fancier. The man on the left, who is just starting on the spring-board, is Col. Monstery, the fencing-master. The inverted young man on the bow of the boat who is performing some kind of extraordinary gymnastic feat and appears to have got it a little mixed, is Captain McComb. The central figure, swinging on the trapeze, is Mr. Edward Smith, of the banking interest. The half-submerged figure diving head-foremost at the right of the central fountain, is Mr. A. J. Snyder, the carpenter and builder, and is a very correct portrait as far as it goes. The handsome fat man facing you from the stateroom door on the extreme left, is Mr. Louis Cohn, and is considered a masterpiece of portrait painting. I cannot recognize the stockholder immediately under the spring board on the left, on account of his truly extraordinary position. It may be Fitz Smythe. The gentleman who is splashing himself behind the figure in the swing, and [has] upon his countenance an expression of lively enjoyment, is Professor Nash. The figure in the swing is most too many for me. It may be Menken, or it may be Jeff. Davis, or it may be some other man or some other woman. It is the very picture that so exasperates the South Parkers. It has got baggy breasts like a squaw, and the hips have the ample and rounded swell which belong to the female shape; but the head is masculine. That figure has worried the ladies of South Park a good deal, and it worries me just as much. I shall have to let this personage swing on undisturbed, and leave it to a wiser head to determine the sex and discover the name that belongs to it. It would be very uncomfortable, now, if it should turn out that I have been mistaken, and this remarkable picture should never have been intended for a collection of portraits, after all—in which case I beg pardon.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


I have seen some of the beautiful opals they find in Calaveras county near Mokelumne Hill. Some of them are very handsome. A day or two ago I was shown an Idaho diamond. It was very pure and brilliant, and was said to be a genuine diamond, and of the first water. I compared it with a couple of splendid twenty-five hundred dollar Brazilian diamonds in Tucker's window which have been dazzling people's eyes and attracting considerable attention for a few days past, and I could not swear to any difference. That amounts to something although I am not an expert where it comes to estimating the value and fineness of diamonds. And now they are finding superb moss agates and other precious stones on the river bank right up here at Martinez. This reminds me that there is a hill-side down the gulch below Aurora, Esmeralda, which is covered with round, hard, knotty-surfaced little boulders which display the most beautiful agates when broken open. Might not the Esmeralda people find it profitable to send a bushel or two of those things to the Eastern markets? Nobody cared anything about them when I was there three years ago.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866

[dated January 11, 1866]


By Fitz Smythe!

The usual quiet of our city was rudely broken in upon this morning by the appearance in the Alta of one of those terrible solid column romances about the hair-breadth escapes and prodigies of detective sagacity of the San Francisco police—written by the felicitous novelist, Fitz Smythe. It is put up in regular chapters, with sub-headings, as is Fitz Smythe's custom, when he fulminates a stunning sensation.

Chapter I. is headed "The Koinickers"—dark and mysterious.

Chapter II. is headed "A New Koinicker in the Field!"—the plot thickens.

Then comes Chapter IV.—"The Police after him!"—exciting times.

Chapter V.—"The Decoy Duck?—more mystery.

Chapter VI.—"The New Decoy!"—the red hand of crime begins to show—somewhere.

Chapter VII.—"The Arrest! "—startling situation—thunder and lightning—blue lights burning.

Chapter VIII.—"The 'Queer' Obtained!"—thrilling revelations.

Chapter IX.—"The Conviction!"—closing in, closing in; the wicked are about to be punished, and the good rewarded.

Chapter X.—"Conclusion." The scattered threads are drawn together into one woof; the bad characters are sent to prison, to go from thence to [hell]; detective Lees marries detective Ellis; Chief Burke elevates his eyes and hands over the two kneeling figures and says unctuously, "God bless you my children—God bless you!" All the good characters are happy, even down to Fitz Smythe and his horse—the former in a chance to go through a Chinese funeral dinner, and the latter in the opportunity of eating up a tank of warm asphaltum while the workmen are gone to dinner.

Oh, but this is a lovely romance! And only think of the subject—the police! Think of a man going among the police for the hero of a novel!—unless he wanted a highwayman, or something of that kind.

The romance is gotten up with several objects in view. One is to show how mean a thing it is to call for investigations of police affairs as Dr. Rowell is doing; another is to try and bolster up the Grand Jury's recent "vindication" of the Police Department—the other day—a "vindication" which the public did not accept with as much confidence as they would if it had come from Heaven; another is to show that the stool-pigeon Ned Wellington—"Indian Ned"—who was appointed a special officer by Burke, is no more of a thief or a rascal than many another man on the force, and I think that is unjust to Wellington; and another object—an eternal one with Fitz Smythe—is to glorify his god, the police. This latter is a disease with him; it breaks out all over the Alta every day; and it phazes Smythe worse than the small-pox. Even his horse has become infected by the distemper, and will not bite a police man.

The unfiligreed facts in Smythe's column romance—or at least the facts in the case from which the romance was drawn—may be summed up in a few words, by leaving out the customary adulation of the inspired detectives: A counterfeiter named Farrell came here from the East; the police got after him in their bungling style and seared him away; he went to Virginia, and took $10,000 counterfeit money with him, and buried it under a house, where your police discovered and captured it; he returned here and a "decoy duck" was put on his track and appointed a special policeman—Ned Wellington—or "Smith" as Fitz Smythe with characteristic delicacy calls him in the romance, though why he should is not very plain, since Wellington is more notorious than Fitz Smythe himself. "Smith" was cunning, and trapped Farrell—though of course Smythe gives all the credit to Lees and Ellis. But now comes more trouble—"Smith" can show a commission—show that, "reposing especial confidence in the honesty, integrity," etc., etc., the Police Commissioners—one of whom was the Police Judge—had appointed him to a responsible position in the service of the city, and yet his character is so bad that it will not do to bring him on the stand to testify! More evidence must be had. Another stool-pigeon is put to work with "Smith"—one "Robert G. Crawford, the assumed name of a private clerk of Chief Burke," as Smythe says. [This man's real name was T. B. Fargo, alias Fogo, alias Howard, alias Crawford, and he was a grand rascal of considerable note, notwithstanding he was Chief Burke's confidential clerk.] The two pigeons worked the case through to a successful conclusion. Farrell's counterfeit money was captured, and Farrell himself sent to the Penitentiary. As is entirely proper, Fitz Smythe gives the credit to detective Lees, and glorifies him to the skies. There is the romance—all there is of it worth knowing or printing—yet it is turned into a novel of ten distinct chapters, and occupies more room and flames out with a grander sublimity in the Alta than did the capture of Richmond and the Southern armies, as published in the same paper. How marvelous are thy ways, O Lord!


Why shouldn't I print a romance? Why shouldn't I lionize "Smith" (Ned Wellington), and "Crawford" (T. B. Fargo)? Wouldn't they do for specimens of our police? I should think so—especially since the Grand Jury so triumphantly "vindicated" Wellington a few days ago. The following romance is from the pen of ex-special policeman L. W. Noyes:

Ned Wellington, alias "Indian Ned," is a stool pigeon for Captain Lees, of the police, and has a commission from the Police Commissioners, as a secret detective, notwithstanding they all knew of his having been arrested frequently for various offenses. Ned, with one T. B. Fargo, [worked on the] case of Wm. Farrell, alias "Minnie Price," the counterfeiter, who was arrested last January. During Farrell's trial, in the County Court, Ned was a witness. While on the stand, on the 11th March, he testified that he had a commission, as above stated, and that Captain Lees recommended him; thus the commission was retained to give him authority to carry a pistol for his own defense. On the 24th December, 1864, Ned (being at the time convivious) shot at a man on Pike street; he ran down Commercial street, and officer Blitz arrested him in Con Mooney's, corner of Commercial and Kearny streets. He had thrown the pistol away behind some barrels—went with Blitz and found it. He was taken to the station house, where he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon—bail forfeited. The Call of December 27th says the bail was fixed at $500 (I wonder if it was found). Ned has said that he intended to kill the man, and if he had he could have got out of it. I think he could. On the 11th of March, the facts of Ned having a commission having come out in Court, naturally worries some of the police; the Grand Jury have been overhauling some of them. Next day, the 12th March, Ned was arrested for being implicated in a robbery—was liberated that night. Next day, the 13th, he left for New York on the steamer, no doubt fearing that he might be put upon the stand in Grand Jury rooms. Ned is very shrewd, and he keeps his commission as a sort of fender to put in upon occasions. Ned's co-worker in the Farrell case (T. B. Fargo, alias T. B. Faga, alias I. B. Howard) is another of the same stripe; in the winter of 1864-5, he was an agent for Wells, Fargo & Co., in some of the Western States, where he was a defaulter. He has respectable connections East; his brother settled the matter for him, and started him for California, where he arrived in June; on the passage he gambled with one Winters and Baker, and lost [$7]00 in greenbacks; from June until October he peddled Grant pictures; on the 1st of October, with thirty-seven others, he donned the Police uniform, where he remained as the Chief's confidential clerk until December 15, at which time the Supervisors ordered the dismissal; but Fargo was kept around until Farrell was taken, and I think under pay. All this time he was living with one Hattie Shaw, a prostitute, at the corner of Washington and Pike street; he used to wait upon her to the New York Restaurant for meals, where she paid the bills. Sometimes he carried her meals to her room. He borrowed some $300 from Hattie, telling her that he had a draft on Wells, Fargo & Co. for $2,000 which he would get cashed and pay her. Ned Wellington here comes in and tells Hattie that he has seen the draft, and that Fargo is a gentleman, etc. But the draft never came, and Hattie had to go home with him in order to get coin.

After leaving the police force, he, through Captain Lees' influence, got a place with Donohue & Booth. Fargo represented to them that he was actually starving, and borrowed $20. Next day he was out riding with Hattie and got discharged, being there but a week or so. He then got into Wells, Fargo & Co.'s, during Mr. McLane's sickness, but was discharged as soon as he recovered.

During all this time the police were well aware of what kind of a man Fargo was, and there is no reason why the Chief and Commissioners should not know.

Mr. William McCaffry, who is well known in this city, took pains to tell them of his doings.

On the 13th of June Fargo went East on the opposition steamer; he bought tickets in the name of T.B. Howard, and Mrs. Howard, for himself and Hattie. On the steamer he went by the name of Fargo, and claimed to be a brother of Fargo, of Wells, Fargo & Co. So you see thieves have the inside track with Burke & Co.

I think that last remark of my historian, Noyes, is rather severe, but let it pass.

But I want Fitz Smythe to re-publish another flaming "chapter in the history of the San Francisco Police," and add the above chapter to it, and glorify the Chief's confidential clerk Mr. Fargo (not Crawford, Fitz Smythe,) and Indian Ned Wellington (not "Smith," Fitz Smythe,) and also Buckingham, whom you scarcely deigned to notice while he was on trial for gobbling up the widow's jewelry. I don't want all the glory fastened on the Captains and Chiefs and regulars, and the deeds of the specials—the scallawags who really do all the work—left unsung. Tune up another column of [praise of] them, and blast away, idolatrous Fitz Smythe!

Territorial Enterprise, January 16-18, 1866

[portion of San Francisco letter]


Yesterday, as I was coming along through a back alley, I glanced over a fence, and there was Fitz Smythe's horse. I can easily understand, now, why that horse always looks so dejected and indifferent to the things of this world. They feed him on old newspapers. I had often seen Smythe carrying "dead loads" of old exchanges up town, but I never suspected that they were to be put to such a use as this. A boy came up while I stood there, and said, "That hoss belongs to Mr. Fitz Smythe, and the old man—that's my father, you know—the old man's going to kill him."

"Who, Fitz Smythe?"

"No, the hoss—because he et up a litter of pups that the old man wouldn't a taken forty dol—"

"Who, Fitz Smythe?"

"No, the hoss—and he eats fences and everything—took our gate off and carried it home and et up every dam splinter of it; you wait till he gets done with them old Altas and Bulletins he's a chawin' on now, and you'll see him branch out and tackle a-n-y-thing he can shet his mouth on. Why, he nipped a little boy, Sunday, which was going home from Sunday school; well, the boy got loose, you know, but that old hoss got his bible and some tracts, and them's as good a thing as he wants, being so used to papers, you see. You put anything to eat anywheres, and that old hoss'll shin out and get it—and he'll eat anything he can bite, and he don't care a dam. He'd climb a tree, he would, if you was to put anything up there for him—cats, for instance—he likes cats—he's et up every cat there was here in four blocks—he'll take more chances—why, he'll bust in anywheres for one of them fellers; I see him snake a old tom cat out of that there flower-pot over yonder, where she was a sunning of herself, and take her down, and she a hanging on and a grabbling for a holt on some thing, and you could hear her yowl and kick up and tear around after she was inside of him. You see Mr. Fitz Smythe don't give him nothing to eat but them old newspapers and sometimes a basket of shavings, and so you know, he's got to prospect or starve, and a hoss ain't going to starve, it ain't likely, on account of not wanting to be rough on cats and sich things. Not that hoss, anyway, you bet you. Because he don't care a dam. You turn him loose once on this town, and don't you know he'd eat up m-o-r-e goods-boxes, and fences, and clothing-store things, and animals, and all them kind of valuables? Oh, you bet he would. Because that's his style, you know, and he don't care a dam. But you ought to see Mr. Fitz Smythe ride him around, prospecting for them items—you ought to see him with his soldier coat on, and his mustashers sticking out strong like a catfish's horns, and them long laigs of his'n standing out so, like them two prongs they prop up a step-ladder with, and a jolting down street at four mile a week—oh, what a guy!—sets up stiff like a close pin, you know, and thinks he looks like old General Macdowl. But the old man's a going to hornisswoggle that hoss on account of his goblin up them pups. Oh, you bet your life the old man's down on him. Yes, sir, coming!" and the entertaining boy departed to see what the "old man" was calling him for. But I am glad that I met the boy, and I am glad I saw the horse taking his literary breakfast, because I know now why the animal looks so discouraged when I see Fitz Smythe rambling down Montgomery street on him—he has altogether too rough a time getting a living to be cheerful and frivolous or anyways frisky.


Ain't they virtuous? Don't they take good care of the city? Is not their constant vigilance and efficiency shown in the fact that roughs and rowdies here are awed into good conduct?—isn't it shown in the fact that ladies even on the back streets are safe from insult in the daytime, when they are under the protection of a regiment of soldiers?—isn't it shown in the fact that although many offenders of importance go unpunished, they infallibly snaffle every Chinese chicken-thief that attempts to drive his trade, and are duly glorified by name in the papers for it?—isn't it shown in the fact that they are always on the look-out and keep out of the way and never get run over by wagons and things? And ain't they spry?—ain't they energetic?—ain't they frisky?—Don't they parade up and down the sidewalk at the rate of a block an hour and make everybody nervous and dizzy with their frightful velocity? Don't they keep their clothes nice?—and ain't their hands soft? And don't they work?—don't they work like horses?—don't they, now? Don't they smile sweetly on the women?—and when they are fatigued with their exertions, don't they back up against a lamp-post and go on smiling till they break plum down? But ain't they nice?—that's it, you know!—ain't they nice? They don't sweat—you never see one of those fellows sweat. Why, if you were to see a policeman sweating you would say, "oh, here, this poor man is going to die—because this sort of thing is unnatural, you know." Oh, no—you never see one of those fellows sweat. And ain't they easy and comfortable and happy—always leaning up against a lamp-post in the sun, and scratching one shin with the other foot and enjoying themselves? Serene?—I reckon not.

I don't know anything the matter with the Department, but maybe Dr. Rowell does. Now when Ziele broke that poor wretch's skull the other night for stealing six bits' worth of flour sacks, and had him taken to the Station House by a policeman, and jammed into one of the cells in the most humorous way, do you think there way anything wrong there? I don't. Why should they arrest Ziele and say, "Oh, come, now, you say you found this stranger stealing on your premises, and we know you knocked him on the head with your club—but then you better go in a cell, too, till we see whether there's going to be any other account of the thing—any account that mightn't jibe with yours altogether, you know—you go in for confessed assault and battery, you know." Why should they do that? Well, nobody ever said they did.

And why shouldn't they shove that half senseless wounded man into a cell without getting a doctor to examine and see how badly he was hurt, and consider that next day would be time enough, if he chanced to live that long? And why shouldn't the jailor let him alone when he found him in a dead stupor two hours after—let him alone because he couldn't wake him—couldn't wake a man who was sleeping and with that calm serenity which is peculiar to men whose heads have been caved in with a club—couldn't wake such a subject, but never suspected that there was anything unusual in the circumstance? Why shouldn't the jailor do so? Why certainly—why shouldn't he?—the man was an infernal stranger. He had no vote. Besides, had not a gentleman just said he stole some flour sacks? Ah, and if he stole flour sacks, did he not deliberately put himself outside the pale of humanity and Christian sympathy by that hellish act? I think so. The department think so. Therefore, when the stranger died at 7 in the morning, after four hours of refreshing slumber in that cell, with his skull actually split in twain from front to rear, like an apple, as was ascertained by post mortem examination, what the very devil do you want to go and find fault with the prison officers for? You are always putting in your shovel. Can't you find somebody to pick on besides the police. It takes all my time to defend them from people's attacks.

I know the police department is a kind, humane and generous institution. Why, it was no longer ago than yesterday that I was reminded of that time Captain Lees broke his leg. Didn't the free-handed, noble Department shine forth with a dazzling radiance then? Didn't the Chief detail officers Shields, Ward and two others to watch over him and nurse him and look after all his wants with motherly solicitude—four of them, you know—four of the very biggest and ablest-bodied men on the force—when less generous people would have thought two nurses sufficient—had these four acrobats in active hospital service that way in the most liberal manner, at a cost to the city of San Francisco of only the trifling sum of five hundred dollars a month—the same being the salaries of four officers of the regular police force at $125 a month each. But don't you know there are people mean enough to say that Captain Lees ought to have paid his own nurse bills, and that if he had had to do it maybe he would have managed to worry along on less than five hundred dollars worth of nursing a month? And don't you know that they say also that interest parties are always badgering the Supervisors with petitions for an increase of the police force, and showing such increase to be a terrible necessity, and yet they have always got to be hunting up and creating new civil offices and berths, and making details for nurse service in order to find something for them to do after they get them appointed? And don't you know that they say that they wish to god the city would hire a detachment of nurses and keep them where they will be handy in case of accident, so that property will not be left unprotected while policemen are absent on duty in sick rooms. You can't think how it aggravates me to hear such harsh remarks about our virtuous police force. Ah, well, the police will have their reward hereafter—no doubt.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


Disembodied spirits have been on the rampage now for more than a month past in the house of one Albert Krum, in Kearny street—so much so that the family find it impossible to keep a servant forty-eight hours. The moment a new and unsuspecting servant-maid gets fairly to bed and her light blown out, one of those dead and damned scalliwags takes her by the hair and just "hazes" her; grabs her by the waterfall and snakes her out of bed and bounces her on the floor two or three time; other disorderly corpses shy old boots at her head, and bootjacks, and brittle chamber furniture—washbowls, pitchers, hair-oil, teeth brushes, hoop-skirts—anything that comes handy those phantoms seize and hurl at Bridget, and pay no more attention to her howling than if it were music. The spirits tramp, tramp, tramp, about the house at dead of night, and when a light is struck the footsteps cease and the promenader is not visible, and just as soon as the light is out that dead man goes waltzing around again. They are a bloody lot. The young lady of the house was lying in bed one night with the gas turned down low, when a figure approached her through the gloom, whose ghastly aspect and solemn carriage chilled her to the heart. What do you suppose she did?—jumped up and seized the intruder?—threw a slipper at him?—"laid" him with a misquotation from Scripture? No—none of these. But with admirable presence of mind she covered up her head and yelled. That is what she did. Few young women would have thought of doing that. The ghost came and stood by the bed and groaned—a deep, agonizing, heart-broken groan—and laid a bloody kitten on the pillow by the girl's head. And then it groaned again, and sighed, "Oh, God, and must it be?" and bet another bloody kitten. It groaned a third time in sorrow and tribulation, and went one kitten better. And thus the sorrowing spirit stood there, moaning in its anguish and unloading its mewing cargo, until it had stacked up a whole litter of nine little bloody kittens on the girl's pillow, and then, still moaning, moved away and vanished.

When lights were brought, there were the kittens, with the finger marks of bloody hands upon their white fur—and the old mother cat, that had come after them, swelled her tail in mortal fear and refused to take hold of them. What do you think of that? what would you think of a ghost that came to your bedside at dead of night and had kittens?

[reprinted in the Golden Era, JAN. 28, 1866]

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


The term—"Busted"—applies to most people here. When a noted speculator breaks, you all hear of it; but when Smith and Jones and Brown go under, they make no stir; they are talked about among a small circle of gratified acquaintances, but they industriously keep up appearances, and the world at large go on thinking them as rich as ever. The lists of rich stock operators of two years ago have quietly sunk beneath the wave and financially gone to the devil. Smithers, who owned a hundred and ninety-six feet in one of the big mines, and gave such costly parties, has sent his family to Europe. Blivens, who owned so much in another big mine, and kept such fast horses, has sent his family to Germany, for their health, where they can sport a princely magnificence on fifty dollars a month. Bloggs, who was high-you-a-muck of another great mine, has sent his family home to rusticate a while with his father-in-law. All the nabobs of '63 are pretty much ruined, but they send their families foraging in foreign climes, and hide their poverty under a show of "appearances." If a man's family start anywhere on the steamer now, the public say: "There's the death rattle again—another Croesus has gone in." These are sad, sad, times. We are all "busted," and our families are exiled in foreign lands.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


The old gentleman and the old lady must be seventy-five years old, now. They used to play with Dan Marble in New Orleans, twenty five years ago; earlier, they had a theatre built in a "broad horn," and floated down the Ohio and Mississippi clear to the Belize, tying up every night and knocking Richard III endways for the delectation of any number of graybacks that chose to come, from a dozen to a thousand, and selling tickets for money when they could, and taking Salt Lake currency when they couldn't. They have played in Canada and all over California and Washoe—played everywhere in North America, I may say, and lo! I come to tell you that they still "keep up their lick." I have been honored with a letter from the old lady, dated "Helena, Last Chance, Montana Territory, December 16." She says that they are just five miles from the Missouri river. I suppose they will build a raft in the spring and float down the river, astonishing the Indians with Othello, Richard, Jack Sheppard, etc., and the next thing we hear of them they will be in New Orleans again. The old lady further says:

"We have a theatre and company of Denverites, and are doing well. It is so cold that the quicksilver all froze, or I would tell you how many degrees below zero. Provisions high; salt, $1 per lb; butter, $2.50; flour, $30, and it would not do for you to be here, for tobacco is $6 a pound and scarce...So cold that 50 head of cattle and 2 men who were herding them froze to death on the night of the 14th. Great deal of suffering among miners who were out prospecting. This is a lively town; adjoining camps deserted; everybody wintering here...I play the part of Richard III tonight. Next week I appear as Mazeppa. We charge $1.50 for all seats."

The idea of the jolly, motherly old lady stripping to her shirt and riding a fiery untamed Montana jackass up flights of stairs and kicking and cavorting around the stage on him with the quicksilver frozen in the thermometers and the audience taking brandy punches out of their pockets and biting them, same as people eat peanuts in civilized lands! Why, there is no end to the old woman's energy. She'll go through with Mazeppa with flying colors even if she has to do it with icicles a yard long hanging to her jackass's tail.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866


This is the Sabbath to-day. This is the day set apart by a benignant Creator for rest—for repose from the wearying toils of the week, and for calm and serious (Brown's dog has commenced to howl again—I wonder why Brown persists in keeping that dog chained up?) meditation upon those tremendous subjects pertaining to our future existence. How thankful we ought to be (There goes that rooster, now.) for this sweet respite; how fervently we ought to lift up our voice and (Confound that old hen—lays an egg every forty minutes, and then cackles until she lays the next one.) testify our gratitude. How sadly, how soothingly the music of that deep toned bell floats up from the distant church! How gratefully we murmur (Scat!—that old gray tom-cat is always bully-ragging that other one—got him down now, and digging the hair out of him by the handful.) thanksgiving for these Sabbath blessings. How lovely the day is! ("Buy a broom! buy a broom!") How wild and beautiful the ("Golden Era 'n' Sund' Mercry, two for a bit apiece!") sun smites upon the tranquil ("Alta, Mon' Call, an' Merican Flag!") city! ("Po-ta-to-o-o-es, ten pounds for two bits—po-ta-to o-o-es, ten pounds for quart-va dollar!" )

However, never mind these Sunday reflections—there are too many distracting influences abroad. This people have forgotten that San Francisco is not a ranch—or rather, that it ought not properly to be a ranch. It has got all the disagreeable features of a ranch, though. Every citizen keeps from ten to five hundred chickens, and these crow and cackle all day and all night; they stand watches, and the watch on duty makes a racket while the off-watch sleeps. Let a stranger get outside of Montgomery and Kearny from Pacific to Second, and close his eyes, and he can imagine himself on a well-stocked farm, without an effort, for his ears will be assailed by such a vile din of gobbling of turkeys, and crowing of hoarse-voiced roosters, and cackling of hens, and howling of cows, and whinnying of horses, and braying of jackasses, and yowling of cats, that he will be driven to frenzy, and may look to perform prodigies of blasphemy such as he never knew himself capable of before.

Sunday reflections! A man might as well try to reflect in Bedlam as in San Francisco when her millions of livestock are in tune. Being calm, now, I will call down no curse upon these dumb brutes (as they are called by courtesy), but I will go so far as to say I wish they may all die without issue, and that a sudden and violent death may overtake any person who afterwards attempts to reinstate the fowl and brute nuisance.

Territorial Enterprise, January 1866

[dated January 24, 1866]



I find the following mysterious notice glaringly displayed in the advertising columns of the Bulletin: OUTCROPPINGS!—The second volume, compiled by W_____, will be issued next week.

Who is the publisher? There is no name mentioned, and I cannot conjecture. But that is of small consequence—what interests us more is to know who "W_____" is. Is it Wentworth (May Wentworth? ) or is it Wash Wright? or is it Washington Second? or is it Winnemucca? or is it the old original Whangdoodle? I shall have to inquire into this matter, unless "W" comes forward with the information himself very soon. If the volume were not promised "next week," we might suppose it was the first of Bancroft's forthcoming nine volumes of California verse—but you know we are not to look for any portion of that work before July. This second volume of Outcroppings is a humbug of some kind or other, no doubt.

Territorial Enterprise, January 30-31, 1866

[portion of San Francisco Letter]

January 28, 1866


The fine restaurant between Clay and Commercial, on Montgomery street, has been sold at auction. It was fitted up three months ago at a cost of thirty-six hundred dollars, and brought only fourteen hundred yesterday under the hammer. At first it did a prosperous business—made money fast. Everybody was glad of it, for the proprietor was an estimable man, and was struggling to gather together by honest industry a small independence, so that he might go back to the Fatherland of his daily dreams, and clasp once more to his breast the wife who has waited and watched for him through weary years, kiss once more his little ones, and hear their innocent prattle, and their childish glee, and the music of their restless little feet. But about that time Fitz Smythe went there to board, and that let him out, you know. But such is human life. Here to-day and gone to-morrow. A dream—a shadow—a ripple on the water—a thing for invisible gods to sport with for a season and then toss idly by—idly by. It is rough.


[Text partially reconstructed from The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches]

Wishing to post myself on one of the most current topics of the day, I hunted up an old friend, Dennis McCarthy, who is editor of the new Fenian journal in San Francisco, The Irish People. I found him sitting on a sumptuous candle-box, in his shirt-sleeves, solacing himself with a whiff of the national dhudeen or caubeen or whatever they call it—a clay pipe with no stem to speak of. I thought it might flatter him to address him in his native tongue, and so I bowed with considerable grace and said:


And he said, "Be jabers!"

"Och hone!" said I.

"Mavoureen dheelish, acushla machree," replied The McCarthy.

"Erin go bragh," I continued with vivacity.

"Asthore!" responded The McCarthy.

"Tare an' ouns!" said I.

"Bhe dha husth; fag a rogarah lums!" said the bold Fenian.

"Ye have me there, be me sowl!" said I, (for I am not "up" in the niceties of the language, you understand; I only know enough of it to enable me to "keep umy end up" in an ordinary conversation.)


What a comfort these reporters do take in that graveyard word! They stick it at the head of an item, in all its native impenetrability, and then slash away cheerfully and finish the paragraph. It is too many for me—that word is, for all it is so handy. Sometimes they write up a fine item about the capture of a chicken-thief—and head it "Neodamode"; or an exciting story of an infant with good clothes on and a strawberry on its little left arm, and a coat of arms stitched on its poor little shirt-tail being left in a market basket on someone's doorstep—and head it "Neodamode"; or an entertaining account of a crazy man going through his family and making it exceedingly warm for the same—and head it "Neodamode"; or an item about a large funeral; or a banquet; or a ball; or a wedding; or a prayer-meeting—anything, no matter what—all the same. They head it "Neodamode." It is the handiest heading I ever saw; it appears to fit any subject you please to tack it to. Why here lately they have even got to using it in items concerning the taking out of naturalization papers by foreigners. There is altogether too much Neodamy around to suit me. I would not mind it so much if it were not quite such an ugly word, and if I had a sort of general notion of what in the mischief it means. I would like to hear from one of the Neodamites.

I have got to go now and report a sermon. I trust it will be pleasanter work than writing a letter on Sunday, while the dogs and cats and chickens are glorifying their Maker and raising the mischief.

Territorial Enterprise, February 4, 1866


There was an audience of about 400 ladies and gentlemen present, and plenty of newspaper people—neuters. I saw a good-looking, earnest-faced, pale- red-haired, neatly dressed, young woman standing on a little stage behind a small deal table with slender legs and no drawers—the table, understand me; I am writing in a hurry, but I do not desire to confound my description of the table with my description of the lady. The lady was Mrs. Foye.

As I was coming up town with the Examiner reporter, in the early part of the evening, he said he had seen a gambler named Gus Graham shot down in a town in Illinois years ago, by a mob, and as probably he was the only person in San Francisco who knew of the circumstance, he thought he would "give the spirits Graham to chaw on awhile." (N. B. This young creature is a Democrat, and speaks with the native strength and inelegance of his tribe.) In the course of the show he wrote his old pal's name on a slip of paper and folded it up tightly and put it in a hat which was passed around, and which already had about five hundred similar documents in it. The pile was dumped on the table and the medium began to take them up one by one and lay them aside, asking "Is this spirit present?—or this?—or this?" About one in fifty would rap, and the person who sent up the name would rise in his place and question the defunct. At last a spirit seized the medium's hand and wrote "Gus Graham" backwards. Then the medium went skirmishing through the papers for the corresponding name. And that old sport knew his card by the back. When the medium came to it, after picking up fifty others, he rapped! A committee-man unfolded the paper and it was the right one. I sent for it and got it. It was all right. However, I suppose "all them Democrats" are on sociable terms with the devil. The young man got up and asked:

"Did you die in '51?—'52?—'53?—'54?—"

Ghost—"Rap, rap, rap."

"Did you die of cholera?—diarrhea?—dysentery?—dog-bite?—small-pox?—violent death?—"

"Rap, rap, rap."

"Were you hanged?—drowned?—stabbed?—shot?"

"Rap, rap, rap."

"Did you die in Mississippi?—Kentucky?—New York?—Sandwich Islands?—Texas?—Illinois?—"

"Rap, rap, rap."

"In Adams county?—Madison?—Randolph?—"

"Rap, rap, rap."

It was no use trying to catch the departed gambler. He knew his hand and played it like a Major.

I was surprised. I had a very dear friend, who, I had heard, had gone to the spirit land, or perdition, or some of those places, and I desired to know something concerning him. There was something so awful, though, about talking with living, sinful lips to the ghostly dead, that I could hardly bring myself to rise and speak. But at last I got tremblingly up and said with low and reverent voice:

"Is the spirit of John Smith present?"

"Whack! whack! whack!"

God bless me. I believe all the dead and damned John Smiths between hell and San Francisco tackled that poor little table at once! I was considerably set back—stunned, I may say. The audience urged me to go on, however, and I said:

"What did you die of?"

The Smiths answered to every disease and casualty that man can die of.

"Where did you die!"

They answered yes to every locality I could name while my geography held out.

"Are you happy where you are?"

There was a vigorous and unanimous "No!" from the late Smiths.

"Is it warm there?"

An educated Smith seized the medium's hand and wrote:

"It's no name for it."

"Did you leave any Smiths in that place when you came away?"

"Dead loads of them!"

I fancied, I heard the shadowy Smiths chuckle at this feeble joke—the rare joke that there could be live loads of Smiths where all are dead.

"How many Smiths are present?"

"Eighteen millions—the procession now reaches from here to the other side of China."

"Then there are many Smiths in the kingdom of the lost?"

"The Prince Apollyon calls all newcomers Smith on general principles; and continues to do so until he is corrected, if he chances to be mistaken."

"What do lost spirits call their dread abode?"

"They call it the Smithsonian Institute."

I got hold of the right Smith at last—the particular Smith I was after—my dear, lost, lamented friend—and learned that he died a violent death. I feared as much. He said his wife talked him to death. Poor wretch!

But without any nonsense, Mrs. Foye's seance was a very astonishing affair to me—and a very entertaining one. The Examiner man's "old pard," the gambler, was too many for me. He answered every question exactly right; and his disembodied spirit, invisible to mortal eyes, must have been prowling around that hall last night. That is, unless this pretended spiritualism is only that other black art called clairvoyance, after all. And yet, the clairvoyant can only tell what is in your mind—but once or twice last night the spirits brought facts to the minds of their questioners which the latter had forgotten before. Well, I cannot make anything out of it. I asked the Examiner man what he thought of it, and he said, in the Democratic dialect: "Well, I don 't know—I don't know—but it's d___d funny." He did not mean that it was laughable—he only meant that it was perplexing. But such is the language of Democracy.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


Ward, the shirt man, has issued a pamphlet of poems—burlesques of some of the poems in "Outcroppings," and purporting to be a second edition of that work, I suppose, as it bears the same title. It is simply an advertising affair, of course. It was written by "Trem." The burlesque of James Linen's "I Feel I'm Growing Auld," is the most outlandish combination of untranslatable Scotch phraseology I ever saw. I think it is a pretty good take-off on the fashion some folks have of humbugging Americans with poetry that defies criticism because its extravagant Scotchiness defies comprehension. We have come to think, in our day and generation, that every piece of Scotch verse which we cannot understand is necessarily pure, sweet poetry, and that all prose which is spelled atrociously is necessarily humorous and intensely funny. Perhaps you can dig some meaning out of—


by Jean Lining

I feel I'm growing mirk, gude wife,
I feel I'm growing mirk,
Unsicker girns the graith an' doup,
An' aye, the stound is birk.
I've fash 'd mysel' wi' creeshie rax
O'er jouk an' hallan braw,
An' now I'll stowlins pit my duds
An' gar sark white as snaw.
I feel I'm growing mirk, gude wife,
I feel I'm growing mirk,
An' wae an' wae the giglet jinks,
Tis wheep-ed wi' my dirk.
My claes are mirk wi' howdie whangs,
But still my heart is fair,
Though sconnered yowics loup an' blink,
I'm nae so puir in gear.
I feel I'm growing mirk, gude wife,
I feel I'm growing mirk,
The howdie bicker skeeps my een—
Na mair the coof I'll shirk.
I'll get a Ward's Neat Fitting Shirt—
They'll glint wi' pawky een,
There's sax score Ward's Shirts sold, gude wife,
Since I called in yestreen.

Territorial Enterprise, February 6-7, 1866

[portion of San Francisco letter written February 3, 1866]


Fitz Smythe ("Amigo," of the Gold Hill News) is the champion of the police, and is always in a sweat because I find fault with them. Now I don't find fault with them often, and when I do I sometimes do it honestly; even Fitz Smythe will not have cheek to say he expresses his honest opinions when he invariably and eternally slobbers them over with his slimy praise and can never find them otherwise than pure and sinless in every case. No man is always blameless—Fitz Smythe ought to recollect that and bestow his praise with more judgment. Fitz knows he would abuse them like pirates if they were all to die suddenly. I know it, because he always abuses dead people. He was a firm, unswerving friend of poor Barney Olwell until the man was hanged and buried, and then look what hard names he called him in the last News. Fitz can ruin the reputation of any man with a paragraph or two of his praise. I don't say it in a spirit of anger, but I am telling it for a plain truth. I have only stirred the police up and irritated them a little with my cheerful abuse, but Fitz Smythe has utterly ruined their character with his disastrous praise. I don't ask any man to take my evidence alone in this matter—I refer doubters to the police themselves. But for Fitz Smythe's kindly meant but calamitous compliments, the police of San Francisco would stand as high to-day as any similar body of men in the world. But you know yourself that you soon cease to attach weight to the compliments of a man whose mouth is an eternally-flowing fountain of flattery. Fitz Smythe praises all alike—makes no distinction. There is that man Ansbro—I don't know him—never saw him, that I know of—but I know, and so does Fitz Smythe, that he does twice as much work as any other detective on the force—but does Fitz Smythe praise him any more than he praises those pets who never do anything at all? Not he—he makes no discrimination. And Chappell? but why argue the case? When those officers do anything Fitz impartially rings in all the balance of the force to share the credit, sometimes. Fitz, you won't do. I have told you so fifty times, and I tell you again, that you won't do. I can warm you up with ten sentences, and make you dance like a hen on a hot griddle, any time, Fitz Smythe. I know your weak spot. I can touch you on the raw whenever I please, make you lose your temper and write the most spiteful, undignified things. You see you will always be a little awkward with a pen, Fitz, because your head isn't sound—isn't well balanced; you have good points, you know, but they are kept down and crowded out by bad ones. You don't know that when a man is in a controversy he is at a great disadvantage when he loses his temper. It leaves him too open to ridicule, you know. And you can't stand ridicule, Fitz; it cuts you to the quick; it just makes you howl; I know that as well as you do, Fitz, and I am saying these things for your own good; you are young, and you are apt to let the fire of youth drive you into exceedingly unhappy performances. I do not mean that you are so young in years, you know, but young in experience of the world. You ought to be modest; the same wisdom which was so potent in Illinois and the wilds of Texas does not overpower the people of a great city like it used to do there, you know. Ah, no—they read you, attentively—because you write with a certain attractiveness Fitz Smythe—but they say "Oh, this prairie wisdom is too wide—too flat; and this swamp wisdom's too deep altogether."

And they don't attach any weight to your praise of the police. They say, "Oh, this fellow don't know—he ain't used to police—they don't have 'em in the wilds of Texas where this Ranger come from."

But you are certainly the most interesting subject to write about, Fitzy—I never get hold of you but I want to stay with you and hang on to you just as if you were a jug. I didn't intend to write two lines this time, Fitz; I only wanted to get you, as Excuser and Explainer-in-Chief to the Police, to go on the witness stand and inform me when it is possible for a man to lug a prisoner about a mile through the thickest settled portion of this city—clear to the station-house—and never come across a policeman. Read this communication from the Morning Call, Fitz—and it is a true version—and then go on and explain it, Fitz—try it, you long-legged rip!


EDITORS MORNING CALL:—On Thursday night a terrible onslaught was made on the house of a peaceable citizen on Larkin street by a band of soldiers. The man, awakened by this attempt to enter his dwelling, called on his neighbors for help. One came to his aid, the soldiers threatened to fire on the families, but, after a severe fight and long chase, the citizen and his neighbor captured two of the rascals near the Spring Valley School House. They have been held over to appear before the County Court. The citizen, with his prisoner, came from the Presidio Road, along Larkin, down Union, along Stockton, down Broadway to Kearny street, before he met an officer. The neighbor, with his prisoner, came from the same place, down Union to Powell, along that street to Washington, and down to the lower side of the Plaza, before he met an officer. This was between three and four, A. M. What I wish to know is, where were the Police, and cannot we, in the remote parts, be protected by at least one officer?


I spoke the other day of some singular proceedings of a firm of undertakers here, and now I come to converse about one or two more of the undertaker tribe. I begin to think this sort of people have no bowels—as the ancients would say—no heart, as we would express it. They appear to think only of business—business first, last, all the time. They trade in the woes of men as coolly as other people trade in candles and mackerel. Their hearts are ironclad, and they seem to have no sympathies in common with their fellow men.

A prominent firm of undertakers here own largely in Lone Mountain Cemetery and also in the toll-road leading to it. Now if you or I owned that toll-road we would be satisfied with the revenue from a long funeral procession and would "throw in" the corpse—we would let him pass free of toll—we would wink placidly at the gate-keeper and say, "Never mind this gentleman in the hearse—this fellow's a dead-head." But the firm I am speaking of never do that—if a corpse starts to Paradise or perdition by their road he has got to pay his toll or else switch off and take some other route. And it is rare to see the pride this firm takes in the popularity and respectability of their cemetery, and the interest and even enthusiasm which they display in their business.

A friend of mine was out at Lone Mountain the other day, and was moving sadly among the tombs thinking of departed comrades and recalling the once pleasant faces now so cold, and the once familiar voices now so still, and the once busy hands now idly crossed beneath the turf, when he came upon Mr. Smith, of the firm.

"Ah, good morning," says Smith, "come out to see us at last, have you?—glad you have! let me show you round—let me show you round. Pretty fine ain't it?—everything in apple pie order, eh? Everybody says so—everybody says mighty few graveyards go ahead of this. We are endorsed by the best people in San Francisco. We get 'em, sir, we get the pick and choice of the departed. Come, let me show you. Here's Major-General Jones- distinguished man, he was—very distinguished man—highsted him up on that mound, there, where he's prominent. And here's MacSpadden—rich?—Oh, my! And we've got Brigadier-General Jollopson here—there he is, over there—keep him trimmed up and spruce as a fresh "plant," all the time. And we've got Swimley, and Stiggers, the bankers, and Johnson and Swipe, the railroad men, and m-o-r-e Admirals and them kind of people—slathers of 'em! And bless you we've got as much as a whole block planted in nothing but hundred thousand-dollar fellows—and—"

(Here Mr. Smith's face lighted up suddenly with a blaze of enthusiasm, and he rubbed his hands together and ducked his head to get a better view through the shrubbery of the distant toll-road, and then exclaimed):

"Ah! is it another? Yes, I believe it is—yes it is! Third arrival to-day! Long procession! 'George this is gay! Well, so-long, Thompson, I must go and cache this party!"

And the happy undertaker skipped lightly away to offer the dismal hospitalities of his establishment to the unconscious visitor in the hearse.

Territorial Enterprise, February 8-10, 1866

[portion of San Francisco Letter, written on February 6, 1866]


I dreamed last night that I was sitting in my room smoking my pipe and looking into the dying embers on the hearth, conjuring up old faces in their changing shapes, and listening to old voices in the moaning winds outside, when there was a knock at the door and a man entered—bowed—walked deliberately forward and sat down opposite me. He was dressed in a queer old garb of I don't know how many centuries ago. He said, with a perceptible show of vanity:

"My name's Ananias—may have heard of me, perhaps?"

I said, reflectively, "No—no—I think not, Mr. Anan

"Never heard of me! Bismillah! Och hone! gewhil—. But you couldn't have read the Scriptures!"

I rose to my feet in great surprise: "Ah—is it possible?—I remember now—I remember your history. Yes, yes, yes, I remember you made a little statement that wouldn't wash, so to speak, and they took your life for it. They—they bounced a thunderbolt on your head, or something of that sort, didn't they?"

"Yes, but drop these matters and let's to business. The thief sympathizes with the thief, the murderer with the murderer, the vagabond with the vagabond: I, too, feel for my kind—I want to do something for this Fitz Smythe—'

"Give me your hand!—this sentiment does you honor, sir, it does you honor! And this solicitude of the Prince of Liars for the humble disciple Fitz Smythe is well merited, it is indeed—for although, Sire, his efforts may not be brilliant, they make up for that defect in bulk and quantity; such steady persistence as his, such unwearying devotion to his art, are deserving of the highest encomium."

"You know the man—I see that—and he is worthy of your admiration. As you say, his lies are not brilliant, but they never slack up—they are always on time. Some of them are awkward—very stupid and awkward—but that is to be expected, of course, where a man is at it so constantly and exhaustively as Fitz Smythe—or as we call him in hell, 'Brother Smythe'—we all take the Alta. But they are strong!—they are awkward and stupid, but they are powerful free from truth! You take his mildest lie—take those he tells about Mark Twain, for instance (who is the only newspaper man I have ever come across who wouldn't lie and couldn't lie, shame to him,)—take those lies—take even the very mildest of them, and don't you know they'd let a man out mighty quick in my time? Why there'd have been more thunder and lightning after him in two seconds! If Fitz Smythe had lived in my time and told that little lie he told about you last—just that little one, even—he'd have been knocked from Jericho to Jacksonville quick as winking! Lord bless you but they were mighty particular in those days! Notice how they hazed me!"

"So they did, sir, so they did—they snatched you very lively indeed, sir."

"But we'll come to business, now. No man's productions are more admired in the regions of the damned than Fitz Smythe's. We have watched his career with pride and satisfaction, and at a meeting held in Perdition last night a committee of the most distinguished liars the world has ever produced was appointed to visit the earth and confer upon our gifted disciple certain marks of distinction to which we consider him entitled—orders of merit, they are—honors which he has laboriously earned. We wish to confer these compliments upon him through you, his bosom friend. Now, therefore, I, Ananias Chief of Liars by Seniority, do hereby create our worthy disciple Armand Leonidas Fitz Smythe Amigo Stiggers, a Knight of the Grand Order of the Liars of St. Ananias, and confer upon him the freedom of hell. And the symbol of this order being a horse, I do hereby present him this noble animal, which manifests its preference for falsehood over truth by devouring daily newspapers in preference to any other food."

I looked at the horse, as he stood there chewing up my last Bulletin, and recognized him as the beast Fitz Smythe rides every day. Ananias now bade me good evening, and said his wife, another member of the Committee, would now call upon me.

The door opened, and the ancient Sapphira, who was stricken with death for telling a lie, ages ago, stood before me. She said:

"I have heard my husband; he has spoken well; it is sufficient. I do hereby create Armand Leonidas Fitz Smythe Amigo Stiggers a Knight of the Order of the Liars of St. Sapphira, and clothe him with the regalia pertaining to the same—this pair of gray pantaloons—a sign and symbol of the matrimonial supremacy which I have enjoyed in my household from time immemorial."

And she left the gray pantaloons and departed, saying the next member of the Committee who would appear would be the most noble the Baron de Munchausen. The door opened and the world famed liar entered:

"I come to do honor to my son, the inspired Armand Leonidas Fitz Smythe Amigo Stiggers. It ill beseemeth a father to boast at length of his own offspring, wherefore I shall say no more in that respect, but proceed to create him a Knight of the Noble Order of the Liars of St. Munchausen, and invest him with the regalia pertaining to the same—this gray frock coat—which hath been a symbol of depravity in all ages of the world." And the great Baron shed a few tears of paternal pride and murmured, "Kiss him for his father," and went away. As he disappeared he remarked that the next and last member of the committee would now wait upon me, in the person of Thomas Pepper. And in a moment the renowned Tom Pepper, who was such a preposterous liar that he couldn't get to heaven and they wouldn't have him in hell, was present! He said:

"I have watched the great Armand Leonidas Fitz Smythe Amigo Stiggers with extraordinary interest. So we all have—but how heedless we are! Those who were with you within this hour praised him without stint and mentioned his excellencies—yet not one of them has discovered his crowning grace—his highest gift. It is this—he always tells the truth with such windy, wordy, blundering awkwardness that nobody ever believes it, and so his truths usually pass for his most splendid falsehoods! [I could not help acknowledging to myself that this was so.] A man with such a talent as that is bound to achieve high distinction and do great service in our ranks; and for this talent of his more than for his wonderful abilities in distorting facts, I do hereby confer upon him the Sublime Order of the Knights of the Liars of St. Pepper, and present him with the symbol pertaining to the same—this grim, twisted, sharply-projecting, sunburned mustache, whose fashion and pattern are only permitted to be used by those noble knights whose nature it is to war against truth wherever they find it, and to go a long, long way out of their road to prospect for chances to lie. I am the only man the world ever produced who was so wonderful a romancer that he could neither get a show in heaven nor hell, and Fitz Smythe will be the second one. It will be jolly. It is lonesome now, but when Smythe comes we two will loaf around on the outside of damnation and swap lies and be p-e-r-fectly happy. Good day, old Petrified Facts, good day." And Tom Pepper, the most splendid liar the world ever gave birth to, was gone!

That was my dream. And don't you know that for as much as six hours afterwards I fully believed it was nothing but a dream? But just before three o'clock to-day I thought my hair would turn white with amazement when I saw Amigo Fitz Smythe issue from that alley near the Alta office riding the very horse Ananias gave him, and that horse eating a file of the Gold Hill News; and wearing the same gray pantaloons Mrs. Sapphira Ananias gave him; and the gray coat that Baron Munchausen gave him, and with his pensive nose overhanging those two skewers—that absurd sunburned mustache, I mean—which Tom Pepper gave him. So it was reality. It was no dream after all! This lets me out with Fitz Smythe, you know. I cannot associate with that kind of stock. I don't want the worst characters in hell to be running after me with friendly messages and little testimonials of admiration for Smythe, and blowing about his talents, and bragging on him, and belching their villainous fire and brimstone all through the atmosphere and making my place smell worse than a menagerie. I have too much regard for my good name and my personal comfort, and so this lets me out with Fitz Smythe.


The Rev. Richard F. Putnam, late Rector of the Episcopal Church at Grass Valley, has assumed the pastorate of the Church of the Advent in this City.—Call.

This gentleman, who was long connected with the editorial department of the Territorial Enterprise, and was latterly employed on the Sacramento Union, was one of the best men I ever knew. He was a man who could not whistle hard tunes—could not whistle easy ones so as to make a person wish him to keep it up long at a time. Some of the printers used to come to listen when he begun, but the more cultured usually went out—but he could swear and make up telegraph news with any man. He was a man who could go down into a beer cellar in the shank of the evening, and curse and swear, and play commercial seven-up with good average luck and without chicanery till dewy morn, and drink beer all the while—all the while. He was a man who was handy with his pen, and would write you a crusher on any subject under the sun, no matter whether he knew anything about it or not—and he would be growling at somebody or other all through; and if everybody went away and left him he would sit there and curse and swear at his lamp till it burned blue; and he cursed that boy that cleaned that lamp till the constitution of the same was permanently impaired. He was a man who would wade through snow up to his neck to serve his friend, and would convey him home when drunk, and peel him and put him to bed if it was a mile and a half. He was a man who was neck and crop and neck and heels for his friends, and blood, hair and the ground tore up to his enemies. Take him how you would, he was an ornament to his species—and there is no man that is more sorry than I am to see him forsake the pleasant fields he was wont to tread and confine himself to a limited beat on the Gospel—to a beat in a town which is small and where he cannot have full swing according to his dimensions, if I may so speak in connection with matters pertaining to the Scriptural line of business.

P.S.—But I find that this Putnam mentioned in the item above, is not the Putnam I have been speaking of. I was talking of C. A. V. Putnam, and I perceive that the above parson is Richard F. Well, I am glad—and it is all the better as it is.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


I attended the seance last night. After the house was crowded with ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Foye stepped out upon the stage and said it was usual to elect a committee of two gentlemen to sit up there and see that everything was conducted with perfect honesty and fairness. She said she wished the audience to name gentlemen whose integrity, whose conscientiousness—in a word whose high moral character, in every respect, was notorious in the community. The majority of the audience arose with one impulse and called my name. This handsome compliment was as grateful as it was graceful, and I felt the tears spring to my eyes. I trust I shall never do anything to forfeit the generous confidence San Francisco has thus shown in me. This touching compliment is none the less grateful to me when I reflect that it took me two days to get it up. I "put up" that hand myself. I got all my friends to promise to go there and vote for me to be on that committee—and having reported a good deal in Legislatures, I knew how to do it right. I had a two-thirds vote secured—I wanted enough to elect me over the medium's veto, you know. I was elected, and I was glad of it. I thought I would feel a good deal better satisfied if I could have a chance to examine into this mystery myself, without being obliged to take somebody else's word for its fairness, and I did not go on that stand to find fault or make fun of the affair—a thing which would not speak well for my modesty when I reflect that so many men so much older and wiser than I am see nothing in Spiritualism to scoff at, but firmly believe in it as a religion.

Mr. Whiting was chosen as the other committee man, and we sat down at a little table on the stage with the medium, and proceeded to business. We wrote the names of various departed persons. Mr. W. wrote a good many, but I found that I did not know many dead people; however, I put in the names of two or three whom I had known well, and then filled out the list with names of citizens of San Francisco who had been distinguished in life, so that most persons in the audience could tell whether facts stated by such spirits concerning themselves were correct or not. I will remark here that not a solitary spirit summoned by me paid the least attention to the invitation. I never got a word out of any of them. One of Mr. Whiting's spirits came up and stated some things about itself which were correct. Then some five hundred closely folded slips of paper containing names, were dumped in a pile on the table, and the lady began to lay them aside one by one. Finally a rap was heard. I took the folded paper; the spirit, so-called, seized the lady's hand and wrote "J. M. Cooke" backwards and upside down on a sheet of paper. I opened the slip I held, and, as Captain Cuttle would say, "J. M. Cooke" was the "dientical" name in it. A gentleman in the audience said he sent up the name. He asked a question or so, and then the spirit wrote "Would like to communicate with you alone." The privacy of this ghost was respected, and he was permitted to go to thunder again unmolested. "William Nelson" reported himself from the other world, and in answer to questions asked by a former friend of his in the audience, said he was aged 24 when he died; died by violence; died in a battle; was a soldier; had fought both in the infantry and cavalry; fell at Chickamauga; had been a Catholic on earth—was not one now. Then in answer to a pelting volley of questions, the shadowy warrior wrote: "I don't want to answer any more about it." Exit Nelson.

About this time it was suggested that a couple of Germans be added to the committee, and it was done. Mr. Wallenstein, an elderly man, came forward, and also Mr. Ollendorf, a spry young fellow, cocked and primed for a sensation. They wrote some names. Then young Ollendorf said something which sounded like:

"Ist ein geist hierans?" (bursts of laughter from the audience.)

Three raps—signifying that there was a geist hierans.

"Vollensie schriehen?" (more laughter). Three raps.

"Einzig stollen, linsowftterowlickter-hairowfterfrowleineruback folderol?" (Oh, this is too rough, you know. I can't keep the run of this sort of thing.) Incredible as it may seem, the spirit cheerfully answered yes to that astonishing proposition.

Young Ollendorf sprang to his feet in a state of consuming excitement. He exclaimed:

"Laties and shentlemen! I write de name for a man vot lifs! Speerit rabbing dells me he ties in yahr eighteen hoondert und dwelf, but he yoos as live und helty as—"

The Medium—"Sit down, sir!"

Mr. O.—"But de speerit cheat!—dere is no such speerit—" (All this time applause and laughter by turns from the audience.)

Medium—"Take your seat, sir, and I will explain this matter."

And she explained. And in that explanation she let off a blast which was so terrific that I half expected to see young Ollendorf shoot up through the roof. She said he had come up there with fraud and deceit and cheating in his heart, and a kindred spirit had come from the land of shadows to commune with him! She was terribly bitter. She said in substance, though not in words, that perdition was full of just such fellows as Ollendorf, and they were ready on the slightest pretext to rush in and assume any body's name, and rap, and write, and lie, and swindle with a perfect looseness whenever they could rope in a living affinity like poor Ollendorf to communicate with! (Great applause and laughter.)

Ollendorf stood his ground with good pluck, and was going to open his batteries again, when a storm of cries arose all over the house. "Get down! Go on! Speak on—we'll hear you! Climb down from that platform! Stay where you are—Vamose! Stick to your post—say your say!"

The medium rose up and said if Ollendorf remained, she would not. She recognized no one's right to come there and insult her by practicing a deception upon her and attempting to bring ridicule upon so solemn a thing as her religious belief.

The audience then became quiet, and the subjugated Ollendorf retired from the platform.

The other German raised a spirit, questioned it at some length in his own language, and said the answers were correct. The medium claims to be entirely unacquainted with the German language.

A spirit seized the medium's hand and wrote "G. L. Smith" very distinctly. She hunted through the mass of papers, and finally the spirit rapped. She handed me the folded paper she had just picked up. It had "T. J. Smith" in it. (You never can depend on these Smiths; you call for one and the whole tribe will come clattering out of hell to answer you.) Upon further inquiry it was discovered that both these Smiths were present. We chose "T. J." A gentleman in the audience said that was his Smith. So he questioned him, and Smith said he died by violence; he had been a teacher; not a school-teacher, but (after some hesitation) a teacher of religion, and was a sort of a cross between a Universalist and a Unitarian; has got straightened out and changed his opinion since he left here; said he was perfectly happy. Mr. George Purnell, having been added to the committee, proceeded in connection with myself, Mrs. Foye and a number of persons in the audience, to question this talkative and frolicksome old parson. Among spirits, I judge he is the gayest of the gay. He said he had no tangible body; a bullet could pass through him and never make a hole; rain could pass through him as through vapor, and not discommode him in the least (wherefore I suppose he don't know enough to come in when it rains—or don't care enough); says heaven and hell are simply mental conditions—spirits in the former have happy and contented minds; and those in the latter are torn by remorse of conscience; says as far as he is concerned, he is all right—he is happy; would not say whether he was a very good or a very bad man on earth (the shrewd old water-proof nonentity!—I asked the question so that I might average my own chances for his luck in the other world, but he saw my drift); says he has an occupation there—puts in his time teaching and being taught; says there are spheres—grades of perfection—he is making pretty good progress—has been promoted a sphere or so since his matriculation; (I said mentally: "Go slow, old man, go slow—you have got all eternity before you"—and he replied not); he don't know how many spheres there are (but I suppose there must be millions, because if a man goes galloping through them at the rate this old Universalist is doing, he will get through an infinitude of them by the time he has been there as long as old Sesostris and those ancient mummies; and there is no estimating how high he will get in even the infancy of eternity—I am afraid the old man is scouring along rather too fast for the style of his surroundings, and the length of time he has got on his hands); says spirits cannot feel heat or cold (which militates somewhat against all my notions of orthodox damnation—fire and brimstone); says spirits commune with each other by thought—they have no language; says the distinctions of the sex are preserved there—and so forth and so on.

The old parson wrote and talked for an hour, and showed by his quick, shrewd, intelligent replies, that he had not been sitting up nights in the other world for nothing, he had been prying into everything worth knowing, and finding out everything he possibly could—as he said himself, when he did not understand a thing he hunted up a spirit who could explain it; consequently he is pretty thoroughly posted; and for his accommodating conduct and its uniform courtesy to me, I sincerely hope he will continue to progress at his present velocity until he lands on the very roof of the highest sphere of all, and thus achieves perfection.

I have made a report of those proceedings which every person present will say is correct in every particular. But I do not know any more about the queer mystery than I did before. I could not even tell where the knocks were made, though they were not two feet from me. Sometimes they seemed to be on the corner of the table, sometimes under the center of it, and sometimes they seemed to proceed from the medium's knee joints. I could not locate them at all, though; they only had a general seeming of being in any one spot; sometimes they even seemed to be in the air. As to where that remarkable intelligence emanates from which directs those strangely accurate replies, that is beyond my reason. I cannot any more account for that than I could explain those wonderful miracles performed by Hindoo jugglers. I cannot tell whether the power is supernatural in either case or not, and I never expect to know as long as I live. It is necessarily impossible to know—and it is mighty hard to fully believe what you don't know.

But I am going to see it through, now, if I do not go crazy—an eccentricity that seems singularly apt to follow investigations of spiritualism.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


I once made up my mind to keep the ladies of the State of Nevada posted upon the fashions, but I found it hard to do. The fashions got so shaky that it was hard to tell what was good orthodox fashion, and what heretical and vulgar. This shakiness still obtains in everything pertaining to a lady's dress except her bonnet and her shoes. Some wear waterfalls, some wear nets, some wear cataracts of curls, and a few go bald, among the old maids; so no man can swear to any particular "fashion" in the matter of hair.

The same uncertainty seems to prevail regarding hoops. Little "highflyer" schoolgirls of bad associations, and a good many women of full growth, wear no hoops at all. And we suspect these, as quickly and as naturally as we suspect a woman who keeps a poodle. Some who I know to be ladies, wear the ordinary moderate sized hoops, and some who I also know to be ladies, wear the new hoop of the "spread-eagle" pattern—and some wear the latter who are not elegant and virtuous ladies—but that is a thing that may be said of any fashion whatever, of course. The new hoops with a spreading base look only tolerably well. They are not bell-shaped—the "spread" is much more abrupt than that. It is tent-shaped; I do not mean an army tent, but a circus tent—which comes down steep and small half way and then shoots suddenly out horizontally and spreads abroad. To critically examine these hoops—to get the best effect—one should stand on the corner of Montgomery and look up a steep street like Clay or Washington. As the ladies loop their dresses up till they lie in folds and festoons on the spreading hoop, the effect presented by a furtive glance up a steep street is very charming. It reminds me of how I used to peep under circus tents when I was a boy and see a lot of mysterious legs tripping about with no visible bodies attached to them. And what handsome vari-colored, gold-clasped garters they wear now-a-days! But for the new spreading hoops, I might have gone on thinking ladies still tied up their stockings with common strings and ribbons as they used to do when I was a boy and they presumed upon my youth to indulge in little freedoms in the way of arranging their apparel which they do not dare to venture upon in my presence now.

But as I intimated before, one new fashion seems to be marked and universally accepted. It is in the matter of shoes. The ladies all wear thick-soled shoes which lace up in front and reach half way to the knees. The shoe itself is very neat and handsome up to the top of the instep—but I bear a bitter animosity to all the surplus leather between that point and the calf of the leg. The tight lacing of this legging above the ankle-bone draws the leather close to the ankle and gives the heel an undue prominence or projection—makes it stick out behind and assume the shape called the "jay bird heel" pattern. It does not look well. Then imagine this tall shoe on a woman with a large, round, fat foot, and a huge, stuffy, swollen-looking ankle. She looks like she had on an elbow of stove pipe. Any foot and ankle that are not the perfection of proportion and graceful contour look surpassingly ugly in these high-water shoes. The pretty and sensible fashion of looping up the dress gives one ample opportunity to critically examine and curse an ugly foot. I wish they would cut down these shoes a little in the matter of leggings.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


Chief Burke's Star Chamber Board of Police Commissioners is the funniest institution extant, and the way he conducts it is the funniest theatrical exhibition in San Francisco. Now to see the Chief fly around and snatch up accuser and accused before the commission when any policeman is charged with misconduct in the public prints, you would imagine that fearful Commission was really going to raise the very devil. But it is all humbug, display, fuss and feathers. The Chief brings his policeman out as sinless as an angel, unless the testimony be heavy enough and strong enough, almost, to hang an ordinary culprit, in which case a penalty of four or five days' suspension is awarded.

Wouldn't you call that Legislature steeped in stupidity which appointed a father to try his own son for crimes against the State? Of course. And knowing that the father must share the disgrace if the son is found guilty, would you ever expect a conviction? Certainly not. And would you expect the father's blind partiality for his own offspring to weigh heavily against evidence given against that son. Assuredly you would. Well, this Police Commission is a milder form of that same principle. Chief Burke makes all these policemen, by appointment—breeds them—and feels something of a parent's solicitude for them; and yet, if any charge is brought against them, he is the judge before whom they are tried! Isn't it perfectly absurd? I think so. It takes all three of those commissioners to convict—the verdict must be unanimous—therefore, since every conviction of one of the Chief's offspring must in the nature of things be a sort of reflection upon himself, you cannot be surprised to know that police officers are very seldom convicted before the Police commissioners. Though the man's sins were blacker than night, the chief can always prevent conviction by simply with holding his consent. And this extraordinary power works both ways, too. See how simple and easy a matter it was for the chief to say to a political obstruction in his path: "You are dismissed, McMillan; I know of nothing to your discredit as an officer, but you are an aspirant to my position and I won't keep a stick to break my own back with." He simply said "Go," and he had to shove! If he had been one of the Chief's pets, he might have committed a thousand rascalities, but the powerful Commission would have shielded and saved him every time. Nay, more—it would have made a tremendous hubbub, and a showy and noisy pretense of trying him—and then brought him out blameless and shown him to be an abused and persecuted innocent and entitled to the public commiseration.

Why, the other day, in one of the commission trials, where a newspaper editor was summoned as a prosecutor, they detailed a substitute for the real delinquent, and tried him! There may be more joke than anything else about that statement, but I heard it told, anyhow. And then it is plausible—it is just characteristic of Star Chamber tactics.

You ought to see how it makes the Chief wince for any one to say a word against a policeman; they are his offspring, and he feels all a father's sensitiveness to remarks affecting their good name. It is natural that he should, and it is wrong to do violence to this purely human trait by making him swear that he will impartially try them for their crimes, when the thing is perfectly impossible. He cannot be impartial—is it human nature to judge with strict impartiality his own friends, his own dependent, his own offspring?

But what I mean to speak of, if I ever get through with these preliminary remarks, is the fact that the Flag yesterday said some thing severe about the police, and right away the reporter was summoned to stand before that terrible tribunal—the Police Commissioners—and prove his charges. Poor innocent! Why, he never can prove anything. They will come "Iowa justice" on him; he will swear he saw the prisoner do so and so, and the Chief will say, "Captain Baker send up thirty-five policemen to swear that they didn't see this thing done." They always manage to have the bulk of testimony on their side, anyhow. If Pontius Pilate was on the police he could crucify the Savior again with perfect impunity—but he would have to let Barabbas and that other policeman alone, who were crucified along with him, formerly.

There is a bill in the hands of a San Francisco legislator which proposes to put the police appointing power in the hands of the Mayor, the District Attorney, and the city and county attorney; and the trial of policemen and power to punish or dismiss them, in the hands of the county and police court prosecuting attorney. This would leave Chief Burke nothing to do but attend to his own legitimate business of keeping the police department up to their work all the time, and is just the kind of bill that ought to pass. It would reduce the Chief from autocrat of San Francisco, with absolute power, to the simple rank of Chief of Police with no power to meddle in outside affairs or do anything but mind his own particular business. He told me, not more than a week ago, that such an arrangement would exactly suit him. Now we shall see if it suits him. Don't you dare to send any log-rolling, wire-pulling squads of policemen to Sacramento, Mr. Burke.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


I (together with the Bulletin) have watched, with deep concern, the distress being wrought in our midst by spiritualism, during the past week or two; I (like the Bulletin) have done all I could to crush out the destroyer; I have published full reports of the seances of the so called "Friends of Progress," and the Bulletin has left out three columns of printed paragraphs pasted together by its New York correspondent to make room for a report of the spiritualist Laura Cuppy's lecture and I have followed in the Bulletin's wake and shouted every few days "Another Victim of the Wretched Delusion called Spiritualism!" and like that paper, have stated the number of persons it took to hold him and where his mother resided.

In some instances which have come under my notice, these symptoms are peculiarly sad. How touching it was, on Monday evening, in the Board of Supervisors—a body which should be a concentration of the wisdom and intellect of the city—to see Supervisor McCoppin, bereft of his accustomed sprightliness, and subdued, subjugated by spiritualism, rise in his place, and with bowed head, and stooping body, and frightened eyes peering from under overhanging brows, ejaculate in sepulchral tones:


Great Heavens! to hear him say that and then sit down with the air of a man who has settled a mooted question forever, and done the work in a solid, substantial manner.

And it touched me to the very heart to see the Mayor of the city—a man of commanding presence and solemn demeanor—get up and repeat the following, as if it were a part of a litany:

Three blind mice,
See—how they—run.
The farmer's wife,
She cut off their tails
With the carving knife,
See—how—they run."

He then sat down and leaned his face in his hands, and Dr. Rowell got up and said:

"Spiritual department—paid spiritual department, when I was a Republican I poisoned rebels—now I am a Democrat, I poison Republicans. Woe, woe, woe, unto the traducers of the new light! woe, woe, woe, to the enemies of the new light! woe, woe, woe, unto them that hear the Cuppy and the Foye and the ministering spirits that fan us with invisible wings as they sweep by, and whisper eternal truths in our ears—woe, woe, woe!"

"Woe-haw, woe-haw, woe-haw-Buck You Duke!" said Mr. Ashbury, impressively.

Mr. McCoppin (counting on his fingers)—One ery—o'ery—ickery—Ann; fillisy, fallallacy, Nicholas John; queevy, quavy, English navy—stinklum, stanklum, Buck. Alas, my poor, poor country."

Mr. Shrader said, with deep feeling, but without gesticulation or straining after effect:

"Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For 'tis their nature thus—
Your little hands were never made
To tear out each other's eyes with."

My eyes filled with tears to see this body of really able men driveling in this foolish way, and as I walked sadly out, I said "This is more spiritualism; the Bulletin and I will soon have to record the departure of the Board of Supervisors for Stockton. Poor creatures—to have kept out of the asylum on one pretext or another so long, and then to fall at last through so weak a thing as spiritualism."

[reprinted in the Golden Era, FEB. 18, 1866.]

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


Saw something the other night which surprised me more than my late investigations of spiritualism. It was some examples of the methods the United States Signal Corps to telegraph information from point to point on the battle-fields of the rebellion. The Signal Corps "mediums" were Colonel Wicker, of the Russian Telegraph Expedition, and Mr. Jerome, Secretary of Mr. Conway of the same, both of whom were distinguished officers of Signal Corps throughout the war. Besides these two gentlemen there are only two other members of the corps on the coast.

In the late war a signal party was always stationed on the highest available point on the battle-field, and by waving flags they could telegraph any desired messages, word for word, to other signal stations ten miles off. At night, when torches were used, these messages have been read forty miles away, with a powerful glass. The flag, or torch, is waved right, left, up and down, and each movement represents a letter of the alphabet, I suppose, inasmuch as any villainous combination of letters and syllables you can get up can be readily telegraphed in this way with a good deal of expedition. These gentlemen I speak of sent messages the other night with walking-sticks, with their hands, their fingers, their eyes and even their moustaches! It is a little too deep for me.

One sat on one side of a large room, and the other at the opposite side. I wrote a long sentence and gave it to Jerome—he made a few rapid passes with his right arm like a crazy orchestra leader, and Colonel Wicker called off the sentence word for word. I confess that I suspected there was collusion there. So I whispered my next telegram to Jerome—the passes were made as before, and Colonel Wicker read them without a balk. I selected from a book a sentence which was full of uncommon and unpronounceable foreign words, pointed it out to Colonel Wicker, and he telegraphed it across to Jerome without a blunder. Then I gave Jerome another telegram; he placed two fingers on his knees and raised up one and then the other for a while, and the Colonel read the message. I furnished the latter with the following written telegram:

"General Jackson was wounded at first fire."

He went through with a series of elaborate winks with his eyes, and that other signal-sharp repeated the sentence correctly. I wrote:

"Thirteen additional cases of cholera reported this morning."

The accomplished Colonel telegraphed it to his confederate by simply stroking his moustache. There must be a horrible imposition about this thing somewhere, but I cannot get at it. They say that when they are in lecture rooms and parlors whence they are not close enough to speak to each other, they telegraph their comment on the company with their fingers, on their moustaches, or by gently refreshing themselves with a fan.

The signal Corps was one of the most important arms of the military service in the late war. It saved many a battle to the Union that must otherwise have been lost. Yet many of the officers of the army did not believe in its efficiency, regarded it as an ornamental innovation, and bore it strong ill-will. At the battle of Winchester, the officer in command after General Shields was wounded, had pressing need of reinforcements. The reserve were in full view six miles away. The Acting General asked a signal officer if he could order up a brigade. He said he could. "Then do it," said the General; "but," said he, "to make everything sure, I will dispatch an orderly for the reinforcements." The signal officer set his flags waving, and telegraphed: "Send up a brigade on the double-quick." Before the orderly was a hundred yards off, the anxious General gazing through his field glass, saw a brigade wheel into the plain, peel their coats and knapsacks off and throw them down, and come sweeping across on the double-quick. "By G—. here they come!—send back the orderly," said the General—"but I didn't think it could be done."

[reprinted in the Golden Era, FEB. 18, 1866]

Territorial Enterprise, February 25-28, 1866

[This column has been partially reconstructed from the sketches that were later reprinted in the first edition of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches.]


SAN FRANCISCO, February 23.


The steamer Ajax returned from her pioneer trip to Honolulu yesterday about noon, bringing forty or fifty passengers and a large quantity of freight. She was fourteen days and four hours going down, and between eleven and twelve days coming back. Her crowd of invited guests had a delightful time at Honolulu visiting citizens and planters, dining out, driving here and there, attending parties and prospecting all localities of interest. The people neglected no opportunity of making the visit an agreeable one to their guests, and even his Majesty the King gave them a royal feast.

I was talking to one of the voyageurs a while ago, and he said that in most respects—in nearly all respects, in fact—the trip was a remarkably pleasant one, "but," said he, (and here he slowly shook his head and sighed as one who recalls a sorrowful reminiscence,) "I copper the down trip!" From what I can learn of the experiences of that stormy passage, I am satisfied that they all "copper" that portion of the excursion. The ship left San Francisco in the rain, and for twelve days the excursionists heaved and tossed in the midst of a terrific tempest. The first news that came back here said that the passengers on the Ajax had spent most of the down trip on their knees in prayer. Today their friends greeted them with a hearty handshake and then felt their knees to see if they were "calloused." I refer only to the gentlemen travelers, of course.

[The storm] tore her light spars and rigging all to shreds and splinters, upset all furniture that could be upset, and spilled passengers around and knocked them hither and thither with a perfect looseness. For forth-eight hours no table could be set, and every body had to eat as best they might under the circumstances. Most of the party went hungry, though, and attended to their praying. But there was one set of "seven-up" players who nailed a card table to the floor and stuck to their game through thick and thin. Captain Fretz, of the Bank of California, a man of great coolness and presence of mind, was of this party. One night the storm suddenly culminated in a climax of unparalleled fury; the vessel went down on her beam ends, and everything let go with a crash—passengers, tables, cards, bottles—every thing came clattering to the floor in a chaos of disorder and confusion. In a moment fifty sore distressed and pleading voices ejaculated, "O God! help us in our extremity!" and one voice rang out clear and sharp above the plaintive chorus and said, "Remember, boys, I played the tray for low!" It was one of the gentlemen I have mentioned who spoke. And the remark showed good presence of mind and an eye to business.

Lewis Leland, of the Occidental, was a passenger. There were some savage grizzly bears chained in cages on deck. One night, in the midst of a hurricane, which was accompanied by rain and thunder and lightning, Mr. Leland came up, on his way to bed. Just as he stepped into the pitchy darkness of the deck and reeled to the still more pitchy motion of the vessel, (bad,) the captain sang out hoarsely through his speaking-trumpet, "Bear a hand aft, there!" The words were sadly marred and jumbled by the roaring wind. Mr. Leland thought the captain said, "The bears are after your there!" and he "let go all holts" and went down into his boots. He murmured, "I knew how it was going to be—I just knew it from the start—I said all along that those bears would get loose some time; and now I'll be the first man that they'll snatch. Captain! captain!—can't hear me—storm roars so! O God! what a fate! I have avoided wild beasts all my life, and now to be eaten by a grizzly bear in the middle of the ocean, a thousand miles from land! Captain! O captain!—bless my soul, there's one of them—I've got to cut and run!" And he did cut and run, and smashed through the first stateroom he came to. A gentleman and his wife were in it. The gentleman exclaimed, "Who's that?" The refugee gasped out, "O great Scotland! those bears are loose, and just raising merry hell all over the ship!" and sank down exhausted. The gentleman sprang out of bed and locked the door, and prepared for a siege. After a while, no assault being made, a reconnoissance was made from the window and a vivid flash of lightning revealed a clear deck. Mr. Leland then made a dart for his own stateroom, gained it, locked himself in, and felt that his body's salvation was accomplished, and by little less than a miracle. The next day the subject of this memoir, though still very feeble and nervous, had the hardihood to make a joke upon his adventure. He said that when he found himself in so tight a place (as he thought) he didn't bear it with much fortitude, and when he found himself safe at last in his state-room, he regarded it as the bearest escape he had ever had in his life. He then went to bed, and did not get up again for nine days. This unquestionably bad joke cast a gloom over the whole ship's company, and no effort was sufficient to restore their wonted cheerfulness until the vessel reached her port, and other scenes erased it from their memories.

The Ajax is advertised to sail for Honolulu again on the 1st of March.


The splendid band of the old U. S. Second Artillery, so long under the late General DeRussey when he was at the head of the Engineer Corps of the United States and stationed at Fortress Monroe, kindly cherishing the memory of their beloved old commander, went out to South Park, last night, after the ceremonies and festivities of Washington's birthday were over, and serenaded Mrs. DeRussey and her family. It was a graceful and touching tribute, and showed how well the lads esteemed the old soldier who was always so proud of them. No music could have been imbued with more tender expression than they breathed into their first piece:

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?"

There is moving pathos in speech and eloquence sways the feelings with a mighty power, but music goes straight to the heart after all.

The first thing the Second Artillery did when they landed here from the East a month or two before the old General died, was to come out here with their band and serenade him. He was in tolerable health, then, and sat up in his parlor in uniform and listened to their martial music, the proudest man in San Francisco. Such marks of regard from "his boys" always touched him and gratified him.


Colonel Conway and his junior officers and assistants leave to-day in the steamer Active to resume operations in British Columbia on his division of the Russian Telegraph expedition. He will take a vast amount of wire and telegraphic traps of various kinds [remainder of this passage is missing].


This day, many years ago precisely, George Washington was born. How full of significance the thought! Especially to those among us who have had a similar experience, though subsequently; and still more especially to the young, who should take him for a model and faithfully try to be like him, undeterred by the frequency with which the same thing has been attempted by American youths before them and not satisfactorily accomplished. George Washington was the youngest of nine children, eight of whom were the offspring of his uncle and his aunt. As a boy he gave no promise of the greatness he was one day to achieve. He was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. But then he never had any of those precious advantages which are within the reach of the humblest of the boys of the present day. Any boy can lie, now. I could lie before I could stand—yet this sort of sprightliness was so common in our family that little notice was taken of it. Young George appears to have had no sagacity whatever. It is related of him that he once chopped down his father's favorite cherry tree, and then didn't know enough to keep dark about it. He came near going to sea, once, as a midshipman; but when his mother represented to him that he must necessarily be absent when he was away from home, and that this must continue to be the case until he got back, the sad truth struck him so forcibly that he ordered his trunk ashore, and quietly but firmly refused to serve in the navy and fight the battles of his king so long as the effect of it would be to discommode his mother. The great rule of his life was, that procrastination was the thief of time, and that we should always do unto others. This is the golden rule. Therefore, he would never discommode his mother.

Young George Washington was actuated in all things, by the highest and purest principles of morality, justice and right. He was a model in every way worthy of the emulation of youth. Young George was always prompt and faithful in the discharge of every duty. It has been said of him, by the historian, that he was always on hand, like a thousand of brick. And well deserved was this noble compliment. The aggregate of the building material specified might have been largely increased—might have been doubled—even without doing full justice to these high qualities in the subject of this sketch. Indeed, it would hardly be possible to express in bricks the exceeding promptness and fidelity of young George Washington. His was a soul whose manifold excellencies were beyond the ken and computation of mathematics, and bricks are, at the least, but an inadequate vehicle for the conveyance of a comprehension of the moral sublimity of a nature so pure as his.

Young George W. was a surveyor in early life—a surveyor of an inland port—a sort of county surveyor; and under a commission from Gov. Dinwiddie, he set out to survey his way four hundred miles through a trackless forest, infested with Indians, to procure the liberation of some English prisoners. The historian says the Indians were the most depraved of their species, and did nothing but lay for white men, whom they killed for the sake of robbing them. Considering that white men only traveled through their country at the rate of one a year, they were probably unable to do what might be termed a land-office business in their line. They did not rob young G. W.; one savage made the attempt, but failed; he fired at the subject of this sketch from behind a tree, but the subject of this sketch immediately snaked him out from behind the tree and took him prisoner.

The long journey failed of success; the French would not give up the prisoners, and Wash went sadly back home again. A regiment was raised to go and make a rescue, and he took command of it. He caught the French out in the rain and tackled them with great intrepidity. He defeated them in ten minutes, and their commander handed in his checks. This was the battle of Great Meadows.

After this, a good while, George Washington became Commander-in-Chief of the American armies, and had an exceedingly dusty time of it all through the Revolution. But every now and then he turned a jack from the bottom and surprised the enemy. He kept up his lick for seven long years, and hazed the British from Harrisburg to Halifax—and America was free! He served two terms as President, and would have been President yet if he had lived—even so did the people honor the Father of his Country. Let the youth of America take his incomparable character for a model and try it one jolt, anyhow. Success is possible—let them remember that—success is possible, though there are chances against it.

I could continue this biography, with profit to the rising generation, but I shall have to drop the subject at present, because of other matters which must be attended to.

Territorial Enterprise, February 1866


[possibly written or published on February 25, 1866]

I arrived in the City of Saloons this morning at 3 o'clock, in company with several other disreputable characters, on board the good steamer Antelope, Captain Poole, commander. I know I am departing from usage in calling Sacramento the City of Saloons instead of the City of the Plains, but I have my justification—I have not found any plains, here, yet, but I have been in most of the saloons, and there are a good many of them. You can shut your eyes and march into the first door you come to and call for a drink, and the chances are that you will get it. And in a good many instances, after you have assuaged your thirst, you can lay down a twenty and remark that you "copper the ace," and you will find that facilities for coppering the ace are right there in the back room. In addition to the saloons, there are quite a number of mercantile houses and private dwellings. They have already got one capitol here, and will have another when they get it done. They will have fine dedicatory ceremonies when they get it done, but you will have time to prepare for that—you needn't rush down here right away by express. You can come as slow freight and arrive in time to get a good seat.


The houses in the principal thoroughfares here are set down about eight feet below the street level. This system has its advantages. First—It is unique. Secondly—It secures to the citizen a firm, dry street in high water, whereon to run his errands and do her shopping, and thus does away with the expensive and perilous canoe. Thirdly—It makes the first floors shady, very shady, and this is a great thing in a warm climate. Fourthly—It enables the inquiring stranger to rest his elbows on the second story window sill and look in and criticize the bedroom arrangements of the citizens. Fifthly—It benefits the plebeian second floor boarders-at the expense of the bloated aristocracy of the first—that is to say, it brings the plebeians down to the first floor and degrades the aristocrats to the cellar. Lastly—Some persons call it a priceless blessing because children who fall out of second story windows now, cannot break their necks as they formerly did—but that this can strictly be regarded in the light of a blessing, is, of course, open to grave argument.

But joking aside, the energy and the enterprise the Sacramentans have shown in making this expensive grade improvement and raising their houses up to its level is in every way creditable to them, and is a sufficient refutation of the slander so often leveled at them that they are discouraged by the floods, lack confidence in their ability to make their town a success, and are without energy. A lazy and hopeless population would hardly enter upon such costly experiments as these when there is so much high ground in the State which they could fly to if they chose.


This is the mildest, balmiest, pleasantest climate one can imagine. The evenings are especially delightful—neither too warm nor too cold. I wonder if it is always so?


I got more sleep this morning than I needed. When I got tired, very tired, walking around, and went to bed in room No. 121, Orleans Hotel, about sunrise, I asked the clerk to have me called at a quarter past 9 o'clock. The request was complied with, punctually. As I was about to roll out of bed I heard it raining. I said to myself, I cannot knock around town in this kind of weather, and so I may as well lie here and enjoy the rain. I am like everybody else in that I love to lie abed and listen to the soothing sound of pattering rain-drops, and muse upon old times and old scenes of by-gone days. While I was a happy, careless schoolboy again, (in imagination,) I dropped off to sleep. After a while I woke up—still raining. I said to myself, it will stop directly—I will dream again—there is time enough. Just as (in memory) I was caught by my mother clandestinely putting up some quince preserves in a rag to take to my little sweetheart at school, I dropped off to sleep again, to the soft music of the pattering rain. I woke up again, after a while. Still raining! I said. This will never do. I shall be so late that I shall get nothing done. I could dream no more; I was getting too impatient for that. I lay there and fidgeted for an hour and a half, listening with nervous anxiety to detect the least evidence of a disposition to "let up" on the part of the rain. But it was of no use. It rained on steadily, just the same. So, finally, I said: I can't stand this; I will go to the window and see if the clouds are breaking, at any rate. I looked up, and the sun was blazing overhead. I looked down—and then I "gritted my teeth" and said: "Oh, d__n a d __d landlord that would keep a d__d fountain in his back yard!"

After mature and unimpassioned deliberation, I am still of the opinion that that profanity was justifiable under the circumstances.


I got down stairs at ten minutes past 12, and went up to the land lord, who is a large, fine-looking man, with a chest on him which must have made him a most powerful man before it slid down, and said, "Is breakfast ready?"

"Is breakfast ready?" said he.

"Yes—is breakfast READY?"

"Not quite," he says, with the utmost urbanity, "not quite; you have arisen too early, my son, by a matter of eighteen hours as near as I can come at it."

Humph! I said to myself, these people go slow up here; it is a wonder to me that they ever get up at all.

"Ah, well," said I, "it don't matter—it don't matter. But, ah—perhaps you design to have lunch this week, some time?"

"Yes," he says, "I have designed all along to have lunch this week, and by a most happy coincidence you have arrived on the very day. Walk into the dining room."

As I walked forward I cast a glance of chagrin over my shoulder and observed, "Old Smarty from Mud Springs, I apprehend."

And he murmured, "Young Lunar Caustic from San Francisco, no doubt."

Well, let it pass. If I didn't make anything off that old man in the way of "sass," I cleaned out his lunch table, anyhow. I calculated to get ahead of him some way. And yet I don't know but the old scallawag came out pretty fair, after all. Because I only staid in his hotel twenty-four hours and ate one meal, and he charged me five dollars for it. If I were not just ready to start back to the bay, now, I believe I would go and tackle him once more. If I only had a fair chance, that old man is not any smarter than I am. (I will risk something that it makes him squirm every time I call him "that old man," in this letter. People who voted for General Washington don't like to be reminded that they are old.) But I like the old man, and I like his hotel too, barring the d------ barring the fountain I should say.


As I was saying, I took lunch, and then hurried out to attend to business—that is to say, I hurried out to look after Mr. John Paul's baggage. Mr. John Paul is the San Francisco correspondent of the Sacramento Union, and "goes fixed." I was down at the wharf when the Antelope was about to leave San Francisco, and Captain Poole came to me and said Mr. Paul was going up with him, and he knew by the way he talked that he was going to travel with a good deal of baggage, and it would be quite a favor if I would go along and help look after a portion of it. The Captain then requested Mr. Asa Nudd, and Lieutenant Elhs, and Mr. Bill Stephenson, treasurer of Maguire's Opera House, to keep an eye on portions of Mr. Paul's baggage, also. They cheerfully assented. And by and by Mr. Paul made his appearance, and brought his baggage with him, on a couple of drays. And it consisted of nothing in the world but a toy carpet-sack like a woman's reticule, and had a pair of socks and a tooth-brush in it. We saw in a moment that all that talk of Mr. Paul's had been merely for effect, and that there was really no use in all of us going to Sacramento to look after his baggage; but inasmuch as we had already shipped for the voyage, we concluded to go on. We liked Mr. Paul, and it was a pleasure to us to humor his harmless vanity about his little baggage. Therefore when he said to the chief mate, "Will you please to send some men to get that baggage aboard?" we proceeded to superintend the transportation with becoming ceremony. It was as gratifying to us as it was to Mr. Paul himself, when the second mate afterward reported that the boat was "down by the head" so that she wouldn't steer, and the Captain said, "It's that baggage, I suppose—move it aft." We had a very pleasant trip of it to Sacramento, and said nothing to disabuse the passengers minds when we found that Paul had disseminated the impression that he had three or four tons of baggage aboard. After we landed at Sacramento there was the infernalest rumbling and thundering of trunks on the main deck for two hours that can be imagined. Finally a passenger who could not sleep for the jarring and the noise, hailed Mr. Bill Stephenson and said he wondered what all the racket was about. Mr. Stephenson said, "It'll be over pretty soon, now—they've been getting that there John Paul's baggage ashore."

I have made this letter so long that I shall have to chop it in two at this point, and send you the remainder of it to-morrow.

Territorial Enterprise, October 30 or 31, 1866

[Enterprise Staff report on upcoming Twain lecture]

Tomorrow night our citizens will be afforded an opportunity to gratify their curiosity and offer a fitting testimonial to their fellow-townsman, Mark Twain, who will do up the Sandwich Islands at the Opera House on that occasion.

The enthusiasm with which his lecture was everywhere greeted is still ringing throughout California, and now that his foot is in his native heath, we expect to see the very mountains shake with a tempest of applause.

Our state can justly claim Mark Twain as its own peculiar production. It was while a resident here and associated with the Enterprise that he assumed the name of Mark Twain and developed that rich and inexhaustible vein of humor which has made the title famous. True he has since warmed his fancy in tropical climes and expanded his thought by ocean pilgrimage and heated his eloquence in volcanic fires; but all these rest upon the solid foundation which was originally laid in our native alkali and sagebrush.

From present appearances he will receive an ovation seldom if ever equalled in our city and it is pleasing to know that such an event will be equally gratifying to the audience and speaker.

Territorial Enterprise, November 1 or 2, 1866

[Enterprise Staff report on Mark Twain's lecture]

One of the largest and most fashionable audiences that ever graced the Opera House was in attendance last evening on the occasion of Mark Twain's lecture on the Sandwich Islands. The entire dress circle and the greater portion of the parquette were filled with ladies while all the available space for extra seats and standing room was occupied. It was a magnificent tribute to the lecturer from his old friends. Of the lecture itself we can only speak in general terms as its points are too numerous and varied to admit of special mention.

Combining the most valuable statistical and general information with passages of drollest humor, all delivered in the peculiar and inimitable style of the author in the lecture, it constitutes an entertainment of rare excellence and intelligence. The lecture will be delivered in the principal towns throughout the state, but we are unable at present to mention definitely any time or place.

In a day or two the entire programme will be arranged. Meanwhile our neighboring towns can well afford to wait patiently in anticipation of a rare treat.

Territorial Enterprise, November 4, 1866


The following characteristic card from Mark Twain is in reply to a general invitation of the residents of Carson extended to him to visit the State Capital and deliver his lecture on the Sandwich Islands:


VIRGINIA, November 1.

His Excellency H. G. Blasdel, Governor, and Messrs. A. Helm, O. A. F. Gilbert, H. F. Rice and others:

Gentlemen: Your kind and cordial invitation to lecture before my old friends in Carson has reached me, and I hasten to thank you gratefully for this generous recognition—this generous toleration, I should say—of one who has shamefully deserted the high office of Governor of the Third House of Nevada and gone into the Missionary business, thus leaving you to the mercy of scheming politicians—an act which, but for your forgiving disposition, must have stamped my name with infamy.

I take a natural pride in being welcomed home by so long a list of old personal friends, and shall do my level best to please them, hoping at the same time that they will be more indulgent toward my shortcomings than they would feel called upon to be toward those of a stranger.

Kindly thanking you again, gentlemen, I gladly accept your invitation, and shall appear on the stage of the Carson Theatre on Saturday evening, November 3d, and disgorge a few lines and as much truth as I can pump out without damaging my constitution.

Yours sincerely,


Ex-Gov. Third House, and late Independent Missionary to the Sandwich Islands.

P.S.—I would have answered yesterday, but I was on the sick list, and I thought I had better wait a day and see whether I was going to get well or not.


Territorial Enterprise, Sunday, November 11, 1866.]

[written after Twain was a victim of a practical joke robbery]


Last night I lectured in Gold Hill, on the Sandwich Islands. At ten o'clock I started on foot to Virginia, to meet a lot of personal friends who were going to set up all night with me and start me off in good shape for San Francisco in the morning. This social programme proved my downfall. But for it, I would have remained in Gold Hill. As we "raised the hill" and straightened up on the "Divide," a man just ahead of us (Mac, my agent, and myself), blew an ordinary policemen's whistle, and Mac said, "Thunder! this is an improvement—they didn't use to keep policemen on the Divide." I coincided. The infernal whistle was only a signal to you road agents. About half a minute afterwards, a small man emerged from some ambuscade or other and crowded close up to me. I was smoking and supposed he wanted a light. But this humorist instead of asking for a light, thrust a horrible six-shooter in my face and simply said, "Stand and deliver!" I said, "My son, your arguments are powerful—take what I have, but uncock that infamous pistol." The young man uncocked the pistol (but he requested three other gentlemen to present theirs at my head) and then he took all the money I had ($20 or $25), and my watch. Then he said to one of his party, "Beauregard, go through that man!"—meaning Mac—and the distinguished rebel did go through Mac. Then the little Captain said, "Stonewall Jackson, seat these men by the roadside, and hide yourself; if they move within five minutes, blow their brains out!" Stonewall said, "All right, sire." Then the party (six in number) started toward Virginia and disappeared.

Now, I want to say to you road agents as follows:

My watch was given to me by Judge Sandy Baldwin and Theodore Winters, and I value it above anything else I own. If you will send that to me (to the Enterprise office, or to any prominent man in San Francisco) you may keep the money and welcome. You know you got all the money Mac had—and Mac is an orphan—and besides, the money he had belonged to me.

Adieu, my romantic young friends.


Territorial Enterprise, December 22, 1867



WASHINGTON, December 4, 1867

EDS. ENTERPRISE:—To write "EDS. ENTERPRISE" seems a good deal like coming home again—a good deal like coming home again—but in a dream wherein your hand takes hold of the same old gate and opens it in the same old way, and you enter and find the homestead as you left it: flowers under window, shrubbery in the front yard, old bottles in the retiracy of the corners. But one never finds home just exactly as he saw it in a dream; and by the same token, although (as you will observe by the slashing way in which I have dashed off that "EDS. ENTERPRISE,") I open the gate as familiarly as ever. I suppose I won't be likely to find any of the other well-remembered ornaments about your front yard but the old bottles. That sounds unkind, may be, but behold, truth is stranger than fiction, and one should be just, before he is generous.

Scurrilous Weather.

I have been here a matter of ten days, but I do not know much about the place yet. There is too much weather. There is too much of it, and yet that is not the principal trouble. It is the quality rather than the quantity of it that I complain of; and more than against its quantity and its quality combined am I embittered against its character. It is tricky, it is changeable, it is to the last degree unreliable. It has catered for a political atmosphere so long that it has come at last to be thoroughly imbued with the political nature. As politics go, so goes the weather. It trims to suit every phase of sentiment, and is always ready. To-day it is a Democrat, to-morrow a Radical, the next day neither one thing nor the other. If a Johnson man goes over to the other side, it rains; if a Radical deserts to the Administration, it snows; if New York goes Democratic, it blows—naturally enough; if Grant expresses an opinion between two whiffs of smoke, it spits a little sleet uneasily; if all is quiet on the Potomac of politics, one sees only the soft haze of Indian summer from the Capitol windows; if the President is quiet, the sun comes out; if he touches the tender gold market, it turns up cold and freezes out the speculators; if he hints at foreign troubles, it hails; if he threatens Congress, it thunders; if treason and impeachment are broached, lo, there is an earthquake!

If you are posted on politics, you are posted on the weather. I cannot manage either; when I go out with an umbrella, the sun shines; if I go without it, it rains; if I have my overcoat with me, I am bound to roast—if I haven't, I am bound to freeze. Some people like Washington weather. I don't. Some people admire mixed weather. I prefer to take mine "straight."

So I have hardly been anywhere. If you were to bet on a storm and "copper" an earthquake, and lost; and then bet on an earthquake and "coppered" the storm, and lost again, you would let the next deal go by, maybe. You would not want to back your judgment any more for the present. That is about the way I feel. I am waiting for my luck to change.

The Capitol and Congress

I have been to the Capitol, several times, to look at it—almost to worship it; for surely it must be the most exquisitely beautiful edifice that exists on earth to-day. True, there are many buildings that are grander, and statelier, and half a dozen times as large, but if there is one that is so symmetrical, so graceful, so fascinating to the eye, I have not heard of it—unquestionably I have not seen it. A man could no more get tired of looking at it than he could tire of sunset in the mountains or moonlight on the sea.

I have been within, among the law-makers, also. They look well—both houses. I was here fourteen years ago, and remember what I saw then, perfectly well. I saw in the House Mr. Douglas and a few other great men. The mass of the remainder seemed to be a mob of empty headed whipper-snappers that had only come to Congress to make incessant motions, propose eternal amendments, and rise to everlasting points of order. They glances at the galleries oftenor [sic] than they looked at the Speaker; they put their feet on their desks as if they were in a beer-mill; they made more racket than a rookery, and let on to know more than any body of men ever did know or ever could know by any possibility whatsoever.

But the House I find here now is composed chiefly of grave, dignified men beyond the middle age, and look worthy of their high position. General Banks is the handsomest member, perhaps. General Butler is the homeliest. In his comeliness, Banks has competitors. Some of the members embellish a desk with a book, occasionally, but not frequently. Many of them pay only questionable attention while the Chaplain is on duty, but they never catch flies while he is praying. I noticed that, particularly, and was deeply touched by it; I was gratified more than tongue can tell; for the sake of my country, I was proud of it.

The Senate is a fine body of men, and averages well in the matter of brains. Strangely enough, the two Nevada Senators are the handsomest men in the company—the handsomest men in Congress, indeed, for Governor Nye is handsomer than General Banks; and Stewart is handsomer than the balance of the tribe.

A Mining College Proposed.

Which reminds me that Stewart has just introduced a bill for the founding of a national mining school. If it carries, in its present shape, it will be a most excellent thing for the whole mining community, from Pike's Peak to the Pacific, and from the northern gold fields clear down to Mexico. Because, it ultimately entirely removes the Government tax upon bullion. That tax foots up $300,000, now ($100,000 of it comes out of Nevada's pocket alone), and it must augment, year by year. It is proposed to devote all of next year's tax to the buildings, etc., for the school; after that (say 4 or 5 years), half the tax will be spent on the school and the other half invested in United States securities for the benefit of the school, until the fund shall be large enough to yield sufficient interest to carry on the institution without touching the principal. Then, the Government tax on bullion will be abolished altogether.

The mining school will be free to all. Assays will be made for anybody, at a cost of a few cents, instead of dollars. The mining knowledge of all countries will be gathered together here, tested, classified, and diffused through our mining communities by means of inspections of the mines and free lectures to the miners by the faculty of the college, etc. The Secretary of the Treasury thinks the expense of mining will be materially lessened and the yield of bullion vastly increased by means of such a school as Mr. Stewart has proposed. It is suggested that the institution be located somewhere in your vicinity, on the Truckee, on the line of the Pacific Railroad. Whether the measure will carry or not, no man can tell. That it should carry, every man on the "coast" will unquestionably desire.

The First Effects of the Message.

The President's Message is making a howl among the Republicans—serenity sits upon the brow of Democracy. The Republican Congressmen say it is insolent to Congress; the Democrats say it is a mild, sweet document, free from guile. But one thing is very sure: the message has weakened the President. Impeachment was dead, day before yesterday. It would rise up and make a strong fight to-day if it were pushed with energy and tact. But it won't be done, I suppose. I foresee that the weather is going to throw some double summersets, now, right away. It will keep up with these convulsions in politics or wear out the elements trying. I must stand by with parasols, umbrellas and overcoats until the weather is reconstructed.


S. T. Gage of your Internal Revenue service, is here on business connected with his office. He is a little off color as to his overcoat, but his pantaloons are up to regulation. He looks well, and is attending strictly to business and behaving himself.

John Allman is here also, looking up business in the mail contract line.

I have seen your former Congressman, Harry Worthington. He dresses mighty well for a white man in these universal suffrage times. His home is at Omaha—Omaha the Sublime. When New York and other great States went Democratic, Omaha went handsomely Republican. They say it was because Harry was there. Burke is here, now, attending to business. He has contracts for feeding a tribe of Indians out there on the Plains. He has a great opportunity, now, to teach us what high, unselfish patriotism—and he knows it. He will do it. He will feed those Indians with his country's interest ever in his heart, and his worshipping eyes turned always toward her shrine—and when he gets done feeding them, behold not a devil of a redskin in all his gang will be in a condition to go on the warpath in the spring! Harry Worthington is a first rate fellow, and takes a joke kindly, and we all want to see him prosper. He is going to do well out of this thing. I feel certain of it. Of course he don't want it mentioned, outside of your own circle, but his main business here is to get one more tribe, because, the way he is averaging the rations now, the tribe he has got won't be likely to hold out long, and of course he wants something to fall back on. He thinks he will be perfectly safe if he can get another tribe.

There are plenty more Nevadians here. I will attend to them in my next.


Territorial Enterprise, January 7, 1868




WASHINGTON, December 16, 1867


It is voluminous, and has remarks and statistics concerning all the mines of any importance—figures that will show at a glance what each has done, what it is doing, and what it has cost and is costing to do it; what the profits are, what the losses are, etc. It contains as good information as could be got concerning new districts and their prospects. To get this varied information and these manifold statistics Mr. Browne had to employ persons residing in the several mining localities to furnish them. These gentlemen have performed their duties pretty faithfully, but of course they have yielded to the natural mining instinct to glorify the leads of their part of the country with weighty adjectives; we were all prone to do that in our day and generation. They speak of "prodigious veins" and "magnificent deposits" and "wonderful richness," etc., and behold their tongues are touched with inspiration and they prophecy! They reveal the things that shall come to pass, with the easy confidence of Elishas newly invested with the enchanted mantle. They trench upon the jurisdiction of the Almighty, and disclose the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven to Congress with a comfortable indifference to consequences that could originate nowhere on earth save in the placid breast of an honest miner. I understand this thing—we all do, that have been miners. For all miners are, by nature and instinct, prophets.

We understand it, but Congress wouldn't. So it has been necessary to drive a pen straight through all these revelations of the things that are to come. The most shining prophecies are to be utterly extinguished. In truth, all the prophecies that are not manifestly authorized from on high, will be pitilessly expunged. Mr. Brown[e] wishes the report to be received with the utmost good faith by the world, and to bear upon its face the evidences that it is worthy of such a reception. Consequently it will not do to bring suspicion upon it with prophecies in this age of skepticism. The rich deposits or adjectives that occur all through the sub-reports will be expunged also, and for the same reason that the words of prophecy are condemned. No "puffs" will be allowed to remain, lest they impair the confidence of the public in the truthfulness of the book. Therefore, you can now understand that, voluminous as the work is, it must all be re-written, and thoroughly weeded of its defects. This is a vast labor, and much time and patience will have to be devoted to it. The book will not be ready for the press for some time yet. The reports from all the great mines—I mean statistics of their yield of ores in tons, and the result of the same in bullion, etc., will be brought up to about the present time, and the book be thereby made as complete as possible.

The moral of this long report—the verdict of it—may be summed up in a few sentences: Save in the great underground gravel channels, "placer" mining is finished—is dead. Nothing but deep mining—vein mining—will do now. The muscle mining of the pan and shovel must give place to critical science. Miners must adjourn from the exhausted hillsides to the chemist's laboratory and be educated to the higher grades of their profession. Therefore, the proposed National School of Mines is become a necessity. Such is the verdict.


Hovey is here. General Hovey of Nevada. He is a member of the Senate, I think. I recollect that he ran for that position.

Mr. Stowe is here, also—Stowe of Carson City—once Sergeant-At-Arms of the Legislature. The nation gets along better, now.

There are other Nevadians in Washington. Thomas D. Julien of Humboldt, John S. Mayhugh of Esmeralda (in Maryland just at present), George T. Terry of Austin, Robert M. Howland and wife are expected.

Julien is looking after his Indian affairs. He has claims. His prospects promise well.

S. T. Gage has gone to Ohio. He thinks of returning to Nevada overland. He desires that no mention shall be made of it.

Judge McCorkle of your city is here and will sail for the Pacific in the course of a week or two. He has been visiting his home in Ohio.

S. E. Huse of Gold Hill is here, also. He has been looking at lands in Virginia and Iowa, with a view to investing; likes Iowa best. He will return to Nevada very shortly, to stay a while.

J. M. Walker comes to Washington occasionally. He looks well, and is prosperous. I hear that he is speculating in lands and one thing or another in Virginia, and that he has bought him a homestead at Binghamton, New York, for which he paid $25,000.

Pat Hickey of the city of Virginia and other places in Nevada, was here the other night, so I am told. I am sorry I failed to see him. But I hear that he is flourishing, and, from what I can gather, he was feeling well. His toast was the same one ("Be kind to your friends," and he had fifty to drink it) that beat Beggs that snowy night that Beggs and I got the school report especially for the Virginia Union, and somehow it appeared in the ENTERPRISE in the most mysterious manner the next morning and failed to appear where it was intended to appear. But if it were the last act of my life I would affirm that it was through no connivance of mine. The scrub who had charge of the public school would not let me have the report for the ENTERPRISE, because it had said he was an ass, which was true, and if he had been half a man he would have been flattered by it. But he would give it to Beggs, because he had nothing against the Union particularly. I found Beggs at 8 o'clock in the evening. He had his little dark lantern. That looked badly. Because whenever Beggs got out his lantern there was going to be trouble. We went down and got the report, and, coming back through the driving snow, we met Pat Hickey, and went in and drank "Be kind to your friends." It took forty minutes to do it properly, and then Beggs proposed, himself, to go to the ENTERPRISE and leave a copy of the report, which was done. It was duly copied, and he took the original and started to go to the Union with it. At midnight, when we were going home, we passed McCluskey's and heard a familiar voice. We went in, and Beggs was standing on a table reading the manuscript school report by the light of his lantern to a crowd of mellow but singularly appreciative and enthusiastic Cornishmen from the Ophir nightshifts, who didn't understand a word of it, but seemed to like it all the better on that account. They cheered all the pauses, with the strictest impartiality. John Church entered at the same moment we did—looking angry, Beggs stopped, and smiled down upon Church his smile of naive suavity—a smile that was gilded all over with honest pride, with conscious merit—with triumph!—and said: "I ain't (e-uck!) I ain't to be depended on when I carry my lantern, ain't I! By G—, I've had this old report four hours!" And so he had. That was why the Union was obliged to go to press without it. Beggs was a good fellow; and no one can say that I ever intentionally helped him to get into trouble. I wish I could have seen Pat Hickey the other night. They say he had all Williards' Hotel responding to his, "Be kind to your friends" till well along toward day-break.

E. A. Pretois, formerly of Virginia and Sacramento, is Senator Stewart's private secretary, now.


Mr. Stewart made a speech in the Senate a day or two ago in reply to Garritt Davis of Kentucky. Davis's was a carefully prepared manuscript speech wherein he attempted to show that the tendency of legislation at present could have but one result if persisted in—the result of investing the negro with the power to rule over white men and dictate the course they should pursue. Stewart's reply was extemporaneous, and consequently had more fire in it, perhaps, than polish. The point it made was the manifestly strong one that one negro cannot rule or dictate to ten white men; and that as long as the two colors are divided in that proportion in the country, the devil raised up in Mr. Davis's prophetic visions could never amount to much of a devil practically. There was nothing about one negro that ten white men need to fear. The speech met with a flattering reception by the Senate.

Senator Nye and Stewart have both just introduced bills of great importance to Nevada. Nye's is declaratory of the purpose of the Nevada town site law passed by Congress early in 1867. Secretary Browning, although aware that that law was one which had been greatly desired by the citizens of Virginia, at least, did not feel at liberty to execute it while the law of 1864 remained unrepealed and must in some cases interfere with its operation. If passed, Governor Nye's bill will straighten the matter out.

Senator Stewart's bill gives Nevada the privilege of locating the public lands according to her wherever she pleases—on the sections along the railroad that alternate with those belonging to the railroad company if she chooses. It gives her the privilege of locating the lands donated to the Public Building Fund, and issuing scrip upon them at once. It also makes the salt springs and mines of Nevada the property of the State. If the bill should pass in its present shape it would bring some $50,000 or $60,000 into the State Treasury.


Are approaching. Congress will adjourn on Friday for a couple of weeks. Washington will be deserted the next day. I shall help desert it. I suppose, of course, I shall stay in New York till the national wisdom congregates again. If I hear anything while I am gone I will report it to you.


Territorial Enterprise, January 11, 1868




WASHINGTON, December 20, 1867


Colonel Ely Parker, Chief of the Six Nations, and staff officer to General Grant, was to have been married last Tuesday morning to Miss Sacket, an accomplished girl of 17, highly connected, and worthy of the best man in the country. General Grant was to have given away the bride, and the wedding ceremony was to have taken place in great state at the Church of the Epiphany, whose parlor has a monopoly of all the marriages that pay. Truly it has been said, "Ye know not when the bridegroom cometh"—more particularly when the bridegroom don't come at all. And he didn't come in this instance—or, as General Grant gravely expressed it, he failed to qualify. The five foolish virgins that had oil in their lamps were no better off than the two hundred and fifty foolish cues that hadn't, for lamps, howsoever well they may be supplied with oil, cannot discover a bridegroom that is not present but on the contrary is far away with a conspiring and malignant Indian. The wedding party went swearing and sorrowing home, wondering what could have become of the Grand Sachem of the Six Nations?—what could keep him away at such a time?—what he could possibly mean by "such conduct as these." They wondered for full twenty-four hours, and then the defendant came to light—the lost bridegroom was found—the Prodigal Son rose up and returned to his own precinct.

He explained his absence. He said that after he had borrowed a shirt—I should say a scarf—from General Grant on Saturday evening, he saw some friends, and afterwards, an hour or two later, went off to take a walk alone. An Indian of his confederation met him and said he had important things to say to him; walked with him to a convenient room, gave him a glass of wine and opened the conversation. But almost immediately Colonel Parker felt strangely, and lay down on the bed. He remembered nothing that occurred after that, save that he awoke out of a deep sleep, apparently in the middle of a dark night—he does not know which night it was—and by his bedside, never flitting, still was sitting, still was sitting, that ghastly, grim and ancient Indian from the night's Plutonian shore—only he, and nothing more. Quoth the Indian, Nevermore. Then this ebon bird beguiling the Colonel's sad soul into smiling, by the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it bore, "Bird or fiend," he cried, upstarting, (wrathful to his heart's hot core). "What's the time of night, I wonder?—tell me that thou son of thunder, from the night's Plutonian shore. How long have I in dreams been soaring?—how long been wheezing, gagging, snoring?—how long in savage nightmares roaring, since I lay down before?" Quoth the buck,

"An hour or more. You've been sick and may be sicker, because of late you've stopped your liquor, a thing you've never done before; here's some stuff the doctor sent ye—of your folly quick repent ye—take it, Chief, and seek nepenthe—rememb'ring grief no more."

"Bird," the Colonel cried, upstarting. "Bird or fiend," he cried, upstarting. "Bird or fiend!" as if his soul in that one phrase he did outpour: "Pass that stuff the Doctor sent me—move the frame thy God hath lent thee—take thy form from off my door. Take thy beak from out my jug—go on take thy bust outside my door." Quoth the Choctaw, "Nevermore."

Colonel Parker took the medicine, and immediately the fatal drowsiness came upon him again. He fell asleep, and never woke again till Wednesday morning—a day after General Grant assembled himself at the church to assist at his nuptials. It may be all very funny, lightly considered, but seriously regarded it is sad enough. It has brought into unpleasant newspaper notoriety a soldier who has fought bravely and faithfully throughout the long war, and was honored with the confidence and esteem of the first General of our day; and it has also given the same unhappy notoriety to a modest, retiring young girl, and has caused her the extremest suffering. The bridegroom's is the easiest case, for whether he be blameless or not, he is a man and a soldier, and can bear untoward fortune and the gossip of idle tongues with soldierly fortitude.

Colonel Parker's friends are well satisfied that his community of Indians are at the bottom of the whole affair; that they are jealous of foreign marriage complications; that they wish him to wed with a woman of his own race, and that they conspired to stave off his marriage with the white girl and break off the match if possible. The Indian who drugged him was gone when he awoke the last time, and has not been seen since. General Grant has taken the matter into his own hands and will sift the mystery to the bottom. If it comes out straight, Colonel Parker will fare well; if it does not, it will be farewell to Colonel Parker.

A Voluminous Telegram.

A telegram for the Government, consisting of 6,480 words, was received here to-night from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. It is the full report of that body in favor of and urging the ratification of the Sandwich Islands treaty. I think its strongest argument is, that with such a treaty in force, the Government would have a fair pretext for resisting by military power, the occupation of the Islands by England or France. If we can't get the property, it is at least wise to see that they don't. We certainly cannot get it. The King will not sell; we shall not seize it of course. Its free use is indispensable to our Pacific commerce. Hence we should take care that that free use shall be secured to us. The reciprocity treaty blocks the game on all obstacles to this. Nothing else can.

I know of no objection to the treaty except that it will decrease our national revenue by $150,000 a year—but inasmuch as the Pacific coast has but to pay that, in the form of increased prices charged for sugar to cover the duties, perhaps the Government had better tax the coast people to that amount on something else and secure to itself the valuable freedom of the islands through the reciprocity treaty.

Still, it would be just like these Solons here to forget all judgment in the desire to save that trifle of revenue. They give $100,000,000 to the Pacific Railroad, and $500,000 a year to the China mail, and now it would be exceedingly like them to forget the Sandwich Islands are just as much a necessary part of the grand highway they are creating between New York and China as Damascus is a necessary part of the legitimate route from a sinful world to the devil. It would be like them. It would so accord with their policy of saving at the spigot while they lose at the bung.

Yesterday, the Senate shut off the stationery supplies of its members! That was the meanest thing, the smallest business, the cheapest fraud I ever heard of. I know nothing of it. I wrote an order for four reams of fancy foolscap and got a blind lunatic to sign Charles Sumner's name to it (no man can counterfeit the genuine signature unless there is something awful the matter with him), and went up to the Senate and presented it. They said it would not do. I asked if they meant to insinuate anything against the soundness of the signature. They said no; they could see by the general horribleness of it that some member of Congress wrote it, but that was not the idea—and then they told me of that poor little swindle of a "retrenchment." It is nothing but a blind—nothing but a miserable little ten thousand dollar blind to deceive the people with. Those parties are generating something—they are sitting—silent—spreading themselves—hatching. Under cover of that little dab of retrenchment which they have thrown into the people's eyes they are getting ready to steal about four hundred millions of dollars, and then you will hear them cackle. I suppose I shall have to go back to writing letters on old blotting paper again shortly.

The more I think of it the more indignant I become. Here some time ago we bought an iceberg for $7,000,000 and lately we bought a volcano and an infernal nest of earthquakes for $17,000,000, and now we are shutting off a dray-load of stationery and six bits worth of sugar revenues to get even again. Bother such "retrenchment!"

California Senator.

The news arrived to-day by telegraph that the California Legislature has elected Eugene Casserly to be United States Senator to succeed Hon. John Conness. He will succeed one of the pleasantest men, socially, and one of the best hearted that exists; and by the same token a man that has worked hard for the coast, done his duty faithfully, and accomplished all that any man could have done. Do you know what particular stripe of Democracy Mr. Casserly is variegated with? Had I better support him with the Administration, or had I better hoist out my paint and get ready to go on the warpath? But perhaps you fail to catch my drift. What I mean is, is his Democracy of the poetical stripe, as set forth in bombastic platforms, or is it of the practical stripe that looks to the most goods to the greatest number? In plain English, how is Casserly on stationery? For behold, even as a man is on stationery, so shall he be concerning the greater things of the covenant. Would it be agreeable to Casserly for me to collect his mileage for him, do you think?

For President.

Associate Justice Field of the Supreme Bench is widely talked of, latterly, as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States—an able man, a just one, and one whose judicial and political garments are clean—a man well fitted for the place. No man can tell what an hour may bring forth—especially if the politicians have leased that hour—but just at the present moment the Presidential contest bids far to take a particularly "sporting" shape—for verily is there not a "field" on the one side and a "chase" on the other? Now, therefore, where is the fox that shall fly the Chase, cross the Field in safety, and gain the cover of the White House?


Congress adjourned yesterday. I don't know whether they have done anything or not. I don't think they have. However, let us not forget that they have "retrenched." They have passed the stationery resolution—they have eased up some on one thousand millions of debt—they have smitten the Goliath of gold with a pebble—they have saved the country. God will bless them. Let the new David bring the head of the monster to the foot of the throne, and go after more. I tremble to think they may abolish the franking privilege next.

The Ark has rested on Ararat. The most of the animals have gone away to New York and elsewhere. But I believe the Pacific delegation propose to remain here during the vacation and get ready for business—for stirring times are at hand.


Territorial Enterprise, January 30, 1868



WASHINGTON, January 10, 1868


That is the polite term now. What are we coming to when language like that is freely launched at the great officers of the Government? Not in the street alone, and in private conversation, but, in a barely modified form, in the Senate Chamber of the United States. They almost speak in that way of the Secretary of the Treasury. The country seems to have become satisfied that his department is rotten with swindling and rascality, that at last even the Senate has partly awakened to the importance of doing something or saying something. It is a slow body, and timid. Andrew can scare it with a growl. All those Senators believe, and have believed for weeks, that through the improper and unlawful conduct of the Treasury officers, the Government has been swindled out of $200,000,000 a year, through whisky and cotton frauds, but they dared not say anything, until their silence at last began to breed the impression among the people that Congress was in the "ring" too, along with the Treasury! That has stirred them up a little and two or three Senators have lately made a sort of show of wanting to know something about these frauds. One charge against Mr. McCullouch is peculiar. Laws were passed in 1862, '63, and '64, providing for the sale of cotton and other confiscated property seized during the war, and establishing a Court of Claims for the examination of cases where it might be alleged that some of these seizures were unjust—a Court with power to restore such property as might be proven to have been taken by mistake from staunch Union men, etc. Under these laws sales amounting to $36,000,000 net were made. It is alleged now that $10,000,000 of this sum has been restored to parties claiming to have been Union men, and restored, too, on the individual responsibility of the Secretary of the Treasury, without any adjudication whatever by the proper tribunal, the Court of Claims. To prove this true, would be to prove a curious thing surely—that the Secretary, a mere citizen, like anybody else, has the presumption to put himself above the supreme of the land! He coolly overrides that law and serenely plans and executes as if there were no such law in existence! A feeble effort was made in the Senate, three weeks ago, to inquire into this matter, but many of the members hesitated to meddle with it, and Mr. Fessenden, with persistent solicitude, warred against the movement day after day. He argued that it was not worthwhile to trouble the Court of Claims with its own legitimate business, when the Secretary of the Treasury had all the necessary information in his possession and could transact it himself—albeit there was no law authorizing him to so transact it! Ours is a funny Government in some respects.

A dark mystery still hangs over that $200,000,000 per annum business. Also the Secretary's continual over-estimates of expenses and vast under-estimates of receipts, which have had the effect of inducing Congress to increase the burden of taxation enormously to meet the imaginary demands of his Department, have exasperated the people exceedingly. The Secretary's "contraction" system, at the time when the industrial interests of the country are not able to bear the increased pressure it entails, is regarded with high disfavor by all engaged in commerce and manufactures. Mr. Stewart, of Nevada, went into this war against the Secretary of the Treasury, yesterday, with more vim and spirit than any other Senator has yet ventured upon, and his speech is much commented upon in political circles, and applauded. In the course of it he read a letter from a Detroit manufacturer, which was ably written and bitingly statistical—a letter which showed by plain figures that a large amount of taxation now imposed upon our industrial interests could be easily removed and that its continuance is not warranted in any way by the necessities of the Treasury Department. The letter also says that a charge of falsification (in the matter of absurd and injurious estimates) could unquestionably be maintained against the Secretary; and further, that "in any other country, if the head of the Treasury should be so outrageously incorrect, he would be compelled by a deceived people to resign." Stewart's speech was upon the bill to suspend further reductions of the currency, a bill which is considered to be of the nature of a vote of censure and want of confidence in the Secretary of the Treasury. During the debate Senator Nye also made a few remarks, and as they give the effect of the Secretary's operations in a nutshell, I copy them:

I have a vague recollection of a law being passed authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, as the compound interest notes became due, to issue three per cent. certificates, or securities of some kind, to supply the deficiency thus created. I was told in New York the other day that during the two months preceding the election there were $53,000,000 of compound interest notes retired, together with $8,000,000 of United States notes, making $61,000,000, and at the same time a circular was issued to the banks to keep good their reserve. The banks that had been holding those $53,000,000 had to get in legal tenders to supply their places. The effect of this was to contract the currency some $61,000,000 at once, which raised the price of money in New York from five to eight per cent., and in Chicago to as much as sixteen percent., and prevented the obtainment of the means for bringing forward the vast products of the West. That is what I was told.

Before they get through with this bill of censure it is likely that Congress will rouse up and shake off its sleepiness and make a row that will discover to the world whether there is any rascality in the Treasury Department or not, and if so, about how much.

The Worrell Sisters

Were still playing at the New York Theatre in New York when I was there spending the holidays the other day. I did not see them, but I heard the young men talk about them—the young men seem as if they are not going to get over the fascination those girls have inspired them with. Another "Worrell Brigade" is being found. If gossip is in order, I will mention that Sophy was to sail for Havana with her mother and a Mr. Lovell, about 10 days ago. Mr. Lovell is a bachelor, 45 and rich—but consumption has its grip upon him, and it is believed he cannot recover. His journey to Havana was undertaken for his health. He thinks the world of Sophy, and would like to marry her, but she will not consent, of course. Lovell has been kind to the family, however, and of service to them in every way that he could, and their appreciation of these has moved them to care for and assist him to their utmost upon this his last journey. It is said he has no heirs, and insists upon leaving his fortune to Sophy.

Old Curry

Is here—old Abe Curry. And he is gotten up "regardless." He is the observed of all observers. I think Curry is the best dressed man in Washington. He has a plug hat with a bell crown to it—it is of the latest Paris style, and has a rim that is curled up at the sides. It is the shiest hat in Washington. And he wears black broadcloth pants, with straps to them, while Marseilles vest, and a blue claw-hammer coat with a double row of brass buttons on it, like a Major General. His cravat is perfectly stunning; it looks like it might have come off the end of a rainbow. His moustache is turning out handsomely, and he swings a rattan stick and wears lemon-colored kid gloves. He also has a superb set of false teeth, but he has to carry them in his pocket most of the time, because he can't swear good when he has them in. He goes browsing around the President's and the departments trying to talk French—because he is playing himself for a foreign Duke, you know. N.B.—I may have exaggerated my old friend's costume and performances a little, but then this is the man that detained my baggage in Carson once and gave me that infamous account of the Hopkins massacre, and I can never, never forgive him for it. He says he is here to get seeds from the Patent Office for Tredway and Jim Sturtevant. A likely story. He wants to get another appropriation to put another layer of stone on that Mint, I guess. I expect I had better find out what Curry is about and keep an eye on him—he will be wanting to run this Government next.

Clagett has been here during the past few days, on Montana and Nevada business, visiting relatives, etc.

The Town-Site Bill

In the Senate on Thursday, Mr. Stewart's bill concerning town-sites in Nevada, which has for its object to afford a relief to Virginia and other Nevada towns which Secretary Browning said he could not afford himself the way the old law stood (I have spoken of this bill in a former letter), was taken up, and so amended as to make the operation of the law general upon all the lands of the Union, and in this shape it was ordered to be engrossed and filed for a third reading. There is little question that it will become a law.


P.S. I lectured here last night.

Territorial Enterprise, February 18, 1868



WASHINGTON, January 11, 1868.


They are opened, and awful is the smell thereof! Millions of politicians have suddenly begun to prate, with unprecedented energy, even for their tribe, and they foul all the air with their corrupt and suffocating breath. It is all about reconstruction. The truth is, that the more Congress reconstructs, the more the South goes to pieces. But Congress is in for it, now, and goes bravely on, hoping at last to get the reconstruction bull where they can hold him. Every morning, after breakfast, Congress passes a brand-new Reconstruction Act; after luncheon they amend it and put some Constitution in it; when it is time to go to dinner, they repeal it, and get ready to start fresh in the morning. If they keep on stacking up talent on reconstruction as they have been doing, they will run out of material before they get their great mission accomplished. You see, they started in to build a good, substantial reconstruction house, but there were some sandy places under it which did not look well. They thought maybe they might not be as risky as they looked, however, and concluded to chance them. But it was not a good idea. The house was hardly built, before one corner began to sink a little, and they had to jackscrew it up and put in an amendment prop. Then another corner began to sink, and they had to put in a similar prop there. Next the chimney began to lean, and they had to prop that mighty quick with a powerful brace; right away the kitchen began to cave in and the gable end to bulge out, and immediately some more jackscrews and braces had to be called into use. It is a nice new house, but some part of it lets down every day, and has to be fixed—till at last we have the curious spectacle of a mansion bright with new paint and dazzling with gilding, looking bleary and bloated, limber and leaning and bulging in all directions, and with unpainted and unsightly spars and braces canted against it and straddling about every which way—an allegorical, elegant gentleman of the first water and most fashionable attire, drunk as a piper, subjugated, demoralized and gone in generally, reeling home on crutches enough for six! Such is the new house, and such the efforts made to save it. And of course it never rains but it pours—in the midst of all this vexation, along comes the Grand Jury, otherwise the Supreme Court, to examine it, and the owners and builders in fancy already hear the disastrous fiat: "Gentlemen, she won't do; she will have to come down; there is too much sand and not enough Constitution under her!"

I am not writing a political article; I am not trying to write a palatable article; I am merely writing the truth—simply photographing a straight-out fact. Thaddeus Stevens and many other prominent Republicans have said all along that the Reconstruction Acts were "outside the Constitution;" Congress itself has said it. Yet they still go on trying to patch up that old house, with that fatal defect in it, instead of wisely pulling it down and doing all over again and doing it right. The defect looked small at first, and Congress seems to have thought that it could not amount to a great deal—and yet, patch and repair and improve as they will, that little defect invariably obtrudes itself again and disarranges everything. It reminds me of a circumstance. That great Claflin house in New York, sold forty millions of dollars worth of goods in the year 1866. I visited their immense establishment in January '67, to see its wonders, and found the head bookkeeper in a sweat. I asked what the matter was. He said that for two terrible days he and his 48 sub-bookkeepers had been turning themselves gray with anxiety chasing a ten cent piece through a cart load of ledgers—there was a discrepancy of ten cents in the cash account for the year—the awful cash account wouldn't balance! I just said, indignantly, "Well that is about the smallest piece of business I ever heard of! Here, I'll give you ten cents myself. You and Claflin go to bed and get some rest!"

But he smiled a green, despairing, ghastly smile, and shook his head. He said that wasn't the idea. It wasn't the ten cents they cared for, but the terrible truth that that miserable trifle might stand for millions of dollars? Until that defect was hunted out and rectified, they couldn't tell whether they had lost millions or made them. "The cash books," he said, "must balance!"

It is just the idea with reconstruction. There is a trifling discrepancy somewhere, and nothing is safe about the building till it shall be rooted out. There is ten cents worth of Constitution lacking in it somewhere, and there will be no security, no salvation for it till the thing is rectified. There is no use trying to tinker it up—the builders must go straight through the edifice, and never rest till its accounts balance with the cashbook of the Constitution!

I wrote that speech for a Democratic member of Congress, but he couldn't pay me anything but whisky, and so we couldn't trade. I said I would rather confer it on a good Republican newspaper as a fair and honest exhibit of the Democratic side of the most exciting question before the nation, to the end that Republicans might have a chance to read both sides and thereby better inform themselves.

But Congress is worried. A decision rendered by the Supreme Court, rendered some time ago, seemed plainly to indicate that five of the Judges considered the Reconstruction Acts unconstitutional against three who believed the opposite. The famous McCardle case threatens to bring the constitutionality of those Acts to a test before the Court right away, and Congress to-day proposes to do what it can to circumvent the disaffected five, by passing a bill ordaining that the concurrence of six of the Judges shall be necessary to constitute a decision in all cases involving constitutional questions. But unhappily Congress did not make the Supreme Court, and doubtless it will transpire that it has about as much jurisdiction over its affairs as it has over the weather. The Court makes its own rules, and is entirely independent of Congress. Its custom is to decide by a majority vote, and if it chooses, will no doubt continue to do so. If McCardle gains his case, negro suffrage and the Reconstruction Acts will be dissipated into thin air for the present. No wonder Congress is troubled. It fears that if it can't fix things so as to enable three Judges to out vote five, it will have to go to work and build that Reconstruction House all over again, from cellar to roof. Isn't it a splendid sensation? The principal Republican papers are growling savagely at Congress for getting itself into this scrape by its innocent stupidity.

Republicans, both in and outside claim that though the Reconstruction Acts and the proposed bill to prescribe rules for the Judges are a little unconstitutional, they are necessities—the state of the country demands them; that if the rebels were admitted to power they would hang Union men upon any and every pretext, or upon none at all; that to admit them to power, unreconstructed and unrestrained, would be to acknowledge that the war for the Union was an iniquity, a crime. General Sheridan says he is interested in this business; if the war was wrong, he thinks he is a particularly bad murderer. I suppose he had a chance to be; he was in eighty-four battles, and had a hand in a good deal of killing. He says if he was in the right, he would like it if Congress would go ahead and so decide it; if he was in the wrong, and was only a murderer, he would like to know that, also. He is satisfied of one thing—that he cannot live under rebel rule; and thinks, from at least a military point of view, that the rebel conquered have no right to dictate to the victors—no right to say under what terms they will come in. Congressmen say that everything that stands in the way must go to the wall—if the Supreme Court obstructs the regeneration of rebeldom, it must go, too. This would be good enough reasoning, possibly, but for one thing: the President will veto the bill making rules for the Judges, and it can hardly be passed over his veto. And even if it were, the Court would simply annul it, and then, no doubt, go on and annul the Reconstruction Acts by the liberation of McCardle. A telegraphic report to-day says that General Meade has suspended the Governor and Treasurer of Georgia from office, and this has created great rejoicing among Republicans here. So the political cauldron boils. Let her boil.

It is believed that Secretary Stanton will be reinstated in the War Office within a few days, whether the President likes it or not. Congress is on its mettle now—Stanton, the President, Treasury frauds, reconstruction—it has a good deal of business on its hands, but it is fighting furiously at last. Even Wendell Phillips ought to be satisfied now. How the cauldron does boil. Let her boil.


It is the fashion, now, to write speeches. Congressman Brooks said at the Press Banquet, last night, that the day of eloquence is over in America—killed by newspapers, telegraphs, and phonographers. No man has a chance to carefully write out a speech for publication, now, after it has been delivered. It is forever too late—the short-handers have got it, the telegraph has flashed it to the ends of the earth, the daily press has petrified it into print with all its imperfections before the words were cold upon his lips. He said that Webster and Clay could not be orators, now—their crude extemporaneous efforts would appall them in print, and they would fall into the safer new fashion, and write cold, glittering, chastely worded sentences that could warm no listener into enthusiasm when he heard them.

Mr. Stewart has written, and written carefully, an elaborate speech upon the mining interests of the Pacific coast. It is by far the best and the ablest effort of the kind that ever has seen the light in this region. If he never does anything else to be proud of while he lives, this ought to be sufficient to satisfy him. It ought to be sufficient to kill him, too. For I never knew a man to do his constituents a great service, or do his whole duty by them honestly and well, that they didn't put him on the shelf and send some ass to represent them that was of no use whatever under God Almighty's Heaven but to get up and "blat" about niggers and politics and American flags and other bosh that he didn't know any more about than a bull knows about mathematics. California has shelved Conness, and served him right. He worked too hard for her interests—he was too faithful to his trust—he was too good and too tireless a servant.

Mr. Stewart is the only man that ever stood in either house of Congress that knows all about mines and mining—knows it from A to Zed—knows it in all its needs, in all its possibilities, in all its details. He knows what laws are wanted to nurture, and protect, and endow it with prosperity, and he knows how to frame them. He sees into his subject with a surer and a clearer vision than any man on this coast—it would be safe to say, or upon yours either. I was satisfied of this before. I know it now, after reading his speech. But it will do this for him—it will show his constituents that they have sent a man here who knows his business to a fraction, and is exactly the man they need here to keep Congress from eternally impoverishing them by passing absurd laws to cripple mining and disgust every man engaged in it, and then you will send some brainless idiot here—some quacking numskull—some bladder of wind that some browsing elephant, in the inscrutable providence of God, ought to step on and burst. That is what you will do. If I were in Nevada next fall I wouldn't want anything better than to take stump for Stewart and "norate" it to you. Can a man put a bill through the Congress like Stewart's that freed your mines from Government ownership and opened the markets of the world for their sale—dare a man to do so priceless a service as that for his people and ever hope to see the United States again? Not while republics are ungrateful, I reckon, and a clattering tongue with a piece of an idiot hung to it can be found in his place. You are hearing me toot my horn!


Territorial Enterprise, February 19, 1868




NEW YORK, January 20

I have run up here every now and then to get rid of the dullness of Washington; but I cannot tarry long, for I have to clear out again to keep from being crazed by the terrible activity of New York. They complain that New York is excessively dull, now, and so it must be, compared to the bewildering energy it displays in its busiest seasons—but even as it is now it is able to make provincial brains grow dizzy with its noise, and bustle, and excitement. It is a wonderful city. Two persons died last night of hunger, cold and exposure; they were people who could get nothing to do, and could not make a living begging. The bodies were displayed at the Morgue to-day, and among the idle spectators was a man who has nothing in life to accomplish but the spending of four hundred thousand dollars a year. I was in a tenement house yesterday which contained two hundred persons, all crowded together in little cramped chambers, where was lack of everything but dirt and rags; there were remnants of hats for window-panes; doors hung by one hinge; fragments of quilts and blankets, bestowed in corners, did duty as beds; there were a few battered pots and pans, but nothing to cook in them, and no fire to do it with, either; there was occasionally a broken chair and part of a table, but as a general thing these rooms were not so sumptuously furnished; there were small ridges of snow on some of the floors—it had blown in through cracks and broken windows; the human occupants were cadaverous, and pale, hollow-eyed and savage with hunger, or dumb with a misery that was next of kin to despair. One woman with five children (it is proper to call her a woman, I suppose, though she would have averaged very well as rags, all through), said she washed for a living formerly, but she got sick and lost her custom; then she peddled apples and oranges until a general financial crisis that prostrated all commerce and broke up many a staunch old firm reduced her to peanuts; but trouble still followed her; an investment of four dollars at the very top of the market, followed immediately by an unusual business depression, compelled a sacrifice of the whole venture and she went to protest. She retired from commerce, a bankrupt. She struggled on, doing what she could to make a livelihood by begging, but she was very nearly discouraged. For 24 hours she had not eaten. She swore to it. One of the philanthropists in our party advanced funds enough to set her up in business again.

There was want and suffering all about us. There was a man there—a poor decrepit starveling of 60—who had been the clown in a circus in his palmy days—had been royally tricked out in paint, and brilliant spangles, and ribbons and gold lace, instead of the gunny sack he wore about his shoulders now and the shredded latticework of rags that hung about his legs. He had been the admiration of the school-boys; had been the man of all men they envied most and most longed to be like. But nobody envied him now; nobody admired him; the day of his greatness was over. He mentioned it with feeling, and sighed when he spoke of it. He told how the audience used to applaud when he capered into the ring and made his bow; he said he was the "star" of the troupe, and his name alone on the bills was a sufficient guarantee for a full house. He compared himself with the "celebrated" clowns, Messrs. So-and-So, whom we had not heard of before, and pointed out wherein he had been superior to them. Then he piped out some execrable jokes in the old familiar clownish way (I was not aware before that they were so old), and told how boisterous the laughter and applause used to be. The fact is he had forgotten for the moment that he was a mendicant, and imagined himself a clown again, in the zenith of his glory. He even got so carried away with his happy reminiscences as to attempt his favorite comic song for us, but his poor reedy falsetto broke down and his splendid day-dream vanished. He was an unspangled mendicant again. He told how he came down gradually but surely from the dizzy height of his prosperity to be a magic-lantern exhibitor, then a door-keeper, then a Roman soldier in a theatre, then a mere "supe," afterwards a vendor of cheap soap and ballads, and finally a rag-picker and a searcher after old bones and broken bottles. He was hungry, but he was not thinking of that; he was cold, but he was not thinking of that, either; his friends were all gone, years ago, and it was plain that he had no home—but none of these things stood first in his mind. All he wanted was to shine once more in the ring, in glittering spangles, and get off some more of those infernal jokes, and hear the blessed music of applause, and then die. But we could not give him an engagement, as we had no circus, and so we left him to his want, his rags and his dreams.

There was a girl in that house, about fourteen years old, who supported her father and mother and two young sisters by her work. She sold newspapers about the streets in the daytime, and played the tambourine and collected the pennies for an organ grinder at night. She was prosperous, and full of ambition. She reveled in her gorgeous dreams, and dared to look forward to a day when she should rise to the dignity of peanuts, and have a regular stand on the corner. This girl had a good deal of human nature about her. Straightened as her circumstances were, she kept a Sunday dress—a dress that must have cost as much as three or four dollars, years ago, when it was new. She took it down from a nail and showed it to us. She had had a waterfall once, she said, but the rats got it. There was considerable human nature in some of those small children, too. They got out some rusty rag dolls—wretched affairs with arms pulled out, and features defaced, and bran oozing from their legs—they got these melancholy monstrosities out and flourished them about where we could admire them, but pretending all the while that they had no such end in view, and were even unconscious that those dolls were in any respect proper objects of admiration. I have seen other children go through the same fraudulent performance with costlier playthings, pretending all the while that they were not courting notice and commendation.

Ah, the want and suffering that we saw yesterday! We passed from the tenement house to a mansion up town where one of our party had a call to make, and there we saw human misery in its saddest form. Here was a poor devil living in a vast brownstone front, whose income had suddenly come toppling down from six thousand a month to four. He was consequently in deep distress, and all that he said was touched with melancholy. Trouble never comes singlehanded. One of his finest horses had gone lame, and his most precious dog was very sick and like to die. His champagne and his sherry did not suit his taste, and his tailor was so slow with his work as to drive him to the verge of distraction sometimes. This heart bowed down by weight of woe, wrought upon my sympathies as suffering never did before. And yet no man can fully appreciate misery like his until he has tried it. Unhappily, I had never tried it, and I was obliged to compassionate him only in a degree far inferior to the magnitude of his grief. The ex-clown suffered, but I could not see that he suffered as much as this man.

But this distressing subject suggests a fact. In this city, with its scores of millionaires, there are to-day a hundred thousand men out of employment. It is an item of threatening portent. Many apprehend bread riots, and certainly there is serious danger that they may occur. If this army of men had a leader, New York would be in an unenviable situation. It has been proposed in the Legislature to appropriate $500,000 to the relief of New York poor, but of course the thing is cried down by everybody—the money would never get further than the pockets of a gang of thieving politicians. They would represent the "poor" to the best of their ability, and there the State's charity would stop.

New York is always bustling and lively, but there are degrees in even its liveliness. In that net-work of great business streets that occupies the section between Broadway and the Brooklyn ferries, and the City Hall and Castle Garden, one may cross and recross the thoroughfares, now, with hardly a fear of being run over, and may make a reasonable progress along pavement still crowded, but not crammed. But a year ago it was so different. To attempt to cross one of those streets then, with its long array of massed and struggling vehicles, was to take your life in your own hands; and to get anywhere on foot along the sidewalks necessitated an exasperating elbow-fight for the whole distance you wished to go. They used to talk of dull times then. What do they think of it now?


Territorial Enterprise, February 27, 1868



WASHINGTON, January 30, 1868

More Westonism.

Sergeant Gilbert H. Bates of Wisconsin is the last candidate for pedestrian notoriety. He has made a bet that he will walk, alone, unarmed, without a cent in his pocket, and bearing aloft the American flag, through the late Southern Confederacy, from Vicksburg to Washington. He is already on his way, and the telegraph is noting his progress. The Mayor and a large portion of the population of Vicksburg ushered him out of that city with a grand demonstration. He proposes to sell photographs of himself at 25 cents apiece, all along his route, and convert the proceeds into a fund to be devoted to the aid and comfort of widows and orphans of soldiers who fought in the late war, irrespective of flag or politics. And then, I suppose, when he gets a good round sum together, for the widows and orphans, he will hang up his flag and go and have a champagne blow-out.

I don't believe in people who collect money for benevolent purposes and don't charge for it. I don't have full confidence in people who walk a thousand miles for the benefit of widows and orphans and don't get a cent for it. I question the uprightness of people who peddle their own photographs, anyhow, whether they carry flags or not. In my opinion a man might as well start his name with an initial and spell his middle name out and hope to be virtuous.

But this fellow will get more black eyes, down there among those unconstructed rebels than he can ever carry along with him without breaking his back. I expect to see him coming into Washington some day on one leg and with one eye out and an arm gone. He won't amount to more than an interesting relic by the time he gets here and then he will have to hire out for a sign for the Anatomical Museum. Those fellows down there have no sentiment in them. They won't buy his picture. They will be more likely to take his scalp.

Now the next ass that turns up will be wanting to carry a Confederate flag through the North, and wouldn't he have a cheerful time of it? What a pity it is that that insufferable fool, George Francis Train, did not think of that. He would have tried it, in a minute, and got hanged, and it would have been a blessing to the country. It would have transferred that tiresome gab of his to the other world, and from that time forward there never would have been any peace in hell any more. When the English found what a poor, clattering frog they had flattered with imprisonment, they were ashamed of themselves, and turned him loose. And ever since then he has been squandering his substance in sending bombastic telegrams over here about his suing the British crown for [pounds]500,000 (money enough to buy a sane man with); and about his protesting officially against this, that and the other thing; and about "Derby" threatening boastfully, but "trembling" (at such a sputtering bladder of gas as Train!); and about his going to "stump Ireland."

Was there ever such a world of egotism stuffed into one carcass before? Surely there is no room left in him for bowels. Do you know that that idiot is aspiring to the Presidency of the United States? He honestly is. He said in a farewell speech on shipboard, as he left New York—a speech slobbering adulation and nauseating buncombe over half a dozen Irishmen out of business, that in due time he would be the People's President. However, the same God that made George Francis Train made also the mosquitoes and the rats, and in His infinite wisdom He knows what He did it for. Human beings don't, though. Train established a newspaper in New York (the Revolution) to keep his notoriety alive while he wagged his ears in Europe. Last week, in New York, I saw six young girls walking up Broadway in single file, arrayed in showy uniform dresses of red merino, with white bodies, and on their heads they wore blue caps—red, white and blue, do you observe?—and each girl had a belt about her waist with "Revolution" painted on it, and had also a bundle of Revolution newspapers under her arm. Isn't that absurdity just like Train? I suppose that paper will advocate Female Suffrage, Free Love, Miscegenation, Burglary, Arson, Spiritualism, Southern Superiority, and general compounding with sin on earth and repudiation of damnation hereafter. When they speak contemptuously of worthless, fussy people in England they call them baggage. They have applied this happy epithet to Train. So our blowing, shrieking, ranting lightning express has degenerated into a poor, homely inconsequential baggage-Train after all.

Judge McCorkle.

They report that this homely old friend of mine—this ancient denizen of California and Nevada—the wrinkled, aged, knock-kneed, ringboned and spavined old war-horse of the Plains is to be married shortly to a handsome young Ohio widow worth Three Hundred Thousand Dollars. Well. What is the world coming to, anyhow? If any man had told me a week ago that any woman in her right mind and under 70 would be willing to marry that old fossil!—that old tunnel—that old dilapidated quartz mill—I would never, never have believed it. He is a splendid man, you know, but then he must be as much as 92 or 93 years old. He is one of my nearest personal friends, but what of that? I would remain a bachelor a century before I would marry such a rusty, used up old arastra as he is. I have always considered that I ought to fairly expect to marry about seventeen thousand dollars, but I think differently now. If McCorkle ranges at three hundred thousand in the market, I will raise my margin to about a million and a half.


It is on hand again. Congress has said it is going to boss this Government, in spite of everything and everybody, and it is keeping its word. It has held its grip now for more than a month, without ever flinching. And so it is forcing from the people that respect which pluck always inspires, whether it be displayed by one man or a multitude. It has never given up its impeachment scheme, but foiled in one attempt it straightway essays another. The new bill, just introduced into the Senate by Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, proposes to get rid of the obnoxious President on easy terms. It simply provides that when a civil officer is arraigned before the Senate on articles of impeachment preferred by the House, said officer shall be suspended from service pending the examination of his case. The examination of Mr. Johnson's case, so arraigned would never take place at all. He would remain harmlessly suspended until his duly elected successor arrived at the White House on the 4th of next March. It is specified in the bill that the army, if necessary, shall enforce such suspension. No one can tell, of course, what this measure may result in, but it is possible that through it Congress may yet gain its point and tie the hands of the President.

Harry Worthington

Has been nominated for U. S. District Judge for Nebraska, and henceforth will cease to decimate the Indians with his short rations. But he performed good service for his country while he remained in the Indian feeding department of the Government. He started out to unfit a couple of tribes for the war-path, and I think he must have done it, for no man has ever heard of them since. Works like those are bound to receive their reward at the hands of a grateful nation. He is a Judge, now (or rather, I trust he soon will be), and can rest upon his Indian laurels, and grant injunctions and hang people. It is good to be a Judge. The New York papers say Harry Worthington used to be a U. S. Senator from California—but I guess that is a mistake, isn't it? But New York papers don't know everything.

And speaking of Western people, I will mention that C. H. Webb ("Inigo") arrived here for a short sojourn to-day. He is going to do up fashions and such matters for Harper's Bazaar and the Tribune, I hear. This town seems to me to be pretty well stocked with California newspaper men, and so is New York—and all at work, too, which is flattering, certainly, considering the number of idle pens there are. I am on the Tribune staff yet, and also on the regular staff of the New York Herald and likewise that of the Chicago Republican. I think the boys are all satisfied with their Eastern positions and with Eastern pay; and I am sure ought to be. They treat us houseless strangers well in the East. Thomas Nast, the clever artist of Harper's Weekly is exhibiting a collection of great caricatures of national subjects in New York and wants me to do the lecturing for his show. I would, if I hadn't so many irons in the fire. I would like it right well for a change, but then changes are risky. I must hunt around for a handsome Pacific coaster to take the berth—because I suppose it is personal loveliness Nast is after.


Mr. Hooper, delegate from Utah, is to have the seat in the House of Representatives contested by Mr. McGrorty. The papers in the case cover the whole ground of the legality of the government of that Territory as administered by the Mormons. This is said to furnish the first occasion for bringing the whole question of Mormon laws and authority properly before Congress. I suppose we may look for a general ventilation, now, of the happy civil and religious code which permits a man to marry a whole family, grandmother and all, if it is particularly fancy stock, or if he can't make up his mind which of the ladies he likes best.

Pardon Todds has been nominated for the post of Indian Agent of Utah. That is the homeliest of all the homely Puritan names I have stumbled on yet, except that of famous Praise-God Barebone. How could a man write an obituary on Pardon Todds, if he died, without making it intensely funny? That man will never survive his mission. The Indians will put up with a good deal, but they will never put up with an Agent with a name like that. Toddy, you are going to get scalped. That is what is in store for you.


[Related item that Mark Twain wrote for the New York Tribune on GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN.]

The New York Tribune, January 22, 1868


To the Editor of The Tribune.

SIR: If you can, I wish you would give me some information of a man by the name of George Francis Train. It is for an uncle of mine that I want it. My uncle has had a pretty hard time of it, and if any man does deserve sympathy, and if any man would appreciate that sympathy, it is he. He is in the decline of life, and he wants to be quiet; but you know he tried Walrussia, and the bears ousted him; and then he tried St. Thomas, and the earthquakes ousted him; and so he hung up his fiddle, so to speak, and concluded he would wait and look around awhile, till the Government bought some more property. And while he was waiting, somebody recommended him to hunt up this gentleman, Mr. Train. They said Mr. Train was a slow, quiet sort of a body, and had no isms or curious notions about him, and that he was going over to the old country to buy Ireland for those persons they call the Fenians. They said he was very popular with the English Government, and that if the English Government would sell to anybody, they would to Mr. Train. They said that if Mr. Train concluded to take it, my uncle have an excellent chance to buy into a quiet locality in Cork, or Tipperary, or one of those calm, religious regions there, by speaking to him early.

So my uncle went after Mr. Train, but he was building a couple of railroads out West, somewhere, and before my uncle got there he had finished those railroads and was making Democratic speeches in the East. It was a considerable disappointment, but my uncle always had a great idea of doing business with a slow, quiet man, and so he came East. But he came the last part of the journey in a canal-boat (it being his nature to prefer quiet and safety to speed), and so he missed that man again. Mr. Train had got the Democratic party reorganized and all straight, and was out in the middle of the Rocky Mountains clearing off a place and driving away the buffaloes, so that he could build a metropolis there. But my uncle went in an ox wagon, and he missed that man again. Mr. Train had finished that metropolis and paved it with the Nicolson pavement, and started a couple of daily newspapers, and was gone East again with another lady to lecture on female suffrage.

It was a little discouraging, but my relative rested about a week and started after him again. He caught him this time, because Mr. Train had sprained his ankle and was obliged to remain quiet until he could get the leg removed and a reliable patent wooden one put on in its place that could not sprain. So he mentioned his business to Mr. Train, and he replied:

"You are all right, Sir. Put your trust in me. I'll buy Ireland, and you shall have as good a chance as any man. I am going to sail right away. You will hear about me as soon as I touch the Emerald shores. I shall get out some advertisements and make my presence known. I make no pretensions, but you will see pretty soon that I shall be heartily welcomed there and promptly cared for."

Since that time my uncle has not heard of Mr. Train. He has confidence in him, but he thinks that maybe he is too quiet a man to make much of a stir, and has not been heard of on that account. But have you heard anything of Mr. Train? Do you know if he got out any advertisements? And do you know if they received him heartily there, and more especially if they took care of him? This last is the main thing with my relative. If they took care of Mr. Train, it is all he cares for. He has said to me repeatedly that all that he is afraid of is that he has been neglected and not taken care of. If he were to hear that Mr. Train is there, in a strange land, without any place to stay, it would nearly break his heart. If you could only inform us that Mr. Train is safe, and has been received hospitably, and has a good tranquil place to board in, suitable to a quiet man like him, it would be a great comfort to the old man.


Territorial Enterprise, March 1, 1868




WASHINGTON, February 5, 1868


Another man has arrived here who comes to get the berth of Postmaster of San Francisco. This makes thirty-seven. The new applicant is not posted in office-seeking; he has not had a ripe experience. He is a good enough man, and may get the place, but it will cost him more trouble and vexation than he is promising himself, no doubt. He says he can't see that there is anything to be done but get the President to appoint and the Senate to ratify. Certainly that is all, truly enough. It was all that was to be accomplished by the thirty-six. He says he means to show the President what the Pacific coast papers say about him, and he means also to tell him all about how the Post Office has heretofore been managed and how he would improve that management the moment he got into office. But he don't say he would swear by Andrew Johnson and labor for his behest alone—which is much more important. And he don't take into consideration that the moment he gets the President in his favor the Senate will be down on him for it, and that if he gains the Senate's affections first, the President will be down on him. He only proposes to stay here a week. He says he don't care anything about making an extended stay in Washington—he only wants to get the appointment, and look around the great public buildings a little, and then he is off.

They told him a story, yesterday, but I do not know whether he saw the point of it or not. It was a little story that has been related with great spirit many thousands of times to office-seekers and claim-hunters who were only going to tarry a few days in Washington. It was about


It was a long time ago—thirty long years ago—when Gadsby's was the great hotel. It was snowing. A gentleman in the very prime of life drove gallantly up to Gadsby's with a spanking coach-and-four. The servants ran out to put up his horses, but he said no, he was only going to stop an hour, and was going right on again; he only wished to get a little claim cashed at one of the Departments. And so he blanketed his horses and hitched them, and went away. A week after that he was still in Washington. He sold one of the horses. After a month or two had rolled by he sold another. He said he did not wish to part with the others, because he was going back home as soon as his claim was cashed. Another month or two elapsed, and he sold the carriage and bought a light two-horse buggy with a small part of the money. About four months after that, he sold one of the remaining horses; and after another month or so had gone by, he sold the buggy and bought a saddle. He said he could ride horseback well enough, considering that the roads were likely to be good enough for a week or two to come. But the lingering weeks dragged by, and finally he sold the saddle and concluded to ride bare-back. At last—at last—he sold the other horse, and said that when his claim settled he would walk. He is seventy years old, now, poor old man, and his hair is white, his clothes are threadbare, and his head is bowed with many troubles. But he says it is not for long—he is only waiting a little while to get his claim settled, and then he is going home to see his people again and be happy.

I think No. 37 had better tie his horses up at Gadsby's.


It is reported that Mrs. Lincoln, long threatened with insanity, has really fallen a victim to it at last. The information comes by private letters from Chicago. She is said to be living in a house which is empty of furniture, she having sold it all. She labors under the delusion that she is going to come to want, and she sells everything she can lay her hands on. She is under guard of two old men. It is to be hoped that now, at least, this most unfortunate woman will be spared the pitiless slanders that have assailed her ever since she first entered the White House, and which even the crushing affliction of the murder of her husband was only sufficient to check for a little while.

Can it be possible that she is deserted by her friends and left to the sole charge of the "two old men?"—she whose friendship was so precious and whose society was so coveted a few years ago, when a good word from her was half an aspiring man's ambition gained?


I was striding up Broadway, in the face of a driving snow storm, the other evening in New York, when a man seized me by the hand with a crushing grip and said: "How are you, Mark?" I said I was well enough—it was the weather that most invited solicitude. He said he was very, very glad to see me. I intimated that I was saturated with felicity to see him. But all the time I was wondering who the mischief the fellow was. He said he had always remembered me for saying a merciful word in print for him when he was being so sorely hunted by the press of San Francisco. I never recollected saying a merciful word for anybody, and so I was still in suspense. Finally he said he wished I would call and see him at his offices. ("Offices" sounded sumptuous, and I warmed to him.) He was dealing in steamships; that is, he was engaged in furnishing complements of passengers to them; any business I might happen to have with the great steamer lines he would be happy to conduct for me. I knew the chirping voice then; I remembered the complacent countenance; I recalled the cheerful spirit that never yet had been bowed down by any possible weight of woe; I recognized the royal presence that always, by a destiny, clad in the outward semblance of poverty, was yet always a millionaire within: Felix O'Byrne! Who else, in all the world, would be smiling so blithely out from a gallant costume in ruins and chirping about his offices and his steamships?

Nothing can crush Felix O'Byrne finally and conclusively. Truth and Felix O'Byrne crushed to earth will rise again. Thus there is a marked similarity between Truth and Felix O'Byrne. I hereby locate a discovery claim of four hundred feet on this fact. Felix arrives on the Pacific coast in poverty; shortly he is the honored contributor to Victoria newspapers and the guest of Governors. Next he turns up in San Francisco, poor and accused of a grave offense against the laws; he is wearing diamonds next, and wielding a mighty influence in politics. Crushed again—degraded, disgraced—he disappears from public life, and it is discovered that the notes he gave for clothing, and the baggage he left at first-class hotels, are equally fanciful as to value. Suspected by the police, worried by landlords of low boarding houses, snubbed at third-rate free lunches, he blooms out all at once in a bright, new uniform, as a lieutenant in the 8th California Volunteers. When the mystery of the transformation is solved, it transpires that poor, despised and shunned, the tireless energies of the man have been at work, steady and serenely as ever—and characteristically, their aim was high; let Felix's body be where it would, his soul was always in the clouds! It transpires that he has procured his soldierly position by means of a petition to the Governor, signed by a number of the foremost gentlemen of San Francisco! The confidence, the persistence, the effrontery, and the dazzling successes of this man were bound to provoke some admiration in any soul but an infinitesimally mean one. But the newspapers showed Felix up, immediately, and it was plain to be seen that he was hardly the man to augment the respectability of the military service. He had the glory of a public military trial, though, and the distinction of being the head and front of the chief sensation of San Francisco for nine days, in print, and the principal lion on the street when he went forth to show his uniform. Then he was dismissed, and forthwith sank, down, down, down—clear out of sight. He was out of sight a good while—and also out of mind. But not to stay. The first bubble that rose from the vasty depths of Fenianism brought Felix to the surface. He wrote; he lectured; he stumped the State; he aspired to lead the movement; and lo! in the fullness of time, he bloomed again—this time as high chief editor of the Irish People newspaper. His career was brief but gorgeous. The Fenians got after him, and so did his subscribers. His creditors assaulted him again. He was busted. The waves of oblivion swept over him once more. He ceased to be talked about or even remembered. He sailed for the East, glorified with a parting blast from all the newspapers. After many days we heard of him achieving a precarious living by adventurous ways—unknown, uncourted, poverty-stricken. But so surely as the sun rises out of the night, so surely Felix O'Byrne blazes up out of obscurity in his appointed seasons. The news came that he was gone to Ireland, a lordly commissioner, empowered to disburse three millions of dollars among the Fenians! Everybody said, Alas, for the Fenians! He was in the States again, when we heard of him next, with his periodical poverty upon him. And next he was stumping the State of New York for a great political organization, and spending its money with a lavish hand—for Felix was always free with money of his own, and just as free with it when it belongs to his friends. And afterwards we heard of him dining with the President of the United States and the great officers of the Government, a trusted adviser in the national policy. And next he was leaving his baggage behind him again at the hotels and disappointing landlords as to the quality of its contents. His next year's career was more damaging to his good name than any that had gone before, perhaps, but it is not necessary to give the particulars of it. He is in the mire of poverty once more, now, as to his body, but his regal soul dwells in "offices," and hath dealings with no meaner matters than the nation's great steamship lines. But be patient. The Phenix O'Byrne will rise from his ashes yet again, and perch upon the Temple of Fame! That restless brain of his, so prolific in invention, and those busy hands of his, so cunning in execution, will create new surprises for the public, and a new celebrity and prosperity for himself. What a mine of splendid talent is in this man! what industry, what hopefulness, what perseverance, what ingenuity! Felix would have been a power in the land if his rare intellectual forces had been under the guiding control of principle. The lack of that one quality is his ruin. If I had any principle to spare, I would give it to him as cheerfully as to any man, for I bear him no malice.


Senator Stewart made a long speech and a very able one on the vexed question of reconstruction, a couple of days ago. It is highly praised by Republicans. The whole speech was good, but one of the happiest points in it, perhaps, was toward its close, where he turned a favorite Democratic whine against that party and sang its own tune to it with a different style of words. I speak of that everlasting whine about "conciliating the South"—if there were not rather a properer call to conciliate the North! The North must suffer all the exasperating distresses of a war brought on by the South, yet stand by and see the fact that she can have anything to be conciliated about coolly ignored! I insert a paragraph from the speech:

Again we are appealed to to conciliate the South. What further concessions are we called upon to make? Have we not tried conciliation from the foundation of the Government? Have we not sacrificed justice and humanity to appease the vile passions, prejudice and tyranny of slaveholders long enough? Are not our statute books black with enactments to rivet the bonds of the slave? Are not the reports of the highest judicial tribunal disfigured with elaborate defenses of slaveholders' pretensions? Have we not submitted long enough to be slave-catchers for the South? Have we not bowed low enough in the dust in vain attempts to allay their royal displeasure? And after all this were we not required to make a sacrifice of life and property unparalleled in modern history to restrain the wrath of these haughty rebels, engendered only by the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States? When I reflect upon the crimes committed because of his first election, and when I reflect upon the manner of his death because of his second election, and the fearful results that have followed the commission of that crime, I sometimes feel that the power of conciliation was then exhausted.

Continuing the subject, the Senator launches the following pregnant paragraph at the conciliation-shrieking Democracy. It puts the matter altogether in a new light, and shows that the North has a little unsettled conciliation bill itself that needs liquidation:

But we did not stop at the death of Abraham Lincoln—we tried further measures of conciliation, and offered oblivion for the past and a full restoration in the Union on terms so liberal and magnanimous as to astonish the civilized world, and were again repulsed and defied. And still the Democratic party ask us to conciliate their rebel friends. They say it is impossible to harmonize the conflicting opinions in this country without conciliation. Let loyalty then be conciliated. Let something be done to soothe the bereaved and sorrow-stricken in the North. The passions of the human heart are not monopolized by those who sought to destroy the Government. Let the rebels make some atonement for the barbarities of Andersonville and Libby prison! Let them, at least give a pledge in the shape of a constitutional amendment that the widows and orphans of those who have fallen shall not be robbed of their pensions by repudiation of the Federal debt through the instrumentality of rebel votes! Let the world see by their conduct and bearing that they were not victorious in the war and do not propose to humiliate our soldiers or make loyalty odious. Let the rebel press cease to discharge its venom in vile abuse of everything sacred to justice and honor. When force is agitated let the strong be conciliated. When the President betrays his party and, as he tells us "deliberates much upon the very serious and important question" of resistance to the laws for the restoration of the Union, let the scarred veterans of Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, be conciliated. Let those conservatives who cry "keep the peace" conciliate an insulted and outraged people. Those who suppressed the rebellion will secure the fruits of victory—peaceably if they can—forcibly if they must. Let those who believe the people are actuated only by prejudice of race against race re-echo the rebel war cry of "negro equality," "negro supremacy," and bend the pregnant hinges of the knee to haughty rebels for office and power; but let them take warning that they will fall where Buchanan fell, that they will not only merit but receive the contempt of mankind.

Hon. Mr. Axtell, member of the House from California, has also placed himself on record upon reconstruction, in a brief speech a day or two ago, on the Democratic side of the question, and Senator Nye on the Republican.


Territorial Enterprise, March 7, 1868




WASHINGTON, February, 1868


Right here in this heart and home and fountain-head of law—in this great factory where are forged those rules that create good order and compel virtue and honesty in the other communities of the land, rascality achieves its highest perfection. Here rewards are conferred for conniving at dishonesty, but never for exposing it. I know several cases that come under this head; persons who have lived here longer and are better acquainted, know of a great many. I meet a man in the Avenue, sometimes, whose history most residents of the city are acquainted with. He was a clerk of high grade in one of the Departments; but he was a stranger and had no rules of action for his guidance except some effete maxims of integrity picked up in Sunday school—that snare to the feet of the unsophisticated!—and some unpractical moral wisdom instilled into him by his mother, who meant well, poor soul, but whose teachings were morally bound to train up her boy for the poor-house. Well, nobody told this stranger how he ought to conduct himself, and so he went on following up those old maxims of his, and acting so strangely in consequence, that the other clerks began to whisper and nod, and exchange glances of commiseration—for they thought that his mind was not right—that his brain had been touched by sorrow, or hard fortune, or something. They observed that he never stole anything; by and by they noticed that people who came to bribe him went away with an expression of disappointment in their faces; finally it became apparent that he worked very hard, and performed his tasks well, and never "shirked." Then they grew a little afraid of him. They said he was very quiet and peaceable, but then there was no telling when a lunatic was going to get one of those spells on him and scalp somebody. Finally the young man caught the high grand sachem of a great bureau perpetrating a flagrant swindle on the Government! What did he do?—call for a division of the proceeds, like an intelligent being? No! He went, like an ignorant, besotted ass, and told the Secretary of the Department! The Secretary of the Department said he would look into the matter; and added, "By the way, what business is it of yours?" And the next thing the foolish young man knew, he found himself discharged and the intelligent sachem promoted. Then he went and told the Senators from the State all about it and asked them to get him another place, and they told him very properly that he had ruined himself, and that the official doors would all be closed against him now. He soon found out that that was the truth. He soon found out that you can't educate a boy in a Sunday school so as to make him useful to his country. That young man is idle to this day. Nobody has tried harder to get employment than he, but they all know his story; and they always refuse him. Everybody shuns him because everybody knows he is afflicted with a loathsome leprosy—the strange, foreign leprosy of honesty—and they are afraid they might catch it. There isn't any danger, maybe, but then they don't like to take any chances.

Why, no one would ever imagine the absurdities that imbecile was guilty of before he discovered what a mistake his education had been. When he found out that they admit bad women into private rooms in one of the Departments at all hours of the night he went and told people about it, as if he had discovered some great thing. He was always carrying around some old stale piece of news like that. And when he found out that in the basement of another Department they feed and lodge and pay salaries to 120 New York election sharps who do nothing in the world, and that their names are set down in the record books, not as Michael O'Flaherty, Dennis O'Flannigan, Patrick O'Dougherty, and so on, but always simply as "FIRE AND LIGHTS," he went and told that also. And when he learned that one of the heads of the Printing Bureau hires bindery girls with especial reference to their unchastity, and that it was proved by Government investigation and duly published in a book that he sometimes sleeps with two of them at a time and has the free run of his harem to choose from, and that he flourishes around Washington, now, the best dressed and gallantest officer the Government has, he even thought that trifle a matter of sufficient importance to run around and talk about. Why, when the Tice meter was covertly foisted upon the public by the Government, and every distiller in America peremptorily commanded to come forward and buy one at from $600 to $1,500, when a better machine could have been furnished for just half the money, he said he believed there was a ten million dollar swindle behind all that, and that certain high officials were privy to it and reaping a vast profit from it—which was no doubt true as gospel, but where is the wisdom in talking about these dangerous topics?

I stopped in at a fine boarding-house last night to see a friend, and the landlady came in to collect her bill. She mentioned the fact that she had two handsomely furnished apartments which she would like to rent to someone. I said I knew of several Senators and Congressmen who would be glad to have them. She said she would not venture to risk that kind of people! I thought she was jesting, but she was not. A gent of a Senator had called and engaged those rooms for him two months before he was to arrive—with the understanding that he was to occupy them during the whole session. He came, and said they were perfectly satisfactory. After a while he wanted some more furniture added—which was done, at a cost of two hundred dollars. He staid two months, said he was still perfectly satisfied with the apartments, and could have no desire to leave them, but for the fact that some friends had taken up their residence in another part of the town, and he wished to be near them—so he was going to move. He did not deny that the agent's contract was duly authorized, but he said, "Have you any writing to show for it?" She hadn't. He said, "Well!"—and left. The law does not permit members of Congress to be sued. So there was no redress. The breached contract had to remain breached.

She rented the rooms to a Territorial delegate, but refused to let him have them unless he would take them for the remainder of the session, because she had a chance at the moment to rent them to a gentleman for a month or two, and she would rather have a gentleman than a Congressman because Congressmen kept such late hours and burned so much fuel and gas. He occupied the rooms twenty-four hours, expressed himself entirely pleased with them, but had found lodgings which were cheaper and would do him as well. And he moved. He moved first, when nobody was watching, and said that afterward. He did not deny his contract either, but refused to fulfill it or give any redress. The law cannot touch the delegate. Isn't this a curious state of things? Isn't it refreshing to see men break laws so coolly whose sole business is law-making? I wonder if all the Congressmen are so unreliable? If they are, I think I could subscribe to this landlady's suggestive remark that it is pleasanter to have a "gentleman" around than a Congressman.

I said I would be glad to have her general opinion of Washington probity; and she said her opinion was that it did not exist in a very great degree. She believed that the whole city was polluted with peculation and all other forms of rascality—debauched and demoralized by the wholesale dishonesty that prevails in every single department of the Washington Government, great and small. She said that false weights were used in the market, the grocery stores, the butcher shops and all such places. The meat a butcher sells you for seven pounds can never be persuaded to weigh more than five and a half in your kitchen scales at home; a grocer's pound of butter usually weights only three-quarters in scales that are unconscious and have no motive to deceive. They paint rocks and add them to your coal; they put sand in your sugar; lime in your flour; water in your milk; turpentine in your whisky; clothespins in your sausages; turnips in your canned peaches; they will rather cheat you out of ten cents than make a dollar out of you by honest dealing. That was her opinion. What little I have seen of Washington in the short time I have been here, leads me to think it must be correct.

The Delegation.

Senator Nye is absent, temporarily. I see by the telegrams that he was to be one of the speakers at a grand Grant mass meeting at Cooper Institute, a night or two ago. Mr. Ashley is attending to his duties as usual in the House. Senator Stewart is working hard, on Nevada matters of various kinds, particularly, and on everything of importance that comes before the Senate, in a general way. He is about he hardest working man in Congress I believe. Mr. Stewart has just reported back from committee a bill to straighten out all public land entanglements in Nevada, which will place Nevada's lands in such a shape that she can handle them with facility instead of finding her hands constantly tied by disabling rulings of the Interior Department. Stewart's School of Mines has received high commendations from all persons interested in mining interests, and there appears to be no opposition to it of consequence in Congress. It is very likely to pass, shortly. Somebody got up a counter bill to establish a Bureau of Mines in Washington, instead, and put it under the control of that poor, decrepit, bald-headed, played-out, antediluvian Old Red Sandstone formation which they call the Smithsonian Institute. What the mischief would that drowsing old National Ass do with as live a thing as a mining interest? Just as usual, it would go after the "palezoic formation," and if it found that there wasn't any palezoic formation about first class mines, it wouldn't ever care a cent about those mines. It is a cussed old palezoic formation itself, and has no business going around her in its shroud among living men at this day of the world. Its Bureau of Mines died early.

Mines! The idea of the Smithsonian Institute meddling with mines; and with shafts and tunnels and whims; and with swarms of workmen; and with the stir and bustle and blasphemy of teamsters; and with steam engines and the clatter and crash of desperate forty-stamp mills! The idea of a toothless old grandmother going to war! Read what it is that this venerable Palezoic Formation is worrying itself about now—from its last annual report:

"QUESTIONS IN ISSUE—1. What classifications may be adopted for the discoveries made in Belgium and neighboring countries of objects anterior to the Carlovingian era?

"2. Is the ogival style to be considered as the natural and complete development of the Roman style?

"3. What is conclusively known respecting the different kinds of horseshoes found in Gallo-Roman mines, and the manner of using them?

"4. Should churches be made to front toward the east?

"5. To determine the age of objects in allex from their degree of elaboration."

If they gave the dreaming Institute supervision of our mines out there, it would spend the first twenty-five years prospecting for Gallo-Roman horseshoes, and the next twenty-five trying to find out how the Gallo-Romans of the rabbit-skin robe and the grasshopper diet used such jackass shoes as they might come across in abandoned shafts on the Divide. Let her stick to her palezoic formation. That is her best hold.

The question on the admission of Mr. Thomas, of Maryland, to a seat in the Senate, has been the main subject of debate for some time, now, next to reconstruction. Thomas was always a rebel in opinion and sympathy, but as he couldn't go into the field himself, he gave his son a hundred dollars and started him to the Confederacy to join its armies. These things will in all probability send him back to his constituents minus his Senatorial seat. Mr. Steward has made two good speeches on the question. An extract from his last will not be out of place here:

Mr. President, I do not wish to detain the Senate or to prolong this debate; but I desire to make a single remark. I wish to ask the Senate how this gentleman would appear if he were defending his property from a suit in the South for confiscation? They confiscated in the South the property of men who were loyal to this Government.

Not let me see where he would stand before a rebel Court in such a case; or before a rebel Congress, if he were applying there for admission to a seat. Suppose he had moved over there, and was elected to their Congress, and they had a rule preventing any one who had been faithful to this Government from taking a seat with them. What kind of a plea could he make then? Could he not remind them of the fact that when the war commenced he took his position with Jeff Davis, with Cobb, with Toombs, and the rest of them, that there was no power in this Government to sustain itself, and so declared in a letter in which he resigned an important office, so as to give his indorsement to the movement they were about to inaugurate! Could he not say, "I associated with your patriotic leaders; I was a friend in the darkest hour of the rebellion of Jefferson Davis; I, too, resigned a high office under the Government of the United States to give aid and countenance to your movement?" Could he not say that after the rebellion had been inaugurated, after he had resigned this high office, he went to Maryland and there associated with rebels; that he gave them his moral support; that he denied any sympathy or aid to the Union men of this State; that he refused even to vote under the Yankee Government; that he refused to take any of their oaths of loyalty; that he refused to recognize the late United States in any form? Could he not say further, "I do more than that. Being myself past the age to do military duty, I furnish my only son to aid you in gaining your independence; although poor, I gave him $100—all the money I could raise—to send him, my only son, to you to aid you in achieving your independence. Will you, therefore, take from me my property? Was I disloyal to you? Have I not aided you?" Would not the argument be answerable?

But it is said by the Senator from Pennsylvania that we must tolerate differences of opinion. Sir, there are some differences of opinion that we cannot tolerate and will not tolerate. We will not tolerate any man in the opinion that this Government has no power to maintain its own existence. We will not tolerate the opinion that the Union ought to be dissolved. We will not tolerate secession. We will not tolerate the opinion that secession is a constitution right. We fought against this doctrine, and we fought against those who acted upon it. The verdict of the war has established, if it has established any fact, that no such opinion shall exist in this country.

The Postmaster.

That candidate for the Postmastership in San Francisco I spoke of in my last, has "tied his horse up at Gadsby's." Well, I thought he would.


It is dead for good, now, I suppose. It promised so fairly, two months ago, that everybody boldly turned prophet and said it would certainly succeed. But it didn't. Nobody's prophecies concerning Washington matters ever come out right. Isaiah himself would be a failure here. Hon. Thad. Stevens, the bravest old ironclad in the Capitol, fought hard for impeachment, even when he saw that it could not succeed. He is not choice in his language when he speaks on this subject, concerning his fellow-committeemen and Congress generally. He simply says the whole tribe of them are "Damned Cowards." It is the finest word painting any Congressional topic has produced this session.


The Sandwich Islands Reciprocity treaty, having been reported back favorably from the Committee on Foreign Relations, remains now to be acted upon by the Senate. General McCook has visited every Senator and talked with him, and almost all of them have expressed themselves satisfied with the treaty and willing to vote for it. As he has done all he can possibly do for the treaty, and as he is necessarily tired of Washington by this time, General McCook proposes to leave for San Francisco and the Islands in the steamer of March 1.


The man who is here contesting Hon. Mr. Hooper's seat as delegate from Utah, is a Mr. McGrorty, who was run for delegate as a practical joke. McGrorty got 105 votes, and Hooper got a little over 15,000. This small discrepancy don't worry McGrorty, however. He says the 15,000 would have voted for him but were afraid of the bishops of the church. The fact is, the contest will never come off. One hates to make a positive statement about Washington affairs, but I venture to make that one because: McGrorty did not serve a notice of contest on Hooper within 30 days after the election, stating the grounds of the contest. United States law makes this imperative. Congress will hardly go behind its own acts. Therefore, I have ventured to say that the contesting in Congress of this seat is a thing that will hardly get further than an inquiry by a committee and die.


Hay is somewhat cheaper than a week or two ago. It is now retailed at five cents per pound and is to be had by the wagon load in this city at about $75 or $80 per ton. Several loads of hay of an excellent quality arrived here yesterday from St. Clair's Station on the Overland route.—Territorial Enterprise.

In my time, hay items were a great moral stand-by. I thought you might make some use of this one. I have known Dan de Quille to follow a hay-wagon all over town, and write a new lie about it on every corner—and make twelve distinct items about the same wagon, and fetch it from every locality in the Territory of Nevada from which a hay-wagon could by any possibility hail from. The driver's name might be stated correctly enough, in the first one, to be Smith, but the eleven aliases that marched their disastrous course through the succeeding ones, infallibly caused that driver to be looked upon with the gravest suspicion forever after.


Firewood is at present rather scarce. It sells in this city at $25 per cord for Washoe, and $30 for nut pine. It is a little cheaper—so business men say—to buy of the Chinese wood peddlers.—Territorial Enterprise

In my time, also, when the morning inquest failed, and other matters were scarce, it was considered good jurisprudence to fall back on wood. Wood is a subject that is able to stir the souls of any community. Wood is a thing that can always be safely elaborated. If I had all the wood-piles of my conscience, that I stole from Daggett and Tom Fitch with no other object than that Dan might discourse learnedly to the public about the damnable quality of the wood that was being imposed upon an outraged public by the satraps of Washoe Valley, I would be a happier man than I am. I do not know what satraps is, and I do not suppose that Dan knew what satraps was, either, but he always considered it to be a crusher, anyway. He always regarded it as a word to be resorted to only in the extremest emergencies.

ROUGH.—Several large quartz wagons upset yesterday on the road leading from this city to Gold Hill, but we heard of no accident to life or limb nor serious damage to any of the wagons.—Territorial Enterprise.

I am just as well satisfied as I am of anything, that that disaster never occurred. In my time it was never looked upon as any trick at all to turn over a lot of quartz wagons on the Divide to fill out a local column with. To find a petrified man, or break a stranger's leg, or cave an imaginary mine, or discover some dead Indians in a Gold Hill tunnel, or massacre a family at Dutch Nick's, were feats and calamities that we never hesitated about devising when the public needed matters of thrilling interest for breakfast. The seemingly tranquil ENTERPRISE office was a ghastly factory of slaughter, mutilation and general destruction in those days.

These old ENTERPRISE fabrications about wood and hay and suffering quartz wagons, read more pleasantly to me, now, than any amount of poetry. And when I come across items about Jack Perry, and Birdsall, and Steve Gillis, and those other highway robbers who practice upon unoffending traveling showmen on the Divide, they are full of interest to me, especially if it appears that the parties have got into any trouble. I do not see their names often, now—which encourages me to think they have pretty much all got into the Penitentiary at last, maybe.

I was at a banquet given to the honorable "Society of Good Fellows," last night, and it was a particularly cheerful affair. I mention this subject more particularly, because I wish to introduce in this connection what I consider to be a genuine uncompromising and unmitigated "first-rate notice." Let the Washington Express be your model in matters of this kind hereafter. The question being on the fourth regular toast:

Fourth. Woman:

"All honor to woman, the sweetheart, the wife;

The delight of the fireside by night and by day.

Who never does anything wrong in her life,

Except when permitted to have her own way."

"To this toast the renowned humorist and writist, Mark Twain, responded and it is superfluous to say that while he stood upon the floor declaiming for the fair divinities, all that banqueting crew laid down with laughter. His sliding scene; his trials and tribulations; those he had paid for—and not; his valentine; his sublime inspirations and humorous deductions set the very table in a roar. He's a phunny fellow and no mistake, and blessed, indeed, were the G.F.'s with the honor of his company."

There isn't anything very mild about that, is there? I hadn't a just appreciation of how infernally funny I had been in that speech until I read that notice. I had an idea that the New York Herald and the Tribune had complimented me fully up to my deserts several times, but I guess not—I like the wild enthusiasm of the Express better.

It was a very, very jolly entertainment throughout. I observe one thing on this side that is as it should be. At such banquets as I have attended here and in New York, I noticed that among the regular toasts they always had a couple for "The Pacific Coast" and "The Press of the Pacific," and that they give them prominence. To the one last named Lord Fairfax of the New Orleans Picayune responded in the happiest terms last night.


Territorial Enterprise, March 13, 1868





WASHINGTON, February 22.

This birthday of Washington was historical before; it is doubly so now. Yesterday the news spread abroad over the town that the President had sent General Thomas to eject Secretary Stanton from the War Office and assume the duties of the post himself. It was an open defiance of Congress—a kingly contempt for long settled forms and customs—a reckless disregard of law itself! It was the first time, in the history of the nation, that the Chief Magistrate had presumed to dismiss a Cabinet officer without the consent of the Senate while that body was in season.

The excitement was intense, and it steadily augmented as night approached. Hotels and saloons were crowded with men, who moved restlessly about, talking vehemently and accompanying their words with emphatic gestures. The sidewalks were thronged with hurrying passengers, and everywhere the sound of trampling feet and a discord of angry voices was in the air. Old citizens remembered no night like this in Washington since Lincoln was assassinated.

Strangely enough, the men who should have been most concerned about the storm were the only souls that rode serenely above it. Mr. Seward and the President sat at a state dinner in the White House, cheery and talkative among distraught and pensive guests; General Grant was at the theatre; Stanton made his bed in the peaceful War Office, and General Thomas capered gaily among fantastic maskers at a carnival fandango! Meanwhile the tempest swept the continent on the wings of the telegraph.

The Senate sat at night, and multitudes flocked to the Capitol to stare and listen. The House resolved to make Saturday a working day for once, and both bodies decreed that for the first time since Washington's death Congress should transact business on the anniversary of his birthday.

This morning "impeachment" was in everybody's mouth; Thomas' arrest was discussed in the streets and in the hotels; Stanton was lauded by Republicans for sleeping in the War Office and holding the political fortress—and cursed by the Democrats; that Hon. Judd and Schenck watched with him till 3 A. M., and that Hon. Thayer remained all night, brought those gentlemen a fair share likewise, of the praise and the blame.

By 9 o'clock—full three hours before the sitting of Congress, long processions of men and women were wending their way toward the Capitol in the nipping winter air, and all vacant spaces about the doors were packed with people waiting to get in. When I reached there at noon, it was difficult to make one's way through the wide lobbies and passages, so great was the throng. There was not a vacant seat in the galleries, and all the doorways leading to them were full of tiptoeing men and women, with a swarm of anxious citizens at their backs, eagerly watching for such scanty crumbs of comfort as chance opportunities of glancing between their shoulders or under their arms. I went immediately to the reporters' gallery—it was about full, too, and excited doorkeepers and sentinels were challenging all comers and manfully resisting an assaulting party of men, women and children who were the fathers, brothers, wives, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, schoolmates, admirers of editors, correspondents, reporters, members of Congress, Cabinet officers and the President of the United States—and consequently they demanded to know why they couldn't go into the reporters' gallery! That was it—why couldn't they? Some people are unreasonable, and some don't know anything; these parties belong pretty exclusively to the one or the other of these classes. They were all—every one of them—going to have the doorkeeper discharged. They said so. [Surely such exceedingly influential people would not threaten what they could not perform.] But they did not get in. But others had got seats who were not strictly of the press, I suspect; twenty perhaps—among them several ladies. They were a good deal in the way, but they did not mind that. I was glad to see that it did not discommode them.

The scene within was spirited—it was unusual, too. The great galleries presented a sea of eager, animated faces; above these, more were massed in the many doorways; below, in the strong light, a few members walked nervously up and down, outside the rows of seats; a very few were writing—telegrams no doubt; the great majority had their heads together in groups and couples, talking earnestly; in every countenance strong feeling was depicted; a member from Maine was making a speech about a patent cooking stove, but never a soul was listening to him. Some said the stove business was gotten up by the Democrats to stave off impeachment; others said the Radicals got it up to gain time and give the Reconstruction Committee a chance to make up its report. Everybody waited impatiently, and watched the door sharply—they wanted to see that Committee come. By and by Mr. Paine entered and there was a buzz; but it was a disappointment—he only spoke a word to a colleague and went out again. The tiresome stove man finished. It was a relief to the galleries, who somehow seemed to look upon this trifling about cooking stoves as a fraud upon themselves, and a sort of affront, as well, thrust forward, as it was, at a time when any idiot ought to know that impeachment was the order of the day!

No committee yet. Something must be done. Motion to adjourn, "in honor of Washington." Amendment—to read Washington's Farewell Address. Both were voted down. Ayes and nays called on both, and the long, tedious, monotonous calling of names and answering followed. The vote was no—everybody knew what it would be before. Before the roll call was finished, Boutwell came in [sensation]; afterwards, at intervals, Bingham [sensation], Paine [sensation], several other committee men, and finally Thad. Stevens himself. [Super-extraordinary sensation!] The haggard, cadaverous old man dragged himself to his place and sat down. There was a soul in his sunken eyes, but otherwise he was a corpse that was ready for the shroud. He held his precious impeachment papers in his hand, signed at last! In the eleventh hour his coveted triumph had come. Richelieu was not nearer the grave, Richelieu was not stirred up by a sterner pride, when he came from his bed of death to crown himself with his final victory.

The buzzing and whispering died out, and an impressive silence reigned in its stead. The Speaker addressed the galleries in a clear voice that reached the farthest recesses of the house, and warned the great concourse that the slightest manifestation of approbation or disapprobation of anything about to be said, would be followed by the instant expulsion of the offending person from the galleries; he read the rules, at some length, upon the subject, and charged the Sergeant-at-Arms and his subordinates to perform their duty without hesitation or favor. Then Mr. Stevens rose up and in a voice which was feeble but yet distinctly audible because of the breathless stillness that hung over the great audience like a spell, he read the resolution that was to make plain the way for the impeachment of the President of the United States!

The words that foreshadowed so mighty an event sent a thrill through the assemblage, but there was no manifestation of the emotion save in the sudden lighting of their countenances. They ventured upon no applause, nor upon any expression of dissent. Mr. Brooks of New York took the floor, and in a frenzied speech protested against impeachment, and threatened civil war if the measure carried. Mr. Bingham made an able speech in favor of the movement. The ball was fairly opened now, and speech followed speech from 2 in the afternoon till almost midnight. During all that time the galleries were filled with people, and their excited interest showed no symptoms of abatement. The House adjourned to meet at 10 A. M. on Monday, instead of at noon. It has been a tremendous day. The nation has seen few that were so filled with ominous signs and bodings of disaster.

When it was moved to-day to read Washington's Farewell Address, Mr. Ingersoll inquired of a neighbor if it would not be more appropriate to read Andrew Johnson's Farewell Address! In this connection I will remark that the following was picked up in one of the lobbies. It was entitled


"Soft you; a word or two before you go.
I have done the State some damage, and they know it;
No more of that:—I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; some things extenuate,
But set down naught in malice; then must you speak
Of one that ruled not wisely nor too well;
Of one, easily jealous, and, being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreme, did
Like the base Judean, throw a pearl away,
Richer than all his tribe!"
How the Delegations

From the Pacific coast will stand on impeachment, no man can tell till Monday. You know as well as I, that the Oregon delegation will be likely to favor it; that the Nevada and California Senators will be likely to favor it; that Ashley and Higby in the House will be likely to favor it, and Johnson and Axtell be apt to oppose. But these gentlemen cannot be seen to-night, and it would be hard to guess what effect the flood of telegrams may have that will roll in upon us tomorrow from all parts of the country.


Territorial Enterprise, April 7, 1868



WASHINGTON, March 20, 1868

The Mining School

Dwinelle's curious resolution concerning Senator Stewart's proposed mining school has reached here—and will be laid before Congress and in all human probability will be tabled there. It is a funny document, take it as you will. It has two clauses in it that are especially entertaining, and would be still more so if they were set to music. One of them proposes to exclude all foreigners from the school—which proposition is narrow enough in policy, and ungenerous enough, withal, to have been resurrected from the dark ages. We that have benefitted so much from the labors and discoveries of Europe's men of science; we that have to send to her so often for teachers; we that are as welcome in her great mining schools as her own citizens, and are freely according every privilege which they enjoy and upon the same terms, ought to be ashamed of so selfish, so poor-spirited a measure as this. The Freiburg school is full of Americans. They will not be pleased to learn how America proposes to show her appreciation of open-handed German hospitality. Measures like Dwinelle's are not the things that made the Californian name a synonym for liberality and generosity.

The other clause I have spoken of proposes to divide the revenue from the mines among a number of States and let them endow with it as many mining departments in as many colleges. The idea is threadbare and old. The Japanese astrologer, Prof. Blake, who knows so much more than it is lawful for any one man to know, is here, now, trying to get the revenues from the mining States conferred upon Columbia College, for the establishing of a mining department in that institution.

Two hundred and eighty other colleges are begging for the same revenues for the same purpose—and Dwinelle comes in at this late day with the same old impracticable idea. Why, even the poor purblind, broken-winded, Old Red Sandstone palezoic saurian, the Smithsonian Institute, has awakened from its ancient dream of Roman horseshoes, Grecian funeral processions, and pre-Adamite ferns and turnips, and it wants the revenues to endow a Mining Bureau with! And why shouldn't the old drowser have its Mining Bureau to fossilize along with its mastodon jaw-teeth, its Egyptian mummies, its pickled Indians and its Agricultural Department that never raises anything? Why shouldn't it have it and so save some old century plant of science from starvation by giving him the professorship? No greater good would be done by Dwinelle's diffusive process.

Dwinelle should have gotten up something original, anyhow. Even the intelligent contrabands are ahead of him in this thing.

A negro in a Mississippi Convention wants the mining revenues to establish a Mining Bureau in his district school with, and has been making speeches on the subject. He says they have no mine, but they can build one for purposes of practical instruction, as the Czar has done in St. Petersburg. He says his shaft would be full of water most of the time, on account of the ground being swampy, but then mines have to have pumps anyhow, cannot be complete without them, and where would be the use of pumps if there were no water to pump? How like are the ideas of wise men! This fellow wants to exclude whites from the school! He is no more liberal with American whites than Dwinelle is with foreigners.

They want a mining department in New Jersey. They haven't any mines either. They want it in Indiana, in Florida and the icebergs of Maine (I suppose there are icebergs in Maine—I have never been there). They want it in Texas, and next the Indians and the Chinamen will be clamoring for it, no doubt.

If this little revenue of a quarter of a million is to be divided up and frittered away as proposed by the resolution of Dwinelle, let the Mississippi contrabands have a share to "build a mine" with. Surely a quarter of a million dollars ought to accomplish more good when divided up among a quarter of a million colleges than it could when concentrated in one school. The Smithsonian Institute makes a strong appeal in its usual lucid style, but I can only give an extract, wherein it shows its peculiar competency in the matter of—God only knows what—reducing silver ores, maybe. Read:

"It has already been remarked, that in these bypodendrous, the disurion of the laminar cantoid is preceded by the formation of a quadrilateral hexahedron, which is converted into super-palezoic spherules; now the same is the case in the disruption of all the other laminar dioramics, just as in the constricted unduloid, until the rupture of equilibrium occurs and thus therefore makes the welkin ring."

Well, I should say so. I always had that same idea myself, but some how I never could express it, you know. I knew just as well as I knew anything, that it would fetch the welkin if I ever could get at it right, but then the hexahedron palezoic cantenoids were always too many for me. For good moral, unexciting light literature for the home circle, commend me to the official documents of the Smithsonian Institute.

Such unpracticable schemes as those proposed in the California resolutions obstruct and delay legislation and accomplish no good. It would be much better to write Congressmen and suggest amendments to pending bills then clog their way with memorials which must be discussed in Congress and valuable time thereby lost.

A Good Job in Danger.

The firm of Kellogg, Hueston & Co., assayors, of San Francisco, have been endeavoring to get an ingeniously worded bill through Congress to give them the monopoly of assaying and refining for the Branch Mint and take that service entirely out [of] the hands of the Mint. The prodigious job occupies small room in the bill, and is crushed into seeming insignificance by a great display of other matters of pretended importance, but it will probably fail. A large amount of lobbying has been done in its favor, but some prominent New York Californian firms have protested so strongly against the measure that there is every reason to believe it will be killed. It is thought that the committee will report in favor of taking the assaying and refining of gold and silver bullion away from the Mint and giving it to assayers generally. Whether this will improve matters or not, remains to be seen. It is hardly likely that it will.

Another One.

The Goat Island scheme of the Western Pacific Railroad Company looks dubious. It promises to fail in the House. It proposes to give the company a portion of Yerba Buena Island for a depot, with the condition that in time of war the Government may take and occupy the premises and the buildings as long as may be necessary, and pay the company such sum as shall be fair and reasonable for such use and occupation. The House Committee are not disposed to report the measure favorably.

Governmental Blasting.
"On ye fifth day of November
Guy Fawkes he did aspire
To blow up Kings and Parlement
Wi' dreadful gun powdire."

And four days ago, as every one believed, a modern Guy Fawkes aspired to blow up Capitol and Congress wi' dreadful glycerine. But so far he has not succeeded. The news that 180 pounds of glycerine had been stolen in New York and was doubtless then under the foundations of the Capitol, set Washington in a flutter. It was enough glycerine to blow up the United States, let alone the Capitol. Sir Christopher Wren shook the massive walls and towers of Old St. Paul's to "pi" with 18 pounds of blasting powder. Then who would be willing to be in the District of Columbia when 180 pounds of nitro-glycerine were touched off? I sat at my window, 500 yards from the Capitol, all day, and waited for the gorgeous show. In fancy I could see the vast dome shot suddenly toward the zenith, like a giant's helmet, and a chaos of shattered columns, tiles and capitals whizzing after it with here and there a Senator going end over end, among the fragments, the half of a Representative gaining on a Supreme Judge with his legs stove up, a gallery full of "niggers" sailing toward the sun, mutilated lobbyists whistling aloft like rockets, but still hitched to chairmen of committees by the buttonhole process, and a gallery of reporters chasing the general wreck through the air, serene in the contemplation of so sublime an item!

But the exhibition did not come off—postponed on account of the weather, maybe. Visitors to the Capitol that day fidgeted around uneasily for a few minutes and then left the building; and it was observed that when they walked through the lower corridors, they walked very fast. Congressmen looked uncomfortable; their speeches were rambling and disjointed, and the usual squabble over adjournment was omitted. There was some excuse for a scare. There are men in Washington who would blow up the Capitol fast enough if they could achieve an illustrious name, like Booth, by doing it and be worshipped as Booth is worshipped. All they want is the nitro-glycerine and the opportunity. A newspaper hint that the glycerine telegram was an advertising dodge, helped to destroy belief in the blasting conspiracy, and the fact that several days have elapsed without disaster, has about finished it.


A few days ago, everybody was entirely satisfied that the President would be impeached and removed with all possible dispatch. To-day nobody has a settled opinion about the matter. The Democrats do not howl about impeachment much now, a fact that awakens suspicion. Maybe they are satisfied that to martyr the President would make a vast amount of Democratic capital for the next election. Martyrdom is the coveted thing, now, by everybody. The Republicans show a disposition to quit talking about the impeaching of a President on stern principle for a contemptuous violation of law and his oath of office; they show a disposition to drop the high moral ground that such a precedent must not be sent down to hamper posterity, and they already openly talk about the "impolicy" of impeaching. It would be curious to hear a Court talking of the "impolicy" of convicting a man for murder in the first degree. This everlasting compelling of honesty, morality, justice and the law to bend the knee to policy, is the rottenest thing in a republican form of government. It is cowardly, degraded and mischievous; and in its own good time it will bring destruction upon this broad-shouldered fabric of ours. I believe the Prince of Darkness could start a branch hell in the District of Columbia (if he has not already done it), and carry it on unimpeached by the Congress of the United States, even though the Constitution were bristling with articles forbidding hells in this country. And if there were moneyed offices in it, Congress would take stock in the concern, too, and in less than three weeks Fessenden and Washburne would fill it full of their poor relations. What a rotten, rotten, and unspeakable nasty concern this nest of departments is, with its brainless battalions of Congressional poor-relation-clerks and their book-keeping, pencil-sharpening strumpets.

In Abeyance.

M. H. Farley's confirmation as Surveyor General of California is still in abeyance in the Senate. He comes well recommended, but latterly the Senate has been thinking more of impeachment than Executive sessions.

If Ross Browne could rush his Ministership to China before the Senate right away, he might secure a confirmation; but if the matter is delayed till Mr. Burlingame arrives there will be chances against him. Mr. B.'s voice will have great weight, and his late letter to the State Department evidences that he has a man to suggest for the place—Dr. Wells, no doubt, the distinguished Secretary to the China mission.

The gentleman who came here to get the San Francisco Postmastership still "keeps his horse tied up at Gadsby's." I took a vast amount of trouble to secure that horse in that position for the future, because I thought Upton was to have the Postmastership; but it seems the President not only promised the gentleman I requested to go to him that he would cancel the horse-man's appointment, but with aggravated generosity said he believed he would not appoint anybody at all for the present. That was drawing it unnecessarily fine. I think I must go and have a "Talk with the President" myself, like "J.B.S." and "Mack," and those other newspaper correspondents.


I, even I, have had a most important "Talk with the President"—this evening at the general reception. I said:

"How is your health, Mr. President?" And he said:

"It cannot be of any particular consequence to you, young man. I keep a doctor."

How do you think that will be likely to affect the political complexion of the times? It will complicate things some, won't it?


Territorial Enterprise, April 24, 1868

[written by Enterprise Staff]


This celebrated humorist, after having visited the Holy Land and all the principal cities of the old world, will again once more press his foot upon his native sagebrush this morning. We received the following telegram from him last night dated at Coburn's: "I am doing well, having crossed one divide without getting robbed anyway. Mark Twain."

Owing to the dissatisfaction of many in regard to the smallness of the hall [Athletic Hall], in which it was at first proposed that Mark should lecture, arrangements have been made by which the Opera House is secured for this Monday and Tuesday nights: the Webb sisters having very kindly given their consent to release the house to him for those two nights. This arrangement having been made, he will not lecture on Saturday night as was advertised—he will have enough to do for three or four days to shake hands and swap yarns with his old friends. The box office will open on Monday from 10 o'clock A.M. till 4 o'clock P.M. when seats may be secured for both nights.

Territorial Enterprise, late April 1868

[written by Enterprise Staff]

Mark Twain we have a right to claim as a Washoe humorist, and claiming him let us not fail to do what we can to encourage him by showing him that we appreciate his efforts to amuse and instruct us. He comes back to us after many wanderings by sea and land in foreign countries, with his mind and portfolio enriched with choice collections of fact and fancy gleaned in places holy and not holy. He is a living budget of not the jokes of all nations but of jokes upon all nations, suggested by their peculiarities of manners, customs, and appearance. We predict for him the most crowded and brilliant audience of the season. All who have ever seen or heard of Mark Twain and his genius as a brilliant descriptive writer, wit, and humorist—and who has not?—will desire to go with him aboard the Quaker City, carpet bag in hand, and gaze on the sleek faces and heads of the pious pilgrims to the Holy Land, all as yet unafflicted with the wilting nausea of sea-sickness, and looking forward with godly and courageous eyes toward the sacred soil and cities of the country in which scriptures were born; all will wish to accompany Mark to Palestine and ramble with him among the musty old palaces, churches, and tombs—in short, all will wish to follow him wherever he goes. As his followers will be many, let those who do not desire to be left behind on the voyage go early tomorrow and secure seats for the through trip.


The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 7, 1864


John Richardson, whose taste for a cigar must be inordinate, gratified it on Saturday night last by forcing his way into a tobacconist's on Broadway, near Kearny street, and helping himself to fourteen hundred "smokes." In his hurry, however, he did not select the best, as the stolen tobacco was only valued at fifty dollars. He was congratulating himself last evening in a saloon on Dupont street, in having secured weeds for himself and all his friends, when lo! a Rose bloomed before his eyes, and he wilted. The scent of that flower of detectives was too strong even for the aroma of the stolen cigars. Richardson was conveyed to the station-house, where a kit of neat burglar's tools was found on his person. He is now reposing his limbs on an asphaltum floor—a bed hard as the ways of unrighteousness.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 11, 1864


Samuel Marks had Dora Marks and Henry Wood before the Police Court yesterday, charged with assault and battery. The plaintiff said that Dora and Henry came into his shop, on Washington street, last Tuesday, and, without saying a word as to how they came there, knocked him into a senseless condition by blows on his head. Henry testified that he saw the fair Dora enter Samuel's shop, and shortly after he heard a clatter as if heaven and earth were bumping together, and running down to Samuel's doorway, and standing by the door-sill because he had no right to enter the premises, he saw Samuel hit the lamb-like Dora a slap on the sconce with a tailor's press board, and instantly after a huge pair of shears came flying at him. Before he could dodge them, they partially scalped his cranium, causing a plentiful flow of the ruby, and he thought that he had better prospect in other diggings, not so dangerous, and left. The meek and war-worn Dora sat like a penitent Magdalen, and had nary word to say, and the austere decision of the Judge was that the respective defendants, Henry and Dora, do appear in that Court this day, and receive sentence for their crimes.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 15, 1864


It is surprising to notice what trifling, picayune cases are frequently brought before the Police Judge by parties who conceive that their honor has been attacked, a gross outrage committed on their person or reputation, and they must have justice "though the heavens fall." Distinguished counsel are employed, witnesses are summoned and made to dance attendance to the successive steps of the complaints, and the patience of the Judge and Reporters is severely tested by the time occupied in their investigation which, after a close examination of witnesses, cross-questioning by the counsel, and perhaps some brilliant peroration at the close, with the especial injunction to the Court that it were better that ten guilty men should escape punishment rather than one innocent (one eye obliquely winking to their client) person should suffer; with a long breath of satisfaction that the agony is over about a hair pulling case, a lost spoon or a broken window, the Judge dismisses the case, and, (if we must say it) the lawyers pocket their fees, and the client pockets his or her indignation that the defendant escaped the punishment which to their view was so richly deserved. Thus, yesterday, William Towerick, a deaf old man, complained that a woman struck him with a basket, on Mission street. The good looking German interpreter almost woke up the dead in his efforts to shout in the plaintiff's auricular appendage the respective questions propounded by counsel, but had eventually to give it up as a bad job and let the old lady the plaintiff's wife, try. Case dismissed. Then comes another complainant with a long chapter of grievances against one Rosa Bustamente, who didn't like her little poodle dog. Bad words from both parties and a flower pot thrown at somebody, bursting five panes of glass valued at twenty-five cents each. Court considered that plaintiff and defendant stood on nearly equal footing, and ordered the case dismissed.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 23, 1864


At five minutes to nine o'clock last night, San Francisco was favored by another earthquake. There were three distinct shocks, two of which were very heavy, and appeared to have been done on purpose, but the third did not amount to much. Heretofore our earthquakes—as all old citizens experienced in this sort of thing will recollect—have been distinguished by a soothing kind of undulating motion, like the roll of waves on the sea, but we are happy to state that they are shaking her up from below now. The shocks last night came straight up from that direction; and it is sad to reflect, in these spiritual times, that they might possibly have been freighted with urgent messages from some of our departed friends. The suggestion is worthy a moment's serious reflection, at any rate.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 25, 1864


If one tire of the drudgeries and scenes of the city, and would breathe the fresh air of the sea, let him take the cars and omnibuses, or, better still, a buggy and pleasant steed, and, ere the sea breeze sets in, glide out to the Cliff House. We tried it a day or two since. Out along the railroad track, by the pleasant homes of our citizens, where architecture begins to put off its swaddling clothes, and assume form and style, grace and beauty, by the neat gardens with their green shrubbery and laughing flowers, out where were once sand hills and sand-valleys, now streets and homesteads. If you would doubly enjoy pure air, first pass along by Mission Street Bridge, the Golgotha of Butcherville, and wind along through the alleys where stand the whiskey mills and grunt the piggeries of "Uncle Jim." Breathe and inhale deeply ere you reach this castle of Udolpho, and then hold your breath as long as possible, for Arabia is a long way thence, and the balm of a thousand flowers is not for sale in that locality. Then away you go over paved, or planked, or Macadamized roads, out to the cities of the dead, pass between Lone Mountain and Calvary, and make a straight due west course for the ocean. Along the way are many things to please and entertain, especially if an intelligent chaperon accompany you. Your eye will travel over in every direction the vast territory which Swain, Weaver & Co. desire to fence in, the little homesteads by the way, Dr. Rowell's arena castle, and Zeke Wilson's Bleak House in the sand. Splendid road, ocean air that swells the lungs and strengthens the limbs. Then there's the Cliff House, perched on the very brink of the ocean, like a castle by the Rhine, with countless sea-lions rolling their unwieldy bulks on the rocks within rifle-shot, or plunging into and sculling about in the foaming waters. Steamers and sailing craft are passing, wild fowl scream, and sea-lions growl and bark, the waves roll into breakers, foam and spray, for five miles along the beach, beautiful and grand, and one feels as if at sea with no rolling motion nor sea-sickness, and the appetite is whetted by the drive and the breeze, the ocean's presence wins you into a happy frame, and you can eat one of the best dinners with the hungry relish of an ostrich. Go to the Cliff House. Go ere the winds get too fresh, and if you like, you may come back by Mountain Lake and the Presidio, overlook the Fort, and bow to the Stars and Stripes as you pass.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 25, 1864


William H. Winans made a complaint in the Police Court, yesterday, against Officer Forner, for assault and battery. From the testimony it appeared that Forner had had an arrest of two persons and then delivered them to the care of another officer. While the latter officer was taking the men to the Station house, the plaintiff went up to one of the prisoners to speak to him concerning his bail, when, as he alleges, Forner took him by the collar, pushed him away, and struck him. The Judge remarked that officers must not go beyond the law in the discharge of their duties. It was not unfrequently the case that they displayed abundant zeal concerning arrests that were wholly unjustifiable, alluding more particularly to their making arrests without a warrant, on the mere say-so of outside parties. They must either be an actual witness of the offence or make an arrest by a warrant specially issued for the purpose. After Forner had delivered his prisoners to another officer his control over them ceased, and he had no right to exercise the conduct alleged against him, and it should require him to appear to-day for sentence.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 28, 1864


Lewis P. Ward prefers the following charges against Officer Forner, and Judge Shepheard has issued subpoenas for the witnesses: Using unnecessary violence in making an arrest; making the arrest without authority, (without a warrant and merely upon the say-so of an interested party); maltreating two private citizens where there was no call for such conduct on his part; and being off his beat and drinking in the "Flag" Saloon, when he should have been at his post. The Board of Police Commissioners will take the matter into consideration on Thursday afternoon at two o'clock. These charges are of a grave character, and will receive the strict examination to which their importance entitles them.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 28, 1864


We do not like it, as far as we have got. We shall probably not fall so deeply in love with reporting for a San Francisco paper as to make it impossible ever to wean us from it. There is a powerful saving-clause for us in the fact that the conservators of public information—the persons whose positions afford them opportunities not enjoyed by others to keep themselves posted concerning the important events of the city's daily life—do not appear to know anything. At the offices and places of business we have visited in search of information, we have got it in just the same shape every time, with a promptness and uniformity which is startling, perhaps, but not gratifying. They all answer and say unto you, "I don't know." We do not mind that, so much, but we do object to a man's parading his ignorance with an air of overbearing egotism which shows you that he is proud of it. True merit is modest, and why should not true ignorance be? In most cases, the head of the concern is not at home; but then why not pay better wages and leave men at the counter who would not be above knowing something? Judging by the frills they put on—the sad but infallible accompaniment of forty dollars a year and found—these fellows are satisfied they are not paid enough to make it an object to know what is going on around them, or to state that their crop of information has failed, this century, without doing it with an exaggeration of dignity altogether disproportioned to the importance of the thing. In Washoe, if a man don't know anything, he will at least go on and tell you what he don't know, so that you can publish it in case you do not stumble upon something of more vital interest to the community, in the course of the day. If a similar course were pursued here, we might always have something to write about—and occasionally a column or so left over for next day's issue, perhaps.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 29, 1864


Lena Kahn, otherwise known as Mother Kahn, or the Kahn of Tartary, who is famous in this community for her infatuated partiality for the Police Court as a place of recreation, was on hand there again yesterday morning. She was mixed up in a triangular row, the sides of the triangle being Mr. Oppenheim, Mrs. Oppenheim, and herself. It appeared from the evidence that she formed the base of the triangle—which is to say, she was at the bottom of the row, and struck the first blow. Moses Levi, being sworn, said he was in the neighborhood, and heard Mrs. Oppenheim scream; knew it was her by the vicious expression she always threw into her screams; saw the defendant (her husband) go into the Tartar's house and gobble up the partner of his bosom and his business, and rescue her from the jaws of destruction (meaning Mrs. Kahn,) and bring her forth to sport once more amid the _____. At this point the lawyer turned off Mr. Levi's gas, which seemed to be degenerating into poetry, and asked him what his occupation was? The Levite said he drove an express wagon. The lawyer—with that sensitiveness to the slightest infringement of the truth, which is so becoming to the profession—inquired severely if he did not sometimes drive the horse also! The wretched witness, thus detected before the multitude in his deep-laid and subtle prevarication, hung his head in silence. His evidence could no longer be respected, and he moved away from the stand with the consciousness written upon his countenance of how fearful a thing it is to trifle with the scruples of a lawyer. Mrs. Oppenheim next came forward and gave a portion of her testimony in damaged English, and the balance in dark and mysterious German. In the English glimpses of her story it was discernible that she had innocently trespassed upon the domain of the Khan, and had been rudely seized upon in such a manner as to make her arm turn blue, (she turned up her sleeve and showed the Judge,) and the bruise had grown worse since that day, until at last it was tinged with a ghastly green, (she turned up her sleeve again for impartial judicial inspection,) and instantly after receiving this affront, so humiliating to one of gentle blood, she had been set upon without cause or provocation, and thrown upon the floor and "licked." This last expression possessed a charm for Mrs. Oppenheim, that no persuasion of Judge or lawyers could induce her to forego, even for the sake of bringing her wrongs into a stronger light, so long as those wrongs, in such an event, must be portrayed in language less pleasant to her ear. She said the Khan had licked her, and she stuck to it and reiterated with unflinching firmness. Becoming confused by repeated assaults from the lawyers in the way of badgering questions, which her wavering senses could no longer comprehend, she relapsed at last into hopeless German again, and retired within the lines. Mr. Oppenheim then came forward and remained under fire for fifteen minutes, during which time he made it as plain as the disabled condition of his English would permit him to do, that he was not in anywise to blame, at any rate; that his wife went out after a warrant for the arrest of the Kahn; that she stopped to "make it up" with the Kahn, and the redoubtable Kahn tackled her; that he was dry-nursing the baby at the time, and when he heard his wife scream, he suspected, with a sagacity which did him credit, that she wouldn't have "hollered 'dout dere vas someding de matter;" therefore he piled the child up in a corner remote from danger, and moved upon the works of the Tartar; she had waltzed into the wife and finished her, and was already on picket duty, waiting for the husband, and when he came she smacked him over the head a couple of times with the deadly bludgeon she uses to elevate linen to the clothes-line with; and then, stimulated by this encouragement, he started to the Police Office to get out a warrant for the arrest of the victorious army, but the victorious army, always on the alert, was there ahead of him, and he now stood in the presence of the Court in the humiliating position of a man who had aspired to be plaintiff, but overcome by strategy, had sunk to the grade of defendant. At this point his mind wandered, his vivacious tongue grew thick with mushy German syllables, and the last of the Oppenheims sank to rest at the feet of justice. We had done less than our duty had we allowed this most important trial—freighted, as it was, with matters of the last importance to every member of this community, and every conscientious, law-abiding man and woman upon whom the sun of civilization shines to-day—to be given to the world in the columns, with no more elaboration than the customary "Benjamin Oppenheim, assault and battery, dismissed; Lena Oppenheim and Fredrika Kahn, held to answer." We thought, at first, of starting in that way, under the head of "Police Court," but a second glance at the case showed us that it was one of a most serious and extraordinary nature, and ought to be put in such a shape that the public could give to it that grave and deliberate consideration which its magnitude entitled it to.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 1, 1864


An old two-story, sheet-iron, pioneer, fire-proof house, got loose from her moorings last night, and drifted down Sutter street, toward Montgomery. We are not informed as to where she came from or where she was going to—she had halted near Montgomery street, and appeared to be studying about it. If one might judge from the expression that hung about her dilapidated front and desolate window, she was thoroughly demoralized when she stopped there, and sorry she ever started. Is there no law against houses loafing around the public streets at midnight?

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 1, 1864


The pupils of the Public Schools assembled in strong force at the Metropolitan Theatre yesterday afternoon, to rehearse their portion of the Fourth of July ceremonies. The dress-circle was a swarming hive of small boys in an advanced state of holiday jollity, and the parquet was filled with young girls impatient for the performance to begin. There were but fourteen benches left vacant in the pit, and three in the dress circle. At the call to order by Mr. Elliott, a solemn silence succeeded the buzzing that had prevailed all over the house. He announced that one School was still absent, but it was too late to wait for its arrival. The pupils, led by the orchestra, then sang a beautiful chant—"The Lord's Prayer"—the girls doing the best service, the boys taking only a moderate amount of interest in it. However, the boys came out strong on the next chorus—"The Battle Cry of Freedom." Without prompting, the voices of the children broke forth with one accord the moment the orchestra had finished playing the symphony, which was pretty good proof that the pupils of all the Schools are accustomed to strict discipline. The next song—"The Union"—was sung with thrilling effect, and was entered into by both boys and girls, with a spirit which showed that it was a favorite with them. It deserved to be, for it had more music in it than any tune which had preceded it. "Oh, Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys," was sung by the girls, and the boys joined in the chorus. It is a lugubrious ditty, and sadness oozed from its every pore. There was a pardonable lack of enthusiasm evinced in its execution. "America" (applause from the boys) was sung next, with extraordinary vim. The exercises were closed with this hymn, and the Schools then left the theatre and departed for home. Just as the rear rank was passing out at the door, the missing School—the lost tribe—came filing down the street, moved two abreast into the theatre without halting, and took possession of the stage. It proved to be the Rincon School, so distinguished for the numerous promotions from its ranks to the High School. The large stage was almost filled by the newcomers, and had they arrived sooner there would not have been a vacant seat in the house. The lost tribe rehearsed the songs in regular order, just as their predecessors had done, and did it in an entirely creditable manner, after which they marched in procession up Montgomery to Market street. Even if everything else fails on the Fourth, we are satisfied that the Public Schools can be depended on to carry out their part of the programme faithfully and in the best possible style. The Schools will assemble at the Metropolitan Theatre about noon on the Fourth, where, in addition to their singing, the following exercises may be expected: Music, by the band; Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Kittredge; Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by W. H. L. Barnes; Poem, by Mr. Bowman; Oration, by the Rev. H. W. Bellows.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 1, 1864


We conversed yesterday with a stranger, who had suffered from a game familiar to some San Franciscans, but unknown in his section of the country. He was going home late at night, when a sociable young man, standing alone on the sidewalk, bade him good evening in a friendly way, and asked him to take a drink, with a fascination of manner which he could not resist. They went into Johnson's saloon, on Pike street, but instead of paying promptly for the drinks, the sociable young man proposed to throw the dice for them, which was done, and the stranger who was a merchant, from the country, lost. Euchre was then proposed, and two disinterested spectators, entirely unknown to the sociable young man—as he said—were invited to join the game, and did so. Shortly afterwards, good hands were discovered to be plenty around the board, and it was proposed to bet on them, and turn the game into poker. The merchant held four kings, and he called a ten dollar bet; but the luck that sociable young man had was astonishing—he held four aces! This made the merchant suspicious—he says and it was a pity his sagacity was not still more extraordinary—it was a pity it did not warn him that it was time to quit that crowd. But it had no such effect; the sociable man showed him a check on Wells, Fargo &; Co., and he thought it was safe to "stake" him; therefore he staked his friend, and continued to stake him, and his friend played and lost, and continued to play and lose, until one hundred and ninety dollars were gone, and he nothing more left wherewith to stake him. The merchant complained to the Police, yesterday, and officer McCormick hunted up the destroyer of his peace and the buster of his fortune, and arrested him. He gave his name as Wellington, but the Police have known him well heretofore as "Injun Ned;" he told the merchant his name was J. G. Whittaker. Wellington Whittaker deserves to be severely punished, but perhaps the merchant ought to be allowed to go free, as this was his first offence in being so criminally green.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 1, 1864


Lewis P. Ward brought several charges against Policeman Forner, yesterday, before the Board of Police Commissioners. One was for maltreating two citizens who were not under arrest, and whom he had no business to lay his hands on anyhow. This charge was summarily dismissed; the offence involved being one of no consequence, as anyone can see. Still, the Board might have thought the officer sufficiently punished for it already in the Police Court, where he was fined five dollars, which he paid in green-backs, if he is a loyal man. The second charge was for arresting a man without any authority for doing it. This was also dismissed—for good and sufficient reasons, maybe—but anyhow it was dismissed. The third charge against Officer Forner was for being off his beat when he should have been on it, instead of drinking in the "Flag" saloon. Several witnesses substantiated this charge, and we are informed that no evidence was produced against it. The Commissioners took it into consideration, and will render a decision in the matter shortly, perhaps.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 4, 1864


The only drawback there is to the following original novelette, is, that it contains nothing but truth, and must, therefore, be void of interest for readers of sensational fiction. The gentleman who stated the case to us said there was a moral to it, but up to the present moment we have not been able to find it. There is nothing moral about it. Chapter I.—About a year ago, a German in the States sent his wife to California to prepare the way, and get things fixed up ready for him. Chapter II.—She did it. She fixed things up, considerably. She fell in with a German who had been sent out here by his wife to prepare the way for her. Chapter III.—These two fixed everything up in such a way for their partners at home, that they could not fail to find it interesting to them whenever they might choose to arrive. The man borrowed all the money the woman had, and went into business, and the two lived happily and sinfully together for a season. Chapter IV.—Grand Tableau. The man's wife arrived unexpectedly in the Golden Age, and busted out the whole arrangement. Chapter V.—Now at this day the fallen heroine of this history is stricken with grief and refuses to be comforted; she has been cruelly turned out of the house by the usurping, lawful wife, and set adrift upon the wide, wide world, without a rudder. But she doesn't mind that so much, because she never had any rudder, anyhow. The noble maiden does mind being adrift, though, rudder or no rudder, because she has never been used to it. And so, all the day sits she sadly in the highway, weeping and blowing her nose, and slinging the result on the startled passers-by, and careless whether she lives or dies, now that her bruised heart can never know aught but sorrow anymore. Last Chapter.—She cannot go to law to get her property back, because her sensitive nature revolts at the thought of giving publicity to her melancholy story. Neither can she return to her old home and fall at the feet of the husband of her early love, praying him to forgive, and bless and board her again, as he was wont to do in happier days; because when her destroyer shook her, behold he shook her without a cent. Now what is she to do? She wants to know. We have stated the case, and the thrilling original novelette is finished, and is not to be continued. But as to the moral, a rare chance is here offered the public to sift around and find it. We failed, in consequence of the very immoral character of the whole proceeding. Perhaps the best moral would be for the woman to go to work with renewed energy, and fix things, and get ready over again for her husband.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 6, 1864


GRAND PROCESSION, FIREWORKS, ETC.—In point of magnificence, enthusiasm, crowds, noise, wind and dust, the Fourth was the most remarkable day San Francisco has ever seen. The National salute fired at daylight, by the California Guard, awoke the city, and by eight o'clock in the morning the sidewalks of all the principal streets were packed with men, women and children, and remained so until far into the afternoon. All able-bodied citizens were abroad, all cripples with one sound leg and a crutch and all invalids who were not ticketed for eternity on that particular day. The whole city was swathed in a waving drapery of flags—scarcely a house could be found which lacked this kind of decoration. The effect was exceedingly lively and beautiful. Of course Montgomery street excelled in this species of embellishment. To the spectator beholding it from any point above Pacific street, it was no longer a street of compactly built houses, but simply a quivering cloud of gaudy red and white stripes, which shut out from view almost everything but itself. Some houses were broken out all over with flags, like small-pox patients; among these were Brannan's Building, the Occidental Hotel and the Lick House, which displayed flags at every window.

THE PROCESSION.—The chief feature of the day was the great Procession, of course, and to the strategic ability and the tireless energy and industry of Grand Marshal Sheldon, San Francisco is indebted for the completeness and well ordered character of the splendid spectacle. He performed the great work assigned him in a manner which entitles him to the very highest credit.

Toward ten o'clock the streets began to be thronged with platoons, companies and regiments of schools, soldiers, benevolent associations, etc., swarming from every point of the compass, and marching with music and banners toward the general rendezvous, like the gathering hosts of a mighty army. By eleven the Procession was formed and began to move, and in half an hour it was drifting past Portsmouth Square, rank after rank, and column after column, in seemingly countless numbers. Afterwards (on level ground) it was an hour and twenty minutes in passing a given point; coming down hill, through Washington street, the time was an hour and five minutes; therefore the Procession must have been two miles long at any rate, unless those composing it were remarkably slow walkers; many adjudged it to be over two and a half miles in length.

GRAND MARSHAL AND AIDS.—The Grand Marshal, in purple sash, studded with stars, led the van, attended by thirteen Aids, in white and gold...

The military presented a fine appearance, with their handsome uniforms and brightly burnished arms. They were sufficiently numerous to occupy thirteen minutes in passing a given point.

A squad of twelve or fifteen little drummer boys, in uniform, accompanying the Sixth Regiment, attracted a good deal of attention.

In the military part of the procession, borne by the First Regiment, was a stained and ragged flag, pierced by nine bullet-holes and one bayonet-thrust, received at the bloody battle of Ball's Bluff. It was carried by Corporal Wise, who fought under it there.

CIVIL DEPARTMENT.—The civil department of the Procession was headed by carriages containing the President, Orator, Chaplain, Poet, and Reader of the Day, foreign Consuls, and foreign and domestic naval and military guests, in splendid uniforms, as a general thing. Following these came State, city and county officers, also in carriages.

The Society of California Pioneers and the Eureka Typographical Union were followed by a number of tradesmen's wagons, tastefully ornamented and bearing appropriate mottoes and devices.

The San Francisco Fire Department came next, headed by Chief Engineer Scannell and his Aides...

The Butchers' Union Association came next, headed by a wagon containing a huge living buffalo, and followed by several gaily caparisoned fat cattle; following these was a soldierly platoon of infantry butchers, armed with cleavers, who were observed to obey the solitary command to "Shoulder arms!" with military precision and promptness. They were followed by about twenty open wagons, filled with members of the fraternity. One of these wagons bore the motto, "We Kill to Cure!"

After a glue factory wagon, bearing the motto, "We stick fast to the Union," came seven more butchers' wagons, followed by a fine array of mounted butchers, riding three abreast. The uniform of the fraternity was check shirts and black pantaloons, and it was distinguished in the civil department of the Procession for its exceeding neatness.

The Cartmen's Union Association, riding two abreast, in blue shirts and black pants—a stalwart, fine looking body of men, came next in the Procession, and rode with the Draymen and Teamsters' Associations. A fine regiment or so of cavalry might be constructed out of these materials.

SCHOOLS.—One of the most notable features of the great Procession was the public schools. The boys are all accustomed to military discipline, and they marched along with the order and decorum of old soldiers. Each school had its uniform, its own private music, and its multitude of flags and banners, and in the matter of numbers and general magnificence they did not fall much behind the Army of California at the other end of the Procession. There were twelve schools in the ranks...

Some of the mottoes inscribed upon the banners borne by the School children were as follows: "Knowledge is Power;" a globe, with the device, "We move the World;" "Children of the Union;" "We are Coming, Father Abraham;" "Our Public Schools, the Lever that moves the World—Give us more Leverage!" The Mason Street School carried silken banners, upon which were painted the arms of all the States. The boys of Rincon School, three hundred in number, were dressed in a sort of naval uniform, (two gold bands around their caps, and a gold stripe down the leg of their pants,) and each boy carried a flag. The girls of the Rincon School, numbering three hundred also, left the School in eight large furniture cars, but we saw only a few of these cars in the Procession. A pretty little girl in the first car was gorgeously costumed as the Goddess of Liberty. A beautiful banner, presented to the School early in the morning, was carried by the girls, and bore the suggestive inscription, "Our Country's Hope," (in case she becomes depopulated by the war, probably.)

BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES.—In uniform, and carrying flags and banners, were a long array of Benevolent and Protective Associations...

After these followed numberless carriages, containing citizens, and in their wake came the rear guard of citizens on foot, which finished up the almost interminable Procession.

AT THE THEATRE.—After marching through the several streets marked down for it in the programme, the Procession filed down Montgomery street, and disbanded in the vicinity of the Metropolitan Theatre, where the concluding ceremonies of the celebration were to take place.

The Schools were admitted to the theatre first, and a sufficient number were taken from the multitude of citizens outside to fill up the room left vacant—which was not much, of course. The place was so densely packed that we could not find comfortable standing or breathing room, and left, taking it for granted that the following programme would be carried out all the same, and just as well as if we remained:

National Airs by the Bands.

Chant, the Lord's Prayer, by the Children of the Public Schools.

Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Kittredge.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by W. H. L. Barnes, Esq.

"The Battle-Cry of Freedom," by the Children of the Public Schools.

Poem, by J. F. Bowman.

"The Union," by Children of the Public Schools.

Oration, by the Rev. H. W. Bellows.

"O wrap the flag around me, boys," by Children.

"America," by the Children.


THE FIREWORKS.—The huge framework for the pyrotechnic display was set up at the corner of Fifth and Harrison streets, and by the time the first rocket was discharged, every vacant foot of ground for many a square around was closely crowded with people. There could not have been less than fifteen thousand persons stretching their necks in that vicinity for a glimpse of the show, and certainly not more than thirteen thousand of them failed to see it. The spot was so well chosen, on such nice level ground, that if your stature were six feet one, a trifling dwarf with a plug hat on could step before you and shut you out from the exhibition, as if you were stricken with a sudden blindness. Carriages, which no man might hope to see through, were apt to drive along and stop just ahead of you, at the most interesting moment, and if you changed your position men would obstruct your vision by climbing on each others' shoulders. The grand discharges of rockets, however, and their bursting spray of many-colored sparks, were visible to all, after they had reached a tremendous altitude, and these gave pleasure and brought solace to many a sorrowing heart behind many an untransparent vehicle. Still we know that the fireworks on the night of the Fourth, mottoes, temples, stars, triangles, Catherine wheels, towers, pyramids, and, in fact, every department of the exhibition, formed by far the most magnificent spectacle of the kind ever witnessed on the Pacific coast. The reason why we know it is, that that infamous, endless, Irish giant, at Gilbert's Museum, stood exactly in front of us the whole evening, and he said so, and a terrific cannonade of fire crackers, kept up all night long, finished the festivities of this memorable Fourth of July in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 8, 1864


As a general thing, when we visit the City Prison late at night, we find one or two drunken vagabonds raving and cursing in the cells, and sending out a pestilent odor of bad whiskey with every execration. Last night the case was different. Mrs. Ann Holland was there, very drunk, and very musical; her gin was passing off in steaming gas, to the tune of "I'll hang my harp on a willow tree," and she appeared to be enjoying it considerably. The effect was very cheerful in a place so accustomed to powerful swearing and mute wretchedness. Mrs. Holland's music was touchingly plaintive and beautiful, too; but then it smelled bad.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 8, 1864


Isaac Hingman has been bigamized. He was arrested for it yesterday, by Officer W. P. Brown, on a complaint sworn to by his most recent wife, that he has a much more former wife now living in another part of the State. The wife that makes the complaint, and who drew a blank, in the eye of the law, in the husband lottery, married the prisoner on the 24th of June, in this city. A man is not allowed to have a wife lying around loose in every county of California, as Isaac may possibly find to his cost before he gets through with this case. He might as well make up his mind to shed one of these women.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 8,1864


We have mentioned elsewhere in our present issue the arrest of Isaac Hingman, on a charge of bigamy. The woman he married last, went to the station-house last night to see him. She says she worked for two years in lager beer cellars here, and, during that time, had saved six hundred and fifty dollars. Hingman got this from her. He said he was going down on the Colorado to open a Saloon, and she was to go with him. They were to leave to-day on a schooner, and he took her stove, her beds and bedding, and all her clothing, and put them on board the vessel. He told her he had been living with a woman at Auburn, and he would have to send her some money in order to get rid of her and her three children. The new wife gave him one hundred and thirty dollars for this purpose, and he went off and telegraphed his Auburn family to come down and go to the Colorado with him instead. The duped beer girl got the answering dispatch sent by the Auburn wife, in which she acceded to the proposal, and said she would arrive by the boat last night. Sergeant Evrard, of the Police, saw the dispatch. The woman said Hingman told her, in the station-house, that the lucky Auburn woman was his lawful wife. Officer Evrard sent a policeman, disguised, to wait for the up-country wife at the Sheba Saloon, last night, and find out what he could from her affecting the case. The story of the illegal wife is plausible, and if it is true, Mr. Hingman ought to be severely dealt with. But not too severely—we go in for moderation in all things, and, considering all the circumstances of this case, it might be a questionable application of power to do more than hang him. To hang him a little while—say thirty or forty minutes—ought to be about the fair thing, though. He wants to marry too many people; and he needs treatment that will tend to check this propensity.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


The ingenuity of the Chinese is beyond calculation. It is asserted that they have no words or expressions signifying abstract right or wrong. They appreciate "good" and "bad," but it is only in reference to business, to finance, to trade, etc. Whatever is successful is good; whatever fails is bad. So they are not conscience-bound in planning and perfecting ingenious contrivances for avoiding the tariff on opium, which is pretty heavy. The attempted swindles appear to have been mostly, or altogether, attempted by the Coolie passengers—the Chinese merchants, either from honorable motives or from policy, having dealt honestly with the Government. But the passengers have reached the brains of rascality itself, to find means for importing their delicious drug without paying the duties. To do this has called into action the inventive genius of brains equal in this respect to any that ever lodged on the top end of humanity. They have, doubtless, for years smuggled opium into this port continuously. The officers of Customs at length got on their track, and the traffic has become unprofitable to the Coolies, however well it has been paying the officials through the seizures made. The opium has been found concealed in double jars and brass eggs, as heretofore described, brought ashore in bands around the body, and by various other modes. The latest dodge detected was sausages, Bolognas, as it were, filled with opium; and yesterday we saw a tin can, with a false bottom about one third the distance from the base, the lower third of the can filled with opium, the rest with oil. John himself will have to be opened next—he is undoubtedly full of it.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


While we were lounging in the City Jail yesterday afternoon, Officer Cook brought in a little girl, not more than seven or eight years old, whom he had arrested for stealing twenty-five dollars from a man in an auction-room the day before. She gave her name as Amelia Brown Wascus, and seemed to be a half breed Indian or negro—probably the latter, if one may judge by the kind of taste she displayed in laying out the stolen money, for she had spent a portion of it in the purchase of a toy hand organ with limited accomplishments, and those of a marked contraband tint—the same being indexed on the back of the plaything as "Buffalo Gals," and "My Pretty Yaller Gals." She had expended about fifteen dollars for various trinkets, and the balance of the money had been recovered by Officer Cook from the child's mother. Amelia cried bitterly all the time she was in the station-house, but she said nothing, and appealed for no compassion save in the pleading eloquence of her tears. She was taken to the Industrial School, and her accomplice—for it seems she had one of about her own age and sex will follow her if she can be found

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


Judges Field and Hoffman were occupied all day yesterday in hearing evidence in the case of Captain Josiah N. Knowles, of the ship Charger, indicted for manslaughter, in not stopping to pick up a sailor named Swansea, who fell from the royal yard arm of that ship, on the 1st of last April, during a voyage from Boston to San Francisco. From the testimony, it would appear that there was a heavy sea on at the time, and a stiff breeze blowing, and consequently it would not have been safe to send a boat after the man, while at the same time it would have been useless to shorten sail and put the ship about, because of the great length of time that would necessarily be consumed in the operation. Swansea fell one hundred and twenty feet, and one witness—the second officer of the ship thought he struck the "main channels" in his descent, and was a dead man when he reached the water. The Charger was on a quick trip, and was making over ten knots an hour at the time of the accident. The evidence was almost completed yesterday, and the arguments of counsel will be commenced to-day.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


A bold robbery was attempted, last evening, in the second story of the premises owned by Janson, Bond & Co., corner of Battery and Pine streets, occupied as a fancy goods importing house, but which, owing to the vigilance of one of the clerks who slept in the store, and the promptitude of Special Officer Sweeney in answering his alarm, was frustrated. About half-past eleven, as the clerk was about retiring, he heard a suspicious noise and raised the cry of "Watch!" Officer Sweeney immediately ran in the direction, and met a man running hastily away. He asked him what the matter was, and he replied "Somebody has lost a watch round the corner." Sweeney ordered him to stop; in reply he made a desperate lunge at the officer with a bowie knife. Sweeney then struck him over the head with his night lantern and brought him to reason. He was then taken to the station-house, where, on being searched, four gold watches, three revolvers, a bowie knife, and two bunches of gold rings were found on his person. He stated his name as William Johnson, and further that he had accomplices, and the name of one was McCarty. Officers Minson and Greenwood then repaired to the scene of the attempted robbery and thoroughly searched the place. They found on the sidewalk, just under the window, where it had been let down by Johnson to his confederates, a bag containing fifteen pistols, five bowie-knives and two pairs of bullet moulds. Up to a late hour last evening, the accomplices of Johnson had not been captured. A box containing four hundred dollars in silver escaped the notice of the robbers. It is probable this gang is the same that were concerned in the recent attempted safe robberies. It is somewhat significant, taken in connection with matters transpiring in the interior of the State, that the purpose of these scoundrels seemed to be to get hold of all the arms they could, comparatively ignoring some valuable jewelry, and other articles, of which they might have possessed themselves.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 10, 1864


The old original Auburn wife of the bigamist Hingman, arrived by the boat night before last, but her whereabouts were not discovered until last night, when she was found in one of the up-town hotels, with her three children, and subpoenaed to appear as a witness in the impending trial of her husband for bigamy.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 12, 1864


Captain Douglass and Watchman Hager boarded the ship Clara Morse, on Sunday morning, the moment she arrived, and captured nineteen Chinese girls, who had been stolen and brought from Hongkong to San Francisco to be sold. They were a choice lot, and estimated to be worth from one hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars apiece in this market. They are shut up for safe-keeping for the present, and we went and took a look at them yesterday; some of them are almost good-looking, and none of them are pitted with small pox—a circumstance which we have observed is very rare among China women. There were even small children among them—one or two not two years old, perhaps, but the ages of the majority ranged from fourteen to twenty. We would suggest, just here that the room where these unfortunates are confined is rather too close for good health—and besides, the more fresh air that blows on a Chinaman, the better he smells. The heads of the various Chinese Companies here have entered into a combination to break up this importation of Chinese prostitutes, and they are countenanced and supported in their work by Chief Burke and Judge Shepheard. Now-a-days, before a ship gets her cables out, the Police board her, seize the girls and shut them up, under guard, and they are sent back to China as soon as opportunity offers, at the expense of the Chinese Companies, who also send an agent along to hunt up the families from whom the poor creatures have been stolen, and restore to them their lost darlings again. Our Chinese fellow citizens seem to be acquiring a few good Christian instincts, at any rate.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 12, 1864


The bigamy case came up in the Police Court yesterday morning, and Judge Shepheard dismissed it, because the charge could not be substantiated, inasmuch as the only witnesses to be had were the two alleged wives of the defendant—or rather, only one, the ephemeral lager-beer wife as the old original wife, the first location, or the discovery claim on the matrimonial lead, could not be compelled to testify against her husband, and thereby also knock the props from under her own good name and her eternal piece of mind. The injured and deserted relocation now proposes to have Hingman arrested again and tried on a charge of assault and battery. This unfortunate woman seems to have been very badly treated, and it is to be hoped she may get some little soothing satisfaction out of her assault and battery charge to reconcile her to her failure in the bigamy matter.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 12, 1864


The case of Captain Knowles, late of the ship Charger, indicted for manslaughter, in not attempting to rescue a sailor, named Swansea, who had fallen overboard, was ably argued by Messrs. Hall McAllister and the District Attorney, yesterday, and a verdict returned by the jury of "Not guilty as charged in the indictment." The jury were charged that if they had any doubt of the man's having been alive after he struck the water, to give the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. That little doubt saved Captain Knowles, as, in the opinion of at least one member of the jury, he was guilty of a criminal indifference as to the fate of his lost sailor. He seized the wheel after the steersman had begun to put the ship about, put her on her course again, and then coolly marched down to finish his breakfast. He did not even throw over a chicken-coop for the poor fellow to rest upon while he watched the disappearing ship with his despairing eyes. The prisoner has been discharged from custody, and the witnesses also, who have been drearily awaiting the trial of the case, in prison, for the past two months.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 12, 1864


If there is anything more absurd than the general average of Police Court testimony, we do not know what it is. Witnesses stand up here, every day, and swear to the most extravagant propositions with an easy indifference to consequences in the next world that is altogether refreshing. Yesterday—under oath—a witness said that while he was holding the prisoner at the bar so that he could not break loose, the prisoner "pushed my wife with his hand—so—tried to push her over and kill her!" There was no evidence to show that the prisoner had anything against the woman, or was bothering himself about anything but his scuffle with her husband. Yet the witness surmised that he had the purpose hidden away in his mind somewhere to take her life, and he stood right up to the rack and swore to it; and swore also that he tried to turn this noble Dutchwoman into a corpse, by the simple act of pushing her over. That same woman might be pushed over the Yo Semite Falls without being killed by it, although it stands to reason that if she struck fair and bounced, it would probably shake her up some.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 14, 1864


Yesterday morning, a horse and cart were carelessly left unhitched and unwatched in Dupont street. The horse, being of the Spanish persuasion and not to be depended on, finally got tired standing idle, and ran away. He ran into Berry street, ran half a square and upset the cart, and fell, helplessly entangled in the harness. The vehicle was somewhat damaged, but two or three new wheels, some fresh sides, and a new bottom, will make it all right again. Considering the fact that little short narrow Berry street contains as many small children as all the balance of San Francisco put together, it is strange the frantic horse did not hash up a dozen or two of them in his reckless career. They all escaped, however, by the singular accident of being out of the way at the time, and they visited the wreck in countless swarms, after the disaster, and examined it with unspeakable satisfaction. The driver is a man of extraordinary intellect and mature judgment—he set his cart on its legs again as well as he could, and then whipped his horse until it was easy to see that the poor brute began to comprehend that something was up, though it is questionable whether he has yet cyphered out what that something was, or not. The driver, as we said before, was not in his wagon at the time of the accident, which accounts for the misfortune of his not being hurt in the least.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 14, 1864


Anna Jakes, drunk and disorderly, but excessively cheerful, made her first appearance in the City Prison last night, and made the dreary vaults ring with music. It was of the distorted, hifalutin kind, and she evidently considered herself an opera sharp of some consequence. Her idea was that "Whee-heeping sad and lo-honely" was not calculated to bring this cruel war to a close shortly, and she delivered herself of that idea under many difficulties; because, in the first place, Mary Kane, an old offender, was cursing like a trooper in a neighboring cell; and secondly, a man in another apartment who wanted to sleep, and who did not admire anybody's music, and especially Anna Jakes', kept inquiring, "Will you dry up that infernal yowling, you heifer?"—swinging a hefty oath at her occasionally—and so the cruel war music was so fused and blended with blasphemy in a higher key, and discouraging comments in a lower, that the pleasurable effect of it was destroyed, and the argument and the moral utterly lost. Anna finally fell to singing and dancing both, with a spirit that promised to last till morning, and Mary Kane and the weary man got disgusted and withdrew from the contest. Anna Jakes says she is a highly respectable young married lady, with a husband in the Boise country; that she has been sumptuously reared and expensively educated; that her impulses are good and her instincts refined; that she taught school a long time in the city of New York, and is an accomplished musician; and finally, that her sister got married last Sunday night, and she got drunk to do honor to the occasion—and with a persistency that is a credit to one of such small experience, she has been on a terrific bender ever since. She will probably let herself out on the cruel war for Judge Shepheard, in the Police Court, this morning.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 14, 1864


Yesterday, General McDowell, accompanied by his Staff and many military officers, officials and civilians, made a tour of inspection of the harbor defences about the Bay of San Francisco. Many gentlemen had been invited to be of the party, and many answered by their presence. Besides Major General McDowell and Staff, were Brigadier General Wright and Staff, Brigadier-General Mason, Captain Van Vost, Provost Marshal, and other officers of the Army; Commander Woodworth of the Navy; Governor Low and suite; Mr. Redding, Secretary of State; Judges Field and Hoffman, of the U.S. Court; the Collector of the Port, Colonel James; Mr. Farwell, Naval officer; Dr. McLean, Surveyor of the Port; Captain Chenery, Navy Agent; Mayor Coon; Postmaster Perkins; Hon. Mr. Benton, Judge Lake, General Allen, General Carpenter, Wm. T. Coleman, and many other citizens whose names are not just now recollected, and several members of the Press, last but not least, always around where items are to be picked up, shells to be exploded, or corks to be drawn. A little after nine o'clock the "Goliah" left Broadway wharf with her precious freight. We could not help reflecting, should she blow up or sink, what a suit with bright buttons Neptune might wear, and how Army, Navy, Executive, Judiciary, Customs, Municipal and Civil Services would suffer. Away went the pleasant company, steaming down the Bay towards Fort Point. The company—those not before acquainted—were introduced to General McDowell, and each and all seemed delighted with his frank and genial manner, his quietly social disposition, his soldierly appearance and bearing, and the facility with which he at once put every one at ease.

FORT POINT.—At the Fort he was received with his appropriate salute. The different parts of the fortifications were inspected by the General and his guests. To the eye of a civilian, the works and their warlike appliances appeared formidable and in excellent condition for service. There was but one exception. From the barbette, some shell practice was had, the target being on the opposite shore, at Lime Point. But the fuses proved imperfect, the shells exploding almost immediately upon starting on their journey. This of course will be at once remedied. After the shelling, the troops were drawn up within the Fort and were reviewed by General McDowell and Governor Low; the Band playing appropriate music. The officer of the day in command of the troops, is a gentleman who won his commission by meritorious service in eleven battles at the East. We regret that we have not his name. The party then returned to the steamer and started across the Bay towards that famous spot of which all have heard not a little for years past—

LIME POINT.—The steamer ran close along the northern shore for a considerable distance, allowing an excellent opportunity for judging of the superior qualities the formation affords for a strong fortification. It can readily be transformed into a second Gibraltar. The position is needed by Government, which should take it, and leave the consideration of pay to the future. Next the steamer was headed up the Bay, and the company invited below to partake of a lunch. That this interesting incident was all that could be desired will appear evident by saying that it was prepared at the "Occidental," and that Leland himself was present to see that chicken salad and champagne were properly dispensed. Soon the steamer reached the wharf at

ANGELS' ISLAND.—Here another salute greeted the General, who, with his guests, inspected the fortifications there fast growing into formidable proportions and condition. The little valley lying between the Point at the entrance of Raccoon Straits, on which is a battery destined to guard that passage, and the high point to the south, where there is another new work, nearly ready for use, bears the appearance of a pleasant little village, with white houses and fixings, indicative of officers' families, soldiers' barracks, and domestic life. From this abode of the Angels the company proceeded through Raccoon Straits—beautiful sheet of water—around Angels' Island, and as they were passing the eastern end, all of a sudden found themselves saluted by scores of white handkerchiefs on shore, which was answered in kind, and with splendid music by the fine band of the Ninth infantry. A picnic party were on shore, and gave this very pleasing incident to the excursion. Passing the Point, the company had an opportunity to view the preparations for the battery there, apparently nearly ready for mounting its guns and then steamed across, and landed at

ALCATRACES, under a thundering salute from the southern batteries. A general examination of the whole Island and its defences followed; then a partaking of the hospitalities of Capt. Winder, Commandant of the Post, and shell practice from the northwestern battery. The shells here were in better condition, and the practice more satisfactory. The reported number of guns on the Island now, and to be, differs, ranging from ninety to one hundred and eighty. The exact number is not material. There are enough to knock any fleet that can ever come within reach into splinters. Leaving Alcatraces, after an inspection of the forces there, with another salute, the steamer's prow was pointed toward Yerba Buena Island—a look was had, while passing, at the positions yet to be fortified—and she passed up the Bay to the mouth of Mission Creek, past the Aquila—of which ship some of our readers have heard occasionally—and then back along the city front, the band playing national and other airs, to Broadway wharf, the place of starting. The General knows whether the inspection was satisfactory in a military light. We do not. But it may be said that the trip was exceedingly pleasant and satisfactory to all the guests of the gallant soldier to whose courtesy they were indebted for the delightful excursion.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 16, 1864


Yesterday noon, Sansome street was witness of one of those feats so common to New York city, among the butcher boys, of racing through the public streets. The driver of Clark's furniture and Express wagon and some other Expressman, getting their mettle up as to the relative speed of their respective plugs, let out, both laying on the whip plentifully, until they overtook Crosky's grocery wagon, which Clark's vehicle (No. 2,859) unceremoniously knocked into "pi," landing driver, groceries and other Sundries in the street. These outrages are becoming too frequent in our thickly-populated streets, and need the strict attention of our city authorities. Eye-witnesses to this race at full speed up the railroad track, freely expressed themselves that if any ladies or children had been unfortunate enough to be on the street at the time, nothing could have saved them from being ridden down.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 16, 1864


On Thursday evening, officers John Conway and King had their attention attracted by the crying of a child at the Catholic Orphan Asylum door; where, upon examination, they discovered an infant, apparently but a few days old, wrapped up in a shawl. It was delivered to the care of the benevolent Sisters at the Institution. It appeared to be a good enough baby—nothing the matter with it—and it has been unaccountable to all who have heard of the circumstance, what the owner wanted to throw it away for.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 16, 1864


And he fetched his things with him.—John Smith was brought into the city prison last night, by Officers Conway and Minson, so limbered up with whiskey that you might have hung him on a fence like a wet shirt. His battered slouch-hat was jammed down over his eyes like an extinguisher; his shirt-bosom (which was not clean, at all,) was spread open, displaying his hair trunk beneath; his coat was old, and short waisted, and fringed at the edges, and exploded at the elbows like a blooming cotton-boll, and its collar was turned up, so that one could see by the darker color it exposed, that the garment had known better days, when it was not so yellow, and sunburnt, and freckled with grease spots, as it was now; it might have hung about its owner symmetrically and gracefully, too, in those days, but now it had a general hitch upward, in the back, as if it were climbing him; his pantaloons were of coarse duck, very much soiled, and as full of wrinkles as if they had been made of pickled tripe; his boots were not blacked, and they probably never had been; the subject's face was that of a man of forty, with the sun of an invincible good nature shining dimly through the cloud of dirt that enveloped it. The officers held John up in a warped and tangled attitude, like a pair of tongs struck by lightning, and searched him, and the result was as follows: Two slabs of old cheese; a double handful of various kinds of crackers; seven peaches; a box of lip salve, bearing marks of great age; an onion; two dollars and sixty-five cents, in two purses, (the odd money being considered as circumstantial evidence that the defendant had been drinking beer at a five-cent house; ) a soiled handkerchief; a fine-tooth comb; also one of coarser pattern; a cucumber pickle, in an imperfect state of preservation; a leather string; an eye-glass, such as prospectors use; one buckskin glove; a printed ballad, "Call me pet names;" an apple; part of a dried herring; a copy of the Boston Weekly Journal, and copies of several San Francisco papers; and in each and every pocket he had two or three chunks of tobacco, and also one in his mouth of such remarkable size as to render his articulation confused and uncertain. We have purposely given this prisoner a fictitious name, out of the consideration we feel for him as a man of noble literary instincts, suffering under temporary misfortune. He said he always read the papers before he got drunk; go thou and do likewise. Our literary friend gathered up his grocery store and staggered contentedly into a cell; but if there is any virtue in the boasted power of the press, he shall stagger out again to-day, a free man.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 17, 1864


A visit to the County Prison, in Broadway above Kearny street, will satisfy almost any reasonable person that there are worse hardships in life than being immured in those walls. It is a substantial-looking place, but not a particularly dreary one, being as neat and clean as a parlor in its every department. There are two long rows of cells on the main floor—thirty-one, altogether—disposed on each side of an alley-way, built of the best quality of brick, imported from Boston, and laid in cement, which is so hard that a nail could not be driven into it; each cell has a thick iron door with a wicket in its centre for the admission of air and light, and a narrow aperture in the opposite wall for the same purpose; these cells are just about the size and have the general appearance of a gentleman's state room on a steamboat, but are rather more comfortable than those dens are sometimes; a two-story bunk, a slop-bucket and a sort of table are the principal furniture; the walls inside are white-washed, and the floors kept neat and clean by frequent scrubbing; on Wednesdays and Saturdays the prisoners are provided with buckets of water for general bathing and clothes-washing purposes, and they are required to keep themselves and their premises clean at all times; on Tuesdays and Fridays they clean up their cells and scrub the floors thereof. In one of these rows of cells it is pitch dark when the doors are shut, but in the other row it is very light when the wickets are open. From the number of books and newspapers lying on the bunks, it is easy to believe that a vast amount of reading is done in the County Prison; and smoking too, we presume, because, although the rules forbid the introduction of spirituous liquors, wine, or beer into the jail, nothing is said about tobacco. Most of the occupants of the light cells were lying on the bunks reading, and some of those in the dark ones were standing up at the wickets similarly employed. "Sick Jimmy," or James Rodgers, who was found guilty of manslaughter a day or two ago, in killing Foster, has been permitted by Sheriff Davis to occupy one of the light cells, on account of his ill health. He says his quarters would be immensely comfortable if one didn't mind the irksomeness of the confinement. We could hear the prisoners laughing and talking in the cells, but they are prohibited from making much noise or talking from one cell to another. There are three iron cells standing isolated in the yard, in which a batch of Chinamen wear the time away in smoking opium two hours a day and sleeping the other twenty-two. The kitchen department is roomy and neat, and the heavy tragedy work in it is done by "trusties," or prisoners detailed from time to time for that duty. Up stairs are the cells for women; two of these are dark, iron cells, for females confined for high crimes. The others are simply well lighted and ventilated wooden rooms, such as the better class of citizens over in Washoe used to occupy a few years ago, when the common people lived in tents. There is nothing gorgeous about these wooden cells, but plenty of light and whitewashing make them look altogether cheerful. Mesdames O'Reefe, McCarty, Mary Holt and "Gentle Julia," (Julia Jennings,) are the most noted ladies in this department. Prison-keeper Clark says the quiet, smiling, pious looking Mrs. McCarty is just the boss thief of San Francisco, and the misnamed "Gentle Julia" is harder to manage, and gives him more trouble than all the balance of the tribe put together. She uses "awful" language, and a good deal of it, the same being against the rule. Mrs. McCarty dresses neatly, reclines languidly on a striped mattress, smiles sweetly at vacancy, and labors at her "crochet-work" with the serene indifference of a princess. The four ladies we have mentioned are unquestionably stuck after the County Prison; they reside there most of the time, coming out occasionally for a week to steal something, or get on a bender, and going back again as soon as they can prove that they have accomplished their mission. A lady warden will shortly be placed in charge of the women's department here, in accordance with an act of the last Legislature, and we feel able to predict that Gentle Julia will make it mighty warm for her. Most of the cells, above and below, are occupied, and it is proposed to put another story on the jail at no distant day. We have no suggestions to report concerning the County Jail. We are of the opinion that it is all right, and doing well.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 17, 1864


Officer Forner arrested and brought into the City Prison, at noon yesterday, a wanderer named Patrick O'Hara, who had been sleeping in the sand-hills all night and tramping dreamily about the wharves all day, with a bag containing nearly seven hundred dollars in gold sticking suggestively out of his coat pocket. He looked a little wild out of his eyes, and did not talk or act as if he knew exactly what he was about. He objected to staying in the Jail, and he was averse to leaving it without his money, and so he was locked up for the present safety and well-being of both. He begged hard for his worshipped treasure, and there were pathos and moving eloquence in the poor fellow's story of the weary months of toil and privation it had cost him to gather it together. He said he had been working for a Mr. Woodworth on a ranch near Petaluma, and they set two men to watching him, and when he found it out he wouldn't stay there any longer, but packed up and came down here on the boat night before last. He also said they had given him an order on Mr. Woodworth here for forty dollars, for a month's work, but when he got on the boat he found it was dated "1833," and he threw it overboard. He brought a carpet-sack with him, and left it at some hotel, but he can't find the place again. He says he wants to go and stay a while with some priest—and if he can get a chance of that kind, he had better take it and keep away from the wharves and the sand-hills; otherwise somebody will "go through him" the first thing he knows.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 17, 1864


Two children, a boy fourteen years old, and his sister, aged sixteen, were brought before the Police Court yesterday, charged with stealing, but the hearing of the case, although begun, was not finished. Judge Shepheard, whose official dealing with ancient criminals has not yet hardened his heart against the promptings of pity for misguided youth, said he would examine the prisoners at his chambers, to the end that he might only sentence them to the Industrial School if it were possible, and thus save them from the shame and the lasting stigma of imprisonment in a felon's cell for their crime. He said there was crime enough in the land, without driving children to its commission by heaping infamy and disgrace upon them for their first transgression of the law. He was right: it is better to save than to destroy, and that justice is most righteous which is tempered by mercy.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 19, 1864


Mrs. Catherine Moran was arraigned before Judge Cowles yesterday, on a charge of assault with an axe upon Mrs. Eliza Markee, with intent to do bodily injury. A physician testified that there were contused wounds on plaintiff's head, and also a cut through the scalp, which bled profusely. The fuss was all about a child, and that is the strangest part about it—as if, in a city so crowded with them as San Francisco, it were worth while to be particular as to the fate of a child or two. However, mothers appear to go more by instinct than political economy in matters of this kind. Mrs. Markee testified that she heard war going on among the children, and she rushed down into the yard and found her Johnny sitting on the stoop, building a toy wagon, and Mrs. Moran standing over him with an axe, threatening to split his head open. She asked the defendant not to split her Johnny. The defendant at once turned upon her, threatening to kill her, and struck her two or three times with the axe, when she, the plaintiff, grabbed the defendant by the arms and prevented her from scalping her entirely. Blood was flowing profusely. Mr. Killdig described the fight pretty much as the plaintiff had done, and said he parted, or tried to part the combatants, and that he called upon Mr. Moran to assist him, but that neutral power said the women had been sour a good while—let them fight it out. Another witness substantiated the main features of the foregoing testimony, and said the warriors were all covered with blood, and the children of both, to the number of many dozens, had fled in disorder and taken refuge under the house, crying, and saying their mothers were killing each other. Mrs. Murphy, for the defence, testified as follows: "I was coomun along, an' Misses Moran says to me, says she, this is the red wood stick she tried to take me life wid, or wan o' thim other sticks, Missis Murphy, dear, an' says I, Missis Moran, dairlin',"—Here she was shut off, merely because the Court did not care about knowing what Mrs. Moran told her about the fight, and consequently we have nothing further of this important witness's testimony to offer. The case was continued. Seriously, instead of a mere ordinary she-fight, this is a fuss of some consequence, and should not be lightly dealt with. It was an earnest attempt at manslaughter—or woman-slaughter, at any rate, which is nearly as bad.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 19, 1864


In the Fourth District Court, yesterday, an order was granted to the plaintiff in the suit of J. J. Robbins vs. Real del Monte Gold and Silver Mining Company et al., requiring the defendants to show cause why they should not be enjoined from selling stock for the collection of an assessment levied for the purpose of further improving their mine. It appears that stockholders are becoming dissatisfied with the management of the concern, and want to see the end of assessments for "further improvements." It is an idea entertained by some inconsiderate persons, that a mine should at some period of the world's history begin to pay its own expenses. Rolling into prosperity on the wheels of assessments may do for a while, but there's a time when dividends should relieve the drain on the individual's private resources, and he looks forward expectantly, but "hope deferred maketh the heart sick," etc.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 20, 1864


Alman Glasby, (or Gillespie,) one of the Placerville stage-robbers, was brought up from San Jose yesterday by Sheriff Van Eaton, and lodged in the station house until the Sacramento boat left. He was captured at Hall's Tavern, between San Jose and the New Almaden mines, after a severe fight, on the night that the Sheriff's party killed his two comrades. He confesses that he belonged to an organized band of robbers, under the command of Ingram, who held a Captain's commission in the Confederate army, signed by Jeff. Davis, and says they were armed and equipped by Secessionists throughout the State, among whom he mentioned several who are well known in Santa Clara county, and two in this city. He says he is only nineteen years old; but to a disinterested spectator he looks older by two or three years.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 21, 1864


Mollie Livingston and two friends of hers, Terese and Jessie, none of whom are of at all doubtful reputation, cast aside their superfluous clothing and engaged in a splendid triangular fist fight in Spofford Alley about seven o'clock yesterday evening. It was a shiftless row, however, without aim or object, and for this reason officers Evrard and McCormick broke it up and confined the parties to it in the City Prison. It originated in whiskey.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 21, 1864


As foolish a thing as a man can do is to steal anything while officer Rose is in town. A Mrs. Ashley, who lives in Bush between Powell and Mason streets, was robbed of a gold belt-buckle, some silver spoons, etc., on Saturday, the 9th, and yesterday she laid the matter before one of our Police officers, who told her to find officer Rose and give him charge of the matter. She found him, but she was too late for her information to be of any use—he had already recovered the stolen property and tracked the thief to his den also. It is said he follows people by the foot-prints they make on the brick pavements.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 22, 1864


When we contracted to report for this newspaper, the important matter of two earthquakes a month was not considered in the salary. There shall be no mistake of that kind in the next contract, though. Last night, at twenty minutes to eleven, the regular semi-monthly earthquake, due the night before, arrived twenty-four hours behind time, but it made up for the delay in uncommon and altogether unnecessary energy and enthusiasm. The first effort was so gentle as to move the inexperienced stranger to the expression of contempt and brave but very bad jokes; but the second was calculated to move him out of his boots, unless they fitted him neatly. Up in the third story of this building the sensation we experienced was as if we had been sent for and were mighty anxious to go. The house seemed to waltz from side to side with a quick motion, suggestive of sifting corn meal through a sieve; afterward it rocked grandly to and fro like a prodigious cradle, and in the meantime several persons started downstairs to see if there were anybody in the street so timid as to be frightened at a mere earthquake. The third shock was not important, as compared with the stunner that had just preceded it. That second shock drove people out of the theatres by dozens. At the Metropolitan, we are told that Franks, the comedian, had just come on the stage, (they were playing the "Ticket-of-Leave Man,") and was about to express the unbounded faith he had in May; he paused until the jarring had subsided, and then improved and added force to the text by exclaiming, "It will take more than an earthquake to shake my faith in that woman!" And in that, Franks achieved a sublime triumph over the elements, for he "brought the house down," and the earthquake couldn't. From the time the shocks commenced last night, until the windows had stopped rattling, a minute and a half had elapsed.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 22, 1864


We are pleased to hear of the prosperous condition of the Dashaway Society. Their ranks, we are assured, are constantly filling up. The draught with them is working well, causing many to volunteer. The bounty they receive is sobriety, respect and health, and the blessings of families. We will not attribute all these new recruitings to the high tariff, and the difficulty of obtaining any decent whiskey. But some who join give this as their reason. They fear strychnine more than inebriation. They find it impossible to exhaust all the tarantula juice in the country, as they have been endeavoring to do for a long while, in hopes to get at some decent "rum" after all the tangle-leg should have been swallowed, and so conclude to save tariff on liquors and life by coming square up to the hydrant. Their return to original innocence and primitive bibations will be gladly welcomed. Water is a forgiving friend. After years of estrangement it meets the depraved taste with the same friendship as before. Water bears no enmity. But it must be a strange meeting—water pure and the tongues of some of our solid drinkers of Bourbon and its dishonest relations. Alkali water to the innocent mouths of cattle from the waters of the Mississippi could not seem stranger nor more disagreeable at first. But it will come around right at last. Success to the tariff and the Dashaways.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 22, 1864


A long file of applicants, perhaps seventy-five or eighty, passed in review before the Police Commissioners yesterday afternoon, anxious to be employed by the city in Snatching drunks, burglars, petty larcenors, wife-whippers, and all offenders generally, under the authority of a star on the left breast. One of the candidates—a fine, burly specimen of an Emeralder—leaned negligently against the door-post, speculating on his chances of being "passed," and at the same time whiffing industriously at an old dhudeen, blackened by a thousand smokes. He was smoking thus thoughtfully when a contraband passed him, conveying a message to some official in the Court.

"There goes another applicant," said a wag at his elbow.

"What?" asked the smoker.

"A darkey looking for a sit on the Police," was the reply.

"An' do they give nagurs a chance on the Polis?"

"Of course."

"Then, be J-s," said Pat, knocking the ashes out of his pipe and stowing it away, "I'm out of the ring; I wouldn't demane mesilf padrowling o'nights with a nagur."

He gave one glance at the innocent and unsuspecting darkey, and left the place in disgust.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 22, 1864


All of a sudden, we have imbibed a most extravagant respect for Grand Juries. Judge Cowles fined a man two hundred and fifty dollars, yesterday, and sentenced him to five days imprisonment in the County Jail, for cherishing a sentiment of the opposite character. Otto Keating was summoned before the Grand Jury for the May term, and refused to answer one or two of the questions asked him. Judge Cowles hauled him up for contempt, but let him go without punishment. He was again called for by the Grand Jury, when he answered the questions he had declined to answer before, but refused to answer some new ones that were asked him. The punishment we have mentioned was the result. The great popularity of Judge Cowles with the people of San Francisco rests upon two rare judicial traits, which are strongly developed in his character, viz: The quality of mercy, with the quality of discerning where it is proper to exercise it; and the quality of fearlessly administering red-hot penalties that make a transgressor fairly waltz, when he deserves it. An innocent man is safe enough in the County Court, but if he is guilty, he ought always to do what he honestly can to get a change of venue.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 22, 1864


Rev. H. H. Kavanaugh, represented as a Bishop of the M. E. Church South, whose home until quite recently has been in Georgia, but who for some time past has been travelling around in this part of the State organizing Churches and preaching the Gospel as the M. E. Church South understand it, to many congregations of Rebel sympathizers, was on Monday arrested by Captain Jackson, United States Marshal for the Southern District of this State. The arrest was made at Black's ranch, Salt Spring Valley, Calaveras county, whilst the Bishop was holding a camp-meeting. By the Reverend gentleman's request, he was granted his parole until he could preach a sermon, on promise to report himself at this city yesterday for passage on the San Francisco steamer, which he did accordingly. We cannot state the precise charges on which he was arrested.

Getting military information is about the slowest business we ever undertook. We clipped the above paragraph from the Stockton Independent at eleven o'clock yesterday morning, and went skirmishing among the "chief captains," as the Bible modestly terms Brigadier Generals, in search of further information, from that time until half past seven o'clock in the evening, before we got it. We will engage to find out who wrote the "Junius Letters" in less time than that, if we have a mind to turn our attention to it. We started to the Provost Marshal's office, but met another reporter, who said: "I suppose I know where you're going, but it's no use—just come from there—military etiquette and all that, you know—those fellows are mum—won't tell anything about it—damn!" We sought General McDowell, but he had gone to Oakland. In the course of the afternoon we visited all kinds of headquarters and places, and called on General Mason, Colonel Drum, General Van Bokkelen, Leland of the Occidental, Chief Burke, Keating, Emperor Norton, and everybody else that would be likely to know the Government's business, and knowing it, be willing to impart the coveted information for a consideration such as the wealthy fraternity of reporters are always prepared to promise. We did finally get it, from a high official source, and without any charge whatever—but then the satisfaction of the thing was all sapped out of it by exquisite "touches on the raw"—which means, hints that military matters were not proper subjects to branch out on in the popular sensational way so palatable to the people, and mild but extremely forcible suggestions about the unhappy fate that has overtaken fellows who ventured to experiment on "contraband news." We shall not go beyond the proper limits, if we fully appreciate those suggestions, and we think we do. We were told that we might say the military authorities, hearing where the Bishop had come from, (and may be what he was about—we will just "chance" that notion for a "flyer,") did send Captain Jackson to simply ask the Bishop to come down to San Francisco; (he didn't arrest the Bishop, at all—but most anybody would have come on a nice little invitation like that, without waiting for the formal compliment of an arrest: another excessively smart suggestion of ours, and we do hope it isn't contraband;) the Captain only requested the Bishop to come down here and explain to the authorities what he was up to; and he did—he arrived here night before last—and explained it in writing, and that document and the Bishop have been taken under advisement, (and we think we were told a decision had been arrived at, and that it was not public property just yet—but we are not sure, and we had rather not take any chances on this part of the business.) We do know, however, that the Bishop and his document are still under advisement as far as the public are concerned, and we would further advise the public not to get in a sweat about it, but to hold their grip patiently until it is proper for them to know all about the matter. This is all we know concerning the Bishop and his explanation, and if we have branched out too much and shed something that trenches upon that infernal "contraband" rule, we want to go home.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 23, 1864


Yesterday, in the Police Court, George Lambertson and Ralph Doyle, one a full-grown man and the other a boy of fourteen, pleaded guilty to the charge of exhibiting obscene pictures. Officers Lees, Evrard and Rose, some time since, got on the track of a regular system of prostituting young girls, which was being carried on by a number of men and boys who had banded themselves together for the purpose, and their efforts have resulted in the arrest of the two persons above named, and the unearthing of two more of the boys and two or three men, who are probably all captured by this time. The name of one of the men is Emile Buffandeau; two of the boys are Harry Fenton and George Ayres. The men made use of the boys to decoy the girls to their rooms, where their ruin was effected. These rooms were well stocked with obscene books and pictures. The officers say that the further they probe the matter the more astounding are the developments, and the more widespread the operations of this infamous association are discovered to be. The names of some fifteen of these debauched girls have already been ascertained, and others are suspected of properly belonging on the list. Some of them are members of families of high respectability, and the balance, as young Doyle phrases it, are "baldheaded," that is, unbonneted street girls. The ages of the lot vary from ten or twelve to fifteen. Ralph Doyle says that he and the other two boys, Ayres and Fenton, were "confidants," but that he knows of no "gang," nor confederation of men and boys together, in the wretched business. He is aware, however, that a large number of men and boys and young girls are in the habit of visiting each other's rooms, but on their own individual responsibility only, he thinks. He says the girls showed him the obscene pictures, instead of his being guilty of that sort of conduct with them, and he is further of the opinion that they have done the seducing in most of the other cases, as they did in his. He is a fine, handsome, manly little fellow, uses excellent language, and his bearing is quiet and perfectly well-bred. He tells his story the same way every time, and we believe he tells the truth. All his revelations, however, will not do to print. The boys concerned in this extraordinary affair will be sent to the Industrial School, as they are all very young, and it is to be hoped that the law will be stretched to its utmost tension for the punishment of the men...Since the above was in type, we have learned that the terrible developments detailed above, were brought to light through the energy and industry of the master of one of the Schools. He had ascertained the names and addresses of a great number of men and boys not mentioned in this article, who were implicated in these villainous transactions, and was in a fair way of securing their apprehension, but the premature disclosure of the facts and their publication in the evening papers, it is feared, will put the scoundrels on their guard, and prevent their capture. Furthermore, according to our latest information, there are thirty names of debauched young girls on the list. The man Lambertson, by whom a poor orphan girl of fifteen has become enceinte, has made over to her, in the hope of escaping the penitentiary, such property as he owned in the city. We are also very glad to learn, from the best authority, that Ralph Doyle, so far from being a leader among the miscreants, as has been said of him, was the most innocent in the party, and that it is not in his nature to do an unworthy action when left to the guidance of his own good instincts.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 23, 1864


A few days ago, L. Kahn bought ten thousand cigars from a man named Cohen, promising to pay twenty dollars per thousand in gold for them on delivery. He had them taken and left in a cellar, and told the plaintiff to call in an hour or so afterwards and get his money. When the man called, according to appointment, Kahn was absent and so were the cigars; and finally, when he did succeed in corralling his debtor, the fellow tendered green-backs in payment of his bill. The result was a charge preferred in the Police Court against Kahn, for obtaining goods under false pretences. After a patient hearing of the case, Judge Shepheard said he would send it up to the County Court (placing defendant under one thousand dollars' bonds,) and if they felt there as he did, Kahn would certainly be punished for the crime he had been charged with, or perhaps even for grand larceny, which was the real spirit of the offence. He said Kahn's conduct was based in fraud, and carried out in fraud; there was fraud in its conception and fraud in its execution; and he considered the man as guilty as the occupant of any jail in the country. The counsel for defendant said if there was any fraud in the matter, it probably lay in the issuance of the green-backs in the first place. Judge Shepheard said, "I am aware that you are a Union man, Sir, but notwithstanding that, I will permit no more such language as that to be used in this Court; and I will punish any man who repeats the offences here, for contempt, or imprison him for treason, for I regard it as nothing more nor less than treason. It is your duty and mine, Sir, to uphold the Government and forbear to question the righteousness of its acts." The lawyer protested his innocence of any intention to commit the chiefest among crimes, and quiet was restored again.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 23, 1864


Night before last, Miss Margaret McQuinn complained to Captain Lees that she had been raped by the driver of hack No. 28, and officer Blitz, whose duty it is to attend to the followers of that occupation, was deputed to ferret out the criminal and arrest him, which he did. The man's name is Barney Gillan. The woman is large and strongly built, and about thirty years of age. From her story—all of which it is not by any means necessary to publish—it would seem that she is supernaturally green. She says she arrived here from Manchester, New Hampshire, last Monday, in the Constitution, and since then three different hackmen have endeavored to entrap her. Day before yesterday, Gillan, under pretence of hunting a situation as a servant for her among some respectable families in the country with whom he represented himself as being very popular, took her to some out-of-the-way den kept by a Frenchman, near the Mission, and ruined her by force, as above stated. She returned to town with him, and then excused herself and went and laid the matter before the detective department. There is a charge of this kind brought against some hackman or other about once every five or six months, and it is fully time an example were made that would forever put a stop to such villainy on their part. Gillan has been admitted to bail in the sum of one thousand dollars.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 24, 1864


We chronicle the usual visitations of justice upon those persons whose errors are venial, and the result of an unfortunate appetite, or temper, always with a feeling of regret that the well-being of society demands inflexibly a judgment "according to the law and the testimony." We can compassionate the man whose domestic troubles, or business reverses, drive him to drink frenzy from the bowl, or who, in a momentary heat, retaliates on wanton injury, or insult, or errs through ignorance; but there are instances where the only regret is that the power of the Judge to punish is limited to a penalty not at all commensurate with the magnitude of the offence. In the case of George Lambertson, who was arrested for infamous demoralizing practices with young school girls, and who pleaded guilty in the Police Court, Judge Shepheard inflicted upon the miscreant the heaviest penalty prescribed by the law for his crime. Lambertson receives a term of three months in the County Jail, and a fine of five hundred dollars, (which fine will extend the term of imprisonment until the full amount is served out, at the rate of two dollars per day, in addition to the three months aforesaid,) is a part of the penalty.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 26, 1864


At the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Cummings, member from the Tenth District, will introduce an ordinance requiring all drivers of hacks, as well as hack-owners, to take out license, to the end that the eternal dodging of responsibility by that class of the community may be checkmated. One plan of extorting money from passengers, which is followed by hackmen under the present loose system, might be frustrated, perhaps, by Mr. Cummings' proposed bill. The plan we refer to is this: A stranger takes a hack at the steamboat landing, and makes a bargain for his transportation to a hotel; on the road, the driver's confederate takes the reins, delivers the passenger at the hotel, and charges him double, swearing he knows nothing of the previous contract. We were under the impression that the owner of the hack was responsible in cases of illegal charging, but those whose business it is to know, tell us it is not so. It ought to be, at any rate. It doesn't even require horse-sense to know that much. And while the subject is before the Board, an ordinance is to be framed requiring the hackmen around Portsmouth Square to stay where they belong, and not collect in squads, obstructing the sidewalks, and making a general nuisance of themselves. So far, Signor Blitz, and the Police Court, and the Board of Supervisors, all put together, have not been able to keep the hackmen straight. One of the fraternity, Barney Gillan, is up to-day for committing a rape on a defenceless young woman, thirty-five years of age, and they will probably make him sweat for it.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 30, 1864


For several days a vagrant two story frame house has been wandering listlessly about Commercial street, above this office, and she has finally stopped in the middle of the thoroughfare, and is staring dejectedly towards Montgomery street, as if she would like to go down there, but really don't feel equal to the exertion. We wish they would trot her along and leave the street open; she is an impassable obstruction and an intolerable nuisance where she stands now. If they set her up there to be looked at, it is all right; but we have looked at her as much as we want to, and are anxious for her to move along; we are not stuck after her any.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 30, 1864


This faded relic of gentility—or, rather, this washed-out relic, for every tint of that description is gone—was brought to the station-house yesterday, in the arms of Officers Marsh and Ball, in a state of beastly intoxication. She cursed the Union and lauded the Confederacy for half an hour, and then she cast up part of her dinner; during the succeeding half hour, or perhaps it might have been three-quarters, she continued to curse the Federal Union and belch fuming and offensive blessings upon the Southern Confederacy, and then she cast up the balance of her dinner. She seemed much relieved. She so expressed herself. She observed to the prison-keeper, and casually to such as were standing around, although strangers to her, that she didn't care a d—n. She said it in that tone of quiet cheerfulness and contentment, which marks the troubled spirit at peace again after its stormy season of unrest. So they tackled her once more, and jammed her into the "dark cell," and locked her up. To such of her friends as gentle love for her may inspire with agonized suspense on her account, we would say: Banish your foreboding fears, for she's safe.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 30, 1864


Barney Gillan, the hackman against whom a charge of rape was preferred some days since, had an examination yesterday before Judge Shepheard. At first the tears and apparent distress of the victim of the alleged outrage, while occupying the witness's stand, were calculated to move the hearts of those present and unacquainted with the facts; but as the examination progressed the matter began to assume a very questionable phase, and it was soon apparent that if there had been any rape committed at all, it was of a very modified type. True, the lady did enter her protest, and had a notion to halloo, when Gillan was about taking undue liberties with her; but she sought a refuge and assuaged her grief that night at the Portsmouth Hotel, in the embraces of a benevolent person with whom she had met for the first time that day. He protected her injured innocence until seven o'clock the next morning, when she sallied forth to seek another protector. The case was discharged

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 30, 1864


The bark Yankee arrived from Honolulu yesterday, bringing another hundred barrels of molasses to Rev. H. W. Bellows, contributed by Captain Makee, and to be sold for the benefit of the Sanitary Fund. We noticed a like donation from the same distant patriot a day or two ago, which was sold here and netted upwards of twelve hundred dollars to the fund. Captain Makee's sugar plantation, on one of the Hawaiian Islands, whence this molasses comes, is rather extensive. He has seven hundred acres of cane growing, and this area will be increased during the next few months to nine hundred or a thousand acres. There is no water on the plantation, and irrigation has to be resorted to. Even the water required for the steam engine and other purposes in the manufacture of sugar, has to be brought from a spring on a mountain, three miles distant, through iron pipes; yet, so rich is the land that six tons of sugar have been made on a single acre, and the average is about three tons. At his own mill, Captain Makee manufactures from eight thousand to ten thousand pounds of sugar a day. During the present year, his plantation has been very successful, and promises to produce the largest amount of sugar yet obtained from any one estate in the Hawaiian Islands. Its product will probably realize, at present rates, this year, over one hundred thousand dollars; and, altogether, its chances, in a business point of view, may be regarded as rather a "deader thing" than Gould & Curry. The estate is expected to yield over two million pounds of sugar next year. Captain Makee has invented a "molasses pan" and a "double cane cart," which are spoken of as great triumphs of Yankee genius.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


That melancholy old frame house that has been loafing around Commercial street for the past week, got disgusted at the notice we gave her in the last issue of the CALL, and drifted off into some other part of the city yesterday. It is pleasing to our vanity to imagine that if it had not been for our sagacity in divining her hellish designs, and our fearless exposure of them, she would have been down on Montgomery street to-day, playing herself for a hotel. As it is, she has folded her tents like the Arabs, and quietly stolen away, behind several yoke of oxen.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


The lamented Lazarus departed this life about a year ago, and from that time until recently poor Bummer has mourned the loss of his faithful friend in solitude, scorning the sympathy and companionship of his race with that stately reserve and exclusiveness which has always distinguished him since he became a citizen of San Francisco. But, for several weeks past, we have observed a vagrant black puppy has taken up with him, and attends him in his promenades, bums with him at the restaurants, and watches over his slumbers as unremittingly as did the sainted Lazarus of other days. Whether that puppy really feels an unselfish affection for Bummer, or whether he is actuated by unworthy motives, and goes with him merely to ring in on the eating houses through his popularity at such establishments, or whether he is one of those fawning sycophants that fasten upon the world's heroes in order that they may be glorified by the reflected light of greatness, we can not yet determine. We only know that he hangs around Bummer, and snarls at intruders upon his repose, and looks proud and happy when the old dog condescends to notice him. He ventures upon no puppyish levity in the presence of his prince, and essays no unbecoming familiarity, but in all respects conducts himself with the respectful decorum which such a puppy so situated should display. Consequently, in time, he may grow into high favor.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


On Friday morning, Catherine Leary, who lives in Waverley Place, got up and found all the doors in her house open, and a silk dress worth seventy-five dollars missing, and also an alarm clock, said to be worth ten dollars; but we beg to be left unmolested in the opinion that it isn't worth six bits, if it didn't know enough to give the alarm when the house was full of thieves. Officer Rose, of the Detective Police, recovered the silk dress yesterday, and the imbecile clock, and also the Chinaman who is supposed to have committed the burglary. Hoping the accused may prove innocent, we prefer not to blast his reputation by publishing his name yet, which is Ah Chum.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


Yesterday afternoon, the Deputy Collector, Auditor, and fifteen other Custom House officers sent in their resignations, assigning as a reason for doing so, that with green-backs at the present rates, (forty cents,) their wages were less than those received by day laborers, and being inadequate to defray the expense of living, they were compelled to resign. Custom House salaries are not very heavy, even when paid in gold. We are informed that the Collector telegraphed to Washington at once concerning the matter.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 31, 1864


Work on the Camanche is progressing rapidly. The foreman observed yesterday, with the air of a man who is satisfied his listener is an uncommonly intelligent man, and knows all about things, that the "garboard streak" had been up some time. It is not possible to conceive the satisfaction we derived from that information. She must be all right now, isn't she? One of those gunboats is generally all right when she has her "garboard streak" up, perhaps. Such has been our experience. It is limited, but that is of no real consequence, probably. We looked around a little, and noticed that there was another streak up, also, running fore-and-aft, and several streaks running crossways, and enough old iron lying around to make as many more streaks as they want, if it holds out. It was excessively cheerful and gratifying. The public may rest easy—work on the Camanche is streaking along with extraordinary velocity.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 2, 1864


All day yesterday the cars were carrying colored people of all shades and tints, and of all sizes and both sexes, out to Hayes' Park, to celebrate the anniversary of the emancipation of their race in England's West Indian possessions years ago. They rode the fiery untamed steeds that are kept for equestrian duty in the grounds; they practised pistol shooting, but abstained from destroying the targets; they swung; they promenaded among the shrubbery; they filled themselves up with beer and sandwiches—all just as the thing is done there by white folks—and they essayed to dance, but the effort was not a brilliant success. It was interesting to look at, though. For languid, slow-moving, pretentious, impressive, solemn, and excessively high-toned and aristocratic dancing, commend us to the disenthralled North American negro, when there is no restraint upon his natural propensity to put on airs. White folks of the upper stratum of society pretend to walk through quadrilles, in a stately way, but these saddle-colored young ladies can discount them in the slow-movement evidence of high gentility. They don't know much about dancing, but they "let on" magnificently, as if the mazes of a quadrille were their native element, and they move serenely through it and tangle it hopelessly and inextricably, with an unctuous satisfaction that is surpassingly pleasant to witness. By the middle of the afternoon about two hundred darkies were assembled at the Park; or rather, to be precise, there was not much "darky" about it, either; for if the prevailing lightness of tint was worth anything as evidence, the noble miscegenationist had been skirmishing considerably among them in days gone by. It was expected that the colored race would come out strong in the matter of numbers (and otherwise) in the evening, when a grand ball was to be given and last all night.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 2, 1864


If ever you want to find Ellen Quinn, or Gentle Julia, or Mary Holt, or Haidee Leonard, or Annie Berry, please call at the County Jail, upstairs. Mary Holt has spent most of her time there for the past fourteen years, it is said, and the most inexperienced of this company of choice spirits (gin) has sojourned there chiefly for the last three years. Mary Holt has just enlisted again for the County Jail for fifty days, and next time she comes out she will probably enlist for the war. Following is the record of service of these old soldiers for the past twelve months: Out of the 365 days, Ellen Quinn spent 240 in the County Jail; Gentle Julia, 210 in the station house and County Jail together; Mary Holt, 190 in the County Jail alone; Haidee Leonard, 106 in the County Jail; Annie Berry, 111 in the County Jail. The balance of the year these fellows have spent in the stationhouse, for the most part, for they suffer arrest and confinement there three times, with about two days imprisonment for each arrest, before they can pass muster and get into the County Jail. The veteran Mary Holt commenced fighting the prisons in 1849 or '50.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 2, 1864


Last Saturday, eleven inspectors in the barge office of the Custom House received a call from the Poll tax Collector, and they tendered their indebtedness in the kind of money their salaries are paid in—green-backs. The Collector said he was not allowed to take anything but coin, and the inspectors said they would suffer imprisonment before they would pay in anything but green-backs. The soundness of this position will be appreciated when you come to reflect that they only get four dollars a day, anyhow, and when that sum is mashed into green-backs at present rates, it only amounts to about a dollar and a half a day. Now, estimating their actual living expenses at a dollar and forty-five cents a day—and it cannot fall below that while they continue to eat anything—how long would it take one of those inspectors to pay this oppressive Poll-tax in coin out of the clear profits of his labor? Why, it would take two months and three weeks, as nearly as you could come at it; as the amount of the tax is four dollars.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 3, 1864


Last night, a young man by the name of John Ferguson went to the drug store of Mr. Riley, on the corner of Mission and Second streets, and asked for strychnine, as he said, to kill a dog. He got ten grains. He went into Mission street, took the poison, and was soon met by a friend, to whom he said that he was sick, had taken poison, and was dying. A doctor was called at once, who administered mustard and warm water, which caused nausea and vomiting, which relieved him by freeing the stomach of the poison. Hopes are entertained of his recovery. The cause of this attempt upon his own life is said to be depression from loss of employment and pecuniary difficulties.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 3, 1864


"How's stocks this morning?" "Movement in 'Buckeye.'" This little characteristic salutation, a few days since, prefaced a breach of the peace on Montgomery street, thus: Mr. Green, who is learned in the matter of stocks, was authorized to purchase fifty shares of "Buckeye" at four dollars and a half. Mr. Jazinski, also talented in the same line, had a quantity for sale at five dollars, the same having previously been purchased by his principal at twenty-one dollars, showing conclusively that stocks are sometimes up and at other times very much down. Mr. G., the author of the second remark in the above brief dialogue, said he would see whether his principal would give five dollars, and departed for that purpose. Mr. J. waited expectantly for a long time, say a matter of several hours, but in the interval saw G. a number of times and was by him informed that the person who wanted the stock was for the time being distinctly invisible to the naked eye. During this invisibility, "Buckeye" depreciates, and the seller becoming impatient, at last insists that Mr. Green should take the stock at five dollars, himself, without reference to his principal, laying down the proposition that the latter gentleman had inaugurated the transaction in the character of principal himself, and that he held him for it. Mr. Green took issue on this point, and declared that there had been no purchase. Mr. J. said there had—Mr. G. said there hadn't. The mutual contradiction grew positive, with expletives and profane adjectives, amounting to a mutual impeachment of veracity, upon which Mr. Green smote the countenance of the other broker, thereby breaking up the negotiations and breaking the peace at the same time. A blow at sea may be a breeze, a gale or a tempest, but a blow on land is very likely to be an assault and battery. Of this latter kind was the blow given by Mr. Green, and in consequence thereof he was yesterday ordered by Judge Shepheard to appear this morning for sentence.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 3, 1864


Under-Sheriff Hall, of Santa Clara county, and Messrs. Hume and Van Eaton, Under and Deputy Sheriffs of El Dorado county, arrived from San Jose by the cars, yesterday evening, with the following splendid haul of Placerville stage robbers, captured by them in the vicinity of San Jose, early yesterday morning: Henry Jarbo, George Cross, J. A. Robinson, Wallace Clendening, Joseph Gamble, Joseph Jordan, Thomas Freer, James Freer, John Ingraham, Gately and Hodges—eleven. Sheriff Hall also brought down another of the robber gang named Wilson, whom he caught a week ago. He has been upon the track of all these men, and has been "spotting" them for the past three months. The confession of young Glasby confirmed his suspicions concerning them. The prisoners are farmers, for the most part, and resided round about San Jose; they are all Constitutional Democrats. They are not all charged with having taken part in the stage robbery, but some of them did, and the others were members of the robber organization, and accessories to the robbery before and after the fact. The organization dates back to the first of May, and the process of forming it was under way a good while before that. Its object was to raise men for the Confederate service, and they were to furnish themselves with equipments and supplies by guerrilla practice on the highway. Its ramifications are supposed to be very extensive, and they are known to have received aid and comfort from many prominent citizens. Some of the men arrested are well-to-do farmers. We are told by a resident of Santa Clara county that the prisoner Robinson is a brother-in-law of the editor of the Stockton Democratic organ, the Beacon. It is not known whether the men recruited for the Confederate service were to do duty only in this State, or elsewhere. The headquarters of the gang were at the house of a man named Hodges, who lives in the mountains east of San Jose. The six who robbed Wells, Fargo and Co's stage, started from Hodges'. Under-Sheriff Hall arrested this man at the "Willows," near San Jose, early yesterday morning, where he had unsuspectingly come on business. Two of the prisoners in this new haul are believed to have taken a hand in the late robbery of Langton's Express. Grant, Baker, and Captain Ingram, of the gang, have escaped, and left for parts unknown. Baker and Ingram were kept in hiding for a day or two by one Green Duff at his house near San Jose, and the latter furnished Baker a horse to escape on. Mr. Hall arrested a man at Duff's house, yesterday morning. The man is a good Constitutional Democrat. The rumor prevalent here yesterday, that there was a terrific fight in San Jose the night before, with the stage robbers, was groundless; there was no fight. Colonel Jackson telegraphed for one thousand rounds of ball cartridge yesterday morning—in order to be prepared for an emergency, perhaps, in case one should arise—and the militia of San Jose were called together the night before and provided with a signal for the same purpose; they went further than was required, and lay on their arms in anticipation of trouble. Out of these ominous circumstances the rumor we have spoken of probably grew. Sheriff Hall also brought up with him last night three State prisoners, viz: Henry Hoffman, Charles Buford and Antonio Leiva, all sentenced for one year for grand larceny; he will take them to San Quentin to-day, and the El Dorado officers will depart with the Secesh stage robbers on the Sacramento boat this evening. No blood was spilled in arresting the robber gang. One posse of men under Sheriff Hall, and another under officers Hume and Van Eaton, left San Jose before daylight yesterday morning, and travelled in different directions; the former made six of the arrests, and the latter five.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 3, 1864


The Democratic Indignation Meeting at Hayes' Park, last evening, amounted to a very short row of small potatoes, with few in the hill. The whole number present certainly did not exceed four hundred, of whom at least one-half were Union men, or supporters of the Administration, drawn thither by curiosity and the cars. The meeting was called to order by Col. Phelps. Vociferous calls for Beriah Brown brought him to the platform, and he delivered himself of a few remarks substantially as follows:

Gentlemen:—We have assembled here to-night as American citizens—(Great noise in the hall here, and the speaker's voice was inaudible for several moments.) We meet here to offer no opposition to the Government; but we meet here to discuss, the question of our rights as citizens. We ask for no rights but what each individual is entitled to; to do as we would be done by under all circumstances—at the same time we do not propose to surrender our rights as American citizens. (Applause.)This, I understand, is the object of the meeting. The first business, gentlemen, is to hear the report of the Committee appointed to draft resolutions.

The following resolutions were then handed Mr. Brown, who had previously been appointed Chairman of the meeting, which were as follows. (We omit giving the preamble at length, as it all amounted simply to a renewal of fidelity to the Constitutions of the State and United States, and a declaration of intention to maintain the laws and yield a willing support to all just and legally constituted authorities in the administration thereof, etc.; and to the best of our ability to support whatever good citizens may rightfully do, to maintain domestic peace and promote general welfare. That they demand nothing but a uniform and faithful administration of the laws, and no privilege but what is clearly and indisputably guaranteed by the Constitutions of our Government. It also declared that where there is no law there is no freedom, and contained the usual declaiming against the abridgment of the freedom of speech and the press.)

Resolved, That we regard with alarm all exercise of power by the United States Government, or its agents, not specifically delegated to that Government, and in derogation of the reserved rights of States, and in abridgment of the constitutional guarantees to the people, as tending to central despotism and the subjugation of popular liberty.

Resolved, That, whenever through fear of spies or informers, or the power of military commanders to arrest and imprison American citizens, they shall be deterred from peaceably assembling together and freely expressing their approval or disapproval of measures of public policy, the point is reached beyond which submission merges the free man into a slave.

Resolved, That the spotless reputation of Bishop Kavanaugh, and the well-known patriotism and devotion of Charles L. Weller, to the Constitution and the Union, justify the belief that the arrest of these gentlemen was procured by the perjury of mercenary spies and informers, or by persons actuated solely by personal malice, and we can but express the sentiments of all honorable men in denouncing the employment of those degraded wretches, an offence to civilization, and a disgrace to humanity.

After the passage of the resolutions, the band discoursed a National air.

Dr. Wozencraft was then introduced by the chairman. His speech was simply a rehash of all the whinings and hypocrisy of Copperheads since the conflict began. He had much to say about the imminence of our danger of becoming involved in scenes such as are now being witnessed in the Southern States, from a determination on the part of large numbers to resist with force the arbitrary and unconstitutional measures that were being inaugurated in our midst. "The record of the Democratic party is but a record of the Nation's power and glory; while that of the Abolition party is a record of her shame and disintegration." He said there are but two parties—the Democratic party, whose mission is to sustain the Union, and the Abolition party, which is seeking to destroy it. There is no hope for Union, peace and prosperity, only through a Conservative Democratic Administration. The North was unanimous in their opposition to the idea of Secession. To the support of the Government in suppressing the Rebellion, there was not a dissenting voice until the war was made one of subjugation, abolition and confiscation. Democrats were law-abiding and constitutional people, and the present supporters of the Administration are the Secessionists. Jeff. Davis and his followers are simply their allies in the work of destroying the Government. The speaker predicted that "so soon as we get control of the Federal Government, which by the help of God we hope to do at the coming election, they (the Republicans) will declare that the Pacific States will withdraw and form themselves into a separate Republic." Here he read an extract from a speech of Mr. Seward's, and continued for about twenty minutes in the usual strain of his ilk.

At the close of his speech the band made more music. After which, Zach. Montgomery, of Marysville, appeared on the stand. He commenced by saying that he would speak from the record, (thereby meaning that he would read his speech from a manuscript, which he did.) They had assembled there to consider how they should preserve the liberties of the people of California, and avert the horrors of civil war. Then followed the inevitable tirade against the measures of the Administration and its appointed agents, for suppressing treason and taking seditious persons into custody. He said that there is no use to try to disguise the fact that there is danger of civil war in this State, and intimated that a certain party, chafing under the discipline of Abraham Lincoln, was on the verge of outbreak, and the smothered volcano might burst out at any moment, and that we were nearer the scenes which our brethren in the older States were now witnessing than many might imagine. There were but two roads before us; the one leads to civil war, the other to peace. He declared in so many words that the Administration were determinedly pursuing the former road. Its acts were all in direct violation of the Constitution, and every blow struck at that instrument only drove us deeper into the danger of civil war and its attendant horrors. He spoke, as did Wozencraft, like a man who was in the secret of an organization existing in our midst, with the sole object of resisting by force and arms, all disciplinary, police or administrative measures which, in their estimation, might be deemed unconstitutional or oppressive; and they are to be the judges. Like the other speakers, he also referred to them in terms which might, without much distortion, be construed into an approval of their patriotic purpose. The speaker dwelt at great length on this danger, hidden from unprivileged eyes, and ready to create a storm—a general disruption in our very midst—ere we were aware of the least danger. In a word, if General McDowell arrests any more noisy and treasonable babblers, or insidious enemies to the Government, why we may look out for guns and a fight.

Mr. Montgomery's enunciation was very impassioned, and he seemed extremely fearful that the infatuation of the Administration would yet inevitably, and at no distant period, transfer to our own California all the horrors of the Eastern battle-fields. In conclusion, he conjured all, both Republicans and Democrats, to respect and obey the Constitution and the laws under it, as the only means of averting the terrible catastrophe, to the brink of which we have been brought; the only pacificator of that secret element, that is now only resting in a temporary lull, while preparing for the great and sudden effort which is to follow the next persistent attempt of the administrative authorities to enforce an "arbitrary measure."

After a little music to soften down the lion which Montgomery had roused, (within himself,) Tod Robinson was presented, and with all the blandishments of an adept at honey-fugling, he proceeded to tell the people of the wrongs they were suffering at the hands of the present Administration. He also knows something of their hidden danger, this secret-steel trap which is to catch all infernal Abolitionists and send them to perdition without benefit of clergy. He prefaced his speech by stating the fact that he was born under the behests of freedom, and held no right nor privilege by the tenure of any man's will. A recapitulation of his speech would fall on the ear much like the repetition for the thousandth time of an old thread bare story. Every Californian knows Tod Robinson by heart, and nobody believes anything he says. We left while he was speaking, in company with a good Democrat, who said he wasn't "going to listen to such a d—d rascal as Tod Robinson." Though he rather favored some of the other speakers, he couldn't go Tod Robinson. So we all departed, and the meeting shortly after broke up, with the close of Robinson's speech.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 4, 1864


The young man, John Ferguson, whose attempt to poison himself by strychnine we recorded in yesterday morning's CALL, is beyond danger. This gratifying result is due to the exertions of Dr. De Castro, who was summoned after the first-called physician had abandoned the case and declared recovery impossible. The Doctor remained with the patient until the effects of the poison had been completely subdued. Ferguson, we understand, is a moulder by trade, and was lately in the employ of Ira P. Rankin. He lost his situation through no fault of his own; but simply because, with others of his craft, he asked an advance of fifty cents per day on his wages to meet increased expenses of living. For this presumption he was thrown out of employment, and it weighed upon his spirits to the extent of suicide. With some money-getters fifty cents have more importance than many lives.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 4, 1864


Last Saturday morning, a man named Cheesman, proprietor of a fruit store at the corner of Market and Second streets, purchased quantities of fruit from different dealers, and in the afternoon, after taking an inventory of his wares, sold out his whole establishment for one thousand dollars. In order to avert suspicion, he paid a month's advance on his room rent on Friday, and conducted himself in all respects as if he had made up his mind to remain in San Francisco a century. However, notwithstanding his subtle diplomacy, his creditors began to suspect him of an intention to defraud them, and when the places which knew him once got to knowing him no more, shortly they grew alarmed and fell to searching for him. They sought him from Saturday night until Tuesday, and finally found him. He began to play himself for an honest man, at once, and declared his willingness to pay his debts. They took him to Justice Cornwall's office, and made him disgorge the money he had with him, seven hundred and fifty dollars, after which, by authority of a writ served for that purpose, they submitted him to a rigid examination. The seven hundred and fifty dollars was deposited in Court; he went there yesterday morning, with his lawyer, and tried to substitute green-backs for the amount, but the Judge refused to permit it, and said it must remain as it was, for distribution among the creditors. Suits have been commenced against Cheesman by those who loved him and trusted him, and got burnt at it. They do not love him so much now. He owes about twelve hundred dollars for fruit, and six hundred dollars borrowed money. His indebtedness for fruit is distributed among a large number of dealers, in bills ranging from three dollars up to two hundred and thirty dollars.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 4, 1864


Secretary Chase's private offices at Washington are fitted with Axminster carpets, gilded ceilings, velvet furniture, and other luxurious surroundings which go to hedge about a Cabinet Minister with a dignity quite appalling to the unaccustomed outsider.

Five minutes after a Custom House clerk had read this item, and with the recollection of it still upon him, he was paid his monthly salary in greenbacks, and the consequence was he lost his temper, and became profane to a degree approaching lunacy.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 5, 1864



Just before three o'clock yesterday morning, a soldier named Simon Kennedy, while under the influence of a temporary hallucination, killed a fellow-soldier named Fitzgerald, who was confined in the guard-house with him, at Black Point, by stabbing the unfortunate man twelve or fifteen times with a bayonet. The shrieks of the struggling victim attracted the attention of the sentinel, who opened the door, when the murderer rushed out and escaped in the darkness, followed by three or four terrified prisoners. Captain Winder turned out his whole force to pursue Kennedy, but they found neither him nor any trace of him, save a bloody towel under the bank near the Bensley Water Works, where he had evidently washed the blood from his clothing. About seven o'clock a soldier arrived here with a message from Capt. Winder to Chief Burke, announcing the murder, and the latter left at once for Black Point, after giving orders for half a dozen members of the Police force to mount and follow him. He also requested Captain Van Vost, of the Provost Department, to detail an equal number of mounted men, to aid in the search for Kennedy, which request was promptly complied with. Arrived at Black Point, the Chief procured a description of Kennedy, and acquainted himself with his habits and antecedents. He was told that the man was a lunatic, but from the fact of his having wit enough about him to guard against detection by washing himself, it was evident that he was not stupidly mad, at any rate. Further inquiries elicited the information that Kennedy had requested several times, lately, to be taken to Father Cotter, in Vallejo street, and had once been there, a day or two ago, in charge of a soldier. The Chief thought it possible that he might have gone there after his escape, and sent officers Clark and Hoyt to ascertain if such were the case. The surmise proved correct, and Father Cotter was at once relieved of his dangerous guest—and dangerous enough he was, too, as he still had his bayonet with him, bloody and bent by the murderous thrusts inflicted with it upon the body of Fitzgerald. The best information concerning this tragedy goes to show that Kennedy is a sane man upon all subjects except one—that of hanging. He is quiet and sensible enough until halters and scaffolds are mentioned, and then he becomes a madman. Some of the causes of this are recent, and some date far back in the past. He is an extraordinary swimmer, and it is said he once swam the Mississippi at a point where it was more than a mile and a half wide, and his bare head being exposed so long to the burning rays of the sun, the strength and vigor of his brain were impaired by it, and at intervals since then he has seemed a little flighty. He enlisted in Davis street, here, and was sent with his company to Alcatraz, where they remained some time, and were finally transferred to Black Point. While at Alcatraz, Kennedy was swimming in the Bay with a comrade, upon one occasion, when the latter was seized with cramps and was drowned. The men used to tell Kennedy he murdered his comrade, and that he would be hanged for it; they kept it up until finally the poor wretch got to brooding over the fate predicted for him until he began to suspect his brother soldiers of an intention to hang him. He went twice to his Captain for protection against them. A day or two ago, at Black Point, the soldiers pestered him again about his chances of being hanged, and he says the Captain put him in the guard-house for safe keeping. The supposition is that during the night the horrors came upon him that his fellow-prisoners were going to hang him, and he seized the bayonet and fought desperately to save himself. Kennedy told us what he knew about the murder, but his statements were confused, and he said he did not recollect much about it. He only knew that three or four men came in the guard-house to hang him, and said they were going to do it at once; one of them seized and tried to choke him, and he snatched a bayonet from the wall, where it was hanging above a dark-colored cap, and struck out wildly with it in self-defence. He was not certain whether he hit anybody, but he thought he did. Afterward, he said it was likely he took the bayonet away from the man who was trying to choke him—and then he showed wounds on his hands, as if he had a vague notion that they were evidence of how he came into possession of the weapon. His person and his clothing were as black as a coal heaver's; he said he changed his clothes on his way to town, and left his uniform lying in the road. If he did, the latter was not found. When speaking of the murder, Kennedy gazes upon the visitor with a fixed, vacant stare, and looks like a man who is absorbed in trying to recollect something. The body of Fitzgerald lay at the Coroner's office yesterday; the breast, shoulders, stomach, hip and arms were covered with little triangular red spots, where the bayonet had entered. The inquest will be held to-day, so we were informed. The murderer and his victim were both members of Company D, Third Artillery. Fitzgerald was a married man; his widow resides in this city. Since the above was written, a soldier in the regular army has informed us how the bayonet happened to be in the guard-house within reach of a prisoner popularly considered to be insane. He says Captain Mears makes his prisoners do guard duty, and after they are relieved, their instructions are to take their muskets to the guard-room and clean them during confinement. He further says the members of Fitzgerald's Company are incensed at this conduct of permitting deadly weapons to be carried within reach of the lunatic imprisoned with their comrade. He says that when a prisoner does guard duty, it is usual for a noncommissioned officer to go with him and see that he cleans his musket at the quarters, and leaves it there, and then takes him back to be locked into the guard-house, unarmed. The soldier says Kennedy first attacked a man named McDonald, with the bayonet, and then assaulted Fitzgerald, who was asleep at the time. When he attacked McDonald, he first put his hand on his breast and asked him if he had a heart, and where it was situated, and then, without waiting for the desired information, made a stab at him. It was a wretched piece of business to let a deadly weapon be taken into a guard room where a man in Kennedy's condition was confined, and unmilitary people yesterday were wondering that weapons should be placed within reach of prisoners under any circumstances.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 6, 1864


A scoundrel named George R. Powers has been detected in the obscene book trade and captured. He has been carrying on the trade after a fashion of his own. Over the signature of "Mrs. Amelia Barstow," he writes chatty, familiar letters to young girls in the California seminaries, soliciting patronage for his infamous books and pictures. He made a mistake, though, when he addressed the following epistle to a school girl of fourteen years of age, for her home teachings had not been of a character to enable her to appreciate it, and she sent it at once to her father. From him it passed to Judge Coon, who handed it to Chief Burke to be disposed of. The Chief took a lively enough interest in the matter to take officer Hess from his regular duties in the Police Court and keep him on the track of Mrs. Barstow for a week and a half, with Officer Pike to assist him. We suppress the name of the young lady and that of the school she belongs to, of course:

San Francisco July 21st, 1864.

MISS ______:—I have just received from New York a large number of the most delightful books you can imagine. To refined young ladies of an amorous temperament, they are "just the thing." For five dollars sent to me through the Post Office, in two separate enclosures of two dollars and a half each, I will forward you two different volumes, each containing five tinted engravings. Accompanying the package will also be a beautiful life photograph, entitled "* * * * * * *." The strictest secrecy will be observed, which may be heightened by your transmitting a fictitious address, in case you reply to


(We suppress the title of dear Amelia's "life photograph," as being somewhat too suggestive.—REPORTER.)

Officer Hess suggested the policy of writing an answer to Amelia's note, and getting it sent through the Post Office to her, as coming from the young girl she had addressed. He framed the following note, putting in punctuation marks with great liberality where they did not belong, and leaving them out where they did, and mimicking school-girl simplicity of phraseology, and proneness to tautology, with great ingenuity. The Chief having approved of it, a lady copied it in the microscopic chirography of sweet fourteen, and it was ready for mailing, as set forth here below. We suppress the girl's name, and that of the Post Office:

* * * * *, July 27, 1864.

MRS. AMELIA BARSTOW—Dear Madame:—I received your letter which you sent on the 21st of this month and I am glad, for I have been wishing for something nice to read for a long time. Father has not given me much money this month and I cannot send this time the amount you say; but if you will send me