• Mark Twain - Reporter

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/13/2021 - 00:19

    "I sat down, in the cabin, and gave myself up to solid misery—so to speak. Now in pleasanter days I had amused myself with writing letters to the chief paper of the Territory, the Virginia Daily Territorial Enterprise, and had always been surprised when they appeared in print. My good opinion of the editors had steadily declined; for it seemed to me that they might have found something better to fill up with than my literature. I had found a letter in the post office as I came home from the hill side, and finally I opened it. Eureka!

  • 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/16/2022 - 13:16

    Mining Excursions, More Feet, Backbreaking Labor – Esmeralda – Aurora
    Josh Letters Yielded Offer –Territorial Enterprise Reporter
    Goodman, McCarthy, De Quille &The Boys – Petrified Man Hoax
    Covering the Territorial Legislature

  • August 1862, late

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/16/2022 - 13:37

    August, late – Sam arrived at the Virginia City Enterprise, a “small rickety frame building at the
    corner of A Street and Sutton Avenue,” [Fatout, MT in VC 11] (later a large brick building on C Street)
    to take the job. According to Paine, Sam claimed he walked the 130 miles from Aurora and arrived in
    the afternoon of a “hot, dusty August day” and drawled to Denis E. McCarthy (1840-1885) one of the
    owners:
    “My starboard leg seems to be unshipped. I’d like about one hundred yards of line; I think I am falling

  • September 9, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    September 9 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Aurora, California/Nevada Territory to Billy Clagett,
    congratulating him on being elected to represent Humboldt County in the Territorial Legislature.
    Most of his letter deals with “the disgusting subject” of the Civil War and its losses. In part:
    For more than two weeks I have been slashing around in the White Mountain District, partly for
    pleasure and partly for other reasons. And old Van Horn was in the party. He knows your daddy and

  • September 16, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    September 16 Tuesday – Sam’s article, “ANOTHER INNOCENT MAN KILLED,” appeared in the
    Territorial Enterprise. Since the shooting was on Sunday and the paper did not print on Mondays,
    Marleau thinks this Tuesday was “likely the first day Samuel L. Clemens reported for the Territorial
    Enterprise” [“Some Early” 12].

  • October 1, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:45

    October 1 Wednesday – “The Indian Troubles on the Overland Route,” attributed to Sam, ran in the
    Local Column of the Enterprise. The article was about an Indian attack on emigrants [Fatout, MT in
    VC 12]. Sam later mentioned such an exaggerated approach to the news in his first days on the paper.
    Nearly all copies of the Enterprise for the period Sam worked there have been lost, but many papers in
    the West borrowed and reprinted from other newspapers. This article was reprinted on Oct. 5 by the

  • October 2-6, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:45

    October 2–6 Monday – From the Enterprise:
    LOCAL COLUMN
    Translated – If a man’s sign blowing heavenward is a proof of it, than Justice Atwill was translated
    yesterday, and is doubtless holding Court in Paradise this morning for his shingle, bearing the legend
    “Justice,” was seen sailing over the Summit of Mount Davidson [Marleau, “Some Early” 12].

  • October 4, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    October 4 Saturday – The hoax known as “The Petrified Man” ran in the Enterprise, and was re-
    printed by many newspapers in the West—some swallowed it whole, and some, after a few days, saw
    the joke [Fatout, MT Speaks 4; Mack 213].

    PETRIFIED MAN

  • October 12, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:45

    October 12 Sunday – Orion’s wife Mollie arrived in Carson City with their seven-year-old daughter,
    Jennie Clemens, after a steamer trip to San Francisco a week before. Sam was still in Virginia
    City [MTL 1: 242n1].

  • October 13-16, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    October 13–16 Thursday – An article of Sam’s, title missing, appeared in the Enterprise:
    William Young of Long Valley arrived in Virginia, lately, with a drove of cattle, sold the same, and put
    the proceeds in his saddlebags and the saddlebags on his horse. He then adjourned to the dance house,
    and having partaken of the sinful pleasures of that place, he came back and found that somebody had
    carried off saddlebags, money and all during his absence. The fact of his leaving the horse and

  • October 20, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    October 20 Monday – Mollie Clemens and daughter and Jennie arrived in San Francisco and were
    met by Orion. They left immediately for Carson [MTP card file quotes Mack]. Sam was aware of
    their arrival, as he wrote to them the next day.

  • October 21, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    October 21 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Virginia City to Orion & Mollie about how he made up the
    story “Petrified Man?” which several newspapers took as an actual scientific discovery. “I got it up to
    worry Sewall,” he wrote. G.T. Sewall was a judge of Humboldt County who was antagonistic toward
    Sam, probably over some governmental duties of Orion, and had withheld information from reporters
    in an officious and irritating way [MTL 1: 241].

  • Late October, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    October, late – Sam wrote up his visit to the Spanish Mine and it was published in the Enterprise as
    “The Spanish Mine.” No copies of the Enterprise for that time are extant, but estimates from reprints
    make this time probable. An excerpt:
    THE SPANISH MINE
    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

  • November 1-7, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    November 1–7 Friday – Local Column, Enterprise, two items from Sam: “Silver Bricks” and
    “Building Lots” (Text recovered by Michael Marleau from reprinting in The Mining and Scientific
    Press of Nov. 8, 1862) [Marleau, “Some Early” 12].

  • November 1-10, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    November 1–10 Monday – Sam follows up: LOCAL COLUMN
    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

  • November 11 to December 20. 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    November 11 to December 20 Saturday – The second Territorial Legislature of Nevada was in
    session. Sam covered the session. According to Henry Nash Smith, “It is not clear how often he
    mailed dispatches back to Virginia City, but by bringing together two passages from his reminiscences one may infer that he sent a daily factual report and a weekly letter of a more personal and humorous
    cast” [34].

  • November 14, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    November 14 Friday – On the fourth day of the Legislative proceedings, The Speaker of the House
    announced as reporters entitled to seats, Clement T. Rice, of the Virginia City Daily Union; Samuel
    L. Clemens, Territorial Enterprise; and Andrew J. Marsh of the Sacramento Union [Marsh 451].

  • December 5, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    December 5 Friday – One of Sam’s weekly letters, “Letter from Carson City” was dated this day and
    printed sometime in December in the Enterprise [Smith 35]. The letter included: “Alford vs. Dewing,”
    “Internal Improvements,” and “Williams Map.” Sam was the “Committee” in the first extant weekly
    letter:

    REPORT ON WILLIAMS MAP

    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:

  • December 12, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    December 12 Friday – Another of Sam’s Weekly, “Letter from Carson City” was dated this day and
    printed sometime in December in the Enterprise [Smith 38].
    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…The ladies were well pleased with the
    night session, though—they enjoyed it exceedingly—in many respects it was much superior to a

  • December 13-19, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    December 13–19 Friday – Sam’s article “The Pah-Utes” is published sometime between these dates
    in the Enterprise, and reprinted in the Marysville, California Appeal for Dec. 21.
    THE PAH-UTES
    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

  • December 16, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46

    December 16 Tuesday ca. – An article attributed to Sam that was reprinted Dec. 18 in the Sacramento
    Daily Bee ran in the Enterprise. Sam was in Carson City and reported on the excitement of the hotly

  • December 19, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    December 19 Friday – By legislative act, Sam was made recording secretary of the Washoe
    Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society. The position paid $300 per year. He served until the
    completion of the society’s fair in Oct. 1863 [MTL 1: 266].

  • December 23, 1862

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 21:52

    December 23 Tuesday – Sam’s article dated Dec. 23 ran in the Enterprise sometime later in the
    month. It was republished in the Placer Weekly Courier of Forest Hill, Placer County on Jan. 17, 1863.
    A BIG THING IN WASHOE CITY OR THE GRAND BULL DRIVERS’ CONVENTION
    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