Month: September 2016

Sam Clemens: A Reporters Earliest Items for the Territorial Enterprise.

According to the Territorial Enterprise, all mining Recorders are done away with. Says that journal of the 14th instant:
The Old Mining Records. — there is a call for miners’ meeting on Monday next, for the purpose of electing a Recorder. There will probably be no one found willing to take the office, as by an Act of the last Legislature, mining property was made real estate, and is required to be recorded in the office of the County Recorder. As these old mining district records are of great importance to all owning claims in the district, it is necessary that they should be carefully preserved in someplace where they may be conveniently examined, and we would recommend that they be placed in the keeping of the County Recorder, with the late mining records. As all mining claims must, according to the laws of the Territory, be recorded in the office of the County Recorder, the old office of District Recorder is virtually abolished, and should such an officer be elected, the only duty he would ever be called upon to perform, would be to safely preserve the old books of record.

The Mexican Independence Day.

The Mexicans celebrated the eve of “their Fourth of July” on the 15th. They beat the Yankees all hollow in their jubilees, with their music, suppers, torch-light parades, fandangos, illuminations, fire-works, cannonading. They celebrated all day and at night had a magnificent fandango twice more splendid that the last, “regardless of expense.” American celebrations are nowhere. Nothing but the seven days’ battle before Richmond can equal a Mexican Independence fete.

San Francisco Bulletin, September 20, 1862, p.1



A Gunpowder Mine

Sam Clemens after two weeks on the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise was showing his journalism, reporting and humorous styles on a story that appears to have been a hoax.

A GUNPOWDER MINE.– During the past few days a great number of Indians have visited the Whitman coal mine, situated north of the Palmyra district and occupying rather an isolated position in relation to the other settlements of the Territory. As the Indians visiting the mine scowled and jabbered in a terribly earnest manner, the workmen engaged upon the mine became greatly alarmed. Considering that they were on the frontier, with no white settlements between them and the Indian territory, the men stopping at the mine were seriously considering the preference to withdrawing to the settlements when a Pi-Ute who could speak English quite fluently, was brought to the mine by a crowd of wild red men. This Indian made the owners of the mine an offer a offer of $19,000 for the mine and soon made it plain to the whites that he supposed the black stuff the miners were digging Gunpowder, and only needed pulverizing to be fit for use. So positive were they that this was the case that they would not be convinced to the contrary until they had repaired en mass to the house and seen some of the coal placed in the stove. When they saw it did not explode, and had it explained to them, that it was to be used as wood instead of gunpowder, they left the vicinity to gather pine nuts on the hill, probably satisfied that the mine was no “durned” big thing after all — “nothing but wood.” –Territorial Enterprise. ( n.d.).

San Francisco Bulletin, October 4, 1862, p 3.