DAILY TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE — VIRGINIA [CITY], NEVADA, AUGUST 1, 1875 [MARK TWAIN’S NEVADA NEWSPAPER]

$55.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 998-2105

Vol. XXXL.—No. 1. 4pp., 23 x 17.5”. Exhibits light fold-marks, three slight chips at the margins. Else VG & entirely legible.

Virginia City, Nevada, will always occupy a special niche in American history. The 1859 “Comstock Lode” silver strike in the hills north of Carson City ranks second in significance only to the 1848 California Gold strike at Sutter’s Mill.

At the same time, the town newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise, will always be remembered as the paper that launched Sam Clemens’ career as a nationally known humorist/story-teller, under the pen name “Mark Twain.”

During the early 1860s mining boom, Virginia City mushroomed, crested, and then boomed again with a second silver strike in 1873. And, it was during the early period, 1862-64, that Clemens joined a group of editorial wits at the Enterprise and adopted “Mark Twain” as his nom de plume. Although Twain himself would skedaddle to San Francisco (to avoid a duel), his fellow wits at the paper wrote on, in characteristic, tongue-in-cheek, Mark Twain style.

In the wake of the of the ’73 silver strike, Virginia City population crested at 25,000. In October 1875, however, the town was devastated by a major fire. And, by the late 1870s the area was in severe decline, as the silver production fell drastically.

This particular issue saw the light of day two months before the 1875 fire that announced the coming demise of Virginia City. From its front page Saloon advertisements, however, one would assume that all was well and that Virginia City saloons would run wide-open forever. To wit:

“Gobey & Kelly’s Saloon, No. 9 North C Street…The finest billiard room in the State is attached to the above saloon, containing the Newest and most Improved Tables. A First Class Eating Stand and Barber Shop are attached to the Saloon.”

“International Saloon…Refitted and Refurnished, making one of the Most Elegant Places in Virginia City…Wines and Liquors of the Finest…Stock Report Received Daily…Files of the Leading Papers…Open All Night…JOHNNY PIDGE, proprietor.”

It goes without saying that the mid-night dandies at Johnny Pidge’s Saloon were probably attired in duds acquired from The Roos Brothers haberdashery, advertised as follows:

“CHEAPER THAN THE CHEAPEST…THE BEAUTIFUL SPRING GOODS to be seen at ROOS BROTHERS…are without doubt the most ELEGANT and STYLISH ever to be received in this city…The senior partner of the firm being a MAN OF EXQUISITE TASTE, has selected such styles as must commend themselves to our FASHIONABLES…COME AND INSPECT THEM…There are suits that would gladden the heart of A BEAU BRUMMEL…WE DEFY COMPETION!

Whether Roos brothers suits would have gladdened the heart of Beau Brummel, it is certain that the flamboyant tone of Territorial headlines would gladden the heart of Mark Twain, wherever he now resides. [When asked his preference between heaven and hell, Twain quipped that he preferred heaven for climate, hell for conversation.] Some samples:

”Paying For An Ecstatic Kiss”

“Dying alone and Becoming Food For Hogs”

“WHO’S LOST A LEG? A party of Steamboaters Find One—They Are Anxious to Turn It Over To Its Owner. Was There Foul Play?”

“A Stampeded Circus…A Gale of Wind Strikes a Circus Tent, and a Panic Ensues—The Shrieks of Women and Children Mingles with the Howling of Wild Animals.”

“STRUCK DEAD…Terrible Effect of LIghtning—The Victim Was Stripped as Naked as When He Was Born.”

“A gambler in Iowa, to escape arrest, attempted to cross a river with a pocketbook between his teeth. His strength and skill not proving adequate, he was obliged to open his mouth in order to call for help, and his pocketbook containing $1000, went to the bottom.”

A superb Virginia City collectible, with the spirit of Mark Twain peeping from every page. In protective sleeve, w/white card backing.  [sl]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

Inquire About DAILY TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE — VIRGINIA [CITY], NEVADA, AUGUST 1, 1875 [MARK TWAIN’S NEVADA NEWSPAPER]

should be empty

featured item

COMPLETE AND IDENTIFIED BIRNEY’S ZOUAVES UNIFORM

This rare and unique uniform belonged to Corporal William Stephens of Co. I, 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry also known as “BIRNEY’S ZOUAVES.” The uniform consists of jacket, vest, trousers and gaiters. The dark blue jacket is trimmed with… (433-06). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

23
Aug

Coming up: N-SSA Fall Nationals, Oct. 2 - 6, Winchester, VA Learn More »