Home | Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search

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.

[reprinted in The Works of Mark Twain; Early Tales & Sketches, Vol. 1 1851-1864, (Univ. of California Press, 1979), p. 170]
Available from

return to Enterprise index

Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search