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Territorial Enterprise, November 1863

[summary only -- original printings have not been found]




In middle November, under "Still Harping," Twain copied items of censure from Nevada and California papers and made "gruff remarks about 'picayune papers.' "Also, he bolstered his defense by compiling "Lives of the Liars or Joking Justified." By quoting the results of research through the exchanges, he essayed to prove that truth is not an indispensable requirement in the local news but that, "on the contrary, the more outrageous the hoax, the greater the evidence of talent, and the greater the indignation exhibited by the papers hoaxed, the more applicable the epithet of 'one horse.' " The "Lives" began by likening the Dutch Nick's yarn to the parables of the New Testament and then came down through history. In due course Twain cited a supposititious banquet in New York, described in the New York Herald of October 23, five days before the Dutch Nick's story. The Gold Hill News was greatly irked by this progression from Jesus Christ to James Gordon Bennett.

[summary from "Contemporary Reaction to 'The Empire City Massacre'," Richard Lillard, American Literature, Nov. 1944, p. 202.]


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