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Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 20

The Chaplain not being present, Mr. Fisher suggested that the Virginia reporter be requested to officiate in his place.

By courtesy of the House, the Virginia reporter was allowed to explain that he was not on it. [Excused.]

Mr. Phillips moved a call of the House. Carried.

Mr. Gillespie was produced before the bar of the House.

Mr. Brumfield moved, as the heaviest punishment that could be inflicted upon him, that he be denied the comfort of making a single motion for the space of an hour. [Laughter.]

Mr. Barclay moved that he be fined $5, and the same be paid to the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Mr. Phillips moved to amend by contributing the money to the Sanitary Fund.

The motions were lost.

Messrs. Dixson and Hunter were brought in and fined a box of cigars each.

The Sergeant-at-Arms said Mr. Clagett was sick in bed.

The Speaker said he must come anyhow.

Mr. Fisher wanted the editor of the Independent sent for. [Laughter.]

The Speaker said he did not think Mr. Clagett needed purging. [Laughter.]

Mr. Heaton came forward and was excused.


Mr. Stewart gave notice of an act to permanently locate the Capital on the South side of Capt. Pray's saw mill on Lake Tahoe, in Douglas county. [Sensation.]

[But nothing further appears in the record concerning this proposed bill. - H. N. S.]

A Message was received from the Council asking the return of the bill for the removal of the Capital. [Another of those grave Council jokes - REP.]

In view of these portentous symptoms, a call of the House was ordered.

After calling the roll, Mr. Stewart moved that further proceedings under the call be dispensed with.

The Chair decided the motion carried.

A motion to indefinitely postpone the Council message was lost - ayes 9, noes 1l.

The motion to comply with the Council's request, carried - ayes 11, noes 8. [Confusion and contention - so to speak. The vote was even taken over again, with the following result: ]

AYES - Messrs. Barclay, Calder, Clagett, Elliott, Gillespie, Heaton, McDonald, Nelson, Tennant, Ungar and Mr. Speaker - 11.

NOES - Messrs. Brumfield, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Gove, Hunter, Jones, Phillips, Stewart and Trask - 11.

Mr. Speaker pro tem. - Mr. Fisher - decided the motion lost.

Mr. Barclay wished to remind our worthy reporter that he didn't dodge the question this time. [His head is right. I cannot even swear that he dodged it before, with malice aforethought. Good authority says his absence before was unavoidable. I believe it. A man who votes as firmly as Mr. Barclay does for reporters against log-rolling members, would be apt to stick to his points upon all occasions when the same was possible. How's that? - REP.]

Saturday Afternoon

Council bill to amend the Act to prohibit gambling. The bill was read. [The Clerk pronounces the names of all games glibly, and without any perceptible foreign accent. - REP.]

Saturday Night

[Mr. Stewart drew his everlasting toll-road on the House again. This has been the old regular result of every five minutes idleness to-day. - REP.]


The institution resolved itself into a respectable body, as expressed in the above heading.

Mr. Thos. Hannah was elected assistant Clerk, and came forward and took the oath.

Mr. Clagett introduced a voluminous bill for the relief of certain citizens of Ormsby county. [It appropriates Curry's Warm Springs -gives it to these parties as a franchise for a swimming school - and - never mind, I will cease reporting and listen to the fun. - REP.]

[The Independent of this morning touched upon Mr. Clagett's seeming repugnance to the use of the comb. On this hint, Mr. Barclay and other members of the House, had procured a prodigious wooden comb and conferred upon your servant the honor of presenting it. - REP.]

Mr. Mark Twain inquired if testimonials were still in order, and received an affirmative reply from the Speaker. He arose in his place and addressed Mr. Clagett as follows - [Never mind publishing it again. I had no speech prepared, and therefore I was obliged to infringe upon etiquette to some extent - that is to say, I had to take Mr. Fisher's speech (apologizing to that gentleman, of course) and read it to Mr. Clagett, merely saying "comb" where the word "cane" occurred, and "legislator" in the place of "parliamentarian," and slinging in a few "as it weres," and "so to speaks," etc., to add grace and vigor to the composition. I think I must be a pretty good reader - the audience appeared to admire Fisher's speech more when I delivered it than they did when he delivered it himself.]

Mr. Clagett received the testimonial, and replied felicitously - as he is wont to do. He concluded by saying it was a college practice to give the ugliest student a penknife, with instructions to give it to a man uglier than himself, if he should ever find one. He liked the idea - he thought it his duty to confer the comb upon some person whose hair needed its offices more than his own. [He passed it over to Mr. Hunter, of Washoe. Applause and Laughter.]

Baskets of wine were now brought in, with the compliments of Theodore Winters, President of the Washoe Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society, and the House rested awhile to drink health and prosperity to that gentleman.

Shortly after, other baskets were produced, per order, and at the expense of the Speaker, and the operation of drinking was further continued.


Mr. Hunter, by request, came forward and read a long, solemn, magnificent, hifalutin memorial about the mines, religion, chemistry, social etiquette, agriculture, and other matter proper to a document of this kind. The House applauded tempestuously - and laughed. They laughed immoderately. Why they did it, I cannot imagine, for I never heard an essay like this one before in my life. Now that is honest. Mr. Hunter finally got angry and refused to finish reading the discourse, but when it was explained to him that only lobby members had been laughing all the time he was satisfied of course. I would like to hear the memorial read in Virginia.

Mr. Stewart, from the special Committee, reported that the Governor had no further communications to make.

Mr. Elliott offered a resolution that the House adjourn sine die at 11:30 P.M.

Mr. McDonald, true to his old regular motion [to adjourn] moved to amend by making the hour 12 P.M. The motion prevailed.

And from this time until midnight, fun ran high.

At 12 P.M. Mr. Speaker declared the House adjourned sine die.

The members went up to the Governor's and had a good time for an hour. The old man is as competent as any that walks, to make an evening pass pleasantly. Wine, music, anecdotes and sentiments composed the programme.

At 2 A.M. the exhilarated members closed the frolic by serenading the Speaker, at the White House.

[reprinted in Mark Twain of the Enterprise, edited by Henry Nash Smith, (Univ. of California Press, 1957), pp. 174-78.]

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