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Territorial Enterprise, May 17, 1864


[Twain's original editorial is not known to exist. Portions are quoted (in bold) in this subsequent Letter to the Editor.]

CARSON CITY, May 18th, 1864.

EDITORS OF THE Enterprise:

In your issue of yesterday, you state "that the reason the Flour Sack was not taken from Dayton to Carson, was because it was stated that the money raised at the Sanitary Fancy Dress Ball, recently held in Carson for the St. Louis Fair, had been diverted from its legitimate course, and was to be sent to aid a Miscegenation Society somewhere in the East; and it was feared the proceeds of the sack might be similarly disposed of." You apparently mollify the statement by saying "that it was a hoax, but not all a hoax, for an effort is being made to divert those funds from their proper course."

In behalf of the ladies who originated and assisted in carrying out the programme, let us say that the whole statement is a tissue of falsehoods, made for malicious purposes, and we demand the name of the author. The ball was gotten up in aid of the Sanitary Commission, and not for the St. Uuis Fair. At a meeting of the ladies, held in this city last week, no decision was arrived at as to whether the proceeds of the ball should be sent to St. Louis or New York, but one thing was decided, that they should go to the aid of the sick and wounded soldiers, who are fighting the battles of our country, and for no other purpose . . . . .the ladies having the matter in charge, consider themselves capable of deciding as to what shall be done with the money, without the aid of outsiders, who are probably desirous of acquiring some glory by appropriating the efforts of the ladies to themselves.

MRS. W. K. CUTLER, President.
MRS. H. F. RICE, Vice President.
MRS. S. D. KING,, Treasurer.
MRS. H. H. Ross, Sec'y. San. Ball.

[reprinted in Mark Twain's Western Years, Ivan Benson, (Stanford University Press, 1938), p. 111.]

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