Mark Twain

Territorial Enterprise

The Territorial Enterprise was one of the American West's most important newspapers during the 1860s and 70s. William Jernegan and Alfred James founded the publication on December 18, 1858, in Genoa. Nine months later, the Enterprise moved to Carson City where Jonathan Williams eventually became its sole owner and editor. In October 1860, he moved his business to Virginia City, then barely a year old. Within a few months, Joseph Goodman and Denis McCarthy joined Williams as partners, with Goodman becoming editor-in-chief and eventually sole owner.

Sagebrush School

The main contribution to American literature from Nevada's mining frontier, 1859 to 1914, was the writing of the Sagebrush School. It was a major contribution, more important than other, better-known regional movements. Like New England's transcendentalism, the Sagebrush School was a loose, somewhat informal association of writers. In this case it refers to authors who either lived and worked in Nevada or spent formative years there during its mining booms.

Nevada Travel Literature

Nevada travel literature offers an outsider's perspective of the state's geography, environment, and culture. It is the reportage and impressions of travelers whose journeys of choice or necessity have led them to the Great Basin and Nevada. The literature ranges from explorer and emigrant diaries to the avant-garde. As visitors, the writers attempt to express the "otherness" of the place, and often the central character or metaphor is the land.

Valley Times

In a storied journalism history that includes Mark Twain and Dan De Quille, national figures such as Hank Greenspun, and renowned newspapers like Virginia City's Territorial Enterprise, the Valley Times has a place among Nevada's most controversial and important newspapers.

Virginia City and Early Nevada Mining

Virginia City and the Comstock Lode played a crucial role in the development of the region and the nation. The news of its importance has reverberated throughout the world for nearly 150 years. The wealth of the Comstock's fabulously rich mines affected presidential politics and gave Nevada international fame. Immigrants arrived from every continent, attracted by legendary amounts of gold and silver, which poured into the economy during the crisis of the Civil War.

Virginia City and Gold Hill

Virginia City was known as the Queen of the Comstock, the internationally famous mining district. Founded in 1859, the settlement was the focus of a gold rush and within a year, it became the region's largest community, a status it maintained in Nevada into the 1890s. Virginia City was incorporated under the Utah Territory in 1861.

Hot Spring Resorts in Northern Nevada

A massive hydrothermal belt interspersed with hot springs runs north and south along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. Explorers and immigrants trekking across the Great Basin discovered hot springs in their travels and bathed in the water if it was not scalding. Heated mineral water was, and still is, believed to have curative properties. By the time communities were established near the western Great Basin's Carson Range in the 1850s, early settlers had claimed most of the hydrothermal springs in the region.

History of Nevada Journalism

The first newspaper in present day Nevada was apparently the Gold-Cañon Switch of Johntown, a mining community about four miles from what became Virginia City on the Comstock. The paper, founded about 1854, was handwritten. Unfortunately, no copies exist.

Hank Monk

In 1859, noted eastern journalist Horace Greeley visited the region he promoted with the oft-quoted recommendation "Go West young man." During his travels, he came to Genoa, the period's chief settlement on the eastern slope of the Sierra. Pressed to arrive in time to give a speech in Placerville, California, across the mountains, Greeley boarded a stage and made his needs known to Hank Monk, the driver. The ensuing incident was eventually recounted throughout the nation.

Desert Writing

Much of the literature that has emerged from Nevada has portrayed mountain and desert landscapes, and the human relationship with aridity, in vivid and insightful ways.


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