Category Archives: timeline

Orion Convinces Sam to Flee

Mr. Clemens received notice of his appointment on the 27 of March, received his papers on the 20 of April. We then left Memphis on the 26, reached Keokuk again on the 27. Mr. C started to St. Louis that night. He left Keokuk on the 4 of July to visit his sister P. A. Moffett in St. Louis. There he met and prevailed on his brother Sam to go to his new home with him. They left Saint Louis on the 18 of July on the Sioux City, for St. Joe. There they took passage in the overland coach a mail conveyance which began to run daily between St. Joe Missouri and Sacramento California.

They left St. Joe, on the 26 of July, arrived in Carson City, Nevada Territory on the 14 of Au. 1700 miles from St. Joe, and 580 miles west of Great Salt Lake City.

Fire in VC

August 29th 1863, a fire swept through Virginia City, causing between $600,000 and $700,000 in damages. Beginning in a carpenter shop in the rear of Patrick Lynch’s saloon in the business section the fire quickly swept through the dry wooden buildings. At once it consumed the brittle board and canvas shanties.
The damage may not have been so great had the two most important fire crews in town fought a heated argument on the street near the scene of the fire, trying to settle an old feud between them. Instead of putting their differences behind them, and their energy into dowsing the flames, they took to bricks, bats, and fire nozzles to battle one another. When all was said and done there was one man dead and many more injured — but not from the fire.

However, the contours of traditional civic life swiftly developed, and in 1863 the respectable community fought a final symbolic battle with the city’s sporting men. A fire in a carpenter’s shop provoked a brawl between Engine Company No.1 and its adjunct hook and ladder company (the sports) on one side and Young America Engine Company No. 2 (the respectables) on the other. The two companies fought to determine which should put out the fire, and before they finished one man had died and a portion of Virginia City had burned. The melee was the first and only large, overt conflict between the two groups and the legal decisions in its aftermath sealed the respectable community’s dominance.

Aug 29, 1863