Category Archives: squib

“More Ghosts”

Sam’s article “More Ghosts” Jan 1, 1863 sets out to debunk the stories about a haunted hotel that had staged apparitions, ominous footsteps and groans, and the miraculous materialization of “large gouts of fresh blood” in “a real, old-fashioned haunted house. But it eventually concedes that ghost may be real, and recommends that people see for themselves. This could be planting a seed in his mind to do the same but with action scenes outdoors in one of the suburbs’ watering stations.


A “repent ye sinners” stagecoach traveling between the coast and Salt Lake City. one guy lives in the cab, rides in the day. he’ll stop at a farm or a tent pile and scream at people for going to hell, for not preparing for the redemption. then he always asks for a drink. a jug is presented, he asks if it’s whisky, they say it’s water, he flinches, swigs. he then tells the crop price changes, “turnips are up 2 cents, potatoes down 1 cent.”

Joking Justified

Nov 15, 1863 — Sam wrote “Lives of the Liars: Or Joking Justified”

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.

The Dutch Nick’s story was about a Massacre of an entire family by a man driven mad by stock inflation. “A Bloody Massacre Near Carson”