Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

Before the Big Bonanza: Dan De Quille's Early Comstock Accounts

Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

Before the Big Bonanza: Dan De Quille's Early Comstock Accounts

Article excerpt

Before the Big Bonanza: Dan De Quilles Early Comstock Accounts, ed. Donnelyn Curtis and Lawrence I. Berkove. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2015. 316 pp. Index. Cloth.

Donnelyn Curtis, head of Special Collections at the University of Nevada Reno, and Lawrence Berkove, a widely published authority on Mark Twain and Western literature, have joined together to rescue fifty uncollected letters written by William Wright (better known by his pen name Dan De Quille) that appeared in newspapers and magazines between 1860 and 1863. As the editors state, "De Quille loved the Comstock for its excitement and vigorous production of wealth, and for its optimistic and resilient citizens. On the other hand, he disapproved of its violence and hated the whites whose mind-set did not accept that American Indians were human beings and that killing them was nothing less than murder." De Quille also deplored the routine mistreatment of the Chinese immigrants who were drawn to the mining areas. "Riot at Coloma, Cal., fuss commenced between Irish and Chinese about claims-Irish afterward collected and tore down Chinese part of the town. …

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