Mark Twain in the West: An Exhibition
Mining in Nevada Territory

Letter from Aurora

Sam Clemens’s letter to Orion Clemens, 17 and 19 April 1862, written in the midst of the mining fever in Esmeralda County:

As to the “Live Yankee,” I will see the President in the morning, and get the Secy’s address.

No, don’t buy any ground, anywhere. The pick and shovel are the only claims I have any confidence in now. My back is sore and my hands blistered with handling them to-day. But something must come, you know.

We shall let a contract on the H. & Derby in a day or two. Most folks like these ledges. I don’t. . . .

I, too have seen very rich specimens from East Walker. Not quite so rich, and gold hardly as fine as that taken from the National, though.

The “Live Yankees,” as you call them, are a pack of d—d fools. They have run a tunnel 100 ft long to strike the croppings. They could have blasted, above ground, easier.

University of California, Berkeley Mark Twain Papers and Project Letter from Aurora Eight 1862 mining deeds and one bond Two photographs of Robert F. Howland Aurora: Sam Clemens's cabin? The overland trip west Maps Roughing It and Comments on Bret Harte Retracing Clemens's Steps A 'Call' to Literature California Gold Country San Francisco Correspondent Writing for the Enterprise Mining in Nevada Territory Exhibit Home Introduction and Chronology