Selected Excerpts
The Big Bonanza
by Dan DeQuille
of the Territorial Enterprise

Dan DeQuille

Dan DeQuille, William Wright, worked for the Territorial Enterprise during the great rush and development of the Comstock Lode. A hardened and knowledgeable reporter, DeQuille wrote many stories about the mines and activities of Virginia City, Nevada during late 1850s and continuing into the 1870s. He was considered a mining expert by many people, especially the miners themselves, and was invited into all the great mines. The wealth of his information about these great mines was published in the Enterprise's daily paper.

During the great rush for the wealth of the Comstock, Virginia City's daily news paper, the Territorial Enterprise, had to hire another writer to keep up with the demand for news. A hungry, scraggly, dusty, "coyote-hole" miner showed up at the door to answer the need. Having only written to the newspaper a few times, and having never been seen before, he appeared as described above to begin his employment. The newly-hired reporter was destined to become DeQuille's life-long friend. We know him today as Mark Twain, the American humorist. Twain learned his writing skills during this period and had many opportunities to express his unique style of humor.

Virginia City, 1867In 1876, Dan DeQuille decided to put together the history of Virginia City and his recollections in a book: The Big Bonanza, the history of the Great Comstock Lode. The articles listed here are excerpted from his book as those articles I feel best describe the life and times at the mines and Virginia City. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Keith Whittle, Historical Gazette

Email Tom Muzzio, editor & publisher, Territorial Enterprise

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