Archive for January, 2009

Becoming Difficult to Catch a Qualified American Forbear

January 31, 2009
Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

Becoming Difficult Now to Catch a Qualified American Forbear.

Maurice Francis Egan, in August Smart Set

The ancestral trusts — I speak, of course, respectfully of the Sons and Daughters of the Revolution and the Colonial Dames, &c — have so cornered the market that it is difficult to catch a forbear of the required American antiquity. So hard is it now to secure a forefather who lived through the glorious days of seventy-six that there are some who even cast envious and covetous eyes at Benedict Arnold — which accounts for the great rehabilitation of that interesting person. Benedict Arnold, by judicious manipulation, may be converted in time into a sufficiently good “collateral” — for “collaterals” are the very life of our societies devoted to the worship of ancestors. Without the “collateral” arrangement, many honest citizens would be compelled to gnash their teeth in outer social darkness.

But, after all, there is a way out. The assimilation of the Philippines has opened new avenues for those unfortunates who have asquired no commercial position here, to purchase trolley lines in those happy islands. They offer space for congested speculation. Has it occurred to nobody that the societies of the South American Revolution give numerous chances for the enterprising? In almost any South American country you can get up a revolution for a song, and the ingenious mind can easily secure the prestige of one of their risings, and a button more gorgeous than anything yet dreamed of in the conclaves of our own patriotic assemblies.

It is to be regretted that the English do not value our pedigrees as they ought. They assume to think that everybody is delighted to be equal to everybody else here, just because the influence of Rousseau got into the Declaration and made it give that impression. The English have given so little thought to their own ancestors — who have come naturally — that they do not appreciate what wear and tear are forced on us by the acquiring of even one distinguished person for the beginning of a line. Besides, a coat of arms is becoming absolutely necessary to every American. The indignity of going into dinner behind heraldic bearings is felt by us, while an Englishman is quite satisfied to go in behind those that possess them without desiring them himself.

Washington Post, The (Washington, D.C.) Jul 19, 1904

John Kitts:Soldier of the Revolutionary War

January 30, 2009
John Kitts 1870 Census

John Kitts 1870 Census

A Man Over One Hundred and Four Years of Age.

Baltimore boasts one of the most remarkable cases of longevity in the country. Person who are in the habit of traversing Calvert street may have frequently observed at the corner of that and Mulberry street a very elderly gentleman, quietly seated on a chair or  promenading in the vicinity, regarding attentively every object which passes him, and though mostly reticent, yet prompt to reply to any remarks addressed to him. There he enjoys the quiety and repose of age, looking out upon the world more than a century older than when he was first ushered into it. Our ancient friend’s name is John Kitts.

Bloody Run, Pennsylvania

Bloody Run, Pennsylvania

He was born at Bloody Run, in Bedford County, Pa., in 1762, and is, therefore, now in the on hundred and fifth year of his age! In 1776, when fourteen years of age, he was a member of the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Revolutionary War.

Battle of Yorktown

Battle of Yorktown

He was in the battle of Yorktown, and occupied at one time the position of errand boy or messenger to Washington and Lafayette. He retains a distinct recollection of the personal manners and habits of those illustrious heroes of our first struggle with Great Britain. He was too old to be drafted in 1812, but he entered the army, and remained about a year.

He has no constitutional disease; of course suffers somewhat with debility; but he moves about without assistance; has a dark, keen, observant eye; is quick and appreciative in his responses to queries; hears remarkably well; his eyesight is good; he never uses glasses; he says that “he is afraid they will injure his eyes.” He has a most excellent memory. Like most very old people, however, he remembers the events of his earlier years better than those of recent occurence.

Mount Vernon Rye Whiskey

Mount Vernon Rye Whiskey

On propounding the question as to whether our Methuselahian friend had practiced “total abstinance,” he replied, “No; I always drank whenever I felt like it, and enjoy a glass of old rye as much now as ever.”

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Sep 13, 1867

Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de Lafayette

John Kitts, claiming to be 107 years old, and a soldier of the Revolution under Lafayette, has applied to the Baltimore City Council for an appropriation.

New York Herald (New York, New York) > 1869 > November > 16

Genral Nathaniel P. Banks

Genral Nathaniel P. Banks

A Soldier of the Revolution on the Floor of the House — A Hero of Two Wars Petitioning for a Pension.

John Kitts, a veteran, who served in the war of the Revolution, called at the Executive Mansion today to pay his respects to the President. He was received with much cordiality by the President, who questioned him concerning his history and invited him to remain for lunch. The old gentleman declined, because, he said, he was anxious to see Congress in session. The President ordered Mr. H.L. Fox, one of the messengers at the White House, to proceed with Mr. Kitts to the Capitol, and to remain with him while he staid there.

Upon reaching the Capitol he was taken on the floor of the House, General Banks stating who he was and asking that the privilege of the floor be granted him. He occupied Horace Maynard‘s seat, immediately in front of the Speaker’s desk, and received the congratulations of the members, who flocked around him in large numbers and questioned him about his age and the leading events of his life.

Mr. Kitts was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1762, and is therefore in his 108th year. He served in the American army during the Revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. In the battle preceding the surrender Mr. Kitts was struck in the back of the head with a spent musket ball, and the indentation which it made is still visible. The old man points this scar with considerable pride, and is quite garrulous about the circumstances under which he received the wound.

When the was of 1812 broke out he was considered too old to enter the service as a soldier, but he went in as a messenger to carry the mails. He relates many interesting stories of the narrow escapes he had from being taken prisoner by the enemy’s scouts. On one occasion he was forced to leave his horses and take to the woods, so closely was he pursued. He was the bearer of important despatches, which he succeeded in carrying safely through. On being asked if he could read Mr. Kitts replied that he could not. When he was a boy, he said, there was very little reading done, and even if he had learned to read it would be of no use to him now. He had never found time to read until his eyesight failed him.

Although entitled to a pension both as a soldier of the Revolution and of 1812, he has never applied to Congress for it. He says until about seven years ago he had no occasion to seek aid from the government, because he was able to take care of himself. He thought the government had enough soldiers who fought in the rebellion to pension without giving anything to the “boys” who fought under Washington now. The old man is unable to do anything, and he asks a pension. He said he didn’t expect to remain long upon the rolls, and all he would draw out of the treasury would not be much. He has neither children nor grandchildren living, and when asked if he had any relatives he replied, “No; I am the last of the stock.”

General Banks and Mr. Ingersoll, of Illinois, started an impromptu subscription for the old man among the members of the House. The entire amount realized was eighty dollars, twenty of which General Banks gave himself. This is rather a small contribution among so many men, but some allowance must be made for the economic fit under which the House is just now laboring. General Banks will look after the old man’s petition for a pension, and there is reason to believe he will get it.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Feb 11, 1870


JOHN KITTS. — We do not know how often the last Revolutionary soldier has died. On the average we think he has died twice a year for the last ten years. But it makes no difference. We are glad to see him alive and in full possession of his faculties once more. John Kitts is the prevailing representative of that former generation, and we think that John is a bona fide representative. He is one hundred and eight years old, and has a scar on the back of his head. Besides, he only claims to have helped to capture Cornwallis at Yorktown. He does not appear to have nursed Washington or to have shaken his hand and received his benediction in the true Washington style, which all the old negroes in the country claim to have done, and which at one time must consequently have been a very empty honor. On the contrary, old John Kitts seems to be a very worthy old soldier, and, although he never nursed Washington, he is fully deserving of a large pension.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Feb 14, 1870

Died at the Age of 108.
BALTIMORE, Sept. 19. — John Kitts, aged 108 years, the oldest citizen died last evening.

Chicago Tribune, IL Sep 20, 1870

— JOHN KITTS, aged one hundred eight years, died at Baltimore on Monday.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 24 1870

–The venerable John Kitts, of Baltimore, is dead. He was born May 7, 1762, and was 108 years, 4 months and 11 days old at the time of his death. Last winter he visited Washington, and was granted the privilege of the floor of the House of Representatives.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Oct 6, 1870

No Arm Jack: Horse Thief

January 29, 2009
Stolen Horses

Stolen Horses

An Armless Horse Thief.

Dallas, Texas, has had a visit from a singular character — Jack Hall, alias No Arm Jack — en route to Stephenville jail, from which institution the prisoner escaped six months ago after receiving a sentence of ten years in the penitentiary for horse-stealing. Both his arms are off above the elbow, having been crushed in a sugar mill when he was a child, but the bones grew out several inches from the flesh, and their surfaces are rough like corncobs, and Jack writes a beautiful hand by holding a pen beside his chin and pressing the protruding bone against it. He shoots a pistol or firearms expertly, and manages a horse as well as the average two-handed man. The height of his ambition appears to have been stealing horses successfully. He is about thirty years of age. He was arrested in the Choctaw Nation.

The Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio) Aug 14, 1882

Girding Their Loins for William Jennings Bryan

January 28, 2009
Bryan's Cross of Gold Speech

Bryan's Cross of Gold Speech

The Democratic Candidate for President Is Only 36.

CHICAGO, July 11. — Mr. Bryan was born March 19, 1860, in Salem, Ills. He attended Union College of Law in Chicago and while in attendance there was in the office of Lyman Trumbull. He left the law school June 18, 1883, and went to Jacksonville, Ills., to practice law, remaining at Jacksonville until October, 1887, when he removed to Lincoln, Neb. He took part in the campaign of 1888 in Nebraska and was nominated to represent the First district in congress in 1890. He was elected by the majority of 6,713. He was re-elected in 1892. In 1894 he became a candidate for the United States senate and announced that he would not be a candidate for the lower house of congress. The ensuing state legislature being Republican, John M. Thurston was sent to the senate. In September, 1894, he became the editor-in-chief of the Omaha World-Herald and had control of its editorial policy on state and national questions.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 12, 1896

William J. Bryan

William J. Bryan


CHICAGO, July 10 — William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, the young, classic featured orator from the plains of the Platte, swept the convention off its feet today and was nominated for president on the fifth ballot.

Political history furnishes no precedent to today’s scenes in the Coliseum either as a great spectacular show or as the result of the deliberations of the convention of a great political party.

Bryan is but 36 years old, younger by 10 years than any man ever nominated for the chief magistracy of the American republic. He came like a young Lochinvar out of the West, which has never before nominated a presidential candidate to woo the bride for whose hand the country’s greatest chieftains have been suitors. His name was barely mentioned in the preliminary skirmishing. Four days ago, when the convention met, he was not entered in the lists. But yesterday he made an impassioned speech and stirred the convention to frenzy by his eloquence. That speech overthrew the diligently organized work of weeks and months for other aspirants for the honor.

The cause of silver was uppermost in the minds of the delegates when they assembled here. Yesterday, when Bryan made his speech, the delegates suddenly saw in him the great advocate of their cause, and they turned to him with an impetuosity that nothing could balk. They wanted a tribune of the people. They felt that they had him in the eloquent young Nebraskan. If he had been placed in nomination then, the convention would have been stampeded as it was today. Some of the gray haired leaders saw and feared it.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 14, 1896

The “Cross of Gold” speech (text and audio) can be found here.


An Open Letter
An exchange contains the following:

To William Jennings Bryan — I have read thy New York speech carefully. I agree with thee — money should neither increase or decrease in value. Value comes from labor; things like air and water, which cost little or no labor, have little or no value. Christian civilization, with its inventions, machinery and competition, produces most things with less and less labor, consequently prices justly come down when paid for in either labor or “honest money.”

Money, which, as time goes on, will buy less and less labor, is not “honest money.” A pound of silver will buy only about half the labor it would twenty years ago. I cannot see how the free coinage of silver, 16 to 1, can give us “honest money.” An ounce of gold will buy about the same amount of labor it would for the last twenty years. Surely gold is the better standard for “honest money.”

Please consider these facts in thy search for “honest money.”

Thy frend,

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 25, 1896

Chicago Platform 1896

Chicago Platform 1896

In William Jennings Bryan’s lexicon no man can be a Democrat who is not for the Chicago platform, and the one candidate who fits it.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 19, 1899


Considerable of the space of The News is devoted today to the speech of William Jennings Bryan. As a speciman of flamboyant wind-jamming it has but few equals in politics. That it is a “grand-stand” effort, to use a baseball term, is evident in every line. It is so theatrical from beginning to end that it suggests a great loss to the stage in Mr. Bryan turning to politics. The colonel revels in rhetoric, and relegates sense to the background to force metaphor to the fore. As a specimen of linguistic high and lofty tumbling it discounts the acrobats of the circus ring, but it is as weak and bogus a concoction as the red lemonade which goes with the performance in the saw-dust arena. Contrast it with  the real, satisfying meat to be found in McKinley’s speeches, and it is like sponge cake to a starving man.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 8, 1900

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

The Democrats re-elected Cleveland in 1892 who completed the job of ruin he left unfinished in 8? and in 1896 William McKinley was chosen to bring order out of chaos. How well he succeeded is well known to everyone.

The Democrats in the meantime studied up another catchy campaign dodger and girded up their loins for victory with William Jennings Bryan as their Moses. The Democrats trotted Bryan two heats on a free silver plank but the danger flag was thrown into his face at the distance pole both times and the Colonel went to publishing his Commoner, on the plains of Nebraska while the Republicans went on with the god work of repairing the damage done by the Cleveland-Democratic administration and today the United States is the foremost power on earth and enjoying prosperity never before heard of.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Feb 3, 1902

Bryan’s “Imperialism” speech (text and audio) can be found here.

William Jennings Bryan House - Lincoln NE

William Jennings Bryan House - Lincoln NE

William Jennings Bryan is buying a lot of cattle to inhabit that new $10,000 barn which stands in the rear of that new $20,000 house recently erected on his $40,000 farm. In 1896 Mr. Bryan told us that if Mr. McKinley was elected the rich would become richer and the poor would become poorer. Mr. Bryan was poor then and his present prosperity is the best answer to his specious argument.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 26, 1902

Whang-Doodle’s Good Square English

January 28, 2009



Of all the outrages yet perpetrated upon the Southern people, by the Northern “carpet-baggers,” none will strike the intelligent reader as giving evidence of greater malignity, than that perpetrated by the School Superintendent of Hinds county, Mississippi, in recommending the people of that region to drop their provincial pronunciation of common words and use good square English in conversation. He advises teacher to say going, instead of “gwine”; where, instead of  “whar”; clear, instead of “clar”; but this does not suit the editor of a newspaper in that benighted region, who vents his indignation in the following language:

If this is not placing “the last feather on the camel’s back,” then we are at a loss to say what it is. We have been plundered and robbed by the Yankees; we have been ruled for five years with a rod of iron in the hands of the Yankees; the Yankees have formed a State Constitution for us, and our laws at Jackson are enacted by Yankees; they have given us a Yankee school system, directed and managed by Yankees and Yankee school-books (and Yankee carpet-bag teachers, whenever it was possible for them to be introduced) and now our masters have the presumption and impudence to require Southern teachers to ram down the throats of Southern children the popular pronunciation and whang-doodle* of New England!

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Aug 19, 1871

Compiled and Edited by Albert Barrere and Charles G. Leland, M.A., Hon. F.RS.L.
The Ballantyne Press 1890

Whang-doodle (American). This eccentric word first appeared in on of the many “Hard-Shell Baptist” sermons which were so common in 1856. “Where the whang-doodle mourneth for her first-born.” It refers to some mystical or mythical creature. It was subsequently applied to political subjects, such as the Free Trade, Lecompton Democracy, &c.

The Census Taker and the “Young” Widow

January 28, 2009
The Census Taker

The Census Taker

The Young Widow.

A census-taker, going his round, stopped at an elegant brick dwelling-house, the exact locality of which is no business of ours.

He was received by a stiff, well dressed lady, who could be well recognized as a widow of some years’ standing.

On learning the mission of her visitor, the lady invited him to take a seat in the hall. Having arranged himself into a working position, he inquired for the number of persons in the family of the lady.

“Eight, sir,” replied the lady, “including myself.”

“Very well — your age, madam?”

“My age, sir,” replied the lady with a piercing, dignified look, “I conceive it’s none of your business what my age might be; you are inquisitive, sir.”

“The law compels me, madam, to take the age of every person in the ward; it’s my duty to make the inquiry.”

“Well, if the law compels me to answer, I am between the age of thirty and forty.”

“I presume that means thirty-five.”

“No, sir, it means no such thing — I am only thirty-three years of age.”

“Very well, madam,” putting down the figures; “just as you say. Now for the ages of the children, commencing with the youngest, if you please.”

“Josephine, my youngest, is ten years of age.”

“Josephine — pretty name — ten.”

“Minerva, was twelve last week.”

“Minerva — captivating — twelve.”

“Cleopatra Elvira has just turned fifteen.”

“Angelina is eighteen, sir; just eighteen.”

“Angelina — favorite name — eighteen.”

“My eldest and only married daughter, sir, Anna Sophia, is a little over twenty-five.”

“Twenty-five did you say?”

“Yes, sir. Is there anything remarkable in her being that age?”

“Well, no, I can’t say that there is; but is it not remarkable that you should be her mother when you were only eight years of age.

About that time the census taker was observed running out of the house — why, we cannot say, it was the last time he pressed a lady to give her exact age.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Sep 2,  1871

Charles Dickens: Scandal and Difficulty

January 27, 2009
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

The Dickens Scandal.
[From the Scotsman]

As Mr. DICKENS’ statement is apt to be somewhat unintelligible to those beyond the reach of the gossip of London and the “literary world,” we may explain that the fact, as we are informed, is, that Mr. DICKENS has, by mutual agreement, separated from his wife, on the ground of “incompatibility.” The name of a young lady on the stage has been mixed up with the matter — most cruely and untruly, is the opinion, we hear, of those having the best means of observing and judging; indeed, the arrangement itself is to a great extent a refutation of that part of the scandal. Of the family, (eight in number,) the eldest son remains with his mother, but some at least of the daughters go with Mr. DICKENS, and the head of his new home is a lady, a very near relative of Mrs. DICKENS. We mention these facts to explain the allusions to which Mr. DICKENS has thought proper to give publicity, and also to do so in such a way as to prevent the transaction so dimly referred to being made the subject of inferences too unfavorable..

The New York Times (New York, New York) Jun 23, 1858


THE DICKENS DIFFICULTY. — A New York correspondent of the Boston Atlas and Bee says:
“The scandalous reports about DICKENS and his family have excited much attention here — but the manly card of Mr. DICKENS, published in Household Words, relieves him from the imputation of infidelity. I was yesterday conversing with a gentleman well acquainted with the Dickens family, and he attributes the difference between the novelist and wife to diverse views they take in regard to the religious education of their daughters. Mr. DICKENS is a decided latitudinarian in his views, and generally attends the Unitarian Church, while Mrs. DICKENS, an Edinburg lady, brought up in the stricter doctrines of Presbyterianism, still clings to the religious ideas inculcated in her youth, and naturally wishes her daughters  brought up in the same way. The fact of the daughters siding with the father, merely shows that like most young people they approve of those doctrines that offer more freedom, and are generally more attractive in appearance at least.”

The New York Times (New York, New York) Jun 29,  1858

The Cowboy’s Race Threatened by Humane Society

January 27, 2009


Only a Few Start on Account of the Threats of the Humane Society.

CHADRON, Neb., June 14. — Of the 25 or 30 cowboys entered in the race to Chicago, only a third started. The numerous withdrawals were due to the efforts of the Humane Society. Among the starters were:

“Doc” Middleton and John Fagg of Northern Nebraska; “Snake Creek Tom” of Snake Creek, Wyo.; “Rattlesnake Pete,” Creede, Col.; “Cock-Eyed Bill” of Manville, Wyo.; Sam Bell, of Deadwood; Jim Murray of Eagle Pass, Tex.; Nick Jones, a half-breed of Pine Ridge Agency, S.D.; He Dog and Spotted Wolf, Sioux, from the Rosebud Agency.


Miss Hutchinson, a well-known rider of Denver, who, at the solicitation of those who have seen her wonders in riding, entered the race, withdrew at the last moment.

Miss Hutchinson is known in every State and Territory west of the Mississippi. By her feats in horsemanship she has gained a national reputation. She went to Montana when a mere girl, and for ten years has ridden the Western range. Among the Sioux she has a great reputation, and the Indians revere her, calling her the “Lightning Squaw.”

The route to Chicago will be through Sioux City, when the Missouri will be crossed and Dubuque, the Mississippi crossing.

The committee having charge of the cowboy race have offered $1,000 to be divided up into prizes for the winners, and Col. Cody (Buffalo Bill) has added $500 to this sum. The Colt Arms Company have offered one of their “cowboy companions,” and an Omaha firm contributes a saddle to the list of prizes.
Threaten Prosecution.


CHICAGO, June 14. — President Shortall, of the Illinois Humane Society, declared his intention to arrest and prosecute the participants in the race from Chadron to this city. He has gathered the opinions of eminent veterinary surgeons to the effect that it is not possible to make a continuous contest of endurance and speed between horses for a distance of fifty miles, much less 500, without the infliction of great suffering upon the animals. The Illinois statute on the subject provides a fine of $200 for cruelty, beating, torturing, tormenting, mutilating or cruelly killing, overloading, overriding or overworking any animal.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jun 14,  1893

The Jones’ Boys: Stout-Hearted Little Fellows Frozen to Death

January 27, 2009
American Flat/Ophir Grade

American Flat/Ophir Grade

A Sad, Sad Incident — Two little boys Found Frozen to Death.

The Gold Hill News of Wednesday last has the following:

We grieve to record the sad fact that two little sons of Robert Jones, the well-known milkman, whose milk ranch is situated at American Flat, were frozen to death on the Ophir Grade during the late heavy snow storm. They were at Mr. Jones’ ranch in Truckee Meadows, and their father sent a letter telling them they might

Come Home to Christmas

And have a good time. Their names were John, aged ten years, and Henry, aged about thirteen. They left the ranch at the Meadows last Saturday morning, on horseback, driving two cows and two calves before them. It was a very stormy day, but notwithstanding the chilly rain and snow which was falling, the stout-hearted little fellows thought they could make the trip. The streams along the route were swollen, and the road so bad that their progress was slower than they expected, and they only reached Brown’s ranch, in Steamboat valley, where they staid that night. Next morning (Sunday) they started out again, going by way of Steamboat and around by Ophir grade, although it was still

Storming Heavily.

It seems strange that the people at Brown’s station or ranch, should have allowed these two little boys to go forward in such a storm, attempting what most men would have considered too great a hardship to encounter. But the little fellows were thinking of home and the Christmas pleasures promised them. They passed out into the storm and were

Seen No More Alive.

Yesterday the anxious father, fearing that perhaps his dear little sons might have made the attempt to come through the storm, or at any rate, desirous of visiting them, started for the Truckee Meadows by way of Virginia and the Geiger Grade. He heard of them when he got to Brown’s, and immediately started following up the route they had taken. Hoping to find them at some place of shelter they might have sought, he eagerly inquired, but could get no trace of them. More and more eagerly he pressed forward his tired steed through the deep drifts of snow up the Ophir Grade from Washoe Valley, and at length about 7 o’clock this morning saw a horse some distance a head standing in the road. He recognized the animal at once, and fearing the worst, hastened to him. There, near the faithful animal, close beside the road, lay his two little boys locked fast in each other’s arms,

Frozen to Death.

No trace of the other horse or of the cows and calves they were driving were to be found, and appearances indicated that they must have left those animals behind, and both were riding this horse, which was the strongest of the two, the other one, perhaps having given out entirely. Both boys were well clothed, the eldest having on a long pair of stout winter boots. The youngest wore a pair of gum boots, which he had taken off and lay near by. He had done this, perhaps, to empty the water out of them, with the assistance of the brother, and then both being overpowered by the cold and fatigue, had finally laid down to die.

Great Drifts of Snow.

Were along the grade, but where they lay was a bleak place, swept clean by the driving winds, and no snow covered them. Their wet clothes were frozen fast to the ground. They have at last reached home, but, alas, not to gladden it with their childish joy. The chill hand of death has silenced forever their bright hopes and joyous anticipations.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Dec 30,  1871

**Photo posted by RickC on Flickr, with this description:

Ophir Grade was the toll road between Virginia City and Washoe Valley where the first ore processing mills were. This is American Flat west of Virginia City and shows a mill built of concrete in the early 1900’s that was only used for a couple of years. Virginia and Truckee RR spur grade is also shown.

Frog and Toad Weren’t Always Friends

January 26, 2009



A gentleman in Lynn, Massachusetts, while passing a pond in that city a few mornings since, witnessed a singular scene, which he describes as follows: Around the margin of the pond, in the water, there was a large collection of common toads; close beside them was an equal gathering of bull-frogs; and a battle between the two was in progress. The frogs, being the most powerful, were busily engaged in drowning the toads. One or more frogs would sieze a toad and hold his head under water until he was drowned. Sometimes a frog would find himself overmatched, and then he would utter a peculiar sound, when one or more of his comrades would come to his aid, and the toad was sure to go under, never to rise again. This battle continued for several minutes, until the toads were “cleaned out,” when the frogs joined in one triumphant croak.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jun 17,  1871