News of Custer’s fall, disastrous fires and GOP politics | NevadaAppeal.com

News of Custer’s fall, disastrous fires and GOP politics

Trent Dolan
Special to the Appeal

It took nearly 10 days for official notification that Custer’s 315 men had been killed at the Little Big Horn to reach General Sheridan. It took just about the same amount of time for news to reach Carson City, where the city was reviving from the 100th birthday of the United States.

Then and Now

Then thirteen feeble colonies. Now a nation composed of strong States and vast Territories. Then slavery existed. Now all men are free and equal. Then a population of a little more than three millions. Now a population of forty millions. Then a narrow strip of country along the Atlantic. Now a land stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific; and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.

– Appeal Editorial

The Indian War

The news of the terrible disaster to General Custer and his command in the Black Hills is confirmed. Gen. Terry is also killed. It is a dreadful tragedy. The Indians won a bloody victory, which they signalized with merciless atrocity. That victory should seal their doom …

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We are told by persons who boast of their Christian philanthropy and transcendent love for the Indian that all our troubles with these people, the robberies and the murders they commit upon the whites, are the legitimate result of our tyranny and oppression of them …

Today Sitting Bull and his associate chiefs, who were parties to this treaty, with their three thousand warriors from their strongholds on the Yellowstone and Powder Rivers, hundreds of miles from their reservation shake their bloody girdles of white men’s scalps, on some of which the human gore has not yet coagulated, in the faces of your officers, and bid defiance to your laws and military authority.

Custer’s Heart, A Savage’s Plaything

We have the following sensation item by telegraph: Specials from Sioux City say the Indians arriving from the battle with Custer give an account of the barbarous treatment of the bodies of the deceased soldiers. Rain-in-the-Face cut the heart from Custer’s dead body, put it on a pole and a grand war dance was held around it. The Indians were “jubilant, boastful, and sanguine of making better terms on account of their successes.”

The Platform of the National Republican Party

The Appeal published the whole thing. It’s amazing reading, having been put forth 100 years after we became a country. One of the planks on the platform was the “immediate duty of Congress to fully investigate the effect of the immigration and importation of Mongolians upon the moral and material interests of the country.” The platform also called for equal rights for women.

A Curious Discovery

Sometimes there are articles in old newspapers that defy imagination. Taken at face value they seem true, but are they?

Yesterday a petrified mahogany tree, about ten inches in diameter, was discovered in the Hamburg mine (Eureka), thirty seven feet from the surface. It was found in the ore vein, and in portions of the petrification pieces of ore was firmly imbedded in the wood, while the entire tree was thickly incrusted with carbonate ore, evidencing beyond question that the vein matter had formed from below instead of from the surface.

An Indian Fighter

From the Reese River Revellie comes the story of a man who had “fit them Soos,” and everyone believed him, because he looked like he had a desperate encounter with something. His clothes were in tatters, his boots a collection of holes, and on his head his hair was a cross between a haystack and a barber shop floor.

In a main street saloon he declared “it was all cussword nonsense for the Guvment to try to liek them Injuns with sojers.” What they want, said he, “is a lot of men like me, give us britchloadin rifles and mustangs, and we’ll clean em out so quick it’ll make yer head swim.”

“Oh, dry up,” said the barkeeper, “if times is hard and there’s a big discount on silver, that’s no reason why an old stiff should talk a man to death for a drink. Here,” said the barkeep, as he set two bottles and a tumbler on the counter, “take a drink of this and then go out and have a battle with the savages that swarm in your undershirt.”

The stiff took a drink, his thumb and forefinger ready for a fight in his armpit, and remarked in a stage whisper, “that a fighter and a forty-niner ain’t appreciated in these degenerate days.”

The Mountain Fires

Fires in the Sierra just west of town were driven down Ash Canyon by a strong wind. The impression of the clouds of rolling smoke was more fearful than the fire. What burned was the debris of old woodcutter camps and two flumes belonging to the railway company. Destroyed was “The Little Glenbrook Mill,” property of Yerington, Bliss & Co. Also destroyed in the fire were all the Clear Creek hills and gulches. It was thought the fires started by criminal design.

A Disastrous Fire

Yesterday the old and well known place of entertainment, the Corbett House, was totally destroyed. The fire started near the kitchen by coal oil or defective stove pipe. The entire block was destroyed. It is a great piece of good fortune that air was still.

The Barbecue and the Republican Love Feast

Farmer Treadway’s barbecue was a super-abundant treat. Beef, lamb, roast pigs, bread by the thousand loaves, vegetables by the ton and pies by the hundred, those were what the multitude was offered. An immense crowd filled the grounds and a perfect gala day was enjoyed by all participants. The number of people arriving by all points was great. Never any political gathering in the State before that approached it … Great bonfires shot towering flames up through the air; fireworks bestarred the sky; music floated out upon the scene, and vast and surging multitude swayed and jostled through the streets.

All about the Big Circus

When the circus came to Carson City, it was always a big deal. Baby animals was the draw to the Cooper, Bailey & Co.’s establishment. Giraffes were difficult to find in 1876, so when the circus was here, there were big eyes and smiles all around. On exhibition were baby camels, elephants (one only 38 inches high!), Alaska sea lions, “Hindoo” sacred cattle, and a large collection of monkeys and birds.

• Trent Dolan is the son of Bill Dolan, who wrote a column for the Nevada Appeal from 1947 until his death in 2006.

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