Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Manuscripts and Notes Chiefly Concerning the Comstock Lode,
Date (inclusive): 1859-1936
Collection Number: BANC MSS P-G 244
Creator: Smith, Grant Horace, 1865-1944
Number of containers: 7 cartons
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Material gathered in preparation for books on Mark Twain, John W. Mackay and the Comstock Lode. A collection of Shakespeareana
and a few miscellaneous essays included. The first four cartons contain papers of general historical interest, as follows:
1. Looseleaf notebooks concerning the Comstock, including photostats of contemporary newspaper items, chronologically arranged,
1853-ca. 1893; other notes on census, directories, society, roads, stocks, milling, theaters, Adolph Sutro, etc.; historical
sketches; accounts of individual mines; five miscellaneous articles; part of the original draft of Smith's Ms. on Comstock
history; maps and pictures. 2. Material on John W. Mackay and the Comstock story, in 11 looseleaf notebooks, a scrapbook,
and an envelope of loose clippings (used in part in his History of the Comstock Lode [Reno, 1943]). Includes notes on Mackay's
interests in the Nevada Bank, Water Company, Pacific Cable Company, and Postal Telegraph. 3. Material on Mark Twain in Nevada.
Includes Smith's completed manuscript, with pictures; miscellaneous Twain articles; and notes, clippings, and photostats.
4. Miscellaneous notes on early Nevada and California, relating to the Comstock, Twain, and Mackay; includes three file cases
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Manuscripts and notes chiefly concerning the Comstock Lode, BANC MSS P-G 244, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Material Cataloged Separately
- Miscellaneous Comstock photographs and maps, etc., have been removed and cataloged as:
Scope and Content
The following data is given on this collection by the son of the donor, Grant H. Smith Jr., after he had spent some days in
trying to establish some semblance of order among these valuable and interesting papers. It is hoped that it will make future
study and research easier. Material included:
- Carton 1.
- Basic data on the Comstock, 1859-1936. Miscellaneous Comstock articles. Part of the original manuscript on the Comstock.
- Carton 2.
- Material on John W. Mackay and the Comstock Story. Includes data on the discovery, development and production of the various
mines and ore bodies.
- Carton 2A.
- MS of "John W. Mackay, Bonanza King"
- Carton 3.
- Mark Twain material -final manuscripts together with original notes, and drafts.
- Carton 4.
- Miscellaneous Comstock notes (three letter files)
- Carton 5.
- Miscellaneous notebook, original drafts, typewritten sheets, including duplicates, rewritten chapters and rejects. (Of little
- Carton 6.
- Shakespearean collection.
The material on the Comstock Lode and vicinity represents many hours of research and study on a subject which was dear to
the heart of my father, Grant H. Smith. Much of it is written with a love and passion characteristic of a nearly gone but
not forgotten breed of men known as "Mining Camp Men." They were refined and tempered in the mining camps of the West -Virginia
City, Butte, Downieville, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Chinese Camp, Dawson, The Klondike, Tonapah, Goldfield and many other roaring
booming mining camps.
Many of these men, though they often spoke their minds on various subjects, never put their thoughts on paper for posterity
to enjoy. Many of the younger generation have tried with questionable success to capture the flavor and spirit of these adventurous
days. While my Dad did not possess a glamourous style, his inquiring and thorough mind compiled a world of important information
on the Comstock Lode and other related subjects.
The original manuscripts have been torn apart and reshuffled as his ambitious program: a story of John W. Mackay, a history
of the Comstock, and the real story about Mark Twain in Nevada, was never realized. It had to be condensed and shortened into
a bulletin issued by the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, 1943, under the title of
A History of the Comstock Lode. Therefore there is little or no continuity in the large Mackay-Comstock manuscripts and much of the material is out of place.
The real value will appear in the notes, clippings and letters included in the separate binders and in the short, complete
articles, short manuscripts, and data on production and methods of the mines.
The Shakespearean collection speaks for itself.