Overview

Title: Dan De Quille Papers
Creator(s): De Quille, Dan, 1829-1898
Collection Number: NC55
Dates (inclusive): 1877-1887
Physical Extent: 0.1 cubic feet (12 items)
Preferred Citation: Dan De Quille Papers, NC55. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.
Repository: University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department
Permanent Link: http://dewey.library.unr.edu/xtf/view?docId=ead/NC55-ead.xml

Biographical Note

Journalist Dan De Quille (pen name for William Wright) came to the west coast of the United States from Iowa and Ohio in 1859. Between the years 1859-1862, he and his brother, Hank, moved frequently around the gold mines and cities of northern California, the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, and western Nevada Territory. While traveling he began submitting articles to eastern and western newspapers under the name Dan De Quille. These articles were filled with stories of the people, places, and adventures encountered in the west. He was a popular writer and soon was published weekly in a number of papers.

In 1862 De Quille went to work for Joseph T. Goodman, owner of the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada. By that time he'd become widely known, well liked, and respected for his craft. He was to work for the Enterprise off and on as a reporter and columnist for thirty years.

De Quille was a good friend and colleague of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Nevada newsman Alf Doten. The latter was also his drinking partner and recorded faithfully in his journals (edited by Walter Van Tilburg Clark and published by the University of Nevada Press as The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1973) Dan's problems with alcohol abuse. In between his drinking bouts, De Quille produced a prodigious number of articles, stories, novels, travelogues, and other works, the best known of which was The Big Bonanza, a book about the largest silver vein in the Comstock Lode of Virginia City.

De Quille died in Nevada in 1898, just a few years before his friend and fellow journalist, Alf Doten.The papers of Dan De Quille were purchased by the University Library from the Alta California Book Store in 1963. There are no restrictions on use of the collection.

The collection is a very small one; the bulk of the De Quille papers are held by the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. The papers held by the Special Collections Department date from 1877-1887 and are twelve in number. They include the rough draft of one short story, a genealogical narrative of the Wright and Markley families, and letters to De Quille. The correspondence is arranged by the name of the sender and in chronological order.

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Scope and Content

The collection is a very small one; the bulk of the De Quille papers are held by the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. They include the rough draft of one short story, a genealogical narrative of the Wright and Markley families, and letters to De Quille. The correspondence is arranged by the name of the sender and in chronological order.

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Alta California Bookstore on June 6, 1963.

Related Materials

Dan De Quille papers, BANC MSS P-G 246, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

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Arrangement

  • The papers of Dan De Quille are arranged into the following series:
  • Series 1: Manuscripts
  • Series 2: Correspondence

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of the University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno. Researchers wishing to find related materials are encouraged to use the following index terms:

People:



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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Susan Searcy, October 1991 . Finding aid prepared by Susan Searcy, October 1991 . Finding aid revised by Susan Searcy on May 2011. Latest update by Jacquelyn Sundstrand, May 7, 2012. This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 26, 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Series 1: Manuscripts, Circa 1877 (3 folders)

Series 1 includes two manuscripts by De Quille. The first is of "Tom Collette's Bath," an article that appeared in the Territorial Enterprise, December 2, 1877. A photocopy of the article as it appeared in the newspaper is included in folder 1b. It appears that the original name or a subtitle of the article was "Fun in the Mountains and Desert Wilds." The second manuscript is a genealogy letter regarding the Wright and Markley families.

box
folder
Contents
1/S1
1a
"Tom Collette's Bath." Original copy
1/S1
1b
"Tom Collette's Bath." Photocopy of original
1/S1
2
Manuscript in letter form by De Quille to "Aunt Lou" regarding genealogy of the Wright and Markley families, no date. Includes envelope

Series 2: Correspondence, 1884-1887 (9 folders)

Series 2 includes correspondence to De Quille from three prominent men. Folders 1-3 include correspondence from Amos J. Cummings who was the editor of The Sun newspaper of New York. Folder 4 includes correspondence from Millicent Washburn Shinn, editor of The Overland Monthly, offering $25.00 for the article "Snow-Shoe Thompson." Folders 5-9 are letters from James G. Fair.

box
folder
Contents
1/S2
1
Letter from Amos J. Cummings. Includes envelope, March 16, 1885
1/S2
2
Letter from Amos J. Cummings. Includes envelope, April 28, 1886
1/S2
3
Letter from Amos J. Cummings. Includes envelope, February 25, 1887
1/S2
4
Letter from The Overland Monthly editor, [Millicent Washburn Shinn]. Includes envelope, September 11, 1886
1/S2
5
Letter from James G. Fair. Includes envelope, October 31, 1884
1/S2
6
Letter from James G. Fair. Includes envelope, August 26, 1885
1/S2
7
Letter from James G. Fair. Includes envelope, January 7, 1886
1/S2
8
Letter from James G. Fair, January 26, 1886
1/S2
9
Letter from James G. Fair, August 18, 1886