Local Column

Mark Twain

Virginia City Territorial Enterprise/January 11, 1863

HIGH PRICE OF PORK—In our record of probate proceedings to-day, will be found the case of John Hill vs. John Doe Wentworth. As a matter of principle, it may be well enough to stand by your rights until the lake of fire and brimstone is no longer in a state of liquification, but whether it be good policy to do so at all times is a question which admits of argument. This case is an instance in point. The property involved is about twenty or thirty dollars’ worth of pork in a crude state—we mean, two living hogs, probably worth but little more than ten dollars each; yet this suit to determine their ownership has already cost the parties to it some six or seven hundred dollars, and the defeated but plucky plaintiff has given notice that he will apply for a new trial! The new trial will double the bill of expenses, in all human probability.

We learn from gentlemen who were present at the trial to-day, that there were about thirty witnesses on the stand, and one of them a woman. The hog dispute afforded those concerned and the lookers-on a good deal of fun, but it was very costly. Those two distinguished pigs ought to be taken care of and exhibited at the first agricultural fair of Nevada Territory. At any rate, we shall officially spread the proceedings of this trial upon the records of the Washoe Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society, as evidence of the high value placed upon the hog in Nevada Territory.

The works of Mark Twain and other American journalists are now freely available at The Archive of American Journalism. Visit our bookstore for single-volume collections–-ideal for research, reference use or casual reading.