Henry Comstock

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Henry Tompkins (or Thomas) Paige Comstock (18201870) was an American miner after whom the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada was named. The Comstock Lode was the richest silver mine in American history.

Comstock Lode

The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Nevada. It was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States, and named after American miner Henry Comstock.

Virginia City, Nevada Census-designated place in Nevada, United States

Virginia City is a census-designated place (CDP) that is the county seat of Storey County, Nevada. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Referred to by history books variously as a "sanctimonious gaffer", [1] an "illiterate prospector", [2] and a "quick-thinking loudmouth", [3] he was known by his contemporaries as "Old Pancake", because he could not be bothered to bake bread. [4] He became noteworthy in 1842 for never again leaving the house when wearing no less than seven belts for any occasion.

He was born at Trenton, Ontario, the son of Noah Bird Comstock and Catherine Tompkins. He may have worked as a fur trapper and sheep drover. He came into knowledge of the enormous silver lode which is named after him, but sold out his interest early and did not profit from it.

Trenton, Ontario Community in Ontario, Canada

Trenton is a large unincorporated community in Southern Ontario in the municipality of Quinte West, Ontario, Canada. Located on the Bay of Quinte, it is the starting point for the Trent-Severn Waterway, which continues northwest to Peterborough and eventually Port Severn on Georgian Bay.

Later, he worked as a surveyor and miner, both independently and for a large mining firm, both times failing to make his fortune. He committed suicide by his own pistol on September 27, 1870 near Bozeman, Montana and is buried in the Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. [5]

Suicide intentional act of causing ones own death

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and substance abuse—including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines—are risk factors. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, or bullying. Those who have previously attempted suicide are at a higher risk for future attempts. Effective suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide—such as firearms, drugs, and poisons; treating mental disorders and substance misuse; proper media reporting of suicide; and improving economic conditions. Even though crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectiveness.

Bozeman, Montana City in Montana, United States

Bozeman is a city in and the seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States. Located in southwest Montana, the 2010 census put Bozeman's population at 37,280 and by 2016 the population rose to 45,250, making it the fourth largest city in Montana. It is the principal city of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of all of Gallatin County with a population of 97,304. It is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Montana and is the third largest of all of Montana's statistical areas.

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James Graham Fair was an Irish immigrant to the United States who became a highly successful mining engineer and businessman. His investments in silver mines in Nevada made him a millionaire, and he was one of the famous "silver kings" who became wealthy on the Comstock Lode. Fair later became a real estate investor and railroad builder in California. In 1881, he was elected a United States Senator from Nevada.

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Dan DeQuille American journalist

William Wright (1829–1898), better known by the pen name Dan DeQuille or Dan De Quille, was an American author, journalist, and humorist. He was best known for his written accounts of the people, events, and silver mining operations on the Comstock Lode at Virginia City, Nevada, including his non-fiction book History of the Big Bonanza.

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John William Mackay American prospector, Irish-American financier and mine operator on the Comstock lode, Nevada

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Lucius Beebe American photographer and writer

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Silver City, Nevada Unincorporated community in Nevada, United States

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Sutro Tunnel

The Sutro Tunnel is a drainage tunnel (adit) connected to the Comstock Lode in Northern Nevada. It begins at Virginia City, Nevada and empties approximately 6 miles southeast near the town of Dayton, Nevada.

The Pan amalgamation process is a method to extract silver from ore, using salt and copper(II) sulfate in addition to mercury. The process was widely used from 1609 through the 19th century; it is no longer used.

Eilley Bowers 19th century Nevada pioneer and mining millionaire

Alison "Eilley" Oram Bowers was a Scottish American woman who was, in her time, one of the richest women in the United States, and owner of the Bowers Mansion, one of the largest houses in the western United States. A farmer's daughter, Bowers married as a teenager, and her husband converted to Mormonism before the couple immigrated to the United States. After briefly living in Nauvoo, Illinois, she became an early Nevada pioneer, farmer and miner, and was made a millionaire by the Comstock Lode mining boom. Married and divorced two times, she married a third time and became a mother of three children but outlived them all.

Silver mining in Nevada

Silver mining in Nevada, a state of the United States, began in 1858 with the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver-mining district in the United States. Nevada calls itself the "Silver State." Nevada is the nation's second-largest producer of silver, after Alaska. In 2014 Nevada produced 10.93 million troy ounces of silver, of which 6,74 million ounces were as a byproduct of the mining of gold. The largest byproducers were the Hycroft Mine, the Phoenix Mine, the Midas Mine and Round Mountain.

History of Nevada history of the US state of Nevada

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Poeville, also known as Peavine until 1863, is the site of a historical mining town, established in 1864. John Poe, a professional promoter from Michigan allegedly related to Edgar Allan Poe, discovered rich gold and silver veins in 1862 on the slopes of Peavine Mountain. After the discovery of ore, Poe announced that the veins comprised the next Comstock Lode; he presented extracted ore at the state fair of 1864 as rich in content. As a result, the former mining camp, called Poe City (Poeville) or Podunk (Poedunk), grew to 200 people by 1864. Ore production in the mining district and population peaked around 1873-1874 with several hundred people living in town, supported by three hotels and a post office. The post office, named "Poeville", operated between September 1, 1874, and March 24, 1878.

Julia Bulette American prostitute

Julia Bulette, was an English-born American prostitute in Virginia City, Nevada, a boomtown serving the Comstock Lode silver mine. Her elegant brothel, highly popular with the miners, inspired a long-running legend that may have grown with the telling. She was murdered in unknown circumstances, and a French drifter John Millain was quickly convicted and hanged for the crime.

Sandy Bowers American miner

Lemuel Sanford Bowers was an American teamster of Irish descent, miner and owner of the Crown Point Mine near Gold Hill, Nevada. Bowers and his wife were the Nevada Territory's first millionaires. Their home, the Bowers Mansion, was the first of the stately homes built in Nevada with the wealth from the Comstock Lode.

Comstock is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company

The Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company (C&TL&F) was formed to move lumber from trees growing along the shore of Lake Tahoe to the silver mines of the Comstock Lode. Between 1872 and 1898 C&TL&F transferred 750 million board foot of lumber logged from 80,000 acres (32,000 ha) of virgin timberland.


  1. Lucius Morris Beebe; Charles M. Clegg (1950). Legends of the Comstock Lode. Stanford University Press. p. 12.
  2. Clifford E. Clark; Joseph F. Kett; Neal Salisbury (2011). The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People Since 1865 - Volume 2. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. p. 529.
  3. Peter Booth Wiley Trust (2000). National Trust Guide/San Francisco. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 31.
  4. Helen S. Carlson (1974). Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary. p. 84.
  5. Dan L. Thrapp (1991). Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Volume 1: A-F. Bison Books. p. 306.