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Historical Note - Week of April 3rd

The New Northwest, April 7, 1871

Quite a number of our exchanges contain paragraphs concerning the reported new mines on Clark’s Fork. They are generally accredited to the Pick and Plow. That paper continues to publish and overflow its columns with the most exaggerated and absurd statements conceivable of their richness, the rush thither, and the depopulation that is ensuing in the older camps of Montana, and even goes so far as to accuse other Territorial papers of purposely keeping silent or disputing its statements, lest the effect be disastrous to our localities.

We think Mr. Maguire’s nonsense has gone far enough. We do not believe a sluice-box has been set in all the region of country he calls Clark’s Fork. We have never known a well authenticated statement that even a good prospect has been obtained there. We have never known a Deer Lodge or Missoula miner or resident start for Clark’s Fork or speak of doing so. We do not believe any gulch has been struck, or that any stampede is going on there, and from all the information we can obtain the Munchausenish, sensational stories of Mr. Maguire are imaginative and totally unreliable. Now it grieves us to say this about a brother quill, but the Pick and Plow having questioned our motives and course, we want to be frank. The Clark’s Fork fever has become a monomania with Mr. Maguire. He may believe something of what he writes. There may be mines discovered and developed there hereafter. It is a splendid country, and even if no “color” is found, a good ranche may be, if the Sioux don’t lift the hair of the adventurer. But so far as any positive knowledge of good mines is concerned, we believe Mr. Maguire has not had any that would induce any other editor in Montana to recommend a stampede, even if he was located where such stampede would benefit him.

To convince Mr. Maguire that we have no disposition to suppress any favorable news about Clark’s Fork, we hereby agree that any statement in the Pick and Plow of any developed mines on Clark’s Fork; of any sluices set there; of any good prospects found there; of any stampede other than prospectors from Bozeman to them, which will be certified to as credible by any respectable merchant or mercantile firm of Bozeman, we will re-publish in the NEW NORTH-WEST, and give it conspicuous place.

We have deemed the Pick and Plow statements sensational, and unworthy of credence, and have ignored or ridiculed them, on that presumption. If the co-operation of the Montana press is desired, doubtless all will be as favorably disposed to assist on as reasonable terms as we proffer.

note: Mr. Maguire ran the Pick and Plow paper out of Bozeman

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