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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
John Greenman <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 27 Jul 2010 14:22:49 -0400
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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In plowing through the "Newspaper Articles by Mark Twain" for, I came across  the following, which might be of interest  
to California media (press?) as an indication of what MT thought about  
the maturity (and experience) of California's citizens (as told by a  
Rev. Dr. Bellows and reported by MT).

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, September 23, 1864
the Rev. Dr. Bellows delivered what was probably the ablest address  
that such an occasion ever called forth, either here or anywhere  
else. ....
... the speaker dwelt upon the tremendous responsibilities resting  
upon those here in whose keeping was entrusted the moral, religious  
and educational training of the young, and said that in California  
those responsibilities were incalculably greater than in any other  
section of the Union, for upon them devolved the work of laying the  
foundations of a society and a government which, at the end of this  
generation, must be delivered into the hands of a community of young  
men and young women, with no old and experienced heads left among them  
to guide and watch over them with that sound wisdom and judgment which  
can only be gained by fighting the hard battle of life, and with few  
among their own numbers who have had an opportunity of getting even a  
theoretical idea of the worldly knowledge and wisdom that would have  
fallen to them in a land where old men and old women were numerous. He  
met only youths and maidens, comparatively speaking, in all the walks  
of life upon this Pacific Coast—a section of the world where forty  
years entitled a man to be called venerable. From his observation of  
the character, and habits, and domestic training of the new  
generation, full of life and activity, and impatient of restraint,  
which he saw growing up here, debarred from association with age and  
from wholesome instruction from the experienced, California had need  
to fear for her well-being when her few remaining veterans shall have  
passed away, and left this great and powerful State, with its mighty  
interests, in the keeping of a community who are men and women in age,  
but merely boys and girls in wisdom and experience. This was why he  
considered that the teachers of the youth on this coast were burthened  
with heavier responsibilities than those of any other land. The task  
before them is to raise up a great and good people, out of an army of  
youths and maidens springing up in a land where aged men and women are  
not, and firesides are unknown.
Dr. Bellows uttered many a great and original thought during his  
oration, but none seemed so new and startling, and withal so pregnant  
with significance as these two which we have attempted to set down  
here in outline. The spirit of prophecy was upon him. It will be well  
if California heeds the warning he has proclaimed to her.

anyone wanting a URL for the full article, let me know.