Chapter

The Mentor, Whip and Mirror of the Town

Roy Morris, Jr.

in Ambrose Bierce

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126280
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195126280.003.0006
The Mentor, Whip and Mirror of the Town

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After almost a decade of war and wandering during those times, Ambrose Bierce found himself in early 1867 marooned and jobless in San Francisco. By the mid-1860s, San Francisco grew from a sleepy Mexican seaport into a vital, one might even say protean, city of commercially-minded souls. Several arsons occurred due to hooligans such as the infamous Sydney Ducks. Runners, crimps, and impressment gangs were even harder to eradicate. Several successful and famous writers had the wherewithal for such abrupt changes of base; however, Bierce did not during the winter of 1867. Sometime in spring he told a worker that he intended to become a writer. Located in the center of that urban vortex were some decidedly zany citizens.

Keywords: war; San Francisco; hooligans; writers; arson

Chapter.  12269 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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