After George Ainslie became editor of the Idaho World in September 1869, its columns became a lot more readable and entertaining. Ainslies wit and colorful prose reveal him as one who enjoyed the social life of Idaho City to the full. Here is an example from the World of Jan. 13, 1870:
A Splendid Supper. On Tuesday evening, being invited by Jimmy Brown to call at Green Whites residence and assist them in eating some oysters, in company with a couple of friends, we accordingly called, and were astonished to find the house rammed and jammed full. Jimmy said he only invited a few friends just a few of the boys. We thought all the boys in town were there, and instead of eating a few oysters, we found the table fairly groaning under the weight of turkey, chicken, ham, cake, pickles, fried oysters, stewed oysters, raw oysters, oysters boiled, in salad and out of salad, and in every conceivable style to suit the palate of any of the multitude of guests present. Wines and liquors of all kinds were provided in abundance.
A week later the World office received a couple of cans of splendid fresh oysters, with the wrapper marked presented by Old Baltimore. Our genial friend, Mr. David F. Wagner, personified Old Baltimore in this instance, and in return will please accept the thanks of the World. In the same issue Jimmy Brown at Whites Exchange never forgets the World on press nights, and sends us refreshments in the shape of cigars, and fluids for which he will please accept our thanks. It is astonishing how it lightens the labors of that portion of the man part of the printing machinery which is at all in the habit of absorbing, by lubricating with a little neck oil.
When the World declined to exchange copies with Susan B. Anthonys suffragist paper The Revolution, Ainslie reveals himself as a typical male chauvinist of his day when he explained his reason: It would not be a paying business to publish a $30 notice for a $3 paper. We shall have to remain in our benighted and ignorant condition as to womans rights by refusing the liberal offer to exchange. But we console ourselves with the old adage where ignorance is bliss tis folly to be wise.
The United States Senate confirmed the reappointment of Republican E.J. Curtis as secretary of Idaho in January 1870, which led Ainslie to comment, He has given universal satisfaction, and although he is a Radical he believes a man can be a Democrat and yet be an honest man and a gentleman. Judge Curtis never allows his political opinions or prejudices to interfere with a strict discharge of his official duties or of his social relations. Ainslie also commented on the reconfirmation of Judge Milton Kelly to the Idaho Supreme Court, a position he had held since 1865, crediting him with a thorough command of the law. When Kelly bought the Idaho Statesman in 1870 he became Ainslies competitor but not his enemy.
When Ainslie became a new father, he wrote this, Born, to the better half of the editor of this paper, and to himself, on the outgoing of the month of February, A.D. 1870, a Daughter. The little stranger blooms in beauty like a rose upon the parent stem. Do our readers think or imagine we, the fond, the overjoyed, the indubitably happy paternal, after such a cri-sis could write anything muchly for this issue of the paper, or give attention muchly to duties editorial? Not muchly; and we shall give no other or further apology, either for what may be a-miss in this issue, for at home pretty much all is a Miss. Eleven and one-half pounds of beautiful baby! Only think of it and phancy our pheelinx!
When the Democratic territorial convention was held in Boise in March 1870, George Ainslie was elected its chairman. Judge Milton Kelly, new owner of the Statesman wrote, Hon. George Ainslie, editor of the World called to see us on Tuesday. George is young in the profession, but has a genius for newspapers that few lawyers possess. In 1879, after Ainslie was elected Delegate to Congress from Idaho Territory, Kelly wrote though differing with Mr. Ainslie in politics, we freely accord to him the merit which he deserves. Back in Idaho City after the convention, Ainslie complained of bores who sit in an editors office, ignoring all hints, when there is much work to do. He also wrote, The editor of this paper would consider it a great favor if persons visiting the office would be kind enough to allow him to read his magazines and exchanges before carrying them off.
Arthur Hart writes this column on Idaho history for the Idaho Statesman each Sunday. Email: email@example.com